Wednesday, December 31, 2008

IUI #7 is a-go!!!

I just got the call from my nurse. IUI # 7 is scheduled for Saturday morning at 8 am. I will stim one more night (u/s tech was right), trigger on Thursday night, with IUI the next day.

She confirmed that I was ok with the # of follicles. Yep, sign me up please:-) I have a 15, 14.5, 14, and 10, with 4 others in between. So it looks like I'll have 3 mature, which is fantastic to me.

This will be my last IUI. If it fails, we'll head right into IVF #2, assuming Dr. K won't make me wait a cycle.

Getting dressed...

just to get undressed.
This is the most annoying part of early morning monitoring for me. I mean, it's not like I can go without a shower, and then run home and get ready for work. I have to go to these appts ready to go to work. I got all dressed today (in new clothes from Santa) and look pretty darn cute, thank you very much:-) It just felt like I got dressed, and then 5 minutes later was taking off my clothes again. It's just frustrating sometimes.

Anyhoo...I now have EIGHT measurable follicles. The biggest is 15, smallest is 10, and they are several that are between 13 and 14.5. The u/s tech (the one I don't like) said she thought they might stim me one more day. I doubt it. As always, b/w will tell the whole story, so I'll be anxiously waiting for that call.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Results from monitoring this morning

Well. The increase in my meds appears to be working. I had 6 follies measuring over 10, with 2 in the lead, and 2 at the back of the line measuring 10. My E2 was 564. (To compare, last cycle when I only had one mature follicle my E2 only got to about 180 at my last b/w). So there should definately be more than one ready to go:-) I'll go back on Wed morning, after two more nights at my increased dose. My nurse thinks I'll trigger Wed night with IUI on Friday. I actually can't believe Dr. K isn't lowering for these last 2 nights. I suppose now I'm a little afraid that she'll re-think things and try to talk me out of this IUI if there are multiple mature follies. I say bring it on:-)

We also got the results of Dan's sperm freezing. Now that I'm thinking about the #s the nurse read me, it's not adding up though. I thought she said he had just over 98 million guys, with about 78 million being motile. But then she said we had 6 vials frozen, with 40 million in each one. That is what isn't adding up. oh well. All I care about is that there's enough for IUI #7 (plus we still have one vial frozen from before this most recent freeze). that should also hopefully get us through IVF #2.

Putting it in perspective

I got to visit Amy and her wonderfully beautiful little Mattie yesterday. First of all, Amy looks fabulous. You'd never guess there was a baby in there 9 days ago. It is amazing.

We were talking about her induction/delivery, and the fact that Matt got to be there for it. We also talked about our mutual struggle with infertility. She said something that just stopped me. A fact I knew was true, probably, but I often lose sight of. She said "I thought that was the hardest thing I'd ever have to go through."

When you are in the trenches of infertility, it's 1) hard to imagine that you will ever get out, and 2) impossible to believe that this is not the worst thing that can happen to you. But really, it's not. There *are* worse things, it's just so hard to imagine what those might be, b/c some days...I feel like this is just sucking the life out of me. I hate that it has done that to me, but it has. Don't get me wrong. Some days are great, and easily managable, but there isn't a day (probably an hour) that goes by that I don't think about infertility and wonder if I'll ever see the other side.

Amy really put it all in perspective though, and I am thankful for that.

I also realized that Mattie was the first baby I've held in over 15 months. And I loved every minute of it:-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two follicles so far!

The title of this post isn't so exciting, but *is* accurate. I went in today for my cd7 monitoring appt. I have 2 measurable follies on the R ovary, and a "group" of smallish ones on the left, and it looked like one of those in the group was taking the lead.

Here's to hoping and praying for THREE this time, although I will settle for two. Well actually, as we all know, I'll settle for one...but the more the merrier. The increased Gonal-F seems to be doing it's job (thank you very much me, for begging Dr. K to increase it:-)) I'll stay on 150 IU's tonight and tomorrow and go back on Monday morning.

I'm guessing IUI #7 will be Jan 1 or 2.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cup o' sperm in the bra, anyone???

I know a few of you are guilty of this, you HAVE to be:-) That was me this morning. Dan's "job" this morning went off without a hitch, ahead of schedule actually so neither of us stressed too much, although last night was tense, with the thoughts of what needed to be done today.

It is freezing here, literally. Usually, I hold the cup between my legs for the car ride to Dr K's office, but I was afraid even that wouldn't keep it at the right temp. So in my bra it went. ANd it arrived safe and sound. Phew. Dan said "I hope there's a baby in there." My response was, "I have no doubt there's a baby in there, it's my uterus I'm worried about."

Anyhoo...they will wash the sperm, and then freeze it into vials of about 10 million. Last time (last Dec!) Dan had to do this we got 11 vials, which was WAY more than expected. I don't expect that will happen again, but it would be great to get enough for this IUI + a few more cycles. We typically use 2 vials per IUI.

In addition to dropping off this lovely specimin, I had my cd3 u/s and b/w today. All looked good. I have 25+ antral follies just ready to start growing. Between u/s and b/w I saw Dr. K in the hall. I wasn't sure she would recognize me (baseball cap and no make-up thanks to Dan eagerness to do his thing), but she did. She gave me a hug, told me she was sorry about the last cycle and asked how I was. I just got so darn emotional. Once in the car I cried, but I held it together in the office. I did ask her if she would increase my Gonal since last cycle only gave me one mature follicle. She reminded my nicely that one is all they hope for, but that she would review my chart prior to calling me with instructions.

She DID increase my meds, to 150 Gonal, which is up from 112.5 last cycle. I'll take that for 4 days, and go back in Sat morning to see what's going on. I suspect if we see more growth than with last cycle she'll probably lower it back to 112.5. I would be fine with that, I just wanted a little extra jump start which she thankfully gave me.

ANd I have decided that the next step is IVF #2. No more IUI's for me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On to IUI #7

AF showed in full force this morning. Believe it or not, this is a GOOD thing. Last cycle was my first cycle post endo removal, and I spotted about 6 days, which is the norm for me. This cycle, I only spotted 3 days. I will look at this as progress:-)

Anyhoo...I'll call tomorrow for my cd3 u/s and b/w on Tuesday, and we'll be off and running again. IUI #7 would be around Jan 2. This is assuming that we are able to freeze more of Dan's sperm. After IUI #6 we only had one vial left, and we typically need 2 to get enough for one IUI. So hopefully he can do his thing on Tuesday too...and then that will be off my mind. Let's hope so.

Otherwise, it's been a busy weekend. I'm jumping from project to project today...so not getting anything DONE, but at least making progress on lots of things.

I talked Dan into getting our pics taken with Santa Paws at Petsmart this weekend. Here's the outcome. I like it! Sierra was such a good girl:-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The spotting has started...

Yep, you read right. I started spotting yesterday, which means IUI #6 is a bust. Just lovely. I'm not upset. It is what it is. I had low (very low) expectations for this cycle to work...so it looks like I did a great job in meeting that expectation. My "test" day is this Saturday...but at least the spotting will save a pregnancy test. And no...I have no hope that this spotting is implantation, or any other indication of pregnancy.

I am not pregnant. Again.

Thanks to (another!) generous nestie, I'll be able to do one more IUI cycle prior to moving to IVF #2. Do I have much hope it will work? No. But it's worth a try.

I signed up for Flex Spending again for 2009, which means that $450 will be taken from my paycheck each month...to be spent on medical expenses. At least if we have to do IVF again, there's 5K that can be applied immediately. I did the same thing this year...so won't miss (too much) that $450 each month.

As for my 2nd opinion appt with Dr. S.ilber...I have decided that I really didn't like him. I will take his main 2 ideas to Dr. k and see what she says. It seems that some some sort of sedation at ET is fairly common, so I don't imagine she would put up much of an argument with that.

On to IUI #7.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

my 2nd opinion appt

It's now 8 pm, and I'm just now really ready to think about my appt with Dr. S.ilber. First of all, my appt was at 3:30 and I didn't get in until after 5 pm. It was only after telling the secretary that I wanted to reschedule that they got me in. I was told "he likes to take his time with all patients and doesn't like to rush."

I FINALLY get in. The first question from him is "where is your husband." Umm...he has to work. He had planned on coming, but at the last minute he couldn't. The second question is...have you had a problem with transfers before. My answer: YES!

He thinks the ET processmay be my big issue (as far as IVF is concerned), b/c of my severely tilted uterus. . I told him about the problem Dr. R had at the fresh ET, and also about Dr. K's trouble with my FET, despite 2 trial embryo transfers. He explained (much more eloquently that I) that the cathetar can be similiar to an IUD (which obviously prevents pregnancy). When my uterus is poked so much, in an effort to get in, in can actually hinder implantion. His solution: sedate me or almost completely knock me out for an ER, so that my muscles are relaxed and so it would take little effort to insert the cathetar.

Other thoughts: He suggested mini-IVF which is essentially using Clomid for an extended period of time, and supplementing with FSH at the end. I told him that Clomid and I don't get along well. He asked why, and was surprised at my Clomid issues like hot flashes, night sweats, etc. He said it was usually the opposite, and that injectibles usually caused people the most problems. This immediately set me on alert, b/c I've always heard (by women who have experienced both!) the opposite.

He said if we do conventional IVF he would stick with a similar protocol to what Dr. K did. BUT, instead of doing 150 Follistim (a relatively low dose) all the way through, he would start out higher, and then lower it. Apparently, the FSH you take at the beginning of a cycle impacts the most, and the FSH you take toward the end doesn't do much of anything. He said if he started to see I was over-responding with the higher dose he would have me take HCG to even me out a bit.

If he had done my first IVF, with the same resulting embryos, he would have given me a 70% success rate. He also said that his protocol for freezing embryos (vitrification) gives them an almost equal FET success as with a fresh cycle. He said he can see a time when all ETs will be FET.

Essentially, he said he would be in charge of my ET (under some sort of sedation), would transfer 2, and freeze the rest with vitrification.

Overall, I would say he passive aggressively put down the WU RE's. He told me he didn't understand why they did all those tests. I asked what tests and he said the lap. I felt the need to defend Dr. K by saying I had requested it and she hadn't felt the need. He also pretty much said I had wasted tons of time with IUIs. I reminded him I was oop and he didn't say much then. He also didn't approve of their freezing method.

I also asked him about acupuncture. He said he didn't think it did much good,except to relax. He's a bigger proponent of muscle relaxation excercises.

I don't know what to think. I think I will take this to Dr. K to get her thoughts. I agree with his theory about the ET and my severely tilted uterus. Transfers haven't been easy. I'm a bit overwhelmed. He's at a hospital that is significantly farther away from us. Not that proximity is the only issue. I don't know. I didn't get a bad vibe, but also didn't get a good one. It just makes me wonder....if I wasn't happy with Dr. K how would I feel after being given all of this new info.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Now waiting...

I'm in the 13day wait! See, this is how not into this cycle I actually am. I didn't come rushing home yesterday to post on my blog, or the nest (although I finally did update my facebook status late yesterday afternoon).

IUI #6 was yesterday. 14.5 million spermies went swimming for that one mature follie. Certainly one of them can find it, right?!?!?! I came home, Dan made me biscuits and gravy, and I took a LONG nap. As usual, I can test 14 days from yesterday, which puts it at Dec 22. Much too close to Christmas if you ask me. Not sure if I'll test or not.

Anyhoo...thanks for all the good thoughts.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Triggering tonight

IUI #6 will be Saturday. I only have one follicle, but I will hold out hope that it's a good one. After all, my endo is gone; maybe I am reproductively "healthy" now. Fertile girls get pregnant with one egg all the time, so why not me?!?!?

Anyhoo...I trigger tonight, and the IUI will be about 8:30 Saturday morning. I'm glad it's Saturday b/c that means Dr. K will probably do it. I'd certainly feel more optimistic if she was doing it. Not that I don't trust the nurses...

I think I may have enough Gonal-F for another IUI (thanks to another nestie:-)). If it comes to that, I'm going to ask Dr. K to up my dosage.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am so done with this

My day did not start off well. I went for my 7:40 monitoring appt. Apparently my two follicles on Monday are actually just one. I won't go into details, but the tech today (who is the best and I trust) thinks the tech on Monday made an error. So, my follicle that was 11 on Monday is now 14.5. No others in sight. There are 18 that aren't measurable (meaning they are too small) b/t both ovaries. Tech thinks I will have an IUI on Saturday. According to her, she hopes "I have a few more sprout up." Yeah, me too.

WTF. I am just so done with this. All of this. This issue also proves my point that I respond waaay better to Follistim than Gonal-F. I'd have 3-4 mature follicles on Follistim. This just sucks. Can I say it again? I am done with it. If this cycle doesn't work I really just want to head back to IVF #2. My chances are so much better, and we know how I will respond.

Maybe they will increase Gonal a bit in the next few days? I will sit here and anxiously await my nurses call. I really will not feel optimistic if I have only one mature follicle. Mother f***er.

UPDATE: My nurse just called. My E2 is up to 121 (needs to be b/t 150-200 to indicate a mature follicle) I'll keep Gonal-F at the same dose tonight and go back tomorrow for more monitoring. So much for an IUI on Fri or Sat. She thinks the earliest the IUI will be is Monday. That gives me a bit of hope that I might get another follie to pop up.

I'm still completely done with this. Totally and completely.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crazy day

Our wonderful furry friend Sierra got into the raisin bran this morning. I'd heard that raisins/grapes were bad for dogs, but I'd never really looked into it. It is indeed true. They can cause renal failure. By the time I realized I left the bag where she could get, she'd already eaten what was left (about 1/4 of the bag). I freaked out and called the vet. She instructed me to give her hydrogen peroxide, which would make her throw up. 1) I had no hydrogen peroxide, 2) how was I going to give it to her. I went to the pharmacy, got the peroxide and ended up using one of my ginormous PIO needles to get it down her throat. Like clockwork, she threw up about 10 minutes later.

I talked to the vet later in the day. All appeared fine, but she offered to give her charcoal to clear anything out that might not have been thrown up. I figured better safe than sorry, so off we went to the vet to get her charcoaled. Let me tell you...that stuff looked Yummy (sarcasm here). However, now all should be well, except for some black poo that they told me to expect the next few days.

In IF news, I had my u/s and b/w this morning. E2 is up to 81 and I had 2 measurable follicles. I'll continue on same dose of meds tonight and tomorrow and go back Wed for another check. I looked back at my last 2 injectible cycles. If they are representative, I can expect to trigger on Wed or Thur, with IUI on Fri or Sat.

BTW--I think I decided against the tree:-(

Sunday, November 30, 2008

To tree, or not to tree???

I'm thinking not to tree. No, I'm not a grinch. No, I'm not depressed and feeling sorry for myself. It's just so much work. We live in a 3rd floor walk-up condo. Our Christmas stuff is stashed in the basement. I just don't think I am up for it. Plus, I have so much to do, I don't know when I'd find the time to do it. Dan could take it or leave it. He always likes once it's up (offering NO help!), but is also always the first to ask when it will be taken down. I just don't think I'm up for it this year.

In IF news...I've been stimming since Thurs night. I go in tomorrow for u/s and b/w to see what's cooking in there. Hopefully enough...but not too much. Believe it or not, I am so not into this cycle. Seriously, I'm afraid I will forget my meds. I guess I have so much other stuff going on that it's hard to focus on my cycle. This time last year we were on a break, so I don't really have much to compare it to.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

IUI #6 here we go!

Time to get back on the roller coaster. I have been spotting for 6 days, yes SIX. I finally started AF yesterday. I went in for my baseline b/w and u/s today and all looks good. My ovaries are "resting", E2 is 41 and FSH is 5. Go me.

I'll start 112.5 IUs of Gonal-F tomorrow night, and will continue with that dose through Sunday night. I go in Monday at 8 for u/s and b/w to see how things are progressing. I think I'm on track for a Dec 8-10 IUI.

Dr. K has a new nurse now. Maybe she'll be lucky for me? I saw Dr. K today and she gave me a hug. It's so nice to know that she cares.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amy's gift

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who donated money to Amy and her family. Her shower was this weekend, although she was unable to be there. And despite the guest of honor being absent, it was a really nice shower. Yummy food, yummy cake:-) And wouldn't you know it that me, the infertile girl, wins a baby shower game. Go figure:-)

We gave Amy a check for $1100. Amazing. Truly. She was so thankful, but there's no way she can thank everyone individually so she asked me to do that for her. Despite Matt's cancer, she feels so blessed. People have been so generous in buying off the registry for baby Mattie.

My friend Sara's office has "adopted" Amy and her family for the holidays:-) I got a little emotional when she told me. It's still up in the air, but I think they will mainly be helping them with food, whether they hire a service, or co-workers offer to cook meals and drop them by. Amy told me they are just so tired that no one feels like cooking. I think they may also help with Matt's feeding tube food, which apparently isn't very cheap.

Thank you again to all who donated! She is so grateful. Below is a pic of the baby blanket I made for Mattie. It was my first stab at a "rag" quilt, but I wanted it to be special. I'm still not sure what I think about it:-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

officially diagnosed with stage 1 endo

I just got back from my post-lap appt with Dr. K. Incisions look good, so I'm all clear in that area.

Dan went with me since we were talking about next steps. Dr. K basically told me we should just *try* for 3 months. I must have looked like I was going to cry, b/c I have never had anyone hand me a tissue that quickly:-) I said "do you actually mean have sex?" I could tell she was trying not to laugh. I told her, with Dan sitting there and backing me up, that I don't want that pressure anymore, and that TI is just too stressful for us. ***If anyone out there thinks baby making sex is actually fun...I dare you to try it for 3+ years with no success. No fun anymore***So we talked about doing a spontaneous IUI, which basically means I wouldn't take any meds, just take OPK's and go in for the IUI when I get a +. We were sold on that plan, although I did question not using any meds. She said she'd like to try without and see what happens.

Then I asked her if my dx had changed, and she said yes, to stage 1 endo...which got us talking about my ovulatory issues, since that was really my first diagnosis. As we were having this discussion she realized that a spontaneous IUI wouldn't work for me, b/c I DO have ovulatory issues. So, we'll be doing Gonal F + IUI with my next cycle. I should start AF next week.

Oh, AND I got pictures from the lap!!!! I actually got to see my insides, and the endo! I know...I'm sick, but was very excited. I'll have to scan them and upload them.

UPDATE: Here are some pics of my insides:-)) They may gross you out, so stop reading now if you gross out easily.

The top two pics show the entrance to my fallopian tubes. Bottom right is my uterus. Can you believe it is so small????

The circles show the endo.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Acceptance...is it possible???

I think I may have gotten there. I just got back from my 3rd therapy appt. I was actually going to cancel it, but forgot, and didn't want to just not show up. We talked about my lap and next steps...and a bit about my relationship with Dr. K. And (gasp!!) acceptance

After the lap, Dan made the comment he thinks we (meaning me and Dr. K) are too close...like we've crossed the dr/patient boundary. I don't agree at all. I brought it up in therapy. Her thought was that an RE/patient connection is different than a normal dr/patient relationship. Essentially, Dr. K isn't just treating my uterus, to an extent she is also treating my mental health. Dan has been to more appts over the past 6 months, and I think he's now really seeing what an RE appt is like...and it happens to be something he has never experienced before. Therapist explained that RE appt are typically longer (as compared with regular docs), to ensure treatment of the patient. That makes sense to me. He's used to going to his doc every 2 years when he gets so sick he can't stand it, gets some meds and is sent on his way. Totally different than an RE.

As far as acceptance, I expressed to her what I have expressed to a few friends lately. To me, it's not really me vs. IF anymore. I'm not struggling anymore with why this is happening to me. It is what it is. I have this disease, and I have chosen to embrace it and struggle to get to the other side, instead of drowning in the "why me's." (Although trust me...I've been at the why me stage and it is no fun). IF is really just part of me. As apart of me as being born with brown hair and brown eyes. She said that is acceptance. It's not like I was ever striving to get to that point...but it's a good feeling. It's almost like I've given up a fight.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sometimes it just hits me...

Friday afternoon, trying to get motivated to be productive. I decided to tackle my desktop. Yes, I am one of those people whose computer monitor is super cluttered with lots of Word docs, Access files, etc. Of course I open each file prior to deleting or moving, and I can usually tell what something is by what I named it.

Then I come to a picture, without an obvious name. Hmmm...what could this be? It was a picture of my two transfered embies from IVF #1 in May. Embies # 7 and #9 (according to the embriology lab) to be exact.


Sigh again.


Sniff. sniff.

I finally closed the picture, but I didn't delete it or move it. I'll keep it where it is for a while.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Had my lap...

and I had some endo.
Stage 1 (so the least harmful), but Dr. K found a mass of it behind my uterus. I talked to her yesterday and she said it was more than she expected to find. She told me she's fine with us moving forward with IVF #2 when we are ready, but she feels we should try on our own for a few months. I told her we were not ready to go back to TI (basically having sex at the "right" time). We're just way past that and don't want to deal with the frustration. She told me she's happy to do a few IUI's, but not with Clomid. I have an appt in 2 weeks for her to look at my incisions so we'll talk about next steps then. But it looks like we'll try 2 IUIs (one in Dec, one in Jan) with injectible meds...and see what happens.

It seems crazy to be moving backwards, but maybe this has been the issue the whole time? I have to hope that it is, and now that it's gone I won't have an issue. Let's hope so anyway.

And for anyone scared of getting a lap...it's not that big of a deal. Trust me, I was freaking out pre-surgery. But honestly, I don't even remember going to sleep. I was in pain when I woke up, but they gave me some meds and all was better. They sent me home with a small bottle of pain killers, which I've been trying to use in moderation.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dumpster Diving and other IF news...

This may be long, since I've already had a full day and it's just now noon:-)

Dan's phone died, so we replaced it last night. With the phone was a $50 rebate. I woke up this morning to the knowledge that we can't send in the rebate without the UPC code...which is on the box...in the trashbag...in the dumpster. I was a woman possessed. I just kept thinking of that UPC code as a 50 dollar bill. So...off Sierra and I go to the dumpster, which is one of those very deep, industrial size ones. I couldn't let Sierra off her leash b/c there's an alpha dog up the street that is just waiting to attack her (and she feels the same way).

It's my luck that the trash people came yesterday, and so our trashbag was at the bottom of the dumpster. The good news was there was only one other trash bag and I knew which one was ours. I found some branches nearby to try to stab the bag with and pull it up. Three tries and three broken branches. I finally found a branch that was a little sturdier, but it still wouldn't pull up the bag.

Finally...I looked around to see if anyone was watching, gave one final stab to the bag and let go of the lid (meaning I was leaning into the dumpster with no support), and I got my trashbag!!!
I pulled out the cell phone box and Sierra and I were on our way:-)

In IF news...I had my pre-op appt with Dr. K this morning. She let me know again that she didn't think the surgery is necessary, but respects my desire to have it done and see what, if anything, is going on in there. I left feeling a little scared as she talked to me about all the risks...knowing that this is indeed an elective surgery and not something that HAS to be done. They will also do another HSG while they are in there, to ensure my tubes are clean. thank GOD I'll be knocked out, as that was the most horrible test I've had so far.

Beta-3 intergrin test isn't looking good. She's asked several people at the university and no one is doing this test clinically. If she can't find someone who is doing it clinically (meaning for non-research purposes) she can't do it.

She also thinks the Family Fund fundraiser for November will be cancelled. She isn't sure, but did say it's not a great time to be asking people for money. I get that, but am upset that this isn't an option right now.

If we can scrape the $$ together, she did say I could start Lupron with my December cycle, and be ready for the ER in January. Guess I'll be asking my parents for more money.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm having a lap!!

It is finally scheduled for next Tues. I have a pre-op appt with Dr. K on Friday morning, and a pre-testing appt on Friday afternoon. Not really sure what the difference is, but the pre-testing is with a different group of people. I guess they will go over what to expect, risks, etc...but I thought my appt with Dr. K would cover that. Who knows.

The semi-good news is that as of this morning they hadn't made a decision on whether she'd do the beta 3 intergrin test along with the lap. I say that's semi-good news b/c to me it means they haven't shot down the idea. I guess I'll know on Friday.

How exciting and scary all out the same time. This is my first surgery ever, so I guess it is really just fear of the unknown. I guess I'm excited to know we could potentially find something that will give us some answers. I'm grasping at straws and am ready to do anything to find answers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Free to a good home

It was a gorgeous fall weekend here in STL. Dan and I were out walking Sierra, trying to take advantage of the weather. We live in the city, but in a very residential area, with lots of young families. As we're walking through the neighborhood, I notice an empy stroller sitting in someone's front yard. Not really that uncommon, I expected a toddler to come running out, ready to go for a stroll. As we got closer, I noticed a sign on the stroller that said "free to a good home." My first thought...even before the thought of "ew, it might be gross, or damaged" was...I need that stroller. My mind immediately started spinning to try to figure out how to say this to Dan. Then I realized...I don't need a stroller, free or not...b/c I do not have a use for one.

Fun. People are giving away baby stuff...and I still can't have it, b/c there is no use for it. That's all I need, to have a stroller sitting in our spare bedroom, just mocking me...daring me to look at it. Blah.

In other news...AF is here, right on schedule. I have a call in to Dr. K's office to schedule my lap and confirm insurance coverage. I still haven't heard if the beta-3 integrin test is an option, guess I need to figure that out also.

Good news about our donation fund for Amy! As Dan calls it the "Amy Fund" has over $620!!! I continue to be so amazed at the generosity. No news from Amy. I e-mailed her this morning but haven't heard back yet.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

shocked and amazed...

UPDATE: As of 11/11...we've collected over $900 for Amy and her family!!!!!!!

at the generosity I have witnessed in the past 2 days.

I don't even know how to start this post. A friend who I initially "met" through the internet, and have since become friends with in real life is facing a horrible situation right now. I posted about her situation a few months ago, but have a bit more info now.

Amy's husband was diagnosed with brain cancer in the Spring. This diagnosis came shortly after Amy found out that her first IVF worked. Matt went through treatment this summer, and has spent most of that time in the hospital. I heard from Amy earlier this week, who said that things do not look good. He is not expected to survive the cancer, although as far as I know there is no "time line" of when something might happen. He is 30 years old.

Amy is due with their baby girl on Christmas Day. I can't express to you just how much she wanted this baby. She was just so focused...and went through treatment after treatment until something finally worked.

Unfortunately though, she has not been able to enjoy this much wanted pregnancy, and instead has been faced with the illness of her husband. Additionally, she is not working...and so not collecting a paycheck.

I just felt like I had to do something, and my friend Lisa suggested attempting a donation. I thought it was a great idea, but didn't have much hope for collecting. After all...who sents money to a stranger over the internet?? I posted yesterday morning on one of the Nest boards, that is most frequented by woman who have struggled with IF...and have a beautiful baby (or 2 or 3!) to show for their struggles. I threw a request out there that people may want to donate to Amy, which brings me to the title of my post...

So far, we have raised almost $500 for Amy and her family, and many more have let me know that they have checks in the mail. For all intents and purposes...these women are strangers (although I don't feel that way). Chances are they will never meet Amy, but they still chose to help her out with a donation.

I'll be collecting for a few more weeks, probably up until her shower on Nov 22. I will talk with Amy about what will best fill her needs. It might be a gift card to Target to buy essentials for herself, or the soon to be born baby Mattie, or maybe she needs gas cards to help her get to and from the hospital, or meal cards to use at the hospital.

It makes me feel really good. And it reminds that people can be so wonderful in a time of tragedy like this. For those of you have had donated, thank you so much. I plan to print out each e-mail and give to Amy so she can see where her gift came from.

If you'd like to donate you can do so by the methods listed below. Any amount, even ($1 !!!!) is appreciated!
1) If you have Paypal you can send money to my paypal account, staceymccrary2003@yahoo.com

2) If you don't have Paypal but can still do an on-line donation you can e-mail me at the above address and I can send an invoice that you respond to.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Final letter to HR

I'm finally ready to mail my letter!! Thanks to anyone who offered comments and suggestions, and particularly to Rebekah for editing:-) I took all suggestions into consideration. I'm posting my letter here, in hopes that someone may be able to use parts of it to develop a letter of their own, for their employer. The stats toward the bottom come from the Resolve website. I don't expect this letter to change anything, but it does feel like I am at least doing something to voice my opinion and get my story out there.

Dear [Name] :
I have been an employee of xx for the past 8 years. My husband and I are suffering with the disease of infertility and request that you consider covering infertility treatment in xx’s health benefit package.

We have been trying to get pregnant for over 4 years; we have been seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist for the past 18 months. Since January 1, 2008, my husband and I have spent over $17,000 on procedures to help us get pregnant. I have taken fertility drugs both orally and in injections. I have had 5 Intrauterine Inseminations. My husband and I have been put through test after embarrassing test to try to find the reason for our infertility. Neither of us minds the invasiveness caused by the procedures we’ve had done. What we do mind is that we have to pay 100% for those treatments. We have exhausted our choices in infertility treatment, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is likely the only chance we have of having a family.

We went through our first IVF cycle in May, 2008. Procedures for that cycle cost over $11,000; medications cost another $2500. We transferred two “perfect” embryos, and neither resulted in a pregnancy. We were lucky enough to have 3 embryos that were able to be frozen from that IVF cycle. It cost over $600 to freeze the embryos. We then did a transfer of those 3 embryos, which cost another $3,000. Sadly, that attempt did not work either. We currently have nothing to show for over $17,000 spent, except the lingering of needle marks and bruising from the shots I took to stimulate egg growth and to pump my body full of the progesterone that is necessary to sustain a pregnancy. Additionally, dealing with years of infertility has affected my mental health, and I am currently seeing a therapist to deal with the depression that infertility has caused in my life and the toll it has taken on my marriage.

I have utilized the Employee Assistance Program to help me deal with this struggle. I have maximized my Flex Spending Account (FSA). While I am grateful for the FSA, it bears mentioning that $450 is deducted from my monthly paycheck to cover the cost of two procedures that did not work. We have spent so much money in 2008 on infertility tests and treatments that I will be able to deduct costs from our Federal Income tax.

To add additional stress, we are dealing with a timeline. Chances of success with IVF go down significantly after the age of 35. I will turn 35 in 7 months. As you can see, not only are we dealing with an immense amount of financial stress, but that stress is occurring in a short period of time. Because I can only take $5k from my FSA per calendar year, we are forced to wait until at least January 2009 to try again. At that point, we could be faced with the same thing. That is going through the invasive procedures again and the stress of wondering if our embryos are thriving as they should, only to be told that once again we are not pregnant, and have spent another $17,000.

Infertility is not unlike any other disease. My husband and I did not choose to have difficulty having a child; the sense of loss and grief when you are told you may never have a child is much the same as telling a patient they have a life altering disease.

I have been in contact with an HR representative a few times over the past 2 years to question why xx does not provide coverage for the illness of infertility. I’ve been told that infertility coverage is something that gets assessed annually by an outside group. Once “enough” companies of a similar size to xx include infertility coverage as part of their healthcare package, xx will consider doing the same. This begs the question why it is not xx’s responsibility as a leading university both in this country and worldwide to be leading the way for other companies to get this disease covered.

I’m simply unclear as to why infertility coverage is not included in the current insurance plans. Often employers believe that adding an infertility coverage benefit will increase health care costs. However, recent studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage in a health benefit package may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes. For example, a recent employer survey conducted by the consulting firm William M. Mercer found that 91 percent of respondents offering infertility treatment have not experienced an increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage.

There are currently 15 states mandated to cover the costs of infertility; Illinois is one of them. If xx were to move 15 miles east, it would be required to provide coverage. In states with mandated infertility insurance, the rate of multiple births is lower than in states without coverage. (New England Journal of Medicine, “Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization,” August 2002). Couples with insurance coverage are free to make more appropriate decisions with their physicians based on medical necessity rather than financial considerations which often result in multiple births and a high rate of complications during and post pregnancy.

Please let me know if you would like any additional information on this issue. I sincerely hope that xx will consider offering infertility coverage and support our desire to build our family.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A good weekend!

First of all, I woke up without an alarm on Saturday and had so much energy. I walked Sierra 2.5 miles and then came home and started cleaning. I have no idea where the energy came from but I took advantage of it. We cleaned our condo top to bottom and had our "to do" list done by 10 am.

Also, Dan and I have decided to do some home improvements. Dan found a handyman through his work that came over last night and gave us a quote for things we wanted done. He is super reasonable, and I feel he is trust-worthy. So, we get to tackle some things that I've been wanting done since we moved to our condo (almost 5.5 years ago). We're replacing the existing ceiling fans we have, adding track lighting to our living room (currently we don't have overhead lighting in there), replacing 5 other light fixtures, adding a light/ceiling fan to our spare bedroom (i.e. nursery one day) where we also currently have no over head lighting, and mounting our flat screen TV to a wall.

Although the cost to make the repairs is reasonable, and the new fixtures/fans I want are not expensive, I still feel extremely guilty for spending this money. To be clear, we don't really have it. I plan to put all purchases on Lowes credit card and not pay off for 6 months. But...I was so excited last night after the guy left...more excited that I've been in a long time over something non-IF related...that we are going to go for it.
I've also been sewing all weekend! I made a fun pair of pajama pants yesterday and I finished a tote bag tonight. Pics below. I "practiced" with some fabrics I like. Since it turned out ok, I'll be making these for Christmas presents for some family members.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Small update

Sorry I couldn't get more creative with the title.

I talked to Dr. K this afternoon. She gave me the name of the HR person to contact, so now I can send my letter. The RE's aren't meeting about our case until *next* Tuesday so she'll call me after that and let me know if they talked about any other tweaks to my case.

She checked and saw that my name is on the Family Fund list. She reiterated that there is a fund-raiser in November. She also told me that she is going to it (I didn't know that before), and will try her best to raise lots of money. That made me feel good...like she is there fighting for me.

I also asked about the beta 3 integrin test. I intro'd to that topic by telling her I'd decided on the lap, and was curious about her experience with any implantion tests. She asked what I had in mind and that's when I told her the name of the test. She said they don't routinely do things like that, and if it qualified (not really sure what she meant by that) as "experimental" that they wouldn't be able to do it. She will be talking with the other RE's about this on Tuesday as well. She did make the comment that "you know I would do anything for you if I could." God I love her.

All for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Insurance sucks!

So I finally decided to go for the lap. I am scared shit.less, but want to do it anyway. So I called the RE office to see if they could find out if it's covered by insurance. If it's not, I won't do it, b/c we simply do not have the money.

After some back and forth with the RE secretary, turns out insurance won't tell us if it's covered until the day the appt is scheduled. The problem? I can't schedule the appt until my period starts. Great. So...I will build myself up for this procedure, but may not actually be able to have it done. I expect AF in about 10 days, so I guess we're waiting until then. To date, insurance has been good about covering diagnostic testing, so I'm hopeful it will be covered.

I'm waiting for Dr. K to call and let me know the results of the discussion she had with the other RE's about my case yesterday. Also, she was going to provide me with the list of HR people so I can send my letter. Even though I'm on a break, at least these little things make me feel like I'm doing something.

I met a new Nestie friend last night:-) Jenny is from KC and comes to STL once a month for work. We met for dinner. I told Dan it really is amazing how "strangers" can have so much in common and so much to talk about. We jabbered through the whole dinner:-) It is just so nice to talk to people that really and truly get it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My first IF therapy appt

It went well. I really didn't know what to expect. I've been through therapy sessions before, but never about IF. I started getting really frazzled right before I left for the appt, and then on the way there I felt like I was going to explode. I guess it was fear of the unknown, to an extent. She started out by saying tell me about yourself. I summed up my life in about 4 sentences:-) and then we were rolling.

I liked her. She has alot of experience with IF and pregnancy post IF clients. She knew what I was talking about when I said lap and beta. That was a test and she passed.

We talked about my support system. She told me I need to ask Dan for more emotional help with this. She's probably right.

I started crying when I talked about baby bellies and how they are everywhere. We talked about how we live in a very family friendly neighborhood and there are strollers everywhere. She pointed out that just b/c a woman has a baby belly doesn't mean she didn't go through alot to get to that stage. Point taken. I'm going to remember that. I certainly wouldn't want someone to get jealous of my bump, if I ever get that far.

I told her I hate the feelings of jealousy I have, but no matter what I do...they don't go away. She said that's something she's heard time and again and it is completely normal.

I told her how I felt so horrible for setting up a 2nd opinion appt. I told her it felt like I was stabbing RE in the back and that made me feel bad. She made me feel better about that.

i told her I was tired of living in 2 week cycles. 2 weeks until O, then 2 weeks until period, lather, rinse, repeat. She told me I need to focus more on the present. We know we won't be progressing with treatment until January, but that I should stop letting the days just float by, living for the next procedure, treatment, etc.

In all, it was good, although I don't neccesarily feel like any weight was lifted from my shoulders. I'll be going back in 2 weeks.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not a great IF weekend

For starters, I felt myself starting to O on Friday night. Yes, for those of you who think I'm an idiot, I can feel it. My anxiety level went up immediately. I knew there was no hope of doing anything about it, so I tried to talk myself down from the ledge. Seriously though, I hate being this in tune with my body. It sucks. Why can I just be in blissful oblivion? I know that the chances of conceiving without medical intervention are about null at this point, so why try? Rationally, I know this. However, it didn't stop me from thinking that I was wasting my eggs for another month. Ugh.

Then, last night I had a horrible IF dream. I can't tell you specifically what it was about, b/c I don't remember it all. I remember just enough to know it was about IF and an un-supportive family (which I don't have) and I woke up with my heart pounding. Horrible, horrible. Guess I can discuss that at my therapy appt tomorrow. Yes, I finally made one, for 3 pm on Monday. I'm not really sure what good it's going to do, but I'll try it and see what I think.

In fun news...since I started this post early this morning I got to have breakfast with a friend I met on the Nest, and her sweet little boy:-) It so helps to talk about this crap, and also to see that I *can* get to the other side...I just have to wait my turn:-(

Our conversation also got me thinking about getting a lap. Mentally, I had left it as...well Dr. K doesn't think I need it, so why do it. Also, I was going to get ask Dr. S at my second opinion appt. If he said I didn't need it, I would believe both of them. But I think it might give me some piece of mind. I'm hoping to get a call from Dr. K next week, to update me on the RE group consensus of my case. When I talk to her, I'm going to ask if she could do the lap and the beta-3 integrin test at the same time. This is a test to determine implantation issues. This was on my list of questions for last week...but the conversation totally took another turn in talking about IVF #2 and I didn't ask.

So that's my weekend. Nothing too exciting. I have my letter to HR just about finalized, and hope to be sending that next week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Family Fund

We qualify!!!! We need to be trying for our first child, and have no insurance coverage. I was so afraid it was going to be based on income but it's not!

Now we wait. There is no money in the fund right now, but I was told that there was $$ last month. There is a fund-raiser planned for November. If that happens (they've been cancelled in the past) the money will be given to RE clinic. I am the 2nd person on the list. Each person can receive up to $5k in services. It won't pay for it all, but it will be a huge help. Now, mentally I can try to prepare to come up with the other $5k.

We're in a holding pattern until there is money available to us. I can only hope it will be early in 2009. Even if we had the $$ right now, RE clinic is already booked through the end of 2008, so the earliest I could hope to get in is Jan.

Let's do it!

First of all, thanks to everyone for reading and giving comments about my letter to HR. It's by no means done, but I got alot of useful info in the comments you left here, and on the Nest. I'm going to include some stats, about what I'm not sure yet...but money people like stats, so I'm all about giving them what they need to make an informed decision. And Jeni-great point about the state mandate thing. If WU was located 20 miles east in Illinois, they would HAVE to offer IF coverage.

Now...to get to the title of my post. I told Dan about WTF appt last night. I'd tried to be calm, and objective and rational and all the things I thought would help:-) He said...let's do it!!!! And side note: we were having this discussion in the car and as he said let's do it I started crying. blah, so emotional. Anyhoo...at that exact time...a cute little couple with a cute little bump walked across the street. We just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. I should clarify the "let's do it" by saying I don't know if he thought about what if we don't qualify for the Family Fund. I figured one step at a time..

So, please please PLEASE let us qualify for the Family Fund. I am going to be *that girl* and call the Office Manager this morning to see if I can get some info.

Also, in my letter I said I was seeing a therapist about all this crap. Not exactly true. However, Dr. K really pushed me to go see someone yesterday so I am going to. She's never steered me wrong. The woman she recommended used to work in the RE clinic, but now does private practice, still specializing in IF...another call I'm going to make this morning.

Wow. I'm starting to feel positive. Although I was awake from about 2-5 am just thinking, more like obsessing about stuff. I have to stay rational and realize that 1) we may not qualify and 2) if we do qualify it may not pay for all, or even half of the cost of IVF. I guess I can get that info from the Office Manager. Off to make that call:-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

letter to HR (draft)

Please review the following letter. I welcome any and all comments...

Dear [Name] :
I have been an employee of xxx for the past 8 years. My husband and I are suffering with the disease of infertility and request that you consider covering infertility treatment in xxx health benefit package.

We have been trying to get pregnant for over 4 years; we have being seeing a xx Reproductive Endocrinologist for the past 18 months. Since January 1, 2008 my husband and I have spent $17,000 on procedures to help us get pregnant I have used both oral and injectible fertily drugs. I have had 5 Intrauterine Inseminations. My husband and I have been put through test after embarrassing test to try to find the reason for our infertility. Neither of us minds the invasiveness or embarrassment caused by the procedures we’ve had done. What we do mind is that we have to pay 100% for those treatments. We have exhausted our choices in infertility treatment, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is likely the only chance we have of having a family.

We went through our IVF cycle in May. That cycle cost over $10,000; meds for that cycle cost another $2500. We were lucky enough to have 3 embryos that were able to be frozen from our IVF cycle. It cost $600 to freeze the embryos. We then did a transfer of those embryos which cost another $3,000 We currently have nothing to show for that amount, over $16,000, except the lingering of needle marks and bruising from the shots I took to stimulate egg growth and to pump my body full of the progesterone that is necessary to sustain a pregnancy. Additionally, dealing with years of infertility has affected my mental health and I am currently seeing a therapist to deal with the depression that infertility has caused in my life, and the toll it has taken on my marriage. Your HR department should also think about work productivity that is lost when suffering from infertility, caused most frequently by the inability to concentrate.

I have utilized the Employee Assistance Program to help me deal with this struggle. I have maximized my Flex Spending Account. While I am grateful for the FSA, it bears mentioning that $450 comes out of my monthly paycheck to cover the cost of a procedure that didn’t work. We have spent so much money in 2008 on infertility that I will be able to deduct costs from our Federal Income tax.

To add additional stress, we are dealing with a timeline. Chances of success with IVF go down significantly after the age of 35. I will turn 35 in 7 months. As you can see, not only are we dealing with an immense amount of financial stress, but that stress is occurring in a short period of time.

Infertility is not unlike any other disease. My husband and I did not choose to have difficulty having a child, The sense of loss and grief when you are told you may never have a child is much the same as telling a patient they have a life altering disease.

I have been in contact with an HR person a few times over the past 2 years to question why xxx does not provide coverage for the illness of infertility. I’ve been told that infertility coverage is something that gets assessed annually by an outside group. Once “enough” companies of a similar size to xxx include infertility coverage as part of their healthcare package, xxx will consider doing the same. This begs the question why it is not xxx responsibility as a leading university both in this country and worldwide to be leading the way for other companies to get this disease covered.

Please let me know if you would like any additional information on this issue. I sincerely hope that xxxwill consider offering infertility coverage and support our desire to build our family. Thank you for your consideration.

my FET WTF appointment

Ugh. Where to begin? I'll start by saying that I love my RE (still!) and am so happy she is my doctor. I thought she was going to cry when she said she has no idea why IVF/FET didn't work. She did say that she was less surprised about my FET, which I felt the same way.

Anyway, she wants me to do another IVF. She knows we're OOP...but still wants me too. I work for the same university that RE does. She urged me to write letters to HR. She said she and her partners are really pushing the University to include IF coverage for employees, and feels that it is coming...but she isn't sure how soon. As she said, even if I could get a discounted rate, it is better than nothing.

Also, she is nominating me for the Family Fund. I didn't even know they had that. A (rich) couple who were patients of the clinic started this fund several years ago. They hold fund-raising events and give the money to RE to give to eligible couples who don't have any children, specifically for IVF. She wasn't sure of the criteria (we may make to much $$), but will have the office manager call me to go over eligibility criteria. She said it might be $1k or it might be $10k, all depends on how much is in the fund, and how many people are currently trying to get the money. She also says she will stock pile meds for me until I start IVF #2. We went over what meds I currently have, 1 vial Lupron and 600 IUs Follistim. She said she could easily come up with the rest.

She is going to bring my case up at the RE conference meeting next Tues. They typically hold this time for currently cycling IVF patients, so that was really nice of her. She'll call me if they come up with other suggestions for protocol changes,etc. However, based on the way I responded, she doesn't see the need to change protocol. I responded beautifully, had fabulous embryos that made it to 5dt. We don't need to do ICSI, but she will do AH. She will also make sure she does my transfer, and will transfer 3 if there are 3 that look good.

I asked about a lap. She isn't *for* it, but will do it if I want. She said anything they may find with the lap would be bypassed by IVF anyway. I'm up in the air. If insurance covers it, I will go for it (I think). If they don't, I won't. The way I see it, it can't hurt anything. Anyone have thoughts on that?

So now I have to have the conversation with Dan. I wish I could think of a better conversation starter than "she wants us to do another IVF." He's immediately going to go on the defensive about $$, and rightly so. Please GOD let us be eligible for this Family Fund. I told her that if I qualify, and get pregnant, that we will gladly join the cause. I would love nothing more than to give back...if only we can get on the other side of the fence.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


It's amazing how much less I have to say when I am not in a medicated cycle. I'm trying really hard to find interest/joy in other things right now...I am trying...but it is still on my mind so much.

I got our packet from Dr. S.ilber yesterday. I must say I was impressed. Along with the usual patient info sheets for me and Dan, where we tell our whole sordid IF story, there were great brochures with stats and testimonials. THey also sent 3 DVD's, all of different shows Dr. S has been on. THe cost for IVF is a tiny bit more than with Dr. K, but it is inclusive of ICSI, AH, all the "extra" that most other RE's charge separately for. He also does a min-IVF that I have always been interested in. There was also an interesting stat, that 57% of IVFs where the woman has "normal" eggs, end up successful with his clinic. That's not the same stat listed on SART so I want to ask about that. Long story short...I am excited for our appt and feel optimistic again that between he and Dr. K I will have a child.

I'm starting a new sewing project today for an upcoming baby shower for one of my nestie friends. She knows she's getting something homeade, so it's fine to post here. I just can't post a pic until after the shower:-)

I'm also going to try to make myself a bag. I found some fabulously cute fabric at the store this morning and had to have it. I once again have more projects than I have time for...but it keeps me calm.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a second opinion

I made headway today. I scheduled an appt with S.herman S.ilber for a 2nd opinion about our "case." I really really love Dr. K and it is not my intent to switch, unless he offers a drastically different protocol or way of going at this whole mess. He is world famous, has written several books, etc, and is supposed to be the best in STL. http://www.infertile.com/ He is extremely busy and the first consult I could get isn't until Dec 8. I actually expected that. It gives me something to put on the calendar and look forward to.

In other news...I am still in a depressive funk and have been drinking Mountain Dew like it is going out of style. Positively though, I've started walking again. I stopped the morning of FET. Sierra and I walk 2 miles every morning. I'm hoping to add to that, and maybe kick it up to jogging. This is as good a time as any to get the IF weight off. I've gained 12 pounds since starting IVF in May, and am up 1-2 dress sizes. Not fun.

The period from hell continues to torment me....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

pity party weekend

I've been feeling sorry for myself all weekend. On Friday, I was surprised with the news that my cousin is pregnant. Apparently this was a well kept secret and my grandma spilled the beans. I was ok at first, it wasn't a shock really. THen as the day went on I just got more and more upset. Jealousy I suppose? I just want one. One child. That is ALL I am asking for. Is that too much? I slept most of the day on Friday out of some sort of depressive funk, I guess.

Last night, Dan and I celebrated our 10th anniversary of the day we met:-) We went to our favorite restaurant. It was nice; I brought up a serious IF discussion with him, which he was very open to, thankfully. I won't discuss it here, yet...but I'm hopeful that we may have another option.

Someone posted on the nest a few days ago about missing their embryos. I didn't respond to the post, but I've been thinking about it all weekend. It seems crazy to miss embryos...but I do. I miss that they are not in a lab growing, cells dividing. I miss that they are not in a freezer waiting for me. Most of all, I miss that they are not inside me, growing and thriving. It's a weird sort of loss, but it is there. They were something that Dan and I created, and they are gone now. All of them. We had 5 healthy embryos and now they are gone. It makes me sad.

To top it off, the FET period from hell arrived this morning. I will not go into details...but I think it's the worst period I have.ever.had.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My consolation prize

I got a Mountain Dew before work. Honestly, I wanted a big 44 ouncer, but the gas station I went to didn’t have fountain Mtn Dew, so I had to settle for a measly 20 ouncer. That is the way I celebrated my BFN.

I woke up this morning feeling very “free.” I loved it. I know I will start feeling antsy again, but I want to take full advantage of this feeling of freedom. No early morning appts, no dildo-cam, no blood work, no waiting for the nurse to call to tell me what to do. I have my WTF appt on Oct 8 and we’ll go from there. I hope to get a lap done in the next month or so, and hopefully another test or two. But otherwise, I’m not going to worry about it.

Dan and I talked a bit yesterday about living “child free.” I have to say that this option is not looking too bad to me right now, or maybe it is self-preservation. Who knows. But we had a fun little conversation about things we could do, places we could travel, if we aren’t meant to have children.

In fun news…today is the 10th anniversary of the day Dan and I met. Makes me feel old. I can’t believe I met him when I was 24! And yes, we do celebrate this anniversary (Dan knows this date better than our wedding anniversary). We’re going to dinner at our favorite restaurant on Saturday night. Nothing too exciting, but we are looking forward to it.
I guess my blog is going to take on a new life for the next few months…as I get productive in other areas of my life. I do well with lists, so am going to start a to-do list of everything I want/need to accomplish before the end of the year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's official

The nurse called to say "I'm sorry to tell you but you aren't pregnant." Thank goodness I POAS the other day. If I hadn't, I would swear I am pregnant, just b/c of these damn PIO symptoms. What a slap in the face that call would have been. I can stop all meds now thank God.

I have a call in to schedule my WTF is next appt. I'm going to ask Dr. K about doing a lap, and also about the Y.ale test. Plus there is one other that can be done if it turns out I might have endo. Nothing points to that, but I do have some of the lesser symptoms, fatigue, pain with sex sometimes and obviously infertility. Do I want them to drill a hold in my body? No of course not, but if it gives us some answers, even if it is only to rule out something I will do it. Dr. K has mentioned a lap in the past, but also said she saw no reason for me to do it, unless I wanted the peace of mind. I guess I'm ready for the peace of mind now.

I'm running out of options here. I really want that Y.ale test. If I don't have the sticky stuff I need, and can't start producing it there is no need to do another IVF. Even with perfect embies it just wouldn't work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Damn you, PIO

Oh my goodness. I am so tired. I fell asleep last night at 8, and woke up just in time for next PIO shot (lucky me). This is one of those lovely "could be pregnancy symptom" "could be PIO symptom" that we all get to experience. I've been feeling more tired lately, and I suppose that's what gave me some hope (in addition to not spotting, which I'm still not). Last night it just HIT me like a ton of bricks. After I woke up from my "nap" Dan asked if I was going to be able to sleep tonight. Um, yeah...

I have come to terms with my BFN. I'm not expecting a miracle tomorrow, but of course do hope for one. I've started my list of questions for Dr. K. One of which is how to test for implantation issues. We've eliminated all other possible issues.
1) my eggs are fine
2) Dan's sperm is fine
3) fertilization is fine
4) embryo quality is fine
5) almost all our embies made it to blast, which is great

That really just leaves one possible issue and that is implantation. Y.ale researchers have a test that they do. My RE could do it (if she would) and then send the biopsy away to Y.ale. It's $460 which I would gladly pay if it would give us some answers. In my quick research, it seems that there is a sticky substance that is found in fertile women that is not found in those with unexplained infertility. This sticky substance is supposed to help the embryo attach. Seems like one treatment is more specific hormone treatment. The article talked about p4 supps being "better" than PIO. Trust me, I will be reading more about this.

Monday, September 22, 2008


and it was negative. Actually, I peed on 2 sticks and they were both negative. I'm doing ok for now. For me, it's better to know than not know. Plus, there is always the inkling of a chance that my beta might be positive. I suppose it's not over until Wed.

So why they hell aren't I spotting?

I think I am going to POAS


Sara works in an office with unlimited pregnancy tests. (Talk about torture!). I'm thinking I'm going to head over there after lunch and just get this over with. If it's negative, then I can prepare myself for a - beta, and move on mentally. If it's positive, then maybe they'll scoot up my beta until tomorrow.

I'm 10dp5dt so a HPT *should* be accurate.

Now that it's in my blog I guess there is no going back. Stay tuned....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So far...

so good:o) Not sure what to think, but so far I've had no spotting. Not even a hint of spotting. Trying to keep myself in check, I'm working on the assumption that the PIO is actually working this time. Thus, holding off the spotting. I supposed it could also be the Estrace, but I haven't seen any documentation that Estrace holds off a period. So we'll see...

Here's a pic of me in the recovery room after FET. Note my ANgie bracelet, and my hands holding the FertilityPerson

In other news...I dyed my hair red this weekend; intense auburn/spicy salsa to be exact. It's a little too crazy for me, although Dan likes it:o) The pics below don't do it justice, I need to get one taken outside.

Here's the quilt I made for the wedding this weekend. And Sierra helping me sew:o)

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm afraid....

to go to the bathroom. There, I said it. Today is THE day that the spotting COULD start. Right now, happy oblivion seems better to me than a smack in the face that the FET didn't work.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

In the 1 week wait

Here I sit, patiently waiting for something…anything…to give me an indication of pregnant or not. Of course I don’t want the “not” but I’d rather know that not know. 6 days until beta. With my fresh IVF cycle, I started spotting, brown at first, at 7dp5dt. So, that means I *could* start spotting tomorrow. I’m one of the freaks of nature that actually spots through the PIO or p4 supps. The p4 is supposed to hold off AF, but it doesn’t for me. So my first teeny tiny goal is to get through tomorrow with no spotting. If so…next goal is to get through the weekend without seeing red. If that’s the case…I might start feeling a little teeny bit hopeful.

No real symptoms of anything, not even PIO symptoms. I’m bloated I guess but that’s about it. This morning I had this weird sensation that was like needles being jabbed into my girlie parts. It felt like the pain was from the outside in. Don’t know what it was, but it was new to me. Lasted about 10 seconds, then came back again and then gone.

I still don’t have any desire to POAS. I’m sure that’s partly b/c the only test I have left is a digital, “the most expensive stick you’ll ever pee on.” I don’t want to pee on $30 only to have it say NOT PREGNANT. Definitely not my idea of a good time. The absence of a 2nd line is a bit easier to take that the glaring NOT.

As I was falling asleep last night I realized that I can completely envision both scenarios. I can hear my nurse (who I love) calling to say Congrats!; I can also hear her saying I’m sorry. I don’t know. I’m feeling rather calm about the whole thing. I’m definitely more optimistic than negative, despite the odds stacked against this cycle. Sure, there’s a 31% chance it will work, which means there’s a 69% chance that it won’t.

A wonderful Nestie offered up 2 boxes of Gonal-F for $25 a box yesterday. I jumped at that offer, hoping I won’t need it of course. If I DO need it though, it’s enough to just about get me through another fresh IVF, plus I have a box of Lupron at home, leftover from IVF. That means that the most expensive meds for another cycle are already taken care of. We wouldn’t need to do ICSI, but I would want assisted hatching. I think we could do another cycle for just over $10k, which sounds like peanuts after our almost $15k for first cycle. I don’t know. I’m sure all this looking forward is just a defense mechanism in the event the FET is a bust.

Monday, September 15, 2008

PIO by candlelight

Oh how romantic. Thanks to the remnants of Ike, we've been without power since Sunday at 7 am, and I've had serious internet withdrawals.

Dan offered to do the PIO last night, even though I think I've finally gotten into the groove. You should have seen me Friday night, just like throwing a dart at my ass:o) Anyway, there we were in our completely dark bedroom with one little candle sitting on the windowsill. Dan got ready and then said...I can't see. So I offered to hold the candle. Pants down, holding a margarita glass shaped candle (thanks Lisa, it came in handy:o)) up to my bum, and we have another successful injection done. Oh the stories we'll be able to tell...if only this works.

I was a total couch potato this weekend, and spent alot of time visualizing implantation. Dr. K said it should happen within about 48 hours after FET. No symptoms, though I didn't expect any. On Saturday, I did have this little blob of blood on the TP, but I had that with my fresh iVF and that obviously didn't mean anything. I assume it was just from cervix irritation or something.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Wow, it was pretty emotional. I got teary eyed just walking into the RE office (Fertility Person in hand and Angie bracelet on). We had to wait a little bit before being taken back. Then, we got in our "outfits" and were ready for Dr. K. She came in with a picture of THREE embryos!!! I was shocked. One of them looked different from the other two, in that there was no zona surrounding the cells. So Dr. K called the embryologist to get some info. Embryologist said she had seen healthy pregnancies result from an embie without a zona, so...we put all THREE back in!!

Once in the procedure room there was a bit of an issue, as expected, with my tilted uterus. The intern doing the u/s had some trouble identifing the uterus. Dr. K asked the expert u/s tech come down to help. We got to see the catheter in, and then once the embies were ready, we actually saw that pop out of the cathetar. Plop, plop, plop...there are THREE embies inside me.

Back in recovery room Dr K came to say all went well and I just lost it. She gave me kleenex, told me I'd done all I could do. SHe was almost in tears too, which made me cry harder. After she left, embryologist came in to wish us luck and I asked her a bit about the embie without the zone. She said sometimes it happens during the thaw when the zone separates from the cells, but there was no reason to think it was "bad."

Beta is Sept 24! They are only making me wait 12 days instead of 14. I was shocked at that too.

Without further adieu, here are the Stancey's!!! Sorry for the upside down scan, but it's not like they'd look any different right side up:o)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I have a time!!!!

12:45 CT tomorrow. I cannot wait. They will start thawing the embies this afternoon. I always thought the protocol for my RE was to thaw immediately before but I guess not. I asked if I could get a status report today and the nurse said it wasn't a good idea. Apparently, no embie looks "good" right after thaw, and they wouldn't want to worry me. They will start to perk up as the night goes on, and hopefully start growing again!!!

So hard to believe the Stancey's will be back in the game this afternoon. My maternal instincts are springing back to life again:o))

Some fun stuff...

On the day before my FET. Since I have nothing much to report, just waiting for nurse to call to tell me what time to be there tomorrow, thought I’d mention some fun stuff.

1) My friend Jeni, who I met through the Nest and is now a real life friend (:o)) sent me her Angie bracelet yesterday. Jeni had 2 beautiful twin girls this summer, and passed her bracelet on to me…I certainly hope the good luck continues. When I realized what was in the package I just started crying. Um yeah, holy hormones:o) Gretchen on the Nest (and currently pregnant with TWINS!!) made the Angie bracelet; she is a fabulous jewelry designer. You can find her here…http://www.gretchenleighdesigns.blogspot.com/, along with a picture of the bracelet and a description on what the stones represent. I love it. Since we have no insurance coverage for anything IF related, I was never able to buy my own Angie:o( But I have one now and am confident it will bring me lots of luck:o)

2) My friend Sara’s son turned 1 recently. Below is a picture of the blanket that I made, and Kelly and I gave to Grant for his 1st b-day. It’s actually more a present for mommy:o) The flags at the top spell out Grant with the nautical alphabet (Sara decorated his nursery with a nautical theme).

3) A more recent picture of me and Dan, and another of me and Kelly, all at the game on Sat night. I have to find somewhere to take pics other than the baseball game:o)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why FET will work when IVF didn't.

First of all…about 50 hours until FET…but who’s counting?!?!?!?!

Second of all...I did my own PIO last night. And it didn't.hurt.at.all:o)) GO ME!

In follow-up to my post yesterday, and all the differences between IVF and FET, I am trying to stay positive about why this FET will work (at 31% of success) when IVF didn’t (at 50% chance of success)

As I alluded to yesterday, my stress level is just so much less for this cycle.

1) Stress 1: The day before my ET, our a/c quit working. This was late May in STL and it got hot fast. Not to mention we live in a 3rd floor condo. Heat rises and all that stuff. I remember sleeping on our sunroom floor the night of ET, b/c our bedroom was unbearable. I opened all sunroom windows, turned on the ceiling fan and used another fan and it was still sweltering. I figured as long as I was laying down it was ok. A/c didn’t get fixed for FIVE days.

2) Stress 2: Two days before ET the check engine light came on in our car. I figured I’d wait until after ET to get it looked at. Morning of ET the damn thing almost wouldn’t start, and we sputtered all the way to the RE. Immediately after ET Dan dropped me off at acu and went to a local garage, within walking distance. I was literally laying on the table with needles stuck in me when he comes in to tell me what is wrong, and that it would cost $1600 to fix. This, after just dropping $12k on the ER/ET. My acu’s husband drove us home.

3) Then I had the normal stress of how are my eggs, did anything fertilize, did anything continue to grow, did anything freeze.

4) And the major stressor that I must have been in denial about until my RE mentioned it at my WTF appt. The RE (not mine) who did the ET could not get the catheter in. It was taking her so long to get in that they had to take the embies back to the lab. At the time, I remember thinking uh oh this can’t be good. I remember looking at the u/s screen thinking God I hope she knows what she is doing b/c I can’t make out a thing on that screen. But then once I was back in the recovery room I seemed to forget all about it. It seems important enough though that Dr. K brought it up and made me do a 2nd mock transfer so she could draw another picture of the path to my uterus. Interestingly, the pic she drew for #2 was much different than for #1 so maybe that is my ticket out of this hell? Plus, she is doing the FET for me, not another RE in the group.

So, I am feeling much more confident that my stress is much reduced. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think stress is the reason I’m not pregnant, but reducing it certainly can’t hurt.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Have I mentioned how much less stressful a FET cycle is from IVF? With FET, I’ve only had 1 early morning appt, as opposed to about 7 with IVF, which means only 1 blood draw and one visit with the dildo-cam. I’m not constantly waiting for my nurse to call with instructions. I’m not giving myself a shot every day for about 6 weeks. I won’t have to take Ovidrel or go through the ER. I’m not bloated. I opted not to do acupuncture with this FET, more for financial reasons that anything else. We can't afford $50 each week.

The meds are so minimal with FET, compared to IVF. With both cycles I took/am taking PNV, baby aspirin, Medrol, doxy, PIO. With the FET I get to eliminate the Lupron and Follistim, which also happen to be the most expensive. With FET, I get the added med of Estrace which I am convinced is the devil in disguise. I.hate.Estrace. I hope to never take it again. Unfortunately, I have to keep taking it through the FET…and continue for 10 more weeks if we are lucky enough for an embie to stick.

Caution: I’m going to post a pic of a PIO needle below. I know my aversion to this thing is more mental than physical, and I don’t want to freak out anyone who may be getting ready for PIO for the first time. Really, it’s not as bad as it looks. If done correctly (as Dan told me), straight in…straight out, it doesn’t really hurt. Mine was a little painful last night though, and I’ve got a big bruise today. All in the name of baby right?! I must keep my eye on the prize.

IVF meds

FET meds (not sure why the felt the need to send a sharps container with the FET but not the IVF)

PIO needle

Monday, September 8, 2008

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Andrea. I feel so popular! http://andreainindiana.blogspot.com/

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules to your blog
3. Write 6 random things about yourself
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5. Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

6 random things about myself:
1. I’ve had over 15 jobs. 2 professionally, but before that 13 others (waiting tables, discount stores, etc).
2. I love to read. I always have a book at home and one in the car in case I get stranded somewhere and need something to do. I love paperbackswap.com.
3. I have personalized license plates.
4. My favorite tourist attraction in London is Westminster Abbey.
5. I am a Sex in the City addict; and the SITC quiz told me I am most like Charlotte.
6. My dream vacation is to go to Greece.

I'm tagging a few people who I hope won't mind:
Melissa: http://psychedforbaby.blogspot.com/
Rebekah: http://to-infertility-and-beyond.blogspot.com/
Lindsay: http://makingfoxcubs.blogspot.com/
Meepit: http://meepitonparade.blogspot.com/

The crazy couple with 10 dogs

I’ll start with IF news first, and then get to the title of this post…

Last night was my first PIO shot. I had already made up my mind I was going to do it myself. So, I iced, got the syringe ready, backed up to the bathroom mirror and tried to push the needle in. Not as easy as I remember. Apparently I got it sub-Q, b/c I started bleeding. Ok, not such a big girl. I yelled for Dan and told him he was going to have to do it. So, off to bed with my pants pulled half down and he gives me the shot like a pro. It hurt though, maybe b/c I’m just out of the groove of getting IM shots. Seems fine today. There’s a teeny bruise, but no pain. I also started Medrol this morning. Medrol is a pill that you take that helps your body to not reject the embryos. When they are put back in, my body will see them as a foreign object and try to get rid of them. Medrol should help with that. I also started taking baby aspirin yesterday. Not really sure of the purpose, but it’s what Dr. K says to do.

Now, in other news…I swear Dan and I will turn into the crazy couple with 10 dogs. We are volunteers for Stray Rescue, a no-kill animal shelter in St. Louis. They do wonderful work saving stray dogs and kitties, and recently won a nation-wide million dollar make-over. Anyway, Dan and I took one of the shelter dogs to an adoption event at PetSmart yesterday. Sadie Mae is a black/white pit-bull mix, and the sweetest girl. She recently gave birth, but no one knows where her puppies are, or if they survived. That made me horribly sad. Dan and I are talking about fostering her ourselves, just to get her out of the shelter and into somewhere more comfortable. We think our dog Sierra would get along just fine with her.

Then, this morning I was walking Sierra and a Dachshund came barreling across the street to us. I say barreling, but I don’t think 10 pound dogs can barrel can they? He didn’t have a name tag, but did have a rabies tag, but it was from a town about 30 miles away. So, I put Sierra’s leash on him and walked him home. Long story short, all was well until Lil’ Guy (which we called him) started humping my poor Sierra. She didn’t know what to think. She’s much bigger than him, so he could never reach the target, but she snapped at him twice and I can’t say that I blame her. After calling the shelter that vaccinated him, turns out that his owners had moved, and lived right up the street from us. So, I took little humper home, and Sierra is happy once again.

Friday, September 5, 2008

FET is ON!!!

Or, as Dan would say...it's on like donkey kong. Don't really know what that means...but it sounds good right about now.

I'll start PIO and Medrol on Sunday. Can't wait to reunite with the big.ass.needle. Thursday afternoon they will call with a time for Friday. Basically, FETs are seen as low man on the totem pole. They do all the fresh ERs and ETs first, and then the FETs. As I see it, let the RE get warmed up...before she gets her hands on the Stancey's:o)

I can't wait. Just 7 more days!! I've said that already today, haven't I? Can't help it. Come on, Fertility Person and give me some luck this time please:o)

You got your wish...

That is what the u/s tech said this morning when looking at my uterine lining. "You got your wish, that is waaaayyyyy thick!" Woohoo!

I so missed the dildocam. It's been several months since I've had the pleasure. Tech and I were laughing about that. I love her, she's very personable and extremely thorough. She said you can totally tell when someone is new to the dildocam b/c they'll come in extremely nervous with lots of clothes on, nylons, multiple layers, etc. The next time they come in they are in sweats:o)

I wonder if they'll reduce my Estrace?? I could only hope. I hate that stuff.

Anyhoo...one hurdle down...one to go....Now I sit and wait for the nurse to call with my b/w results. If levels look good then we are good to go next Friday. I'm so freaking excited. Not to mention a Nestie just got a BFP from a FET so that is huge encouragment for me!!!

And I paid another $346 this morning. Running total for FET so far is $1,014:o(

7 days, 7 days, 7 days..................

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pre-FET obsessing has started

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the 31% chance of sucess with this FET. How exactly did Dr. K come up with this? I have no idea. She gave us a 50% chance for our first fresh IVF and we all know how that turned out. I guess the simple fact that the embies have gone through the stress of being frozen, and then thawed (hopefully), makes the % go down. But go down by almost 20?

Sart.org has alot of clinic stats across the country. So of course I have spent quite a bit of time on that site this morning. In 2006, my RE clinic did 25 FETS, with 20% resulting in live births; in 2005 they did 21 FETs, with a 29% success rate. When I looked at FETs in relation to an ovulatory disorder (which is me), in 2006, they only did one, but that ended in a baby. I like 100%. But I still don't know how Dr K came to 31%. Seems higher than the norm, so I guess she has some hope for me. Guess I should just ask. And I should say that it's 31% of ONE sticking, regardless of how many get put back. And, I should also say that my clinic is extremely picky about which embies they freeze. I believe our 3 were frozen on day 6, which is quite a bit of growth. At that time, 2 looked good and one looked iffy, but all were freeze-worthy.

Who the hell knows. All I know is a FET cycle is so much less stressful than a fresh IVF. My u/s and b/w is in the AM, so I should have confirmation tomorrow afternoon that we are on for 9/12.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Fertility Person...

I've never had a fertility good luck charm, and I've never really been superstitious about anything in regard to fertility. Now though, I have my very own Fertility Person. You will think I've lost my mind, but I don't think it wants to be photographed. Seriously, I took 6 different pics last night, in hopes of posting one here, and each one I took was blurry. I could not get a focused picture, even though looking through the camera lense it appeared clear. Ripleys...believe it or not...:o)

Anyway, this little Person (I'm calling a "person" to be politically correct and to not piss FP off b/c we really don't know guy or girl) was loaned to me by Sara, and has many healthy pregnancy's under its belt, including Sara's. Most recently, it was loaned to a woman who was going through her 4th IVF, and who got a BFP that cycle. Yes, the rational/logical side of me thinks ok, well it was her 4th IVF, odds are it was just her time to be successul. Sara on the other hand touched it once, ONCE and got pregnant, as did a few others in her office. I have met FP once before, but that was over lunch at Taco Bell. And as Sara said I didn't really get to "bond' with FP so now is my chance.

So it is mine now, at least for the next few weeks. FP is tiny, maybe 2.5 inches tall, but perfect to hold in my hand. I carry it in my pocket to work, and then put it on my desk. At night, I've been sleeping with it under my pillow.

Have I lost my mind? Probably. I don't doubt it. But at this point, what do I have to lose? And yes, I will be taking it with me to my transfer. Dan can hold one hand, and I'll hold FP in the other.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day weekend

In IF news...in addition to my previously reported side effects, I am the lucky winner of Estrace headaches. I woke up with one on Saturday morning, and could not get rid of it. Dan reminded me it might actually be from caffeine withdrawal, so I had a diet coke with dinner and it did nothing to relief the pain. In total, I took 6- 500 milligram Tylenol, and 2 migraine pills and nothing would get rid of it. It was gone when I woke up Sunday, but back again Sunday night. And off and on the rest of the weekend. Woke up with it again today...but seems to have subsided a bit. I have a history of migraines so it doesn't suprise me that I'd get them. They just suck, and can be so debilitating. The only thing I wanted to do was lay there and stay still.

My friend Sara let me borrow the Fertility Person. More on that later, I will do a whole post on FP, along with a picture:o) Sara, if you are reading...he/she is sitting on my desk staring at me, and I slept with it under my pillow Sun/Mon night:o)

3 days until u/s and 10 days till FET!!! I'm so afraid my u/s won't go well and I'll have to wait another week. I've been getting a crazy amount of CM this weekend, and I'm not sure what to think about that...good, bad, etc.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The end of caffeine

I'm sitting here with my last 18 oz or so of Mountain Dew. I am giving up caffeine. Hopefully for 9 months or so, but at the very least until I get my beta. I love caffeine. I am not a coffee drinker, so mine comes in the form of that sweet, sweet, Mountain Dew:o) I went to the grocery last night and bought 2 liters of caffeine free diet coke. I actually like it, I just like Mtn Dew more.

I've been focused on being healthier and this is the next step.

Also of interest to any Estrace users. I think I have found another positive side effect. It seems to be acting as an appetite suppresent. I love to eat, love.to.eat. All of my friends can vouch for that. For the past several days, food is 1) the last thing on my mind, and 2) when I eat I get full much faster than in the past. Additionally, I actually STOP eating when I'm full. I can only attribute it to Estrace.

I've also lost 1.5 pounds since I've been on it. I gained almost 20 pounds during my IVF cycle in May. Yes, 20 pounds. 9 came off right away, and I've been struggling with the last 11 pounds. Since starting the Estrace, it's started to come off. Crazy! But I'll take it.

That's my news for the day.

14 days until FET, but who's counting???!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One of my therapies

I love to sew! I started in high school, well jr high probably, and then it fell by the wayside. I picked it up again about a year ago. My favorite thing to make (thanks to my friend Sara:o)) are quilts! Spring 07 I made my parents a quilt for their 35th wedding anniversary. They loved it so much, I made a few for Christmas presents last year. I haven't actually made one for myself yet...maybe I need to add that to the list. And yes, I have a list of quilts I want to make for special people in my life:o) Also on my to-do list is to make some smaller quilts to donate to a local NICU.

I swear I am the youngest person in the fabric store but that is OK.

It is very therapeutic for me. It's not completely mindless work, but it's involved enough so that my obsessive thoughts (IF and otherwise) have to be turned down for a while. They are still there...but are managable. I've tossed around going to an IF therapist, but not sure that it would be helpful for me. I mean, it couldn't hurt, but I don't know what more I'd get out of it than someone just actually listening to me. I have plenty of people who do that, without me paying them!

This is the one I made for my parents anniversary.

I made this one for my grandparents. It is probably my favorite (colors, design, etc), plus my grandparents cried when they saw it. The pictures date back to before they were married. (Same with my parents quilt above.)

My friend Jeni, who I met on the Nest, and have since become friends with in real life recently had twin girls!!!!! Below are the quilts I made for Olivia and Sydney:o)