Monday, November 30, 2009


While I am a bit late on the Thanksgiving post, we are still in the season of thanks and giving so I am still going to tell the world why I am thankful. Below are my highlights:

Thanksgiving holiday – I always love Thanksgiving! It is time to come together with family and friends to share stories, eat a delicious meal and reconnect. Instead of being about presents and materialistic things, it is about being thankful and enjoying the day with people. (Luckily, we have family that is without drama for the most part, so it is enjoyable.) This year I am even more thankful for Thanksgiving for a completely different reason. This year it turned my focus from what I didn’t have to what I do. Instead of thinking about the baby that I don’t have, I could focus my attention on what I do have. The timing could not have been better.

Body - I want to officially thank my body for putting up with my shenanigans and moving forward like a trooper. Over the years, I have fed it horrible food, put it through the ringer in marathons and half marathons, and I will not even mention the abuse it endured in my twenties. Over the years, I have worked to be kinder in these regards, but still have my moments. This year alone, I have pumped it full of hormones, poked and prodded it repeatedly, yet it still shows up and does what it is supposed to do. It heals; it recovers and sticks with me.

Insurance – I am truly lucky to have insurance that has covered all our fertility expenses thus far.

Support Network - Many family and friends have been so supportive and wonderful during this hard time. I know it can be awkward when a friend or family member faces a disappointment, but many have stepped up and been there to listen and simply say they are sorry.

Husband - I do not know what I would do without Greg. Sometimes it is scary to be so dependent on someone, but he makes it so easy. He has listened to me cry, complain, and does what he can to help despite his own disappointment. He helps me to plan what is next. He encourages me to press on and heal. He can drive me crazy at times and I can do the same to him, but I know he is there and always will be. I am truly thankful to be married to such a good man.

Tomorrow we will have our WTF appointment. Looking forward to hearing what Dr. Nice Guy thinks happened. I will update after we have more information

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Below Average Athlete

Many people have heard me say that I am a below average athlete just trying to be average. I love working out and pushing my body. I love being outside especially on a cold, rainy windy Seattle day exercising. It makes me feel like I did something for myself and I didn’t let the weather or anything else stop me. I have decided that I really don’t like gyms, but like being outside to workout. It brings me back to glorious days of spending all day outside running, biking, swimming, kicking or throwing a ball and hanging out with my friends as a child. However, I do face many challenges as an athlete. Remember I said I am a BELOW average one. My challenges are as follows:

Horrible genes: Both of my parents are not athletic in the least bit, and would be the first to admit it. My mother has no coordination. She has sprained her ankle several times, broken wrists and even managed to break both of her feet at the same time. My father has the nickname Jet because while playing softball with his friends in college, he hit a homerun yet only made it to second base. He has no speed whatsoever. My dilemma is clear here. The only things I have going for me are endurance, strength and a desire to keep doing it.

Lungs: I was born 7 weeks premature 36 years ago. Lungs are one of the last things to develop. Also, I grew up with two smokers. In this day and age, it is amazing to think that parents would smoke with the windows rolled up in the car with their children as passengers. (Especially my parents, who love both my sister and I to pieces and would never intentionally hurt us.) Common sense would say that is a bad idea, but this was 30 years ago and things were different. Admittedly, my parents did not have the best role models with this. Three out of four of my grandparents also smoked, and did the same things to them. To prove that smoking is bad for you, the three smoking grandparents died much sooner than the one that did not. The good news is that neither of my parents smoke now. I don’t hold it against them, as I have said before s*#t happens.

The Twins: Yes, I have rather large breasts. . . DD. I have to be really careful with those things or I might poke an eye out. Exercising with large boobs can hurt. It is not comfortable, but after many years of trial and error I have learned that the right sports bra or bras can make all the difference. I don’t just wear one, but two. The bottom layer bra provides the most support. I usually go to the running store and ask them for the biggest, most supportive and best bra they have. Then I put a regular sports bra over that usually from Target. I MUST have two sports bras!!!! When I see other large breasted women running with them flying all around about to knock them out, I want yell out, “I don’t know you but you really need two maybe three sports bras, and for god sakes do not wear just a plain old bra to run. It does not work; you are going to injure yourself or someone else." That is my advice from a Below Average Athlete.

While I face these challenges, I still do it because I love the endorphins and it is my version of Prozac. Just like a crack head, I am addicted to the high that accompanies working out. It makes me feel good and eases my nerves.

After a month and half of concentrating on IVF and not being able to work out, I got out for the first time yesterday to run. I only ran 2 miles, but it was worth it! Immediately, I was aware of my challenges again. I started very slow and my lungs burned as I took in the crisp air. I could feel the tightness around my chest as my bras held me in place and my lungs worked hard. I relied on my strength and endurance to get past the burn and keep going. As I ran along the lake, it lightly misted and the cold air made me feel alive again. I wasn’t worried about ovarian torsion, raising my body temperature or whether or not I would catch a cold from running in the rain. I wasn’t thinking about the number of follicles, the quality of the embryos or the reason why it didn’t work. All I was thinking about was pushing through and using my body to make me feel good again.

It turns out that I am not only a Below Average Athlete, but also a Below Average Procreator. I am not totally aware of my challenges, so it makes them harder to overcome. However, I know I have the endurance and strength to get through them and keep pushing forward. Hopefully, after consulting with the doctors, we will learn more and try again. But not before we take a break for me to get my body back and heal emotionally. GHuman and I have spent the weekend talking, planning and supporting each other. It has been a hard weekend, but I am thankful for having the best husband in the world by my side

Friday, November 20, 2009


Big Fat Negative! Negative and Oprah quits! That sucks! Sucky day! I know I said I wouldn't post today, but I lied. I will write more over the weekend. I have already set up our What the F*#k Happened appoinment to figure out what is next. I am sad, but at least I know how to do this part. More to come later. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Test Day Tomorow

In my lifetime I have taken hundreds of tests, ran or walked marathons and half marathons and had several important deadlines that I have had to meet. All of them, I worked hard and sometimes months to prepare. Some were successful and some not. Usually, if they were not I could usually find the reason why I wasn’t successful. Tomorrow will be another test. The first blood test I have ever taken to test for pregnancy. Like all new experiences and pressure deadlines, I am nervous about it. However, I can say with confidence that I have done absolutely everything I can do to make this successful. We have administered the drugs according to the protocol. We have gone to doctors appointments as instructed. I have seen massage therapist, psychologists, and acupuncturists. My reproductive system shutdown and started back up beautifully for stimulation to go well. The egg retrieval and embryo transfer went as planned. I have prayed, meditated, listened to inspirational fertility cds, and done yoga specific for my fertility. I have read a million infertility blogs (I need an intervention!!!). Greg and I have grown stronger, learned more about each other and perfected our arguing technique to prepare for a child. Greg has prepared budgets and made plans to make sure our child will have a roof over its head and an education. My family members have helped to distract me and love me through this. My friends have supported me the better than I could have asked. In other words, we all have worked hard, and now we see the results of the preparation.

Tomorrow will be our first Beta or blood test. Again it will be about the numbers. If I am pregnant, there will be a number to indicate the amount of HcG hormone in my system. If it is good, then I will take another blood test two days later. If it doubles, it confirms the pregnancy. We would then take a third beta two days after that. If doubles again, they will schedule an ultrasound a week later with the RE. If all goes well with all of those, we would then graduate to a regular OB/GYN. If it all continues to go well, there will be more waiting and testing of our patience, but I am willing to do it. If not, we will begin to discuss our next steps.

I and we have done all we can do, and I am prepared for either outcome. At this point it is out of our hands, and what will be will be. If I want to get religious about it on you, it is in God’s hands. (I guess I just did.) Greg and I will be waiting until he gets home from work to listen to the results message together from the RE’s office. So there will probably not be a post tomorrow with results. Reality is that some of you will find out by reading it. I hate that, but I accepted when I decided to blog and invite you to read that it might be that way. If it is good news we can all celebrate for the moment that we got through that test, if it is bad news I ask that you give us a few days. However, we will want to hear from you. We all know the right thing to do and say if it goes well. Call, e-mail or whatever you want to do. However, some helpful hints for reactions if it doesn’t are the following: “MFer! What the hell happened!, That sucks! , What is next?”. We might need a day or two, but we will want to hear from you. E-mail would probably be best in that case. Even though, I am hoping for the best but you can’t blame for preparing for the worst too because frankly right now, I just don’t know. Again, I ask for prayers and good vibes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ute Cam

About 10 years ago, my Mother called me to tell me that my second cousin’s wife had just had a baby girl. I responded with I didn’t even know she was pregnant. She said weird thing is neither did she nor did my cousin’s wife. Yes, it was one of those freaky stories you hear about where a woman does not even know she is pregnant and goes to the emergency room with severe stomach pains and pops out a kid. Now, I have plenty of redneck family members who couldn’t find their way out of the trailer park to find a job, but could somehow end up pregnant. I also have many friends from high school that I am just waiting for a baby announcement on Facebook where they didn’t know they were knocked up. However, this woman is smart educated person who had already delivered 2 babies. I guess all I can say is that s*&t happens to the best of us, and I can’t explain it.

Which leads me to answer some questions some of you may be wondering about me, for example: How are you feeling? Are having any “symptoms”? I feel good. How about you? Physically, I have never felt better. I am really excited to not be sitting around the house and getting back into my normal routine. No, I am not having any “symptoms” yet and if I were I would probably ignore them for several reasons. First, I have had “symptoms” before and no baby. Two, I am hopped up on so many hormones right now that cause the same exact “symptoms” that there is no way to tell the difference. We are down to 1 progesterone in oil (PIO) shot a day and estrogen patches, but I still have lots of hormones going on. Last, many people don’t get “symptoms” until much later. That is why many people go out and get shitfaced drunk, smoke massive amounts of cigarettes and do drugs before they even know there is a bun in the oven. Let’s face it they just put those suckers back in me 5 days ago. They are hopefully getting themselves organized and arranged nicely for their extended visit. I will cut them some slack on giving me symptoms just yet. I am more than willing to wait on my “symptoms”, as long as they eventually make their appearance.

Am I going to pee on a stick (POAS) before my blood test on Friday to find out if I am pregnant? The answer is no. There are many many many people on the infertility blogs that do this. They have perfectly timed when the HcG shot ( a shot they given right before the egg retrieval to complete the egg maturation process. If one is doing an IUI, it is the shot they give to trigger ovulation. It is also the hormone that pregnancy tests and blood test pick up on to tell if someone is pregnant.) is out of their system and begin taking pregnancy tests several times a day until their blood test. The positive aspect of this approach is that it gives a heads up as to how the blood test will turn out. However, there are a few reasons I am adamant about not taking one. First, those damn things have never given me the answer I wanted up to this point (except for that one time . . . that is a different story altogether. Thank you, Lord), so why would I think they would start now. Secondly, because of the HcG shot can give you false positives and that is the last thing I want right now. I know I can find out online when it is a good time to test, but I am still not going to do it.

My husband has what we affectionately call the ass cam in his car. When he puts the car in reverse his GPS screen shows what is behind him, so that he doesn’t have to strain his poor little neck to back out. While I wish there was a ute cam in my uterus, showing what is going on with the little ones, it just hasn’t happened yet. However, the doctor also just gave me a picture of hopefully my future child/children with a 100 cells, so give it some time somebody will make one. It would be nice to peak in and see what they are up to and to try and convince them to stay if they wanted to jump ship, but for now I am going to have to wait until Friday to see if they are there. I guess the bottom line is that even though, I saw on an ultrasound screen the exact moment that I may or may not have gotten pregnant, I am not different than anyone else on knowing if I am pregnant or not until the fat lady sings. I am hoping that fat lady is me from a big ole baby in my belly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Honor Roll

When the Embryologist came in yesterday to give us a picture of our 2 beautiful Grade A Embryos, I suddenly felt I needed a bumper sticker for the back of my car that said my embryos made the honor roll at Insert Fertility Clinic Name. We also found out this morning that we had two more that made it to freeze. With all the ups and downs of the last 9 months, I went into this first IVF cycle with cautious optimism and have been pleasantly surprised through process. We are happy, proud and appreciative to get this far.

The embryo transfer for the most part went pretty well. I went to acupuncture right before and got nice and relaxed. Once I was finished, I had to rush home to drink 32 ounces of water, take 2 valium and meet Greg. When we got to the clinic we had to wait 30 minutes before they came to get us, which left lots of time for those 32 ounces of water to accumulate in my bladder and want to exit. So, they checked my bladder on the ultrasound right off and decided that I need to let some of it go. They told me to fill up two and half cups. Let’s just say it is hard to do, but it worked out and I did feel better afterwards. The entire transfer took about 30 to 40 minutes, and we were out the door. We celebrated afterwards with Beechers Mac and Cheese, Brussels sprouts and shared cupcakes. At least we had the green vegetable to balance it out a bit.

My Mom, who has been here for the last week and half providing moral support and helping me with stuff around the house, is leaving tomorrow. I will be sad to see her go. No one takes better care of you then your Mom and she has been perfect. Physically, I feel much better. I turned a corner Monday night and really feel good right now. I know a lot of that is because my Mom has watched the Tudors with me for 3 days, did my laundry, cooked and cleaned and did anything else I needed her to do. She has been great.

So, now the WAIT begins. . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Ovaries Hate Me and I Don't Blame Them

I feel like everything from my bellybutton to my thighs hates me right now and I really don't blame them. I have been poking and proding them since October 11th and they have had enough. I am crampy and it hurts to lay on my side, which sucks because I sleep on my side. When talking to the doctor about my discomfort he said it was normal and that they follicles themselves were a little bit larger than a marble and with an average of 8 on each side both my ovaries were the size of an orange. However, I am happy as a clam and will do whatever I can to help them to heal because they have done good work. I am pampering them with heating pads and stool softners (I like potty talk, get over it). Out of the 17 eggs retrieved, 14 were mature, 12 allowed the sperm in and fertilized and on Day 3 we have 11 continuing to do well. 8 of the 11 are 8 cell, which is the as good as it gets and 3 are between 5 and 7 cells, which is not too shabby at all. Greg and I are excited! We are going on to a Day 5 blastocyst transfer with assisted hatching, which is good.* Although we know that we will probably loose at least half of the embryos by Day 5, we feel good that we will have a better chance by doing it this way.

I have gotten a bit supersitious and spiritual with all of this. Like a teenage girl, I make a wish at every opporunity that comes my way. The following would be examples: when the clock hits 4:44, 5:55 or 12:34 or anyother similar combination, I kiss my necklace clasp when it is in the front and make a wish as I turn it around to the back of my neck, I made sure to set my intention for the month on the night of the full moon. I also made a promise to God that I would read the bible for a whole month once a day from September 29 to October 29. I am still trying to do it, but it doesn't always work out. We have also been going to church. While these things may or may not effect the outcome, I will continue to do them, and hope it doesn't turn out the same way that the wish I made in 8th grade about that boy I liked did. I also appreciate all the prayers and good vibes from family and friends. I could not do it without you and please keep them coming. I will return the favor for you anytime I can, and always find a way to work you in on my daily prayers. We still have a very long road to go and this will not be over until there is a baby in arms, but for today I feel hopeful. I am going to lean on hopeful to help get me through the hard parts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who's Coming to the Party?

I don't know about the rest of the world, but I always get a bit nervous right after I send out invitations to a party I am hosting. There is a split second where I feel everyone on the eVite is going to reject it and everyone responding to it will see that I am a looser. I know it is stupid, but I always feel that way regardless.

Today we had 17 eggs say they are up for a party. However, tomorrow we find out how many are really up for a good time. Everything went well, I felt like it was a well-oiled machine from the time we walked in the door.

- Changed into my cute party dress - hospital gown and booties and a cute new hat
- Nurse came in to give us a rundown of what is going to happen
- Anthesiologist came in to do a little talk and make sure we are on the same page
- Drugs administered - One thing I remember right before I went to sleep is that they turned on some music. It was possibly the worst song you could imagine, "She Like The Wind". Yes, the horrible song Patrick Swazye sang on the Dirty Dancing albumn. I hope my eggs forgive me for not only having them sucked out of my ovaries by a large needle, but also the horrible background music that accompanied the experience. Already they have been traumatized.
- Wake up and they give me juice and crackers, more instructions, progesterone shot training and a quick trip to the bathroom.
- We are on our way home.

All in all not a bad experience, and we were out the door in 2 hours. Dr. NiceGuy was super nice today and came back to make sure I was OK after the procedure and tell us how excited he was.

Tomorrow the nurse will call us and let us know how many fertilized. I am nervous because this is the part where we could find out why things aren't working. We get to see how Greg's sperm reacts to my eggs, they are able to actually look at my eggs and understand more about their quality. Or things could go really well, so I am not all doom and gloom just cautious. I am nervous, but trying to not think about it too much. Luckily, Mom is here and she is talking my ear off (bless her heart). She is doing a great job of taking care of me though and for that I am greatful.

That is all for now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Quality Versus Quantity

I have a degree in Child and Family Development. I remember when I chose this major I had absolutely no idea what I would do for a career. However, I felt with confidence that I would use it in my own life. After all, at some point I would get married and have children, right? It is a bit ironic (don’t you think, yes I do Alanis Morisett) that I in fact I did not even begin to use this degree until I married Greg two years ago at the age of 34.

Instead I spent some time utilizing my unofficial major, which was Greek Life. Yes, I was in a sorority and I will admit it. My entire family makes fun of me for this, so feel free to do so as well. It was useful experience for me, and I give it credit for the people and opportunities it has brought me in my life. Although, I worked in Human Resources as a career, I spent a large amount of my spare time after college as an Advisor for the sorority. As a result, I have participated in many Recruitments (the new word for Rush) to add women to the organization both as a collegian and as an advisor. One of my pet peeves during Recruitment was hearing members say that Recruitment is about quality not quantity. I get that we wanted to invite good people to join, but the phrase “quality versus quantity” always annoyed me. Who defines what a “quality” person is? I guess I have always felt that we all have different likes and dislikes and what I may like in one person, someone else may not like. As I have mentioned before, life is a numbers game and the more opportunities I have to get to know people the more there is a possibility that I will find someone that has the qualities I like. Therefore, the more the merrier.

So, today we went in for our final ultrasound before the egg retrieval and I found my numbers theory challenged. We got great news! I have 18 follicles that they counted. There are at least three over the magic 18mm number at 19, 19, and 20. We have about 3 more at 17, and 12 that are between 11 and 16mm, which have some good potential. My uterine lining is at 14, which is fantastic. I believe anything over 8 is good and we want a nice and cushy lining for the embryos to snuggle into after transfer. We are set for 8AM retrieval on Thursday. The numbers look good; however, if they are not good quality it does not matter how many they retrieve. So, I am willing to throw my theory out the window and adjust my prayers for good quality and healthy embryos. Because in the end, we want a happy and healthy baby not a bunch of numbers.

So, with that being said, I am severely bloated and uncomfortable. The only way I can describe it is that I can actually feel my ovaries anytime I move. Sometimes I get worried, when I sit down, bend over or cough that I might hear a pop pop pop of them bursting. I know it cannot happen, but I admit it goes through my head to be careful with those suckers. The good news is that my clothes fit and it is not as bad as I thought it would be. I never ever thought I would say this, but I am looking forward to the ultrasound sound wand with a 12 inch needle attached being up my whoo-ha (TMI, sorry) for a little relief. I hope and pray in the end it will be worth it, and I will get to utilize more of that degree finally. Please send good thoughts, prayers, vibes or whatever ever it is that you send my way Thursday!