Thursday, May 31, 2012

Starting The Cycle

A few nights ago, I was feeling sort of worried about Gabby, so I sent her an email asking her if I was emailing too much. It wasn't quite what I wanted to say, but I didn't quite know how to put what I wanted to say.

I don't think I email her too much (she emails me more). But I do think my emails are sort of whiny, complainy, and down (I judge myself way harsher than she probably does, but I'm insecure like that) and I admit, i'm a control freak, so that's why I worry about things like when AF is going to come, etc. I would love to be able to talk with her like I can my closest work friend - to say, I'm so scared this cycle isn't going to work, that it makes me cry just thinking about it. But that would bring her down even more, and put pressure on her even though it really doesn't have to do with her (it has more to do with our embryos) because she doesn't understand that it really doesn't have to do with her.

Yea, did that make sense at all?

Provided her lining and everything looks ok, if it doesn't implant, it's most likely because of our embryos (or my eggs, i should really say). She's so convinced it's going to happen because she's such a great baby maker, but while a good uterus is obviously necessary, quality of the embryos matters more at first. If it doesn't happen I know she'll blame herself to an extent, and I feel bad because I know it won't be because of her.

But while I like Gabby, we haven't known each other long enough or well enough for me to spill out my heart like that. Instead I just wrote to her:

"Is this too much emailing for you? Sorry if I'm being a pain. Just trying to keep you in the loop on every little thing but I definitely don't have to if it's annoying! Just let me know :)"

Between you and me, the "keep you in the loop on every little thing" didn't really mean events going on, but more my feelings...

But I got this very nice message back the next morning...

Listen... if our positions were reversed I would be moving in with you for the duration of the whole process so no worries!  :)  I'm always on email, no issue!

Which helped me relax immensely.

That same day (this was Tuesday), towards the end of the day I emailed our cycle nurse (no longer Holly, now we have Susan) to ask her what happens if I never get a full on period. I mean, last month I barely had any bleeding when I went off BCP. She told me I should go in for baselines the next day just to see where I was. Great!

So yesterday I went in, and on U/S everything was quiet. The nurse doing the U/S said it looked like I wasn't going to bleed any more(super thin lining)  but I had the beginnings of lots of little follies (woot!) and then my b/w came back, E2 was 37 and P4 was 0.3. Perfect! Suppressed (under 50) but not TOO suppressed! Susan emailed me later in the day that I could start taking stims!

So last night L gave me my first Gonal F injection. I think that pen is so cool. Plus the needles are super small. I'm starting off at 150F IU. Then this morning, I lowered my Lupron dosage to .2 and added a vial of menopur. I will be taking these until Monday when I go in for b/w again. It makes me a little nervous to be on that amount for so long without checking levels, because it seems like I never start meds high enough and it's all downhill after that, but L reminded me I'm on a lower dosage of lupron this time, and have menopur like I used in my last non-lupron cycle. I am really hoping for around 400 E2 on Monday. Fingers crossed.

P.S. - guess who got AF "full -on" today? Yup, this girl. *shakes head*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Ugh. Had to cancel this mornings appt. because AF didn't come. I keep hoping it'll come today but so far nothing. I can't believe this.

I sent a message to Gabby letting her know and she was like, "it's going to be 9 mos. this is no big deal." But I have vacation starting 6/16. I need retrieval to happen before then and this is not turning out to be good. My last cycle (the one without lupron - lasted 19 DAYS from the first day of stims to the day of retrieval.

IVF #2 - with lupron and the one with my twins - it was 15 days from first day of stims to retrieval.

IVF #1 - the chemical - was 14 days.

If we go with the length of #2 as the average (as it was with lupron and this one is with lupron)...if I start TOMORROW (no guarantee the way things are going) then retrieval would be on June 13th.

If it's 19 days, I'm screwed, as that would take me out to June 17th.

Of course, if AF doesn't come today, I won't even be starting tomorrow, so you see how anxious I am about this...

We're only going to Maine, so it's not like I have plane tickets or anything. If need be, I suppose we can just meet our friends up there later in the week. That just stinks though :(

Sometimes I wish Gabby "got" infertility more. She simply doesn't think some things are a big deal. I rememeber when we first met her and her husband, he asked us if we watched Parenthood - and we were both like, "no...sorry, we try not to watch shows having to do with babies/parents..." it was awkward because we felt like Debbie Downers, but it seemed to us obvious why we wouldn't watch it. And in their heads they were probably thinking - this relationship is all about becoming parents, so these people would probably think this show is hilarious!

Gabby keeps trying to get me to watch Bill and Giuliana's reality show about their surrogacy. She's really into it. But I can't, at least not yet. When my surrogate is pregnant, then yeah, I can watch it. But not right now.

And so, whenever I'm anxious about something, I try to tell her because I want to be honest, but I'm finding I really can't, because she doesn't get it at all. Even many IP (intended parents) may not get it - it depends on your history. I read articles about Bill and Giuliana (that's much easier than watching a show) and she said that seeing her baby's HB was the happiest thing in her life. I bet Gabby will expect me to feel the same way.

But I won't. I saw the HB. More than once, more than twice. It was 4 times, and every time it was a great heartbeat, strong and fast. And then it was gone.

The day I will feel happiest? (Besides the birth of course). Probably when we make it into the second trimester - when we've surpassed how far I ever got with my babies.

Of course when viability comes around (28 weeks?) even better. 32 weeks - even better than that.

It's just different for me. And I don't think she gets that. 9 months is a huge deal for me. I will be worried for most of it. It's just the way I am.

I guess I didn't/couldn't convey that well enough to her in the beginning. And I don't know if she's really liking that about me now.

I can't help myself though. I will never relax until my baby(ies) are at home with me, safe and sound.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Waiting for AF

Crap, crap, crap...where is AF??

 I'm scheduled for baseline tomorrow at 8am but it needs to come today or I have to reschedule and our whole timeline will be thrown off. I've been feeling it's about to come since yesterday but so far nothing...let's go!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Last BCP

Last BCP tonight! Woohoo, so excited! Now I have to hope my period comes by Tuesday so that I can go in for baseline that day. If it doesn't, I have to push it off until it comes. I had a significant amount of breakthrough bleeding last week so I'm half afraid it won't come on time. I spent a good portion of the day doing calculations to see when the end of the first trimester would be, the end of the second trimester, and so forth. Pretty ballsy for me - usually i think it's bad luck and I'm jinxing myself so I won't do it. But this time - screw it - it doesn't affect an outcome and I might as well enjoy myself now. Whether I "dream" now or not, it won't make things less sad later on if it doesn't work out. I'm a veteran. I know this by now. Finally figured out my Blogger and posting issues! It had to do with some security issue I had on my laptop on home. I finally realized it had to be something related to that when I saw I had no problem posting from work, but had issues at home (yes, I sometimes post from work ::cringes::). But now it's fixed and I can post comments again for people!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's a Better Day

Thanks for all your kind words on my last post. Today is definitely a better day. Nothing has even happened yet I just feel better today. Maybe I'm getting used to the Lupron headaches are getting a bit better for sure.

Only found one shirt at Marshalls last night but it's this beautiful aquamarine color so I bought it and am wearing it today. It matches so well with this piece of jewelry I got on my honeymoon as Mexico so for as frumpy as I looked yesterday I feel very put together today. It's a good feeling, I tell ya.

I may have only bought one piece of clothing but someone has to keep me out of Marshalls because I found plenty of other things to buy! 3 (count 'em) THREE pairs of sunglasses (although two were for L to look at and choose between and i will return one of them), an ice cream scooper (yes I have priorities) and a microfiber mitt for washing the dog. Which we barely do (I always have the place where she goes for doggy day care do it when she needs it), but you never know! Hahaha. Leave it to me to find a way to spend $$. Oy. I still need more shirts. And some shoes.

I ordered more lupron today because it doesn't look like I will have enough for the cycle (which is really annoying that someone - nurse or doctor - didn't think ahead enough to do that) and set up my baseline appointment for Tuesday, when I will start stims. I'm so excited to see if this protocol works well for me - I have a good feeling about it as long as they don't start me on too low a dose!

Hope everyone is having a nice day and hanging in there!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm listening to Adele's Set Fire to the Rain right now, on repeat. I'm not really listening to the words, but the music itself is a good mirror for how I'm feeling right now, angsty and sad, like I wish I could unzip myself and go for a run, leaving all my baggage behind for awhile.

I had a meltdown this morning while getting dressed for work. Couldn't find anything that fit right and I felt like a whale. Ever have one of those days? I mean, I'm no fatter than I was a few days ago when I DIDN'T feel that way - so chill the F out, Ducky!

So I'm planning to go to Marshalls after work to look for a few new tops. Besides, it's getting hot out, so short sleeves are needed always helps me feel better!

Gabby's first E2 levels came back. I don't know what they really need to be, as she's only doing the latter half of a cycle. It was 202 and they said that was fine, she doesn't need to increase the Estrace.

I can't wait for Friday, until I'm done with BCP!

This weekend is the first Memorial Day weekend we're not doing anything. We've gone away every Mem. Day weekend since we've been together, culminating in last year's which is when I *think* I lost my babies. Or baby...I had already lost one at 7 weeks.

TMI story up ahead if you don't want to read...

We went to Maine, and it was super hot that weekend and L convinced me to go for a walk on this pathway by the beach which was beautiful but 4 miles long and it totally took everything out of me, and when I got back to the B&B(totally TMI) I had to change my pants because I had this foul smell that I've never smelled before in my life and was feeling VERY wet down there and now I wonder if that was amniotic fluid or SOMETHING (I had NO blood though). I've always wondered if that was the day I lost my last twin. Part of me hopes it happened before then and that maybe whatever happened that day was just an indicator it was ALREADY over, but I will never know, and I will always wonder. It's funny, L is suprised that I don't mind going back to Maine and Ogunquit in general because I'm definitely a person that associates good or bad things with places like that, but I don't have a problem with that. That pathway though...yea, I don't know if I could go back there, or the B&B we stayed at.

The one year "anniversary" of my latest loss is probably adding to my angstiness. I'll be better after June 7th or whenever my D&C was...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My computer is acting up and not letting me post ICLW comments, so that will have to wait for tomorrow.

In the meantime, Lupron is definitely making me emotional. I don't think I noticed it in my previous 3 cycles but I also didn't have enough time inbetween them to realize it. I recognize now I'm just feeling generally depressed, anxious, and irritable. I hate feeling like this.

2 blogs I follow just became mothers through adoption. I am so so happy for them. It was like one day they were in my spots, and now I wish I was in theirs. No, not quite like that, but I just want my baby, you know? (And yet, adoption right now would be extremely difficult).

I just want my turn to come. I've waited for so long, when is it my turn?

(This stupid fertility drugs make me so whiny...)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Another ICLW

Well, here we are - another ICLW is upon us!

Leonard (L - not his real name) and I have been married for almost 5 years (gulp!) and have been trying for almost 4. I've gotten pregnant 4 times, including once with twins, and miscarried each time. We started the adoption process last year and are currently in waiting limbo. At the same time I just started a surrogacy cycle with my gestational surrogate I have affectionately named Gabby on this blog. I started lupron on Saturday and stims won't start till next week. We are so hoping something comes through for us very soon!

For a more detailed look at our journey, you can check out the tabs at the top of my page.

For right now I'm just trying to be patient and not worry - which for me is nearly impossible. My latest stress is coming over whether we will get a call from the adoption agency while we're in the middle of this cycle. I don't want to have to turn them down - we haven't turned down one opportunity so far (there have been 5 I think) and don't want to miss my chance. For once I'm just hoping and praying we don't hear from the adoption agency until late June! (Never have I said THAT before!) But the worst that could happen is we say no to the agency, then our cycle fails and we have no adoption and no surrogacy happening. That would be my luck.

Gabby has been keeping in great touch - she continues to make me laugh so much. Her latest email is that she checked out the PIO she will be taken after transfer and thought it was hilarious that the oil is olive oil.

"It is actually olive oil, says right on it! I'll save any extra so we can
whip up some pancakes in a crunch!"

I need that positivity and humor in my life! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Infertility on Mother's Day

A poem that was posted on the Inspire message boards.

“Happy Mother's Day”
it comes around every year;
but when you have empty arms,
it's very hard to hear.

It's a day to celebrate a mother,
for all the trials she overcame;
and a reminder to an infertile
of her loneliness and shame.

But what really makes a mother,
Is it just conception and birth?
Or is there something more,
that shows a mother's worth?

It's putting your child first,
in everything you do;
it's sacrifice and determination,
and love and patience too.

An infertile woman makes all her plans,
around a child not yet conceived;
she loves them even though they aren't here,
more than she ever could have believed.

She appreciates and understands,
what a blessing that children are;
she works hard for just a chance,
that motherhood is not that far.

All odds are stacked against her,
and yet she still has hope;
everyday is another struggle,
finding ways to help her cope.

So even though her arms are empty,
she can still be a mother too;
So say a special “Happy Mother's Day”
for those waiting for their dreams to come true!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Starting to Cycle

Boy, another week, another going by too fast. And now it's Friday.

Mother's Day is drawing near. I was pregnant last Mother's Day. I was so happy for the first time in AGES. This year, I'm not pregnant, nor do I have a bouncing baby at home. This year is going to suck.

I've already proclaimed it "stay in bed" day. We usually go to the Farmer's Market on Sunday but L has told me he will go. He will put in the Blu-Ray player we just got for Christmas this past week (long story there) in the bedroom and I am going to watch episodes of Downton Abbey all day (just started watching that show - love it!)

The truth of the matter is, I probably won't be able to stay in bed. In college I probably would have, but over the last few years as more and more has been out of control I'm very much a control freak in the rest of my life - there's no resting. there's only getting stuff done. Appointments, projects, cleaning, staying on top of doctors. If I have nothing to do I feel lost. It used to not be this way :(

On Monday we were given the info to start cycling! Gabby's first lupron injection was Weds. I'll start my lupron next Saturday. the schedule says I will start stimming 5/28 and retrieval is schedule for 6/8 6/9 but I have never been "on time" before, so i doubt that will happen. More likely 6/11 or 6/12. Either way, we'll fit it in JUST before we leave on vacation so I hope I don't have OHSS over vacation. Transfer will most likely take place when we're on vacation which is good and bad. At least hopefully I won't obsess as much about it?

We got bills for all the bloodwork we had done when all 4 of us were in Boston. Obviously our insurance covers me and L, but we didn't realize we were going to have to pay for the b/w for Gabby and her husband - we thought it was part of the cycle fee we paid. Nope, so that's another $1500. I'm starting to get really worried about $. I know my inlaws have paid so much already but we've paid a lot of OOP expenses now (more than $10K) and I'm just really worried. If I knew I would have a baby out of this deal of course I would be more than willing but it just puts such pressure out there. If this doesn't work, ugh. It just makes me want to cry.

Then there was the ordering of meds for her to get by Weds. The pharmacy did a really good job of working with me to get it there on time, as we didn't get a call about meds until about 6pm Monday night and she needed to take them between 5-7AM on Weds.! The hospital uses Village Pharmacy, who I never heard of but they were super nice. Of course we have to pay out of pocket for her since she's not on our insurance, but luckily her meds only came to about $350. They called my meds into Village as well but my insurance doesn't cover them so they transferred the prescriptions to Freedom Pharmacy.

I'm starting meds much later so I didn't really need to worry about getting them right away but today Freedom called me to tell me what I owed. Having done this before I figured it would just be a couple of copays. Big mistake. The insurance I have through work goes to (in my opinion) a terrible pharmacy - Medco. I've used them before and they take 1-2 weeks to ship anything out. Ugh. So, I'm also on L's insurance (we added me this year because my insurance doesn't cover the Boston hospital we're at but his does so we knew we'd save a lot of money). I know L's insurance uses Freedom so I was happy to use them as they are pretty quick. But today when they called they told me that I've already nearly used up my lifetime maximum of fertility drugs under his insurance. I didn't even know I had a lifetime maximum! I know it's probably in some insurance booklet or something somewhere but I really wished these places would give you this information when you place an order. Like, "Today your total will be $53, and just so you know you have $5000 remaining in your lifetime maximum," something like that. So apparently this order would put me over the maximum and we were going to owe $4000. This stuff is ridiculously expensive. And I have used Freedom only a little before so that shows you how much these drugs are for me to have reached the maximum so quickly.

I was really upset because i kept thinking how are we going to now pay for these meds??? I asked them to transfer the order to Medco and was flipping out because I need these meds quickly and Medco is anything but quick. But then she said that they are contracted with medco and they had my insurance on file (in addition to L's insurance) so she ran it through and it worked. I had no idea I had done this previously (I think it was for 1 drug - like lupron, not a whole order like today) and I had no idea I didn't have to go directly to Medco. I was SO excited. So i'm getting my meds in one day like I was supposed to and except for co-pays the drugs are fully covered under my plan (which has great infertility benefits - it pays for IVF up to a $50K maximum for out of network providers and no maximum for in network. After 4 IVF cycles - 3 out of network and 1 in network, I still have $35K left of this benefit, that is awesome.) My copays came to about $93 which I was much happier about paying.

I also found out that they hadn't order the Medrol (steroid) and doxycycline (antibiotic) for Gabby's transfer, but I have so much of that left over from home I asked if I could just mail her my stash and she was fine with that. It only saved about $40 (not a huge amount in the scheme of things, I know) but hell, I'll take any savings at this point.

To finish off this post, yesterday just before work ended, my co-worker close friend gave me a small package with a card in it. This is the coworker who recently had a baby. She gave it to me at the end of the day, she said, because she knew it would make me cry, and she didn't give it to me today because she wanted to talk to me about it. I waited till after she left before I opened it.

It was a beautiful silver necklace with 3 small charms. One is circular and says "in my heart" on it, the second is an open heart, and the third is a closed heart with baby footprints on it. Of course I started crying.

And then I read the card.

Envelope and front of card:

Inside the card:

Etsy shop it came from:

It was a reminder that there is someone who thought about me this mother's day. And it made all the difference in the world. My own parents won't think of me, and certainly not my inlaws. I've sent my BFF a Mother's day card (her first) but I don't think I will be hearing from her. But I heard from this friend. It made me feel so good.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Things have moved along this week, but every day has been so busy that I haven't had a moment to blog.

I heard back from the genetics team on Monday. I think I can officially say I've been reviewed pretty thoroughly from a genetics standpoint. There was nothing from a cardiac standpoint that we need to look at going forward.

Interestingly, I had some weird things go on (deletions and additions on chromosome), but if you look at any one person's chromosomes as closely as they did mine, no one's is perfect. I had a tiny deletion or smaller section of a part of Chromosome 15, but was told they compared it to other people's and it is considered normal. I also had additional genetic info on Chromosomes 14, 16 and the X chromosome, but all of it was considered normal. Therefore, there's no need to do PGD on our embryos going forward. We can just do generic PGS in case there's something going on when our embryos are created.

I waited until Weds. and had to email Holly because I hadn't heard anything about us starting vs. not starting or the b/w we'd had taken last week. I know I'm anxious, but they should understand that, right? I don't know if they do, but if there's anything I've learned over the years, I have to be my best advocate.

She replied back to me about 5 minutes to 5pm telling me that bloodwork came back good for all of us EXCEPT for the fact that Gabby tested positive for CMV antibodies. CMV -cytomeglovirus- is some version of herpes that between 50-85% of people will have had an infection of by the time they are 40 years old. Mostly kids get it, then develop antibodies to it, but people around kids get it too. Considering Gabby is not only a mother of 3, but also a pediatric nurse, this came back as no surprise. In fact, she had even said she knew she had antibodies to us at the time.

But Holly emailed me and said that we needed to wait 3 weeks to retest to make sure this wasn't an active infection. Ugh! We definitely wouldn't be able to fit in the cycle before vacation then!

Well, Gabby is awesome. Even though she is on vacation in Mexico this week with her hubby and no kids, she literally emailed the nurse back right away. Because about 10 minutes later I got an email from Holly saying Gabby had emailed her and told her she'd had antibodies for 6 year, so Holly had emailed the doctor to ask if we could skip the retest. I was going to have to wait till Friday to find out whether we could or not though.

Waited till 3pm yesterday and no email. The thought of going all weekend without knowing made me email. Of course, Holly emails me back pretty quickly saying she had JUST spoken with the doctor. People always do stuff JUST when I call :) Apparently we don't have to wait 3 weeks for the retest! Sweet!! But the doctor wanted Holly to contact Dr. Mike (my cardiologist) to get his approval for IVF meds and to see if he wanted me to take lovenox.

You've got to be kidding me. I mean, I've done THREE cycles of IVF before and never gotten "his permission." Furthermore, while I've taken lovenox, it was always after retrieval, not before - and since no embryos are getting transferred back into me there's no need for me to take them. Finally, if this was mandatory, why didn't you ask him a MONTH ago - you wait till now to say this has to happen before you'll call in meds?

Of course, it was already 4pm on Friday so you know that wasn't going to happen quickly. Nonetheless, I have Dr. Mike's email and since Holly had said she had already emailed him on Weds. and still hadn't heard back, I decided to send him a quick email asking him to please respond ASAP so we could get this cycle on the road.

By 8pm he had emailed me and Holly, giving his permission and letting them know I could take any meds they wanted me to and lovenox wasn't needed.

I love that man.

So, I am now hoping that is the last hiccup we will have and they will call in the meds on Monday so Gabby can start taking them this coming week. Unless they come up with more stupid restrictions.

I am ready to get this show on the road!!