Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Yet another nail in the coffin of the factory where I did IVF #1: apparently I am hypothyroid & was never told about it.


So Dr. D-W finally got my freaking records from them last week.  Who knew it took 6 weeks for a file to travel literally 2 miles down the road?  Anyways, she reviewed them & called me last night.  As I was in the shower (this was @ like 8pm) she left me a voicemail saying the following (roughly):

"I was reviewing your last bloodwork prior to your cycling for IVF & noticed your TSH was 3.5.  While it's not super high it's high enough for me to suggest putting you on a small dose of Synthroid.  I look for a TSH of under 3 for patients who cycle with me because the evidence is pregnancy rates go up & miscarriage rates go down @ that level.  Your last IUI here (June 2011) it was 2.8 so it's gone up.  Were you aware of this?  Call me or Wendy (the nurse) back & let me know."

Interesting.  My grandma (dad's mom) had her thyroid removed in her 40s.  Actually, most Portuguese women I know have thyroid issues, but I digress.  Grandma also had a history of miscarriages which may be related to that but since that was the 50s they really didn't have knowledge about it then.   

So I called back & left a message.  Wendy got back to me this morning & I will be able to pick up the med on my way home from work.  What's one more pill?

Monday, June 25, 2012

He's beautiful

My nephew, that is:

Me, not so much.  Note the giant splotch which is a remnant of a zit (I'm in the luteal phase on CD 21 btw so AF is still 1 week away; WTF?) & my double chin.  Jeesh.  Oh & that's Vid seated next to me in his awesomely horrible Hawaiian shirt, too afraid to hold the baby.  If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know newborns freak him out but he loves toddlers.  I tell him they're more on his level & he usually tells me to shut up. :)

So, yeah, I survived.  I cooked my sister like 4 dishes so she can just heat & eat whenever she needs to.  She was super thankful & hysterical as always.  My brother-in-law took this week off as vacation time from work so between him, my parents & her in-laws she's got tons of help.  It was just my parents & us over there last night which was nice.

That's not to say I didn't cry when we got home.  I did; not a ton but yeah, I did.  I'll be ok though.  I have to be.  It's not his fault I'm infertile.  And it will be years before he can even understand what that means anyways.  I'd love to experience that kind of innocence again, before I knew I may never get to experience such a miracle of my own.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Still a bridesmaid

You know that saying "always a bridesmaid & never a bride"?  Well, we infertiles have a similar one: "always an aunt, never a mother".

So, I’m an aunt. Well, I’ve been an aunt to friends’ & cousins’ kids for year now, but this time, I’m the proper definition of an aunt.  A real, honest-to-God aunt.  It’s wonderful, painful, depressing & exciting all @ once.

My nephew was born around 5am today. My sister was having spotting all day yesterday & had some on again, off again contractions which seemed to settle down as night fell. Then, around 2am, she was awoken with severe pain that would not go away. She said “I thought he was going to come out of my stomach Alien-style”. Yup, still had her sense of humor right up til the end!
They got to the hospital & they checked her: she was already 8 cm dilated. They broke her bag of water & he was out within 2 hours. 7lb 14oz & no drugs. So not only did she get pregnant without any effort, she also got the kind of delivery most women dream of: quick & natural.
My mom texted me the news so I saw it when my cell phone alarm went off @ 7am. I told Vid but he was still asleep & is the kind of guy who could sleep through a nuclear bomb so I don’t even know if he’s aware yet; he was still out like a light when I left the house to go to work.
I’m sure my nephew is beautiful, but I’m dreading holding him, which makes me a terrible person. I’m dreading it because like all things pregnancy & baby related, I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it without becoming a sobbing mess. I am planning on waiting til they're home to meet him because I know I can’t handle walking into a maternity ward. Sad, huh?
I should be happy because my sister & my nephew made it through the pregnancy & delivery without any major complications. Having lived in West Africa, I’ve seen firsthand that this is not the norm for far too many. I really do adore my sister; I don’t want to imagine life without her stories & sense of humor.  She has already been quoted as saying she wants to marry the person who invented the undies with the icepack in the crotch that they give you after delivery.  Ha!
I should also be happy to have a new little buddy to play with & love. I am. But he’ll also serve as a constant reminder of what I don’t have. He is the 1st grandchild to my parents, an honor I was hoping to bestow upon them being the oldest & having been married for 3 years longer than my sister.

I feel sorry in a way for the kid too. He’ll have an infertile aunt who may never give him a cousin to play with. An infertile aunt who will give him awesome Christmas & birthday gifts but who may not be able to be there celebrating with him because it’s too sad. An infertile aunt who will always look @ him with his mom & think “why not me?”.

Thanks, infertility, for ruining pretty much everything.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A meeting of the infertiles club

With this being Father's Day weekend, I was planning on keeping things low key (ok, well, anti-social) for my own mental health & that of my husband.  Vid isn't nearly as vocal as I am about our struggle but it does weigh heavily on him, especially with his mom's still progressing bone cancer.  She's seriously considering stopping chemo & radiation as the side effects are getting to be too much for her.  He often wonders aloud about how he would be remembered if he had no children & there was no biological trace of him left on the planet once he leaves.  His mom has 2 kids (hubby & his very single sister) & no grandkids; will her line die with her?  Morbid, but a very real question as we've now passed the 4 year mark of TTC.

But getting back to my plan of a low key Father's Day weekend: didn't happen.  Totally forgot about my cousin's high school graduation party yesterday where the entire planet would be.  I was planning on making a very quick appearance but got to talking with an aunt of mine which was actually a good thing.

My Aunt K was married to my dad's brother D.  They got divorced like 20 years ago but have been together again for the past 12.  Weird, I know.  The theory is when Aunt K's dad (a pretty evil guy by all accounts; even hers) died in a freak accident they finally didn't have him to deal with & so were able to actually have a healthy relationship without his interference.  Even though Aunt K & Uncle D live in the same state, we don't really see them much; pretty much holidays only. 

Anywho, even though I'm "out" as an infertile I don't usually bring it us unless someone asks about when we're having kids, etc.  So I was talking with Aunt K about my sister who is due any time now & she asked if we planned on having kids.  I told her "planned" was the operative word: we've been trying since just a few months after we got married.

She asked some questions about what our issues were, if we had done any treatment, if we had considered adoption.  I told her about all the failed IUIs, the failed IVF, the upcoming IVF & how I would love to adopt but was scared of it failing too & how Vid was not on board with this concept.  She listened.   And was horrified at the financial costs involved.  But most of all, she didn't try to give any sage advice.  What she did say was "I know what it's like to want & not have; it's awful."

You see, Aunt K was a kind of infertile.  Actually, she had no trouble getting pregnant; she just couldn't carry to term.  She had 3 miscarriages before finally carrying beyond the 1st trimester.  And then she lost pregnancy #4 at 37 weeks with no explanation.  It was Thanksgiving week.  I was 10 & still remember how horribly sad it was for everyone.  A little over a year later she finally had a live baby, my cousin A who is now 21.  She had another miscarriage about a year after A was born & it was @ this point their marriage fell apart.  So maybe it wasn't just Aunt K's dad but also their struggles to have a family that contributed to their divorce.  Hmm.

Anyways, as bad as not being able to get pregnant has been, I can't imagine what it's like to have gone through what she has.  And of course my warped little mind says "What if you finally get pregnant this next IVF & miscarry?".  But even after the hell she went through, my Aunt K went on living.  Not the life she had wanted for herself, I'm sure, but she went on.  Eventually she did have a child which I suppose should give me hope.  Even if our struggles are very different, that feeling of "wanting & not having" is very much the same.  We're a part of a club where nobody wants to be a member of, hoping with every cycle to be able to turn in our membership card.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prometheus (*spoilers*)


For those of you living under a rock, the above photo is of Michael Fassbender.  I love me some Michael Fassbender.  Not only is he beautiful (as well as naked in many films, but not in this one; sorry) he's also an amazing actor.

I also love me some sci-fi. horror too  So, knowing Michael Fassbender was in Prometheus, Vid & I decided to take in a matinee today.  Sci-fi horror seems like a pretty safe genre for an infertile to watch, right? 


Here's where infertility comes in: David (Michael Fassbender) goes off on his own when they land on the alien planet and learns that the Engineers were killed by these aliens and that the Engineers wanted to kill their other invention (humans). David is not interested in their motives as he is a robot but archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) must know why they want to kill what they created.


Shaw is romantically involved with fellow archaeologist & shipmate Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) who subscribes to the theory of Darwinism while Shaw wears a necklace with a cross on it.  A conversation about why human kind was purposefully created (if we were) ensues.  Although I cannot remember the exact diaolgue (I tried finding it online to no avail), it ends with Shaw asking the following:

"I can't create life.  What does that say about me?"

Apparently we as a species can fly to distant planets in this movie but we still haven't find a cure for infertility. 

Let the tears begin (both for Shaw & myself). Thank God Vid was next to me.  He put his arm around me & whispered in my ear, "Are you ok?".  I was able to avoid a full-on sob fest.  I don't think anyone around us even noticed.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

IVF #2 consult

We had a meeting with Dr. D-W yesterday to discuss IVF #2 yesterday.  Our meeting further reinforced the fact I was a dumbass to have moved practices for IVF #1 due to anesthesia issues.  Thankfully, this will not be an issue for this IVF as she has gotten the anesthesiologists to change their rules about knocking people out with a BMI of over 40.  Like Dr. D-W said, if there was any true danger she wouldn't do it, but since I have no medical issues (other than obesity) & have been knocked out twice before (once for oral surgery, once for an exploratory lap) with no issues, the rule was just really stupid not just for me but for several of her patients.

She was really curious about my protocol for IVF #1 & why my result was so shitty.  I had requested records be sent before we went on vacation but of course, the other practice hadn't sent them.  I told her what I knew & she was unfortunately not shocked when I told her they were "meh" on a protocol change; she had seen 2 new patients this week already who were running from the other practice because of the same issue.  Dr. D-W said that not changing a protocol was stupid for 2 reasons: 1. it would've meant another likely failed IVF which would suck for me & 2. it would've meant another likely failed IVF which would've sucked for the other practice's success rates.  Exactly!  

Our plan for IVF #2 is as follows: when AF comes to town again (due around 7/2) I will be put on BCPs for ~3 weeks (she may tweak this if needed) but no Lupron this time.  She thinks it may have oversuppressed me & with me being on Zoloft she doesn't want to make me any more crazy than I am already; fine by me.  We'll start with Follistim for 3 days & then add Ganirelix to address my immaturity problem & prevent premature ovulation; she thinks my overall stimming time should be 7-10 days. 

She's going to trigger me with HCG versus Ovidrel this time because in her experience women with higher BMIs tend to do better with HCG.  She also really wonders if there was an issue with empty follicles versus my having ovulated some eggs before we even got to retrieval since my ER was ~40 hrs after trigger & she aims for ~36 hrs after trigger.  ER & ET will likely be the 1st week of August.  She's going to try & do a 5dt for this cycle.  Although she can't guarantee anything she says she's aiming for a dozen egss from me & we'll transfer 1 or 2 depending on quality & quantity fertilized. 

I feel so much better having talked to Dr. D-W.  Again, I think her having been through infertility herself plays a huge role in my liking her.  She's not "warm & fuzzy" (neither am I really) which turns some people off I know but I really appreciate her not talking to patients like they're idiots.  While I'm sure there are some truly clueless infertiles out there I think the vast majority of us are not & regardless, we all deserve to know what we're injecting into our bodies & why.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back to infertile reality

So we're back from our 2 weeks away.  Iceland was spectacular (save for the food) & France was lovely (save for my apparently being allergic to the entire French countryside) but it's good to be home. 

Here's a photo of a random rainbow from the ride to the airport in Iceland:

If you get a chance, go to Iceland.  So beautiful.  We both already want to go back.

But now, reality.

We have an appt with my old RE, Dr. D-W, on Friday afternoon to discuss what's going to happen with IVF#2. I stopped by her office before we went on vacation to make the appt. Even if it means having to battle my insurance co about paying for anasthesia or paying it ourselves OOP it will be worth it to have a doc who actually communicates. She saw me filling out paperwork to transfer records from IVF #1 & was suprised to see me. She asked if the IVF worked & I told her no, we got only 1 embryo out of it. Her eyes almost bugged out of her head. I told her the other practice was "meh" about making a protocol change so I'm back!
She told me to start taking C0Q10 if it's an egg quality issue because even if it wasn't it won't hurt. So I bought some @ Wholefoods (they have a vegetarian version) & have been taking it for 2 weeks now.  She also mentioned adding LH & maybe some other stuff to the protocol to help mature my eggs. AF arrived yesterday so my next AF will be due around 7/2 which is perfect since my med flex acct refills on 7/1 which will pay for the IVF (but not the meds). We'd likely be looking @ late July/early August for my ER/ET.  Of course that's assuming everything goes according to plan.  And that always happens, right?  It seems the only certainty in this world besides death & taxes seems to be my uterus' ability to expel its contents on cue every 27-28 days.  Kind of like Old Faithful.