Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In honor of my endometrial biopsy (bobopsy) here's one of my favorite clips from "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding":

No teeth or spinal column so far as my doc could tell.  We should have results (if any) next week.  It wasn't bad @ all; just a bit of cramping.  I didn't even bother taking any preventative pain meds.  I'm just glad it even happened given Hurricane Sandy came through town yesterday & could've totally cancelled us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

40 weeks

It's been 40 weeks since my 1st embryo transfer.  If IVF #1 had worked, today would've been my due date.  Instead, it's CD 4 & AF is about to leave town.  

I never marked any of the other phantom due dates I've had throughout all of the IUIs I did.  Somehow, this is different.  With IVF we knew we had an embryo & that it dwelled inside of my for a number of days.  IUIs don't let us have that kind of knowledge, that kind of hope.  And for me, that kind of guilt.

Obviously it's not my fault that little embryo never stuck & turned into my son or daughter.  Shit happens.  Really, we still don't know why it didn't take.  Hopefully we'll learn something from the endometrial biopsy so I don't end up with another phantom due date from IVF #3.

Still, I mourn for what might have been.  I still have the petri dish s/he grew in for 3 days.  I don't know if or when I'll be able to throw it out.  Maybe never.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Infertile & fat, but not infertile because of the fat!

Fat people are perhaps the last "minority" group people can discriminate against & not suffer the consequences of the law.  Deny a gay person, a black person or a person in a wheel chair medical treatment & you'll get sued.  Deny an obese person medical treatment while dealing with infertility & you have medical science to back you up, right?  

Apparently not.

A recent study from Penn State found that women who underwent gastric bypass surgery did not become any more "fertile" after losing weight.  While the women reported an increase in libido, rates of ovulation remained the same.  I' m guessing these women were probably more in the mood because they thought they might finally get pregnant with the excess weight gone so they reported "gettin' it on" more.  And if the researchers followed them more long term, the level of sexual desire probably decreased with each cycle they didn't get pregnant.

But here's the finding I am most interested in: "The quality of the ovulation also remained unaltered. The only change seen was a shortening of the first half of the menstrual cycle, from the end of the previous menstrual flow until the release of the egg."  So my egg quality may still suck.  And given my body is pretty much a Swiss watch when it comes to my menstrual cycle, I'm guessing losing weight would not shorten my 28 day cycle or lengthen my 14 day luteal phase.

I've struggled with my weight all my life.  So have my mom & sister, both of whom got pregnant with no issue.  Granted I'm bigger than they are, but they are both classified as obese too.  And so what?  Are they or the millions of other obese women not allowed to have kids?  

Unfortunately, many infertility practices practice such discrimination.  For IVF #1 I was needlessly given an epidural because of my weight.  My current RE had to battle for them to not give me an epidural & just do the routine "knock out" for IVF #2 because of my BMI. I'm not diabetic.  I don't have GERD or apnea.  I was knocked out for oral surgery & for an exploratory lap to look for endo before with no issues.  Hell, before I got married I was actually denied the very same weight loss surgery this study looked into because besides being obese, I have no other medical issues (besides a wonky thyroid & beta thalassemia which have nothing to do with my weight) that would "warrant it" according to the surgeon.

I guess I should just be glad I don't live in the UK where women my size are outright denied IVF.  Hopefully more studies like this will change that policy. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


My parents got a wedding invitation in the mail Saturday.  My cousin (well, dad's cousin's daughter) is getting married twice next year.  Her fiance is from Lithuania & they're having a destination wedding in Jamaica  next May as well as a traditional Lithuanian wedding back in his home town in August.  And while most normal people would say "All inclusive?  Count me in!" I was like "Lithuania"  How cool!".  If you know me you  know I've always been more adventurous than the average person travel-wise.  Granted, I'm also in that 1% of Americans that can actually find Lithuania on a map, but I digress.

Vid was equally intrigued.  I have a friend who lives in Moscow & surely she'd let us crash there for a few days so maybe we could swing by there as well?  And St. Petersburg!  Totally on my bucket list because it's where the Hermitage is located.  And we could fly into St. Petersburg on Iceland Air which means we would have to fly through Iceland & could stop & explore some more of the country!  Then we can take the train to Moscow & into Lithuania!

(Side bar: I get 4 weeks vacation & Vid is off for the whole summer so we could totally do this.  Plus we'd have places to stay for free so long as we bring some hard-to-come-by items from the US in 2 of the 4 places.  Neither of us make a lot of $ but I sign up for every e-mail list known to man so we can do cool stuff for nothing or very little $.  I'm very frugal & find being cheap makes it more fun since you actually get to interact with the locals.  You also get to see the "real" country this way.)

And then my mom reminds me: "You're doing IVF in December, right?"

Me: "Yeah, most likely."

Mom: "Which means if it works you'd be 8 months pregnant @ the time of this wedding & unable to fly."

Me: "Obviously.  But we'll cross that bridge when & if we come to it."

Mom: "I know it's hard, but think positive."

Me: "Yeah, well..."

And then the Patriots blew a big play & we got distracted.

Well, I am trying to be positive, but I'm also preparing myself mentally for the worst yet again.  I'm trying to think of something that will make me happy if this next IVF doesn't work.  Travel is my happiness.  Planning a phantom trip is my fun.  Even to a place like Lithuania.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bye bye, Catholicism.

I meant to post this on Sunday but to say things have been nutty around here would be the understatement of the year.  I'll go into that in a later post, but for now, I have an announcement.  And no, it's not that, though I wish it were.  The announcement is I am officially leaving the Roman Catholic church.

At Mass this past Sunday the priest was giving a homily based on the day's readings which talked about how a man should not be alone & in marriage they become "one in the marital act".  He went into how the church doesn't really do a good job talking to people about healthy relationships & specifically a good sex life within marriage.  I was totally on board with this until he crossed all 4 lanes of traffic & took the exit to Crazy Town.

He then went off about how IVF is sinful because it "removes the marital act".  Excuse me?  Just because we're infertile doesn't mean we don't have sex.  Has infertility affected our sex life?  Sure.  But I still love my husband in both body & mind.  And really, what infertile doesn't wish to simply partake in "the marital act" to get pregnant?  I'd love to get a kid for free, without being pumped full of meds & maybe actually get an orgasm from the whole experience!

It was all I could do not to walk out in the middle of Mass.  What stopped me was the fact I sing in choir & have too much respect for my fellow choir members to cause a scene.  But after this, I am officially done with the Catholic church.  I will be checking out a local Episcopal church this weekend.  Not only are they fine with infertility treatment, they are also "yay for gay" which is another plus in my book.

The only joy I got out of this whole experience is having the knowledge that this very same priest who is so against IVF has baptized at least 2 babies who were conceived that way.  I doubt he is aware of this.  I'd love to tell him to see his reaction, but I also don't want to "out" these people.  I personally think their children are beautifully made by science in the image of  God; why can't he see this?  They are children; that's all.  Not the product of sin, but of a love so great that their parents went through hell to have them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Here we go again...

We met with my RE this morning to talk plans for IVF #3.  The Cliffs Notes version:

Vid needs to have a repeat SA & I will have an endometrial biopsy done.  The last SA he had was about a year ago (before IVF #1) & I've never had an EB.  She's concerned with the 50% fert rate even with ICSI & isn't sure if there may be some immunological issues involved.  She's not sending us off to a Reproductive Immunologist yet though.  No idea if our insurance would even cover that & if it doesn't I don't even want to think about how much that would cost.  

She's also wondering about an implantation issue, hence the EB order, which we will do next cycle.  We know I have beta thalassemia which isn't known to cause infertility but is associated with pregnancy complications (lucky me).  She wonders if my BT may be screwing with my uterine lining just enough to make otherwise beautiful embryos not implant.  Though my BT isn't severe enough to have ever warranted a blood transfusion, we may do one in conjunction with intralipids which are known to help infertiles with implantation problems. 

So, here we go again...