Thursday, 17 October 2013


It occurred to me what a "debbie downer" this blog is right now.  I  never intended to really have a lot of followers. Not really.  Mostly, I think I just wanted a safe place to post my feelings.

I've already been the optimistic positive one, in my early 30's.  I've encouraged others.  I did my time, and felt not only content to do so, but happy I could help others in their difficult times. Actually made me feel better, like there was a meaningful purpose or something, to this crappy thing called infertility.

I always believed that if you just tried hard enough, fought long enough and had enough patience, it would happen. I supose if you are young enough, have enough money and are in it with someone who feels the same as you, then that's still true.  But it's not true for me, not now anyway.

So that's not the purpose of this blog.  I'm truly sorry if you've come here looking for answers.  I have none to give.  No, this blog is for me now.  It's for me to vent my frustration and sadness. I honestly have no where I feel safe to share this.  I can't begin to explain the deep sadness that penetrates my heart, and always will.  I know it doesn't make sense.  I. KNOW.  This.  But that's just the way it is. And it's something I will just have to live with. It's my hope one day I will have peace with it, but I don't think that's the case.  I think I will just learn to live with it. One has to, right?  Or they can just go crazy.

But I also want something positive going out into the universe right now too.  I want the 3 people or so in this world that might find this one blog page to know how desperately I love my children.  I would do anything for them. And they are the only ones, right now, that do pierce that sadness and make  life have meaning.  I look at them, and they simply take my breath away.  They just make me smile.

I may be 44.  It may be that no one would choose me as an adoptive mom, but let me tell you - and them -  despite what anyone may think, I *AM* a good mom. And I would be a great mom to anyone who did choose me with that privilege.

I recently started to homeschool my kids.  I felt like not only was the local school not getting the job done, some teachers were also actually emotionally abusive.  My brilliant son, who tests off the charts for intelligence was actually being led to believe he was not very bright, and was made to feel bad about himself...

over my dead body, people!

So I've been working with them at home with help from a cyber school for 6 weeks now and the change is nothing short of miraculous, in both my older two.  (youngest is still just a little too young for serious school) Confidence is way up, grades for  both kids are A+ in all subjects,  But best of all, I am getting to know my children on a whole new level.  They are not 4 and 5 anymore.  They are little people with thoughts, opinions and very complete personalities that I am learning more and more about each day.  I feel honored to be so involved in their little lives, leading them to become strong adults and I hope,  to fulfill their dreams one day.

I work like a slave to make this happen and I am grateful for the chance to do so. I am grateful that I can drive them an hour a way in the middle of a school day so they can take a hands on robotics class.  I am grateful I can have them learn to swim in the middle of the day, in a semi private lesson  and not be forced to have them settle for taking two 1 or 2 turns in the water with 8 others kids over a 30 minute period after a traditional school day.  I am grateful that I get to sit with my daughter at the dining room table and help her learn Mandarin Chinese and watcher her take pride in one part of her dual culture/citizenship. I am grateful that our school room is filling up with art work I get to teach them, not just see once a year at an art show (today's project?  An Africa Kota mask made with cardboard and tinfoil)  I am grateful that even though it's 9:16 at night, and I have three loads of laundry to fold and I'm tired, that my priority tonight is actually making a fossil with oven baked clay and a leaf for a science lab tomorrow.

I am simply grateful for these three wonderful blessings, and I love being their mom.  I know it's what I was meant to do with my life.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


There's nothing to report for now.  My body is a mess as usual.

I gained 10 pounds with this last IVF and had been unable to lose it all summer.  Turns out my tsh was in the toilet and my insulin level was crazy.  As the put it "your metabolism is at a standstill"

I was in pain most of the summer because of the tsh level.  Horrible joint pain in every joint in my body, even my fingers, toes and elbows.  Endo said it could be from the gluten free diet or it could just be a result of the IVF. She's seen it happen before.

I've been switched from.112 of synthroid to .60 of armour (natural form from a pig instead of fake synthroid) and as of last week, the pain is significantly better, and I'm starting to lose weight but my tow tsh levels are still a mess.  One level apparently likes the high doses, the other level likes the low doses. So the bottom line is  I spent about $23, 000 on an  IVF package I may never get to finish using.

To make matters worse, my kids desperately want another sibling now. How did that happen?  They mention it quite often, like I'm not in enough emotional pain already.  Now I've let them down too.

Seems like all  I do these days is let people down. Like I said, not much to report right now.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Egg transfer and results

Sorry it's taken so long to update, but well, it's been a long several weeks.  I had to get my mind strong enough to actually be able to write this.  Obviously it does not end well.

I'll start with the egg transfer.  When I got there, they had me change into the usual hair covering, hospital gown and footies and wait in the surgical area.  I had my bladder uncomfortably full and was frankly miserable.  The bloating had gotten so bad, my stomach was protruding and I had gained 5 lbs. IT pushed against my bladder making me regularly miserable.  It was so bad, I couldn't stand up directly without pain, I had to slowly straighten as my insides made room for everything to shift.

There was another girl waiting so I was really miserable. I actually had to get up and pee a couple of times just to relieve the pressure.  They gave me a cup so I would know when to stop. I couldn't imagine waiting for another 1/2 hour. For whatever reason, they took me first.  I was grateful.

I got in there and it was the same as the mock transfer and retrieval, except I was fully awake.  I had forgotten to take pain reliever before hand which was a big mistake.  It's not that the procedure really hurts, but with the bloating, it really did.  I was so miserable.  She had to push down on the bloating to with the ultrasound device.  I just did deep breathing and waited for it to be over.  It didn't help that he tried twice with the speculum only to discover he needed a longer one....boy was that fun.

They did show me on the screen where the transferred embryo was, which was kind of cool, and gave me an ultrasound picture of it.  I was startled at how my heart tugged looking at it.  I so wished it would turn into my child.

I left with instructions to take it easy, no sex for two weeks and no physical activity for a couple of days.  No lifting more than 5 lbs.

As it turned out, the bloating just got worse.  Within days I was adding  more weight and by my check up Mon (transfer was Sat) I could barely move I was so bloated.  They ended up taking a "blood count" to see if my  blood was getting too thick, putting me at risk for clotting and renal failure.

You see, the bloating is really water from the blood stream collecting in your abdomen. The blood count would tell them if if I was any danger.  If that was the case, they would send me to hospital to have a catheter put in with a bag outside my body I could wear under my clothes.  Apparently, some RE's choose to drain with a needle.  However, my RE said this was just a quick fix as the fluid would just collect again.  The catheter would be a much better solution.

At this point I was on almost complete bed rest.  I just couldn't move very well.  Between Sat and Mon I had gained another 5 lbs and I just looked bad from what people told me.

I drank tons of gaterade and ate salty foods to help draw the fluid out.  This was bad advice for me.  AS it may have worked for some woman, it just made me retain the fluid.  I stopped the salty foods and added green tea to the mix and the fluid started draining on it's own.  By Wed's scan, I was much better and had lost 4 lbs.

The bloating slowly got better and better, but it took a good three weeks before I was closer to my normal body size.  Still seem to be holding onto a couple of those pounds though.  I think all that inactivity made me gain real weight - bummer.

Unfortunately, it just gets worse.  The embryo did not implant, and to add insult to injury ALL the embryos died.  Nothing made it freezing so the FET's are off the table too, unless we try to find a donor egg somewhere.  yeah good luck with that.  Like someone wants to give a 44 year old mother their egg.  Just like adoption, no one would choose me.

I have been heartsick and discouraged.  I feel like it's a sign I am too old that not even one made it to freezing.  My heart is so broken and I just don't understand why God has placed this burden on me.

I've decided to take at least one month off to let my body heal and recover.  I may even take two, but not more than that.  It's so scary going into this next cycle, the only other "fresh" try in our package because now I have the knowledge that I can go through all this, and not have an embryo even make it to transfer stage.  I've got to work up my courage for that kind of disapointment and heartbreak.

I keep telling myself it's just not fair and once again I am resenting all the women around me who can simply decide to have another child. Why do I have to wait for a miracle that won't even happen?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

12 little embies...

No transfer today which I frankly suspected.  The indication all along was a 5 day transfer and I feel better about that.

We didn't lose any last night, although one has only divided into 3 cells, so it will probably arrest.  The remainder are:

4 four cell
1 five cell
2 six cell and
4 eight cell

This isn't mine, but this is what an 8 cell looks like:

Was so happy to see some 8 cell in the mix. If they all make it to Sat, that means we can have three ledt over for FET tries.

They are all a grade 2.   I asked her if there was anything to indicate the quality yet, and she didn't really have a good answer for me.  I know grade 1 is the best, and grade 4 the worst, but still don't really know much other than some, not all  are starting to show signs of fragmentation.

Fragmentation is when the cells divide unevenly leaving some leftover over "junk" cytoplasm.  The higher level of fragmentation, the lower chances of pregnancy.  Anything with a grade of 3 or 4 is highly fragmented and likely won't make it to blastocyst stage.

Here's a visual on the grading:

I wish I knew more about how each one graded, but they seemed kind of busy today.  I know now what they meant by waiting on pins and needles for the embryologist report.  It's going to be a long time til Sat morning!!!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

2 days post egg retrieval

Not a lot to report today, 2 days after the retrieval.  Embryology called early, around 7:45 to report that of the 15 eggs that fertilized 12 had survived and cells were dividing normally.  We again had the discussion about not wanting twins and she marked it in the file as there are three embryologists there.

She advised that they would tentatively schedule a transfer for tomorrow just in case.  But she did seem to echo that because we only want to transfer 1, it will most likely be Sat.  I find out tomorrow morning at 8am if we're a go.

I did wake up feeling significantly better.  I was glad I had showered the night before because while I was feeling better, I was still achey and I had to make some eggs for my share of the breakfast.

That was easy...spray non stick spray in a muffin tin, crack in eggs, add some leftover diced ham and a sprinkle of cheese, bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 350 oven.

After the meeting, I was really worn out and feeling pain again, so I came home and did nothing but drop off and pick up preschool, and order pizza online.

and so ends cd 28.

The "little" wait

So the day after retrieval, I was definitely sore.  I was able to get up and make a simple breakfast and pack lunches, but I was grateful for Rob's assistance with this.

Embryology called to let me know 15 of the 22 eggs fertilized.  They wanted to know if we were transferring 1 or 2 and I said, "that kind of depends on what you tell us about the embryo's."  I made it clear we really didn't want twins, so were leaning toward one.  But at the same time, wanted the best chance.  She said, based on that, they would probably lean towards a 5 day transfer but we would just have to wait and see.

They had said I could "go back to work" but I just don't see how anybody really could.  I mean, it wasn't pain like my c-section, but it was still tough to move around, bend over, walk very much.  I had so much going on that day....DAisy girls scouts (I am the leader), Set up for MOPS (I was supose to show the new coordinators for the next year what to do) and Josh's string concert.

Nope, nope and NOPE!

I stayed home and rested.  I got up just enough to feed myself and Noah.  Pulled a pre-cooked sliced ham from the freezer and called that dinner and rested.  I just wasn't up to it.

I was starting to get frustrated by not feeling much better, so I called another MOPS mom who I knew had been through IVF a couple of times to get her thoughts and experiences.  I felt so much better after because everything she described was exactly what I was feeling.  The bloat is unbelievable.  For those of you who have been pregnant, it's like that really heavy pressure you feel below your tummy during the last month of your pregnancy....  And there is so much stimulation, it presses against your bladder, so you have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes.  And since you are suppose to drink 80 oz of water it ends up you need to pee every 5 minutes.

I was hoping I would feel better the next day, so I could go to the last Mops meeting of the year before summer break.  and I was looking forward to seeing how many son to be embryos would survive the night.  They said the wait for that can be brutal, but that's OK.  It's just a little wait.  The big wait will be the "dreaded 2ww."And so ends cd 27.

The Big day: Egg Retrieval!

I had set two alarms to go off at 6:00 so we could leave by 6:45 for our 8:30 retrieval.  I didn't have much to do.  I had showered the night before, and I wasn't allowed to eat, drink,  wear makeup or jewelry.  So I got dressed, took the nail polish off (so anesthesiology could watch my color) and freshened up my hair, and sat to wait for hubby.

The drive was uneventful and because we left so early, we had a bit of a wait.  (the only way to get there is a very unpredictable freeway that has a habit of bottlenecking when you least need it to!).  Once they called my name, they were again, super sweet and gentle.  I again went to the changing room to strip down, gown up, get my little footies on and hair cover.  Then I went to my cubicle with my nice warmed hospital blanket.

can I just say again, I want one of those blanket warmers!

So they spent about a half hour taking some more medical history, taking vitals and then setting up the iv line for the anesthesia.  AS usual, they couldn't find a vein, my right arm which was always so easy is completely scared (the veins, not the outside skin) and the left is so hard.  She tried my left hand, it bled all over and then burned whenever they ran fluid so out that came.  Then they tried my right hand - nope!  Right arm again?  nope, just too scarred.  Finally on the fourth try, they got my left arm.  In their defense, I really am a hard stick.  So was my mom, so was my grandma (I'll have to ask my sister if she is as well!)

Then it was hurry up and wait.  While I was initially very nervous, I calmed quickly.  AFter all, they were putting me out for the hard part, right?  I mean, how bad could it be?

In the mean time....TMI report - the usual protocol is for the Dad to provide the sample for fertilization AT the surgical center.  But because we lived within an hour, DH was allowed to do this at home.  I pushed for this because for obvious reasons, that part of it makes Dh really uncomfortable.  Thank goodness I did, because they didn't realize he had brought it, and started to show him to the room.  It was awful!  Very clinical, a pad on the chair and a tv on the wall.  Um, ewe.  He said another Dad to be was walking "the walk of shame" either into or out of the room. glad I was able to push for him to do at home!

When it was my time, they walked me into the OR and I took my seat on the deluxe stirrup table - yay me-  I described for the hysteroscopy.  The only difference this time was they strapped my legs to the stirrups, I'm guessing so I couldn't fall off the table since I would be out.

At the point, the anesthesiologist told me she was starting and I would start to feel woozy or dizzy.  Somewhere right in between was what I felt.  I remember wondering what I should do.  I was very sleep from not sleeping the night before, or was that the meds?  I didn't want to fall asleep on them if they had more questions.  Then the anesthesiologist said she was going to give me the next medicine and shortly thereafter I was out.  I don't even remember Dr. G coming in.

What I do remember is them calling my name and telling it was time to wake up.  I woke up pretty easily and was just a but unsteady on my feet.  They walked me to my chair and had me just slowly recover.  Thank goodness Rob was allowed to come back and sit with me.  I felt very emotional and was crying but that was more because I just needed my husband, and we were having a tough time at the moment (not for a public forum, sorry!)  I did feel sore and bloated, but not in a really bad way.  I felt like I could bear it pretty easily.

They told me almost immediately that they were able to retrieve 22 eggs!  Wow!  That is just fantastic, from what I understand, for a woman my age.  I was over the moon happy!

Rob had a lot of questions though, but my Dr. G is such a great man, so kind.  He said, he had to do the next patient, but to just give him a few minutes and he would talk with him.  It was a retrieval for someone else, so he had to go but when he came back in about 15 minutes, he pulled a chair over and gave Rob his undivided attention. He didn't leave til all Rob's questions were answered. I'm telling you, if you're in Phila area, go see Dr. Gocial, RMA of Philadelphia.

After that, Rob seemed more at peace with the responses and it was time to go home.  He helped me get dressed - I was tender for sure, but OK.  Then they had Rob pull the car around to  a side entrance that was easier for me to get to, and they walked me to the car. After that, it was 24 hours of strict bed rest - bathroom breaks only.

I was definitely achey, and really tired, so I spent most of the day sleeping. I started the antibiotic and anti-rejection medicines that day - the end of cd 26.