Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Next Step

J and I met with my RE yesterday to discuss the last cycle and our next steps. He seemed really nervous and on edge the whole time we were talking about my recent chemical pregnancy and the possible causes. He very tentatively said "maybe it's time to revisit the topic of surrogacy?" I finally let him off the hook and explained that the last miscarriage was my final breaking point and that we'd already decided to move forward with using a gestational carrier. You could just see his body language immediately change. He was clearly hoping that I'd be prepared for it, but was worried of my fragile emotional state.

I pulled out our contracts and told him about my cousin. He asked me all about her--age, reproductive history, pregnancies, miscarriages, # kids, age of kids, etc... He said the first thing he would want to do is the SHG and mock transfer. His only concern is any scarring from her c-section, which he assured me is likely not a problem, but would need to be checked first. He wants to do this test sometime between cd 4-8 and as luck would have it she is expecting af within the next week! So, we'll be able to take the first step within 2wks! When we get the all clear we will schedule the psych eval and we'll be on our way. We have a phone conference schedule with a WI surrogacy attorney next week too! When I asked the soonest we could do an ET he said if her cycle was where we'd like it then we could probably do an ET in December! If not, we will definitely do a FET in January! :D

We talked for a long time about the quality of my two remaining snowbabies (of the original 8). One of them is in his opinion is the best embryo of the bunch (on par if not better than the embryo that resulted in Myles)--it's a day 5 blast graded 1/1 (A+). The other is a day 6 blast also graded 1/1. Both of these embryos were frozen singly rather than in pairs like the others, which is why we didn't use them in any of the FETs. They were "saving" them in case we thawed the couplets and one died (we transferred 2 every time), so we could replace it with one of the single blasts. So far the 6 frozen blasts have survived the thaw and retained their original high gradings. So, my RE thinks we should go ahead with a FET with these 2 blasts and is very confident we will get a sticky bfp! When I asked him about needing to do another ER he said you won't need to. I feel really good about this and am so ready to go forward with the FET!!

Please keep your fingers crossed and send up some prayers that K's uterus is perfect and free of scarring from her last c-section!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crazy P-T Conferences

Just when I thought I'd made it through parent-teacher conferences without being yelled at I was wrong! I had a very upset mom come to my table tonight to yell at me for about 15 minutes. It was crazy! Her son is great and is doing very well in my biology class. So, why was she yelling at me you ask? Because of an obnoxious kid who's in the class. The kid she was complaining about is always out of line and gets consequence after consequence. She says he is disrupting the learning environment and should be removed from the classroom. Some days I do remove him from the classroom other days I move him to the back of the room. Some days I give him a detention and on and on .... I'm always doing something to try to modify his inappropriate behaviors, but it's tough when someone doesn't acknowledge ANY responsibiilty for their actions! Teaching high school students is great most days, but some days it's extremely challenging. Those people who think they can do my job better are always invited to give it a try, but they have to let me watch!

When I'm feeling less drained and more coherent (I'm on my 2nd glass of wine, which I desperately needed after tonight) I will post an update on my appointment with my RE today discussing our next steps. The surrogacy ball has started to roll ...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Miracle Babies

I just watched this touching love story video of a little baby boy named Eliot who was born with Trisomy 18 and lived for 99 days. Eliot was featured on Oprah's Miracle Babies program today. This video moved me beyond words. I bawled and bawled during the video and have been bawling ever since I watched it. The tears that are flowing are for my miracle baby Myles, for Eliot, and for all of the other miracle babies and their parents. Although this baby was different than Myles in so many ways, he was also very similar. Myles miraculously managed to nestle into my less than optimal womb. Myles managed to stay active in my womb despite lacking oxygen and nutrients. Myles was not expected to live much beyond birth, but he fought for 26 days. Myles was our little miracle baby who we love and miss more and more with each passing day! Honoring and remembering all miracle babies!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Angel Mommy Blog Award

Many thanks to Nikki at I'll Fly Away for the Angel Mommy Blog Award. We're both Angel mommies who know each other's pain and anguish. This award will be passed on to other Angel mommies who chronicle their feelings in the blogosphere. Please read the following poem and remember that we are Mommies who love our babies just as much as other mommies who's angels are with them here on Earth.


Don't Tell Me Please

Don't tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too,
Please don't tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true,
Please don't tell me my son is in a better place,
Though it is true, I want him here with me,
Don't tell me someday I'll hear his voice, see his face,
Beyond today I cannot see,
Don't tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot,
Don't tell me to face the fact he is gone,
Because denial is something I can't stop,
Don't tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more,
Don't tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I'll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while,
And please don't hesitate to say his name,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.

Friday, October 24, 2008


This is a gift I received from K, our amazing future gestational carrier, which accompanied a card saying "Dream about a positive experience and an additional member of your family." I absolutely love it and have to admit that I've been doing a lot of dreaming lately!

K and I went out for dinner and chatted about surrogacy. I am amazed at how comfortable and at ease she is with this idea. K makes me calmer and more and more excited about going down this path. K kept making comments about "when she's pregnant with our baby" and it made me smile. Previously I was worried about being envious/jealous of someone carrying my baby and much to my surprise there was not one moment when I felt anything but gratitude towards her.

I find myself at a loss for words to express my gratitude and appreciation to K and her family. J and I often talk about how it's nearly impossible to thank someone enough for providing such an amazing gift. We just hope K knows what a wonderful person she is and how much we love her!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seriously, is everyone pregnant?

Okay, so I'm irritated and bitter today. I'm finally bleeding and cramping, so I think I'm miscarrying.

Today a friend announced her pregnancy to me (she's about 8wks along), so that makes 7 pregnant friends. Yep, 7 people in my close circle to go on and on about their future plans with a baby. I feel like everyone in my world is pregnant and/or has newborns. All I frickin' hear about is crap about the aches and pains of pregnancy, which of course I'd give anything to have. I hear the constant talk about baby names, nursery plans, what life will be life when the baby arrives, etc... It takes everything in me not to shout in their face that there are NO guarantees in life. Getting a positive pee stick doesn't mean that you will have a rising beta. Having rising betas doesn't mean that you will see an embryo at the first ultrasound. Once you see the heartbeat doesn't mean that you are no longer at risk for having a miscarriage. Entering the 14th week doesn't mean that there's no longer a risk for anything bad happening. Starting labor at term doesn't mean you will give birth to a living baby! I wish I could live in their naive world where once I got a + hpt I could start decorating the nursery and picking out baby names. Unfortunately my reality is quite different!

Two of my close friends have newborns (and most of the others have toddlers), so I get to hear how perfect their lives are and how absolutely in love they are. They tell me like I don't frickin' have a clue about the love a mother has for her child. This hurts me the most! I fell madly in love with Myles too when I first met him and continue to love him just as much even though he's no longer with me. How dare they treat me like I'm not a mother and that I don't understand a mother's love. I should have a 9 month old baby, but instead I visit my son at his grave. Yes, I am bitter and jealous today (well who are we kidding, most days).

Oh and I forgot to mention that I'm having a dinner party with girls from work. Among the girls attending are two pregnant girls (one who's about to pop and the other is the one who just announced her pregnancy) and two new mommies. The rest of course are mommies too. So, the whole dinner party will be spent hearing about pregnancy, newborns, and motherhood. I can't really "not go" because I'm hosting it at my house. It's going to be horrible!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Myles's Grave for the Fall

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Renting" a Womb

I can not thank all of you enough for your continued support! You women are truly amazing!

Well from the title of my post you can probably guess that we are taking a new path on this journey. J and I decided that it's time to move on to surrogacy--we are emotionally exhausted and want to start living our lives again. Honestly J was ready to take this path after Myles's death, but I wasn't ready yet. I needed to try with my body again. Now after two more losses I'm feeling like it's time and I'm ready. I'm a little nervous because it's something new and completely unknown, but more than anything I feel a sense of hope that has been absent since Myles died.

I really, really wanted to experience pregnancy again. I wanted to feel the special connection to the growing baby moving inside of me. I will mourn the loss of this. However, I will celebrate knowing that my baby is growing in a safer environment. Also, I will hold on tighter to the memories of Myles moving and kicking inside of me. This will be something special that I shared only with Myles. This is one of the amazing gifts that Myles gave me. My future children and I will not have this, but they will have their own special beginnings.

My wonderful cousin, K, her supportive husband, T, and her two boys want to make our dreams come true. They are ready whenever we want to move forward. J and I decided that we are ready to start as soon as we can. We establised that K's insurance covers a surrogacy pregnancy, which was a huge relief, and I contacted an attorney to discuss the legalities of using a surrogate in WI. Fortunately WI is "surrogacy-friendly" and makes establishing parental/legal rights to the baby quite simple. We are hoping that K can get in for her testing at my reproductive clinic in November. In the meantime the four of us will meet to go through the contracts, which should be fairly simple since K and I spent several hours discussing everything this week. She and I are meeting again this week to talk more. K is our angel--our angel of hope!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day

Please remember all the babies and their parents who have been lost today. Join J and I in lighting a candle at 7pm tonight to remember Myles.

Mommy and Daddy miss you and think about you all the time! We love you, Myles!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another loss

Beta #4 = 35 = Miscarriage #4

I wish that the numbers hadn't risen. I had my time to emotionally deal with the loss and then the numbers rose. I was given a small sense of hope and I played into it. Why on earth I even considered that this pregnancy would go anywhere is beyond me. I should no better by now. I'm a recurrent miscarrier. My body kills my babies.

The last two miscarriages have made me miss Myles even more ... to think that somehow, some way he managed to stay put in my horrid uterus and then he fought against all odds and died of pneumonia of all things. Myles was my little fighter and he should have made it.

I hate my body and I hate the universe!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pay It Forward

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a fellow blogger, Dora at ISO the Golden Egg, who wanted to do something kind for someone who was having a rough week. Dora had received a nice gift from another blogger when she was feeling down and out, so she wanted to pay it forward. I had just posted about my not so happy birthday and how much I was missing Myles. Dora read my update on Lost and Found and thought I was the perfect person to cheer up. Dora contacted me and told me of her desire to send me a pay it forward gift. I was so touched and brought to tears by the kindness and generosity of a woman who at the time was for all practical purposes a complete "stranger". Now I call her a friend. Dora and I share a common bond, infertility, and unfortunately we know each other's pain. It's easy for us "infertiles" to read posts by one of our own and truly feel the heartache that resonates from their words.

I anxiously awaited the arrival of my special gift and was so excited when it arrived on Thursday. The beautiful bracelet (pictured above) with it's appropriate message was specifically selected by Dora for me. Wow, what an amazing gift! A hand-made bracelet made by Second Sister that says "Expect Miracles". Throughout my almost 4 year struggle with infertility I've gathered up hope only to be crushed over and over again. The death of my son, Myles, almost 8 months ago left me feeling hopeless. Although I've managed to find some hope through my grief journey, it's still very difficult most days to remain optimistic and to think that any future miracle will happen for me. This bracelet came at a time when I need to stay positive and expect miracles.

Thank you Dora for being an amazing, compassionate, empathetic, and generous woman. To keep your generosity going I plan to pay it forward to someone in the blog world this week!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beta #3

The beta level today was 230, so it's still increasing. However, I was hoping for a much higher level. My previous beta was 101 on Monday morning. This means that my doubling time is 2.52 days, which is within the "normal doubling time of 48-72 hours, yet I still worry. I know, I know I should just be happy that I'm pregnant and that for all practical purposes the pregnancy is still progressing. My frickin' history makes me over the top anxious about everything!

I called my local ob/gyn clinic to get the results, so I haven't talked with my reproductive clinic yet. I'm sure they will call me later today. I think I'll ask for another beta on Monday. Actually maybe I can get them to call in the beta to the hospital, so I can have it on Saturday or Sunday?!

So far today I'm not having any additional bleeding. I have a very, very scant amount of brown spotting on my panty liner, but didn't see much on my Endometrin applicator when I inserted it this morning. Of course I run to the bathroom every 5 minutes to check for bleeding. Thank goodness I'm at home today and tomorrow! We have teacher's conventions and can opt to work at home, so I'm home doing some grading (well I'm supposed to be) and am planning to work on some new assessments for upcoming units.

My 1st u/s is scheduled for 10/23/08, which seems like forever away! J is going to be out of town that whole week, so I'll have to go by myself. I thought about taking my mom, but she's a huge worry wart and would probably contribute to my anxiety. I may ask a close friend to come or I'll put on my "iron" and go by myself.

I need to do some deep breathing today and need to go get my "Panic attack" aromatherapy oil and my meditation cd. I think this little bean (and Mommy) is in need of some extra prayers, so if you are the praying type please send up some extra prayers today. If you could direct them to St. Anthony, the Saint of Miracles, that would be great!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Well of course just when I finally think wow I'm pregnant again I have bleeding. At a convention today I had a slight amount of pink spotting on my panty liner, but nothing for the rest of the day. I was having mild overall cramping, which I have had on and off throughout the later part of the 2ww. I also had this in my first pregnancy and with Myles, but it makes me worry. Just a little bit ago I went to the bathroom and my panty liner was covered in bright red blood. Not just a drop, but rather the amount you'd have if you had your period. My breasts hurt a lot today, which I was taking as a good sign, but now I'm convinced that I'm dealing with an impending miscarriage. I called my clinic with the spotting earlier today and requested another beta, which they agreed to do to ease my worries (or in my opinion confirm a miscarriage). I am a total wreck and not ready for this roller coaster.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Beta #2

Wow, I am in complete shock! Recall my 1st beta was only 19 on Friday. My 2nd beta today came back at 101! My clinic is very pleased with this number and said that they've seen low first betas shoot up with FETs. They also said I may have had late implantation. So, as of today I am still pregnant and it seems to be progressing. :)

It's weird because I spent the whole weekend under the impression that I was having y 4th miscarriage. I went through all the emotions and was prepared for the dropping beta today. The news came as a huge surprise to both J and me. We know that this is still early and anything can happen, but for now we will try to appreciate that we are pregnant again!

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, understanding, compassion, and encouragement. I appreciate all of you who read my blog! ((HUGS))

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ramblings about another impending loss

I appreciate everyone's continued prayers and for continuing to hope for this pregnancy. It means a lot to me. I have heard and do know that others have had low betas and gone on to have viable pregnancies and healthy babies. But, I have a VERY hard time believing that I'll be one of them. Things like that just don't happen for me. When something looks grim it usually ends up being just that, grim.

Last night and this morning my symptoms were/are vanishing. I no longer have the pangs in my breasts, but rather notice they are ever so slightly sore from PIO. No cramping whatsoever to speak of. I'm guessing the first day I felt like I knew I was pregnant (6dp5dt) was when my blood levels reached their peak and now I'm guessing they are on the downslide.

I'm struggling with people's suggestions of trying Lovenox, baby aspirin, etc.. I am already using all of those things. I once said in another blog post that if it's available I've probably already tried it and I wasn't kidding! The only thing we haven't pursued at this point is the "black box" immune testing (e.g., NK cells)/treatments (e.g., IVIG) that my RE won't touch with a ten foot pole. J and I discussed doing a phone consult with a reproductive immunologist to hear his/her thoughts. For $300 the RI will review our records, chat with us for about an hour, and make a recommendation. This recommendation would include any future testing and/or treatments based on those findings. We figure a consult can't hurt anything.

My gut tells me something more is going on. I wonder about the immune stuff, but I also wonder about other problems related to my lining issues. Being a biologist gives me all sorts of hypotheses of what could be going wrong. Since I keep having chemical pregnancies where the embryo is dying after implantation, I think that possibly there could be a problem with blood vessel recruitment (angiogenesis) during implantation. When the embryo attaches and begins to burrow/implant into the lining "it" sends out signals that cause blood vessels to grow to it, which ultimately supplies it's life line. So, if the embryo can't recruit enough blood vessels it will die early on. Theoretically, if blood flow to the uterus is weak (like I speculate it is with me given my linings never plump up huge) then angiogenesis could be poor. (BTW ... in my opinion this could also be connected to my early, severe PE/HELLP.)

So, how do they assess and treat this? I believe they can do uterine artery flow studies to assess blood flow before transfer, but the problem is that there isn't a treatment. I plan to discuss my hypothesis with my RE. If we did the test and it showed limited blood flow, then it might be the information that helps us decide that it's time to move on to a gestational carrier (surrogate). (BTW ... in my opinion this could also be connected to my early, severe PE/HELLP.)

I have been having the worst time with this impending loss. It makes me miss Myles even more and makes me wonder if he will be my only baby. I am struggling with my choice to seemingly "throw away" perfectly good (well superb to be honest) embryos on my horrid, hostile uterus. I'm doing this because I want to carry another baby again and I really think I need to start asking myself what is really important. J and I had a huge discussion about this last night. He doesn't find my desires selfish and thinks it's natural for me to want this, but I keep questioning my actions. If I have a willing and able dear family member and friend with a good, hospitable uterus ready to carry our babies, why don't I step onto that path?! In the end what I really want is for us to parent living children. I'm just holding onto this dream that I can't seem to let go. I have a hard time giving up the amazing experience of pregnancy. I'm jealous to think of someone else feeling my baby(ies) move inside her. I'm envious of that special bond she'd have with them that I wouldn't. I wonder/worry how things would work in the delivery room when the baby(ies) is born. The list goes on and on.

I was hoping and dreaming of getting an opportunity of having a birth story that was much less traumatic and that ended very differently. I am happy and grateful to have had my pregnancy experience with Myles. It is something that I will forever cherish. But, it's hard to think it may be my only experience. I often wonder if I was blessed with Myles to make my dreams come true. To let me experience pregnancy. To let me feel him move inside me. To let me nourish my baby with my body. To let me hold and cuddle the most amazing, most beautiful little person imaginable. To let me become a Mom and let J become a Dad. To give us the strength, inspiration and hope we would need to make difficult decisions in the future.

I often read and reread a quote that a dear friend shared with me and try to figure out what it means for me:

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt

I just wish I knew exactly what that "thing" was.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Stupid nurse

Well one of the nurses at my local ob/gyn clinic just phoned me at the end of 3rd period (I'm not even sure how she got through to me as our phones go to voicemail during school hours?!) and before I could interrupt her to not tell me she blurted out the results of my beta. My beta hcg is only 19. This is the same level as it was with FET #2 and you all know how that ended. I expect this to be chemical #3 and miscarriage #4. I am now convinced that my body WILL kill any perfect embryo that is placed inside it (well except for Myles because he was an amazing little fighter!). Not much more to say.

Self restraint

Hello to all my wonderful, supportive blog readers,

Despite my overwhelming desire to POAS again I didn't. Ahh, self restraint. Well dh hid the tests too, so that may have influenced my decision. On a positive note I still have all of my symptoms, which is encouraging, and I've noticed another positive symptom, constantly erect nipples. Weird, hah?! I had that when I was pregnant with Myles, so I'm taking it as a good sign.

I'm sure you are waiting on pins and needles for my beta results, but you will have to wait until this afternoon. I am trying to exercise self restraint, which is quite difficult for me, by not calling until the end of the school day for my first beta results. This was my compromise to myself. I can't (okay refuse to) wait until Monday, yet I really don't want to find out smack dab in the middle of the school day. Trying to teach for the rest of the day would be nearly impossible in the wake of devastating news or even with great news. So, I will wait until school gets out at 2:30pm today (we have a 15 minute early release for Homecoming). As soon as the bell rings I'll be dialing the clinic's number and will post my results as soon as I get them.

Thanks for waiting with me, encouraging me, and praying for me!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Many thanks for the congrats and well wishes! I appreciate everyone's continued support and encouragement!

So, being the neurotic woman I am I tested again this morning. I was hoping for a darker line to show up, but was disappointed when the line showed up just as light as last night. I'm trying not to read into this, but given my history of chemical pregnancies I'm having a hard time not. I know a line is a line, but I would expect a darker line at 9dp5dt. This makes me wonder/worry if my beta levels are really low. I still "feel" pregnant and have most of the symptoms I listed yesterday, so I'm trying to think positive thoughts.

I have my first beta tomorrow and my 2nd on Monday, but my RE's clinic doesn't call with the results until they have the 2nd beta results. However, I have the blood drawn locally at my ob/gyn's clinic. Last time I called them the day of the 1st beta because I know that legally they can't withhold my medical information from me, so I just asked them to tell me the results of my bloodwork. Of course the triage nurse knows nothing about my infertility clinic's policy, so she told me the results. I think I'll have to "cheat" and do this again tomorrow. I'm hoping for an average beta (notice I'm not asking for it all), but don't have any expectations of hearing good news. Being a recurrent miscarrier sucks and makes being hopeful very difficult!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I finally conquered the pee stick ...

... at 7pm using way too dilute urine, but I saw a faint 2nd line. My instincts were correct and I am indeed BFP!! I used FRER and immediately ran to my neighbor's to have her confirm the presence of a 2nd line (J was at a meeting). I tried to take photos, but I can't zoom in close enough to see the light line. I will retest tomorrow using FMU and am hoping for a darker line!

Although I am very happy and grateful for the BFP, it doesn't mean that I should start picking out names and getting the nursery ready. I've had two chemicals and 1 late 1st trimester miscarriage, so I'm viewing this as the first step in many. Please send tons and tons of sticky dust my way because I need all I can get!

Symptoms on 8dp5/6dt

Okay, my attempts to remain calm and not obsess about potential pregnancy symptoms this cycle have totally gone out the window over the last two days. I am quickly losing control and my obsession is reaching an all time high! I think J is about to kill me (however I think he does enjoy me asking him to look at and touch my breasts every 5 minutes!). I'm dying to test, but fear the pee stick! I promised J that I would wait until today to POAS. He'd actually prefer that I wait for the betas, which are Friday and Monday. Um, hell no will I wait until Monday!

With FET #2 I got a + on FRER at 8dp5dt and this was a chemical pregnancy with low betas. I do not need to be told that the meds, like PIO, can mock pregnancy symptoms because I am fully aware of that. I'm an experienced infertile and veteran IVFer, so I'm not naive. I am simply trying to think that these are positive signs! Positive thinking won't hurt anything! :)

So, here are my symptoms (not in any particular order):

  • Achy breasts (inside out)
  • Overall cramping
  • Backaches
  • Pinching, lower abdominal twinges
  • Sensitivity to smells that causing gagging
  • Swollen, heavy breasts*
  • Light spotting 7dp5dt (only a small amount of pink/light brown)**
  • An overall "feeling" of being pregnant***

*The swollen, heavy breasts were "the sign" at 8dp5dt that led me to believe I was pregnant with Myles.

**Light spotting in IVF is common. It's also common when using suppositories, when on a blood thinner, and/or when pregnant with multiples. Also, it can be a sign of implantation. Since only a small amount was on my panty liner and on my Endometrin applicator once last night, I'm thinking this is a good sign.

***I've been pregnant 4 other times and I've always just felt "different". I have a similar feeling this time.