Monday, June 29, 2009

Beta #1 is in ...

... 953!!!

When I called the local clinic to get the results of beta #1 (my RE won't call until beta #2 is in) my heart was racing and I was sweating. Oh and I was pretending to be K. The first words out of the nurses mouth were "your beta is really good", so I was expecting a strong number like in the 300's. However, I wasn't expecting almost 953 at 11dp5dt! I literally almost fell over and immediately blurted out that it must be twins. The nurse laughed and then I had to explain that we transferred two hatching blastocysts to "my" uterus (remember I was pretending to be K) only 11 days ago. She just said "oh" and I thanked her for her time. I have to admit that I'm thrilled to have such a strong number, but also a little nervous (err, about more than 2). Well the good news is that K is most definitely pregnant and we are definitely expecting at this point! The 2nd beta is on Wednesday, so please think doubling thoughts!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Six Years Ago ...

... on Sunday I married the love of my life, J. It was an absolutely perfect day--one I will never forget. We were married in a beautiful garden in front of 150 of our close friends and family. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. I really couldn't ask for a better day. During the ceremony our good friend, JP, sang and one of the songs he sung was a song that my dear husband, J, had written for me. I knew that J was writing me a song for JP to sing during the ceremony, but I hadn't heard it or read the lyrics until that day. I couldn't contain my emotion as JP sang J's love song for me, which is entitled Chrysallis--it is an absolutely beautiful song. Below is a picture of J and I during the ceremony as JP was singing the song and following the photo are the lyrics to the song.


I saw her standing there moving like she does
Couldnot quite bear the beauty, possibilites before me
Everything is swirling, sweat on my hands
I'm shakin', stealin' glances every chance I get
One lovely lady so divine, so debonair
Talking, conversing, making me so alive.
No words to say, not to articulate,
my heart quietly realizing it's fate.

You wake up in the morning looking for a reason,
Head keeps a turnin', thinkin' about relation.
Hope to see the people leanin' toward the street
Feelin' all the movement, trying to be discreet.
Makes you want to dance and move to your emotions,
Turnin' down the lights, letting off explosions.
Makin' your heart race till you're near the fever,
Knowing she's your baby, knowing that you love her.
There is a time when you're waitin' for a sign,
when the lights go out and it's always four one nine.
Lookin' for a fix, trying to transcend,
Writing a letter you hope to never send.
Hope there is another corner to turn,
where here is more to see, more to learn.
You know this kind of life will no longer suffice,
for livin' with ghosts and priests has its price.

There is a time when you're waitin' for a sign,
when the lights go out and it's always four one nine.
Lookin' for a fix, trying to transcend,
Writing a letter you hope to never send.
Hope there is another corner to turn,
where here is more to see, more to learn.
You know this kind of life will no longer suffice,
for livin' with ghosts and priests has its price.

You wake up in the morning looking for a reason,
Head keeps a turnin', thinkin' about relation.
Hope to see the people leanin' toward the street
Feelin' all the movement, trying to be discreet.
Makes you want to dance and move to your emotions,
Turnin' down the lights, letting off explosions.
Makin' your heart race till you're near the fever,
Knowing she's your baby, knowing that you love her.Of the seasons spring is my favorite.

How it washes our lives of boredom and anxiety winter supplies.
As it wakes us up and opens our eyes.
A cat sleeping on a porch, as birds watch from a nearby tree.
A love has entered my heart that I could not forsee.
People return to the outdoors where they belong
and it seems cupid is playing a fiddle and singing his song.
Two young lovers, two kindred hearts joining as one,
one a daughter and one a son.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beautiful K & Our Totsicles

Today K stopped by when I was doing a big gardening project and I snapped this great photo of K and her boys. K is such a beautiful person inside and out and her boys are both great little guys too! K took another test today, but didn't photograph it. She said that the test was showed a 2nd pink line that was as dark as the control line. She also said she's having periodic low, mild cramping and sort of pinching. Other than that she doesn't feel any pregnancy symptoms yet. So, now we patiently wait for our beta on Monday.

I received a letter from my clinic today indicating that they froze 3 Grade A blasts, so we have a few snowbabies. I was have to admit I was hoping for a few more totsicles, but I won't complain. K is pregnant and we have 3 snowbabies, so life is good!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SJP's surro's got nothin' on K

Not only does K have a uterus to envy she also has some serious mad camera trouble-shooting skills. K played with my camera today and figured out that I had it on some multi-focus setting. She changed it to a single focus setting and was able to take some great photos of the beautiful, darkening hpts!

Today's test (6dp5dt):

The progression of tests: (they are definitely getting darker!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So pregnant

My camera does this annoying auto-focus thing, so I can't get a clear close-up photograph of the tests. However, I think it's pretty obvious that K is pregnant and the tests already show darkening. Take a look for yourself ...

Oh and in case we couldn't tell from the 2 lines K surprised me with this photo (a little blurry, but clearly says "Pregnant"):

Darkening BFP @ 5dp5dt

K took another test at 5am this morning, which was about than 12 hours later, and the test is noticeably darker. She sent me two photos via a text message, which were small and a bit blurry, yet I could see the 2nd line plain as day! I wouldn't even consider it a light line! K tried to photograph it with her camera, but she said it was too blurry. I plan to go over to her house later this afternoon with my camera in tow to photograph both tests. I promise to put them on the blog for ya'll to see. For now take my word that the test line is very obviously there and K is definitely pregnant ... eek! Baby steps towards the finish line!

BTW ... I know that I should be guarded and not excited given our history, but I decided going into this cycle that guarding myself against potential bad news really doesn't make it any less painful. Therefore, I decided that I'm going to enjoy each and every day that K is pregnant with our baby. I'm going to let myself dream about the future even though it may not come to fruition. So for now I'm fantasizing about K having our babies in early March! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

VFP @ 4dp5dt

Do ya'll remember K's new acronym during our last cycle?

VFP = very faint positive

Yep, that's what we have again at 4dp5dt! :) K is a super Type A and came home from work and took a test. I received a phone call while out shopping to keep me from obsessing and she said "guess what? I'm pregnant!" I'm sure she could "hear" the smile on my face through the phone. K said she asked her 7 year old to look at the test to ensure that she wasn't seeing things. He told her that he saw 2 pink lines. K has been trying to email me a photo of the test, but it's not coming through. Once I receive it I'll post the photo of the test!

OMG ... I'm still in shock that we got a bfp so early! Can you see me doing a happy dance? Keep thinking + thoughts for us. We want to see the test get darker and darker until the beta on Monday!

So it begins at 3-4dp5dt ...

... the obsessing and worrying that is. Last night I spent a couple hours on the internet looking at photos of high-quality blasts to compare to mine, reading about pregnancy rates with hatching blasts, and looking at hpt pics at 4-5dp5dt. I am officially now in my "normal" obsessive 2ww mode--uggh! I am incredibly anxious and I can't stop thinking about all of the possibilities, both good and bad. I sent K a text late last night asking if she was feeling any symptoms yet and this morning I awoke to her response that she doesn't feel anything yet. Although I know this isn't unusual for being only 4dp5dt, I feel defeated and convinced that the cycle didn't work. Now don't get too worried about me because this is part of the normal ups and downs for me in the 2ww. I haven't lost hope or anything crazy like that, but rather am working through my fears. I'm finding it really hard to prepare for the worst case scenario--a bfn! I haven't had a bfn in any of the other 4 IVF/FET cycles, so I'll be quite shocked to get one with such high-quality, fresh blasts.

Last cycle K's (.)(.) were sore on 4dp5dt, which is today, but she says that according to her journal she didn't notice it until later in the day. If she doesn't feel any tenderness tonight, I know I'm going to be sad. However, I know it doesn't mean a bfn. There are plenty of girls who don't have much in the way of symptoms, but still get a bfp. In fact, I didn't notice symptoms when I was pregnant with Myles until around 9dp5dt when my (.)(.) appeared swollen and the areola were darker and enlarged. So, I need to remain hopeful no matter how she's feeling in the next couple of days. K called to tell me that she's worried about the lack of sore (.)(.), but mentioned that she feels bloated sort of the feeling before af arrives. I told her that could be a good sign! I reminded K (and let's be honest me too) that some girls don't get any symptoms until much later. The plan is for K to POAS tomorrow, which makes me sick to my stomach to think about, so please think + thoughts for us! Please share your 2ww stories with us.

Note to self ... must find things to occupy my free time (which is abundant as I'm on summer vacation) for the rest of the week, so I don't spend every waking hour online obsessing!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

J will always be a Daddy

We Have a Son

You weren’t supposed to be a boy and you weren’t
supposed to arrive so soon. Right from the beginning
we knew you were special.

We have a son with a sense of humor.

From the moment we saw you we knew you were ours.
With daddy’s (incredibly) good looks and mommy’s
fighting spirit how could we not know?

We have a son who possesses the best of our qualities.

Hour after hour day after day you defy the odds.
We get to know you better, you prove the doctors wrong.

We have an exceptional son.

You let mommy do your cares, you listen intently while
daddy doles out promises. You make a mother’s dreams come
true with your touch, you make a father exult.

We have a son willing to share.

While you rest your mother plans for her next visit and your
father shouts your name from the rooftops. You have already
touched so many peoples’ lives you are truly an inspiration.

We all have a son.

You fought ‘till the end making your parents so very proud.
You will always be here with us in our hearts, in our thoughts,
in our actions and in our dreams.

We will always have a son.

—Your Proud Daddy (J)

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's me "K", laying flat and rubbing my belly....

Hello everyone! Can you believe it, cycle #2 is already under way, the waiting game has begun and I am so totally PUPO!

I had a great experience yesterday, it was so calm and perfect. The embryo's looked perfect and the fact that one was already hatching, it all just made me feel like things were promising! I stayed in my bed all day yesterday but today I wandered to the recliner and am kicked back, surfing the net, enjoying some TV time (which is something I NEVER do)! My oldest son whom is 7 is home taking care of me today! He packed for up North (we are leaving tomorrow AM) and has be doing anything I request, what a star he is!

Niki made us two days worth of great food and treats, my boys a fun basket and me an absolutely fabulous bed rest basket! She is TOO KIND and I am so grateful you are all here to support her, I love to watch/read how you all learn from each other, you are an amazing group of girls and I wish nothing but the best of luck to you all!

So now, let the waiting game begin!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Just as I had hoped the ET was perfect. K and I wore the cute surrogacy t-shirts I made us, which everyone seemed to get a kick out of, and we had fun! K's penthouse uterus was fluffy and readily accepted the new tenants--two Grade A+ blasts (i.e., Grade 1.1 at my clinic, which is the highest score they give). One of the embryos was hatching (pictured below on the top right) when the photo was taken an hour before the transfer. The embryologist expected the other embryo to be hatching by the time of the transfer. Both of my embabies are absolutely beautiful and although I'm biased K, Dr. S, and the entire embryology team at our clinic agreed.

Much to my surprise all 10 embryos were still growing today. The clinic froze one blast today and is watching the other 7 blasts until tomorrow. They anticipate freezing at least one of those embryos, but aren't sure about the others. My clinic has very high standards for the embryo cryopreservation--only embryos graded 2.2 or higher with 1.1 being the highest are frozen. This means that they only freeze embryos graded A's and B's. I have to admit that this is hard for me to stomach given that many women get pregnant with lesser quality embryos, but there's not much I can do about it. Honestly I just try not to think about them throwing out my embryos graded below a 2.2.

I felt completely calm today, which is pretty unusual for me, so I'm taking this as a positive sign. I am nervous to say it, but I'll whisper it ... I'm feeling very good about our prospects this cycle. Both K and I are full of hope! Dr. S was optimistic about our chances of a pregnancy with our first transfer and is even more confident that this transfer will result in a pregnancy. Our betas are 6/29 and 7/1, but K will POAS well before the betas (I stocked her with 8 tests)! We are both anxious to see a + hpt!

Me and K in the lobby of the clinic sporting our t-shirts.
K waiting to accept her new tenants.

Me, K (with embryos inside), and Dr. S after the transfer.

Me, K, two of the embryologists, Allison and Will, after the transfer.

Me, K, and the embryology team after the transfer.

K doing the post-transfer acupuncture session.

Right now K is at home resting--they give Val.ium, which made her a bit sleepy on the ride home. My clinic requires 48hrs of bedrest following the transfer, so I made a fun bedrest basket of goodies (e.g., snacks, magazines, novels, DVDs, aromatherapy lotion, candle, comfy pj's and slippers) to keep K occupied over the next 2 days. I also made meals for supper for K and her her family, so they wouldn't have to worry about what to eat. K's oldest boy wants to stay home from day care tomorrow to help take care of his mommy and I plan to take them lunch. So, between me, her wonderful hubby, T, and her vibrant boys, K and K, K and our little ones will be well taken care of. (I think K might do a post from her bed tomorrow, so look forward to that!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ovarian Pain--UPDATE!

UPDATE: First, let me say thank you for being concerned! Second, let me just say that I do NOT have a twisted ovary! Thank goodness! Thrid, let me say holy crap was that some seriously intense pain!!! I could barely walk into the clinic from the car. As I was sitting in the waiting room of radiology I started to sweat and felt severly nauseated and J said "you don't look good". He quickly got me a puke bag from the receptionist who concurred that I looked terrible, which is an understatement for how I felt. I was just willing the pain to go away and crying that I wouldn't be able to go to the transfer with K (I was convinced I had ovarian torsion).

After 30 minutes they wheeled me in to take a look at my ovaries and I thought the technician was going to have a heart attack when she saw the size of my ovaries and said that they were "huge" (apparently my ob/gyn didn't tell them about being post-IVF ER and that it was normal). Of course the tech was tight-lipped and wouldn't tell me anything and her probing and pushing just made the pain worse. I would say at one point the pain level approached an 8 (with 10 being the worst). After the scan she asked me to get dressed until my ob/gyn and the radiologist could examine the scans.

While getting dressed I noticed that the pain seemed to have lessened--maybe now a 6. While sitting in the hall waiting to talk to the doc J commented that I looked a lot better and that "I had color again". I explained that I felt much better and the pain continued to lessen as we sat there. By the time the u/s tech told us we were good to go and that the doc would call me I was feeling like I had nothing more that af-cramps and mild soreness in my right ovary (pain level 2-3). I could walk and didn't have pain. At this point J starts teasing me about loving all the attention and says I was making it all up. I became incredibly embarrassed and wondered what my ob/gyn and my RE think of me. **hangs head in embarrassment** The ob/gyn called to say that other than my ovaries being quite enlarged they are fine. The blood flow to them was great, so I do not have ovarian torsion--yay!

Now I'm left wondering WTF caused this intense pain. My ob/gyn and RE said it could've been a ruptured cyst, but other than that they have no idea what could've caused it. Have any of you had a cyst rupture? If so, what was it like? Either way I'm just happy that the intense pain is gone, that all I'm feeling now is mild cramps, and that our transfer day will be just as I'd hoped with me accompanying K.


I am not one to complain about physical pain and am usually the one who just sucks it up and works through it, but today things are different. Since about 11am, I've been having intense, persistent pain in my right ovary. The pain radiates from the ovary down my leg, is causing right-side lower back pain, and doesn't go away no matter what I do or how I position myself. I called my reproductive clinic and the nurse told me to immediately go see my gyn or go to the ER because they are worried about ovarian torsion. My gyn is full and their u/s schedule is also full, so she said I have to go to the ER. I called J to let him know and burst into tears. I feel like a huge baby and am worried that it will turn out to be nothing, but I also know that I worry about losing one of my ovaries, which happen to be my only functional reproductive organs. As I got off the phone with J my RE called to let me know that he thinks it's just an enlarged ovary bothering me and that he doesn't think I need to go to the ER. Dr. S said that he'd expect me to be throwing up if it was ovarian torque. He had the nurse prescribe me Tylen.ol 3 to ease the pain and said that they'd take a look at my ovary via ultrasound tomorrow when I'm there for the transfer to K.

I can't help but continue to worry (remember I a queen worry wart) that I'm sitting here doing nothing as my ovary is necrosing due to lack of bloodflow. From what Dr. Google tells me most women just experience the pain and don't actually have the other symptoms and treatment is typically delayed because women don't go in right away. The tell-tale symptoms are exactly what I have intense ovarian pain that radiates to the back, side, and down the thigh. My bff, Dr. E, who's an ob/gyn told me that I should go to the ER. In her experience not everyone has the nausea and vomiting. I called and left a message with my ob/gyn, Dr. D, to see if he thinks I should go to the ER. Dr. D's nurse just called back as I was typing this to let me know that Dr. D wants me to go to radiology for an u/s, so she set up an appointment with them so I don't have to go sit in the ER. I love my gyn, Dr. D! So, I'm on my way to figure out what the heck is going on with my right ovary. I'll update when I get back.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogger fakes baby's death

Why on Earth would someone want to pretend to be a mother who's lost a baby? Trust me it's not a pleasant role to assume and it's not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. This woman is clearly totally f*cked up, IMPO. A tiny part of me (maybe 0.5%) feels sorry for her, but the rest of me (99.5%) is so angry with her. She's likely hurt many kind, caring, compassionate, empathetic people who were there to support her. These people didn't deserve to be deceived in such a horrible way.

I know that as part of my grief journey I reached out to help others who've lost babies and are in the early stages of grief (I still do). I often become emotional connected to these women, their angel babies, and their stories. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I learned that they were lying about the whole thing. My heart hurts for those who reached out to her and gave support.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A blast transfer it is

K and I just got word from the clinic that we'll be doing a day 5 transfer on Thursday, June 18 at 10:30am. We won't know until Thursday if we're transferring 2 or 3. We are both very excited and anxious for Thursday to get here! I'm hoping that June 18 turns out to be a lucky date for us!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fert Report

I learned yet again today that it pays to self-advocate and speak your mind. The embryologist called me this morning per Dr. S's instructions to let me know that of my 13 eggs retrieved 12 were mature and fertilized with ICSI and 10 little embryos are growing strong as I type this! Last cycle I had 19 retrieved, 16 were mature and fertilized with ICSI, and we ended up with 8 blasts to freeze, so if this cycle is anything like last I'm hoping to have at least 5 blasts. I was so worried that I'd only have a few mature and even less growing, so I'm very pleased with this news! The embryologist told me that in both of my IVF cycles I've had higher than average fert report and said that she expects me to have some great embryos to transfer to K this week. Tomorrow we'll get a call to let us know if we are doing a day 3 or day 5 transfer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Egg Retrieval

Dr. S retrieved 13 eggs this morning. I was hoping for a few more, but quite frankly I was worried we'd get less. So, I'm pleased and am hoping that 13 is a lucky number for us! I expressed my concerns to Dr. S concerning my disappointment and he said that he was quite pleased with my response and considered 13 eggs retrieved to be nothing short of successful. He is hopeful that we will have some great embryos to transfer to K.

Below is a picture of me as I was waiting to have the ER and a photo of the things I brought with me to help me stay relaxed. The cotton balls have an aromatherapy oil called Panic Button on them. The oil is a combination of lavendar and neroli (citrus) and smells amazing! I brought it with me to every single one of my IVF procedures. The nurses always comment on how much they love the smell and actually ask me if I'll be bringing it. The worry stone was a gift from my wonderful friend, D, who gave it to me right before FET#2 along with another stone that says "Inspiration". Both stones were given in Myles's memory to bring me hope and inspiration as we try for another baby.

I told Dr. S about my dislike of their policy of not sharing a fert report with their patients and more or less begged him to have the embryologist call me with a fert report. I explained that as a queen worry wart I will spend the week assuming that all eggs were either immature or didn't fertilize and that we'd have nothing to transfer next week. Dr. S agreed to have the embryologist call me tomorrow, but he said that she would only give me general information and not specific numbers. However, I plan to do my best to get her to give me more specific information.

A few weeks ago K asked if Dr. S would be willing to tranfer 3 embryos rather than 2, so I dicussed this idea with him after the ER. I assumed he'd say abolutely not, but much to my surprise he seemed receptive to the possibility. We discussed the risk of triplets, which is a risk we're willing to assume, and we talked about how we'd let the quality of embryos determine whether we transfer 2 or 3. Dr. S indicated that he'd be uncomfortable transferring 3 Grade A embryos, so we'll wait for the embryos to help us decide on the day of the ET.

Finally, I decided to find out if 13 is my lucky number and although it wasn't (it was 97) I discovered that June 18, 2009 is a my lucky date! This date is the potential date for our day 5 transfer, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trigger tonight & ER on Saturday

I went into my reproductive clinic this morning yet again for a follicle scan. I have 7 measurable follicles on my right ovary and 10 on my left (+ several smaller). The biggest follicle was 19mm, so it seems as though I'm ready to trigger tonight at 11pm. My egg retrieval is set for 11am on Saturday and the ET to K's wonderful uterus will be either Tuesday or Thursday. I am hoping for a blast transfer because I'm a huge proponent of blast transfers, but know that day 3 transfers can bring good things too (just ask my dear friend, Kris!).

I noticed on my scheduling sheet the NP wrote "13" in the line for follicle count. I guess of few that she measured must not be contenders for the ER and I have to say that I felt quite defeated when I read that number. My RE was so confident that I'd have a similar response, so I expected my follicle count to be more like 20. The NP assured me that this cycle was just as good if not better than my first. She said that my E2 is much more "normal" this cycle, but I didn't even ask the number because it's just one more thing for me to stress about. Last cycle the it didn't even get to 300 and we had 16 mature eggs. The NP went on to say that they were tweeking my protocol in hopes of further improving egg quality and weren't really worried about quantity. I know that quality is more important than quantity, but I still worry. Despite my worries I am very hopeful that we will have a retrieve several good eggs and will end up with a handful of exceptional embryos!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No trigger tonight

Today's follicle scan (day 12 of stims) showed that my follicles are still growing, but that they aren't quite ready yet. So, it looks like I'll continue stimming tonight and will likely trigger tomorrow night for a Saturday ER. I had around 16-17 measurable follicles (+ several smaller) on the scan today and I have to admit that I'm disappointed. Last cycle I had around 21 measurable follicles by cd 12 and at ER the RE aspirated 25 follicles, but 6 were empty. I'm worried that if I have six empty follicles again that doesn't leave me many eggs to work with and I have to expect that a few will be immature and/or won't fertilize (we're doing ICSI). Oh and a handful of embryos will die while they are growing them in the lab. I'm not new to the IVF game and I understand that there's attrition at each step of the process, so this has me freaking out that I won't have many embryos this time. I wonder if I'll have 2 to transfer and I wonder if I'll be fortunate to have any to freeze this time?! Last time we froze 8 blasts. As a normally logical person I understand that my fears seem illogical, but I can't help myelf. I am a worrier--actually the queen worry wart to be precise. I feel incredibly guilty for complaining about this because I know that it could be much worse and that many girls in the blogosphere would kill to have this many follicles growing. I don't want to seem ungrateful because I'm not. I know I'm fortunate to be a good responder, to make high-quality embryos and to have such a wonderful teammate in K. But the fact of the matter is that I can't stop worrying and stressing.

My other stress is how disruptive this cycle is to K and her family. K took off work anticipating a transfer around on 6/13 or 6/15. Now because my body, well specifically my reproductive organs, just does what it wants the transfer will either be 6/16 or 6/18 depending on embryo growth and development. We anticipate a blast transfer, but you never know. Of course K is wonderful and tells me not to worry, but I feel terrible. Uggh! I just hope it's all worth it in the end.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What summer should have been

As most of you know I'm a high school biology teacher, so I have my summers off. When I left my previous profession, wildlife epidemiology, I vowed to find a job where I wouldn't have to travel and work so much. I didn't want to be gone all the time when we had children. When I entered my career as an educator I couldn't help but dream about spending my summers playing in the yard with my little ones. I dreamt of sunny days spent at the public swimming pool, morning walks around the neighborhood, and evenings playing in the nearby park. Fast forward six years and hear I sit all alone without a child to chase around. Summer isn't at all what I thought it would be.

I couldn't figure out why I was so depressed this morning and why I didn't want to get out of bed. J left for work around 7am and I stayed in bed until close to 9am when I had to get up to shoot up (IVF meds). I then sat on the couch with a cup of coffee (decaf of course) and felt little to no motivation to get up. I thought about how different my life would be right now if Myles was here. I wouldn't be forcing myself to clean out closets, dressers and cupboards. I wouldn't be spending hours going through my clothes and accessories to find stuff I don't use anymore that I can donate to Good.will (4 bags of clothes so far). I wouldn't be making coffee and lunch dates with friends. I wouldn't be planning to repaint the office a new color or designing a new shade perennial garden for our yard. I wouldn't be going through another IVF cycle and I wouldn't be taking a trip to Alaska in July with other people's kids. I'd be spending my free time enjoying my little miracle. That is what summer should be like for me, but it's not. So, I try to make the best of it by busying myself with house projects, gardening, shopping (I know it counters the purging work I've been doing), and such. The funny thing is no matter how busy I keep myself I'm still depressed and can't stop thinking about what summer should have been ...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Still stimming

K and I went to the clinic together today for my follicle tracking scan and her lining check. It was fun to make the trip with K because she's great company! Plus, we got to enjoy some bagels together after the appointment and we did a little shopping, which is a favorite hobby of both of us. I had my scan first and as the nurse had predicted I had several new follicles that had popped up and all are growing, slowly but steadily. The follicles are nicely clustered and I don't have any lead follicles. I have to go back on Wednesday, but according to the NP she thinks ER will be on Friday. This will be cd 15, which is the exact same day we retrieved during IVF #1, so it seems that I'm having a very similar response. I'm jut hoping that we retrieve as many eggs this time. K's lining looks great! She's already at 8.2mm and will likely be around 10mm by the time of ET. It looks like this cycle is shaping up to be a great cycle!

Asha Update: On Saturday we removed Asha's IV line because the vein blew, which seemed to rejuvinate her. She's been playful, lovey, and she's been eating well (tuna and shredded chicken are her faves). We're doing 200cc of sub-q fluids daily and continuing to love every minute we have with our little Miss Asha!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Stimming my way into summer vacation

I'm officially done with school and won't have to go back until the end of August and I couldn't be happier. K went for her lining check yesterday and it was only 6.5mm (last time it was 12mm at this point), but the NP said that her lining was already doing what it needed to do and upped her Estrace to 3x/day. I'm not worried as I know it will plump up. K's taking the estrace orally, so I presume it's absorption can be influenced by dietary differences. She goes back on Monday morning for another check and I'm sure her lining will look great!

I posted on Wednesday that stimming is going well, but that it's slow and steady growth. I have about 8 measurable follicles on each ovary, which are all relatively close together in size, but just like last time my estrogen is low. They've upped my meds so that I'm now doing 300IU in the AM and 300IU in the PM. The low estrogen is just some weird thing that goes on with me, so I'm not going to worry about it. In comparison to last cycle I'm growing my follicles at the same rate. My biggest fear is that we'll get to ER and only get a couple of mature eggs, but I keep trying to remind myself that last time growth was slow and steady too and we retrieved 16 mature eggs. Also, in my previous cycle by day 10 of stims follicles literally popped up over night. So, by Monday (cd10) I could have a lot more happening in my ovaries. I've also been having anxiety over my future embryos. I worry that I won't have any. I keep telling myself that I had 8 blasts last time and that with a similar response I'll probably have a few to freeze this time too! Despite my best efforts to calm my nerves with logical, rational thinking I can't stop having the irrational fears that we'll get few, if any eggs, at ER and that we won't end up with any embryos. This is the part of IVF that I despise!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Myles Lee Memorial Scholarship

This year we established an annual memorial scholarship of $1000 in Myles's name to help a graduating senior attend nursing school. Since Myles spent his short life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and was cared for by many caring, compassionate nurses, we thought it was fitting to give this award to a student who intends to dedicate their lives to caring for the lives of others. This year we awarded the scholarship to a young lady, M.L., who I've had the pleasure to have in two of my classes. She is an amazing young lady who will make an exceptional nurse, so we felt honored to award her the first scholarship we are giving in Myles's memory.

Today M.L. came by my room to drop off a gift and a card. She asked me not to open it until I got home. When I got home I opened the card and this is what it said ...

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,

I would like to say thank you for your generosity.
Your gift will help me achieve my dream of becoming a
nurse. I am, however, very sorry for the event to which
the scholarship is dedicated. I'm positive that Myles would
have been a loving child, kind young man and intelligent adult.
I made this gift for you two in honor of Myles and I hope it will
allow you to be happy when you think of him."

With much gratitude, M.L."

I opened the gift and there was a painting of a monarch butterfly sitting on a purple coneflower. The painting was entitled "Fly High Myles". I cried when I saw the painting and was so touched by M.L.'s thoughtfulness. This kind act makes me feel even better about choosing her to receive the scholarship.

Stimming Update

I had my first follicle tracking scan today and I'm responding to the meds, but slowly once again. My "tired" ovaries seem to need quite a bit of medication to really get things cooking. My e2 is only 51, but that doesn't bother me because with IVF #1 my estrogen only got up to the 200's even though we retrieved 16 mature eggs (I know it's totally weird). I'm on 150IU Bravelle and 150IU Menopur in the morning and 300IU Bravelle in the evening. I go for another scan on Friday morning, but I'm guessing that I won't be ready for ET next Wednesday. If I had to guess, I'd say that ET will be pushed back a day or two. K goes for her lining check tomorrow and we're expecting a nice plush lining because she's been having an abundance of cervical mucus!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Asha Update

I have been finding it quite difficult to post an update because I don't really know what to say. Asha is still very much with us. She's quite active for such a sick little kitty and her appetite seems to be steadily increasing. Asha has been enjoying exploring the yard on her harness and a leash. She eats grass (chemical free lawn) and sniffs around all over. It's so hard for me to think that my little girl is so sick, especially with her acting like normal. We feel so grateful to be able to continue to enjoy Asha's love and companionship and we will do so for as long as we can.

I had to take her to the local vet yesterday to have her IV line examined. The vet showed me how to clear the line and how to adjust the catheter if it gets bent up. We have to go back on Thursday for this line to be removed and a new one to be placed. We discussed the potential kidney trasnplant and went over the information from UW Vet hospital. It sounds like Asha would likely meet the criteria to be a transplant patient, but there's a long list of tests that need to be performed before a final decision can be made. The vet gave me a fax from the hospital that outlined the pre-op testing, success rates, life-long care necessary post-op (2x/day anti-rejection meds), potential complications, and the cost. The procedure costs between $10-15K when the surgery goes well and can cost more if there are complications, which was a huge shock to us because we read on-line that the costs for feline kidney transplant were around $5K.

I can't even bring myself to say it ... we can't afford to do the transplant at that cost. :( I feel sick saying that and feel like a terrible furbaby parent. I love Asha so much and would do anything to save her as evidenced by all that we've been doing for the past 14 months, but the reality is that we don't have that kind of money at our disposal, especially given the debt we've accrued with IF and IVF. Asha is worth way more to both of us than the cost of the surgery--you can't put a monetary value love, which is why it's hard for me to say that we can't go forward with the transplant. So, we have no choice but to let our sweet little Asha succumb to CRF. The guilt that I'm feeling is overwhelming and will become much worse the day that Asha leaves us. Please tell me that I'm not a terrible furbaby mommy.