Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ball Games

I noticed I referenced "whole new ball games" twice in my last post.  My love for March Madness and baseball must be coming through.  Carry on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hurry up and wait

My husband was bugging me this past weekend to make a blog post, because it had been too long since the last one.  I told him I didn't really have anything to say besides waiting sucks.  He said to write about how much I loved him.  I told him that I did that already.  He said to do it again.  Well, I'm not going to bore you with that topic again :)  But I can give an update of generally where we are now.

As I noted a few blog posts ago, we are going to try IVF again.  If I start my period "on time" this month, that will put us smack dab in the midst of an out-of-town trip, so I'd have to wait another month.  Although, technically I've read that many people have late cycles the first one after IVF, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm at least a week late, which might be a whole new ball game.  I realized that with this paragraph and all the previous blog posts, you now know more about my cycle than I probably did myself before this whole mess.  And T's sperm sagas to boot.  Lucky you! 

The waiting sucks, but not even because we're so raring to go.  I am having a problem getting excited about this round, as most of me just wants to be done with it so we can move on to the next option.  I realize that my lack of optimism could end up being a contributing factor to any failure, so I am hoping to be more optimistic once we start the whole process again.  I'm just having issues because I was so hopeful the first time and didn't even get a hint of success.  I know my mind is completely messed up when I'd give anything in the world to have a miscarriage.  But at least I would know that I could get pregnant for sure, and that is a whole new ballgame.  Oh, the places massive amounts of drugs and hormones and crazy emotions will make you go.  Dr. Seuss totally should have addressed that issue!

So we sit and wait and hem and haw and stress about everything.  We at least did have the foresight a few weeks ago to decide we really deserved a vacation.  Financially, it may not be the best idea given that we're staring down another cash-funded IVF, but from a sanity standpoint, it is not negotiable.  So we're going on a short and sweet cruise this weekend, and I will toss my worries in the wake of the ship, with only a pina colada left in my hand. 

We did go to a domestic adoption informational meeting, which really did have a lot more to say than I expected.  I'll save that insight for another day, but suffice it to say it certainly isn't an easy option.  Not that I expected that by any means, but I certainly had my eyes opened more than I thought I would.  We shall see if that is the path for us once we get through this next couple months. 

I hope everyone gets to have a nice spring break vacation, or at least a few hours stolen with some loved ones this week.  You deserve it too!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Scratch mid-May.  I have a work conference the second week of May in Chicago (to which I tacked on a much-needed mini trip to see some lovely friends and my brother as well).  That means no IVF cycle for me that month.  Looking at early June instead.

This waiting game is the worst ever.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

WTF Appointment

I am still amazed that it has only been a week and a day since we confirmed we were unsuccessful.  I honestly feel that a year has passed during that time.  I am truly physically exhausted from the marathon conversations T and I have had trying to decide what to do from here.

We were so sure last week that we would try IVF again.  We then were convinced we would go to Brno, Czech Republic to do it.  We then knew that we were done with all the medical bullshit and were definitely ready for adoption.  We were adopting from Russia.  Then we were adopting from Bolivia.  Then we were adopting a newborn domestically.

And generally, while we were both changing our minds at a breakneck pace, we were never on the same page.  On Monday, I wanted to adopt and T wanted IVF.  Then on Tuesday, T breathes in deep and said he has decided he really thinks adoption is the way to go...right when I tell him I want to try IVF again.  Huge sigh.  We made a list of all the things we have ever wanted from this.  A biological child.  An adopted child.  A healthy child.  An infant.  A toddler.  To be pregnant.  To not be drugged up.  So on and so forth.  Essentially a list of every "want" that has ever occurred, even if they conflicted with  each other.  We then prioritized our "wants" separately and shared lists.  We were still all over the place, and no magical answer presented itself.  The stress on my brain has been so tiring.

We were in the midst of this blur of choices when we had our WTF appointment today.  I truly was expecting to sit across from the doctor in his office, while he threw his hands up in the air and claimed it should have worked and we just needed to be patient and try again.  To which I planned to tell him where he could shove it and stomp out of the office.

Although that is essentially what he told us, it was certainly more detailed and sincere than I was expecting.  It was actually my favorite experience with the doctor thus far.   He walked through every step of the process with us again and talked about what they learned and what occurred:
  • I am a low egg producer.  I had a decent amount of follicles in the "pre-testing", but I didn't grow a bunch of new follicles during the stimulation stage.  However, as shown in the embryos we made, I am a high quality producer.  Ultimately, quality is more important, and while I could potentially get more eggs with a second try, I need to concentrate on the quality aspect.
  • My uterus lining is perfect.  No endometriosis, no blockages, nothing.  It is a perfect home for some embryos that want to hang out.  I have had all hosts of tests done, and there is no reason why I can't house some babies in my belly.
  • Our embryos were perfect.  We walked through all the ratings again, and he reminded me that we had not one, but two, 4AA late-stage blastocysts.  There is essentially no better.  With my lack of issues internally, there is a 60% change of implantation of a 4AA embryo.  With two embryos, the chance that one implants is close to 80%.  My heart broke into a million pieces in hearing this.  My doctor reiterated:  we just were in the 20%.  The unlikely outcome, relative to the other outcome, but obviously happens to someone.
  • My drug protocol probably won't change with a second try, but my doctor wanted to run my case by some colleagues across the country to get some different opinions.   He would plan ahead and get me some progesterone in olive oil, so I can avoid allergies, but get the benefits of shots. 
  • The new thing he would do this cycle is an endometrial biopsy.  Basically, he would go in and "disrupt" part of my uterus prior to the cycle.  It would heal before the actual IVF, but ideally disruption would promote a stream of white blood cells and proteins to my uterus, which could help with implantation.  It would also create a nice little fissure for the little embies to rest.  Apparently, the benefits are still somewhat controversial in the medical field.  However, it shouldn't hurt our chances, so it would either be ineffective or help us.  I'll take it!
 At this point, I can tell T is swayed.  I wasn't quite there yet, but the suggestion of being thisclose to success is truly overpowering.

After T gets lectured about his perfect trifecta of sperm killing (drinking, caffeine and cycling), he and the doc decide T would give some different samples throughout the cycle.  They can freeze a good one, so he is not as stressed providing the goods on the big day.

So after a stop at a wine bar and another marathon conversation, we made the final decision that we will try this ONE more time.  If the results are the same, we are done with this option.  If we do get pregnant and are still ultimately unsuccessful (e.g. a miscarriage or similar), then we will have to consider options at that time.

In the meantime, I'm doing all the legwork I can, without actually committing/spending money, on adoption.  That is my solace.  I need action, plans, and alternatives.  If this doesn't work again, then we can hit the ground running, as the adoption process is not short nor easy.

So anyway, that is that.  Thanks for sticking with us through this craziness.  The schedule/timing means I'd probably be doing retrieval/transfer sometime in mid-May.  Here we go again.

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Best Friend

When my husband and I got married, our pastor had us write letters to each other to read on the big day.  He actually handed them to us immediately after the service, and I remember feeling like I didn't really get a chance to absorb the whole letter before being swept away with the excitement of just being married and moving on to the reception.

In moving around some items in our extra bedroom, I again found the letter, and it reminded me of why I love my marriage so much.  He began the letter with a quote from C.S. Lewis (of Narnia fame) that he felt would apply to us then and throughout the rest of our lives.  I think I ended up writing this post just to share this beautiful quote.  I sincerely hope that anyone who has a significant other, Christian or not, can cherish this as well:

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.  There are many things below it, but there are also things above it.  You cannot make it the basis of a whole life.  It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling...Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings can come and go...but, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love.  Love in this second sense - love as distinct from "being in love" - is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God..."Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.  It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it."

While I still consider myself to be madly "in love" with my husband, it is the foundation of the quieter love that I'm relying on in this time of defeat.  I cannot be disappointed with what I do not have, as what I do have is the greatest blessing I can imagine.  My husband is absolutely my best friend and my favorite person.

Even if one doesn't have a significant other, I hope everyone has at least one strong person in their life that acts as their greatest friend and confidante.  Whether it be a parent (which I am lucky enough to have TWO amazing and supportive parents), a sibling (which I am lucky enough to have one hipster bro - who views my blog as the epitome of "tl;dr" - but I know has my back in any situation), or other friends and family (which I am lucky enough to have completely awesome groups of both), ensure that you appreciate that person and tell them how important they are to you.  Because you are so lucky to have him/her/them in your life, and they should know that every day.

Lest you get jealous and think that my husband is better than your significant other, think again.  My husband isn't perfect.  He farts more often than I think should be physically possible in a human.  He dances in the kitchen by making jazz hands and shaking his hips like he's using a hula hoop.  He snores louder than anyone I have ever heard -- and along with that, he makes weird chimpanzee sounds in his sleep that keep me awake despite wearing ear plugs.  And once he reads this, he'll shake his head in a mix of 5% embarrassment and 95% strange misguided pride.  But, most importantly, he is MY perfect and I cannot wait to be with him the rest of my life whether or not we ever have children together.
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