Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cycle Day ONE!!!

Well, not for me. For Goose!

I got the call yesterday that she got her period and started her birth control pills. My nurse told me that she would start her stim meds on September 22nd. Her first ultrasound and blood work appointment would be on September 25th/26th. They will also schedule an "embryo regroup" appointment with myself and Dr. G to discuss the cycle on September 30th. I guess at that point we'll have a good idea of how many follicles will be retrieved since I believe that's the day they will have her trigger (approx.). They are shooting for a retrieval on October 2nd.

That's just over a month away!! We're going to go ahead and book T's flight to Denver for the 30th - 2nd and make changes or adjustments to his flight if needed.

I ordered her meds yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost. I guess after I had the kitchen sink thrown at me for my IVF cycle, fertile folks meds are cheap in comparison!! I'll take it. Not complaining, not even a little.

I feel like such a back seat passenger. All I'm really doing is swiping the credit card!! Never thought I'd be so removed from trying to create our child. I'm glad that this is happening, it certainly has given me a sense of hope and renewed strength whilst I continue to deal with my issues. I just wish I could jump in and participate!

I've been thinking a lot about the letter and gift that I will give Goose. I'm trying to make it personal, unique, but special. Feels like a lot of pressure considering what she's giving me.

So for the next 3 weeks I'll be a fidgety, anxious mess waiting to find out how this is going to go down and hoping and praying that I can finally get in the game somehow.

I need a hobby...stat. (that doesn't involve me and a mall)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Tuesday ramblings

Slowly, but surely, my hCG is dropping. Not sure why I was so much more worried about this second round of blood work since my shot of Methotrexate, but I was. I didn't want to hear that it was still bouncing around or lingering. I did NOT want to hear that I needed a second shot of that nastiness.

After a brutal night of waiting, because OB's just do not get results to you as quickly as an RE does, I found out that my hCG dropped from 80 to 36. It's dropping over 50% every week. My doctor was very pleased with this.

Obviously, I want it at 0, like, yesterday. The good news is things are moving, and moving in the right direction.

Minus some really nasty allergies (on my part) the hubs and I had a really nice weekend. Friday night we sat outside at a local restaurant with a great bottle of wine. Saturday we did little errands and had a nice dinner at home that was delish...thanks to him...not me. Sunday was cleaning and relax day before starting another week.

I also received the sweetest little surprise in the mail from a dear, sweet blog friend, Aubrey. Even as she approaches her own cycle, she took the time to send out such sweet goodie bags. She really helped boost my spirits and remind me how lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing women. While I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy, I am thankful that so many of you have come in to my life. Go wish her your best and safe travels as she goes out to Denver for her IVF. She's one strong lady.

I have so many lovely friends that have so much on the line these next few weeks. Some blog friends, some real life friends, some friends from forums. Some with only one chance at IVF and feeling so much pressure to make sure this is exactly right. Some facing the most difficult of odds and in the hardest 2ww of her life. Some facing the birth of the child they hoped for month after month. Some hoping that just the right birth parents realize that the perfect parents for their unborn child, is right here, just waiting for them. Maybe it's your last FET or IVF cycle before plan b? plan c? Others are embarking on a new journey of donor eggs, hoping this is the magic wand of fertility or just waiting to get through that awful first trimester so that you can finally relax...a little. Some ladies are holding their newborn babies right now, still adjusting to the fact that something they waited and wanted for so long, is REAL and staring back at them.

Whoever you are right at this moment. My heart is with you. I know I sometimes obsess over what is going on right here and right now, but as I sit and wait out this most current challenge, I've had this overwhelming sense lately of what's going on around me.

So my wish today. That every one of you reading this blog post is well on your way to happiness.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This gift

I recently came across this song that has had a real impact on me. I can imagine that anyone that is or has dealt with infertility would feel deeply connected to the words. Especially as I become closer and closer to the point of accepting such an amazing "gift" of life from a perfect stranger that is forever going to have a special place in my heart for what she is doing for us, whatever her reasons may be. 

"This Gift"

This gift will last forever
This gift will never let you down
Some things are made from better stuff
This gift is waiting to be found

Your heart's in wide receiving
Been too long buried in the sand
Some things require leaving
This gift will fall right in your hand
Just try to understand...

If you long enough
And you don't give up
If you're strong enough
And you don't give up
And you...

You'll be no harbor to the sorrow
Just let it go.

Don't hang your head in sorrow
Don't give up just before you win
Don't wait around for tomorrow
Open up your arms and let it in

This gift will last forever
This gift will never let you down
Some things are made from better stuff
This gift is ready to be found
Just you believe it now 

This gift will last forever
This gift will never let you down
Some things are made from better stuff
This gift is ready to be found
Your heart's in wide receiving
Been too long buried in the sand
Some things require believing
These things just fall right in your hand
Just try to understand

If you long enough
And you don't give up
If you're strong enough
And you don't give 

This song was recorded for the motion picture "The Odd Life of Timothy Green". I wouldn't say it's an oscar winner, but it is a story about a couple with infertility and was very sweet and the emotion in the beginning was very...real. This song plays during the final credits. 

Also, I want to thank Emily for her cleverness. I think our donor shall from here on out be known as Goose. So many places we can go with that!! Who can forget Goose from Top Gun, the loyal co-pilot, as our donor will be in a way, co-piloting this journey. Then you have the nursery rhyme "Mother Goose". Last but not least, you have the goose that laid the golden egg. 

All very appropriate. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Slower than molasses in December"

(Thanks N...I couldn't resist borrowing that for my title)

My hCG is dropping. It went from 179 to 80. That's one shot of methotrexate and 10 days later. Yes, I would have love to have been a wee bit closer to 40, but it's dropping. That's what counts. I'll go back next Monday for another check.

The waiting continues.

My donor cycle is getting real. So real that I received the giant bill that I have to pay CCRM before she starts her stims in a few weeks. Nothing realer than having that slap ya in the face! It's one thing to have saved for so long, it's another to actually write that check and see it all disappear from our bank account. All our hopes and dreams just out there.

I've felt pretty good lately. Not overly excited, per say, but not necessarily sad either. More at peace than anything. Could be that I've been so sick that I'm just in kind of a zombie like state, so we'll revisit that statement next week when my body is back to tip-top, fighting shape.

Kinda of in blogging limbo right now with not a ton of stuff  going on. For now, I'll share this...because CCRM keeps their donors identities completely anonymous, we only see childhood photos. I'm obviously not going to share her photos online, but I recently came across the pictures we sent the CCRM staff so that they could help us with the matching process. Here's a glimpse at what a little me looked like back in the day.

I'm also trying to decide on a good name for my donor so I can stop calling her "the donor". Suggestions?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Well, when you put it that way...

Maybe our doctor's offices should always tell us a worse case scenario. Then, when they come back and tell you different, you have a bit of excitement!

That's what happened last night. My RE had been on vacation when the nurse told me she thought it would be a six month wait after the methotrexate injection. I received an email yesterday letting me know that I only have to wait three months! FINALLY...a wee bit of good news! I'll take what I can get at this point.

Not only that, but I can do the mock cycle and endometrium biopsy as soon as my hCG levels are <5. This means, potentially, if the levels are finally beginning to fall, by the time my 3 month wait is over, we can go right into a transfer.

I would LOVE to have my transfer before the end of the year. It just seems like it would be pure torture to have these embryos on ice with no where to go.

My trip to Southern California had been going fine until I started getting sick. So here I am, boarding a redeye later this evening with some sort of nasty cold. My fellow passengers are going to adore me.

Doesn't matter, no one is raining on my parade, at least today. I have good news, albeit small and I'm thrilled.

Next hCG is on Saturday...hoping it's going in the right direction.

Monday, August 12, 2013

My poor little bum

Got a whopping shot of methotrexate this morning and it HURT! My rear end is still throbbing 12 hours later. Unfortunately, I'm sitting on it for the next four hours on my flight to Los Angeles.

My doctor called me over the weekend to discuss the jump in my hCG levels. I also found out that my pathology report showed no pregnancy in my uterus. We could have continued to check my hCG levels for another week, but at this point, I'd rather get this over with. So it's done. Might I mention how difficult it was to swallow a birth control pill knowing it had nothing to do with prepping for IVF and strictly to prevent pregnancy. Sad. Moment.

I emailed CCRM this morning to let them know what's going on. I've kind of held back on a lot of this until I knew for sure. I was really worried with their strict standards what methotrexate would mean.

Seems I was right to be worried. While most RE's (and my obgyn) say three months of no TTC, CCRM says SIX! My heart hit the floor. That's February. Which means the soonest I could even possibly be holding a baby is November, 2014.

There is a chance (like probably a snowballs chance you know where) that it could be sooner, my RE at CCRM is out till Wednesday. Six months is what the nurse thinks the wait is...but I'm guessing she pretty much knows. She did say that we can do the mock transfer and biopsy during the waiting period so I guess at least come February, we can officially move right into my transfer cycle.

But still...big freaking bummer.

Of course, my silver lining in all of this and the one thing that is keeping me sane and hanging in there, is my donor's fresh cycle is still full steam ahead. I was told they expect her to start birth control pills around 8/29 and a potential egg retrieval around 10/6.

At least I'll can hopefully know that I have some cute little frozen embies sitting on ice biding their time for my body to be ready for a little cozy time.

This week I plan on enjoying the southern California weather, the great restaurants and a little me time when I'm not working.

I go back Saturday for a recheck of my hCG...hopefully this finally gets things moving in the right direction.

Friday, August 9, 2013

It was ALMOST a really good day

This is the news I mentioned last week that I was hoping to be able to share.

We have a donor. We knew last week that she would be posted yesterday on CCRM's database and that she was a good match for me. I just had to select her before anyone else did.

What we knew going in...she has blonde hair, hazel eyes and similar facial structure as me. She's a bit taller than me at 5'7"...I'm 5'5", but she's thin, so all in all, a little height advantage never hurt anyone. Especially considering T doesn't bring a lot to the table there either! I have blue eyes, but T has hazel, so again. That's okay.

She's married and has a child and admitted that her initial motivation for donating her eggs was financial, however, she's learned so much about the struggles that women have gone through to have a child in all of her screening processes, that she feels it's a real joy to be able to help someone else be able to experience being parents. I can respect that.

When we clicked the "accept" button we had to wait for a confirmation email from my CCRM nurse. I was refreshing my email every few minutes for over an hour...BRUTAL!

Finally, the email came in...and we got her. I've already gotten a call from the pharmacy to pay for her birth control pills, so it's starting!!

Now...back to me and my mound of issues. My hCG today was 179. That's right, it's up from last week. So most likely, this pregnancy is somewhere it shouldn't be and I'm going to be getting a big old shot of methotrexate next week.

What does this mean for my donor starting her cycle? Nothing. CCRM is doing a freeze all. So we're fertilizing her eggs and T's sperm as soon as she's put into calendar which will be over the next several weeks and then we'll freeze everything until my body is ready. Who the heck knows when that's going to be.

So...good news...mostly. I feel relieved. I feel excited. And I feel sad.

I'm so happy that this may bring us our baby...our family.'s also saying good bye to a child that has little pieces of me in their appearance. All I can hope is by carrying this child and loving this child, little pieces of me, will make up the person they become.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Treat it like gold

This post is going to be a bit happier, or at least a lot less mopey. I had a bit of a low point last week because all of this just hit me. It has seemed that even when the crap stuff hits us, it seems to just get worse and worse. I was struggling with that last week. Kind of a WTF kinda week, ya know?! Many of you were spot on with your comments and they were extremely encouraging, so thank you.

I'll start with Friday night. Like I said last week, I've been very withdrawn around my friends. Even friends with no kids, because I've felt this feeling of shame because a lot of them knew of our issues. It's silly, I know. So we decided that it was past time that we had a night out. We met up with some very good friends of ours and went out for dinner, then listen to a bit of live music and even ended the evening at a karaoke bar. NO, I did not sing. I was DD, but still enjoyed a cocktail or two earlier in the evening. We had a great time and while, yes, as I always fear, I was asked about our treatments and how things were going...but she was very sweet.  Here's a funny pic of T & I sharing a drink.

Saturday we spent the day cleaning (okay, that part is less fun), went out for lunch and then grilled steaks and watched a movie. Perfect night.

Sunday, we FINALLY got out to play a little golf. This was the first time all year, sad considering the great weather we've had this summer. But with the IVF and then pregnancy/miscarriage, my body hasn't really been up for it. We took it easy and only played nine. I will admit, I'm a little rusty since last summer. Hopefully in the next couple months we can get out and enjoy a little course action a few more times.

So I'll go ahead and admit that T and I are big fans of margaritas. Our blender is on the outs. Well, done is probably a better word. We still had a large credit at Crate & Barrel from our wedding over 2 years ago, so we splurged on an appliance we've talked about wanting for quite awhile. 

This thing is a beast. Incredibly stoked about this new toy and we christened it with fresh raspberry margaritas on Sunday night. I also made potato soup in it last night in preparation for my lazy couch day after the D&C. 

The D&C was crazy early this morning. We had to be there at 5:30 am!! (so please excuse the sleepy eyes)

Everything went well. There was a small amount of tissue that was removed and I am hoping and praying and well, begging that was the extent. We should have the pathology report by the end of the week. We were at the Women's Hospital and they were so kind there. T took this picture and I thought it was beautiful. I hope it's a sign to have just a little more faith...and we will get there.

If not, we will probably have to consider the methotrextate which probably will result in a slew of expletives, feet stomping and screaming because I was told that we would most likely even have to put off the mock cycle and endometrium biopsy for a full 3 months if we go that route. That would mean any kind of donor transfer could be close to 6 months away. This. Would. Suck. 

If anyone hasn't been reading my blog for a long time, I'll give the quick version of my apprehension to having the D&C. When I had my blighted ovum a few years ago, I had a botched D&C. The pathology report came back and there was no pregnancy. So six days later I was being wheeled into an emergency operating room 700 miles from home for a D&C under ultrasound with a pathologist in the room to confirm a pregnancy or they were removing my tube. Not cool. Luckily, it had been in the uterus, but I was of course nervous of scar tissue from having back to backs. Going into donor eggs, that was a concern again. 

I looked my doctor in the eye this morning and told him I know there is a fine line between being to aggressive and not aggressive enough. I asked him to find that line and treat my uterus like gold. 

I am home now and doing well. I have less bleeding than I've had in over 2 weeks (odd, huh?) and only minimal cramping. 

I also have these big, fat babies to keep me company. 

Dexter (yes, he's named after a serial killer)
The baby.

The princess.

The boss.

Time for the healing to begin. Starting now.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Where is the fast forward button for my life?

I've tried so hard to remain positive this week. To keep my head up. To look forward to our next steps. To know that donor eggs is really a great shot for us and hopefully I can put the heartache that my own eggs have caused me, in the past. 

We've been looking at donors, and I've been in contact with my nurse at CCRM quite a bit the past week. I may have more news on that process next week...

First, we really have to get through this miscarriage. For whatever reason fate decided to put this pregnancy in my path at this particular time...I may never know. Is it to prove I'm strong enough to handle anything? To be resilient to whatever challenges I face? Is it to make sure I won't break? I'd love to know the answer to those questions. Haven't I proved all of those things these past 2 and a half years? Haven't I already been dealt a pretty shit hand? I've rebounded from everything life has dealt me and I still move forward. 

But at what cost? 

I can barely handle being around my super fertile friends and even family members. Not because I'm angry at them for so easily having what my body can't seem to achieve, though it may seem that way from others point of view. I'm just sad...for me. It's hard for me to really be present in their lives because it hurts so much. This is the only way I can protect my heart...what's left to protect of it anyway. 

I can't have children. That's something that has gone through my mind a lot recently. That simple statement. I can't have a child. 

That doesn't mean I can't have a child through extraordinary means. I certainly HOPE that's not the case. I hope with all that I have left in me that donor eggs is our answer. But this miscarriage has broken just a tiny bit of my soul. I've fully come to terms that my eggs are bad, that apparently at the ripe old age of 36. I've waited too long. 

I often wonder if my friends, family and even my husband see the woman I'm becoming. If they see me in the way that I feel. Bitter and broken. If they do, how can they possibly see me in the same light as they once did? I can't imagine that my husband thinks I'm that fun-loving, always smiling girl that he's spent the last 12 years with. There's not doubt that this has all changed me. On some levels...maybe for good. Maybe I'll appreciate motherhood in ways that women that have not gone through infertility cannot. Maybe I will be a stronger woman because of all this. But what if I don't become a mother?? Then what? Do I just become this empty shell of a person I used to be? Before infertility. 

I'm so sorry for my sorrowful post today. I was so excited a few days ago about what was to come...and maybe still will...but I face a road still marked with challenges. 

My beta went back up to 104 yesterday. I need a D&C. Unfortunately, you can't see anything in my uterus or tubes at this point because my levels never progressed past 110. They don't believe it's ectopic because my pain has subsided substantially since last weekend. He also wants to do a D&C, because he knows that I don't want the dreaded methotrexate unless it's absolutely necessary. That would set me back 3 least. Knowing CCRM...they would make me wait longer. Whatever it is...something is hanging on in my body and producing hCG. I can only hope that this is all that is needed to resolve this. So I can really move forward. My biggest fear is obviously the thought of scar tissue and damage. This will be my third D&C in less than two years.

Right now I just feel this ever present, refusing to leave reminder of what could have been. I feel like fate is laughing at me right now. 

I hope that next week brings a happier post. One that this is all behind me. One that brings new hope and exciting news. I'm hesitant even to say that at this point...I certainly don't want to jinx anything else. 

For now...I'm going to continue on and get through this as I have everything else that infertility has thrown at me and even as tears stream down my face, continue to be "fine".