Transfer #3

I realized something today. I wasn’t blogging yet, when I did my first transfer. I didn’t blog about my second transfer until after it failed, I’m not sure why really, the support would have been nice, but I didn’t. Today was FET #3. The miracle Molly gave me, a 6AA fully hatched blast. It was unfrozen, fully expanded and transferred without incident.

I was running late to my pre-transfer acupuncture appointment, and in my rush to get there, I got the first speeding ticket I’ve ever had in my life. Which I guess I can do to traffic school for, but whatever. Transfer went well, while I was in the recover, Molly came to talk to me a little said my uterine lining was great, no stripes, completely white which I guess is what they wanted to see. My P4 from yesterday is a little on the low side at 26.87, she said that a level of about 40 usually indicates a higher than average chance of pregnancy, hence the increase dosage of my PIO shots, and that my E2 was perfect.

I went to the post transfer acupuncture appointment and that went well too, I lay there just trying to keep my mind blank and focus on feeling the needles.

I just walked in the door about 20 minutes ago, so its been a long day for me.

The Beta is next Friday at 11am. Between now and then I hope to do a lot of meditating, catching up on some TV, doing homework for my classes, working on some projects I’m in the middle of, and generally taking things sort of easy. Not too much stress, not too much worry, just focusing on resting my godforsaken noisy mind.

The outcomes at this point are out of my hands. All I can do is wait, try not to be anxious and promise myself not to pee on any sticks. This time, I’m going to wait for the Beta, I’m going enjoy not knowing, and if I cry in front of the Dr so be it.

Snuggle in little bean, snuggle in tight and thrive in your new, less frosty environment.

101

My last post was post number 100. I didn’t even notice.

I went to the RE today for CD7 monitoring, I have 1 follicle still on the left ovary that is 12.1. FSH is lower, *weird* E2 is about where it’s supposed to be.  It’s grown exactly 6mm in less than 5 days with a natural cycle. Which as of this morning is no longer natural. I’m on a new protocol this month, where instead of Clomid, I’ve been prescribed Tamoxifen. Which I am only familiar with as a cancer drug. Because my mother took it for 10 years, before being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. That scared me a little, however it seems my RE has discovered that it acts (stimulates) similarly to Clomid but doesn’t thin your Endometrium or cause your LH to surge unnaturally. I monitor again on day 12 (Tuesday) to see whats happening. I imagine, since I’ve done this 10 or 11 times before, that I will trigger, and get a retrieval at some point next week if all goes well with the new meds. In 10, 11, oh who the hell knows, how many retrievals, I’ve never had a dominate follicle come from my left side. Ever. I’ve gotten a follicle or 2 from it before but they always wind up being the immature ones.

My left ovary is all wallflower-ish and under achieving. Like me in High School. Kinda. It’s the one that’s most easily visible and isn’t in a weird place like my right one, but it’s generally kind of lazy. Who else has 1 lazy ovary? How do you get it to be less lazy? Tell it, “You’re grounded until you produce a follicle?” Seriously, is there anything anyone can do to wake the lazy one up? Throw ice water on it? Poke it? What causes one to be lazy? Is there a difference in the egg quality?

Its been a busy week. Remember how I took Chinese III (Mandarin) a few months ago? We this semester I decided since I’m at home alone a lot at night, to take Honors Economics and Honors Political Science and Chinese IV, for fun. Note to self: Stop making decisions while hopped up on fertility meds or in the middle of a depression after a failed FET. Most people would avoid making decisions during times like that. Not me. Bring on some school, and some homework, and some new pencils, and SHUT THE FRONT DOOR this is expensive! Yes. I am an idiot.

My new “plan” is actually going pretty well so far. I’m avoiding the people and the “friends” and the situations that don’t add something positive to my life or my day-to-day. Instead, I’m trying to focus on friendships and classes and activities like Yoga, that make me feel better about myself. I’m also trying to avoid added stress and while the classes “might* have been counter intuitive, I have to admit it does feel good to have my brain engaged in something intellectual. Add a little more exercise and I should have a good recipe for how to better manage the outside stressors in my life.

Since I had to get a scrip filled from the Dr, I stopped at Costco this morning after my appointment. Where I got the scrip filled and decided to bring home some flowers for no other reason than because I felt like it. Usually there has to be an occasion. But not today. Today I just want to be surrounded by pretty, happy, peace and serenity, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. Right?

Asshat

CD12 Monitoring Appointment, Cycle 8

I was up at the crack of dawn this morning showering so I could go to acupuncture before this appointment. I showed up early with raspberry preserves for everyone, both at the acupuncture office and for my RE’s office.

Im sitting at the clinic using their computers to write this post. After 4 days off Clomid and on Estrace my numbers are better, I’m not sure they are good enough but there is definite improvement and this cycle may not be lost.

E2 149.8, FSH is 23.2, LH is 13.9. 1 follicle on the right side measuring 9.4.

The E2 is closer to where it should be, my FHS is more than 10 points lower so that’s a big improvement in 4 days, ideally though it’s not quite low enough, in my non professional, unmedically trained opinion. Because my FSH has been so high, my LH is also artificially elevated. So I’m waiting now. To see what happens next.

The plus side of this is for the first time since last Monday, I’m pretty calm. We also get to see my little Peanutgirl today so that’s a very happy thing. I’ve missed her a lot since she’s been in Hong Kong for the last 2 weeks. It feels like forever.

We will do some more work in the yard, Husband is building some kind of a fountain so I cant wait to see how that turns out. Our Neighborhood 4th of July block party is tonight. They have a fireworks show, a kids bike parade, a live band, dancing, face painting, pony rides the whole place comes out for it.

Good things. Things to look forward to and be thankful for.

Sorry I have been an asshat this week. Seriously. I’m sorry. My approach was abrasive.

Just spoke to the Dr. He says continue Estrace Monitor again on July 3rd.

My RE is going to some big IVF convention in Turkey for 3 days, and will be back on July 5th. He expects that if I get a retrieval it will be that day. When he was in China last month, I’m pretty sure my retrieval was also his first day back. I have no idea when this man sleeps. Seriously.

As an aside for everyone who comments on my controversy post, thank you for your input your opinions your thoughts support and even though I was abrasive in my approach, your kindness. I really enjoy being part of this community, even though it’s a club no one really wants to belong to. I’ve met some of the brightest most talented writers, kindest women and most genuine people even virtually than I ever expected.

I hope you all do something fun that’s NOT fertility related this weekend!

Changes

Its 1:12 pm and I’ve been up since before 6. I have been to 4 meetings, acupuncture, made innumerable phone calls, scheduled the painter, the stone sealer guys and the gardner.

Last week we made 2 admissions to family. 1. was to DH sister, who we told about our IVF efforts. She said “Good, its past time you had your own” she also asked to see my embryo pictures and asked why we had waited so long. When I explained to her about Emily and so on, she got teary and said “you shouldn’t have wasted so much time, we would have evolved, things would have changed and a new baby brings so much happiness” To which I started crying. Finally. FINALLY some acceptance where I least expected it. To be truthful it made it so much sweeter. To think, after all this time they think enough of me to support me being someones mom. You have no idea how major this is for me.

We also told my sister-in-law, my younger brothers wife,  who said she would read what I’ve written, but seemed to reserve judgement.

We will see now what happens. Who will and who wont be here for us when the time comes.

Tomorrow is my day 8 monitoring. We will see if anything has grown since day 1/2 and it will tell me more about where we go from here this cycle. As I said before. I’ve decided to embrace the crazy and just let my cycles be what they will. I can’t make it different so I continue to do visualizations of perfect follicles perfect embryos perfect health and a perfectly happy body.

My acupuncture asked me today how much weight I’ve lost. It’s close to 70 pounds. I’m embarrassed to admit that but it makes my chances betters so ok. I will admit it. I’ve gone from a plus size 22 to a regular size 16. Now I just need to lose like another 50 to 60 pounds and for someone 5’8″ I should be in the size 6-8 range.

Whats funny is no one loses weight on the drugs I’ve been on. No one loses weight on Clomid. Everyone of a normal size gains 15 pounds or so. So Even though Im not where I want to be, it’s a good place from where I started from and in all likelihood Id lose another 10 pounds if I stopped the drugs altogether.

I’ve avoided my opinions about FB pregnancy announcements and seeing bumps everywhere. I’ve avoided it on purpose because my opinion is likely to be controversial in the IF/ART community. I will address it in another post. At some other time.

Anyhow. I’m good. Been listening to the visualizations, doing yoga, working in the yard and trying to keep myself busy. Tomorrow is not the end all be all, but it will tell me more about this cycle.

Embrace the crazy is my new mantra. Embrace all the changes, the possibility and the nuttiness that have been my cycles. Forgive myself and move on to the next one. Let it all go, don’t let them stack up. It does nothing but hurt you.

Validation

Monitoring CD12.

Ive been up since 6am. Feeling the best I have since Wednesday. I was pinned by my acupuncture Dr., who also listened to me cry and when I told him “I wish someone would just come out and say that my family is crazy” His answer, completely straight-faced was “You realize its a given, don’t you?” Which made me laugh through my tears.

He can’t relate but I think he can empathize. He has a normal loving family but he sees what my intentions are, knows I’m not any of the things my sisters and mom accuse me of being. And for once, it was really nice to be validated. Thank you Dr P. You really are a great friend to me.

All of this drama with my family, which I don’t handle very well..has just made me more determined to find a way to complete my own family. Whatever that looks like. If I am ever lucky enough to parent a child that’s mine, I want them to grow up kind, and sweet. I don’t want him or her to grow up like me, tough, always fighting, always afraid to be vulnerable.

This morning at 11am I will find out if the meds worked, and if 2 the follicles grew. I hope they both did. I hope they sucked up the Clomid, and got fat and healthy and that I will get scheduled for a retrieval for Monday. That’s a first, actually WANTING to get an egg retrieval. Not that I didn’t want the others, I kind of dreaded them and they scare me so looking forward to one is… new.

I’m not going to complain about feeling like my ovaries are heavy or full, or that I feel bloated. Because I would take that over a conversation with my sister any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I can handle my mothers diagnosis, I can handle making peace with her, and possibly her even coming to live with me, I can handle nursing her, I’ve done it before. What I can’t handle is getting ambushed by someone whose sole intention was to be hurtful and nasty.

Enough about that, it’s a new monitoring day, it’s a chance, it’s the start of a long weekend, and while we don’t have big plans, we have good things to look forward to. If it doesn’t turn out well today, I will try again next time.

Acupuncture & Chiropractors

Less than 24 hours after my last post, shark week has arrived, cramps and backaches and all the crap that comes with having your period, except its only been 16 days since my last one started M*th&rF*C$R. In case there was any wonder what so ever about what I was swearing exactly.

Acupuncture and Chiropractic went well, if anyone was concerned. My acupuncturist is also a chiropractor, something he asked me to share so people didn’t think he was some sort of quack. He’s also a graduate from Brandeis University, his brother graduated from MIT, (they are in practice together) and they both traded all that in for a degree in Chinese Medicine and Chiropractic Medicine. Yeah, I keep asking what happened too.(not really they are both incredible)

To be fair they are both pretty amazing. Dr. P, who is my normal Dr. is very touchy and caring and gets whatever is bothering you out even if you don’t particularly want to talk about it. Dr. B is much more pokey. As in, “My god the last time I poked your stomach it was so much fatter”. and “how come when I poke your stomach there is no food in there? But don’t eat anything that is dairy, carb related, not organic or processed in any way”.

Once, a few months ago I made fun of a patient who Dr B was treating who was a moaner. I asked him who he was having sex with in the room while I was trying to get my zen on on in the acupuncture room. Dr P was offended, but I was only kidding. Now because I have this weird butt cheek calf pan issue, I’m sure I’m being punished for making fun, so they are both laughing at me. Whatever. If I deserve it, so be it.

Dr P keeps asking me to do this “hug” thing which means me letting go of the table and letting him have control of my entire body. Usually there is one flailing arm holding on to the other side of the table. Not because I don’t trust him, but because I’m afraid I’m too fat for him to making these contortions for. Which leads to nervous laughter and more holding the table. He thinks I’m kidding when I say this but I’m not. I’m seriously afraid for his safety. I promise Dr P, I will never sue you. As long as you never sue me. He’s used to treating little tiny Asian patients. I’m a really tall Irish girl with cankles and an ass like the broad side of a barn. Seriously, the humiliation never quits when you are trying to get pregnant.

Lets see, 16 days after the last freak show, only 2 days off Provera and I have the curse. I’m not sure I can clearly discuss how god awful it is to wait for 2 weeks for something to happen after your period, and then to find out nothing is happening. For it to be shortened by 2 weeks and to find out nothing is happening is so scary I don’t even know where to begin.

My appointment is not tomorrow it’s Wednesday. So I guess we will see then. “There will be follicles in there, there will be follicles in there”

It’s the same thing I tell myself when I can’t find a parking space at the mall. “I will have good parking karma, I will have good parking karma”

If anyone else is cycling where I am, please consider my Acupuncturist/Chiropractors. They are talented, amazing, kind, and by far the most educated, good-hearted people I’ve met in this field. Plus between “pokey” and touchy feelie” you’re pretty much all set.

Cross Wind

A long with picking myself up and dusting myself off, I’m going to try some new things. First here’s my update.

I went to acupuncture yesterday, and today I am sore from the adjustments. All the needles were really tender, everywhere and still are today. Dr. P said some of my stagnation has returned. Probably from me being inconsistent with the acupuncture lately, and the fact that I ate bread and refined sugar for the first time in 4 or 5 months last week.

Eating bread after none for 4 months was like pouring flour and water in my stomach. It made my stomach hurt and feel really bloated. I also had my favorite candy, Skittles. Which after 4 months with none, taste very similar to how Pledge smells. Which is a pretty good smell I guess, but taste, not so much.

As a followup to my embryo status, I called today, on day 9, to find out what happened since I was supposed to hear from the clinic on day 7. I was told it was discarded on day 7 due to fragmentation but no one ever called me to let me know. Part of me is angry, because at the very least my clinic should be delivering the news. Good or bad.

I’m coming to realize that being angry at the clinic is really me angry at myself. Angry that my body has betrayed me and angry that I feel like I’ve failed. Again.

I’ve covered how much of a perfectionist I am. I’ve covered how I’m a bit OCD about, well everything. My acupuncturist says “I carry a lot of burdens” I asked him where do I let them go? Where do I put them? He said ” See? You’re looking for somewhere to put them down, you need to stop that and just be.” Which puzzles me because I’m not sure what that means. When someone says “just let it go” I never have any idea what the heck that’s supposed to mean. Go where? And how? Instructions? Anyone?

People have told me that I need to “let it go” my whole life. I get the idea. Kind of. I mean, I want to, I just don’t know how. And its one of those trite expressions that has always irritated me more than it resonated with any kind of real meaning.

After my meltdown earlier this week, Louisa, recommend and article on “self compassion” which I read, and loved, but I’m not sure how to get there. It’s another one of those things that doesn’t really make sense with me. I’m not sure what the difference is between self compassion and self-pity, so again I ask for an instruction manual. Something in English please. Don’t give me those Danish IKEA instructions  because unless there are pictures, I can’t read or comprehend it.

Which brings me to the new things I’m going to try. I’m going to try some visualization techniques. I got a visualization CD specifically for IVF, from Circle and Bloom. They have a host of other programs for fertility, and while I can’t tell you if it works or not, especially since I have only had it for 2 days, I can tell you, its relaxing, and for me now, that’s enough. There is also 35% discount for National Infertility Awareness Week, April 22, through 28th so have a look! They also have a blog, which you can find here: http://www.circlebloom.com/national-infertility-awareness-week%C2%AE-april-22-28/

In an email conversation with Joanne, the founder of Circle and Bloom, she said, “Can I make one suggestion while you listen to the programs?  Try to really let go of the past problems you have encountered.  Think of your body as a clean slate for this cycle and procedure. Put yourself completely into the visualizations and let go. And I do not mean fake positive psychology, I mean honoring your body and knowing that pregnancy is possible.”

Which started to click things into place. I’m not sure I’ve got it completely, but even I recognize that there is a theme here. If I’m not mistaken it’s letting things go. There is no magical solution to everything that has happened in the past, the bad cycles, the mistakes I’ve made, the regrets.

In my mind’s eye, I see it as releasing all those pent-up feelings of anger, frustration hurt and fear into the ether. Imagine black molecules that pollute nothing but you, your body, your life and hinder your ability to have room for anything good or positive. They weigh you down, teach you to be cynical, and not to trust that anything good can happen. I can not begin to tell you how much, I do not want to be that person.

I see it in terms of air propulsion, velocity, gaining enough forward movement that the negative washes off you like a cross wind through a jet-wash. Oh fine. Just toss my overcomplicated analogy and say “water off a duck”.

No matter the outcome of this journey, that’s not who I want to be. So I’m going to try to do some visualizations, positive thinking, learning more about this “self compassion” business and work on forgiving myself. Because ultimately, I think it’s really me I’m mad at.

I want that clean slate so much.