Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer tiiiiiiiiiiime... and the living is easy. Sort of.

Cycle #2 is officially paid for. The deposit is in, meds are paid for, and the only thing I'm still waiting on is the lupron trigger. It feels so good to have it all done and to know we had the money and we're OK to start! And it's nice going in for appointment after appointment and not having to pay for anything! I'm so excited that one week from today is my last BCP and I start injections next Friday!! My baseline is on Wednesday next week and I'm going to wear my amazing lucky socks. I'm not sure which ones yet, but I'll figure it out that day. I also called the nurse to ask her why the protocol didn't change, and voiced my concerns that 22 antral follicles --> 12 follicles --> 5 eggs is not at all ideal, and I'd like more. And that the uneven sizes were a concern for me, and I wanted to know why we wouldn't change things given how last cycle turned out. So we'll see what she says.

I've been feeling a little down lately because I feel like of all the people that have done IVF in the last month or so, all but like.. 3 of us have gotten BFPs. And I know sometimes it's luck of the draw, but it still makes me nervous that it means something is wrong with me. Although one of those BFPs was on her third cycle, so I know sometimes it just happens that way. It just sucks that if this cycle were to not work (which is not an option) we wouldn't be able to start again for 2 or 3 months. But it's OK, because it's going to work. We know what to expect now and I'm pushing for a day 5 transfer so we have the best chance of picking out the best embie. Plus, I'm less stressed out, and I'm not doing stairs for any reason at all the day after transfer. I wondered about it when I did it. I couldn't sleep that night so I went upstairs to bed. And I didn't think it would be a big deal, and it probably wasn't, but no stairs this time.

I'm still having trouble figuring out when I can get to the beach for a few days. I really want to go before I know the results of this cycle, which might leave July 4th weekend. I suppose we could go Saturday afternoon and come back Monday morning. Unfortunately I don't have much in the way of leave time, so it might actually work better that way. I wouldn't have to use any leave since we have off that Monday. Andy would have to take off, but he could make up a few hours throughout the week. Of course his latest car debacle isn't doing us any favors. Apparently the alternator is bad, and it drained the battery trying to start. Plus his check engine light is on and he needs new brakes. So we have to pay for an alternator, a battery, brakes, and whatever is causing the check engine light (thought I hope it's the alternator!). And I need new tires.

Money is a pain in the butt, and so are cars. But at least we got a credit last week on our deposit, so we have $800 more than we would. Trying to look on the bright side of things for now. We can afford to fix these issues, which isn't something we could have said a year ago.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Random Thoughts

8 more days of birth control. 8 more days until I feel like we're doing something again. The waiting is the hardest part of this whole thing. Waiting to start meds, waiting to get to retrieval, waiting for transfer, waiting to test. I'll be so glad next weekend when I know it's all about to get going again. My dad told me again today that it's going to work. I still feel like it is, too, and I'm excited.

I've been looking at houses again, and picking things out because this is going to work and we'll get to start saving money again. There are so many great places out there, and I want our baby to grow up with a home with tons of memories that's ours. We can paint when we want and make changes and... boy do we need more space.

I was pretty successful with my infertility-free weekend, but I went to a cookout today and my aunt asked about it. She dealt with infertility as well for a lot of years. I also found out a friend of mine has been trying for 3 years and will be doing an IUI on June 22, the day after my retrieval, so we will be waiting together. Aside from that I just had fun, and yesterday we spent so much time relaxing together. That was a much needed break from stressing out. Of course Andy's car is currently broken down and he's getting it towed up here. His alternator is broken so that will be a few hundred dollars. We really need to get him a new car, but he still owes a lot on it, so we're trying to wait.

I'm going to book our weekend at the beach soon, too, but I don't know when to do it. The only weekend during our two week wait is July 4th weekend, and there's a minimum of nights and I don't want to stay 3, so I'm not sure what to do. I might book it for the weekend after.

I can't wait to go to the beach. I need a little getaway with Andy. He deserves it, and I'm super excited. But first... shots and surgeries. And BFPs!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just Thought You Should Know...

That IVF #2 is going to work.

It really is. I've been thinking of all the things I could do to "prepare for rain" as per a Bible verse I mentioned long ago. But I don't want to buy anything, so I figured I'd just make this announcement public. I am going to get pregnant on this cycle. This is beyond positivity. I might not feel this way tomorrow, but right now I know it. And I'm not letting negativity rule me again.

Three Day Weekend!

I got the call from the pharmacy for my meds. I'd been a little nervous because I haven't gotten the papers that say IVF #2 was approved, but everything seemed to work out abd my meds will be delivered next week. Well... I'm trying to wait until the week after so Andy can be home. I don't want my meds sitting outside in extreme heat for hours waiting for one of us, and I can't take the day off, so it will probably be the next Tuesday, which is fine since I don't start until that Friday. I can't believe it's all happening so fast again. I'm a little nervous that everything is EXACTLY the same as last time. She told Andy she was going to change up my meds, but not the protocol, but so far the meds are the same. I guess when I get home I'll have to see what my starting dose will be this time. I'm hoping it's lower so the whole process is slower and 1 or 2 follies dont get too big too quickly. My goal this time is 8 mature eggs. I don't think that is too lofty of a goal. I had 5 last time, and 6 follicles were empty, so if we can make them more uniform, I should be able to get more mature ones. I'm also still planning to ask for a day 5 transfer. I'm hoping to have a couple great looking embies on day 3, but I suppose even if the worst happened and we had none to transfer, they could put in our frozen blast since it's in the same embryology lab. Right?

This weekend is a no-fly zone for fertility. I'm going to a party tomorrow with hot dogs and hamburgers and lots of booze. I don't talk much about alcohol because I don't drink much, but I'm planning on doing so tomorrow. I have a ride to the party and hubs is coming late to hang out and then take me home. He's so good. He has to work, but agreed to let me drink so he could drive. Love him! Sunday is going to be a lazy day. We're doing some cleaning maybe and then just hanging out. I'm planning on finally finishing planting my garden and I'm going to try to get him to have some wine on the patio with me. Then on Sunday he's working and I've got another party - this one with family and swimming!! YAY! I love hanging out with my family in a relaxed environment. My mom and dad work way too hard so I'm always happy to see them having fun. It's a shame Andy can't be there, but starting in July he is getting paid time off and an earlier schedule. I am so happy for him and so excited.

I feel like everything is just going well right now in our lives. We have gotten a lot of good news lately. Andy finally got his teeth worked on yesterday and wisdom teeth pulled so he's going to be in so much less pain soon. I feel so much less stressed with all of this, and that's great. I can't help but think maybe it'll carry over into a pregnancy!

**While I was typing this, I got a call from Shady Grove. I'd called earlier to make the deposit for the cycle. Well lo and behold, we got ANOTHER credit somehow, and the total deposit was only $2691.69! That means we don't have to put ANY of our cycle on credit! We still have a small personal loan, but not using credit is AWESOME. I was expecting to put about $1000 on credit, so.. YAY!!!**

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I finally received a call from my nurse. We have a plan! I don't know what it is yet, but she did give me my dates:

6/6 - Last BCP
6/7 - Baseline
6/10 - Start stims
6/21 - Tentative Retrieval!

I can't believe it's coming up so fast. I was expecting retrieval to be the next week for some reason, but looking at it now it seems correct. I want to tell someone, but I'm sticking to my guns about not revealing the details this time. I'm also hoping I don't get sick for this one. I can't help but wonder if being incredibly sick during retrieval and transfer had a negative impact on my body and implantation. I have had a few "down" days but I feel generally good about this cycle. I definitely feel like it's going to be different, and I'm much less stressed already.

I've been doing well on Weight Watchers and I still managed to gain weight this morning. I think I'm retaining water from the BCPs so I can't WAIT to be off of them because I'm really sticking to WW and there's no reason I should be gaining weight. I just have to push through it and hope the scale shows a loss on my official weigh-in day which is Sunday.

Getting good news about our payments has helped take some pressure off as well. I was anticipating putting $7-800 on a credit card for meds, but we now have so much in savings it'll probably be more like $200. Which is awesome. The less credit the better. I was able to pay off my car repairs, too.

I feel like I talk a lot about money, but with IVF, it's such a huge thing. I absolutely can't imagine how people who pay completely OOP deal. It's not easy to sacrifice and spend all of your savings, and know that what you're spending it on may not work. We had planned on buying a house since our credit has improved so much. We'd have easily enough for a down payment by the time our lease is up, but we're spending it all on IF treatments. And when we take our baby home spending this money will be forgotten in the blink of an eye. But having a failed cycle behind me makes me really think. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and you have to come up with thousands of dollars to cycle again. I'm so excited and so blessed to be moving on to another cycle so quickly. And to have as much support as I do from my family, my husband, my friends, and the girls I've met through IF boards who pick me up when I'm down.

I'm not sure if anyone reads this, or if anyone will stumble across it that's thinking about IVF. And I won't lie. It's hard. It's hard financially, emotionally, and physically. It's hard to get so excited to have your hopes dashed with a BFN. It takes a toll on relationships, and sometimes you feel alienated in a world where it seems like everyone can get pregnant at the drop of a hat. And I'm not at a point yet where I can say "Yep, it was all worth it". But I'm confident that one day I will be there. And I'm so glad I have the opportunity to try!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Money and Socks

I haven't updated my costs since the end of the cycle, and I think I have an actual official total.

SHG - $100
Day 3 blood work and ultrasound - $145
HSG - $231.50
Deposit - $3250
ICSI deposit - $250
Meds - $1578.19
Lupron - $10
Injection Class - $10.50
Embryo Freezing & Storage - $555
Account Credit - $405 $808.31
Total: $5725.19 $5321.88

We found out today that freezing 1 embryo is much cheaper than freezing multiple embryos, so it was only $555 including the storage fee. We also got our financial paperwork for IVF #2 which said our deposit was only $3095 because we had a credit. So all told, cycle 1 was under $6000 including pre-cycle testing. We're thinking that with our leftover boxes of menopur and endometrin, and the 1 ganirelix syringe, our meds might be cheaper this time. We already had a $3500 loan, so the extra $400 will go towards meds. It looks like we'll have to put very little of this cycle on credit, which is awesome. Plus, I'd kept a bunch of extra money thinking our freezing billing was incorrect, so now I can pay off the card I paid for my car repairs with. So I'm back to having no credit card debt, and with our savings paying for meds, only a few hundred bucks are going on Andy's card. YAY! That means more money can go straight into savings for baby stuff.

Also, one of the TTC message boards I participate in did a "sock exchange". The premise being that since we spend so much time in stirrups, we might as well have some fun with it. They're supposed to bring luck. It's a really cute idea, and I've been feeling a little down today, but I got my socks today and it made me so happy. I actually got socks from two people, though only one was my assigned sock buddy. I got a card as well, which was incredibly sweet, and said she picked out the star socks seen below to encourage rock"star" embies. SO CUTE.

The shark socks are from another girl I met on the board who shares my affinity for sharks. Greatest girls ever. This completely made my day. I'm going to wear the sharks to my first ultrasound, and the stars will be my transfer socks. These were just what I needed!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Three Boring Weeks

This round of BCPs, there's nothing interesting going on. I'm all cleared, and just waiting for the time to pass. I have 2 weeks and 2 days left. Right now it seems like a millenium, but I have a feeling this week is going to go by fast, and the weekend certainly will as it always does. I'm spending this time doing what I can to get my finances in order. I can't plan for anything past this cycle, but I'm trying to get as much money into savings as I can, so I'm looking at anything I can do to make that happen. I had to spend $255 to get my car fixed this weekend, and Andy needs some expensive dental work done, and I'm glad we're financially able to sort these things out. It's not fun or easy paying for IF treatments, and it would be nice to be able to buy things just because we wanted them again. It would be nice to be pregnant and save money so I didn't have to use a ton of leave for maternity. But we're lucky to have jobs in this market, and insurance, and each other.

I keep getting worried about this cycle already. Thoughts that "I just can't sustain a pregnancy" or "All of my eggs are bad" and "This will never happen for us" keep creeping in and I keep pushing them away. I refuse to stress myself out like I did last time, and I refuse to dwell on the negative when there really are a lot of positives. I'm choosing to focus on the good - and the excitement at doing this again armed with a whole new bag of tricks and information. I'm also trying to start this new cycle healthier. I've been really focusing on Weight Watchers, and I'm happy with my progress so far. It's only been a day and a half, but I feel completely compelled and empowered to beat this emotional eating thing... and the little voice that just pushes me to keep eating when I'm not hungry. I would like to lose 15 pounds before my retrieval. That's only a month away, so it's a lot, but it's also the first real month, and I should be losing a lot of water with stepping down on the prednisone, too. And (thinking ahead again, but not being negative!) if this cycle didn't work, and we had to take the summer off to re-group before doing a FET in probably October, I'd have 4-5 months of weight loss under my belt, and that could be a significant difference. I am not thinking that's going to happen. I have every faith in our little ones. I'm just trying to see the positive in any scenario that could arise.

I'm going to the grocery store tonight to stock up on foods Andy and I can take to work. That'll help us to save money as well as get healthier. And I plan to start doing some real exercise. We've agreed to exercise together twice a week, and I'll go to the gym at least 2 other times. I'd really like to go swimming in the morning tomorrow, but I'm so nervous that once I get there all the lanes will be full. I suppose if that's the case I can still use the machines for a while, so I'm going to try to have Andy help get me up lol. Tonight I'm making a lean hamburger, green beans, and splurging a little with some mac n cheese, but preparing it with light margarine and skim milk.

I feel really awesome about this commitment this time. I feel awesome about this cycle. I just feel good in general right now, and I hope that keeps up. I'm really trying to lower my stress level this time and be a little calmer. I deserve it, and so does little S.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Round 2

I'm having a little bit of a freak-out today. I got paperwork from my RE from when they thought we were doing a frozen transfer that said it was $4000 and due 10 days before the cycle start. Our old paperwork said it was a $500 deposit, and we'd planned on using that and paying as we went if we had to. This is a ways off because we have a fresh cycle to do and it's going to work! But I think if it doesn't we'll have to take a 3 month break and pay off some credit cards and loans before we do the FET. It would give me time to lose some weight, too, and that would be good. I'm hoping we don't have to get to that point because this fresh cycle works, but getting that paper in the mail freaked me out.

We did finally talk to the RE about our plans. She was pushing for the FET, but when Andy told her our insurance didn't cover it she agreed to do the fresh as long as I was willing to deal with it again, which I am. She said she absolutely refused to put in more than one embryo, so I'm going to push for a 5 day transfer when we see her on the tenth for our WTF. They told me last time that a good embryo is going to make it in the dish or in my ute, and a bad one won't. So if we have more than 1 embryo (please, God, give us more than 1) I want to push for a 5 day. If neither of them make it, they wouldn't have made it in my body either, but it'll make sure we have the chance to pick out the best embryo we have. I don't know how she'll feel about that but I hope she agrees.

She's not changing my protocol. I was concerned at first, but I think it's because with so many antral follicles, the chance is still there for OHSS. She said she would change up some of the meds. I haven't gotten my calendar yet, but my guess is she is going to start the medication lower so it takes longer and we can hopefully stimulate more follies rather than 2 or 3 sucking up all the meds and getting to 16mm in 3 days.

I'm really excited for this cycle, and I've actually got time off again already. I'm hoping at least 1 of the 3 days I need falls on a weekend. I have high hopes for this. We learned so much from the last cycle and I feel like we both have a better handle on what to expect, and the doctor does as well. I hope we get 5 day blasts and put back a perfect, sticky baby. I know this can work. We're ready for it and want it so much. No more FET thoughts. This is it. This is our cycle. I can't wait.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm having one of "those" days today. I walked downstairs to go to a going away party for a coworker. Recently returned coworker with a 3 month old was showing me and coworker with a 6 month old (both first try babies) a video of her little one. It was cute. But the conversation quickly turned to video monitors, and things their kids do. 3 Month old turned towards 6 month old in the midst of the conversation, and I was left to stand there feeling like a lonely, bodily-broken jerk. My infertility has officially pushed me into "Weird girl who doesn't have anything to talk about because she doesn't have kids" category.

Shortly thereafter, coworker #3, who I've mentioned before, saved me. She knew I was going through IVF and asked how it was. I told her it didn't work, and she understood. She really understood, because she is the mother of a 2.5 year old beautiful baby boy through adoption, because after 2 miscarriages, and being told she wouldn't conceive without IVF, she moved to international adoption. She knows the pain and heartbreak of infertility. She crossed her fingers for me and told me to keep her posted on cycle #2, and I will, because she knows, and because she KNOWS.. she cares. Not in a "My friend wants a baby" way. In a "I understand because I've BEEN there" way. So I sent her a little note to say thank you for talking with me. I hope it doesn't offend her, but it means a lot when she asks me how things are going because she's gone through the testing and the.. wanting a baby so badly and seeing everyone else get pregnant. I'm just glad to have her around.

Today is pill #2 day. I still haven't heard from the doctor and, therefore, do not have a plan. Hopefully I will get one before the weekend because I don't want to repeat cycle #1, and this is stressing me out already. I'm going to calm down and try to have a nice, worry-free weekend. I'm taking my car to the shop, and I'm not excited about that. I'll be OK if I can get out of there spending less than $300, but I guess I will find out then. I'm just glad I can afford to get my car fixed these days when I need to. I do have things to be thankful for right now. Hopefully soon one of them will be a healthy pregnancy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy First BCP Day To Me!

That's to the tune of "Happy Birthday", so I've had my little made-up IVF song stuck in my head for 2 days now... you know, since "birth control pill" starts with "birth" and so does "birthday"? Yeah? Get it? Ok.

So today is Wednesday, meaning there are only two work days left this week. I got some GREAT news this morning. My boss miscalculated my sick leave, so instead of having 2 hours of sick, I have 8! So I'll have enough to take the necessary time off for IVF #2. YAY! By the way, I hate writing "IVF #2". I feel like I should have only needed 1, dammit. At the same time, I'm ridiculously hopeful about this cycle, keeping my promise to myself and hubs that I wouldn't lose hope if the first one didn't work.

I asked my nurse to have the RE call Andy yesterday, but she didn't call, so I hope I can get a hold of her. I need her to know we're planning on going forward with a fresh cycle! And I keep teetering back and forth between transferring 1 or 2. If we get blasts, that is. day 3s I'm pushing for 2, no questions asked. I really don't want to risk twins. But I do want the best chance of pregnancy possible. I don't know how my RE's SET rate is higher than the 2blast rate. You'd think 2 had a better implantation chance than 1? The only thing I can think is they only transfer absolutely perfect embryos singly, so the 2blasts must have some B and C qualities while the SET doesn't.

Whatever we choose, I'm PSYCHED. If the timeline goes anything like it did last time (and it should, except hopefully a few more days of stims) my ET should be June 29th or so (5 day). If that happens, I will have a very boring July 4th, but that's so OK with me.

I'm happy to be moving on, happy to have a gorgeous blast on ice, and ready to get this started. I'm so hopeful and I'm just ready to be pregnant. Now I just need to slow down my thoughts. I have 3 more weeks of BCPs to get through!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moving Right Along

As predicted, the witch is here. I'm not excited about it, but I'm glad to be starting anew. To be honest, my equivalent "ovulation" date was 20 days ago, and it was starting to HURT in there. Granted, it hurts today, but I know there's a reason for it.

My nurse calles while I was in with the kidney doctor and when I finally got to talk to her I explained that we wanted to do another fresh cycle. She told me to start BCPs on Wednesday, and that my doctor would call me to discuss what's next. She actually called a few minutes ago, but I was in a meeting. I suppose we don't need to know today exactly what we're doing, but I want to have it set as soon as possible so I can get my schedule and pay the deposit and just be ready to go. Unfrotunately I am extremely busy at work right now, so I might have to have her talk to Andy. For right now, I just want to know what she's thinking of for a protocol and I want him to let her know we already have a box of menopur.

I can't believe we're doing this so quickly. I'm happy about it, but it's weird. I expected to have to wait longer and I'm so thankful that we don't!

I did speak to my nephrologist this morning, who was completely on board with me about our plans. We're going to keep working on the baby and doing IVF, then re-visit what to do with my kidneys once the baby's born. He says my kidneys still look ok and there's nothing we can do while trying to conceive, so we're going to keep trying and then get back on my blood pressure medication which helps with the protein loss. I'm so glad he's with me on that.

Really, this second procedure is so much less stressful already. Last time I as on BCPs for 5 weeks waiting for the doctors to talk. I was trying desperately to lose the weight. I had no clue what to expect. At this point most of that is sorted out, and I have at least some idea of what to expect, though I hope with a different protocol things go slower and the follies grow evenly so we can get more this time!

We're going to have to put a little bit on our credit cards this time for meds, but it should get paid off pretty quickly, and we'll be socking money into savings in time to freeze any leftover embies. Things are moving along so fast. 3-4 weeks and I'll be stimming again!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End and the Beginning

I started spotting today, and I'm certain AF will be here in the morning. While I'm sad because that means this cycle has come to an end, it also means it's time to begin again. It means in 5 or so weeks I'll be having eggs retrieved, and shortly thereafter waiting to see if this new little one stuck.

My nurse is going to call me tomorrow and I'll tell her it's day 1, and she'll hopefully start me on 3 weeks of birth control pills. If it's anything like last time, I'll get my period 2 days or so later, and then stims will start around day 4. In theory, if things actually go as planned (which never actually happens) my retrieval would be around the end of June.

I hope that things actually go this way. I need to be working on another cycle - looking forward. I feel like we can start the cycle without our "WTF" appointment as long as it comes pretty quickly, and I can talk to her before she orders meds. I don't want to do the same protocol as last time, so I need to make sure she knows that before it's time to place the order. We also need to make sure we're approved through insurance again, but we have 3 weeks more for that. And, finally, we need to take out a small loan. We wouldn't need it if we pushed the cycle back a month or so, but I just don't want to do that unless they make me. With a loan this small, we can make the monthly payments while still putting a bunch in savings so if, God forbid, we needed a third cycle, we could just pay for it outright.

I'm hopeful about this cycle. I feel like we might be able to get blasts to transfer, since we had one this time to freeze. I feel like with a new protocol we might get more eggs. And I know what to expect. The last cycle was such a learning experience for both the doctors and us, and we now know what my response is like. I know what sort of time commitments are involved, and what the retrieval and transfer are like. My husband is informed, and he wants to be more involved this time, so that's nice (though he came to the big appointments last time).

I told my parents about the new cycle starting right away, but I asked them not to tell anyone. We're not going to get into details this time, because it sucks telling them when it doesn't work out. I only need off for retrieval and transfer since my clinic's monitoring hours are so early, and by then I'll have the time off without much worry, so I'm keeping it all to myself. I'm also planning at least 1 night at the beach for Andy and I so we can get some relaxation in between transfer and beta.

I'm hopeful for this cycle. I'm sad that the first one didn't work out, but I'm excited to start again, and hopeful that with everything we learned last time, things will be smoother this time and we'll get pregnant and have the baby we've been trying so hard for.

They might ask me to wait a month since we're doing a fresh cycle, but I hope not. We'll find out when I Talk to the nurse tomorrow. I'm ready to do this again. I'm excited. And I hope that it works.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Looking Ahead

I've had a few hours to calm down and think. I finally got to talk to Andy and just cry and have him hold me for a while. We discussed our feelings about this cycle and came to an agreement on a plan for how we want to proceed.

We have one frozen embryo, but the success rate for frozen embryo transfers is lower than fresh, and a single transfer is lower than a double. We're a little concerned about this since it costs about 4 grand and our insurance doesn't cover any of it. On the other hand, we could do a fresh cycle, which insurance does cover, and it would be 5 grand. The deposit is a lot more up front, but it seems like it would be worth it. And we already have an entire box of menopur. Our hope is that we could do a fresh transfer and get a couple day 5 embryos this time and put in our frozen embryo and a fresh one.

My RE really doesn't want to put in more than 1, but at this point we've already had a failed transfer, and we don't want to keep putting our money into something that might not work. The chance for twins is high, but it's much more likely that we would NOT have twins. I think that it's reasonable to put in a fresh and a frozen blast (assuming we have blasts).

We're going to talk to the RE about it and see if we can convince her to do 2, and we're going to look into the multi-cycle discount program and see if we can do it with insurance. I don't know if we'll be able to talk her into transferring 2 embryos, but transferring only 1 frozen concerns me. So we'll see what she says. I have a list of 19 questions I want to ask her about, so I'm hoping we can get in to see her very soon. We want to start immediately, but we want to nail down exactly what we want to do.

I'm happy to have something to re-focus on. We're trying to just look forward to the next cycle and think positively. I'll feel so, so good if we can put in 2 embryos. I don't know how this next cycle will go, but if we can get on a new protocol and maybe get some more eggs, that would be great. So we'll see what happens, but we're getting back on the IVF train, and doing some things differently this time. Which I'll talk about later.

It's Official

Beta was negative. I'm not pregnant. And I knew that was the case, but I still cried, and I've been crying off and on since I got the news. My nurse was out of the office, so it was some random woman. "Hi Erika, it's Casey from Shady Grove. I'm sorry." Screw. You. Casey.

Someone said to me "I'm sorry for your loss" and I just lost it. Because that's how I feel. And I don't want to undermine the feelings of anyone who has had an actual pregnancy, but I feel like I lost a baby. I DID lose a baby. It hadn't implanted, but it was there, growing and dividing and being a beautiful little thing in my uterus. I'll never know why it didn't stick around. But I have a picture of it sitting on my coffee table and I just want to hug it and ask it why it didn't want to stay with me. This was a perfect little bundle of Andy and Erika dna. The first we'd ever made. And... I just loved it. I wanted it. And it doesn't hurt simply because I'm not pregnant. It hurts because I'm not pregnant with THIS baby. This gorgeous little embryo that was perfect in every way. That I talked to and patted my belly for and... wanted more than I've ever wanted anything in my entire life.

I'm at work, and I told my boss I was getting the news today, so she let me sit and talk on the phone with my dad. My poor husband is riding in a car with a perfect stranger, working until God knows when tonight. He asked me to text him. I didn't want to because I didn't want him to have to go through this completely alone. But he wanted me to so I did. And I just want to hold him and tell him it's going to be OK.

I hate every part of infertility. I HATE IT. And I have a doctor's appointment on Monday with the kidney guy, and.. those always suck, and if he does anything to upset me, or tries to push me into another medicine that requires waiting to try again, I'm going to punch him in his stupid face.

I want to crawl in bed and never come out. I hate that nothing in my body works. My kidneys suck, my liver doesn't function correctly - I was born without most of my cholesterol receptors, and apparently my ute is a giant pile of FAIL. And I want to say WHY. WHY is God doing this to me? To Andy? What have we done to deserve it? But I know those questions are unfair, and no one is "punishing" us. Things just happen. Maybe this embryo was chromosomally abnormal. Apparently by my age, a bunch of my eggs are abnormal, and it doesn't always show by day 3 or 5. It looked perfect, but we can't know for sure.

So what now? Well, I'll cover that post when I dont feel like crawling in a hole and dying. Tonight, I'll be eating a stromboli and drowning my sorrows in copious amounts of alcohol. Tomorrow will be a new day.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Final Countdown

Beta is tomorrow. I still haven't tested since Monday. Coworker #2 said she thinks my test was wrong. I know it doesn't mean it was, but it's still nice to hear. My cramps have stopped, and my right boob hurts so bad. It's probably just the progesterone, but a girl can dream, eh?

Yesterday I asked Andy if he was going to cry if we got bad news Friday. The conversation went like this:

"Honey... are you going to cry if we get bad news Friday?"
"... Why?"
"Because you crying is like knives in my heart."
"Well I won't do it around you then."
"No... if you need to cry you cry and I will make everything OK."

So that's what happened. I am going to murder infertility in its face if it causes my husband to cry. He doesn't deserve to have to cry! EVER. I made him promise me that he'd stay hopeful if things didn't go the way we wanted. He said he wouldn't lose hope, and I won't either.

He did call me today to tell me he was excited about tomorrow because we'll be getting good news. He's so sweet. I hope he's right.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'm starting to feel a little, and I don't know if that's a good thing. My coworker (who returned from maternity leave yesterday) says she bets I'm pregnant. I think she thinks this because everything I describe is exactly what happened to her. She conceived on her honeymoon and had a - test two weeks later, but then a few days after she got a +. She had awful cramps and bleeding, too. She keeps telling me not to give up, and I looked up on FF charts of people who had a - before a + and had a late +. There were hundreds and hundreds of them, many of whom had negatives way past 13dpo.

I called my nurse because the cramps hurt so much. She said it could be my ovaries shrinking back down or it could be implantation. Er... I'm 12 days past a 3 day transfer lol. I think it's a little late for that. But I still can't help but think "maybe". Embryos can implant between 6 and 12dpo, and if I had a late implanter, the test would have been negative at 13. A lot of people have told me their REs tell them to wait until 17dpo for accuracy. And apparently some women take longer to metabolize HCG into their urine.

I'm not saying I've bought nursery furniture or anything. But there is a tiny glimmer of hope. I think I'll be pretty devastated if my test is negative, and I'll have to take the weekend to grieve and deal. But I'm glad to know we have options and are able to continue with further treatments, which is an option I know not everyone has. I hope we don't need it. That teeny little flickering orb of hope keeps running past my vision and I can't help but think "Maybe!" and I like that thought, so I'm keeping it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Doctors

My nephrologist's office called me today. They had a cancellation on Monday and want to squeeze me in. I accepted the appointment, but I don't want to go. I know where my kidneys stand, and there's nothing we can do, so why do I need to spend money to sit and talk about how my kidneys suck and we're out of options? My fear is that he'll tell me he doesn't think TTC is a good idea right now, and he'll tell the OB or my RE and they won't let us proceed. To be honest, my plan is to keep everything to myself from here on out. About everything. I went to 40 different appointments to find out that my creatinine is OK for baby having. And it still is, and that's good enough for me.

The only other treatment option out there for my disease requires a drug you can absolutely not take during pregnancy, and there's no proof it actually works. Plus, as I've mentioned before, the side effects are wretched. So, no thanks. I will do that only as a last resort. After this appointment I don't want to think, hear, or talk about kidneys for as long as possible. And I think the next course of action I'm going to choose is occasional monitoring until such a time as something needs to be done.

I want to focus on baby making while I still can. Sure, that part of my life sucks right now too, but I'm hopeful that the FET will work if this fresh cycle didn't. And I'm not willing to give up trying yet. I'll make the lifestyle changes I can, and hopefully it will help. And if not, one day I'll look at treatments. But not now. Now I'm going to try to enjoy life, have a baby, and then try to be normal for a little while. My husband promised me we'd have a biological child and he wouldn't lie to me, so we're going to make it happen.

More Blood

I have some. A tiny amount, but.. it's 11dp3dt. If I wasn't on progesterone my period would have been here by now.

I hate this so much.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Positives (But Not On Sticks)

I've been cramping on and off all day. It hurt sooo bad earlier. At first my ovaries were just doing that sharp ovary pain thing they like to do, but then it moved and my uterus just felt awful. Not AF cramps, just.. something that sucked that I've never felt before. I've been playing with Dr. Google continuously through this 2WW, and today I discovered that a number of people have had low betas on 13dpo and had successful pregnancies, so in some ways I still have a little glimmer of hope that I might get a surprise on Friday.

I have been thinking about next steps if things don't work out, though, and I've been pretty upset because I couldn't find out how much a FET was at SGFC. I saw a thing on their website that said $4000, but that didn't seem right, and I saw an article about them that said $2100. So I wasn't sure what to believe, and I finally found my IVF folder with my price list, and at the very bottom it said "FET Deposit - $500". WHAT? I mean I know a deposit is a deposit, not a full cycle cost, but that means we can start the cycle any time with a $500 deposit! And that, my friends, is neat. So we have the whole course of the cycle to come up with the rest. We'll apply for shared risk either way, so Shady Grove would reduce the cost by up to 25% if we qualified, so if the next cycle worked we'd still be in good shape.

And I think if (God forbid) we needed another fresh cycle, we might look at the multi-cycle discount. Apparently it's 2 cycles and any subsequent frozen transfers for a discounted fee. I'd have to see if they work with insurance with that program because they may not. But it's worth looking into, and it would be nice to know we'd paid for another fresh and all frozen transfers up front.

I still want this baby, and I still hope he chooses to stick around. Stick, little one.



This will be the last POAS. It looks like "lucky" test gets a reprieve from having my pee on it.

**Disclaimer - Baby boy, if you can hear me, I still love you and have faith in you. I hope and pray you're just being shy and make your appearance known in my blood test on Friday. This is just in case you've decided that now isn't your time.**

I am trying to remain hopeful, but it helps me to think about the future, too. To remember I have a beautiful blast waiting on me. I feel like if we'd put both of them in, I'd be pregnant right now... I'd have that + test already. I can't know this, but it hurts to know I'll never have 2 embryos put in. That I have to hope and pray every time that this 1 embryo is the right one. I wish my kidneys would shape up, so I could be normal, and put in 2 embryos. This is what I'm working with, though, and I have to hope that if baby boy doesn't want to stick around, that baby girl will.

I've decided that I'm going to make some changes if there's a "next time". I won't be telling ANYONE but my parents. I hadn't wanted everyone to know this time, but I let it slip. Not anymore. It's a frozen transfer so I only need 1 day off, and so I don't need to tell anyone at work.

Our insurance doesn't cover frozen transfers, which look like they're about 4 grand at SGFC. We're going to talk to our insurance company and appeal, and if it doesn't work, we're going to apply for shared help at SGFC, where they give you a discount on out of pocket costs. And hopefully we'd start in late June.

I have so many questions about this cycle. Why did my follies range from 11-32mm at trigger? What happened to the TEN follies that never grew? Is there a reason, if the embryo is good, that it wouldn't implant? Something wrong in my uterus? Could my immune system be causing this since my kidney disease is autoimmune?

And I know that sometimes it just plain doesn't work the first time. But I want answers.

I hope and pray and... wish and... bang my fists against the walls that this little one is sticking. According to betbase, the median HCG at 13dpo was 63, but the lowest reported with a successful pregnancy was 1. So there is STILL HOPE that my little one is sticking. I had those awful cramps at 10 and 11 DPO. If that was implantation he might just not have produced enough HCG yet. I'm done testing, but I still hope that my beta shows a little one in there.

Sunday, May 8, 2011



9dp3dt. FRER. Chances are that if the test was going to be positive it would be positive by now. I'm not counting myself completely out until I get my beta. I know that anything is possible and I could have a late implanter. But I'm currently living by "Expect the worst, hope for the best".

Things have been tough for me today. It's mothers day and I was really hoping to be a mother... or at least an expecting mother by now. And sometimes I feel like I'm just never going to see that positive test. I am forever grateful that we have a beautiful blastocyst on ice, and we'll be immediately moving on to a FET if necessary (I still want this one to work!). But sometimes I think about how long we've been trying and how messed up our IVF cycle was (3 embryos from 12 follicles??) and I just worry that things are too messed up. I look at my numbers.. FSH 5 and 22 antrals... and I think that it has to be something else... not me.. not messed up eggs. But I'm nervous. We're not rich. We could do the FET without going into debt. But any more fresh cycles and we're going to have to start looking at loans.

I've been mad, and trying to think that God knows what's best for us. I just feel like we've been through SO MUCH and something in our lives should come easier. But I guess we all have our crosses to bear, and we'll have to play our hand.

And rather than wonder why things aren't working for me, I'm going to try to do what I can to help things for next time if there is one (please stick, baby!!!). I really need to get back to working out and eating better. I think losing weight will help me feel better, and cutting back on sugar and getting my insulin down should be good for my eggies.

And no matter what happens this time, we have one perfect blast still waiting. My RE only freezes embryos on 1/3 of cycles because they don't freeze anything unless it's a blast that they think will have a good chance at producing a pregnancy, so that means they liked what they saw in our other little one.

I'm still hopeful. It's still possible that this baby is going to work out. I'm just scared I'm never going to see a positive test. And it's a real fear. And I need to chill out because all this worrying can't be good for me. But still, this whole thing sucks. I want this baby. Please stick, little one. I love you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011



I'm 8dp3dt today. I know it's early. And I tested at 8 something at night. I'm going to test again tomorrow morning and then not until Tuesday.

I'm disappointed, but I'm hoping we still get good news. I know 11dpo isn't definitive. I just want this to work and I don't want to go through this 2WW again. *sigh*.
Tomorrow is POAS (pee on a stick) day. It's also mother's day, obviously. I've never seen a positive test that I've peed on that wasn't due to a trigger shot. And I'm scared. I don't want to stare at a stark white test window with one lonely line. I don't know why I feel so negative sometimes. I know it has something to do with only transferring one embryo, though I know one of this quality has a great chance of continued growth. A few days ago I had cramps that felt exactly like I was getting my period, and it made me think there was no hope. There's no other sign of my period coming, and I'm on progesterone, so I'm not sure what the cramps were, but.. can you get AF cramps on progesterone? I mean... AF cramps are your body prepping and shedding lining, and that's not happening. And sometimes I feel incredibly unlucky and assume I'll fall on the wrong side of 50/50. Or whatever the real statistics may be. I've been having the kind of cramps that you get and you run to the bathroom assuming you're bleeding. I've heard others say they've felt this way prior to a BFP, but it just feels so unlikely.

That's not to say I don't have hope. I do. Boy do I . I pray every day and talk to the little one. But I'm afraid if I let myself really believe, that the pain will be worse if I get bad news. I'm sure the pain will be just as bad either way, but I guess on some level I hope it softens the blow. I wish I knew what these cramps were from because they feel exactly like period cramps, but that just shouldn't be. I haven't seen any indication of impending blood, but it... I dunno.

Part of me feels bad because I think I won't be blessed with a child unless I truly believe It's going to happen. And that scares me too. I just want this so much, and I don't know what to feel. But I hope this happens for us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Longest Two Weeks Ever

If itchy breasts was a symptom of pregnancy you could count me in. I dunno WTH is going on, but it's out of control today. I guess I need to wash my bra lol.

I'm actually surprised at how fast this 2ww is going. I'm already 6dp3dt! Only 5 more days to go until testing. For some reason today I was really down and pessimistic about it. I got a cramp this morning that felt exactly like AF, and I usually get them starting around 8dpo. I kept thinking that feeling the same things meant the same outcome. But pretty much everyone I've talked to has said they felt the same things on their BFP cycles as their BFN cycles. That AF-like cramps can go either way, and there's no way to know until you test. I'm just trying to be positive. Andy is pretty much over me. I know he's excited because he's already got an app for his phone to tell him what the baby is doing each day. But he's not enjoying that it's every single word out of my mouth. I guess I can't blame him. I suppose talking about any 1 thing too much can get old. And it probably doesn't help that it's always "I'm scared!". He told me today to just relax. Not a "relax and it will happen" but a "relax or you might end up in the hospital from freaking out" lol. And I decided that I need a hobby.

I don't know what I can do to keep myself from thinking and googling and wondering and analyzing. I guess part of it just comes with the territory. But I hope it's all worth it and there's a BFP on the other side of the rainbow. Only time will tell. For now I will just try to calm myself down as much as I can. At least it's almost the weekend and I've got movies and lunch with mom and other things to kee me occupied. This whole process is just... crazy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I have none. I know this is normal. I do... but I can't make myself believe it. I get crampy, sure, but that's not a symptom. I'm 5dp3dt right now. I can't believe I've made it this far without testing. And I have 6 more days to go. I see people online all the time talk about how they had no indication whatsoever that they were pregnant before the test. I know it's possible, and that really, symptoms prior is extremely unlikely since it takes a certain amount of HCG before your body can react. But.. the illogical part of me just wants something to cling to. I googled again last night and saw that someone heard from her Shady Grove doctor that a SET on day 3 is a 30% chance. My baby is a fighter, though, and I hope it's more. SGFC has a blastocyst eSET clinical pregnancy rate of oer 61%. Since we're working under the assumption that this little one would have made it to blast had we given it the opportunity, that makes my chances closer to 61%. Yes, I don't know that, and just because the other one did doesn't mean this one will. But it makes me happy to think that since it was perfect on day 3. And I like hope.

Update: Everything south of the border hurts. My ovaries, the spot where my legs meet my body, my hip bones, my pelvic bones waaayyy down like... yeah. I've got pokes ad prods above my pubic bone, aches when I cough. Geez. I'm nervous, because the ovary pain I get every month, and I think "Well it happens every month when I'm NOT pregnant, so maybe it means I'm not" but... it really hs been crazy today. It feels like everything in there is stretching out. I hope it is. I keep seeing people who got pregnant on a day 3 transfer of 2, and I keep thinking "Well if they'd only transferred that one, they'd still be pregnant, so it can happen!" I wish I could turn off my brain. And I want to test, but I will not use my lucky test. I won't!

I talked to Andy about why we were waiting until Tuesday, and I totally forgot! We have a lucky test! We have the third FRER from a 3-test box. The first one was a +, and the owner has a 6 month old baby girl. The second was a + and the owner has a 3 month old baby girl. She gave me the third and we've been saving it for our IVF cycle. We only have 1, and we didn't want to "waste" it by taking it early, and since 14DPO is really the most likely to get a +, we're waiting until 14DPO. So that was the reasoning I totally forgot. I hope this little test isn't disappointed. I hope it's a + like its buddies. And now, a word for my little one.

Dear Beeb,

Mommy and Daddy love you so much. We've prayed about you for so long, and wished and hoped and dreamed. I kiss your picture every day. I'm so proud of you already. Daddy is already planning on putting an app on his new phone to track your progress. Your picture is his wallpaper. Grandma and Grandpa have you saved on their computer, too. There is so much love in this world for you already. Last night I asked God, with all of my power and my being, to please hold you and keep you safe and let you grow and be healthy. I want you more than I've ever wanted anything in my entire life. I know you're a fighter and you're strong and already so perfect. We're rooting for you out here, little one. And if there's anything I can do to convince you to stick around, let me know and I'll do it. I've got a whole box of books to read to you, and we have to awesome cats I think you'll like. You have 4 awesome grandparents tha can't wait to meet you, and will spoil you rotten. I'm going to get a rocking chair to hold you and rock and sing you to sleep like my mom used to do to me. And daddy's got so much to teach you about baseball and he just can't wait. I don't know if you're listening, but since you're in my body I like to think you can feel how I'm feeling. And I love you, and daddy loves you, and we want to meet you and hold you in our arms in 8 months. So please stay in there little one. Mommy loves you.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Catching Up

I haven't updated our IVF expenses in a while. We're hoping this is the complete list, but we may still get billed for something. Time will tell.

SHG - $100
Day 3 blood work and ultrasound - $145
HSG - $231.50
Deposit - $3250
ICSI deposit - $250
Meds - $1578.19
Lupron - $10
Injection Class - $10.50
Embryo Freezing - $625
Yearly Storage - $360
Total: $6560.19

So that's where we stand financially. The embryo freezing is normally $1250 but we are getting 50% off because we did Single Embryo Transfer (SET). My parents have paid about $5000 of it. If we have to move on to FET, we'll be paying for that ourselves. Fortunately we shouldn't have to go into debt for it, but it's still a lot of money and we're all hoping this one works.

Some things have been going on in my body that I'm sure can be attributed to the endomtrin, but they've got my phantom symptom checker on high alert. Here's what I have so far:

-Breast pain and itchiness off and on
-Odd cramps
-Occasional Nausea

I get nauseated all the time. It's just luck I suppose, so I'm sure it's nothing, and the rest is probably from progesterone. But a girl can dream, right?

I've been wanting to test on Sunday since way before I realized it was Mothers Day, because that's 9dp3dt. Andy really wants me to wait until Tuesday, but I don't want to. If I test on Tuesday, and it's negative, I have to go right to work. If I test on Sunday we get to spend the day together talking and working things out, and neither of us work. Our plans are currently to go to the mall and get Andy a new phone, have a nice lunch, then come home and watch baseball. That sounds like a much better day to me. I suppose one could argue that it would suck to ruin a perfectly nice day, but I don't know if I subscribe to that theory. At the same time, we could be spending mother's day celebrating OUR baby, and that would be really neat.

I still find myself googling 3 day SET vs. 5 day SET. I found one study that said pregnancy rates are higher at day 5, and one that said no statistical significance in difference in pregnancy rate. My Dr. said the latter. And if baby #2 is any indication, this one could have been a 5 day SET. I know I can't judge this one off that one, but I still like to think that they would have continued growing the same since they'd been the same prior. I want this little one so much. I want this test to be positive not because I want A baby (which of course I do) but because I want THIS baby. This little one I have pictures of, that I've dubbed an overachiever and a fighter. We keep saying it's a fighter and it's going to make it, and I talk to it and love and encourage it. Maybe I'm weird, but I saw it... it was a growing, dividing, living thing they placed in me and I love it. I want this to be our first baby, and I hope that it is.

Blood Where Blood Should Not Be

If the title wasn't an indication, there's a good chance this post is going to be way too much info for folks. So I understand if you skip it.

Implantation bleeding. Everyone that has ever tried to conceive knows all about implantation bleeding. You see it everywhere, but google insists that most women don't get it. I have a confession. Ever since we started trying, I've been looking for the mysterious "IB". I've never seen it, or anything closely resembling it. Actually I've only ever spotted mid-cycle twice, and it was within a day before or after O. Well that little piece of info is no longer true. So here's where it gets really gross. You've been warned.

I am on endometrin, a progesterone suppository. I've been on it about a week with no issues but some occasional cramping when I put it in. Last night after I put it in, I noticed on the applicator (yes, I looked, I'm gross) a tiny streak of blood. It was small, but it was definitely there, and it was definitely blood. 3dp3dt, the day implantation is supposed to potentially start. I happen to know, since we did IVF, that our little guy was growing a little ahead of schedule, and the other one, who was doing the same, got frozen a day early because it was a good blast and ready to hatch on Sunday. If this one was still growing like that one, there's no reason to think it couldn't have start to implant last night.

So what does this mean? Well, for now, nothing. Although I haven't had any issues with the endometrin, it could be from that. I don't think it could be the beginning of AF since I'm only the equivalent of 7dpo, but anything's possible. So my plan is to be excited, but not get so excited I'll never recover if it doesn't turn out like I hope. The embryo chart by day says 5dp3dt implantation begins, but who knows. It was late on 3dp3dt with a fast growing embryo.

I  never would've noticed the blood without the endometrin, so who knows. But I'm going to take it as a good sign, and keep hoping and praying my little one is snuggling in.

Update: Sensitive lady bits also cause blood. but I'm still hopeful, dagnabbit!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Snowbaby? For Real!?

Today I'm on cloud nine. I just got the unbelievable news that I've been hoping and praying for - our second embryo made it to freeze! Just 6 days ago I sat in the recovery room crying because we "only" got 6 eggs. I cried again on Wednesday when I heard that only 3 fertilized. And today I'm light as air because we have a snowbaby. I was on pins and needles all weekend waiting, afraid that no news was bad news. I called the nurse this morning and she called me back and let me know our beautiful little fighter was still waiting for us. She said they normally watch the ones to freeze a little longer, but it made it to the stage they wanted to see early, so they froze it. What's neat about that is knowing that our little one could've been a 5 day transfer. So hopefully the one inside me could've too. They were growing exactly the same, so I'm tellng myself the one in my uterus is that stage too! Praise God! A frostie!!

Andy and I were talking yesterday. He was feeling really down. He'd had a terrible day and I wasn't really helping. I was bothering him about going back to school, and it wasn't the day for it. He's excited about it, but when he has a bad day he gets negative thinking it won't work out, so I should've left him alone, but I was being a jerk. So I sent him a message this morning and apologized and he called me. He told me he's having a really rough couple of days and he's feeling down, but the prospect of having this baby outweighs all of it. I could've cried right then. My husband is just so great. He's not perfect. I'm not perfect, but we're perfect for each other, and it's coming out now just how much he loves this child and it's so, so cool to see.

I called him a little after that to tell him about our frozen baby, which we've nicknamed "'lil miss" because we think it's a girl, and his whole mood changed. He exlaimed "OH COOL!" like the darkness had been lifted lol. He was so happy.

I have so many phantom symptoms today. I'm sore and crampy and I keep thinking "It's not too early for implantation!" Lol. I'm ridiculous. But I'm so hopeful this one is strong and burrowing in for the long haul. Today is such a great day. After all of this we have a beautiful blast good enough to freeze. It just doesn't get any better than that!