Monday, April 30, 2007

We've Got Lift Off!

Okay, it's all becoming more real.

We're booked in to see the doctor. I'll call him Dr.L for now until I can come up with a better name for him. He's the director of the clinic and he sees all new patients. Because V. and I were referred, and aren't considered new to the whole IF world, we didn't have to wait like a new patient would. So rather than having to wait until June, we're seeing him in 3 weeks, on the 19th. It would have been the 12th, but we're having a huge massive garage sale that's been in the planning stages for over a year. (If you're interested in coming by send me an email and I'll send you the info.)

So, this means that in 3 weeks we could be on our way! V. and I will sit down with the donor agency forms and complete them in the next week. We can send them down with their deposit before we meet with the doctor if we wish. Depending in the donor we select, and if she's already matched with another couple, we could begin cycling as early as June I think!

I am so psyched!!!!!

Past, Present and Future

I know that I do not post a lot here but the good wife does such a good job, my interjection is rarely needed. Anyhow, I thought it was time to add a few cents into the mix.

One cannot help but contemplate because so much of this journey we are on involves sitting around and waiting. These days, the thoughts have drifted back to my high school days. I am a proud graduate of one of the last classes to take Grade 13 at Father Francis Libermann in Scarborough. Our motto at the school was/is, in Latin, Inter Mutanda Constantia; steadfastness in the midst of constant change. If ever there was a fitting description of life for us, that is it.

I am one of those lucky folks that is still in contact with a select few close friends from high school. Three of those people are Godparents to our daughter (the fourth is my little brother), another one was her sponsor when she was confirmed (Google Christian sacraments if you are unfamiliar). I am the Godfather and will be the sponsor to one school mate's child, I am the Godfather of another, and the "uncle" to many more. Lots of change as we "kids" become "adults" but when we are together, so little has changed between us it is like being back in the halls of the old school dishing out Buckwheats, snow wedgies, and other, uhm, wholesome fare.

So, I look into the future sometimes and wonder what time will bring. What will our offspring have to look forward to. I look, I wonder, and I shudder at the answers I see. The current generation, (as I am sure all previous generations have said about their followers) just don't seem to get it. This is not the Star Trek age where we have shields to protect us and miracles to cure us. No one is untouchable. No one is invincible. If you even doubt that, go to a homeless shelter, a home for the aged and a hospital in a 24 hour period. Tell me if you see all the difference between people or the simple common fact that we are all vulnerable.

And then I think again to the present, to our current child/young woman and to our future children and I lie awake wondering how the hell am I ever going to protect them. Gone are the days of the Waltons and Aunt Bea. Now it's religious fanatics, hidden agendas, and just plain crazy-assed people shooting other people for the sake of it. What have we "progressed" to?

Anyhow, with all the doom and gloom, I welcome the challenge ahead with open arms. All the better to choke the living daylights out of it.


Friday, April 27, 2007

It's been a while

since I mentioned the guest map. I've noticed from my stat counter that you new and old readers are coming from all over the globe. It always interests me to see where you all are from. So, how about putting a pin in the guest map for where you hail from? Say hello while you're at it. Everyone is welcome. :) It's just over there --->

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Times, they are a changin'

So we've made some changes over the past week.

As you may recall when we started this whole donor process in August/05 D. was 36. However with all the delays we've had, it's now 18 months later and D. is a month shy of 38. But of course, now we've got the funds and we're able to move forward. There's a big difference between 36 and 38 from a reproductive position. Right after I had the surgery last July I received a call from the doctor in Montreal. Because we had the 4 month wait following surgery it was going to be 13 months from our first meeting before we'd even be allowed to try again and I was concerned at that point that D. was going to be 37. Here she gave me the statistics for their success for 36 and 37 year old donors. If you look at them, it looks pretty promising. Fast forward to today. Normally they don't accept donors over 37 but because we were already patients, they were willing to consider D. However, D. needed to get in for retesting and ultrasound as I said here. Well according to what D. told me the doctor (not ours) who had done the ultrasound deemed her viable. However, our doctor after reviewing the results this past week felt we need to know that D. wasn't as good as we were led to believe. Her ultrasound was "decent" but could be better. Obviously this couldn't get better unless we used a younger donor. She indicated that her eggs were old by donor standards, there was a greater risk of miscarriage and birth defects, and a greater risk of failure, plus a reduced response to the meds than a younger donor. At the time all this comment did was depress me because I'd been concerned about this since last year and we really didn't feel we had any other choice.

However, during my conversation with the donor coordinator she indicated there had been a meeting that week between them and a clinic in Toronto that dealt with anonymous donors. She had some pricing information, gave me their website and said to think about it. V. and I talked about it and at first we thought that we really couldn't afford to change, but there were some other "issues" going on that we needed to take into account and discuss. We decided that I would contact the clinic and try and get more information from them so we could make an informed decision.

Five days later, several phone calls with the Coordinator at the local clinic, another extensive conversation with the Matching Coordinator at the American agency, and a lot of discussion between V. and I, we reached a decision. As much as we love D. for what she's done for us so far and what she'd be doing once the cycle started, we just couldn't continue knowing that our odds for success were less than we were initially led to believe. We have decided that we are going to change clinics and go with a younger donor to greatly improve our chances of success. And because their small bank of Canadian donors has a 12-18 month waitlist, we have made the decision to use an American donor. We're also going to be doing a shared donor cycle which means that we will share the eggs retrieved from our donor with another couple who also selected her as their donor. As donor eggs/IVF especially with US donors can be very expensive, it is more cost effective to do a shared cycle. And because a younger donor will have younger eggs, better chance at fertilization success, lower risk of miscarriage and birth defects, we've got a better chance at succeeding. We also have better odds of having embryos available to freeze for additional tries.

So that is where we are right now. I'm waiting for the referral letter to the clinic from the old clinic. I've requested a copy of our psychological assessment for the donor agency, I've told both clinics we're making the change. Once we get the referral letter I can get an appointment for us to begin and get cracking with V. on choosing a donor. We've already got the package for Intended Parents which has the necessary forms we're to complete and return to the US agency. Once we do this (after we get our referral appointment) we will start to receive donor profiles and we will be able to choose our donor. Oh yeah, the funding requirement has changed. What a surprise. Not!

Lots going on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pins and needles

I went for my second acupuncture session today. The school is between terms right now so this week and next week the students are on break. This means that the person I saw last week, who was very good, wasn't there today and won't be there next week. That's okay. Today I saw a second year student. He was pretty good. After they do the requisite pulses and tongue check he went off to speak with supervising instructor. A few minutes later he's back with the President of the school, and another instructor who sits down to listen. She sits and checks pulses and tongue as well. Asks a number of questions regarding my fertility and what V. and I have done so far. She also asks the intern what he thinks and commends him for his correctness. Always good to know that the guy who's about to stick needles in you knows what he's doing. :) She is the person I was referred to when I was looking for someone to do the acupuncture. She's specialized in infertility and TCM. So, having her check me out was interesting. One thing she did ask me was if anyone had ever said I wouldn't be able to carry a pregnancy to term. I thought this was interesting considering I've never talked to a doctor about this. She said based on her expertise in TCM, she said my constitution needs work. Not sure what that meant exactly. Anyway, treatment was like last week. Hurt for a couple but fine otherwise. I even drifted off when he left me to relax.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Sorry to for the absence of info. V. and I are trying to sort some stuff out and when we've got it done, we'll update everyone.

For now, the only news is that I started acupuncture today.

It's been said that acupuncture can help improve the success rate of in-vitro fertilization by:

- Relaxing the patient, decreasing stress, and taking individual time with patients
- Regulating hormonal imbalances resulting in a larger number of follicles
- Strengthening the immune system
- Lessening the side effects of drugs used in IVF or other western productive techniques
- Improving the function of the ovaries to help produce better quality eggs
- Increasing blood flow to the uterus and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining
- Preventing the uterus from contracting
- Improving semen and sperm to create a better quality and quantity of embryos
- Decreasing the chances of miscarriage

Obviously some of these points are not applicable as we're using donor eggs. And acupuncture isn't just for women. :)

Anyway, a few months ago an ad showed up on my blog for the Toronto Wellness Clinic. It turns out that, among their list of services, they performed acupuncture for infertility. It seems those ads can be good for something. ;) Anyway, when I finally got around to calling them I found that their location in downtown Toronto was just not convenient for me in terms of their clinic hours. I was able to get name of someone else who might be able to help. It turns out that this person is the President of the Toronto School of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After contacting them I found that they offer acunpuncture at their teaching clinic at a much cheaper rate than if I'd gone downtown or with the President who does take patients. Plus the school is more easily reached after work, and has evening hours in the clinic, plus Saturdays. So, off I went this morning for my consultation and first treatment - all for $30!! The whole appointment took just under 2 hours, with the first hour being the consultation.

In the end, she put 26 different needles in me. One went into my forehead which was to relieve stress (I think), 2 each went into my hand and the back of my wrist of each hand, plus each ankles. I believe she called these points the 4 Gates. The remaining needles were put into my abdomen and my legs. I'm not really familiar enough at this time with what she did. Did they hurt? only the 4 Gates and my forehead, but that disappated quickly. Otherwise, I didn't feel anything. I asked if I'd notice anything over time and she said I might, and one of those things might be that my period gets heavier. Oh joy! In any case, I've bought their 11 session package. For now, I'm only going in once a week until we've got a date for transfer, then we'll look at twice a week. I figure at this point, anything extra we can do to further our chances of success is a good thing.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Press Your (my) Luck!!

Anyone old enough to have a baby now grown into a teenager should remember this simple, beloved game show with the big button, the big set of nerves and the whammies. So, in the spirit of the game, I will play my own version now. As you know from Pam's earlier blog post, we have secured the funds necessary to move forward with our dream. But wait, could the timing be merely coincidental or is it fate?

Apple, from Cupertino, California, announced that they have released the new MacPro ( and it is a monster of a system. EIGHT cpu cores, SIXTEEN gigs of ECC main memory, THREE terabytes of hard drive storage, the ability to run TWO 30" Apple Cinema monitors concurrently and more creamy goodness. All this for much less than a supercomputer still costs these days. I worked out my dream machine and it tops out at just under 19Gs USD. I lowered some of my selections and brought it down to under 12Gs. Hmm, now where would I find 12Gs these days. I wonder.

Oh wait, I know where. My wonderful, loving wife has that kind of coin laying around. I think I remember she had it earmarked for something else though. Just what was that again? Oh yeah, I think I recall now. Hmmm, baby. MacPro. Little Aristotle. Big drive space. Crap filled diapers. Holy crap speed. Unknown exterior package. Shiny brushed aluminum. Noisy. Silent running. Has to be taught repeatedly. Learns on the fly. Envy of others. Hmm, that one is a wash.

It's a hard choice, but I think I will stick with the current course. Little Aristotle will bring us much more joy than my MacPro dreams so I am happy to stay with the current decision. There is 38 million dollars up for grabs in tonight's 6/49 draw here in Ontario so maybe this time tomorrow, I will be on the way to having both dreams fulfilled. If not, this is more than I could ever ask for so there will be no disappointments in our household. :)

PS Ignore any comments from my wife; if the child is a boy, he WILL bear the name.

Is it in yet? (A tale of TMI)

So, as my dear wife has told you, I went off to the west-end doctor's office to make my little contribution to our project preparation. On the way, as we often do during the day, I am BB-ing (messaging on the crackberry) back and forth with her as to what I am doing, when I was leaving the office and when I was getting there, essentially. During this conversation she says, "Think of me. :)" in hopes of motivating the right frame of mind for the task at "hand", pardon the pun. my response was, edited, "Right after Halle, Sela, and the blonde that does DP with a BJ chaser." This is why my wife loves me so much; my wit.

So, speaking to my fellow male compatriots, it simply does not get any easier. I mean, let's be totally honest here and admit that almost every man on the planet has done it at one point or another for pleasure, need or protection against possible unwanted offspring when no other method was available. However, in all that time (except for some of you freaks out there) no one has ever asked us to make a command performance and I think that is where the difficulty and effort lies. Anyone that says the end result does not produce those mighty endorphins we all love would be lying. That said, it is simply not a conducive environment when ladies who would rather kill a male than have them touch them after all the crap they have to go through are the last faces you see before entering the room with the most sorrowful collection of pr0n on the planet, you simply are not as "up" to the task as you would normally be given a roomful of ladies with the single purpose of helping you get to that state.

Now, speaking strictly to this office, they need some help. Let's face it, Playboy is a nice empire run by a nice guy and his daughter that has a bevy of nice girls who happen to take some (Tricia Hilfer) or all (Pamela Anderson, for a nickel and dime) of their clothes off. Titillating? Sure. Curious? Sure. So hot you want to drive nails in? Uhm, er, no. Ladies, feel free to mark this down. Most of us love you because you are the nic girls who happen to be willing to take your clothes off for us. When we have to make a command performance, we need all you nice girls to step aside and let the "others" in. You know the ones we are talking about: that girl in the office you heard about, the divorcee down the street the mailman smiles at, the teacher with the leather fetish. No, not the stripper we saw at the club last Friday; her sister who is a closet freak needing to get out every full moon. Ok, now we are operating on full power.

Unfortunately, none of that imagery helped and nothing in the provided "reading materials" was much use because the best ones were, uhm, heavily used, beaten, ripped and, er, stuck together. Next. Lots of Playboy. Next. UHM? You're kidding right? Sports Illustrated with Beyonce on the cover?!?!? Uhm, you all need some lessons in what is good pr0n and what is a waste of a fellas good feelings and time. Sigh, alas, I did not produce my best work; a C- in my books but I do have an excuse.

I was more than a little distracted due to poor L's inability to find my vein. Normally, I am quite the good bleeder. just stick it in me and out it flows. Ok, that did sound wrong and maybe we can deal with that later please. Thank you, I will continue now. So, he stuck the needle in and got one vial. Replace the vial and nothing happened. The body is an amazing thing because she was in and out, back and forth, to and fro, and I did not feel pain until she hit a muscle; still, no blood. She tried the other arm and that was worse. Not sure why, but my veins collapsed out of the normal area. After some more trying on the left arm, L. led me down into another room so I can lie down in the hopes the veins would relax and pop back into normal position. I did, they did and she was finally able to get it in and get the rest of the vials filled for the tests; five in all I think.

Of course, both arms now had taped cotton balls in the inside of my elbows. Balls on my arms. Mind giggle. Great. Imagery I did not need. Wrong anatomy homer. Think. THINK. Balls. FRIG!!!! Ok, go read something. No, not SI.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Time stands still when you're waiting for something.

It really does. Either than or I've fallen into another time-space continuum where things move at a different pace.

Things are moving along. V. has been in and gotten his bloodwork done. I've made an appointment for acupuncture treatments. This article says if you're undergoing fertility treatments it can boost your chances of success. And at this point, V. and I want everything going in our favour. I've got a call into the clinic to see if we can get an appointment to get get things started, and D. needs to get one more test. If things all fall into place, we may be able to get our calendars and prescriptions and anything else needed next week. Otherwise, we'll be making the trip in May.

That's it for now.