Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Squirt has arrived!!

I know I haven't posted in a little while, and I'll be back with an update about Christmas etc, but for now, please go and congratulate Patti and Mark as they welcome a baby boy at 10:47pm on December 29th!!! V and I are thrilled.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I thought I'd steal this from m who shamelessly stole it from someone else. Before you read the rest of this post, jump over to m's blog give her a hug as she and M just lost their twin girls at 21w6d.

(Since I can't seem to strikeout I've bolded those items I've done.)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (all through high school, if the school band counts)
4. Visited Hawaii (won this trip and absolutely will go back)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo (in the high school band)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (who hasn’t?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (crowd scenes in Meatballs)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (does lobster count or fish?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (I used to work in a major hotel that catered to celebrities)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby - which isn't the same as having one as far as I'm concerned
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Third Annual Virtual Cookie Exchange

I was supposed to get this up on Friday but I was in massive baking mode because of our Christmas Open House on Saturday. If you want to check out the other contributprs, just go to Jenn's blog and see.

I made 11 different items on Thursday and Friday and have given you a picture of all items.

Starting at the top of the plate and moving down by row:

Sugar cookies, which I had intended to ice

Kiflins, Chocolate Walnut Truffle Squares, Egg Nog Tea Cookies, Earl Grey Bocca di Nonna, Maple Walnut Shortbread, Plain Shortbread

Tart Cherry Streusel Bars, Carrot Cake bars, "Inside Out" Almond Joy Macaroons, Fig-Date Rugelach

If anyone wants any recipe other than the one below just email me. My email is in my profile.

So without further ado. This recipe was in the Cuisine at Home Holiday COokies issue from 2006 (I think).

Egg Nog Tea Cookies with Butter Rum Icing

Makes about three dozen 2" cookies
Total time: about 1 1/2 hours + chilling


2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp table salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract


2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp rum flavouring or light rum
Red and green candied cherries for decoration

Preheat oven to 350F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Whisk flour, nutmeg and salt together for the cookies in a bowl; set aside.

Cream 1 cup of butter and sugar together in another bowl with a mixer until smooth. Add egg and vanilla; beat until incorporated, the mix in the flour mixture just until blended. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Roll dough into scant 1 1/2" balls. Arrange on prepared baking sheets spacing 2" apart. Bake 10 minutes, or until firm to the tough and lightly brown in the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Whisk powdered sugar, 2 tbsp butter, milk and rum flavouring together for the icing. Frost cooled cookies, then decorate with candied cherries or ground nutmeg. Allow icing to harden before packing cookies.

(Freeze cookies unfrosted for up to 1 month)

Note: I added a bit more milk to the icing to make it more spreadable and I decorated as I iced as it started to harden fairly quickly.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm still here...or what I've been doing while on hiatus

V pointed out to me that the my last post was October 31, 2008. I knew it had been a while. I didn't realize it was quite that long.

There's really not much going on IF-wise. When we last left our story our doctor had suggested using a surrogate and we had decided that financially, this was just not an avenue we could go down. Since then, and without going into any detail, we had a wonderful offer for surrogacy that in the end was not able to move forward. And we thank that person for even thinking of doing that and making that offer and putting herself out like that, regardless of the end outcome. So, we're back to doing our final FET hopefully March, but it may work out to being more like April or May.

I have also been to my own doctor for my annual checkup and to bring her up to speed and get her take on things. She found that my fibroids have returned (arg!) and since we have time before we are going to be doing anything, she has given me the requisition for a transvag ultrasound to see what's going on in there with them. I've got that scheduled for later this week and expect I'll hear something in January. Hopefully we don't have to do anything about them, and they aren't impeding progress.

So, to keep myself busy over past month and into the Christmas season I've been knitting and planning various parties. We are hosting six social events including the family Christmas. Three down, three to go.

November 22 and 29 had V and I hosting baby showers for two very close friends that are really family, and are having their babies in January, four days apart. One was for one if V's oldest friends (since high school) and the other was for Patti and Mark. I know that some of you think that I'm insane for wanting to put myself through the whole shower thing, but you know it didn't bother me. What does get to me is when people are sitting around swapping birthing stories, or passing around all the gifts. However, neither of those happened so all was good. We had the decorations, the games (which were pretty funny) and some great gifts. I chose to knit for both of them and in the end knitted the same thing in different colours. Patti had given me strict instructions that we weren't to buy them anything and by knitting, I abided by their wishes. ;) Part of the decorations for each shower was a diaper cake that I made (with the help of a friend).

This is the sweater I made first for our friend K who's shower was first.

I don't currently have a photo of Patti's sweater, but here is a swatch from the yarn website of the colour I used for hers.

This was K's diaper cake and below is Patti's diaper cake.

Each shower had about 30 guests who all seemed to have a good time.

The week following Patti's shower we hosted our annual Christmas Poker Potluck which he been going on for a number of years. This year about a dozen of us attended, and I made a completely non-Christmas pull pork recipe. We also always do a gift auction where you bring a gift with a value up to $40. We draw playing cards to see who starts and from there the first opens a gift. The next person has the option of "stealing" that gift or opening another gift. This goes on until all the gifts have been opened. This year I think the gift exchange lasted almost an hour as there were much thievery going on. Everyone had a good time and I don't believe anyone lost too much money during poker.

This coming weekend we are hosting our 5th Annual Christmas Open House. We usually have upwards of 100 people on the Evite but only see 1/3 to 1/2 that number. This year we may be seeing a few more as we've got 60+ people saying Yes. If there are any readers who will be in the GTA on Saturday who would like to join us to raise a glass to the holiday season, let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Our fifth event is much smaller and is just brunch for some family members on the 21st who can't join us on the 13th.

Then there is Christmas Day. We do this as a potluck event as well as we are expecting anywhere from 20-30 people if everyone were to attend. V and I provide the turkey and the ham, a few other dishes, beverages and I'm in the process of doing my holiday baking.

It wouldn't be a Trini Christmas without black cake (a very dark cake made with dried fruits and rum), ponche de creme (sorta like egg nog with a lot of rum), Sorrell drink or liquor (a drink made from the red sepals of the roselle plant), and Parang.

Anyway, that's what I've been and am doing right now. I'm hoping to participate in Jenn's virtual cookie exchange so watch this space in the next few days for my contribution.

Friday, October 31, 2008


I just thought I'd drop in and say I'm okay. I know many of you on the internet and IRL have been worried and concerned. I understand that and I appreciate all of your kind words and hugs both virtual and real. It's not been easy and I ask on an almost daily basis "Why". There have been no real answers at all. I had the day off last Friday so I went back down to the clinic to have a brief face to face chat with my doctor to ask him a few more questions. Even though I arrived at the near end of cycle monitoring, it was still about 90 minutes to see him.

I asked him all of the questions that you guys had put into the comments. He did not feel that my fibroid surgery two years ago could have an impact, nor did he feel that I had any scar tissue. I have already had an HSG, a hysteroscopy and a sonohysterogram (are any of them the same thing?) and he didn't think there was any need to re-do them, nor to have a laparoscopy.

I had spoken to the surrogate consultant the day before and mentioned to him the fee she told me. He said it was way too high, double in fact, and while we were talking he pulled out his blackberry and sent her an email questioning the fees. Regardless of that, I told him there was just no way we could do that financially and we were back to doing a final cycle next February or March.

So, that's where we stand right now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I was tagged by Ellen. All answers can be one word. I've actually had this sitting to post...I think I had issues. :)

1. Where is your cell phone? on my desk
2. Where is your significant other? home
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? Ruth
5. Your father? Alan
6. Your favorite thing? not sure
7. Your dream last night? don't remember
8. Your dream/goal? success
9. The room you’re in? work cubicle
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? sharks
12. Where do you want to be in six years? self employed
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? tall
15. One of your wish list items? new job
16. Where you grew up? Toronto
17. The last thing you did? phone call
18. What are you wearing? pants, sweatshirt, tshirt, runners.
19. Your T.V.? 50" plasma
20. Your pet? don't have one
21. Your computer? Dell
22. Your mood? sad
23. Missing someone? father
24. Your car? Grand Caravan
25. Something you’re not wearing? wedding ring (doesn't fit)
26. Favorite store? Williams & Sonoma
27. Your Summer? hot and dry
28. Love someone? absolutely
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? yesterday

I'm not tagging anyone, but if you want to do it, feel free.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Virtual World Tour

M is hosting a virtual world tour. The task was to take pictures of random things. So here it is:

This is the inside of my Aunt's sukkah.

Also inside the sukkah, but a view of the etrog and the lulav.

This one is for Cali. The leaves have changed colour, the weather has cooled off and the leaves are blanketing the ground in some areas.

This is my new GPS that V got me for my birthday. You'll notice it says Knight.Rider on it. This is my KI.TT just like on the tv show and it talks just like the car. It's sooooo cool.

This is a sample of V's toy collection.

This gargoyle was a gift from a good friend to V on his 40th birthday this year.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Follow Up or The Gift That Keeps on Giving

This past Thursday I finally called the clinic again because in the 10 days since I'd received the negative and called to get a follow up phone called scheduled, I'd not heard anything from them and I was not feeling the love. I had called to see if by chance our RE was taking follow up appointments on Monday. I knew it was a long shot since it's Thanksgiving here but V was willing to go down to the clinic and wait if necessary. However, since it's a holiday I was told he wasn't booking appointments and if I wanted I could just show up Saturday and see him. This wasn't possible due to previous plans and it's something we were reluctant to do as we knew the wait was going to be 2 hours for a 10 minute meeting. In addition, because it was Yom Kip.pur he wasn't in the office the day I called so all I could do was have her leave a message for him to call me the next day. He wasn't going to be in until the afternoon as he had surgery in the morning, but that was fine. I left my cell hoping I'd hear from him during the day.

So on Friday I kept my cell phone on my desk and my bluetooth headset nearby as I can hear better on it plus it would allow me to move out of my office go outside for privacy. However, by the time I left, there was no call. We were out for dinner with Patti and Mark for 'all you can eat' sushi at a new place near us (which was really good) and, unusual for me but normal for V, I had my bluetooth headset on. So Patti asks me why I'm wearing it and I tell her that I was still waiting for the call and knowing my luck, he'd call during dinner. She was surprised that I thought he'd call that late but I know that our RE works quite late into the evening. Sure enough, at 7:40pm my phone rings and it's him. I excuse myself to go outside a) because the restaurant was noisy and b) so I could get some privacy. When I get back inside and mentioned that yes it was him Patti told me that V didn't think it was when I went outside. He was surprised when I told him that yes, it was the doctor.

He really didn't have much he could say. He says that we can do another cycle whenever we feel ready, that medically we don't have to wait for anything specific. He doesn't know why these cycles haven't worked. He says I'm on all the meds he can put me on and I've had all the necessary tests. He doesn't know why we've had two donors who've not given us good eggs (his words) but he agrees the embryos are excellent. Personally I think donor #2 has produced good eggs. All he could come up with was that perhaps I wasn't able to carry a pregnancy. Maybe he's right. I forgot to ask him if he thought that having my fibroids removed two years ago could have had a negative impact as he was surprised I'd had them removed in the first place.

He raised the possibility of a surrogate saying he could put one embryo in me and two in her and hope for the best. We discussed the surrogate option, which isn't really the route we want but if it's going to get us a live baby, then we're willing to consider it. We could either bring someone to them who has had successful pregnancies but I'm not sure we know anyone who would be willing to do that for us. But he said that they could get us matched with a surrogate within 2-3 weeks. I asked him about cost because I know that it's not cheap and he says there's the lawyer ($5-10K), a consultant ($5K) and another $3K but I'm not sure what that was for. He says basically it's $18,000 but it's prorated if there's not a successful pregnancy. I tell him that we have to think about it because this is another expense we just don't have the money for. I have emailed the Donor Coordinator as she's the only email address I have and asked her to pass my email on to the person who handles the surrogacies. I've asked for a proper breakdown on cost so we know exactly what we're up against. In Canada, like egg donors, you're not allowed to pay a surrogate for her services, just reimburse her for expenses. So the $18,000 just seems low to me. My guess is that the $3,000 is her expenses though.

When V and I get home I go over the call with him and he's quiet. I know he's not happy and I know he's torn because we hadn't planned on an expense like this. Our next goal was saving a down payment for a house. This has been his dream for years and one I can't let him give up. I told him we can't save for both and don't even think about giving up the house.

We already have to pay back the loan on the last cycle. I can't borrow another $18K and I'm not letting him give up his dream. Rock? Meet hard place.

I don't know what to do. As it is we're going to wait until the new year for the next cycle regardless of what it is. But what should we do? Do we say one more chance on my uterus and put in all three? Do we hope that somehow we are able to figure out a way to get the money and do the surrogate scenario?

I have no idea how we're supposed to find/raise that kind of money. Do I advertise that I will bake brownies at a price, or Christmas cookies, or Trinidadian Black Cake (a Christmas staple)? Do I put something on the blog asking for help from the IF community and setup a paypal account? That just feels like begging and I don't like that but I think I need your help. Any suggestions/ideas?

See what I mean by the gift that keeps on giving?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Well, actually it was yesterday. Fairly uneventful really. We're still waiting to get a followup scheduled with the doctor. I think if we haven't heard back from them by the end of the week I'll drag V down on Saturday to get in at the end of the monitoring queue and see him. I know he doesn't want to do that because we end up wasting a lot of time. But we don't want to make any decisions on what we want to do going forward until we talk to him. So until we know, life goes on. I'm expecting that we likely won't do the last cycle until February/March just because with Christmas coming, plus we've had extensive vehicle repairs to V's truck and we just bought a "new" vehicle for me to replace my 1995 Nis.san Max.ima. We wanted to make sure with winter coming and us living outside of the city plus my 45-60 minute commmute each way, that I had a reliable, heavier vehicle. We should get it in about 2 weeks.

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments, good wishes and hugs. They are much appreciated. I'm better although I'd say not back to my old self. It's still hard and it doesn't take much to reduce me to tears. I have to say that much of my thoughts have centered around these past cycles and dwells on the "what if's" of the next cycle. I know I shouldn't but as many of you know, it's hard not to.

Anyway, just wanted to give you an update of where we are right now. When we've had the follow up I'll post again.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Now what?

V says in the last post the question is "do you want to stop?". And he knows me well enough to know that I can't, as long as we have a choice. And right now, we have a choice because we have those last three frozen embryos. But what then?

He's right that emotionally, after I've gotten the call, I'm not the same. The pain is something I can't describe. I don't know if it's the same for him, but I know that those of you who have experienced failure after failure, know this pain. It's an intense grief for a loss that most people just don't understand. It's the fear that I may have to face a future where I never have a child, where I am not a mother, where I won't get the chance to raise, and love, and influence a child of our own. It's not one I ever imagined for myself. And for those of you know know us IRL, please do not say that I am a mother to TC because that is NOT the same thing, not even close, especially with what we've endured over the last year or so in that arena. I am not one of those people who can't be around pregnant women or babies. I love babies and children and we've got several small tykes in our immediate family. We've got three very very close friends who are all expecting in the first quarter of 2009. I/we are so thrilled for them. I can't imagine feeling anything but joy for them. It's just how I am.

I wasn't going to bother, but we're going to arrange to have a follow up with our doctor. I'd rather see him face to face, but with his schedule and ours, that's difficult. V wants to just arrange a phone consult with him. I really don't know what he'll be able to tell us. Perhaps there are some tests he can run that we've not done before? One of the nurses suggested a surrogate, but besides the prohibitive cost, there's not guarantee that will work either, and it's not a route I really want to go down. I want to hear what he has to say, but I think we'll end up moving forward with the same protocol. We'd probably add in the glue again as it's not a bad thing.

Do I do acupuncture on the last cycle? Because I forgot to eat pineapple in the 2ww this last cycle (and I did eat it in the positive cycle) was that the missing ingredient for success? Is the extra weight I'm carrying a detriment to success? The doctor has never said anything and I've seen women much larger than I in the waiting room.

And after we use these embryos, what then if we're unsuccessful? I try to think positively, that over the years we're being tested for some reason and that these last three embryos are the ones. But if not, are we done? Essentially, yes. The only way we'd be able to carry on (unless we won the lottery) is through the use of donor embryos and again there's no guarantee there. Although there are donor embryos at our clinic, they need to reach the parties involved who created those embryos and have them update blood work or something before those embryos can be donated. They've told me in the past that they aren't always able to locate all parties, especially when an egg or sperm donor was used. So, unless someone came to us, I can't see that being a viable option. I know there are donor embryos in the US, but how does one find out? Anyway, I'm jumping the gun here. Right now, V and I need to figure out when we want to try for the last time.

Why does this have to be so hard?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why not? I thought that would be the title of this post but it really does not capture it properly; nothing really does which is why it is blank. Most people in our situation typically asks the question "why?" I tend to think a little differently than most folks so I am left wondering "Why not? Why not us? Why not now?"

Besides the significant financial strain, the single most trying thing in this process is the day after finding out the test was negative. It's not the results of the test that get to me; rather, it is the results of the effects that negative has on my wife. As much as she tries, and as much as she strives, she is simply never the same for a while afterward. Truthfully, a little piece of her dies off the longer the process carries on and the more times we go through this. Anyone that knows us knows that in turn the same goes for me as Pam is my life.

The logical question, and an obvious one, would be "Do you want to stop?" The honest answer is yes. And no. Yes because as a man, a husband, a partner and a friend, I cannot stand to see someone I care about hurt the way she is hurting right now. Yet, the answer MUST be no because I am all those things to her and I know that we MUST try until we simply cannot try anymore or it no longer makes sense to. That time has not yet come to pass but it is near.

I will take this time to say it again, as it can never be said enough. Thank you. Thank you for allowing us our indulgent voices, for the detailed information, for the opinions and for the prayers. Thank you for the cheerleading, and the hand-holding, and the Kleenex(tm) and the tears. Thank you for unconditionally always being there and always being available. It means more than words can express to have family, friends and strangers alike help us on this journey. It rekindles a dwindling faith in humankind and rejuvenates the spirit to do good things with our lives. This has been a hard road but all of your support have made it much easier to travel.

Thank you.

PS Give yourselves and your families a hug from us today and may the Divine One (whomever that may be for you) bless you all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I don't think the fat lady even showed up this time...

Negative. A big fat nothing. I hate this. There's really nothing else to say. The nurse who called asked if we wanted to book a follow up (I don't know if that will help) and asked about a surrogate. Unfortunately there's no guarantee with a surrogate and that is just way way too expensive for us. We've got three embryos left. We are just trying to decide when we'll do the last cycle.

Monday, September 29, 2008


So tomorrow is the day. The last week has just crawled along. The sore throat I had at the beginning of that week morphed into a cold on Wednesday but I'm fine now and was able to get through it with just the odd zinc lozenge. I really wanted to avoid any medications if I could. However, Friday I had a wicked tension headache. I was worried it could have been a migraine but it actually responded to a couple of Extra Strength Ty.lenols. So by later in the afternoon I was pretty good. Strangely though, that's the day I started feeling queasy off and on. It seems that if I ate sweet stuff it really turned up the nausea. There was one time when I told V that I seriously thought I was going to be ill.

We headed off to the B52s concert (it was awesome) later that afternoon. And since we tend to take the bus up to the casino to save us the driving and the gas, we always bring along the DS or PSP. Well, for me, I couldn't even play the DS without feeling totally ill, so I just napped. Dinner when we got up there produced another "omg I'm going to be sick" feeling, even though I wasn't eating anything sweet. But a short while later I was fine. Over the weekend I've still had the queasiness of and on. I'm trying not to read anything into it at all. I know much of what I've been feeling can be attributed to the PIO.

So tomorrow is beta day. I have not POAS even though I so want to. I'll be down first thing in the morning for the blood draw but won't hear back from the clinic until early afternoon. And because V is in a course all week, I can't post anything until I've let him know what's what. The course he's taking is pretty intense and I don't want to distract him from it so I'll need to check with him in the morning and see what he wants me to do. I expect he'll want to know asap regardless of the results.

I will post tomorrow as soon as I am able. I'm extremely nervous.

Right now I'm sitting at my desk eating chocolate chip cookies and feeling queasy. You'd think that would be enough for me to stop.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

And no I am not POAS today. :) I can't necessarily say the same for tomorrow, I've been thinking about it.

I've got the day off which has been nice and I've been relaxing on the couch. Mind you I've got a wicked headache so I've caved and taken a couple of tylenols in the hopes that they relieve the pain before V and I head out later this afternoon.

To all who have sent birthday wishes, thank you. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

7dp3dt or Half Way

So, I've made it through one week. One more to go. It's been quite uneventful, except for our fancy dinner party (see last post). That night, as soon as it was all done, my throat started to hurt quite a lot and I've now got a cold. The sore throat is still there but no where near as bad, sniffles, sneezing but thankfully (knock wood) no coughing. I'm not uncomfortable so I've managed to get through the last three days without taking anything, except zinc lozenges.

I told V today that I'm not confident, but I'm still trying to think positively. I have no symptoms. Yeah yeah, I know that doesn't mean anything but usually, at least the boobs are sore. Last cycle I definitely had sore boobs, I had occasional cramping, and seemed to have a low grade fever. I know the soreness is caused by the progesterone and I'm on 3cc's instead of the normal 2cc's so you'd think I'd be feeling something. The only aches/pains I have been feeling is from the fragmin injections in my stomach. Because I'm doing two a day, it's always achy. I have, however, managed to keep the bruising to a minimum. Yeah! Except for one real doozy. And the low grade fever I seem to have is lower than last time and could be tied to my cold, although I don't feel feverish. Anyway, enough analysing!

The PIO shots are going well. V is a pro at it. Although we did have one night where he must have actually injected into a vein. Scary. I now have a huge bruise. Now before anyone goes and says we're supposed to pull back on the syringe first to make sure there's no blood...that's not possible when using a 3cc syringe and injecting 3cc's. There just isn't the room to do that. For the most part, he's done very well.

There isn't anything coming up for the next week except my birthday, which is Friday. That would be 10dp3dt. Now normally, I could POAS at that stage, but as I said to Patti, I'm not sure I want to. There's only one thing I've wanted for my birthday for the last several years. This is the one year I could actually get it. So, the question will be do I do it on the Saturday, or do I use great willpower and not POAS at all and wait for the beta on the 30th. I know several people (Hi Aurelia!) will tell me not to do it. And honestly, I'm leaning that way. In fact, I even told Patti I was determined not to do it this cycle. My resolve is strong but I'm wavering. So, to take my mind off things on Friday, and just have fun, V and I are heading up to the casino for some slots, dinner and to see the B52s. Should be fun!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Show and Tell

I don't usually participate in Mel's Show and Tell, mostly because I've usually got nothing. ;) However, this weekend I figured I'd show you what has kept me busy for the last two days (and I kinda promised you pictures) and my mind off the 2ww.

Earlier this summer we were able to enjoy our city's Summer.licious festival, which is a 2 week period in the summer (and one is done in the winter too) where over 130 restaurants in the city offer prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner ranging from $15-20 for lunch and $25-35 for dinner, usually a 3 course meal. It's a great way to try out more upscale restaurants without spending a fortune. Anyway, we were able to get to 4 or 5 restaurants with some friends. After Summer.licious was over V wanted to have everyone over later in the summer for a "formal dinner". This didn't mean formal in dress, but not beer and wings or bbq, but a more upscale menu. So our "formal dinner" was last night. I spent Friday prepping most of it and Saturday completing everything. Due to circumstance beyond my control we weren't able to sit down for dinner 6:30pm when I wanted, instead it was 9pm. However, it went well, although one couple was unable to make it in the end, but the four of us had a great time. Here is our 6 course menu in pictures. Everything was made from scratch. Enjoy!

Appetizer Course: Portobello Mushroom and Shrimp Crostini and Tomato Sauce

Soup Course: Vichyssoise

Pasta Course: Gnocchi with a Fresh Summer Tomato Sauce

Sorbet Course: Fresh Lemon Sorbet (to cleanse the palate)

Main Course: Chicken Breast Stuffed with Boursin Cheese and Spinach

Dessert Course: Grand Marnier Creme Brulee with Chocolate Biscotti

Cheese Course: We ended up skipping this course because it got too late. So V and I have some great cheeses to enjoy, well mostly V, but I'm pretty sure I can eat them all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Deed is Done

Transfer was scheduled today at noon. It actually happened just before 12:30, with nary a wait for the doctor. If you've been reading here for the past year you know that waits for monitoring and transfer are common past times. However, today, things moved as they were supposed to.

We were requested to arrive for 11:15 with a full bladder, but we actually got there about 11:45am. We went in to the IVF suite and found out that he'd not yet started his 11:30 retrieval so things seemed as least we thought so. We checked in, got assigned our cubicle with gown etc and then was told that I had time to go over to the clinic to complete some paperwork. That took maybe 10 minutes and I was back, as was the doctor.

I changed and within minutes we were requested to come to the other OR (there are two) as he was doing the retrieval and we were next. Within 10 minutes he, a nurse and an ultrasound tech came in. The tech started getting prepped and realized my bladder was a little fuller than needed (I could have told her that) and I was allowed to "pee a half cup"....this time that was harder than before. In any case, I scooted off to relieve myself slightly and was back in a flash. I assumed the position and the ultrasound tech got things in order.

Meanwhile the doctor was at the window to the embryology lab requesting our embryos. We found out that all three survived the thaw and we still have three on ice. Yeah!! Anyway, we got down to business, showed us the "gorgeous" embryos up on screen and V took the requisite photo. It is pretty amazing that we can see them like this.

Anyway, I as the lab tech was getting them ready, I made sure to confirm that they were using the glue (yes they were) and then we were all ready. Transfer took less than a couple of minutes and we were done. Because we were in the smaller of the two rooms, we were able to rest there for the 20 minutes and then I was able to "pee slowly" and empty the bladder.

Off to our cubicle to get dressed and then wait for the directions from the doctor regarding the Fragmin because I'm on two shots a day and they need to be spaced 12 hours apart. So, for today, I got one immediately after transfer which is required and I'm to take the second at the time I'm normally going to take it from now on in the evening. I'm figuring I'll be doing them at 8am and 8pm so that's when I'll be taking the second shot tonight.

V and I headed home and I assumed the resting position on the couch and we've spent the afternoon watching spoiled rich kids on MTV. :)

I'm off for the next 4 days so I have no intention on moving off this couch until at least Thursday. We have some friends in for a "fancy formal" dinner on Saturday so I'll be menu planning. I am looking forward to the cooking and I'll definitely be getting V to help me with any lifting/reaching/shopping etc. I'll try post the pictures and menu on Sunday.

Anyway, that's it for now. So without further ado, please meet Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Today was the day V and I headed into the clinic for a lining check. We got there about 10 although we should have really been there much earlier as we had a number of things we wanted to do today. However, we arrived and I was astounded by the number of people in the waiting room. This clinic must have seats for 70-80 people and I'd say 2/3 of the chairs were filled. There were quite a lot of men as well, and several kids.

I got my blood taken without waiting and then I sat down to wait for my turn with the wand. I think it was possibly another hour, and I think I may have been one of the last to be checked. There are four ultrasound techs at the clinic, three of who are eastern European and really good. I quite like them. The fourth is also perfectly fine, but she's not as friendly as the others, possibly because she's more shy or reserved or something. But she also takes the longest to do the scan. Lining checks are usually quite quick as they just need to take a few measurements. Anyway, I think she was there for at least 10 minutes, or it felt like it, and on top of that she wouldn't tell me what my lining measured. The others will say if it's good and may even give you the number, but no, not her "I've taken lots of pictures for the doctor" in other words, two pictures is lots and I should find out from him.

So I head back out to the waiting room to sit with V who thankfully brought his PSP to keep him occupied (and me too). Between that and the computers, he had something to do because we ended up waiting a total of 4 hours to see the doctor!!! yeah, you read that right, four hours. And it wasn't just us, it was everyone waiting a long time. The theory is that word has gotten around (I just found out) that he has started to take Sunday's off (he'll just do his scheduled procedures) and won't see monitoring patients. So everyone who may normally have come in on Sunday had come in on Saturday. Even the staff were saying they'd never seen it like that. They were still doing cycle monitoring at 2pm. Usually they're finished by 11-11:30.

So we finally get called in to see him, or at least get into the short line. We waited in a room for about 10 minutes before he came in. I asked him about my lining and it's a "gold star" 13! That's one thing I've never had an issue with - building my lining.

So were scheduled for transfer on Tuesday September 16th. I'm on the doxycycline twice a day starting today for three days. I start the PIO shots tonight and the fragmin shots immediately after transfer. We've decided to transfer three embryos again. We also decided to spend the extra and use the embryo glue. We know there's no guarantee, but we've tried pretty much everything else.

Because I have so much vacation time still available at work I've booked off Tuesday through Friday so a) I don't have to "lie" about being sick as I don't want to have to explain needing a couple of days off, and b) I can totally take it easy. I'll get the call some time on Monday as to time of transfer, but it's usually scheduled for around noon, but seems to happen around 1:30 or 2 due to clinic activity. V and I will be sure to have the PSP and the DS with us to occupy the time. Nothing like staring at a wall for an hour or so.

I just wanted to clarify a point I made in my last post. My questions to our RE were to determine what may have been the reason for the last cycle being a positive (our first) but not going anywhere. Our donor is 24, and when you use an egg donor you assume the success rates for the age of that person. So when I questioned my age, it was more me grasping looking for a reason, and to see if our failures were my fault. So I think his response regarding success rates was more geared to women at 51 using donor eggs, rather than their own. Not sure if this helps or not. I know he is aggressive and with this being our 4th (and possible next to last) transfer, we are willing to up the ante in the hopes we hit the jackpot. We know it's risky and we appreciate everyone's comments and concern. We have not discounted the risks we face with transferring three. I only ask that you think positive thought for us.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I went in to the clinic this morning to get the usual blood work and ultrasound done for the start of the FET. I also wanted to find out what the RE thought this time around. I saw the donor coordinator/nurse and she was sorry that things hadn't worked out for us and encouraged me to talk to the doctor. She agreed there must be something we could do differently.

Blood work was quick as usual and even though they didn't appear to be extremely busy today, the wait for an ultrasound was extremely long. Once that was done, it was only a short wait to see the doc. We like him because he says things straight up and doesn't beat around the busy. Today he sat down with me for about 15 minutes and we discussed my questions and came up with some changes to my protocol this time around.

For the questions:

my age - at almost 48, I wanted to know if my age was negatively impacting the situation. He said he's had the same pregnancy rates for a 25 year old and a 51 year old, so he doesn't feel that my age is an issue. He looked back at the sonohysterogram and said that everything was good there. I reminded him I'd had the fibroids removed a few years ago and that didn't seem to be an issue either.

progesterone - they don't test progesterone levels during the 2 week wait. He doesn't feel that there is a specific number that it's supposed to reach. If you achieve a pregnancy, then they assume that you're producing the right amount. However, he has agreed to increase my progesterone when the time comes from 2cc's to 3cc's of PIO and perhaps supplement with oral progesterone, but he didn't think so.

HCG - supplemental HCG doesn't apply to me as I wouldn't have ovulated

embryo glue - I was expecting a negative reaction/response from him. I'm not sure why. But he surprised me because he has used it before, but like the studies say, he's not convinced that it really helps. However, he will use it if a patient wants to. He had one patient that used it and was successful. On a subsequent cycle, she used it again and was successful again. So he's not adverse to using it, but V and I need to make a decision and let them know asap in case they need to order it. We just have to decide if we're willing to spend the money on it.

He said we have six "gorgeous" embryos in the freezer. That was his word. :) He wants to be a bit more aggressive this time and transfer 4 embryos. Obviously we'd be faced with the reduction scenario of they all take. I'm not sure at this point. My thought is if they all took, then that would be 2 that could have been used another time. However, there's no guarantee those two would have taken at another time, being in the freezer longer etc. And let's face it. If the cycle works, will we be trying again when I'm 50? And, if the cycle fails (let's hope it doesn't) would those embryos have failed another time as well? I'm assuming that yes they would have, so V and I will be discussing how many we want to transfer and letting the doctor know when I'm back in for a lining check in 10 days.

So, my meds have changed slightly:

2 estrace 3 times a day (no change here)
1 prednisone, twice a day (this has doubled)
1 baby aspirin, once a day
folic acid
prenatal vitamin

When we get to transfer:
Fragmin shot, twice a day (this had doubled) - unbruised belly skin will be at a premium
Progesterone in oil - changed from 2cc's to 3cc's. I think he's still sticking with once a day and not splitting it up

So, that's where we are for now.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


For those of you wondering, I'm still here. :) And like clockwork, CD1 showed up today, exactly 7 days later. It was a quiet week. The long weekend was filled with friends and family. We spent Saturday at the airshow, Sunday seemed to be a day of eating as we were out for a late breakfast at friends and then out for dinner with the same friends. Monday found us at home relaxing as our out of town friends headed home. V and I essentially did nothing. It was great. He watched football and I played on my Nin.tendo DS.

I had some cramping over the weekend but nothing to herald the onslaught of CD1. However, yesterday things definitely changed. The cramping picked up and as I said to my friend Red, with the strength of the cramping this had better be an indicator that CD1 was nearby. And sure enough, by the time I got home from work, I had started spotting. So, by this morning, it was here in full force. And the cramping has gotten quite intense. As I said to V. I don't think I've had cramping quite this bad since before I had the fibroids removed. This morning the cramping was so bad I even considered staying home from work, well it would have involved turning around and heading home as I was en route at that point. But I wasn't too keen on having to call into my male boss and try to explain why I wasn't coming in. (TMI coming next) Turns out the severe cramping was due to a large clot being passed. Since then the cramps have become mild to manageable. However, I'm sure the cramping will get worse before the day is done.

Anyway, tomorrow is CD2 (obviously) and I should be heading down to the clinic to see about beginning the FET cycle. When I meet with the RE I'll be asking him his opinion on the last cycle. I also what to find out whether he thinks my age (I'll be 48 in three weeks) has anything to do with this, if my progesterone is where it's supposed to be during the 2ww, whether we should be supplementing during the 2ww with HCG shots (I think I've read a blog where someone did this), and if he has used or has thoughts on "embryo glue". I know there isn't a definitive study that has said it will help but at this point, I want to cover all bases.

Anything else you guys think I should be asking about?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not only has the fat lady sung, she's packed her bags and left the building with Elvis

3 That's as good as zero. So I've stopped all of the meds and I'm now waiting for a period. Based on past history that should be about a week putting us at about September 3. We can do a FET immediately if we want to. I was hesitant because when projecting an estimated due date that puts us at the end of May beginning of June, just a few weeks after my nephew's Bar Mitzvah. Did we want to take that chance? However, on talking with V, we do. So, we are currently planning to do the FET immediately. Stay tuned for further updates. :)

Thank you all for you wish, prayers and hopes over the last week. It's been immensely comforting to know all of you out in the internet are cheering for us.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Okay, it's dropping. Now it's 13. This is definitely not what I wanted to see. But she said that they've seen it happen where it drops and then rises so right now they aren't thinking anything about this. She asked if I had any bleeding (nope) or cramping (mild and not constant). So, I'm back in on Wednesday for beta#3. Now interestingly, 13 is our lucky number, so hopefully this means that things will turn around. Fingers are crossed.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Yep, the number is in and it's 21. Not exactly where I wanted to see it at 14dp3dt but technically a positive. The clinic likes to see at least 20 so as the nurse said we're "cautiously optimistic". I have to return for another beta on Monday. Let's we see good doubling.

Meanwhile, V and I are going to enjoy the weekend. We're off to a barbeque and then up to the Casino to see UB40 and play some slots/poker. Tomorrow is brunch at my mother's with my brother and his family who are in town for a couple of days.

So, keep fingers, toes and anything else crossed for us. I'll post Monday when I know something.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something to pass the time...

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Halfway through the two week wait. Man, I hate this. Time isn't exactly standing still, but it's not moving very quickly. It's the same lament that all of us have when we're waiting to find out if a cycle worked or not.

I'm feeling good. Still have a low grade fever but it fluctuates. I did some reading on Friday, which was 6dp3dt and technically when the embryos could be implanting, and found that if one is checking their temperature daily they will notice that there can be a drop in temp during implantation. It happens that mine did drop to almost normal on Friday, and it is back up again since then. I'm trying not to read much into this. I had some minor cramping on Thursday and Friday and then it's stopped. I am sleeping more than usual and have found that I'm falling asleep by 9pm which is definitely early for me.

Anyway, half way and still debating whether or not to POAS. The earliest I'd do it would be Tuesday which will be 10dp3dt. Still thinking.

On the non-IF issues at home, V is recovering from having all of his wisdom teeth out on Tuesday. He's impatient with his recovery and getting very tired of the "soft" diet he's on. There's only so long he seems to tolerate soup, pudding, yogurt, jello and such. He has taken advantage and managed have way more of his favourite Fro.sty from We.ndy's. Hopefully the swelling will reduce as he still has some and the pain will go.

Anyway, it's a beautiful Sunday here. Hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I thought I'd just pop in and say there's nothing going on. I've been carrying on as normal, just taking things easier. I've noticed twinges etc down in the abdominal area but I could just be more aware of them and they mean nothing. Yesterday I definitely felt light-headed and dizzy. And I've been feeling much warmer than normal, such that I checked and I seem to have a low grade fever. I've been exhausted for the last 4 days or so but that can just be the PIO shots. Boobs don't really bother me, but they are a little tender...again, PIO.

I've been home for a couple of days because V had all four of his wisdom teeth out yesterday. Not a happy camper. :( But he's managing. He's really hoping he can eat something more substantial than pudding, yogurt, jello and soup by the weekend.

I called into the clinic today since we'd not heard back about the 5 embryos that were being left to grow to blast. They said that none of them made it to freeze, so we've got our 6 on ice for the future.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Third Time's a Charm (we hope)

We were booked for 11am Saturday. When I got the message on Friday, sans any updated info on how the embryos were doing, I said to V. that the doctor must not have any retrievals scheduled and that we are likely the first transfer. From what I'd always noticed on the posted schedule behind the receptionist, he usually starts in the IVF suite at 11am after the morning monitoring is done. Boy was I wrong. :)

We needed to be down by 10:45am with a full bladder but V. wanted to make sure we were there early to ensure things got going on time (provided the Doc wasn't detained in the clinic). But every good intention gets derailed. We had planned on going out for breakfast first but in the end had to just settle for a fast McD's breakfast and the go down. We did reach at 10:45 but found a full house. There were two retrieval's I think, and at least one other transfer already waiting. But I found out that they've now got two rooms, so he's able to get through the procedures quicker as he doesn't need to wait for the room to be prepped for the next patient. In any case, when we arrived they had the ultrasound tech check me to see what state my bladder was in. I was deemed good...."don't pee, don't drink". So we waited. We'd brought the DS with us so V. played video games and I relaxed and dosed off. The doctor came around about 90 minutes after we got there and did a retrieval first. Some time after noon they moved us into one of the procedure rooms. My bladder was checked and even though I felt okay then, I was told to pee one styrofoam cup's worth. I'm glad she did because I think it was still at least another half hour before he got in to do our transfer. I think he actually came in about 12:50 because I was done and back in my cubby relaxing by 1:15 with instructions to rest for 10-15 minutes and then empty my bladder.....slowly. I was okay so I actually waited almost a half hour for good measure.

We had 9 "beautiful 9 and 10 cell, grade A embryos" and there were five more slower ones that they were going to let go to blast before freezing. That meant that all 14 were still going strong! So, he asked us how many we wanted to transfer, two or three. Now, I'd been thinking about three but I didn't think he'd do it because the donor is 24 and there've been good results with her other couples and herself. Plus he's never mentioned transferring three before. However, he was willing to transfer three provided we would agree to reduce if there were triplets. He is adamant that he doesn't want me carrying three (scary thought that) but he did say it increased the chances of twins. V and I had a quick chat and he was okay with agreeing and I've now got three embryos on board.

As much as I would have liked to have just gone home and put my feet up for the rest of the weekend, we've actually got a somewhat busy two days. However, we've had a baby shower in the afternoon and then there is the Earth,Wind & Fire concert this evening. The shower I figured I could handle but I passed on the concert so V. was headed up there with his sister and cousins. Sunday has us relaxing for part of the day with a bbq at some friends for the late afternoon/evening. That should be fine as well. I just want to take it easy. Once we got home I was able to stay off my feet and actually took a nap until it was time to head out.

So without further ado, meet Huey, Dewey and Louie.... This time we remembered to bring the camera in to get a shot of the screen when they show us the embryos.

Now for the 2ww....hopefully it won't be too stressful.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

For the benefit of my LB

Working at the Car Wash... working at the car washer....

So, it would seem that even with my bloody ear ache, AND the jaw hinge and facial pains of the ever present impacted wisdom teeth, AND the wonderful world of Advil Extra Strength Gel caps flowing in my system, AND the lack of sleep AND the anxiety AND my not so helpful wife yesterday morning, that there was enough will in the "boys" to make the effort to do their part. After the washing to have only six of the 20 not respond is fabulous. I guess the boys work best after a good bath.

Are you gagging yet little brother? :)

Having done this before does NOT diminish the funny feeling one gets as a man, walking around the floor of the clinic with one's dirty little secret in a small brown paper bag. It's not the staff of the clinic but ALL the other women's eyes staring at you. Yes, they know what IT is for but they are still seeing IT in your hands being traversed about like nobody's business right in front of them. The looks are not "good on you man, way to go, nice stepping up there fella"... it is more along the lines of "uhm, you going to submit that or play with it longer? Hurry up and put IT away for crying out loud" or just plain "EWWWWWW".

We hope to one day soon, return back to those ladies and show them that a little paper bag goes a long way as we show off the fruits of Pam's labour. In the meantime, we'll keep washing. Oh yes, I had to get that last one in little one. Just. For. You.

Peace. :)




We have 14 fertilized embryos of the 20 retrieved! This is more than twice what we had on our shared donor cycle last fall. We'll know tomorrow how they're doing and what time transfer will be on Saturday.

V and I are beyond thrilled with this news!

Thanks all for the good wishes!

(I think I got a little exclamation happy)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Retrieval - UPDATED!!!

Our donor had her retrieval today. I have no idea how many eggs they were able to get. Apparently they don't usually call with this number, just tomorrow with the fertilization report. My nurse said she'd find out and call me but I'm thinking since it's now 5pm, she forgot. I've sent her a quick email just in case she's still there, but I'm not expecting to find out anything until tomorrow.

Today went well for us. We got down about 9am. V went off to do his bit and I collected my progesterone in oil as well as prescriptions for more estrace and the fragmin. I also had the nurse give me the PIO shot as V was occupied. They like everyone to get all meds from the clinic, but I usually get them to write prescriptions for pretty much everything so I don't have to pay upfront and just have them go through on our plans. The PIO, however, is another story as they get it made specially for them and they like us to buy it directly from them. No big deal really it just means I have to manually submit the claim. Since I was getting the receipt for the donor's meds anyway to submit, it wasn't no biggie.

The only stressful part was the call I got yesterday from the billing department to let me know that the donor used more meds than were covered by our drug deposit and we had an outstanding balance. Not something you really want to hear or have to deal with on this particular day. They're really good though. She is well aware of how much people are spending (duh!) and how stress is not a good part of the mix, so she just wanted to be sure to let us know and have us make some arrangement prior to transfer so we aren't hassled about it on Saturday. V wasn't impressed by their timing but what can you do. Needless to say I spoke to the business manager today and we worked out something. Easy peasy.

So after I'd worked out everything with the billing department, gotten my meds and my PIO shot, I just sat down and waited for V before we both headed off to our respective employers. Today he was able to just walk to the office as he was working downtown. I on the other hand had to navigate across the city arriving at work at 11am.

So, if I find out anything tonight about the number retrieved I'll update here. Otherwise, look for a new post tomorrow. Meanwhile we're off to see Avenue Q tonight!!



20 eggs retrieved!!! She didn't say otherwise, so I'm hoping these are all mature. I'm ecstatic with this! We've never had this many before. I'll post later today when I find out how many fertilize.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's a go!!

The donor is triggering tonight!!

Retrieval is Wednesday and transfer will be Saturday. I am going to do the right thing and pass on the Earth, Wind & Fire concert as much as I want to see them.:)

I didn't bother asking about the numbers for the donor. Yesterday she had said there wasn't much change and thought we'd be going to Thursday for retrieval. She said that she also thought we were looking at 16 follicles still.

V. and I are taking the doxycycline, an antibiotic, starting today for three days. We're to show up Wednesday between 8:30 and 9:30 for V to give his sample and me to get the progesterone shot and collect the rest of my meds. We'll get the call later in the week as to what time transfer will be on Saturday.

Anyway, that's it for now. It's a holiday here in Ontario, so if you're off, enjoy the day. If you're working, I hope it's a good one.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Update

The donor was in again this morning for cycle monitoring. I got an email from the donor coordinator saying the following:

Your donor was in today..things look good...we are looking at approx, 16 follicules, as viewed on ultrasound, they are more or less 16mm in size, which is ok for day8 of stimulation, we appear to be on track, however, we'll have a better idea when she returns in the am.....

So although she doesn't give me the detailed measurements, I'm happy. :)

It looks like we're on track for a call Sunday or Monday that retrieval will be Tuesday or Wednesday. That's my guess anyway. We'll obviously know better tomorrow. It's not long now.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Roundup Extravaganza

Mel over at Stirrups Queens is an amazing writer and queen of the IF bloggers. Her Stirrup Queens blog is sort of like the "go to" blog for all things Infertility. She maintains, how I don't know, a blogroll of something like 900 blogs and keeps them categorized so you can just jump to Egg Donor, Adoption or whatever you're looking for. She also does these Blog Roundups where she puts it out to all of us asking for participants. We're assigned a blog and told to choose one post from the last year that was our favourite and say why in 2-3 sentences. It's all done anonymously so the blogger doesn't know who was assigned their blog. Today was the day Mel posted the Round Up. Go and check it out. My reader chose a post of mine that was hard for me to write but is one of my favourite. This is what she chose and why.

What would Brian Boitano Do? At one time or another, I think we contemplative infertiles have all considered the impact our own parents have had on us as we navigate the tough rows we all hoe in order to have a child. In this post, Pam craftily weaves her feelings on the early loss of her father with thoughts on what he might have felt about her current journey toward parenthood--and also weaves in a clip from South Park. You gotta love it--humor, pathos, sincerity, love, and hope all in one post! These things I think we can all understand.

I commented on Mel's post but I thought I'd put it here as well.

I'm #136 on the list. Writing that post was hard for me and reading it today still brings tears to my eyes for my Dad and what we lost together. When I wrote that post V. and I were just getting ready to start our first egg donor cycle. Unfortunately it was a negative as was the eventual frozen transfer we did in March.

We were fortunate enough to be matched unexpectedly with a new donor a couple of months ago and are just in the midst of our cycle with retrieval coming up in less than a week. I have the same emotions today as I did then regarding my father and how he would have felt.

Thank you Mel, and thank you to my reviewer for choosing this post. I was an important one for me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Donor Update

I need to come up with a better title than that.

Anyway, the donor was in today for monitoring. Although I don't have a number, her estrogen is higher than this time during her last donor cycle, and is rising nicely. They've counted about 16 follicles (yeah!) which are larger at this stage in her cycle than the last cycle. She's been on the meds for seven days. As the nurse said, there could be more that they haven't counted. She is due back in for monitoring on Saturday and I'll get in touch for an update then.

Things are definitely looking good!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I was back at the clinic today for the requisite bloodwork and ultrasound. They measured my lining but I didn't ask her. The tech said it was good.

There really wasn't much for me today. I saw the doctor. He confirmed the donor had been in yesterday for blood work and ultrasound and said everything looked good. That's about all the info I got. The donor coordinator wasn't in today, and the nurse I saw afterwards didn't know how the donor was responding (she hadn't looked at the file). So I will email the donor coordinator and ask for an update. She's in tomorrow and she'll also be able to say when the donor is due back. I think it may be Wednesday but possibly Thursday.

I'm not due back in until they call me with the retrieval date. I did get the doxycycline that V. and I have to take(twice a day for three days) from the day she has the trigger shot. So, if things go as I was told, 13 days from the day she started the stims, should be retrieval (Aug 6). So I should be getting a call from the clinic on or around August 4th letting us know when retrieval actually is. August 4th is a holiday here, so I need to make sure I've got my cell with me rather than "somewhere in the house". The only thing I have to remember to ask them is if I need blood and ultrasound when I go in the next time. I think I will.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope everyone has a good week. If I get numbers re: follicles I will post them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Donor Update

Just a brief update. I heard from the donor coordinator regarding the donor's status. She has been in for her CD2 (she didn't say when) and she starts the Gonal-F on Friday, July 25. She'll be back into the clinic on Monday for monitoring and I'll be able to get updates next week.

So based on the donor's protocol I was given, they said she's start the Gonal-F by the 25th and approximately 13 days later would be retrieval. So currently we've got an estimated retrieval date of August 6th and therefore a transfer date of August 9th, I believe. But we all know how these dates can change. But we're two weeks away from retrieval!!

Will update next week when I have more info.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Next step

We've moved on to the good part!!! :)

I stopped the birth control pill on the 14th, last Monday, and spent the week willing my period to start so I'd be able to go in on the weekend. The last two cycles it's taken about 4 days. This time it took 5 days and CD1 was Saturday. So, I was into the clinic yesterday. I got in before 9 and I did the usual bloods and ultrasound and waited to see the doctor. Surprisingly, my doctor actually had the day off and I saw the new doctor, Dr. B., who has been working with him and covering when he's been tied up or late. She even said that this was the first day off she knew him to have taken since she started in September.

I brought her up to date that I was a recipient of an egg donor and therefore not the one that was moving onto the stims. She then thought it a good idea to flip through the chart a bit. ;) In any case, I also told her what we did the last cycle with all the different meds and she figured that my doctor probably would continue in that vein and prescribed the same drug cocktail for me. So I am now on:

folic acid - one tab daily (was already taking this)
low dose (81mg) baby aspirin - one tab daily
Estrace, orally - 4mg, three times daily
Prednisone - one tab daily

And, since I know I should be taking a multi-vitamin I've added a prenatal (since I had them on hand) into the mix as well.

I'm due back at the clinic in 10 days which is July 29th for a lining check and we'll see where the donor is at that point.

As of yesterday there was nothing on file that she'd gotten her CD1 yet and returned to the clinic. She should be in this week as well (sooner rather than later I hope) and they'll get her started on her meds but I will be contacting the donor coordinator, M., to get an update later this week. She wasn't in this weekend either.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A quick word...

Some folks that really know me are probably wondering why I haven't posted or responded to comments much. The reason is simply that I have a very dark and twisted sense of humour at times that does not always fit this forum. Also, as much as this is OUR blog, I really see this more as Pam's arena so she is the ringmaster and I will happily be the clown in the background. The final reason is that in my world logic dictates which brings with it a sound sense of reality and frankness. There are times and situations where you do not want or need that. Right now, I don't think I want or should be the voice of reason. I would prefer to live in my wife's and everyone else's world as it is far more fluffy and hopeful and positive. I can always return to my reality when need be but right now, for my wife and for our chances going forward, my place is here. :)

Oh yeah, one more thing. Freezers are for ice cream, Popsicles and certain freaky S&M paraphernalia (or so I have been told). If need be, my surgery will be postponed to an alternate date. This is simply too important to the both of us for ANYTHING to disrupt the process. I can bear a little pain now in order for Pam to bear a whole lot later. I think that is a fair trade, don't you? I won't be missing EWF though, that's for sure. Sorry honey but they sing September. SEPTEMBER!! Hey, I just realized that is another connection as your birthday is in September.

Ok, your world is seeping into me. I need some antibiotics.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Donor Update

I heard from the clinic this week while our nurse was on vacation. I am to stop taking the birth control on July 14th and then come in on my next day 2. Based on the fresh and the frozen cycles, that has been about 4 days following me stopping the pill, so I estimate that I'm going into the clinic on or around July 19th.

Our nurse got back from vacation today and because I'd sent her an email yesterday asking about the donors protocol and estimated dates, this is what she sent back:

- like me, she is currently on birth control pills until July 14th
- they estimate she should have a period between the 15th-22nd (hopefully sooner rather than later)
- she'll start Gonal-F approx. by July 25th
- 13 days from the time of the Gonal-F start , they estimate the retrieval will occur
- this puts retrieval about August 6, and transfer on August 9th

We have tickets to see Earth, Wind and Fire on the 9th. So, if that's when transfer happens I will be passing on the concert and let someone enjoy them in my place. This is reminiscent of our first cycle when we had Stevie Wonder tickets a few days after transfer. However, this time, I'm not upset to miss EW&F.

So, that's where we are now. I'll know more in another week or so. As it's an exclusive cycle, we should get more frequent donor updates during the stim phase with how she's responding.

I know it sounds stupid, but this time things seem to be falling more easily into place and it's all more relaxed.

Friday, June 27, 2008


So, it's CD2. It's hard not to keep track each month of what cycle day I'm on. It's now part of my everyday existence. What's the date? Oh, then it's CD__.

However, today it makes a difference!!! We're cycling again!

This is going to be a long post.

Sorry I haven’t mentioned this before, but V. and I wanted to keep it quiet until we actually had something to say. And we apologize for not saying anything to anyone IRL.

On May 23rd, during all my running around to get everything we needed for my FIL’s party on the 24th, we got a call from the clinic. It was a call I never expected to get, at least not so soon. I’m just getting ready to run out to pick up the guy doing the cooking from our local train station. V. grabs the phone and picks it up on speaker. The caller identifies herself as from the clinic. I don’t know who this is and think it’s their finance department as we have a small balance owing. She asks for me even though V is on the phone. (It kills me that they only speak with me. :) ) Anyway, he passes over the phone and while still on speaker I say hello. She then says "Hi Pam. We have a Canadian donor". I am speechless. Ask V. I was dumbfounded. I think my response was "really???" She laughed and asked if she’d caught me by surprise. I told her I was speechless. I really was lost for words. In any case, she booked us to see the doctor on June 6th to find out about the donor, costs etc. She did ask if we were going to do a shared cycle. V. said "not if we can afford not to" so we went into the meeting hoping that it wasn’t going to be cost prohibitive.

Basically, when it comes to choosing a donor, we aren’t very picky.

So, we fast forward to June 6th. We had our meeting with the doc. We ended up waiting 3 hours to see him because, for some reason, this day he chose not to see patients in between his scheduled retrievals and transfers. So we finally sit down with him for about 20 minutes. He reads us the information on the donor and being a local donor we aren’t allowed to see a photo of her; makes sense. She is 24, 5’2”, brown hair/eyes, slight to moderate build, fair to moderate complexion, Caucasian, athletic in her youth and plays volleyball now, she was an A student in high school and has gone on to complete nursing school and become an RN. She has 3 young children of her own. So as he’s reading the physical description I’m essentially hearing a modified description of me. Apparently when she became available, those who knew us at the clinic immediately thought it was a great match (we’ve yet to actually complete the recipient parent application form or give a photo) which is why we heard from them so quickly. Funny thing though, her mom is 49 which is only a year or two older than me. ;) Oh, and one more thing...her favourite movie is “Sound of Music”. Anyone who knows me (us really) knows I love musicals, stage or screen. And Sound of Music is one of our favourites. When we were told that this was her favourite movie, V. and I just looked at each other. It just seems like she is meant to be our donor.

So, now we had to determine if we could afford to go ahead with this. We really wanted to and she’s donated before so we’ve got the “proven” thing on our side. Her last cycle they got 12-13 eggs which were split between two couples. One got a positive on their fresh cycle. The doctor mentioned that he would up her meds to see if he could get a few more eggs from her. We would really like to do an exclusive, rather than a shared, cycle this time so that we maximize our chances of having children. So now we had to sit down and crunch numbers and see what we might be able to do. We had to let the donor coordinator know in the next two weeks. She was going to hold off on actively looking for a second couple until we let her know what we want to do. If we are able to go ahead, the cycle will likely be August/08.

A week later and we got the financing for the cycle. This is amazing!!! I sent an email to the donor coordinator to let her know we were good to go and to find out what our next step is. I asked her for an estimated idea of a cycle calendar so that we know when we need to pay for the donor’s meds, and then subsequently when the estimated date for retrieval might be so we have an idea about when the balance is due. With a local donor and an exclusive cycle, I think we’ll be getting more info on the donor’s response to meds once things get going. At least I hope so. Anyway, I’m now waiting to hear back from the clinic about our next step. Hopefully she’ll know a rough date when we are going to be starting.

The donor coordinator has acknowledged we’re going ahead. She’s going to start planning the protocol for the donor and get back to us with a “tentative” date for retrieval. The only thing that might throw a curve ball into all of this is that V. is scheduled to get his wisdom teeth out (yes, all of them) on August 12th. Hopefully retrieval is before or at least a week later. I’ve got to go in on my next CD2, about two weeks from now, for the usual round of tests and to see the doc to plan things.

And that brings us to today.

It’s CD2. I was in for the usual bloodwork, ultrasound, collection of the consent forms and payment of the drug deposit for the donor. The donor coordinator is on vacation until the 4th, so I am to give her a call when she's back to check where the donor is in her bloodwork, and if we’ve got a protocol calendar. Meanwhile, I start birth control tomorrow and continue until told otherwise. Oh, and we are doing an exclusive cycle. So all her eggs are ours.

This is soooo coool!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just another example...

There is not much to be said on this except that maybe humans should never have been given free choice. It also reinforces the notion that anyone can make a baby, not everyone can be a parent. Sometimes Texas gets it right; I vote to relocate this guy's case.


Dad gets life sentence for baby's cocaine death - Crime & courts-

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Scattergories

Use the first letter of your name of your street to answer each of the following. (if your street name is a number use the first letter that spells the number. If you live on Fifth Avenue then your letter should be F) They have to be real places, names, things - nothing made up. You can not use your own name for the boy/girl names.

1. What is the name of your street? Weatherby

2. A 3 letter word? wig

3. Something you would find in an office? Window

4. Something that smells bad? wet dog

5. Movie Title? Waking Ned Devine (excellent movie)

6. Slow Dance Song? While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Beatles)

7. Something in your pantry? wine

8. Name of a pet turtle? Wilbur?

9. Fetish or Phobia? washing hands repeatedly

10. something you would find in your medicine chest? whitener for teeth

Play along here via the comments or on your blog (just let us know so we can marvel at your wit!)


SCATTERGORIES - as Cali says, it’s harder than it looks!

Use the first letter of your first name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things - nothing made up. You can not use
your own name for the boy/girl names.

1. What is your name? Pam
2. A 4 letter word: pear
3. A vehicle: porsche
5. A boy’s name: Pierre
6. A girl’s name: Paula
7. Drink: Pina Colada
8. An occupation: periodontist
9. Something you wear: pants
10. A celebrity: Pierce Brosnan
11. Something found in a bathroom: porn
12. Reason for being late: playing on the Wii
13. Something you shout: Police!
14. A body part: patella
15. Word to describe yourself: petite

Put your answers in the comments or play along on your site- just let us know so we can see your answers!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Anniversary, DW!

Just a short post on this Friday the 13th.

While this is typically thought of as a bad or unlucky day, it is a very significant day for our family. I proposed on a Friday the 13th over four years ago. Today, we celebrate our fourth anniversary as husband and wife and tenth year as friends, confidants and soul mates. It may not fall under the traditional years of celebration but having gone through some of our challenges, every year is a year worth celebrating and we try not to take that for granted.

So, to my lovely, cherished and always appreciated wife, I say thank you for completing me and making life worth living. I love you now and always.

Your Hunny Bunny.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Luckily it's not the 1930's

Got this from Thrice. I'd totally suck if it were...


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

Okay, to answer the question of which was the lie in the last post.

1. I was in University and my friend Gina suggested we go apply to be on the show, Jackpot. I think we may have blown off classes that day to head down to an open call. We had to complete a "test" of sorts which was timed and essentially was to test your trivia knowledge. We made it past that level onto the simulated game. We were told to be excited etc etc. Neither of us got picked to be on the show. In those days Canadian shows usually gave away kitchen appliances. :) Nothing like Deal or No Deal.

2. I've always enjoyed cooking have always done the baking my mother needs for parties and such. I even have two difficult to find cookbooks by a french pastry chef. V laments often that he doesn't get to sample any of the items I've made from these books. I've been asked by friends and family why I haven't gone into catering or cooking. The main reason is that it will no longer be fun and will become work.

3. In high school, I was never on the school team that competed on Reach for the Top. I've never been on any school team that involved using my brain. :) I was a lazy student and hated applying myself. I did participate in sports teams, at least in grade school. - so this was the lie.

4. I won an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii from a Canadian website at the end of 1999. I wasn't even the first person whom they had drawn. The first person couldn't be reached or wasn't responding to emails. I had only several days before updated my profile information. We didn't believe I'd won until we had the tickets and itinerary info in hand. The trip covered air, hotel and breakfast/dinner at a very nice hotel on the beach in Waikiki. Because of that we were able to do more day trips than we may been able to otherwise. I was a great trip and we want to go back.

5. I really did live around the corner from Anne Murray. I was in high school, so it was about 30 years ago and we'd see her out with a stroller when her kids were quite small. She moved out of our neighbourhood several years later.

Monday, June 02, 2008

One of these things is not like the other....

This little game has been going around the blogsphere for a while. I took it from Kymberli.

Some of you may have played before - Four Truths and a Lie. Post five facts about yourself - four of them truths and one of them a lie. Everyone guesses which they think is the lie. Here are mine:

1. I once auditioned for the game show, Jackpot.
2. I've always had an affinity for cooking and baking and have thought of going to the Cordon Bleu cooking school.
3. In high school, I was on the school team that competed on Reach for the Top.
4. I once won an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii from a website.
5. When I was in high school, I lived around the corner from Anne Murray, Canada's songbird.

In the comments, vote for which one of the five you think is the lie. If you know me in real life, and know the answer for sure, please refrain from playing. :) If you decide to participate on your blog, come back and leave me a link so I can play, too. I'm going to tag Patti, Gil, and Kami. I'd tag Aurelia, but I think she's got her hands full. If I haven't tagged you and you want to play, consider yourself tagged and leave me a link.

Friday, May 30, 2008


One year ago today my oldest and closest friend passed away from breast cancer. She was 46. I've thought about her often over the past year, and particularly over the past week as May 30th came ever closer. Today has not been easy. I miss her.

Gina and Jeff never had children of their own. They were happy being the doting aunt and uncle to all their nieces and nephews. She was looking forward to one day being Auntie Gina to our child(ren). I'm sorry we weren't able to make that happen for her.

V. and I have made several attempts over the past year to get in touch with Jeff. We wanted to see how he was doing. Today he called because he was thinking of us. Rather than be alone, I was glad to see that he was reaching out to those of us who loved Gina as well. I hope we can renew our friendship with him. We miss him too.