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?