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.