Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who doesn't love Pumpkin, that is what I want to know

I spent my weekend curled up around a box of cookies.

Thankfully, The Cookies of Love from Pumpkin arrived chez Roccie as I started my Crazy Meds.  The cookies were so good, I ate them in a matter of days (okay, I ate them in just one day) before yuck tummy kicked in.

So, I got this going for me: Crazy Meds kill the appetite.

Not in a fun sort of yessiriamgoingtostayupallnightandparty, but more of a what-if-i-just-barf-and-get-it-over kind of way.

Transfer planned for January 19. 

By then I will be A Thin Mint: impervious to the pain of a failed FET.

Talent.  There are some talented mother fuckers out there.

Thank you Pumpkin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can you hear that???

...or "How I Knew I Was Slipping.  Again."

by Roccie of Roccie Road

I believed in my last post.  I thought I had it.  

I couldn't hold on to it.  What a fucking fraud.

Yesterday I had what is probably called a break down.  I left the office and sort of lost track of time.

Rocco staged an intervention and suggested I ask my RE about anti-depressants.  I sent my RE an email that night and was surprised by her response.  She was waiting for me when I went in for my baseline appointment today.  We talked for quite some time.

I called my old psychiatrist (what, everyone doesn't have one on speed dial?).  Her assistant said she couldn't see me until mid December.  I hung up but then got a call from the doctor herself.  She pulled my file and it must be ugly as she agreed to do our consult over the phone.

She doesn't have all of her ALI facts in order in my opinion, but she easily summed up the state of my head.  Meds followed.

Cuckoo.  Cuckoo.

I had some reservations about the meds, but today after the fourth (what) person at work asked me if I was doing ok, I figured it was probably a good idea.  One of them was my boss and I cried.  Dammit.

I lost a job last time I was depressed.  Ok, so I lost two.  In a row.

My career has never recovered.  Sometimes it gets to me.

Once upon a time, I had a self perceived Very Important Career where I made Great Money.  Those days are gone.  I now sit in a cube and work for a paycheck to cover my ART expenses.

In other news, I had a blood draw to test for autoimmune issues.  If this next cycle fails, we will do a lap.

50-50% chance of success with a DE FET.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The BFN - Stop taking credit for it

My RE called to personally deliver the news today.  

There was something about the way she delivered the news that I already knew.  It made me breakdown and cry all over again.

"I am so very sorry."

It meant a lot to me that she made the call herself.  Over the years, we have become quite close for a patient/physician relationship.  I think in different circumstances we would be friends.  Or maybe we are.

I went to see my acupuncturist.  As usual, she filled the role as my thera-puncturist.  I was crying and it was picking up speed. It was all tumbling out of my mouth - what I should have done and what I did wrong.

She told me to stop taking credit for it. 

Stop taking credit for the failure.

If this had been successful, I would have handed the success away.  

Who am I to take responsibility for it's failure?

If I were pregnant, it certainly wouldn't have been me to make it happen.  I have a team.  A little bit of God, some of the other gods, and a whole lot of luck.  It requires many things to fall into the right place at the right time.  

If I cannot make it happen, I cannot make it fail.

This has to be her finest work.  I left that place with my cares under her table.  I cried hard during the treatment, but it was a release.

I am ready to go back at it.  Bring on the bitch Aunt Flo and someone get me a pack of BCP.

Your comments were my lifeline.  I don't need to tell you what they mean, do I?  

I am humbled that so many women with so many personal worries and shit shows took the time out to help me tend to mine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I’m out

I am not pregnant anymore.

I had one leftover test.  I took it on Monday morning for kicks.  Deep down, I had some concern at the rate the lines were darkening, but I had no idea what to expect.  I have never tracked it.  I pushed it off as typical useless worry. 

Mostly I took this test for kicks.

Monday’s line was about half of what I saw on Sunday.

Today’s was negative.

I think this is likely due to a chromosomal abnormality.  I don’t think it is a sign that all of my embryos have a problem.  Right?  I am my donor’s fifth cycle.  Two cycles resulted in pregnancies from fresh and two cycles resulted in pregnancies from frozen.

Perhaps I should take some comfort in the fact that it implanted.   I have seen my body carry a sucessful pregnancy.  I know I have some good strengths, but right now it is a horrible let down.

All of a sudden, it all came rushing back.  I feel like I have been telling everyone who struggles with the set backs “I get it”.  I believe I did get it.  I had some big setbacks myself with the miscarriage and the 2 cancelled retrievals.  The transition to donor eggs was a more than a set back.

My pain is fresh again.  I feel like I owe you all a deep apology.  I really do get it, but it is worse than I remember.

It all comes back to me: yes, you know you will pick yourself up and try again.  But fuck.  I am tired.  I feel like I get up a little slower.

I get that feeling I have been here before.  Do I really have anything new to say?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the potty...

Genius.  Sheer genius to use Rocco's urine as a baseline.  Thank you Linda for giving me some peace of mind.

Oh, there is a line.

It was a regular urine fest over here.  I peed on two different brands... as did Rocco.  I asked him to serve as my baseline to evaluate how the evaporation line works.  He is not pregnant.  Whew.

The line is light, but it is there.  One test shows positive and one shows more positive.

I can see how the last cycle I thought I read a positive on one brand.  The Target First Response seems to be more "sensitive".  If I were desperate and testing early enough to justify the faintness of the line away, well, Rocco just might be pregnant in my book.

The First Response Early Response takes longer to darken.  It isn't as dark and glorious as the Target knock off, but Rocco has zero chance of being pregnant on that test.  White as snow.

Lessons learned?  Please chime in on this.  You folks has some AMAZING feedback.  Wonderful ideas coming from my veterans out there.  I cannot thank you enough.

Things POAS Taught Me, the Hard Way

  1. Don't switch brands.  I switched brands from the last four cycles.  It is a mistake to turn your back on the experience you have gained over time.  Familiarity is key.

  2. Use two tests.  I am sure this is a sign of the depth of my madness, but variety was a life saver today.  The test behave differently.

  3. Having day 5 as a blank slate proves a valuable reference point.

  4. Day 5 not baseline enough for you?  Male urine saved my sanity.  I cannot say I want to recommend this, but keep it in your back pocket if you think you see ghost lines.

  5. Photoshop, Picasa or photo editing software is like POAS porn.  Thanks to Kellyanne for this one.  It is titillating to darken your own line. Ooh, that really does it for me.  For the record, this did *not* cause a line to appear on Rocco's test.  Good stuff.

And now we wait.

We all know too well this is only the first step.  There are many more milestones to achieve.

Cautiously joyful,
Your ever grateful friend,
Lost without your support,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

POAS: The Home Wrecker

Are we pregnant?

I dunno.  Don't even read this post.  Save yourself.  I already got into an argument with my own mother over it.  Still mad about it.

But the torture continues.  I need another box of First Response Early Response.  Buy 2, get one free in a single box.  A party pack.  My beta isn't until Wednesday.  May as well be next year.

I think I am messing with some false positives.  I did this our last test.   One minute I am convinced we are pregnant, the next I am certain to be chasing shadow ghost lines.


If they are false positives, wouldn't I have a false positive showing up on 5dp5dt?  I only think I see a hint of one.

Really, why are you still reading?  This is pathetic.  These photos were taken HOURS after the pee dip.  They are BEYOND invalid.

I fear we are not pregnant.

Let this POAS story be a warning to all you good women.  Do not POAS.

Of course, we will test again tomorrow.

I can convince myself I see something different on 7d.  I think I see it.  But is it only there as this test is over 6 hours old?  But why if all the test are old, why does the line appear to get slightly darker?

Why don't I have any self control.


Pathetically yours,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music to bring on your determination

Music takes you exactly where you need to be.

I lived on this record after I learned what "incompatible with life" meant and I lost my baby.

I pull it out again today to steel my nerves and cry tears for so many of us struggling.

My heart hurts so much for you today.

Every time it rains I listen to the sky
And wonder what's so great about sunshine
Everybody lives and everybody dies
And no one's gonna love you like I do

When it was getting dark

I didn't need a match
I never needed light to see you
You thought I disappeared
But I was always here
I could never get that far from you

Though I misunderstand

And been misunderstood
So love me 'cause you can
And not because you should

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive

Take it as it comes

And take me as I am
I never was a good imposter
But I know how to dream
And don't know where I stand
I'm willing to admit I try too hard
Stop playing with my heart
I'm waiting by the phone
Afraid to be myself
Afraid to be alone

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive
And every time it rains
I'm gonna hide myself inside

I know it's good to be alive

I know it's good to be alive
I know it's good to be alive

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive

Don't worry about me.  This song just caught me when I was vulnerable - too much troubling news lately.  

I don't need the comments, but our fellow bloggers might:

This is for you, Mo.  

This is for you, Kim from Chaos.  

This is for you, Lifeslurper.  

This is for you, egghunt.  

This is for you, Lut.  

This is for you, Suzy.  

This is for you, R.

You are not alone.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let it be, let it be: 3dp5dt

Where is the tug?  Where is the pull?

Where is all the activity I should be feeling in my uterus right now?

I felt it with Toddlerina.  I felt it with our FET, though it ended in miscarriage at 6-7 weeks.

I did feel a pinch.

A pinch is not a pull.

A pinch is not a tug.

I sound like Dr. Fucking Suess.

A pinch is the cramp you feel after having tubes in your uterus.  It was the same day as transfer.  This is not implantation.

Where is my pink wipe?

I think I might die.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The other side of transfer day

I go into this wait a little wiser than I was in past cycles.  Yeah, this is my sixth two week wait.  You would think I would have learned something by now.  This isn't much but it is all I got. 

Lesson Number One: Get to know your boobs
Progesterone, my lumpy-butt-making friend, I am on to you.  I noted breast tenderness even before the transfer.  Later this week I will not be tricked into thinking this is a sign of pregnancy.  I told Rocco my Breast Update and he just looked at me as if to silently ask how I knew my breasts were tender.  Silly man, doesn't he know the poking and prodding we do behind closed doors looking for A Sign?  

Lesson Number Two: Corral your urine
I also learned to pee in a cup.  Despite the term POAS, dipping the stick is the preferred method.  Managing an optimal urine stream is impossible when your hands are shaking.  I would like to have Rocco by my side this time.  I plan to POAS day 8.  (I have the blood test on day 11.  Hell if I am waiting that long.) 

Lesson Number Three: Fiberize yourself
Metamucil is now part of my diet.  All of these meds (I bet it is that damn progesterone) slow you down.  The Metamucil isn't that bad.  They are telling the truth, *no grit!*  But you can imagine, it leads to some interesting moments when Rocco is injecting daily meds into my rear end.  Thank jaw I am working from home this week as I, well, I stink.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I am scared to call it PUPO

I don't care how many times they tell me it is okay to pee after a transfer, it always gives me stage fright.

Here I am.  Me and my embryo. 

Now what.

I am guzzling estrogen inducing things:
  1. The Sound of Music
  2. Babies (I think it was our girl Lisa who recommended it)
  3. Disney Oceans
  4. Vanity Fair (some trash is good)
  5. Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix
I think I might turn into a pineapple.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fertilization Report

All day I was waiting for the fertilization report.  I carried my phone around the halls.  Took it to all my meetings.  I looked at it, willing it to ring.  I couldn't concentrate on anything today.

I didn't have any information, so I did what any normal person would do, I ran the data to project my outcome based on my donor's past four cycles.

Mature Fertilize
23 18
18 15

We have 15 fertilized eggs.  It is an incredible opportunity to very likely have a baby.
I don't know how to explain it.  I cried at my dear acupuncturist's today.  I was stressed and I was scared.  Look at the variance.

Seeing the numbers below my projection (a simple calculation on averages, not weighted by the cycle number) freaked me out.

  • What if this represents an issue?
  • Why did she trigger on day 9, not day 10?
  • Did my RE see a problem and try to cut it off with an early retrieval?
  • Does this represent a quality issue?

And on and on and on.

Leave it to my acupuncturist to save the day.  She presented it to me this way: I am not in control.  My inner self doesn't like this and is trying to gain control by making targets, setting budgets while stuffing all the numbers into little boxes.

She invited me to stop trying to control this process receive everything as it happens.

It clicked.  I feel really good now.  

Please don't spend any effort trying to comfort me - I just freaked out and wanted to share.  It might help someone to see how I first experienced it and how the change in perspective helped me.

I probably sound like an ungrateful son of a bitch.  I was for a moment when I let myself lose focus.  What a great lesson to learn.

I love my therapist, I mean acupuncturist.

Peace, love and follicles,


The original is actually quite pretty in Excel: formatting, graphs, oohs and ahhs for a nerd like me.  I will send it out to whoever wants to spend time analyzing the daylights out of things she cannot control.

My acupuncturist points out the ratio that counts, M:F or Mature to Fertilize, is right on.

Cycle Retrieve Mature R:M Fertilize M:F R:F
1 23 18 78.3% 16 88.9% 69.6%
2 33 29 87.9% 18 62.1% 54.5%
3 22 20 90.9% 18 90.0% 81.8%
4 33 22 66.7% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Average 27.8 22.3 80.9% 18.25 84.1% 67.4%

Projected   22.7   18.3    

Actual 28 18 64.3% 15 83.3% 53.6%

Min 22 18 66.7% 16 61.2% 72.7%

Max 33 29 90.9% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Median 28 21 75.0% 18 85.7% 64.3%


to Average 0.3 -4.3 -16.6% -3.3 -0.8% -13.8%
to Min 6.0 0.0 -2.4% -1.0 22.1% -19.2%
to Max -5.0 -11.0 -26.6% -6.0 -12.2% -10.1%
to Median 0 -3 -10.7% -3 -2.4% -10.7%