Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Show and Tell-Simpsons Style

I was hunting around on the internet and I found a site that you "Simpsonize" yourself for free :) It's not as nice as Mel's pics, but it was a "artist-free" way to make myself into a cartoon!

Here's me:

Here's Hubby:

It's amazing what you can find on the internet :) To see what the rest of the class is showing, head over to Mel's place!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dark Days

I don't think I will ever get used to Fall/Winter in New England. During the peak of winter, the sun will set at about 4:30pm. That is so weird. Growing up in Florida, I remember thinking that when the sun went down at 6, that was horribly early. Of course, I also thought it got cold in the winter. My, how perceptions change. Last year, when Hubby and I went down to Florida for Christmas, I packed long sleeved shirts. My hubby? Short sleeved shirts. I thought he was crazy. Turns out I was the crazy one. Crazy and hot.

Besides the darkening days, I am pleased to report that my pregnancy test lines are getting darker as well. Yay! But, as nothing can be straightforward with me, I am also bleeding. Although I know about 'implantation bleeding', I still don't like it. It's not like the bleeding comes with a little card that says "don't worry, this is implantation bleeding," although that would be nice. But since I would be even more freaked out by a small card written in blood, it'll be just a wait and see kind of game. I'm amazingly not freaked out by it, though. If it doesn't lighten up soon, however, I am going to start to worry.

The next goal is for Monday. The beta. And then the beta after that. Small hurtles. Just worry about the next thing on the list.

I don't feel terribly unfunny, but this sounds like such a somber post. So, to lighten the mood I leave you with a picture of my first child:

His name is Max. Isn't he handsome? :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

8dp3dt (11dpo)--again with the acronyms...and news

So I caved.........

Actually I decided last night I was going to test tomorrow morning. Yes, I was going to buy HPTs after work on Monday and wait until my Hubby got up on Tuesday morning and then we could see the results of the test. Yes, that was the plan.

Exceeeeeeppppppt.....I realized this evening that I hadn't peed all day at work. What?! I generally do not drink a lot of liquids while I am working, so I tend not to have to pee a lot. And then a 5pm when I did have to pee, I just, well didn't.

I had to take a speaker out to dinner tonight, so I was holding it all through dinner. We got done at about 8pm. I swung by the local drugstore and I bought 2 different types of HPTs. When I got home, I told Hubby to hold on tight, 'cuz it could get ugly.

I did the deed and 2 minutes later I saw this.
left = control right=me!!!!!!!!!

It's faint, but you can see it, right? Right??


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Let the cryptic titles begin in earnest!

Besides the fact that my cycle twin, Peeveme, just got her 1st positive after POAS 5dp5dt (go over there and give her a hug, if you haven't already!!), there is no real news here.

You know, I find it kind of bittersweet all the acronyms I know now: E2, PIO, 2WW (not really an acronym, I know), BFP, BFN.....

When I first started this journey, I was constantly having to Go*ogle all the phrases so that I could keep up with the conversation: Who was this DH and DD? What's the difference b/w POAS and PCOS? And what in the world is a beta? (I still don't understand the beta this short for something? Why don't they just call it an HCG level test? Can anyone enlighten me?)

The bitter part of this bittersweet knowledge is that I have been here long enough to learn most of these acronyms (and am constantly learning more!), and more than a few apply to me. The sweet part is that I have joined a community that has welcomed me with open arms. :) Although, I still have until Dec. 1st before the dreaded beta, you are making this wait so much better. Thank you :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Patiently far

So today is 5dp 3dt. I have been analyzing all body signs for possible pregnancy symptoms. Of course, I've never ACTUALLY BEEN pregnant, so I am not entirely sure what I would feel like. However, if pregnancy makes you get a really awful case of the "trots" after eating a large Caesar salad for lunch, then I must be pregnant. Seriously, how horrible is it to have an upset stomach at work? It's not like you have any privacy. And it becomes a little weird when to run, clutching your abdomen, to the restroom. What, too much information? Sorry :)

However on the pregnancy symptoms front, I am interested in what you guys think. Most women, I'm guessing, would never have a clue that they were pregnant until they missed their period. Does it seem fruitless that we (including me) analyze every twinge, tweak and pain that we have? Do you think the PIO amplifies any symptoms? Or does the loss (or lessening) of our fertility heighten our other senses to the point that we can spot pregnancy symptoms long before the average fertile woman?

My symptoms? Well, I thought you'd never ask! Well, yesterday I was crampy off and on all day. My boobs are also so sore that I have to wear a bra to bed, because if I don't, when I turn over it feels like I am heaving 5 extra pounds of pummeled meat across my body.....what? Too much information again?? Sigh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

So our nurse just called, and again asked me if I was sitting down. They froze away 16 embryos. SIXTEEN. Wow! Of course, they are at day 3 when frozen away, so who knows how well they will thaw. But, wow, just wow. I'm pretty speechless now. I'm going to call my husband; we had a running bet. Me:12 Him: 10. Huh. Wow. Wow!

Monday, November 17, 2008

And here I sit

So the transfer was on Sunday and my clinic wants me to be a couch potato for two days. So here I sit, looking for something interesting to do.

It has been easier to sit on my rump today than I thought. That's not because normally I am an active, energetic person and to sit down all day would drive me crazy. No, no, not at all. Normally if I am at home from work, I tend to have panic attacks. Yes, weird I know.

However, today I am just sort of taking it easy.

The clinic called and said that my progesterone and estradiol levels were good (they did my bloodwork yesterday). I also asked if there was any word on how many embryos they were able to freeze. [my clinic seems a little out of the norm in that they freeze away at day 3, according to the doctor in charge yesterday.] The nurse replies that she hasn't gotten word of any freezing, so that probably means that there weren't any to freeze away.

Ahhhh, what?? Twenty-one eggs fertilized, I get two, and there are none to freeze away?

"Or," she quickly replies, "they just haven't sent me the information yet."

Ok, whew. So perhaps later we will get some good news.

Oh, speaking of later (and hopefully good news), my beta is set for Dec 1. What day is that....let's see....a Monday.

Oh crap. I just realized that I am scheduled to give a presentation at work on that Thursday. Great. I am either going to be really happy or really sad. This should be fun.

Ok, I'll quit rambling now......

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Show and Tell

Along the same theme of furry friends, I present to you our three Roborosvski (Robo) Hamsters!

They are a little hard to photograph, as they are quite small (about the size of your thumb) and they are very, very fast.

They are all named Rosie, since they are nearly impossible to tell apart, and when they fill their cheeks full of seeds I thought that they looked really buff, like Rosie the Riveter.

Want to see more Show-and-tell? Head over to Mel's place!


Weee'reeeeeee baaaaaaaaccckk.

As you can probably tell from the title, we transferred two embryos. Both were 8 cell, but we didn't get a grade, per se, on them.

Unfortunately, the point of contention between my Hubby and I reared its ugly head at the clinic.

I should probably give an abridged backstory.

So, in March of this year I had my second uterine surgery. Now, this Dr. (Dr. S) is really a talented surgeon, working with the latest equipment in the field. He, I think, also blows stuff out of his ass when talking with you. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but here are a few things that have happened that make me doubt that he is always 100% certain on his decisions/follow through.

Point 1) On this last surgery, we had discussed removing a fallopian tube. It tends to get full of menstrual fluid and get painful. The doctor wrote this down on his notes to enter into the computer. On the day of the surgery, I could not discuss anything with him, because HE DID NOT ACTUALLY MEET WITH ME, just his assistant surgeons. I assumed I was going to speak with him, so I didn't bring up the fallopian tube matter. Then again, I thought, why should I? It was clearly written in his notes anyway. After surgery? Still had the fallopian tube. Still causes me occasional pain.

Point 2) When he saw me for the post surgical followup in his office, he couldn't remember how long it had been since I had actually HAD the surgery, even though it was written on the paper in front of him. When I asked him if he actually entered the uterine cavity itself during the surgery, he initially said no. But then he read his surgical summary, which he gave to me, and said, "Oh wait, yes I did." Now, I understand that he is very busy, but..... our conversation then followed about the type of shoes that I was wearing and how he would like to get a pair like that for one of his daughters. Thanks. During the same visit, he said that because of the surgeries, I should deliver at 36 weeks and undergo a C-section. Information that would have been nice to have before we had the procedure.

Point 3) During this same visit, he gave me a date for when we could start IVF. I then told him, "Oh, after the surgery you suggested that we wait an extra 4 weeks." His response, "Oh, did I say that? Then do that." Thanks.

So, unless he has written down something in stone, I don't actually believe that it is 100% medically necessary.

Hubby's point: Dr. S clearly said after my last surgery that we should not carry twins because of the increased risk of uterine failure.

So, during the time when we contacted the donor agency and when the donor was getting ready, we had a few discussions with our family. I said the clinic would let us know their recommendation for transfer, he said "we already know their recommendation, one."

Hubby wanted clarification on the subject. Even a sit-down meeting with our Dr. or with Dr. S. I agreed, but said that he should call our Dr.'s nurse and ask if it was in the medical records, because then it would take care of the whole decision-making process on our part. When he spoke to the nurse, she said that all of this would be discussed with us at the time of transfer. Hubby felt better. I felt better.

Today the transfer Dr. said, "given our calculations...blah, blah, blah...we recommend transferring two embryos." Hubby's eyes squinted, his face contorted slightly.

"Dr. S told us that she was not allowed to carry twins. That should be in the medical record. Is it there?"

*Dumbfounded look by Dr. Transfer.* "Well, I haven't read through all the medical history, can always just transfer one."

Me: "Ok, what are the chances of twins from transferring two donor egg embryos?'

Dr. Transfer: "Well, there is a 50-60% chance of pregnancy with donor embryos when you transfer two. And if you do get pregant, a 20% chance of having twins. But, as I said, you can still just transfer one embryo. There are pros and cons to that. For example, you chances of pregnancy are lower, but you chances of a singleton resulting from that pregnancy are higher....blah, blah, blah."

Hubby: "But the point was that we didn't want to have to choose. Dr. S said that she should not carry twins, why are we given the choice to transfer two?'

I interject: "Can we have a few minutes?"

A discussion ensues between hubby and I about the number to transfer. His take: "you cannot carry twins; if you get pregnant with twins, we may have to go for a fetal reduction. Are you prepared to do that?"

Me: "No. But I don't believe Dr. S; I think that we would probably have a high risk pregnancy if we had twins, but I don't think that it would come d0wn to a fetal reduction."

This goes on back and forth for a few minutes. Hubby plays the odds in his head. "Well....the chance of you actually becoming pregnant with twins is relatively low, all things considered. And we have terrible luck in betting (we like to play online [free] card games and stuff--that way when we lose a lot of "money" we don't care). So....."

Me: "So, we will transfer two and leave it in God's hands?"

Hubby: "Sure. It is in His hands anyway."

Dr. Transfer comes back in. "So, I was reading through the medical record and Dr. S only says that you should deliver at 36 weeks. There is no mention of not carrying twins."

"Then two," I say.

And that was it. I feel a little queasy. I hate it when my hubby and I have such fundamental differences on issues. Normally, one of us is convinced by the other's argument. Or one just gives in. Now I feel strangely guilty about the whole thing. Kind of like I twisted his arm into having two transferred, and if anything gets messy later on, it is definitely going to be my fault. Because, the reality is, we will probably have embryos to freeze, meaning that we have a "second chance" later.

Of course, I'm completely dealing in hypotheticals here. I am not even pregnant yet.

And whilst I fret and worry on the couch here? Hubby has gone back to bed. And what is infuriating is that I KNOW that now that the decision has been made, he is fine with it. We will just deal with the outcome. I, however, continue to twist in the wind.

I think, rather, I should be focusing more on my 50-60 % chance of pregnancy at all, rather than multiples....and that I should take a nap :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Transfer day

Just got the call, transfer is going to be tomorrow at 8:30 am. Discussions with the attending doctor will ensue, we will get an update on the status of the embryos and the number that we will transfer.

This brings me to a point of contention between Hubby and I. The number of embryos to transfer. 1 or 2. Over the last few days this decision has gotten a lot easier for me, as I am hopeful that we will have embryos to freeze away. I vote for 2, Hubby INSISTS on one. Not that he doesn't have a good reason. It seems that I have conveniently "forgotten" that the surgeon in our clinic said that I should not carry multiples as I have had two surgeries on my uterus. Hubby seems to think that this man with a medical degree and years of experience has a point. Whatever.

Friday, November 14, 2008

...and I didn't hear much after that


Yes, twenty-one fertilized eggs.

The nurse said something after that about her being a "amazing" donor and that we will get a call on Saturday for a Sunday transfer time.

Other things happened today, I think. But I really don't remember much after that phone call.

I am utterly thankful, hopeful and in awe.


First off, I want to thank everyone who visited and left words of encouragement. It means so much, it really does. With this cycle, it has been the first time I have blogged, and the first time I have written anything so emotionally raw for anyone to read. You have been both kind and gentle. Thanks again.

Now for for the retrieval news: are you sitting down? Because the donor coordinator suggested that I did:
31 eggs........

Because I know that quality means much more than quantity, we are eagerly waiting the fertilization report today.

All my dreams last night were about dividing embryos. No, really. I had one dream where I went to a lab and they had a camera set up on the petri dishes and you could monitor how everything was dividing. Then more people came to join me, including my husband. We sat down in the lab, cross-legged on the floor, and started doing our high school history reading, which was being taught by one of my uncles.

Yes, that makes a lot of sense.

Ahem. Anyway, I will keep you updated on the fertilization report.....please keep your fingers crossed and the prayers coming.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The waiting game

No real news to report here. Just waiting for tomorrow.

For anyone wondering how the meeting with the donor went, I plan to post on that sometime soon. The quick headline is that she really is a lovely person and I am so glad we were able to speak with her.

So for now, we wait. Wait until 2:15 tomorrow when our donor is undergoing her retrieval. Wait to hear about the fertilization report on Friday. And wait to hear if any of the embryos will make it to transfer on Sunday.

I've waited 35 years to become a mom, so I guess I can wait a little more.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bring on the retrieval!

So here we are at day 7 of stimulation for our donor, and yes, we are going to trigger today. Well, actually she will be probably triggering at 2:15am Wednesday a few hours from now. We have a retrieval time set for 2:15pm on Thursday. Our nurse said that we will get a fertilization report on Friday. Then on Saturday, we will get a time to come in for transfer on Sunday. I asked if we would only be doing a 3 day transfer, as many of you have mentioned 5 and 6 day transfers. But Sunday it will be, to the best of her knowledge.

Remember how I said that I wanted more follicles? Well, I got them: 20, to be exact. Here's to continued good news....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cycle update...good news?

Our donor, I need to give her a name, let's say Reese, went in to our clinic and had bloodwork and an ultrasound done today. Anxiously waiting the news, but knowing that it was too early for any real news, I jumped when my cell phone rang. The nurse at our RE practice, Kathy, was asking if I was in a place where I could "talk freely". I have always kind of liked that phrase that the RE's office uses "talk freely", it makes me feel like I'm kind of a spy rather than a medically challenged person who shouldn't be talking about her vajay-jay with her co-workers around. But I digress....

The news was good, I think. Reese has already greatly stimulated: she had 14 countable follicles. Yes, fourteen follicles on day SIX of stims. And not just tiny follicles either, her largest is at 32mm. Our nurse says that the protocol is to "trigger" (have her take the HCG shot to mature the eggs) when at least one of the eggs is at 36mm. And that could be TOMORROW. The nurse actually congratulated ME.

She was probably trying to fill in the void of empty space that was on the phone line, because I was completely at a loss for words.

And after the phone call I almost started crying.

  • Crying because we are actually reaching another hurtle.
  • Crying because this wonderful woman can produce more follicles in 6 days than I could in 3 entire cycles.
  • Crying because I don't know if stimulating that fast gives viable eggs.
  • Crying because I for the first time in a long time I have hope. Such fragile hope. And I am afraid that we will again come so close and yet meet another unpleasant end.

And how sick am I? My first thought on the phone with the nurse was "No, don't trigger her yet. We need more eggs. Like 24. Twenty-four is a good number right?? Just give her a few more days. Who knows if these eggs are viable. We need more in case this time it doesn't work. I can't go through this again. " Desperation is an unpleasant cologne indeed.

Please don't misunderstand me. I ABSOLUTELY do not want our donor to overstimulate. OHSS sounds horrible and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Least of all a woman who has generously donate a part of herself to help us. I just want....our child. Our children. Our success story. Our family.

And now that I am home, I think I am going to go ahead and let myself cry.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Oh My Goodness, I got tagged by Michelle at In Pursuit of Parenthood IN OC-freakin'-TOBER and I didn't even know it.

This will tell you how big of a dork I am: I was reading her blog, which I l*heart* by the way, and I saw a list of questions to be answered and thought to myself, "Self, this is a really cool list. I wonder if I will ever get tagged for something like this." I mentally answer all the questions to myself. (Which I have done twice now) and then read down allll the way to the end of the list. I saw a list of blogs which I noticed before but never looked at too closely. But there I was!

Yay! I'm so excited (and apparently easily amused).

The way this works is that I am supposed to answer in one word (Me? yeah, right) and then pass this on to 7 bloggers.

So, here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging in the "den"
2. Where is your significant other? On the chair next to me
3. Your hair color? Brown-brown-brown
4. Your mother? Accepting
5. Your father? Crinkles his eyes when he smiles
6. Your favorite thing? Getting warm and cozy under a blanket
7. Your dream last night? Don't remember
8. Your dream/goal? Children
9. The room you're in? Living room
10. Your hobby? Is surfing the internet a hobby?????
11. Your fear? Being obsessed with having children to the point that it smothers my soul (Oooooh, that was a little raw....)
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Mom, with a job with a regular schedule
13. Where were you last night? Sittin' my butt on the couch
14. What you're not? Vindictive
15. One of your wish list items? Hahahahaha. Does having a baby count?
16. Where you grew up? Florida--so hot, so very, very, mind-numbingly hot
17. The last thing you did? Ate Indian food my friend cooked at a dinner party--yum!
18. What are you wearing? T-shirt and shorts.
19. Your T.V.? Currently commandeered to play X-box games
20. Your pet? Max the black (cat), Zoe and Nola (guinea pigs), and 4 (yes, four) hamsters...can anyone say "nesting"?
21. Your computer? laptop
22. Your mood? nervous
23. Missing someone? Yes
24. Your car? Toyota Carolla
25. Something you're not wearing? Um,....a bra. C'mon, It's 3 in the morning, people!
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? Over
28. Love someone? Yes ;)
29. Your favorite color? blue and green (it's a tie)
30. When is the last time you laughed? Tonight
31. Last time you cried? This afternoon.

Now for the tagging part:

I hope to see your answers :)

Show and Tell

It's been a gray few days here in my neck of the woods, so I thought that I would post some pictures from last April when Hubby and I went to Las Vegas, my first time there :)

We walked through all of the major casinos on the strip, but my favorite was at the Bellagio. It had an spring motif featuring butterflies, poppies and tulips. We had to go back twice so I could take it all in:

Painted umbrellas hung from the ceiling and the gardens were adorned with glass poppy sculptures

Up close and personal with a poppy

One side of the garden featuring tulips

Just lovely isn't it? They had a butterfly enclosure at one end where they were raising butterflies that they would release every week to help pollinate the flowers and trees in the area.

So that's my show and tell, don't forget to check out the rest of the class this week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cycle update

First, I want to say a special thank you to everyone who left comments about meeting our donor. I was thinking along the same lines as you, and it was nice to get some verification :) .

I really liked the comment asking her what she would like the child to know about her. I hope that doesn't sound like too invasive of a question. She seems really laid back and understanding. When we signed the contract, we had asked specifically if she would be willing to meet any children resulting from egg donation when they turned 18. She agreed. She also agreed to be contacted in case of a medical emergency that would require a genetic relative. Perhaps she is so understanding because she has two children of her own.....I'm not sure, but I do feel more relaxed about meeting her and I thank all of you for that.

In a cycle update, our donor went in for her baseline on Tuesday the 4th. All went well and she started her stim meds! She goes back in Monday for bloodwork and an ultrasound. I think that this puts the estimated retrieval around Nov 15/16. That would be THIS COMING WEEKEND!! After all this waiting.....I can't think too far ahead in the future, though. It just becomes too overwhelming, too ripe with possibilites and potential sadness. I am just trying to look ahead to the next hurtle. For me, that will be meeting her this Sunday.

I'll let you know how it goes....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day of Reconing

So....this are moving smoothly in the Hope Springs Infertile household. A little TOO smoothly.

We are smack in the middle of our first (and only??) Donor Egg cycle (IVF #4). My hormones are sufficiently suppressed and my estradiol count sufficiently is elevated. The donor has started on her lupron, quit her birth control and is waiting for her period. She should get her period any day now (predicted to be Nov 2). When she does, she will go in for a baseline and the process will move to "THE STIMULATION PHASE." (This should be said with a deep and dramatic voice).

Besides the fact that for most of last week I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, things are indeed going smoothly. I do try to take it one day at a time. One hurtle at a time. I am, though, nervously looking ahead. Not to a pregancy or a baby, but to viable eggs. Something of which I know little about.

When my husband and I started considering DE a year ago after my 3rd failed IVF (the second in which I had failed to even stimulate), we had a lot of long, heavy conversations. We moved from the initial "Should we try again hoping for our own eggs? How do you feel about the baby being genetically related to only one of us?" to "Are we going to tell our parents? Our (potential) kids?" We decided yes to both questions, because we wanted there to be no secrets to how our children were conceived. Now, in the parents/other relatives department, don't get me wrong. We haven't told everyone, just close family. We also just update them with the facts, not too much info, as this is obviously a very personal decision.

One thing that we did decide on was that we would let our potential kids know of their origins. That we wanted to have children very much and needed to use another woman's eggs in order to do so. We didn't want to turn this into a large family secret. The gorilla in the room, as it were. We both remember the struggle to find out who we really "were" when we were growing up, and although using DE adds a layer of complexity for them, we didn't want it to seem 'bad.' We don't want to make it a taboo subject in our home. That may make it more uncomfortable for us, but we think it will be best for them. That means that they are going to have a lot of questions. And we would like to have a least some of the answers.

That is why we want to meet our donor. We didn't have any friends or family who could donate for us, so our donor is virtually anonymous to us, save for her profile that we looked at 6 months ago. Although we know what we read, we want to tell our kids that we spoke to her, asked her some questions, etc.

Now the time has come. We are moving onto THE STIMULATION PHASE. If there were ever a time to meet her, now is it. We have a date and a time: next Sunday, Nov 9 at 1pm.

And I am really scared.

Of what, I'm not sure.

And I cannot think of a single thing to ask her.

My husband appears quite comfortable. I asked him if he would tell me what he was going to ask her, but he is being a bit coy. I think that he doesn't want me to steal his questions. :)

I feel as though any thing I might ask is going to come out sounding dumb, or worse, invasive. My mind is in a total fog.

I think some of my fear in meeting her is that all of this will become real. Really. Really. Real. We really could get pregnant. We really could have a baby. Or we really could have yet another disappointment.

Does any one have any suggestions on what you would want to know if you were told you were born of donor eggs?

Show and Tell

So today Hubby and I went out on a driving tour to look at the changing leaves. It's a little late here in New England for that, but we went out nonetheless. I put fresh batteries in the camera and everything. We did see a lot of beautiful foliage, but darned if I didn't forget to actually get the camera out.....

So instead, today's Show and Tell will be stock footage from my hard drive of one of my guinea pigs.

Nola resting on Hubby's arm

While she does look a tad bit uncomfortable in this picture, I can assure you that no piggies were harmed in the making of this photo. (Although, if she had any pride, I'm sure it would be gone.) She will even eat when we put her on her back, and believe me, guinea pigs DO NOT eat if they are scared.

Here's one of my favorite photos of her.

A piggy smile!

Actually, this is the same photo as my profile picture, just zoomed in on the piggy.

I think that our poor animals hope and pray that we have kids soon so that we will quit making them pose for silly pictures. Poor things :)

Wanna see more Show and Tell? Head over to Mel's for a complete list!