Thursday, March 26, 2009


I haven't posted in a while because nothing much is happening. I am just waiting for results, trying to enjoy my time off, trying to lose some of the extra IVF weight and taking it easy. In the meantime, Brett has been sick. We woke up this morning and he thought something was in his throat. He bent over to get his toothbrush and gagged! I had a look and swore that his tonsils were swollen - so much so that they were sitting on his tongue. Well, we got to the doctor's office and found out it was his uvula swollen so much that it really was literally sitting on his tongue. Isn't that nuts? The poor guy is lucky he could still swallow food. The doctor said that it is pretty typical after being sick. It is usually viral but can also be caused by strep throat, so he took a culture and told us they'd be in touch. He did give Brett one dose of an antibiotic in case it is strep throat, we can head it off at the pass by starting the antibiotic right away and then if it really is needed, he can call in a prescription tomorrow. Crazy huh?

We also had to get our passports updated since we are planning a trip to Mexico in July to go to Brett's sister's wedding. The wedding has been planned since the fall. When I was pregnant I told everyone I was unlikely to go because my estimated due date was July 9 and her wedding is on the 11th. So, though I was very happy to be asked to be a bridesmaide and I'd love a trip to sunny Mexico, I had to say that Brett would maybe try to make it by himself (though he wasn't sure either, depending on how the pregnancy was going etc). Well, now that we miscarried, we have decided to go forward with the plans. But again, I had to tell my sister in law (the one that I love, not the other one:-)) that we may still be pregnant before the wedding and, if so, there is a chance that I won't be able to make it. Well, she has been incredibly sweet and considerate and still bought me a dress to be a bridesmaide, arranged our flight and hotel there, actually, she's done everything to make it so that we can go but, while doing so, tells me that she hopes I don't make it b/c I am pregnant. Isn't that sweet? And, I have to admit, there is a part of me that just wants to go to Mexico, enjoy the family and the party, and be a part of her wedding. But then I don't think I can wait until after July to transfer if I have any normal embryos. We are set to fly out on July 9th - my EDD. And, to be honest, I desperately want to be pregnant by that date. I'm not sure how I will handle it if I am not. My heart just broke with that miscarriage and its not that I want to trade one beautiful baby for another, but I want to feel that hope again by the time the due date rolls around. So, I struggle between feeling really bad that I am trying my hardest not to make it to the wedding and just dying to get to transfer and hopefully be pregnant. I've also considered traveling even if I am pregnant, but to be honest, I know CCRM has a "no traveling while in the first trimester" rule and I don't always agree with it because I have learned that a baby willl stay in and grow when it is healthy and there is nothing in the world that you can do to keep a baby that isn't healthy inside. Especially in the first trimester. However, I also know that once I get pregnant, I will be afraid to do anything to jeopardize it. I've even asked my nurse at CCRM why they have this rule and she said they want me always close to good healthcare and doctors and nurses who know me and my case. I will definitely not get that in Mexico. So there I stand. I would be very sad to miss out on a beautiful event with people I love in a tropical destination but I still feel like I need to try to miss out on it by being pregnant. What would you guys do? Do you think I am crazy for feeling this way and trying to rush forward? I mean, the embryos don't need to go in right away...they aren't aging. I just feel like I want to do this for my own psychological well being.

So, that is it, really. I am still keeping busy caring for my mom's 3 dogs and my 2. We took the old man to the Vet and got him some better meds for arthritis care and found out he is hypothyroid (just like me!), so he started doggy synthroid yesterday. I am nervous every day about getting a phone call from Dr. G (ever since I found out the results are coming in sooner than later) but am probably being silly since my results will probably be coming in 3 weeks from now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I thought I'd just post some fun pics of the puppies that are currently driving me nuts. It is seriously a full time job. So I guess it is good that I am unemployed:-O Oh well, here they are...

This is my baby. My 'Old Man". He was the fattest, cutest little puppy that, when I was in college, many people offered to buy him from me. He was a rescue but I loved him so much that no way would I sell him for $400!!! Well, he is now almost 15 and it breaks my heart to see him struggle with the stairs and have such stiff hips and achey joints. Anyway, when I moved out of my mom's I begged to take him with me but she thought he'd be happier with his buddies (to follow) so I left him with her. But he is always my baby.

These are my mom's three...snuggling on my big dog bed:

And the famous fat chihuahua up close. She is absolutely the sweetest, mildest chihuahua you will ever meet (unless you have one yourself - Ashley:-))But, I must say, she looks something like a potato on toothpics. However, if you are in need of a surrogate for that baby you weren't able to have (yet) then she fits the bill. I swear, picking her up feels like lifting a newborn!

And, just for sh*ts and giggles, Sherman dressed to be married. He does this all the time with our curtains. He wears them like a veil. When he did it yesterday I was lucky enough to have the camera ready. Cute, right? Oh well, Harley (for the first time in her life) was camera shy. But you get the idea- these are 4 of the 5 dogs at my house right now. You have to see me line them up from the outside so that I can wipe paws before they hit carpet. Oh yeah, and I vaccuum like 4 times a day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

results in a rush?

I was on one of the regular boards I visit this morning and found out that the CGH results are coming back really really fast for some people now. One woman had her eggs retrieved on February 13th so her day 6 report was on February 20th (about a week and a half before my day 6) and she got her results yesterday! She said this is probably exactly 3 weeks from the date the lab received them! But there's more! She said that right after her day 3 report, she found out about the problems with CGH so she was calling the embryology lab and her RE so she told them to hold back on sending the embies out and she thinks they may have - for almost a week! So, her results came back anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks from the day the lab received her biopsies. Cut to me. Here I am calmly going through life, knowing that I won't hear a THING for weeks still to come. I've been having a half a cup of coffee daily, a glass of wine at night, helping my mom move out of her house, babysitting her 3 dogs (add that to my 2 and we've got 5 - don't worry, I'll post funny pics soon), and just having a calm and grand old time. Now I am freaking out. Isn't that funny? The very idea that the phone call can come anytime between now and 5 weeks from now makes me beyond nervous.

The woman who just got her results didn't go through CCRM or SIRM but with an RE in Chicago who is starting to use CGH. She may have been their first patient - do you think that is why they rushed her results? Maybe b/c CCRM is a long standing client, their results will still take the usual 6 weeks? or have other patients been hearing about the CGH problems and so less clients have been using CGH and instead opting for the lab that does microarray so they have a faster turn around all of a sudden? What do you guys think? Eeek. Its funny - I'm actually usually a pretty calm person but you guys get the real crazy me on this blog.

Anyway, I'm going to pretend that I didn't learn that little tidbit (b/c we all know my cell phone will literally be ATTACHED to me for weeks to come). I'm going to go and take care of my zoo (my 2 boxers, an old man mixed schnauzer-poodle, a papillon, and a fat chihuahua), I'm going to run out to the store, do some yard work (it is going to hit 60 today!), and just be myself. And then later tonight, Brett and I are meeting some of his work friends at the Dino.saur BBQ for some great food and beer. Of course, I think it is insane to actually go out on St. Pat's day - I never do it- but we've been wanting to go out with this other couple for a while and today was the day they chose. I am so going to regret it. Oh well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It never gets easier

I've had a serious reality check this week. When I think my life sucks and things are so hard for me, I hear stories of friends of mine whose lives have recently been turned upside down by miserable, painful, life altering events. Events that make my little "OMG, I only have 4 embies to send to CGH, I may never be pregnant with my own eggs" saga seem silly and dramatic. Since I've heard their stories - one of which is life shattering and the other that just isn't fair- I can't stop thinking about both of these amazing women and realizing that no matter what things happen in life, Life just isn't fair. It is a painful, uphill battle and we get our comfort and peace and happiness in small we must take it while we can and make the most of it. So we really have to celebrate the wonderful people in our lives and any happiness that comes our way.

Last week I signed on to my regular bulletin boards to check out the status of some of my pregnant girls. Last year around this time I joined a cycle buddy group that really got close. So close that the cycle group never closed at the end of the just keeps going. About 3/4 of the girls in that group are pregnant or just had babies, so I like to see where they all are. Well, one of them recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago. Last week she found out that she has stage IV colon cancer that has metastasized to her liver. She started chemo almost immediately and was researching her options. It makes me cry just writing this. She has a serious struggle ahead of her and her family. But, she is fighting it. You don't know this person and I am absolutely respecting her anonymity but if you could just say a little prayer for her and her family, it would be appreciated.

Another friend I met online through that same bulletin board happens to be a neighbor of mine. And, when I say neighbor, I mean only 2 houses away. We've been chatting online and in person for the last year or so. She and her husband have experienced some huge obstacles in IF. This time last year, at 19 weeks, she lost her twin boys. On her next IVF this past fall, she got pregnant with a singleton! As you can guess, it has been nerve-wracking getting past the 19 week stage (and I'm sure my story of miscarriage didn't help right in the early stages of her pregnancy). Well, just last week, at 20 weeks, she went to her anatomy scan at the OB's office and found out they were having a boy! But, that boy has spina bifida. I believe they are going to see specialists this week to see if in-utero surgery is an option and to find out how bad the spina bifida is. My heart just breaks. No one deserves this. Again, if you can, say a prayer that her boy will not be too affected by this or that surgery is an option for her. It is horribly scary to fear that the baby you are carrying and nurturing may have something wrong...and to wonder how wrong and what you can do to care for that baby already.

I wish I didn't have to be reminded that life just isn't fair. I already know this. I knew when I had my miscarriage at 9 weeks and was crying my eyes out that it could have been so much worse. I even said it to DH, when I could stop sobbing long enough to speak, "I know it could have been so much worse, it could have happened later, when I'd already seen her or his beautiful face on u/s or it could have happened while giving birth or a week or two after giving birth, it just could have been worse". But then I continued to cry because I was in pain anyway. We all are reminded of this daily when we see others struggle with IF. So, it hurts for what we go through and it hurts for others...and sometimes I just wish that others didn't have to go through this too...and sometimes I wish others didn't have to go through things that are just much worse...or that their journey ends happily or has no more bumps in the road. Life just isn't fair.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Award!!! I won an award!!!

Thank you Nikki and Momsoon!!! I am highly honored. Ironically, I've always had better guy friends than girl friends and only recently found some amazing women who share common life experiences and who I relate to in it's been really nice to feel like a part of the group:-) So, thank you!!!

Here are the rules of the award: The rules for accepting the award are as follows:Put the logo on your blog or post.Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude.Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

Now, I am going to cheese out and just say if you are on my blogroll and haven't received the award yet, please consider yourself chosen. The irony is that we all catch up with each other daily and I do believe that we have all linked each other with these fun awards already - or almost I am out of ideas and would have to spend half of the day looking for blogs to tag, lol, and that is just against the spirit of the whole thing!

In the meantime, the bed guy is coming today to check out our "defective" mattress, though I doubt our butts have put enough of a dent in it to show this after only 6 months. But, there it is. In the meantime, thanks for your suggestions on beds - Brett and I are going mattress shopping this weekend and I am armed with your great suggestions!

Besides that, I have a few small updates. First, both of my frozen embryos died upon thaw. I spoke to the embryologist yesterday because I was shocked. If my embies are that weak, what can I expect from the 4 they just froze? Well, little did I know that back in October CCRM was still slow freezing the embryos that weren't doing CGH. So, instead of the >5% mortality rate upon thaw, we had a 25-30% mortality rate and I was on the bad side of that statistic (oh, what else is new?). So, that sucks. I'm just so glad we didn't take Dr. S's advice after my m/c and go in for a FET - can you imagine the disappointment? Then I sent an email to Dr. G about how sad I am about our results, how shocking it is, and whether or not it is even worth sending them out for testing. Of course, he was all positive. Said he was surprised as well that we only had 4, but that he still has high hopes for our normal rate. I didn't want to disagree, but there it is. It is disappointing but I can't change it. However, this is the worst I've ever done and I'm not sure if I am deluding myself by thinking it was just a bad cycle. Is there such a thing as a bad cycle? Or is this a harbinger...? In any event, nothing to do but move forward.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

plans, plans and more plans

So, the first thing I do when I get bad IF news is cry my freaking eyes out - like, ugly crying, with red, puffy eyes, big red nose, and pathetic sobbing noises. Then, after that is done, I plan. Then I bring DH in on planning. It seems to make us feel better. So, we have a plan. I know some of you think I am crazy, that 4 eggs going out to test for CGH from a 34 year old are likely to yield at least one, if not two, normals. But, here is my situation - I am a doomsday planner. Originally from right near NYC (well, okay, my town was half in Queens half in Nassau county on LI), I was raised with cynicism and negative optimism (seems weird to say, but that is what it is). So, for my sanity I need to look at the worst case scenario (ironically, before yesterday DH and I thought our worst case scenario was only 6 making it to testing - lol- we even said that out loud b/c the embryologist said we will definitely get 4 from this cycle, maybe more, and then those 2 frozen), so now I am really in a worst-case scenario "the sky is falling" mentality.'s the plan....

Yes, we wait for the results and still hope...But in the meantime, my local clinic said that we are likely to have 3 more fresh IVF cycles covered entirely by our new insurance. Tracy, who is an amazing person, is the person who works at the insurance stuff. She has been researching this for us for the last few weeks. If this is the case, and we get no normals, we really will plug along forward with a few more fresh IVF's because they are there and they are free and I think a blitz campaign to get tons of eggs will eventually yield at least one normal. Given that, I will insist that they put me on the long lupron protocol or if they insist on MDL then I will insist on BCP's. I can do this. In the meantime I have been researching donor eggs. My old clinic has had some success with DE but, as we all know, insurance does not take kindly to DE. So, I found a clinic that has an incredible shared risk program for DE cycles that, amazingly, I appear to qualify for. So, DH and I will have to start saving again to do this program. I don't know much about the center, but I am researching the waiting list, etc, and I am hoping I can find people who have done DE there. I am actually kind of excited about this. God, I would have done this years ago if anyone suggested I had a freaking egg problem...and we would have had money for this years ago.

So there it is...more free IVF cycles locally (no their lab does not even compare) but, strangely, I've always had nicely graded embryos there. Save up money. Do DE. Finally relax.

In the meantime, we wait for results. I'm not stressed about all. I was more stressed about this part of it. Today I start doing yoga, exercising. I had a couple of glassses of wine last night and a cup of coffee this morning, lol, I am a party animal.

On another note...when I got to Denver last week I stayed at the Staybridge Suites near the Park Meadows Mall. It is a decent hotel, comfy, with great amenities for bed rest and such. Well after about one day, that miserable back pain I've been having (that I was worried was the fibroid) was gone. Totally gone. I did yoga, I did a lot of walking, I had huge swollen ovaries. Yet my back was fine. I got home. Back pain is back. I've never had back pain - usually all that yoga kept me nice and strong and comfy in my own body. I've just realized that it is my stupid mattress. A mattress that we only bought about 8 months ago! So, for the last 2 nights Brett and I have been sleeping on the futon in the family room. My back is fine. Unbelievably, we have to buy a new mattress. I did call the place we bought it and they are sending someone out to check out if it is defective (it has body depressions after only 8 months and we aren't really big people AT ALL), but I doubt they will say there is a problem. I really really don't want to spend money on this but I am so miserable I don't know what to do. We are hitting mattress stores this weekend to see if we can get a reasonably priced one with a 30 day return promise if we hate it. Any suggestions? the one we have is a Simmons and I will never buy Simmons again...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guess we learned something.

Okay, so after 7 fresh IVF's and one miserable excuse for a FET, I've finally learned why these things aren't working -I do have crappy eggs. Ironically, no one has ever suggested this to me - I have NEVER gotten that dreaded donor egg speech. But, there it is.

So, yesterday we had 2 biopsied and frozen. Today, they were only able to biopsy and freeze 2 more. The 2 frozen from the prior cycle are out of the game. One was looking unhealthy immediately upon de-frost and the other they aren't sure about but they are going to let it go and look at it again tomorrow. 4 blasts. That is it. And, I am 34 years old. I'm so tired of all this shit.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

not what I was hoping for

We finally got our 5 day report. They called at about 5:30 EST and talked to Brett. Today we have 2 fully expanded blastocysts that they are going to biopsy and freeze. There are 2 more that are considered "early blasts" that the embryologists is pretty sure will be fully expanded tomorrow and will be biopsied and frozen. On top of that, we have 1 compacting and 1 morula, which may catch up, but may not. The other six were not likely to make it to be biopsied. The embryologists says we will get 4 (eeek.) but we may get up to 6. Brett asked about those last 6, wondering if there was a chance that they can make it to blast - he said it is possible but not probable. Then Brett said, "have you actually seen it" and he said "oh, yes, definitely". Which was us desperately looking for hope. For now, I'm not too encouraged. Actually, feel kind of crushed. Doesn't it feel like that compacting morula and morula should be good to go tomorrow too? Why do you think he is so pessimistic? is he playing it safe or are they poorly graded? Brett was smart enough to ask if any of them arrested and so far, no, all 12 are still growing, but we may only have FOUR to send for testing (plus the 2 frozen we had) - which just sucks. I guess I do have DOR....what else can I think? not at all happy...I just don't get it. So, now I have to guess is that I will hear very late tomorrow. I mean, what are the chances of getting any normals with that?

Also - in the past, at my local clinic, I'd get maybe 8 eggs, but on day 5, I'd have 3 blasts and a morula to transfer, so I seem to have done better locally even though CCRM has the best lab in the country! Could my fertility have declined that fast (less than a year)? It is so horribly disappointing....and I am praying that things turn around tomorrow...but I'm kind of upset.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 3 report

I just talked to the embryologist (after barely sleeping through the night, worrying), and the results are better than I thought (so far, ask me again in 2-3 days!). For now, 6 of the embryos are where they want them to be, 3 are 8 cell 3+, 1 is 10 cell 4-, 1 is 7 cell 3+ and the last is 6 cell 3+. The other 6 are still growing but are slower or are more fragmented. However, last cycle after they transferred 4 on day 3, they said the rest of them would fall into this slow growing/fragmented group but on day 6, they froze 2 of them at 4BB, so I am still holding out hope that a couple of them will be strong enough to make blasts.

Thank you all for your very encouraging comments. I know I sound a little like a princess because I seem to want so many, but the truth is that we always make a good number of embryos and they always look okay and yet still it never works for me (with no answers) so my big fear appears to be this decline starting from the get-go. Hence, I tend to panic at each stage, even though it appears that I am doing fine. So, thank you all for being so kind and not picking on me for being such a drama queen...your comments really do mean ALOT to me!

My mom is still in town so I am kind of off the radar for another day or two, but I can't wait to catch up with everyone in the next few days...and I'll update when I can.