Beatbox Flair, Puppy Stairs and Grapes Beware

To the untrained human, trying to get pregnant simply involves gettin’busy, knockin’ boots, makin’ bacon, the lust and thrust, the bump and grind, havin’ a bedroom rodeo, some hanky panky, gettin’ lucky, a roll in the hay, a good old fashioned shag…..

……but for those of us in the infertility trenches, we know getting pregnant means trying to hone your body into a perfectly balanced eco-system of hormones and chemicals you never knew you had while aligning the planets during a mystical creatures convention where a unicorn nods approvingly at you and The Cubs win The World Series.

It can be daunting.

For me, it boils down to having a constant stream of distractions, shiny objects and things to occupy my brain.  I share some here each week.

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I desperately want to be friends with both of these gals!  I. Love. Them.

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Here’s a silly little quickie. I love that the little guy’s doesn’t stop wagging the whole way down the stairs.

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Just some good old-fashioned grape stomping, right? But why do they have to be on an elevated platform?  I mean….it’s not funny….but it’s so so funny.  This thing is years old and I can still make the sounds this gal makes and certain friends will know exactly what I’m talking about.

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Have a great week everybody!

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IVF3 Which Basket Has the Eggs?

Had a good meeting with The Russian (my RE) on Friday and she said we had two options moving forward: 1) try again with my eggs or 2) move on to donor eggs. I told her that we’d talked through the use of donor eggs and that we just didn’t see that it was for us. She said she understood but wanted to give us all the information so that we had it since many of her patients ended up changing their minds…especially when they’re down to their last shot (which we’ll be if IVF 3 doesn’t work).

What I learned from that conversation:

1) Chicago is so diverse that you can find pretty much any type of donor you’re looking for, there’s an outside agency they use for this search, and when you look for an egg donor you look for someone you can relate to, who’s from a similar ethnic background, similar education, similar socio-economic background, etc – basically, pretty much you but 22.

2) The donor gets a full medical screening (genetic history, STDs, etc) to ensure their health and the hope is that they’ll produce many, many eggs.

3) Your cycle is synced up with that of the donor, she does the all the meds and monitoring, then after the Egg Retrieval the eggs are fertilized with the man’s sperm, and hopefully a whole mess fertilize.

4) Embryos get transferred to you and extras frozen, so that down the road, you can try a FET (frozen embryo transfer) to give that kid a full sibling.

5) Some costs for the donor are covered by insurance and some aren’t. The Russian estimated that extra fees could range from $6K-$12K.

And,

6) The main thing I learned from our meeting was that it confirmed that it isn’t the direction for us. Using Donor Eggs (DE) is an amazing thing, I think it’s fantastic that it’s the right option for so many people, and I especially love that science brings the opportunity for women who really want to be pregnant an increased chance to be pregnant.  But we’ve really gone over this, and we’ve talked through every aspect of it….we’ve talked through it ALOT, and moving forward to get our family our kid will either be all our genetics or none at all, and we’ll love the shit out of them either way. For us it’s more about having a child than being pregnant.

And so we moved on to talking about IVF3 with my eggs.

First we talked about this last cycle, which clearly didn’t go how any of us had hoped. The Russian said there was just a point at which my follicles kind of stalled. (Yep, they did). She still had hopes of getting at least a couple eggs so she opted not to cancel the cycle. (Thankfully, she never mentioned this cancellation possibility during the cycle because that would have stressed the crap out of me).  Anyway, she said she can’t fully explain why I didn’t respond as well, but that sometimes the body, even on a natural cycle, has an “off” cycle.  Who knows? This IVF business isn’t a lock.

We agreed that the testosterone and estrogen priming is still likely in my favor (at this point I asked about DHEA as a supplement and she said the testosterone patches essentially serve the same purpose) and I asked if we could shorten the time I’m on birth control. These past two IVFs doing 5 weeks of BCP was an eternity and my gut screamed at me that it was too long. I mean, I’m not the doctor, I know nothing…..but it’s worth a shot to try a cycle with only a few weeks of birth control.  IVF3 will mimic IVF1 which went a little better (Lupron, Menopur and back to a slightly higher dose of Follistim) and will now also include ICSI and we’ll hope for the best.

She put a number on it all and said she figures we likely have a 15-20% chance, which frankly is ahelluvahlot higher than I would have thought. And, I doubt she’d give us a padded estimate. I was told to wait for my period (which I got with a vengeance yesterday) and then call in (which I’ll do Monday morning) and come in for an initial scan. After that, The Russian’s Right Hand will work up a calendar and I’ll have a timeline for the big show.

We are feeling positive and enjoying a weekend of eating whatever the hell we want. The healthy hammer will fall  Monday with the birth control at which point I’ll cut down on some things and fully cut out others, but for now it’s M&Ms, cinnamon rolls and pizza from Pequod’s.

Cutie Pie Singer, A Little Pooper and Cats Galore!

To the untrained human, trying to get pregnant simply involves gettin’busy, knockin’ boots, makin’ bacon, the lust and thrust, the bump and grind, havin’ a bedroom rodeo, some hanky panky, gettin’ lucky, a roll in the hay, a good old fashioned shag…..

……but for those of us in the infertility trenches, we know getting pregnant means trying to hone your body into a perfectly balanced eco-system of hormones and chemicals you never knew you had while aligning the planets during a mystical creatures convention where a unicorn nods approvingly at you and The Cubs win The World Series.

It can be daunting.

For me, it boils down to having a constant stream of distractions, shiny objects and things to occupy my brain.  I share some here each week.

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Apparently dad wanted to distract his daughter from some sounds outside…..so they sang a song together. Her commitment to the occasional pause is pretty amazing…..and her singing’s hugely adorable.

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This isn’t the most highbrow thing I could include, but it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long long time.

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Cats. Love them. Hate them. Either way, they are often easy to laugh at.

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Good tidings to all!!!  Hope all is well and hey, happy Humpday!

IVF 2 Not “The One” So Forward We Go

Well friends and neighbors, today’s blood test came back negative.

Bumm. Er.

Yes, there’s sadness, but we’re okay.  We knew that transferring only one embryo, along with my age, meant chances this round were pretty slim…..existent, but slim. (But if it happens again, I’ll still be on the “it only takes one” mantra bandwagon).

I picked hubbo up from work and checked my RE’s website to find that we had a message waiting with the test results.  Needless to say it was not the message we had hoped for. No tears but we absorbed the crappy information and spouted out all our disappointments and frustrations.

Then we decided to go for frozen yogurt from the wall.

‘Cause that’s how we roll.

Driving up Lake Shore Drive we found ourselves on the subject of adoption again.  We’ve talked about adopting on and off and are both very open to the idea.  While I’d love to be pregnant I don’t really feel that I have to actually carry a child to be his/her parent. We decided that our best play moving forward would be to continue IVF while also moving forward with adoption research, etc. Adoption feels daunting and “where the hell does one start” but in reality, I’ve already started.  I’ve been occasionally looking online and I had a good talk with a friend who recently adopted a little boy, so now I just have to dig in. Any recommendation of books, websites, etc. are greatly appreciated.

We went to the Forever Yogurt in Boystown and while hubbo paid the parking (thank you Mayor Daley) I called The Russian’s office and set up an appointment for Friday to talk about what we should try next. For now I stop all meds and wait for nature to kick back in. We bumped into a couple of friends coming out of the Caribou Coffee next to the yogurt shop and they immediately started joking around with us. So, perked up, still no tears.

Got home, crashed on the couch with the dog and watched some mindless tv.  Eventually, Bri Willy (Brian Williams) did a story about a little girl who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing who sang at a recent Red Sox game.  That jump-started the inevitable tear flow of emotions that needed to exit my body.

I’m not a robot, y’all….but I couldn’t cry into that delicious yogurt.

 

 

10dp3dt Another Wait Almost Over

So here we are, deep into the two week wait….2ww if you’re in the know. Specifically we’re 10dp3dt (10 days past 3 day transfer if you’re not in the know).  The time has passed pretty well, some days pass slowly, some quickly and I’ve kept myself busy with distractions: plenty of movies (Go see Gravity in 3D already!), some delicious home cookin’ and lots of knitting.

Hey look! Pictures:

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Yes, I could take a home pregnancy test, but why do that to myself? The blood test at the doctor’s office is much more definitive and for me, that’s a safer bet for my emotional well-being.  If you’re one of those folks who start peeing on a stick right after the transfer or as soon as the test “might” detect pregnancy hormones – good for you! For me, that would make me crazy and these days (especially these days) I’m all about what’s best for me. Keep peeing on your sticks ladies, but I won’t be joining you.

As for symptoms I’m not reading into anything, as I’ve been giving myself shots of progesterone in oil (PIO for anyone who cares) since the night of the retrieval and added estradiol/estrogen pills nightly since the 8th….so really, ANYTHING I’m feeling could easily be attributed to DRUGS not normally in my person.  However, just to put it out there, the last few days I’ve felt short periods of mild cramping and today extended periods (like since I woke up) of mild cramping, some odd gastrointestinal mischief, some slight overall “blahness” and maybe some additional sleepiness.

But again – symptomatic of what we’re hoping for or just side effects of meds?

Who’s to say?

On a plus note, I have my Progesterboobs back. Progesterboobs are boobs you get as a result of progesterone. It’s like magic. They’re just noticeably a bit….fuller. I’ll take ’em.

And I’ll say it again with these progesterone shots: LET THE NEEDLE DO THE WORK. None of this jabbing and sticking and running start business. I quite literally rest the needle on my fanny cheek, gently (GENTLY!!!) push and wait…..and wait a little more…..after a few seconds, it just sinks in and there’s barely any discomfort. I in no way think I have an exceedingly high pain threshold – I just think I’ve found a pretty efficient fairly pain-free scenario. Also, no men in the bathroom during shot time – it just prolongs the issue and adds to the tension and discomfort. I know it’s all “for better and for worse” but if there’s ANY chance you can get yourself to the point of doing your own shots: DO IT. YOU ARE ALREADY A ROCKSTAR FOR GOING THROUGH IVF. Once you can give yourself shots YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE!

Needle rant finished. Sorry.

Monday morning I’ve got a blood test that’ll give us our “move forward” information:  1) yay we’re pregnant and we move forward as pregnant people or 2) we’re not pregnant and we talk to The Russian about what to do next…..stay with her, see someone else she recommends, try something different, try the same thing.  Our insurance allows us up to 4 tries (bless that Illinois mandate) so we’ll try again right away if need be.

2 more sleeps until we know which way we’re headed.

Bad Lip Reading, Not One Direction & Places To Go

To the untrained human, trying to get pregnant simply involves gettin’busy, knockin’ boots, makin’ bacon, the lust and thrust, the bump and grind, havin’ a bedroom rodeo, some hanky panky, gettin’ lucky, a roll in the hay, a good old fashioned shag…..

……but for those of us in the infertility trenches, we know getting pregnant means trying to hone your body into a perfectly balanced eco-system of hormones and chemicals you never knew you had while aligning the planets during a mystical creatures convention where a unicorn nods approvingly at you and The Cubs win The World Series.

It can be daunting.

For me, it boils down to having a constant stream of distractions, shiny objects and things to occupy my brain.  I share some here each week.

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Someone out there is a genius. They took football clips and added bad lip reading. Since this already has over 41 million views you’ve likely already witnessed it, but since I’ve seen it many times and it still makes me laugh, it makes the cut.

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Who doesn’t like learning about amazing places on the planet to add to the list of amazing places one needs to visit? Here are a few more:

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I’m not going to lie to you and say that I don’t have a soft spot for Boy Bands.  They intrigue me.  And, if you can also parody an already catchy song, then kudos to you.

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Have a great week everybody – good wishes to one and all!

Some Days You Talk to Your Stomach

My emotions have been closer to the surface than usual this past week.  I’ve gotten boo-hooey at tv shows and commercials (not that I never do…but I’m noticing, so I figure it’s more) and I’m way less patient with crappy drivers who seem to make their own rules. I say things that aren’t nice….but it’s in the privacy of my own car and sometimes I apologize.

Anyway, I recently found myself in the kitchen heating up some soup (1 can Campbell’s Cream of Tomato mixed with 1 can Campbell’s Bean with Bacon, 1 can water, 1 can milk – my folks used to make it when I was a kid and it’s always been a source of comfort) and I was in a smidge of a mood….just wondering about it all and kind of questioning everything….

….and suddenly I realized that I was negotiating with my stomach….basically talking to an embryo that may or may not still be chugging along in there contemplating implantation.

I was having a conversation. A full-on conversation with a hopeful future entity.

“You should hang around. You could do worse. I mean, we’re pretty fun. We laugh alot and make up songs. We’re weird in fun ways. We have a dog. You probably won’t always get everything you want for Christmas but you’ll do okay. We’ll paint you a wall with chalkboard paint so you always have somewhere to draw. I’ll teach you how to turn the shower on before you step in so you don’t get smacked in the face with that burst of cold water that’s sometimes stuck in there. You’d have a good time. We’d like you to stay.”

I was staring down at my belly and just talking. Talking out of hope. Talking out of fear. Talking out of really wanting this all to work.

And so I’ve kept it up. At some point each day I’ve rubbed my belly (which is thankfully, finally, a little less bloated from the meds and the retrieval) and said a sentence or two.  I in no way think this is unique or uncommon, and it’s comforting to know that other folks are out there feeling the same things and acting on them in cornball ways.

Do you hear that embryo belly? I’m a cornball. Why don’t you hang around and find out for yourself.