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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

report from the 20-week anatomy scan

Well, today was the anatomy scan.

It went well, but the ultrasound technician made the whole thing a not-so-enjoyable experience that it just wasn't as exciting as I think it could have been.

It was the same ultrasound technician we had the last time. No personality whatsoever, and kept making me feel like something was wrong. She would say what she was scanning, but I couldn't make out anything on the screen, so I would ask a question and she would either be completely unresponsive or answer in such a way that insinuated that something was wrong.

Like, she would very robotically say, "Now I am looking for the four chambers of the heart." And I would say, "Cool! Can you see all four chambers?" hoping that she would say, "1, 2, 3, 4, there they are."

But instead, she just said, "That is what we scan for. The doctor will come in and tell you what we find."

And yes, my baby has four chambers. In fact both of them do. And this lady has been doing this robotic scan for 27 years, I'm pretty sure that she could see all four chambers. And that it wouldn't have killed her to point them out.

And, honestly, lying on my back got to be very uncomfortable after a while. And I tried not to express any discomfort, but it was really really taking forever. When I finally said something very sweetly and apologetically, she acted like I was being extremely unreasonable. I just wanted a quick "bend my knees for two seconds" break!

Ok, I'm such a complainer! Sorry about that.

But, since we already knew the genders of our babies, it was a bit anti-climatic.

We did, however, find out our little girl is 10 ounces, and our little boy is 9 ounces. She is measuring a little bigger at 19 weeks, 5 days, and he at 18 weeks, 6 days. According to my transfer date, I'm actually 19 weeks, 2 days. I should have been using May 16th as due date, but I've been using May 14th, the date i calculated wtih my LMP. Very important details, I know.

oh! She also chastised me for not drinking enough water and was quite rude about that. I have been drinking a lot of water, but I went to the bathroom right before I went in the room. The sign int he bathroom clearly stated, "First trimester patients should have full bladder." But I did not think that applied to me.

She said, "Even if you went to the bathroom, if you had been drinking enough water, there would be something in your bladder. You don't have a single drop in your bladder. And then proceeded to tell me that I was going to go into pre-term labor if i dd int' start drinking more water.

I know I need to drink more water. I will definitely focus on that. but I did not appreciate her tone with me. It was not "serious, but encouraging." It was bitchy and rude.

After she admonished like twelve times, she said, "Because you haven't drank enough water, we are going to have to do an internal cervical exam."

I'm like, "Look lady, I did IVF. You don't scare me with your vaginal wand. That's nothing!" I just thought that, though. Didn't say it.

So, thank God the doctor comes in to be there when she checks my cervix. The doctor is a huge breath of fresh air, so nice, so helpful, so different from Ms. No Personality.

Anyway, my cervix is long and beautiful and closed. All her words. She measured it at 4.21. She said normal is around 4, so it's just fine.

I was very happy to hear that. Stay closed, cervix.

Ok, this post has gone on long enough. Now, to read more blogs!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ahhhhm the pressure

Wow - the pressure of my first blog post in over two months is overwhelming!

I swear I am going to get better at writing more often.. i do want to keep track of the feelings and happenings of this stage in our lives..

I have still been reading others' blogs and LOVING them.. just not commenting as frequently, and obvioulsy, not writing myself.

But.. that is going to change. I promise.

So, here we are at 18wd5 pregnant with boy-girl twins, and I couldn't be happier. About that. Right now, though, I'm sick with a cold and miserable. Hence being up at 3 am writing this. Carlos banished me to the sofa while I'm sick, which I totally understand. How is he going to cook for me, prepare the neti pot for me, feed me some crazy cinnamon-honey mixture, force me stay hydrated, and go to he store and buy me tissues by the case, if he's sick??? Seriously, he has been fabulous at taking care of me this entire pregnancy.. and let me tell you, for a normally "on the side of independent," i have been much more high-maintenance than usual.

So, since it's been so long, I have so much to write about.. so I'll make a little list.

1. switching OBs and the major differences between them
2. symptoms, weight gain
3. names
4. birthing options
5. the nursery
6. BabyPlus

Ok, i will start blogging more frequently. I have really missed this space.

20week anatomy scan next Tuesday. I can't wait. A little anti-climatic since we have known it's a boy and a girl since 5 weeks 4 days, but still very exciting. Can't wait to see those babies again!

Especially since new OB didn't do an ultrasound! I'm like, "where's the machine?" what's that thing? We've been having Ultrasounds every two weeks!! But alas, they don't do that at that practice. She pulls up this doppler, and I'm like, "what's that?" And then she asks Carlos, "do you want to record this on your iphone?" We're kinda like.. um, well, sure, but we have PICTURES to show people from two weeks ago, so I don't anticipate we'll be shoving the iPhone in anyone's ear to listen to our babies when we can show them pictures. but he sweetly obliged.. and yes, it's cool to have the heartbeats recorded on the phone.

I gotta get better. I have no idea if this sore-throat and congestion and generally weak felling crud I've got is affecting the babies. I really really hope not. I am already experiencing the "I love them so much, please let me go through pain, not them" feeling.

Ok, I think Carlos may agree tonight to let me sleep in the bed. He's still up working. i may bring my own pillows from the sofa and my own sheets to wrap myself in. I just have to get better, and maybe sleeping in the bed will help.

Thanks so much for reading!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

still here

Hello Blogosphere!

I am so sorry I have been so bad at keeping up with the blog. It has brought me such joy that some of you have reached out to me to ask how I am doing.

I am doing great - still pregnant, still twins.

I am just so so so so tired all the time. i really don't want to sound like a complaining pregnant woman, it's just debilitating tired all.the.time. I feel like such a slacker at work, because I just at like 6:30 pm. I have to go home and take a nap, and then I can work a little more. It's major "crunch time" at my work, so it's not a good time to be slacking off.

So, that's my excuse. I work, I sleep. I try to eat. I forget, or am too tired to blog.

i'm going to be better at blogging, though, because it gives me a good release, and I need that.

So, what I'm working on right now is going to be blogging more, and eating more. It is so so hard. Actually, Carlos just walked in while I'm typing this, and asked, "Did the babies have breakfast yet this morning?"
I said, i had some crackers."

He said, "Not enough, let me get you some cereal. And as he opened the brand new milk carton. "I see you didn't have milk last night before you went to bed."

This might be annoying to some of you, but he says it in the sweetest way, and it's because he cares. I read that I needed to have 2700 calories a day, and I think I've been having half that, maybe. I asked him to help me to eat more. I really don't want to affect their growth by not eating enough.

By the way, I have been working on a long blog post about PGD. If you have any questions about PGD that I can answer, please send them to me, and I'll make sure to include them in the post I have upcoming!

Monday, September 21, 2009

ultrasound report

Hello - If you are here from ICLW, feel free to read this post to start..

Well, here goes the ultrasound report..

But let me start at the beginning.

So yesterday, I was super super tired. I pretty much laid on the couch all day long. Then this morning, as we were leaving, I just wasn't feeling completely well. I wasn't feeling nauseous, like I needed to run to the bathroom, but just feeling not all that well.

Oh yeah, and yesterday I felt this same way. Like a little dizzy from time to time.

So, then this morning we got there, and could tell the doctor was behind. I was feeling so so tired and just not completely well.

Finally I heard my name. It was the Dr. Hugs coming to get me. So nice that it was the actual doctor. He hugged me as always and asked how i was feeling. I told him I wasn't so good, and he said, "we'll do your blood pressure and all your vitals after we do the ultrasound." They used to do my blood pressure every time, but now that i've got it under control with meds, they stopped checking it.

So i got undressed and he put the magic wand in. I glance up at the screen and knew instantly what i saw, even though i had never seen one before. Basically, the big black blob. When you are making eggs, it's a follicle. And when you are looking at the gestational sacs, it's a sac!

...and in my case, there were two!

and we even got to see two heartbeats!

I was beyond thrilled.. but even more scared.

So we checked my blood pressure and it was low. So, he told me to start cutting my pills and taking one half of the dose. I have no problem with that! I don't like taking it anyway, but i do faithfully.

So, that's it! TWINS!! One boy, one girl, two hearts beating wildly.

To put it mildly, for me and Carlos, it was love at first sight.

welcome ICLW

Hello ICLWers.

It's my favorite time of the month, discovering new blogs, making new friends, spending even more time on the internet. ;)

Here's the quick background on me and this blog. We are 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant as of Monday, 9-21. This pregnancy is the result of an FET. We are beyond thrilled, but still scared and hopeful. We did IVF with ICSI and PGD, so if anyone has any questions on any of that, I'm happy to help.

If you want a little more background on me, I made a list of things I love for the last ICLW.

Now for our regularly scheduled programming...

So, I had written this list of all the thoughts in my head of things to do after I first got a positive HPT. I've started on a few of them..

1. Carlos and I went car-shopping this past weekend. Just for fun. Not to buy yet at all. It's so funny how car salesmen really think they can convince you to buy a car. I'm like, do you really think I'm going to test-drive on the day I buy? No, I'm going to send you an email telling you the price I want to pay. If you email me back, I buy the car. Today, we are in the research phase.

2. I also had thought about making an OB doctor appointment. I was worried that I would call when I get released from the RE and find out I can't get an appointment. Is it too early to call to get an appointment?

Well, this one got this best of me, and I called this past week. I was at work, so I was trying to be quiet, even though I was in a closed door cubicle. I told the scheduler my name, date of birth, etc, and then she asked, "what do you want to come in for?" I whispered, "I'm pregnant. (I honestly don't think I had said that out loud yet."

Her immediate response to me: Do you want to keep the baby?

I was shocked. I couldn't hep it. I think I screamed, "Heck yeah! I did IVF!"

It was surreal that that was her first question to me. I guess my whispering made me sound young and scared or something.

Anyway, appointment made at the 10 week mark.

So. more on the rest of my list later in the week.

Today is our first ultrasound. I'll post an update later today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the results are in...

well, the results are in...

so, we went in at 8:30 for the blood draw for my beta. Afterward, we went to church and then lunch and running errands. I fully expected the nurse to call before we got home, so when we started heading home from lunch, I asked Carlos if he thought I should call.

Because it's Sunday, and they only see patients half day. By this time, it was almost 12 noon. What if they had forgotten to call? There was a lot of people in the waiting room this morning. What if they finally got everyone in and out, and finally got themselves out and just forgot to call? Totally irrational, I am completely aware.

So, I called. The receptionist said, "The results probably aren't back yet. The nurse will call you." Darn, I was sort of hoping they would just get her, because really, I knew the results were in.

We get home, I'm still waiting for the phone to ring. And then... I remember that another woman had told me that she found her results online on the patient portal even before they called! I was so excited and I went and looked.

I had calculated the number that "doubling every 48 hours" would bring on this day. and I knew that anything over 2400 would be a good sign.

So, when I saw the number 5740, I was extremely excited.

And I did what any normal infertile with a computer would do.

I dialed up the BetaBase.

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but today is 18dp5dt, which I think is 23 days past ovulation.

So , the betabase said..

... the median number for singletons is 2358.

and the median number for twins is 5047.

I am not drawing any conclusions at all based on the beta numbers. They can vary so greatly between pregnancies.

But I sure am excited for my ultrasound next Monday! Praying for at least one heartbeat!

Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts the week between 4w and 5w

So here I am at 5 weeks, 1 day… Tomorrow I have my 3rd beta. I can't wait.

For the first week after confirming my pregnancy, I had all sorts of thoughts. I admit I’m a control freak. Infertility has tried to cure me of that, but it has not completely succeeded. So my mind is spinning, and I am thinking about all the things I am going to have to do, to plan, to buy, etc.. and wondering if it’s too early to wonder about this stuff… like, for example.
1. I have a million things to do to get ready for this baby. If I start doing them, will I be putting the cart before the horse, because what if it turns out, I go for my beta Sunday, and I’m not pregnant anymore.

2. We’re going to need a bigger car. Is it too early to begin researching a safe small SUVs or sedans?

3. Am I still pregnant? I don’t really feel pregnant. I’m too tired to go buy a pee stick to pee on, so I’ll just try not to think about it.

4. Birth options. Is it too early to start looking into a doula? How long in advance do you have to reserve them? I remember when planning my weding, I called the makeup artist first because I heard he books up 1.5 years in advance. I'm so glad I did because my date was already reserved! I only got lucky because someone else changed thier time. And my lesson was that I needed to plan earlier, contributing to my control-freak-ness. I also found out that some women reserve the wedding location and vendors, then find the man. Whatever.

5. I wonder if I’m still pregnant. How many days am I now? How many days until 12 weeks? Maybe I’ll put all these milestones on the Google calendar.

6. Oooh! Babymoon.. can I start planning that now? We’ll want to go somewhere international, and I’m sure we’ll want to use frequent flyer miles, so I should probably look into that now. Those free seats go very fast, especially if we want to fly first.

7. I am so attached to this pregnancy, I really hope I’m still pregnant. Maybe I better not plan anything and have to change plans. I really should get away from the computer and take a nap. I’m so tired. I hope that means I’m still pregnant.

8. Do I make an appointment with my OB for 10 weeks? Am I going to call when I get released from the OB and find out she can’t see me right away? Is it too early to call her?

9. I wonder if I’m still pregnant. I really really want to keep this baby. I hope I don’t start spotting or something. Oh, I feel something gust out of me. Is it the progesterone or blood? I better go check. Ok, white. Good. But that doesn’t mean I’m pregnant. Just means I am still doing the progesterone.

10. I want to do some Yoga. Oh crap, “they” say I can’t do Bikram anymore. I’m so barely pregnant. I’m sure it’s fine to do now, right? I’m not risking anything. I really really really want this baby.. Ok, prenatal yoga. When and where is the nearest prenatal yoga class? Is it too early to look into it? is it too early to show up? Will the real pregnant women think I’m crazy? Will they be right?

11. How big is my baby now? I think I'll go check. Oh, a poppy seed! So, probably not the reason I've gained two pounds this week, huh? I hope my little poppy seed is settling in. please don't leave me, poppy seed!

12. How will we decorate the nursery? Maybe i should start researching cribs and rockers and all that other baby crap. If i don't do it now, we might accidentally bring home the baby and not have anywhere to put it.

Ok, that's enough of the crazy thoughts going on in my head between 4weeks and 5 weeks. i promise to report on my beta number tomorrow. I might even make one of those cool charts. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

The numbers are in!!

So, my nurse coordinator called about 11:00 am this morning with my numbers.

41 - 1st beta
108 - 2nd beta

I like those numbers!

I had forgotten about acupuncture, and hadn't had an appointment since the transfer day, so I quickly called my non-Chinese TCM Doctor and was able to make an appointment for 2:30 today.

On the way to the acupuncture appointment, my embryologist called me to tell me how happy she was about the news, and she said that she thought my numbers were very good.

The acupuncturist was very happy to hear the god news, and he did the weird moxibustion on my toes to prevent miscarriage.

I know I am barely in the woods.. and nowhere near out of the woods, but I am trying to be positive and have the expectation of a healthy pregnancy.

I am still scared, though.

Carlos and I decided we are not telling anyone unless they ask directly. So, to my real life friends, thank you for checking in on us. I'm happy to share this news with you, but please don't tell our other friends just yet.

My nurse coordinator offered me the option to come in again for another beta, and I declined because I get to come in in nine days anyway. I will probably pee on a few sticks between now and then, thought, even if just to see those two lines. I have never ever seen two lines, and that would be nice.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes. I am so so happy to be a a part of this amazing community. Praise God for this good news!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

excited for tomorrow and the weekend

So 2nd beta is tomorrow.

Not gonna think about that right now.

It's been a long, long week. I was in the car today for 8 hours back and forth for a 2 hour meeting. Yes, I'm ready for the week to be over. And ready for the awesome weekend Carlos has planned.

There is an outdoor Arts festival in Sausalito this weekend. I really don't know how I missed it on my list, but outdoor arts festivals are one of my very favorite things in the world.

So, we are going to head down to Sausalito on Saturday morning and we'll we'll spend some time in Napa Valley.. and just relax and enjoy.

We have some friends that live in the East Bay, and we hope to see them. Carlos called them tonight to let them know we are coming and see if we can make plans. Carlos and the husband are chatting and chatting, and I'm trying to figure out what they are talking about and what the plans are. Because I am googling for hotels, and looking at spas and the festival schedule and trying to listen to one-half of the conversation to figure out the plans.

Carlos finally gets off the phone, and he's telling me about all that is going on with them. I tell him that I overheard him say, "Well do you need us to help babysit or something?"

I'm thinking.. Hello? What's up with that?

Carlos said, "Well, It's their wedding anniversary on Sunday, and they don't have plans yet, so they are trying to figure it all out.

So I said, "I do want to see them, but I'm cool with babysitting their kids, too. After all, we're going to need some practice."

And then I handed him this.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm ready to know! (but I don't)

So, it's Tuesday. There was a point yesterday morning where I couldn't imagine getting through even the next two days. But I did.

But let me start at the beginning..

My girls weekend was amazing! It was great to be with good girlfriends and relax and not constantly think about Am I pregnant or not? What if I'm not? So nice to have my mind off it for a few days.
Plus, my friends knew what i was going through, and it was just comfortable and easy to be around them..

Then, I came home. Reality set in.

On Monday morning, i don't know why.. i just lost it and I Needed.To.Know. Right.Then.

So, I decided to POAS. I was 6dp6dt, so, yeah, I know, it's early.But I thought, one of my blog freinds got a positive on 6dp6dt. So, it's possible. But it's actually a great time to test, because, well, shoot, it can't hurt. Even if it's negative, I won't be discouraged, because it's early. Just because I know someone who got a BFP on 6dp6dt, but that doesn't mean everyone does. I won't be discouraged, only thrilled if it's positive.

So, let's just see.

So I P'dOAS.

And I got nothen.

And I kinda lost it and started googling for 6dp6dt and trying to see what everyone else got. And I found lots and lots of faint lines on 6dp6dt and started to get sad and upset and realize that I'm probably not pregnant and maybe I'll never get pregnant and I'll have to work for the rest of my life and be childess and never have grandkids. And I don't want to work anymore.. and .. well, you know the downward spin cycle. The pity party began.

I went to show Carlos the negative test, and cried to him. He got mad at me and told me not to test anymore. And I tried to explain why POAS is a really good idea for me. Yeah, obviously. So, the pity party continued. Now, I just had a guest. Be glad none of you called me during this time. We would have had a major pity party of 3! Pity party and crying spells last for 5 more minutes..

Until I remembered that my embryos were frozen on day 5.

I was only 6dp5dt.... Everything changes.. Come here, Dr. Google.

And then I realized, that oh, yeah, and it's Monday, and transfer was Wednesday. It's only 5 days past transfer.

So, i wasn't 6dp6dt, I was 5dp5dt.

(I know you are all thinking, Pass the crack, Gabby. You are on drugs!)

All was better with my little world. And I decided to step away from the computer and go to work. I am very busy at work, and that has kept my mind off the wondering for the last two days. For the most part.

So, I was supposed to have Beta #1 this morning and Beta #2 on Thursday. But I had a business trip this morning for which I had to leave at 6:00 am. So I emailed my nurse coordinator and asked if I could change my betas to Wednesday and Friday.

So, I'll head in tomorrow at 7:30 for the blood test. I won't know the results until Friday. My clinic freezes and tests both blood samples after the second Beta. Friday I only work until noon, so I'll be home and out of work when i hear the results. Carlos and I will go away for Labor Day weekend... to either celebrate or.. commiserate. so I have that to look forward to either way.

Thanks a ton for following me. I love your comments and good wishes!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A transfer story

My acupuncture appointment was set for 7:30, the doctor consult at 9:00 and the transfer at 9:45. I didn’t sleep all night, partially because I was so excited and partially because I could not stop thinking about work. So I set the alarm for 5:45am because we had some BD business to take care of, per doctor’s orders, of course. (and not just doctor Google, yes, I even asked my doctor and he confirmed!) During the BD, I was thinking, now I can say that we had sex on the day we got pregnant. No causal relationship, but whatever.

Ann, our embryologist called when I just got off the acupuncture table, and said that both blasts survived the thaw and are expanding. Woo Hoo.

The two embryos were both frozen on Day 5 last May. From the numbers last time, we transferred #1 and #6. They were 5BB and 5AB. The first one is a CF carrier, and the second one is completely unaffected and not a carrier. Since we did the chromosomal testing, we know that the first one is a girl and the second one is a boy. The two we have left to freeze are both boys.

Our transfer room had two fancy chocolates on the “bed.” Such a nice touch. One blue, one pink. (Well, the pink one was actually red, but whatever, I used my imagination to make it applicable.) So we are sitting there in the transfer room. Carlos is playing with the music, and I am drinking water, wrapped up in two blankets and waiting for the valium to take effect. Carlos brought the music again this time, his Mac with itunes, so he could just pick the songs he felt best. We listened to Christian praise music in the pre-transfer, check-my-bladder time.

So since we are just sitting there, waiting. I’m thinking 10 steps into the future. I asked Carlos if we get pregnant with a boy this time, what are we going to do next time? Theoretically we would like two children, a boy and a girl. And Carlos thinks it’s ideal to have the boy first, then the girl. Which is how it is in his family. And it totally works.

We probably should be way past thinking so ideally, but clearly we're still optimistic. Anyway, I wanted to know if he'd be interested in having two boys and then trying again for a girl, which of course, would mean a fresh cycle, I am making several major assumptions this time.

#1. that we get pregnant with one boy this time, have a healthy baby.
#2,that the two boys survive the thaw next time and we get pregnant with a singleton (the assumption that the next FET would be a boy is backed up by science.).

And there are actually a ton more smaller assumptions in there. I realized I was making LOTS of assumptions and decided to slow down my line of questioning. He said, let's just see what happens this time. And he's right. So, it’s a good thing the doctor walked in at that moment to get me ready for the transfer. My bladder was full, I was open and ready, and then the embryologist brought in our babies in a catheter.

Carlos played American Baby by Dave Matthews Band. It's the perfect transfer song. The refrain is

Stay beautiful baby.
I hope you stay American Baby.
American baby.

And that's exactly my prayer and wish. Please stay for the next nine months. I can’t wait to meet you then.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

twas the night before transfer...

and I am finally getting home from work past 11:00 pm.

i hate lying to my boss and co-workers. they know that i am going to a girls weekend with my college girlfriends this weekend. But of course, I'm off tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. You, blogosphere know why. But they don't.

So, my boss says, are you flying tonight? when she sees me working late. We frequently take the redeye from the nearby big city. Instinctively, because I'm an honest person, I say, oh no, we're flying Friday. which probably leaves her wondering. Why are you taking off tomorrow and THursday, then? But she doesn't ask.

Because, really, i haven't taken vacation in a long time. My company is one of those awesome companies that gives me over 5 weeks of vacation a year. Not kidding. Yeah, you get it. But it's pretty hard to use it. i'm really hoping that next year I have a roughly 7-pound reason to use it. But i didn't use it all this year, and no one seems to think it's a big deal that i'm using it now. Actually i lose some vacation that I don't use by Agust 31. so this transfer actually comes at a good time, since it forces me to use it.

A few other random thoughts..

Sex before FET - I just learned from reading a blog and then googling that sex before FET is a good thing. Supposedly there are studies that says it helps with implantation. I hope Carlos is ready, because when I hear news like this, I take it seriously! I'm thinking we are waking up early tomorrow. Oh wait.. I mean VERY early tomorrow. I gotta be at acupuncture at 7:30.

New thought.. Medrol is nasty. Seriously, why can they not make it taste better? it's the nastiest thing ever. I gag every time i take it. I'm glad the transfer is here because it means one day closer to not taking that nasty pill anymore.

I am feeling really good about this cycle! I really feel like my high levels of estrogen caused by very early miscarriage last time. This cycle being natural (even though I am taking combo-suppositories) I'm hoping is the thing that makes my embies stick!

ohmigosh - i woke up early Satrday morning and read the LFCA.. I couldn't believe it when I saw the someone posted my news to the LFCA. what a huge JOY!! I have a pretty cool life, but I gotta tell you, that was one of the coolest expereinces ever! I do hope I get some support on transfer day and the waiting period, and I hope that my blog helps someone along the way!

ok, that's it. I'll report on the transfer tomorrow.

Welcome ICLW - Things I Love

I never have done this before, but I know most people write an introductory post about themselves for ICLW.

The short version is up at the top of my blog.. We're in our 2nd round of IVF, transfer scheduled for Wednesday in the middle of ICLW. It's a frozen transfer this time, and we are thankful for our tot-cicles. I call my husband Carlos on the blog. He and I are both 35-year-old carriers of Cystic Fibrosis, so we are donig PGD to avoid having a child affected with the disease. We are not affected at all, just carriers. We live in northern California and Central Texas. Yes, both.

To share a little more about myself, I guess I'm taking the "positive" route.. since I made a quick, top-of-mind list of things I love. In no paticular order, and definitley not-exhaustive, here's a list of a few things I love...

  1. Family bathrooms, especially in airports
  2. my blackberry
  3. sseatbelt purses
  4. little funny or inspirational gift books
  5. Pinkberry
  6. soy candles
  7. thank you points
  8. free money
  9. walking around Target, even if I don’t buy anything
  10. Desperate Housewives
  11. helping others with personal finance
  12. Dr. Google
  13. a good healthy debate
  14. Choux Cream from Tokyo
  15. street musicians and street magicians
  16. baby stuff
  17. good customer service
  18. walking around American art and craft stores
  19. the “afternoon tea” experience
  20. getting to know people
  21. searching and finding in my gmail
  22. fish and chips
  23. In-N-Out Burger
  24. my fujitsu scansnap
  25. getting upgraded before I get to the airport
  26. massages and facials
  27. excel
  28. singing praise music in church
  29. new moms that admit that sometimes they want to throw their baby at the wall
  30. my Briggs and Reilly luggage
  31. driving around looking at open houses, just for fun and ideas
  32. lifestories
  33. my goddaughter’s curls
  34. laying in the sun
  35. independent bookstores
  36. public transportation, especially underground
  37. my Butler Bag
  38. when people ask questions about what we are going through
  39. listening to Jackopierce
  40. the scent at Westin Hotels
  41. new comments on my blog
  42. glass art
  43. Christmas music
  44. Sobe lifewater, just out of the fridge
  45. my mac computer
  46. my digital camera
  47. Trader Joe’s
  48. My husband’s dimples
  49. Lululemon yoga pants
  50. IVF success stories
  51. Big fruit salads
  52. eating Mexican food on an outdoor patio
  53. Looking at my pedometer and seeing a number greater than 5K when I get home from work
  54. Planning a vacation or weekend getaway
  55. Conversations that challenge my worldview
  56. Working on my computer at a coffee shop
  57. Puppies
  58. Bad English that makes you smile
  59. The Drive-in movie
  60. Quicken
  61. A great conversation with an old girlfriend
  62. USAA
  63. Talking with my 86-year old grandma about pop culture
  64. Prescription transfer coupons
  65. CNN
  66. Win-win situations
  67. Bikram Yoga
  68. Football games at Kyle Field
  69. Funny laugh-out-loud blogs
  70. Scallops
  71. The Admirals Club
  72. Reading the newspaper on Sunday mornings
  73. Eating samples at Costco, and then not needing lunch
  74. The song Praise You in the Storm
  75. My friends, both blogosphere and real life
Do you Love any of these? What's on your list.. Tell me in the comments, making sure to let me know if you make your own list on your blog.

Friday, August 21, 2009

does being positive matter?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all The Secret on you. But, lately I’ve been thinking about this a lot. .. the whole “power of positive thinking” thing. I usually see the good in things, I believe things happen for a reason, and I see the world in a positive light.

You know... meditation, reduction of stress level, honoring your body and making a good home in your heart for the embryos… I mean, specifically post-transfer and before beta results.. does anything you do, uh, emotionally, mentally, make any difference at all in getting pregnant?

So, like during my two week wait (which is so not two weeks, it’s like 6 days in my case. I mean, I am so peeing on a stick in 6 days.) Will it help if during bed rest, I do some meditation and specifically think on the embryos placed inside of me, and like honor them and love them and sit still and like smile on them. Does that help? What if I say Namaste to every one I see?

Because I didn’t do that last time. I mean, do I need to do the breathing exercises like that woman with the way-too-soothing voice Anji. If I do, will that help? If I don’t, will I wish I did?

I mean, last time, I pretty much just laid on the couch, watched TV, and read blogs. I did pray. I do believe in that.

So.. back to the the blogs I read last time.. Speaking of blogs, during my bed rest and six-day-wait last time, I read blogs that made me cry.. So, was that sadness and crying not good for the embryos? I mean, did I create a sad home for these embryos, and was my heart, sad because of sad blogs, not open to the embryos? Did I create an unhappy place for the embryos, who as a result, needed to leave my body?

Should I only read happy blogs during the not-really-two-week-wait?

Science tells us that stress increases the cortisol hormones and other neurochemicals and can restrict blood flow (which is in general, a bad thing) It's not very debated that there *is* a mind-body connection. That is believed by even non-New Agey people. But I’m trying to translate that into practical things I should and should not do or think during those six days.

.. so crying over other blogs, is that stress? And is it going to restrict blood flow? If so, not good. I need the blood a flowin’. Not AF. Just general good blood flowing around, making the embroyos implant and grow.

OK, and if I get crazy and don’t read the sad blogs, and I am so positive that I got pregnant, when do I start reading the sad blogs again? I gotta read the sad blogs. So do I just need to read two happy blogs for every sad blog? I can do that. It might require me to cut back on work, but anything to get a healthy baby, right?

For the record, we believe in prayer, and we believe in the power of miracles, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about meditation, focusing specifically on positive thoughts, thinking purposely for a long period of time about your embryos, avoiding any stress or sadness, taking time to honor your embryos in some special metaphysical way, all that stuff.. do you do that? Does it work?

Oh, yeah, and welcome ICLW'ers. I will post an intro to my blog tomorrow. Promise. Had to get this off my pre-transfer chest.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

i triggered tonight - transfer day set!

well, I have news to report!

i started m OPK on Monday, no surge, then Tuesday, no surge.. this morning, I really was thinking that this cycle would completely ruin any possibility of plans for the weekend.

i was stuck in meetings all morning at work, then finally at noon, i went to the bathroom and tested.

I got the surge and called my nurse coordinator. She said come in at 3:30, so I called Carlos and told him I'd be picking him up at 3:00, and then emailed my boss and told her I needed to run a personal errand and I had to miss the 3:00 pm meeting. (I never do this, but I really had no choice at this point.)

My lining was 10.8, the doc said anything over 8 is good. and my follicle was on the left side, and it was 19 x 20. he said that's a good sign and to trigger tonight.

i had an outing with my team, so i took carlos home, ran in and triggered and then went out. I purposely have a drink every time I go out with my team. I am so paranoid, because pregnancy is on my mind all the time, i assume it's on everyone's else's, too. I'm sure no one cares whether i drink or not, or even notices or would even suspect i was pregnant if I didn't drink. but whatever, i'm paranoid, so I have a martini.

So next Wednesday. the embryologist will call with the exact time. I'm going to ask the doctor about traveling by air on Friday. I have had a girls weekend planned for months and months with my college girlfriends. I would really like to go.

i really thought I might transfer that next Thursday, so I'd already written off the girls weekend.. but now it might happen.

So, to the blogosphere.. did you rest completely for three days after transfer? Do you think i should get on a plane on Friday after my transfer Wednesday? Carlos will carry all my luggage and not make me walk far, and I will probably get upgraded, as we are both have Super Special Titanium status on American. What do you think?

Friday, August 14, 2009

my award!

I am so late in accepting this award, but I truly felt so humbled when I received it.

I actually got the award from TWO other bloggers. I was just thrilled.

So, thanks to Slice of Pie and and Eileen, I am supposed to give the award to other blogs I have discovered recently to share the love.

So, I've found a few new blogs recently... and actually the two above are two that I would award to, and a few others that I would award already got them as well..

So... here goes my awards..

1. My Journey - this is a blog about Surrogacy. Her surrogate (who is her cousin) is pregnant! So exciting! I've been interested in surrogacy lately, because I have a freind in real life that is starting that journey, so it's been fun to read this blog. Plus I love success stories!

2. Unconventional Journey - Her first IVF cycle was cancelled, and she is now in Take 2. So far, response form one ovary has been great! So exciting to see her journey!

3. Clearing My Head - Found this one from another blog.. liked the positive spin on comments she wrote on another blog.

I look forward to IComLeaveWk, where I hope to discover more blogs.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I cannot stop thinking about Mo and Will of Life and Love in the Petri Dish.

And now, I have just heard about Sprogblogger.

Just total sadness. Life is not fair sometimes.

Prayers and love going out to these two in their time of grief.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

AF came.. and email from the RE

Ok, so here is the Thursday update.

I woke up at 5:00 am to pee and noticed a little spotting! Woo hoo.. I don't have to wait anymore. I wasn't worried about being pregnant, sine we use condoms when we have sex. So excited! Now I have to make a calendar, but of course, I don't know which Day I will have my LH surge.

In other news, I got an email out of the blue from my RE. It was like he was just randomly thinking about us. He basically said, "I was just talking to the Embryology Lab Director and wanted to know which embryos you were interested in thawing first. Since we know which are carriers and which are "normal" you could elect to thaw the normals first."

He continues, "My recommendation is to thaw the best looking embryos first without being concerned if they are carriers or not. Obviously, carriers (like the two of you) are "normal" as well.

Anyway, I thought this was one of the most random emails ever. Completely out of the blue. I hadn't even officially started my cycle yet. There are thousands of patients at my clinic.

Anyway, this gives me an excuse to email him back and ask him about how thick my endometrial lining was last time. The more I consult Dr. Google, my theory of a hostile environment in my uterus last time is getting stronger and stronger. I just need that one data point to confirm my suspicions.

By the way, yes, we'll transfer the best looking embryos. It doesn't matter to us. I have a pretty good feeling we'll thaw them all sooner or later anyway. We'd like two children. Would be thrilled if our two children are in this set of four em-babies.

I just don't know why they are asking us now. Isn't it random? Can any of you conspiracy theorists come up with a reason?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

nope - not here yet

I'm sure you are all on the edge of your seat wondering, has Gabby gotten her period yet?

Just kidding..

Well, i'm here to tell you the answer is no. And I'm here to admit, i'm starting to get a bit annoyed. I now need to cancel our trip home for the weekend of the 14th. I am thinking i might be able to reschedule for the weekend of the 21st, but I'm not banking on that. This is especially a bummer, becuase I was probably going to get to see one of my bestest friends and her new baby boy, which will be born any day now. They are going to have to get a webcam, whether they like it or not.

Also, I have a girls weekend planned with my college girlfriends planned for the last weekend in August. if i don't get AF today or tomorrow, it looks like the trasnfer will probably get in the way of that.

Of course, I have no idea whether I will ovulate on Day 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14... no idea, really.

I thought FET was supposed to be easier.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Talked to the Clinic This Morning

Hello -

I have no update on AF, but I still wanted to call the clinic to talk through what to expect. It had been so long since I talked with my Nurse Coordinator, It just seemed like i should call to make sure there was no surprises.

Also, a fellow blogger is doing an FET this month and goes in for a baseline right after she got AF, so I wanted to ask about that.

I also wanted to check on timing, since we are planning to take a trip home the weekend of the 14th of August. Seems like this cycle may be messing with that, wouldn't you know it? And after I talked with the Nurse, it's pretty much confirmed unless I don't get my period this week at all, it looks like Day 10 will definitely be over the weekend when I am scheduled to be home.

She says that I need to go in on the day i get my LH surge. So basically I need to be here. So we will cancel that trip.

She says no baseline appointment needed at all for this cycle. Just come in for ultrasound on the day I get my surge, that's it. And then transfer 7 days later. Hmmm..

In other news, I think I chipped a tooth last night. I made my sweet husband look inside my mouth and even take photos so I could see it too, and sure enough, it looks chipped. Great! I had planned to go to the dentist before I got pregnant, so I guess this is good. But i thought i'd have time to ask around and find a good dentist and all that. (I don't have a dentist in this city where I am spending most of my time yet) So anyway, i made an appointment for later today. So now i have to miss part of the day on my first day back. oh well.

Anyone ever done an unmedicated FET like this? I'd love to hear.. i just feel like they should see me. I don't know for what, but something.. i don't know.

Oh! And i got a little bloggy award. I'll update that next time I post. Thanks!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Waiting for AF

Hello to the long lost blogosphere!

I have been away for a while, but I am ready to be back! My body isn't yet ready to be back, though, since I expected my period yesterday, and haven't gotten it. For years, I was you-could-set-your-watch-by-me-regular, but that was of course, before I started having sex. And trying to get pregnant. I love Mother Nature.

I'm drinking Sobe lifewater like it's going out of style and checking constantly to see if I have started spotting yet, and nope, nothing. And honestly I'm not expecting it for a few days, because ever since I'm been off the pill I get massive cramps and backaches the day or two before my period starts, and I haven't gotten either one of those yet either. Unless being with abotu 60 women nonstop for the last two weeks has screwed up my cycle. (More on that in a moment.)

I wish it would just come, so I can make plans for this cycle.

I've been in a great place lately. Literally and figuratively. I spent the last two weeks in New England at an amazing two-week "mini-MBA" for Executive Women that my company sent me to. It was like summer camp, I swear. I was with 52 of the most amazing women I've ever met and the faculty and staff were wonderful. Our every whim was taken care of. We did rock climbing, pilates, yoga, kayaking, canoeing, and ate the most amazing food and Espresso Martinis, too. Oh yeah, and we learned strategy, finance, leadership, negotiation, and shareholder value from some of the best professors in the US. All in all, a brilliant time.

And a great reason not to cycle in July.

But I'm back.. and ready to cycle now. It's not like I was thinking about it a lot, but of course, put together a group of 52 30-and 40-something career women, and you're bound to find several stories of infertility, IVF, adoption, and surrogacy. And since women move so effortlessly from the professional to the personal, several of us shared stories of our journeys.

But I hadn't thought about it constantly. There honestly wasn't time to read my work email, much less the AJLI blogs that I was addicted to. I also had forgotten about the fact that my acupuncturist had said he wanted to see me 6 times before last cycle and this one. Oops..that's 6 times more than I've actually seen him.

So, on my way home, I called and booked myself for a last-minute appointment late on Friday. I'll need to write another post about how I feel about spending all this money on something I'm not sure helps at all. But whatever, I did it. And I made another appointment for next Friday.

Sorry, there is not much to report. Hopefully my next post will be tomorrow and it will say that AF is here. I really want to fill out a calendar in ink.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What happened?, part dos

OK, so I'm finally typing up the second part of the wtf appointment.

Here's the continuation..

Me: Any chance my body has trouble absorbing or producing progesterone? (Side note to blogosphere: This is something that I have been very conflicted about. I chose not to do the PIO because I was scared of 6 inch needles. I chose this before I did any shots, and at that time I was extremely nervous, so nervous that we considered hiring a nurse when Carlos was out of town. Now I know they are no big deal. But at the time I asked for alternatives and was prescribed endometrin. Since then I have had questions about what "would have been" if I had done the PIO.

Dr H: Very unlikely that your body didn't absorb it.
There are 4 options for progesterone:
- Vaginal suppositories (compounded locally into glyceryn and estrogen is added)
- tablet - endometrin
- creme

For natural cycle, I recommend suppository - 1 per night. And your body will produce its own progesterone since we are doing a natural cycle and not putting you on BCPs or anything.

Me: When do I start the progesterone?
Dr H. You will start the suppositories 3 days after HCG shot. Then transfer 4 days after that
PIO rarely done with natural cycle.

Me: Oh yeah, HCG. Will I take Ovidrel or HCG? What is the difference?
Dr. H: Ovidril : recombinant DNA drug, easier to give, more expensive.
HCG : human drug, has to be mixed, less expensive. HCG longer acting and tighter binding.

Me: (reaching for anything that would make any sort of difference.) I read about labs that do embryo culturing in my own endometrial lining. Is that a good idea? You know just do an endometrial biopsy a few weeks before.

Dr. H: Well, we are beyond that now. And your embryos didn't have any trouble growing. We have no reason to believe this would help. The data on this is not very convincing. Success rates not better. Plus there is greater risk for contamination. The studies indicate a very modest increase in success rate EVEN if it's true.

Me: Again I'm searching for a reason why this didn't work. Remember how high my estradiol was. You probably don't. Look it up in your computer. Dude, it was seriously high. Like 79hundred something. What does this mean?

Dr. H: There are lots of pregnancies when this is high. Your ovaries were hyperstimulated, but you did not have symptoms of hyperstimulation syndrome. Yes, your estradiol was very high. You will not have it that high during your frozen cycle because you won't be stimulated.

Me: I read a lot about studies. Do you do any experimental studies here?
Dr H: No, generally no, we are not a research center.

Me: I've been reading about other top centers. Some are highly rated and have high success rates and do PGD. If I have to do another fresh cycle, is there any benefit to doing transfer and PGD onsite?

Dr. H: Onsite doesn't matter. You're not transferring the embryos. Only the genetic material that you had biopsied. It doesn't really matter. That's not a reason to chose a clinic.

Me: Oh yes, Biopsy. That reminds me of another question. I read about Polar Body Biopsy. Coudl we do that instead of PGD?

Dr. H.: Some clinics do that, not a large number of clinics. You have to remember that the more manipulation of the egg and embryo, the greater the chance of problems. There are low pregnancy rates with these cases. Oh and, it's not either, or. You are still doing PGD in these cases also.

Me: Why do these top clinics do better than other clinics?
Dr. H. I really think the embryology lab has a lot to do with it.

Me: What do the clinic do that is so different? Should I go fly to Colorado for a month?
Dr. H.: There is not really an answer for that. But if you choose to do that, you don't have to go for a month. We could do all your monitoring here and work with the other clinic.

Me: Thank you, that's really nice. By the way, next topic. Should I use ovulation predictors this month?

Dr. H.: It won't hurt, but it won't tell you anything about next month's ovulation. You could do your BBTs. That would be free.

Me: Free, yeah, By the way, you know what's not free? Condoms. You don't think birth control pills are a good idea? Did I mention that I really want to have sex with my husband, and sometimes we don't have condoms handy, and I think its really really really weird that we want a baby really really really bad, and I have to freak out and remember to get the condoms.

Dr H. Nah, not good. It could affect pituitary cycle.

Me: Ok, the biggest, most important question.. What *biologically* happened? What could have happened? I need to understand logically.

Dr. H.: You did implant, prob just one embryo. It grew for a short time. Most likely the embryo itself just stopped growing.

Me: WHY?

Dr H. It could have been the environment / could not.

Me: Environment, like what? My uterus? My high e2 level??

Dr. H: Well, we dont' know. Very low probability that there is a problem with the environment. But yes, E2 level will be taken out of the equation for frozen cycle.

Oh yeah, one more. Why are all the doctors against HPTs? I might be out of twon for my Beta dates this time. Why don't I just take a test on my own?

Dr H: I'm not against HPTs. I just know we can have false positives, and we need to know the levels.

Me: Yeah, I get it. But if I get negative, I'm not going to go crazy and drink a bunch or anything. I won't get some majoe wild hair and go get my nails done. And I won't go even crazier and go swim in the ocean or have some deli meat. If i promise not to have deli meat if it's negative, can I take an HPT?

Dr. H: Sure, of course, or you could just enjoy your vacation and come afterwards to test.

Me: I so knew you were against them! Knew it!

Me: Thank you Dr. H. I really appreciate your time and ansering all my questions. I'll see you in August!


Well, that's it. Thanks for bearing with me.

Reults of WTF appointment

Wow - I have been a really bad blogger.. It's not that I have nothing to say, because I've written a thousand blog posts it seems in my head in the shower, but they have never made it to my Mac. I'll get better, I promise.

(Would someone please invent a device that will transcribe my thoughts from my head in the shower to my computer, and then I can just edit and hit Publish? Thanks, that would be very helpful.)

So, I had been reading blogs that talked about this WTF appointment. For those who don't know, this appointment is the one where you and partner, (Carlos, in my case) basically get a chance to talk to the RE, all three of you fully clothed and say,

"Ok, I took all my shots and pills as instructed. We had almost 30 follicles, 22 beautiful eggs, 17 of which were fertilized by the best of the over 50 motile percent of the 42 million per liter hunky sperm. We produced and our amazing embryology staff took care of 14 gorgeous embryos, and we spent 8 thousand additional dollars to have them tested for CF and other chromosomal disorders. On transfer day, we had 6 gorgeous, highly rated embryos waiting for us, alive and growing on Day 5. I had a lovely transfer (I am pretty sure I even used the work lovely to describe it.) And I took all my pills and shots and progesterone and didn't even go within walking distance of a sushi restaurant, oh yeah, AND, I even took off my acrylic nails for like the first time in 10 years and I am not pregnant. So, yo Doc.. what the fcuk?

(Please excuse me, I am not one to curse at all.. But that's the name of the appointment. I won't say it again.)

Unless the need arises. Just kidding. Sort of.

So, I didn't feel like I really had any questions, but I felt like I wanted to have the appointment, thanks to the amazing IF community that have written about theirs. My appointment was with the RE that did my retrieval and transfer. He's is the Christian man who made me cry at my retrieval, then gave me his email address. He also hugs me and Carlos every time we come in. I'll call him Dr. Hugs.

I knew I could dredge up some questions, and I felt like "when do you really get an hour to spend with a qualified specialist to ask all your questions?" Like, never. So, I made the appointment. And then started gathering my questions. I like to understand things, so, honestly, it was not that hard to come up with questions. And, honestly, I read a lot of other blogs to come over with, "they did this, why didn't I do that" kind of questions?" It was pretty easy. And the questions get you talking. And I had I knew I'd learn something if I got three smart people in a room talking. Oh yeah, and I had some dumb questions, too, because I wanted to eliminate potential paths.

So, on to the questions. I took a little liberty transcribing Carlos's notes.

Ok, here we go.

Me: So, how were my four embryos frozen? I hear some labs freeze them in "twos," so you thaw both at the same time. In that case, if we thaw 2 and one does not survive, we have to thaw the other two same time, and either transfer all three.. or what? I want two cycles (and two babies, but of course, I'm willing to settle for two cycles and one baby!) out of these embies.

Dr. H. Let me look. Plays with one of the four computers in his office, while I think "This is just like our office at home!) The are frozen individually.

Me: I love you. Next question. Should I do a fresh cycle now, and keep these frozen ones for later? I ain't getting any younger.

Dr. H: No, you're young! Let's go ahead and do the two frozen cycles - hopefully you'll get two babies, one at a time, and you'll never have to go back to a fresh cycle.

Me: Great. Let's do it. Glad you are optimistic.

But, really dude, I'm sure you haven't done them before, so I'm here to tell you the shots are not. That.Bad. Really, they are not. I will do fresh cycles anytime, if there was a better chance of a baby! And yes, on that topic of shots, I'm serious, I'll do them. (Wow, do i sound like a junkie, or what?) You really think natural frozen cycle is the way to go?

Dr. H. Yes, natural. You ovulate on your own. There is no need for shots. You'll do the OPKs and we'll take a look at your lining and do that transfer. Much less stress on you and your body. And a lot cheaper.

Me: I don't care about money. I'm 35. Been working for 13 years. Carlos too. We have pretty much been saving money our whole careers for this. I mean, not that we knew this would happen. We didn't even know each other. But I think God knew we were going to need the money for babies, so he made us have great careers and live beneath our means. We are not going for cheap, we want what works. OK, next question. Tell me about the quality of my eggs.

Dr. H. I have no concerns about the quality of your eggs. Your embryos are of high quality. There are many things we can't test or see, but I'm confident that they're high quality.

Me: I was kinda looking for a number on a scale of 1-100. And if it wasn't 100, a list of things to do to get it there. I'm all about the metrics. But whatever.

OK, the little swimmers. Is there any actual scientific way to choose the best sperm to do the ICSI with, since we have to do ICSI (actually I'll get to asking about why we have to do ICSI later) I know all about the spinnin' and all that, but part of it seems sorta subjective to me.

Dr. H: Well, there is a test. Hypoosmotic swelling test is the only test that can be done. Typically only done when ..(oh shoot, Carlos missed this part. I'll ask him or research later.) And then there is the DNA fragmentation test: looks at DNA integrity. Not really helpful. There are tests that can be done, but not on the actual sperm sample that you are using for ICSI.

Me: Even though we are theoretically picking the best sperm.. Is exercise, vitamins, toxins, etc. of concern for sperm with IVF?

Dr. H.: Carlos should keep taking the fertility vitamin. L-carnitine is beneficial, and that is in the Fertility for Men vitamins DH is taking.

Me: Ok, I asked the PGD lab, but the answer I got was not clear. It was clear that we HAVE to do ICSI, even though it would not normally be indicated because my husbands sperm are beautiful, so why do we have do do ICSI? Do we have to do ICSI?

Dr. H.: THe PGD lab requires it. Here's why. Normally sperm coat the egg and one gets through. But the other dudes might hang around the egg and they may have additional genetic material there. During the biopsy, this adds additional genetic material that could distort the testing. It's a cleaner and more reliable process with ICSI. This is especially true when single gene testing is being done. Magnification process used during testing magnifies any DNA (including contaminant sperm).

But, problems associated with ICSI are just a small fraction higher in babies than IVF with no ICSI, so it's not much of a concern.

Me: Yes, right. I'm not too concerned about the whole fraction higher thing, because that might be caused by the fact that typically the patients that do ICSI have something indicated in the sperm that is causing the need to do ICSI. I'm just saying, if we could do natural selection, that might be cool. But I totally get it now. Thanks for explaining. By the way, I've been calling Carlos's sperm gorgeous and beautiful, but I never really asked, did they test the sample the day of retrieval?

Dr. H.: Yes. His stats:
5.6 ml volume
counts in 1ml
34 million count (> 20 million normal)
53% motility (> 40 normal)
They did not test for morphology. They don't normally do that.

Me: Ok. (Note to self. If we have to do another fresh cycle, ask them to test that. I just want to know. A woman can ask, right?)

Me: Any reason to do another fresh cycle instead of moving forward with frozen? (Sometimes I like to ask questions twice, to see if I get the same answer. You know, throw them off. I should so be in FBI interrogator.)

Dr. H. See above. (Carlos refused to type the answer twice, even though the sweet doctor answered it again. I recommend moving forward with frozen. OK, cool. Like I said, beautiful. By the way, still wanting to know why this didn't work. Could I have endometriosis?

Dr. H: Yes.


Dr. H. But it's not likely. You woudl have pain with your period, intercourse. It requires
lapropscopy to diagnose.

Note to self: If this goes on much longer, ask for more tests.

Me: Could I have PCOS? (I know all you smart IF bloggers out there are laughing at me, but I'm just trying to rule things out here.)

Dr. H.: Yes. (Dude, is he just trying to cover himself, or what?) But you have normal cycles, so not likely. In truth, there are a myriad of variables... most of which we can't test for or account for. There are a few key things we look at. In practice, it's often a combination of many small problems.

Me: New topic. After this frozen cycle. Can I swim or take a bath afterward? We're thinking about going to a beach in South America the last weekend in August.

Dr. H. Swimming is an issue is for a few days. We don't want you to get an infection.
- Not in a lake or an ocean
- But swimming pool ok after 5-6 days

Dr. H. With your Frozen IVF this time, I think we will also do an insemination at the same time. There is some evidence that combining implantation and insemination can increase chances of success because it causes ovulation.

Me: What? are you kidding? and then risk that that sperm and egg make a baby? And then it has CF? I'm not convinced that we can't get pregnant with SEX, much less IVF. If we could do IUI, I might be out to here by now.

Dr H. Oh, yes, I forgot. Can't guarantee that some sperm won't hang around and introduce the possibility of a baby with CF. Bad idea. You're right. Yeah, we won't do that.

(but I left that part in for you women that are doing IVF. Might be something to ask about. I'm cool with the doc forgetting. He has a lot of patients. And, honestly a lot of patience too. At this point, we're already at least 40 minutes in, and I'm still on the first page of my questions.

In fact, I am thinking I'll make this two blog posts. Stay tuned for the rest.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Hello -

For my non-IF blog readers, the title of this post is International Comment Leaving Week, which occurs at the end of each month.

This is the first time I have participated, and those of us that play are focusing on reading and leaving comments on other blogs. And for me, focusing on some that I have never read before.

Thanks to ICLW, I learned about April Rose. I don't know how I missed this scandal! Just google it, if you hadn't heard yet.

For those of you that are visiting my blog for the first time because of ICLW, THANK YOU! Here's a link to one of my early posts which tells our story. Once you read that, you'll know I'm not pregnant. To bring you up-to-date, we're trying again in August with a FET.

So, Father's Day was okay. I sent Carlos a facebook message from our four little frozen embryos saying Happy Fathers Day to the best dad ever. He never mentioned it, so I'm not sure whether it made him sad or happy. A few times I have underestimated the impact that trying to conceive has had on him. Just because he doesn't talk about it all the time and research constantly and ask questions to the doctors and have blog friends all over the world does not mean he is not majorly impacted by all this. He got a free beer glass at the restaurant that we went to yesterday. i appreciated that they didn't ask.

On Southwest they had a promotion where dads get a free drink when they show a photo of their kids. We flew Southwest on Saturday, rather than Sunday, but i wonder what they would have said if we show them these.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Doing Better Lately

Wow, I've been really bad about blogging lately.

I wanted to post tonight, especially since my last post was so down.

I'm doing much better, really enjoying this break of not having my life completely consumed with shots, acupuncture, blood tests, ultrasound monitoring, etc.

And it's been really nice to work out, eat whatever I want, take a bath, go swimming, etc.. I think this break will be nice before we try again with Frozen Embryo IVF #2 in August.

So, I did go back and have my beta tested again. The doctor wanted to make sure it went back down to zero, just to be sure there wasn't something lingering like an ectopic or something. The result was >2. i would have preferred zero, but whatever, it's negative, and the doc doesn't seem to have any concern.

A few things that have made me happy lately.

Last Friday, I volunteered at Loaves and Fishes. I served as a hostess during lunch for about 450 homeless people. what an amazing experience. I'm telling you, when you feel down on yourself, go there.. I enjoyed serving everyone and getting to talk to a few people. I also got many compliments, which was nice. Sometimes creepy, but mostly nice. I thought it was very creative when one guy said, "I forgot my phone number, can I have yours?" I just smiled and said, "that's a good one."

I just clarified to ya'll that I didn't give the random toothless homeless man my number. I'm Mrs. Obvious.

Anyway, then this week, I had a business trip to Napa. Rough life, I know. Nice to get to do some tastings with my team.. Which of course, I would not have been able to do (and it would have been really weird to make up some reason not to) if i was pregnant. So that was nice.

So, I've been super busy, and no random crying spells since that one horrible day back home.

However....I still think about it from time to time, and I still want to know what happened.

I know people say, well, it wasn't a viable pregnancy, the baby probably had issues and it's better that it happened early. but wait! we paid major extra money before transfer to test our embryos to make sure they didn't have chromosomal issues and they would be viable.

But, I still want to know what happened. I still want to know the reason we didn't have a lasting pregnancy with this cycle. I want to know the biological reasons, the process, the step-by-step, this happened and then that happened, and then poof, no more baby. If I knew those things, then I could resarch how to know how to avoid this and that. And what is the likelihood of this and that happening again. I'd like to be in control of all of that.

Even a theory would be helpful. But I know i am not going to get that. So I'll just enjoy this break, and try to be hopeful, and keep taking care of myself until August when my life and thoughts will be once again consumed with the possibility of a pregnancy that results in a healthy baby.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

not doing good today

or yesterday.. actually.

And I know that proper grammar is "doing well" - but I don't care. I'm not doing good. Or well.

The last two days I have been crying for no apparant reason. And I can't figure it out. I mean, there have been reasons, but the reasons are things that would not normally make me spontaneously cry.. I can normally handle a lot, and I'm a very positive, happy person. Normally, anyway.

Quick context: Carlos and I live in two places which are a several hours plane ride from each other. There's Place A, where we have our house, the one we designed and built right before we started goign to Place B. We love that Place. That's Home. Then there is Place B, which is our temporary home for two years, where we spend most of our time. We also love Place B and are enjoying the adventure. But it's not Home.

So, we travel together to Place A about once a month for a long weekend. But we hadn't been in aboout 6 weeks, since we had been doing the IVF cycle in Place B.

So, poor Carlos is on a business trip in Milan, Paris, and Madrid, so I figured I would go Home (A) since I didn't really want to stay in Temporary Home by myself. We don't have many/any freinds in Temporary Home.

So, when I got home, there were weeds and landscpaing issues and a leak caused by broken air-conditioner coils. This problem air conditioner on our house that is Only.Two.Years.Old. So.. because of dealing with AC Guy and Landscape Guy on Saturday morning, I missed getting to see one of my friends that I haven't seen in forever. A freind that I was dying to see. Because I don't have any freinds in Place B, where we have been for 6 weeks without coming home. So, when I realized that I wasn't going to get to see her, because I still had to deal with contractors at the house, I started crying. Actually I was crying on the phone, but I don't think she noticed.

So, other little things happened.. and the rest of the day.. in the shower, when Carlos called, when my dad called, right now as I write this, probably like 10 times this weekend, I have just spontaneously cried.

My MIL called last night, and I cried then, too. She was very sweet and told me that it's probably he hormones. And I do realize that hormones Completely.Rule.Our.Bodies.And our emotions, too. I get that. But .. I haven't taken hormones since Monday.

I took way more hormones during my actual cycle. I mean, shit, I was injecting myself with the pee of menopausal women, forheavensake. (You guys know, that's what Menopur is, right?) And I wasn't feeling this way. I was on 300 units daily of Gonal-F, and I wasn't feeling this way. I took the Lupron, and nothing. I had grapefruits the size of ovaries (I'm not fixing that, you know what I mean.) And I didn't have side effects at all.

And now, I'm off the hormones. And I cry at the drop of a hat. I handled all the hormones, no side effects, and NOW I'm crying. Mother Nature, WTF?

I figured it out. I managed to stay positive before, because I was so hopeful. It was all so new and different. I was focused on learning and doing everything I needed to do. I read the internet, I read the materials, I learned about PGD, IVF. Everyday, I had acupuncture or a blood test or an ultrasound, or something.

But now, it's over.. So maybe my body is in withdrawl from the hormones. or maybe I just don't have anything to keep my mind focused on, nothing to be positive and hopeful about. Yes, I have my 4 frozen embryos, and I am excited about them, but I have nothing to do with them for two months.

So, I've got to get something to focus on.

I met wtih my old trainer that I worked out with a lot when we were here in Place A more often, and I had a great workout. I want to get all my strength back, and be in great shape before my next IVF. I want to make my body strong for my babies. I will need to be strong and fit and have energy for pregnancy and for lifting our baby and all that other crap you have to lug everywhere. (although, truth be told, I really don't understand why you have to lug all that crap everywhere.)

So, I'm going to focus on myself. I'm going to take better care of myself. I'm going to try to get in a better habit of eating well, working out, and sleeping more regularly. I'm going to get massages. I'm going to think about meditating, and if I like it, I'll do it. I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself, but I'm going to focus on me.

Oh yeah, and I'm going to try to focus on Carlos, too. I know this has been hard on him, too, and he's been strong for both of us. So, I've got two months. I'm going to focus on me, and focus on Us..

And if I spontaneously cry every now and then, That's okay.

Friday, June 5, 2009

what's next?

Disclaimer: For my 3 or 4 readers who know me in real life and are not affected with infertility, I have to tell you that IF bloggers sometimes describe bodily functions on these blogs. I actually spared the blogosphere of my constipation story, but I might be writing that one for posterity soon. I don't have the daily pre and post IVF news these days, so I might have to dredge up some expereinces that i neglected documeting. Consider yourself warned.

So, anyway, in current bodily function news, I got my period on Tuesday this week. I was glad that it came quickly after I stopped the endometrin and estrogen. Aunt Flo came with a vengeance. I was prepared for it to be heavier than normal, but oh my, this is extreme. Also different was that I had red blood the first day, then brown blood, then red. I have never had red the first day. For me, it was an indication that this cycle, something was different. There may be another medical reason for it (or no reason at all) but for me, it told me, this was a different cycle. This cycle, I was pregnant. Not "very" pregnant, and not for a very long time, but I was pregnant. And I will get pregnant again.

I went to Bunko on Wednesday night and had a glass of wine and then even had a drink on the flight home tonight. Two drinks in two days is probably more than I've had since college. But whatever.

I emailed with the doctor today. Signs of a good doctor: He gives you his email address at retrieval and tells you to use it whenever. He doesn't back off when your husband tells him, oh she will really take you up on that. Are you sure you want to do that?

Thanks, babe.

I wrote a very nice, driect, succint email asking two highly-intelligent questions.

I wanted to know what he suggested for birth control, since we are taking off two months before our frozen embryo transfer. I know some of you may think i'm crazy, but I really actually think we could get pregnant. We didn't try THAT long before we found out we were both carriers for cystic fibrosis. AND.. my husband's sperm dramatically improved after surgery, vitamins and weight loss (who knows which one, if any). Improved to the point where it's completely normal now.

Since we do not want to conceive naturally and risk passing on this horrible disease, we need to use some type of birth control. I asked about the Pill because cramps, backache, and heavy flow are not my favorite things. The RE said that the pill could mess with ovulation, and he suggested condoms and "foam."

Foam? I am going to have to research that one. I don't have any expereince with foam. Styrofoam? What? (Just kidding, I know not styrofoam.)

I'm sure we'll figure out something. At least I got an answer, no BCPs.

Then I also asked him about my estradiol levels. I had read on someone else's blog (TY, BTW) that high estradiol levels at transfer can create a "less than perfect" uterine environment. I just wanted his opinion on that, because I had uber high estradiol levels at retirieval. So I assume they were still at least somehwat high at transfer. I asked if he thought I might have more success with natural FET because my estrogen levels would not be unnaturally high. He concurred that high estradiol can cause an imperfect uterine enviroment, but of course said that pregnancy is possible under those curcumstances.

I was just looking for some reason for why.. and some hope that a future IVF would precede a trip to the hospital and a trip home with a baby nine months later. And I got it. A little more hope. Thanks, Doc.

Oh yeah, I actually asked him three questions. Now you see why Carlos was nervous for the emailing Doctor.

I asked him about the benefits of a natural FET cycle vs. a medicated FET cycle. He says the success rate is virtually the same in ovulatory women, and why take a bunch of shots if you don't have to? My email emphasized that I will do whatever shots are necessary however many times a day in whatever places on my body if it will increase our chances even a fraction of a percent. I just want a healthy pregnancy and baby, and if that means shots and drugs, then bring them on! Whatever it takes.

So, the plan is FET in August. I have to take off this cycle, and I just have too much going on in July. So, August it is.

Does anyone else calculate their due date as soon as they plan their cycle date? I have had so many due dates.

I am excited that I will be cycling with some blogosphere freinds. I really hope we all get pregnant *and* have babies exactly nine months after our good, high beta news!

Cheers! I'll be drinking to that this weekend!