Random stuff.....

Some background on me:
  • 41st Birthday (December 2007) - learned Day 3 FSH was 12.8 - Ouch!
  • January 2008 - first appointment with high-brow RE clinic in NJ
  • March/April 2008 - IVF cycle, aggressive protocol, 2 mature follicles, converted to IUI - BFN
  • May 2008 - Clinic offers up 4 blasts that originated before 2005 from donor egg and father
  • July 2, 2008 - First 2 blasts didn't make thaw, last 2 blasts transferred - told "two good blasts" - chemical pregnancy
  • Telephone consult with CCRM next week - best rates in country - 85% for donor egg cycle. Expensive but I'm going for best odds here. Heard the waiting list is 6+ months :( but I'll wait it out for a sweet little bundle, absolutely!
Why did I wait until 41 to have a baby (and single, to boot)?
  • Well, time flies, ya know? But it's more than that - much more.
  • I was married in my 20's - didn't work out. Two other serious, long-term relationships - one was truly a sociopath whom I am profoundly thankful to be rid of and one shattered my heart because he "wasn't ready" for more. He's currently trolling the dating sites at the age of 40, looking for a college-educated late-twentysomething chippy who is smart, witty, good-hearted, independent, expressive, thoughtful, family-oriented and looks like a supermodel. Yeah, well, I'm sure there are dozens out there eager to marry a balding, 40 year old commitment-phobe. Hmm....I didn't think I was bitter but that rant....uh-oh!
  • Since then there have been a few others - the chef (super nice guy but no chemistry), the effeminate mooch (super hot but no wonder he wasn't with someone!), the physicist (LOVED his brain, his personality, his humor - almost happily ever after but he was not only too short, he was petite and UNFORTUNATELY I couldn't overcome it). And a few others not worth mentioning.
  • I was an only child and my mother's ill health and limited mobility the past 10+ years meant I had a tremendous responsibility to ensure she could continue to live on her own ("independent" living takes a LOT of work from a loved one!) - I vowed to do almost anything to keep her from a nursing home.
  • I wasn't bitter about it, actually. I just believe we all have different paths in this life. Mine was not to be the mother of 2.5 kids in suburbia with the nice husband mowing the lawn.
  • I was raised by a fiery woman who was creative and a little mad (yes, insane and angry, both!) and throughout our love/hate relationship - I felt a deep sense of responsibility and love for her. I can't explain most of it; can't understand it myself - maybe never will.
  • In September 2006, mom was diagnosed with end-stage lung cancer (non-smoker) and the prognosis wasn't good.
  • It occurred to me, very shortly after her diagnosis (and tears and endless thinking) that, hey, if my mom wasn't in my life, how would my life be different. Most people do as they would normally do - with or without their parents in their lives. That just wasn't my deal - my mother's physical inabilities meant I made different choices for myself. Right or wrong, it was my choice.
  • But now.....who was I if I wasn't Mom's girl, taking care of her?
  • The answer came to me almost instantly - I had the green light to move to Singapore, to live under a bridge if I felt like it, to quit my job and climb Everest (yeah, if I was a world class athlete of course, but you get the gist!). I could do anything without first thinking about Mom. Simply put, my relationship with my mother was that of being a mother to her for a very long time now. And as morbid as it seems, I knew that despite the sadness I felt over her impending death, I also knew that I would have to redefine my life at that point.
  • I would be a mom. Once I said it, I just knew it was right - it was what I wanted. Wow!
  • I was numb when my mother died - I watched her last breath. I don't know that I will ever get over that. It was months before I actually felt the loss. Our brains are so magnificent that they really do protect us from feeling something too powerful for us to handle.
  • I thought I would take 2008 to organize my life, sell my house, buy a new one, visit with my mom at the cemetery and at some point before my 42nd birthday, I would do a single IUI and become pregnant with a perfect child. HA! That's all I can say to that - eloquent, isn't it? HA-Fricken-HA!
Next steps
  • CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine) - highest success rates in the country. Patients are literally from around the world. Ridiculously expensive but whatever is in the water out there (or in the lab) is clearly able to justify the cost.
  • Hope to be on the Donor Egg waiting list by end of August 2008.

Welcome to my journey......

Gosh, I wish I were as witty as people like Leah or Daria. I actually cried from laughter when I found Leah's posts from last year, when she was frantically POAS like a dog on a fire hydrant. Because nearly one year later, I was suffering from the same condition. I found her blog when I was 3dp6dt. For those of you so fortunate that you're blissfully unaware, that's 3 days post 6 day embryo transfer. Even more specifically, anything over a 5 day embryo is actually a blastocyst. Pretty high quality stuff, I might add. You're thinking, not bad for a 41 year old broad to have transferred 2 of them! HA! They were donor embryos my friends. Yeap, that's right, those puppies had none of my DNA.

Since I had no trigger shot that could taint the EPT results, I peed away on day 3. I knew it would be negative, of course, but I wanted to get used to that clean white slate - so I could sort of brace myself with the worst of it. Hey, if it didn't get any better, I'd never have had that moment of suspense, if you will. All I ever would have seen was a Snow White First Response Early Detection (FRED) stick.

Then, on 4dp6dt, something happened. I saw a vertical line on one of the semi-cheap Equate tests in blue. Now, let me tell you what the line actually looked like. When I stood in the direct line of the sun and tilted the stick at a certain angle and put on my 1.75+ reading glasses and stared until my eyes burned, I could see a vertical line that made the girth of a piece of thread look enormous.

But when it's all you have, you hang on to it. And I did. My eyes welled with tears. I ran downstairs and looked at the picture of my mom on my refrigerator and thanked her. I cried. You see, my mom died a year ago from end-stage lung cancer after an eleven month battle (it wasn't more than some name calling actually - mom decided against an aggressive protocol, given the prognosis) - mind-boggling that a never-smoker received this diagnosis but hey, it happens.

The pics on my refrigerator are of her holding my beautiful, awesome little furbaby whom she loved more than anything! She was lying in her hospital bed that occupied my living room the last 3 months of her life. More on this another time. But three weeks ago I beamed and felt that she had a hand in that vertical line. It was mom sending me someone to love, someone to care for, someone to fight with now that she was gone.

5dp6dt. On my way to the office, I stopped to grab a cup of overpriced decaf java at Starbucks. At this juncture, my eagle eyes could spot a pharmacy a mile away. And there it was, at the end of the strip mall - Rite-Aid. I dove into my car and headed for it. Would they be open at 8 am? Oh please, oh please, oh please - and the lights were on. At this point, I figured I could always smash the front door with a brick and leave them the $15 for a FRED on the counter. Imagine the headlines: Woman crashes car into side of town pharmacy, ignores first-rate narcotics and drives off with pregnancy test. I mean, I think they'd let me go - I do. How do you charge a woman so clearly insane?! Oh, and I think a million of my infertile sisters would support that move. ;)

I thought about dumping out my coffee and peeing into the cup at the next street light so I could dunk in my magic stick and see if the vertical line had improved. Or I could've driven to the nearest science center, kicked ole' nerdy off the atomic microscope and slid the stick into the window to get my fix.

Somehow I gained a modicum of composure and waited - all 40 minutes to get to the office. I grabbed a clean coffee cup from the kitchen, stuffed it into my purse and went for a pee. My hands shook as the control line appeared. I sat on the toilet, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon. I tilted the damned thing, I asked my mom "this time?" and I closed my eyes and counted, 2 minutes, 3 minutes. I stood up and there it was, FAINT, teeny, barely visible but there it was, a vertical pink line.

I spent the rest of the day whipping out the stick, sliding it into a manila folder and falling in love with it. Ignorant bliss.

6dp6dt. The line appeared - more quickly, darker and I knew, I was pregnant. Wow! Talked with my RE nurse later that day - she agreed, I was probably pregnant and congratulated me - "you need to come in on Friday for your beta and keep with the PIO injections and the estrace." Now my butt was eager for its next intramuscular injection - it was all for something! That night I broke the news to my girlfriends at dinner. Before bed I whipped out another stick (er...3) and confirmed it again and again and again. But something happened when I wiped. Brown. Adrenaline surged through my body and I felt fear. Noooooo!

7dp6dt (two days before my beta was due) I came to the RE's office, unannounced. Talked with the nurse on call. They weren't remotely concerned but ordered the beta and progesterone check I requested. My fear was simple - that my progesterone dipped low and forced a period, ripping away 2 perfectly healthy blastocysts. That afternoon I got a call "well, you're pregnant but the beta is very low, 15.5 - I won't lie to you, it's troubling, although you've tested two days too early."

You know where this is headed. Two days later, my normal scheduled beta - 16. Yeah, tragic. And yet, "don't stop the injections - retest 4 days later - just to be sure." Ugh! It was actually worse than a BFN (big fat negative) - it was a dragggggged out chemical pregnancy. I mean, I just wanted to get my period and get over it already - move onto the next step.

12dp6dt. Beta - 13. It's over, stop all meds, do not pass go, buy maxi pads, cry, lick wounds, make plan B.