Merry Christmas!

That's my awesome and wonderful little dog driving her cat brothers in her bug! :) I may not have a human baby yet but these have been the best kids on the planet!


Anyhoo, my dog - she's awesome; the best! She's a pure breed Pekingese that I adopted at an animal rescue when she was 1 year old (4+ years ago). I'm not sure I could love anyone as much as I do her. She's feisty and tough as nails yet such a loving sweet spirit. She's 13.7 lbs. and I tell her she's got the "hottest little bod" and then make a sizzle sound and poke her thigh with my finger and she looks at me like I'm nuts (which I am). :)

Notice my gray cat in the passenger seat next to her. She loves him and he worships her. (notice he has lipstick on his mouth - that's not a Photoshop job - that was really on his lips when I took the picture). He's the most gentle soul there is - tender as the day is long and not a mean bone in his body. He loves to be loved and snuggled.

And then there's the orange cat in the back seat. He and the gray cat are brothers from the same litter. He's the stereotypical cat - aloof, moody and antisocial but very mischevious. When anything falls down in another room, guess who bolts from the room at warp speed?!

All 3 of my "kids" are exactly 5 1/2 years old - triplets!

To sum up their personalities, I have said that if my animals were human children, this is what I would have:
  • Gray cat: He would be my special needs kid who is picked on and doesn't know how to fight back and wants to be friends with everyone. I would spend a fortune on a special education for him and any job in the future requiring more intellect than handing out a flyer in a stationary position would be, simply, out of reach.
  • My Princess girl (dog): She would be too sassy for her own good. Pregant at 13 and unable to ever sow her wild oats. She would be such a creative, free spirit.
  • Orange cat: This kid would make me question my decision to have a child every single day. He would test me, push me and challenge me in every moment. By age 12 I would get a call at 3 AM from the local police department that he was behind bars after being caught taking a joy ride in a stolen car, with a bottle of Jack and some cigarettes in tow.
But I couldn't be happier or love them more! (animals are what's purely good in the world)


Donor Egg Alert

There's a woman in my office . . . she's 44 with a 2 year old. Could it be her egg? Yeap, could be. Was it? I dunno.

I've never asked her if she went to a fertility clinic but she eluded to it. Early this year when she turned 44 I told her she looked great - that I couldn't believe she was 44 (true statements!) and she said "yeah, I'm old - I had my son when I was 42, which is old - he was planned - we really really tried to have him." Those kind of comments - to a fertility challenged chick - perk my ears up. If she was 32 I might think that meant a whole bunch of ovulation predictor kits and timed sex but at 42 (and she's a smart cookie), Nahhhhh!

In fact, she said she and her husband were not going to have kids and when she turned 42 they talked about it and knew it was now or never. Hey, maybe her idea of "planning" was to spread some red rose petals on the bed and get going but, again, Nahhhhh! (I know my people)

Now, because she had one child and she was only 42, in my eyes, it leaves the possibility open that it was actually her egg. If she'd had twins, hands down, my money would be on a donor. 'Cause getting 1 good egg at 42 after 1 try at IVF is a fucking miracle - but 2?! That's no miracle! That's called a twentysomething chippie with hot young eggs for hire. Of course who, but I, would know know this?

My department is fertility-challenged, to be sure, but all of those women (except the current 44 year old) underwent IVF in their 30's. Donor eggs probably weren't discussed with them much.

So I look at 44 year old's son - looks NOTHING like her. Now, big deal, right? My best friend has jet black hair and dark brown eyes - she is dark and sultry and super pretty. Her husband has lighter brown hair and brown eyes. Their first child, a daughter, had a snow white complexion, platinum blond hair and Paul Newman blue eyes as a toddler. She and I were standing outside of a restaurant with her baby in a stroller and someone asked her if she was the nanny. She cracked up and said to me "Did you hear that? It happens all the time - they think I'm the Hispanic illegal immigrant babysitter to the waspy kid."

So maybe 44-year-old-office-girl really is genetically related to her son. From every perspective, it doesn't matter (unless you're me and you're being nosey 'cause you're knee-deep in the fertility and donor egg shit right now).

But I may have the answer to my question some day in 2009 when I announce my pregnancy. If she stares at me too long, asks too many questions and never-friggen-mind if she even hints at donor eggs - I'll know.


I've been called "negative"

But I've never agreed with it. Instead, I have described myself as a realist.

Just because I don't think you're going to sell the house you bought 4 years ago at the height of the market in central NJ in a bidding war at a massive profit in these current economic times, doesn't make me negative - it makes me a realist. I mean, read a paper people, do some research, get a clue. Wanting something to be one way, UNFORTUNATELY, doesn't make it so. Establishing a solid plan to get what you want is what gets you there.

Ironically, my very infertility treatment proves how positive I really am. After all, what negative person could, or would, ever subject themselves to the expense, tears and hope that are fundamentally inherent with every single cycle. I mean, you have to have nerves of steel to get through this with a shred of sanity, never mind get back in the ring the following month. Negativity is simply a trait none of us has, by default.

When I'm bursting at the belly, I'll make sure that those wearing rose-colored glasses know exactly what I went through to get there - what all infertiles must overcome.

So kudos to all of you girls out there in IF land - the most hopeful and positive humans on earth!

Thanks everyone (anonymous too :)

The comments to my last post on Patience were great. I gave them all some good thought.

I can't stress enough that the whole turning 42 thing last week really heightened things for me. But far worse still was my nurse at CCRM telling me she still thinks it'll be the 6-9 months they originally gave. And, yes, they did say that (when I went in early October) BUT it was always followed up with a great degree of comfort that it's usually sooner, especially if your criteria isn't stringent. And I am not sure how my criteria could have been any less stringent, truly.

So then I started REALLY doing the math....Wow! I could get matched in friggen July - and not have a transfer until September. Geez Louise, if it worked, I would be 43 before I were even showing!

I always tell friends that there is a time for everything. When you're 22, you can afford to date a guy for 3 years who doesn't ever want to get married or have kids (presuming that's important to you). But when you're 30, you really have to get practical and not piss away 3 years doing the same - but you can still date someone who's like-minded for a year or two if it's headed in the right direction. Well, when you hit mid/late 30's, I say that's time to stop jerking around. You meet someone, there's chemistry, you're both good for each other, you want the same future, you enjoy being together - 6 months to engagement, TOPS!

Okay, the above isn't written in stone but I'm making a point. Wasting a year at 23 can be very different from wasting a year at 40 - a year at the wrong time can cost far more.

As for Jill's comment about believing this cycle wouldn't have worked if it weren't for CCRM, that's pretty likely given the trouble you'd had in the past (and I feel for you with your former RE, what a mess!). You were challenged with eggs that weren't doing great in the past so you definitely needed the big guns and, fortunately, you got 'em! :)

I'm still with CCRM - all the way baby! But if, theoretically, I were able to do a split cycle much sooner than they have a match for me, I'm not sure it would hurt anything (other than my wallet). As for an agency, I'm 100% off that wagon. :)

We'll see.



I have none. And it's not all bad. People who are too patient often miss out on much in life because time ticks by my friends and it ain't very long we have here to begin with.

Been thinking about CCRM. They're the #1 center, hands down. I love the doctors and staff. I feel extremely lucky and confident - yes, I believe I'll be one of their success stories. I even love Colorado - so it's a bonus to get to make a baby there. And I'm not changing my mind about CCRM in any way. I just wonder if I shouldn't explore additional options.

So, consider these two:
  • Work with an agency. It may cost me another 10K but I wouldn't have to wait or

  • Consult with a local NJ fertility clinic with also great stats who happens to do split cycles. So, yes, maybe it'll cost me 15K for a split cycle but I may actually succeed and it would wind up costing me less than half of the cost of using CCRM.

If I were interested in 2-3 children, I would never consider splitting a cycle because that likelihood wouldn't be there. But one baby is all I really want (a back up in the freezer would be a bonus, truly).

So c'mon, help me out girls. Check out the poll on the top right corner of the blog and vote away. :)


42 Candles

It’s official – it happened this week already and it affected me more than turning 30 and even more than turning 40. Just as I turned 30, I separated from my husband (a great man but it just wasn’t “right” between us) and we divorced within five months. We haven’t spoken since just before he remarried over 9 years ago. So I had a lot going on in my life to notice 30 much. And the big 4-0 in 1996 – what an awful year! My mom had a catastrophic fall which led to months of rehab and a lot of work to equip her house more safely for her and then her terminal cancer diagnosis days after her 72nd birthday and by the time my birthday rolled around in December, I was knee-deep in Oncology appointments, radiologists and managing her healthcare, which took extraordinary effort.

She died in August last year and my 41st birthday was a blur. The only thing that snapped me into a semi-conscious state again was not having gotten a period for two months which prompted my gynecologist to order the day 3 hormonal tests and, BOOM, the elevated FSH.

That’s when the reality of my age came crashing down – I was too old to have a baby the normal way. Not only would I need the help of high-tech science, I would pay an obscene amount to get it and it was too damned late for genetic offspring. Whoa! A lot to take in, but I accepted it all and got the first appointment I could last January (2008).

I believed wholeheartedly that I would be either changing diapers before my 42nd birthday or that I’d be just about to pop. Had the donor embryo cycle this past summer worked, I would have been close enough (due in March).

So this particular birthday has really hurt and time is ticking away, you know? When I spoke with CCRM earlier this week they said I should still expect the original 6-9 months wait for a donor though, unsolicited, they mentioned that the economy has caused an increase in ladies wanting to be egg donors.

I really hope I get a nice surprise over the next few weeks.


How old is too old?


Yes, I'm going to say it: 70 is TOO DAMNED OLD to birth/parent a child. I know there are hundreds of women out there squirming uncomfortably in their chairs right now about their own advancing ages who are primed to use donor eggs and politically correct groups that'll feed us the philosophical arguments. I can hear it already: No mother can guarantee being alive to raise her child or Little children lose their mothers to car accidents and cancer often enough and Many women live to be 98 years old. Blah, blah, blah. Such intellectually insulting justifications. Honestly, how do god-fearing people outside government politics even keep a straight face and utter that bile and not fear being struck by a lightning bolt straight from Heaven!

Listen, it's too old, you hear me? Yeah, it's too too too old. It's not even on the margin of the margin. It's not even worth analyzing.

So, you're thinking, well what's the magical age then Miss Smarty Pants - when does my pursuit of having a baby die? How about this for a benchmark: 52. Firstly, that's more generous than most fertility clinics allow but because it's around the time when most women's bodies "officially" shut down human reproduction, it's a pretty good sign from nature that it's over - that it's SUPPOSED to be over. One could argue 46, as natural pregnancies at that age and beyond are more rare than winning the jackpot lottery, but I'm thinking that the average woman still has a period for several more years and the possibility of a miracle does exist so, just to be on the safe side.....

Hey, it's a blessing when a grandparent is able to take over and successfully raise grandchildren when tragic circumstances dictate but it's FAR from optimal and let's not pretend otherwise. Every child should be born with a reasonable expectation that their mom will be alive until they're emancipated, if not longer. A 70 year old cannot provide that reasonable expectation. Worse still, what her very very advanced age does provide is a strong potential that child will be burdened by an illness or injury that befalls her.

Fortunately for us egg-seeking-ladies, these bizarre news stories are rare because, make no mistake about it, this is how the slippery slope begins. The result is that one day average citizens will decide to pressure law makers into putting a stop to the abuse of science and medicine and do you know what happens then? The pendulum swings wildly in the other direction and 32 year old's with premature ovarian failure will find themselves having to "pass" rigorous medical screening, genetic testing, a homestudy and a "morality" panel for the opportunity to get on a 5 year waiting list for a single egg!

Shame on you Rajo Devi.


Good Ovaries or Uterus (if you could only choose one)?

Everyone already knows my position on genetic offspring (great bonus but far from very important to me). In fact, if CCRM gave me a 75% chance of success with my own eggs vs. 100% with donor eggs, I would choose donor eggs. You can see, when possible, I'm a numbers girl - all about security!

But what if the choice was being able to have genetic offspring but not be able to carry it or having to use donor eggs you could carry. And let's make this easy - let's say the entire thing would be at no cost to you - you wouldn't spend one cent. Not for the surrogate, not for the donor eggs, not for the IVF - nada!

What then? If those were your only two choices, would you rather carry your child knowing there is no genetic link or would you opt to bring home a baby 9 months later from the hospital that you never carried but who shares your DNA?


I'm not into what I call "kooky stuff." It's clear that the supernatural has very little room in my life. Hey, I think it's wonderful if it acts as a stress reliever to others and brings peace to their psyche because that can only be beneficial. But I'm too much a critical thinker, too analytical, too evidence-based.

So it might surprise you to learn I used acupuncture and visualization during my fertility efforts. During my abysmal-failure-IVF-turned-IUI-BFN cycle, I just did some acupuncture. I'd hoped it would relax me. Actually, I think a massage is FAR more relaxing. But there are actually a lot of RE's out there that give some credit to acupuncuture to increase blood flow to the uterus, which is a good thing. CCRM actually recommends it if they see limited blood flow in your uterus during the 1-day work-up. My uterus performed fine so it wasn't recommended for me.

But during my donor embryo FET in July, I had a really really strong sense that it would work (stupid me!). After all, the embryos came from a 27-year-old egg donor and the original cycle resulted in a pregnancy with 4 blasts in the freezer.

Well, I didn't feel quite so hot when the first 2 blasts thawed died and they had to thaw the last two. In my heart, I think the freezing mechanism at my old RE's (done before 2005) wasn't so hot and probably caused a lot of cell damage during the freeze/thaw - but that's just my take.

Anyway, when that cycle began I thought heck, I need something to look at every day that represents the end product and I bought the cutest pair of booties (actually, 2 pairs on a cardboard pack). I taped them to my kitchen upper cabinet and every day as I would fill the Lupron syringe or later the Progesterone monster shot, I would touch them and smile.

Yeah, I had a chemical pregnancy but I really loved the way those booties made me feel. I still have them and I really believe they'll be worn by my child next Christmas.

Now is that positive thinking, or what?!


Waiting for a donor (in tough economic times)

I'll preface this by saying I am FAR from an elitist. I value integrity, personal responsibility and working your fingers to the bone and, for the most part, it's worked for me.

But WTF is up with the donor wait at CCRM. And before you send me Psychiatric referrals because I can't make up my mind between "do I want this" and "I want it more than anything," please know that I frustrate myself on this more than I could frustrate anyone else. I attribute any ambivalence to what I believe are normal feelings of fear to be a SMC in my forties. But now I'm just wondering when it will be my turn?

Yesterday, a woman on maternity leave came into the office with her twins (yes, IVF). I held the little girl and if I'd have thought I could have reached Canada in time, I would have stolen her (kidding!). But she was so precious. She was about 8 lbs. and cute as a button. The boy looked much more intimidating to hold - he was like 11 lbs. I just fell in love with her and her tiny self. Then I had to give her back! :(

I thought, yeah, CCRM said "6-9 months" donor wait on the record (off the record it's usually much sooner) but I'd hoped I'd have a relatively similar wait as did the lovely Wifethereof - 23 days from being on CCRM's "list" to receiving her donor profile.

Disclaimer: I know this is not a politically correct thing to say and I'm not exactly proud of it but here goes ('cause it's what I really have thought). That with the horrendous economic situation, the stock market plummet (my poor 401K), the credit slow down and frugal times, the volume of couples doing a donor egg cycle would slow down and the pool of donors might increase. Besides which, CCRM said they'd hired a new person to focus exclusively on the donor pool so that can get rolling more quickly.

With all that, I thought I could see a donor profile by Thanksgiving. Didn't happen. I'm more than a little bummed. Serves me right for being overly confident (so not my nature!).

I'm ready. I know it now more than ever.

But all in good time, I guess. And if I'm in the delivery room this time next year with a healthy little munchkin, I can wait - and continue to be extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunities I have that others don't.


When do you order crib sheets?

I was reading Lorraine's latest post where she's "allowing" herself to feel pregnant - but only somewhat. Psychologically, the early stage of her pregnancy only allows her to invest in another pair of stretch pants, however buying crib sheets seems more than she can manage at this juncture.

It was sad to read that because I know exactly what that's about. This quest has affected us ladies in this category so much more than just the act of getting the second line on the pregnancy test - it's even robbed us of the blissful happiness we should feel after getting this line.

And that's because we all measure our "point of reality" (the stage when we believe the pregnancy is solid) differently and it's usually based on the point at which we all lost a pregnancy in the past.

For example, I got a BFP and was thrilled. I told my girlfriends at dinner that night - I beamed, they hugged me, we took pictures of my pee stick and we were all smiles. I had seltzer; they had wine. Honestly, I was so damned happy. That night I started to spot and got scared and had a beta run the next day (2 days early) and got the awful news of a 15.5 beta and two days later a 16; 4 days later a 13.

So guess what milestone I have to successfully pass in order to feel confident? Yeap, a good strong initial and follow-up beta - that's when I'll believe I'm "really" pregnant.

For other ladies it's only as far as they previously reached and that could be 9 weeks or after the amnio or even later. The most gut-wrenching are the ladies who will never feel really safe until after they've given birth to a healthy baby because their last pregnancy ended in a stillbirth. And the longer we have to wait for that security, the harder it is to get on with life and feeling peaceful and happy. Always waiting....waiting to cycle, waiting during the 2ww, waiting for betas, waiting for ultrasound - waiting, waiting, waiting.

I wish for all of us to reach "that point" after a BFP very very quickly, because after everything we've been through - we all deserve to buy crib sheets! :)

Hooked on Your Blog

My blog buddies are awesome. You ladies are part of an oh-so-important network of friends who not only encourage the rest of us going through infertility treatment but very much understand. When you say, "Sky, I know how you feel," it's completely true!

I want to thank the lovely Lorraine, who is a fellow senior citizen (over 40 girlie) on a baby quest. :) And the great news is that Lorraine just learned she's pregnant with a little munchkin who's got one strong heartbeat and is measuring on target! Every time I read her posts I think, Hey, maybe I could just do an IVF with my own eggs at CCRM (and save a BUNCH of money!) and I'll be successful like Lorraine - then I snap the hell out of it and remember that my FSH was 22 in May and no clinic worth their salt will touch my eggs (rightfully so - why risk their stats and my money in the likelihood of an abysmal failure).

But I love hearing about other fortysomethings who've had success with their own eggs. Maybe it helps me feel not so old and also helps decrease the chances of others asking me the egg question when I'm pregnant 'cause I'm sure not going to offer it up. ;)

Well, I'll do my duty and pass this cool distinction foward to my CCRM buddies Jill who just got a BFP (WOO HOO!) and to Nikki who's been through so much already and I'm wishing her a great cycle that ends in diaper changes 9 months later!


I have this theory that when you grow up in apartment living (as I did), you develop an extraordinary amount of tolerance. And that's because you have to learn to co-exist peacefully with other human beings and you soon realize there is a balance of their shit and your shit that has to be mutually tolerated. For example, by nature, my family has a more booming voice than the upper crust whom speak at barely a whisper. And while that could be annoying to one neighbor, they likely do a few things my family had to learn to tolerate as well.

And all of my life I've lived in similar quarters (currently I own a townhouse) so I think I have an EXTREMELY tolerant personality. For me to actually confront someone on something....it's gotta be BIG.

Brings me to cubical life in big company. A chick who sits about 8 feet from me requires complete silence in order to work. And you know, that's just not feasible. People talk when they're on the phone. If they keep it to very low talking, she's okay. If it's me talking, with my definitely-louder voice, she walks over and asks me to "please try to keep it down." It's happened a few times already and I'm pissed and I'll tell you why.

It makes me feel scolded every time I use my natural voice. BUT FAR MORE IMPORTANTLY the reason it really chaps my ass is because this STUPID IDIOT doesn't even consider for a second that she does several annoying things that bother others. For example, she's had significant drama in her life and will park her ass in your cubical to talk your ear off about her personal problems. She sucks air through her teeth while she's eating and for an hour afterwards - CONSTANTLY. She has this habit of flicking her fingernails with her thumb and the sound is distracting.

But, have I ever even once brought any of those annoying behaviors to her attention?! ABSOLUTELY NOT. Because I understand that in close quarters you NEED to deal with annoying habits of others and, in turn, they need to deal with yours.

Now, if your annoying habit is to never bathe or wear deodorant (I actually worked near the nicest little Indian man whose body odor could bring tears to your eyes from ten feet away!), maybe Human Resources needs to gently counsel you.

So I want to blow up at her and say "You're more dense than I gave you credit for - how stupid can you be that you don't even fathom that you yourself may do various things that are so annoying to other people but because those things - of course - don't annoy you, you can't imagine it's possible you aren't pissing off other people - so deal with me and I'll deal with you!"