Back to public for a while! :)

I've noticed that my blog titles aren't updated after making myself "private." So, for a while, I'll be back to open access!

This makes sense, especially now that I'm in cycle!

Woo hoo - welcome aboard!


CD1 - The Donor Egg Cycle at CCRM!

Wow! F-I-N-A-L-L-Y, it's arrived.

So, on Sunday I reduce Lupron to 5 units (whew!) and add 1 Vivelle patch and a baby aspirin. Looks like my donor should start her stims late next week.

AND, Dr. Surrey wants to consult with me next week about my using a CMV positive sperm donor. Ugh! I already signed CCRM's consent on this which states "current knowledge of CMV is that there is minimal risk of exposure to myself receiving the donated sperm [of a CMV antibody positive donor]," but I'm sure he's dotting his i's and crossing his t's.

I posted about this a while back but I'll refresh the topic. CMV (cytomeglavirus) is a harmless virus that exists in the larger percentage of Americans (and upwards of 95% in countries like India). For most people, you're infected through casual contact and never even know it. A month or so later, you clear the virus and forever keep the antibodies. However, if you're immune suppressed or a gestating fetus, being infected with CMV can be extremely dangerous - even fatal.

Here's the rub: I'm CMV negative. I'm in the small population who has never been exposed to this. I wish I'd been exposed a couple of years ago so I'd have antibodies and be done with it already! Alas, I wasn't. My sperm donor, however, is CMV positive. Now, don't misunderstand - he was tested when he donated and though he had antibodies of CMV, it was of a former infection. But he was also tested for active virus, which he didn't have. No one is allowed to donate sperm or blood or eggs or anything with active CMV infection.

So, there is virtually no risk to my using sperm from a CMV antibody positive donor. But, because there is some theoretical risk of exposure to CMV (what if the donor's CMV reactivated somehow while he was donating - which is so over-the-top remote...), Dr. Surrey will want to make sure I understand there is a risk of this. Yes, I know. There is also a risk of lightning strike but I still had to drive in the storm home from work last week, you know?

Could I avoid the risk down to zero (it's probably .000000589% right now) for the IVF? Yes, I could - by choosing a CMV negative donor. BUT, there aren't that many negative donors and I had a hard enough time finding someone who fit the criteria (smart and with a similar ethnic background), never mind someone who is also CMV negative. And, I could NEVER reduce my CMV risk to zero throughout the pregnancy 'cause - well - 'cause shit happens and people sneeze around you and you never know. I just have to be extra vigilant about hand washing and being tested and hope that whatever has kept me from CMV for 42 years, will hold out another 40 weeks.

And my issue about this has always been the same, which I will raise with Dr. Surrey next week. Many women undergoing IVF are CMV negative with CMV positive spouses. And it means absolutely nothing unless the spouses have active infection and since everyone is tested at time of sperm "donation" (spouses or anonymous donors) for CMV antibody and active viral response, it virtually eliminates the risk.

Additionally, should I get a BFP 5 weeks from now, I will absolutely have myself tested AGAIN for CMV by the 9th week of pregnancy just to make sure I did not contract it at any point in time from now until then. More than that, I just can't do.

Anyway, I'm so friggen excited to cut this evil Lupron dose in half and slap on a Vivelle patch to balance me out, Sunday can't arrive soon enough! :)


Yes, Lupron is the DEVIL!

Not in my last cycle June '08. My doctor talked with me when I'd just incorporated estrace into the cycle (vs. just Lupron) and asked how I was doing - that she understood how awful Lupron is and I sort of tilted my head sideways like a confused dog "huh? no, it wasn't bad - I'm fine." And I meant it. Of course I felt somewhat "off" but given all of the shots, pills, ultrasounds, tests and writing big checks, you don't really know what is causing the emotional unsteadiness.

Not this time. This time is bad. I've cried several times since starting on Lupron last weekend. I feel angry and out of sorts and my stomach hurts (like if you ate too much, even when I've not eaten). But mostly I'm sad. I'm worried and doubtful and feeling some despair.

But here's the bright side: I think tomorrow will officially be CD1 and that means I'll be on estrogen patches and supplemental oral estrogen within days. And that ought to balance out the Lupron madness, so I can be a better version of myself.

I'll post and officially count off CD1 as, I think, that would be the official start of this, hopefully magical, cycle.


Lupron - one down, 3+ weeks to go....

It's been nearly a year since I injected myself with anything so the sensation was strange and I hesitated a little. Lupron needles are nothing, yet it looks immense when you haven't done it in so long.

Anyhoo, it's a good warm-up to the enormous PIO that's to come. :)


Lupron starts on Saturday

I had an ultrasound today to check on things and they said there might have been a teeny fibroid but they're not sure it's even that. I remember during my one-day work-up last October at CCRM, the tech does a doppler sonogram on you to see uterine blood flow, etc. and she wrote something in the notes about a possible small fibroid. When Dr. Surrey did my hysteroscopy about an hour later, he wanted to see if it was a fibroid and I heard him say, "That's what I think they were seeing," referring to something that looked like a small "fold" in my uterus. WTF is a fold, anyway?

Well, he said it was all clear. Today I didn't worry so much about this little thing because I think it might still be the same "fold." Anyway, it wasn't my nurse but another who was just going to show it to Dr. Surrey and make sure I was still good.

We'll see. Obviously, it would be pretty catastrophic if the cycle had to be canceled because I needed to have anything going on in the uterus. I'm trying to remain hopeful, however, that it's nothing.

I did ask the doctor at the local clinic (whom is a sweetheart I love) "is that something that would be bad for a pregnancy" and he smiled and gently shook his head "no." So, I felt better about this going forward.

So...back to the topic - Lupron. I start on Saturday and it occurred to me that once I start the Lupron, I will have injections every single day for the next 6+ weeks, hopefully longer as that would indicate success! :)


Another F'king Delay!

My nurse sent me an email that the donor got her period later than planned. Now the retrieval is expected week of 6/18 and transfer is expected week of 6/25 - the week of July 4th. This is EXACTLY what I wanted to avoid!

My gut never feels good about the working environment right at a holiday time - staff is lower, 2nd tier employees taking up the slack and the leads are not normally working.

I'm so angry about this! Never mind another week to wait.

I was matched on March 11th - even if we keep on schedule I won't be in my 2WW for 3 1/2 months after the match. And that's AFTER waiting 5 months for the match in the first place.

Holy shit! I'm so pissed, I cannot even tell you!


Tears on Mother's Day

But not for the reason you all may think. Sure I want to be a mom but I believe I will be - hopefully next year.

But not having my mom around was harder yesterday than most days. I visited her grave with my little dog Liv and cried my eyes out. I left her a bunch of carnations (she loved them) in lively deep pink, light pink and white. And I planted three little colorful pinwheels. Just in case there's life after death, she is damned happy about the attention - I just know it! :)

My mom's been gone two years in August and in many ways, I don't think I've ever even allowed myself to face it. My mother's gone, forever. No, I can't believe it. I bargain sometimes with the universe and say stupid things like, I wish I had ten million dollars and my mom back (minus the cancer and that her handicap were miraculously gone and I would buy her that awesome house and take her here and there and I'll go on for a f'king hour and then it hits me that she's not sick in her house or in my house or in the hospital. My mom is gone and won't ever ever ever come back and I cannot believe that, I just can't!

I drove out of the cemetery with Liv, crying my eyes out all the way home. It was the most beautiful day in NJ but the road looked treacherous through my tears, like there was a mad rainstorm. And I guess there was in my heart.

I really hope having a baby will make Mother's Day a little better for me.

This is convoluted for a dozen reasons (my family would agree!) but if I could have the above scenario (mom back with her health and physically well and the big lottery win so I could give her what she deserved), I would consider trading the baby pursuit for it. SEE, I just created a worthless bargain again.

I wish there is something more after this place, 'cause I really need to see my mom again. There's so much more I wish I'd said.

Hug your moms tight girls, please.


Going undercover!

Well, for those of you who read yesterday's post, you know my "secret" is out to a few people at the office. And I'm trying not to be overly paranoid by the DE part of this journey is really really really private to me and I'd like to keep it that way.

Aside from blocking search results leading to my blog (which I've done and yet I can still find it from google - ugh! It probably takes several days to take effect), I'm going to privatize the damned thing - which makes me sad because I really don't want to lose the lovely bunch of you who visit and send me a little love. I appreciate you all so much - only a fellow IFer can know! :)

Anyhoo, please send me an email to skygarrett@yahoo.com so I can add you to the list. You'll only have to sign in once then and check off "remember me" and I think that's it, it'll be open to you always in future.

Especially as I head into the next couple of months - when my cycle begins, the trek to Colorado, the outcome....I just really need not fear that someone, somehow in the office has come across it.

Thanks girls! :)))


My secret is out (shaking)

Today, I was approached by the Associate Director and Director of the brand team for my company for a manager position that is highly-coveted, to say the least. My personal coo: I was hand picked. They went to my own director who gave me a rave review. If this job were posted, no less than a thousand internal employees would apply and tens of thousands externally.

I turned it down, flat.

She (the hiring person) ask "but why?" to me telling her I'd have to say no because, as sporadic as the business travel would be, I can't do more than a 3-4 nights away a year in the future and then I couldn't explain why. Basically, I just said that there was something personal going on in my life that would preclude me from much travel. She looked perplexed and then I could see that look on her face - the "OMG, does she have cancer?" and I hated not saying more, but I left it at that.

Ten minutes later she pulled me into a private office and said when she was talking to her director, he said "I'll bet she's either pregnant or adopting" and she asked me "is it that?" and that was it. I'm an AWFUL liar - pretty much by choice, I think. I really just hate to lie and, more importantly, I am not ashamed of trying to conceive as a single woman (though the DE part is very personal to me - only the baby will know first!). So I told her about my 16 month IVF journey and she was so happy for me. Incidentally, she also underwent IVF at 42 (my age) and she and her husband had their one and only son who is two-ish now. So I felt a bit more kinship with her because of this sad binder - FERTILITY TREATMENTS! While we chatted, her director walked in and we told him he was right. They tried some more to talk me into the job and that they'd work with me on the most infrequent travel schedule but, ultimately, I said I didn't think that was fair to them and that it would put me under enormous pressure with a new job right now. We all agreed it was bad timing for me. She found me in the kitchen later and said, I'm not done with you - something will come up again in the future and I want you on our team. She hugged me, gave me a kiss and said "good luck." That feels really good, I'll tell ya.

So I broke it to my own director in his office (now that the other two, I really thought he should also know). That means 3 people know and have been asked to keep it to themselves. Again, I am not ashamed of this and it's not the greatest secret in the world but it's something I'd rather not have too out in the open 'cause I really just don't appreciate people asking me every week what's going on or feeling pity for me if it doesn't work out.

Everything in life is about timing, ya know? And right now, a baby is even more important than a fabulous career move. Wow! I've come a long way. :)

Now...let me tell you how prophetic today was. I haven't posted in a month or so. I don't know if it's because I've felt sluggish or down or just so sick and tired of this crap. But I've been wondering if the year I've waited since the heartbreaking chemical pregnancy last summer hasn't maybe dulled my desire for this baby thing. So much time has gone by, only to watch women on the fertility forum I check out who saw their first RE in January for a DE cycle enjoying ultrasound readings by now and I'm still waiting, waiting, waiting, fucking waiting.

I think I have a tipping point - in relationships and in desires. Like, I'm not the girl who chases a guy who doesn't want her. I cry my eyes out daily but I walk away and do not stalk him, call him or accept calls from him. I do have this trait and I think it's healthy. If you push me down enough, I will shut it down, learn how to cope with it and eventually I come out the other side just fine. And I thought waiting a year to cycle again did something to me - sapped the life out of me for this baby.

But here's the surprising (and good) news. When that baby endeavor was threatened today, I jumped into defense action and fought for having the baby. I could have called CCRM, shut this whole thing down, gotten nearly all of my money back, forgotten the whole thing and taken the job. Yet, I didn't. I actually defended this embryo-in-the-making and being a mom.

What a blessing in disguise today turned out to be. Evidently, I really do still want this baby :)