Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice....

YEAH! I got my girl! She's beautiful, healthy and delicious. She was born on 12.6.10 at 4:17 pm - three weeks early - 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 20" long.

In short, the protein in my urine was high and it was decided safest to take me to surgery. I didn't attempt natural delivery because, though she was head down, she was very high and I believed I'd end up with a c-section anyway.

I'm going to tell you I've regretted that decision tremendously. I know more people who've had c-sections than natural delivery and not a single one had a complication. But me? Yeap, I did. A week after her birth, a 2" part of my c-section was seeping bloody fluid. The stitches were removed and a hole in my scar is now open so that it heals from the inside out. I see an Infectious Disease specialist at the Hospital's Wound Center and wear something called a "Wound Vac" that sucks the fluid from the hole in my stomach by negative pressure into a small box that I carry around. I've struggled with the anxiety and depression that's come with this health setback but thanks to Zoloft and a conscious effort to stay focused on taking one day at a time, I'm doing okay. Anyway, looks like another month before it's healed and I desperately look forward to it.

Pregnancy was definitely hard on me. I now take meds for high blood pressure (spent 1 day in hospital on Mag Sulfate because my BP was soaring) and we monitor to see if it goes down on its own over time. My cholesterol is very high but doctor says she thinks it's also pregnancy related and wants to re-take in 6 months and make a decision then. Carpel Tunnel in my hands and some nerve issue with a couple of toes in my right foot (probably a pinched nerve).

Hey, I just turned 44 - not the greatest time to have a baby, so I'm going to have to work extra hard to improve my health and labs. I did lose all of the pregnancy weight in 2 weeks, so that's good.

But back to the positive...I've been blessed with this little beauty and good friends who call and email and text and send hugs.

I will eventually come back and post the birth story because it was overwhelming and complex and really beautiful.

For now I'll leave you all with a picture of my lovely lady and wishes for a wonderful holiday and a better 2011 than any of us even imagines!


Home Free!

I must have some nerve stating that, but I'm going to go out on a limb and feel confident now.

I don't know how other women do it but I had milestones on my calendar. Something like this:

-20 Weeks - half way there!
-28 Weeks - semi safe zone (can breathe a bit easier)
-30 Weeks - minimum delivery date I can feel good with
-32 Weeks - still NICU but healthy baby would result
-34 Weeks - maybe NICU but very confident about healthy baby
-35 Weeks - HOME FREE!

And tomorrow is Home Free!

Now, do I think nothing can go wrong? HELL NO! I'm too cautious and realistic to live in a cloud, but I do think the odds are definitely in my favor - especially that the little monkey measures almost 2 weeks ahead (just a big baby) and my uterine arteries are good - no notching (some studies suggest the opposite of my results indicate pre-eclampsia in your future).

Mostly good news. But I see the doctor every week now and my blood pressure is a concern. I've been diagnosed with "Borderline" Pregnancy Induced Hypertension and my physical complaints are nearly endless. But I've made it to 35 weeks so I have MUCH to be thankful for.

The worst time, psychologically, was during weeks 23-28. I desperately feared anything that would necessitate delivery because I was terrified of the outcome - a micro preemie with a dozen serious health conditions and many more I'd learn of later - and how would I handle that as a single parent? How does anyone handle that, even with tons of help? 28 weeks was a real reason for me to feel safer. And I also figured they could keep me in the hospital and try to get 2 more weeks out of me. But none of those worries came to pass - thank the universe!

Frankly, I'd be surprised if I didn't deliver in the next 2 weeks because of the blood pressure crap going on and my general well-being, or lack thereof. And this would be fine by me. I'm ready.

Rest assured I will publish the birth story, post a pic and not hold anything back! ;)

So I'll sign off with a very sincere wish for you all to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family and much health and fertility wishes to all!


My FIRST Baby Gift (came from a blogger buddy!)

So, I have been dreading the registry. I don't know why exactly but a couple of reasons come to mind. I'm still in the danger zone (27 weeks) and maybe I just don't want to seem silly if catastrophe happens. But that's really the minor point. I'm a freak! I hate Ba.bi.e.sR.Us and baby departments in general. It's overwhelming to me - sensory overload, I think.

I've changed all of the toilets in my house by myself - no problem. Sinks, tiling, laminate "wood" flooring - done, done and done. I took care of my mom while she died of cancer - hard as hell, but I did it. And I've given myself hundreds of sub-q and intramuscular needles throughout the IVF process. I'm independent and I guess I realized recently that I really like being "in control" and able to take care of myself. But when I walk into baby mega store, I feel like I'm on the moon, building an eco-friendly human habitat with no scientific experience. I get a pang of anxiety and, really, I just want to leave and avoid the whole thing.

Well, some friends have been hounding me about doing the registry for an office shower and a shower from my small group of personal girlfriends. I confessed to two of my friends that I just had trouble with the store and they eagerly volunteered to come with me - and make it a girl's afternoon. So we did - two Saturdays ago.

And what did the UPS man bring to my door? A huge box and a little box. Hmm...I hadn't ordered anything, so I was wondering...What did I find when I opened it? My changing pad and the softest cover - both from my registry. From my family? Nope. From my closest girlfriends IRL? No. My very first baby gift EVER came from Me - someone who's come to my rescue (with a little help from her mister) before and been so kind to me. I loved meeting her in Denver during our coinciding trips and just talking. She's the kind of person I generally gravitate to - honest (even brutally so, which I adore), kind, highly intelligent and the kind of person you know instantly is all substance and zero bullshit - all the things I find comforting and refreshing.

So...Me...I thank you and thank you some more for being so generous and doing such a sweet thing. I'm not a highly sensitive person but - hormones, ya know - I welled up when I saw your name on the paperwork. And please remember that when you're in central NJ for a business trip, we're meeting up for a couple of drinks on me!

This IF blogging community has been such a positive experience for me. :)


Blue or Pink?

I don't know either.

Thanks for all of your replies. I think, given I've waited this long, I'll wait until birth.

What helped? Something really really really silly. I found a nursery theme that could work for now and when I have the baby, I can incorporate more gender specific colors into it.

It's not the greatest but I like it. And, truthfully, I'm looking much more forward to creating a beautiful little girl's or boy's room vs. a baby nursery. I'd love to see the excitement and joy in a little one's face over getting their big girl/boy bed and the room being decorated exactly as they want.


21 weeks and a rainy Sunday in NJ

I love this weather (not every day for months, of course, but once in a while - it's wonderful). Been hanging out with the cutest, cuddliest and sweetest kids on earth - my furbabies. My little girl (Pekingese), who adores me but is true to her aloof natured breed, trotted over a while ago and wanted me to put her on the couch next to me because she's scared of the thunder. Now she's sleeping peacefully pressed up against me. I just love it. :)

Let's see, what's new on the pregnancy front....

I feel the baby move, which is weird and such an unfamiliar feeling but it does remind me the baby's alive - so that's the good part.

I've had those Braxon Hicks contractions. My first was around 14 weeks. It's always happened at night or as I wake. My stomach becomes as hard as a rock and I wonder what the hell's going to happen to me. Then I'll move and it subsides. No pain - just a rock hard ball in my stomach.

All the tests that have come back beautiful:
-Cervical length check at 17 weeks (4.3)
-Amnio (all normal)
-Twenty week ultrasound - perfect

The pre-eclampsia related tests (2 weeks ago) - all perfect:
-24 hour urine (normal)
-platelets (190K)
-liver enzymes "look great," per doctor
-uterine arteries recorded good blood flow during 20 week u/s

Blood pressure monitoring at home twice/day. Pretty good. Usually in the 120/70 range (give or take a few points). Faxed to high risk OB every week and he's happy.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the next 10 weeks goes by without incident. Need to reach 32 weeks and then my chances are much better of coming home with a live and healthy baby.

Nursery - nada, nothing, zero. Haven't done a thing. Can I just say how counterproductive it is NOT to know the gender of the baby you're carrying? I can't get encouraged about buying a rug or even registering. 90% of what's available is designated girl or boy. Very little is neutral. And most "neutral" items lean boy as you can find many items with some hints of blue while being "neutral" but no items of pink or orange are in the "neutral" zone.

Ugh! I don't know...maybe I should just find out. Would sure make planning easier.

What do you all think? What would you do in my shoes at 21 weeks (knowing gender knowledge is literally a phone call away via amnio result readout)?


Everyone Knows

There is always that little bit of apprehension in the back of my head about blabbing the pregnancy news because...well...because until about 30 weeks, I'm not sure I feel confident about a take-home baby. (Disclaimer: ONLY m/c and infertility will allow such fears to fester)

But because at 4 1/2 months, my pants are tight and I don't button top button, I thought I'd better spill the beans. So, as of last Monday, everyone in my life knows. Whew! It was a little bit nerve-wracking to take that leap and have to hope everything stays positive.

I think it's a very strange thing to actively pursue pregnancy this hard and then keep it a secret for so long and feel nervous to break the news. But, in this process, I've learned that so very many things are strange.


Brief Hit List

-17 weeks and baby good.

-Had my amnio last week. Hurt just a bit but all went well. Results by EOW, I hope.

-Blood pressure's been a little high - high risk OB now managing me. Averaging around 123/72 which is fine. I worry but do try to remember I can only do so much and all else is out of my hands.

-Visited a daycare today. Loved it. Will give them deposit to hold my spot for a March or April admission date.

-Work's been rough. Crazy ass boss flipped out just before Memorial Day. Sent scathing (and 100% unwarranted) email to her boss telling him how deficient he is (and copied his direct and indirect reports). Not only against code of conduct and grossly unprofessional but shockingly ironic! My boss has a serious alcohol problem (yeah, on the job too) who is rarely in the office or accessible and makes about a buck fifty BASE. Yeah, it's hard for me to believe too. So the fucking audacity of telling off her boss who is, by the way, a really good director and a super smart, nice and ethical guy, was a testament to her insanity at its best. So, her responsibilities were stripped from her (yet she wasn't fired - inexplicably!) and I now have a new boss. We get along and he's actually in every day. Novel concept, having a boss who provides direction, comes in every day, is sober and doesn't explode with sobbing, dramatic fits once a week.

-I love my animals so much. I hope that never changes. Oh, I have established a back-up plan for my beautiful little hairy munchkins in case I have to be admitted to hospital early. What a relief!

-Don't know gender and don't care to be surprised. Just too scared of having a boy to want to hear it now (vs. at delivery). I hate sports, damn it. Really doubt I could be a great mom to a boy - despite my friends telling me just the opposite. That I love camping and hiking and outdoorsy stuff - which is true. But, after all, I'm a chick and a single chick at that. So a girl would just be easier for me to relate to. But, whatever will be will be and if he's healthy, I will consider that fortunate enough.

-Have an appointment with an estate attorney in August. Just really need to get my will together, healthcare directives, power of attorney (for finances and healthcare) and whatever else needs to be in place. Everything WILL be fine. But not being prepared is fucked up and irresponsible for a single woman. I have to make sure long before I'm in the delivery room, all this stuff is settled - JUST as a precaution (and it'll buy me much stress relief as well).

That's it for now.


NT Scan (12w6d) - Baby Marcel

First and foremost: It's alive! Whew! Heartbeat and all!

The NT measurement was between 1-2, which I was told is good. And I saw an arm and leg darting around (very cute). My good friend's daughter is due 2 months before I am and when I received her NT scan u/s pic, the baby had the cutest profile ever. Looked like a little girl with the most adorable nose. Mine, on the other hand, looks like a sock monkey. Then the baby faced me and it looked like a little demon. Hey, I love my little one and was very happy to see him/her and that the reports were very good. But my friend "R" said I can just call the baby Marcel (which, for you "Frie.nd.s" fans, was the name of Ro.s.s's pet monkey. :)


Week 12

The last couple of days I've been feeling better. I think. Maybe I'm just hoping it's real. The all-day queasiness isn't really gone but I'm not as drop dead tired.

My NT scan is on Wednesday. I took the day off as a precaution. Yeah, I worry that maybe the baby bird is gone already. Thursday night I was changing the litterbox (yes, it's okay - my cats are 100% indoor and have been for their whole lives, plus I was still just tested for toxoplasmosis as a precaution) and carrying the old litter in the trash to the curb for trash pick-up next day. And I knew I had to poop (seriously, yes it's TMI - but what about the IF process isn't?) and my lower back started to hurt me TERRIBLY. It felt as though there was a dull, achy 20 lbs. bowling ball going to come out and I suddenly got very bad abdominal/pelvic (who the hell knows where) cramps. I thought for sure that was it, the little bird was done and coming out.

I ran to the bathroom and there was only poop. No baby. No blood. I felt instantly well and no back pain and those symptoms went right away. But it was frightening and I do still imagine lying there on Wednesday with the tech girl struggling to find a heartbeat.

Why does my brain betray me and go there?!


OMG! I'm med free! (Wooooo Hooooo!)

That's it - I'm done. My E2 was nearly 900 today and my P4 was 16.4 (which the nurse said is fine but I think it's low, given I was on PIO).

I'm going to trust them. I'm offcially off all meds starting tonight and on Thursday go in for final labs and if good, I get to wear my cap and gown. ;)

(my ass was doing a happy dance at the idea of not seeing another needle!)


Just living....

Hello there ladies!

I haven't been much into blogging but I do check up on all of you a few times a week. Everything is going really well so I'm super duper thankful!

Though I have some underlying low level anxieties about becoming a single mom and inherent stressors, the Zo.lo.ft has kept me OUT of panic mode (remember last summer when I became despondent, SEVERELY depressed, could not sleep or eat and lost 13 lbs. in less than a week) - yeah, NOT good for a healthy pregnancy at all. I wonder if I was so worn down that I got so sick and my body went into survival mode - it's her or both of them and saved me. I don't know. But, thankfully, the lowest dose of this little blue pill (no, not V.i.ag.ra :) has more than done the trick to keep me from going over the edge so far.

Oh, I bought a crib. Well, not a fancy new crib. I bought a crib off of Cr.a.ig'.s.-L.i.st for $75. It's so nice - maple colored wood and kind of sleigh crib-ish looking with a drawer on the bottom. No recalls on it and it came with the mattress (which I think I'll change out for a new one). Yes, I could have afforded a new one and a fancy nursery and I LOVE looking at nurseries that are high end. But in some selective ways, I'm my frugal (by necessity) mother's daughter and just can't bring myself to spend 1K on the gorgeous Pott.er.y B.a.r.n dark wood sleigh bed crib knowing this will likely be my one and only baby and the crib will be around for only a couple of years. Yet I'm seriously considering a stunning pair of hidden platform black Lou.b.ou.t.in pumps at $625 - crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzy! I acknowledge my frugality is selective. And lest you think I'm just a selfish bitch who would only spend on herself, I have many savings plans in mind for baby and would think nothing of buying a little girl (if it's what I've got) a $200 American Girl doll. Maybe it's because the baby doesn't care how fashionable the nursery is (and I don't either) that makes the difference. Who knows?

Oh, at 10w, I am tired all the time and have an upset stomach every day. I've never tossed cookies from m/s, despite sporadic queasiness, but my stomach is very sensitive.

After sleeping a full night last night and a 3 hour "nap" this afternoon, I'm now off to shower. Gosh, I really hope this fatigue lets up.

Hugs to you all.


My Baby Bird at 8w0d (-2 days) - 163 bpm

What a cutie patootie! The doctor at RMA chuckled and said "oh, the baby's in a great position." You can see the head, the belly, arm and leg buds growing. :)


6w2d (measuring 3 days behind), hr 125 bpm

Yeaaaaaaaaaaah, I have held out on the infertile sisterhood. My heartfelt mea culpa, truly. But I just couldn't stomach going into another transfer and potential BFN with all of you cringing at another bad outcome for me. Hell, it could still go sour but I have to get more positive at some point, eh?

I fully intended to see Dr. Su.r.rey after the failed March cycle for a hysteroscopy and rule out any issues until....the connections from Denver to L.A. (where I would be for a few days anyway) were outrageous and what really sealed the deal was how confident he was that nothing was wrong with my uterus at all - that the pick on the SFET was clearly the wrong one.

On April 12, I transferred two. The real decider for me was the fact that my embryos are frozen in straws of two (don't even want to go there with my frustration over that) and I refused to continue to re-freeze the remaining embryo. It's done and they've have great success with them but it was only done 5 times in 2009 (with 4 ending in success) and the embryologist said it wasn't studied enough (i.e., long term effects) and I'd already re-frozen one in March. Didn't feel like coming up on the bad side of the coin toss in April (and how many more months thereafter) and sacrificing the quality of my embryos, never mind the 5K each time.

1st beta (5/21, 9dp5dt) = 229
I felt like barfing and not from morning sickness. That number was suggesting they both stuck. What fucking luck! Even Dr. Su.r.re.y said it was certainly in the range to indicate such but that the second beta would probably indicate better.

2nd beta (5/23, 11dp5dt) = 415
Didn't double. Crap. I didn't want a triple or more because it would have really looked like twins but to not even double was a little troublesome. But C.CR.M said anything over 66% is what they want and mine was 81%. So I did manage to stop worrying right away - after all, not a damned thing I could do and I've been really working hard to take things as they come. Sometimes I succeed.

I had my first u/s last Friday (5/7) and one today at the new OB's office (specs in title). Been spotting for over a week but nothing more than a few spots on the tp and my progesterone and estrogen looks perfect and the embryo is fine too. So, again, I was successful at not worrying about it. What could I do anyway?

When the little one resembles a human (even remotely), I'll be sure to post the pic.

Right now, I'm happy - really really happy and loving the little bird with the beating heart. Hopefully s/he'll be a couple of weeks early so I don't have to bring 'em into the world Christmas week which, in my book, isn't best.

Hugs to you all.


The Ba.ck-up P..la.n (review)

I watch the early morning news on ABC and their in-house critic was brutal. He outright insisted everyone save their money and stay home - that he HAD to endure it for professional reasons but it was awful, "a bomb!" He was even more brutal about the script and A.le.x O'La.ug.hlin. But I wasn't put off, I went anyway.

Maybe I had such low expectations or maybe I'm just not an idiot who expects a romantic comedy to be of the same calibur as, say, The En.gl.ish P.ati.ent because I actually enjoyed it. I thought it was cute - very light-hearted, totally predictable, sappy at times and provided the yummiest man candy. I mean, that's almost a recipe for a romantic comedy, no?

So for any of the aspiring SMC out there, I absolutely think it's worth 90 minutes and $10.50. Now, remember, I have a massive crush on the lead male actor because I am SO COMPLETELY DISGUSTED by metro sexual men with waxed chests, plucked eyebrows and diamond stud earrings (eeeeewwwwwwwww!). I'm before the time when that became in vogue. I'm from when men who look like men, had pride, didn't cry at the drop of a hat and ran to grab a heavy box from their lady was considered manly.



The Ba.ck-up P..la.n

The movie releases mid April and I can't wait to see it. Stars Jennifer L.o..pez and the absolute all-time hunkiest guy on planet Earth (Al.e.x O.'L.ough.lin). He used to star in a short-lived series on TV about vampires (Moonlight) and I thought he was over-the-top dreamy. He's actually Australian but he's usually speaking in full-on "American" for roles.

Anyway, I can't wait to see this movie. It's about a girl who has reached the...ehem...later reproductive years and decides to have a baby without the husband part because as you all know soooooo well - women have biological clocks. Men, not so much.

So she has an IUI using a sperm donor and apparently meets this hunk in the cab on the way home. Within days they're dating and judging by the trailer, she announces her pregnancy five minutes after they do the deed for the first time to which he teases "I'm pretty sure it doesn't happen that fast." Of course, it's the product of sperm donor #XYZ's and the story ensues.

I'm fairly sure it'll be no contender for the Academy next year and that it'll probably suck in the box office except for J..Lo fans and SMC and the really committed chick flick connoisseur (I'm guilty on the latter two counts), but I'm really eager to watch.

And can I just say, for the record....I'm not some SMC activist. Frankly, I think doing what I'm doing should be done with EXTREME caution and consideration and a lot of thorough planning (check, check and check) but for women like me, who've waited longer than a maternal whim at 23 and who have some financial stability and can make a sustained commitment for life (this is a biggie and ladies who are still hopelessly-and-desperately-searching-for-the-love-of-their-lives-in-bars-and-on-all-occasions need not apply), I hope perceptions can change a bit.

Further, I truly love any movie that provokes thought about the genetic code when it comes to love and parenting. I know there are many men out there whose sperm isn't quite doing "the trick" and their children (via sperm donors) are no less their children. Same of the mothers via egg donation or surrogacy (regardless of egg provider) and parents through adoption.

I'm a pragmatic, science-minded individual and I understand and agree that any child from my body will not be my genetic offspring but will be no less my child than one who shares my DNA - and no less my child than one I would adopt. Parenting is so much what defines who our children are and who their parents are.

Imagine a heart transplant. It's true the organ doesn't share your DNA but it's YOUR heart and always will be.

So any time Hollywood wants to help open minds and hearts in a productive direction - in no matter how light-hearted a storyline - I'm all for it.


Another C.CR.M Girl (with CGH)

I love IF blogs - we have so much in common. The single gals blogs are few and far in between but they're awesome to read too. And the C.CR.M girls - I feel like we're the closest of "sisters." Probably because we've all decided flying across the country and the much added expense and logistical nightmare was worth it to get our best chance at success (maybe I just think you're all as nuts as I am to go so far out of your way for diaper duty).

So here's another C.CR.M sista who's in cycle and transferring far sooner than I'd thought (almost lost track of her).

Stop by and wish her well if you have a sec. :)


VERY worth noting!

This is really an add-on to my prior post. One thing that ticks me off is that, despite the fact that I always told C.CR.M I would transfer one on the fresh and they knew I was a single woman interested in only one child, they froze all of my embryos in straws of two.

So what does that mean? That I have to thaw TWO each time and re-freeze one. Well, I know vitrification is the cat's meow and everything but it's still not advisible to freeze/thaw/re-freeze/thaw, you know?! In fact, I asked Dr. S.ur.rey if it would be wise of me to thaw them all, do CGH, re-freeze and then do eSET's with the chromosomally sound embryos. His reply was that we could do that but it's better to do that freeze/thaw/re-freeze/thaw as least as possible. So WTF didn't they just freeze in single straws?

Between that and the lack of infertility coverage, I feel as though I'm having to weigh moral decisions against equally real financial decisions. In other words - and let me just lay it out there - emotional cost of reduction against financial cost of several FET's. One of those options could leave me without options and I'll give you a hint I'm talking about the green one!

I'm just pissed about the outside elements that have pushed me between a rock and a hard place.


A Chromosomally Sound Embryo and a Perfect (proven) Uterus is Great (but doesn’t guarantee success)

Just had my WTF with Dr. S.u.rr.ey and asked a lot of probing questions. I feel better than ever that it could just have been a bad embryo, no matter how good it looks. He mentioned a study done on embryos created from donor eggs. The finding was 30% chromosomal abnormality. Now, granted, donor eggs usually come from…ehem…”older” women (like me) who are typically with older men and sperm does have a higher abnormality rate given the man’s age. But even with that, you can probably take away a 20-25% rate of chromosomal abnormality faulted to the donor egg. Best case scenario 1 in 5 eggs from a young donor (my donor was almost 32 – not a pup exactly) are shit!

Hey, that’s all great news for me. Means my uterus is probably just fine. In fact, I told him I wanted another hysteroscopy (provided there is no downside to it). He said “I don’t think you need it and we’ll probably find nothing” but agreed it’s a great idea if it gives me peace of mind (which it would). Further, he insisted I could do it in NJ. But I told him my upcoming business trip may schedule out beautifully between CD 5-13 so I could do it on my way to/from L.A.

Thought this statistical information was interesting. This is specific to donor egg embryos, which have NOT been CGH-tested and are FET by vitrification (numbers for CGH-normal embryos or fresh donor egg embryo transfers are higher in all categories):

Embryo # at Transfer and BFP
1 – 45-50%
2 – 65-70%

Chance of Twins
1 – 2%
2 – 25%

This information was different from what I heard from Dr. G last summer during my fresh transfer, which is frustrating (his numbers for vitrification transfers were FAR more favorable).

Anyway, I will have another decision to make transfer day. One or two? I don’t know, I really don’t.


Beta - Negativo!

"I hate it when you're right," said my nurse. Argh! Yeah, me-fucking-too when I'm right about something I'd loooooove to be wrong about.

Well, anyway....

I'm now waiting for someone to call me this afternoon to schedule my WTF with Surrey and I'll ask him if it makes sense to have another hysteroscopy (my hysteroscopy in November was one week prior to my polyp removal - so maybe a hysteroscopy post that surgery makes sense). Then again, I certainly don't want to have any testing that could affect my uterus in some negative way - so let's see what he says.

Thank you all - again - for your unyielding support and kindness.

I do try to keep in mind that normally two beautiful embryos are transferred for every single donor cycle and just how many implant? Well, with a 80+% pregnancy success rate, 60% are singletons and 40% twins. Now, that is one big percentage for twins but I may actually have to weigh that out and take them odds and deal with the outcome.

After all, Sue, you're right, I know it could have been an embryo problem - no matter how beautiful it looked. After all, we've learned that even two chromosomally sound embryos don't necessarily give you twins, unfortunately!



Yeah, I know, I know, I promised not to POAS again but there is a really big rain storm in NJ that's projected to last through Tuesday and the LAST thing I want to do is get my ass out of bed tomorrow at 6 AM so I can drive 45 minutes to Morristown, NJ (the HQ clinic for RMA NJ) to prove what I've already known.

I wasn't even remotely hurt or sad or surprised. When I didn't see even the faintest sliver of a line the evening of 4dp5dt, I knew it was BAD. When things were unchanged the morning of 6dp5dt, I knew it was OVER - no matter how insistent my nurse was that it could be otherwise.

Seriously, if you use a First Response Early Response or The Answer - you WILL see the teeniest of lines as early as 8-10 beta points. Sure, you have to wait well over 10 minutes and put on 2.00+ reading glasses and look at the stick under the brightest white light until your eyes actually burn - BUT it will fucking be THERE! You'll know - despite the aching neurotic worries that it's negative - you saw something, even if you're not quite sure what it was. That something will be far less questionable twelve hours later.

Now, if you like the emotional suspense, uncertainty and anxiety - you're welcomed to use the Dollar Store sticks or those internet strips. Those fucking things are NOTORIOUS for blinding white with beta points of 50+. Me? I personally don't like that kind of a mind fuck. I'd rather spend $13 for a box of 3 FRER at Walmart and know I can count on that vs. $10 for 30 unreliable results. But, again, that's just me.

I haven't gotten off on being right but I sure don't mind not being delusional. False hope is never good hope, for me.

Anyhoo, now I can sleep in tomorrow and I'll go to the local RMA office Monday morning so the results can convince C.CR.M that I need my WTF meeting.

Next steps: I have to fly to L.A. for a TV shoot 3/27-3/28 (you guys know I'm in advertising, I think). Anyway, I suspect my period will arrive this week and if Dr. Su.r.rey agrees doing a hysteroscopy makes sense (and has no down side), I'd like to go from NJ to Denver, have the hysteroscopy and then hit L.A. after that. This way the cost to me will be negligible (maybe $200 - including airfare and car rental to/from airport/clinic) and I'll have more peace of mind next cycle.

I'll post the "official" results once my nurse has to eat humble pie and give them to me.


Damned Lucky Girl

No, nothing’s changed. First Response, Clear Blue Easy and The Answer all tell me this cycle was a bust. And, more importantly, I KNOW it too. For you girls who get negatives on Dollar Store sticks and those cheapie internet sticks, YOU are the ones who wind up with big fat surprises on beta day. The FRER's (and the like) are ultra sensitive which is why staring at a whitey one on 6dp5dt is very indicative of the end.

Just emailed my nurse to ask if I can have my beta run tomorrow vs. Sunday and that I want to have my WTF with Dr. S.u.rr.ey ASAP so I can move forward. I’m not a fan of sitting around. I do, do, do until I can’t and then I sit and cry my eyes out and work towards getting the fuck over it and accepting. Sometimes that process is easy, other times not so much.

Now before you all think I’m such a level-headed girl with amazing perspective and a great attitude, please avail yourself to the facts that support a different story. I’m flawed and fucked up and it’s likely the only reason I can afford this attitude because I have 13 amazing embryos in deep freeze at the best clinic in the country (arguably, the world). If this was end-game for me, you might see an ugly, vengeful girl for a while.

My uterus is probably in pretty damned good shape. My hysteroscopy at C.CR.M in November found no scar tissue but two small polyps, which were removed a week later by Dr. Su.r.r.ey and I’ve since had a very heavy, healthy period so the likelihood of severe scar tissue just isn’t there. And if the oven still needs a small tweak, that’s okay too (though it would suck). My lining this cycle was 9mm, triple stripe and in the opinion of RMA of NJ “looks great.”

Perhaps it’s true that my 31 year old donor gave me a beautiful, healthy crop of eggs – but they may not all be chromosomally sound, nor should they be. That’s probably more likely in a sixteen year old. In fact, my donor’s two recipients prior to me (about six months and 1 year earlier) each transferred two embryos at fresh cycle but each had a singleton pregnancy. After all, only 40% of donor embryo fresh transfers result in a twin pregnancy. All that probably says something.

I may transfer two next time and tackle the outcome if/when it happens.

To the rest of my fertily-challenged girls out there, may I be the ONLY one in the shit pit this cycle and I hope you all get crazy-high betas for my non-existent one. Big hugs and kisses to you all for your support and unyielding tolerance.

Update: While typing this up, my nurse just replied “You are not going to like this: No, you can not go in early for your pregnancy test. No, I don’t think your pregnancy test is negative because you peed on a stick and it was negative. (do you know how many times I hear this, only to have a positive serum pregnancy test?) No, I will not set up a failed cycle regroup. No, you may not quite taking your meds.” And then she asked me to hang in there and think positive and promise her no more pee sticks. And I’m fine with that and I do promise not to do another pee stick (after all, I’m not about to spend another nickel on pee sticks for blinding white to stare back at me).


5dp6dt - BFFN

You know what the second "F" stands for!

I'm the girl who DOES get early readings when I POAS. Even when I had a chemical pregnancy from a donor embryo FET, I got the slightest line on 4dp6dt. And last summer I had a faint-but-clearly-there line during my fresh eSET.

Yesterday was 4dp6dt. Snowy white stick. This morning (5dp6dt) - blindingly white.

It's definitely over. I'm not sorry about the eSET because I'll tell you that my gut says this wasn't the embryo - it was my uterus somehow. That embryo was "perfect" - 100% cell survival after thaw, fully expanded, 4AA and hatching. C'mon - there was nothing wrong with it. Something's up with me and when I have my WTF chat with Dr. S.u.rr.ey, I will tell him I want an HSG to check my oven. I need to make absolutely sure I'm in pristine shape before I piss more money away (but I'm soooo made of money, right?) and doom perfectly good embryos. :(

Any idea how hard it is to stick those gross Endometrium suppositories up my hoo-ha, knowing it's for nothing?




Did I say I wouldn't post until I was back in NJ? Ahh! I lied.

Well, I'm officially on bed rest. Dr. S.urr.ey (who is my doctor) did the transfer. He came in and said they'd thawed 2 embryos in the morning and there was 100% cell survival on both but that if they hadn't expanded well, he recommended putting in both. And I was set to do it under those circumstances. But five minutes later he returned to say "great news, they both expanded and are hatching - one is 4AA and the other 4AB, so I recommend putting in one." I said "let's do it." (so the have now re-frozen the 4AB - which, BTW, they've done several transfers with twice-vitrified embryos and have had perfectly normal pregnancies/births)

John, the embryologist came in, I saw my little bubble on the screen - hatching and all. Very cool. And I asked John "so you think it looks good?" and he said "it doesn't get any better than that." Comforting.

The only difficult part was my bladder. My goodness, I had to pee twice before the transfer to get some volume down. I actually broke out into a bit of a sweat so there was just no option. And then between the speculum and the moving of my legs and never mind the ultrasound on my tummy - I can honestly say that one single part of it was not pleasant at all. At transfer my bladder was still full and when the nurse came in with a bedpan 10 minutes later, I wasn't even embarassed - I pee'd so much I thought it would spill over. Even the nurse commented how much it was.

I had acupuncture this time. Why not? Can't hurt, might help. :)

So now I'm back at my room - snug as a bug in a rug under the covers. Not really affected by the valium - that stuff doesn't do much to me, but it's a nice to have - you know?

I'll POAS too early, I'm sure - 'cause I'm a kook that way.

Thanks everyone for your continued support through this journey - and it has been that.

Oh and I bought the Lost (first series) to watch at the hotel. Everyone is so hooked on it that I figured this owuld be a good time to get into it. I also brought the Moonlight series DVD. I'd watched a couple of episodes when it was on air (the vampire dude is so effen hunky - wow!) but this way I get to see it all, in sequence.

Until later my friends....


Triple Stripe, 9mm lining and no fluid!

As much as I dislike the Estradiol pills up my ya-ya and the Smurf leakage, it seems to have built me up nicely.

Well, I'll be making plans with my nurse on when to begin progesterone and fly out.

Thank you so much for all of your support ladies. I will certainly post but not likely until I return.

Big hugs and tons of good, healthy baby vibes from me to you!


At Last!

After a delay and then failed cycle last month due to some mysterious fluid and then TWO delays this month because my lining went from 6mm to 7.7mm to 7mm, I finally put those blue Estradiol pills up my ya-ya and guess what?!

Lining today was 8.5mm, Triple Stripe and "looks great" according to local clinic (RMA).

Now we're working out a transfer date! :)


Estradiol Tablets up the Woo Hoo

But first, I had two big glasses of the most delicious red wine last night at Nat.i.rar.

For those of you close to the central NJ proximity, it's SO worth the trip. Nat.ir.ar is a historic estate on the Raritan River in Somerset County. It was once owned by the K.ing of M.o..racco and has been revamped in part by Sir R.ich.ard Bran.son (of Virgin Atlantic - love that guy!). You drive deep onto the ninety acres, up and around huge, steep hills - which are currently majestically snow covered and densely peppered by gorgeous tall barren trees - to find an old castle. And you continue to follow the road, further and further into the woods. It feels like you're off to meet To.ny S.opr.ano for a "chat." Just when you think you must be lost, that you'll drive so deep into the woods that you'll never find your way out, you see something in a distance. Beyond thick brush and down around a windy hill sits a gorgeous weathered brick mini castle - which is really the estate's now-restored carriage house and garage - with the most exquisite charm and decor and sparkling lights bounce off hundreds of window panes. Inside is "rustic chic" - very chic (and so are the prices). Valet parking only and you walk over perfect cobblestones under a portico. It feels like you're to enter a deeply hidden speakeasy and you're among the selected guests who could keep this secret. I spotted my four girlfriends sitting, drinking, chatting and eagerly waving me over. We had dinner and drinks and not one single whisper of infertility or me trying to have a baby. My good friends don't even know I'm still aiming in that direction and, right now, that was wonderful. We talked about men and sex and vacations over gorgeous and delicious appetizers and bottles of vino.

It's an experience I wish to have again and again. Life can be really really good sometimes.

[Update on cycle: I was actually taking the Estradiol orally, rather than vaginally (YUK!). Yeah, blue estrace tabs up the va-jay-jay and check again on Tuesday morning. I'm not on Lupron so the tricky balance is to keep me from ovulating. My LH and Progesterone levels are low so I might be okay. Ultimately, I don't think a 7mm lining is the end of the world and where DFET's are concerned, fine for success - but let's see if we can't up the odds, eh?]


WTF is going on?!

Lining is STILL at 7mm! (NO fluid - thank goodness for that!)

No idea what is going to happen.


No fluid! :) Lining 7.7 - so I may be delayed a few days/week (updated!)

Do I care about a delay? ABSOLUTELY NOT! That's not even a small concern for me. I ONLY care about fluid in the uterus or another uterine issue. A lining that's not ready yet is NOT an "issue," in my opinion. My linings have never had a problem getting to 9 mm so I'm sure in a few more days I'll be there. Oh and it's triple striped (since last week) so I'm already there on that front. :)

Essentially all good news so far. Now let the lining grow to 9 mm and I can get my baby home. I love this baby, already.

(Update: Increase Estrace pills and go in this Friday for another u/s and b/w check. If I'm good then...)


CD7: 6 mm, Triple Stripe (AND NO FLUID! :)

I am so unbelievably thankful, I cannot even tell you. God, I just hope it stays that way!

My next (and last) u/s before progesterone (and then Denver soon after) is next Tuesday. I'm hoping and praying it'll be fluid free. I feel good that my lining will be at a 9 mm by then because I don't normally have trouble getting it there and since it's already triple stripe, I'm feeling good about the pattern too.

Cross your fingers, pray and send me good vibes girls. I SO much need this chance.

Hugs to you all for your wonderful support. Who knew this community would be so good for me. :)


Glutton for Punishment

My CD1 passed and I'm on Estrogen patches. I have a transfer date but I don't even want to write it for fear I'll have to take it back. Yeah, I'm going to become the worst doomsdayer you've ever known!

So, I went in for my E2 check today and, of course, C.CR.M claims not to have the results but my local clinic swears they've faxed it TWICE. Who do I believe?! Whatevs!

Anyway, my one and only lining check is set for Tuesday, February 16th which is too close to the transfer date for my comfort. Further, I think that's a bit too early for my lining to be the right thickness and pattern anyway, but we'll see. So I decided to add another u/s date on the calendar - THIS Wednesday. If something's going wrong, I want to know it sooner than later.

I'm really not trusting and I want to trust. I want to feel some comfort and be able to count on something. I want to not be disappointed this time.


Updated: Cycle Cancelled

Not officially but it will be cancelled.

Fluid still there - same size. So the progesterone didn't eliminate it.

I'm okay because since Tuesday, I've sort of had time to accept that there was a good chance this stupid fluid wouldn't disappear in 2 days.

I love the new doctor they have at RMA NJ (where I monitor locally). She's really open and willing to educate me, despite my not being a patient of their practice anymore, much less her patient specifically. I asked her if this was a one-in-a-million event and she said no, that it's not supposed to be there and isn't that common but it does happen and that they just cancel the cycle and do another. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

And I'm good with it completely as long as this doesn't recur. That's more of a concern.

But, she claims my period will just evacuate everything and I'll be good to roll.

Emailed my nurse a few minutes ago and asked if I could 1) stop the endometrin suppositories and just give myself a PIO shot tonight to bring on a period instead and 2) if I could start Lupron on Day 3 of my period so as to cycle back-to-back and not lose any more time.

Have no idea what will happen but will post update later. And thank you for the well wishes girls. But these are the breaks sometimes, huh?

Updated: Email exchange with my nurse. 2 cc's of PIO tonight to bring on a period. On CD1 I will begin with the estrogen patches again but no Lupron. There is a 20% chance I will ovulate too soon, which would kill the cycle but they doubt it'll happen because my estrogen has been high. If all goes smoothly, I transfer in 20-25 days. Crossing my fingers.



My nurse called. She spoke with Dr. S.u.rr.ey and he wants me to start the progesterone tomorrow, on schedule. Often the consolidation of the lining caused by the progesterone will push the fluid out (they think it's some mucus).

So now I will go in for another ultrasound check this Friday to see if the fluid is gone - in which case I'll be Denver bound on Sunday.

It is always something and I just hope there is zero fluid on Friday so I can stop worrying.

Thanks girls!


I went for my final lining check before transfer on Monday and they found a pocket of "fluid" in my uterus. That seems to kill the transfer but more importantly, WTF is that?! Now I'm scared!

Dr. Google just made it worse - as usual. Everything mentions the possibility of a hydrosalpinx but I don't have fallopian tubes so it can't be that. OMG! All I keep thinking is, please don't let it be anything bad - please, please, please!

Emailed my nurse - let's see what C.CR.M says.


9mm Triple Stripe


I was a little worried after the D&C in August because the only two lining checks I've had since then have been low (6mm). Granted, my cycles were completely screwed up for a while and crazy long.

My transfer isn't for 2 weeks yet (2/1) so I don't know if I'll be good to wait that long but I'm good to do whatever C.CR.M wants at this point.


FET: February 1

Stupid period took it's sweet time to show up. In fact, it's just been spotting nonsense (which is typical when I'm on BCP's). So...I finally just let the nurse know yesterday that we could count this past Monday as CD1 and get rolling already or we'll never get started.

My calendar had to be rescheduled and the new transfer date is above. Just hope I'm pregnant on my way home from Denver with a take-home baby this time!

Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR girls!