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....