The Least Push of Joy

First Beta, 159.5!

I'm feeling a lot better today. Thanks for your kind words of support, you are wonderful women.

Today's beta number seems pretty high for 8dp5dt(day 13)! I was very excited to hear it. Those gosh dang pee sticks really got me going. I spent the whole day yesterday feeling really depressed lying on the couch under a quilt, thinking that I was losing the wee little guys. I was really in a funk.

I have been through so many strong, difficult emotions in the past few days. I had no idea that a positive result could be so completely overwhelming.

Going through IVF is hard enough, without having to deal with the fact of either not becoming pregnant or becoming pregnant, as a result. Both are huge. And it's all hard enough without the freakin hormones to deal with.

Believe me, I know from experience that not becoming pregnant is the less desirable option, but the other night I had a super concentrated 20 minute identity crisis about being pregnant that felt a little like a very short bad acid trip. On top of that I was having uncomfortable feelings about the fact that here I am finally pregnant, and it is with some other woman's eggs. That was its own little world of complicated feelings. Fear of not feeling connected with a DE baby. Deep primal grief over missing my dream of a baby that is like me. (I'm adopted, so this one is very deep for me). Shame over not being able to produce a baby on my own. Jealousy that I'm having my husbands baby with another woman. You'd think that I hadn't thought all this out. Endlessly. Obsessively. In depth. Fer goodness sakes. I'm a therapist. It just all hit me again, at once! Obviously and naturally I am having feelings about all this, and that's just the way it's supposed to be.

I think that part of me has spent so much time gearing up for disappointment, that it doesn't know how to let go.

Reminds me of a poem by Emily Dickinson:

I can wade Grief—
Whole Pools of it—
I'm used to that—
But the least push of Joy
Breaks up my feet—
And I tip—drunken—
Let no Pebble—smile—
'Twas the New Liquor—
That was all!

Today I was texting about my beta with my beloved friend in Alaska, the one with the adopted 1 year old. She asked me if I was feeling joy about it. She said "It really is a miracle, the one you've been waiting for, for a long, long time!"

I told her no, not yet, and explained my feelings. She sent me back an email that tonight sent me into tears, and helped me let go. It's so nice to be understood. Here's what she wrote:

I was going to text you back but I've misplaced my phone temporarily so I figured I would send an email instead. I can understand your feelings about being freaked out about the pregnancy. It's a huge deal. And it's natural to be thinking, like, "what the f... was I thinking?" I remember when I got the call that we were getting O, I was in a state of disbelief for the first 48 hours. I remember going back to the hotel after meeting her at the hospital (she had to stay there overnight) and thinking, "I can still back out of this. I don't have to do it." But I took a deep breath and realized that I could do it, and in fact, it was what I had yearned for for like 30 years! It's like taking a plunge off a deep cliff into the ocean. It's scary. But once you're playing in the waves and having fun, you forget how scared and freaked out you were to let go of control and dive!

Keep in mind that you can do this and it's something you've longed for. Just accept the fear and remember that you won't always feel it. It'll pass. And once the baby(ies) start growing in your belly and you can feel them, you'll start the attachment process and you'll love being a mom.

I wish I could be there to stay up late with you and talk for hours about this. Just know that I'm there for you if you ever want to talk.

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm reveling in the complete joy of this! It's amazing. :)

Love to you and R. (And by the way, your presents arrived yesterday. The envelope was damaged in route and the chocolate were smashed but everything else survived! I love the LOVE symbol and the bird mobile. We have it over our dining room table. The Indian elephants are over O.'s crib but we may switch them out. Very thoughtful of you. Thank you.)
Ahhh friends. Thank god for friends. I am beginning to feel a little joy. Hoping for more.


Having a Hard Time

I'm having a hard time right now.

last night I was overwhelmed with fear about this whole process. A cloud of dread took me over. I felt this sense of unreality and doubt, and worried that it was all the wrong choice. I didn't even know exactly what was scaring me so much, but I felt really scared to be pregnant. It was out of the blue, and I didn't like it one bit.

I was feeling a lot going on in my uterus, it felt very full, and had been crampy for days.

And now this morning, the pregnancy test line is fainter than yesterday. I am terrified that I am having a chemical pregnancy. My beta is tomorrow. I tested positive on 5dp5dt, the line was a little darker 6dp5dt (yesterday), and today it is a little lighter.

Scared and confused and upset!


A Line

After the initial post-transfer calm began to fade, I had started madly googling 2 days ago to see when people start getting positive home pregnancy tests, and saw a bunch of early birds who tested positive on day 9, which was yesterday for me. (4dp5dt).

So after dreaming that I was in the bathroom peeing on a stick yesterday morning, I woke up and did so in real life, thinking how cool it would be to put that in my honey's Christmas stocking. I was very sad to see a bald, bare one line result, and tho I told myself it was early days, I felt depressed all day about it. It didn't ruin my Christmas, which was simple and sweet.. unlike so many others.

We have been running around from Syracuse for the transfer, to our home village for an overnight stop, then down to NYC for my work day on Thursday and a Christmas eve gathering with family friends in the Village. We brought my mom back upstate late Christmas eve, and she stayed until today. We logged about 13 hours of driving. Or should I say my honey has. Since the transfer he wont let me lift a finger. He has been driving, carrying, litterbox changing, dish washing, firewood bringing, PIO injecting, footrubbing, etc., etc. I have had it very easy and I'm grateful.

After all that mishugas, I had planned to take it super easy on Christmas, and gestate, do no cooking, see a movie and open gifts, which we did successfully. We even played a game, and had a lovely meal out. But I really love to cook, so I HAD to cook at least one thing to honor the day, and my wonderful husband and my wonderful mother, so instead of a traditional feast, I tried a new brunch recipe: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. They were SO GOOD. Sorry I didn't take a photo. They weren't around very long in any case. I sifted a little powdered sugar on top, and served them with sliced bananas and lemon curd. Oh man, were they good. It was a very easy and festive start to a happy, relaxing Christmas day.

As we were zipping upstate after midnight Christmas eve, we stopped on Hudson and Christopher and picked up a little tree for ten bucks from a guy packing up to go back to Canada. That is now nicely decorated with all of the unbreakable ornaments I have, plus some replaceable glass balls, so our young rambunctious cats don't cause a cat-astrophy. It looks very pretty glowing and sparkling in the corner as I write in my chair near the wood stove, with said cats stretching and muttering in their sleep, sweet hubby snoring on the couch, exhausted from his servitude, and the snow falling outside. Ahhh.

This morning, I had the exact same dream that I had yesterday morning, that I was POAS. I swear. I'm surprised I didn't wet the bed. It woke me up, and I stumbled downstairs to try the real thing again. My 79 year old mom, who has never really know what to do with animals, but who has wanted grandchildren desperately, was playing peek a boo with my young boy-kitty, who was relishing a new playmate. Past this little love scene and into the bathroom.

This time there was a faint but very-much-there line on the stick. Wow. I guess that means I'm pregnant.


Come to Mama

Today is the solstice, with a magical eclipse thrown in, in the wee hours this morning. I'm sitting in a lovely comfy hotel room in Syracuse, with a picture of four pretty blastocysts (and one that didn't quite get there, second from right) on the table next to me. Our transfer was this morning. We transferred two. Two will be frozen, which I am very happy about.

Our donor gave us 11 eggs, 9 were mature, and 5 fertilized. My clinic decided right away to do a day 5 transfer. They don't like to disturb the embryos so I had no idea during the week how they were doing. I was haunted with fears that they would not survive, like last time, and all our very profound and consuming efforts, emotional, physical and financial would be for nothing. As the Doc opened the door to the transfer room, he said "It's a beautiful day! You have beautiful embryos!" That was VERY good to hear!!

I am really trying to allow all my joy and hopes and pleasure in having these two embryos inside me to live and flourish. I will not, at least today, succumb to protecting my heart in a way that cuts off my life energy, and my love energy. 

I send love and blessings to all of you who are awaiting and loving your children, whatever state your beautiful hearts are in.


Stripey and Wavy

Yesterday I took the one hour drive to my clinic to get my lining check. I was very happy to hear that it was 10.5 and had the famous "triple stripe", even tho I don't actually know what that is. I just know it's supposed to be a good thing. A good thing feels good to have, just a simple encouragement, especially when my mind is so busy with every possible thing that one can think of, exhausting me trying to control an uncontrollable thing, this cycle, this life. Trying to avoid pain.

It's feeling strange to me to be going forward with such an endeavor, this IVF thing. Everywhere I turn I am reading about miscarriage and disappointments and heartbreak. I feel very impacted by Paige's recent loss. I was a lurker for the most part on her blog, but I really identified with her. I also have a therapy client who's wife miscarried IVF twins at 20 weeks recently. I was so shocked by both of these events. Death appeared so suddenly, in the middle of their (and my) lush and tender enjoyment of forthcoming life. Life is very unpredictable and random, and nothing we do can keep control of it. It is a vast mystery. I trust that there is a rhyme and reason that my tiny mind cannot encompass. I try to surrender to it, at the same time as I try to keep hope alive. Its a strange balancing act, that I learned in therapy many years ago, to be able to hold opposite truths at the same time. My therapist had me imagine I was actually holding one in one hand and one in the other. So I will hold Paige's loss in one hand. I will hold BFN's and failure and terrible fear and sadness and pain and loss and death in that hand. And in the other hand I will hold hope. Hope for Paige. Hope for her healing, and for her dreams to come true. Hope for me and for this cycle, for my waiting triple stripe uterus and for a joyful outcome. Soaring hope. Bouncy hope. Hope for each and every one of you.

So amidst all of this, we have a donor with 10-12 follicles, and retrieval will be day after tomorrow. This donor has consistently (twice) produced a modest amount of eggs, but which do well. I have a very anxious hubby, who has trouble articulating his anxiety, going on a 3.5 hour train trip by himself tomorrow to deliver his biological contribution to this hoped for baby(ies). He will return the next day and we will make the trip again, god willing, for the transfer next week. I have a full day of work on Thursday (retrieval day) in the city, and lots of good distracting things to do and people to see on Friday. I have been appreciating the value of distraction more this cycle. I'm usually someone who likes to really experience my life, but I realize that there are choices about what to experience.

For example, tonight my honey and I avoided another evening talking about his trip, and my fears about injecting myself with PIO, by attending a very enjoyable movie, Saint Misbehaving, The Wavy Gravy Movie. I was fortunate enough to meet Wavy Gravy in 1980 during his "Nobody for President" campaign. He was a very funny and unique guy, with an uplifting message. I cooked a vegetarian dinner for him and Mountain Girl and her children, with some of my college friends when he visited our school, and remember him complaining that he would have preferred a hamburger. I always took it a little personally until tonight when I saw him do the same thing in the movie, basically saying yuck when his wife mentioned vegetarian food. I feel much better now!


Mid Cycle, Mid-life, Newlywed

I am in the middle of DE IVF cycle number two. The last cycle was in March, and it didn't work.. the embryos did not look good, and the Doc said it could be that the donor had a bad cycle. It took this long to get a new donor... It feels like forever, especially since I turned 49 last week. I know there are a small minority of women who are choosing to try to bear children at this age, but I don't know any of them. Even in this wonderful blogging community, I feel like a real minority. If I become pregnant this cycle, I will (god willing) become a mother just before I turn 50. Most of my cohort have children in college right now. I am 8 years older than our egg donors mother.

Yet this is my try at having the family I have always, always wanted... everything came late for me. I just got married. Just. My wedding was 2 months ago. It was so wonderful. Or I should say they, we also eloped in January- a beach wedding in Hawaii with another couple witnessing, who are friends of ours, and their new adopted baby. My friend, P., the wife in the couple, is my age. She is actually the oldest new mom I know personally. I wish she lived near me, she lives in Alaska, and here I am in New York.

The second wedding was so sweet.. we had it on a mountaintop near our house, with all of our family and friends, and it was just about the most perfect sunny, clear October day ever. Plus I married the sweetest man I know, pretty good, eh?

I'm glad all of the hullaballo of it is over now, but it was such a huge life passage for me, I really relished it. We totally did it our way, too, one of the advantages of age probably. It was a great wedding.

This is the only non-identifying pic I could find of us on our wedding day. We were walking up to join our loved ones at the wedding site. My dress was red burn-out velvet, and that was a cream colored shawl that I got in Pakistan. You can't see how gorgeous the day was or how happy we were, but take my word for it.

I kind of feel like I am doing the procreating thing my way, too. I do feel some fears of being judged about it. We have not told my honey's family about what we are doing, or much of my family, because of my not wanting to be judged. My honey's sister told us a while ago that she did not believe in assisted reproduction. She figured if you were meant to have children, it would happen the natural way. She has two children. I don't even want to get anywhere near discussing this with her. I'll just keep a safe distance. She totally harshes my mellow.

My close friends know. My mother knows. She's scared to death for my health and well being, which I can understand, but it stresses me out. My close friends are of course totally supportive.

I went to Albany yesterday for my lining check, and the nurse said that it was 6.4mm I think, which was a little slow, they are looking for over 7mm so they added one more estrace pill to my three a day, but this one goes in vaginally. Hmm. It makes sense to get the medication as close as possible to the uterus, if it absorbs like that, but every time I see blue in my underwear, I have a moment of huh?

I have increased my acupuncture to 3 times a week for the two weeks prior to transfer. I continued going once a week since my last cycle 8 months ago, and I find it has significantly helped my energy level and focus and concentration. I suffer from ADD, and I don't remember ever feeling this normal and good. Of course when I started the lupron 3 weeks ago, that all went bye-bye and I was overtaken by a fog of spaced-outness and tiredness and crankyness. Then they put me on estrogen and steroids, which gave me better skin and a bit of an up feeling, but I do not feel like my self. Can't wait to start the progesterone in oil next week!!



I am very sad about Paige's terrible loss yesterday. She was halfway through her longed for pregnancy, and was full of joy at just learning her baby was a son, when she lost him due to a ruptured amniotic sac. Such a shock. If anyone is reading this, please go give her some support.


Goodbye and Hello

I loved my old blog!! I’m upset that I have had to abandon it. I have been dying to blog for a long while, I've had things to share, and have really needed support around DE IVF issues, but I was caught in a bind of my own making... really slapping my forehead over this one.

In a moment of poor judgement, I had allowed a particular friend from my real life to read my old blog.  While I do have a few friends with whom I feel safe sharing my blogging, this one was a mistake. In all the years I've known her, watching her always on the extreme outs with some close friend or family member, I have always felt like I was walking on eggshells, just biding my time until I was the chosen one who's turn it was to be the bad, bad, friend. Well my turn came over the summer. What a shitstorm!

So now I no longer feel safe enough to write whatever I need to write in that blog, because she might read it, and she is not a safe person with good boundaries. Sigh. I really didn't think it through properly at the time. I will be more careful in the future! So, before giving someone you know access to your blog, as Michael Jackson says, “Take my advice.. remember to always think twice”.

I already have issues around needing to be as anonymous as possible, because I am a psychotherapist, and it would be very complicated if any of my clients were to find my blog.

I realized in this case that I would have to create a whole new blog, and start all over again, which really was inconvenient to say the least. I waited several months, unsure of how to handle things. It was upsetting to lose the ongoing connection that I was developing with all of you, it was so wonderful to be in the midst of a group of caring peers. I am going to contact people that I know who were reading the old blog so we can reconnect if you want to. So this is the new blog! If you want to visit my old one, it is here.

Currently I am mid cycle with a new egg donor. I expect her retrieval to be on December 15 or so. I will write more about this in my next post.



We are on four waiting lists for specific donors at our clinic. In the last two months we have been offered two of them and turned them down.

The first one that we were offered was my favorite. She reminded me of someone I know who has been a very close friend since I was a teenager. She also seemed intelligent and like a good person, and she looked enough like me so that I felt great about moving ahead with her.
When she was offered to us, in June, I took a closer look at her stats. She had donated four times and three of those had positive outcomes. Sounded good. Talked to the donor coordinator about the low hcg numbers on the form.. turned out there was only one pregnancy that led to a baby.. The word "positive" was misleading. I guess the others were early miscarriages. We decided that since we had had trouble with our first donor (I think it had to do with her) in that the embryo quality was very poor, we would only go with really good, proven donors. So no go for donor-who-looks-like-friend. :(.

This narrowed things down quite a lot. I could no longer just see who looked, sounded and felt right, they had to have really good fertility! Percentage wise there were a lot fewer of these women at my clinic.

I had recently added another donor who had great results and appeared to meet all requirements. We were offered her about three weeks ago.  She was really adorable and smart and rode horses... but my gut just kept telling me NO.
Okay, well I haven't lived 48 years and 9 months without learning something. I know I have to listen to my gut. It wasn't really giving me much of an explanation, except "I'm just not feeling it". I decided to honor that, even though waiting is very difficult, and I'm not getting any younger. When I have not honored my gut reactions I have ALWAYS been sorry. That's just the way it is.  It was a strong gut feeling.

There is currently only one donor now that I really want to work with, and she is finishing up a cycle with 2 other recipients this week. My clinic splits cycles for donors who produce a lot of eggs. When we were trying to decided about one of the other donors I had asked the coordinator to ask her (the one we're waiting for now) if she was planning on cycling again. Her answer was that she wasn't decided yet and that she'd need to discuss it with her partner. I took that as a possible yes, so am waiting to hear about whether she will become available soon. Sigh. I really hope so.


Still Here, But Now With KITTENS! (No, I did not deliver them myself)

I have been feeling a need to forget the world of infertility and its many doings for a while. I hit some kind of wall and just didn't want to talk about anything anymore. Going through the whole IVF, getting the negative, and then having to do polyp surgery after (which I was scared of), felt like a real emotional blow on top of stress, to me. Part of me needed to go into hiding.

I've gone through a lot with wanting children, and trying to have them, but there was a certain level of hurt and sadness that I have read about on your blogs, that was revealed to me, that I finally felt myself. All of a sudden I couldn't read all of the seemingly abundant blog announcements of positive pregnancy tests. Especially the women who cycled near me in time. My sisters joyful days. That was shocking to me because I usually feel very inspired by success, and really happy for your joy!
I don't like feeling that way, not one bit!! Thus, the hiding.
I think I'm coming back to earth now a bit.. I'm having a desire to catch up on my blog reading and see who is doing what. The positive side of this is that it does seem like a lot of us actually do get pregnant!!

I have since had the surgery, which was not at all painful or traumatic. I'm so glad it is over.

My sweetie and I also both felt the need to add a kitten to our household... Certainly I was needing to be a momma to some creature. We also have an adult cat who seemed to need some company last winter after his friend was struck and killed by a car. When we went to our local shelter to choose one, Sweet Man and I bonded with different kittens. Then we bonded with each others kittens. Instead of being sensible and perhaps going home and sleeping on it, we couldn't stand the idea that someone else may adopt them, so we now have too adorable, playful, poopful kittens.

We have had them for over 3 weeks now and haven't come up with names yet. They're just Boykitty and Girlkitty. Boykitty is on the bottom in the photo. He is smaller. I know he looks a little uncomfortable, but it was just so cute with his little legs dangling. Trust me, he is treated like a prince. They are both very cuddlesome and satisfying to love.

My husband and I thought we would start again right away with another donor egg IVF after the surgery, But our bubble was popped when all three of our chosen donors had waiting lists. Pretty long too, we were like 4th or 5th on all of them. We had a fourth donor, but we were eleventh on her list, so forget it. We had been lured in to unsuspecting expectation of ease with this situation since our first donor was available right away. We decided not to go with her again though, since it was possible our dismal results had to do with her. I had no idea about waiting lists! I'm 48 and a half, so this waiting business is really hard. For a while there I was panicked, but upon having a chat with the donor coordinator in which I asked to go over each donors list in detail, turns out that some of the people ahead of us had done other things, so we've been bumped up to next on two, and second on the one we really want, tho shes doing split cycles so maybe we're next, too. They have all just started cycles with other people at this point. So probably some time this summer. I hope!


Relaxing a Bit

I'm feeling a lot better. It feels good to just loose myself in daily life without thinking about my state of fertility every single second. The intensity of my focus (obsession?) was getting oppressive.

For some reason I had stopped cooking altogether for the time I was on the hormones. Isn't that strange? I think the hormones had some effects on my relationship to food.. I wasn't really hungry much, but craved junk food. It's quite possible that it was the stress of doing my first IVF cycle, however, because I tend to use food that way.
Now that I am not doing a cycle at the moment, I am eating tons of salads, and cooking lots of yummy things. Yesterday I made omlettes for my mom and some other guests visiting here, with fresh local eggs and chives I had picked nearby, goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. They were amazing. I served them with vegetarian sausages, and cappuccinos made with organic milk (which tastes sooo much better than regular, its worth the extra $$) on the wonderful espresso machine that sweet man got me for the holidays. Last night we had gnocci with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olive oil and a lot of garlic, served with a colorful salad. I made chocolate chip cookies for dessert.. Sweet man wanted to try a gluten free diet for a while so I made them with brown rice flour. They turned out super thin, almost like lace cookies, and stuck to the cookie sheet, but were delicious, better than regular, crispy and buttery. Yum! We ate every little crumb.
We also sat around with my mom and her boyfriend (whose combined ages are 164) and tried to answer a New York Times "Pop Quiz" entitled "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?". Well, we're not. We were all pretty much humiliated at our lack of fifth grade knowledge. Good fun, though.

On the fertility front, this morning, on what I think was Morning Edition, I heard a poem that sounded like a list of all of what we IF's call "assvice".. the things non IFers say, in well intentioned helpfullness, to slap us out of our stupidity, and get us prgnant by, you know, "just relaxing", "just adopt and you'll get pregnant" Blah blah blah.. I was extremely surprised to hear it, since it seems like a very particular sort of "in joke" to this community, and I was very glad to hear it but, well, I can't find the poem on the NPR website anywhere! I DID hear it. Sh.....t. I wanted to link to it for ya, Oh well.

Sweet Man and I really appreciate the well informed suggestions given in my comments btw.. total opposite of assvice if you know what I mean. We are doing the chromosome test for him, and the clotting/immune tests for me. My clinic believes in the apparently controversial intralipid infusion. We are considering a different donor, tho I am not finding one that I feel as.. well related to as the one we used. Maybe give me time to re adjust. Next step for me is to have an uterine polyp removed. Sigh. I hate to do anything to traumatize my poor uterus, as I have had trauma in that area in the past and don't want to reawaken it.. but I promised myself if I didn't get pregnant this round I would try the surgery. So I am.


BFN+Taxes = Scones

It was negative. I really haven't felt like writing.. but I realize that there are a few people reading this.. something that really delights me. So thanks for reading, and caring.

I've just been feeling like lying low and healing. I feel weak and exhausted emotionally, mentally and physically. Unfortunately I am supposed to be dealing with a giant tax issue, one in which the IRS erroneously thinks I owe them $175,000. If I actually did owe them this, I would be in such deep doodoo. Anyway they are wrong, but if I don't deal with this NOW I could end up in some kind of trouble, I am sure.

So instead, I have spent the morning looking up scone recipes on the internet... and desperately searching for someplace nearby that sells Dole Whip. I discovered Dole Whip when I was in Syracuse last week for the transfer. I happened to stop at Peters Polar Parlor and bought myself a vanilla soft serve cone, and for the Sweet Man, a Dole Whip since he had the sniffles and didn't want any dairy. It's a pineapple soft serve. Its DELICIOUS. Well, he only got one bite, because after I tasted his, I ate the whole thing, threw out my vanilla cone, and contemplated going back for more. Now, back home, I cant find it anywhere!!! So, can you tell that food is my comfort thing? Cooking is also a great creative joy for me. I promised myself I couldn't bake scones today tho until I dealt with my tax duties.

Yesterday I spent the day perusing possible new egg donors. I felt like I wanted to do something proactive, to start this thing all over again. I don't know if our donor was even part of the problem, tho. This is a tough one, cause I really like her. She is intelligent and creative and looks a lot like me (25 years ago). She has donated four times, including for us. Two pregnancies, and two bfn's. No frozen embryos.

It has also been suggested that it could be a sperm issue,. Both Sweet Man and I are pretty freaked out by that possibility.

So, since I am feeling so calm and centered and able to focus on big important problems like taxes and who will be the genetic parents of my hoped for children instead of baking scones, I offer this as my brilliant, perfect solution. Scones. Scones and a cat. What could be better? (and don't say getting your taxes done and having a baby... lalala I can't hear you).


Beta Tomorrow... Feelings

It's just all so exhausting not to have any control over something so huge as ones fertility. I have been realizing that this whole experience is perverse in terms of the quality of stress that we have to go through. I don't like to gamble, it makes me very anxious. And here I am, gambling with huge amounts of my and my mothers hard earned money. We are not rich people, this money is significant. And I'm gambling with my longing heart. The possible payoff is so big, it's my beloved child. And that's what I lose also.

I don't like this experience. I don't like it at all.

Back when I was trying to get pregnant on my own, before I got lucky meeting this sweet man I have recently married, I did eleven IUI's in one year. I was badly handled by terribly insensitive RE's. I was very shell shocked after that, in fact I can tell you (since I'm a therapist) that I had PTSD. I didn't want to talk about or even think about any kind of fertility treatments any more.

It was the promise of the magic, young, fertile, donor egg that enticed me back into this maelstrom. Everyone said it was practically a given that it would work, since age is my only apparent issue. So how is it that the magic eggs from our young and proven donor produced embryos that didn't grow right?

I've been very emotional, overwhelmed, not feeling myself at all. For months. All of the little details of going through an IVF cycle are manageable in themselves, but together they combine into something that has taken over my life with a nightmarish quality. This morning I was feeling sad while I was washing some dishes, and told Sweet Man that I felt disconnected from him. He came over to give me some affection, and as I reached for him he jumped away. Yes, I had something gross from the sink on my hands, but I burst into tears and wouldn't let him near me after that. He tried and I told him to get away. And I'm probably not pregnant so have nothing to show for being so insanely hormonal.

The Sweet Man's somewhat religious cousin happened to send us a xerox of a sign recently. It says:

Good Morning, this is GOD
I will be handling all your
problems today
I will NOT need your help
so, have a good day.

I can't say that I can totally surrender to that, but it's been interesting to contemplate.

Tomorrow is my beta, and all 3 pee sticks so far, including today's, have been negative. I realize that theoretically there have been cases (although I haven't actually heard of any specific ones) when a woman tests positive after negative hpt's, but I don't really think that's going to happen. Well, I would be shocked.


The Big Maybe

I'm Waaaaaaaaaiiiiiittttiiinnnggggg.... (tapping foot) Well that's the truth. I've been trying to act "normal", like I'm just going about my business, but my husbands "You're glowing, honey" comments, and my friends who ask "How are you? (fine), Yes, but how ARE you?" just keep blowing my game.

The little miss hopeful part of me wants to tell the world, "I feel pregnant!". That other leather clad part who's been through so many disappointments wants to cover LMH's foolish mouth while muttering.. "the embryos looked wonky".

Fact is, there is a big maybe in my life right now. That's just the way it is. Oooomm.. Make way for Ms. Zen roshi part.

All three of these parts will agree that my tits feel like lead balloons ever since I upped the crinone to three-a-day after my progesterone measured 6.5 on transfer day. That's low. Dr Google says that crinone doesn't measure in the bloodstream properly tho.. that it should be getting where its supposed to go, my uterus. But I think Dr.G is wrong, its clearly going straight to my tits.

In other interesting news, I actually recognized a fellow IF blogger when I was reading her blog for the first time today. I mean, she is someone I met once IRL, at a baby shower of all places, and we spent a good bit of time bonding over our shared desire for a child, and our mutual "advanced maternal age", TTC as a SMC which I was, but no longer am, etc. We wished each other a sincere "good luck" and parted ways. A while back I heard through our mutual baby shower friend (who btw had conceived through IVF with donor eggs) that the woman I met had been successful with a frozen donor embryo. I was so happy for her. Her baby was born on my birthday, too. I think this odd way of reconnecting feels good to me! Yay, blogosphere!

And Yay blogosphere for all the wonderful supportive comments I got from joining LFCA...
Thank you!!! They were much needed and really did help.

Well I'm 4dp5dt... got my pee sticks at the ready... Hiii-ya! Take that, 2ww! Smack you on the head with a pee stick!!!


3 Wonky-Looking Embryos...

But I love them, anyway.

We transferred these three yesterday morning. It was easy peasy, no pain involved, which was a relief for a first time IVFer.

We ended up with 8 embryos, one more than originally had fertilized, that made it to day 5, but not to blastocyst. I understand that morula is the stage before blast, but the embryologist started to call them "arrested" then stopped, saying that she picked the three best. So are they arrested, or are they not? Why don't they look like other morulas I see photos of? Neither the Doctor nor the embryologist seemed to like the way these embryo's looked, but they both said there was still a chance. They appear to have stopped growing on day 3 or 4, or maybe they were just going very slow.. but they didn't look so good. All wonky. Also they said the other 5 (which looked pretty darn similar to these 3) were not in good enough shape to freeze.. I kept asking for explanations and getting these unclear answers, I had the embryologist come back twice to clarify things, and I still feel confused. Like, if they are good enough to transfer why are they not good enough to freeze? Why not see what happens if the remaining 5 were left to grow another day? No, they're not good enough for either of those things.. so why are we transferring them? I need to have yet another conversation with someone about this.

So, we transferred 3. We were planning on transferring 2, but the Dr said the way these looked, there was no way we are getting triplets. So boo. I really wanted triplets. Kidding. (I've got to be careful what I say... I realize having triplets certainly happens!)

After a lengthy conference with Dr Google, I have concluded that all the embryos were slow growers, with a lot of fragmentation. So, not very good quality in more ways than one. I wonder how this happened? We are using a 27 year old proven donor.

DH and I were both sick with colds over this transfer trip, cranky and just uncomfortable for the darn 7 hours of driving and the overnight hotel stay. Got a bruise on my voluptuous hip from the plastic seat belt thing, from sitting in the car for so long. I kept feeling hungry but nothing appealed to me. That has been going on for a few days now. Not even the chocolate cake that Molly recommended from Wegmans... I was so looking forward to trying a new chocolate thing, but for once, I actually felt aversion to it. Must be the hormones (I've been saying that sentence a lot lately!)

So here I am with these three embryos inside of me, wondering if I should have any hope at all.. or is it better not to? The same questions I see so many women asking on these blogs. I guess I just have another opportunity to practice letting go to the great mystery that is life.

I have a little hope. A teeny little flame of excitement that keeps burning. But it is very small.


7 (maybe more?) Embryos growing

Our donor gave us 19 eggs yesterday morning, 12 of which were mature, and ICSI'd. This morning I got a call saying that 7 had fertilized, and "we'll see" about the other 5. We are going for a day 5 transfer, April 3.


A Day

I've been feeling unbearably antsy and irritable today. My DH and I were spending most of the day in our living room (really the only decent sized room in this little cottage) in front of the wood stove which is going again now that our 70 degree days have turned back in to 17 degree nights... sounds cozy, but I just couldn't tolerate anything that he said to me. He was in get-ready mode since this upcoming week is our transfer week. I was in I'm-hormonal-and-I-just-want-to-read-blogs-in-peace mode and he kept interrupting me every few minutes with things we had to do. All day. This included sex, btw, which we HAD to have before it got too late today, because he is contributing his manly juices to our baby making endeavor on Monday, and apparently it was essential to uh, renew these juices no later than 48 hours ahead of time. I was pretty well ready to tell him to go renew them all by himself, but I managed to calm my irritation with a bath, swim up through the murky waters of hormonally induced fog and join him. While he was sleeping blissfully, I, in a frenzy, baked the deepest darkest chocolate brownies ever. I have been craving chocolate, but have been finding whatever products I have bought to be just not yummy or chocolaty enough, so, I did what I had to do, and baked them myself.

After DH woke up he continued to irritate me. I know that it is partly because he is extremely anxious about the retrieval day and his important role. This man has been taking every sperm enhancing herb and vitamin available, plus going to acupuncture, for months. Hmf. I thought I was the suffering, obsessed infertile around here, but you should just see this man googling every little thing...with knitted brow. You ladies would be impressed.

He really is a very lovable guy, but I had to get out of the house, cause his anxiety and mine just weren't working well together. So I went on a walk through our lovely little town. DH would skin me alive, but I smoked half of one of my last 3 remaining clove cigarettes. I only smoke when I am extremely anxious.. I haven't smoked for probably 6 months, so don't you get all upset at me, too. The US has banned clove cigarettes, and I can't get them anywhere. So I only have 2 1/2 left. Scary. So the walk was really nice, I peeked into the new cheese shop, and walked down the little dirt road by the waterfall. I stood for about ten minutes watching a very tall pine tree fill up with turkey vultures, which are giant birds. They flew to to the tree one at a time, appearing from who knows where and floating, with their 6 foot wingspan, to the tree, where they would shuffle themselves around till they found their sleeping places. It was cool. then I found a giant feather, one of theirs, bigger than any feather I have ever seen. Picked some just budding forsythia branches, and walked home feeling like a new woman. Hubby has retreated to the kitchen and is washing dishes, leaving me to write in peace. I am wearing earplugs.

We are driving up to Syracuse tomorrow, a 7 hour round trip drive, for the donors retrieval day. I am so excited. I am mostly over being upset by the surprise our clinic gave us, that we have to travel up there twice this week.. I thought everything was going to happen nearby, in Albany, at the clinic we usually go to, but apparently they forgot to tell us, that since the donor lives in Syracuse, we have to go there. It makes sense, but they forgot to tell us. OK so we are staying in a hotel overnight both times, and I have been desperately searching the Internet for things to do in Syracuse, with pretty dismal results. Found several comments basically saying don't expect to find a lot to do or any great restaurants up here! If anyone knows any different, please enlighten me. Otherwise we will just yelp some place for dinner and probably go to a movie.

So, tomorrow, we go north, and Monday we hopefully create some embryos. The donor had 16 follicles yesterday, My lining was 7.5 on Tuesday, with still a week and a half of plumping left. Yay! Yikes! Excited! Anxious!



Don't you think maybe every ivf blog has a post called "pincushion"? Well here's mine.

Since this is my first ivf ever, I realized I have some shiny new hope and excitement that it might work, coming out in at least one mighty weird way. I have been looking forward to my lupron shots. Enjoying them. I can't tell you how strange this is for me. Especially since I have always been phobic about shots and needles of any sort. I was that kid who would start crying when I even found out I had to go to the doctor... getting a terrible knot in my stomach.
I actually volunteered for the Red Cross blood mobile when I was a teenager in an attempt to get over my fear. Didn't work. (They have BIG ass needles, have you seen them?).

So I realized that it was the ritual that I liked, kind of like a pot heads cherished routine of picking through their pot, rolling it up... (not a pot head-me but I've seen a few at close range).. in anticipation of getting stoned.. in my case on baby fantasies.
I even felt like an Olympic medalist last week when I gave myself my own shot..something I'd thought I'd never do. The lupron needle is so tiny.. if I squeeze the area, most times I literally can't even feel it go in.

I felt that way about the acupuncture too.. but it's all wearing off.. I am starting to hate it. My slightly obsessive hubby has insisted I go to acupuncture three times a week. The needles have been hurting me. They don't always, but I was sick for three weeks and they really hurt during that time. The acupuncturist said it was because my energy was weak during that time. I feel like a pincushion. I can't take being poked any more!!!


There is good news on this front. Right before I started my cycle, my RE changed the clinic protocol, from PIO shots to Crinone. I was SO relieved!!!!
I am in awe of you women who have been giving yourselves PIO shots!!!

So tomorrow I drive an hour to my clinic for what I assume is the uterine lining check and blood tests. I imagine I will hear tomorrow how the donor is doing and whether we will actually do the retrieval on Friday as projected. If all goes well, transfer in a weekish!!!

Ok, off to acupuncture.


First Post!

It's been hard for me to start this blog.

I have wanted to start this blog for, oh, to be honest, about 7 years... ever since I started trying to conceive.

I was obsessively reading a community of infertility blogs at the time. So Close, A Little Pregnant and many others, most of which have morphed in to parenting blogs as their dreams became real. I was a total lurker... but I felt tremendous support from these women.

Back then I was 41 and single. (Or single for most intents and purposes, I was still legally married to a man who things didn't work out with, and with whom I lived for one difficult year, in 1994).
But in 2003 I was living alone in a tiny apartment in Manhattan, my home town, and frankly thought I would be alone for the rest of my life. It was a very hard decision to start IUI's with donor sperm...alone. The idea of being a single mom was scary. It was a lonely process choosing a sperm donor, and a clinic. I ended up doing 11 fruitless IUI's, and eventually I started looking into adoption. I went pretty far with the process, which was complicated by my age, being single, and the fact that I only wanted to adopt a newborn. (this has to do with the fact that I am adopted, and have some anxiety about bonding).

Right around the point I was ready to move ahead with adopting, I met my beloved. It was a total shock to me to fall in love with someone I trusted completely, who was really present and accounted for, had a gorgeous heart and soul, a job, his sanity, the ability to communicate, who adored me, who I got along with well, and who wanted children. He was the first in, well, ever.

By that time I was 45. The whole adoption thing suddenly did not feel right to me, for reasons I could not explain. Partially I just needed time to be with my new relationship. So, That's what I did. We never used birth control, and he had high hopes that I would get pregnant. I never really thought I would, having done extensive, obsessive internet research on fertility... and I knew the statistic's for conceiving naturally at age 46, 47, 48. Microscopic and getting smaller.

After bearing him feeding me every fertility oriented herb, vitamin, food, etc., for 2 1/2 years, 6 months ago I agreed to visit a fertility clinic with him, largely, I admit, to have him hear firsthand that I was not going to get pregnant this way.

Funny thing happened tho.. while I had been terrified of hearing anything negative from the doctor, I actually felt some relief when he said I had such a small fraction of a percent of a chance of conceiving with my own eggs that it was pretty much zero. Just to hear the truth (as it were) spoken out loud, took a burden off of me. He recommended donor eggs. This was an idea that I had never really considered.
I spent two weeks thinking about it, feeling all sorts of upset about the idea, as well as intrigued, then, suddenly, it was the right choice, and I desperately wanted to do it! This may not seem like long enough to really think things through, but all of this has been cooking inside me for so many years, that I can trust myself when something feels right.

So here I am. By the time we had decided on a donor, it was the holidays, and then we had to elope to Hawaii.. so we started our first cycle after we got back, all legal. And tan.

I am now in the middle of my first ever IVF cycle. With donor eggs. I have been on Lupron for 11 days, and estradiol for 4. My donor started her stims yesterday. I have been feeling verrry spaced out! Porquoi? I'm sure its the drugs.. its not altogether unpleasant, except when I have to do anything other than lie around. Then I feel like I have a gray mohair-like sack over my head. Can't seeee too well... can't think much.. wanna sleeeeppp...

I feel very alone in this process, tho I do have my sweetie, I am missing female friends. Moving to the country from NYC recently, I have not yet connected with people here in the intimate way I like. At 48, my other friends either have made their peace with childlessness, or have adult or older children. I only have one beloved friend who is my age and just adopted a baby after a loooong journey of wanting children, wooo hooo for her!! She lives in Alaska, far far away.

So, hey! Internet friends gratefully welcome. Can't wait to meet you!