Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I. am. a. Dummy. I should have insisted on multiple betas instead of hanging on my initial 675 by the tippy tops of my fingers. Oh and my initial progesterone level of 125. 675. 125. That's all I've got. I should have realized that my mental well being hinges on numbers, levels, counts and data. I should have scheduled that second beta, dammit, instead of wondering, hoping, praying, wishing, believing that there's something inside holding on for all he/she's worth. At the risk of sounding like the very worst of the drama queens, this is the longest two weeks ever.

My problem is that I just don't have a lot of symptoms. Little tinges of nausea, which could be directly related to the 6 chocolate chip cookies I ate in one sitting. Lots of naps, which are most likely because of behavior similar to the aforementioned and because it's the holidays and it's cold and my bed is warm. Not a lot of breast tenderness. E thinks I'm more bountiful in the chestal region, but I would argue my whole acreage is more bountiful because of my less than ladylike eating habits and my bear-like hibernation tactics. A whole lot of not really symptoms. In fact, other than a four day bout of um, well, the opposite of throwing up, I feel pretty darn good.

So, lack of data, numbers, levels and counts + feeling pretty ok = concern that nothing's really cooking where it should be. Hence, I'm a dummy.

Monday, December 22, 2008


675! 675. Six hundred seventy five. At my clinic, they don't do repeat betas if your number is over 300. They gave me the option of having another blood draw on Wed. I've decided against it. It will be what it will be. My ultrasound is January 5. I'm going to remain positive until then.

675. I'll take it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stranger things have happened, right?

It's entirely too early to celebrate. Maybe if this were my first attempt, or second, or third, if you count frozen transfers, which I do.
But still, I appear to have an arsenal of positive pee sticks. And what that gives us is a shot that this will work out.
I very much hope so. Very, very, very much.
P.S. My threats against the reindeer and elves still stand.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My name is Melanie and I am an addict.

I hesitate to even post this for obvious reasons, not the least of which is that I'm killing my IVF street cred. I'm thirteen days from my hcg shot at retrieval (my clinic gives an hcg shot early morning of retrieval in addition to the trigger shot you give yourself), 6dp6dt and my tests are still positive. Not glaringly, line pops up in two seconds, you're carrying a litter positive, but consistently, that's a second line positive. I started testing on Saturday after my Thursday transfer and I never got a negative peestick...one very, very light one on Sunday, but that's it. To top it off, I have no symptoms. None, so I don't even get the secret self chuckle "Ah ha ha, I will proclaim ignorance, but all signs point to pregnant." Seriously though, shouldn't the damn shot be gone by now??

I feel like a messed up a science experience. Worse, I can't stop peeing on those damn sticks. I sneak away from my office, barricade myself in the stall, flip out the evil monster of technology and tiddle away. And each time I get a line. How am I supposed to trust the little bastards until I get a baseline negative, though? I can't. And time's slipping away. The positive from my FET arrived 8dp5dt, which can't be relied upon as a control because I DIDN'T GET A DAMN HCG SHOT. Yet, if I got a real positive under similar circumstances now, EXCEPT FOR THE DAMN TRIGGER SHOT, I need to get a negative in the next 10 minutes and then a huge positive tomorrow morning to be on track. Did I just say "on track." Yes, I did.

My husband's response to all this, "that's why they scheduled the test for next Tuesday so you can test then." Yes, he did.

That's it. Done complaining. Nothing I can do about it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

100 Posts

I'm certainly not as prolific as other bloggers. Over one year of blogging and only 100 posts. Still, I will chalk it up as one of life's little accomplishments. This is where I am after one year and 100 posts.

I can handle anything. That's not to say that, off the bat, I will handle anything life deals me with grace and maturity and wisdom. Certainly, there will be times that I will scream and kick and moan and "why me". I'm pretty darn confident that I'll even act like a little shit at times. But I will end up in a place of grace, of acceptance and always good humor. Despite the tears. At some point when faced with the unparalleled unfairness of life, I will turn bitter cranberries into a darn good Cosmopolitan. I believe, despite everything, that this life has been a blessing and will continue to be.

I accept that people can be insensitive, self centered, clueless fools. That includes me. I used to spend countless minutes obsessing about the ridiculously imperceptive and tactless comments made by strangers and even close friends. The "you don't have children, so you don't know what I'm talking about" or the "don't you think you're taking this too far" or that I am somehow less of a human or a woman because I don't have children variety. I accept - now - that these comments and many others about a myriad other subjects will always be around for the "sharing." And other than the few minutes I will spend gleefully retelling the affronting comment(s) to my husband and others worthy of my skewering wit with attendant commentary about the unattractive physical attributes of the dummies who made the comments of course, I will go on my merry way. I continue to try like the dickens to avoid being such an obtuse human myself. (For example, telling a new mother that her child looked like a sweet little lizard. I actually said that. Jesus.)

I hope that I've learned to be kind. I don't mean milquetoast kind or pushover kind or honey dripping from your upturned lips kind. Just kind. Respectful of the differences of others. Mindful of how words can hurt.

As to my three days of notreallybedrest, bedrest....

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. It could only have been better if Raoul my beach boy had flown his tan perky self in from the Islands to peel my grapes. (My darling husband tried very, very hard but his grape peeling skills are deficient.)

And I have POAS, but it looks like the trigger shot still isn't out of my system. I thought it was supposed to be gone in 10 days, but it's still showing positive on 11 days post trigger. Oy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


2 AA blasts transferred this morning. Looks like we'll have three to freeze. We considered transferring three, but the thought was that it would only increase the odds of multiples. Snicker. Regardless, it went well and we're well pleased with the quality of the blasts we transferred.

Despite the many disappointments, I continue to be awed by this process. If, by chance, this were to work out, how surreal to think that we saw pictures, pictures!, of a bunch of cells that because our future child. I do feel the spirit in all this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday, Thursday.

Four morula today. Two stragglers proceeding nicely. Transfer tomorrow morning. Tonight, I tie one on. I'm thinking an evening of bourbon, a side of beef, a potato with my butter and sour cream, champagne, some cigars and a few left over vicoden. Those silly potential life forms will be too hammered to do anything but settle in for a nice long sojourn.

I kid.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whilst I integrate my personalities.

Screw positivity, I hate IVF. Today, I have 4 embryos at 14 cells, 1 at 10 and 1 at 8. One cracked under the pressure and elected to swan dive out of the petri dish. Now I'm pondering the unponderable...what if they all go belly up? In the interest of full disclosure, I was the one who insisted, absolutely insisted, on a blast transfer. I'm wondering, of course, if I did the right thing. (This from the dumbass who yesterday would have also insisted that each of the seven would be A++grade blasts by today: three to transfer; 4 to freeze. No brainer.) I was so sure. Today, less sure. And, overall, feeling like a dumbass all over against because it's out of my hands anyway.

I'm ready to get this party started; get the show on the road; put pedal to medal. I've got 8 books from Amazon, three movies, a fully charged laptop and Jim's Good Time Pizza Emporium on speeddial. My out of office message is ready to be activited, my voice mail message has been changed twice, I've got a stack of work I'll use as a placemat for my pizza. Good heavens, I've got new batteries in my remote control. Let's move.

I call tomorrow to see if the overachievers have made it to blast. If so, I meet for some sexy time with the RE, a nurse, an embryologist and a catheter. If not, I'll go in Thursday. Lining is hanging in there, but, to my utter dismay, did not develop into a cushion of plumpness and receptivity as I fully expected. Whatever.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just the facts.

At the risk of sounding too optimistic and setting myself up for the downfall (well 3rd downfall) of 2008, the petri dish colony is kicking embryonic ass. Of my seven fertilized embryos, 5 are currently 8 cells, 2 are 6 cells. Transfer is scheduled for Wed., at which time I expect them to line up according to height and weight, don Hazmat suits and flares and transfer themselves to the Uterus of Doom.

I'm hopeful, dammit.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fa la la la la la laaaaaa

Sadly, this picture doesn't do it justice, but up close it's a darn good looking tree. My holiday wish is that it's allowed to live out the season in its fir-like glory, spreading Christmas joy and good cheer to all, instead of being used to impale elves and reindeer.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This just in...

Of the nine, there are now seven. Seven. An oddly comforting number, better than say .5 or, heaven forbid, 41. Of the nine, one was immature...like I would want that one for a potential child! One fertilized, but then arrested. I have to believe the sight of its seven petri mates lifting weights and discussing Platonic theory caused the poor dear to keel over. Better now I guess than when experiencing the chaos that is the womb. Seven it is. I will get no updates on this motley crew until Monday. I hope that their petri dish isn't situated anywhere near that 20 something that came in after me. They're too soon in this life to experience that kind of performance anxiety. Instead, I will picture them holding embryonic hands and humming Mozart's Requiem.

An early warning to all carolers, reindeer and jolly elves....Beta is December 22. Be warned.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hide the elves

Retrieval was two snaps in a circle. 9 eggs. I was a little disappointed because, typically, I wanted more, more, more. My little lottery tickets. The RE and embryologist were pleased, telling me that this was my best cycle so far on all fronts. I let those words swirl around a bit and allowed myself an atta girl, like a third grader who correctly completes a math problem on the black board. (do they still have black boards?) My atta girls are certainly tempered with a dose of reality. There's a heckofalot more to this process than what we can see and hear. In other words, it's outta my hands. Transfer will be Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on my lining.

This weekend I will stalk the perfect Christmas tree. Tall and skinny and fresh tree smelling. I will also stock up on books and movies and other bribes to keep me from moving about so much on my not really bed rest, bed rest. And then, if it turns out that this transfer does not result in a viable pregnancy and ultimately a pink, round, roly poly child bundle of childness, I will take said tree and stab an elf and at least 6 reindeer.

I'm not kidding.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keeping on with the keep on

If I ultimately go down in a flaming ball of destruction on this cycle, at least I will know my body did everything it could. My body, God love her, is doing everything she can to score one for the home team. E2 levels are awesome (3000), follicle development is stellar (as of today, around 14, all about the same size), and my lining, oh my lining, is 9. A 9 for crying out loud. My RE told me that I'm the overachiever of the week. We actually shared a hearty laugh looking at the ultrasound today. "What are you trying to prove?" he said, as he shook his head. Oh buddy, if you only knew. Retrieval is Friday.

So I'm optimistic. Yes, I'm optimistic, but with a healthy dose of realism. I recognize that typing these words now will do nothing to obviate the sadness if this cycle goes south, I know that. But I will also know that I did everything, everything, to make it work. If this cycle were like the last, which was touch and go from the first minute, I imagine it would be hard for me to walk away. I suspect I would always wonder if I had just given it one more try, maybe the outcome would have been different. Maybe my body would have responded differently. Maybe the timing was just off. Obviously, I've still got some steps to take...I mean, the follicles need to contain actual eggs right? But, this is good. Really good.

Because a girl always needs a plan, I've begun compiling my 39 for 39 list. You know, the 39 things I will accomplish in the year I turn 39. Uh hem, that would be in February. My list includes the exciting "visit Australia" to the challenging "lose those damn 15 *&^%$ pounds" to the philanthropic (TBD). I've still got 24 things to add. All suggestions welcome.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Monday

I'll be darned. Second Ultrasound: 13 follicles. Lining 7.7. Retrieval likely Friday. Approx. 11 days of stims.


Let me recap. IVF#1. Second Ultrasound. 11 follicles. Lining 7. Stimmed 14 days. IVF #2. Second ultrasound. 3 follicles. Decent lining, but 3 follicles. Stimmed 16 days.

I offer this information as support only for my perky Monday mood. I, the UOD ("Uterus of Doom") know very well that an optimistic second ultrasound for one's third IVF is not necessarily a reason for overall optimism, but rather a beginning of the week pick me up. Solely. I am too far in this process not to understand that the proof is, well, in the pudding. That said, I've also learned to enjoy the little pick me ups along the road. So happy am I this Monday. Two Mondays from now I could well be a wallowing lump of pitifulness, but happy am I today.

As further proof that I'm not an optimist, I ordered another $1000 of meds last week to arrive today. Turns out I won't be needing the extra Menopur and I'll have nearly 400 units of Follistim left over. Why you ask? Because I have always stimmed longer than usual...much longer. So I jumped the gun. I ass-umed that I would need more so I went ahead and ordered them. Dumb. Let's do the Math. That's $530 for the menopur and $278 for the follistim I WON'T BE NEEDING. Dare I point out the types of shoe stock that'll buy?

Regardless. Good news.