Sunday, August 31, 2008


As in my ovaries are crap. After three days of stims, I felt it was working. I felt burning and soreness and was confident things were progressing nicely. When I went it for my first real monitoring appointment today, I couldn't hear much of what the nurses were saying, but I heard that my lining had doubled from 2 to 4, which indicated to me that my estrogen was picking up.

Well. Imagine my surprise when I called at 3 to get my instructions and was told my E2 was only 84 and that I needed to increase my dosage to 500 IUs! Jesus Christ. 500 IUs? Wow. And my estrogen was only 84? I immediately got that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. See, my estrogen was 36 when I was cleared to start stimming on Thursday. That means that it has increased only 48 points since Thursday. And 500 IUs?

I don't understand. I've never responded (or not responded as is more accurate) like this. I looked over my numbers from my lone IUI and IVF #1. I was at 69 after 3 days of stims on 112 IUs for my IUI cycle and at 298 after 3 days of 300 IUs on IVF#1.

I know it's too early to panic and to write this cycle off. But damn it. I'm 30 years old. The only thing we thought we had going for us and the primary reason we are pursuing surrogacy are my eggs. I've always seemed to produce decent eggs. Now my fear is that it will be a struggle to get a few eggs and they won't be good and this cycle will most definitely fail. And that we will have waited a year for the privilege of failing at something else.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. All I wanted to do this weekend was relax. Now I'm torqued up and worried about our cycle which seems doomed to failure to me, and all I want to do, all I can do is cry.

I have to return for more bloodwork tomorrow. I hope the numbers are better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And we're off!

I just heard that I am cleared to start stimming tonight! 350 IUs. That's more than last cycle (300 IUs), but I know their goal is to treat me like a donor and try to get as many eggs as possible. So exciting! I return on Sunday for my next monitoring appointment. I'm glad it worked out the way it did because otherwise I would have had to get up early on Saturday and Monday (Labor Day) for monitoring. This way I only have to get up early on Sunday and can sleep in tomorrow.

The nurse coordinator did mention the lab inspection when I mentioned how quiet it was there this morning (normally there are wall-to-wall patients), but she said nothing about it being an emergency inspection...just a routine annual one. Not that I expected her to tell me if there had been problems, but at least she acknowledged it. And who knows, maybe the "emergency" was a change in when the lab had to be inspected. I know they have a good lab, so I'm not worried about that. More importantly, my cycle won't be impacted (because it's all about me you know LOL).

Think of me at 7:30 tonight as Husband pinches my belly fat and injects me with liquid gold!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the Cusp!

Cold is gone. AF is here, and tomorrow morning I go in for my baseline u/s and bloodwork. Keep your fingers crossed that everything looks good! It's hard to believe that I might actually have my first injection tomorrow night.

Guess that means I better shave tonight LOL. Even though I lost all modesty long ago when it comes to doctor appointments, I have not managed rid myself of the instinct not to have hairy legs. Ridiculous, I know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Cold

And another week begins. August is just flying by though the last two weeks have seemed over-long to me. I took the last BCP yesterday, so that's another milestone met. Husband called the clinic on Friday to see what he could find out about the emergency lab inspection. The receptionist was fairly clueless and said that only thing she knew about was that there had been problems with the ventilation system in the lab earlier in the week and workers had been in to fix it. So maybe the situation isn't as bad as feared. Maybe.

We met our surrogate and her husband for dinner on Saturday night, and it was good to see them again. It was supposed to be a celebratory kick-off to the cycle, but Husband and I have developed summer colds/sinus/allergy issues, and we both felt kind of out of it. His manifests as a headache/toothache/slight fever. Mine is slight sinus pain and a cough. I normally am not susceptible to colds and such, so I'm taking that as a sign that my stress and anxiety levels have been wearing me down. I need to do a better job of taking care of myself so I can stay healthy for cycling. I'm even thinking about leaving work early today to go home and rest. I feel rather lathargic and even more unusual for me, have little appetite. Other than that, I feel fine LOL.

I tried indulging in a little retail therapy at Ann Taylor Loft on Friday (my favorite store). I had a coupon for 25% off your entire purchase PLUS they were giving away two of the $25 saving cards for every $50 you spent. They have a lot of stuff in my colors (oranges, golds, etc.) but I was kind of underwhelmed by most of it. Several things looked great on the mannequin but quite ridiculous on me (chiefly poufy, fluttery sleeves). I did come away with a nice orange pullover and a short-sleeved red shirt. Hopefully I'll be more inspired to shop in a few weeks when my birthday comes around.

Let's hope AF comes quickly and my cold resolves ASAP!

Friday, August 22, 2008

About to start - or not?

I almost entitled this post, "Laugh or Cry?" Happily, I got the call about ordering my meds on Tuesday, and they arrived today. Yay! Have meds, can cycle! And, Sunday is almost here, and that's the day I take my last BCP supposedly. So good things are happening.

But then today I visited a forum I frequent and found a post from a member mentioning that on Tuesday she got a call from my clinic cancelling her cycle (she was going in for a baseline for her FET) because of an emergency lab inspection and that they had to push back all of their transfers. Ummm...emergency lab inspection? What does that mean? And will that impact my cycle?

I haven't heard anything from the clinic about continuing on BCPs longer than scheduled. Normally I would consider no news to be good news but given my previous dealings with the clinic, I don't know if I can trust that. I'll end BCPs as scheduled, get AF and then call and likely THEN be told that I need to delay things. I'm trying not to borrow worry and trouble. I wonder if I called them if I would get a straight answer? Argh.

It's always something. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my therapist (something I sorely need) and then we are meeting F and her husband for dinner to kick off our cycle in style. Now I'm wondering what we're kicking off.

Oh well. At least it's Friday.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I received my cycling schedule on Friday. I had called the nurse coordinator about it on Monday and never received a return phone call. Friday I went to the clinic for a follow-up for my cyst aspiration and the doctor pronounced my right ovary "beautiful" with a perverse amount of pride for his work (this was after I had been waiting naked from the waist down for 30 minutes, so maybe I just wasn't in the mood). Next thing I know one of the nurses is giving me a copy of my schedule. Turns out it was in my file with a pre-addressed envelope, which left me wondering what they had been waiting for and why they couldn't mail it out earlier. Maybe they were waiting for my follow-up appointment, but it certainly would have been nice (and easy) to tell me that!

I took a closer look at my schedule and noticed that the day I started BCPs is wrong. They have it as 7/31 when I actually started on 7/25. Therefore, I will be taking BCPs until 8/24 and not cycling until the following week. In the scheme of things, waiting another week isn't a big deal, but it does bother me that they might have made my schedule under a misunderstanding of my dates. I'm not sure where they got the 7/31 date. And these pills are so crappy that I started spotting the day I ended the old pack and am still spotting on the new pack. I guess I'll spot until Sunday and my last pill. Fun! Sure, I could call and try to correct the schedule, but something tells me that will be difficult and not worth the stress. As long as they realize that our surrogate's schedule is a week off from mine, it will be fine. I guess this whole schedule situation is just one more irritation I have with them. Use the correct dates, people! If you aren't sure what they are, call me.

Oh, and speaking of my ovary. Though my right ovary looks "beautiful," my left ovary apparently has a few tiny endometriomas (1-2mm). Um, ok. My left ovary which has always been beautiful. Did they just appear? Have they been there all along and no one ever point them out to me? I'm just a tad concerned because with the right ovary susceptible to endometriomas and the veteran of a cystectomy and cyst aspiration, I've counted on the left one to produce. And now I worry that both of my ovaries are crapping out.

Book club on Saturday was irritating as well. I invited a coworker to join my book club because I thought she'd have a lot in common with several of the members. It turns out she does, to the point where I now feel left out. Another of the members is rabidly liberal, which is great, but I feel like she is trying to turn book club into an activist book club. She and a couple other members are vegetarian and keep suggesting books about eating less meat and the awful conditions in which animals are raised. Ok, I'm an omnivore. I like meat. I also grew up with large vegetable gardens that were a LOT of work and my mother grew up on a farm. It's hard for me to take these romanticized visions of growing your own veggies and ethically-raised animals.

Sometimes I feel like what everyone is really saying is that we humans should just disappear. And don't get me started on the population issues. Every time I hear an author or researcher on NPR discussing population control and estimates, I cringe. I'm waiting for someone to call in and declare that these people doing fertility treatments should stop b/c they are contributing to over-population and maybe we should take a hint if we are infertile. Of course these people are all people who probably easily had their kids.

This book club member is also a hardcore Obama supporter and wanted to add Dreams of My Father to our reading list. I have zero interest in reading that book. I'm voting for the man, but I don't want him shoved down my throat, so I had to speak out against it rather forcefully b/c I knew that everyone else would want to read it or at least wouldn't speak up. Book club is supposed to be fun and now I feel like it isn't and that I don't belong anymore (after joining not even a year ago).

I'm sort of wondering if I belong anywhere right now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Three Years of IF Hell

Today marks 3 full years of IF Hell. Three years ago today I took my last BCP, confident that everything would be fine and dandy and most importantly, normal. Because I'm a navel-gazer, it's always fun to compare anniversaries. Last year when this auspicious day rolled around, I was 10 days post failed FET, and we had no idea what our next direction would be. Surrogacy? Adoption? Another IVF?

Year 3 was a lot quieter overall. We knew what was wrong. We pursued no more treatments for me. Instead we committed to surrogacy, found our surrogate and waited. And waited. And waited. And here we are now finally cycling. I'd like to believe that when Aug. 13 rolls around next year, I'll be too busy to notice, but one thing I've learned from three years of IF is not to make plans and not to get your hopes up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Squeaky Wheel

I feel like it is so seldom that I get to post unequivocally good news, but I have some! Yesterday at 4:30pm (I was getting ready to leave work), I received a call from the pharmacy confirming the med order for our surrogate!!!!! I was shocked since I didn't expect anything to happen until tomorrow or Monday. Even better, the clinic wants her to receive the meds TODAY.

F, our surrogate, called me after I got home, and she told me that on Tuesday (after Husband had his little chat with the nurse coordinator), a nurse from the clinic called and wants her to come in ASAP for an u/s so she can start lupron. She's going in today and hopefully will have her first lupron shot tonight! I'm still stunned. I haven't heard from the clinic yet about my schedule, but I'm assuming this means that I might start stimming in about 2 weeks. Holy shit! Even if it's a little longer than two weeks, it won't be much longer.

And in true "me" fashion, I actually started to feel a little guilty about being assholes to the clinic. But no. They were jerking us around and there is no reason ever to feel guilty over standing up for yourself, especially when it's a service you've paid a lot of money for.

It's nice being the squeaky wheel for once :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Score One for Husband

I love my Husband. He met with the nurse coordinator yesterday and demanded answers to such provocative questions as, "when will we get our schedule" and "when can we order meds". The nurse coordinator assured him she was working on it this week and that we would not miss a cycle window. He told her, "you don't understand. I answer to a higher power: my wife." LOL! Supposedly, we might see something by the end of the week. We're going to call her on Friday if we haven't heard/seen anything by then. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Clinic Moronity

Funny, when I wrote "moronity" I wasn't certain it was an actual word, but Google assures me it is LOL. Some time ago, the previous financial coordinator at my clinic had informed me that payment for our surrogate's bloodwork and ultrasounds while cycling would be handled by a separate payment of $800. Great! It sounded easy and defined. Fast forward to a few months later and that financial coordinator is no longer there. Husband had forgotten about the additional payment when he talked to the new financial coordinator (whom we had already established as being clueless), and she did not mention it either. So we paid for the cycle but didn't pay the additional payment.

I reminded him about it, and he called her yesterday to ask about it, and she informed him, "oh yes, that $800 must be paid before you can order meds." Can you hear my screaming from here? Just once I wish someone at that clinic knew what the fuck was going on! Husband informed her that he would be in today to pay it and she had the gall to tell him that it didn't have to be paid right away; he could wait and pay it when I come in for my surgical follow-up on the 15th. Right. Like I will willingly wait to pay for something that may impact when we can order meds and get started. Unbelievable.

He left 2 messages for the nurse coordinator as well to ask about the status of our schedule and med ordering and of course, no return call yet. He's going to try to tackle her as well today. I just want them to understand that we are NOT ok with waiting just because they can't manage to get their shit together without a good reason. If she had said they did schedules every Thursday or that they limited the number of women cycling at a given point or SOME, ANY indication that there was a method to their madness or a hint of a process, I would have been mollified. Instead it feels like they just do it when they feel like it. Maybe they draw names out of a hat? Maybe they throw all the files in the air and which ones land face up they make the next schedule for? Maybe they do it based on what patient has pissed them off least that week (which would definitely rule us out). Who knows?

I'm feeling better, thankfully. I don't feel as weak and out of it as I did over the weekend, but I am still spotting a bit and am a little sore and crampy. It's not too bad. Hey, when you have endo, you get used to all sorts of aches and pains.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday about my inability to lounge around sans guilt, and she told me to enjoy it while I could since I won't always be able to. I assumed she was referring to a time when we have children in the house. I appreciate her belief that our situation will change, but as I was thinking about her comment, I realized that I don't think I believe our situation will change. I can't imagine a child in our house or a time when we aren't in this awful limbo. At this point, children seem like something that happens to other people. It's not part of my reality. Now, deep down in places where an iota of optimism clings, of course I think that one day, somehow we will have a child. But then my head wonders how much more we will have to go through before we get there, and right now, I can't wrap my brain around a future in which we have moved to the other side.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Now if only my head would stop hurting

Greetings! The aspiration on Thursday went well supposedly. It was scheduled for 1pm but typical for my doctor, he was running behind and nothing happened until 2pm. We were there for about 6 hours by the time we were able to leave. I feel ok. I had some cramping, and I occasionally feel a little sore around my lower back and right ovary, but it's manageable. I think the anesthesia threw me for a loop, though. When I got up yesterday, I felt fine, but as the day went on, I felt slightly nauseous, tired, and woozy and my head hurt. I had thought about going into work initially but stayed home and napped, which was great. I still don't have much of an appetite, which is unusual for me, and my head still hurts, which sucks. I think it is sinus related. It's like a sinus migraine. So today, even though I think I feel more normal, I will probably need to lounge around again to baby my head. All in all, I was a little surprised I guess. My doctor told me breezily that the aspiration would be as simple as egg retrieval, but I felt worse than I expected afterwards. Definitely not as bad as after my lap of course but a little worse than after egg retrieval.

I think my favorite part of the pre-surgery process was when the nurse asked me if I was having trouble getting pregnant. I probably shouldn't have been surprised considering they know my doctor and work with him lots, therefore knowing what he does, but I was a little stunned by it. But out came the entire story. Why not? It's not like I had anything else to do. She was very chatty. Oh, and as they were wheeling me to the OR, I noticed the woman in bed across the hall from me was reading Baby Proof. I thought that was appropriate.

Husband is taking very good care of me, though I of course feel guilty because I feel like I don't deserve to be waited on unless I'm on my deathbed. Maybe it comes from being so seldom sick.

Off to go recline on the couch!

And a huge thank you to Samantha for her gift yesterday. Husband and I really, really appreciate it! We hope your move is smooth and that your new home treats you well.