Monday, August 31, 2009

Is IVF the right thing?

I stumbled on this article titled, "Is In Vitro Fertization Overused?"

Wow... made me think! Are we doing the right thing to jump on the IVF bandwagon? At 39, I don't think I have a bunch of time to sit around and wait for possible fixes for Mr. Jem's swimmers.

Arghhh!! What to do?


Acupuncture and IVF

I'm going for my third acupuncture treatment with Dr. Needles tonight as part of my preparation for my IVF cycle which starts in September.

Here's a report on a medical study in the British Medical Journal from Feb 2008 titled, "The Effects of acupuncture on rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing invitro fertilisation."


  • "Conclusions: Current preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture given with embryo transfer improves rates of pregnancy and live birth among women undergoing in vitro fertilisation. "

  • "What is already known on this topic:
    - In vitro fertilisation is lengthy, expensive, and stressful (duh!!)
    - Safe, low cost, adjuvant treatments to improve success rates would benefit patients and reduce costs (you bet!!)

  • "What this study adds:
    - Current evidence from methodologically sound trials showed an odds ratio of more than 1.6 for clinical pregnancy after in vitro fertilisation with adjuvant acupuncture
    - On average, 10 women would need to be treated with acupuncture to bring about one additional clinical pregnancy
    - The magnitude of this effect depended on the baseline pregnancy rate"
Based on this study, and others, my acupuncture clinic claims: "Those who received acupuncture increased their chances of conceiving by 65%."

Do any of you out there in the interweb have acupuncture success/failure stories to tell?

Update on 9/1/2009:
Here are further articles given to me by other acupucturists:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No time to post...

No time to post as I'm too fraking busy reading everyone else's posts!


You all are amazing, thought, funny women and men.

I'm just sorry we are all brought together under such unfortunate circumstances.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Here are my current list of regrets/questions:

  1. Why didn't we start ART sooner? - I'm 39 for goodness sake!
    (Answer: because first I wasn't ready and then Mr. Jem wasn't ready)
  2. Why did I think gleefully evil thoughts when I heard that previous (live-in) boyfriend couldn't have kids because of a childhood accident?
    (Answer: No idea. I know there's no direct correlation between my evil thoughts and our present situation. I can't help think that some twisted karma has me and Mr. Jem facing Male Factor IF.)
  3. Why did I decide to wait until next cycle (in September) to start IVF? I'm ready to start now!!!
    (Answer: because Mr. Jem and I weren't psychologically ready and we have some travelling to do before the IVF cycle starts. I'm totally ready/impatient now!!!!!!!!)
  4. How come two of my male colleagues just had babies, but not me?
    (Answer: who knows?!)
  5. Why isn't this easier?
    (see Answer 4)
  6. What are your biggest regrets/questions?


Monday, August 24, 2009

Take one down and Pass it around! (Crafty Style)

(This post originated by

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me, especially for you. I don't profess to be a super crafty person, but I know my way around the web enough to find some awesome how-tos!

I promise I'll make it worth your while!

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

  1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make but I hope you will.

  2. What I create will be just for you.

  3. They say I have a year to get it to you. But I promise it will NOT take that long (11 months maybe, but NOT twelve ;-)

  4. You have no clue what it's going to be. It’s a surprise to both of us at this point.
The catch? You must re-post this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.

So the first five people who post, and are willing to pass it along,will get a handmade gift in the mail from me.

When you get it, make sure you post a pic on your blog! This sounds like an awesome way to take my mind off of the current IF "goings on."

Hopefully you agree! Let's have some fun!!

Pregnant ladies everywhere!

Saturday Mr. Jem and two friends (one guy and one girl) went to Great America. I bought the tickets 6 weeks ago and we were all really excited to go on all the thrill rides.

Saturday rolls around, and the girl keeps begging off riding the rides. It becomes obvious that something is up. We look at the signs in front of each ride: there are pictures of a person with a hurt neck, another with a hurt back, another wrapped up (recent surgery), and a pregnant baby. My DH blurts out, "You aren't pregnant, are you?" And our friend says, "Yes. I didn't want to say anything as I'm only 7 weeks along, but I can't lie."

Oh, boy.

That's almost as good as the time I traveled cross country to visit and friend (from college) who I hadn't seen for years and she opens her front door with a huge belly. She neglected to tell me she was knocked up. I wanted to cry the whole dinner.

Have any of you been surprised with knocked up friends?


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who are you?

Quick questions for all you IF bloggers out there:

  • How anonymous is your blog?
  • Do friends and family know you blog?
  • Do they follow your blog?
  • Have you told your co-workers?
  • How do you feel about that?

Just curious.


Friday, August 21, 2009


This blog made me laugh until I cried:

A wonderful distraction from IF.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thank you Corporate America

To quote a movie from the 80's...

"Greed it good!"

Let me explain. As stated in an earlier post, I work for a very big, billion-dollar (try a hundred billion, Dr. Evil!) company. Let's call it McBig Corporation (even if we don't sell burgers).

I heart McBig Corporation because I have fantasitc health insurance that covers IF and amazing Rx coverage, too. My upcoming IVF cycle is going to cost us only 10% of the total cost.

  • $584.82 for the cycle fee with ICSI (and hopefully cryo for Mr. Jem's swimmers and extra embryos, too!
  • $300 (approx) for pre- and post-cycle testing

  • $380 for meds (could be less, as Dr. Wonderful is lowering my doses)

  • There is a$10K Lifetime Limit on IF benefits.

  • This is not counting the $750 I just paid Dr. Needles for 11 sessions of acupuncture or massage. I only get reimbursed 70% (instead of 90%) on that.

Needless to say, this is a huge relief to me and Mr. Jem (who is currently unemployed).

Sometimes it pays to be employed by a behemoth corporate entity (sounds like the Borg, doesn't it?).



Dr. Wonderful just called. Pre-cycle blood test results for me 100% in. All good except... (drum roll, please)...

I have no immunity to German Measles and Chicken Pox.

I never got Chicken Pox as a kid. When my best friend Y and her brother had it I went over to their house, but never got it. Dr. Wonderful said that if I got it an adult, the symptoms would be much worse.

German Measles is a whole other story. If I got it while preggers it could cause deafness or retardation in the baby. Gulp.

I could take a vaccine, but then I would have to wait 3 months to start my IVF. Dr. Wonderful said that would be fine if I was 25 (I'm not. I'm 39!!).

I said I didn't want the vaccine. He then recommended I stay away from groups of children. I work in corporate America at a Fortune 500 (but a much smaller number) company. Some of the employees may act like children sometimes, but that doesn't count. I should be just fine.

Have any of you out in the interweb faced this decision?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Gourmet Classics"

Just back from seeing my RE, Dr. W. I'll call him "Dr. Wonderful" from now on, especially after the wonderful news from today's visit.

What's on the menu for today's visit?

As an appetizer, the chef recommends an ultrasound. Main course? Saline ultrasound with a "mock transfer" for dessert, of course. It's the house specialty.

So, I'm waiting for Dr. Wonderful to arrive. I'm naked from the waste down, flimsy paper thing gripped at my waist, sitting on the crinkly paper at the bottom of the examination table, and what do I see? This:

Yes, folks. Those are pot holders over the stirrups. "Gourmet Classics," indeed! I can hear the ad now... "We cook up nothing but the best here at the clinic." I could go on to make omelet jokes, but I'll leave that up to the more humorous blogs (shout out to
999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility).

So, the wonderful news it that my uterus looks great. No cysts. My ovaries are producing eggs as we speak. The mock transfer was easy and painless. Actually, I barely felt anything!

Dr. Wonderful said he's going to change my Rx to lower doses of meds because things look even better than he had suspected.

Mr Jem and I brought over our test results to the acupuncture clinic associated with the the IF clinic. "Dr. Needle" looked at all the results and gave Mr. Jem vitamins and herbs to take to make his sperm better, swim better. We were both a bit skeptical as we're doing IVF with ICSI, but Dr. Needle reassured us that it should help. Hmmm...

All the same, it's nice to walk out of the clinic smiling.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Results are in!

Pre-IVF testing results are in:

FSH level = 5.3 and Estrogen = 50

Perfectly normal!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Talkin' 'bout a revolution... whoa oh!

AF came Friday morning. Uhhhggg. Had hoped for a miracle. Instead, made appointment for my Day 3 FSH and other pre-cycle testing for today, Sunday. They drew blood for Husband D, as well.

Highlight of the visit was that I met Ivonne, My IVF Coordinator. She'll let me know the results of my tests tomorrow.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Maiden Voyage

"... One giant step for

Call me Jem.

I'm a married woman, age 39. My husband D and I have been TTC since January 2007. Nada.

We finally went for fertility testing May 2008. Me? All good to go (FHS levels at 6.6). Him? Not so good. Very, very low sperm count. 100,000! Dr. L, my OB/GYN, even asked, "Did your husband ever have chemo?" Nope. His family does have a history of low sperm count. It took his parents years to conceive.

A year went by, life went by. D was finally ready to face fatherhood again and did sperm analysis again in May 2009. Good news, sperm count up! Bad news, not up enough (600K is still low, when "normal" >5 million!)

I immediately scheduled an appointment at a Fertility Clinic with Dr. W, recommended by Dr. L.
Only option open to us if we want a baby with both our DNA? Invitro Fertilitization.

We'll start our IVF first cycle mid-September 2009.

This blog is to catalog my journey towards conception.

"What's this 'ambivalent womb' thing?" you ask. It's about the mixed feelings (ranging from total excitement to abject terror) I have about motherhood, the ups and downs about being "fertility challenged."

I am happy to know that there's a whole community of women (and men?) out there in the interweb to share with.


P.S. Wow, this is blogging? Really? What took me so long? It's so much easier than I ever imagined.