Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Mr Jem and I spent the day decluttering Casa Jem - we shredded old documents, put up pictures we have been meaning to put up for months, and we changed pictures around. The house feels peaceful, clean, new. New. Looking forward to the new year - 2011, here we come!
~ Jem

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SA #3 + a find

Mr. Jem delivered his third SA yesterday. No news from the clinic. 

But we have a back-up plan: we remembered that we have frozen specimens from the previous IVF attempts. We can officially go forward with this cycle! What a relief to know we have options! Mr. Jem will continue to give samples.


Friday, December 24, 2010

My Holiday Baby pic

Tis the season for receiving a ton of holiday cards with pictures of other people's kids (thanks! rub it in!)

So I thought I'd share a baby picture of someone I love very much, ME!

Ain't I cute?

~Jem (ICLW #5)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Welcome DecemberICWL

Zero,zilch,nada,nada,nothing,rein,niet,none. Bagel, donut.

Those are the results of Mr. Jem's third SA in less than a week. This is a huge disappointment after all we've been through. Not only do we have this sever male factor infertility to deal with, but also have repetative loss two biochemical pregnancies from the first IVF (fresh plus 1 FET). Then we had a BFN with no frosties south he second IVF in June. We changed clinics and I've been recently diagnosed with autoimmune issues, including NK (natural killer cells) which can be treated, but uggggh the cost and the hassle...

Those of you who have followed this blog know that 2010 was a super crappy year! Lost my grandma and our dear cat Fluffy. We're hoping that 2011 brings much more happiness. And for you all, too.

Tomorrow, I'll post some neat baby pics - of ME (since I don't have any pics if my own offspring).

Glad you all stopped by.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Dad...

Mr. Jem went for his third SA (3rd in one week) today. The first one had 5 sperm, zero motile, the second had 7 sperm, but at least they were moving (still not good enough). The amazing thing is Mr. Jem is not discouraged. He keeps asking, "When is the ER? How much time do I have?" I reply, "It will be around January 15." He replies, "Oh, good, that's enough time." I love that man so much. He's so courageous, so positive, so loving. He'll be such an amazing dad. It makes me cry to type these words. It's so damn unfair.

I ran across this post about being a dad: Dad's Don't Leave. (Go ahead and give it a read and then come back here. I'll wait...)

The blog post made me cry. I cried because my own dad was there when my mom left me behind to "find herself." Cried because for years my own dad was only a, and then later after I grew up he was so self-absorbed (only calling to ask for $$) that he wasn't a real dad. It's only been in the last couple of years, since he had a life-threatening illness and surgery that he's actually been able to be present in our relationship. Now he has a new life companion and is happy. That makes me happy.

I cried for Mr. Jem while reading that blog, too. Cried because he'll be such a wonderful dad. Cried for the army of great men out there who have been robbed from the opportunity of being dads because of IF. I cried for all of your wonderful men who silently stand by as we go through uncomfortable and invasive medical procedures. They help stick us with sharp needles. They go perform intimate acts in sterile rooms. They agree to testicular biopsies, take hormones, do acupuncture (yes, Mr. Jem did acupuncture!), and take Chinese herbs. They do this without complaint (okay, maybe a little complaining).

They are the quiet heroes in this.

I love you, Mr. Jem and all you Mr. Jems out there!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your Caffeine habits - results from the quiz

Type of beverage you drink:

Coffee                                               18    39%
Decaf coffee                                      9    20%
Black tea                                            5    11%
Decaf black tea                                   0    0%
Green tea                                            0    0%
Decaf green tea                                   1    2%
Soda (coke, etc.)                                2    4%
Diet Soda                                           6    13%
Water only                                          5    11%
N/A                                                   0    0%

What's your attitude towards caffeine?

Don't miss it                                          8    17%
Can't live without it                               11    24%
Indifferent                                             11    24%
Have learned to live without it            16    35%

When do you drink caffeinated drinks?

Never                                                        14    30%
One cup per day                                        25    54%
Always                                                        5    11%
Just not during the 2WW                             2      4%           

Your Comments

I gave up all caffeine (including chocolate, decaf) about a year ago, when I had to give it up for an IVF cycle.  CCRM does not want any caffeine in your system for a stim cycle or FET, as they think it can interfere with uterine blood flow.  So I just went cold-turkey ( I was a black tea and diet soda drinker, 2-3 per day), had headaches for 2-3 days, then was over it.  Never went back.  I now drink chamomile tea and water.  I also had mild IBS, and giving up caffeine and artificial sweeteners has really helped that too. 

What an interesting quiz! I'm a weirdo because I never got hooked on coffee and so I'm annoyingly perky when all my friends are craving their first cup in the morning.

I will happily go back to caffeine one of these days...

I usually have one diet soda with caffeine a day.  Sometimes, like on the weekends, I'll have tea with my lunch or dinner and a diet soda.  I've been at this for too long to worry about not drinking caffeine in my 2ww.  Just my opinion and I'm not judging anyone because I know that caffeine is bad for unborn babies and if I ever actually GET pregnant, I will be decaff the whole way.

I kicked the habit a year ago as I was getting ready to do my first IVF cycle. My acupuncturist said it made my pulse super wiry (she could tell I had 1 cup in the AM later in the evening). It was tough at first, but now I drink 1 decaf cup a day (usually a soy latte) so I feel like I still get my kick, even though it's just a placebo.
I also drink diet pop too. I have cut back since doing all the IVF stuff but when cutting it out didn't prove to be any help, I figured it probably doesn't really matter. You've heard the same song and I dance I have, people get pregnant smoking crack, shooting heroine, snorting coke, etc., a little caffeine in the 2ww most definitely isn't going to hurt anything. If you're not getting pregnant, it's more than likely NOT caffeine's fault. Peace out.

I saw an accupuncturist the month before our IVF consult.  He told me to stop drinking it.  I did and it sucked.  I miss it.  I did however go to two appointments and then found myself pregant after 18 cycles of nothing.  So who knows.  I am leaning more towards luck, but I know I am going back for more accupuncture when I deliver.

I have cut out coffee entirely but still drink one cup of black tea about 4 times a week.

I usually just drink diet soda with caffeine and with out all the time until my second week of the two week wait.  Then I cut it out. I miss having flavor in my drink and the bubbles.

I went without all through our cycle, and when the OB ok'd a cup a day, I was thrilled.  Today my neurologist vetoed caffeine altogether, and I am soooo sad :( 

I went off caffeine more than 8 years ago, due to Panic Attacks.  Caffeine causes my heart rate to increase and get all wonky, so I don't really miss it. =)  The only form of caffeine that I voluntarily ingest is CHOCOLATE (can't live without it)!  Other than that, I'm a red tea (naturally decaffeinated) fanatic.  It's the best.

I sleep very poorly and cannot drink any caffeine after about noon or I won't sleep that night. I don't even eat chocolate after lunch time!

I love all kinds of teas. I gave tea up during both my IVF attempts. Waste of time...probably won't next time.

I only drink decaf coffee on the weekends, when I can have it with my raw, organic milk. Otherwise, during the week I drink herbal tea. (I know, sounds really granola, doesn't it?)  About 6 years ago, I weaned myself off caffeine and never looked back!

Quit during ivf and fet cycles....

Where's the espresso choice?

"I tend to give up caffeine completely when's too hard to vacillate back and forth between caf and decaf...I really like the taste and I don't miss the kick too much.
I've read IVF docs' reports saying that caffeine is more detrimental to IVF success than is it's just not worth the risk. I've also read (think it was from Dr. KK) that caffeine can reverse blood flow in the spiral arteries of the uterus...not sure if true, but apparently a skilled U/S tech can tell if you're drinking loaded coffee.

I soooo miss caffeine but found that my little one is way to sensitive too it.

I usually drink herbal tea or water, but sometimes I drink green tea (caffeinated).  I do love a good Turkish coffee or espresso sometimes, though, after a good dinner :). 

Very cool to see a poll in a blog! I will have to see if I can do this in wordpress on mine! :-)" (From Jem: I did this quiz on

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Mr. Jem had his first SA in ages yesterday. Clinic just called with the results:

No sperm. Zero. Zip


He told me he had a really hard time producing yesterday. Hopefully the next sample will be better. Or else it's testicular biopsy (again), which Mr. Jem definitely doesn't want.


Monday, December 13, 2010


Thursday, December 9, 2010

I wanna be a MI.LF!

The following scene played out in the kitchenette at work.

Her: Oh, Jem, you look nice today.
Me: Thanks. I'm going to the company holiday party after work and wanted to dress up.
Her: Oh, I won't be making it. 
Me: Going home to the baby?
Her: Yay. Enjoy the freedom!
Me: Enjoy the baby.

I'm not making this up. This woman has no idea of our struggle to conceive. She was jealous of me being able to go to the dumb corporate event. I would trade anything to be in her shoes, going home to a baby.

Then I noticed how slim she is. She gave birth mere months ago? How does she do it? Is it a fertile only thing? Made me realize I may never be a MI.LF. I'll be too old (Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.

Oh, and here is my updated calendar:
  • Hum.ira injection 12/15, 12/29
  • Last pill 12/31
  • Estradiol & ultrasound @ Z clinic1/2
  • Start micro dose injections 1/3
  • Start fsh injections 1/5
  • Intralipid infusion 1/6
  • Estradiol, prolatin, NK, TH & ultrasound @ Z clinic 1/11
  • Estimated retrieval 1/15-1/18 
  • Estimated transfer 1/18-23

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Still haven't heard back from the Z clinic if we can do 28 days of BCP instead of 21. I sure hope so. Today I'm scheduled for my first Hu.mira shot - not sure how to proceed.

For those of you out there wondering about the whole 3-day or 5-day transfer, which is best, check out this post.

Nothing else to report except I'm getting my hair trimmed today (exciting, no?).


Monday, December 6, 2010

For Emily + Antral follicle count + Plan w/ Dates!

For Emily
The first part of this post is for Emily, who commented on my last post. Emily is embarking on her first IVF. I didn't see that you had a blog, so I thought I'd answer your questions directly in my blog. Oh, and I'm touched you read my whole blog. It's been quite a year.

First off, Emily, don't be scared or freaked out by IVF. It will be okay. Yes, it's a big deal. Yes, the injections are intimidating at first, but you do get used to them. It can be daunting to receive a big box of drugs and needles. The nurses will teach you what to do. You will also rely on your husband/SO like you have never done before. Yes, it is surgery and all of it IS major. 

You can do this. It does help to know that there are a ton of us out here for you who understand and have been through it all. Oh, and if you insist on being freaked out, that's okay, too. You read my blog. I have had moments of pure terror. Perfectly normal.

Regarding clinics. The quality of the clinics in the SF Bay area are all good. Just because the clinic I used before didn't get us a baby, doesn't mean it isn't a great clinic with lots of BFPs. I would go back to them to do a donor egg cycle, if it came to that. I really like the people there and the doctors are great. Write to me at ambivalent.womb @ gmail. com and I'll tell you where I went. Just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for you.

We ARE putting our "last chance IVF" in the hands of Dr. Z. We finally met him on Saturday for my antral follicle count and really liked how he does all his own U/S and really took time with us without feeling rushed. He answered our questions. Mr. Jem wanted to know why he estimated only a 20% chance of us getting pregnant. he explained that from 38 to "not yet 40" women have around a 40% chance and it drops to 20% for women who are between 40 and "not yet 43." He also exuded confidence that we will be "treating aggressively" my Natural Killer Cells and other auto-immune issues.

Antral follicle count
I know you are all dying to know, right? 8 follies on the right and 7 on the left. I think he was expecting more and changed his initial guess at my protocol from Long Lup.ron to Micro dose Lu.pron protocol. I've already started BCP (oh, the irony) and the antibiotics. Mr. Jem will be making a deposit (to be analyzed and frozen) this coming Sunday.

Plan with dates
Here's the proposed calendar - we may do 28 days on BCP instead of 21 so we can have a bit of a vacation first over the holidays.
  • Start both partners 12/5
  • Back up semen sample @ the clinic 12/12
  • Hum.ira 12/7, 12/21
  • Birth control pills 12/4-12/24 (or 12/28 pushing the rest of the dates back by 1 week)
  • Estradiol & ultrasound @ ZFC 12/26
  • Start micro dose injections 12/27
  • Start fsh injections 12/29
  • Intralipid infusion @ the clinic 12/30
  • Estradiol, Prolactin, NK, TH & ultrasound @ the clinic 1/4
  • Estimated retrieval 1/8-11
  • Estimated transfer 1/11-16 
We have a plan, ladies and gentlemen! A real plan!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Falling apart?

The acupuncture yesterday helped only temporarily. I've been a raging beotch with Mr Jem for the past three days. This morning, after apologizing for him for the 15th time, I got up, went to work and only when I got to work did I realize that I forgot both deodorant and to put on my makeup. What? Why would I forget to do that? 

I feel like my world is slipping. This "prepping for IVF" has my head spinning.
Okay, I have to get back to work and actually GET SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED, dammit!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

CD1: take 3 (fer shizzle) - Updated

She's here!!!!!!! AF is here! The game is on!

Had a stressful crap day yesterday. The tension of waiting for AF was too much can you say PMS? Got home and my hum.ira rx was waiting for me. Only it needed to be refrigerated - I freaked out bcs Mr Jem should have seen the sticker on the box. I opened it up, and it was barely cold. Freak out. It should have been delivered yesterday, but he didn't hear the delivery guy knock. I'm afraid the cold chain was compromised. What to do?

Going to set my scan appointment today. Excited! Do I go back to acupuncture? it might help with my stress level. Oh, speaking of which, I bought and downloaded the Cirle and Bloom IVF meditation series. Like it, but still feel totally stressed.


Update: Freedom.Pharmacy is reshipping my order, no questions asked (yay!). I went and had acupuncture, plus an abdominal massage. Feel like 100 bucks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CD1: take 2

Okay, I thought yesterday would be CD1, but I was wrong. Just rusty spotting. Today looks the same. I've already made my antral follicle count appointment with Z Clinic for tomorrow... Might need to reschedule unless AF shows up. Pronto. I'm surprised it's not here already. Monday I had my typical PMS headache and moodiness. (No, I'm not PG, physically impossible!!!!)

Went to my local Resolve meeting yesterday. It was a little hard to be around so many people who are struggling with IF. Three of the six people there were embarking on donor egg cycles after 4 or 5 IVFs . One had lost her fetus at 21 weeks to a fluky infection. The other was contemplating living child-free. Egad. And then there was me, embarking on IVF #3, trying to stay hopeful. Gulp.

So, I need your positive thoughts - for this cycle, for AF to come in earnest now. 

Thank you all for your warm welcome back. I will be blogging and commenting much more now that I'm cycling.