Monday, January 31, 2011

Beta results

We got the call at the end of lunch.

"Bad news." 

HCG < 1. I can continue to the meds and test again Wed or stop meds and do a HPT just to confirm. But basically both options are just to confirm my BFN.


I'm teary, but numb. I don't want to do this anymore. My heart is breaking.
Oh, please don't say, "I'm sorry" if you comment - instead please share with me:
  • One thing you are grateful for in your life and/or 
  • One BFN indulgence I think should partake in (coffee/chocolate/whatever).
Thanks, Jem

Beta Day

The deed is done. I had my blood drawn at 6:15 a.m. 

I slept like shit. First, I couldn't find my iPod. I usually fall asleep listening to Circle + Bloom, or another meditation tape or a favorite podcast. Alas, I couldn't find the darn machine, so I read until 11:45 p.m. (a Hamish McBeth mystery). 

Speaking of podcasts, Mr. Jem and I went yesterday to the SF Sketchfest performance of the Sklarbro Country Podcast. Awesome. I love those guys. I laughed and laughed. Totally the best thing to do the last day of a 2WW. I even got a t-shirt signed by the twins! They are so cute, I just wanted to fold them up and put them in my pocket and take them home with me!

Last night I was woken multiple times by Mr. Jem's snoring, finally retiring to the guest room (your future nursery) to find some peace and quiet and cuddle with the cat, Sharky. I woke at 5:20 a.m. and then 5:40 and then was up to rush over the lab that opens the earliest in the area. Luckily, there wasn't a line so I was in and out in 10 minutes.

Now the true waiting begins. It was a STAT order, so Dr. Z will have the results in 4 hours. I don't know how they do things at his clinic - when they actually will call, so here's the plan for the rest of the day:

Work on a project I have due on Wednesday - I  have been procrastinating and will feel good putting in a couple hours of work, even on my day off. Really, I'll feel better.

Mr. Jem and I will then drive into the City and have lunch at a really nice restaurant that I've been wanting to go to for a while (I got a Group.on deal there and need to use the coupon). We'll meet my Aunt, who I love very much. She recently got diagnosed with Celiac Disease. They say it can be hereditary... during my recent food sensitivity test I wasn't sensitive to wheat.

After lunch, Mr. Jem and I plan on going to a museum, either this one, this one, or this one.

Hopefully we'll hear from the clinic by 2:00 p.m. I'll post results as soon as I can.

~Jem (still not peeing on sticks)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

9dp5dt: Nope

Nope, I'm not testing, that is. I don't know if I'm pregnant or not. Testing won't change this. So I'm NOT going to test today and just wait for my beta tomorrow. As Genevieve commented on my last post, I want to hang on to the "I'm pregnant" thing for as long as possible (even if I'm not convinced and won't be until I hear the results tomorrow).

Nope. No HPT or POAS for me.

Instead, Mr. Jem and I are going to the City to see the Sklar Brothers perform as part of the SF Sketchfest. Thought a little humor might be a good way to spend this rainy afternoon.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

8dp5dt: Panic

Folks, I think I'm having a panic attack. I have shortness of breath, and my brain is going a million miles a minute/ I feel like my hands are shaking and I'm grumpy and snapping at the mister for no reason. 

Just two more sleeps until beta and I'm going out of my mind!!!

So here's my question for you all: To pee on a stick or not. 

How many of you do pee before beta? If you do, how soon? My acupuncturist warned me that if I test today it could give me a false negative and I should wait until tomorrow. I see so many blogs where people start testing at trigger and don't stop. I've always thought that POAS was a the devil.

What would you do?


Friday, January 28, 2011

7dp5dt: Pom

Dear readers, last night I had acupuncture (she said my pulses were good) and fell asleep on the couch after gorging myself on gluten-free pepperoni and mushroom pizza from an amazing pizzeria near the acu appointment. I did not take the time to practice my guitar (I'll post about that tomorrow).

The purpose of this post is to share with you a piece of art that has special meaning to me. Here it is.

This is a watercolor by my very talented mother. She's lives up in Oregon, but visits often. She's heading down for 2 months in Mexico. I'll miss being able to call her every day like I currently do. Thank goodness for Skype.

Four sleeps until beta day!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

6dp5dt: Moxa

Thank you all for your encouraging comments on yesterday's post. Getting my feelings out there really helped me process them and now I feel I can actually free up some of my little gray cells to focus on other things, like work (that pays my mortgage and insurance) and actually enjoy work! I love what I do and have lost sight of that over the last couple of months. I feel a little panicked right now because I've allowed myself to get behind on projects. Nothing to do but jump right back in, right?

Tonight I leave work early to go to acupuncture. At my last appointment he could tell right away that I wasn't doing my moxa enough. I had only done it once a day, rather than twice. That scared me and I got Mr. Jem to be more supportive (he thinks it's all hooey) and have been doing the moxa religiously at  home. 

What's moxa? I thought I had posted a whole thing on this for a previous cycle and would able to just point you there, but alas I could not find the post (where did it go?). So moxa is...

I like the way this website described it (click to see a picture of what it looks like):

"Moxibustion is the application of heat to a specific area or point on the body. Along with acupuncture needles, moxibustion has become an integral part of the Oriental system of medicine. The term 'moxibustion' is derived from the Japanese 'Moe Kusa', meaning 'burning herb'. Moxa is obtained from the herbal plant 'Arternisia Vulgaris', also commonly called mugwort."

The important thing is that moxa is supposed to bring additional blood flow to the uterus. 

Okay, back to work!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

5dp5dt: I give up

As of yesterday I officially give up. I totally surrender. I'm waving the white flag. I don't have any symptoms except sore b00bs, but I've had those since even before stimming as I was on Estr.ace forever.

Last IVF cycle I was sure it was going to work and couldn't believe it was a straight forward BFN. This time I have had a positive outlook until yesterday. I just can't take it any more. I want my life back. I want my brain back, not this thing that has been entirely hijacked by IF, IVF, shots, hormones, you name it. I'm just so tired of it all. I have done all I can. Okay, I kinda messed up my meds (forgot to take my Fol.gard + dexa-whatever one day and then took too much the next - no big deal). Our PIO shots are going really well, which is different from the other times. I haven't used ice, just massage after the shot. My body is accepting this method much better. Oh, and I forgot to tell you all that I am also doing progesterone/estrodiole suppositories vaginally at night. Fun.

I just feel so tired and worn down by this process. As I was walking to my train last night I said to myself, "I give up. I can't even think of this anymore." Then what happened? Some homeless man starts yelling "Vagina!" at the top of his voice over and over. Perfect. I can't escape this, can I? (Actually it made me laugh, which helped.)

Monday is Beta day. I've requested the day off work. I'll draw the blood in the morning and then Mr. Jem and I want to go to the coast and take walks on the beach, maybe go to Golden.Gate park to a museum. In his words, "we need to celebrate the process no matter what the outcome."

I know I would be a basket-case if I tried to work that day.

Looking back at my previous cycles I see that this is the point where I "cry uncle." 

Why is this so g-d damn hard?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

2dp5dt: Show and Tell!

It's show and tell time!

The picture first shows the little stars moments after being inserted into my uterus. The second pic is a close-up of our little girls. #3 is a morula and #2 is developing into an early blast.

Aren't they cute?

Oh, and here's our "PreImplantation Genetic diagnosis of Numerical Chromosomes Anomalies Report." I thought I'd share with you all to show the level of detail Dr. Z went over with us before the transfer. Notice embies 2 and 3 are both XX (girls) and chromosomally normal while all the others had either not enough or too many chromosomes and would result in either a miscarriage or Downes or other syndromes.

Okay, that's show and tell for the day.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

1dp5dt: No frosties

Welcome to all you ICLW'ers! As you can see, I'm in the home stretch of IVF#3, having just transferred two XX chromosomes embies yesterday. We did PGS, which I am grateful for, as of the 11 embies, only two were normal. I'm a little sad to report that we don't have any frosties this cycle. Let's just hope we don't need them.

Thank you to you all, your help with my email to my step-dad, for all the well-wishes for our two little girls.

Only on the computer for a sec as I pledged to myself not to be on the computer as I'm resting. Mostly I'm reading, watching TV, napping in the sun, being waited on hand and foot by Mr. Jem. Might get to ICLW commenting tomorrow. Gotta keep up my iron commenter status, right?
Off to more relaxing...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Transfer day: all aboard!

Two chomosomally normal baby girl embies were successfully transferred today! I'm officially PUPO(pregnant until proven otherwise)!

We transferred one morula and one blast. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I'm on my computer (I'm posting from my iPod).

I'm so glad we had the genetic testing done. Yes, we decided to find out the sex of the embies. 8 of the 11 were female. None of the 2 normals were boys, tho. Poor Mr Jem - he wanted a boy. Of course he's happy with anything! His response, "she'll have your creativity and my athleticism." what's important is that we have two normals in me! Two out of 11 were exactly what Dr. Z had predicted for my 40 but not yet 43 age group.

Okay, back to relaxing!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Greed is not good (updated)

Following up on my last post...

Here's the email I ended up sending after getting an email from my step-dad this morning asking if he could set up a payment plan with the clinic.

Dear Step-dad:

The total cost of our IVF cycle will be $17,360. Mr. Jem's have sent us a check for one-third the cost. We had to put the full amount on our Visa card which will be due Feb 1st. The "payment plan with the clinic" ship unfortunately has sailed. We would have had to ask about that in December. I don't believe it's possible; we were told, check or credit card only.

I won't ask you for a specific amount or tell you when to send it. That puts me in a poop situation. Please just feel free to give what you can, when (and if) you want. No further negotiation or discussion is needed. Mr. Jem and I are both appreciative of anything you give. While we need help, we don't expect any and were touched when you offered.

I don't think I was clear about my needs earlier. I needed you to tell me either: "Jem, we can give $X." or "Sorry, I thought we could do it, but ..." and not drag this on.

This whole situation is now completely stressing me out, especially the part with mom calling me at work to tell me she will sell her car and how she's worried about you not being able to retire. Not realistic or helpful.

So, what I need right now are two things:
  1. Clarity from you as soon as possible. Again, please just feel free to give what you can, when and if you want, and just let me know your plans.
  2. I want the tension to be gone between us so I can concentrate on more important things, like creating a welcoming, healthy, stress-free womb for my babies who are coming home tomorrow!
I need you right now during this difficult time. Your support, whether it is emotional, financial, musical, gardening, golf or fishing-related is greatly appreciated. Always.

I love you., Jem

So, what do you think?
Now I'm washing my hands of this. My babies need me, dammit!!!!

Update: He already wrote me back saying he wants to contribute $500 per month. But then he put it back on me to say for how long... argggg!! I'm grateful and mad all at the same time.

I have to put this behind me, get back to work and leave on time, make my acupuncture appoint and get all zen for tomorrow's transfer.

The Dark Side of IVF (updated)

What is it, you ask? 

Money. Finances.

A couple of months ago as we were planning this cycle, which is 100% out of pocket, my parents said they would help out, as did Mr. Jem's parents.

I brought it up again at the beginning of the cycle and my step-dad said, "Just let us know how much it is, how much you want from us and we'll let you know what we can do."

My mom came to visit on Saturday and said, "Darn. I forgot the check. Call your step-dad on Monday (the day after my ER) to discuss this with him." When I called on Monday, I was really tired, in pain from the ER, from the constipation, and very emotional from worry about what's next, etc. You read that post; you know. That night he said, "Jem, don't worry about it. We want you to relax and concentrate on getting pregnant. Let's talk about this after your first pregnancy test." I reluctantly agreed. 

My nature is to just let things slide. This would have worked fine except yesterday I got a call from my mom. I was so upset by this call that it inspired me to write this email, which I have not yet sent. What to read it?  

Here goes:

Dear Step-dad,

For the sake of clarity, I want to put all of this in an email.

The total cost of our IVF cycle will be $17,360. Mr. Jem's parents have sent us a check for one-third the cost. We had to put the full amount on our Visa card which will be due Feb 1st.

On the weekend of your BIL's memorial service, you sat on our couch and told Mr. Jem and me that you were willing to help us. Months have passed and I have no idea what this means. Not knowing is creating stress and a wall between us. You say I can count on you, but then I get a call today at work from mom dramatically saying she will sell her car and about you not being able to retire if you help... While planning a two-month vacation to Mexico. 

It makes me want to run away and say, "Forget it -  I don't need your help." Please don't make offers you can't or won't or only reluctantly deliver. Don't make me come ask again and again, like for our wedding. It makes me feel like I'm not a priority. It's humiliating. If you want to help, then help. If you don't don't.

I don't want a wedge between us. I just want clarity and peace. I need you to tell me, "Jem, we can give $X." or "Sorry, I thought we could do it, but ..."

I don't want to talk on the phone about this, but I also don't wait until after my first pregnancy test for an answer. I need an answer asap so we can make appropriate financial arrangements. 

More importantly, I also want peace with you and peace of mind so I can concentrate on more important things, like creating a welcoming, healthy, stress-free womb for my babies.

Of course, no answer speaks volumes.

Love, Jem
So, what do you think? Should I send as is? Should I just let it drop and plan on them NOT sending any money, but if they do, that's great? I can dig into my retirement, my savings and make the full payment.

Mr. Jem is upset because they promised something and now it's getting all complicated and weird. He's mad at them for letting me down. They did the same thing seven years ago when we got married. 

It's also complicated by the fact that Mr. Jem is starting his own business right now and my parents are super critical of his not earning money right now.

Arrggggghhhhh!!!!!! I really don't need this shit right now. 



Update: The clinic just called. My transfer will be at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Jan 21. I guess this means that at least one of our embies has made it this far. We're expecting a call from Dr. Z after 5:00 p.m. today with the results of our genetic testing.

I have to remember to keep taking deep breaths.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doing better...

I'm actually at work today and am feeling so much better. I'm about three pounds lighter, which I hope is mostly just the swelling of my ovaries going down. I didn't eat much the last couple of days, tho. Nowhere to put it, I felt so full up. I upped my fiber intake, including eating a whole bag of prunes over three days. Not much action, but some, so I'm feeling better. I actually felt like eating last night and cooked halibut, grilled asparagus and rice. 

Please send good thoughts not only towards our 11 embies dividing and growing but also for my father who had surgery yesterday. 18 months ago he had major surgery to correct an aortic aneurysm. It was a 10-hour ordeal with many days in the hospital. He has recovered nicely until up to a couple of months ago when his left leg started bothering. He went back to his surgeon who discovered that he wasn't getting any blood to his left leg. Thus the operation yesterday to correct this. 

His surgeon described yesterday's procedure as a "house cat" compared to the "mountain lion" from two summers ago. He's healing nicely, but I believe the more prayers and good thoughts out there for him, the better. 

Thank you.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Home sick today. My stomach is still a mess, what with the pain of recovering from ER plus um, excuse my TMI, constipation. Severe constipation. It's like I have a brick in my gut. I've had to force myself to eat, and if you know me, you'd know it's not how I am. Usually I love to eat, have a great appetite and am quite regular.


I slept most of the day and am off to my guitar lesson. I'll be back at work tomorrow. Actually, it was my boss who suggested I take today off to recover, rather than working from home. How's that for support?

Tonight is our first Progesterone in Oil (ethyl oleate) shot. Wish us luck.


Monday, January 17, 2011

IVF #3: Fert Report

Of the 28 eggs harvested yesterday, 22 were mature and all were fertilized via ICSI with Mr. Jem's fresh sample. This came as huge news to Mr. Jem who was having all kind of trouble with not being able to produce.

Of those 22 eggs, 11 were fertilized, exactly 50% fertilization percentage. I was a little bummed that our number isn't higher.

We are going to PGS testing of the chromosomes of the embies and are planning on a Day 5 Transfer this Friday.

Progesterone shots begin Tuesday.
This is where it gets hard-core, folks. I wasn't worried at all up until now. Now I feel a bit totally stressed. And worried. I so want the embies to be "normal" and for us to have enough of them. I've done everything humanly possible to make this work. Why do I feel depressed? Why can't I just be happy with Mr. Jem that about his being able to use the fresh sample? He's all happy and I just want to cry. I know I should be happy that 11 of our babies are dividing and growing in the lab. I know I have to send them happy, positive vibes across the bay... It might have to do with the fact that my tummy feels super heavy (minor OHSS) and I want to cry and crawl into a little whole and make all this crap just go away. I wonder if the est.race was making me all happy and now that I'm off it, bleh. 

Yes, I guess I do need a bit of a pep talk. I should be very happy with these results. Instead I just feel bleh.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Egg Retrieval Report

Head is still swirling from the good drugs... but wanted to let you all know the good news: 28 eggies!

Okay, now I'm going to watch a football game (Go Pats!) and doze.



Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 11: Trigger! (updated)

Scan went really well today. I was convinced I hadn't progressed much since Tuesday, but all 22 follies (Yippee!) had in fact grown. The biggest were all measuring 18 mm, which Dr. Z said was his sign to "go for it." Lining is a nice 9 mm. I'm waiting for my call-back with my E2 levels and a report on Mr. Jem's SA (yes, he "gave" again today, in search of live, motile sperm!).

So, yup. It's Trigger Day! At 9:00 p.m. exactly I'll be doing my HCG shot to trigger ovulation in exactly 36 hours after the shot. Egg Retrieval will be Sunday morning at exactly 9:00 a.m. 

I'm the only ER that morning. My Natural Killer cells are still elevated, so they'll just change out my IV drugs for Intralipids after ER.

I'm so excited about this cycle and ER. I'm glad it's on Sunday so I'll have all day Monday to relax and recover, too. I might work from home on Tuesday. We'll see how I feel.

Speaking of work, I better get back to it. I have a deadline today that I have to meet. My mother is in town, from the Pacific Northwest (where I went to High School) and is staying with my aunt. I want to be available to see them. They might come visit here tonight or tomorrow.

Okay, folks, we're really doing this! Hi-ho, Trigger, Away! (I couldn't resist).

Update: E2 = 4,743 "good rise" considering I've been taking 4 mg of Estr.ace daily and have 22 follicles producing away. I did tell the nurse who called me with the update that I was starting to feel uncomfortable. She's going to consult Dr. Z who may put me on water restriction. Maybe having pizza (gluten-free) with mushrooms and pepperoni for lunch wasn't a great idea)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What was I thinking?

Let's just say wearing control-top panty-hose on CD 10 of stims is a BAD idea. I had to strip them off mid-day yesterday because I felt like I was being chopped in two!

Like this, only less cute.

Nothing else to report except the clinic lowered my med levels to 150 of Folli.stim twice a day instead of 225. As a result, things have settled down in my lower abdominal area and I don't feel like jumping Mr. Jem every 5 minutes. Let's just say that NO jumping is going on at all and hasn't been for a while. (Thanks, IF!) Other than that, I continue to feel good physically - I'm eating super clean - eating lean protein, lots of veg, whole grains and avoiding wheat when possible. Oh, and no caffeine (including chocolate), no alcohol (of course).

My next scan in Friday morning. We'll learn if ER will be Sunday or Monday.

That's all folks!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I heart Circle + Bloom

I love, love, love love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love Circle + Bloom

"What is it?" you ask. Well, it's a set of guided meditations that I have downloaded to my mp3 player. There is a separate, unique short guided imagery for every couple of days of your cycle that give you relaxation and other visualization exercises. I purchased the one that specific to IVF for obvious reasons, but they have other products for natural cycles, PCOS, and more. I've tried other audio CDs with guided meditation and this is THE BEST.

I love how each segment is different and absolutely right for where I am in my cycle. My mom and aunt both say that I am much more relaxed for this third IVF.

Want to know more? Heck, here's a cut and paste from their website (as they say it best):

Benefits Include
  • Specific visualization for the IVF / IUI cycle for optimum stress reduction and leveraging your innate mind-body connection.
  • Reduce stress each and every day of your medicated cycle.
  • Feel in greater control over your body and health by taking time for yourself every day for an enjoyable, relaxing, “massage” for the mind.
  • Learning to use the brain to connect with the body through guided visualization can potentially bring about a physical response to improve fertility and well-being.
  • Ability to listen to special sessions for egg retrieval and implementation while the procedures are being done.
Program Features
  • 18 unique sessions that progress with you through your IVF or IUI cycle.
  • Designed to fit into your schedule easily and can be listened to either daily or every other day.
  • Each session includes (i) deep relaxation; (ii) therapeutic visualizations (mind-body); and (iii) emotional awareness exercises.
  • The sessions are organized into the following categories:
  • Precycle Sessions: Three unique sessions to be used prior to your cycle start date to help optimize your body preparedness.
    • Cycle Sessions: Starting with Cycle Day (“CD”) 1+2, we have one unique program for each two-days in a combination set. In total: CD1+2, 3+4, 5+6, 7+8, 9+10, 11+12
    • Trigger Shot / Egg Retrieval Special Session: One special session designed specifically for the trigger shot and egg extraction (or ovulation if IUI) to help your body best prepare for the shot and the procedure.
    • Cycle Day 13+14: Designed to be listened to prior to the transfer.
    • Transfer / Insemination Special Session: Designed to be listened to prior, during and after the transfer or insemination procedure when stress reduction, and feelings of openness are of prime importance.
    • Two Week Wait Sessions: CD 16+17, 18+19, 20+21, 22+23, 24+25, 26+27 to help your body continue building progesterone and uterus preparation for implantation.
  • Each program averages between 13 – 16 minutes, with a few of the special programs running as long as 19 minutes.
  • Our programs should qualify for reimbursement under Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), check with your companies benefits team for more information.

No, I'm not getting paid for this plug. I just love the program and highly recommend it to anyone who is completely stressed out by IVF. And I know that's most of us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CD 8 (day 7 of stims): 11 + 11 on 1/11/11 (updated)

Had my scan this morning. I had 11 follicles on my right side and 11 on the left, the biggest measuring 12 and 13 mm. Dr. Z (who does each scan) was very happy with the scan. 

I also had blood drawn, to test my E2 and my prolactin. Oh, and to test my NK and other immunological issues. Hopefully the intralipids and Hum.ira shots took care of that. If not, I'll have another intralipid after retrieval. My next scan is Friday and we're looking at ER on Sunday or Monday, depending how things progress on Friday. I'm so glad we have Martin Luther King's Birthday off.

I'm super excited about this cycle - I know  you can can tell because you've commented on my positive tone.

On a less positive front, Mr. Jem's latest SA came up zero again. He'll give another on Friday and then the day of ER. So glad we have frozen back up!!!!!!!

Lower belly is starting to burn with all the activity down there!


Update: The clinic just called my Pro.lactin is good at 19 but my E2 is a bit high at 1,958 (they wanted anything above 350) so they are lowering my doses of Folli.stim down from 225 to 200 for tonight and then down to 150 IU (twice a day) until Friday, when I have my next scan. I'm still taking the microdose Lu.pron.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you that my lining is rocking at 8mm already! Yippee! Last IVF I had a hard time getting to 8 mm.

Symptoms? Still have sore b00bs. Now add the cervical mucus and some sexy pheromones - who turned up the heat in here?! I'm not talking hot flash, I'm talking sexy feelings. Watch out, Mr. Jem!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Something going on down there

It's CD 7, day 6 of stims and I am finally starting to feel the affect of the drugs... my lower abdomen is starting to feel full, and I feel a popping sensation down there. "Where?" you ask. Well, if you take your two hands and make a triangle with your thumb and forefingers and place the tips of your thumbs at your belly button, the popping is happening at the tips of my little fingers. Get the picture?

Other than that and sore b00b, no symptoms. I feel great!


Friday, January 7, 2011


Yesterday was a big day for two reasons:

1) I had my first intralipid infusion. It was a little anti-climatic in that they plugged me into an IV and I sat there for an our as milky-white liquid dripped into me. Luckily we brought a cd with the first season of It's_Always_Sunny_in_Philadelphia so we laughed the whole hour. For the last few minutes I listened to my Circle + Bloom guided meditation. I felt so good, calm, zen. I received the intralipid in the room they use for prep and recovery for egg retrieval, so I feel good knowing where I'll be going in a week. It's just day 3 of stims so egg retrieval is estimated for between Jan 15-18, depending on how I respond (come on follies! Do your thing and make beautiful, healthy, mature eggs for us!).

My experience with Dr. Z has been very positive. I like that he does all the scans and we LOVE his bedside manner. When we saw him right after New Years and asked him if he ever went on vacation, he answer with a great big smile, "I hate vacations!" He always takes the time to answer our questions and his in-cycle nursing staff is awesome! (pre-cycle, less so, but not horrible). The clinic is very well organized, and very clean with and Asian theme (his wife is Asian). There are a ton of hoops to jump through, but we've sailed through so far. the latest hoop was they asked us to have a conversation with a woman who is both a psychologist and a family lawyer because there's a possibility of us using donor sperm (yes, sperm!) this cycle. Has anyone else been asked to do this for donor sperm?

2) The second big event yesterday was that we delivered our 9 vials of sperm (8 are Mr. Jem's, 1 is donor) to the new clinic. The old clinic lent us a two-foot tall metal travel canister, which I put in the foot-well of the car between my feet for the 40 minute drive to Dr. Z's clinic. Mr. Jem and I giggled about if we got pulled over we wouldn't know what to say if the officer asked, "What's in the canister?"

Other news: we had visitors yesterday, a very nice couple who used to live on our cul-de-sac. What was nice was that two sets of our current neighbors came to see the visitors, and came with their kids, so we had two 4-y-o boys running through the house being chased by their 15-m-o brothers. It was so wonderful to hear the pidder-pat of kids' feet, to hear their laughter, to play ball with them. After they left I turned to Mr. Jem and said, "This is why we are going through the paperwork, the injections, the prodding, the surgery. To have THAT! I want that!" He nodded at me, eyes shining. "You really want a boy, don't you?" I asked. All he could do was nod. I saw it all in his eyes. Hey, we are doing PGS, so theoretically we could know the sex of our future baby before it's deposited back in me... Of course, I just want A BABY. I don't care if it's a boy or a girl. Just give me that baby!!!!!!!!!

Wow, this post turned out longer than I had thought it would be. I do love all your comments and appreciate  your support. And your questions. I did ask Dr. Z about DNA fragmentation and he said that his clinic doesn't do it anymore because they didn't see any benefit to their patients. They found that there were no more pregnancies as a result of choosing "better" sperm than more fragmented sperm. In any case, we don't have enough to do any such procedures, so the point is moot.

Okay, I better get back to work! Love you guys!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CD2 - Stims

Not sure why, but today is officially CD2, but first day of stims. I used a Gonal-F pen for the first time. Or rather, Mr. Jem used it. I've gotten good at giving myself the Lup.ron twice a day, but the pen scared me this morning. Good thing it didn't sting like Meno.pur.evil does. I'm so glad that I don't have that drug in my protocol this time. My next monitoring appointment is on Tue, Jan 11. In the meantime, I have my first intralipid injections tomorrow, to reset my immune system and wipe out those nasty NK (natural killer) cells.

I went to my regular doctor today to get blood drawn to see if my Vitamin D level has improved after 8 weeks of high doses of D. I'm hoping it is way up and in the normal range. there's some research out there that suggests a link to infertility and Vitamin D deficiency. Stork Stalking had an interesting post about vitamin D (now I can't find the link darn it!).

Anyway, I better get back to work. I'll report back on how the intralipids go.


Update: since you asked, no, my body doesn't feel different yet. My b00bs were sore when I started taking Estr.ace, but have settled down. No activity in the ovaries yet. No moodiness, spontaneous tears or other emotional issues yet, either.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lu.pron Monday

I'm feeling very lucky today. First Lu.pon shot this morning - no problem, no symptoms (knock on wood). Plus I don't  have to work today. Taking care of paying for this cycle - out of pocket - and acupuncture is about all I can handle in one day.

A friend sent me this New York Times article about third-party reproduction. It's a long article, and interesting to see what someone with seeming unlimited funds can do to get "twins." I wish we all had such options. Mr. Jem and I have to have a psychological evaluation before ER to make sure we're okay with using donor sperm. Using donor is our last resort option. We will transport the 7 frozen vials (plus + vial of donor) from our previous clinic to the new one on Thursday. Oh, they did find a couple of good, motile sperm in Mr. Jem's last sample, which they froze. We'll do two more samples to freeze before ER. We are very determined to make this work. Very determined.

Happy New Year! I have a good feeling about all the good things to come this year!