Monday, January 25, 2010


Thank you to everyone for your comments on my last couple posts. I continue to be amazed by this blogging community.

One of the other things I talked about last week with my new RE is lifestyle and specifically three of my loves - coffee, alcohol and exercise. I breathed a sigh of relief when she said everything is fine in moderation.

I know it should be easy for me to give up my morning latte and my evening glass of wine, but it's not. I've given them up for a few weeks or a few months here and there over the last few years. And, I'd be happy to do it again if I knew it would work...or I thought it would work...or someone told me it would work. But, when I'm years into this battle and the timeline seems infinite, giving up these little pleasures just stresses me out. And, in my heart, I really don't believe they are the problem. So, I'm glad I got the green light to continue to enjoy these small comforts. HOWEVER, I think I'll always feel a little bit of guilt, no matter how many people tell me it's ok. I can't win either way!

As for exercise, she said that working out regularly is fine. She even encouraged me to do some non-impact exercise during an IVF cycle! So, I've started running more again in addition to the yoga I've been doing recently. I'm planning to do a triathlon and marathon in the fall...not really moderate, but if I get to that point and I'm still not pregnant, I'm going to need a release. For now, I'm just excited to be able to "pick up the pace" a bit. One of my pet peeves is that several of our friends that know about our IF struggles, have told me or DH that I need to work out less. They inevitably have some story about someone they know that gave up exercise and got pregnant...blah, blah, blah. Needless to say, this always pisses me off because they know nothing about our specific situation and usually very little about IF in general. I have never had problem getting my period or ovulating. I am really health and balanced. And, exercise is a huge stress-reliever for me. Not to mention that the conception of my last pregnancy (natural cycle), occurred the weekend I did the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon! Can you tell I'm defensive about this topic?

Anyway, I'm just glad that, as I go into these next cycles, I don't have to change my lifestyle significantly.

In other news, we went on the ski trip from hell this weekend. DH and I were planning to go to Tahoe for both days but then he decided we should only go Saturday because he wanted to devote his energy to the NFL playoffs. He is a HUGE Vikings fan (ugh...tough loss). Anyway, we decided to just go up Saturday. We have a small car and the weather was stormy so we decided to take a "ski bus". I figured we could sleep on the bus and it could plow through the bad weather. Oh, how wrong I was. We left at 4am and by 7:30am we were about an hour from the resort. The bus put on chains and that took an hour. Shouldn't a ski bus be faster than that? Then, we started slipping with the chains and the highway patrol made us pull over until they gave us the green light....which happened over 3 hours later. We were literally sitting on the side of the road for HOURS. We finally arrived at the ski resort after 1pm and made it to the lift by 2pm. I admit that the 2 hours of skiing were excellent, but then it was time to turn around and go home. 14 hours of driving and 2 hours of skiing. Never, never again. Oh well.

Next step on the fertility front....saline sonogram of my uterus sometime in the next week. Can't wait for that....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Fresh Perspective Goes A Long Way

Hello to ICLW folks...If you're new to my blog, "welcome and thanks for stopping by". I'm going to skip overview of me (you can see a little to the side or read my previous posts), and just go straight to what's on my mind...

This week I had an appointment with a new RE (I've been seeing my old RE for three years). I was really nervous about the appointment (i.e. worried getting sad or flustered), but I left with my spirits raised. She was very kind and knowledgeable. More importantly, she was decisive and optimistic. There is something about a "fresh start" that makes me feel more hopeful.

Overall, she says she is not that worried about my egg quality, whereas my old RE seems quite concerned. She thinks I'm young enough and my other test results look good. And, she reminded me that I have a 75-80% of carrying my next pregnancy to full term. The odds are still on my side if I can get pregnant again. I did it once in 2008, and once in 2009 ....

After reviewing my previous IVF cycles, she wants to do things a bit differently. She wants to do the transfer on day 3 rather than day 5. This is because we tend to have lots of top quality embryos on day 3 and only a few on day 5. She said some people's embryos don't do as well in the lab, and the lab is not as good as the body. I like this idea because it will probably mean there are more embies to freeze for FET, which is so much easier than a fresh cycle. She also wants to go a little easier on the stimulation and aim for 10-12 eggs rather than close to 20. She thinks by pushing as hard as we did on the ovaries/eggs, my eggs and body were not in peak form (this is my lame attempt at a much more scientific explanation).

I'm very willing to try this new IVF protocol. But, first, here's the kicker, she wants me to go back to Clomid + IUI for three cycles. It seems funny that in my fourth year of trying (I am a veteran people!), I'm back to "basics". But, I understand her rationale. After my natural pregnancy last summer, it shows my tubes, etc. work so IVF shouldn't necessarily be required. And, I only did one IUI (with follistim) before IVF. And, I only tried Clomid one cycle. But, I am skeptical of taking Clomid. The one time I took it, I ended up developing ovarian cysts that lasted for like 4 months. I never wanted to try it again because it delayed the process. And, my old RE always said we could skip it. But, I talked to her about this and she still wants to try. So, in the spirit of exhausting all our options, we'll give it another go.

So, we'll start a Clomid-IUI cycle in a month. In the meantime, I'm going to get a few more tests, but nothing too invasive.

Oh, and I'll just bury this in here, I'm not pregnant per HPT today. But, I was already moving on...

So, I look at the new plan on paper, and I see what is sure to be no fun at all. I see that I am sort of stepping backwards in terms of protocols and wonder how Clomid will work when the "big guns" have failed. I know that despite the new RE's optimism, this is not going to be easy. I remember how many times I've been disappointed and crushed throughout this process and how it's likely to continue. I know all this yet I feel hopeful. And, that counts for something, right?

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Lost Friendship

Many of my friendships have suffered as a result of my struggles with infertility. But, the state of one of my friendships is particularly troubling to me. I will refer to her as L.

I met L about 11 years ago when I was 24. She was 32 and married. We would go out with a group of girlfriends and have a grand old time. We would talk about our careers, men, sex, fashion, food and all sorts of things. At the time, I was in relationship, but marriage and especially kids were far, far from my consciousness.

As the years went by, the kid thing started to enter my radar screen. And, by the time I was 29, it kind of donned on me that L didn't have kids yet. And, I learned that she was having trouble getting pregnant. I didn't really do anything with this knowledge. Basically, I just never brought it up. Frankly, I was kind of scared of the topic. I'm not sure why, but talking about having kids was always a very private, difficult to talk about subject for me. And, for some reason, I always thought I might have hard time getting pregnant. I now regret not supporting her more during this time.

A few years later, I got hired at L's company. And, we starting working (and still do) in very close proximity, on an open trading floor. At this point, I was engaged and had started to think about having kids. And, L was still not pregnant. I continued to be fearful of raising the topic but a few times she mentioned she had been trying for many years and all I could offer was "I'm sorry". At another point she told me that she had been able to get pregnant but had had multiple miscarriages. Again, I had few words to offer. On top of this, her marriage was falling apart (this is something we did talk about at length), partly due to the infertility struggles. And, she ended up getting divorced at age 39. I can't imagine having dealing with infertility and a strained marriage (thank you DH!). She had been through so much.

The good news is, she soon met someone else and got pregnant (naturally) a few months into her 40s. By this time, I was a year or so into the "trying" phase. Even though it stung to see another friend pregnant, I felt so happy for her given her past. I shared this with her and confided in her about my struggles. She was understanding and said she was "there if I needed her". A few times over the next year or so, I shared things such as when I started an IVF cycle and the pain I felt after my first miscarriage. She had some nice and empathetic words for me. But, there was never any follow up. It's now a year and half later and she provides almost no support for me on the IF front. She never even asks if we're doing ok. We'll be in a private place and she'll ask me about some random work thing or whatever. I didn't tell her about my last miscarriage.

This hurts beyond belief. Some days, I am simmering with anger when I see her at work, thinking that she is really not a friend. I admit that when she was going through it all, I was far, far from the friend I should have been. But, I was ignorant. I don't understand how someone that has gone through it would not help another. IF has made me more compassionate and understanding of other going through IF or really any difficult life challenge (e.g. loss of a parent, difficult marriage, etc.). I've learned to be a better listener. I've learned not to shy away from difficult topics with friends as this is what most people do and it's really easy to feel alone. I feel that anyone who goes through multiple years of infertility and multiple miscarriage should have a special bond. But, L and I have only grown apart.

Infertility is a very private matter. And, I shouldn't judge others for how they deal with it. All of us are just trying to make the most of the crappy hand that we've been dealt. But, I still fixate on reasons why L behaves like this:

1. Maybe she was really hurt that I wasn't a better friend during her struggles (again, justified but it's different)
2. Maybe she really hated sharing and talking about her own issues and figures I want to be as private as possible. However, I've opened my heart to her a few times so I feel like she should know I need her.
3. Maybe it's too painful for her to revisit the subject. She needs to move onto her "new life".

Whatever the case, I feel like L is no longer a friend. And, I want to tell her that. But, because we work in the same room everyday, I don't think I can. I've thought about having a heart to heart with her or writing her a letter, but again, I am worried about the fallout and the work situation. So, I'm writing it here, hoping this will help get it off my chest a bit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stay Away Ms. Crazy

I'm on CD18 (5DPO). I decided take progesterone supplement (prometrium) this cycle, and I'm also ingesting all sorts of tasty (or not so much) herbs from my acupuncturist. So far, this 2WW hasn't turned me into Ms. Crazy, but that will probably start in another 5 days or so.

We also have our appointment with the new RE next week. I'm nervous. It's going to be hard to open myself up to someone new. For some reason, I lose all my confidence in front of Dr.'s. I get shy and sad exactly when I don't want to. I'm scared she won't have compassion. I'm worried she will be stumped by our case. I'm dreading going back into managed cycles, even though I want to move this train forward. Since I'm concerned about falling apart at the appointment, I wrote up a 1-page summary of us including questions and thoughts at the top of my mind. I hope it helps.

Anyhow, all in all, I'm feeling alright. So, what else is going on with me?
  • I got my hair straightened this weekend. I have sort of curly/frizzy hair and now it is straight and smooth. I just wake up and brush it. So exciting. Maybe my curly hair has been preventing me from getting pregnant? This must be it....
  • I never made any 2010 resolutions. Usually I do, but it just didn't happen. I think all the little things I try and do seem kind of meaningless compared to the big picture. And, "have a baby" doesn't work as a resolution.
  • The newest season of the Bachelor is on, and what a title: "The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love". The whole show is redonkulous, but I am already addicted. As far as Jake goes, he's not my favorite. He's definitely a little too nice (Yes, I don't like people that are too nice), and he needs to keep his shirt on more often. Yes, he has a nice body, but it's clear that the season is going to be filled with gratuitous shots.
  • I'm focused on fun trips in the coming year. There is going to be some skiing, maybe a yoga/surf retreat, and some sort of international trip (portugal and african safari are currently under consideration). Of course, I just want to get pregnant and eat bon bons this year...but god know I can't assume that's going to happen.
  • I want it to rain more! Yes, it's strange. Maybe it's the Oregon girl in me.
Nothing too exciting here...but boring can be good.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Once again, it looks good

I went to get a mid-cycle u/s at my RE's office today. I haven't had one in about 10 months (I did IVF FET last March, followed by laparoscopy followed by pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy, miscarriage and then a few months of naturally trying) and I wanted to make sure everything appears to be ok. And, as usual, it does. It's always kind of encouraging when my uterine lining looks good and my egg count looks high. My RE said that if he was looking at me for the first time he would never think that egg quality was an issue because my count is average to above average. I'm on CD11 and he said the follicle on my right side looks ready to go and he expects that I'll ovulate very soon. He did say that the follicle was large for day 11 and an early surge (short first part of cycle) could be a sign of low egg quality. Anyway, bottom line is that everything looks good. But, I know looks can be deceiving. I pretty much always get an A on these tests. And, obviously I've got issues.

I also talked to him about taking progesterone supplements. My acupuncturist thinks I exhibit some signs of a deficiency. Me RE says diagnosing one is basically impossible but he has no problem with me taking some in the latter part of my cycle. I'm not sure if I should do it or not. I am grasping at straws.

Anyway, I guess it's time to give it another go. We still have our "second opinion" appointment on 1/19.

In other news, I stayed home from work today due to a cold. I've been feeling pretty crappy and while I could have suffered through the day at work, I just wasn't up to it. I've been able to get some cleaning, organizing, christmas undecorating, etc. done today and it's making me feel more ready to start the new year.