Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Budding Pumpkins

I got the BFN today.  Sad.  Disappointed.  Hurt.  Tired.  Dreading the painful cramps and the unrelenting not knowing why it didn't happen thoughts.   Right now I am just going through the motions, keeping myself going with the mundane things of life...laundry, dishes, lesson plans...

The worst part for me is I had this secret hope that I would be able to call my mom on her birthday (tomorrow) with some special news, not gonna happen.  I've been really lucky in that my mom is not one to ask every week when a grandkid will come along.  She's actually never really asked.  We've discussed it, but she's never pressed the issue.  When I told her about our IF she was really supportive and had the 'if it happens it happens' attitude.   I kept her updated during my first cycle, but for some reason this one I couldn't do it.  I ended up not telling anyone that I was going through another round.  I don't know which is better.

What's next for us?  Our follow-up with our RE isn't until 10/13 - I wish we didn't have to wait so long - I think he's going on vacation or something.  Well we have 3 frozen embies and I remember the RE mentioning that he likes to transfer 3 for an FET.   Our follow up is just over a week b4 my next expected visit from AF.  I don't know if I'll rest a cycle or what.  Maybe spend another month getting in shape mentally and physically.   Oh, how I wish I wasn't writing about this.

After that?  Right now I can't think that far.  Right now my brain is taken up by separating and folding clothes.  I think I might take a brake from blogging for a bit - I might do some lurking and comments, but for now this will be my last post for a bit.  Thanks to everyone who has posted comments and given me positive vibes - it helps to get through some of those tough spots.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lazy Days Almost Done

I was considering going into work this morning, the tail end of my 72 hours bed rest.  I, well, DH and I, decided that I should just kick back with my feet up until the timer runs out, which will be around noon today.  It's funny, I keep thinking that at 12 o'clock I'm going to jump off the couch and start dancing or something.   Mondays & Wednesdays are long days for me in that I end up staying at work (an extra 2 hours) until I have to go to an evening class.  It's a traffic thing.  So, it'll be a nice transition back into my normal schedule to skip work today but still go to my evening class.

We had some good news over the w.e.  The embryologist called and told us that 2 embryos made it to freezing.  One was already hatching!  The other, although in early blastocyst stage, had good quality so he was confident it would do fine.   That puts us at 3 snowbabies, which is how many our RE likes to have to do a FET.

Beta day is Sept 23, day before my mom's birthday.  I didn't poas last time and I've read so many blogs posing both sides but I think I will wait this time as well.  I know it sounds really crazy, but if I get a positive beta I'm going to go and poas, just so I can see that positive - I guess I'm just a little too nervous to do it before hand.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

24 hours in

Yesterday at this time I was experiencing a form of bliss.   I was lying down listening to pleasant music out of a dream, all light drums, chimes, and string instruments.   I was warm and comfortable and feeling very light.  I wasn't thinking about being nervous or about all the things that could go wrong - did my morulae stop developing?  The "what if?" questions seemed to slip away and I focused on the positive, I actually felt like everything was going to be alright.   I again decided to have a session of acupuncture right before my transfer.  Of course for every minute we had to sit and wait in the transfer room for the doctor and embryologist, I lost an ounce of relaxation I had gained.  Luckily we didn't have to wait that long :-)

My last post I questioned if this cycle was going to be different.  Well, up until ER, everything was mostly the same, and my outlook was anything but positive.  But, things took a left turn after my retrieval on Sunday.  They retrieved 4 more eggs (27).  Good.   Sunday afternoon & night, very constipated.  Bad.  Monday, a little constipated and quite a bit of discomfort moving and walking.  Not good.  Oh, and PIO shots hurting a lot more.  Bad.  Find that belly button is bruised.  What?  Weird.  Doesn't hurt, so not good or bad, just weird.  And finally the day one embie report: 10 fertilized!  Yeah!  We had 8 last time.  Great!  Then came the day 2 "decision day":  We were going for a 5 day transfer.   Another difference - great!  Oh and one weird report.  Of our 10, the day three report came back with them at 3,4,5,6,7, and 8 celled.  All in order weird huh?

Well, by day four we had 2 morulae and 2 compacting and yesterday we had 3 blasts with 1 morulae and 1 compacting.  We ended up transferring 3 blasts!  I had heard that they don't like to transfer more than two blasts, but since only one of ours was of a 'good-good' quality they decided to increase our chances.  Our clinic uses a good-fair-poor quality scale on first the cells that will make up the fetus, then a second grade for the cells that make up the placenta.  I've read about the other blastocyst grading system using a number then two letters (like 4AA), seems to give a little bit more info, but I guess I'm not sure what I would do with that!  Maybe sometimes less is better?

I found a cool site that gives lots of pictures of eggs and embryos at the different stages.   Of course I spent the morning comparing my pictures with theirs - to be honest, I can't tell what I'm looking at!
It seems like a really good clinic, is there is anyone who has been to this one in Chicago?

So, here I sit relaxing and waiting on the couch, trying not to analyze every twinge.  TV, reading, video games, some work, and of course blogging...

Oh, the doctor told me what caused my belly button (it sounds so kid-like to call it that, but I have no idea what else to call it) to bruise - during the retrival the needle must have nicked something and some blood moved up the ligaments that attach the belly button to the uterus.   He hasn't seen it often, has this happened to anyone else?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What's Different About This Cycle?

Not much.  So far all of my appointments have fallen on the same day of the week.  My baseline u/s found similar follie numbers as my first cycle.  And at my appointment yesterday when I asked the nurse if things have changed, she told me only a little.    She said they wanted things to go a little slower than last cycle, but so far it's been the same?  They lowered my Follistim dose from 150IU to 100IU, but is it working?  I like to believe that the number of follicles doesn't tell ALL, that it's quality not quantity.  And, we won't know quality until we know the number of embryos & their subsequent development.  So, the questions I have: Did my having 23 eggs retrieved compromise the quality of all of them? (18 mature/only 4 made it)   Will this slower protocol & dhea improve quality?  Ugggh I hate this not knowing.   But there in lies that beauty - Hope.

Well, if things stay status quo I'll have my ER next Sunday, but maybe this time could I have a day 5 transfer?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Coming around the first bend

I can see the first hurdle in sight - the baseline.  It's scheduled for Monday morning.  It's kinda funny, but my first IVF cycle baseline was the last Monday of the month too.  I wasn't surprised about starting on Saturday since AF likes to come on the weekends not during normal business hours.  

Last cycle I started my stims on the day of my baseline, and I'm expecting to do the same.  I knew I should've run out to the pharmacy on Friday, but I had painters at my house until 4pm and things just seemed kinda hectic.  Here's hoping that the pharmacy (which of course is closed Sat & Sun) has Follistim on hand and I won't be on some wild goose chase all around Southern California looking for drugs!  Well, I guess there is always Mexico right?  At least I have all my other pills ready to go.

My husband said something interesting this morning.  I took some cuttings from a few succulents around our yard and placed them in small pots so I can keep a close eye on them.  This morning I pointed this out to him and he was like, "you've got quite a little nursery going there".   This side comment, one I'm not sure he connected to our IF issues, made me feel a little sad and it bothered me.  In the last few days, especially as my cycle is beginning, I've been thinking a lot about the power of being positive.   Being sad will not help my positiveness.  IF aside, I will always be nurturing.  I'm a teacher, gardener and animal lover, it's in my nature to care for things and nothing can change that.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Starting Line

I took my first pill of estrace today - the official start of IVF#2! I've been so used to my standard regiment of 3 pills (prenate, blood pressure pill, & dhea) that I totally forgot to take the estrace. Whoops!  

I went back to work today, oh was it fun.  I usually dread our staff development days only because in the past they would make us do these silly team building activities, but today no games - I actually felt like the day was productive!  Amazing.  I was also floored that there were no pregnancy announcements - not yet anyway.   I'm also surprised that I didn't get upset at hearing about all the new babies (6 one just announced today!)

The weird thing is that I didn't feel like talking to anyone.  I had planned on returning to school pregnant, and now that it didn't happen I guess I felt like I had nothing to talk about. Writing that down, wow, how warped does that sound?   The whole day, I just couldn't get it out of my head what could've been.   

Just writing this down is making me see how self absorbed I am about my IF, I really need to, well, not let it go because it's a part of me, but to kind of compartmentalize my thoughts.  Infertility is a part of my life and it can't be ignored, but I also won't let it turn me into a depressed anti-social bore.  I think I can be conversational and have a genuine smile when I'm with my colleagues; I can leave the ivf at the door.   If I let this ivf cycle get me down, then that negativity is going to play against me - it will be hard to juggle work stress & ivf, but countless women have done it (I've read their blogs) and succeeded.  I can be next!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

House Painting

As I write this the painters are power washing our house.  We have talked about painting the house for a few years now (almost as long as we've been ttc!) and I can't believe it's finally happening.  I think DH and I talk about things way more than actually doing those things.  We talked about a trip abroad for years before seeing Italy.  We talk about excersizing more (I don't think we're alone it that one though)  We talked about remodeling the master bathroom - this we at least started and now our 'talk' is about finishing it.  And, we're still talking about new landscaping. It's like we have these grand plans but they just seem to stay in the planning stage, we are big procrastinators - there I said it.  

Now that I said it of course I have to think that our procrastination in starting a family is part of the reason why we are in this ivf party.  This way of thinking, it's a dangerous road to go down and I am stopping myself right here.  Sometimes I wish I had the attention span of a cat and by looking out the window at the painters I could forget what I was just thinking, but no I have to force myself to redirect my thoughts. Oh!  They just power washed a ladder leaning up against a post and it went flying - yikes, hope it didn't break anything!  OK maybe I do have some cat in me :-)

Garden update: tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.  I'm getting a little sick of them, but that will inspire me to find some new recipes.   We picked our first pumpkin - not sure what to do with it though, early jack-o-lantern?  If I get some good pics I'll add them later.  

Saturday, August 9, 2008

One week en-counting

I'm excited, nervous, and so anxious about this upcoming cycle.  I'm painfully pessimistic, I keep thinking about all the stats about ivf and it makes me go crazy. Yet I am also dreamily optimistic all at the same time - actually I also like to dream that we'll have a 'free' baby, that's what we call getting pregnant w/o ivf :-).  As my start date gets closer I think I get a little more anxious each day - probably not the best attitude when I should be keeping my stress level down.  

So, I need to think of ways to keep my stress level down. Hmmmm. And, since I go back to work next week I will need ways to combat the "What did you do over the summer?" question. I had planned on getting ready for my first child, now that didn't work and my summer was a wash. And face the several women who are probably now expecting. In case I didn't mention it before, I'm a teacher at a school with a young staff -lots of weddings and lots of babies. Ok, so that is where my thought process will be for the next seven days. So far this is what I have:

Ways to keep a good attitude:
Gardening (if the pumpkins can do it, so can we!)
Catching up on some professional reading - I can focus on work instead
Continue blogging - so much easier than a therapist

Ways to combat the "What did you do?" question:
"Nothing, what did you do?" - just kidding
"Went through an ivf cycle that failed and am now taking steroids that are putting hair on my face" - probably not
"Gardening, some travel, lots of reading" - the truth and not very exciting, but I guess it'll have to do.

Facing the expectant moms:
Cry - no good
Avoid - better, but can only do for so long
Fake smile - nice, but again can only do for so long before muscles start to ache
Short and sweet "congratulations" then lame excuse to leave - OK! that works for me and maybe include fake smile.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vacation...a little fun...a little guilt...a little worrying

I'm psyched to be on vacation, but with vacation comes all the relaxing times with friends and family - all the times that people around me are having wine with dinner and beer at summer bbq's. So, my guilt comes from indulging in a few beers. I've been really good at cutting down on caffeine and cutting out alcohol. But then vacation comes and know I'm totally worried that I have ruined everything with the few beers I've had in the last few days. Arrrggghhh! I know I shouldn't panic, but it seems with like if this cycle doesn't work then I'm going to blame it on the beer I had last night - I know paranoid, but I can't help it.

My other worry is that because we've had some crazy afternoons and late nights I haven't taken my dhea the same time I have been. I don't know exactly how this medication works, if it's like antibiotics that need to build up in your system or something. I'm still taking the right dosage, just sometimes closer together.

I think I just need to stop worrying and enjoy the rest of my vacation. I also need to get going now, dh is waiting for me - gotta get on with our day! Good to get this off my chest, maybe I'll have a beer to celebrate, just kidding :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First Poke

Yesterday was the first poke of my next ivf cycle.  My day 3 FSH blood test. I'm sorry to say that nothing funny or out of the ordinary happened - bummer. I was hoping to write something interesting.  On the other hand, I should probably be grateful that nothing bad happened. Which seems par for course, but for this cycle I am going to try to remain as positive as (insert most optimistic person you know).

A little info...I won't actually be starting stims until next month.  Since I have high blood pressure and have bad reactions to bcp's my down regulation protocol consists of taking estrace (estradiol) for a week leading up to my period.  Then I start stims around day 3.  My periods used to be right on schedule - 28 day girl.  Only now with dhea I seem to be a few days off (longer) so I can't pinpoint exactly when I should start, but it seems like AF might be Aug 24th therefore estrace around the 17th.  Great so looking forward to taking more steroids!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

IF you have time to read...

I'm sure this has been done before, but it was therapeutic for me to search myself. Stirrup Queen has a good book list, she also has a running book club, Barren Bitches Book Brigade.

I love looking for books. It's funny, sometimes the way I choose a book is if I have noticed it's title several times while in a library or bookstore. I know it is a marketing ploy, but I really like the way that Amazon shows books that I might like - usually they are right on! Well, I spent about two hours perusing the internet looking for titles - most came from Amazon, so I haven't read any of these yet. My first choice will be at the bottom. Not sure when I have time, maybe my next bed rest? Have you read any of these? What would you read first? Do you know of any that are amazing that I might add and/or read?

IF Books: (I put a couple of tags at the end of each to let you know a bit about the book's purpose)
Memoir Type Books:

2. The Waiting Womb - Jill Sayre (Amazon describes it as a dark comedy, adoption)
3. Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Rom - Peggy Orenstein (love the title, lots of good reviews, success)
4. The Empty Picture Frame: An Inconceivable Journey Through Infertility - Jenna and Mike Nadeau (Journal entries, vignettes, author volunteers for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Assoc.)
5. Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart In The Midst Of Infertility - Jennifer Saake (a historical retelling of the biblical figure Hannah's infertility journey)
6. Pregnancy Wishes & IVF Dreams: A Story & Lessons About Life, Love & Infertility - Kelley R. Taylor (ICSI, success w/ twins, also self-help)
7. Baby Steps: A Bloke's-Eye View of IVF - Jason Davis (A male perspective!) (Success)
8. Making Babies the Hard Way: Living with Infertility and Treatment - Caroline Gallup, William L., Ph.D. Ledger, Forward (Donor Insemination)
9. Maybe Baby: An Infertile Love Story - Matthew Miller (Another one from the men's side!)
10. Doctor, Are You Listening?: A Couple's Struggle to Find the Right Infertility Doctor - Masood Khatamee, Linda Pohl Perelman (coming Nov. 2008)
11. Making Babies: Personal IVF Stories - Theresa Miller (14 memoirs from a variety of IF couples - coming Sept 2008) 
12. The Brotherhood of Joseph: A Father's Memoir of Infertility and Adoption in the 21st Century - Brooks Hansen (IF treatments & adoption, success)

1. I Am More Than My Infertility - Marina Lombardo
2. Having a Baby...When the Old-Fashioned Way Isn't Working: Hope and Help for Everyone Facing Infertility - Cindy Margolis, Kathy Kanable, M.D., Snunit Ben-Ozer
2. The Fertility Diet - Jorge Chavarro, Walter C. Willett, Patrick J. Skerrett
3. Laughin'fertility: A Bundle of Observations for the Baby-making Challenged, Second Edition - Lisa Safran
4. Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again - Jean W. Carter, Michael Carter
5. IVF: The Wayward Stork--What to Expect, Who to Expect It From, and Surviving It All? - Lea L McCarthy, Sarah A Tursi MSW
6. IVF & Ever After: The Emotional Needs of Families - Nichola Bedos (coming Nov. 2008)
7. The Tao of Fertility: A Healing Chinese Medicine Program to Prepare Body, Mind, and Spirit for New Life - Daoshing Ni, Dana Herko
8. Bearing the Unbearable: Coping with Infertility and Other Profound Suffering, Or What To Do When Taking Charge of Your Fertility Fails - Karl A. Schultz
9. Alphabet Blessings: Conceiving with In Vitro Fertilization - Jenifer A Cotter DO

1. Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-first Century - Beth Kohl
2. From IVF to Immortality: Controversy in the Era of Reproductive Technology - Ruth Deech, Anna Smajdor
3. Acupuncture & IVF: Increase IVF Success by 40-60% - Lifang Liang (From 2003, but since my clinic is a proponent of it I thought it could be interesting.)

And the winner is... I can't wait for Making Babies: Personal IVF Stories by Theresa Miller, but until then I'm going to get: The Empty Picture Frame: An Inconceivable Journey Through Infertility - Jenna and Mike Nadeau.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Well (I'm trying to be) Read

Oh boy, after going through this list I felt like I need to cut back on my internet & TV time - big time! So what am I doing now?Reading up on a bunch of blogs and googling for infertility books - for a later post. My bold doesn't seem to show up very well.

Got this from infertilitybites

Here's how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red (I couldn't figure out how to underline nor change color - I could probably get it it'll just take more time online I could otherwise be reading!)
4) Reprint this list in your blog.
5) I am adding a new rule, because its my blog and I can, I'm going to mark the ones I haven't read, but I've seen the movie in green. And if I've read the book AND seen the movie, well, then it will be BOLD and Green.

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible - ok, I've read some, so if I could, I would make this partly bold.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

dehydro what?

So, DeHydroEpiAndrosterone - DHEA What is it? Good question pj.

Actually I'm just guessing those are the letters from which the acronym is derived.

Well anyway, this is how the story starts. We sat in the Dr.'s office after learning that the egg quality was most likely the culprit for the poor embryo quality and I hear the words: "There is a controversial method we could try". I was ready to do anything. Controversial because there aren't enough studies to prove that it works - but according to my doctor it is something that can't hurt. (Side effects, well, aside).

Please remember this is from what I understand based on what my doctor told me and some dr. googling: DHEA is one of the pre-cursor hormones that produce testosterone and estrogen. According to several studies done through ivf clinics (Here is one: http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/21/11/2845) DHEA somehow increases the # of eggs and possibly egg quality. No one knows exactly how, but some speculate it somehow has an effect on the follicular development, one of the reasons why it needs to be taken for at least two months. It appears that it is for women over 40 and with diminished ovarian reserve. I'm thinking that it's also controversial to give to younger women w/o ovarian reserve problems.

Since everything dr. google brings up deals with women 40+ and or with ovarian reserve issues I feel like this is some sort of wonder drug to give to women, who aren't in either category but have had poor egg/embryo quality, as some sort of wonder drug or snake oil cure. I think that just shows the lack of research on this drug. For now I will just have to put my trust in my doctor and a little bit of hope in a little white pill, but my guess (not to be negative, but realistic) is that it won't have that much of an effect on my situation.

And FYI if you are in NY or Illinois there is a study on DHEA being done by the Center for Human Reproduction ( Dr. David H. Barad ), and it looks like they are currently recruiting. Here is the link:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Break Out!

I have received the first side effects from the DHEA I'm taking - of course it's acne. I'm only hoping this is not a sign of what is to come; I've heard that there are much worse side effects. So, I at the first sign of redness, ran out to the drug store and, like a teenager getting ready for a hot date, bought way too many acne soaps, lotions, and medications. This is from someone who normally washes her face with whatever bar of soap is in the shower. Oh well, what I can say is that these little white pills can throw whatever they want at me - if they work I don't care if I grow a beard!

In keeping with garden comparisons to my ivf life...our pumpkin and plumeria also have blemishes. The pumpkin has this white powdery mold or something on it's leaves and the plumeria has this awful black fungus killing off it's leaves. I bought a spray that is supposed to be a 3 in 1 - fungicide, Insecticide and Miticide. I hope that works, just as I hope my Neutrogena & Clearasil products work for me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Also covered in cat hair

I came across this blog and loved her post on my favorite question: "So, when are you having kids?" I tend to be very vague and say something like "whenever" and promptly change the subject. I've told only my closest friends about our ivf woes and some of them I don't keep them updated (they have kids and it's a little hard hanging out with them - this is a whole separate issue)

I also noticed that she has an awesome picture of a furry friend, Sammy, in a bathroom sink. Here is our Sammy also in a makeshift throne - what is it with orange cats and sinks?

During my TWW, my DH was out of town - yes that sucked big time and I will NEVER do that again! Well, Sammy was my life saver. His purring and kneading his claws (ouch) into my lap while trying to get comfortable each night was a much needed show of unconditional love.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My cup is full

Things that I'm sensitive to now that I'm going through IVF - more than is normal for me. It's different for me, how I deal with the living/growing world around me, than it was during my early steps of ttc and fertility treatments. I cried hard the day I 'graduated' from IUI's.

The other day, about two weeks after my bfn I broke down. I was so surprised b/c I thought I was 'getting over' the negative results. My DH and I were in a grocery store and we went our separate ways to find different items. While walking through the aisles looking for whatever I started noticing how many of the shoppers were families and/or pregnant women. It just started dawning on me, it was quite surreal - everywhere, I mean everywhere I looked there were kids! Well, I was ready to go and at this point still sane. So, I started looking for my DH and low and behold couldn't find him. I'm sure just a few minutes passed, but of course at this point my mind is starting to go, and I was getting extremely anxious and bumping into kids and happy parents all over the place. I whipped out my cel called my DH and barked, "where the hell are you!?" Found him in two seconds flat and fuming told him that I wanted to go, NOW. In the checkout I'm totally feeling out of body frustration and then I heard it. A crying baby. That sound was like a switch and the tears started coming. I couldn't talk and was ready to bolt so, I walked out and DH wasn't even done paying. By the time we got settled into the car I was a mess but was able to tell DH what was going on. I felt so bad b/c he thought I was mad at him (FYI, he got caught up at work and I had to wait almost an hour for him when I went to pick him up - I was a little ticked at him but not enough to snap at him like I was). I was so shocked how I felt. It's like I couldn't handle any additional upset, I guess my cup was already full. And I think it still is.

So, a few things that make my cup spill over and try to avoid:
Crying babies
People talking about labor and delivery
Drinking coffee, wine (I wish I could and miss them, but if things don't work out I'll think I gave them up for nothing?)
Spending time in our spare bedroom (the Yellow Room) which would be the nursery
Walking through baby aisles in stores

and of course,
Losing my husband in the grocery store - actually, it might be any store :-)

We have to go shopping this evening, let's see how I do...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Growing Pumpkins

It seems that everything I see has a connection to our recently failed IVF cycle. For example, and the reason for the name of this blog, is our pumpkin plant. I watched this plant grow and produce a multitude of flowers and buds along with my first IVF cycle (I had 23 eggs retrieved, 18 mature, 8 fertilized, 2 transferred, 1 frozen). I kept watch during my TWW as, right around the time of my transfer, one of the many flowers produced a cute little green pumpkin bud. Well, I kept an eye on that one and watched it develop and grow - even after my BFN on June 24th.

I'm not sure why this plant gives me the hope I need. Is it as easy as realizing that one bud actually survived and will develop into a viable pumpkin. One out of the dozens of cute little green buds that after a day or two usually turn yellow, wither and fall to the ground? Maybe. It hit me hard that so many of the pumpkin's attempts fail...just like my "buds" did. But, then I see the one that did make it. The one that made it is now an orange soccer-ball size of hope.

So, where am I now? Fertilizing. No, not the pumpkin, me. For two months I will take 75mg a day of DHEA in hopes of improving egg quality which in turn may help everything else. We'll see. At 36 I guess I shouldn't really be all that surprised that egg quality is an issue.

DHEA, is it false hope or will it really help my flowers and buds?