Monday, Monday


La-la, la-la-la.

Monday transfer it is!  The five are still growing – no doubt because of all of the wonderful thoughts that have been sent through the Internets – and I am very happy. As of this morning, there were four eight-cells and one seven-cell.  And bless the embryologist for calling early this morning so that we could enjoy the news and get on with our day. 

I’m also really happy that it is a five day transfer.  Last time I had a three day transfer and had read a great deal of the literature on the benefits of a five day, but Dr. Uterus was a three-day man. So, I’m liking Dr. Salsa’s approach. Although, he’s of the bedrest school, so it looks like I’ll be a couch potato on Monday and Tuesday. 

As for the PIO, I’ve been shooting up since Thursday and my behind is crying uncle (and frankly quite a few more nasty words that I won’t print here). To say it is unhappy is quite possibly the understatement of the year.

Thanks for all of the wonderful thoughts!

image: rustman

And Then There Were…

Right on cue this morning, the embryologist called with the Fert Report:

Of the 11 retrieved, 7 were mature. Of those 7, all were ICSI’d and 5 fertilized normally.  As of this morning, all five were growing nicely.

We are still very much in the game, but I would be a lying beyotch if I said I was totally thrilled and not the least bit disappointed.  As the numbers creep lower, it’s hard not to see your chances creeping with them. 

But, rather than obsess over this information (which I knew I would do), I emailed Dr. Salsa to get his perspective and boy, did he come through.  He used lots of exclamation points (!) in assuring me that it is normal for some eggs to not be mature and that things are still going very well. ¡Viva Dr. Salsa!

Assuming everything continues to grow, transfer will be either Saturday (3d) or Monday (5d).  

And once again, we wait.

ps – thanks for all of the wonderful thoughts. It is always nice to have such supportive comments to go and read.


Firstly, thanks to everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement for our egg retrieval!

Secondly, I’m going to have to disagree with Nancy Reagan and declare that you should say yes to drugs. Drugs are wonderful, especially the kind they give you right before your retrieval.

Thirdly, I am very happy to report that they got 11 eggs.  Dr. Salsa likes anything above six, so the girls really put out.

Fourthly, we won’t hear from the embryologist until tomorrow, so I get to enjoy the rest of my day being grateful for our wonderful haul. And napping. I’m going to do some serious napping.


Trigger Happy

fangleman2Tonight at midnight, I will pull the trigger on this cycle, and it could not come a moment sooner.  The girls are working overtime in the factory and they are making this fact known with every step, every turn, every sit.  I had forgotten the discomfort of IVF stimming.

But, I am grateful to feel every pang, every move that requires a sharp intake of breath because it means that the system still works and we are still on the train.  And, I’m not thinking about retrieval yet, which means I’m not even going to begin to contemplate whether we’ll have embryos to transfer.  We’ll get there soon, but not right now so I’m not going to worry my mildly attractive head over it. 

Instead, I’m going to don my favorite lounging comfy pants with an oh-so comfortable elastic waist, sit gingerly on the couch and snuggle with Mr. X to watch some tellie.  Good times.

image: fangleman

One Treatment to Rule Them All

As an Atheist, I am fortunate in that I can belly up to the Religion Buffet, and sample each one, without offending my upbringing or current religion.  I can taste a little Buddhism, sample a bite of Catholicism, sniff at the evangelical spread.  I can compare them and decide which, if any, I would like to try.  And, being an American, I can walk away from the buffet with nothing on my plate, if I want to, and go find a nice tasty soft-serve ice cream machine.  You know, that whole freedom of and from religion thing. 

sunface13What inevitably scares off my appetite, though, are the statements that one religion is superior above all others, and that’s the one I should believe in.  Or, that there is One Truth (which usually happens to be espoused by that particular religion that is claiming there is only One Truth), and if you don’t believe in it, all manner of terrible things are going to happen to you.  It all seems so arbitrary to me.  How can so many people say different things and each think that they are right and everyone else is wrong?  Why can’t we all accept that we each have different ideas and leave it at that? Why does there have to be one right answer?

I was pondering this theme the other day when I realized that infertility treatment is a lot like religion in this concept of One Truth.  Think about it: REs are our prophets, spiritual leaders, rabbis, priests and ministers.  We take their word on what we should do to be gospel.  I certainly took what Dr. Uterus told me to be the One Truth.   He was so confident, so assured of his method that I didn’t question it. Who was I to know what was right? I didn’t have his training, his knowledge, his experience.  And, he seemed so damn sure of himself. You can only get mature eggs with an intramuscular HCG trigger for IVF?  Ok. I don’t need a Clomid Challenge to test my egg reserves? No problem.  Menopur is the best drug out there? Fine. Sign me up.  Lining measurements? Pah! I can eyeball it.  I don’t need to do Lupron through the whole cycle? Whatevs.

drinksmachineBut, I became disillusioned with Dr. Uterus, or more specifically, with his staff.  I began to question why bad luck was the only explanation he could give us.  I began to resent that he didn’t feel the need to change things up to at least give an illusion that this time there would be something different in the mix that could make that subtle yet crucial difference.  I began to question his judgment in continuing to work with his crazy-ass embryologist.  In short, I began to lose faith in him and his truth.  

So, I sought out new guidance.  Enter Dr. Salsa: he is just as confident at Dr. Uterus in his abilities, but has a much different method.  This time, I’m using Follistim and I get to do a subcutaneous HCG injection to mature the eggs for retrieval.  He does a lining check at every visit during the IVF.  His first test that he ordered for me was a Clomid Challenge.  I’ve been on Lupron the entire time I’ve been stimming. 

And yet, I get the same impression that he is just as certain that his way is The Way to baby.  Again, it all seems so arbitrary to me, this emphasis on My Way is the Right Way and no other way will do, particularly when it comes to seemingly trifling stuff like which medication to use and how much.  There are lots of medicines on the market, so why does just one have to be the right one?

Perhaps the real answer is that doctors really do like to play God, or more specifically, play minister, prophet, etc.  If that’s the case, then even if this works and we actually do get a baby out of it, I will still have to deal with the medical professionals who see their way as being the only way.  And, thank goodness that I get to live in a world that allows for second, third, even fourth opinions.  I’ll just now take those opinions as one piece in a larger puzzle. 

image: top right: sunface13, bottom left: drinksmachine

Hope and Hubris

I had my first monitoring appointment with Dr. Salsa yesterday and he was pleased.  My right ovary is putting on quite a show. 

look_westThe left, not so much. He wasn’t too concerned, though. He told me in his delicious accent, “Your ovaries are telling me that they are young, my friend!”  They were telling me that he was jabbing just a little too hard, but hey.  Later, I asked not to be told what my E2 level was.  It is just fodder for unnecessary angst.  All I wanted to know was whether it was good and if I should continue on my current dose of Follistim.  The answer to both questions was yes, with a follow up in two days.  

So, why can’t I shake this feeling of fatalism? That no matter what we do, it won’t ever work?  I can’t stop thinking that because it is me, me of the long sordid saga of infertility treatments that nothing in the fertility realm could possibly ever work out for me, including growing good eggs.

I think it all goes back to one little word: hubris

I’ve come to realize that even now, I feel as if my first miscarriage was a punishment of sorts for my hubris in thinking that because I was pregnant, I would have a baby.  I felt entitled to have that baby.  I had given enough, wanted it badly enough, and damnit, I had finally gotten the elusive BFP so I was going to take that thing out on the road.  I started to look at baby names and thinknig about how I would take a few months off of work after the birth. I made plans. And then, wham. And with my second one, I got excited, used lots of exclamation points, and then again, wham. The result is that I am conditioning myself to not get excited about anything fertility-related because that will result in whatever gains being taken away. The minute I publish that exclamation point, it’s all over.

To me, hope has become hubris. Having any amount of hope feels like a set up for the inevitable smack down. The two have become so intertwined that I don’t know if I can separate them.

image: look_west

Not This Time

It’s mid-February and I have been busy resisting  the urge to play the This Time Last Year Game.

ohdearbarb1If I gave in and drew out my worn and dog geared deck of cards, I would remember that I was newly pregnant after our first IVF.  I would remember that in just a few short days, I would start spotting and so would begin the almost month-long odyssey from no hope to hope to no hope

I would note that the Oscars are on this Sunday and that Mr. X and I watched the Oscars last year at his relative’s house, and I couldn’t concentrate because all I could think about was how I had started spotting that afternoon, but I couldn’t share anything with anyone except him.  I would dread reliving the agonizing day until I could get into Dr. Uterus’s office to find out what was going on.  I would remember how awful it was to go through that without Mr. X.  In short, I would have myself a nice case of post-traumatic stress disorder, infertility-style.

So, rather than play that deck, I choose to open a fresh deck of cards.  On top, is the card of Can-I-tell-you-how-wonderful-it-is-to-not-be-pregnant-right-now?  There is such power and relief in knowing that at least this February will be different.  This February unlike the last two will not feature me getting knocked up and being worried about being knocked up.  This February, all I have to do is just be. 

The next cards in the deck, of course, belong to Dr. Salsa.  But, knowing that the dealer has changed from Dr. Uterus to Dr. Salsa is further helping me avoid playing that old deck.  I think the mind f*ck of trying to get pregnant/being pregnant for the third February in a row and seeing Dr. Uterus at the same time would be too much for my over developed sense of deja vu to handle.  I would feel like I was in the Infertility Groundhog’s Day movie, except the outcome never would change. 

I don’t know if our outcome this time will be any different. But at least I’m playing a gleaming, new and shiny deck of cards that haven’t been tainted or tampered with.

image: ohdearbarb

A Letter, An Update and An Award

A Letter

I have resisted the temptation to blog about  What could I say that others have not already? Why glorify and give her even more of the attention that she so desperately craves?  Because I really have something to say. And it is best put in a letter.

Dear Lady of the High Order Multiples:

Normally, I would congratulate you on the overwhelming success of your IVF.  I mean, most of us just want one, but to get 8 in one shot! You have instant teams for just about any contact sport.  And, the taxpayers of the great state of California should be really thrilled that they are now the proud supporters of your 14 children.  But, for me, I just have one thought:

You are not helping.

You are not helping those of us who are going through IVF right now.  You are not helping those of us who are using it because we don’t have any children, let alone six. 

You are like the guy who tried to blow up his shoes over the Atlantic and now we all have to take off our shoes every freaking time we want to get on an airplane.  You are like the guy who put his hand underneath the lawn mower, got it chopped off and sued so that now we all have to read the stupid sign that says, don’t stick your hand under the lawn mower.  Because you just had to have all six embryos put back when you already had six children who you could not support, and because you just had to have all eight babies, never mind at what risk to them, we are all going to be under that much more scrutiny.  We are going to be given the looks, asked the questions, implied that there is no right to experience pregnancy and child birth and you know what? there are thousands of children looking for homes, so why don’t you just adopt?

You are not helping the rest of us who are still struggling to even start a family.

I hope in my heart of hearts that you can make this work.  I hope that those babies are not at a deficit for your overwhelming desire to have as many children as possible.  I hope that you haven’t totally screwed it up for the rest of us.


Mrs. X

An Update

In a little less than an hour, I will have my third date of the weekend with the Follistim Pen.  Can I tell you how much I am loving the pen? Holy moly. It makes the Menopur mixing of my past seem so… 90s.  Dial and jab! What an amazing little invention.  And, I was not able to win over Nurse Chipper to let me do them in my upper thigh rather than my stomach, but it turned out that this was not a problem. I haven’t had any problems with the Follistim injections in the tummy region, so it must have been the Lupron.

I’m already beginning to feel that familiar twinge. Down there.  You know, the one where the girls start perking up and creaking awake after their Lupron-induced hibernation.  Good times.

An Award

To end on a high note, Loribeth at The Road Less Travelled has bestowed an award upon moi:


The Honest Scrap Award, given to blogs in the opinion of the giver are brilliant in content and design.  Thanks, Loribeth! Your check  is in the mail.  As with these things, there are rules. 

 1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.

2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with “Honest Scrap.” Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.

3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

I’m going to do this in reverse order.  Here are the 10 things:

  1. I have a ginormous headache right now and it is not being helped by Mr. X playing that infernal game with the sound on high!
  2. I hate bananas. Always have. My parents tried feeding them to me and I just spit them out.
  3. I hate liquer in desserts.
  4. Wow. Two hates in a row. Um, I love taking pictures.
  5. I took a three hour nap on Saturday and still slept for 12 hours Saturday night.
  6. I’m thinking about wearing my awesome orange dress tomorrow.
  7. I’m procrastinating because next I have to iron.
  8. This headache is really awful.
  9. I think I will mention to Mr. X that maybe getting headphones would be a good idea. For him.
  10. I’m addicted to Chapstick.

Unfortunately, the rest of the list is going to have to wait since I have to take some Tylenol and go iron. In that order. I live for pleasure.

Some of This, Some of That

I have returned home, the prodigal blogger.  This trip, unlike the last one, was for work.  And, boy did I earn my bacon.  I also had my head scrambled by the end.  There’s nothing like being “on” at full blast for three and a half days straight to make you want to curl up and watch awful television for an extended period of time.  I’m not even sure what day of the week it is, except that, unfortunately, it is most definitely not Friday yet.


One highlight of my trip was that I visited a new city and so I can now scratch off No. 11 on my list of 33 things to do in my 33rd year.  Although, this so did not make up for having to put in my new age in the elliptical machine at the gym today.  It did not make a snide remark.  Yet. 


I am constantly amazed at the banality of people’s conversations these days.  I was forced to eavesdrop on the conversation behind me on the flight home because the lady was just so freaking loud and let me tell you, it was painful.  I think “so” has become the new “like” as the favorite crutch in conversation.  “You know” followed a close second.   I just wanted to turn around and say, it’s obvious by the awkward pauses in your conversation that neither one of you really wants to talk to the other, so why don’t you both shut up and spare me the pain of listening?


Hotel pillows are consistently as a rule of thumb too soft. 


It’s really good to be home.