Thursday, February 28, 2013

thanks ... and songs

Would you please visit Lola at Waiting For Baby. They just suffered another devastating loss.


Thank you all for your helpful responses to my last blog post. I was really in a panicked, sad space. Being able to blog about it in a completely safe space has - for over two years - allowed me to vent, process, move on and leave behind. No longer do thoughts have to fester inside of me with no chance of a safe outlet. Now, I have blogging and resolve where I can speak freely without concern or worry.

I realize that I have no control over what will happen in 2013. Who will get what first and when it will all happen. And, you are right, that it doesn't matter. What does matter is that I am emotionally and physically healthy and working towards my own cycle. I want to give this cycle the best chance possible. I want a take-home baby and it doesn't matter whether I am first or second. Thank you for helping me get more comfortable here.



Those who know me well know that I have an unexpected (due to my somewhat farmerness and hippiness) love of poppy music. I don't know the artists' names and rarely know the song names. But I love poppy music. I know the words to all the popular songs and get excited when certain ones come on the radio. My husband thinks I am certifiable!

Each of the major cycles, there has been one song that suddenly became popular during my cycle. I blogged about it on my other blog during my own fresh IVF cycle.

For that fresh IVF cycle, the song was Kelly Clarkson's What Doens't Kill You Makes You Stronger. When I first heard that song while doing the stim meds, I knew in the bottom of my heart that things were about to go poorly for us and the cycle.

During out first donor egg bank cycle, this song came on when I was newly pregnant: Katy Perry's Wide Awake. This will sound strange, but while driving one day, I heard this song and the lyrics about falling from cloud nine and I had this thought: "I am about to fall from cloud nine" and I knew in my heart of hearts that I would. And, as you know, I did.

(when I was pregnant in July 2011, I had a new pair of earings on that my husband had just bought for me. I lost one on my Sunday drive home from a fun weekend in Seattle and thought "that's a bad omen." Sure enough, I was diagnosed with an ectopic two days later)

This cycle, this song is on and I love it: Of Monster and Men's Little Talks. I have NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS. I do like the line about "this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore." I'm staying positive that this song means good things about this cycle. It certainly isn't as obviously ominous as other songs / incidents were.

And, finally, NPR is showcasing five songs, the first of which is a beautiful song about infertility. You can find it here. Scroll down past the picture of the cute blonde and click the play icon for "Miranda Dodson 'Try Again'"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Minor (read: more than minor) panic attack

My sister. I blogged about her a few months back when she called me to tell me the good news that she and her girlfriend (now fiancee) were starting the TTC process. How I was so angered and saddened by her excitement and how she seemed to show no understanding of how hard it would be for me to be excited for her. How I would be scared shitless that she'd get pregnant first.

My sister told me in December that she wanted a new job to get better maternity leave, so they wouldn't be doing an IUI before April (three months after she started a new job, so April being the earliest). Literally every day I didn't see an announcement in my inbox or on my phone or on Facebook that she had an interview or a new job was a good day for me.

Fast forward two and a half months.

Yesterday, trying to be a good big sister and give a shit about her job searching, I emailed her to see how it's going. "How is the job search going?" I said. I got her response and it sent me into a panic attack.

She told me her current job has approved the better maternity leave and also a salary increase, so she's staying there and is waiting to sign a new contract. "Things are looking positive!" she ended with. And then I realized "she has no more three month waiting period needed." And then I realize "she could literally do the insemination tomorrow."

Then my mind started racing. I have no idea where she is in her cycle. She might get her period next week and decide (provided they've chosen their sperm sample) so do the IUI asap. Or, she might have just started her cycle, meaning she'll miss this month, meaning I have a little breathing room.

I am hoping I have a month. If we can get to the end of March, our transfer will be coming up. And my due date - provided we get pregnant - will be first. And - per my birth order, the fact that I've been married three times as long as she's even known her fiancee and we've been trying longer than she's known her fiancee - well, I'LL GET TO GIVE MY MOTHER THE FIRST GRANDCHILD. Goddamnit, that's my right (isn't it?!?!)!

Whatever her timing is, it's going to happen soon. And - don't judge me please - I am not going to lie when I say that I hope it doesn't happen immediately for her. There, I said it. I certainly don't want her to have to wait more than 5 or 6 months, but I (feel terrible for saying) don't want her to get pregnant the first month. Not after all we've been through and all we have coming in the next few weeks.

I told my hubby how I was feeling and he said "can't you feel happy for family?" Yes, yes I can . . . sometimes. And I know what I *should* be feeling. But I am telling you what I am *actually* feeling and your judgment and condemnation isn't helping.

I don't know what will happen to my psyche if I learn she's pregnant. I know one thing, though: it ain't gonna be pretty. No amount of yoga or resolve or walking is going to get me through that announcement.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Welcome ICLW!


I've been blogging just over two years. I started about a year into the TTC journey and blogging has helped me through some of the most difficult experiences of my life. My husband and I have been married 6 1/2 years and have been TTC just over 3 years. We love to garden and be outdoors. We live with two dogs, two cats, three chickens and one beehive. We love to steal away to the Oregon coast and just spent a weekend there in a lovely ocean-front rental house with two couple-friends (6 of us and 5 dogs!).

Today I start my Lupron injections. I have been on bcp for a few weeks now but the start of Lupron makes this real for me.

Stay tuned as we get closer to our transfer (hopefully the very end of March / beginning of April).

And, if you want to read more about donor egg stuff specifically, check out my donor egg bank blog at

Friday, February 15, 2013


Was easy, like last time. I was told I am lucky that neither the SIS nor the HSG cause me any problems. I don't even need Ibuprofen!

My uterus "doesn't look good, it looks great." It was even called "beautiful"! And, despite some discharge and a SUPER HIGH libido, I am suppressed. Yeah! Was told the libido spike is probably from the bcp.

On the elevator ride to the clinic on the 10th floor, I found myself SO happy to be near my embryos again. Stupid, but I imagined them in daycare. I'll pick two up from daycare in about 5 weeks. When I told the nurse (who asked to see me and gave me a huge hug post-SIS) she said "and we will babysit the others." Love this clinic!

I learned today that scar tissue - i.e. caused by a D&C - can stick together. The embryo is then blocked from implanting or might even attach to the scar tissue. Luckily, I have none. Again, my body healed amazingly well. I will have to thank my OB for doing such a great job.

Seattle was gorgeous today. On full display. Sunny and warm. I wandered to Pike's Place as I've never spent any time here. Amazing. Such a vibrant city and MUCH bigger than Portland. Hubby scheduled a lunch with a Seattle-based client. I loved my time wandering alone. One of my favorite things to do!

And hubby and I literally laughed the whole round-trip! We had the windows rolled down and blasted music.

See you soon, Seattle! Today certainly made me feel even more excited and READY for this cycle.

(And my nails are still LONG and GORGEOUS!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

SIS in Seattle tomorrow!

Just in case hearing that we have 4 embryos and taking bcp wasn't enough to remind me that this cycle IS ON, tomorrow, I go to Seattle (by choice) for my SIS. I could have done it in Portland, but I like the idea of my clinic doing the u/s and seeing first hand, rather than through a crappy reproduction, what my ute is up to.

The SIS in April was great, but one never knows what IF will throw at one, so I am cautiously optimistic that tomorrow will also be good. 

Hubby and I are headed up there first thing for an 11am appointment. We considered staying up there for a night or two, but decided to come home and spend our long weekend visiting friends elsewhere (with the dogs - meaning no house sitter needed). So we'll drive up there, have the SIS, have lunch, and then get home (hopefully) by about 4pm, in time to take a lovely walk in the park with the dogs. I want hubby to smell all the blossoms in the park. I get to smell them daily on my twice-daily park walk.

We don't "do" Valentine's Day. Never have, and probably never will. Hubby is amazing at bringing me nice stuff randomly - like a small box of chocolates or some ice cream, or flowers. I do the same for him with things he likes. With that in mind, the idea of "having" to do something isn't our way. So we snuggle and say "Happy Valentine's Day" in the morning but that's about it. And both of us are just fine with the way we do it.

Over and out!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Picking up my meds and thoughts on 1 versus 2

Today, I picked up my meds. I start Lupron on February 24 and wanted to wait as long as I could to pick them up - keep the meds fresh, I guess! This weekend is a long weekend and we'll be in Seattle on Friday for my SIS, then we're headed to visit two sets of friends in southern Oregon and on the coast on Saturday and Sunday. The pharmacy will be closed on Sunday and Monday and I don't drive to work normally so it's hard to pick up my meds during the week. Then, next weekend we are going away to the coast with two sets of couple friends, and I start my Lupron that Sunday morning. So, when I had to drive out to western Oregon for work, I decided to pick up my meds on the way home. Here they are:

I have been thinking a lot about 1 versus 2 embryos for transfer. During my own-egg fresh IVF cycle, there was no question: we were putting 2 back in. There ended up being no "decision" as we only had 2 left by day 5 and they were shitty quality (I believe they were actually dead, but that's a different conversation). So we put them both in.

For our first donor egg bank cycle last summer, there was also no question: 2 it is! This was the case even though they were both perfect, grade AA embryos. I didn't hesitate for even a second.

Leading up to this cycle, there was no question in my mind. I even blogged about it a few weeks back. That I had told friends "wild horses couldn't convince me to put 1 in." And then I started to question it.

I suspect one of two things is happening: either (1) I am just feeling really good about this cycle and the chances of a take-home baby, or (2) I am getting scared of "wasting" two embryos in one shot. I am going to go with (1) because I truly think that's what it is. I am feeling good and healthy and excited.

At yoga on Sunday night, I asked the two moms (suffering secondary infertility) whether they wish they had twins and that they weren't desperately trying for a second. One of them had just broken down in our weekly "check-in" and told us she was considering giving up. She told me "I never thought it would be this hard to get pregnant the 2nd time. The first IUI worked last time." The other mom, who is in her 2ww, told me "I would do anything to avoid this round." Hearing their fears and anxiety made it very clear to me: I AM PUTTING TWO IN.

I am closing in on 36 (in August). Things in my uterus and my body are not going to get even MORE baby friendly as I continue to get older. I think it's hard to get pregnant now? Imagine what it'll be like when I'm pushing 38. No thank you. If I can get two out of this round and BE DONE WITH BABY MAKING, it is worth the risks and stress to me. I understand there are complications with twins. Hubby and I have talked about it ad nauseum. But hearing those women and seeing the fear in their eyes as they start to sit with the idea of their kids being a singleton made my decision easy. I don't want to have to spend $30,000 and the emotional pain of adoption to make a sibling. If we choose to do that, it's one thing. But I don't want to have to.

Two it is.

What do you ladies all thing of one versus two?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year. Today begins the Year of the Snake.

For those who read my old blog, you'll remember how excited I was about last year, the Year of the Dragon. In China, a child born in a Dragon Year is said to bring very good luck. I was very excited about the idea of my IVF baby / babies being conceived and born in a Dragon Year. I had plans: dragon baby costumes for Halloween, dragon baby nicknames. It was my year.

And then it wasn't.

I'm not as excited about this new year as much as I'm excited about the passing of last year.

Also, I was born in a Snake Year - 1977.

And, I lived with a snake - an albino python named Midas - in college. Maybe I just had to wait for this year to roll around again.

Still, the Year of the (Water) Snake brings "challenges" a woman told us at yoga tonight. I responded "labor is a challenge." I am setting my sights on labor and the challenges of (1) getting pregnant, (2) staying pregnant, (3) being pregnant, and (4) giving birth.

With that, I say Happy Chinese New Year and leave you with some fun images (The first one is bad ass and might need to be a tattoo if this year works out. The second one is adorable and might need to be a baby mural if I should be so lucky!).

Monday, February 4, 2013

The BENEFITS (??!!) of IF treatment!

That's right. I am currently reaping and seeing the benefits of IF treatment. I'm talking about my weekly vitamin B12 shots and my daily vitamin D tablets (5000 IUs). My nails, which FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE have been short and which have broken easily are now BEAUTIFUL!

At first, I thought it was the manicure I got with my SiLs in Chicago for my BiL's wedding. That somehow the filing and the nailpolish back then (3 weeks ago) had "fixed" my nails. Nope. That polish is long gone and still, 3 1/2 weeks later, they are long and strong and GORGEOUS!

I texted a picture to my long-time friend, Life is Hard, as she's known me and my nails since I was 15. She even saw me in October - she filed her beautiful nails and I just sat there with my crappy nails.

Oh, am I ever loving the benefits to all this B12 and D flowing through me!!!!!

I have woken up two mornings to blood on the bridge of my nose - I've scratched myself during the night. I'm like a newborn - can't be trusted with my own nails!


My right hand is even longer and prettier, but I couldn't get a good shot of those nails.

I am not not not a girly girl. Don't wear any make-up but once a year for a special occasion (like the wedding in January). Daily, I get out of the shower, put my hair in a bun, and throw a bike helmet on it. I "style" my hair by putting it in knots all over my head so it's slightly curly by the afternoon.

But yesterday, which watching the Super Bowl with 7 friends, I asked my dear friend the home-owner if I could use her nail polish. We girlied up the Super Bowl. It was fun!

I'm sure I'll get over this. For now, though, it's fun!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The start of our cycle!

I'm not going to lie. There was a HINT of disappointment when my period showed up today (CD 28, right on time!). Who wouldn't rather avoid the stress of a cycle and all those shots?! But, with that HINT of disappointment came tons and tons and TONS of excitement!!!! This is the start of our donor egg bank cycle. We are now officially on our way towards those 4 beautiful embryos waiting for us.

In preparation for this journey, I decided a few months back that I would give up caffeine (and, with it, loads of warm sugar in the form of a daily latte) with the start of my period. So, today's caffeine infusion, which I am sipping while writing this, is my last for hopefully about a year! The wonders of this drink are that my period was NOT here when I peed an hour ago. I walked to get a treat and guess what showed up when I got home. Which means this treat doesn't violate my rule!

Today *probably* is CD1 but I'm going to start my bcp tomorrow just to be sure. And so that my pill-popping happens first thing every morning rather than 3pm today and 7am tomorrow. Update: I decided to take my first bcp. What wait?!!?

I have my suppression check set for March 12 and my lining check on March 26. Sometime in the next month, I get to travel up to Seattle (by choice, rather than doing it in Portland) for another SIS to make sure everything in my uterus still looks good. Hubby and I are already planning an over-night up there to have some fun.


OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you tell I'm excited?! I love those embryos. They are *probably* the last step of our journey. If those 4 embryos don't get us a take-home baby, we *probably* won't do anything more and will *probably* switch to high-gear on the adoption front. That said, those of you who remember summer-2012 cycle know that I declared *that* was our last attempt. What changed? Well, getting pregnant, seeing and hearing a heartbeat, and getting excited about being birth parents changed our minds. We wanted another shot at that dream. But there is only so much that anyone can take, so that's why these 4 are *probably* it for us.

I hope we get one out of those four. Please embryos, we love you so so so much. We will give you an AMAZING home. Give us a chance and stick around for 40 weeks, would ya?!

Stay tuned for more!

(I have started another blog that I will use specifically for donor egg issues. That's at