Thursday, April 26, 2007

I just don't think so.

I feel pretty sure I'm not pregnant, for no really good reason. I know, I know... you really can't tell at 8 dpo. Nevertheless:

- my resting pulse rate is low/normal
- my cervix isn't doing anything special.
- no cervical mucus to speak of... surprising, because I'd at least expect some stuff from the progesterone suppositories... but nothing.
- absolutely NO IPS. Boobs don't hurt at all. Not overly grumpy. Both of those are usually firmly established by now.
- oh, wait. In the middle of lunch yesterday I felt suddenly pukey. But other than that, no IPS.

Most of all, I'm just not feeling it. And I feel resigned to this cycle not really working. But part of me thought it would be really neat to come home from Israel with a growing embryo, y'know?


In other news, the trip is still great, but exhausting. I'm going to go nap now - and that's not an IPS!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hello from Israel!

Shalom, yall!

We're in Israel now. Having a great time, great food, great weather. Wish you were here.

Can't stop wondering whether or not this cycle was successful. Only four more days until I start checking my pulse obsessively.

Internet time is limited, so I must end here. I'm thinking of you all. Anyone who has sent me a note for the Kotel, it has been printed and is awaiting its destiny.

Love you all. Be well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Notes for the Kotel

For those of you who somehow missed this detail, I'm leaving for Israel tomorrow.

Next Friday I'll be at the Kotel, the Western Wall. It's customary for people to leave notes in the cracks between the stones, asking for their most important desires. I was there last year and spent a good amount of time praying for all the women I knew at the time who were trying to conceive.

So here's the deal:
1. If you would like me to pray for you at the Kotel, either leave me a comment or email me at sara "at" wlualumni "dot" ca to let me know.
2. If you want to write a note for me to put in the wall, you can email it to me at the above address. I will print it and put it in the wall when I go there. If you want to be sure that I won't read your note, put "A note for the kotel" in the subject line.

Notes and requests need to reach me by this Saturday night at the latest. After that I'm not sure that I'll be able to get to my email in time.

I'll be updating my blog sporadically, when I manage to get to an internet cafe. And of course, I'll be blogging until tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tips for shooting up in a public bathroom:

1. Wear a skirt and a shirt, or pants and a shirt, rather than a one-piece dress. (obviously this only applies to those of us who do our subcutaneous shots in the abdomen)
2. Your bellybutton is the perfect shape and size to hold an (opened) alcohol swab.
3. Try to choose a public bathroom that has a deadbolt on the door, so that you can be free to use the sink and countertop without anyone barging in.
4. Don't forget to bring bandaids in case the injection site bleeds.
5. Try not to yell, "sonofabitch, that STINGS!"

This educational moment has been brought to you by the letters P, C, O, and S... and by the number 4.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A perfect ten

Yes, that's TEN. As in the thickness of my lining. TEN. Even the doctor was amazed. Shocked, even.

So, to recap:

Lining - 10 mm (up from 6.3 yesterday)
Follicles - 2.1 and 2.2 on the right ovary

Looks good, right? I'm feeling cheery today, like this cycle might actually work. Even though I'm flying to Israel the day after the IUI. Even though whatever. I'm feeling good about this cycle.

Thanks to my peeps who told me to take the baby aspirin. I owe my thick lining to you.

Oh, and today's blood draw was completely painless. The weekday blood tech is awesome.

It's shaping up to be a fabulous day. I'm sending fabulous vibes to all the rest of you, too!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Well, at least the conversation was good.

Follicles: 1.7 and 1.9
Lining: 6.3

Yes, that would be a tiny smidge thicker than yesterday... but just a tiny smidge. The doctor thinks that the thin lining is just an effect of the Femara. We're gonna do this whole thing again tomorrow in the hopes that the lining will plump up overnight.

(and yes, I did try the baby aspirin... thanks to my commenters for that one)

The waiting room was very social today. I chatted with three different people. We talked about being bitter, about miscarriages, about thinking positive. We giggled. I asked if anyone knew a good contractor. Nobody did. (Ms. C, can you email me?)

I have a crazy amount of work to get done, but we've recently gotten hooked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I think we're going to try for another 3-episode marathon today.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

And then there were two

Well, my four follicles are down to two now. Both on the right side - 1.5 and 1.4. My lining is pretty pathetic at 6mm.

Today the wanding doctor was none other than the director of our clinic. He said a few interesting things:

- in a normal 27-year-old (such as myself) almost half of the eggs are defective in some way. Supposedly this explains why everything can be in exactly the right place and you can still not get pregnant.

- he recommends doing up to six IUI's with only one or two follicles (i.e. simulating a normal cycle) before moving on

I explained to him that we're planning on moving on to Puregon because the progesterone affects me so badly that we need to up our chances per cycle. He nodded - didn't say much, but whatever. I feel comfortable with our plan.

He said it all looks good this time - a "perfect" cycle. I told him cynically that I've had perfect cycles before. "Well, yes." he conceded. Hmph.

So I'm back at the clinic again tomorrow... hopefully my lining will catch up quickly.

But really, I'm not feeling optimistic. I feel like we're just going through these next few IUI cycles because it's something to do before getting to IVF. For some reason I don't actually expect to get pregnant from these treatments anymore. And yet I continue doing them. What's up with that?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Oh no she didn't!

Yes, she did.

I was chez optometrist this morning, picking out glasses. The receptionist was helping me choose.

"Do you wear your glasses all the time?" She asked.

"Pretty much." I answered.

"So you really should get glasses that look fabulous on you. You're going to be wearing them lots, especially with a baby on the way..."


"Actually," I said softly, "I'm not pregnant. We're in the middle of fertility treatments right now."

She looked like she wanted to fall through the floor. She then spent five minutes apologizing profusely and then telling me that she was never able to conceive and adopted her three kids. She wished me all the luck in the world.

But wow, that one came out of left field.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So very tired...

My thanks to all of you for your comments today and yesterday. As usual, I'm glad to know that I'm not completely alone.

I'm exhausted. So very tired. I feel like I've got some chronic sleep deprivation going on. And my throat is starting to get sore. Bah. I should just go to bed for the next two days.

But NO, I can't. Because I have to go and get a new pair of glasses tomorrow because they're not making my frames anymore, so I can't get replacement parts. And it's been a while since my last vision exam, so I'm doing that at 9:15 in the morning.

And I really need to get my ass in gear about my bathroom. I know exactly what needs to be done... I just need to find someone to do it. So tomorrow is going to be the day I call contractors, buy my appliances, all that jazz.

Then I think I'll come home and take a long nap.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Are you all like this, too?

I just got a call from a friend of ours. He and his wife just bought a house. Wonderful.

Except... they were just recently talking about waiting a couple of years for a house, how they wanted to travel and save up... and suddenly they're buying a house? My spidey sense is tingling. I'd bet money that she's pregnant.

Is everyone else in IF land this bitter and suspicious? I'm not sure if I really am sensing that she's pregnant, or if I'm just paranoid because I can't stand the thought of ANOTHER person getting pregnant after only trying for a few months (they've only been married six months and as I recall she was on the pill for the first two months, so... do the math). I mean, this could all be very innocent, right? People buy houses without being pregnant, right? I mean, look at me... we bought a house and we're nowhere near pregnant. Oh, wait. We started looking because I WAS pregnant, and after the miscarriage we continued looking at houses as a way to keep me preoccupied. So there.

Maybe I'm just worried that if they get pregnant so quickly I'll have to endure watching their perfect happiness that's never been marred, and then I'll have to endure their pity when they catch themselves being too happy in front of me. And then I'll be led to wondering whether they've been rewarded with a baby because they're such amazing people and if I'm just undeserving. You can see where this train of thought is going, right?

And let's not mention the fact that there's something seriously wrong here, because how could I not be thrilled for my friends if they're so lucky as to conceive easily? If they were going through infertility I'd be telling them how I wish they didn't have to... do my current feelings mean that I really do wish they had to, even a little bit? Am I a bad person?

This infertility thing really messes with my brain sometimes.


Sorry, couldn't come up with a snazzy title this morning. Here are the stats:

Lining: 0.4
Left ovary: One follicle at 1.0; lots of tiny follicles
Right ovary: Three follicles: 1.2, 1.2, and 1.3; lots of tiny follicles

I've started dreading the bloodwork. It never used to bother me, but recently I've had a few painful and bruise-filled experiences, and I noticed myself winceing this morning when the needle was coming at me. I always figured I had it good, and if I wasn't scared of needles to start with then I'd never develop a phobia of them. Not so. Now, how do I keep this from turning into a real problem?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Spice up your world...

Shlomit's comment got me thinking... we could be at the cusp of a revolution in the IF waiting room experience. In case anyone missed it, Shlomit and Sariel took a guitar to the clinic and spent their waiting time entertaining the troops. So... without further ado, I propose that we compile a master list of fun ways to make the daily wait better.

Criteria: must be fun, have potential for socialization but be do-able for one person (or couple), must not be overly disruptive to people who really don't want to participate. Must involve materials that can be left at the clinic or can be easily transported.

Okay, go!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Who the heck wrote yesterday's post? Was that me? The serene, shining, joyful woman who's finding joy even in the throes of infertility?

I feel like a deserter.

I used to pride myself on being bitter and realistic. I guess in many ways I still am. But yesterday's post shows me as one of the people I would have HATED four months ago. Someone who hasn't yet been blessed with children, who still feels like her life is on the right course and is at peace with whatever God brings her.

Here's my promise to you, loyal readers:
As much as I may truly feel this way myself, I will NOT try to tell you that you should feel this way. As far as I'm concerned, infertility is one of the shittiest things you could have to deal with... and it's okay to be bitter and sad and hate every minute of it. And it's okay to feel that it really serves no purpose in your life, that there's no higher lesson, that it just sucks. I think all of those things are true, too. It's our human nature that wants us to see patterns where there is just randomness... to see reasons where there are none. I believe in God, but it's very possible that there are no reasons that any of us are going through this. We each invent our own meaning.

So for this week, my meaning will be to feel the joy. Maybe next week I'll be back to kicking the crap out of everyone who tells me to relax.

Infertility is a rollercoaster, remember? Anything could happen next.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I transformed the clinic this morning, I'm sure of it.

Our clinic's waiting room is like most, I'd imagine. There can be 20 people sitting there, but nobody makes eye contact and nobody talks. Nevermind the fact that we're all thinking and feeling similar things - we'd rather pretend we're not there.

This morning when someone spoke to her partner and then apologized for being too loud, I said, "It's about time! Usually it's so quiet in here I feel like we're in a morgue. It's like we're all trying to pretend we're not here. Hellooo!" She laughed and then introduced herself.

Things got boring. This woman's child (probably about 8 or 9 years old) was restless. I looked around. "Anybody want to have a paper airplane contest?" The straitlaced man across from me smiled shyly and declined. Nobody looked interested but the kid. So I beckoned to her, we sat on the floor in front of a coffee table, and I taught her how to make paper airplanes, paper hats, and those paper fortune teller things. When I was called for my ultrasound, I took the paper hat with me and gave it to the doctor.

The doctor, nurse, and I chatted about the waiting room, Canadian politeness and distance, and the crazy weather. We giggled. Eventually we got down to business... here are the stats:

Lining: 4mm
Right ovary: polycystic. Largest is at 1.1
Left ovary: polycystic. Largest is at 0.9

The doctor decided to up my dose of Femara this time in the hope of getting more than one or two follicles. Sounds cool to me!

The receptionist handed me the prescription on my way out and asked, "do you need anything else?"

"Yes!" I responded, "I need some board games or books or a deck of cards in the waiting room. When you're here on a daily basis, the monthly change of magazines really doesn't cut it." She laughed and told me which manager to speak to about getting more distractions into the waiting room.

On my way out, there was just one woman sitting in the waiting room. She'd been there since I'd arrived at 8:30. I popped my head in and said, "last woman standing, huh? Good luck - I hope they take you soon!" She smiled.

I left the clinic in such a state of joy, it's unbelievable.

In my constant search for the meaning in all of this, I have a new theory:

Maybe I'm in this situation so that I can bring joy to an otherwise joyless place and time. Maybe God knew that once I got over the shock, anger, and breathlessness of being thrust into the world of infertility, I'd be the unique person for the unique task of infusing even this stressful process with joy. It's like jumping into freezing cold water - and I'm thinking of the Madawaska river in June 1993 - at first you can't breathe. Breathing is all you can think about and focus on. And then gradually you start breathing again, and you can swim, float, splash... and find the joy in the freezing cold water.

Wow, who'd'a thunk?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

CD1... again.

First day of the rest of my fertility journey, blah blah blah.

This is getting routine. I'm not sure if that's a happy thing or a sad thing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

We have a plan.

The plan:

Cycle 1 - one last kick at the Femara and IUI can.

Cycle 2 - Femara + injectables. IUI. BUT if I get too many follicles, we may convert to IVF.

Cycle 3 - Assuming we didn't convert to IVF last time, one more try for IUI with injectables.

Cycle 4 - IVF

The rationale:

Due to my young age, Dr. C is hesitant to go to full-on injectables. She feels that if I produce more than 3 follicles in an IUI cycle, we'll have a very high chance of multiples. She is willing to try a tiny dose of puregon along with the femara, as long as we are aware that we might need to convert to IUI.

Other questions:

Should I be put on Metformin? In short, Dr. C. feels that it's not worth it with the side effects. My fasting insulin was 95, and the normal range is up to 200. My fasting glucose was 4.6, and normal range is from 3 to 7. So I'm not even borderline... I'm full-on "normal". So Dr. C is of the opinion that since there's no insulin or glucose problem, there's no need for the Met.

Should I have an HSG? We know that I have at least one open tube since I got pregnant naturally about 9 months ago. Nothin has happened since then that would cause a blockage. We're only doing 2 or 3 cycles of IUI before we try IVF, and with IVF my tubes don't matter at all. Dr. C feels that it's not worth the discomfort and the risk of complications (she has a patient who got a huge infection from having her HSG - although it wasn't done at our clinic) just to get two open tubes instead of one for the next three months. I can live with that. I truly anticipate needing to do IVF anyway.

What happened last cycle, anyway? Well, it could have been a fluke. We're going to try one more cycle of the same and see what happens. We could start the femara a bit later, but not this month since I'm going to Israel on CD15 and doing a later start might run us into timing problems.

I think that's it. I'm honestly not expecting much from the April cycle, either... what with my trip and all... but we're getting closer to IVF, which in my age bracket has a 50% success rate. Sounds better than the 20% we're getting with IUI.

Monday, April 02, 2007

No miracle here, folks.

Beta was negative. What a surprise.

Thank you all for your comments and support. Keep 'em coming. Even though I knew this cycle was a wash, I'm deeply disappointed. I didn't think I'd cry, but here I am.

At least I can still demolish my own kitchen. Small consolation, though.

The paralysis of beta day

So you know, my temperature dropped this morning. So did my cervix. Looks like yesterday's temp and symptoms were just an elaborate April Fool's joke. Guess I'm the fool.

So I know that I'm not pregnant, and yet this tiny part of me still can't get over all of the symptoms ("it must be something, I haven't had many of these on progesterone in past cycles...), so I'm waiting to hear my beta result. And until then, I feel like I'm paralyzed. I'm exhausted. I'm just sitting at my computer, randomly clicking on blogs, coming back here to check for comments.

I haven't cleaned my kitchen for pesach yet. I did get to the point of bringing all my pesach stuff up from the basement storage locker. But dammit, I can't get my ass up to clean up the kitchen and put stuff away. I just want to go back to bed.

And my mom is expecting me to come over and help in her kitchen all day. Maybe we should arrange a switch... she comes here to clean, I go there to cook. It's all good.

Ugh. I just want to go back to bed. And stay there.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

That's what friends are for

I had an awesome morning with My Reality today. We went for brunch, then to Pusateri's and Williams Sonoma, and back to my place where she graciously offered to let me re-design her kitchen on a shoestring. How exciting!

She also confirmed for me that yesterday's HPT is a complete BFN. That elusive shadowy line that I hallucinate every time I tilt the test just so... isn't there. Seems natural that a reality check would come from someone who has named herself "My Reality".

If you have ten seconds to spare (and who doesn't?) please visit Shlomit and lend some support. Her IVF cycle isn't going very well and even though our virtual hugs won't make her follicles grow, they will help her feel loved and supported through this horrible part of the journey.

As for me... I'm still filled with hope. My cervix has taken a loooong drive north (way north) and is soft. Also, lots of creamy cm has made an appearance (and yeah, I'm sure I'm not just leaking progesterone). I was boiling hot all afternoon. Oh, and the temperature I posted on my chart? I wrote it down wrong. It was actually HIGHER.

Now that I've said these things we can probably count on my beta being negative. But hope still lives here. And when hope leaves... the part of me that wants to do my own demolition will come out to play.

Oh, the suspense.

My temperature went up today. It never goes up at 13 dpo - it always drops.

BUT my pulse is crazy slow, I'm not hungry, and my cervix is lower this morning. So, not pregnant.

But what's with my temp? Is it possible for implantation to happen as late as 12 dpo?

I am so confused. Take a look. This first one is this month's chart:

And the second one is an overlay of four cycles... this cycle is the one in turquoise:

So, what's your opinion?