Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Tomorrow is our long-awaited appointment with Dr. Expert at Clinic C. I am very excited, but, also nervous. What's he going to tell us? I'm just hoping he has at least some ideas/answers for us tomorrow and doesn't want us to go through a ton of tests. I know, if he does, they could be important, but, I just feel like we're a bit far down this road already, you know?

Tomorrow is also the day we get to flip the calendar. Goodbye April! Hello May!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The simplicity and complexity of genetics

If you've read our history over there to the right, you know that we decided to move forward with donor egg.......and then backed off on it. What you may not understand is why we haven't pursued it....yet.

Let's go back to March '07. We had just had our 2nd cancelled IVF cycle and things looked really bleak. There was no reason to believe I couldn't be pregnant. It just looked like (and still looks like) getting enough eggs out of me, enough quality eggs, might never happen. Donor eggs seemed like the perfect solution. We filled out the paperwork and had the required meeting with the psychologist. We put on our happy faces and told her that, while we were sad that we had to get to this point, we were perfectly OK with it. All that time, I knew something was nagging at me and, although I didn't know why at the time, I knew something was there.

We went through the tests, paid the fee, and officially went on the list. Then we went through a four part session with some other wonderful couples where, again, we put up the front that we were ready for this, but, still, something nagged at me.

While on the donor wait list, we decided to continue to keep cycling. Again, as you can see in that list to the right, we did our 4th IVF and I got pregnant. Although I lost that pregnancy, it helped me figure out what had been nagging at me all of those months.

Genetics. It's as simple as that. And, as complicated as that. I want to have a child that is connected to me genetically. But, the reason may not be as clear as you might expect. I love children (this may be the understatement of the . You could put any child in my arms and, within seconds, that child would be mine. Genetics hold absolutely no bearing on my ability to love a child. Anyone who knows me knows how important family is. How important tradition is. How important the continuation of the generations of my family is.

Therein lies the problem. My sister and brother will, most likely, not have children. My mother's family, and the continuation of my maternal bloodline, goes through me. My father's family may or may not end at me, but, as of right now, that bloodline has not continued either.

So, it's that simple. The "K" family genes live or die with me. The "R" family genes may live or die with me. And, that's where this gets complicated.

Is it fair that I put this pressure on myself? Probably not. Does the fact that I put this pressure on myself surprise anyone who knows me? Absolutely not!

Some of the people I've told this to seem to really get why this adds to my struggle. But, more seem to feel that this shouldn't even be a consideration for me, that it's about Glenn and I and I shouldn't let this added pressure sit on my shoulders. The thing is, unless you are in my shoes, you can't understand this fully. Even Glenn can't understand it fully. First of all, if we use donor eggs, it's still his sperm, so, his genes will be accounted for. But, even if we had a child that was not genetically his, there are already 4 nieces and nephews on his side. I know he wants a son to continue the family name (that isn't currently happening on his side), but, that's, at least for me, not even close to the complete ending of a bloodline, possibly two - the pressure I feel constantly.

All of this said, I still completely support the use of donor eggs and, depending on what we find out from our meeting with Dr. Expert this week, we may be back to moving forward on this as our best option.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bring your Emotions to Work Day

Today is Bring Your Child to Work Day. Thankfully, I work in a part of the building where it's not all around me. I love kids and actually ran this program for a previous company before I was married and think it's a great opportunity for kids to see where mommy and daddy go every day.

I've seen a few kids around the office today and felt the familiar pangs of envy and sadness grip my heart. I think, despite everything we've been through, I still love being around kids and it really bothers me that I feel any sadness at all in their presence.

But, Glenn made me feel better. He saw kids in his office and wondered how I was doing and called to check-in on me. That was the sole purpose of his call. Gotta love that man!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Bright Side

I have survived April 22nd. The day included some wistful thinking and desolate longing on my part, but, otherwise, passed quietly and uneventfully. I guess that's the way it should be.

Now I am in what I like to call the "post-seder blues". We make so much of the build-up to Passover. How much you do depends on your level of observance. I observe the holiday strictly, so, in the week leading up there is the cleaning of the kitchen (and whole house), putting away all the kitchen items used during the year, schlepping out the Passover dishes and pots and glasses and silverware and serving pieces, etc..., shopping for the special Passover food, unpacking it all into your newly cleaned and completely empty refrigerator and cleaned off counters, realizing you forgot something and going back to the supermarket for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th time..., cooking all the food, setting the table, having the first seder, cleaning up, and doing the seder-thing all over again the next night!

When you come back to work, people ask "how was your Passover" not realizing that you've only been through the first two or three days and have the rest of the week left. And, why would they realize that, given the build-up we make beforehand of getting ready and preparing for the seders.

But now we are in the "ugh-I-just-cannot-eat-any-more-leftovers-or-matzah-but-I-don't-know-what-the-heck-else-to-eat-for-the-next-six-days" phase. The post-seder blues!

But, at least April 22nd is in the past and my non-existent child was not forced to celebrate his or her 1st birthday with a kosher for passover cake. See, there's a bright side to everything!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I am just taking a break from my final Passover preparations and watching the Pope celebrate mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Even though, religiously, it has no meaning for me, the pageantry is lovely to watch.

Tonight and tomorrow night we will perform the Passover seder. While it will not be of the magnitude of the single mass I'm watching right now, in some ways it might even be bigger, as we will be performing it while, collectively, millions of other jewish families around the globe will be reading and recalling the same story as us. It is the same story and ritual that was celebrated by many generations of my family before me and I pray to G-d that it can and will be celebrated by many generations of my family after me.

To all who will be observing, I wish you a zisn, koshern, freylakhn Pesach (a sweet, kosher, happy Passover)!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Yeah, Lisa, we know....

Let me first apologize to anyone coming in here to maybe read something new and interesting. This post won't qualify.


I want to know there's life growing in me and feel every movement. I want the joy of being able to tell everyone. I want to wear maternity clothes. I want to go for ultrasounds and see our baby. I want, I want, I want.....

I know, you're thinking "no kidding, Lisa. We know all of that already...". But, here I am, busy getting ready for Passover - cleaning, getting out all the Passover dishes and pots and stuff, shopping for all that wonderful Passover food, and cooking, cooking, cooking - and I'm overwhelmed by this terribly sad and utterly desolate feeling in the pit of my stomach (or, more likely, my empty uterus). It came on really fast, and, I feel like I want to burst with sadness and anger (PMS isn't helping - in fact, it makes things worse on so many levels).

I wrote a while back about a sisterhood in which all of us dealing with infertility are members. That sisterhood is forever, but, there's this other sorority out there that I long to join - the pregnant sorority (Beta Alpha Beta Iota?), followed by the sorority of mommyhood (Mu Omicron Mu?). I feel like I keep pledging over and over again, and, for whatever reason, I've been blackballed and not allowed to join.

Maybe I'm feeling it because of the holiday. More than any other Jewish holiday, to me, Passover is about celebrating with family and I haven't been able to add to ours. For those who don't know, there's a part of the Passover Seder where the youngest in attendance reads 4 questions that kick off the telling of the story of Passover. The youngest person at our Seder is 29. We need a baby.

Or, maybe it's because that dreaded April 22nd is on the other side of this weekend....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A couple of answers

So, people have been asking me why we're going for a third opinion. When we decided to go for a second opinion, in March '07, I really thought that, if we got confirmation from a second clinic that I really did have ovarian reserve issues and that Dr. Hope from Clinic A was doing all that could be done, I could be comfortable and accept that everything that could be done was being done. And, we got that confirmation, went back to Dr. Hope, and put our names on the donor egg list.

Then I got pregnant.....then I miscarried....and everything changed.

I still believe that low ovarian reserve is the correct diagnosis. Dr. Expert, at Clinic C, is the well-documented expert in ovarian reserve issues. We'll see what he has to say about me on May 1st. But, I hope that explains why we're going for a 3rd opinion.

Another question we get asked somewhat often (more often than appropriate, frankly) is why we haven't pursued adoption yet. The operative word here is yet. The reason is kind of silly. The first step in the adoption process is a home study and, if we did one in the townhouse and then moved, we would have to re-do it. So, we decided to wait until we moved. Who knew our house would be on the market this long??

For everyone who has asked (and, thank you for asking!), Glenn is doing great. Today was Tax Day - a miserable day for many but a happy day for the family of a tax guy. This year I'm even happier to reach Tax Day because now it means that Glenn can take it a little easier. Honestly, he is feeling great and doing so well and, unless you knew about the heart attack, you really would have no idea from seeing him and talking with him. But, I'm still glad he gets to take it a little easier now.

And that ends the question and answer portion of this blog.....for today!

Oh, and since some of you asked, my birthday is May 5th, Cinco de Mayo!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My dad

My father and I talked for over 2 hours yesterday. That shouldn't sound so amazing, but, let me add that the TV was off, we weren't talking about the Mets, or about politics. We just talked. And it was wonderful. We talked about things we had never talked about before. And it was wonderful. We talked as equals. And it was wonderful.

We talked about the past and the present and the future. He sought my opinions and perspective and counsel. He told me about some of his fears and, while I wish greatly that he didn't have them, I am so glad that he shared them with me.

Most importantly, he told me that he is proud of me. I've wondered about this for a very long time. We've always been OK, but, there have been some pretty major things we've disagreed on. And, maybe, over the years, I've been a bit too sensitive when he's vocalized some of them. But, that's all in the past now. He is proud of me and there aren't enough words to explain how good that feels.

I love my father and always have, but yesterday was an exceptionally wonderful that I'll remember for a very long time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The importance of dates

No, I'm not talking about the fruit. Nor am I talking about the "dinner and a movie" variety. I'm specifically thinking today about the kind that we check off every day on our calendar. Some dates have much more distinction than others. Even if we have no plans, we all know when it's January 1st. Even if we temporarily forget the first day of the fourth month, one prank pulled and we slap our head and think, yep, I forgot, it's April 1st. Christmas is December 25th. Find me someone - Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist who doesn't know that one. And, September 11th is a date that is etched into most of our minds and will be forever.

Next we have the dates that are less universally remembered, but, still have some widespread recognition. We hope that our families and friends will remember our birthdays. As we fill in our calendars at the beginning of the year, we look for certain dates - Memorial Day, Good Friday, Yom Kippur, Lent, Ramadan, Thanksgiving, etc... What are the dates we'll miss work for vacation or the dates that the kids have off from school or the date of my cousin's wedding?

But, finally, there are the dates that don't seem to have any significance to anyone but us. And, in many ways, these are the dates on the calendar that are the most prominent, again, if only to us. We are now almost halfway through the month of April and, honestly, I cannot wait to turn the calendar to May. Yes, that is the month of my birthday and the month of my long-anticipated appointment with Dr. Expert, but, that's not why I long to flip the calendar. Every single time I look at the month of April hanging on my wall, my eyes instinctively jump to April 22nd. Why? It's just a random Tuesday in the middle of Passover, right? Not for me. April 22nd was the due date of my very first pregnancy, the one that ended as an ectopic. Assuming I had gone full term, we would have been celebrating a 1st birthday on or around April 22nd. For better or for worse, my life would be so incredibly different than it is now and I wish that I could know what that life would have been like.

I'm not going to go into all of the emotions and desperation tied up in April 22nd. I know that it is not a significant date to anyone but me. But, I reserve the right to elaborate on my feelings as the date gets closer!

My miscarried pregnancy was due this June 15th. At least I get to look at May on my calendar before dealing with that dreaded month...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This may be progress!

I had a bit of a meltdown tonight. OK, maybe more than a bit. The reason isn't important other than knowing that it had absolutely nothing to do with infertility. Nothing!

I had a sobbing...irrational stream of consciousness...disbelieving...ranting and raving...can't-catch-your-breath meltdown tonight and it wasn't about infertility! I am capable of getting upset at other things! I think this may be progress!

(By the way, I'm over it and better now.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Merrily we roll along

I picked up my paperwork from Clinic A this morning. Good lord, I swear, it's like half a ream of paper. Literally, between all of the cycle status sheets, labs, tests, and comments it's hundreds of pages.

So, I called Clinic C and made an appointment. We will be meeting with Dr. Expert (lol, not his real name) on May 1st, almost 2 years to the day since we first met with Dr. Hope (also not his real name) at Clinic A.

I fedexed Clinic C all of my paperwork. It's just a little light reading for poor Dr. E!

They want me to come in for Day 2 bloodwork before I'm even officially a patient there. The receptionist told me that Dr. E feels it's very important that I have those labs at their clinic, even though I probably have 15 Day 2 or 3's from Clinic A. Very interesting!

So, although May 1st feels really far away (they will get us in sooner if they can, but, we have to wait until tax season is over so Glenn can go), I'm glad this next step is done and I'm greatly anticipating this appointment!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

High School Musical

Apparently this is the big show that all of the high schools are now putting on. We used to do classics like Oklahoma, Gypsy, and Camelot. Now, they do High School Musical.

Anyway, I went to see it yesterday with my dear friend and her two kids, who I love immensely. And, they were adorable - leaning on me, you know, when they put their sweet little hand on your leg or your arm just because they are happy you're sitting next to them....

So, if you've seen the movie, you know there's a scene where they look at Troy's father's yearbook. He graduated high school in 1981. 1981. I graduated in 1987. Glenn graduated in 1978. And, here we are, still trying for a baby, while he's coaching his kid in high school basketball!

And, then came the big finale number. Yep, you guessed it, I cried. But why? I guess it was a combination of watching these high school kids doing what I loved doing (singing and performing) and wishing that I was watching my teenager up there while, at the same time, seeing all of the enthralled 6-10 year olds sitting around me, wishing any one of them was mine.

The weird thing is that I was embarrassed about all of these feelings. I told my friend (who, I'm sure, is reading this) that I teared up because I was stifling a cough, which is partly true, but, really, it was so much more than that. And, I'm sure she knew that but loves me enough to not have pushed it. And, for that, I'm grateful.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm over it.....time for school!

I posted last week about how this break wasn't so bad and maybe, just maybe, I was enjoying it a bit. Yeah, I'm over it. It's really hard not being in cycle, especially when you're immersed in the world of infertility and people are cycling all around you.

Cycling is kind of like high school:

Homeroom - If I haven't driven somewhere while it's still dark and signed my name to indicate that I'm there have I really gotten up and started my day? That little signature proves I was there!

English - It's time to be talking/writing in the present tense again, not the past tense

History - I'm ready to meet with the new RE and review all of my past cycles with him (um, better make this one a double-period)

Gym - It's hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. You can't win if you're not in the game!

Lunch - "I'm sorry cafeteria lady, ma'am, I can't have deli, tuna, soda, coffee, sushi, hot dogs, lox, or brie. What? OK, I'll bring my own lunch tomorrow."

Math - If 4 follicles develop in the left ovary at a rate of 1.2mm/37 hours AND 3 follicles develop in the right ovary at a rate of 1.7mm/43 hours, when will egg retrieval be?

Science - self-explanatory, I think!

Chorus - yes, I sing to my follicles. Stop laughing.

Homework - "Hit me with your best SHOT"

So, there it is. I'm so very ready for school to be back in session!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Play Ball!!!

Woo hoo!! Baseball season has started!! Everything just feels new and fresh and, well, just good when baseball season starts. So many possibilities! So, in honor of the 2008 National League Champions (yep, I'm making my prediction!), enjoy!!

Meet the Mets, meet the Mets

Step right up and greet the Mets.

Bring your kiddies, bring your wife

Guaranteed to have the time of your life.

Because the Mets are really sockin' the ball,

Knockin' those home runs over the wall.

East side, West side, everybody's coming down,

To meet the M-E-T-S Mets, of New York town!