Saturday, November 29, 2008

Baby Jack's Toy Drive

Many of you in the infertility blogosphere already know the story of Baby Jack, his parents Megan and PJ, and his beautiful sisters Charlotte and Katie. Megan writes, and, may I add, with wit, humor, intelligence, and poignancy, about her triplet pregnancy, the babies birth, the pain of losing Jack, and the thriving of her beautiful daughters over at Multiple Baby Pileup.

Jack lived for far too short a time but, in that time, that little boy touched more people's lives than anyone could ever imagine. And, his spirit lives on. In memory of him, his parents created the Jackson Malia Fund for Children with Special Needs.

I am honored to know this family personally. Megan and I sat in the RE waiting room together while she made Katie, Charlotte, and Jack and she has continued as a source of strength and support for me as I continue my struggle with infertility. I am pleased to call her my friend. I have held the girls and played with them and looked into their beautiful blue eyes. I know how important giving back in Jack's memory is to her. We'd all prefer for her to have him in her arms, but, what she and PJ and their families have done and continue to do in his memory is overwhelming.

A toy drive has been organized, in Jack's memory, with all of the toys being donated to the Children's Hospital of New Jersey. And, the way it's being done is absolutely brilliant! An Amazon Wishlist has been created with all sorts of items and all price levels. As Megan tells, one of her happiest memories with Jack was knowing that, thanks to the kindness of strangers, Santa visited Jack and left presents that she could open with him.

At this time of year, many people are looking for an opportunity to give back, to show their gratitude for all they have been given. I put this out as an option. A wonderful, beautiful, heartwarming option in memory of a sweet little boy who has touched so many.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jabberjaw vs Count Chocula

How can there be such conflict in my brain?? I don't know where to go from here. I am pretty sure I want/need to try one more time with my eggs. However, there is a part of me, a small, nagging voice in the back of my head that might be whispering, albeit quietly, "Lisa, it's time, call Clinic A and reinstate yourself to the top of the donor egg list". But, at the same time, and quite a bit louder I might add, I can't help but think "Don't give up on your eggs. We all know it's a huge long shot, but, the next cycle might just be the one that works".

Everyone's heard of the Yin and the Yang, right? The theory behind Yin and Yang is opposition that complements one another, creating a harmonious environment. But, my oppositions don't complement, they contradict. So, I have decided to dub them Fin and Fang.

My Fin, or, as I think of him, Jabberjaw, is a typical shark. He goes on complete instinct. He smells his prey and is compelled to keep going until he locates it and devours it. He will do whatever he needs to do to accomplish his goal and get what he wants/needs. The need in me to pass on my genetic code, and the code of my family, is so very great. This is why there is the part of me that feels like I cannot stop trying. I have been chasing the goal for a long time, and feel like I need to keep chasing and chasing it until I have successfully captured it or the option ceases to exist.

On the flip side, and clearly not complementing my Fin, is my Fang, my little "I vant to suck your blood, mwahhhhhh" vampire. But, since the phlebotomists have taken so much blood out of me throughout all of my cycles, I don't think I have enough left for a real vampire. So, let me introduce you to my Fang, Count Chocula.

Despite what more current popular culture may say, vampires do not have children (so says I). They do not pass their genetic code to the next generation. When a vampire wants to expand her vampire family, she seeks out someone she believes would be a good fit.. She doesn't care whether the new addition has green eyes like her mother, a full head of hair like her father, or a great sense of direction like her grandfather. Her goal is simply to add to her family and that's what she does.

I want to add to my family. Donor eggs would, likely, allow me to do that with a much higher rate of success than with my eggs. We would be able to select a donor who we believe would be a good fit. All the things vampires do.

My Fin and my Fang have the same end goal in mind. Both want me to be Mommy. Both want Glenn to be Daddy. Both want my parents and Glenn's mother to be grandparents (she already is, my parents are not). Where they diverge is the path by which we should get there. Every time they battle in my head, Jabberjaw wins and I feel strongly that we need to keep trying with my eggs.

But, I'll admit, Count Chocula is starting to gain some ground.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stubborn old blockage

We spent last night in the hospital - planned. Glenn had his 4th angioplasty yesterday. The first was in the wee hours of the morning, the awful night of his heart attack back in February. The other 3 have been planned.

The night of the heart attack they discovered this very old, very hard blockage in the back of his heart. They didn't clear it that night because it didn't cause the heart attack and the focus that night was stopping the heart attack. The second angioplasty was to clear another smaller blockage and this hard one. The smaller one was not a problem, but, the harder one wouldn't budge. They have since gone back in two more times (remember, the 3rd try was the same day as my endometrial biopsy and the day after my mother's kidney replacement!) but they just cannot get that old blockage to move.

The good news is that our cardiologist has decided that it's not worth trying anymore because blood has found a different route to that part of the heart. Glenn passed his stress test with flying colors and feels fine. Yes, it would be better if the blockage was gone and he'll never be able to run a marathon (hah!), but, he just wants to monitor it now as part of his regular cardiac monitoring and take it from there.

I hope I'm not tempting fate by saying that I'm glad the angioplasty roller coaster ride of 2008 has come to an end!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Let me preface this by saying that I know how incredibly fortunate we are to have infertility insurance coverage. I can't see a way we would have been able to attempt 7 IVF's without coverage. Some of our cycles have been out-of-network and we have a high deductible and co-pays, so, we've still paid plenty over the last 2.5 years, but, I know that it doesn't compare to what couples paying completely out of pocket have paid.

We went into this last cycle knowing that, if it wasn't successful, we only had one covered cycle left. And, while it was easy for me to say that we would use that last cycle for a donor egg cycle, in reality, I just don't feel ready for that.

This past week was open enrollment in my company. We've been under Glenn's insurance for the last 2 years because it had much better infertility coverage than mine. Now that we only had 1 IVF left on his, it was time to explore mine. As it turns out, mine will give us enough coverage for 1 IVF, giving us a total of 2 more! I have to be dual covered, but, the dollars make sense, so, I signed up.

Now, for our options. First of all, we are done with Clinic C. The decision is practical, as my insurance requires in-network and they aren't. But, honestly, if we felt they offered any hope for us, we'd pay out of pocket. But, I think we've seen that this isn't the case, sadly.

So, first decision - try one more time with my eggs or move right to donor eggs? I know how much greater our chances are with donor eggs. I really do. And I know that it wouldn't take us long as we're already at the top of the donor list at Clinic A, so, if we go donor, we will go back to them. But, I also know that I'm just not ready to give up on the genetics thing. I'll explain more in my next post.

Second decision - if we decide to try one more time, where? We could go back to Clinic A, but, really, they pretty much wrote us off and told us they had nothing left to try. [Edited: "wrote us off" is a bit strong. Basically, they said they had no other protocols they would recommend, but, that we could keep cycling as long as we wanted to in the hopes of getting a good embryo. That's when we went to Clinic C, who had several other things for us to try.] I would talk to them about this last protocol and the fact that we got 5 eggs, but, who knows if they would be willing to try it. So, that leaves us with a big decision. Do we consider a new clinic, Clinic D? They are widely known as the best in the country (those of you in the IF world will know who I'm talking about). I am going to do a phone consultation with them and see what they say. Given that cycling with them requires travel three quarters of the way across the country, I'd have to sense a real reason to cycle there, but, I'll only know that after talking with them.

And, as my husband has been reminding me lately, neither of us is getting any younger.

Yes, we have options, but, lots to think about. Sometimes I wonder if not having options would be easier.....

Monday, November 10, 2008


IVF #7 is over.

My brain hurts. There are so many thoughts swirling around in there but most of them aren't real cogent yet. I'll address them as they present themselves. I wonder if this is my brain's way of protecting me from too much pain at once? I wish there was something similar to protect my heart and my soul.....

I have failed. I don't know why, but, people really get upset with me when I say that. But, it's true. I have failed. The objective is/was to have a baby. I don't have a baby. I have failed. If I haven't failed, who has?

Has science failed me?
Have the doctors failed me?
Has G-d failed me?

I guess it doesn't matter. I can't change science. I can't change G-d. I can change doctors again and that's one of those spinning thoughts that will fly out of my head at some point.

I do know that I have done everything in my power to try to make this work, but, that doesn't change anything. I am dying inside.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Digital says Pregnant

...with a big, mocking, negating Not in front of it....

I was going to post a picture of it with my nail covering the word Not, trying to get a feeling of what it would look like if it just said Pregnant, but, really, who amongst us hasn't tried that?

Beta is tomorrow and, like the election, I won't officially call it until we have the final numbers, but, it's very clear what the outcome will be. I know how many of you out there have been praying for us, and I can't even express what that means to me, but, there will be no last minute miracles here, and I'm not holding out for one.

I have so much to say, but, I just can't open those floodgates yet......beware, it's coming.....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


It's been a while since I've written, but, honestly, I don't really have anything substantive to say. I've been feeling very detached this cycle. Numb. I'm really trying not to obsess about every "symptom" or lack thereof, but, seriously, if I squeeze my boobs one more time in public to see if they still hurt (it's the only tangible symptom I have and it's not really much of one), someone is going to arrest me for public indecency.

I have had some cramping, but, honestly, that could mean 10 different things.

I'm simply trying to stay even keel and not think about any of it too much. See, if I start to think about it, my mind eventually goes to the inevitability of failure and, well, trust me, nobody is ready to see the flood of emotions that will follow.

I'm just doing what I can to stay positive, despite the nagging feelings of doubt that keep creeping in. Eh, we'll all know soon enough, right?