Saturday, March 28, 2009


This has been a very strange cycle for me. When we finally made the decision to move forward with a donor cycle, I felt relieved and excited and so very ready for it. Then, I noticed something different happening. I have experienced things I've never felt in any other cycle. There are many words that come to mind, but, the best way to describe what I've felt is detached.

It started when we got our donor profile. I think I mentioned in a previous post that I had an unusual reaction to it. Detached. That's what I felt. I read the profile, out loud to Glenn, and, after finishing it, put it back in the envelope and said, "yes, she's good to be our donor" and that was it. I didn't obsess over every question and answer. I didn't try to analyze her handwriting for hidden messages. I didn't read it over and over and over until I'd memorized every written word.

I'll pause here while the people who know me in real life scoop their jaws up off the floor at my non-obsessiveness.

I can't explain it. I'd built up the moment I'd first see my donor profile so much in my mind. I thought I would read it and start crying and nodding my head and just "know" that she was the one. In reality, she was fine and I was OK with her. I think, at that moment, it went from the donation of genetic material, which is what I'd struggled with so greatly up to that point, to the donation of biological material, as so many people told me it was, and, for that, I felt so much less obsessed.

Then, the actual cycle began. And, again, I found myself feeling detached. Now, in all fairness, between the move and work and Glenn's little hospital adventure I was so overwhelmingly overwhelmed that perhaps I didn't have time to obsess. In reality, I think it was a combination of that and these pervasive feelings of detachment. Found out the donor was triggering on Monday. OK. That's great. Still not obsessing. Detached. Retrieval was Wednesday. Our clinic allows you to give a gift and note to the donor, if you like. I knew what I would be giving and went out and got it and a card. That night, I worked until 2:00 in the morning, so, I was pretty punch drunk by the time I actually wrote the note. I wrote from the heart, thanking her for this amazing thing she was doing for us, but, still, found myself detached from it.

Thursday. We got the call that we had 9 embryos. Now, in past cycles, I would think about those babies - my babies - continuously. Here, I didn't find that happening. Detached. It may sound cruel or sad when I say this, but, I felt like those babies weren't mine. They were Glenn's, but, they weren't mine. Now, I have to say that I wasn't sad or regretful about this. It was just a fact. I assuaged myself by thinking that, of course, when something was transferred into me, I would feel differently, but, at this point, I'd really had no part in making these babies. Detached. I hoped that, at that time, however, I would reattach and get excited about this cycle.
This is the post I'd planned to write today. Until I got the call this morning that they wanted me in for a day 3 transfer. I was truly disappointed. We had 9 growing embryos two days ago. Almost everyone I know who had done a donor egg cycle was pushed to a day 5 transfer. Hearing they wanted to transfer today was a message to me that things weren't going well. I wanted to withhold my growing doubt until we knew more, but, honestly, I cried most of the way to the clinic.

It seemed like an interminably long time before the doctor came in to tell us our status. All I can say is, boy, was I wrong! Of our 9 embryos, we still have 8 of them!! 4-5 were looking really good and 3, while lagging behind, are still alive. Given my history, they decided to be more aggressive and bring me in for a day 3 and also to transfer 3 into me (which they only do 5% of the time when using donor eggs). He said all 3 look really great, with one, in particular, looking wonderful. All have less than 5% fragmentation (I'd always had 20-25%). He put our odds at 60% (I've never heard them give better odds, so, I think that's their max), 30% for twins, and 5% for trips.

Most importantly, I am so happy to be able to say that I am completely and utterly reattached! The moment, and I mean, the exact moment that I saw the printout with these three magnificent embryos, they were mine. And, so are their sisters and brothers still sitting in the lab!

So, I have 3 babies in me now and they're watching the other 5 for potential freezing!! And, I feel so much better than I felt this morning!!

Attachment is a wonderful thing!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


23 = number of eggs retrieved
17 = number mature enough to ICSI
9 = number of embryos that hold my heart and my hope

I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that 17 mature eggs only produced 9 embryos, but, I'm hopeful enough to look at it as more than double the number we've ever had from my eggs.

So, I'm praying they are good and strong and will wait with bated breath for the call on Saturday telling us whether we're having a day 3 transfer or pushing to day 5...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I'm sorry, dear friends, that I haven't been around. Everything is soooo crazy! I want to give updates on what's going on and apologize for the brain dump you're about to read. I swear, when things calm down, hopefully towards the end of this week, I'll be back!

In no particular order:
  1. We officially moved out of the townhouse on Friday! Last week was a whirlwind that ended with me finishing the packing around 2:00 am Friday morning. But, it's done, everything it with the movers, and I've officially left the first house I owned! After living there for 7.5 years, 3.5 with Glenn, and having it on the market for 16 months, I left feeling both wistful and excited all rolled into one! Now, several days later, I'm just excited!
  2. We are now living in the basement of my parent's house. They did a really nice job setting things up for us and, so far, my mother has fed us more yummy meals than I think I cooked in the last month!
  3. Things are moving forward with the new house - anticipated closing date is May 1st!
  4. Work has been INSANE! I don't know why it chose now, with everything else going on in our lives, to be like this, but, well, it's been a madhouse. Oy!
  5. Probably the one you've all been waiting for - our donor triggered last night and will be having egg retrieval tomorrow, Wednesday!! I feel like I haven't updated you guys at all this whole cycle, but, really, between work and moving, it's all just been a whirlwind. And, I found that, with it not being me stimming, I was kind of detached from it. I would go in for my uterine lining checks and get an update on how she was doing, but, my level of obsession has been significantly lower than in past cycles, when I was stimming myself. Again, it may be, in part, due to how busy I've been, but, it's interesting, nonetheless.

So, that's the update from here. Back to work....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hit the jackpot this morning

I had to go to the RE this morning to feed the vampires and for a date with the ultrasound wand (we're GOOD friends, if you know what I mean, wink wink). It was exceptionally crowded this morning. One of my problems is that I'm not good, in a large crowd like that, of just putting my head down and reading. I'm way too busy looking around (you know, that way we have of looking without really looking like we're looking) and paying attention to what's going on around me. I also found myself having an emotional morning, which is due, in part, to sheer exhaustion, and, in part to the following.

Lisa's List of RE Office Emotional Triggers

Adorable child in the waiting room - the main office of my clinic has a "please do not bring children into the waiting room" sign, but the satellite offices, one of which I frequent, do not. It doesn't matter as it doesn't really stop people in any of the offices. Now, I'm not one of those people that gets angry about it. I totally understand that sometimes you just might not have any other option. My problem is with the people who bring their kids in and proceed to make it like a Mommy and Me class - clapping, singing, hugging and kissing, etc... Seriously, if you have to bring your children, cheerios and a picture book should be whipped out of your Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag faster than your nice little date with the ultrasound machine turns into a "friends with benefits" situation! The only blessing to crying at the mere sight of those adorable urchins playing is that the tears blur the image.

Ultrasound pictures - In the world of babymaking, they can cause such joy when in your hands, but, in the hands of others, can result in feelings of sadness, jealousy, anger, get my drift. On any given morning at the RE's, you may see several couples, smiles from ear to ear, clutching the ultrasound pictures that give them tangible evidence that whatever procedure they endured has paid off and there is a baby growing inside of one of them. Cut to me, where the tangible evidence of my repeated failed procedures is the tears that begin to roll down my face as I watch them in basking in their joy. For added sobs, give the ultrasound pics to the male partner and have him gaze at them in awe and wonderment while the female partner is checking out.

Fetal heartbeat whooshing sounds - You would think that either the walls between examination rooms would be thicker or the doctors doing ultrasounds would have learned to lower the volume by now, but, that little sound (OK, it's a very big and powerful sound) has the ability to send me into spasms of sadness. Honestly, I don't think I even need to say more....this one is pretty self explanatory.

The more early mornings you spend at the RE's office, the more incidents of each of these you'll experience. Each is bad enough on its own, but, today, I was blessed with all three. A trifecta, of sorts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're going for a record!

As I've blogged about before, in the 3.5 years we've been married, we've dealt with a lot of medical issues with us and with our immediate families. In fact, in under 3 years, we've either been in ourselves or visited immediate family members in 12 different area hospitals. 12!

Well, make that 13.... Glenn was rushed to the hospital yesterday after a suspected allergic reaction to his chinese food lunch. I'll spare you all the details, but, in short, the inside of his cheek started to swell and then burst...OK, enough said.

Anyway, they don't believe it was an allergic reaction. They think it was either a small ulcer or blood blister that got aggravated and filled up quickly with blood because he's on blood thinners. He still has a huge growth on the inside of his cheek and is seeing an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor today to decide what needs to be done about it.

So, all, hopefully, is OK, but, after all we've been through, well, you can only imagine what I felt when I got that call from Glenn's office telling me he'd been taken to the hospital.....

Glenn joked yesterday that, if Guinness has a record for visiting different hospitals, we could be in the running!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is "IN" out?

Between negotiating the purchase of our new house, packing to leave our old house, the beginning of my donor egg cycle, and work life has just consumed me and my blogging has suffered. I promise, I'll try to be better!!

Yes, I have officially started our donor egg cycle!! I started on birth control a couple of weeks ago (used to suppress your ovaries so you start fresh and, in the case of a donor cycle, used to sync the donor and recipient's cycles) and started my lupron last night. Our donor will begin stimming on 3/16 and her tentative retrieval is between 3/25-28!

All of my drugs for all of my cycles have been obtained through a speciality infertility pharmacy. For those of you who don't know, you generally don't walk into your local Walgreens to get these specialized drugs. Local pharmacies don't stock them as the volume and, in some cases, short shelf life, doesn't justify having them.

But, birth control pills, those are available at your local pharmacy. So, a couple of weeks ago, Clinic A called the prescription in to my pharmacy, and I went to pick them up.

Many people take BCP before an IVF cycle but, other than this time, I only did for my first IVF a million years ago. So, when I walked into the pharmacy, the pharmacist/customer service person inquired as to why I took BCP for one month in 2006 and had a short-life prescription again now. I explained that I take it as part of my infertility treatment plan. She cocked her head to one side, looked at me thoughtfully, and said "I prefer the term 'fertility problems'. It just sounds....I don't less of a disease than 'infertility' sounds".

After quickly convincing myself that jumping over the counter and stuffing pill bottles down her throat wouldn't be the best way to handle this situation, I calmly explained that I AM infertile and, yes, the word is appropriate because infertility is a disease. Now give me my damn birth control pills!

But, it got me thinking. In some ways, the words fertility and infertility are almost synonymous. We use them interchangeably. We call ourselves INfertile, but, we go to Fertility clinics. We google INfertility, but come up with articles and books on increasing and improving our Fertility. We don't take INfertility drugs. We take Fertility drugs. Why? Fertile people don't take them - only we INfertiles.

If INfertility is the inability to have a baby, and, through treatments at the Fertility clinic we successfully have a child, are we no longer INfertile? Since I still hope to have a baby, albeit through the use of donor eggs, is it more appropriate to say I have Fertility problems? Would INfertility only be appropriate after all baby-making attempts have failed?

I'm sure you all know that my answer to these questions is HELL NO! I think a better definition of INfertility is that it is a category of diseases that prevent the sufferer from conceiving or, in some cases, carrying a pregnancy to term, without medical assistance. But, it is, most assuredly, a disease, and a horrible one that doesn't get the attention it deserves, unless it's negative attention.

I don't know why the terms INfertility and Fertility are sometimes used interchangeably, but, it doesn't really matter. We know what we're talking about. My answer to that pharmacist should have been "I am INfertile! I don't have Fertility problems. I have no problems at all with fertility! Apparently, though, it has a problem with me!!"

But, all I was thinking at that moment was that I had to go home and take my birth control pill. Gotta prevent those unwanted pregnancies, you, THAT would be a Fertility problem!