Thursday, December 29, 2011


So I recently started following Lanie's blog Unruffled Lanie and this morning she posted her New Year's tradition. I've never really been one to make new year's resolutions, but I really liked these questions and goals for the previous and upcoming year. Thanks for letting me borrow it!

1. What did you do in 2011 you never did before?
Hosted our first Thanksgiving
Learned how to use injectables
Tried to branch off and specialize some with work
Started yoga and meditation
Started my own garden

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Like I said, I don't often make resolutions. I think I wanted to be relaxed and not stress about infertility last year. I really didn't think I would be sitting here, still not pregnant, again the following year. I think I also wanted to be better about exercise. This is something that comes and goes with me. I have been great at times and awful at others. I wish I were more consistent about it.

For 2012:
Be better to my husband and not take my stress out on him
Continue to practice yoga and meditation
Not take other people's pregnancies personal
Smile more
I read this is a magazine and it really struck home "Be aware of the difference between anticipating and living. Joy is rooted in the present." So, be more present day to day
Exercise regularly and consistently
Plan more meals so we eat out less

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A co-worker and friend. We were supposed to be pregnant around the same time (my baby 3 months younger), but then I miscarried. She had baby Max in June and he is super cute.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
The main nurse at fertility clinic #1 who was really great at her job. I wouldn't say we were super close, but it was really sad. She passed away at 38 from cancer.

5. What countries did you visit?
Dominican Republic

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A successful pregnancy, more happiness and patience, acceptance

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
January 5- the day we started Lupron for my first IVF cycle which ended up being the date I ovulated
January 23rd- the day I found out I was pregnant
February 18- the day we found out our baby's heart had stopped beating
May 22- the day W graduated with his doctorate in physical therapy
June 8- 2 years at my current job
July 23- my sister's wedding
September 30- unfulfilled due-date
December 5- the day we transferred our embryos

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting back on my feet after rejection at work
Strengthening my marriage (sorry Lanie, stole that one from you)
Getting back on my feet after a miscarriage

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing a baby
Failed fertility treatments

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Infertility, but otherwise completely healthy and feeling lucky for that

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Kindle, Blue Ray player that streams from the internet, 3 rounds of IVF, a vacation, dahlia bulbs for my garden

12. Where did most of your money go?
Fertility treatments, house projects, vacation, student loans, acupuncture, eating out

13. What did you get really excited about?
A pregnancy, vacation, finally transferring our embryos after 6 months of waiting

14. What songs will always remind you of 2011?
Anything by Mumford and Sons, Not Over you by Gavin DeGraw, Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer, Tighten Up by the Black Keys, Fix You by Coldplay

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or Sadder: Amazingly, I think happier. I am dealing with everything much better than last year
Thinner or Fatter: Probably about the same, maybe a little thinner
Richer or poorer: Richer! W graduated and got a professional job this year so we are officially DINK's

16. What do you wish you'd done more of:
Exercising, meditating, living life in the moment, smiling

17. What do you wish you had done less of:
Worrying, crying

18. How did you spend Christmas?
With the in-laws. W's Grandmother passed away so we didn't have our usual Christmas Eve dinner at his parent's house.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
Naked by David Sedaris
I did a lot of reading fertility books and can't say any of them were my favorite's

21. What was your favorite music from this year?
Mumford and Sons, The Black Keys, Maroon 5

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
The Tree of Life, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, Bridesmaids, A Day in the Life

23. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Went out to dinner with the hubby to our favorite Italian restaurant. I turned 28. We had a lobster dinner (as per tradition) with my parents the following night and went on the dinner with the in-laws a few nights later to a different Italian restaurant. I got wined and dined this year.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I hate to say it, but having a baby.

25. What kept you sane?
"Super-hubby" as I like to call him and my fur babies. Meeting so many others going through the same thing through blogging.

26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
That I can get back up on my feet regardless of what happens. That life goes on whether you decide to join in or not. That sometimes you have to be selfish and make the best decisions for yourself personally.

Looking back on 2011, it had some good times and some really crappy times. I am hoping that 2012 is a great year for everyone and that I can stick to my personal goals now that they were written out. Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Big Fall

Yesterday I stopped at my mom's house to heat up my lunch. Since I drive around and don't schedule a lunch time for myself I often have to use whatever microwave is convenient. Is just happened I had a visit scheduled and a bit of time to waste beforehand and was in their neighborhood. They are in Florida so the garage doors were closed. This left the outside steps to go up. I remember thinking they were slippery going up, but obviously it didn't stick. 

I ate my soup, which was delicious, and gave the cat some love. I then headed out, glass pyrex container in one hand and some minty chocolate cookies in the other. We don't generally buy sweets but I can always count on my mom's house to get some. It was pouring so I was hurrying to get to the car. Well, that was a bad idea.

I slipped and fell down four stairs. It. hurt. so. bad. My butt was soaked and I spent some time moaning about it before getting in my car and driving away. Within a few minutes my arm had already welted up and I was sore. 

Today my arm has a big dark bruise on it. And my butt?? OMG, it's ugly! I don't think I've ever seen such a dark bruise before. It looks black. My back is also sore but there aren't any huge bruises or welts. 

Sitting on the floor on the butt all day wasn't the most fun and I wasn't able to use my forearm to steer while eating, talking on the phone, etc. while I was driving today. Getting in and our of the car and up off the floor was not easy. Not a huge deal, but not a whole lot of fun either. I'm hoping the bruises heal quickly since I already have a leftover knot from progesterone on my butt very close by to the bruise. Do those eventually go away? It's been like 2 weeks and it's still there. 

When I saw it was snowing today I decided if I fell again I would just have to cancel the rest of my day and go home and hide in bed. Luckily, everyone had salted their walkways and I remained on my feet all day. Here's to hoping I don't fall again this winter. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Festivities and a Fresh Start

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We are lucky (and unlucky I guess) in that we get to celebrate three times, so next weekend the festivities will continue with my dad and sister (yay divorce). 
You can barely see Pepper (our other dog) in the right corner, he wasn't cooperating. This is the best shot we got using the timer on my camera. Merry Christmas from our furry family!
Last week we had my mom, step-dad and brother over for dinner to celebrate early. They go to Florida every Christmas to celebrate with my step-dad's mother, so they aren't ever around. It was really nice and relaxing. A few weeks ago I picked up my violin from my mom. I hadn't played in over 6 years but felt I needed a distraction during my 2ww. I have been practicing some and was able to play for my mom while she was over. That made her very happy. I played from second grade through my senior year in high school and was impressed by how easily I was able to pick it back up. We had a great dinner and exchanged gifts. My brother (almost 10) was literally kissing the Game Stop gift certificate we got him so you could say he liked it. 

Last Thursday we got the news that W's grandmother had a heart attack and passed away (3 days from Christmas). She lived to be 91 and was with it cognitively and lived independently up until the end. It happened really quickly so everyone is relived she didn't suffer. She was insanely generous in that she paid for her 7 grandchildren to go to college (Boston University, Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, Bates, Brown, and some art school in D.C.) She also gave us the center stone on my engagement ring which once belonged to her mother. Funeral services will be held on Friday and Saturday so we will be traveling to New Jersey for that. I think we will stop in Albany on the way for a night to stay with my sister and drop off our dogs and then stop on the way back through on Saturday and do Christmas Sunday with my dad and my sister. I hope she's ready to have 3 cats and 3 dogs at her house for a few days. Thanks K!

Due to the death in the family, Christmas Eve dinner was cancelled at the in-law's. We were invited instead to W's aunt and uncle's house and had a nice dinner. On Christmas day my in-law's came over for lunch and then we headed back to the aunt and uncle's for dinner again. I had a great time with W's cousin's boys (ages 5 and 8). D (the 5 year old) was too funny when he said "My most ticklish spot is my weiner." We all had a good laugh over that one. 

This is the painting W and I got each other for Christmas. We have two others by the same artist (who is local) and we really loved this one. It looks great on the wall.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If you can't make 'em, eat 'em

Welcome if you are visiting from ICLW. Thanks for stopping by! To catch you up to speed, I am Liz. I am 28 and live in NY. I have been seeing my RE for 16 months and have PCOS and one tube. During this time I have had 2 laparoscopic surgeries, 2 D&C's (one for a miscarriage and one for polyps), 2 failed IUI's and 1 failed IVF. If you want a more detailed history, feel free to read more

This may seem like a strange title for a post, but it stems from a joke I made during dinner tonight. W and I went out for a nice dinner and he ordered the osso bucco. Forever he had a thing against eating veal (which I completely understand but don't abide by). As he took his first bite he said, "I just remembered what osso bucco is... veal." So my reply was, "If you can't make 'em, eat 'em." We both had a good laugh and continued to joke about delicious baby legs.  

I got the phone call today to confirm what I already knew. To be honest, I stopped all my meds after I got another BFN on a pregnancy test on Monday morning. It was a FRER test which I know picks up HCG levels below 10. I knew if the number was going to be that low it wasn't going to be a viable pregnancy anyway. Well, big surprise my beta HCG number was zero. And the nurse I don't like called to give me the news. She didn't say anything other than that it was negative. 

To get it off my chest, the things the nurse did the day of the transfer the upset me were: 

1) She called me by the wrong name and had paperwork for me to sign with the wrong name on it. No, my name is not Tracy. Good thing I caught that one and corrected her. 

2) Saying to us about 20 minutes prior to the transfer "Everything is going wrong this morning" W looked right at her and said, "Don't say that." 

3) Referring to my embryos as "eggs." I had her double check we were transferring the right ones after the name mix-up. Even the embryologist called her out on that one. 

4) Completely losing her shit in the transfer room when the embryologist tried to hand the catheter with my embryos to her through the "window". The nurse starting yelling at the embryologist and said she was no longer sterile. Dr. S practically yelled at her and told her he had it. I just tried to close my eyes and relax. 

5) Rushing everything. Rushing me to go into the transfer room when they weren't even ready, and then trying to rush me to get up and go to the bathroom after. No, I didn't want to get up for 30 minutes, but after about 10 she was trying. 

I tried not to think of all these things that she did that day. I don't think it changed the outcome or anything, but it changed my opinion of her and the clinic for hiring her. I don't think she conducts herself in a professional manner and I'm definitely looking in a new direction for my next cycle. 

The nurse is honestly reason #2 to switch clinics. Reason #1 is financial. The clinic I currently go to charges about $6000/IVF cycle. To be honest, I haven't gotten the final bill and am not sure how much the assisted hatching cost. So probably, it will end up costing more than that. The other clinic with Dr. Gere (aka Dr. K) has package deals. I am looking now at one that includes 3 cycles for $7500. If it works the first time, great. If not, I know I will have 2 more tries and not feel so stressed about the money. 

I'm doing ok with the negative. I know Christmas isn't going to be easy, but I'm managing to put a smile on my face and continue on. Having a new plan in place is going to give me a positive direction to look in. I plan to call Dr. Gere's office tomorrow and ask my list of questions. I'm hoping to be able to start BCP's for another IVF cycle as soon as AF shows. Open the flood gates already, I'm ready to get this show on the road.

I really think a big part of IVF is a numbers game. If I'm going to gamble, I'd rather gamble in an efficient casino. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

11dp3dt... One Lonely Line

I held out until this morning to test. Had you asked me before the test I would have told you I was 85% sure I was pregnant. Now? Well, I'm not holding onto much hope. I had the thought that maybe it was just a bad dream as I was standing there in the dark looking at that single line. I felt the worst breaking the news to W.

The hardest part is that I had lots of symptoms. I've been pregnant before and know how it feels, so was convinced I was again. 

I wasn't blogging about my symptoms because I didn't want to jinx anything. I guess it wouldn't have mattered. I had cramping on days 3-5 past the transfer. Around 5 days past my boobs got bigger and started to get more sore. On Monday and Tuesday (7-8 days past) my sense of smell picked up drastically and level nausea appeared. To be honest, I've been pretty tired all along since starting the progesterone. Wednesday and Thursday I had some crazy ass dreams. 

I know there's a slim chance it could have still worked, but I'm not really into alluding myself much longer. I felt sad for about 10 minutes but then decided it doesn't do much to dwell on it. 

It felt good to have hope again. That hope remains despite a negative result. I am hopeful that IVF will work for us. I just don't think this was the right time. There was nothing I could have done to change the outcome. I was so positive and peaceful that first week. If the embryos stopped developing it wasn't my fault. Arrggh and Matey just weren't meant to be. 

There's nothing I can do now but look to the future. I am now faced with the decision to stick with Dr. S or switch it up and try Dr. K (aka Dr. Gere). I love Dr. S and feel I get individualized treatment, but I REALLY don't like the nurse that replaced Becky. If you don't know or remember, Becky was the nurse I connected with for over a year and who I found out recently passed away from cancer. I don't think she is easily replaced, but this new person sucks! After the transfer I didn't want to dwell on it, but it my opinion the new nurse fucked up big time. She was really unprofessional and not pleasant, but I will add another post about that. It still makes me upset to think about it. 

I'm going to be OK. Sure, I'm disappointed and I'm not thrilled about the outcome but I still have hope. And to be honest, that feels good. 

It won't be official until Tuesday when I have my beta, but I'm pretty sure we know the outcome. Better luck next time.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Embabies on board

Our transfer was at 9:30 this morning. Although I had trouble falling asleep and proceeded to have crazy dreams, I still woke up feeling rested. When we got there our embryos were up on the computer screen so I took a quick look. Four appeared fine and one no longer even looked like an embryo, more just like an egg. Dr.S appeared shortly after and began getting set up. They wanted to bring me into the transfer room at 9:15 but my bladder wasn't very full and I wasn't feeling the Valium. I've read too much about people being incredibly uncomfortable due to an over-full bladder, so I guess I didn't drink enough.
They gave me some time to drink more water and then we talked about the embryos. Of the four that survived two looked really good and two had yet to cleave or divide. I guess they were still viable, but hadn't shown any new growth. So...? We put them all back. I think it was the best choice because I would hate to think the two slackers could get tossed. 
Looking and feeling loopy, W has no excuse
It took a bit of time to get my uterus in full view on ultrasound, but once they did we were ready. They put the embryos in and then checked the catheter to make sure they were out. 

When they brought me back out to the original room to lie down I was super loopy. I was cracking myself and W up with my actions and comments. I had a bit of gauze and was using it as a pirate's patch. 

After a half hour I sent W to pick up the car and planned to walk out and meet him. When Dr. S saw me waiting by myself he offered to walk me out. He walked me out to my car and even opened my car door for me. 

My beta HCG test will be in 14 days, which is a bit of a long wait if you ask me. I am planning to test before then, but definitely not too early, I promise. I might even just test the day of so we can get the news together and at home. Dr. S told the nurse he would be the one to call me with the results. 

I spent the day lounging on the couch watching movies and shows: 30 Minutes or Less (ehhh, even though it had some of my favorites), 27 Dresses (always a good one), Parks and Recreation, The Office, and now America's Funniest Home Videos. No serious or sad stuff around here. Tomorrow I have to do an evaluation at 9:00 but plan to take the rest of the day off. W has been great today, doing everything for me and being super helpful. I will miss him tomorrow.

I will be thinking positive and hopeful thoughts for my embabies on board. How is it possible to have so much love for a little bundle of cells?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Surviving the ice age

Today my clinic will thaw and culture my embryos. I am scared and nervous, but hopeful and excited as well. Our transfer is tomorrow at 9:30 and we don't know yet how many embryos we will be putting back. 

I have been on progesterone for almost a week now. My butt is sore but it is getting better and more tolerable. Placing the vial of progesterone in hot water for about 5 minutes prior to the shot helps the progesterone to move more quickly. No big lumps or knots yet so I am thankful for that. 

If you could please send warm multiplying and dividing thoughts to my embryos today, we would all appreciate it. Thanks!!

And now, introducing, our beautiful embryos. I'm sure they'll look a bit different after the thaw but this was them in July. They were frozen on day 3.