Dec 22, 2011

Christmas threw up in my house

And more specifically, Christmas wrapping threw up in my house. 

For the third Christmas in a row, Mr. Slick and I waited to purchase gifts for our parents (3 sets!) because we were SURE that this year we would be able to buy them cutsie, "I love grandma/grandpa!" onesies or put an u/s picture in a frame. And for the third Christmas in a row, we have had to come up with alternate gifts. Completely our fault, by the way. That's just the thing with infertility, it breeds endless hope. 

So, even though we found out a few weeks ago that we were NOT going to be gifting adorable baby clothes, bibs, or blob u/s pictures, I still had to frantically shop yesterday - for pretty much everyone, allllll 20something gifts I needed. It was my own selfishness that made me wait so long. I needed to wallow a little and feel sorry for myself, I guess, before I could decide on alternate presents. And it was this waiting that led to frantic gift wrapping that I'm not even going to pretend I'm done with. I'm only about halfway done and the upstairs den is already covered in scraps of paper, ribbon and those little bits of tape that randomly appear after mass wrappings. 

When will I learn that procrastination leads to chaos? Maybe next year I'll throw everyone for a loop and buy them cutesie, I love ______, dog clothes. Yes? No? Would it be cruel to get their hopes up like that? Yea, probably. Sigh.

Dec 18, 2011

Etiquette - such a strange word to spell and say

Infertility EtiquetteBecause of recent events I have decided to dedicate this post to things to avoid doing or saying to an infertile woman. 

1. Just relax - yea, because relaxing will cure her endometrosis, pcos, or make her husband's sperm swim. Please don't minimize the situation and I'll try my hardest to not minimize yours. We are all fighting our own battles. 

2. But you're soooo young! - Infertility doesn't care how old you are and it's definitely one of those things that doesn't get better with age. I sometimes think I can hear my eggs and ute shriveling up...might just be gas though. 

3. You should just adopt, then you'll get pregnant! - this is incredibly rare and condescending and please don't minimize the huge emotional and financial risks of adoption. That's a whole 'nuther can of worms. And did you know that of the people who DO decide to go this route, only ~5% of them end up becoming pregnant on their own? 

4. You should just adopt. - Oh, you mean that because of my barren ute, I am less worthy of the entire parenting experience? Is that what you meant? Because that's how it can come across, especially to a woman who may or may not be pumped full of synthetic hormones and ready to esssploooode with emotional rage. You're welcome in advance for that warning :) Adoption is a wonderful family building option (one that Mr. Slick and I have always planned on pursuing, even before our IF diagnosis) but it's not for everyone. Respect that, yo.

5. You should just enjoy your life as is! You get to sleep in late, don't have to save for college funds, don't have to deal with morning sickness or stretch marks! You're the lucky one! - Bish please. I'd trade places with you in a minute. Please do not take for granted the wonderful gift you have been given. And while we're at it, don't offer me your kids in a humorous way..."Wanna borrow mine? They drive me nuts!"...I may take you up on this offer and then run away to Mexico. Kidding...kind of. 

6. Maybe God doesn't want you to be a mother/parent or God will give you a baby when he thinks you're ready. - This one is the most hurtful to me personally and it's the one I hear the most often. Please don't let your infertile friends think that God is punishing them for some unknown sin and that they think crack whores and child molesters are better parental candidates than them - yep, because that's what I think when you tell me this. You are basically saying that God allows people like that, people in awful positions to become parents, people who beat and abuse their children are more worthy than I am to become a parent. I know you don't mean it that way, but that's the way it can, and does get interpreted. 

7. There are worse things in life. - Yes, there are. But why don't you just go shove it. And remember this advice the next time you find yourself feeling hopeless and worthless. Oh, and you better believe the next time you complain to me about anything you'll get this response riiight back. 

8. Oh wow, I would never pursue treatments, it's like playing God. - Unless you've been in this position, you don't have room to judge. And since you're throwing in the God card, you shouldn't be judging anyway. And if it were like playing God, then I would already be pregnant. My wonderful RE has created three wonderful opportunities for me to get pregnant and I still didn't. How is that playing God? 

9. Ya need a sperm donor?? ::waggles eyebrows:: - I haven't had anyone offer this but someone I know has. Unless you KNOW that they will understand this is a joke, please steer clear. For the record, I probably would have laughed in your face had I been propositioned to be sperminated by someone. 

10. Remember your audience while complaining about your pregnancy symptoms or children. - I don't have personal experience with pregnancy or children (besides my students) but I'm sure some things are downright miserable sometimes. Just remember, someone would trade places with you in a heartbeat if possible. That doesn't mean never complain, that just means if I just had another failed cycle don't say to me, "Well, at least you don't have to deal with this awful morning sickness and back pain, ugh!" And, yes, someone DID say that to me. 

This to do/say: 

1. I'm sorry. 
2. Give a hug. 
3. Share your good news, we're still capable of being happy for you! Even if sad for ourselves. 
4. Ask how they would like to hear your news of pregnancy (if there's a possibility you'll get pregnant first).
5. Remember the mother's of lost babies on Mother's Day. Even if they didn't get their take home baby that doesn't make them less of a mother (this applies to Father's Day also!). 
6. Support their decisions to start/stop treatments. 
7. Oh, and you can't go wrong with chocolate and pedicures. 

Dec 15, 2011

The (new) plan

I went in for my follow up appointment yesterday and my RE said everything I was hoping. 

My questions were: 
  • Could there be any scar tissue from my LAP last April when my septum was removed? 
    • She suggested doing a SHG to check for this before I could even ask - it's scheduled for the 27th, woot woot!
  • Do I need to repeat any b/w?
    • She answered this before I could ask - all b/w is current - we would repeat if I had by this point an unsuccessful pregnancy 
  • Should we try a different form of estrogen than Estrace? Like Vivelle patches? 
    • She said we could be more aggressive with estrogen from the start since there were slight lining issues last time. We'll likely do Estrace + something else (maybe the patch, maybe another oral medication). We're aiming for a 9-10mm lining this time. 
  • Embryo Quality?
    • Before I could bring it up, she raved about our embies and how wonderful they looked and thawed. So, no embryo quality issues are evident.
  • Baby aspirin? 
    • She said she's not for it or against it but there's no harm in trying, so we'll be adding in a baby aspirin next cycle. 
  • Could my PIO allergy (to the oil, not progesterone) have had a negative affect on things? 
    • She also answered this before I could ask - No, P4 levels were still fine. My allergy did not affect the absorption of the progesterone, just made things painful and uncomfortable for me. 
  • Can we time things for another FET over spring break or should we wait until June since I don't have anymore time off work this school year? 
    • She said we could do either and she would be supportive either way. Of course, this is all pending the SHG results. 

Anyway, she was wonderful and is being proactive instead of just chugging through another cycle without checking things out first. She said she doesn't want to leave any stone unturned before putting us through another emotional and physical roller coaster. 

So we're on a break for now. But when you're already 2.5 years into the process, a break here or there isn't terrible, I guess. We'll likely be cycling again in March or June. But for now I'm enjoying my Dr. Pepper :)

Dec 12, 2011

Refrigerator full of pictures

I have a refrigerator full of adorable pictures. Kids sitting with Santa, kids in adorable holiday outfits, kids draped with Christmas lights. Only thing is, none of these are my kids. 

How many years can I get away with putting a Christmas hat or antlers on my dog and taking a pic before he plots my death and executes the plan while I sleep? (he wouldn't come near me for nearly an hour after last year's torture - I can't believe I don't have evidence of this on my computer)

Maybe I'll just start hoarding dogs and each year I can feature the new one. 

OH! And maybe if I get enough I'll have enough to send out a personalized calendar each year. 

Jan - cute puppy in the snow
Feb - cute puppy with hearts
March - cute puppy in green
April - cute puppy in rain gear
May - cute puppy in flowers
June - cute puppy at the beach
July - cute patriotic puppy
Aug - cute puppy swimming
Sept - cute back to school puppy
Oct - cute puppy with pumpkins
Nov - cute puppy with a turkey
Dec - cute puppy with hat or antlers

Ok, I feel better now that I have a fallback plan. 

Dec 10, 2011

And then the tears came

Yesterday I did not cry. I couldn't, there were no tears. Around 3 the RE's office called and left a message. I assumed it was my beta results. Mr.Slick and I agreed to listen to the message together. So around 5, we did. 

It was a message asking us to call them back. Well, this is different! They've always just left the bad news on my voice mail. I prefer it that way anyway. 

So, I call back and the nurse isn't available but the receptionist explains that she'll call back soon so they can explain everything to me. I think, you mean there's something to explain??? 

I got the call back within 10 minutes and the nurse explained that my beta was negative. She explained that they ran a blood test checking for hcg, the pregnancy hormone and my level was zero. Thanks for that explanation. Obviously I'm too dense to understand that message through a voice mail. Obviously, by looking at my chart you could see that I've never gotten a negative beta before ::insert sarcasm here:: I know I'm just nitpicking but I wish they had left a message. 

This morning when I woke up the tears came. Well, they were already there - my pillow was soaked. I cried in my sleep, I think. 

I went through all that pain with PIO for nothing. I had to start them giving them to myself in my thigh. After 4 days the pain was excruciating. I was told by a few nurses (not at my RE's office - other nurses) that it's normal to experience a little pain and discomfort when self injecting IM shots. I figured myself to be a big wimp and tried a few more days of it only to experience a rash and swelling of the legs. 

When it got to the point where I could no longer walk, I made Mr.Slick do it. He's deathly afraid of needles but because he loves me, he did it. After 4 or so days the pain started again, but this time up my back and down my legs and the rash started too. This time I demanded that one of these nurses actually look at my hip. She then realized that this was not normal, she actually teared up from looking at it. She had me make a call to the RE's office and they called in a new rx, with the progesterone mixed in a new oil. Turns out I'm allergic to the other one. I could not walk, sit, sleep, drive, ANYTHING for almost two weeks without extreme pain. 

All of that pain would have been worth it. But now I have nothing. 

Dec 1, 2011

And now we wait...

I consider myself a pretty patient person. Painfully so sometimes. I mean, I DO work with 13 year old all day, right?

Now, I'm painfully, patiently waiting for my beta that is in 8 days.

Yesterday we transferred two beautiful 4AA embies (see this for explanation of grading). The transfer this time was much more tolerable without OHSS. I even made it the entire 20 minutes to pee this time instead of having a date with the bedpan at the 10 minute mark.

So, y'all please help remind me that I'm a patient person and I can wait until my beta. Please?

Nov 22, 2011

Heck yes!

Woohoo! My ute listened to me and got the act together!

Today my lining was almost 9mm! So, They're adjusting my Estrace back down and I start progesterone shots on Friday. Transfer is scheduled for next Wednesday.

Now I just could use some prayers that our embies thaw safely from their -400 degrees. 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and encouragement for my ute :)

Nov 15, 2011

Alright Uterus, let's get the act together.

I don't know why we keep having to have these conversations, my ute and me but it's just not getting the message apparently. 

I went in today for a lining check to start progesterone so we could prep for the (supposed to be) transfer next week. Well, my sucktastic ute lining decided that it was NOT going to thicken at all since my baseline appointment. Right after my period I was at a 4.78 and now? The largest measurement she got was 5.11, the average being 5.06. 

Yeaaaaa, they want at least an 8. 

With most women TTC a kick in the ute would probably be counterproductive but I'm seriously starting to contemplate it. Perhaps it would help? 

If you have any prayers to spare, please pray my lining thickens by next Tuesday after this change to my meds. Please and thank you :)

Nov 4, 2011

I have a confession

Backstory: I'm sick with a cold or allergies and feel like death but I only have 1.5 days left off work for this school year and I'm saving that for my next transfer. I also have a neck injury and am on muscle relaxers. I haven't slept well all week and am just a zombie by the end of the day. 

Confession: Today while at my sono appointment to check my lining the nurse told me to lay down, she dimmed the lights, inserted the dildo cam and...



I FELL ASLEEP! It was only for like a split second (I think confuse

I fell asleep while being violated by my RE nurse. 

Most people are probably super uncomfortable and can't relax AT ALL but apparently I was relaxed enough to nod off. 

I think I've hit a new all time low.

Oct 23, 2011

Feeling church

In the world of infertility I have felt no more alone than while at Church. Not during mass, per se, but while in the church. And the more I think about it, the more it makes me sad. Of all the places in the world that is the last place I should feel alone. 

(Please let it be known before you read on that I do not feel abandoned by, forgotten by, or without God and Jesus - that's not what this post is about. I did feel this way at one point but I have long since moved on from those dark thoughts)

Churches are built around a sense of family. Family. If you ask someone to draw a picture of a family, what do they draw? 99% will draw a mother, father, a kid or two and dog, probably with their house as the background. If I showed most people a hand drawn picture of a man and woman, most would say it's a picture of a couple, not a family. We, Mr. Slick and I, are by social confines not yet a family. And sadly, our Church parish, like many others also conforms to this social norm. 

Following mass recently (due to a lovely stomach virus we did not attend mass this weekend) I was reading the bulletin for possible groups for Mr. Slick and I to join. We're feeling alone and wanting guidance so we thought first to turn to our parish. 

There are groups for the following: First time Moms, Mom's of two or more, Mom's of preschoolers, Dad's group, Seniors group, Knights of Columbus, Homeschool group, Little Saints and Scholars, Catholic Daughters, and Newlyweds. 

There are only two groups dedicated for couples of childless parents (or at least those who don't have children at home); the Seniors group and the Newlyweds group. We don't fit into either category. And I actually met a few of the people in the Newlyweds group - all of which were already pregnant. 

Sadly, this is the norm. I looked to a neighboring town's parish website for possibilities and they had many many more groups as it's a larger parish and town but with more options of groups did not bring more options for childless couples. We don't fit the mold of what most churches define as family and that makes me both mad and sad. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Sometimes during mass I look around at all the other families there and sometimes see a couple, clearly married and always wonder if they're infertile too. Or if their kids are just visiting grandma and grandpa's for the weekend. 

One day I might fit this mold but someone will always be left out. 

Oct 21, 2011

Celebrities and Infertility

Yep, it happens to them too. It probably happens to many more than we're aware of. However, it's none of our business. 

Many people in the IF world complain when suspected famous IFers don't open up about their struggles but I'm always left wondering, why they owe that to the rest of the world? 

IF is a deeply personal and emotional roller coaster. No one wants to be in that position, no one wants to be and feel like a failure. No one wants to feel less womanly or manly, no one wants to disappoint their friends and family. But that's what IF does to you. It does all of those things. And I'm sure having your picture with the words INFERTILE plastered all over magazine covers and the internet isn't easy to see and experience. 

Opening up about infertility is something one must do in their time, not when it's convenient for you. It's something a couple must grieve and struggle through, even after treatments have been successful. I've never experienced success but I don't see these feelings of hurt and failure instantly disappearing as soon as I see two pink lines. That's something that sticks with you. 

Sure, things would be much easier if all celebrities who have/will struggle with IF would open up and talk freely about it. But did you sing it from the rooftops as soon as you received your diagnosis? Most people need some time to digest this, most people need some time to deal with it, most people need to adjust to it alone or with their close family/friends. I don't blame them for this. 

And some of you will claim that they have it sooooo much easier than we do. No, they don't, at least not emotionally. Yes, they have many more financial resources than the average person but think about it, it's the emotional and physical parts that are the toughest, right? Well, money can't take that away so celebs don't owe us anything. 

Oct 10, 2011

Questions to ask at your first RE appointment:

Many people are nervous prior to their first RE appointment and want to go in, armored with questions. A good RE will leave you with few questions but here are a few in case they don't offer the information. Of course there might be more information that you want/need but this will tell you mostly what you need to know. Enjoy :)

1. What does your typical monitoring consist of with the treatment plan you have for me? 
2. What are your operating hours? Weekend hours? Holiday hours? 
3. Will I be seeing you or a nurse usually? 
4. How long does it take to get lab results back? 
5. Do you repeat tests after a certain amount of time? (some clinic's have patients do repeats of CD3, 7DPO, and SA's every six months or year)
6. Do you have a website with information for patients? 
7. What is the best protocol for contacting you/your office after hours? Is there a charge for this if it's not an emergency? 
8. Do you have your own surgery center or will surgeries/procedures be done elsewhere? 
9. Will I ever meet with the other doctor's in the practice (if there are other's)? If no other doctors in the practice - How do you handle your own personal absences since many IF related appointments are time sensitive? 
10. Do you have an email address where I can directly contact you if needed? 
11. What are payment options? Is all payment due at time of service or can we do payment plans? Is there a discount for paying in advance? 
12. Do you have a list of preferred pharmacies for IF medications? 
13. Should I still go see my obgyn for my regular appointments (pap smear, yearly appt, etc) or will you do all these exams? 
14. What is your waiting room policy? Can I bring more than one person with me to appointments? For those with children - Do you allow children in your office/waiting room? 
15. Can I have a copy of your most recent statistics studies? (typically only for IVF patients)
16. What is your opinion on drinking during treatments? Should I alter my diet? What about caffeine? 
17. What is your opinion on chiropractic care? Acupuncture? Herbal remedies? 
18. Are OTC prenatals good enough or do you require a rx prenatal while doing treatments? 
19. Do you have any letters (or emails) of recommendation? 
20. Do you ever have trials/studies done that someone with my diagnosis could participate in? Will I get any compensation for these studies? 

For more information on IF testing/treatments/costs, see this.

Oct 8, 2011

Dear Uterus,

You need to get your act together. 9 days of AF is unacceptable. And it doesn't look like you plan on stopping within the next few days. 

Please get your shit together. 

Kind regards, 
The management

Oct 5, 2011

Cheat day.

I cheated today. It was glorious. Cheat days are good for the soul. 

I had a grande White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. 

I had homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. 

I had a 7Up with lunch AND a mini Reese's. 

I also might have had macaroni & cheese with another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie for dinner. 

I'm sure this won't help my still bloated belly, but oh well. It was worth it. 

Sep 28, 2011

IVF #1 is negative

Beta came back negative. 

I have nothing else to say, as I don't know how to feel besides devastated. 

WTF appointment is next week.

Sep 20, 2011

Snuggle in little ones!

Yesterday (9/19) we transferred, what the embryologist called two perfect, textbook embies. Our beta is on the 28th! EEK! 

I'm dealing with a slight case of OHSS but as long as I don't get up/down too much it's not too bad. I am bloated, crampy, and am dealing with some shortness of breath but nothing unbearable. It will hopefully all be worth it. 

Here is a pic of one of our embabies: 

The quality isn't great since I was taking a picture of a print out but trust me, it's beautiful :)

Sep 15, 2011

We have 11 embabies!

We have 11 little embabies growing right now. 

Out of the 25 retrieved, 20 looked mature (came from mature follies), 16 were actually mature, 2 fertilized abnormally, 3 didn't fertilize and 11 are doing well. 

It's amazing that even with perfectly healthy eggs and sperm that are FORCED together under perfect conditions it's still not always a perfect outcome. Babies truly are a special and rare thing. 

The babysitter, I mean embryologist, will call me on Saturday with an update as long as nothing changes between now and then. We're still scheduled for a 5 day transfer for Monday. 

I'm still crampy but much better than I was yesterday. 

Sep 14, 2011

Cramps, I haz them.

Ouch. They retrieved 25 eggs today. Twenty-five. Yep, that's right. I have some epic cramps and slight bloating going on.

 I'm fine sitting or standing but transitioning between the two? Ouch. 

Oh and walking, another ouch. And going to the bathroom, also ouch. Except that I can't fully go. I can only go #1. That's right folks, I can't poo. (I think my mother would die if she knew I was talking about my poo, or lack thereof on the interwebs)

I have nothing to take for it here, not even enough ingredients for home remedies and don't feel comfortable driving. And Mr.Slick only got 3 hours of sleep last night so I sent him to bed about an hour ago. 

I feel if I could just go, then things would be about 87% better. But no, I can't go :(

Sep 13, 2011

Egg retrieval is tomorrow!

I triggered last night at 8:30 and the ER is tomorrow morning! I'm so excited. 

They saw about 20 mature follicles at my follie check yesterday and my E2 level was in the 3000's. 

Aaaaaand, that's it.

Sep 10, 2011

My kids.

In case it hasn't been mentioned before, I'm a teacher. My official title is 8th grade math teacher. So some assume I only teach math. 

But I teach much more. I teach my students to love math. I teach them to love each other and to love themselves. I teach them to be productive. I teach them to be proactive. I teach them to be better than they thought they could be and I teach them that they can always be better. I teach them that kindness is the only way to win (in my classroom anyway). I teach them to set their goals high and to never stop working for them. 

I teach them because I love to do this. I have always loved teaching and as my principal once put it so kindly, "Mama-ing them." I love to take care of them. I love to hear about their successes and help them find a solution to their failures. I love to support them when needed and be their cheerleader when no one else will. 

These are MY kids. I get a new batch every school year and watch them become someone else's kids the next. I love these kids. And they might be the only kids I ever have. That's why I will always give them my all. 

Sep 6, 2011

Lucky Socks (and an update!)

Check out my awesome new Lucky Socks! I had an amazing gift-er, Bonnie Sue :) I now have two pairs of adorable socks, one for my egg retrieval and the other for transfer! Here I am with one of each pair on: 
LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!

Now my update: Nurse called today after my freaking early blood draw (ok, it was only at 7am - but that means I had to leave my house by 6:15, that's EARLY) and my E2 level was already at 256 after 3 days of Follistim/Menopur/Lupron! Woot Woot! For tonight and tomorrow night I'm actually being dropped from 150 of Follistim to 125 but keeping with the 2 vials of Menopur and 10 units of Lupron. I go in Thursday @ 7 for my first follie check and some more blood for the vampires - I mean nurses :)

Sep 5, 2011

Need to get something off my chest.

Do not tell me that God will give me a baby when He thinks I'm ready. 
Do not tell me to relax and it will happen. 
Do not tell me that I just need to pray. 

Do you really think that those things haven't crossed my mind? 

And what do you mean by, God will give me a baby when He thinks I'm ready? Are you insinuating that crack whores who leave their babies in dumpsters are more ready than I am? Are you saying that God thinks that child molesters and child beaters are/will be better parents than Mr.Slick and I? 

Please explain yourself here. I understand your intentions are not malicious but please think about what you are saying. 

God created a wonderful system. A scientific system of timing and chance. A system where all things must be 100% correct for a pregnancy to happen. Achieving pregnancy is a scientific process that God created for us. He does not decide who has sex and who doesn't, He gave us free will. I do think he can grant us a miracle, but I do not believe every baby made is a miracle in the religious sense, but more the "the stars are perfectly aligned tonight and we're both healthy" kind of miracle. If God only wanted certain people to have children, then why would sex be necessary? Why wouldn't he just give those specific people their perfect children? He created a perfectly beautiful world and perfectly beautiful scientific process but it's not perfect.

Sep 4, 2011

Woowoo! This cycle is a go!

My baseline was on Friday and it was great! 

  • My lining was nice and thin at 3.11 :)
  • My E2 level was nice and low at 43 :)
  • My ovaries were nice and quiet :) 
  • BUT! With a good AFC - we counted 25 or so itty bitties

Last night (Saturday) was my first night of stims. I dropped my Lupron dosage down to 10 units and added in 2 vials of Menopur and 150 units of Follistim. Mr.Slick was majorly uneasy at the thought of me doing three shots per night, lol. I don't know what we would do if HE had to do any shots!

Aug 23, 2011

Small update.

So, can we talk about how uncomfortable the mock transfer was? 

O.M.G. The full bladder part was the killer. I mean, really. Effing awful. 

BUT!!!! It was worth it since it means we're one step closer to getting pregnant!

I got my calendar this morning at my appointment. I start Lupron injections tomorrow and will do those until the 9/2 and then I start Follistim+Menopur. 

I'm getting exciiiited. 

Aug 11, 2011

Moving on...

So, due to several factors we are moving on to IVF.

 I was a poor responder, even after 25 days of Follistim, Mr.Slick's samples were pretty good (for someone with MFI) but his numbers fluctuate so much that it's kind of a gamble, and I don't have any more accrued time off at work. 

I have 9 days for the next 8 months. And being a teacher, I can't take an hour here or there or take a long lunch. I can take half days or full days. End of story. And even if I just use all half days, that only gives me 18 "days" total. And as I mentioned above, my ovaries are apparently slow and need 20+ days to get the job done. 

I'm scared and nervous and excited. Mostly excited though. I know this is our best shot, I know this makes the most sense, and I know that if we had decided to do another IUI and it failed I would have been constantly asking myself "Why did we not give it our all and do IVF?"

So here we are. Two nervous wrecks about to throw a pretty good chunk of our savings into one basket. I just hope this basket brings lots of eggs. 

Aug 7, 2011


Someone once described infertility as waiting at the airport. It was a wonderful analogy, let me see if I can get it right. 

You show up to the airport with your spouse, anxiously and excitedly waiting for your loved one to arrive. You're there waiting with all your friends and family who are also waiting for their special delivery. 

The plane arrives, someone opens the doors and people start to appear in the tunnel. You hold your breath as people trickle out and run into the arms of the ones waiting for them. You see the joy on their faces as they greet the new arrival and they slowly leave. Eventually less and less people are coming down the little hallway and suddenly you realize everyone else is gone. 

An airport worker approaches and explains that maybe your loved one missed their flight and to stick around for the next arrival. The room fills again with people waiting and the same thing happens. You're so hopeful as each person comes out, desperately leaning forward and straining your eyes to see if they came to see you. But again, the plane empties and you are again left alone. 

This time you're told to go home and try coming back another time. Maybe they weren't ready to come home. Maybe they just keep missing their flight. So you pay lots of money to the airlines to make sure this special person is on the next flight. You call and double check the itinerary, triple check it even. You're told they will make this flight so you and your spouse go to the airport again. And you wait. And you wait. And you wait. By this time the people who work in the airport know you by name and even ask you why you even show up. You respond with "How can I not show up? What if this flight is the flight they actually make?" So you're waiting and watching people pick up their loved ones, some of these people you've seen pick up people before. You desperately want to feel the joy of embracing that person you've waited so long for. But again, you're left with no one. 

Defeated, you go home. But you'll be there again tomorrow. Waiting. 

I think infertility is about waiting and eternal, sometimes foolish hope. 


Beta was negative. I wasn't terribly surprised with all the cramps I've been having the past few days but it still hurts. 

Mr. Slick and I luckily didn't have too much time yesterday to dwell on it as our best friends were in town and kept us busy. We went to lunch, we went to Dick's (haha) to get said friends some Rangers gear and then went to the Ranger's game. It was flucking hot last night at the game but we all survived. It finally cooled down to the double digits by 9:00 or so. I ate a hot dog and had several Dr. Peppers, things I wouldn't have done had my beta's been different. I had disgustingly good ballpark nachos with jalapenos and a funnel cake. My partner in crime and I looked like coke addicts by the time we were done eating it. There is no way to gracefully eat something with powdered sugar while sitting in stadium seats, we discovered. 

Luckily I managed to get an appointment with the RE for Monday to discuss where to go from here as I only have time for 1, maybe 2 cycles this coming school year. Unlucky for us, it's in the office that's about 1.5 hours away from where we live. 

Now to drown my sorrows in caffeinated goodness...

Jul 26, 2011

IUI #1 and #1.2

I had my back to back IUI's yesterday and today. And beta is scheduled for Aug. 6th! I'll only be 11 (or 12) dpiui which seems soon but I guess I'll know the answer that much sooner. Testing that soon I'll be sure to take the results with a grain of salt as there could still be some trigger in my system but my RE wanted it then and I trust her expertise. 

Oh and I started the progesterone supps today too, aka crotch rockets. They're lovely.

Jul 24, 2011

Woot woot!

I had my millionth follie check this cycle (ok, maybe it was just my 13th follie check) and our one rockstar follie is finally a mature 20mm :) So I just took my trigger and we're doing back to back IUI's tomorrow and the next day. 

And tomorrow is our anniversary. That has to mean good things, right???

P.S. Those trigger shots sting a little bit when administered cold :(

Jul 14, 2011

More tales from the RE's office.

So Mr.Slick works strange hours. I always try to schedule RE appointments he's planning on attending as early as possible so he can go to sleep as soon as we're home fro them. 

On one lovely spring morning we were at the RE's office after Mr.Slick had been awake for almost 36 hours. He was a wee bit tired. They got us back fairly quickly for my blood work and then straight into the u/s room. However we did have to wait in the u/s room for a while. 

I was sitting there, nekkid from the waist down on that thin paper watching my husband fight sleepiness. His cure? He started snooping. 

He first started with just the drawers under the bench he was sitting on. Phew, only pads and more of the bright orange paper gown thingies I was covering my lower half with. I thought I was out of danger at that point. Then he stands up and starts pacing, eyeing the wall of cabinets and drawers on the other side of the exam room. And then the sweat starts and my butt cheeks start sticking to the paper. Oh no, he's going to do it. 

I begged, pleaded with him not to but there was no stopping him. I was too scared of the doctor coming in catching us both "in the act" and me showing her my full moon so I sat frozen only able to beg him to stop. 

He found the lube drawer, the gloves drawer, the towlette drawer, and what he called the torture chamber drawer (speculums). And then he found the condoms. Oh gawd. He took one (don't worry, by this point he already had gloves and a mask on from his previous findings). He then started flying the huuuuge thing across the room like a kite letting it fill with air. 

Then we heard her. She was outside our room talking to someone else. I panicked and gave him my best death glare as he frantically ripped the mask and gloves off but he forgot about the condom now sitting next to him on the bench. 

::knock, knock:: 

She came in and and didn't notice the condom on the bench. As she went to get the dildo cam a condom for our use that day I tried my best to point  with my eyebrows and eyes to the condom. He looked at me so confused and then it clicked. Being the super sly person he is he slowly picked it up and put it in my purse. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from by brow. ::sigh:: We made it through the rest of that appointment without incident, thank goodness. 

The condom lived in my purse for a few weeks too. I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away for some reason. 

Jul 12, 2011

Tales from the RE's office.

Setting: A small waiting room with 12 or so chairs and a receptionist on the other side of a thin plastic window. 

We were waiting for our appointment for our first follie check. I was playing Angry Birds and killing those little green dudes (are they pigs? I never watched the intro or read the directions, obviously). Mr. Slick was leafing through a copy of Time magazine as two other couples sat nearby. 

Suddenly he closes the magazine and leans toward me and whispers in my right ear, "I'm sorry."

I look to him and say, "Sorry for wha..." And it hits me. That invisible cloud of death. 

I suppress a cough as Mr. Slick turns a lovely shade of pink. The next thing out of my mouth I couldn't suppress, a giggle. Oh lord, I have the giggles. And now he has the giggles. 

I glance around at the other couples and no one makes eye contact. One lady moves her magazine up to hide her face. Oh goodness, will these giggles ever stop? There's NO way these people don't smell this by now. 

And then? Our redemption. A nurse opens the door and whisks us away for blood work and a follie check. I have never been more excited to lose blood. 

Jul 9, 2011

Dear Mrs.Walker

I love you. 

You have no idea how boring my summer would be without your texts. 

You have NOOOOOOOOO idea (well maybe you do) how much I appreciate being able to vent to you about crazycakes family members. 


Jul 3, 2011

So testing is done, now what?

Now you're in the treatment phase. Treatment will depend greatly on your diagnosis. Some people only require simple treatments and some will skip straight to IVF. It really just depends. 

One of the most simple treatments is a medicated cycle with TI. Common medications for first cycles are Clomid and Femara. Here is the protocol that should be followed for almost any medicated cycle: 

CD3: baseline u/s and b/w - this will be a check to make sure you don't have any cysts, your lining is appropriately thin, your blood flow to your uterus is good and your hormone levels are good. 
CD10-12: Follie check & b/w - this will check to see how and if your follies are growing and to make sure you aren't over responding (OHSS) 
Then you'll go in every few days or so until you have mature follies. Then your RE will either instruct you on when to have sex or give you a trigger shot (to give yourself at home) so you'll O 36 hours later and know when exactly to have sex. 
7DPO: this will be to check your progesterone levels. If your progesterone is too low, then you cannot sustain a pregnancy and then you might be put onto prog. supplements. 

This monitoring might seem extreme but it is so so SOOOOO important. I don't know why anyone would want to risk their reproductive health when there are options to help. Many fertility medications (like Clomid) can be very dangerous. It can cause horrible cysts (read through my old posts and you'll find my personal experience with this), thinned uterine lining which may be permanent, HOM (wanna be the next Kate+8?) and other awful side effects. 

Ok, so you tried a few cycles of TI and it didn't work. The next step would be medicated cycle + IUI. You will follow the same protocol up until the sex part and then instead your husband will go give a sample about an hour before you go in to be sperminated. May the sperm be with you. There are varying levels of IUI protocol's. After Clomid/Femara there are then FSH injects. These increase the odds of pregnancy but then also increase the odds of HOM. They're also like liquid gold as the medications can cost thousands of dollars each cycle. 

Next, if you and your RE feel that IUI isn't working and they want to go to the next step, that would be IVF. IVF is very invasive and very expensive. You will inject yourself at home  (with similar drugs or the same drugs) as you used in an injects cycle. When your follies are ready you'll then go in for an egg retrieval. This is where your RE goes in and removes your eggs - as many mature ones as they can. This might be 20 or it might be 3. Of course higher numbers mean more chances but there are no guarantees. After the eggs are retrieved, they will be sperminated by your RE with your husband's sperm. They will then closely monitor your new embryos. Depending on the quality of your embryos that were fertilized (if any) they will transfer them back in 3 or 5 days after (I've also heard of day 6 transfers). Now, make sure you have a responsible doctor and only transfer 1 or 2 (mayyyybe 3). Don't go Octomom on us and transfer 10, mmmkay? 

Now, that was an extremely sugarcoated version of IVF. It's painful, emotional, expensive, and hard. I've never been in that situation but know a few people that have been through it. 

Now what a lot of people are interested in: Costs. 

These are general estimates based on my own personal experiences. 

Medicated + TI: $500-900 
Medicated + IUI: $700-1500
Injects + IUI: $1000-3000
IVF: $8,000+

None of these estimates include the cost of medications. Once you enter the realm of injects, medications can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars extra EACH CYCLE.

Okie dokie, questions? Comments? 

Think you need IF testing?

Ok, so you think you need to start talking to your doctor about infertility testing. Way to go! It can be really hard to make it to this step. Infertility is defined as: the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive.  If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months (

If you think you need testing, I'd see how much your OBGYN is willing to work with you. I  would first ask for CD3 b/w, 7DPO b/w, and an u/s. All of these things can be done within the same cycle. CD3 b/w can typically be done on CD2-4, so if CD3 falls on a weekend, you should be able to work something out. Now with 7DPO b/w, do NOT let your OBGYN or one of the nurses confuse this with CD21 b/w. CD21 b/w is only useful if you O'd on CD14. The only way for you to CONFIRM ovulation is by charting your BBT ( is a great website for this). OPK's do NOT confirm ovulation and most RE's are not satisfied with only that information. Your blood work will be checking your hormone levels, thyriod, blood sugars, etc. The u/s will check for any major uterine abnormalities and the overall look of your ovaries. 

If you want a SA (semen analysis) can also be done this cycle. I would make sure to do this before any more invasive tests are ordered for you as this test is SOOOO easy and relatively cheap OOP. 

Ok, so those tests came back. Now, if you're still not pregnant (and if it's been a year of well timed sex), then get thee to a RE!!! Once there, they'll probably take the reigns but if not, ask for a HSG or SHG next. (have you noticed that I haven't mentioned treatments yet...yes, that was on purpose - no treatments should have been ordered yet) This will show a more in depth look of your uterus and check to see if your tubes are all clear.

If this comes back clear, then it's likely treatments will start... (see next post for more info)

The next step in testing is a LAP. This is a diagnostic surgery. It's very simple in surgery terms and most women have easy recoveries. Little cameras will be inserted through small incisions in your belly (mine went in through my belly button) and they'll look around. This is the only way to definitively diagnose endo and other issues. It will also give them a look at other organs around the uterus and inside.  

Sometimes your doctor, whether new or old, might order repeats of tests. This is especially true of shady SA's. If you get bad results with those a repeat will almost always be ordered a few months down the road. 

Ok, this is pretty much it in terms of basic testing.

New to Infertility?

Ok, I'm going to give my own personal rundown of Infertility. This will just be a general overview with some commonly used terms/acronyms, tests and treatments. Hope it can help someone! This will likely take several days. 

First terms/acronyms: 

ART - assisted reproductive technology
BBT - basal body temperature/thermometer
BCP - birth control pills
BFN/BFP - big fat negative/positive 
b/w- blood work
CD - cycle day
CM - cervical mucous
DPO - days past ovulation
DX - diagnosis
E2 - Estradiol (basically your follie growing hormone)
Endo - endometriosis
ER/ET - egg retrieval/transfer
FF - fertiliy friend -
FMU - first morning urine
Follie - Follicles (basically your eggs - or what your eggs grow in - kind of...)
FSH - follicle stimulating hormone
HCG - basically the pregnancy hormone - will be given as a trigger for ovulation
HOM - high order multiples
HPT - home pregnancy test
HSG - Hysterosalpingogram
IF - infertility
IUI - intra-uternine insemination
IVF - in vitro fertilization
LAP - laparoscopy
LP/LPD - luteal phase/ LP defect
MFI - male factor infertility
O - Ovulation
OBGYN/GYN - Obstetrician/Gyno (aka your girly bits dr)
OHSS - Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
OOP - out of pocket (aka your insurance company is screwing you royally)
OPK - ovulation predictor (kit)
PCOS - polycystic ovarian syndrome
RE - reproductive endocrinologist (aka a fertility specialist)
SA - semen analysis
SHG - Sonohysterogram
TCOYF - Taking Charge of Your Fertility (an AWESOME book)
TI - Timed intercourse
U/S - ultrasound

In my next few posts, I will be using these terms and if I use others I'll try to come back here and add them in. 

Jun 27, 2011

Cyst Update :)

I went in today for my cyst check and it's now 1/3 of the size it was! Woot woot! So what this means is that as long as my E2 levels come back normal today then I can come off bcp and start my Follistim injects on CD2!! 

Ahhhhhhhhhh! I'm so excited! 

Jun 26, 2011


Yes, I know I'm not pregnant or a mom. So you might ask, "Why are you writing about this?" Well, that's because I feel strongly about it and I think this book is mostly a load of crap and at the light end of the spectrum ok information that needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, I know I'm not a mom/not an expectant mom however, I was forced to read this load of crap book in one of my childhood development classes and then write a paper on it. It was so difficult to not let my emotions and true feelings come out in that paper. 

This blogger: said what I wanted to say. If you're a pro-babywiser, please know that I understand that every baby is different and that this method might work for you. And if it does/did, then bravo! you are a lucky one that has a baby that comes out of your vag already with a schedule (kidding, kind of - I know that ANY type of sleep training is difficult). But please take this NON-scientifically based/one man's opinion/book and all it's information with caution and modify to your child's and your needs. The people that I am really speaking to are the one's who take Ezzo's word as the ONLY word and do exactly what the book says.

So, I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at me for writing this and some of you might agree. Anyway, I'm stepping off my soapbox now and I hope y'all have a wonderful Sunday!

Jun 20, 2011

Thoughts during Father's Day Mass

Yesterday we went to mass with my sister and 1 year old niece. Since my adorable Goddaughter is completely into EVERYTHING now and likes to loudly sing along with the hymns, we thought it best to sit in the crying room. Mr.Slick and I were sitting there listening to mass and entertaining my niece since my pregnant sister can't really pick her up due to complications (yes my sister is pregnant with another while her 1st born is just a year - she had a very difficult pregnancy and will again but I digress...). 

So anyway, we were sitting there playing with my niece and there are babies laughing, climbing and crying all around us and my my heart was aching through their laughs and cries. Mr. Slick and I could feel the tension between us and we knew we were thinking the same thing. During mass, while the priest was commenting on all the wonderful fathers and fathers to be in the parish, I couldn't help but think about how if we weren't plagued with infertility we could have a 9 month old sitting there with us and he could be the proud papa during his first Father's Day mass. We could be the embarrassed parents prying our child's sticky fingers from the pew in front of us as we carry the squealing babe to the cry room or if even necessary, outside. How I wish we could suffer such wonderful embarrassment.  

Yesterday was not his Father's Day but perhaps next year he will be able to sit proudly and stand when all the other fathers are recognized on their special day too.