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Surrogacy Blogs:
Part of a Miracle
Bump Fairy
Our Surrogacy Adventure

Working on it:
Mad Hatter
Chick N Chicken
Ambivalent Womb
Stirrup Queen's List of Blogs
Delinquent Eggs
Life and Love in the Petrie Dish
Life in the Infertile Lane
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Barren
Everyone Else But Me
It Takes a Village
Stella Part 2
Music Maker Momma

On other paths:
Fertile Soul
MLO Knitting
Out, damned egg! Out I say!
Holding Pattern
Hummingbird Chronicles
Velvet Cage

Adventures in Baby Making
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Barren Mare
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Due Dates
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Fumbling Towards Eggstacy
Great Good Fortune
Healing Arts
Hopeful Mother
I Can't Whistle
IF & the City
It Only Takes One Egg
Waiting for Baby Orange
Jenny From the Infertility Block
She's Back!: Manana Banana
Smarshy Boy
Stella and/or Ben
Tinkering with the Works
Twisted Ovaries
Wishing For One

Other Good Reads:
Dr. Licciardi's Infertility Blog

Mc Gill Reproductive Centre - Montreal
Georgia Reproductive Specialists
Jinemed Hospital - Turkey

Cooper Center - NJ
Conceptions - Colorado
Red Rock Fertility - Dr. Eva Littman
Pacific Fertility Center
Zouves Fertility Center"
Nova IVF

IVF Meds - UK
Free Garage Sale
Flying Pharmacy (IVIg)

Blastocyst Grading Criteria
How much hCG is Left After Trigger?
POAS Ratings
More POAS Ratings
The Beta Base

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Follistim, Oh Lovely Follistim

As soon as I placed an ad on CL looking for Gonal F, Follistim, or Menopur, I spied a fellow IF selling her Follistim on CL at a price and quantity I was grateful to have found. I needed 4 days of the elixer, and four days was what she had.

J and I drove to a Bux over on the East Bay and met T & A to do the exchange. They're a young, friendly professional couple that got totally lucky and, as they said, hit the "baby lottery" on the first try.

T, the husband, gave us a tidbit of information today that was worth investigating. He said that he had heard that for men with male factor, using HGH can boost sperm counts. I'm not sure if it also boosts motility or affects forms, but it's worth looking into.

What I did find today is that HGH is expensive stuff and it needs to be injected twice a day. Okay, so that's what I found from Dr.Google, but I sent off an email to a local doc who runs a "anti aging" institute to see if he could help us in a pinch.

J doesn't have male factor, but his numbers go up and down and since we're not doing ICSI this time, it might behoove us to help his little swimmers as much as we can.

But....on the other hand, $600 for ICSI or $600 for HGH...what difference does it really make for us? Statistics go both ways on whether children born to ICSI have problems so the jury's still out.

Worth investigating at any rate.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

My LIT Adventure
A Confession

If you've been following my blog for the last 8 or so months, you might remember a post about my rants on LIT* and how the F*D*A has banned it in this country. Well, let me restate that. They've banned it as far as my doctors are concerned. No medical facility, physician, laboratory or the likes in this country may administer this treatment to me. It's banned, pure and simple. But there isn't a ruling about me administering it to myself.

So. Three centrifuge purchases later I am proud to say that I have successfully conducted my first LIT self-treatment.

Yes, I know that this is crazy. Four IVF cycles will make you do crazy things. But it's not that crazy when you think about it. I have a very strong science background. I was premed, applied to 22 medical schools but none would have me. Yeah, I've considered the idea that I'm a frustrated doctor-wanna-be and that I'm a bit resentful about not getting into medical school. There's a bit of truth there I'll admit. But what really pisses me off is that due to the F*D*A ruling on LIT, I am supposed to fly to Tuscon, Arizona, rent a car, drive to Nogales Mexico, where I hand $600USD in cold hard cash to Dr. Q so that he can do this procedure for me.

All in all, a single LIT treatment with airfare, car rental, gas, meals, hotel, and the 600 buckaroos runs about $1500.

Insane, yes?


This also begs the question: Why do I have to go to a freakin' 3rd world country to get the treatment I need?

So I set out to figure out how to do this for myself.

My first centrifuge came from the East Coast. $140 or $150 with shipping. It came with some slight damage to the hinge and after complaining, FedEx refunded me my costs and shipping. The rotor and buckets were salvageable. Second centrifuge, with a fixed angle rotor, came to me by way of the famous online auction site (need I say more?). A mere $40 or $50 with shipping. A dentist from the central valley mailed it to me and it works like a charm. I can only get it to approach 3000RPM but that's about all I need. My third centrifuge was very much like my first, but it came with an extra rotor and buckets. Let me tell you: swing out rotors are the sweetest thing to a lab-rat who has to do separations.

The centrifuges were about the most expensive part of the lab set-up. The rest of the materials were obtained from various online resources which I won't divulge as I don't want it to be difficult for other do-it-yourselfers to obtain materials in the future. Everything I bought is sterile and is of the highest laboratory quality. The same stuff you'd see in any well run hospital laboratory.

So on June 16th I conducted my first run. I used about 60ml of my partner's whole blood, which is what one would call a "double dose" if you were in Mexico doing the same treatment.

I used 10 sterile separation centrifuge tubes with 3ml of separation media in each. To each tube I added 6ml blood and topped off with sterile saline (2 to 3ml) to aide in separating out the RBCs from the PBMCs. I then spun the tubes at 2500RPM for 15 to 20 minutes. Removed the band of PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) with a sterile pipette, placed the bands into two sterile 15ml conical centrifuge tubes, and top off with lactated ringer's solution (ie, a "wash" step). My second spin was at 3000RPM for 20 minutes to pellet out the PBMCs. I resuspended the pellet in more sterile lactated ringers and away we went.

The injections are placed, four in each forearm when doing a "double dose". I did sub-q injections but intradermal also work. Injection sites aren't to be touched, scratched, or otherwise molested for a number of days. No benadryl, steroids, or anything that impedes the immune response. The injection sites itch like hell from the reaction but, as Martha would say, "It's a good thing." My body is creating blocking antibodies that will protect the embryos if, when, they implant.

Today is 11 days after my first LIT and the reaction looks just like what you'd get if you'd go to Mexico and see the good doctor in Nogales. Exactly the same. I'm blown away at how easy this was for me to do. I'll redo my treatment in about 10 days so that the treatments are 3 weeks apart. I'll retest my LADs shortly thereafter. I expect to see my T and B cells (IgG and IgM) go thru the roof. Okay, if they're back at 99 I'll be thrilled. This treatment is also great for reducing NK cells, so I hope that it will reduce the number of IVIg treatments I'll need should I get pregnant.

So, there you have it: DIY LIT. We're joking that we should call my office Linda's LIT Laboratory. But I'd rather turn it into a nursery.

Knocking on wood.

*LIT = Leukocyte/Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy/Treatment

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Fish OR Swim My Ass!

Some idiot told me that raccoons with either FISH or SWIM, but won't do BOTH at the same time.


I took J to Costanoa for his 43rd birthday...just one night to get away from the house, my mom, etcetera, and we come home last night to find that the stinkin' raccoons ATE 3 of my 9 fish. I had 8 red and 1 black: it's a feng shui thing, the weird number. The black fish was my favorite. He was about 4" long and very friendly. I called him my "little shadow". All of them were friendly, in fact. You could stick your hand into the water and they'd rub up against your wrist, fearless. I bought most of them last summer to "feng shui" my pond.

So late last night we come home and a neighbor came out to greet us as we were unpacking the wagon. He said my mom had come over in a fit and said some animal had gotten into the pond. Six of the bricks that line the pond had fallen into the water. They couldn't tell how many were gone. They put the bricks right and couldn't get the pumps to work so they left it as it was.

The two fish food containers were opened and fish food was sprayed all over the patio.

We hosed down the patio and cleaned up everything last night at 10:30 when we came home but as it was dark we couldn't see how many fish were missing. The water was still murky from the filters being off. About 3" of water was missing from the pond, and I remember filling the pond just a week or so ago. Water doesn't evaporate THAT fast in our pond.

This morning I can tell, so far, that two of my red fish, and my favorite black one, are gone. The others are huddled together on the bottom of the pond and won't come up to feed. No shit. The little buggers are scared to death. I don't blame them.

I'm kind of pissed that we left for the weekend. I always wake up with the raccoons show up and I shoo them off before they can get to the fish. The one night we leave, they show up. Damn. Yeah, they're fish. But they were pets to me. They make me smile each morning when I walk out the front door and see their cheery little faces swishing around near the surface in anticipation of being fed.

Poor little fish. I feel so bad.

Whoever it was that told me that raccoons with either "fish" (ie, hunt) or "swim" but never do both at the same time was whacked in the head.

"Go take a look at my pond and then go bury your head in the sand a little deeper."

My fish hate you.

UPDATE: My *favorite* black fish was spotted swimming in the pond this afternoon! Yay! The largest one is missing a few scales so I hope that s/he doesn't get an infection and get sick. Fingers crossed.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

CD15 or CD3?

This cycle started off fairly normal. AF started and I went in for a baseline and blooodwork with one of Dr. Generous' associates. This week, on Wednesday, I had another U/S with Dr. Generous herself and that was when she found the 17mm dominant follicle/cyst on my left ovary. If you will remember, she and the other doc put their heads together and figured I'd cease taking my BCPs, go back on Friday for another U/S and then I'd be in for a trigger to release said follicle/cyst.

Well yesterday I met Dr. S. I can't think of any nifty name for him as his last name is just strange. I can't associate it to anything. So, Dr. S he shall remain. He escorted me to an U/S room and I asked him if I could please have a pad to sit on as I was bleeding quite heavily. He seemed a bit surprised at that tidbit of information and left the room. He returned and proceeded with my wanding. The cyst that was at 17mm had now shrunk to 12mm. He measured it a few times just to be sure that it was on the way out, and indeed it was.

Because of this, he said, I would not be needing the HCG at all. He said that it is likely that, even though I "thought" I was on CD14 that I was actually back to CD2 yet again. To be sure, he said that I should POAS daily to test for LH, check my basal temperature, etc. As soon as we get the LH surge we can prepare for me to start my estrace.

I should have been starting my estrace about the end of next week (27th?) but now it looks like it's going to be pushed out about two weeks beyond that.

I feel frustrated at the continual delays that my freakish body keeps causing me, but I am also so happy that this particular group of doctors really seems to be able to respond quickly with changes that seem to make sense. When I had my last cyst with Dr. Pompy, their answer was to keep me on lupron for TWO MONTHS and allowed me to completely lose my mind on the evil drug. I think that I appreciate the approach my current set of physicians are taking much much more. I say that realizing that I might still have my "RE honeymoon eyeglasses" on and that in a year's time I may feel differently about them. But right now the honeymoon is still on.

So last night me and my mister stirred up a small pitcher of margaritas. Small, because neither he nor I can drink much without falling asleep on the couch. But during my cocktail I googled a set of the cutest flatware I'd seen in a while.

Yesterday, after my wanding with Dr. S, mom and I went for a bite to eat at this cute Frenchie place that is in, of all places, the "Italian" section of town. Since I'm trying to keep my clinics a secret in this blog, I'm sorry...but despite them having the most luscious pastries (organic I think) I've seen in a while, I won't be able to publicly divulge their location. But they had the cutest plates and flatware by a company called "Comptoir de Famille". It's very simple (the pics don't do it justice), has a neat little silver pin that holds the handle to the metal portion of the implement, and has a perfect weight. The set I bought is in ivory, but they also had a nice red. I adore red but somehow I am not quite certain if it will be something I still love in years. So margarita in hand, I bought myself a set of 10 place settings of the ivory.

I'm telling you: surfing and drinking is dangerous.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Got Meds?

Any of you fellow bloggers have leftover Gonal*F or menopur to sell?

Please ping me off the blog if you do (click the email icon below...that should work).

I'm short 1800iu of the former and 14 vials of the latter. I've found a few sources on FGS but I'm always worried to deal with folks I don't know via the mail. I'm always worried I'll send them my $$ and nothing will appear.

I saw a few ads by ladies there that said they'd do COD...but which mail carriers do COD anymore?


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Defiant Ovaries

I had my first face-to-face with Dr. Generous which included an U/S and catheter check. I'm totally thrilled with Dr. Generous so far. I hate to totally fall for my REs as I did for the last two for when the honeymoon was over I felt like the carpet had been pulled out from underneath me.

Before heading in for the U/S I met with Dr. Generous in her office. She went over my latest CD3 FSH/E2 values. My FSH just two weeks ago was a mere 5.6. Sweet Jesus. It has NEVER been than low since I started testing 2 years ago. Never I say. My E2 was a bit elevated at 72 or 73, but hell, it's been as high as 90 when my FSH was 9 point something, so this is something to be excited about.

My mind quickly started to spin. "Is it the weight loss? The DHEA? I started drinking again. Maybe not worrying about the wine and relaxing is working? I've been eating dairy even though I'm allergic. Could that have helped? Hmm, I haven't been eating carbs. Maybe keeping my glucose down is working? Hmmm, it's been five months since my treatment with Dr. Hungarian. He DOES say to wait 4 to 6 months for the full effects of the treatment to show. Is that what explains it?"

You can see how my mind works and churns out idea after idea. It's actually quite exhausting. I wish I could turn it off, but I can't. I just can't.

So back to my meeting with Dr. Generous. There I was, on the U/S table, and Dr. Generous says to me, "Okay...1, 2, 3, 4, 5 follicles on the right ovary. And let's look at the left...oh, wow...that's a big one. Hmm...yes you've got a cyst on the left side."


After 10 days of birth control pills you would think my ovaries would have the sense to just quiet the hell down.

But no. Not MY ovaries.

Dr. Generous' brain quickly went to work. Paraphrasing...the next words out of her mouth went something like, "Maybe I'll take you off the pill. Have you trigger with HCG and then we'll add in estrace...wait...before I get carried away I'll confer with Dr. S and we'll put our head together and figure out what's best."

All I could do was lay there, my black socks in the fuzzy blue stirrups, thinking, "Shit, is this the same cyst that just won't go away?"

I sauntered back to the waiting room after my vitals were taken and waited with my mom to meet with the clinical coordinator. She called me in and proceeded to go over what the two doctors had concluded.

As it is, I'm to cease my birth control pills right away. I'll be back on Friday for another U/S to see if the cyst is large enough for a trigger. If yes, I'll trigger right away, start estrace 6 days later, and then wait for my AF to arrive. Then I'll go straight to lupron and stims. No BCPs as they're evidently useless as far as my body is concerned. If not, I guess I'll wait a day or two and then trigger. No doubt they'll want me in for another $220 U/S to make sure it's gone. Ugh. It just never ends.

We're not slated for ICSI and they want me to grow my embies to day 5 but ONLY if we have 7 or more. If we have 6 or less, we'll do day 3 transfers with assisted hatching. I'm sort of confident we'll have 7 or more so I'm a bit relieved that we'll save the additional $600 cost that is assessed for ICSI, and the $600 for AH. Every bit helps, you know? I'm also going to buy my meds on FGS unless anyone has anything spare to sell (eg, menopur, gonal-f, vivelle, estrace, etc). Shoot me an email if you have meds to sell. :-)

So, all I can say is that it sure will be interesting to see what happens with this cycle. I'm being primed with estrogen: something that hasn't been done before. Supposedly it's supposed to help with egg quality from what a friend tells me. It's not something I've researched before so I'll be up late tonight with Dr. Google trying to find out if that's true or not.

All in all, I'm feeling quite comfortable with my new slew of doctors. I hope that the honeymoon doesn't end, ever.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Two More Days

Wednesday will be the first day that I get to meet Dr. Generous in person. They've slated a 1/2 hour meeting for the two of us, an U/S, and a mock transfer. It's about an hour and 10 minute drive to their office and I was hoping to catch a ride with a friend that works nearby. Alas, it wasn't possible this trip so I'll be driving up there alone. I couldn't even sway my mother to go along with me for the day. I tried bribing her with thoughts of lunch and shopping, but it didn't work.

What else? Father's day dinner was fine. I made a lemon tart from one of the Moose*wood Cookbooks. It sounded so good: a cookie crust filled with a really tart lemon custard. The custard begins in a pot over the stove and is cooked til it's thick and is then poured into the hot prebaked pie crust. It's baked til it's golden. I think this was a mistake. The filling looked so lovely, creamy, and light right before it went into the oven. Sure it was soft, not truly set, but there's nothing wrong with that. When it came out of the oven it was lightly browned, but the top had cracks in it. It looked so much better before it was baked. Next time I'll not bake it and I'll top it with fresh berries. Yum.

So, ladies how about a brief interlude from this IF BS?

Tart Lemon Tart

1-1/3 C. Unbleached White Flour
7 T. Butter
Pinch Salt
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 C. Sugar
3-4 T. Ice Water

4 Lemons*
5 T. Butter
1/2 C. Sugar
5 Eggs, Well Beaten
1/4 t. Vanilla

1 Lemon, Sliced in Very Thin Rounds

Cut butter into small pieces. Add flour to food processor. Add butter. Pulse til it's incorporated. Mix in salt, vanilla, sugar. Add just enough ice water to bind. Press dough into 9 or 10" drop bottom tart pan. Chill 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425.

Line chilled crust with wax paper. Put in beans or pie weights. Bake 15-20 minutes. Remove beans/weights carefully.

Lower oven to 350.

Mix lemon juice, butter, and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and heat til just warm and butter has melted. If too hot, let cool a bit before proceeding. Pour beaten eggs slowly into hot mixture in a steady stream (note: I use a hand mixer to make sure no clumps of egg form). Whisk or mix continually. Continue to stir on low heat until mixture thickens into a custard. (If your stove can't maintain a low enough temperature, use a diffuser if you have one). Stir in vanilla.

Pour into baked crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard sets and the top becomes golden. (Note: You might want to skip the second bake and just put it in the refrigerator at this point to chill).

Served chilled. Top with sliced lemons (or fresh fruit!)

*4 Lemons? I wish they'd instead say, "4 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice" or something similar. How much juice does the average lemon yield anyways? My thoughts here is that you've got 5 eggs to bind all that lemon, quite a bit, so I don't think you can go wrong with using the biggest, baddest lemons you can get your hands on.

Perfect for summer...and guaranteed to get your mind off of your eggs if only for a fleeting moment.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

J has been out of town working in Monterey since yesterday and is due home today. We're having his father, brother (and s/o) over for dinner later on tonight and so I've spent the entire day cooking my ass off. Well, not literally off, sadly, as it's still quite *there*.

Le Menu Du Jour

Lemon Marinated Olives
Cucumber Spears
Toppings: Aritichoke Pesto, Tapenade, Hummus, Roasted Garlic
Spicy Spinach & Cheese Focaccia

Tonno e Fagioli
Casarecce con vongolé
Roman Bread with Rosemary

Lemon Tart with Nectarines, Peaches, and Macerated Bing Cherries
Pistachio Cookies

I was almost ambitious enough to make grilled polenta squares with Pecorino Romano, but, I QUIT. I made everything save for the focaccia. Five hours of cooking is enough. Let's crack open the wine. Anyone?

Oh, wine. Yes, I'm not supposed to be drinking that. But I cheated yesterday. A fellow IF came over and there was no way we were going to sit down for three hours and talk about our sorry states for that long without alcohol being involved. Not a chance. So we popped open a lovely Carneros rosé, plopped ourselves on the couch with a plate of crackers and chevre, and we went to town.

The scent of the rosemary bread is wafting thru the house...and with that, it's time to shower.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moving Right Along

I just had my telephone call with the patient care coordinator at Dr. Generous'. All I need are prolactin and varicella tests for my records to be in order. Easy enough.

I've been on the BCPs for four days and the PC Coordinator said "You'll be on the pills for two weeks total." 2 weeks? "Wow", I thought. Dr. French, Dr. Generous' colleague, said it would be three. So we've cut our time down by about 1/4 or thereabouts. Cool. Less is more for me in terms of medications. Let's keep those follicles fresh and happy.

So, next Wednesday is my big let's-wrap-this-shit-up-and-get-this-party-started day.

9:30AM - Phone call with the Clinical Coordinator
2:00PM - Phone call with the Financial Coordinator
3:00PM - 1/2 hour meeting with Dr. Generous and then a mock embryo transfer

I warned them that I might just show up in person for the Financial Coordinator chat at 2PM as I'll likely already be in the area. It feels good to get it all out of the way FAST.

Still no word on the E2 and FSH bloodwork.

I think I forgot to mention that at Sunday's U/S they found no evidence of ovarian cysts (yay!) and the doctor noted 6 follies on the right, and 5 on the left. Dr. French looked at my ovaries really fast, only spending a few seconds counting the follicles on each side, so I am really hoping that there might be one or two more in hiding in there.

But one monkey wrench may have been thrown into the mix: I just got word today that our offer on a fix-and-flip house was accepted. We promised them a two week close of escrow in our offer, so I'm going to be on stims when escrow closes, and beginning to manage a renovation when we're close to retrieval. By the time I'm in my 2WW I'm going to be up to my ears in project management crap. We don't have the signed "acceptance" of our contract in hand so the clock's not ticking just yet, but will be soon. I just hope that I can hire enough qualified people to get things started so that I don't have to stress too much about it all. My work has been quiet or, rather, absent, since December, and now that I'm finally cycling it's all hitting the fan. Why is it always like this?


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In the Backseat Where it Belongs

Dr. Generous phoned today. 12:30PM PST on the nose. I love her promptness. Somehow it makes me feel she's on top of everything.

She may be on top of everything, but LabCorp clearly isn't. Although I gave them a vial or two of my blood on Sunday, it's Wednesday and the results are no where in sight. I've never had great results from LabCorp though. Even here in parts south they lose my blood, my results, my records even. Instead, I've found a safe haven in Hunter Labs. I go to the main facility where they have a draw station literally in the laboratory. No way is anyone going to lose my blood walking across the floor to the lab machinery. What's more? I nearly always get same day results. (I'd better quit before I decide to write a haiku in honor of Hunter...heh! Go ahead and laugh, but my haiku to Opera Software actually won me an award at their last anniversary!)

So tomorrow is my phone meeting with the patient care coordinator who will tell me what drugs I need to order, what my protocol will look like, some tentative dates, our fees, etcetera, etcetera. Odd how I stressed so in cycle #1. Everything was such a big deal. Now it's just "Eh!" and I mosey on with whatever it was that I was doing. IVF has finally taken a backseat to my life even though it's actually the biggest thing going on when you think about it. I like it this way.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Pins & Needles

Last month we did a CD3 FSH just for the hell of it. I now wonder if it was a wise thing to do. The blood work was taken in May, not even a month after my whopper of an ovarian cyst was last seen on ultrasound.

So my E2 came in at 63 (ouch) and FSH at 9.8. Both high. Both making me quite nervous.

J said that maybe the cyst was still causing E2 to be elevated, but honestly I don't think that it would cause THAT MUCH of an elevation. In January my E2 was at 24, lowest it's ever been. I did my antibiotic treatments with Dr. Hungarian in December and January. Could that have caused a change in FSH/E2? Dr. Hungarian would likely argue that, yes, it does affect hormone levels. He argues antibiotics as the course of action for just about every malady under the sun. I was also 23 pounds heavier in January. Fat produces estrogen. I lost fat, and you'd think I'd lose a source of my excess estrogen, but instead E2 ROSE. I'm not quite getting it at any rate.

With AF's appearance on Saturday we did a new CD2 FSH and E2. We don't yet have the results in, but if E2 is still elevated, or if it's gone yet higher than 63, I am going to burst a neuron. Dr. B used to say that, "When the FSH is above 12 and E2 is above 50, the cycle won't work." So...what to do?

Tomorrow is my phone call with Dr. Generous to talk about this cycle and what we'll be doing. Or not doing. As always, I'm nervous. Wanting the green light, yet afraid to get it as it means needles and more needles. Ugh.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Bitch Returneth
A CD1 Rant

I've been gone since April and apologies to everyone for not visiting your blogs. I've had my head buried in the sand for a bit.

We adopted a beautiful siamese girl kitten, named her Gigi (as I adore Collette), and have been ignoring the elephant in the room for the time being.

But I'm back. I guess you can call it a "break" but it wasn't a total conscious decision to take a "break", per se. For anyone who's told me to take time off from the IVF merry-go-round, the last two months off were for you. Please, no matter what you hear or read from me or in my blog, please do not EVER tell me to take time off again. It does NOT help in the slightest. Waiting creates MORE STRESS pure and simple. I'm no better today than I was in January when I was ramping up for IVF #3 with Dr. Pompy. Well that's not entirely true. I'm down 23 pounds since then so I am better in that regard, alone, but I am bitchier, I have lost time when I have so little time, and now I'm on the edge of the precipice. Again: breaks do not help (me).

Speaking of the bitch (not me this time, but my uterus): AF just arrived with a bevy of cramps. Why does it always seem to do this on a Saturday when J is out of town and I can't discuss with him whether we should cycle or not? Which IVF clinic we should see? All the burning questions that are tearing at me. Do I go to Dr. Pompy's where they cycle every other week? They're close to home but God help me if I get stuck on lupron for two months again. Do I cycle with the folks north of here that continually cycle? Their stats are great and I hear such wonderful things about them.

So I made a rash decision. We're not going to see Dr. Pompy for this next cycle. I'm still peeved at him for not taking any responsibility for the 2 months of lupron reducing my follicles from 12 to 7. My confidence is shaken in him. He said my follicles diminishing was due to my age, not the lupron. I don't think I buy it. Every antral count in the last few years shows about 12 follicles. Two out of three IVFs I wound up with more eggs than my antral count predicted. The major difference between my cycle with Dr. Pompy and my first two with Dr. Moustache is that Dr. Moustache had me on lupron for a short time only.

So we're onto IVF clinic #3. What to call them without divulging their identity? My doctor of choice at this new clinic I would refer to as Dr. Generous (that's a good clue but also sounds a lot like Thalia's former doctor, who it isn't) but they work as a team so tomorrow I'll be seeing one of the "on call" doctors. Fine by me. Dr. Generous and I have only had a phone consult so I haven't yet met her in person. She assured me to just telephone her office on the arrival of my next AF to schedule a baseline U/S, which is tomorrow at 11:15AM. I'm seeing of the male doctors, a name I didn't recognize at all for this clinic. But I'm sure he's just fine. I've seen so many IVF docs in the last year and a half that I'm starting to liken them to the Borg.

So is this IVF #3 or IVF#4? I cancelled my last cycle three days before retrieval and wasted a shitload of menopur and GonalF in the process. I guess we'll call it IVF#4 just so I can keep the damned cycles straight. Honestly, I am less prepared for this cycle than any other cycle I've done. I've stopped doing just about every healthy thing I was doing before this. I'm enjoying wine as usual, drinking coffee (albeit decaf), stopped acupuncture, I'm eating meat again, I haven't been good at taking my vitamins or fish oil. The list goes on. The only thing I've been consistent about is getting in good shape and taking my aspirin & synthroid. Everything else has gone to hell in a handbasket.

I know why this is, too.

Deep down I've felt that I led the exemplary life for a year and a half and where did it get me? Not even a single BFP. Sure I had high numbers of beautiful embryos, but not a one implanted in me. So did living without alcohol and meat for all that time do a thing for me? Hundreds of dollars on acupuncture, trips to Mexico for LIT, IVIg up the wazoo. And nothing. I don't know. I guess if we go into this cycle and I wind up with a palsy three embyros, I'll kick myself from here into eternity for screwing up my embryo count. And I WILL torture myself with that. So as of today I guess I'll clean up my act once again. (I know. It takes about 4 months for recruitment of follicles and anything I do TODAY will have very little effect...allow me my madness, ok?)

I just don't know if this is a good time to cycle. But I'm just about out of time. So try I must. Over and over until I just can't stand to cycle again. I had read a study, or an article about a study, that said when women were offered free IVF, that they (on average) gave up after three cycles. Yeah. That feels just about right to me. I've done three (one cancelled days before retreival) and most days I don't know if I can do it again. Those two months of lupron with Dr. Pompy caused something to snap deep down inside me. The first two cycles I didn't have a hard time with the lupron. But this time it was a nightmare. I shudder to think that I might have to revisit that hell once again.

I am told that a friend can hire me to work at his company as his assistant, where they'll pay for IVF up to $10,000 (that might cover two IVFs actually) but the job won't start til January, when I'll have already been 43 for two months. But I know that time flies by, so I view this try as the last one I'll do out of pocket unless a windfall of cash happens between this cycle and January. So I'm going to keep my mood up as best I can and to keep an even keel on the health kick shit this time 'round as I am really wondering how much of it all is utter madness at this point.

Here goes yet another one. Please keep your fingers, and anything else you have, crossed for us.

Peace out.


My Diagnosis

My Infertility History

My Usual Protocol for Diet, Herbs, & Supplements

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