Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm a weenie on multiple levels.

So yesterday afternoon my nurse called. She said Dr. M was pleased with everything, with the estrogen, with the lining, etc. etc. So they told me to just stick with the plan, but the plan was a little more customized because of my early lining check and ample thickness. I'm just going to stay with one Vivelle patch every other day rather the standard increase to 2, then 3, then 4. I will go back for a lining check next Friday.


I asked her ten different ways if they didn't think my lining would keep growing and suddenly pop up at 20. She said it might grow a little bit, but not enough to worry about. She said you usually see the most growth in the beginning and then it tapers off. I don't know, I certainly know women who have to keep adding more and more estrogen to get their lining to grow little bits, so maybe it's get the most growth early on and then everything else is in tinier increments and dependent on how much exogenous estrogen is given??

Art vs. science.

I won't be on any oral estrogen and we're keeping my original transfer date.

Double gulp.

I'm such a weenie. I didn't insist on talking to the doctor. My nurse sounded like they had thoroughly discussed things and that everything was bueno.

Then I went to visit my sister and her family.

Here's my fantasy conversation:

"Mom needs you. Dad needs you. I can't go--I have this transfer coming up and I'd rather just stay at home."

Here's the actual conversation:

Get it? I didn't say anything.

Weenie ahoy!

Yes, my sister knows about CCRM (but doesn't read this blog...I think??). And yes she is very busy. I was witness to said busyness this weekend while I watched her juggle two very busy children, a full time job, and running a household. It's a lot. I get that.

I'll probably go one more time anyway. It makes me feel better. Otherwise, as Mr. LastChance pointed out, I'll just be worried about my parents and if I'm there, at least I can be there.

Thanks to all the commenters--Phoebe and Sue, I'm reassured. And to answer one of the commeners questions--it is my understanding that you can get too thick...but this is more on the order of 18 mm or more. Because in several of my diagnostics/surgeries different docs have noted a 'fluffy' lining that could be hyperplasic, we've just really wanted to make sure my lining didn't over fluff. One time it reached 19 mm on a Clomid cycle (!) so we're just being cautious. Did I ever tell you guys that Dr. M said as soon as we're finished with ART/pregnancies I need to give serious thought to doing something about my lining so I don't wind up with endometrial cancer? Oh the fun never ends.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Perfect lining...

If my transfer were coming up THIS week.


It went from 3 mm on Monday to 10.4 (or 10.7 I can't remember now) mm today and it's triple striped. On only one little Vivelle patch every other day.

My estrogen was 98 (they want it over 50) and progesterone was 0.4. I don't know what it's supposed to be but I think low is the goal. The LH was still pending.

So.....................I called my nurse before we had the lab values and told her about my triple stripe and thickness.

Me: "Isn't that where we want it at the time of transfer?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "So, do we make sure it doesn't get thicker?"

Her: "Oh we'll just hold you on one patch and then when we start progesterone that will lock it in." (but the progesterone doesn't start until just a few days right before the that's many more days of estrogen patches)

Me: "What do you want the estrogen to be?"

Her: "Over 50, but yours won't be on just one patch. We'll have to add oral estrogen."

Me: "But won't that thicken the lining?"

Her: "Not really."

Yeah, right.

I'm an FET idiot, so I consulted with Mrs. Hope, an IVF expert, and also Jill, another IVF expert and they both advised that it is not a good idea to just hold for that long, that I probably need to be getting out to transfer much sooner. Of course, they want the E2 to be over 300 for transfer, so not sure how to accomplish that without also uber-thickening out my lining.

But my nurse didn't even so much as mention moving the date. HMPH. I sense another panicked phone call coming up here in, oh, let's say, an hour or so?? I think I'm going to have to speak with Dr. M herself.

I will remain calm, but I will not have their scheduling issues ruin my beautifully biopsied lining.

Any other words of advice/wisdom?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The sun will come out, tomorrow!

Or maybe it won't.

At any rate, tomorrow I go in for my first lining check. Plus some bloodwork: estradiol, LH, progesterone, and good old TSH just to make sure my thyroid is doing it's thing properly.

Just a note: CC.R.M. did not suggest I check my TSH, I did. Because hello? It's kind of important. I freaked my endocrinologist boss out a little bit when I plopped down in his office and 'presented' my case..asking what he'd like my TSH to be for a frozen embryo transfer, and whether or not he thought the estrogen patches could impact my need for thyroid hormone. He's really a great boss/doctor/person and he's been nothing but supportive of my ventures, but he's also awkward when discussing my fertility. Gee, I wonder why? But the support--who could forget my agonizing phone call to him at his weekend home (on the weekend) while I was doing stims and needed to go and thus needed another day off of work and his response was an exuberant: Go for it! So I guess I'm lucky in that regard. His answer, just in case you're wondering: TSH definitely under 2 but closer to 1 is ideal, and no, he doesn't think the estrogen will really impact anything.

Do they normally check your lining after only 4-ish days of Vivelle patch? I don't know if that's the norm, but it is for me since I tend to develop a thick lining. Of course now I'm anxious that I won't be developing any lining at all and will eat all my words of worry about a hyperplasic lining.

What's one more thing to worry about right?

I'm trying to decide whether or not to go home again next weekend to see Dad, and help my Mom. I feel like this is all on me. My Mom doesn't know about the upcoming FET and thus in her mind I'm not really doing much else so I could come home fairly easily. She would never say this and certainly never has, but I know her well enough to know she wants extra company/help/etc. and to know her thought processes. As in, Mrs. LastChance only works 4 days per week, Mrs. LastChance doesn't have any kids, Mrs. LastChance could come home. The next weekend, God-willing, we'll be in Colorado. And then it's getting so close to Thanksgiving I don't really want to travel twice in two weekend after next might be a good option. But I'm so tired...of traveling.

Part of me wants to just let her know how much stuff I have been juggling, but then again, that only makes me feel better and her feel worse so scratch that. I wish my sister could take a weekend, but...wait for it...she has kids.

Please please please can you imagine how fun it would be to give my Mom some completely amazing news at Thanksgiving? I think it would buoy her spirits from here to eternity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Fated To Pretend...

Yeah, it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices, and wake up for the morning commute?

Here here MGMT. It is overwhelming. And so what do I do? Wake up for the morning commute, I guess.

When I'm stressed out I tend to blast music very, very loudly in my car. That MGMT song was the last one playing and it's been in my head all day long...

The last few days have been fraught with anxiety over this cycle, I just wanted things to go easily, and then I remembered it was ME we're talking about, nothing ever goes easily.

Long story short: I spotted and bled on the endometrin. Who knew that would happen? We didn't know whether it was my period or just irritation, or just because of the biopsies. They finally took me off the endometrin on Friday midday and said to wait for a 'real period' but instead, having the body/uterus that I do, I bled a little more and then it started tapering off.


This afternoon I went and had an ultrasound to find that yes, Virginia, that was my period. My lining is only 3 mm so there's nothing left to 'wait for.' Which means I really have no idea what cycle day this is, no idea whether starting the Vivelle patches is going to work because normally you start those on CD1 or CD2...clearly that's not today.


I'm waiting on another phone call from my nurse but she said her gut feeling is that we'll just push forward with starting the patches and see what develops. I don't know if it's too late, I just don't know anymore.

It was all because of their scheduling issues. The whole reason I had to buy a $350 med that ended up causing more problems than anything, the whole reason I might be canceled, the whole reason those biopsies might be in vain. Yes, I know I'm getting ahead of myself but still. Their stupid scheduling! I cannot think about this any longer, because it makes me so mad.

We were visiting my Dad this weekend. Mr. LastChance took his acoustic guitar so we could sing together. I know, right? But my Dad loves to sing and at this point I'll do anything to make him happy.

We sang "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

After we had to leave for the weekend he called me, sobbing, saying he doesn't want the circle to be broken.

Me either Dad.

Me either.

My heart breaks for him. It breaks for me. It breaks for all of the wonderful women I know who are struggling to complete their own circle.

Can't we all just get a little break?

EDIT TO UPDATE: Yes, they called and said slap on a patch. Get a lining check and labwork this Friday, after only five-ish maybe we'll be able to see if the lining is starting to do its thing and also if the lab values indicate we can suppress ovulation. The nurse seemed optimistic...I remain guarded.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Infertility brain

I swear I make up these awesome interesting posts in my head while showering, exercising, driving, etc. Then I come here, look at the blank box, and go...blank. What ends up coming out is just some boring old update.

You've been warned.

I had the second biopsy today. It was much better. OK, much better might be a bit of a stretch, but it wasn't as bad. Mr. LastChance held my hand and that alone made it better. The sample looked to be quite a bit smaller maybe that helped? Whatever. Uterus--your job is to now repair and express beautiful proteins and cytokines and adhesion molecules.

I am spotting with the endo.metrin. I knew I would spot post-biopsy last week and I did, but only for a day. Then a couple of days later more spotting, now it seems to be a regular thing. I'm on CD26 right now and sometimes that's it for me, but with all the endo.metrin things were supposed to lengthen out. I called my nurse and here were here words of profound wisdom: "let's keep an eye on it." Like should I take pictures of my panty-liners and send them in via email? OK, sorry, that was totally gross. I'm just saying: keep an eye on it? I wanted her to say no big deal, it happens on endo.metrin but she didn't. Humph. That just makes me worry.

My doctor looked at my lining--it was only 11. Huh? The girl with the super thick lining (usually nearing 20 at this point) only has an 11? Please someone tell me this is because of the endo.metrin and the biopsies? That is all.I.need. -- to now be worried about a thinner lining this next month.

So here I am, just using endo.metrin, hoping the spotting doesn't turn into AF. Mr. LastChance and I have had some prettay-prettay (channeling Larry David here...) deep conversations of late about this whole FET. About whether or not it will work. About what that means. I've also been baking and baking and baking...a sure sign of stress/things on my mind.

And then last night: the dream.

I dreamed that I was carrying around an infant carrier with my Dad in it.

And it was all ok. I felt like I had my place in life, I was taking care of my Dad.


One of my friends who's an awesome author sent me an email the other day saying that she now has a new response to the question: why don't you have kids? and it's "because I have parents." She's dealing with some big issues with taking care of her mother....

I guess that seeped into my subconciousness (It was the Ziggy sheets! (sorry, Seinfeld reference and I couldn't resist)).

Wow. Not much more to say, eh?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leap of faith,

Well there was really no way to type that in the title that mimicked the way it sounded in my head, but it was from "Over the Moon" from RENT...right before Maureen moos. And gets you to moo right along with her. I always do, and proudly!

I digress.

We booked our flights tonight.

As in, to Colorado. For the transfer.

I wasn't sure if I should--I've seen ladies get canceled right up at the last minute. But then again--if we waited to book them at the last minute what if there weren't any flights left? I'm so nervous about doing things early--we got a great rate but of course that means if we have to cancel/move things we pay a hefty fee.

A hefty fee. There's a novel concept.

Over at my 'other place' (do ya think anyone could figure me out? I mean, really, what are the odds someone just happened to find this blog and put two and two together? OK really I mean my mother.) I mentioned how much Mr. LastChance and I want to go to NYC at Christmastime this year. Christmas is our most favorite favorite time of the year and anyone who knows me knows I adore NYC.

Because of family issues this year we'll celebrate Christmas before the actual date, which could potentially leave us 'family-less' on the real holidays. What a better place to be than New York?

And let's face it--if things don't work out in November well, we'll need a little something to pick us up. What's a couple of thousand more spent to console ourselves at that point? Of course, if it does work the mighty CC.R.M. doesn't want anyone who is pregnant flying in the first trimester. I really don't get this. Some women work and work involves travel. I don't know--it seems a little over-cautious to me.

I always like to have something to look forward to...the transfer only sorta counts because it's fraught with a lot of crazy emotions...but a trip....ahhhhhh, a trip. That would be nothing but pure pleasure. I mentioned the idea to my Mom and she said "well, you know your finances." She's referring to another costly venture we're involved in (which I promise to share with you, my lovely readers, very very soon!) and doesn't even know about the IVF costs. I wanted to scream: "Yes mother! I do know my finances! I'm 35 years old and have managed to finance 5 IVF cycles out of pocket in 2 years without going into any debt. So yes indeedio--I know my finances." But I didn't. I just nodded at the phone and bit my tongue.

If only I could score one of those credit cards with those awesome 'earn two free airline tickets if you spent 1,000!' Seriously--Amer. Exp. extended that offer to us three different times--we took them up on it, spent the money, earned the tickets, used the tickets, then canceled the cards. And then we'd get another offer! Seriously. But in today's economy I don't think they're being as generous--or else our names are on a 'no more offers' list somewhere.

But I could spend the 1,000 like *that* (snaps finger) on a few multi-celled little beings currently being held in a frosty chamber in Colorado.

At any rate, the tickets for the one trip are bought.

Now we just hope the lining cooperates and doesn't decide to pull a skinny on me and we actually use them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


That's all I can say about the first endometrial biopsy.

That mother#$%^@# hurt. I mean, hurt.

And I think I have a fairly high tolerance for pain. I started sweating, then felt nauseous, and let out a couple of involuntary yelps (which I hated) and my poor doctor just kept apologizing.

Now I'm just bleeding and cramping, oh the fun.

The best part: I get to go again on Monday. I'm making Mr. LastChance go with me on Monday--I could've really used a hand to squeeze/ hold.

Dr. M said she wanted the sample to be "of good size, so it looks like a worm when placed in formalin." Well they showed it to me and it looked like multiple 'worms' and now I think I don't have any lining left.

Scratch that--with my crazy lining there's probably more than enough to spare.

When I reminded my local doc that he didn't need to send the sample to pathology he was like "what?" I said, "Nope, just throw it away." The medical assistant was very hesitant to toss it, but I was like "seriously, get rid of it" we're just injuring the endometrium in hopes of the healing process helping me out in a few short weeks. She gave me a very crazy look.

Oh yeah--when I got there, the first thing I had to do was pee in a cup for a pregnancy test.


THANK YOU to some lovely bloggie ladies who are helping me out with meds. Yipeeeeee!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The drama...and the ridiculousness!

OK, so I posted earlier about CC.R.M. wanting me to take progesterone support for longer this luteal phase to extend my cycle, blah blah blah, for their scheduling purposes.

No biggie.

I usually take prom.etrium but they wanted me to switch to endo.metrin, three times per day. My nurse said that the endome.trin thrice daily was equivalent to the 200 mg prom.etrium once daily but that they saw higher progesterone levels on the thrice daily regimen.

So they called in the endo.metrin to Wal.greens. When I went to pick it up on the day I was to start it, here's what I hear: "Oh we don't carry that. No Wal.greens in this town does."

So I called my nurse and she was like "Oh just fill the prom.etrium." Wal.greens then ordered the endo.metrin, which came in today.

Cost for the pro.metrium? $30. Insurance covers it!
Cost for the endo.metrium? $350, for fourteen days worth. Insurance denied it because it's a 'fertility med.'

I guess I don't see the difference...two different brands/forms of progesterone, right? Geez.

The ridiculousness: we've spent nearly 75K at this point, so what's 350, right? I guess I need to do the endo.metrin because it's supposedly 'better' and sometimes I start to spot/bleed even when on the prom.etrium and wouldn't that just muck up their little schedule if AF showed up early (on time!) and I needed to transfer earlier?

I wonder if I should've ordered from Freedom? Maybe cheaper than Wal.greens. Damn I'm getting tired of putting stupid little extra periods on so many words!

Tomorrow night I need to see what kind of Vive.lle supply I have....I had sorta forgottten about all the med costs with the FET.

What's money anymore, right?

Tomorrow: first endometrial biopsy. Oh the fun!

Oh yeah--I got a blog award from Slice of Pie and I promise I will do it soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Self Preservation?

It's the name of the game during infertility.

Which means that's been the name of our game for 4.5 years. Well, maybe 3.5 years because let's be honest, that first year--while we were most definitely frustrated we didn't pregnant right out of the starting gate--we didn't think we were infertile.

Mr. LastChance and I have really been enjoying our lives of late. Take today, for instance. It's cold and rainy today, and after we got home from church we immediately jumped back into our pajamas and here I sit on the computer and he's monkeying around with music stuff. The whole day stretches before us. Yesterday I baked and went trail running and we spent several hours working on a volunteer project that is near and dear to our hearts.

Friday afternoon I laid on the couch (also with the cold rain falling outside) and finished a book. The third book I've finished in as many weeks. I love to read. I love having time to read. Friday night we went to the local homeless shelter to work in the kitchen--which is a pure pleasure.

See a theme here?

It's nice to have time to do the things you enjoy doing. And we talk about this all the time. How nice our lives are...because we have time.

We've even said that we have reached a point where we know that we will be ok either way.


I said it.

We wouldn't lead entirely selfish lives if we never had kids--volunteering has and always will be important to us. Of course, it's nice because we have time to do it.

I am not saying we don't want kids. Duh. That desire still exists. But I'd be lying if I said that the desire is quite as intense as it was, say, last year.

I know that to a certain extent this is self-preservation talking. We have to be prepared for what comes next, good or bad.

But maybe the alternative is really good or.... good. Just two different kinds of good.

Good Type 1: A pregnancy! A baby! The fruition of all our hard work and determination and tenacity. A child between me and Mr. LastChance. Sleep deprivation. Stretch marks. No time for anything--except sweet baby kisses, sweet baby smells, and a love that right now, we cannot even comprehend. This good is the good I've longed for, and I intensely long for when I see a mother and her newborn, or a pregnant belly, or a family just out enjoying time together.

Good Type 2: Life as it currently is. Full in a different way. Maybe the chance to pursue other dreams. Expanding our family in a different way (which yes, would suck up all the time, too--totally aware of that). But not bad. Not UNgood. This is the good I can appreciate on a day like today.

I don't know. As per usual, I find myself rambling here.

So I know when I started this here anonymous blog I said I wouldn't post pics...but I guess I lied.

I do this:

So I can do this:

(stolen from Bakerella...giant Oreo truffle kisses). I had so much fun making these...I guess I lied when I said I 'baked' because these don't actually involve baking.

I know the first half of the post was all seriousness, that's why I left you with the second half :)

And now for the big PS:

If you really do want to 'be with me' and send a lovely picture of yourself or a good luck trinket so I can hold you close during my upcoming transfer--I'm all for it! What I am NOT asking for is GIFTS, seriously girls.
Brenda of LostInSpace has so super-sweeetly agreed to handle all the details so here's her email address in case you're interested:

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Crossing in cyberspace...

So I emailed Dr. M a couple of times. The second time I was pretty clear: my subject heading was "concerns" and I told her that while I had emailed the nurse, I wanted to direct my questions to her directly. AND THEN SHE SENT THE EMAIL TO THE NURSE. Thanks, Dr. M. Lovely. So I got a call from the nurse saying "about the email you sent Dr. M..." Oh well. What do I care at this point? I just want clarity on the plan and I want my concerns addressed.

Turns out they added all those extra days of progesterone because their FET calendar was already booked and they needed to delay my period by a week or so to fit me in. Ummmm, yeah. I don't really know how I feel about them artificially manipulating my cycle for scheduling reasons, but apparently that's how it's going to be. Unless I want to delay by a couple of months.


If they're that busy they need to hire more staff.

At any rate, Dr. M did end up writing me back directly late last night, so I guess that was good, too. She said that in no way would this impact the biopsy schedule or their effectiveness. I guess it is just a few extra days of progesterone...oh joy.

Unfortunately I have do my FET on a Wednesday, not a Thursday as originally planned. Again, the damn schedule. Too full. Too many embryos to thaw. Too many patients anxiously awaiting their potential children. Too.damn.many. I guess that's what you get when you go to one of the most popular clinics in the world.

Of course, Thursday would have been better for work purposes. My work has been amazingly flexible through all this crap, and I just once wanted to only miss a little bit of work, instead of gargantuan amounts of work. See, I only work half days on Thursday and not at all on Friday (I know, sweet schedule...but I work long hard days the other days, I promise :) ) and so a Thursday transfer would've meant missing half day only. Oh well, what can you do?

It's a little weird to think about so many transfers going on at once, all that thawing and culturing and....potential for problems. Mix-ups. Don't pretend we all haven't thought about it--what with the recent media stories on couples receiving the wrong embryos. Crimony, I can't even go there.

We're still figuring out the estrogen dose. Dr. M said she'd review my calendar when she's back in the regular office on Friday. At least she's acknowleding our previous discussions of using less I am breathing easier on that right now.

I scheduled my biopsies today. The scheduler was like "uterine biopsies?" like she'd never heard of them. Then when I said I needed a second one five days after the first I really threw her for a loop. I should have just left a message for the doctor to call me directly--but at least they're scheduled. I am SO looking forward to leaving work, driving like a madwoman to my gyn's office ten miles away, getting punctured in the uterus without any meds, and then going back to work to see more patients. I'm equally excited about using endo.metrin three times a day for 17 days.

God, the things we put ourselves through.

Is it normal to feel so damn tired at this point in the game?

Just wake me up when it's over please.

PS Brenda--your idea is so sweet and perfect! I'll take any pictures or goodluck charms anyone wants to throw my way :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Exsqueeze me?

I got my calendar and my biopsy information. But naturally there were major problemos with it. Started off with my nurse saying: this month do your prometrium suppositores three times per day like always in the luteal phase.

Except I only do one at night and that's how it's always been.

Read the chart please.

And normally I take them for ten days to help lengthen the luteal phase and cut down on the hyperplasia so why, when I worked out their dates, did it have me taking them long enough to make my cycle 32 days long?

Sigh again.

And I know I got the standard FET calendar that doesn't use Lupron. Complete with copious amounts of Vivelle patches.

What the eff?

We'll see what tomorrow's email brings, since I wrote a super long one asking all the questions.

On another note--I was having this total fantasy the other day about how I would like to bring all of you along with me for this upcoming FET.

To hold my hand.

To wait in the waiting room with me.

To surround me with good vibes (I will not say 'baby dust'--gag!).

All of you who've been there for me through some Godawful dark times through this journey. I want your energy, I want to see your beautiful faces (those I've met and those I've only seen pictures of and some of whom (Kayjay....) that I've never seen and only imagine...I want to see you all around me.

Can you imagine if I showed up in the hallowed halls of CCRM with a freakin' posse? Ha!

If I can just get this calendar figured out and my body cooperates and the biopsies happen on schedule--well, I might just be out there in about a month.

Holy crap.