Sunday, September 21, 2008

46 - The taking action phase - September 21st, 2008

Wow - I haven't blogged since September 9th. It has been quite a ride since then. We are doing ok - functioning. We still don't feel like we did pre-IVF...we just feel this emotional heaviness. I'm not sure how else to explain it. Alex says he can tell I am sad. I think I went through a little bit of depression, but I feel like I'm on the other side of it.

The reason I say that I may be on the other side of it is that I have been taking steps the last few days to take charge of our fertility once again. I went through a period immediately following the BFN of doing things specifically counterproductive to fertility - such as having a diet pepsi and donut for breakfast. Let's face it - I was just mad at my body for betraying me, and therefore, I decided to punish it for a few weeks. I now feel like taking that energy I was using for negative behavior and putting it into something positive...

Many of you reading this blog know that I just started a Master's in Social Work (MSW) program this fall. This is a very academically challenging program - much more than I anticipated. My eventual, long-term goal (I'm talking 10-15 years from now - after a several years of experience in agencies) is private practice. I figure I've just added "infertility" to my direct experience hat. I am currently taking a course in US Social Welfare Policy. We just had to write a paper on a pending piece of legislation of our choice - I chose the Family Building Act of 2007 (currently a bill). You can find it at This bill basically states that insurance companies (under specific circumstances based on specific definitions and treatments) would be required to cover infertility treatments. Right now, 15 states have laws requiring varying degrees of coverage. Unfortunately, Michigan is not one of the 15 states. It is an interesting bill to read through if you have the chance. The thing I found most interesting was a statement under the "findings" part of the bill stating that "a fundamental part of the human experience is fulfilling the desire to reproduce". Amen.

The other thing I did today was join Resolve. This is the National Infertility Association. It is only $55 a year and provides a lot of support for the infertility and adoption processes. They offer local group support meetings which I plan on attending in October. I look forward to talking to others who have been through this and hearing about the paths people chose (or didn't choose) in their attempt to become parents.

I hope this finds you all well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

45 - The past few days - Sept. 8th, 2008

The above picture was taken when Alex and I decided to take back roads all the away from Estes park to Castle Rock. This scene was taken right off of a small dirt road that followed the river. Good times.

Well, we did in fact go out to dinner the night of the BFN. We both ordered a beer, and when they came, I raised my glass to Alex and said "cheers". He looked at me like I had two heads. I explained - although we are completely devastated by the end result, I wasn't going to let that devastation completely negate the wonderful experience we had with each other while we were out in Colorado. He agreed and raised his glass.

Each of the last few days has had a different feel. On Friday, I felt a strong motivation to have hope for the frozen embryo transfer mixed with a bit of denial. Our frozen embryo report came in the mail on Friday. When I first saw the return address of Lone Tree, CO (the location of CCRM) on the envelope, I thought, "What's this? a rejection letter? -'We regret to inform you that you have failed your first ivf cycle. Please try again.'" I then realized it was actually the FE report with an attached "Frozen Embryo Emergency Contact List" to be filled out and sent back. What immediately went through my mind was "For what? In case the frosties fall of the monkey bars or something?"...add 'sarcastic' to the feel I was experiencing on Friday.

On Saturday, I think the emotional and physical effort of the cycle hit us. My hubby went to the U of M football game and I laid on the couch and watched "Steel Magnolias" and managed to take a shower. When he got home, we took a walk. By the time we got back from the walk, we were both exhausted and just didn't feel good. We made a quick dinner - shortly after we returned from Colorado, I spent a day cooking a bunch of meals I could freeze - in case we were pregnant, and the fall was going to be so busy. Freezing those meals ended up being a great thing the last few days because we didn't feel like cooking, yet it was important for us to at least try to eat healthy. Then we laid on the couch and watched movies all night. It was exactly what we needed that night.

Yesterday (Sunday), we both felt pretty good. We ran errands together and went out for Thai at lunch...nothing a little panang curry can't heal :-)... got a lot of stuff done around the house, went for a walk, and made a nice dinner. I imagine there will be good and bad days for awhile. The one thing I've learned is that the more we just go with the flow and follow our hearts on how we're feeling on a particular day, the less anxiety we feel.

Fall is in full swing. I started teaching and taking classes. The hubby heads back to work this morning. I'm going to pick out a couple of destinations to visit this fall (to go with him on his trips - for those of you who don't know, the hubby is a Delta pilot). I went with him to Rome this summer and we made the comment "Well, this might be the last trip for awhile."....based on the hope that I would be pregnant and not feel like traveling in the fall. Since that's not the case, I'm going to take advantage of these travel benefits for at least three or four more months. We decided that we will return to Colorado for the frozen embryo transfer in January. We want to experience the fall and holidays with hope.

I'll keep posting throughout the fall. Thank you all for so much support...and thank you to those I don't even know who post comments. The comments have been very helpful and supportive.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

44 - Beta confirmed BFN - Sept. 4th, 2008

Just got the CCRM call - beta confirmed my negative home pregnancy test this morning. The nurse said she didn't expect the BFN because everything looked so good (in terms of egg quality, uterus, etc.). I almost wish something was obviously wrong - something concrete that could be addressed and changed. She said Dr. Surrey would call tonight and discuss the cycle, but even the nurse admitted that she wasn't exactly sure what would be discussed.

My therapist once claimed that the reason many parts of my life are challenging is because I am destined to be a very wise woman - while I don't disagree with the idea the wisdom often follows suffering, at this moment I would much rather be pregnant and forgo any wisdom gained from this failed ivf cycle.

So here my husband and I sit, trying to come up with questions for the doc. I have a couple: Why the *%$!?@ didn't this work? How much does a frozen transfer cost? and When can we come back for the frozen transfer? That about sums up my questions.

For those of you at CCRM or headed to CCRM, I hope this is not discouraging in anyway. I truly believe CCRM is amazing and is definitely our best shot...I have hope with the frozen embryo cycle. They are a top notch facility with a 62% percent success rate (for my category, 2007 stats)...but some people have to fall in the other 38%. We, unfortunately, were part of that 38%.

We may still go out to dinner tonight - I think that would have been the plan had we received the news of a positive and now, more than ever, I think it is really important for us to nurture and take care of ourselves. The cycle brought us even closer together (which I am so grateful for because it could easily go in the other direction), and it really was a great 17 days in Colorado...I'm actually excited about returning for the frozen embryo transfer at some point.

So I probably won't call anyone tonight...maybe tomorrow or over the weekend. I'll post again sometime in the next couple of days with an update of the conversation with Dr. Surrey.

43 - HPT=BFN 11dp3dt - Sept. 4th, 2008

So, for those of you not familiar with the crazy world of ivf acronyms, HPT=BFN 11dp3dt stands for "home pregnancy test equals big fat negative 11 days past the 3 day transfer". That happened today (as well as yesterday, 10dp3dt). Now I know - hpt's are evil when if comes to ivf, but I also know that the chance of them being accurate the day of the beta blood test is pretty high. So we are expecting bad news...but won't know for a fact until late afternoon early evening today. I just got back from the beta blood test.

The other strange thing is that last night I had this dream that I was doing all the things I can't do right now during the 2 week wait - I was running, eating crap and diet, caffeine soda, drinking beer, and vigorously doing housework (I love housework and it has actually been a challenge to not do it the past week...I know, I'm a freak that way). Not a great dream, obviously, because doing all those things would mean that we're not pregnant.

I will tell you that if it is confirmed negative with the beta, I am having a drink...or two, or three tonight. Although, I might consider going direct to a heroin addiction considering that I have become so proficient with the needle - kidding, of course...probably a distasteful joke, but I have to keep the humor some how :-). It will be devastating and I will probably turn off my phone, crawl onto the couch and drown myself in comfort food, soda, and Coronas for the next few days. But then I will get up, brush off, call CCRM and make plans for the frozen transfer (I'm so grateful for our two little "frosties"...another unofficial ivf term for frozen embryos which my husband hates, sorry babe). I'm strong - that's one thing I have realized through this process that I really didn't understand before. All couples who make it through a whole cycle of ivf (and of course, there are plenty of couples who make it through multiple cycles of ivf) are extremely strong individuals - there would be no way to make it through this otherwise.

So look for another post tonight. Hopefully with surprise good news, or perhaps with the expected news. Either way, we'll be okay...even if it takes a few days.