Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My memory

So I wanted to do something to mark this time in our lives. I wanted a way to always remember all that Gary and I had gone through-- not that I could have easily forgotten. I decided to get a tattoo. Never really thought that I could go through with it...but yesterday I did!

My tattoo was thoroughly thought out. Two branches of cherry blossoms. One branch has 7 flowers with each flower having 5 petals. This totals 35 petals and that is Gary's age. The other branch has 6 flowers with each flower having 5 petals. This totals 30 petals and that is my age. Then we added butterflies to represent our embryo's.
Cherry blossoms represent spiritual beauty. I truly feel like my spirit has had to go through a transformation in this process so I thought they were a great symbol. The butterflies- small and beautiful- just as my embryo's once were.
Just like the entire IVF process-- it was painful!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dogs, Cats and Hurricanes

So I have a couple fun things to post about today!

First- my sister and cousin made it to the deep south without incident...well, sort of! At midnight on Thursday my sister and cousin began their trek to LA. Remember a couple posts back I told you they were moving my cat, Tupper? Well it was an adventure for them. They were flying out of Newa.rk which is 2 hours from where they were starting. So they started with a small road trip. Tupper was not much fond of the he rode to NJ in the lap. Ha! He literally worked himself out of the zipped up cat carrier and made his way to the front seats. He fought the carrier the entire trip. But made it to LA safe and sound.

Next was the adventure of introducing Tupper and Tanner. I was stressing about this. I had no idea how either was going to react! Gary didn't really believe in a slow introduction. The photo montage shows how it went:
Needles to say...they are like best buds now! Went FAR better than I could have ever imagined. Don't be fooled-- there was hissing from Tupper and whimpering from Tanner but that soon passed.

Second- the girl's adventure to N.ew Orlean.s. We had a great time!! That is the Hurricane part of my title. Although we never did have the famous Ne.w Orl.ean's drink... we had many in place of it!

We made the 4.5 trip down to N.ew Orlea.ns on Sunday. On our agenda when we got there-- lunch and then a walking "cocktail" tour of the Fr.ench Qua.rter. We had a great lunch at the only microbrew in the Frenc.h Cresen.t Cit.y Brew.HouseThe Cocktail tour of the Quar.ter was really interesting. We got to visit 5 bars and learn the colorful history behind each one and their speciality drinks. Definitely tried somethings I never would have.

Some pictures of our night out...

Do we look like tourists???

In a Pirates bar--trying a "Green Fairy" made with absinthe
Enjoying Bou.rbon St

We had a great time... great drinks and many laughs... all without hangover!! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Well that sucked!

So I thought seeing a therapist to talk through this roller coaster of emotions I was on would be a good idea. I have been warned by others that it is important to seek the help of a therapist who knows how to deal with infertility. Many people think they are being helpful but often times can say things that are hurtful--even when they have the best of intentions.

So I received the name of a therapist from my Dr., but she was over an hour and a half away. So I figured I would give a therapist in my town a try. Called her up, she sounded nice, scheduled the appointment, she didn't ask many questions, I didn't really think much of it.

The appointment was today. Gary came with me. We got there a bit early...sat in the waiting area...heard the clack, clack, clack of her shoes across the hardwood floor...turned around... and was eye level with an 8 month belly. Shit! Yup... the therapist that I thought would solve all my problems... 8 months pregnant! Needless to say... the appointment was not very helpful. She was very nice but I couldn't let out what I really wanted to let out and it was kind of awkward all around.

Guess I will be hauling it to a new therapist...this is what I get for trying to save gas and money.

Tagged for another Meme

These are fun and good for a 5 minute distraction from work!! :)

Shawna tagged me for this meme...All you have to do is answer the questions with one word, and tag four people. I think that this is the perfect time for distractions

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? lifting
3. Your hair? straight
4. Your mother? awesome
5. Your father? awesome
6. Your favorite thing? hugs
7. Your dream last night? boring
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? babies
10. The room you’re in? Office
11. Your hobby? cakes
12. Your fear? childless
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
14. What you’re not? skinny
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items? babies
17. Where you grew up? Connecticut
18. The last thing you did? researched
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Favorite gadget? mixer
21. Your pets? lovable
22. Your computer? crappy
23. Your mood? anxious
24. Missing someone? yes
25. Your car? dirty
26. Something you’re not wearing? socks
27. Favorite store? Target
28. Like someone? yup
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? yesterday


Slap... and Hugs

Cant wait for this to show up in my mailbox on Saturday.... wahoo... (again...sense the sarcasm)

Okay... I was going to have this just be a negative post-- I even clicked "publish" but I have decided to come back in and tell you a positive thing too!! I have some of the most amazingly thoughtful and generous friends and family. It seems everyday I have received some act of kindness! These thoughts and gifts have given me smiles everyday! I just need to say thank you!! Thank you for the emails, the phone calls, the flowers, the pajama's, the bubble bath, the hummingbird feeder and the cards!! Each and everyone has made me smile! Thank you!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well... nothing we didn't already know...awesome! (sense the sarcasim)

Finally talked to the Dr. today. Unfortunately he didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. My need to talk to him was basically to confirm my understanding of how he came up with the predicted 35% success rate if we tried again.

His answer:
-Based on his clinical judgement looking at all of the factors that went into the first cycle-i.e. sperm quality, # of embryos we produced, quality of those embryos, my response to the meds, how the embryo's developed, our ages, etc. that is how he determines is prediction.

So really nothing knew. In the week and a half since the dreaded voicemail-- I was able to figure that out on my own. Just annoying. Annoying that there isn't some "Ahh Ha!" reason as to why this didn't work. Oh, but don't worry-- he did suggest we try again. Umm.... yes! of course you do. Win or lose... you still get our money. I hate to sound cynical and bitter...but honestly...I kinda am. (very sad to admit)

Anyway... that's that. We will keep moving forward...slowly...but surely!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Keeping Busy

I am finding that the busier I keep myself... the better off I am. I have thrown myself back into working out and getting my butt back in shape. My neighbor "R" and I have nightly dates to do our walking/ jogging and I have been using J.illian M.ich.ael's 30.Day.Shred for the past 4 days. That is a crazy hard workout. I figure...if my butt is going to visit Mexico in 4 months... it better look good (or at least as good as I can get it!)

I have really been putting my new hobby to the test-- cake decorating. Yesterday we celebrated our niece's 2nd birthday at my brother in laws. Our niece-- obsessed with Spid.erman. So that is what she wanted for a cake. I was up for the challenge...the results...

I will say-- I was impressed with the results. I wont lie and say it was easy-- took me about 2 1/2 hours to do, but overall I was very pleased!

Soon I will be taking orders!! ha!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My mind is bored

My mind is bored. I feel like I have kind of run out of things to really think about (or write about...hence this post)! I have thought about babies for so long and I am really trying to take a break from thinking about them. Although I will admit-- this is extremely difficult! Every time I go to the seems some celebrity has just had a baby-- Brangelina (x2!), Jamie-Lynn, Nicole and the list goes on. They are everywhere... I will never be able to avoid it!

Gary and I have been doing a lot of reflecting this week. This week I really caught a glimpse of just how sad Gary is. This of course... breaks my heart. I want to make it better for him. I want him to know it is okay to be sad and grieve just like I am/have. But he is a man and he is "okay".

We have not talked to the Dr. yet. I called on Monday- he is in CA for a conference-- back in the office tomorrow. The nurse told me she would put my file on his desk and ask him to give me a call. I have my list of questions ready! Maybe his answers will give us some closure and guide us in the direction of our next step-- whatever that might be!

In other news... I am off tomorrow and so ready for a long weekend!!! We don't have plans this weekend and I love it!! I need to get my house in order for our house guests coming next Friday. I cant wait! We will also be getting a new addition to our family. No, not a baby. And really he isn't a new addition...just a new addition to our home in LA. Tupper-- mine and Gary's first baby.Our cat has been living with my parents since we moved to WA in November 2005. My parents are evicting him (just kidding!)... so he is making his first plane ride next week! We are praying he and Tanner get along. As long as we can convince Tanner that Tupper is not a squirrel- I think we will be good! Wish us luck!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Well that was negative

Okay... so I am back from a nice long walk and I reflected on how negative my last post sounded. I hate to try to pretend that everything is rosey... cause it is not... but I also hate to sound depressed. Hmm... how to walk that fine line!

Anyway...I thought I would post some positives...
- My Family-- I have the best family ever! Not only do I have a great husband, but I have the best parents and sister ever! AND not only that... my I have the greatest extended family too! A wonderful Me mere and lots of wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins!!
- My Friends--I have old friends, new friends, Internet friends, blog friends...they are just everywhere and I am so grateful for all of them!
- Tanner-- my most awesome dog!
- My upcoming vacation- my sister and cousin are visiting for a week at the end of the month! I cant wait!!
- My 2nd upcoming vacation- Gary and I are headed to Mexico in November with great friends of ours to celebrate our 5 year anniversary!!
- Getting back into an exercise routine! Feels so good to get out and be active...even if it feels like a sauna outside.

Whew... just posting that makes me feel better! :)

Couple days of digestion

Now that I have had a couple days to digest the fact that we are not pregnant... I have realized I am really sad. I was laying in bed last night and Gary and I started talking. I think it was the first time I had thought about the fact that I really wasn't pregnant. It was like I realized... I am not going to be 18 weeks along when we go to Mexico for our 5 year anniversary in November, I am not going to be pregnant over the holidays and I am not due on March 18th like that "estimated due date" calculator told me I would be. These were thoughts that I had thought about almost daily since we started the whole IVF process in April. I am a planner by nature so of course I had thought ahead about every moment the rest of this year holds and thought about how it would feel b/c I would be pregnant. And now here I sit on July 14th... and I am not. SUCKS!

The thing that I was thinking about last night that made me so sad--I want a baby/ a child made up of me and Gary. ME and GARY! Sure we could adopt, sure we could use donor sperm, but neither of those options include both parts of us. That makes me sad beyond belief. This wasn't supposed to be so difficult.

Guess I am just feeling a bit frustrated this morning! And it's Monday. Uugghh. I need to call and try to talk to the Dr. today. I think we played phone tag last week. I kinda feel like I tried to avoid calling him on Friday-- almost like I don't want to hear the words he is going to tell me. I need the info... but I don't want it. I really hate this.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What to do?

It's early. I couldn't sleep.

I feel like I am in the weirdest place. Like I just don't know what to do. Gary and I have focused so much time and energy the past 3 months into this and I feel like it is over in the blink of an eye. We waited for yesterday for so long and in a 45 second voicemail it was over. I think I am in shock. I am not sure if it has really hit me that again, I have no idea when we will have our baby. I think that is the hardest part. At least with IVF we had a form of a timeline (which I have learned I apparently have no control over). Everyone says "just relax, it will happen" and that is all fine and good, but when you have so much hope and you feel like what you need is so close and then it is gone-- I cant explain it. I feel like I have no more tears. Even yesterday- I cried, but not nearly as hard as I did over Sunday and Monday. Since Sunday, I have been praying for strength to get through this. I guess this is it-- this is my strength. Is not crying a sign of strength? I guess. I also want to be sure I am not kidding myself. Like I am pretending to be strong b/c I think it will just be easier. I think only time will tell about that.

I need to call and actually talk to the Dr. today. I felt I was too emotional yesterday to call him back, ask him the questions I needed to and be in the frame of mind to listen to his answers. The Dr. said that if we tried again, we would probably have about a 35% success rate (I need to know how that was determined). As of right now, I do not think Gary and I will do another round of IVF-- at least not anytime soon. Without revealing actual $ amounts-- we have invested ALOT of money into this and we are just not in a place to do this again. I see no point in continually depleting our savings to have a baby that we then cant provide for. Yes, a baby would be worth all the money in the world, but Gary and I need to do what we are comfortable with.

Not really sure if I will post anymore. I mean I really started this blog to document our journey with infertility to parenthood. We've got the first part down, but the second, who knows when that will be ours. I want to repost an excerpt from one of my very first posts. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for us- be happy for us. Because of this journey, Gary and my's relationship has just become stronger than I could ever imagine.

What do I think God meant when he gave me infertility?
"I think he meant for my husband and I to grow closer, become stronger, love deeper. I think God meant for us to find the fortitude within ourselves to get up every time infertility knocks us down. I think God meant for our medical community to discover medicines, invent medical equipment, create procedures and protocols. I think God meant for us to find a cure for infertility.
"No, God never meant for me not to have children. That's not my destiny; that's just a fork in the road I'm on. I've been placed on the road less traveled, and, like it or not, I'm a better person for it. Clearly, God meant for me to develop more compassion, deeper courage, and greater inner strength on this journey to resolution, and I haven't let him down.
"Frankly, if the truth be known, I think God has singled me out for a special treatment. I think God meant for me to build a thirst for a child so strong and so deep that when that baby is finally placed in my arms, it will be the longest, coolest, most refreshing drink I've ever known.
"While I would never choose infertility, I cannot deny that a fertile woman could never know the joy that awaits me. Yes, one way or another, I will have a baby of my own. And the next time someone wants to offer me unsolicited advice I'll say, "Don't tell me what God meant when he handed me infertility. I already know."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not the news I was hoping for

Dr. called and left a message. Our blood test was negative. Not a huge surprise (I peed on a stick this morning and it was negative) but hurts terribly none the less.

I have no idea what we will do at this point. Gary and I will both need time to heal from this emotional, physical and financial roller coaster we have been on. We put everything we have into this.

Thank you all for your support, prayers, well wishes and thoughts. I could not have gotten through this without all of you.

The dreaded wait

Blood is home we sit and wait for the phone to ring. I am a complete bag of nerves. My hands... literally shaking.

The next few hours need to FLY by!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Clear mind (well clearer)

I have a clearer mind today than I did yesterday. I decided yesterday that I would not be testing today. I will not test at home tomorrow either. I have decided I can not torture myself like that any longer. At this point-- all of this is out of our hands. If Gary and I were meant to get pregnant from this cycle, then I will have a very shocking call tomorrow afternoon. If we weren't, well then we will regroup and figure out what to do next. In the words of my wonderful hubby- "We will have our baby." One way or another.

One thing that my friend told me-- that I keep reminding myself is this:
"God doesn't give us the dream and desire if He is not going to fulfill it for us. Our problem is His time does not always meet our schedule!"

I have learned a lot from this friend and she knows who she is. Thank you D.

I also had a great walk yesterday afternoon with another of my wonderful friends "R". She is my ear and my shoulder here and I honestly don't know what I would do without her. She is always so clear and level headed and talking to her ALWAYS makes me feel better. We walked and talked and after 45 minutes-- I felt SO much better. My mind felt more clear. And darn it- I forgot how good it felt to exercise... sadly it has been a LONG time.

I also had another great friend (M) call me yesterday. Actually she called me twice-- which never happens! :) So when she called a second time...I knew she had something good to tell me. She called to tell me that her sister in law, who has amazing triplets from IVF, called to tell her that she read my blog and wanted me to know that she felt exactly as I felt on Sunday and that she tested negative up to a couple days before her blood test. This gives me hope. The more stories I find out there... the more my hope builds. Thank you M and P! :)

So this is where I am. I am tearless as I write this- which makes me feel like I am at peace with whatever happens tomorrow. We all know how I hope it ends... but only time will tell. Thank you all for your strength and prayers-- they have meant the world to Gary and me!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Still testing negative...still trying to stay positive.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Moments of Doubt and Worry

So the morning has been pretty rough. Through this entire process I have tried really really hard to keep a positive attitude. Today, I am really struggling with staying positive.
While I know it is still early, I am 8 days past my transfer and I tested negative this morning.

Broke my heart.

Again, I know it is still early, but when you read as much as I do on the Internet, you learn things that can cause doubt. It seems most see a + around day 7 or 8. I have read a few people say they didn't get their + until day 9, 10 or 11, but most seem to be earlier than that.

When I get into a situation like this-- where I have put so much of my heart and soul into something-- it takes everything of me emotionally. I cried for hours this morning. Pulled it together long enough to go to church. Came home, Gary was awake, sobbed again for a good half hour. I am just terrified we have put all we have into this and we are going to be disappointed. I know-- not a positive outlook, but I am tired. Being positive is hard sometimes and I am exhausted.

I think the hardest part of this morning was that I had a dream this morning. I dreamt I took a test and it was positive. So I took another test and that one was positive too. And then I took a digital and that test was positive too. When I woke up-- I thought it was real and I was pregnant. Then I realized it was a dream and I still had to get up and pee and test. So I did. My test wasn't positive. Almost like having your dreams crushed.

I have not given up all hope yet-- I am still praying tomorrow I wake up, test and see those beautiful pink lines appear. I am also praying that my friend/carpool buddy has the miracle of seeing those beautiful pink lines too (maybe she already has???? :) )!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Daily Play by Play

I thought this was very interesting-- I picked it up from Wendy's blog.

Here is what is happening daily with a 3 day transfer:
  • 1dpt ..Embryo is growing and developing
  • 2dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
  • 3dpt....Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
  • 4dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
  • 5dpt.. Implantation begins, as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
  • 6dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
  • 7dpt.. Morula is completely implanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
  • 8dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
  • 9dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
  • 10dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
  • 11dpt...HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

Notes: dpt= days past transfer

Blastocyst=an embryo which has developed to the point of having 2 different cell components and a fluid cavity