Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Busy, busy

I just finished my cycle with three rounds of acupuncture under my belt. And shall I say, I am concerned. I just had the shortest cycle of my life. I am not kidding. I still had cramps, but then the bleeding only lasted for 2 days. Yes, that is right two days. Mr. Hoo commented that if this were any time than us trying to get a thick uterine lining it would be wonderful. Two days of blood, awesome. Now, I am left confused. Is my uterus just drying up? Is the acupuncture working in the reverse direction? Are the herbs messing with me? I just quit taking them. I am getting more and more frustrated. If anyone knows of bloggers that have had lining issues resolved, I would love to hear about them. I need some hope from somewhere. Heck, I am only assuming that a short period means thin lining. Maybe it means early menopause. I just don't know.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yes, I know I have been quite lax in writing, but really there isn't too much to report.

I went to the acupuncturist and dental hygienist on Wednesday. No they are not the same person, I just scheduled both appointments in the same day. What did I learn? I am not too sure I can see the scientific reasoning behind acupuncture. I know that everyone has great success with it and seems to enjoy it, but after I saw where the needles were placed I became very skeptical. For some reason, I thought the needles were placed very strategically at nerve or pressure points. To be honest I just don't see how needles in my legs and feet have any impact on my uterus. Also, it appears that we perform acupuncture all of the time when we give ourselves the hormonal injections. I am sure that I hit some of those same spots in my belly among the 100s of shots. The only needle where it felt like something was impacting another area was the need in the top of the head. It was pretty cool that I felt a twinge in my foot.

The Dr. was nice enough, but then she told me that I needed to take the herbs. Then she said the individualized plan was $5/day. I told her I couldn't do that. Then she said there are some packaged plans that she would prescribe. 32 pills a day. How do I tell her that I don't want to take the herbs? Will it make her have an excuse for the treatment not working? I bought them to not cause conflict, but really I don't want to take them.

She was very concerned that my extremities were cold and asked me if I had low energy. I said absolutely not. That I am one of the most energetic people that I know. Yes, she gave me pills for that, too. Also I can't drink anything with ice in it. (I already forgot about that rule yesterday).

She was very confident and said that I should see results very quickly. ie, my next period should have fewer cramps. She also said that she has seen increases in peoples linings about 70% of the time. That would be amazing.

Now, I need to ask, is this not going to work if I am skeptical. Do I need to just take the leap of faith and do everything she says? My logical side says that lying there calm and relaxed for 30 minutes is probably very beneficial, but I truly find it hard to believe that the needles in my thigh muscle have any impact. Kind of funny. In a way, I am complaining because I really didn't feel the needles. They went in quickly, and in most areas I felt nothing. Would I think it was working better if the needles were deeper and hurt more. What am I some kind of masochist?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Huh, this year my birthday came and went without much ado. I wonder if this happened because I didn't want to acknowledge that I am now 43. I am old. I am infertile. I may only have two more years even to use donor eggs. This sucks.

No, I take it back. I love my birthday. I love any reason to celebrate. My birthday is even better now because Mr. Who's birthday is just a day earlier. How fun is that? We always get to celebrate together and he should never forget my b-day. I was very bad this year and didn't really get him a present. I gave him a card with coupons but feel like it is a real cop out. Yes, I also did get him a luau, but still I don't think that required that much thought. I pride myself on being a thoughtful gift giver. The down side of this is that if I don't think of something great, I often don't do anything.

I made an appointment with the acupuncturist. How in the world am I suppose to pick one? I usually decide things by ease. I figure, the less traffic, the less stress, the better off I am. But this one wants me to take herbs and I have to pay by cash or check. Yuck. I never have money nor checks on me. I guess there is no harm is in switching if I am completely unhappy.

I had jury duty today. Pretty uneventful. Sat there for three hours, got some work done, didn't get called, went into work. There was like 200 people who had the same thing happen to them. The system seems pretty darn inefficient. I wish they could explain what exactly goes on. I watched Medium last night and it seemed way more exciting.

Finally, I ran 4 miles today. I am finding it very difficult to work out. I can't motivate myself. I don't know why. I really want to take advantage of this time of year. I can get out of work and go running in the daylight. The weather isn't too hot. It is great. Last year I had the goal of having a PR. That didn't work out. Yes, I blame the IVF treatments. I would like to set the same goal for this year. I guess I should be happy either way. I can pursue the PR and if that gets interrupted with an FET so be it. Thats the plan.

Now, should I get up for spin at5:30 tomorrow morning.......

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Is it odd that I have mice with disrupted ovaries? In fact, I think I have two mouse lines that are subfertile. So yes, over time these animals lose the ability to produce eggs. Unfortunately, there aren't problems directly with the eggs. It is more the supporting cells that are disrupted. One probably has a disruption in the theca cells. The other line is less obvious, but possibly also in the theca cells. What I have found is that there is little federal funding for female infertility. Seriously, I would love to investigate these issues, but nobody cares.

Maybe if I were in Germany things would be different. They are worried that their population is actually decreasing. It seems as if people are waiting much longer to settle down and when they do they have few or no kids. This leads me to question whether they might have more concern over female aging and fertility. It seems that they might want to extend the fertile years to permit their population to grow and maybe there would be more federal funding. I haven't investigated this but am curious if this could be the case.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Off for awhile

After all the excitement yesterday, I another busy day today. All work related. Plus I POAS and yes BFN. Oh, well we wouldn'twant the free IVF to go to waste.

I talked the acupuncturist today. She did try to sell me on herbs. I told her that herbal tea usually upsets my stomach which is entirely true. I wonder if my insurance will cover it. We will have to see.

I head to an interview in Hawaii tomorrow. Still have to prepare my talk. I guess I will try to do that on the plane ride tomorrow. I really would like to improve my options for a new job. One where I could be in the same city as Mr. Who.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it just when I had given up hope. A sign or karma or something has given me an indication that all is not lost. I don't know if I have said this before but I believe in fate. I think everything works out for certain reasons. I can't for the life of me figure out why I am in this IF boat, but today I have had many good signs and I am going to go with it.

1. Because I had that lining check, I know exactly the day I ovulated (along with BBT) Therefore, I know that Mr. Who and I had perfectly timed intercourse. Today is cycle day 26, the never fail start of the period day. No hint of cramps, yet. OK, I know it is a long shot, but my BBT is still high. Soooooooo yeah. I am clinging to straws, but that is also how my luck works. Everything comes together at the very end.

2. I WON A FREE IVF CYCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This morning at a seminar for infertility. That is right, me the person who rarely wins anything was finally at the right place at the right time. The seminar wasn't that awesome, but it also gave me the hope that there is more than one way to fry a fish and if my current RE is not up for the challenge then I could go to this place. I had even made an appointment for a consultation in July (hopefully after my next FET). Then at the end of the seminar and the very long Q&A session, they called my ticket number. I read the number several times in my head, recited the end digits that the person had called, checked the room to see if anyone else had jumped up and no they hadn't. Screamed a high pitched scream of joy, and ran up to the front stage and tears came streaming down my face. I can't believe it. Now, I know that they only cover the IVF cycle, so that means if we go the donor route it is all those costs, and I still have to pay anesthesia and medications, but still. A free cycle. At the beginning of the seminar the RE explained that the last people who had won it just had the husband coming back from Iraq. They said that they had saved up enough money, so if their cycle worked, they would donate the free one to somebody else. Well, remember how I was saying that I am not a bad person, but I am also not a particularly good person. They are going to have to pry this freebie from my dead or pregnant hand. Whichever comes first, before July. To quote a line from one of my favorite movies, " A major prize. A major prize. I won. I won. I won." The Mr. Parker in the Christmas Story.

3. This RE seems very positive about the Viagra treatment so combined with the acupuncture that I will be starting, those last two blasts are going to snuggle in just fine. That is assuming I didn't get pregnant on my own.

4. This particular group of clinics want to start a donor egg bank very similar to a donor sperm bank. These would be CGH screened eggs, where you don't have to wait for all of the testing, donor picking etc. I will talk more about this later, but right now Mr. Who is home from his marathon and I need to tell him the great news.

Friday, March 26, 2010



Rules: YOU! Yes, you, reading this. You're tagged. Now that you know more about me than you ever wanted to know, play the game, it's fun! Let others know a little more about yourself, repost this as your name followed by "ology."

What is your salad dressing of choice?
Spicy Thai. Honey mustard vineagrette

What is your favourite sit-down restaurant?

What is your favourite fast food restaurant?
Taco Bell

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
Roasted corn, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, spinach.

How many televisions are in your house?
2, three if you count the big screen and LCD projector hooked to the VCR.

What color cell phone do you have?


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Wisdom teeth

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
Our Christmas boxes.

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

Have you ever fainted?


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No, I already live my life as if today is my last day. HAH! I wish I did that. Maybe if this whole IF stuff doesn't work out that is what I will do.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Raven or Aphrodite. Hey I have a friend who named their kid, Echo, why can't I be a Goddess?

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
Wow, that is tough. I would say over 10. I love them for the summer. No socks, easy on, easy off.

Last person you talked to?
Mr. Who, who else?


Summer, I love the long days, the sun, cool clothing, and drinks on the patio.


Day of the week?

July, it is the middle of summer, everyone is relaxed, work is slower.


Pink Lemonade



Missing someone?
My husband, he works away from home 4 days out of the week.

What are you listening to?
NPR, I love wait wait don't tell me and market place.

What are you watching?
The Office

Worrying about?
The fact that my uterus is a hostile environment for blastocysts.

What's the last movie you saw?
Alice in Wonderland

Do you smile often?
Yes, I have been told that, but in the past few years some people have said that I smile less than I used to.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
Steel blue. I think people with dark hair and light eyes are intriguing.

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
Well, it is coming up in a week and I don't have my short list. I could reuse my x-mas list. Does that count?

Can you do a chin-up?
0.5 chin ups. I really am not sure I haven't tried in a very long time.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Excited. My life truly seems to be getting better every year.

Have you been in a car wreck?
Yes, I hit one of my coworkers on the way to work. It was very slow motion.

Have you caused a car wreck?
See above.

Do you have an accent?
I have been told that I have a Midwest accent.

Last time you cried?
Two days ago.

Plans tonight?
Champagne and pizza. Celebrating paying off our mortgage.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Not really.

Name three things you bought yesterday?
Peanut butter, salsa, and tuna fish.

Have you met someone who changed your life?
My husband. He centers me.

For the better or worse?
Are you kidding? We are the poster kids for happily married.

How did you bring in the New Year?
Went to a pub and ate some wings.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Hmm... not if I don't meet Mr. Who, but I sure would like to go back to a time when I was fertile.

What songs do you sing in the shower?
Any Christmas carol.

Have you held hands with someone today?

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
My husband, which is pretty surprising because he always takes all of the pictures and never ends up in any pictures of his own.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?

Do you like pulpy orange juice?

Last time you ate peanut butter and jelly?
Yesterday, but I can't remember the time before that. It was a Stout beer jelly.

What were you doing at 12 a.m. last night?
Reading a book.

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
I love my puppy butt.

This lovely little meme brought to you via Rain & lowfatlady & Mrs Gamgee!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I try to keep it together, but tonight I just lost it. I was watching Modern Family tonight and this cute brainy girl was trying to diagnose her brothers ADD. I just realized that I may never have a child like that. I may never have a kid. Life is unfair. I broke down and cried. In my kitchen. By myself. My faithful sidekick, Maredsous, my dog didn't even come to my rescue. Usually she is so in tune with my emotions. She comforts me instantly at any sign of anguish. I guess, the kitchen ban stuck. She did not want to disappoint me by breaking the kitchen barrier. I wish she had been slightly more intuitive. That she had come to my side.

I haven't done anything wrong. I try to live by the Golden Rule. Maybe I don't go out of my way and donate my time and energy to charities, but I think I am a good person. Why would I be cursed this way? Why am I infertile? Why do I see my chances of having any child dwindling away? Usually things work out for me. I believe that. I think everything happens for a reason. And to be honest I have a relatively good life. Yes there are negatives, my husband's job is 3 hours away, I am in a job that I don't particularly love, I have a smaller circle of friends than I would like, but all in all things could be much worse.

Then again. I am infertile. I may never, ever have a baby. I don't deserve this. I have tried everything. I gave up having a child of my own genetic make up. I don't know what else I can sacrifice. I am spent.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back on the horse

No, my treatment status hasn't changed at all. Still in the temperature surge of the luteal phase.

What I am back to doing is working out. I got on the wii fit on Sunday and miraculously even though I hadn't worked out seriously since before October, I think, I lost weight (2 lbs). The last time I was on the wii fit was 30 days ago. That means eating healthy actually helped.

What have I done so far? Ran a very slooooooooow 5K last Saturday. It was humiliating, but not bad considering I hadn't seriously run since before October. Then I ran 5K and did the stairclimer on Sunday. Then I woke up this morning at 5:30 to go to spin. Actually I woke up at 5:48. 20 min past when my alarm first went off. Still obediently went to the gym and yes, all of the spin bikes were taken. To make up for the lost class, I ran 4 miles tonight. Plans for the next 2 days spin at 6 am. Cross your fingers and be glad it is me and not you.

Why the sudden interest in working out. Two reasons a. Hawaii in a week. 2. If poor vascularization is my problem, wouldn't it make sense to up the need? Certainly, not exercising didn't help it, so maybe excercising will help. I also need to seriously do something to relax and release my constant stress. Yes, Hawaii may help. Yoga is also fun, but usually when I do it, it is more like a challenge. If that skinny, perfectly toned chick can bend over backwards and put her head between her knees, so can I. Well, sorta. I at least can dream.

Oh, but along the lines of healthy eating, I made the most fantastic salad tonight.

Spinach, yellow pepper, strawberries, peppa dews and homemade honey mustard vineagrette. Oh, I know it sounds weird, but it was really, really good.

Here is hoping that the new plan works...somehow.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I am resolved to use the last two blasts. They are mine, they should not go to waste, and they are already paid for. My next goal is to make sure this cycle goes as well as possible. Its not like we can screen ahead looking at the antral follicles and say ooh this will be a good round. I guess every cycle we will have to go into this hoping that the lining is thick, but if it is not wait until the next round. But I guess we blew the shot of the endometrial biopsy. I don't think the insurance will pay for a biopsy every other month. Maybe with the new health care.....

So acupuncture it is. How does one find a good acupuncturist? How often do I need to go and what should I expect to pay. Does it hurt? What if I miss a session?

I guess this cycle I just wait and find out what happens. I feel like I am in limbo. I HATE LIMBO. I just want to either give up or have it work. I hate trying and trying and trying. With no results.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Why is it that I feel things are getting worse and not better. When we started this it seemed I just needed little help. The FSH was 8.8, had regular cycles, and all the plans in the world to have a baby within a year. So being the closet optimist that I am, I was totally floored when the RE (not the usual one but his partner) basically told me there was no hope. Might I remind you this was also the inadequate endometrial biopsy guy. His only saving grace is that I made my initial appointment at their clinic through him because the RE (Dr. L) I wanted to see was all booked for two months. Then some how I became Dr. L's patient. I fear that he took me on because he sees me as a challenge. Back to the appointment.

The exact conversation was
RE: What is your status currently?
ME: Dr. L just wanted me to come in on a normal cycle to see what my lining measures.
RE: No estrogen then this cycle.
ME: No.
RE: Are you trying for a transfer this month.
ME: Ummm no. (IdME: Didn't I just tell you I had just ovulated? You idiot. If we were trying for a natural transfer wouldn't we have missed it? JFC, why are you such a moron)
RE: Hmmm lining looks like it is 5 mm and you have a follicle or probably a cyst.
ME: Oh.... (IdME: Thanks for adding insult to injury. You don't think that I could possibly have a follicle on the day I told you I was ovulating. Instead you assume it is a cyst. Nice)
RE: You will have to have a consult with Dr. L. to discuss your next plan.
ME: So is there anything I can do?
RE: No, if your lining doesn't get any better there is no hope.
ME: I have no options?
RE: No either another transfer or find a surrogate for your last two blasts.
ME: Uh...gulping back the tears (IdME: You are such a f***ing moron. You have the balls to suggest I hand the whole thing over to somebody else. I wasn't even happy with donor eggs now you suggest donor uterus? Lets just strike me from the whole equation. I am useless. I hate you)
RE: Oh, you could try vaginal vi*gra, or acupuncture but that really hasn't been shown to help. We have done everything Western medicine can do for you. We have never seen anyone get pregnant with a lining of 5mm. See yah!
ME: ....silence (IdME: You really are a moron. I am not on any medication this cycle so my lining can get a little thicker than this, doofus. Maybe not much but I even had implantation and a lining of 7.5. I know it is not great, but it certainly is better than 5mm)

Thank goodness, he is not my regular RE. I think I would have killed myself by now. Dr. L is much more upbeat. Full of anecdotes, not really shining sun up my a$$, but positive. More hopeful. He suggests I take a two-three month break. So now need to do everything that I can to plump my lining up. Any recommendations?

I know several things I want to try:
1. Some kind of relaxation maybe meditation or massage. I really feel stressed most of the time.
2. Yes, I will finally do acupuncture. I am thinking about getting Mr. Hoo to do it with me for moral support (I don't think he will be very happy about that)
3. Cutting out alcohol (again)
4. I already eat fairly healthfully. Which reminds me that I wanted to mention by recent cholesterol readings. Triglycerides 40!!!!, HDL97!!!! LDL 65. Thats right my LDL is lower than my HDL. Total was something like 165. Wait looking back, my HDL has always been higher than my LDL. I guess in addition to giving me the crazies, my mom also passed on good cholesterol regulating genes. This was despite the fact that I haven't been exercising since October. I wonder if there is any correlation with lining and cholesterol. Maybe I need to eat more eggs? Ha, eggs to improve my fertility.

Oh, yeah I was listing my plan of attack.
5. Vitamin E and vitamin B6 ( I don't know what good extras of these will do. The prenatals already have these, but it can't hurt right?) The nurse suggested them so what the heck.
6. Yoga or walking. I was thinking about doing two walks with the puppy poo instead of just one a day.
7. I read that someone cut out refined sugar. I think that would kill me, but maybe I could try it for a few months.

Oh, yeah I forgot why things seem to be getting worse in addition to the lining scenario. I have a very regular cycle. 26 days like clockwork except on IVF meds or BCP. I ovulate between day 12 and 13 by BBT, cervical position and mucus. Any way, this month I seem to be completely out of wack. Still have not seen a huge increase in BBT and today is day 15. I have seen a slow increase, but nothing that has peaked. I guess tomorrow will be the defining moment. And the cervix has been wonky. Nothing that I could say was definitively high and soft. So maybe I didn't ovulate this month, good because maybe that explains super thin lining. Bad because maybe stupid RE was right and it was a cyst. I guess I will find out in two weeks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Try try again

My RE thinks we need to take a break. A break from what I wonder. Does he need a break? Does my uterus need a break. I wonder what a break would do. Will it make my lining miraculously thicker? Even though I have asked, I have not been given any suggestions to make it thicker. I am a scientist, damn it. If you don't give me reasons I am lost. I need some kind of empirical evidence that waiting will help. I need data for how I can make my lining thicker. I have searched pubmed for journal articles. Nobody cares about the lining. Apparently, nobody has this problem. From what I can tell, most people who have lining issues do not have egg issues. It is just try and try again, but I don't have that luxury. I have two more blasts. That is it.

I stopped the IVF treatments because Drs. told me it was a waste of money that the donor egg scenario was the most expedient. I gave up my hope of having a child with my genetic make up simply based on the odds. I am not a gambler. I chose to go the route with the highest success rate. Donor eggs. I did that. Now, am I really being told that the sure thing is also going to fail me? That I can never have a baby in my belly. That I can't even carry a baby. I don't know how much more failure I can handle. I don't deal well with not being in control. I don't like to wait, and I especially hate leaving things to fate. I have always said I can accept most things that are thrown at me. That things work out for the best, and do believe it. But how long do I have to go without knowing. How do I know when to give up? Should I try one more round of donor eggs? I don't know, if my uterus is bad its bad. No amount of trying is going to help.

I did log onto the donor egg site to look up potential candidates. The past donor was on there, but do we want to use her again. I mean, 6 blasts that is it. 18 eggs. I don't think they even told us how many were mature. I just want to have a plan and I can't have a plan if we have to wait some more. It seems this whole process has been more waiting than doing. The doctor says that I am young. That I have plenty of time, but really how can I believe that. My gynocologist said not to intervene. My FSH was low enough. Then we had to wait because the Drs office had a meeting, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Then we had to wait for the donor stuff to come through. In total I have been waiting since October 2007. I know it doesn't seem that long, but I am not a patient person.

I found out this weekend that my sister in law went through the same thing. Granted she is young and had 22 fertilized blasts, but her first fresh transfer she had a positive HCG then the number dropped. On the first FET it was negative. They got their darling daughter on the second FET. Maybe we will have the same luck.

All I can think of is my poor husband. He didn't buy into this. He thought he could get happily married, have a family and live happily ever after. He is so quiet about this. I can not really tell what he is thinking or feeling.

I go in tomorrow to see what my lining looks like without any of the drugs. Who knows what will happen from there.

The good news is that I have been invited to give a talk, in Hawaii. At least I don't have to worry about being pregnant in Hawaii and can have fun at the luau.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Thats right. I tested 6dp5dt and 7dp5dt. Nada, nichts, nothing. It was so white it makes Mr. Rogers look latino.

Well, not much else to say. The stick said no, we are not going to have a Thanksgiving to remember. We don't have to start a college fund. We don't have to change our day to day routine.

Everything stays exactly the same only now, the never fail donor egg scenario has failed. Twice. We have one last shot from this donor. Which is also somewhat disappointing. All that money and only 6 blasts. I know, beggars can't be choosers, but I was hoping we would have enough for at least two kids. Now, we have only two frosties. I still don't know what to do about my lining. I have always had super light periods. 3-4 day and only one day has medium flow. When I was on the pill, I had no period. Maybe the estrogen is the problem. Maybe I can beg and plead the doc to do a natural cycle. I don't know why we wouldn't be able to do that. We thaw the day of the transfer and my temperature works like clockwork. With the added thought of a blood test it seems very logical. Maybe I should also try acupuncture. I have been avoiding it, mostly because having more appoints stresses me out. I have never really had to go to a doctor since I have been an adult. All these appointments and medications are so unnatural to me.

Blood test on Monday, probably won't get the results until Tuesday, but it beats paying $60 to find out that this is another bust.

Trying hard to find a bright side, but right now I am just worried about meeting my deadline on Monday so I will dive into work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Headache 5dp5dt

I am on symptom watch. Just like last time I have this horrible migraine. It is earlier than I had it last time, and it is very annoying. My nurse told me that it was a good sign last time. I wonder why that is. It can't be because of extra progesterone in the system. That has been going on for several days already and the headache just started yesterday. I have a slight head cold so maybe it is a symptom of that, but usually I don't suffer from headaches. The only time I get them is right before menstruation. I find they muddle my brain. I can't talk straight when I have a migraine. My thoughts get all mixed together and I sound like an idiot in conversations. Concentration is often a problem, too.

Last night I felt the most mild cramps ever. Maybe I am reaching, but I am very in tune with my body and I am pretty sure it was something uterine. Not just an upset stomach.

I also have not been able to sleep well. I am a little worried about this. I want my body to be rested and energized to keep the little ones on normal circadian rhythm. It can't hurt at least. Maybe I will try to get a few more hours sleep.

Not much else to report. I bought some cheapo pregnancy sticks online, so lets hope they get here by Thursday so I can test then. If not, I will wait til they arrive.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is laughing stressful? 4dp5dt

This weekend was spent trying my absolute best to be calm and stressfree. This is very difficult for me. I am a type A personality and rarely relax even when I am at home. I find that my body is often very tense. Its not that stress is bad for me. I don't know how I would function if I were relaxed. I don't suffer from headaches or lack of sleep. I am just high strung. Granted when people annoy me, it is hard to let it go, but in general, I think I am OK.

When prescribed to relax and have a low key weekend, I found that it was a bit stressful. Yes, that right I had anxiety because I wasn't relaxed enough. I even worried when Mr Hu and I had a good laughing session. One reason we get along so well is because we have the same sense of humor and I really relish when he is home on the weekends. He can really make me laugh. I am sure no one else would find these things funny, but that really doesn't bother me. Any way, I was wondering could I be laughing too hard. Would my belly jiggling dislodge Seedbubble? I always hear that laughing is good for you, but I am pretty sure that laughing is not really relaxing.

The other activity that we tried that was supposedly relaxing was playing the Wi*i. Though, I find that I probably get a moderate work out when I play some of the games. Plus we often play a two player game and I am constantly yelling at Mr. Hu for one thing or another. Again is this relaxing? I don't think so, but maybe it is as close as I can get.

In other news, I have been trying to track my symptoms. Sprogblogger has a blow by blow account of her symptoms and it is really fun to follow. I had some kind of pain in my left ovary. Don't know what that means. My breasts are tender, but they were tender from the estrogen so I really think this can't be counted. What else? Last time I had a horrible migraine for about 3 days. Maybe it was from dehydration so this time I am trying to drink a lot. Like Sprogblogger was, I am thirsty all of the time. I don't think this is an acknowledged symptom, but it makes sense to me.

I was looking over the pictures of the frosties and am a little worried that one of the frosties didn't come out well. The embryologist assured me that it was scrunched because it had not completely rehydrated yet from the freezing. I find it very disconcerting that all of the medical professionals can basically tell you anything and you have to believe them. You are helpless. You can't doubt their abilities or their techniques. It is like being a weather person. You can't really predict the future and they can't be blamed when things don't work out as planned.

Now, I know what you can do to a blastocyst and still get a completely healthy embryo. It is amazing. To be honest, as long as the culture conditions are stable, the only thing that really can go wrong is the transfer. Really, I have jammed needles and cells into mouse blastocysts, ripped off the zona pellucida (outer layer of the blastocyst), and even combined two morula (8 cell embryos) and obtained normal embryos. Lets hope that the embryologist knows what they are doing. Then all I have to blame for a failure is my own sad uterine lining.

I think I will POAS on Thursday. Last time I had a defined second line by that day after the transfer.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Not feeling it

Wow, what a year. So many of the IF community have had fantastic results. It really gives me hope that this whole process just might work. I have always wanted to compile a data sheet to keep track of all of these positives and track them out, but then the statistician in me screams out and says but if all of those people get pregnant, somebody must fall on the negative side. Because I don't believe much in luck or gambling, I am forced to place myself on the side of doubt of having a negative result no matter what I do. But enough of this self pity.

I am absolutely overjoyed to hear of Kates at i-cant-whistle.blogspot.com/ wonderful news. She has been through a lot and according to my statistics she has been persistent enough to fall into the positive category. You go, girl.

In other news, if I were superstitious I would be a little happy. My fortune cookie on Friday had some hokey fortune, but on the back the Chinese translation that was listed said Son. Lets see what wins out.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Scrunchy and Seedbubble

Well, here they are. The one on the left is a little cold still. Below I put the before freezing image.

While I lie here, I wonder if there is anything I could do to help these kiddos implant. I know about pineapple and Mr. Hu is running out to get some now. I am also wearing my Germany undies for good luck (Mr. Hu's nationality). Any advice whether scientific or superstitious is appreciated.

Incidentally, I opened by email and found a notice from a journal where the whole issue is devoted to placentas and there as one of the subtopics, implantation! I hope our library has that journal I am going there right now to download it.

Finally, as another bonus for the transfer, Mr. Hu has declared that I now have a majority vote in the house seeing as I am voting for 3. Therefore, anything I want goes. I am trying to think of something I could get my way with, but so far I can't think of a single thing.


Well two 4BB blasts have now been transferred. I will try to post the pictures of the blasts later. One had reexpanded after thawing. The other was still all balled up. I don't know, that really bothers me. It was still collapsed which, of course, is completely natural because they have to collapse to freeze them. We have named this one Scrunchy. Haven't thought of a name for the other one.

The transfer did not go as smoothly as the first time. The doctor took a little longer and had to leave one catheter in to make sure the trail for the blast transfer catheter was open.

Now I am supposed to lie here in bed for the rest of the day. There really is no good TV on. Thank goodness the Food Network is here.

I think I am going to try to not think about work this entire weekend. It really raises my stress level. I was practicing relaxing in the Drs office. It is amazing how a couple of slow deep breaths really seem to release any stress present in the body.

Hopefully, one thing I can do with my free time is to catch up on all of the blogs. I have been following everyone, just not writing much because I have been traveling and had lots of work.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Walking a thin line (ing)

Well went in last Tuesday and the lining was a bare 6.5mm. Yuck. Then asked if we could thaw only one embryo in case this cycle is a bust, but no they were frozen in twos.

You have got to be kidding me. This just keeps getting worse and worse.

We are on for a transfer on Friday, though. I do not have my hopes up. The lining is thinner than it was last time. The doc said we could put it on hold, but then the uterine biopsy was for nothing. Though I don't know how any inflammation could still be going on seeing as I had the biopsy over 3 weeks ago.

One good thing is that the estrogen has made intimacy with Mr. Who very fun. My breasts have also gotten quite large (although they are very tender).

I am really just in the dumps today. Feeling as if we have to waste two more good embryos. Then we will only have two left. That just sucks. The whole donor egg 66% success rate seems highly unlikely at this point. Lets hope at least the transfer goes well. I had a stitch placed in my cervix to make the transfer easier. Basically the Dr. yanks on the thread to straighten my curvy cervix out and it makes the catheter enter more smoothly. I don't know, with all of my problems maybe it wasn't only my eggs that make it difficult to get pregnant. Maybe my cervix and uterus are just not hospitable environments for procreation.

Monday, February 8, 2010


As a female scientist, I have some opportunity to mentor younger female scientists as well as listen to advice from women more senior than I. Interestingly, the more senior women seem to fall into two categories. Those that had children early in their career and those that waited too long. I am amazed how the first category of women fail to recognize that the odds of having children decreases with increasing age. I have to admit I fell into this category. I was mostly concerned about birth defects. I, to be honest, never heard about how difficult it is to procreate in the late 30's and early 40's. Now that I know, I am making it one of my objectives to spread the word to as many women as possible. This is not an easy task. Many younger females laugh and joke about the horror stories about shriveling ovaries. They think that I am being overdramatic. I don't want to frighten them. I just want the facts to be known and evaluated. I am not trying to convince everyone to go out an have babies immediately, I just want them to look at the scary charts that all the REs have shown me. They truly are frightening.

Then there are the naysayers who already have kids. They always come up with anecdotal data about the 45 year old who had a kid. And yes damnit, at my work place I am surrounded by these miracle women. 3 women over 40 who have unexpectedly become pregnant. Actually two out of the 5 professors in my department fall into this category. One of these did injectables, had one follicle, and did IUI. Two others over 45 who have also had a child within the past 4 years. I assure you that these women did not go through any IF treatments. None.

Why can't I be in that category? Why am I the poster child for delayed gratification? Well, any way. I get on my soapbox as often as possible, but I am not sure I am getting through. At least they are a bunch of scientists, so I think they appreciate the crummy curve that shows the precipitous drop in fertility after 35.

Tomorrow is my lining check. 3 weeks on injectable estrogen. My breasts are so tender and engorged. Lets hope that my lining has increased to match. Last week my E2 levels were 3500. Yikes, that seems pretty high. My lining was only 6.5mm but trilaminar. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not yet

There is a little Mexican restaurant around the corner. My husband is always asking if I want to go there on nights when we can't decide where to eat. My pat answer is "Not yet." He says I say that a lot. I guess it is true. My whole life has been a not yet. Is it time to get a pet? Not yet, I don't spend enough time at home. Is it time to go on vacation? Not yet, I have too much to do for work. Is it time to remodel the kitchen? Not yet, I don't want contractors all over the house. Is it time to move so that we can live in the same city? Not yet, I want to get tenure. Is it time to have kids? Not yet, I want to have some time together before we are tied down.

Then finally we decide to have kids. Ok, pregnant the natural way. Not yet. Clomid? Not yet. IUI/IVF. Not and not yet. Bite the bullet. Move on to donor eggs. Fresh cycle. Not quite. Finally, well prepared FET. Estrogen levels. Check. Endometrial biopsy. Check. I go in today to get a final lining check before the progesterone. Not yet.

Thats right. The only thing that my body needs to do right now is what it has been doing every month for the past 30 years. I don't know how well it did it, but it certainly doesn't seem to do it well now. This means no transfer next week. Another week on estrogen. Nothing else that I can do.

Not yet.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick update

Well, tomorrow I go in for the lining check. I am pretty sure we are going through with this cycle no matter what because of the biopsy. Have to take advantage of the inflammation, I guess. If everything goes as planned, I should start progesterone on Wednesday. I think the norm is 6 days then the FET. I asked the nurse if it is possible to do one embryo at a time with the FET, but I received no reply. After all, if it was my sucky lining then I don't want to blow two more embryos for nothing. I am really worried because we only have 4 frosties left. I think they range in grade from AB-CB.

In the fresh cycle we transferred one 5AA blast and one 4AA 5 day blast. From the initial HCG they think both implanted then something went terribly wrong. I probably will save those details for another time, but lets just say those were the worst cramps I have ever experienced in my entire life.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Doctor's orders

I find it very unusual that I have been told that I should not exercise. In the winter, I usually exercise a little less, but before Christmas I started going regularly to spin class. I really love group spin. It starts at 6 am, but it is a great way to invigorate and get a work out in early in the day. I like to get my heart rate up and sweat like crazy. For Christmas I even got a new Ga*rmin heart rate monitor and GPS. But alas at my last appointment they actually told me to cut back on the work outs.

I don't really understand it. I mean my body fat content isn't that low and I have always had regular cycles. Of course they did not tell me to go cold turkey. They just told me to cut back on the aerobic work and maybe do yoga and stretching. It is just hard to get into something when the heart rate doesn't get much above 120 bpm. It almost feels as if it isn't worth it to put the workout gear on. To be honest, it is kind of cool to have an excuse not to work out. "Can't go running, honey. Doctor's orders."

It is sad at the same time. Mr. Hoo has been running very avidly and I feel like a slug. I had to miss three of our annual runs because of IVF stuff. I also missed fulfilling my new year's resolution last year, which was to have a personal best for a 5K. Heavy sigh. The worst part is that my clothes are getting a bit tight.

I wonder what they will say if and when I do get preggers. I doubt they will let me run like I was. More likely my dog will be very happy and I will take her for extended walks. I guess I will have to just eat healthy food and do lots of yoga. I need something to reduce my stress level any way.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anonymous donor (not any more)

I am going to devote another post to choosing our donor. But I really have to spill the beans regarding something about our donor. I know exactly who she is. I know her name. I know where she goes to school . I know her date of birth. I have even seen her. So you say, big deal lots of people can say this about their donor, but I don't thing they can say this about their ANONYMOUS donor. I am sure this makes me sound like a stalker. Trust me I am not. I have stopped myself short of asking to be her friend on facebook. I know my boundaries and don't want to freak out some innocent and giving individual who took time and effort to provide me with the genetic raw materials to make a baby.

First I'd wondered if I broke some unspoken code. Though shall not ponder any facts about the donor that are beyond the extensive history provided. I looked through the documents that I had to sign, and there was nothing about doing any investigative work on my own. Seriously, I have always wanted to be a private investigator. I love using deductive reasoning. Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Bone, Scully. I want to be them. Growing up I wanted to solve tiny neighborhood problems. Figure out that Mr Halifax's alibi about driving back from a two hour trip couldn't be true because his car hood was cold. That is who I wanted to be.

Having an anonymous donor was a mystery for me There were little clues along the way I found out the university where our donor attended because it was provided in her bio. The agency forgot to scratch it off. The agency also told us her father's occupation. Well, sort of. In fact the agency misrepresented the father's occupation, but it was enough information to cross reference as needed. The donor also mentioned that she likes ulimate frisbee. What did I do? I went to facebook and searched groups from that university and that sporting group. Lo and behold there was the donor's picture. One catch there were two people in the picture. I didn't know if the name listed was the donor or a friend. Oh, Mr. Google can you help me? A short image search and there she is with her full name. I looked up the father's last name and it agreed with the agency's information. Found the donor's birth record and it agreed with the donor's age.

For some reason having this information made me feel better. I felt like I was in control. If I ever wanted to I could find this person. It would be easy. She has a very unique name. I haven't done much since then. But I envision I will check up on her status at school occasionally. Thank goodness their is no privacy.

My story doesn't end here. The day we had to drop off Mr Hoo's contribution to our child, we had the choice of an early morning drop off or a later morning drop off. Quickly calculating when the egg retrieval would be, I chose the morning. I wanted the little buggers to be processed and ready the minute the eggs were retrieved and cleaned. I admit in the back of my mind, I thought we could hang out in the parking lot and catch a glimpse of the donor.

It turned out better than expected. We arrived at the office a little late, but they made us sit there for over 45 minutes. I noticed something was up because all of the nurses kept looking out into the waiting room with very nervous faces. And then it happened . The donor walked in with a small woman who I can only assume was her mother. I poked Mr. Hoo. He didn't seem to know why I was poking him. I kept at it and nodded a few times in her direction. Then I think he figured it out. It was hard not staring at them. Not scrutinizing every facial expression. Her body language, but I don't think she had any idea that I was the recipient of her kind gift.
She and her mother were chatting. I couldn't hear them, but it was clear they were close. Like best friends.

She was beautiful. She was tall and fit. She walked with certainty, but she did have the full ovary waddle. She was a college woman who knew she was smart and gorgeous. She was dressed casually in sweats and had her hair pulled up. She wore clunky black Euro glasses. I find it funny that it is so easy to pick out donors in the office. They are always dressed in sweats and tennis shoes. Often donors are frantically typing away on computers. They always seem to have a calm air about them. They don't have anxiety upon their faces. The worry lines suggesting too many visits with negative outcomes. Or the fear-filled look of hope that women who have just had embryos transferred have. Women who have been visiting the RE for over a year rarely walk lightly or energetically. They are more matter of fact. Their lives are filled with routine. Daily injections, weekly blood draws, patches, pills....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Endometrial biopsy

My new RE is really into this idea that an endometrial biopsy somehow helps the uterus prepare better for receiving the blastocyst. There really doesn't seem to be much analytical data about why this works. Really it seems mostly anecdotal. I did find a recent article attempting to explain this phenemenon.

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2010 Jan;63(1):17-21.

Inflammation and implantation.

Dekel N, Gnainsky Y, Granot I, Mor G.

Department of Biological Regulation, the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel.

Approximately half of all human embryo implantations result in failed pregnancy. Multiple factors may contribute to this failure, including genetic or metabolic abnormalities of the embryo. However, many of these spontaneous early abortion cases are attributed to poor uterine receptivity. Furthermore, although many fertility disorders have been overcome by a variety of assisted reproductive techniques, implantation remains the rate-limiting step for the success of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. It has been demonstrated that endometrial biopsies performed either during the spontaneous, preceding cycle, or during the IVF cycle itself, significantly improve the rate of implantation, clinical pregnancies and live births. These observations suggest that mechanical injury of the endometrium may enhance uterine receptivity by provoking the immune system to generate an inflammatory reaction. In strong support of this idea, we recently found that dendritic cells (DCs), an important cellular component of the innate immune system, play a critical role in successful implantation in a mouse model. In this review, we discuss the hypothesis that the injury-derived inflammation in the biopsy-treated patients generates a focus for uterine DCs accumulation that, in turn, enhances the endometrial expression of essential molecules, which facilitate the interaction between the embryo and the uterine epithelium.

I find it hard to believe that dendritic cells are responsible for the success of this procedure but nonetheless my doctor has decided that this is the best mode of action. Why has the doctor decided this. Well, it turns out that I am incapable of making a thick lining. Only 7.5 mm. In the failed fresh DE cycle, I had implantation but likely lost two embryos 4 days after by 370HCG. Any way, we didn't do a mock cycle because we assumed that the other clinic would have commented or done something special if my lining was thin.

In January we started an FET cycle. Dr. L was not happy with the thickness of my lining using oral, vaginal and transdermal estradiol. Then I went a week doing twice a week injectable estradiol. Still the lining was wimpy so it was converted to a mock cycle with vaginal progesterone and endometrial biopsy.

The biopsy was a little bit of a fiasco. It turns out that I have a tricky cervix. For the fresh embyro transfer Dr. L put a stitch into my cervix so he could tug on it to straighten it out. Dr L was not available for my biopsy so his partner did it. There seemed to be some issues because he kept leaving the room to get additional equipment. Seriously, he left the room three times after his first attempt. There I was, my legs up in the stirrups and speculum in place. The biopsy itself was also somewhat crampy and bloody. Not too bad, and it went away after a few minutes.

So here I am going through the FET cycle for real this time. I have to do injectable estradiol, but it is only twice a week. I go in on Tuesday to find out the lining thickness. Today I found out that my biopsy was completely normal and in phase. Which in my mind kind of sucks because there is nothing that can be done to improve it, but the nurse seemed to think that it was a good thing. We shall see.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back in the saddle

I have been lurking around in the IF blogosphere for a while and this cycle I think I need a little support. I have a bit more time and hope that I can be as encouraging and insightful as the regulars. I wanted to come in with a brand new web page that shows my personality, but I have not taken the time to learn word press. Maybe some time in the future. There are many thoughts and events that I have wanted to share. I think I will enumerate them so that I can have subjects for future posts.

1. Changing REs
2. Deciding on a donor
3. Seeing the donor in the REs office
4. Finding out personal information about the donor
5. Endometrial biopsies
6. Being supportive of others

So for now this is just to say, I'm ba ack!


I am not quite sure what ICLW week is, but it looks like one of the requisites is a summary. I am not sure I want to relive all of my stupid mistakes and assumptions but here it is.

I am 42 and P is 36. We got married in July of 2005 and started trying to conceive in November 2006. In December 2007 went to a reproductive endocrinologist. FSH was 8.8 and all of the plumbing looked OK. Doc recommended no major intervention. WTF? Are you kidding me. I was nearing 40 and had been trying for a year and IVF wasn't suggested. Tried 3 clomid cycles in the summer.

Decided it was time to go scientific. Started IVF procedures in Fall of 2008. FSH was 15. First long lupron cycle canceled due to lack of stimulation. Ovulated after lupron was removed and underwent IUI when I went in for antral follicle check. Had to do a clomid IUI cycle because office had a national meeting in November and anesthesiologists didn't want to work over Christmas. IVF attempt 2 in January lupron flare, 6 follicles 1 egg retrieved didn't fertilize. February IVF converted to IUI. BFN. Switched clinics. April ganirelix used for pre cycle suppression. Only 3 antral follicles. RE recommended moving to DE. November DE cycle 19 egg retrieved, 12 fertilized, 2 5 day grade AA blasts transferred . BFP 9dp5dt, HCG 370, two days later HCG 160. Lining declared an issue. January 2010 went through mock cycle with injectible estrogen, had uterine biopsy. Awaiting results. FET planned for Feb 10, 2010