Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 3 Blood, You Stress Me Out!

My mom came up for a visit this weekend and it was so nice to have her here.  In addition to helping me get so much organized at my house (and shopping and eating), she came with me yesterday morning to a local hospital for my day 3 blood work.

We got to the hospital, I registered at the front desk and then we walked down to the blood lab.  We walked in and took a seat in the waiting room.  Just my luck, an episode of Friends was on the TV.  Great, right?  Wrong... this was the episode where Monica and Chandler's surrogate gave birth to their twins.  Seriously?!  I can't escape pregnancies.  They are EVERYWHERE... except in MY uterus!  Anyway, I digress... I placed my shipping kit on the seat next to me (I brought the entire kit just in case... what if the Phlebotomist wanted/needed to see it??) and waited my turn.  Blood draws don't bother me in the least at this point...  A quick pinch and a few moments later I was done...
I walked back into the waiting room and did just that... waited... with my mom for my blood to clot so that it could be spun.  Twenty or thirty minutes later, and after a few selfies (please disregard our appearance... we woke up to a water main break at the end of my street and weren't able to shower - don't worry, we brushed our teeth with bottled water, though!), we were ready to go... with my vial of blood (er, plasma?) in hand.  Honestly, if someone had told me a couple of years ago that I'd be driving around with my endometrial lining and then my blood (plasma?) only a week later, in my front seat, I'd have laughed at them...  But, this is my life.  Ugh.
When we got home, I put my blood (is it blood at this point, or just plasma?!  Mom, please help here!) in the freezer and then got to stressing out about actually shipping it to CCRM.  Day 3 blood is stressful!  My plan is to leave work early today so that I can be sure to get home in time to package everything up in the shipping kit (which sounds much easier than I'm sure it will be...) and make it to FedEx prior to their last pick up at 6 p.m.  Wow, I'm stressed!  Wish me luck...

...And please pray for good results.  I'll just die if my FSH result comes back higher than my highest-ever of 18.6.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

BETA 3 Results

I spoke to my nurse at CCRM this afternoon and she had already received my results from Innovative Reproductive Solutions.  Aaannnnnd... the BETA 3 integrins are present in my lining.  They are not missing.  I, indeed, have "the sticky stuff" required for an embryo or two, or, in my case - eleven - to implant.


And so, with that news, came a whole heck of a lot of worry this evening.  The possibility that our issue is, and has been, genetically lethal embryos is... well, it's devastating.  Heartbreaking.  And scary.  My goodness, is it scary.  Many thoughts have entered my mind since speaking to my nurse this afternoon... should we even go through with this?  Should we empty our savings account for the (pretty big) possibility of yet another failure?  Should we give up on a baby with both of our genes?  Should we move on to another option for expanding our family?

I've asked myself all of those questions tonight.  I've asked Nick all of those questions tonight.  We've gone over and over and then over again those very questions to the point of exhaustion.  And every single time our answers are the same.  Yes.  Yes.  No.  No.  Yes, we should go through with this.  Yes, we should empty our savings account, even though there is the (pretty big) possibility of yet another failure.  No, we should not give up on having a baby with both of our genes.  And, no, we should not move on to another option... yet.  

A part of me is a little bit thankful to know that my uterus is officially not the problem and that another piece to this puzzle of ours has been solved today.

I am not giving up on my miracle baby.

I am still praying...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Endometrial Biopsy Take Two

I just got home from my doctor's appointment.  Silly me forgot to take ibuprofen before my appointment and so now my body absolutely hates me.  Of all the infertility procedures I've had in the past two years, the endometrial biopsy is the one that hurts me the most.  I've only had one before today's and I'm hoping that I'll never need to have one again... ever.  I'm glad it's over, that's for sure!

I'll start by saying that I was just like a fish out of water as I sat in the waiting area at my ObGyn's office waiting to be called back for my procedure.  Aside from the very elderly woman (probably there for her annual exam) (who told the young woman sitting next to her that she has six children), everyone there either had an infant with them or a ginormously round belly to sport.  Of course, this sorority of women were conversing and sharing stories of labor & delivery, nursing and hospital tours.  I sat there ashamed, embarrassed and more uncomfortable than I've ever felt before.  I wanted, so badly, to run out of there, but I knew I couldn't.  I also wanted to ask the receptionist to hang fliers about National Infertility Awareness Week.  Let's face it, many women battling infertility still have to be seen at their ObGyn's office.  I can't help but to wonder if the woman in the waiting room with the giant stomach, who is due on Saturday, would have lessened her dramatic "I caaaaaaannnnnnnnnn't waaaaaaaaaaaaait to be done with this pregnancy!" talk, had she seen a flier about those who aren't in her shoes... and who so long and wish to be... Maybe, right?

The Nurse Practitioner at my ObGyn's office performed my biopsy and it was very... sad.  You see, about a year after trying to conceive on our own before turning to medical professionals for help, I initially met with this same NP.  She quickly turned me over to my local RE after seeing my first-ever FSH result (which was 10, at the time).  Being in that office today made me realize just how much I've been through in the past two years.  It's excruciating to think about, really.  The NP was wonderful today, though - she was very comforting and empathetic.  Before performing the biopsy, she did a quick check of my uterus and said "wow, you have such a nice uterus" - I kid you not, those words absolutely came out of her mouth.  Two years into infertility treatment consisting of 3 IUI's, 4 IVF's and 1 FET, I seem to have somehow developed a sense of humor about it all.  I responded to this weird comment about my uterus by saying yeah, well, here's hoping my 'nice' uterus will be of use someday! Ha ha ha".  OK, that's not really funny.  I take that back.  Two years of infertility treatment hasn't made me funny at all. 

Anyway... the biopsy itself killed, as expected, and two hours later I'm still just as crampy as I was when laying on the table having some of my endometrial lining scraped out of me.  Not fun.  But, it's over and for that I'm thankful!  The sweet NP hugged me and wished me lots of luck after she packaged up my lining so I could take it with me (seriously, I took my lining with me).  I then drove (with a piece of my endometrial lining in the front seat) to a FedEx drop-off location and this is where we parted ways.  My lining is off to be checked for the BETA 3 integrin.  If missing, then this could possibly be why I haven't been the slightest bit pregnant five transfers later (the BETA 3 integrin is a protein that assists with implantation).

I initially chose to move forward with the BETA 3 test because I want to rule out anything I can that may have restricted me from becoming pregnant in the past.  I also want to move forward with my next cycle having as much information under my belt as I possibly can.  My doctors (neither locally nor at CCRM) did not recommend this test for me.  Rather, I researched and ordered it for myself (prior to my ODWU at CCRM).  While at CCRM a couple of weeks ago, I let my doctor know that I'd be having the test.  He was totally on board with it and agrees that anything I can do to rule something out is a positive.  But, as I think about getting the results of this test, I'm a bit worried.  You see, if my results come back showing that I have sufficient BETA 3 in my lining, then that's not the issue.  That wouldn't be what is causing implantation to fail.  So, in that case, I'll be left to believe that it's something else... something else as in: lethally fatal embryos (these are the exact words of Dr. S).  Now, this wouldn't be for certain, but it would be a huge possibility.  We've already decided that we will definitely do CCS genetic testing on any embryos that we get from our cycle with CCRM.  And to be honest, I don't know how I would process having no genetically normal embryos.  It would, for sure, be a huge punch in the gut - the possibility that my eggs and Nick's sperm can't produce a genetically normal-enough embryo to implant, to develop into a life... ugh, that just paralyzes me.  But... I can't go there.  Not yet, at least. 

I'm not really sure what to even pray for at this point... Good results showing a sufficient amount of BETA 3 in my lining, or bad results, showing not enough BETA 3 in my lining?  I'm at a loss.  And so, with that, I'm going to dry my eyes and get back to working from home... and snuggling Belle... and trying not to think about what will be...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Join the Movement...

National Infertility Awareness Week couldn't have come at a better time. I've experienced significant writer's block as I await all of my test results from CCRM (spoiler alert: my AMH results came back at 0.7.  I'm not surprised, but I'm bummed... more on this later, though).

So, with that, as we start the week off on this beautiful Sunday, I know that all of my fellow infertiles are aware of "our" week.  My hope though, is more for those of you who may be reading and who have been so lucky not to have had to venture down the lonely, depressing and very sad road of infertility, that you'll think of us this week.

As you lay your sweet baby down for a nap or for what you hope will be a peaceful night's sleep, think of us.  As you comfort your sweet baby who awakes crying, think of us.  And as your sweet baby tests your patience, increasing your frustration... please, think of us...

...and support us.  Because, believe me... we need it. 

Source for all photos:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston, You're My Home

After a week of tragedy, anxiety and un-rest, I've never been more proud to be a Bostonian. I'm equally as sad for all that was lost on Monday and today, though.

So thankful tonight for what I hope will be a peaceful night's sleep.


Monday, April 15, 2013


I'm thankful to have worked from home today.

And, I'm thankful that my husband, my co-workers and my friends are all safe.

I'm sad for those who aren't, though.

And, I'm sad for my city.

Happy Patriot's Day

Patriot's Day is a holiday that's celebrated in Massachusetts on the third Monday in April every year.  The holiday commemorates the anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.  Also on Patriot's Day, though, is the infamous Boston Marathon.  Beginning last week, more and more visitors made their way to Boston and thanks to the thousands of runners, I declared a work from home day today!  If you're not running or if you don't have the day off from work to watch at the finish line, then you don't want to be anywhere near the city of Boston today.  Hence why I'm snuggled on the couch with Belle watching on TV (I'm working, too - even though Nick thinks any time I work from home that I have the day off, which is beyond annoying!). 

Anyhow, if I were running today - which, let's face it... there's no way in H-E double hockey sticks that I'd ever run 26.2 miles, especially not now when dealing with infertility (oh, and also because I can barely run a (yes, one) mile!).  I'll happily stick to my low-impact barre workout classes for now (well, until my stim cycle, when I have to forgo all exercise completely).  But, if I were running, I'd surely be sporting these:
Yay - my new FAITH Nikes.  I'll take a reminder to have faith any time I can these days, so my new sneaks are perfect for my non-running self right about now!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thoughts From My Heavy Heart

I have a heavy heart today.  I'm sad and I feel depressed.  It's as if life is happening and I'm standing on the edge of it just watching as it passes me by.  Lately, I'm not present in any place or situation that I find myself in.  I'm literally just there, watching.  I'm watching others' joy while my heart is literally breaking.  I feel completely lost.  Only, I'm not lost at all - I know exactly where I am and I hate it.  I'm navigating my way through the unfairness of infertility.  It's hard.  And I'm scared.  Scared that these feelings won't ever end.  Scared that I won't beat infertility.  Scared that I'll never be a mom.  Tear.

Last week, my head was spinning having just finished our ODWU at CCRM.  I was filled with hope, faith and even some excitement again.  But, all that has seemed to wear off.  Today, I'm feeling... empty.  I mean, I know I'm sad.  I know I'm hurting.  I know that I'm scared and worried and anxious.  But, I just feel - blah.  And like I said before, life is happening, but I'm just - - - here.  Watching.

I can't seem to get out of my mind the unfairness of not being able to have the one thing (!) that I want in the whole entire world.

The one thing that comes so easily to some...

The one thing that is thrown away by some...

The one thing that so many take for granted...  

The one thing that many complain about...

The one thing that I know will make me a better person, that I'll never take for granted and that I know will complete me.  Because, let's be honest - I'm empty without that one thing.  At least, that's how I feel.

And that scares me.  I don't want to feel this emptiness forever...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Post ODWU Updates

Is it possible that I'm still exhausted from Colorado?  Most of it is mental exhaustion and I'm still working on just processing everything that took place at the ODWU.  I feel like I have so much to read up on and get organized - to include making a decision about local monitoring for a couple of blood draws and ultrasounds that I'll eventually need to have done.

As far as updates go, Nick received his results on Wednesday (so quick) from our nurse and everything looks great - he passed all categories.  This didn't come as a surprise to me since we already knew that Nick's not the problem.  Getting the reassurance did feel good, though.  Now we await my results.  I told our nurse that unlike Nick, I on the other hand, most definitely won't pass all categories.  I'm so anxious to hear what my AMH level is - I've only ever had my FSH tested and so, I'll be on pins and needles until that result is in.

In other news, today I was able to confirm that my already scheduled endometrial biopsy for the BETA 3 integrin test falls perfectly within my cycle.  CCRM wants this test done 9 to 11 days post LH surge.  My surge was today and my biopsy is scheduled for April 22nd - HUGE sigh of relief there.  I wasn't looking forward to potentially needing to reschedule this with my ObGyn's office. 

And finally, as of this afternoon, I have a re-group phone consult scheduled with our doctor at CCRM for the beginning of May (!!).  This gives me enough time to have my day 3 blood drawn, frozen and shipped to Colorado. 

It all just seems so far away... and waiting is the.worst!  I'm praying that the next couple of weeks fly by, with a few good results sprinkled in there somewhere.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A re-cap

Well, we made it back to Boston with only a slight delay last night in Denver.  Somehow I'm more exhausted today than I was yesterday.  The past thirty six hours have been a complete whirlwind...

I'd mentioned that our ODWU at CCRM was coming up soon, but chose not to reveal the exact date here on my blog.  We flew out to Denver on Sunday morning, arriving around noon.  We picked up our rental car, drove straight to downtown Denver and enjoyed lunch outside at a restaurant on 16th street mall.  After walking around for a little bit, we decided to head to the hotel (Element) to take a little nap.  We were exhausted from getting home late from the wedding we'd attended the night before and from having to wake up bright and early for our flight on Sunday.  I think the two hour time difference did us in as well!
After our naps, we decided to drive up to CCRM to make sure we knew where we were headed the next morning.  Our hotel was only about a mile and a half down the road from CCRM, which was perfect!  I got a couple of quick pictures of the facility and then we ended up finding a trail nearby to walk/hike.  On our way back to the hotel, we stumbled across a great fro-yo place (Yogurtini) and indulged in some dessert for dinner.  We hit the hay early, knowing that our alarm was set for 5:00 the next morning.

We arrived at CCRM on Monday morning at 6:45 - I was definitely anxious to get the day started knowing full well that it would be a long one!  On our schedule was about seven hours of meetings, consults, blood draws, a "check" for Nick and then an ultrasound, Doppler sonogram and a hysteroscopy for me.  Phew!  My ultrasound, Doppler and hysteroscopy (hysteroscopy done by Dr. S himself) all went well.  The Doppler showed great blood flow to my uterus and the ultrasound showed about eight antral follicles, which isn't a ton, but I guess is a good number for me, someone who is a poor responder.  The hysteroscopy went well (though, it left me with some cramping on and off for the remainder of the day yesterday and a prescription that I have yet to fill (I can't seem to drag myself off of the couch today!) for an antibiotic) and Dr S told me that my uterus looks good.

The two most important consults that we had were, one with our assigned nurse and the other with Dr. S.  We talked to Dr. S about wanting to find out what the underlying problem is - either a genetic issue (we will definitely do CCS genetic testing on our embryos, if we get that far) or a uterine issue (which I'm hoping the BETA 3 test will give us an answer to later this month).  I'd be lying if I said that the "D" word didn't come up (donor eggs) - - it did.  But, we explained that if there's a chance for us to have a baby with my own eggs, then we want to take it - - we are not ready to give up just yet, hence why we traveled half way across the country to CCRM in the first place (and that said, if the problem ends up being a uterine one - - then whether we use my eggs or someone else's, the result would be the same, right?).

We left CCRM with about eight hours to spare before our flight home, so we hit a local Starbucks and I had my first decaf coffee in eight days (it was heavenly, but today I'm back to my no-caffeine (not even decaf) diet).
We had dinner and then headed for the airport, knowing that a crazy Spring snow storm was making its way toward Denver.  We were over tired and became slap happy while we waited (and waited, and waited) for our flight home - - see:
(Nick's definitely going to kill me for posting those!)

After our very long day, I was left feeling O-V-E-R-W-H-E-L-M-E-D!  I still don't think I've fully processed my thoughts on the day, but here's what I do know:  I am glad we went.  I feel a sense of renewed hope today that maybe, just maybe, CCRM is exactly the change we've needed all along.  There is still a lot to do and a lot to figure out with regard to the logistics of actually cycling in Colorado, but I know I'll figure it out.  A huge step in this process has been completed and now we wait for our results... and read all of the information that we got while we were there (and remember to not look at our bank account after emptying our pockets and savings account in a matter of just one day!).

Monday, April 8, 2013

Guess what?

This is where we spent our day (we are EXHAUSTED after seven hours of testing!!):
We're eager to get home to our little pup and are hoping that the storm headed for Denver doesn't delay our flight back to Boston!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I made it!

Well... I made it!  Our friends' wedding is over and it actually ended up not being half as bad as I had anticipated.  These days I tend to worry, worry, worry myself sick over social events, but sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised... like I was last night.

I sipped a few soda waters with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime in a bar glass all night and no one had any clue that there was actually no vodka in any of my cocktails (it was also wonderful waking up this morning with not even the slightest bit of a headache!).  And while my heart was definitely filled with a lot of sadness, jealousy and envy, it was actually nice seeing so many of our college friends - even the pregnant ones.  In fact, that wasn't even the hardest part of the night!  Nope,  the hardest part of my night wasn't facing friends from college who are just a couple of months away from welcoming their babies into this world or listening to friends go on and on and on and on about all the adorable things their babies do.  The hardest part of my night?  That was in the church...

Our friends were married in the church that is on our alma mater's campus - Merrimack College Church of Christ the Teacher.  I love this church (it's actually the church where we wanted to be married, but were unable to since neither of us are Catholic), but last night the warmth I normally feel when I walk through those familiar doors just didn't welcome me.  As I sat in the pew clenching Nick's hand, I had to do all I could to fight back the tears.

You see, churches for some reason, make me sad these days.  The past few times I've been to church recently (I don't go regularly, which is something I want to change, but that's an entirely different post for another day), I've just gotten so choked up.  I have a hard time holding back my emotions in God's house. A part of me thinks that it's because in dealing with infertility, my Faith has actually strengthened.  I've become more connected to my Faith and in a way, have felt closer to God than I've ever felt before. The other part of me though (and I'm going to be brutally honest here), feels a little angry with God.  Why is infertility my journey?  Why is this happening to me?  And so, with the feeling of being pulled in two different directions with regard to my Faith... well, that's what makes it difficult for me.  And that's what brings upon lots of emotions that I can't seem to hold back.

And also, I couldn't seem to help myself from rolling my eyes when the priest asked the bride and groom if they'll accept children in the name of God.  I was asked that question, too.  THREE YEARS AGO.  I answered that yes, I will accept children in the name of God.  But for some reason, God hasn't given me the chance to ACCEPT a child yet.  Why???  It makes me angry - priests and ministers ask that question in a wedding ceremony as if conceiving a child will be easy - Well, HELLO!!!!  It's not easy.  At least it's not for me.  And that makes me sad, because in my opinion, no one would ACCEPT a child in the name of God more willingly than me.

Infertility is evil.  But luckily, with the strength that God has bestowed upon me, I'm somehow able to (sometimes) still smile.  And to keep moving forward, to keep living.  Even though getting out of bed and facing my infertility is the most difficult part of my day, everyday.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tomorrow night

Today's been hard. Real hard. My heart hurts so badly, not just for me, but for so many others as well. And even though I know I'm not alone in suffering with infertility, I still feel alone. A part of me feels like I'm the only woman on the planet who can't get pregnant.

We have a wedding tomorrow night for friends of ours from college. Four of the girls in the wedding party are pregnant. Two of them were married after me and Nick. Of those not in the wedding party, we are one of the last couples without a baby. And to top it off, I can't drink. Not even one sip of alcohol. CCRM is coming up soon (!!) and I'm on a no-alcohol, no-caffeine diet for the Doppler sonogram that I will be having. My anxiety is through the roof. Alcohol would surely help me tomorrow night, but instead I will be soberly eyeing all of the adorable baby bumps and dying of envy.

Tomorrow night I will feel alone. I will be sad, and mad, and hurt. I will be jealous and green with envy.

Tomorrow night I will want to be anywhere but there. I will want to be make-up-less on the couch snuggled up with Belle.

Tomorrow night I won't want to face others' fertility.... because all it does is remind me of my own infertility.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bad Nights

Lately, evenings have been hard for me.  I mean, really HARD.  Like clockwork, as the sun goes down, so does my hope and my faith.  I just sort of feel like once the night time comes, I can finally take a deep breath, but as I let it out, I just fall apart.

During the day I'm going, going, going.  I truly bury myself into my work, especially on days (like today) when I'm presenting to potential clients.  When I'm in my office, I keep myself just as distracted.  I often take breaks to read up on other blogs and when I get home I head straight to my computer to check and answer my personal e-mails.  I rush to make and eat dinner and then head to my barre workout class. Then I come home and as I get settled on the couch or into bed, I finally just let it all out.  And it's painful.

Though my infertility is always with me and is always on my mind, during the day it just seems to be suppressed a little bit (enough to get me through the day).   But as the day comes to an end, my infertility comes crashing to the forefront of my mind.  It's right there.  And it's the only thing that's right there.  And it makes me sad, and hurt, and worried, and scared.

And I hate that.  I hate infertility.
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