Friday, August 31, 2007

Prepared for Liftoff

Nothing too scary at today's follie check. They are bigger than I would like, but no less than 3 medical professionals assured me that my eggs won't a) be over-ripe like a month-old peach, or b) be ovulated on my way to the retrieval. So we'll see.

Right - 24.4
Right - 24.3
Right - 22.2
Right - 21.5
Right - 17.5

Left - 19.7
Left - 17.8
Left - 14.3
Left - 11.1
Left - 2 under 10

Endo - 10.3

I asked about my estrogen since it seemed a little wussy yesterday (at 888). Today it was at 1,296 so that seems like a decent jump. Dr. Google informed me that each mature egg should be giving off about 200 so hopefully that means I'll have 6 or 7 good ones on Sunday.

Don't know what time my retrieval is for Sunday, they won't call until this evening. Thanks to everyone for your support, I can't explain how much it helps!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I heart DHEA - updated

At least I'm a fan so far. We'll see what happens when the fat lady sings. In the meantime, here's the handiwork I'm giving DHEA credit for...

Right - 21.9
Right - 20.1
Right - 19.6
Right - 18.9
Right - 13.9

Left - 18.1
Left - 17.1
Left - 15.2
Left - 13.2
Left - 2 under 10

Endo - 10.8

Um, yeah. So I've got 11 follicles. I'm stunned. Granted, some of them are waaaaay too small but who cares? For once in this whole entire process, I actually feel mildly proud of my dusty old ovaries. Go girls!! I swear to you that I'm a little misty about the fact that I'm feeling warm and fuzzy about any portion of my reproductive tract, it's been so long and I've been so pissed of at it (in it's entirety) for so many years, that I feel bad now. Geez, I really am turning into a total nutjob, aren't I?

I have DHEA to give away. The last time I bought it (a couple of weeks ago), it was on a buy one get one free special. So I picked up the 2nd bottle in the hopes of giving it to one of you -- if it worked. I don't know what it's going to do for my egg quality issue, but I'm confident now that it's clearly helped the quanity problem somewhat. Let me know if you want it, and I'll send it right to you. I actually have a whole bottle and a nearly full bottle, so if two people speak up, I can send you each one.

I am going to bask in this happy little glow here for a while because surely something will go wrong to make the whole house of cards come crashing down. Therefore, I will take my own advice (fashioned after Mel's fabulous advice about celebrating whenever you can, even if it's only short-lived) and be pleased with today's information.

For all I know, there will be something insane going on with my bloodwork and when they call me this afternoon, they'll cancel me. Ooops, wait. That's not being very positive and pleased, is it?

We're not sure if I'll trigger tonight or tomorrow night. Normally, I think they would have me trigger tonight but since there's that note in the computer from Dr. Chat about pushing my follies to the biggest possible size, I suspect that it will be tomorrow. This works out great from a scheduling perspective (no need to drag you through the details), but also means I'll need another date with the dildocam in the morning.

I don't mind the visit itself, I just don't want to get any news that will burst the little bubble of happiness I have going on right now. Maybe I just won't look at the screen and obsess about the details and say I don't want to know.


I just had to breathe into a paper bag because I was laughing so hard I got a little lightheaded. Like I ever, in a hundred million years, would be able to NOT pay painfully detailed attention to every miniscule detail of the follie check. That's just funny.

Anyway, all is looking good from here. Keep your fingers crossed that everything continues nicely. Please also keep your fingers crossed for my cyclesistas:

Erin (The Vicious Cycle of Cycles) - a true cyclesista, it is looking more and more like we will trigger, retrieve and transfer on the exact same days. Wahoo!

Christina (The Oneliner) - she's on CystWatch '07 at the moment, and in Lupron hell, so go lend some support and humor

Imogen (mailto:thM@sk) - she's nearing the end of her 2WW, hoping that Bootie is going to stick around for the long haul

Alexa (Floatsam) - her transfer was on Tuesday, so keep everything you can cross crossed for a happy outcome

Becks (One Miracle Needed) - she's also nearing the end of her 2WW and is in that funk that traps us all when we fear all of our hard work might not have paid off, so go show her some love

My Reality (Disenchanted With The Reality That Is My Life) - she's now on hold because of some non-IF related medical issues and awaiting a conclusive diagnosis

Kami (Are We There Yet?) - she's getting ready to start her DE cycle, so grab your pom poms and let's cheer her on!

Lastly, let me know if you want some DHEA.


Looks like they can't get enough of gazing at my ladybits, since they want to root around there in the morning again. This means I'll trigger tomorrow night. Here's hoping I don't get any soul-crushing news at the scan tomorrow, that would really suck.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Poser and Pity - updated

I got a reprieve from the dildocam yesterday. (This was especially nice since my boss was there giving blood for another beta and I didn't want to run into her.) Apparently they agreed with me that The Overachieving Follie (aka Mr. 17) was being a poser, and probably wasn't really that big.

They must have been right because here are my numbers from this morning:

Right - 1 under 10
Right - 16.8
Right - 16.4
Right - 15.8
Right - 15.4

Left - 1 under 10
Left - 13.1
Left - 12.6
Left - 10.2

Endo - 9.7

I doubt that any of the players from the left ovary are going to make it to the big game, but who knows. I swear that I truly will be happy with whatever we get, as long as we end up with 1 or 2 (or 3) to transfer on day 3.

Now I really am due for daily monitoring, but we all think it will only be for a few days. If I were a betting person, I think I'll trigger on Thursday or, more likely, Friday night. However, with my wonky ovaries, you never know what each morning's ultrasound might reveal. The Poser could skyrocket to 22 overnight and send us all into a tailspin. (That's sure to happen now that I've bitten the bullet and ordered more meds.)

The worst part about tomorrow's monitoring? My boss is going to be there giving more blood. She's doing a 4th beta because they want to see it above 1,000 before they'll schedule an ultrasound. Her 1st one was 71 (15dpo), her 2nd one was 142 (17dpo), and her 3rd one was 712 (21dpo). I haven't told her that I'm doing another IVF and don't feel like sharing now. I already feel enough like she's pitying me. I HATE THAT. So now I will sit in the parking lot and stalk her car to make sure it's gone before I go in. Sad, but true... Man, I hate being pitied.

I have half a dozen other posts rattling around in my brain, I need to make the time to type them out. As Sunny said in this post, I too blog all day long in my head. You all should be lucky that I have limited time to spend blogging or I'd probably post 4 times a day. :-)

No sooner did I hit "publish" and my nurse called me. Estrogen looks fine and -- get this -- they don't want to see me back until Thursday. Wahoo! I get the sneaking suspicion that I'm not being monitored as often because I'm now self-pay. I seriously think that when my insurance was footing the bill, they wanted me in there ALL THE TIME so that they could squeeze $ out of my insurance. Now that they've already got my $10K, there's no need to waste their time and money doing the useless monitoring. Interesting.....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update. With too much detail, I'm sure.

Things looked really good at my u/s on Friday. I had been bummed because my antral follicle count was only 6 earlier in the week. But at Friday's appointment, I had 9 follies. Wahoo! They were still pretty small, but bigger than usual. Normally, on the first day of monitoring (after 3 days of stims), we can see them, but they are all under 10.

On Friday, here were my numbers:

Right - 2 under 10
Right - 10.4
Right - 10.8
Right - 11.2
Left - 4 under 10
Endo - 5.5

I was pretty pleased with that. I even had warm, happy thoughts about DHEA. Things were still looking good for retrieval and transfer around Labor Day (early next week).

Then I went in for monitoring this morning (Sunday). Here are my numbers today:

Right - 1 under 10
Right - 10.2
Right - 12.9
Right - 15.4
Right - 17.0
Left - 11.2
Left - 3 under 10
Endo - 8.1

Um, excuse me? One of them is at SEVENTEEN? Are you shitting me? Dang. So now the daily monitoring starts. Hopefully it was a weird angle on the u/s today and that one really isn't at 17. Granted, my clinic will let it get as big as 23 before trigger so that would give the other players time to get suited up and on the field. But I sure would have been happier with half a dozen hovering around 13mm or so.

Oh well, it will be what it will be. My first IVF (well, the first one that actually made it to retrieval) produced a whopping 4 follicles. So it's absurd that I'm complaining about this. Also, in my past 2 retrievals, I've miraculously gotten mature eggs out of every one of my follicles -- including ones that were 14 or 15mm at trigger. There's no guarantee that will happen again, but at least it helps me remain somewhat optimistic.

To recap, this is what we got on our previous rides on the rollercoaster:
1st IVF - 4 follicles, 4 mature eggs, 3 fertilized, 3 made it to transfer
2nd IVF - 6 follicles, 6 mature eggs, 4 fertilized, 4 made it to transfer (we put back 3)

Since the fertilization rate for my crappy old eggs is decent, I won't panic yet. Also, if something insane happens and that 17 turns into a 23 overnight or other madness, I know my RE will let me go to retrieval with next to no eggs (bypassing the clinic's requirement for 4 follicles above 18mm).

It's cliche, and akin to that maddening phrase "just relax", but the truth is that it just takes one. One good egg. Please, oh please, oh please let me get just one that sticks and hangs around for the long haul and joins our family!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rah! Rah! Rah!

My cyclesista Erin wrote a kick ass cheer for me. It's too good to leave buried in the comments, so I'm posting it here...


"This fantabulous cheer only works if your name is pronounced Lee, not Lee-ya, of course. In case I'm wrong, I hope for Cheer's sake you'll allow me some artistic license."

Tell me that you didn't laugh right out loud at this. I know I sure did. Repeatedly. Thank you, Erin!! Now please go over and offer her some good luck vibes -- since we are currently cycling about 1 day apart, we are sitting next to each other in the rollercoaster car.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Rock On!

Wahoo! JJ has nominated me as a Rockin' Blogger. Sweeeeet. I'm such a huge fan of JJ's that it's an honor just to be on her list. :-)

We all know how this goes, I now choose 5 of you lovely ladies who have not been nominated yet. Lemme see...

1. Can any all-star list be complete without Mel (Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters)? As I've mentioned before, she's the center of the IF universe to me. With her newest brainchild, Lost and Found, she is performing yet another invaluable service to the IF blogsphere. AND she's a kick ass Mom to her kids, AND she works, AND she's just a good friend. Somehow she always finds time to be there to support you when you need her, and she makes you feel like you are the only one.

2a. Kami (Are We There Yet?) is truly amazing to me. In addition the fact that we suspect we are somehow related since we seem so similar, I admire her for her strength. Her willingness to let us into her thoughts and feelings during this entire donor egg process has been nothing short of Courageous (with a capital C).

2b. Can I also sneak in TeamWinks (Are We There Yet?) since these two have the same blog name? I know it's cheating, but I really had a hard time just picking 5. The grace and love she has demonstrated during her adoption of Lucky has been an inspiration. She was already a superstar for the way she was handling IF, but when Lucky got thrown into the mix, we all got to see yet another beautiful side to this amazing woman.

3. Ashley/Gabby (Vacant Womb) is a relatively new blogger, but has already shown herself to be sweet, sassy and downright wonderful. I love the way she pours her heart into many of her posts, it makes me wish I could drive to Florida and give her a big hug.

4. Waiting Amy (Waiting for .... ?) is also a somewhat new blogger, but is also one of my favorites. When you read her blog, it's almost like you're having a conversation with her. I really enjoy the way she writes, and find it very easy to connect to her story. She's traveled a long road and endured much heartache already, but she is right there to support someone whenever it's needed.

5. Rho (Nobaby Lane) is a Rockin' Chick. She's been slacking on her blog, but I suspect it's because she doesn't yet have a large group of readers. She is intelligent, thoughtful, and knee-slappingly hilarious. She too has faced many challenges in this IF journey and could use our support. So hopefully by nominating her, she'll post more often with that crazy sass and humor I've known and loved so much these past 5+ years!

Now shoo -- all of you go find 5 people to nominate.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Good: First day of injections went well.

Bad: I have a pounding headache, but it's not related to the stims. I think it's a sinus headache.

Good: A friend of mine is doing her 2nd IVF and got 8 eggs at her retrieval today.

Bad: Her 1st IVF resulted in a long, drawn-out miscarriage. I hope that doesn't happen to them again.

Good: I have an acupuncture appointment tonight. I'm really looking forward to it!

Ugly: I am a horrible person because I just found out my boss is pregnant and I'm having a hard time being genuinely happy for her. She's 40, has a high FSH, and seriously resisted any and all forms of ART. She finally agreed to do this IUI and BAM, she's pregnant on the first try. I guess I feel like a failure -- I've done 4 IUIs and 2 IVFs, with no pregnancy to show for it -- so it's more about my feelings of inadequacy. I just endured 2 co-workers' pregnancies and pretended to be happy. Why do I have to live through another while I sit on the side lines merely watching?

That's a rhetorical question, no need to answer.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fine, just fine

Things went fine at my baseline scan this morning. No big shockers either way.

When I was on the table waiting for the Nurse to work her dildocam magic, I explained that I'd been bleeding, um, forever. I said, "Gee, I hope nothing is wrong. Please check it out and make sure there isn't a kitchen sink in there or something." She must have been having a weird day because she started laughing so hard that she couldn't stop. It was entertaining.

No kitchen sink, and not much lining either (5.5). She said, "Looks like you won't have much of a period." To which I responded, "Um, were you not listening earlier? I've been having a period for the past ump-teen days?!" Again, she cracked up. That wasn't even all that funny. So again, I conclude that she must have been having a weird day. Or she was drunk. But seeing as how it was 7am and I was the 1st patient of the day, I doubt either of them are true.

No pleasant surprises in the antral follicle department either. Six. Which is perfectly fine for me, but I was hoping for more. Hopefully, like Farah says, it will help with egg *quality* if not quantity. The original study I read was about some nutjob 40-something woman who did dozens and dozens of retrievals in some insane plan to have 100 embies on ice for "whenever she decided the time was right." Huh? Anyway, she started eating DHEA like candy and went from shitty egg production to great egg production to a decrease in her stim meds to eventually OHSS. Or at least the story went something like that. So I was hoping that it would help my antral follies, but it doesn't really matter. I don't need tons and tons of embies to transfer. Just 2 or 3 nice ones, and 1 that will stick. Please? Please?

My estrogen and progesterone and whatnot was all within range. I'm with Kati 100% in that I always decline the FSH testing. Mine sucks, I'm on max stims, and it just doesn't matter. Oh yeah, and my infectious disease bloodwork came back all clear. Whew, I was pretty worried about that. Not. So it looks like stims will start on Tuesday morning and I go back for a first peek at the follies on Friday.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that you were willing to hold my hand during my unnecessary mini-panic attack. I heart you guys.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I'm nervous and I'm surprised by it. I haven't been nervous or anxious about this cycle since I feel like such an IVF veteran. But tonight, on the eve of my baseline scan, I am nervous.

For starters, this has just been a weird period. There have been exactly TWO days that I did not bleed. Oh yeah, you read that correctly. Now it wasn't like full flow (sorry, TMI), but there was some kind of bloody activity every day except two. I'm a little concerned about what might be going on in the ol' ute...

Second, I've been taking DHEA for 2 months now. I haven't experienced the nastiness that others have (insomnia, acne, etc.) but it has truly jacked up my stomach badly. I'm very much looking forward to my retrieval so I can stop taking it. Anyway, I'm nervous about how it will have affected my ovaries. Hopefully I'll go in for my baseline tomorrow and will be stunned by the sight of 8 or 10 antral follies. Yeah, right. But a girl can dream...

I read lots of stuff that said DHEA benefits aren't fully realized until the 4th month of taking the drug. I figure 2 months is at least *something*. But, a couple of weeks ago, I read an article or comments somewhere or something (probably blocked it out as a self-preservation technique) that said DHEA made people's egg production WORSE. ACK! Are you KIDDING me?!

So, between the crazy bloodfest and the possiblity of even worse egg production than normal (can you have negative eggs?), I'm nervous about tomorrow's baseline scan. My appt is at 7am so at least 12 hours from now I'll have some sort of answer. The first of 7,682 hurdles to clear...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Heart Needles

I mean, could there be any other explanation for why I love to pay people thousands of dollars to shove needles into me all the time? I bet my RE's office could provide Red Cross Bloodbank-style relief for an entire disaster-stricken country with all the blood I've given them.

Currently, my love affair with needles is back in full swing, however, because I went to the acupuncturist yesterday. I think she put about 728 needles in me as she politely pronounced me a "trainwreck." She even went so far as to suggest that I might want to wait another couple of months to do this cycle until I have my body in a better state of affairs. I didn't mean for my response to come out as a shriek, something in a pitch so high that only dogs and dolphins could hear, when I said, "WHAT?! Don't you know I'm losing about 4,000 eggs each month?!" She and I both know that is a gross exaggeration, but she has the experience and good sense not to argue with me. Instead, she got to work turning me into the Human Pincushion.

Just to recap, I am a huge fan of acupuncture. Four years ago I was a skeptic, but was desperate to try whatever I could to get pregnant (since we'd already tried 16 months of well-timed sex, Clomid, HSG, etc.). After a couple months of acupuncture, I got pregnant with Megan. Fast forward past Megan's birth. We tried for 6 months, then I went to acupuncture again. After a couple of months of treatment, I got pregnant again. That one didn't end so well, but it's certainly no fault of the acupuncture.

Since embarking on the ART escapades of the last year and a half, I remained faithful to my acupuncture treatment schedule. It seems wildly counter-intuitive to think that paying someone to jab dozens of needles into your body would be so relaxing. But it is. Soooooo relaxing. Like a drug. Anyway, after the 1st IVF when I miscarried, I just got pissed.

I was pissed that I was doing all this shit to get pregnant: eating organic, doing relaxation CDs, doing Yoga for Fertility, acupuncture, tons of drugs, meditating, blah blah blah. Yet, all around me, complete knuckleheads were getting knocked up accidentally on a weekly basis. So I got resentful of all the time, effort and money I was pouring into the complimentary items and I stopped.

During the 2nd IVF I did practically nothing. I spent a lot of time with the fertility stone that Lara sent me, and did an awful lot of comfort eating (if you don't believe me, just ask my groaning scale). I had fantasies about the post I was going to write after I got pregnant from the 2nd IVF about how all that shit was unnecessary (for me, at least). Then we had the disaster of IVF #2.

I still kept my head buried in the sand, or actually in the fridge, and started feeling worse and worse. I have been getting terrible headaches, I'm not sleeping well, I'm exhausted all the time, and my stomach is a complete wreck. A couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed to just get this shit under control. So I joined Weight Watchers, started doing my breathing exercises, started eating better (still not exactly great, but much better) and went to acupuncture.

Without a doubt, the 1 acupuncture session I had yesterday made a significant impact. For almost 24 hours now, I've been more relaxed than I remember being in months. I might even go so far as to say that I could see the word "hopeful" on my horizon somewhere. (Pretty gutsy for someone who hasn't even had a baseline scan or started stims.) Whatever the reason, however long it lasts, I'm just thankful for the reprieve.

Cycle Update

Kevin and I had to go give blood this morning to update our Infectious Disease bloodwork. Apparently it's only good for a year. Since over the past year I've been intimate more often with the dildocams and catheters at my RE's office than I have with my own husband, I find it hilarious that they need to check me for STDs. Um, hello, if I have any, then YOU PEOPLE gave them to me! :-)

I'm still trudging through BCPs. My last one is on Friday, so my eval u/s and bw are on Saturday morning. Assuming everything is fine (no cysts, nothing else funky going on), I'll start stims on Monday. For whatever reason, this 3 weeks of BCPs dragged by very, very slowly. I'm not sure if it's because I consider this whole last try to be something akin to a Death March, and that's making everything happen in slooooow motion. Or perhaps it's because I'm so exhausted (physically and emotionally) that I feel like I'm moving through jello most of the time.

But with my rediscovered love of acupuncture, I expect much of this lethargy and general malcontented attitude to dissipate. That sentence had a whole bunch of SAT words in it, huh? See, my mind is sharpening already!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I forgot

In my 10 things I love, I forgot to list my Mother In Law. Yes, I even love her enough to capitalize her title. So whenever I'm sitting around bemoaning my infertile status, I need to remember that I hit the jackpot in the in law department. I dig my FIL too, especially since he's EXACTLY like my husband (including the not-so-good parts), but I am just crazy about my MIL.

Sorry for the random thought, but I realized I missed her in the list. Rest assured I am not out of my mind from sniffing model airplane glue, I am just lucky enough to have a good one and wanted to share. :-)


Please go visit In and Out of Luck to give her some love and support.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Whew! I feel so much lighter.

Is it because I lost that extra 20 pounds I've been carrying around?

NO! (Although I did join Weight Watchers again and go to my 1st meeting tomorrow.)

Is it because I've figured out how to break free from the emotional shackles of my IF-induced depressive haze?


Is it because I got some snazzy new haircut which is making my head feel like it's going to float right off my neck?

NO! (Although that would be nice in this oppressive heat.)

Why? It's because I just siphoned off $10,000 to give to the REs office for one damn IVF cycle. Ouch. I sure as shit hope this works. There's now just a vast sucking sound where our nest egg used to be...


12 more days until the end of BCPs and my evaluation ultrasound which will give us the green light for IVF #3, also known as LeahEgg's Last Stand.

With my ER and ET in early September (tentatively 9/2 and 9/5 respectively), I'm wondering who is going to cycle with me. I know of a couple of you already (My Reality, Christina), but have been in such a daze that I don't know if I'm etch-a-sketching any one else's impending cycles. Anyone else going to hop on the rollercoaster with us?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Testing (the fun kind, no blood or dildo cam involved)

A bunch of you are taking these tests -- the Myers Briggs personality test and the Country test. I figured what the heck, so I took both.



Click to view my Personality Profile page

ESFJs are social butterflies that value relationships, supporting and nurturing others. Never one to shy away from social events, they are often the host. They are great encouragers of teamwork. ESFJs are responsible, dutiful, observe traditions and follow rules. ESFJs have a deep concern for others and often end up as caretakers. They are sensitive to criticism and have a need to be appreciated for the good they do for others. ESFJs are understanding, generous, have a quick wit and a knack for composition and beautification.

What's crazy is that I've taken this test 3 previous times and been an ESTJ every time. I'm surprised I'm now an ESFJ. Go figure. I guess an old leopard can change her spots. Either way, the above description is 100% me.


The Country Test:

You're Sudan!

Every time you get a headache, you reach for some aspirin, only to realize that someone destroyed it. That's just how thing are going for you right's hard to eat, hard to sleep, hard not to have a headache. You try to relax, but people always jump on you about something that doesn't make sense. If you were a goat, you'd be a Nubian.

Take the Country Quiz