Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mature Follicles Coming Through!

This morning's wanding revealed NINE follicles.

Okay, okay, nothing to get excited about though. Only three of them have made it to 1.8cm or larger (i.e., mature follicles). And all three of those suckers are on my left side. There's a fourth one on the left side that's a bit smaller (1.67) and on the right, five of em that are partying, although the party is dying out. They're not going to live up to the task, unfortunately. But three ain't bad. The endometrium is over 1 cm and that's fantastic.

So, with that, I got my HCG injection this morning (ouch!) and I go back tomorrow to use the ENTIRE vial. That's right. No splitting it this month. One time and one time only. This is the last kick at the can and I'm not willing to risk losing any of that sample in the thaw, refreeze, thaw process. So we go tomorrow to use the whole shebang.

We're getting to that IVF package as well. Hubby made his appointment for the semen analysis and I'll wait til next month to get that bloodwork done when I have no meds in my system. I expect a 2-3 month wait before we can get an appointment, so no rush I guess.

And after a few weeks of some stress, hubby and I had a shouting match... err... long discussion last night about a few things. Turns out he was really worried about our future because he thought that at the end of all of this, if we aren't successful, he was afraid that I would leave him. My heart broke. When he said those words, I must have looked so shocked. I had no idea that he was even contemplating that possibility or internalizing that. Because frankly, it never even entered my mind. This is my husband, the wonderful man that I fell in love with seven years ago, and when I said, "I do," I damn well meant I DO. I am NOT going anywhere; he's stuck with me now whether he likes it or not. :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eight follicles. Wow, not bad.

The statistics today (for those who are checking, and for my own reference)

Left: 3 follicles (1.1 to 1.5 cm)
Right: 5 follicles (0.9 to 1.3 cm)
Endometrium: 8.8 mm

Next appointment is on Saturday morning (CD 13) at 8:00. This try is our very last before we move to IVF.

And, my RE also gave me the package that hubby and I need to work on for McGill in MTL. Funny... they want a semen analysis; that's what got us into this in the first place. Hubby had a vasectomy and the reversal failed. Semen analysis? Yeah, um, *eyeroll* try none? I understand that they need to do their own workup, but this is sorta like kicking me when I'm down, yanno? *sighs*

There's a bunch of bloodwork in there that we have to undergo as well (including thyroid antibodies Aurelia!), HIV tests, hormone levels, etc. And we're told that we will need to book an appointment to attend a 1.5 hour class on IVF and the protocol. I've never done IVF before, but something tells me that I know more about it than the average Joe or Jane.

If this is what we have to do, so be it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


For the past two days, I've given myself my Pure.gon injections. Imagine that, me, up drugs with a freakin' NEEDLE? Yeah, um... never ever thought I'd see that.

I stopped at the RE's office on Monday afternoon to pay for the prescriptions and to run the replacement vial of Pure.gon from the Pharmacy (on the first floor) up to the RE's office (on the third floor), seeing as I was there and had a minute to do that for them.

In the RE's office, I spoke with his assistant; she was preparing to write our referrals for IVF. She said, "Do you want only a referral for Montreal or one for Ottawa as well?" I didn't even know they would do that but I replied, "You know, I wouldn't say no to having both if that's possible." She said, "Yes, of course. I'll do those for you later today." So the good news is, we get referrals to both places. Which one we go with... that all depends. Cost dictates Montreal (with three tries at IVF for under 10K in a 'package deal' as cumulatively, three attempts are about all they would try and if we were to get a BFP, it would likely occur in three tries), yet location dictates Ottawa as, obviously, that is where we live. We'll see. We don't have to make any choices yet, but we do need to get the ball rolling.

Now, to save a few more pennies for all this.

Sending love to...

Dawn over at Nearlydawn... Nearlypregnant... Nearlyoutofsteam, because she had to have one of her furbabies, Cocoa, put down. Cocoa and his littermate Humphries have been family members for her for a long time and I grieve with her, having gone that route before and I know I will have to again for my cats, who are also littermates. God Bless Cocoa. Now you can rest.

And to celebration for Vee (and Max) over at The Sweet Life. Vee's lil' Crumpet gave her a positive beta and while I know she may be hesitant, having gone down this road before with Bubble, I continue to have faith and hope for her. Go over there and give her some good wishes too!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Great Cake Day

Today is Mel's Great Cake Day. In honour of today, I thought I'd post a pic of a special cake, our wedding cake. Unfortunately, hubby and I are in the pic though. Sorry to ruin a good pic of a cake. But here you go.

We still have a great deal of this cake frozen in our freezer. There's a tradition that we have (huh, funny how our traditions seem to refer to food all the time; see Pancake Day Traditions for another one) that requires you to keep a portion of your wedding cake to eat on your first wedding anniversary. I've also heard that you eat a portion of it when you have your firstborn's christening. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath to fulfill THAT one.

This cake was baked by my Aunt L after many trial and error attempts. The thickness had to be just right. The circumference had to be perfect. And I knew she would do it wonderfully. It is my favourite cake and when I introduced hubby to it, he agreed, hands down, that it would be our wedding cake. (Well, one of two. Long story!) In case you'd like to bake this cake yourselves, here is the recipe. It's usually a hit when I bring it to office events and the like.
Apricot and Raisin Cake

First, prepare the fruit mixture…
2 cups of water
¼ cup sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried apricots (snipped into tiny pieces)

1. Bring these ingredients to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and cover.
3. Simmer 15 to 20 mins.
4. Drain and let cool.

Then prepare the cake batter…
1 cup butter (softened)
8 oz. package of cream cheese
1¼ cups white sugar
4 eggs
1½ tsp. white vanilla
2¼ cups flour
1½ tsp. baking powder

1. Cream butter and cream cheese well.
2. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat well. (Batter should be almost white and light.)
3. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating.
4. Add vanilla.
5. Add flour and baking powder.
6. Stir in fruit mixture.
7. Turn batter into a greased tube pan for baking.

Bake at 300° (F) for 65 to 70 mins.

Anyway, when hubby and I were married in August 2004, we had many hopes and dreams. As we cut this cake, we believed in ourselves, our love and our future. We believed that the whole TTC thing would work out. Well, it hasn't. Today, I feel hurt, jaded, angry, doubtful and frustrated. I have no hope whatsoever that this cycle will work. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I may as well go buy myself a bottle of Captain Morgan now.

For those of you wondering, I did ask my RE to do a reference for us to MTL. We chose MTL for a few reasons: proximity, cost, and affiliation with our RE's office. (No, our RE doesn't do IVF or ICSI. He's just one man in one office doing the best he can for most folks who only need IUIs.) We'll see where it goes. If in the future, Ontario decides to foot the bill for IVF, then we can look at coming back to Ontario. Until then, for cost-efficiency, MTL is the place we'll go.

This morning, we saw 5-6 little follicles on the screen, one dominant at over 7mm. The others ranging from 4-6mm. And the endometrium is thin (as I would expect on CD8). He gave me a shot of Pure.gon and I have an appointment on Thursday. This is our last kick at the can before pulling out the big guns. I need all the luck, wishes and prayers I can get. I really want to be able to have a piece of our wedding cake on the day of our child's christening.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tomorrow is CD8... not the rollercoaster again!

I have always said, "Il vaut mieux vivre avec des remords qu'avec des regrets." (It is better to live with remorse for what you have done than to live with regret for what you have not.)

So I'm going to see my RE tomorrow and ask to be tested for a variety of things (thyroid antibodies included). I am going to ask to TRY the 0.25 mg of thyroid meds, to see if it makes any difference at all. We may not cycle this month because of it all, but dammit, I have to TRY. I cannot continue to do the same thing, month after month, and expect a different result. Humans are supposed to learn from their mistakes.

I am going to ask for a referral to MTL. I am going to express my concerns (and level of stress) at the moment and I NEED someone to listen.

For today, I have a new light fixture to install in our bathroom and a pile of laundry to do. Oh yeah, and some baddies to kill in my MMORPG. That'll relieve some stress. *nods* Definitely.

Commentathon is done... my total is 59 for the week. My goal had been 50. Not bad. And it was a lot of fun. I added a few more blogs to my sidebar and got to find a bunch of new IF blogs that I hadn't seen before. Well done gang! Gratz to everyone!

Friday, June 22, 2007

My GP's Viewpoint

I saw my GP yesterday and she dealt with a couple of non-IF related issues I have at the moment, which is nice. At least those are out of the way. She and I discussed some aspects of the bloodwork I'd had done in March, and she looked at the various levels and normal ranges. She can't speak to DHEAS or prolactin, but she did talk to me extensively about hypothyroidism.

She, like me, recognizes that I am in the normal range for T4, T3 and TSH. However, she also sees that I am in the low end of "normal." What one scale considers normal, another may not. She called my case "borderline." But, she looked at the rest of my normal results and knowing that I wasn't on any medications when those tests were done, she's very hesitant to mess with my metabolism.

As she said, if (and that's a big "if") she were to put me on any meds just to see if they make a difference, it would only be 0.25 mg of thyroid medication and then I'd have to be monitored ultra super carefully. She is afraid that even that level of medication may do damage quickly and she's not willing to risk that right now.

She also recognizes that I am nearing the end of my rope so to speak. Like I told her, the first time we explored reversal surgery for hubby was four years ago. For four years, we've been dealing with all of this. Does that make me a veteran? I've no idea. Not really I guess, because we haven't pulled out the big guns yet. IVF. Yanno, the BIG guns. She recommended we consider it if it is in our realm of possible options.

We're on the verge of looking more seriously at IVF (with TESE) actually. Hubby and I spoke about it for a little bit yesterday evening. When I see my doc on Monday, I'm going to ask for a referral to at least get started with the whole consultation, requirements, and financial stuff. If I don't explore IVF, I'll kick myself for many, many years to come. I know I will.

Who knows, we may not need to go that route, but if history is any indicator, we'd best be prepared.

In other news... my boss had her baby. A second girl, Kate, born two days ago at 9 lbs. 7 oz. God bless. What a lucky lady. I wish...

And I've been slack for commentathon. I'll get to a few comments later tonight, I promise. Much love to you all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

DIUI #5 on the Horizon? Time will tell...

CD3 and back on the Clomid we go; I start tonight and I have an appointment on Monday for a wanding. I have HUGE reservations about this because as I indicated yesterday, I have a few questions that I want to discuss with my RE. Just niggling doubts that his answers don't seem to have satisfied.

As for where we'd go in MTL, it would likely be McGill as our RE is affiliated with them and he can do much of the preliminary work here in Ottawa before we make trips aplenty over the provincial border. The cost there is a little easier to handle at approximately three attempts at IVF for $10,000. Mind you, if we do the TESE to surgically extract and use hubby's sperm (rather than our current donor), that will add costs. And if we require ICSI that will add costs. And if we use all of our current donor vials on IUIs then we'll need to order another vial ($500 each) for IVF in case they don't find any viable sperm with the TESE.

It amazes me that Canada has so much medical coverage and insurance, yet as soon as you enter the realm of IUI and IVF, nothing is covered except medications. And even then, usually you have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed. For all of you American women who have coverage for IVF and IUIs, count your lucky stars. There isn't a workplace in Canada that I know of that covers a dime of it. Pam, I might take you up on getting the details for the insurance agency that covers these types of medical procedures. Something tells me we're going to need it. *sighs*

For Wednesday's Commentathon: 11 comments = 11 points total

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Questions and Answers (plus some fun stuff)

My temps never lie; CD2 today. I cried myself to sleep last night, with my hubby's arm around my waist as he tried to console me and reassure me that I am not a failure. So why do I think otherwise?

Thank you for all your comments and questions. I'll try to answer some of them here.

Dramalish: The RE uses the full vial of donor sperm, but he uses half on the day of the HCG trigger and the other half 24 hours later. Believe me, it isn't wasted. Though I've often wondered about the timing of that; although he usually has good success with that protocol. Just... not with me so far. Money is an issue, seeing as very little (other than the drugs) is covered in Canada so I want to discuss the timing of the IUI with him, along with other options and issues.

Aurelia: Why doesn't the RE do betas on 13 or 14DPO? Well, at that point, it's a bit of a waste; it won't change anything. He does a beta if you get a positive HPT; otherwise, wait til CD1 and call again for another appointment. I mean, a beta on that date won't change the outcome so I don't run for one. When and if I see a positive HPT (if my AF is ever 3 days late, I might bother to check but I've got a clockwork system going here) then I'll go see about a beta. As for why he doesn't keep me on progesterone longer? Good question. He has told me repeatedly that if a pregnancy occurs, the body will make its own progesterone (yeah, right, that doesn't happen for all of us does it?!) and that I wouldn't need progesterone past 13 or 14 DPO. This is one of the things I need to question him about, as obviously many women take progesterone well into their first or early into their second trimesters because they NEED it. I'm not sure he agrees with this. So I'm wary on that point.

Other things to consider: My levels of DHEA Sulfate are a bit low for my age and that combined with semi-high prolactin levels may be a huge issue. I want to discuss this with him. Also, the possibility of hypothyroidism; tests are "normal" but other symptoms make me think otherwise and I'm not satisfied with the answers I've heard. He's also never screened me for any particular antibodies that I know many IF women have issues with, and it's time to do that too and not just assume that everything is normal. I have an appointment with my GP on Thursday this week to show her my bloodwork results and discuss some of these issues with her as well. Additionally, I've contacted my RE's office to say that I want a consult with him (not just a morning appointment for a dildo cam wanding) to chat about these things. We may have to sit out a month while we wait for that appointment.

I am not surprised that hubby and I are having trouble. I don't come from a very fertile family at all. My parents were married for five long years before I arrived on the scene, and that was after three years of actually TRYING (i.e., no birth control and appropriate timing). On my father's side, my grandparents only had one child (my dad) and that was after seven years of marriage; quite long in the 1930s and 40s. On my mother's side... my grandparents had five children (or possibly six, but one died early), and of those five children, there are only six grandchildren. Two of my aunts never had children at all. One aunt had a single son after many years of marriage. My mom had two (me and my sis) and my uncle and his wife had three children, only one of whom has had a child herself. I have a total of four cousins. That's it. So for me to have trouble having a child is not abnormal. But given that we have to work with donor sperm, it is d*mned expensive and we have very little shot at the prize. I'm thinking I need to look at saving and/or a line of credit for IVF if that is a possibility for us.

On to the fun stuff. Thanks to Kate over at Kicking You from the Inside, here's a little game to distract your attention.

Go to google and type in "*your name here* needs". For instance, I would type "Gil needs" including the quotation marks. Then write down the first 10 entries that appear. This is one I haven't seen before, so here we go!

Gil needs:
1. Gil needs to get used to what the physical demands of her job as a prostitute will entail. (OMG... you're kidding right?!)
2. Gil needs Brodick's help to locate her sister. (Who the heck is Brodick??)
3. Gil needs bringing down a peg or two. (I do? *blink*)
4. Gil needs sleep. (I'd agree with this one. Yup.)
5. Gil needs to use her myspace and/or empty her vmail inbox NOW. (Um... no? Kthxla!)
6. Gil needs a tutu! (Oh no she doesn't. Really. That would NOT be appropriate!)
7. Gil needs nothing. (Well, I can think of at least one thing...)
8. Gil needs to be in a calm and peaceful environment where she and her baby can eat and rest. (Ugh, this had to come up right? Meh.)
9. Gil needs to stay, no matter what. (Where exactly?)
10. Gil needs to do something about it! (Huh? Colour me stupid, but about what?)

For Tuesday's Commentathon: 10 comments plus 2 return comments = 14 points total

Monday, June 18, 2007


This week is Mel's week for Commentathon. My goal for the week is to make 50 comments on other people's blogs. I'll be updating this post as required, but for today, I made 14 comments plus one RETURN comment (2 points) for a total of 16 today.

Goal: 50
16 (M)
14 (T)
11 (W)
0 (TH)
0 (F)
0 (SA)
18 (return) (SUN)
59 (Total)

I won't post anything else about IF today. Suffice it to say, my temps have dropped significantly and as I said in my last post, we're off the rails this month. I'm out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two Years

Today is June 14, 2007. It is my friend's daughter's 10th birthday today; she's finally entering the "double digit" years. I'll call her later and I'm hoping to take her out with hubby's kids next weekend to a movie and to have the kids over for a swim.

Today is June 14, 2007. On this date in 1996, my paternal grandmother passed away suddenly while I was in Japan teaching. She had been in a home for some time, afflicted with Alzheimer's. When I last saw her at Christmas in 1995, she didn't recognize me although I was able to hold her hand and tell her that I loved her. I was unable to attend the funeral; I regret that to this day. I regret that I never got to say goodbye.

Today is June 14, 2007. I had my first IUI in September 2004, and it ended with a miscarriage between 4 and 5 weeks. Had it held, I would have had a two-year old child today. Two years ago today, June 14, 2005, was my due date. But it didn't hold; my arms are still empty. And I am beginning to doubt that it was ever meant to be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Off the Rails

Deli meats? Check.
Soft cheeses? Check.
Alcohol? Check.
Heavy lifting? Check.
Bending, stretching and pulling muscles? Check.
Stressing out (not about IF-related stuff)? Check.

All hope lost? Check. Double check in fact.

This rollercoaster is plummeting fast. Wind whipping my hair and sheer terror on my face cause I know the coaster is going to go right off the rails any moment.

I f*cking hate infertility. But you probably knew that.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trying to Stay Busy

I kept busy this weekend with outdoor activities. We had my stepchildren come over on Saturday for the day, and as always in the summer, they immediately changed and plunged in our pool. We had invited our friends and their children over as well and all four children loved the pool immensely. It was a beautiful hot day, sun high and bright, not a cloud to taint the blue skies and the water was lovely.

We sat in the backyard, sunning ourselves and watching the children, reading a book, having a drink now and then to cool off, dipping in the water to feel rejuvenated... a lovely day all in all. Hubby started the BBQ for supper and we all sat down to a nice meal.

Later, we dropped the kids home (as did our friends) and the four adults went out to a movie. We'd hope to attend the 9 p.m. showing of "Pirates of the Caribbean" but alas, that one was sold out. So we purchased tickets to the 10 p.m. show and killed time at a nearby restaurant with nibblies and drinks. I gotta tell you though, 10 p.m. START time? Eeesh! I'm old man! Scratch that, I'm obviously decrepit! By the time the (stupid!) commercials, previews, plugs and general nonsense was over, it was almost 10:40 by the time the movie started. Hubby and I enjoyed the film, but we never got home til almost 2 a.m.!! I was exhausted.

Lo and behold though, I was up at 7:30 on Sunday. Is that crazy or what? Anyway, the weekend is over, and so is one week of my 2ww. Thank God. I'm not feeling anything though and all hope is gone for this cycle. I'm just killing time until the haggard wench shows up on my doorstep. Next month, if we go straight to another IUI cycle, I have friends coming from the States to visit for a week and lo and behold, they will be with us right at the moment in my cycle when I'll be going back and forth to the doc's. Ugh. Course then again, the male of the couple has offered to "donate" to the cause as well. Theoretically we could do at-home ICIs to augment our chances. But for now, I'll just bide my time til AF gets here and ruins this month for me.

I'm still keeping up with you all, even if I've been quiet lately. My fingers are crossed for us all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

How many DPO is it again?

So... ho hum... it's Thursday. What's new? Nada. Nada de nada in fact.

Correction, the only thing that is new is the fact that I am positively SWAMPED at work. In about one month, I'm due to take over as Acting Manager in our section and I've already entered the fray with various staffing actions that need to be completed during my time in the position. Can you say "Red Tape" boys and girls? I knew you could!

I'm really worried about my mom's health. I wish I could find someone who could help her. There are two issues going on, both of which have been diagnosed however, surgeons are not willing to treat the first without ensuring that the second can also be treated. So far, no luck on that front; and with every passing day I hear how it is affecting her. With Mom and Dad's recent visit (along with two aunts), I saw firsthand how things have changed, even since Christmas when I saw them all in Florida. It tears me up to watch her go through this. I wish I could be there to help; I hate being so far away. Since the day before they left, I have shed buckets of tears. For her. For me. For the situation. I think I need to research neurosurgeons and neurologists in Canada to see what else can be done or where else she can go. It certainly can't hurt.

I'm handling the 2ww... barely. I don't hold much hope anymore; I just don't expect us to get lucky at all in this quest now. That may be the progesterone talking of course. It's one of those days; my hubby would say, "I know someone who needs milk and cookies and a nap." I think I'd agree with him.

Monday, June 04, 2007

*insert hysterical laughter here*

Hands in the air! We're off! The jerk of the coaster jolts you forward as you begin to free fall. There's a lump in your throat. You feel the heart palpitations that send thrills down your back and raise goosebumps on your arms. If you are like me, you begin to laugh hysterically! (Yes yes, I laugh my a$$ off when riding a coaster, out of fear, thrills and fun!) And as the coaster begins to drop, you feel the wind hit your face, the sun shining on your skin. It's a good day. Scary, but good nonetheless and you live in the moment.

That's a pretty good analogy for this cycle. Cause my free fall brought me something very different this time around. This is the first time in all these years (going on four years of TTC) that I have had three, count em THREE, follicles release during a cycle. I often see two, but three? Not before today. Maybe the Clo.mid and Pure.gon are doing something after all!

At today's appointment,
Endometrium: 9.8 (nice and thick)
Right: tons of free fluid and a corpus luteum still visible; all three follicles gone
Left: little 'uns that are useless this month
dIUI done with the remaining half of the sample
Proges.terone: continue with (200 mg) per day at bedtime (orally, see previous post) for 13 more days.

My fingers are STILL crossed. But I gotta keep laughing.

BTW, before I sign off, GO SENS GO! (The Ottawa Senators, my hometown team made the Stanley Cup Playoffs and I'm stoked about THAT! Game 4 of the best of 7 goes tonight. WHOO HOO!)

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Aaaaand... we're at the top! As you look out across the twisted steel track of the coaster, you have the reaction that I once had atop a coaster, "Holy sh*t, are we on THAT ride?" *eyes wide with fear* You wonder if you've made the right decision by opting for this ride. You wonder if you're going to actually WALK off at the end. You wonder if maybe there's been some mistake and you're supposed to be on the kiddie coaster instead. But no. This is the real deal. And the coaster is in motion and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

At today's appointment, the following:
Right: three mature follicles -- 1.89, 1.99, 1.87
Left: bunch of little ones, still (blah)
HCG trigger given
Half of one donor sample used (I really felt that going in this morning!)
Meds: 200 mg prome.trium prescribed (oral, not vaginal; I asked about this and he says there is no study that says that taking progesterone in vaginal suppositories is any more effective. The absorption rate is equivalent, and there is much less mess when you take them orally rather than vaginally! Obviously! Hearing about the ickiness, hubby was inclined to have me continue taking them orally too!)

I go back again Monday morning to see if I have ovulated and to use the other half of the donor sample.

Here is where I insert many silent prayers, hopes, dreams and wishes. I won't object if you would like to do that too.

Love to you all. Fingers crossed!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Still Climbing!

This is where you JUST begin to tightly grip that crossbar across your lap. It's the moment of a huge smile and the anticipation of excitement. It's the climb to the top of the coaster. You're on your way and it's thrilling! Here's the progress of my coaster for today, CD10.

Left side: nothing to speak of; a bunch of little follies but they will likely not mature in time
Right side: THREE really good follies! 1.45 cm, 1.34 cm, 1.15 cm
Endometrium: 7.34 mm
Pure.gon: continue with 50 IUs Saturday

Next check on the coaster: 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning (CD12). And yes, the new donor samples I ordered have arrived at the RE's office. All looks good. Please God, the coaster will stay on the tracks!