Monday, June 30, 2008

All Systems are Go!

Today, hubby and I were up bright and early to pop downtown so I could submit my application for a new passport. Mine expired in April and given that I am flying to the USA in August, I'll need one, won't I?

After doing a bit of planting, weeding and trimming in the garden, he and I cleaned up a tad and headed off to Montreal for a few appointments at the clinic.


I'll not mention the fact that they were running an hour and a half late for ours... *eyeroll*

We had our first appointment with the RE to go over our test results; everything is normal. No more tests. I expected this news, but it was good to hear it from the horse's mouth. The second appointment was to sign consent forms... you know, à la "what do they do with the resulting embryos if we die" and "would you like to donate gametes for research purposes if they are inferior quality and cannot be used for IVF"... that sort of thing.

All relatively standard of course. But I did learn the following:
  • because of my age (38) they will do assisted hatching
  • because I have less than 20 antral follicles (usually 16-18), I am not eligible for IVM; we will use IVF
  • they will proceed with ICSI where required, but they do recommend it for someone with our track record and in our situation
  • because of my age, they recommend transferring 3-4 embryos back. I had expected and hoped for 2-3. But 3-4 is superb!

We go back on July 8 for a mandatory Info Session as well as a meeting with the nurses to establish our IVF Calendar. I expect September will be our first try as I'll need a month of suppression before doing IVF. And while July works for us, August doesn't because we have a vacation planned early that month. So likely I will do suppression in August and IVF in September. If all goes well.

As for last post's meme... the answers:

  1. I used to swim competitively. -- True. I could swim before I could walk and when I was younger, I was on a swim team. We once did a swim-a-thon to raise money for charity; something like 200 laps of the pool without touching the bottom and just coming up for air at the ends. We all got through it, the whole team!
  2. I can play the piano fairly well. -- Totally false. I've no musical talent at all, although I can sing and used to be in both school and church choirs.
  3. I met Princess Diana and Prince Charles. -- True. They came to my hometown a year or so after they were married and when I was part of the Girl Guides of Canada (as a Pathfinder at the time), I was one of four selected from our Troop to go to the Governor General's garden party to meet them the day after they arrived. It was an honour. I remember Princess Di as being enthralled with the kids, and being talkative and sweet in general, while I recall Prince Charles as one of the stuffiest, most uninteresting individuals I had had the opportunity to meet.
  4. I have lived in four different countries. -- Indeed I have. Canada, France, Japan and Belgium. Loved each of them too. There are pros and cons to every country and culture. I love learning languages and culture in general so I really enjoyed my time elsewhere.
  5. I have been told that I could make very good money doing voiceovers. -- *blush* True again... or so I'm told. I don't believe a word of it of course. But apparently, I've stopped men in their tracks. Eeesh! *hides*

And BTW, my SIL is due on Dec. 26. I am happy for her.

But still so sad for me.

As Shlomit says... "Peace." See you all in a week or so.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quiet Round Here... sorta

I've been conspicuously inconspicuent lately. Sorry. I don't mean to be. I've been working out some of my own anger around things and sorta trying to find things to distract me. I don't know that that is working either.

But I'm still here. And now that I'm writing, I think that there are a few things I need to post about.

There has been very good news, as well as very sad news in the blogging world. I have shed so many tears for No Swimmers this week. She lost her twins at 19 wks and has had to endure the pain and grief of going through what none of us hopes to ever have to.

On the brighter side, Flicka and Sarge at Vacant Uterus have been chosen to be adoptive parents. After quite awhile and a journey full of ups and downs, They expect to have luck in under a month with a newborn.

And I know that Dramalish is in the 2ww as she and her husband try for a sibling for her little girl. I have read her story and followed along and while I am happy that she gets to try for her second child, I ache for myself, having never had a first. While I watch as some of you get lucky and move forward, I am stuck in limbo. Waiting. Wanting. Hoping. For five years. No end in sight. No definite plans to try any time soon. No calendar yet established for IVF.

Yes, we have two appointments scheduled in Montréal (June 30 and again July 8) and somewhere in there, God I hope to get some sort of calendar and idea of WTF is on the docket. I am so past ready to try, it's tearing me apart. I move so many of your blogs around on my sidebar. From TTC to Success. From Success BACK to TTC even! I read along as new mothers post their birth stories and ask for advice (or assvice, depending) from the community. I wish I could be part of that select group. But I can't. I can't give any advice (or even assvice) to those of you who have gotten lucky and are blessed with a baby. All I can do is read along and enjoy your journey, while lamenting for myself that I am not there. I don't know if I ever will be.

I have begun delving into the blogs of those of you who have moved forward, or are trying to, after years of IF and TTC and have made the choice to live without children. I am not ready yet to say that I am at that point as I need to try IVF in order to have peace of mind later in life. I expect no successes though. I just need to do this to have peace later. This will be the end of our TTC journey; I'm fairly sure of that. So I move ahead little by little and get to that end point.

One way or another, it will end. Eventually.

I have some things that are keeping me busy for now though. First up... K has had her surgery for cancer and it looks like they got it all from the jaw area. Now to deal with the tiny spots on the liver. She is healing but it's hard. For awhile, I was going over to her home every day after work to tidy, cook and make sure her daughter got homework done and the like. That seems to have subsided. In fact, Lil K had her 11th birthday yesterday. We went bowling and then all the kids came to our house for a swim (we have an in-ground pool). Everyone seemed to really enjoy the fun.

I do have a baby shower to attend next week. My RL friend, T is now over 30 wks. She is going to be a single mom; she's my age and after one miscarriage with donor IUI, her second attempt seems successful. With luck, she will have a little girl in August. I am glad for her of course, yet again... sad for myself. I started this journey long before she had that first attempt, and here I am, still empty-handed. So my joy is tinged with pain. As so much of this journey is.

A good friend of mine, MH is now in Virginia after moving from California. His wife and twins are still in CA though and will stay there until later this year when they are able to move. For now, she stays there as she has the health insurance. And we all know about the cost of health care in the USA. MH is now working but until his insurance kicks in, and they get out of the apartment lease, his wife will stay in CA.

MH moved and promptly got bored in VA. So I told him to take a long weekend and come up here to visit if he was bored. Lo and behold, he did just that. He was here last weekend and we had a blast with him. He plans to come again for the July 4 weekend. Every two weeks, he has Friday off so he expects to be able to come once per month at least. It's always good to see him.

Other than that, hubby and I just installed new laminate floor in the kitchen. It looks lovely. It was a birthday gift from my mom. And now we're looking for a new front door to replace the old one. Time for an update.

Better than all of that, hubby and I have booked our trip for August. I'll head to Washington DC first to spend time with my sister there as she attends a conference. Then I'll head to Las Vegas where I'll meet up with hubby, MH and his wife, and we'll all attend Fan Faire again for the MMORPG that we play. I'm looking forward to it already, even though the trip will delay our IVF calendar yet again.

A bit of a meme to round this out. Pam tagged me in "One of These Things is Not Like the Other" game. So here we go; five bits of trivia about me. Guess which is false.
  1. I used to swim competitively.
  2. I can play the piano fairly well.
  3. I met Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
  4. I have lived in four different countries.
  5. I have been told that I could make very good money doing voiceovers.

Speaking of Pam and V, belated anniversary greetings to you guys. I hope it was a wonderful day to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Depression and Infertility

Last week, as I was flipping through the local paper, an ad caught my eye. I cut it out and thought, "Hmm, maybe that's something I could do."

The ad stayed on my desk for a few hours while I went about my business. Yes, imagine that, I do work you know! And these days, work is pretty busy. Anyway, I got so busy that I thought, "You know, I am too busy to do this sort of thing," and in a moment of frustration, I crumpled the ad and tossed it in the trash.

But it nagged at me all day long.

And so, before I left for the day, I plucked the ad out of the trash, smoothed it out and drafted an e-mail in response. I thought, "You know Gil, if you did this and someone benefitted from it, it would -totally- be worth it."

The ad in question was from the University of Ottawa's Institute of Mental Health Research. They are recruiting volunteers for a study (in Montréal and Ottawa) about the effects of two forms of psychotherapy in women who may be depressed within the framework of infertility.

I responded to the add, and yesterday I went to the hospital for a quick evaluation. Turns out I'm not currently "depressed enough" to participate. Ha. They should have caught me a year or two ago! I would have been the perfect candidate at that time. Oh well. So if not me, maybe you. Or someone you know. Or someone you love.

For those of you who might be interested and who could take part, of if you know of someone that might get something from this, the ad is reproduced below with permission from the doctor who interviewed me yesterday. And if you take part, I will hope for you that it is of huge benefit. As infertiles, we need to vent and discuss these sorts of things. So I will cross my fingers that it works for you or the person that you love.

As a side note, the doctor recommended a book entitled Unsung Lullabies to me. It is written by three psychologists who have dealt with infertility and what coping skills they have found to guide them through the difficult questions and situations that we all face on a daily basis. I might pick this one up.


University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research

Are you having trouble becoming pregnant and are you feeling blue?

Are you also experiencing any of the following:
--Feeling sad most of the time
--Feeling less interested in things you used to enjoy
--Low energy, poor appetite, or sleep problems
--Difficulty concentrating
--Isolating yourself

Researchers at the uOttawa Institute of Mental Health Research are conducting a study in Montreal and Ottawa to evaluate two forms of psychotherapy in women experiencing symptoms of depression in the context of infertility. Therapy lasts 12 weeks and is free of charge.

For further information, contact Paula Loja, RN, at 613-722-6521 (ext. 6156) / paula.loja @ or visit our website at