Monday, February 28, 2011

Eighteen Months

I still have a very hard time believing that we've gotten this far.

How did we get from this...

(Petite dozing at a few days old)

... to this?

(Petite dozing on my shoulder last week, a few days shy of 18 months old)

My little girl is growing up. She's got a happy, enjoyable (but firey!) personality. She loves her Pooh Bear and The Wiggles. She adores cuddles and kisses with Mommy and roughhousing with Daddy. She is definitely a busy, growing girl.

And I am grateful. Every single day, I give thanks.

Tomorrow morning, March 1, Petite has her 18-month checkup. (Oh I hate it when she has to get shots.)

Tomorrow evening, we go to the Ottawa Fertility Centre to participate in the brainstorming session for raising awareness in the upcoming provincial election about IVF funding. I look forward to that. I have some ideas. Petite's big brother and sister will babysit; I hope it goes well!

Things are going well with Petite's big sister in our house half-time; the other half, she lives at her mom's house. She would like to live with us full-time though. I'm not sure if that'll be possible. We'd have to check on the regulations in Ontario and criteria for student loans. If we can make it work, we may give that a shot. It's a little early to know for sure, but we're looking into things.

My BIL celebrated his birthday last week! Happy Birthday Tony! He usually hits the slopes to celebrate his birthday; he did that this year too. Next year, he'll have a 9-month old in the house (crosses fingers that all goes well) so I dunno if my sis will let him out to celebrate all weekend with the boys! LOL

This coming weekend, on March 5, my father will celebrate his 70th birthday. He certainly doesn't seem like he's 70 to me though! More like... 55 but with more grey!! I wish I could be there to celebrate this milestone with him. But I won't be; I expect we'll have to Skype instead so he can see Petite. Let's face it, he doesn't need to see me! It's all about the baby!! And that's just fine in my book.

And my parents are moving. The house they have is far too large for them now that my sister and I have both moved elsewhere and set up house in other places. The house that they've had since I was 16 will be on the market soon. It's beautiful. If I lived back at home, I'd buy it! But I can't. So they must move on. I'm glad for them that they've found a new place they love. Hopefully they can make new memories there. I hope to see their new place later this summer.

Yesterday morning, Hubby, Petite and I skipped our regular church service to attend the baptism of Sandra and Edward's triplets: Colin, Keith and Evelyn. Oh but they're beautiful babies! Petite was curious about them of course. For a few minutes anyway, and then she wanted to go play! It was so lovely to meet Sandra and Edward in person. Years ago, I suggested that they try McGill rather than Ottawa for their infertility procedures, and voilà... triplets! Hubby joked with them yesterday that maybe we ought to apologize! Sandra laughed and said that they are so pleased with the way things turned out. She looked beautiful, Edward was calm and cool and all three babies were just doing their thing. It was a gorgeous service and a lovely morning. I'm so glad we could go.

Today is a snowy Monday in Canada's capital. School buses are cancelled (which means a 'snow day' for the kids) and I debated rolling over in bed, calling the office and staying home, to cuddle with my toddler. Time passes so quickly. I just want to make the most of every moment that we have.

Sitting in her rocker (my old rocker), ready for bed, taking time for
a cuddle with Pooh while she watches The Wiggles (one week shy of 18 months)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Voices of Women; Time to Unite

My dear blogging friend, Keiko Zoll, has issued a call to action for all of the women out there, and all of the men who support them.

It doesn't matter if you are Pro Life, Pro Choice, Pro Cheesehead... whatever. This crosses all boundaries and it will affect people of every walk of life.

I confess, this mainly applies to the women who are in the United States. I would (obviously) have very little pull with lawmakers in the US. However, I do have family and good friends in the USA, who would certainly be affected by the asinine bills and papers that are currently being presented by some officials. I was appalled to read of these on Keiko's blog. But dear Lord, it made me sit up, take notice... and shake my head in utter disbelief.

Imagine, if you will, being subjected to Iowa's Personhood Law (HF 153). Like me, you're infertile. You go through years of grief, finally turning to IVF. And YAY! In that IVF cycle, you have managed to fertilize all eight of your eggs! Even better, three made great blasts and were transferred. But shucks, the others aren't of good enough quality to save for future use and wouldn't survive a freeze/thaw according to your doctor. Guess what? YOU cannot make the decision to dispose of them, nor can your doctor. It would be illegal to dispose of them. C'est la vie! Because according to this one, it would be labelled murder to get rid of them. Stupidly enough, this one was authored by a female. God knows where her head was when she concocted this one. Logically, it doesn't make sense. Good Lord, has she not got a brain in her head at all? And this one PASSED an Iowa House subcomittee! Colour me confused. How the heck does that happen?? As Keiko said, "Do you live in Iowa? Does this piss you off? Contact your representative and tell them why it matters to YOU, their constituents. You can search for your Iowa legislators here online for their full contact info."

It's important to speak up about these sorts of things. Why? Because it works. Let me reiterate some of Keiko's post:

South Dakota, in House Bill 1171 (introduced by Rep. Phil Jensen), sought to redefine justifiable homicide:

Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to harm the unborn child of such person in a manner and to a degree likely to result in the death of the unborn child, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is. (Source.)

As Keiko says, "In a nutshell, it would create legal precedent for someone to kill abortion clinic workers. Let's broaden this a bit: remember those blasties I mentioned a few paragraphs up? Let's say those low-grade blasties are discarded. According to HB 1171, it would be justifiable homicide to take out the offending embryologist who discarded them. Thankfully, the public outcry, both from South Dakotans and the blogosphere, was large enough that the language was changed and ultimately, South Dakota realized that maybe this whole thing didn't need to be brought to the table at all."

*blink blink*

So had this gone through, and were I a resident of South Dakota when we did our IVF, some nutcase could have taken out the embryologist that created MY LITTLE GIRL and it would be "justifiable homicide"?? Hell no! This is insane! Again, logical reasoning seems to escape them.

And this time, you know what some yahoo is seeking to do? CUT FUNDING TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD. New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, is behind this one. Last I looked, he didn't have a uterus, but damn, he's gonna try to tell women how and where to get their reproductive care? Um... no?! How about NO!!! *mutters* Doofus...

As we all know, Planned Parenthood is much more than just abortions. They provide access to birth control, pap smears, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and testing for many women who simply don't have access to health care, for whatever reason. By taking away the ability of Planned Parenthood to do these things, they are directly contributing to the increased risk of infertility for all of Planned Parenthood's clients. Those clients will NOT be able to access the reproductive care that they need. Again, per Keiko's words, "Don't know how your Representative voted? You can check here online to see whether or not they voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Then take the time to thank those that who supported PP or speak your mind to those who did vote to defund PP." And if you would like to sign the petition that Planned Parenthood has on their website to protest these cuts, check it out. I wish I could add my voice; alas, as a Canadian I cannot.

But more than either of these, this next one gets me riled. The inanity of this one is unparalleled. It just takes the cake. According to Georgia Rep, Bobby Franklin, (who is more knowledgeable than the Supreme Court in this case, apparently), "as we all know, life begins at conception" and as such, any termination -- for any reason/circumstance -- of that life would need to be reported. This dimwit is pushing for the following legislation:

"...any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated... Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it." (Source.)

A FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE?? F*ck me people. That's impossible. Think about it. What about the typical three miscarriages/chemical pregnancies that even non-IF women have (and don't realize it) before they carry a pregnancy to term? Cause under this law, my two chemical pregnancies would be reported and hey, I'd be a baby killer, cause you know, I have 'fetal death certificates' to show for it. Or what about the woman who learns that she has cancer and must terminate the pregnancy to receive treatment? Or the woman who learns that she is carry a fetus with life-threatening characteristics (e.g., ancephaly) and the fetus cannot survive outside the womb? Must that woman carry the pregnancy to term? And to what end... only to watch her baby die just after birth? And then she'd be given a death certificate anyway, to boot? Dear Lord. This is crazy. It isn't logical. It makes no sense.

"Just a minute Mr. Franklin, I have a RL friend who just this morning learned about this month's chemical pregnancy at 15 dpo; shall I issue her a fetal death certificate now? And maybe have her prosecuted as well for your pleasure?"

Get a grip buddy. Or maybe you won't have to. Maybe the outcry from infertility bloggers will be enough.

Go read Keiko's entire post. Blog about it. Tweet about it. Write about it on Facebook. Get it out there. Because we all need to keep abreast of the laws that govern reproduction in America (and elsewhere), in order to protect our own rights. The nation of infertiles won't stand for this and honestly, it's time that people took notice.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brainstorming Session; Conceivable Dreams

Many thanks to Neeroc (One day this blog will have a snazzy name); through her, I found out about Conceivable Dreams' plan to get some IF folks together to brainstorm.

Seems that Ontario is on the verge of a provincial election (coming up on October 6, 2011) and if elected, the Liberals have indicated their willingness to fund IVF commencing in December 2011. Interesting... very interesting indeed. This, of course, falls in line with the report produced by the Expert Panel on Adoption and Infertility a couple of years ago, and it follows last year's decision by the province of Quebec to fund IVF, and the province of Manitoba's financial contribution to helping people build families.

Knowing this information, the OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) Coalition for IVF Funding -- aka Conceivable Dreams -- held a brainstorming session in Toronto on February 1. Twenty "dynamic individuals from the infertility community" in the Toronto area came together to brainstorm about some possible ways to raise this issue in the upcoming election.

And Conceivable Dreams is doing it again.

On March 1, they're holding a similar brainstorming session here in Ottawa at the Ottawa Fertility Centre. I found out about it through Neeroc and then peeked at the Coalition's website for the information. I contacted Kerri immediately (she remembered me from the Baby Steps IF walk a few years ago! see pics here... Hi Kerri!) to register both me and Hubby for the event. And WOOT! We're in! Last I heard from Kerri on Tuesday, Feb. 15, there were maybe 4 or 5 spots left.

I'm looking forward to it. If you have ideas, thoughts or anything that we might be able to use, lay it on me! It should be a very interesting evening. With luck, something productive will come from it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day; chocolate anyone?

February 14. Valentine's Day.

Hubby and I declared years ago that we wouldn't 'celebrate' Valentine's Day in the traditional sense. We used to now and then, but for some reason, we had a particularly bad string of luck on February 14. One year he was miserably ill with the flu and in bed, sleeping off the chills. Another year, we sat down to a candlelight dinner and started to chat... and disagreed over something, which resulted in a bad (like, REALLY bad...) end to the evening. I won't use other examples, but you get the idea, I'm sure.

So just the thought of Valentine's Day sort of turns me off, you know? It brings back bad memories and feelings. Thus, we don't really celebrate it anymore. If I have anything to give to Hubby to mark the day, I NEVER give it to him on February 14; usually it's on the 12th or 13th instead.

Regardless, we also decided that we don't need a particular day to say how much we love our other half. Honestly, that is something we do more than once a year (obviously!) so it's another day to mark, but it does give us the opportunity to remember to say it. Cause, you know, the insanity of life means that we just go through the motions some days and fall in bed at the end of the day, eager for some shut-eye.

I did get Hubby a card though, and a little chocolate (he's a worse chocoholic than ANY female I know!). I got chocolate for Hubby's teenage kids too. I didn't get chocolate for Petite, but I did get her a sweet little, very soft, doggie stuffed toy with a heart-shaped dog tag. She cuddled it and was happy. Though she did ASK for chocolate. Make no mistake, she is her father's daughter. She knows how to say "chocolate?" and stretch her little hands up towards the chocolate stash above the microwave. You see, while I didn't get her any chocolate, other family members have sent some to her, so we're sparing it along. But boy, does she love her chocolate! I've taken to spelling out the word already so she doesn't get it in her head that she's getting some! Is that nuts or what?!

Side note: I think I spell too fast for Hubby and the rest of the family to understand what I'm saying! Must remember to slow down.

And a little tidbit for you: at my office, I don't have reception for a radio, but I do have Winamp running all day long, playing random music from a folder on my hard drive. One of the songs in there is "our" song, from our wedding day. And our song is Dr. Hook's "Years From Now." I heard it first thing when I got in the office this morning. It made me smile too and brought back lovely memories from our wedding day. Hubby and I have been together for 10 years, and married for 6. Our 7th anniversary is in August this year. It was lovely to hear that song this morning to start my day.

To my fellow bloggers:
Wishing Vee and Boo a wonderful holiday in Thailand, where they'll make new and wonderful memories! Take pics please!

Sandra and Edward will be christening their triplets at the end of February and Hubby and I are going to try to attend the service. I'd love to meet them all!

Bea is about ready to have her little one. She's over 40 wks already. I'm reading frequently for the update!

And wonderful news for both Michelle at I'm Not Pregnant, Just Fat and Kelly at Candid Confessions of a Southern Princess: betas are great and rising. I'm so happy for them both!

Keeping fingers and toes crossed for My Reality as she has one perfect little embryo transferred today in her efforts to have a sibling for her little girl. This cycle, things are going much the way things did when she got lucky the first time around, so I'm hoping everything works out for her and her family.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Whether you celebrate or not, there should be love in your heart for someone today, and every day!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Checking the List; Petite's Skills and Abilities

FYI: This post is mostly about Petite and her development at her current age. Skip it if it's a sensitive topic for you.

About two weeks ago, I got a letter from Ottawa Public Health. I had no idea what it was; I wasn't really expecting anything. Regardless, I opened it up and I was pleasantly surprised to find a letter and checklist inside for parents of 18-month old children.

Dear Lord. I am still shaking my head in disbelief.

Do you realize that Petite will be a year and a half at the end of February?! I have NO clue where that time went but I can tell you this: I have loved EVERY SINGLE MOMENT and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Anyway, I was reminded of some of the public resources in Ottawa for parents (e.g., the public library, early years centres, community health centres). There were also health reminders, for example, to take Petite for her check-up at 18 months, and to get her innoculations. Those are on the list, for sure.

And the checklist enclosed has examples of what most 18-month old children are able to do. I peeked at it with some interest, wondering if my little girl is 'on track'... although always with a grain of salt because I know that every child develops at his or her own rate. No two are alike. The list is called the Nipissing District Developmental Screen. It could be a useful tool to see how things are going, if you're so inclined.

Regardless, here's the checklist if you're interested and my notes on how Petite is doing:

By 18 months of age, does your child...
  1. Identify pictures in a book? (e.g., "Show me the baby?") -- Petite does this, and has done it for about two months now. And sometimes, she knows the word in both French and English. We're doing our best to ensure she's bilingual!
  2. Use familiar gestures? (e.g., waving, pushing away) -- Yep. Waving bye-bye, picking up the phone and saying Hello/Allo, reaching up and saying "up" when she wants to get in our arms, pushing on her high chair when she's hungry, and more.
  3. Follow directions when given without gestures? (e.g., Throw me the ball. Bring me your shoes.) -- Petite does this without any problem. "Get the duckie," and she does. "Put your books away," and she does. Or at least, she tries to. So she's doing fine here.
  4. Use common expressions? (e.g., all gone, uh-oh) -- Both of these are common vocabulary for her now, as are many more.
  5. Point to at least three different body parts when asked? (e.g., Where is your nose?) -- She's got it this! And again, some in both languages. She knows head, chin, ears, eyes, mouth, hands, nose, toes, knees, belly (and bellybutton!) with no problem. And she knows them on us too! If I ask her, "Where's Mama's nose?" she'll immediately touch my nose and giggle. It's cute!
  6. Say five or more words? (Words do not have to be clear.) -- Dear Lord, she's got this one down pat. She has for a number of months. She's a chatterbox!
  7. Hold a cup to drink? -- She is starting to hold an open cup to drink, probably within the last two or three weeks. But obviously I give her very little liquid in it, and I refill as required. I started practising this with her in the bathtub actually. I have a cup in there that I use to rinse her hair after I wash it. She wanted to play with the cup, starting when she was around 9 or 10 months old, so I added a second cup to the tub routine; one for her, one for me. She's at the stage now where she's learning to transfer water from one cup to the other to fill it. And she drinks from both cups regularly.
  8. Pick up and eat finger food? -- No problem. She's using a spoon and fork now too at dinner. She prefers to use the utensils, but will resort to her fingers if she can't make the utensils cooperate! It's cute!
  9. Help with dressing by putting out arms and legs? -- Yes, and she's grabbing her socks from my hands on occasion to try to put them on her own feet!
  10. Craw or walk up stairs/steps? -- The only stairs we have in our house are to the basement, and she doesn't go down there (fuse box, wiring, cat litter, etc., would be too tempting to play with) so she doesn't practice this much at our house. We do have one step from our kitchen down to our living room, and she mastered that while crawling. She's now able to fluidly walk up and down that step and just hold the side of the wall for a little support as she does so. At the caregiver's, there are steps and she goes up them lickety-split with no trouble! The caregiver tells me that she's learning to sit on her bottom and go down as well.
  11. Walk alone? -- For a number of months now. She was able to walk alone in her 11th month. She's actually running, spinning, dancing and starting to learn to jump.
  12. Squat to pick up a toy without falling? -- Yes. No trouble with this.
  13. Push and pull toys or other objects while walking? -- She loves doing this! We have a hand-made wooden frog that has click-clack wheels on it. She adores running around the house with the froggie trailing behind her making a clatter!
  14. Stack three or more blocks? -- Yes, but she's not interested in the blocks or stacking cups all that much.
  15. Show affection towards people, pets or toys? -- She's doing this more and more these days. She tried to pick up one of the cats yesterday, much to his disgust! But she hugs them and cuddles them. She is very attached to her Pooh Bear stuffed toys, and a blue stuffed teddy that my cousin gave to her. She walks around the house hugging them, sometimes all at once! She comes up to us as well, wrapping her arms around our legs and giving us a hug too. She is willing to give hugs and kisses to familiar people on request (most of the time!).
  16. Point to show you something? -- She points to the TV frequently, if she wants The Wiggles! She ADORES The Wiggles! Dear God, you'd think they were the best thing since sliced white?! It's so sweet. Side note: Two of her favourite songs are "Hot Potato" and "Rock-a-Bye Your Bear." She knows most of the actions for both those songs and literally dances in the living room when she hears the first notes of each. It's sweet to see. Must make sure I take her to see The Wiggles in concert next time they come to Canada. Anyway, yes. She knows how to point at things she wants, like her water cup, food, the computer... (eeesh!).
  17. Look at you when you are talking or playing together? -- She makes great eye contact so yes, that's not an issue with her. Which is good. Cause Mommy loves to look at Petite's sweet blue eyes. :)
So all in all, I think she's on track.

FYI, the other side of the checklist has an Activities for your Child section. Activities suggested are as follows:
  • Help me to notice familiar sounds, such as birds chirping, car or truck motors, airplanes, dogs barking, sirens, or splashing water. Imitate the noise you hear and see if I will imitate you. Encourage me by smiling and clapping.
  • I am learning new words every day. Play games to help me learn the names of things. Put pictures of familiar things, such as toy animals, people, or objects, in a bag and say, "One, two, three, what do we see?" and pull a picture from the bag.
  • Pretend to talk to me on the phone or encourage me to call someone.
  • Don't be afraid to let me see what I can do with my body. I need to practise climbing, swinging, jumping, running, going up and down stairs, and going down slides. Stay close to me so I don't get hurt.
  • Play some of my favourite music. Encourage me to move to the music by swaying my arms, moving slowly, marching to the music, hopping, clapping my hands, tapping my legs, etc. Let's have fun doing actions while listening to music.
  • Let me play with balls of different sizes. Take some of the air out of a beach ball. Watch me kick, throw and try to catch it.
  • I like toys that I can pull apart and put back together: large LEGO containers with lids, or plastic links. Talk to me about what I am doing using words like "push" and "pull."
  • I'm not too little to play with large crayons. Let's scribble and talk about our art work.
  • I like simple puzzles with two to four pieces and shape sorters with simple shapes. Encourage me to match the pieces by taking turns with me.
  • I want to do things just like you. Let me have toys so I can pretend to dress up, have tea parties and play mommy or daddy.
  • I feel safe and secure when I know what is expected of me. You can help me with this by following routines and setting limits. Praise my good behaviour.
  • I like new toys so find the local toy lending library or play groups in our community.
  • I enjoy exploring the world but I need to know that you are close by. I may cry when you leave me with others, so give me a hug and tell me you will be back.
In all that list, most of those things we're doing with Petite already. I need to be more diligent with naming things (the objects in a bag game) or sticking the names household items on the item itself (e.g., "table" will be stuck on the table) so Petite can see it. She's still a little young for the words I think. Not sure. She loves the music parts and actions, she has fun colouring and will point to her colouring book and markers on a daily basis, saying, "colour?" She has a fish puzzle that we got in Mexico that she walks around the house with; she enjoys the puzzles a lot. Shape sorters are fun for her too; we did that a few times just yesterday. I'm teaching her "carré vert" (green square) and she finds the green and shoves the square into the right spot. We try to change up her toys frequently. Must make a note to do that in the next week or so. We just did it a little while ago but it's almost time again now. I haven't given her the pretty, porcelain, Alice-in-Wonderland toy teacups that she was given for a tea party yet; that'll come when she's a bit older. For now, I can give her some of the plastic, non-breakable ones. She has a new table and chair set that she got for Christmas, so maybe we can put it to use... And she is definitely an electronics baby! She plays with the phone, the computer, the mouse, keyboard, etc. So talking on the phone will be a breeze for her. She and I pretended to do that yesterday actually. She held a block to her ear, and said, "Hello?" and I replied. We had a little conversation. Every time she said a word (or tried to), I responded to her. That entertained her for about 10 or 15 minutes yesterday evening. It was really sweet to see. Given that the phone is one of the main ways I keep in touch with my family, it'll be important that she is comfortable with it so she can talk to Nana and Poppy and all the aunties and the like.

Oh I am thrilled beyond belief for Kellie and her husband D. After many, many years and a plethora of f*ck-ups in their home state as they attempted to adopt a child (or children), their dreams have come true. I actually squealed aloud when I read Kellie's recent post in which she told the blogging community that they have TWO children in their home now! Go read for yourself; she and D are just over the moon and honestly, I couldn't be happier for them!

And Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Hubby and I typically don't celebrate (for a few reasons) so I'll probably just pick up a card for him and a little chocolate cause I know he likes it. What do you and your other half do to celebrate, for those that do? I'm curious. Mind you, ahem... keep it clean folks!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I'm having second thoughts.

Not about whether we'll cycle again. No no. Not at all.

But about whether NOW is the right moment. And the reasons I'm having these thoughts are plenty.
  • When we got our calendar, the RE who prepared it didn't consult with the RE who'd do the transfer (Dr. Tan) or the urologist who will need to do Hubby's surgery (Dr. Chan).
  • He also didn't factor in any bloodwork that needs to be done.
  • And nowhere is anything about the cyst included; "we'll deal with it when we need to" was the answer.

Okay, so let me be clear: I have total faith in Dr. Tan and the process that worked for us last time. But any modification from the protocol that we had last time might be cause for concern.

Last time, I had been preparing for YEARS to do IVF. I was taking vitamins, folic acid, exercising regularly, etc. While I'm back at the gym, I'm certainly not a 'regular' there yet and the vitamins and folic acid? Um... no. *hangs head sheepishly*

Anyway, the third time I called the clinic to ask about the fact that we were prescribed three months worth of vitamins but our cycle was in less than one month, I got Dr. Tan himself on the phone. He looked at my file, and realized that he didn't even HAVE a copy of the calendar that was given to me! I had to put the phone down and go fax him a copy so he could see the dates himself! Sheesh!

First problem: Dr. Tan isn't going to be in the country during the week of our retrieval/transfer. So that won't work. Solution: He advised stepping up the cycle, having me take the BCPs and overlap that with the Buserelin (aka Suprefact) injections and move the entire cycle up so that we'd finish retrieval/transfer by the first week of March.

Honestly, that seems a little wonky to me. Again, if I deviate from the standard protocol, I might just be wasting my money. I'd rather take the time and in a couple of months, do it right. Assuming they can fit me into their calendar that is.

Second problem: Dr. Tan asked (via e-mail) that I start taking DHEA, but didn't prescribe a dose/frequency for me. While I can get it, I need to get more details from him so the pharmacy can make up the correct dosage.

Third problem: Dr. Tan recommended a relatively new procedure for us. It's called CGH array (similar to PGD). They would ship embryos to New Jersey to the testing facility so that they could ensure they only transfer chromosomally normal embryos back into me at transfer time. However, I'm guessing that means a FET rather than a fresh cycle and I'm not so keen on doing that. The first baby born using this procedure was born to a 41-year old UK woman who had 13 failed IVF procedures and then they used CGH for the last one. Her baby boy, Oliver, was born in September 2009. The cost is $4000 for the shipping, biopsy and testing for all embryos we produce. Using CGH can improve chances up to 50%, and can be useful for women of an advanced age. (When he told me about this process, I immediately thought of a few blogging friends who might be interested in giving this a try!)

So Hubby and I have talked about this. I really don't think we'll be doing this for a few reasons. Yes, my eggs are two years older than last time, so we do have to consider that. However, my FSH is still really good. My bloodwork is all normal. Last time, we only produced six embryos, three of which made good quality transfers, but fertilization rates were high, dividing rates were really good, and quality on visual examination was quite good for those three. If we had multiple IVF failures, then I would probably go for this. Yes. And as I said, it would likely mean a FET rather than a fresh cycle.

Fourth problem: I am on CD3 today, and I still don't have all the vitamins that I was supposed to take (for three months, remember) leading up to BCPs and suppression injections, followed by stim injections. I'm working on getting them all, but some aren't available easily in Ottawa; I expect I'll have to order them online. One in particular is from a Quebec company and is new on the market; pharmacies in Ottawa don't carry it and can't get it. Hmm, maybe I can drive across the river this weekend to Quebec and find a pharmacy there? There's a plan... So yeah, I'd like to get going with the vitamins, folic acid, all that good stuff leading me up to the proper cycle dates and medications as are laid out in the regular IVF calendar.

Fifth problem: This is one that CAN be overlooked, but when combined with the others, it makes sense to consider it...

Hubby's schedule.

If we do the IVF right now, this month, and assuming it works, we would have a newborn on or around Christmas this year. And that means that the first four months of the baby's life, Hubby is tied up in school, trying to study and get good marks. But of course, he'll be wanting to help out and bond with the baby. It just makes more sense to delay for a few months to let me get these vitamins going, and that way, Hubby will be closer to being finished his course of study for practical nursing and we won't have the time issues and considerations.

So, with all that said, I'm on CD3. I had picked up the BCPs and took the first one before looking at all the details. Sure, doing it this month would let us just get going and not have to think about it too much. But it is only because I stopped to think about all the little things that aren't adding up, that I figured out we couldn't stick to the calendar they'd given us. So in this case, thinking about it is a good thing. I'll be sending an e-mail to the docs to let them know that we'd like to hold off for the three months so we can do this the right way. That'll give us a better shot. And it would save me from the "what ifs" when and if this doesn't go well. Honestly, if there's one thing I've learned, that peace of mind is bloody crucial.

Still hanging in there, and starting prep work for our IVF cycle. So stay tuned. More fun and games will be forthcoming. I promise! For those counting, Tuesday, Feb. 1 was CD 1 (clockwork I tell ya, even with a mere 4.0 lining on CD 23!) and all seems normal. We've started looking for and taking the various vitamins required. Here we go again!