Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Let the FET cycle begin!

Well, after an excrutiating few days of PMS, I have been released and am happily enjoying CD2 with cramps and a fresh start.

We have a protocol which includes Vi*velle (estra*diol) dots, Doxy*clycline (antibiotic), Med*rol (a corti*costeroid which decreases inflammation), PIO. Would you all believe that I have missed the needles? Ivan is so good at giving the PIO shots that I am looking forward to my first one?

Ultrasound to check my lining is on Monday, Sept 10 with a planned transfer on Friday, Sept 14.

The anxiety-producing aspect of this is that we only have two embryos to thaw and what if they did not survive the freeze? I am already wondering if I will be willing to walk away and say "we tried" or will I be drawn back in for another fresh cycle? I know my heart would be ready for another cycle but that head, it will surely get in the way.

Just as I was typing this, an email arrived from RENurse. Attached were consent forms that we need to sign. In part one of them reads, "we Ivan and Ashpash confirm that we are the biologic parents of these embryos..." Beautiful, humbling, heartbreaking words.

Yowza, reading the language gets my leg to tapping..."embryos"..."implantation..."pregnant"...."baby". I love this process. It's painful and expensive and heartbreaking but I love it. For the first time in my life I have some level of control over this whole procreation thing. It feels good.

Lately, Lilli (our youngest), has been saying she wants a baby sister..or brother. She doesn't care which, she just wants a sibling. Oh, honey, mamma wants a sibling for you, too! :)

Hang on our two 4-celled "goods", we are coming!

I was asked by Chas at sugarandice if I really like the PIO's. And Samantha at Southern Infertility just came right out and said she doesn't believe me! :)

Well, no, I don't physically enjoy the several inches long metal needle piercing my flesh. Not so much. You've got me there girls! It's the routine of it all that I love. The empowerment of telling endo to take a flying leap while allowing nature to circumvent that awful stuff and attempt to "do it's thing". That is what I like about the PIO's...what the represent despite their pain and resulting bruises.

Monday, August 13, 2007

An egg and my friends the birds

This is my first cycle after the early miscarriage and also without any meds. This is our "rest" before the FET in September (strangly I am missing the shots...seriously missing the schedule of it all...the power it brings). My cycle this month dragged on and on until I finally got an "egg" on my monitor this morning. I can tell I have been growing an egg b/c my left ovary has been tender. Everyone should have one of these handy dandy devices! Honestly, where was this thing eleven years ago? It really is true that women should be more in tune with their fertility and their bodies. Way back when I would have NEVER dreamed that I ovulated this late on any given month. Perhaps this late LH surge is due to my poor body being out-of-whack with the miscarriage and all of those darned drugs prior to. However, it would have been interesting a decade ago to have a monitor to track my cycle each month. Yes, I know about BBT and it's not for me. This is less trustworthy perhaps but it suits me better. I beamed this morning when I saw the egg image on my monitor. Silly huh? :)

About the birds.

You see, every Spring and Summer for three years barn swal*lows have built lovely little nests of mud on the interior wall of our porch. The first year it was with awe that we stood in our foyer, peering up through the window above the front door. The mommy and daddy bird darted in and out of our porch, adding their contribution to the nest that would eventually serve as home to their precious little eggs and, if they were lucky, successfully hatched babies. Our family of four oohed and ahhed when we saw that there were six hatchlings who had joined the world, their yellowish thin beaks peaking over the edge of the dirt and spit home. The parent birds made constant trips to keep up with the ravenous eating habits of these little creatures whose needs were constant. One morning, we awoke to find a dead hatchling on the porch, a casualty of it's ever-growing siblings over-filling the smallish nest. Two, three, four...the hatchlings fell out of the nest day after day and onto the porch only to be left to die if they had even survived the fall. Our hearts broke each time another baby made it's way out of the nest and each time we wondered if the parents felt a loss or was this just status quo to them as they persevered to tend to those who were left. Within a week of breaking out of their creamy spotted shells, that first group of hatchlings had been whittled down to one healthy little guy left. He stood confidently on the edge of the nest, feathers starting to poof and grow. The parents perched on the window across from him and kept him company as he grew. One day, I went to check the nest and it was quiet. No parents and no baby. He had flown away to start his own life. Out of six hatchlings, one had survived...odds that don't sound so good to me.

The funny thing is, those birds come back every Spring to tidy the nest or even re-build parts of it. This year the couple tore the old nest apart and re-built the entire thing, leaving their demolition and reconstruction debris scattered all over our porch. Every year, though, the couple loses most of their hatchlings with only one, if any, surviving. Despite the odds they return. And we humans? At the end of every summer we say we are going to tear down the nest or put up a plastic owl because, quite honestly, we can't stand to see another baby bird fall and die on our porch. But, you know what Blodgom? Every Spring, when momma and daddy barn swallow come around, we leave them to their business, we watch again in awe as the nest is readied yet again and we check each day, waiting for thin little beaks to once again peak over. And each time we have hope that *these* hatchlings will all make it, this time it will be okay. So far we have yet to knock down a nest or buy a plastic bird of prey to scare them off. What is it that keeps them coming back year after year when one or none survive? Why it is each Spring we await the hatchlings knowing most won't make it?

This morning, when I found the second hatchling of the season on the porch even though Ivan had lovingly put it back in the nest just last night, I wondered why we do this over and over every year.

And then I looked up at the one healthy bird left and I remembered why.

As we move towards our FET, I feel a little like those barn swallows...working feverishly to host and care for new life, hoping for the best and moving on through the disappointments to start anew.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bring on the calories...IVF just might kill me!

One of the affects of IVF that no one ever told me about was the fact that the pounds just fly off! When I started this little venture, I was at 129-130 pounds on any given day. It took YEARS to put on that weight. Go ahead and throw your cyber rotten eggs but let me say that being thin and wanting to GAIN weight is just as hard as trying to lose weight. I just look at food and can burn calories. Here I am at the end of our first full IVF cycle and I am down to 124. People, this is tragic! I have so enjoyed my new curves...yes, my thighs are "for Ivan's eyes only" these days but I like them nonetheless. The emotional ups and downs of this whole thing have made my appetite "off" and when I do eat, it's not the usual quantities (gals, I can out-eat a professional foot*ball play*er when I am not under IVF stress).

Wanting my precious pounds back, I have been eating everything in sight today. I just downed a glass of Car*nation In*stant Break*fast...full of calories! Tomorrow I will probably invest in some En*sure drinks to add extra calories each day. Of course, I need to attend Jaz*zercise (for my heart and to relieve stress) but don't dare do all of the aerobic activity burning the few calories I am taking in each day.

Has anyone else had this happen? My gosh, if we did several cycles I would waste away to nothing! Not only will our love of actually having money in savings prevent mutiple cycles, it will also save my hard-earned curves! Most teenagers these days have the curves I didn't see until age 36 and even now most women wouldn't agree that I have curves at all!

Bring on the chocolate shakes!