Friday, October 31, 2008

Back home, hanging out

TMI warning: If you have a queasy stomach, and /or are of delicate disposition, or are any of my male IRL friends who already know WAY too much about me, stop reading now. Don't read any further!

So I'm back home. The day of the surgery was a piece of cake. I guess because of the fact that I was medicated and stayed in bed all day long. 

Yesterday, on the other hand, was EXHAUSTING. Just getting out of bed, taking a shower, getting dressed and getting to the airport was tiring! And then to navigate the Denver airport!! It's HUGE! Thankfully we had plenty of time, so we didn't have to rush, and could walk slowly through the airport. But even the walk from the entrance to the security check point, to the gate of departure was a task. My head was reeling and my hands were cold by the time all that was done! I fell asleep in the plane even before we took off!

And that was not all. Here's the TMI portion. Again - any of you who should not be reading this - please don't.

So the balloon in my uterus has a tail. They told us that before and after the surgery. And they told me that "sometimes the tail may slip out, and if it does, don't panic, just push it back in". OK. Nobody told us the tail is really not a "tail" (I was imagining a string or a thread type tail - I mean, if there is a balloon, there has to be a string, right?). Boy was I wrong!!! The damn thing is like one of those controls on an overhead light fixture - you know the kinds that hangs down?

And it "slips out" every time I walk!! I had to stop at restrooms 2 times between security and the boarding gate at the airport yesterday!! No fun. The first time I felt it slip out was right while I was walking past security. I'm sure I was walking funny and thank goodness the security guys didn't decide to "pat me down". That would have been awkward! LOL!

Anyhow - all done, I'm home and relaxing. I've decided I'm not getting out of bed and going anywhere till this thing is removed! 4 more days and I can have this contraption taken out. I still have no pain - knock on wood. Either I've become immune to pain, or this doctor is so so awesome! :-)

Our friends P and R brought us good home made food for dinner last night. Thanks for pampering us, guys! You're awesome!

Thank you all for your comments and well wishes! I'm so glad to have you guys hold my hands through all this! Thank you thank you thank you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Surgery Update

I can't believe I've slept all day! :-)

Everything went really well today. We left well in advance from the hotel because the nurse told us traffic can be really bad and it could take us even up to an hour! Well, we were there in 20 minutes (and yes, there was a LOT of traffic)! CCRM's surgery center entrance/ parking is different from their main lobby. You enter into a garage on the side and go straight upstairs to the surgery center. Entering the garage is like a secret mission operation! "Press "CALL" on the intercom, announce your name, and the garage door will be opened for you. The nurses will be notified of your arrival." Pretty cool, huh?

I filled out some paperwork, and they had me change into a WARM gown, and gave me a WARM blanket to cover myself. That felt so good! The nurse put on all the monitors for me, and wrapped my hand in a warm wet towel. She said that helps the veins pop up, so they can put in the IV easily. Everything went super smooth. The nurse also put on my "party hat"! (That's what she called it!) :-)

Now for my "awwwwww moment". DH was waiting in the room with me before they took me into the operating room. The sticky monitors on me were connected to this screen behind which was going beep...beep...beep...beep. It displayed my heart rate, and other vital stats. So DH came and held my hand, and instantly the monitor started going BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!!! My heart rate went up! We both started laughing - after 12 long years, DH can still get my heart rate racing by touching my hand!! LOL. Come on, say it with me "Awwwwww."

They put in some relaxing medicine into the IV and I was out. Didn't even stay awake till the real stuff! What a wuss! 

I woke up with warm warm blankets all over me, including one which is like a plastic sheet, with warm air circulating through it. Very cool. I sat for a bit, and then had some crackers and ginger ale. My throat hurts - possibly scratched / bruised from some tube they put in. It hurts pretty bad to swallow. Dr Schoolcraft came in and told me everything went well. He thinks he's made enough room in there. He inserted a balloon (which I don't feel at all). He also said he had to put a stitch on my cervix because it got nicked a little. 

We left in a bit, and DH drove us back via Panera, where he got me some nice soup. Came back to the hotel, and went to sleep. 

The greatest part of it all - I am in no pain. At least so far. It's 5 PM local time, I haven't had any pain medication since I left the hospital. That's it folks. The surgery is done. Now I wait for 6 weeks, and come back here. DH already did the tickets for our December trip while I was asleep this afternoon. We plan to fly in and out the same day. 

I feel great, and am really glad I went ahead and did the surgery. Even if it doesn't help, I know I've done all I could. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mile high!

We're here in Mile High city. We left CA bright and early, and got in here earlier than expected! Got our car, found the hotel, checked in, freshened up, had a quick lunch and went to CCRM for my pre-op appointment.

They drew my blood for a pregnancy test. And guess what? They haven't called with results, so I assume it's a BFN? :-) I told the girl that if I were the kinds that ~could~ get a positive pregnancy test without the help of all kinds of advanced technology and procedures, I wouldn't be sitting in that chair today. She just laughed. 

Dr Schoolcraft spent a few minutes with us after that. He confirmed that the procedure he will do tomorrow on me is the same as I described a few days back. Dilate the cervix, insert a hysteroscope, scrape out the top and sides of my uterus, put in a balloon, and send me packing. 

He gave me some prescriptions. One to dilate the cervix, one antibiotic, and one painkiller. We filled the prescriptions and we're all set! 

He does not want me to have the balloon in for 10 days though. He wants it out either Monday, Tuesday or latest by Wednesday of next week. So I called my RE's office in CA and got my appointment changed to Tuesday next week. 

Now for follow up. Dr Schoolcraft wants to see me personally in 6 weeks. I asked him if I could get a hysteroscopy done elsewhere and get the report sent to him, and he said no. He said any other doctor will not know what to compare against. He feels that since he's working on my uterus, he will have better mental images of my "before" and "after" uterus. So I'm back here in 6 weeks. I got that appointment set up too. I have to be back here on Dec 10. 

Which leads us to - "When can I do an IVF????" The answer to that is next year. It will be the second week of December by the time by 6 week appointment is done, and since their lab closes for the holidays, if you don't start stims by Dec 2, you're pushed out to next year. So I'm out. Waiting for 2009 now.  Oh well. Better to wait, and do my last IVF with a "new and improved" uterus, than to rush into anything right now, right? So I wait.... and the nurse said, depending on the PGD process Dr Schoolcraft recommends for us, we may have to do a freeze all cycle. That would mean freeze the embryos after fertilization, and come back the next month for transfer. So lets see, we were here in September, we're here in Nov, I have to come back in December, we both come back in January, and possibly February again!!! Geesh!!!!! 

That's it, friends. We drove around downtown for a while and are now back at the hotel. DH wanted to sit somewhere and have a drink and he even took permission from the nurse for me. She said "Ok as long as you don't get her wasted". But I think I'll pass on the drinking tonight. I'll wait till tomorrow, and get wasted and pass out on the IV! :-)

I will post an update tomorrow when I can. My uterus is going in for cosmetic surgery tomorrow. Please send me some "pretty uterus vibes".

Monday, October 27, 2008

All set

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go" (not really - I still have to pack!)

But we're all set. All bookings done, print outs taken and collated, all done. What am I feeling? A little anxious. I've been through several surgeries in my life, and for most of them I've just gone with the motion of doing things. This one - this one is making me anxious. Not nervous, but anxious. Perhaps because this surgery and it's outcome is going to be so monumental in my life - whether it works or not. 

If it works, then this will be the surgery that "fixed it all". If it doesn't, then this is where we put a full stop to everything. So many decisions and outcomes depend on what happens this Wednesday. 

I am feeling a lot of energy from people around me though. My parents think this is what was "destined" to happen. That Dr. Schoolcraft is the one who was destined to change things for us. I hope so. 

On updates: good news. My pap, mammo, and HPV tests are all clear. I called the doctors office today and got the results. So as far as being prepared for an IVF cycle at CCRM - all my homework is now done. I'm now just waiting for things to fall in place. 

I hope things fall in place soon. I have recently received comments on my blog from people that have not been regular commenters. People have mentioned they have had similar surgery, and that I'm in good hands. I'm taking a lot of positive energy from those comments and people who left them. Thank you - I'm hoping to be a similar story some day! 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

365 days...

October 25, 2007 was the day I first saw those coveted 2 lines on a HPT. I have described several times the emotions DH and I felt that day. How we collapsed down on the bathroom floor, tears of joy running down our faces, laughing, hugging each other, not being able to believe what we just saw! Our problems were over! Infertility to us, till then, had meant our inability to conceive on our own. Now we were pregnant! Our problems were definitely over!! 

From then, till today, October 25, 2008 - life has changed, and oh, how life has changed! We have endured pain we could never have imagined. I can't describe the feeling in our hearts when we saw the tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound. And then a few weeks later, when that heart stopped beating, it was almost like our hearts stopped beating too. There were times I felt it physically. Like it was difficult to breathe, and like my heart was physically in pain. There were days when I fell asleep praying that I would not wake up the next day. I cried tears on my way to and from work every day, because I did not want DH or anyone else see the mess that I had become. So I did all my crying alone in the car. There were times tears were so heavy in my eyes, that I couldn't see traffic very well on the freeway. My immediate thought at those times was always "Good - I wish I can have an accident now and die."

Co-workers told me later that they were afraid to say anything to me, afraid to come to my cubicle, and that my face and eyes were always swollen from my crying. I don't even remember. I don't remember seeing myself in the mirror in those days. I don't remember getting dressed for work, or anything else too much. All I remember is absolute grief. Absolute grief. 

Depressed? Yes, I would guess so. 

I woke up this morning, and thought of last year. I had expected today would be painful in many ways. It is, but more than anything, I feel like celebrating the little short life of our daughter. One year ago, today, we got to know of her existence. Since then, she has been a constant in our hearts. Everyday. Every minute. She's there when we fall asleep. She's there when we wake up. Both DH and I feel her. She's right here with us. In spirit, if not in person. 

I'm not feeling very sad today. I'm feeling like I should acknowledge and celebrate my baby's life. I'm hoping that she, along with her little siblings that we lost later, are watching over us. I'm hoping they can send their mommy some "good uterus vibes" and their dadda all the strength he needs to take me through this surgery and recovery, and the upcoming IVF. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

NIAW and updates.

I'm so bad. I had all these grand plans of really spreading the awareness this week. I had planned I'll make a video or a slideshow and send it to people, put it up on You.Tube etc. I haven't done anything. The whole week has gone past and I haven't made anybody aware in any way. 

I will try and make up for this tomorrow. This weekend is also our 1 year anniversary of our first BFP. So I know I am going to want to slow down tomorrow, and want to think about last year for a while, think about how things could have and should have turned out. I know I'm probably going to be a mass of emotions, and that may be the best time to spread some heartfelt awareness. 

Some updates - I spoke with the nurse at CCRM, and asked her the questions that I had. I wanted to know if I could get my balloon removed here, 10 days after the surgery. I also wanted to know if my 1 month followup could be done here, and if we could send the reports to Dr Schoolcraft, or would he want to do a hysteroscopy himself. She said the best person to answer these would be Dr Schoolcraft, and that the best time for him to answer these questions would be either pre-op when he meets us on Tuesday, or post-op when he knows how much work he has done on my uterus. 

Just to be on the safe side, I called Dr M's office here, and have set up an appointment for him to take my balloon out. If I need to cancel it, I will. I didn't want to wait till I came back from Denver. What if they can't squeeze me in then? I'd be stuck with a balloon in my tummy! 

CCRM still hasn't received the reports from my pap smear and mammogram. I'm wondering if that is strange. It's been 2 weeks since the mammogram, and 2.5 weeks since the pap. I haven't received any updates either. I don't know how long mammogram reports take, but I am sure I don't remember waiting 2.5 weeks for a pap report. (Yet another note to self - follow up on this as well!!!) 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking a break

Here's just something silly for everyone to enjoy. Take your mind off your current stress in life and smile a little. And please - no offense to supporters of either side. I'm not leaning left, and I'm not leaning right! 

Enjoy!! :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My upcoming surgery

Some people have asked me what exactly is going to happen during my surgery next week. I'm going to attempt to give some information here, but this is from my understanding of what Dr Schoolcraft said, and from my research on the internet following my meeting with Dr Schoolcraft. So what I'm going to describe ~may~ be all wrong. Take it with a pinch of salt.

So you do know that I have a T shaped uterus (according to Dr Schoolcraft). * I must note here that I am trusting his diagnosis, although he has been the only doctor that has made this diagnosis for me. In the past 7 years, several doctors have seen my uterus - either in ultrasounds, or in HSG, or via hysteroscopy etc. The only thing the other doctors have mentioned is that the top of my uterus has a dip downwards. But nobody ever mentioned anything about the rest of my uterus. 

The surgery is basically a hysteroscopy. There are 2 types of hysteroscopy. One is diagnostic hysteroscopy, and the other is operative hysteroscopy. Diagnostic hysteroscopies are done while the patient is awake (like what CCRM does during the 1 day work up). Operative hysteroscopy is done under conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is much lighter than general anesthesia - it only puts you to sleep, and you can be woken up when the surgery is over. I believe patients are known to respond to verbal commands while they are under conscious sedation!! (Makes me think of hypnosis!)

From what I have read on the internet, it appears that this particular surgery (to correct the shape of the uterus) is called a "Metroplasty". The procedure is simple (apparently :-) )

The cervix is dilated, and a hysteroscope is inserted. With the insides of the uterus now visible via camera, they proceed to "trim" or "scrape" portions of the uterine walls. The attempt is to make a larger uterine cavity. Once this is done, they will insert a balloon into the uterus. The balloon is to prevent the newly scraped walls from fusing and forming scar tissue. 

This much I have understood. Dr Schoolcraft mentioned that the balloon may be removed in about 10 days time. I need to understand how that happens. Am I supposed to make an appointment here with a doctor, or what? They have not clarified that for me. (Note to self - follow up with CCRM on this) 

The nurse mentioned that they would like to wait for a month to see what my uterus looks like after the surgery. Only then do they want to proceed with stims for my next IVF. Again, they have not clarified who will look at my uterus after a month. Do they expect me to be back in Denver in a month? Will they accept reports of a diagnostic hysteroscopy if I have it done here? I need clarity on that as well. 

Next week at this time, I will have a big girl uterus :-) and not one that stopped developing at 20 weeks gestation or something! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alright - here we come!

A lot of things are happening. I've spent so much time waiting that my brain is not able to keep up with so much action all at once! 

I went this morning and had my blood drawn for CD3 testing. The blood serum is to be shipped out to CCRM. My local lab seems to have done this several times before. The phlebotomist saw the shipping box that I had in my hands, and he said "For Dr Schoolcraft?". Then he proceeded to draw my blood and he explained the process they would follow. They will coagulate the blood, separate the serum, freeze it for a day, and then tomorrow, they will ship the frozen serum to CO. He said he's done this for several patients in the past and he knows exactly what to do. That was a relief!

Surgery is scheduled for Oct 29 at 9:30 AM. We need to be there the previous day for my Pre - Op appointment, and we need to stay there the day of the surgery (stay in Denver, not in the hospital). We can fly back on Oct 30. 

Tickets are done - thanks to our friends T and P, who generously donated miles, which we shamelessly took. Thanks guys - this is big time help! 

I'm now looking for hotel and car deals, and will make the bookings shortly. With that, we're all set!! Woohoo!! 

Now the bad news. Well - not bad, but unexpected. CCRM's surgery center is not covered under our insurance. So they will be considered "out of network" making our out of pocket costs go up. We don't know how much exactly we will end up paying. Dr Schoolcraft decided to give me $500 off the deductible that I would have to pay, which is great, but in addition to our co pay and deductible, we will also be responsible for the 20% which our insurance will not cover for out of network services. 

I'm not complaining. I am grateful I have insurance in the first place. Many couples would be paying all of this out of pocket, and I know I'm blessed that I have SOME coverage. 

I'm excited to get this started. If the surgery is successful, we'll do the IVF. If not, this is the end of the road. But it's a road that has taught us so much, and in a way I'm grateful for the experience. I'm a stronger woman with a lot more endurance because of this road I've travelled.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The wheels, they are a turnin'...

I love my Aunt F. OK, no I don't. But I waited so long for her this time, that I love her for showing up with all the presents she brought me. The nasty migraine, the unearthly cramps!! Though I hate these presents, this time they were quite welcome!

But woohoo - she's here!!! She arrived yesterday, and I am now waiting to hear back from CCRM with my surgery schedule. I need to go tomorrow to get my blood drawn, and frozen and shipped to CCRM for Day 3 testing. 

I'm so excited to get this train out of the station! Can't wait to get moving on things!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Socially networked?

I’ve always considered myself to be “out of the closet” as far as our IF struggles are concerned. Well, definitely in the last few years. When we first started TTC, it was our business. Then slowly as we got BFN after BFN we started talking to a few close friends. Then my parents, then DH’s parents. But I guess it gets obvious after a while, whether we speak it out loud or not.

The loudest screaming factor is evidently an “aging” marriage, and no signs of any kids around. So yes, we’re out of the closet, one way or another. I write openly on my blog, I talk openly to my friends about everything. Our families know everything. Hey, even some colleagues were aware.

Then along came social networking. There are a bunch of sites out there, and everyone in the world is on them. It’s great to be able to connect back with people that you’ve lost touch with. You know the type – old high school class mates, ex colleagues, college batch mates, people from the town you grew up in etc etc etc. You keep getting sucked into it.

I started out with my connections being limited to people that I’m in touch with otherwise in real life. My extended family and real life friends. But these sites spiral you into more and more – “You may know these people”, or “Friends of friends”. Slowly I realized I now am connected to people from so far way back in life that I look at their pictures and go “Huh!! – I don’t remember him/her looking like this” or “Wow – I would not have recognized this person if I ran into him somewhere.”

All this networking brings its own set of issues along with it. Now suddenly people who are crawling out of the woodwork are curious about you. That’s where my dilemma sets in. I’m open about my issues with my friends who see me now, or who have known me in the last few years and have been with me through my struggles. I’m not sure I’m willing to be open with just about everyone that I’ve EVER known in my life.

I’m torn. On the one hand I love being connected back with familiar faces. On the other, I don’t want anyone to ask me anything. I have a few pictures with nieces and nephews or with my friend’s children that are up on these sites, and the moment someone comments on them, I feel compelled to “clarify” saying “Oh this is my niece” or something like that. Or when an old friend / class mate connects up with me and sends me a message saying “I’m married, 2 kids, work in so and so place, live in so and so place, what about you?”, I feel compelled to answer “Married, one dog, we’re working on building a startup”. My answers are technically correct, yet somehow, they seem to rattle me. 

Yesterday DH changed his status to “Requesting everyone to light a candle at 7 PM. Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day”. I saw that and it struck me that I didn’t have the guts to say something like that to all my connections. I say I’m open, but am I? A lot of my connections possibly think I don’t have or mention kids because I’m heavily into our start up company. A part of me wants them to continue to think that way.

So am I really out of the closet as far as IF is concerned?

How do you guys deal with your social networking site connections? How do you deal with questions from people you haven’t seen in years, and probably won’t for years to come? I agree they aren’t an important enough part of my life, but questions do rattle me – wherever they come from. 

I suppose you could say one should limit their connections on these sites, why get yourself more exposure than you can handle? But you see, I enjoy being connected to people. I enjoy interaction. 

What would you do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

7 PM tonight

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We are hoping to have a wave of light go across the world at 7 PM today. If everyone in the world lights a candle at 7 PM their time, and leaves it burning for an hour, there will be a continuous wave of light all over the world.

I will light my candles to honor and remember my babies, and the millions of other babies that should have been here in the world, but aren't. I will light my candles to support the millions of other heartbroken moms and dads for whom those babies are but a memory. My candles will burn in memory of all those little souls.

Won't you do your bit? Please light a candle at 7 PM tonight. It will hardly take any effort on your part, but it would mean the world to parents and grandparents all over the world.

I did send that email I meant to, to my family members and friends IRL. Some responded, some didn't. In some places, it's past 7 PM now. I can only hope that some candles were lit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just wandering along

Nothing much - just meandering along, plodding through day after day. I'm looking for my Aunt F who's lost somewhere. I think I need to put up a missing person's alert for her.

Let's see - my Aunt F, she looks nasty, makes me feel horrible, but I do need her. If anyone's seen her, please send her to me. CD 41 and nada. Geesh!!! Yes, it does look like my body is on vacation! (Actually I'm not sure if it's on vacation, or if it's just on strike! Almost like it's telling me "Enough is enough!!!") I spoke with the nurse at CCRM yesterday and we decided we would wait till this weekend, and if she's not here by then, we'd bring her on. She asked me if there was any chance I'm pregnant. I told her I'd probably die of shock if I was pregnant on my own after all this!

I was thinking I'd send an email to my friends IRL and family members across the world, asking them to light candles tomorrow at 7 PM. I was composing the email in my mind, but somehow now I don't feel like sending it. I don't want to sound like I'm stuck like a broken record, and I don't want them to think "Poor Nikki".

One part of me wants all this to end - I'm getting impatient. Yesterday, in the shower I got a feeling like I was in a bad dream. That all this was a bad dream, that one day I'd wake up and none of this would have happened, and my life would be "normal".

Lately a lot of blogs and message boards are talking about "why do you want to a child", or "how much I have imagined being a mom" or "how much I want DH to have a baby". It makes me think of the answers myself. What am I missing? Am I missing being pregnant, or giving birth, or raising a child? I don't know. I mean, how can I miss something I've never experienced?

When I think of my imagination, or if I try and fantasize us having a family, DH being a dad, lately I've been drawing blanks. Maybe I'm suppressing some emotions / imaginations because I've been hurt so much?

I'm beginning to get more and more impatient. I just want to get done with the surgery and the IVF and move on with life. I've put "me" on the back burner for so long. I really just want to close this chapter - one way or the other!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


In my lifetime, I have been to doctors and hospitals several times. Actually I think I’ve been given more than a fair share of doctors and hospitals. But it’s not that I fall sick easily, I have a generally healthy body. I never missed days of school or work because of common illnesses. No common colds or chills or fevers or flu for me. Nah – I go for the big ones. I go bust my knee, and I do it again and again and again. Or I turn out to be infertile and I have to see one RE after another, again, and again, and again!

So the bottom line is, I’ve had a number of doctor visits, a number of surgeries, and a number of IVFs. But the patients at these clinics “appear” healthy.

At my orthopedic surgeon’s clinic, the other patients actually appear inspirational! Many have injured themselves playing some sport or doing some brave outdoor activity. Yes, there are the others that may have been in accidents, or the elderly that need help, but mostly orthopedic cases seem to be strapping healthy young cases.

At my RE’s office – again, patients that outwardly “appear” healthy. Yes, we’re all broken apart inside, and are sad, depressed, flustered, and yet hopeful, but on the outside we look “normal”.

The other day I had to go to our hospital’s radiology department for my mammogram. While I waited to be called in, just looking at the other patients there brought so many things into perspective for me. So many of the patients were visibly sick. There were tubes and pipes going into parts of their bodies, they were wheel chair bound, or they were wearing hats and scarves to cover their heads. My heart was in my mouth with pain and agony for each one of them.

Despite the pain that infertility has taken me through, physically my body is functional. It’s not being eaten up by a life threatening disease. My heart may be broken, but my body is not. It may not cooperate with me on a hormonal level, but it is still in my control on many other levels. I complain so much, while I actually have so much to be thankful for.

DH was in the car outside (he had driven with me because we had to head out somewhere together after my appointment). I was so shaken up that I called him and asked him to come sit with me while I waited.

We looked around and saw many elderly patients, accompanied by their adult children. DH came away with the thought that our parents are aging, and they live far away. Heaven forbid, what if they need us like this?

I feel selfish for coming away with the thoughts that I did come away with. I too saw the elderly people accompanied by their children. It struck me that tomorrow, that elderly person may be me. Who’s going to accompany me?

The few minutes in the waiting room of the lab brought things into perspective for me. I need to count my blessings more than I do. But at the same time, a possible glimpse into my future, and the possibility that it may be a very lonely future is scary.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Adventures of Old Nikki

The last couple of days brought old Nikki into life. We've had a couple of friends visiting from overseas, and although my first reaction to the news of their trip was "I can't deal with this, I'll find a way out from meeting them and having to hang out with them", I'm glad they came.

I'm glad I met them, and I'm glad I let myself relax and enjoy myself. The process involved a lot of alcohol, but the last 2 days have been the most relaxing 2 days in about a year. 

We have consumed some 10,000 calories in food and alcohol in the last 2 days, and I am EXTREMELY guilty doing that, but while I was shoveling food into my face and washing it down with wine and margaritas, guilt was nowhere to be seen! Darn guilt! 

We laughed, joked, teased and relaxed. Old Nikki is here for now - hopefully she'll stay. She doesn't like the crabby, whiny weepy new Nikki! 

On the progress side, my mammogram is done too. OUCH!!! Never had one before, and had no clue what to expect. OUCH - well, I'm wiser now. One more part of my "homework" from CCRM is done.

Everything else as far as moving forward depends on Aunt F. I think I will wait till the middle of next week, and then ask for a Pro.vera prescription. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Baby Steps towards Baby

Small progress report here.

I FINALLY got a regular OB GYN to see me. I just pulled the name off a hospital's website and got an appointment, and I have to say - I LOVED her. Very kind, gentle, sympathetic and funny! I told her about my IVFs and losses and she asked me how I was doing emotionally. My eyes teared up and my throat choked. I managed to tell her I was doing ok. But it made me think how raw I must be inside to want to start crying at one kindly put question!!! Coming from a stranger at that!

So a small part of my "homework" from CCRM is done. I have had my annual exam, and my pap smear. Now I wait for the hospital's radiology department to call me with my mammogram appt. 

Aunt F is refusing to visit my house. If anyone has seen her, please send her to me. I need to get moving with my life. Have surgery to schedule, IVF to plan, tickets and hotels to book! Can't wait around here forever!! Hear that Aunt F??? Hurry up now, will you?

On a different note - I want to request you guys to stop by and offer Darya some love and support. She's hurting right now. She got a BFN today on a HPT she took. She is right now waiting for the results from her official blood test. She's feeling a little blue, and could use some love.

Monday, October 6, 2008

12 years

So yesterday was our 12 year "Falling In Love" anniversary. Yes, I am that dork that remembers all these dates, and I spring out these surprises on DH every year - you should see the look on his face when I ask him "So do you remember what today is?"

It happened this year too - except I didn't ask him the question like that. We had settled down on the couch, and I asked him to tell me our story. He narrated it in third person, like he was talking about someone else. He of course did not get it that a surprise would be sprung at him. So he started with the entire narration of where we met, and how we got to know each other etc. In the process he missed out the events of Oct 5, 1996 which had etched the date into the calendar of my head. 

At the end of his story, I asked him if he remembered this particular conversation we'd had (on Oct 5, 1996). He said he did, and I said - "Well, OK, Happy Anniversary! We've been in love for 12 years now."

So then we got talking about the 12 years that have gone past. Had we known then what we know now, would our decision to be with each other be any different? A resounding "No" from both of us. If I had to go through IF, and deal with all this, there's nobody else on earth I'd rather do it with. I'm flawed, he's flawed, but we're in love. If we have to grow old alone, there's nobody else I'd rather be an old lady with. (He said the same, but this is my blog, and I speak for myself here.)

We wondered though how life would be different if we did have kids. Would we still be as publicly affectionate with each other, or would we worry that me sitting in DH's lap in front of growing children is not "proper"? DH thought we'd be the same as we are now, and nothing would change. I wonder if really nothing changes. With the demands of raising children, the routines, the exhaustion, does nothing change? 

Those of you that have children - what do you say?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

If...Then. If not, then what??

If this upcoming surgery is a success, then we proceed with IVF. Last attempt, final crusade, whatever you call it – our fifth and final fresh IVF.

If the surgery is not successful, then we don’t want to waste that IVF attempt for nothing. I’m not sure what our options then are. Using a Gestational Carrier? Here? Overseas? Costs? Viability of the option for us? I don’t have the answers to those questions. Not yet anyway. And I’m sure there will be even more questions to consider – but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

If we do the IVF, and it is successful (by successful I mean not just a BFP, but bringing home a healthy baby), GREAT!!! Nothing like it. All the heartache, all the trials and tribulations will finally come to fruition and it will all be worth it.

If it doesn’t work – then what? The other day someone asked us if we were “Still trying” and “Have we not considered adoption”. I think most people suffering from IF have considered adoption at some point in time.

It’s again a completely personal decision, and one that cannot be categorized as right or wrong. Adoption is such a beautiful decision on it’s own, that I feel like I would be trivializing the beauty or the enormity of the decision if I take it on a rebound from a failed TTC cycle.

I’m probably not going to be able to explain this like I feel it in my heart, but I’ll try.

It’s like walking down a road, and coming to a 3 point split in the road. You want to take the path leading towards your left hand. You walk down that road and walk into a roadblock. You try again, but the block’s still there. You keep trying but the roadblock stays there.

But you still want to go down the road on the left. Everyone you know has been down that road, and has reached their destination! So you keep trying to overcome the hurdles on that path. Now you’re at the point where EVERYONE around you thinks you should change course and take the road that leads to your right hand side.

It’s easy for everyone to say that, because they have themselves been down the road on the left hand side, reached their destination and some of them are now considering taking a scenic route detour and exploring the path that leads to the right hand side.

The path straight ahead seems like a less popular one, but I’ll come to that in a bit.

That’s sort of how it is with adoption – in my mind. Most people want to have a family and will TTC. Most of those will get pregnant and will move on with their pregnancies and babies. People like us are still trying to tackle the roadblocks in our life. So easy for someone with a child to say “You guys should consider adoption instead” Had we chosen to adopt in the process of building our family, WITHOUT the baggage of IF and failures in our mind, it would be a different scenario.

Someone even told us “It’s not about HAVING a child, it’s about the child, and it’s about being parents to that child.” It made me feel like I was being selfish about wanting to have a child. Like I’m making this whole deal about ME. Is it wrong to want (and be selfish in that want) a child? Isn’t it obvious that once you have a child, the focus is certainly on the child and being good parents to the child?

I think deciding to adopt on a rebound, or because you HAVE to, is a poor choice. (Please note – this is my opinion – and even this opinion may change with time. I'm not judging anybody for any decisions, in fact, I'm very pleased for those that are able to make their decisions in peace.)

I feel adoption is a decision that needs to be taken with a clean slate. Clean colorless background. No grays and blacks of failure and depression, or reds of anger and frustration.

At this point, in my mind, my slate is not clean. It’s gray, red and black. If I choose to adopt with this frame of mind, it’s a decision for a wrong reason.

I feel if this IVF does not work, DH and I will live childfree. That, to me, is the path straight ahead. The one that is unpopular. We both feel like we will need to detox. At least for a while. While we lick our wounds and pick up the pieces of our life. 

We may decide after a while that adoption is right for us, and will move down the path leading to the right. But for now, if our IVF doesn’t work, we will close this chapter.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


The last few weeks have been full of decisions - one after another. Tough ones, too. 

The new set of decisions started with us deciding to go to CCRM. They found the shape of my uterus strange and suggested surgery. We have decided to proceed with the surgery (yes, I know I've written about it many times, and here I go again...!!!!)

They also had sent DH's semen for FISH analysis, and the results came back yesterday. What I didn't tell you was that with the results, CCRM also told us to consider using donor sperm. They said we could split my retrieved eggs into 2, and use donor sperm for one half, and DH's sperm for the remaining. Then we would do PGD on the embryos made from DH's sperm, and if we had nothing left for transfer, we would have a backup of embryos from donor sperm. 

Sounds practical, and an easy decision. While we've made decisions to proceed with surgery, and to do another IVF based on practical thinking, this decision could not be taken only practically. There were so many things to consider. 

If we use donor sperm, and we do have a baby with an embryo from donor sperm, how open would we be about it? Would we tell our families, friends, and even the baby? Our answer was "No". To our minds,  being open about this would only bring up more issues. Even inadvertently, unintentionally, if someone ever said something to or about DH or to or about me, or to or about the baby, it would not be nice. And it's not the matter of a day or a month or a year. It's a potential issue for the rest of our lives and for the rest of the baby's life. 

And if we choose not be open with our families and our friends, I would always have a gnawing stress in my heart. (Remember my post about me outside my blog? I HAVE to tell everything to my family at least) I would be stressed for the rest of my life if I did not tell them. 

Besides, there would always be awkward moments where people would say "Hmm, can't tell who the baby looks like" or "Oh my God, your baby has his dad's eyes / nose". Wouldn't it be awkward to keep quiet and let people say what they say? Wouldn't it hurt DH somewhere? Wouldn't it hurt me? 

You may think we should just be open about using donor sperm and proceed with it. The point is, I started TTC wanting to have a baby with DH. I don't want to just have a baby. I want his baby. And I don't want him to feel left out even remotely. I love him too much to be selfish about this, and put myself before him. 

I personally think that had the situation been reversed, and we were required to consider using donor egg, it may be an easier decision for me to go ahead and say yes.  At least I would still be a participant in the process, if I got pregnant with a donor egg embryo. Donor sperm leave DH out entirely. Yes, he would be involved in a supportive manner, but you get the picture. 

So today we have informed CCRM that we don't want to use donor sperm. We will attempt with my eggs and DH's sperm. If it works, great! If it doesn't, well, we tried. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We all know that we have good days and bad. We all know that we're trudging along, getting on with life, minding our business. What we don't know is when that dip is coming. Suddenly we find ourselves free falling into a low, flailing arms, trying to grasp onto something - anything, to stay above. 

Yesterday was one of those. There was so much restlessness, so much unease. Thank you all for reaching out to me. Thanks for all the jokes - each one was precious - and I'm smiling even now as I think of them. 

Thanks P, for dropping by because you knew I needed a hug. Thanks for the hug, and thanks for letting me vent and cry. Thanks for listening, and not judging. 

We heard back from CCRM on the FISH analysis on DH's semen. It turns out that 64% of his semen have unbalanced chromosome translocations. We thought 64% seemed like a "not too bad" percentage, but the genetic counselor who called said it's not that simple. She said anything above 50% is not good. She said it's only recently that they are seeing results in the 40-50-60% ranges. I don't know if it's because research is more advanced now, and there are more identified translocation cases, or if something in the environment is making the percentages increase! Whatever it is, thankfully it's not 90% or 100%! 

Nevertheless, it's more information. It's more things to deal with. Another mountain to climb and cross over. 

There seem to be hurdles from here to eternity! One hurdle after another......