Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beaut and Cutiful

So last night DH and I were sitting, enjoying our Friday evening. We had a couple of drinks, listened to music, and talked about the 12 years that we've known each other. We talked about silly things, we talked about friends, celebrities and politics.

Not sure how, but the discussion wound up into "The difference between cute and beautiful" DH was giving me examples of who he thinks is cute, and who he thinks is beautiful.

So of course I had to know where I stand, and I asked him. He looked at me with a little bit of an alcohol induced glaze and said "You, you are both beaut and cutiful"

Friday, August 29, 2008

35% body fat

I should be depressed about it, but I'm not. I don't believe it!

I've been going to the gym 3 times a week like I promised I would. The remaining 4 days I go cycling. My home scale says I've lost 2 lbs. The gym scale says I've lost 1. 

I have decided I like my home scale better - I'm going to stop worrying about the gym scale. I'm tending to agree it's weighted. DH had a theory - he thinks it is weighted for anyone that weighs in the 120 - 160 odd range. That's because he weighs more, and his weight shows the same on the home scale and the gym scale. His theory is that they want to scare people in the 120-160/170 range and make them believe they weigh more. I don't know for sure, but it's a comforting theory :-)

So then I'm doing my own thing - cardio, stretches, weights and suddenly they announced over the intercom that they're doing "free body fat percentage measurements". Of course, idiot that I am, walked over there and said ok - sucker punch me!!

I went through the whole getting pinched with the "vernier caliper" thing, and the guy tells me "Your body fat % is 35%" He then shows me a chart which says I am in the "unhealthy / obese" category. I don't believe him! I am not obese, and I don't have 35% body fat!! He didn't even pinch the calipers hard enough - I hardly felt them!

(It didn't help that the guy was totally toned, absolutely gorgeous and SO SO hot!!)

Oh and by the way - on my other update. I called CCRM yesterday again and had the receptionist check my file. They do have my records from my current clinic. So PHEW!! That's one bother off my list!


I re-read my post and a few of my other posts and I realize that I may actually be offending some people. I do not mean to do that at all. I am sorry if I say (write) anything inappropriate.

It's just that I've been indulging in an extended pity party, and haven't really seen things from different perspectives lately.

I'm going to try to - and if I've said something that ticked anyone off - I'm so sorry.... 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

2nd post - more reminders

The day is not getting easier :-(

I told DH about my picture encounters - one last evening and one this morning. He looked at me and said that's exactly what happened to him this morning. He woke up at 5 AM and sat down to work. Then he remembered me telling him about the pictures I saw last night. So he decided to see for himself. He logged in, saw those pictures and while he was there, he noticed one of his college friends had commented on another friends pictures. He clicked that and realized the pictures were of a baby girl that was born recently. The parents were good friends with DH in college, but DH was not aware of this pregnancy, nor about the birth of the baby. 

A short while ago, I received an email from my college room-mate - with pictures of HER new born baby - born 3 days after my first due date. 

I mean - again, I know nobody means to hurt us. I know they are only loving and celebrating the little lives in their lives. I know the reminders will always be there. You can't run away, you can't ignore, and you can't not react. 

What do you do? 4 reminders in less than 24 hours...... I have to admit I'm having a rough day.

My shoes pinch

Maybe I'm a horrible horrible person, but maybe I'm just hurting a little?

What do you do when friends you were pregnant with carry on with life, celebrating the arrival of their babies, documenting the growth and development of those babies and basically plastering their babies pictures everywhere? I mean, you can't blame them really for being excited....

2 of my friends were pregnant the first time I was pregnant - they were both a few weeks ahead of me. One is a very close friend who I've known almost all my life, and the other is someone we've known a few years. I lost my baby, and their pregnancies carried on normally. Both had baby boys within days of each other. At that point I was reeling from the emotional effects of my chemical pregnancy. 

To give them credit - both these girls have been very very mature. They did not rub their pregnancies in my face, they never oohed and aahed over their growing tummies, and they stayed mostly silent once the babies arrived.  I really really appreciated this from them because I had no way of controlling myself and my tears at that time. 

Time has gone past - their boys are growing. Me on the other hand - I have since then had an ectopic pregnancy, and you all know the roller coaster of desperation that I've been on since then. I've been largely absent from their life - hopefully understandably. If not understandably, then selfishly, or by means of self protection.

Fast forward to the present. I have to keep my mind occupied. When it's not super uber busy, it gets depressed. So I spend a lot of time reading, researching and being online. In the process I also spend a lot of time on so.cial net.working sites. 

Yesterday the husband of one of these friends added pictures of their boy. I was browsing around minding my own business, when suddenly I see ""________" has added new photos" so I decided to check them out. I was looking at the pictures and it struck me that my daughter would have been around the same age now. My vision went blurry with the tears in my eyes. I logged out of the site. 

This morning I logged in and told myself that I would not look at those pictures again. But what do I see ""_______" has added new photos". This person is the brother of my other friend - the one I've known all my life. He always puts up really fun pictures - people at parties, and his vacations and generally fun stuff. I always enjoy his pictures - they never fail to put a smile on my face. So I clicked on it - and there was his sister and her new baby and her parents and everything else!!! (Mind you - my friend herself has not put up those pictures. She has told me categorically that she is staying distant from me because she does not want me to feel bad - and I appreciate that)

I am so weighed down by these 2 events. I know their life cannot stop because mine is a mess. I know they obviously will and have the right to enjoy their babies - and I would too, if I were in their shoes. But I'm not in their shoes. And my shoes pinch. They pinch bad. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something's bothering me...

After my phone consult yesterday with the new clinic, DH and I were replaying everything in our heads, and suddenly it struck me that something felt odd.

When I set up this appointment, they had sent me forms to fill out and send back. They also said I could send medical records for the RE to review. I sent the forms, along with medical records that I have from my first RE (till my 1st IVF). The rest of the records are with my current clinic.

I asked my clinic to send my papers to CCRM directly, because if they released them to me, they would charge 25 cents per page, and knowing the size of my file, that could cost me 100's! They confirmed to me that they sent everything out on the 12th.

Last week I asked a nurse from the new clinic if they had got both packets (and I categorically mentioned that there should be 2 packets, one from me and one from the clinic) and she said Oh yes, everything is here. (The "big fat file" lady)

Yesterday the RE was talking about seemingly "older" information more than he was talking about things in the last 3 years. It did not strike me till I got off the phone and went through the conversation in my head. I'm now convinced they either did not receive the documents from my current clinic, or they did, but did not file them together, because they arrived separately or something.

  • He talked about the uterus - but in the last 2 years or so, the doctors have been dismissive of my uterus, saying there's a slight indentation, but nothing that's obstructive, and nothing that is fixable. 
  • He talked about a laparoscopy I had had 5 years ago, but mentioned nothing about the hysteroscopy I had last year.
  • He talked about the metformin that I was put on 6 years ago. 
  • He asked me if I'd had surgery to clear the ectopic.
  • He asked me if I've had the Thrombophilia panel and the Antiphospholipid panel 
  • He said he didn't have the embryology and PGD reports from our last 3 IVF's (and I at that moment thought that the lab may have a separate file on me which I didn't think of)
Later when I assimilated everything, I found it odd that he would not know about the fact that I was given methotrexate to end the ectopic. That had to be right on top in my file, because it's the latest thing on me. The Thrombophilia and Antiphospholipid panels have to be right there too. 

I have left them a message this morning and am waiting for a call back, so I can have the nurse coordinator check and trace down my file! 

I'm wondering if the call would have been different, had Dr Sch got and reviewed my entire history!

(I'm also wondering if he thought my file was thick when it contains just half of my records, what would he think when he gets all of it?? :-) Just a thought)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

OK - here we go

We got done with our call with Dr Sch. I had heard from Dr M. and read on the internet that Dr Sch. is a straight shooter, and he dishes it out as it is, and many people think he's too direct. I was wondering how bad it would be, but I loved his directness!! I like to be told things as they are - don't wrap bad news in candy wrappers for us!

So anyway - Dr Sch called, and he was really nice. He too mentioned that my file is really thick but he's seen what all we've been through. 

The one thing that caught his attention was my uterus. Here's the history. In 2001, before we started TTC, an OBGYN had told me that I had a bicornuate uterus. He had also done a couple of tests and told me that I would have no trouble getting pregnant, but staying pregnant may be an issue. The first RE we went to said I had a "slight septum" but it wasn't bad. Our current RE says I have a "slight indentation at the top of my uterus" but it's nothing to worry about. 

Dr Sch said through my file he has seen various doctors have said various things about my uterus. In his words "People are saying crazy things about your uterus". He wants to see for himself and make his judgement. He also thinks that if in fact there is a septum or that I have a bicornuate uterus, that could be an issue that we need to address first. That could have caused my m/c, and the chemical pregnancy as well as the ectopic. 

Other than that, he told us a different method of PGD that they use, which seems to be better in a few ways:

1) The embryo is left untouched till day 5. In the regular PGD that we'd been doing, they take out a cell on day 3, and the cell could potentially have turned into part of the baby. By day 5, they can differentiate the inner cell mass from the part that will make the placenta. They take cell or cells from the placenta part, thereby not "damaging" the baby. 
2) But in this method, they have to freeze the embryo and do a frozen cycle. That is because the testing is started only on day 5, and beyond that, they cannot keep the embryos in culture. 
3) The advantage of doing a FET is that they can control the hormones and make the uterus environment as close to "natural conception environment" as needed. During a fresh cycle, hormones are totally out of whack and given how complicated our case is, he said it may be best to control as much as we can.

He said they have done this type of PGD on 30 people so far, and have had 70% success rates. This is a very high success rate - and he said they don't normally offer this technique to everyone, because it is still pretty experimental. But again, given how complex our case appears, he wants us to be part of this. 

We were concerned about freezing and thawing our embryos and the survival rate. We have seen in the last 4 IVF's that we are left only with 1 or max 2 normal embryos after PGD. What if the normal ones don't survive the thaw? He said they have a new method of freezing called vitrification, and with this method so far they have not lost a single embryo to thaw! 

The other method they use is CGH, but he was not sure they could test balanced translocations with that. 

So he wants us to come for a day and get our 1 day work up done - he will probably add a couple of tests for us to check my uterus - 3d ultrasounds etc. If something needs to be fixed in my uterus, he will do that, and if not, we can figure out the next steps at that point.

The funnies:

1) When he said "People are saying crazy things about your uterus", DH raised one eyebrow and looked at me. I almost started giggling! (Picture in mind - my uterus is a low moral "out there" kinda gal!! )
2) Dr Sch said "I am interested in your uterus" and DH silently went "Whoa! Easy there!!"

Dr Sch also told us he is shocked at how knowledgeable we are on the topic, and that we appear "very bright" :-)

And now for my bonus of the day - I had taken an appt with Dr M for next week, to discuss our call with Dr Sch, and see what he thinks. So today, 30 min after I got off the phone with Dr Sch, I got a call from Dr M's clinic. They wanted to know if I wanted to see Dr M today instead, since they have a cancellation. Yippee!! I'm so happy, because now the call is completely fresh in my mind, and I can make my decisions a little quicker!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big Fat File

We have our phone consult with CCRM tomorrow morning. The other day, one of their nurses / coordinators called, and I asked if all my documents had reached them. The new patient paperwork that I sent, along with the medical records that my current clinic sent. She said - and I quote verbatim - "Oh yeah, we got a big fat file here" 

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - a big fat file consisting of medical records, and history of failure after failure - a file which is now so heavy that I feel sorry for my RE when he walks into the room with it. I can almost picture him needing a trolley to carry my file soon - he will drag the trolley behind him as he enters the room. And then he'll need a ladder to climb up to open the file and read it! 

Anyway - the idea is to find SOMETHING in that big fat file, and I'm sending Dr Sch all the "vibes" that I can. Find something......find something.....find something......

Tomorrow at this time I will hopefully be more informed, closer to a decision, and hopefully happier. As usual, my process oriented mind has questions prepared, which I've shared with DH.  I've asked him to think of questions too. I will write down my questions today, just to make sure we don't forget anything during our audience with the doc tomorrow. 

In a way - tomorrow's discussion is going to be one of the most important doctor "visits" that we have had. It's our last ditch attempt, and we've thrown everything into it.

Watch this space tomorrow - there should be an exciting update! 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Facing it

Lauren posted about this on her blog a couple of days back, and I watched this video and it brought a lump to my throat. It's a clip from the movie "Facing the Giants". I have not seen the movie yet (I did immediately add it to my Net.fli.x queue though) but just from this clip, and from reading Lauren's note, I felt something inside. Of late I have been feeling low and like I want to give up - not just on IF, but many other things. This clip made me think maybe this is when I need to give myself that extra push! 

I've been angry and confused and depressed, and have found it hard to see any hope. Maybe this was the message I need right now. 

I will talk about the movie once I watch it. For now - here's the clip. Lauren - thanks for sharing this and for letting me share it too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

8.5 lbs?????? Are you kidding me???

No I haven't lost 8.5 lbs! I wish! I'm just so upset that I could scream!

Since this is my personal space, and since I talk about the most intimate part of my life here, I guess I can discuss my body statistics too. I'm about 5 ft 4, and on my home weighing scale, I "usually" weigh in at around 130. I'm not skinny, but I'll live with 130. This was my weight in March 2008. Then I got started on IVF#3, and by the end of April, probably gained a couple of lbs, but didn't really care, because I had a chemical pregnancy. We decided to plough on ahead, and we got our schedule for IVF#4. 

Now, after IVF#4, and the BFP, and the ectopic, and the whole story, my home scale shows 136. I hate to see that number, but I thought OK never mind, I'll work out and regain my body back. So I started going for walks at first, and last week started going to the gym. The scale does not move ONE bit. I got frustrated and complained to DH that I was upset and feeling fat and unattractive and how my thighs are jiggly and how my stomach is jiggly etc. He said he thinks I've lost weight, and I will continue to lose the rest, and maybe the machine at home is faulty, and that I should weigh myself in the gym. Their machine has to be accurate.

Worst suggestion for my already low morale and self confidence!!!! I went to the gym this morning and got on the scale and it read 144.5!!! I could have cried! I felt like slinking along the walls and leaving the gym! I have NO motivation to lose that much weight!! (Yes, I was wearing clothes and shoes at the gym - but I highly doubt my clothes and shoes weigh 8.5 lbs!)

Here I was worrying over losing 6 lbs, and the gym scale says I need to lose about 14.5????? 8.5 lbs extra to lose over what I need to lose anyway? Oh and the 130 I had reached after the last couple of years of SH*T. The weight noted on my driver's license from 3 years ago is 124. I'm not even TRYING to get there anymore!!! 

At this point, right here, right now, I'm more depressed about my weight and my jiggly blubber than I am about my losses and being infertile! I hate it hate it hate it!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ducks in a row.....

We were walking Simba this morning, and we walked past an elementary school in our neighborhood. There was a flock of migratory geese in the playground of the school. Simba was on leash, and was no threat to the birds, but it was like they had a panic signal being passed on amongst them. They would make whiny noises and were walking (yes, walking) in a direction opposite to where we were passing by. And all the birds were walking in a row!!!

It got me to thinking about how all the ducks need to get in a row for a baby to happen. The miracle of conception and pregnancy and child-birth is amazing. Most people that conceive without having to know the "science" behind everything are oblivious of the minute precision perfection of the miracle that they are part of.

The ducks:
  • The couple should be of reproductive age.
  • The timing should be perfect
  • The woman should have a physically functional system - the tubes should be present and open, the ovary should be present and functional, the uterus should not have any septum etc.
  • The woman should hormonally be functional too - not too much not too little of any of the hormones, and timing of everything has to be perfect.
  • The environment should not be "hostile"
  • The man should have good count, good motility, good morphology etc.
  • Now the darned sperm needs to find the little egg - considering they are each just one cell - that has to be a little hard to do!
  • Egg has to be of good quality, and fertilization should occur
  • The embryo should be perfect as far as chromosomes are concerned even if both parents are chromosomally fine. 
  • Now the embryo needs to travel down the fallopian tube and implant - and it should NOT implant in the fallopian tube itself.
  • The lining of the uterus needs to be appropriate
  • The woman should have no clotting disorders or immune disorders
  • The uterus should hold the growing baby for 9 months without trying to "expel" it earlier
  • The placenta should be of good quality
  • The woman's cervix should be of good length
  • And so on and so forth......
So for all the people that conceive naturally, or for the people that conceive without even trying, or while being on drugs or alcohol - it's a God sent miracle that you're part of. To me, it is amazing that babies are born without a whole lot of medical intervention actually - given that we know how much we know now!

We are all part of that miracle - whether or not we have the babies to prove it. Once upon a time, we were ourselves that miracle that our parents created!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's new??

About 12 days ago, when I had my last HcG blood test, the RE had given me a lab slip for another test. They had told me the results take a few days to come, and in the 12 days since, I have wondered what those "few days" are.

I called them once last week, and was told someone will call back when they have the results. I called this morning, and I was told the result was in, and my level was 0, so I asked if that was good or bad. I was told someone would call me with the interpretation of the results. I just got the call and the nurse said my results were negative, and that means they were normal, so we're good. 

Why is it not surprising? In so many years, the only test result that made us sit up and listen harder was DH's karyotype test. EVERYTHING else always comes back normal! It's infuriating in a way. 

It's back to the limbo stage again. I'm very very confused about CCRM, and am trying to make up my mind. DH is more confused, and is not being very helpful. Again and again I wish there was an instruction manual to life!

PS: The test was called the Beta 2 (anti-cardiolipin beta-2-glycoprotein I antibody) - I couldn't recall the name the last time I was writing about it. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The boys need loving too

A lot of the focus of infertility goes on the women. That's expected too, since it's the women who go through the medicines / shots / hormones / retrievals / transfers / waiting / obsessing / grieving etc. It seems like all the men need to do in the whole process is "be there" for their women, maybe help with the injections sometimes, and on retrieval day, go give a sample of semen for fertilization. Sounds easy!

Over the last few years, I have asked DH several times how he deals, or how he feels. Sometimes I am upset when it seems like he is not "involved" and sometimes I am amazed at how clued in he is, and how he seems to be experiencing things the exact same way I do. Sometimes he says he feels "guilty" for "putting me through all this" 

To remind everyone - DH has a case of reciprocal balanced chromosome translocation. So it's not male factor infertility, and it's nothing that can be fixed. It's not a vein that can be operated on , or a vasectomy that was done, or sperm count or quality or morphology or anything. I can't tell him to stay out of the hot tub or drink less because his actions are affecting his semen. It's his chromosomes. There's nothing that can be done about it.

I go through the IVF's and the emotions and losses, and I cry and I talk, and I express, and people reach out to me and support me. I have my friends on the message boards, I have my friends here, in blogger land, and I have my real life friends who've been wonderful. 

Men don't do that. Men don't cry and talk and reach out and seek support. Men want to appear strong and brave. But men need the love too. This morning DH and I were talking, and it came out that he's very very vulnerable. He feels like there's nobody he can turn to to lean on. I'm there, but he worries about burdening me more while I'm hurting. I try and help him because I know he feels "responsible" with the chromosome issue. 

All our friends have reached out to me, some have asked how he's doing, but the focus has been me. I feel bad right now. I wish I could divert that focus on him for a bit. He needs his share too. I wish there were people who would automatically realize and reach out to him. But again - they're men too, and most of them will not emote and react in the way we women do. It seems like sometimes men don't know the right things to say, and don't realize that just a simple call or a simple conversation could mean a lot to the other person. 

Any ideas on how I can help DH? 

Monday, August 18, 2008

The story of my life?

I came across this link somewhere, and as I read the article, it struck me that this sounds totally like my life. I'm sure a lot of you will feel the same way - that the author of the article could very well have been you! 

Here it is:

There were a list of comments at the end of the article, and they sound very very similar to reactions we all get from our friends and family. A lot of them are said with good intentions, but they hit you nonetheless. 

I've had people (older people) tell me how their kids left home at 17 or 18, and how bad that hurts, and today, if they had the option to re-do their lives, they would not have kids. I wonder if they really would not have the kids had they known that the kids would grow up and move out? ( And who doesn't know that kids do grow up?) 
How about if a child dies? Does a parent ever say "My child died - and that hurt so bad, I should have never had this child in the first place?" 

I've had people say that I should find meaning in my life outside of my ability to have children. That happiness or success is not always measured by the ability to reproduce. Most of those people are parents. I wonder how many of those people would have said the same to me if they themselves were struggling the way I struggle? 

I've had people tell me that I have a good marriage and a good relationship with DH and I should be happy with that. I know they are trying to show me reasons to count my blessings, and I do. I do count my blessings everyday. But I didn't know that it was an either / or scenario. Only people in poor marriages get to have kids, and because I have a good marriage, I should just stay happy with what I have and therefore never "want"? How about if I want to have a baby BECAUSE of the love in my relationship with DH?

I've had people think that I am not dealing well, and again, while I understand that they mean well, and they are also hurting to see me hurt, I want everyone to understand that 10 years from today, I will probably be that example too. That example that everyone has in their lives "I know this person who went through pretty much the same thing". It's hardest to deal with your problem when it's raw and when you are in the midst of it. Having gone through something in the past makes it exactly that - something in the past.

I've had people say "Why don't you just adopt" and for reasons that I don't know yet, my reaction is - I will not "just adopt" - the way the author of this article said it. 

We have a situation or an issue we are dealing with, and we are trying to deal the best that we can. That "best" may not be good enough for others that are not in our shoes, but that's the best we can do right now. Some days we deal better than others, and some days we don't. 

Time is ticking along, and it is getting easier to deal, there is no denying that. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was "That Woman"

We all discuss things that fertiles should NOT say to someone struggling with infertility, we discuss things that pregnant women should not say to the world at large, we discuss what not to say to a woman who is pregnant after infertility/losses. Last night, I was THAT WOMAN that spoke to a woman insensitively and I am embarrassed that I did what I did.

We had a birthday party invite, and it took DH 2 days to convince me that we should go for the party because it would be a change for us. (Of course the voice messages from the host announcing that they would move the venue of the party to our house if we didn't show up did its bit in the coercion process!)

One of the first few people we saw at the party was a 4-5 month pregnant woman, who we don't know. My first reaction was panic, and my eyes searched around the room, and met DH's eyes, and he completely understood my panic so he came stood with me for a bit. My second reaction was just to ignore the woman completely. 

It didn't help that while I was "ignoring" one pregnant woman, another woman with a little child walked up to me and asked me if I had children. I said no, and she said "Oh, not yet? Good for you! Enjoy your time without kids - once they come along life becomes very difficult". I smiled and walked away. 

Then I proceeded to have a couple of drinks, and felt like I should act "normal" and not ignore people. And that's when I became the insensitive person we all talk about and hate. I asked the pregnant woman her EDD. Then I asked her if she knows if she's having a boy or a girl. She told me she was going to find out this week. I asked her if she sensed or could guess what she was having, and she said she had no idea. 

About an hour later, I saw her sitting by herself, and she asked me to come sit with her. She asked me if I was married, and how long I was married. Then the "Do you have children" part started. I told her it was a sore point, and that no, we don't have kids yet, and we've lost 3 pregnancies. She told me she was married for 10 years, and she had a couple of miscarriages earlier, also had done IVF, which didn't work, and then they got pregnant naturally, and she really hopes things go well. Then she said "I don't remember who it was, but someone was asking me a short while ago if I knew whether I was having a boy or a girl, and whether I wanted a boy or a girl. It really made me mad, can't people understand that all I want is a healthy baby, and a pregnancy that sticks and things go fine"

I was so guilty of being that person. Of course I told her it was me, and told her I was really sorry. But I kept thinking that I had behaved like the person we all complain to each other about, and that makes me feel so so bad! I was just agitated that she was pregnant and I was not, and didn't once think that she could have had a long journey getting where she is!

I don't know if she really didn't remember who had asked her that question, or if she was being smart and putting her point across to me such that I'd get it. Whatever it was - I'm guilty! :-(

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Endangered Species or sour grapes

Either way, this video made me laugh. I couldn't wait to show it to DH - and we both laughed some more watching it again!

I'm going to happily count myself in the endangered species, and use that thought as salve for my wounds. Although the thought could also stem from the sour grapes story.

Go watch this:

Friday, August 15, 2008

My struggles

If anything, the whole journey of infertility forces me to do a lot of soul searching. I think about things, I question things, I ask the "What If" questions, and wonder about many many things. 

Something that I have been wondering about of late has been my faith in God. Normally I am an average religious person - I believe in a higher power, but I am not ritualistic in my faith. I don't have a relationship of fear with God, and I believe that fearing God and being ritualistic are closely linked to each other. 

In the last 7 years, obviously I've had many "conversations" with God. I've asked for answers, I've asked for direction, I've asked for signs. I've prayed, I've promised, and I've felt, really deeply felt God. I've cried tears in God's house, and I've asked for God to be there with me as I stumble my way through the darkness that I find myself in. 

My faith has wavered sometimes because I find myself in situations that I cannot believe were planned by God for me. After my first miscarriage, I didn't pray for a couple of months. I felt anger and I felt like I had been let down. Slowly I brought myself back to prayer, and put things in His hands again. Then I had my chemical pregnancy. This time I didn't lose faith. I kept praying.

This time, after my ectopic - I have not prayed so far again. I am struggling for answers, and I am struggling to make sense of it all.

I know everyone says "God has a plan for me, and will reveal my plan to me when it is time" - I can't help but wonder if THIS is the plan. That I should cry tears, and suffer losses, and not find direction and a way forward. 

I feel guilty for wavering in my faith, but then I think that God knows exactly how I feel right now, and God is the architect behind all my feelings, I am but a puppet.

I am however feeling pressured by people that are asking me to pray. Family and friends that ask me to "Keep the Faith". I've told some people that I'm not praying. Some family members were not happy at my response. People have offered to pray for me, and that makes me feel more guilty for my wavered faith and thoughts. 

I feel a little agnostic right now, and I don't know if and when my faith will be restored.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tag - I'm it!

I was tagged by Lisa a couple of days ago, but missed seeing her post till yesterday. 

The rules of tag are:

Link to the person who tagged you
Post the rules to your blog
Write 6 random things about myself
Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
Let each person you have tagged know by leaving a comment on their blog
Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Here are 6 random things about me: 
  • I used to be a very sporty / athletic person. Then I injured my knee playing basketball. Now 19 years and 4 knee surgeries later, I am happy on any day that I can get out of bed and walk the first few steps without having to hold on to anything! 
  • I am in a very honest, open and loving marriage. I'm fortunate to be married to my soulmate, and be best friends with him!
  • I don't like to watch serious, depressing movies - at all! I feel there is enough stress in my life, and I don't like to add more by watching a movie which makes me think later!
  • I LOVE to read - novels, articles, anything. These days, I am a complete internet junkie - researching topics till I know enough to get a PhD in them!
  • I went to the gym yesterday after a long time, and today parts of my body that I didn't know existed are hurting!!!!
  • I am very process oriented - almost to an obsessive compulsive level! Even the regular websites I visit have to be opened and tabbed in the same order everyday, otherwise it bothers me! 
OK enough random-ness about me. Now I need to tag 6 people - and I don't think I have 6 people to tag! But I'll try:

Yay - got 6 people! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"I don't have a car"

I don't know why this incident came to mind this morning, but it brought back a smile to my face, and I thought I'd share it.

This happened about 8 years ago - one of our friends had just moved to California. He'd just arrived, taken up an apartment, and was trying to settle down here. He had not got a car yet. So one night he was unpacking stuff and setting up his apartment, and didn't realize that it was getting late and he had not got food yet. He stepped out of his apartment, and saw a Wen.dys across the street. It had a board that said "Drive thru open late" or something to that effect.

Since the main part of the restaurant seemed closed, he walked into the drive thru area. He placed his order through the machine and was told to pay at the first window, so he walked up to the first window. The guy collecting the money there opened the window and looked out at our friend, and this is what followed:

Wen.dys employee: "Where's your car?"
Friend: "I don't have a car"
Wen.dys employee: "What do you mean you don't have a car?"
Friend: "I mean I don't have a car!"
Wen.dys employee: "This is a drive thru - you gotta have a car"
Friend: "I know this is a drive thru - I just want a burger, and again, I DON'T HAVE A CAR!!"

I'm not sure if he ever got his burger or not, because I was in splits by the time the story had reached this point. Today, after 8 years of hearing the story, I was reminded of a time where I would laugh heartily at stories, and it felt nice. 

But to think about it - what DO you do when you don't have a car and drive thru is all that is open? I mean, yes, there's Den.nys too - but what if that's too far to walk and public transport is closed because it's late?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This may sound familiar to some of you from the message board - I had posted something similar a couple of months ago before my last cycle. What are the possible outcomes of a TTC cycle?

1) BFN (Big Fat Negative), and 2) BFP (Big Fat Positive)

With a BFP what could happen:

1) BFP which is in fact a chemical pregnancy
2) BFP resulting in a miscarriage
3) BFP resulting in an ectopic pregnancy
4) BFP resulting in a healthy baby

What results have I had?

1) BFN : Check - too many to count
2) BFP resulting in chemical pregnancy: Check
3) BFP resulting in miscarriage: Check
4) BFP resulting in ectopic pregnancy: Check
5) BFP resulting in healthy baby - NOT YET

So it's about time that I got to the bottom of this list, isn't it? 

Dear God please - I have readily tried on all the other options for size, now I'd like to take option no. 5 - ie, a BFP resulting in a healthy baby. Please alter it to my size - I will pay (read: have paid) for the alteration as well. 

Please please please.......

PS: One other option comes to mind - a molar pregnancy. That is too scary to even think of at this stage. Dear God: The molar pregnancy doesn't look attractive hanging on the rack. I don't even want to try it on. I have made up my mind about the order - and I'm sticking with option 5. 

Monday, August 11, 2008


I'm still reading stuff about the new clinic in CO. Like I said before - the more you find out, the more the chances of getting both good and bad information. Now, armed with the good and the bad, the burden of making the decision lies on us. Let's break this down a little:

We started in 2001, and in 2002, I saw my OBGYN for help. In 2003, we went to a local fertility clinic after doing clomid rounds with the OBGYN. The clinic had us do clomid, and then injectables with IUI through 2003. We went back in 2005 for our first IVF. Then in 2007 we changed clinics and took 2 second opinions. One with a clinic that did not accept our insurance, and one with Dr M. 

Now, 18 months later, we have had our first pregnancies, and our first losses. Dr M thinks it won't hurt us to get yet another opinion. 

The CO clinic:

Good: Higher success rates, more meticulous monitoring and testing. Above all, a fresh pair of eyes. They may see things differently, and may help do things differently. 

I have been reading about how their protocol is different and how closely they monitor everything, and how much higher their success rates are in getting higher, better quality eggs. While that would help us have more to play with, in our case the issue has never really been poor response. The issue has been DH's chromosome translocation. 

Good: Their lab is world class. The culture they use is different from the culture used in our current lab - and the country is sort of divided 50-50 on the 2 types of culture. You never know if our embryos will grow better or thrive better in culture no. 2. Hey - if the new culture can make DH's "good boys" get to my eggs, it will be worth it. Right now, it's always the bad boys that get the eggs, and the embryos turn out with chromosomal abnormalities. 

Bad: Even though my insurance and the CO clinic are in network with each other, I have been reading about large $$ amounts that go out of pocket - some charges are "insurance exempt" or the insurance company will pay lesser than what the clinic will ask for, and the clinic will make us pay the remaining costs from our pocket. Additionally the travel, and stay in Denver while all this is going on. 

Bad: I've read a little bit about the attitude of the nurses at the CO clinic. Not that that will change our decision, but the fact that patients have had issues comes up as a red flag to me. 

However, given all this, even if we pay money out of pocket, at the end of the day if the cycle is successful, it will be worth every last penny.

I am fortunate I have coverage, and with that we have been able to come till IVF# 5, without pausing to think. This would have been impossible without the coverage, so I don't mean to whine about the overhead costs that we would have to pay, considering many many women pay the entire amount themselves. 

So we will not make our decision on money alone, however, that will be a large criteria. Given our job situations, and monetary situation, it would not be a decision easily made. 

I am consumed by reading more and more and finding out as much as I can. 

If only our lives were simpler huh? One cheap bottle of wine, a night of wild abandon and lo and behold, the genes have been passed on to the next generation! 

But no - we will need to think and plan and then decide!! DECISIONS!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's over, and about time too!!

I left the clinic a rather intense message last evening, and I guess I must have sounded pathetic enough, because I was woken up this morning by a nurse calling back with my results! 

My pregnancy is finally over. I am relieved, but am sad that I am relieved. I am also sad that it has ended like this, and I wonder if I'll ever have the strength to try again, or if I ever did get pregnant again, would I not be scared out of my mind the whole time? 

My HcG yesterday was at 4.2 - so it's not 0 yet, but it is finally under 5, and therefore, medically, I am not pregnant anymore. 

It's over......

Friday, August 8, 2008


This has never happened before. My clinic has not called me back with my HcG results from this morning. I was told they would call around 2:30 PM. I waited and waited and waited, and I'm still waiting. It is now 5:35 PM, and no call. Needless to say they aren't answering their phones now either! And needless to say, it's a Friday evening! CR*P! Do I need to wait till Monday now to find out what's going on???

The blood test this morning wasn't easy either. The waiting room was FULL. And full of ladies who were there for their pregnancy tests. I could feel the "hope" vibes and the "excitement" vibes - you know, the kinds that people emit when they have cheated with a HPT before going for the blood draw? 

So I picked up a magazine - it was a very old copy of some entertainment magazine. One half of the cover was talking about " Sim.pson - PREGNANT!!!!" and the other half "Mari.ah Ca.rey - How I lost 20 lbs" and I was sitting there thinking - I'm neither here, nor there. Not pregnant, just fat! Fat from all the hormones I've been sticking in my stomach voluntarily!! Just fat with nothing to show for it!!

Finally I got called in, and the lady who was drawing my blood looks at the lab slip and says "Oh, you're here for a pregnancy test?" And my answer was - "Yes, I want my HcG to be 0 today". She looked shocked - wondering why someone would go through fertility treatment and then "wish" for her HcG to be 0. So I explained to her about my ectopic pregnancy, and that it's been 6 weeks that I have been on this roller coaster and I'm tired.

She said she was sorry, yada yada yada..... Bottom line is - it is now 5:44 PM and THEY HAVE NOT CALLED ME YET!! I agree I'm not a "critical" patient for them anymore, but I'm not very "patient" either! I want my results at the time they promise me I'll get them!!!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mountains of papers

I'm drowning! I've been busy talking to CCRM and my insurance, and DH and trying to figure out what next.

First - I called Cigna. They confirmed that they have CCRM within network, and will cover any charges from there.

Then I called CCRM and asked for a phone consultation appointment. I have an appointment set up for Aug 26 with Dr S. 

I am now drowning in paperwork - release of medical records from my current clinic to CCRM, new patient paperwork for CCRM etc. My clinic will send my fat file of records to CCRM directly, and my part of the paperwork is ready to go too (along with a picture of DH and me, so they can "put face to name").

I've been reading a lot of things online about the new clinic, and it seems like I have an overload of information. Needless to say, when there is too much information, some will be good, some will be bad. The bad information is scaring me a little, but I am holding off judgement till I do my phone consult myself and form my own impressions. 

So life is moving on. At 2 mph, but still moving on. I used to be the impatient kinds that wanted everything done yesterday. But I've seen that life has it's way of taking the steering wheel, and sometimes slowing you down to a crawl. It used to be frustrating, but now I accept. You have to choose your battles. I'm fighting larger things in life, I can't be impatient! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tag, you're it!

Answer these with the first thing that come to mind, and try and keep the answer limited to one word

1. Where is your cell phone? NO idea!!!
2. Your significant other? Cute
3. Your hair? Falling
4. Your mother? Far away :-(
5. Your father? Strong
6. Your favorite thing? Ummm...
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Water
9. Your dream/goal? Baby
10. The room you’re in? office
11. Your hobby? Reading
12. Your fear? No baby
13. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Motherhood
14. What you’re not? Pregnant
15. Muffins? No
16. One of your wish list items? Baby
17. Where you grew up? India
18. The last thing you did? Medical Records
19. What are you wearing? shorts
20. Favorite gadget? laptop
21. Your pets? German Shepherd
22. Your computer? MacBook Pro
23. Your mood? Better
24. Missing someone? Babies
25. Your car? Acura
26. Something you’re not wearing? Ring
27. Favorite store? Anne Taylor
28. Like someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Lavender
30. When is the last time you laughed? Can't remember
31. When is the last time you cried? Saturday

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A good RE

The signs that your RE is good, and has your best interests at heart:

1) He looks and feels sorry for all that you have had to go through
2) He has been thinking of you "a couple days ago" and thinking of what tests he can have you do
3) He has no "ego" and says it may be nice to have a "fresh pair of eyes look at your records"

We had our appointment with our RE today. He says that he feels it is "good" that my last pregnancy was ectopic, as compared to a normal miscarriage, since that still leaves us with hope that a) embryo / egg quality is fine, b) it is not necessarily my uterus or my body that is killing my embryos. With that, he does not think we should stop trying. And he is not saying that from the perspective of making money either, and I'll come to that. 

He said if our next IVF attempt would be our last attempt at building a family - entirely, then he would tell us to NOT do IVF, but to proceed with adoption. If we would be open to discussing adoption even if our next IVF fails, he thinks we should do the IVF. 

He does not think my egg quality is an issue (although on a structural level inside the egg, there may be an issue - which would be extremely hard to find out). In fact, I have a decent number of eggs at each IVF, and our fertilization rate is pretty high as well. 

Our known issue is DH's chromosome translocation, and with that, our % of abnormal embryos is extremely high (about 90% abnormal). For that we use PGD. 

He doesn't think there is additional testing required right now, but he said he had been thinking of us a couple days ago, and he thought of one immunity test that I have not had done. He wants me to do that when I go in for my next HcG test this Friday. Of course I have forgotten the name of the test!! 

Dr M wants us to have a "fresh pair of eyes" look at our case and he suggested CCRM in Denver. He knows Dr Schoolcraft pretty well and thinks that another pair of eyes could sometimes see things differently. He said he would not mind if we chose to do our last IVF with CCRM. In fact, for us, he would be happy to monitor us during the stimulation phase right here. That way we don't need to spend a month in Denver, and we can go there only during the week of retrieval and transfer. He said he would do that for us as our friend, and because he knows us as likes us. Awwwww!!!! 

That's what I mean by him not wanting our last IVF to bring him some more money. 

We are talking about next steps. I now have a lot more research to do, and my research analyst brain is already listing out to-do's. 

I have a couple of months while my body gets rid of the methotrexate, but I have things to do. Over the next 2 months we need to figure out a concrete plan for ourselves!

Monday, August 4, 2008


I'm making my list
I'm checking it twice
Tests will show
If my body's "knotty" or nice

I am really looking forward to seeing the RE tomorrow. DH and I have gone over everything that we want to ask. We are carrying a list of questions with us and hopefully these questions will have answers tomorrow.

Tomorrow my friend Angela has her D&C. I hope she gets some answers too. It's been a tough ride for her, and she's been awfully brave about everything. Big hugs to you Angela - good luck with everything tomorrow.

Me, I think I'm doing better with every day that's going by. I am coming to terms with what's happened. I don't think I'm very hopeful for the future yet, but I'm letting myself take one step at a time, one day at a time. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Me: Hey Button, I wanted you to meet Button-Hole. I think you guys are made for each other, and will really get along well!

Button: Button-Hole!!!!

Button-Hole: Button!!!!

Me: You guys know each other?

Button and Button-Hole: Of course we know each other! We have been dying to get back together, but your fat stomach kept us apart!

Background music:

Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cos we understood
There's one perfect "FIT"
And sugar, this one is it
We are both so excited
'Cos we're reunited, hey hey

People, my jeans fit and fit well :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The purpose of this pain

Last night I logged on to my usual message board, and I saw a message titled "Nikki, you're an inspiration". It was posted by someone who I have not "met" before, somebody who was lurking on the message boards, and has been reading my blog as well. What she wrote made me cry. Felissa, like me, has suffered 3 losses. Her last 2 have been ectopic pregnancies, of which the last one was in July. She too was given methotrexate, and she too is on the roller coaster of riding out the HcG levels, waiting for them to drop. 

She said she got strength from my words, and seeing me slowly pick up the pieces of my life is inspiring her to move on slowly as well. 

I cried as I read her message, and I posted a message back to her before I went to bed. This morning I woke up feeling very "satisfied". I woke up thinking that all this pain and turmoil I've been in has actually helped someone, and to me, that makes my pain worth having. 

They say everything happens for a reason. I saw no reason why God kept taking my babies away, but today, I feel like it's alright. If, by sharing my heart and my thoughts, I can touch even one life, and help someone with his or her struggle, then it's worth it.

I'm seeing some sense in this. Thank you Felissa. You don't know how you've helped me just with that one message you posted last night. 

My perspective is changing....

Friday, August 1, 2008


Firstly, my heart goes out to my friend Angela. I had posted about her earlier. At her appointment on Tuesday, they did find a heartbeat, but it was low. The RE gave her a 8-10% chances of things working out. Today at her repeat ultrasound, the heartbeat had stopped. This is Angela's fourth loss, and my heart is completely broken for her. Angela, if and when you see this, I hope you get the strength and peace that you need at this time.

Now for my update: Firstly, I can't believe I am HAPPY about my HcG falling! But I am, it's ironic I know, but I'm ecstatic. Drumroll please - today's numbers are........ 19.3!!! That's right, just 19.3, and now I need to go back next week on Friday to get a 0 result hopefully.

Secondly - I am proud to report that I could button my jeans! I first managed to do so on Wednesday but thought I would die because I couldn't breathe. Yesterday was "slightly" better. Today I have kept it buttoned off and on. I look like a muffin / mushroom, but hey, it's better than even 3 days ago! 

Today it was a different nurse that called, and of course I asked her if I could start going back to the gym. She said no! :-( They are going to be strict about my HcG reaching a complete 0 first! Oh well - I've waited 5 weeks already, 1 more should not be that hard. 

Have a good weekend, everyone!