Sunday, July 31, 2011


We went to a festival last night of folk music. It was a perfect warm summer night in the Midwest including the bluegrass and yummy beer.

It was great to get out of the house with Tidy and just be together, relaxed, pretty much in the moment. I'm a bit of a people watcher, so I could sit there for hours, tapping my foot and soaking it all in, but Tidy gets a bit restless. We did see about 4 bands/artists play and sat there for 4 hours before he got a bit restless. But when he suggested we go get some ice cream on our way home, I agreed that it was time to leave.

The night was almost perfect, except that many people were there with their kids. And while it didn't really bother me that other people had kids, it just hit me pretty hard, how much I want a fucking baby!!!!!!!!!


I want to bring my child to the park and dance with it in my arms on a summer night. I want to change my baby's diaper and feed it and cuddle it. I want to chase it around the festival and watch him/her interact with other children. I want it to fall asleep on the blanket worn out from the day's events and I want to carry my baby home at the end of the night, snoring in my arms, knowing that we all had a fantastic day.

Seriously. This has gone on way long enough. I wrote over a year and a half ago now, a similar post on my prior blog. I can't believe how long we have actually been doing this for, how many months of wanting, how many dollars of money, how many tears, how many needles, procedures, tests, Dr visits... It's all just a bit too much for me to handle right now. Each day, I try so hard to stay in the present moment and just enjoy what we do have, but at some point, the enormity of this journey creeps in and I just realize that I am at a breaking point! I WANT THIS TO BE OVER WITH!!! I WANT TO MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE!!!!! ... But only once I have a baby.

How much longer can this go on?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Musical Memories and Sadness of Hopes Past

I'd be lying if I said that since we've decided to do donor eggs, I never get sad about not being able to pass on my own genetics.

Today is one of those days that I am sad.

I spent the night with some girlfriends sitting listening to our city's orchestra perform a free concert.  While this one was inside due to the weather, they are usually outside, downtown, around the center of the city on a big grassy area. Everyone comes out for a beautiful summer night, brings a blanket and maybe a chair, food, wine and friends, and gathers to enjoy music for a few hours. Vendors line the edge of the area with food and drink and people pack in coolers and mini tables. It's one of my favorite things about this place in the summer.

It reminds me of the music I used to play. When I was very young, my mother started me on piano lessons and when I was in 5th grade, I learned to play the flute. I haven't played for many years, but I miss it dearly. I also am happy that mom had me play, even though there were times that I didn't want to go to lessons on Saturdays and would whine and moan, but hey, that's what a 6 yr old does, right?

But tonight, it made me wonder, if my child, when we are lucky enough to have one, would have any musical talent at all... I'm not saying I was Julliard material, but I grew up with music and loved it. Now, I am fully aware that this may have nothing at all to do with genetics, and could very much be because my parents started me in lessons very early in life, but I just wonder if we have child through donor eggs, will they have any musical gifts? Will they even like it? Does it even matter?

I suppose this is a very silly question and in some respects seems like I'm trying to live vicariously through a child I don't yet have... But nonetheless, it's a thought that crosses my mind and reminds me of the characteristics I don't get to pass on to our potential children.

Another reason why I am sad is that a dear friend of mine just went through an IVF retrieval. She did great. She had tons of eggs for her age and I'm hoping beyond hope that this is finally the end of the trail for her... But it is also a reminder that that ship has sailed for us.

I hear the hope in her voice and I know very much how that hope feels, even if it is tentative hope, it's still there. I don't think I will have that type of hope again. I have a different hope, but not that hope. I'm happy for her, but it also reminds me of my chances past, ... of the opportunities we won't have anymore. I will likely never get to know what Tidy and my genetics combine to make. And that's one thing that I've always hoped to see.

I know that all of this won't matter when I finally have my baby. Our baby will be our baby regardless of how she/he was conceived. She/he will be a unique individual that I will love with all of my mind, body and soul, but days like these hit me once in a while as we move down this donor egg path. They hit me with a silent little sadness sitting on my shoulder, nagging at me... why... why are we the ones who are faced with this path?

Monday, July 25, 2011


Today was one of those days that if I had a "do-over" card, I would have played it.

Here are the events of the day that aren't really in any specific order, except for the last one that seriously pissed me off...

I got to work about 20 minutes late and realized as soon as I turned on my computer that I was 20 minutes late for a fairly important meeting that I was sitting in for, for my boss who is on vacation this week. Oops. (p.s... this is TOTALLY not like me. I usually check my email the on Sunday night to look over my calendar for the next day, but I had such a great detached weekend from work that I simply did not want to even think about it before I got into my office this morning)

I then forgot that I had an offsite meeting at the University in my town to potentially partner with  a group of them for some statistical modeling that we are working on at work and missed going to that because I was stuck in the above meeting. So I missed a really fun morning of touring a newly built think tank and schmoozing. Crap.

I was eating a snack at my desk, of yummy chips and salsa, and sure enough, spilled some salsa on my shirt AND pants ... the shirt and pants I had JUST washed and ironed yesterday. Ugh.

(This next part is the part that is really pissing me off right now. And it does discuss finances, so for that, I apologize as I usually don't like to discuss finances, nor do I believe it is very appropriate to, but when it comes to infertility, blogging about it and raising awareness, I do feel it is very important to show the lengths people will go to, to figure out how to afford to pay for these things that we do in order to just... have... a.... baby!)

I called my Lawyer's office today to pay the bill I received on Friday for her to review our donor contract.  I'll get to the bill in a second, but first.... On the bottom of the bill it says, "Make checks payable to XXX, LLC." I called today to ask if we could pay using our credit card, because we've decided to finance some of our donor cycle with 0% interest credit cards. I have my spreadsheet all plotted out with how to pay it off within the allotted time frame. 

The assistant at the office said, "We prefer that you pay cash or check." And to that I said, "I'm sorry that we can't do that right now, because we are paying about $XXK in total for this whole Donor Egg IVF cycle and I simply don't have $X00's in cash right now. We've decided to finance much of it with 0% interest credit cards so we don't have to pay any interest on much of this money, because as it is, it's already a lot of money and we'd prefer not to pay more". (pay attention to that interest/extra money part... that's important later on). The assistant then agreed to let me use my credit card, but after I said it was a Discover card, she said, "Oh... we only accept Visa and MasterCard".... Of course you do.

So I explain to her that if she needs me to come up with the cash over the next few months I can probably do it, but I simply can not pay that amount of money right now. She said she'd check with the lawyer and get back to me.

At the end of the day, I looked at my phone and the assistant had called back and left a message. She said she had talked with my lawyer and the lawyer suggested that maybe we could get one of those checks from our credit card company and can pay with that, because to them, it's simply a check.

I literally dropped my jaw at that... Like... Did she not understand my point in discussing my finance with her? I DO NOT WANT TO PAY INTEREST ON THIS MONEY!!!  We have a plan and I really really want to stick to it. One of those checks comes with hefty fees for using them which essentially would amount to paying interest on the legal fees. Which, again, I do not want to do.

Granted, in the whole scheme of things, it's not that much more, but it's the principal. I hate that we are so limited and tied up by the money aspect of infertility, sometimes more than the unfairness of infertility to begin with.

Now, I do know that MAYBE, just maybe, the lawyer was thinking of this as being a good option so I could use my credit card and maybe, just maybe she didn't realize there were hefty fees to use those checks, but after the day I had...where I really just wanted to crawl back into my bed, go to sleep and wake up and claim a do-over for the day (or Mulligan, in golf speak)... I went with the emotional reaction to this situation and assumed that all this lawyer could think of was getting her money as fast as she could. Bastards! :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Welcome ICLW-ers!

It's been a few months since I've participated in ICLW and I must admit, the last few months when I didn't participate, I felt a bit lonely in blog world! So I'm excited to be back and hopefully gain some new readership.

This is, afterall, my first ICLW since we've decided to proceed to donor eggs in order to fulfill our dream of children (heck, I'll take just one at this rate!!) So if any of you have happened along my blog specifically because of donor eggs, welcome! I hope to shed some light on this process and share my journey along this new and hopefully short path for Tidy and me.

For those of you who have been with me for a while, I do cherish your readership and your comments. They mean so much to me!

So, without further ado, here's a quick get to know me from the fertility point of view if you are new here:

  1. Tidy and I have been ttc for 4.5 years next month (that amounts to over 50 attempts to have a baby)
  2. We've had all the testing there is to test: HSG, SHG, every hormone under the sun, Laparoscopy, Immune panels, blood clotting panels.. you name it, we've done it. I promise!
  3. We've done 5 IUIs, 4 IVFs (4 Fresh transfers, 2 Frozen), TONS of herbs, acupuncture, diet changes (gluten free, vegan-ish, organic), yoga, guided meditation..
  4. Of the above treatments, we've had only 2 confirmed chemical pregnancies.
  5. We STILL really don't know if anything is technically wrong.

We needed some new hope, so we decided to buy a 26 yr old woman's eggs in order of having a much higher chance at a pregnancy. Yes, that is a fairly blunt way to describe our next steps, but in essence, that's what we are doing... And for the first time in my life, I have now become protective of some other woman's ovaries. It's a very strange feeling.

So please join  me, Tidy and our anonymous donor, Dotty, and follow along as we venture into this new world of DE IVF.

Thanks for your comments in advance.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flare Up

After chatting online with an good friend and IVF veteran, I know now WHY, at least, my body decides behave the way it does when I take Lupron. It's called a FLARE response. And I seem to be very sensitive to this.

Since, as I mentioned in my last post, that this has happened 3 of the 4 times I have tried to be suppressed with Lupron, I've been so angry at my body, like... why the hell don't you cooperate, huh? But at least now I have a medical reason as to why this does happen. I guess my hormone response is just not as strict as it should be. I think it goes to show you that there's only so much that medicine can do to control you body, but sometimes, it just has a mind of its own.

This response is actually something that is WANTED in some IVF (non Donor) protocols for women with a lower ovarian response. Here's a link discussing the"flare" protocol if you are interested.

But basically, depending on the time of the month that you are given Lupron, before your pituitary is blocked from sending hormone signals to your ovaries to grow eggs (which is the point of Lupron), the first day or so it causes an excess of LH and FSH to be produced which in turn can cause your ovaries to start growing a follicle or two. And maybe, because although I was on birth control this time before I started Lupron, but because I had been on it so long and my body was already trying to have a period and move on, the initial few doses of Lupron caused this flare, instead of suppressing everything right away.

So... yet another little medical lesson from the mind of Tippy for your enjoyment (well, that and the very smart minds of the doctors in this field, and well, a lot of research on "the Google")

...and yet another lesson in patience for me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bang Head Against Wall

Three items that are making me want to bang my head against a wall today:

1. My four sliding screen doors that I paid a few hundred dollars to make 'servicable' are not serviceable. Seriously, when I ask you to make them work, DO NOT GIVE THEM BACK TO ME WITH HALF OLD WHEELS THAT DON'T SPIN and tell me that I need to do something to them. The point of giving them to YOU to fix, is to have them WORK when I get them back, not to make ME do work to make them work. Wow.

2. My body has decided once again, to not do what it is told and instead grow a follicle and produce estrogen after 4 weeks of birth control pills and 10 days of 20 units of Lupron. BOOO ON YOU BODY, BOO ON YOU!

So yet another delay in this never ending donor egg IVF cycle. The solution? Stay on lots of Lupron, go back in on Tuesday, hope the follicle is large enough to trigger, take an Ovidril shot to trigger (cuz it won't ovulate on it's own while I'm on Lupron), have sex with Tidy (yay for planned sex... how fun has THAT been for the last 4 years.. well, I mean.. most of it has been fun, but the timed aspect can go to hell sometimes, ya know?), wait for my period to show, hope that I get pregnant and it doesn't show, and if it does show, once again hope that on the next CD3 my body has decided to listen to the Lupron and shut the hell up. Then, and only then, can we start our estrogen. So hoping to god that Dotty the Donor is still going to stick with us. This puts her part of the process out at least 5 more weeks.

By the way, this same thing happened with my very first IVF cycle, way back in April of 2009 and then it also happened with my last FET cycle. Only once has my body listened to Lupron the first time, on  my second IVF cycle back in Sept of 2009.

Sometimes I feel like screaming at someone to blame for all of these pauses we have to take along our way, ya know? I mean.. For once, just once, I want to go down a path towards our child that is somewhat easy. NONE OF THIS has been easy... And it's been very un-easy for 4 and a half years now.

I'm getting very sick and tired of this game.

3. My aunt announced today that my older cousin is pregnancy on facebook. Number 4 is on the way. She's 41, her next closest child is 10...or something like that... at least old enough to assume they were done having kids... I'm not implying this pregnancy was an oops, in fact, I think I heard she wanted more kids a few years ago... my point is... clearly her eggs work. And more clearly, mine don't.

Today is one of those days that I just hope I can make it to the end of the work day without crying too much and find my yoga mat  for some relief.. because right now, there's a lot of rage inside me and if I truly did have a wall in front of me (other than the one at work that is between me and my coworkers) I would be banging my head.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last night, I came home from work in a panic, worrying about how the heck we were going to come up with enough credit to finance this DE IVF cycle.

I was trying to put some screen doors back into our porch that we had just gotten back from the hardware store fixed but they still didn't work and I was getting VERY frustrated. And then I started crying, but soon, I realized that I wasn't really crying about the doors, even though I was pissed that we spent some $$ on them and they STILL don't work, but I was really crying about the fact that we are about to embark on a VERY expensive journey (not that any of these things are cheap, mind you) and we are still not guaranteed a baby in the end.

To tell you the truth, I'm terrified.

Scared shitless

I was in a tizzy (Tippy was in a Tizzy... LOL!... I couldn't resist) because we have to come up with our big payment to the clinic in the next few days here and we have not actually detailed how this was actually going to work. In my head, I had thought about the way we were going to pay for this, but I hadn't really put it all together.

So after sitting down at the computer with Tidy, and of course an Excel worksheet for my budgeting purposes, scrambling to get things in order, we did it. I feel like we won some sort of quiz, or contest. We figured out how, with what we have in savings and by applying for and getting TWO 15 month- 0% interest credit cards out, how to finance this madness that we are about to enter into. I hope that when we are finished paying off these credit cards that I can say, "Phew, I finally own my beautiful, amazing baby" instead, "Fuck, I just spent X amount of months paying off Y amount of $$s and I have only a scared psyche to show for it."

By the way, I'm heading to the RE tomorrow morning for my baseline ultrasound and estrogen check. If all looks good and suppressed, I will be starting 2 weeks of estrogen. And then hopefully Dotty will be off to the races! Yay! This is really going to start happening soon... I hope... Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


A few years ago, as I began this journey, one of the first sources of comfort and knowledge for me was an online chat-board. I started by reading about women going through IUIs and learning the lingo used (dh, poas, stims, sticky vibes...) Soon thereafter, I got brave and started posting myself. Under a pseudonym, I told people about our story, about our IUI numbers, about symptoms, and about our BFNs (Big Fucking Negatives)... and I received virtual hugs and support and encouragement.

After a year of IUIs, Tidy and I decided to take a break from western medical treatment and pursue alternative, more natural methods for a year. During that time, I moved over to one of the boards that focused on these types of methods.

And it is there, that I met my two angels, C and M.

These two women just so happened to join up on that same chat board around the same time and as soon as we got to know each other and support each other a bit through our 'early years' of infertility, we realized that we just adored each other even beyond the infertility stuff. We not only understood what each of us was going through emotionally with ourselves, our partners, our families and our friends, but we also found we looked at life similarly even outside of our journey to a baby...

After some time of chatting with each other on the chat boards, we moved into emailing and chatting over instant messenger, and even on the phone. And then one day, while we were wishing how great it would be to hang out with each other, we decided take a leap of faith that we would get along well and meet up in Chicago for a long weekend.... This was almost 2 years ago. It was a fantastic weekend of exploring the city and getting to know each other. And after that weekend, I've know that we are going friends with eachother long past the days when we all become mothers.

It had been about 2 years since we've seen each other, so we decided to meet up again, but this time, near NYC,  close to where M lives. And I just got back from this wonderful weekend of spending time with my girls and exploring yet another fun city. It's amazing how a long weekend with people who really understand you, rejuvenates you and gives you a bit of lift in your step. We spent pretty much all hours of the day with each other for three days and now that I'm home, I'm missing them, big time :) I can't wait till our next adventure together. Hopefully by then, we will all have added to our families. Both M and C are embarking on their own new adventures to becoming parents as we speak and I'm just so hopeful that the world will let us do this together..

As C and M both have said, it was kismet that we met.

So, it's only appropriate that kismet met me on my flight home this past weekend from NYC.

ON the way back home, my flights got delayed. It sucked. I was angry and cranky and bummed. I wanted so badly just to be home with Tidy and fall asleep exhausted from a great long weekend, in my own bed. But as luck would have it, I wasn't able to get back to Tidy that night. Instead, I went to Detroit...

On the plane ride there, I sat next to a woman, J. She was sweet and unassuming, chatting with her husband and tending to her 2 kids, who were sitting in front of her. When the flight attendant came around to give us our drinks and peanuts, she said to her husband, "I can't believe they serve these things on a plane with all of the peanut allergies out there". And you know what???  I've thought the exact same thing myself the last few times we've flown!!

And so, me being the sometimes overly nosy and friendly person that I am, told her that I completely agreed, but then apologized for eaves dropping... Because afterall, I didnt' want her to think that I was listening to every word that she had to say. But, one comment led to another and we talked about a few small things that I can't quite remember and finally we ended up on kids.

I asked how old her kids were and she asked if I had any. And I told her, "No, in fact, we've been trying for a while. 4 years to be exact." I'm not sure what possesses me to share this with certain people and not share it with others but just say something polite like, "No, not yet :-)". But I did share my 'infertility' with her.

And then she shared her story with me!! It turns out, that she went through 4 or so IVF cycles to conceive her second child. Can you believe it? Well... I guess it's not all that hard to believe considering the percent of people that have to go through this. But... anyways, I just felt yet again, this was kismet. It was fate that I missed my flight and sat next to this woman on the plane. It was fate that allowed us to share our stories with one another and have her encourage me on our next steps. She looked at me so many times and just said things like, "I know this is going to work for you", and  how very grateful she was for her family. It was heartfelt, and I thank her so much for opening up to me, for that was exactly what I needed at that moment...

... some blind encouragement from someone else, that our next step will work.

Thank you, J, for being brave to share your story with me.... it meant so much. And maybe, just maybe, it was a bit of a release to share your story with someone. I hope so :-)

And thank you, C& M, for an amazing weekend and your beautiful friendships. I love you both so very much.

(P.S... yes, this was a very long post for me. Thanks for sticking it out!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let the Lupron begin!

I called the NP (nurse practitioner) today to plead with her to let me stop these damn birth control pills and start Lupron. Can you believe it? I want to start LUPRON???

But I do.

And they said yes.

Thank god! I've been on BPCs since June 8th with out having a period and sorry if this is way too much info, but holy crap am I bloated! I HATE birth control pills in a regular IVF cycle, where I'm usually only on them form 2 weeks or so, but we're pushing 4 weeks now and this is getting ridiculous! I feel like a stuffed sausage and I'm a cranky bitch. (Sorry Tidy)

A few days ago, I started spotting on them, which is the sign that my body is really ready to move on to the next step. And I have a hormone headache to boot. So, instead of waiting until next Tuesday to get my calendar and risk my body doing something to screw up the timing of this cycle, I took the bull by the horns and said.. please, please, let me start Lupron so I can stop these damn pills!!!

My lovely NP consulted with my lovely RE and they said yes. THANK YOU! I feel like this is going to give me so much relief.

And with that, I am back into the sisterhood of the bruised bellies.. and I'm so proud.

Oh, also, just a quick plug. If you haven't had a chance to vote for the best blog (I'm one of the nominations) for RESOLVE's Bust a Myth campaign entry, please do so soon! The voting closes on Monday, July 11th. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hoops To Jump Through

I haven't shared a lot yet about this process we are going through with our first donor egg IVF cycle because frankly I've been a bit nervous to until we cleared this first hoop - the legal agreement.

But today, the donor jumped through. Yay! And started her jump on the second hoop (more on that at the end of this post)

But first hoops first... when we first got the initial legal agreement over 3 weeks ago now, most of the items in it were fine with us. We made a few small tweaks, but nothing big. However, we did want to make a more substantial change to the paragraph in it discussing disclosure. Now, we ARE entering into an anonymous donor egg cycle, so we don't know any identifying information about our donor and she doesn't know anything about us, and we want to keep it that way. BUT we have seen her profile, pictures of her as a very young girl and items that discuss some of her history and physical characteristics.

And me, being me, well, I simply can't just sit with a blog and many people I discuss this journey with and have to be tongue tied... I mean, I'm not about to try to regurgitate all of the little things I do know about Dotty (We named our donor Dotty because she is "the Donor of Tippy and Tidy"... ) but if someone asks me things about why I chose her over someone else, I would like the freedom to express that, in a very anonymous way of course.

So, I wanted the legal agreement to acknowledge that while our intent would always be too keep this arrangement anonymous, if for some reason that one person we talked to about this happened to know someone who knows someone who knows someone... type of thing.... well, I didn't want to be liable for that. We of course would treat EVERYTHING with utmost respect, confidentiality and anonymity, but the world we live in is small.

I was a bit worried that the clinic and Dotty would not be comfortable with this, but after talking more with the nurse I work mostly with on this cycle, and expressing to her my reasons behind this, she seemed comfortable with it and was hopeful Dotty would be as well.

And she was! Yay! Thanks for understanding Dotty! I really appreciate it.... even though you will never read this, I hope you know how much I appreciate you going through this with us.

So today, Dottty went into the clinic to sing the legal agreement and also get her blood drawn for infections disease testing (Hoop # 2) . The FDA requires that this be done less than 30 days before egg retrieval, so hopefully this is a very easy hoop to jump through for her as she's already been through it before to get into the donor pool at our clinic.... but... my worried mind always finds a way to make things a bit more worrisome than need be.

I'm starting to finally believe this may actually happen. I've been on BCPs for about 24 days and am just itching to be done with them. I feel like I've gained 20 pounds of bloat from them. UGH! Or maybe its just the beer and good food I drank and ate at the end of our vacation... regardless... it's time to get this show on the road...

Let the hoop jumping begin!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Meditation Place

One of the things that many of us infertiles do to help relieve stress and also aid in a cycle are guided meditations. Circle and Bloom, Anji Inc and Belaruth Naparsack are some of the ones that I have listened to from time to time, and I love them all for different reasons. Often, in these meditations, the voice asks you to envision a place that you find comfort in, and brings you peace. A place that you can go to, whether in your imagination or somewhere you've actually been to, that gives you a feeling of calm and relaxation.

In my head, for these past few years, the peaceful place that I go to is the porch of a large log-cabin that overlooks the mountains and a valley. I don't exactly know what the cabin looks like, but the view of the mountains is what I focus on.  I can smell the pine trees, hear and feel the cool air blowing through them and I see myself wrapped up in a big comfy blanket in a chair on the porch taking it all in... breathing. Sometimes, I even have my child snuggling in my chest with me. It just depends on the meditation and the mood. It is truly a place that I feel at home.

I've always felt at home in them. I went to college in the Rocky Mountains and loved every minute of my years there.  I even remember as a kid, before I'd been out west (I grew up in the Midwest too), on one of our family camping trips, we went to Denver area and I swore to myself then that I would live in the mountains.

Now that I'm back in the Midwest, I crave seeing the mountains very often. And so, as Tidy and I planned a week getaway this summer, we decided to go camping in the Rockies. It was everything I had hoped for and more. We spent a few days hiking and camping pretty much by ourselves and then we spent a few days exploring Denver and the area, finding amazing places to eat and drink fantastic beer. (Have I told you how much of a "hop-head" Tidy is?)

Anyways, as we decided on places to set up our tent, we found a fairly secluded camp ground at about 9500 feet in the pine forest just below Long's Peak, one of the tallest peak's in the area. And as we walked around a few of the open sites to claim as our home for the next few days, only one had the view that I show at the beginning of this post. And guess what....



I couldn't have drawn that view better if I tried to do it from my mind. That is what I see when I envision myself on my log cabin porch, in a blanket, at peace.

I was dumbfounded. I was awestruck. I teared up.

Clearly this was the campsite we were meant to be at.

I took this as a message from the universe that we are on the right track, that it was telling me it's time to be peaceful and calm and just know and trust that our baby is close.

Man, I hope I'm getting my omens right.