Friday, February 27, 2015


As I laid in bed wide awake at 3am this morning I couldn't block it out.  It's as if all of the doubts, the fears, the stress collides and it all hits me in a complete moment of panic.  What if this doesn't work?  What if I can't ever get pregnant?

Sometimes I just can't help myself from going down that path.  And even though I feel my marriage is strong, and has grown stronger because of our infertility, I also know that it hasn't escaped unscathed.  Infertility has a way of creeping into every aspect of your relationship.  You can say you won't let it affect your sex life - until the moment when you are thinking it's a "waste" since you aren't ovulating.  You can say you are going to enjoy the time you have just the two of you - until you can no longer find joy in the things you used to.  You can say there's no one to blame for the circumstances but deep down is that really true?  I know I blame myself and I know that affects our relationship.  I've talked before about how much I struggle with thoughts of this is NOT what D signed up for.  That he deserves better.  That I'm keeping him from becoming the one thing in this world that he's MEANT to be.  Then when I add to it the fact that we are not on the same page as far as adoption, that he's doesn't want to talk about surrogacy when we aren't there yet.  I wonder if we'll be able to survive what this could potentially do to us.  Could we live child free and be happy?  Would having each other be enough?  My heart says YES.  I love this man.  I know without a doubt that he loves me.  But late at night when the shear magnitude of our situation crowds my mind the fear creeps in.  Could we really be fulfilled and happy in a life without children?  I'm not sure.  It's not what we want, not what I've envisioned for us.  Multiple times a day a feel a stab of pain, or envy, or heartache due to the reminders that are everywhere.  Could we live the rest of our life battling that day in and day out?  How do you make it through that without breaking?

I pray with all of my heart, every day, that we won't have to face this nightmare of a reality that haunts me.  But the truth of the matter is that we very well just might have to.  Are we strong enough to make it through?  Is anyone?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Things are creeping along ever so slowly in this FET cycle.  I have my baseline E2 blood test tomorrow and then start the E2V IM shots on Friday.  This will be my 5th transfer but only my second FET.  It's so odd to be in cycle but have it be so low key.

For me this is what my dear friend Amanda calls "the kitchen sink" transfer.  I'm throwing everything I've got at this.  I've been going to acupuncture (even though I hate it), I'm taking the thyroid meds, and I gave up alcohol and caffeine and have been eating clean (pretty strictly) since the beginning of February.  My motto for this cycle is basically if it can't hurt and there's a chance it could help - Go For It.  That being said I wanted to get your thoughts and opinions on some of the old wives tales we hear related to transfer, implantation, etc.  I decided that with the "kitchen sink" transfer maybe I'd do some research into some of these.  I think the most common one we've all heard is the pineapple core after transfer.  I know "they" say it's supposed to help with implantation but I never knew why.  Turns out pineapple, especially the core, contains bromelain which is known to reduce inflammation in the body, including the uterus, and is also a mild blood thinner.  Both of which can be helpful with implantation.  So sticking to my motto this seems like an easy win for me.

Next on the list is Omega 3 Fish Oil.  This supplement is said to help the "quality" of blood in the uterus?  Then there's L Arginine and Zinc.  All I could find on these is that they are supposed to prevent miscarriage and promote implantation.  My prescription prenatal vitamin already contains 15 mg of zinc so I think I'm covered there.   I am curious on if anyone has taken the L Arginine though.

The last one is the Brazil Nuts.  This is another one I had heard about but didn't know the reasoning behind.  Come to find out Brazil Nuts are a good source of Selenium which, once again, prevents miscarriages and promotes implantation.

I'm not naive enough to think that any of these things is the "missing link" to why I've yet to become pregnant and stay pregnant.  But I am curious on what, if any, of these you girls tried and your thoughts and feelings on them.

On a side note I got a very interesting call yesterday that left me with mixed emotions.  It was from CCRM.  You guys know that if this transfer doesn't work our back up plan is CCRM.  We've already sent all our records over and had a phone consult with Dr. Schoolcraft.  I've kept them up-to-date with what's happened the last 5 months (hysteroscopy, Lupron Depot injections, FET scheduled for March).  But I haven't had any communication with them since probably late November.  I got a call yesterday from a Denver phone number and when I answered the phone a wonderful nurse by the name of Katherine was on the other line (any CCRM girls know her?!).  She simply stated they were reaching out because they had it in my file that I was getting ready for my FET and they wanted to wish us luck and see if we had any questions they could help with.  She told me that she hopes not to hear from me but that they are there if we need them.  I was pretty impressed and the call definitely made me feel like more than just a number to them.  And while it felt very reassuring to know that we have a great plan in place and are ready to move forward right away if need be, it also made me second guess my certainty about the potential success of this upcoming cycle.  I've been working so hard at being positive and truly believing that this is going to work.  I'm not sure how much I really believe in the power of positive thinking, but once again, it can't hurt.  And receiving that very nice phone call had me questioning if that was God's way of preparing me for another failure.  Obviously I'm probably reading WAY too far into things and should just stick with the initial feelings of reassurance from the phone call.  But you girls know better than anyone what a cluster f*ck your mind becomes with all the hormones, emotions, hope, and fears.

So that's where I'm at.  I feel like this post was a jumbled up mess but since that's kind of how I'm feeling I guess it's fitting.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Be Your Own Advocate

I hope you all know how grateful I am for this community.  When I set out to see what the infertility blog world was all about my sole reasoning was to have someone to talk to who truly understood what we were going through.  But the more women I met, the more involved I got, I began to realize there's so many benefits that I didn't expect.  Most recently this community has given me the confidence to be my own advocate.  When I got my diagnosis I immediately began researching, which is what actually led me to the blog world.  While I recognized I would never be an expert I wanted to at least understand what all of these tests and procedures were about, what the drugs I was injecting into myself did, and what the potential risks and outcomes were.  I quickly got up to speed on my diagnosis, my options, and the procedures and drugs.  However even equipped with all of this knowledge I still lacked the confidence to even ask some of my questions to my doctor.  There's been times throughout this journey that I questioned a choice he made or wondered if another option might be better.  But for the most part I just conceded to the fact that he was the one with the initials after his name, the years of experience, and the expertise.  But thanks to you guys for the first time I felt strong enough to speak my mind.

The re-test of my TSH level came back at 2.9.  My doctor was comfortable with that level and opted not to treat me.  However, after researching and some great advice from many of you, I got the courage to challenge her about this decision.  A lot of the studies I have been reading suggest the optimal TSH level for a woman trying to get and stay pregnant is between 1 and 2.  At 2.9 I was BARELY under what my Dr. was comfortable with.  I couldn't find any information that discussed your level could be too low.  But what I did find was a lot of studies that linked chemical pregnancies and early miscarriages to elevated TSH levels.  Now, while mine is clearly not "elevated", it is above what they were calling the optimal range.  So after stewing on it for the weekend I composed an email this morning to my doctor.  I included some of the more powerful articles I had read, and reminded her of both my early miscarriage and my chemical.  I explained that I didn't want to challenge her, I only wanted to give this transfer the best possible chance we could.  In what was surprisingly a quick response she agreed to put me on 25mcg of thyroid replacement and to re-check my levels in 3 weeks.

I feel good about the fact that I pleaded my case and even better about the fact that we are going to try and get it down to the optimal level.  Most importantly I'm so glad that I can move forward confident that I've down everything I can to make this cycle a success.  Meds start tomorrow - 4 weeks from transfer.  Let's do this.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Shades of Gray

Okay get your mind out of the gutter.  This is NOT a post about 50 Shades of Gray.  (although I'll admit to reading the books and could probably write a pretty entertaining post about them!)  It's about the shades of gray that lie between black and white.  And opinions that vary between experts.

I think I mentioned to all of you that my clinic has a new doctor.  I'm excited about this for a couple reasons.  #1 - she's a woman.  I like this.  #2 - she provides a fresh perspective to my case.  As most of you know we had a phone consult with CCRM and if the outcome of this next FET (with our last 2 frozen embryos) is not successful we will be packing our bags for Colorado.  However, since we still have the 2 embryos we opted to see them through first, before moving on to a new clinic.

That being said, it was great timing when Dr. Emmi joined our clinic.  I had a bad moment when Nurse Jenny informed me that I needed to re-do ALL of my initial testing since it has been 18 months since I started at the clinic.  That was hard to hear.  Obviously I fully envisioned at least graduating from the clinic by this point, if not holding our baby in my arms. (oh how naive I was!).  But since that's obviously not the case we went ahead and took the 8 tubes of blood for all of the consultation tests.  When we did this the first time the only number I was informed of was my FSH since it was elevated.  They told me that the rest of my levels came back within the normal range and I never pressed for the exact numbers.  This time I got the call that my thyroid level was a little high and they wanted to re-test it to determine if Dr. Emmi would treat me for that during cycle.  I did some research and came up with mixed results (shocking I know).  Basically you aren't considered to have hypothyroidism (under active) unless your TSH levels are over 5.5. However there is an ongoing controversy among RE's and more and more of the experts are proclaiming that the normal range needs to be revised to .3 to 3.0.  After reading all of this information I was anxious to get retested if only so I could find out how "high" my level was.  I went in this morning for the blood draw and Nurse Jenny told me that my TSH from last week came back at 3.2.  She confirmed that Dr. H just wanted to see levels under 4, but Dr. Emmi wanted to see them under 3.  Interesting.

Now we wait to see what the re-test comes back as.  Jenny seemed to think if it was under 3.0 she won't treat me but if it's over that, even in slightest, she will most likely put me on meds.  Either way it's refreshing to have that new perspective and feel as if someone is really examining my case.

I start suppression meds next week and then we'll really get this party started.  I'm so looking forward to crossing off the days until transfer.  No I don't ENJOY giving myself shots but at least it feels like we are doing something more than waiting.  Our last transfer (which resulted in a chemical) was in Aug.  In some ways that feels SO long ago and in others I'm shocked that it's been 5 months.  Now that the wait is almost over I'm glad that we did the procedures and the Lupron Depot.  I'm hopeful that my body will be in the best condition for this transfer.  And I'm praying that  9 months from now I'll be holding one (or both!) of those little embryos in my arms.