Monday, December 30, 2013

Forced Break is Doing Me Good... in the Galapagos too!

It's been awhile... a long while. I guess it's kind of nice NOT ttc'ing! The forced break has been really, really good. So has!

Here are some highlights from the last few weeks:
  • A trip to the Galapagos Islands solo! My husband couldn't come and he knows how much I love & need to travel so I just hooked onto a tour group and it was so much fun!! Giant tortoises and swimming with sea turtles and getting up really close to all the animals and birds were incredible. And I loved meeting all the new & random people I met. Here are some fun pics from that!

a giant tortoise

red sally lightfoot crabs


blue footed booby bird

  • B's 40th Surprise Birthday Party - I have spent the last 6 weeks planning a surprise party for B and it was awesome! It's so true that it is better to give than to receive. Giving him this party made me so, so happy!! I themed it 20x2 and blew up pictures of him around age 20 to make him feel half his age again! Here's his cake (and now you know his name...):

      • Bought a 3 month pass to my favorite bik.ram yoga studio! Being able to plan that far in advance was amazing.
      • Went to NYC to see Annie with my childhood friend who lives there now. We "played" Annie so much when we were younger that it was so special to see this with her in real life... and I just LOVE New York City!!
      Those are just some of the highlights. It's been a great ~2ish months!

      Next Steps with IF: waiting to get a regular period to start bcp and start a new cycle. We have 1 frozen embryo but I really want to transfer 2 and/or have another leftover for sibling #2. We have to do genetic testing on our embryos so we have to freeze our embryos while they're being tested and then I have to start a new FET. Kind of a pain but needs to be done. 

      The likelihood of a transfer is now March or April. 

      I will just keep trying to enjoy life in the meantime!

      Hope you all had nice holidays!

      Friday, November 8, 2013

      Retrieval #5 - Cancelled!

      How things can change so quickly!

      We started stimming on Sunday for our Retrieval #5. By Tues, Day 3 into stimming, it looked like there might be a leading follicle and no significant growth behind it. By Wed, they determined they needed to cancel the cycle.

      I'm pretty bummed. I was awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night last night just processing it.

      I mean, of course, I understand that these things happen, and can happen and it happened to me. So, I can take that. But it just seems kind of endless on things happening to me too! I mean, how many times do I need to go through things in order for this to happen for us?

      On the one hand, I've been taking this relatively calmly. I think the has helped a lot. On the other hand, I want to feel like I'm making progress toward this.

      This year alone, I've had 1 positive IVF followed closely by a miscarriage, 1 negative IVF, 1 retrieval cycle resulting in one embryo that we haven't transferred yet and now 1 cancelled retrieval cycle. All of these with embryo genetic testing involved.

      I'll be able to get started again after Christmas with the way my cycle will shake out and the holiday lab closures, so that will also mean I can still go on a trip which I'd like to start looking forward to (I'm thinking the Galapagos Islands!).

      But this is a two month digression.

      I've always done really well during forced breaks, so I'm going to focus on me without worry of appts, meds or anything else which is extremely freeing. I'm going to recommit to Wei.ght Watchers. (I lost the weight between April-July and then regained it between August & Sept), I'm going to plan this trip and hope for the best with the next cycle.

      And I'm going to continue to be grateful for taking the step to be on It's really added a lot more calm to my life.

      Sunday, November 3, 2013

      Retrieval #5 and Other Updates

      I was quite despairing a couple of weeks ago and I decided to do two things:

      • Get on anti-depressants
      • Move forward with another retrieval
      On the anti-depressants, I'm 10 days into at this point and much as I really, really did not want to be on anti-depressants for several reasons (not wanting to be on drugs while trying to conceive, wanting to be able to feel better on my own, the stigma, etc.), I realized I was at an all-time low. And I probably have been on and off for the last couple of years. In retrospect, I wish I had started taking them 2 years ago. 

      My therapist and RE are supportive of me doing this and I'm working with a psychiatrist. The first week wasn't great - I was having headaches and getting sleepy much earlier but by 1 week, it's feeling better. Not 100% probably but much better. So I'm glad about that.

      On the retrieval, I just felt like I couldn't go through with an FET with just 1 embryo. It didn't feel hopeful enough to me and I really also want 2 children, not just 1, so I'd like to be able to transfer 2 embryos and/or have one hopefully saved for later on. Thankfully, my RE was supportive of going through another stim and retrieval. 

      I start meds today for stimming and while these next couple of weeks are going to be intense with shots and appointments and ultimately (hopefully) a retrieval, I'm feeling better overall and better about our plan.

      This plan also allows us to get our genetic testing results from our embryos by 2nd week of Dec and I'm planning to take a month off to plan a trip around Christmastime.

      So, that's the plan and I'm so grateful to be feeling better.

      PGD Results & Anxiety Over Next Steps

      I wrote this 1-2 weeks ago and I still want to publish it even though I have another update...

      We got our genetic testing back on our 5 embryos and were quite disappointed. We have just 1 viable embryo from that batch. One.

      My nurse is great and said "all it takes it one...".

      I know she's right but I couldn't help but despair.

      We're almost six years into this. Six years. And all I know is sadness and stress around family building.

      I've been so hoping that we could just 'get this over with' and have twins somehow in our next cycle. But that's not even a possibility now.

      So, what do we do? Our choices seem to be:

      • Move forward with an FET with this one embryo. In the past our doctor has said that it's a 30-40% chance of pregnancy.
      • Go through another retrieval to try to get at least one more viable embryo so that if we transfer 2 embryos, we have a 60% chance of a single pregnancy (and 25% chance of twins). If we end up with more than an additional one, we can 'bank' a future child if we end up with a single pregnancy.
      We have a consult with our doctor on Friday but we already know that he'll support us either way, he's told our nurse. If we want to do another retrieval that would be fine, but he's told her that he wouldn't want to recommend that because IVFs are stressful and we already have one embryo.

      I'm having a hard time making this decision. On the one hand, stomaching another IVF/retrieval seems stressful, but am I only looking at short-term pain when it could be long-term gain? On the other hand, I may only have enough energy for an FET at this point and if my nurse is right, all it takes is one, then maybe we just do that. 

      I think what I need are anti-depressants. I met with a psychiatrist on Tues and I think I'm going to get the prescription filled today. 

      Tuesday, October 8, 2013

      Retrieval #4

      It's weird that I can't fully say IVF #4 because we're splitting this IVF into a retrieval and FET.

      So, I just had retrieval #4 last Thursday. It all went well. The shots and appointments leading up were stressful as usual, but not too, too bad.

      (I did get to record my favorite relief pitcher when we were at a recent baseball game and watched his intro song and warm up prior to each menopur shot! Hey, whatever gets you through, right? He's rrrrrreally cute!! ( Sta.mmen in case anyone is wondering!)).

      I digress.

      Oh yes, retrieval #4.

      So, the appts leading up were weird because we had 1-2 leading follicles and we needed a bunch more since we are doing PGD (genetic) testing on our embryos. So, they kept upping my meds and then decreasing them because my estrogen would get too high. In the end, I had no idea if this second batch would 'catch up' to the leading follicle(s).

      But they did. They ended up getting 18 eggs which I also thought was weird since they had been meansuring about 10 follicles the whole time. It turned out that many of those eggs were not mature which I figured would be the case.

      So, we got 10, 7 fertilized and it's looking like 6, maybe 7 are making it to blast today. I haven't heard the report yet and may not until tomorrow which is when we'd get the genetic testing report back.

      The next plan, if we have genetically-viable embryos is to transfer 2 back with an frozen embryo transfer. I should get my period sometime this coming weekend and then back on birth control pills and then meds for an FET.

      If all this goes according to plan, we should have results by early Dec.

      It's all giving me a bit of anxiety - this prolonged cycle because the not knowing gets dragged out, and not being able to plan much in the coming weeks because I don't know when my dates will be for what, and mostly thinking about a negative result going into the holiday season.

      If we're not pregnant, I'm hoping I can escape the holidays by my husband and me going on a trip between Christmas and New Year's.

      But, one day at a time.

      Monday, September 9, 2013

      Decisions, Decisions

      We've been seeking a second opinion now on our last two cycles thinking that we would transfer to them on a next cycle. That was going to be the next big decision.

      And it's a huge one to make.

      We've done 7 transfers now (with 3 fresh IVFs and 4 frozen cycles), 2 cycles with PGD (genetic testing, which they seem to think is the root of all of our trouble getting and staying pregnant).

      We're currently at one of the best clinics in the DC area and under a shared risk program which means we get all of our money back if we don't get pregnant which is a huge consideration.

      The other clinic we've been considering is one of the best in the COUNTRY and extremely well-know for its own genetic testing lab. It's out of state for us, but only 4 hours. And it would be super more expensive.

      They seem to be all about figuring out the right timing for transfer (after PGD testing) and oftentimes freeze embryos if a woman's progesterone levels have exceeded ideal timing on Day 6.

      So, factors that went into our decision:

      Pros of Staying with Current Clinic:

      • We know them well and like them; being familiar with how things work takes some stress out of the process
      • They are willing to change up our protocol to do PGD testing and not do a fresh transfer which is reassuring because even though going into a frozen cycle will take longer, I don't have the confidence that they have the timing down the way the out of state clinic does
      • It's less expensive
      • It doesn't require travel and working remotely
      Pros of Going to the Other Clinic:
      • They are one of the best in the country
      • They have seemed to be able to give us good advice on our last two cycles after the fact
      • They do in-house PGD genetic testing
      • They know the ideal timing and there's a chance we'd be within that timing window to do a fresh transfer thereby minimizing time
      Cons of Staying with Current Clinic:
      • What if after all that time - and we're talking mid-Dec before we'd get results from the frozen cycle - it doesn't work, would I regret not transferring clinics?
      • They don't have in-house genetic testing (but I trust who they are outsourcing it to... still there's the extra element of shipping...)
      • It may unnecssarily take longer because we'll automatically be doing a frozen cycle and transfer after the fresh IVF with PGD testing
      Cons of Going to the Other Clinic:
      • It's super expensive
      • It would require travel which could be stressful as well as juggling working remotely (though it's do-able and my boss is supportive)
      • The newness of how everything works could be stressful (though they have seemed to be really great to work with)
      • Did I mention how super expensive it is??
      So... big decision was:

      Stay with Current Clinic.

      I think I just felt better knowing there wouldn't be too much change right now even if this takes us 2 additional months. 

      And if this doesn't work, then we're transferring clinics in January! Let's hope (please!!) that we don't have to do that...

      Wednesday, August 7, 2013

      I Allowed Myelf to Fantasize

      I kinda can't believe I let myself.

      In the brief few days of when I was expecting my cycle and it wasn't coming... I allowed myself to fantasize that there could be the most minute possibly that we were pregnant naturally.

      Wouldn't that have been amazing/annoying?!?

      Yes, I secretly wanted to be one of 'them'. And thought I really might be...

      I know my cycle is usually a little messed up after a transfer. I know that. But I was still thinking, maybe, just maybe this time...

      I knew it was a long shot. Such a long shot. We're about to transfer clinics to going out of town. We're transfering because our case has become so hard that one of the best clinics in our area can't really help us anymore. We're at that point... and I seriously thought for a second that maybe we were pregnant on our own? We're about to spend how many more thousand dollars by going to this other clinic and I thought what???

      But I did. And for a couple of those days, those fleeting thoughts were just beautiful. That it was finally happening to me... for me. It was unreal. It was blissful. It was... I don't even have the words.

      And I don't have them because I didn't let myself feel that too deeply. And I didn't have them because I have not let myself feel that in oh-so-long.

      I've survived more recently by not allowing myself to feel that anymore. By moving on. By trying to be happy thinking of building our families in other ways.

      I met a friend of mine who was in my Re.solve support group who is 29 weeks pregnant now and hearing that bliss from her both made me so happy for her and made me realize how numb I've become to knowing what that feeling must feel like.

      It brought me back to our last cycle when I literally cried and screamed from the needles of meno.pur because they hurt that badly and on top of it, my heart and mind couldn't get over that most people feel pleasure in creating a baby, not painful needles. And how I was brought back once again to how unfair this whole thing can be. How unfair it's been that I can't be in that naive place ever again of thinking trying to conceive can be so easy and blissful.

      It sucks, but it's ok. I go back to not fantisizing anymore. I go back to the home pregnancy test I bought yesterday that showed just that one line. That too-familiar one line. And I think, that's ok. I know this routine. This is what I'm used to and it'll be ok.

      It just would've been nice...

      It would have been nice to feel that bliss.

      Wednesday, July 24, 2013

      Consult with RE/Next Steps/Summer Plans

      We got a phone consult with our RE last week, two weeks after the negative result.

      I was initially annoyed that he was unavailable that first week and then took so long to call the second week, but in retrospect, I think it's better to have a little time in between to not be so highly emotional.

      It was pretty interesting. He basically told us he'd give this one more try and then if that didn't work, we'd need to consider going to R.M.A. or Cor.nell. Whoa. Not sure if he said R.M.A. because he knew we were already talking with them or because they really are that good... but hearing Cor.nell really got me. That's really big guns. That means there's serious stuff going on with us that he can't resolve.

      And he's stumped. And showed empathy for us which I appreciated. I keep thinking that sometimes there really aren't answers to this. Most of the time there are, but sometimes there really aren't. And we're in that camp now.

      The one thing he said was that there's debate on whether progesterone levels should be under 2.0 or 1.5 at retrieval time to go into a transfer. My level was 1.8. He said he'd go extremely conservatively next round and freeze embryos if I'm over 1.5...

      The thing is, I think I'm ready to leave him. If we go through one more IVF with him (with PGD genetic testing) and we have to possibly freeze, which I'd be ok with, we're looking at another 3-4 months for a cycle to possibly work. That would take us through the end of the year, essentially.

      And I've got very little stamina left with all of this.

      When we met with R.M.A. in May, they told us that we should get pregnant with them within 2-3 cycles. We're going to consult with them again and see what their reaction is to this last failed cycle. Does that count as 1 of those 2-3 in their minds? I would guess not.

      They have genetic testing right there in their labs and I just think they do things that are probably a little bit of a leg up on what my RE does. And at this point in our journey, I need all the little legs up possible.

      But... that would mean a more expensive journey. It would mean being out of state for a bit during cycles (luckily within driving distance but still...).

      So a lot to consider coming up for us but I think deep down, I think we need to go with the big guns at this point.

      And I say that fully recognizing that we are so fortunate to be able to make that choice. It will be financially difficult for us but not impossible and for that, I feel truly blessed and grateful.

      I'm also using this time in between to be productive and happy. We've got lots of fun stuff planned for this summer that includes:

      • Training for a 1/2 marathon over Labor Day weekend! 
      • Last weekend was my 20th high school reunion which was SO much fun! 
      • This weekend I'm going to a church retreat that I'm looking forward to
      • Weekend after that is a long weekend at a nearby beach with my husband
      • Then a week-long beach trip to SC that we do every year with friends at a beach house which is both tons of fun and super relaxing. (Though good luck to me this year when I'll have to likely wake up at 5am to get my 10 mile runs in before sunrise!!)
      • Labor Day weekend 1/2 marathon 
      • Following weekend a wedding in Santa Fe, NM
      I'm also grateful for feeling more positive in general. So, here's to the rest of a fun summer and onto figuring out next steps, and being happy in between it all!

      Monday, July 8, 2013

      Will It Ever Be My Turn?

      I'm not pregnant. Today's results were negative from our 7th transfer & 3rd fresh IVF.

      I don't know that I had that much hope, but still. This sucks. And I guess I've known since last Tuesday. That's when I noticed blood. I was at work and had to go outside and cry. I spotted for 3 days and I was secretly hoping it was that implantation blood people sometimes talk about, but I knew it probably wasn't. And then I started bleeding heavily on Friday and it hasn't stopped.

      Don't know what happened. Our doctor said we had a 60% chance this time and he was excited for us. I forgot to think about that 40%. Sometimes his over-optimism gets me.

      I don't know if this is just another fluke and just part of that 40%. I'd like to know if it's my egg quality, if the genetic testing we did on our embryos didn't test for enough, if there's something else that could be going on.

      It was so discouraging to get our credit card bill last week too. We'll owe about $9k for this, with the drugs and extra costs for the genetic testing (otherwise we're on a shared risk program...). But all that down the tubes.

      Oh well.

      I'm bummed, but I'm not shocked by this anymore. Seven transfers.

      Our doctor is apparently out of the country this week so we won't get to talk to him until next week. We have travel in August and early Sept so the soonest we could try again is in Sept. We're considering moving up to a clinic in NJ.

      I need to focus on me again. I went to bik.ram yoga tonight. I'm tempted to sign up for a 1/2 marathon over Labor Day weekend that I've been wanting to do for years...

      I'm bummed but ready to focus on me for the next 2 months...

      Saturday, June 29, 2013

      Two Embryos in the Oven

      I've got two embryos in the oven and hoping for the best.

      We did PGD testing on our embryos again and this was the first time our clinic could offer us same cycle transfer with the testing. They shipped our biopsies on day 5 and they were shipped back by 9am the next day for a Day 6 transfer!

      We got 11 eggs, did ICSI (which is recommended for PGD testing) and 8 fertilized. Of the 8, 5 were ready by Day 5 for biopsy and of those 5, only 2 came back with normal genetics. Those 2 were a grade 2 out of 4 and a grade 2-3 out of 4 (whatever that means).

      Our doctor recommended we transfer two based on this. With a single transfer, we would have had a 35% chance of pregnancy. With transferring two, we have a 60% chance of a single pregnancy and a 25% chance of twins.

      Let's see what happens. I hope I can remain peaceful in this 2 week wait and particularly peaceful if it's a negative result. I think I can.

      And I'm also concerned that even if it's a positive result on July 8, that something will happen 1-2 weeks after that as it has to us so many times now, but this is why we're doing all this genetic testing.

      I've got to stay hopeful and peaceful.

      Thursday, June 20, 2013

      "Free and Easy" IVF #3

      My husband is calling me "free and easy" these days. It's a quote that the Wash.ington Na.tionals Manager uses a lot to describe his management style! I guess B. feels like my positive upswing and they way I've been handling going into our next IVF captures that sentiment.

      I've taken a whole new approach with our fresh IVF #3 cycle: I'm minimizing it.

      I've minimized it to the point that I've told NO ONE it's even happening outside of my husband (ha! obviously!!), our therapist and my support group. No one else knows. At least from me. Not my family. Not my best friend. No one.

      And I've told B that with whoever he tells, to them them that I've been so positive these days by minimizing it that contrary to how I handled previous cycles, I don't want to talk about it. His family is visiting this weekend and I even told him to tell them not to ruin my zen place by bringing it up!

      So, how has it been going? Really well! Here's my progress:

      • Still LOVING the new job!
      • Down 6 lbs on Wei.ght Wat.chers after 2 1/2 months!
      • Increased bik.ram yoga to 3-4x/week and running 1-2x/week
      • Our marriage is awesome
      I know I'm still burying the hurt and sadness of infertility a bit by I've also chosen to focus on ALL of the great things happeneing to me instead of the ONE thing that isn't. And that's made me A LOT happier. 

      I've also been realizing that lots of people have sucky things happening to them and I'm just one of them. And approaching life with what IS working is better than what ISN'T. 

      When I was searching 'infetility woes' a couple of months ago, I came across this post which just resonated so much. I've spent my entire mid-30s - 5 years! - being sad, depressed and letting this characterize my 30s. Well, after I read that, I thought, I'm not going to let that be me anymore. I'm not going to let infertility define my life anymore.

      So far so good. 

      Egg retrieval was today. We'll see about the rest. I'm not going to sweat it. Things will work out one way or another. With this. With life in general. I'm riding this "free and easy" right now. 

      Saturday, May 4, 2013

      On a Positive Upswing

      I did have a little set-back a few weeks ago but I am doing so much better now!

      It's interesting too, since this week marked 8 weeks since my miscarriage and that I'm actually STILL going through it. Yes, I'm still bleeding and my hcg is only down to 18. (It's been a very, very slow climb down the last 5 weeks in particular).

      But I am doing great and here's some reasons why:

      • I'm LOVING my new job! I think changing jobs after 5 years was really the kick I needed to infuse my life with new energy. I was stagnant and not feeling valued there (by not providing enough value because I was feeling stagnant, vicious circle). Much as I loved that job and had mixed feelings to leave, I absolutely love, love, love my new job. Two months in and I really jive with my boss and the senior team and I love commuting to work on my bike again!
      • I'm having success with Wei.ght Wat.chers again! I joined 4 weeks ago and have lost 2.5lbs so far (I've got a mini 5lb goal and an overall 10 lb goal (I'm short so those are 'more'/harder than one may think). 
      • I'm exercising a lot again--whether it's been bik.ram yoga 2x/week, biking to work everyday (which is only 1.5 miles each way, but still...) or running 2x/week, it has all felt great. I want to  try to do one more yoga a week but I'm really proud of this!
      • My marriage is so much better! Counseling once a week for the last 3 months has really helped to turn us around. I realize my depression and sadness were starting to turn toward him and that wasn't good. I had started not appreciating him which wasn't good. We've worked on some things (mostly me) and now we're so happy again!
      • I'm appreciating all the great things in my life... and not dwelling anymore (as much) on the thing we don't have. I think by focusing on the things I really like - taking advantage of the int'l film fest that came to DC recently, going to baseball games again, doing my yoga and running, etc. helped my energy level on things that are great about my life.
      • Still making progress on family building. I finally got most of my medical records for our consult on May 24 which was a big hurdle. We're going to R.M.A. in NJ and making a weekend in NY out of it so that's good.
      • Being on a somewhat forced break because I'm still bleeding and my hcg isn't back to 0 has actually given me the freedom to not be in that rat race with it all, which has been good.
      So, hopefully that's enough to keep this positive energy up!

      Monday, April 22, 2013

      Some Progress, Some Tripping Up

      I've been making progress lately. I'm enjoying the weather. I'm running again. I've been taking advantage of an international film fest in my city.

      I'm getting all the paperwork done for an out of state consult we have in late May.

      I'm also still bleeding. I've been bleeding for 6 weeks now. A constant reminder of our miscarriage.

      My hcg levels haven't dropped as quickly as we had all thought. Each week I go in for bloodwork and have seen it go from 400 to 200 to 100-something to 100-something to 69 to 21. This week surely it will be at 0.

      I bled a lot more on Friday and Saturday so am hoping that was an actual period but who knows.

      And I've also gotten tripped up.

      My brother-in-law texted this past week telling us to call to know whether we'll be having another niece or nephew. We learned on speaker phone that it will be a boy. And as much as I'm happy for them, for us, it tripped me up. They'll be adding a boy to their 18 month old girl and it feels like they'll have it all while we're 5+ years into our struggle. And it made me mad that I got sad. Why can't I just be 100% happy for them?

      And then friends of us texted last night with 'call us, we've got news to share'. They've struggled with infertility despite having 2 kids now. And we know they were trying for a 3rd, but surely this wasn't what they were calling about, was it? They know about our struggles and wouldn't make this a big deal, would they? But they did and that's what the call was about. I don't know how many times I can exclaim 'that's great' without feeling so isolated with my pain. And I can't possibly continue to joke about getting a van to fit 3 kids when we don't even know if we'll ever have 1...

      It is so isolating at times. Especially in the joyful times of our friends. Especially when our pain isn't acknowledged alongside their happiness. It's such a lonely place.

      And yet I'm making progress. I filled out pages upon pages of medical information for our consultation. Getting medical record requests forms from 4 different places was a pain. And re-writing our history was jarring and had a sting to it reminding me of how not normal all of this has been for us.

      5+ years with 3 IUIs, 2 fresh IVFs, 4 FETs, 2 surgeries and 6 miscarriages.

      So yes, I'm making progress. But I do get tripped up sometimes. Can you blame me?

      Sunday, March 17, 2013

      Miscarriage #6

      Pretty unbelievable. It's a wonder we continue to try, really.

      So, our FET #4 worked with the PGD testing. Just 1 embryo and it worked. I couldn't believe it. Did a home test the day before and was so happy, but also cautious.

      We've gone down many roads of a positive test but with low numbers where it ends up miscarrying or becoming ectopic/suspected ectopic.

      But this time our first beta was 566! They didn't even want/need to see me again for 4 more days and by then our numbers doubled to 2099! I was ecstatic. Finally, like a light switch, I wasn't depressed anymore.

      Then, at 5 1/2 weeks, as always, I had massive bleeding within the span of 2 hours. I just knew that that couldn't be good. I went into my clinic and they did an ultrasound and said it was too early to tell or that the blood may be disrupting their view but they said to still be hopeful and said they thought they saw a sac. My bloodwork, though, came back at 2400. They said that didn't necessarily mean anything but I was suspect at that point. That was on a Thursday. They said rest over the weekend and come back on Monday for Week 6 ultrasound.

      Well, there was no sac. And my level had dropped to 421. At least it's not ectopic. With having gone through this so many times, it's amazing I took it all so calmly and was relieved that it wasn't ectopic.

      My doctor was out of town all of last week and we're not scheduled for a phone consult with him until this Thursday. I'm so eager to know what he'll say next. But I'm also somewhat fearful that we're so much closer to the end of line on this. I don't trust my body anymore. The only thing I can think of that may help is whether I need blood thinners or something. I have no idea. My mind is jumping now to gestational carriers and whether that's something we'd actually look into and afford. It's all overwhelming.

      B and I are really strained in our marriage. The last couple of months haven't been great. We've been going to counseling once a week and that's been really helpful but I just want us to be normal again and close. Especially when something difficult like this happens.

      I'd been bleeding for 10 days and finally stopped today. That constant reminder was becoming to be too much.

      When are we going to get our family??? When am I going to feel normal again? I'm sick of being sad all the time and not being able to be myself and interact with others like normal. I can accept that we're not able to have the life we thought we would have and that this is going to be long and difficult but I just want to be able to feel normal about it all.

      I know it'll get better and we'll figure it all out. It's just been a hard last 10 days.

      Tuesday, February 19, 2013

      Job Change, Genetic Testing, FET #4 & Travel

      Gosh, lots has happened since I last wrote. And it's been almost 2 months.

      First, I quit my job in early Jan. I had been thinking about it in Dec and knew when I started up with all the doctor stuff again, that I couldn't keep my energy up about work. As we were planning for 2013, my heart just wasn't in it. I quite citing personal reasons. My boss has known what we're struggling with. Honestly, though, he just became not so nice in the last couple of years and it was really, really hard to quit because I really did like it. I just couldn't take him anymore.

      The day I quit felt bittersweet. I had been there almost 5 years and headed up HR for this organization that was 45 people when I joined and was 150 when I left. We went global. I did a lot for them and I'm quite proud of my work there.

      By the next day, I felt complete relief.

      In the meantime, I had been interviewing with 2 other opportunities and ended up in a situation where BOTH wanted me. I could hardly believe it. It felt so good to be wooed after having felt like I wasn't doing a great job for over a year. I decided to go with the less exciting job where I felt like I could still make an impact with little stress. It felt like a good culture fit and where I could walk to work again. I took a month in between. I start on March 4.

      Genetic Testing & FET #4:
      We did genetic testing through our clinic with Na.tera on our remaining 4 frozen embryos. One didn't  survive, and of the remaining 3, only one was good/normal. I can't exactly remember what the other two had - I think one had an extra chromosome 23 which normally doesn't make it thorugh pregnancy (which may be the reason for some of our chemical pregnancies) and the other had an additional chromosome 2 or 3 which doesn't even make it to a positive pregnancy test.

      So, we were left with just 1 and transferred that one last Fri, Feb 15. My pregnancy test is next Thurs, Feb 28.

      I'm a little anxious but I think I feel that if we need to do another fresh IVF, I'll be hoping that we will have at least 1 or 2 to freeze since I'd rather have 'younger' eggs now than try this again in 1-2 years... but that's a lot of projecting and I'm trying to stay in the moment which brings me to...

      We had so many miles stored up from putting our IVF fees on our miles credit card that once I quit my job and prior to doing our transfer, I went to Honduras! It was so incredibly gorgeous!!! I went alone for 3 1/2 days to an island called Roatan just off the Gulf/Atlantic cost. It was exactly what I needed.

      And tomorrow, I'm getting ready to go to AZ and Palm Springs, CA for 6 days, solo also. I'll be visiting Tucson for the first time and I'll also be going to Scottsdale close to where a friend from high school now lives. And then to CA where I'm excited to see Joshua Tree National Park.

      So, lots going on... and for now, all heading in a positive direction!