Friday, November 30, 2007


Well, it's in there! I'm thrilled to report that there is a perfect little embryo inside me as I type this. Hopefully right about now it's taking a good look around and deciding it seems like my uterus is a pretty nice place to hang it's hat for the next 9 months...

What a fantastic experience the transfer was. We transferred one 3AA blastocyst this morning - apparently this is the very best you can possibly have. The embryologist ID'ed us by saying that our embryo was "gorgeous" - her exact words. That felt so good to hear.

The actual transfer was relatively quick and easy. It was cool to see the embryo go shooting out of the catheter like a little cannon ball on the ultrasound. And now it's in there. In me. So cool. I almost feel like crying. I'm so happy.

I asked my doctor what our chances of success are with this specific embryo and our case history, etc., and she replied "64%". I'll take those odds.

I want my embryo to be as happy and as comfortable as possible, I do love it so.

Now, I rest.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

31 & Cross Eyed

Today I am 31 years old. This year has gone by so fast. There have been so many ups and downs, but mostly downs this year unfortunately. Here's hoping that 31 treats me better than 30 did.

I have noticed (in my old age) that over the past few months, I am going a bit cross eyed. It seems to happen when I first wake up in the morning, and when I'm really tired at night. My eyes cross and I start seeing double. I can't seem to undo it. I either have to wait it out - usually takes about 10 minutes in the morning - or just go to sleep.

I have also noticed that bedtime has become earlier and earlier over the past couple of years. I can remember when I would routinely go to bed at 1 or 2am with no problems. These days it's a miracle if I make it past 10pm.

I can't tolerate alcohol as much as I used to either; I believe this to be another product of getting older. I remember when I could polish off a whole bottle of wine or several beers and not feel a thing. Now, one glass of wine or one pint of beer usually has me under the table. It's embarrassing.

But other than a few grey hairs, I wouldn't change a thing. I like being an adult in my 30's. I'm excited to share all the things I loved from my childhood with my someday child. I like the idea of changing from kid to parent. I like the responsibility of a mortgage, bills, career and hopefully family. I surely don't know everything, but by now, I know a fair bit about what NOT to do. It's empowering.

Here's to being thirtysomething.

Transfer tomorrow at 9:45am. I really hope my birthday wish comes true this year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crazier Than Britney

I just heard from the lab with the latest update on my embryos.

We have:
one with 14 cells (this one is looking like the transfer front runner at the moment)
two with 12 cells
one with 8 cells
one with 5 cells (it had 5 cells yesterday hoo)

Additionally, they froze three more:
one with 14 cells
two with 9 cells

I asked why they didn't freeze one of the 12 cell embryos and leave out the 14 cell embryo. The lab technician said that the 14 cell embryo that they froze wasn't "as nice" as the 12 cell embryo. I guess I'll take her word for it. She said that all the embryos look really good (even that slow little 5 cell guy), with nice even cells and no fragmentation. She implied we should count ourselves lucky; which I most certainly do. Indeed.

Transfer was reconfirmed for Friday at 9:45am. I will not hear from the lab tomorrow, which is probably a good thing. I spend most of the day working myself into an anxious lather waiting for these embryo updates. I swear this process makes me feel crazier than Britney.

Tomorrow, I must finish the laundry and go on a gathering mission to round up all my post-transfer requirements, as I plan to lay as flat as possible, for as long as possible. I'm thinking movies, trashy magazines, books, etc. Maybe I'll even pull out the old knitting needles...

I think I'm starting to get excited.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quietly Freaking Out

I just got the day-2 embryo update. Of the 8 embryos left out of the freezer, ALL of them are Grade A's. I'm kinda in shock right now. Transfer is currently scheduled for day 5 - Friday at 9:45am.

This sounds crazy, I know, but as happy as I am about this news, I'm also a little nervous. Doesn't it seem like things are going a little too well? I don't mean to be cynical but shouldn't I be waiting for the other shoe to drop here??

I'm quietly freaking out today. I'm happy, nervous, thrilled, worried, overjoyed, and wary. I'm so used to getting bad news when it comes to all things reproductive, I guess I'm just not used to this.

OK. I'm just going to try to enjoy this fantastic news and not let my demons get the better of me.

Truly, I am beyond grateful.

Monday, November 26, 2007

15 Is My New Favourite Number

Just heard from the lab - of the 16 eggs harvested, 15 fertilized perfectly. Even that last 16th fertilized well, but just not as perfectly as the other 15. I am so happy. So. Happy.

The doctor tucked 8 of our little guys in the freezer already. This leaves us with essentially 7 embryos that are still growing. The doctor thinks we have a fairly good chance of making it to 5 day blast, but we'll know for sure tomorrow afternoon, when they call for an update. It's too early for the embryos to get a grade (look at me, already forcing my offspring to be over-achievers), but my heart sang when the doctor actually said that our embryos are "phenomenal".

I am so ecstatic, thrilled, overjoyed about this news, words cannot express.

Keep growing little embryos, keep growing!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Photos From The Retrieval

I'm still pretty out of it and tired from the drugs this morning. And probably because of that, I'm throwing my vanity to the wind and have decided to post a couple of photos that I had D take at this morning's retrieval. Let's call them before and after photos. Obviously I'm not looking my best here.

Top is before, bottom is after.

Everything went so well, and to say I'm grateful is truly an understatement. The procedure was fairly painful at times and I'm moving pretty slowly now as I recover. But if this gets us a baby, I'd go through all of it a million times over.

I'm so pleased, 16 eggs is nothing short of fantastic. I feel so blessed already. I keep thinking about our embryo children and wondering how they are doing. I hope they know their mummy and daddy love them so much already.

16 Eggs Retrieved...

...fertilization report tomorrow afternoon.

Going to bed for a few hours now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Anniversary Dinner

D and I went out for dinner tonight to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We took some photos with D's iPhone to commemorate the moment. Unfortunately, they were all a bit grainy - this was the best of the bunch:

We had a lovely, relaxing evening. And now we're in for the night and about to settle into a movie and then bed. We can't get too romantic tonight - doctor's orders! (No nookie until after the retrieval on Sunday.) Sorry D, just cuddles tonight!

I am so lucky to be married to the best guy in the world. D, you are my true love.

Just Got The Call...

I am triggering TONIGHT!

No more stims or Synarel going forward. Egg retrieval is scheduled for 8:00am on Sunday! Wahooo!

The Time Is Nigh - Stim Day 9

After today's ultrasound, the doctor advised me that I will be triggering either TONIGHT or TOMORROW! I can't believe it! I'm so excited!

I've got my HCG all ready to go - now I just wait for the nurse to call this afternoon with my marching orders...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fun With Follicles - Stim Day 8

I had my ultrasound this morning and it went better than I could have hoped. Words cannot express how thankful and relieved I am about this.

The scan showed several nicely developing follicles on each ovary, a "beautiful" lining and no cysts. Dr. T was pleased with what she saw. She said we'll probably get about 8-10 eggs at retrieval (average for my age is 6-10) so I am quite pleased with this. Plus, I am trying to focus my mental efforts on some of the smaller follicles right now - let's see if I can't squeeze out a few more! All and all, I could not have asked for a better ultrasound this morning.

Now I wait for the nurse to call with instructions on how I should proceed. Dr. T suspects that I'll come in for another ultrasound tomorrow. I can't wait to hear what's next!

Also, I've been tagged by Ally as a very kind gesture to get my mind off of what is happening in my, um, undercarriage. So here goes:

Four jobs I have held in my life -

1. I worked at an animal shelter when I was going through veterinary technician school. This job was the beginning of the end for me in my life as a vet tech - I quickly learned working with animals in this kind of setting was just too sad.

2. I worked as a bartender in a beer bar in Seattle. I loved this job and it's where I met my husband. Unfortunately things got political and soured at the end. It was not an amicable leave.

3. I worked as a receptionist at a software development company for a few years. It was a good, stable job but I got bored. Little did I know then that I'd end up regretting my decision to leave later on.

4. I worked as a sales assistant at an underwear fashion label. They specialized in fun and funky underwear and sales were directed at gay men. This company went through some really hard financial times and lack of paycheques forced me to find a new job.

Four movies I have watched more than once -

1. Dirty Dancing
2. Reality Bites
3. Bedazzled (1960's Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore version)
4. Forty Year Old Virgin - the movie channels just keep on showing it and I just keep on watching it!

Four TV shows I watch faithfully -

1. America's Next Top Model and Canada's Next Top Model
2. Ugly Betty
3. Smallville
4. How I Met Your Mother
...I could go on and on about this one - I watch a lot of TV I guess.

Four places I have vacationed -

I have been to England, Ireland, France, Scotland, Switzerland, Japan and Israel. I wouldn't call any of these a vacation, though. I am one of those weird people who don't really like to travel. For me, travel equals stress. I would much prefer to just stay home, unplug my phone, rent a stack of movies and just chill out rather than go anywhere. My ideal vacation is hanging out at home.

Four of my favourite foods -

1. My mom's homemade macaroni and cheese
2. Lemon meringue pie
3. Nutella
4. Indian food

Four places I would rather be -

1. At home
2. At home
3. At home
4. At home (see above)

Four hobbies I engage in regularly -

1. Blogging!
2. Reading other people's blogs
3. Watching movies
4. Cooking and baking

That about sums it up!

Guess what? My 5 year wedding anniversary is tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stretchy Pants Here I Come

Well I think I'm starting to feel it. My belly feels bloated and fat, and I can actually feel my ovaries. I can't even explain the feeling other than to say that if I was ever confused as to the exact location of my ovaries, there is no doubt now. This morning I put on pants that were slightly too big for me last week, and today they feel tight and uncomfortable around my mid-section. I am tired. I am impatient. I am crabby. I don't think I could do anything exertive if my life depended on it.

I really hope several nice, juicy follicles are developing. I really hope tonight's injection of Gonal F goes smoothly. I really hope tomorrow's ultrasound shows nothing but great news. I really hope this IVF works.

Defective Pen (?) Drama - Stim Day 7 (Updated)

Last night I proceeded to give myself my evening Gonal F injection. The Gonal F comes in an injection "pen" that contains all the medication in a cartridge and it distributes a little bit of medication (your prescribed dose) with each use.

I jabbed the needle into my abdomen and gave myself the injection. However, when I removed the needle, I noticed a bit of wetness around the injection site. The Gonal F has a distinctive medicine-y smell that I noticed right away. I wondered, did the medication leak out? I removed the disposable needle from the top of the pen after the injection. I found quite a bit of the liquid medication in the reservoir between the top of the pen and where the needle "plugs in".

So then I got really worried. Did I give myself any of the medication? Did I only give myself a partial dose? Did I give myself too much? Not enough? My head was swimming and I tossed and turned last night with anxiety thinking about it.

I feel like I just can't seem to get this injection thing right! Sheesh.

In other (TMI) news, I noticed quite a copious amount of EWCM when I went to the washroom this morning. What the heck? Does this mean I'm about to ovulate? Given that I've been religious about taking the Synarel, I would think not. But who knows? What would cause this? Notably, I very rarely get CM. But then again, I practically never ovulate on my own. What does it all mean? I emailed Dr. T about it - let's see what she says.

I have my first ultrasound to see what's going on in the ol' ovary department tomorrow morning. I am pretty nervous abut it. Here's hoping tomorrow is a happy, drama-free day!

[Update: Dr. T says that the reason I am seeing EWCM is because my estrogen level is climing so high. Apparently it isn't uncommon to see this a week or so into stimming. Whew! I never thought I'd be so happy about NOT ovulating!]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Than Double - Stim Day 6

I had my second blood test this morning and I just heard from the nurse with the results: E2 (estradiol) level at 2820.

That's more than double what it was two days ago.

This seemed high to me but when I emailed Dr. T about it, this was her reply:
"Sounds good. Next is an ultrasound... That will give us lots of information."

My next appointment (for my first ultrasound and third blood test) is on Thursday morning at 8:00am. I'm already nervous.

I've discovered why Dr. Google has been less than helpful in providing me with information on what a "normal" estradiol level during stimulation looks like. I think it's because A) everyone is different and there are no real "normal" levels to speak of; they pay more attention to how it rises, and B) Canadian levels are measured in different units than US levels. It's very confusing.

So my frantic Google searches have been fruitless, which is good and bad. Good because I have nothing to fret over. Bad because I have nothing to fret over.

This morning I felt beyond lethargic and I wondered if it was the medication causing my extreme fatigue. I haven't really noticed anything else, except for a bit of a stomach ache earlier today (not sure if that's related to the meds or not). And of course my very sore abdomen bruises.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lest You Think I Jest

My extreme displeasure with the last photo of the bruises on my stomach forced me to re-do my sexy photoshoot in better light. This pic gives a much better idea of the bruises and welts I speak of. All the colours of the rainbow...

Revealed - Stim Day 5

Well, everyone in my office knows about the IVF now.

I wish I could blame the office gossip channels but actually it was me. I spilled the beans. This is my last week of work before I take a short leave of absence to go through the IVF procedure (barring nothing goes wrong to prevent moving forward). I want plenty of time to have the procedure and go through the 2WW without worrying about work or dealing with any kind of stress at all.

My boss suggested that I send a short email to let everyone know that I would be away from the office, which I did this morning. I should have known sending an email like that would get people asking questions. Questions I just couldn't not answer. As it turns out, I really like talking about it.

It started with quietly telling one person about the IVF, then two, then three four five and before I knew it, I had told practically everyone. Like I said, I really like to talk about it.

At first I was worried because I thought it would make things weird if everyone knew. But something happened today that changed my mind. One of my co-workers said, "I'm going to ask my wife to include you in her prayers at her Monday night prayer group." Now I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination. But something about this offer of prayer was so comforting, and it was one of the nicest things anyone has said to me during this process. I don't think my co-worker knows how much I truly appreciated this kind gesture.

So now I'm of the opinion that it doesn't matter who knows. It's not a secret. And if I can get some extra good thoughts, good energy, good luck, and good prayers coming my way, well, all the better. I really believe that stuff works.

In recent stim news, my lower abdomen is getting quite bruised (I might try to take another photo) and has become extremely sore. While I was showing one of my co-workers how I give myself the injections, I pinched part of my belly to illustrate, not realizing until too late that I pinched a recent injection site and wow did it send a wave of hot purple soreness through my gut. Won't be doing THAT again.

Next blood test tomorrow. I really hope the results are good.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Battle Scars & Yawning Cat

Wow three posts in one day. That's got to be my record.

I just found my digital camera and had to take a photo of my abdomen so you can all see the bruises. I'm disappointed in the photos I took however; none of them really capture the redness and bruises as much as I hoped they would. In fact, you can barely see them. But I swear they're there! Oh well.

Also, how cute is the picture? I've been giggling at it ever since I took it. Ah Pippin, you slay me.

OK I Lied

Ya know how, just a few short hours ago, on the bottom of my last post I wrote something to the effect of "I'm going to try not to stress about it" (with regard to my high E2 level)?

Well, shortly after I wrote that, I started searching Dr. Google and well, basically worked myself into a foaming-at-the-mouth balls out lather me up frenzy of panic. I employed such key words as "high E2 day 4 of stims doomed" and "E2 over 1000 IVF failed". Let me tell you, there is a lot of bad news on the internet.

So I finally just bit the bullet emailed my doctor about my concern. And being the incredibly great doctor she is, she emailed back within a few hours (which is amazing for a Sunday).

This was her response:

"Hi Hilary,
Nope, it's not too high. This is usually a very good sign. We like the
E2 to be around 400-800. If it's a little higher we just back off a
bit. If it was over 2,000 or less than 300 I would be worried. It
likely means you have lots of follicles growing.
Take care"

To say this reply made me feel better is an understatement. Sweet, sweet relief.

Slow Down, Ya Move Too Fast - Stim Day 4

Well I think the meds are finally getting to me.

My good mood in the morning quickly deteriorated into something black and foul. I've been crabby and mean all day. Even though I know this about myself, I just can't seem to help it. My husband is a saint today.

Oh and I seem to have lost my marbles as well. I have been forgetting stuff, important stuff, all day. Here's a prime example of what I'm talking about: I had to take my Repronex with me to my morning blood draw, as they like to measure you BEFORE you shoot yourself up full of the meds (more on the results of the blood draw below). Afterwards, I told the nurse that I had to do my AM injection and asked if there was there a room I could use. She kindly escorted me to an empty room and told me to take all the time I needed.

--As an aside, the room contained a table with stirrups, and all kinds of other stuff that made me realize that I was in a room where they actually do the procedures - IUI, IVF and the like. I noticed a biohazard container full of used catheters (of course I had to look in - it said biohazard, didn't it?) and I wondered, were there embryos in those catheters recently? I know this sounds crazy, but being in that room made everything feel so real, all over again.--

Back to my story. So I was preparing my supplies and I got everything ready to go. Just before I was going to inject myself, the injection needle skidded across the table I was sitting at. I only brought one needle and I thought, I'm screwed, there's no way I can use this needle now. But ah, then I remembered where I was. So I interrupted the nurse and asked her for a replacement needle, which she gave me. I went back to the room, finished the injection, threw the wrappers and empty bottles in the garbage and left. As I proceeded to the parking lot, that's when it hit me: Did I remember to mix my medication???

As it turns out, no, I didn't. Sure I injected myself, but only with the saline. I gasped in horror and ran back to the clinic. I felt so stupid. I again interrupted the kindly nurse and told her what I did. She looked confused, like she couldn't imagine who in their right mind could forget to mix their medication? She actually said, "Wow those hormones must really be affecting you!". She gave me fresh supplies and led me back into the empty room which I inhabited only 10 minutes earlier. And when I dug through the garbage, sure enough, I found the unused Repronex (powder) bottle - for those of you playing along at home, that's the IMPORTANT part of the medication. I did the whole thing over again. Yes, I gave myself two injections this morning. The first one was just for fun I guess.


The nurse called a few minutes ago with the results of today's estradiol blood test = 1066. Considering it was below 100 when before I started the injections, she said I was stimulating a tad too fast. She instructed me to lower my dosage of Gonal F and come back on Tuesday for my next blood test. Of course I wanted to hear that everything is perfect and I am stimulating beautifully, and while this is not ideal, the nurse didn't seem too worried about it. I guess the alternative - not stimulating at all- would be worse. I'm going to try not to stress about it.

I think I shall continue to stew in my own unholy wretched bad mood for the remainder of the day.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Rainbow Of Fruit Flavours - Stim Day 3

Yesterday and today have gone fairly smoothly. No major incidents to report, thank goodness. Tomorrow morning at 8:00am I will go in for my first stimulated blood test. I'm a bit nervous, as thoughts of non-responsive ovaries, giant ovarian cysts and other disturbing fears like that have been flashing in my head.

My stomach is getting increasingly more colourful with every injection. It seems that almost exactly 7 hours after each injection, a nice red welt forms and by the next day, the red welt turns into a blue-ish/yellow-ish bruise. Lovely colours! I am going to take a picture to post so you can all see what I"m talking about. I have to find my digital camera first, but hopefully I can do this tomorrow.

I haven't really noticed any other medication-related points of interest. I thought that I noticed some ovarian achiness in my left ovary yesterday (and of course I worried - why isn't my right ovary responding??), but in hindsight, now I think it was just gas.

So far so good!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Save The Drama For Your Momma - Stim Day 2

Last night sent me plummeting into a teary emotional fallout. Could it be that the meds are affecting my moods already?

After last night's acupuncture appointment, I looked at my watch only to discover that I had laid there with needles in me for a lot longer than I thought. I panicked when I realized that I only had 18 minutes to get home before I had to take my next injection.

I don't have a car. I ran to the bus stop just in time to see the bus whoosh by as I approached (this particular bus only comes every 30 minutes or so). I called for a taxi and was assured that one would be there in a minute or two. I waited at least 15 minutes and no one showed up. I tried to hail taxis on the street but even though their lights were on, no one was stopping. I should add that it was raining, making matters worse.

I called the taxi dispatch again. I was told by an unsympathetic dispatcher there were "no cars in the area now", but it shouldn't be long. He added, "maybe you should try to take a bus". That's when I lost it. Much to my surprise, I started crying while I was on the phone with taxi dispatch. I tearfully pleaded my case but he said there was nothing he could do. I hung up and sobbed. Sobbed. On the street. In the middle of downtown. I think I actually wailed. It was uncontrollable. I want to blame the injections or my period for this but I don't know if it's justified.

About 10 minutes later, my taxi finally arrived. I got home and D quickly ushered me into the house and helped me to lay out my injection supplies. I did my injection, albeit about 20 minutes late. Oh well. Notably, the Gonal-F injections hurt considerably less than the Repronex. It doesn't sting nearly as much.

More drama this morning. I prepared the Repronex injection skillfully and on time. I thought it went smoothly until I removed the needle from my abdomen and somehow pressed on the plunger again only to cause a fine spray of medication to escape from the needle in an arc-like fashion. I don't know how much medication was lost, but it was certainly some. Without hesitation, I jammed that needle back into my gut - one more time, with feeling. I pushed the plunger down as hard as I could just to ensure that I injected every last drop. It's amazing how when you really want to inject yourself, you don't think about it for a second, you just do it.

I wonder how much medication was lost. I hope it wasn't too much. I'm trying not to worry about it. I kinda think that they wouldn't put this stuff in the hands of lay people if it was a critically exact science. Oh well, there's nothing I can do about it now.

Here's hoping for a much less dramatic injection tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Day Of Injections

In an effort to keep you all completely informed of the ins and outs of this IVF cycle, I am delighted to share my experiences from my first day of injections. I aim to spare no precious details, my dear readers.

First of all, I must admit that as I suspected, I tossed and turned all night in anticipation of my first injection. I dreamed of dirty needles and being weak from loss of blood, among other unsettling things.

When I awoke, I discovered that I had started my period AGAIN. This basically makes...let's see...17 days STRAIGHT of either bleeding or spotting of some kind. Normally this would have freaked me right out, but I've calmly deduced that this second appearance of my period is probably due to the fact that I stopped the pre-IVF birth control pills on Monday. I guess I didn't expect to have a period after finishing the birth control because, well, I didn't think there was anything left to bleed! If anything, this is probably a good sign. It means my body is on the right cycle and responding well (so far - knock on wood) to the meds. Also, remember, this is the calm, still Hilary you're dealing with now.

I took a quick shower and came downstairs in my robe, all raring to go. I laid out the instructions and methodically set out all my supplies. I drew up the saline, carefully injected it into the dry Repronex and "swirled" the bottle around like the nurse showed me at orientation. However, this activity did produce copious amounts of tiny bubbles so either I swirled too hard or maybe the bubbles are unavoidable. I then drew up the fully mixed Repronex concoction into the syringe, switched needles and set the works down on the counter whilst I sterilized my pinched tummy-fold with an alcohol prep pad. My skin was ready to go. The needle was ready to go. Without hesitation, I went for it.

I was surprised that it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. It was A LOT more uncomfortable this morning than it was during my "practice" injection at the clinic. I think it's because the real medication actually stings quite a bit; at the clinic I just used saline to practice. But I did it, and shouted a bold "woo-hoo!" so that my husband could hear my song of success from his office at the back of the townhouse. I really was proud of myself.

While walking to work shortly thereafter, I noticed a strange euphorically spacey feeling come over me. Almost like I had a little red-wine buzz going. Perhaps it was due the guided meditation in my iPod, the adrenaline, or perhaps to my relief in having the first injection over with. Maybe I was having my very first medication "mood swing", albeit a positive one. I felt good, confident and happy.

Notably, around 3pm today, I noticed I've developed a bit of irritation at the injection site. I'm not worried about it, I know this can happen. But I do wonder what my abdomen will look like after another week of this! Oooooh stomach acne. That's HOT.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Freak Show

In celebration and anticipation of starting my injections tomorrow, I just ate 2 HUGE brownies. I feel sick. But it was worth it.

In other news, here are two, um, unique - shall we say - search terms I just discovered that have led people to my blog:

1. "awful speculum"
2. "baby drinks asprin" (sic)

What kind of freak show am I running here, I ask you?!

**Legal Disclaimer**
People of the world, please do not allow your babies drink aspirin. Side effects may include dry mouth, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, rash, sweaty palms, fever, genital itching and death. In clinical trials, babies who drank aspirin did not fare well. This blog is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. If you suspect that your baby has drunk aspirin, please do not search this blog (or the internet in general) for counsel; turn off your computer immediately and dial 9-1-1.

Thank you,
The Trying Game

A Stillness About You

Last night, at my acupuncture appointment, I talked to Dr. S about what he feels makes an IVF successful. His answer was outlook, spirit, age and response to treatment. When I prompted him to comment on what he thinks about MY chances, he said that he thought they were good because I have a very positive spirit. Then he said something that really blew my mind: He said, "Underneath everything, you have a stillness about you, and inner like to think you're more anxious than you really are."

Whoa. *Nuclear brain explosion* What a concept. Could it be true? Me??

I have not been able to shake this statement since. Is it possible that my anxiety is just some movie that's being projected on a still white screen? Could it be that all my worry is just waves and ripples of water that merely exist on the surface, high above the calm dark ocean floor? Is all this just one small aspect of my persona, that just happens to be loud enough to get the most attention? Am I really a "still" person underneath it all?

Aside from being, well, pretty much the best compliment I've ever received, Dr. S's words tapped into a level of my consciousness that I didn't even know existed. The idea that I deceive myself into thinking that I am this nervous wreck all the time is liberating and sad all at once. Sad, because the anxiety is just an illusion and I've been spending precious time cultivating this illusion. Sad, because I've been giving the squeaky wheel the grease for so long now, neglecting the rest of me.

It's time to focus on the stillness. Everything else is just details. I'm not just going to try to relax, I am going to be. Just be. Let's see what happens.

...Starting injections tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Baby Saturation Point?

I feel weird today. Off. Not good. Not terrible. Just weird.

And a wee bit discouraged. Lately, it seems like just about everyone is turning up pregnant. My logical mind understands that this does not affect my chances; it's not like they are taking away from the world's quota of total allowable babies. Intellectually, I know that. But for some reason this makes me feel discouraged about my odds. Like, if everyone else is getting pregnant, how will there ever be room in the pregnancy club for me? If everyone else gets to have a baby, how can there be any babies left for me?

I know how this sounds. Stupid, right? Where do these crazy thoughts come from? Isn't this the silliest thing you've ever heard someone worry about? It's almost embarrassing to admit this out, I mean online.

I guess I'm just finding optimism to be a struggle today. *Sigh*

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ya'll Know Me - Still Same Ol' G

Yes, despite my cheery outlook of late, the bitter, jealous, hideously wretched Hilary still looms under the surface.

We had our friends L and S over for dinner last night. This is "pregnant L" I'm referring to, mind you, the very same L who shared the same conception date as me. And while I went on to miscarry, L has continued on with her healthy pregnancy. L is now about 7 months along, and sporting a huge pregnant belly.

L is one of my best friends, and we see each other often. When I first miscarried, I couldn't see her for weeks, as her successful, ongoing pregnancy was a constant reminder of what I had lost. But as time passed and I started to heal a bit, my tolerance for seeing L got better. Over the last few months, I've been 98.5% OK with hanging out with L, especially since we've been moving forward with the IVF. I'm even happy for her, something I never thought would be possible. I've been very proud of myself for how much I've been able to tolerate, despite my fragile state.

However. Last night, we were all sitting on my big couch watching a movie. I sat next to L and somewhere half-way through the movie, I glanced at her giant protruding belly and watched as she gently rubbed it. As if she was already soothing and comforting her yet-to-be-born infant. This was a beautiful example of parental love and motherhood. And it made me jealous as hell. The pangs of jealousy and envy were so sudden and violent, that I actually had to get up from the movie and spend a few minutes in the kitchen by myself. I just felt so slighted. Sometimes I forget, in all my optimism and fortitude, that I am still somewhat of a wreck underneath it all.

After they left, I asked D if he thought I would have a giant belly like L in a few months. Without a moment's hesitation, he replied "Yes!" I asked him how he could be so positive. He answered, "It doesn't do us any good to think otherwise". This statement made me feel better and worse simultaneously.

I wonder, once I'm pregnant or even after I have a baby, will I still feel this instinctive bitterness toward pregnant women? I wonder, does this feeling ever go away? Or is it so deeply instilled in my being that this knee-jerk jealous reaction will always be part of my persona? I've changed 10,000 times since the miscarriage, and then again, not at all.

Friday, November 9, 2007


I feel really happy today.

It's Friday and the eve of a long weekend (hooray for Remembrance Day!). I have a lovely, relaxing weekend in store for myself and all is well in my world (*knocking on wood as I type this*).

I feel very well taken care of. The fertility clinic, my acupuncturist, my family, my husband and my friends have all been this wonderful fluffy, warm security blanket for me over the past few weeks. It is solely due to this comfort that everyone has provided that I feel so good and happy. I am enveloped in support.

I have kept myself to a very strictly nutritious diet over the past few weeks but this morning, I decided just to relax about all that stuff. Of course I'm still going to eat as healthfully as possible, I'm just not going to stress about it. I'm just not going to stress about anything. I'm done with all that.

I know as much as I can possibly know about this process. I am as healthy as I can possibly be right now. Anything that I have even a modicum of control over, is already controlled to the best of my abilities. Nothing left to do but sit back and allow this process to happen. I am surrendering to it all, and I must admit, it feels wonderful to relinquish the white-knuckle grasp that I've been maintaining. I'm letting it happen, letting it be, letting it go.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


It's a new day.

The anxiety has been coming in waves and at the moment, I'm feeling pretty good. I am excited, optimistic and empowered by extreme organization.

I've got a short (30 minute) massage scheduled for tonight, which I could not be more enthusiastic about. From all the recent worrying, my shoulders have become so stiff they're practically touching my ears.

I've boarded the rollercoaster and locked that safety bar firmly on my lap. The ride has slowly started forward. I'm on my way.

This will be a very interesting few weeks to say the least. Between the meds and the anticipation, I can't imagine how I'll feel one, two or even three weeks from today. I imagine every day will certainly bring a new adventure - good and bad. (Fingers crossed for mostly good.)

D and my 5 year wedding anniversary will be coming up on November 23rd. I was folding laundry while D was sitting in bed last night, when I reminded him of this fact. I jokingly said, "we better go nuts and do something crazy because this may very well be the last anniversary that we have that's". The minute the statement came out of my mouth, the reality of what we're doing hit me all over again with the force of a grand piano dropped from 30 storeys. I only hope we'll be so lucky.

This is, without a doubt, the most intensive, intensely intense process I've ever been lucky enough to experience. I've never lived so hard.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Full Steam Ahead!

I just heard from the nurse: It's all good!

I have un-clenched.

The nurse said the doctor doesn't know why I would be having such an early period, but assured me that the blood test showed that I'm "nicely repressed" and everything looks fine to proceed as planned.

Additionally, she gave me the dates and instructions for when to start my injections. My first one will be on Thursday, November 15th (in just over a week!). I was so delighted by this news I quite literally kissed the phone as if it was the wonderful messanger nurse.


I don't know why I got so upset. Actually, I do. It's because I am so used to my body not cooperating, especially reproductively. It never does what it's supposed to do - this strange birth-control induced period is a great example of that. But for all the trouble I've had (I'm talking to you - yeah, YOU, ovaries!) I can't complain anymore. Knock on wood, things are progressing...swimmingly.

Thanks again, all, for your support and for talking me off the proverbial ledge yesterday. Love you guys!

So Now We Wait

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the lovely comments and well-wishes. I really appreciate it. Thanks, you guys keep me [somewhat] sane.

I went in for the blood test this morning. The nurses said they will call me between noon and 4pm today with "results and next steps...". So why does that sound so ominous? (Truth be told, probably anything they said would have been translated in my head as potentially bad news.) For better or for worse, I'll know the results in a few hours.

In other news, I tried a new brand of hair colour last night. It was supposed to come out pretty much the same colour that my hair always is (light reddish brown) MINUS the grey. But instead, it came out VERY dark brown, almost black. I don't like it one bit. I think I'm far too fair to pull off a colour this dark. I implore you - in what universe does a colour called "light pecan" translate into "midnight dark chocolate"?

Serenity now.

Monday, November 5, 2007

What The H-E-Double Hockey Sticks??? [Updated]

[Reader Beware: Major TMI in this post...]

I was put on three weeks of pre-IVF birth control pills and I started my first pill on October 22nd. I have been extremely diligent about taking them at the exact same time every day, as per the strict instructions from Dr. T.

On October 30th, I noticed some light brown spotting. Never having had mid-cycle spotting before, I was naturally concerned. I asked the doctor and nurses about this and they didn't seem worried, so I tried not to be bothered by it. Every day since then, the spotting has become more and more profuse until today, when the spotting transformed into a full-blown red bleed complete with heavy menstrual cramping.

Today is my 17th day on birth control pills and I'm still a good week away from when I'm supposed to get my period. But here it is, in all it's glory.

I don't get it. I thought birth control was supposed to regulate your cycle, not make it go all krazee. Why is this happening? Should I be worried?

I've left a message with the nurses to call me about this and I'll update when I hear back from them. *Sigh* I wish I knew what was going on here.

[Update: I just heard back from the nurse. She said she doesn't know why I am bleeding like this but admits it's unusual. I am supposed to go to the clinic first thing tomorrow morning for a blood test to see what's what. I'm nervous. When I asked her if my IVF cycle might be delayed or canceled because of this, she answered, "possibly". I'm trying not to freak out until we know what's going on but I really am worried.]

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Namaste, Nasal Spray & Naughtiness

In my quest to calm down, I downloaded some guided meditations for my iPod. I listened to the first one today and promptly fell straight asleep! Probably a side effect from doing the meditation on my bed. But oh well, it was a terrific nap, really, one of the best I've had in a long time. I'll try again tomorrow and maybe next time I'll use a chair.

I also started the Synarel nasal spray this morning. This is a bit of a big deal for me because this means I've officially started the IVF medication protocol. Very exciting! Although, I had never ever used a nasal spray before. I "primed" the pump, as instructed by the nurse, and stuck that sucker up my right nostril. I closed my left nostril, pressed the pump and inhaled. And I didn't feel a thing! I started to wonder if the medication came out. So even though I know better, I pumped a second time. Still didn't feel anything. Then I tipped my head backwards and waited for a few seconds. Lo and behold I started to taste that telltale medicine taste in the back of my throat. So I guess it worked. And I guess I "double dosed" myself. Yikes. I won't make that mistake again.

D and I went out for lunch today at this great little cafe that we love. They make the best beef chili in the whole world, as well as unparalleled pastries. I didn't know if the beef in the chili was organic (hormone free) or not, so I decided to get a homemade chicken pot pie instead. It was delicious, although very, very crusty. I felt guilty after eating it because flour is not such a good thing for me and my insulin levels. However, the guilt did not stop me from indulging in a beautiful brownie afterwards. It was naughty, but it was heaven. I'm too tired too beat myself up over it. My ass and insulin levels will just have to get over it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Our Little Chit-Chat

As per my last post, one of the things that was causing [some of] my anxiety was that fact that I was going to have to talk to my boss about the time off I want/need for the upcoming IVF. I'm asking for a grand total of about 3 weeks, so I'm not talking about small potatoes here - at least not in my office.

Well today was the day of the talk. I think it went fairly well, although at some point I think I insulted him unintentionally. I'll get to that part in a minute.

So I booked a meeting with my boss for the end of the day and by the time we got around to meeting I was kinds of worked up (me? REALLY?). As I was invited into his office, I swore to him I wouldn't take up too much of his time.

I didn't go into a lot of detail (at least not a lot for me - listen, I could go on and on if someone lets me keep talking, especially when I'm nervous or anxious or worried about something I can talk until the cows come home about anything under the sun, I can just keep going and going and going....*clears throat* But I digress). As I was saying, I didn't go into a huge amount of detail, I just told him the approximate window of dates that things would be happening and I told him I'd need that week, PLUS the following two weeks post IVF off. Oh yeah, and I will need to take mornings off for the week prior to the IVF for those daily bloodtests and ultrasounds. Tee Hee.

He was a bit surprised at the amount I was requesting, I think. Especially being a relative new employee (I started in April). I could see this look on his face so I felt I needed to start backpedaling by saying stuff like, "I really don't expect to get paid during this time, I know it's a lot to ask, I'll try to come back to work as soon as I can, I don't mean to be presumptuous and (here comes the insult) if it's not possible for me to keep my job it's okay..."

That last part came out all wrong. My intent was to say that it's understandable if they are not able to hold my position for that long and I don't expect special treatment; what came out was more along the lines of "hey man, it's like, totally fine with me if, ya know, I lose this stinkin' job anyway who cares". I'm sure I'm exaggerating here but it just felt wrong when that statement came out of my mouth. He responded by saying, "Are you saying it's okay with you if you lose your job?? Hilary, you're not going to lose your job." *insert major sigh of exasperation and tone of frustration from boss here*.

Anyway, I synopsized again the reasoning behind why I want the time off and told him this IVF is the most important thing I've got going right now...He said he got that, and he would do what he could, and get back to me with an answer regarding pay during the leave, etc. He sent me off with a "go get pregnant" and that was it.

All in all I guess it went as well as it could have. So why do I feel so guilty? My boss is a really great guy and I guess I hate feeling like I've disappointed him in some way. Oh well, taking this time off is the right thing for me, consequences be damned. I feel good that our chat is over with at least.

Now....what should I worry/obsess/freak-out over next?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Busy Busy Brain [With Updates]

I can't believe I'm saying this, but as excited as I am for the upcoming IVF, I'm also feeling a little overwhelmed. Okay, make that more than a little overwhelmed.

I function best when I feel completely organized. So today, I went out and bought a notebook and tabs and carefully went though all the papers given to me at the IVF Orientation and logically filed them in my new notebook. That made me feel a little bit better, but I can't shake this feeling like I'm missing or forgetting something. It's just so much information to take in.

I also noticed that they will be having me start the Synarel on CD 21, the same day as the last day of my birth control pills. This seems weird to me, as I thought the Synarel was supposed to start on CD 14. I got all confused and worked myself into such a lather that I finally ended up leaving a message for a nurse at the clinic to call me back. Hopefully she can straighten me out. (If anyone knows from experience about when to start Synarel, please leave a comment.) [Update: I spoke with the nurse just now - thank goodness I called when I did. As it turns out, starting the Synarel on CD 21 would have been a mistake. It was an error in my chart. I am supposed to start the Synarel in CD 14 (in 3 days), just as I had suspected. I'm thrilled my obsessive worrying was actually warranted for once! I would have been crushed if my cycle was cancelled or delayed due to something like an incorrect chart note!]

I still haven't heard back from my doctor about the "how many embryos to transfer" issue. She's usually very quick with her replies so I re-sent the original email from Tuesday, because I'm just that impatient. I'll feel better when we get this issue settled. If there is a good reason for us to only transfer back one embryo, then I will respect her judgement, but I really want to transfer two so I'm hoping she's agreeable to that. [Update: I'm glad I resent the email because it turned out that Dr. T didn't receive my original one from Tuesday. She replied that she believes we actually have a better chance of success if we transfer back one great-quality embryo versus two lower quality embryos. Of course, much depends on what the embryos are like. Bottom line: We'll cross that bridge when we see what we have to work with.]

One last source of stress that making me feel all buggy is the fact that I have to talk to my boss about all the time off I plan to take before, during and after the IVF. I'm hoping for the whole month of December, to be exact. He's out of town until tomorrow so I sent him an email yesterday to brace him about what I want to discuss, but he hasn't replied yet. *Fret* [Update: I'm still freaked out about this but I'm taking the time off no matter what; I'm just scared to confront my boss.]

I woke up at 4:00am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep because of the worrying. I think I'll feel much better when all this stuff is sorted out. I hate feeling like I've too many outstanding issues and unanswered questions floating around in my brain. Sigh.