Friday, February 25, 2011

What a day

Yesterday ended up being an eventful day in a lot of ways.

First, there was the unexpected opportunity I wrote about here for us to (possibly) receive donated embryos.  Thank you SO much for your support!  It warmed my heart to know that so many of you were thinking positive thoughts and praying for us.

Second, MM had his follow-up appointment with the hematologist.  (I mentioned last week that he was being worked up for some abnormal lab work.)  We were relieved to learn that he does not have cancer.  He was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia, which for now will only require regular monitoring and a daily baby aspirin.  Of the possible diagnoses the doctor was contemplating, this one was the best-case-scenario, so while he is not happy to learn he has a chronic condition, it could be much worse.

Third, and probably the most unexpected: the embryo donation opportunity I wrote about led to a long and heated discussion with MM about our treatment options.  To make a long story short. . . . I think the reality of actually taking an affirmative step toward the donor embryo route hit MM with force for the first time yesterday, and as a result, he had to sort through his feelings about it. 

The end result: MM realized that he is not yet ready to give up on trying to have a child to whom he is genetically related.  Which means that he doesn't feel comfortable proceeding with donor embryo when we have not yet tried a DE IVF cycle.

I have been mentally and emotionally exhausted by (what I perceive to be) MM's flip-flopping on what we should do.  DE IVF had been our plan since last summer, until the week before Christmas, when he suddenly decided he didn't want to go forward with it this summer, as we'd previously agreed.  Since that time, and since our session with my counselor, our plan A was supposed to be pursuing embryo donation or a shared DE cycle.  (Plan B would be doing a DE cycle on our own in a year, if Plan A didn't pan out.)

Last night MM realized that, for him, DE is still Plan A.  And in light of his biggest concern--what if we spend all this money and it doesn't work?--he would rather we do a cycle on our own, rather than share a cycle, to maximize our chances of having frozen embryos in the event that a fresh cycle is unsuccessful.

Despite my frustration with his indecisiveness, I am glad he is finding clarity and that we are communicating about this.  This decision is obviously one with huge implications for our lives, and for the lives of our (hopeful) future child.

My recent post about developing patience notwithstanding, I'm just not OK with passively waiting for another year to start DE IVF without doing something.  I was semi-OK with waiting when I only thought of DE IVF as our back-up plan, but if it is once again our Plan A, I'd rather get on with it. 

MM understands my feelings. . . . my frustration with his back-and-forth on these issues, the urgency I feel at wanting to get this part of our lives behind us, my strong desire to be a mother, through whatever path I can.

So he has agreed to go ahead with a DE IVF cycle this summer, as previously planned.  Yes, it will be a little difficult financially for a while, but it is not beyond our reach.  MM cannot be at peace, or seriously entertain the idea of donor embryo, until we give it a try, and I do not want to wait another year to do it. . . . so here we go.

We have our initial consultation with our clinic (I will not mention the name here, for privacy reasons, but email me if you want to know more) on March 16th.

We are also putting all our hopes on a single fresh DE cycle.  Previously we had considered purchasing a type of "shared risk" plan where we would get a significant portion of our money back if the fresh cycle and any subsequent FETs with embryos from that cycle did not work, but it is $7K less to simply pay for a single fresh cycle. 

We have done some math and come to the conclusion that it is likely not worth the extra money for most couples.  Given the high success rate of our chosen clinic, it is much more likely than not that a fresh cycle will work for us.  And we are resigned to dealing with it if we are in the unlucky minority for whom it does not work.  It may well be that we will be unlucky; goodness knows, there are no guarantees with this stuff.  If we are, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

So that's where we are.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


A potential embryo donation situation has come up.  Could you keep us in your thoughts (and prayers, if you pray) as we explore it?  Thanks.

Gah, I am SO tired of having to logically weigh the pros and cons of what is essentially an emotion-driven decision.  *sigh*  But grateful for this opportunity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Things could be worse

Once again, I have not been posting much.  Occasionally I have a thought or a feeling that I want to share on this blog, but lately they never seem to rise to a level where I actually get around to writing and posting.  (Bear in mind that, for the most part, my posting must now be done at home, during my personal time, and I often go a week or more without even turning on the computer at home, after being on it and on my Bla.ckBe.rry all day at work.  So I'm sure that's a big factor.)

I'm not feeling good about where we are.  I'm not feeling particularly optimistic about getting out of this in-between/waiting place any time soon.  But I am trying not to dwell on it much, since there is little I can do about it.  Life is busy, which helps to redirect my attention to other areas of my life.

Rest assured, I am still reading all my regular blogs (which would include all the ones on my blog lists here and many more that I've never gotten around to adding to the lists), even if I am not commenting as much as I used to.  Hey, you ladies are just about the only women in the world whose pregnancies put a smile on my face instead of feelings of anger and injustice in my heart!

In non-TTC-related news, things are pretty much the same as ever.  MM and I saw our accountant last week and will be finding out in the next week or so how much our tax refunds will be; we know we will be getting some money back, just the exact amount is unclear at the moment.  Depending on how much we will get back, we may use a portion for a vacation for our third wedding anniversary in November--the rest is going toward our fertility treatment savings fund--so we are looking forward to finding out.  Hawaii and St. Lucia are being considered for our trip, assuming there is money for it.

MM has been dealing with a minor health scare: while being treated for pneumonia last month, his PCP noticed some abnormal labwork which resulted in a referral to a hematologist.  MM is a self-admitted hypochondriac, so being sent to see a specialist where the word "ONCOLOGY" is painted on the front door of the office has caused him a lot of anxiety.  (I, as a former nurse, am more pragmatic and less apt to think "worst case scenario" about these things.)  He had an appointment yesterday with a whole slew of new blood tests, and we will know the results next Thursday.

As for me, I am on day four of a constant headache which, thankfully, has not yet blossomed into a full-on migraine, thanks to regular doses of and caffeine.  (I woke up at 2:40 this morning because of the pain and had to take more medication.)  I am also thinking (for the millionth time) about doing something serious about my weight (hCG diet? Medi-fast?), but so far I've not really passed the "thinking about it" stage.  Plus anything more than a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs is pretty much out of the question when I have a headache like the one I have currently because headaches decrease my energy level, and any kind of exercise which elevates my heart rate exacerbates them.

Thinking of people I know who are dealing with cancer makes me grateful that the only health challenges I'm facing are headaches, infertility and obesity.  Things could be much worse.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


patience  [pey-shuhns]

1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience. 

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
~ Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

So about patience. . . . I have very little.  I am usually restless and/or annoyed when confronted with delay.  I am seldom able to bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation.  Yes, I can be patient with loved ones (or my dogs) when the occasion warrants, but more often than not, I am impatient.

MM has even less patience than I.  He claims it's due to his "OCS" (Only Child Syndrome).  He gets annoyed waiting at a red light or listening to a story he doesn't find interesting.  He can't stand to delay gratification.

I don't think MM and I are very unlike most people in this regard.  Especially in today's world, where most things are available right away--witness high-speed internet, mobile phones, e-mail and the like--most of us don't have to wait for most things.

I realized today that a lot of my current angst over where we are in regards to pursuing potential paths to parenthood (ah, alliteration!) is due to my lack of patience.  I mean, look: in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter much whether a couple with embryos to donate finds us today or a year from now?  Will it really make a huge difference in our lives to do a DE IVF cycle next summer instead of this summer?

The (obvious) answers to these questions is no.  No, a delay of one year means nothing when I am looking at trying to achieve pregnancy with someone else's gametes.  Once I am no longer relying on my own (already-aged) eggs to get pregnant, the passage of time really matters not one whit to the success of either DE or DEm.

Don't get me wrong: I don't think I am being completely unreasonable by chafing at the delay.  We will have been TTC for THREE YEARS come April.  Most people who go off birth control and decide to have a baby--yes, even women who are over 35--would have had a child by now.  (Heck, they could've had 2-3 children by now!)  It *is* abnormal to have to wait this long to become parents.

And even before we started TTC, I have wanted to be a mother for YEARS.  Literally since my teens.  So there's that.

So while I don't judge myself harshly for being impatient in this particular area, I need to work on developing patience. . . . simply because being IMpatient about it will get me nowhere and just cause more negative feelings.  However, I will be honest and say that I don't even really know where to start. . . . .

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Word of the Day" and my infertility-warped mind

Do any of you subscribe to the Word of the Day?  I started subscribing in law school and continue to receive a word daily in my email.  Often the word of the day is a word I already know, but not infrequently it is a word which is pretty obscure or used primarly in literary contexts.  Sometimes it's a word I don't know at all.

Today's word is desideratum, plural desiderata.  The only place I previously had seen this word was in relation to this poem, and I confess, I didn't really know what it meant.  According to, desideratum means "something desired or considered necessary."

So what was my first thought upon reading this?  "Oh, like motherhood for me."  Yeah.  Warped mind indeed.

I find it interesting that this word couples desire with necessity.  There are certainly many things one might desire which one would not consider necessary. . . . for example, I desire a BMW sedan, but I certainly wouldn't consider it necessary.  I would say the universe of things which are not only desired but also necessary is relatively small.  Hmm.

MM and I had our session with NC yesterday, and it went very well.  I could tell that NC was favorably impressed with MM (who wouldn't be? he is a great guy), and after talking to us for about half the session, she mentioned that she "gets it" now, meaning she sees how our relationship works for us.  MM felt good about the session because there were no surprises--in his opinion, the worst possible thing which could happen at any couples counseling session would be to find out something your wife had told the counselor about you and never told you--and because we were also able to talk in more depth about a couple of things we'd only discussed briefly prior to the session.

The most specific "result" of the session was that we have agreed to set a time limit on the plans we have in the works.  NC pointed out that we have been dealing with IF our entire marriage (and before) and that it probably isn't healthy for me, or for us, to continue dragging this out indefinitely due to MM's concerns about finances.  So we have agreed to continue pursuing our current options--embryo donation and/or a possible shared DE IVF cycle--until this time next year, and if one or the other has not panned out by then, to commit to paying for a cycle of DE IVF on our own, despite the expense.  MM agreed that, though we will try to save what we can toward that cycle over the next year, we will go ahead next year (if necessary) whether we have the entire amount saved or not.

[By the way. . . . if anyone reading this wants to consider sharing a cycle with us or knows someone who does. . . . or, by the same token, has embryos to donate or knows someone who does. . . feel free to email me at the address in my profile.]

So that's where we're at.  I think we are on a path which is a good compromise.  I would like to be moving on with SOMETHING that will make us parents, oh, YESTERDAY, but our current plan also respects the financial realities of our situation (and MM's concerns about debt).

The hardest thing for me about either option--embryo donation or a possible shared DE IVF cycle--is that each relies upon someone else's decision to become a reality.  Someone with embryos would have to decide to donate them to us, or someone would have to come forward willing to share a cycle with us.  I don't do well with things where not only the outcome, but the very start of the process, is out of my control.  But it is what it is.  Good opportunity for some personal growth, I suppose.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


And the hits just keep on coming. . . . today on my way to attend a deposition, I did a quick check of Fac.eb.ook. . . . only to see an ultrasound photo posted by an old friend (someone I haven't seen in over 20 years).  Mind you, an old friend who is 42 years old and has been married less than six months.  Oh, and did I mention that she already has a child?  And that her child is a girl and this baby is (apparently) a boy?

In (what has become) typical fashion, I felt gut-punched.  No feelings of happiness for her, not only initially but for several minutes afterwards.  I didn't post a congratulations in a comment to her photo or on her "wall."  Nope.

All I could think was "Why her and not me?!"

Yeah.  Good times.

My sister suggested a break.  Probably a good suggestion.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Wow, thanks to Cherbear at Infertility in a Nutshell for giving me this award.  I love discovering new bloggers, especially in this community!  And actually, given how many of my readers/fellow bloggers seem to get pregnant--happily for them, sadly for me--I'd really start to feel alone if I didn't discover new ladies all the time.

I am supposed to give this award to 15 other bloggers and share 7 interesting things about myself.  Due to lack of time, I am going to skip these steps but appreciate the award nonetheless.

In infertility-related news. . . . MM and I have our first-ever joint session with my counselor NC on Sunday.  Should be interesting.  We have a couple of different plans in the works and continue to talk about where we will go from here, so I guess that is a positive thing. 

In sad semi-infertility-related news. . . . back when I used to frequent the message boards of a popular fertility tracking website, I was part of a "buddy group" in which all of us were TTC our first.  I joined the buddy group during the early optimistic phase of our TTC "journey," just a few months after going off the Pill.

There were nine women who regularly participated in this buddy group.  Five of the nine got pregnant during the first three months of TTC; another within the first six months; and still another after a year of TTC.  That left one other "buddy" and me still not pregnant.

I left those message boards well over a year ago but have continued to keep in touch with my "buddies" on Fac.eb.ook.  Most of these ladies' first children have turned, or will shortly be turning, two years of age, and two of the women have had a second child as well.

Last week, I got a message from the other still-childless "buddy" letting me know that she and her husband have divorced.  She told me that when he wasn't supportive of her in her infertility, she realized that he never supported her, and that was the beginning of the end.

I have read and heard that the strain infertility puts on a marriage can lead to divorce, but this "buddy" of mine is my first, firsthand example of this.  I must admit, hearing about the break-up of her marriage was jolting to me, as well as sad for her.

So what's my point in sharing this sad tale?  I guess just to say that it makes me doubly determined to work on keeping my marriage intact, no matter what happens with our efforts to become parents.  It can be harder than it seems.