I started

As my eyelids grow heavy, I sleepily post to you that I started my period this morning.

What a day. You wouldn’t believe the number of phone calls  I made–to Long Island IVF, to CCRM, getting blood orders faxed, scheduling my CCRM appointments, asking a million tiny little questions about this and that, which I won’t belabor here.

I am so happy that the waiting for AF is over. Tomorrow I go to Long Island IVF for my suppression check, and if progesterone and estradiol are low, and they see no cysts, I start stimulation Sunday (!).

It has been a very stressful week. One thing that is difficult to describe in writing are the incredibly detailed logistical issues that crop up when I am trying to get things done and get questions answered and coordinate between clinics—it is challenging. I can’t talk to anyone at CCRM directly but must leave voicemails which are returned later. I get no cell phone reception at work, and I do not have a private office. The other day, incredibly frustrated by work-related stuff, needing to call LI IVF and CCRM, I had to drive ten minutes away from my workplace to make the stupid phone calls—and I get only a half-hour lunch. I had already used 25 minutes of it. My phone didn’t pick up a signal until I was on a two-lane highway. I pulled over to the side of the road, phone in hand. Thirty seconds later, I see another car pull up in front of me on the side of the road, and a person walking toward my car who looks remarkably like DH…

My jaw dropped. It was DH!

He just so happened to be on his way back from seeing a patient, and just so happened to be driving along a section of highway close to my workplace, and just so happened to pass that little stretch where I was pulled over. He didn’t even realize he was near my workplace, but he recognized our car.

He opened the passenger door. Both of us were in awe.

“What–what are you doing here?” I stammered. “What is going on?”

He explained the coincidence. I explained what I was doing. I then began talking rapidly about everything that was frustrating me and how I didn’t think I could take much more of it. He listened, nodded, offered me empathy, as he always does. He made me feel better.

I was convinced, in that moment, that there is a Force, or universal energy, or God, or whatever you want to call it, some thing that brought us together right then, so that my love could help me find the strength to get through my insanely frustrating day.

I am open to the help. I accept it with open arms.

Anyway, I just got out of the bath, where I was trying to read some kindle samples of the infertility/miscarriage/IVF book recs from CCRM, but not one of them held my interest. I’ve changed! I’d much rather read Alice Munro’s latest collection (Dear Life) or even some genre fiction. I don’t feel the way I used to feel—I don’t feel so raw, so sad, so desperate. After a while, a person just doesn’t have the energy to feel so much all the time. And those books—those books remind me of where I used to be, how I used to feel, what I used to need. I don’t need those books anymore. I’m done being a hard-core IF/miscarriage researcher, and I’m done feeling despair. At least that’s how I feel tonight.

I wonder if, when I get to CO, I should tell the nurses and doctors that I don’t want to know what is going on. I don’t want to know how many follicles there are or how big they are growing or even how many eggs are retrieved. I don’t want to know anything until I get the call about the CCS results. It would be a very different experience if I let go of that much control and knowledge, and instead focused exclusively on creative visualization exercises and cultivating hope. Hmmm. It is an option I am definitely considering…we’ll see how I feel once I’m gowned and looking up at that big screen of my magnified ovaries!

Thank you all for reading this. Thank you for making me feel that I’m not alone on this unexpected trip. Good night.

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  1. A.

     /  May 26, 2013

    I’m right in the middle of Dear Life, which is funny because I haven’t read Munro since college. There’s something comfortably digestible about short fiction at this juncture since I’ve been too scattered for too long to sustain a whole novel, and IF has so dominated my reading that lately I just crave something aesthetic and moving. Have you read Runaway? I might grab that next.

  2. Runaway! That is my very favorite Munro collection. In it she explore plot in new ways—sort of moving away from her “chunks of fiction” style, as she calls it, more toward plots inspired by the Greeks and Shakespeare. Gripping! And yet still Munro. Still focused on marvelous character development and intimate relationships. One of those books I wish I could read for the first time again. I liked Dear Life but got distracted and haven’t gone back to it yet. Love talking fiction. If you have any suggestions for fiction that is extremely absorbing, I’m looking for something to take with us on our honeymoon.

    • A.

       /  May 27, 2013

      A trusted (literary) friend gave me The History of Love by Nicole Krauss for my birthday. I’m throwing it into the ring for a summer book club I’m trying to drum up among some of my fellow English teachers. She’s Jonathan Safran Foer’s wife, and I’m told there’s something vaguely familiar to him in her style, exciting for me since I think he’s great. As far as short stories, that’s not my forte. I picked up Munro’s latest because I knew it would be a safe gamble. My husband read some of Junot Diaz’s collections and didn’t love them–disappointing since Oscar Wao was so incredible. I love Eggers but don’t love his short collections, and the same goes for Wally Lamb. If we’re being honest, my reading in the past year has been relegated to junk food like The Hunger Games and Bossypants because that’s about what my brain has been able to handle, in small bites in between medical studies about egg quality and the Times. I know it came out a while ago, but did you read A Visit From the Good Squad? I loved that: out-of-the-box tinkering with character and chronology but finds its way back to a unifying narrative thread about love and life and mortality. If you’re keeping up on fiction better than I am (between researching my life crisis and grading essays) then I might not have much to offer. I tried to re-read Gatsby ahead of the movie and got to about p. 100 by the time it opened so I gave up.

      • I read junk food, in terms of fiction, for a large part of the past 2 years—yes, Hunger Games, The Magicians, Game of Thrones, that sort of thing. I am only in pretty recent times able to go back to more sophisticated literary fiction, as I’m not feeling that deep unsettling feeling anymore when the literary fiction cuts too close to the bone. Good fiction is a little bit difficult, makes you confront things in yourself—and I just couldn’t do that for a while. I haven’t read A Visit from the Goon Squad, thanks for the rec! Right now I am in the process of trying to select books to take with me to Culebra, our honeymoon. I don’t want it to be complete junk, but also don’t want to be contemplating the blackest darknesses of life. If you have any recommendations for something really engrossing, absorbing, that would be good on the beach, I’d appreciate it.


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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