My new friend MLACS


One day in December, I was having an angsty morning, and I decided to go to star.bucks and chill with my computer and some coffee. I checked the mail before I left and—lo and behold—there was a Christmas card from MLACS, and a star.bucks gift card. I burst into joyful laughter. I had been all pinched and ranty, and within the span of five seconds, I became happy and bouncy. I yelped out loud: “Yayeee!” I didn’t realize until that moment how much I  needed a friend.

MLACS, for those of you who don’t know, is the author of this wonderful blog: My Life As A Case Study. When I discovered her blog, I felt this sense of having encountered someone very real. I think she is one of the real-est and raw-est voices out there in the IF blogging community, and I have huge respect for how unapologetically herself she is. It’s not easy to be real in the blogosphere, you know? It can be intimidating, even scary, to express what you are really thinking and feeling and experiencing. It can be difficult to be your true self in this public world, talking about a topic that can attract judgment like a high-powered magnet. But MLACS’s spirit is a force, her voice is unique, and I don’t think she could be phony if she tried.

So we started corresponding and decided to send each other little things here and there, to support each other. I was blown away by the most recent package she sent to me, which included the image above. The image is a vintage Hawaiian print on the front of a lovely card, inside of which she explains that she loves vintage Hawaiian prints, and she bought this one while in Hawaii two years ago, when she was there for her wedding. “I waited for an occasion special enough to send this card—and you are an occassion, a true delight…I’m always here for you, rooting for you!”

Yeah. I cried.

Also in the package was a pair of Superwoman socks, which I wore to my scratch biopsy and will wear, layered with my husbands gym socks (a tradition) to my transfer. I will have the toastiest feet in Atlanta. I will be armed with love.

These things matter. So much. I feel alone sometimes. I feel out-of-step with my peers and old friends. Some days, it is a struggle to keep my heart open to my dream of motherhood when I’ve encountered so much pain and obstruction. And then a new friend comes along and buys me a coffee, from all the way across the country. She gives me something meaningful. She reminds me that she is rooting for me. And I can smile and keep on keeping on.

MLACS: Thank you, lovely person! It sure is nice to be thought of as an occasion.

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  1. Damn you! I haven’t even had my coffee and I’m bawling. This is the nicest, most honorable thing anybody has ever done for me or said about me. Mind. Blown. I will collect myself and respond properly. Love you! XO

    • Aw, well, you deserve it! You’re a loyal, dear soul, and the best damn cheerleader on planet earth. You make me feel less alone, and you inspire me to keep strong. Love you back honeypie! XO

    • Oh and I wanted to tell you too that I put the card in a special place…I’d like to get it framed, but until then, it is on the top shelf of a bookcase in our bedroom, right underneath the lush vines of a philodendron I have growing in a thick glass vase—the plant and the card look like they were made for each other. It is the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning! On either side of that shelf are the two sun-hats DH and I bought in Culebra on our honeymoon. It’s a pretty awesome little love shelf I have going on there.

      • Ah! I spent the millenium on Culebra! With a psychology of ecology class–I got f*ing college credit for the most amazing experience of my life! See, we really are kindred spirits. Did we already talk about this? Cuz it feels like deja vu. I keep your notes close to my heart, too. Do you have any idea how popular you are?! WordPress keeps sending me messages about how my blog stats are blowing up! You’re “kind of a big deal” around here. But I loved you before I knew how famous you are. XO

        • I don’t think we did talk about Culebra! The connection doesn’t surprise me. Culebra is a very very special place for me and I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences of my life there! I’ve been twice now. DH and I were basically in a dream the whole time we were there. Check out photos:

          I’m famous? he he. Well, sheesh. I always thought of your blog as a big deal!

          Psychology of ecology class—damn, I want to take that class. That sounds like one of those giant life-changing trips that you can’t imagine your life without after it happens.

          In college I took a sailing class and earned credits for sailing a 40-foot sailboat through the freaking Bimini Islands! We did more snorkeling and drinking than actual navigating the boat. I got cornrows. I swam naked with nurse sharks. I made out with a curly-haired poet under the Bimini moon. 21 years old. Sigh.

          • Ok, take out the boat and insert Culebra where it says Bimini and essentially we had the same pivotal life experience for which we received college credit! Well, and we spent time with protesters of the bombing of Vieques–that was a serious part of the trip. Seeing beautiful beaches with rusty old tanks and warnings not to walk cuz you might step on a bomb. I was 20. Then the following year, I moved to Honolulu with 2 duffel bags and $200, to sleep on the floor of a hip hop artist and a party girl who always forgot her keys and climbed through the window at 5am. Ah, good times. We should take a trip together. XO

            • So cool you protested that. I was heartsick snorkeling around Vieques—the huge difference between Vieques and Culebra in the snorkeling just shows so clearly how much that bombing f*cked up the underwater lifescape. I met a guy through my job (spouse of a patient) who said he and his platoon practiced beach invasions on the beaches of Culebra, and when their tanks ran out of gas, they’d just leave them there, on the beach. Nice.
              We should take a trip together. I’m going to manifest that sh*t. I bet we will, in the not-too-distant future, meet up for a trip somewhere together…with our kiddos. I see babies strapped to our backs and hiking.

  2. What a nice tribute to a wonderful friend! And she truly is a wonderful friend. It’s a very lovely friendship you have there. :)

  3. Such a lovely way to express love, kinship and gratitude (this is really addressed to both of you, TUT and MLACS). :-)

  4. Gahh, you two. ;)

    I love friendship. And IF internet bloggy friendships are particularly special, because of the rawness, and because we get to document them forever and ever as they build. It’s like having a notebook with every dear thing your friends have ever said scribbled inside.

  5. AndiePants

     /  February 17, 2014

    I love this!

  6. The BEST thing about infertility is the friendships you make along the way. Everything else sucks. But I’m so glad you have MLACS as a support. She is amazing–I agree!

  7. I love this too!!

  8. This is just so adorable… love it!

  9. I couldn’t have said it better myself – she is real and she is awesome. Supportive and honest. I’m so glad you are you finding support because I know how it feels to be out of step with people in your real life. Sending good thoughts for the transfer!!!

  10. Would it be absolutely horrible of me to admit to falling prey to the green-eyed monster for a moment? :) It’s sad and disheartening that we have to struggle for support, to reach across state lines just to find a “sister in arms”, so to speak, because no one is really advocating or advertising a gathering place for our sad, mournful souls to congregate in solidarity and bolster each other with cups of coffee, cute socks or other encouragements so sorely needed. Hugs! :)

  11. This is so sweet! Sometimes the right friend comes at the right time. And take a pic of those socks :).

  12. xo to all y’all. (:


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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
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    Therapy/energy work
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    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
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    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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