IVF may have ruined my life

Yeah that was dramatic. I meant it though. Let’s back track a bit…hello! I’ve missed you all and hope you had a happy thanksgiving. Now that those pleasantries are out of the way, let’s get to the subject.

I had one of those “hit me on the side of the head with a brick moments” and I’m still trying to get up and right myself.

I don’t see the happy things anymore. I wait for the bad things to happen because THAT is what has always been despite my success. I worry. The level of worry is concerning. I worry about how much I worry. It wasn’t always like this.  IVF is a big part of the beginning of the downward spiral. Well, infertility…  It creates this hazy, negative hue that you can’t see past. Even though I have had success, it has clouded that too. I am crazy enough to start a preschool for my kid when I couldn’t find one “good enough” – who does that? The CRAZY person.

I’ve realized that inviting worry and crazy into your mind creates an environment of crazy and worrying things to enter you life.

What am I talking about? Oh just you wait.  Need I say more than it is time for an attitude adjustment? But wait for it…my current worry is cancer from all the IVF treatments and that my son will be brought up by a step mother.

Oi vey – what you focus on becomes you reality. How to I escape the thoughts? There is more but I just gave myself a migraine.


I might have been a bit unfair on the lunch thing. 20 years of lunches for my former RE might be a bit of a stretch. If you factor in a 15 buck lunch (hey, it is NYC!!) for 20 years we are looking at 109K…we spent just a little over 80K on three cycles at that clinic in the span of three months. My bad. So, that one foregone lunch gave my RE approximately 18 years worth of lunches – yep, IVF is big business (yes, you have to revert back to my previous post if you want to make sense of what this means).

All I had to do what drop a name. A wealthy name and I was a new patient at a swanky, Park Avenue fertility clinic where I rubbed arms with people we all know – household names. They wore big dark glasses in an effort to hide their identities making me feel confident that I was in the right place..surely if she was here then I was indeed a lucky woman on the verge of creating my very much wanted family. And all I had to do was drop a name and the six month wait list evaporated! Granted, my boss represented millions of dollars so certainly my association put me in a new league..the “there is no waiting list” league. Once they met my dapper, English husband in three piece suit, we were also profiled, I assume (as did they). I loved the conviction with which this doctor spoke to us about our chances in his capable hands “I can get this desk pregnant”, he told us. Much later I found out that he says that to literally every single patient he meets. It is part of the pitch, at the time it was all I needed to hear.

3 cycles – two disasters and the one that worked. The last one was the first time I decided not to follow doctor’s orders, incidentally. I had to trust my gut. As a bit of background – First cycle was the works – PGD, max dose meds and NO NORMALS. They told me that I would have to do another PGD cycle to see if I had any normals at all. In 2007 it was only being considered that embryos can self correct and perhaps a few of those seven embryos would indeed have resulted in a healthy baby. At that point it felt like my world was being shattered in a million little pieces. The next cycle brought a bit of relief, I had three normals out of seven, transfered all three embryos and ended up with a chemical pregnancy. These were back to back cycles, mind you and I was a mess. I started reading all that I could. It seemed as though my embryos might be harmed by the PGD process so we decided to do blast transfer – I essentially went against their advice to test and thankfully got pregnant after transferring 4 blasts. I’m not giving myself credit but had I not read the stories of other women and plenty of studies that suggested high doses of medication and invasive procedures such as PGD were proving to be too much for some embryos, I might not have switched things up and we might not have our now not so little one. I definitely have my opinions about their protocol (they have ONE and it is a max dose medication 300 menopur, 300 follistim and 20 lupron throughout your cycle!) and it is designed to keep your eggs growing evenly. It doesn’t work well for older women and my last cycle there (three years after my success) was an epic disaster. For what it is worth, that clinic was a concierge experience. I had a doctor on the phone within 5 minutes any time that I called, I had many, many conversations about what might be happening and what the plans might be. I had plenty of pep talks and I trusted these people – and I still do. Do I think they are perfect? No. Would I send my best friend there? Yes and no..that would depend on her willingness to speak up and get involved. Do I credit them for giving me my son? Yes. But again, they were willing to work with me and treated me like an individual. I give them credit for always looking outside the box, being open to trying, for example, tamoxifen off label for lining issues. This clinic is small and not trying to have 100 cycles a month. And this clinic did kick the tires – they knew about my blood clotting problem (however minor) and they had checked to see if my body might be attacking the fetus (it looks like it was). They also opened me up before IVF with a lap and looked to find if I had endometriosis (I did). I give them credit for realizing that common sense trumps studies in many cases and for checking things out BEFORE a problem occurs. The way they operate doesn’t appear to be the norm (at least not from the many people I know and have talked to over the years).

Clinic #2 was a disaster for me. The doctor was great – he trained and worked at Cornell and I liked him a lot. He was pretty much up for whatever I wanted to try (AFTER he realized that the protocols he was using were not working, then and only then did I get to try my own protocol, which worked and was based on lowering my dose for quality not quantity – incidentally I did get the same number of embryos)… I will never forget a conversation we had early on in our relationship. I told him that I noticed that most of my friends who had been on the pill (I made sure that I avoided it like the plague) got pregnant fairly easily in their late thirties and early forties. He assured me that it was just luck and that no studies indicate that the pill has any affect on fertility. Fast forward 6 months, I’m in his office and he tells me “Oh, you might be interested, a study came out showing that the pill very well may “suspend” fertility – something about stilling the ovaries”. All it took was a study to have him believe….all I had to do was look around me at everyone getting pregnant mostly RIGHT after coming off a 20 year relationship with the pill.

Like many cycles, doctors have plans or protocols for patients. Rarely are things customized beyond a handful of protocols. Rarely does the clinic, even the very best, perform a series of “kick the tire” procedures before heading full steam into a cycle. Sure they do one day workups but fail to check for some of the common tests that one might consider after repeat miscarriage or failures until AFTER those failures occur. Case in point – my good friend, after two years of trying with CGH normals, donor eggs (normals) – JUST found out that she is missing the beta integrin protein which is important for implantation AND she has the MTHR mutation and needs serious folate supplementation.Is it a wonder that she has had miscarriage after miscarriage? The thing that bothers me is that SHE had to request the testing – they were going to keep on going with her remaining CGH normals never thinking to have some pretty basic RPL tests performed. Why in the hell were these things not discovered two years ago at her first “top tiered” clinic?

What about all of the women who have minor blood clotting issues that go unchecked and have needless miscarriages – HELLO, this is IVF 101!! I cannot understand why clinics wait until 3 miscarriages to test the fetal tissue following a miscarriage, for example. NO, NO and simply NO! All of this is just information begging to be collected. Where are the reproductive detectives? Many of these doctors have likely seen it all and for most patients there is no mutation, there is no missing protein and they will get said patient pregnant after approximately 3 IVFS. That is what the studies say! For most clinics there is no problem until you have 3 or more losses under your belt and that, to me, is profoundly screwed up. I go to arguably the very best clinic in the country and had to ask for the beta integrin test (I was fine) and I had a very long conversation about my immune reaction toward the developing fetus. I got an eye roll. Really! My doctor does not believe in immune problems. Not enough evidence. Well, let’s see – if infertility affects 1 in 10 women and immune issues affect 2% of THAT population, is it worth it to them to put their spot light on a problem that really only affects a miniscule portion of their population, er client base? I wonder aloud. I’ve been to four clinics and interviewed far more clinics. I have hundreds (yes, hundreds) of friends who have gone through IVF and the running theme is to give IVF three tries and then move on to donor egg, three miscarriages and then move on to testing. What is the deal with the number 3??

Let’s face it, this is a business not a rainbow factory…and no clinic wants repeat failures, bad stats and an even worse reputation. In order to grow and be prosperous they need to get results. And what better way to do this than with the eggs of some fertile 20 year old who can give 25 nice eggs which turn into a decent amount of embryos (normally my friends who go the donor egg route end up with approximately 15 mature, fertilized eggs with 8 – 10 blasts to freeze but that is just my sample set!). It appears to me that hand holding a bunch of post 38 year old women, tweaking protocols with the hope that it might work isn’t a great business model for the average IVF clinic. Heck, doctors are busy and nurses, well, they are overworked, underpaid and I don’t know how they keep it all together. I’ve been underwhelmed plenty of times by inefficiency and every time I did get a great nurse, she would get a promotion and leave me. I can’t tell you, other than “concierge clinic”, how many times an office has closed forgetting to call me with my instructions or gave me the wrong instructions for my nightly medication. Is this OK? Not for the amount of money you are paying…not in the least.

When we put our dreams in the hands of someone else we expect them to be acting in our best interest. While I truly believe that most REs want to get their patients pregnant, there are plenty, plenty that just don’t want to bother with the customization and individualization that a majority of us need to get pregnant. They have hundreds of people cycling at the same time and just getting their cycles correct is a miracle, let alone monitoring and tweaking a single’s person’s protocol for maximum benefit. In IVFland, we have to be knowledgeable, be prepared to put in many hours reading, getting to now how our bodies react and using our voice. We mistakenly believe that doctors know everything, well, I did, but no more and neither should you, not 100%. If a cycle isn’t going well, cancel. Learn and try again. Don’t let things happen to you – be your own advocate.

I may be making some pretty big generalizations here but think about it – these doctors are coordinating hundreds of women’s cycles at the same time. I do have to commend CCRM for not manipulating cycles like other large, successful clinics who put an entire group of cycling women on the pill and start stims on the same day to make their lives easier. Actually, they likely couldn’t operate their clinic at all if they didn’t have some sort of regimen as described. I get it. But that clinic would have never worked for me….my body can’t take suppression. How do I know? I’ve had far too many unfortunate cycles that started with suppression – but that is me, it works well for others. Some women need something other than protocol number 7 with saizen – some women likely need immune support and blood thinners and a repaired septum but these clinics are getting so big that they aren’t ticking off the important boxes at the beginning – BEFORE you have been through half your savings.

I’m not done, there is more but writing about this literally makes my head hurt. While I’m trying my best to be fair, I do think there is a problem and no clinic is immune to it. This is a business that employs science but the X factor (that, of course, being the human factor) means that there are times when things get overlooked or mistakes are made and a cycle suffers for it. For the clinic they chalk it up to a little mistake but for some women/couples that little mistake meant the end of the line. My husband thinks I’m alluding to some pretty big accusations but I’m not. I’m saying that I know far too many women who have struggled and had to pretty much take matters into their own hands, demand the tests themselves and even go as far as altering their medication (which is NOT a good idea) to finally take home a baby while others have gone another route to parenthood.

I’m the exception for a lot of things, it seems, and for that reason I’ve not trusted my doctors completely, I’ve researched and taken matters into my own hands. But the point is that I should not have had to do that.. (I refer to the time when I lowered my menopur dose when my doctor wanted to raise it). For 19K, I should have had a phone call with the doctor in which I reminded him that too much menopur gave me two crappy eggs just two cycles previous. Instead I spoke to a nurse who could barely get my last name right and insisted that I keep with the program. Goodness, I have enough to worry about these days, did I mention that I share the same exact name with another woman at my present clinic? Yep, I’m worried about my embryos being destroyed by accident or getting transferred to this “other woman”. Don’t roll your eyes. I was one of the first people to know that my dear friend Carolyn Savage was pregnant with someone else’s baby. Google her….that is one heck of a story and ends in the most wonderful of ways but it might not have. She took matters into her own hands, not once but many times…and that is what we all need to do. I’m not saying that it is wise to second guess your doctor and make up your own protocol but if something doesn’t feel right, get another opinion, heck, get 30 more opinions because this is the most important thing in the world to you right now and there is no need or room for regrets. I write so that you can potentially not have them….

Soon – a list of kick the tires tests and the best diet for getting pregnant according to the people I trust most in the world and they are not doctors, they are people like you and me who saw that something wasn’t working and, rather than wait for a study to tell them that iodine deficiency and Vitamin D deficiency were huge reasons for a spike in infertility or sensory processing disorders in young children, they devised their own successful plan for making sure their bodies were ready to support a pregnancy. It is all common sense but we seem to be woefully lacking in that commodity at the moment. Maybe we’ve all become a bit too big, bloated on information and full of the opinion of others. Certainly I’m just another voice in this chorus but I am not ever going to tell you what to do, I’m going to walk with you and lead you to find your own conclusions and I can guarantee, your issues won’t be the same as mine (oh, other than we both want to have a child).

There I’ve said it, most of it.

IVF is BIG business…part 1

Infertility is one of the most painful experiences a woman will ever go through.  It cuts you to your primal core and you don’t leave without having changed in some way.  I may have had success but it doesn’t feel that way sometimes.  I’m unresolved, as they say.  But for many women in this world, there will never be a pregnancy or a baby shower or even a marriage once IVF has had their way with them.  These bitter, painful stories don’t get much mention in mainstream media or much sympathy, to be honest. How many times has a woman been told to “just adopt” or be happy for what you have? It could be worse, you could be going blind…..oh the comments.  And then the world celebrates the pregnant celebrity at age 50 with their gorgeous boy/girl twins. The words surrogate or donor eggs might be thought but they sure as hell aren’t getting spoken (unless someone outs them – which does tend to happen).  People bemoan the duty of said celebrity to speak about their journey “for the rest of us” but knowing how painful the whole procedure is, I don’t blame them.   So I get it, the public still thinks that they can have babies at 50 (yes, even my friends in their late 40s and early 50s are still on the pill because they are afraid their OH SO FERTILE bodies will get pregnant).  My point is, this isn’t a slam dunk.  Not everyone has success with IVF and you better believe that has plenty to do with the fact that ART is becoming as popular as the big mac.  Nobody wants to talk about the failures sure as our food industry doesn’t want to talk about what is happening to our bodies or to our children (THAT is another blog post for sure).  In IVF/ART land all is well and there is always hope.  Just like Disneyland – you only see what they want you to see – going backstage is a completely different experience (just ask my husband, he worked at Eurodisney straight out of college – I think the analogy is apt – he describes backstage at Disney something out of a correctional facility, by the way).

IVF is such big business because women are delaying their family building plans (for so many reasons from financial to career to plain old “I haven’t met a guy I want to have a telephone conversation with much less marry”.  The changes in our society are making some doctors very wealthy and the whole industry is getting bigger.  Bigger scares me. Bigger should scare you.

When I started this process (I was in the office of an RE two weeks after I got married), I was a doe-eyed, newlywed, an optimistic little thing with big dreams.  Dreams that were born when I was a toddler (thank you, Walt Disney).

In the beautiful offices of my new RE there were hundreds of pictures of babies and books about parenting on every table.  The entire place screamed “here are where your dreams are made”…I quickly formed an attachment with my affable RE that, looking back, was not healthy.  He was fatherly and spoke with authority. He made jokes and made me feel special…I knew that my future family was important to him.  Whatever this man said was like a word straight from the bible. I asked A LOT of questions and he reveled in the attention.  He told me about “this blah blah conference where I spoke on ICSI”..ladidahdidah. I was enthralled.  I took notes.  He also liked reggaeton. He let me peek into his life and I spread mine open for him to examine (figuratively and I guess literally not to be TOOO crass).  After months of “trying” ahead of my wedding, I was now going to escalate the process.  I was 37 when I married and the clock was ticking.  I was making it happen. I remember taking a co-worker with me to the clinic for monitoring and showing her the 8 growing follicles on the monitor – wondering aloud which would be my child or children.  My fear at that point in life was multiples.  I was terrified that I’d be having six children at once.  I never once considered that I would walk out of there empty handed. Like everything else I’d known to be true, I’d be a mother…that was a given, just as I’d go to college and meet a nice man and eventually have a dog and picket fence.  I’d already created my life long before I started living it, it seems.

In this clinic I started to learn a few of my first lessons in infertility and the business of disappointment.  The first lesson, looking back, is that I was an enormous dollar sign. I represented many, many potential dollar bills. They has assessed me – they knew my financials (where we worked, how much my husband made, how much I made) and they knew my desire was strong. They combined financial potential with desire and came up with an equation.  I was worth at least 3 climid cycles, 3 IUS and 7 IVF procedures.  Oh yes, my commitment was strong and I had really amazing insurance and back up cash at that point..  They started me off on Clomid and let one of my follicles reach 28 before triggering me.  28!  The other was around 24.  I started to get annoyed and thus began my studies in Google MD.  The next Clomid cycle was an interesting one.  I got pregnant but nobody gave me progesterone.  My level was a whopping 5 but I had a positive pregnancy.  Not viable, they said.  Quite likely because I was never given progesterone support.  I left that clinic and never went back – far short of their financial plan for me, that much I know.  I had no plan B for the first time in my life.  I vowed to do a bit more research for the next time. It was 2005 so things like vitrification didn’t exist (or if they did, they were not widespread).  PGD was around and things like CGH were but a hope….  My new boss found out that I was struggling and pulled me into his office. At the time I was working as the right hand for the COO of a very large investment bank.  My boss was extraordinarily success at everything but procreation, it seemed.  He gave me a number and a name of a doctor that would help.  His wife was currently pregnant with twins and they had been trying for six years until they went to the name on the paper. I walked out of his office and dialed the number.  Unfortunately they were full and would not be able to see me for six months.  I mentioned my boss’s name and suddenly the doctor was available to meet me that day – he would forego his lunch for me. It was only one lunch, after all.

Future told, my visit would enable him to eat about 20 years worth of lunches.  Yes, 20 years.

And this is just the beginning.

……a memory

My friend John

Written September 9, 2011 at 5:06pm

I could sit here and cry.  Wipe away tears and then start to cry, repeat, repeat.  But instead I’d like to honor one of my best friends.  We met in 9th grade.  He had a devilish streak and so did I.  He had the audacity to steal his father’s yellow car and I encouraged him and often rode shot gun.  We used to find six packs of random beers or wine coolers and drink them in the woods.  We made fun of our English teacher.  He and our friend Jennifer, used to call me out of class and ask that i come to the principal’s office.  Mr. O’Brien always bought it.

Then we graduated.  He went away to school and so did I but we both found our way back to our hometown.  His father’s death took a toll on him.  My indecision led me to Washington DC to study something random that got me a job waiting tables.  I forced him to move to Washington.  He confessed that he was gay.  I rolled my eyes and told him that I knew that a long time ago.  I dragged him to his first gay bar and we lived together like Oscar and Felix for a year.  He moved out one day. No notice.  He broke my heart.  We didn’t talk for awhile.  I moved to NYC.  I got word that he had moved there and reached out.  The years that we hadn’t spoken were like minutes  and soon we were back to old tricks only older and wiser.  He hosted elaborate dinner parties with china, steuben and lots of gossip.  I hosted dinner parties where everyone agreed to order in.  He and his long time partner Tom came to my wedding and were the talk of the town – I had to explain to the girls that they were not for sale.  When I threw my bouquet of wishes, John caught one of the flowers.  It was a perfect day and his presence and that of his sister, my dear friend Amy made my day even more special.  We were back together – oh how I had missed my friends.  In 2006 (Feb to be exact), we bought a house outside of NYC on ten acres of land.  A small log cabin that would later grow.  John was the first tenant and my co-decorator.  We spent weekend after weekend together.  It was during this time that I suffered many miscarriages and he was my rock.  Although he didn’t care to hear about the particulars of my female parts, he did listen and he cared.  One Saturday I had planned a big get together with all of our hometown friends. Unfortunately the date coincided with the transfer of four embryos into my uterus.  I joined the team up at the house and was treated like a baby.  “No walking up the stairs” – Tom and John’s orders.  “Leave mama alone” – nobody was allowed to stress me out, look at me the wrong way.  They took care of me….that weekend I did get pregnant and it was touch and go for a while.  My husband was traveling a lot – Middle East, etc. but I always had Johnny as my weekend log cabin companion.  When I went into labor at 31 weeks, it was John and Tom who sat with me in the hospital….my husband could’t take the boredom and headed to a bar.  When I gave birth, Tom and John were one of the first to hold our son.  My wee one…..he fit perfectly in their hands and a very memorable photo was taken of him resting in his palm.  Over the next 9 months, they were frequent guests at our house.  You would often find one of them asleep with my little one on their chest.  They called themselves his “fairy godfathers”.  They were greeted with screams of delight whenever my little boy saw them after any absence – even a week.

Lately John has been sick and I started a company so we’ve been trading phone tag rather than gossip.  I’ve been counting down the days until I could resume our life in NYC replete with long soaks in the hot tub at midnight, dinner parties at each others houses and more babies for the fairy godfathers.

There is more but for now, I have to do something other than cry and worry.  I have to tell you about my friend who I love and would find hard to live without….please send him strength.  I no longer believe in God – well, not the God that most people believe in.  Don’t fault me for it, I have my own beliefs.

I do know that John is one of the kindest, most humble and fun people I’ve ever known.  26 years is a long time to love someone.  I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my time – please let it be with him rather than without him.  That is all I want.

John died three days later  –  just as I was circling the airport, about to land and rush to his bedside – he went to the light. He was in his early forties.

Never forget what you have.  It can all go in an instant. Cliche but never were words more true.  I mss him each and every day and am grateful I had that kind of friendship once…

Why I have not done the transfer of my CGH normals

You might have noticed that I barely posted in the past few years beyond a helpful hello or rather lame attempt at advice. You might also wonder why I’ve started posting with regularity after all this silence.  The truth is that life kicked the hell out of me last year.  Not only did I nearly lose my family but everything I hold dear….it was a very bad year for many reasons.  As you know, I started a preschool in part to bury the pain of miscarriages but also because I love children. I didn’t want infertility to define me, I wanted life to define me so I set out with lofty goals and an insatiable desire to turn this sad, misery filled ship around (ie. my life).  Up until infertility I was rather happy go lucky – it wasn’t always like that though.  I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life (since I was 17).  I’ve been diagnosed with dysphoria but I mostly managed the blues with exercise or keeping my mind so busy I couldn’t think about existentialist crises.  After I met lupron, gonal F, menopur and spent what most people in the world make in a ten year period on IVF so that we could have our son, = life turned gray. Landmines were suddenly EVERYWHERE.  I was continually wondering when the other shoe would drop, what other terrible thing would happen because, after all, hadn’t it all gone to hell?  After I gave birth to my son I had a sort of disconnect, I was in physical pain, my anxiety shot up and I lost myself…and that was just the start.  Here I was finally a mother and all I could do was worry and focus on what negative things might happen.  I’m sure I appeared like a crazy person to my friends and family but they had no idea how to reach me or even where I’d gone.  My husband watched as my life became exactly as I imagined – a nightmare.  Miscarriage after miscarriage ensued and I was now in a race against time to preserve the few eggs I had. I’d turned 40 three months after my son was born and my clock was just about done ticking.  My AMH was .04 (LOW).  The final miscarriage (the little girl would be turning 6 in July of this year) was essentially my invitation to hell and I took it – that one way trip was all mine.  Two weeks after I had my D&C and a filled out a death certificate for my 9 week old fetus (thanks State of Georgia!), I bent down to pick up my child and suddenly could not move.  I was in bed for days and later found out that I had 2 bulging discs and one very degenerated disc in my back.  They recommended surgery and I was in pain all of the time and….. I had a toddler.  I had the surgery and then got back on the IVF horse.  Somehow I managed to get two amazing CGH normal embryos but then my ovary was punctured.  I was again put on low dose pain pills. The pills had made me feel ill so I didn’t take them often but I had to after this last episode or I would have likely passed out from the pain.  Three months later I stopped taking all medication, I was done, but they were not done with me.  I got very sick.. I was in bed for days, literally DAYS.  My body had become dependent on these “low dose” pain pills (something that I was told would NEVER HAPPEN).  I am still so angry about that bit of advice.  Mind you, had I waited few days I would have been fine but I was about to start a school and I could not feel that sick nor could nor could I be on pain medication while working with kids.  Instead a doctor gave me more medication which stopped me feeling sick and I resumed my life.  Since then I have been a very strong advocate against pain pills but that is also a topic for another blog posting.  Back to my embryos.  After beginning the school my periods stopped.  I have remained in a stress induced state for the past five years…and I’m not complaining. I absolutely LOVE what I do but I don’t know how to delegate.  The past year has been hard especially hard because my pain has returned and with it some complications – eyesight loss in one eye, some strange autoimmune type symptoms that cause the cartilage in my body to become inflammed – polychondritis.  I’ve mostly ignored the symptoms but now it begs to be looked at and treated but, I’m scared.  Meanwhile my home life was anything but perfect.  Working with my husband has been hard – but we do it.  The truth is that last year we nearly fell apart.  Between the stress of life and work it all started to come unglued and we both felt like we were not a team, quite frankly. Thankfully over the past few months we have found our way back to each other but it was not without considerable amount of work and we aren’t done..we never will be done.  Our “undoing” was born out of a combination of things and had more to do with all the unresolved pain that both of us felt – from losing so much but mainly from not taking time to water our “flowers” – the beautiful life we have and the reasons we were drawn to each other in the first place.  On Valentine’s Day I watched our wedding video.  Memories and feelings of love just flooded through me and then I knew as clear as day that not only could I never leave but I just don’t want to, ever.  Marriage is tough and but so is everything… We went through plenty but we can’t let it define us.  We aren’t two infertile people who have embryos on ice – we are parents to a lovely little boy who wants a sibling but will be just fine if he doesn’t have one because…he has a family.  An imperfect family but one that still has plenty of flowers to water. We also have laughter and so much love. There is more to this story but essentially as we enter springtime and “prune our proverbial garden” we are taking steps to rebuild the foundations of our marriage and of our friendship, I couldn’t be more excited nor more committed. So the next few months will bring news – it may not work but we are going to try.  Like my son told me once “we are a family of never-give-uppers”.  That much is so very true.

Egads, another post but this is about MUSIC

Before I got married and landed in the office of a Reproductive Endocrinologist (um, two weeks after my wedding but that is truly a story for another day – we don’t need to see the words “I digress” around here) I was a singer and a songwriter.  I tried, I tried so, so hard (under the name Suzanne Smith).  I loved every minute of it, I did. The photo shoots (yes, I had a real live record contract – three of them w/Polygram, Sony and Universal!). The guy who owned my label is Eddie O’Loughlin – famous for giving the world Salt n Pepa but so many others (including John Travolta!) – is one of my all time favorite people in the world.  I love that man like few others – he once told me that I was just too nice to be successful.  I think he was right.  But wow did I have fun trying!  I met coo, interestingl people, I wrote with Rick Astley (SUPER nice guy) and all kinds of artists from the 80s. I almost wrote with Lady Gaga back when she was just some girl….  I was photographed in closed down restaurants (Fez on Lafayette in NYC) and I was in recording studios almost every night of my 20s until the wee hours touching up vocals or rewriting lyrics.  I don’t regret a single thing.  Next Plateau/Universal still exists and Eddie is the head of A&R on the Voice television show.  We keep in touch. Turns out I didn’t really want to be famous – I just wanted to sing and to be loved.  Now I sing to kids and I am loved by my miracle 8 year old embryo…..so here is my new blog and one of my songs.  I’ll post the others in the coming days as a few of my preschool kids have asked to hear the songs…they were missing! Then just the other day I found them.  Kismet.  http://suzannesmithsongs.wordpress.com is where I will keep them for now.  I know, they are dated sonically but maybe Eddie will find “a voice” to record them and up they will go…or not. One thing harder slightly less difficult than IVF is the music biz – I don’t wish either on my worst enemy.  No offense to my record biz friends…. :) And if you know any 20 year old kids who have a great voice, send me an email. HEY, you never know!!!  Enjoy, I did….xo