July? Wow. I wonder if anyone reads this thing.

I’m so neglectful of my little corner of the internet universe. It isn’t right especially since some of you come looking for a solution to a very big problem (one I can’t give but I can certainly give a much researched opinion!!).

First things first – my uterus. I’m so sick of vaginal ultrasounds, blood taking/giving and all that goes with the most routine visit to the RE. So, after Doctor H (that is what I will call him – the doctor here in our new city is also my friend’s husband…weird but I’m getting over it) saw the septum I booked a hysteroscopy in Denver with Dr. S. UNDER SEDATION. No way was I going to do that awake like I did the time before. What did he find? Nothing. NOTHING!! I have no septum.

What I do have is a secret that I am about to share with you. I begged the doctor to tell me the sexes and he told me that the policy was not to give the information because it is not correct (I know it is 90 percent correct from what I’ve read). He didn’t tell me but I found out – I won’t say how but the 5AB is a girl and the 4BB is a boy. I knew it! I JUST knew it. Girl embryos are stronger and will likely implant sooner than a boy. With my son – he did not implant until day 10 (the last day in the window). How do I know? I was going to a Chinese doctor for acupuncture and he told me that he felt a good pulse but still no implantation. I’d gone to him for days after the transfer and he kept saying the same thing. The pee sticks (damn I even hate writing the words) were all negative. So Dr. Wu (love this guy and will post his info at the bottom of this post) told me that Wednesday afternoon that because it was day 10 and there was no implantation yet, he would try something else. Not sure what he did but 2 hours later I started to cramp. One and a half days later I tested positive with the FRER (love you FRER) and my beta was 11. They are supposed to detect levels of HCG above 25 but there it was – a DOUBLE LINE. So I know that boy embryos can cause a mama all sorts of stress because they take their damned time.

As for why I am so absent – I started a preschool. About a year ago around right now (precisely!) I was doing my last IVF. I remember sitting in the bedroom crying, feeling miserable and then went out and bought a whole bunch of books. One book was Nurture Shock. I read it and then immediately decided that I would open a preschool. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t something that just came to me. I’ve wanted to open a preschool my entire life (first it was an orphanage but that was when I was very young). So start a preschool I did. At the time, in the Inverness Hotel with tears streaming down my eyes I thought…if I can’t have more children, I’ll have hundreds. I also am a huge proponent of early education – at home, at a good preschool, music classes. Kids are so, so much smarter than we give them credit for and my preschool recognizes this and promotes teaching and learning UP (without pressure – everything we do is fun so they think they are just playing but no sir, they are learning!). I have a 17 year old boy who can look at an A and say AH (what the letter says). I am so excited about the school and what is happening there. To say it was hard work is a huge understatement. I gathered together all the resources, people and my own gumption and just did it. When my husband lost his job (another post..lest my blood pressure go up) this school will likely weather us through the unemployment storm. Right now I’m working 14 hour days and not getting much to see for it (monetarily speaking) but I know that if we keep doing what we are doing that we will develop and grow locally and I hope nationally. I truly detest some of the preschool education that is out there right now – some of it is awesome and wonderful and others are a complete joke. Kids deserve better. So much better. Every day I have at least 15 hugs from kids who see me in the hallway or when I enter their room to speak to their teacher. Every hug reminds me why I have done this and I truly love each child in my school. They are all so very different but amazing and wonderful beings. I will post about what we are doing and why it is so special. It also helps to employ real teachers who have years of experience!

So I’m waiting for the stress of owning my own business to lower and then will do the transfer.

Wow – if I had boy/girl twins at the age of 43 that would be some serious miracle. I will post more. I want to keep this blog moving and hopefully share some of the information I have on all of the things I’ve ever done:

1. Be a recording artist and songwriter
2. Be infertile and obsess about it
3. Open my own business

There is more but for now here is Dr. Wu’s info – I loved him and plan to go back to see him pre transfer (or someone here) and then post transfer after Denver. That is probably just too much flying around. Thanks for being a reader and hanging in there with me as I disappear and then reappear. I’m going to use this little blog as an outlet – the next few months are likely to be hard. I’ll need to vent but only to you. In real life I need to be a “tough chick” (as my friend Sherean says and as Gwen Stefani inspired her to say).

Will keep you posted. Aiming for February!

http://www.nyfertility.org/associated-staff.html (scroll down to read up on Dr. Wu)

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Someone once said….if you keep looking for trouble you are going to find trouble.

Whoever said that is an asshole but true.

So yesterday must have been my 1000th hysteroscopy. I told him that there is no way I will stay awake (like a certain doctor once did to me – hell, I was awake for a d&c with just a little valium and that was not right).

This time the uterus was fine BUT the doctor asked, “so did anyone mention that your uterus has a sort of cliff or a bulge to it”. What? A bulge. So it was explained as more of a septum. After all these tests and laps and hysteroscopies (which isn’t even a word so says my spell check). After all of that. I’m talking 300K.

300K and now I get this.

The good doctor explained that it probably wouldn’t impede any implantation but that it probably was the reason for my preterm labor. He told me I could probably hold twins but not triplets.

Funny. I just want to hold anything.

So I’m in a funny spot, doing the buildup of my lining to see how it will grow. Using the vivelle dots (or strips as I would rather call them) and seeing where all of this goes. I want to put the embryos back in by early October. It is time.

I’m so scared it won’t work and so scared that it will and I’ll lose them. Why can’t I just get pregnant and, well, be like everyone else? It is still a mystery but I’m piecing it together. The completely crazy chromosomal disasters that are most of my embryos take two to tango. I can’t blame that on just me and I am still making normal eggs at age 41 so that is good. The fact that I have two normals on ice is even better but typically they only work with women with a normal uterus. Do I have a normal uterus? I’m not sure anymore.

I do have normal, open fallopian tubes. How nice.

IVF #1

We started our IVF cycle at the beginning of March. My husband (I think we’ll call him C just to keep his identity off the internet) was still reluctant and felt that we hadn’t tried long enough naturally to be taking such actions. When we sat down with the doctor he told us that we had impaired fertility based on the morphology (shape) of my husband’s sperm. Most men have around 14% normal forms – my husband had 5%. When we spoke to a urologist he explained that this could easily have been the result of too many hot baths…(and boy does C like to marinate in his own dirty water). In sum, our RE told us that we would probably be able to conceive but the timeline was more likely to be 2 years trying naturally – not 2 months.

I went ahead with the cycle despite the fact that C was in the Middle East on business and not fully on-board with the decision. He was about 80% there….but I had to pull the trigger and start the cycle. There were some disagreements but in the end we both agreed that if we wanted to have a second child, time was of the essence. We signed up for PGD in addition to the IVF cycle. PGD stands for Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis – on day three of the embryo’s life a single cell is taken out and examined. They check for 9 of the most common abnormalities and if both chromosomes are found to be present the embryo is deemed normal. This process adds a whopping 7 thousand dollars to an already hefty 17,000 dollar cycle fee -but we wanted to get it right the first time. Many people use PGD for gender selection – and so, we decided to put back all the boy embryos and freeze the girls for another cycle. As I write this I want to go back in time and slap my face as hard as I can.

In our minds this would be a one shot deal – certainly if nothing was really wrong with either of us this would work on the first try!

Thus the cycle began. C gave me nightly injections of Follistim and Menopur in the muscle and I gave myself shots of lupron in the am. Follistim and Menopur tell the ovaries to produce follicles – lupron shuts down your system so that you do not ovulate before the doctor has had a chance to extract the growing follicles. My ovaries responded well – it looked like I had approximately 15 follicles and was told to trigger (you take one shot intramuscularly at exactly 34 hours prior to retrieval of the eggs). For us this occurred at approximately 1:25am. on a Saturday morning. On Monday am they retrieved 8 eggs and 7 fertilized with ICSI. ICSI is a process whereby a single sperm is selected and introduced into the egg…it is an efficient way of getting the egg to fertilize and thank God we used it or nothing would have fertilized at all.

On day 3 the embryologist began the biopsy to determine the health of our embryos. At approximately 3pm that afternoon the doctor called to tell me that we had five boy embryos and 2 girl embryos..and that each and every one of them was abnormal. Down syndrome, trisomy, polyploidy, Turner syndrome the words just kept coming….I remember hearing him but not being able to really understand. He repeated that there had been a catastrophic result with our embryos and that there would be no transfer. I felt like I was underwater. I called C and could barely get the words out. I went into my boss’s office and cried. C came to get me at work. I was so upset I couldn’t breathe.

Later that night we called the doctor again. He told me that I was taking this way too hard and that he had seen this happen to other women. “How many times in your career have you seen someone at the age of 37 have absolutely no normals” and he said, “a handful”. The internet told similar stories – one well known doctor wrote that women with all abnormal cycles were almost guaranteed to produce this same result over and over again. This doctor recommended going straight to donor egg. I was devastated. The thought that I might never have my own biological child sent me into a tailspin for a few days. I emerged ready to tackle the problem. I spoke at great length with my RE and he said that after talking to the embryologist their recommendation was that I do another cycle with PGD and if we received the same result, we would begin talking about using a donor egg.

During the next 30 days I earned my google MD. I read every article, every paper on the subject of aneuploidy, PGD, IVF outcomes…and then I remembered early in March before the cycle started. C’s best man Dave had visited from the UK. His kids were very ill at the time with high fevers. One week later during the beginning of my cycle I caught this virus. I had a fever above 101 for over 3 days. The internet told me that this fever could have damaged my eggs and created the result. I wouldn’t know until the next cycle – but I clung to that hope like you cannot imagine.

These were the darkest days I’ve ever known…. it would be a full 30 days before I would know if I’d ever potentially be able to have a biological child of my own.