One hour until….I talk to Dr. Schoolcraft

So in one hour I’ll find out whether or not I’m going to be able to use my surrogate at CCRM or if I will have to pack up the embryos and bring them elsewhere. Please let him be in a good mood! ARGH!!!!

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Stop the presses. That is if I have any readers left.

I’m just terrible with this blog. I started it to get my feelings out while I travel down the lonely road of infertility. I have been waiting and watching as friends have babies, as they give birth, have sibling for their children and I remain stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Time is ticking. My periods have long since gone. Menopause? I’m not sure. I think my body just can’t ovulate. I’ve been under so much pressure and I don’t take good care of myself. I forget to eat. Sometimes I don’t know what day it is. I started a preschool. I might have mentioned that but….it was the hardest thing I ever did but also I have never been happier. I have kids who give me hugs, who love me and the love flows right back. I’ve been so happy lately even though I work very hard and have little time for me. I was sitting in the Inverness Hotel in 2009, reading a book about the importance of education in the first five years of life. I glanced from my 3000 dollars of meds, to the syringe I just used to make my follicles grow, back to the book and then came the idea. A preschool. If I have one child…well, at least I’ll know what he is learning AND I will have dozens of children to love. So I am very happy but also the big fat void remains. The siblings on ice. The would be siblings except, my womb is over it. I can’t get it to grow. I have not tried again but I know. I’ve been friends (randomly) with a woman who has been a surrogate in the past. We started talking and one day I thought….well, why don’t I ask her. To my utter delight she agreed to be my surrogate. I cannot tell you what a dream come true this is for me. She is without a doubt a thoughtful, caring and loving person but get this, she wants to be a part of my child’s life. An Auntie for lack of a better word. That is just the icing on the cake. I would so love to share my child with a sister but sadly I have only a brother. He loves my son but there is nothing like an aunt that just loves you to pieces. I am one of those types of Aunties and, well, I just hope she will love my son as much. Hold on, no baby yet but we are hoping that this is what my embryos need. A womb that is proven to give life unlike mine. I say this without a hint of sadness. The only thing I worry about is that she will somehow be harmed by the process. If both were to take I would worry about her carrying twins, the burden on her and her family. So I may try to see if my uterus will grow enough to have a double transfer of the embryos. The higher quality for her and the lesser quality for me. Schoolcraft suggested that I transfer both to her and told me “why waste one”….as if he knows that I can’t carry another child. I don’t know what to do. I’m torn. We are in the middle of waiting for his approval. So that is the news. I feel happy, worried, stressed…but somewhat relieved that there is a plan and we have the right person on the team. I don’t think there could be a better person to carry my child (ren) than this woman…she really cares and I know would do the right thing. She is ethical, honest, caring, devoted and I think I could learn a thing or two about organization from her. And I love her already. She gave me hope again. For that I owe her so much already…

To be continued!

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)

Vivelle Dots.

What the f? Sorry. I’m just stumped. These are not dots. They are sheets of plastic with adhesive and estrogen. What is with the dots thing?

I have one on me. Assuming it is making its way into my bloodstream to get my pathetic lining to grow.

Yep, I nagged good old Dr. S to let me do a mock lining check locally. New doc (who I LOVE) will do a hysteroscopy and I don’t care if I spelled that wrong. It is late and I am so cranky. I digress, so we are going to check out the uterus, make sure there are no more traces of ashermans and that my ovaries look OK and that the lining is developing and then I am putting these embryos back in. I’m in the middle of a secret adventure and I want to share but I can’t – suffice it to say that it is really stressful. Combine that with the fact that my husband’s job fired him. FIRED! He is a Managing Director and they made things up. They actually fired him for poor performance when this guy brought in 12 million dollars last year. But they don’t really know what we have here. The kind of trouble they are about to get in for lying is just amazing. I wish I could elaborate but I can’t. Normally I would like to just walk away from this but not when they essentially prevent my husband from working in the industry he has worked in for 20 years. So, there will be justice. And it is going to be painful for them. The law was broken and we have some proof. Oh do I wish I could just write it all out! But suffice it to say that when I am involved, I make sure that we cross every T and dot every i because I saw this coming.

So my little adventure has to keep us alive.

I’m scared but I know, I truly know that we will succeed.

One day at a time.

Get me through the transfer, let there be another baby and who cares about the rest. The world will open up and we will be happy again. It has been so long. Wow, I’m excited thinking about happy and us in the same sentence.

I do love my family so very much….now I just want to give my son his sibling. It is time.

Advice for the infertile.

Run. Don’t walk (don’t stroll, don’t meander) to CCRM.

Why bother locally? Why bother at all when the cutting edge stuff, the best lab in the world (arguably) and the best stats are in Denver. Nice town. Traffic shows the general feel of the city – they don’t cut you off, they let you in. They WAVE!

Denver is a nice town, full of nice people who have no idea that just down the street in Lone Tree that there exists a fertility center that is just knocking the socks off the rest of the country and the world.

I’ve been to three clinics – visited over 7 for consultations and so far my best results have been at CCRM. I won’t knock NYFI because they gave me (child mentioned!) my son. I will forever love them and think of them on his birthday and truth told, on my other days as well.

But I wish I had gone straight to CCRM 2 years ago when I began my quest for #2. Then again, if the first IVF had worked I would not have my Alex. I am a huge believer in the idea that things do NOT happen for a reason. I think we make things happen. We will them to happen through our thoughts, through our actions and I totally disagree that there is some being up there who would for a reason make one couple childless and let crackho #13456 have a baby. But that is another discussion for another time.

My advice is if you are young (under 33) and you are going for IVF, your best local clinic isn’t a bad idea but if you are in your mid thirties with a few losses under your belt – don’t dick around. Head straight to the best (my opinion). They aren’t pricier, in fact, they are even less than a few of the other clinic in their league. One thing they have above the rest is that they give you individual attention that I’ve never seen anywhere else. They manage your cycle down to ever little injection. They watch you like a hawk and for me – a woman with an AMH of .48 (not good) and an elevated estrogen level (meaning it is hiding a much higher FSH) ….for me to get 11 eggs and have 8 mature is what you call a miracle. A CCRM miracle.

I’m biased, I know. But I read everything and I can tell you point for point why I’d choose CCRM over any clinic in the nation for an older gal especially.

Nah, I don’t work for CCRM, I help pay their salaries, though!

Edited to add. CCRM does not believe in immune issues. I do. So I have another suggestion and will devote an entire post to who I’d recommend you see for treatment, diagnosis. I’d not recommend one clinic in particular and the name is a type of alcoholic beverage. I have my reasons and they are good ones….but not now. I’m hungry.

Back…IVF #9 with CGH Microarray (part 2)

Sorry for leaving some of you hanging. I had to take a break for a number of reasons.

We got our CGH Microarray results back from the 8 embryos we had on ice (from CCRM and the clinic I go to in NYC – I did IVF #8 there in June which I will update on later – had those four sent out to join the other CCRM four an all were tested) ……..and we have one normal embryo – in fact, it was our only blastocyst and it was a day 6 blastocyst which is a bit behind. The other 7 were massively abnormal, poor things. So, I decided to try another cycle locally to hopefully get a few more embryos to ship out to CCRM and then do another cycle in February….but that was a complete disaster. Microdose lupron, measurable follicle on day 2!!! I stimmed for 6 days and then triggered and converted to an IUI. BFN. No surprise there.

I went on birth control pills right after since I had developed massive cysts….and then decided it was time to go back to CCRM. I’m approaching 42 and I don’t have the luxury of time on my side. I have a good chance with one CGH normal (60%) but I want a GREAT chance which only 2 normal embryos will give me (70 %). Selfish, I know.

For this cycle we did things very differently – I started saizen (human growth hormone) and microdose lupron for two days and then started 300 gonal F and 2 amps of menopur combined with dexamethazone. What a response – the stim was rather fast – 9 days total or so and I produced 11 eggs – 8 of which were mature and fertilized normally. I was shocked as I never respond like this – my very best cycle to date and I think I credit the saizen…. Day 3 and all of them were right on target with one over achiever at 12 cells. Yesterday on day 5 they called to say that they had 3 early blasts and 3 great looking morulas. Somehow between last night and today most of them arrested and I am now left with a grade 5AA blast and a 3AB blast to biopsy. So down to 2. Beats the one I had last time which was thankfully normal.

I don’t know whether to be happy or gear up for IVF #10. I guess I’ll wait for the results (probably by mid Jan) and maybe go back on the pill to suppress all the crazy things my ovaries do after an IVF.

On the emotional front, I’m not feeling so great. Not sure how I am going to be able to handle it if this doesn’t work. I began looking at donor eggs and found one woman whose baby photo looked just like me. But I don’t know if I can do that. I always told myself that it wouldn’t matter – and deep in my heart I know it wouldn’t but I will move heaven and earth to make this happen with my own eggs. I only wish I had found CCRM when I was 40 and not 41.

So there is my update and now we wait…….