Saturday, December 31, 2011

Remember that ultrasound?

I can't believe it's taken me so long to write this post.  Between Christmas and a long stretch of night shifts, I haven't had time to do anything Blogger-related.  I've got a lot of catching up to do!

We went to Houston last Tuesday for my 6w2d scan, and the ultrasound looked a little like this:

Actually, it looked a lot like that, since it's a crappy iPhone picture of the actual ultrasound picture.  We're having twins.  Baby A was measuring 6w2d with a heartrate of 110 and Baby B measured 6w1d with a heartrate of 112.  Everything looks perfect for this stage.  Hearing our babies' hearts beating was such an overwhelmingly emotional experience.  We've never had a normal heartrate on ultrasound, so while other pregnancies may have technically lasted longer, this one is already more successful than any of them.  We've got a lot of hurdles to cross before we get to the finish line, but I just have a feeling that this is IT!  Thanks again for all of your prayers-  we need them now more than ever!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

All is Calm, All is Bright

 Merry Christmas from Porkchop and Lukas!

Today is a Good Day for many reasons, chief among them being that it's Christmas.  Other reasons that it's a fabulous day:

* Today, I am assured that I have a place in heaven because Jesus was born, died and was resurrected for my sins.
* Today, I am still pregnant (6 weeks exactly!).
* Today, I get to spend time with family and friends who love me unconditionally (and will buy me presents!).

What's not to love about this day?   I hope that you are in good company, surrounded by love and laughter, with many reasons to celebrate.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

5 Weeks

I am 5 weeks pregnant today.  It's a bit surreal to even say that!  I'm just trying to keep busy until my ultrasound on the 27th, and praying that everything is progressing as it is supposed to.  Other than random fits of nausea,  I don't really feel pregnant- so a visual confirmation that I am indeed with child will be welcomed!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Don't Jinx It!

The #1 rule of being a pregnant infertile:  You don't talk about being a pregnant infertile.

Beta #2 today: 925!  Still a great number and everything looks great.  However, I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I am pregnant.  I feel like if I talk about it or think about it too much, I'll jinx it.  Then I remind myself that I don't believe in curses, or superstitions and silly nonsense like that.  And then I remind myself that I wore the same "lucky" socks to Every.Single.Appointment this cycle.  There's no winning here.  

I am concerned about my progesterone levels, though.  My P4 today was 18.1.  The nurse initially said that anything over 10 was great since I'm using Crinone.  When I reminded her that I switched to PIO injections, she said "Oh, that's still fine".  However, Dr. Google tends to marginally disagree, so I've sent her an email urging her to check with the BabyMaker in the morning.  We shall see.

I'm cautiously optimistic that I may just get to meet this baby (or these babies?!).  Now, I just have to wait two weeks for my first ultrasound at 6 weeks,  2 days without driving myself completely insane. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beta Day #1

Ok...  I haven't exactly been an angel during my 9 day wait for my beta test.  I will admit to caving and taking a pregnancy test at 3dp5dt that was completely and overwhelmingly negative.  Of course it was- that was insanely early, and it was stupid.  However, beginning on Wednesday  (5 days after transfer), I started noticing a strange phenomenon.  There was an odd faint pink line where before there was only white space.  The faintest of faints at first, every day it became ever-so-slightly darker. 

I had blood drawn Sunday to check my hcg levels to confirm that I am indeed pregnant.  The nurse called back with my beta level- 411.  It's official!  Right this very second, I am growing a fetus or two.  Who knows what Tuesday's test will bring (the level needs to double every 48 hours), but I'm enjoying the heck out being pregnant in this moment!

**Note to people that I know in real life:  I know that I said I wouldn't know anything until Wednesday.  I'm just not ready yet for so many people to know- it's incredibly hard to un-tell this kind of thing if things don't work out.  Feel free to let me know that you know, but please don't tell anyone else!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Fertile Infertile

I wish Sunday (and subsequently Tuesday) would hurry up.  This whole waiting thing is for the birds.  I'm scared to death and need to know something, anything.

It's not that I'm afraid of a negative test.  I can deal with that.  I'm terrified of being pregnant, and then not being pregnant.  During all of our fertility cycles, we've never had trouble getting pregnant- it's staying that way that's hard for me.   So many things are different now- I've added drugs, changed meds and tested our babies so that we have the best possible chance for the only positive outcome that counts... a healthy baby in the Pierce house.  So why am I so completely and utterly worried and why the heck does this have to be so hard? 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tea Time

Paul hates tea.  Not just a little bit- he loathes it.  If tea was the only choice of beverage available, he swears that he would thirst to a slow and painful death.  I think that he just hasn't found the right tea yet.  His disdain for the most perfect beverage known to man made him the obvious lunch-date choice when my Groupon to a local tea room was about to expire. 

The Glenwood Village Tea Room is exactly what springs to mind when I think of hot tea.  It's warm and cozy and comfortable.  I adore the fact that none of the china matches and the chairs are rogue misfits collected over decades.     Paul, on the other hand, feels like he is trapped in some alternate Granny dimension where chintz teacups and musty antiques reign.  While we have clearly differing views on the decor and atmosphere, we are unanimous in our love of the amazing Cheese and Onion Pie and dessert scones.  Amazing.  Next time, he's trying the tea.  He just doesn't know it yet.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Passing Time

I'm 3dp5dt.  For those blessed enough not to know what the heck I'm talking about, it means that I am 3 days post a 5 day transfer.  Not much is going on in my uterus, as far as I can tell.  I'm feeling little crampy-pulling-twitches intermittently, but not much else.  Paul (and if you know him, this is even funnier) says that the embryos are suckling on uterus teats.  I'm pretty sure I don't have uterus teats, but it's a funny visual anyway.  I hope that our babies have his warped sense of humor.  That's one of the things I love most about him.

Since I don't have a huge, exciting baby update for you, I thought I'd show you a little tree skirt project I finished last night. 

Without further ado:

It came from Pinterest originally, but I followed the directions here.  I cheated and used 3 inch strips of fabric, because I have a 3-inch wide ruler.   The whole process took about 4 hours (and lots of burned fingers), but it was so worth it.  I love it! 

If you choose to attempt this, please use a painter's drop-cloth as your base.  Do NOT buy two yards of canvas at Hobby Lobby for $8.99/yard.  Also, I've read that flat bed sheets from Wal-Mart make excellent fabric strips as opposed to cotton batiste purchased for $6.99/yard.  Learn from my mistakes- don't turn a $20 project into a $50 one, I beg you.    :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Would Do Anything

When we started the IVF process, my biggest fear was the PIO shots because I know firsthand how much they hurt.  I was so relieved when my nurse told we that we'd be using Crinone instead.  Yesterday, after the transfer, I practically begged her to let me switch to the injections because I wanted to ensure my levels were high enough to support a possible pregnancy. Funny how your priorities shift, isn't it?

The nurse covering the weekend called this morning- not a call I expected, and seeing the number scared the bejeezus out of me!  Thankfully, the news wasn't bad.  My progesterone levels aren't low, but my doctor decided this morning that he'd rather err on the side caution.  Because of our past history with miscarriages, he wants to switch me to PIO shot.  So, from here until a positive blood test, and from there until I'm 12 weeks pregnant, I'll be the recipient of a lovely IM injection daily.  Yay!  Anything for a baby (or two).

Bob and Martha (and Elmer)

Yesterday, we transferred two perfect little embryos, Bob and Martha (don't worry, these will not be our children's real names...).  I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of the process, but it went really smoothly!

Our perfect, amazing little embryos!

We woke up early so we wouldn't feel rushed.  During a quick breakfast, the BabyMaker called to let us know that the embryos were about to be thawed and he had a few quick questions.  Did we still want to transfer 2?  Yes, please.  Did the sex matter, or did we want the two best quality?  Well, we'd like to transfer one of each, but the quality is most important.  Let me check- the two best are one boy and one girl, so that settles that.  Sounds perfect, it was meant to be!  Then, my nurse gets on the phone and reminds me to Come with a full bladder.  Yes ma'am. We ran into the grocery store to grab a few bottles of water and some pineapple juice (which is supposed to aid in implantation?  Whatever.)  This little santa piggy jumped into my cart, and had to come home with us.  We named him Elmer.  I'm getting off topic, but I'm kind of in love with him.  Anyway...

Elmer, and the survival kit- cupcakes and juice!
After breakfast and the grocery store, we headed to the acupuncture clinic for my pre-transfer appointment.  Once we left the clinic, we realized that the horrible Houston traffic that we'd accounted for was nowhere to be found, and we were about 2 hours early for the transfer.  No beuno.  So, we did what anyone else would do- we stopped in at Sprinkles and bought a dozen cupcakes to be consumed during my bedrest stint.  ($40 for 12 cupcakes is insane, but these things are AM.A.ZING).  We were still 45 minutes early to our transfer appointment, but I'd certainly rather be early than late.  Who wants to grant custody to a mother who can't even show up on time?

All morning, I'd been chugging water to ensure that my uterus would show up on the abdominal ultrasound.  A quick scan proved that my drinking had been successful, and we were ready to get started.  I swear my full bladder was the worst part of the whole day.  It was the good-part-of-the-movie-and-I-really-need-to-pee feeling on steroids.  For 2 hours.  Ouch!  Once we were settled in the transfer suite, the embryologist brought in a warmer carrying Bob and Martha.  They both started the day as 4AA embryos, but one had fully hatched and become a 5AA.  They were absolutely perfect.  Paul even got to see them under the microscope- his first look at our potential children!  It was such a cool experience. 

 The transfer itself was great- no hiccups at all.  Once we were done, and I'd fulfilled my 45 minutes of laying down in the clinic, we headed back to the hotel, where I promptly passed out.  The Valium they'd given me kicked in very late, and just made me feel hungover- nauseous and headache-y.  Oh well. Totally worth it. 

I am officially Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.  My beta is on December 11, so keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer that these little ones want to hang around for 8 more months or so!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

T-1 Day

We are less than a day from transfer time.  How strange is it to think that I will be sort-of pregnant in about 19 hours?  We're just praying that these guys stick. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh my- really?

This week is getting better and better (personally- work is utter hell, but that's another story).  I've been given a blog award!  Thank you so, so much to Lauren at The Yoakum crew... and a foster dog or 2!  She's just started her first IVF cycle, so show her some bloggie love.

Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers
with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

The five blogs I want to recognize for being nothing but awesome are:

1:  Angie at 
2:  Jennifer at
3:  Meredith at
4:  Kristin at
5:  Danielle at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm a Winner!

Last month, the very talented Susan over at The Florida Crochet Garden announced a giveaway, because she reached 100 followers.  (Congratulations, Susan!!)  I was one of the three lucky winners, and sent her my info. Fast forward a few weeks, and a package arrived in my mailbox.

A present for me?  Yes, please!

Inside was a set of notecards, a journal, and the sweetest little mini notecards.   It's just perfect, and completely made my day.  A huge THANK YOU to Susan for hosting her 100-follower giveaway!

Check out her blog- she makes the cutest owl baby hats, blankets and amazing infinity scarves.  I'm using her Never-Ending Scarf pattern for a Christmas gift!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble Gobble, y'all!

 1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who frequent my little corner.   I hope that today finds you in good health and great spirits, with much to be celebrate!

Today, I am counting my blessings- even those blessings wrapped up in clever disguises, so that at first glance they more resemble curses than gifts.  There are so many things for which I am thankful, but I won't bore you with them here.  Just know that I count you among them, and hope that your Thanksgiving holiday is absolutely perfect.  For those of you who are Black Friday shopping, please don't be the crazy lady on the news who runs over a fellow shopper with her cart in a rush to grab the last Lalaloopsy doll...  Those things are creepy anyway.

Monday, November 21, 2011

S'Mores Cookie Bars

S'mores Love!
One word.  Delicious.  I pinned this recipe a few days ago on Pinterest (love this!), and finally made them them last week.  I guilted Paul into helping, and he mentioned several times that they better be freaking amazing since he was missing the football game.  They are time-consuming, but even Paul agreed that they were well worth the effort.  I mean, they're S'mores!  How could they not be fabulous?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stuck in No-Man's Land

It just occurred to me (literally... I laid awake in bed for 2 hours thinking and it suddenly hit me) that I feel like I am treading water and going nowhere.  It sounds bad, but I don't mean it in a depressing, sad way at all.  For 9 days, I haven't posted here, and I couldn't figure out why.  This morning, I "got it".  At this time, my blog is primarily a place for me to document this crazy IVF journey and things are boring right now!  So boring in fact, that I often forget we're in the middle of an IVF cycle until my alarm goes off and tells me to stick a needle in my belly.  It's crazy!

I'm getting ready for my transfer, but the prep is such a long, drawn out process that it feels like each passing day brings me no closer to our baby.  During the stim phase, I felt like I was actively taking part in creating our family- I could picture each injection plumping up those follicles, and I physically felt the changes that were taking place.  Now, I can only imagine that these patches that I slap on every other day are doing some good.  There's very little monitoring during FET prep, so I have to believe that the Baby-Maker knows what he's doing, and that things are progressing as they should.  I feel good- there are no hormonal mood swings or crying jags that remind me that something is happening...  it's refreshing and scary at the same time.  

We have an appointment in Houston on Wednesday, so I'm sure that I will feel better then.  For now, I'll keep thinking happy thoughts about my uterine lining, and assume that all is well in there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh Estrogen, How I've Missed You!

After a week on Lupron, I was a bitchy, crying, sweaty mess.  Self-induced menopause will do that to a girl, I suppose.  My hormone savior arrived today in the form of a patch.  This innocuous little sliver of sticky plastic is a Vivelle Dot, and it is amazing.  No more hot flashes or headaches!  Who knew that a little estrogen could be so fabulous?!

Friday, November 4, 2011

No Baby-talk Allowed

Yes, folks.  In this post, there will be no mention of my totsicles, my ovaries, my period, or anything else even remotely fertility related.  After that disclosure, of course.  I couldn't tell you that I wasn't going to discuss something without telling you what it was that I wasn't going to discuss!

Here goes:  I've been crafting!  Just a little tiny bit of crochet, but it's something. 

Last winter, a friend asked if I would make a hat for her daughter.  By the time the yarn was purchased and I got a head measurement, the colder months were long behind us.  It was decided that April was quite warm for a winter hat in Louisiana, and the project was put off until now.  After much fussing about, and me convincing the child's mother that this half-finished blob was not a boobie cover OR a yarmulke, a hat was born.  (That doesn't count as a baby reference.) So, without further ado:  Ta-Da!

There are so many little quirks about this hat... the seam where the rows are joined is visible (how the heck do you avoid this stinking seam?!):
Check out that twisty seam!
And...  I have no earthly idea if the hat will even fit this child.  I can say with certainty that it doesn't fit me, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works. I'm probably overly critical of my own work, but it will do.  It's the first toddler hat that I have made, so it was a learning process.   Babies are so much easier to crochet for!

There are other crafty goings-on at my house, but I am too lazy haven't had time to take pictures.  So I suppose they'll have to wait!

For the curious: the hat was worked in joined rounds of single crochet on a 5mm hook without a pattern.  I used Caron Simply Soft yarn.  The smaller hook and short stitch made the fabric slightly more "rigid" than I'd have liked, but you live and learn.  It's still pretty soft and squishy.  I'm sizing up to a 6mm hook for the next one, though!

Update:  Its fits!  And she looks adorable in it.  Woohoo!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Have Normals!

Yes- plural.  There are several completely normal, healthy embryos in a state of suspended animation, just waiting for their turn to be called up to the big leagues.  16, in fact.  Nine girls and seven boys.  This equals 8 attempts at a frozen transfer- there is a real possibility that I won't have to endure the hell that is preparing for and recovering from an egg retrieval ever again.  Huzzah!

December 1st is our official transfer date.  After all the waiting and worrying, we are mere weeks away from being entrusted with two little frozen babies.  I just pray that my uterus is hospitable and accommodating.  Maybe I should hang some curtains or something. 

Of course, the preliminary appointment and the transfer itself both fall in the middle of our Thanksgiving pay-period at work.  One of only 2 schedules during the whole year when absolutely-no-time-off-requests-are-allowed-no-excepions!  Because I needed something else be anxious about, right?  Thankfully, I have a fabulous boss, and we're making it happen.  Paul and I are probably working six 12-hour night shifts in a row to make up for it, but it will work out.  It always does!

Monday, October 17, 2011

True Story

A friend sent me this picture of eggs she collected from her chicken coop.  When we told her that we were doing the retrieval, she said that she'd pray for us while collecting eggs that morning.  Guess how many mature, useable eggs she collected.  Fine... don't guess, I'll tell you- there were 31.  Exactly the same number of mature, useable eggs the BabyMaker collected from me.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Actually, I'm sure it was a coincidence, but I still think it's pretty cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Teabag Theory (And Other News)

Negative thoughts are like teabags.  If you let them steep too long, they become bitter.  When you start feeling pessimistic,  put in a new teabag!

 A girl from my infertility group posted this a few days ago. Her mom used to repeat this mantra when she was a child, because moms always have smart things to say that you don't appreciate until you're older.  When I find myself being sucked into that cycle of negative thinking, I remind myself to change the teabag.... and it works!  It's not always easy to change your mindset about something, but it just feels so much better to be optimistic and positive!

Now that the psychology lesson has adjourned, I have an embryo update!  I posted here about our 13 fabulous embryos that were being tested.  On Thursday,  the lab called to let us know that we now have 21 little frostpops that are being tested.  Apparently, the eggs that were fertilized last took a few extra hours to grow (I think those lazy genes are Paul's...).  They were perfect on Wednesday morning , so they were biopsied as well.  Surely, out of 21 embryos tested, we'll have a few several that are chromsomally normal!  See that positive, teabag-changing thinking in action?  I still love the number 13, but 21 sounds even better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

13 is a Lucky Number

Well, it's our lucky number, anyway.  After growing for 5 days, we had 13 blasts that were still going strong.  They were biopsied yesterday and frozen so that we can wait for the CCS results.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will hear something early next week.  We'll see-  hopefully we have a few normals to transfer!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Getting ready for the Harvest!

It's been a long 5 days!  It seems like forever since I posted.  Egg Retrieval was Thursday morning at 8:30 am.  Things couldn't have gone more smoothly.  I will say that I completely understand how someone could become addicted to Propofol- you are out in 5 seconds and you wake up alert as soon as it's turned off.  There's no drugged feeling when you come out of surgery, which was fabulous-  Paul has a tendency to make fun of me for hours when I'm given Valium, Versed or Fentanyl.   However, it obviously has it's downsides.  Hello, Michael Jackson- forgetting to breathe has very dire consequences!  I'm just glad that my drugs were administered under closely monitored circumstances by well-trained professionals (and in a hospital to boot!).  But I digress...

As I was saying,  the retrieval was a complete success.  Our official fertilization report was:

33 Eggs were retrieved
31 Eggs were mature
27 Eggs were successfully fertilized via ICSI

I cried when I got off of the phone with my nurse- these are awesome numbers!  I was shocked, given our slow start.  I like to think that it's due to the awesome Lucky Socks that my mom gave me.  They were perfect.  Fuzzy and super soft, with pink, blue and white stripes.  I wore them for every appointment.  I'm not kidding.  They looked ridiculous with my running shoes, but who cares, right?  The OR staff loved them.

Me and my Lucky Socks!

So what next?  We won't hear anything else until Tuesday, when the embryologist will check in on our little guys again to see which ones have continued to grow well.  God, please let those embryos grow!  The healthy ones will be biopsied and then frozen.  And we will wait again- this time for the CCS results that will tell us which ones are genetically normal, thus suitable for transfer.  Hopefully we'll slide in before the lab closes December 1st for yearly cleaning.  I could be pregnant for Christmas!  Or not, but it's good to stay positive.

The need for a frozen transfer has actually been wonderful, because I ended up with moderate OHSS and it's pretty miserable.  I've gained 13 lbs of fluid since Thursday, and am super short of breath.  Oh, the things we'll do for stuff we really, really want!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trigger Happy

It's official.  I've been triggered.  Thanks, Paul- you are the king of IM injections.  I'll admit that I was terrified at the thought of you wielding that huge needle and stabbing in my general direction, but you came through in the clutch.  It didn't even hurt!

In exactly 34.5 hours, the BabyMaker will be harvesting these eggs that we've worked so hard to mature.  Exciting, right?  All I can do now is relax, and hope that the eggs are packing up their belongings and preparing to vacate my comfy, squishy follicles.

In truth, I'm ready for them to move out.  Each follicle is about 2 cm in diameter.  Presently, there are between 20-30 large marble-sized fluid balls in my belly that make every movement awkward and uncomfortable.  I look like I'm about 4 months pregnant (I wish!), and I'm waddling like a geriatric duck.  Hurry up, Thursday, because I can't wait to find out exactly what we've got growing in there!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flip Flops

Once again, we are good here in the land of Infertility.  It's insane how things can change so radically from one week (or one day!) to the next.  As you may recall, last monday was exceptionally crappy.  Fast forward a mere 7 days, and things couldn't look better!  We have lots of fat, happy follicles and my estrogen levels are skyrocketing.  I attribute this success to the fabulous junk I've been eating.    Just kidding- I'm sure the thrice daily shots have a little something to do with it.

We are planning on triggering tomorrow night, and harvesting these babies (pun totally intended!) on Thursday.   Our future children could be conceived on Thursday morning!  As we approach the retrieval,  I find myself feeling strangely emotionally attached to these little guys.  If all goes well, we will head home on Friday or Saturday and the thought of leaving our embryos here, 4 hours away from home, makes me sad.  This is completely irrational, because I'm certainly not equipped to sit on a petri dish and incubate our potential babies.  I know we will be leaving them in good hands here, but I do expect daily updates on their growth progess!

As always,  thanks for visiting my blog-  you'll never know how much your comments mean to to me, and how therapeutic it is to have a place to share.  Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friends in Low Places

I have been all over the place lately.  I can go from super happy and positive to bawling and devastated in five minutes.  It's times like these that you need great friends to kick you in the butt and say "You can DO this.  Everything will work out just like it's supposed to!".

On Tuesday night, a friend brought this plaque to work:

We were talking last week about how appropriate it was that we're doing an egg "harvest" during the Fall.  It hadn't even occurred to me, but it doesn't surprise me that she would pick up on it.  She's just one of the most amazing, selfless people I know and I'm so, so glad that she's in our corner.  We brought the plaque to Houston, and it's hanging in our hotel room as a constant reminder of how much our friends support us on this journey.  

Last night as I was packing for our trip, another friend showed up with this:

A group of friends that we work with got together and packed this bin full of goodies.  They even sent 20 one dollar bills for the vending machines at the hotel.  From Paul's favorites (peanut butter and Coke Zero) to the caffeine free tea and Sprite for me, it is obvious how much thought was put into this box.  Yesterday, I spent an hour at Target wandering around because I knew that we needed stuff like this.  However, in true Mary style, I got frustrated and walked out with some shampoo and a bag of Jelly Bellys.  Not helpful.

I'm just humbled by the awesome group of people that we choose to surround ourselves with.  There have been so many times when I questioned telling everyone what we were going through.  Today, I can boldly say that we made the right decision.  All of your prayers, texts and positive thoughts have made this so much easier for me.  And if we stumble this time, I know that you'll be there to help us prepare for the next hurdle.

"Thank You" just doesn't seem like enough, but it will have to do.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Did I say optimal? I didn't mean it.

Today pretty much sucked...  That's all there is to it. 

I had my estrogen level drawn after work at 7:30 this morning, took my am shot, and went to bed waiting for the nurse to call with my results.  At 2pm, I called her to see if she'd heard from the lab, and she hadn't so I called to check on my results.  They had just printed (yeah, right...) and the lab tech was going to fax them immediately.  An hour later, my nurse called and she still hadn't received the results, so she called to get them and called me back.  Here's where my day turned to complete and utter crap.

Here's how our lovely phone conversation went:

Nurse:  Well, your estrogen level is 55, so stay on your current regimen and we'll see you Friday at 7:30. 

Me:  Wait... Friday?  No, I have an appointment on Wednesday.

Nurse:   At 29, we expect your estrogen to be 500 by now, so there's no need for an ultrasound on Wednesday. 

Me:  So what do I do?

Nurse:  Just keep taking your injections as scheduled.  The doctor is gone for the day, but I'll text him to see if he wants to change anything and will let you know if anything changes.  See you Friday!

I was half asleep, and so in shock that things were going wrong that I couldn't even correct her and tell her that I am NOT 29-  I am 30 now, and that is a huge number in the IF world!  30 and 35 are benchmark BAD years.  I don't even know what to say or think.  I'm just so disappointed...  I've canceled our hotel and re-booked for Thursday night.  Tomorrow, I am going to call the nurse to see what insight she can offer when I'm not in a zombie-like state, and I've had time to process this.

At least I now have a reason for my continued headaches.  This stinks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Optimal is a Good Word

So the trip to Houston was a success.  According to the BabyMaker, everything looks "optimal" for this cycle.  My ovaries are nice and sleepy- not a cyst or budding follicle in sight, and my estrogen levels have plummeted to abysmal levels (cue headaches and nausea!).  Paul and I high-fived over the ultrasound machine while I was getting re-dressed and agreed that it's great to be optimal.

We are plunging ahead, and I start my 3-injection-a-day regimen tomorrow.  Woo-hoo!  Who knew I could be so excited to jab myself with sharp objects and inject a cocktail of meds guaranteed to make me feel like complete crap?!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breakdown #1

I've been on Lupron for 8 days.  The first 5 days were a breeze- the occasional hot flash, but nothing serious.  Life on Lupron was G-O-O-D good.

Last night, I got a headache.  By 7am, it had escalated to a full-blown, light-sensitive, vomit-inducing migraine.  Thank God I don't have to work tonight, because today was spent alternating between crying, throwing up and reciting all of my vital info to myself-  I was sure I had developed a head bleed from all of the aforementioned vomiting.  Any moment, I might have forgotten my social security number and would need to wake up the hubs to take me to the hospital.  As of 10pm tonight, I still know who I am and have a post-migraine hangover.  I have survived Breakdown #1 of this IVF cycle.  It was a doozy.

I guess this is what I get for feeling all smug about escaping the "major" Lupron side effects, huh?  Paul, in his infinite wisdom, had a fabulous suggestion.  Instead of being negative about feeling like complete shit, I should view this a "cool experiment on what different drugs do to my body".  God bless him- I know he was trying to help improve my frame of mind, but that probably wasn't the best way to do it.  You've got to give him credit, though.  He was trying to help, and I know that I'm incredibly blessed to have such a supportive, caring husband.

I just keep repeating my mantra:  This will all be worth it!

***We're going to Houston for suppression check on Thursday.  Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for no cysts and sleepy ovaries!***

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I've been Lupron-ized!

As I write this, hoards of mini Lupron warriors are galloping through my body.  My ovaries are shrieking and cowering in fear.   If either ovary so much as thinks of producing an egg,  the Lupron Army will know and assert its dominance.    If they try passing sneaky notes to my pituitary gland in hopes of a Hail-Mary pass?  No go.  The Lupron has it under control too.    You are officially suppressed, little ovaries.  Go to sleep, and await further instructions.

On Egg Patrol- it's serious business!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Funkiest of Funks

Or, why nothing remotely crafty has been going on around here!

It's not that I don't have projects to complete, trust me- I do. I just don't have the energy to do them!  Lately, it's been easy to blame this on hormones or other completely-not-my-fault things, but I've got to take some responsibility for this craziness that has become my life.  I'm pledging to get out of this craft rut soon.  Perhaps today, but probably not, as I'm facing two more nights of work and I must sleep sometime.

Also, a bit of an apology:  This blog began as a way to chronicle my life, and it just so happens that, right now,  my life is about needles, ultrasounds and visits to Houston lately instead of granny squares, quilt blocks and fun girly stuff.  I promise to add more exciting, colorful crafting soon.  There are tons of unwritten moments to be had, and only so many of them can be about babies and how they get here! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lucky Socks?

I admit that I stalk way too many blogs about infertility, but it appears that I have grossly overlooked a vital component of the IVF process.  I need Lucky Socks.  These could be ordinary socks, picked up at Target because I love the pattern, or perhaps a pair of hand-knit socks from Etsy because I like the Store Name...  I don't care where they come from, but from now until September 27,  I'm on a mission to find my very own pair of Lucky IVF Socks for my egg retrieval and frozen transfer.  I can't have cold feet in the OR, right?

TheStorkDropZone's Lucky Socks!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Step At A Time

I apologize for my lack of posting-  I'm a bit overwhelmed.

I came home from work on Saturday to find a huge box on my front porch. It's taken 2 weeks and a bizarre game of phone tag between Walgreen's Specialty Pharmacy, Houston IVF, my insurance company and myself, but my meds have finally arrived. After I unpacked the box, I sat and stared at this mass of syringes, needles and vials and my first thought was, "What the HELL am I going to do with all of this?".     :)

My Giant Basket-O-Meds

There are days where I wish I could warp through some pipe like Mario and come out in another world- where the outcome of this process has already been revealed. Other days, I want to hold on so tightly to each second, because I feel like things are on the edge of spinning dangerously out of my control.  This is all completely normal, I know.  It's just a new feeling for me, because I am usually so completely in control.   There aren't enough adjectives to describe the gamut of feelings I run through in any given day.

One adjective that works every day?  Hopeful.  For the outcome of this IVF cycle of course, and also for the fact that it seems Fall is attempting to arrive!  We haven't had a 100+ degree day in almost a week, and it has rained recently. Here's proof!

Hope all is well in your corner of the world, and that you're enjoying great weather as well.   I appreciate all of you that stop by to see how our story is unfolding!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I love (and hate) my insurance company

We knew going in to the IVF process that our insurance company doesn't cover anything remotely related to infertility treatments.  This is why I hate them- Louisiana is not a mandate-to-cover state, meaning that there is no impetus for insurance companies to cover IVF, etc.  However, they have apparently decided to cover some of my meds!  It's a drop in the bucket compared to the total overall cost, but I'll gladly pay a $25 co-pay for $3300 worth of Bravelle.  Thank you very much, Blue Cross of Texas!  You just made my day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A lesson in note-taking

Apparently, many crocheters start with Granny Squares.  I don't know how I managed to be oblivious to their existence, but I just discovered them a few months ago.  They are so much fun to make!

However, when you are making lots of little squares that will eventually be joined to make a larger, more substantial something, it helps for them to be the same size.  I made my first granny squares about a month ago, and decided to add to the meager pile a few nights ago.  Unfortunately, I took no notes of what hook size I used to create the first ones.  I am now the proud owner of a random pile of pretty crocheted blobs that will not play nicely together.

They will probably be relegated to the box of un-finished projects in my closet until they decide to become something useful.  Now I know... for the love of God, write it down!

*Pattern from Lucy at Attic24!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One hurdle down...

The anxiety-causing first trip to Houston is done.  I couldn't be happier, or more excited.  It seems like all of the negative nervousness and worry has been replaced with happy, fluttery, giddiness.  It's becoming real.  Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement.  We could not do this without the support of friends and family!

Because I was so completely overwhelmed with the barrage on information that was thrown at us, I'll hit the high points, bullet-style:

*  I have a "beautiful" uterus.  Really, I promise.  Our doctor said so in those exact words.

*  My IVF calendar is so detailed and perfect that it makes me want to cry.

*  A mini-pharmacy has invaded our bathroom and I don't even have my injectable meds yet!

*  Because of our miscarriage history, we will be doing chromosome screening on our embryos.

*  This screening means a frozen transfer at a later date, which I'm kind-of relieved about...

*  We are actually doing this!!

A small selection of my daily meds, and the aforementioned calender!

**On a totally unrelated note, I managed to get two more stripes on the ripple blanket during the drive to/from Houston.  It's growing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I've got a bad case of the Butterflies-In-My-Stomach Syndrome.  It's 2am, and I've got a class for work at 8.  So why am I awake, with this building sense of nervousness?  I may have an idea.

After a riveting job-required course in Bedside Medication Verification (WHAT?!?!), we're leaving for Houston for a few final tests and we will meet with our doctor to go over our IVF protocol.  I cannot imagine anything more amazing than creating a new life and completing our family, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't scared to death of the whole process.  Excited of course, but completely terrified at the same time.  

I stole this quote from another blog I follow:

"You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" 
-Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

That Christopher Robin was one smart boy!  Hopefully our as-yet-unconceived children will be just as awesome.  I'm going to work on being brave and knowing that everything will work out just fine.    

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I admit it.  I have a hard time getting rid of things.  I'm not a hoarder, but it's just so hard to throw away things that, at one time or another, meant something to me.  Pictures are especially difficult.  My finger hovers over the delete key, and I just cannot convince myself that I won't need this random, washed-out picture of a huge garden spider next to a Motorola Razr cell phone at some point in the future. 

Maybe there will be a contest for big spider pictures, and this one could win it!  You don't think so?  Fine.  But it's still hard for me. 

Last night, I stumbled upon this post by Laura over at  Laura's Mommy Journal.  It was written for me, I think.  I realized that I've been holding on to junk for WAY too long.  Starting with my oldest digital images, I began trashing photos according to Laura's method.  Fuzzy?  Gone.  Too similar?  Gone.  Makes me look terribly fat?  Gone.  After an hour or so, it really did become easier to hit that delete key.  After 2 hours, I had worked through the entire year of 2004.  I know I've got a long way to go, but my iPhoto library is feeling lighter and more manageable already.  And after all, isn't that the point of purging?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On a Whim, Blueberry Style

We went to the farmer's market this morning to get pulled pork burritos.  I know...  it's an odd reason.   Despite all of the fresh fruits, veggies, homemade spice mixes and canned goods, our sole purpose in going this morning was breakfast.  It was a wonderful breakfast but apparently, it wasn't the holy grail of our mission.  As we were walking around, I found these beautiful blueberries.

Fresh blueberries are just different than the ones you find in the grocery store.  They smell and taste like blueberries, while store bought berries smell like the plastic clam-shell boxes they're packaged in and taste about the same.  $3.00 later, I had a pint of blueberries in my bag and a million ideas floating around in my head.

I knew the recipe had to be simple- baking is completely out of my comfort zone.   Boxed brownies are a challenge for me.  Sad, I know, but nothing I bake ever seems to turn out right.  Finally, I found this recipe for Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake.  It seemed simple enough, and I had a cup of sour cream kicking around in the fridge that was on it's way to expiring.  Armed with my farmer's market purchase of aforementioned amazing blueberries, I was ready.

The ingredients are assembled and ready!

Approximately 2 hours later, I was rewarded with one of the most delicious things to ever leave my oven.  Seriously.  It's fabulous.  This recipe is definitely a keeper, and I may have to reconsider baking as a hobby.  Probably not, but I will be making this round of yummy-ness again.  :)

Excuse the impromptu lemon glaze...
A slice of heaven!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our wonderful birthday weekend!

I love the fact that Paul and I share a birth month.  Our birthdays are one week apart, so we (almost) always do something together to celebrate.  This year, we decided to go to Dallas.  It was one of the best weekends of my life.  Really.

We missed the Kings of Leon concert Friday night, which worked in our favor since the lead singer stumbled offstage and never returned- he was too drunk to continue.  I would get fired if I showed up at my job intoxicated, but apparently it's acceptable if you make millions of dollars.  Who knew?  :)

On Saturday, we toured the massive behemoth that is the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.  That place is unreal!  We aren't huge Cowboys fans, but you have to admire all the work that went into planning this arena.  It's pretty amazing.  Saturday night, we watched Guys and Dolls at Fair Park Music Hall.  Paul swears it was better than Wicked!  I really, really loved the show, but Wicked is pretty tough to beat in my book.  

Sunday morning, we held to a long-standing hotel tradition.  We ordered room service to be delivered at a ridiculously early time.  Then, sufficiently stuffed, we pulled the curtains shut and went back to sleep to make the most of our late check out.  After  emerging from our post-breakfast coma, we went to Buca di Beppo for some great Italian food and cheered on FC Dallas Soccer Club in a 1-0 win.  After the game, we headed back home and back to reality.  

I couldn't imagine a better way to spend our birthdays. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy (Belated) Birthday to me!

It's official.  I'm 30!  I've never been one of those girls who wallow in self pity over something as silly as a number.  Actually,  I am enjoying being 30-  for the brief 4 days that have eclipsed since bidding adieu to 29, anyway.  So, I thought today's post should be a list of things I am enjoying right now.  It's going to be a great year, and I need to start it off right by appreciating all of the amazing things that I've been blessed with!

1.  I'm really enjoying my husband and these little fur mongers:

They make my life so much better, just by being a part of it.

2.  Loving being told that I'm "normal"!  All of my lab results are in, and everything is great- no chromosome issues or communicable diseases.  There's the small matter of a new hypothyroidism diagnosis, but I'm staying positive here, right?  I'm ridiculously thankful to finally have all of my results in!

3.  The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin:  Thanks to a fabulous co-worker for getting me addicted.  I now have a series of long books to read on my Kindle while endlessly sitting in waiting rooms.

4.  These fabulous quilt squares-  I've got 10 more to whip out, and the real fun of laying out and pattern-playing begins!

5.  I'm super excited about spending the weekend in Dallas with Paul and celebrating our birthdays together.  A little Kings of Leon concert, a great dinner, an FC Dallas Soccer game and a lot of lounging relaxing and doing absolutely nothing.

See?  I told you there was a lot for me to be thankful and excited about!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Do you insist on making me crazy?

This post is directed at you, Houston IVF!  I love you guys with all my heart-  truly I do, but I'm sensing a breakdown in communication here...

When you're going through something as time-sensitive as preparing for an IVF cycle, every day counts.  I'm still waiting on lab results from the blood I had drawn on July 1.  I know...  chomosome testing takes time.  Then why does Paul already know that he is communicable disease-free, and his chromosomes are perfectly perfect? 

Perhaps it's because the lab spun a vial of my blood that shouldn't have been spun, so that one measly test couldn't be run, and Houston won't report the results until all of the results from a lab set are complete.  So now I'm waiting on a call from my nurse, who is supposed to be calling my local lab to see if this test can be added to more blood I had drawn on Saturday.  Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain that Saturday's lab was run at the local lab instead of being sent out to the Quest Lab (this could be my fault, but I'm going to pass the blame here).  This means that the blood is most likely not available anymore, so we can't tack on one more test.  It also means that Houston might not accept the results-  they're fairly insistent on having all tests resulted at their lab, not my lab.

Here is where the time crunch comes into play.  The labs I had drawn on Saturday must be drawn on a certain day.  If we missed that narrow opportuity this month, we have to wait and have it redrawn next month.  I might cry if a lab issue pushes us back another month. 

I'm trying to let go of my fears and concerns about all of this.  I think worrying is my insane attempt to maintain some sense of control over the situation.  So, I'm trying to listen to Paul when he says, "Don't worry until there is something to worry about- it's not going to change anything!".  It's not easy, but he's right.  Don't tell him I said that.  :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot!

My mom and I spent Sunday in Kaufman, TX piddling over things for my Grandfather's estate that need to get finished.  It was so hot, even the insects were trying to bum rides in cool, air-conditioned comfort!  This guy hung out on our windshield wiper for miles begging us to let him inside.

 Summers in the south are always hot, but I don't remember it being this hot for this long last year- 100+ temps for weeks is just insane.  When innocent pink crayons are committing suicide by jumping onto scalding pavement, you know it's too hot.

At least there are plenty of things to do inside.  I've finally finished the diaper cover for Josh's little girl.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out!  Perfect for a little hula girl, I think.