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Monday, 19 December 2011

The Sweetest Thing :)

As it has been a while since my last post, I thought I would post a little update. I am at work, sitting at my desk, and pretending that I am reading some important email....instead, I am blogging...good way to start this snowy Monday morning!

We had our first U/S last Monday Dec. 12. I will not post the U/S pictures here, as weirdly enough, I feel that the images are too private, but strangely I am comfortable describing them, and giving all sorts of other details about my infertility...the blogging world is strange some times...each of us tries to find that balance between privacy and reaching out for support.

I had been really nervous before the U/S. I had done research on google (that guilty pleasure and also my worst enemy!) and read for hours all about what I could expect at 6.5 weeks. Some people reported seeing and hearing the heart beat, other people did not.

The Dr. ushered us into the U/S room, and announced to me that it would be intra-vaginal (I am honestly  looking forward to the abdomen U/S from now on...I am a bit tired of U/S wands being stuck up my...beep...!!!)
So, once I was uncomfortably on the stirrups, the Dr. said: "OK, let's see if we've got a baby in here!"
Which quickly put me on guard. I was quiet like a mouse, waiting for him to say what he saw, because truthfully I cannot understand any of those black and white images. I was deathly scared that his silence would send me straight to panic-ville.....But...a few seconds later he announced that he could see the pregnancy sac, the yolk sac, embryo with a strong heartbeat!

DP and I held hands and held back the tears when the Dr. asked us if we wanted to hear the heartbeat. He turned on the sound and we heard it...a flutter that beat fast, really fast.

It was the sweetest thing...

Finally, it was real, we have ONE little miraculous little bean with a heart beating strong in there!!! :) :) We both felt overwhelmed by relief and sincere happiness. I think we even gasped audibly.

He measured the little bean at 6 weeks and 1 day and reassured us that he/she is growing well, and is exactly where he should be, making a nice little home in there.

I know I should be cautious, as the first 12 weeks are delicate. DP and I have not announced it to anyone other than our very very close family: our parents and a couple of immediate friends. However, it is getting harder and harder to contain the excitement, and to keep from sharing the joy we are feeling. We have decided that we will not announce it until after our next U/S which is just after the holidays (9.5 weeks) and we can have a better picture of this beautiful little miracle baby!

However, it will definitely be the sweetest Christmas, secretly knowing and praying for our sticky bean!

As a music lover, very dedicated U2 lover, here is the link to one of my favourite songs that plays in my head ever since:

Happy Holidays to all :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Holding my breath...and believing....

Today I am 6 weeks pregnant.

As the days go by in waiting for our first U/S scheduled for Dec. 12th, I feel like all I do is watch the snow fall outside and bide my time. It has been a week and a half of complete stillness since the last BETA results.

I cannot describe the joy I feel to have had the confirmation of the pregnancy via the 2 Beta tests. It is so much bigger than anything I have ever experienced before I feel overwhelmed by it.
I feel like the luckiest person on the planet at the moment. And so thankful. And I am eager to let myself dream about all the amazing changes that will happen in my life from now on......except, I can't quite yet....There is a part of me that feels like I am still holding my breath. As if nothing can be real before I see those images on the screen. Maybe it's because of my lack of any evident symptoms, apart from the absence of AF, that nothing seems any different.

I am so eager to see and feel this life growing inside of me that I go on the websites where they have actual U/S images by week...and read about the stages of development of the embryo, and try to picture it inside my body.  It is still completely surreal.

This is where my agnostic and scientific mind (almost to the point of irrationality) is most evident. I have always been one to say: believe nothing until you see it, touch it, smell it, hear it. I need my senses to let me know that I am experiencing something. I must admit that I am not a person of large demonstrations of blind faith. Maybe because life has kicked me in the stomach   ovaries a few times, and showed me that bad things happen when you put your blind faith in something.

I was taught this lesson the hardest when I discovered my husband of 5 years (and 11 year sweetheart since college) was having a 3 year full-fledged affair with a work colleague. Yes, in hindsight I can say that there may have been signs, but they were subtle. And that very same concept of full faith and trust in my partner kept me oblivious to it for 3 years. After a very acrimonious divorce, which proved to me once again that my faith in the respect I thought would exist between us after our 11 year life together was completely shattered to pieces, I vowed that I would never put myself in such a position again. That I would be cautious with my trust and with my faith.

Maybe this experience shaped me to a point that I cannot be anything else other than cautious. I cannot be any other way. It changed me forever. I am not sure. It was even hard for me to recognize that  I had found real love  real love found me in 2009 when I met my DP. It was truly hard at the beginning, and I tread very carefully hoping for the best, and expecting the worst.

Infertility has definitely been a challenge for me in that sense. I have had to believe, and hope and pray (in my own agnostic kinda way) that one day I would be pregnant. I have had to let go of my need to control my emotional investment because, month after month, I realized that I was just as hopeful and invested as the previous month. It was a lesson in humility and faith.

And now I am pregnant. And I must believe. I must believe that everything will be OK. Real love has found me once more, and I must believe.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The dream I never want to wake up from....

How are you all?

I have to say that I feel extremely happy that our first IVF seems to have worked and both DP and I are over the moon about our confirmed pregnancy. I have to confess, however, that I feel a little bit guilty boasting about it on this blog. So let me explain first....

Having gone through 13 eternally long months of TTC, full of doubt and fear that it may never work for us, I am still an infertile in my mind. And I think I always will be. Our infertility experience has marked us very deeply.

I am also very aware that so many people are struggling with infertility. Myself and my DP included. I want to share my news with everybody (which are very good), but I am very sensitive to the feelings of all those who are in the thick of infertility.

The only think I hope is that sharing my journey will be helpful for some, and offer some hope. That would make me extremely happy, and make my IF journey completely worth it!

Ok, so that being said, I will  indulge my happiness and my madness a little........please forgive me.......

So, here's the latest on the BETA: the nurse called me to announce to me that it is at 1861 on 19DPO!!!
And here is the freaky part, the nurses tell me that they are not accustomed to seeing such high numbers at their clinic so they are talking to me about the possibility of twins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is how the conversation went down:

Me: Whaaaaaaaaaat??? Twins??? You cannot be serious??? How could this happen if doctors only transferred one embryo???
Nurse: Sometimes there is a spontaneous split after the transfer....they could be identical there any family history of twins?
Me: Are you serious????
Nurse: You will know at the ultrasound. December 12th.
Me: Are you serious???
Nurse: we will be listening for 2 heartbeats.
Me: Are you serious???

Of course, I am sure that I am getting a bit ahead of myself here, because as I understand HcG levels are very personal, and sometimes they can be quite high in some women even with a singleton. But after the initial shock, I have to say that I am thrilled.Thrilled about the possibility....

DP and I used to refer to the baby as "the bubble" because the only symptom that I felt after the Embryo transfer was a little bubble in my uterus, the sweetest little vibration, so we began calling it "the bubble". Ever since this nurse's comments, we are talking about "Bubbles".

It is all unreal to me. REALLY. I am in disbelief. I feel like I must be dreaming. Although this is the dream that I never want to wake up from!

Monday, 28 November 2011

The most UNBELIEVEABLE of news

Hi my dear friends and bloggers!

Below is the unbelieveable update.

I caved on the eve of my BDAY and against all reason and good judgment I decided to POAS.

Below is what I saw...

I was completely speechless........................................................despite the clear double pink lines staring back at me immediately on the HPT (that I had sooooo wished for), I still could not believe it!!! HOW one EARTH could this be REAL ???? Could this really be happening??? I was so stunned I could not even cry...I had prepared myself so hard for the was completely surreal.

I composed myself, and Caution decided that had to wait for the blood BETA test scheduled for Monday (as I read that the trigger HcG shot given to me 15 days prior could have skewed the results.

At least this gave me hope to get through the weekend, and DH and I were able to smile and dream about this during my birthday! It was the sweetest birthday ever :) 

This morning I went into the clinic bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as early as I could get myself out of bed, and never happier to have a needle stuck into my arm! Bring it on!

I just received a call back from the BETA is......wait for it.......802!!!

I am pregnant.

I want to share this amazing moment with my fellow TTC'ers and bloggers that have helped me get this far. I am sharing my happiness with YOU! Yes YOU! You guys know who you are...

There is a long road ahead still, but I thank you for being there with me, encouraging me, and listening to my TTC madness!!!

I know now, miracles can happen :) and they will happen for you!


Shantih xo

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

To TEST or NOT to TEST? That is the question....

I have had many chances through my very first IVF cycle to congratulate myself for all the accomplishments, and the strength that I have shown through the process. I have to give myself that praise.

I don't know what is going on TODAY. Is it the hormones fest in my body that is finally making me despair? Or is it the bouts of emotional outbursts that always seem to be the prologue of an impending AF arrival? Or, (and this is the hardest of all options to type), is it the possible pregnancy that is making me act like a crazy woman?

Finally the fear vs hope struggle is coming to a boiling point within me...this wait until the BETA test is killing me.

I am constantly arguing with myself about the Pros and Cons of taking an HPT. And the emotional fallout that could succeed doing so. Neither argument is convincing enough, and I vacillate between one and the other dozens of times in a single hour! It is driving me BANANAS.

In one of those fits, I ran out of my office during lunch time with the excuse of doing errands and straight to the closest Pharmacy to purchase 2 FRER HPT tests.

They are in my bag. At my feet. Still in the box. I cannot bring myself to open it from sheer fear.

This is what 13 months of TTC and consecutive BFN can do to a person....

Tomorrow is my 38th birthday (yes I know, a really BIG number in the world of infertility!), and with it and this IVF cycle, are all my hopes and fears all wrapped into a box with a nice big bow around it.

It feels like a ticking bomb. I could either spend the day celebrating the most wonderful thing in my life, or........crying in complete disillusion and despair......

To Test or NOT to Test??

Monday, 21 November 2011

2WW: Fear vs. Hope

Been a few days since my last post, but I have been trying to concentrate on resting and purposely staying away from blogs and forums to try and put "IT" out of mind....It is hard. I am undoubtedly in the very dreaded and excruciatingly slow 2WW.

Last Wednesday we were nervously led into the OR, for the second time in 5 days for our Day 5 transfer. The first thing that we saw as we were ushered in was a picture of an embryo on the giant flat screen hanging on the wall. Both myself and DP were both silently in awe although we were unsure what to think or what to say as we had never seen an embryo before. The doctors (husband and wife RE's) quickly broke our silence by happily announcing: you have a BEAUTIFUL embryo!
We both remained silent overwhelmed by emotion. At that point I could not utter any words, as I was invaded by hope again. Fearless and innocent HOPE.  Fat tears streamed down my face despite my efforts to contain them.

After the procedure which took only about 5 minutes, we remained in the room for another 30 minutes, as they recommend lying down immediately afterward for some time. We just continued to stare at the screen, and hold hands and smile at the possibility that this cell could be the beginning of the baby that we so dearly long for. I think we both love him/her already.

So, we are now at that dreaded 2WW. Full of renewed hope and fear all at the same time. The last 13 months have made us fearful and insecure, following the cumulative disappointment month after month. But IVF has of course made us hopeful again, it almost feels like we did the first few months of TTC.Why else would we put ourselves through this grueling and intensive treatment if we didn't think it would work? It's as though all those injections and hormones that I have put my body through were now demanding payment in incremental installments of HOPE.

OH MY! I am in for a big bill!!   

I haven't yet started obsessing about symptoms and I hope that my birthday this week will distract me from analyzing the symptoms since I simply don't have any! I will do my best to wait until the blood test, but can only take one day at a time.

Here I am...accidentally here, balancing on the tight rope between Hope and Fear...

Monday, 14 November 2011

The numbers game :)

Friday 11.11.11 was our collection day. It is a peculiar date. Everybody in our clinic seemed to think it would bring us good luck. And overall, I think it truly was lucky for us.

Let me explain....The procedure went very well, despite the fact that it is quite painful, and very definitely something I would rather avoid in the future.Actually that may be somewhat understated: it f***ing hurt. Luckily, DP was right in the OR with me, holding my hand and reassuring me every step of the way. He was really great.
The sedatives they give you do help to take the edge off, but they do not spare you from the very real pain. All in all, it lasts about 15 minutes so, it it over pretty quick. So, I will not dwell on this part....
The recovery was quite fast and by the next morning I was already feeling like my reproductive organs did not want to jump out of my body.

We got a call from the lab on Saturday announcing that from the 3 eggs they had effectively retrieved (the other 2 were not mature), one of them was not fertilized because it was not mature. So we had 2 mature eggs and BOTH fertilized! YAY (I guess??) !!!

Sunday we received the second call with the embryologist report. Of the 2 that had fertilized, both were growing well, they have now began splitting and they are both 4 -cell embies:
- a GRADE 1  (Grade 1: even cell division, no fragmentation)
- a GRADE 2 (Grade 2: even cell division, small fragmentation).

We are told both of these embies are good quality. So, I guess this is good news, as long as one doesn't fall for the numbers trap.....When I read other blogs and I see that there are women capable of having a dozen eggs retrieved and more than half a dozen fertilized, transfer several and s then spare some for freezing...I sincerely can't get my head around that!We are content with the 2 little ones we have.... :))

So, let's recap, for those (such as myself that can get lost in all the details):
- 13 antral follicle count
- 5 potential follicles after stims
- 3 eggs collected
- 2 eggs fertilized
- 2, 4-cell embies @ DAY 2
- they will do SET (single embryo transfer, as per local law) on DAY 5

That is a lot of math! So what does all this math compute to??? Where are we now??

I guess we are exactly at the same point we have always been...hoping that in the midst of all these numbers, we end up with.... a baby!

It would be really cool to be able to tell him/her that he/she was conceived against all odds, amidst a mess of numbers, on a very lucky day...11.11.11

What else is possible?


Thursday, 10 November 2011

1 good EGG + 1 good SPERM

This should be a quick post (I always say that and then ramble on...) just to issue an update all my fellow TTC'ers and IVF'ers that are interested in the details of these processes....

All systems are GO for tomorrow morning 8am egg collection.
I am surprisingly handling everything quite well, including the needles (except for the shock of the first one that made me faint and lose consciousness in my kitchen at the horror of my DP). I have survived the nightly 2-3 injections, what a relief! Since I was on the short protocol, I did my last 3 shots last night and this morning I took the massive dose of antibiotics to prepare for the procedure.

So here's what we are dealing with: 3 mature enough eggs, and 2 smaller ones that hopefully have caught up since the last U/S. We are hoping to get as many as possible, but the truth is...we just need the 1 good one. And of course, the 1 good swimmer.

Strangely, and maybe naively of me, I am excited. I have never been excited for a surgical intervention before.

For now, all I dream for is 1 good EGG + 1 good SPERM = 1 healthy multi-cell embie  :))

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Oh my little follies!

I had the second U/S (CD 8) this morning. The news were not as exciting as earlier in the week. I am not as thrilled as I was on day 3, let me tell you.

Doctor measured 3 follicles of average size... approx. 8mm... Although I am in no way qualified to interpret this information I can't help but feel a bit defeated, and worried, and at the verge of panic, although I am trying my hardest to keep myself  together here. I guess I started this process with so much hope, I am deathly scared to be disappointed.

My understanding of this is quite limited still, as I am still learning, and the doctors do not stop to explain everything to the patient. I asked her some tentative questions trying to see if the reaction is hopeful or if she looks away from me...she didn't look away (must be a good sign) and she gave me hope. No mention of cancelling anything. She said that sometimes it takes a bit of time for them to kick-start. She simply thought keeping the stims up over the weekend and check again on them on Monday. She says we continue ahead.

While it is exciting to be involved in every detail of my stimulated menstrual cycle, I am also realizing how difficult it is! Prior to starting IVF stims, and U/S every 3 days, I had a much bigger picture of what was going on in my body (if any at all) and the only thing I tracked was whether I ovulated and whether I got a BFP at the end of the cycle. NOW I have a whole set of new markers: follicle count, follicle growth, ovarian response to stims, cysts, endometrium lining thickness, sperm count, sperm quality, egg quality, fertilization reports, embryo quality reports, and of course the dreaded pregnancy test results!!! Too many markers to obsess, worry and cry about. 
Oh how I loathe people that never know or worry about any of this...and How I envy them (and not in a good way)!

Although this bit of news came a bit unexpected to me, (as I had unrealistically pictured all 13 of the ones counted on Monday to show up for the second U/S)....maybe it was the wake up call I needed to alert me that I am in no way "out of the woods", and that I must manage my expectations. I have a feeling that this is the beginning of another bumpy ride...I have to find a way to hold on...

I shall keep wishing for follies to grow through the weekend...what else is possible?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

What else is possible?

Just an report that the weekend went by while I counted the minutes to our Day3 ultrasound scheduled for Monday. I spent the entire weekend trying to unwind, visualizing furry bunnies and cute follicles...I did nothing stressful, in fact, I didn't even do any house work or pack my agenda with seeing friends and parties, and social activities...all I did was RELAX. It was quite nice.

Although, I did try to prepare myself for the worst kind of news (seems like infertiles are always preparing for disappointment), I was elated to see images projected on a screen that showed that we have more follicles than I had even hoped for!!! The doctor counted 8 follicles on one ovary and 5 on the other....I was impressed, and she was pleased as she said that it was a normal count..... So, IT IS A GO! We are officially trying to make a baby this cycle!

I was then led into the the doctor's office to sign consent forms on use of human embryos, and on freezing of potential embryos. I have to admit that the fact that we could have potential babies frozen in a lab refrigerator freaks me out a little...I mean, after how hard and long this infertility road has been, I cannot fathom that we may have multiple potential babies. And what's more, I would like to take them all home as babies! However, I am understanding that this is IVF lingo, part of the positive externalities of the treatment. But it is still weird to me how nobody flinches when they ask: would you like to have your embryos frozen? There isn't a hint of hesitation. I still pause at those questions, and feel like I need to take a breath to get my head around it for a minute.  I am always tempted to answer: yes please, I want them all, I will take 4 of them!

Once I got over what seemed to me the strangest questions in the world, I was led to the nurse's office to discuss the protocol, the calendar and all the IVF medication instruction. And let me tell you, there is a lot to discuss. Again, I am being introduced to new lingo: Hormones, Human Gonadotropins, Injections, Menopur, Gonal, etc, etc...I am a walking pharmacist now. The nurse handed over to me information booklets, DVD's, packs of medications, vials, and an entire kit of potent stimulants, AND some good news! I was shown how to give myself the nightly injections. If you know me, you would know that I am deathly scared of needles and that this is no small feat for me, it in fact nothing short of a miracle! Not only did I listen and understand without flinching, but I walked out of the nurse's office determined to be the best injection giver out there! Ok, that is probably not very likely, but I am determined to overcome my fear...
Before I forget, the good news is........I can keep the caffeine in small doses, even during pregnancy, she said! Like a good friend of mine always asked upon receipt of great news: What else is possible?

Well...although I am still a bit in disbelief, I am soooo happy, it is finally here. We are really doing this! It is hard to describe what I feel. It is a sense of excitement, like the way one feels on the eve of a marked event, like before university graduation, or your wedding day, or just after a job interview for that dream job that went very well even though you still don't have the offer on the table...but the possibility is exciting!

This wonderfully positive and charismatic friend of mine that I mention above, always thought that asking that open-ended question opened our hearts and our minds to the idea that no matter what wonderful thing happens in your life, there will be more is not the end of wonderful things, it may only be the beginning.

So, Danya, you would be proud of me, I am staying open to the possibility of even more good news, and even more potentials.....I am asking myself continuously: what else is possible?


Friday, 28 October 2011

How to grow follicles...

Dear readers (and some friends)
I haven't posted for 2 weeks because I had nothing to report. I was waiting. Waiting to menstruate so I can schedule the first Day 3 U/S which will determine if we can go ahead with IVF this cycle.

Here is some background for those that are less familiar.  The purpose of the U/S is to count the number of Antral follicles (potential follicles that all compete to host and produce a viable mature egg). If there is a sufficient number of follicles (I am unsure about what that number is...some say 10, some say less, some say more...)  then the RE decides to go ahead with stims for the cycle. They will then stimulate the follicles with the help of intra-muscular injected hormones to all produce eggs that they will all collect for fertilization. This means that they effectively turn one into an egg-producing factory!

That will be the next step...for now, anxious and excited as I am at the moment, I have decided to manage by one-day-at-a-time management. So, I am at the growing follicles stage....I am only focused on having enough follicles for the GO-AHEAD. Now, being the planner that I am, maybe because of my educational background  and my work in Project Management, here is my question to all: does anyone know how to grow follicles??

I need to get busy this weekend, and grow, grow, grow some follicles...

Ok, here's the little I know: I know some lifestyle changes will have to be made, and with them, some hard sacrifices.  This next section is dedicated to saying my goodbyes:

1) To my dear coffee: I bid you Au-revoir. Let's make something clear: it is not an adieu. We will have to part ways for now, but, don't worry, as soon as I can bring you back into my life...I will. You have been a dear ally during many of my struggles to make it through life. We have a long-standing relationship and this separation is hard. But, I have been told it is necessary, for now. I promise, we shall see each other again soon. I will taste your sweet-bitterness as soon as possible.

2) To my naughty ally alcohol: You are my guilty pleasure. And therefore we have shared good and bad times. We have had what some may call, a love-hate relationship. I have relied on your ability to confuse me, distract me, and make me laugh many a times. I have also regretted it many times. We will part ways for an undefined amount of time...maybe forever...maybe not...I haven't decided if I want to live without you...You are like a forbidden love that while destructive at times, can also be the source of passion only you can provide...Adieu...for now!

3) To my balance & sanity: I hope you will stick around. But you are elusive and aloof and usually don't stay around very long. I long for you in an enduring are like the one that got away....A word of warning for your my dear: the hormone fest that I am about to go through may make it near impossible to keep you around. But if you shall not be with me during this time, know this: It is temporary. I will not give up. I will long and wait for you patiently.

4) To my social life: I hope you do not abandon or forget me during this time. Although I may have to take some distance from time to time, and decline on the parties, get-togethers, and other engagements,only to accomodate the increased demands of the treatment. I want to repeat: it TEMPORARY. If things get tough...Please remember I love you dearly. You have always had a special place in my life. I shall be back to form soon so we may continue enjoying carefree fun :)

Ok, so, goodbyes out of the way, now I feel prepared, this is it!

Crossing my fingers for a successful follicle growing weekend!

Cheers to all :))  

Friday, 14 October 2011

No looking back....

Well, it has certainly been a while since my last post. This one will be brief, I don't feel very poetic lately, so it will be point-form...

Here's the update: 
1) AF showed up on CD34 boasting that it now has the record of the all-time longest cycle EVER
2) I felt like a total fool for having so much hope last cycle (I sadly should know better than that by now!)
3) Instead of crying on the toilet, went on an 8 day holiday/business trip where I drank my heart's desire only to drown my sorrows...
4) upon return from the trip, we saw our RE. It is official: 12 months of TTC and no baby! There is no doubt that we are "reproductively challenged." We are moving ahead with IVF next cycle.
5) Once again...the waiting game...waiting to menstruate (just 2 more weeks!) so we can finally start the treatment.
6) I must admit that I am a bit anxious about putting my body through such a treatment, the drugs, the injections, the hormones scare me...but I am more motivated and calm than I have ever been (even though I am usually deathly scared of needles).
7) No more BBT charting, temperature taking, OPK's and hocus-pocus recipes of vitamins and other alternative remedies! :) I am putting myself in the hands of science and the magic of the lab... :) fingers crossed.
8) it will be my 38th birthday during our first IVF cycle...I feel like it is a good omen. :)
9) If I were religious I would say my case, I will just breathe deeply and wish for everything to go well.
10) DP and I have decided: 3 tries @ IVF max, if it doesn't work (it will work, I know it will work!) we move on to adoption.
11) Part of me still can't believe that we are here. IVF in front of us as the only option. BUT here we are. THIS is IT.
12) No looking back. Only forward.

Until next time :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

DAY 32: The road to baby is paved with utter confusion!

Today is CD32 for me, and in many cases that would not be significant, but as a woman that has had short cycles her entire life (ranging between 25 -26 days) it is nothing short of bewildering. No sign of AF anywhere. No symptoms that it is about to show either. No bloating, no cramps, no dull headaches, no sore legs, back, etc...NOTHING. In fact it that lack of symptoms has been significant.
WOW! Amazing! And encouraging...could we have finally done something right this cycle and beaten the extremely low odds?

I have spent the last week dreaming about that possibility. Every day that AF didn't show up, was another day that I got to fantasize that I could actually be pregnant. PREGNANT, just like everybody else!
I have fantasized about what it would be like to be able to announce it to my loving DP. I even pictured those beautiful and evasive two pink lines on an HPT, how I may be able to get my very own two pink lines, and how that could relieve us from the torture of the upcoming IVF, and further TTC cycles, more negative Hpt's and other various forms of TTC torture. The idea that I may be able to avoid doing horrible and invasive treatments to my body was pure bliss.

As each AF-free day passed I could take the fantasy even further: I would imagine myself with a huge belly and a beautiful life growing inside it. I imagined that our days would from now on, potentially be filled with a hopeful wait to meet our little one. Doctor's visits, ultrasounds where we could see our little one, and tears at the sound of a baby's heartbeat, baby clothes, crying relatives, choosing the paint for the nursery, etc, etc, etc.............................................................................................................................
UNTIL a little device by the name of FRER HPT (most TTC'ers know that acronym quite well!) has chemically and cruelly crushed all my dreams in a mere 3 minutes this morning. BFN.  :(

I haven't cried this time around, but I am equally disappointed. I guess I have grown accustomed to the disappointment. But, to make matters worse, I am left completely confused. Is nature trying to mess with my head??? Infertility is cruel enough, in my opinion, why would nature be doubly cruel? Why would it give you false hope? Why would it draw things out this way? I have always been a fan of the short, sweet and to the point approach to handling disappointment. Nature seems to not agree with this approach.

So, in order to save me all the extra torture, I have decided that it must be an accurate result: Nature cannot be that cruel!

My DP wants me to go get a blood test at the doctor's, as he still has hope that it could be a false negative, but I just want to wait it out. I am pretty sure that a BFN announced by a nurse who will look at me with sympathetic eyes will make me break down into inconsolable tears.And I just want to avoid myself the pain and the embarrassment.

So, since I have decided that it must be the right result. I am now left to try and answer all the other hard questions: why is AF not here? Is it due to hormonal imbalance (as if we did not have enough factors working against us already, adding hormonal imbalance to the mix is just depressing!)? Am I slowly inching closer to menopause and reduced ovarian reserve? Are my reproductive days counted?  And so on and so forth.

Those questions are too scary.

TTC is all about management, so I have decided to manage by willfully ignoring those questions for the moment. But, my dear anonymous readers, I am utterly confused.
Nothing about trying to become pregnant has been clear, easy, and straight forward up to now................the road to baby is paved with utter confusion!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


It is amazing how much a number can affect one's life. 2%. That is our number. That is the percentage  probability that our RE has assigned to us as our chance to conceive naturally at any given cycle. Granted. He may be wrong (it does seem surprisingly low), but for now, that is the number that we have floating above our heads as we go through our TTC life.

This number has had severe implications on our everyday life. I think we both feel some relief to finally know what we are dealing with, but when RE announced his expert opinion: 2%, it has had an effect similar to that of a nuclear bomb. An Infertility nuclear bomb, as I like to call it. And it has unexpectedly pushed us to levels of stress that we had not previously experienced. Only this time, for the first time, we are going through it together.

Allow me to put this in context:
DP has been extremely supportive through all the appointments, infertility investigations, blood tests, HSG's, information sessions, etc. He has in fact, been the rock, the foundation and the relentless strength that has kept me going through all the uncomfortable and disappointing moments that would have otherwise beaten me down to the point of surrender. He has consistently picked me up and led the way. He has been strong and relentless.
I, on the other hand, have allowed myself the luxury of having the cyclical breakdowns, crying spurts, and other various expressions of grief along the way. And at times, during my temporary bouts of infertility madness,  I have, occasionally (and I admit this with complete shame), confused his even-toned temper with a lack of interest or concern for our "condition". Thankfully, he has had the patience and love to always reassure me.

For his strength and stability, I am forever grateful, and I love him endlessly.

All of this, in combination with the most recent set of news from our doctors (that damn 2%, and the realization that we are dealing with multiple infertility issues: a slightly reduced ovarian reserve and a low motility count) are making it virtually impossible to conceive on our own AND it has finally proved to be too much, even for my even-toned husband.
I did not realize how much stress had built up in him. And just how much this damn infertility has affected him, until he himself has began to show signs of severe stress. One morning he found himself shouting at nothing and no-one in morning rush-hour traffic, while I sat next to him silently. He did not know how or why, and I could sadly relate.
I ached to hug him. Take him in my arms and tell him everything would be ok, like the countless times he has done that for me, but at that exact moment, I felt letting him have his very own fertility melt-down was the best thing to do. And indeed, after some deep breaths, it passed. But the reality is that the effects of this process are very real for both of us, and every so often the stress surfaces at the most unexpected of times.

Despite that awful 2% bomb that was dropped on us, we have been told there are solutions at our disposal. It comes in the form of a 3-letter magic acronym: I-V-F. Apparently without this wondrous technology, we would live with the dreaded 2% above our infertile heads indefinitely. And while we are told it's not impossible to conceive naturally, nobody knows how long it would take....and that is the problem...TIME.

So, IVF it is!

Let it be so...

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Today's post should be short.
I already shed many tears yesterday about IF, about not being able to conceive easily, etc etc...I cannot afford (emotionally) to be doing that everyday. After all, I am at the beginning of my TTC journey, and I may have to brace myself for what's ahead. As I discover and read more blogs, I learn that it could be a long road (even longer than the long road we feel we have already traveled!) or hopefully not...

One thing is for sure...Through this journey, I am slowly understanding the levels of complexity of Infertility and its effects. Everyday a new level is revealed to me in a different and unexpected way.

Yesterday it was while I had lunch with my mother. I am sure that in her busy and productive mother-of-two-life, she never prepared herself to deal with infertility. She never had to. She got married at 24, pregnant on her first try at 25 and did it all over again 3.5 yrs later. She always complained how hard "being a mother" was, so I am pretty sure she never even gave a single thought to how equally hard "not being a mother" could be....
And now there I was staring her in the face, sharing my story, my struggle, bearing my soul, and feeling somewhat ashamed by it, and to be honest, she looked completely stunned. Quiet. She, who normally is a full of advice and words of wisdom, was speechless. She could not utter a word, or share a story. She normally has an opinion, a decisive one usually, where she tells me what to do and says: "trust me, I know, I am your mother." or "listen to my experience" in a loving and matter-of-fact way. NO. Not this time. She could not share any maternal advice on this topic. She just sat there quietly, scared to even ask questions. Tentative.
At some points, I thought to myself that she had no idea how to relate to me when I explained what a difficult road it is, how it is hard to go through the heartbreak every month and still keep the hope alive...I think she may have even thought that I was exaggerating the feelings...I feared that she may be thinking: "it can't be that bad...after all, we are 'only' talking about getting pregnant, not an illness or anything" At which time I had to compare IF to cancer in order to see an ounce of sympathy...(maybe I over did it, but I needed to see a reaction!)

Then it hit me, awareness....there is no awareness about infertility! It is a medical condition that is never talked about, discussed, or taught in schools. Parents never pass down any knowledge or thoughts about not being able to conceive. It is taboo. An it is certainly not seen as a medical condition worthy of help.

We all grew up knowing of that ONE strange, and eerie couple in the neighbourhood that never had children. Many gossiped about them. Many called them frivoulous (for all those holidays they were able to take: French riviera, Taiwan, Russia, Japan, India, Mali), or selfish (for renovating their homes, or buying a new sports car, or going to the hairdresser..of course, they have no children think about) and many pitied them for being "barren" as if it was a punishment from above...but none ever saw them as people possibly suffering from a medical condition. No one supported them. No one rallied around them and comforted them. No one talked to them. SILENCE.

ENOUGH. We must break the infertility silence. We must make society aware that this is a problem that is real. It exists. It is a condition, an illness, a medical problem. We must break those taboos and teach people about it so they may become more sensitive and stop hurting us with their ignorant advice to "JUST RELAX."

In the spirit of this, I wanted to dedicate today's post to increasing this awareness, instead of just ranting about my inability to conceive, and the usual pity-party.

I invite you all dear anonymous readers to read a wonderful article about infertility:

And most of all I invite you to share them with people who do not suffer infertility, maybe even starting with your close family members...send it to your sister, mother, father, friend...let us educate them so they can help us.

Let us all be aware...let us not be alone...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Sitting, waiting, wishing…

This blog entry was inspired by the Jack Johnson song about unrequited love. I have decided to take it out of context and put it in here, the idea is the same…

AF time is always difficult. Another month of “trying” has come to a fruitless end.  Nothing can be done, and no lessons are to be learned. It just didn’t work. That is all you know. There is nothing that you could do “better” or any new techniques you can try. You don’t get any closer to reaching the objective; and you don’t have an idea of progress. You are simply sitting at the same point as 11 months ago when you started = at the beginning again.
The only thing to be done is sit through the bloating, the cramps, and endure the pain in preparation for the beginning of a new cycle. Endure the physical and the emotional. The emotional is far worse than the physical, I think. The realization that yet another cycle has gone by without success when you did everything “right” is discouraging at best, and it is the reason for the madness.
All those alarms you had to set so you could wake up exactly at 7 am everyday (including weekends), just to be able to take your temperature seem pointless and silly, and a complete waste of good sleep. All those vitamins you took, all those creams you applied, all those hours of relaxation you set aside during the month, and most of all: all those hours devoted to hoping that “this” time it would work are GONE.
How can something so obviously uncomplicated like having sex for the purposes of
reproduction be so unattainable?
You are back to sitting at the same place.

Waiting is the name of the TTC game. All that waiting is exasperating. I had never experienced all these different types of waits: Waiting to ovulate, waiting for + OPK’s, waiting to see signs of implantation, waiting for pregnancy symptoms, waiting for appointments with RE's, waiting for test results, waiting for treatments, waiting for acupuncture to work, waiting for the proverbial “two pink lines” on an HPT, or simply just waiting to get your period so you can start a new cyle. Aaaarrgghh!!!!

And then there’s wishing….
Wishing that the next cycle will be different, wishing that the miracle will happen, wishing that you don’t run out of time or patience…simply wishing for those two pink lines.

Until next time, here I am, sitting, waiting, wishing...(at least now I have a soundtrack!)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Hi there my fellow bloggers, anonymous readers and friends,
It has been over a week, or maybe even two since my last post.  I feel the need to explain this absense...
It all started so well, so optimistic, and full of hope. As far I remember, I was riding the TTC train, and psyching myself up to enjoy it, but I have to shamefully admit that I fell off the train. And it was not pretty…I fell hard and I could not get up again for days. The only thing that I could do was cry. I felt that I was now on a TTC rollercoaster and I was flying out of control. Thus, the short blogging break…I needed to gather my strength again to face the rest of my cycle…and most of all to face myself, and my own guilt for not dealing with things in a dignified manner. I am particularly haunted knowing that there are far worse things that people are going through at this very moment. And I feel shame for not being able to manage my disappointment…I needed some time to forgive myself for only wanting to see the proverbial two pink lines…nothing else seemed to matter.  
So, after that disastrous fall, I slowly picked up my bruised ego off the floor and decided to get back on the train. So here I am again! Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, when I last blogged, it was the eve of that dreaded HSG exa m. Good place to start again, and share my experience with my fellow TTC’ers.
As it turned out, the procedure was not as excruciating as I had imagined and read about in the different forums. Sure there was some discomfort due to the fact that you are using an x-ray table to perform what feels like a gynecological exam. And of course there is the intense pain at times while they insert things and push liquid through places where liquid has never been meant to have gone, but it was seemingly faster than I thought. Especially as the kind radiologist distracted me with the images of my reproductive organs on the screen next to me.
I was amazed by what I saw. For the first time in my life as a woman I saw what they call Fallopian "Tubes" on the screen next to me.  I was sincerely surprised by the images. They look more like dental floss...that does not a TUBE make!! In my mind, I had pictured them like reproductive super highways capable of directing the traffic of millions of eager little swimmers. No wonder, it must be by some sort of esoteric voodoo ritual that people actually get pregnant. It is a scientific impossibility judging from those images! I was in awe and in amazement and I walked out of the exam happy and confident, and convinced that it is NORMAL that conceiving should take some time. After all, it is a really complex process, the egg has to travel down the fallopian dental floss to meet the sperm who in turn have to swim upstream the same mini conduits...etc, etc, etc.... In my mind, the images I saw seemed to explain my challenges, and I felt satisfied.
And then IT happened: I got into the elevator of the hospital and saw one...a very pregnant one. WARNING#1: they are EVERYWHERE in hospitals.
WARNING #2: please don’t judge me too hard for this next bit.
Back to square one. Confidence shot. Reasoning out the window. It was like a kick in the stomach. My thoughts betrayed me faster than I could even think them: "why HER and not ME??" In the 3 min elevator ride together, I scrutinized her silently for any obvious sign of fertility (aside from her beautiful bulging belly, of course) that I may be able to mimic or take a pill for, or improve somehow. I am still uncertain what those fertility signs are, but I am determined to spot them one day! I exited the elevator full of guilt and remorse for thinking all those things that should never be thought. Once again, I felt nauseous, like I was about to fall off the TTC train.

Somehow, I am managing to hang on to a smidgen of hope until my next appointment with our RE when I can sit across the desk and look at him with a monstrous question mark on my face! NOW WHAT?

The whole thing seems....inconceivable...(PUN intended)!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The TTC Train: Can I get off next STOP please!

After my first post, I am unsure what blogging etiquette says about frequency of posts...every day, every second day, once a week? I imagine I will soon find a just balance..

Between BLOG entries, I have decided that since I am at the beginning of my fertility challenges, I will have to take things one day at a time. One stop at a time. I don't know why, but I keep visualizing this journey as a ride on the TTC train!

I have often struggled with why I am on this train. This is where the "unexplained" part of the infertility comes in! Ever since I can remember, people have mysteriously always gotten pregnant around me without further ado...And, most importantly, Mom never told me about this! She always warned me against becoming pregnant, and scared me with stories of how easy it is to "slip up" and  TA-DA! Clearly such a simple story should have raised some doubts in its veracity, but either my lack of knowledge or trusting nature, made me not question it for many years since my adolescence. Truth be told, I feel a little deceived, but I cannot cry over spilled milk. And tempting as it may seem, I cannot keep blaming my parents for everything. And, most importantly, I cannot turn back time: I am 37 and riding this train for the first time.

Although it may have been by accident that I find myself blogging about Infertility, starting this blog has actually allowed me to overcome a mental hurdle: accepting that I am on this journey. I don't know how I got here, or why I have to be on this God-forsaken train, but the questions portion of this segment is OVER. My ticket has been bought, and I am on board!

And the next stop has an unpronounceable name:  Hysterosalpingogram!!! a.k.a. HSG (thank god for acronyms!). It is essentially an uncomfortable, and often painful diagnostic test, an X-ray test that examines the inside of uterus and fallopian tubes and the surrounding area. See the link for detailed info:

I must stop here for a minute to express my utmost surprise at the fact that I am both deathly scared of this procedure and eagerly looking forward to it at the same time. I am looking forward to it, because google has allowed me to find out with a few mere key strokes that, despite how torturous a procedure, fertility may increase for the 3 or 4 cycles following the HSG. And all of us on the TTC train know that any chance, as small as it may seem, to increase the chances of getting off at the next stop, can become the hope that keeps us doing these horrid procedures.

That is actually what keeps us TTC riders going throughout the entire journey, the hope that the next stop will be OUR stop. 

The thing is, this TTC train fantasy is greatly helping me to deal with the process.And even though I want to get off the train ASAP, I am also sure it is a train I did not want to miss...let's hope it's not too bumpy a ride! 

Until next thoughts are with my fellow TTC riders.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Accidental Infertility: Blogging DAY 1

It is accidental that I am here. All of it is by accident, really. I didn't plan any of it.

I accidentally discovered blogging while on TTC sites. I accidentally discovered my EX-husband was cheating on me via a random sms. And I accidentally met my new partner 2 yrs ago, fell in love, and am now on the baby journey.

Even the Infertility that I am suffering must be by accident, when I think of it logically. The only problem is that TTC isn't logical. It is too biological, hormonal and emotional to be logical!
That is what makes it true madness...there is no explanation, no rhyme or reason.
Nothing about this TTC road has been what I expected. Excuse me for saying this, but I expected it to make sense.

When my partner and I decided to start TTC for baby#1 in October 2010, I booked an appoinment with my family doctor to announce to him that I was going to start TTC. We went to him seeking wisdom and advice about how to make a baby. I innocently asked him: Doctor, what should I do to become pregnant? He cynically grinned at me and said: just have a lot of SEX.
Whaaat?? What a disappointment. THIS was his expert medical advice after 7+ yrs of medical school??

Logic would dictate that 1+1 = least that is what we have been taught all these years...remember all those high school algebra classes??How hard could it be really?

In these 10 months I have tried every natural remedy under the sun: Vitex, EPO, prenatal vitamins, the ever so humiliating pillows under my hips after BD, raising legs, BD every day, BD every second day, acupuncture, fertility yoga, sports, healthy eating, and including that dreaded RELAXING advice (romantic escapes with DH, massages, meditation, etc. etc.) I am..........

Maybe now I understand that infuriating medical advice. KISS.

I am trying to take my doctor's advice, my heart and soul are in this. Trying to keep things simple. What is not so simple is staying sane throughout this process, and this is where this blog comes in...completely by accident.

And you, my dear reader, whoever you are, are probably also here by accident...whatever brought you here doesn't matter, just know, that you, much like I...are not alone...