I'm hosting!

Inspired by The Queen, and feeling like I really need some local support, I took the leap and am starting a local RESOLVE infertility support group.

I still really wish that I didn't have to take the lead to create a support group, it would be so much easier if I could just show up and participate, but the nearest group is a two hour drive (w/o traffic). I've made the trip a few times, but it is just too far. And I need some local support, some local face-to-face support, from others who are on this journey.

RESOLVE sent me all the info about peer-led groups, and I got a local church to agree to offer us a meeting room for free. I felt a little weird telling the pastor that I had nothing to offer in return for the free space, but it is the truth.  I sent a press release out to the local media, and made flyers that I sent the to only RE in the area. My mom offered to mail the flyer to all of the local GYN's.

March 17th will be the first meeting. It might also be the day of my Egg Retrieval.

I invited the lady who revealed to me last year that her middle school age son was conceived via IVF, I invited my mom, and I invited a gal whose husband works with mine who has struggled with unexplained infertility for years. Even if it is just a chance for a few of us to get together once a month to chat, I think it would be a success.
I am still feeling really tired. like really, really, really tired. Waking up in the morning is next to impossible, as is staying awake for more than 12 hours at a time. I called my ivf nurse today (or maybe it was yesterday) to ask her about disability leave from work. I need to know if I can take part-time disability. It is all I can do to get thru a few hours at work before I might as well curl up under my desk. I just feel so weak, like after you have the flu, so weak and tired. The nurse thought that the birth control might be making me so tired, just like early pregnancy hormones would.

It doesn't really matter why I am so tired. I just need to figure out how I can deal with it, without losing my job.


A Conversation

Foxy: Suzy is pregnant again.

ML: Really?

Foxy: It is the second time she got pregnant with an IUD.
It took her a few weeks to be okay with it.

ML: Suzy has cute kids, why doesn't she just give it to us?

Foxy: Um, are you serious?

ML: Why not?

Foxy: Are you really ready to start taking about adoption?

ML: If IVF doesn't work, it is where we are headed, right?

Foxy: Um, yeah, well, I guess, I'm, umm, just not quite there yet.


Mock Embryo Transfer

I don't have much to say these days.

I started taking the parlodel to lower my prolactin. We had a nice relaxing trip to the snow last weekend. I've been tired exhausted all week. Came home early from work on Tuesday so that I could nap. Took Friday off so that I could couch lounge.  Slept well over 10 hours every night this week. Besides all the sleep, I just feel generally weak and tired.

Maybe I am fighting the flu, or maybe it is the parlodel. It doesn't really matter, I guess.

I am trying to figure out what my plan for next week will be. Should I just plan on a 20 hr week, and hand off the projects that need attention? I don't want to use up my vacation time, but I really doubt I can get thru a full work day with this exhaustion.

I had my mock embryo transfer last week on Wednesday. It was not pleasant. The Dr had a very difficult time threading the catheter thru my cervix. By the time he finally got it in I was cramping and wincing. I was not prepared for the intensity of pain when he hit the top of my uterus with that thing. I actually cried out in pain laying there on that table. It was basically over after that, but I could barely stand and walk the cramps were so bad. Luckily I had a massage scheduled and was fully relaxed and recovered by the end of my massage.

I also got 'the calendar' last week. I keep taking bcp until March 3rd, then start stims on March 8th. My prescriptions got faxed to the pharmacy and my credit card got charged nearly $4,000 for all the meds. (We had about $1,000 worth of Braville leftover from ML which they are letting us use.)

There are a few ladies who are quickly nearing their due dates, Julie, Genevieve, Dory, Alison. They are some of the first BFP's that I got to celebrate when I started blogging. They gave me so much hope that pregnancy was a realistic outcome for us. It feels a little surreal that they will be holding their perfect little ones in their arms before I get the results of this cycle.

love and hugs,

Little Bits of Advocacy - AB 428

I have some REALLY AWESOME NEWS to share!!!

California Assemblymember Portantino just introduced legislation to cover fertility preservation for those with cancer and other conditions, the treatment for which can threaten their future reproductive ability.  This is the first legislation like this ever introduced in the nation! It would allow the person to focus on the most effective medical treatment, knowing that they have coverage for expenses necessary to preserve their fertility. AB 428 is a first step for California to recognize the devastating impact of infertility.  AB 428 needs our support. My friend, Shannon Smith-Crowley, is a lobbyist working on the passage of this legislation. The most powerful tool to support this legislation is YOU, is US. 

Shannon needs our stories. She needs stories of people who are experiencing infertility as a result of cancer treatment or other medical treatment. She needs stories of people who made choices to pursue less aggressive treatment in order to preserve their fertility. She needs people who will send letters of support to their Senator, people who will testify before the State Senate, people who will share their story with the media. 

Please send me an email (foxypopcorn at gmail)  if you can help - I'll put you in touch with Shannon.



I just picked up a prescription for Parlodel.

My repeat bloodtest showed that my prolactin levels were still on the high side, and the Dr would like to see them a bit lower. I asked the IVF nurse what the numbers were and told me that they were 27, which is still below the official "high" threshold of 30, but that the Dr was concerned about it affecting egg quality.

The side-effects of this drug look pretty nasty. (Anyone else taken this? or had experience with high prolactin affecting egg quality?)

But (good news) the Dr told me that I could keep taking my Lexapro :) (and we'll talk about the Klonopin when I see him next week for my mock embryo transfer.)

only 27 days until I start IVF meds...


(Wanda) Claire

Oh my golly goodness.

(Wanda) Claire arrived safely at my home tonight. She had a long trip, all the way from Bumpy Journey's home, packed tight in a little box full of goodies. I opened the box, sitting in my car in front of the Post Office, just overwhelmed with love. I can't even begin to describe how I felt.

The Box of Awesome
She is going to have such a great time visiting! I can't wait to show her all of my favorite places. First things first she met the pets.

The Blackness

Maya my Sweet Puppy

Foggy Whitesox - Yep she's still hanging out here :)
Do you remember in elementary school when there was a stuffed monkey that got to go home every weekend with one student and that student got to go on all sorts of exciting adventures with the stuffed monkey and then write about them in a little journal that followed the monkey?

Yeah, I kind of feel like the lucky student who got to keep the stuffed monkey over a long holiday break. So cool! (Wanda) Claire is going to have a great time visiting me these next few weeks, and instead of a crumbled old journal I'll photo document her vacation right here on this blog.

Bumpy, you have no idea. I wish I could hug you so big right now.


I got a call from the IVF nurse this afternoon. They just got back my day 3 bloodwork (which I had done originally in fall 2009 and all was normal). My prolactin levels were a little high (I should have asked her to fax me a copy of the results so I knew the exact number) and the Dr wants me to have it tested again. I fasted last time, by default since I hadn't had breakfast before I had my blood draw, and they specifically asked me to fast this time. 

I consulted Dr Google and learned that:
1) high prolactin can be a cause of infertility since prolactin inhibits FSH and gonadotropin with are necessary for ovulation. These hormones are necessary to help eggs develop and mature. Too much prolactin can prevent ovulation from being triggered; and
 2) about 10% of the population has a tumor on the pituitary gland (Prolactinoma) in their brain that controls the release of prolactin; and 
3) that serotonin stimulates the release of prolactin and thus SRRI's can cause higher prolactin levels. 

I sent an email to the nurse reminding her that I am taking 20mg of Lexapro (SRRI) and .25mg of Klonopin a few times a week. I'd asked my GP about these meds and was assured that they were safe until the third trimester and that the benefit outweighed any risk. 

I really was a blithering idiot from the time we got our azoos diagnosis until I started taking these meds last year. I really can't imagine getting thru IVF without them. I suppose that I will have to argue my case to the Dr tomorrow when he draws my blood. 

I could be wrong, but I really I think that I'll be okay once I am finally pregnant. The stress of not being able to get pregnant is the only reason I needed to take these meds in the first place. I am finally feeling like myself again, and just can't fathom the thought of living like a blithering idiot again. 

I'm not panicked, yet, but am considering panic as a viable option depending on the conversation that I have with the Dr tomorrow.


What do you Need?

My therapist asked me at my last visit "What do you need right now? What will you need during the IVF cycle?" I didn't have quick answers but agreed to think about those questions and come up with some answers. 

Our support group of family and friends tell us all the time "Just let us know what you need, how we can help." It is a nice thing for them to say, but I don't know how to respond. 

I've jokingly told my mom that I need her to advance male reproductive science by 20 years. and I know that she would if she could. 

They have been pretty incredible, actually, anticipating our needs, and showing heroic levels of compassion. They all know that silence means bad news or a bad mood, and reach out accordingly when I retreat into periods of depression. They ask me respectful questions about our next steps and carefully check with me before bringing the topic up. I couldn't ask for more, really.

When I stop and think about what I need, I find myself distracted by appreciation for all that I have already. Bringing myself back to the question... What do I need? Can I challenge myself to articulate the things that I have already and find words to ask for the things that I think might be helpful?
I bought myself a $3 bouquet of daffodils
at the Farmers Market on Tuesday. They
are so beautiful and fragrant and make
me smile every time I see them :)

  • I need to know that I am not alone - literally. I need ML to attend appointments with me. I need to know that ML or other visitors will be able to stay with me at home after the ER/ET. 
  • I need to know that there are people who will listen to me talk about this experience... on this blog, in support groups, on the phone, via emails, in person, etc. The more I can talk about this experience, the more I can normalize it, and the less traumatic it feels. 
  • I need people to reach out to me when I retreat into myself - with phone calls, voice messages, text messages, cards, emails, and invitations. Call ML to make arrangements to come over to visit if you can't get me on the phone...or just show up and give me a hug.
  • I need people to help me 'care for me'. There are so many things on my mind and I need help acting on the things that nourish me. Pick me up and take me to farmers market for good food, cook good meals with me, make a massage/spa date with me, take me to an exercise class with you, the point being that I need you to take the lead in planning these nurturing activities for me. 
  • I need to laugh and smile. Funny cards, Funny movies, giggles with Little One, etc 
  • I need permission to say no. I have a limited emotional capacity and am doing my best to ration it out. 
  • I need to get out of our routine every so often. A road trip, a different restaurant, mini vacations... I get into ruts at home, and a change of scenery does wonders for my perspective.

I'm sure that there is more. Things that I need specifically from our RE, from my therapist, from ML... But this is my start. What would you add?


Tagged Again

I got tagged by Jacki and Les. Months ago. and I'll bet they thought that I ignored them. But I didn't. Here goes...

1. What would your college major be if you could go back to school and choose one (make one up if you want) without having to worry about finding a job in the field?
First of all I will never ever go back to school. Ekkk. ML and I thought about taking some real estate classes and I nearly had a full blown panic attack when we walked into the lecture hall. School was always a challenge. I had to work hard, but I did and I even graduated early. In my family, college was always an expectation. I chose my major so that I'd have the best chances at getting accepted to the school I wanted to attend - it had nothing to do with getting a future job. In all reality my real intention in going to college was to meet my future husband. I have never had any dream job. The only future I'd ever pictured was one as a stay at home mom, PTA volunteer, and pee-wee soccer coach. I ended up getting my BS in Business Admin, which has served me well. 

2. What was the most embarrassing trend you followed during your high school days.
I am sure that there were many! For better or worse there is a lot that I have forgotten about High School. I even lost my yearbooks the summer after graduation. geez.

3. Describe the house where you grew up. Would you live there again if it came up for sale?
My dad was in the military and we moved quite a bit. By the time I was 12, I'd lived in 12 different homes. My mom was incredible and she made every house we lived in our home. My parents finally bought a house when I was almost finished with high school, which is where my mom still lives today, but I don't have any real attachment to the actual house.

On the other hand, my grandparents had a home that I would live in in a heartbeat if it ever came back up for sale and I could afford it (which I never would be able to). It was a huge old Mediterranean style home on the most perfect beautiful lot in a lovely town right near the ocean. It was originally purchased by my grandma's father and had been the family home for generations. I have so many wonderful and loving memories of that place, and have grown up hearing stories of the mayhem caused by my dad and uncles and aunt in that home. In fact, I think I dreamt about my grandpa's old study last night. They ended up selling it, which was probably for the best, but I would live there in a heartbeat if the opportunity ever presented itself. 

5. What concert would you love to see? What's the best one you've ever seen?
I love concerts and live music. The first concert I ever saw was Paula Abdul. Bestie and I won tickets on the radio, and must have been in middle school. It was awesome. 

Then in High School I saw REM with two of my sisters friends. That show was really awesome. To this day REM is one of my favorite bands, and I am in love with Michael Stipe. 

Then in college, after I met ML, he started taking me to see Phish, and String Cheese, and Yonder, and Galactic, and STS9, and Tea Leaf Green and so many more live shows. Last Fall we saw Phish for Halloween and had a really amazing fantastic time. It rates up there as one of my all time favorite shows. 

6. You're going on a 1-week vacation, but you can't take anyone with you. Where do you go, and what do you do there? Or do you give up the trip?
No way would I go on a vacation by myself. Are you kidding me, that sounds terrible! I am not a fan of being alone, under just about any circumstance. It would suck to give up a vacation, but there wouldn't even be a second thought.

7. Glass half-full or glass half-empty?
My glass is usually very full. overflowing with goodness. But when it runs dry, it is bone dry.

Now that you know me a little better than you did before, its your turn to share. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! 

I'm off to call the RE to let them know that my cycle started yesterday. deep breaths. peace within. I can do this.


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