V for Victory

What’s up with UTIs (besides being awful, of course)?

I really have nothing profound to say about this, except that I have one and it sucks. I’m pretty sure I got it from the doctor poking around in there during the Mock Embryo Transfer. I started feeling symptoms a day or two after the MET, but I dismissed it as my cervix being irritated by the iodine or something. I wish I had listened to myself. The symptoms have grown steadily worse in the week since and now my bits basically feel like this:

burning v*

I’m attempting to drown myself in cranberry juice while I wait for the nurse to return my call. I’m hopeful they can prescribe something over the phone so I don’t have to go in to have them tell me what I already know. I’ve had plenty of these in my lifetime, honey; I know what’s up. And it is a lady garden on FIRE. Just gimmie the drugs (ok, antibiotics, but drugs sound sexier) already!

*V for…vendetta?

Love in My Family


Folks, this has nothing to do with infertility, and everything to do with gay rights. If that’s not your cup of tea, please close your browser* and move on.

Today, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for and against gay marriage. Specifically, the arguments over Prop 8 in California. Tomorrow, the Justices will hear arguments on DOMA.

The outcome of these cases will have a direct and meaningful impact on my life. I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area where I am legally married to my wife (at the state level), but no matter where you live in the US there is no federal recognition. That means that all of the legal benefits of being married – think taxes, inheritance, hospital visitation, social security, health care, etc. etc. – are not extended to me and my wife. There are some state benefits, but the bulk of them are at the federal level. My wife and I had to pay a lawyer to draw up legal documents expressing our will to make health care decisions on each others behalf; we had to file 2 version of taxes this year – one as a married couple for the state and one as single individuals for the feds; we pay extra taxes so I can be on Tammy’s health care, and on and on and on.

I have no idea how the Supreme Court will rule, but I’m incredibly nervous. If you’re the praying type, send some of those to the Supreme Court, that they might rule in favor of love and equality under the law. If you’re more of a “good vibe” person, ditto. If you’re pissed off at the world (ahh, people after my own heart), please direct your ire at the idiots who will almost certainly vote against love and justice. Those assholes.

Thanks! Now back to blathering on about the state of my uterus.

*Also, go fuck yourself. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Hope, or Something Like It

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

– Emily Dickinson

Blue Bird feather

Some days I think it will never happen. That it will never come true. That’s I’ll never see the second line again, or it will never go past a few weeks. Sometimes, a tiny voice, barely more than a whisper, tells me to give up. To stop trying. That it isn’t meant to be.

And other days I’m filled with Hope. Emily D. describes Hope as a thing with feathers “that perches in the soul”. In my mind, Hope is like honey. Sticky and thick, it oozes into the nooks and crannies of your soul, rather than perches daintily.  And like honey, Hope is almost impossible to fully clean up, wipe off, get rid of. I’m always thinking that this vitamin is IT! Or this shot will do the trick! Or this procedure! Or this new donor! But it never is.


I’ve been kind of down the last few days. I don’t know if it’s the weather (crappy) or the birth control pills (still barfy) or just the feeling that I’m sitting still while the world races on without me. I think that the birth control pills are contributing to my sense of stalling out. At least with the injections and the blood work and the office visits I feel like I’m DOING something. I’m actively WORKING toward having a baby. Being on birth control pills goes against every instinct I have, and my sub conscience is screaming at me.

My parents sent me a card this week.


The inside reads:

photo (1)

Here’s Hoping.

blue bird

Drug Urine

I had a mock embryo transfer yesterday. I needed to have that done as the final piece of screening/testing before being approved for IVF Option B (which I am…approved that is!). It was fine, didn’t hurt (I was terrified it would be like my HSG experience, but it felt similar to an IUI), and showed a uterus clear of polyps or fibroids.

Before the test I had to pee in a cup to prove that I was, in fact, not pregnant (spoiler alert: I’m not pregnant). The theory is that if you ARE, the mock embryo transfer could cause a miscarriage.

When I was told I needed to provide a urine sample I had a mini internal panic attack because I had just peed. I thought I might be able to squeeze some out though, and went to the bathroom to Make My Attempt. Unfortunately, things had just gotten going in the old bladder department when someone tried to open the door. It was fine, I had locked the door, but the damage was done. My bladder instantly clenched up, and no amount of relaxation techniques was going to allow a single additional drop out. Maybe ketamine would have relaxed me enough. I’m not sure. I wasn’t offered any. (What the fuck am I paying them for again?)

I sat there in the bathroom with my pathetic dribble (seriously, there was like half a centimeter in the bottom of the cup) and just KNEW I couldn’t take that out of there. So here’s what I did, and I’m ashamed to admit it: I added water to my cup of urine. Ladies, let me tell you. You know you’ve hit a low point in life (and infertility) when you’re watering down your own urine to try to impress the lab technicians. I felt like some kid getting drug tested, trying to dilute my urine enough so that the pot/coke/whatever it is that kids do today wouldn’t show up.

And then, to make matters worse, I went out and confessed my crime to Tammy. I thought I had been quiet (I was whispering for God’s sake) but apparently another patient heard me. And Tammy only told me someone was listening hours and hours later, and then added that she was sitting there chuckling to herself. Even typing this out now I’m blushing uncomfortably. It’s bad enough that I cared enough about what the lab techs think to water down my own urine sample, but now other patients in the doctor’s office know! And I’m SURE that my nurse was told. Guys, I’m officially that patient.

Why didn’t I just take out the dribble that I had? Why did I think my self-worth was connected to how much urine I could produce, on demand? My thought process sometimes. I can’t even.

Urine Sample

Birth Control Barf

I started BCP yesterday. It’s kind of a screwy, manipulative cycle in which I’m taking BCP for two weeks, stopping to get my period and then going BACK on BCPs, but whatever. I’m starting the IVF cycle.

We also decided to do Option B – and thank you for all of your advice and suggestions! Basically, we viewed the extra 5k as an insurance policy, and it was worth having to pay it back. And if I get pregnant on the first or second cycle (and it sticks) I’ll be much more focused on the pregnancy and baby than five thousand dollars.

Does birth control make anyone else barfy? I took it last night before bed and woke up this morning feeling extremely queasy. And almost 8 hours later I still feel sick. How can I go through injections to the stomach with no side effects and one teensy-weensy pill makes me a blubbery/barfy mess?

Hormones are weird.


It looks like we’re ready to move forward with IVF! Huzzah! So now we just have to pick which program to be in, which is why I am soliciting your brilliant brains.

What would you do if you were me?

2 Fresh Cycles
As many FETs as you have embryos for
No money back if you don’t get pregnant/stay pregnant

6 Fresh Cycles
As many FETs as you have embryos for
If you don’t bring a baby home from the hospital after your 6 Fresh and X number of FETs, you get 100% of your money back

Other helpful information:
– The doctor doesn’t think I would need more than two cycles to get/stay pregnant. But they’ve been wrong before…
– The cost of medication would be the same for both options, and is an additional cost – around $2,000 – $3,000 per fresh cycle ($400 per FET).
– Both programs require up front payment, in full.
– If I use all the cycles for Option B, it would be cheaper per cycle. But if I get pregnant on the first try (haha! I crack myself up) I would be spending more per try.
– Have I mentioned I hate gambling?

So, what would you do if you were me? ARRRGHHH this is the worst. Trying to gamble on my crappy uterus and ovaries!


Ahoy, you Dumb Ovaries!

It was definitely negative. The Hope Monster had crept back into my brain, telling me I was a late implanter! That was going to have a healthy pregnancy! With TWINS! but of course, I wasn’t, and I’m not.

Tammy and I spoke with the doctor this afternoon, and we have decided to move forward with IVF. As the doctor said, I should be pregnant by now and they aren’t sure why I’m not. She also told me I shouldn’t waste my money on another IUI cycle. Can’t get clearer than that.

As for the timing, she’s having to check to see if we can move ahead with this month, due to our committment April 25-26th. She does want to put me on birth control for 2-3 weeks, and 3 weeks might be pushing it, especially if my period decides to stay away for a few days. But IF my period starts by Wednesday, and IF she thinks less time on BC might be OK, we’re moving full steam ahead with IVF. Or, as my fertility nurse put it, “we’re going to really blast your eggs”. Blast away, matey!

Ship Battle

(Artistic rendering of my reproductive organs in a few weeks. Not to scale.)

Metaphors for Life

We were supposed to get snow yesterday. Everyone in the city was excitedly freaking out about it, making their little plans, filling up their gas tank, and buying the requisite milk, bread and toilet paper from Giant or Safeway.We haven’t had more than an inch in over two years, so people thought this was IT! The Big One! Finally our snow deficit would be filled!

Every single weather station in town was predicting at least a few inches, and most predicted upward of that. Maybe even 10 or 20 inches! And the suburbs might get two feet! The snow was supposed to start overnight, depositing the first inch or two, and then continue to snow all day Wednesday which would lead to the big accumulations. I woke up Wednesday to almost all schools and business having closed, including mine. Even though there was only a dusting, I was reassured that the weather reports indicated a slow start, but it would happen! Any minute now! Conditions would deteriorate rapidly! Don’t forget to check in on your elderly neighbors!

Given the build up, I guess you can see where this is going. No snow. It was just too warm for the snow to stick, and eventually even the snow gave up and switched over to rain.

Someone posted this picture to a local weather blog. It’s a couple of kids trying to sled on a snowless hill.

No Snow

When I saw it, my heart broke in a million pieces. Those poor kids had been told by everyone they trusted (parents, teachers, the weatherman) that they were getting snow. Older siblings talked up the wonder of snow angels and snow ice cream. Friends with half recalled memories bragged about the snowmen they built, and predicted how many days they would get off school. They just KNEW it was going to happen, and they couldn’t wait! And then, when it didn’t happen they way it was supposed to, they fought through their disappointment and went sledding anyway, goddamn it. Which is about the saddest thing in the world to me. They wanted it so badly they would do anything to keep the illusionary hope alive.

Alright, we’re not really talking about snow anymore. But you knew that, right?


*Not a picture of my own test. I stole this from the internet because I forgot to take a picture of mine this morning. The way I stole the above picture of the kids sledding from a weather blog. My fertility sucks and I don’t credit images from google properly. Out of fucks to give.

Family Business

My parents are visiting this week. They’re staying through Thursday (or maybe longer, depending on the snow storm that’s coming tomorrow night).

I’m very close with my parents, and they have known about our attempts to conceive (and give them their first grandchild!) from the beginning. When I was a kid, I talked with my parents a lot about wanting to having kids when I grew up. Now, especially with my dad being a biologist, I value their input and advice in something that has turned out to be a lot more complicated than I had originally planned on.

We had a good discussion yesterday about IUI and IVF, and my (lack of) fertility. Keep in mind that my parents had their own weirdness with fertility. They tried for a few years to have my older sister, but they were only trying for a few months each year. You see, my mom is a college professor and wanted to have the summers off to bond/take care of a baby. She was having kids before FMLA* or any kind of guaranteed time off, and the dean at her college had only promised her a weekend. A WEEKEND. Can you even. So she figured she would time her pregnancies to coincide with the end of the spring semester. But with my sister they didn’t have any luck for a few years. Now with me, I was conceived on the first try, apparently.

Anyway, my parents are convinced that I wasn’t receiving proper care at our old clinic. They think the doctor was too young and inexperienced (true) and that I shouldn’t have been on Clomid in the first place as my lining started out on the thinner side (true) and they think I should “re-set” my counter and ignore those 8 tries at the old clinic (no can do).

I understand why they want me to do that: they think I need to stop thinking of myself as broken or having some problem that needs to be fixed. And my Dad thinks I shouldn’t be so quick to jump to IVF. While I understand and appreciate their suggestion, I’ve done this 10 times now, and yes, all 10 times count. At some point I have to re-evaluate my options and decide where our remaining money is best spent. I know I have some readers in the UK, and I have no idea how the cost of IVF/IUI with the NHS works, but here in the US unless you have insurance coverage (which almost no one does for infertility treatment) it’s all out-of-pocket. The cost breaks down this way (it varies a little bit by clinic and location):

Natural cycle IUI: $400 for doctor fees, $700 for 1 vial of sperm
Clomid cycle IUI: $1,500 for doctor fees, about $150 worth of medication (clomid + trigger shot) $700 for 1 vial of sperm
Injectable IUI cycle: $1,800 for doctor fees, about $750 worth of medication (injectable stims + trigger shot) $700 for 1 vial of sperm
Fresh VF cycle: $9,500 for doctor fees, about $3,000 worth of medication, $400 for 1 vial of IVF sperm (less expensive, woo!)
FET transfer: $3,000 for doctor fees.

As you can see it’s farking expensive and adds up quickly. So we need to choose wisely. And I think it’s time to move on to IVF.

Finally, my last comment in this meandering post, the Hope Monster has reared her ugly head. Remember how I was pretending this whole thing wasn’t happening? That all went out the window when my dad casually dropped into conversation that he think’s I’m pregnant. And then Tammy chimed in to say she ALSO thinks I’m pregnant. WHAT?! Guys, I had JUST gotten to a good place where I had moved on from this cycle and was pretty much only thinking about IVF. Now I’m right back in the trenches, praying to the pee stick gods at dark o’clock every morning, holding my breath and waiting for a miracle.

*Can I just interject that our FMLA is complete and utter bullshit. 6 weeks unpaid? Are you fucking kidding me? Every single other developed and/or wealthy country in the WORLD does better than that. It’s pathetic.

Trying to Look Busy in the Two Week Wait

So remember in my last post how I said progesterone made me crazy dizzy? Well, just to make liar out of me, my body decided to NOT be dizzy on progesterone this month. Last month at this time, I was having to hold onto my desk multiple times a day due to my extreme vertigo. Now I’m just coasting along without any side effects (other than the disgusting ooze).

I’ve been working really hard to minimize my expectations for this cycle. Yes, I’m doing the progesterone and yes I’m taking my prenatal vitamins, but other than that I’m doing my best to ignore the whole thing. I did buy some pineapple to snack on at work, but when it got kind of funky I tossed it without buying more. Previous cycles I would have dropped everything and run straight out to the store to buy more. MUST EAT PINEAPPLE. I COULD BE IMPLANTING RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE ZOMG.

I don’t have high hopes because a) I only have one mature egg and b) why would this cycle work when nine others haven’t? And the one that did work only worked for a little while?

So I’m gearing up for IVF. I’ve been trying to figure out what protocol I might be on: birth control for two or three weeks prior to stims?  Or Lupron/other drug to keep my ovaries quiet? One thing I’m worried about is the timing. Tammy’s brother is getting married at the end of April and we’re both in the wedding. If my calculations are correct I might be starting stims around the beginning of April (that leaves two weeks to be on BC). Would that be enough time to stim, go to ER and transfer?

Ugh. I hate uncertainty, and I hate not having control. Which is why infertility/sub-fertility shit is such a perfect match for me!