Thursday, October 29, 2009

EPP CD 17: Snowed

One good thing about a big snow storm before Halloween is that no one has their Christmas lights up yet.

Phoebe's backyard today

Looks like about a foot and a half of snow, huh? I just wish I hadn't gone to the climbing gym last night before I shoveled the driveway. Ugh! I feel sorry for the trick-or-treaters come Saturday. Snow melts pretty fast around these parts, but I don't think it will melt quite that fast.

I'm not sure what's going on down in my nether regions with the whole estrogen priming thing. What I am happy about is that the side effects of est.race are WAAAAAYY better than BCPs! In fact, I have had relatively few side effects. Today, I started the Pro.metrium. This is smooth sailing so far. Could it be the hypno.therapy? I had my second session last night. I really hope to blog on it soon. I am really loving it! Even though it is expensive, I feel like I get my money's worth because I'm in a session for two hours, plus I get little freebies, like Lynsi's book or CDs.

Back in June, I wrote about all the supplements I was taking to improve egg quality and general health. After getting my stellar Day 3 results in June, I scrapped most of that and went back to the drawing board. First, I added in the juicing, mostly with vegetables. I still am juicing, but I'm only averaging once a day now. It's hard to get the second one in after work, with all the acupuncture (2x/week), hypno.fertility sessions (once every 2 weeks), and support groups (1x/week). I have to cook dinner and work out somewhere in there too. I stopped the pregnenolone for awhile, but I'm now back on DHEA. I can tolerate it for short periods of time. I'm taking 10 mg twice a day. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it's all I can tolerate. Otherwise, it gives me heart palpatations. I also don't need my voice to go any deeper than it already is. It's bad enough when I answer the phone and the caller thinks I'm Magic! I'll stop the DHEA once I start my stims. I am also taking something like 3 g of L-arginine a day. I switched to a different brand and formulation that I seem to absorb better than what I was taking before. Everything gets approved by Dr. F, with his electro-dermal testing machine, before I take it.

In July, I added in frozen wheatgrass juice. I have now switched from frozen wheatgrass juice to chlorella, my secret ingredient of success, I think, for egg quality. I switched for a couple of different reasons. First, the frozen wheatgrass juice was a pain to buy and drink. I don't do well with cold drinks, according to my Chinese medicine diagnosis, so I would have to warm it up to room temperature. Also, the quality I was getting at the store was not consistent. I switched to chlorella because it is much easier to take and is much more potent than frozen wheatgrass juice. Plus, Paul_Pritchford, the well known TCM author who wrote Healing_With_Whole_Foods, loves the stuff. My brain feels clearer on the chlorella. I really feel like it is helping. I tried spirulina, but it tastes awful. I first started taking chlorella after I had all my mercury amalgams removed from my mouth two years ago. This was one of the many things I did to try to extend and improve my fertility. Not only do I like the idea of a toxic metal being removed from my mouth, I like how my teeth look with the white composite fillings now. It was one of the best things I ever did for my health and fertility. Chlorella helps to bind mercury from your body, also know as chelation, and remove it.

My last cycle was another 24 dayer for me, which is on the long end for me, or otherwise my normal. It was also clear when my period started. No weird starting and stopping, or spotting beforehand. This tells me I must be doing something right.

Eight more days of meds for the EPP. Everything feels like it is falling in place.

Edited at 8:37pm to add more info.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've lost a few friends during my baby making journey. Mainly the gals who just wouldn't understand what I've been through. I'm sad about this because I'm trying to reconnect with one of them, and it clearly isn't working. I haven't told her I'm going to cycle again. I know she wouldn't be able to support me in the way I need.

I attended a new support group on Thursday at our local office of BigShotClinic. It was just me and one other gal. She was a lot younger than me, at 31. She had a failed cycle at BigShotClinic and was really scared. I gave her all my good info and told her not to worry since she hadn't done anything before to improve her egg quality. I didn't really get much support myself, but I was happy afterward. I was able to talk to someone about what I was going through, what we were going through! I no longer felt like this person who censors a big chunk of my life, putting on my smiley face at work, when underneath, I'm scared, anxious, depressed, or just in the doldrums of waiting, like now. I really want to talk about this with other women who are going through the same thing, and not just do it once a week for an hour.

I really have cherished meeting the bloggers who I get to know through their blogs. I always feel happy after meeting with you. It is the same effect as I had after the support group this Thursday. I have to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been looking out for me since my last post. I'm very, very grateful and amazed at the outpouring of generosity!

So tell me, have you lost a BFF through your IF journey?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Process

Part of our decision to go ahead with trying with my eggs now is that we knew the whole donor egg process will take awhile. Part of the process is getting my family on board with egg donation, which I have not worked on yet. We knew we would have to wait until next year to try with donor eggs. If my family member were to agree to egg donation, we will have to fly her here for the work up, and then cycle, so we were well into next year.

I was really at a conflict about what do to. Magic surprised me with a seemingly logical solution. He said, let's try now. If it doesn't work, it will take time for us to recover before doing a cycle with donor eggs. We will also have to see where he is at with his job situation. He suggested that if he starts making a regular salary again, then we can try. If not, we would not try because we would not have the money. Having money be a barrier to having a child really sucks, but it is a reality. My motto is, if there is a will, there is a way.

I also kept thinking that if I was ever going to have a chance with my eggs again, this was it and BigShotClinic is THE place to do it. Hot flashes be damned, statistics be damned, we are going to give this our best shot. I have never thought of myself as "infertile". I'm just old and my husband had a vasectomy. We can overcome these things with the advances in technology. I just have a feeling that I've got a couple of good eggs in there still. As I told Dr. BloSun, we are not going to know what my embryos are like until they look at them in the lab. Last time I did IVF, the embryologist told me that she was surprised. My embryos looked like those of a woman 10 years younger than me. I am not someone who has been trying and trying on my own with my husband for a long time. He had a vasectomy that worked, so there is no chance of us getting pregnant doing it ourselves. I knew this when I married him, but I was naive at how intense IVF is. Even if you had a known fertile woman do IVF, there is no guarantee she will get pregnant.

I started having doubts about doing my cycle now. I've got this whole thing about having my transfer anywhere near the full moon. When I got my calendar, my estimated transfer is right between the new and full moon. I started to worry that I would be too near the full moon. I looked at the calendar, and thought a transfer in December would have been better. I started to beat myself up. Last weekend, it felt like December here, with snow and below freezing temperatures. I thought, I don't want to do an IVF cycle in that kind of weather so close to Christmas. If felt too stressful. Even though there is a good chance that I might be on bed rest or have my transfer on Thanksgiving, it feels right to do this now. On Wednesday, I read this post from Sheri's intuitive Tuesdays, and I knew I had picked the right time to do this (read my comment too). Later in the day, I read on IVF.Connections that BigShotClinic doesn't allow anyone to start stims after Dec 1st because of their shut down over the holidays, and I would have been out for December if I had waited another month to start my estrogen priming. To wait until January at my age is too risky to try with my eggs again. This is the right time for me to be doing this cycle. I can feel it!

Thank you so much for your support. I do not think I could go through these highly stressful fertility treatments without you gals.

It is time for me to ask of your help once again. I am looking for donations of any unused medications for our upcoming cycle. As much of the country has been impacted by the current financial crisis, so have we. My husband has not pulled in a regular salary in a year. My job is solid, but because I am a g-woman, I do not make enough to cover all of our expenses. We will be borrowing for this upcoming cycle anyway we can. If you have any of the following, I would really appreciate your help. I can pay for shipping and make a "donation" for your donation too!

Foll.istim, 900iu cartridges preferably

You can e-mail me at for details.

Now, I'm off to make my juice.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Hearts Have It

I've been putting this post off, because what I'm about to say next terrifies me. When I said I was "crapping my big-girl-panties" in my last sign off, I was partly feeling like I was getting yelled at by Dr. BloSunMyCha and partly feeling like, "holy crap, I might actually do this?!" I also wanted to take the weekend off from talking about fertility treatments and infertility. This last month has been so stressful, from the follow-up with Dr. BloSunMyCha, to the weighing of our options, and trying to decide what to do next. I had my first "hypnofertility" session last night. I'll post about that later. I will say that it relaxed me. Now, I just need one of these every night!

I really appreciated you gals getting all up in arms in my defense! Let me just say that I am not angry at Dr. BloSun. Actually, after the e-mail I got yesterday from him regarding my recent questioning of taking preventive antibiotics, I may take that statement back. More on that later. I think Dr. BS is mostly just doing his job, making sure I know what I'm getting in for. However, I see this as negative hypnosis. I know what he said had a huge emotional impact on me. In my heart, I still wanted to try one more time with my eggs and see if what I have been doing the last three months have been making a difference. My cycles have been basically very similar to what they were a year and a half ago when I last did IVF. My head was telling me the logical choice was to move on to donor eggs as it has the best statistical chances for us.

I thought I would never make a decision based on going against the "facts". I thought I would be a "smart" person. I also did not want to make any decisions based on fear. The fact is that by going right to donor eggs, I was allowing my fear of failure to get the best of me. I do not want to go into DE with any regrets. I do not ever want to wonder, "what if?" I can see how it affected the woman from my friend's baby shower. I see the shadow of regret and doubt in her face when she said to me, "so you got pregnant with your own eggs?" I could go straight to DE, but I also do not want that shadow the rest of my life. This is the only way to know.

We are following our hearts against the "medical experts". I feel happy about this decision, and terrified at the same time. We are trying one more time with my eggs. I also feel that it's fair that Dr. BS put some conditions on how many follicles he wanted us to have before going into egg retrieval. Frankly, I would rather he make that decision, than coming to us and saying, "what do you want to do?" I've been in that position before, and it's a hard decision to make. I also feel like I've got it in me to make five mature follicles, at least, I think I do!

Today, I started the est.race for the estrogen priming protocol. If you want to know what this protocol looks like, go over to Heidi's blog and click on the menu on the right where it says "The Protocol That Worked". Be forewarned that there is a picture of her infant daughter on her last blog post that you will see when you click over. The difference between her protocol and mine is that I'm starting the est.race on CD1 (today) and not taking it as long, as she extended hers because of a vacation. I think I will be on max stims too (been there, done that). I don't have my full calendar yet. I take the est.race orally, so I will not be among the blue skid marked smurfettes that Jill so colorfully described in her FET protocol. Maybe I'll just turn blue, but it will be out of the anxiety of holding my breath, not from the blue pills!

I'm also preparing to move this whole show over to I'll transfer all my posts over, but I feel like I just need that password protect option. I've stopped posting on my other private blog. I need to move on from the past for the sake of our spirit baby. I'll miss some of the nice features of Blogger, but I need to ensure my privacy. I'll allow anyone access that asks to my private posts. I'm still going to need lots and lots of support through this!! I just do not want to feel like a celebrity reality show, providing entertainment to the masses. If you want to lurk on my private posts, that's fine. I just want to know who you are. The other nice feature of is that I can block IP addresses. Not that I'm planning on doing this, but if I get any harassment, which happened to me on my old blog that no longer exists, I can do something about it now. It will be a few weeks probably before I actually make the move. I'll be password protecting all my posts that have the details of my IVF cycle.

Here's the antibiotic story I mentioned earlier: My nurse called me and told me I would be taking antibiotics this month, which surprised me, since I'm not doing any procedures. I'm not a big fan of antibiotics, as I think it was one of the factors that led to me getting leaky gut syndrome and developing food sensitivities. BigShotClinic makes their patients take antibiotics every time they pass your cervix, which is ridiculous. I never did this at my old clinic, and I was just fine. For the third time, I had to send an e-mail to Dr. BS asking if I could forgo the "preventative" antibiotics this month. His response was something like, "yes, you can forgo the antibiotics, but I strongly recommend that you take them, or else your cycle may not be as successful". Now I really felt like Dr. BS was living up to his new acronym and just trying to strong arm me. I also told him that I would be happy to do IV antibiotics and that this would be my preference for egg retrieval. This is what I did at my old clinic, in lieu of oral antibiotics. I basically skipped my whole gut, but still got the antibiotics. Dr. BS responded to this, saying that IV antibiotics would not reach the uterus as well as oral antibiotics. WTF?? Doesn't the oral antibiotics go into the bloodstream from the gut, and wouldn't the liver and intestinal enzymes break down some of those antibiotics? I was so baffled by his BS, that I ran this past Dr. F, my acupuncturist who has never given his two kids antibiotics EVER. He supported me 100%, which made me feel better about standing up to Dr. BS. Oh, and Sweet Georgia hit the nail on the head when she said the polar body testing was for their study, not for my benefit. I really feel the coercion after realizing that (grrrr).

It scares me how narrow an RE's knowledge is. I know I am going to get comments like, "can you change doctors?", but they are all narrow-minded in my opinion. Dr. BS is the 4th RE I've been to, and I really don't think it's going to get any better than this. I just want to get my eggs to BigShotClinics fabulous lab and hope they do their magic there for some viable embryos!

Holy crap, I really am doing this!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Answer

I did not send my e-mail right away to Dr. BS. I needed time to calm down and make sure I finished it when I was not so emotional about the issue. I began drafting the e-mail Monday night. This morning, I woke up early, and realized that I needed to make a decision by Friday about starting EPP, in case my period comes early. I finished the e-mail, and sent it off to Dr. BS at 6:30am. Being the incredibly efficient and punctual man that he is, he replied by 11:30am. It truly is the one thing I love about this doctor, his accessibility.

I needed to send Magic an e-mail about something else, so I logged on to my personal account, knowing that "The Answer" could be there. My heart pounded. It was there. I read some other e-mails first. I considered waiting until tonight to read Dr. BS's e-mail. I had already surrendered myself to "whatever will be, will be". I finally got my big-girl-panties on again, and opened the e-mail. I will paraphase the answer here. I have changed all the names and exact wording to protect the innocent.

"Dear Phoebe,

I hope that you have been well.

At our last regroup, I told you your eggs were crap and that you should use donor eggs (ed note: you only kinda recommended it after the fact, being the super sweet nice guy that you are). You don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting pregnant, let alone having a live baby. We here at BigShotFertilityClinic would not normally let someone like you ruin our statistics. But because you wanted a "last shot" at IVF, I was going to be nice enough to let you do IVF with polar body testing required. The pregnancy rate for polar body normal embryos is 17%, and by the way, don't forget that it will be a cold day in hell before you get a polar body normal embryo.

Obviously, I can not make you do the testing (ed note: really? then how could you "require" it before?), but I can't imagine why you wouldn't want this wealth of information on why your eggs are crap? If you insist on doing IVF with your own eggs, then I will require that you have 5 follicles that will be mature by the time of retrieval as determined by me. I hope you don't feel any pressure here about me cancelling your cycle, but if you agree to this, then you can waste your money on this cycle.

Have a nice day.

Dr. BloSun"

Crapping my big-girl-panties over here.

Monday, October 5, 2009


And sometimes I don't have the energy
To prove everybody wrong
And I try my best to be strong
But you know it's so hard
It's so hard

-Dixie_Chicks "So_Hard"

First, I want to thank each and everyone of you who have been leaving me comments during this difficult couple of weeks. I really appreciated the comments from NoodleGirl and Niobe who educated me about epigenetics, or the ability of the pregnant mother to turn on certain genes. I have never considered this possibility before. This really does help me let go more of my genes. Also, thanks to all the gals who have struggled with this issue, have made their peace and found happiness in having a child through donor eggs. Thanks as well to the gals who are in a similar situation as me, still struggling with the idea of donor eggs and still in limbo land hell.

Magic and I talked. He wants to try again with my eggs. I can not blame him, and I want to honor that. For me, I kinda feel like I'm fed up with my eggs. But I also realize that if there is any chance to do IVF with my own eggs now is the time and BigShotFertilityClinic has the best stats for my age group.

I am reluctantly agreeing to one more cycle with my eggs, but we still have to get past Dr. BloSun. After requesting 10 days ago for my clinical notes from our follow-up appointment (does it take an act of God here people?), I finally read in writing that Dr. BS is requiring us to do polar body testing if we do IVF with my eggs. For those of you who have never read your clinical notes from your doctor, do it. I always learn something new. For example, the new thing I learned was that Dr. BS is giving us less than 1% chance of a live birth. Neither Magic nor I recall him telling us this in our last appointment with him. I call this "emotional blackmail". It's the donor egg talk without the donor egg talk. It just makes me burn. I mean, really, why not just have the balls to say no, you can't do IVF with your eggs?

I'm so angry that I have to try to convince him out of the polar body testing. I will make my case in an e-mail and send it tomorrow or the next day. Decision time is here. No more waiting. I have nothing to lose, since apparently, he gives me less than 1% chance of having a baby with my own eggs anyway. I'm not doing IVF if polar body testing is required. It will be a lot of heartache for nothing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

So Hard

Today, Magic and I had our first appointment with a BigShotClinic counselor to talk donor eggs. This is a different counselor than I blogged about before, who I had a good first session with, and then a disastrous second session with Magic. We wondered if we scared her away, which would be a good thing. I since found out that she was courting Em, my acupuncturist, to network for infertility patients for her new private practice. I told Em that I wouldn't recommend her to anyone. Just had to get that rant out.

The new counselor was good, but there is no getting around the fact of how hard this donor egg decision is. She encouraged us to go for a "closure" cycle with my eggs if that is what we needed. I would so love to do this, but I feel like someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness who decides to go for treatment, knowing it is doomed to fail. I don't think I could take a BFN for $20k. I really need to try that hypno_fertility to get out of this mental rut. The counselor gave us homework. I'm supposed to write a letter to let go of my eggs. I'm not ready to break up with my eggs just yet though.

Magic and I came out of our session both exhausted. I came home and proceeded to unravel. I think I am really grieving the loss of my eggs. I don't want to let go of them. It's like when someone you love dies, and you just can't accept that they are gone. This is like a death to me. I can not accept it, not yet.

A gal in my support group that I attended before my FET gave us all a "fertilty angst" CD. I keep playing the song, "So Hard" by the Dixie_Chicks in my head. They wrote this song specifically about their own fertility crisis. This verse really speaks to me:

And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard

I can't do this by myself. This is so hard.