Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Crisis averted?

After tears shed last night, thinking the worst AND letting the internet thoroughly freak us out...

...our beta came out awesome!

1199 AND guess who got her DPO measurements wrong on the hCG chart she last posted- oh yeah, that would be me.  So this is what our chart should look like.

Its no longer on the average side.  Before it was pointed out to me that I had our days past ovulation wrong, Janet had conversations with the nurses in which they indicated that our doctor thinks that the reason for the red and brown bleeding and craping was because we currently have twins...and that the symptoms are of them "hunkerin' down".  I know that doctors are normally pulling crap out of the sky at this point, but still, it made me feel a lot better- and hearing the beta number- TOTAL elation.

Thanks so much for all the good thoughts, prayers, and juju!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Fear is your wife having progressively worse brown spotting and craps following two progressively positive betas.

Fear is searching all over google and talking to a nurse, but not really having a clear answer as to if the spotting and cramps are a problem.

Fear is having no good answer or indication until another beta is done tomorrow at noon.

Worthless is having no way to protect my wife from this fear.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes Average is Great!

If ovulation day is the same as our egg retrieval day, we are trending on the average side for Singleton values-  W00T!
Janet's first sonogram is scheduled for 11/18.  That seems like an awfully long time for us to continue to obsess over if things are going ok or not.  I thought the wait to conceive was awful, but this is downright terrifying.  Every symptom takes us to Google.

On a side note, thanks so much for all the book feedback and support.  Between Kindle books and I think we will be drowning in information.

One more question.  We have friends who are looking for information on clinics that have egg sharing programs.  If there is any chance you would provide the clinic info, I would be super duper greatful!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beta 1 = 174

It's real now!!!
As I watched Janet last night and this morning, I can see her beginning to let herself accept and feel happy that this is indeed a pregnancy. For the past couple of years, I've been swooning every time I saw kid’s clothes, stores, etc. Janet would indulge me and accompany me in/around them, but she wouldn't really get "involved" in the gushing. Now, she actually asked to go look through the stores- wooooo hooooo! I'm allowed to start buying books- I would like to avoid "What to Expect when Your Expecting" because I've heard it’s just a bit too much- but I could be persuaded otherwise. Any others you fabulous people would recommend?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And Then There Were 3 (or 4!)

I'm not sure I can ever express in words the joy we felt in our hearts when we looked at the stick and it spelled out P-r-e-g-n-a-n-t! There were screams, tears, smiles and one long huge hug (and a lot of confused dogs!). I know most of you have had the same moment so I won't go on, needless to say it was a momentous occasion and I am glad we can share it with of you.

My hope now is that I can finally stop disappointing Meredith when she asks me how I feel. Soon enough I will be nauseous and throwing up - anything to put a smile on my girls face!

On Saturday we go for the blood test and assuming that goes well I will Meredith tell the rest of our friends. I guess seeing it in writing isn't actually good enough for me, I need to bleed to make sure it is real.

Thanks for your comments and well wishes, hope you are having as spectacular a week as we are!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Oh YEAH baby- there is a butter bean in there!!!

Blood test confirmation:  10/24

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hello, It's Me Again

I am painfully aware, as is Meredith, how long it has been since my one and only post. It's not that I don't want to, its just not something I think about doing. Oh, and she is so thorough I'm not sure I have any relevant information to add!

What I realized I could add, and should add, is my current role as incubator. I felt a little crampy/crappy for a couple of days but now I feel really good. It is hard for me to remember not to over exert myself and take it easy. I stress over what would be too much versus Meredith thinking I am just trying to get out of chores! I know she doesn't think I am lazy, but I sure wouldn't mind convincing her that cleaning out the litter box was overwhelming!

Well, I don't want to wear myself out on my second ever post so I will save a little for later this week. We had a busy weekend and ended with a dinner party for my Mom's 76th birthday! We had a great time and love being with our family. (Hi Mom, hope you had a good time - we love you!)

All for now - Janet

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Larry and Curly meet the world

Larry and Curly wanted to stop in and say hello- 3 days post 5 day fresh transfer. 

In other news, HPT was negative last night, but we expected that.  Where the Wild Things Are was cinematically beautiful- but far more dark and psychological than I had expected.  I wouldn't recommend it for kids- but I loved it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The best is yet to come

We now have the embryo transfer and related bedrest behind us.  Everything went well- two pretty embryos transferred (Larry and Curley for those keeping track).  Apparently Moe decided that he/she was indeed not a morning, afternoon, evening or night person.  The transfer went without a hitch- pic of our embies to be posted when I am home to turn on the scanner.  Janet thoroughly enjoyed her bedrest and *hopefully* went back to work today feeling rested and happy. 

Since Janet didn't take the HCG shot, it is our understanding that early pregnancy tests will work on her.  So far, I've bought six based on this website's detection level info.  I also found this fabulous poll/thread for surrogates that gives a good idea of when, if we are preggo with twins or a singleton, our hpt will show a positive (all based on a 5 day fresh transfer).  Naturally, since I've been buying a$$ loads of tests, I had her test last night, 1 day post transfer.  Negative- duh, but satisfying.  I will start getting anxious on Sunday and Monday.

This weekend is going to be jam packed.  Hopefully jam packed will mean less time to obsess.  Tonight we're bonding with our inner 6 year olds and I CANNOT WAIT!  Bring on Where the Wild Things Are!  I've been a hug fan since I first read the book in the late 80's.  My 13th birthday party was even themed after the book- "Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!"  and I have the t-shirt, etc etc...anyway, like I said, I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

To meat or not to meat

Since I lack any fun ttc news or statistics or related obsessions...Lets talk about meat.

In our house, we aren't vegetarians- but we're moving slightly in that direction.

Upon reflecting on the dishes that we pick out for the week and the frozen/prepared foods we take to work, Janet and I have come to the realization that neither of us enjoy eating meat by itself.  We've made appetizing sounding meals such as apple and adobo glazed pork chops with couscous and found that we really only ate a couple of bites of the pork chop and finished the entire thing of couscous, using the glaze as an additive.  We do this over and over again with chicken breasts and the like. 

So why do we keep buying meat (fish is the exception)?  If we
A. Don't really like it, unless incorporated into something else
B.  Are comfortable ensuring that our protein needs are met with legumes/eggs/etc

We aren't thinking we will be vegetarians- I could never give up bacon, chicken broth, oh, did I already say bacon?- but I think we might be able to save both money, a bit of carbon emissions, and make more creative entrees.

Menu since consensus was gained in the household:

Sunday: Green chili stacked enchiladas (contained cream of chicken soup, so not totally veg)
Monday:  Curried butternut squash and corn chowder
Tuesday:  Parmesan brown rice pilaf with portobello mushrooms and white beans
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pizza

What are your favorite meat free meals? 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Larry, Curley, and Moe- Day 3 update

And the Embryologist's observation/grading is:

Larry:     10A
Curley:     7B
Moe:        6B

I'm hoping that Moe just isn't a morning person and will persevere towards the preferred 7+ cells by day end.

On an awwwww, note- my beautiful wife brought home three roses last night, one for each of our embryos. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Empty Follicle Syndrome

So, since I have confidence that Larry, Curley, and Mo are dividing happily today, I have time to obsess over something else.

Why didn't I have more eggs?  Since every sono said I had between 13 and 20- and my levels were good, and my ovarian reserve numbers were fine- what gives.

So far I've found this article on empty follicle syndrome, which in turn gives me more terms on which to search.  Obsession is good.

Also, this morning we had a great breakfast with a friend that we met on the CCB message boards.  After over a year of trying and failed IVF's, she got pregnant on their last- we have sperm left so what the hell- unmedicated IUI.  Without a doubt, its a good juju morning.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

Fertilization report is in and...things are ok.  Of the 4 embryos, 3 fertilized.  Of the 3 that fertilized, 3 are dividing nicely and Dr. Le is happy with them. 

After much crying and drying of eyes last night, we now have glimmers of hope.  In our general silly nature, we would shoot each other three fingers- our new lucky number!

I can help but call them Larry, Curly and Moe.  Janet just said- but there are no girls names in there- to which I retorted that Curly and Mo are both andryogenous and could be either.

I need to check church times.  Per my begging and pleading with G-d last night, I'll be in church until our future baby is born.  I should know better than to negotiate with the being above- perhaps we can negotiate down to two/three Sunday's per month.

Friday, October 9, 2009

All this, for four eggs.

I am completely deflated.

They aren't sure if all the follicles they saw on the sono's were just duds- or if the ovidrel didn't work.

To add insult to injury, California Cryo apparently shipped a dud for our sperm (2.3 versus their guarantee of 10) and the clinic just called us to ask us how we would like to pay for ICSI.  I have no idea where exactly we are going to get $1200 by the transfer as it wasn't budgeted and we don't get paid until next Friday.  I'm sure we'll figure it out. 

Thanks so much to Heidi and N for pointing me towards Vee and Jay's blog.  It makes me hopeful.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Complaint Not Sent

Dear American Apparel,

My women’s size XL United Way T-shirt is obscenely small. Yes, I know that I’m spazzified from E2 levels that are now over 3000- but really- if the material is so thin I have to wear a cami under it AND feel like a sausage- there is probably an issue. Most other fair trade/organic women’s XL’s fit me just fine. Grump grump grump.

Yours truly,

A hormonal egg donor

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spazztastic and the end is near

I'm having total moments of spazzyness today.  I'm prepping for tomorrow's United Way kick off  (2 employee sessions, ~250 employee's each) and keep finding more loose ends to tie up.  I needed to send the final UW powerpoint to our COO as he is kick off the meeting.  The pitch was 11 megs and there was no way I was going to put our COO in mail jail.  I figured I needed to find a web location, which I did and had someone add it online.  Now all I had to do was forward Mr. Big Wig the link.  I typed out my email quickly, added the link and pressed send.  When I glanced over at the webpage where the link resided, I realized that the date on the title read 1008.  The first thing that ran through my mind was "OMG I just send Mr. Big Wig a link with last year's presentation."  I gave myself a heart attack for at least 15 seconds while I realized that no, I had just departed from my normal naming convention and that the package was indeed the correct one.  Ugh.  Its stupid- this is not a big deal and I have NO idea why I'm making it into one. 

In addition to UW, I keep finding things I have to do and meetings I have to move so that I can get away with being out on Friday.  Thats right, the big retrieval is Friday.  My follicles were all between 16's and 26's, E2 = 2192, and P4 = 1.7.  Tonight I'll have fun with two vials of Menopur and enjoy an extra stick of Ovidrel. 

I'm so excited that this part of the process is going to be over.  No more drugs, no more mood swings, no more blood draws.  My arms look like I'm an addict thanks to bright green bruises down my arms from the blood draws.  The hardest part of this ending is that reality is setting in- I'm not carrying this baby, Janet is.  I didn't think that I would feel like this- perhaps its just the hormones.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feeling accomplished

So of the two things I had to get done prior to going under on Thursday or Friday, I’ve managed to get one completely done and the other negotiated and an expected date of arrival.

Thing 1: Psych Evals- Results sent to the clinic nurse yesterday afternoon.

Thing 2: Embryo contract thingamajig- a little more complicated. We called the lawyer that will be doing our second parent adoption for help on this one. She hasn’t done anything similar in multiple years so was seeking templates from her peers/NCLR/professors whatever. Our conversation came down to- if we wait to make sure that she has every i dotted and t crossed from a case law perspective, we won’t have anything before the egg retrieval. I asked her if Janet and I should simply draft something basic and have it notarized. We went back and forth on the idea and compromised that she would draft what she was fairly certain would do the job and then make any last minute amendments if she received something from her lawyer posse (my words, not hers). I respect her ultra diligence- but knowing that this is more so that the clinic can check a box versus protection for us- I’m thankful for the compromise.

I’ve seen a lot of grateful for lists lately, so I’ll make a shout out to the universe here:

• I’m grateful to our lawyer, who has fought for the rights to LGBT families since starting her career. I’m thankful that she understands how income taxing this entire process can be and charges very very low fees for documents that could be so meaningful.

Because I’m a process improvement person, I can’t help but wonder- is the clinic learning anything from our situation? Will they keep our documents/service providers on file so that if another lesbian couple comes in wanting to do the same thing, they won’t get the crap template and recommendations that we did? Every time I walk into the clinic I am thankful that the staff is so supportive and kind- but I truly hope the administrative details of all of this can be easier for anyone else after us.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Protocol Update 3

9/26-Stim Day 1- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/27-Stim Day 2- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/28-Stim Day 3- E2 Level 55, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/29-Stim Day 4- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/30-Stim Day 5- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/1- Stim Day 6- E2 Level 205, Progesterone 0.8, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/2- Stim Day 7- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/3- Stim Day 8- E2 Level 656, Progesterone 0.6, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/4- Stim Day 9- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/5- Stim Day 10- E2 Level 1148, Progesterone 0.6, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron, 1 vial Menopur
10/6- Stim Day 10- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron, 1 vial Menopur
10/7- Stim Day 11- E2, progesterone, follicle check

The follicles looked good today, ranging in size from 12’s to 17’s. Dr. Le said that essentially he was going to turn the heat up on the eggs for the rest of the week with the Menopur and that we would be looking at a Thursday or Friday retrieval. I’m hoping for a Friday retrieval. I’m one of the co-leaders for my office’s United Way Campaign and wouldn’t you know- the campaign kick off is Thursday, the 8th.

Any tips on dulling the sting of the Menopur? I consider that I’ve been lucky so far as the Follistim was pretty easy on the skin.

Psych Evals aren’t so scary Part 1

So ARCC expects people going through IVF to have a psychological evaluation. I’m not sure if it’s all couples going through IVF, or just those using known egg donors- but I know we had to. They didn’t tell us we had to get the evals until right before I was going to start stims. The nurse is just like “have you gotten your eval yet?”. Um, big fat no. I didn’t know I had to have one/didn’t budget for it/and am a little pissed off at the insinuation…

So I get over all of that and go back into logical, “treat this like a project” mode. First she gave us a referral to an infertility therapist. We called, got the price estimate- holy hell people it was out of control. After crossing that option off the list I called and asked for an example of what they were looking for so that I could procure another therapist. The question list was even more offensive to me.

Example: Candidate reports having no emotional attachment to her donated genetics or the child to be. ___Yes ___No

Needless to say, I emailed the nurse that sent the questions over and politely went off. Per these questions, I’m definitely not a fit egg donor. The questions also go against the legalities we will establish when we move towards a second parent adoption… :::proceeds to rant aimlessly:::

So anyway, the nurse email’s me back and says that whomever we go to can customize the evaluations to our situation. At this point Janet’s called a few people, I’ve called a few people. Responses were either non existent, or they couldn’t get us in for weeks. I luckily turned to the Family Equality Council Dallas yahoo group for a referral and got a response within 24 hours. It turns out that De’An Olson is part of the aforementioned group- and not only could she perform the evals and get them completed on time, but she also works with the lawyer we will be using for our second parent adoption. She performs the home studies and evaluations for those. So, not only did she work us in within a week, so also made a deal with us by which the amount we spent on our evals can count towards her eval/home study fees when I adopt baby(ies) Gabber.

For anyone else in the DFW area needing a same sex or non traditional family fertility psychological eval, second parent adoption home study, or general therapy, I highly recommend her!
De’An Olson, LCSW

Tomorrow- more thoughts on the eval itself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Protocol Crap Part 2 (Skip)

9/26-Stim Day 1- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/27-Stim Day 2- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/28-Stim Day 3- E2 Level 55, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/29-Stim Day 4- 175 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
9/30-Stim Day 5- 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/1- Stim Day 6- E2 Level 205, Progesterone 0.8, 200 iu Follistim (Puregon), 5 units Lupron
10/2- Stim Day 7- E2 and Sono check

Can't these eggs cook any faster?

The e2 vampire couldn't get me

This morning was my first sono since starting Follistim. Just like the last visit, they also attempted an E2 draw. I say attempted because apparently, my intake of only coffee before 10 am is not compatible with their need to draw blood. After three attempts they handed me a cup of water and sent me in for the sono.

Sono: 14 Follicles:
Left- 7, ranging in size from 8 to 12
Right- 7, ranging in size from 7 to 8 (mostly 8's)

Post sono and 12 oz's of water chugged- the vampire got her breakfast. Based on the E2's they'll email me my next doses of the wonder drug.
My next appointment is Saturday at 8:45 am. I got a big kick of calling Janet and informing her that she would be seeing 1/2 of her future unborn children at that time.
Boring protocol update 2 after the email from the Dr's office.