Friday, November 22, 2013


So late Friday afternoon we got the call that the retrieval would be on Sunday (last Sunday the 17th).  I had to rush home to give myself the Menopure (which had to be given 2 hours prior to the trigger shot) and it made me SO glad that Handsome has been giving me my shots.  It's not so much that it hurt, it is just really hard to continue pushing a sharp implement into your stomach and then I didn't realize the fluid was so thick and hard to inject!  Handsome came home in time to give me the trigger shot at 7:30pm and our retrieval was set for Sunday at 7:30am.

The retrieval went well and Dr. Behera told Handsome we had 23 eggs!  That is great!  On Monday I only worked a half day because I didn't feel well and I was starting to swell up like a balloon.  Turns out I got OHSS, Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome, and was building up fluid in my abdomen.  On Monday they called and said that 14 of the eggs had fertilized and the early embryo and growth looked normal while 6 fertilized but were a little slow in growth.  I was surprised so many had fertilized.  We will hear this weekend how many made it to 4 days and their grading.

Meanwhile I have continued to blow up like a balloon.  Monday night I got sick which could have been the OHSS or the medication (Percoset).  I stayed home Tuesday and went to the doctor where they gave me 2 liters of intravenous fluids.  Wednesday was probably the worst and while I am definitely not back to normal it goes down a little everyday.  The acupuncture should help although I almost thought water would come up from the needles; it didn't but I almost wished it would have to let the pressure off.  My skin is tight, its hard to breathe deep, drink or eat much because there is just no room.  Although it seem counter-intuitive when you swell up with fluids you are supposed to drink more.  I had an ultrasound on Thursday and there were great big patches of fluid in my abdomen.  Ah well - I little bit better each day and hopefully I will be all better soon , fingers crossed.  ttyl

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feeling Tired and Fat

Hi! Sorry its been longer than I wanted but this cycle is kicking my butt.  My medications haven't changed I am still on the same dosage of Lupron, Menopure and Follistim that I was before.  But before we get into that let me tell you a little about my trip to Colorado...

Every year Handsome and I go on a trip for a anniversary... 6 years!  This year we decided to go to Colorado as that is where we would like to move one day.  We wanted to check out Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs. Originally we had made plans to drive since I didn't know if I would be pregnant or not but when I told Handsome we could fly.  He opted to continue and drive to help save some money.  We drove Friday night to Kayenta, Az where we stayed before our 9 hour trek the next day to Ft. Collins.  We took back roads and byways which are typically much prettier.  We went behind monument valley and got to see some of the formations from a different perspective. 
Driving north into Utah allowed us to visit a brewery in Moab (for Handsome) and cross through the mountains into Colorado - there was already snow and even some ski runs were open!
When we got to Ft. Collins we found that we were staying at the cutest little condo.  It was decorated immaculately (we found out later that it was owned by architects), like something your world traveling quirky Aunt would have.  They had left the lights on for us and it was great!  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures :(  While in Ft. Collins we walked the Poudre trail, went to several breweries and went to Old Town to visit the shops and restaurants.  We found a great cheese shop where we went for breakfast one day and had a flight of cheeses and meats along with wine and beer.  We also drove around the city and countryside to look at the housing situation if we decided to move there.

Halfway during our vacation we made the trip down to Colorado Springs.  We visited the Cave of Winds where Handsome was sure that I was going to get lost and left behind because I kept stopping to take pictures.  We also visited the Cheyyenne Mountain zoo where we spent quite a bit of time with the giraffes feeding them crackers and lettuce.  We had the chance to catch up with my Aunt and see her terrific new place.  The place we stayed wasn't as nice as the place in Ft. Collins, in fact at first I thought it was kinda creepy because it had bare bones furniture and was super crooked, it felt like it should be haunted.  However my husband took me into the basement and picked up a shovel telling me he would use it to protect us from zombies... for some reason this made me laugh and after that I thought the house had character.

 Now on to the IVF stuff.  I have been very tired since I started the medication, typically getting to bed before 9pm and sometimes I take naps during lunch time as well.  At my ultrasound appointment on Saturday they said I had at least 10 follicles on each side and they were about 8mm in size (which is typical).  I went back today and the follicles vary from 10mm to 13mm.  I feel fat and bloated as well as tired and sometimes feel as though I have just inhaled water.  Its all the bloating and it could be the start of OHSS but to help combat that (since I have so many follicles that are growing) they started me on a new medication to help combat OHSS.  They said I had something like 12 follicles on one side and 16 on the other.  I go back tomorrow for a blood tests and then Thursday for both a blood tests and another ultrasound.  Once the follicles get around 16mm I will be in everyday until the retrieval.  Keep your fingers crossed that we get lots of mature eggs!  ttyl

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IVF Baseline

This will be short, I keep trying to find time to blog but Handsome keeps interrupting.  I typically blog while he is at the gym but have had things to catch up on or he is changing his gym days and it has thrown everything into a tizzy.  He is home now so I can't blog long, see I like to spend time with him when he is here.  We both work so finding quality time throughout the week can sometimes be difficult.  And right now with the days so short (it gets dark here at 6pm) it seems like there is no time at all!

So I will blog longer about our recent trip to Colorado and my wonderful Mom and Daughter's day that I had with my Mom for her birthday.  But I thought I would drop a note about our IVF going forward.

As I mentioned in my last post we are going forward with a new cycle of IVF.  We are going to do the IVF plus option which includes the egg retrieval, egg fertilization, and then two frozen transfers.  I am hoping that we don't end up needing that second transfer.  FTC includes as part of their protocol ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and assisted hatching.  The total price will be $15,500 - gulp.  Luckily I have some stock through my last employer that I was able to sell for this AND FTC was willing to take late payment so I could sell right after an earnings announcement when the price would go higher. 

I have had my baseline ultrasound which was fast and easy although I did feel some mental discomfort as I was on my cycle and that can be embarrassing.  FTC has a ultrasound specialist rather than random doctors or nurses doing the ultrasounds and it is the same specialist throughout which I like - better consistency.  She said that from an ultrasound prospective I was good to go.  I got a call later from Maggie my IVF coordinator and Dr. Behera says everything looks good to go forward with the current meds.  I've been getting the Lupron shots (in the stomach) for over a week now and even had my Mom give me some when I was visiting her.  Yesterday I started my Follistim shots as well which are given again in the stomach but with a pen like device.  Later this week I will be getting Menopur shots as well, for a total of three - yes three - shots in my stomach each morning.  Tomorrow I have another ultrasound and dosages may be changed going forward.  ttyl

"This old man
He played 3
He played knick knack on my knee
with a knick knack patty wack give a dog a bone
this old man came rolling home!"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Once More Unto the IVF

Just a quick note to let you guys know what happened at our appointment on Monday.  Originally set for 2pm, it had to be moved to 5:30 as she had a surgery that needed to be scheduled and the hospital would only allow for that afternoon.  We showed up at 5:30 and she was running behind.  Everyone was so apologetic but we were just glad that they didn't move the appointment to a different day (Handsome had taken the afternoon off) and that they were all willing to stay so late.  I know there were people scheduled after us and yet not once did we ever feel rushed by Dr. Behera or her staff. 

Dr. Behera was disappointed that the FET didn't "stick" but felt that the embryos looked to be in poor condition.  She said that they were familiar with my uterus (from the hysteroscopy and FET) and saw no physical reasons I couldn't get pregnant.  She wants to do a few more tests to try and determine why I have had recurrent miscarriages so they can customize my treatment plan.  Most of the tests were done at ARMS but this was more data that ARMS failed to send.  I don't know, maybe their version of "send all medical records for the last two years" is different than mine.  I thought "all" meant every test, every note, every procedure...  We are getting FTC the data now through the lab and our own copies.

Dr. Behera recommends a phased IVF so we will do the egg retrieval and instead of doing a fresh transfer we will freeze all the embryos and do a frozen transfer.  We have a trip coming up so I will be on birth control during that time to let the ovaries rest and then will schedule everything when we get back from our trip.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'"

-Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III, 1598

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I went in this morning for my blood test.  As the day went on I had a pretty good feeling the results were negative.  They seem to call a lot earlier when the results are positive.  Sure enough I got a call and the results were negative.  I am off of all the progesterone and estrogen but will continue my levothyroxine, baby aspirin, and other vitamins.  Handsome and I have an appointment with Dr. Behera on Monday so we will see what our possible next steps are then.

ttyl :(

Monday, September 16, 2013

Princess Duty

Our transfer was Friday afternoon.  I took off Friday and Monday so I could relax and have let people at work know that I cannot do any lifting for the next week.  FTC works a little differently than ARMS in terms of the transfer.  First there have been the additional medications and a lot more blood tests to verify all my hormone levels are correct.  Second during the actual transfer (which is done on a full bladder for the imaging equipment) they let you pee right after and you don't have to lay down for an hour or use a bed pan.  They put you on princess duty or couch rest.  They want you taking it easy but not to be afraid to take short walks around the house or switch positions while on the couch.  Afterwards they ask that you do no lifting over 15lbs or heavy exercise until the pregnancy test.  (Mine will be on the 24th so keep your fingers crossed!)

Our transfer was scheduled for 1:15 but we arrived early for my acupuncture.  We checked in next door at the surgical center and then went over to FTC to await my acupuncturist.  The needles went in easily and I relaxed while Handsome read.  After about 30 minutes I went back over to the surgical center and we got ready for the transfer.  Handsome had to put on a gown, hairnet and booties on over his clothes while I had to change into a gown.  Once they were ready I got onto the table and they put lots of ultrasound jelly on my stomach.  They said my bladder was nice and full which was NOT news to me.  Luckily the guy holding the ultrasound dealie was good at getting a picture without pressing to hard on my bladder.  It was a little weird to me that he was a guy, and not just a guy but a big burly guy with a  beard.  I am so used to women with the exception of a few male doctors who have never been burly and have never had a beard either.  The embryos were transferred and we got to watch it on the screen - I have always thought the picture looked like a spaceship but Dr. Behera described it as shooting stars and I liked that better so that is how I thought about it. Afterwards I had acupuncture again and when the needles were placed and the acupuncturist turned them it was like a ZING!!! through my whole body.

Now the not-so-good news is that Dr. Behera said the embryos did not look of good quality to her embryologist.  She seemed so apologetic and said that her embryologist has very high standards and has never rated anything as better than good (no "very good" or "excellent").  She must have seen our faces fall because we had been told by ARMS that they were of OK to GOOD quality but considering we heard that after pestering them and had never been made aware of the quality from the beginning I do not know if I believe them.  She said that lower quality embryos didn't mean lower quality babies it just meant that the probability of them sticking (implanting into the uterus lining) is lower.  So I have been visualizing my embryos as little grass seeds (you know, the ones you brush up against and they stick to your clothes, your skin, whatever and are almost impossible to brush off).  Still I respected the fact that she was giving us all the facts, that she told us what was going on at each step and she gave us hugs.  It feels as though she really cares.  I know Handsome feels the same because afterwards he said he wished we had gone to FTC from the beginning or at least much earlier.  We feel as though our chances are much better with them.  We are keeping our hopes up (even Handsome) and wishing for the best on the 24th. ttyl

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rock on Uterus!

Let me update you on what has happened since my last post.  I had started the Lupron shots which used a subcutaneous needle in the lower stomach area.  They weren't too bad but the needles seemed dull and my skin would dimple until they finally punched through.  We began to run out of those needles and the FTC gave me some new ones that said, I kid you not, "Comfort Tip".  The comfort tip needles did seem to go in better and definitely didn't hurt as much.  I had no bruises once we switched to the "comfort tip" needles. 

I took my last birth control pill on August 21st and had my baseline ultrasound the following Friday.  The ultrasound technician said that I may or may not have a period but since she measured my lining at 7mm the said it was likely.  I also was going to start the estrogen patches that Saturday.  By the way the patches totally suck.  They are fine going on but the edges are sticky and they move a little when you are moving around so lint from my clothes (especially my jeans) sticks around the edge and I get the weird blue halos around the edges of the patches.  Plus they are a pain to take off (and I mean that literally) and leave red marks on my skin and I have to use rubbing alcohol to get rid of the halos.  The ultrasound technician said that at my ultrasound on the 6th she wanted to see a lining at least 8mm and with three white lines...  To be perfectly honest I wasn't quite sure what she meant.  I started tracking all my medications using the nifty spreadsheet they gave me with sparkly stickers I got at Target.  Handsome said I could just check it off but obviously he doesn't understand that sparkly stickers work the best!
 I had a blood draw on the 28th and they called to let me know my estrogen levels weren't as high as they would like.  They added two Estrace pills a day and I started my prescribed estrogen cream that Saturday.  Handsome and I also got a treat that weekend and were invited up with friends to stay at a cabin up in Flagstaff with them.  I had been wanting to make an owl for their son for a while and this gave me the final push not to put it off so for the week leading up to our time away in Flagstaff I made them "Lewis" (his name may be changed by them at a later date).  It's a bit hard to see the lion on the butt, but it is there.  I should have used thicker floss.

On our way back from Flagstaff we stopped in Prescott to see the art show at the square and had dinner at one of the breweries there.  We both got a small cold but luckily mine is almost gone which is good since I start the prednisone soon.  Every morning I take 7 pills and until yesterday also got my Lupron shot.  Today we switched from Lupron to Progesterone in Oil (PIO) which is a much larger needle and goes into the muscle of the butt.  I had an ultrasound and blood test Friday.  The ultrasound tech said my lining looked gorgeous, it had the three white lines she was looking for and was 9.5mm, she was so effusive in her praise I felt a little proud of my uterus.  Like, ROCK ON UTERUS!!!  So every morning I take 7 pills, a PIO shot, and progesterone cream; every night I take 3 pills, progesterone cream, and estrogen cream.  I switch out my estrogen patches (two of the sticky buggers) every 3 days and will start the prednisone on Tuesday.  Below you can see almost all of my medications (I think only the Lupron and Prednisone are missing).
Everybody keep your fingers crossed for Friday the 13th!  13 has always been a good number for me, after all Handsome and I married on October the 13th.  ttyl!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Friday was my hysteroscopy.  I have written about the entire experience but if you just want to skip to the results and aren't interested in the process itself then skip down to the 5th paragraph.  The hysteroscopy uses a thin scope so they can see inside the uterus, take pictures and video if necessary and if they find polyps or fibroids they can remove them as part of the procedure.

My appointment was at 9:30 and we were to get there 30 minutes prior so we got to sleep in a bit Friday morning.  I wasn't to eat or drink anything (although I did have to drink some water for my medication) and we arrived right on time.  This appointment was at their Scottsdale office rather than the Tempe location.  The building they were in is huge and we walked down this long hallway to get to their offices.  Once there I realized I was going to have to pee in a cup so they could run a urine pregnancy test (just in case - I mean I've been on birth control so I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant) and I didn't know if I could so I drank a few sips of water and was able to get enough for them to run their test.  Handsome and I met with one of the nurses to sign the consents and then sat in one of their waiting rooms.  They came and apologized for the wait, but their anesthesiologist was running a bit behind with a earlier procedure at a different facility.

It wasn't a long wait - perhaps 10 minutes and they said the procedure should be quick.  They could have taken me back but as the nurse said - she didn't want me to have to just sit there naked just to wait.  As soon as he got there they took me back.  I met the anesthesiologist and went into the room to "undress from the waist down" and wrap myself in a sheet.  The anesthesiologist was very young and handsome which actually makes me feel less comfortable but he was friendly and put me at ease quickly.  (Why is it that the cute ones make me NOT want to be naked in front of them?  I have no problems with they are old or if they are women but save me from young attractive male doctors!)  I went into the surgical room and hopped up on the table.  The IV was put in my arm (near the elbow) and didn't hurt at all.  After I had signed more consents for the anesthesia, Dr. Behera came in and they started to put me under.  It felt like passing out...  And then I was awake.  Due to the anesthesia it felt as though no time had passed.  They said they were done and helped me back to the recovery room.  I still don't remember if I walked or took a wheelchair.  I do remember telling them I had to pee but they wanted me to wait until I recovered a bit.

Handsome had come in and as soon as he walked in the door I told him I had to pee because I knew he would make them let me.  He said okay and helped me to the bathroom where I made him turn around so as not to watch me - all this he had to do while holding my IV bag.  Turns out I didn't have to do much I just felt as though I did because of the pressure and pain.  It wasn't horrible pain just cramping that made me feel like I had to go.  I got dressed and we told the anesthesiologist that I had pain and he gave me pain killer through the IV.  I don't remember that, I remember asking for it and then later Handsome telling me it had been done.  The nurse had told me that the anesthesia messes with your short term memory and while I was recovering quickly I did miss a few things. 

Due to the short term memory thing Dr. Behera went to tell Handsome about how the procedure went.  He told me she walked up in what he described as space boots - booties that covered her shoes and went up her pant legs.  She said everything looked normal, she saw no polyps or fibroids that needed to be removed.  I had asked Handsome to ask her about the condition of my uterus and she told him that everything looked normal, that she saw no structural/mechanical reasons why I wouldn't be able to sustain a pregnancy and told him she had fluffed up the lining a bit to help with implantation.  I recovered very quickly, even the nurses noted it, and soon was on my way.  I felt up to walking so I didn't have to take a chair down.  All in all we arrived at FTC around 9:00am and were in the car and leaving around 10:40am.  Handsome said that the procedure took only 5 - 10 minutes tops. 

We went out for lunch and then back home where I rested on the couch.  We had to go out and pick up my medication since I would be starting the Lupron Saturday.  We picked up all the other medication at the same time.  The Lupron is to be taken each morning and is a subcutaneous shot that I get in the belly.  Handsome administers the shot each morning around 7:30am - I figure if I have to get the shot he has to give them.  As I have said before I can't imagine shoving a sharp implement into my own stomach.  It's not bad at all.  I think that's about it for now. ttyl

"And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep." - Briar Rose
Grimm, Jacob; Grimm, Wilhelm (2011-11-29). The Complete Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 3451-3452).  . Kindle Edition.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Va Va Voom

Giant BOOBS!!! That is what I am dealing with right now.  They are swollen and tender and LARGE and while Handsome might love them right now I could use a break!  I went back on birth control to sync my cycle to the upcoming transfer in September.  The brand is Reclipsen and while I haven't had any negative effects like nausea, fatigue, tec. my breasts have swollen and are fairly sore.  And to think when I was younger I thought my boobs were too small!! 

We had our FET scheduling and consultation with FTC today.  I won't go over my entire schedule, I'll update when my medication changes or after an appointment though to keep you all up to date.

Handsome and I really appreciated our appointment today, they seemed to be very organized and on the ball.  The schedule is laid out in an excel spreadsheet format with all the medications I have to take and all the appointments I will have.  The medications are different and we both feel as though this cycle is much more individualized compared to our previous cycles.

Some basic information about the transfer. They will be transferring both blastocysts which are day 5 blastocysts of good quality.  FTC typically deals with day 4 blastocysts but have adjusted my schedule to accommodate this.  FTC uses their own catheter for transferring the blastocysts which their embryologist invented and patented.  They will be performing assisted hatching on our little embryos to help them break out of the shell.  There is some risk (as there is with any medical procedure) but it is low and has shown to improve implantation and pregnancy rates. 

For the rest of this week I will be taking one birth control tablet, one low-dose aspirin (81mg), my thyroid medication, COQ-10 (100mg), prenatal vitamin and prenatal DHA, B-complex and folate supplements.  I have a pap smear scheduled for Wednesday and a Hysteroscopy scheduled for Friday.  During the hysteroscopy they will use a scope to look inside my uterus and can correct any polyps or fibroids they may see.  They may also perform an endometrial disruption which in some studies has shown to improve IVF/FET success rates.  I will be in twilight anesthesia so won't be able to watch but Dr. Behera will speak to my husband and I afterwards to let us know how everything went and what she saw.

Busy week!  I will try and update this weekend after the procedure.  ttyl

"Jessica Rabbit: You don't know how hard it is being a woman looking the way I do.
Eddie Valiant: You don't know how hard it is being a man looking at a woman looking the way you do.
Jessica Rabbit: I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." - Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Monday, August 5, 2013

Moving the Nest

Now that we are ready to try moving forward with a new doctor and fertility treatment center we needed to move our blastocysts.  Unfortunately it isn't simple and easy ( you would think it should be!).  First we were given old information that FTC would provide us with a cryotank (also called a shipper) to take and collect the blasts with.  There was documentation that Handsome and I had to fill out together either in front of ARMS personnel or in front of a Notary Public.  We stopped at the bank and filled out release documents from ARMS and I took them in to speak with the embryologist.  He asked if FTC had all the necessary information about the blasts and I said they should since we had directed ARMS to send over all of our medical records.  However we found out later that they had not sent ANY information about the blastocysts.  At this same time we found out that FTC doesn't provide a shipper for blastocysts only for sperm but they gave us the name and contact info for a reputable cryo shipping company.  It changed our plans somewhat but ended up being simpler than asking Handsome to go to FTC pick up a shipper, take it to ARMS to pick up the blastocysts and then take it back to FTC.  There were only a few hitches.  ARMS had more forms than whatthey ask for online to release the embryos so Handsome had to go down and sign his portion (I had signed mine when I dropped off the first forms).  Then I couldn't get a hold of the embryologist to get his information for Cryoport (the cryo shipping company), I got so fed up that I told Handsome to get the information (which he did) and then everything was set up to go. 

Cryoport has a great set up - you get real time tracking information sent to your email address.  SO I knew when the shipper was dropped off at ARMS, when it was ready to be picked up, when it was picked up and when it was delivered to FTC.  The cost was fairly reasonable as well at $390.  I got upset again when FTC contacted me to ask if I knew the quantity and quality of the embryos they would be getting as they couldn't get ARMS to respond to their queries!!!!  This was the limit!  I was so pissed, it is one thing for me to get the run-around from ARMS but another medical professional!?  I told my husband I just couldn't take it any more and he called ARMS got more information from them than I ever had (such as the QUALITY of our EMBRYOS!! - Why were we NEVER told that?!!) and told me that if anything else came up he would handle it because I think I saw that I just couldn't take it anymore.  Whew!

Now our two little embryos are at FTC and we have already started scheduling our next FET.  We have an appointment on August 12th to go over the process and forms (of course) as well as any needed blood work.  On August 14th I will get a pap done by my regular doctor (they asked if I could do this since it has been a while since my last pap).  On August 16th I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy and then on September 13th the FET is scheduled.  As I know more I will blog more.

I know last time I promised pictures so now I will ramble about some of the other things that have happened to me since I last regularly blogged.

Bremen, or "Big" as some of you know him as needed to have some growths removed.  He had one on his ankle that he would NOT leave alone and would lick until it bled.  Two others he scratched at and we were pretty sure that if we removed one he would just move on to the others.  We watched him over the weekend and he was doing pretty well.  We had his ankle wrapped up so he couldn't get to that one and he didn't seem to care much about the other two sites so we just bandaged them.  Well Monday when I got back from work he had gotten the bandage on his knee off and had managed to remove two of the 3 stitches!  I took him back to the vet and they wouldn't re-stitch him (our normal vet wasn't there, SHE would have done it because she knows that Bremen is laid back and wouldn't mind getting a quick stitch or two) she super-glued it instead which lasted all of 45 minutes on a joint wound.  It was a small wound and not gaping so we just had to make sure he left it alone.  This led to "THE CONE OF SHAME"
I would get him set up on the couch, pop the cone over his head and then move the coffee table away so he wouldn't bump the cone on it when he got on and off the couch.  He was pretty pitiful and had to wear it for 2 weeks.

One of the weeks was while we were on vacation to see family in Louisiana.  We had a great time although I went off my gluten free diet (I mean how was I supposed to turn down the best Crawfish Etouffee in the U.S.?  Every year my cousin has a reunion/get together for family and friends for the Fourth of July at her house.  This year I made her one of my owls.  The good news was she said she loves it.  The bad news is now my other cousins want owls too.  So I am working on those.  You can see a picture of the owl's front and back below.  I had initially named him Jefferson (I always give them names but the new owners can always choose new ones) apparently my cousin and her family discovered Jefferson was a girl and renamed her Liberty.

 Last but not least I went to a paint bar with a girlfriend.  We had a great time and got to chat, drink and paint.  It was for an ASU alum event so it was less than normal and we had a good time.  The only drawback was that it wasn't a picture we would typically choose for ourselves.  See the way it works is everyone at the session is given step by step instructions on how to paint the sample picture.  You can add your own flourishes or colors, add or subtract stuff, but typically the pictures look pretty similar.  Regardless of the picture it was fun.  I think my friend's came out great - I really like her sunset and her trees.  The more I look at mine the more I think it looks like a volcano.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hope and Change

Well as I said a few blogs ago ( I know, I know it has been a very long while since I last blogged) but Handsome and I have decided to try a new fertility clinic.  We had a consultation appointment at a clinic that had been recommended to us call Fertility Treatment Center. We spoke to Dr. Behera who I chose because she is a woman and she specializes in recurrent miscarriage.  One thing that both Handsome and I appreciated about her is that she took her time to ask lots of questions and really try and understand our case.  She said it is like a puzzle and the more pieces she has the better she can order treatment.  As for being a woman you may remember my um outrage upset that when I was having the cramps from hell ( I mean Tylenol with codeine barely helped!) he told me that most cramps were centrally located - he knows this from his vast PERSONAL experience with cramps!!! I've had cramps now for over 20 years - I think I know how they go and what is normal for ME and what is not.

Even Handsome liked her, he felt that she wasn't "blowing smoke up our asses and would give us real information".  I think we both felt more hopeful after talking to her.  I don't want to diss ARMS but we had felt as though we were getting the run around from them for a while.  I was also concerned about some information I didn't feel we were getting like the quality of our embryos.  Even Dr. Behera seemed shocked at some of the things that hadn't been communicated to us by ARMS.  Dr. Behera also seems more open to alternative treatments such as acupuncture and my gluten free diet.

Well I have tons more to tell you guys but will do so in a later post.  ttyl

"Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings"
 - "Get Luck" Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams

Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning

Complete lyrics:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Getting ready for summer

I recently got a bird feeder, I love seeing all the birds that come visit.  I'll get some pictures and post them soon, I think my favorite are the quail that come and eat the seed that falls to the ground from the feeder.  I find it very peaceful to watch the birds in the morning and then evening.  It is starting to get too hot to watch them at midday although sometimes if I stay on the porch in the shade its not too bad.

Handsome and I got a lot done this weekend.  Our biggest task was to sand and rub our patio furniture with teak oil.  It really brought the furniture back to life and it was beautiful how the oil would bring out the natural colors in the wood. 
Here are all the frames freshly oiled.  The cushions are stained, I was going to throw the cushion covers into  the wash but when I unzipped them the inner pillow was decomposing into a fine what powder.  I have decided I will buy some new cushions.  I asked Handsome if he had any color preferences and he said no, I asked if he was sure because I like bright colors and he likes neutrals... he finally said "no whimsical colors" which made me laugh.  I did manage to get some teal chairs for the porch but I will try and find something that isn't too whimsical but is splashier than brown.

It is Mother's Day today, and I want to send a shout out to my own wonderful Mom and my Mother-In-Law both of whom have been supportive of my infertility struggle.  Last year my Mom even went with me to one of the FETs when it didn't look like Handsome was going to be able to make it.  Mother's Day does bring its own sadness and yearning to my life because I want so bad to have kids and it has been so hard for us.  I decided to buy flowers for us and mixed my favorite, orange tulips, with his, stargazer lilies.  I think it looks very festive.
Hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Mother's Day and truly appreciating their Mom's and their kids.  ttyl

Monday, April 29, 2013


Handsome and I have decided, not that we are leaving ARMS, but that we want to explore our options.  My husband is very much a black and white type of guy, it is difficult for him to understand why the doctor's can't just figure out and fix our infertility issue.  He believes that many doctors are snake oil salesmen unless it is something cut or dried like a broken bone.  But his biggest beef with ARMS is the customer service, they just haven't been the best at getting back to us on things.  I feel as though I am always calling them to find out test results because they don't call us or I am asking about possible treatment options instead of them presenting them to us. 

Anyways, we have an appointment with a different service (who my acupuncturist seems to REALLY like) but unfortunately that appointment isn't until June.  Handsome made this appointment weeks ago so although we are only about a month away now, we've already been waiting a month.  Meanwhile we are getting some additional blood work done (all normal so far) and trying the old fashioned way, well the old fashioned way with a twist.  I am following FAM (fertility awareness monitoring) as taught in Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weshler.  We'll see if it works.
Sorry for the short post I have been awful about getting online, haven't even been on Facebook for weeks! ttyl

"And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground:
"I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Long time

Hi.  I know, its been a long time and I apologize for that, I also apologize that this post will have no pictures - perhaps next time.  See the thing is, I was really hoping that I was going to be able to come on here and announce that we were pregnant.   If you remember, Handsome and I had decided to take the holidays off.  Well I was at lunch with a girlfriend and passed on a glass of wine because I was about to start my cycle and just wanted to do a pee stick just in case.  You can imagine my surprise when it came back positive.  Handsome was even more surprised.  Since we have struggled in the past we decided to test again the next day before calling the doctor.  Well I tested the next two days and sporadically after that (day before the appointment, a week after the appointment, etc.) and they all came back as positive.  8 positive tests.  We had early ultrasounds to make sure the baby had implanted in a good spot and saw the sac, we even go to see the heart beat.  We were over the moon but afraid to tell anyone, we wanted to keep it to ourselves until I was in the "safer" second trimester.  Unfortunately I started to bleed during my seventh week and was put on bed rest.  The doctor said it was a subchorionic bleed and an ultrasound showed the heart still beating.  However the bleeding started up again and when I went in a week later the heart beat had stopped.  Right at about 8 weeks we had lost the pregnancy.  Handsome and I were pretty devastated.  We've had tests done and they came back 46 XX which means that either the sample was contaminated with maternal tissue (aka me) or we had a normal (chromosomally) girl.  We will try again and are taking some optimism from the fact that we got pregnant naturally.  We think going gluten free may have had a role along with my eating better and exercising more.

Well sorry for that sad bombshell but I wanted to let you guys know why I had been gone for so long and what had happened.  After the miscarriage I was waiting for the test results (we got them a couple weeks ago) and then had to find time to write.  I'll try and keep up better from now on.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Silver Linings

This weekend was full and for the most part fun.  My brother-in-law came up with his wife and good friend.  We went and ate at Aunt Chilada's (if you're ever in Phoenix I highly recommend going) and I had a cheese crisp - my favorite.  Then the not so fun part of the weekend happened...



If you know me, then you know that I am addicted to reading.  I read... all.the.time.  I stared to panic when it was obvious that the top half of the screen didn't work.  I went online within 30 minutes of finding the broken kindle and purchased a new one.  I paid extra for 1 day shipping so I would get it Monday instead of Wednesday.  I used Handsome's kindle (actually my old one) while I waited for mine to be shipped; he didn't mind since he typically reads on his phone using the Kindle app.  The only positives in this are that my husband hadn't put on the new skin yet so it was not destroyed and when I got my new one he put it on so it wasn't naked, and my previous kindle had been acting up anyways and I was contemplating purchasing a new one even before the dogs ate it; they just made the decision easier.

AAAAHHHH - Chorus of Angels - My new Kindle

My sister-in-law and I went shopping while the guys hang out and then we all talked for a while until they had to go home.

Sunday we went to see Silver Lining Playbook and I really liked it!  I won't ruin it for those of you who haven't seen it but it was touching, funny, and romantic.  Here is the great message I got from it... we are all crazy in our own way, and love is about finding someone who's crazy fits yours.  I'm sure we've all had, or at least seen, those destructive relationships where the couple is butting heads and its all very explosive and dramatic - that's when your crazy does NOT fit theirs and it causes destruction, but when you find someone who loves you and all your crazy and you love them and all their crazy then you know you'll be all right :)


Common english saying"
"Every cloud has a silver lining"

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Wow, its been a long time...sorry for that.  One New Years Resolution is to write on here more especially now that I'm over my... let's call it a slump.  Handsome and I had decide to take some time off from the fertility treatments over the holidays.  I could have called with my December cycle to start in January but my cycle came so early in December that I have decided to wait until my January cycle.  No ideas when that will be since I am very irregular off medication.  I have to say that I actually miss the medication since it not only kept me regular but my skin appreciated it.  I feel like I am back in high school with my face breaking out, and my neck, and collar bone area, and upper back - they're small but gross.  Nothings seems to be helping!!

A second New Years Resolution is to try and make note of the everyday remarkable.  You know something that you see or feel and you think to your self "wow, that's pretty cool/weird/awesome" and you look around for someone to share it with but you are all by yourself.  I don't know, maybe its just me?  Three things I found remarkable today:  finding a perfect moment of empathy and humor as I saw a kid waiting at the bus stop with a spiderman blanket over his head.  I could relate because it IS cold outside (well cold for us Phoenicians) but it was cute to see him with it thrown over his head with his mother standing nearby like he was telling her that if she was going to drag him out there he was going to embarrass her with the spiderman blanky... seeing a gust of wind blow the leaves across the road, it was so directed it was like a leaf blower and the leaves were round so they were rolling along on their edges like coins... leaning down to kiss Bremen (my dobe) on the nose and realizing that my old dorm room in college smelled like his nose...

My third resolution is to try and shape up, I was doing so well and then it just fell by the way side.  I am going to try going back to ballerobica on a couple of Sundays a month while Handsome goes out to the range, other Sundays I will go out with him for the exercise as long as it isn't freezing outside.  Meanwhile I will get my butt back at the gym and at least do cardio, some abs and pushups.  Fourth and not least I remember getting so much done when I tried to accomplish one, albeit small, chore or task a day... I'm going to start that up again but so as not to set myself up for failure I will try and accomplish one task per week.  This week's task - to clean up the kitchen and put all the party/holiday stuff away.

The Mail-Coach Passengers by Hans Christian Andersen
"It was New Year's Eve, and the church clock was striking twelve. "Tan-ta-ra-ra, tan-ta-ra-ra," sounded the horn, and the mail-coach came lumbering up. The clumsy vehicle stopped at the gate of the town; all the places had been taken, for there were twelve passengers in the coach."
Andersen, H. C. (Hans Christian) (2009-10-04). Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen (Kindle Locations 5599-5601). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.