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Archive for May, 2010

You know that feeling when nothing in your wardrobe fits, your hair’s been in a ponytail for MONTHS and you just feel worn? Well, that’s been me. All I’ve been doing is working, supporting everyone else’s life moments (SIL, friends, family) and trying to figure out our next steps to become parents (oh right and those three failed ART cycles to boot).

So this weekend I declared a ‘me’ weekend. I went shopping after work on Friday and bought a few updated things (and I HATE shopping, especially in New York), slept in yesterday (in part to ward off a cold), went to TWO spin classes and then today…I got a manicure, pedicure … and got my hair highlighted and chopped (4+ inches).

The highlights were a big deal for me since there are so many things that I’ve been avoiding because I’ve been so convinced that I’ll be pregnant “next month” for sure. I rescheduled my annual mammogram, didn’t join my two closest girlfriends for a getaway, avoided wine at our annual Passover seder and so many other things … just in case.

Re-reading that I sound like I turned a major corner. I didn’t. I just needed to do SOMETHING.

And an update:

Had a productive (?) session with our therapist last week. We’ve not seen her since November and so when we filled her in our failed FET, second opinion & upcoming third opinion, I was pretty surprised when she was blunt with her advice. Her opinion is that we should just jump right back in – find a clinic that has good stats and just get going again. She thinks that we won’t actually be able to be ourselves again or move on until we have achieved what we want – to be parents.

While I get where she’s coming from, I do wonder if that is actually betraying a piece of me that was convinced that with the right combination of holistic thinking & doing (diet, exercise, healthy lifestyle, acupuncture, yoga, praying, etc.), we’d be able to do this on our own. After all, there is *nothing* that anyone can point to that is wrong – that can be fixed.

But in the end, I want to be a mom. I want to be the person that I think I am supposed to be – not the sad, bitter person-who-shudders-when-the-phone-rings-because-it’s-probably-a-pregnancy-announcement person I am becoming.

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Another opinion

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Brooklyn – and the first weekend that I haven’t had to work in months! Before I get into our visit to RE#2 this past week, let me just say that I am lucky. Very lucky to have such a wonderful husband and very lucky to have been able to spend the day with him yesterday. We slept in a bit and hit the farmers’ market. I caught my spin class and then we took a leisurely walk to one of our favorite Brooklyn restaurants in Cobble Hill. In fact, it was the restaurant where we decided to move to Brooklyn 3 years ago. Meandered our way home and then caught a concert in our neighborhood. No phones, no email – just the two of us.

***

I would, however, love your thoughts on RE#2’s diagnosis.

We’ve done 2 fresh IVF cycles at CRMI and one FET. I spent Wednesday trekking all over the Upper East Side collecting medical records for our Thursday morning diagnostic appointment with RE#2, who we named Dr. Talks A Lot (TAL).

Dr. TAL was recommended by one of DH’s doctors (since RE#1 recommended someone who hasn’t seen patients for TWO YEARS…but I’m not still bitter about that one…). Dr. TAL is at RMA, which we’ve been to because the therapist we see every once in a while has an office there. The waiting room has some pluses and a few major negatives. The biggest plus is that they ask patients to arrange for childcare. CRMI allows people to bring their children, which I find to be quite inconsiderate since clearly everyone in the waiting room is dealing with some sort of IF issue. The biggest downer in the RMA waiting room is the 80s soft rock that is piped in & no windows to the outside world. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it felt like a scene from a movie.

Let’s just say that I am organized. Very organized – and so everything was in chronological order and clipped neatly together. Dr. TAL immediately spread everything out and proceed to tell us that he knows RE#1 and that their kids go to (fancy, private) school together. He dictated my entire history, from gleefully tossing the BCP in November 2007 to the most recent WTF appointment with RE#1. The whole while frantically searching for the corresponding paper (which, I had already put in order, destroyed when he spread everything out). He then took us in for an u/s, which confirmed what he thought.

Basic prognosis: He’s not convinced that my left fallopian tube is blocked, but thinks that my uterus may have been cramping during the HSG. He does not disagree with CRMI proceeding to IVF, but felt that the first cycle wasn’t ‘good’ – and ‘didn’t really count’ (to which DH responded ‘try telling that to our insurance provider’). He thinks that I am a slow responder. He would have pursued a slightly different protocol, but pointed out that the protocol difference is really the fundamental difference between CRMI and RMA – so neither is right or wrong. He wasn’t sure exactly what happened with IVF#2 (27 eggs retrieved, 19 fertilized – slow responder?!?) or the FET, but felt it may be an egg quality issue. He does not think it’s a lining, autoimmune or a uterine environment issue. He, like RE#1, thought the next step was a lupron protocol and another fresh IVF.  During the ultrasound Dr. TAL ruled out endometriosis, confirmed that my egg reserve is ‘wonderful’ and declared my uterus ‘perfectly’ placed.

We walked out of the office wondering if everything is so wonderful, Dr. TAL, what’s wrong?!?

Next steps:

We’re getting a third opinion from Dr. Famous the first week in June. Dr. Famous has a different approach – more holistic and we’ve heard he either has an ‘aha’ moment – or doesn’t. If he doesn’t, he just recommends IUI after IUI. He also doesn’t take insurance.

(DH’s job just switched us to Cigna, which is apparently not taken by MANY New York-area doctors – awesome.)

And, I ordered the book Fully Fertile: A Holistic 12-Week Plan for Holistic Fertility from the owners of Pulling Down the Moon. I’m trying to figure out if there are other lifestyle things that I can change – like a focused daily yoga practice or dietary changes – that will help, since to date the diagnosis is still unexplained infertility. 

So, since we are at our lifetime ART limit and RMA doesn’t take our new health insurance, we’re at a crossroads. We could (perhaps) find the $20,000 or so needed for another fresh cycle. We could do a medicated FET (out-of-pocket) with the final two blasts in cryo at CRMI. Or, we could eschew Western medicine altogether and focus on TCM, herbs, massage and acupuncture.

All I know is that I am lucky to have a wonderful, supportive partner and that I ache, quite literally ache to be a mom.

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Monday blues

Heavy.

That’s how I am feeling.

It’s likely the looming onset of my least-favorite-relative again – or possibly the allergies that I am determined not to acknowledge.

But I feel heavy.

I’m trying to remain upbeat, but an aching back isn’t helping. We also got our annual 360 reviews at work today and while mine said some really wonderful and postive things, I am totally focused on the ‘needs improvement’ section. DH pointed out that even the negative feedback wasn’t particularly negative, but I can’t help but question why I am working so hard.

This week’s a busy one too – plans every night. We’re invited to friends’ new apartment for a weeknight BBQ on Thursday and I have a sinking feeling that they’ll be telling us that they are expecting.

Maybe I’ll start planning for a vacation. Right now we’ve been discussing Ireland, Morocco, Hawaii or a two-week cabin rental in Maine. As you can tell, we have no idea what kind of vacation we want. The official reason is to celebrate DH’s graduation from the executive MBA program he’s been in for the last 2 years, but the unofficial reason is that we are both sad and tired.

It’s cold again tonight, so I’m off to snuggle up in bed with a book. Thanks for indulging my Monday blues.

______

Oh, and a business question for you guys. I’m helping out my fabulous acupuncturist L. with a few PR ideas. She’d like to start a blog and I was brainstorming a few places that she could blog (in addition to her own Web site). Fertility Authority and BlogHer came to mind, but what else would you recommend?

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Not the best day of the year for us TTC eh?

Park Slope – my neighborhood in Brooklyn – might be one of the most difficult places to be on mother’s day for someone struggling with IF. When I walked to my spin class this morning the sidewalk was packed with fathers and adorable children buying flowers and bagels to take home. Then, when DH and I walked down the street to pick up the sandwich he ordered for lunch I swear (yes, IF glasses in full effect here) that every woman we passed was both pushing a stroller and pregnant.

Sigh.

So what am I doing today? Finishing a PR plan that I am writing for my fabulous acupuncturist L. She specializes in women’s health issues so I have been digging around Fertility Authority, Resolve and a few other sites as I flesh out some ideas for her. And, I just came across this great piece on “Infertility Etiquette” – which I loved. Not sure if I’ve mentioned that I grew up in the South and actually ‘graduated’ from a required etiquette course (which DH finds hilarious). The author did a nice job giving good advice that isn’t too harsh for me to share with our family members and few friends who know what we’re going through.

But in good news – I’m so excited for one of my most supportive commenters (dare I say blog friends?), Slice of Pie, on her exciting news!

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I have been a delinquent blogger – again.

But, here I am, on the road for work again – with some downtime in a hotel room in Pittsburgh. Watching a special on CNBC on Sears and enjoying some free wireless in bed – to catch up.

Not too much progress on the IF/TTC front, but next week’s a big one. We are going to see RE#2 for a long-overdue second opinion. Then, a few weeks later we’re headed to RE#3, Dr. Exclusive, for a third opinion.

In the meantime, I’m focusing on acupuncture, exercise, healthy eating … and contemplating the random pains I’m having in my lower abdomen. I’m a few days into the TWW, we definitely had well-timed sex and I’d love to be hopeful, but more likely that cyst (“nothing to worry about”) discovered during the FET is acting up.

Last week was my birthday and all I wanted to do was hang out at home, spend some time with DH and watch a few episodes of The Wire. Instead, my parents decided to come to town and then DH’s best friend stayed with us – so LOTS of hosting.

And finally, anyone see this article in the New York Times? On one hand, I am glad that there are brave women willing to help shed some light on how difficult conception really can be, but am extremely skeptical that it will do much to change overall opinions. The PR professional in me wonders what they are planning to do if none of the women conceive during the short ‘window’ of the series – especially if some have been through the ringer already with ART like the woman quoted in the article. Much like my thoughts on the “Giuliana & Bill” show – this one won’t be added to my limited TV/screen time any time soon.

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