Tag Archives: Dr. C

The 3T!

In my year of treatment with Dr. C, Dr. K and Dr. Awesome, I could never ever imagine what it might feel like to be pregnant. We were trying everything under the sun to start our family, but I couldn’t picture it actually happening. Now that I am here…..at 28 weeks and in the third trimester (!!!)…..there seriously are no words…..oh, my gosh…..I am so lucky and so grateful for this miracle I’m experiencing and for these babies who hubs and I love so very very very much.

I am thinking of all of my bloggie friends who are still in the trenches and hoping so very hard that the end to your suffering and the answer to your dreams is just around the corner. Please lord!

As you all know, I’m not much of  a pic poster. But I’m including a smattering of images from the past six months—proof that this is really happening. Because it’s seriously on the verge of incomprehensible how incredibly lucky and blessed we are. Apologies for the fuzz-tastic quality, these were taken on my phone. I pray with my whole heart and every cell in my being that they continue to grow big, healthy and strong and that we meet these babies when the time is right! Grow, babies, grow! We love you.


One perfect gestational sac. My heart practically burst with love. Thank you, Dr. Awesome!!!


Suddenly two sacs! Freaked out, thanked the lord, flew to Oregon for a long-planned vaca with hubs.


Finished the day we found out about Baby A and Baby B on a beach together in beautiful Oregon.


12-ish weeks. About to go on an EZ jog.



22-ish weeks.


25-ish weeks.


28 weeks. Yeah, I pretty much live in lululemon Groove pants apres work.


We hung stockings for sweet Baby A and Baby B this Christmas. This is my iPhone background. 🙂 We love you so so so so much sweet babies!!!

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I didn’t run my 10th marathon on 10-10-10

And I couldn’t be happier about it. 🙂

Yesterday, on the awesome date of 10-10-10, 45,000 runners woke up at the crack of dawn and raced 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon. I watched the elite athletes race on TV. Even if you are not into running, if you want to see the most inspiring, chills-inducing finish EVER, please watch this AWESOME video that shows the last mile or so of the men’s race (they run so fast it’s only a few minutes long). I was literally yelping so loudly from the living room that hubs had to come in to see what all of the racket was about. I got to meet Sammy Wanjiru last year for work—he’s the guy in red—and I heart him!! (Weird coincidence, the day I interviewed him was also the day I popped my first-ever Clomid pill.)

For the past 15 months I have been so careful about not over-extending my body and that has meant no racing and no long distance runs. (Except for a race over Memorial Day weekend, right after I found out IUI/injects 1.0 was a bust and I was on bench month because of a cyst.) This has honestly been pretty tough for me because I guess you could say I have always fallen back on races as life-preservers to get me through hard spots. I signed up for my very first marathon when I was a few months out of college….hubs was working insane 100+ hour weeks in his i-banking job in NYC and I was feeling lonely and lost in a new city. Answer: Find a goal, connect with the running community, dedicate myself to training and feel good about myself during a rough time. (It worked!)

Of course I have done plenty of races just for the fun of it, but I have repeated that recipe throughout my life. When we moved to Chicago three major things happened within the span of one month….we were plopped into a new city, I started a new job, and we got married. Whew! My answer to the stress: train for and run the Chicago Marathon, of course!

During infertility treatment, training would’ve been a great coping mechanism for the hormones and stress I was putting myself through. Based on my hormone levels—and the fact that I was not underweight or low on body fat or anything like that—neither Dr. C, nor Dr. K, nor Dr. Awesome said running caused my anovulation (that may forever be a mystery), but they all agreed I should relax on it during treatment. Running was exactly the opposite of what my body (physically) needed. And we wanted a baby so very very very badly that there was NO QUESTION I would chill the heck out and let my body rest up.

So I stopped training for stuff cold turkey. And as for plain old exercise, I stopped running hard, and long, and I ran less often.

Over the past year I have fielded a lot of questions from coworkers and friends about what race I’m gearing up for next. When a big part of your identity is as an active, sporty, race-running person, I guess that’s what happens. It would hurt my heart every time I’d give my “Actually, I’m taking some time off and running for fun for the joy of running!” response.

It was the truth, but still.

I told my bosses we are pregnant on Thursday morning (!!!) and gave them the green light to tell people at work (I am much too shy for that!). So the news slowly trickled around most of the office by the end of the week.

I think it’s pretty awesome that I was given the gift of feeling comfortable enough to tell people right before the marathon.

Now when someone asks me, “Did you race this weekend?” I can say, “Nope. I am pregnant!” I am so lucky and so very very grateful to be where I am today.

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It’s the same old song

Every morning, en route to my office, my bus drives right by Grant Park, a beautiful lakefront park in downtown Chicago. Hubs and I will be there baking under the steamy August sun this Sunday, as we are every first weekend in August, listening to our fave bands and discovering new ones at Lollapalooza.

This weekend is also the one-year anniversary of the first home pregnancy test I ever took. (I’ve only taken four since then, all because Clinic #1 required them.) It had been weeks and weeks since I’d been off birth control and while I was 90% sure I hadn’t ovulated and wasn’t pregnant (I’ve never ever ever had a symptom, remember?), I wanted to make absolutely sure before indulging in some beers at the the concert. I remember standing in my bathroom early that Saturday morning, hopping from one foot to the other, waiting to see. UP popped the control line, in a flash. And of course, that was all there was. One lonely line. Hubs gave me a hug, then I took a walk around my neighborhood and thought and thought about my next steps. I knew something was wrong.

I was fine afterwards, it wasn’t a shock or anything. But late that night, after a couple of beers were in my system, tears began rolling down my cheeks while hubs and I watched the Fleet Foxes play an aftershow at a bar. It was this endless well of emotion that I didn’t even know was inside me, and I was tapping it for the very first time.

I wish I could go back in time and give that woman a hug. She had NO idea what was in store for her and how tough her year would be. Provera. TSH test. Referred to RE. Consult with Dr. C. The Clomid bust months. The crazy-thin lining. The HSG. Second consult with Dr. C. The cysts. Consult with Dr. K. The hours and hours and hours of Googling.  The bench months. The early morning monitoring appointments. The blood draws. The canceled cycles. The injectables. The failed IUI. Consult with Dr. A. The second failed IUI. The third IUI. The jealousy. The fear. The anger. The regret. The frustration. The guilt. The shame. The heart-crushing longing to see two lines. So many tears.

And now I can’t help but wonder, as I look forward to my weekend at Lolla….do I need a hug now? The truth is, I STILL have idea what’s in store for me. Will I ever get to move forward, and leave this purgatory?

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A fly on the wall

There is a staging room at clinic #1 where women wait for their ultrasounds during early morning monitoring. While one woman is getting her u/s done, you are shown into the room, given a sheet, and then you undress and wait in a curtained off stall. The ultrasound room is riiiight next door so you can hear exactly how the woman in front of you is doing, where she is in her cycle, etc. Then she comes out, you get called back, and after she changes someone else is shown into the room to wait for her turn while your ultrasound is completed.

Today there was a couple in front of me, getting their “10 day” ultrasound. (Not to be confused with the VERY different CD10 ultrasound.) I sat on my little stool and tried everything under the sun to distract myself from hearing what was going on in that room….I played Wurdle, checked email, etc etc. But darnit if those walls aren’t as thin as paper…I could hear every single word. The congratulations and hugging between the u/s tech and the newly pregnant woman. The congratulations as Dr. C came in to do the u/s. The talk about symptoms (No spotting, great! Feeling nausea already, great sign! A little crampiness, perfectly normal!). The measurements (on sked). The lining (thick and healthy). The heartbeat (110bpm). The calculation of due date (February 22). More hugs and congratulations as she left the room. My eyes uncontrollably welled up with tears.

Bloggies, why in the world do I respond that way? I should feel hope that success was literally sitting a few feet from me. I should feel relief that clinic #1 is getting patients pregnant. This woman is a fellow infertile and lord only knows what horrible-ness she and her husband have suffered to get to this point. It’s not jealously. I think it’s mostly fear. Fear that I will never, ever know that joy and happiness. Fear that I’m too busted to ever conceive. Fear that I will never be pregnant. Fear about my lining. Fear about my egg quality. Fear about conception. Fear about implantation.

Fear that the closest I’ll ever be to a “10 day” ultrasound is the stool in the staging room.

*****

In, ahem, better news. My lining woke up over the weekend! He’s back up to 6mm. (Yeah, my lining is a “he,” go figure.) I even have some measureable follies! I’ve got one 12mm-er and a 10er on rightie. Leftie has four little guys clocking in at 10mm. My guess is we will continue my slooooow and steaaaaaady stimming protocol (37.5iu Luveris in the a.m., 75iu Gonal-F in the p.m.) and I’ll be injecting for a while longer. I am getting a little tired of the injections (I’m on my 11th day of stimming) and monitoring, but my lining could definitely use extra time to improve so I’m assuming it’s a blessing that I’m a slow responder.

Friday did open up Pandora’s Box with my lining weirdness. I had pretty decent control over my intense lining anxiety after I got up to 7.6mm last cycle, but Friday brought the dangers of thin lining back into the spotlight. I’m afraid I’ll lose a couple of millimeters again by the next monitoring appointment. Or that he’s maxed out at 6mm. I don’t feel confident or home free with my lining. Hubs suggested instead of going into “worry” mode, I try to embrace the good news when I get it. And it IS good news. Going from 3.6mm to 6.0mm in three days is awesome for me. Truly! I am very, very grateful today. Hopefully as the follies continue to grow I can fluff up even more.

*****

Dear woman in front of me in the u/s line this morning,

I am incredibly happy for you! The joy you and your husband expressed took my breath away. I have read about early pregnancy ultrasounds in blog-land, but the reality was even more special and miraculous than I had imagined. It was incredible to hear the intimate details of the miracle of life you are carrying. I wish you all the very best for a wonderful pregnancy.

Oh, one more thing. I hope and pray that you left me some baby dust in the staging room. 🙂

xoxo,

Egg

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The compromise

This post is too long and all over the place (aren’t you dying to read it now? haha), but so are my thoughts so here goes….

We had a great consult with Dr. Awesome at the new clinic yesterday morning. The only downer: I went into the appointment with the mentality that Dr. A was/is our new RE. Apparently hubs missed the memo….for him, it was an exploratory meeting.  Dr. A is smart and mellow and aggressive and honest and chillaxed and positive. I’m hyper and type-A and a little gloom & doom and prone to freakouts and Dr. A’s qualities are an antidote to my crazy. I am ready for a fresh start and some more urgency with my treatment.

Hubs really likes Dr. A, too, but he (hubs) is being all academic and reasonable about the decision to switch doctors. He feels like my reasons for wanting to switch are “emotional and reactionary.” Is that possible? Ummm, yes. But geeeeez. I have been with clinic #1 for 9 months and spent 6 of them sidelined. I took Clomid three times even though it wreaked such havoc on my lining that I couldn’t have supported a pregnancy even if we’d gotten an eggie to meet up with a swimmer. The word surrogacy was uttered at a very premature stage! So. Yeah. I’m over them. And I have been for a long time.

Here’s what I like about Dr. A, aside from his demeanor that exudes confidence/mellowness.

  • He does not automatically bench patients with cysts. He considers each one (size, number, whether or not they’re secreting E2) and then either 1) lets you cycle through it, 2) watches it with monitoring every 7 days so you can jump back in if it goes down, or 3) tries to get it to burst (and maybe even release an eggie if it’s a viable follie) with an HCG shot. For someone like me who is SO PRONE to cysts, this is a pretty huge deal. It would theoretically eliminate a lot of my bench time. (And my friendly cyst would NOT have benched me this month. Sigh. Another lost month.)
  • He does not cancel injection cycles for too many follies. He lets the patient decide when the multiples risk is too high. He might strongly recommend canceling, but ultimately it’s up to the patient.
  • He gives patients the option of converting to IVF if they produce too many follies during injects.
  • While he does not employ it often, he thinks I’m a good candidate for a “step up” protocol…which basically means he’s open to tweaking the injects dose to a higher level if the response isn’t great at a lower level. (Clinic #1, as a rule, only lowers the dose. To me that suggests cycles could be a bust, like when I was on too low a dose of Clomid?)
  • He is the only doctor at the clinic, which means that he is ALWAYS the one making the decisions about treatment. (It bothers me that Dr. K is “my” RE at clinic #1, but two other docs are often making the decisions when she’s teaching or not on call.)
  • He has the best IVF success rates in town.

Aside from those differences, his thoughts about my protocol are pretty similar to clinic #1. He’d stick with the Gonal-F, starting with a lower dose and potentially building over the course of stims. He’s not a big fan of the Luveris, and doesn’t think it’s a big deal that I have trace amounts of LH. So he’d probably nix that part of the stimming. He also wants to repeat hubs’s sperm analysis, because he didn’t love the morphology number from the one back in October. He has a test methodology he likes better than the one clinic #1 used, which will shed more light on that subject. (I really believe it will be fine.) If it turns out morphology is an issue, he’d recommend we move onto IVF sooner rather than later.

Whew! Right?

So, over dinner last night, we hashed out our course of action. We will move forward with all of the testing Dr. A has suggested. (A new SA for hubs, bloodwork for me, including a metabolic panel, androgens, AMH and re-testing my TSH.) While all of those tests are being run and the results come back and Dr. A tweaks our protocol, we will do one more IUI with Dr. K. Hubs feels like she has learned a lot about my body and we should give it one more shot. He reminds me that both of us were sick on IUI-day last time, and maybe this one will go better. Even Dr. A concedes that my last injects cycle “looked great,” so it’s not like we’re wasting a chance by sticking with clinic #1. Plus, hubs feels like it’ll be easier on me to go to them this month…because I know the monitoring drill, I know the nurses, etc etc. And if it doesn’t work, I can jump over to Dr. A on CD3 and potentially not have to be benched as long next cycle since he will manage my cyst differently.

As you all know, I’m ready to pull the plug with clinic #1 rightthisverysecond, but I have been convinced that hubs does have valid points. Plus, it could take a little while for hubs’s SA results to come back and I’d like to move into the next cycle ASAP. It might take a couple more weeks to get the ball rolling at clinic #2. When you’ve been on the bench as much as I have, waiting a couple more weeks is just….ouch.

What do you think? Would you be frustrated that we’re not doing IUI #2 with Dr. A? Or do you see the benefits of sticking with Dr. K for one more go-round? And, isn’t it fun how my TTC life is finally heating up a little? 🙂

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It didn’t work

There will be no cinematic, beginners-luck, image-of-a-positive-HPT, how-I-told-hubs finale to this cycle, dear bloggies. I guess I knew it in my heart of hearts when NOTHING felt even slightly different in me as the days ticked by during the 2ww. Still, one little line is a sad sight.

I think we’ll have a forced break in June, because of yet another wedding trip. (Gah!) Now that I’m stopping the prog supps, my period would have to show up by the weekend (and I’d have to be cyst-free, what are the chances with my history?!) for us to squeeze in another cycle before we leave town on June 18 (fyi, I didn’t IUI until CD17 of this cycle, and Dr. K wants to lower my dosage next time).

So, we will try again as soon as we can. And keep our fingers crossed that I just fell on the wrong side of the coin toss this month. That someday I WILL see two lines. In the meantime, I’m booking a consult with APlusB’s Dr. Awesome in June. My clinic has subpar IVF rates and his are the best in our area; we want to meet with him to begin exploring our options if we need to go that route. Maybe we’ll even do our next injects cycle with him. It might be time for a fresh start with a new clinic.

Positives of this cycle

1. My lining kicked ass! We have come so far from the dark Clomid days when Dr. C was talking about a surrogate.

2. I totally responded to the Gonal-F. More slowly than some folks, sure, but I did get a mature follie.

3. As always, hubs has great swimmers and for that we are very, very grateful.

4. We didn’t get canceled!

5. We made it to IUI-land for the first time!

Room for improvement

1. I would love to see my lining get past 8mm.

2. We had one mature follie this month. Next time it would be awesome to have two or three or four legitimately mature follies before triggering.

3. Hubs and I were both sick with colds on IUI day (him especially, poor guy). I sniffled and sneezed my way through the first week of the 2ww. Feeling 100% healthy would be great next time.

4. We traveled 9DPO and 11DPO; hopefully next cycle falls during a more chill, stay-at-home time in our lives.

5. I probably won’t go running during my next 2ww. I doubt it messed up anything, but the fact that I’m even writing this means I’m not 110% convinced it was okay.

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Slow & steady

CD12 monitoring update! One rightie follie at 14mm and two lefties at 13mm. And a bunch of 10mm-ers have entered the scene. (Gulp! stay chill and let the leaders continue maturing, little ones!) My lining apparently got a big head from all the praise he received on Wednesday. (Yes, my lining is a “he.” I don’t know why either!) He’s up to 6.4mm, which isn’t much fluffing over two days….but it’s in the right direction and I will not be greedy about this. I am thankful for any lining at all.

My follies are taking their time, but I am very happy with their progress. Dr. C and Dr. K want me to be a slooow and steaaady stimmer and that’s exactly what’s happening. There a dozen cliched analogies I’ve considered that keep me positive about the way I’m being stimmed. You know, like how people who start out too fast in marathons are the ones who bonk and hit the wall at mile 17; it’s the folks who pace themselves carefully who arrive running through the finish line with smiles on their faces. Or how cookies that are baked in a too-hot oven are the ones that are burnt on the top and cold and squishy inside. Much better to cook them evenly and all the way through. Right? RIGHT!

Now that I have some follie action, I would really like to get to IUI land. There. I said it. (I hope that doesn’t jinx me.)

Okay, so even though I think about my uterine lining and ovaries nine out of every 10 minutes (can you imagine me if I ever manage to make it to a 2ww?!), there are other things happening in my world. Dinners with friends, a ton of cool projects at work, a cocktail party on Saturday night, errands this weekend (noooo freelancing, yip!), house stuff, yada yada. And here is my latest and most favorite distraction, my new background music while commuting:

I’ve mentioned before how hubs makes me two CDs filled with tunes and artists I don’t already know for Christmas every year. Josh Ritter is one of those artists that made it onto a CD a couple years ago, and he just came out with a new album, called So Runs the World Away. I am totally digging the song “Change of Time.” Buy it on iTunes, you will not be disappointed!

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