Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fortunes



 I couldn't have said it better.

It is an extraordinarily long journey but we are so fortunate to blessed with the BEST of company. Thank you for sharing both our highs and our lows and for the unending support through it all. We are one lucky couple!

Celebrating our incredible good fortune!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Betas

I lied. Sometimes they are the best...

103

494

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Preparing for the Worst...



... But Hoping for the Best!!!



Following our transfer(s) last week we received our beta testing date. Our clinic informed us that the all important email would be sent... drum roll please... 11 days past our FET a/k/a a Monday!

Oh geez. Not sure if this date was going to work for me. I began to mull it over:

First, it's 11 days past a transfer of embryos frozen on day 3. This means that if we get a low beta, it could be a low beta because it's still very early OR it could be a low beta because we're the victims of yet another chemical pregnancy. Last transfer, one of our surrogates started out with a beta in her 20s (12 days past transfer). It was torture. Not because I actually had hope that it was going to miraculously double/triple/quadruple into a viable pregnancy, but, simply, because it causes a huge source of tension between Duane and I as we await the second beta 48 hours later.

Duane is the eternal optimist. And I get it. He likes to think that we'll be that 1 in a million couple that goes on to have a healthy pregnancy despite a low beta. You know, that one couple that EVERY desperate mommy-wanna-be who's ever googled "low beta results in successful pregnancy" comes across on the internet and thinks, hey, if it can happen to her then it can totally happen to me!

I know better. And I'm over it. Way over it. I've  tried to recall how many times I've done the beta tests (both to check if their doubling, and worse yet, to ensure that they are decreasing all the way to zero after a confirmed chemical or miscarriage). And you know what's sad? I can't. So many freakin' times, that I've actually lost count.

Which of course rustles up some of my fondest infertility memories revolving around The Beta Tests.  Every freakin' time, the same old drill. Phone call that I've got a low beta. Get a lab slip to have it tested two days later. Walk into lab. Wait for an hour in a cramped waiting room with about 500 visibly pregnant women. Same receptionist (who I LOATHE) is on duty. Asks me 10 times if I'm sure I've been here in the last 5 months because she's unable to locate me in the system. Yes, Loathsome Lady, I swear I was JUST here for the SAME EXACT THING 2 months ago! (Hoping perhaps that now that I am raising my voice it will jog her memory.) It doesn't. Well, I'm sorry Miss, I just can't find you in the system. Would you mind filling out about 200 pages worth of paperwork? Yes, I would ABSOLUTELY mind filling out about 200 pages worth of paperwork WHEN I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT I'M IN YOUR STUPID SYSTEM!!! Hmmm, well I'm just not seeing you. Can you tell me what you're here for? In my best about to lose it voice-- Loathsome Lady, I am here for an HCG test. An HCG test? Oh wow! You mean a pregnancy test! Congratulations! And at this point I just dissolve into tears. Every time. And Loathsome Lady is confused, and the 500 visibly pregnant women are confused, and me? I'm just sad. I'm just angry. I'm just speechless. Because I'm just infertile...

On top of this, Monday betas are THE WORST. (Funny how after all these years the tests have NEVER fallen on a weekend. Go figure.) Anyways, regardless of when I receive The News, I still have to stoically finish out my work week, concentrating on no less than one hundred other non-pregnancy related tasks-- which, quite frankly, is impossible. (And although I've never experienced it, I would imagine that if we receive GOOD NEWS-- which we are please, please hoping that we FINALLY will-- I would still be encumbered with the same completely distracted unable to concentrate on anything else for the rest of the week thoughts. So, in sum, the shorter the span of time between The News and The Weekend... The Better.

Which is why I ultimately asked our clinic to email me at 14 days past transfer. I cannot deal with the maybes and I am hoping to accomplish an entire week's worth of work prior to that date. Of course, we are desperately hoping that there will be no "maybe" issues to deal with (because we just so happen to have an amazingly high beta), AND that the ONLY reason I'm unable to focus on Thursday and Friday is a result of a little too much champagne the night before. It is sad that at This Point-- 8 cycles, 7 transfers, 6 REs, 5 miscarriages, 4 surrogates, 3 donors, 2 countries and well, we're still hoping for that 1 baby-- we find it necessary to Prepare for the Worst, so that the rest of Life does not crumble alongside our beta results. Nevertheless, we are STILL, simultaneously,

 HOPING FOR THE BEST!!!







Sunday, September 18, 2011

Channeling My Inner Orange White and Green

Miss me? For some reason, these past two weeks I have had a severe case of blogger's block! That, combined with TOTAL UTTER EXHAUSTION from the new job has left me drafting half-sentences each night, which by the time I return to finish them are so 48 hours ago! And seeing as life seems to be moving at the speed of light lately, well, nothing but an up to the minute post will do. So here goes:

Our FET has commenced!

Wednesday, I arrived home from work and was greeted with this:



The arrival of... our surrogate contracts!!! (Note the unseasonably bright red leaf lying next to them-- definitely a good omen!)

Yes, I said contract(s)-- once again we are going to optimize our chances by transferring to two surrogates. Funny how last time we announced this we received a WHOLE lot of "you guys are SO coming back with a baseball team." Nobody could understand how in OUR minds, we were still just praying that one would stick. Unfortunately, I think we have officially proved that we have the WORST LUCK EVER when it comes to this baby-making stuff, so yeah, we're going with two surrogates-- again.

So we received our contracts, and all along I had been anticipating that the sign-and-ship experience would be far LESS stressful than the on-location experience. Wrong. Why? Because signing an Indian contract in India is easy. Take the contract out of India, and put it on my American dining room table, and suddenly things seem a WHOLE LOT more complicated. A brief comparison of the two experiences:

On Location (in India):

Our surrogate contract signing/meeting was scheduled for 4 days prior to our egg donor's egg collection. If you recall, I had a really difficult time selecting our surrogates, and ultimately, asked Duane to select one and Dr. S to select the other. So on the day of our arranged contract signing, our cab pulls up to the clinic, and we are told that no, our signing will not take place today because Dr. S. is still contemplating changing one of our surrogates (we didn't have a cell phone so we didn't find out until we got there). Our reaction? Hmmm, what should we eat for dinner? Seriously. Not. concerned. one. bit.

Roughly 24 hours prior to our egg collection, we finally found out the identity of our second surrogate. We traveled to our clinic again and were told that this time the clinic's lawyer was stuck in traffic (imagine that-- traffic? in Delhi?) but could be available by phone if we needed him. Once again, we were totally unfazed. No problem. Who needs a lawyer present when you're signing surrogate contracts?

Sure there were a few wrenches but it was so easy not to worry in India. Amidst all the craziness and chaos of Delhi, there is an inexplicable feeling of peace. We were doing things the Indian way, and because we were in India, it just felt right.

At the Dining Room Table (in America):

Two contracts. We've done it before. Pick up the pen and sign. I can't. I've just arrived home from an incredibly long day of work where the misplacement of a comma could mean tens of thousands of dollars. A very stressful day. With quite a bit of yelling and some seriously tight deadlines. Suddenly I'm dying to whip out my red pen. Why does one of our surrogates only have one name? And why has one of our surrogate's husband's not signed yet? And why, do all the phrases that made me giggle the first time around (i.e. "we are on the look out for a surrogate") now leave me wanting to rewrite the whole darn thing? Not to mention the fact that it is 48 hours prior to our FET and from my calculations, physically impossible to have theses contracts signed, sealed and delivered before it takes place. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Deep breaths please!

I attempt to channel my inner Orange White and Green. And it's hard. Really hard. Why? Because I'm sitting at my dining room table in America! And America is NOT India. America is stress. And my job in the legal profession is stress. And placing those Indian contracts smack in the middle of my American life? Well, now those contracts equal stress as well.

For the record, there are certain villages in India where the wife goes by her husband's first name (i.e. the surrogate will not have a surname), DHL will get a package from Maryland to India in 72 hours, and our wonderful clinic is equally adept at providing assurances via email as it is in person.

Nevertheless, it just wasn't the same...

I've said it a million times since we've been home. I miss India. I miss the people, I miss the temples, and more than anything, I miss how I felt when I was there. I truly hope I get to experience it again.


I truly hope we'll have a reason to return!






Monday, September 5, 2011

Rebound Cycling

Rebound cycling [v. ree-bound sahy-kling]

A rebound is an undefined period following the failure of an IVF cycle. The term's use dates to at least the 2011s, when Bernadette and Duane wrote of "nothing so easy as catching Intended Parents on the rebound". The term may also refer to a subsequent cycle that a person has during the rebound period, or to the Intended Parents in such a cycle.

Intended parents who are "on the rebound," or have recently completed an unsuccessful IVF cycle, are popularly believed to be psychologically incapable of making reasonable decisions regarding subsequent cycles due to emotional neediness, lingering feelings towards the old embryos, or unresolved problems from the previous cycle. Rebound cycles are believed to be unpredictable due to Intended Parents' emotional instability and desire to distract themselves from a painful prior cycle, and those emerging from expensive third party reproduction cycles are often advised to avoid subsequent cycles until their depleted bank accounts have been replenished.

Related verbs
1. Rebound (dating)

Hi all! Guess who's found a new love? That's right--

we are officially a couple on the rebound!

Though our hearts are  mid-mend and our tears still mid-dry, we've decided to "take a chance" on our frozen embryos. We are already convinced that they are "the one(s)," and hopefully, not foolishly, falling in love. We have quickly dismissed the "what could have beens," as we revel in new thoughts of the "what will hopefully bes." And we pray that our dreams of our new long term love, are not those of distractions cloaked in disguise.

As a couple on the rebound we are gambling with our hearts and clinging to the hope that this time we will win...



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Losing the Weight

So I have to give myself a pat on the back for how quickly I dug myself out of the black hole called Last Week. I fell hard but I got up quicker. Could it be that I'm becoming an expert? Ughhhhhh. Really hope not. This is one area of my life in which I'd prefer to remain a novice.

Anyways, even though I am slowly seeing the light again, I am not quite feeling it yet.

Which is why I have challenged myself...

to get into the best mental shape of my life!

Yep, that's right, I said mental shape. And I'm not talking about enriching my brain by reading a book a day-- I did plenty of that in law school. What I mean, is, I am making it my mission to lose the mental weight I've acquired over the past three years and... get this...

Really Start Enjoying Life Again! 

I know, sounds crazy right? What with recent events and  the holidays approaching (a time when us infertility sufferers' minds are ALWAYS at their heaviest) my weight loss goal probably seems a bit lofty. But trust me, when I make my mind up that I am going to do something... I DO IT.

And while I haven't exactly fine-tuned the weight loss plan yet, I read somewhere that it helps to post motivational pictures of yourself at the weight you'd like to be. So here goes, Me at My Lightest Mental Weight Ever...

Seconds after Duane proposed to me (babies were the farthest thing from my mind)

On vacation in Disney World and actually having fun?!?! (i.e. not stressed and panicked that I am surrounded by children...thousands of them... and that I might very well be the only adult present who doesn't have any of her own)
What's that I'm drinking? Alcohol... AND... Caffeine... with no worries that I am poisoning my ovaries, increasing my risk of miscarriage or damning myself to a lonely, childless, adulthood???


Yep, those were the good old days-- back when I could go anywhere and do anything without gaining an ounce! Anyways, I realize that I may never be as light as I used to be, but you can't blame a girl for trying. Just looking at these pictures has given me some major motivation to start shedding that weight! I'll keep you posted on the progress... with a three day weekend approaching, I believe I may be off to a very good start!