Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Technique: Positive Thinking

Forgive me for not remembering, but someone mentioned their doctor recommended they should imagine themselves being pregnant for 5 minutes each day. I've since added that into our nightly routine.

Every night after we get ourselves ready for bed, we spend some quality cuddle time with Nina and Billy. They sometimes are cuddling with each other in the same bed, but as of lately, Nina snuggles into a little (or big) ball on a chair and Billy curls himself into his 90 lb ball on one of their beds.

While cuddling and loving the dogs we now talk about what we look forward to if/when we find out I'm pregnant.

Night 1

Me: The first time Mike is able to feel the baby kick

Mike: Rubbing my belly knowing there is a baby in there

Night 2 (we must have been really tired because these are both pretty weak)

Me: Not having to each sandwiches every day for lunch - I'm so sick of lunch meat

Mike: Changing my ring tone to Rock-a-Bye Baby

I will try to keep the list running, hopefully, one of these days we will be able to experience it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Excuse me, I'd like off this roller coaster now

I've been a terrible blogger. Part of that is from the holiday rush and busy work schedule, but I also think its because I just haven't felt like myself lately. I'm very emotional and am having a hard time finding balance before things change again.

What was supposed to be a one-cycle break between IVF cycles turned into two cycles. Just when I accepted that I went in for my annual pap and it came back abnormal. I went in for my colposcopy/biopsy on 12/23.

Dr. D. said he would continue with our plan providing the results come back okay and not needing further treatment (LEEP procedure). I'm pretty much on pins and needles until Wednesday.

I did start birth control pills on 12/25 (Merry Christmas) for 10 days leading up the Lupron. I'm hoping and praying that the biopsy comes back normal so we can proceed. I go in on Thursday for a mock transfer and for Mike to freeze some sperm. Sounds like a fun New Years Eve, doesn't it?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor

First off, I've been a bad blogger. A few days after I met with the new RE, he called me for two reasons. One: he requested I meet with a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) doctor due to my history of polymyocitis, an autoimmune disease and my hypothyroid. Two: he suggested we meet with a genetic counselor due to my family history of colon cancer.

After lots of thought and several heart-to-hearts with Mike, we decided we would not go through with the genetic counseling for the cancer. This was a hard decision as my mother is in remission from colon cancer and I lost a wonderful cousin to colo-rectal cancer at the young age of 36. There were a couple factors that played into our decision, the most major being with my low AFC we weren't all too confident that we'd ever get enough eggs to have the luxury of knowing and selecting the best and healthiest eggs.

We did, however, decide to meet with a MFM and did so this morning. He informed us of all the things that could be associated with autoimmune diseases like gestational diabetes, increased chance of miscarriage and heart development issues in the fetus. He recommended a blood test to check and see if I'm a carrier of two genes that are tied to the fetus heart development issues.

We also talked about my hypothyroid diagnosis and he also mentioned if the thyroid is not regulated properly it increases your chance for a miscarriage. He therefore recommended that as soon as I find out I'm pregnant, I should double my synthroid and get in for blood work right away.

Because of both of my health concerns he said he would recommend a lot of ultrasounds and tests once I actually am pregnant and overall felt confident that I would be able to have a normal and healthy pregnancy.

Mike and I were both happy with him and they way he explained things. He really wanted us to understand the concerns and his recommendations. Essentially what he is doing is laying out my care plan for when I do become pregnant and sharing that with my RE. Its nice to feel like they are looking out for me and our baby.

I am expecting my period any day now and then will go see Dr. D for blood work and the dildocam. We are both excited to get the show on the road for IVF #2.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Renewed Sense of Hope

Yesterday evening we had a consultation with a different clinic in our area. I'm so glad Michael pushed me into making and keeping the appointment. Although not as geographically convenient, Dr. D. and his nurse were light years ahead of the last clinic in terms of compassion, knowledge and personality.

Dr. D, who closely resembles Harold Ramis as Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (yes, I had to Google that), actually has 10 month old twins born from IVF so clearly he understands the emotional roller coaster of infertility.

He reviewed our records and had the same major question we did, why didn't Dr. K increase my stims mid cycle? Dr. D was not only concerned about Mike's low motility, morph and testosterone, but also his volume is low so in turn his count is low too.

Dr. D also expressed some concern over my elevated FSH of 10.7 (follicle stimulation hormone). He really likes to see it at least below 9. He also said my AFC of 9 (antral follicle count) wasn't where it should be for my age which could be Decreased Ovarian Reserve. Thankfully, he did a dildo cam ultrasound and counted 13 antral follicles. He mentioned, it will likely be higher but since I've been on birth control for 2 weeks my ovaries are suppressed. Dr. D also mentioned my AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) number is normal.

I got a little worked up when he was talking about decreased ovarian reserve and Dr. D calmed my nerves saying all labs read things slightly different and the numbers they get could be different. I definitely felt much better after the ultrasound and hope when I go back for CD3 blood work my FSH will fall into the normal range too.

Overall, he said they would do the Microdose Lupron protocol and not have me on BCP for more than 10 days for risk of over-suppression. He said they will also be very aggressive with the stimulation. They would also do ICSI and he feels overall our embryos have a better chance in their lab as they are very 'type A' about every detail. Dr. D's words, not mine.

My next steps include stopping the BCP and waiting for my next period to go in for CD3 blood work and ultrasound and moving on from there.

I'm so glad we got a second opinion and Michael and I both have a new sense of hope. We can only pray this cycle works and brings us a little miracle.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hello IVF #2

The last 12 days have been a living hell. IVF on its own is a roller coaster of emotions, but IVF with no embryos to transfer is a whole new mind game.

Its like a grieving process, you go through second guessing everything, finding someone/something to blame, self diagnosis and research and then finally acceptance. Google is like the little devil that sits on your shoulder and tells you to "just Google one more thing".

At times I wasn't sure who was having a harder time dealing with this, although we both dealt with it in different ways. Michael had the Google devil on his shoulder while I cried a lot. I found a lot of comfort with the girls on the Infertility discussion board on the Bump. I believe Michael found his comfort in research.

On Tuesday we went to see Dr. K for our WTF appointment - as in what the fuck happened. He addressed all our concerns without us really needing to ask. Since he's been doing this for 20+ years I'm sure he knew what would have been asked.

Essentially, it boils down to my medication doses. I'm considered a poor responder and I wasn't stimulated enough. They thought I would have had more mature eggs at retrieval. He didn't see a need to do any further testing at this time because he thinks if he ups my doses the next time I will have more mature eggs and more to fertilize that will make it to transfer. He seemed confident he'd have me pregnant by Christmas.

As part of our grieving and the Google Devil, we also looked into a couple other clinics. We've agonized over whether or not to switch clinics for at least a full week. In the end, we've decided we would have a consult with the new doctor but in the meantime, I'm starting my BCP for my second IVF.

I finally feel like the grieving, anxiety and tension are behind us and we can move ahead. We should have a good weekend. I have a hair appointment followed by Notre Dame football game and then a birthday party for a friend on Saturday. Sunday should be our normal routine - Mendards and the grocery store.

Blog Awards

1. You Can Only Use One Word!
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Survey~
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? caring
4. Your father? FrankieJ
5. Your favorite food? shrimp
6. Your dream last night? blur
7. Your favorite drink? water
8. Your dream/goal? Baby
9. What room are you in? cube
10. Your hobby? scuba
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Mother
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? shy
15. Muffins? pumpkin
16. Wish list item? maid
17. Where did you grow up? Illinois
18. Last thing you did? coffee
19. What are you wearing? earings
20. Your TV? Samsung
21. Your pets? Dogs
22. Friends? Awesome
23. Your life? STRESSFUL
24. Your mood? Tired
25. Missing someone? Michelle
26. Vehicle? Ford
27. Something you’re not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store?
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? Michael
33. One place that I go to over and over? Work
34. One person who emails me regularly? Marcia
35. Favorite place to eat? Kaminari

Bloggers I want to past this award on to:
Some Womb Thoughts
MyIVF Reality
Thoughts from an Overwrought Mind
JME's World

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I'd really like to know if the embryologist got to tell my embryos I love them. I will never get that chance. They never even got the chance to come back to me. They didn't make it. The one stopped dividing, never made it past a two-cell embryo. The other kept fragmenting. I don't even know what to say I just wanted a chance and its gone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Transfer Cancelled

I cannot believe this happening. About 15 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the embryo transfer I get a call from one of the embryologist at Dr. K's. She tells me the embryos aren't ready for transfer. WHAT? Of the two that fertilized one is progressing slowly, it should be a four cell embryo by now, but its only a two cell. The other one has fragmented. She said it could be fragmenting to get rid of the bad cells and still turn around. She made it perfectly clear that she is not telling me they are not viable, she is waiting for the embryos to tell her if they are viable or not. Must be nice to be able to talk to embryos - please tell them I love them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Embryo Transfer Tomorrow

So after sitting on pins and needles since yesterday, I got a call at work from the nurse at Dr. K's office saying she had some good news. Our two embryos are doing very good and ready for a 3 day transfer tomorrow. She said we'd have the opportunity to sit down and talk to embryology to discuss the other eggs/embryos. I will keep praying that these two transfer back, snuggle in and make themselves at home.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Only 2 Fertilized

I just got the call this morning that only 2 of the 7 eggs retrieved yesterday were fertilized. We are beyond disappointed and hope those 2 make to transfer. When I spoke to the nurse this morning she thought it would be a 3 day transfer, meaning Tuesday. I'm heartbroken.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Egg Retrieval This Morning

After 13 days of stims, many trips to Dr. K's for ultrasound and blood monitoring, I finally got the green light to trigger on Thursday night for Saturday retrieval. My stomach has enough welts and bruises and I'm emotionally drained.

Mike administered my Novarel trigger injection at exactly 9 pm on Thursday night. The shot itself didn't hurt, but I woke up several times throughout the night because I was laying on my stomach and the injection site was sore. By sore I mean, sensitive to the touch, even the water in the shower, hurt.

On Friday I was wearing my new pair of 7 jeans that I scored for a deal on RueLaLa. Boy was that a mistake. They hit me a bit higher on the waist for 8 hours I cursed myself for wearing them. Although they looked wonderful with my red patent leather Enzo pumps. The price we must pay to look cute.

Based on my last ultrasound on Thursday morning - early morning - 6:30 early morning, they saw 9 follicles, four of which were already mature and they figured after a couple more days and the trigger a couple more would catch up. I told Mike I was convinced somehow we would end back up at 7.

Saturday morning the dogs got up about 5 am for breakfast and to go potty. Mike got up with them, had a couple of left over pieces of pizza and came back to bed. I'm always hungry when I first wake up, however due to the ER this morning, I wasn't able to eat or drink after midnight. As gross as it sounds, Mike came back to bed with pizza breath and it made me even more hungry. Dare I say, it smelled good?!?

We slept for another couple hours before getting up and getting ready. Mike was lucky enough to be able to produce his semen sample at home. Once he was done, we hopped in the car and headed to Dr. K's. This was the first trip I've been on with Mike and his semen and I've never seen him drive that fast with so much fury and frustration for red lights and slow drivers.

We arrived at the office and after the poky receptionist checked us in, our nurse Janet took us back to the embryology lab for the procedure. Because I've had so many surgeries throughout my life, I'm hyper-sensitive to smells and sounds in medical settings. I thought I was going to pass out and all I had to do was sign the consent form. After 'emptying my bladder' and changing into my gown, booties and hat I was transferred into the pre-op room where they started my IV. Mike and I sat there quietly holding hands for a while until it was time.

At 9:05 am I kissed Michael goodbye and headed into the procedure room and just about lost it. I told Terrence, the anesthesiologist he needed to put me out and the sooner the better. He took my instructions, quickly put the blood pressure cuff on my right arm, the oxygen monitor on my left index finger and the heart monitors on my chest and said he was giving the good stuff.

After it was over, they brought me back to the pre-op, or now post-op room and Mike was sitting there reading the newspaper and happy to see me. He said he heard me laughing and then crying as I was being transported back to his company. I have no idea why I was laughing or crying for that matter. I continued to cry for a few minutes longer before realizing I really had no idea why I was emotional, so I stopped. Then I realized I had the hiccups.

After dozing on and off for a few minutes I started to come back to reality. Terrence brought me some water, extra strength Tylenol and some animal crackers and let me tell you, those were the best damn animal crackers I've ever eaten. They were so good Mike ate like half of them and had to sneak up to get a refill.

Soon enough I was getting dressed and being wheeled out to the car. On the way home, we did all our normal Saturday morning errands, with the addition of getting more dog food. I of course waited in the car.

I've been home for a couple hours, watched two movies (Coyote Ugly and Something About Mary) and have taken a nice little nap. Its now time for the Notre Dame game so I will go snuggle on the couch with Mike and eat some left over pizza, if there is any left and tonight I will be sure to say a little prayer tonight for my 7 eggs.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Number Seven

Why is 7 a lucky number? I'm not a gambler, but I know all about the lucky 7's in Vegas. I also happen to identify with the number 7. I was born on the 7th day of December. I was married in the 7th month of the year. All of my online usernames and most of my passwords somewhere somehow contain the number 7. I'm suddenly starting to feel a little OCD.

Yesterday I went back to Dr. K's office for another dildo cam ultrasound and blood work. I bet you'll never guess how many follicles they saw - that's right - 7. Four follicles on my left and three on my right. I'm not good with math, but I can add those numbers on my fingers. All measuring between 6 and 8 mm. The nurse that was all up in my business said the measurements were good as they like to see them all roughly the same size.

Later that day I got my results and was instructed to stop with the Lupron injections. I'm still not entirely sure why and have been playing phone tag with the nurse. According to my original plan, the one lovingly laid out day-by-day on my color coded calendar thanks to my spectacular husband, tells me I'm supposed to be on Lupron until I trigger the release of all my eggs. So of course that gets me wondering. Could it be that:

a) I'm responding so well that I can stop the Lupron because they are going to trigger me soon and I don't need to be on the Lupron anymore.

b) I'm not respsonding well so they are taking me off the Lupron and hope that I will get more follicles faster without the Lupron.

So as I wait by the phone for the nurse to call me back, I can't help but be distracted from my daily life and hope that those 7's really pull through.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving Right Along - Starting Stims Tomorrow

My last post was all about the turtle of a month September has been. I suddenly feel like the turtle turned into a cheetah. And not just any cheetah, its more like Chester the Cheetos Cheetah. I feel like I have a ball of energy rolling around inside me and I'm ready to explode. It's like being a little kid and waiting for Christmas. I'm just hoping I actually have a present on Christmas morning.

I went to my baseline appointment at the fertility clinic yesterday morning. I had an internal ultrasound - gotta love the dildo cam gettin' all up in my business and yet again some more blood work. I got a little concerned when they said my left ovary wasn't producing any follicles yet but I was reassured today when they told me to start my next phase of the journey tomorrow.

Because one shot per day is not enough for an irriational shot fearing gal like myself, I now get three each day. Its now time to start stimulating egg production. Rock on! I've always wanted to be an egg factory. Actually, in all honesty, I want to produce as many damn eggs as possible.

Get ready Mikey, time to start the Menopur and Gonal-F injections. Let's see how much more of a whinney little girl I can turn into. Hopefully, these two additional injections won't hurt any worse than the Lupron and lucky for me, Mike hasn't damaged any more needles. He's turned into quite the little sexy man-nurse and delivers a mean shot. By 'mean' I mean not painful and could be a professional. That's my boy!

So this cheetah of a month is moving right along. I go back on Wednesday for another set of blood work and dildo cam ultrasound. Then my estimated egg retrieval and transfer is the week of 9/27. Woot, woot!

And I'm still praying I have a little package under the tree on Christmas morning.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Longest September EVER

This month is dragging along. Perhaps because I reference my wonderful color coded calendar lovingly made by Mike every day and see the week of 9/27 is my estimated date of egg retrieval.

I've been on the same routine for a week now. 10 units of Lupron every evening. Although I'm not ready for another shot, I am ready for the next step. I think it would make me feel like we are progressing.

When I think about our IVF teach session and how overwhelmed I was, its really quite silly. So far, things are pretty easy. Its just a routine that changes every week. Almost like a workout routine. You do the same exercises for a week before you increase and/or add on. This is the same thing. Plus, I'm lucky enough to have a personal trainer AKA personal nurse AKA husband.

Mike actually did start out as a nursing major, which could explain why he is not only good at administering shots, but also enjoys it. This picture might scare some people, but I look at it two ways - 1) if he is giving me the shots, I don't have to do it and 2) at least he looks happy.

Mike does a good job keeping me on schedule for my injections. Each night around 7 pm we make the family (Nina and Billy always come too) trek up to our master bathroom. I lift up my shirt, plop down on the counter, lean up against the corner where the mirror meets the wall, grasp the edge of the counter with my left hand and tightly hold the faucet with my right hand (overly dramatic, I know). Mike rubs my stomach with the alcohol pad (this is when I become queasy), loads up the syringe (this is when I become light headed) and comes at me with that goofy smile. A second later, I feel a little burn from the Lupron, my stomach gets red and we head downstairs to watch a little TV and eat dinner. Its become second nature and as long as the other injections are just as painless, I'm sure I will make it through the next month just fine.

Its the thought of having to do this all over again that kills me. I just hope and pray that this is a one and done and if for some reason its not, I hope we have enough to freeze so we can try again. I really don't want to have to go through this whole process again. It just seems so long and drawn out. I think I will start recruiting people to pray for us. I've always heard God works in mysterious ways, maybe this is his way. I'm not big on praying, but I'm about to start.

Dear God. Please keep me healthy and sane. Allow my body to produce a boat load of eggs so they can all be fertilized with Mike's strong healthy sperm. Allow the embryos to grow and develop and for two to be transferred. Allow at least one to implant, two would be good too, but I really don't want one of them to split (triplets scare the crap out of me). Allow me to carry a healthy baby to term. If you do all this for me God, I will promise to baptize the baby and take him/her to church and Sunday school. Amen (or if you want me to sing it, ah-ah-ah-men).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Wonderful Labor Day Weekend

I love long weekends! It started off great with a short day on Friday, took a nice long walk with Mike, Nina and Billy (picture from our last family vacation. Nina is the one that looks like she is being held against her will.) and took my last BCP.

I've really come to enjoy the walks we've been taking and I'm not really what changed. It was always a chore to walk the dogs - the last thing I wanted to do when I'd get home from work. Now, I cherish the quality time with Mike and the dogs. I'm even seriously considering getting some fitness walkers like Skeckers or Reebok- you know, the ones that tone as you walk. Especially since we've been walking them a lot more and for a longer distance.

Saturday Mike and I ran our typical errands, coffee, cleaners, post office, Menard's and grocery store (always in that order). Saturday afternoon we watched the Notre Dame football game - usually not my favorite activity, but I happened to enjoy watching the game with Mike and am really starting to understand it and recognize the players. Again, it was some nice quality time. Saturday night we went out with our friends/neighbors to a couple local bars. It was beautiful outside, a little on the cool side, but perfect for the beer gardens.

On Sunday I had to attend a work function. It was okay, but I would have much rather been at home. We did end up ordering take out from a local Mexican restaurant. I order the delicious shrimp enchiladas suizas and was craving some guacamole.

Monday we didn't leave the house at all. Mike got it in his head that we should finish the basement because our kids are going to need some place to play. I have been saying this for the past 3 years. But suddenly, it was his idea and needs to be started right away so we drew up the floor plans. It should be interesting to see how this all comes together. I was however, informed that this might have to be in phases because its going to be expensive. No shit dude, that's why I have been nagging you about it for 3 years!

I've still been getting my shots on a daily basis - please note I said 'getting', as in I'm still not able to 'give' them to myself. I have accepted the fact that its a mental game. The injections don't hurt, I just get light headed and a little queasy for 10 seconds and then I'm fine. Plus, I think Mike enjoys giving them to me. I have noticed the dogs like to come in the bathroom when all this is going on. I think they know daddy is hurting me. Not really - but I do have a couple tiny bruises in the injection area. I've also noticed it hurts worse on the left side (again, probably all in my head).

At least I've admitted to myself that its all in my head. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? It just so happens I don't care if I can't do it - that's what Mike is for. I love you honey!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Long History of Fearing Shots

I haven't necessarily had the easiest life, although I wouldn't change anything for the world. I give a lot of credit to parents for raising me to be a strong (sometimes a wimp), assertive (sometimes too assertive) and confident (sometimes too confident) young lady despite my differences.

I was born with one leg shorter than the other and had 16 surgeries between the ages of 6 and 15 and one last one when I was 25. Although doctors were able to lengthenn my leg, it didn't grow at the same pace, hence the multiple surgeries. I spent a majority of my childhood wearing a lift on my shoe so I could at least walk normal and have a normal life.

(That's me in the picture with my younger brother to the left and my two older cousins. You can see the lift on my left shoe.)

Through all my surgeries, I was never bothered by IV's or getting my blood drawn, but I was terrified of getting shots. I swore there were times when the needles from the shots made it all the way to my bone. They were horribly painful. The shots that were supposed to calm me down before a surgery caused me more anxiety than the surgery itself. And since I couldn't swallow pills and I refused to get shots, I actually chose to drink smashed up pills mixed with water. Yuck!

Needless to say, the IVF teach session caused me some added anxiety. All the needles for the injections and practicing had me in cold sweats. Do they really think calling them injections is nicer than saying shots? Is it like asking someone if they like your new recipe and they say it's "different"? What a passive agressive comment - what a hoax.

I tried not to think about the injections until I got home from work yesterday and Mike told me it was time for my first injection. I think I shed a couple tears, told him I was going to pass out and then watched him destroy two needles trying to get the damn things out of the package. At that point, I should have just given myself the injection, but I seriously thought I was going to faint. Perhaps it was looking at the two bent needles that made me queezy.

After my dramatic behavior and successfully delivered injection, I realized it didn't hurt that bad. In fact, I hardly felt it. I did, however, immediately start to complain that I felt a burning sensation and I got a little welt.

Good thing Mike loves me, I was almost annoying myself with my childish antics. Especially since, overall, it wasn't a bad experience. I'm guessing its all in my head. We will see how tonight goes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let the Journey Begin

If I was motivated or had the time, I probably should have started blogging about a year ago when our wonderful journey began. By wonderful, I mean frustrating, exhausting, exciting, happy and sad all in one journey.

We've been married for just over three years. In those three years we've done some amazing traveling, developed some new and expensive hobbies like scuba diving, landscaping (yes, for us, that turned into a hobby) and created a wonderfully beautiful life together.

You never really know when you are ready to start a family, and then when you are told you can't, you realize just how ready you might have been. In 2007 I was diagnosed with polymyositis, an auto immune disease that caused my white blood cells to attack and destroy my muscle tissue. I was told I needed to be on steroids and heavy immunosuppressants to get this condition under control. I was told under no circumstances could I get pregnant during this time as the medication was lethal to a fetus. It was at that doctor's appointment, with my husband holding my hand, that I (actually, we) realized we might have been ready to start a family.

For the next 8 months all we did was talk about the day we could start a family. We would daydream about growing our family, wondering how Nina and Billy (our fantastic dogs) would like to have a little kid to play with and how family vacations would really become family vacations. We had built up so much excitement and desire for a baby that when the time finally came and my doctor told me I was in remission (actually, she told me I "graduated" from treatment) and no longer needed the meds we began the countdown, letting my body clear itself of all the medication, including birth control.

We did everything right, I met with my ob/gyn (also known as Dr. Flinstone, per my husband Mike) and started my prescription prenatal vitamins. It was at that appointment he told me to come back in 6 months if after well-timed sex, I wasn't pregnant. I listened to his "fairytale" stories about a prince and princess that want to have a baby and they get pregnant right away but this other prince and other princess don't get pregnant until a whole year later so that means this prince (Mike) and this princess (me) could be average and take anywhere from 6-12 months.

Don't get me wrong, I love Dr. Flinstone. He actually delivered me and my brother. He has a fabulous bedside manner and can make anyone feel comfortable in the most uncomfortable situations. In a nutshell, he was telling me not to worry and stress about it, but if I wanted to, I could come back in 6 months for further testing.

And yes, after 6 months of charting, using ovulation prediction kits, having Nazi style (demanding) sex and watching my friends easily get pregnant, Mike and I decided it was time to head back to Dr. Flinstone. Mind you, we actually have been dreaming about having a baby for a full 18 months, 6 of which we were actively trying to conceive.

At this point, I'm fully confident we made the right decision by starting testing at 6 months. It turned out I have an under-active thyroid. Mike also has an under-active thyroid, low testosterone, low sperm motility and morphology. So in all reality, the chances of us conceiving on our own were less than 1%.

Its been about another 6 months since that diagnosis, several sperm-improving treatments (or lack-there-of) and numerous trips to the urologist and fertility clinic. Poor Mike has spent more time spooging into a cup than any man ever should. I'm partly convinced that is why he put surround sound in our bedroom. You see, the fertility clinic is about 8 miles from the house, so he was able to "collect" his sample at home and drop off within a half hour. And seriously, doesn't porn sound better in surround sound? I joked with him that now its like we're having an orgy.

So here we are a full 14 cycles of actively trying to conceive, plus 12 full months of wanting but not being to try to conceive and we are still in the same place. At least that is what it feels like.

The doctor's appointments and consultations and hearing our chance of conceiving on our own is only 1% have been tough. Dr. K at the fertility clinic had hoped treatments would improve Mike's number and we would be able to do an IUI (intra-uterine insemination). After a couple months of treatment, we went back to Dr. K and he told us our only real option was IVF (invitro fertilization).

Mike and I had two totally different reactions to this news. Mike was excited and was ready to sign the dotted like a business deal. I however, was far more emotional - I just couldn't believe the one thing that is supposed to be so natural wouldn't be so natural for us. It killed me on the inside but in my heart, I knew this was our best chance. The two week time span between that doctor's appointment and our IVF teach session were the loneliest times of my life. In part because I was traveling a lot for work, but also because Mike and I were in two separate places.

The day of the teach session arrived and was our changing point. It was at that point, when I was freaking out about injections, doing something wrong and this not working that Mike really stepped up and became very involved. He's offered to help with the injections, he checked and organized the giant box of needs, meds, sharps box that came Fed Ex from a specialty fertility clinic and made me color coded calendar on what I (we) need to do on a daily basis.

And it is now, today, the day I start my Lupron injections tonight at 7:30 pm per my color coded calendar developed by my loving husband.