Thursday, May 03, 2012

Back to reality with a thump...

Well it's been a hectic couple of months.  I'm finally back home, after 3 weeks of working away for my busiest month of the year.  Yesterday was my first day off in well over a month, and it was heaven to just sleep the day away!

Shortly before I left, we had made the difficult decision to delay our next attempt.  We had been seriously planning to head to India again in May, as soon as I finished my big Apr 30 deadline.  In hindsight, as I schlump around the house in a state of near-coma, I realize that it was a smart move on our part.  As hard as it was to make that decision, with my poor AMH results and the fact that I'm always a mess after April - not to mention that my busy season isn't over yet, there are 2 months left before I can really relax - I think heading to India amidst all that exhaustion and stress would have been totally setting us up to fail.  Also, a number of things have cropped up with my husband's work in April, which means he's also busier than ever right now.  I guess May just wasn't meant to be.

So... it's back to the holding pattern I guess.  We're still seriously considering the egg donor route - time isn't my friend and the stats for my eggs are likely laughable.  (or cry-able... is that a word??)  It's a tough decision, we're basically wrestling with dreams vs. reality and that whole thing isn't much fun.  However, whichever route we take will be the right one for us and we've now given ourselves a bit of a window to think it through really thoroughly, which I also think is the best thing.  

This has really been a test of patience and letting go of the control-freak thing - us Type-A's do so well with that - and we've only really just begun the journey.  It sure brings in to sharp focus what others who have been on this road for a while have endured.  Hats off to you all!  This is not a journey for the wussies.  I'm looking forward to finally being able to squeak in a few minutes here and there to get caught up on where everyone is at... this whole work business really cramps the blog-addiction thing :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

What to do, what to do...

I hope everyone in blogland is doing well!  It's my busy season at work and I've not had time the last month or so to keep up with what's going on.  I'm going through withdrawals!  But this is just a super-quick update from our world.

Given that said busy season is in full swing, I woke up a few days ago and realized that if we were going to give this another shot in May we'd best get cracking - since it's already April.. and I'm heading out of town next week for work for the rest of April.. and we still have to apply for visas, I have to start on birth control (today!!), we've not ironed out any kind of travel plan... and all that jazz.

So we're madly trying to get visa applications done, and get dates figured out, figure out flights and accommodation which we can't book until we get our visas... etc.  And, in the midst of this I've received my results for the AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) test.  Which, I am annoyed to report, cost me a whopping $225 USD to have done.  Chuh!  And... results are not heartening.  :(  0.87 ng/mL, which Dr. S says is measured using an old protocol (my $225 clearly didn't buy "the best"!).. but she said it's likely accurate.  This report says a result greater than 1.06 would mean improved odds for higher antral follicle count and live birth.

So... ovarian reserve is on the downswing and given that we only collected 2 eggs last time, chances are good we'd be facing similar results this time.  Plus, because we only had 2 eggs last time, Dr S implanted on day 2 instead of taking to blastocyst, since typically embryos are lost during that process.  So.. while at day 2 our embryos were considered Grade 1, we don't know if they were genetically normal or not.

Now what!???  Do we try my eggs again or is it just a waste of time??  And then what???  I feel like my head is going to blow up, between this and work... haha.  No shortage of excitement...  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

All we need is love...

So I've been thinking about this whole process.  The worry, the stress, the emotional, financial and time commitments.  How easy it is to get caught up in the details, thinking about pills, needles, the bank account and what in god's name can we do to make this WORK.  Taking folic acid, watching the calendar, trying in vain to tell oneself that really ONE beer won't hurt and then feeling guilty (fetal alcohol follicles).  Finally  making it to India and trying not to hate a spouse who adapts to the chaos within seconds of landing, while I wander around Delhi like a bloated, hormonal cow on crack, pondering the merits of pushing that spouse into the traffic he loves so much...

What was I saying?  Oh yes, getting caught up in the details.  Especially when it all culminates in staring blankly at 5 am at the dreaded BFN email and asking yourself why in the name of all that's holy did I ever think this might work?  

Ah, here it is.  Why are we doing this?  

The fact of the matter is, I love my husband very much.  He is my soulmate, my partner and my best friend.  And we would dearly love to build a family together.

So in that spirit I thought I'd post a little celebration of us, mostly to have something visual to refer back to during tough, trying or I-want-to-smack-you-with-a-stick moments.

So here we go, a little visual documentary of some places and times in our journey together (so far)...

What is probably the first picture of us together, shortly after we met

Hiking in Farwell Canyon 

Our first trip to San Miguel de Allende (central Mexico)

Wedding day, south of Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Las Vegas

Horseback trip into the south Chilcotin Mtns

2nd trip to San Miguel

Hiking on Vancouver Island


Taj Mahal 2012, 4th anniversary :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Hi everyone,

Well, no dust on us - we're starting to put some serious thought into cycling again in May, if we can work the time off and such.  Just wondering if anyone has any input to offer, from your own experiences?

- We were told 3 months is the minimum between egg collections.  May would be 3 months for us - ladies, anyone done cycles so close together?  Any issues with this?

- DHEA - we were advised I should start taking 25mg, 3x daily for 3 months before next collection.  I've read some alarming things on the internet (oh, Dr. Google, how evil you can be!!), so just wondering if anyone else has any experience with this stuff.  And I read somewhere in Canada you need a prescription (?)..

- Any thoughts on starting self-cycle at home vs. doing the whole cycle in India?  My thoughts are it would be easier to just have one doctor running the show, but the time off work and expense of a full 2 weeks in India (twice in 4 months!!) are definitely a factor

Thanks so much everyone!  Here we go again...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

the aftermath

Just a quick post to thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and support.  Without you, it would be much more difficult for us to make this journey, no doubt about it!

So after the tears and a day spent avoiding email, phone and the internet, we're feeling a bit more collected and are starting to think about what comes next.  I think for now we'll fire off a bunch of queries to Dr. S to see if she has any thoughts in hindsight, and just focus on work for the next few months - the more money we can make now, the better... we'll clearly need it!  We'll definitely be giving this another shot, but need to think about timing and such.  

So thanks again, we'll be following along with your journeys and one of these days I'll summarize some of my thoughts and feelings about this leg of our process.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Keep calm, and carry on...

Well, what can I say?  Woke this morning to the dreaded BFN :(

Not entirely unanticipated given we only had 2 embryos, but most unwelcome nonetheless and while I'm currently a bit shell-shocked I'm sure I'll have a meltdown in a corner somewhere before the day is out.

So as I sit here trying to deal with feelings of inadequacy, despair, frustration, anger, denial and hopelessness, while at the same time experiencing some kind of weird detachment - sort of like an out-of-body experience - I just don't know what the next step should be.  Am I too old?  Will another attempt to use my eggs just end the same way?   

Logically, one thinks of turning to an egg-donor which makes all kinds of sense... if only I could let go of the desire to have a child that's biologically mine.  While I look at happy stories of others who have used donors, and how beautiful their children are, I know it is likely the option to have the most chance of success.  In my head, I know this.  But I wrestle with the feeling I'd be somehow left out of the process, a child who is biologically my husband's but not mine... which is absolutely ridiculous and so horribly selfish, I know this - but I just want to contribute, dammit.  So, I'm guessing another attempt is in our future but when - time isn't on our side, I'll be 40 this July and I'm going to be embroiled in busy season at work until June 30.  And if we tried to sneak over again, say in May, how do I do that when our visas were single entry and don't expire until late June?  And what if we end up in the same place again, with very few eggs and no success.  Oh, so many questions, so many fears.

What a roller coaster this is, and I have to say that the support and strength of those of you also on this journey is so appreciated.  I can't express how comforting it is to have people in the same situation to talk to and gain insight from.  Thank you all so much.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The faces of India

What really strikes me now that we're home is how much I miss the people.  While many were unquestionably entrepreneurial and somewhat (or completely) on the take, even those guys were so good-natured and warm.  Reading the history of India, there have been undeniably bloody periods and it's always good to remember the strength behind seemingly gentle facades, but we were met with unfailing politeness everywhere we went.

While my previous post was more about us and stuff we saw, I wanted to dedicate a post to the many lovely people who crossed our path while we were on our journey.

On the plane from London to Delhi, such a sweet little girl

A random tailor, who was so smiley and had such a lovely hat on, but obviously felt posing for a picture should require a bare head & grave countenance
We enjoyed the bike vendors on our street, who we could hear melodiously calling out their wares well after dark

Any time you pulled out a camera, there was always someone VERY willing to pose, haha

Bruce's favorite, the sweet potato vendors

The kids, playing cricket absolutely everywhere

A very sweet family bringing veggie scraps to the deer at Park Belluchi

A waiter at Park Belluchi restaurant, who was continually getting in trouble for hanging out at our table and ignoring other customers

The amazing team at ISIS.  Why didn't I get a picture of Dr. Shivani??  Why???

The first of many sweet families who asked to have their picture taken with us (being fishbelly white, we didn't exactly blend in)

Bruce took what I think is a striking pic of some men hanging out at the bus stop

Bruce adored bargaining for the best price on the autorickshaws, a by-product of which was getting rickshaws not in the best of mechanical shape - Bruce ended up helping push this one several times.  The driver took the lack of starting in stride, and had the happiest giggle

Chai with a sweet smile, daily at the clinic

Posing is even more important than cricket!

I will never complain about ironing, ever again..

Our amazing bike guide through old Delhi, this is at the top of the wholesale spice market in Chandni Chowk

The stunning saris against the historic monuments - amazing

Our friend at reception, who gave us so many good tips about things to see

A very sweet gramma, gamely teaching her grandson the intricacies of cricket

Probably the most lengthy photo shoot of the trip - a lovely family group (two couples, baby, mother in laws, etc etc etc), who wanted pictures with us when we were at the Taj - so many we were posing for about 15 minutes, it was very cute.  Note how tiny this lovely lady is!  My goodness, and I'm not a tall person

We were kept entertained in the traffic jams in Agra by the vehicles in front of us

And last but definitely not least Sister Geeta (sp??) who I have to thank for giving the the best shots, ever.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Beta date, and a few pics

So we heard from SCI this morning and our pregnancy test will be on Feb 11.  So the wait is on!  I can't express how happy we are that we chose SCI - a positive result would of course only reinforce that, haha - but the cleanliness of the clinic, the organization of the staff and Dr. Shivani's professionalism were so comforting.

I thought I'd upload a few pics from our trip.  Over the next few days I'll put some thoughts together about the experience and post that but in the meantime I'm quite enjoying going back through pictures.

Our room at India Luxury Homes BnB, it was clean and comfortable
I don't know what amazed me more - that everyone seems to build fires right on the streets or that many of the dogs were outfitted with sweaters... welcome to winter in Delhi!
The market at Nehru Place, it was sure an eye-opener!!
Chai and curry.. heaven
We loved the cows in the street..
Dadi-Poti's tombs - Hauz Khas
Baha'i Lotus Temple
Qutb Minar
India Gate, closed for Republic Day preparations, but still amazing even from a distance
Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
Chandni Chowk, oh my!  I'm sure glad we were on a bike rickshaw.. or we might still be lost in the alleys
Humayun's Tomb
Bada Gumbad, Lodi Gardens
The Taj Mahal - definitely a must see!!
Bruce was really impressed with Tandoori ovens
Me, looking very stylish on egg retrieval day
The best curry ever, Dilli Haat market... last day!  We flew out next morning @ 3 am :(
The beloved Pashmina goat (pic on the cell phone of vendors from Kashmir).  We're desperate for a flock now!
Last but not least, our differing ideas of "breakfast" at 7 am in the Frankfurt airport, lol!!

Ok, OMG, that wasn't a "few" pics... sorry!  How does one choose?  There's so much to see!!