Monday, November 30, 2009


Today is CD3 so I drank my 1L of water and headed off to the clinic (driven by H.) for my external and internal ultrasounds and blood work. I got to the clinic around 8:20am and it was dead for once. Yay, no waiting! I got poked twice - once in the arm and she couldn't get any blood and once in the back of the hand. Then it was off for my external ultasound - run to the bathroom - and back for the internal. I met with the nurse (R.) afterwards because I need to get some information from them for our trip to Czech Republic (CR). Turns out I have no visible follies on the left and 3 on the right. It will be interesting to see what my FSH is today. This just reinforces for me that moving to DE is the right decision.


Blood results
FSH 12.6
E2 65

Go back on Day 6 (Thursday) for follow up.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

CD1 of our Last cycle with the Clinic

This will likely be our last cycle with Dr. H2.0, I got an email from Mag telling me that I need to be on monocycle birth control by January so that my cycle can be timed with the donor's. It's all a little exciting and overwhelming. It would be amazing to get pregnant on this last cycle with my eggs. But, I have to be realistic, we've been trying pretty much every month for 3 years and nothing has happened, so why would this cycle be any different? There is a small part of me that thinks if there's a lot of follicles and a low fsh that I want to do injections and go for an IUI/IVF. Isn't that crazy?! I mean I logically know I don't respond to meds, but there's a part of me that wants to continue to fight for a biological child. There are two things that are not on my side with that thought... time and money.

I made the call to the clinic today for my Day 1, I'll go on Monday for my Day 3 full bladder u/s and bloodwork and will also talk to the nurse about our plans to go the Czech Republic. Hopefully, they will agree to do all of the monitoring I need here.

Wow. This is really it. I'll start taking the bcp and then we wait to be matched. Wow.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Turducken last night was amazing. It's nice and spicy - done Cajun style. H. and I shared an order of Hush Puppies & Tobasco sauce, I had a Red Lentil soup, followed by the Turducken (cornbread, andouille sausage & oyster stuffting, Brussel sprout au gratin and garlic mashed potatoes), dessert was bourbon pumpkin pie with a walnut streusel and fresh whipped cream. It was delicious, but I could only eat about half of everything. I have the other half for lunch today.

Last night I filled out all of the paperwork for myivfalternative. I still have a couple of questions that I'm awaiting responses on, once I have them I will fax them the paperwork. We are going to the bank tomorrow to have the home equiy line of credit funded and I need to get a new bank card since something's gone wrong with mine.

This donor egg thing is actually happening! H. and I have agreed that we will continue to try at the clinic for as long as we can before getting ready for transfer (e.g., before I have to go on BCPs). Today is CD28 so I'm just waiting to call the clinic with my Day 1. I had a weird ovulation pattern this month. It seems like my body geared up to ovulate around cd11/12 and then again on cd14-ish. So, I'm not sure if I'm currently late or right on time or if I actually ovulated at all.

UPDATE - Well, creamy brown cm has made an appearance, so tomorrow should be day 1.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! Hope you have a wonderful few days and can take advantage of some great shopping deals!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brought to you by the letter T

Home equity line of credit approved? Check! Made contact with Mag? Check! And, that's it. We have the forms to complete, I have selected photos and written a little bit about myself and who/what I'm looking for as a donor. The next step is to sign the papers at the bank, complete all the forms and send off some moola. Hopefully, we'll do that this week.

This past weekend we didn't do much, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Friday night we saw the movie Law.Abiding.Citizne. Gerard.Butler is in it. And all I can say is hello, fellow, nice bum where ya from. It was an excellent movie, a little on the violent side, but still very good. Saturday was spent raking leaves. The backyard had already been done so I did the side yard and front yard - which brought the grand total for this year to 34 and a half bags of leaves. Then on Sunday we went to craft fair - we'd gone to it previously, but this year it didn't seem as good or as busy. In past years, we could hardly move around freely, this year it was just us walking around at times. I think the fall in the economy has affected the fair as well because while in past years people would leave with their arms full of stuff, this year people had one item or nothing. I felt sorry for the artists. The only thing we bought was some very yummy apple cidar.

Today finds me back at work and working on a project that is wrapping up finally. I have a little bit more free time on my hands.

What I'm really looking forward to is Thursday. It is American Thanksgiving on Thursday and a few years ago we started a tradition of going to a great cajun restaurant for Turduc.ken. Refer back to this post for a detailed description of this dish. I don't think our friends will be joining us this year, which is too bad, but I'm still happy to be carrying on the tradition nonetheless.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Virtual Rally for IVF Funding

For any Ontarians that read my blog. This is an important post. I have emailed to my friends and family and hope you will do the same:

Conceivable Dreams the OHIP for IVF Coalition is planning a very special delivery for the Ontario Government on December 2nd, 2009 at Noon.

Please join us for a Virtual Rally for IVF Funding. Imagine thousands of Ontario infertility patients, and their friends, families and supporters simultaneously sending an email message of support for IVF Funding to their provincial members of parliament and Premier Dalton McGuinty.

The Ontario Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption heard your voices and saw the faces of infertility at our Pram Push. In August 2009, they recommended that OHIP fund 3 cycles of IVF.

Despite 2 years of researching the issues and 3 months to review the Report, the Ontario Government has taken NO ACTION.

Now, we need the Ontario Government to hear from YOU (and your families, friends and supporters) so that they will TAKE ACTION and implement the recommendations instead of letting them collect dust on a shelf.

Here's how it will work. Just go to at any time before December 2, 2009. Provide us with your name and email address. Conceivable Dreams will send you a draft email including the address for your MPP, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister Broten. When the virtual rally starts at noon on December 2, 2009, we will all send our emails at the same time. It's our chance to show our elected officials that the time has come to fund IVF in Ontario.

If you want to participate in the Virtual Rally for IVF Funding on December 2nd, 2009 then please RSVP to this event and then proceed to to get all the information you will need.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making Contact

I called my Mom last night and told her about our decision to go with de. I don't know why, but I was a little worried about her reaction. Not that I should have been, she's been nothing but supportive during this whole saga. I was a busy little beaver last night, because I also contacted the company that we want to use about moving forward with the process (the loan was approved, it's just going through the lawyers now - we should have the money by Monday/Tuesday - WHEE!) I was beset with worry about being taken advantage of - are they a real company, is it worth the extra money to go through them rather than direct with the clinic, what if we get to Czech to find out they don't know who we are, haven't heard of us etc. So, I got on Google and searched for any type of reviews that could help make me feel a little better. I did find a blog by a couple who used them earlier this year. It made me feel a little more comfortable. The company is called myivfalternative and the woman who runs it is called Mag. She is originally from the Czech Republic and also used the services of the clinic to get pg. Apparently, the waiting list for the clinic is about 11 months, but if you go with Mag's company the wait time is significantly shorter.

I'm not sure if I've detailed what they do before so I apologize if I'm repeating myself. They are a liaison between us and the clinic. They help with the paperwork etc. They help get out trip booked (flight & accom.), they will pick us up from the airport and drop us at our hotel. They will transfer us to and from the clinic for all appointments, provide a cell phone with pre-programmed numbers to reach the clinic/a member of their team, take us for a traditional Czech dinner and I think they help schedule day trips.

I like the not having to plan everything part a lot. Usually, I'm very anal about this kind of thing (you should see the spreadsheets from our 5 week trip to Australia), but for some reason I want to give up control for a little while.

There are a lot of mixed emotions still. It's a lot of money to have to pay to attempt to get pregnant. That's the scariest part for me... there are no guarantees. We could pay all of that money and still not end up with a baby. We are giving ourselves 3 attempts, H. will not be able to make other trips with me so we'll be freezing some sperm in case it's needed later on. H. is applying for an MBA that will start in May. It's a distance education course, but over the next year (or two) he'll have to fly to BC 3 times. He won't have enough vacation time to do that and possibly do multiple trips to Brno.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Next steps

Thank-you for your comments and support! We are going for it with Czech - Brno to be exact. Well, if they can accomodte us. We are not using ivfvacations, I have found another place that we will be considering that works similarly to them.

The conversation with H went really well. He's been so supportive about this. Ultimately it is about us becoming parents and i think at this point he'll say yes to almost anything.

We went to the bank again on Saturday and officially put in our application for a home equity line of credit. It is kind of scary to be financing something like this, but we'll do what we have to do to make our dreams come true. I wish we were like normal people and got pregnant naturally for free, but we have to deal with what is.

Once we have approval we will start the process with Brno full force. I am contacting the liaison company I found to get referrals so that I can make sure we want to go with them. (Although, from what I've heard so far I'm pretty convinced) I'm very excited and a little scared about this, but I really feel like this will be what works for us.

Phoebe - I'll check out that blog. Thanks for sharing it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Czech Please!

Sorry for being so cheesy. I think I've basically decided to go through Czech - Brno to do the DE-IVF. I just feel better about it for some reason. I went to acupuncture today and had a big ole chat with Dr. W about our plans. I detailed the pros and cons of each place and ultimately feel like I came to a decision. I haven't even talked to H. about this yet.

The big thing for me was that in going with Czech I don't get to pick the donor. At first I saw this as a huge draw back, but as I think about it, it really is a bonus. I don't have to have the pressure of "did I pick the right one". I dont' have to have any of that stress.

We go back to the bank on Saturday and we'll be filling out all of the paperwork for a loan. We already know we'll get it, but I'll wait for the official approval before taking the next step towards getting the ball rolling. I have found a site run by a couple that act as the liaison between us and the clinic in Brno. I am going to ask for some referrals to chat with and then based on that move forward. Hopefully, we'll be cycling by the end of February or earl March.

On a different note, a friend of mine has recently been on a rollercoaster ride with her latest IVF with it ending in miscarriage. If you're reading this, you know who you are, send big hugs and much love to you. What a shitty outcome you've had, but I have hope for you in the future. Hugs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mourning Has Broken

I think I made it sound like I have completely moved through the grieving stage and have come out the other side refreshed. I am excited about moving forward and about the huge possibility of finally getting pregnant through donor eggs. However, I am still riddled with doubts (fears?) about what it means to have a child that will not be genetically connected to me. We are still trying naturally because we do have something like a 5% chance of getting pregnant on our own. I still hold out hope for a biological child. I have to force away my fears and hopes, I have to focus on what is. The reality is that we have never used birth control in 9 years of being together, we have had 2 assumed chemical pregnancies in the 3 years that we've been actively trying, we have 3 failed ART cycles under our belts; we are infertile. Our biggest chance of getting me pregnant is by persuing donor eggs. So, I've decided to embrace it. Wherever we go, whichever donor we choose, when we get pregnant I will have the full experience of carrying a child. Getting to know its movements, caring for it and falling in love with it even before it's in our world. (How horrible to use the term 'it'!)

I don't think I will ever stop wanting a biological child. It may be a wish that goes forever unfulfilled. It doesn't mean that I won't love my future children with all of my heart, or be thankful for them in every way. I think the two will have to live side by side in my soul.

Lest We Forget

Today is Remembrance Day, where it once was a national holiday, today only the banks and government run organizations have it off. That makes me sad; Remembrance Day to me is a time to honour our fallen soldiers, and those who survived. We must honour them for it's because of them that we are able to live so freely. It galls me that I don't see more poppies on people's coats as the scurry by on their way to work. I want to yell at them "where is your honour, where is your respect?" But theirs is the right to choose to wear a poppy, they have that right because of those who came before them. The money from those poppies goes to Legions across our country, into accounts that assist with veterans' care and that of their widows.

My Grandfather fought in World War II, he was wounded in action and was sent home from the war. He was so proudly Canadian and so proud of his service to his country. I gladly take time to pay my respects to him and all of his peers. Grandpa didn't talk much about the war. He certainly didn't talk about the fighting. He told stories of being in the same platoon with his brother. (He was a member of Princess Patricia's Light Infantry). He told stories of them cutting up and making fun of the platoon chaplain's monotone voice. He told stories of them setting up a Canadian baseball league in London. One story he told was of his platoon having to march through farmers' fields at night with only the moon to guide them. In the distance they could see all these forms glowing white and swaying in the distance. As they got closer they could hear these horrible moaning sounds. They all begin muttering to themselves and each other, what could it be. Could it be a ghost? They were all shaking in their boots as the crept on through the fields. Finally, they were close enough to get a good look at it and would you believe it, it was a herd of cows. They all laughed a little too hard in relief and kept moving.

If you read between the lines in that last story, you can see just how young and scared they must have been. Imagine, you're 17 or 18 years old, tired, dirty, carrying a rather large gun and creeping through the country-side with only the moon to guide you. You don't know if you'll be ambushed at any time; if you'll make it home to see your 'folks' again. I can only imagine how frightened they must have been and how brave they all were to keep on moving.

Today, on the 11th minute, of the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, take a moment to honour these brave men and women.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Monday, November 09, 2009

Making Plans

It's amazing how fast I've gone from mourning to being excited about using donor eggs. We have it narrowed down to two clinics (one in Czech Republic and one in South Africa), I even have selected a donor in South Africa. I haven't booked her yet, but I am pretty sure she is who I want. In Czech, you don't get to pick your donor. You send pictures of yourself and give your physical description (height, weight, etc) and they match you to a list of their donors. You do get to review the person's information and say yes or no to her. I am such a control freak, I don't know if I can give up that much control over this process.

I ran the numbers yesterday, in US/Canada all told we would be looking at paying
$20K to $30K (probably closer to the higher end). This does not include travel/accomodations etc for the donor, or for us if we had to go to the States. If we opt for the Czech Republic, we would be looking at around $13K including travel, accomodations and food. If we opt for South Africa it is around $16K including travel, accomodations and food.

From a vacation destination standpoint, South Africa is more appealing to me because of the day trips we could take... Safaris and beach trips. Czech Republic offers chances to visit Prague and Vienna.

From a time standpoint, South Africa requires a 14 day visit (add 2 days for travelling) while Czech Republic requires a 10 day visit (again add 2 days for travelling).

My practical side says that Czech Republic is a better option from a financial and time standpoint. And, I know H would look at the numbers and agree with me.

We have always wanted to go on a safari. I pictured it being one of those luxury tours and that we'd go for our anniversary some time in the future. Let's say that DE's do not work, will it matter to me that memory of our vacation would be connected to a failure? Also would we be compromising that dream vacation by combining it with this endeavour?

I guess that's something we'll have to work out. First things first though, we're supposed to be meeting with our bank tonight to talk about financing. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Coming to Terms

I have now signed us up for 4 different egg donor organizations. One that works locally and the other 3 are in South Africa. I think I am slowly making peace with the idea of moving on to donor eggs. I told one of my friends about it (even though H. and I had agreed not to tell anyone - i'm such an open book I can't not tell my friends) and she said something along the lines of how the odds are so much higher with donor eggs and that next year I will be pregnant. First, it was amazing to me that she knew anything about donor eggs and second she said all of the right things. It was a great conversation. On top of all that, she reminded me that it's ok to be hopeful. I felt the hope glow in my body.

Ever since then, I've had this chorus from a Stones' song in my head "You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."

Things may not be exactly as I've always pictured them, or happened as easily as I had thought they would, but in the end we will get what we need.

On another note, we (a bunch of people from my office)went to a new Chinese buffet yesterday for lunch and of course we got fortune cookies at the end. Mine was "You have a potential urge and the ability for accomplishment" (we all read them out with "in bed" added to the end teehee) I think mine sounds promising

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Not Easy to Say Good-bye

Goodbye little girl with the big blues and smiling face, the dimples just like uncle B’s and hands just like your Grandma’s.
Goodbye little boy with the uneven lips (full on the bottom and thinner on the top), tall for his age, with a little pot belly.
Goodbye little child with my eyes and his nose, my chubby cheeks and his perfect ears.
Goodbye surprise BFP
Goodbye to what could have been, what never was and what never will be.

We made the decision today; we are going to try donor eggs. I feel like I have failed as a woman, or more accurately, my body has failed me. Maybe it’s something between H. and me; maybe my eggs don’t like his sperm. Maybe my eggs are scrambled. Whatever the deal is, it’s just not working for us. We got married October 12, 2006 and basically started trying on our wedding night. There were two chemical pregnancies over that 3 year period, but other than that nada. Two failed IUIs, one failed IVF, countless tears and it’s time to move on to something that gives us greater than 20% odds of getting pregnant.

I am sad that it’s come to this. And, I still can’t help but think “how the hell did I get here?” How did this happen? This isn’t how it’s supposed to be, sigh, but here I am. Time to man up.

There is a poem by Robert.Service called The.Quitter. It was one of my Grandfather’s favourite poems and even though it’s a very masculine type of poem, it resonates with me:

When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
But the Code of a Man says: "Fight all you can,"
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow . . .
It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.

"You're sick of the game!" Well, now that’s a shame.
You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
"You've had a raw deal!" I know — but don't squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don't be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit.
It’s the keeping-your chin-up that’s hard.

It’s easy to cry that you're beaten — and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight —
Why that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and battered and scarred,
Just have one more try — it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Moving forward

It was the real deal; on Saturday AF flowed like a river. I emailed the clinic this morning and let them know that I wouldn’t be in for my beta nor would I be there for this month. At least that’s settled. This weekend wasn’t stellar. In fact, except for a couple of events it was pretty boring. H. ran the Angus Glen half marathon yesterday. It was a beautiful day for it. I was there to cheer him on and he ran a personal best of 2 hours 3 minutes and seventeen seconds. Woohoo! He is really trying to get down under 2 hours and is working really hard at it. I know it will happen for him. We then went out for lunch and then went home to watch the football. Go go! Saturday was Halloween. Last year we ran out of candy so I made sure to stock up this year. It was a bit of a disappointment because we only had around 30 to 35 kids. I was expecting around 90. The last kid knocked on our door around 8:15. Shrug. Maybe because it was a Saturday people were keeping their kids home for a party instead or the swine flu had everyone scared. Who knows?

Yesterday at lunch H. and I had a discussion about kids and where we go from here. We are going to go forward with donor eggs. We’ll still try on our own, but we are both losing hope for it to happen for us. We are going to take a loan out against the house. Scary. And we are going to make this happen for us as soon as possible. Again scary. Donor eggs will happen early in the new year.

I cried this morning on the way to work as I was telling H. how I am grieving a biological child. I grew up knowing that I look just like my Mom. I have her hands and her legs, we walk the same way and I have my Dad’s forehead and personality (and his prematurely gray hair). If you saw a picture of her at age 3 or 4 and then saw a picture of me at the same age, you would swear it’s the same kid. It breaks my heart, my soul that I will never have a little girl who looks just like me. Once we go down the donor egg route, that’s it for a biological child for me. The other thing is that I didn’t know how much this meant to me. How could I not know that it was so important to me to be able to look at my child and see me reflected there? Doesn’t that sound incredibly egotistical? I don’t think it’s an ego thing… I think it’s more of a continuation type thing. I think it’s just normal.

I find it amazing that I am yearning for normal. I am not reaching for the stars; I didn’t think that in wanting children we’d be “dreaming the impossible dream”. Who knew normal could be so difficult a goal?