My Future

Every year we get invited to a giant clam bake hosted by a friend of ours. My favourite part of the party is getting to see his parents and their friends.

I don’t know how we just clicked with this older couple but it happened and it was grand. They are simply lovely.

N met them first because he was installing the sound system at the friend’s new bar and the parents were in and out of the bar while it was being renovated and they fell in love with him. When we went to the bar’s soft opening N and I sat with the parents and we all fell in love with each other. I think perhaps it’s because they remind me of my parents. They have 3 children (like my parents) who the dote on and speak about often (like my parents).

We became so close and comfortable with them that when they asked us if we had kids we had no trouble telling them about our struggles. It was then that they shared their own struggles to have their 3 miracle children. Mind you, their youngest (our friend) is our age so of course their struggle did not have the science we have now. She had severe endometriosis and they struggled for years but through the science they had at the time and trying the natural way with sheer determination they eventually had their first.

It made sense now why we were so drawn to each other.

At the last get together we met their friend who’s husband was out of the country working. She too was an amazing woman and we were drawn to her as well. She was recently retired and spent her time travelling all over the world with her husband. I loved her easy laugh and how funny she was.

The conversation again turned to us trying to grow a family and I learned that the friend never had children. She had also struggled but eventually chose to be child free. And she was thriving.

When I think about us never having children I always think that I will forever be broken inside. That women who never have children are never whole and I blame society for this. It’s sick and wrong.

Here I was faced with two of my very possible futures. The happy couple with 3 miracles and endless joy. Or the happy couple with no children and endless joy.

I love the very few times we see them. I love their genuine-ness, and their energy and their hugs. And we always seem to see them right after another childess year has gone by and they tend to refresh me and clear my mind of bad thoughts.

There is absolutely  a reason these people came into our lives. I think the reason is that whatever happens, we will have endless joy.

IVF Round Five

Here we go again! It was touch and go for a few days but here we go again.

I had planned to start this cycle with this month’s period but by Monday I’d started spotting and hadn’t received insurance approval yet. I called the clinic only to find out they hadn’t even sent the request to the insurance! I was shocked.

The nurse told me she’d find out where my request was in the queue and she’d call me the next do to let me know if we can start but it didn’t look good.

The following day the nurse called to say that they wouldn’t be able to send in my request in time and I’d have to do the cycle next month. Sigh. I was very sad but I made peace with it. Decided that more time to prepare can only be beneficial so I was okay with starting next month.

Then Wednesday she called again and turned my world upside down. They’d actually sent off the request the previous day and I had the go-ahead to start birth control. Well I had to do the mandatory preggo test the following morning but for all intents and purposes, we were a go.

So Wednesday was a pretty fantastic day to begin with and then N called to let me know that our new RE contacted him with results from his latest sperm sample that was to be frozen. You’ll remember that we were going to send these results to the urologist to let us know if it was a good sample or not. Well it turns out that the sample was excellent. The count had doubled and the motility was great. Of course since my husband took the call we didn’t get any numbers but I can just get the numbers when I call them again.

We’re still waiting on approval so obviously the thief of joy that this journey is, isn’t letting me celebrate just yet. I’m just taking my pills as instructed. If everything goes according to plan I’ll start stims around the first week of November. We’re doing 300iu Gonal-f and 150iu Menopur. The same protocol from round 2 which yielded or record 3 embryos to test.

So we’ll take it one day at a time and I’ll try to keep a level head but I like the sound of this cycle so far… so far.


A Long Overdue Update


It’s been a minute. My absence was purely due to either being insanely busy at work again or spending all my free time on the couch and I don’t think a running commentary of either was blog worthy.

But finally, movement on our side again which is great. IVF really is like sitting in traffic. You’re either completely at a standstill or you’re speeding through a cycle. There’s no happy medium. But I digress.

We had two appointments these past two weeks. One with the third urologist. Touted the best urologist this is side of the Miss’ipi (always wanted to use that line, not sure if I’m using it correctly). And the second with a new reproductive endocrinologist to get a second opinion.

When last I left off, I said that our previous RE had pretty much run out of ideas and was unwilling, at that stage, to move forward with another cycle until we got more answers and a possible second opinion. Our last cycle was a horrendous failure so we all agreed this was for the best.


This day was a mess. For some reason everyone in Boston was on the road and no one could get anywhere. N left the house at 5am to be at their clinic to do an SA at 7 and he was about 15 minutes late due to traffic. Our follow up would be 10:30 to discuss results. Thankfully, after the SA the nurse told him a lot of people hadn’t shown up and they’ll push our appointment to 9. So I rushed out of work at 8 (a mere 30min drive to Boston from my office) and only got to the clinic around 10!! And the doctor STILL only saw us at 10:30. geez!

Anyway, he seemed nice enough but I can’t say that I liked him very much. I won’t deny that he knows his shit though. I went into appointment with high hopes. I spoke to someone a few days prior whose husband had azoospermia and they did a TESE and got 6 vials! I was excited. I thought we’d won the world cup. Of course this wasn’t the case. The doctor was long winded in his explanations and he lost me a few times so some of this information might not be 100% accurate but this is what I got from that appointment.

  1. All the vitamins and supplements we’re taking aren’t doing anything, we’re wasting our time
  2. The Anastrozole N is taking for his count isn’t going to work. It affects a hormone that won’t increase count if that hormone is at the level it’s supposed to be (if that makes sense).
  3. TESE is not a viable option for us because there is sperm in the ejaculate. TESE is reserved for men with azoospermia or a blockage, so no sperm in the ejaculate.
  4. The sperm you have to work with is what it is. Good luck. Try a donor maybe because I see here your eggs are crap too.
  5. GTFO with your shitty sperm and eggs.

Okay so he wasn’t that harsh but it was hard to hear all my hopes get shot down one by one in an hour long conversation. The good news is that at our last retrieval they couldn’t really find anything to work with in N’s fresh sample, that’s why they used the backup sample and that day at the appointment his count was up to what it usually is. We suspect that it was the fact that he has strep throat about a month before we started the cycle but the doctor didn’t think so. I guess sperm just fluctuates and that retrieval day was a bad day. Another good thing is that N has to do another back up sample at our clinic so Dr O said he wants to get the notes of that sample and see if it’s worth using or if he should do another one. That way we’ll know that the backup sample is good if it’s ever needed again.

So that appointment sucked. It sucked a lot. I almost gave up. I didn’t speak to N much when we left and I feel bad about that but I didn’t know how to react at the time. I told all my friends and family that it’s not looking good for us. We’re not at the point where we want to consider donors yet and to have 2 doctors suggest donors was so hard. I cried a whole lot. I also felt like I was being a spoiled brat. I admire women who have gone the donor route. I think it takes courage and selflessness and I also felt like they deserved to be mom’s more because they wanted it more than anything. And here I am crying over the fact that I may never see what my husband and my children will look like. If they’ll have his light brown eyes or my curly hair. If they’ll have his laugh. If they’ll be loyal friends. Will I have to start them early in group activities to help with the shyness both of us struggle with. It was the first time I was really faced with the possibility of this dream not coming true and it scared and angered me. Having that dream slip through my fingers.

I cried most of that day during work and when I got home. I spoke to my husband and he said he didn’t think Dr O would have all the answers. He basically said that a urologist wasn’t the end all and be all. We’ve made embryos before, we can do it again. We just have to keep trying and we’re not out yet let’s see what the new RE says.

Over the next few days I was torn between putting all my hope in this new RE and thinking of what life will be like as a childless couple. When the appointment rolled around I was a mess with nerves. When we sat down he said that he wanted to go over our history and discuss some options and just the way he said it my heart sink. I thought this is it. I’ll never get to meet our biological children.

Reproductive Endocrinologist Second Opinion:

The appointment was at our regular clinic just with a new doctor. I kept seeing pictures of our previous RE and had to laugh at my misplaced guilt. I couldn’t look the pictures in the eye.

Dr P… I couldn’t get a read on him. He barely cracked a smile during the entire consult and I prefer that people at least smile when I deliver my funniest one liners. But nothing. He was soft spoken and spoke kindly and explained everything perfectly. So while he was very serious, he was everything you would need in a doctor. I often say that I don’t need a doctor to have good bedside manner as long as he got the job done I was a little bummed that her never smiled. I know this is crazy but I kept thinking that he was judging us for jumping ship with our old RE. Of course this isn’t the case based on what he was saying. Let me get right into it. There’s a lot of information and I forgot to write everything down.

  1. He is on board with vitamins and supplements and even wants us to increase Ubiquinol as it could help with embryo quality. This is huge to me and N. I know these things maybe probably don’t affect quality/quantity but I really don’t like when doctors dismiss them completely. It just bothers me.
  2. The fact that we’ve had 2 normal embryos in 4 cycles is pretty awesome considering our diagnosis. And we’ve made embryos before, we could likely do it again (note hubby’s words above)
  3. The fact that 2 normal PGD tested embryos (that have a 70% chance of attaching) had no implantation is a little baffling to him and it could be one of 3 things. 1. The labs effed up. 2. Something wasn’t picked up in the genetic screening. 3. something is up with my uterus.
  4. points 1 and 2 are unlikely since it happened twice. At least one of those embryos should have attached. So he’s interested in my uterus. I’ve had 2 HSG’s and 1 endo biopsy and everything is normal. So his next likely suspect is Progesterone. Dr G used vaginal progesterone which he thinks isn’t sufficient so he wants to try the PIO shots (Yay!). He also wants to know if maybe the amount of days I’m taking the progesterone is enough. Typically, you’re given about 15 days of progesterone and sometimes for some women that’s either too much or too little. To find out the answer to this question we’re going to do and ERA test (double yay!)
  5. You can find out about an ERA test here. But just a quick rundown. After our next retrieval cycle we’ll do a mock FET cycle with meds and then instead of a transfer we’ll do an endometrial biopsy (yuck!) and send the sample off to the lab in Spain. If it comes back “normal” then perhaps that means the PIO shots are working. If it comes back pre-receptive then we’ll add a day of Progesterone when we do the next transfer. Now from what I’ve read it sounds like you have to keep doing this test until you get a “normal” result. Dr P said we would only do it once and go from there. It makes sense and I really don’t want to keep paying for a test if we don’t have to because it’s not covered by insurance and will run us around $800-$1000. But yes we are on board and ready to go!
  6. I can’t remember if I have this right but I think he said that if the test comes back pre-receptive then we’ll add another day of PIO but if it comes back normal and we have 2 embryos to transfer, he will consider transferring 2. They typically do not transfer more than one PGD normal embryo but he thinks this could be an option.
  7. He doesn’t want me to do a lap to rule out endo. All these doctors seem to think that I am endo free. I was going to fight him on it but he said that there aren’t enough studies out there that say that removing endo will get you better quality eggs. I guess it depends who you ask but I won’t push the issue. He also said that since I’ve had 2 surgeries in that area (appendectomy and ovarian cystectomy), the doctors would have said something if they’d seen something. Granted there’s a chanced they didn’t see anything if they weren’t looking, but my cystectomy was a full laparotomy so I was completely opened up, it’s unlikely that surgeon missed any endo. I could of course go and search for those surgery reports to find out but I’m not sure it’s worth it and the surgeon who did my cystectomy has since passed away and those records are in South Africa somewhere. That would be a mission. So we’ll put a pin in this one for now.
  8. I did ask (and I’m so proud of me for asking everything) if whether he thought that foregoing PGD testing was a good idea. My reasoning being that we have so few embryos and I read one lonely article that said that some embryos self-correct and it made sense to just transfer what you have and pray for the best. He said that since we have a balanced translocation that most affected embryos would end in miscarriage and he wouldn’t want me to go through a miscarriage and also some miscarriages are more dangerous than others. So fine, that makes sense. I just thought I’d ask.
  9. If we get insurance consent in the next two weeks (fingers crossed) we can start our next cycle. We’re going to go back on the antagonist protocol with 300 Gonal-f and 150 Menopur. He said I respond well with this mix. And I think on this cycle we got 11 eggs and all of them fertilized. I’ll have to check my notes.
  10. His nurse is great I love her already but I’m so very sad to be leaving my nurse. Like really extremely sad. I never realized how important these people become.
  11. I have to come to terms with the fact that we are not ever going to have more than 3 embryos to test. He sounds like that’s the nature of the game with our diagnosis. It’s not great but it is what it is. I have been distraught because we start with double digits in egg counts and then have 3 or less measly embryos. I think if I just focus on a goal of 3 and make sure that I stay healthy to try and get the best 3 that there ever were, then we’ll be okay. Actually 3 to test isn’t a goal to focus on. I need to focus on 1 healthy normal embryo. I’m going to work hard for 1 healthy normal baby. That I can do.

Final thoughts:

A really good IVF friend recommended Dr P. She actually pushed me so hard despite my best efforts to resist change. I will forever be grateful to her for pushing. We both liked him a lot and I’m back to dreaming about who our children will look and be like. I’m beyond excited to start again. I just did the math and if everything goes swimmingly we will only be transferring around April (yikes!) which feels like forever away but at least things will be happening and balls will be rolling. I’m also scared. Knowing that our embryo yield isn’t going to be fantastic scares me. We only have 3 rounds left on insurance so we’re getting to do or die time. That thought is scary. But for now, excitement is winning.

This post was really long but I had a lot to cover. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I hope to not go into radio silence again until we actually do start again. Maybe I’ll do something exciting this weekend.

Until we meet again,


August Favourites

Before I get into it I have mini update. I finally got through to the infertility urologist and made an appointment for the 26th (4 weeks bleh!) and I also made and appointment for a second opinion. Same clinic, different RE. I’m going to see if I can get another second opinion appointment at another clinic on Tuesday. But we’ll see.

Phew, it’s been a while since I’ve done this. It’s been a while so there are quite a few faves.

I bought this shortly after getting my braces and I absolutely love it!! I’m not going to lie, I hate brushing my teeth. I love having clean teeth and fresh breath but I find brushing my teeth tedious and it usually takes up time I could use for something else. And now with braces I’m forced to brush way more often. I was skeptical about the waterpik because it was just another tool to take up time but I love it. I look forward to the night time brush because of it. The braces have not been easy and I love my teeth feel after waterpik’ing. Definitely a great purhase.

Instant Pot
I’ve had my eye on this thing for a long time now and N bought it for me for my birthday. Granted, I’ve only used it once but it is fantastic. I made a boneless leg of lamb in under an hour and it was magical. If you love kitchen gadgets then this is a must-have.

Adidas sneakers
I bought these in New Hampshire. BOGO 50% off. I am so happy to have adidas back in my cupboard again. The blue ones especially, since they go with everything.


Look at me being fancy with the shoe placement

World Map Art
I found this at Marshalls. I have no eye for decor but I love this. I can’t wait to put it up when we redo the tv room.

My Nose Ring
Best purchase this year. It’s healing nicely. Doesn’t hurt at all. I’m in love!

Devacurl – SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler
I’ve been using this for a few months and I only realized how much I love it when I tried something else that paled in comparison. It does everything a curly girl could dream of. Defines my curls perfectly. It’s a cream so no scrunching the gel cast off when my hair dries and my curls are super soft. It really is my favourite hair product right now. It’s pricey at $20 but worth it.

Derma Doctor BB Cream
Another product I’ve been using for a few months that I only realized I love after it ran out. This stuff is fantastic. The sales lady told me that it supposedly changes colour to match your skin tone. I don’t know if that’s true but it works. I don’t like wearing full foundation make up and this does everything I need it to do makeup-wise. It’s $38 at Ulta but lasts over a year which is perfect if you’re someone who doesn’t wear a lot of make up.

Frozen Sangria
I know summer is over but this drink deserves the best summer drink award. For sure. It’s fruity and boozy and refreshing. Thank you pinterest for keeping me tipsy. Here’s the link for a recipe.

Moscow Mule
Raving about the frozen sangria made me feel guilty for neglecting to mention my other go-to summer drink. Okay now I want a drink.


This is from when I made a frozen one

Cumberland Farms Honey Flavoured Cheese Curls
I wish I had a pic of these. I can’t find it on Google. Anyway, I’m big on salty-sweet flavours and this is right up my alley. Love love love!! If you have a Cumberland Farms in your area, your should try it.

Lemon Cream Sauce
We eat a lot of fish or seafood here. After all this time I never thought to sauce my fish. And it’s so easy. I do this all the time now. Just butter, garlic, whipping cream, lemon juice and any spice that tickles your fancy.

TV Shows
Shameless: Obsessed with this show. I can’t wait for it to come back next month. Lip is the love of my life.
Ray Donovan: I want to marry Ray
Orphan Black: Just started it. The main actress is phenomenal
The Night Of: The first episode is fantastic and by the end I just hated everyone lol
Chelsea: My girl is back on Netflix. Life makes sense again.

The Internet
Not the actual internet. This is a group I stumbled across on Spotify a while back. They have a jazzy, soulful sound. I can’t get enough. Great relaxing, light summery music. And this one song in particular really helped me after our last failed cycle. It features Yuna who is also worth listening to. Her voice is so soulful. Here’s the song. It’s called Sunset.
My other faves of theirs is Girl, Dontcha, Red Balloon, Go With It and Missing you.

Thanks for reading this long ass post! Happy September!



IVF Limbo

We’ve had 2 appointments since last I updated. N had one with a urologist last week. I couldn’t make the appointment so I sent him with a long list of questions and information. I had requested my medical records from our clinic but they didn’t come in time so they called me with all of N’s semen analysis results.

And then before he went to the appointment I was stressing about whether this guy would have some promising ideas and then I realized that he’s not a urologist who specializes in the infertility. Should have thought about that before, right? Ugh.

Anyway, despite all that, the appointment went well. He put N on Anastrozole instead of Clomid. He said he’s seen better results with it and it should kick in in a few weeks. He said that TESE wouldn’t yield any good sperm so probably isn’t a good option. He also mentioned that him and his wife went through something similar so that was nice. He stressed the importance of putting your marriage first during all of this. I think it was nice for N to hear from someone who’s been through this.

All in all it was a good appointment. Fast forward to Wednesday’s appointment with our RE.

It was a little tough. He said that they had to use N’s frozen sample and his fresh one and they struggled to find anything worth using so they didn’t even use PICSI. We talked about the urologist appointment and he said that the one we went to probably wasn’t a specialist so he gave us the card of a Dr. O in Boston who’s supposed to be the bees knees of infertility urology and he would be able to give better advice wrt TESE/MESA and Anastrozole etc. We also talked about my egg quality. He again mentioned that my eggs weren’t the best but that he’s seen women get pregnant with similar looking eggs.We reviewed our last dismal cycle and he said that he’s pushed me as far as they want to push my body and he doesn’t want to do anything if the sperm sample isn’t going to be any help. He also said that donor sperm is an option if we don’t want to struggle like this anymore.
And then he gave us 3 choices.
1. Donor sperm
2. Go see an infertility urologist, then come back if he has a plan.
3. Get help from another clinic.

I was doing okay up until the point where he said go to another doctor. I cried silently while I listened to him say that his main goal is to get us pregnant so if that means staying with them or going to someone else then that’s our decision. But he gave us no plan and didn’t really give any hope either.

I don’t know, you guys. I wasn’t happy with this appointment. It feels like he’s given up and that’s not something anyone wants to hear. I was on the fence again about getting a second opinion because I trust him and now this. My main worry was that he would suggest donor sperm or say that he doesn’t know what else to do and he did just that. I feel like he fired us.

N is unphased, however. He is positive about this Dr. O. I think I’ll feel more positive once we lock in an appointment date.

I’m doing okay today though. I was really bummed on Wednesday but I’m okay. I mean, I would have liked a plan and start date. Things are up in the air now. So the uncertainty is testing me but being around N’s positivity is rubbing off on me.

I don’t know he does it but I really appreciate it.

So here we are. A couple with yucky eggs and shitty sperm and as of now, no next steps.



It’s Still the Best Month

So it’s been a week since everything went to shit. I wrote a post a few days ago recounting the events of the day that I got the phone call and it was utterly depressing. I had to stop half way because it was dinner time and, frankly, it was bumming me out.

The 10th of August was a bad day. A “horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day”. I cried and raged and talked and slept…. And then it was over.

The truth is, I could have crumbled. I could have. I would have if I hadn’t reached out and and if everyone hadn’t rallied around us. But my village (yourselves included) went a long way to lift me up and made it very difficult to break down.

So honestly, by the 11th all was good. And this month has still been fantastic. On Friday we went on a booze cruise in Boston to see the band Bad Fish (who I knew nothing about). The entire night was a comedy of errors and so much fun. We took the T in and realized it was an 18 minute walk to the boat and we had 20 minutes before it left and I was in heels. I ended up taking my shoes off and we made it with minutes to spare. The cruise itself was fun. 3 hours on the water and it was too hot near the band so we all just stayed on top. I don’t even know what the band looked like. The best part was at the end they were playing my favourite song (Don’t stop believing by Journey) and as the guitar riff was going at the end an airplane flew really low and slow over the boat and everyone lost their minds. You couldn’t plan that perfect timing. Going back we had to walk as well and by this time my feet were screaming. Eventually N had to give me his socks and we hopped onto the last train. The drunkest guy in the world was sitting/passed out across from me and another young lady and we both watched in terrified anticipation while he rocked back and forth almost puking all over himself and just spitting everywhere. What a lovely first time on the midnight train it was.

The drive home was supposed to be without incident but as we pulled up to the house there was a sneaky cop behind us. Apparently N’s licence was expired and he had no idea. Luckily he just got a warning.

Finally, we walked in the house at 2am and I had to wash my feet. Being the smart lady I am I filled up the bathroom sink and dunked my foot in it. The sink, however, said “Oh heeell no!” and my foot went right though, dumping water everywhere. What fun we had, unpacking the vanity and wiping up water together at 2:30 in the morning.

We spent the rest of the weekend doing nothing on Saturday to doing everything on Sunday. Deep cleaning the house and replacing the sink.

So the week has been going pretty well too and it got a little better yesterday when I pierced my nose again for the 4th time in my life.

I was a serial piercer and during the course of last year I removed most of my piercings. Two of which were specifically related to TTC. My acupuncturist said that they were messing with my chi. Now, I’ve grown used to not having anymore piercings but I’ve always been sad about the nose ring so it was kismet that N’s cousin’s new boyfriend, who we met on the cruise, did piercings! So yesterday I bit the bullet and I’m so so happy. My  nose was definitely meant to have a ring of some sort in it🙂. And it was kind of like my little “fuck you” to infertility and TTC and claiming back a bit of my life that this journey has invariably taken from me.

So you see, my friends, I have not had time to feel sorry for myself. I will admit, though, that part of me is a little untrusting of how okay I am. Is there a meltdown lurking in the corners? Will N get no help at this urologist appointment tomorrow? Will we get truly bad news at our follow-up appointment next week? Only time will tell.

Until then, I have 3 more days as a 34 year old and I am going to do tear it apart.

Here’s to me! Here’s to my village! Here’s to us!

And here’s a picture of the sink I broke.