The Next Chapter

Hi guys! I’ve been meaning to post for the last… erm… ten months…. but life got away from me. I even began working on a whole new blog to transition this one to, but haven’t quite gotten around to finishing it. Given my blogging history, it will probably languish in Unpublished Land indefinitely.

Many of you know that after infertility, I found myself in the childless-not-by-choice community. I’ve been hanging out in that world for the last couple of years, building new friendships and slowly adjusting to the likely permanency of my reproductive reality. During this time, I’ve continued my endless quest to find an endo specialist and have seen numerous doctors, all resulting in disappointment.

My endometriosis is still really bad. Severe stage 4— lots of pain, tons of ongoing symptoms, blah blah blah. Sometime in early 2021 I decided that enough is enough: I am weary of living with constant pain and missing out on countless events because of endo issues. And even though I know it’s not a cure (please, no lectures), I began seriously considering hysterectomy.

Docs have pushing me for more than a decade to have a hysterectomy, but I always adamantly refused. Instead, I tried anything and everything, prescription and natural, psychological and physical, to heal/improve my endo and increase my odds of conception. And you know what? None of it worked. It was like spitting in the ocean. After a very long road, I’ve accepted things and, frankly, I am desperate for my painful reproductive organs to be OUT of my body, once and for all.

The first step in my journey to hysterectomy led me to New York City to meet with the renowned (or should I say infamous?) Dr. Seckin. Dr. Seckin has been on my radar for a very long time, but financial and insurance reasons kept me from making a move. I finally took the plunge, and Jake and I took a day trip on a sunny spring day in March of this year to meet with him.

After a long and somewhat thorough consult, Dr. Seckin diagnosed me with a partially frozen pelvis, in addition to severe stage 4 endo. I had a fancy pelvic MRI done while I was in the city which showed adhesions everywhere in my pelvic area and numerous chocolate cysts and other cysts. Dr. Seckin agreed that excision surgery plus a complete hysterectomy was in order; I was relieved and anxious to move forward.

Just when I was ready to schedule surgery, Dr. Seckin’s office slipped me the news that it would cost me $15,000, not covered by insurance. I’d already spent more than a grand out of pocket. Where would I find $15k?? I considered every possibility before reluctantly (and I should add resentfully) deciding to scrap Dr. Seckin. It was a tough decision, and I went through several dark weeks of hopelessness and disappointment while wrestling through it.

I definitely would NOT recommend Dr. Seckin to anyone unless you’re loaded with cash and prepared to make lots of trips to NYC. I felt cheated by him. I believe he preys upon desperate women like me in order to line his pockets. The entire experience was very upsetting and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this same thing.

My journey’s next step(s) was a whirlwind series of appointments with four more doctors (!), each of which was a letdown. Finally last month, out of desperation and realizing that my quest for the perfect doc would never end, I returned to one of those four docs to go ahead with surgery. Next week I have a second consult with my new doctor (Dr. New, keep it simple), as well as with a colo-rectal surgeon because I always have a colo-rectal guy on hand for my long and complicated surgeries.

I’m hoping to schedule my hysterectomy for November/December. It will involve surgical removal of my remaining ovary and Fallopian tube, uterus, and cervix, as well as excision of all endometriosis. Because my bowel is involved, I’ll likely spend a night or two in the hospital.

I cannot WAIT to have my hysterectomy! The prospect of relief from pain is like a carrot dangling on a stick. And even if my endo and/or adhesions return, I won’t have a uterus throbbing away and an ovary that feels like it’s being smashed by a hammer repeatedly, or a super-friable cervix to bleed every time Jake and I do the deed. Possible adhesion pain I can deal with (I hope). Imagining a life pain-free of endometriosis is unimaginable. Being able to perform everyday activities unimpeded from pain and/or excessive bleeding is something I haven’t experienced since my first period at age twelve.

Of course, a full hysterectomy means permanency of childlessness and instant menopause. I’ve been struggling through those issues the past several months, and I believe God has given me peace to move forward.

I’ve thought and researched carefully over every possibility that comes with hysterectomy, but having the surgery— vs. having yet another endo excision surgery that inevitably fails to improve my quality of life— is the right decision. I’m almost forty years old; Jake and I have been married for eighteen years and are established in our life; being pregnant and bringing a baby into our lives at this stage isn’t something we’re into anymore. That season of life has passed.

That said, Jake and I have had a huge change in our life recently (nothing bad) which I’ll save for another post. And this time, I WILL actually post something and not wait months and months to publish it.



After Infertility

I’ve dreaded writing this post for months. Even though in early 2020 I’d promised to keep this blog up to date, I’ve instead found myself straight up not wanting to post at all. But as we near the end of this very strange year, I’ve managed to guilt myself into posting something. So here it is.

I’ve come a long way in the nearly six years since starting The Endo Zone. The girl who was once so eager to “overcome” (huge air quotes there) infertility and have a baby is long gone. I’ve spent nearly all of my thirties trying to get (and stay) pregnant; barring an act of God, having a child likely isn’t in my future. After a very long and bumpy mental battle, I’m okay with that fact. And the girl who was once so adamant about “managing” (insert more air quotes) her endometriosis and find a doctor worth his salt has been replaced by a more realistic woman who realizes, after twenty-plus doctors, that it just ain’t gonna happen.

When it comes to infertility, my interest is waning. No, wait, it’s not just waning: it’s virtually gone. I’m barely concerned about all-things-fertility these days. I mean, I do care in a way, just not in the same way and to the same degree that I used to care. This applies only to myself: of course I still care about all my friends in Infertility Land! You guys (well, gals) are the reason this blog hasn’t totally died. Yet.

As to endometriosis, what haven’t I already said? I’m hoping for a full hysterectomy in the spring with the renowned Dr. Seckin. After my hysterectomy, the infertility will obviously no longer be an issue. And because Dr. Seckin is so, so very good, I’m hoping the endometriosis won’t be an issue anymore either. No one can say for certain— even the top endo doc in the country (and possibly the world; no joke)— but I have high hopes in him. I’m fortunate to live within a 90-minute drive of Dr. Seckin and to finally have insurance that’ll pay toward his insanely high fees. Otherwise, treating with him would remain one of my pipe dreams.

And isn’t that statement just so telling of the so-called “health care” system that, bewilderingly, continues to exist here in the USA? That a person must refinance her house, take out extensive loans, and take loads of time off of work, just for a chance to be able to be treated properly for endometriosis — all because evil health insurance corporations think endo as a minor ‘reproductive disorder’? It disgusts me on such a deep level. I could start an entire blog on that topic alone!

Instead, with many mixed emotions, I’m thinking about ending The Endo Zone. I feel that its purpose has been fulfilled. In a sense, keeping this blog is also keeping myself stuck in a world in which I no longer wish to remain. I don’t want to box myself into a black-and-white mindset of “Those Who Have Kids” vs. “Those Who Don’t Have Kids” and view my life through that narrow prism. With that said, starting a post-infertility, childless-not-by-choice blog isn’t something I’m motivated to do either. Should I change my mind, I’ll post a link to any new blog that I may create. No absolutes here.

Otherwise, I think this post may be my last The Endo Zone post ever. Or if not ever, at least the last one for awhile. If you don’t hear from me again on this space, find me on Instagram (link here).

It has been my absolute pleasure to have shared this space with you over the last nearly six years. Many of you have resolved with your child(ren) and have moved onto life post-infertility. Like me, a few of you have not and will not. Some of you are still trying for your child. Wherever you are on the spectrum of fertility-infertility and/or endometriosis management, I wish you the very best. I know the road is not for the faint of heart.


~ Marixsa

One Lovely Blog Award


I’ve been nominated by my new friend, Delayed But Not Denied, for the One Lovely Blog Award! Please take a moment to check out her site, she is a relatively new blogger here and is such an encouragement to me, as well as being a fellow sister in Christ. Thank you, Delayed But Not Denied, for the nomination. I look forward to following you on your sojourn and celebrating our miracle babies someday soon!

Here are the Rules:


  1. Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  2. Post about the award
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate other people (15 at most)
  5. Tell your nominees the good news!

Okay, 7 things about me… hmm. Let’s see:

  1. I like to pretend that I can play the piano. We have one at home and I can [sort of] remember from my childhood lessons how to read music. I can even remember a decent amount of tunes I once knew! The fact is, I’m probably definitely much rustier at playing that I like to imagine… maybe adult lessons are in order.
  2. I also like to think that I can carry a tune. Jake enjoys informing me that I, in fact, cannot carry a tune in a bucket. But I still sing anyway… especially at church… loudly. Which he just loves.
  3. My ultimate dream is to one day own and operate an animal rescue. All critters welcome! In the meantime, I’m completely okay with rescuing as many critters as I can fit in my home without becoming, well, that weird animal-hoarding lady.
  4. I’m a paralegal and I LOVE my field of work! I have my bachelor’s degree in legal studies and am currently studying for a voluntary national certification test, which I am taking next week (eek!). Nervous!
  5. Next year I’ll have known my husband for exactly half of my life. We met when I was I was 18 and he was 24. Man, okay now I feel old….
  6. I’ve become a total e-book snob. I love to read so much, but don’t have tons of room to store books. Hence, my e-reader gets lots of action.
  7. I’m also a coffee aficionado. I loooooove coffee, perhaps a bit too much. TTC = limited caffeine intake, so I’m often at odds with myself and my love of the  coffea arabica bean.



Now, for the nominations! I nominate:

  1. Angela at Surviving Infertility
  2. Lisa at Bloomin Uterus
  3. AKL at Baby Wanted! An IVF Journey
  4. 30yr Old Nothing at Tales of a 30 Year Old Nothing
  5. Single Gene Me at Single Gene Me
  6. Meghan at Whistle While You Wait



2016: A Different Kind of TTC


Let’s start this off by saying that the changes I’ve made for Mission: 2016 Pregnancy/Baby haven’t exactly been fruitful. Aside from the spring miscarriage, not even the faintest of two pink lines or the remotest natural pregnancy possibility were had. From all appearances, 2016 has been a gigantic fertility FAIL, and it was no more successful than the preceding four years of TTC. Examples: my cycles in 2016 have been a wildly swinging pendulum, ranging from both scarily long (107 days) to freakishly short (13 days) and everywhere else in between. Maybe four or five times this entire year I’ve actually ovulated. There was an FET, followed by miscarriage #3/chemical pregnancy. Then there’s been these past few months of unexplained bleeding. All fails. Big, fat, giant, sloppy fails.

Even so, I have made some positive changes this year for my fertility health! My hope is that—by continuing them over time and being consistent—they’ll help me reach my end goal of a natural pregnancy:

  • Baby Aspirin: I started taking baby aspirin in March, about a month before my FET. I’ve never been diagnosed with any clotting issues, but taking baby aspirin every day somehow makes me feel better. Maybe it’s psychological, maybe it’s physical. Who knows. But it doesn’t hurt to keep taking it. I’ll have to stop taking the baby aspirin about three weeks before my upcoming surgery, but it’s just temporary. I’ll pick back up with it once I’ve healed from surgery.
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: I bought 2 pounds of loose, organic RRL tea back in February and STILL have plenty leftover! I only drink it for the first two-thirds of my cycle, since it really shouldn’t be drunk during early pregnancy. There’s no telling if the RRL tea has actually helped my uterus. But it’s something proactive that makes me feel like I’m actually doing something, so why not?
  • Acupuncture. This should actually be added to my “fail” list. I managed to endure suffer through six weeks of acu prior to my FET. All my fellow TTC-ers in Blog Land love acupuncture and swear by it. But for me? Not so much. My extreme sensitivity to touch combined with a low pain threshold means that acupuncture is uncomfortable-bordering-on-painful for me. I would leave my acu appointments feeling sore and tense and anxiously dreading the next session. From what I’ve read online, a small percentage of people have this type of reaction to acu. I guess I’m part of the minority here, but I’m not completely alone at least. Acupuncture for increased fertility is apparently not part of my fertility plan.
  • Smoking Cessation: I’d quit smoking in summer 2015 prior to my first IVF. After miscarriage #2 from that cycle, I [accidentally but kind of on purpose too] picked back up on the habit. From there, it took me another four whole months to quit again. But then miscarriage #3 happened. And I went back to smoking yet again. It’s a struggle, people! I smoked for twenty years. Not heavily, maybe seven or so cigs a days, but still… A long time. And it’s not something I’m exactly thrilled to admit on here. Anyway, I quit for a third time in June 2016 and have made it six months smoke free! I’m not gonna lie: I still miss it sometimes a lot. But I feel better overall being a nonsmoker, and continue to take it one day at a time.
  • Supplements. This year I added DHEA, CoQ10, vitamin D, mineral supplements, daily prenatals, L-Arginine, ester C, and B-complex to my supplement list. In previous years, I was only taking multi-vitamins. I’ve talked a bit about this before here.
  • Sayonara, plastic: During a sudden burst of inspiration, I chucked all plasticware from my kitchen. No BPA in Marixa’s house! One day back in the spring, Jake came home to find me in the kitchen surrounded knee-deep by pitchers, food storage containers, Ziplock bags, jars, and any other plastic-y items in my path of destruction. I gathered them into a trash bag and pitched them all in the trash. Then I went out and spent a tiny fortune replacing everything with glassware. Anything that mimicks estrogen in our bodies is bad in general, but especially so for those of us with endometriosis. So goodbye, you plastic endocrine disruptors, you.

When it’s all said and done, I’ve done all that I know to do. The rest is up to God. His timing will ultimately win, despite all the little futile”isms” I may do in my own limited human strength. I’m still believing in Him to “…make the barren woman [me] a happy mother of children.

So I bid adieu to 2016 and look forward with hopeful expectation to 2017. Goodbye, year of fertility fails. Goodbye, year of weird cycles. Goodbye, fertility treatments. Goodbye, anovulatory cycles. Goodbye, intermenstrual bleeding. And finally, goodbye, my much-desired embryo who tried so, so very much, but just couldn’t stay comfy more than a few weeks in my womb. You were loved; you are still loved; you will always be loved.

And welcome to a new year of possibilities, of renewed faith, of restored fertility. Of being the year my dreams come true.

My prayer for all of you, my fellow TTC-ers, who are still trying for that miracle baby, or are waiting on edge for that adoption to come through, or are searching to find (or pay for!) a gestational surrogate—or wherever else you may be in your fertility quest—is for God’s peace, prosperity, comfort, and widsom to surround you. I pray that your dreams come true and your prayers are answered for your miracle child in 2017.

All things are possible to [s]he who believes.



My Cousinless Nephew

Last year I blogged here and here about struggling with my brother and sister-in-law’s pregnancy during our miscarriage. Can I just say that—nearly a year later—it still hurts, it’s still raw, and I’m still having a tough time dealing?

The short recap is that my brother has had two surprise babies conceived and born in the time I’ve been desperately trying for just one. My family pretty much wrote the book on non-communication and how to sweep things under the rug, so infertility is a secret that I guard closely from them. Family dynamics and all…it’s complicated.

My brother and sister-in-law were already well into their pregnancy with baby #2 (I’ll call him Baby) when I found out that we were pregnant from IVF. Our children would’ve been only 6 months apart. During the early weeks of my pregnancy, I could barely contain my excitement to announce to them that Baby had a cousin on the way. I never got that chance, though.  In fact, I received an invitation to Baby’s shower on the same day I found out that my own baby had died inside of me. Then, almost immediately after my second miscarriage, Baby was born.

The whole situation was just textbook terrible. Especially challenging was genuinely sharing in the joy of Baby’s birth so fresh after our loss. So I spent the next little while (okay, 10 months) avoiding my brother and—by association—avoiding Baby. It was surprisingly easy: though they all live close by, my family doesn’t spend much time together.

That is, except for our four get-togethers every year for each of the four major holidays: you know, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Camping. What can I say? We’re seriously into travel trailer camping… it’s like our very own made up holiday.

On Thanksgiving I ditched my family and went to the beach instead, as the miscarriage had literally just happened and I was still in tons of physical pain. I begrudgingly attended Christmas, where I drank too much wine and ignored Baby’s presence by hanging in the kitchen all night. For Easter, I purposefully sat at the opposite end of the table from Baby and spent the meal talking only with those around me, then made a quick exit. Check, check, and check. That only left one more family get together: camping.

Our annual camping trip was recently. It was the first time I’d seen Baby since Easter, and this time avoiding him was trickier, as campers are not known for their spaciousness. Leading up to camping, I was tripping about whether anyone in my family would comment on my childlessness if I were to go near Baby. Fortunately, no one said anything about it this time, though they have made such comments in the past that hurt very much. Having Baby camping, seeing my family dote on him and make him the focal point of the weekend was… for lack of a better word, rough. Emotionally, it brought everything home that I’ve so successfully psychologically avoided until now.

It’s not Baby’s fault. From the few times I’ve been around him, he’s adorably, preciously, perfectly wonderful. His laugh could melt a heart of steel. His face wears a constant look of wonder and amusement. He rarely cries. He’s insanely awesome. Yet every time I look at him, I have to quickly look away. Because just his being here, so alive and so beautiful, is a sharp, painful reminder that my baby is not here. It reminds me that he’ll never grow up and be in school with his cousin, or become best friends with him/her, or go on family trips together. It’s a taunting reminder of failure that revives my grief as if I were reliving the miscarriage again and again and again.

Let me be clear that it’s not bitterness I’m struggling with here. Not at all. In fact, I’m very happy for my brother to finally have a son after having had three daughters first. To be bitter would be the easiest, most natural response in the world. But, through the grace of God, I’ve learned not to fall victim to every whim of emotion that tries to creep its way inside of me and bitterness hasn’t taken root. His grace has truly gotten me through. No, it is not bitterness. It’s just straight up pain… and heartache. I want to be free of it, but I don’t know how.

Because how can I watch Baby grow up and not feel this constant, underlying current of pain and grief? How will I ever look at him and not fixate instead on the invisible space where his cousin, my own baby, should also be? Will I subconsciously treat him differently than my other nieces and nephews? Or do I instead lavish extra love on him in some convoluted way of paying homage to my own never born baby? 

I don’t know the answers.

Readers, have any of you struggled with a niece’s or nephew’s birth soon after your own loss? Did you have similar issues interacting with their babies? And, perhaps most importantly, does it eventually get easier?



Reproductive Plans: The Next Chapter


Okay, so I might have slightly misled you. I really don’t have a plan. In fact, I probably haven’t been very clear on this blog about what’s next for us in our Quest for Baby. Well, that mystery is about to be solved. ‘Cause here’s the answer: not much.

I have the deepest admiration for those of you who soldier through back-to-back ART cycles, and I wish that I could do the same. Such a feat is not possible for us right now, though it’s not for lack of wanting to. If I had infertility treatment insurance coverage then I’d be right there alongside you, my blogger friends, trying again and again and again. But, my plan has zilch coverage for such extravagantly “unnecessary” treatments, so here I am. Juuuust hanging out….waiting and trying… Blogging occasional random ruminations about all-things-fertility, while watching my biological tick-tock into infinity.

I’m pretty sure that another IVF is not in my reproductive future. The only way we’d be able to do another IVF round is if: (a) I won the lottery, or (b) we befriended a benefactor both rich and generous. Since I don’t even play the lottery, my odds seem pretty nil on that front. And, so far, no rich benefactors have come a’calling. Short of taking out a massive loan, the IVF ship seems to have sailed its final course.

We continue to try naturally, although the last two months have both been busts. In July I had all that weird bleeding, so I was out a month. Then this month I’m also having…yep, more mystery bleeding! I also didn’t ovulate this month, which I was surprised to learn is a common side effect from Provera. In fact, there’s only been a handful of months in 2016 that have been normal cycles for me complete with ovulation, so thus far 2016 hasn’t exactly been our year. Things could always turn around though, and I very much believe that I will eat these words come December 31st.

At least I’m not completely out of the game! I’ve been investigating another cleanup surgery (lap) for my incessant endometriosis. This would be my fifth surgery. Aside from drastically increasing my odds of conceiving naturally, the other big reason I want another surgery is that I am so over being in pain all the time…grrr. I literally never stop feeling my ovary, all day, every day. Whether it’s pulsing, throbbing, or outright screaming at me, this Lately I can add weird random shooting pains near my uterus to my pain factor. They come out of nowhere, which means I could just be walking down the street or sitting on the train when—WHAM!—a pain will strike and double me over. Besides being embarrassing, this kind of pain is so not cool just in general. It also keeps me up at night diagnosing myself with all kinds of far-flung, worst-case-scenario maladies… Anxiety’s such a monster.

I won’t let just any old doctor perform my next surgery though. I’ve been down that road before and, just, no. It’s a challenge, because there’s very, very, VERY few doctors out there specializing in endometriosis. My personal experience has been that I tend to know more about this disease than the majority of doctors I’ve dealt with! That said, I did find one potential contender: He’s a gynecologic endoscopy specialist (fancy!) whose practice is located about two hours from where I live. This doctor seems to really know his stuff about endo and he has 4,000+ laparoscopic surgeries under his belt… well, so to speak, haha!  I haven’t called for an appointment yet, but he looks very promising. Fingers crossed!

Despite no real plan save the maybe-surgery, things could be much worse, reproductively speaking. There is always hope, and God still does the impossible! So until maybe-surgery time gets here, I do have some fun things coming up that I’m looking forward to:

  • A Joyce Meyer conference this weekend. Joyce is only in my state once a year and this year I WILL attend the conference, distance be damned! Seriously, every time I listen to/watch Joyce Meyer I wish that she was my mother. She rocks!
  • A Labor Day cookout in a few weeks. I freakin love Labor Day weekend. It’s still technically summer, but it also unofficially ushers in autumn, which is my favorite season.
  • A conference that my profession’s local association is hosting at the end of September. I have no real colleagues to speak of in my workplace, so I’m very much looking forward to a paid day of networking and a day free from Boss.
  • Sewing classes. My sister and I have signed up for sewing classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I’ve always wanted to learn to sew, but never got even the basics down. I mean, I struggle to sew buttons back on a shirt; the scrunchy I made in seventh grade home ec class was little more than a floppy, unwearable circular cloth. My first class is in mid-September and I’m excited for it, even if it might mean near-certain decimation of another innocent garmet.
  • Home Depot workshop. On the third Thursday of each month, my local Home Depot (and yours, too!) holds a free women-only workshop. We’ll be making “vintage wheelbarrows” at the workshop that I signed up for. I feel kind of silly admitting that I’m excited for this. But the truth is that I AM crazy looking forward to it, cause I totally heart making crafty décor.
  • Camping. Our annual family camping trip is only 7 weeks away! My entire family gets together, we bring our campers and tents plus a whole lot of grub, and spend the weekend camping at a quaint country campground. I usually begin looking forward to the next trip before the current trip has even ended. Jake and I bought a popup camper last year, so we’re always stoked for a chance to use it.
  • Bike ride.  The annual 19k organized bike ride that my dad and I participate in each year is only 2 weeks away! It’s a great ride for a great cause, and an added bonus is that most of the course runs along a scenic river canal. Oh yeah, did I mention that my dad is almost 72 years old and he does this ride like a boss? This is truly one of my favorite rides and I’m ridic excited for it.

So now you guys are all caught up in our lack-of-a-plan plans, and I hope I haven’t put you to sleep cause I feel like I’ve said a whole lot of nothing here.

However, one of the best things about plans is that they’re always subject to change. And I wouldn’t mind if this one changed, like, a whole lot! Besides, who knows? While I’m busy looking one way for that mystery benefactor, God may have a much better plan in store for me coming from the opposite direction. I hope He does.





Starting Back at One: Transfer Day

This morning our only frozen embryo, a grade 5BB hatching day-5 blastocyst, was thawed from its lonely chamber of cryopreservation. The thaw process only takes about an hour, a timeframe that is completely amazing to me. At some point during that one hour, our hatching blast became a fully hatched blast! Transfer day at my clinic becomes Day 1 all over again, so a new countdown now begins.


5bb blast
The pic came out a bit wavy since my husband folded (!) the paper it’s printed on. But I still think s/he’s a beaut, crease marks and all!

Between the unscented soap and all-natural crystal deodorant I insisted Jake and I wear, we were both completely sans scent. I even had us brush our teeth with plain baking soda this morning because, you know, just in case. I’m a fortunate girl that he didn’t complain about any of my many restrictions. It might have been unnecessary, but I went a step above and wore no makeup or styling products in my hair just to keep out any unnatural chemicals or subtle scents. I have reallllllly curly hair, so I ended up looking like a small porcupine took up residence on my head without my products, but pssssh, whatevs. Totally worth the outcome. I wanted us to smell like nothing, and I got my wish. Always Be Prepared, right? I would’ve made a phenomenal Boy Scout.

Anyway, Jake* and I were scheduled for a 9:15 a.m. transfer. Being overly prepared for a big day like this (see above), we got to the clinic fifteen minutes early. I had the obligatory “uncomfortably full” bladder as per the  clinic’s verbatim instructions, my squeezy stress ball ready for the blood draw (I keep one in my purse to whip out specifically for blood work), plus comfy clothes and a pillow to sit on for the car ride home. All in all, I’d say we were ready.

And once we got to the clinic? We waited. Boy, did we wait! And holy canolis did I have to pee! We waited well over an hour while I squirmed in my seat trying to find a comfortable position before it was finally our turn.

Normally the surgical clinic has extremely short wait times, and I’ve rarely gone in for a procedure and seen anyone else waiting. Not today though: this morning was apparently Day 1 for everyone else in southeastern PA, and the waiting room was packed. It seemed every female patient there had her husband and her mother with her, which opens up a whole other realm of psychological crap on my end that I’ll spare you all the deets on. I just couldn’t help but notice it, cause all these chicks with their mothers’ support  suddenly made me feel very alone, like a spotlight shining down on an always-empty place in my life. It’s moments like this that I feel that void the most. But let’s keep it happy here today. I’ll stop digressing.

I knew in advance that Dr. Goodman would be doing my transfer (f/k/a “Dr. G,” but in keeping in line with pseudonyms I want her to have a more “real” fake name if you follow me). This was totally okay by me because I really love Dr. Goodman. She’s my second-fave RE in the practice and has a warm and genuine and relaxing presence. She’s performed my first h/s and first ET, so she knows my uterus well. I never imagined another woman could know my uterus so well. Or that I’d ever type a sentence like that with a completely straight face.

In a twist of non-ironic irony, it turns out I had too full a bladder for transfer. Dr. Goodman took one look at my bladder on the u/s screen before she had me hop off the table. She handed me a cup and instructed me to fill it three times before coming back to try again. If I hadn’t had to pee so badly I almost would’ve laughed. Almost. But I was too busy running down the hall clutching my pee cup to care.

The actual transfer went off without a hitch. I’m a bit crampy from the procedure and sore from the PIO injections, but otherwise I feel fantastic.

I’ve spent the day hanging in my bedroom with Puppy and our new cat  Rocky f/k/a/ Tugg (I absolutely had to change his name. I felt like an idiot calling, “Here, Tugg!” across the room. Like a five-year-old). It’s election day here in my state, and while walking the two blocks to my polling center doesn’t sound undoable, in the name of cautiousness I’ll be negligent in my patriotic duties today and skip on casting my vote. I don’t want to look back at anything I did or didn’t do today and have a regret. But still, I’m sorta bummed that I’ll miss out on voting.

Overall, I felt much more confident this time around because I knew exactly what to expect. The whole time the intake nurse was reading off instructions to me on how to change into the garb and how the process was going to go down, I gave her my attention in only a cursory polite way. While she spoke I began wondering about many of you fellow bloggers who’ve been down this road many more times than I have. I wondered if eventually the nurses reach a point where they’re like, “Just go ahead in. You know the drill. Let’s save all our time here and just do this thing.” I don’t want to ever find out.

Lastly, I had this really great post in mind that I wanted to do about TWW stuff. I’m so overly prepared for the TWW that it’s kind of frightening. Most likely I’ll still post it later, but not so late that it’s irrelevant.

It’s not even a true TWW. More like a 10-day wait. Totally doable. You’ll be hearing from me between now and then. No doubt about it.

*Since I began this blog I’ve referred to my husband as “DH,” which is the go-to acronym in the land of infertility message boards. But really, it’s just starting to sound so… blah… like he’s just an extra in a movie instead of the leading man. In the interest of preserving privacy because I will continue to blog anonymously for the foreseeable future, it only seemed right to give him a name. Even if it’s a fake one.


FET#1CD12 Update

Apparently I live for alarms.

I should stop calling this FET#1. Numbering IVF cycles like us IF bloggers do makes it sound like I’m expecting to have more than one. I believe this cycle will work and that there won’t even be a FET#2. Since I’m feeling lazy about coming up with spiffy post titles though, any suggestions for more creative phrases than “FET#1” are completely welcomed!

Today was my third u/s and BW draw. My lining was 9.2. Excellent. BW numbers were all good, too: estrogen at 624, progesterone dropped to 0.3, and LH increased to 18. Check, check, and check.

But then the u/s showed a 16mm follicle that had suddenly sprouted within the past week, which was expected by absolutely no one. The NP who did my u/s was concerned because I shouldn’t be growing any follicles right now, and this renegade follicle is nearly matured. There was a real question on whether this meant my entire FET should be cancelled. NP had to check with Dr. C and wait for my BW results to come in, so I spent the better part of today worrying that we’d have to scrap this cycle.

For months now my body either hasn’t ovulated at all, or has ovulated so late that my luteal phases were too short to get PG during natural TTC. Now my body suddenly decides it wants to OV early… during the one cycle when we’re trying to keep it from OVing on its own. At long last Dr. C made the call to keep going forward despite the lone ranger follicle, so tonight I’ll start PIO injections and Medrol as planned.

Whew. That was a fun few hours of waiting.

Except for that scare, everything else is going well. Transfer goes down in 5 days. I don’t expect to have much to post between now and then.

Just one last thing. It’s not an issue, more like something just worth mentioning: I haven’t seen Dr. C at all since my last h/s in January —and I won’t see or have direct contact with him this entire FET. I genuinely like Dr. C—both as a person and as my physician—so his absence this time around makes it seem like he’s not “in my corner” in a sense. During week 1 of my cycle Dr. C was out of town due to a death in his family. Each appointment I’ve had since week 1 has fallen on a day when Dr. C is not at my clinic’s location. Even my first beta is scheduled for a day when he does transfers at the surgical clinic! We’re like two ships passing in the night.

So I rearranged my first beta for one day later than originally scheduled just so I could see him. Yep, I’m gonna wait an entire extra day to find out if we’re pregnant just so I can see my doctor. We form bonds and a real trust with our REs. They’re our allies in battle. It’s nice to feel like your war buddy is by your side in the thick of things.



FET#1 CD6 Update

Things are going well so far in this FET cycle. So well, in fact, that this hardly feels like an update.

First off, I’m completely loving the relaxed feel of a FET vs. the stressful, timing-sensitive, endless scans, and stims overload of a fresh cycle. It’s easy to forget that I’m even in an IVF cycle right now since everything seems so eerily normal outwardly.

My BW numbers are all looking good and I don’t have any ovarian cysts. I’m so incredibly thankful for that: I’d been having crazy ovary pain lately, and was fearful that I had some monster cysts going on which would’ve made us postpone things.

My CD2 lining was 6.8, which has increased to 8.27 today (CD6). As long as it doesn’t get too thick (around 13ish) between now and CD17 then I should be just fine. I feel so grateful that this one very important area is normal and that I’ve no thin lining issues. So many of my IF friends on here struggle with that and my heart truly goes out to them, as I can appreciate how frustrating it must be. For all my other IF issues, I thank God for this one area always being on point.

I’ve been taking 4mg daily of oral estrogen for 5 days now. Tomorrow I increase it to 6mg. The Estrace makes me feel a little crazy for a few hours after taking it, but it’s nothing unmanageable. It (should) make sense that—since my usual CD3 migraines are caused by a drop in estrogen—boosting my estrogen levels with Estrace would stop a CD3 migraine … but no such luck. I’m no endocrinologist, but my guess is that too much estrogen is causing this problem now. Either way, I’ve been battling an incessant migraine almost all week, and, except for a 3-day break, I’ve basically been migraine-ing for the past ten days. It’s physically very draining to plug away each day feeling like crap, and I’m only today sloooooowly coming out of my foggy medicine-head haze.   The bonus to having an eternal migraine is that I’ve been unable to eat much due to the nausea and have lost a pound or so! Perspective and all….

In non-cycle news, DH and I adopted a new kitty this week! Since our cat passed away three weeks ago I’ve been feeling a huge hole in my life. It’s just not the same at home without having my lil buddy around. I mean, we do have another cat and all, but life is just a little less… colorful.  So—after much back and forth—we adopted a 13-year-old male cat from a rescue organization. I’d had my heart set on adopting a senior kitty, and kitty came to join our family just last night. The upheaval of bringing in a new pet is def a welcome distraction, especially with a TWW coming up. We have a pretty full house again with 3 coming-and-going humans all with opposite work schedules, 3 kitties of varying degrees of snottyness (one is my sister’s cat), a 65-pound maniacally energetic dog, and 2 feisty fish that somehow manage to destroy their tank as quickly as I can clean it. Add a baby to the mix and we’ll be well on our way to complete chaos. And I love every moment of it.

Anyway, Happy Friday, all! I leave you with a pic of our newest lovebug to start your weekends off right:








FET #1: Takeoff

After a fun-filled 34 days (!) I finally made it to a new cycle and am currently on CD2. I’d say that it went fast, but it totally didn’t.

It was both disappointing and exciting to see AF. Disappointing since I’d been nurturing this secret dream of calling my clinic this week to proclaim, “Hey, Dr. C, cancel this FET cause by the grace of God, I’m pregnant naturally” (being 6 days late makes daydreams like these seem almost real). But it’s also exciting in the sense that—after months of physical and mental FET preparation—it’s finally happening and is no longer just a concept looming on the horizon.

I’m currently having the period straight from hades right now, complete with prescription narcotic painkillers for doubling-over-in-tears-type cramps, heating pads on my front and back, and slasher-film-style bleeding (thank you, endometriosis). What’s getting me through this temporary misery (besides copious amounts of Percocet) is the very real possibility that this could absolutely be my last period of 2016!

I had baseline and blood work today, signed even more consents, and was given my cycle calendar. Everything looked fine and my numbers were good (I always ask for my actual numbers. The clinic used to call me and be try to be like, “‘K. Your numbers are good” and leave it at that. But I always ask for a full readout of all the results cause I like to write them down and see how they change). Anyway, I know it’s just a calendar, but I’m pretty stoked about it, ’cause last time I had to make my own calendar and I seriously heart organization. As in, I organize my organizational material: I’ve a minor case of OCD. Even though the clinic gave me one, I’d already made my own blank calendar for this occasion and will probably end up using both cause, like I said, crazy organized and all… But enough on the calendar already.

I start Estrace tonight, as well as baby aspirin. I’ve been reading up on the benefits of taking baby aspirin during ARTs—and even well into the first trimester—and found practically all good things about it. There’s a few naysayers on the idea of course, but unless there’s an underlying medical condition it’s usually a nonissue. I asked Dr. C about the idea and he gave it his blessing, so hooray! I’ve stopped my Co-Q10 and DHEA and multivites. Now I’m just taking prenatals, Vitamin D-3, the Estrace, and baby aspirin. I take a 3mg Melatonin every night and forgot to ask the clinic if it was cool to still take it, but it’ll probably be alright up until the actual transfer. PIO injections begins sometime next week.

Here’s to a successful FET #1!
















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