Telling Work

Told work today.

I really didn’t expect this to go too badly. They are all very supportive. The company is small (20 employees) so I expect everyone will know sooner or later. But for now I only told the HR manager (whom I share an office with) and the President (my manager).

Both needed a bit of an explanation as to what IVF actually is. The HR manager (female) needed much less explaining, whereas President (male) needed a bit more. English is not his first language, to that probably had something to do with it. But it was a bit comical:

Me: Jamil and I…

President: Who’s Jamil?

Me: My husband.

P: Oh right.

Me: So Jamil and I are planning to do in vitro fertilization this year.

P: Whats that?

Me: Like when you try to have a baby but need a doctor to help.

P: oh ok.

Me: I just wanted to let you know as it will require me to go to doctors appointments during the day and probably a few days off in May for the procedure. It won’t be a lot of time off but I did want to let you know now so you aren’t wondering where I am off to over the next few months.

P: Oh that’s fine, (with a big smile on his face) go ahead do it! Now can you review this contract for me…

It was a very brief conversation. But I feel much better now that things are out in the open with work. Now I can actually tell them why I need to step out at random times during the work day.

Plus we can start to properly plan for any future mat leave since I am essentially the only person that can do my work. We will need a clear succession plan for if and when I am not in the office. All things that we will likely discuss in the summer if all goes well, but it makes that conversation easier when everyone is expecting it to come.

Lets hope we do get to have that conversation as well.



Telling the In-Laws

The in-laws will be back from their winter in India in few weeks.

A few weeks ago DH did try to tell them over the phone about our decision to start DE IVF this year. Unfortunately it went something like:

DH: Mom we are going to start IVF in April to try for a baby.

MIL: What? I didn’t understand what you said. What are you doing?

DH: IVF to try for a baby.

MIL: Oh ok. Hows the weather there?

(She is a bit hard of hearing and the shody VOIP phone connection probably did not help matters.)

But even after he explained what he could, it seems they didn’t quite understand what was going on. (Probably not a conversation DH should have started on the phone. But I was not there for any of this so had little to do with how DH handled it).

Last night I had a chat with the MIL and she said: ‘AG mentioned you will be doing some procedure in April. I didn’t really understand what it is so can we talk about it when we come to visit when we are back?’

I sometimes forget that they do not have a medical background. I grew up surrounded by doctors. Both my parents are doctors. Growing up all my friends parents were doctors, and now both DH and my brother are following the same path. Add to that my long medical history and as a family our ‘basic’ understanding of modern medicine is probably a bit more advanced than most families. In comparison, telling my parents about IVF was simple, in that they understand the basics already.

So the whole IVF thing might be a little bit much to explain over the phone for the In-laws. In my opinion AG should probably have waited till we saw them in person next. But with both them and AG being away, we all might not see each other in person until the IVF cycle is well underway. So I understand why he told them when he did.

I am glad they want to talk about it. I still feel a bit awkward about it. Not so much the IVF part. But more so the DE part. I am afraid they may have a strong opinion about their son’s sperm and another woman’t egg. Maybe they will want to know who the donor is in more detail. Or they might not like our choice of donor. All of these are of course not going to change our decision, but it will make things harder for us. Again, just my overactive imagination thinking of worst case scenarios. But I need to be prepared so I know how to handle it if it happens. For now only DH and I know the details about our donor. And I think I want to keep it that way. That information will probably be shared with any future child when the time comes. But that is it. I don’t see any benefit in sharing the information with others.

So there will need to be a more detailed conversation to be had with them. It might be worth having both sets of parents together for the talk so that they all know what is happening. I would like for DH to be there too, but he is not back until mid-April, so lets see if it can wait that long.


#MicroblogMonday: The DE IVF Game

Game Title: DE IVF: The Quest for ParenthoodMicroblog_Mondays

Number of Players: 3 players

Level of Difficulty: Unknown

Synopsis: In this arcade style game, each player will participate in a series of challenges in the quest to achieve the ultimate goal: parenthood. It starts with Player One, who must provide one or more oocytes to the other two players. Player One’s turn may occur well before Player Two and Three enter the game. The more oocytes delivered the more chances the players have to achieve the ultimate goal.

Player Two’s role is short lived, but critical. It is all about the timing. He must create and deliver a perfect sperm sample exactly 5 days before Transfer Day. Should the timing of delivery fail, all players must start over. Should the sample fail to be adequate, all players must start over. Should he choke up and fail to perform in the moment, you guessed it, start over. After Transfer Day his role is to assist with Player Three in navigating the rest of the game but will have little control over the outcome.

Player Three must start by preparing a habitable environment to grow an embryo. The challenge is to also overcome the life obstacles that will get in the way of reaching the end. Work or family commitments will interfere with strict drug schedules. Fibroids may prevent implantation. Thin uterine lining may threaten to cancel a cycle or cause a miscarriage. If a hurdle gets in the way,  Player Three must start over. Player Three must also be careful to balance the hormonal imbalances against obstacles such as pregnant bellies and new born babies which will appear at the most inopportune moments throughout the game.

Nothing is guaranteed. All players may perform perfectly and yet a cycle may fail to produce a viable pregnancy. A pregnancy may result, but may not lead to a live birth. Any time a cycle fails, all players must start over.

This game keeps you guessing as it will end in a different result each and every time you play. Never boring. Not for the faint of heart. But all for the ultimate reward!

Do you have what it takes to win the DE IVF game?

*Must be over 18 to play, contains some nudity.

(DH is a gamer. Can you tell video games feature prominently in our lives?)

Check out more #MicroblogMonday posts at StirrupQueens

Back to those studies

I did another quick google search to see if anything new has popped up on dealing with thin uterine lining especially after chemo and total body radiation.

Nothing new. But I did revisit this article published by Biomed Research International in 2014.

The paper mentions one study that had success with a mix of pentoxifylline (PTX) and tocopherol (Vitamin E) in increasing blood flow to the uterus that had been damaged due to radiation.

One study only looked at 6 women who took hormone replacement but also supplemented with 400mg PTX and 500IU of Vitamin E twice a day for 9 months. “Improvements in endometrial thickness, ( 6.2 v 3.2 mm), myometrial dimensions (44 [±5] x30 [±3] x20 [±2] versus 30 [±7]x  22 [±3] x16 [±2] mm), and diastolic uterine artery flow were observed”.

In another case 18 patients who had endometrial thickness of < 6mm took the same combo of PTX and Vitamin E for 6 months. Of these women five became pregnant during the study, two of those women had previously experience total body irradiation. For all of them, endometrial thickness increased from 4.9 to 6.2 on average.

Even though these sample sizes are really small, I feel that given the evidence it can’t hurt for me to try taking the combo of PTX and Vitamin E now to start boosting blood flow. I have emailed the clinic coordinator to see if she can get in touch with Dr. Go to see if he will agree to write me a Rx for PTX.

The paper also confirmed that I am at higher risk for pregnancy complications.  “Analysis of singleton pregnancies has shown that these women (who previously had total body irradiation) had significantly higher rates of caesarean section (42% versus 16%), preterm delivery (20% versus 6%), and low birth weight singleton offspring (23% versus 6%) compared to the general population”. Hence the recommendation that I be monitored as a high risk pregnancy when the time comes. In that case, at least we will know what to look for and can hopefully address it before it becomes an issue.

In my highly unscientific and totally non-expert opinion, most of these complications can be linked to the damage to the normal blood flow to the uterus.

Without adequate blood flow, the uterine lining will not thicken, any growing baby will not get sufficient nutrients through the blood to be able to grow sufficiently and to term. So it all boils down to boosting blood flow to boost lining and create a more hospitable environment for the embryo.

In previous cycles I have tried increasing my estrace dosage (using both pills and patches) alone but this was minimally helpful. The last round of mock cycles I also added in acupuncture, 400IU Vitamin E, as well as used Sildenafil, and my lining improved. So maybe adding the PTX and upping my Vitamin E dosage will be the last little boost I need to get up to 7mm.

I have already started supplementing with Vitamin E 400IU a day in anticipation. I am now considering increasing my dosage to 1000IU a day and starting PTX. So long as I am given the go ahead by Dr. Go.

Conducting my own little study of 1.









All is well

Two things:

  1. Hysteroscopy went off without a hitch. They said everything looks fine. No issues. And I was back at work in an hour and a half. Things have calmed down a bit at work and I feel like I can breathe again.
  2. DEB USA just sent me this: “…this email is to inform you that your shipment has been initiated.  Please allow two weeks (more or less) for your shipment to arrive at your practice, which will be on or by, 03/09/2017.” Eeep!

Ducks are getting in a row quite nicely now.



Hysteroscopy time

Work has been insane this week. Actually this whole month has. Last night I didn’t get home till after 8pm. 

Today we are finalizing a big financing deal that closes in three days, so it is all hands on deck to ensure everything gets signed off without a hitch. 

Naturally this is the perfect time to fit in my hysteroscopy appointment. At 1:30 today.  If I cancelled today I would likely have to wait till my next cycle (it has to be completed between days 5-12 of my cycle). If the results reveal some abnormality that needs to be taken care of then I will need more time to deal with that. So I think it is best to go ahead as planned and hope nothing comes up in the 2hrs I’m gone from the office. I will definitely need to go back in to work afterwards. And probably stay late tonight to catch up to all the other work that has taken a back seat to the financing deal. 

I let the president know I need to step out for a doctors apt. He’s normally pretty good about that as long as I give him notice. But it is a stressful time for him so who knows? 

Hopefully things will work out fine at work and the results of the hysteroscopy will come back all clear. 

#MicroblogMonday: Pre-(IVF)game rituals

Microblog_MondaysApart from the obvious incessant googling of every single thing that can go wrong, I am thinking I need to have some sort of ritual that is just for me and to help me prepare for the challenging summer I am about to have.

Of course with the expense of this cycle I need to come up with ideas that are budget friendly. I would have loved to have had one more getaway before we are in the thick of it. But we just had a pretty luxurious vacation in Hawaii in January so we are all tapped out for vacation funds for a while. Plus I need things that can occupy me until April.

So what can I do to help mentally and physically prepare myself for my first real IVF cycle? Ideas welcome.

For starters since I will likely go through a lot of physical changes (hopefully the good pregnancy kind, but definitely the yucky hormonal weight gain that comes with the excessive quantities of estrogen), I have decided to start wearing all my tight sexy outfits for the next few weeks while I still can. I have been taking good care of myself and feel healthy and look good. So why not flaunt what I got while I still have it? I am sure I will have opportunities to get my sexy on afterwards too, but I know that during the process the thought of putting on that pencil skirt, tight dress or even tucking in a shirt for work will just not be as appealing so I will take advantage now while I still feel good about my body.

And then there is the usual being healthy stuff.

I work out regularly. Lifting weights to build strong muscles, and will start training for another 10k run that both DH and I will (hopefully) do in May. That will also help with the above looking sexy bit, for a little while at least. And I just feel so much happier when I am working out regularly. It is a great way to clear my mind and just focus on the moment. I also find I eat healthier if I have been working out. So continuing more of the same until I have to stop for medical reasons.

I want to start getting into a regular yoga routine at home. I am a certified yoga teacher, but I stopped teaching last year due to scheduling issues and a heavier workload at work. I would at the very least like to start getting back into the routine of my own practice. I probably wont look for another teaching gig for a little while, but I do want to start researching some fertility yoga poses and perhaps build my practice around that over the next few months. This one is a bit more challenging as when I get home I am just so exhausted that all I want to do is veg in front of the TV. But I will try to push myself to at least start stretching in front of the TV a few times a week.

Speaking of, I love my weekly TV escapes. Monday night Bachelor is a must see for me. I just love watching the crazy every week. I even have DH hooked (even though he claims it is so stupid, and it is). Perhaps I can make it a Monday night Bachelor and yoga practice? Walking Dead is also back now, and Game of Thrones is right around the corner. Lots to look forward to. It is nice to be able to escape from thinking about IF 24/7.

I think this will all help me to stay sane before we are full speed ahead. Any other ideas?

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