IVF Barbie

When Mattel was looking to design their new Barbie, IVF Barbie, they soon realized that there was not one universal Barbie that would accurately portray the spirit of IVF Barbie. So they decided they would come out with a few variations thereof.

Newbie Barbie: Newbie Barbie, also known as BabyDust Barbie is a bright, perky, Barbie, filled with optimism and confidence that IVF Will Work. She is thinner and usually younger than the other IVF Barbies. Her accessories include rose-tinted spectacles, a positive bank balance, healthy insurance coverage and a million questions. Newbie Barbie has lots of other Newbie Barbie friends and they congratulate each other on a job well done. This Barbie only says pleasant, optimistic things and believes that Attitude is Everything. Their motto is Think Positive!!

Pregnant Newbie Barbie: Pregnant Newbie Barbie is the big sister to Newbie Barbie. She is still slim, now with a cute belly. She is proof that IVF Does Work, usually the first time. She also comes with rose-tinted spectacles, a positive bank balance (only very slightly depleted) and total confidence that All Will Be OK. She glows when pregnant and liberally uses baby dust when playing with her sisters, the Newbie Barbies. She comes with Very Cute maternity clothes, a double stroller, and a fully decorated nursery even though she is only just a few weeks pregnant. Her motto is 'See! Thinking Positive Works!!'. Newbie Barbie and Pregnant Newbie Barbies are great playmates and you can collect them as a set.

Veteran Barbie: Veteran Barbies are not at all related to the Barbies above. Veteran Barbies are the Anti-Barbie. They are a whole lot plumper than the Newbie Barbies, less perky (in boobs and attitude), have grayer hair, a largely negative and over-drawn bank balance, plenty of bruises and marks and a slightly cynical attitude. They are dressed in comfy track pants with elasticated waistbands. Their accessories include a wealth of knowledge of reproductive procedures and protocol, the ability to practically do their own cycle, a snarky attitude, little tolerance for stupidity, a well defined sense of humor, the ability to laugh at themselves, a fondness for wine/beer/crack and an aversion to pineapple, baby dust and Newbie Barbies. This aversion in its more severe form can be allergic and acerbic. Veteran Barbies tend to swear quite a bit (especially when playing in the Barbie House with Newbie Barbies and Pregnant Newbie Barbies) and parental guidance is advised.

Pregnant Veteran Barbie: Very similar to Veteran Barbie, only now with an added dose of neuroses and paranoia. Continuously and obsessively over-analyses every twinge, convinced that the end is nigh. Only buys stroller and decorates nursery when in eighth month. Accessories include disbelief and a sense of not quite belonging, and 10 home pregnancy tests just in case the first one was faulty or the clinic made a mistake with her beta. Pregnant Veteran Barbies have been known to pee on the sticks up until the day before giving birth just to see the two lines.

Celebrity IVF Barbie: Celeb Barbie comes in two versions: Denial Celeb Barbie and Out the Closet IVF Barbie. Denial Celeb Barbie does not play with the other Barbies and pretends not to be an IVF Barbie at all. She drops the IVF part of her name and thinks 'Donor Eggs' is a swear word. She pretends that her twins at age 49 are Natural and she did it all On Her Own. She also claims her boobs are her own and that she has never had a face life, hence her credibility is not at an all time high. Out the Closet IVF Barbie is the preferred Barbie. We like her.

IVF Ken: Ken is a wanker. Sorry to sound so harsh, but besides being a wanker there is very little that Ken does in IVF land. Sometimes Ken administers shots, hands out tissues and occasionally accompanies the Barbies to their Dr's visits (normally during the first few cycles only), but mostly he is just a wanker. If you choose an IVF Ken, then try and get one that also cooks or does DIY. Otherwise just sit him down in front of your Barbie TV and let him know when it is time for him to do his, um, contribution. Mostly the Barbies love their Kens, unless Ken is being particularly insensitive or obnoxious, then he becomes a wanker in all senses of the word. Some IVF Barbies don't even have a Ken and they do just fine. If you do find a good Ken, hang on to him, don't swap him with your other friends.

Ken : RE Ken (RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist) is the all knowing, all seeing Ken. He might be a wanker, or not, but here we are talking about being a wanker in the figurative sense. He could also be very nice. He may call you by your first name but you may only call him Doctor. His accessories are many and wonderful. He comes with a zooty new car (normally very expensive), a smart house, a very healthy bank balance and a holiday home or two. RE Ken knows every thing and is considered second only to God. Some RE Kens are kind, some are not. They are all rich. Ken's office is filled with fun toys like ultra sound machines, dildo like probes, waiting rooms filled with the different types of Barbies (some annoyingly come with miniature Barbies or Kens en tow), medicines, procedures rooms etc. RE Ken also comes with a free Nurse (Ratchet) Barbie, who will not return your calls, will hand out annoying platitudes and generally add to your frustration levels. When purchasing RE Ken you will get Ultrasound Ken and BloodDrawer Ken. Unfortunately they come as a package deal and you are not able to get RE Ken without them, they aren't as much fun. However, you will need a RE Ken if you are going to play the IVF Barbie game.

Mattel foresees a big demand for these Barbies and say that for extra fun and lively interaction, collect the full set of IVF Barbies, put them in the Barbie house together and see the sparks fly.

Carving Pumpkins


Our Babies!

A fellow blogger and friend found that the VW site has a virtually baby maker, which is part of their Routan advertising. You download a picture of the Mommy and a picture of the Daddy and voila you have a baby! Ah, if only it were that easy. Of course I HAD to try it! And since we are secretly hoping for twins, here they are! Safe to say they have their Daddy's ears. hehe.

86 Proof

As promised, I posted some video of my husband and his band to Youtube.  My husband is the singer.  I wish the sound was more clear, but this is the best we can do for now.  The was only their 2nd gig.  They have been practicing for about six months now.


Daddy Scares Phoenix

Okay, I know it is mean and not right, but you gotta admit it is funny. Add Image We love you Phoenix, we are sorry.


Our Future Babysitter?

Ozzy: Don't worry baby, Uncle Ozzy will take good care of you.

Ozzy: Bath time.

Ozzy: Nap time.

Ozzy: Get away Phoenix, you are just a dog and I am in charge.

Ozzy: Safe and sound.

Phoenix: I can help too!
Oz: Don't think so.

Phoenix: Hey Oz, I got diaper duty.

Phoenix: What?  I can do it, I swear.

Serena: Thank you for taking such good care of my babies Ozzy.

Phoenix: Hey what about me?
Serena: You too Phoenix.

Ozzy: I even do laundry!
Mommy: You're hired!


I am at home today for my last day of bedrest.  Today and tomorrow are the days that the embryo's will implant if they are going to.  Implant!  Implant! Implant!


Transfer Complete... Now We Wait

I was a nervous wreck this morning, but things turned out well. All five had survived! The RE suggested we transfer just two, but we have done just two and we all know how that turned out. So we opted to transfer four. We transferred three 8 celled, and one 7 cell. The lone embie was only a three cell, which was not very promising. We are happy with the outcome. Now we wait.


Our Fab Five

Tonight will be a rough one. I am trying to stay occupied and not think about the Fab, but then I do.. and then I burst out into random prayer (I guess some part of me makes me thinks it might help).

Oh my, this is going to be a long night. Appointment is at 10:40 a.m. tomorrow. Praying and praying that all the embies have stuck around. We are planning to transfer what ever embies have survived these last three days.

I will post again tomorrow, hopefully with GREAT news.


Can We Just Bottle These Days Up?

Lets just bottle up these days. These days when something goes right and we are hopeful. Lets bottle them up and hand them out when needed. Praying for my five little embies tonight and hoping they stay strong.

Thank You!

First off Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I have to make this fast because I am at work, but I know you all are waiting to hear the fertilization report.

Last night was awful. I had these waves of hopes and then these waves of sadness. I am surprised I slept at all.

I just got the call that FIVE of the six eggs have fertilized! Can you believe it? Thank you lord. I know we are not out of the woods, but I am happy with the number today, it is better than anticipated (so glad we chose to do ICSI).

This morning all five embryos appear to have normal chromosomes and have split into two cells. Transfer is set for Friday, if all five are looking fantastic on Friday they may push it to Sunday. But that was a big maybe. For now I am able to take a deep breathe, and I am thankful. Still sad, worried, and disappointed, but thankful.

Physically, I feel 100% better than last time. Recovery was a snap, unfortunately emotionally I am 100% worse. We have so much riding on this emotionally and financially, last time it was all so new and inexpensive relative to this. **Sigh.

Please please please keep our five little embies in your thoughts and prayers.



Crushed, very very crushed. Out of 26 follicles, 20 were empty and 6 eggs were retrieved. I am angry, hurt, and just plain upset. Last time this happened we were told it was a fluke and a problem with the trigger shot. This time, it was no longer a fluke. The RE called it ovarian dysfunction. Huh, I finally have a name to my problem. The worst news, there is no way to fix the problem or to know what is inside those follicles without actually going in during the egg retrieval.

Great. Just great. Our only shot for a VERY VERY long while due to funds and this is what happens. I know.. I know... we do have 6, but I am crushed and VERY broken. I wanted the best odds and the option to freeze some. We were able to do ICSI to better the fertilization rate so we will see what happens tomorrow.

Please please please pray for 100% fertilization for the 6 eggs, 100% fertilization would be ideal in this situation.

I want so bad to be hopeful, but I have been through so much that hasn't gone my way, and right now I am just hurting.


No More Shots!

Yet another appointment that went off without a hitch on Sunday morning. The RE again mentioned the word "perfect" and "beautiful".

25 YES 25! She counted 25 follicles over 10 mm. More than likely we won't have 25 eggs, but we do indeed have 25 follicles, which COULD possibly yield 25 eggs.

My trigger shot was giving by my lovely husband at 12:30 a.m. It stung more than I remember it stinging. Tonight we will head down to Palo Alto and stay the night in a hotel near the hospital. Retrieval must be done 36 hours after the trigger, otherwise the eggies will drop on there own so it is VERY important that we are not late, and you never know with traffic, so staying in Palo Alto will put our minds are ease.

Egg Retrieval is set for 11:30 a.m. with a check in time of 10:30. Not sure why, but I am nervous. Nervous to be put to sleep and mostly nervous for the outcome. Last time I awoke to the news that we had only 9 eggs, I pray this time I will be awoken with good news along with a FANTASTIC fertilization report the following day.

Last night at at 12:31 a.m. Gabe and I announced to each other that we are officially done with shots! My bruised belly was thankful and we are thankful that thus far things have gone smooth.

Crossing fingers that everything continues to go smooth tomorrow and the blog will be filled with good news. I will update when I can.

Even our Ozzy is crossing his paws for us.



I have recently become so very interested in other people's blogs. I started this blog as a way to share what is going on in our lives (infertility mostly). I figured that rather than trying to explain how each appointment went or what what was going on... this would be easier. It seems that most of my followers are no longer personal friends and family, but rather Internet friends, which is great.

Through blogs and fertility friend I know that I am not alone on this journey and no matter how bad I feel, there is someone out there who has been through it, gotten past it, and lived to tell about it. For those women, I wish I could take the pain away. I wouldn't wish this pain or the feeling of failure even on my worst enemy. Your strength makes me stronger.

I used to feel completely alone like I was the only one going through these struggles, but after following numerous blogs (some good and some bad), I know that life goes on, and for some... life DOES get better, and dreams DO come true. Life throws curve balls, life doesn't always go as planned, and sometimes when you least expect it... good things DO happen. Who knows where this path will lead us, but someday each and every one of us will be parents... some way and somehow.

Pinch me

Someone please pinch me, did yet another appointment just go flawless?

Responses from the RE:

"Absolutely perfect"
"Great growth"
"Better than anticipated"

Yes... she was describing MY CYCLE. Things are right on track. My lining was at 10 mm. I have 16 follicles all between 11 and 16mm and 6 little guys under 10. I go back again for one more check on Sunday and the egg retrieval is set for Tuesday morning. The even better news... I FEEL GREAT! The RE thinks it has to do with my loading up on the protein and Gatorade. Yes, I am uncomfortable, but no where near as much as I was last time.

Gabe has a gig tomorrow. He is uber nervous, I wish I could take that feeling away for him. I don't blame him, he will be singing in front of at least 100 people which will include handfuls of friends, family, and co-workers. I am sure it will go well... all the guys are super talented. I PROMISE that I will upload some video to You Tube and post it.

I will post again with the results of Sunday's check. Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support. I can't help, but feel hopeful today. I have been trying to not think too far ahead throughout this cycle, but today I have caught myself numerous times thinking ahead and I am finding it truly enjoying to have these hopeful thoughts.


An Appointment and Molecular and Stem Cell Research

It is hard to believe that yet another appointment went well. No red lights or even yellow lights... ALL GREEN!

My lining was 7.9 mm, which I was told was good at this time. Each side had the same size and amounts of follicles. I had one and 11mm and two and 10 mm, and 8 small ones right behind. That is a total of 22 follicles!

The RE was super pleased with the progress and said things were right on track and to decrease the Gonal-F to 75 for Thursday night. She said that many of the smaller follicles would catch up, but probably not all of them (which she said was a good thing). She reminded me that we are looking for quality over quantity. Think about it, what good does it do to have 35 eggs if they are poor quality and won't fertilize? So, this cycle we are working on quality. While reviewing my last cycle she mentioned that I was stimulated much too fast last cycle while on the study drug, which could have contributed (along with the faulty trigger shot) to the empty follicles and the poor fertilization rate we had last time. (30 follicles, 9 eggs, 4 fertilized).

I go back for a check again tomorrow. As it stands we are looking at Tuesday the 21st for egg retrieval. I feel SO much better than I did last time. At this point last time I was extremely uncomfortable. Today I am only slightly uncomfortable. I read that a protein rich diet aids in the quality of the eggs and can help with how I feel. I have been loading up on the protein and cutting back on the carbs. I have also been drinking my Gatorade. This morning I managed to eat 44 grams of protein in one meal! Grow nice and strong little eggies.

We decided to donate our arrested eggs and embryos to Stanford for research. Our options were: research or discard. To me it was a no brainer. Discard sounds horrible and this way maybe some good will come of our eggs and embryos that didn't make it.

We donated to:

Molecular Research – this is research on human development, studying eggs and embryos to learn more about early human development, ovarian function, embryo quality, studying abnormal development, and improving IVF clinical outcomes. They will also do genetic testing on our embryos and let us know if they find anything abnormal.

Stem Cell Research – this is research to develop the technique of creating stem cell lines which can possibly be used in the future to treat patients who have genetic diseases and disorders such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, neurological disorders, etc.

Many people are against it, but we are not. If our arrested embryos can help someone else, why not?

Crossing fingers for another good appointment tomorrow!


The Stims!

Stims have started and so far so good. Night #1 we ended up doing the Menopur shot twice because we couldn't get all the liquid inside the syringe.

Last night Gabe figured it out, so I was only jabbed three times instead of four. Tonight it is all on me... I will be jamming three needles into my own abdomen. The things I won't do for a baby!

Follicle check #1 will be on Wednesday and I have an acupuncture appointment on Tuesday. I am loading up on my whey protein and only eating foods high in protein, I have also started drinking Gatorade to try to avoid over stimulation. Keeping my fingers crossed for a good check.


Hard to Believe...

It seems hard to believe that yet another appointment went PERFECT. I was all smiles leaving my appointment today as was the RE. She said things looked great and I have approx. 25 antral follicles. The number is high, but the RE was fine with it and said we would monitor the medication and the follicle growth closely... wow 25! Hum. Last time I think we had 19 at the baseline.

Stimulation shots which include Gonal-F and Menopur will begin on Saturday the 11th, and my Lupron dosage will be cut in half (three shots per night). Here we go, grow nice and healthy little follicles!

I am off to help Susie prep and bake for Serena's B-Day Pajama Party. Party is tomorrow night!


Happy Halloween!


Phoenix Says: "Mama, please give me the pumpkin, I will be a good boy. I promise!" (Look at that face!)


Why Does it Hurt So Bad to Say No?

Last night was Monday night football at the Moose Lodge and DH was bartending. Everyone bring snacks, watches the game, and has a beer or two. I really wanted to get out of the house so I went down for a bit, being sure to be home in time for my shot.

While at the lodge I ended up chatting with I woman I had seen around, but had never really had a conversation with. She realized that the bartender was my DH and asked how long we had been married? I responded and then the next question was "do you guys have kids?" Why oh why oh why does this question hurt SO VERY bad? Why do I dread the question and why do I feel like a failure when I answer the obvious answer? Why do I feel I need to say more? This time I didn't say more... this time I just answered "no, not yet."

I know she had seen Elianna with us handfuls of times so I did tell her all about our little love bug and how she has been in our lives since she was less than a week old and how she has a room at our house, and how she lights up our lives. Maybe she is why when I answered "no, not yet," I felt like a liar. Because I guess in a way we do have kids, they just go home most weekdays and I didn't give birth to them. Maybe we are parents in our own ways. Even still... the question hurts, the question leaves me puzzled, and the question makes me wonder how to respond and how much to reveal. Many times I do reveal our struggle. I didn't used to, but I feel that I am strong enough now to share. However this time I decided not to because if this fails, it is just one more person I have to announce my failure to.

I sure can't wait until the day when I can answer "yes we do" and pull out that portfolio of adorable photos and I no longer have to announce my failures, but instead announce my ability to conquer our struggle.

Meds for IVF #2


Thank You Just Isn't Enough

Yesterday my package of Gonal-F (stimulation drug) arrived from Annie. As soon as I heard the chime of the UPS Man's little scaney, signey thing I jumped up (yes, with my knee) and made my way to the front of the office. I knew it must have been my because I had been watching the progress of the package online for the last 24 hours. The package was packed with love, hugs, and prayers. Inside I found print outs of Annie's favorite infertility prayers (with little stars next to her favorites). The package also included the sweetest greeting card, and a little note that said "These meds have been blessed with a prayer! We are so glad to give them to you!" Of course by this time I was crying at my desk.

The world is definitely full of some wonderful people. Today I am thankful for the wonderful people in my life. I have Annie's card and note at my desk so I can look at in at remember that I am not in this journey alone and someday there will be a light at the end of mine and Gabe's tunnel just like there was at the end of Annie and her husband's. Thank you Annie from the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful for this gift you gave us. You have made our journey so much easier.

Night #3 of Lupron went off without a hitch. The DH left for his hunting trip this morning. Thus far he has done my shots, so for the next couple of nights... it is on me. Next appointment 10/9/08.


Shot #1 DOWN for IVF #2

Shot #1 down, it was old hat, we are pro's. No problems and the DH made it home in time to give it to me.

You wouldn't believe the pile of drugs in our kitchen. I will have to take a pic. Things are moving right along with the shots and the knee.

Happy Birthday Serena Hope!!!! We love you!!!!