4w5d: Still Bleeding

I think I’ve exhausted all of the forums online that come up when you google “red bleeding but high HCG”. 

Thank you everyone for your support during all of this. I am grateful for each and every one of your comments. 

I’m still bleeding, but it has slowed down a bit. Instead of changing pads every hour, I’m changing pads 4 times a day. The colour changes- it goes from red, to red/orange, to brown, and then back to red and cycles through again.

From everything I’ve read, the bleeding could either be from:

– a subchorionic bleed (too early for that though- the gestational sac hasn’t really even formed yet)

– cervical irritation (probably not, as I’ve been on Endometrin twice before, with no symptoms like this. Plus, I’m only putting the tablet in half way to avoid injury to my cervix.)

– a polyp or some cervical abnormality (I’ve had enough people in my vagina [for fertility reasons, ahem] to know that I do not have any polyps)

– implantation bleeding (too late for that to be red right now)

And the most likely scenario:

– miscarriage of one embryo (as my HCG continued to increase yesterday from 643 on Monday to 897 on Tuesday, but the doubling rate has decreased by exactly half)

It’s interesting to read the gamut of information on bleeding during pregnancy- most official pregnancy websites claim that 20% of normal pregnancies experience bleeding, yet a lot of advice websites say if you have bleeding not spotting, to see your doctor ASAP or go to the emergency room. 

I’m also thinking that the bleeding might be worse because I’m on the blood thinners- 81mg ASA, 5000IU Fragmin, and about 1500mg omega 3’s. 

My approach to all of this is that I’ll just keep monitoring my bleeding, and if I get super freaked out, I’ll ask for another beta. Then the big reveal in 12 days at my 6w3d ultrasound, where we get to see what’s going on.

In terms of symptoms, I still have none besides being tired enough in the afternoons for a nap. Even the hot flashes have stopped. Those of you who got nausea- when did that start?

Happiness Cycle Day 14: Downtown

DW took the day off work today, as we had a day of medical appointments, in town and out of town. She has also been so busy and overworked so far this semester that she really needed a “mental health” day as well.

I must mention that I finally had a good sleep last night, after almost a week of terrible anxiety-induced insomnia.

This morning DW made me a decaf coffee (such a nice treat to be served coffee in the morning), we gave the dogs got some consolation pats on the head, and we were on our way.

Our first stop was the fertility clinic’s satellite clinic, which is in our city. I needed to have my blood work and ultrasound monitoring again. Things are on track, with my uterine lining measuring 9.4 today, up from 8.7 of two days ago. I also got a “present” from one of the receptionists, who wasn’t working today, but had mentioned last time I was in that “she’d give me a troll to put down my pants”. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but she meant Treasure Trolls, those dolls from the 80’s, for good luck. We joked about for a bit- especially the part about putting one down my pants. Anyway, today, the phlebotomist nurse gave me this on behalf of the receptionist:

So thoughtful and sweet!

After that, we headed downtown, to see my family doctor. I was really nervous and stressed about this appointment, not knowing how to describe and explain the overwhelming emotions and feelings that I have been experiencing since the miscarriage. When we got there, my family doctor was super attentive, gave me room to talk, listened patiently and compassionately, and gave some good advice. I shared with her how depressed and anxious I have been feeling, how it has continued to affect my sleep and made me weary of socializing with friends who aren’t aware of our situation. She had me complete some forms: a depression questionnaire, an anxiety questionnaire, and a survey on the impact of my feelings on my activities of daily living. It was the first time that I had taken inventory of various aspects of my depression and anxiety, and how it has been affecting me beyond just my feelings and sense of hope for the future. This whole time I’ve been so consumed and obsessed with our miscarriage(s) and getting back to making babies that I completely lost sight of how I have been doing as a person. I mean, I knew that I was depressed, and I knew that I had an anxiety problem, but I had always placed them under the context of the miscarriage, and not really that they themselves are focal points that need to be addressed.

I have battled depression before, and had reached a nice homeostasis with Wellbutrin for years. When I first met DW, I had already been on it for many years, but like most people with mental health issues, because I felt better, I thought “why not, let’s try life anti-depressant free!”. That was a couple of years ago, and for the entire time, I have been fine. However, with the fertility challenges and heartbreak of three miscarriages, I think my dear friend depression has snuck back into my life, and has brought his asshole friend anxiety along as back-up.

I have mentioned my emotional struggles on my blog many times, but didn’t realize how bad it has gotten until I answered those questionnaires, and saw and felt the true concern in DW’s and my family doctor’s feedback on how I seem, and have been behaving. I guess this is sort of what an intervention feels like. I’ve been so caught up in my own head, and needed to hear what other people are observing. My depression and anxiety are a big concern right now, and my family doctor is concerned enough about it to suggest that I start some medications right away. She suggested Cipralex, which is an SSRI, and is effective for both depression and anxiety. I would love feedback from anyone who has taken it before. She says that it is safe before, during, and after pregnancy, even though Dr. Google claims otherwise. But I am convinced that you can search anything and find support for it in the form of a online support forum. This I have learned from the all-consuming world of TTC.

She wants me to double check with the RE that he Cipralex won’t interfere/interact with all of the other stuff that I will be on: estrace, prometrium/endometrin, aspirin, fragmin, prednisone, intralipids. I’ve emailed the RE’s nurse, so hopefully I will hear back soon.

I have mixed feelings about taking the Cipralex. On one hand I think that it would be better for me to just tough it out, that it’s normal to have feelings of sadness and despair, or constant worry, given what I’ve been through. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that my depression and anxiety levels are abnormally high, and the culmination of evidence is that that can negatively impact our potential pregnancy even more than the small risk of cardiovascular defects and autism that have been reported but not confirmed. I look at DW, and some of you who seem “recovered” from your miscarriages, and wonder why I’m still stuck in this destructive loop of depression and anxiety. I realize now that it’s because I am struggling with an extra layer of mental illness.

Work has been harassing me again as well. In the past seven days, the person in charge of leaves has called me three times and emailed me once. This is after talking to her already the first time. She didn’t have anything new to discuss the subsequent times, but rather has been very negative and pushy in her tone. DW says that if she calls me again, that we should complain to the union. The last thing you want to do when you have an employee suffering from a mental health challenge is harass them.

Anyway, after my doctor’s appointment we went out for lunch at our favourite Vietnamese place.


Then grabbed some baked treats down the street at this great little bakery we found by accident one day the last time we were here. I got a gluten-free chèvre cheesecake, and DW got “the best butter tart ever”, as well as a pear almond tort-like thing that has a fancy French name that I don’t remember.



We then went shopping at our favourite outdoor store: Mountain Equipment Co-op, where we caught up on some much needed shopping, and bought a couple of early Christmas presents (me mostly).

We also got a call from our primary nurse today. I am supposed to start my long list of meds on Saturday, in preparation for our embryo transfer on Wednesday morning!

I hope that time moves fast, as I’m anxious for our last embryo to come home, but I also feel like I need some time to process everything that has happened today. The good, and the bad new.

Finally- Some Answers

I need to take a breath before I post this. I am an intense ball of “need to google everything” right now, but I also wanted to put this out there for all you super smart fertility people.

So, I got a phone call today from our RE’s head nurse. We got my natural killer Th1/Th2 results, and they are abnormally high. I am very TH1 dominant. In a normal person, TH1 and TH2 should be balanced, as each is responsible for protecting the body against different pathogens. I will write a more informative post about this another day. Right now, I’m just trying to process this new important piece of information.


They want me to start intralipids next week on cycle day 13. I’m supposed to bring a pillow and a blanket because it involves having me hooked up to an IV for 2 hours. It will cost us $750, but I am willing to do just about anything for this to work.

I am worried about my prognosis for a successful live birth, even with the intralipids. Since I know so little about this, I’m going to spend the evening researching the fuck out of it. My plans were to set up the Christmas tree, but that can wait.

I know a couple of you are also on intralipids. Can you tell me what it feels like, what success you’ve been told will happen with it, and also anything else you think can help me wrap my head around it.

So far, all I know is that being TH1 dominant is related to a slew of autoimmune issues, and explains the Celiac Disease that I have. I also know that stress shifts the dominance even more so in favour of TH1. While stress as a cause of miscarriage is kind of a weak claim, I think that my extreme stress at work during the beginning of the school year certainly could have worsened my TH1 dominance. Next week, I will meet with my family doctor, and get an extension on my medical leave. There is no way that I’m going back to work when I’ve got an embryo transfer happening in two weeks.

Anyways, I’m gonna go google like it’s going out of style, and will post again sometime tomorrow.

Happy Humpday!

Rest In Peace, Sweet Embryos

For several weeks now, I have been brainstorming ways in which DW and I can pay tribute to, or memorialize the spirits of our six angel embryos. I know that they aren’t babies, and don’t have a personhood, but they existed, had cells that divided, shared half of my genetic material, and we projected so much love, intention, and hope into them. We both shared a vascular connection with them. They thrived for varying periods of time through these connections, and though we wished they had stayed, heaven needed them more.

I have been very sad about our losses, and while I’ve wanted to write more about my grieving process, mostly it has me unable to communicate very well with words. Part of me wishes that I had been tracking the various levels of my sadness, anger, and happiness throughout the past two months, but even in the same day, I have felt those emotions change. What I do know is that repeated loss seems to have a cumulative effect on my grief levels.

Our first loss was in February 2014, after a year of trying via IUIs, we finally splurged on a reciprocal IVF. It was sold to us as a “guaranteed” means of getting pregnant. In many ways they were correct. We have gotten pregnant with every embryo transfer. Staying pregnant, however, has been the challenge so far. Anyway, that first time was like a dream. We thought we had it all… My eggs, my wife’s loving womb, an October baby… And probably many more frozen embryos left over. We even talked about donating our remaining embryos to friends of ours who were in line for adoption. The day that my wife got our very first BIG FAT POSITIVE, was quite possibly one of the happiest days of my life.

Her HCG was in the lower end, so we knew it wouldn’t be twins, but we were still pleased. When the repeat beta failed to show a rise in HCG, we were confused. We were also quite upset, as DW received the news at school, right before having to teach her last period class. Her heart was broken shattered, but she still pulled it together, put on a smile, and confidently walked into class. We thought we were guaranteed a baby out of this- we were healthy, I am young(ish), the embryos were fresh and rated as high quality and over achieving…. Thinking back on it, I think I was in shock. It didn’t make logical sense to me. Why didn’t it work, when everything else looked so promising? Being in shock, I really didn’t take the time to sort through my feelings, because they were buried so deep. I resorted to being anxious to try again. It is “just a numbers game” right? At least that’s how the Canadian reproductive endocrinologists seem to treat it. More tries = more likely to be a mom. So, as quickly as we possibly could, we decided to get back to it. DW’s cycle was a bit messed up though, as she had her miscarriage bleed, then another bleed two weeks later. In the time that we waited for her next embryo transfer, we went on vacation, we got in a car accident (not our fault), and I applied for a position at a different school. We were so busy that we swept our sadness under the carpet and got on with our responsibilities as we waited. I am so sorry my angels, that we didn’t give you a proper goodbye.

Embryo transfer #2 happened in May. I hand made DW some Aboriginal Canadian moccasins the day that we got her BFP. Each time I punched out that leather, I thought how happy I was that we would be mothers. I even saved all of my scraps (and other people’s scraps) to make baby moccasins. We still have them hidden away in a fancy box in the dining room. The beta was mis-scheduled this time around. The nurses booked DW for blood work on 12dp5dt, not 10dp5dt. It was just as well, though, as by 12dp5dt, her beta HCG had fallen to 20. This time, no tears before class, but we had become so accustomed to just burying our sadness and pain, and carrying on. We decided that since we only had three embryos left, that we would switch to transferring them into me. No identifiable reason was found for why DW miscarried our first four embryos, but we felt the nudge to change our approach. By this time, it was June, and school would be winding down, summer vacation in view. It seemed silly to be sad, when such happy times were just ahead. Again, those sweet angel babies, never got a proper goodbye.

Part of the burden was not telling anyone what we were doing. The education system was transitioning through some terrible (and illegal) contract violations by the government. They stole all of our banked sick days which were negotiated as compensation in previous contracts, and limited us to 11 sick days for the entire year. Which is fine if you get the flu once a semester, but sucks when doctors are only booking appointments during regular school hours, and you have monitoring, procedures, specialists appointments, a spouse to drive to medical appointments, and etc. to go to regularly. So work probably thought I was a slacker by using up all of my sick days, except for half of one day, which is what I had left by the end of June. My colleagues probably thought I was either terminally ill, or taking days off to finish piles of marking. Our friends, likely thought we were snubbing all of their invites for booze-centred partying, or that we had become boring, with our 10pm bedtimes. We skipped out on a couple of beer nights with our hockey teams, and missed a paid trip to Vancouver. Worst of all, I had nobody to confide in. I really wanted to tell people, mostly because I’m naturally a very open person, but also because I needed support. It left me feeling very isolated and alone.

The first month of summer, we took an awful course that was necessary to get a pay upgrade be specialist teachers in our subjects. DW also taught summer school, which was torturous for her. The second month, we transferred embryos #5 and 6, but into me. Things were good, summertime, and the livin’ is easy. I experienced my very own BFP! This was a first for me. This was HUGE. And being pregnant didn’t feel anything like I thought it would feel. I was dizzy, super tired, bloated, had weird twinges, my nipples were so sensitive and sore, I had to pee all the time, I was out of breath, I craved beef then wanted nothing to do with meat. I don’t know what I expected pregnancy to feel like… Maybe a tummy ache and some constipation? My HCG started off low, but quickly climbed, and by week 7 had reached 43,000 or something like that. I had returned to work sometime during week 6, and at the end of that week, had started spotting brown. This lasted for a week, and ended when I took my first sick day (end of week 7). The next day, we had the ultrasound where we were expecting to see the heartbeat (I chose to defer our ultrasound). Sadly, we had no heartbeat. Just a gestational sac that kept growing, and growing, and growing…. School was extremely stressful for me. I had applied for a particular position, they offered me a different one, and then they gave me a different one even from that! They made me their dumping ground for high-risk, behaviourally challenged teens, who can’t read or write beyond a grade 4 level, who can’t settle into a regular classroom, all who failed different subjects, and I was supposed to help all 18 of them (by myself) in an hour a day, recover (pass) these courses. I threw my hands up in the air! This is impossible! I was staying at school prepping past dinner time, and was under so much stress that I stopped eating and sleeping for 3 nights in a row. I would literally come home from work shaking.

I haven’t been back to work since I found out that the embryo had no heartbeat. Frankly, I’m terrified to go back. That place was so negative, and toxic for me. Being new, people would always say “if you need anything, just let me know”, but on the eight occasions that I did ask for help or resources, I was either shunned, told “oh, I’ve never taught that course”, “aren’t you supposed to figure that out?”, “I’m too busy, I have my own classes to prep”, “nah, I don’t teach _____” (that one was my department head), “sorry, I don’t remember”, and unanswered emails even though they told me to email them. I also once got a pile of dusty old photocopies from the 1990’s that referred to “smoking in the classroom” as being a science lab hazard (obviously!). Anyways, I get so much anxiety thinking about that place still, and the totally horrendous violation of my privacy that occurred two weeks ago, jacked up my anxiety to a new level. I wish I could easily link that post in here, but I’m typing with two fingers on my iPad, and can’t do fancy things right now.

On the 18th of September, I finally had my D&C. I tried to miscarry naturally, but my body was holding on tight to the pregnancy. It didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to let go. Since then, I have been trying to get over it, but my emotions around the miscarriage is so intertwined with my unaddressed grief over the first two miscarriages, and my anxiety and anger around work. It’s like this big tangled mess that I’m trying to untangle, fibre by fibre, but it’s taking a lot more time than I had expected, and sometimes it seems to get more tangled despite my efforts. I feel like I should be better now, but I’m not. I just need more time.

Recently, I read about the five stages of grief: denial/shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I feel like my journey so far has been: denial/shock, depression, anger, depression, anger, and I’m not really sure where I am right now. I am still pissed at work, I’m anxious about a lot of things, I’m kind of stuck in my head, lightly floating through my days. I think my mind is preparing for this next FET.

During the past two or three weeks, I have been thinking of how to properly say goodbye to our six angel embryos. With birds having been such a presence in our lives this year, I thought that a bird feeder would be appropriate. Truthfully, I had never really noticed the birds much before this summer at our cottage. In the mornings they woke me with their sweet songs. In the afternoon I watched as the hummingbirds buzzed just feet away, drinking from a sugar water feeder. In the evenings, I held hands with the chickadee-dee-dees as they picked seeds out of my palm.

I researched different bird feeder designs, and found a couple that I really liked. I kind of sat on it for a bit, until I realized that I might get my period next week, and it only felt right to say goodbye to our past so that we can embrace our future with hope. I guess it’s a way for me to symbolically let go of all of the sadness, and finally grieve all of the losses so that I can move on.

So DW and I made a bird feeder building date for today. We settled on a design, and headed to Home Depot.



We came home, and started measuring, marking, sawing wood, and sanding. Then we marked, pre-drilled holes, assembled, and hammered nails into place. The measurements were done by feel, and not from blueprints. I was inspired by this artist’s Barcelona Birdfeeder.




Finally, we attached eye loops, threaded wire through, crimped the wire, and attached the wires to each other using a key ring.



The finished product, with some sunflower seeds.


This bird feeder was made from a 4 foot long piece of 1×8 pine wood, cut into seven pieces. Six pieces that form the walls and the roof, and a large seventh base piece that completes it. I felt that this was so perfectly symbolic.

Our six angel embabies, rooting for us from heaven, sending so much love and hope for their last sibling, and their mamas. With every bird song that I hear, I will know you are close. I will put out seeds so that you know I am always thinking of you, and so that you can find home. I love you, all of my baby birds. I will always love you.


Immune Testing Results

You may recall that I had some testing done after it was revealed that I miscarried a chromosomally normal embryo back in September.

Here’s the post about it, if you don’t remember.

Anyway, it’s been three weeks now, and the results have come in for most of them, except for the natural killer Th1/Th2, the $640 test that is sent to California for testing.



It has all come back normal.

I’m skeptical on many fronts, as I have very little confidence in the reliability of lab work that isn’t repeated. In 2010, I had some abnormal blood work results that forced me, my GP, and some specialists down an ovarian cancer rabbit hole. The abnormal blood work was corroborated by some abnormal ultrasound findings, which suggested a rather large multi-chambered tumour on my right ovary. The blood work was repeated a month after I had given away my chiropractic practice thinking that I was going to die (who wants to work during their last year of life?), and was totally normal. A slew of medical specialists were convinced to see what they wanted to see, all because of what we speculated to likely be a “mix up” in the blood lab.

Anyway, I am not sure what to make of all of this. I’m not sure that my RE’s testing is comprehensive, but we are led to believe that my immune system did not kill the embryo.

If our embryo is truly chromosomally normal (I question this sometimes too- though I’m told that it’s a bit more reliable because they culture the samples for a long time to distinguish between mama and embryo tissue), and my immune system did not kill our embryo, then what did?

As mentioned above, I’m still waiting on the NK cells results. How much do you wanna bet that they will be normal too?

Right now we’re waiting for my period to begin (in probably a week or so), and then we’re off to embryo transfer #4, with our last embryo. I’m particularly anxious about the chance of success with this transfer, as we’re only transferring one. Each of our previous transfers, we’ve transferred two. I’m trying to remain hopeful, as this embryo deserves to come home, and be loved. It’s just difficult to be hopeful when 2013 and 2014 have been filled with disappointment. I’m trying to find meaning in it, maybe something that I’m supposed to learn, but I’m struggling and it’s really breaking my spirit.

Anyway, lone star, you are so loved. Come home and stay with us forever. Your mama et maman have been hoping and praying for you to choose us.

Faith? Therapy Part II

Apparently I need to believe in some greater plan that things will work out the way that they are supposed to.

I had my second session with my therapist, and I left feeling worse than before our session. I was really unsettled, and I’m not sure if that is normal- to have a finished puzzle taken apart and shaken up because the process of putting things back together is the therapy.

About a week ago, I started to notice that the shock of our miscarriage started to wear off. The bouts of crying at random times has significantly reduced. I’m starting to pick up the pieces of my life, I am starting to be more aware of my feelings in a more rational way. I feel like I am starting to grieve properly.

Then, at some point this week, I realize that I only have one month left until my reevaluation with our GP, and that as it stands right now, I’m supposed to return to my hellhole of a workplace the first week of December. Of course, my GP says that she won’t have me return until I’m ready, but as far as my workplace is concerned, I’m supposed to return in a month. This terrifies me, as I feel like I’m just starting to heal, and have taken a few steps back because of my work-related anxiety. I haven’t been sleeping again, and am finding myself dwelling on things out of my control- like the timing of our next FET.

DW has also been unhealthily busy at work- with her principals course once, sometimes twice a week, her union meetings out of town, and the extracurriculars she runs for the kids after school (I do really miss the extracurriculars that I did with my students- they were what fulfilled me at the end of a really long day). Bless my wife, she comes home then has so much prep to do for her lessons the next day, because she is the “yes” person at her school- the problem solver who takes on more work to alleviate timetable conflicts in the school. I believe I was that person at my work, except, I never actually said “yes”, but ended up being that person, miscarrying at the peak of stress- and that is part of why I am terrified to go back to work.

Anyway, at my therapy session yesterday, I was stuck in my own head. I could only catch bits and pieces of what the therapist was saying. I also felt like she didn’t “get” me yesterday, so much of what she said wasn’t connecting with me. She was also having some repairs done on her home, and her dog barked the entire hour at the repair men, so that distracted me as well.

But I did take home some good points that she raised:

– I need to start using my voice and standing up for myself. If I advocate for myself, people will adjust to it, and will respect me more. I need to respect myself more.

– I need to let my GP know that I have a mental fixation on this official “end date” for my medical leave. Perhaps she will reassure me that it is open-ended, as needed. DW is certain that our GP agreed that I should be off the entire semester, but that she wanted to be kept in the loop via reevals. Sometimes I won’t let myself believe that people will stick to their word, I guess.

– I need to work on my anxiety. She recommended meditation, and a vision/dream board. I’ve been going to yoga every other day this week, and will try to make it more often if possible, because it ends in a meditation component. I can’t seem to bring myself to a meditative state on my own for some reason. I’ve also noticed that I’m feeling uneasy about making a vision board (of where I see my life in the future), because it includes things that would absolutely break my heart if they didn’t happen. Basically- kids.

This is where she said I need to have faith. Not necessarily in a Jesus Christ kind of way, but just a knowing that things will work out such that I’m happy. So having faith that there is some master plan, and all the worrying in the world won’t change it. That all of my attempts at controlling situations won’t change the overall outcome.

I don’t know the rules around having faith. Do I just have faith that my babies will happen? Do I just have faith that work will miraculously treat me with the respect and fairness that I deserve? Do I just have faith that DW will be happy with her decision to be or not to be a vice-principal? Do I just have faith that we will be able to love where we live and have enough money to live comfortably? Can I assume that my life will be a fully happy one just on faith?

I don’t know how to have faith. My life experience has me believing that you make your own fate. You work hard, and it pays off most times. If you don’t put forward an effort, things are unlikely to happen for you. I am in control of my own actions, and subsequently the results of those actions.

But, there’s also the other part of each interaction- the response from the world. That part I can’t control, and that’s what is giving me the anxiety. Even if I prepare my body perfectly for this next FET, anything can happen. I have no control over that outcome. Even if I talk (again) with my administration and department heads about my work concerns, will they dismiss them again like they did that first week? Or will they reconsider their poor planning as it resulted in me (possibly miscarrying and) going off on a medical leave? I have no idea.
Faith would have me just trusting that everything will work out. The therapist described it as a “things will rearrange and the puzzle pieces will naturally fall into place”. I have a very hard time with believing this.

DW thinks that having faith is more knowing that whatever happens, we will adjust our lives to be happy. We have each other, and if we don’t have babies, we will have the time and money to go on amazing trips and continue to eat organic food.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can be happy with that. There will always be a large chunk missing. Sadly, at this point, for me, life will be incomplete without our babies. There is a part of my heart that is reserved for loving them, and if they don’t come, it doesn’t just get used for something else. It will just be a big empty void. A reminder of how my body failed, and of how cruel this world really is.

So maybe knowing that these kids are my deal breaker with the world, I should have faith that they will come into fruition?

Thyroid Update

I haven’t been sleeping well for several weeks now. Luckily, I haven’t needed to supplement with naps…. Until today.

I had an early morning appointment with my endocrinologist today. She is really wonderful, and is always on time, which I really appreciate. She is young (around my age, 32), and has a small child of her own. As soon as I walked into her office, she must’ve said “I’m so sorry” (for your miscarriage) about 20 times in a row. I thought that she herself was going to cry. She has been rooting for us since about a year ago (half way through our TTC journey), which is when I was first referred to her due to astronomically high cortisol and prolactin levels. After 9 months of regular blood draws, my stupid RE never even caught my unacceptably high TSH levels (between 4-5, when it should be under 2), but she did.

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been seeing her for a year now. We’ve been trying to make a baby for far too long.

Anyway, she went through my labs from the past couple of draws. My TPO antibodies are within the normal range (to rule out autoimmune thyroid attacking itself), my preconception TSH was 1.12 in July, 0.60 in August, and 0.56 right now (October). She says my thyroid is right on target.

When we transfer again (probably in 6-7 weeks from now), I will increase my Synthroid dose from 25mcg to 50mcg on two days of the week.

In terms of the miscarriage, it wasn’t likely my thyroid that caused it.

The dogs and I went on our daily walk through the conservation lands, and again, I stumbled on raspberries (which is crazy because I was reminded again by my TCM doctor to eat them, and this is not their growing season).

Here are some pictures:






Wow, I fell asleep while waiting for these photos to load from my iPhone. Two hours later, I’m awake and refreshed!

My RE’s Immune Testing


The above blood tests are what my RE checks to evaluate the immune causes of recurrent miscarriage. I know that NK activity is missing from this list, as I think the blood needs to be sent to the States for testing.

I would love feedback on what other REs have tested for for RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) or miscarriage with a normal embryo.

Bittersweet News

My primary nurse finally got back to me today via email. She will talk to the RE to see if he will approve the immune panel requisition (I don’t know why this would even be a problem, since I have to pay for this out of pocket).

We also got some results back.

Our last miscarriage, was of a chromosomally normal baby girl.

So much for statistics.

I was at the gym when I got the news, and started crying in the studio space between my sets of walking lunges.

So if the embryo was normal, then it was either my body or the extreme work-related stress that caused her to stop developing. Why the hell are they hesitating to send me for immune blood work?

I am doing so much body blaming right now.

I know that I have Celiac Disease. What other autoimmune issues are lingering in the background? Why didn’t they test for immune issues before we started all of our IUIs and IVF/FETs.

Tonight I had a massage appointment. I thought about cancelling because of how I was feeling, but went ahead with it anyway. My massage therapist is kind of chatty, but knows us and our TTC history fairly well, so naturally I shared the recent news. We talked about Thanksgiving, about the bird feeder that we plan to build to honour our angel babies, and she asked me

“Why a bird feeder?”.

I wasn’t really sure, except that this summer, we have really noticed their presence at the cottage, and on my daily walks in the forest with the dogs. She asked what kinds of birds we have been seeing mostly, and I named off a couple that we regularly see at the cottage: chickadees, nut hatches, hummingbirds, and blue jays.

“Which one stands out the most to you?” she asked.

I answered her quickly because it was clear to me- the ones that ate out of my hands.

The Chickadee.

Soon, my massage was over, and I got redressed in private. When I came out of the massage room, my massage therapist handed me a piece of paper- the symbolic meaning of the chickadee.

Social support
Standing up for yourself

Maybe our angel babies are speaking through the birds. Maybe they’re nuzzling into my fingers and looking into my eyes, sending us both their love.

Fresh New Cycle and Fertility Clinic Frustrations

So yesterday I started my first period since the D&C. It took 26 days for it to begin, and so far it’s been pain-free.

Yesterday the bleeding was light, and today it has been heavy but without cramping. Most of my periods prior to TTC have been pain free, and it wasn’t until starting all of the fertility drugs that I started to have more painful periods. So, so far, this feels cleansing.
I am excited to see how my BBT looks for this upcoming cycle, because my post D&C BBT was wonky. I had some egg white cervical mucus for two days, which indicates that I maybe ovulated, but my luteal phase was only 6 days, and there was not a distinctive temperature shift. My body temperature was also really low, which was weird. This cycle has already started off 0.5 degrees Celsius warmer.

On the weekend we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with my in-laws at the cottage. We started the process of closing the cottage for the winter, bringing in the dock, clearing out the fridge. The whole family stayed overnight, and we got to spend a lot of time with our niece and nephew.

One afternoon, I was playing with our 8 year old niece, when she pulled out this book:


I asked if she wanted to read it to me (to practice her reading out loud), but she didn’t. She wanted me to read it to her. I took a breath, braced myself, and started reading. She cuddled into me, and at one point, I started to well up with tears. The words seemed to hit a chord, and I thought that I could not continue. I took another deep breath, put on a smile, and continued on without her even noticing.


That night, I couldn’t sleep. I started reading Ann-Marie MacDonald’s new book, Adult Onset, which really was not a good thing for me to begin, given that there are a lot of flashbacks to the main character’s mother’s multiple miscarriages/stillbirths. In bed, I started crying, then fully weeping, while DW pulled me into her chest. I didn’t sleep at all Thanksgiving night.

In other news, I’ve started the process of cleaning out our garden. The weather has been warmer than expected, so the soil is easier to work. Today, I pulled up all of our rainbow carrots, beets, and harvested some brussel sprouts.


I roasted some with maple syrup, and they were delicious.


Lastly, I wanted to share my frustration with our fertility clinic. I emailed my primary nurse almost two weeks ago about getting the immune blood panel done, then emailed her again a few days ago, and then called and left a voicemail today, and she still hasn’t gotten back to me. DWS emailed her at the same time two weeks ago, and she got a reply. I’m not sure why, but it seems like she is avoiding me. It is super frustrating for me because I’m anticipating my next cycle to be in about 4 weeks, and want the immune results to come back before we transfer the last embryo. Yes, we plan to transfer the last embryo probably sometime in December. I just want to rule out any issues with staying pregnant, so that we maximize our chances with this last embryo. I don’t know why our nurse won’t get back to me with a yes or no from the RE. It is super frustrating.

Anyways, new cycle, new beginnings.