Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Game on!

So good to hear from so many of you. So thankful to have you along for the ride.

We passed our suppression check today with flying colors (welcome news after my PIO-induced cyst a few weeks ago. Did I tell you guys about that? No? 4-cm and then ruptured. Yep. Anyway, it was awful.). Yay for progress! Starting stims on Sunday.

Here. We. Go.

Oh, and happy ICLW!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Let's Rock.

Hello there. Missed us? We are back and ready to show IF who's boss.

Come on, that should have at least provoked a chuckle.

Looking forward to catching up on everyone -- here we go (again).

Monday, April 20, 2009


We had a great meeting with our RE today. Sum and substance: notwithstanding our lack o' a baby, we are still optimal candidates for IVF success. So, we'll be taking a break for a month or so, and coming back for round #3 in June.

I'm going to take a break from the blog, as well. Of course, I'll still be checking in on you all, but don't expect frequent posts from our part of the world until we're back in the "active" stage of the IF journey. The goal is for a break from the stress of IF treatment -- body, mind and soul. Breaks are healthy, and we intend to enjoy ours.

In the meantime, peace to you. Be well, and be good to each other.

Monday, April 13, 2009


We are compiling questions for our follow-up with the RE next week. One of the front-runners: is it time to get a second opinion, and if so, where?

We are at one of the greatest clinics in the Southeast, but we are considering breaking out the big guns and heading to Colorado or New York . . . but maybe that's getting ahead of ourselves. Not quite sure yet, but sure would love to hear your thoughts on "where" to get the mythical second opinion. If it matters for your consideration, we have both endo and male factor.

Thanks for loving on us. You all are the best.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Because He Lives.

How perfect is God's timing! Easter has always been a special day for our family, but this year, the message of loss, redemption and resurrection is somehow even sweeter. Christ has conquered death. He has conquered sin. He has conquered pain. He is Lord of the Universe -- even (and especially) Lord over infertility. Knowing that there is a plan, even though it might not be mine, is an unbelievable comfort.

Because He lives -- we CAN face tomorrow. Thanks for all of your prayers, kind words, and support. I will update again soon, but for today, just know that you have all impacted our lives, and made them better. For that, we are thankful. Happy Easter.

          God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
          He came to love, heal and forgive;
          He lived and died to buy my pardon,
          An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

            Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
            Because He lives, all fear is gone;
            Because I know He holds the future,
            And life is worth the living,
            Just because He lives!

          How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
          And feel the pride and joy he gives;
          But greater still the calm assurance:
          This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

            Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
            Because He lives, all fear is gone;
            Because I know He holds the future,
            And life is worth the living,
            Just because He lives!

          And then one day, I'll cross the river,
          I'll fight life's final war with pain;
          And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
          I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

            Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
            Because He lives, all fear is gone;
            Because I know He holds the future,
            And life is worth the living,
            Just because He lives!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We are so sad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Perfect submission, perfect delight

Those words from the old hymn "Blessed Assurance" are caught in my head today. I wish my heart could catch up.

It's just hard. You want to know, but you don't want to know. You want to plan, but you're not sure what to plan for, so you end up gameplanning both scenarios that tomorrow's phone call could bring. You work out responding to the news in both ways, how you'll tell people and what you'll say. Somehow, it gives you the illusion of control. You stick a pack of Kleenex in your purse, just in case. Doing it tomorrow might jinx it. Your ability to stay positive is wildly affected by what you see on each trip to the bathroom. The drugs don't help that cause. You want to focus on your day today, but you are fixated on tomorrow. Keeping busy just isn't cutting it. Tomorrow will come, but only in its own time.

So, we wait. And we hope. And we pray. And we trust. May our wills be so caught up with the Father's will that we are able to praise tomorrow's news, whatever it may be. Blessed Assurance, indeed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

This all feels (painfully) familiar.

Spotting has commenced. Let the obsessive toilet-paper checking begin.

Can one of you please remind me that it's "technically" not too late for implantation bleeding, someone else that lots of IVF pregnancies spot, and a third person that it can't be AF because I'm on PIO and, and a fourth that those drugs can cause some spotting? I'm also open to being reminded of what I have forgotten :)

Sometimes you just need to be reminded. Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Whooooa, We're Half-Way There . . .

Who-oa, Livin' on a Prayer" -- nobody says it like Bon Jovi.

The 2ww is more than half-way over.

There's a definite light at the end of the tunnel.

Prayers are fueling our steps, and calming our hearts.

Thanks for helping us stay positive and focused.

Come on, embies, and come on, Thursday!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So, what's really going on in there?

I can think of about a million scenarios for what's going on (or not going on) in my uterus right now. I know I've seen some sort of a chart or timeline for what happens each day after a 5-day transfer, but I can't for the life of me put my hands on it. Anybody know what I'm talking about and where to find it?

We got the word today that none of our embryos made it to the freezing stage. I was sort of sad about it, just conceptually, but making it fine until DH asked me "well, then what does that say about the chances of the ones they transferred?" Gulp. He has to have these questions after 5 p.m.! I'll call the clinic and ask tomorrow, but didn't know if anybody else had asked the same question and heard an answer?

Hooray for Friday -- we're almost there!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Transfer? Check.

Everything went well yesterday - thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers! Beta test is next Thursday -- April 9. Our RE (who, as you may recall, we love dearly) was so encouraging. He said the embryos looked great, as did the lining (HT to acupuncture), uterine position, etc. He was thrilled with the transfer, so naturally we are too!

I did acupuncture before and after transfer, am doing a day-and-a-half of bedrest (er, working from my bed) now, and am doing these progesterone supplements on schedule. I feel like I'm doing/have done all I can to make this a successful cycle, and am resting in my faith that God has this all under control, whatever the outcome. Somebody please remind me of this on like Monday of next week when I'm pulling my hair out? :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Enough about me, let's talk about you!

So much is going on the lives of my bloggie friends -- don't think I haven't been following along! Here are some folks you may know, and some you may need to visit for the first time (WARNING: pregnancy/babies mentioned, with great joy -- it is so encouraging to see women I started this bloggie journey with pregnant!):

The E's are in the homestretch (last 8 weeks) before their twins arrive!

Elle has graduated to the OB -- big time :)

Nity, Courtney and Jill, who have been some of my biggest cheerleaders since the beginning, are both expecting after FET, medicated IUI and IVF cycles, respectively.

Ashley is rocking a super-cute new haircut and expecting a baby girl after a sucessful IVF cycle.

Strongblonde, who has not had a straight and narrow path (I know, I know -- who has) is "officialy official" with her twin pregnancy.

Barefoot and (Not) Pregnant
is getting ready for her transfer tomorrow -- sticky baby dust to YOU!

Some other dear hearts need comfort. I ache for their losses and news they had prayed so hard against. Joannah, Mo and Will -- I've learned so much from you guys, and truly admire your honest. Go over and give Caroline, who's had quite the time with this IVF cycle so far, a hug and some encouragement.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She called early, again!

More good news from Ellen the Embryologist -- all 8 embryos continued to divide overnight! Even though they don't do the grade thing anymore, I asked EE if she thought we were in good shape for Tuesday's transfer, and she said she thought we were in great shape. Whoohoo!

Thanks for all of your comments and support as we wait together. It really means a lot, and I am so very thankful.

"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay."
Habakkuk 2:3

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I told you she called early.

Just got off the phone with the embryologist, and all 8 of the fertilized eggs divided overnight -- whoohoo! I asked about grades, and she said they really don't pay as much attention to that anymore (since 6 months ago? Okay . . . .) but that they all looked good. We'll take it.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fertilization Report

Good news! Of the 10 eggs retrieved, 8 were mature and all 8 fertilized. We are very thankful for this progress. We'll have a (very early) call from the embryologist tomorrow morning, and will fill you in after she calls. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Count to 10

That's how many eggs we got today -- whoohoo! We got 8 during our first retrieval, so everyone seemed pleased with today's haul.

Everything went well. No IV issues, no nausea, no anything bad. DH was able to stay home all day and hang out (he even tolerated "Twilight" on PPV, but we are keeping that a secret, ok?). We can feel everyone's prayers and support, and for that, we are truly grateful.

We're praying for tomorrow's fertilization report. We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's on.

Trigger at 10:45 tonight, retrieval at 10:45 on Thursday. Thanks in advance for the warm thoughts and prayers.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The things you learn.

I was a touch concerned about my estradiol level after yesterday's tests. Before our first retrieval, it was over 2000, and we were well short of that yesterday (in the 600s). I had the oh-so-obvious idea to ask my RE's office, and got this reply: because I'm on an antagonist protocol this cycle (e.g., the Cetrotide), they look at the follicle size, not the estradiol. Apparently the Cetrotide monkeys with the estradiol, making the results unreliable. So, since my follies look good, I'm in good shape. WHEW. Hope somebody else has the same question at some point and will find this post so they don't have to worry.

More testing in the a.m. -- fingers crossed for a Thursday retrieval. We'll keep you posted.

Even as we seem to be cautiously moving towards retrieval, my heart is heavy for two of our bloggie friends. Mo and Will got a negative Beta, and my heart is just breaking for them. Please go over and give them some support. We're all in this together, peaks, valleys and everything in between.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Sunday Word

I have a sort of funny, sort of awful history of experiences when it comes to Sunday clinic visits. They never get my blood on the first stick. Ever. The last two visits have ended up with me reclined on a table, butterfly needle in one arm, Sprite in the other hand. Yipes. I even brought DH with me this time, thinking that might change my luck. No dice. At least he was there to witness the festivities!

Enough whining -- everything looked fine today, and we made it out in time for early church (our clinic rocks the early appointments). Somewhere around 16 little follies are doing their thing, estradiol still moving along (in the 600s). Progress is being made, but we're not quite there yet. So, two more nights of shots, check back in with the clinic Tuesday morning, and we go from there.

Thanks for all the posts and encouragement. I think I can, I think I can :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thanks, peeps.

You all really get it. Your comments will really get a girl over a hump, you know? As always, I am in your debt.

Tomorrow brings Day 5 testing, acupuncture, and adding Cetrotide to the cocktail -- let's go ahead and anoint it the "Day of Many Needles." Boo-yah.

Until then, my loves.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dang it.

Just when I think I have coaxed my brain into believing "IVF is nothing but a bunch of needles, don't be a baby," I find myself crying in the kitchen, clinging to DH and sobbing into his sweater that I'm scared we will never have a child.

Nothing about this is simple. Or easy. Nothing.

Thanks for journeying along with us.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

And, we're back.

We're back from vacation -- not a real, actual vacation with sand and boat drinks, but a vacation nonetheless. It has been a blessed break from needles and appointments (and, I'm afraid, blogging), leaving us ready, mentally and physically, to tackle round #3.

First shots are tonight. Dosages are the same, 375 Follistim and 75 Menapur. I'll go in for monitoring on Thursday morning and, if all looks good, then we should be scheduling retrieval for the week of the 23rd.

Here. We. Go.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Plan! The Plan!

BCPs until March 10, then stims, retrieval, etc. Dr. Wonderful scheduled to do/monitor everything along the way. Britney Spears concert will be unaffected by needles.

Game on.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy ICLW!

I know, I know -- a day late and a dollar short. At any rate, welcome newbies! We love ICLW around here.

Our story, in brief: we married in June 2006, never dreaming that children would arrive any way other than on schedule. Little did we know, little did we know. I had my first laprascopic surgery in March 2007, revealing Stage 3 endo. We weren't ready to get pregnant (irony noted), so we went on 6 months of consistent BCPs to prevent the regrowth of the endo. In October 2007, we went off BCPs, and thought a BFP would follow soon thereafter.

In February 2008, we changed OB/GYNs, and our new doc quickly suspected the endo was back and referred us on to the RE. Best. Move. Ever. We love our RE! Laprascopic surgery #2 was June 2008, and endo was back with a vengence. Ugh. I also had a hysteroscopic procedure on the same day to correct a mild uterine septum. Endo + male factor = a fast track to IVF.

After a few bumps around the way, we began IVF #1 in early fall. Everything went like clockwork, and we got our first BFP as a result. This IVF stuff's a piece of cake, right? Unfortunately, the BFP soon devolved into a chemical pregnancy, and we were back to the starting blocks.

We started IVF #2 after Christmas, but our RE converted it to an IUI because of "lead follicle" development. In the off-cycle waiting to start IVF #3, I had another hysteroscopy to remove uterine polyps. We have our follow-up tomorrow morning, and hope to find out the pathology on the polyps as well as our NEW PLAN -- those of you who are old hands at this know how precious those plans are!

Thanks for joining in the fun. Click on the button on the right to follow our blog -- it won't always be pretty, but it will always be real.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Checking it out.

Thanks for all of the comments and encouragement. We're doing fine, just ready to get on with the process. Next step: another hysteroscopy on Wednesday to make sure that all is well, then a follow-up appointment with the doc the following Monday to get "the new plan!"

Have a great week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's a no.

Today's Beta, as we expected, was a negative. We'll regroup for IVF #3 in due time. Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts. We'll be back in the game soon enough :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Required Reading

Early on in our IF journey, a friend recommended that I buy a book that had been of great benefit to her: The Infertility Companion by Sandra Glahn and William R. Cutrer. Being overly optimistic and oh-so-painfully naive, I didn't order the book at the time because I assumed we weren't going to be in the trenches long enough to need it. Oh, how times have changed.

Reading the stories of struggle and success of the men and women who've been down this path can be so very helpful. I think that's part of the reason why we all love these blogs like we do. There's also something inherently comforting about a book: the tangible pleasures of page-turning, the sheer joys of losing yourself in a story. If you're a book person, you know what I mean.

If you were helping a friend build an IF bookshelf, or adding to your own, what books would you suggest? What books would you warn against? Hopefully we'll all learn something here!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Question from the group

I went in for bloodwork today. I'm one week post-IUI with injectibles, and am doing Crinone once per day. My progesterone level was 39.6. The lady from the lab (read: NOT my normal contact) said "that's good, just keep doing what you're doing and come back in a week for your Beta."

My normal contact, Janet the Wonderful, is out today. Does anybody have a clue what these numbers are supposed to be? What were yours, and what was the outcome?

Yep, the 2WW is officially getting to me over here :)

Thanks in advance.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Change of Plans

As previously noted, I love my RE. So, when he told me yesterday (yes, I had a 20-minute conversation w/my RE on a Saturday) that he wasn't completely happy with how our IVF cycle was developing and didn't want to go forward with it, DH and I whole-heartedly agreed with him. Although we are still within protocol, meaning we meet all the parameters for retrieval, our RE doesn't like the lead follicle situation. Cetrotide did help a bit, but didn't solve what he saw as a problem.

New plan: in an attempt to "salvage" (his word, not mine) the cycle, we're converting it to an IUI cycle. Trigger tonight, IUI on Tuesday. It's funny because we don't have a CLUE about IUIs -- we skipped right through those b/c of our male factor issues -- so any advice from old hands at the IUI process is welcome.

We know the odds on this IUI cycle are not good at all, but we trust our RE's advice. We want to have the best shot at our second IVF cycle, and if he's not happy, we're not happy!

Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Staying the course -- Stim Day #5

Today's appointment confirmed why I LOVE my RE. I was in the clinic around an hour-and-a-half, about 45 minutes of which I spent sitting in my RE's office talking about my cycle and life in general. That just doesn't happen when doctors are having to play the billing game -- perhaps an argument for concierge medical care? I digress.

He liked my lining (.6), and estrogen level (796 after just four days of stims -- booyah), but wasn't too keen on the development of a "lead follicle" (measuing 1.3). The concern is that, although I remain within protocol numbers, the lead follicle will signal its superiority and all the other little follicles will give up the fight - not what we want to happen. So, I start an antagonist drug tonight and go back on Saturday morning for another round of ultrasound/bloodwork. Our RE did emphasize that if he's not completely happy with how everything looks, he's calling off this cycle. Have I mentioned how much I love this guy? He really has our best interest at heart, and wants us to have the best shot possible at becoming parents. We are so blessed. Sigh.

Anybody else dealt with the lead follicle issue??

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


With our new protocol, we went straight from BCPs into stim shots. Funny thing is, nobody told AF she was off duty. In case you're curious, stims + cramps = not a lot of fun. So anyway, I've been harassing my IVF coordinator with questions (Are you really sure this is okay? I really don't understand how I'm going to have enough lining in 10 or so days to sustain a pregnancy? Are you REALLY sure this is okay???) for a couple of days, and today she booked me for a session with our RE after the previously-scheduled ultrasound and bloodwork to discuss the plan.

As much as I want this cycle to go forward, I want it to work so, so much more. I'll let you know what we hear. For now, off to do stim #4.

Happy ICLW!

Monday, January 19, 2009

More on acupuncture

Seems some of you are interested in hearing more about the acupuncture appointment -- for those veterans among the crowd, feel superior in your knowledge and enjoy the ride.

This particular facility is, as I think lots probably are, located in the "funky" part of town. My trusty Garmin led me to a nondescript, low-slung office building. Nothing on the door but the numbers. I made my way in, rang the gong doorbell (seriously), and was ushered in to meet with one of the most gracious, welcoming women I've ever had the opportunity to meet. We chatted and went through my (very thorough) paperwork, and then we made our way back to the treatment room. It reminded me more of a doctor's office than a spa, which was good with me. She showed me that the needles were single-use and sterile (for some reason, it hadn't entered my brain that they wouldn't be, but still a comfort to see), and then we got started. I took off my shoes, but that was it - needles went the top of my head, hands, feet, and tummy (just pulled up my shirt for those). A few of the needles stung going in, but others I didn't even feel. She then turned on some heaters and soothing music, turned off the lights, and left me be for about a half an hour. After my time was up, she pulled the needles out, and I only had a pinprick of blood from one of the ones on my feet. That was it! It was totally non-violent.

I'll have to say, it was waaay outside my comfort zone, but I left feeling more relaxed than I've been in a long time. Even if it didn't have proven benefits re blood flow, the relaxation benefits alone would put it on my list of things to-do. Hope this helps!

Addendum: nope, no insurance coverage. But it wasn't painfully expensive, which was a welcome relief, as well!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

In the interest of full disclosure . . . .

That was my lead-in to telling my eye doctor that we were doing IVF -- I didn't think he really needed to know, but it felt a bit strange responding "allergy meds" when the tech asked me what kind of medications I was taking. Anywho, he was glad to have the information, especially since my eyes have gotten significantly worse this year -- a change he chalks up to, you guessed it, the IVF meds. Who knew?! Goes to show that all health care providers (even eye doctors, apparently) need to be in the circle of IVF trust.

And here you thought I was going to tell you how accupuncture went. Okay, okay, I will.




For those who've asked, yes, it's Dr. Ivey. She's just great! I'm already looking forward to next week's appointment.

Yesterday's testing went well. I'm "sufficiently suppressed," so we're clear to start stims tomorrow night. Bring it on.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jumping the Shark on the Baby Journey

I'm no Fonzie, but what tomorrow has in store is something that borders on the absurd for this main-line-believer-in-all-things-Western-medicine-girl: acupuncture. Save the comments -- I KNOW that it increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, increases rates of pregnancy, decreases stress, etc. etc. ad nauseum. I FEEL like our path has veered on over to the absurd, and we'll soon have a beloved character return from the dead or there will be an unnaturally-aged toddler in our house or something. Sigh. The motto is, whatever works. The things we do, no?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New do, new calendar, new site

New do: Thanks for all the commentary -- my highlights look great, and I now feel prepared to get pregnant (because that's all it takes is ME feeling prepared, ha ha. The best-laid plans and whatnot.).

New calendar: We got our calendar in the mail this week, and I talked through it with my IVF coordinator yesterday. The plan is an antagonistic protocol, which for me means BCPs until next week, NO LUPRON (I'm doing a happy non-migraine dance over here!!!), stims (375 Follistim and 75 Menopur) next Sunday, retrieval a week to 10 days later, transfer 5 days after that, and we'll know the score before Valentine's Day (I say that not to be dramatic, but to give you an easy marker to remember -- it's how we're pacing it!).

It is a FAST protocol, and also a PAID FOR round b/c we qualified for the shared risk program at our clinic, meaning we paid for 2 cycles up front, and if we don't have a baby (not just get pregnant) this round, we get 60% of the money back (which basically pays for cycle #3). All good things, I think.

New site: I don't think I'm alone in the whole "you're pregnant and I'm not" brain divide that kicks in from time-to-time. Jealousy can be a very unwelcome partner on this journey. As excited as I am for my IRL friends (very few of whom have had any struggles getting pregnant) when they announce their pregnancies, I will admit to a few nasty twinges in my first reaction. Sure, I get over it, but I really wish I didn't go through it in the first place. That's not me, and I hate it. Anyway, the site is the story of 2 sisters, one fertile and the other struggling with IF, and how they learned to love and grow together. It's one I will be digging deeply into over the weekend, and hope to find some inspiration in their words. I hope you do, too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To foil, or not to foil -- that is the question

I learned the hard way that I couldn't have my highlights touched up during my 2ww -- my IVF coordinator shot that one down. Seemed like a good plan to me, oh well. So, now I really do need to have these highlights dealt with before we get geared back up. I assume it's okay right now, since all I'm on are BCPs? What in the world could it hurt? Easier to ask forgiveness than permission?

Share your wisdom, por favor.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I suppose

Even the Pope, who has declared that IVF violates human dignity. Read more here.

I'm not Catholic, so I don't have to pay any attention to this nasty rhetoric . . . but still. Am I the only one who thinks lumping IVF in with the creation of human-animal hybrids might be a bit of an overreach? Is this reaching the world with the truth? Eye on the ball, people.

Love one another. Always.

Close Encounters of the Clinic Kind

Every 3rd or 4th time we're in our clinic, we see someone we know from the "outside." These close encounters can begin as early in our visit as stepping onto the elevator -- since our clinic is the entire 5th floor of the medical building, when someone hits "5," it's almost like they've slipped you some sort of a secret handshake. Sometimes we exchange knowing smiles, sometimes we pretend not to have noticed them, even as we walk a few steps behind them down the hall to the clinic. Crowded elevators are helpful for the latter approach.

Then there's walking into the clinic and seeing someone you know. We've found at this point, it depends on: (a) how well you know the people; (b) the context in which you know them, and , (c) what day of the week it is.

For example, we saw a girl DH knew from high school who I also know from various social and civic organizations on a Sunday morning. Now, nobody is there on a Sunday morning for a consult or an initial visit. Sunday mornings are reserved for IUIs, IVF cycle blood monitoring, Beta tests, etc. Sunday mornings are for warriors. We sat and chatted with her while we both waited for our procedures, and felt we had found a compatriot in this struggle. It was a nice encounter, and we've emailed a few times since.

On the flip side, we saw the wife of a former co-worker of DH's in the clinic lobby on a random Tuesday morning. Tuesdays are the Statue of Liberty of clinic days. Tuesdays welcome everyone. Despite the higher stakes on the weekend visits, somehow they seem more intentional; on weekdays, the clinic is just filled with nervous people. Most of them have no clue what's going on, and their husbands are obviously weirded out by the whole scene. I prefer the weekends. Anyway, this "wife of a former co-worker" obviously didn't want us to see her, so she sort of did the "head-down-duck-into-the-lab" move that I'm guilty of doing myself from time to time. Those encounters are just weird.

Then there's what I call the "unavoidable hall bump." This has only happened to me once, but it made an impression. On my last visit, I was walking down the hall to check-out, and a girl I knew from college (not a friend, more of an acquaintance) was coming towards me down the hall to the exam rooms. It was face-to-face, head-on encounter. It also caught us both by surprise, and what I like to call "normal social conventions" took over. We both kept moving, but did the bright-eyed, full smile, "oh my gosh good to see you" thing. Very strange, given the circumstances. It was a quintessential clinic encounter.

I've found I have a different attitude towards these clinic encounters this time around. I don't mind seeing people in the clinic as much as in the past. We've done all the tests, we know the drills. All the staff know us. We know how many days are involved with which stage, and what a good Beta count would be. Hopefully we'll be able to encourage some folks along the way, too.

In a strange way, it's comforting to do this again. Kind of like Sunday visits are more calming than Tuesday visits. I'll take comfort where I can get it in this process. Grace and peace to all of you this weekend.