Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The date is set!

I am hanging my head in shame. This ICLW was not a good example of my love and devotion to all of my blogger friends. I was incredibly lame this time around. For that, I apologize. Work has been really busy, as I gear up for conferences at the end of next week. That means by the time I get home from work, pay some bills, cook dinner, and return a few emails, I am COMPLETELY pooped. Like, the couch has an imprint of my ass.

Seriously, I feel like a 31 year old in the body of a 60 year old. I can't believe that in the not too distant past I was working out 4 days a week. How did I actually make that happen? I am starting to wonder if I need to get my vitamin levels checked, or something.

In better news, after several back and forth phone calls with my RE's office, I got my Lupron start date for IVF #2. Apparently, although I left 3 different voicemails with the dates of my upcoming trip to California (visiting my family), they ignored the dates and screwed up the scheduling at first. Today, it finally got straightened out.

So, this is the deal:
• I'll do an ultrasound to check for cysts right before I go to CA (sometime around the 12th - need to schedule tomorrow)
• I start Lupron the day after I get back, on March 21
• baseline ultrasound for IVF purposes on March 27
• hopefully, I'll start stims that evening

Looks like retrieval the 2nd week of April...so close, yet so far. I am SO ready.

Anyone else cycling in March/April? Let's start a cheerleading team.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A morning full of interesting infertility moments

This morning has been full of surprises. I was pretty pissed off when I woke up before 7am. But man, has the day improved!

First, I was perusing the RESOLVE New England website (ok, I was looking to see if my Poker Face blog got any comments) and I went to their advocacy page. I have been considering getting involved with advocacy efforts, and I wanted to see if there were any opportunities to get involved.

Then, when I scrolled down, there was a video of an advocate and board member speaking at the RESOLVE conference in November. I read her name, and then re-read it.

I know her.

I don't want to say too much, but I know her professionally. She is a lovely person. In retrospect, I remember her mentioning how she had difficulty conceiving, but that was years ago, before we were trying to have a baby.

Although I am not out at work, I think I am going to contact her. I am dying to talk to her about her work with RESOLVE. I'm feeling pretty excited!

Second, I got a call from a friend of a friend today. She just had her IVF consult and was feeling overwhelmed. She reached out to me, and we spent a long time on the phone discussing her fears and questions. Basically, I let her know that her cycle would be stressful, but not nearly as hard as she thinks it will be. I hesitated to tell her our outcome, but she asked. So, I tried to stress how rare our failed fertilization was and that most women have a lot of success with IVF, even if it takes more than one cycle.

We ended the call with her telling me how much better she felt. Apparently, hearing my perspective really eased some of her anxiety. I almost cried. What she doesn't know is that in sharing my experience, it helped me as much as it helped her. I am so glad I could help her. It sort of feels like my shitty IVF cycle DID have a purpose after all.

Now if I could get the motivation to get out of my bathrobe and over to Target, the day would be a true success.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trending now...

There are certain topics that have been pervading the blogosphere lately. For a while, it was the idea of spurning Facebook. Then I noticed a ton of memes, BFP posts, planning posts (I did one of those), and tagging posts with music (I'm a frequent participant in those too). Now, I'm joining the chorus in discussing how much I am despising watching all of my favorite TV shows lately.

I know I willingly subject myself to Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, and 16 and Pregnant. (Don't judge me.) I don't know why those shows don't bother me. Maybe it is that they were so young and stupid. But, with sitcoms and series, I am feeling like a deer in the headlights.

Right now, Parenthood, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, and Fringe (KG's fav - telepathy via IVF!), all have story lines having to do with babies, infertility, or adoption in some shape or form. The other day Smoon even texted me to warn me about HIMYM, before I watched it on DVR.

But this week, it was really the Parenthood/Glee combo that sent me over the edge. Spoilers below.

I love Parenthood. It is by far the best series on TV, in my own humble opinion. The writing is sensitive and witty. The story lines are gripping. It goes without saying that I was also a big fan of the 1989 film of the same name, that the series is based on. I think it was Mel who posted the scene with Grandma, talking about life using the metaphor of a roller coaster. Brilliant film-making, I tell you. The series bases its characters off of the film's cast, but has given them a slightly different flavor. It has just the right mix of humor, sadness, and complexity. Seriously, KG and I look forward to it every single week.

Until this season.

Joel (Sam Jaeger), Sydney (Savannah Page Rae) and Julia (Erika Christensen)

Right now, they are running parallel story lines with two sisters.  One sister (Sarah) is 40 and considering having a child with her young boyfriend. This is relatively benign, and they haven't gotten farther than having her son find ovulation tests in her bathroom.  The other sister (Julia) is experiencing secondary infertility and subsequently decided to pursue adoption. She is an attorney, and a girl who sells coffee in her building (Zoe) offers to give up her unwanted baby to Julia and her husband. Zoe ends up actually living with Julia, because she has no money and the father of the baby left her. Over the last several episodes, Zoe has been pushing Julia away, making her fear that Zoe will change her mind about the baby, despite Zoe's denials. Over and over again, Julia warns her husband that she has a sinking feeling this adoption will not work out. This also gave me a sinking feeling.

In this week's episode, Zoe gives birth. Julia is there for the delivery, as she has been her main support throughout the entire pregnancy. In the middle of labor, Zoe tells Julia that she loves her, and Julia reciprocates. At birth, Zoe refuses to hold the baby, reassuring Julia that everything is going to be okay when the time comes.

Then, the next day, Julia, her husband, and her daughter all come to the hospital to take the baby home. Julia looks for Zoe in her hospital room, finding the nurse changing the sheets, and Zoe nowhere to be seen.

This is where my stomach dropped the first time. I literally felt my ears get tense. Then, it gets worse.

After being told Zoe is taking a walk, Julia goes to the nursery to hold her newly adopted son. Instead, through the window, she sees Zoe holding her baby - crying, cooing, and becoming attached. Zoe and Julia make eye contact, and the look on Zoe's face just screams, "I'm sorry." Julia walks away, locks herself in a hospital room, and bursts into tears, knowing she has spent 9 months bonding with a baby she will never take home.

Not only is this Julia's worst nightmare, but this would be my own worst nightmare, if I decided to adopt. My heart BROKE for her. Her pain was palpable, as she sent her daughter away with her husband, so she could collapse in private.

I don't know what to feel about this story line. There is still a chance it could end well for Julia, but my gut tells me it won't. At the end of the episode, I felt drained, sad, and hopeless. Not exactly what I usually look for from my DVR.

I wonder how some of you bloggers who are in the adoption process feel about this story line. Do you find it to be a positive thing, revealing the difficulties that adoption poses? Do you feel it is manipulative or fear-provoking? Sensationalist?

The fun didn't stop there...

Next, I decided to watch Glee. The show has been pretty annoying recently, when in the last couple of weeks, Sue Sylvester announced her intention to do IVF with donor sperm. For Sue, apparently the laws of physics, biology, and medical protocol don't apply. She was able to complete an entire IVF cycle (which apparently went directly from shots to conception, skipping retrieval and transfer all together) in 3 weeks.

Yup, in the first 10 minutes of this week's episode, she announced she is pregnant. Really? Really?! Isn't she like 45 years old? She got pregnant on the first try?!

I couldn't take it. I stopped the episode and hit delete, right then and there.

Who knew TV would be such a minefield. Maybe this is a sign from the universe that I need to spend my time reading instead.

Photo credit: NBC

Today's song is "This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush. This song was featured in a movie called She's Having a Baby. This and Funny About Love were two of the first films that I can remember watching which dealt with infertility. Who knew, years later, that IF would be so trendy in mainstream media?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

3 words

Proud.  Excited. Accomplished. Those are the three words that describe me most today. They don't describe me every day. Some days, the words might be drastically different. But today, those fit.

Why do you ask?

Proud: It's just a little thing, but RESOLVE New England featured my Poker Face post on their newly revamped website. A big high five to their new, awesome Director of Communications and Social Media - Keiko Zoll for giving me the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Nothing makes me happier than writing (and blogging specifically) and seeing myself "published" gives my noggin a nice swell.

I am a member of RESOLVE and am working up the courage to start attending their peer groups. Do any of you go? Do your spouses go? I have a good support system and a private therapist. But, still. It might be good to talk IRL with other IFers. Give me the lowdown, ladies.

Excited: Today was my first session of electroacupuncture in a while. It feels like a solid step toward helping my ovaries to heal and shrink any nasty cysts left over from the IVF of doom. I also got all of my insurance clearance for IVF#2 and ICSI in the mail. That means I should get the call from my RE's office soon, with my Lupron start date. I am SO ready to start over. Let's get this show on the road!

Accomplished: I've had some really good teaching moments the last couple of weeks. As a teacher, I don't always have those days. Sometimes Many times, it is a struggle to get through to kids in a way that really sticks. Other times, you nail it. Lately, whether it is that point in the year when ten year olds start to turn into real students, or that I just happened to design a few good lessons, I see the tide turning with a few of them. That's what makes the stress, frustration, low pay, and long hours of teaching worth it.

So, what 3 words describe you today?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ICLW with a heavy heart

I wanted to welcome any new or returning readers from ICLW. Click on my ICLW page for some information about me. I am just coming off of a failed IVF cycle and am taking a break while my ovaries recover. I really appreciate you all taking the time to visit me and will be sure to check our your blogs too.

I also wanted to add my voice to the chorus of those who are so sad about Mo's baby coming so early, at 23 weeks. I love Mo's blog and her story is truly heartbreaking. I can't imagine the agony she and her husband must be going through. I send her nothing but love and strength. Unfortunately, I can't give her what she deserves most - an easy pregnancy, with a happy, healthy take home baby. I am truly devastated for her and so angry about the unfairness of it all.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Plan B or C or D

We have established that I am a worrier. I am a planner. In this world where so much is out of my control, somehow making lists of worst case scenarios and creating Plan B's is what brings me comfort. Although some people might find it cynical or negative, I find it extremely comforting to know what our next move will be, when all else fails. I am letting my freak flag fly here -whether you think I am putting my cart before the horse or not, this is just the way I operate.

Lately, His Royal Fabulousness and I have had a lot of these conversations. He constantly shakes his head at my need to know about the "What Ifs?" Because he loves me in all my neurotic-ness, he humors me. I think given what happened with our first IVF cycle, he is far more open to at least entertain the possibility that our TTC efforts could end up being fruitless. This would be devastating for us both, but I would rather have considered that outcome and be somewhat prepared for it, than to have stuck my fingers in my ears and sang, "la la la la la" in denial.

Here is what we have come up with so far:
1. We will keep a positive attitude for IVF #2 with ICSI, and put all of our efforts into hoping for the best result possible - at least 1 healthy embryo.
2. If IVF #2 does not result in a baby, we will continue to try IVF as long as my insurance covers it and my RE advises us to keep going. Of course, this assumes that I haven't gone completely insane from hormones, disappointment, and ovaries the size of grapefruits.
3. When we have exhausted our IVF options, we will switch tracks completely.

For us, it feels right to turn our sights to a totally different goal before we discuss highly expensive and stressful options like adoption: home ownership.

I should backtrack. KG and I met when I was 21, in my last year of college. Although both of us have wonderful families who love us dearly, neither of us have been lucky enough to have much financial support from them since graduation. It just isn't in the cards, as much as they (and we) wish they could help. Instead, we have been on our own to pay for housing, cars, graduate school (por moi), etc. In some ways, this is a good thing. We are completely independent and work as a team to make our financial lives work. However, each of us brought some credit card debt to our relationship, and that debt (in addition to school debt) has grown over the last 10 years. What do you do when your car needs $2000 worth of repairs and you don't have the cash?

A few years ago, we saw a financial planner who helped us create a basic budget and a plan to pay off the credit cards. Although it has taken longer than expected, we have made tremendous progress and have paid off all but 2 cards. However, paying off the debt made it impossible to put away money for a down payment on a house. Without any assistance from family, lottery winnings, or much higher paying jobs, it feels like a far off dream.

Along the way, we needed to make a decision: do we continue to put our hopes of having children on hold until we pay off the debt? Or, do we try to do both at once? We decided on the latter. We subscribe to the idea that there is no perfect time to have children. Although we may not own a house, we have an extremely stable and spacious rental situation and have relatively steady jobs. Emotionally, we are 100% prepared to be parents and feel that the money piece would be a work in progress. Plus, both of our parents rented when they had children, so it doesn't seem so strange. This may not be an ideal plan for everyone, but that's where we are at. I mean seriously, I watch Teen Mom 2. There are way worse circumstances than ours.

But, if IVF proves to be a failure, switching goals seems necessary.

All those people who love to say "just adopt" can suck it. Private adoption is an incredibly lengthy, emotional, and expensive process, as Katie at from If to when (and many, many others) can testify. Not only can it run into the tens of thousands of dollars for medical, attorney's, and agency fees, it is centered on the idea of selling yourself to birth mothers. It is the ultimate case of screaming, "Pick me! Pick me!" Let's say we managed to save those fees. Without being home owners, I have a feeling we would lose when compared with other couples who have that as a part of their resume. Although the foster care system may be less financially stressful, it comes with a whole other set of considerations. Besides, at that point, I am sure KG and I will be ready to put TTC behind us and focus on some other tangible achievement for a while, returning to the idea of adoption if and when the time felt right for us.

Let me reiterate that we are NOT giving up hope. We know we still have a good chance at having our own biological children. But, I have to tell you, I breathe a big sigh of relief now that I know what we will do if the worst happens.

Although it is no consolation prize, maybe we could even grab a spot on HGTV's House Hunters. That obsession deserves a whole other post.
These lyrics from Grouplove's "Colours" spoke to me when writing this post. If you haven't heard it on the radio, listen up now.

It's the colors you have
No need to be sad.
It really ain't that bad.

It's the colors you have

No need to be sad.
You've still got your hand

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dear Universe revisited

Those of you who have read my blog for a while might remember a few letters (here, here, and here) I wrote to the universe, asking why I am put in uncomfortable situations with a pregnant co-worker. In the other instances, it was a conversation with said co-worker that made me want to throw a weaponized spork. This time, the co-worker wasn't even there.

Dear Universe,

Yesterday was a fucking weird experience. I had one of those moments, that so many of us have, when we realize that we not only have too much of an infertility/pregnancy education, but we feel the need to educate others. I actually had to defend the one so deserving of my spork in times past. WTF?

When I heard that the waif had been out a lot lately, I inquired as to why. She is pretty far along (6 months maybe?) and I know that the doctor's appointments start to multiply at that point. However, her absences were noticeable enough even for me to notice, and I avoid her most of the time these days. But, when I heard why she has been out so much, some other part of my brain took over.

What I heard was that she is having, "...some kind of problem with her cervix."Some co-workers were a bit snarky about her missing so much work, but I couldn't help but pipe up. After reading stories like that of ADSchill I just know too much and actually stuck up for the waif. "Actually, cervical issues can be really dangerous. Her uterus is what is holding in the baby! So, it's good she's keeping such a close eye on it." The snarkers blinked at me for a second, and I started to hear crickets. They said something about me knowing a lot about pregnancy, and I laughed it off. On what planet would I have ever thought I would be the one to have empathy and fear for that girl?

On planet ALI.


Other notes for the week:
• Sorry I have been out of touch for a week - really busy at work. Trying to catch up on all my blogger buddies

• I know a few of you tagged me in this question meme that has been going around. For the reason above, I haven't been able to get to it. I'll try this week.

• Yesterday, Smoon and I went for a mani/pedi. 2 seconds after walking in the salon:
 Manicurist who looks familiar to me: "You had a baby, right?" 
Me: <blink, blink> "No."
Manicurist: "Oh, sorry, sorry!"
Me <to Smoon>: "Really?!"


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bouncing back

My blog hit 10,000 hits and it just made my morning. Thanks guys. I am feeling all "Aww, shucks" about it. I love blogging and all of your support keeps me motivated.

I have been thinking a lot about change lately. Yesterday, on the playground, another teacher and I were chatting about the idea of resiliency in children. As teachers, we see it as one of the most valuable skills a child can have: the ability to recover from some kind of setback (emotional, physical, whatever). It is also a trait that is very difficult to teach. When we see it naturally occur in children, we know that kid will have an advantage over others who get stuck in their frustration or pain.

When I think about it, I actually did not have resiliency as a child. Or, let's face it, until my 30s. I was the kid who would curl up and cry in my bedroom when some social disaster happened. I would refuse to go to school and would rerun the scenario over and over again in my mind, obsessing on it for far too long.

Now, I will not claim that I am cured of this issue. I still tend to overthink, overanalyze, and generally make myself crazy. I'm sure KG would agree. But, as an adult, I have had no choice but to develop resiliency that I lacked as a kid. Besides infertility, there are painful life experiences that forced me to find ways to leave my bed, put my feet on the floor, and keep moving through my life. Illness, relationships, the death of friends and family, financial stress and all the other fun shit that happens, often without warning. What else can you do? You keep moving.

The last few days, I began feel like myself again. Smiles aren't as forced. Tears have abated. KG and I can kid around or watch "Two Broke Girls" and actually laugh. I haven't forgotten what happened. I think I have just processed it and decided to not let my failed IVF cycle rule every second of my day.  Seeing my therapist helped. Working some stuff out with my mom helped. Lots of hugs and support from my friends and KG helped. All in all, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself.

1 week of mourning? Not so bad.

And now, a song about hard times and resiliency.

The best verse from Change by Blind Melon:

When you feel your life ain't worth living

you've got to stand up and
take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.

A few random thoughts for this morning
• AF arrived yesterday. Back on the pill tomorrow. Step one of IVF #2 complete.
• I have been drinking this Green Monster smoothie (as blogged by Cornfed Feminist and Sunny at Cease and Decyst) and it is life changing! I have been eating like crap lately and this gives me a fast yummy way to get in a bunch of greens first thing in the morning. I swear to you, I can't taste the spinach.
• I slept 11 hours last night. A.MAZ.ING.
• Anyone have cats? We have 2 (for the last 9 years) and they drive us insane because they always hiss and growl at each other. Anyone know any kitty psychiatry?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tell me something good...the WTF appt

Well, if anything has been anticlimactic, it was today's appointment.

Let me start by saying, once again, that I really like my RE. She started the visit by hugging KG and I several times. She is kind, empathetic, patient, and talks to me like an adult. She is also on a bunch of "Best Doctors" lists, which makes her warmth even more surprising.

This is the gist in bullets (because I love bullets). Don't expect to be blown away by new information.

• They still have no idea why we had zero fertilization with 19 mature eggs and good lookin' sperm.
• They checked for every possible reason including, but not limited to, lab error, culture medium, egg/sperm quality, batch quality issues, etc.
• They see this kind of zero fertilization (with young, healthy eggs and good sperm) a few times per year. It is VERY rare, which is why she didn't mention it as a possibility before retrieval. More often, they see it with MFI, bad eggs, or low ovarian reserve. She said it could be something as intangible as the sperm/eggs not liking the lab environment.
• The embryologist reported NOTHING unusual with our sperm or eggs.
• Sperm did adhere to my eggs, but they did not break through and fertilize. This gives me hope for ICSI next time. Maybe if we can just get those suckers inside my eggs, all will be well.
• They do not do rescue ICSI because there are almost no documented case of it resulting in pregnancy. Eggs have a 24 hour shelf life, and therefore injecting sperm past that time is useless. This Oxford article supports that claim.
• At one time, most clinics did do ICSI on all IVF cases. However, she said currently most clinics (maybe those in New England?) have decided that, unless a couple has pre-existing reasons for ICSI, they want to be as minimally invasive as possible.* Now that we show a reason for its use...
• They will not change my med protocol much because my E2 (estrogen) and follicle development were perfect. I also had no OHSS (THANK GOD). All good things.
• I asked what we would do if we still had zero fertilization after ICSI, and she said that she had no answer for that right now because it has never happened at this clinic. Interesting! If it did happen, it would go to review with her colleagues.


The Plan
1. Wait for AF (she will probably arrive next week)
2. Call CD1, go back on BCP on day 3.
3. Do at least 3-4 weeks of pills, during which time insurance authorization and potential Lupron start date all get worked out.
4. Keep going for electro-acupuncture to try and fix up my ovaries
5. Go in for pre-Lupron ultrasound to make sure I am not all cyst-y
6. Start. all. the. fuck. over.

By my estimate, that leaves us starting Lupron again in late March, if all goes well.

I know I'm supposed to be comforted by the fact that a zero fert outcome with ICSI is so rare, but unfortunately I have googled the crap out of all of this and know that it is possible. But, what else can we do? We can keep moving forward.

In the meantime, I'm thinking some margaritas, pedicures, and frivolous spending is on the agenda.

Have I mentioned I had my first shellac manicure over the weekend? Life changing, I tell you.

*Please don't be offended or think anything is wrong with your clinic if they do ICSI on all cases. I wish my clinic would.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Times Like These

Yesterday, I had an important, tough, and emotional conversation with my mom.

Today, I saw my therapist (a good thing for everyone) and brought home 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Tomorrow, we have our WTF?! appointment with the RE, armed with a long list of questions.

I'm tired already.

P.S. KG has written some of the best post-its ever this week.

I want to send a big, huge congratulations to many of my fellow bloggers who either had successful transfers or BFPs this week. There seemed to be a big wave of good luck flowing through the blogosphere.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Poker Face

In my dreams, this turned out differently. When I wake, I still have a few moments of forgetting that this cycle was a complete failure.

At work, I manage to keep busy. While I teach a lesson on long division, my sterile eggs aren't the first thing on my mind. But, then the kids go to recess, and I sit at my desk for a minute or two. At those times, I get waves of pain and sadness, feeling my eyes well up with tears. Luckily, it is never long before I hear someone coming down the hall, and I pull myself together, putting on my poker face.

However, my poker face isn't that great. Co-workers have noticed that something is off. I have been asked several times this week, "Are you okay?" I usually brush off the question with one excuse or another (I actually do have some sinus issues this week), but it gets exhausting.

Driving is also prime time for falling apart. Being the sap that I am, if the wrong song comes on the radio, I'm doomed.  Hell, Rhianna sent me over the edge this morning. What must other drivers think of me when they see me sobbing behind the wheel?

It just feels so surreal. I keep expecting the phone to ring and have the nurse on the other end of the line, scheduling my transfer. I keep trying to grasp what happened, and it isn't working. Instead I just feel lost, floating through my days.

The thing is, this was supposed to work. IVF was supposed to be the answer. At the beginning of our TTC journey, IVF seemed like the ultimate safety net. If all else failed, that was our solution. But, when the one thing that was supposed to work doesn’t, it brings up feelings that I haven't felt since my miscarriage.

I know, I know. It isn't the same thing. And really, I'm not saying it is. But, the feelings of injustice, betrayal, disappointment, and hopelessness are the same. Until August of 2010, I had never felt that kind of pain. It was a quick and excruciating kind of education. At least this time, I am more prepared. I learned some key things then that I am trying to remind myself of now:

1. Although tempting to stay in bed and re-live the horror over and over again, it is better to make the difficult decision to shower, get dressed, and leave my apartment.
2. Better to cry and get it out then to suppress the feelings, only to explode all over an unwitting target.
3. Put on my own oxygen mask first, before trying to help others. These are the times when I need to let people support me without worrying that I am somehow taking advantage of them.
4. Don't forget that His Royal Fabulousness is feeling all of these emotions too, even if he isn't as obvious about it. This can't be emphasized enough. Although KG has been a total rock star this week, I know that this has deeply hurt him, and he is going through his own grief too.

As we gather questions to bring to the RE next week, one main question outshines the others:  
What will make next time any different?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thank You

The support I got from all of you yesterday was staggering and humbling. Some of you even said how much my blog helps you, and that made me feel extremely grateful. I am so lucky to have you all, as well as my wonderful friends IRL.

There are no words to describe how stunned and disappointed we are. It still seems surreal. I have to say, of all the worries I had about this cycle, I didn't see this one coming. One minute, I was waiting to hear when my transfer would be, the next the ground disappeared beneath me. I was at school when I got the call, and apparently I turned as white as a ghost and staggered out of my classroom. Thank goodness I have a teaching partner who could take over. I apparently drove home (although it's foggy in my memory) and then spent the next 8 hours crying off and on, finally passing out at 8:30.

Biggest lesson learned? Don't go to sleep after crying that long. I woke up this morning looking like a swollen monster - seriously, it looked like I needed an Epipen.

Today, we are trying to regroup and make sense of what happened. This is extremely difficult with so little information.

His Royal Fabulousness and I have the same questions that many of you asked in your comments. Here are some of the things I know:
1. 19 of my 23 eggs were mature and healthy.
2. KG's sperm also all looked good.
3. They expected excellent fertilization and my RE was genuinely shocked.
4. She said they checked for lab error, compared with other ER's that day, and spoke with the embryologist.
5. At this point, there is no explanation for why none of my eggs fertilized. They think this could be why my IUIs didn't work, but they can't point to a specific problem.
6. The RE said we will do ICSI next time, and that they have good success rates. They don't do ICSI unless there are known sperm/egg issues, so therefore we did not plan on it for my first retrieval. I also plan on asking about assisted hatching. I did ask about why they couldn't do ICSI after the fact and her nurse said it was too late.
7. I am at one of the top fertility clinics in the country, seeing one of the top REs, in one of the medical centers of the universe (Boston). I don't think this is a result of a lab error. I think this is just a really fucked up, rare, horrible outcome to an otherwise promising IVF cycle.

Where do we go from here? For now, we are on hold. I stopped all meds and now have to wait for AF. Then I'll go back on the pill for a while. Then, we'll see how my ovaries are looking, and start over. We are also compiling a list of questions for our WTF?! appointment with the RE in a couple of weeks.

I'm still pretty uncomfortable from ER, and generally feel pretty shitty. Hiding out with a bottle of wine (thanks Smoon) sounds like a good plan for now.

KG made me promise that we won't give up yet. But, with his big blue eyes, he did admit that he's, "...tired of being in the 1%." Amen.

Edited to add: If you or someone you know has had zero fertilization, please comment.