Friday, April 18, 2008

My Photographs - Bistro Blues

We were eating at a local Italian bistro the other day, and a man was sitting outside playing an electric guitar. I took a few shots, but felt the cars parked on the near side of the street detracted from the scene. A couple shots had stray pedestrians looking in right at the camera. Later after we ate the nearby cars had driven off and I got up and moved over a bit to get this shot. It was the last shot I could get for the day as my memory card was full. Fortunately it was pretty much the shot I was hoping for.

It's a bit modified, obviously. I cropped the top down a bit to deemphasize the cars across the street, edited out the soft drink logo on the cup, adjusted the contrast a bit, and colored it a low-saturation blue. Came out nice, I think. I tipped him on the way out.

Prints and other items featuring this photo are available for purchase.
Bistro Blues Custom Framed Prints and Greeting Cards at
Bistro Blues Prints and Greeting Cards at

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Further Fertility Developments

We saw the new doctor today. He was very personable and more forthcoming than our old one, or at least more talkative. He looked our case over and asked some questions. He recommended that if we did do another IVF that since my wife's sister is willing using her as a gestational carrier would be the way to go, given the number of decent embryos we've put in so far. He also said, though, that our chances with three tries at IUI with donor sperm would be about the same as one try at IVF. IVF tries are generally at least two cycles apart, so with the financial considerations the IUI seems to be our best long term shot. Also, my wife is really feeling worn down emotionally by all she's gone through in the IVF's we've done and gotten nothing.

For IUI we would also have a better shot if my sister in law did it, but we were told tonight by my mother in law that my sister in law told her that while she would be just fine with carrying our child, she wasn't sure she'd be able to give up a child that was genetically hers. I can certainly see that, and understand. I think we were a bit blinded to that possibility by our desire to have a child by whatever means are left at our disposal, and I think my wife was especially so and is having a hard time dealing with it.

So, it seems our next try or three will be an IUI with my sperm augmented by donor sperm, put into my wife. I hope it works, but my wife has other health issues that would no doubt make pregnancy difficult. If the IUI doesn't work, I hope she can find it in herself to do one more IVF with her sister as the carrier.

Wish us luck. We're going to need a lot.

Monday, April 7, 2008

IVF Update And Plans

Well, in case you hadn't heard, the frozen transfer didn't implant apparently. We knew it was a long shot compared to the fresh transfers, but it's still disappointing.

We're changing gears now. Tuesday we have an appointment with a new doctor. We've heard good things about him. He does his procedures at the same fertility center as our original doctor, (I believe they and a few other doctors own it together,) so that will be convenient if potentially awkward. I'm sure other couples change doctors often enough after a few failures for them not to be really surprised. I think it's good to get a fresh pair of eyes on the situation anyway.

Unless he has some really novel insight into what could be done to improve our chances with another IVF, our plan is to shift to doing IUI with my sperm augmented with a donor's.

I'm a little bit of two minds about that. On the one hand we've produced multiple embryos via ICSI with my sperm, transferring nine in total and having some that did not make it nevertheless survive longer than initially estimated. So we know my sperm can work if given a ride to the egg. It's tempting to say "why are we bringing in donor sperm when mine is good enough?" In fact our chances per try are much better with IVF than IUI.

On the other hand, IVF is rather expensive and the protocol is rough on my wife. She is also still rather overweight, but has lost a good forty pounds or so since we started this and is continuing to improve over time. Taking a break from IVF for a little while would give her a chance to improve her health and through that improve our chances, and also give us a chance to catch up a little on the financial side of things. While we're doing that, we may as well take a few shots with the augmented IUI and maybe get lucky.

The plan is to do that for a few months, then maybe, if she is still willing by then, have my wife's sister do the IUIs. She has no interest in being a mother again, has said she would be willing to help out, and would be much cheaper and easier to monitor than a paid gestational carrier. I'm not sure if my wife would still try alongside her at that point. If their cycles were offset enough so that each would start the drugs after the other had their pregnancy test that would let us avoid the possibility of having both pregnant.

At some point my wife may decide she's up for another try at IVF. We just turned forty, so we can't put that off too long, but as long as she's losing weight it's a question of whether the aging is making our chances worse faster than the weight loss is making them better. If only we had some sort of indication of the optimum window. We don't though, so we can only guess and do what we can when we can.

Maybe Tuesday when the new doctor weighs in we'll know better where we stand.