More grateful than ever

Dear friends and family,

We don’t want to delay the news any longer. We ARE pregnant! 17 beautiful weeks  pregnant.

After we took some time to heal from our previous loss in June, Nick and I decided to move forward and transfered our last frozen embryo in mid-August. It was our last hope before going on a long hiatus from our trying to conceive journey…

And the hope became a reality! We had some dreadful weeks at the beginning of the pregnancy waiting to see the fetal pole, expecting to hear the heartbeat, hoping to graduate from the fertility clinic. Having the bad memories of our last miscarriages constantly over our heads.

I think it wasn’t until our first appointment with a regular OB GYN, that I started believing that I had a “chance” at this. That I could be like any other regular woman being seen by a regular OB because I was having a regular pregnancy. She took me off all the meds — I was taking a few as a preventive measure given the miscarriages history– and she reassured me how perfect my baby and I were. That day I breathed. We both did. And from that moment on we started cherising this little miracle that I’m carrying inside.

This Thanksgiving we are more grateful than ever. For our future daughter, but also for the journey that is leading us to her. Because infertility has brought us closer together; has made us more resilient; has strengthened our relationships with friends and family; has given us the opportunity to meet new people who have helped in many different ways -from doctors to other couples fighting similar battles. Because it has taught us to never take anything for granted and what a miracle and a blessing bringing life into this world is.

Looking forward to keep sharing this journey with all of you.

With love and gratitude,

Nick and Carolina


Baby Green at 13w2days




3 broken hearts

I woke up this morning and before I opened my eyes I prayed for yesterday to be a bad dream. I prayed to wake up again on the last day of May to a different day and a different outcome. But I looked at my phone and there it was: June 1st. I wasn’t ready to accept that life didn’t stop for us. That our pain after our appointment yesterday wasn’t big enough to stall the month of June. But there it was the sun rising and entering through the window, Lenard meowing for his breakfast, the calendar’s reminder about the painters coming to the new house… And then, before I had time for a second prayer, Nick’s alarm went off. His eyes desperately looking for mine trying to check that I was fine or maybe hoping for a smile that would make him also believe that yesterday was just a bad dream…

But it wasn’t.

On Monday night we went to bed both excited and nervous, but more than anything happy for what Tuesday was supposed to bring. Our first FET resulted in a pregnancy that according to the blood tests was progressing very great. Now it was the time to see things in the ultrasound, measure the embryo and hear the heartbeat. According to an app that I downloaded the minute my pregnancy was confirmed, our baby was about to transition in size from a sweet pea to a blueberry. Then the ultrasound showed that it never even made it to a sweet pea. Our baby stopped growing somewhere around half of week 5. Today I would have reached my week 7.

Doctor was as puzzled as we were. On one hand, he couldn’t explain why I hadn’t had any bleeding or pain given the fact that the embryo was already detached from the uterus and blood could be seen around the sac. On the other, he was feeling–like us– very optimistic since the embryo was chromosomally normal and my beta numbers came very strong from the beginning, so he couldn’t understand a priori what went wrong. What he knew for sure is that the pregnancy wasn’t viable and that it needed to be removed as soon as possible in order to avoid an infection.

He was extremely sensitive and gave Nick and I a lot of time to process the information and grieve by ourselves in the examination room. I would be forever grateful to him and his team for that. He also decided to start testing for other possible reasons for the miscarriage, and ordered a bunch of blood tests (exactly 15 tubes) to see how my inmune system is responding to all of this. I will see him again tomorrow for a D&C, a procedure intended to remove any dead tissue and blood from the uterus that will be painless since they will put me under.

At least physically painless, because the emotional pain that Nick and I have been having since yesterday it’s hard to anesthetize. Tuesday was supposed to be such a happy day for us, and we left the clinic with an appointment for a D&C and 3 broken hearts. Our hopes are also starting to crumble since it seems that with every bridge we cross, a new problem arises. And we are afraid that at some point we will run out of answers. But for now, I don’t even want to think about the following steps. Now I need to mourn the loss of my baby, and take care of my husband and myself.

I am aware that many women have been through a miscarriage at some point in their lives –many through more than one– so I recognize that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that this is just a lost battle, not a lost war. I just need time to adapt to my new reality, to adjust my expectations and to find ways to not let this define me in terms of failure. I know that I did, and we did, everything we could and that the final outcome wasn’t under my control anymore.

Still I ask my baby-boy every minute of my day to forgive me for not being able to take care of him, and I know he will. I know that someday I will reunite with my angel baby and he will tell me why it wasn’t the right time yet to meet mom and dad. And it will be ok. And we will be ok.

Our dear baby Green, whatever your spirit is right now, know that you were very loved from the beginning, not only by mom and dad, but also by your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends who knew of your existence. You will be forever in our hearts as the first one who made us feel like parents.

Forever grateful,

Carolina and Nick

Fingers and toes crossed!

Dear all,

We had our embryo transfer yesterday and it went great! The procedure was painless and Nick and I were together in the OR through the whole thing. Before setting me up on the table, they brought an incubator where we could see the embryo under the microscope. It was already so perfect!! Doctor confirmed that it was hatching (leaving the outer shell) and that all its cells  were multiplying accordingly. It was very hard to contain my tears when at the end of the procedure he said: “Baby is home!”.

Since yesterday Nick and I have been daydreaming about the possibility of this working for real. We have good chances, but it’s not a sure thing. There are other factors besides having a healthy embryo that determine whether a pregnancy continues or not; the problem is that those factors are normally discovered on a trial and error basis.

But for now, we are celebrating this huge milestone and continue to be positive and hopeful until the next one: a positive pregnancy test. That won’t happen until the end of next week, and either way we would probably like to savor or digest the news before sharing them. So, if you don’t hear from us be patient and know that as soon as we are ready we’ll be celebrating with you. 🙂

Thanks again for all the support. You guys are amazing!

Much love,


Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…

Hello friends,

It has been a while since my last post, but it took me some time to recover from our last fiasco and to learn how to trust my body again. I find it very hard to face a negative outcome after expressing hope and a positive disposition. There is a part of me who tells me to be cautious, to always think on the worst case escenarios, to be ready for tragedy; because that way, the disappointment won’t caught me off guard and the pain will be more manageable. It’s true that with low expectations come fewer disappointments, but it is also fair to say that behind fear there is always opportunity. If we don’t face the fear, we will never know what’s at the other end.

So today I’ve decided to be vulnerable again and share with you the news that our FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) will be scheduled to take place on Monday, May 2nd. Do you know if is possible to hold one’s breath for a week? Because that’s exactly how I feel right now. It’s been so hard to get to this point that I’m afraid to do, eat, drink or say anything that will deflate the dream.

We started meds on April 9 and added the daily shots on April 11. By day 8 of shots –almost double the amount of what it worked for me in previous cycles– there wasn’t any progress. Like I wasn’t taken anything. No follicles growing, and an almost non- existent endometrium. That day I cried at the doctor’s table before he was even done with the scan and I told him that I wanted to drop the cycle. He said that he would add some estrogen patches and asked me to wait a couple more days. I got a free consultation and free meds that day, so pretty much what you need to make up an infertile woman’s mind. Trust me, at this point in our journey when the bills are becoming astronomical I would donate my eyelashes to get a free item. 🙂

15 shots and 8 visits later (yes, I see my RE more often than I see my husband), my lining decided to cooperate and made it to 7.2mm. I’ve read in a bunch of forums that the ideal thickness for a successful transfer is between 8 and 14mm, so not being totally there concerns me. My doctor, however, thinks that in comparison to my uterus -which is petite like the rest of my body- the lining looks great and its pattern is even better. Yes, folks. Your endometrium has an optimal pattern for implantation that it’s called a tri-laminar appearance (if you are curious to see how this looks, click here. No viewer discretion advised).

The plan now is to go back tomorrow to check estrogen and progesterone levels, and start progesterone supplementation tomorrow. FET then will take place on the 6th day after progesterone is started. I don’t know yet what type of progesterone they are going to give me, but there is one in oil that has to be injected intramuscularly in the butt. Yikes! With this option, your partner is instructed to massage the area vigorously in order to avoid knots, so at least I’ll get a free massage every night from the hubby. Not bad at all!

Anyways, I hope to come back next Monday or Tuesday with good news about the procedure. Nick and I have decided to keep the gender and number of embryos transferred a secret from family and friends until and if pregnancy is confirmed. So at least something will come as a surprise!!

Thank you all for your constant support (from cards to texts, and get togethers). Your love is a constant reminder of how lucky we are already being surrounded by so many fond and deep relationships.







Starting over

Hello folks,

I am not having a good day. Despite the electo-stim acupuncture, the additional medication and all my big hopes and positive thoughts, my lining decided not to cooperate and it got stuck measuring 6.5mm. Dr. said that given the fact that we have seen it growing up to 9mm in the past, that he doesn’t want to compromise the transfer -though there are women that carry healthy pregnancies with a lining that it’s only that thick.

We are now going to induce a period by taking another medication (I swear I see my pharmacist more often than I see my husband), and start over with a new protocol. We have two options: keep trying with estrogen, but instead of patches using intramuscular injections in my butt (yikes!); or do another stimulated cycle -since we know my lining gets thick when making eggs-, retrieve and freeze more embryos for storage.

The idea of going through another IVF cycle again doesn’t appeal to me at all. Also, if I get overstimulated again we would have to wait to make the transfer and we would lose the chance of using my thick lining that cycle -which will bring us back to where we are right now. But the alternative, just the estrogen, might not work either and I would have gone through a cycle for nothing: no transfer no embryos for storage. We have a call with the Dr. tomorrow, so I’m sure that Mr. Harvard will be able to pick Dr. Ringler’s brain and run some set of probabilities as to which route is more efficient (in terms of money, time, and my well-being).

For me today is hard for a number of reasons. First, because I hoped with all my heart that I’d be ready, so the disappointment hurts like a kick in my gut. Second, because I can’t help but playing on repeat the thought of how broken, how defective, and what a failure I am. First, my egg quality; now my lining. How can some women get pregnant by accident or in their first try and I’m having so much trouble despite the amount of time, effort, money and heart -all my heart- that I’m putting into? I do everything I read in every single blog about infertility: acupuncture, long walks, high fat diet, raspberry leaf tea, meditation, Coq10, prenatal vitamins, etc, etc, etc. So then, why is it not happening?  Why if I want it so much? Why couldn’t be enough to dream about it, to be ready for it, to love it with all my heart?

It’s been more than a year of treatment after treatment, and today I feel like I deserve to have a break; to make progress without having to leave the skin on the road. But “feeling like it” it’s not going to make it happen. The same way that “acting on it” won’t make it either. And that is the hardest part. The lack of control. The fact that despite the efforts that I make, it’s not up to me to become a mom…

Today, not only my body aches…


no sugar coating. #thisiswhatinfertilitylookslike

Set back :(

Hello friends,

Yesterday’s appointment didn’t go as well as I planned. My lining didn’t grow since Tuesday and we can’t proceed with the transfer if it doesn’t get where is supposed to. Doctor prescribed some pills to help with blood circulation and ask me to come back on Monday. There is 50% chance that we would have to start over with a new cycle.

It’s a bummer but we can compromise the transfer if the conditions are not optimal. My acupunturist has been doing his magic yesterday and today, and he is confident that I’ll be ready by Monday. I hope so too! Otherwise, we will not only have to face another month-wait but also all the meds, appointments, and labs that we paid for during this cycle will be wasted.

Trying to remain hopeful and optimist! I’ll keep you posted. 🙂



FET scheduled for Wednesday

Dear all,

We met with the Doctor yesterday for an ultrasound. My linning is getting close to where is supposed to be: between 8 and 12mm -thick enough to sustain implantation. We up the dose of estrogen patches to 4 (my belly looks like a stamp booklet), and I’ll go in again on Friday to confirm that I’m ready to start with progesterone. The FET (Frozen Embryo Trasnfer) needs to take place on the 6th day of progesterone supplementation, so our tentative date is Wednesday.

Doctor said that he was a little bit surprised about the low number of normal embryos but that it’s still within normal parameters. He told us about two 20 something years old egg donors who did their cycles last month and didn’t get a single normal embryo (how great not to feel like an outcast!).When we asked him about what are the things that we can be doing to improve egg quality, he didn’t say much  other than recommending a supplement that I’m already taking: Co10q. Also, when asked about doing another round of IVF now to storage more eggs for our future babies, he said that it won’t make a difference to do it now versus in a couple of years. So dear eggs, can you please stay young and healthy a little bit longer?? Apparently, there is a lot of variability between cycles, so the fact that we only got 2 this time doesn’t mean that it will be a pattern for future ones.

So now, the only thing left to decide is how many and in case of doing it one at a time, what gender. We are considering all the options and I appreciate the input that I have received from friends and family (Nicole you were right on point with your comment). However, we are going to keep it a surprise until pregnancy is confirmed (fingers crossed). So no questions allowed!!

Ahh.. I can’t believe we are getting so close to the final stage of the cycle. We are so ready for this!! Please, Wednesday come here as fast as you can.

Love to all,



A small victory… Still a victory

I’ve been debating the idea of writing this post since we got the news last Friday. Somedays I feel over the moon and very optimistic about how close we are getting to our goal. Others I feel disappointed, ashamed and terribly mad at myself, my body, my luck.

Of our 9 embryos only 2 came back chromosomally normal.  To be honest, my first reaction was of happiness since they also told us the sex and I thought it was super cute and perfect that it was one boy and one girl. Once the picture of those two cute munchkins vanished from my imagination, the meaning-making machine on top of my shoulders got activated.

“2 healthy embryos out of 41 eggs retrieved? What the hell is wrong with me? How are we going to have more children in the future if I’m only 32 and my eggs are already a piece of crap?” According to the lab director -a very renowned embryologist- they would have expected 6 or 7 normal. The fact that only 2 were, probably indicates that I have always had a slightly lower proportion of chromosomally normal oocytes.

I know this is not my fault; I know I didn’t do anything to provoke this situation, but there are moments when I feel broken. Useless. Inadequate.

But then I realize that being a victim is not going to solve anything; but changing my perspective will. What’s all we need to start? One, just one. And the fact that we now know for sure that those embryos are healthy can only help us to be more positive and certain about our next steps.

I’m now getting myself ready for transfer with estrogen patches, and soon with progesterone shots. We want to re-create a perfect environment for the embryo to attach. The tentative date is March, 29 but we’ll know more after our next appointment on Tuesday. That day we will also talk to the doctor about how many we should transfer and our options for future treatments. What do you guys think? One or two? Should we create a poll? Haha. 🙂

I try to stay as positive as possible and having my mom with me right now helps a lot because she keeps me busy. I’m not going to ask for prayers or good vibes yet, but if you see or hear me being hard on myself, please feel free to slap me on the face. I have two embryos with excellent potential to become our children. Disappointment is not an option.

Much love,





Hopefully one of my frosties!


“Ixaro & Carolina”–courtesy of my friend Mercedes Fages who knows how important it is to visualize


That magical number 9

Dear friends and family,

I’m finally back to myself! It hasn’t been an easy road to recovery. The chest pain and the bloating continued well until Friday morning, but since then I’ve been seeing great improvements, one of them was loosing 9 pounds. KaBum!! It was all the fluid, air, and who knows what that was making me look 6 month pregnant.

But folks, that’s not the magical number 9 to what the title of this post refers to. That glorious number represents the number of embryos that made it to blastocyst and were frozen. This wonderful result didn’t come free of stress, since by day 5 only 2 embryos had reached the mentioned stage. That day we were devastated to hear that only 2 out of 41 eggs survived. We knew that approximately only 30% of the eggs that are fertilized make it to blastocyst, but if the statistic was right that would have put us closer to 10, not 2. Saying that we were disappointed is an understatement. I don’t think I’ve ever felt a more acute sense of inadequacy as a woman, while Nick felt overwhelmingly powerless, frustrated and guilty for putting my body through such a stressful process for nothing.

By Tuesday night, we were able to reconcile with the idea that even if it was just 2 what this IVF cycle had granted us with, it was enough to start trying. After all, to achieve our dream to become parents we only needed one. Just one.  But then, on Wednesday morning we got an update from the lab about the remaining embryos that on day 5 weren’t ready yet. It turned out that we had a batch of “slow” ones that weren’t in a hurry to get into the freezer (I don’t blame them!). By day six, 7 more had made it to blastocyst! All they needed was a little bit more time and a team of scientists that wouldn’t give up on them.

A cell-biopsy was taken from each of the embryos and sent to another lab that specializes in genetic testing. The majority of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities and since I had two chemical pregnancies in the last year, we thought it was better to add the extra step to ensure that the embryo we eventually transfer is genetically normal. It’s another step and another hurdle that the embryos need to overcome. According to the statistics the range of blastocyst that are genetically normal can rage from 60% to 20%, which means that if we get very unlucky we could end up with just one. But again, only ONE is what it takes.

During this 10 day-wait we are trying to keep ourselves busy without loosing focus on our goal. With all the things going on in the company right now, Nick doesn’t have to put a lot of effort in keeping himself busy, and I have decided to bring my mom over to keep me some company during the next few weeks. Hopefully she will be here for the transfer too and she will be able to tell her future grandkid how she was there the moment he was conceived. Creepy and fascinating at the same time!! Haha.

If you have any other ideas to make this wait less daunting, we accept calls, invitations to dine out and impromptu comedy shows at our house. 🙂

Feeling all your love,


Embryos are fighting while mama recovers

Dear family and friends,

If you have ever wondered how it feels to have 41 eggs retrieved from your ovaries, let me summarize the experience in one word: PAINFUL! The recovery has been [insert the slur of choice] challenging.

By Friday morning I was suffering in full force from all the sides effects of such a massive egg retrieval. I felt very bruised in the inside, as if my organs were squeezed or the dr would have taken everything out to put it back in the wrong place. Any minimal movement (like getting out of bed to go to the bathroom) felt as being punched by a squad of professional boxers. It was miserable. For three days I lived in the skin of an 90 year old woman. Or maybe 100, since on Sunday when I was finally able to stroll around the block I was passed by a couple of 90 year old women with walkers going 10mph faster than me.

Today I woke up with half my mobility regained. What a blessing make it to the bathroom in less than 30 secs!! However, something felt odd in my chest. I was feeling a lot of pressure, specially when I would lean down to pick up something from the floor. I called the Dr and he told to come in to check me up. It turns up that the fluid I’m accumulating (7pounds since retrieval) is partially located in my upper abdomen what makes my lungs being squeezed and therefore produce the shortness of breath and oppression. They ran some labs and they are going to see me again tomorrow to see if they have to drain some fluid before it gets out of control. I totally trust my doctor and I know he deals with cases like this one all the time, so I’m feeling confident that with or without intervention the issue will get resolved. Meanwhile, I need to keep bed rest so if you if have any movie/books recommendations, send them my way. I’m running out of choices after so many days living the life of a parasite.

Nonetheless, the good news far exceed the inconvenience of this recovery. On Friday we got an update from the lab: 36 of the 41 eggs retrieved were mature, and 30 fertilized. Then on Sunday (day 3) they checked back on them and 26 were still growing (20 of them at an excellent rate). We know that the real challenge will be for them to make it to day 5 (when we will freeze them), but this is also the stage when they become “blastocysts” and the conversion rate from “blastocysts” to “healthy pregnancy” is very high. Tomorrow then we will get another update from the lab with the final countdown. A biopsy of those little fighters who made it despite being so far away from mom and dad, will be sent to a different lab for genetic testing and gender evaluation. Yes! We will know the sex of our embryos prior to transfer. It might sound like playing God, but I see it as a little treat-the treat of choosing-that we are giving ourselves after all we have endured to get to this point.

I know it’s late, but I need all the energy in this world for those embryos to make it through their last night before they find their way into their mama’s womb. So if you read this, please keep us in your thoughts/prayers/om’s. Those embryos need to know how ready and excited we are to give them the family that we have always dream of.

With love,



Forgot to mention that my bloating make me look as if I had eaten a rhino!