Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ok, just an update because I am being pushed out the door so we can head out for a long holiday week with family. It is a good thing as here I would find a ton of things to do and I am tired. We have passed what feels like every flu, virus and cold between us now for most of the month of december. Desperate for some peace from a sniffling nose, achy bones and upset stomach- I willingly subjected myself to the flu shot-- and my intentions were good. Who knew that I was one of the very few people who would get aches, fever, chills and a headache from it. Though if you ask me, that was no ordinary headache, and any time I go to bed at 6:30 in the evening- it's a telltale sign that things are not good.

I am up and moving again 2 days later. Still feeling a bit as though I have been hit by a truck and now I am going to get in a car and drive, then get on a plane with hundreds of people and pray that neither I or DH catch anything else this season.
I hope everyone in blogland has a good holiday whatever it is you are celebrating. Me, I am just looking forward to the time to unplug and connect with family.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tragic. This is all I can think about today. I got a call from my RE's office -- the doctor passed away recently in a tragic accident. I have been profoundly struck by this death.

It's not just that the doctor passed on- it is that all of the work they did was focused on helping families to create families. I can't begin to imagine the thousands of the lives this person has touched.

As we go through our day how many lives do we touch?

If we connect with an average of 10 people each business day- and we have 260 work days--(give or take some) each year-- then over the space of 10 years we will have touched 26,000 people--now, not all of those people that we touch will be new people every day, nor will the number remain the same every day, etc.. I realize my numbering and calculations are flawed-- and there are millions of variations-I mean the school teachers who work with students and parents impact the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands of students every year. The connection we make with people that impacts us could be a 3 second connection or a lifetime connection. The time span will differ for each connection-- but as I go through my day and I pick up my car from the repair store or I buy stamps at the postoffice or grocery shop-- and I say please, or thank you, or comment on something I notice to another person- or compliment that person-- have I touched them in a way I am unaware, and will it reverberate through their lives and trickle down?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back in 1987, when I was quite a bit younger than I am now- my family, well, not the entire family, but a large portion of them participated in the harmonic convergence.

Yeah, I know, you have no idea what the harmonic convergence is? I can't say I blame you , my father had to explain it to me - so here it is in a nutshell.

The Harmonic Convergence was supposed to be a global awakening to love and unity through divine transformation. Yup, I know- it does feel as though we have stepped onto the transcendental woo-woo train, but stay with me. According to the Maya prophecies the harmonic convergence was suppose to be the end of the "hell" cycles and the beginning of a new age of universal peace. It was suppose to be a energy shift in the world powerful enough to change the global perspective of man from one of conflict to one of co-operation. Sounds pretty incredible doesn't it?

For my family this consisted of getting up at 0'dark hundred, tromping out to a bluff overlooking the ocean and being together with other people who got up that early and also apparently wanted to watch the sunrise and didn't mind walking along a cliffside in the dark. I know they created a huge chain of people holding hands while the sun rose and they meditated and prayed for a better world.

I saw the pictures in the newspaper the next day, I was not there- I slept in. It wasn't that I didn't believe in the convergence concept- I mean who doesn't long for a world where war, materialism and just plain unfriendliness are gone? Would I get up at 0'dark hundred and tromp out to a cliff in a forested area in the dark if I thought doing so could for a moment end the suffering of people- yeah, sure- why not. On the other hand, who is to say that a culture that believes the world is going to end 12-21-2012 really knows what they are prophetizing. I mean it's not like the Mayan civilization is running the world right now, somewhere along the way- it is possible there was an error in the calculation. But still, doesn't matter, I like to think I come from good stock, my family got up and wandered around a cliffside and looked for peace. They stepped outside of themselves and made a connection.

We do that. Here. I didn't really get the scope of how much we do until I installed statcounter on my website. Meg got me started on it. The first couple of days I checked it, I was just plain fascinated by how many of us are out there. Then I realized we aren't just a handful bloggers writing about our struggles with infertility- we are this amazingly strong community that shares our hopes and strengths and we carry each other when we hit a bump or a bump hits us.

But there is more. There are hundreds of us online that are linked -- like a huge chain of people. While some of us are watching the sunrise, others at the same time are watching it set. Now I don't know about any major energy shifts occurring anytime soon- and I'd like to hope that if one occurs - that it not be linked to the power supply running my little laptop- a little static zap shooting across the universe. But, it hit me today that this is infinitely cool- and it's not just because I know you are all out there- and that you are from everywhere- all walks of life, all countries, all religions and beliefs and all socio-economic structures. It's infinitely cool because we are all connected. Now that I call a harmonic convergence.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

2nd opinion = new R.E. Thankful for this community.

Well, I had my 2nd opinion talk with a second RE. It was enlightening. And I have to say thanks to this community for encouraging me to step out and get that second opinion. Seems that this RE would have done the surgery last month when he felt I had at least 3 possible eggs that were of an appropriate size- and he feels that the mix up in the amount of lupron I was taking was a factor and that I was most likely over supressed. This information I kind of expected-- but what suprised me was that he said for this last cycle he would not have started it-- my E2 was 103, he says he would have given me something to lower my E2 level as he never stims unless the E2 level is below 70. Hmm, now that is news. He also expressed some concern about my previous RE's urging to use donor eggs. He says that since I have never actually made it to IVF that he has no information to base the quality of my egg on and he'd rather get me to an completed IVF cycle so we can at least evaluate the egg quality to determine if a donor egg is required. He felt that being a slow responder to the drugs does not mean that I can't have bilogical children- it just means I respond to the meds slowly.

He talked to me for alittle over an hour-- and one of the very first things he did when we began to speak was give me his email. He wants me to ask questions and he said he answers his email 3-4 times a day. I also took some time to speak to a friend I have who used a DE to conceive her child. She was incredibly encouraging to me to really step out and explore my options- if I want to have a biological child then I should try that as long as I want to-- because I have plenty of time to have a DE child. Hmm, never considered that. It all has felt a bit that time was grinding down on me. It's nice to have been given a level set so I can step back and get some breathing space.

So what is my plan? Yes, of course I have one. The new RE suggested taking December off because my body seems to react better to cycles that are every other month as opposed to back to back. I like this idea because my body is clearly confused about what cycle we are in. I should have started my cycle 4 days ago according to my last RE. I figure it is late because we stopped the meds part way through the cycle. So there you have it. I am taking December off, relaxing during the holidays and the starting up in January. Very cool.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So we opted to not do the IUI this time around- and both DH and I feel really good about not spending the 500-1000 bucks on this round to be faced with a BFN. I know, I know, I am way jumping the gun and I'd like to say that I am totally open to a miracle occuring- and I would even consider having the child studied for resilient characteristics and amazing survivor skills-because the sperm are basically going to be travelling up the blocked canal then they get to the top to find that well, the door is closed, so then they have to go back down that canal and up the other one to get to where they can meet the egg.
Could it happen? I have no idea- and I am not ruling it out. Logic says that this cycle is a wash and even though I am told the meds leave my body 24 hours after entering it-- I wonder if I was still alittle too supressed to do anything this cycle-do the meds really leave my body after 24 hours?

And then a part of me wonders- what if I just ever can't. I know, I spoke the words that many infertiles think and don't speak because what if it is true? I met this woman a few weeks ago and she did not have a uterus. Just. never. had. one. No biological kids forthcoming pretty much ever- and she seemed totally fine with it. Totally fine. I kind of want to go back and tap her on the shoulder and ask her how she does that. Is it because the opportunity was never there so she didn't allow for the possibility of it? Some days I am totally fine with this and think, we'll be one of those couples who travels alot (after we finish paying for the infertility treatments when we are old) and other days, such as this one I just can't imagine getting over it.

And then I think of the whole donor egg thing that my RE talks about as though I haven't heard him and I just don't think I can carry some strangers egg- it feels weird to me. I think about the adoption process and how long and incredibly expensive it could be-- and really there does not seem to be a good solution. I admit that sometimes look at my fertile friends and think, hmm, they would make a good donor and would I be ok carrying their egg? And then I think, how on earth did I get here? Normal people don't have these kind of thoughts. Can I blame the hormones for egg envy? DH will say that I have got to be PMSing because normally I am a sane person. I kind of wonder if there might be link between insanity and infertility because it does not bring out the sane side of me.

I went ahead and made an appt to talk with another RE- thanks for all your advice ladies, I most appreciate the guidance.
I have that appt in a few weeks and ought to be able to chat with him, make a future plan if I want or stick with the guy I am going to. In the meantime, I will forge ahead and hope for a miracle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Instant Replay. Let's watch that again.

So yup, met with the RE last night. I thought for certain he'd be sending us packing- 4 failed attempts to get to IVF-- only one got close where I had 7 follies-- though 2 of them got large enough within the duration of the meds- and we did have the wrong lupron dosage that cycle-- could have made a difference or not...really no way to tell and I did ask about that- he said it could or could not have made a difference. Still no apology. Um, ok, I don't think we will be getting one.

First the RE talked to us about our options. Instant Replay of the same meeting I had in July, except this time my DH and mother-in-law were along for the ride. It wasn't really a conversation- and maybe because he does this all day long he is used to doing a set paragraph of speaking -- I tried on an occasion to interrupt or interject between the pauses for a breathe and he just continued the flow of his speech. Hmm, I'd give a lower rating on interaction though maybe he continued this dialogue for the sake of the DH and MIL that were along for the ride this time? I don't know. He says my options are to try again next month on day 3 of my cycle-- or to take a break and try again later. He also started down the DE (donor egg) route and I give him some credit that he was able to clearly read the signs between DH and I and the word No spoken, and let the topic drop after completing his paragraph on it. Yes, I know the chances of sucess would be higher if I used the eggs of a 20 year old. Yes, I know I am way older than 20 and moving towards my reproductive end- but I just am not ready to put the egg of someone I don't even know into my womb- sorry, I am just not there yet. I don't know if I will ever get there.

They asked me to stim once more last night and then take a HCG shot on sunday and IUI on monday-- I told them I'd let them know --this seemed to suprise them. Yeah, I know, they seem suprised alot lately. I explained that we don't really see the point of the whole IUI on monday because the one follie is on the left side- which we all know is blocked and so our chances of sucess with IUI are about as good as going at it naturally. We might as well have some fun with this and save the money but I'd call this weekend after DH and I discussed it. I think they may have forgotten about the left side being blocked. Understandable because lots of folks go through there daily and it's hard to keep the specifics of each patient in mind. I don't know.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ok, so here is the latest. I have to admit I am alittle suprised by the course that my RE took-- but they have asked me to come in on Friday so I ought to start compiling questions now. First I will give you a bit of back ground so you know where I am in my cycle. I started my stims on saturday the 21st-- and I started spotting for my period on the same day-- my period appeared on the 22nd. My next ultra sound was on the 26th- which would be day 4 of my period-- and day 5 of my stims.
Then I went in for a second u/s today which is day 8 of my period or day 9 of the meds. Today's ultra sound showed 1 follicle on the left side. That's it. Nothing else-- and mind you-- if we are adhere to a normal cycle I am not due to ovulate until sometime next weekend. The RE's office tonite called and told me to stop taking all meds flat. That this is a failed cycle and to come in and see the doctor on friday. Hmm, I ought to be ovulating that day. The nurse that called said that I am not responding to the meds after being on them for 9 days... so here is my question to you-- can I make follies while I am having my period-- how exactly does that work?

Friday, October 27, 2006

So yesterday was my blood work and ultra sound. I got the call at noon-- the earliest the clinic has ever called me. Nothing is happening and they were alittle suprised by this. Hmmm, well I am still in my period so it kind of makes sense to me-- but I am alittle uneasy they were not in sync with this--especially because I went in on saturday and told them I was waiting for my period still. They did my b/w and u/s that day then called me later and told me to start the meds. They started me early with the "microdose that wasn't really" cycle so I assumed they were just starting me early because I take so dang long to get going. I go back in on monday so I am hoping for some good news-- though I have to say that some of my optimism is wearing off.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

So I am back from a lovely tropical break where I was fortunate enough to experience a earthquake, a power outage, then torrential rain which brought mudslides and flash flooding. It got better- after we left that particular island and flew to a diffferent one. And we can now joke that it was earth moving... and a bit of a rocky start to the trip.

So back to the business of being again. We are on day 5 of the meds. This time it is a bit of a different protocol. Currently I am on 3 vials of men*pur in the morning and 3 at night. They are 75s-- so that means I am taking 225 each time. No supression. Proably a good thing since I am still stinging from the over supression we did last time when they messed up my meds and were suppose to be microdosing me but had instead called in the full amount. Yeah, I know, It's going to take some time for me to be able to just let that go. Thought I had- but it is like a pea under my many mattresses-- just seems to be stuck under my skin a bit.

I have my u/s and b/w tomorrow and I ought to have an idea of how we are doing this cycle. Lots of hot flashes- so that is a bit new, and I am taking it as a good sign that something is happening. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling optimistic- because I am-- first I am told that I am low responder making only 2 egg, and it is suggested I use donor eggs... then I make 7 eggs but they don't actually grow to where we need them to because I am over supressed. Imagine what I can do without all the supression- yeah I don't expect to blow out the numbers and produce a ton of eggs- I mean I am realistic, but I am hoping I do at least as well as last time with all the little guys growing nicely in unison. Is that too much to ask?

Nothing much up other than that-- my feet are freezing all the time as I adjust back to living in normal weather and I catch up on the pounds of mail that seem to be getting delivered to my door. Has anyone else noticed that Xmas seems to now start before halloween? I am getting christmas catalogs in the mail now- and it is still october. Yikes!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well this will possibly be my last post before I go on holiday. A much much needed holiday involving pool side service and lovely food. Sunshine, warm weather and no cell phone. No email. No internet. No work. Can you hear the soft waterfall and soothing music in the background? Yeah, I could use a break.

When we come back I hop back on the bus and start another cycle. Mostly I am feeling ok, but I have to admit that the sting of the last cycle is still with me again. If your doctor's staff messed up your meds- would you trust them again completely? Could you go through another cycle with them and not feel like you needed to double check everything they said? Yeah, I am thinking about this one too...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I have been pretty quiet lately. I figure I proably ought to just touch base and let you know what is on my mind lately. I hopped back on the work travel bus this week-- I have have quite a hiatus from it as I have been pushing any travel I might have back so I can deal with IVF stuff. Needless to say, the clock ran out and I am now faced with several trips coming that I can no longer put off. One one hand it's great- my mind gets a break from all this thinking and I can get my work done-- but on the other it takes a toll in having to adjust and then readjust my schedule to fit in the whole IVF thing around my work schedule and around what little social life I have.

We were not planning on getting back on the IVF bus so soon- on the other hand the numbers looked good this month and we finally figured out why last month was a bust. The temp physican assistant called in the wrong dosage of lupron. So my microflare lupron wasn't really a microflare ( a kind of quartering of the dose)-- it was more of a doubling of the dose. I am not happy about this, but honestly what options do I have other than to just suck it up and move forward.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

AF showed up today. It wasn't a suprise, exactly. She gave me little signs that she might be coming- a ravenous appetite for sugar of any kind, small pangs in that area, an inpatience for anyone driving, walking or talking within a 10 feet radius. The most telling sign was the sinking feeling. Like when you know that you aren't going to get the answer you want but you don't want to know it- so you pretend that for awhile longer it just isn't what you know it is. Then she shows up and arrives in full flowing glory. Definately no denying she is here. This would definately make me not pregnant. Again.

Not really much else to say about this. We are disappointed, no way not to be really- you don't go through all the effort of trying if you don't plan to suceed. When we started down the IVF path we truly were innocent. We honestly thought that we'd just pop into the RE's office, schedule the process and we'd be done with it and on our way to baby. We had no idea that we'd encounter problems that made it so we were not able to even get to the IVF process.

So we are sitting with the latest results. Not sure what is going to happen next. We'll stick close to one another, step back a bit and heal. Make plans to be with close friends and just take care of ourselves and remember that we have a life outside of the IVF one that consumes so much of our time.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

We can see the finish line. We have now lived through another round of bcps, shots, ultra sounds, blood tests, the pink mojo room and IUIs. We are in the 2 week wait.

The last post was hard. Crushingly hard- and I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the amazing support I received from it. The community of bloggers that I have shared this common thread with -- you have stepped up and held a space for me to
grieve and process and simply just feel. You have come from all over to express that you have felt the same as me- and while I don't wish this journey on anyone- thank you for letting me know I am not entirely alone. And a special shout out to the lone man who was so kind with his words -- and who makes an effort to share the male point of view in the struggle with infertility. Thanks to you for your perspective-it was so nice to have you re-affirm what my DH has been telling me.

We did not go into this last phase of the journey with high hopes. For us it felt like a huge let down-- and the whole process seemed to have grey pallor once we decided to do the IUI. Two days in a row we met at the RE's office to complete the task at hand. Both times we left with heavy hearts and how can we not- we have been on this path many times before with no different result. One tube working, plus age working against us--our chances of sucess are half what the average couple our age gets. It's a struggle to come to terms with this. I know it can be done. Fate landed me in the hands of a woman this week who has no ovaries- never has. She was at ease speaking about it as I wiggled in discomfort. It was a good insight and I wonder if she wasn't somehow placed into my life to offer a completely different perspective? I don't know- but I feel fortunate to have met her and had the opportunity to speak.

It should be an interesting 2 weeks. I am redoing my garden again-- seems to be an endless chore. I finally decided to give up trying to figure it all out-- I called an expensive landscape architect whose work I loved, figuring that it is better to just pay once and have a great yard- than to constantly have me redesigning it -- I reasoned that the cost of me putting in plants then discovering they really don't grow well there- killing them and then having to get more plants wasn't as cost effective as having someone who knows what to do work with the space. I thought that since I look at the yard daily- the vision of what is ought to look like may be skewed and that fresh eyes would revive my vision. The architect came over last night-- looked at the yard and explained that she really generally does larger projects and with our budget we could not really afford her services. She then went on to explain that she'd be happy to go through the yard with me and point out what she'd do if it were her project and I could take notes and then do the work or hire someone to do the work. She spent 2 hours with me--gave me the names of dozens of plants that grow in the spaces I had been struggling with- and basically redesigned my entire yard for no charge. I was speechless. How on earth did I get so lucky. I mean who does that? This person didn't know me from anyone- steps into my yard and decided to give 2 hours of her services to me. A small streak of sunshine began poking through our grey clouds. I can do this 2 week wait. And if it doesn't work out- I step up, greive, and continue with life. I feel hopeful. Cautiously so.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Back to Plan B again. This is proably the most disheartening part of all the back and forth we have been through for the past week. The point where we finally reach a decision and take the trigger meds. We got 7 follies in total- but having spent the past few days trying to make them grow-- they just aren't. The two largest ones are continuing to grow and the remaining 5 are not getting to where we need them to be. No amount of chanting, candle burning, whale music or affirmations is going to make them move any faster. The good news is we got 7 follies so I know my body can make them-- this is way better than the 2 we came up with last go around. Bad news is that we are back on Plan B and doing IUI again.

DH isn't taking this so well- I think the >5% chance of this working is not encouraging and the fact that we keep trying this method and are getting no where with it. He feels it is kind of pointless. I can see his frustration and I know I shouldn't feel it- but I do- I feel like I am the reason we are not getting pregnant. He keeps saying it is not my fault- but how can I not feel a wee bit responsible for this. Would another woman be able to create life with him had he opted to be with someone else instead of me? I know, I am not suppose to think like this- but honestly, how can this not seep into my thoughts? How can I not be accutely aware that other women don't struggle like I do to have children.

It's not a done deal yet, I know this, and I know we have the rest of this cycle to see what happens with the procedures we will do over the next 2 days. It was a rough cycle overall with the higher dose of meds, the back and forth about which procedure would be the best for us and DH being gone for most of it. I can only hope that it all works, because honestly, I am just not sure I have another one of these in me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I have stopped sending emails to cyclesista to update my schedule. Why should we all suffer through the daily shift of the cycle protocol? What I thought would be IVF became IUI to then become IVF and now... well we just don't know what it is. Today the ultrasound revealed that I still have 6 follies. Whew, at least that part hasn't changed. They are 23, 19, 15 on right-- and 10,10,10 on left. So we are looking at 3 viable ones right now. It never occurred to me that they all would not grow at the same rate. Do they know that we are currently living in what is called the Participation Age? Ahh, yeah, that means we are suppose to participate.

So where does that leave me? I. have. no. idea. And instead of worrying about this- I don't care- ok, I really do, but I am currently too tired of thinking about this to think any longer and I want a break- I want to do all the things I haven't been able to do for this cycle--I want a hot bath with bubbles and a glass of red wine with dinner. I miss doing situps and ab work in Pilates class and I know I am not a patient person. I'm not. I am really not. It makes being patient all the more difficult. Ok, now that I have finished my daily whine- I am going to go back to waiting. I have no idea what will happen next- stay on meds and do IVF later this week, trigger and do IUI, or stay in this holding pattern and decide at my next ultra sound...

Um, how long can I stay on the stims before I start to look like a giant follicle myself?
Well Bless the RE for really wanting this to work as badly as we do, how totally cool is that? I know that we are paying the man to get us all knocked up but he is totally dedicated to the cause and I do find it comforting. He is going to have us do the meds again tonite and then ultra sound and blood work again tomorrow. He will talk to us tomorrow and decide the course of action then-- he is hoping we will be further along and can do the surgery on sunday.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Which way am I going? I am utterly stunned and alittle confused, and I did alittle victory dance in the kitchen this morning.

I don't often dance in my kitchen but alittle celebration is in order today. My left ovary decided to come to the party. I have always been a little bit of a late bloomer. I am now looking at a right side of 19, 14 and 10 follies and a left side of 9, 8, 8 follies. In 2 days I have gone from 2 to 6 follies. And my left ovary suddenly decided to join in. I was starting to think the whole left side was a dud, with the blocked tube and all. Go late bloomers!

What does this mean in english? We are again switching back from IUI to IVF. Yes, Yes, I know I was just moved to IUI two days ago and now we are going back to Plan A. I am going to stay with the current stims I am taking and we go back on Thursday to check with another ultrasound and bloodwork. If all looks good then we have a retrieval date of saturday the 9th or there abouts. Did I mention that I got a post card in the mail from my regular OB/GYN to remind me to come in for a check up. Yeah, um, I really want to spend more of my life having yet another person up there? -- I am getting a wee bit too much traffic in that area- and if this all works- the OB/GYN will be peering up there soon enough. No need to rush it along- I don't think the view has changed in some time.

So there ya go. Back to Plan A. And DH gets home today! Yipee.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."- Henry Wadworth Longfellow

I went to do the U/S today- we are still at 2 follies. I am back at Plan B again. We will continue to do the stims and then later this week do IUI. For those of you who are not immersed in IF lingo, IUI is inter-uterine insemination. They just help the swimmers get on up there. The little guys still need to find the egg and do their business naturally. Now it doesn't seem like this would a difficult task- I mean after all we have taken half the journey for them by placing them in the uterus. Millions of little swimmers and 2 illusive eggs. Adding up to a less than 5% chance success rate.

It's a little hard to be optimistic about this process when we have done it before 4 previous times all unsuccessfully. But like the quote above indicates- there really isn't much I can do about the 2 eggs. I have not spoken to the RE about a new Plan A. I thought it might be better to wait. Don't get me wrong- I'd love to have a new plan A- but it seems disrespectful to call it a total loss before we have even done the IUI. I want to be fully present and do everything I can to make the environment a pleasant one. This way even if it does not work I will know I did what I could at the time. And I am a tiny tiny bit hopeful- and I want to be hopeful. For as much bashing as I give hope - and I freely admit there are days when I'd like to leave it at the door- but I need it, I need to have in my heart the belief that this will work, else why am I here.

In other news I have had several friends drop over with meals for me or have me over for dinner-- I am grateful for this. As you know my cooking skills go from "pretty awesome" to "I am scared to eat that" when I am on stims. My friends have rallied around me to help out and it is pretty cool to have a show of support and eat better this week than I have eaten in the past month. While I can survive on pizza, it's nice that this week I don't have to. And all I have to do is focus long enough to heat it up- so I have only had a few minor issues where I start heating the meal and then forget I was heating a meal and start another one. You could say I have a very limited attention span this week. I also contacted a gardener who is going to swap out my drip irrigation system to something less tasty so the sweet little pup will have nothing to chew on except his chew toys in a few weeks. I am thrilled about this- and though it will cost a little bit to do it, I think we will saving in the long run by not having to replace so many parts.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

How many dogs I own.
The number of times I have now tried for IVF #1.
The number of vials they took in blood this morning.
The number of shots I take every morning.
And every night...

Perhaps we want a drum roll here for added build up... yeah, the number of follies my right ovary is producing- with the left not doing a dang thing. 7 days on stims and 2 follies. And the left not doing a dang thing. The follies are currently at 11 and 7. Not my most impressive number really. Last time I had 3 follies ... and the left side not do a dang thing. Today I am crushed. For those of you unfamiliar with IVF, 2 is not a good number. Pretty much any number over 4 would be a good number. Most REs won't do the procedure with anything less than 4 follies.

Oh, I know, I will rally and recover but wouldn't it be nice to get some good news in the area of procreation for a change? In the mean time, I have the weekend before me- with more shots- we aren't giving up yet- we go back on sunday for more bloodwork and another u/s. I had not expected to respond so poorly to the meds- especially since the dosing is higher than last time. When they told me I had a low reserve, I somehow didn't think that as we continued to do this that my test scores would get worse. This type of rating is hard for an over acheiver.

So that is my day. Not a good one. But to quote bob marley "My feet is my only carriage so I've got to push on through..."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Umm, I am sorry who's house is this? Oh, of course, yes, I see... you are the dog and we are all here for you.

I was home for lunch yesterday and as I walked into the kitchen and looked out the back to see the garden which is again being redone by me, I noticed something quite peculiar on my picnic table. I thought I'd snap a photo of it so you could all see what my lovely puppy apparently does when we are away from home. I suppose this is better than eating my sprinklers ... I can only imagine that this is what he does to rest when he is all chewed out.

The shots are going well. The red flush has stopped and other than a delicately sore tummy with tiny little bruises on it -- I am not really feeling the side effects of the stims anymore! I had a headache again yesterday- but bumped my DH out of his acupuncture appt and that helped a ton. I know, it's rude to take your partners doctors appts- but he was more than willing to give it to me and if I had not taken it I would not have gotten in this week- and this week, well, It's all about me. Let's just be really clear with that. I am in Me mode -it's all about my needs being met and I'd hate to be the person who cuts in line in front of me for anything I am waiting to do. Ok, I may be a tiny bit cranky still. But it's a good thing, DH says I am way way too nice most of the time. I even say please when I ask the dog to get down from whereever he has climbed. DH also has been teasing that I am the charlie dog when he is home. That he is alpha and the dog thinks he is beta and that I am charlie in the pecking order. He believes this is what the dog thinks... I am not sure the dog thinks about all this stuff as much as we do but we have noticed that as he gets older he is testing the limits.

My lovely neighbor will be helping me with my shots for the next 7 days- and I can't tell you how grateful I am to have the help. DH and I have the routine down pat now where I sit back and cover my eyes while DH picks a spot and injects the meds and then I get a little kiss at the end. It's very sweet and I will miss him dearly while he is away.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Side Effects. I'll take a side of forgetfulness and if you could add some bruising- that would be great! Ok, I can't even guess where I am with my cycle in terms of cdXX. I have to tell you that I honestly think it is a side effect of the lupr*n- I mean in another week I won't even be able to remember to take the laundry from the washer and place it in the dryer. Days later I will discover the load of wet laundry sitting there. I can at least relax in knowing my time on the lupron is shroter than last time- either that or I have forgetten about it.

We started the stims last night. It's like the best of both worlds- I have my period with gnarly cramps and get to take stims all at the same time. I can't imagine what else my DH could possibly want from a partner- I mean he gets me way cranky from my cycle and now all the hormones and the emotions that go into it. The man is hiding outside building some home improvement project. I am pretty certain he is afraid to come into the house. I can't say I blame him, I am afraid to leave the house. The higher dose of men*pur makes my face red just like last time. I woke up feel alittle wheezy and I can't tell if it is from the meds or mild asthma kicking in from stress. It's gone this morning. So I don't really know how to gauge whether this is important to tell the RE or not. I mean the side effects list hives and trouble breathing as bad side effects where you need to call your doctor immediately. I don't call a red sunburnt looking face hives- but it would not be the best look for me regardless. And with the minor wheezing- I don't know. I mean if you get injected and have trouble breathing wouldn't it pop up immediately and not 3-4 hours after an injection? It's gone by morning and I know the meds make me alittle on the drama queen side so I'd like to limit my over-reactions to things if it is possible. Any thoughts on this?

Other than the IF stuff I am desperately trying to stay on track with my other home projects and trying to come up with something interesting to do to the home while DH is away.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"I've been frozen for 30 years. I've got to see if my bits and pieces are still working." -Austin Powers

So I know you are all waiting for what the mojo room looked like in the RE's office this go around. First, let me say this picture in no way represents the room they gave us. We arrived at the building having parked in the wrong building to find the building our RE works in is fully in construction on the first floor. No signs, no directory- nothing. So I walk up to the man at the desk and he looks at me and says 5th floor. Huh? How does he know where I am going? There must be 10 people in the lobby- are we all going to the 5th floor? So I ask, "how do you know where I am going?" and he says, "well, where are you going?" and I reply "ART" and he says "5th floor". Ok. I am guessing he either gets the same question alot or all bewildered looking couples go to the 5th floor.

We get up to the 5th floor, and are led to the mojo room. It is a closet. Or rather a pre-closet. The door leads to a small alcove and then to another set of doors which contains what we can only imagine are computers- I think they may have placed us in the server utility closet. How do I know this? The familiar whir of the computer hard drives and fans trying to keep the computers cool are going full bore. I spend half of my life in computer data centers- but I don't generally mix my work with my personal life- this is feeling weird. Smaller than any other room we have done this kind of thing in. The room contained one black office chair with a sterile pad on it- apparently only one of us gets to sit down. A tiny TV which would play a video if you so wished and they had 2 magazines. Yeah, sure, check out the videos. Umm. No I don't own a scarf to wear during this kind of thing. Does anyone wear scarves like this anymore? Click. We don't recommend the TV for anything other than a tension breaker and getting peels of laughter from sitting in a closet in a facility that specializes deposits. Major respect to DH and the other men that go through this- I can't say that I'd be able to do the same. He says it is asking so little compared to what I am going through- yet I can't imagine having the roles reversed and doing as well as he has been doing with all this.

So no mood music, no nice painting on the walls, and no shagadelic austin powers carpet or furniture- and I will never ever be able to sit in a large black office chair and not think about that day and the giggles that the experience created.
Should we ever win the lottery, I think I'd like to redecorate the mojo room and give the guys who do this alittle respect and more than one damn chair.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Please make a deposit! Please remember to mail your deposit with a completed preprinted deposit ticket. We cannot accept cash, checks, traveler's checks, money orders, credit card checks or third party checks- only sperm will do.

Yeah, we got the phone call today. They'd like us to make a deposit so if something happens while DH is travelling then we can still move forward with the cycle. I kind of saw that coming and I was slightly prepared for it. I wasn't exactly prepared for the part where we have to do it all at the main clinic (2 hours away) and between the hours of 6-10am M-F only. Wow. Kind of a narrow window. How early do I have to get up for this? Again with the anticipation of the Mojo room- will this one have shag carpet and leather seating with mood music? Or are we back to a pink room with flowered pastel wallpaper and boom box playing music which inhibits the mood and still does not block out the people talking in the hallway outside.

We called and made the appointment as requested and DH is taking this all way way better than I thought he would. I love that he is willing to do this and not take a chance that something will come up while he is travelling. He is a dear man. I have also begun putting the word out to my local support team that should my ovaries freakishly respond to the drugs - I can't very well drive on down have them suctioned out and pop back home on my own- the clinic won't allow it. So I have put the team on alert to find out who is around and let them know the schedule. By the time we finally get pregnant- as I trust it is going to happen (else why on earth would I be doing this)- the entire neighborhood will have lended a helping hand. How many people does it take to get me pregnant? Hmm, that doesn't sound so good does it?

So a bit of a strange day- though I think I am getting use to them now. Yesterday it was accepting change- and today it is accepting strange. A bad poet- and I know it!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Yup- always got to have a plan. So here it is.

Aug 22: Blood Test and U/S.
Aug 24: Start Lu*pron Microdose
Aug 26: Start FSH Stims- and stay on them for 9 to 13 days.
Oh My Gosh! I am on these things for nearly 2 weeks- 2 weeks of injectibles- 4 shots a day. What the heck is that going to do to my personality? What the heck is it going to do to my stomach? Did I mention I use to have a lovely stomach? It was just starting to look normal again... Maybe it is a good thing that DH will be gone for the last week. I am not sure I will want to be around myself. Ack, how will I eat?
I sense the indian take-out place will be most busy that week as I know cooking is not really in the cards for me. I will have to empty out the freezer and stock it with chunky monkey. I find the cold container resting on my bruised stomach comforting as well as the flavor soothing to my soul. Other flavors are acceptable so long as it says the word "chocolate" somewhere on the container. Funny how chocolate is a requirement in ice cream but not for anything else in my life.

Retrieval date is set for Sept 6th. This could change. Any of this could change. I am starting to get really comfortable with the delicate tentativeness this schedule creates. It's a bit like Mr. Toads Wild ride at disneyland. For those of you who have not yet had the experience of being on that ride- it a runaway car that takes you through several minutes of driving- where you think you are going one way and then you suddenly change course. It's strange that I have always liked the ride. Maybe I have alway just been comfortable sudden changes in the course of life.

I have major respect for the women who have done this more that once- this is not an easy process and I admit that it is most definately kicking my ass the longer I stay in it. I won't say that this process will be over come the 2nd week of september- I know better now and I look at dates with more caution. I started the IVF process in May- now here we are in August and I am still on it. I can't help but wonder if IVF#1 could possibly take any longer- but I am afraid to voice this fear out loud. The nice part about this next round of phase 1 is that I am feeling a great deal more sane going into it. I don't know if it is the blogging that helps- or the community-- maybe it is all of the those things. In any case, I am looking at this next step with more peace and anticipation than the last time we took this fork in the road.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hope crept through the window last night. I don't know if it came with the exhaustion I felt or if it slipped in while I was dreaming but I woke up this morning feeling hopeful. I am on day 2 of the patch-- I rather feel a bit as though I am on a boat again-- but this is nothing like last cycle so I won't whine about it. I was darn tired last night and put my pj's on at 6pm. I have a wrinkle now in my patch, at first I was alittle alarmed- and puzzled- I mean why the heck did the darn thing move? But now I look at it and I think "eh?". I won't be bothering to fix this, I mean, what am I concerned about getting pregnant?

I talked to the RE-- looks like we will start microdosing lupron on the 22nd and will do the major meds at a higher dose the 29th to the 6th. Now we can talk breifly about FEAR. I am not afraid of the drugs themselves- heck, this is old hat for us- we have been here before- but DH is going to be travelling from the 30th to the 6th- that leaves me alone doing the meds for a week. And it isn't just doing the meds alone that bothers me-- it is being alone that bothers me. Now normally I would relish the time alone- I mean the man steps out the door and I have some home improvement project in full go mode. I have been known to paint the house, remodel the office and yes, I even replaced his desk one weekend when he left town. But the
remodeling on IVF drugs thing just isn't going to work this round and I have a small fear about it. I mean the drugs do add a bit of drama to my personality and I worry that left to myself I will worry myself into a panic.

In any case, looks like the man will return the day we trigger and then we will be off to surgery the next day- and then back again on the 9th. This naturally cancels everything we have had planned for the early part of september- but I'd rather know now and plan for it than not.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Well I got the call today... my FSH is 7.2 so we are all systems go! I think we have also found a solution around the bad reaction I had to the birthcontrol pill and we switched to the patch. Thus no nausea so far. Will let you know when I get my protocol-- so far I will be on the patch for the next 20 days- and then we begin IVF 1.99999 again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

We are getting back on the bus.

Today is CD2 and that means that tomorrow is blood test day. We talked it over and decided to get back on the bus and try again.

I sent an email to the RE and let him know we'd like to do day 3 blood test and see where the FSH level is and that we want to try again. If our RE isn't comfortable with high FSH women then we'd like to see one who is- so if you know of an RE who specializes in high FSH women- please send his name my way!! I'll let you know how the blood test goes and what the plan looks like as it unfolds!

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's been awhile since I posted- and I have had a really great few weeks getting back into the swing of life. Funny how if you spend all your time on one topic it grows larger and larger- and becomes so large that there is room for very little else. IF has sort of felt like that for me lately- and then as blood testing went from bad to worse- it grew and grew and so not having it as a daily topic has been a relief really. And here I am after having been travelling for work for the past week straight- alittle confused about time zones and which one I am living in, and tonite I find myself facing cycle day 1 tomorrow.

The telltale signs of cramps are rising up and it is with a welcome that I acknowledge my urge this afternoon to yell at everyone for moving to slow and for not having my urgency was indeed not jetlag as I had assumed- but the lovely personality shift that takes place somewhere between pre-day 6 and post day 4 every month. I'd like to think the pudge that seems to have settled in the middle section of my body is just alittle extra water weight that will shed right off me tuesday as I move into my cycle full swing- and that may truly be the case- however I'll add that the sodium I consumed in the past day is proably making it worse. I know, you are thinking how could I possibly know how much sodium I consumed- I mean what kind of freak would actually try and count that? I did. I don't normally do things such as that- but apparently what I now know to be a pre-menstrual attack while flying standby to get home- and going through 3 of our finest airports trying to get back just a few hours earlier to see my family- I began to count the sodium that I consumed that was printed on the back of the packages I ate - and we can just call those little packages... dinner.

I consumed over 2000 mg of sodium yesterday. It seemed to be in everything- and I tried to make healthy choices- the nuts, trail mix, crackers-- it all contained sodium. The dried fruit contained it. cookies contain- and yes, it would seem that turkey sandwiches also contain it. It was everywhere and as I snacked on whatever I could get my hands on while waiting for or riding on the next plane- I felt the puff meter of my body go up to where I felt like I had become the staypuff marshmellow man in size. It was a slightly conforting that should anything have happened to the plane- I might have had enough salt to create a buoyancy in a water landing.

Ok, so yes, Indeed- I made it home as a pudgy curmudgeon and am now faced with do I want to do my 3 day blood test and see what my FSH is this next cycle or shall I let it ride? Shall I step back on the bus? Hmmm. Well, tomorrow will officially be Day 1. I guess I will think about it and decide another day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

100 Things about Me:

1. I am a computer geek.
2. I love what I do.
3. Most of the people I work with have incredibly short attention spans and the ability to carry on several conversations at once.
4. I think this is normal and can follow the conversation threads.
5. Sometimes I pretend to only know what they are talking about.
6. I use to think everyone would know- now I think no one knows what they are talking about.
7. I can't think of any food that is blue that I like- so it's not just the color.
8. I wake up every morning happy. My man thinks it is strange to be so happy in the mornings like that. I can't help it.
9. I have 2 dogs.
10. One came with the man.
11. I have more than 10 pairs of flip flops. you can never have too many sandals.
12. I sometimes try on clothing styles I know I will never wear.
13. I feel like it is trying on another personality. I always feel strange in ruffles.
14. I think I am alittle heavier than I'd like. I think all women feel this way.
15. I hit a spot around 1pm daily where I wish I had more time to get things done.
16. I love cooking.
17. Lately I can't get the hang of it though.
18. Last night I cooked the enchildas that I made earlier but I forgot I wrapped them in plastic wrap to keep them fresh and I cooked them with the plastic wrap on.
19. We had take out again.
20. My man thinks I have lost my memory since taking Lupron.
21. I am starting to think he may be right.
22. I have forgotten 3 appts in the last 2 days.
23. The words "I forgot" come from my mouth daily- sometimes several times.
24. When I was little my cousins showed me how to make a necklace with fireflies.
25. The memory still haunts me today- those poor little bugs.
26. I secretly want to train my dog in agility- but am afraid to because I don't want to become a "all about my dog" person.
27. I had a plan when I was 12 that I would graduate from college at 22, have an awesome career by 24, married by 26.
28. My life did not follow that plan.
29. I took the long way through college. And changed degrees several times.
30. I have a degree in English.
31. I got the degree in English because my college ex-boyfriend's mother told me that computer science was a bunch of hooey and that I should get a degree I can use and I believed her.
32. I now know why my father nicknamed that ex-boyfriend "idiot"
33. I can write a complete sentence, if I want to.
34. I took latin in college because I thought it was a dead language that no one knew how to speak.
35. I was floored when on the first day of class my instructor said "responde in latinae classae."
36. I never used the cliff notes when I translated "Ovid's Metamorphis" and I should have.
37. That latin instructor agreed to give me a passing grade if I promised to never take another course with him.
38. My favorite smells are lemon and lavender.
39. I can take or leave chocolate.
40. I love crossword puzzles.
41. I prefer to not read the instructions when I am trying something for the first time.
42. This did not go over well the last time I played a board game.
43. I like to look at other people's vacation pictures and make up what they were doing on holiday.
44. I keep my gardening gloves in the house because I am afraid that a spider will crawl inside if I leave it in the garden shed.
45. I know it is crazy but I can't help but think I somehow attract spiders. Why else would there be so many around my house. It has always been this way.
46. When I was little I use to bring spiders into the house and let them play on my hands because they tickled when they walked on me. I have no idea how my mother lived through all those spiders.
47. I took a green gardening class where I asked about my spiders and why I had so many. The instructor replied, " you don't have too many spiders, you don't have enough chickens."
48. I don't have any chickens. Nor are there any in my future unless we are talking about dinner.
49. I once dated three guys with the same name.
50. It was very very confusing because my roommate never took down last names when they called.
51. I don't recommend it.
52. I did not learn to drive til I was 21.
53. I am a terrible passenger.
54. I am even worse on a plane. And the irony that I fly every month as part of my job does not escape me.
55. I think when I am on a plane that it will hit turbulence and plummet from the sky to the ground.
56. On my first adult plane flight, my friends did test drives past the airport to see if I could get out of the car without hyperventilating.
57. I was dry heaving my way to the plane the day I left for vacation on that first flight.
58. I am much much better now, but have been known to cry and hold strangers hands and arms at turbulent moments.
59. I alway feel lucky that I meet so many nice people on planes.
60. My favorite flowers are dahlias.
61. I stayed in a hotel more than 25 separate nights for work last year.
62. I stay at the same brand of hotel because the room layout is the same everywhere and when I am gone that much- it is nice to know where the coffee maker is when I get up. Is that too much to ask?
63. I broke my toe twice this year.
64. I hate cleaning my house.
65. When I was growing up my brother was neat freak and filed everything in boxes. I stuffed it all under the bed whether it was clean or not. Now decades later- we are still exactly the same.
66. I prefer Tea to coffee.
67. I started drinking coffee when I was in 3rd grade and my growth was not stunted.
68. I like black licorice.
69. Romance to me is grocery shopping and running errands together.
70. I was proposed to on a beach in kauai
71. I accepted the proposal and I love my life with him.
72. I sing outloud with my ipod when no one is home. I know everyone does it.
73. I struggle with infertility
74. I always knew I would have a family late in life.
75. I just never thought it would be so hard to achieve.
76. I sometimes blame myself.
77. I hope to one day write a book about something useful
78. I use to write technical manuals. If I can write those I can write anything.
79. My parents are amazing people.
80. I don't call home as often as I think them.
81. My sister and I have determined that though we grew up in the same house our memories of the same events are contrastingly different, and I wonder if we maybe didn't have some twilight zone parallel family.
82. I don't watch cable TV
83. I watched it for hours every day growing up.
84. I guess I just had enough.
85. I never really knew my grandmother. My dad gave me a picture and I look like her.
86. My grandfather use to make donuts and cakes in the bakery he owned.
87. I miss his donuts.
88. My cousin once asked me how many dinosaurs were on noah's ark. This explains some about the fireflies.
89. I spent my 30th birthday in Paris.
90. I once made a college roommate cry because I lectured her about the dangers of tuna and dolphin killing.
91. I had no idea she'd take it so hard. I learned about moderation that week.
92. In high school I took geometry and cheated on every test. The teacher allowed re-takes. So I failed the first test, went over the test , then re-took it and got A's. The teacher merged the scores so I cleared it with a C.
93. When I finally got eye glasses and could see the chalk board, the subject made a great deal more sense to me. I thought everyone saw everything blurry so I had no idea I needed glasses.
94. For the first year that I wore glasses I thought if I took them off that no one could see me. (ok, give me a break I was in high school!)
95. My eyes are hazel/green.
96. I was date raped in college and it was not my fault.
97. I can always think of something to be grateful for. And in fact think of at least 3 things daily.
98. I started the habit during a time in my life I refer to as "the year of death" where I lost several relatives and a serious relationship in the same year. I never thought I'd break through and come up for air. I am stronger than I know.
99. Whenever I am sick, I am sure I am going to die alone and no one will know. I have no idea how that would be possible with the traffic in and out of the house .
100. Some days I want to be a cake decorator for a living.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Another View

I have spent the day breathing in, breathing out, well, just breathing really- and I have had to make a conscious effort at that- I am not a happy camper and in the course of one phone call with my RE my whole sense of Zen snapped and I want it back. How on earth did I go from average IVF patient to high FSH maybe donor egg IVF patient. I talked with DH last night about the whole egg donation thing. The pineapple martini helped a bit to ease the sting of my FSH level not being what it should. And I admit it- I was kicking myself a bit about not having a lower number. Can you blame me? I mean I am a master test taker- I score well on everything I do- I excelled in college- I loved going to school and I would have never left if it were for the fact that I have to earn a living. For crying out loud, we take educational classes when we are on vacation!

We talked about the donor egg thing while making dinner. We aren't ready. We aren't ready to give up on us yet. We want a baby but we'd like it to have my ears and his eyes. My smile and his athletic ability. His wit and my laugh. Will we get all that in a baby? Maybe not, but we'd like to try and we are not yet ready to let go of that. So my nimble fingers did some walking - and isn't the internet a really cool thing? There are a few centers where they specialize in women with a high FSH. Now I'd like to think I am not going to get lumped into this high FSH category-- I mean heck, I just got here. My spelling scores have been way below the line for the past year- and why is it when you fail one test that's what everyone focuses on? Yetch!

So learning is good and I am checking around at my options- and we have them. We have options. And I get it. I really really get it. There is no quick fix. I can't just wander on down to the 711 and pick up a solution- what works for one of us may not work for the other. And it has taken me a few days of breathing to get to a place where I am more quiet with this. It may take longer to be completely at peace with it. But we have a new plan. I know you all were waiting for it. Can I get through a day without a plan? Why on earth would I want to do that?

So my plan is to do nothing this month. Nothing at all. Sit back and enjoy wine that I have lived in fear of drinking. I may stay away from the pineapple martinis because I woke up with a headache the next day after just one (Good grief, I have become a cheap date!). I plan to drink tea and coffee and triple mocha frappachinos or whatever the heck I want. And Eat sushi, lots and lots of sushi! Sit in Hot Tubs! I don't think I have sat in a hot tub for over a year! And I love hot water- oh, and bubble baths. I have so missed bubble baths... So there you have it. My plan is to have a life again. Continue my accupuncture because I like the place I go and they rub my feet. Continue taking my vitamins and continue taking care of my body. And in 23 days when my cycle begins- if I feel like it- Step in the door to the Lab and take the Day 3 FSH test and then decide what we want to do. We have options. And doing nothing is one of them.

So why another door? Well, when I last went to Europe I fell in love with the doors. I drove my travelling friends crazy because every time I would see a door I'd take a picture of it. I couldn't explain my fascination with doors then but I like that they are an entrance or an exit, that life is arriving or leaving- and it is always changing. My DH says he thinks the reason I like doors so much is because of what lies behind them- and that I can alway see through to the possibility. That I am unafraid to step into a door and see what life is handing me. I think it is that change is inevitable and with change one door closes and another opens. Life is like that, you step into the door way and it's all in front of you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What lies ahead?

I had previously been under the impression that I had covered just about all the issues I may face with infertility when I waded waist deep into the documents that we had to sign for the IVF process to take place.

It's one thing to vote on stem cell research and quite another when I have sign documents to determine what might be done with my remaining eggs should I produce too many. Destroy them? Donate them to another family who doesn't have viable eggs? Donate them to stem cell research? Freeze them? All very personal choices and a topic which I have no issues with in theory and it somehow morphed from this generic concept that may benefit me later in life to one I may have a direct impact in today.

How do I feel about pregenetic testing? Do I want to check for certain chromosome abnormalities before they implant the egg or 11-13 weeks after if the egg is successfully implanted? It's a lot to think about- and I really spent time thinking about all these IVF topics and many more I have not mentioned- determining how do I felt about them religiously, socially, politically and spiritually.

It took some time to get to a quiet place with all the IVF topics -- and let's be honest here- I have to- once those hormones hit and my emotions go flying- there is no reprieve to discuss issues sanely. For my own well being, I have had to be prepared for what may come next and have a plan so that when we get to that door- I know which one feels ok for me. I am fortunate to have a strong partner who I am ok defering the decisions to if I am not feeling up to making it-- I like that we are teamed and in sync with these topics.

We got the results from our blood test back. The pregnancy test came back negative as expected. No suprises there.
My FSH test came back suprisingly at 22. Let me repeat that number {{{{{22}}}}} Last month it was 8. That is quite a number delta- and not in a good way.

For those of you not familiar with the details of FSH testing- the score of 6 would be great, 8-10 decent, 10-14 still ok to work, 15-20 not looking as good, 20+ bad. It has to do with the viability of the ovarian reserve- and the ability of the ovary to produce a good quality and fair quanity of eggs. Already having been told that I had a low ovarian reserve I expected the numbers to be higher than 8. I was pretty darn pleased that I have been remaining in the 8-9 range most consistently with the blood tests I have taken for the past year, and I might have even been lulled into thinking that my FSH levels would not cause a problem in the whole scope of conceiving.

But Yup. you guessed it... the Dr. called today. He really is a nice guy- and his phone skills are improving as he gets to know me and we build a relationship. He knows I like to learn and research before a topic comes up- and what he'd like to do is nothing this month. Not even BCPs because I respond so poorly to them- and if he can save me a few weeks of misery by not being on them - seems like a kinder and gentler thing to do. I am ok with this. Heck, I am thinking I may even buy a lotto ticket the conversation is going so well.... He will recheck at next cycle (that would be pretty much 23 days to the day for me.) And if everything looks good and my FSH isn't wacky then all systems are go. And knowing my penchant for research he wants me to consider ovum donation as a topic to start delving into. Aaaaccck! My body is working against me this week.

I am not at peace with this concept yet (can you tell I am freaking out?). I don't know what it is about it that doesn't sit well with me-- partly I am sure that it is a new concept and not one I was emotionally braced for before it was sprung on me. I guess it is again that it is something I have no problem with in theory but when we are talking about putting a donated egg in my body- well, that just feels entirely different- more personal, and while I am not arguing that it is an awesome thing- I am not so sure we are personally ready for this. Not like they talk about this in my human sexuality class at college!

Ok, so that is where we are at today. I had no idea it was going to be such a thought provoking day. I think I will just sit with this one for awhile.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The dog that eats my sprinklers. Looks so harmless doesn't he? I have also discovered he eats my strawberries- which is why I never have any on the plants. Just wanders over to the bush, sticks his little nose under the leaves and hoovers any available strawberry that may be growing there. Little pig.

This will be a short short blog today. Yesterday I stayed in, took care to get plenty of quiet time and allowed myself to grieve the arrival of a new cycle. My DH was supremely supportive and wandered out during the day to supply me with junk food and my lovely neighbor brought me over some food from the party she was having next door that I was just not up to attending. I wanted to be there- but I just couldn't face all the people. DH and I hung around the house the whole day and he gave me with an endless supply of hugs, cuddles, kisses and supportive words to let me know that he loves me beyond anything. I can't ask for anything better in a partner. The dog and I made up as well- and my sprinklers remain intact and fully functional.

So here is my question of the day: How do you cope with a negative result? Do you view it as a loss or are you able to just move through it? I thought I might collect some tips so I can be better prepared moving forward!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" --Dr. Seuss

I was feeling mostly optimistic this past week- and thought as I began the remaining 3 days of a 2 week wait that this really isn't so bad. Yesterday was a particularly weepy day for me- not nearly as weepy as others but yeah, I cried while watching a star trek movie that I wasn't even really watching. I began spotting yesterday and tried to remain positive. By evening I was positively starting my cycle. It's actually 1 day later than I suspected it may be- I have an abnormally short lutenizing phase- it runs about 10 days on average- and is an apparent point of contention with the dr who insists is is suppose to be 14 days. Yup. I'd love for it to be 14 days. It's not. Never has been. But I got 12 days this go around if I round my numbers up. Yes, I know- some people have their periods when they are still pregnant. I am not one of those people. I am still going in on Monday for the blood test- it will be cycle day 3 (cd3) for me. And I will just say it out loud, "I am disappointed and I am sad'. Not much I can do about it other than take a little time to grieve, take care of myself and move on.

I'll proably be alittle weepy and quiet all weekend. We have alot going on this weekend- I just don't know if I am up for it, I just want to hang out and be quiet. We talked this morning about what to do next. My clever doctor already discussed a Plan C with me to move back to Plan A. Nice- we have attained a Full Circle and are back at the begining of it all. So it will look something like this:

Monday: Beta Blood Test/Other Blood Tests/Possible Ultra Sound
Tuesday-Thursday: Cry, Walk, Work, Sleep
Friday: Begin BCPs (with Zofram so I don't throw up an entire week again).
Remain on BCPs for 20-25 days possibly longer with ultrasounds and cysts checks weekly at least.
Somewhere around day 25 or so- begin IVF drugs again and prepare for IVF #1, Take 2.- approximately 10-15 days later.

The bright side of this is with a 5% success rate using the IUI method- we weren't hoping for much- but it is disappointing that even with 2 eggs looming around in there- that the little guys and the eggs did not make a connection. Maybe it is just me looking at the ultrasounds- but the eggs look huge- I mean how on earth could you miss them? Seems like they'd take up the entire pathway coming down the tube and the little sperm would be running for their lives like that boulder scene in the first Indiana Jones film. No where to run so they'd just get picked up in a snowball effect. I rather worry that I have squished them all and that is why it didn't work. Not really the case though is it? Why do I suddenly feel as though my fallopian tubes are as wide as a interstate freeway?

Ok- so there is the plan- and I admit, I am grateful we went over an alternative plan to begin the initial plan again before I got my period and rationale thought left the building. I can't imagine having to make a decision now when I have spent the morning arguing with the dog who can't really even speak. Yup. My dog and I are having a spat. He can be a sweet little dog and perhaps the beginning of the spat is our fault- we let him on the bed last night to snuggle with me when I was feeling sad- he now believes it is his bed. He is quite huffy I closed the bedroom door and is giving the drip sprinklers the eye right now. I sense he plans on having plastic tubing for his mid morning snack today.

When I started down this IVF path- I had this vision that we'd just do it- we'd be in and out- and bam pregnant- just like that. I never imagined that delays were even possible and that even with all we know that our bodies are still a bit mysterious. I like that I am still alittle mysterious- but I'd have preferred to run on schedule with the initial plan. I hate being late. I always joked that I am genetically unable to be late. I am usually 5-10 minutes early everywhere. If I am late, my friends think something serious has happened to me. 15 minutes late is not possible and everyone who knows me well will tell you I just don't run late. Apparently my cycle shares this same need for punctuality. At least we are in sync.

So I have 2 days left in my time off. Today will be gardening, walking the dog once we make up and he agrees to not damage my drip irrigation tubing and maybe a visit to the neighbors if I feel up to it. A quiet day and cancelling some stuff for next week because I know I won't be up for it.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Full Circle

I have the week off work. It was really a kismet that the IVF process was suppose to take place this week and I thought I would be home filling my days with movies, sleeping and having quiet time. The shift of IUI was welcomed but has left me with a week where I have no set plans. I am a planner. I like to have a schedule. I like to know what is happening at all times. Full Stop.

I am adjusting to the fluidity of the week and I have to say that I am even getting into the "no plan" thing a bit. I just get up every day and do whatever strikes me. I rather thought I might fill the week with spa treatments but I have self-foiled any possibility of this happening. I have spent the past month healing from a broken little toe and I was looking forward to getting a pedicure. Nothing pleases me more than gentle rubbing of a foot massage. I had taken off my toe nail polish the week before having read somewhere that all polish should be removed before the IVF process. I have no idea why this is required- but figured- having unpainted toe nails during surgery is asking very little so I might as well go with the flow. Well, now I have unpainted toes- and my toe which was healing up so nicely- was rebroken again when I tripped a day ago. Yes, I know - it is a skill to be able to break the same little toe twice- and I might add it truly does hurt more the second time. No pedicure in my future I think.

I'd settle for a massage to soothe and relax me. Get me fully into this time off. Yesterday I wandered on over to the home of my best friend since 3rd grade. I too find it amazing that I met her in 3rd grade and she has consistently remained a best friend through out all these years. I don't think we planned it- and we did have plenty of times where were were on hiatus from being active in each others lives. Life is cyclical afterall and we all ebb and flow in and out of one another lives naturally.

Ok, so back to the story. I arrived in time for lunch with the kids (Bagel Pizza and Homemade German Chocolate Cake- I love vacation days) and after lunch the kids played in the pool. It is a self standing temporary pool. Her parents had one that was similiar when we were little kids that we played in. These are much much more high tech with filters and what not but the concept is still the same and I have to admit that watching the kids play in the pool that afternoon brought back all these cool memories from our time when we played in the pool as kids. It was a nice full circle and I wonder if her parents had the same feelings when they watched us play in the pool? We laughed that we made it through childhood with out killing ourselves as our invention of a "slip n slide" was running the hose water and dishsoap down the smooth cement patio.

It was a relaxing day of talking talking and more talking at the pool. A gentle reminder that sometimes doing nothing and having no plan is a perfect day. I wore sunscreen- but not enough as I ended the day with a tiny burn- that seemed alittle redder and much larger upon my arrival home. I have been dousing myself with aloe- and despite the fear of bathing with a sunburn, managed to get into the water this morning with very little sting! Whew. I think I will skip the massage all the same- I don't really want anyone touching my sore beet red legs-and I feel like I got the relaxation part taken care of - a day of just doing nothing and talking and connecting- and it didn't cost me money to get relaxed. I can't really bring myself to make plans the rest of the week now. Maybe I won't ever make plans again. Ok, maybe not for the next few days. I am a planner. But I think I can plan to not plan.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I am a closet paint by numbers fan. I admit it freely- and this is my first public admission. No one is really aware that I do this- even my DH hasn't really seen me paint- I do it when he is out with the guys and I need alittle peace and quiet. It's alittle like meditation for me- I just get into a groove and the time flies. This is the picture I have been painting now for close to 3 years.

I was travelling in paris one summer and very inspired by the artwork. We just been out to see Monet's garden and it was in full bloom. While I have some artist skill I have never felt comfortable using canvas. I have painted on walls, fireplaces, porch floors and driveways- but never a canvas. I wandered into a department store and there was this paint by numbers painting. I had no idea it would be difficult- and I initially got it thinking I would pass it along to my niece. Unfortunately when I spoke with her (or fortunately for me really) , art really wasn't her thing so I figured I would give it a try myself. It's alot harder than I initially thought- and the numbers are written on the canvas are really really small. Some days I wear reading glasses when I am working on it so I can read the tiny light brown numbers on the canvas. I have to say that I never thought it would turn out looking so decent- and my goal has been to complete it and have it framed. Then I plan to send it to my friend who I travelled in France with- and who gave me hours upon hours of teasing because I bought a paint by numbers canvas in France and hauled it all the way home.

Believe it or not, I actually learned a great deal about life from this paint by numbers picture.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Don't be afraid to not follow the directions- they are really more like guidelines anyhow.
  • Mix it up a bit- color is the foundation of life but we don't all see them the same way.
  • Exlpore and try new things.
  • Different isn't bad, sometimes it is just different.
Funny what you can learn from a paint by numbers. I like the first one the best- I can't even find the mistake I made in the picture so far and I confess that sometimes when I was working on it and I got tired- I used the color I had on the brush whether that was the color I was suppose to use or not.

Anyhow, overall I think the thing I enjoy most about painting it is that I get be comfortable with not having perfection. I'd like to be perfect- but I'm not. What I love about being creative is that perfection is what the finished project looks like to ME. I have a hallway in my house that I painted years ago. The paint is uneven, streaked and I even got splotches of it on the ceiling. DH walks through the hallway and shakes his head in exasperation- that I have not yet fixed it. The thing about it is... the color is perfect. I love the color of my hallway- I don't even get bothered the terrible paint job. It has a perfection all it's own and I like that when I walk through it I not only get to revel in the color surrounding me- but I am also reminded that life isn't perfect. It's not a bad hallway to walk through as I head out the door and into the fray of living.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No Austin Powers Mojo Room?

I'll first begin with my exciting visit to the ER this Sunday. Second time in my life I have ever been to the ER or to any hospital really at all except to visit friends who were there. And I have to say that the people who work there are incredibly nice. I have no complaints about it at all- they were professional and really made sure I was ok. It was a very pleasant experience. So why did I pop on over to the local ER this weekend?

Well yes, a bit of a story really-- I had had a headache most of the day and figured it was from the escalating hormones- I had done my HCG shot the night before- and I figured the headache was a side effect of that. I really didn't know. DH had come home the night I was doing the HCG shot and he was feeling poorly but I figured it was dehydration because he'd been in a race that day and he always alittle dehydrated when he comes home. The dog was sick that night too- but it wasn't until much later that I discovered why. The neighbor across the way gave me my trigger shot (barely a day goes by when I don't feel fortunate they are so close and so open to sharing our lives in this great of detail) I mean who woudl not want nieghbors like this? In any case, I got feeling worse as the day continued- but figured I'd just move through it eventually. I didn't and ended up spending a large portion of my evening huddled on a towel in the bathroom being sick. I called the IVF Dr. since I was undergoing IUI in the morning and I was unable to keep anything down and had been unable to for several hours. I admit that combo of hormones and being sick are not good for me. Lately I have been sick a few more times than I like and when the stomach is in a funky way I feel as though I am going to die, alone, and no one will find me. I am not a normally dramatic person (or perhaps I am and no one is telling me the truth?) and DH would eventually come home and find me- so I know this isn't reasonable. I mean it is not as if he leaves and only visits me weekly, the man appears each night for dinner and has consistently for 3+ years now. So being sick, and the whole dying thing when I am can be attributed to the hormones I think.

The Dr. I normally work with was not available but one of the other Drs. called me back and suggested I wander on down to the ER and have them look me over in case there is something wrong. It was a kind of yes go, wait maybe not, no,no you shoudl go kind of conversation. The neighbor rang at about that moment to check on me (can you believe her timing?) and off we went to the ER. DH was called on the way- since he was in the next town over. I know he really wanted to take me to the ER himself- but it doesn't make sense- I mean he is 30 minutes away and the neighbor is right here. The neighbors hubby walked me over the car and hugged me goodbye- he was very nice, I kept wondering if he knew something I did not and maybe I was not coming back home :). Why did he hug me goodbye?

So off to the ER and it was good I went - they stopped the stomach thing- and headache-- and rehdrated me with an IV drip. Also did a check to make sure the ovaries were still all happy and not over inflated. DH showed up and swapped places with the neighbor. They did a beta blood test which was 478. The ER doc had no idea what make of it. (It means the hcg shot absorbed into my system really well!) He called the IVF doc and my regular guy answered this time. They agreed on the protocol to address me and then he asked to speak to me. He said " Your fine, they will do an ultra sound and then you will go home" . I think he meant it to sound reassuring but it came off sounding more patronizing. This of course could be due to the fact that I was hormonal and throwing up- a lethal combo for interpreting behavior overall. And the thing about it is- his phone skills are not the best in normal circumstances- but he is quite good in person. Kind of a hip guy who wear sneakers, likes to shake my hands and do high fives. Male bonding at it's finest and I am warming up to him- he is a bit eclectic, but we are told he is very good and in the long run we don't really care whether he has the personality of a sponge (he doesn't) if he is good at what he does.

Ok, so the end of the story- yeah I am getting to it. We left the ER hydrated no longer feeling ill and by the time we left I think we were the only people in there who were not escorted in by the men in blue(police). How odd to work in an ER really-- One of the guys who worked there was telling me when he first started he didn't more than 1 beer for the first 2 months because he saw so much in the way of alcohol related illness!

Did I mention the dog ate was sick on saturday night at 4am? Yeah, I possibly didn't mention why he was sick? My poor sprinkler system seems to suffering the most from it all from these chewing bouts he goes on. He ate more of my drip irrigation- the part right near my lovely roses who won't look so lovely now that he has eaten their water supply. Aside from the drip irrigation tubing the dog has a affinity toward refrigerator magnets as well. We are beigning to think he like black palstic in general- though I have seen him consume a plastic toy motorcycle in one bite. I do wonder if one day we'll come home and he have hoover'd the whole outside of the refrigerator clean of magnets. I took out pet insurance on him when he was much younger figuring that with his hoovering skills he will possibly one day eat something that does not pass on through to the other side. I am not looking forward to that experience- but he is good practice for babyproofing the house.

Ok, so on to the good stuff. We did the IUI yesterday and everything went smoothly. Such a huge relief from the weekend- and the woman doing the IUI part was flawless in her technique. No pain, so bleeding, no cramping, no tears- much different from the past IUIs we have had. Though I mistakening thought that when we went to a larger fertility clinic that they would have a room dedicated for the men- you know, to offer their homage to us women to use in the process. A sort of mojo making austin powers kind of room with black furniture and a TV playing the porn channels. To ease the process along. No such mojo making room, no black leather sofa, no TV endless spewing the porn channel, no porn at all. We got a pink examination room covered with soft pastel flowers and a boom box playing rap music and we could not figure out how to change the channel on it. And they asked us to lock the door and put a do not disturb sign on the outside. Like no one knows what we are doing in here? I can't imagine they use that sign for anything else! Credit to DH for being able to handle it all so well. I doubt I would be able under the same circumstances were the roles reversed!

So now we are in for the 2 week wait. Can I wait 2 weeks for the blood test- Will I give out to the evil pee stick tests that I can not read half the time anyhow? We'll see. I had to start buying the exact same OPK's (that is ovulation predictor kits for those of you not into the lingo) because I found the different brands move the control line- so I am looking at the tests and I get a solid blue line- only to discover (several days later) that I am looking at the control line and not ouvalting but I have been keeping DH busy- and will now need to keep him busy because the corrected line says it is time. He was not complaining about it but it was a tiring month or two until I settled into one brand with the lines in the same place each time :)

The doctor was far more encouraging today when I went in for a check up --He initially gave me a less than 5% sucess rate with IUI's but he says that with my numbers the chances look higher than that. I have no idea how much higher- but with any luck this will stick and we'll finish this journey and move onto the next.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ok, I have been Tagged!

I was tagged by KAC (see my links) - thanks. This ought to keep me out of trouble for awhile!

7 things I'd like to do before I die:
  1. Tell all the people who have touched my life how much they have truly meant to me.
  2. Take DH to Paris on an Musuem trip because I know he'd love the art musuems as much as I do.
  3. Have one of my funky business ideas click and become a reality.
  4. Write a book that makes people laugh or helps them.
  5. Figure out how to be the alpha in training my dog. I currently think he is winning.
  6. Swim with Dolphins- though I worry that this is far more exciting in mind than in person- and I don't want to come out smelling like a big fish.
  7. Learn to cook amazing meals that I want to eat. Wouldn't going to the Cordon Bleu school of cooking be awesome?

7 Things I can't do:
  1. Sing in Tune
  2. Follow Directions on a recipe. ( I am all about short cuts...)
  3. Clean and organize 1 room in entirety without walking into another and starting to work on it too.
  4. Keep my desk clear for more than 3 days.
  5. Curb my optimism about everything.
  6. Say No and not over extend myself (but I am learning...)
  7. Watch scary movies without knowing the ending.

7 Things that attracted me to my Husband:
  1. I have never laughed as much as I do with him.
  2. He is the nicest person I have ever met.
  3. He likes live theatre (plays and such) more than I do.
  4. He plays board games- even plays scrabble- though he says he's a bad speller.
  5. He eats my cooking and likes it.
  6. He asked me out on a second date on the close of our first one- for the very next night! Decisive :)
  7. He listens to me.

7 Books that I love:

Wow, this is a tough one- I read so many darn books- and then just toss them along- these are the ones that I still have lying around so
I have read or referenced them several times.
  1. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.
  2. Most anything written by Shakespeare
  3. A Christmas Carol by charles dickens ( Read it if you have not- it is quite funny)
  4. Harry Potter Books by JK Rowling
  5. The cook books by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger
  6. Anything written by Dr. Seuss
  7. Illuminated Prayer by Marianne Williamson

7 movies I'd watch over and over:
  1. Shakespeare in Love
  2. You've Got Mail
  3. Wallace and Grommit The Curse of the WereRabbit
  4. The Old Scooby-Do Where are you cartoons from the 60-70s.
  5. Any of the Documentaries by Ken Burns
  6. Indiana Jones Raider of the Lost Ark
  7. An Italian Job

7 people I'd like to tag- because I love reading their blogs- and they some don't really know me they have inspired me in some way:
  • paula @ life of pixee
  • zhl @searching for zanity
  • sube @ waiting for crumbcake
  • beagle@fortune cookie follies
  • jamie@babywait
  • hopeful mother
  • utrus@adventures in IVF

Friday, June 23, 2006

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.

Day 35: Last Day of Stims!

DH has been administering shots to me 3 times a day for the entire week- and he's really catching on to doing it. Tonites shot-our very last one- was almost painless. The entry was perfect, if it hadn't of been for the solution which stings a bit I'd have not noticed I was getting a shot at all. We bungled the exit manuever alittle bit- normally he takes the needle out and then places the alcohol pad over the insertion point and I hold it there to stop any bleeding. Tonite he did the same thing but presses down a bit on it- a bit of an ouch- and so I don't recommend doing that :)

I have been pretty lucky overall with very little side effects from the drugs. I think my face was strangely red for part of last night- and it looks alittle red again tonite. Some fatigue, bloating, and my tummy looks like it had a really rough week with the holes and some bruising- but I am thinking I am overall pretty darn lucky!

We did the ultrasound and bloodwork today- and the three little follies are still there- we are now at 10, 15 and 17 for size respectively. For all practical purposes- I basically have 2 follies to work with. The smallest one isn't going to grow to the appropriately needed size by the time we proceed with plan B. Yes, this is the first time I have mentioned a plan B.
We didn't have an Plan B until just a short time ago when the dr. called and suggested we not do IVF this month and instead do IUI. IUI is now the plan B. It is the practical decision- and we have alot going in our favor-- we have 2 follies which could get lucky and it is the right side- the fallopian tube on the left was possibly blocked and so at least I know that we stand a chance with the right side. The only thing that bothers me alittle is that we have tried this method before and not been lucky with it- and I do dread the 2 week wait time. I guess I was kind of looking forward to the whole petrie dish part of IVF where I would know the fertilization was taking place before I got them back and it was one less thing for me to do.

So the plans changed. Change is good. I was posting to some friends that really all I have to do is find a way to inspire the little soliders to come on up the right tube to meet the follies. Mood music. Frank Sinatra " Come fly with me" or "I've got you under my skin" I am sure the people reading my blog who are not familiar with infertility topics must thing I am bonkers. I realize the mood music is not going to make the sperm march up the fallopian tube and greet my fat follies, but do I really have to serious about this whole process? I don't think it is necessary. Oh, "Ain't no moutain high enough"
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- Good One! Any suggestions on mood music to inspire the soliders?