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.