Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goal setting primer

I decided that I'm taking a different approach this year. I'm not setting resolutions. I'm defining a goal. In my work, I've done training on goal setting for managers and leaders, and I often apply these to more informal coaching sessions as well. When I talk of writing goals, I break it down into its parts, and I'll encourage you to consider what you want to achieve, how you're going to set about achieving it, why it's important, and how you're going to measure your success. Let's start with these pieces first.

What do you want to achieve? This is the goal itself: the outcome you're looking for. Often, it's helpful to include why you want to achieve the goal.

Is losing 15 pounds a goal? Not really. There's usually some reason you want to lose 15 pounds - whether it's to feel more energetic, or to lower your blood sugar or blood pressure, or even to be able to wear all your kickass skinny clothes.

What are some ways to get to that desired outcome? How will you achieve your goals? In a broad sense, or a big picture, these are your strategies. You might have one or two or five strategies under a goal.

To continue on the weight loss thread, one strategy might be to eat better and another one might be to move your body more. These are not really specific, but in broad strokes, these are the ways that you'll achieve your goal.

Specifically, what are you going to do to make those strategies happen? Here you'll come up with very specific, manageable, measurable, doable tactics. Often you'll have several tactics under each strategy. The key is to make them something to strive for (so, not too easy!) but not impossible. They should be challenging yet realistic. These tactics can change over the course of your plan; for example, for the first few weeks it might make sense to exercise at the gym twice a week for 30 minutes each, but as you progress it might be more realistic to go four times a week for 45 minutes each time. Tactics should also be things that you personally have control over. So, "get my husband to listen to me when I talk to him," is not a good tactic.

Some examples of your tactics might be: I'm going to walk 30 minutes a day during my lunch break at least 3 times a week, I'm going to eat fresh vegetables at least twice a day, or I'm going to sign up for and attend all sessions of a weekly yoga class.

Lastly, you'll want ways to measure your progress. How will you know if you've succeeded in your goal? These are your metrics. You'll probably have more than one metric.

Here's where the 15 pounds comes back in! So a metric might be to lose a specific amount of weight, to be able to run a 5K, to fit back into your skinny jeans, or to bring your blood pressure to an acceptable range.

To summarize:
Goal - outcome
Strategies - the approach (or approaches) you're going to take to achieve your goal
Tactics - specific sets of actions
Metrics - measurement of your progress and success

If you include all these pieces in your new years resolution - or goal! - it'll be more meaningful, easier to track, and hopefully in the long run will be more achievable for you.

Next up: my new year's goal, and an outline of my strategies, tactics, and metrics.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thanks Grandma

We had a fabulous Christmas (and another installment to come tomorrow, thanks to splitting time among the different branches of our families), but rather than bog your Reader or feed down with another Merry Christmas post, I will just share with you what my husband's Grandma wrote in our Christmas card.

And I quote (though yes, I'm changing our names here):

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! To William, Billy, Stephanie ... AND ?????

I asked my husband if she thinks we're pregnant, or maybe just hoping.

WTF?! I can only laugh at this point.

But really, in all seriousness, I hope you're all enjoying your time, and to my fellow empty uterus infertiles, I hope the Grandmas of this world are kind to you this holiday season.


Friday, December 18, 2009

A lot to consider

I met with Dr. D today, to talk about what went wrong, next steps, and options. What went wrong? One thing: my eggs. "You just can't get around egg quality," he said. I asked what my highest FSH was ever with them, and he said 14. Terrible, right? Except that 3.5 years ago, I had an FSH of 13, and got pregnant with IUI and tamoxifen. My first IUI, by the way. He responded that an FSH needs to be considered along with a woman's age; so, an FSH of 13 in a 34-year old is a much better consideration than an FSH of 14 in a 38-year old.


I asked if there was anything else to try, anything that might lead to a better response, and he said no. They started me at a fairly high dose of meds already for this IVF, and unfortunately there's just no other combination or protocol that he thinks would lead to me producing more eggs. No tricks up their sleeves. I was sort of hoping for another shot, but honestly - truly - knowing that IVF is off the table is a good thing for me. At least I know.

Then he said what I was secretly hoping to hear. He said, "we could try more IUIs. I have no objections to that, and in fact, what if we tried an IUI with tamoxifen?" (Tamoxifen, for those of you who aren't familiar, is like Clomid, but a much smaller dose.) Then he said, "now, wait, I know you're going to say that this is like taking a step backwards..." Um, no. It's exactly the option I was going to ask him about next. I told him I'd been thinking of that, and asked him if maybe there was a benefit of fewer eggs in response, like maybe there'd be higher quality with less quantity. He replied that he has never seen any data to support that, but that his embryologist swears that the outcome she sees is better for women with high FSH on Clomid rather than injectibles.

I also asked him about my tubes. What if they're blocked? What if my endometriosis came back, but more this time? I had an HSG and a laparoscopy previously (when I got pregnant with my kiddo), but this time around I've only had an SHG. We talked at length about this, because I had a terrible experience with the HSG (I swear it hurt worse than my epidural-free labor and delivery). He said that the clinic's Physician Assistant does all the HSG's, and "she's rather good; of course I'm sure you'll feel some pain, but I would guess that it's not going to be like what you felt before." I wouldn't be surprised if it were a walk in the park compared to the one I had before; that guy was an oaf, twisting and turning me on the table, cursing my cervix, and generally acting like an ass. Dr. D even reminded me that some believe that fertility is enhanced in the few months following an HSG.

We also talked a lot about the option of donor eggs. I told him we were absolutely open to the idea, but it was the cost that was prohibitive at this point. He advised that I talk to his insurance person, because she could outline the costs more specifically - taking into consideration my awesome insurance coverage (albeit without donor coverage) - so that we can make an informed decision.

In the end, he kept repeating that there's nothing to suggest that I can't get pregnant. He told me that they've had women with an FSH over 20 who got pregnant successfully. But, he also said a few times that IVF is not going to be the way to go for me. He said something like, "It's too much to go through, too much stress on your body, your time, and your wallet for you to go through that." Apparently for women like me, IUI has about the same chance as IVF (which, yes, is very small, but still a chance), so he wouldn't recommend IVF at all any longer. I asked him at what point he'd cut me off from treatments, and he replied that we could try the HSG and then one - maybe two - IUI's, and that would be all he would recommend. He even stressed that we could be that rare couple that gets pregnant on their own. I liked his attitude - stressing to me that it's not impossible, but yet reminding me to be realistic about our chances.

Clearly, we have a lot to think about. I'm no less confused about our next steps than I was before, but I have to repeat that it's a relief that we know what roads we won't be able to go down. I plan to get through the holidays, and decide what happens after the new year.

Monday, December 14, 2009


It's amazing how one phone call can pull me right back in.

Land of IF: Population, Me.

I have been doing really well the past couple weeks. No, I haven't been perfectly content, and I have been so conflicted about our next path that it's downright confusing at times. But I have been calm. I've enjoyed the feeling of being done with treatments - if only for a time - just the feeling of not having to schedule appointments, spend a quarter hour mixing meds and jabbing myself nightly. It has felt nice. Easy. I have distinctly *not* felt infertile, at least for the past couple weeks. I thought about our next steps with a sort of detachment, thinking the whole time that whatever works out will be for the best ... no, that we'll make the best of it. I will even say that I have spent more time being happy with feeling done, and less time being sad about what we're missing.

Then today. Today I did something that's been on my "to-do" list since this day. One month ago today I learned that my IVF wasn't going to happen, because my ovaries were sleeping on the job. I knew when my cycle was converted that I'd have to sit down with my doc and talk about our options. I knew it would eventually be time to figure out what happens next.

So I called today to schedule time with the doc for what we infertiles sometimes call the "WTF appointment." As in WTF went wrong? WTF do I do now? As I said, I went into this phone call with a sort of centered calm. It is what it is, whatever will be, will be, and all that fun stuff. Within minutes of the call I was crying. (Frankly I'm lucky I held out until I hung up the phone.) I was internally cursing my body, angry and feeling broken. Guilt. Tired. Again, again, again.

The appointment is Friday.

I'm scared.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Naughty and nice


Aetna. My plan has an "infertility program" that is mandatory if you're undergoing IF treatments. This means I need to call them every month when my period starts, tell them what I'm doing that month in terms of treatments, and then they send me a letter in the mail with what tests or procedures I'm approved to do that month. So they know full well I'm dealing with infertility. Yesterday, I received a nice little flyer in the mail from them, touting the benefits of their "Beginning Right Maternity Program." They included enrollment information, so that I can make the most of their maternity benefits. Thanks a bunch Aetna, way to kick a girl when she's down.

Mother Nature. It's in the teens here. Biting, frigid, teeth-chattering cold. Not a fan.

The mall. I have to head there this weekend to do most of my christmas shopping.

The chick in my training class this week. After a cutesy announcement in the middle of the introductions that she was 4 months pregnant with her first (and she looked all of 97 pounds soaking wet), I overheard her tell someone that she had to get pregnant quickly again after this one comes, because she really wants her kids close together in age. Grrrrr.


Sleep. I had the best nap ever today. I love having a day off a week, just me and the kiddo.

My husband. He rocks, seriously.

Toddler logic. My kiddo funny of the day was centered around my son not wanting to sit on the potty. I found him peeing in the tub (not more than a minute after he got down from the potty and got into the bath). When I asked him why he didn't go in the potty, I added in something like, "don't you want to be a big boy?" He responded, in all seriousness, "I don't have to go potty to be a big boy. I'm already a big boy." I laughed and then he continued, "Anyway, my bedroom is too messy, I can't go pee in the potty." Mmmmkay, thanks for the explanation little man.

Christmas music. Scratch that - holiday music. I love the stuff. I'm so corny I even play it in other seasons. Speaking of which, where is the Adam Sandler Hanukkah song? I haven't heard it once yet. But Target was playing the Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel song this morning, and my son was singing along.

Being home. I'm a big, big fan of this place.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New perspectives

I'm traveling for work this week, and I'm staying in a really trendy (sort of oddball, in my opinion) hotel. The bed is quite comfortable, but I'm prone to allergies, and the entire bed is wrapped in down: the 23 pillows (ok, so I exaggerate just a bit, but trust me there are plenty), the comforter, the featherbed. I thought I was sleeping in a goose's embrace last night, minus the honking. Then there are concrete walls (yes, inside my hotel room), a bathroom with a wall that doesn't quite go to the ceiling, and in the lobby there are chairs that look like a broken egg. Remember the chairs in Men in Black? Except in this hotel, the egg chairs hang from the ceiling.

But here's what's good about the place. This is the showerhead:

Heavenly. Like standing in a warm rainshower.

Except for the full length, full width mirror in the shower stall. Yes, a mirror in the shower. I stepped in and thought, ok, I'll just face away from that thing. At some point, of course, I had to turn around. Not terrible, I thought. Could be worse. Honestly, I look way less (terrible, gross, just plain fat) - scary - than I expected I would.

Within a few minutes, I was wishing my husband were with me. Now that would be a fun use of that shower and its mirror. Instead, I got to see that my butt cheeks turn bright red in a hot shower.

All in all, I'm looking forward to coming home tonight.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A verbose state of speechlessness

I really am speechless. I have no idea what to think, or say, let alone what to do, so if you wish to bear with me and read my swirling thoughts, here they are.

My husband and I have not really talked about this - not since Wednesday. The closest we've come is that we'll each make tentative little statements about being a one-child family. Like this morning, our kiddo was being his normal silly adorable self, and I said, "you know, if we are only going to have one, then he's really the right one to have." He's made one or two similar comments recently as well, about positive aspects of this "choice" we're facing. It's almost like we're dipping a toe in, testing the water to see how it feels. Will we jump in?

I have truly never been so conflicted in my life. One moment (or day) I am relieved to be done with treatments - and I fantasize about my life with no more treatments - and the relief I feel is indescribable. I think about simple things, like signing up for a yoga class that's 10 weeks long, like losing the 15 extra pounds I've put on, like not having to worry about fitting doctor's appointments into my work schedule and upcoming trips. The problem with quitting treatments is of course that the net result is that I do not end up pregnant.

Then the next minute or hour I want another child so much I can taste the feeling. I have spent these moments - sometimes full days of this - daydreaming about adoption, donor eggs, even pursuing a more aggressive IVF cycle. (If there even is such an option, which I doubt.) We've talked about foster care, mostly because my sister has had a great experience - she adopted her two children from foster care, after deciding to stop pursuing IF treatments after the Clomid stage. It's worked out well for her in the end, but the road of course was full of heartbreak when a couple other children were taken from them after their respective parents decided to ... well, to parent. That's the part that stops me with fostering. And overall, the problem with all of the family-building paths that I know about, is that they're mostly expensive, and none of them have a 100% success rate.

Anyway - I can't get into all my options now - partly because I honestly don't know what they all are, and partly because it's going too far down a road that I'm not sure about right now. How do I express how I feel about pursuing a donor egg cycle when I don't even know how I feel about pursuing *any* further road to another child?

It's kind of like going to a diner. I live in NJ, and diners abound. I always take three times as long to figure out what I want to eat at a diner, not necessarily because there are more choices, but because there are more *kinds* of choices. If it's 12:00 noon, and I walk into a diner, my first choice is: breakfast or lunch. How can I compare a chicken caesar salad with french toast with strawberries? It's impossible until you decide if you want lunch or breakfast.

And wouldn't the decision be 100x more difficult if you were starving, and if the choices were the following:
1) A 100% chance of getting a shrimp caesar salad (and you have a shellfish allergy), $9.00
2) A 10% chance of getting strawberry-topped belgian waffles, and a 90% chance of getting nothing, $100
3) A 5% chance of getting a mystery plate, 95% chance of nothing, $250.

Oh and by the way, everyone else at the restaurant is ordering what they want, for the usual price, and getting what they want. Except the woman at the booth behind you, she complains nonstop that she's pregnant with a girl and she reeeaaaallly wants a boy. You're allowed to drop your iced tea on her, by the way.

Going too far down that analogy road?

Ok, now you see how conflicted I am. My main problem is that I'm comparing apples to oranges. (Or strawberry-topped belgian waffles with a chicken caesar salad.) I'm trying to decide between stopping treatments (which is a foolproof way to *not* have another child), and pursuing treatments or some other road (which is not a surefire to end up with a child, but rather just an opportunity for one. And an expensive opportunity at that.)

How does one even make that decision?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Game over

I'm speechless.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Where do we go from here?

I've done a lot of thinking about what happens next. If - or when - this cycle doesn't work. Let me start by saying that while I'm not optimistic about my chances, I am absolutely hopeful. I don't want to banish that hope and say to you - or to myself - that I don't expect it to happen, or that I *know* there's no way it will happen, because that would not be true. I do hope, very much so, that my period doesn't show up on Wednesday and that I see two lines on Friday. I hope so much that I want to scream, that my head hurts sometimes, that I can't sleep at night. And in order to hope, I have to believe that I have a shot. I have to believe that there's some chance - however small - that this might work.

But at the same time, to say I'm not optimistic ... well, that's a bit of an understatement. I am holding onto hope because it doesn't want to let go, but that doesn't mean that I'm window shopping pink booties and this season's maternity clothes or picking out baby names. In fact, I find most of my thoughts swirling around the question: "What's next?"

I truthfully do not know what happens next. (If this doesn't work.) I want to do whatever it takes - I really do - but only if "whatever it takes" comes without too steep a cost. Because lately I have come to face the reality that what I have been through over the past two years has cost me. And my marriage. And my son. I am tired, so bone weary, of being consumed by this quest, and the thought of jumping off the ride now makes me feel happy and light in a way that I have not felt since I can remember. I don't believe for one second that the hits we've all taken can't be repaired; I know these wounds will heal. Of course, jumping off the ride means living the life that we didn't technically choose for ourselves, and therein lies the tough choice. We want another child. I don't know how to reconcile this; I just can't figure it out.

For now, I'll do what I'm *supposed* to do. I'll meet with the RE to discuss what went wrong, and what my next steps will be, if I choose to continue treatments. I'll put all the information aside for a short period of time ... short, because let's face it, I don't have much time to decide here. And then we'll figure out what our path will be. We'll weigh and consider, we'll take some time to heal and get stronger, and then we'll decide.

I have to say, it might be the path of least resistance.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A happy sort of post

Reading back over my last several entries, you'd really think I'm a big Debbie Downer. I'm not usually so damn negative (and clearly I've had some crap hit me lately) but I also believe that mood and behavior can easily follow outlook, so I'm going to focus on the good and great stuff for a moment.

Here's what's good right now:
* A four day weekend. I mean, what's better than that? As I love to tell my husband, we're getting paid to *not* work today, and even after the two busy days we've had, we still have two more days off. Love it.
* I have half a strawberry swirl cheesecake sitting in my fridge, plus a nice chicken and stuffing dinner for tonight. (Have I mentioned that the only thing I dislike more than cooking is trying to figure out *what* to cook?)
* I have plans with my sister to go to a movie tomorrow. I love going to movies: the popcorn, the chocolate, the amazing picture and sound, and simply escaping for a couple hours. Can't wait.
* I have gift ideas for most people on my list already. Huge hurdle overcome.

Here's what's great right now:
* My kiddo. Seriously, he rocks. He's the most laid back kid out there, so chill and smart and funny.
* Everybody is happy and healthy around me lately.
* Naps. Four day weekend = at least two, maybe three, naps. Aw, yeah.
* I'm less than a week away from my period being due. I will be so relieved when this is over, because being in the middle of this wait is like a huge stupid mocking weight on my back. I know that when my period comes I'll have a new kind of crushing disappointment to deal with, on top of the kind I already am experiencing, but I want this uncertainty behind me. And it will be soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What my ovaries have stolen from me

Of course my slacker ovaries can be said to have stolen many things from me over the years. The easy to name stuff, like a spontaneous sex life, a romantic TTC journey, and not feeling about 10 years older than I am due to their response.

But, more specifically? Recently? My slacker ovaries have stolen two important things from me.

First, I have to endure the much longer 2ww that comes with an IUI cycle. I was so looking forward to the shorter, 9 day wait, after an IVF embryo transfer. My RE doesn't do a beta until 16 days after the IUI. But since my IUI was done on a Friday, and 16 days after that is a Sunday, I have to wait until Monday, 17 days after my IUI.

(not that I'm going to make it that far; my period will come long before Monday December 7th. But still.)

Secondly, because my IVF was converted to IUI, I didn't get to have the four days of bed rest that I was so (pathetically, I know) looking forward to. I know that going under anesthesia and having a needle put through my delicate ladybits wouldn't have been fun. I'm aware. But I was *so* seeing the brightside of having a few days of bedrest. Days where I wasn't allowed to do anything but lie around and read and watch TV. A few days seemed like a nice amount of laying around time; enough time to decompress and chill out but not so much as to make me want to go crazy. It felt like pampering.

Did I mention that my birthday was last weekend? (38. Painful. Enough said.) My wonderful husband bought me three books that I was really looking forward to reading, specifically because he knew I had those days of bedrest coming up. And I bought myself a little gift too - two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD.

I think I'll try to find a way to make it up to myself, like with a trip for a mani/pedi or by going out to a movie or something.

Stupid slacker thieving ovaries.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


IUI for Friday, confirmed this morning. Thank goodness this didn't get pushed back further, because I really just want it over and done with.

It's funny, but I've been so open about what we're going through, and I think it's finally biting me in the ass. I was just so excited about starting IVF, and I don't mind being open about my infertility in general, so I told people about our cycle plans. Now I have everyone I know asking me (excitedly, mind you!) about how things are progressing, when retrieval will be, etc. It's been rather tiring to have to keep explaining the cancellation. Lesson learned, I suppose.

People's reactions to these developments have been interesting. Here's a little recap:

Boss who is living child free after 10 IVF attempts: She's always been so understanding - much more so than I expected, actually. She let me vent, she listened, and then she moved firmly into the "understand how lucky you are" camp. I can appreciate that; I am lucky.

Boss who has had no trouble conceiving, and who has 2 little ones of her own: Very sympathetic, hopeful, and accommodating.

Assorted friends: I've gotten varying degrees of anger, sadness for us, frustration, etc. But the overriding theme is along the lines of "what's the next step?" This is why I wish I had kept this cycle a little (not completely, but just a little) closer to the vest. Answering these questions is not easy now, because my thoughts are changing on an almost hourly basis. One friend made me laugh out loud with an email where she told me to tell my ovaries to stop slacking off, and "quit acting like they have a state job. It's time to get to work." (She's a state employee, by the way, before anyone gets offended.) It was just the levity I needed at that moment.

My husband: He's disappointed. I think he's taking this harder than I am. While I am automatically looking at the positives of having one child (and there are plenty of positives!), he is forcing himself to look there. I really think he's .... sad. Last night we were talking about Friday's IUI, and he said, "what time will we need to go back for the insemination?" We, I asked him? "Yes," he said, "I'm coming with you." Ummmm, ok? Honey, we're not newbies, you don't need to take a half a vacation day to hold my hand. Heck, we haven't done that since, well since the very first IUI, three and a half years ago. Ah. "Hey, I was there for him," he said, as he pointed to the kiddo, "I want to be there this time too." I don't know if it's superstition on his part (hey, it worked that time! Maybe there's something to having him in the same zip code when I get knocked up), or if he just wants to round out the circle because he feels - like I do - that this might be our last attempt.

Me: First and foremost, I think I'm confused. I'm so used to having a next step, a plan B (and C and D), and this time I just don't. Yet. And all of the questions I'm getting are not making it any easier to figure out, frankly. I'm being honest with people close to me, letting them know that we need to take some time to decide, and that maybe clarity will come with a little space. Other than that, I'm also alternating among anger, frustration, sadness, crushing disappointment and longing, and relief.

Yes, relief. I truly, honestly, fully can not wait for this to be over. I'm tired. I'm tired of spending 20 minutes every night mixing meds. I'm tired of being late to work all the time, scheduling meetings around my appointments, and not knowing what days I'll need a coworker to cover for me. I'm tired of getting my hopes up and then having them crash down around me, Every Single Month. Most of all, I think I'm tired of not knowing what happens with us. Uncertainty is not something I work well with. I like to make decisions and move forward; speculation and waiting are not part of my comfort zone. So, the idea of ending this now, moving on with our lives ... well, it's a decision, isn't it?

And that, in itself, is comforting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I had another follicle check yesterday morning. Guess what? A big miracle! My 3 follicles turned into 24! My doc said I looked like a 20-year old in there. No wait, better yet, it turns out I'm actually pregnant! I guess that's why the meds weren't making any follicles. But don't worry, the doc said that the Gonal-F and Menopur I've been using won't harm the baby; in fact, it's gonna make him a rock star! A genius, charming, sensitive, adorable rock star. Who knew. Oh, and labor won't hurt either - it's another side effect.

Should I throw in some lottery winnings too, just to make it more sarcastic?

Ok, so the real news is nothing new. I still have three (maybe two, but probably three), and my E2 is still chugging along. I go back tomorrow for what I hope is my final check, and then (*crossing fingers*) I should trigger tomorrow night and have my IUI on Friday. My stupid, senseless, annoying IUI. Did I mention that my husband had to talk me into doing it? I don't even want to bother, I know it's a waste of time and money, but at the same time I know we'll both regret it if we skip it. So, IUI it is.

I'm holding up fine. I'm crying here and there - the disappointment is just overwhelming at times - but for the most part I'm dealing. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head about next steps - if there will be any next steps, that is. I keep telling myself to let this cycle finish, take a couple months, and then figure it out when the time is right. Right now, I'm in no rush.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Progress - Follicle check # 2

I'll start this with a gentle warning: if you don't approve of cursing or it in any way offends your sensibilities, this blog might not be the place for you today.

I was psyched for my follicle check today. I finally stopped bleeding yesterday, so I was looking forward to seeing how my lining is growing. And, although I've felt some mild tenderness in my ovaries for the past couple days, today was the first day that putting on pants hurt. A great sign! So of course, I was dying to see how those eight follicles were looking, and how many more I might have cooking in there.

My lining looks great - getting lusher day by day, and is currently 7.8mm. Aww, yeah. Now onto the follicle count. He starts on the right side, where last time I had three. He says to his assistant, who is taking notes, "twelve." Twelve?! Shit, how could I have gone from three to twelve?? No wonder my ovaries are so tender and swollen. Then he moves from right ovary to left ovary, where a couple days ago I had five. He says, "eleven..... [big pause here] ... and twelve." Wait a minute. Wait a fucking minute. It starts to sink in. He's not counting them, he's measuring them.

Three. That's how many I have. Fucking three.

He turns on his gentle voice. "That's right, there are three." I'm speechless, and then this voice in my head goes off, telling me to ask something, anything, because I'm going to want to know later what the hell this means. Ok, so I ask him - what happened to the eight that were there just two days ago? He said there are still plenty there, but they're not growing the way these three are. Now I move in with The Big Question. What does this mean? Dr. Gentle replies, "IUI."

Still in his "I hope she's not going to cry" voice, he tells me to keep my dosage the same (because why the fuck would we increase it now, those others clearly have no shot of catching up) and come back on Monday. He said there's always a chance that we'll get a nice surprise on Monday morning, so don't count anything out.

Sure, because my body has often surprised me in a good way. Right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Progress - follicle check # 1

More blood work today and an ultrasound, and it looks like things are moving along nicely. I asked the nurse why the doc told me I wasn't responding as well a couple days ago, and she said my E2 was a bit lower than they like to see. My baseline E2 was 22, and on Tuesday (after two days of stims), it was up to only 42. They usually hope for it to be in the 80-100 range at that point.

Then came my ultrasound. Lining is super thin at 4.5, but I'm still bleeding, so that isn't surprising. I swear I thought I was going to burst with anticipation until the tech started counting follicles. So far, there are eight: five on the left side, and three on the right. She kept stressing that it was too early to see much, and that more will be visible as they get bigger, I think because she thought I was going to be upset at the number. On the contrary, I was thrilled! Clearly I'm not expecting very much out of my body.

Doc left me a message a while ago, and said that my dosage stays the same, and I go back on Saturday for another check. She didn't specify the E2, but now that I know about it I'm going to keep asking.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


That's me. Well, more specifically, my ovaries. I had blood work this morning, and according to the doctor, I'm "not responding as well as we'd like." He says I'm to increase the Gonal-F tonight to 450 (from 375), keep the Menopur the same (two vials), and go back on Thursday for an ultrasound and blood work.

I didn't really ask questions - I understand all about what my follicles should be doing, but as far as blood work, I'm not sure what my E2 levels should be at each stage - or what else they're looking at as far as blood levels. So, I just took him at his word about me not responding well. I'm honestly torn between wanting to research so I can obsess - I mean, ask appropriate questions - and wanting to keep taking him at his word and leaving it at that.

Something to ponder between now and Thursday, I suppose.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chill, with a side of anxiety

What a great, laid back weekend. I had a gift certificate for a facial, and I used that on Saturday afternoon. I have to admit that while it was nice (and I always love being pampered and any kind of massage whatsoever), it wasn't nearly as good as getting a full-body massage. I think that I'd do it again, but not super often and definitely not instead of a massage. My face does look fantastic though.

Otherwise this weekend, we just hung out, enjoying the beautiful weather. I'm a little bummed about the impending cold weather - why I live in the North East is beyond me (oh, that's right, it's because the bugs down south would send me to a looney bin and the dry air out West would lead to constant raw, sore throats) - so I'm sopping up every ounce of warmth there is left this year.

I'm so laid back about my current cycle it's amazing. The primary-IF me of four years ago would be stunned and impressed at how I'm taking it all in stride. I haven't figured out yet if this will be my only IVF attempt (if it doesn't work, that is), and what's more amazing, is that I feel no pressure to figure it out yet. That's a huge thing for me, just going with the flow and taking it as it comes. Hey, I'm no dummy, I know that with my age, FSH, and the fact that this is my first IVF, my chances aren't phenomenal that I walk out of this with a baby. I know that. And yet, for some reason that I have yet to figure out (probably because I'm not spending every moment analyzing it), it's ok. It's ok if I decide to cycle again next year, it's ok if we have frosties left over and do an FET .... hell, it's even ok if we decide to stop. Right now, it's ok for us if we just don't decide yet, and focus on being hopeful for this chance.

That being said ... there's a little "but" here. I feel laid back. I do. I feel like I'm ready for whatever happens. And yet, I'm having these awful, anxiety filled dreams. Now that I think about it, they seem to be centered around the meds. I'm not new to mixing the meds, shooting myself, having my husband shoot me in the butt - I feel comfortable with all of that during my waking hours. But at night? After I fall asleep? Apparently I'm really worried that I'm going to screw something up. One night, I dreamt that I used PIO instead of stims. Another night, I gave myself ten times the amount of Gonal F. In a different dream, all my meds were missing when it was time to inject them - I just couldn't find them anywhere in the house. And last night, I dreamt that I forgot to take them, for two nights in a row.

Tonight I start stims. I just hope that once I begin the nightly routine, my sleeping self will chill out a bit, and catch up to my waking self. Here's hoping.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Check it out. My kiddo, my iPod, and are all predicting that I get knocked up this cycle.

First I should explain about infertility songs. Do you have any? The first time I was trying to get pregnant, my infertility (aka my make me cry, or even make me shake my fist in anger) songs were a little different than this time around. The songs that got to me were ones like Stevie Wonder's "For once in my life" (all about finally finding someone who loves and needs you ... just spoke to me in a baby sort of way) and Dave Matthew's Band "The best of what's around" (you're not gonna get the best of me, infertility!). That kind of thing. This time around, it's a little different, and not so prominent, but there are definitely a few songs that "speak" to me about my struggles. One in particular. More on that in a second.

Does your iPod ever get into a ... well ... a mood? For example, about two weeks ago, my iPod - on the shuffle setting - could not get enough Beatles. Early (innocent and sweet) Beatles, Helter Skelter Beatles, covers, and even pulling from a lullaby CD that's all Beatles renditions. I mean, I had the thing on shuffle for about 40 minutes, and I heard at least 6 Beatles songs. What's up with that? Sometimes the iPod is all about Motown, sometimes it's modern rock, sometimes Beatles. But then other times I get a true shuffle.

So earlier this week, I was out running errands with my kiddo, and my iPod was all about telling me I was going to get pregnant. First as I put it on, I got the Infertility Song of 2009. "No Other Way" by Jack Johnson. I suppose he meant it as a song about a troubled relationship and insomnia (yeah, I'm oversimplifying here). It's so beautiful. Rather than link or try to explain, here are the lyrics:

When your mind is a mess
So is mine
I cant sleep
Cause it hurts when I think
My thoughts aren't at peace
With the plans that we make
Chances we take
They're, not yours and not mine
There's waves that can break
All the words that we say
And the words that we mean
Words can fall short
Can't see the unseen
Cause the world is awake
For somebody's sake now, please close your eyes woman
Please get some sleep

And know that if I knew
All of the answers I would
Not hold them from you'd
Know all the things that i'd know
We told each other, there is no other way

Well too much silence can be misleading
You're drifting I can hear it in the way that your breathing
We don't really need to find reason
Cause out the same door that it came well its leaving its leaving
Leaving like a day that's done and part of a season
Resolve is just a concept that's as dead as the leaves
But at least we can sleep, its all that we need
When we wake we will find
Our minds will be free to go to sleep

And know that if I knew
All of the answers I would
Not hold them from you'd
Know all the things that i'd know
We told each other, there is no other way

Beautiful, right? Anyway, after that song - which captured my attention and turned my already IF-riddled mind sharply to the cycle at hand, G. Love's "Christmas Baby" comes on. Very simple, cute lyrics, "Won't you be my Christmas baby?!" Hhmm. You know I went right to "aah, I'd probably see the heartbeat right around Christmas time, wouldn't that rock?" Then P!nk's "Nobody Knows," which, frankly, is kind of a sappy, angst-filled thing about people not getting the pain and heartache you're feeling. Then, get this. Bon Jovi's "Everybody's Broken." Hah! Yes, iPod, I do realize I'm not the only one, thankyouverymuch. Next up, "I want to hold your hand" by the Beatles. Okeeee. Then we went to the park, and when we got back in the car, the iPod spell was broken.

So then that very same day, no lie, I was putting my kid to bed for his nap, rubbing his back, and he says to me, "Mommy, how is that baby going to come out?" I thought maybe he saw a pregnant woman at daycare or something, so I said, "what baby?" He points to my stomach, and says, "that baby." I frown a bit, "what are you talking about kiddo?" He says, "mommy, that baby [pointing], how is that baby going to come out?" I told him there's no baby, and asked him if he knew someone with a baby in their belly, and he switched the topic to Elmo or something.

Freaked me out a bit.

I also have a monthly forecast that I read, Astrology Zone. I find this site to be really good, and somehow a good number of big events in my life have been predicted in these forecasts. Specific stuff, which I won't get into now. Anyway, this is part of November's forecast for Scorpio:

When you get to the new moon in Scorpio, November 16, your life will take on a new glow.


Do you hope to welcome a baby? Start trying or begin the process of adoption after that new moon appears.

My ER will be the week of November 16.

So there you have it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is called planning

No wonder I can't get knocked up. My sister-in-law is hogging all the pregnancies for herself.

Ok, to be fair, she's *only* on pregnancy #3. It's not like she's knocking the babies out like a future reality show star or something. But out of three pregnancies, guess how many were oops? One? No. Two? Nah. Yup, all three.

First one, they knew each other a month or two, and didn't bother with birth control. Ok, good for them - it really worked out, because they were madly in love and clearly meant for each other. So she quit grad school, and they got married. Second one, she said - and I quote - "my birth control method failed." (I had to bite my tongue from telling her that not everyone ovulates on day 14. I did, however, lend her my copy of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility.") Now I think they have to be doing it on purpose.

Is it rude if I buy her some condoms next year for Christmas?

Yeah? Darn.

After I got pregnant with the kiddo - and she still only had one baby - she said to me, "it must be really cool to be married, have a house, and actually plan for it to work out this way." Um. Yeah. I suppose you could call it "planning." Or something.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Santa's coming

That's how excited I am. Seriously. I had my bloodwork and ultrasound yesterday, and got a script for BCPs, which I started last night. Later yesterday afternoon, the nurse called me with a tentative schedule and protocol.

Here the plan:
BCPs from Monday 10/26 through Wednesday 11/4. (10 days)
Monday 11/2: Semen freeze (Just in case. And of course I made an inappropriate joke to the nurse here about it being a good thing that I wouldn't have to bribe the janitor for a sample if my husband couldn't do it that day for some reason.) Also doing the mock transfer and the whole "IVF orientation" on this day.
Friday 11/6: Bloodwork and ultrasound
Sunday 11/8: start stims. I'll be doing a combo of Gonal-F and Menopur. Husband will also start meds then too. Some antibiotic, and something else I didn't write down. Anyone know why he'll be on an antibiotic?
Tuesday 11/10: bloodwork
Thursday 11/12: bloodwork and ultrasound
Probably daily visits from this point until ER
ER will likely be the week of 11/15. Happy birthday to me! :)

I can't believe this whole thing will be over - one way or the other - by the end of November. Crazy talk.

Is it terribly inappropriate that I'm looking forward to the valium on transfer day?

And is it even more inappropriate that I'm already thinking I'll take that pill anyway, even if my cycle is cancelled for some reason?

Sunday, October 25, 2009


This weekend - not my best yet.

It should have been pretty awesome though. It was my husband's birthday on Saturday (he and I are the same age for 3 weeks, until I turn one year older than him, so I love when his birthday finally comes around), and then it was our 6th wedding anniversary today. How did we spend both? This is where the "meh" comes in.

Friday: cute halloween party and parade at daycare. My kid was the cutest Tigger that school - nah, this town - has ever seen. Hands down. Mel's book reading in NJ was cancelled (poor Mel & her family, suffering from H1N1 flu), so we decided we'd do my husband's birthday that night. With kid in tow, we went to a super classy dinner at Friendly's, where we celebrated (aka embarrassed the shit out of my husband) with the singing waitstaff. (Seriously, who is still embarrassed by that stuff??) Gave my husband his birthday present ... a Yankees jersey, because on ...

Saturday: he had tickets to the (hopefully final) Yankees game (until they make the World Series that is). Except, if you're from the NY metro area, you're probably still drying off after the downpour yesterday afternoon and evening. But they had no way of knowing if it would be postponed for sure, so he left in the afternoon for the game that evening, just in case. And of course the game was postponed. Until today, our anniversary.

Those bastards.

We had lunch reservations (at a non-kid friendly place), a movie picked out, and a babysitter lined up for this afternoon. All cancelled.

Here's the bright side. Cause I'm a bright side kind of gal. I got some great quality mommy-kiddo time in this weekend, and I also got to rent a movie that I thought my husband would hate. I always do that when he is out or away. This time it was 17 Again, and it was freaking awesome. I'm trying to figure out why I liked it so much - you'd think it was because Chandler Bing was in it (huge crush), but he was barely in it. And I tend to like slightly edgier movies than this one. I guess I just thought it was really funny and touching, and in my old age I'm appreciating the family dynamic movie thing more.

Plus I got to take a nap today, and my husband was around for most of the day.

Hopefully we'll have a do-over of our anniversary next weekend. We held back our presents to each other in hopes that we can align the lunch/movie/babysitter thing for Sunday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I have no flashy, cute, or clever way to say this

I was awoken at 3:30 by terrible cramps. Full-on period.

So it's game-fucking-on.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bronchitis, meet luteal phase

here's hoping you're both gone before too much longer...

I've been a bit out of commission for over a week. I have bronchitis, a hacking nasty cough that doesn't want to go away (even with a trusty Z-pack under my belt, finished a few days ago). I can't even describe how tired of coughing I am. My back hurts, my abs are sore (hey, maybe I'll end up with a six-pack from my bronchitis!), and somehow even my upper arms hurt. How they're involved in my coughing is beyond me.

There's only one good thing about being sick: I get to sleep in the guest room. Now our guest room isn't very pretty; it has paneling straight out of the 70's (yes, it's been on my to-redo list since we bought this place 5 years ago), and it's a bit cluttered. Plus I have to put a pillow over the cable modem because the flashing blinking lights threaten to keep me awake all night. But my guest room has a futon, yes a futon, and it's the most wonderfully comfortable sleep surface ever made. I don't think all futons are like mine. This one rocks. Well, figuratively. So at the first hint of a sinus infection or cold - anything that makes me cough, really - I head upstairs to the guest room. Aahhh, futon. It's not that I don't want to pass my germs to my husband overnight - I don't think he could be any more exposed to my germs than he is during the waking hours - it's just that when I'm up coughing at night, I can't relax enough to fall asleep if I'm worried about waking up him or the kiddo.

And in unrelated news ...

For the past couple of mornings, I've had the opportunity to take my temperature, before I start my morning coughing. And - YAY of all yays - it appears that I am firmly in the luteal phase. (Unless my temperature is just inflated because I'm sick, but I'm ruling that out for now because it's *exactly* where it should be mid-LP, and that would just be too mean of a trick for my body to play.)

This means I'm probably a week or less out from my next period. I'm hoping this means I can get an IVF cycle in this year, before the lab shuts down for the holidays. I haven't had the nerve yet to call the nurse and ask her when that is scheduled to happen, or more specifically, when I have to get my period in order to be able to do a cycle this year. I think I'll do that tomorrow...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The faces of infertility

I've been thinking a lot lately about how differently people seem to process infertility, and the many ways it can manifest itself. I always thought that I had a pretty typical response to infertility the first time around: I was angry, I felt broken and out of control, I cried unpredictably when faced with other people's good fortune, and I was open with some people about our struggles, while being more guarded with other people.

Now, faced with secondary infertility after primary infertility, I have found that I've lost what little patience I had posessed during that first go-round. Immediately I was infertile - even that month that I had my first post-partum period, I was infertile from the get-go. There was no happy-go-lucky, oooh isn't this fun stage of trying. It was all cervical mucus checking and watching the TP for signs of red. Dreading all the stories of the You Never Know people, the ones who get pregnant *like that* after needing fertility treatments the first time.

Now, I also tell anyone and everyone about our struggles. Sometimes inappropriately: I told a casual acquaintance at work that we "don't get pregnant like other people," when she asked when I was going to give that son of mine a sibling. (Well, c'mon, she asked for it.) My husband also is more open than he was four and five years ago ... I learned this when my step-mother-in-law said to me, "I know you guys have been trying for a while; I'm really praying for you." But at the same time, despite the openness with others, I'm also less raw over the whole thing. Not that I haven't cried, not that I haven't felt the knife of jealousy when my friend (for the second pregnancy in a row) announced that she got pregnant the first cycle trying. (And really, people, when is that ever ok to say, especially to a person you know is infertile??) Those hurts are still there, they still cut deep, and while they might not hurt more than they did the first time around, there are more of them. If that makes sense.


This weekend, I had a long conversation with a couple friends of ours who are finally pregnant after their first IVF. I was shocked by how different her take on the whole thing was. Oh, she understood the pain and the frustration, for sure; she certainly didn't miss any of that. But she seemed to keep herself completely unaware of the finer points of her treatment and diagnosis. She was with her OB/GYN for treatment for a year and a half, and when her new doc told her, "go right to an RE, you won't get pregnant without IVF," it was a surprise to her. I can't even imagine. I mean, yes, they're the experts and they tell us things we don't know. But when I got a test result, I always knew what it meant. I had it in my head when I took the call: ok, if my progesterone is under six, that's really bad, and if it's at least ten, then that's pretty good, but if it's over 15, then I'm in great shape." When my doc told me my FSH, I knew what it meant. I asked my friend questions about her progesterone at 7dpo, and about her FSH, and she got this blank look on her face.


I have another friend who just gave birth to twin girls after IUI; she and her husband had been trying for about 18 months. I think this was their third IUI. I mentioned to her during her pregnancy that for me at least, infertility never went away. Even when I was pregnant, and even when I had my new perfect baby. She was aghast. She couldn't believe I could feel that way. "Oh, I'm over it already," she said.


I guess for some people, infertility is something to be overcome, something for a doctor to figure out and treat. For me, it was always more of an identity. Why is that? Why did I put on this suit of infertility 5 years ago, and I still can't get it off? Why am I more involved with it than some people? Why do I think that if we end up with the family we hope for ... or even if we don't ... that I'll remember some facet of this experience, and I'll continue to carry it with me, and it will continue to shape who I am and how I parent my son, for a long time to come?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Really, ovaries? Really??

For the love of all that is good .... my temp has *still* not gone up.

Please help me figure this out.

To recap, I have about 30 cycles of temps on fertility friend, and my temps usually fall into very similar pre-O and post-O ranges. So even though I'm not charting full time anymore, at any point during any cycle, I can take my temp and know whether I've ovulated yet, if my period is about to come, or what. (And yes, I know, sometimes there are variations, fluctuations, what have you, that would render a single temperature unusable, but in general, this information has been helpful over the past year or so.)

I'm on day 21. My cycle is usually only 26-27 days (sometimes shorter), and I tend to ovulate around day 12. I started temping about a week ago, just to confirm that I had O'd, and so that I could predict when my period would come. (My temp tends to drop the day before my period, so it's a nice warning.) My temp has been firmly in the pre-O range. Today it fell even lower.

Here are the possibilities as I see them:

1. I am having my first anovulatory cycle.
2. I'm still going to ovulate, just way later than usual.
3. My thermometer is broken.
4. My pre-O temps were a full degree lower than normal this month (I just don't know, because I wasn't temping), so what I'm seeing now is really post-O but still just lower than my typical range. (Is this even possible? In all my months charting, my temperatures have always been very predictable. Pre-O: 97.2-97.7 and Post-O: 98.2-98.7. They have been firmly at 97.5 for the past week.)
5. I'm a nutcase and should just shut the hell up.

Any thoughts? Advice? Feedback? Could the fact that I've been hopped up on stims for SIX out of the past eight months be messing with my normal cycle?

I know, I could have bigger problems in my life than having to wait until 2010 to do IVF. I know this, I promise.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My body's messing with me

Now that's a first.


I haven't really been charting (CM, temps, or anything), not consistently anyway. But I have taken my temp for the past three mornings, just so I can plan better (IVF is coming, IVF is coming!! I swear it's like waiting for Christmas), and know when my period is due. I could have sworn that I had fertile CM towards the beginning of last week, which would have been normal for me because I tend to be a really early ovulator. I wasn't really paying all that close attention though, obviously. Today is CD17, so I should be at least 4 or 5 days past ovulation. Well, I finally looked at my temps today, and guess what? They're all pre-O range. Then today I checked my CM and CP, and yup ... all fertile signs.

Bad news: cycle's gonna take longer than I expected. (Santa will be delayed.)
Good news: another chance for more ovulation sex. (My husband is so easy, it's ridiculous.)
Really bad news: well, sex doesn't make babies, not in my house, so see "Bad news" above.

me, the eternal optimist

Sunday, October 4, 2009

An infertility free weekend

We had a nice weekend, the kiddo, the husband and I. A couple of trips to the park, a stop at Panera, some take-out chinese, a pizza (wait, did I cook this weekend? Not a whole lot, in retrospect), a weird but kinda funny movie ("My best friend's girl"), and a nap or two. A stupid, where-did-it-start argument with the husband, which I'm happy to say seems to have passed. Oh, and the kiddo officially knows who Bob The Builder is. Guess who he wants to be when he grows up? Not just any builder, but Bob. "Um, kiddo, your name isn't Bob." He gave me a funny look, and an "um" (yes, he says "um" when he's trying to make something clear for me.... guess where he got that?). "Um, mommy, I'm going to be Bob. On TV. With a big steam roller!" All in all, we had a low-key and nice couple days.

We're in this weird sort of place, infertility-wise, since we're waiting out this cycle and ready for a big change next month. I'm excited to get rolling with IVF, but of course we didn't want to miss a chance to get things going on our own this past week or so ... even though I've given up hope that I'll be one of those You Never Know people.

I probably have about another 10 days this cycle. Have I mentioned I hate waiting?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good things are happening

Things are moving along, and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday, I had the "I'll be doing IVF soon" with my boss, to sort of set expectations. On both sides. This is an odd situation, because my manager has been through ten IVF cycles. Ten. So she's been super understanding about all my struggles and has been a good source of information too. She's been encouraging me to move onto IVF, telling me it's "no big deal" and that she'd be as flexible as possible while I'm cycling. She's already living up to her word on that point; during our conversation yesterday she told me I can work from home as often as I like during the cycle ("like, when your pants are too uncomfortable to wear or you just can't walk upright"), and told me I should take off a couple of days around ER and again around ET ("and if I see you put vacation days though, I'm going to reject them, so make sure you use sick time").

Then today I got a call from the nurse / IVF coordinator at my clinic, regarding my protocol. First of all, she said I'll definitely be on BCP's, so no rush on ordering meds ahead of time or anything. I should show up on day 2, 3, or 4 for bloodwork and u/s, and then they'll give me the script for BCP's. (By the way, what the heck are the BCP's for anyway? Is it just to hammer down your timeline better, or is there an actual scientific or medical reason for them?) I asked about the rest of the protocol, and she said "oh, we'll discuss that at the orientation, but you'll be doing Gonal-F again, plus another gonodotropin." Does that mean anything to anyone? I also asked her about the mock transfer, and she said no problem, we'll schedule that at the start of next cycle.

I'm psyched! I was on the fence for so long about whether to move on to IVF or not, and now I couldn't be clearer that this is the road I want (and need) to take. I think it was partly the beach vacation with my kiddo ... it was pretty sad that he didn't have anyone to play with ... and thinking of him going his whole childhood without a sibling just makes my heart want to break. There are obviously so many other reasons for not giving up, but the image in my mind of him on all those amusement park rides by himself (or with one of us crammed into the little kiddo-sized seats) really helps me clarify that we need to keep going. We need to do everything we can to make this happen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The worst belly shot email ever

My mom sent me an email with this subject line: Baby bump pictures.

Oh lordy, you know it ain't gonna be good. Why did I even open it?

It's my mom's friend's wife AND his grown daughter, both sporting 7-month pregnant bellies. My mom said, "Look, my friend Joe is gonna be a new dad, and a first-time grandpa, all within the same month!" There are about eight photos, all varying poses of happy maternity. Mom and daughter are looking blissfully down at their own bellies in one shot, looking sweetly at each other's bellies in another shot, and of course all possible variations of holding their own and each other's bellies.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Random confessions

Get to know me a bit, see how crazy I really am...

I rarely POAS before my period comes. However, I often do so after I get my period. I've seen and heard too many tales of "I didn't know I was pregnant!," apparently. But seriously, I'll have full on cramping and bleeding, and I'll take a HPT. I always somehow convince myself that it's not quite a normal period: either it started early, or late, or it's heavier or lighter than normal. This is not normal behavior.

I daydream about winning the lottery. I swear that I would be one of those really generous people, paying off friends' mortgages and setting up 529's for my nieces and nephews. However, I only manage to buy a lottery ticket once a month or so.

I'm pretty sure that I like massages better than sex. No wonder I feel like I'm cheating on my husband when I pay for one. (And really, why is prostitution illegal? Everyone should be as happy as I am after I get a massage.) My husband & I trade massages probably four times a week. We have sex ... maybe ... four times a month.

About a month ago, I bought a pair of maternity pants. Well, according to Target, they're maternity pants, but I'm trying to think of them as my "bloated as hell from stimming" IVF pants. Hey, they were only $6.98.

I am ultra-conscious of being ethical and doing the right thing. I would never pretend my kid was younger than he is so I could get a free admission somewhere, I won't pull out my college ID (from the grad courses I took 3 years ago) to get a discount, that kind of thing. However, when I was a kid, I used to steal. Stupid stuff, like candy bars and lip gloss. And I still get the urge to steal things, every once in a while. Out of the blue, I'll think, "meh, I don't want to pay for that, I'll just drop it in my purse and pretend it was a mistake if someone sees me." The urge always surprises me, and I have to kind of shake those thoughts out of my head when it happens, because I know I'd never do it now. I think the guilt over stealing when I was a kid makes me more mindful of making ethical decisions now.

I have dreams that I'm flying. Really often. Sometimes I feel myself drifting off my bed, and then I'm off flying around, usually in places that don't look familiar to me, but always outside. When I wake up, I'm usually fully convinced (for a short time, at least) that I really was off flying somewhere while I slept. I have to remind myself ... or convince myself? ... that it was just a dream. I've always wondered if other people have flying dreams, but I don't think I've ever asked anyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There's always something

I called my clinic today and spoke to a nurse, the one who runs the IVF orientation that I need to attend. I told her that we wanted to take this cycle off, and move right into IVF next cycle. She was kind ("oh, I'm so sorry this one didn't work" and even a "jeez, that really sucks"), and then she said, "wait, what day are you?" I'm CD6 today. "Oh, I really wish you had called earlier this week." She explained that they need to do the mock transfer early in the cycle prior to starting IVF, and her tone really made it sound like it's too late.


To quote Adam Sandler in "The Wedding Singer" .... that's information that could have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY. (Or, rather, during my last cycle, like "Yo, make sure you call us right away if you get your period, because there are steps that need to be taken early in your cycle.)

So she's going to discuss me during their next clinic meeting, and they'll come up with a protocol and a plan. She said it's "probably ok" that we missed an early window for the mock transfer this cycle, and they can probably figure something else out. Then she added that we really want to move forward now, if we're going to make this happen in 2009, because the only time they close down the lab all year long is around Christmas time, so I need to jump in Oct/Nov.

I seriously hope this doesn't get pushed back. Any words of encouragement?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Highs and lows

First the highs...

Had a fantastic week off. Great, albeit a little cool on a couple days, beach weather. Wonderful food, and lots of it. Best part? My father-in-law spent half of the week with us, so we got to sleep in - together - a few days.

Found out a couple of good friends are pregnant, after doing IVF. Woot!

I don't go back to work until Thursday.

One of my best friends of 20+ years is in town, and she's coming over tomorrow for a couple days. I'm meeting her fiance for the first time.

Despite eating like it was going out of style, I didn't gain any weight. Woot!

And the lows...

A good friend emailed me yesterday about her "big" ultrasound appointment. They received terrible news. The worst kind of terrible news. The kind where the only decision to be made is ... now or later. My heart is breaking for her; I can't even imagine that kind of grief.

If I hear any variation of the phrase, "it'll happen when the time is right," or, similarly, "everything happens for a reason," I think I'll hit someone. My thoughts on that phrase deserve a full post, it bugs me so much, and it is hands-down, the most common thing people say to me lately.

My keyboard in my laptop is inexplicably sticky. Letters are not all typing, and this post has taken me over 30 minutes so far to type.

My period came yesterday. (You knew this was coming, I'm sure of it.) I had no warning at all, I felt perfectly fine and normal, and then there was blood. Now I have extremely painful cramps and the most disgusting things are flowing from me (literally, not figuratively!). I've never seen clots like this. I suppose a month off the meds will be good for me, but I also plan to mention it to the nurse tomorrow.

I feel so burnt out inside I don't even know what to say.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Doin' the 2ww in style

I leave tomorrow for a week at the beach.

I can. not. freaking. wait to have a whole week off. The house we're renting doesn't have internet access, so the laptop stays home, and my colleagues are on strict orders to only call me if some crazy emergency comes up that only I can solve. (From afar, mind you.) My biggest decision for the next 7 days will be whether to go to the beach before the kiddo's nap, or go for a bike ride to the park.

I come back on 11dpo, just two short days before my (stupid, stinking, dreaded, nasty bitch of a) period is due. The day after I come back from my "family trip" (since "vacation" is probably not the right word for a trip I'm taking with our 2-year old, who will likely still wake up as his normal 6:00am every day), I will have another fantastic diversion for a couple days. My very good friend is coming in from out of town, and will be staying with me beginning the day after we get back from the beach. I haven't seen her in about 4 years, and I'm super psyched to spend a few days with her.

Now, if things go as I dread (expect?) that they will, my period will come in the middle of my friend's visit. Luckily my friend loves her some beer and pizza, so I think I'll have a good excuse to get my drink on. And if things go well .... well, perhaps I'll be distracted enough not to run to the store to buy a HPT.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I guess it's all over...

but the waiting. At least that's my new way of looking at things. What's done is done, and I can't do a damn thing about it. (Except take extra folic acid along with my regular woman's multi-vitamin, because I can't handle pre-natals when I'm TTC.)

IUI day was a blast. [/sarcasm] They had me go to the far-away clinic, about 45 minutes up an annoyingly busy highway. I dropped off the sample, and they said to come back in three and a half hours for the insemination. Oh great, what to do for 3+ hours? I bought a new (old) book that I've been thinking about for a while (Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire" - I read it 15 years ago and immediately fell in love with both Anne Rice and the world of vampires), and chilled out at Panera with my favorite bagel and iced tea for a while. Took a couple walks, browsed Michael's and Barnes & Noble, and then went back to the clinic.

It all went well. Husband provided a respectable 28.5 million sperm post-wash, and I .... well, I put my feet in the stirrups while the doc did his thing, because by that point the hard part was over. For me, anyway.

So, we'll see. I'm feeling rather zen about the whole thing. Here's hoping that feeling sticks around ... for now I'm just enjoying a break from the needles.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Triggering tonight

I went this morning for an ultrasound and bloodwork, and it looks like I'm all set for Tuesday morning. My lining is measuring in at a nice and lush 12, and I have two nice-sized follies ready to be triggered off into maturity.

I'm excited and a little nervous. We've decided that this is the end of the IUI train for us, and that the next step is IVF. We have to get our shit together for that, in terms of insurance and whatever else needs to be done, and I think we'll take a month off in between cycles to prepare. I'm nervous about that step, mostly because of the unknown factor. But the idea of IVF really excites the nerd in me too, because I am dying to get up close and personal with my eggs to see what kind of shape they're in. My ovaries have been a bit sluggish in responding to the meds for these cycles, so I have no idea what kind of dose they'll put me on, but I'm also excited to see what kind of response I'll have.

Sadly, I kind of feel like this last IUI is just sort of biding time for us. A way to do something while we wait (since we're going on vacation soon and couldn't have done an IVF cycle this soon). So I don't have a ton of optimism for this cycle, but I just hate waiting so much that I didn't want to take the month off.

My mind is already looking forward. I'm not really focused on this cycle too much at this point at all. Is that a defense mechanism? Am I just protecting myself? Or am I being optimistic and hopeful for the future?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Game on

Three decent follicles cooking. Tonight and tomorrow: increase Gonal-F to 375, and also use the Ganirelex. Go back Sunday for another follie check and blood work. Most likely trigger Sunday night and have IUI on Tuesday morning.

Hope: check.
Desire: check.
Fear: check.

Game on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Next up: hope and longing

Can we just assume that the mood swings are due to the raging hormones? And that this is all good? And that I'm not really a lunatic but rather a typical woman undergoing her eleventy billionth cycle?

Ok. Good. Now that we have that settled.

Tomorrow is CD10, and I go back for another follie check and blood work. Yesterday, CD8, I had three decent looking follies, and a nice lush uterine lining of 9.7. Since I tend to trigger around day 11 or 12, I'll probably know tomorrow when the IUI will be this weekend.

Other than follicle growing, stirrup straddling, and sperm hosting, I have no plans for the long weekend. I am beyond thrilled.

Happy early Memorial Day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Is this allowed?

Have you ever felt sort of .... ambivalent? Indifferent? I don't know why, or where this came from, but for just the past couple of days, I am not as gung-ho about having another baby. I know, I know ... I'm in the middle of a treatment cycle (and we know it's sort of my hail mary, last ditch kind of cycle), stimming the hell out of my ovaries, and now this.

I feel like an ass. A hypocritical, whining, douchy ass.

I'm not going to say I've never had doubts before. My kiddo was a heck of a newborn. He was the newborn that could never be put down; we had to take shifts for the first 5 or 6 weeks sleeping on the couch with him (because on the couch we could sort of prop ourselves up, with him on our chest, and kind of snooze while he slept). He was the baby with the longest periods of separation anxiety ever. He was hands-freaking-on, all the freaking time. It took us an hour to get him to sleep at night sometimes those early months (and by "us," well, let's face it, I mean me and my boobs), and I can probably recite passages verbatim from "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and "The Happiest Baby on the Block."

But our previous declarations of "oooh, how will we ever do it!" (all made with a happy, hopeful gleam in our eye, mind you), well, those were different. Because lately I'm wondering if we really want to go there. I think of my kid 2+ years ago, and it makes me wonder about wrangling a newborn and young baby through those phases and stages, with my toddler. Now he's a pretty independent kid, moreso than a lot of kids his age, but he still requires - and deserves! - a lot of attention. How do parents do it?

But then we went to the park yesterday. (Oh, you know where I'm going with this.) And my kiddo climbed to the top of the slide / jungle gym thingy (what are those things called anyway?), and he said, "Mommy, come up here with me! It's mommy turn to slide!" and it just about melted my heart. I know that any newborn we are lucky enough to have will grow into a little kiddo one day, running around at the park or off at school. He'll be happy to have his big brother to play with, to learn from, and to model. And my kid will finally be lucky enough to have a little sister or brother to call to, "Come up here with me, it's your turn to slide!"

I think you can say that I'm feeling conflicted.

I guess for now I'll just be a hypocritical, whining, douchy ass.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Thanks for sitting down for a moment with my little tirade yesterday. I was not in a happy place. I needed a little temper tantrum, and took a few minutes to have just that. Then my wonderful husband - who was fairly upset himself (in his manly, non-temper tantrum having kind of way), gave me some nice back rubbing while we had a good long conversation about what to do next. We weighed our options: take a month off, quit completely, move straight to IVF (which would involve a month off), or do another IUI. We have almost decided to do another IUI immediately, which will probably be our last. That is, unless Dr. D decides to surprise me with "Hey, I think the seventh could be the lucky one for you!" During this cycle, we'll get our shit together for IVF, if we decide to go that route. I'm not really sure what one has to do to prepare for IVF... ? But I'm sure there's something.

Husband is still not sold on IVF, but wasn't really good at articulating why. I think he may be afraid of how much more involved it will be than just IUI with injectibles (I'm not sure that it will be though...), and he also seems to have a feeling that since all these IUIs have failed, then nothing will work. I squashed that concern quickly, and we talked about how IVF is like bringing out the big guns. He's definitely feeling the time crunch, like we need to work this out now. I've been feeling that for some months now, so I get it.

As indecisive as I am, one thing really helped to clarify my feelings. Last night as we hashed this out, husband talked about moving on. What if we just stopped, and then the decision is made, there's no more "what if's" or speculation or wondering. What if we gave away the boxes and boxes of kiddo clothes and toys and gear clogging up our basement. What if we just ... decided for us, instead of waiting for it to happen. We could have closure.

My period coming didn't make me cry. But that... the thought of closure, of moving on, of giving up... That made me cry.

I'm not ready.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CD 1



Tired. Of feeling broken, of having to start over again. Just tired.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Seriously, we can fertilize eggs and grow follicles in a lab setting, but we haven't figured out how to cut out the 2ww entirely? I bet there's a solution somewhere, but they're hiding it. You know, *they* are. Bastards. Isn't it entirely silly and backwards that we start really hoping and praying (and getting superstitious, like being afraid to "jinx" things) towards the end of the 2ww? Shouldn't that all happen right around ovulation, because once it happens, it's all sort of said and done. Even though we don't know yet what exactly has been said or done. Yes, there are things that can go wrong of course, but generally if the egg and sperm aren't a perfect match right from the get-go, then there's no sense in hoping .... not to mention cutting out caffeine or ibuprofin.


I'm waiting fairly patiently. I'm sort of not feeling it this cycle. I don't know why that is exactly. I mean, I'm doing my normal dance between being positive that this cycle worked and being positive that I'm headed for another AF, but the negative feelings are outweighing the hopeful ones. I'm 11dpo today, and my only other injectibles cycle ended after a 12-day LP, so I will know for sure by Thursday. And really, if my LP is going to be 12 days again, then tomorrow I'll start spotting and feeling cramps. If I don't have any of those signs by Thursday morning, I'll pee on a stick.


So for now, I'll continue to wait. And I'll continue to try my damndest not to pee on any stick I happen to find lying around the house.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

6dpo, and why my RE sucks

At 6dpo, I have to say I am feeling pretty darn ok. Considering that my only other injectibles cycle was filled with pain, nausea, and general exhaustion, I am one happy infertile.

Let's talk now a little about the 2ww, shall we? The 2ww is how long again...? Oh, that's right, it's TWO friggin weeks. Oh but not at my RE. Noooo, no no no. They're way too special for that. At my RE, they schedule a beta at 16dpo. But when you have your IUI on a Friday, and 16dpo falls on a Sunday, when do you think they'd schedule the beta? Next Friday would be 14dpo, but nooooo, that's too soon for my RE. And of course why would they clog up their clinic on a weekend with a little old, lowly first beta? No, they schedule the betas for Friday IUIs at 17dpo, which would be the Monday two and a half weeks after the IUI. Seriously, 17dpo. Why not just wait a few months and see if I grow a bump? That'll cut down on all the unnecessary betas.

Want to know why else my RE sucks? They don't call me with progesterone results. C'mon, everybody knows that's how you can tell how "well" you ovulated. But noooo. It's all "no news is good news!" and "you won't hear from the doc unless there's a problem!" from them.

I'll leave you (for now) with this PSA for all you moms out there: Don't make a joke to your over-tired (waking up at 5am, nap skipping) 2-year old, a half hour before bedtime, that there are no M&M's for potty time tonight. That "joke" won't go over well, I promise you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Other women

Other women go off the pill according to the season or month they want to have a baby.

I never went back on the pill, and can tell you 25 reasons why any month would be perfect for a birthday. Nine months pregnant in the summer? A Christmas baby? I'll take it. Any of it, perfect.

Other women calculate what their due date would be if they got pregnant that month.

I think about when my period is due, and where I'll be when it arrives. I'll consider when my next ovulation will be, and hope I can fit a cycle in before I leave for vacation.

Other women wouldn't book a trip to Disney in 15 months, because they wouldn't want to bring a new baby.

I'm booking it as soon as I get the chance.

Other women hope for a boy first, or another girl.

I hope for a baby.

Other women stop buying clothes for themselves, knowing that soon they'll have to invest in maternity clothes.

I consider maternity pants or a bella band for my infertility-induced bloated belly, and grudgingly settle for loose tops and the rubber-band method.

Other women plan the size and timing of their families with certainty, with a sense of knowing and control. They consider things like paying for college and daycare, having two in diapers at the same time, and growing up "close."

I don't have a clue. I'll take what I can get, and I'll tell you the bright side of however it works out for us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sperm, meet egg

Pretty please??

22 million of my husband's best men are on their way.

I'm going to celebrate my day off, and the end of the needles
(at least for another few weeks)
by seeing "The Time Traveler's Wife." Popcorn and smuggled-in Arizona iced tea....mmmmm, I can't wait.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Follie update

I had another follie check yesterday, and I now have two nice little ones cooking. One at 17mm and one at 18mm. And the best part: one is on each side. I triggered last night, and the IUI is tomorrow.

I love the notes the doc wrote for me, so I wouldn't forget any steps:



7am - dropoff
9:30am - IUI

Of course I brought the note home. "Look, honey, we gotta do it, doctor's orders!" Ah, doctor prescribed sex. Ain't it the best kind?! (Not that sex makes babies in my situation, of course, but I don't want any bases left uncovered.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So, so tired. Physically, that is; emotionally I'm just fine, despite being just a few short days away from my IUI. More on that later. My poor kiddo has been sick for the past week; he had to miss three days of daycare, and was sick all weekend at home too. All we've done for the past six days has been watch Sesame Street and Blues Clues, and lie around on the couch, and otherwise be all cute and pathetic. (Well, that's what the kiddo has done. Me... I'm not so cute when I'm pathetic.) He had a fever for six straight days, and was just a mopey little mess - not eating, only wanting to drink "blue juice" (gatorade) and milk. I'm afraid to weigh him. I think I'll wait a week or so for that; he's a skinny kid, so I'm forever obsessing about his weight and eating habits, while trying not to outwardly stress. If that makes sense. Now the fever is gone, thank goodness, and he's back at daycare. My mid-day status check on him was fine, and he made it through the day with no problems. Thank goodness. I'm crossing my fingers for a night without too much of that barking cough that has been keeping us all up the past couple nights.

Anyway, let's talk about my uterus, shall we? (Don't worry, ovaries, I won't leave you out!) Today is day 10, and I had my follie check yesterday. I had three nice ones cooking, ranging in size from 10 to 14mm. My uterine lining was 7.7. They upped my dosage of Gonal F a bit (from 225 to 300), and I started Ganirelex last night. I have one word about the Ganirelex: OUCH. But the pain was short-lived, and I'm a tough chick, so it'll be fine. I go back tomorrow morning for another follie check, and will probably trigger tomorrow night, with my IUI on Friday morning.

I'm happy to report that physically this month, SO FAR (knock wood), it's been easy peasy. No nausea from the stims, no major bloating (just a little bit at this point), and no ovary pain. Thank fricken goodness. I was a bit worried after how hellish my symptoms were on my last cycle, but SO FAR (knock wood), it's all good. I do remember that the serious pain, the doubled-over in the bathroom stall at work, limping when I walked kind of pain, didn't happen until the day just before my IUI, and then it hit fever-pitch in the two days after my IUI. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but just maybe it's safe to say that I don't seem to be going down the same road.

Now for my mental well-being. I'm doing ok. Honestly. Really. Not too stressed out or depressed or even hopeless. I'm feeling rather zen about the whole thing. It's amazing what feeling ok physically can do for my emotional state. The fact that I'm down to one or maybe two more IUIs before we have to move on to IVF .... well, it's in the back of my mind, but it's not overwhelming me.

More to come tomorrow after my next - and hopefully last - follie check.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Aaannnd, backfire

First I have to share a confession with you. Are you ready for the crazy? Here goes... I purposely did not have sex around the time I was ovulating this month. Why would I do that, when I'm clearly trying to get pregnant, you ask? Well, because I am sick and fricken tired of my PMS symptoms that mimic early pregnancy symptoms tricking me. Nausea as PMS? What sadistic jackass thought that up? And I believe in my heart that I won't get pregnant from sex alone (um, let's see, I think I'm up to something like 45 cycles of BFNs?), so I didn't want to do that to myself. I wanted to take hope out of the equation completely, and just be able to wait out the cycle in peace.

Yeah, I said it was crazy. You were warned.

Here's where it backfired on me. I have a friend (well, as much as one could be a friend if you've never met in person, at least -- we met online, and we're sort of like pen-pals for the 21st century) who had to use injectibles and IUI to get pregnant with her son. Her son is just about a month older than my kiddo. She had PCOS and I think it was her 3rd or 4th IUI that did the trick. She told me yesterday that she is about 7 weeks pregnant, and she just found out a few days ago. Now how could an infertile find out she's pregnant at 7 weeks?! I will be peeing on multiple sticks the moment I'm 14dpo, if I'm patient enough to wait that long, so I can't imagine how one (again, an infertile!) could get to 7 weeks without knowing. Get this. She had no clue. Her cycles were wonky from her PCOS, and she just thought she was lapsing back into her 45 to 60-day cycles again. So not only was she a "you never know" person, but she was also a "I didn't know I was pregnant!" person. (Ok, only for 3 weeks, but still.)

I have to add here that she was sweet enough to say to me, "you can be mad. And jealous. I know I would be." Seriously, what a great person - I truly am happy for her, despite my *green with envy* side.

And this is why I feel like my genius little plan was a backfire. Why did I skip sex two weekends ago? "You never know" people are all over the damn place. Yeah, I'm probably not going to be one of them (cough-45 cycles of BFNs-cough), but .... well, that's why they call them "you never know" people.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

My new cycle resolutions

in no particular order...

- I will exercise every day, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood after I put the kiddo down for bed. I will bring my gym clothes to work every day, in hopes of fitting in a real workout most days of the week.

- I will eat *fairly* well. By well, I mean I'll add more fruits & veggies as snacks, as well as yogurt and nuts. By fairly, I mean that I'll allow myself the occasional hershey's kiss.

- I will allow myself to stay home from work the day after the IUI, if I'm feeling as crappy as I did last cycle.

- I won't overly analyze everything that happens, and Dr. Google will not be consulted. All that jackass does is get me riled up unnecessarily.

- I am going to use up the two spa gift certificates I have. The first - a full body massage - I'll schedule for sometime towards the beginning of the cycle, before my ovaries get too sore to lay down on my belly. The second is for a facial, so maybe that will be during the 2ww. I've been dying to use these, and my husband doesn't know why I'm saving them.

- Yoga. I freaking love yoga. I don't do it nearly enough - probably because I only get the full effects by going to a class taught by a professional. The DVDs at home aren't usually as wonderful, but it's better than nothing. So to that end, I'm going to start looking for classes locally, and if I can't find them I will settle for doing it on my own.

The food and exercise related resolutions have already been put into action. I just need to be vigilant about keeping it up all next month, to minimize the discomfort and weight gain from bloating. I'll start this week on the yoga project.

How does that sound? Too strict? Anything else I can add? I haven't been charting, but my period should come in about a week or so. I'm sad to say that I've lost a grand total of two pounds on my month of healthy eating and exercising. Ugh. So I just need to do what I can for the next couple weeks before I start stimming again, because I really don't want to take another month off.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I got licked at daycare dropoff this morning

Not figuratively.


It was another kid in my son's class. He grabbed my arm, and I thought he was going to kiss me, but he licked. My son's face: horrified. (giggle) If there were a thought bubble over his head, it would have said, "that's MY mom you cheating sonofabitch!"

Did I mention, gross?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How do other people see me?

This has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm not sure how people view me, with regards to being infertile. I am very open about what we're going through (sometimes to a fault, I suppose), but I try to match the level of detail I share to the kind of relationship I have with a person. I have one friend who has been avoiding me - or at least I feel that she has - for over a month. Last time we got together, I was leading up to the most recent IUI, and she told me that she and her husband had started trying for their second child. I shared with her all about my injections, my follie count, my great lining, and my hope that I wouldn't get pregnant with quints. Now I've emailed her and called her a few times, and haven't heard back (though she's on facebook daily, so I know she's around and doing fine). My paranoia says that she got pregnant and now is afraid to face me.

About two weeks ago, just after I got my period, I had lunch with a different friend who I had been trying to connect with for some time. Our schedules just kept differing, and we each had to cancel a couple of times. Finally we got together, and one of the first things she shared with me was that she was really hoping that by the time we finally got together I would be pregnant .... "too." She was - what? - fearful? of telling me that she got knocked up, if I were still struggling.

I hate being seen as this fragile thing that can't take a friend's good news. Yes, yes, yes, of course I give the stink eye to pregnant women that I see when I'm out and about. (Especially if they have more than one kid already.) Strangers though. And yes I roll my eyes at all the "you never know!" stories that people tell me about their friends. Clearly I share Mel's sliding scale of happiness. But really, that's for strangers and celebrities. (At least, mostly.) I would never begrudge a friend her happiness, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't be bitter to her face. For the most part, my happiness level only goes up for fellow infertiles, rather than sinking down into jealousy, anger, or bitterness for my fertile friends.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My favorite one, so far

The newest Harry Potter movie, that is. Oh my goodness.

Ok, yes there were some things that bugged me. One or two things even that really bugged me. Let's start there, with the bad stuff. First of all, what the EFF is up with Dumbledore asking Harry if he & Hermoine were dating?! The Dumbledore I know would never ask that - it just rang silly. I liked the added Burrow attack scene, but why in the hell did they leave out the intense fight between Dumbledore's Army and the Death Eaters at the end? That is probably my biggest complaint about the movie. I loved that scene in the book, and they watered it down until it was barely recognizable. And the worst, the very worst thing about the whole fricken movie: Harry standing by idly while Snape murdered Dumbledore. Why? The book-Harry would never have stood there quietly; he would have fought. Hence JKR writing him under the Invisibility Cloak and petrified by Dumbledore: he didn't have a choice but to stand and watch. If he had a choice, he would have acted. I can't figure out why they made that change, what purpose it might have served. Then there was the Slughorn memory - the fake one, that is - it was not at all how I pictured it from the book. In the book she did such a great job of describing what a tampered-with memory would look like, and this didn't have that feel at all. They could have done more with that, in my opinion.

I also am confused by a few things. I'm not sure how they're going to hunt for Horcruxes in the final movies, when Dumbledore never explained to Harry what he thought the Horcruxes might be. Harry will be searching blindly. Unless Dumbledore leaves him a note, or maybe Hermione does her typical research and leads them in the right direction.

Ok, now for the good. This movie cracked me up. A lot. The Aragog scene: awesome. Lavender: brilliant. Hermione subtly teasing Harry about Ginny ("Harry really enjoyed dessert, didn't you Harry?"): perfect. It had so much more humor in it than the other movies, and it really added to its likeability. Another thing more heavily focused on that I enjoyed was all the relationship stuff. I loved how they portrayed the kids as ... well, as hormone-riddled teenagers. I also really, really liked Draco. That actor did a fantastic job with playing the role of being torn. I remember thinking he was a cute kid with a great sneer, but he really has grown as an actor. I loved the Hermione/Harry dynamic, and how much their relationship grew in this movie. Slughorn was great, and of course Snape was awesome as well ... I just wonder if maybe he didn't seem quite as evil and hate-worthy as he should at this point in the series. And then there was Bellatrix. Bellatrix, Bellatrix, Bellatrix. She is pure evil, crazy, taunting meanness. "I killed Sirius Black..." Fanfuckingtastic.

I can't wait for the last two movies. I wonder how many times I'll see this one in the theater?

And now I will leave you with one of the best lines from the movie:

Oh to be young and feel love's keen sting. ~Dumbledore

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I guess I'm just a dog person

I've always been a fan of vampire stuff: movies, TV shows, books. Of couse I probably liked The Count when I watched Sesame Street, and The Lost Boys was great (mmm, Keifer Sutherland, yummy), but my obsession started with the Anne Rice books. Then Buffy, and - embarrassingly - Twilight, and now the Sookie Stackhouse books and True Blood.

I had a weird love/hate relationship with the Twilight books. Edward just seemed too fatherly for me, and while I was hooked on the books, they really irritated me at the same time. Ever since the second book, New Moon, I rooted for Jacob. His character was so much more developed than Edward, his relationship with Bella was way more compelling, and she seemed to blossom with him in a way that she did not with Edward. They really had fun together, and didn't spend whole pages staring into each others eyes or glaring one another down. I knew how the book would end, I knew she'd never go with Jacob and that Edward would win out, and yet I really wanted Bella to come to her senses and choose Jacob.

Now my newest obsession in the vampire world is the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris, and the related HBO series, True Blood. I can't decide which I like better - the books or the TV show. I mean, on one hand, in the TV show, I don't have to trudge through Harris' choppy writing style, but when I'm reading the books, at least I don't have to hear Bill say "Suckah." (What's up with that anyway? Is that how they would have said Sookie in Louisiana in the 1800's?) Sam, I am happy to say, is as compelling on screen as he is in the books. I've only read through the second book and I'm still watching the first season of True Blood, so I don't yet know how it's going to go. But as of now, count me on Team Sam. (Not as nice a ring to it as Team Jacob, but I'm sticking with it.)

I started thinking this morning, maybe I'm just a dog person? The only other vampire series I was into that had a werewolf was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Seth Green's Oz was one of my favorites. As a love interest though, not so much. Then again, the vampires in that show (the love interest ones at least, Angel and then Spike) were so much more compelling and developed than Edward Cullen or Bill Compton (again, so far), and of course Oz was never in love with Buffy, so I didn't need to turn to the resident dog.

For now, I am very much rooting for Sam, but I fear he will go the way of Jacob. I'm at least hoping to not have to see Sam fall in love with ... well, I'll stop there in case you haven't read as much Twilight as I have.