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.