Friday, September 26, 2008

I've been tagged, but I will not tag others

I've been tagged by Nity and Rebel with similar tags. I'm not going to tag anyone else, but I will make a list.

Nity's is "Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself."
Rebel's is "Share 6 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself."
  1. I love to cook, but hate doing dishes. I would cook more if dirty dishes weren’t part of the equation.
  2. I talk to strangers. And not just on the internet! I have meaningful conversations with people on public transportation, on line at the supermarket, waiting at a crosswalk for a red light to change, etc.
  3. I love power tools. Give me a pile of baseboard and a miter saw and I’m a happy girl. Measure twice, cut once! :-)
  4. I’m afraid of how big my boobs will get when breastfeeding. I’m a curvy woman with a small frame. I wear a size 32DDD (US size) bra. (I’m not skinny, I just don’t have back fat. Belly, thighs, arms, yes, but back, no.) I’m afraid I’ll look like I could feed a dozen when I’m lactating. Will a cute baby distract people from staring at my HUGE boobies? Dark clothes for me, bright clothes for baby?
  5. I love it when my 10 year old niece says she got her sense of humor from me.
  6. I love fat babies. Pretty much the fatter the better. Nice chins, deep hand and elbow dimples, thigh rolls, etc. Mmmmm, just bitable. Especially fresh from the bath.
  7. I’m a chocoholic. This site in mecca. Nuff said.

Bus blogging

I’m on a bus. With WiFi!!!

I so needed a break. This process has been depressing. My mind is cluttered and so is my apartment. My apartment completely reflects my mental state at the moment. Not good. Lots of dust bunnies. Hard to relax and quiet my mind when my surroundings are chaotic.

When I was having my meltdown over the spilled meds, I was on the phone with my ex (we’re still close, long story), and he said he would give me $$ for more. So when trying to figure out if I could get away, I thought if he offered to help with that, how about some help for my mental health. I asked if he could loan me a little so I could get away for a few days, and that I didn’t know when I’d be able to pay him back (when I’m pg?). He was able to loan me enough to cover 2 nights in a hotel with the awesome deal I got on price1ine. So I am on a Bo1tbus to DC. Bo1tbus is a division of Greyh0und created to compete with all the Chinatown buses that go between NYC and DC and NYC and Boston. They are new buses with 2 rows removed for extra legroom and have outlets in the seatbacks, and WIFI!!! It was only about $10 more roundtrip than the other bus services, which can be dubious. I’ve never had a problem on those buses, but whenever I hear of an accident with buses on these routes, it’s always the Chinatown buses

Cool to be literally blogging from the road. The rain has stopped for the moment. I think the clouds and rain will be around for most of the weekend, but so what. This is about taking a break from my life and surroundings. I’m going to take long hot baths (my privilege, since my cycle was cancelled), go to a museum or two, browse some stores, but mainly chill. Maybe I’ll go to Lush in Georgetown and buy a bunch of bath fizzies, get a bottle of wine or something, and soak away some of the tension in my neck and shoulders. I love taking baths in nice hotels. Someone else scrubs the tub for you!! Woo hoo!

Update: Plan A, Plan B, and Plan B Version 2

Do you think it’s crazy to work on all plans at once? I think it actually makes me feel more peaceful.

Plan A. My gametes. Not working out so well. Woke up with my period yesterday morning. Hustled my ass out the door to the clinic. Cysts again. I really wasn’t surprised. Two, 13 and 17mms, I think. Even though the REs say it’s not likely, I’m not convinced that the birth control pills I took before this last cycle didn’t oversuppress me. So this time we’ll do nothing and hope they resolve. Maybe I’ll do an non-medicated IUI or home insem this month.

Plan B. Donor embies. I spoke to the woman with the 8 embies. They are at a clinic on the other side of the country. She insists they stay there. She gets to call the shots. She was surprised about the FDA issues, and told me I should speak to the coordinator at the clinic. She said she would call to give the woman a heads up. I got an email from her shortly after we spoke saying that the coordinator said she was aware of the FDA regs and that they were exempt. Hmmmm, that seems odd to me, but I will get clarification. The coordinator said I needed to call the new patient coordinator to set up a phone consult (which, thankfully, will be free). I have an appt for Oct. 6th. The time difference works out great. I can get home without rushing and take the call there. Dealing with drs’ calls at work has been a problem. I wish she were willing to have the embies shipped closer to me. Although, even if she were willing, those regs could be an obstacle.

This situation is so far from set. The donor will be in town visiting family in a few weeks and we will try to meet. I need to find out all sorts of info from the clinic. Who knows, this might not work for so many reason. I think she and I need to feel a certain comfort level with each other. Since we haven’t spoken at length yet, I have no idea what criteria she has for her decision. I want to see the egg and sperm donors’ profiles. There might be something there that I’m not okay with. Or it could be wonderful!

Plan B Version 2. My baby’s coming. I need to believe that. I’m clinging to that. Whether from my old ovaries, from this woman’s embryos, or from another source. Plan B Version 2 is still unknown. Since I am only in the beginning of discussion about these 8 embies, I am VERY open to talking to anyone else about their spare embies. I would like some sort of open donation, with some mutually agreed upon contact, so the children can know each other. My doctors feel confident my uterus can grow a baby. Could you be my donor?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can you feel the love?


This community of women has sustained me more than I could ever imagine. I posted about my g0nal-f angel who donated her meds to me. It felt very important to me to pay forward this generosity. So I have done 2 things.
  1. My “angel” told me she admires the work done by Doctors Without Borders and donated to them in the past. I wholeheartedly agree that this is a very worthwhile organization. I made a donation to them in her honor.
  2. I wanted to pay it forward directly within our community. I posted to the U.T.E.R.U.S. group about making a donation. I received an email from Mel that they are still in the planning stages for their next recipient. (You know their first recipient is preggers!! YAY Cali!) Mel suggested that I “take a look down the LFCA today and see someone who is in need of some cheering. And then send something to brighten their day.” I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! So someone special is getting a gift from Etsy. I will leave it up to her to reveal herself or not. It was a joy to choose something for her.
This has been a wonderful experience. One I plan to repeat for no particular reason.

If you’re feeling the love today, pass it on!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tree P0rn for Calliope

Calliope of Creating Motherhood has made a request for "tree p0rn."

Cali's definition of tree p0rn:
"And for those that may not know what I mean by that I will explain. You know how the trees in your backyard or neighborhood park suddenly change from green to red or yellow? The colors and display are so stunning and vibrant that they make you gasp like a hawt and dirty centerfold might? That is tree p0rn. And where I live it doesn’t happen."

It's too early here, but I have some cool night shots from last year.

For you Cali.

BTW, the lovely glow in the photos is from the street lights on my block. Oh, urban wilderness!

More political musical comedy

By popular demand. Oh, alright, 'cause I think it's funny.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Plan B

I had a follow-up with my RE this morning. He was a little more hopeful than the other one, but still realistic. He said my chances of success with my own eggs were somewhere between 0-8%. He will not go to retrieval with less than 3 follicles, but said that even if I’m not really responding, I can continue stims if I want and if I don’t get 3 follies for IVF, we can do an IUI.

I want to at least get to the point of transferring SOMETHING. I think then I can move on with some peace.

Plan B for me is embryo donation. Egg donor is beyond my means. I would like an open donation, with some mutually agreed upon contact. After all, my child and the embryo donor’s child would be full genetic siblings. This feels right to me. I don’t feel comfortable with the agencies that treat embryo donation like adoption. Also, that is just as expensive as adoption, which is beyond my means.

Okay, here’s where the story gets interesting. Wednesday I was looking on a site that facilitates matches between embryo donors and recipients. I saw a donor profile that looked like a fantastic match, but before paying the (reasonable) fee to email the donor, I wanted to do a little research about the site. I have no idea how well the site is updated and how current the profiles are. So I posted some questions about the website to a yahoo group that was set up months ago by a single mom who donated her leftover embryos to another single women. The group was set up with the purpose of connecting single women with embryos with single women looking for embryos. After an initial flurry of introductions, the group has been pretty quiet. I got a few responses to my questions throughout the day. Just before I left work there was a new response. It was from the woman whose profile seemed so right for me!! Within hours of reading her profile, she contacted me! I did not mention a specific profile at all in my questions to the yahoo group.

We have been emailing and playing phone tag since Thursday. She has a 4 year old from the fresh cycle of these embies. The embies were created with donor egg and sperm. My main concern right now, after talking to 2 REs about embryo donation, is whether this donation would be legal under the current FDA guidelines for tissue donation. My RE says they can’t handle them if they don’t meet FDA criteria. He thinks she may have gotten a verbal okay over the phone or something from her clinic about donating the embies to another woman. I hope he’s wrong. Or that, even if they don’t meet the criteria, her clinic is willing to transfer them into another woman. So, obviously, this question is now at the top of the list.

A rollercoaster of hope and disappointment. I’m looking forward to talking at length with this woman. Even if we are not a good fit or if we can’t make this work from a technical standpoint, I love what she is trying to do. What an awesome gift to give another woman, and what an awesome gift to give her son a sibling this way. New and exciting ways to create families! Wonderful.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Peeing on sticks in the office ladies room

Good times. Squinting at the damn thing in the lousy lighting.

Well, I’m surging. Going to let it go this month. DD lives about 2 hours away. Today is no good for him and has a meeting until 930pm tomorrow. It would be too complicated, and I’m too stressed already. Besides, the chances of it working are insanely low. On the other hand, I’m just relieved that I’m surging and will ovulate this month. I’ve been afraid that I wouldn’t ovulate and would wind up all cysty again when I get my period. Not that it still couldn’t happen again. After being cancelled 3 times because of cysts, I’ve begun to expect them.

I’m starting to wrap my brain around giving up on my ovaries. I had a phone consult today with an RE at another clinic who I had a consult with when I was trying to choose a clinic. I told him what’s been happening and asked, “Do you think you can get some eggs out of my ovaries?” I can’t fault him for his honesty. His reply: “Probably not.” He said the prognosis is based on all the factors, my age, my FSH levels, and now, my failure to respond to a very high does of stims. He said that I was on a “massive” dose of stims and that I wasn’t a “big woman.” (Gee, that’s the nicest thing a doctor has said to me in a long time. Unless he was referring to me being short.) He thought the slight change in protocol might make a difference next time, but if it didn’t, he didn’t think the microflare protocol would make a difference either.

So, for now I’m trying to find some peace (I’m insanely wound up) and go into this next cycle somewhat detached. If a miracle happens, I’ll be overjoyed, but I can’t be hopeful about my ovaries any more. I’m also starting to do more research on plan B. I’ll write about that soon.

Just grieving.

Soldier boy

Here's a picture of me and J. Sorry about the blurred faces, but no one in my "real life" knows about this blog, and I like it that way!

I always think of him this time of year. This year probably a little more, since my last relationship ended in the Spring. Haven't had sex since May. What can I say, the strapping young man has been on my mind. Oh, it's not worth opening up old wounds, but it's good for the occasional fantasy. Lately I have felt the urge to initiate contact, but I keep reminding myself that I'm already feeling emotionally fragile from this TTC mess, I don't need to add to my heartache. But, damn, the sex was goooooood. And we really did love each other. I'll always have love for him in my heart, and I believe he feels the same way about me.

Be safe J.

Friday, September 12, 2008

One minute to midnight

That’s when my post for the Bridges 100 Words Project commemorating September 11th was posted. One minute to midnight. That where I feel I am with regard to conceiving a child with my own eggs. Will I conceive before the witching hour, when all I have are rotten eggs? When I wrote the last sentence of my post, ‘I hope it helped him feel heard.’, it hit me how that applies to sharing my thoughts here. It’s hard to feel heard about TTC in real life, where bellies and strollers are everywhere. I feel so welcomed and heard in this community. Thank you all!

Back to the 100 Words Project, if you haven’t read the wonderful posts, you must! I particularly identified with this one. The world was a different place for a while. New York was a very different place. We made eye contact … with tears in our eyes. Together, we looked up at the fighter planes overhead and shuddered. We comforted each other however we could.

So many memories from that time etched in my brain. I’ll never forget the firefighter I wrote about. The exhaustion and sorrow in his face. How many of his friends were gone. Dust and fragments. OMG, the dust. It was everywhere and it was everything. I mean EVERYTHING. You know, people. Every time I looked at the dust on my shoes or clothes, or on the tissue I blew my nose with, I thought of all the people, reduced to dust. At one of the respite centers run by the Red Cross (at a St Johns University building) we had to hose off our shoes before entering. Still, enough was tracked in and ground into the terra cotta tiled main floor, that I was told they had to replace all the tile. I remember the nights in the beginning, when they had a dinner cruise ship docked nearby for the workers to take breaks to rest and eat. The galley was manned by chefs from local restaurants, volunteering their time. Chefs are known for their egos. They are not generally thought of as a cooperative bunch, but when I walked through the galley at 5:30am, they were all slicing up bagels. Something they would never do in their own restaurants.

There were those who wanted to talk about what they were experiencing, and those who just wanted a distraction for a little while. We got a good Scrabble game going one night. There were computers donated to distract the workers on break. I remember the female police officer I helped search ebay for wedding dresses. The other volunteers from NY and other parts of the country. I remember one woman telling me she was sorry about what happened to my city.

Then there was J. My boy. Yup, I fell in love at Ground Zero. With a Catholic, Republican, National Guardsman from Buffalo, 10 years my junior. He fell for a smart mouthed, Jewish, liberal Democrat, older, New Yawker. We weren’t meant to be long term, but we loved each other with full hearts. If I close my eyes I can almost feel the texture of his uniform against my cheek. So surreal for this liberal pacifist with civil disobedience training. (Never had to use those skills, but I know how to safely go limp during a protest. You go limp so you can’t be accused of resisting arrest.) We haven’t been in touch in nearly 4 years, but of course I always think of him this time of year. I wonder if these last years of W’s administration have changed his political thinking. The way this administration has treated our soldiers is such a disgrace. Military contractors are being paid extremely well, while families of our troops are on food stamps to survive. Soooooo wrong!

Don’t really have a cohesive point to these memories, rants and ramblings, but here they are.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I feel broken. My ovaries are broken. My uterus was broken, I had it fixed, but I’m too broken to make anything to put in there. My heart is broken. My brain … well, let’s just say I’m walking into a room and forgetting what I went there for a lot lately. I’m so tired. Physically and emotionally. I know some of you have been at this for years, but I’m really wondering how much more I can handle.

This cycle went so badly, I’m losing what little hope I had. When I went in last Thursday after 7 days of stims, I was expecting bad news. That didn’t make it easier. A few follicles under 8mm on one side, nothing on the other. Benched. After the indignity of the dildocam, the dr said, “If you want to try again, come in when you get your period.” IF!?! Fuck! Then he asked if I was okay. No, I’m not. He asked if I wanted to talk to one of the social workers at the clinic. I know he meant well, but something about his tone didn’t work for me. (Oh, the joys of a group practice.) I just wanted to get out of there before the tears came.

My best friend’s baby shower on Saturday was difficult to get through. My gifts were a huge hit. (LOVE ETSY!) I was really hoping to be pregnant by now. I guess I should feel lucky to have received only one insensitive comment, but with all the extra hormones in me, it really hurt!

Spoke with the RE on Monday about changing things for next time. We’re going to try c1omid instead of letr0zole with the shots for the first 5 days. I keep reading about c1omid rage. Fun. I also have a call in to an RE at another clinic I consulted with months ago about his opinion on these last few months and my almost total lack response to the protocol. Maybe I’ll switch clinics. I don’t know. I just feel I have to do SOMETHING to improve my chances.

Thanks to those who commented about home insems. I’ve been peeing on OPKs twice a day since Sunday night, so I don’t miss the surge. There’s been a faint line, but definitely not a +. At least at first, I think the line could have been from the LH in the repr0nex. I’ve now read the info out how to do it, and feel ready if I manage to ovulate. I was trying to find out if there’s a difference in the success rate between using a syringe or a diaphragm or instead cup. I’m going to go with the syringe, because I’m too afraid of spilling the seed with the diaphragm or instead cup. I’ve never been very skilled at inserting them.

The good news! I have an angel!

Last Thursday was a fucking rollercoaster. Went to work after the crap at the clinic. I was barely holding it together. Concentrating on work wasn’t happening. So I’m reading blogs and message boards, when I see a post from someone about leftover meds. This wonderful angel, who has a 4 week old daughter, was cleaning out her fridge and found a whole bunch of unexpired meds. She bought them for a cycle, and wound up pregnant on her own! (After many failed cycles!! Okay, she was 40 and I’m 45, but still!) I sent her a message and we started emailing. She is giving me a full cycle’s worth of g0na1-f!!! I wanted to do something for her, but she insists that’s not necessary. (I did buy a little something for her daughter from Etsy that should arrive before I meet her on Monday.) I’ve decided I need to pay it forward. I will be making a donation to help someone else on this journey. I haven’t figured out the details yet, but will soon. I’m going to try to blog about it during IComLeavWe. Maybe I can inspire others to do it as well.

I have very little faith in my ovaries at the moment, but I have enormous faith in this incredible community of women helping each other on this very tough road.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Home insems? A call for info.

Even though this ivf cycle is a bust, I've been thinking that after 7 days of stims, I could possibly ovulate more than 1 egg this month. So I'm thinking of trying a home insem for the first time. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I know I could google for the info, but I know you women will understand when I say my brain is just so rattled right now. So if anyone can direct me to some good sites or has personal experience they can share, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, peeps!!

Score one for the single mom to be!

Still not ready to write about the last few days. There has been some good in the midst of the mess, and I want to tell you all about it, but ...

Anyway, re the title of this post, yesterday at my friend's shower I was talking to 2 women, a mother and daughter. The daughter is about my age. We were talking about my efforts to conceive. The mother said to me, "You're planning on doing this on your own? That's so hard!" I smiled and agreed with her that it would be hard, "but not as hard as not having a child I desperately want." I watched my words hit her. She paused and said, "Yes, that's true."

Score one for CHOICE!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I've been too depressed/upset to post. Cycle was cancelled on Thursday after 7 days of stims due to lack of response. BFF's baby shower was today. I'm in a bad place.

Will write when I can.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

IVF meltdown - I fucked up!

WARNING: many expletives in this post

I just wasted hundreds of dollars worth of meds. Oh, I envy those of you with pen injectors. I was mixing up my 8 vials and didn't realize the needle was loose. When I was mixing the last vial I suddenly had it all over my hands. The syringe was empty! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Major meltdown. Wailed and sobbed for almost a half hour. Big snotty cry. Ya think I'm hormonal? Nah, my fucking estradiol was at 20 this morning after 5 fucking days of stims! Looking at all those wasted empty vials just freaked me out.

I finally calmed down enough to start over. Got the 8 vials in my belly this time. My head is killing me. I feel like an idiot. If I got this hysterical over this, how the hell am I going to deal with all the other crappy things that can happen? What a joy this will be to tell the clinic about on Thursday.

Have I mentioned lately how much it fucking sucks doing this as a single girl spinster?