Saturday, January 31, 2009

Unrelenting Drama

The rollercoaster never ends. The RE told me yesterday to double the 1upron and come back on day 2 of the bleed or in 7 days, whichever came first. Well, looks like I have another date with the dildocam tomorrow. That means we can still work with the holiday weekend, just shift the transfer dates forward a day or two.

I have a headache, but that could be from the 2 drinks I had while out with Princessoftides last night. Moderate cramps. Whatever.

Then there's the dip in the rollercoaster. The clinic is suddenly requesting more paperwork. Angrycanrn specifically asked the RE if there was anything else needed. Now, all of a sudden they are asking for more. This is disorganization. One thing we were asked for was faxed to them 2 weeks ago. This is the RE's fault. But what can we do at this point? All I can do is hope that this gets sorted out in time. I think I can stretch out the time a bit once I'm on the estrace and my lining's fluffy. (Can anyone confirm this?)

Trying very hard not to stress too much. This means I may have to wait until pretty much the last minute to book plane tickets and hotel. This may make both of those more expensive, but there's no point in stressing about that. Also, I already asked for the vacation days I thought I'd need. Now I'll have to find some excuse for needing flexibility.


Please keep Angrycanrn in your thoughts. She's on the road trip from Hell.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fucking ovaries! Who needs them!

Went in for a suppression check this morning. We (RE and I) decided that with my history of no to low response, I might be okay with just 10 days of 1upron so that we could schedule my transfer around the (U.S.) holiday weekend. Well, I probably should have known I wasn’t suppressed since I haven’t bled yet. Although, in my defense, I’ve never done suppression before. Turns out it was good I went in this morning, as I am to DOUBLE my 1upron dose. Yikes! Now I’m glad I didn’t go home from work with that migraine on Tuesday. I’m anticipating a worse one (or more).

Thanks for the comments on the last couple of posts. About the OB appointment. I called the recommended dr’s office. I was told I must be pregnant to even attempt to make an appointment, and then the dr will consider whether or not to accept me as a patient. I also called the hematologist’s office. (They are so nice there.) Got the name of an OB he likes. Unfortunately, that dr is not on my insurance plan. Out of network for pregnancy and delivery would just be insane. I think I would like to interview 2 or 3 OBs before deciding, like I did with REs. I will continue to ask around, and even though the idea freaks me out a bit, I may look at local IVF pregnancy message boards.

To the commenter on my last post who thought I was going to name a daughter “Nyah.” That made me smile this morning. “Nyah, nyah” is an American (I think) expression that the Urban Dictionary defines as “the verbal equivalent of sticking out your tongue” or saying, “So there!” It’s pronounced with a consonant “y”, not a long “i” “y”. (If anyone else can explain that better, please do.) Not going to reveal baby names here until said baby has arrived in the world.

Kristin you are such a sweetie! I have a feeling we will be talking in a few weeks. I hope I’ll be calling you for mommy advice by the end of the year.

Still keeping the giveaway deadline as midnight on February 3rd. Just a few more days until Mushy picks a winner. (Yes, I’ll take pictures.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Embracing Single Motherhood

This post was sparked by something a friend wrote in an email to me. So I thought I would just start typing and see what comes out.

I can’t say I haven’t had moments (some of them extended) of grief and sadness that I’m doing this on my own. I’m sure there will be more. But today I feel really good about it. Powerful, even.

It’s great to hear about the terrific hubbies and partners of my bloggy friends, but I must admit, that’s not so representative of the couples I know in real life. Yes, I do know some great couples, but I know even more unhappily married ones and divorced ones. Bad relationships make raising a child so much harder.

Just a couple of examples: I have one friend who tells me stories of fights with her husband that leave my jaw hanging open. The things he says! She then “forgets” these things and when I remind her of them, she usually responds, “Oh, yeah. That was bad.” They have a 7 year old with ADHD and other issues. This is not just an active child getting meds thrown at her. Without meds, this child is visibly uncomfortable in her skin. It was a major battle to get him to agree to get her properly tested. He was afraid of the stigma. I thought my head would explode over this. I wanted to shake him and scream, “LOOK AT HER! She’s a sweet, smart child, but she needs help!” They have excellent insurance coverage, yet recently her husband wanted to cut back on some of the therapy she’s getting, EVEN THOUGH IT’S COVERED, because it’s out of network, and they would have to pay up front and wait for reimbursement! WTF!!! Her response—“G has a lot of anxiety about money.” Sorry, not good enough when you’re talking about your child’s wellbeing.

Another example: My cousin has a 12 year old boy. She and her ex divorced several years ago. Ex had an affair (which my cousin didn’t know about until after the divorce was final), requested a divorce, but refused to move out until the divorce was finalized (said it was his attorney’s instructions, and oh, yeah, he continued the affair the whole time). Made both my cousin and her son miserable and continues to. My cousin acted as admirably as possible during the process, never badmouthing her child’s father to him, even gave up more than she should have financially just to have it over with. Idiot father continues to badmouth my cousin to the child and blame her for EVERYTHING! Recent craziness—boy was with his father a few months ago when we had the first snowfall of the season. He told the child (who told his mother) that he was going to call the “Feds” on her for not getting him snow boots. Why didn’t he have snow boots? Because 12 year old boys’ feet grow like weeds. She was waiting as long as she could so he wouldn't outgrow them too soon. Why didn’t his father buy him the boots? “I pay your mother child support so she can buy you everything!”

These are just two examples.

I will NEVER put my child through those kinds of things. Yes, I won’t have a spouse to help with an infant in the middle of the night, but many spouses don’t help that much anyway. (My most recent ex would have been NO help with an infant or toddler due to his disability.) I won’t feel pulled between giving my full attention to an infant and making sure a spouse isn’t feeling neglected. BIG BONUS OF SINGLE MOTHERHOOD—NO IN-LAWS! Have you read about Jen’s in-law nightmares? I never really felt this way before my last relationship, but my ex’s family, OH MY! His mother loved me, but she’s in her mid-80s, not so sharp anymore, and has no power in the family. His sister has treated me so badly and disrespectfully, when she really ought get down on her knees to thank me for saving her brother’s life. (Not exaggerating, long story.)

I get to make the decisions. All of them. My current pick for a girl’s name is one that my ex vetoed. Nyah, nyah! The name honors my father, who died when I was 17. It’ll be perfect for a feisty redhead. A boy will get my father’s name as a middle name. I’m a little stuck on a boy’s first name, but I have time.

I’m doing this alone, but really I’m not. I’m gathering a community. I’ve already talked to a few friends and family members about help in the beginning. I’m chatting up moms at my local Starbucks. Last weekend I met a cool SMC and her terrific 2 year old daughter there. They live just a couple of blocks away from me. (Hi!)

When I think about how Angrycanrn and I connected, and how WE are making this happen, I’m happily astonished. When I first started considering donor embryos I had an idea of the kind of open relationship I’d like between the families. We are exceeding my expectations. Even though she is not single by choice, she understands what it takes and has faith in me. I look at how she has handled the cards she’s been dealt, and I find incredible strength.

One day I’ll be ready for a romantic relationship again, but I won’t be looking for a father for my child. My child and I will be a complete family. Anyone else is gravy. Gravy is good, but we can do without it.

The cart before the horse? Help!

I’ve just gotten my second suggestion to book an OB appointment NOW! The first was from my internist, who said it might be hard to find an OB willing to work with my hematologist regarding lovenox injections during a pregnancy. The latest was from my massage therapist who is also a doula. She had a somewhat difficult pregnancy and recommended her high risk OB, who I’ve heard of, and who may take two months to get an appointment with. My MT says this OB will do what she can to have a vaginal delivery. Good quality in a high risk OB. Just to explain, I’m planning on a high risk practice because of my advanced maternal age (UGH!) and the lovenox. My hematologist wants me on a low dose of lovenox as a precaution due to my age and a mild case of Reynaud's.

Is this crazy? Jinxy? I know I can always cancel, but … YIKES! And what would I say when I call? Do I lie and say I just got a positive pee stick? Do I tell them I’m about to have a transfer of embies from a 23 year old egg donor, so I should be pregnant in a few weeks? If this cycle works, this is technically week one of my pregnancy, right? So, I could say I’m a week pregnant and let them make whatever assumptions they might make.

Help meeeeeeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lupron Migraine

Ouch! I feel crappy. Full out migraine with visuals. I used to have a chronic migraine problem, but I got it pretty much under control a few years ago. My secret? High doses of magnesium. I take 2500 mg of magnesium a day. My migraines are mostly atypical, no visual aura, pain mostly in the face. Cheeks, behind the eyes, forehead. In fact they were misdiagnosed as sinus headaches for many years. A few years ago I had my first "classic" migraine. They are so freaking weird! I've had them occasionally since then, but the aura always freaks me out. It's as if flashes have gone off in my face and the light spots are screwing with my field of vision. It usually takes me a few minutes to figure out what's going on, as the aura comes before the pain. I've had some spots on my retina in the past (probably from being a preemie) that could cause similar symptoms, so my initial reaction is, "Oh, shit! I've got to go to the opthalmologist!" But this comes on quickly, and very soon I'm having trouble seeing the computer screen or whatever, and realize the pain will hit soon.

I got one when I was on BCPs (yaz) one cycle to try to quiet my cysty ovaries, so I'm assuming it's the 1upron.

Some questions for 1upron and FET vets, when do I bleed? I've been shooting up 1upron for 7 days now. Not a spot. I had a fluffy 14mm lining on day 21 when I started 1upron, so I know I have to shed it to build a new one with estrace. Does a 1upron bleed feel like a regular period?

Am I the only geek who taps out the days of the week on her abdomen to figure out which side to inject?

Monday, January 26, 2009

I feel giddy! How weird is that?

First, I want to thank everyone for all their good wishes, and I want to apologize for being a lousy commenter lately. I feel even guiltier about the fact that it's usually serious, important posts that I am failing to comment on. The reason for that is that I need the time and mental focus to respond properly to something serious. Easier to dash off a quick comment about a lighthearted post. Please forgive me.

Now, as to the giddiness, I think hope has managed to sink its claws into me. Despite all the 1upron I've been injecting, I feel happier than I have in a long, long time.

Angrycanrn and I have been exchanging some serious, heartfelt emails. My heart is overflowing. She is my sister from another mother. If she needed a kidney, she could have one of mine.

I keep thinking about the embies. I'm in love already. In love with a child conceived 4 years ago. Wild!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mel’s Show & Tell — Frozen Embryo Transfer, Step by Step

For Show & Tell this week I thought I go over the steps of my frozen embryo transfer in plain English. Recently I have given my URL to people who don’t necessarily know how assisted reproductive technology works. So, I thought it would be helpful to explain what these next few weeks will be like.

I started a drug called 1upron last week on day 21 of my cycle. The reason for starting that day is that I should have ovulated by then. This is checked by an ultrasound (not so affectionately known as the dildocam) of my ovaries, where they look for a corpus luteum (an empty egg follicle) and a blood test. I inject the medication with a small, subcutaneous needle into my abdomen. No big deal. Stings for a half second, and I get a little itchy at the injection site, but that’s all. Its purpose is to shut down my ovaries, since we’re not using them for this. This is called the suppression phase of the cycle. Not all frozen embryo cycles are done with suppression, but it gives us more flexibility in timing the transfer.

After 14 days of 1upron injections I will go to my local clinic for another ultrasound and blood work to make sure my ovaries are suppressed. (Not anticipating that my poor, old girls will have a problem with this.) Then I stop the injections and start taking estrogen pills to build up my uterine lining. After 10 days of estrogen, back to the clinic for another date with the dildocam and more bloodletting. Hopefully, I will have a nice, fluffy lining. A soft bed of tissue for and embryo to dig in and stay for the duration.

Following a good lining check I will start progesterone. This is in the form of capsules inserted up my hoo ha. Some doctors prefer intramuscular injections of progesterone in an oil suspension. These are LONG, BIG GAUGE needles in the tushie. They need to me long to get into the muscle, and they need to be thick needles because it’s an oil suspension, so too thick to push through a thin needle. There have been many studies that show that vaginal progesterone is just as effective as a HUGE needle in the ass. I know there are exceptions to this, but I am relieved not to have to do it.

A few days after the lining check I will fly to the frozen tundra for my embryo transfer. I’m disappointed that Angrycanrn will be out of town, but I have been emailing another blogger in the area and we hope to meet up while I'm there. An embryo transfer is usually an easy procedure. I know what to expect from my IVF in November. Before the procedure I will drink a good deal of water to fill my bladder. I think this raises up the uterus, making it easier to visualize on the ultrasound. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this, internets. Some people find the full bladder to be the most uncomfortable part of an embryo transfer. I have good kegals (for now), so not a problem for me.

Okay, so … on the table, knees wide apart. Ultrasound is external (no dildocam), so my abdomen is gooped up with ultrasound gel. The tech will get my cervix and uterus on screen. The dr will thread a catheter past my cervix into my uterus. The embryologist will pass a syringe containing the embryos to the doctor, who will inject them through the catheter into my uterus. We should be able to see them on the ultrasound screen. Little bright dots in my uterus. (I love them already.) The dr will withdraw the catheter and pass it and the syringe back to the embryologist, who will check them under a microscope to make sure all the embryos are where they should be and that none are stuck to the catheter or syringe.

I will stay on the table for a while, then they will tell me it’s okay to get up and pee. I’ll go back to the hotel and take it easy for the rest of the day. Of course, I will blog about it! Maybe I’ll give out my hotel phone number by email and some of you can call.

I’ll fly home a day or two later. This is when the hard part really starts. THE TWO WEEK WAIT. Not always exactly 2 weeks, but that’s the phrase we use to refer to the crazymaking time until the official pregnancy blood test. Many of us are home pregnancy test addicts. POAS (Pee On A Stick) junkies. I’m ready. I have a box of 2 lst Response tests, and a bunch of ebay cheapies that are supposed to be generic lst Response. This is THE MOST STRESSFUL part of the process. I will be wondering about every little twinge, poking my boobs to see if they’re tender, debating with myself whether I’m tired from the stress, from the progesterone, or because I’m PREGNANT! Of course I also have to behave as if I were pregnant, so no booze to calm my frayed nerves. Chocolate consumption will increase.

Hopefully, by beta day (pregnancy blood test), I will have gotten clear positives on home pregnancy tests. I know it’s a possibility it won’t work. It will be agony if I don’t get pregnant from this transfer, but it won’t stop me from reaching my goal. We think I should have 2 or maybe 3 tries with these embryos. Can’t stop my multi-tasking mind from planning ahead.

A positive pregnancy test is the just first of many big hurdles to bringing home a baby, but it’s the biggest. Hope this transfer is the one!

Don’t forget to see what the rest of the class is showing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Party On, Duckies!

Ducks are pretty much in a row for my FET. Lupron is a breeze compared to mixing up vials of stims. Now that we’re really rolling, do you know what that means? We finally have a date to end my giveaway. I had arbitrarily set the end of the giveaway for the start of estrace. That should be February 3rd. So, you have until midnight on February 3rd to make at least a $5.00 donation to help Cara at Building Heavenly Bridges start up her support group for parents dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. The winner will receive a beautiful custom made hat from The June Bride. The hats are so soft, well made, and just adorable. (Hint, hint, you might want to bookmark her Etsy shop, since someone you know may have a Fall baby!)

I’m going to let my cat, Mushy, choose the winner. I will write all the entries on pieces of paper and arrange them face down on my bed, then I will bring Mushy in and see which one he lies down on.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Photo Tag from Kristin

I'm so bad at tags. There have definitely been a few in the past month or so that I haven't done. Sorry. This one from Kristin at The Fertile Infertile is fun though. As usual, I will not tag anyone else. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged.

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same. (consider yourself tagged)

The actual 4th picture in the 4th folder in my disorganized pictures folder was from my ex's annual "cousin's day" gathering at a local beach a year and a half ago. Not putting that here. So I chose the 4th photo in my pictures folder not in a subfolder.

This is a photo that Angrycanrn emailed me of the bracelet she made for me to wear at my transfer, after having a very vivid dream about it.

BTW, Angrycanrn, I'm going to need that in a few weeks!


Welcome ICLWers. There are some select posts listed on my sidebar that give an overview of my story. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day of Hope x 2!

Today, as we enter a new, hopeful era for our country, I take a new, hopeful step towards motherhood. That’s right, my sweet peeps! An hour and 45 freaking minutes(!) at my clinic this morning for b/w, u/s and instructions, meds delivered to my office, and tonight I get to shoot up my first 1upron dose for my donor FET.

Our president spoke to my heart today in his inaugural speech. I found myself tearful several times. I am filled with the promise of this legacy for all of our children.

Here are just a couple of passages that spoke particularly to my emotions today.

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.”

My dear internets, we are “the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things.” Just think, for example, of all the good done through the fundraising efforts of the UTERUS Brigade. And then my own situation. Angrycanrn and I are risk-takers, doers, and hopefully, makers of babies. This is not a path for the “faint-hearted.”

This passage speaks to me for obvious reasons,

“For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.”

And BTW, bless him for including “non-believers.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

Why don’t you just adopt?

THIS is why. My heart just breaks for Pepper. Devastating. Absolutely devastating. For her, as a single woman, to be chosen by a birth mother is rare. To have it snatched away 38 hours after she held the birth mother’s hand as she pushed out the baby girl, and was the first to hold her. Unthinkable. The nursery was ready. She’d flown to be there at the birth with a suitcase filled with clothes and bottles for this little girl. I can’t imagine how unbearable it will be to unpack.

This is why people spend enormous amounts of money (which I don’t have) on international adoption. I know myself well enough to know that I couldn’t handle what Pepper has just been through. Couldn’t handle the “foster to adopt” system either.

Pepper, know that you are in my thoughts a lot right now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mel’s Show & Tell — The first (and only) baby gift

Baby stuff before pregnancy. Broad spectrum of feelings about this. My bff has been buying baby/children’s things for decades. She has an enormous collection of children’s books. I’ve been sort of superstitious about it. I’ve bought nothing. But I have one thing.

When I took my pre-IVF European vacation last May, like with IF research, I googled my fingers to the bone. I learned of this company through an article in the NY Times (see item 4). I had a lovely dinner at the home of a young Dutch couple. Their little boy was about nine months old at the time. I met him for a little while before he went to bed. (I have to say, Dutch babies and children are so freaking cute!) We talked about our respective cities, work, vacations, and … well … babies. Yeah, I blabbed my story. Part of taking this trip was to get my head somewhat centered before starting my IVF cycle in June (which was cancelled, hard to believe it took me from then until November to get through a cycle), so it came up. Turns out they had their own alternative babymaking story. Well, not theirs personally, their boy was conceived the non-medical way. But the husband’s sister is a lesbian in a committed relationship, and they are trying to have a child.

It was one of the first times I told anyone other than close friends of my alternative family building plans. They were so wonderful, and wished me much luck. When I was saying goodbye, the wife handed me a small package. The little onesie pictured below. As she handed it to me she said, “Your baby’s coming. I can feel it.”

Don’t forget to see what the rest of the class is showing.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hey, Lurky Loos! Say hello!

I think this is still Delurking Week.

Sorry I haven't been writing. Nothing much happening as I wait for the ducks to be in a row so I can start 1upron. And as usual, waiting suuuuuuuuucks! Chocolate is my BFF!

But I really want to hear from my lurkers. Please say hi or give me an opinion on something (as long as it's civil). Feel free to comment on an older post. I know you're out there. Jump in, the water's warm.

Especially those real life people I've given the blog URL to! Show yourselves.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Vote for The Stirrup Queen!

Early and often.

The awesome Mel at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters is a finalist in the Weblog Awards under best medical/health blog. Here are the details. Click here to vote. You can vote once a day. A vote for Mel is really a vote for all of us. If her blog wins it brings more attention to the causes that are dear to our hearts.

Mel does so much for us all. All it takes is two clicks to pay it forward.

Also, don't forget, there's still time to enter in the giveaway for a custom made baby or toddler hat! Just $5 for an incredible cause!

"It must be in the wrist."

I thought I'd share some silliness I stumbled on. This is so funny.

Then I started thinking, what if someone did dramatic readings of blog posts? Uh, oh!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

High Anxiety!

This post has been cooking in my head for a while. Guess I should just let it out.

As I get closer to my donor FET my anxiety level is rising. Cycling with my own poor old ovaries, I had a less than 50% chance of success. With these donor embryos, my chances go up to the mid double digits. Seems impossible to quantify my chances before seeing how they survive thawing. So many “what ifs” going through my head.

Hope is wonderful. Hope is scary. The fear of all that could go wrong. Wondering if there will be a baby at the end of this crazy roller coaster ride. Incredulous that this process could really result in a screaming, pooping, boob sucking infant. Afraid that it won’t and I’ll have to get more cats. My uterus is untested. No reason to think it can’t support a pregnancy, but I’ve never been pregnant, so I really don’t know.

All of this is out of my control. I’ve done the best I can by finding a clinic whose lab has an excellent reputation. I have so many wonderful people hoping for my success. That’s an incredible blessing. But I can’t help feeling like my uterus is a craps table and we’re getting ready to roll the dice. Luck be a lady, and send me 2 lines!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pay it Forward Fridays — Because it’s FUN!

I’m in waiting mode again. Due to the timing of my cycle and other logistics, I won’t be starting lupron for another few weeks. Looks like a mid February transfer. My way of coping? Step up paying it forward. Good distraction. And as I’ve said before it just feels good to do something unexpected for someone else.

So, this week a blogger who recently had a birthday, and is dealing with some very difficult things right now, will be receiving a present soon. I’ll leave it up to her if she wants to show it to all of you. I also found something special for Kristin’s secret project. Email her if you want the secret details.

Oh, not to be pushy or anything, but don’t forget that just a $5.00 donation to help Cara at Building Heavenly Bridges start up her support group for parents dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss with enter you in a drawing for a beautiful custom made hat from The June Bride. Read this post for details. Still going with the start of estrogen as the end date for the giveaway, so there’s some extra time for me to keep nagging for $5.00.