Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We're coming out...

We spent the weekend in Di.sney1and with my mom, her partner, gramma, and aunt (and some cousins). They knew we have been TTC without success for some time, but not much more than that. I don't tell my mom because she stresses me out with all her questions. But now that we are thinking of moving on from treatments, we wanted to tell them what we have been doing and where we are now. It's funny because just talking about it and saying it out loud to someone other than each other makes "thinking about adoption" turn into "we are adopting." It is scary but exciting at the same time. They had a great reaction. My aunt is very over the top and was grabbing the wine bottle to fill up for a toast. My mom said that she has a coworker who flew out the day her daughter had a placement just like you fly out for a baby. So I was happy with how the conversation went. The only negative comment was my mom's partner who said we should get a kid already housebroken when we talked briefly about getting a baby or older child. Of course, she routinely talks about my nieces and nephews as pets that need to be trained, so her comments on children are usually ignored anyway.

I guess what I am feeling the most now is relief. I'm not sure if that is normal, but I feel glad that we have a plan now. There are still many decisions to figure out, but I think this is a good decision for us. I am also feeling anxious to get home so we can start researching the path ahead.

In other news, I spent the weekend reminding myself of good things that come from not being pregnant. First on the list? Spa.ce Moun.tain!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What a day

Yesterday was a very long day. And I'm not sure when it is considered over since I only managed to get 2 hours of sleep. That is more like a nap than a night's sleep.

I made plans with my sister yesterday morning for her to pick up all her kids' presents that our mom has been sending to my house to hide from them. She ended up bringing her good friend, which I was a little disappointed by. Not because I don't like her friend, but I wanted some time for a sisterly chat. After exchanging the presents we went out for coffee. I ended up bringing up what I wanted to talk about anyway. I figured that if we are going to move to adoption, then we have to start talking about it publicly. And actually, one of the things that I feel I will miss with adoption rather than pregnancy is the public sharing of joy in the expectation. So if I want people to start sharing in our joy, then we need to share with them.

My sister told me she told her friend about our fertility issues, but I guess she didn't. Anyway, I brought it up and filled her in quickly and that we were thinking of moving to adoption. They both thought that was a great plan and that not only would we be great parents, but even better have the special abilities it takes to adopt given everything that comes with it. At one point we were all in tears, but in a good way.

They did jump to saying we should adopt from Haiti, which I didn't like. Not that we have ruled that out (we haven't made any decisions yet about types/locations of adoption) but to be honest we are not adopting due to a 'save the world' mentality. We are where we are because we know we are meant to be parents, have much love to give to a child/children, and have reached as far as we are comfortable going with fertility treatment. That we can help a "needy" child (I don't like that term) or save the world from overpopulation are more like bonuses that come with it rather than decision factors. Is that wrong? Does that mean we are not meant to adopt?

We also talked about how our family might react to a child who is adopted, which I'll save for another post.

After this emotional morning, I went into work and exchanged presents with my assistant. I was tempted to tell her more about our IF experience, but didn't because the office was actually pretty packed considering finals are over and students should be heading out for break. And I was glad that I didn't because what did I open but her family Christmas card. Not only did it have her new grandbaby plastered all over it, but it even had pictures of her oldest daughter and baby still in the hospital! She is many months old already, so I don't understand why they are going with an older picture.

AF has not arrived yet, but I have all my usual pre-AF symptoms today and heavy spotting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Not this time

I was not supposed to test until Sunday, but I couldn't resist this morning. BFN. Again. I also started spotting. Ugh. Just let this be over by Christmas Eve.

In other news, remember my assistant with her new grandbaby? The past two days she made me watch about 4 videos of the baby eating. Apparently she is eating more foods now and deciding what she likes or doesn't like. The thing is, even if it wasn't painful to think about babies, I wouldn't be interested in repeated videos of a baby eating.

After the latest video yesterday, I must not have seemed too enthused because then she started to explain that she gets so excited over the baby because her daughter was trying for a while and used fertility treatments, so this baby was long wished for. I did sneak in, ever so slightly, that I know what that feels like, although it wasn't clear if she caught it. I don't know if I should say more. She has also made a couple of references to going baby crazy if I ever have a baby.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday letter

I'm writing our annual holiday letter. As usual, I am including a bunch of pictures from the year. But I can't include pictures of what defines this year the most for us. I mean, I do have a couple of pictures of my meds and my Sock it To Me socks in stirrups. And I would especially love to send those to the people currently stuffing my mailbox with adorable, loving family/baby pictures. But something tells me it is just not appropriate. So I guess we'll be sticking with traditional vacation pictures this year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One week

(with apologies to BNL)

It's been one week since she looked at me,
Cocked her head to the side and measured my ovary.
Five days since you triggered me, saying
Don't be together but come back and see me.
3 days since the IUI,
I realized it's all my hopes could be filled but couldn't think it.
Yesterday, the doubts began,
But it'll still be 10 days til we know for sure.

Stickity bravelle, the needle is stickin'
Have an ultrasound and see my follies kickin'
Watchin' Guiliani with no lights on
We're dans la maison
I hope the IVF works in this one.
With all these meds I'm gettin' frantic.
Can't do yoga that is tantric,
Because I'm all about the ovaries.
You try to stimulate, get the ovidrel,
and then they bust through.
Gonna make a break and take a fake,
I'd like a stinkin' achin' shake.
I like chocolate cuz it's the richest of the flavors.
Gettin' ultrasound, cause then they'll know,
The vertigo is gonna grow.
Confused whose sperm it is,
You'll have to sign a waiver.

It's been one week since the trigger shot,
Pushed my ovary along and said that it's time.
5 days since the IUI, I've still got the socks I wore in the stirrups.
3 days since the symptoms came,
I realized it's early, but what could I do?
Yesterday, I blogged about it,
But it'll still be 5 days til we know for sure.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Everywhere again

Remember a few weeks ago when I noticed that everywhere I turned, there was a reminder about infertility? Well, now it seems like there are reminders everywhere about adoption. Today I was walking across campus and saw a sign that said Adopt a Child Today." It took me a few moments before I realized it was a reference to a holiday Angel Tree event by some student group.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Third time's the charm?

Our third IUI with injectibles was today. The SA was the worst of the bunch, probably because hubby's been sick the past few days. Despite that I am feeling somewhat hopeful today. My test day is actually when we will be out of town for the holiday, but if I get a BFP on an hpt, they can find a lab out there for betas. So we can potentially have a very merry Christmas. Or not.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My assistant

I hired a new assistant a few months ago. In nearly all respects, she has made my life significantly better. I really couldn't ask for a better assistant. Except in this one area. She loves talking about babies. She has a new granddaughter, so it is natural that she would gush all over her and fill her desk with baby pictures.

And then yesterday I was sick and of course emailed her that I won't be in and to take care of a few things while I was gone. Today I was back at work and she told me how worried she was about me. I said it seemed to be a 24 hour bug and was feeling better today. She replied that she was hoping I had the 9 month flu. Suddenly I felt like I was punched in the gut again.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Worst timing ever

So yesterday I actually went to bed feeling well emotionally, and even some hope this cycle might work. And then today I woke up vomiting. I was worried it was due to my meds, but I called the nurse and she didn't seem to think so, especially since I have no other symptoms. The plan is still for me to trigger tonight and the IUI is scheduled for Thursday.

The good news is that I am now sure this illness is not due to my meds. The bad news is that I know this the hubster is now sick as well. Ugh.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Magic number three

Things went well at my monitoring appointment today. The two follies on my left are developing, and one on the right has caught up. I trigger tomorrow for IUI on Thursday.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Is it over yet?

I am not sure how I am going to make it through the holidays in one piece. It's only 2 days past Thanksgiving and I've already broken down in tears once. I moped around the house all day today. I am usually excited to go shopping and put up decorations, but now I am approaching it as a task to get done. Everything related to Christmas feels like a chore. We were at the mall and I found some nice men's sweaters and figured, "hey, let's buy one for each male on our list." I didn't care so much whether they would like them, but just to check off those names. I put up the outside lights today because the weather was nice and it had to get done. I don't even want to open the rest of the boxes with our inside decorations.

Remind me again how many days I have left until this can all be over?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shopping

After re-reading my last post, I thought it was pretty ironic that rather than wake up at 4am to go shopping, the first thing I did this morning was get an ultrasound. It's like my own little early bird special. There are a couple of follies on the left side that are growing, and a few on the right that are not quite big enough to measure. So this is a bit different for me to have the left outperforming for the first time. I am sticking with my current dosage and going back on Monday morning.

The hubby and I did spend afternoon in the mall. We did get a lot of our shopping done, but are now really missing the outlet mall near us that closed due to the flood last spring. It's not looking like it will ever come back, and the mall we went to today just wasn't as nice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, the pies are made, the turkey is in the oven, and the parade is on TV. I am looking to having my family over later, but still when I think of what I am thankful for, I just think I am glad this year is over. Soon the meds and needles and uncomfortable appointments will be over. I'm not sure what will happen when they are over, but we will cross that bridge soon.

I know I do have many blessings. A great husband, a comfy house, financial security even with all the money being thrown at a pregnancy. But with all my family preparing for for B1ack Friday shopping, everyone is asking me what I want. I don't have any big gift I am hoping for this year. There is only thing I want, and money won't buy it.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Once more

OK, we started our third IUI with injectibles cycle yesterday. I went today for my baseline and got the all-clear. I start at 112.5 dose tomorrow. First monitoring appointment is the day after Thanksgiving. I guess I can't go Black Friday shopping. Or I need to get it done by 9:00!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Everywhere

It seems like everywhere I look is a reminder of infertility. Yesterday I was organizing files in my office and ran across some old examples from a statistics course I took. The example right on top was looking at the relationship between fertility and education. I should have paid attention then that continuing my education would reduce my fertility! (I know, I know, correlation is not causation, but still).

And then today I put a piece of furniture for sale on Craigs1ist. I called one interested person back, but she apparently left her work number and I called after hours. To some type of pregnancy support line. Ugh. Yes it does feel like I have a pregnancy emergency, but probably not the kind they are talking about.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holidays are here

The holidays are here. And so are the feelings of sadness and longing that most infertile have during this time. It seems to start earlier this year. I was grocery shopping when my mom called. She brought up the difficulty of scheduling our tradition of baking cookies with my gramma because of my cousin's work schedule. And then she mentioned my other cousin will be bringing her toddler to Christmas Eve. And how great that will be because after all what is Christmas without a baby? And how sad she is because my sister is not coming for Christmas and thus deriving my mom of grandkids on this child-centric day.

I could barely get home from the store. I'm not sure how I will get through the week home if this keeps up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Still here

Hey everyone,
Sorry for the extended absence. I did get pretty down with our last cycle not working and my travel schedule messing up our plans for the cycle in December. I tried to distract myself by throwing myself into work. And then I had a major disaster on my work project. So I've had my mine on other things.

But now things have changed. So that major disaster I mentioned? The small silver lining is that my travel has now been canceled. Now we are all set to go on another cycle in a few weeks. I just ordered more meds today and am trying to be optimistic about it.

I have been reading your blogs, even if not commenting. But now I am re-engaging.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good and bad

First the good news. My brother has returned from Afghanistan! It is so nice to have him back on US soil. I hope to see him in a few weeks.

Now the bad news. My plans to see him are tied up with scheduling a trip for this project I am working on (it is near where he lives). But that travel has been postponed until after Thanksgiving. The even worse news? Because this trip was supposed to be before Thanksgiving, we were taking a break this month and then doing another IUI next month. Well, now that won't work at all. Ugh. And we will be traveling for Christmas, so that probably wipes out the cycle after that as well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bad day

Ugh, last night I couldn't sleep due to being upset about this cycle. And then AF came in full force this morning. And Tuesday is always my bad day. The day did get a little better with meetings that ended early, but then right at the end of the day I got something that can mess up our plans for this project and had to be done asap. I didn't get home until 8:30. Ugh

Monday, October 18, 2010

Done

Well, I've had more spotting all weekend and today and all my other usual pre-AF signs. So I'm calling this cycle a bust. Here's hoping the third time's the charm. We are taking a break this next month because of our travel schedules. I'm quite jealous that my husband gets to go to Turkey without me, though.

Yesterday was a hard day at church as well. The readings and homily were about being persistent in prayer. I have to admit that this is something I have a hard time with. I've been praying to get pregnant for a long time and it seems the answer is "no", "not now", or at least "not this way". And to be honest this makes we wonder about the purpose of praying. I do believe that God provides what we need and even if prayers are answered in ways we didn't really ask for they come in God's own way. I also believe that it is better to pray for peace or acceptance of God's will rather than anything specific. So I am left not really sure what to pray for persistently. I mean, if God answers prayers in his own way in his own time, then why ask for anything?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yard

Well, I had some spotting today and it didn't look good. So I'm losing hope for this cycle. I'm trying to forget about it by doing yard work. I planted a bunch of bushes and bulbs in our front yard and will tackle some leaves tomorrow. I want to find some deep shade plants for our backyard (there is no sun at all or else I would put in a vegetable garden), but they are hard to find.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall break

I've mentioned that my mom is in town for a visit. Despite my attempts to cover up our IUI and the meds, it was a great visit. I don't think she had any clue and she even managed to not ask any questions about our IF! That might be a first for her. There was actually even a time when I was thinking of bringing it up. We were talking about how she does a lot to support my older sister financially and that sometimes she feels like she should treat more equal. But then she said that she feels like my sister and her family needs more financial support. That is generally true and I don't begrudge the helps she gives them (she did help me get through college). But I almost told her about our need to save money for treatments and how much they cost.

I also had another situation when someone assumed my niece was my daughter. This time it was my older niece. DH, my mom, her partner, and I took my 4 nieces and nephews to a corn maze and fall fest type thing. My sister and BIL were both working. The woman selling the tickets told me that my niece was really beautiful in a way that made it clear she thought I was the mother. I had another wistful moment about that.

Monday, October 11, 2010

One week

We're now entering the 1WW. Of course we've been here before, although it does feel different this time. I'm not reading anything in to that because my reaction to the meds overall this cycle has been different. My symptoms from the meds were much worse this time. I have definitely felt all the symptoms that go along with pregnancy (although some even before the IUI, so it's not really good news). I've been bloated, gassy, constipated, naseaus, waking up in the middle of the night with bad cramping, and sore b00bs. I guess I was expecting most of these, but wasn't ready for the cramping to wake me up every night. The odd thing is that I always wake up at 4 am. Not at 3 one night and 4:30 the next. 4 am every night. Or morning I guess. Has anyone else experienced this?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Done

The IUI#2 with injectibles is done. The SA was basically the same as last time, large count and volume made up for low motility. So now it is just waiting. This time they gave me a prescription for progestone pills rather than another HCG shot b/c she is worried about my estrogen being too high.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Expenses

A few months ago I began wondering how much exactly we've been spending on infertility. Well, I got out my credit card statements, receipts, insurance statements, etc and started calculating. I kept track of both how much was spent and who wrote the check. The total has amazed me.

First, the background. We started TTC over 2.5 years ago and about 2 years ago I had a check up with my primary care doctor and mentioned that we were trying to get pregnant but it was taking longer than we thought. She gave me a referral to an RE and our first appointment was in January of 2009. My insurance covers the diagnosis of IF, but not the treatment of it.

In the past (almost) two years, a grand total of over $18,000 has been spent on our IF journey! Of that total, about $6K was paid by our insurance company, mostly for diagnostic tests and for my lap. About $4K we paid in copayments (we do have a low premium, high copay plan). The rest has been completely out of pocket.

In terms of categories, we've spent over $2500 in natural/mental health expenses, mostly being weekly acupuncture for both of us and a therapy session. The first injectible IUI cost about $2500 (including meds), although this current one is more expensive as my dosage has been higher. There was about $5000 in general consultations/office visits and testing. The single biggest expense was the lap at over $6500, although that was one thing that insurance covered a big chunk of.

So there you have it. I'm not sure what to make of the total. We have decided we are not going to do IVF, so the medical costs of this are winding down, either because I get pregnant tomorrow (hopefully!) or in the next few months, or we move on to another stage of the journey.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Survived

Well, I survived the weekend with my mom. Actually, it was a good weekend. I was just worried about her finding my meds and asking all these questions. Her partner can't go upstairs very well, so in all their past visits they stay in our bedroom on the first floor and we stay in the guest room. So I moved all my supplies up to the closet in the guest bedroom and hid them under some blankets. I didn't think there was anyway she would get so sneaky as to look in that spot. And then one of the first things she said when they got off the plane is that they do better on stairs now and so can stay in our guest bedroom! We insisted that they stay in our room anyway, so it was all clear from that angle.

And then she wanted me to spend practically the whole weekend playing with my iPad and wanting me to show her how to use FB. I wouldn't mind this normally, but she was going systemically through my apps and I was worried she would open up my blog reader app and start looking all of your posts! And I have just recently made a few FB comments to "come out of the closet" with our IF and didn't want her to see those either. She does know, but I didn't want to start a conversation about it.

But we survived and at least she didn't seem to catch on to anything I didn't want her to see. Now we trigger tonight and she is safely tucked away at my sister's house. So I am free to open up that tinfoil wrapped package in the back of the fridge to get the trigger.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Scheduled

The dr is dialing down my meds. I am feeling less bloated today. I trigger on Sunday and we go in for the IUI on Tuesday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bloat

Well, my meeds arrived on time, so I've been taking 150 units for the past few days. I had one 16mm follie and a few others around 13,14 on the right. And the left is even starting to get in the game. But I am definitely feeling the effects. I feel like I am about to explode. Or at least that I wish I could let all this out.

In other news I took my oldest niece shopping for her 13th birthday last night. It was so fun to spend some one on one time with her! We both bought a few things and I didn't even have to object to any inappropriate clothing. My mom and her partner arrive tomorrow, so we will spend tonight hiding my meds and sharps container so they won't find anything.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All about me

Thanks to No Baby Ruth for tagging me!

1) What is your dream occupation?

This is a hard one. I don't know if I have a "dream" job. While I was in grad school and planning my wedding, I thought "if this whole PhD thing doesn't work out, I should be a wedding planner." Now my fantasy is to open a shop about my favorite things: cupcakes, coffee, and crochet. It would be part coffee house, part yarn store, and part bakery. But given that I am not the most outgoing person, I don't think retail is for me. I guess I will stick to research.

(2) What is the best dish that you can cook?

My signature dish is an apple pie. I also really like my lasagne. And I love making cupcakes.

(3) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?

In high school I had a starring role in a school play. More recently, I have been quoted a couple of times about research in my area.

(4) What’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?

I've not really had bad jobs, but a few memorable ones. I went to a prestigious college for undergrad and had a job opening the university president's mail. He had some very interesting mail. I also worked at an internet company way back when internet companies were still new. I won't say which one, but will give a hint that registered voters in California may be interested in my experience there.

(5) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?

I don't remember thinking of a specific age when I was that young. I do remember I went off to grad school the same year my younger sister graduated high school and started undergrad. She is Mormon and I remember asking her if she planned on going on a mission. She said she only would if she wasn't married by the time she graduated. I was shocked by that b/c here I was several years older and the thought that I may be married in the same time frame was not on my radar screen. But yet, 4 years later I was.

(6) What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?

I hate doing the dishes. I don't even like loading or unloading the dishwasher. I do like dusting and vacuuming is not so bad.

(7) What’s your earliest memory?

My older sister and I used to wake up really early in the morning, eat an entire bar of cream cheese, and then go back to bed like nothing happened. And my house was broken into when I was very young. My Big Bird piggy bank was stolen, but the dollar bill that was inside it was left behind because we lost the stopper.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Clueless

Remember my book club friend who can't stop talking about her baby? Well now she is pregnant and can't stop talking about that either. But now I realize how totally clueless she is. Another member of the book is also pregnant, expecting twins (through IVF). She was not there tonight, but came up in conversation in a way that made it seem like this first woman was also expecting twins. Her reply, "no, I like them one at a time." I would have been fine with that, but then she went on to reveal that her sister is struggling with infertility and would gladly take twins if she could. WTF? This woman who drives me crazy with her baby talk has an infertile sister? Does she have no clue what her sister is going through?

Ugh. I told my hubby as soon as I came home and he reminded me to think of her sister. Can you imagine what it is like to be her sister and hear about this all the time?

In other news, I'm worried about having enough meds for Thursday. I had a really busy day and forgot to order more and since my dose was increased, I am currently set to be half a vial short on Thursday. I'm not sure if they have one day shipping or not. Oops.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update

I had my first monitoring appointment of this cycle. No follicles above 10 on either side. She did have some trouble finding one of my ovaries, so I'm not sure what that was about. My dosage is going up to 150 and I go back on Friday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Farm visit

I've mentioned before that we joined a CSA this year. The farm from which we get our produce invited us all to visit this past Saturday. A neighboring farm also has a sorghum mill and invited us, so it made a nice day trip. We took our niece and nephew, ages 8 and 3 with us while their parents stayed behind and took the older children to various soccer tournaments. My nephew had never been to a farm before and has never seen many farm animals in person (or at least he can't remember ever seeing them). So he was quite excited to see the horses up close and cows from further away.

This is a Mennonite farm, so there was no electricity. We made sure the kids understood how the mill worked, from watching the horse drawn mill grind the cane and following the liquid through each step until we tasted sorghum on fresh biscuits at the end. They seemed to have fun. At the end while we were eating the biscuits, a young Mennonite woman was talking to me and then asked if these were my daughters. I smiled and said they were my niece and nephew. But inside I had two thoughts. First, I know my nephew has very curly hair, but he does not look feminine at all. Second, I wondered if this is how it would be once we had children, either by getting pregnant or adopting. My niece and nephew look like me to some extent since they are blood relatives. But they are mixed race so the resemblance is not obvious at first glance. I love my nieces and nephews immensely, but obviously they are not my children. But it seemed so natural to have them along and have others assume we are a family.

Today was also a long day. I was out by 7 to volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity build. Fun but very tiring. I'm going to bed early tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CD2

Well, AF is here for sure. I had my baseline monitoring today and there is a small cyst, but not big enough to stop the cycle. My initial dose is doubling from the last cycle and my next appointment is on Monday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shopping therapy

There has been more spotting, some red, but no real flow. This is normal pre-AF stuff for me, so I am calling it done now.

We went for some shopping therapy today to make me feel better. I found some great outfits at AT Loft and some things that are different from what I normally wear, but look great. So I'm pretty excited to wear them. Now if only the weather would cooperate and realize it is no longer summer. We are expecting another week of 90 degrees and above.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spotting

Well, spotting has started. So I'm thinking this is it for this this round. Going to order more meds. I'm OK I guess.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Vacation

My brother who is getting married in late May has decided to semi-elope. What this means is that they found a resort on a Miami beach that has a wedding package that they will do. The immediate family is tagging along. After the wedding, my other siblings and my dad and stepmom are going to D1sney. They invited hubby and I to join them.

Ideally, this cycle works (or the next one) and I will be having a baby in late May (or thereabouts) so we would have a great excuse to not go. In that case, we will show up for just the wedding either being really pregnant or with a newborn.

But there is always the other case. I am not sure what to do. First, before the D1sney trip came into the picture, hubby and I thought it would be fun to spend a few extra days in Miami because we've never been there. But then I feel this guilt to spend more time with family I don't see often. So I think we should go. And then I think how depressed I will feel walking around that park seeing all the other cute little kids and being reminded that we don't have our own cute little kid to bring here. And then to be paying big bucks to do it (b/c let's face, that place isn't cheap).

I'm trying to delay the decision as much as possible, but now they keep bringing it up with greater frequency.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Waiting

9dpIUI. So I'm just in waiting stage now. I gave myself another HCG shot on the 12th, so I'm instructed not to test until the 24th (17dpIUI). I have been busy with work and don't think about it most days. Plus I've never been big on testing early. But I am tempted to test now just to see the two lines come up due to the HCG.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coworker

I have this co-worker who is great to work with in many ways. One, if I happen to sit next to her during a meeting or presentation, she is constantly whispering side comments to me. Now, one or two is reasonable, but sometimes I feel like I can't concentrate on what the main discussion is because she keeps whispering something to me. It has gotten to the point where I try to sit by someone else, even though one on one she is normally great to talk to.

There is one topic that she brings up one on one that I don't like. My reproductive status. Those who have been following me from the beginning may remember our airport encounter when she suggested I get busy on the babymaking front now since my husband works at home and it would be oh-so-convenient. During our staff meeting today, there were announcements about major new projects going on, one of which I have a major role on. It is a five year project. This co-worker (who came in after me and took the seat next to mine) leans over and whispers that if I had a baby now, it would be 4 when the project was over. WTF? No one was even talking about babies or children, but she just decides to bring up this topic now!?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hiring

I recently hired my first person and she started today. I just want to say I never realized how hard it is to hire someone! New respect for HR folks over here. But I do have to say, it's only been one day of my new assistant and she is terrific! She has some things to learn, but already is catching on and figuring out where she needs to go when she needs help.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How can we get that back?

Last year I wrote down what I experienced on 9/11 while living in DC. That post focused on the day itself, but what I also remember is how the country and my community came together afterward. Half my office went to the Red Cross the next day to donate blood, and the long lines indicated that most of city did as well. That's just one example of the unity that everyone felt in the wake of 9/11. It was not New York or DC under attack, but the entire country. And we were ready to put aside differences to work together.

How have we traveled so far from that sense of unity as a country?

I ask that not just to point out that I think there is a lot of division, anger, and fear in our country now. I mean, that day of all days you would think the feeling of fear would be understandable. But that is not the feeling we remember or associate with that day. Fear and anger is not how we responded as a nation. It was unity and resiliency. But fear and anger do seem to be a driving force in our current political climate. So I ask this not just to point fingers at "those people over there" who are stoking fear, anger, and division, but also to look inward to see if my actions or words have contributed to this? What role can I play in returning us to unity, hope, and resiliency?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Coupons

I'm not sure if you heard of this news story. A recent study found that women are more likely to buy sexy clothing when we are ovulating. I'm not sure how most people react when reading stories about weird studies like these, but I'm a researcher, so I wonder who funds this research? I mean, here I am doing work on important public policy related areas and searching for money to support it, and then someone comes along and funds a study about when women buy sexy clothing?

As it turns out, market researchers are funding this. They just want to figure out how to get women to buy more clothes and think they found an answer through our cycles. The study author concludes: "Our findings suggest marketers for many types of female products are well served to strategically time their mailings, coupons, electronic solicitations, and direct requests to the specific window when women are ovulating."

So now I have to ask, how will they know their customers are ovulating? Most women don't even know when they are ovulating, and those that pay attention are not going to broadcast it to stores. And I guess women who don't ovulate just have to pay more? The idea that marketers are going to start timing coupons to our cycles just makes me laugh. Although if Ann Tay1or struck a deal with my clinic to give out coupons good on the day we trigger, I would take it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preparing for next time

OK, I am trying to stay positive, but I am a planner and want to be prepared in case it doesn't. I need advice on how to handle back to back cycles. My RE is fine with it, assuming the CD3 baseline is fine. But I am wondering if I have enough meeds. Right now I have 3 vials. This cycle I started at 1 vial each night and moved up to 1.5 vials each night. Assuming I don't start at more than 1.5vials, then I have enough to get to day 5, which should be long enough to buy more meds.

Of course, there is also the issue of whether we will do a back to back cycle anyway. According to my best calculations, the IUI would most likely happen the week my mom is in town to visit. We are purposefully not telling my mom about our treatment because she creates too much stress for me. She would sit in the room during the IUI if I let her and tell the doctor what to do. I am not taking time off work, so I should be able to go to appointments without her knowing. And since we have a spare bathroom, I can probably hide most supplies from her. The tricky part will be to hide the ovidre1 in the fridge. We will have to hide it pretty well because she is not shy about rummaging through our kitchen to find something.

November is not an option for us due to travel. And then the holidays will make our scheduling even harder. So if this cycle doesn't work and we skip next cycle, we are looking at a break until next year. Hopefully this is a moot point anyway.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another time

I can't help but reflect on how different our three IUIs have been. Not so much because this was our first injectible cycle, but more because it becomes so standard. The first time, hubby and I spent the afternoon together to recognize our potential baby making going on. The second time, hubby did meet me at the doctor for the procedure, but there was no extended time together. Today, he didn't even come. I don't point this out because I am mad at him about it. In fact when he came with an apologetic face to say he had a busy day at work and won't be able to come, I was already assuming I would go alone. The newness has worn off. I think the number of appointments for an injectible cycle. Has sped up the feeling that this is a standard process and not anything to get excited about. Just another thing to fit in my schedule.

RE office

Visiting the RE's office is unlike visiting other types of doctors. Most notably, you know why patients are there. You may not know their exact story, but it's not like other doctors where patients can be there for anything from a routine checkup to a life threatening illness. That said, I am never sure how to act around other patients in the waiting areas.

The other day, I arrived at the elevator just as the door opened and several patients (for a variety of offices in that building) entered. A man was talking to a woman in a way that I assumed they were together. The man left a floor below the RE's office (which is the only thing on that floor, so at this point I knew where the woman was going). When the doors closed, she turned to me and let out a huge sigh of frustration and made it clear she was glad that creepy stranger was gone. I didn't know what to say because normally I like to be anonymous during dr appointments, but she was making a connection. That got me to thinking about whether us infertile should be bonding during our cycling visits.

And since I am on the topic of my RE's office, I'd like to give them some advice. They have quite an assortment of magazines in the waiting room, everything from Conceive to Car and Truck to Her. The juxtaposition may seem odd, yet it makes sense given the clientele. But they may want to remove the parenting and family oriented magazines. I hope they realize that their patients don't need another reminder of what they don't have. I didn't mind seeing the parenting magazines in my previous RE's office since she also had a general women's health practice, but this new place is focused on fertility. They might also want to tell the nurses who take blood what is acceptable banter while they are working. I have no problem with coworker chatting while they are taking blood from different patients, but since some of us may have been at this long enough to have a five year old, we don't need to hear how one nurse has a son who LOVED his first week of kindergarten.

Done

IUI #3 (first with injectibles) is done. I guess everything went well. We had low motility, but the count made up for it, so the total ended up being 48 million motile sperm. I will be having a second HCG shot, so no testing until the 24th. I have a lot to distract me in the meantime, so I'm sure it will go by quickly.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Old friends

It's funny how people end up in your life and how your relationship with them changes over time. Way back in junior high, there were two people in my life, I'll call them Jack and Jill. Jill was actually someone, in my attempts to hang with the cool crowd, I wasn't very nice to in junior high. Jack and I had many classes together, but were not particularly close. Despite the fact that we did end up going out briefly in the junior high sense of going out where it doesn't really mean much.

Fast forward to high school. Jack and I don't interact much at all. Jill becomes one of my closest friends. (Begin long period of guilt for not treating her well before, but that's not what this story is about). As a close friend, Jill is one of the few people from high school I keep in touch with when we scatter for college. We would email and IM frequently, talk by phone every once in a while, get together when both back at home for holidays. Jill also stayed in contact with Jack and through her, I kept up with Jack's life and even reconnected with him a few times. There were times when I did think it was odd that of all the people I went to school with, he was one of the few that I followed what happened to him as time went by. Not that I followed him in great detail, but I knew the general contours. He came out of the closet and had a long term partner, moved around to a few different cities, kept up with his jobs, etc.

And then we entered the fac.eb00k era and suddenly everyone I ever knew in junior high or high school wanted to reconnect. I admit I was not always excited to read the daily lives of all these old friends. It may be nice to catch up once or twice, but honestly people move to dofferent places in their lives and you don't always want to go there with them. I will also admit to defriending some old acquaintances aftwr a few weeks on FB. But Jack was one person who I do enjoy connnecting with. Both because he has an interesting life (although if you are reading this, I'm not such a fan of all the location updates-I don't need to know how often you visit the grocery store), and more importantly because Jill has kept this thread alive between us over the years.

Anyway, the point of this post. Jack and his partner have adopted two children. It was a real pleasure reading their story and seeing all the ups and downs of the adoption process, from the perspective of someone I know IRL. There were posts that made me laugh, posts that made me cry from happiness, and posts where my heart ached for them. Their adoption was finalized this week and it was heartwarming to see how their whole family came out for their court date.

I don't know if it is watching this process or some realizations I had during our trip to Ireland, but I think I am opening up to adoption now. We had talked about it in the past, but always in a "I don't really want to, but would prefer it over IVF" type of way. I think now I am seeing how it could be a real viable option for us if this cycle or the next one or two don't work out. Not that I am feeling pessimistic about this cycle. I don't optimism or pessimism is a good way to describe how I feel, it is more hopeful yet realistic. I am trying to delay committing to my family's D1sney vacation attached to my brother's wedding next May just in case this works, but also being realistic about our chances.

And an update about this cycle, my lining is tripled striped, endometrium is 8.5. That sounds like good news. Even better news is that a second follicle has shown up on the right at 15mm. The lead follie is at 18 now. Still nothing on the left. I trigger tomorrow night for IUI on Tuesday.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Increasing

My estrogen is 186, although I have no idea whether that is good or not. They are increasing my dose to 112iu, which means I need to figure out how to mix bottles. Did I mention I have a bruise on my side? I do bruise easily, but that is a place where you don't normally get bruises. I go back tomorrow morning.

Just one

One measly follicle is developing. Right now it is 14mm. Nothing else on the right. There appears to be something on the left, but still under 10mm, so not worth measuring. Just one. I don't know why I am shooting myself up every night because My body could have produced one by itself. Sigh.

Once they get my labs back they will let me know what the next steps are.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Appointment update

I had my first monitoring appointment today. Estrogen was 86 (up from53). No follicles on the left worth measuring and a 9x10 on the right. I don't really know what that means, but I am staying at 75 iu and going back on Friday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Advice for Sleep Number Salespeople

I encountered the worst salesperson ever at a Sleep Number bed store. What started out as as a fun shopping trip soon turned into me wishing to never return to this store again. The bright side is that Hubby and I laughed about this for hours. Part of his bad sales pitch was that the script he was given was way too involved. Here's how it went down.

First, he asked us what we wanted when we walked into a store. This is one of my pet peeves. We walked into a mattress store! What do you think we want? Can you at least start off by asking if we are interested in a mattress? Then we went to find out our sleep numbers and Hubby and I laid down on a bed. He started it at the top setting. He then asked us if we know the movie The Wizard of Oz. The most popular movie of all time? Nope, can't say I've ever seen that before. Look, if you want to tell us we will feel like we are melting away as you change the setting, you can just say that. No need to insult our movie-watching intelligence.

While he was finding out our numbers, he told us various features of the beds. That was fine by itself, but he insisted on touching me every time he mentioned the pressure points that the beds relieve. I was going to slap him if he touched my knee, hip, lower back, or shoulder one more time. Oh, did I mention he had bad breath? And that he was close enough that I could tell?

After we found our sleep number, we moved on to what I thought was an actual mattress. It turns out that the test bed is also something you can buy, even though it was more uncomfortable than the cheap-o beds we tried at a different store. But at the time I thought the first one was just a test bed and now we were getting to an actual mattress. But rather than telling us anything about the mattress, he started in on the pillows. He wanted to "build" us a perfect pillow. This whole pillow thing seemed way more complicated than we wanted to get into. And then he mentioned there are 24 different pillow options! I said the second one was perfect because there was no way I was going through all 24 options. It was my job to test out the comfort level and he was testing to make sure our neck was at exactly a 5 degree angle. At one point I thought he was going to get out a protractor to make sure. I look over at Hubby and he is barely suppressing a laugh.

With our sleep numbers and ideal pillows picked out, we moved over to a third bed. This bed was actually quite comfortable. The salesperson asked us if we sometimes sweat at night. Hubby (not me) said yes. The special feature of this (more expensive) bed was that it has some material that keeps it cool so your body stays a cooler, more consistent temperature and thus cuts down on sweating at night. So he tried to sell us on the virtues of the temperature control in this bed and mentioned how at certain times of the year when the temps vary widely between day and night, we are most likely to sweat. And then this older, creepy looking man (who is a complete stranger to me) said, "and for women there are certain times of the month when you are more likely to sweat." He literally winked and nudged me when he said this. I was speechless.

He kept going on and on about this feature and a few minutes later, made a second reference to sweating at certain points in my "cycle." I decided right then and there that I can't buy a bed from this guy. We started making our attempts to leave then because I just wanted out, but then he started in on the hard sell (why don't salespeople realize that making a hard sell makes people less likely to buy something from you?).

Neither Hubby nor I could believe what he said. Clearly his script was well coached, but had no one told him that men just can't talk about that with a stranger? I mean, no one should talk about that with a stranger, but I could see a female salesperson pulling it off in the right context. And men just don't use the term "cycle" so clearly someone was giving him this script.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Heritage

Before this cycle completely takes over my life, there is one more topic bouncing around in my head after our vacation that I want to address. As I said, I have quite a bit of Irish heritage in my background. We did not do any actual genealogical research, but I still sought out my family names everywhere we went. Many years ago, my Nana gave me some information on our family and said that her mother (my great-grandmother) was born in the the Connemara area of Ireland. I wrote this down and found it last year when my Nana passed away and I went through some things she gave me to reminisce about her.

So we headed out to Ireland with some family names and Connemara written down as tied to my heritage. Little did I know until we arrived that Connemara is actually a rather prominent place. It is known for the marble that is found there. In almost every store, you could find jewelry made from Connemara marble. And I think I bought every piece I could find. It didn't matter how cheap the actual piece was, I just wanted everything I saw made out of this marble as a way to grab hold of my heritage.

I began to think about whether we would be able to pass on our heritage to children. At first it made me sad. Sad to think about us never having children. Sad to think that if we end up adopting, we won't be able to pass on my red hair or our ethnic heritage. Sad to think that something will be lost along the way.

But then I started thinking of it from the child's point of view. My obsession with with this marble opened my eyes a little bit to the curiosity an adopted person (or donate eggs or sperm) has to their biological heritage. And that it has nothing to do with the relationship the child has with the adoptive parent, but is a natural inclination. And that made me a little less sad. I think I can try to remember how I felt searching out that marble to find some comfort and understanding if we do go down that road.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Airport security

My meeting yesterday out of town ended early, so my boss and I decided to fly standby on an earlier flight. The problem with flying standby is that it is hard to do it with checked luggage. I decided to take the risk of going through airport security.

I was anxious about the needles in my bag. The meds themselves were less than 3 ounces, so there was no real worry about them. But I took the needles out of my bag and put them separately in a tray, with the paperwork right next to them in case there was an issue. I was preparing how I would begin to explain the needles.

And they did want to look at some of my luggage more closely. But not the needles! They didn't even glance twice at them. It was the bottle of hydrogen peroxide I bought in the hotel gift shop as a way to keep everything clean. Over 3 ounces, so I had to toss it.

So if anyone wants to travel while taking fertility meds, it is fine as long as you bring the alcohol swabs rather than a bottle.

I did forget to post the obligatory picture of my meds. Here it is. I am on 75 iu and don't go in again until Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First round done

My baseline appointment went well. Estrogen was 53. I gave myself the first injection in a hotel room in a city I' ve never been to before. I had the directions up on my iPad and DH on the speakerphone as I figured out what to do. It wasn't so bad. Sticking the needle in was actually the easiest part! There was a bit of a sting afterwards. Why doesn't anyone ever warn about that?

This was a quick trip so tomorrow I fly back home. The airline said I could the needles in my carry-on, but I' d rather not deal with TSA. Plus it easier to tell my boss I just prefer to check my bag than explain why I have needles. He already has one employee now who had many dr appointments and is now pregnant with twins from IVF, so it is better to avoid mentions of doctors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

They're here!

Two important things arrived in the last 24 hours. My IUI meds and AF! Which means we are off and running for this cycle. I go in tomorrow for my baseline monitoring. I'm a little worried about my first day of taking the meds. I will actually be out of town tomorrow, so if tomorrow is my first day, I will be all alone in another city! And I will have to find a way to explain the needles in my luggage to my boss.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fertile Rock

As we were preparing for our trip to Ireland, we spent some time reading guide books and deciding where to go. We saw this abbey called St Mary of the Fertile Rock. Something with that name had to be on our must see list.

We manage to navigate our way to this abbey, and guess what greeted us?



Yep, a padlocked gate. As if we needed any more reminders that fertile things are not for us. Even the fertile rock abbey is keeping us out. So we hopped the fence. Much like we hope our IUI cycle starting soon (I think tomorrow), we are finding our own way into fertility.

And we were glad we did, because this was an amazing old abbey. The church is in ruins, but the cemetery is still in use.



I asked DH if he thought our chances would be improved if we had sex in an abbey called the fertile rock. He didn't think that was such a great idea, but lucked out since we were not the only ones to have hopped the fence.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Infertile's Trip to Ireland

This vacation was supposed to be our chance to relax and forget about TTC for a week. Well, let's just say that didn't happen. There were times when I didn't think about it, sure, but still even on vacation it was never far from my thoughts. There was my body giving me all the signs that I was near ovulation.

The fact that much of what there is for an American in Ireland to do is think about our heritage was another reminder. We didn't do any real research, but there were reminders everywhere that many Americans have roots in Ireland. And this couple in particular has roots in Ireland. And we were interested in finding out more, but then I would get depressed that even if we become parents eventually, we may not be passing on our Irish heritage.

The call from my pharmacy on my cell (we had arranged for my normal cell phone number to still work abroad) to arrange my FSH drugs didn't exactly help us get our mind off the upcoming cycle.

Even souvenir shopping had its reminders about IF. You see the phrase "céad míle fáilte" all over various establishments and of course on some souvenirs. It means a hundred thousand welcomes and is important given the Irish value of hospitality. We even ended up buying a piece of art with this phrase to hang near our door. Before we spotted this, I was on the lookout for something we could buy with this phrase. My heart dropped to the ground when I saw the most beautiful receiving blanket with the phrase welcoming a new baby. I wanted to buy it so badly, but didn't know if we would ever have a chance to use it.

But there were some moments of levity about stupid parents on the trip as well. We got to laugh that at least we wouldn't be idiots those parents. The best example was on the trip to Skellig Michael. As I mentioned before, the skellig is a small island. Actually, it's more like a rock that sticks up from the ocean. Now, it's true that we didn't know quite what to expect on the trip to see this island, but we were warned that getting there involved a rather long boat ride over the often rocky open sea. That it's not uncommon to get seasick on the voyage there. That you should dress for wet conditions even if it won't rain that day. And that the main thing to do on this rock is walk up a steep staircase of about 600 steps to the top of the mountain where there is an old monastery.

I'll let you think about how young of a child you might bring to this island and what preparations you might do when bringing a child.



While you're thinking, here's the main picture that every guide book we looked at had about the skellig. Notice that the thing they focus on is the steps.







Got it figured out?




I admit that planning this part of our trip was one time we never thought about kids or whether this activity would be kid-friendly. But still, imagine our surprise when we arrived at our boat and saw this:




Yeah, we laughed for days about this. Some genius parent not only thought this was a great place to bring a toddler, but insisted on taking the stroller! I wouldn't consider bringing a small child when the boat went out into the open sea and was not stocked with child sized life vests, but I would at least think it was more reasonable to bring a toddler to this island if you used a backpack carrier. But the stroller?! Did they plan on carrying the stroller up the 600 steps? The boat captain did warn the parents that the boat would be rocky, but they didn't take the hint. I'm even perplexed at how they got the stroller into the boat to begin with. I needed both hands to walk down the slippery 10 steps or so off the dock. We never saw the baby or anyone in that party at the top of the mountain. I guess they spent the whole 3 hours on the small boat dock at the bottom.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Driving

I did all the driving in Ireland. Remembering to stay to the left was not so hard to do. The harder part was that in some places the roads were so narrow there was not really a "side" to drive on! But as long as we stayed out of the cities, traffic was light and so the narrow roads were not too big of a problem.

Another thing that was hard about driving on the left was that everything in the car was reversed. The rear view mirror was to my left rather than my right and thus I didn't check it nearly as much as I should have. The knobs for the turn signal and windshield wipers were reversed and every time I went to use the turn signal, I would turn on the wipers.

So I couldn't help but laugh when this morning I was back driving on the right and went to use the turn signal. I turned on the wipers instead! I guess I had internalized some of the changes needed to drive on the left after all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vacation

Hey blogging friends, sorry for the extended absence, but I was in Ireland! My last post about electronic on planes was noted during our second attempt at leaving our hometown. After sitting on the runway for 2 hours on our first attempt, the new airline regulations required them to bring us back to the gate and let us get off the plane. There was a ground stop and we couldn't take off anyway. At this point we realized we would miss our connecting flight out of the country. The bad news? We missed an entire day of our vacation. But looking at the bright side of it, they rebooked us for another flight on *business class*! Plus the rebooking agent said we were able to spend our extra long layover in the priority lounge, with its free snacks, wifi, and alcohol.

Now don't go thinking that an airline was actually trying to be nice to us since we were missing our vacation. The business class seats were the only ones left on the plane. And when we arrived in our layover city and talked to one gate agent, she told us the priority lounge is only for customers who paid for the business class seats and not those with a complimentary upgrade. But we were like, "unless you are faxing our picture over to the lounge now to tell them to kick us out, we are going to spend our day there." And we did.

Business class was quite an experience. We had mimosas, dinner menus, and free newspapers in our hands before the coach section had finished boarding. We had already eaten since it was a late flight, but I did indulge in the make-your-own-sunday cart that came around. And then we put our seats back (all the way back, so we could literally lay down), cuddled up with a nice blanket, and went to sleep. They had four different flight attendants helping us, for about 45 people (compared to six in economy on our return flight, for way more people).

But enough about our flight. We got off the plane and immediately picked up our rental car and headed to County Cork. I was our designated driver, with DH as the navigator. Our driving that first day was mostly on the highway, so it wasn't too hard to be on the left side of the road. The harder part was remembering that everything in the car was reversed, so I kept turning on the windshield wipers every time I wanted to use the turn signal. We kissed the Blarney Stone and stumbled into bed after a long couple days before being able to test its power of eloquence.



We headed further into the country side the next day and my driving abilities were tested then. The roads were so narrow in some places that the car would brush up against the shrubs on the side of the road when another car was coming toward us. I did improve my driving throughout the week, though, and eventually was passing other slower drivers.



We stayed in some very cute towns, did a ton of shopping, and drove through the Killarney National Park and the Burren. It was beautiful. And the weather was just about perfect. Not too hot or cold, sometimes a slight drizzle, but nothing too bad.






Of course I was expecting Ireland to be very green, but the flowers were beautiful as well.



Our favorite part was taking a boat out to this island called the Skellig Michael, walking up many, many steps to an old monastery that used to be up there. It's amazing to think how much it took for us to get there, just think what it must have been like a thousand years ago.



Another favorite part was finding connections to my family. We didn't do any real genealogical research, but my maiden name is a very common Irish last name, so it was exciting to see it all over the place. And seeing how so many of the people we met reminded me of various relatives.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Electronics

You know that rule on airplanes that you can't use handheld electronics during takeoff and landing? Well, I never really believed it to be true that a little gameboy would screw up the navigation system. Even when I was little and electronics were much less sophisticated, it was hard to accept that my old Walkman would bring down the plane. Or maybe it was just that I didn't want to think I was trusting my life to something that could be disrupted by a teenager's music. Anyway, yesterday I was on a plane and across the aisle happened to be a pilot. He was in uniform and I guess flying to another flight that needed him. So there we were sitting as the flight attendant made her speech to turn off electronics for takeoff and came around to check. The pilot had a case that looked like a laptop case his lap and the flight attendant said he should know better to have a laptop. He murmured something I didn't hear. After she left, he took out his iPod and listened to it during both takeoff and landing. I guess if a pilot isn't concerned about small electronics in the air, then I was right all along!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FSH class

We had our FSH class this afternoon for our upcoming IUI cycle. I was nervous about this after reading everyone's stories, but left thinking that this is something I can do. It was not as daunting as I was expecting, although who knows how I will feel when I am actually mixing the meds and getting the needle ready. It did get a little confusing when she talked about splitting a vial, but they seemed ready to help us at every step.

We did decide to go the mixing meds ourselves route rather than use a pen. We are starting on a low dose, so I was debating about whether the extra cost was worth it. But then the nurse indicated that if we mix it ourselves, they can give us $250 worth of meds right then. That was the dealbreaker for me. Now I have 5 days worth of meds ready to go.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family stories

As I said yesterday, DH's relatives were in town on Tuesday and many family stories were told. One story was about his great aunt and uncle. They never had any children. His family didn't say whether they were infertile or not, but just that there no children and that they considered adopting fromItaly, but never did. His grandparents had three boys. Apparently, when his grandma was pregnant with the youngest, her relatives suggested she give the baby to her sister since she already had two kids and her sister had none. Of course that didn't happen. But I did think it was funny to think that sometimes the relatives of us infertile don't always have it easy.

In other news, I am loving the iPad! It is a little easier to read blogs than leave comments, but I am trying to figure that out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Random

1. I had a great weekend with my cousin, aunt, gramma, and mom. We saw several colleges and it made me wish for my college days again! Plus it was just great to see my family for a few days and do some shopping. Right now her top choice is USC. Any Trojans out there?

2. I have an iPad! It is so much fun, and I've only had it for a day so far.

3. AF came over the weekend, so we are officially one cycle away from our next IUI. We go to the shots class next week.

4. DH's uncle and cousin were in town yesterday. Again, it was good to see family and his parents and uncles told all these fantastic stories about the family. They should really write down some of this history.

5. One thing that was revealed is that his mom and uncle use different versions of the family tomato sauce recipe. DH's grandparents owned an Italian restaurant, so he was always adamant that we follow the recipe to the letter. I didn't want to really alter it, just that it didn't make much sense to buy canned whole tomatoes and then crush them by hand. If you are going to use canned tomatoes, why not just get them already crushed? Anyway, his mom uses a blender! So I made a batch tonight and broke a few rules in the recipe.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cousins

This weekend I am heading out to Cali to take my youngest cousin on a college tour trip. She is about to start her senior year of high school and gets terrific grades, so she is trying to figure out her options. Neither of her parents went to college, so while they try to be supportive, they don't know the questions to ask or what to do. So I am meeting them for a short trip. I am not that close to this cousin mainly due to our age difference as we are quite a like in many ways. Our grandmother calls her "Missy with a mouth" to point out that I am the quieter one of the two.

This morning I realized that my oldest niece is starting 8th grade. Assuming we get pregnant in our next few IUIs, the baby would be born near the end of her 8th grade year or beginning of her freshman year in high school. This cousin was born my freshman year in high school. So they would have a similar age difference. Wow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book club

So I am preparing myself for my book club tonight. I was thinking about the need to do so a few days ago. One of the women in my book club, while lovely in other ways, has a little boy and can't stop talking about him. Seriously can't stop talking about him. There are other women in the group with babies, and it is a casual book club so we definitely talked about things other than the book. But it was not until she joined that the conversation made a major turn to all things baby. And the particular book we are discussing tonight has a character whose storyline includes miscarriages, so the topic could come up in our discussion. So I was already preparing myself mentally for this night.

And now I am incredibly grateful to my other friend from book club, who sent me an email yesterday that this woman is pregnant again. I can't imagine how the baby talk could get worse, but I'm sure it will. This other friend has babies conceived with help, so she knows this journey and was kind enough to give me warning so I am not blindsided with a pregnancy announcement in book club. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Projects

I've been working on several projects. First, I put up a clothes line in our laundry room. I like to line dry many of my clothes. It is both gentler on my clothes and makes them last longer, and it saves on electricity from the dryer. But we don't have that much room in our laundry area, so setting up the little wooden contraption to hang up clothes took up all our space. And an outdoor clothes line is not really feasible with this weather of sudden rainstorms. So now we have something that hangs from the ceiling. It is perfect! Most of the time, it is high and out of the way. We don't even notice it.



But then when we are doing laundry, we can use a pulley to get it down, hang our clothes, and then put it back at the top of the ceiling and out of the way again.



The pictures aren't really very good, but when it is all the way up, I can walk completely under the clothes that hang from it. It does help that we have a high ceiling in the laundry area, although if you are thinking of doing the same thing, your ceiling does not have to been too high. Actually, if ours was much higher it wouldn't be as convenient b/c then I might have trouble reaching it b/c it only comes down so far from the ceiling.

And it was super simpler to install. I am not handy at all and did it mostly by myself. The hubby helped by mainly providing an extra pair of hands to balance it. I did have to do some improvising with duct tape, but it is working out really well. I did decide to put it directly into a ceiling stud rather than the hollow part of the ceiling as their directions recommended. Wet clothes can get kinda heavy after all.

My other project is more crafty. As you may remember from a few months ago, my area suffered massive floods. The saying "We Are Nashville" was taken as a rallying cry and they have t-shirts and posters and whatnot to raise money for victims with this logo. I created a pattern for a crocheted blanket. I'm going to make a few more and give them to flood victims.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Religious Freedom

My community has been in the news lately due to a Muslim group that wants to build a new mosque. I think we should support the right of people to follow whatever faith tradition they think is right, but I guess many people don't agree and there have been a number of protests of this mosque. Today I attended an interfaith walk that started at a Methodist church, passed several other churches, and had opening prayers given by someone from my Catholic church and a Jewish community. It ended at an Islamic center/mosque a few blocks from my house.

Despite being an overly hot Southern July afternoon, it was a wonderful experience. Everyone out to show support for peace, justice, and religious freedom. The best moment was when the owner of a gas station that was on the route figured out what the walk was about and kept running back and forth with handfuls of ice cold bottled water. If I wasn't already sweating buckets, I would say it filled with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dates

Yes! You are all so right and thanks for reminding me that I need to forget about the calendar and let things fall into place. So we are full steam ahead on our end. We would do IUI next cycle, but we also have a fantastic vacation planned for August, so we are just waiting for that. And that is worth waiting for because we will have a blast.

And I did feel better about my thoughts regarding the dates b/c I spoke with my older sister about the wedding and she is worried she will have to leave one kid behind if it coincides with the state soccer championship. I mean, I know her two older kids are the stars of their very competitive teams and soccer is important to them, but I can't imagine there is much in a 12-year-old's life that is more important than attending their uncle's wedding. Who knows, the team may not even make it to the finals next year.

I do think the wedding date would work well around the hubby's MBA graduation. As long as they stick to late May, we should be fine. And the college where I did my graduate degree was pretty flexible about letting grad students walk whenever they wanted to, so he should be able to have that experience regardless.

In other news, I need to figure out how to stew and can tomatoes! We are getting so many from our CSA. There are a few from our Topsy Turvy, but they are quite small (I think it is due to the type of tomato we bought and not the planter) so not much to cook up. We've already made a double batch of the hubby's Italian family pasta sauce and meatballs and also lasagne. Today we got 6 more pounds of tomatoes! And zucchini. Who knew zucchini was so plentiful? We have some parties this weekend and will be bringing some zucchini bread to the hosts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh brother

Remember that little brother I mentioned who just got engaged? Well, he hasn't quite set a date yet, but they have narrowed down the possibilities. And wouldn't you know it, they are settling on a time that would coincide with a due should our next IUI cycle be successful. I don't know what to do. Part of me feels like I should put it off because I can't miss my brother's wedding. But part of me is done with putting it off. And then there is the little voice that says it may not work anyway, so why bother putting anything off at all?

In other news, he did ask DH to be an usher in the wedding. I thought that was so cute!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Next steps

Thanks for your advice! I did call in the morning and they got my records. So we were all set for our appointment. The bad news is hubby's results from the sperm penetration were the worst results he's gotten yet. This time even the count was low, which he did not have a problem with before. And the SPA results were below what they should be.

But the doctor didn't think a few IUI cycles with FSH injectibles would be a total waste of money, so we are going down that route. He would start us with my next cycle, but we will be on vacation right at the crucial time, so we will start around the end of August. The next step is to schedule our FSH class. My other doctor appointment today was with a dermatologist for my poison ivy rash (ugh, still here, starting another set of steroid pills). She also gave me a steroid shot and when I was leaning over for that shot, I couldn't help but think soon I'll be getting shots for something else entirely!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Records

I need you advice. We had our first appointment with a new RE a few weeks ago. At that time, the appointment was not as useful as it could have been since he had not yet received my medical records from my previous RE. He did get my husband's and did an ultrasound and medical history from us, but wanted to see what my lab results and post op notes from my lap. I went back to my previous RE to get them to send the records again, but as of Wednesday, they had not yet gotten them. Long story short, my first attempts to request the records went to the wrong office and then I used the wrong form at the right office. I think on Wednesday I finally did it right, but am not sure if that is enough time for the records to make it over to the new RE.

In the meantime, DH had his sperm penetration analysis. Our follow up appointment is Monday afternoon, when we will get the SPA results and decide what our next steps are. DH thinks we should reschedule if my records did not make it over there yet because he does not want to pay this doctor if he won't have all the information he needs to be really helpful. I am hesitant to put off this appointment. What would you do?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Five years

This morning of all days, one of my FB friends posts something about a recent trend in people having their wedding at retail establishments. She thought it was quite tacky to have your wedding in a Taco Bell or Cold Stone Creamery. Well, I have to agree on having the ceremony there, but one of my favorite memories from our wedding day was the private time we spent after the reception at Cold Stone. Who knew you would actually spend so little time alone with your spouse on your wedding day?

The photographers had left us alone by then, but here's a picture of my second favorite dessert we had five years ago today.



Even though the past few years have been hard and not gone the way we planned, I'm glad I have you to walk beside me on this journey.

Here's to another five (or 50) years. Let's go celebrate with good ice cream!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thoughts

My poison ivy is getting better, but now I think I have some other rash. That leads me to my rant about my doctor. Through my employer, I am stuck with using doctors from a particular hospital. Every visit with these doctors (except for my RE) has been a big pain. First it took 3 months to establish a primary care doctor. That was a long time, but I figured once I was established as a patient then it would be much easier. Nope. I've never been able to get a same day appointment when I am sick and call first thing in the morning. I really do not understand their system. How are you ever to see a doctor when you are actually sick if you need to make appointments 3 weeks in advance? The person I spoke with today to make an appointment actually told me if I needed to see a doctor immediately, I should go to the ER! How stupid is that. I am not in a medical emergency, so why tell me to clog up the ER. Although if I don't get my rash looked at before their next available appointment, it may turn into an emergency.

The saving grace for me is that my employer has a walk-in clinic for employees only where we can get free care in the mornings. It's meant to get us healthy and back to work without missing much work. But it is only for employees, so my husband can't use them when he is sick. I went to this clinic last week and today for my rash. The nurse who saw me said I was beyond what care she can provide and said I need to a see a dermatologist. She even admitted that it would be forever to see a dermatologist at this hospital and was so nice to call an outside dermatologist who can see me on Monday. Only a few more days of this misery.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Here's a happy fourth of July! We are heading out soon to watch a riverfront concert and see some fireworks. It will be hot, but hopefully not too bad down near the river.

In honor of our nation's birthday, I have a question for my fellow bloggers. Who is your favorite founding father? I would have to say James Madison. He was instrumental in having the Constitution take the shape it did, including the Bill of Rights. Obviously it wasn't perfect then and that's why we've needed 17 amendments since then, but it has stood the test of time pretty well.

Last night DH and I were watching a story about the Revolution on the History channel. I left to read after a while and past our normal bedtime he comes in the room and says that the colonists won the war and Washington became president. LOL. I was thinking, were you doubting the outcome of that? It was funny that he wanted to see the end even though of course he knew what happened.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Siblings

I'm sure many of you know how hard it can be to see our siblings have children. As much as I love my nieces and nephews and am happy for my siblings, they can still make me fall apart. But the thing is for me, it varies by sibling.

My older sister is the closest in age to me; only two years older. Truth be told, growing up I always imagined we would have kids around the same age and the cousins would all play together. It didn't quite work out that way as she got married almost right out of high school and had three kids pretty quickly. I had just barely started dating DH when the third was born and I was in no position to think of having a baby as a real thing that I would do. Those older three are of course dear to me, but they don't bring up the same emotions of sadness and envy that are so familiar to all of us with IF. It is her youngest that brings these feelings up the most out of her kids. It was his birth that got me and DH thinking of children as something in our someday future to something that could be reality. And as he is growing quickly, I am reminded of how long it has taken us.

My younger sister's daughter was heartbreaking to me. She is adorable and of course I am happy for them, but still I cried myself to sleep the night my niece was born. This sister is 6 years younger than me, they married after we did, and made a very public announcement of when they would start TTC so it was apparent they had no problems. As we had already started trying by then, I see this niece as the one that could have been mine. I could have a toddler by now; a little girl who is starting to talk and makes funny faces and likes to sing. My sister recently quit her job to be a stay at home mother and they are in the process of buying a house, so I am bracing myself for when they will announce she is pregnant again.

One brother is in Afghanistan right now, so I don't think there is much opportunity there for him to make a baby.

And then there is my baby brother. Although our age difference has kept us from being too close, he has a special place in my heart. See, when my younger siblings were real little, the three older kids (myself, my older sister, and a relative our age who lived with my dad and stepmom) would take care of the three younger ones. Since the numbers worked out, we split them up. I would take charge of my baby brother. So I always feel like I have to look out for him.

Yesterday he announced he is getting married. To a woman who already has a three year old. I'm happy for him and glad he has her in his life. But now even my littlest brother will be a parent before me. Sigh.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What does summer mean?

What does summer mean to you? To me, it means a lot things: picnics, Shakespeare in the Park (one of my fave things), vacations.

Unfortunately, ever since I moved to my current location, it has also meant some type of medical problem (usually a skin rash). We moved into our current house (and current city) in July 2007. That first week, I got poison ivy clearing some overgrown bushes. I've had it before and it wasn't that bad, although it didn't make for a very good introduction to the house. It got even worse a month later when I was bit by a brown recluse spider. I had a rash all over my body and couldn't sit down due to pain at the bite site (my rear end).

Fast forward to July 2008. We were meeting my ILs for dinner and I had a headache, but it could have been just a long day-type headache. Nothing serious. I had to cancel an out of town meeting the next day due to what I thought was a bad migraine. The next thing I knew, I as being treated for viral meningitis.

June 2009 I was working out in our flower beds and was bitten by an unidentified bug. I had a small localized rash that lasted for a few weeks, but never got very serious. I thought maybe my bad luck was waning.

Now the poison ivy is back. With a vengeance. Yes, I knew it was a possibility since I knew we had poison ivy plants in that area before. But I tried very hard to look for the leaves as I was working in the yard and didn't see anything. This time the rash is much worse. I had a blister the size of a marble on my arm and several other minor spots in other places. Today I noticed it on my eyelid. I've had my eyes checked and it is not on my eye at this point. I've started a steroid pack and have a prescription for steroid eye drops just in case.

I don't know if this is a sign that we should move to another city or what. I'm hoping my only medical condition next summer is pregnancy. I will gladly be full term in the miserable weather of August here if that's what it took.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Open letter

An Open Letter to my Reproductive System,

Dear RS,
You know, I was doubting you for a while. I assumed you must not know what you were doing or what was going on. But now I see you had a plan all along. I can see you were wise to acknowledge that having a baby while DH was getting his MBA would be a little much all at once. I mean, he has been pretty busy.

So, thanks, I guess, for seeing the bigger picture on this. I just want to point out, in case you were not aware, that he is over halfway done. In fact, he will be done in 9 months. There's no longer any chance of having a baby while he is still in school.

Just thought you should know.

Cheers,
Missy

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Update

Sorry for falling off the earth for a while. I took on some consulting work to put a little more money in our baby fund and I was swamped for a while. But now that is mostly done, so my life can get back to whatever normal. Except I am going on a work trip this week. So maybe not normal yet.

We have been spending the past two weeks talking about what our next steps are after seeing the new clinic. We have been thinking of various scenarios where we might do IVF. While part of me wants to go for it, I've also been feeling hesitant and that it is not quite right for us. Then today we were in church and the homily was about making a total commitment to God and how easy it is to come up with excuses for things in our lives. Sitting there listening to that, I kept thinking about IVF and I really do think the scenarios we have been talking about are ways to justify doing something we don't feel like we should be doing. I'm still not sure what our future holds, but I'm beginning to think that it does not include IVF. And I think I'm OK with that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Computer

When do you know it is time for a new computer? I've had my current computer longer than I've had my wedding ring (which would make it over 5 years old). That does sound like it is getting up in years for computer time. But I'm trying to save as much money as I can for IF stuff.

Still, recently I've been more frustrated than not with my computer. It's gotten really slow in everything. I admit to using DH's laptop when he is not around and I am just using the internet. Which, to be honest, is most of the use I get from this computer. There are some other things I want my computer to be able to do, though.

But for some reason I am attached to this old machine. It got me through my dissertation! And all my files from my dissertation are still here, patiently waiting for any additional analyses I may decide to use them for. Now that I've been done for three years, I know I'm never going to go back and see how dissertation draft 4 is different from draft 9, but I like having it here in case I ever wanted to. I know I can save my files so I won't lose them, but it just seems so final to have everything tucked away rather than right in my face every time I start browsing through my folders.

And then there is the question of what type of computer to get. DH made the plunge to Apple a few years ago and is happy with that decision. Should I do the same?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Money

Have you thought about how much you have spent on IF related expenses? I mean really figured it out? I started to do so. And boy was I surprised. All this time I was thinking we haven't really put out the big bucks yet. I'm gathering all our receipts and explanation of benefits to calculate exactly how much we've spent so far. My goal is to keep a running total. I'm not going to tell you my total so far as I have finished going through all my piles yet. That update will come later.

My question for you all is how do you think this should be organized to get a good sense of how much IF actually costs? I've been thinking in terms of categories: consultations/office visits, diagnostics, major procedures (like my lap), alternative medicine (acupuncture/mental health), medications, and ART (IUI, IVF, etc). Do you think those are the right categories? I have been putting things like ultrasound monitoring under diagnostics. I'm also thinking of who pays. The categories for that are out of pocket, insurance company, and copayments (i.e., we pay in accordance with what our insurance policy says is our share).

Can I also use this time to rant about health care billing? I hate it how you get bills for each little thing separately. One office visit may spark 3-4 bills.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New doctor

We had our first consult with a new doctor today. This clinic is basically our only other option in this area. The bad news is they are more expensive with our insurance. The good news is hopefully they are more successful.

The appointment didn't get off to a good start since they didn't have my medical history from my current doctor. Another thing I need to check up on because I know I asked for them to send it. Anyway, he did an ultrasound and exam and of course asked a bunch of questions and did have some of DH's medical records from the urologist he saw. He didn't have much new for us in terms of a diagnosis. There is still our swimmer problem and not so good ovulation for me, but no identifiable (and thus potentially correctable) cause of the problems.

He recommended we go straight to IVF with ICSI. He said we could try IUI with FSH stimulation. His reasoning was that for most people the IUIs have lower success rates, so you end up spending all this money on IUIs and then need to spend money on the IVF anyway. When pressed, he did think we could potentially do another cl0mid plus IUI cycle, mainly because although technically we did it twice, the circumstances were such that I feel we only gave it one good shot.

Since I am leaning towards the IUI route, he recommended we have the sperm penetration assay. Anyone familiar with that? Basically it sounds like they try to see if DH's sperm can penetrate hamster eggs. If not, then there is little chance they could penetrate my eggs without ICSI. We have that scheduled for next week.

He also brought up getting screened for cystic fibrosis. While neither of us have CF, we could be carriers (Caucasians have a 1/25 chance of being a carrier). And if we are both carriers then any child would have a 1/4 chance of having CF. What do you guys think? DH is not inclined to get tested for this as it is not something most couples do and the test is expensive. And the chances of two people who don't have CF having a baby with CF is pretty low. I'm more inclined to get one of us tested and hope it comes back negative.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is my life

Kelly's Korner is showing us a piece of her life now: her dishes! We went for a classic pattern when picking out our china. Mikasa Gothic Platinum.



One reason I like this pattern is that is easy to incorporate into any decor. And we can change out some pieces to add to the look. For example, during Christmas, we add the Pottery Barn reindeer dishes. The platinum edge gives it a consistent look, while also bringing in some holiday cheer. And my husband loves Rudolph, so he makes an appearance throughout our holiday decorating.



Want to see what other people are sharing? Head on over to Kelly's Korner.
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