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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
2008 - ditched BC 2009 - Started treatments and testsand got a whole bunch of BFNs 2010 - The year of treatments January 2011 - Starting to look into adoption June 2011 - Homestudy approved! July-August 2011 - First match, and then it fell through January 2012 - Matched again! March 2012 - We finally bring home our baby boy!