Monday, December 28, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

I watched the Sound of Music last night and it prompted me to make a list of my "new" favorite things.

1) Maternity underwear
2) A humidifier in the bedroom
3) My favorite place to be - the bathtub
4) A step stool into bed (which the purry ones now enjoy using also)
5) Fiber powder in my drinks
6) Feeling what I think is a little poke inside
7) Getting through the day without vomiting
8) Dr's approval to drink c.oke to settle thy stomach
9) Not paying a bill for IF for 3 months in a row now
10) Kissing 2009 good bye and good riddance

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the verdict

Interesting that the majority of you voted for girls.

I had my own ideas, based on how sick I've been (Hcg levels are typically higher in males) and based on some little embryology research I had done a few months ago (faster dividing cells are more common in males). We had one embryo that was dividing ahead of schedule and was dividing as they transferred.

And must have been the one to continue dividing after implantation because we are having BOYS! We are totally excited. I rattled off a list of things to Mr. W that I think makes having boys fabulous:

1) No hair, make-up or nail issues
2) No fighting over the bathroom
3) Less drama
4) No weddings to pay for :)
5) No other female hormones to deal with in the house besides mine!

A colleague (who suffers horribly from Florence Nightingale syndrome) has already given them Christmas gifts. (She had to be the FIRST.)

And ok, my confession. I caved and bought one thing. It's a book I saw in a cute little shop the day after my retrieval. I remember looking at it and wishing one day that I could read it to the little nugget(s). I figured it was a pipe dream and forbade myself from buying it for fear of jinxing everything. This whole time it has been the only little baby thing I could think about so I broke down and finally ordered it. I really wanted to go back to the little shop and buy it in person, but that's probably not very realistic at this point. You can see it here.

Merry Christmas everyone, especially EB, whose Christmas gift of a big fat positive, just arrived!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Closet

I hate shopping.

Bless the internet, because I have been able to avoid live shopping for years.

But the situation in my closet has changed all of that, at least temporarily. I have been segmenting clothes in the closet into categories:

Those I won't see again for a very long time.
Those I can squeeze into now for the last week and will likely want sooner after the party is over.
Those that have opportunity left in them for maybe a few more weeks and am willing to stretch and destroy as necessary.

The latter category is seriously lacking, thus requiring a visit to the maternity store yesterday.
With Mr. W in tow, I was able to quickly whirl through the store, try on as many pieces as I could, and escape with a few versatile options. But not before the salesperson tried to sell me more pants, lotions, a college savings plan, some restaurant thing, and who knows what else. Plus, in order to make my damn purchase, I had to register my name, address, phone number, and due date. WTF???

Fortunately, I think I did enough size and style analysis that I won't have to go back and can internet shop once again as needed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

And Then There Were...

Two.

We lost Baby C, our singleton, last week. An ultrasound showed the heart had stopped.

The twins look good and we are grateful for them. Inside the sadness and grief is hope and optimism. Hope that the other two will continue on a healthy journey, and optimism about the improved prognosis for them and me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Turkey Day Post

I had the CVS awhile back. It was a miserable procedure, to say the least. And something I've decided not to blog a whole lot about but I'll give you the nutshell version. First we met with a genetic counselor who presents statistics and things. Then they prepped my for the procedure which is either done transcervically or transabdominally. Because I have two placentas in two different places, I got one of each. It was not nice. I grimaced through the transabdominal one, but the transcervical one maxed out the pain scale. I forewarned the peri ......speaking from two miserable embryo transfers and a laminaria from hell. He just laughed....until he got to size up the situation. When it was over, I asked Mr. W to pass the wine. To which the peri replied..."I won't tell if you won't!" I like him. Even if he's rough with long needles. Results will still be awhile yet, so I'll just leave it at that.

Happily, I swam in the pool yesterday morning. It felt amazing, although it was a bit chilly and raining out. And I managed to survive two Thanksgiving dinners without tossing anything. Although I paid dearly for it this morning.

And reasons why the cat's out of the bag:

1) I am 12 weeks (+2 days now)
2) I have a very obvious protrusion (as all family members pointed out yesterday)
3) To see me at a holiday event (or anywhere for that matter) without a glass of wine in my hand is sacrilege. Nonetheless, I am still asked to choose the wine for everyone else.
4) Admission to Super Doc's hospital for fluids is just too juicy to keep quiet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What the Peri Said

I have slipped a week or better behind on the updates. Partly because the vomiting has gotten the better of me again, and partly because it seems like I've been in the doctor's office daily and can't get anything else done.

My first appointment with the perinatologist was just over a week ago. The appointment was split into 2 days, primarily because I was continuing to have bleeding and they wanted to get me in for the u/s earlier. The u/s was fine. All were happy and bouncing around. There was evidence of some fluid collection near my cervix - likely the blood. And it looked like there was still a subchorionic hematoma on one side, that would hopefully just bleed out. I was also told bleeding occurs in almost 100% of triplet pregnancies, for reasons that really aren't known. The good news was that the twins are di-amniotic - meaning although they are sharing a placenta, they each have their own amniotic sacs. This improves their survival rate tremendously.

I have 2 amazing peris - Dr. J and Dr. M. Dr. J went to medical school with Mr. W. He is the procedure guy and does all of the testing. He is methodical and has a quirky sense of humor. Dr. M has been around forever and is considered "the" expert in town. He has an incredible bedside manner and Mr. W has known him for a long time. Dr. M did the consult portion of my appointment the day after the ultrasound.

Admittedly, I was nervous about the consult. About hearing all of the risks again. About hearing how difficult it will be. About how the outcome can be bad. But Dr. M was the face of optimism and confidence. He said their goal is to get me to 32 weeks. (That means the ETA is April 15th!)They would be satisfied with 30 weeks and 34 weeks would be a bonus. He said they are conservative and will put me in the hospital with the slightest hint of a complication. He said I should expect to be in the hospital for the last 2 weeks anyway. He also said I should have a hospital bed delivered to the house around 24 weeks. I must have had a look of fear on my face because then he said, "trust me, you will love it!"

Dr. M talked a lot about planning. Planning for help, planning not to work, planning how to manage around the house and being in bed, about not using the stairs, etc. We had most of that nailed down already and reviewed our game plan with him. He seemed relieved that we were on top of it and that we had thought about all of this ahead of time. Dr. M is hopeful that the bleeding will stop in the next couple of weeks. He said as soon as it does, he would like me to swim every day if I can. He said it's not only good, low impact exercise, but studies show that being in deep water can assist in compression and edema reduction. Apparently that's why you always have to pee when you get out of the pool!!! Who knew?? I am looking forward to swimming all winter, but not the bill for heating our pool! Mr. W and I pondered asking for a swimming rx to see if our insurance would cover the heat bill.......

And then the hard part..... Dr. M wants me to gain between 50 and 75 pounds. Holy.shit. He said I'm off to a slow start and need to kick it up a notch. This one baffles me. I just can't get enough food in me to come close.

It was a crazy, long 2 hour appointment, but Mr. W and I left feeling relieved and confident. And from a purely selfish perspective, since our insurance company has been such an asswipe to us the past year, we are looking forward to sticking them with the bill of 3 preemies in the NICU for a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dear Followers

I've had this post lingering in the back of mind for awhile. And a belated welcome, new followers, including Fertility Chick, whom I've "seen" around here and there. I'd also like to welcome a new (and anonymous) follower, although I am sorry she is joining the ranks of us. She is a dear childhood friend, who I have just learned will be starting IVF in January. As such, I thought I'd take the opportunity to show her around. You know, introduce all of you to her, and probably corrupt her innocent visions of IVF with our foul-mouthed, jaded ones.

Grab a beverage. This is going to be a long post. But, if we're bloggy friends, you might be entertained by what I have to say about you...so read on! Oh, and these are in no particular order!

EB @ IVF 40+ I am certain EB and I were friends in a former life in old world Europe. We share views on spiritual matters, a love of chocolate cake & kitties, and disdain for political crap in corporate America (mine being former). She is real and so supportive, and some days I read her posts with an English accent in my head to get the full flavor. EB is preparing for her second donor egg cycle, and is more than overdue for her turn at parenthood. (Also, Mr. W's favorite tea shares the name of EB's hometown!)

Sprogblogger: Sprog is a gifted writer - one whose posts should never be missed. Sprog's rap sheet reads like the Who's Who of IF. (Sorry Sprog, not an award you want.) She is an analyst, a thinker, a researcher and yet she is emotional too. I love they way she *snorts* in her blog and comments. IMO, Sprog would be better suited on the West Coast near me or IF Opt, as I think NY is not kind enough to her. Sprog is starting her first DE cycle and is so deserving of success.

MeKate @ I Can't Whistle: I think Kate has an incredibly bright second career ahead of her as a poetry or prose writer. She is emotional and raw and so humble. She says the sweetest and most thoughtful comments on everyone's blogs. I don't know how she does it. She once told me she barfs up her posts. I wish I could barf like she does. Kate also has the most amazing variations for use of the F word. Even more than me! Kate's got a miserable IF rap sheet too, on top of dealing with incredible pain & loss in her life. She just had an embryo transfer yesterday and we all hope this is the one for her.

Lisa @ MeInsideOut: Lisa pulled me up out of the deep dark hole I was in on more than one occasion, all the while she was in the same hole herself. After lots of IF misery & RPL, Lisa is 21 weeks with twins! She is probably the only person who has been as sick as I have. And I think she has that same little guilty feeling I do about posting in the new persona of a whiny pregnant lady.

Dawn @ Can You Imagine: Dawn is the poster child for pretty-n-pregnant. She looks like a model at 26 weeks. (I, on the other hand, am starting to resemble an orca.) She also has none of the crazy side effects. I am so jealous! Dawn always has the sweetest comments and reminds me that taking this blog from IF to PG is a challenge.

Barefoot And (Finally) Pregnant: I think this was the first blog I started reading. Barefoot sucked me in with her uncanny sense of humor and ability to comically post about this whole nightmare. Barefoot continues to crack me up every time I read, though at 35 weeks now, her posts are thinning. I once told her I could write a whole post about the things she says! She reminds me a lot of myself...she shares Top Doc's city, she was stupid enough to remodel her bathroom a few weeks ago & survived (sounds like something I would do) and I would most enjoy sitting down to a glass of wine with her after this all over and listen to her take on babydom.

Best When Used By: BWUB has been an amazing source of support, despite having her own incredible hurdles. BWUB found IF success in embryo donation and is now 23 weeks. She is very creative, has some of the best stories to tell about family members, and I have cantaloupe garden envy. She also has thoughtful & calming comments and seems to bring us all back down to earth. I always enjoy her posts & look forward to the non-IF ones just as much.

IF Optimist: Besides sharing a love of the Pacific NW, San Francisco, Canada, and the F word, I think that IFO and I have had some IRL friends pull some similar, not so nice stuff. IFO and I should be friends IRL and maybe we will one day since we live in the same geographical area. IFO is smart, creative, & has a sense of humor I adore. She is also just a week or so behind me with twins!

My Mind's Ink: I found Dirk's blog through IFO, as well as Michelle's, his wife. They live in Victoria, and well, it's no secret I love Canada. Dirk's blog is always good for some political banter, which I enjoy, when the banterers are reasonably intelligent. Words can't express how badly I feel for their last IVF cycle. Even Mr. W felt terrible when I told him about it. But I wish them the very best, now in the midst of a FET.

Mad Hatter @ Late For A Very Important Pregnancy: Maddy, another Canadian has an amazing ability to see the good in every angle. She is the queen of TCM and has had remarkable success in lowering her FSH with the treatments. She bares all, for us all to see, and has such creative approaches to her writing. Not to mention a great sense of humor. Wishing her the best in her post IUI 2 ww.

Pundelina Kafoops Lives Here: Pundelina is from down under and was recently given the sub-diagnosis badge I was given last spring by my former RE. Emphasis on former. I know she is struggling with what to do next (except that she got a free cycle out of the deal). Pundelina recently bestowed a blog award on me too, which I have been a slacker about. So I still owe her thanks!

(There are a lot of other great blogs out there that I have either just discovered, or am still connecting with. Adventures in Baby Getting, Maredsous ( I really miss your posts) and Lucky Jones @ Happy High Heels....I still don't have access to yours!)

And then there's me. I am a classically trained musician who got a degree in communications/journalism and a semi-obscure foreign language. I have also picked up Mr. W's native tongue and hope to get my MBA one of these days. I spent 10 years in corporate management and marketing in the cosmetic industry, followed by the last 10 years working for myself, and I hope the next 10 years will bring our dreams of a winery project to fruition. After paying off Mr. W's medical school, travelling in 14 countries, building Mr. W's medical practice and a vacation home, we finally got our shit together enough to try to have a kid or two. That was 7 years ago. And now, after 17 years of marriage and after the hell that is IF, it looks like we're having three!





Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ceremonious

I have kept two punctured vials of Folli.stim in the refrigerator since I returned from Top Doc's clinic. The vials were punctured in mid September, fully 60 days ago. Of course they have a shelf life of 30 days after being punctured, so why the hell was I hanging on to them?

They are in the mini-fridge in the bedroom and I look at them every day. Every morning I say "today I will throw them out" and then I don't. For 60 days I have done this. Opened the fridge, looked at them, and closed the door.

They aren't any good anymore, haven't been for some time. It's not like I could have used them again myself before the end of the 30 days. It's not like anyone else would have wanted them either, once punctured.

I can't tell if it was painful to think I was tossing a $300 bill in the giant mouth of the sharps container, never to be seen again. Or was it admitting that I "didn't need" them anymore that seemed impossible? Or was it my superstitious fear that tossing them would cause a miscarriage? Or did I just need to remind myself daily how I got to this point? (Hardly...)

And so, for whatever reason....today was the day. I have no idea why. There is no milestone to mark. I am no more certain of keeping these nuggets now than I was 60 days or 60 minutes ago. Whatever it was, on this morning it compelled me to pick up the vials, briefly inspect them (to be sure they weren't really wrapped in $100 bills?) to be sure I wasn't mistaken and had thrown them out already and this was some other drug I needed? And then...just like that...I threw them in the mouth of the giant red beast. And closed the refrigerator door once more.

No pomp. No circumstance. But somewhere there was ceremony in that event. Only to be outdone moments later by cheerios and cottage cheese clogging the drain of the shower. Hmmmph.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Box Cars

If you're into dice games or craps (Mr. W's favorite) then you know box cars is double sixes.

As in, 6 little arms and 6 little legs flailing around on the ultrasound yesterday.

Pretty fucking amazing to watch, especially after carting yourself to the doctor in modified panic mode because you're bleeding, mildly. Sigh.....

Likely a subchorionic hematoma that decided to give way, says the OB. Common, as we all know... and all forget when it's happening to US!

My big accomplishments today?

1. working a few hours from home
2. cleaning out the refrigerator of the food Mr.W has been forced to cook for me for the past week that I only nibble on. Because food is VILE.
3. a bath, spa mask and all
4. blogging again
5. congratulating IF Optimist on her 2 monsters and welcoming EB home from what sounds like the trip from hell with BWUB's Whacky P.

And ok, the symptom list.

Nausea: OMG. Zof.ran with a side of Phen.ergan.
Weight gain: loss of 3 pounds
Bleeding: faint
Dizziness: Some
Cramping: Some
Food craving: none
Food aversion: everything
Favorite new drug: stool softener

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hyperemesis...

...lands you in the hospital. As I found out on Friday. Which was followed by Saturday at home in bed, hooked to an i.v. all day. Thank you, Super Doc.

My chief goal in life right now? Finding new ways to keep food and water down. Unfortunately that means blogs, work, driving, and any other daily activities take a back seat. I promise to catch up as soon as I can.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hold The Phone

EB said the kindest words and I just want to thank her. And, she told me to post...about everything! So, I will try harder.

I'm sort of in that guilty feeling place. That place where this starts to turn into a whiny pregnant lady's blog. But the truth is, I haven't moved myself mentally into that category yet. I feel I am still in the IF category with pretend symptoms to play with for awhile.

But today, I received the most amazing phone call. It was random, unexpected, and so genuine.

It was Top Doc.

I was startled to hear her voice on the line and not a nurse. Or someone from the billing office. It was the real live her. And she was calling to see how I was. She asked when my perinatologist appointment was and how I was feeling. She said she'd been doing a lot of thinking about our situation and she just wanted to talk to me. Normally, she counsels patients on reducing when there are three. This time, she said she wasn't so sure. The deciding factor could be if the twins were mono amniotic (sharing an amniotic sac). I told her Mr. W and I knew this was a very risky situation and it was too soon to tell. Still, she was optimistic and supportive and asked that I keep her in the loop and forward the perinatologist reports. I said I would and that I appreciated her call and any opinions she wanted to give.

There are great doctors in this world. And then there are those who have a special gift. When Mr. W and I interviewed REs and agonized over choosing the last clinic we chose in a very unconventional manner, for us anyway. Always the thinkers, analysts, and planners, we typically make charts and lists and graphs and power point presentations to make a decision. This time, we stepped back. "We're forcing it," we both said. And instead, we chose with our hearts. And now I know why.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barfing Turtle

...the name of a new yoga pose Mr. W says I have invented. He made me laugh so hard I had to barf some more.

Hello Zo.fran my old friend. Ok, new friend maybe, but I like the song anyway. OB says the barfing has to stop or she will put me in the hospital. Meet you there, MeInsideout? I was going at it every 2 hours. I daren't wander more than a few feet from a toilet or sink. And I started carrying plastic bags around the house. Even the furry ones couldn't figure out why I had more hairballs than they did. And it was a group event. To watch and hear me barf. Seriously. Feline wonderment.

But alas, Dr. OB was all over it and prescribed 8mg Zo.fran up to 3 times daily. And I am joining the ranks of the living again. I am relieved. Tonight is the season NBA opener and I was terrified how I was going to survive running to the restroom in the huge arena (and not making it) during the game. I know....whah, whah, whah. I am whining and I shouldn't. So I'll just leave it at that.

In other news, I did get the H1.N1 vaccine yesterday. I talked with Dr. OB about it first because the only one I could get is the regular with thimerosal. She said thimerosal was not a big deal and that I should still get it. She also said that they didn't have any, didn't know when they would get it, and if they would even get it without thimerosal. I told her Super Doc had been hoarding a dose for me. Dr. OB was like, what does Super Doc think about thimerosal? Well, he thinks it's fine, I said. And she was like...well there you go, I agree. The vaccine with it is better than not getting the vaccine at all. So it was settled.

And then I posted on FB that I got the vaccine. MISTAKE. Because everyone else wanted it and wanted to know how I got it if it wasn't allowed in the general population yet. Ah, shit. Opened my big mouth. Uhm? I'm not general population anymore? (Nope, didn't use that one.) Uh? I have a backstage pass? (Nope, didn't use that one.) How about...ignore? Yeah, that's the one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ultimate Birthday Present

Mr. W just had a birthday. And a very exciting one it was, as he got to accompany me to the latest ultrasound appointment. My appointments have been at the hospital because my OB thinks their equipment is better for the early stage we're in, which is about 7 weeks + now.

And now for the drum roll, followed by my "holy shit"!

Sac A has a nice little nugget with a heartbeat measuring at 142 bpm.

Sac B has a nice little nugget with a heartbeat measuring 130 bpm and....wait for it.....
a second little nugget with a heartbeat measuring about 125bpm!

And now....HOLY SHIT! It's triplets - and a very unique situation at that because there is a singleton with a set of identical twins, meaning one of the embryos divided after implantation. We are stunned. And excited. And overwhelmed. Of course this creates a whole new set of issues, concerns, and risks - especially because there are two in the same sac. We are very quickly graduating from our OB to the perinatologist.

I got an email from Top Doc (my RE). Her response? "Wow, I am floored by this news."
Yeah, so are we.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Meet the Nuggets



Yeah! Plural!

Right now, they are just sacs. My OB appointment was uhm, early. Really early, because they could not fit me in for a new patient consult for a month if I waited. My OB admitted they aren't used to looking at early sacs as she normally sees people for the first time at 9 or so weeks. She also admitted that she sucks with the ultrasound machine this early and that their equipment is not as high-tech as the IF clinics. Sucks to be among commoners again. Ok, not that much.

Disclaimers aside, I went on Monday for what was supposed to be a 2-hour appointment and ended up spending the better part of the day. The OB was great and was all about "mental health" (as she called it). Meaning she would get me back in for another ultrasound sooner, rather than later, to ease my neurotic tendencies and calm my disaster fantasies. And just for the heck of it, she drew another beta for me. Again, just to be sure. Here is the new cool chart! (Beta was 10,125). (Ok, coming soon on the chart thingy.)


The real shocker...and I hesitate to blog about this...is that there is a third sac. It's not visible in this picture, and it appears to be very small or possibly blighted. The OB actually had a radiologist do another ultrasound to verify. (Part of what took so damn long.) In any case, we are operating under the assumption of a vanishing triplet. That is extremely creepy for me to type. And secretly, I've been keeping of all of these juicy details to myself all week because I've had these strange little feelings of guilt. And I've been convinced that they're all going to vanish right before my eyes. I'm certain nuggets have all died at least three times this week. Save for one undeniable symptom. My middle name is BARF. I have never been so happy to be so effing completely miserably sick.

Symptom checker for us internet whores:

Nausea: Hello
Cramping: Mild & getting milder
Bleeding: No
Weight Gain: lost 2 pounds
Dizziness: slight
Food craving: none
Food aversion: It's all vile. About the only thing I can stomach is Italian sodas, rye crisps, and Laughing.Cow cheese - something I've never eaten before.

And no, none of this has sunk in.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things People Say

I'm sure I haven't even heard the best of the comments yet, but I'd thought I'd list a few I've received in the past few months or so, from the very limited number of people who know of the war we've been embedded in. Note my comments out to the side, or in some cases, my silent thoughts, depending on the offender.

Why don't you just get a surrogate? Because IF does not always equal shitty uterus.

Can you just have a surgery or something to fix your condition? Because IF is always the woman's problem. And a surrogate should fix whatever it is anyway.

Just keep trying IVF until it works. Yeah, because money grows on trees and I'm secretly popping the anti-aging pill Carl Sagan invented.


Why don't you just adopt? Aren't you worried about your child having birth defects if it's that difficult? Oh gosh yeah, because the rate of birth defects in IVF babies doubles. From like .02% to .04%

Just de-stress and relax and everything will happen. The oldest line in the book - and I un-friend these offenders simply for being dumb fucks.

Wouldn't it be great if you had twins? Then you'd be done! Because, I couldn't possibly be 'done' with one, and why in the hell would I ever want more than two?

Maybe God didn't want you to have children. Maybe God never wanted you to open your mouth, but you do.

Aren't you glad you decided not to have children? This one comes from people not in the know. And my standard response is, 'Who said we decided anything?' - a response that is usually met with puzzlement on the face of the offender. It's really a priceless look.

Only to be followed by...(when word gets out)

Oh, you finally decided it was time to have children? I have an answer prepared. It goes something like "no, mother nature finally decided we were worthy."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tribute

Well hello there. And welcome new followers. I have unburied myself from the hell that was tax completion 2008 and just before the final deadline. Whew.

The other day I was thinking about this blog and about how much it's all about me. (Hey, I'm writing it. It's about my most inner medical workings. Seems fair it's all about me.) But I realized as I stared at Mr. W (without his knowing) that this is his journey too. And that without him I likely wouldn't have been in this mess to start with! Uh-uhm, what I meant to say was, without him, I would not be who I am. And that made me think about sharing the reasons I heart this guy and why he is Mr. Wonderful.

- By nature, Mr. W is a hunter, a gatherer, a fixer, a tinkerer, an inventor, and a survivor. I know we will always have food on the table, a roof over our heads, and shoes to wear, even if we were the last people on earth and everything had to be made from scratch. Of course in our case, if we were the last people on earth...we would be just that!

- His dream job is to be a farmer. He thinks it is the noblest of professions and that there is truth in the land and soil.


Picture of the greenhouse he built all himself from the bottom up last summer. It has power, water, a solar fan, and hydraulic opening windows activated by heat. -

- Mr. W is 5'4" tall. (He is the tallest in his family and has me beat by an inch.) And yet, when he walks into a room, you would think he was over 6 feet. He commands attention, in a good, charismatic way. I have always admired this trait about him and am constantly amazed by his presence in a room full of people.

- He can be very spoiling. During our last 2ww he took me to the spa for a facial (to help pass the time). And when we got the positive beta this gorgeous bouquet of flowers appeared. (Color not intended to imply gender, he pointed out.)



- Membership does have it's privileges, and I'm eternally grateful for his ability to pull strings when needed. Like obtaining the results of beta #2. It became apparent that I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I hadn't received the clinic's call with the results. So Super Doc went into the hospital where I'd had the blood work drawn and looked up the results for me. Top Doc's clinic called 3 hours later (at 5pm). I surely would have been in cardiac arrest if I'd had to wait until then.


- Mr. W has brought me breakfast in bed the past two weekends, while proclaiming his intent to keep me literally 'barefoot and pregnant'. I think I can handle a little chivalry now and then.

- I could not do his job. I don't know how he does it, especially now. He sees patients walk in to the hospital in labor and claim they didn't know they were pregnant. He sees women high on meth or heroin about to give birth. He sees women pregnant with their sixth child from the fourth different dad and without means to feed or clothe them. And yet, every day he comes home, recharges his batteries in the garden, and goes back the next day for more. To me, it seems like the ultimate punishment.

- He is humble and unassuming. He picks flowers out of the garden and puts them on the counters around the office. He takes coffee to the nurses at the hospital. When he works on a Saturday, he orders lunch for his entire staff who's working also. He is most commonly seen in the office wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. He wears a costume to work on Halloween and he dresses up for National Talk Like A Pirate Day (which is in September, in case you were wondering).

- He is anti-establishment, dislikes government and politics, and has no use for organized religion.

I could go on...but essentially, Mr. W dances to the beat of his own drum, and that's what I've grown so fond of. And I have no doubt he would raise inquisitive, free-spirited children, who would only get neroses from their mother.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dumbness & Numbness

It's rather strange, you know, to have a few of you (like Sprog and Leah) "move" my blog into another folder or category. I've been known to be a bit superstitious at times and well, I hope this isn't bad luck! There. I've said it.

As I mentioned to Sprog the other day, it's like wearing a scarlet letter(s) and you just think the branding won't/can't go away. I find I am pinching myself regularly. Both in awe and disbelief. And smack dab in the middle of another 2ww for the ultrasound, I still expect the other shoe to drop. Waiting....waiting....waiting for it. I know, so many of us have been there before. Many are still there, as so eloquently posted by Sprog today. Go give it a read.

But alas, I found myself fumbling with the phone today. Calling an OB. A real OB. Top Doc's clinic said I could choose to have the u/s at Dr. OMC's or at my chosen OB's office. And therein was part of the issue. I had not chosen anyone officially yet. (Didn't want to "jinx" it....see, there I go again.) And, didn't want to go back to Dr. OMC, for a variety of reasons, one of which was risking that my stupid-ass insurance company would decide not to pay for it since it was an IF clinic.

Mr. W and I bantered back and forth over the weekend regarding whom we should select. We have 3 friends that are OB's, any one of whom we'd be happy to choose. However, they only deliver at one hospital - the one closest to us and the one Mr. W spends the majority of his time at. On one hand, this is good and convenient. On the other hand, it makes for a real lack of privacy. And on the third hand (if I had three), it's not the hospital I want to deliver at.

So we worked backward...choosing the hospital first (one that's 25 miles away) and then the OB. Feeling like I'd just conquered the universe in making the decision, I fell speechless when the voice on the other end of the phone today asked me what kind of an appointment I needed to schedule.

Voice: What kind of appointment do you need?

Me: Uhm, an ultrasound?

Voice: For?

Me: Uhm, (insert life story in 5 seconds) I'm an IVF patient and my RE has requested a 7 week ultrasound.

Voice: [Silence for a second.]

Me: Because I have a pregnancy. (Like it's a disease I just caught instead of the swine.flu.)

Voice: [nicely] Oh, Ok. You need an OB appointment.

Me: Yeah. (OMG, am I really this retarded?)

Voice: Ok, who is your RE?

Me: Top Doc, in Big City. And they've requested a specific date.

Voice: Ok, and are you moving here?

Me: I already live here. I've lived here.

Voice: [fumbling, looking at schedule] OB's schedule is completely booked. We will need to talk with her or her nurse to see if we can fit you in. They are both off today. We'll have to call you back tomorrow.

Me: [shit.] Ok.

Voice: And we'll need all of your records.

Me: From all of the IF? (that's like 4 clinics worth)

Voice: Yeah.....Ok...thanks...we'll call you tomorrow.

I hung up the phone and stared out the window for a minute. It's an incredibly beautiful autumn day. The leaves are just barely starting to change color and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I could be fooled into thinking it was the middle of summer. I could be fooled into thinking this is all a pipe dream. I might have gotten on Sprog's plane off the island, but it hasn't landed yet, and I don't know where in the hell it's going.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gratitude & Beta 2

First of all, thank you Meinsideout for the blog award. In all honesty, I did receive it previously and you can read about that post here.

And thank you for the kind comments of support and excitement for our BFP! There were several lurkers out there that commented and it's great to "see" you all.

On another note, I've received some new followers that I've made the decision to block. After reviewing your profiles, if I find you don't have any connection whatsoever to my blog or the topics discussed here, I feel it's in my best interest to block your interaction. I apologize for this, but it's not rated for all audiences. If you have been blocked and would like me to unblock you, please send me a comment explaining why. Comments on my blog must be moderated by me and therefore, I will keep your comment private.

Ok, back to this stuff. I have some other posts I'd like to whip out one of these days, but for now, I'll just skip to the facts. Because it's what you've been waiting to hear, and well, what I waited to hear ALL day yesterday.

Beta #2....... 197! (A triple and a half.) We are beyond thrilled! I was prepared mentally for the worst, but "nugget" has been very busy in there and so I was pretty sure somethin was goin on. And....here's the chart! (Amazing that I figured this out.)





And from the TMI department, here's the symptom list:

Nausea: no
Cramping: yes - mild but consistent
Bleeding: no
Weight Gain: zero
Bloat: yep, in the tummy
Wedding rings: still on!
Dizziness: slight
Food craving: Bacon, fruit, fish (not together!)
Food aversion: none
Sleep: all over the board, with crazy vivid dreams, & 3 pee trips a night. (Fair warning given on the TMI.)
Body Temp: Cold, all the time. Sleeping in long pjs with 3 blankets. Crazy for me!

Wishing all the same for IFOpt, EB, and meKate....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shock & Awe

First....The Confessions:

























Second......today was beta day......
56!


For the record, Mr. W and I ended up finding a secret stash of hoarded pee sticks, so these are those. And also for the record...this brand sucks. Also, the last picture was taken before the last stick was dry, so it looks lighter.







Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stick Hunt

Mr. W and I argued for several days about whether or not to POAS. He said no - absolutely not - for the same reasons EB's DH did. I said I just wanted to know. That's all. And yes, I know they can be inaccurate at this stage -both ways.

So for 2 days I begged and begged Super Doc to bring home some sticks from work. No. No. No. Finally, I announced I was headed to the store to buy some. Whereupon he caved. (I knew he would.) "You're not buying something I already have at work." Uhm, duh? So off we went (at night, when no one would see) to get the sticks.

Or not.

This turned out to be an exercise in futility. Oh, and a big fat eye-opener for Super Doc, who has just learned a few exciting things about his employees:

1) They're all raiding company supplies.
2) Pee sticks are a secret commodity to be hidden & hoarded.
3) When you use or hoard the last one, you're too embarrassed to tell anyone to order more, so you just leave empty boxes/vials around until someone notices. Like the boss. Who is...too embarrassed to tell anyone to order more. And doesn't even know who they order them from.
4) Don't expect them all to tell you at once they're trying to get knocked up, too. Just start hiring NOW to cover all of those maternity leaves.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Somebody Squealed

Number one nephew just returned from 3 months in Italy. (I'll call him #1 because he's the oldest of the nephews.) He's just finished college and just accepted his first broadcast journalism job for a C.BS affiliate in a smaller city in an adjacent state. Mr. W and I are proud of this kid. After a rough bus, he's turned out to be a sweet and hella-smart guy.

So I never mentioned how odd it was that he showed up to pick us up at the airport after our return from Top Doc's clinic. We hadn't arranged a ride with him, but our ride apparently fell through and so he was there. It struck me later as odd, because he didn't ask about our trip, what we did, or any normal questions you ask people when they get back from vacation. In fact, he didn't ask a thing. Of course, he had just returned from this fabulous trip in Italy, visiting all of Mr. W's relatives and testing his new fluency in Italian on us. So why would you ask about our boring trip anyway?

The next night, Mr. W and I offered to take #1 nephew to dinner since he would be moving the following week to start the new job. On the way to dinner, Mr. W slipped a real subtle comment to test the waters. And just like flies on shit, #1 nephew jumped all over it and blurted out he's looking forward to having a new cousin. I scowled at him in the back seat. "Who squealed!?" I demanded. (As if we couldn't figure it out.) I can't say....I've been sworn to secrecy.....he says. "Dammit!"....I said. "Tell me..." But all I had to do was mention Mr. W's mom and I saw him grimace. She is notorious for gossip. Notorious for wanting to be the FIRST to pass 'news' along. Notorious for wanting to stir the pot.

Mr. W and I reminded #1 nephew that this was not definitive and that it was still a private matter and that it wasn't that we didn't want him to know, but we wanted to tell him ourselves, and that it may not work, again. #1 nephew said he hadn't told a soul and didn't plan on it but that he was really excited and that we shouldn't blame any family member(s) because that's just how the family is.

But I do blame, and I am hurt and angry at MIL for making this HER information to share with people. And we can just about bet if she has told #1 nephew it will be in the newspapers any day. And the worst part is, there is really NO information to share at this point.

Sigh...I am trying to be forgiving. But I am still pissed. And I feel cheated and crossed.

I have to hand it to Mr. W, though. He had the guts to confront the root of our problem head-on with #1 nephew right then and there. In the car. On the way to dinner. He told #1 nephew if ever thought he might want kids in his lifetime he should go get tested now. To my amazement, #1 nephew wanted to know who and where is this testing and what is considered normal and what should he do if it was abnormal. "Do I just have to jack off in a cup?" ...was his question. At least at 20-something, they 'get' that concept pretty easily.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Parrott Head

Well, the fresh blackberries did not make it to the pot for jam before they rotted. Tail end of the season, and I was just not home soon enough. So I've been looking for other ways to pass the misery of the infamous 2ww, now 4dp3dt. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Finish the 2008 taxes before the final extension is up.
2. Resume some degree of work (oh, this is a hard one).
3. Get one of our rentals re-rented.
4. Admire the continuation of summer and 85 degree weather for the next week.
5. Figure out in what orifice I will stuff more of these tomatoes that fornicate like rabbits.
















Otherwise, I have no symptoms. Nothing. Nada. Admittedly, the peanut pellets are way easier on the body than the PIO. But perhaps it's just another day in Paradise without the cheeseburger?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Hi new follower!

It's nice to be back home after what seems like an eternity in a hotel. To answer a few common questions and comments: There was no spa there. The room service menu sucked and I couldn't justify the price, so I skipped it (for the first time ever, I think). And the tourists drove me nuts. However, I was asked for directions a few times, so I must have looked like a local.

Home sweet home, you ask? Yes, I am home. Which means my transfer was yesterday. Top Doc's clinic notified me yesterday morning (after I called them because the nurse forgot) that I would be having a 3-day transfer in the very early afternoon. I guess Top Doc does not necessarily mean Top Nurse.

So it was a WTF, get the shit together, and get the hell out the door kind of morning. So much for being relaxed awaiting transfer. Mr. W and I scrambled to pack the luggage and check out of the hotel. I jumped on the internet and booked us a flight home immediately following the transfer, assuming we would catch the hail mary pass to the airport. And then we hiked ourselves and all of our luggage to the clinic. It reminded me of the luggage schlepping of one (or more) of our trips to Europe. Only it wasn't Europe. And clearly this wasn't a vacation.

It was Top Doc's Saturday to work and she was her usual warm, positive without being fake, self.
She had great advice and suggestions for our transfer decisions. The embryologist wheeled the little IVF cart over to my room and plugged it into an oxygen port nearby. She loaded the catheter for Top Doc. And then poof! We were done (with a little effort and a little pain -I've still got that damn cervix that's wound tight as a knot.) I chilled out for a few minutes while she brought in the embryo records and a picture and then said I could go. She doesn't require bed rest after a transfer (crazy, huh?) but said to take it easy and no lifting. I had already cleared flying beforehand, so we were on our way.

Our flight left 2 hours after my scheduled transfer time, so it was going to be a tight one, but in the end, everything went off without a hitch. I did spend the remainder of the day in bed with the purry ones but I am feeling great. No PIO, thankyouverymuch. And home just in time to catch the last of the blackberries for a batch of jam.

Now just looking for suggestions to pass the 2ww.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sesame Street & Fertility Report

Do you remember watching Sesame Street and each day was brought to you by a number and a letter? And throughout the episode the number and letter kept appearing?

Well today is brought to you by the letter K: for K (that's me) and Kate at I Can't Whistle.

It's also brought to you by the number 8! Yep, we both got 8.
It's crazy weird, no? But all good, yes?

And the rest of my story...

8 - Eggs retrieved
7- Mature
7- ICSI'd
5- At 2pn
2 -Still viable but hadn't cleaved yet

Top Doc says she is happy with this. She also noted that the cyst that almost cancelled my cycle was still there so she aspirated it. And it bled. And she didn't know exactly what it was for sure (she threw out some theories) but that we should just watch it.

The bonus news for me was that this retrieval was WAY better than my last. I can't believe it, and that was after Top Doc had prepared me for a possible repeat performance of the retrieval at my last clinic. I think the cocktail was better. The procedure was quicker. I had relatively little pain and actually got up and walked the half mile back to the hotel afterward! (I couldn't walk for over 24 hours last time and I was brutally sick.)

Oh, and can I just mention I don't have to take PIO shots?? Today I started the peanut pellets, otherwise known as Pro.metrium. Tomorrow I start the Viv.elle patch. I've already decided that shoving a peanut up the hoo hoo and putting a sticker on the belly beats PIO in the ass any day. Now if I just put M&Ms up my nose, I'd be a 3-year-old all over again and I could yell at Big Bird on TV.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Twas the Night Before....

...retrieval and all through the hotel room. Ok, my mild anxiety is creeping through tonight. I don't know why. I am WAY prepared. I am ready. This is all good. And thank you everyone for your awesome comments and your shout outs on your blogs. I want to also mention that as I will likely be under the weather tomorrow (my last retrieval was miserable and Top Doc says this one will be no exception), I am wishing the best for meKate, T @ IF Optimist, Megan, Maddy, & Pundelina who are all on deck now or shortly. (Sorry if I forgot someone...)

So for today's post...I am going to list everything I did today. I know, this is dumb. But it's all I got.

1. Slept in. Then enjoyed my decaf earl grey with cream on the patio.
2. Watched the kitty cam
3. Argued with Mr. W about which flight back he was going to take.
4. Researched said fights since he has a choice of 5 airports.
5. Made Mr. W's corporate payroll tax and 401k deposits.
6. Did laundry in the bathroom sink of my hotel room.
7. Picked out what I'm going to wear tomorrow and what I want to wear to bed when I get back.
8. Stressed out over the pre-op instructions.
9. Argued with Mr. W about his flight some more. He tells me to change it.
10. More flight research. Override his decision and don't change it.
11. Feel tired and a bit grumpy.
12. Watch kitty cam again.
13. Emailed the niece who's in NY at grad school. She is bugging me to come visit. Might be dropping in on you, EB and Sprog!
14. Email the nephew who is returning from studying in Italy. I have just realized that the keys to his car are locked in my house and he returns they day after tomorrow. Nice!
15. Lay by the hotel pool for awhile until I notice the guy down the way has his hands in his pants. That's enough for me, thank you.
16. Walk to Trader Jo.e's to pick up some things I might consider eating tomorrow. Or not. Get things for Mr. W so he won't have to go out looking for food, and can take care of me full time instead. :)))
17. Decide I have been eating healthy enough and walking enough daily to splurge and order a pizza for my "last.supper."
18. Count down the last hour that I can have anything to eat or drink.
19. Consider going to pick up Mr. W at the airport. And then decide to tell him he can take a cab since it is almost 11:00pm.
20. Notice that I am achy and have these lemons rolling around inside me.
21. Find that Jay Len.o's new show is not as funny as his old one.
22. Read and comment on your blogs.
23. Set my alarm to get up in the middle of the night to take the 2 pills I am supposed to take with only a "sip" of water.
24. Admire the circle the nurse drew yesterday (that's still on my butt) so I could back myself up to a mirror and give my own damn trigger shot.
25. Checked out the lastest Face.book gossip. Which compared to what I'm doing, is really boring.

And with that, I shall load myself into bed. One sleep to go...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Game On

All systems are go for Wednesday. Top Doc says things look good and today she was measuring 12 follicles. Some of them are smaller and it's likely they won't be mature. However, this is the best I have ever done and I'm excited about that (she says without trying to to get her hopes up too far.)



Today I was glancing over the paperwork and some of the chart details and noticed that our official diagnosis from Top Doc's clinic is Male Factor. This also makes me feel somewhat better. I might be a slow or poor responder to the meds but it doesn't appear that I have DOR like the last clinic tried to cram down my throat in effort to push me to DE. Yes, my clock is ticking, but not fast enough (in my opinion) to jump into the DE bed today.



I just have to say that Mr. W did the sweetest thing before he left home last time. We have a video security system at home so he moved the kitty food into view of one of the cameras. Now I can log into the system and peek in on my purry kids. And, I had to post this photo he snapped with his cell phone.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here I Am

...in the hotel room hanging out by myself. The word for the day is flexibilty. Everyone say it together. It's what this cycle is all about. It started out that way, and it may very well end that way. But hey, I'm game. I'll be flexible. If that's what it takes.

I've had 3 appointments at Top Doc's clinic since I got here Wednesday night. Mr. W joined me on Thursday with the idea we'd have liftoff followed by orbit sometime late this weekend/Monday-ish. OK, not so much.

Top Doc is letting me a cook awhile. And, it seems her strategy is paying off. Little by little some new follicle comes out to play the longer we wait. So here I am, pushing stim day 12 tomorrow and it looks like I'll get the trigger for the 8 or so that are ready. This is good news because I'm starting to get uncomfortable. Not crazy painful swollen miserable. But achey full can't sit or twist or stand uncomfortable.

This was bad news for Mr. W. He had blocked out his schedule to be here Monday and Tuesday this week. But my retrieval is now Wednesday. After some discussion, we agreed he would fly home tonight, reschedule his Wednesday and Thursday patients for Monday and Tuesday now if they could, and fly back Tuesday night. I feel badly about this. Patients wait 4 months to see him and then he has to cancel at the last minute. It's frustrating for them and it burdens his partner and staff. Not to mention people will start to ask lots of questions about the urgent change. But at the same time, he is human. He has a life outside of work and this is important. Not to mention the selfish me wanted him to stay with me and cancel everyone, because it IS that important and because I miss him and because I am hormonal.

But, after a zip.car trip to my favorite place (just 60 miles to the North) for the day, I dropped him at the airport and returned myself to the hotel. So here I am. Being flexible.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Status Quo

I loved the comments about my last post. You guys rock. And I was feeling somewhat badly about my whole outlook on the matter. Ok, NOT! Thanks for letting me off the hook.

This morning was my day 5 u/s with Dr. OMC. Which basically amounted to only 3 1/2 days of stims. Things are moving along - better than the last two times, but still not perfect. But shit. If I was perfect, I wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. So, we're just going to roll with what we've got- 6 follicles out in front and 4-6 more bringing up the rear. I'm all clear for a Wednesday afternoon departure to Top Doc's clinic (with a shot of Gani.relix on the side) where I will camp out for the next week or two. Fortunately, Mr. W gets to join me on Thursday night and stay through retrieval. I'm very happy about this. And, since we used to live in Top Doc's city, I can't think of a better place to spend 6 days hanging out with the master of pizza ovens.

Here is what I can happily say about this protocol so far:

1) It's easier. The dosing is a bit simpler and shots are only 1 time per day. I actually feel like I can function the rest of the day because I'm not so obsessed about looking at the damn calendar to see if I forgot to take something.

2) There are NO STEROIDS or evil Lu.pron (as my dear EB calls it). I shouted it out before. I'm shouting it out again.

3) I am not as moody, grumpy, or otherwise miserable. (I reserve the right to revoke this statement later. Clearly, I do.)

4) My sleep is not as disrupted and I still have energy.

5) I am not swelling or gaining weight. (Yet.)

And so, in an effort to get my shit together so I can leave town peacefully, I have been task mastering. Behold, the harvest update:

14 - more quarts of tomatoes canned
2 - gallons of tomato sauce canned
(there are 125 tomato plants in 5 varieties)
12 - 1/2 pints of corn relish canned
15 - ears of corn sealed and frozen
5- batches of zucchini bread in 3 different recipes, including a low-sugar variety for Mr. W

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Smut for the Day

I can't resist temptation to comment on this one. Much like I couldn't control the hand that clicked on the page.

First off, my own personal disclaimer, which really means very little:

I'm not a reality show watcher. I don't read the celebrity smut magazines. And, the only things I know about Jon and K.ate and Oct.omom and whomever else, are the things that flash before my eyes on the newsstand while I'm waiting at checkout, things I see in the only paper I read (the WSJ), and whatever Brian Wil.liams says on the nightly news when I happen to catch him. Otherwise, I prefer to have my head conveniently buried in the sand.

And then I flipped on my laptop yesterday. The last time I had it in for IT service, the guy set my home page to M.S.N.com. Something I never changed. So I popped open internet explorer and there it was plastered across the front. And what did I do? I swear a 2 ton brick could not have stopped my hand from clicking on it. There was nothing I could do but read and stare and gawk.

The Dug.gars are having their 19th child. What.the.fucq.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mistaken Identity

Or as Dr. OMC sheepishly stated at my second u/s yesterday...."Too many cooks in the kitchen."

After hearing I had a cyst on Tuesday (and being informed by Dr. OMC that if I was their patient I would be cancelled) Top Doc asked if it was "clear" or "cloudy" to which, Dr. OMC replied (several hours after the u/s) that is was clear. Meaning it was a follicle that had not ovulated, as opposed to the cloudy remnant of one that had just ovulated from the previous cycle.

Did I mention why I like Top Doc so much? For starters, she is THOROUGH. She was not satisfied with the u/s results and so I had another yesterday. (Yeah, it cost me another $500 to repeat.) This time, Dr. OMC informs me he will not be commenting on my u/s (uhm while he's there doing it and I'm watching) and instead says he will leave the decision making to Top Doc.

But at this u/s I have the unique benefit of having a resident present! Normally, I don't consider it a benefit. And in fact, I often decline the resident option. So what does this mean? Well aside from it means she is like the 8th or 9th person in the last 6 months to assist in the wand-waving in my hoo-hoo, it means Dr. OMC is giving a little teaching lesson! So much for his "no comment." As he proceeds to count the 7 follicles on the left and the 5 on the right, he points out a larger cyst on the left and mutters something about cloudiness under his breath and evidence of a corpus luteum. (Sludge left over from the last cycle.) BINGO!

And so I was given the green light last night by Top Doc! You gotta love a woman with the kahunas to ask questions and demand more. Of course, I had not been to the pharmacy yet, but I was prepared with enough leftovers to shoot up last night then high-tail it to the pharmacy first thing this morning to pick up the goods (and shoot up again in the parking lot.)

I've gotten smart in my IVF veteran-ness. My next u/s is Monday, so I bought enough drugs to get through Tuesday. Maybe I'm not being the ultimate optimist, but what the hell? In the event I get cancelled mid-cycle, I don't want to be dining out on extra Foll.istim in my fridge until the next round.

So it seems I'm headed out of town in a few days afterall to finish my cycle at Top Doc's clinic. Nothing like keeping a girl guessing...especially a hormonal one!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Game Over....with an update

Before I even started. I'm so stunned, I can't believe it.

I have not heard officially from Top Doc's clinic, but it's a no go. Call it a cyst. Call it a dominant follicle. Call it the pile of shit for a body that I live in. I know I am cancelled before I even start the stims tonight. Yes, I realize I got my medical degree from Goo.gle University, but Dr. OMC saw it on the u/s this morning and called it out. Of course, with the disclaimer that it's not HIS final call.

I did not go to the pharmacy.
I am cancelling my hotel.
I am calling for a refund.
I am writing off the month of September.
I am losing my fucqing mind. Again.

Update:
Top Doc called this afternoon to say she wants me to have another u/s on Thursday. She thinks this monster follicle could be a remnant of the last cycle and may be on its way out. Since it.is.so.fucqing.huge. (Well that's not the descriptive word she used, but you get it.) I still like her, by the way. She delivers even shitty news with integrity.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Day Before Tomorrow

Canada was great as usual. But no cheap drugs for me.

Sigh.

I suppose I will just suffer at the pharmacy tomorrow when I pick up my new junk.

I have been doing fine so far, on this EP protocol. Uh-uhm, until today. It seems every possible side effect of the estrace has exploded in me today. Fortunately, I have only one more day of these little blue pills before the real fun starts- kicking it off with the baseline u/s tomorrow morning.

Yesterday's Harvest Update:

6 - gallons of tomatoes canned
8- 1/2 pints of pest0 made

Thursday, August 27, 2009

O Canada

I love Canada. And I'll admit, I'm partial to British Columbia.

So Mr. W and I decided a few weeks ago to head out of town for the weekend (leaving in a few hours) for a quick trip. His BFF + girlfriend are joining us. It's BFF's birthday and our anniversary so it just should be a fun time.

But ok, I'll fess up. I'm looking for drugs. Cheap drugs. In Canada. And when we planned this trip, I thought it would be a good opportunity to exploit. But since then, I have done some more research and found that mail order is really the best option (due in part, to the RX issue). However, after shopping around, I'm finding there isn't a huge savings either. Nonetheless, I am armed with my RX's and will do some scouting.

Beyond the scouting, it will be a last supper of sorts. Last ditch weekend to eat, drink, and be merry. Before the Hell that is IVF begins.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bite Down

Or bend over.

Today was one of those days when reality comes along and bites you in the ass. I made the $12,450 cycle deposit and boy did it hurt. It doesn't help that because my visa card was hacked earlier this week (and the account has subsequently been cancelled and the new card is nowhere in sight yet) I have had to cough up (or rather vomit up) alternative funds. And then there are the drugs next week. Yes, I knew all of this was coming. Yes, I was prepared. (Ok, well not necessarily emotionally it seems). It still effing pains me to do it.

On the bright side, I resumed acupuncture today. Uh-uhm, not with the last acuquack, as Super Doc calls her. But rather with the same person who did my previous embryo transfer. I have two more sessions next week, then I'm off to Top Doc's clinic and their own in-house acupuncturists.

So here we are. All in. And hoping for a stellar baseline next week to get the party started.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad Blogger


I have been such a bad blogger lately, that I hardly feel worthy of the award bestowed upon me by Mad Hatter. (She nominated me August 5th....that's how bad I've been). In any case, thank you. I love reading your blog too!


Rules:

1. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find interesting and engaging.
2. Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog and leave a comment informing them that they have won the "Honest Scrap Award".
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.


I've tried to pick first-time winners, sorry if I blew it.

1. Barefoot
2. Bon
3. IF Optimist
4. Can You Imagine?
5. Meinsideout
6. I Can't Whistle (I'm sure Kate's been nominated before?)
7. I Want A Station Wagon

And now for the 10 honest things...

1. I seriously wonder if this IVF crap will ever work.
2. I seriously wonder if Mr. W and I will ever be able to quit our jobs and just make wine.
3. I did not vote for our current Pres.ident. (Sorry, I know you all hate me now.)
4. I've never had a beer in my life. (Disgusting smelling stuff.)
5. My Visa card was just hacked for the second time in 12 months.
6. I would like to go back to school and get my MB.A but there's all this other stuff to deal with.
7. I find I don't enjoy being around most of my IRL friends now.
8. I've been avoiding this post because it's taking me forever to write 10 things.
9. I dislike talking on the phone.
10. I would have 25 cats if I thought no one would call animal control on me!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marking Time & Making Lists

I'm finding that I'm starting to get consumed in this IF thing again. It's approaching rather quickly and now I'm in a rush to get the "to dos" done and the lists made. I'm going to be gone for almost two weeks at Top Doc's clinic and already I'm worried about Mr. W remembering to feed the kitties, pick up the mail, get to the bank, and still make it to work.

It seems everything else is falling into place, even if it's chaotic. The cycle is set. The OMC is confirmed and orders have been faxed. The boatload of prescriptions is awaiting pick up. And the hotel has confirmed my room request for a patio facing the pool and a fridge! I'm left with lists of stuff to take. Stuff to finish doing (uhm, like the 2008 taxes). Projects I want to take with me. Final logistics of getting there and back. Logistics of getting Mr. W there and back! And, well, a little anxiety on the side.

I'm already starting to miss the things I will miss while I'm gone. Our pool on a hot day (every day, lately). My purry friends. Cooking. And of course, Mr. W (and his kick-ass pizza). On top of that, the garden has got its full game on and I've been a canning fool - 20 quarts of dill pickles and 12 pints of bread and butter pickles. We've also done 12 cans of Mr. W's Alaskan salmon and 30 cans of fresh albacore tuna. The tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and onions are all rolling in quickly now. Not to mention the blackberries, figs, apples, and squash to follow. There is no way I will get it all done and clearly I will miss the best two weeks of the harvest. Yet another burden for Mr. W.

To top it off, we did not settle our court case at mediation earlier this month which means we are headed for trial in December. This really has been a big downer and has been the contributing factor to my past few weeks of mental funk. The financial stress of IVF and humongous attorney fees are taking its toll. We're "all in", as Mr. W says. And I hope we're left with something to show for it all in the end. At least we won't starve.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Houston, We Have A Winner...

Top Doc.

It just sort of worked out that way and over time, became the best choice. It wasn't the most convenient choice and it certainly wasn't the least expensive choice. But it's the choice that FELT right. So travelling 600 miles for the next IVF go round is the way it will be. My testing is complete and I've been approved to start, of course assuming I have a normal baseline. Mr. W and I even slipped out of town for a few days so he could make a cryo deposit at Top Doc's clinic. I am relieved that at least my favorite donor has a back-up now.

I'm on my third protocol this time around. The one for old hags (a.k.a. estrogen priming protocol). And as such, I have to start the estrogen following the next OPK + which means I won't be doing anything interesting until September. Top Doc's clinic is very orchestrated and everything is spelled out in detail. Including the brand of OPKs to use, which I drove all over town looking for only to find one box - probably the last box in the state. But I like this orchestration and structure. They do three times as many IVF cycles as my last clinic and they do complicated ones. So they must have something figured out. The best part of this protocol is NO STEROIDS. Can I just shout out how happy I am about this?

And so on our last quick trip to Top Doc's clinic I got to do a dry run on the routine. We stayed in the hotel I'll stay at. We walked the walk to the clinic to be sure I could do it when I'm fat and bloated. (Of course I can take a cab, but I'd rather not.) And I got to find where the nearby Zip.Cars live in case I want an outing. (I love using zip.cars as an alternative to renting a car when we travel.) I even spoke to the hotel about getting a refrigerator in the room for the meds, and requesting a room with a balcony or patio.

So it's a plan. And for now, I'm just happy to have one.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Not Cool

As in freakin hot. It has been 105 degrees for what seems like an eternity. You can fry an egg on the driveway, bake cookies on the dash of your car, and get a sunburn just looking out the window. Our air conditioning broke on Sunday (repaired on Monday thankfully), and the pool is 95 degrees (obviously without the heater on).

But what's REALLY not cool is the bill I got from RE Opinionator #3 for my consult. I was told the consult was $300 which I paid up front. This is the same price as the consults I have paid for at the other 2 clinics. However, the bill shows up today for $529. I am slightly miffed. And, I have a hunch this is what would be billed to my insurance company and would be reduced based on their contracted rate (which I KNOW they have). So really....should I be expected to pay any more out of pocket than the contracted rate they have with my insurance company, although I don't speficially have those benefits? I think not. But we'll see what THEY think. (After I let Mr. W call them. Tee hee.)

Not cool. Very not cool.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Purgatory

Disclaimer: Not intended to offend anyone older than me.

Ordinarily, my birthday is a fun day. The weather is pretty much guaranteed fabulous and one of my BFFs shares the same birthday.

Sigh.

Note the updated profile info on the sidebar.

Another sigh.

I am in birthday purgatory now. Caught between Scylla and Charybdis.

After 35, the IF world casts unfavorable glances your way. At 37, you start losing rights to discount plans, money backs, and shared risks. At 38, you move up a tier in the SA.RT data . At 39...well....you start getting the shoulder shrugs, especially after a failed cycle. You're technically still under 40 so you won't be thrown out the door. (Read the disclaimer.) You won't hear the gasps from the balcony yet. They will happily take your money to try again. Because it could still work, you know. But mentally, you are being pushed into the next column whether you like it or not. (Disclaimer.)

I have only been 39 for 36 hours. But two days ago, I was still 38. Is it possible my eggs crossed the point of no return over a weekend? Of course not. Is it possible they have arrived begrudgingly into a holding tank where their fate will be sealed by a roll of the dice? A flick of the magic wand? A click of the heels? An empty bank account? A lab's soured culture medium?

No Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Else?

Today was one of those days where you just have to say WTF?

For starters it was an OPK positive day. Great news overall, except my donor is fishing in Alaska. Or at least he was....until his BFF called me this morning to say he was taking Mr. W to the ER. Huh???

Apparently Mr. W had some excruciating amount of pain and decided he needed to go. I can only imagine how bad it must have been if Mr. W allowed himself to be driven to the emergency room. (Doctors are the worst patients.) Meanwhile, I'm a total train wreck but BFF calls to say they saw him right away and that Mr. W diagnosed himself (on the way to the ER) with a kidney stone. Turns out, he was right! A CT scan confirmed he had a 3mm stone in his distal ureter. They gave him some painkillers, a band-aid, and shipped him back out to finish his fishing trip. He comes home tomorrow - salmon, halibut, and a kidney stone heavy. So begins the process of getting the damn thing passed. (BIL is a urologist and wants to surgically remove it when he gets back. Uhm....no thanks...if possible. We don't need to be doing any unnecessary tampering with what jewels we've got to work with.)

As for me...I haven't really updated the GI issue, because well, I really don't have a lot of info yet. I'm still waiting for test results, followed by more results. To make matters worse, Top Doc's clinic (RE opinion #2)requires a slew of tests that my local lab managed to fucq up. So I have to go back for a redraw (as does Mr. W) and a repeat of the missed labs. Ok fine. But of course that doesn't move me to the head of the class anytime soon. And well, time's a ticking for August. Ticking right on by...

Ya know, if we could both just get our sorry asses healthy, maybe we could have a freakin kid or two.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Perspective

Mr. W is on his annual fishing trip in Alaska. I'm sort of rattling around by myself (with three cats). I usually look forward to this week and typically plan a few girlfriend events, catch up on "stuff" that never seems to get done and just kick back. But work and a bunch of other crazy stuff has prevented most of that, along with the blasted 95 degree weather. After the holy crap that Mr. W and I have been through this year, I miss him terribly and find that nothing else I wanted to "do" really matters. And he has been texting me, wanting to come home already, only 2 days into the trip. All of this reminds me that there is so much more to be doing and enjoying than fretting over this IF crap 100% of the time.

I was thinking about all of this earlier today but then I logged onto Fac.ebook to see what everyone else was up to. I had no idea how hard those thoughts would be hammered home.

A guy I went to high school with has a 4-year old son with brain cancer. They have just learned after several surgeries that it's now terminal. This weekend was their Make.A.Wish event and he had posted pictures. To top it off, his wife had ovarian cancer 2 years ago and was in remission, but now it has come back. He will likely lose his son and wife in a very short time. Suddenly IF seems so minuscule.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Behind Door Number Three

And so the quest for the perfect clinic continues. We had our third opinion consult on Tuesday. It was interesting and informative, I suppose. He was a realistic optimist, I would say. He thought there was some work to be done in the protocol department to improve the outcome. He also said our situations are always the worst cases that walk in the door (severe MFI with old hag in tow). Nice. At least he's honest. So what other bombs could he drop?

1. I have some follicle recruitment issues, similar to the dominance syndrome. A variation of a protocol he's been testing in monkeys looks promising. I'm serious. He "monkeys around".

2. I may be tending toward new PCOS-like symptoms. Ok, this one is new.

3. He's a big believer in TCM, but says cut the herb crap. His jury was still out on DHEA.

4. He says skipping out on the wine is ridiculous. (Ok, he is scoring serious points, but I tell him not to blow sunshine up my skirt.)

5. He says Mr. W definitely needs to get some samples cryo'd soon.

6. From the land of WTF, he says my hormone levels are so normal it's silly that this hasn't worked. But clearly, I am a poor responder. So it may likely be a statistical game of which month or cycle will work this time. Or not. Or it may be more about which month my bank account thinks it will work.

7. And from the holy shit category, he thinks there MAY be a correlation between what has been going on in my GI tract and this IF. And therefore, he would not allow us to do IVF until the remaining results and/or treatment is done for the stomach issues. Oh gawd. More on that in a later post.

8. When I told him we had a consult at another clinic and would make a decision in the next few weeks, he asked who we were considering. I said Top Doc out of state. Coincidentally, he had just referred his niece to her because she lives in that city. He spoke very highly of Top Doc and admitted we had a very difficult decision to make. And so we do.

9. Oh, and according to him, I need to kick my optimism level up a notch.

He did dispel some myths...some reservations I had about going there, which I said a few posts back that I would elaborate on. He confirmed the lab is located on site. (I thought it was elsewhere.) He offered a reasonable explanation for an error that occurred a few years ago. (You never want to see an error, but the media blamed it on the lab. He explained it differently and I felt he was very candid.) However, he did confirm that other clinics in town may also use their lab, but said that physicians were not allowed in the lab.

So we're pretty much back to square one and have actually made a little chart. It's a tough choice and everything is on the line.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Not Enough Emoticons

My creativity is somewhat sapped, so I decided to summarize my past week like this:

1) Happiness: From finally wearing my wedding rings again for the first time in over 2 months.

2) Encouragement: In having dropped 12 of those IVF pounds. (See #1)

3) Control: In skipping out on 4 days of court depositions I was supposed to be in this past week.

4) Disgust: For the amount of money spent on attorney fees for above, that could have been spent on another IVF cycle.

5) Pleasure: In the freshly wood-fired pizza Mr. W made in his oven last night.

6) Relief: That the stray bullet yesterday veered into my tire and exited out the wheel, instead of through me.

7) Sadness: That I see Mr. W's parents aging quickly before my eyes and that they may never meet another grandchild.

8) Hope: That this next IVF cycle will work and that we will make the right clinic decision.

9) Bummed: That Mr. W is leaving for his annual fishing trip to Alaska soon.

10) Desperate: For this black cloud to move on its way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ordinary Post

I was formulating ideas in my mind this morning about some things I wanted to write in my next post. And then I read dear Kate's post on her ordinary life and it stopped me in my tracks. So much so, that I have decided to post another day, or maybe another time later today.

She has clearly hit the nail on the head (as she so frequently does). And...well...that's how it really is. I've got that same recycle bin. I've seen that same ultrasound screen. I know where that parking lot it. I've been naive. Those dice are rolling around in my pocket too.

Go have a read.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back Up Plan

Next week is the consult with RE opinionator #3 - the local university. I have been awaiting a magical message from the universe to tell me what to do with respect to choosing the next clinic. Of course, the dream I had a few weeks ago suggested that RE #3 was going to be a bad choice, but I decided not to be judge and jury all at once and at least give him a chance, so next week's consult is still on.

Not knowing what will be the outcome of that event, I went ahead and scheduled a cycle for next month with RE opinion #2, at the clinic 600 miles away. Today was my preliminary coordination appointment (albeit by conference call), followed by a financial counseling appointment. I am relieved to be at least temporarily moving forward again. And, I am suspicious that this choice will end up being our final choice anyway, for reasons I shall elaborate on later.

However, this choice clearly will not be without its own set of issues. For starters, I have the travel factor. I have at least already booked my hotel room - just so I HAVE one. I have more flexibility on the flights, and can drive in a pinch, so I will wait that one out a bit.

Then there is the cycle fee. We were unsuccessful in our attempt to get insurance coverage this last renewal period. It's simply not offered in our state for small businesses like Mr. W's, so we will be 100% out of pocket for the fee and drugs again, and this clinic costs almost $3000 more per cycle than our last one. Needless to say, I'll be looking for meds if anyone has any lying around they'd like to dump. Cheap.

And then there's the explaining to everyone why I'm out of town for so damn long without Mr. W. Still working on that one...

Friday, July 3, 2009

The View From Here...


...is better than the view from inside the endoscope yesterday.



If you look closely, you can see Mr. W in the middle of the picture weed whacking our path to the beach. It's a crappy picture I took with my cell phone. That's the sun shimmering off the ocean in the far ground. It has been almost two months since we have been to our beach house. Hence the need for weed whacking. The last time we were here, I was in my 2ww and had learned I had a BFM on the beta scale. M as in...maybe. Sigh. Other than this post today, I have decided to have an IF-free weekend here with friends. I'm going to relax. Enjoy the incredible weather. The local fireworks. And the idiotic things other people do at the beach on a major holiday weekend.



But I digress...to yesterday's scope. Thanks for asking, Meinsideout . It was, well, not ideal. But I guess, not horrible. I have a great GI doc. And that's saying a lot coming from me. Aside from Mr. W, I am not easily impressed with medical professionals. And perhaps, because of Mr. W, I am hard on them. I ask lots of questions. I don't like to be patronized or idiotized. I expect thorough and courteous treatment. And I'm ok with educated hunches for the inexplicable (duly disclaimed of course). I have no tolerance for pompousness and I dislike someone who has not at least "flipped" through my chart before they walk in the room. Really...is that too much to ask? I felt Dr. GI met these criteria with flying colors. And, he treated me like the educated, articulate person I am (even though Mr. W was present).

Ok, ok...so the scope. Dr. GI was genuinely concerned about doing it if I had a positive beta (because of the DIY IUI last weekend) so he had a blood draw done right then and there while we waited to begin. It was negative. Big surprise, but also too early, technically...which I told him. He said it was our call. I said based on our recent fabulous lab news the day before, I was fairly confident it was a bust. Mr. W agreed. Dr. GI said the only possible risk was the unknown effect of the sedatives administered for twilight. After some discussion, we agreed to proceed. I appreciated Dr. GI's concern and candidness. And he even let Super Doc watch the whole procedure!

I'll tell you how it went, but I want to say I am clearly not the poster child for endoscopies. If you ever have to have one, it will not likely be as miserable as mine. I was not in twilight for a good portion of it. In fact, I was awake, gagging, for most of it. After the cocktail was administered, I was given a little bite block with a hole in it to keep my mouth open for the scope, while preventing me from biting on it. And then I was out. Uhm...for a bit. I woke up (who knows when) gagging on the damn thing and feeling the hose go up and down my throat, followed by some suction action in my mouth and conversations between Dr. GI and Super Doc. And then I was out again. (Mr. W said every time I woke up they hit me again with the cocktail until apparently they decided I'd just plain had enough to sedate a cow...which I am not, but feel like I resemble sometimes.) I remember waking again and hearing the nurse talking and I remember opening my eyes a couple of times and seeing a little towel covering my face. In any case, Dr. GI told Super Doc my continual gagging was very common in people with IBS, and they don't know why, other than the body has a constant propensity to want to expel things.

So the verdict? Dr. GI took 6 biopsies - 2 of my stomach, 2 of my esophagus, and 2 of my small intestine. Those are all pending. He also used a second, ultrasound scope and scanned every organ he could. All normal. What he did find with the scope was severe gastritis in the stomach (excessive acid causing these little bumps) and jackpot...a hernia in my stomach! Did you know there was such a thing? I didn't, but now I have a little picture of one inside me. (Yeah, I got some nice photos as a GWP but I'll spare you all.) Dr. GI said the hernia is old, meaning it's been there awhile, but the recent IVF stress and weight gain have aggravated it enough to make me miserable. He didn't feel surgery was necessary and that a bit of weight loss (seriously, he said just a little...) should help, as well as some treatment for the acid. And oh, de-stressing. Uh...yeah. Of course, this is all pending the biopsy results which he expects to be normal.

So I went home somewhat relieved there wasn't something serious and that the ultrasounds were normal. Of course I have an incredibly raw, sore throat. And because I maxed out the cocktail service, I hailed whatever I tried to eat the rest of the night.

For the rest of the weekend, I shall relax and enjoy the sound of the ocean among the company of good friends. I might even have a glass of wine, if the stomach and throat will oblige. And next week, I'll resume the IF obsession and 10 more days in court, which ironically, are the result of... the view from here.