Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another Baker's Half Dozen

I went up to Syracuse yesterday for my retrieval -- and the fertility guru was able to get seven eggs! It was really exciting, though I knew some of then were probably not mature. But seven! Again!

I went to have my post-retrieval acupuncture treatment in Syracuse and it was so relaxing. Probably didn't hurt that I had been unconscious a mere 30 minutes earlier. I spent the day in Syracuse with my niece and then headed back home last night.

Started my next round of meds -- no shots for this cycle, thankfully. Three days of antibiotics, twice a day, estrodial twice a day until after my blood test, back on the baby aspirin in the morning, and 10 herbal pills.

The embryologist called me this morning. She said they injected five of the seven eggs and three took. So I have three embryos set for the transfer later this week. I was a little disappointed at first, that I won't have any in the freezer, but then I reminded myself that I won't need them. This is the month of positive thinking. I'll get pregnant this time around -- maybe even with twins, god help me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mr. Angelos' Night Before Christmas


For my regular readers, you know that I used to work in Baltimore. One of my former interns posted this on her Facebook page today, and I couldn't resist sharing, even though I know most of you aren't sports fan. And even though I'm a Yankees fan, because I worked so closely with the team and got to know so many of the players, I consider the Orioles my second-favorite team, and root for them every chance I get (as long as they're not playing the Yankees).

'Tis the season, anyway. Enjoy!

PS....Mr. Angelos is the much-maligned owner of the Orioles, who makes really poor decisions and has basically run the franchise into the ground.



Twas the week before Christmas and all through the state
Not an O’s fan was sleeping, they all stayed up late
Their houses had lights and a tree and a crèche
But all they kept doing was hitting “refresh”.

The Yanks got Sabathia, now what could be fairer
Than signing their own home town boy Mark Teixeira
And I, in the warehouse, in my O’s jacket and cap
Was looking for Severna Park on a map

When out in the Yard, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
But I couldn’t see well over the big piles of cash

The moon on the breast of the manicured grass
Gave off ghostly images of stars from the past
There’s Gus Triandos, and Brooksie, and Earl
Frank Robinson, Dempsey, Jim Palmer and Cal

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a stocky ballplayer in St.Michael’s Boy’s gear.
From his pigeon-toed walk, and his face full of youth
I knew in a moment that it was Babe Ruth!

His eyes how they twinkled, (though they were a bit bleary)
His belly was big and his outlook quite cheery.
He had dirt on his jersey, his face held a grin
He looked like he knew just how great he had been

He was looking right at me as he reached into his sack
And pulled out a signed and sealed baseball contract
His said nothing at all, but his eyes, they conveyed
It was time to unmake the mistakes I have made

To rebuild the proud franchise that had so blessed the town
To restore the fine legacy that he’d handed down
That had been such a joy on the shores of the Bay
That had lifted all hearts every opening day

I looked at the contract and saw Teixeira’s name
And others behind it, all signed just the same
Extensions for Roberts and also for Nick
All neatly completed, now that’s quite a trick!

Then, pointing towards center, the Babe started to rise
And flew over the scoreboard and up to the skies
But he turned ‘ere he vanished, and exclaimed as he rose:
Merry Christmas to all… And How Bout Dem O’s!

Decisions Made

I was bummed this morning. I went for my follicle check and they didn't seem to grow that much in the last two days. So I waited and waited for the doctor to call, all the while thinking all sorts of negative things and jumping to medical conclusions that I have no business making.

And then Linda (from the fertility guru's office) called to say that I was on track for retrieval on Saturday. I'll give myself injections of the Lupron and Gonal-F tonight, take my last baby aspirin (until after the transfer) tomorrow, do injections of Ovidril tomorrow at exactly 9:30pm, and then nothing to eat or drink after midnight on Friday. The retrieval will be Saturday at 9am, and unfortunately I don't have anyone to take me. But it'll work out. I'll do acupuncture at the FG's office and should be fully coherent by the time that is over.

My transfer will be on Christmas Eve. And I'll do acupuncture, again at the FG's office since my person will be away for the holiday, on Tuesday morning and then Wednesday after the transfer. And then on Christmas day, I'll drive to Richmond.

Not the best the way to spend Christmas, but certainly not the worst. I should be to my brother's house by 2 or 3pm. And I've told a few people in my family that I won't be spending Christmas with them, the ones who could react either very positively or negatively, and they reacted in the way I would want them to.

So no anxiety over Christmas anymore. Time to just be positive and think good thoughts and make this baby.

And as Bubbles said when she heard the transfer date, "a Christmas baby...how wonderfully cheesy!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Growing, growing, growing

I went in for my follicle check this morning. There are five now, four clustered in the left ovary, one in the right. They are 17, 16.5, 11.5, and two under 8mm.

So while I was hopeful that they would tell me today when my retrieval is, they called to say that I need to go in one more time, on Wednesday, for a possible retrieval on Friday.

Tonight, I picked up the hormones that I will have to inject in myself pre-retrieval. So I'm ready. Whenever they tell me, I'm ready.

I'm feeling good. Clownface, whom I've known since the 4th grade, made a lot of sense in her comment to me about Christmas. And she's right, it's more about me right now, not my family. What is better for me in this period of time when I'm supposed to keep my stress level low? Christmas filled with anxiety? Or a little alone time in the car?

And so while I haven't made a final decision -- I will wait to know when my transfer day is -- I pretty much know which way I am leaning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Follicle Update

I went for my third follicle check yesterday. One I got past the drama of the 10 inches of snow we got over night and into the morning, it was all good. I have three egg follicles, 9, 11 and 12mm. Ready for retrieval is 20mm. So I'm halfway there. They grow between 1 to 3mm per day. I go back on Monday, and I'm guessing that will be the last follicle check and then I'll begin preparing for the retrieval on maybe Friday or Saturday. There could be more than three follicles, some could be on top on another. Or there could be more than one egg per follicle. But three is good.

I'm feeling confident. I'm going into this one with a more positive attitude. From the moment he puts the embryos in (and I'm going to let him go as high as four, if there are that many), I'm going to be pregnant. I'm going to believe that I'm pregnant. No cautious optimism. I'll deal with the pain, if I have to, later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

To Christmas or Not to Christmas

Still don't know what I'm doing for Christmas. And my OCD is starting to kick in. I like plans. I know knowing what I'm doing. And not knowing what I'm doing, if I'm driving north or south, if I'm spending Christmas with high anxiety or in my pj's all day.

I'm not sure how to make the decision. If the embryo transfer is on the 23rd or earlier, then it's a no-brainer that I'll go to Richmond. But if the transfer is on Christmas Eve, how do I really explain to my family that I'd rather spend Christmas day in a car, alone, for eight hours, than spend the holiday with them?

It's perplexing, that's for sure. I'm trying not to stress over it. But it's hard.

Any suggestions?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Colts, Giants.....not what you think

At one point in my career, I could call every play in the final two minutes and 15 seconds of this game. I'm so excited to watch this on Saturday.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

It Was Transparent, but I Was Thankful

I talked to one of my sisters on Tuesday night, and she said something that got me riled up. I don't remember, but suddenly I was venting about how no one in the family (save her, my mother, my sister-in-law in Virginia, and my niece) seemed to care about what I was going through. That no one ever called, no one emailed. And that our niece (the one who announced her pregnancy last week) was an insensitive bitch.

She was good. She let me rant, she tried to make some excuses for them but not too many, and then said she didn't know I felt that way. How could I not? You all know how I feel, I've spelled it out before how much they all hurt me by not inquiring.

And then she asked about why I thought Erica was insensitive. Really? Seriously? "I have the best fertility specialist in the region putting living, viable embryos into my uterus and I can't get pregnant. I don't want to hear that she got pregnant without even trying."

Oh, was the response. Yea, oh.

So yesterday my phone rang. A 315 area code but no name. Could have been someone's cell, I guess, so I answered. (315 is Syracuse, where most of my family lives.) It was my oldest sister. "Haven't talked to you in a while. Mom told me you were gearing up for your next procedure, so I thought I'd check in."

We talked for about 30 minutes. She gave me her updates. I told her what I was doing. I even congratulated her on being a grandma-to-be. I would have liked the conversation to end there, but she talked about how Erica was feeling, and the plans they were making for a bigger place, and that they would have such pretty babies because they were both so pretty. And of course, I started crying.

And she knew it. "Why are you crying?" And then she answered her own questions, excusing it on the hormones. And I let her think that was the case. I did ask for this, after all. I did want my siblings to be a little thoughtful with me, and reach out to me. So I guess this is what I get with it.

I know no one knows what the right thing to say is. I know it's a hard thing. And unless you've been living this with me for the past 18 months, you have no idea just exactly what I've been through.

To synopsize it into 6 failed IUI attempts and two failed IVF's, with one chemical pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage, does not give justice to what it has actually been. And so I'll give some slack to the ones who are just jumping on board now, and remember that this is what I wanted.

But there's something about the conversation that just didn't feel genuine. Like she was calling because she heard I was uattempted to comfort me when I was crying was a little too cavalier for my liking, she was over-looking anything that was just said that could have been the cause of the tears, over-looking that her daughter being pregnant could be very upsetting to me.

And maybe there is still awkwardness over the wedding this summer. Until amends are made, there will always be something that can't be said between us. (And at least in my end, something that will always be on the top of my tongue to say.) And maybe that was there. Maybe that was what I was sensing.

Or maybe it's time for me to go back to see my shrink. I've run into her at Wegmans and Kohl's recently. Maybe it's the universe's way of telling me that I've done the best job I can handling this complex roller coaster of emotions, but I need to call in the professional for a little advice. I'll see how this week goes.

I go in tomorrow for a follicle check and blood work. I've been giving myself 450 units of Gonal-F since Thursday night. I'll know tomorrow if it's been working the way we hoped.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What Can Brown Do For You?

I stopped taking the pill on Friday, started the Lupron shots (in my stomach) on Saturday, and actually started my period yesterday, a whole week early, which makes me feel less stressed about fitting in a retrieval and transfer this month.

I went in for a baseline ultrasound this morning -- they said everything looked like it's supposed to -- and so on Thursday I'll start the Gonal-F shots. That will basically turn my ovaries into Jiffy Pop -- making lots of egg follicles. Hopefully as many as last time (seven eggs, five embryos). And then next week I'll go in for ultrasounds on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Hopefully the following week will be the retrieval -- early enough that I can still make it to Richmond for Christmas, maybe even Christmas Eve, too.

My emotions are in better shape than they have been in the past few weeks, and my acupuncturist reminded me that I was on the pill for two weeks. Straight estrogen was bound to make my emotions a little crazy. Hopefully that's over and I can try to stay positive from here on out.

Last week when we were in Richmond, my father made a fairly bland, but definitely off-color remark. I have mentioned to my mom that it bothered me when remarks like that were made, because what if I can't get pregnant and I end up adopting. The baby will not be white. And I don't care.

The remark was made, and I got up in the middle of dinner and walked away. Went upstairs and took a bath. When I came out, my mom was upstairs and she was crying. This was not about her. This was not about me comforting her, which is what she wanted.

The momma bear came out in me, protecting my child that I don't even have yet. "This is 2009 almost, we have a black president for god's sake. Is a black baby somehow less desirable (insert air quotes) than an Asian baby or a Latin baby? I don't care where the baby comes from. If I've learned anything over the past two years, it's not where the baby comes from, it's that I get to be a mom. And if I hear remarks like the one I just did in front of my non-Caucasian that will be the last time he sees that child."

The point was made. No apologies were needed. I just didn't ever want to hear it again. When I talked to my friends the next day, I almost couldn't repeat the story. I was embarrassed that my father could actually still utter words like that.

I know he's of a different generation, but that excuse can really only go so far. And it was one thing to hear him say things like that and ignore him, but it's hitting a little too close to home. Or it could potentially be hitting close to home.

He was better the rest of the week. There were no off-color remarks. No offensive terms. At least not in front of me, which is all I can ask for.

And it made me feel very maternal. Sticking up for my future child to someone that I've never stood up to. I guess that's what parents do, even when they are still someone's child.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Just Asking for a Little Compassion

But perhaps that's too much to ask for.

I spent the week in Richmond, with my parents, at my brother's house. Many stories including the phone call from J on Monday night and Tuesday night dinner with my niece's boyfriend, but more on all that later.

As we were driving home yesterday, my cell phone rang. It was my niece (the one who got married this past summer, the stupid family wedding fame). I was in the bathroom at McDonald's so just hit ignore.

As my parents were ordering something to eat, I went outside to listen to the voice mail.

"Yeah, hey Ellie, just wanted to see if you had a good Thanksgiving and to let you know I'm expecting. Yea totally crazy...wasn't planning on it, we weren't even trying, it just happened. So I'm due July 9th. Call me back if you want."

I turned my back to my parents inside the restaurant and started crying. But I had to pull myself together. I wasn't going to tell them for a number of reasons. Not my news, not my place to tell my parents. And I wasn't going to get into a car for four more hours and discuss this.

My eyes welled up several times on the drive home. I tried to push it out of my head. I tried not to think about it. I'm happy for her, of course.

But really....is that the way you tell someone who has been struggling with infertility for the past 18 months? Seriously.

My fucking family -- and that's the way I feel about most of them these days -- can't see past the nose of their faces. And sure, I'm probably being a little egocentric about this as well, but really...

I talked to my sister-in-law and Bubbles -- both reacted the same way. That is to say, that they don't think I'm over-reacting, being selfish or being egocentric. Both feel that a little bit of compassion and understanding could have been a part of the phone message.

Of course I would want to know, of course I'm glad she called me, and as I said, of course I'm happy for her. But at the same time, I'm sad for me. At the same time, I would have appreciated a little human decency on her part in telling me.

I haven't been able to call her back. And probably won't. At some point I will send her an email.

I've been having anxiety over Christmas. With my cycle and the retrieval and transfer dates up in the air at this point, I wasn't sure if I would be able to go to Richmond for Christmas. If I didn't do that, then I would go to my sister's in Syracuse.

I always have anxiety when the entire family (or damn close to it) gets together. I'm the odd man out, I feel self-conscious about everything. Virginia is easier, but questionable this year.

Well, the parents-to-be will be home for Christmas this year. More than I could really take. So even if I'm driving eight hours on December 25th, or I spend it alone in Ithaca, I'm not going to Syracuse. It would be too much.

And maybe that's me having a pity party for myself. Or maybe I'll change my mind in a few days or a few weeks. Or maybe I won't. I guess only time will tell.

And so for the "I-don't-know-how-many-times" time, I'll feel lousy for a few days and then try to snap out of it. I really thought when I woke up yesterday that it was the start of feeling good, of moving forward and being positive.

Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Day Yesterday

I was over-tired from being up late on the phone with J.

Towards the end of the day, a friend at work confided in me and another friend that he and his wife are expecting. So there I sat, with my 33-weeks-pregnant friend and another one about to have another baby. When Heather asked if they had been trying long, we heard, "we thought it might, but it happened almost immediately."

I managed to hold it together until he left Heather's office. And then I broke down. I left work, skipped the gym, came home and got into bed pretty early.

I skipped through the TV channels. Law & Order -- pregnant woman. Next.

Discovery Health -- woman having quads. Next.

Food Network should be safe, right? A Challenge. Excellent. "Four bakers must make cake mystery client." Perfect.

Until the mystery client turned out to be a pregnant woman and the cake they had to make was for her baby shower.

I gave up at the point and just watched it. I even tortured myself and flipped over to the quads on commercials. I cried. Didn't wipe my tears, didn't blow my nose. Just laid on my bed, kitty on my lap, and cried.

I rolled over and fell asleep about 8pm. I managed to mostly sleep all night and woke up feeling a little better. At least not like I was going to break down at any given moment.

I'll be busy next week. I'm driving to Richmond on Sunday with my parents. We'll spend the week with my brother and his family, and then I'll be back on Friday. The next day, I'll begin giving myself the stomach shots. Moving forward. I just have to keep remembering that. I'm moving forward.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm an emotional wreck. It's the holidays. It's the no baby. It's the always being tired from the hormones and the waiting and the hoping.

I talked to J last night. He made me cry. I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to give him updates and tell him about the second failed IVF attempt. I didn't want to tell him how I was feeling, but he pushed. And I cried.

I told him I didn't want him to hear my cry. He told me to go ahead and cry. And so I did. I filled him in on how I was feeling. And the emotional roller coaster I've been riding.

And he was great. He apologized for not keeping on top of it, for not checking in on me more often. I should have called him out on all of this, what's going on with him, what's going on with us. But I didn't. Because in the end, it just felt good to hear someone be that concerned about me. It felt right, even though it's not.

We talked for about an hour. He kept me up way too late, but it was worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fertility Gurus Deserve a Vacation, Too

I talked to the doctor's office today. It's day 3 of my cycle, and even though I'm officially taking November off, I actually get to do something now.

I'll start taking birth control pills tonight, for two weeks. And then the next day (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), I will start with one of the stomach shots. All of this will suppress ovulation this month and hopefully start my next cycle earlier. The last day the office is doing retrievals is December 20 before the FG is going on vacation for the holidays.

My nurse thinks we'll be able to get it all in, that we'll have time to do the retrieval before the 20th. And so I picked up my BCP at Wegmans after work and I feel like I'm actually doing something, I'm moving forward again, working towards the next time.

What he said...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cranky Wednesday

So on Friday, I got my test results. Negative. I stopped the shots, the pills and the suppositories -- all hormones cut off, and I expected that I would get my period on Sunday or Monday.

I cried a little over the weekend, had my usual mourning period, and then started to think about the next steps. It's a comfortable pattern I've established. And then Monday came and no period. By Tuesday morning, I started to have hopeful thoughts.

What if the test was wrong? What if it was a false negative? What if I'm really pregnant? I will wait to tell my parents at Thanksgiving. I can tell my brother, sister-in-law and niece in person. I can tell my close friends in Baltimore in person.


And so it went, the fantasy of being pregnant. The fantasy of being able to hug my friends and family who are far away, but who I will be seeing in just a little over a week, when I tell them that I'm having a baby.

Wednesday morning...this morning, my body decided it was time to bitch slap me back into reality. And so, even though I thought I had moved beyond the mourning, even though I had decided it was time to think about next steps and be positive for December, I've taken a step backward.

I got my period, and all of the feelings I had on Friday and Saturday, the sadness, the grief, the feeling like my body is failing me -- they all came back. Five days after getting my test result. I have to deal with these emotions all over again.

And I will. And the good part about having so many failed attempts, the good part about having so many disappointments, is that I know I can move on, I know that the sadness lessens, and that I won't always feel like this. I'll feel hopeful again, I'll feel like I can do this, that at some point it will work.

Someday I'll feel like that again. But not today.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Everyone's Pregnant...

except me.

I'll get out of my funk after a weekend of crying and feeling sorry for myself. We decided to take November off since I will be traveling for Thanksgiving, and do another egg retrieval in December.

I've got nothing else to say. I can only repeat myself so many times. For how I'm feeling, see a post from one of the previous negative tests.

I'll be in a better mood next week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I've not been a very good friend lately

I've been pretty introspective the past week, not really sharing or opening up about what I'm feeling or keeping people in the loop about the process.

I got a phone call from my friend Jan in Baltimore last night. And when I saw her number come up on the caller ID, I instantly felt guilty. I haven't talked to her in several weeks, since my last IVF, and that was a call that she initiated too. And even when we were chatting and catching up, there was an elephant in the room. I avoided all talk of fertility and babies and trying to get pregnant.

Sometimes I just don't want to talk about it. It occupies my mind 95% of the day, that every once in a while, I just don't want to talk about it.

As we were hanging up, I apologized for being out of touch, that I was in my own world, trying to deal with all the emotions. She asked what was going on, and I told her I was in the middle of my second embryo transfer. And amazingly, as have all of my friends, she took it well when I told her I wasn't telling anyone when the blood test is.

"You tell me what you want to, when you want to."

I have wonderful friends...and someday soon, I'll be the friend I once was to them again.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tricks of the Trade

My friend (who has three IVF babies) called me the other day to check on me, and then to tell quite strongly the things I need to do this week.

Make chicken soup. My way of making chicken soup is chicken stock (from a box from the store) with veggies in a crock pot. The chicken is an already cooked rotisserie also from the store. She told me how wrong I was. "No, Ellie....you need a raw chicken, you need to make your own broth. You need the bone marrow to seep into the broth."

Three-pound raw chicken, check.

Drink molasses with hot water. "And not just regular molasses, Ellie. You need to get blackstrap molasses." It's not as bad as it sounds. It actually tasted like what I think coffee tastes like (I'm not a coffee drinker.) I added milk and I got it down without gagging.

Drink molasses, check.

Full-fat yogurt. That one I knew. That one makes sense. But in this day of health-conscious, fat-free or low-fat this, sugar-free that, do you know how hard it is to find yogurt made with whole milk? I ended up buying YoBaby yogurt.

Yogurt, check.

The chicken is in the crock pot. I drank my molasses and had a yogurt for breakfast. I'm continuing all my meds this week, including the inter-muscular shot, which has gotten much easier, despite the bruises and tenderness all over my backside.

I've decided not to tell anyone when my blood test is. I feel like too many people knew. Too many people were anxious about the results, which in turn made me anxious. My friend Jill, who drove me to Syracuse last week, is the only one who knows the date because she was there when the nurse gave me the lab slip.

So I'll continue on this path -- chicken soup, molasses, yogurt, shots, pills, suppositories -- until my blood test.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This and That....Frick and Frack

Everyone I know who has gone to the fertility guru had an unsuccessful first attempt at IVF -- and a successful attempt on try #2. I'm hoping those odds work in my favor.

This morning, Jill picked me up and after a quick stop through the Dunkin Donuts drive-through for bagels, we headed to Syracuse. Dr. Richard Gere was as charming as usual -- of course, I took a valium when I got to the office so that could have something to do with it -- and we hugged and squeezed hands and he had encouraging, spiritual words to say over my belly.

And then the speculum was in, the internal ultrasound was in, the catheter was in...and then Frick and Frack went in. In to 9mm of uterine lining, into a belly that wants them to hang on tight, into their mommy who will do whatever it takes to encourage them to burrow in and thrive.



When I got home from acupuncture this afternoon, I talked to my mom, who proceeded to tell me that she spoke to Buffalo Dave this morning. (For those keeping track, Buffalo Dave is my friend, broke my heart, and is also my parents' stockbroker.) He asked how I was doing. And rather than the easy "she's great...you should give her a call" she said, "at this moment, she's being inseminated." (I've given up trying to explain the difference between all of the procedures that I'm going through.)

I took a deep breath. "Please don't tell people what I'm doing, specifically."

"He knows you're trying to have a baby."

"Yes, but I don't tell people, specifically what I'm doing each day throughout this process. If they are interested enough in my life, they will ask me, they will call me to give me support. Without that, they don't have a right to know."

"But...."

"Just please respect my wishes. I don't need him calling me in two weeks to find out if I'm pregnant."

"He wouldn't do that."

"Not the point. Even if you think people are on the approved list, please don't tell them anything. Tell them if they are that interested, they should call me."

I know she means well. I know she's excited. But she needs to respect my wishes, and she needs to respect my boundaries.

Another example, she told my sister-in-law last month, "well no baby this month."

As if my sister-in-law (not my sister-in-law in Virgina) has said boo to me about what I'm going through in the past 18 months. No one needs a scorecard of my pregnancy tests, unless they earned the right to know. And they earn it by showing me support. Frankly, as much as I love Buffalo Dave, he hasn't earned the right to know the details. And certainly most people in my own family haven't earned the right to know the details.

I know I set standards for other people too high sometimes, I expect of them what I expect of myself. And I'm usually disappointed. My friend in Rochester is in the process of adopting from Colombia. All the paperwork is in order, they are just waiting. And waiting.

Last week, I sent her an email: "I'm not going to ask if you've heard anything, or if you have any news or when you think you might hear something or even how you're doing...I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you."

If more people -- who am I kidding, just one person -- could send me something like that....it would go a long way.

Enough negativity. I'm going to get into bed shortly, listen to my meditation CD, track 2 "post transfer," and try to get a good night's sleep.

Happy burrowing, Frick and Frack.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Shot

When Casey brought me a dead mouse, I would have loved for someone else to have dealt with the dead carcass.

When there is a bug or a spider in the house, I would rather someone else kill it.

And I'm sure, when I'm exhausted to the point of tears and there is a crying baby, there isn't going to be anyone else to get up to change the diaper or give the bottle.

And so it goes now. There is no one to give me the progesterone in oil shot. And so I have to do it myself.

I cringe and deal with the dead mouse. Psyche myself up to squish the spider. And drag myself out of bed to soothe the baby.

Tonight, I got home from the gym, pulled out an alcohol wipe, the medicine bottle, the syringe and two needles. I pulled my sweat pants down my hip a little, cleaned a spot, sucked up 1cc of oil (it's really thick and took forever), and then reached around, contorted my back, and stuck the needle in. I pushed the plunger slowly -- slow and steady -- as the oil went into my right buttock.

And then I massaged and kneaded it, so as not to get a clump of oil. And I was done.

So the crying the other night, the worrying about doing this on my own or not being able to do it on my own....I did it. I gave myself the shot -- what everyone called "the hard shot" -- and managed to do it with little fanfare and little pain.

I can do this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Can't Do It

I went this morning for my uterine lining check -- three layers, 9mm, nice and thick. So I will start doing the progesterone in oil shots on Friday. These shots are much different than the previous shots I had to give myself.

Whereas before I was using a half-inch needle that went just below my skin, in my stomach, where I could pinch the fat (one good reason to be happy about the faux baby bump), this one is inter-muscular with an inch-and-a-half needle. So basically, I have to give myself a shot in the ass, with thick oil that will come out slow.

I thought I should practice putting the needle in tonight, just in case I had trouble with it, I would still have two days to figure it out.

Well....I pulled out my box of meds tonight, an alcohol wipe and the needle. I tried grabbing as much skin as I could, I tried sitting on one hip, rolled to the side and sticking it in that way. I got it in a little and couldn't go any further. I have a couple of little spots of blood and will probably bruise.

And then I started crying. I have to be able to do this. This is like one of my tests. If I'm going to be a single parent, I'm going to have to do this that aren't fun, that don't feel great, that I would rather someone else do. But there isn't anyone else, I have to.

I wrote an email to one of the nurses on campus and basically asked her if she could jab me in the ass tomorrow, just so I can feel the level of pain. That's what I had to do with the previous shots, and look at how good I got to be at it. Right?

I don't feel quite so positive about this experience. The needle is huge!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shades of Red

More about J of Baltimore. It has to be the baby, or impending baby, that is keeping his attention on me. As I've mentioned, he and I have been friends for seven years. In those seven years, we have, for the most part, ignored or at least have not acted on the undeniable attraction between us.

For the past few years, every six months or so, we would get into a raunchy text conversation, flirting heavily, but leave it at that. When I'm in Baltimore, we try to get together for a drink or breakfast, and it's business as usual, nothing improper.

But then, this past June, we chatted on the phone one Friday afternoon. He was in South Carolina golfing with his brother, I had just gotten home from happy hour with some friends. I can't remember exactly what he said, but whatever he said, led me to believe he knew I was trying to have a baby. (My former boss and several former co-workers know I'm trying, and since J is on the board, they could have mentioned it to him.)

Once we got past the misunderstanding -- he had no idea -- I ended up telling him what I've been going through the past year. And made a joke that if he hadn't canceled on me the last time I was in Baltimore, I would have told him, was planning on telling him in person. So I gave him the scoop, told him I was having surgery the following week, and he was curious about the whole process. How did it work at the doctor's office, how did I choose the sperm donor, how long does the process take. He was full of questions.

I had my surgery and two weeks later, he texted me to see how it went. We ended up texting back and forth, getting more than a little flirty, and then he ended it with "we would be so great together. gotta go, but this should happen."

About a week after that, the texting turned into a phone call, and since then, since the end of June, he doesn't go two or three weeks without a phone call or a text. Most of it ends up with nothing but sexual content, but almost always he asks about the baby process. What's the next step? Am I okay?

He was one of the first people I wanted to tell when I got my positive test result. I tried to call him, but got voice mail. I didn't leave a message, but a few hours later he saw the missed call and called me back. He was so excited that I was finally pregnant. It was genuine happiness for me, and for him since he's been so interested in this whole process.

And so the following week, it was so hard to call him and tell him I was no longer pregnant. And he said all the right things, including texting me later that day to make sure I really was okay.

I don't know what he's thinking, or feeling. I only know that I never make the first move. I always (well....almost always) wait for him to call me, because as Bubbles says "you're busy, you're making a baby, you don't have time to think about him." But he' reeling me in, whether he intends to or not. And at some point, I'm going to need to have the hard conversation. At some point, I'm going to have to ask the hard questions and find out what the hell is going on in his life.

Is this a game? Is he playing me? I truly believe he cares about me, but to what level, to what extent, I have no idea. I can't even venture a guess, because it will only set me up for something that probably isn't there.

And honestly, at this point, I don't want the answers to those questions. I'm enjoying the attention, I'm enjoying him wanting me. It's like I've replaced Chris with J. The same sort of relationship, the same sort of feelings.

I know I should think more of myself, that I should be asking him those hard questions and kicking him to the curb if he doesn't give me the answers I deserve, but I can't. It's just easier this way. And he may not be doing this baby thing with me the way a traditional partner would, but he does feel a part of it. And I can't let that go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hump Day Blues

Just when I think I am okay this month, just when I start to think positive thoughts for the next cycle, something hits me -- yet another person (in my life or someone in the news) is pregnant, or I saw the picture of the embryos on the fridge, or I get an e-mail chain forward thing and the person wished for me to have a baby.

And then I cry. Or I got to sleep early to try not to think about it anymore. Some days I'm just fine. Once I got over my period on Sunday, I felt good. I felt good about moving forward. I had my baseline ultrasound and blood work -- the first step for the next time. But the past few nights, I haven't felt hopeful, I haven't felt good.

I wonder how many more times I can take this. How many times can I be hopeful and then be crushed, and survive the disappointment?

I talked to a friend at work today who is also going through fertility treatment. Her issues are different from mine, but we both understand what we're going through. Sometimes we are the only ones who can understand what the other one is feeling, or thinking.

We've both had so many road blocks. Today, she found out she has Hep C. Not a death sentence, but the treatment of it will take time. Time that feels like she doesn't have if she wants to get pregnant. And her husband, sweet as he is, has children from a previous relationship -- so while he can sympathize with her, he doesn't understand completely.

And so April and I are trying to be supportive to each other, trying to be the shoulder to cry on, trying to be strong for each other.

I'm not sure what any of this means, and how any of this is interesting to you, my dear readers, but it shows the kind of mood I'm in, the kind of scrambled brain I've had the past few days. And how one moment I can feel so good, and for no reason at all, in the very next, I'm sitting at my computer crying.

Not only do I feel out of control with the baby thing, but also the weight thing. I've tried to let it go. I know that my body and my brain are in direct conflict with each other. My body is trying to prepare itself for pregnancy. For the past 18 months, it has been given all sorts of hormones to prepare for a baby. And yet, in my head, I still try to count calories in and count calories burned, try to weigh myself every day without wanting to throw the scale through the window.

And no matter what, I have no control. My body is hungry when I've just eaten. Tired when I'm at the gym and should be wanting to work out for 90 minutes. My belly is swollen with no baby in it. I need to try to get control of one thing, just one aspect of my life. And I don't know how that is possible at this point.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shark Week

I stopped taking all of the hormones on Tuesday night, and last night before bed had the tell-tale signs that my period was coming. When I woke up this morning, I had it full force, along with a pain I've never felt before.

The pain is bearable. I'm not doubled over or anything, but it is beyond the usual cramps. And I don't know if that pain is real or because what it means. I thought I was okay and was able to move on this month. Apparently not.

It hit me hard this morning. I sat in my office and cried. I sat in Hope's office and cried. It's just not my period, but what is being washed out of my body with it. And even though I shouldn't think of this as a miscarriage because it was just a chemical pregnancy, how can I not.

There was never a heart beat, and even for the four days that I thought I was pregnant, I was extremely cautious. I never got truly excited about the pregnancy. Either way, this is different than getting a negative pregnancy test.

This was thinking that the last 18 months of ups and downs, of having hope and being crushed, was all finally worth it. This was the moment that I had been waiting for, the moment that everyone promised me through all the other negative tests was going to be worth it, the moment that would make me forget the pain and disappointment of the last year.

And this moment is now being absorbed and flushed away.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's Officially Over for this Month

I went for more blood work this morning. My hCG level was 13. Was I really pregnant and now I'm not?

The nurse said that I could have been, and I miscarried. Or it could have been a chemical pregnancy. Either way, she told me to stop taking all my medications and call her when I get my period.

I skipped the gym for one more night. I'll go back tomorrow.

I wasn't hopeful last night, so unless someone else makes me cry, I've been okay today. I still have two frozen embryos in the freezer. As soon as I get my period, we'll start the frozen transfer protocol.

And lucky me, I get to start giving myself shots again!

And I know it's not the end of the world, no matter what it feels like right now. I still have choices, options. I'm going to an adoption seminar on November 1st, no matter what happens. And even if I was pregnant right now, I would have still gone. I have to continue to work on plan B.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not So Fast

I got my blood work done again today, and my hCG level dropped. To 20. Not good. It was 47 and it should have doubled in 72 hours.

It's puzzling because my progesterone level is still going up. So it could have possibly, maybe been a lab error but it's not looking good.

I have to go back to the lab tomorrow and have the test repeated. Needless to say, I'm not in the mood to write much, to do much, to talk much. I already have my pj's on, I'm watching Days of Our Lives from today, and there's mac-and-cheese in the oven.

I'm staying somewhat hopeful, because really what else is there?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knock Yourself Up

I wrote the post for today in my head so many times over the past few days, and now because of the results of my blood test this morning, I can't use any of it.

I went for blood work this morning at the hospital, and it took forever. There was only one person taking blood, and she was a talker. So after 25 minutes of waiting, with only three people ahead of me, it was finally my turn.

And then when she saw what the test was for, "are ya hoping for good news?"

"Yes." Lip quivering.

"How long have you been trying?"

"About a year and a half."

"I'll be praying for you."

I thought was I going to lose it right there in the middle of the outpatient lab at Cayuga Medical Center. But I held it together, made it to work and made an attempt to start working on a website.

My cell phone rang about 9:15. I saw the 315 area code and my heart starting pounding. I was practically crying when I said "hello."

"Ellie....it's Linda from the fertility guru's office. You haven't taken any hCG, right?"

"That's right."

"Well good then....your test is positive."

And then I lost it. The tears spilled down, my face scrunched up, and I grabbed a tissue and balled it up in my hand. "Really?"

"Really. Your hCG was 47. We like it to be around 40. You'll go again for the same test on Monday to make sure your numbers are moving up the way they are supposed to."

And just like that, my life changed. Every little sign that I had this week, that I chalked up to something else -- always hungry, the weather changing; twinges in my lower abdomen, I haven't had my period since August; and tender breasts, I am taking 300 mg of progesterone every day -- it all seemed to make sense. I wasn't reading too much into it all. I'm really pregnant.

I know it's early. Way early. And so I'm being cautiously optimistic about it all. Not looking at my Target registry that I made 15 months ago. Not buying anything. I haven't even told my mom yet!

But now...it feels like this will stick. And as my very wise friend said to me this morning, no matter what happens, you know your body can do what it's supposed to, you know you can get pregnant.

And she's right. And it is. And I can.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Patience

I'm playing it pretty close to the vest these days. I don't know if it's to manage my expectations and potential disappointment, or to ward off jinxing myself. Either way, I'm not talking too much about the embryo transfer, not sharing it with the usual suspects who were in on the other procedures. I think that is the way to go.

And so, I'm taking it easy this week, listening to my IVF meditation CD, doing nothing strenuous, eating comfort foods, keeping my stress level down, and taking all my pills twice a day.

And that's that. For now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008



These three little buggers were transferred into me this morning. I'm resting and giving them encouraging words of implantation.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Baker's Half Dozen

I had my retrieval yesterday and the fertility guru got seven eggs out! Whoo-hoo. But I'll start at the beginning.

I was starving. I couldn't eat or drink anything, and of course, on days like that you wake up wanting a feast. We got to Syracuse a little before 8:30 and they called me back. I got undressed and put on the oh-so-attractive hospital gown and sat in the little room, hooked up to a heart monitor and a blood pressure machine.

And I got to meet face-to-face the fertility guru, Dr. Richard Gere. He held both of my hands, brought his face about three inches from mine, asked if I had any questions, and then said, with a hand squeeze for good measure, "let's make a life today."

I was in and out of consciousness so quickly that it didn't even feel like it. When I woke up I asked the nurse if they found any eggs. She said yes but wasn't sure how many, but would find out before I left.

Another nurse came in and said, "did you hear? We got seven eggs! Isn't it great?"

I almost cried. Here I was thinking that there was the possibility there would be none. And he was able to pull out seven!

My friend drove me home, but not before stopping at the grocery store I worked at in high school, for the best donuts in the world. I got a yummy headlight and enjoyed every single calorie of it.

I napped on and off and then had acupuncture, and then started my rounds of medicine (all oral, thankfully). Five supplements from the acupuncturist, one antibiotic, one estrogen, and a baby aspirin. All of that twice a day, plus the oh-so-lovely vaginal suppository of progesterone, three times a day.

I knew that I would be hearing from the doctor's office today but wasn't sure when. I was thrilled when my cell phone rang a little after 9am to be told that of my seven eggs, I now had five viable embryos and they will be putting those suckers back in on Tuesday.

I will wait to meet with fertility guru and the embryologist on Tuesday, but I think that I will put two in this month. If it doesn't work, then I have three for next month.

And then we hope that at least one of those suckers can implant and stay viable and healthy.

It actually seems like it can happen. It actually feels real.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tomorrow's the day

I have egg retrieval at 8:30am tomorrow morning. I just came home from acupuncture, listened to my IVF meditation CD, and am about to jump in the shower and get into bed.

Think good thoughts.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs.....

Another ultrasound and more blood work this morning (again from the same vein, in the same spot that they've taken blood the last six times), but it's all worth it. The nurse called to say that we can move ahead with egg retrieval on Thursday.

Tonight I give myself shots of my two hormones, tomorrow morning another dose of one of them, and then at exactly 9pm tomorrow, two shots of hCG. Wednesday, no shots. Also no food or drinks after midnight, and then I have to be in Syracuse by 8:30am on Thursday.

The whole thing should take less two to three hours and then I can come home to rest. They'll call on Friday with an update on how many embryos they were able to make in the petri dish and then I go back (probably Saturday or Sunday) for the embryo transfer.

Think good thoughts....wish for eggs, nice big healthy eggs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Yankee

I got another call from my Yankee last night. He woke me up about 12:30am with a text.

"whats up"

Are you kidding me? "not much. how about you?"

"nada. just chilling"

It could have been a drunk dial but doubtful. They played a 7:05 game, I went to sleep about 9:15, and he was out of the game, but I don't think he would have left the Stadium. Unless he drank hard and fast after his most recent pitiful performance.

"me too. laying in bed, watching SNL."

"were you at the game today" He doesn't, at most people who have never lived in the upper part of New York state, understand the geography of the Empire State. NYC is a good six hours from where I live. I was closer to NYC when I lived in Baltimore. But now was not the time to get into it.

"no...probably won't make it to any more games this year"

"ok going to sleep"

But I didn't get that text until this morning. I think he sent it immediately after the one about being at the game, and I didn't notice that there was another in my in box.

I'm not sure what he wants. I'm happy to be an outlet for the drunk dial or even the phone booty call. But he needs to work with me a little more.

Maybe he's shy.

(Let's all laugh at that as we remember the very brief -- and very not shy -- conversation in the bar two months ago:
"Derek wanted to come but I told him I wanted you all to myself."
"Don't fuck with me."
"Oh I will fuck you later.")

OK, so he's not shy. Even so, as I did when I worked in Baltimore, when I had to deal with professional athletes on a regular basis, I made it easy for him.

"I missed your last text--must have fallen asleep. Next time tell you're in bed. I can talk you through some fun things."

Nancy thinks it's almost time to give him his own special ring, like J has. Soon, I think he needs to earn it still.

PS...on a somewhat related note, how fucking cool is that Derek Jeter needed nine hits going into this homestand to tie Lou Gehrig for most hits at Yankee Stadium -- AND he got all nine of them this weekend in three games!? Even Mr. Team Player was in awe of what that really means.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More, more, more

I went in for my 5th ultrasound in 10 days on Friday. I have one follicle on the right side (18mm) and four (not three) on the left. Two are overlapping so the tech read that at three the other day. These four are in the low teens.

I resigned myself that this might not be the month for things to happen. And really the worst thing that could happen is that we pull the plug this month, I get my period and we start over next month, with a much better idea of how my body reacts to the Gonal-F and they can start me at a higher dose.

I think this is what was getting me down earlier in the week, the up and down, the going and stopping, of this whole process. But once I moved past the point of my own impatience, I saw that that option really wouldn't be a horrible thing.

The weather was crappy yesterday. Cold and rainy. Thankfully it was a quiet day in the office, and Heather and I went to McDonald's for happy meals at lunch. As we were pulling out, my cell phone rang.

The nurse from the fertility guru's office was calling to tell me to keep up with the 450 units each day over the weekend and go in for another ultrasound on Monday. That we were still in good shape and we'll see what Monday brings.

And so just when I was okay with throwing in the towel for this month, there's still a glimmer of hope that we can do the IVF this month.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Forgive, but don't forget

I hadn't talked to my friend Tim in Baltimore since I was there before my NY trip. Things were definitely strained between us, but there was also a lot of hurt there, but I knew we would get past it. Time does heal all wounds.

I guess too much time had gone by for him to be comfortable, or maybe, he just finally got it. I got the following email earlier this week.

Regarding my words from earlier this summer....there is one more thing I would like to say.... I am very, very, very , VERY, VERY Sorry, Ellie. You have and had been going through a very tough emotional and physical time with things. And things haven't been as any of has hoped for yet. And instead of giving you an arm to support you with, and a shoulder for you to rest your head on, I used words to stir things up. Words that in the end were judgmental, no matter what my intention may have been.

Like most men, when silence was the best solution, I opened mouth and shut off brain. I am soooooo sorry for that. I can't go back in time and just turn off my phone before I ever sent that first message. But like with everything I do, with a little time I try and learn and change things so they are not repeated in the future.

Maybe in time I will start and get things right the first time. I wish I could do more for you, El. I always have. But being a friend is sometimes the best thing for someone to be and do. I hope you can forgive me and see that maybe I am getting it a little. No more words. Just support in whatever way you want and need it.

If you want to share whats going on, I will be receptive without any opinions. I will be supportive. That's what friends do. Anyway, hope you can forgive a broken down gimping cop who is TRYING to be less self centered.


I read it and closed it. A few days later, I took a deep breath and read it again. It's time to move on. I hit the reply button, and caught him up on work, the weather, yes the leaves are already starting to change, had a blast in NY, drank too much, etc. And then...

I appreciate the apology and the insight into how I reacted to what you said. And I have forgiven you. Give me time and I will share with you what's going on and give you updates....I'm just not there yet.

Say hi to the girls...talk to you soon. love, Red


I have forgiven him, but I haven't forgotten his hurtful words, and cannot open myself up to him yet. I can't add him to my emotional roller coaster yet. Someday. Not yet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chugging along

I am on day 12 of giving myself two shots a day. I have had five ultrasounds and given five blood samples in the past two weeks. As of this morning, I have four egg follicles -- one 15mm, the others 5 to 7 mm.

What does all of this mean? I have no idea, other than my patience is wearing thin. I'm an emotional wreck. I cry easily. I'm cranky. And after today's ultrasound, two days after the fertility guru estimated that he would do the egg retrieval, I still have to give myself two shots a day. Friday, I go in for yet another ultrasound and more blood work.

I'm trying not to complain. I'm trying not to feel down. And I'm trying to stay positive. I'm trying.

Last night when I was falling asleep, I was pretty low. I didn't want to talk to anyone, didn't want to try to explain what I was feeling. I listened to my IVF meditation CD and then tried to sleep. I was thinking about J, trying not to think about it, but thinking about him nonetheless.

And he came through for me. About 11:20, my phone beeped. Four quick beeps. I rolled over and looked at the phone. "One new text message from J."

We texted a few times and then when he said he wasn't at the bar anymore, I called him. And we chatted. He actually growled at the "conversation" finale. And then, because he's not just some guy looking for a good time, not just some guy looking to get laid, or in this case, getting a little phone sex, he asked how things were going.

I knew what he meant, but didn't want to think about it all again. I said things were fine, busy, etc. But he pressed me. "How's it going with the baby thing?"

I rolled over onto my stomach, leaned up on one elbow, and managed to tell him that I was frustrated, that I was scared. I told him about my local doctor's assessment of my egg reserve, and then the fertility guru saying it was worth a shot. He asked when I would know if this month worked and to please keep him informed about what's going on.

And then he said, if this doesn't work, what are your options. I told him my choices were using an egg donor -- for about $11,000 -- or going the adoption route -- for about $30-40,000.

He asked thoughtful questions, without being intrusive. I told him I had a good support system and that if I have to do one of the two expensive options, that my friends were ready to have a fund-raiser to help with it, and that I might need some autographed items.

"You just tell me when and how many, and I'll get you whatever you need."

How can I not be falling for this guy? I'm trying to keep my emotions at arm's length, all the while ignoring the 7th commandment. I'm curious to know what's going on in Ellicott City with him, but I've told him -- and they are rules that I've played by in the past -- no questions, no expectations.

It's been seven years since the night of the musem's holiday party, where we spent most of the time in my office or in an exhibit gallery corner. Since that same night when we did shots of tequila at the Phoenix and ended up back at my apartment. Since that night when I asked him, "what's the deal with the ring on and then the ring off?" And he bolted up and out, and I respected it, and I never crossed boundaries again.

Until he did. And now I don't know how far he is willing to go, or why he's suddenly willing to go this far.

Wake up call, caught you in the morning
with another one in my bed
Don't you care about me anymore?
Don't you care about me? I don't think so.

When it's 1am on the west coast...

Monday morning I was awakened at 4:07am with a cell phone beep, the tell-tale sign of a text message (and not from J, because he has his own alert sound).

I picked up the phone and looked, expecting to see a wrong number or Verizon telling me my bill is now available on-line. Instead, it was from my Yankee. "whats up"

My wheels turned quickly, thinking of a good response and also analyzing the situation. The Yankees lost in Seattle and then headed to Anaheim. It's 1am. Bars are still open. And he's thinking of me?!

How fucking cool is that!

I was still groggy and not exactly sure what he wanted. Was this a drunk dial? Or a phone sex booty call? I played it safe and threw it back at him.

"you pitched well the other day. how are you?

"thanks...i'm good. whats up"

Hmmmm....he didn't give me a lot. "work, gym, not enough sex"

"same here"

Not exactly the playful response I was hoping for. Maybe there's a language barrier on the texting. I tried one more time. "too bad we're on different coasts...we could help each other out with that last one"

And then no response. I figured he got a better, in-person offer. Or passed out. Knowing him, either is totally possible.

As for me, it was not 4:30am, and I was wide awake. I watched two episodes of Little House on the Prairie (thank you TV Land) and was out the door by 6:45am.

It was a long day.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And I love John Stewart too

This is why I love Bubbles

I had a dream last night that I married Derek Jeter. (I fell asleep to the game, which was late because they are on the west coast.)

Anyway, we were doing pictures after the wedding, and it was winter (we couldn't get married in summer!) and I was cold because my dress was strapless, and we were waiting for the photographer to set up.

He took his tux jacket off and put it over my shoulders, and I was leaning forward into his chest, with my arms scrunched up against his chest. He kissed my forehead and the photographer caught it.

And Bubbles said, "that's the photo we'll release to the media."

Ever the good bride's maid thinking like a media relations professional. :) (I did teach her everything she knows.)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Slow-growing

I went for my second ultrasound yesterday, and then blood work. The tech found one "tiny" follicle on the left, and two smallish ones on the right. I tried not to analyze it, tried not to read too much into it, forced myself not to do any research on the internet.

Even though I knew that it wasn't great news. That at this point in my cycle, the follicles should be bigger, maybe even more of them. But I waited for the nurse to call. She must know, that for any woman who gets to this point, they are informed enough to know what's going on.

"Your body is responding, so don't worry. It's just taking a little longer."

So I'm upping my hormones to 450 units (up from 300) for the weekend, and have another ultrasound and more blood work on Monday, and more scheduled for Wednesday and Friday, with the hopes that I won't need Friday.

I'm trying to stay positive. I'm trying to do all the things that I can do -- back to acupuncture, trying to keep my stress levels down, relaxing, thinking positive thoughts.

And so it goes. Slowly, but it goes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What to say....

If your sister, or aunt, or friend calls to tell you, you specifically, that she is trying to have a baby. That even though she's single, and she knows it will be hard, but it's something that she's always wanted, and she's hoping for your support.

And you say, "you have it. Good for you. I know it's what you've always wanted. I've been waiting for you to say you were doing this. I'm excited for you."

And after you've had this conversation, a year has gone by, more than a year, and you haven't heard any big announcement that she's having a baby, don't stay silent. You promised your support last year. It won't be prying, it won't be bringing up something that she doesn't want to be reminded of (trust me, it's never far from her mind).

If you don't want to be invasive, you don't have to call. You don't even have to get into particulars. An email. A card. "How are you? How are things going? We're thinking of you. Let me know if you want to talk."

That's all it takes. I have seven siblings. I had this conversation with six of them last August, and a few of my nieces. All six siblings are married, so even if my brothers don't want to think about it, my sisters-in-law can.

Of the six sets of siblings, only two show their support. Only two ask me regularly what's going on, how are you doing, how are you handling the disappointment.

And right now, as my body is pumped full of extra hormones, all I can think about is how little support I'm getting from my family. Why did I waste my time calling them? Why did I waste the effort and the excitement on them? I should have just waited until I was pregnant to tell them.

Yes, I'm down tonight. And I'm taking it out on my family.

So here' my advice for tonight....if you know someone who shared something with you, no matter what it is, follow-up with them. Ask how they're doing. You can do it without being obtrusive.

Trust me, they'll appreciate it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I started the week by finally getting up to Syracuse to go to the fertility guru's office. I had a baseline ultrasound and blood work done. Every moment in their office felt like I was in the right place. Everyone was so kind and friendly. And they were extremely efficient.

The first woman who walked me back took my blood, then left the room. The ultrasound tech came in next and took care of that. She left and in came the nurse that I've been talking to on the phone, with my blood work results and a chart of how the next few weeks will go. Daily shots turn into two shots a day tonight, ultrasounds and blood work down here every three days, and then the target date for egg retrieval is September 9.

I'm moving again, and it feels good. And the gym reopened this week -- yeah! I had a great talk with my trainer tonight, we talked about goals and my workout schedule. I told him that I recently realized that I've been so focused on getting pregnant, that I let my focus on working out and being healthy slip away. That I need to take each month that I'm not pregnant as an opportunity to work out hard, and that even if I am pregnant, that's no excuse to ease up.

I will talk with fertility guru and get his okay on everything, so that I can continue with an hour of cardio and strength training five days a week. And Aaron is totally on board to support me, to keep me motivated, to help me stay healthy, pregnant or not. It felt good. It made things seem more balanced. Something I'm not very good at.

And so tonight, I did two shots. And I thought the second one won't be so bad, the needle is the same size. Hmmmm...not so much. It was not only a little longer, but much sharper. It took me a couple times to get the needle in my stomach, and then it was okay. It's always okay. It hurts at the very first poke, but then it's fine.

And as always, it's all going to be worth it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Shooting Up

I started my injections on Tuesday, and by last night I feel like an old pro. The needle is not as awful as I thought, and I was far less squeemish, too. I will continue with these injections to suppress all of my hormone levels.

Then after I get my period, I'll go to Syracuse for a baseline ultrasound. (I could do that here, but I figured I should start to establish a relationship and feel comfortable with the new office.) After that, I start with a different shot (still in the stomach) that will turn my ovaries into Jiffy Pop, as my friend Nancy says, and hopefully produce lots of big, juicy, healthy eggs.

And then sometime around September 8 or 9, I will go up to have my eggs harvested. I'll need someone to take me, since they will have to give me a local and I'll be a little too loopy to drive back. I'll already have the baby batter at the doctor's office so they can inject each egg with sperm. And then if all goes well, I'll go back a few days later and be implanted with two embryos.

That's a lot of if's. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic about this whole process.

You'd think by now that would be an emotion I was an expert at, but I'm not. Somehow I always get my hopes up too high, which leads to major disappointments. And for the past year, it has been nothing but a roller coaster of hopeful highs and crashing lows.

Just once, I would like something I hope for to come true. I felt that by securing a known egg donor, by finding someone I knew and trusted and loved to be my genetic "replacement," the disappointment of having the dwindling egg supply was so greatly minimized.

Truly, the minute she offered, my 10-day headache went away. It was so unnerving to have to think about finding a genetic replacement for me. Choosing the sperm was like buying a pair of shoes compared to looking at the egg donor profiles.

I should have known better than to feel so secure. (And while I'm glad if she had reservations, that she voiced them now, it is still disappointing, it is still so hurtful. And I wonder, if I had not written to her and told her I had my phone consultation and that I would call her after so I could let her know the next steps, if I had not done then, when would she have told me?)

And so that's all I have to say about that. It's done. It's over. I need to focus on trying to grow some eggs. To encourage my body to eek out just a few viable eggs, for just another cycle or so. And that Dr. Richard Gere can perform the miracles that he's been performing for over 10 years.

I know of nine babies, by three different women, that he is responsible for creating. Wouldn't 10 be a nice round number?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dr. Richard Gere

I had my phone consultation this morning with the fertility guru who, if I have not mentioned, looks like Richard Gere.

His voice was very soothing and he made me feel like we're in this together. He looked at my file and isn't as concerned about my FSH number as my regular OB, so he wants to try to see if he can get some eggs out of me.

"You have insurance coverage, let's just try and see if we can harvest some eggs. I may go in and see that you don't have any, but then we'll know for sure and we still have options of using an egg donor." (I put the recent happenings of last night out of my head and focused on being positive with what he was saying.)

We talked for about 10 minutes and we decided that I didn't want to do IUI any more. "I'm 38 and a half....I'm not getting any younger, let's just get this done." And he agreed. IVF is the next best step for me.

His nurse was to call me today or tomorrow and set me up with the meds schedule, and I will start injectables in the next day or two. Yippee....I don't get out of giving myself a shot in the stomach every day. ;)

I felt really positive this morning after talking with him. Not only because there's still a possibility of getting pregnant with my own eggs, but also because we're moving again. I'm the type of person that will go 10 miles out of my way if I can keep my car moving, rather than sit in traffic. And that's what I've felt like, like I was sitting in traffic and couldn't keep moving.

As for my friend who rescinded her offer to be my egg donor....I'm not ready to fully talk about it yet. I'm feeling all the things that Bubbles said in her comment in the previous post, and more.

Disappointment because after serious discussions with her about her reservations, she still said that she and her husband had agreed that it was "a go." Resentment that she is allowing people who don't even know me to have such a profound effect on my life.

I'll get over it. I'm just not sure when.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Infertility Headache is Back

I received the following email excerpt from my friend, who by all account I was thinking would be my egg donor. I can't comprehend it all yet. I'm numb. More tomorrow after I talk to the fertility guru.


I cannot tell you how sorry I am, but I don't think I can be a donor. At first I was just wondering logistically about where the nearest OBGYN office is, and the fact of dealing with Albany traffic and the hours' drive at a moment's notice, and that was just a concern. We know how my sister works, but when I talked to her about it and she just kept asking about how it should bother me having a biological child out there. In the circumstance of donating eggs to you, I really wouldn't think of it as my child at all. It would be yours. Coming out here, I can talk to my mom-in-law about anything, and she's a very liberal and modern thinker. So it exasperated me when, upon mentioning donating eggs, she instantly turns to Lily and says "You'll have half-siblings!!!" I didn't anticipate, as you have had to do, me having to deal with family member's opinions on it. I never thought of it as an issue, but now I know that I have at least 2 family members that would forever believe I had children out there, even that Lily would have half-siblings. That thinking really bothers me.

I cannot tell you how sorry I am. I hope you can feel that. I think that in the donor paperwork it should definitely mention talking to extended family members and their feelings; obviously it addresses the potential donor's thoughts so much, but I NEVER anticipated having family members who would stubbornly view the donation as giving children away or refusing to budge that if I don't think of the donation as giving away biological children or Lily's half-siblings, neither should they. It just gets me to the core. I know that you've encountered judgements in your pursuit; so I guess it just goes to show that everyone does along the way.

But please know that I am rooting for you all the way, I entirely regret upheld hopes and dropping them down. With all of my heart, I believe in the mother you have waiting to nurture your child, I believe that you have a child waiting to be in your arms, and I love you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Golden Grammy

Mark Spitz won his 7th gold medal to-day. The country is split in half. The war, civil rights. This young man has brought the nation together as one.

My grandmother wrote that in her journal during the 1972 Olympics. I remember reading those words after she passed away in 1994. And I thought about them again last night as I heard Bob Costas, half asleep (me, not him) say that Michael Phelps had won his 6th gold medal of these Games, and would be going for seven tomorrow.

I might not use the same method -- or even a singular method -- as my grammy, but I follow in her footsteps when it comes to keeping track of the world.

On my calendar, I write who I talked to that day, and if I received any mail (real mail, not electronic). This is something I have done since middle school. Only then, I also kept track of who I walked home with; and then in high school, who I worked with at the grocery store.

In my journal, I keep track of deeply personal things....my "list," potential baby names and letters to my yet-conceived baby, and half-written, barely started letters to J (some dating back to 2001).

And here...well you read what goes on here. Sometimes it's deep, sometimes it's personal, and sometimes it's just boring. But it's my life. And I think in this arena, it's the closest to my real life that I can get.

Not only do I share my grandmother's name. She was Eleanor, I am Ellie (Eleanor was too old-fashioned for 1970, she told my parents). And because I am still single, we share the same last name, something I will be sad to give up if I ever do get married.

But I also share her passion for observing and reporting, for sharing profound thoughts without being pompous. She was never a simple woman, but she enjoyed the simple things. And noticed everything around her.

I hope that by observing the simple things as she did (saw the first robin of spring to-day), noticing the bigger things (our country is again divided over a war and politics), and making the most of the hand I was dealt, I am making her proud.

Michael Phelps goes for his 7th gold medal tonight, to tie Mark Spitz. Tomorrow he could break the record. And for the past week, the country has forgotten about the mud-slinging of the election and remembers what it's like to root for the same thing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things are moving forward :)

My file has finally arrived in Syracuse at the fertility guru's office, and I have a consultation phone call on Monday morning at 7am.

My patience has been wearing thin with the waiting and waiting. Now I finally feel like I'm back on the road. Of course it also means that next week I will have to make my final decision about the egg donor. And even though I'm leaning strongly in one direction, I know that making it final will be hard.

And while I've had hopeful thoughts that I might be pregnant this month from my moments of indiscretion, I know really that I'm not. That I couldn't be. And so having the appointment on Monday really keeps me on track with my thinking, and not setting myself up for a major disappointment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More and more it seems like I was right...

I haven't heard from match-boy since the no phone call and then the creepy text on Sunday night, which leads me to believe that I was right all along. He was looking to get laid as soon as he possibly could.

If I'm wrong, if he was genuinely a nice guy, then he would have called me to see what's up. He would have texted me to apologize for stepping over the line. Or maybe he really is a nice guy, maybe he knows he stepped over the line and doesn't know how to handle it.

If that's the case then maybe I'm a bitch. Do I write off men too soon? Do I find faults and flaws that I can't forgive when really I should?

I'm going to second-guess myself briefly, because in the end, I have to trust my gut. I have to trust my intuition. And I do trust my friends' opinions, who all got the creepy vibe when I recounted the weekend's events.

Top that off with a conversation Bubbles had with her ex this weekend about this very dating website. "All my friends are on match. It's such an easy way for them to get laid. A phone call, a few emails, a few texts, a dinner out and they're fucking these girls."

And so while I do have a friend who found her husband on match (seven years ago), I'm done with it. It has become a virtual bar. A place to hook-up, and not in a very meaningful way.

A year ago, I was at peace being single. I was focused on trying to have a baby. The delay in getting pregnant and the road bumps along the way have made me lose focus, have diverted my attention.

This weekend with match-boy has refocused me. In a good way. For now, I'm okay being single. For now, I need to think about saving money, being healthy (down 13 pounds since I stopped taking the hormones), and getting pregnant. A healthy mind and a healthy body can only be good for helping to grow the baby once I get pregnant.

Someday, when I'm traveling in the single parent circle, I might meet someone. But for right now, I'll enjoy my friends, my family, working out, and trying to get knocked up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ice Cream, part 2

I'm a planner. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad. But either way, I am a planner and not an overly spontaneous person. For the most part, I like to know what I'm doing on any given day.

Yesterday, after the gym, I did grocery shopping (and on a side note, have no idea how I spent $100) and then home. Match-boy called about 4:30 and asked what I was doing, if I had any plans for the night. When I replied no, he asked what I wanted to do.

"Why don't we meet somewhere for ice cream?"

"You still want ice cream?!"

"Sure...and really what else is there to do in this town?"

"I can think of some things."

I let that comment go by. I don't want to sound like a bitch. "Are you up for ice cream?"

He replied that he was, that he was out in some podunk town about 45 minutes from home, but that he wouldn't be much longer and would call me back. In my mind, "not much longer" and knowing where he was, I was thinking he would call me about 6 and we would meet about 7.

I watched the Olympics, the pitiful Yankees game, and the SVU marathon on USA...and waited. Do we notice a pattern here?

I talked to Bubbles about 7:15 and we decided that I would give him until 7:30, and then I was going to get ready for bed. Fool that I am, I had been sitting and waiting, so I didn't start any project because I wanted to be ready to go when he called. I won't make that mistake again.

And so 7:30 came and went. I locked up downstairs and went up to my room. Washed my face, figured out what to wear to work today, packed my gym bag, etc. I talked to my niece for a little while about 8, and then at 8:30, a text came through.

"So are you watching the cubs and cards game"

WTF! So I replied "no getting ready for work tomorrow and bed"

"Need any help"

That right there solidified his motives to me. We've met once. We've texted for a week, but have really had no meaningful phone conversations. I ignored the comment, and continued reading my book.

About 45 minutes later, he texted again. "just playing"

I wrote back "good night" but what I really meant was good-bye.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ice cream, anyone?

I went to Syracuse for the day on Saturday. My niece was having a family reunion with her dad's side of the family, so I went up to spend the day with them.

As I was driving home, I texted match-boy. "How was your day? I'm about 15 minutes from home."

"Boring. How was yours"

"Fun but long."

"What are you dong tonight"

"Nothing planned. You?"

"nothing planned" (Ugh....how to respond to that. Is he hinting that he wants to do something or just being curious?)

"Any ideas?"

"We could sit around and eat ice cream"

At this point, I am driving through downtown, on my way home. I pull over. If we're going to meet for ice cream, it's silly for me to go all the way home. So I write back "i love that idea...want me to head out your way"

And then I waited. And waited. Finally after being on the side of the road by the inlet and hearing nothing for 10 minutes, I called him. The conversation was frustrating at best. But basically, he wasn't home or any where near home, and decided maybe we should do this another time. Fine whatever.

So I drove home and as I was unlocking my door, he called and asked if there were any ice cream places near my house. I don't know of anyone, just the one downtown. then he asked if I had any ice cream in my freezer.

I let it go by that he thought he was going to know where I live after one date. I told him all I had was sugar-free popsicles. Then he asked what I was going to do the rest of the night. I told him I had some stuff I could do around the house. Then, because I was starting to get annoyed with him, for the hot and cold, cat and mouse games he seemed to be playing, I told him that I was going to the gym at noon the next day, and would be around after that if he wanted to call.

I talked to Bubbles after that, and had to give her the run-down on my very full week. I, of course, started the story with "well.....two weeks ago I had sex with a New York Yankee...." (Just because if you can start a story that way, you should ;) ) and ended with the ice cream conversations with match-boy.

In short, her opinion is that he's being a little weird, but I should give him the benefit of the doubt. My opinion....it's so much easier to date married men. I say that half-seriously, but come on. No games, no tip-toeing, no "what will she think if I say this?"

Maybe I should just stick with the plan....and be content with the men in my life who are nothing but a physical distraction, and just worry about having a baby.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

When it Rains....

Here is a recap of what's been happening in my life and the men who are making it interesting.

J of Baltimore...some of you may remember previous posts about him. Lives in Baltimore, truly believe he is my soul mate and we met too late. We've been friends since 2001...most of the time we behave ourselves and act appropriately. There have been moments of indiscretion, once in person, a long time ago, others via text, a couple times a year.

In the middle of June, we chatted while he was on a golf trip with his brother, and I gave him the low-down on the baby-making project. He was genuinely excited and full of questions. From that time, he has been more than attentive. We've dirty texted (and it has gone to a whole new level) and even had some intense conversations. A text in late June says it all, "this should happen."

I'm waiting for it to happen, even as our conversations grow more and more intense.

I emailed Chris last week to wish him a happy birthday and ask when he was coming for a visit. We scheduled it for Friday. I admit, I was the one pushing for the meeting, the one pushing the suggestiveness in our conversations, the one being aggressive. Even Thursday afternoon when he called, and started to say "will you kill me if...."

I cut him off. "If you cancel on me, you are never hitting this again."

"I'll see you at 11;30."

That's what I thought. It was great to see him, and even though it has been over a year, we fit. When he walked in, I pushed him against the door. It was amazing, and we even talked after more than we usually do. And then I found out way. He was reactived to active duty last year, and just found out that he has to go to Mississippi for two years. This could have been our last hurrah.

Mississippi is better than Iraq, but far enough away that it might as well be. I was happy I called, really happy that I pushed to see him. He did make me feel the way I wanted, the way I needed. And it didn't matter that he only serves one need, that I only serve one need for him. For whatever reason, this works for us.

And while I haven't been actively looking at anyone on match.com, I did get an email from someone last weekend. I signed up for the free three days to retrieve it and ended up emailing this guy a few times. We traded cell phone numbers and have texted each other all week. A few times, he's tried to push it to the naughty level (in a mostly uncreepy way) and I've put the brakes on. I hadn't even met him yet.

We met Friday night for drinks and dinner, and had a really good time. We talked, we laughed. I felt almost completely comfortable with him. He walked me to my car, and we stood there and talked for a little while longer. I was hoping that he would kiss me, but he didn't. He said he would call the next day.

When I was driving home, he texted me. "U R a little cutie." Hmmmm, sweet....flattering....not really sure how to respond. I waited until I got home before pulling the phone out again and was trying to figure out my response, when he called. I told him that I had a good time and would like to see him again. He said he did too, to have fun in Syracuse the next day, and he would talk to me soon.

I was over at my neighbor's giving her the full details of the date when he texted me again. "would u have slapped me if i tried to kiss you"

Interesting. It made me a little giddy. I wrote back that I was hoping he would.

"U don't think its too soon"

"Not really"

"how about it i kissed your pretty feet"

(This is where he wanders into the slightly creepy category. It is way too soon to be thinking about something like that -- or if he's going to think it, he shouldn't say it. And really, the whole foot fetish thing -- I don't get.)

"i think its too soon for that"

"r u frustrated"

(That comment confused me and frustrated me. I had sex today buddy, thanks....I'm not frustrated."

"not even a little bit"

It went on like this for a little while longer and then when he texted something that could have gone without a comment, I stopped.

Overall...I'm excited about the prospect of him. I'm trying not to find flaws where there might not be any, trying really hard not to compare him to Chris or especially J.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Random Weekend Thoughts

It's August 3rd and the high was in the mid-60s today. Gray and cloudy. Please don't tell me summer is over already.

I've decided that Facebook is about as good for my self-esteem as places like match and eharmony were. That is to say, not good at all.

I need to start going to the gym hardcore again. I just do. I've managed to lose about 10 of the clomid-related weight, but would like to lose at least another 10 to 15 before getting pregnant, not to mention firming up the mid-section just so it can be stretched out.

I emailed Chris the other day (in my defense, it was his birthday), even though I said I wouldn't. Even though I said he can't give me what I need.

Which leads me to the next thought -- do I even know what I need?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

It wasn't a W

But I'm totally taking credit for 7 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 K,and 4 BB against the best team in baseball.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Big Apple, defined

Bubbles and I arrived in NYC about 10am and were able to check into the hotel. We did and immediately headed out to the Park. We had a walking tour map that I had printed off the internet and also got one from a cute little old man in a Central Park Conservatory booth. Neither were very helpful as they didn't seem to scale, no paths were marked, either on the map or in real life.



We wandered in what seemed like the right direction for our first stop -- Strawberry Fields. We walked up, over and around it, and finally found it. From there, we have a point of reference and the map reading was much, much easier. We saw the Alice in Wonderland statue, the Hans Christian Anderson statue, the Belvedere Fountain, and lots of amazing views of the city, including the rocks that Charlotte and harry sat on for their engagement pictures (Sex and the City reference).

It was hot and sunny, and even though I was sweating like a stuck pig, it was amazing. We headed back to the hotel for quick showers before headed to the Bronx.

Out trip to Yankee Stadium started out so cool, because we had to pick up our tickets from the will call window that was labeled "visiting team player tickets." We felt like rock stars! There was a bit of a delay and finally we got called to the end window. Apparently Bubbles' credit card number got written down wrong and it didn't go through so they had to release our original tickets. "But not to worry, we have tickets for you."

We made our way inside, were bummed that Monument Park was already closed, and then headed back to home plate to find our seats. I was a little nervous that the face value was $75 (I had seen the price of tickets for this season.) I worried over nothing. We were directly behind home plate. About 30 rows back....and directly behind home plate.



It was amazing. And with a view like that, I had no problem paying $9.50 per beer. I sent texts taunting my friends. "3rd inning, 3rd beer."

The game wasn't the greatest. But Bubbles was having so much fun singing "Orioles Magic," spelling O-R-I-O-L-E-S, and singing "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the 7th inning stretch that I didn't mind terribly that the Yankees got pounded.

After the game, we met out with one of the Yankees players who used to be with the Orioles. (Who knew that fan mail saying "hi remember me, we used to know each other when I worked at the Museum in Baltimore, want to meet out for drinks?" would work?!)

We met him after the game, and he looked so hot. So all previous convictions I had ("he's not hitting this") went right out the window when he walked into the bar and hugged me. Who was I kidding? None of my friends believed me, anyway -- they just humored me.

We did shots, we drank beer, we talked dirty. At one point Bubbles and I did a little smooching for him (why are guys so easy with that little trick?). And then poor Bubbles got sick. She was hugging the toilet and finally, we got into a cab, and my Yankee was about 20 minutes behind us.

At the hotel, she made herself a little bed of towels on the bathroom floor when my Yankee showed up. God bless her -- what a good friend. I'm not going into details, ya'll can draw your own pictures, but if he wins in his next start, I'm taking credit.

And the question everyone keeps asking -- "could you be pregnant?" With my little dried up eggs, I doubt it. But I'll keep you posted next month.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back from the Big Apple

Things I learned:

1. I'm too old to drink like I used to, especially after not drinking more than one beer at any given time, and maybe that happened once or twice in the past baby-attempt year.

2. I'm too old to do shots, especially when tequila is involved.

3. Jagermeister after tequila is never a good idea.


And for the life list:

Professional baseball player, check!

More details after a nap.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vacation

I'm headed to Baltimore on Saturday morning, spending the afternoon with my opinionated friend Tim, more to see his daughters than him. We'll see if he behaves with his comments or even innocent queries. Either way, the party line will be "nothing new to report."

Then I'm spending the night with my dear friend Wanda. I'm excited to see her kids, too. Danny turned one in January, so it will be fun to see him on the go. And Miranda, at four, is always entertaining to Auntie Ellie.

Sunday, my brother, sister-in-law and niece are coming up from Richmond for the day. This was too short of a trip for me to swing through VA, so they'll come to me. And we'll probably sit at Champps, grazing and watching baseball. Then I head over to Bubbles' place and we'll get ready for our big adventure.

The Big Apple! We're taking a train on Monday morning, spending the night in the theater district, right near Carnegie Hall and have a whole host of sights to see in our two days -- Central Park (our hotel is two blocks away), the New Public Library, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Mickey Mantle's, and of course, no trip to Manhattan would be complete without Tiffany's.

Monday night, we'll go to Yankee Stadium for the Oriole game, and after have drinks with Sidney Ponson, who I knew from his playing days in Baltimore. He was always my go-to guy when I needed an athlete at an event.

I'll be back in Ithaca on Wednesday, and then will jump back into the baby-making process, hopefully knowing when I can talk to the fertility guru.

Happy weekend. Go Yankees!