Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm Scared

I woke up this morning, feeling scared. Like I wanted to cry scared. Wanted to crawl back into bed and stay there all day. And I cheated a little on my morning temperature. When I first woke up, it was 98.0 (it has been going down one-tenth of a degree for the past few days), so I laid there for a little while, listened to Sports Center, and then took it again about a half hour later. It was 98.2. I split the difference on my chart and put it at 98.1, same as yesterday.

I know that means nothing, but given my mood this morning, I really couldn't bare charting my temp lower again today. I'm sure I'll change it so it's more accurate tonight. The acupuncturist told me that I need 12 good days of high temps. I think today (whether it I count it as 98.0 or 98.1) is day 8 or 9.

*sigh* I've got only a few more days until I go to the hospital to get my blood test done. I feel like I should know if I'm pregnant, that I should feel something. And because I don't, and because I don't want to be disappointed again, and because I feel like I've somehow jinxed myself by having too many thoughts about being pregnant, I feel like I'm not.

Hope mentioned to me yesterday that I never second-guess myself. That never once since December 2006 when I said, "I'm doing this next summer" have I second-guessed myself. And for the most part that's true. There have been times when I've had thoughts about whether I can really afford to do this, but those are fleeting moments.

Can you want something too much? I don't know what I'll do on Saturday if I get bad news.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Suds and Duds

We had our office holiday party the other night -- an annual tradition to have it in January after the chaos of the holidays is over, to have it at a local bar (that's the suds part), and to have to bring the worst present you got for Christmas to exchange (that's the duds).

We took turns choosing a present from the beautifully wrapped pile, with the elaborate bows and shiny paper. When it was my turn, I did my usual shaking and feeling and fondling, looking for just the perfect present. Hoping to find a diamond in the rough.

I unwrapped my present and immediately turned pink -- it was a turkey baster. My friends from the office who are in the know, started cracking up. Our administrative assistant almost fell off her bar stool. And everyone else was oblivious to the fact that I was standing there, having been inseminated just eight days earlier, holding a turkey baster.

It was pretty funny. Nancy thinks it's a sign. When someone wanted to trade for my turkey baster, I though quickly about holding onto it, thinking it was some sort of good luck charm. But then I said, "sure....I don't need this."

Here's hoping that I don't need it -- and that I can handle my impatience all week, until I can get my blood test on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Too Many Thoughts

I'm thinking about how I'm going to tell people I'm pregnant. And then I stop myself and wonder what I'm going to do next Saturday when Jodi calls me with my test results and tells me I'm not pregnant.

Is this what limbo feels like? Afraid of hell....but trying not to jinx your chances in heaven?

My Missing Fire

I went to the acupuncturist yesterday and she is concerned about my temperature. (Again with the no fire in my womb)

It's too low -- it needs to be high for this phase of my cycle in order to have good implantation. During the October attempt, my basal body temperature was consistently above 98 degrees, but only for seven days. It needs stay that high during the entire luteal phase for implantation to occur. Sometimes I wonder if too much knowledge is only going to make me obsess, worry, etc more than I would normally.

But I kept my heat up over 70 in my bedroom last night instead of turning it down when I went to sleep, put an extra blanket on the bed. My temp was higher this morning (up to 98.0 from 97.7 yesterday).

I'm going out at lunch to see if I can find an electric blanket or bed warmer, am wearing cuddleduds under my jeans. I had hot oatmeal for breakfast and hot cocoa with dinner last night

It's like disappointment already, even though it doesn't mean that it didn't work.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sisters Showing the Solidarity

I had my IUI this afternoon, and I used a different donor than the previous two times. Let's switch things up and see if that makes a difference. The doctor did tell me that sometimes there is incompatibility between two people, on a biological level -- and they don't know why.

And I read in one of my books that a little self-gratification after the procedure helps. Nothing scientific behind -- pure anecdotal but what the hell. So between the IUI appointment and acupuncture, I came home for a little afternoon delight. And in a show of support, four girls at work promised to go home and have a little "self-service" themselves.

I think only girls could have these kinds of conversations. I can't imagine a guy needing to jack off for medicinal purposes -- and his close friends say, "Hey, we'll masturbate tonight and think of you." Yea, something tells me that would never happen. But it does show me how much my friends are also invested in this with me. They are experiencing the whole gamut of emotions as I do, so why not the orgasm too?

Anyway, I'm being cautiously optimistic about this procedure, but not hopeful. It's a precarious line between the two, but I'm managing so far to stay there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My day in review

3am -- woke up with pain/pressure in my abdomen, like ovulation pain, but since I did an ovulation stick last night, I knew I wasn't ovulating

4:30am -- still awake, still feeling the pressure, watched "The Brady Bunch," the episode where Marcia falls for Harvey, the dork who likes bugs

5am -- remember that somewhere in the world it is daytime and they are playing tennis, turned to ESPN2 for the Australian Open

6:10am -- my alarm goes off and scares the shit out of me, I had finally fallen back asleep

6:19am -- think that I can have curly hair today and continue to hit snooze, change to the local news so I can hear the weather

7am -- hear the beginning of "The Today Show," having never heard the local weather; out of bed, realize my hair is too straight to wear it curly, but not straight enough that I don't have to use the hair straightener

7:30am -- out the door on my way to Horseheads for appointment

8:15am -- my second ultrasound in five days, my follicles have grown, but not big enough yet; and my lining looks good

8:30am -- schedule an ultrasound for 24 hours later

9:30am -- finally get to work, complete with $700 sperm in the back seat so I can get the liquid nitrogen tank refilled

10am -- discover that Elmira is the closest place to get liquid nitrogen

10:01am -- laugh at that irony (Elmira is only 10 minutes from my doctor's office, which is 35 minutes from my house and 45 minutes from work)

3pm -- leave work to head to Elmira

4pm -- liquid nitrogen tank filled and perfectly cold, drop it off at the doctor's office, where the receptionist cheerily says, "see you in the morning."

4:01am -- remember that I have to make the trip to Horseheads again the morning

5pm to present -- long, hot shower, watch my soap from today, talk to my niece, my mother and my friend, catch up on local and national news online, eat dinner, check work email

In the next few minutes -- contacts out, teeth brushed, in bed with my new issue of "Real Simple" and the first episode of "American Idol"

good night.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Baby Eggs

Baby, like little, not baby,

I went in for my ultrasound this morning and I have two egg follicles on each side. Unfortunately, they are all two small to even think about doing the IUI tomorrow. One of the midwives did the ultrasound, which was actually very nice, because she explained everything in way more detail than the regular technicians.

She explained that my follicles are all about 10 or 11 (whatever unit they are measured in), but they really need to be at least 18-20. So there I lay, on the table, legs in stirrups, vaginal probe probing, trying not to cry. Trying not to think that my body is failing me, that something that billions of women's bodies have managed to figure out how to do, mine has not yet figured it out.

Of course, there were encouraging words from her and from my nurse practitioner, and this does not mean that this month is another off-month. Because the follicles only grow 1 to 2 each day, I'm scheduled to go back in on Tuesday for another ultrasound. If even one is in the 18-20 range, then on Wednesday, we'll try the IUI again.

I've thought again, how in the grand scheme of things, this process has not even been a year and I know couples struggle for years and years to try to have a baby. I know that there are people much worse off than I am. And tomorrow, I'll think about that and remember that I still have options and I still have hope and that I'm very lucky.

Today, I just want to feel sorry for myself and mope and cry. I did make it into work, though I'm not sure that I've accomplished a whole lot. I have a meeting at 2:00 and then I'm heading home to my couch for a nap.

In the words of Katie Scarlett O'Hara, "tomorrow is another day."

Monday, January 07, 2008

I Made the Call

I called DSS to find out more information about adoption through the foster care system. I can't say that I came away terribly encouraged. The average age of children in foster is 10 years old. If there are children under 3, they are more than likely in a sibling group with a brother or sister in their early teens.

I don't know what I was thinking, why I was optimistic that this might be a place for me to look for an infant. I guess because there is such a demand for infants, that most are placed through private adoption, which is also a possibility I need to explore. I know that international adoption is way out of my price range, but I have heard from friends that domestic adoption -- while still pricey -- may be something I can afford.

And of course, all of this is moot if the doctors and the specialists and the sperm and my eggs all do what they are supposed. Which of course means that I need to stop stressing and obsessing, because that's not doing my body any good, right?

Maybe I should make an appointment for a massage before the procedure this weekend. (I have acupuncture on Thursday -- they couldn't get me in on Friday.) But then do I really have an extra $100 to blow on a massage -- will I then stress about that as well?

This is what I do to myself, I over-analyze things, over think them to death. When what I really need to do is take a deep breath, close the computer, go upstairs and take a nice long, hot shower, and crawl into bed for will hopefully be a better night's sleep than last night.

*Sigh* will all work out. I just need to keep repeating it and believing it.

Resolutions of some sort

Without even purposely meaning to, I reconnected with two old friends today -- one more than the other. Buffalo Dave called this morning to check on things. It was a bittersweet conversation, as it almost always is. I always get a wistful feeling when we talk, and a little part of me always wonders, "what if..."

We haven't spoken in more than a month, and somehow over the years, we have gotten out of the habit of talking every week, sometimes several times a week. He was calling to check on the baby process and where I was with things.

He was supportive and loving, and said all the right things when I started to convey my frustrations at my own body failing me. When I told him how I sometimes can't keep my emotions in check, like how I cried the other day when I heard the Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus song on the car radio. We promised each other that we would talk at least once a month, and I made a mental note to write it on my calendar, which I of course forgot to do. (sending myself an email at work right now)

My other friend -- Karen. We worked together when I lived in Rochester, my first job right out of college, and after she had a baby, I started babysitting for her a few Saturdays a month. When I moved to Baltimore, we stayed in touch for a little while, but as friends do, we drifted apart. I found her on LinkedIn and sent her an email this morning. The ironic thing -- as soon as I sent the email, I wrote down the date and realized today is her birthday, so I sent her another quick email withe birthday wishes.

We emailed back and forth with a quick synopsis of our lives, updates on the boys, my baby plans, etc. It felt so good to be in touch with her. She, her (now ex-) husband, and two boys were my extended family in Rochester. And I remember how sad I was to leave them when I moved to Baltimore.

And so, while it's not a concrete resolution with measurable outcomes, I will be a better friend this year, I will be better about staying in touch, and those I've lost touch with, I will drop "hello" notes. Being in touch with Karen today made me feel so happy -- why not continue this with more happy days and more happy re-connections.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Roger Clemens

The big interview on "60 Minutes" will be on tonight after the football game. I'll watch -- even though I don't think my mind will be changed. I truly believe that Roger Clemens took performing-enhancing drugs -- and not B-12 shots from his trainer. I thought it before the Mitchell Report came out and I still think it.

The fact that a lot of the people named in the Report have come forward to say it's true and offer their apologies and excuses only cements my belief. No professional athlete gets better in their 30s and 40s than they were in their 20s -- no matter how amazingly sick and disciplined they are with their workout regimes and conditioning.

I was listening to ESPN Radio the other day at work, and he host made an excellent point. Who is the greatest basketball player of our time? Are you telling me that Michael Jordan wasn't disciplined, wasn't serious about his workouts? And still....Michael Jordan in his 30s, compared to Michael Jordan in his 20s, sucked. He was still good, still able to compete on the professional level, but he was not the same caliber player he was with the Bulls. Not even close.

And so for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens to say make us all think that they've legitimately (and drug-free) gotten better on their own, I just have to shake my head. I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night.

But what does it all mean? Can baseball fix itself? I think it can. It has in the past and it will again. Just as Babe Ruth saved baseball after the Black Sox scandal, just as Cal Ripken saved baseball after the 1994 strike, I think there will be someone else. Perhaps, Alex Rodriguez's chase to the top of the home run list, perhaps someone we haven't even heard of yet.

And hopefully whatever it is, it will be a drug-free celebration.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy new year

It's 2008 -- I'll be 38 this year. When I was little, that sounded so old. And now, not so much. The year has started off mostly positive, if not for the extreme cold weather, so far.

I had an ultrasound on Wednesday and was declared cyst free, at least for this month. So just as I started to come off of the hormone bloat and fit back into my skinny jeans, I started on the clomid again. Five days on, then five days off. Friday I'll go in for another ultrasound to make sure that my body reacted to the clomid the way it is supposed to -- growing big, healthy mature eggs -- and if that's the case, the next day I'll be inseminated again.

It's weird how two failed attempts, and all the months of needing to take off because of the cysts, but I'm not overly excited nor am I dreading it -- just sort of neutral. Maybe that will change as the week goes on, and perhaps, more likely, it will change once I have the second ultrasound Friday. While I have no reason to think that I won't have good egg follicles, there is always the chance. So maybe I am just protecting myself from another crushing blow of needing to wait.

It's a big hurry up and wait game, this fertility thing. To think that I started it all last summer, had my first insemination in August -- and here we are six months later, still doing the same thing we were doing in August. I guess this is the universe's way of teaching me patience -- something I've never had and something I will most certainly need when I have a baby.

When I was looking through my Christmas cards this year, I was struck by the.....I don't know if irony is the right word....of the card from someone I went to high school with. She has two kids in high school! Here I am about to have a baby, and in another year or two, she'll be sending her babies off to college. Once upon a time, that would have been how I thought my life would be, but I've come to accept that you can't totally create your own time line.