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 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.