Monday, June 29, 2009

On a Silver Fucking Platter

I'm an idiot. Go ahead. I know I am.

Last week, after I got back from the doctor, after knowing I had a three-week break from shots and ultrasounds and appointments and blood work, I said I was hoping to see E or J, or both.

And what did I do? I emailed J and said, "If I were to drive to York, or somewhere in that vicinity for an afternoon, would you make it worth my while? I've got three weeks before I start the next cycle."

York is four hours from me, 45 minutes from him. Could I be making it any easier for him?

He emailed me back, almost immediately. "Very interesting. Let me check my schedule."

I resisted the urge to respond to him. And I've resisted the urge to write back to him this week.

This is it. I promise. If I hear nothing back from him, even to say, tempting as it sounds, I'm too busy....he's cut off. Done. No more stroking his ego. No more texts. No more dirty pictures. No more naughty phone calls.

And you can hold me to it.

Cranky Monday

And I'm not sure why. I feel like crying. Or going back to sleep. When really what I want is to feel like working out.

I had a good weekend. I went to Syracuse and spent the night at my niece's. Yesterday was Andrew's 2nd birthday party.

I had been anxious about it earlier in the week, that my oldest sister would be there and I would have to hear about her daughter, who is due to give birth in the next two weeks. I think I've forgiven her insensitivity in how she told me she was pregnant, but I can't forget. And to hear people go on and on about it -- I wasn't in the mood. I found out Saturday night that she wouldn't be coming. She had to work all day on Saturday.

Maybe it was, not just being around little kids, but actually celebrating the anniversary of his birth. It could be that or it could be something totally unrelated. Like I'm just tired. Or my hormones are out of whack -- though I have been living with that for the past two years.

I feel like I did last summer when I thought an egg donor was my only option. My mind is swimming with all sorts of things and what if's. What if there is a better chance to get pregnant with an egg donor than with my own egg. Should I have just gone with an egg donor last summer, instead of wasting the time and money on trying to get pregnant on my own? Or should I have just given up and saved since last year and gone ahead with adoption? Should I try with an egg donor after my final IVF?

I don't know how productive of a day it will be at work today. I should have called in sick.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Donna Does Wonders with the Probe"

I managed to get a doctor's appointment this morning, and so at 8:45, Hope, Heather and I took a "staff field trip" to the doctor's office. (The only thing missing was Nancy.)

We came up with a list of questions in the car, and I told them that what I'm not good at, what I really needed them from them, was the follow-up. Once I ask the question and get an answer, I'm not good at saying, "but what else?" or "but what about...?" They were both up to the task.

The FG's office was hopping when we got there. I leaned over to Hope and said, so which one of you is my lesbian lover and which is the egg donor. (Because really, what else would three women be doing at the fertility doctor?) She sized up me and Heather with our matching Vera Bradley purses and said, "ummm....she's more like you, she's your egg donor." To which Heather replied, "she wants to be your lover."

When I was finally called back for my baseline U/S, the nurse was a little surprised at our little conga line. "They're both coming back?"

When the nurse practitioner came in to the ultrasound, they started asking their questions. The NP -- new to the practice -- didn't have all the answers, but said she would bring Donna in when we were done. And then she couldn't find my left ovary, which has been known to hide. "Stay undressed, I'll get Donna and see if she can find your left ovary. She does wonders with the probe."

Donna came in, immediately found my left ovary, and then sat there while the girls peppered her with questions. At this point, Donna was saying that there were some residual cysts left over from last month, but we could still go ahead, to start the meds tonight and be back on Friday for a follicle check.

Hope and Heather weren't ready to accept that that was the best thing for me. The most impactful question, and I think it was from Hope, "if she got pregnant in December, why wouldn't you try to do the cycle the exact same way? Why increase her dosage so much, why add a new medicine to the mix? Especially when using more medicine didn't seem to create a better quality or quantity of eggs?"

Donna thought about it for a minute and then said, "Well the cysts are a little bigger than I would like." She looked at me, "what if we put you on the pill for three weeks to suppress ovulation, let your cysts go away, and we'll start up on July 13 with just the Gonal-F?"

It felt like a weight off my shoulders. And in thinking about it, that was the way the cycle worked when I got pregnant. I was on the pill for two weeks to manipulate my cycle so that we could fit it in before Christmas. So this isn't a bad thing, it can only be a good thing.

And if I can fit in a visit or two with E or J (or dare I say both?) in the next three weeks, all the better.

And so I went back to the gym tonight for the first time in five weeks. I lasted about half hour on the treadmill. It was a start. I'll give myself this week to get my endurance back up and then start running next week.

Today was a better day than Friday. At least we're moving in the right direction.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Bloody Sunday

At least my body doesn't let me psyche myself into believing that the test was a false positive. I woke up this morning to my period and quickly realized I had very little in way of supplies to deal with it. Ugh.

I started making a list of questions for the doctor. Hope is going with me to the baseline to help ask questions and be an extra set of ears.

* what more can I do?
* what are the chances of getting pregnant?
* did the increase of Gonal-F and Menopur cause over-stimulation to the point that the follicles stopped growing and it caused the spotting?
* should FG re-examine me to see where things stand with my reproductive levels?
* would taking a month off make any difference?

That's what we have so far. It will be good for Hope to be there. I ask why I'm not getting pregnant and I get an answer like, "you're doing all you can." Hope will push and ask for an actual medical explanation.

For the past two years, I've never wavered. I've never doubted myself or my decision. This is what I'm supposed to do. I can be a single mother. I will have no trouble with it. But now, as I'm nearing my last chance, I am starting to doubt adoption.

How reasonable is it to take on a debt that large and add another person to my household? A person who is 100% dependent on me for all of his or her needs?

I'm casting the net, and actually this is where Fran being Fran is a good thing. She's casting the net. She's got her Nigerian priest looking into adopting from his country, she's working something with a woman who may or may not have someone in her family to take care of her baby which has to be taken from her as soon as she gives birth, and then she asked my oldest sister about anything that her husband may have (he's the former DA of a small town and now has his own private practice).

Hope asked me the other day if, knowing that I believe in fate and destiny, I needed to go through the past two years of failure and disappointment so that my heart would be completely open to an adopted child, that if the past two years were fate's way of making the timing exactly right for the child that is meant for me.

It's a nice thought. And one that I'm sure will become my mantra the minute I'm holding my baby, however that baby comes to me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eleven Down....One to Go

My test was negative today. I was indifferent to the results. It has become the norm to hear the bad news, at this point. I can only cry so many times.

The girls and I went on a field trip after getting the news. Wal-Mart to get me a diet Pepsi; Kohls for a shopping excursion; and McDonald's for grease.

And then I got back to the office and ran into a co-worker who is only in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She had been looking for me the other day, wanted to tell me something before I heard it from someone else, was just going to say it.

"You're pregnant." It wasn't a question, because just like hearing the negative test result, hearing that other people are pregnant has become the norm. "I'm happy for you."

"I know you are."

"I'm probably going to cry, but I'm happy for you." And then I walked into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and sobbed.

After that one of my friends said, "maybe you just adopt. Isn't that what they say? You adopt, and then when you least expect it...."

But that's not going to happen to me. Unless Mr. Right suddenly shows up. It happens to those people because they have a husband, they're having sex. The only sex I'm having these days is protected, for the most part.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm ready to give up. But I won't. I have one try left and I have to do it. I've already called in my prescription refills for the next round of ovarian stimulants, even before I get my period.

And so I'll do what I've done the last 10 times I've heard, "the test was negative, if you want to try again, call us on the first day of your cycle." I'll feel sorry for myself for the weekend, and then get right back on the horse.

This, however, will be the last horse I'm riding. Win or lose. After the next round, I'm done.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Some days are so hard

Babies are everywhere. And if they're not there, their parents are, talking about them. And some days, I'm happy to listen and join in on the conversation, and others....not so much.

Today was one of those days.

A group of us went to lunch today and on the way drive back to work, it was nothing but babies.

And the right amount of years between the first and second. (Can I just have one, please, before all you breeders start planning for your next one?)

And when people were going to start trying to having a baby. "We're going to start in August." (And you'll probably be pregnant by the end of the year.)

And how one baby is getting teeth and the other one is walking. (I got nothing on that one, just sadness for myself.)

I went to read my Rochester friends' blog -- and shouldn't have since it's all about the little girl they just adopted. Probably not the best reading in my current mood. She's thisclose to crawling, and eating new foods and has new teeth. And I'm so happy for them -- and so sad and jealous.

It's one of those nights when I'm hoping for no baby-related shows, an easy fall to sleep, and a restful night. I have yoga tomorrow, and I'm hoping to be out of this mood by then.

I have my blood test on Thursday. I'm feeling indifferent. Some twinges, less than last month, but then again, I wasn't pregnant last month.

I'm so tempted to buy an HPT, but I won't.

But I want to.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visualize...and Make it Happen

FG offered a class in making vision boards last week. It was at the same time as yoga, and not really wanting to be the only single one there, I opted to go to yoga. But that's not to say that I totally give up on the vision board idea.

Two procedures ago, he told me to visualize. "See what you want. Imagine what you will get. Think about a beautiful healthy baby. See your child." And so, I found this picture in a magazine and though, not every night, I try to look at this picture often.

I don't know what my child will look like. I only know that when I saw this picture in a magazine, it made me think of what my child could look like.

I showed FG two weeks ago when I went in for my IUI. He looked at the picture and grabbed my hand. "I have chills."

And for those who don't know what I look like, here is a picture of me at about 2 1/2.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Inspirational Thought of the Day

I've made my share of mistakes, I've committed my share of sins. But I am still spiritual, still believe deeply in God. And especially over the past two years, I've found strength in praying and most recently in going back to church.

Last week, I was running errands downtown and stopped into church. As I was there, I was note really praying for guidance about J, more that I needed him in my life, that I knew it was wrong, but I'm not ready to let go of him, that he's all I've got.

At that EXACT moment, my cell phone vibrated, signaling a text. I opened it up to see a text from E. "In LA, thinking about you." I guess that was God's way of answering my statement. I guess He showed me.


My sister-in-law sent this to me as an email and it really effected me.

I know I can't see the big picture of why I'm supposed to struggle with infertility or while I'm single or why anything is the way it is in my life. But I have to believe that there is a greater plan.

"We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot."

Monday, June 08, 2009

And the wait begins

I had a relatively uneventful weekend and then started my progesterone (in oil via intramuscular shots and suppositories know) and the Lovonox in my stomach. The bloating continues -- big distended belly each night.

My dilemma for today -- because I had IUI, I have moments where I actually forget that I could be pregnant. And so on Friday, during one of these lapses, I made a date for next Monday with E. Hmmmmm.

I spoke to the doctor's office today and they said, absolutely I can have sex, in fact "some couple even have sex after the IUI, you never know." I didn't correct the nurse that this is not my situation, but took the verdict and continued the deliberation of whether I should go or not.

Some friends say, don't go. If your test is negative, you will think that you did something wrong.

Others say, go. Enjoy yourself. Relax.

I thought about it all day. I called my sister-in-law and asked for her advice, but prefaced it with, I think I know what my decision is. She listened to both sides of the argument and then said, it's a tough call. What do you think?

I told her what I will tell you now, if I can't decide, if I'm waffling so much back and forth, then I probably know deep down that I shouldn't go.

I'm going to text him later tonight or tomorrow and tell him I had to have a "chick-related" procedure done and am on "vaginal rest" for the next 10 days, can we do it the following Monday?

If I'm not pregnant, consolation prize. If I am, I'll figure out what to tell him then.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Doin' Old School with an IUI

I went for my IUI today. Sixteen point eight million sperm were inserted into my uterus. I had acupuncture before and after. And then I came home and rested. I've got four good follicles on the right side, three C-grade on the left. And 16.8 million sperm! Could just one of them buy one of my girls a drink? Please? It's a sure bet.

When I was getting dressed, I heard the FG's voice in the hallway. I opened the door and he gave me a hug. "You could be pregnant right now."

"I don't know if they swim that fast."

"You need to think pregnant. Are you visualizing? Are you praying? Are you chanting? Are you relaxing? Are you thinking about what you want? It will come to you, or something better. What is meant to be yours, will be."

Just once, I want to lay my head on his lap, have him stroke my hair, and listen to him tell me about what it's like to live in his world. I want to know what it's like to live in a world where you are so happy and positive. All the time. Just being around makes me feel like I can be that positive.

I had a professor in college. I took all of his classes. And I wanted to marry him. I wasn't attracted to him. I was inspired by him. Whenever I left his class, I would get two feet out the door and I would have to stop and write down a million things that I wanted to write about, thoughts I had in my head.

That's the way I feel about the FG. I'm attracted to his mind and his spirit. And his willingness to do so much for so many people to help them fulfill their dreams.

When I walked through the waiting room, I saw someone I knew from high school. (He was actually the first person I "stepped up to the mike" with.) He said hi, so I stopped and said hi.

What exactly is the etiquette when you see someone at the fertility specialist's office anyway? As I was driving home I thought about it, and likened it to running into someone you know at the naughty store. You're both embarrassed and then you realize that you're both there for the same reason. We talked for a few minutes, he introduced me to his wife and then I was off to acupuncture.

I listened to my yoga CD on the drive home. Stayed relaxed. Tried to think pregnant. And then a deer started to run across the highway. I slowed down and I now know where the expression "deer in the headlights" comes from. She just stood there, until I beeped my horn and she ran back into the woods. I saved a life today. Always a good thing.

I rested all afternoon. I thought good thoughts. I have tomorrow off, though I will need to go up to the office to get some work to do over the weekend. Other than writing a couple of articles for a newsletter, it's going to be a low-key weekend, letting these millions of little guys try to find their way to one of my girls.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

IVF, IUI -- Getting Knocked Up Somehow

I drove to Syracuse for yoga last night. When I got there, I noticed a little cramping in my stomach but thought that it was probably follicle growth. And didn't think about it again.

When I was driving home, I stopped for something to eat, and then a little while later noticed that my stomach hurt. More like I shouldn't have eaten McDonald's than anything else. Again, I didn't think anything of it.

I got home about 9pm, utterly exhausted at the prospect of doing anything other than falling into my bed. But, given that I had to leave my house at 6:15am to go back to Syracuse for a follicle check, I dragged myself into the shower. At least with a full shower and my hair out of the way, I would only have to take a quick jump in the shower in the morning.

And then I noticed it. The faintest of spotting. WTF?! I tried not to freak out. Spotting happens. It doesn't mean anything. I woke up twice in the middle of the night and checked. Nothing.

And then this morning, it was back again. The lightest and fairest amount while still existing. I thought about what it meant all the way to Syracuse. Three weeks of shots. Driving 60 miles round-trip every other day. Another month of waiting for this to just be over. All the way to Syracuse.

When I got to the doctor's office, I burst into tears as soon as the first nurse closed the exam door and asked how I was. "I think I'm getting my period." She calmly told me it could be the hormones, that my blood levels haven't indicated that I ovulated, that let's take it one step at a time and see what the ultrasound looked like and what my levels were today.

She then took my blood pressure, which is usually in the 100/70 or 95/66 range. Today? 141/100. Clearly I had gotten myself worked up.

Donna -- the nurse who has been monitoring me and doing all my ultrasounds -- came in and was just as calm as Cory had been. Lining looks good. Follicles still really full. But the blood work will be the determining factor.

We talked about options. Because it's my last IVF, we might not want to do that since the conditions aren't perfect. But she was concerned about this also being the last of my sperm. Not the case -- the donor I am using has more available. So she floated the idea of an IUI out there. Interesting.

(IUI is inter-uterine insemination and what I did for my first six attempts. They put the sperm directly into my uterus using a catheter, rather than retrieve the eggs and put embryos back in with IVF.)

She told me to get dressed and relax. She would call me once she got the blood work back. I managed to calm down on my way back to Ithaca. I listened to my yoga CD, cried only a few times, and by the time I got to work, I felt better.

Donna called around lunchtime. Was I still spotting? A little, but not that much. It hadn't worsened in any event. My blood levels indicated that I did not ovulate. "What do you want to do?"

"I'd be willing to do IUI this month."

"Good, that's what I think we should do too."

And so (unless I actually start bleeding tonight) the last three weeks of shots and trips to Syracuse and hormones and the anticipation and preparation aren't wasted. And it means two more tries, not one. Because if the IUI doesn't work, I still have the IVF to do.

So tomorrow? What else? Back to Syracuse. Acupuncture first, then the procedure, then another round of acupuncture. And then I'm going to take tomorrow and Friday off to lay low. And rest. And think good pregnancy thoughts.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Not the Fastest Growing Follicles

I went back to Syracuse this morning, for what I was hoping was the last follicle check. Not so fast. "You're not going to win any contests for the fastest-growing follicles, but they're close..."

The left ovary is still pretty sluggish -- the three follicles in 11-13mm at best. The right is very close. One of the four is 19mm, and the rest are right behind it. More shooting up tonight and tomorrow, and back to the doctor on Wednesday.

At this appointment, the nurse guessed that possibly Friday could be retrieval day.

So yoga tomorrow night, and back on Wednesday.