Saturday, December 30, 2006
We have family visiting. Specifically, my MIL.
I like her but she's making me nuts. And not in that shiny-happy giggling nuts way. The screaming inside way.
It all started yesterday with the food battles. See, my stepson has been diagnosed as ADHD and he's a bit overmedicated so he's not maintaining his weight well*.. and that makes Grandma concerned. So much so that detective Grandma was scrutinizing his prescription bottles for any potential irregularities, and muttering about lawsuits and pediatricians. Anyhow, Grandma's also on a quest to cram as much food as she can into the boy. So yesterday when T asked if he could have some of my cinnamon bread, Grandma gave me the evil eye when I said no. And then she offered to take him to the store to buy some bread of his own. Like I don't have a pantry full of kid-friendly stuff already.
Insert huge belabored sigh here. Maybe even an eyeroll or two.
I'm not a wicked stepmom, really.
But my cinnamon bread is no-extra-sugar whole-grain bread. It's a bit expensive, hard to find and one of the few 'treats' I allow myself. The stepson won't eat any bread that's not lily-white and cardboard-y. So he's not getting my special bread. Yeah, I know, it's petty... but for the love of God, leave my stuff alone. I tried telling him he wouldn't like it, he protested that he looooooves cinnamon bread, and I still said no. Grandma's evil eye got even more evil.
Currently, she's opening the toy I just told my three-year-old he couldn't have right now because it's got a bajillion small pieces and I don't want to deal with them first thing in the morning.
And that annoying twitch at the corner of my eye is returning.
Speaking of the three-year-old, I'm pretty sure that she thinks he's undersupervised and underdisciplined.
Because, you know, after three years of having him up my butt 24/7, I'm attempting to teach him some sort of independent playing. In other words, if he's having one of his rare moments of hanging out and happily playing alone, I'm not going to stop him. Unless he's guaranteed to give himself bodily harm, I'm not stepping in.
Which means that if he's jumping off his toy box without jumping onto broken glass, I'm letting him. If he desires privacy in the bathroom, I'm not going to break down the door because it's locked. Nor am I going to panic, lest he drown himself in the bathroom sink. MIL stands outside the door "the door is locked. Rachel, he's locked himself in there. can't he get hurt? can you open it?"
Holy fuck - the kid's locked himself in to get some peace and quiet, leave him be.**
This morning, the evil eye stayed away right up until breakfast.. when the ten-year-old expressed hunger and I said "well, you know where the cereal is".
Is it unreasonable to expect a ten-year-old to fix his own cereal?
Did I mention I'm making them feed themselves today because I spent ALL day cooking our 'holiday meal' yesterday?
And then - God forbid - the three-year-old wanted the same cereal that his brother had. I started to turn him down, and the eye got super evil... so the boy got a bowl of coco@ puffs that I knew he wouldn't eat. Because, you know, he doesn't eat those. Especially not when he's already eaten breakfast.
Half an hour later, as the puffs were flying around the breakfast table (uneaten on account of they're 'yucky'), I refrained from asking Gma if she was going to pick up the straying food that G had so desperately needed.
Eh, well, the eye twitch is attractive. It goes nicely with my irritation-induced hives.
*that's a whole 'nother issue and since i try not to publicly disparage his mother's decisions, I'll leave it be for now. suffice to say i'm not thrilled but I have learned that neither a stepparent nor a father has any say in anything unless it's in agreement with the mother's decision. least that's what the pediatrician tells us.
**little-known fact about G - he's got some sensory issues and gets overstimulated easily. when he's in full melt-down mode, he often puts himself in the bathroom or in his room, so he can de-stim himself and calm down. knocking on the door and asking him questions prolongs that process, and is not helpful to anyone involved... i don't think this is so hard to understand, but apparently it is. just leave the poor kid alone and he'll come out when he's ready.
Friday, December 29, 2006
But back to the rotten person thing.
Friend of mine got knocked up this week. Well, ok, about two weeks ago, but she found out this week.
For the first time in a long time, I was really, truly happy for someone else's pregnancy. Only happy.
Because, you see, she needed IUI.
And that makes all the difference.
I get so freaking excited about someone I know who struggles and turns up pregnant, but can't seem to muster up that same excitement for someone who just blindly, optimistically does the deed and gets a positive a few weeks later.
Only that makes no sense - I've gotten knocked up three times in my life. All three of those involved s-e-x. Sure, two of them involved drugs (metformin & met/letrozole, respectively), and this last one involved several IUI's, but I'm not sure it counts as needing IUI to get pregnant when you manage it on the month your IUI was cancelled, ya know?
Either way, I have a bias. If you get pregnant easily, I may be happy for you... but I will
You can take the girl out of infertility, but you can't take the infertility out of the girl.
So to speak.
More on that soon, but we've got a houseful and I don't have time to do it justice right now.
In other news, I'm still reading blogs. I'm having a hard time finding time to comment on what I'm reading, but I'm out there and so many in blogland are on my mind. The good news is scarce lately, it seems, and I'm hoping that with the new year coming, 2006 will vanish for so many.. I know the scars of the year will still remain, but my wish for 2007 is that the wounds will sting less, and the news will be better.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I was totally unprepared for RiceCake to be accommodating today.
See, as much as I've tried not to worry, ever since the ER-ultrasound that measured Rice three days behind, I've been concerned.
For the past two weeks, I've been repeating a growth mantra to the belly. For the last week, we've been bargaining. I knew that the one thing that would make me feel better was to be either on target or slightly ahead... so I've been telling RC that if I could please, please, please just see a 10w1d baby I'd be happy. I'm 'officially' 9w6d, and I figured that two extra days isn't an unreasonable request.
Believe it or not: Rice's measurements were exactly 10w1d. I would have cried but I was too busy grinning like a fool.
I was concerned before the ultrasound because I've got a bit of a fever, and I had some seriously tender spots on my abdomen. Since I'm uber-optimistic, I was immediately convinced I had some sort of uterine infection (why think something benign when you can worry about a serious condition?).
Nope... turns out that I'm a bit sick (hence the fever) and the abdominal tenderness was cured with a trip to the bathroom. Who knew constipation hurt? Who knew you could even get constipated on metformin? And who else would worry that much about it?
So yeah, again, all my worst fears were not confirmed. And I am ever so grateful for that.
I know we're not out of the woods. I know there's a long way to go yet... but damn, it's nice to breathe again.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I took a nap (fastest way to pass the time) and woke up terribly nauseous. Seems I can only have one symptom at a time, and today it's nausea. Probably I should have been expecting that, but I wasn't.
It's a minute-by-minute thing. Honestly, when I told that ER doc a week ago that I thought I needed a little something to help me get through this mentally, he should not have blown me off.
I may get out of this with a baby, but I'm starting to seriously doubt I'll get out of it with my sanity intact.
.. and now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sniff some hot dogs and see if I can improve my mood a bit more by vomiting.*
*ok, probably not, but it's an option.
I can make it about a week without panicking but that's it.
So yeah, today's not a good day. No special reason (unless you count the fluctuating boob-soreness which today is registering about an 0.5 on a scale of 1-10), I'm just freaking out because I can. Oh yeah, and I've got a bit of a headache lurking in the corners of my brain, which wouldn't be problematic for anyone but me because the return of the ever-present headaches occurred shortly before my miscarriage. And (err.) my constipation's gone. So either I'm getting sick, which is possible, or I should freak out. Or not, it could just be paranoia.
And I don't have another appointment until next freaking TUESDAY. Yeah, I know, it's only five more days, but they're five LONG days.
I can make it, I'm sure I can*. Two good ultrasounds behind me, both with a strong heartbeat. That should reassure me.. and truthfully, it's the one reason I'm not in a full-on panic right now. Well, that and the fact that last time my boobs stopped hurting, it didn't mean anything.
I still wish I could be normal and say "hey, I feel better today. how cool!" instead of "omg, I feel better today - what's wrong??!"
I wish I were far enough along that a doppler would give me reassurance, but I'm afraid to use one because I'm afraid I wouldn't find anything and then I'd be MORE freaked out.
Five. More. Days.
*mostly because I have no choice - I refuse to freak out (again). It's only five more days.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
We're closing in on my next ultrasound (less than a week to go!), and naturally, that's sparking some panic over here. I wish I could go into this with just happy, shiny thoughts, positive that all will be well, that the ultrasound will be one more opportunity to see RiceCake and his beautiful beating heart, but I am scared.
Looks like I'll be going this one alone... save for G, who may have to go with me.* So it better be good news, 'cause not only will I not have anyone there to give me support, I'll have to hold it together for the little man. I'm still holding out hope that B will be able to make it at the last minute, but I'm definitely not counting on it.
I've been skipping the Google consults, which has made a HUGE difference in my equilibrium. Without Dr Google to freak me out, I'm ignorant of statistics, or bad-news stories, or rare one-in-a-million complications that I am sure will materialize in my life. It's kinda nice.
I've been optimistically reading a message board for moms due in July, and, as expected, they're very different from me. There's one or two who feel the need to get all doom and gloom and point out reality to the otherwise-blissfully-ignorant moms-to-be, but for the most part, they're all picking out names and comparing baby gear and discussing labor options.
I am nowhere near that point. I still can't even tell people we're expecting.
I realized how much I've changed this year when I found the list of questions I had for my doctor at what should have been my first OB appointment this spring. I threw it out. None of it really matters to me now - if I make it past the upcoming ultrasound, I'll have plenty of time to debate the merits of a planned section or a VBAC. I'm not even bringing it up now. The fact that I not only thought it out, but wrote it down last time seems incredibly arrogant.
.. and yet, normal. I miss that normal.
I keep saying "after my next ultrasound", but now I'm thinking more like "out of the first trimester", or maybe even "out of the womb" before I'll feel 'safe'.
*but it's just a regular OB and not the RE, so dammit, I refuse to feel guilty.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
In other news, my nephew was born this past week.
I apparently still have issues with that, since I was peeved about that announcement call. It interrupted a rare moment alone with my husband. I'd like to say it was the interruption rather than the news that irked me, but no... I just didn't want to hear one more damn thing about my sister's pregnancy.
Sounds cold, eh? Well, it is.. but it's honest, and that's all I'm concerned about here.
For whatever reason, my mother thinks I'm interested. I got the full report on the maybe-it's-labor from last week... all freaking evening, I got real-time reports until I finally told her that I really wasn't interested in the play-by-play. I'm sure that part of this is irritation with my sister - she never did call me. Her entire pregnancy, not one phone call. I guess it really is just that icky discussing pregnancy with the fertility-challenged. Sadly, that's not the only reason I'm irritated.
Since I'm being honest, I'll tell you this - the main reason I'm irritated is because I can't handle pregnancy talk this week. I don't want to hear about it, see it, or so much as think it. This is THE week where I want no pregnancy talk, or reminders, or anything. I want to stay busy, and muddle through the next couple of weeks til my ultrasound.
... but since I'm not still trying to get pregnant, my mother thinks I'm totally over all those infertile feelings and the sadness about my miscarriage. Because, you know, I've moved on.
Which is the hardest damn thing to explain to someone. It doesn't go away. No matter what. It gets easier, I've been down this road before (well, the mom-after-IF part, not the mom-after-miscarriage road), and it gets easier... but it doesn't go away. I can't forget the reality that not all pregnancies turn into babies. I can't forget that I'm still in a tenuous position. Everyone else, of course, has moved past that. They're excited and happy and looking ahead. They're talking about names, and shopping and preparing.
Me, I'm talking about just getting through the next few weeks.
And Mom, I'm happy for S. Really, I am.. but all the talk of weekly ultrasounds, and how big baby's gotten, and the endless discussions on her bloodwork just remind me that I've got a long way to go. Let me be selfish for a little while because it's protecting me. Let me not talk about pregnancy, or doctors or labor. Just for now.
I'm trying desperately to move on, but I'm in the midst of a week that's pulling me back, dragging me kicking and screaming to a time I just want to forget. Today, I am 8 weeks and 3 days. I only made it to 8 weeks and 4 days last pregnancy. I feel like I'm passing a major milestone here - and while I'm heartened by the fact that I do feel like I will pass it, I still feel like it's a roadblock that will take effort to climb.
Looking ahead, I'm happy that I'm almost past this week.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
And oh yeah, before you read, everything's ok. I know mid-way through this, it's not going to sound so good, but I'll spare you the mental rollercoaster and just say this: RiceCake, he's still in there. His flicker is still flickering at a good pace.
So... My boobs stopped hurting this morning. Yesterday, they were barely-sore, by noon today I had to squeeze them (hard) to get even a mild discomfort.
I so totally panicked. Called the parents, asked if G could hang out because I wanted to get checked out. Which, of course, panicked the 'rents. Just goes to show that no matter how old your kids are, they can still make your heart stop. Kind of like RiceCake did to me today.
I spent five hours sitting in the waiting room with all sorts of non-emergencies (including one loud cell-phone talker who informed her caller - and the entire waiting room - that she was there because her daughter was throwing up, and her son had the runs. I shudder to think how many germs I may have picked up, but hey - if I get some stomach flu, I'll call it morning sickness and be reassured)
When they finally called me back, I tearfully recounted my two weeks of various aches and uterine pains, culminating in the weekend-of-no-boob-pain, and they agree I need an exam and an ultrasound.
Sweet Jesus, this is what I'm talking about!
Only, this is the very-same hospital where I learned about fetal demise and miscarriage this past spring, so I'm a bit on edge. Maybe even more than just a bit.
The exam went ok - my ute is tender, but hell I knew that before they started poking.. and hey, those ovarian cysts, they still hurt when smushed. Imagine that.
Then comes the moment of truth - the ultrasound.
The doctor powers up the machine, and shows me my uterus.... which is totally f'ing empty. Yeah, this is the part where I lost it. Oh. My. God. Not again. I think I said that three or four times. The doc keeps telling me that it's not a great machine, don't start worrying yet blah, blah, blah... and all I can see is NOTHING on the screen. So she keeps digging away with the dildocam and finally asks me if maybe, just maybe, my uterus is tilted back.
Uhhh... yeah. Is that relevant?
So she jams the cam a bit deeper and suddenly... there is RiceCake in all his smudgy gray glory. I see a tiny, bright-white flicker in the middle, just for a second before he disappears again (because dammit, I sat up to get a better look and she lost him. Again. But at least this time she knew where to find him).
He's measuring behind by 3 days, which worried me til I realized that the measurement was done by a resident who couldn't actually find my f'ing uterus and probably is not so accurate (and, she assured me, due to the limitations of their u/s machine, they don't even start to worry unless he's measuring a week or more behind). Oh, and my gestational sac as measuring two-and-a-half weeks ahead. So.. yeah, something funky going on with the measuring. She was able to get RiceCake's heartrate, which clocked in at a respectable 186 bpm... a bit high, but again, I'm calling that 'user error'. I was able to see that he was flickering faster than last week, and that's good enough for me.
They diagnosed me as "pregnant",* gave me the list of scary things to watch out for that would require a return trip (as if I wouldn't come back for less than that... come on) and told me to eat more - apparently the one abnormality they discovered involved ketones in my urine... Things could be so, so very much worse.
*holyhell, i used the actual word.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
My breasts are barely sore today and it's freaking me out. I'm really nauseous, but I'm pretty sure that's because I'm just that afraid.
This is so not fair - I worked really hard to get to this point and I can't just relax and enjoy it. I have to freak out at the smallest sign that maybe something's gone wrong.
.. and I'm back to that paranoid can't-breathe feeling.
When does that go away?
Friday, December 01, 2006
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
Prenatal class yesterday. Rather large waste of my time, although I did learn two new things:
(1) I will not be getting an ultrasound nearly early enough to pacify my psychosis.
(2) I will be getting one at my next appointment, Dec 19
The hospital where my clinic is located has an interesting way of doing things. All new OB patients are enrolled in this class prior to their first appointment, whether they are newly pregnant or just transferring in. As a result of that, there was a girl who was enrolled for this class who is due......... next week.
She got out of attending the class.
I did not.
I sat through the entire thing although I started to squirm (a lot) when they got about halfway through the "what to expect at your appointment" lecture. Because, dammit, sitting there listening to what might/will happen at my thirty-six week appointment felt awfully like tempting the fates.
I filled out reams of paperwork including the required psychological pre-screen which included such true/false questions as "I find myself worrying ALL the time" and "I am often unrealistically afraid".
Oh yeah, I so totally failed that test. The nurse-instructor made sure to emphasize to me that there is a social worker affiliated with the clinic who will be available to speak with me at any point.
Puh-lease, there's ultrasound techs also, but I don't see them lining up to soothe my paranoia... and dammit, they're the ones who I want to see.
She mentioned the nutritionist also, and it took all my willpower not to blurt out "jackass". Real mature, me. Hey, I'd have done that cough-jackass-cough thing. Oh wait, that's probably less mature, huh?
I didn't get my appointment date til the very end of (the two-freaking-hour) class, and by then I had to pee so badly that it didn't occur to me until after I left that December 19 is not a great time for my next ultrasound. As I was sprinting towards a bathroom I realized (as any truly psychotic fertility-challenged would) oh shit - that could make for one rotten Christmas if things go badly.
I still haven't gotten the hang of this optimism thing.
Maybe after the next ultrasound ... ?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
He didn't look particularly upset, so I figured it wasn't a nightmare, and that made me curious - what on earth does a three-year-old have to dream about? After a few more questions, I was able to determine 'dweem pizza'.
And I thought I was the only one who dreamed about eating.
Good mom that I am, I know that a food-dream means I'll be craving said food until I can have it. Figuring that G is a lot like me, I decided we'd have pizza for lunch. Only, I wasn't sure what kind of pizza is carb-friendly. Generally, we'd go all out on the pizza binge on those days when AF was here and I didn't worry about carbs.
So I checked the carb count on his favorite pizza. 84 grams of carbs in one slice. Holy fucknuts, that's a lot of carbs. Nearly half my daily carb allowance. Almost twice the amount of carbs I get for my biggest meal (which ain't lunch, folks).
So that was out.
I still think he needs pizza... and honestly, at this point, I'm pretty damn sure that I need pizza too. So I go online and survey the local pizza joints - all the major ones have nutritional info online now (thank God for the internet, or I'd never know what to eat).
What did I find? I can have one freaking slice of a medium-sized thin crust pizza (22g carbs) without going over my lunchtime carbo-limit.
What the hell is that? Who eats just ONE piece of pizza? Not me... and I don't even really like thin crust pizza.
But we got it anyway.
.. and no, I sure didn't eat just the one piece. Probably I should feel more guilty, but I did cut myself off at two pieces of pizza. (which was hard as hell, I'm starving All. The. Time.)
So - finally - here's my point: It is insanely difficult to find a fast-food meal (that is not a salad) that has less than 30g of carbs... and actually, many of the salads have more than 30g of carbs, too. We rarely eat out now because of this. If we do, it's for dinner, where I get a more-lenient 45g of carbs.
And you know... every place has a 'healthy' menu or 'lighter' choices; rarely are these low in carbs. Often they're lower-calorie, and lower-fat with a sky-high carb count. Worse yet, many of them are not even healthy carbs.
So now I'm pissed off at convenience foods in general. Because that's much easier than concentrating on my hunger.
And for the bright side of things: I don't think I'll have to worry about gaining the 60+ pounds I stuffed on while baking the G.
*what? you didn't really think that my child's name was "Grape" did you?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
In other news, I called to make my appointment with the actual OB department. It's just a nurse appointment - loads of paperwork and no fun stuff. I hate this appointment. It was the only appointment I had with my last pregnancy. I filled out reams of paperwork when what I really wanted was to jump up and down screaming "something's not right - can I please have an ultrasound instead of this shit??"
I also remember receiving several pounds of brochures/magazines/coupons and samples. I was uncomfortable accepting them before, and after the miscarriage I cried when I threw out that pile of junk. Nothing like a reminder of bad times when I'm starting to feel a bit better, eh?
Only, it gets worse.
Instead of just paperwork, now they have a prenatal class I have to attend. Where they'll, you know, give me a script for prenatal vitamins (yeah, the same ones I've been taking for over a year), and information on nutrition and other fun stuff. Information that won't apply to me since 'normal' nutrition guidelines don't apply to my carb-controlled diet. This reminds me a bit of the fiasco this past summer where my appointment with the nutritionist (to discuss said carb restrictions) turned into a weight-loss class that I had to attend in order to make an appointment with the actual nutritionist.* Well, I have to attend the prenatal class before they'll make an appointment with an OB.
I'm apprehensive. I'm picturing a class full of women who are six weeks along, and already have names and nursery themes picked out. And me. Who still can't use the p-word. Who'd be deep in denial and skipping this class, but for my desire to see an actual doctor to beg for another ultrasound.
Thinking of this class I feel a bit like a calculus student forced to re-learn addition. I'd bet some serious money (ok, $10) that I will not only walk out of there with no new knowledge, but 90% of the information they do give me will not apply to me.
Still.... should make for an interesting blog post - appointment's on Thursday, I'll keep you posted.
*i am 5'3" and generally weigh between 125-130; can you imagine the dirty looks i received? from each and every person in the class... not that I'm faulting them - I'd have been glaring at me also.
Monday, November 27, 2006
My ultrasound was this morning. It was very, very hard to make myself go. I was half-tempted to tell B to turn the car around and just go home. I know, I know, I've been waiting for this appointment for weeks... but I was so afraid it would be bad news, and I just didn't want bad news today.
I'll cut to the important stuff: it wasn't bad news.
There's a little grain of rice in there, with a teeny-tiny beating heart. Doc NH measured twice. The first measurement came out at 6w4d. The second was 6w5d. I am currently 6w5d. I'm a bit freaked that the first measurement was a day behind, but it's a difference of .02cm, so I'm trying not to call it significant.
I'm not ashamed to say that I gasped when I saw the tiny little flickering. I saw little RiceCake before I saw the flicker, and I was immediately transported back to the last ultrasound where I saw a blob with no flicker.. and then, improbably, when DocNH probed a bit more, I saw it - flickering away. Against my nature, I did not ask for the heart rate. I know it's over 100, because that's what DocNH was looking for, and he was pleased that he found it. I don't know how much over 100, and I'm trying to convince myself that I don't care. I don't want to overanalyze and make myself crazy (as I am prone to do), so I'm trying to just go with things. Doc NH is happy, so I am happy. He said it's not a guarantee, but my risk of miscarriage has dropped significantly. I'll take that. It's perhaps not as low as I'd like, but the numbers he quoted me are somewhere around 6%, which is a hell of a lot better than what I was looking at last week. It seems strange that I'm starting to believe this might happen.
Even stranger... Doc NH is discharging me from the IF clinic and turning me over to OB. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with that, but I'm happy that things are considered that normal. He wants me to stop my metformin the first of the new year. I know I'm uncomfortable with that, but crafty bitch that I am, I'm waiting to hear the OB's recommendations. Last I heard, they were advocating met til 20 weeks. I'm more comfortable with that. Actually, I'd be all over taking it right up through next summer... but apparently I'm the only one who's comfortable with that.
I've got referrals to the OB and the
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Firstly, I have much to be thankful for today. I think that goes without saying... but I'm still not confident enough to articulate everything. Suffice to say, I am very thankful.
Secondly, today could have been so much worse. Typically, B spends TurkeyDay with his family, and I spend it with mine*. This year, my parents are out of town visiting the gestating sister, and B is working. G and I got to visit with him earlier, and have turkey on his ship. Although it wasn't a familiar holiday tradition, and we were surrounded by strangers, I was profoundly grateful to see him for even the two hours we had. Next year, he will be far away for the holidays, and I am acutely aware that this year's holiday was a gift.
Thirdly, because I am procrastinating on the cleaning and packing,** I was reading blogs while G napped off his holiday meal. Bloglines wasn't showing anything new for me, so I started following blogroll links and somehow found myself immersed in a few blogs on the opposite side of donor conception - blogs written by children conceived through donors or surrogacy. These were not happy blogs.
I'm going to tread lightly here because I don't want to invalidate someone else's personal feelings about their life and experiences, but it shocked me that I did not see a single blog where the author did not have an overwhelmingly negative view of donation. I understand that for the most part, topic-driven blogs (particularly when the topic is reproductive in nature) are not written because a person is happy and well-adjusted with their circumstances in life... so I suppose that part of the negativity is because these blogs, by their very nature, are a means to work through complex feelings or release pain... and that would somewhat skew the demographics.
Still... You'd think at least someone would pop up and say "hey, it's really not that bad" ... but no.
That aside, each and every blog put a new spin on things I'd never really considered before. Is it a disservice to bring a child into the world through 'artificial means'? Does it really cause lifelong wounds? Is it selfish of all concerned (donors included)?
One blog in particular interested me. It was written by a woman who was the product of egg donation and birthed by a surrogate. Her negative views of donation extended to any and all artificial reproduction, not just donation but ART in general. In fact, one poignant entry about her happiness at knowing her own child was conceived through natural means, created by her marital love and not in an artificial environment both touched me and piqued my ire.
I know what you're thinking - what an interesting duo of emotions to feel simultaneously. Well, I'm a complex kinda gal.
I can see, from her particular point of view, why she would have a negative viewpoint of any conception/family growth that involves a child being raised without personal knowledge of their genetic heritage... and in that sense, I can understand why she has great pride in knowing that her child will have a greater connection and better answers to the age-old question where did I come from?... But I cannot for the life of me understand why any artificial conception would be considered morally wrong, no matter what personal baggage is carried by the one expressing said opinion.
I saw more than one blog today that questioned how it would make a child feel to know that they were not created by an act of love, but rather by a medical procedure. Who implied (or flat-out stated) that people who couldn't easily or 'naturally' have children just plain shouldn't be parents.
Now, I don't know about you, but I never asked my parents for details of my conception. Provided it didn't change the basic truths I knew (that my mother was my mother, and my father was my father), I don't think it would affect me to discover that I'd been conceived in a doctor's office any more than it affected me when, as a child, I realized that my very existence meant that my parents had, indeed, been intimate... a sobering and disgusting realization for a kid.
I remember teasing my brother by saying that he was adopted (he wasn't) ... and I wonder if some day G will taunt little Speck*** with the knowledge that he was conceived au natural, while she was the product of a veritable chemical soup of meds... ? Will he lord over his younger sibling that his conception was the result of spontaneous down-and-dirty while hers was forced intercourse at o'dark thirty in the morning with two barely-willing parents who were going through the motions of need rather than desire?
Well, ok, probably not that last one because, really, that's too much information for any child to have about their parents' sex life.
Maybe it will be like my old friend who found references to himself written into his mother's high school yearbook... and discovered that he was conceived before she married his father, before they even graduated from high school .. ? For him, it was an interesting bit of trivia, a discussion point, and a subject of light teasing towards his parents... but not a life-altering bit of information.
I know that it's more than likely that my child/children will know about my fertility problems. If nothing else, PCOS is genetic, and it's just another piece of medical information for them and their children.
... hopefully, that's all it will be. Medical information. Not a reason to question if they were 'meant to be.'
*seems backwards, eh? B's family tradition is that the men in the family go hunting (sexist perhaps, but remember - there are no girls, so it's basically the whole family that goes).. since we don't live anywhere near his family, I'm fully supportive of his TurkeyWeekend hunt. It is the one time of year where they are within a reasonable driving distance of our town, and I think it's important for him to see them. Just not important enough for me to suffer through it usually.
**because I got suckered into going with B to visit the inlaws this weekend.
***if, knock wood, things work out
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Hormones + s-e-x = me spotting. OK, not this particular hormonal soup that I'm in the midst of now,* but in general. When I was pregnant with G, I spotted after doing the deed. This past spring before my miscarriage, I spotted every time B so much as looked at me. OK, that may not count 'cause I spotted for the hell of it right up til I actually miscarried... but some of it was nookie-related. Currently, I've only spotted once, the day AF was due, but it, too, was related to s-e-x.
No big surprise that I'm sort of afraid to take my pants off around my husband.
It's a new thing for me. Generally, we're celibate because we have to be, not because we want to be.
In other news, my paranoia still has me braless more often than not. Because, you know, decent support helps with the soreness and the last thing I want is to be less sore. I suppose that could be considered tortuous, first trying to cut off my husband and then running around braless... only.. my girls, unsupported, are not a pretty sight. They were giant even before G, but his nursing addiction took its toll. They are no longer giant, they're just long. Lovely thought, eh? At any rate, it all just adds to my
I'm still obsessively poking, squeezing and grabbing my breasts, although I'm now doing it around the vicinity of my knees. Combine that with the constant reassuring discussions I'm having (with myself!), the never-ending panty SpotWatch, and the obsessive need to sniff less-than-pleasant aromas to see if maybe they make me queasy...** Yeah, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be allowed in public.
G & I have been spending most of our time at home. We're going camping with the inlaws this weekend, but that should be ok. If nothing else, it's a great distraction to keep me busy between now and Monday. And hey, we'll be sharing a trailer with B's teenage brother, so I don't even have to worry about that whole s-e-x thing.
*note that I am still unwilling to use the p-word in relation to myself right now... please bear with my euphemisms..
**thus far, it's taken some seriously noxious odors to provoke nausea. still, i'm doing my best to cause it.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I had a friend tell me this week that she wanted my diet. I had commented that I was starving, but couldn't eat 'cause I didn't actually want any of the food I was allowed to eat.
Which is when she said she'd eaten everything in sight and she wanted my diet.
Yeah. I had to work really hard not to claw at her eyes because I most definitely do NOT want my diet.
I will do whatever it takes to bring a healthy baby into this world, but I reserve the right to cry in frustration when all I want is just one, small coffee cake... or cheese danish... or a piping hot caramel brownie with fudge sauce and maybe some melty vanilla ice cream oozing off the top of it.
Picture a minimum of nine months with no guilt-free dessert. No overindulgence of fresh-baked bread or pretzels. No Oreos. Or decent brownies. A fall without caramel apples. A Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Christmas without chocolate pie.
Is it worth it? Oh hell yes.
Is it easy? Not one little bit.
I refrained from telling my friend that she, too, could have my diet.. she could try it on for kicks, stick with it as long as she wanted and then throw it aside when it felt too binding and restrictive. Me, I'm stuck with it. And as much as I'm happy to be where I am right now, the combination of hormones and unfulfilled cravings does make me cry a little.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Anyhow, I told my mom last night. It was on accident, and it just slipped out.
We were looking at tiny baby clothes (not for me - remember that nephew that will be born next month? yeah, for him) and I was examining the little dresses.. which, of course, made my mom comment that there weren't any little girls in the family and for some reason that irritated me What - I need to have a little girl in mind to be looking at tiny dresses? and it just sort of came out.
Yeah, I'm totally good at this keeping my mouth shut thing.
So a little later in the evening, my mom was on the phone with my aunt and I forget how it came up, but I told her it was ok to tell - it's not a huge secret, I just don't want to go through the process of un-telling people if things go south... and my mother says to my aunt "rachel thinks she might be p-word"* So I corrected her and said "no, I know I am" .. and then followed it up with what should be the Official Infertile Disclaimer I'm just not sure for how long.
I was so pissed at myself for that. I want to be a normal p-word chick. I want to be able to look at baby clothes or things without worrying if maybe I'm wasting my time and/or money by looking too soon. I want to be able to tell people about this without following it up with a "but that doesn't mean anything yet". Most of all, I want to be able to actually say the word.
Maybe after the ultrasound.
If things continue, some time between now and next July, I will so totally tell everyone.
*ok, she used the actual word, but I can't say it, or type it or even think it, honest to God.. maybe after the ultrasound.
The other day, mid-major-freakout, I wished I wasn't worrying quite so much about what was going on in my uterus.
Well... I got that wish.
Now, I'm paranoid about tornadoes. Paranoid, as in crying and hyperventilating during bad weather. Man, I hate to admit that, but it's true.
We've been under a tornado watch since before I woke up this morning. It's mid-afternoon and there are still three hours to go. Three hours til I can relax and disconnect myself from the streaming radar on both websites I am obsessively checking. (because you can never create enough panic from just one site).
This isn't exactly a rational fear - I can't remember the last time we actually had a tornado in my city... but each and every time there's a storm, I'm convinced it's coming. My nerves have been shot and on edge all day.... and it has just now started raining. Really, I'm the only person I know who can have a near-panic attack about the weather under a blue sky.*
I probably should have asked for less worry overall. Not just less reproductive worry.
Still, I haven't worried about my uterus all day.
So that part is good.
*I swear to you, this has happened in the past.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I'm still marking time waiting for my ultrasound. I've had several people ask about betas or blood tests. DocNH is happy waiting for the ultrasound, and in many ways, I am too.
See, I had some problems in the earliest G-days* and wound up with a series of betas to check on things. I got a call from my nurse on a Friday afternoon that the betas were rising but not doubling. On Friday afternoon. When they wouldn't be open again until Monday.
It turned out to be a very minor thing, and obviously, not scary news... but it made for one hell of an uncertain and scary weekend.
Blood tests are lovely, but they don't reassure me as much as they should. I'm worried that if I did beg for some beta-reassurance, I'd wind up with something that could be good or bad, and then I'd have proof that worrying was maybe a good idea. As it stands, I have nothing besides my own paranoia to suggest I should worry, and that's making it a little easier to breathe.
Breathing is something I've been having some problems with this week. I'll admit, that hpt knocked the breath out of me, and I still haven't gotten it back. When I'm focused on thinking too much about the what ifs, I start to feel like my throat is closing up on me. It's not as all-consuming as it was a few days ago, but it's not gone. I'm still distracting myself with G, and with books**, and just hanging out waiting. Ultrasound's not that far off.
Only two more weeks - and I'm used to living my life in two-week increments.
*still having a hard time typing the 'p' word in relation to myself.
**really, that's what I should be blogging about, I read this perfectly dreadful story about infertility that was chock-full of cliches and bad assvice.. tho surprisingly accurate in some ways about procedures and feelings...
Saturday, November 11, 2006
See, B & I react a bit differently when we worry - I look for something to occupy my mind so that I won't have time to think. He looks for mindless busywork so he won't have to think. (Meanwhile G takes shameless advantage of this parental distraction and spends the entire afternoon jumping in puddles in the back yard.)
So far today I've read three books; B has removed all the leaves from the back yard and cleaned the fish tank... no small feat - it's a 75-gallon tank with three extremely dirty fish in it, and B has removed and scrubbed all the gravel in it, replaced all four filters and changed out a good percentage of the water. The poor fish are going into convulsions as I type, they are so unnerved by the changes in their home.
I agree - the changes in my home are unnerving to me as well.
That pesky breast tenderness has been steadily diminishing since the moment I saw a + on that test. Very unsettling. For a little while today, the girls were perfectly fine, no soreness at all. Naturally, I freaked (and thus started the compulsive fish-cleaning).
I know that dwindling symptoms don't have to mean bad things... and so far, the soreness has always come back, albeit not as strongly as it had been before (but who knows if that's just in my head?) .. but it leads to certain amounts of paranoia, and a general desire to step away from Dr Google*.
But... since the girls are a bit sore now, and I'm not feeling as pessimistic, I thought I'd check in and ask a super-important question:
How does one survive pregnancy after miscarriage??
I recognize that my one miscarriage is hardly reason enough for the sheer amounts of panic I'm going through... but I sure as hell don't know how to change it. And I have two weeks yet til my ultrasound appointment. I'm worried about my sanity in these two weeks... and the two weeks after that.. and the two weeks after that.. and so on, and so on. Well, look at me being all optimistic - I'm assuming the ultrasound will have good enough news that I can continue to panic after it.
*who left me breathless this afternoon when a search accidentally uncovered the theoretical rate of miscarriage for women with pcos. the bastard.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
So I freaked out (naturally) and will be burning my bras henceforth. All those women in history who burned bras - they weren't protesting. They were just freaking out.
In a moment of weakness, I asked for some small amount of morning sickness, or something.
Well, someone got that memo, but it appears that something got lost in translation. Around 2.00 this morning, G woke up with some serious intestinal distress. After I got his pants changed, and got him bathed, I attemped to put him back to sleep. In my bed, of course.
He laid his head down, closed his eyes and promptly threw up. In my hair.
So yeah, someone here was vomiting... but it wasn't me.
I'm still in disbelief, still paralyzed with fear. I have never in my life wished so hard that I'd feel miserable. I keep reminding myself that it's still early, there's plenty of time for this stuff to develop, but that's small comfort when I want reassurance now. I'm analyzing everything. Why are my breasts less sore today? Is that the normal cycle of symptoms or is it ominous? Was that a cramp? My hpt looked pretty light - is that a problem?
This is a very long road, and I have just enough knowledge to be
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The other night, B & I watched this perfectly dreadful horror movie. So dreadful that it was funny - I love movies like that. At any rate, that's a quote from the movie. Now, in the movie, the character who wailed that line was upset because the zombie-alien-bad-guy-thingie had vomited on him, causing his flesh to begin to rot.
Obviously, that's a different situation from mine... but that line still came to mind this morning.
Yeah. Because of that.
Against all odds, on the month our IUI was cancelled and we were left to have s-e-x on our own, praying that I would ovulate before he left... we succeeded.
Now how the fuck does that happen?
edit: I wrote this post this morning, and held off publishing it til I could talk to B, figuring he should know first and all... well, he knows now. I can't say he's thrilled - he's so worried he's making it difficult for me to even try to be excited. I'm really sad that our first reaction is worry, but I guess that's part of this game, right? Anyway, I have an appointment in a few weeks for an ultrasound. My RE waits til 7 weeks, figuring at that point, we'll see a heartbeat....... if there is one. I'll probably be scarce until then. The last thing I want is to make myself worry more by thinking about it too much.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I don't know, it's still early.
"Hasn't it been two weeks?"
No, not yet. (two weeks is today, not yesterday)
"Oh", she says, "I figured since those tests are so much more sensitive these days..."
Not for me, ma, not for me. I do not test early.*
Still, when I woke up this morning, I debated testing. Talked myself out of it (why waste a test when my temp is down a little, and I'll know one way or another tomorrow?) but apparently just thinking about testing was enough to bring on some activity.
One lonely little spot.
I had to use my Eyes of the Infertile** to see it, but it was there.
And it scared me.. see, I rarely get spotting before AF, and this, this wasn't the pink smear of defeat that heralds the beginning of a visit, it was the one little speck of red that I saw when I was knocked up with the G.
So that totally scared the shit out of me.
And now I'm hoping I'm not pregnant.
Because I'm pretty sure they'll be sending the little men in the white coats with their straitjackets for me if I have to endure another pregnancy that involves bleeding.
I've done it twice - first with G, where a small subchorionic hematoma not only caused The Speck and the subsequent bleeding, it made my betas not double (one of the scariest possible things to happen in a post-IF pregnancy, no?). The second time, I spotted every few days up til I miscarried. So... for me, blood + pregnancy = bad.
I've heard the jillion stories of implantation bleeding, women who had regular "periods" through an otherwise healthy pregnancy, and all the other not-bad situations.
I don't care.
Let the fertiles smile and relax through the months of spotting, I don't want that. I think I've earned the right to relax if I ever manage to get pregnant. That's so totally not happening if there's anything that even resembles blood near my nether regions.
.. and is it weird that I'm stressing over the thought of this ... ? Considering that I haven't tested, and given the circumstances of this cycle, the odds are very much against success anyway?
Eh, why wait to worry when you can pre-stress ahead of time, right?
*ok, so sometimes I cave and test early.. but I've had an hpt in the house for the entire 2ww and I haven't been tempted to use it til today... 14dpo. I think that says something.
**you know the ones - they can spot a faint line on a cheap test in bad light. they can also spot an infinitesimal spot of red on TP. It's a blessing and a curse, I tell ya.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Heh. Why yes, I did. Just thought it was funny that she asked.. of course, she doesn't know about this blog so she probably doesn't know the extent of my chart obsession. Temp rise or no, I'm still not hopeful. Witness the can of Dew next to my keyboard. Obvious proof that I'm convinced this cycle's over.
The second thing - another friend, who had the initial discussion of "I might be having fertility problems" with her doctor (OB, gyn, family doc, I don't know which) .. the doc suggested metformin, if she's interested. Brings me to my question:
Ever heard of metformin for a woman who has no pcos, and is already ovulating?
Just in case I'd forgotten I'm 13dpo. The BBT dreams generally start right around now.
Because I'm a freak, I think. Who else dreams about thermometers?
I've been having weird feelings about babymaking lately. I think I'm burning out on the whole thing. I'm tired of trying. I've reached the point where I'm expecting negative results, and not holding out hope. 13dpo and the best I've managed in the hope department is "hey, with this kinda timing, we could inseminate before TurkeyDay and totally not screw up the holiday - yeah!"
I guess the thing is... why bother if it's just not going to work?
Rationally, I know, it could work... but I know the statistics. I know that the best chances for success in IUI are in the first few tries, and we've passed that point.
I don't understand how I could get pregnant twice without a doctor in the room, or a single hormone-altering drug... and when we inseminate with drugs... nothing.
I'm not ready to give up, but I think I'm entering that phase where I start shaking my fists at the heavens and crying "what the fuck?".*
*because even God has to deal with my potty-mouth.
Friday, November 03, 2006
My temps for yesterday and today look exactly like they did at 9 & 10dpo last cycle. So... I'm taking that as an early sign that there was no implantation goin' on in the ole ute this month.
I feel like I should be sad, or even disappointed, but I'm not. You know how you feel when you go to sleep on Monday night and wake up and it's suddenly Tuesday? That's how I feel about the thought that this cycle failed. It's just the natural progression of things, happens all the time. Total non-event.
Probably a good thing nothing happened this month. See, last week, we traded in B's beloved explorer and got........ a mom-mobile. Yeah. I drive a mini*van now. And I have one kid. Just the one lonely child, with five seats to choose from... well, when he gets bigger, he'll have five seats, for now he's stuck in the one that holds his car seat.
Anyway, B, when signing away his life to buy this mom-mobile, turned to me and said "you better tell your doctor I expect at least triplets now" (because part of the reason we decided to get this rather than a smaller car when the explorer started its death throes was "just in case" we needed more room in the next year or so).
Since this cycle had merely one follicle, and I'm expected to produce several children next go-round, it's for the best that we had to cancel the IUI.*
Of course, if I am still driving one lonely child around in the back of this behemoth in another year, I'll be really pissed I've given up ALL my cool-points for something as tenuous as 'just in case'.
*yes, I know we still had s-e-x... but really, I don't expect that to be a viable option for getting pregnant.
p.s. - if you haven't already, head over and read dd's news. Then tell her "I told you so!" from me.
.. and while you're clicking links, follow the link from dd to Kellie and show her some love, too, as her journey takes a sharp turn in a direction she never wanted to go.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
One of G's fave cartoons is that pack of meddling kids (and their dumb dog). You know, the ones who solve mysteries (always in half an hour or less), unmask the bad guys and ride off into the sunset for their next adventure.
I was watching this with him today, and the end of the show really torked a nerve. See, in this one, Shaggy & his canine pal fell in love. Real love, apparently. With aliens. Real aliens. At the end of the show, the aliens had to return to their planet. Shag & the dog didn't take it too well. The rest of the gang was worried, so they sent their spokesperson to make sure the lovesick duo would survive.
The picture of sensitivity, Fred asks "You guys ok?"
Shaggy says "like, we're just completely destroyed, that's all"
Fred's uber-sensitive reply: Aw, I know, but you'll get over it.
Shaggy agrees, but says it will take a long, long time.
Five seconds and a box of Scooby Snacks, and they're happy again.
So what does this have to do with infertility?
On the surface, not much... but I think it's very representative of how the general public views the "proper" way to grieve. Take a minute to be sad, and then move on. If it's really bad, take a few minutes. Just move on. Soon. And eat, it'll make you feel better.
Only sometimes, that's hard. Especially with infertility. When you're done grieving a bad cycle, moving on often means jumping right back into that same situation that just broke your heart. Sometimes that takes longer to do. Sometimes it hurts more than others.
I think people subconsciously assign levels of grief, and the amount of time it "should" take to get over a hurt is based on that level. In some ways, it makes sense. I mourned my miscarriage far longer than I have most negative cycles. Most. Sometimes I have a cycle that hits harder than others.. sometimes a negative is more than just the sum of one cycle, it's all the little hurts and frustrations and broken dreams that have come before. Those hit hard. Those are the cycles that throw the food chain of grief out of whack. Sure, I should be over it in a few days, eating my Oreos and moving on. Usually I am. But not always.
.. and therein lies the problem.
There's no one-size-fits-all period of grief for a negative cycle. No one who has not walked in these shoes, month after month will fully understand why sometimes it's just too much. Or why sometimes, it's just moving-on-no-looking-back. It's hard to explain why some months, I'm ready to start over right away... and others, the weight of past failures haunts me and demands that I stop and catch my breath before I can move on. I don't even understand that... so I don't expect the world to suddenly find the right tier on the ladder of grief for all aspects of infertility. It's not that simple. What it is, is an individual process that changes from person to person, and even month to month.
.. and sometimes, it takes more than a box of cookies to get over it.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I'm still feeling "meh" about this cycle. It almost feels like we've taken the cycle off, even though we didn't.
It's nice to have no pressure, but I have to say, this 2WW is dragging on.. not for the usual reasons (insane optimism) but because I'm ready to start next cycle.
Today is 6dpo. Give or take. And I'm still in that if it worked, it worked, if it didn't we start over, no sense stressing phase.
I've never maintained this level of ambivalence all the way through 6dpo.
This lingering ambivalence could be because a pregnancy this cycle would be supremely bad timing. Not only would it mean a(nother) July baby, it would mean a birth very-very-very close to when B deploys again. I tell you, if we were 'normal' fertiles, we'd hold of on trying for the next 4 or 5 months. Who tries to get pregnant 8 or 9 months before a six-month deployment?
Seriously, I used to wonder who was dumb enough to plan a pregnancy where the birth would fall in that particular bad-timing window.
Well, now I know.
The alternative is waiting out the next several cycles and just hoping there's enough time in the last few months before he leaves - a tricky situation because pre-deployment months are typically busy ones for the ship. Odds are at least one of those would be a cancelled cycle because B wasn't home.
So... neither is a great choice.
I'm ok with B not being home for a pregnancy, or even the birth itself. Love the guy, but we've been through this before, and .. pregnancy, not so interesting to him. Birth, well - he doesn't do so well when I'm in pain. For a few spots during my labor with G, I was nostalgic for a time when fathers had to wait in the lobby.
But I am upset that he'd miss out on so much of everything else.
We talked about it, and apparently I'm more bothered than he is. His thinking is that babies are basically just lumps for the newborn phase... and if nextbaby is like G, that lump will be permanently nursing for the first six months anyhow, so he's really not missing much.
Which totally doesn't mean I shouldn't be pissed off that I feel like being fertility-challenged has (once again) robbed me of the decision when to have a baby.
Eh, life isn't fair.
OK, in truth, I'm trying to work up to being pissed off, but I've already been pissed off about it so much in the past that I've lost the energy to be upset. If I birth the day after B leaves, and that day happens to fall on G's birthday, well... eh, it happens. Wouldn't be my first choice, but I've just about given up the delusion that I even have a choice in this. B is light-years ahead of me in the acceptance phase (witness his logic about why it's not that bad to miss the first six months), but I'm getting there.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Hey, I think I might have ovulated. Also, in case the sore boobies weren't hint enough, it appears there's still a fair amount of hcg in my system.
In other news:
I read this article today, and out of the entire (fascinating) thing, I got one phrase stuck in my head: "conceived naturally".
OK, so in this case, it makes sense to include that, otherwise people would assume it was one of those IVF mixups we've all heard horror stories about.
Still, I see it mentioned a lot where it's not an important part of the story.
Apparently it's important to people.
I'll admit that when I see a set of multiples, and even some singletons, I wonder.. not because I think it's my business, but because dammit, I want to know what works.
Which doesn't explain why it's important to the average person. Are they considering IF treatment and have questions? Or is it just morbid curiosity "so... is there something broken with your innards?"
... and then there's the phrase itself: natural conception.
In the technical sense, it's correct.. but doesn't it sort of imply there's something unnatural about any other conception?
Which is the part where I take offense.
An IUI is practically natural. Sperm, meet egg. You like? Great, why don't you two hang out?
Not so different from the old-fashioned way.
IVF, not unnatural. So you're taking them out of their comfort zones and setting them up on a date somewhere else. You know, when B & I had our first date, I had to meet him in an area that was practically unknown to me. Not so very different. Sperm, meet egg. How do you like our meeting dish? Why don't you two hang out?
ICSI? Sperm, you will hang out with Egg, no if's and's or but's. Just do it.
Hey, so that's maybe the reproductive equivalent of arranged marriages. But still not unnatural. Something most of us wouldn't want in our lives*, but ok for people who embrace that culture. Or OK for people who need/choose that treatment.
To use the word "natural" implies "better". Don't believe me - head over to the grocery store and check out their "natural" (i.e. healthier) food. How about the breastfeeding slogans that include "natural" and "best" in the same sentence?
I much prefer the terms "assisted" and "unassisted" because, to me, those ring true. If you needed a little help, a little assistance (or a lot), that's an undeniable fact. It doesn't have overtones questioning the morality or normality of your conception. It just states a fact.
So why do you always see the term "natural conception" in the media? It's probably the same reason you hear about embryos being "implanted" during IVF, or a "miscarriage" in the third trimester. Most people don't understand reproduction (assisted or not), beyond whatever propaganda they've heard or read.
I'm not going to be able to change the world's perceptions (if I could, I'd banish "implanted embryos" first, because for the love of God, implantation isn't the same thing as a transfer! If it were, IVF would have a much higher success rate!) .. but I also won't use the words "natural conception" if I can help it.
*I definitely don't want to imply there's anything distasteful about ICSI in particular, so this phrase could apply to any assisted reproduction... no one really wants to have to use any IF treatment.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Half of me is fertile.
The right half, to be specific.
See, every month where I've had multiple follicles, the right side was by far the overachiever. When I overstim'd, DocP counted the left side and then gave up on the right.
I have never not had a follicle on the right; I've had more than one cycle with nothing on the left.
And now... witness the joy that hcg brings. I have one extremely sore right boobie. And one almost-sore left one. What .. the.. hell?
Thinking back, when I was nursing the G, I had some serious supply issues .. on the left side.
So I'm pretty sure that all my girl-parts only work on the right.
It's the tattoo.
At least, that explains the ovarian issue. See, I have a tattoo on my right side, almost exactly over my ovary*. I guess that (similar to the fertility-enhancing properties of smoking crack), tattoo ink does wonders for a person. It was a compromise position - I wanted it under my belly button, but the man who was doing the tattoo pointed out that in the (unlikely) event of pregnancy, that may not be a wise choice.** Now, having realized the fertile properties of ink, I'm thinking I should have said 'screw that, aim for the uterus!'.
I wonder if I could convince B to have his testicles inked?
*I'd share a picture, but I can't figure out how to do that.
**he failed to point out that, should said pregnancy end in a cesarean, the placement I chose would still not be wise. my lizard had two toes amputated during G's birth.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It started because I was lazy, continued because I couldn't find my thermometer.. I got an extension on not temping when I just plain forgot, and then we were out of town and I didn't want to deal with it.
I have not taken one single temperature this cycle.
It's making me nuts.
I don't know if I ovulated yesterday. I'm feeling ovulation pain, but that's not a guarantee. Judging on the quality of the twinges, I ovulated some time last night while I was sleeping. Or maybe I'll ovulate later today. This isn't ovulating now pain, it's either almost-there or already-done pain.
You can see my dilemma, I'm sure.
Control freaks hate not knowing.
Fun times, my friends, fun times.
DocNH, when you told me taking my BBT would make me nuts, did you consider the alternative?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I got weighed and I've gained something like 8 pounds (not surprising considering the vast amount of sweets I inhaled over the weekend).
Then I got lectured by the nurse because I haven't had a pap in a year and a half... I forgot - oops*. It used to be pretty easy to remember. Once a year I had some stranger poking around in my goods. The very rarity of that made it memorable. Now that this has become a monthly thing, I forget. And, really, with all the people who've been digging for gold in my hoo-ha, you'd think one of them would have broken out a swab at some point, but no...
So then DocP came in for my wanding. Brief (and expected) discussion on why I switched from clomid to femara, and we went to work. My endometrium was so pretty it elicited a "wow, look at that, just beautiful!" from the doc. See, I'm beautiful on the inside and outside As if I didn't know.
Freaking amazing for me, and nearly twice what it was a couple months back.
One "gorgeous" follicle. Oh stop, DocP, you're going to give me an ego.
DocP was so impressed he told me that if this month doesn't work, call him and he'll renew my femara script. I refrained from doing the "I told you so" dance. Mostly because it's hard to dance in stirrups.
And the obligatory bad news - my gorgeous follicle was definitely not going to make it to Friday... which is when the B will be available for IUI. Fortunately, he didn't leave til this morning, so DocP gave me a massive dose of hcg,** and instructions to go home and get busy as close to when B left as possible.
Yeah. The man had to be at work by 6AM this morning. Do you know how early one has to get up to fit in some nookie and still have time to get ready?
Damn, I'm tired.
*obligatory disclaimer: cervical cancer can be silent, and deadly... I do not recommend waiting if you're due for a pap. If you can't remember how long it's been since your last one. Find out. Like today. And schedule one if you need it.
**well, maybe not massive... but I usually only get a half-dose of it, so a full 10,000 is a lot to me... we're kinda hoping the higher hcg will/would cause an earlier ovulation.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I had a really good weekend.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
.. but as much as I've stressed or cried about that fact over the last seven months, it seems like a non-event. Right now.
Do most people mark their shoulda-been days .. ?
Once we passed the last negative cycle before The Date That Should Mean Something, I pretty much worked out all my pissed-off-ness. That was the tough day, I think. Knowing I'd failed in my goal of being pregnant before I would have been birthing, that sucked royal ass. Getting through the actual date seems kinda anticlimactic... I'm a little worried I'll be blindsided by feelings because I think I've already worked it out.
Can I get through this without a massive breakdown? Man, I hope so, we've got a dinner out with the inlaws planned that night. Tho that does lend itself to some potentially hilarious scenarios, I'd still rather get through without sniffling into my dessert.
Wish me luck.
Monday, October 16, 2006
But femara... this is some good stuff. With few side effects yet. (note to the cosmic Gods of Irony: I put that 'yet' in there so you wouldn't feel the need to punish me, ok?)
3 days into it, zero mood swings. (thus far). I have not felt my head spin around, I have not had the urge to spew obscenities in a foreign language (preferring instead to spew obscenities in my own native language.. but that's not unusual, and as such cannot be attributed to the femara).
I am a bit irritated that my nails are getting too long and typing is getting difficult. Perhaps that's a small hormonal irritation, but that one tends to piss me off even on a normal day... so again, maybe it's just me. And maybe I should actually cut my nails for a change.
I'm not going to go so far as to say no side effects because.. well.. there are a couple. The bottle has this label on it that says "may cause drowsiness". I always figured those were on there as a manufacturer's CYA.
Last night I zonked out right after taking my dose. I was watching a goofy cartoon with the boy and the next thing I know, I was out. Way out. That kinda sucked. See, last night was supposed to be our celebratory "period's gone!" night. I'd even shaved my legs for this one. Total waste of shaving cream. Throw in one conversation with B that I do not remember having (and which pissed him off, natch) and I'm pretty sure I can write this one up as "Not a CYA Warning".
... and then there's the stomach issues. I feel like I'm taking metformin for the very first time. Again. Since I've been taking met for over a year now, I'm pretty immune to being irritated by this particular side effect. Tho it is a bit embarassing when the G starts referring to me as "Mommy Poop Machine!".* Complete with the "I'm Proud of You" song and dance. Picture a three-year-old, dancing out his glee while singing a gloriously off-key song whose only words are "Mommy Poop Ma-CHINE!!!" Over and over.
I don't actually see that listed as a side effect. Yes, I read them. All of them. I do like to know what I'm in for. On the other hand, the GI side effects that are listed are nausea and vomiting, so thanks, I'll take my Poop-Machine status instead.
Could this post get any grosser? Seriously?
Yeah, but I'll skip that part.
To sum it up - I can handle spending half my day in the bathroom. I can deal with my newfound narcolepsy. That's small potatoes compared to the emotional side effects of clomid, or the endless nausea of estrogen. I heart my femara. So far.
*yes, really. We're not above potty humor in the Grail house. G is still newly-potty-trained enough that occasionally he must call BOTH parents into the bathroom to view what he has produced. Occasionally, I have been known to proclaim that he is a Poop-Making-Machine... what the hell, it makes him proud.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I've always said that if that is really true, my lesson would be patience.. because I'm certainly not a patient person by nature. I can't stand waiting. For anything. I can't even go to the DMV to renew my driver's license without bringing a book or risk going postal because of the waiting. I was the kid in the back seat asking "are we there yet?" every 10 minutes. OK, that one I still do.
So anyway, I was talking to a friend tonight and she commented that I'm one of the most patient people she knows, what with all the unsuccessful trying we've been doing. This is my uberfertile friend - the longest she's ever had to wait for a positive hpt was something like three days*... so I guess from her point of view, being able to wait it out month after month might just seem like patience...
Could anything be further from the truth?
It's not patience, it's that I don't have a choice. I'm not waiting in beatific serenity for that magic moment to arrive, just smelling the roses and killing time thinking warm and fuzzy thoughts. I'm wishing away my life, two weeks at a time. I'm running a marathon on a treadmill - it's one hell of a long race, but I can't see the finish line, I don't know when I'll get there and I just want to run faster so I can be done... but I can't go any faster. All I can do is run at my own pace, hope the end is in sight soon, and pray that it'll be worth the race.
There is no patience in infertility.
*we were talking about this one day and she confessed that only one of her kids was even sort-of planned - while most of them were 'oops' babies, this particular one, they'd had the "should we have another?" discussion, decided that they'd like to try and found out about her pregnancy a few days later.
Friday, October 13, 2006
So I went to pick up my femara script today. It was a two-step process because I needed a refill on my metformin, and the femara was a new prescription... and at my pharmacy, you just don't do those together. No, no, no.
So I got there, took a number (for the new script) and headed over to the refills line. Got my met without a hitch, and tried to ignore the construction noise while I waited for my number to be called (I was B527, they were on B514.. that was a lot of construction noise). Half an hour later, I was up. I went to the little window. The pharmacist scanned my ID, high-tech military facility and all, and told me to have a seat while he got my pills.
I'm mentally high-fiving myself - this is way too easy.
Why yes... yes, that was too easy.
About 5 minutes later, the pharmacist calls me back up there. See, this is the part where he is supposed to hand over my drugs... only, he's not holding a bottle, just a printout of what I'm supposed to get.
"Have you ever taken this before?" he asks, looking at me with the utmost sympathy. (If the light bulb had gone on in my head at that moment, I'd have understood the sympathy)
Nope, sure haven't.
"It's just, I've never seen this dosing schedule before, I think I should call your doctor" he says, and now he's looking at the paper, which clearly says two pills, once a day, days 3-7.
No, that's right, I talked to my doctor, that's what he wanted... and it hits me: The pharmacist is concerned because he thinks it's unusual for me to only be taking my breast cancer drug for five days. (hence the sympathy)
Oh, says I, it's not for cancer purposes, it's for fertility.
The sympathy falters and now he's giving me that look that makes me wonder if there's spinach in my teeth or something.
On top of that, the construction noise has suddenly ceased... and my mental reflexes being what they are, I'm still speaking at construction-level. Oh yeah, I'm getting interesting now.
"I didn't see any indication for that in the paperwork"
Well, no you wouldn't, it's off label use.
.. and now he's looking at me like I've got a whole field of spinach in my teeth. The kind with e coli, no less. And the guy at the window next to me (with the two little ones, maybe a year apart in age) is looking at me like I'm the most interesting thing he's seen in weeks. Yes, well, I do so like attention.
So I offer him (the pharmacist, not my window-mate) my doc's name and number, rattling them off like they're memorized (because they are), and take my seat while he calls to confirm that the weird lady who doesn't have breast cancer really does need femara. Window-mate is still looking at me... I was half-tempted to tell him I wasn't contagious, and even if I were, he doesn't have ovaries and can't catch what I've got.
DocNH came through for me, verified my script and I left... but not before the pharmacist got in one last "I've never seen it used for that".
Well, what can I say? I like to be original.
So, here it is - I dreamed that B & I were deploying unexpectedly. Rather strange that I was deploying since I'm not the one in the Grail household who does that sort of thing, but my dreams are rarely logical.. and I realized (in my dream) that because this past IUI had failed we had missed our Very Last Chance. This was the part where I fell into a blubbering, depressive mess. I was thinking something wasn't right, it wasn't supposed to work out this way and it just wasn't fair! Fortunately, I woke up shortly after that.
.. and when I finally fell back asleep, my second dream last night involved a slot machine and a really large amount of money.
Maybe this means that even though it's seeming more hopeless with each failed cycle, that jackpot is out there waiting for me. Even if life isn't fair.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
So, I called my RE's office today to discuss the fact that I never want to see another clomid or estrogen pill in my life. DocNH wasn't in, but I had a lovely chat with the receptionist. During this chat, she reviewed my medical records, and approved my request for letrozole. OK, so it wasn't quite that easy, but it did indeed happen.
First, I explained that I'd talked to DocNH about inj's vs letrozole, and was supposed to give him my decision so he could write that lovely script at my next appointment. We discussed how that appointment was with DocP who is not nearly so fond of letrozole as NH... and so she put me on hold to review my records and see if NH had put anything in there about this letrozole conversation we'd had.
God bless the man, the conversation was in my records. Whew.* So the receptionist ok'd my new script, and will have NH call it in tomorrow. I guess she's not willing to ask DocP for the script either... or maybe she did ask him and he said no... either way, I'm getting my new pills.
I am a clomid addict no more!! assuming of course that the script does get sent in to the pharmacy correctly...
*I've had bad experiences with doctors who don't update my records and the partners who see me for followups on appointments that seemingly never existed. Honestly, it's not like I pull medical info out of my ass and just ask random doctors for assistance.. well, ok, I do, but it still irks me when they won't just take my word for it that I do, indeed, need whatever it is I've discussed in that appointment that has disappeared from my chart.
I'd start wondering, but ... uh.. yeah, that thought makes me laugh, too.
And this, my friends, is exactly why I still take my BBT every morning, against medical advice. If it weren't for my trusty thermometer, I'd have thought I ovulated on collapsing-follicle day, rather than the next morning... which would lead me to think such wild thoughts as OMG, OMG, I'm late! I'm late! when in fact, I am not. Throw in the fact that I'm battling a minor stomach virus (which would be suspicious, except B had it a few days ago and I'm pretty darn sure he didn't ovulate this cycle, tho he is not subjected to midcycle scans, so it's possible), and I'd be a mess.... were it not for the above-mentioned thermometer, and the temperatures that have plateau'd at a dismally low number.
In fact, I'm so dependent on that thermometer that I had a moment of minor panic last night when I couldn't find it. I searched the entire house for a backup (I buy them in groups of three, because I lose them. Often.), and finally resorted to my only-in-emergency spare*. This is significant because I refused to go downstairs to retrieve my wedding ring because I felt too pukey to move. Too pukey to go get my ring, without which I feel naked, but not too pukey to go down there to look for a thermometer. Nothing will stand in the way of my morning temperature check.**
I'm not complaining about the fact that AF is still MIA... Every minute she's gone means that we're one minute closer to being able to inseminate this cycle... I'm just glad I have my thermometer to let me know her absense is not significant.
*It doesn't beep any more. It got shuffled to emergency use only when it stopped making noise to tell me it was done. Or even that it was started. Nothing worse than sticking a thermometer in your hoo-ha and waiting forever to find out... it isn't on. I refuse to have a recurring relationship with anything that can remain turned off there. Even for my monthly rendezvous with the wand, that wand is most definitely on.
**Except my period because, you know, that's just gross.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
AF is still not here. Temp is well below coverline. She's circling. I'm already in my next cycle mentally.
CD1 should be either this afternoon or tomorrow; I'm now 14.5dpo and the 15th is my usual AF-day. If I get really lucky, I'll have an ovarian cyst that delays her visit. I can't believe I'm wishing for an ovarian cyst... but...
Since I'm in that whole looking-forward mode, I started calculating potential O-dates. And checking B's schedule... and thinking fuck, fuck, fuck. Because, of course, he leaves on d14. Only for a few days, but enough to make our timing awkward. Probably I should wait for AF to actually arrive before I start stressing over this, but where's the fun in that? She could show up just late enough to make this planning easier and then I'd miss the chance to stress. Unthinkable.
I checked my handy-dandy FF chart gallery to see if maybe letrozole causes a later ovulation than clomid. It appears so. I also considered calling the Doc and asking for that slow-stim inj cycle he was talking about. Then I figured I should probably wait for CD1 to actually get here. I'm sure the Docs would be impressed with my proactive thinking and initiative, but they do like to have an actual end to one cycle before starting the next...
Emotionally, I'm in a much better place than I was yesterday. It's funny... before G, it took a couple of weeks for me to get over CD1. Sometimes, I'd still be pissed and depressed right up til I O'd (or, if I'm being honest, I'd have entire cycles where I didn't get over it). A few months back, CD3 was my moving-on day. Now... I can grieve a cycle and move on before it's even over. Progress, people, this is progress! Maybe I'll become a poas-addict. I hate the negatives, but damn it's nice to get over it sooner.
So that's my today. My silver lining to yesterday - I couldn't sleep and B couldn't sleep. We stayed up far too late, watching movies and cracking bad jokes. Sleep deprivation caused me to need some seriously strong chock-full-o-caffeine-and-REAL-sugar coffee this morning. I'm buzzed on caffeine and downright loopy.
So far, it's a damn good day for CD0.5.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Yes, I caved. Yes, I tested. No, I didn't like what I saw.
Fortunately, since I'm ever-so-prepared, I was pragmatic enough to buy the super-giant package o'pads along with my tests... because we all know a negative hpt will bring on AF quicker than provera ever could. Not surprisingly, I've already got cramps. Rub it in why don't'cha?
Yeah, so today's turning out even suckier than I had expected... and I didn't even buy my fucking Oreos.
Things to do today:
think about hpt's and not buy them because my temp is down again.
stare at FF's chart gallery to see if someone - anyone - had a temp so close to coverline at 13.5dpo on a "good" month.
stare at my past charts, looking for the same
conclude that pregnancy is highly unlikely this cycle
buy tampons, just in case.
stare at the Oreos, and not buy them, just in case.
wait for AF
Yeah, that's my day. I've already done most of that, all that's left is to head out to the store for my tampons.
Eh, well, you win some, you lose some. The nature of infertility is that you lose more than you win.
I watched a movie last night. It was supposed to be about a girl who was haunted by her deceased cousin. It was, but there were some serious infertile references that pissed me off. In a nutshell, two sisters, identical twins, each with one child. Sister A has a girl, Sister B has a boy. Boy dies. Sister B visits her friendly local RE and discovers that she doesn't have enough eggs to try IVF 'again', and shortly thereafter Sister A discovers she's pregnant. With twins. When she wasn't trying. Sister B turns into this evil, nasty woman, crippled by her inability to have another child... meanwhile, DeadBoy is haunting LiveGirl, and naturally, the dearly departed is fast turning evil, corrupting dear sweet living girl. Did you follow that? The sweet fertile's life is screwed up by her evil infertile twin and the demon seed she produced. Ugh.
Infertility is evil, infertiles are not.
... tho I'm thinking of going as an Infertile for Halloween. I can't think of a scarier costume, just going by the mainstream references to infertility.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Yeah, I'm that optimistic. I wish I were a poas addict*. I wish I'd ordered those 'net tests like I've been promising myself for a long, long time so I'd have a whole pile of them and not worry about wasting one or three. I wish it were wednesday or thursday or friday so I'd know how this cycle turned out. I'm 12.5dpo today. If FF is right, then I'm 12dpo... but there's that whole pesky collapsing follicle on my ultrasound that would make me 13dpo. I'm splitting the difference and calling it 12.5. Too early for me to go out and buy a test. No. Matter. What.
Most of all, I wish I didn't know so much about reproduction that I'm doing complicated math in my head. if the average hcg is 100 at 14dpo, with a doubling time of 48hrs, 12dpo would be 50, which is so totally detectable with the right test.. and 13dpo... oh yeah, it could be accurate.
Yeah, that's complicated for me.
And disturbing. Where are these thoughts coming from?
I'm going to think on that while I go re-brush my teeth to see if I still gag on my toothpaste.
Yeah, Hope woke up with a vengeance this morning... while Reality countered with it's just leftover nausea from spending the whole day surrounded by paint fumes yesterday... and the estrogen, let's not forget the estrogen.. it's not what you think.
small update: I did NOT gag on my toothpaste this afternoon, except when my toothbrush got too far back in my mouth... considering I have an overactive gag reflex, I'm attributing this morning brushing gag-fest to a sleep-induced lack of coordination. I guess I brushed too close to the gag reflex this morn. dammit.
*really, I'm not. I'm such a non-addict in that sense that I don't even keep hpt's in the house.
snotty 4dpo hell, i'm snotty every day.
am i fertile after i ovulate were you fertile before you ovulated? 'cause if you're not fertile, you're just not fertile, no matter when it is. sorry to have to be the one to tell you.
implantation dpo range nice to see i'm not the only one who thinks of these things.
symptom my child have hairy legs and back oh my. the hairy legs part, I can see where that landed ya here on my very own blog.. but a hairy back? O Google, my Google are you trying to tell me something?
fertility monitor sticks as hpt you have an addiction. seek help. (those things are WAY too expensive to use as hpt's!!)
nausea 1dpo ok, this one's only really funny 'cause it landed on my post about FCP
urban legends do you know ho i am exams no, I have no idea "ho" you are.
humorous ode to morning sickness well, they do say laughter is the best medicine.
stepmil is a witch heh. heh.
how far to insert catheter for iui O..M..G.. I've worried before that some doctors aren't trained, but this.. this is ridiculous.
not all about baby of course not.. it's all about me.