Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I heart my DVR

thanks to the miracle that is DVR, I could rewind this to get the conversation correct..... lol

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

Is there a Plan C?

Really nothing to report here.

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

Unnatural conceptions.

I caved. I took my temperature - a respectable 99.1.

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

Tattoos and fertility, the nonscientific study.

I have come to a conclusion.

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

Swimming in the unknown and hatin' it

I'm trying something new this month - I'm not charting my temps.

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


So I went to my midcycle appointment yesterday. It was supposed to be today, but they called to reschedule. Now, I'm not taking that as a sign, but it's a pretty damn good thing they did. If we'd waited til today, B would be gone and we'd have had no chance for anything.. but I'm getting ahead of myself...

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

Due Date Weekend

Just a word of advice - if you have to pass your due date without a pregnancy, spend the day in Atlantic City. Very few kids, next to no babies and hardly any pregnant women. If you can plan that weekend for the same time as the bakers' convention (read that as free samples of yummy stuff), all the better. Oh and buy new shoes. At least two pairs of them.

I had a really good weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I feel like I should be writing about how this weekend brings the day I should have been due.

.. 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

Femara MaCHINE!

Let me start this by saying that I come from a long line of women who have exaggerated reactions to meds. I thought perhaps that had skipped my generation (since, you know, I can take cold medicine without falling into a comatose sleep state, unlike some of the women who share genes with me) .. as of late, my reactions to clomid, and estrogen and all the other hormone-altering stuff sort of nixed that thought.

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

Definition of an oxymoron: patient infertile

You know how some people think that every bad thing happens for a reason, and it's just another lesson to be learned on this journey through life?

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

The femara pick-up

.. because I just wouldn't be me if this went off without a hitch.

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.

Subconscious Infertility

I had started a post in response to a comment I got the other day, but then I had this horrific dream last night and that post got tabled. I might still finish it later, but for now, let's discuss this dream. It won't get out of my head.

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

CD1 update

Well, that ovarian cyst delay isn't happening, but it's ok, I'll take this. It's a bit awkward timing-wise, but that's a post for another day.

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 heart my thermometer

Dare I hope that my request for an ovarian cyst has been granted? CD0.75 now, still waiting. Since I'm feeling lucky, can I put my request in for a cyst that resolves itself in 48 hours or so? That would clear up any concerns about timing next cycle, thanks. Til then, I'm happy to wait.

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

Fertility in the media

The B was telling me about this article .

His summation: "Chicks show more skin when they're ovulating"

Well, no shit... I get half-naked for my doctors twice every month when I'm ovulating... if that's not more skin, I don't know what is.

14.5dpo, rolling out the welcome mat... and waiting...

So... uhh.. yeah.

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

OK, so I've crossed everything off my to-do list, including some stuff that wasn't on there.

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.

No good news today

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.

Speaking of:
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

Minty ickness, batman!

I wrote a post yesterday. Really did. It's sitting in my 'saved drafts' pile despite the fact that it's totally finished. I'm way too superstitious for my own good. Worried that I'll publish it and the Cosmic Gods of Reproduction will pat themselves on the back and chuckle well, we sure fooled her this time - good job, boys!

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.

Latest Googles

I heart my 'recent searches' button. Really, truly do. No matter how rotten I'm feeling, how discouraged and lame... I check my googles and see there are people out there who are far more bizarre than I am.

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.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Welcome to the Hotel Infertility...

You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave

Gah. I was really not Suzy-Sunshine yesterday, huh?

It's cool, I've found my happy place and today is (so far) a better day.

What's that? Oh yes, my BBT did go back up. Funny how that affects my moods. I think I see why DocNH told me it would make me crazy to keep taking it. Imagine that. A doctor who was right. Rare indeed.

The other thing is that I woke up exhausted, like I didn't sleep at all. Odd, considering that yesterday I took a nap, got to bed early AND I slept in this morning. I had some bizarre dreams last night, so that may be why. I was kidnapped by Hugh Hefner, who wanted to force me to participate in some p*rn. Perhaps the strangest part of all this is that I was most pissed because I had no socks and my feet were cold. And then I got pissed because I only had these tiny, mismatched socks in my pocket. Four of them, one with Winnie the Pooh. Same pattern G had on a onesie as a babe. I was trapped there, surrounded by a moat of snapping turtles, but I got out because I found some spinach and mountain dew which gave me supernatural powers to influence the turtles.

I'm contemplating the meaning of that one.

I might never understand what it means, but I know what caused it. Fell asleep last night after watching one of those 'documentaries' on cable. About p*rn. Since I fell asleep in the midst of a hot flash, I was on top of the covers, with no socks. It's not at all unusual for me to stick G's socks in my pocket to remember to put them on him, and the whole Winnie-the-Pooh thing might just mean I've got babies on the brain, tho that's doubtful. The moat of snapping turtles.. uhh.. dare I admit I'm a super-geek? Hell, why not, I've admitted everything else... they were turtles from World of Warcraft. The spinach, obviously a Popeye reference, I guess I needed superpowers to overthrow the geriatric Hef? Who knows? And the dew... well, I've just been craving that this week.

Or someone in my household felt sorry for me yesterday and slipped some really funky stuff into my pot roast.

Because, you know, they adore me and will do anything to make me feel better.

For the record, I'm feeling better today. Please keep the funky mushrooms out of my dinner tonight.

I'm picking up more symptoms by the day. If I were an optimistic person, I'd put two and two together and come up with the answer I want, but since I'm FC, I'm adding two and two and getting 3. Three meaning maybe I should ask to switch from clomid to prozac.

Lots of people have compared infertility to a roller coaster but this month has been so much more. It's not a rollercoaster, it's the teacup ride... I've been whirling through elation and nausea and that let me off this thing feeling.. and I'm spinning so fast I've forgotten which way is up and which way is down.

G likes the teacup ride, I do not. I have to force myself to pretend to enjoy it every time.. and after pretending for a while, I relax and enjoy watching the thrill he gets from it. So maybe I need to spend the next few days relaxing and enjoying the thrills that G gets out of life.

After that, I'll deal with what's coming next.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

10dpo, not so hopeful...

The night was filled with magic, they bid the sea goodbye
They swam into the heavens, they stayed up in the sky
And all the Island people when they wish upon a star
See the Dolphin and the Jolly Mon who tell them where they are
Possibly the least in-context song quote I've ever used, but when I'm in a not so great mood... I look for the happy songs.. and really, it would be wonderful for Jolly Mon to tell me where I am right now... or better yet, where I'll be in a few months.

Many moons ago, I was pregnant. Like 6.5 months' worth of moons.

To make a long story short(er), this morning I got not one but TWO emails to let me know about these great sales at my favoritest stores... on newborn clothing.

Two of them. When my temperature just screamed "not pregnant" to me.


There have been way too many reminders this week.

There's a mom's group I belong to.. three of us were pregnant together, due within a few weeks. The other two have already given birth, the second just this week*. I should have been next. I have an aquaintance whose due date was three days after mine, and all indications are that labor is imminent for her. I should be looking forward to labor, getting excited about progress. My own G was born at exactly 37 weeks... I should be past 37 weeks now. My sister wrote a very sweet blog entry about setting up the nursery the other day. I should have a nursery.

And here I sit. So not pregnant.

I haven't cried about this in months, but this morning just did me in.

All I had was two months of pregnancy. Two fucking months, that's all. That's hardly a long time to have it so stuck in my head that I can't run away from it. I'd give away all the happiness I felt at that positive test in a second if it could erase how I'm feeling now... I'd have taken another month of failure.. hell, I've taken several months of failure since then. I hate that I wish I hadn't gotten pregnant, but I do.

When is it enough? When have I paid my dues? When do I get to forget?

It's harder because I am the only one who remembers.

My period will be here in less than a week. I am dreading it this month. I don't think anyone will understand why I'm so upset about it. And I don't want to remind them. They cried enough with me this Spring, I'm not going to bring that back to them.

edited to add: I was just flipping channels and popped onto a channel just in time to hear some guy singing about how "I know it'll be all right" and I agreed... so maybe today won't turn out all bad after all...

*fortunately, it's an internet group - so I don't have to deal with seeing babies or pregnancy, which would make me nuts... I love these girls and I'd hate to have something stupid like that come between our group.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Swing low, sweet BBT...

The downside to being BBT-obsessed is that it makes for a pretty shitty morning when my temp drops. Like it did this morning.

I suspect that I somehow have my number wrong - it is insane to believe my temp dropped a full degree when my period is not due for a week. In fact, I may have actually dreamed that number, but dutiful charter that I am, I put it on there anyway*. This is, of course, the problem with taking my temperature before I'm out of bed, what with that whole not-a-morning-person thing I've got going on.

I do know that at some point, I dreamed about putting that pitifully low number on my chart because I remember crying when fertility-friend took away my crosshairs, effectively saying maybe you didn't ovulate after all... but when I actually put it on there, FF did not yank my crosshairs... so that was indeed a dream. There is something colossally pitiful about dreaming about a BBT.. but then, I've admitted my addiction, so I am at peace with this.

I can't even convince myself it's an implant dip. I'm quite willing to believe that something fucked up is going on with my chart, but I'm not willing to believe that something is a good thing.

Not when I'm 8dpo and have 6 more days of this. A lot of hope can build up in six days. I'm just not going to open that door right now. If I can make it to November without my temp dropping, then I might start to hope.

*I do have another, better, number that I got when I actually woke up for the day, but since I'm afraid it's artificially inflated by possibly being awake earlier, I'm afraid to use it... besides, it was a small drop anyhow, and while my inner optimist can explain away a one-degree anomaly, a .3-degree drop is a sure sign that my chart is trending down...

I feel pukey, oh so pukey...

I f'ing HATE estrogen.

It's the middle of the night and I'm up. Why, you ask? Well, because I'm too nauseous and heartburn-y to sleep. Throw in a couple of sore boobies and when I should be obsessively analyzing symptoms, instead I'm cursing the estrogen.*

DocP wants me to go through this again. He sees nothing wrong with the combination of clomid and estrogen. I'd like to ask him if he's ever tweaked his own hormones so much that he felt sick for weeks on end... or if that would be acceptable to him... but I'm almost afraid to. There's this feeling that when it comes to infertility, one needs to stick it out through the uncomfortable, the embarrassing and the downright painful.

Which is stupid, really - if I were taking any other medication that made me feel this rotten for weeks, I'd be marching in to my doctor asking for a new prescription without a second thought. So why do I feel like this is different?

I've said ad nauseam (ooooh - bad pun, bad pun) infertility is a medical condition. Treatment should be a given, not a privilege.. and yet I treat it like my doctors are doing me some huge favor by treating me. Why am I afraid that if I say "hey, I can't take the side effects" they're going to tell me that I'm just not cut out for this, not worthy of another child because of my own inner wuss?

If I read any of your blogs and saw that your doctor was dismissing a legitimate concern about how you felt while taking a specific med, I'd be angry for you. If you were beating yourself up about stopping a drug because of a side effect, I'd be all about reassuring you that infertility is miserable enough without adding more misery, and giving assvice. Get a second opinion, there's another way... you can do this!

.. and yet I think it's ok for me to go through this again, when I know that there's another way. I have options. I even have a doctor who's willing to explore those options (even if his partner is not). I'm just so afraid that if I take that route and become too pushy or demanding, I'll hear those dreaded words (again): I would not be willing to treat you.**

Deep breath in, repeat: medical condition, not privilege.

*I obsessively analyzed the first month this happened. I'm older and wiser now (two months later) and know it's estrogen... so I don't even get the fun of wondering "what if ...?"

**many moons ago, I had my very first consult with an RE... for various reasons, she decided I was not the kind of patient she wanted. That scared me out of even asking for tests for years...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My name is Rachel, and I'm addicted to my BBT.

The RE told me a few months ago to stop temping because it would make me crazy.

Ha - I'm way ahead of him, I was already there.

But I can't stop.

It's an addiction.

I have charted on vacation, I have charted during a deployment (where my chances of pregnancy fell somewhere between "immaculate conception" and "none"), I have charted through raging fevers that I knew would screw up my numbers. Seriously. Can't. Stop.

Step one is admitting I have a problem, right?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hope, the sequel

Where is my denial of Hope? Where is my inner pessimism? Sweet, sweet apathy, why have you deserted me?

I go through this every cycle. No matter how hard I promise myself that I won't obsess, I won't analyze... I just can't help it. I'm deep in the throes of my FCP... and oh man does it suck.

Latest obsessions: I started having some serious hot flashes last night. Oh. My. God. Hot flashes on a clomid cycle - must be a sign! (I know, I know, that's the sick part of all this - I know it's irrational)

.. and I fell asleep! Can you imagine? Millions of people fall asleep every night. I bet 99% of them don't wonder if it's a sign. But I fell asleep eeeaaaarrrlllyyyyy (yes, I'm whining now too). Of course, that can't have anything to do with the fact that I was tired from waking up obscenely early yesterday, so it must be .... a sign.

AND THEN - then, I woke up early this morning as well! I'm quite sure that had nothing to do with the fact that (a) I fell asleep early last night and (b) the hubby was stomping around at the ass-crack of dawn, spewing obscenities because he was running late and missing an important piece of his uniform this morning. Oh no, all that is trivial and background. It was.... a sign.

... I won't even go into what happened when I took my BBT. It's sick, and depraved and hopeful.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Twiddling my thumbs

Not much going on, still.

I got up obscenely early this morning.

TMI - we attempted to go for a little recreational s-e-x and it hurt. OMG did it hurt.

I have a tendency to have swollen ovaries when I'm on clomid, so we practice a lot of abstinence in the 2WW. I thought we were safe today, I only had two-or-three follicles this month, so I figured they can't be that swollen (certainly not as bad as the cycle that overstim'd me and made me discuss my sex life with half the ER staff). That's what I get for being optimistic, eh?

Granted, I didn't wind up crying at my local hospital this time, but it was still uncomfortable enough that I didn't go back to sleep either.

I'm glad that I'm pissed off about this. The first time it happened, I fell into this pity-party about yet one more thing that infertility had taken away... that sucked. I'd rather be pissed.

My doc says painful sex while on meds is common enough that he likes to use IUI just so sex isn't necessary... and I didn't have the heart to tell him that while that took care of my procreational needs, it didn't do a hell of a lot for my entertainment needs. Sure, we could sign up for Netflix and watch movies every night for two weeks*... but damn, that's not exactly the same.

So it looks like my parts are out of commission for the month, and I'm Only. Five. dpo. (I think)

Hell of a way to spend the 2ww.

Especially since I know that early-morning insomnia was my first p-word symptom both times... the pre-dawn nookie was supposed to take my mind off the fact that I'm wondering if waking up at 5 AM two days in a row might be significant, when I'm only 5-freaking-dpo... ohhhh... the insanity...

Yeah. I'm twiddling my thumbs. I'm too afraid to twiddle anything else.

*every night... [snort] yeah, B wishes.