Monday, December 29, 2008
swollen lymph node. Not a hernia. Not as funny but a whole lot less pain and worry.
Who knew you had lymph nodes down there? No fever, normal white blood cell count. So it will resolve on it's own. In fact, the swelling and pain is almost gone by now.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I have my 1st gyno appointment tomorrow so I'll ask the Dr. to take a looksie.
It's painful but not so much that I can't do regular things (with a limp). It doesn't particularly hurt when I cough or laugh just when I touch it. I even picked up Piccolina this morning and it was ok. So maybe it's nothing other than a strained muscle.
Have you Googled hernia? Geeze. With my queasy stomach it's not the thing a woman in my condition should do. Good God. Whoever said the human body is beautiful has never gotten an eyeful of someone's intestine bulging out of their groin.
In other news. Am sick. Am exhausted. Am constipated. Am pretty-much your run-of-the-mill pregnant chick. And it's wonderful in every way (minus the sick and tired and constipated) (Oh, and the hernia).
If it's a hernia then I will laugh my ass off because WTF? That's going to feel great around month 8.
Odds are it's nothing. But, of course, I have to consider all possible circumstances and prepare for the worse. If it's not a hernia I will be happy becasue really, who needs that shit? If it is I wont be surprised. That's how I roll. Hope for the best. Plan for the worst. I have already found a cute truss. Trusses are cheap. Good thing becasue that's the kind of thing you just don't want to buy from Craigslist.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I'm still alive. I'm sure baby is still alive. In the grand scheme of things everything is wonderful.
I have been been alternately sorting out and ignoring emotions regarding this DE thing. It will be time to write about them soon enough but I want to let things congeal a bit. It's just still really present in my mind (the fact that this child is from a donor). Everyone said, "You'll never even think about it" but I do. I am. I imagine I always will. Not that I regret it. Not that it takes away from the excitement, anticipation and love for this child that I feel. But I am still sad that my eggs couldn't do it. Still anticipating a life full of little things that will make me sad. Or big things that will make my children sad and maybe even feel disconnected. I cringe when I think about that. The effect this will have on them. But I always say I need to deal with things as they are and not as I wish them to be. I also think that if I don't think this through I wont be able to help my children through whatever they may go through when it's time for them to know. (That sentence needs a serious re-write)
In many ways I think this journey of DE has just started. I thought it would be over when I got pregnant but now I see it will be a part of everything for a long time.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
It also never occurred to me that I don't HAVE to meet with the social worker. Mr. Peeveme said I should just refuse to meet with her. When she calls I will politely decline the offer and explain why. A glass of wine with dinner before I was pregnant is not a risk factor. It's just not.
I'm such a rule follower those things just never occur to me.
And thanks for all your reassurance the other day. Just a momentary lapse of reason.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When I did this three years ago I accidentally marked "yes" to the question, "Are you being physically threatened by anyone in your household?" I don't know how I marked the wrong box but I did. So I get a call for an appointment with the social worker....only I didn't know that these appointments are for "special" patients. I just thought everyone got a social worker appointment. So there I am with the social worker and she's asking me all sorts of questions about my home life and I'm answering them all truthfully but thinking "Man, I know that, statically speaking, pregnant women are at higher risk of abuse but they really are fanatical about this". After a while she asks me, "Why are you here"? And I'm like, "Um, you told me to be here". And she's all, "On your questionable you indicated that you were being threatened". Cut to me with my mouth agape and bugged out eyes. I quickly cleared up the matter but I had the sneaking suspicion that she had the sneaking suspicion that I was not telling the truth.
And the worst part is that information ended up in my chart so at every single pre-natal appointment I was asked about it. Poor Mr. Peevme would not come with me to any appointments becasue he was so embarrassed. Plus he was worried that I'd pull something "funny" in the waiting room like flinch when he moved or say things like, "Ok honey, just don't get mad. I promise I'll do better. Just please don't get mad."
All kidding aside, domestic abuse, especially of pregnant ladies needs to be taken very seriously but to have people wrongly think you are being abused is really uncomfortable. Also it sucked that Mr. Peevme would not come to any appointments becasue he didn't get to see any of the u/s. I finally had to go through a whole big deal to get my chart corrected.
Anyhow, this time I was sure to fill out the forms carefully. I dutifully check each and every box truthfully and accurately which has earned me ANOTHER visit with the social worker. Apparently if you mark that BEFORE pregnancy you drank daily (the choices are: daily, once a week, one a month, never) you get a meeting with the social worker. Never mind that I have not been drinking since the transfer. Never mind that "Daily" and "Weekly" is a poor choice sequence (What do you mark if you have a drink 3-4 days a week?). It just seems like a waste of her time and mine. It also seems like a very poor screening question in my profession opinion.
So I get another nice chat with a social worker. Between all my extra appointments for u/s and blood work and now this I am quit the "regular" at the OB's office. For the rest of this month I will be there at least once a week....maybe more If I can get the social-worker appointment scheduled this month.
I figure I should make the most of it. So if you were locked in a room with a social worker what types of questions would you ask?
I have had four Beta's. The doubling time between 1 and 2 was 1.88 days. The doubling time between 2 and 3 was 1.86 days. Both were well below the 2 days doubling time that is recommended so it's been very reassuring. I know some Dr.s consider 48-72 hours (2-3 days) fine but I have not seen too many pregnancies in the 72 hours range that stayed put. So if I had one in the 3 days range I would worry.
The doubling time between Beta 3 and 4 was 3.47 days. So you can see why I am concerned. It's not even in the 3 day range that I find worrisome. I am worried but trying to not get hysterical. I have a pre-natal appointment with my OB's office today (not with an OB or a nurse...just a paperwork person) and another Beta. The pre-natal is just a series of paperwork and a blood test. I might even pee in a cup and get weighed but my pants stay on (no u/s). I wont get the blood test results until tomorrow and I have an u/s at my RE's office on Friday. I will either get some good news or I could be looking at a repeat of a m/c performance I'd rather not repeat. No, the m/c encore would be unwelcome indeed.
On Beta # 2 my progesterone was 44. Beta number 3 it was 34. I'm concerned and since I am between Dr's I'm not able to really get anyone on the case. And what good would it do? They can't save a bad or nonviable pregnancy anyhow. I'm not pregnant enough for my OB and too pregnant for my RE.
I am not in full hysterics but I'm bracing myself for the worse. I'm really hoping that this is nothing and I'll have a strong Beta and happy u/s but I am not naive.
Just came back from the Dr 's office and from cruising the internet.
I found this little bit of reassuring information. (Source)
Within the first 2-4 weeks after fertilization, HCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours. That usually corresponds to HCG levels below 1200 IU. From 1200-6000, the HCG usually takes 72-96 hours to double. Above 6000 IU, the hCG often takes over four days to double.
I'd still like to see something in the 72 hours range but this does give me reason to breath a little easier since I am well into the range when it could take a healthy pregnancy four days to double the HCG.
Paper-work woman was very nice (as she always is). I expressed my concerns and she was very understanding and accommodating.
My concerns are:
1) My medications. My insurance should be covering them but since my scripts are with a private RE the hospital insurance wont take them. Hospital pharmacy will only take scripts from their Dr.s. Also, I cannot be prescribed any medication until I am seen by a Dr. or nurse for an OB appointment. But they don't have OB appointments for folks until they are at least 8 weeks. The very first OB appointment is Dec 23 (7 weeks 4 days) which I snapped up but will need to reorder meds prior to that date.
2) If I should have a m/c I have now where to go for proper medical care. I would need an u/s to ensure it was a complete m/c as well as blood tests to make sure the HCG went down to 0.
Solution: I have an appointment with the nurse practitioner on Monday Dec 15th. This way I can get my scripts and an u/s if the one on Friday is not conclusive or bad.
To recap all my appointments:
Dec 10th OB- pre-natal paperwork, blood, urine tests.
Dec 12th RE- u/s
Dec 15th OB- First OB appointment, urine test, possible u/s, scripts
Dec 23rd OB - 2nd OB appointment, urine test, possible u/s.
I realize I am sucking up a lot of resources but this time in between the RE and OB is weird. Like I said: Too pregnant for the RE; not pregnant enough for the OB.
My OB's office is being wonderful and trying to be as responsive as they possibly can. I am a self-admitted nervous Nelly. I'm not demanding any thing....just letting them know my concerns and that I would be appreciative of any extras they could give me.
I am feeling a little better than before. I just want to prepared for all scenarios.
14 dpo- 292
17 dpo - 885
23 dpo - 8206
25 dpo - 12225
27 dpo- ???
Monday, December 8, 2008
For example, when someone says "Drive safe" I usually add the "ly" for them (under my breath...I'm not THAT big of a jerk.) I don't do it to correct them. I do it becasue somehow it makes the world seem right. Without my mentally saying "ly" it would just be floating out there forever dangling and unfulfilled.
Sometimes, after I use an adverb I will mentally add on a few extra ly's to make up for all the improper usage I know is happening out there.
Verbs require proper modification and that proper modification is an adverb. Please us them correctly (ly, ly, ly).
Usually I approach pregnancy with terror. Just breathing regularly is difficult and takes constant reminding. My last pregnancy I resolved not to worry or, at least, not to let it rob me of joy. I wrote to two friends in a e-mail, "I'm choosing not to worry until I get information otherwise." 24 hours later my 7 week-old embryo measured 6 weeks. Blood test. Repeat blood test: not viable. Wait for m/c. I realize my one, early m/c is nothing compared to what so many women have gone through. I'm not comparing. But when one is infertile or had a pregnancy go south, fear just comes with the territory. Not your garden variety fear of a passing thought, "I hope everything is ok", and then you go blissfully through your day belly-rubbing and browsing changing tables. I mean dead baby thoughts. I mean the constant looking for blood in the undies. I mean wondering when, not if, you'll m/c and hoping it's not when you are at work or when your DH is out of town. It's a terror that has to be constantly fought otherwise I would collapse into a heap of pointless sobbing. The irrational terror which makes one think that if you get too happy or too comfortable you will actually cause it all the go to pot.
The time between Beta and that first u/s is the worst. Too early for symptoms which can be so reassuring. No evidence of a heartbeat so higher m/c rates apply. After that heartbeat is seen one has actual scientific evidence to worry less. (That evidence usually makes me worry less for about a week). It's pretty much what most of us in the infertile community experiences.
This being a DE cycle I was worried becasue I was NOT feeling that way. I was happy, content, secure. I have just felt certain I would have a baby in August. With young, healthy eggs why wouldn't I?
I wondered about the reasons for my terror-less existence. Was it becasue this was a second child? Maybe you are less worried the second time around. Maybe the fact that this is a DE baby and has better chance of being healthy than with my own eggs made me worry less. Maybe it was becasue I have a half dozen on ice that made me less terrified becasue even if this pregnancy did go south I would eventually have a baby. But mostly I worried that it was becasue this is not my genetic child and as a result I felt less connected and less worried. That thought was really disturbing.
Maybe I had made a HUGE mistake. Maybe I wouldn't love this child as my own. Maybe I will always feel differently about her (gut instinct that's it's a girl). I couldn't even blog about it I found it so disturbing.
And then worry started to creep in. I do have dead baby thoughts and while it really sucks I am relieved that I 'm not going to be a horrible mother to this baby. Ok, I might be a crappy mom but it wont be becasue I'm not the genetic mom. I can be a crappy mother to both this child and Piccolina. Hey man, I'm an equal opportunity crap-mom. Such relief!
I'm terrified and it's comforting. It's also highly well...terrifying. It's a damned if you do and dammed if you don't situation. But I'm taking it all in and remaining so grateful to be able to have these thoughts.
My latest Beta was 8,206. 6 days ago it was 885. Doubling time in 1.86 days. Everything is on track. U/S on Friday. I will be 6 weeks 1 day. Looking for that flicker that will sustain my faith.
I don't just want a baby. I want this baby. I'm so relieved and terrified to feel that way. But mostly I am grateful.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
She's in a commercial for this anti-snoring device. If you want to take a peak at the chick who was almost on the recieving end of my full wrath click on the TV commercial. She's the third testimonial. Not the really blond lady but the lady after in the blue shirt.
I just thought it was funny.
What I did not write in that first story was that she kept going on and one about all the things we did in high school....only she kept saying it was me....leaving herself out of it. "I remember Peeveme did this". "This one time Peevme was blah, blah, blah". Each thing made me look stupid and immature...which I was becasue I was 16 years old....and although they were based on truths they were exaggerated and she managed to leave herself out of all the stories.
Of course, all this was in front of Mr. Peevme. I kept trying to change the subject, "So what are you up to these days"? "Oh that was so long ago. Where did you go to College?" After about three of those I took her by the elbow, you know, the way moms drag a mischeviouse kid down a hallway? Yea, I gave her one of those and pulled her aside. I said, "What are you doing? Why are you trying to make me loook bad in front of my husband? I remember myself as a somewhat nerdy homebody in high school so that's what my husband thinks. Tell you what, why don't you cool it on the, "Peevme was so drunk" stories and I wont tell embarrassing stories about you. I'm just here to have fun. We cool?"
See how much restraint I have when I try? I did not embarrass her which I could have. She would have been an easy enough target.
She avoided me the rest of the night. Fine by me.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Her response made me cry (in a good way) and the friendship is saved and I own it all to you! So thanks.
First, I am so sorry you are hurt that I have not been there for you. I am aware (and feel terribly) that I have not seen Daughter or your new home. I know that I have been particularly bad (worse than usual) about returning your calls. I am sorry I am not being a good friend to you. I admit, own it and honestly apologize to you for it.
The fact is I am not able to be a good friend to you right now. I just can't do the things you want me to do. It's more than just being busy (although being a career mother without any help is a large part of it). The past few years have been very hard on me and it just seems to have escalated in the past few months. I am in the midst of some very heavy medical, financial and emotional stuff. I need you to understand and accept that I can't be there to meet your needs right now. I also don't want to explain a whole lot about what I'm going through. I just need to get through it and hope I come out the other end intact.
In a word I am overwhelmed. I'm simply not in a place to give. Honestly, I have been avoiding your calls becasue I feel pressured and guilty and I am not able to handle that right now.
I do value your friendship and I am sorry I am hurting you but until I get through this rough patch I need your compassion.
Thank you for letting me know what is up. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through some horrible stuff right now. I understand your not wanting to talk about it - when Daughter was diagnosed with her heart stuff, I didn't want to talk to anyone at first. But I consider you one of my best friends, so please know that I'll be thinking about you and praying for you and when you are ready to fill me in, I am here.
I am a little confused by your references to "giving", "doing the things you want me to do" and "meeting my needs". I don't need anything. I just wanted to see you and have you meet Daughter and I couldn't understand why you weren't making any effort to do so, and now I understand why. I'm sorry if that came across as my being needy. I value your friendship as well and my view was that I want to spend time with you so that our friendship can be nurtured and continue to grow. Now that you've shared this with me, I completely get why nurturing our friendship is not on your short list right now :) As your friend I'd like to be there for you so please let me know if there is anything I can do help! I know you are not really the type of person to ask for help, but since I don't know what the problems are, I'm not sure what to offer. So just know that I love you and I am here for you and please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything I can do.
And then I cried like the "big-fat girl" that I am. She could not have written a better response.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I am the Sexual Harassment Officer for my College. What expertise does my PH.D in Education and my substantial statistical training lend to my being a sexual harassment officer? None. I have no training in sexual harassment whatsoever other than the standard training all managers get. All I really have to do is follow our outdated and poorly written policy, spend hours interviewing complainants, respondents, witness, spend more hours typing up my notes, do my best to show the proper amount of empathy and professionalism...piece of cake. Mostly, I am there to make sure the College does not get sued. If you don't follow up on every complaint or suspected violation...you can get sued. If you are sloppy and don't take good notes...you can get sued. If you do not act in professional manner with the complainants, respondents and witnesses...you can get sued.
Why they tasked me with such weighty responsibilities I have no idea. Oh, wait. I do. It was my first week on the job and someone with more seniority wanted to get it off her desk. And then I had to go and do such a good job that not only have I retained my title for nearly 10 years I get side-jobs from HR when they need an independent investigator. Yep, I'm the go-to gal for all things creepy and just "not right". Which sucks becasue it's all in addition to my real job. The job I am actually qualified for (mostly).
As you might imagine I have many uncomfortable meetings with people. My absolute favorites are when I have to interview older, male co-workers followed closely by the weeping female student. Think of a male co-worker of yours. OK, now think of asking him, "is it true you had oral sex in the parking lot last week?". It gets even more hysterical if you know that I am super hot! Well, hot for an institutional researcher. I know, big fish little pond. It's pretty-much awkward no matter how you look at it but even more awkward given I'm the last person a guy wants to have find out just how pervy he is.
Once I was interviewing a very nice young lady about a very uncomfortable thing and she is nervous and upset. I'm doing my best to empathize and be professional all at once. It's a fine line I might add. I also have to take copious notes in case I get sued. I can write notes with one hand while handing them a tissue with the other. It's harder than it looks and it can come off as insincere in less-experienced hands. I have to say things like, "I don't want to make this any harder for you but when you walked in on the janitor were his pants around his knees or ankles? I need you to be specific." Hey, I need details. And when they come forth I record then on my notepad while maintaining eye-contact and nodding sympathetically. We're talking mad-skills here.
While I'm interviewing her my phone rings and the caller ID tells me it is my Dr.s office. My Dr. has never called me. It must be important.
This was back in the early days of infertility I was getting all my tests done so I could start treatment.
I apologize to the student and take the call.
The nurse says, "We have been waiting for you to get an HSC. When do you think you are going to do that?" I was a bit stunned seeing as how I did it 2 months prior.
I said, " I did it already in January."
She the asked," Um, where did you get that done?"
All I could think of was, "Um, in my vagina, where do you think?" but seeing as how I had the sexually harassed student in my office and I don't want to get sued by being unprofessional I said, "Um, in the usual place".
The nurse replied, "in Martinez or Walnut Creek?"
I said, "Oh you mean which hospital? Walnut Creek".
And so, ladies and gentlemen, that is why I refer to my vagina as Martinez. It's either that or Walnut Creek and, let's face it, Walnut Creek is a stupid name for a vagina.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I did pee on the digital this morning. It told me "yes". Which I already know but what I need to know is "how much?". "More than yesterday? I bought some analog tests so I will probably be taking one soon so as to preserve the integrity of my pre-beta pee regiment.
Mr. Peeveme wanted me to return the digitals. I was like, "Why? I can pee on these too." If you are a stick and you are in my vicinity I'm peeing on you. Your digital status wont save you. Mr. Peevme thought it was a waste of money. And I was like, "You need to stop. You need to stop right now. I need this. We spent 60K this year on IVF's so what's $20 especially if it makes me feel more secure. " And then he made a face and did a little smart-ass dance.
He's going to be so mad when he sees I bought more tests. Ah. Then it will be my turn to do a smart-ass little dance.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Cuz I'm all "living on the edge" like that.
Since I can't drink, fight, get a tattoo or BASE jump I gotta get my kicks somehow.
JK...I have never BASE jumped.
And for my next trick I might not buy tampons during this week's grocery story run. HELL YA!
Plus I love how creepy the widget is this early.
Must re-order PIO before Thanksgiving Holiday.
Dh appalled by the price of HPT's.
I can't believe this is happening. For once I mean that in a good way.
I'm calling it implantation spotting.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I just realized that since I did not take a trigger shot I can PAOS at any time. So I can either 1) brace myself or 2) try to arrange for a second Beta while out of town. This information would also allow me to either 1) drink on Thanksgiving or 2) try to order more meds before the pharm and delivery company take a holiday leaving me with nothing to shoot into my ass.
No matter how you cut it this is valuable information.
Let's see.....I am 3dp5dt (8dpo). I could start peeing on Sunday which would be 5dp5dt (10dpo). Ok, Sunday it is.
Wow, the 5dt is a trip. It's hardly a wait at all.
I am really trying to brace myself for a BFN. I'd rather be pessimistic and then pleasantly surprised than falsely optimistic and then get slammed. With the later I just feel stupid on top of sad. And I hate feeling stupid. At least when I am pessimistic I have the "I was right!" to buoy me. I know, I am a sick, sick know-it-all.
I have found that I am really optimistic week 1 of the 2 ww and than get pessimistic in the 2nd week. But with the 5dt it's pretty much just the first week. So I'm stuck in optimism mode. Usually by 10DPO I'm already thinking it didn't work so that BFN is easier to deal with. Quick, someone throw some water on my hopes.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
8 out of 12 made it to blast.
I have one in me and the rest were frozen.
Half of all retrieved eggs (16) turned into blasts.
The Donor has really good quality eggs. Since she was not a "proven" donor I was a bit worried. For not!
So why only 1? To tell the truth it's really hard to transfer one given how much I want this NOW and the fact that single transfers are not done that often (yet).
I really, really agonized about this and was not sure what I would do until I was in that transfer chair. But in the end I felt it was the responsible thing to do.
Lets review the stats of donor egg outcomes from my clinic:
Transferring 2 -blasts:
75-80% chance of pregnancy
50% of these will be twins
40-50% chance of pregnancy
0 % chance of twins
I think most people focus on the BFP rate. I mean, transferring two does have the greatest chance of a BFP. By transferring one I have a good chance of not getting pregnant this cycle and if you haven't noticed this year has sucked reproductively speaking and I really, really want and need a BFP. (Did that run-on sentence better convey my desperation than one with proper punctuation?) I wont die if I don't get a BFP in a week. I wont die physically but emotionally...it would be a tough blow. So I "get it"that transferring two is the thing most people want to do. Me too. I want to optimize my chances of a BFP now. But then I get to that second statistic: Chance of twins. And this is where I have to stop being emotional and try to be logical.
The risks associated with carrying multiples are real. I think most people are blissfully unaware of this. I, like them, used to be like that. I used to think that the only thing about twins is that it's much more work than a singleont but it's twice as exciting. After being baby-starved, two all at once sounde pretty good to me. But over the years I have read many blogs where a multiple pregnancy did not go well. The outcomes range from really scary to down right tragic. Of course, most of the time it turns out just fine but the times it does not are crushing.
From what I have seen other people experience I believe a best-case scenario for me carrying twins would go like this:
Increased fatigue and morning sickness
When I was pregnant with Picolinna I found fatigue and morning sickness to be debilitating. Lifting my head off my pillow was darned near impossible. Twins usually increases fatigue and morning sickness.
Increased risk of Pre-mature Labor and Delivery:
On average twins are born 5 weeks earlier than singletons bringing with it all the risks of pre-mature birth.
Other increased complications:
Other conditions such as preeclampsia, placental dysfunction, and TTTS are more prevalent in twin pregnancy and increase the risk of an early delivery.
Increased risk of bed-rest
Since right now my income is our only reliable income my career is super important for our family. Going on unpaid leave is just not an option.
I have no reason to believe that I would have a harder time with twins than anyone else other than I'm short. I have seen many people, short and tall, carry twins successfully. Usually, twins are just fine. But after how hard I have worked to get here do I want to risk it? And what would I be risking it for? Because I can't wait? Because I need to be pregnant now? I want to be pregnant as much as anyone but I wont die if I have to do a FET. If I was pregnant with twins on the other hand....one or both of them might die and I can not live with that level of risk. My goal is a live birth, not just a pregnancy.
Now, with my eggs, which were not high quality, I did transfer two but with high quality embryos the risk of multiples is just too high for me. My RE just attended a conference in which "paper after paper" examined high quality-single embryo transfer vs. transferring two and each came to the conclusion that over time, success rate are the same but with single you avoid the risk. Single embryo transfer of high quality blasts seems to be the emerging trend (or so he thinks).
I know some readers are carrying twins or transferred two embryos. In no way is this a criticism of your decision. This is my thought process. Again, the vast majority of the time twins are perfectly healthy. I just know how much anxiety I have with a singleton pregnancy. No way could I handle the increased level of anxiety that would come along with twins. I am fully supportive of people making their own reproductive decisions provided they are informed.
So there you have it. Wanted to transfer two. Ended up transferring one. Hard, hard choice. In a week from now I may wish I had done it differently but I can live with that more than I could live with a multiple pregnancy gone south no matter how remote that possibility is. I am going to be a mother again. It just may take a month or two longer than I originally anticipated.
Which brings us to my rant. I seem to have to justify transferred 1 to people (husband, sisters). It makes me mad becasue I agonized over this and I think I did the responsible thing instead of the emotional thing. I think I showed remarkable restraint and to be getting second guessed instead of applauded makes me all crazy-mad. Instead of feeling like I have a slam-dunk going on here I know my chances are about 50/50. I am possibly looking at a FET (and an additional 3-4K) instead of a trip to the OB. And yet, I still chose a single becasue I felt it was the responsible thing to do even if I WANTED to transfer two. It's like criticizing someone on a diet for not eating the whole piece of pie when it took every ounce of will power to just have the one bite.
I'm not looking for you to tell me that I did it all right. I'm just sorting things out in my mind. Maybe after ranting I will be better able to calmly explain this to the next poor sap who asks why I only transferred one.
I was really counting on this cycle being the BFP. Now I have to start preparing myself that it might not work out this time. Eventually it will. It's not a race I'm trying to win. In fact, this is not about me at all. In some ways I feel like I have made the first decision for the welfare of these children.
BTW: I'm not sure about what I will do with the FET. Those success rates are 30% for single. That would be a 60% chance of pregnancy transferring two. If 50% of those are twins (not sure if that is how it works) the chance of twins is less than with fresh so maybe my thought process would change given those stats. Also, if this cycle does not work there may be something about me and my uterus that makes implantation harder so transferring more than one might make more sense.
Crap, I have to add something else (this is really taking the wind out of my "How deep and wonderful am I"? statement at the end).
If I only had 3 or so blasts I probably would have transferred two. I hope to have two children from this cycle. I have 7 more on ice to FET with. Many chances. If I had only a few chances I would have wanted to maximize the fresh cycle. The lower success rates of the FET seem to be ameliorated by the large number of frozen embryos.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It has always felt weird to me that I get to know so much about you and you don’t get to know anything about us. While I understand the nature of anonymous donation I also wanted you to have some sense of who we are, why we chose you and how grateful we are.
I have been dealing with infertility for the past 6 years. At 38 it’s a difficult realization that my ovaries are just not going to produce any more children. I grew up in large family and just assumed I would be able to have lots of kids. While donor eggs was certainly not our first choice, once I realized it was the only way we could build our family, it was an easy decision. While I morn the loss of a genetic link to my future child I am so excited to create this life and can’t wait to expand my family. As a mother, you know the love you have for your child is indescribable even before they are born.
We both grew up in the Bay Area and plan on staying here. My mother was a teacher (as was her mother) and my parents have been married for almost 50 years. My parents were strict and traditional and made many sacrifices for us kids. I could not have asked for better parents and I still rely on their advice and love. I talk to at least one of my siblings everyday (two brothers and two sisters). I have 7 nieces and nephews. All the cousins love to play with each other and have sleep-overs. I want my children to be part of that extended family.
My husband immigrated to America when he was 6 but has strong ties to his home country and I have been lucky enough to visit there twice. As a family we plan on taking our children to his home country often. His parents have also been married for almost 50 years and are two of the nicest, hardest-working people I have ever met. He has two siblings both of whom have children so there are plenty of cousins on both sides. In their culture they absolutely love children and make them the center of their world. My husband speaks Italian in the home and we hope our children will be bi-lingual.
Aside from the physical characteristics (small fame, brown hair, similar facial features) I wanted a donor who was mixed Native American. I am American Indian from a California tribe. It has been a large part of my life. My mother is Mexican-Native American. We were raised with those cultures and religion (as much as possible in the sub-urbs) and as an adult I am involved in my tribe and the American Indian community. Finding a donor who is part Native was important to me.
In deciding on egg donation I had to really examine my motivation to be a mother and what it means to be a parent. Although it’s been painful I think it has made me a better mother. I have cottoned to the idea that my children are individuals who should be allowed to be whoever they are. They are not mini versions of me and my husband. I want to guide my children....not replicate myself. I want to love, teach and watch my children grow into the persons they want to be. I want to be proud of my children...not proud of little parts of myself. I want for my children to be good, compassionate people living meaningful, productive and happy lives. If we can do that for our children I will consider us successful parents.
I believe that children have a right to know where they came from. We do plan on telling our child(ren) about you. I tear up every time I read what you wrote to them. When it’s time they will know as much about you as I do. You are connected to them and I know they will be curious when they are older. And while I know it’s a long way off and I’m probably not even allowed to write this: I would be honored to meet you some day. And when the children are old enough and if they choose to I would welcome the opportunity for you to meet them. Ideally, we would like to have two children from this cycle. Perhaps that is being a bit greedy but I feel like it would be easier to have two so that they have each other. With two they would have someone who shared 100% of their genetics and could relate to their life experience. It’s impossible to know how this will all turn out but that is what we are hoping for.
And now for the impossible part: thanking you. It’s just not possible to express how grateful we are. I’m writing this the night before your retrieval. I’m sure you are sore and nervous and sick of getting ultra sounds and blood tests. You might be excited or you might be wondering what the heck you got yourself into. I’m sorry for any discomfort you are in.
Since you are a mom I imagine you can understand how grateful we are. I think only a mother can know how much it means. It’s been such a long and difficult road for us. I do believe it has made us stronger as a couple and better parents. I hope you never have doubts about being a donor. But if you do I hope this letter sustains you through those times. I can’t imagine that a single day will go by when I don’t think of you and say a silent prayer for you.
With overwhelming gratitude,
Sunday, November 16, 2008
9- 7/8 celled
2- 5 celled
1- 4 cell
The 4 cell is pretty much out and I don't hold out much hope for the 5's either but it does happen. We still have 9 doing well. The past day has been so easy because I was sure this report would be good. I have no idea what to expect after day 3. Never had the chance to go to day 5. So the wait until Tuesday will be a bit harder but I have every reason to be optimistic. It's a very different experience from my past 2 IVFs' in which I was worried I'd have nothing to trasnfer at day 3. Worrying if you'll have aything to transfer on day 3 is different from wondering how many blastocycts you'll have on day 5. Still breathing.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
They got 16 eggs. I do believe that is the sweet spot of egg retrieval.
Dr. also said to count on a 5 day transfer! I get a call on Friday to let me know how many fertilized and then a call on Sunday with an appointment time for the transfer and some cell counts.
Also, Dr. is leaning towards transferring a single. 40-50% chance of pregnancy (instead of 80%) but less risk of twins. We'll have to see how we feel when we get there given my goal is 2 children from this cycle.
I asked about the Donor and how she was doing. He said she's doing fine. She got our letter and was teary-eyed. YEA! I made her cry! That was certainly not my goal (You guys were right! It's really hard not to get overly sappy in those letters). I just wanted her to know who we are and how grateful we are. Since she cried I think I manged convey that rather effectively.
I may post it. On some levels it feel too personal but then again it might help others considering DE to know how far I have come. From, "Absolutely not for us" to completely embracing it and being so excited to create these lives THIS way. It's such a huge shift from just 6 months ago. Also, not many people actually know me in real life so who cares right? And the few who I do know IRL are people I adore and trust.
I thought I'd be a bit sad today being all left out of the festivities. But no, I seem to be fine. Happy, in fact. I do miss all the pampering though. The hot-air robe, the warn blanket, someone drawing circles on my ass and then a day of bed rest. Even though I have never needed to rest I did it anyway.
In less than 24 hours I'll get the next update. That should really give some idea about egg quality. Is it too much to hope for say......9 to fertilize? I think that sounds pretty realistic. And then we'd have say....5-6 blasts in an ideal scenario. OK enough speculation. Just breath and pray. I'm still not 100% comfortable that I am praying to a God who apparently disagrees with this method of reproduction. So maybe I'll pray in my Native way. I'm pretty sure "Indian" spirits care more about making more Indians rather than how they are made. Seriously people. We Indians have a lot of rebuilding to do demographically speaking.
Hopefully, with my Native donor, we are on our way.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I start to think about Piccolina and the knowledge woman share with their daughters. The age I got my first period, started to get break-outs, what my PMS is like, what my labor and delivery was like.
The Peeveme women (my mom, my two sisters, aunt) talk very frankly about these things. For example, Peeveme women get pregnant really easily and have super fast L&D's. So fast that babies have almost been delivered in cars. So that's been a part of my story.
And then I get sad becasue if I have a girl from this donor cycle I wont be able to share that with her.
And then I realize how irrelevant it is. Unlike my mothers, my aunt, and my sister I do not get pregnant easily. Both my mother and older sister had a baby, got an IUD put in, then got pregnant with the IUD. Yep. Me? Not so much. No spontaneous pregnancies here.
My L&D lasted forever. I had to be induced (at nearly 42 weeks) and I still pushed for nearly 3 hours. Those particular chunks of Peevme -family wisdom were pretty misleading. When I walked into L&D I was so confident that I'd have this baby in a few hours because Peeveme women have fast labors. 15 hours later, all hopped up on pitocine and pushing my ass inside out I was sobbing, "I'm not a Peevme, I'm not a Peeveme." Bitterly lamenting my unexpectedly long labor. I was supposed to get pregnant easily. I was supposed to shoot a baby out so fast the Dr.s barley have time to suit-up. Genetics mislead me.
Even genetically linked people are unique. So then I think it's not that big of a deal that these children wont be genetically linked to me and move on. End thought arch. Have thought, feel sad, apply reason, feel better.
I keep thinking of little things that make me sad about loosing the genetic link to my children but when I get down to it....the particulars are of little consequence. It's not just one thing. Nothing I can pin down. Nothing I can't dismiss by applying a little logic. But those are just the parts. Not the sum. The sum is still a loss.
I don't think it's any one thing about loosing the genetic link. You can't dissect WHY it's sad. It's just sad. I'm just sad. And then I make the decision not to let those thought linger too long and I move on. Don't get me wrong, I am so excited to do this, I am so excited to create this(ese) child(ren). And yet, there is a sense of loss. I'm learning to be ok with that ambivalence.
But then I worry about the loss my children will feel. It was their loss too. Not just mine. Will they feel robbed of their genetic mother? Will they find genetics irrelevant? Will they be ok with ambivalence?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Dr. estimates she'll have about 10-12 mature eggs. I don't want to quibble but does that sound "loaded" to you? To me "loaded" means like in the realm of 20 or more. Don't get me wrong....10-12 is amazing and more that I ever produced. With each IVF they got 7 eggs...four of which were mature...so I had 8 mature eggs over 2 IVF's. Ten -12 is super. I know it's not all about the numbers...it's about the quality. If those are mostly viable then we'd have more than enough. Who needs 15 embryos on ice that we can never use? Not me. I just want enough for 2 kids. Yes, I am a greedy bitch. I want siblings for Piccolina. I want more than one child from the donor so that they have each other. I want to have enough kids that they crowd us out of our bed on Sunday mornings. I want enough kids to fill up my nearly empty mini van. I want.
All I'm saying is that my Re should probably get a dictionary and a thesaurus because 10 is not loaded. It's good. Not Loaded. I'm not being greedy (ok a little greedy)it's more an issue of word use and expectation management.
It's so hard to manage expectations when doing a donor cycle. I was great at managing them when using my own eggs. I knew the odds were against me. It just seems like when you go to your plan c, a plan I never planned on, it should work. It should just work (twice).
I'm already trying to figure out how I will get a Beta on Thanksgiving...how and where I will get the follow-up Beta when I am out of town. How pregnant would I be at Christmas (8 weeks) and wondering if I would break my rule of not telling until at least 10 weeks (and 2 viability scans) because all the family will be in town and it would be so great to announce it then. Realizing that the worst of my morning sickness would happen in January when things are slow for me at work. Then I worry I am getting too excited. Too confident.
I did only buy a 1-month supply of my pre-natal vitamins..so you know...I do have some sense that this might not work. Sometimes my feet are on the ground.
But each time the Dr. calls me and tells me how great things look I hang up my i-phone and I can feel my face doing something strange. A sensation I vaguely remember. I thinks it's called smiling. I even cried yesterday when he told me that things were going so well. Cried becasue I was happy. Who does that? I'll tell you who. Happy people. Why the heck am I so happy? A dozen eggs on an u/s does not necessarily mean a baby in my arms. It's still so far away. It might not happen.
I want. And for once it feels like it might happen. It doesn't feel like such a long shot.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Luck should have it not 10 minutes later the anesthesiologist came in and asked me the same question. I dead-panned "vaginal aspiration of oocytes". She looked at me funny and I just played it off like that's what I always say.
The Dr. called me yesterday. The donor is "loaded". He would not give me any hard numbers since it's still a bit early (stim day 7-ish). The earliest trigger would be Sunday but more likely Tuesday-ish. Which means Thursday-ish ER. Which means a 5 day transfer on Tuesday-ish (Nov 18th). Is it over-confident to think 5- day? Is it over-confident to have saved an extra grand for freezing?
I did ask about hyper-stim cuz I'd hate for that to happen to her. Even a mild case is really hard. I had a mild-moderate case last year and it was the worst pain I have ever felt (expect for my induced but otherwise natural labor and delivery...what was I thinking?...I'll have to post about that experience someday.) He said he didn't think she was in danger of that. She's just responding really well...but not too well.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Today I am ashamed to be a Californian. I am saddened and angered that the majority of people in this state feel discrimination needs to be written into the constitution. I am disgusted.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I have one IRL friend who reads this blog and she has shared her faith with me on more than one occasion. I have nothing but respect for you and I admire your faithfulness. I admire it becasue I know you have struggled and questioned and continue to THINK and process and find relevance in your daily life. You live your words. You make efforts to examine your faith and the teachings and the manner in which you make your way in the world. I respect that about you.
I also greatly admire the writings of Mrs. Spit. She's a thinking woman of faith. I find such wisdom there.
Did I tell you I getting confirmed? Well, I am attending the classes to qualify to get confirmed. We'll see how I do.
Like many Catholics my age I never went through confirmation becasue they kept changing the age. Every year they kept saying "next year". So finally my mother said "enough" and pulled us out(my little sister and I ) in protest. Truth be told I think she was tired of driving us but that is between her and God.
So since a little extra free time was more important to my mother than my spiritual well being and the maturation of my religious faith I'm now obligated to 20 hours of Adult faith classes. That's every Wednesday night from here until eternity, I mean, the new year.
So here is the problem. All I do is cringe and roll my eyes (internally roll them.....I'm not outwardly rude or disruptive...give me some credit). I don't know what it is but I just can't buy it.. any of it. At least not the way it's being talked about.
After the first class I came home and complained about how simplistic and even child-like the belief systems were of the people in the class. Did I accidentally walk into a 1st confirmation class with some freakishly physically mature 2nd graders? It just seemed so ....unsophisticated and unthinking without any reflection.
Mr. Peeveme's response was, "I don't know why you are doing this?" and then walked away. He's all supportive and talkative like that.
Neither of us would be considered very faithful. We did get married in the church and had Piccolina Baptized but that's becasue that's just what our families do (He's Italian, I'm a Mission Indian). Not becasue of some deep seeded need for involvement in a community of faith. Plus the more sacraments you fulfill the more cake you get to eat. Specifically, sheet cake. Sheet cake rocks. The more you buy the cheaper it gets. I love sending people home with home giant slabs of sheet cake crammed on a paper plate with smooshed frosting under a double layer of plastic wrap. Now THAT's the way to celebrate a sacrament.
So why am I doing this? And why now? Why not in the past 20 years? Why not 20 years from now? I tell myself and others it's becasue it's a loose end. Just want to wrap it up. But it can't be a coincidence that I feel the need to do this now. I am doing IVF after IVF and now Donor eggs. The Catholic Church is pretty clear (and mean, if you ask me) about their stance on reproductive technology and even clearer (and meaner) about 3rd party reproduction. (I'd like to add mis-informed to that as well).
I confess, I'm not a person of strong faith. Clearly I'm not when all I do in cringe and inner eye roll the whole time in confirmation class? Nope, no faith here.
During the second meeting the Deacon gave us little notebooks so we could write things down. And I prepared for what I just knew would be 2 hours of cringing and inner eye rolls.
The session goes like this: The Deacon asks us a question...we share our thoughts with our "neighbors" and then share out to the larger group. And it's hard to listen to the answers of people without physical cringing at the simplicity. I think I have read more thoughtful and reflective ideas about faith in a coloring book about Jesus. And I certainly can't share HALF of what I'm thinking.
Question: Think of a time when you realized you were a Christian. Did that realization make you feel different? In what way did it make you feel different?
My head: Um...still not sure I am a Christian so I'm not sure how to approach that question. But why would I feel different? Different from other people? Because being Christian is not different it's the dominant religion where I grew up. I'm sorry, you're loosing me.
Question: Discuss some of the ways your faith is different from when you were younger.
Answers of other people (summary): When I was younger I did it becasue I had to and because my parents made me. Now that I am an adult my faith is stronger. Pretty much every said that they all have such strong faith now and are ready to commit to the "responsibilities of their faith". (whatever that means...I have no idea what that means but they say it all the time.)
My answer: (I went last)As a youth my faith was inconsequential. There was nothing at stake. No reason to question it. With such little life experience I had no reason to question the teachings of the Church. Unlike most people here I am not here becasue of a deepening of my faith, I am here becasue of a crisis of faith. I'm looking for resolution between my personal beliefs and the Church. I'm here to gain a more sophisticated relationship with the Church and my faith. I disagree profoundly with some of the stances of the Church. If I am truly loved by Jesus and the Church that has to be ok.
This was met with big-blinking eyes and silence. I think one mouth was agape. I was worried the Deacon would kick me out right there....but he seemed impressed with both my honesty and my level of thoughtfulness and reflection.
And then I started blogging in my little journal because I felt I was onto something here.
Notes from my notebook:
Wow, everyone else is here to learn more about their own faith. I came to learn more about the Church. I don't expect to be more faithful after this....or do I?
Why am I here? Do I know? What am I looking for? I gotta be here for more than the sheet cake.
Maybe I think that there has to be more. There has to be more depth and intellectualism to this religion.
Does this sustain me? Can this religion sustain me? Certainly not in my current understanding of it, no. I find little here for me. There has to be more.
So many people find solace in this faith. Why not me? This can't be so hollow and simplistic and sustain so many people. There has to be some substance here. Why don't I feel it?
Will my inner eye-roll ever go away?
I was approaching these session as just hoops I had to hop through to get confirmed. But I actually got something out of the last class. I know why I am there. I have no idea if I will find what I am looking for but at least I know what it is I want. That's something. In fact, that might be everything.
And BTW, I'm not sure I'm completely down with the concept of the Holy Trinity. I know! The central tenet of my faith and I'm not completely on board. Quick, someone call a Council of Nicea.
I'm really hoping the Deacon does not collect these journals. That would be mighty embarrassing.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I started Lupron a week ago. I stopped BCP's on Friday. That combo isn't doing much for me. Headache, nausea, fatigue. If I didn't just have an u/s I'd think I were pregnant. I'm hoping this wont last too long. On Wednesday I get a blood test. I think I will start the estrogen that day. I think that means the donor will start stims around the same time.
I have a blood test on Monday Nov 3rd and blood test-u/s Nov 7th. ER is scheduled for the week of Nov 10th. So depending on the donor's progress (and my lining) I may have another u/s that week.
I intend to write the donor a letter. Is that weird? I just always thought I would write one so that she could know me a little (while preserving my anonymity). It's just always felt weird to me that I got to know so much about her and she doesn't know anything about me. Also, It's my only opportunity to express my gratitude. What would/did you include in such a letter?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Of course, some of the most bitter people have probably had some pretty heavy shit thrown at them as well.
When you are humbled by life you can get bitter or get insight.
I had lunch with a friend yesterday (I know, halt the presses. I did something SOCIAL for no reason other than to SOCIALIZE!)
This friend is fertile. The kind of fertile where she had a 2nd baby much earlier than she would have wanted and it was hard. I can completely see how having a baby when you aren't ready for one can be very difficult. I've been somewhat hesitant to totally get into all my infertility but she does know we have had difficulties. She's been nothing but cool. No stupid advice, no flaunting her fertility, just sympathy and well stated questions.
I have never been jealous of her family or her fertility. I have never not wanted to hold her babies. I have never cringed at the thought of getting together with her.
She's Native just like me: mixed blood, professional, looks white, totally down with Native causes, lives as much of the culture as possible being married to a non-native and living in suburbia.
At lunch I was telling her how this IVF will likely be our last. I was hopeful it would work. I told her what I have been telling other people: That with this IVF I had some tricks up my sleeve and it was costing substantially more but our odds were pretty favorable.
She has a friend who is a bit younger than me (about 36) and has been trying for 2 years. I've met her once or twice over the years.
She is dragging her feet on starting any treatment. Not sure if it's her or her husband who is the dragger. I am pretty upfront about the need to be aggressive. Ditch your OB (who "specializes" in infertility) and RUN to an RE. If you are having trouble at 36 it ain't going to get any easier at 39. I gave my friend my FSH run-down as an example.
As we were leaving she was telling me how she uses me as an example of a success story of infertility. I kept saying that I wasn't. She kept saying, "Yes your are. You had Piccolina and you were late 30's. And you'll probably have another so you are a success story. I tell my friend about you all the time". It was difficult to hear that.
I don't feel successful. Yes, I do have one child but for my next child (if I am so lucky) I am using donor eggs. Using me as an example of a "success" is just like Nancy Grace cryptically telling women in the 40's, "There is hope" but not admitting donor eggs or IVF for that matter. It's the WRONG thing to tell women. It's the opposite of what I want people to get from my experience. I don't want to be the reason someone puts off IVF becasue Peeveme got pregnant at 38. It feels fraudulent to be called a "success" without an *.
And so I told her. I told her not to tell her friend that I'm a success becasue it sends the wrong message. It says you can wait and still have a baby. I told her the only reason I have confidence that I will be successful is becasue I'm using donor eggs. I was not telling anyone... not my parents, no friends, not my in-laws, nobody. I should not be used as a success story. If anything, I am a cautionary tale. I'm not telling anyone because people can be very judgmental and I don't want to compromise the privacy of my children and I'd appreciate if she'd take it to her grave or else I'd put her in an early one (we Indian chicks are tough).
And then she did the craziest thing. She hugged me and whispered, "I would never judge you". And then I cried like a big -fat -girl.
She's the kind of friend who's really hard to be friends with. The kind of friend that all your other friends, husband, co-workers ask why you are friends with her. She's demanding, self-centered, insensitive. But she's also super fun and always there when you need someone. She's high maintenance but will be there for you when you need some maintenance yourself. I rarely need maintenance but the one time I did need it she was sooo there and everyone I knew was like, "OK, we see why you are friends with her. She's awesome ". But that was once 5 years ago. And while she really came through for me in a time of need the demands of being her friend can be exhausting and frustrating.
She's the kind of friend who's parents have money and pay for her lifestyle but she plays it off like she has earned everything herself. She had never had to work hard or pay for anything not her house, her breast implants, her IVF's (which she never had to do becasue she got pregnant on her own...twice...but she did not have to stress over how she was going to pay for it of she had to do IVF).
She's the kind of friend who thinks she understands infertility but does not which is even worse than someone who is simply clueless. For a long time she always said she did not want children or that she did but she never wanted to be pregnant AND she wanted to have an egg donor becasue she wants petite-blond children (she's a tall, dark-haired woman). As soon as I started TTC she started TTC only she told everyone that she had been trying for months and months. I had to stop talking to her about infertility because she says really stupid, awful things to me "I have my perfect family now." "I only had sex once that month." "You better hurry up and get pregnant again. Last time I was 4 months ahead of you now I'm way ahead of you" (I think that was intended to be encouraging but ....man....so wrong).
She's the kind of friend who always throws herself a birthday party. These celebrations used to be a girls-out-of-town weekend. Wild, drunken, boy chasing weekends. At 33 years old I was way beyond that stage (I'm not sure I was ever at the stage but I'm petty sure at 33 it's a little...pathetic) Of course we had to cough-up hotel, dinner, drinks, and a gift. Now that we are all married she does a dinner out. And of course, we cough up for dinner (plus pay for her and her DH) and bring a gift. But she's the first one in line to celebrate your birthday or attend any type of function (baptism, birthday, shower ect) with a gift, a card and balloons!
Back when we were both engaged to be married we went looking for wedding venues. I took her to the place I thought was beautiful and prefaced it with, "I have always wanted to get married here". Of course, I could not afford such an extravagant place. As we were standing in the hall she proclaimed it to be "perfect" for her, called her parents and booked it. When a mutual friend said to her, "Isn't that where Peevme wanted to get married" she said "She could never afford it so why should it go to waste?"
About getting engaged: She was not even talking about marriage with her boyfriend. Mr. Peeveme and I were planning a marriage but not officially engaged because he needed to save money for a ring. She suddenly, out of nowhere, got engaged. Guess what? Her parents paid for the ring.
I'm career. She's a stay at home (subsidized by her parents). My Dh travels for work. The step-mom gig takes up so much energy and adds so much stress. Since April I have been through 2 failed IVFs. I have an upcoming Donor cycle. The financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual stress of which can't be comprehended by anyone not going through it. Mr. Peeveme lost his job. He stops getting paid this month. He has had ONE interview after sending out 2 dozen resumes. If he does get this job he will be on the road much more than he is now.
On the weekends I am cleaning my house (no housekeeper), trimming the yard (no gardener), trying to spend some time with the only child I will ever have from my genetics, trying to give equal time to two sets of grandparents who do not live close by.
In a word I am overwhelmed. I'm barely treading water here and I'm worried this is the calm before the storm (I'm either going to get pregnant or not...both scenarios offer their challenges). I don't have the time for her. I don't have the energy for her. I can't stomach it.
Yes, her baby is 3 moths old and I have never seen her. I find taking care of myself more important than sucking it up and visiting. I just can't do it. Don't want to and can't. Equal parts.
Now that I have one-sidedly trashed her that brings us to today's exchange. This interchange has been building up for a few weeks. She called me 3 times over the past two weeks and I did not return them. I should have returned at least one but just can't stomach it. They were going on their twice-a year- vacation to Disneyland. No big deal. So you are going on a vacay. You are always going on a vacay. So last week I get a VM the gist of which is:
Her on VM:
Haven't heard from you in a while. I've been leaving messages. Are you breaking up with me because I have been trying to talk to you for weeks. You haven't even met "Daughter".
Trying to be evasive, I left a message on her Facebook wall. I don't want to talk to her and I don't want talk to her about why I don't want to talk to her.
Me on facebook:
Sorry I've been MIA. Can't tell you how busy I am. Not breaking-up. I promise. You must be exhausted from your trip. Love the pics. At least I get to see you on the Facebook.
Her on facebook:
Listen here, Miss "I just joined FB and already have 173 friends", your dearest friend misses you terribly and would love to see you in person. I understand you are swamped and all, but I'm honestly sad that you haven't even met Daughter yet...she is over 3 months old...can we get something on the calendar please?
I get it that she is hurt but COME ON! Hurt becasue I'm not being there for you in your time of ....happiness? Time of ...perfection? I'm treading water here. Don't see anything getting better for a long time. So I haven't met your daughter. You haven't met my loan for 30K for a donor cycle. I did the shower, I got the gift, I crocheted the blanket.
In her defense I have not spoken to her at length about anything I am going through. Just some vagueness about being overwhelmed and not doing well but that I don't really want to talk about it. It's somewhat useless becasue she doesn't get it. How can someone who's life is comparatively easy "get it" that I'm splitting a the seams?
I'm fragile. I'm going to be ok. I know I will be ok no matter how this ends up but right not I'm fragile. I'm agitated. You exacerbate my ill being. You are clueless and incautious. I don't have the patience to explain it to you. I barely have the patience to get through a normal day.
I'm an open wound. You are salt.
How do it say that without being ...you know....strident?
I haven't even given her the chance to be there for me but I don't want her to be there for me. I want her to understand why I can't be there for her without me having to explain it all the time. I'm indignant that she's indignant that I have not met her daughter. And yet, I feel like I'm being a bad friend for not doing this one little thing for her. I'm so raw I can't even calmly, rationally explain why I am MIA.
So while I feel like she should be giving me compassion how can she if I can't even tell her what's up with me? But shouldn't she know? Or do I need to explain it? Is it easier to just cave in? Carve out some non-existent free time to ooo and ahh over her daughter, home, vacation photos? Preserve some friendship for when I am not so overwhelmed?
The crux of the issue is my friend is hurt by my not visiting her and seeing her new daughter and new home. I don't want to given how life has been kicking me in the gut and the nature of her high maintenance-ness. But I have not explained that to her. Even if I did I'm not sure she'd understand. It's a compassion impasse.
If I were rational I'd dissect my choices:
1) Give compassion. See her, hold baby. Preserve friendship.
2) Ask for it. Find a way to explain what I am going through. Chance she want get it.
3) Break up. Loose a dear, old friend over a temporary situation.
4) Break up. Rid myself of a long-time pain.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Nadine: Yea, it's the only thing I can take.
Me: You can take regular T.ylenol.
Nadine: Yea, but you have to less.
Me: No, you can take as much as the label says...probably more.
Nadine: Really, somebody told me you had to take less.
Me: Well, if your Dr. told you that then you should listen but why Baby T.ylenol? Why not just less adult T.ylenol?
Nadine: Oh, my Dr. didn't tell me that. I don't remember who did but they said you had to take less.
Me: Well, I'm sure you can take it full dose. You might want to double check the things people tell you with your Dr. or at least Dr. Google.
I still have no idea why she was taking baby T.ylenol.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Nadine: But I'm feeling this pinch, and then a pull, and then a twist and then it goes away.
Me: Actually, I'm certain fetal movement can't be felt at 9 weeks. Not even close.
Nadine: But I feel like something is pinching, then pulling, then twisting then letting....
Me: ...I'm pretty sure a 9 week old fetus lacks definable fingers let alone has the muscle control to pinch. (not looking up from my computer)
Nadine: It happens a lot. Like someone is pinching, then pulling, then twisting then letting go. Then pinching, pulling, twisting then it goes away. Right over here (pointing a bit above her hip bone)
Me: Go google "round ligament pain". (Thankfully, she goes away for 2 minuets)
Nadine: Oh, I guess that makes more sense. But it's just this pulling and pinching and twisting......
In other news I just re-ordered my BCP's because I need to be on them for 12 more days and I only have 5 left. Given my horrible reaction to the pill this might be considered bad news BUT it also means that the donor got her period (what is it with fertile people having NO idea about their cycle?) I ordered both her and my meds for a total of $2,400. For my other IVF's with my eggs I spent a bit over 6K for meds.
I know we have many other hurdles but starting is a pretty important one. If all goes well the ET will be the week of Nov 10th. I start Lupron next week. Donor scheduled to start stims the week of Oct 20th. It ain't a baby or even a positive pregnancy test but it's something. Something....anything after a whole lot of nothing feels nice.
It even takes the edge off hearing about Nadine's paint swatches for the nursery.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I feel like shit emotionally and physically.
Lets start with the physical. I'm having hot flashes, my eyes feel like they have sand in them (sever dry eye). I'm hungry all the time. I can't fall asleep or stay asleep without a sleep aid. Inexplicably my middle finger hurts.
Ah but the physical is nothing compared to the emotional/psychological.
Anxiety, edginess, tension, anger, hopelessness. And that's on a good day. Bouts of despair can instantly turn into violent rage. I'm not kidding about the violent thing. I' having a hard time not throwing things at people or challenging strangers to fights. Again, not kidding. I told Mr. Peeveme to keep some cash handy for my bail because I am likely to be involved in some kind of road rage incident that will undoubtedly be viewable on youtube. More than once I have found myself trying to make eye contact with some offender to my vehicular sensibilities. They, wisely, do not return my glare somehow sensing their proximity to a profanity laced invitation to settle this like men or menopausal women which, I have come to find out are MUCH more hostile, dangerous and unpredictable. As it is, I am left to flip-off these cowardly, commuting transgressors. Oh, mystery solved!
I imagine if John Malkovich went on the pill he'd sound a lot like me. I can't get through a conversation, nay a sentence, without the aid of the f-word. It very handy that it can be used as a verb, adjective, adverb, and noun. To be fare, I was not most delicate or ladylike orator to begin with but I have raised my game from merely course and irreverent to downright vulgar and abusive.
And I have a few more weeks of this.
My saving grace is that Piccolina lacks the manual dexterity to raise her middle finger. However, as substitute she is pointing at other cars. And we all know how I feel about that.
Monday, September 29, 2008
It got me thinking about the pull if feel between privacy and using my experience to broaden understanding of infertility. While I don't think celebrities are obligated to tell I HATE that it that they don't. It has a negative effect on women because they think they can wait. They think science has not only extended but defeated the biological clock. Additionally, those of us who have trouble conceiving (at any age) are bombarded with these "outliers" as proof that we could...no....should be able to do the same. If I had a nickle for everyone who told me, "look at so and so...they had twins at 40", I could have afforded a few more tries at IVF with my own eggs.
Now I will be one of them (hopefully) and have babies at 40-ish after a few failed IVF's. I'll just let people think that eventually IVF works for everyone. I realize that I will be contributing to what I HATE...I will be part of the problem. I can live with that because I don't want my personal mission to use my experience to build empathy in the world (or my little-infertile corner of it) to overshadow my children's need for normalcy and privacy.
I'm not publicly disclosing that I did DE not because I am ashamed but because I think my future children deserve some privacy...I will tell them and they can decide who/if they tell. I probably know people who have convinced from donor sperm/eggs. I just don't know it. And why should I? It's none of my business. However, if I had known it might have made my decision to do DE easier. Even now I feel alone with my decision which makes me feel the slightest bit unsure. I wish I knew other women IRL who have done/are doing this. This may sound shallow but I felt a-lot better about doing DE when I came to the realization that all those Hollywood actresses probably did it.
Knowing of other families who used third-party reproduction makes me feel less alone. Less of a failure. Like we will be just as ligitimate as other families.
Going public would open up my children and our family to a lot of disapproval. IVF seems to be generally accepted (if misunderstood) but I am learning that third-party rerpoduction is look on, at best, as an unfortunate and pitiable extreme and at worst some Frankenstein-violation of nautre, God and my marital vows.
I understand why Hollywood actresses don't tell. I'm not telling either. Not my mom, dad, in-laws, friends, priest, community, co-workers, brothers. I have 2 IRL friends who know, my two sisters, and I guess I will have to tell my OB/GYN. I think that might be it for a while. (Other than you, my dear internets.)
If I know someone who is struggling with infertility I will tell them so they know the facts....not naively believing some fantasy. I don't want other people to feel alone like I do. I wish I knew someone who had done it. Who understood. Who I wouldn't feel judged by. Someone who would not be prone to describe some other woman as the "real" mother of my children. Someone who would not make them feel like a lesser part of the family than Piccolina.
So while am a transparent person, no secrets, no lies, I will have a secret and will lie if I have to. While I live to clear up erroneous assumptions and set folks straight on all things infertility I will have to simmer down, bite my tongue and let people assume that I am the genetic mother of my children. I can't see doing it any other way and still protect my family.
I'm not even pregnant. They don't even exist yet but I am fiercely protective. Hmm Just like a "real" mom.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Keep in mind that she is about 7 weeks pregnant and is not suffering from any morning sickness. Um, yea.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Man to I have a lot of stuff! I walk into my closet and it's FULL to the rafters with neatly folded and stored maternity clothes waiting to be worn. I walk into my garage and it's full of retired baby stuff that was lovingly stored with the expectation that it would be used in the not-so-distant-future. Piccolina's closet is also full of itty-bitty clothes just waiting to adorn a sibling.
When I bought, used, cleaned and stored this stuff I didn't know that getting #2 would be even harder (and take almost as long) as getting number 1. I just trusted that if I did it once I could do it again. But I couldn't. I couldn't do it again. And boy did I try. 18 months, 1 m/c, 4 high-dose injects/iui, 2 IVFs on max meds and nothing to show for it but a whiped-out savings account and lots of waiting "stuff". Impossibly-small baby shoes, bella-bands, my beautiful maternity coat from Pea in the Pod (a splurge!), some of the cutest sun dresses I have ever seen (maternity or not), the life-saving baby swing, beautiful baby clothes that she barley wore because she grew so incredibly fast, my breast pump. I want to unzip them from their hiding places and greet each one like a long lost friend. But I'm too busy to spend the time and probably too emotionally fragile to risk instigating a crying jag. I remember them all so well and wish to revisit life with this stuff in use instead of cluttering up the corners of my home and the corners of my memory.
Sometimes I want to purge them. Clean house, face facts, move on and reclaim my closet, garage, life. As if the act of "Spring Cleaning" would give me a fresh perspective, free me from this unrelenting desire have a baby, magically make me grateful for what I do have instead of always being in the state of "wanting".
The wanting is constant. The wanting makes me jealous, makes me small, cold, narrow, resentful. The wanting makes me empty.
My closets are full. I am empty. It's the exact opposite of the type of person I want to be: a thoughtful, open, warm, grateful person who lives each day with meaning. Instead I have materialism.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I just found a few bloggers on facebook. Yea. I love the facebook. If anyone else is on facebook let me know so we can be friends.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We all have "those people" whose pregnancies bother us. It could be a competitive SIL, that pesky friend who "only had sex once that month", that coworker who just peed on a stick yesterday and it telling everyone. With my new-found equanimity regarding other peoples fertility I am less and less bothered by "those people".
As the title of this posts suggests I find myself dealing with a very familiar infertile scenario. In trying to be more reflective and less reactive I am marveling at the evolution of what sets me off and how I deal with it.
This co-worker is relatively young...not 19 young...she's married, early 20's...is responsible and intelligent...this is not the type of pregnancy where it is more of a tragedy than a celebratory occasion. They are a nice married couple who tried to get pregnant and viola...they got pregnant. Truly a joyous event for them. Let's call her Nadine.
I guess it's not WHO gets pregnant but HOW they are pregnant that peeves me.
Off the top of my head Nadine::
1) Has never expressed an interest in children. In fact, goes out of her way to tell people they are not sure they even want children.
2) "I just went of the pill in July."
3) Peed on a stick on Sunday...started telling people on Monday.
4) Often talks about pregnancy, plans for maternity leave, decorating nursery.
5) Often complains about her symptoms and discomforts/anticipated discomforts
5) Is convinced she's having twins because "it runs is the family" (OK, j-lo, whatever)
6) Is only 6 weeks pregnant and is demanding an u/s
I should say that nothing is out of order or over the top....it's just really grating. So confident, so optimistic, so un-cautious. Of course, that is perfectly normal for someone in her situation. It's just not how I experience TTC and pregnancy. It's just not how I would act.
The other women in the office are older. I have had a baby recently so early-on I became Nadine's confidant. She told me the same week IVF #2 failed so yes, she is as pregnant as I would have been if IVF #2 had been a success. This was all happening while I was sorting though trying to find a donor-loosing donor #1-waiting to hear from donor #2 so timing was bad.
I had three options:
1) Suck it up and listen even though it's killing me.
Pros: I don't have to have an uncomfortable conversation in which I might look small and petty. Unless, you have been there you can't understand. Nadine ain't going to understand no matter how diplomatic I am.
Cons: Have to listen to Nadine. Risk crying at work.
2)Be honest and tell her I can't listen because of all my issues.
Pros: Don't have to listen. Take care of myself.
Cons: May be perceived as small and petty. Risk crying at work.
3) The rarely thought of option in which I become so obnoxious with my advice and opinions that she never wants to talk to me again!
Pros: Fun and solves the problem. No risk of crying at work as I amuse myself.
Cons: Are there any?
Whichever did I choose? Well, none because someone beat me to the punch.
One of my co-workers knows all of my struggles. She had a still-born labor and delivery about 30 years ago. She totally "gets-it". Let's call her "Mary".
So I was telling Mary it was hard for me. She was very kind and philosophical. In an effort to be helpful she told Nadine. Geeze. So all of the sudden Nadine stops taking to me. I suspected that Mary tried to do me a favor. I'm not happy with that. It's my business and my responsibility and nobody else's. I asked another co-worker (Lisa, our boss) who confirmed my suspicions.
I could be mad but I'm going to just roll with it. There are days when I am happy to talk to Nadine about all things pregnancy. There are days I don't want to hear it. If I should clam up I think she'll get the hint that today is not a good day. Plus, I still get to needle her with all my advice and opinions.
I'm feeling really optimistic that I will have some good news to share about 6 weeks from now. Perhaps hope is the true source of my newly acquired sanguine disposition.
My STD tests- check (and I passed BTW)
Sign medical release form to go from my OB to clinic - check!
Meet with DR. Clinic - check!
Meet with Donor coordinator- check! (and we are now BFF's)
Signed muchos forms - check!
Paid- $3,500 - check!
applied and got $25,000 line of credit from Capitol one - check!
Mr. Peeveme must sign all docs and get them notarized- not yet!
Just waiting for Donor to get her period. Then we both start BCP. I cheated a bit. I really can't take BCP. I go coo coo crazy. Not a little hormonal but true rage on the verge of violence. No kidding. It's like watching a movie of a crazy person. I know I'm being unreasonable but I don't care. Plus the other physical symptoms (most notably sever dry-eye to the point of not being able to drive, read etc) are debilitating. I need to limit the amount of time I am on them. I was supposed to get AF this week. But I continued my progesterone support so I could extend my luteal phase. My Dr. said it was fine. Other wise I might be on BCP for an extra week. Once she gets AF I go off progesterone and go on the BCP on CD2.
So it's been a whirlwind of activity and now I wait. We could be doing ER/ET towards the end of Oct. If all goes well. I think this is the calm before the storm of Donor -cycle #1.
Now for the stats. Dr. Clinic said that when 2 blasts are transferred they have 70-80% success rates. However, half of those are twins. If we felt strongly that we did not want twins we could opt for a single transfer. Those rates are about 40% success. He said that 2/3 of the time there are embryos to freeze.
Music to my ears.
In the "not music to my ears" category, I have day 2 of week 2 of the Push-Up Challenge tonight. Actually, I feel pretty good. Not experiencing too much soreness. In fact, I have so little soreness I am worried I am not working hard enough. It's amazing how much strength I have gained in just a 2 weeks.
Also, I am getting confirmed. You know, as in the Catholic Church sacrament? Yea, that. I never got confirmed. When I was a teenager they kept raising the number of years you had to go to the classes. My mom got fed-up and pulled us out. So in addition to all my pre-DE running around I have also obtained my Baptismal Certificate and met with the Deacon.
I have always felt like it was a loose end so I'm wrapping it up. I don't feel some urgent, faith-based need. Perhaps I shall feel more spiritual about it as I go. However, I don't think it's a coincidence that my sudden need to wrap this up just happens to coincide with a really hard year for me and my being on the verge of a DE cycle (Which the Catholic Church is against...I imagine I will have more to say about that later)
There are 10 classes-2 hours each. That seems like a lot to me. Not sure I will be able to attend them all. I work, have a toddler, and my DH travels so we'll see if they kick me out for excessive absences.
Also, sorry for my lack of commenting. I am trying to step up my game at work so my time for commenting is limited since I am actually, you know, working at work.