Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What goes 'round comes 'round

My 20-year high school reunion is this Saturday. I know I sound like a dork but I'm looking forward to it. I'm actually looking forward to seeing people, catching up with what they are doing and where they have been. I sometimes find myself ruminating on past-perceived wrongs, imagined (or real slights), scores to settle but that just sounds like a stupid way to spend my time that evening. I think we all have "baggage" from our teenage years. Who knows, maybe I am the cause of someone else's angst-ridden memories. It's hard to know, especially when you are 17, that your words and actions will affect other people. I'm still working on that as an adult. We all have such power to affect the day, self-perception, mood of others. In little ways and big. Both good and bad.

My plan is to cut people slack for who they were 20 years ago. Goodness know I'm different. I think we all deserve to be (and want to be) recognized for who we are...not pigeon-holed as the clueless 17-year-old we were. We get to evolve.

The thing I dread is the whole, "how many children do you have?" question. And for goodness sake please DO NOT have an award for the person with the most kids. And if they do I will demand additional categories such as: most miscarriages, most IVF's, lowest morphology, any other suggestion?

I have been looking through my high school year book. I know: dork!. Anyhow, I am struck by how pretty and handsome everyone is, fluffy bangs and min-mullets notwithstanding. Even the girls that were not considered pretty....I find them beautiful. The nerdy guys actually look cute. Is it that look of hope and optimism in their young eyes? Face not scared with disappointment? Youthful exuberance? Airbrushing of acne? Why didn't I see it then?

What am I wearing you ask? For this occasion I went for: hot. I am usually somewhat conservative in my dress. Rarely do anything low or high cut. Nothing tight. But I figure I want full credit for keeping my rig somewhat together after 20 years. So I went with a mini-dress and crazy-platform heals. I will be uncomfortable all night. Not that it's physically uncomfortable but I'm not used to dressing so flashy. Strange, I have spent the last 20 years getting a PH.D, building a career, being a community activist. You know, being respectable. But to look at me at my reunion you'd think my occupation of choice was: stripper.

Part of my baggage was that I was a late bloomer. I was always "cute". I was the kind of girl that all the younger guys liked (which drove my younger sister crazy)....not so much the guys in my own class. I had what is now called "frienemies" back then who routinely put me down based on my looks or intellect. Who knows why I put up with it. Who know why they did it. So I guess my wardrobe choice makes sense (as does the Ph.D.) I should probably thank them for being so mean to me. I'm sure they had/have no idea how much their words have affected me.

My point is: I usually go for a more classic, chic look. Saturday I will be mid-crazy Britney. Not bat-crazy, shaved-head Britney. I mean the crotch baring, Paris-befriending Britney. Say what you want she did look pretty hot back then only I will be wearing underpants.

And what's really fun is that I will get to shoot-up my IVF drugs at my reunion. It's one thing to do it in a public bathroom where you don't know anyone. It's another thing entirely to do it in front of people you are trying to impress and convince how great your life is. Ah...good times indeed.

While I'm hoping lots of people come there is one person I know who will not be there. Dave was my best friend in High School. In fact, Dave, Meg and I were three peas in a pod. Inseparable. I think other people envied our friendship. Once we hung out with Mark C. At the end of the day he actually thanked us for letting him be part of our group. He'd always thought it would be fun. I remember thinking at the time that even though we would drift apart as we grew up I knew that I was having one of the best friendships I would ever have.

He and I kept in loose touch over the years. He had called in November 2000 to reconnect. We promised to get together soon. Maybe after the Holidays. Dave died in a car crash a few weeks later.

Here is a portion of what Dave wrote to me in my high school year book:

What can I say to you? You've been so special to me. I've never had a friendship like yours. If I had I would know what to say wouldn't I? I think back to all the times we had......I hope we have many more moments together. A friendship like yours is once-in-a-lifetime. I guess this sounds a little melodramatic but if I never have a friendship like yours again, I will die content knowing that you were my friend. (Sorry, a little morbid). Please take care...don't forget me!!! With all my love to my favorite person in the world, Dave.

I made a astonishing difference in his life and he in mine. It's a reminder of the power I have over others. One that I may not always use wisely. It's a reminder of the power other people have over me if I let them.

I'll be sure to give a nice write-up if anything interesting or funny happens.

Also, Stim-day 8 check-up tomorrow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stim day 5 (after 4 days of stims)

I think things are going well if a little slow. Stay on same meds. Come back on Thursday. AM= 300 Conal-f. PM = 150 Gonal-f/ 2 menopur

e2= 38 (pretty low but follies are all small so it's probably ok)

This IVF (Last IVF)

Right 5 (3)

#1 7.9 (7.8)
#2 7.3 (6.8)
#3 6.7 (5.5)
#4 5.4
#5 5.1

Left 5 (6)

#1 8.2 (5.8)
#2 6.8 (5.5)
#3 6.3 (4.6)
#4 5.8 (4.2)
#5 5.5 (3.8)

I'm happy hey are all around the same size. Growing slowly. Looks like I will stim for longer than 10 days again. Need to order more meds. If we can keep all these I'll be thrilled.

Compared to last time they seem to be more similar in size. Last time I have four in the front running. The others never caught up. So this seem like it might be better.

Next u/s e2 Thursday Stim day 8.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Get my Freak off.

I sure had myself major freak-out huh? Well that's grumpy, intense and tenacious up close and personal.

Successful remains to be seen. But I certainly was chic.

On the day that my Freak-out reached it's fevered pitch I wore: Black linen slacks(always a good choice), a pink button-down short-sleeved shirt and a lovely pair of pink, pointy toe pumps with an ankle strap.

For my Freak-out 'do I took inspiration from Pussycat Dolls Present: Girliciouse having caught about 5 minuets of it the night before.

Anyone who is even a casual watcher of the reality-show will note that after the makeovers the girls have one of two possible hairstyles.

'Do A: long and straight with heavy bangs. Bangs must cover the eyebrows but leave the false lashes (with the glitter base) viewable.

'Do B: The faux-hawk. Pull-hair back at the top (where bangs would go). Pin them so they have a bit of height. Sides of hair get brushed back. Back of hair is teased and left down.

It's like Robin Antin just flips a coin or something, "Heads=bangs for Chrystina. Tails=Fauxhawk for Charyle. Heads= bangs for Tiffanie".

I did 'do B but I put the rest of my hair a high pony tail. While sobbing uncontrollably it's good not have hair stuck to your face. Cuz hair pasted to the face is unprofessional.

I would like to take this opportunity to public thank Robin Antin for keeping Lil' Kim gainfully employed. I do find it strange that, compared to the 18-year olds you have just made-over, Lil' Kim is the most conservatively-dressed person at the Pussycat Lounge.

No work today. It's office moving day! So in the midst of my freak-out I was actually packing up my office. Such a multi-tasker. Monday I get to unpack then it's off to a field trip to P*er One Imp*rts to pick up a runner or two, a lamp, wall art. I need a few things to spuce up the trailer.

Now that I'm in the cycle I going to make the best of it. Once I commit I really commit. The clinic has called me no less than 3 times today. I appreciate the effort. I really do but I wish they had had that level of conscientiousness with out my freaking out. I'm not someone who relishes getting people in trouble or sticking it to people. I take no glee in the fact that they feel they have to treat me with special care. In fact, I am down right embarrassed. But I'm in it now and happy with my decision.

Have a massage scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Fat pants are clean and ironed. This is a bit overly optimistic. I did not get any bloating at all during my last IVF. But a girl can hope.

Monday is the first u/s and e2.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yes, I am a lunatic and need to calm down. But I think out loud and these are my thoughts. Plus a patheticlly-sobbing letter to my future self.

The Dr. called. I expected a bit more ass-kissing. She was somewhat defensive and I was doing my best to not be offensive. Seriously, I know I sound all crass and confident but I actually do have a very hard time standing up for myself in situations that involve conflict. She did apologize but more in a "sorry you feel that way manner". Not truly sorry. I should know. I'm the QUEEN of the "sorry you feel that way" non-apology. (On my list of things to change. I fact, done. I will no longer do that. I will own my stuff.)

She sounded so tired and stressed herself. She said she had 12 patients to call after me. All the more reason why I dislike this clinic.

She kept approaching it medically. I finally said, "If I had this conversation even 5 hours ago I would be fine. The fact is that somewhere in the past day this has gone from a medical question to an emotional and business-practice one."

Her stance is that I have two options: 1) cycle 2) cancel and start again next month. No Duh. I also have a third which is find another clinic. All of those options make me cry.

She does not think the antral count is a problem (that info would have been...helpful oh say ....7 hours ago). Does not think starting meds at 6pm on CD 3 makes any difference at all. I disagree but I don't have an MD so I have to give her the benefit of the doubt (at what point do I gave them the unbenefit of the doubt?)

The option that makes me cry the least is option 1. I hate making decisions based on emotions. I'm tougher than that. I'm more logical than that. At the same time my boss (I know, how embarrassing. It was clear that something was wrong and she wanted to know what's going on so I just let her know...she's a former infertile.) Anyhow, my boss said that I have to cut myself some slack. I should do what I can live with. I don't always have to be so logical.

However, on the logical side, the Dr. does not think that the things I'm concerned about (low antral/late meds)make any difference. If I take that at face value then my emotionally-based decision is also the logically-based decision. So option 2 seems unnecessary. Damn you Ph.D and my carefully studied skill of reasoning. I do have a statistics background and you know what that means? I can make data say anything I want it to say.

Options 3: find another clinic. Who says it will be better anywhere else? Who says the 3-4 month's it takes to get going with another clinic wont hurt my chances more than just cycling now while my eggs are 3-4 months younger?

My goal is to get pregnant as soon as possible. The other options just feel like I'm taking a step backwards.

I'm acutely aware that these words may come back to bite me. I sense cringing in my future.

Dear future Peeveme,

Try to remember how these past few days have been. Heck, remember how hard these past 18 months have been: the m/c, the 4 back-to-bask failed iui's, the diminished ovarian reserve diagnosis, the failed IVF, the unrelenting stress of the step-son, the lack of privacy in my own home, Mr. Peeveme's terrible job and all the traveling, the stress of the 3 mortgages plus the huge commercial building that is taking 2 years longer to complete than expected, the new business that is taking 6 months longer to open that expected. I have been so strong and tough, forging ahead with a stiff upper lip the whole time. I didn't even take one day off during the m/c. I just went to work, came home, had a m/c after dinner then went back to work the next morning. (Mr. Peeveme did do the dishes that night...cuz I'm such a slacker)

Today I had to cut myself some slack and do what makes me cry the least. I'm sorry if it was the wrong decision. I'm sorry if this decision cost us having a bio-baby. I'm sorry if present-day me makes future-day-me angry because I made a decision based on weakness and not strength. I own that completely and I am truly sorry.

As you read this try to have compassion for where you are today. How tired you are. How desperate you are. How much you must have wanted this to have made what now looks like a stupid decision (and kinda looks stupid right now as well). Right now you are working on being compassionate to others. As you look back try to have some compassion for yourself, too.

Day one of stims done.

I'd like to say it can only get better but why tempt fate?

What am I supposed to do? Not Rhetorical.

It's now 4pm on CD3 and no call. I was to start meds on CD2. Waited all day for IVF Nurse to call. Say's she'll have RE call me in the morning. I ask if I should start meds. She says to wait for RE.

It's now 4pm and no call. I have left a message with the IVF nurse. Spoken to another IVF nurse.

I feel trapped. They have my money. I already spent a few hundred $ on blood tests, 5K on nonrefundable meds, arranged our schedules for this IVF cycle. I already felt this cycle wasn't going to be very on top of that I am starting meds late for no other reason than they don't care enough about their patients to call them back in a timely manner.

My dentist is more responsive.

I am shocked. I'm shocked, furious and so desperate to cycle I may just let them treat me this way because I am more afraid to not cycle than to cancel.

Even if they call and are all "Everything's fine, you can start meds anytime no CD3. It wont affect your cycle. It's not a problem." I do have a problem. A coupe of problems.

First there are the medical issues. I should have started on CD2. I'm a poor responder. I have not been suppressed. The likelihood of dominate follicles are high. All the reason to start meds EARLY not late.

This is probably is my last chance with my own eggs. All the reason to be especially careful with my treatment. Not careless.

Then there are the business issues. This is not the first time they have done something like this. Left us hanging. Not called us. Caused unnecessary stress and now they have likely caused me to have to cancel this cycle. This being the case I am not sure I want to continue with them for any future cycles. This is unreasonable and shoddy. If it were the first time I'd give them the benefit of the doubt. Actually, I did give them the benefit of the doubt and look where that got me.

I have half the mind to get my money back, demand reimbursement for all the money I have shelled out on blood tests and OPK in preparation for this cycle. And once I get that sue them in small claims court for the cost of my non-refundable drugs.

Either that a lay down and take it because I am so desperate. I'm not sure I have it in me to rest for another 2-3 cycles or however long it will take to find a new RE and get in sync to cycle.

I'm feeling trapped and beaten. When I get like this I will accept anything anyone has to dish out because I'm so tired and scared and overwhelmed.

Thanks, better now..Or I was until I had another freak out. Subtitled: Whats'a woman gotta do to get a gosh-darned phone-call from this IVF Clinic.?

First, thank you for your support and advice. Had a night to sleep on it and I'm feeling a bit more settled.

IVF Nurse called me at 5:17pm. I was expecting a call much earlier to clear me to start meds that morning (CD2). So when I did get a call all day I was stressed. She calls and is like nothing was out of the norm. Because to her, nothing was out of the norm. She just had a busy day, thought I was starting meds on CD3, everything hunky dory. From her perspective nothing had changed since we talked the day before. For me everything had changed. Instead of getting mad or saying nothing which are my normal responses I said, "Ok, let me tell you where I am right now because my responses aren't going to make any sense to you if you don't have my context." I went into my concerns over the very yow antral count, coupled with the fact that I didn't not receive a call all day lead me to believe I was being canceled. I had had 9 hours to stress out and worry (and google). Now that I know they have no intention of canceling me I was having second thoughts about proceeding in this cycle.

She apologized of not calling me. She didn't know I was expecting to start meds that morning and they don't have antral follicle cut-offs. She explained that there were many reasons why my count could be low, she's seen many cycles where people had few astrals and stimmed just fine.

She took a lot of time with me and addressed my concerns as best she could. She also said she didn't want to talk me into going forward if I really didn't want to. She actually struck a very good balance between being reassuring and not trying to persuade me to do something I felt wasn't right.

We left it the a Dr. (My Dr is on vacay) but some Dr. would call me in the morning to talk about it.

It's now 11:45 and still NO CALL! This clinic is PISSING me off with their not calling shit. I'm not setting up a dental appointment here. Not much I can do to force them to call me. Gotta just breath that one out. As each 1/2 hours passes I am getting closer and closer to blowing up and the next person to call me. OK, go to your calm place, Peeveme.

OK so, beyond my fury of not getting calls I did a lot of thinking about cycling or not cycling.

My current thinking is to go ahead. Of course, that was before I spent the past 3 hours waiting for a call. Clam, clam, breath, breath.

1) Given the death spiral my ovaries seems to be on, waiting yet another month seems like a crap-shoot at best.

2) The timing of the antral follicle count may have been the reason for the low count. Usually, antral follicles have the time between ovulation and AF to develop. Normally that's about 14 days plus the first 2-3 days of AF before the baseline scan. Since my LP was a scant 9 days my follicles had 5 fewer days to develop. So they may be there but are a few days behind due to my short LP.

3) Even though I have little hope for the cycle I have to give my eggs another try. I can justify this all I want with sudo-scientific reasoning. But in reality this is an emotional decision. I need to know my eggs are DONE before I can move on to DE. I do not think 1 IVF is giving my eggs a good enough chance. Is my piece of mind worth 15K to me? I think it is.

4) If this cycle really sucks we'll cancel and I'll get most of my money back. So that mitigates the down-side of moving forward with a cycle I don't have much hope for.

Things I learned about myself.

1) I have a need to do take some control in a crisis. That's a very good quality in some circumstances. When it's an emotional crisis it's not so great.

2) I have a lot more work to do before I can move onto DE. That call was really hard to make. I'm glad I made it and started the process. I got a few more photos of the donor. I should know her availability soon. I have a good picture of what it will take financially. I'm really going to have to meet with a professional who has experience in infertility and third-party reproduction.

So that's where I am. I have decided to move forward but now I stressed out because I have not gotten a call form the clinic. Actually, this is a recurring theme with them and frankly I'm getting pissed off. I have been on pins and needled for over 24 hours now waiting to start meds. 24 hours of anguish over should I/Shouldn't I? Now that I have decided I want to move they are not calling me. This morning I was fine. I was clam. I was resolute. Now I'm coming unglued again.

OK I just snapped! I'm so pissed off and I am justified. I loath high maintenance people. I pride myself on being a pleasant patient to deal with, self sufficient, not at all needy. Not overly demanding. Never berating. But it's approaching noon and no call.

I just called the IVF Nurse and in as calm a voice as possible said that I had not received a call from a Dr. I was a patient in crisis. I have been extremely worried for over 24 hours now and was at the end of my rope. Yesterday I was not sure I wanted to proceed with the cycle because of my low antral count. I had decided I did want to proceed but now I wanted to quit this cycle and possibly the clinic because of the lack of attention. This was not the first time I have been left hanging . This is not the first time I have been in crisis and have not received the attention I needed. (Hello false-positive Hep B scare...which was YOUR labs faulty). It was unacceptable this lack of calling me back. As a poor responder prone to dominant follicles I know how important the recruitment phase is for me. Starting meds half way through CD3 was not good especially considering I had such a low antral count.

Damn it. Once again I got myself to a good place by processing, reflecting, calming down and it's shot to hell because my clinic does not CALL ME EVEN WHEN I AM IN CRISIS. AM I being unreasonable? I'n trying very hard to "own" want's mine but I'm thinking this is them. Do I sound crazy? I'm open to that possibility. I'm trying to give them every benefit of the doubt but this seems to happen with them all the time .

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trying not to freak out...loosing the battle

With tears steaming down my face I made a call to the donor egg bank. If I were reading about someone with an antral follicle count of 3 I'd be shaking my head thinking they should give up on their eggs and save their money for DE.

It's 3:30 and my clinic has not called me. This is not a good sign. Even of they let me cycle wouldn't it be crazy to cycle with 3 antrals?

I just bought 5K worth of non-refundable meds.

If we do DE and the one donor I can accept works out I'm looking at over 30K. The egg bank charges $7500...just for them. This does not include the donor's compensation (7K) and all the cycle charges (12-16K), and travel/accommodations (1-2K), and a lawyer to write up a contract (1K). My DE requirements are so specific. I can't imagine the smaller-local pool of donors my clinic has would fit the bill for me.

This is of huge consequence.

I think I should cancel. But at the back of my head is a glimmer of hope. Maybe it was their crappy u/s machine that can't see antrals? Maybe I had 3 antrals last time too so going ahead with 3 this time isn't a problem. Maybe estrogen priming shrinks your antrals. I know I'm kidding myself. If they'd just call and let me know so I can stop worrying about what's going to happen and just deal with what has happened.

I'm at work and can't stop sobbing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Super weekend...sucky week so far

I had a super -cool weekend where I did actual social stuff and had actual fun. I think it was fun. It's been so long since I did anything during a weekend other than scrub toilets and iron so my assessment of "fun" is more academic than visceral. Let's see, there was mirth and amusement, playfulness, enjoyment and drinking. That's pretty-much the text-book definition of fun (I threw in my own little personalized twist at the end there). And after an unprecedented fun-weekend I land straight into a crappy week. I'm toying with the idea that my week only seems crappy in comparison to all the fun. Like, I've been smart to not have fun on the weekends because I would not notice the work-week sucking so much by comparison. I mean, there is not much of a fun-differential between toilet scrubbing and working on a tedious data query. My weekend-to-work-week fun ratio was pretty much 1 (On a scale of 1-10, 10 being fun, if my weekend is a 2 and the work week is a 2....2/2 ratio = 1). So if I were to ratchet up that weekend fun to, say a 9, it would throw my whole ratio off. Now, I know for a fact that my weekend was fun. But does my week suck? Or is it just sucky in comparison to the weekend? After much thought and a few statistical models (including nonparametric models, of course!) I conclude that my week is somewhat sucky. Not world-shaking sucky....just hurt feelings sucky with a dollop of infertility stress and hormonal imbalance.

Saturday: After speeding through some housework Me. Peeveme, Piccolina and I drove out to San Francisco so I could meet up with some awesome women at BlogHer. Mr. Peeveme spent his time with Piccolina playing in Union Square. I met Mel, Lori, Pamela Jeanne, Luna, Dramalish, Millie. I also found some wonderful women who I don't currently read but I will now.

I rushed into the room about 15 mins after the panel started. Bridge traffic in the Bay Area is always trouble. I did not have a ticket so I had to sneak in. Now, I hate doing things by breaking the rules. I am a team player. I am a rule follower. The registration shut down before I knew about BlogHer so I had no way to pay. I would have gladly written them a check....hey...I'd have given someone a hand job...I'd rather do this on the up-and-up but since that was not an option I was getting in somehow or another. Turns out my anxiety was unwarranted.

After the panel I introduced myself around. Everyone was warm, and interesting and interested. I picked up some IVF clinic tips from Millie (Man, that women knows her stuff), swapped Nurse Good News stories with Dramalish, got to bask in the good-vibe of Luna, Pamela Jeanne said she'd check out my bog (really Pamela bog...I'm not worthy), nervously chatted with Mel, told her I got my Round-up assignment done, met her handsome husband, and told the famous Lori my elaborate cover-story for sneaking into BlogHer which, sadly, I did not get to use due to the very poor security procedures (were there any?). I walked right in unbadged. I don't need no stinkin badge!

After kissing our goodbyes and promises of keeping in touch, I met up with Mr. Peeveme and Piccolina who had much fun walking up and down the steps of Union Square. Actually, she would have had fun anywhere with stairs. We did not have to drive an hour out of our way for that. But it sounds much cooler to say we went to Union Square than say, Union City. No offense to Union City. Union City is lovely and has far fewer bag ladies than Union Square. No offense to Bag Ladies. We then sped off to go to my parent's house in the North Bay. My little brother and his wife were there. The had some friends visiting from Germany. We hung out eating, drinking and having fun conversations (much sanitized due to our guests...I can tell a story without being crass..I know hard to believe). Before leaving I made sure to short-sheet my brother's bed. I did say there was mirth involved didn't I?

Sunday: Everyone slept late (by late I mean 7:45). I did some obligatory house work and grocery shopping all the time hanging out with Piccolina. We took a nice walk together up a hill near where we live.

She insists on that hat all the time. Even when it's warm

I had my iph*ne so I took some pictures and listened to music. I've rediscovered music. I forgot how much music transforms one's mood, reminds me of old times, lifts my spirits. I'm so happy I have this thing. What a difference a week makes. Two weeks ago I was ready to throw it away. Now it brings me joy.

At about 4:30 I loaded up the stroller with a blanket, some snacks, and some warm sweaters to take Francesca to the park for a free summer concert. We found ourselves a nice spot and had an absolute blast together.

Lots of people with picnics. Friends and neighbors chatting. Community.

Piccolina danced.

I used my iph*one camera some more.

Sorry, photo has been redacted.

Kid-mosh pit

Then we walked home up the big hill as the fog rolled in.

Just a nice weekend. I realize other people live like this all the time. Not us. leisure and amusement are special occasions lately.

And then it was Monday.

You know what? After writing all that I don't feel like complaining. There are some things at work that are bothering me but it doesn't seem like a big deal anymore. In a few days I will able to write about some of them in a humorous way rather than a grumpy, intense way. I'm choosing not to stress-out over things that are of little to no consequence or out of my control. Them's the new rules of Freaking Out.

I'll just update on my IVF stuff.

Got Af way early. Sorry-ass 9 day luteal phase (for the non infertile it should be about 14 days). No big deal. Just more evidence that my eggs are old and of poor quality. But we knew that already. I have my meds (all $4,800 worth). Tomorrow I go in for my baseline ultra sound. If I get the all-clear I start meds tomorrow. I get to shoot-up meds at work in the evening since I am working until 8:30 each night this week.....not complaining just stating a fact.

Since it's somewhat of a tradition to take a picture of all your meds here you go.

That's 4 boxes of Menopure, 3-1050 boxes of Gonal-F, 2-450 boxes of Gonal-F. Plus all the other stuff.

Update after baseline u/s: Now this is something to be upset about. Antral count = 3. Three on the left, none on the right. Not good. In fact, that's down right crappy. Still, can't freak out because I have no control over it. I wonder if the Dr. will want me to skip this cycle. It's not like things will get any better when I'm a month or two older. Might as well ride this thing to the end. But 3 really sucks. And I'm fearful that this IVF wont be any better than the last one.

So I went from thinking this week sucked...talked myself out of it...and then my ovaries talked me right back into sucking.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Learing Curves

I bought an i*hone. It's like my third cell phone ever. I have never had an i*od, never logged into i*unes. My only e-mail account is my work account. I always just used the free cell phone that came with my plan. That phone only had about 20 phone numbers in addresses, e-mails, birthdays. I use paper and pen for addresses, to-do lists, calenders. I play actual CD's (and a few tapes as well).

I have no idea what I am doing. No idea about syncing, playing music, etc. My learning curve will be steep.

Since Saturday I have imported all my CD's, had to type in my contact information THREE times (because I'm an idiot!), and decided to use Out*look for my contacts and calender cuz that's the only program I can get to sync with the phone. (Now I need to learn how to use Outlook). So much to learn.

My 18-year-old tech-geek step-son is useless because he constantly speaks over my head. Like most geeks he lacks the ability to talk to people in a way that is understandable or does not drip with disdain when they have to explain what their lingo means. They take it as some sign of your stupidity...but really, if you can't explain something in simple terms then who is the stupid one I ask you?

I'm so close to giving up on this but I wont cuz I'm not a quitter. I hate feeling stupid. I hate not knowing...I don't even know enough to know what to ask. I now have "cord management" issues. How did I get this behind? If I don't do this now I will never be able to catch up. I'll be some old technophobe. Must push on. Must learn. Must overcome.

While I was in line I noticed there were a-lot of teenagers and I thought, "Where the hell do they get that kind of money?" Including my step-son who hasn't paid us the money he owes us (rent, small car wreck) and yet bought the new phone the day it came out (never mind that his "old" i*pone is only a year old).

I asked the college student behind me in line which phone he was getting. He said the 16GB (vs 8GB). The 16GB is $100 dollars more than the 8GB. When he asked me the same I said I was getting the 16 as well. He was all, "Why do you need the 16? That's like 3000 songs". And I was all, "Why do YOU need the 16. I'm twice your age...that's a lot of music. We're talking Duran Duran and Peter Gabriel all the way to Coldplay". I guarantee I have more music than you.* Plus, I make a good living. I have money. What did you pull-downlast year, Jr.? Yea, I thought so." And all the adults in line snickered and nodded along.

*OK I really stopped talking here *. I did not chide him for being a money-sucking teenage-bum. But I wanted to. The adults still snickered and nodded. Plus, they were going to run out of the 16 right around ME so I figured why not get the big one? I will use this thing forever unlike teenagers who will only have it until the next one comes out. Plus, if I get to screw one of them out of a 16 that would be icing on the icake.

Sorry kid. You should have set your alarm for 9:30 instead of 10. Being old sucks but you do become an early riser and that does have some advantages.

The thing with arrogant teenagers is: Life has a way of humbling you. It does it to us all. If you fuck around you increase your chances of failure. Even of you work-hard and plan-well you might not get your heart's desire. Someday it happens to us all. And we look back at the arrogance of youth and say: just wait.

The key is to not let is kill you. Keeping your drive, spirit, hope and joy for life even after a few hard smack-downs is something not everyone learns to do.

That's one learning curve I'm happy to have behind me.

Oh and BTW College-kid, I already have 5GB on my phone and that's only music I already own. No new music downloads, movies, podcasts yet. I don't know how to yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do me a solid ok?

People, for God's sake, clap on 2 and 4 NOT 1 and 3. You look foolish and you are driving the rest of us crazy. one, TWO, three, FOUR. one, TWO, three, FOUR.

That is all for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dinner Conversation

I have been at a retreat for work since Tuesday. I usually read/comment from work (I know....I'm a horrible person). I have been absent and hope to catch up over the weekend. I did want to post something just to keep in the habit of posting. So here is a little story about the type of dinner conversation we have in my family.

Two weeks a ago I fell while I was walking up some stairs. I got a big rug-burn on my elbow. For the past two weeks I have had to endure questions made in suggestive tones, "How did you do that? Hmmm?." And when my answer was not sexy enough I get the, "Oh, sure you did". It went form "Cute" to "Shut the fuck up" in about 2 days.

This weekend at my parent's house I was telling my sister and her husband this. She started to laugh and asked her Husband if her remembered the rug burns? He laughed back "How could I ever forget?" and proceeded to tell me this story.

Before the story, what you have to know about my father is that he is the kind of man for whom subtlety is completely lost. I had my parents over for dinner last month and when my Dad would say something critical about our parenting or the house or whatever and my Mom would kick him under the table. He'd scream out, "Damn it. Why are you kicking me?". Yea, classy.

The other thing about my Father is that he is a letch. Always ogling the ladies. Young and old. Always making comments about "her big ones" or so and so's camel toe. I know more about my own conception than any child should know.

A long time ago my BIL had rug burns on both his knees. My Day asked him what happened. BIL tried to change the subject. Dad was relentless, would not let it go. Eventually BIL made up that he was moving a dresser just to satisfy my Dad. Keep in mind my Dad had no idea that BIL was trying to change the subject let along WHY he's try to change the subject. So, of course it did not end there. Dad kept at it. " I don't see how that would be possible. That doesn't make sense. How'd you get rug burns on your knees doing that?" Finally, my sister just yelled at him, "We were screwing, ok?". And flashed her own set of rub burns on her elbows. And he was rendered speechless.

This is the man who once ran out into the living-room with my mom's ginormous panties on his head and yelled, "Let's party!" to a room full of people.

This is the man who once said of his dog, "I love him so much. If I was I dog I'd be gay" while my boyfriend of the time looked on in terror.

Payback is a slutty bitch and, apparently, so is my sister.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chicken or the egg?

A woman is born with all the eggs she'll ever have. Ovaries are made when a female fetus is in the the womb. That got me to thinking; half of me was created when my grandmother was pregnant with my mother. When I was pregnant with Piccolina I was not only creating her but also half of the genetic material of my grandchildren.

In this way we are all tied to our grandmothers.

Mothers of daughters have a ties to their grandchildren.

There is a very tangible connection we all have to our female ancestors.

Women have a special connection to each other through the generations.

This universality feels so unique.

Update: Where am I in this IVF Cycle #2?

Just a little technical information about IVF #2.

I am on what is commonly referred to as an "estrogen priming" protocol. Basically, for women with high fsh the dominant follicle starts to get recruited in the lutueal phase of the cycle prior to the IVF(the days between ovulation and menstruation). The theory is that if you add a little estrogen to the luteal phase of the cycle before the IVF you might avoid a dominant follicle developing. Many a IVF cycle has been canceled due to a dominant follicle. My RE says that he sees about 15% of his patients have improvement with this protocol. It's bit of Hail Mary but I'll do it. Cu'z I'm all desperate and stuff.

The Pre-IVF protocol goes like this. I need to use OPK (ovulation predictor sticks) so I can pinpoint ovulation. Six days after ovulation I start taking one estrogen pill a day. On the seventh day I inject one dose of Cetrotide. I guess that helps all the developing follicles stay the same size. If no positive OPK by day 21 I need to take a blood test to see if I ovulated at all. And THAT is where I am. No + OKP by CD20. I never really could get the hang of those things anyhow. If I were on the ball I would have taken my temperature this cycle but I just can't pull it together to do that.

When I get the blood test back I'm sure they will tell me what to do next. Ack. All this waiting. Can I just tell you how much I hate this whole trying to pinpoint ovulation thing? I had forgotten how much that sucks. Now that I have graduated to artificial reproductive technology I thought I was done with this shit. But here I am...back to my rookie days. Holding my urine everyday for hours. Hiding that damn stick in my pants/bra on my way to the bathroom.

At least I'm not having forced sex. I gave up on the "sex=babies" ideas a long time ago. So no pressure there. Mainly I want to ovulate so I can start the countdown to IVF #2, make a calendar and have some idea of when it will all go down.

So that is where I am which is: nowhere. I'm lost in a cycle. Hopefully my RE will call me back and send in the phlebotomist search party.

Monday, July 7, 2008

May I sit next to her please?

Overheard on a plane at 8:00 AM:

Flight Attendant: "What will you have to drink this morning, Sir?"

Passenger #1: "Coffee, black."

Flight Attendant to Passenger #1: "Ok, Sir."

Flight Attendant: "And what will you have to drink?"

Passenger #2: "Can I get an apple juice?"

Flight Attendant to Passenger #2: "Apple juice? Alright."

Flight Attendant: "And M'am. What can I get for you?"

Passenger #3: "A Wild Turkey and a Bud Light."

Flight Attendant in condescending tone: "Afraid of flying are we?".

Passenger #3: "No, I just like drinking".


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here's my point about Stereotypes

Being American Indian and living in a Native way means doing things that are at odds with the dominant culture. For example, direct eye contact is considered rude. But in American culture it's very important to look people in the eye. In order to be able to function in both Native and main-stream society one must be able to flip back and forth between cultural norms.

As a mother I want my daughter to know what is expected in both cultures. She'll pick up American culture eventually. It's everywhere. I need to make an effort with her so that she knows some of the Native norms as well. One thing in particular is pointing. Pointing is considered very rude. Instead of pointing one will either purse their lips in the direction of what they are talking about or use ones entire hand to motion towards something.

As you might have noticed toddlers LOVE to point. It's a large part of how the pre-verbal crowd communicates. It's also the easiest way to "talk" to them. Pointing up at the moon, point to a tree, point to the doggie.

Since it's considered rude in my community I don't want to encourage pointing. So instead of pointing AT things I have been taking my hand, palm-up and motioning my arm in the direction of the item.

Piccolina has been doing this motioning, too. And then I realized....crap...THAT'S where the stereotype came from.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Least you think I'm nice

I think I am giving everyone the wrong impression of me. From my recent posts I seem to be a really nice, thoughtful person. Most people who know me don't describe me that way. How do I know? Because I asked. And I kind-of wish I hadn't.

About a year ago I got one of those e-mail chains. I usually ignore these but I did this one. I used one word to describe the sender of the e-mail I also forwarded the e-mail to a few people I know to see what they would say about me. I guess I was assuming that people would only send positive words. Wrong assumption.

Here are the responses:


Let's dissect:

Grumpy: Ok that was my little brother who is a smart-ass. Oh but isn't it the "fool" who always tell the truth. And BTW, I'm sure everyone who is not high must seem grumpy to you, little Bro. Perhaps I should get stoned. No. Seriously. Pass the bong.

Opinionated: What? You couldn't have said passionate, uncompromising, enthusiastic? Next time try consulting a god-darned thesaurus, Office Mate. and BTW, Look whoe's talking, Kettle.

Intense: My other little brother. Perhaps I'm intense because you ask my opinion 20 times and then go do the exact opposite. Repeating myself into a near-perfect vacuum of common sense makes me intensely eager to get you to listen hence my INTENSITY

Tough: From the same little brother that said intense. I guess one thinly- veiled insult is not enough for you. And yes, compared to you I am big fat girl.

Tenacious: Again, can someone please consult a thesaurus? There are far more complimentary ways to put this. Resolute, steadfast, persistent. I guess tenacious is not so bad but in combination with the other words it takes on the less attractive quality. It's just a girls way of saying intense, opinionated, grumpy.

Chic: Thanks. I like it.

Successful: OK, I like this one too. My friend wanted an word that acknowledged how hard I have worked at things.

And the worst part is that these are all totally accurate! I can't even argue with them.

And the best part is that instead of using this as an opportunity for self-reflection/growth my first reaction is just to bag on the responders. Oh, classic me. Good thing I started a blog so I can get all my bitchiness out anonymously. Now I'm be free to show people my softer side. But between you and me I'm seriously wondering if I have one.

I always thought of myself as a "Crusty on the outside, Squishy on the inside" kind-of gal. I always though the people who knew me...really knew me...could see that. Apparently, I'm pretty crusty inside as well.. But I'm not crusty all the way to the core am I? I'm actually very sensitive and empathetic. But I'm also the kind of person who will tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. I'll tell you to "suck it up" and I'll help you do it after an acceptable amount of wallowing.

I always thought that was being a good friend. But I guess it just comes across as mean. Thin line: Honest/Mean. Well, not for most but it's a thin one for me seeing as how I'm so opinionated, grumpy, and intense.

It was a bit of a wake-up call. If the people I am closest to think I'm mean then what the heck do other people (who I AM actually mean to) think of me?

I do have a manner of being plain- spoken, transparent, shooting from the hip. You'll never wonder where you stand with me but I guess it comes across as more meanness than anything. I need to find a way to be myself but also not step on others.

Compassion has been the buzzword for me lately. Considering the effect of my words...not just making my point. It requires thinking before I speak. It requires considering the emotional aspects of someone's life and not just the logistical ones.

Ten years ago I wanted to be all those things. Tough, intense, tenacious. I needed to be all those things and I was. I could "suck it up" like nobody's business. Those attributes have served me well over the years. But now I'm in another phase of life. I'm a mom. I'm in a leadership position at in my career. I have few friends.

How do I want co-workers to describe me?

How do I want my daughter to describe me?

Maybe I should make my own list of words. The words I want to be.

A linguistic before an after.

I don't want to change who I am...just make some improvements. I don't want to be the same person I was 10 years ago. Not that there was anything wrong with that but I think growth is important.

Here is the hard part...the friend who wrote "successful" sent me a long e-mail explaining how she arrived at that. It was a true gift.

I have not called or e-mail her in months. She's pregnant with her second child and due any day now. He oldest child just turned 2. She's sub-fertile; it took longer than she wanted to conceive but she has has two natural and-closely spaced pregnancies so by my standards she's had is easy. She has no idea about what I'm going through but thinks she knows which is harder to take than someone who is 100% clueless. She just says so many of the wrong things, goes on and on about her pregnancy.

She's just moved into her "dream house" which her parents bought for her. I have no such parental gifts. We are scrapping and saving to pay for yet another IVF. It's hard for me to talk to her right now. Hard to see her with all the things that I want...that I am working my butt off for and she has them handed to her. In a word I am: resentful. I desperately don't want to add that to my list of words.

She's want to share the "happiest time in her life" with me because we are friends and I guess that's what friends do.

Perhaps I need to just "suck it up". If there's one thing I'm good at's that. Plus, it will give me a chance to practice that "compassion" thing I've heard about.