Saturday, December 31, 2005

Where's My Bubbly?

I woke up about 6:40 a.m. and in a half-conscious state, I pulled on a sweat shirt (which ended up being on inside-out; my attempt at "trendy") right over the top of the t-shirt I slept in and traded my flannels for jeans. I slipped on some socks and ran a comb thru my hair without even bothering to look in the mirror. 5 minutes later I slipped out past Jerry sleeping on the couch and into the garage. I had kicked him out very early in the morning for snoring. We just accept that fact that on the average, one of us will end up on the couch by the time the sun comes up. I'm too light of a sleeper, even with ear plugs; and his snoring cannot - and will not - be alleviated.

By 7:00 I was in the lab having my blood drawn for the beta. It's too early for me to do anything but smile politely at the phlebo as she cheerfully sucked my blood into a syringe and deposited it into 3 vials: Progesterone; Estradial; Beta hCG.

When I got back home, it was if I had never left. It was still dark and quiet. No one was awake except for two cats begging to be fed. I crawled back into bed, dressed as I was, and shut my eyes. Within minutes, I heard Max up in his room and I braced myself for the whirlwind of his presence which always starts with him throwing open the bedroom door and asking if it's time to get up. At what age should your kid be able to tell time???

We watched cartoons for a while in bed, just the two of us. Jerry was able to catch a few more zzzz's, but it was time to get moving.

We made breakfast and ate. I started a batch of chili in the crockpot and by the time I noticed the clock, it was already 9:45. The RE's office was supposed to close at 9:30 and I still hadn't heard from them. I called the number expecting the answering service, but actually got the receptionist. Coinicidently enough, the nurse was on the other line getting ready to call me. She picked up the phone, gave me the results and then we wished each other a polite Happy New Year's, and . . . that was that.

It appears by the quiet around me that Blogtopia has taken the weekend off and I am finding just a few new posts. Everyone must be getting ready to celebrate, and maybe already are. It's got to be the final countdown somewhere by now. Jerry probably will stay up and watch some SNL and may actually see midnite come and go. I will probably be in bed.

I will not be celebrating.

I can't, even if I wanted to . . .

My beta was 44.

I'm pregnant!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


I have since day 1 of blogging wanted to create a user friendly list of commonly used acronyms related to infertility, pregnancy, miscarriage, etc., etc., and have just put it off as I eventually started figuring things out.

I found two websites that carry mostly medical acronyms, plus an unbelievable number of ways to indicate you were having sex with DH (Dear Husband) that are in my opinion, stupid and in some cases, down-right sophomoric: LO - Love Olympics. Hellooo!? We are all adults here, right?

What of course is not on there is the less-medical related acronyms that most of us have come to know and love: NBHHY (Nothing Bad Has Happened Yet) and PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). BTW (By The Way), even I had to ask someone what LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off) was and I saw IMHO, and still can't figure that one out; and just yesterday I saw "ttytt" in a comment related to a comment I had made. WTF (What The F*ck)?

So, please feel free to fill me on on the two above I don't know, but I would also like to see what some of your favorites are that you use or see while blogging. Then at some other point in the future (when I eventually get my website redesigned by someone fabu who has time) I will have them in a handy-dandy list, right there as a side-bar. Not a link, 'cause I hate that. AND I certainly won't include all of the ones on the two links above because I think they're either stupid or irrelevant.

AND...OMT (One More Thing?), If you haven't pinned yourself to my map, please take a moment. It's fun and actually quite painless.

Now Close Your Eyes...

Our other "baby" is coming along nicely; apparently better than those three little embies transferred last week who I think have decided to take after their mother and be too lazy to implant. Beta is Saturday. Failing that, maybe FET in two more weeks.

The world just keeps on spinning, doesn't it?

. . . . . .

Everyone usually says the first thing they notice about a person is their eyes, right? Well, I feel the same way about windows in relationship to a house. I notice its "eyes" and Monday, our house had its eyes installed.

The right of the pix is the garage. The little window is the laundry room; the next window is my kitchen. The big window under the first gable is the dining room. Continuing to move to the left is the entry way and the spare bedroom (it was supposed to be the baby's room). They will probably finish shingling this week or early next week. We are using asphalt except on the little strip over the garage windows and the valley between the two afore mentioned gables. For that we will use raised-seam steel roofing in either copper or gloss black. We need to decide pretty darn soon.

The two gables sticking out in front on the left over the porch will have beams installed within them to represent the craftman style home we wanted.

One of these days, I'll post the back-side, plus the view we will have from there.

And wow. A whole post where I didn't have to blow my nose from crying. It's a festivus miracle!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cranial Housekeeping

Last nite after we went out to dinner with his parents, we had to clean the house before we could go to bed, because our bi-monthly cleaning lady was going to be cleaning the house today.

If you are one of those assholes who cannot tell the difference between a Yield sign and a Stop sign then you should not only NOT be behind the wheel of a 2,000lb vehicle, but you better not be the sorry fucker in front of me!

This morning I had some cramping. No, not “implantation” cramps. No, not bowel cramps.

Here’s a small snippet of one of most anticipated xmas letters we get each year:
“We started the NY off in Tasmania. Bubba (obviously not his real name) raced with No-Name Yacht Team in the 60th Ann. of the Sydney, Australia to Hobart, Tasmania….We were so proud of our team as the arrived the day of NY eve in Tasmania, considering nearly half of the 116 yachts that started withdrew due to the gruesome winds and 12m seas…we spent 5 wks in Australia and hiked, dove in the Great Barrier Reef for a wk, went to Alice Springs and a hike in the Red Center…Agatha (not HER real name, either) passed her research methods candidacy exam is working on her statistics exam next, and then it’s on to the dissertation…she is still modeling…We celebrated our 10 yr anniversary late as Bubba was in Gulfport to lead a team supporting the hurricane Katrina military relieve effort. He found the work that he did there very fulfilling…we celebrated our anniversary by going to Colorado to ski and in March and November we took trips to Miami to decompress and remind ourselves what the sun looks like…” and on and on and on!

Bubba graduated with Jerry. The most sickening thing is that they are really both nice people, but could we get ANY MORE NAUSEATING!? *retch*

Running total to date for this IVF procedure: $8,200. this does not include the gas for the 600 miles I put on my car this month and the net income lost due to 6 ½ days not working. Considering we were looking at about $11,000, things are certainly looking UP! .:read sarcasm:.

I am tired. It will be over soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Let's Make A Deal" or other ways to make the next few days pass a little less painfully!

Three more full days before my beta. It's time to play the IVF version of "LET'S MAKE A DEAL!"

Should I select Door #1!

Take the Evil Piss Test Thursday or Friday (I only have one left in the drawer and I swear I'm not buying another)...

Or, should I select Door #2!

Wait until Saturday a.m. beta results, which will mean an early bloodletting and then waiting a couple hours before I get any results...

Or, should I select Door #3!

Take the Evil Piss Test Saturday a.m. and THEN do the beta just so I can see if the hospital would acutally admit me for a mental condition when the fucking piss test glares back at me with only 1 line in a symbolic gesture of "the finger!"

Now remember, your choice will be negated in the event there is an early arrival of any one of the following: Aunt Flow, Bloody Bloomers, The Visitor, Maroon 5 (god, I wish I could remember who put that in their post once!), Mentrual Cycle, Moon Blood, etc., etc.

The voting process will begin NOW! In the event of a tie, I'll just do what I want to there. *****raspberry******

Monday, December 26, 2005

Who Will Decide? Faith or Hope?

Since the transfer last Wednesday I have overheard Jerry say to close friends and family (in jest), “I just hope it’s not triplets,” in the relating of our IVF process. Every time I heard him say this, I would see red. So last night after Max passed out from exhaustion from having Christmas at three different houses, we talked.

I myself am dealing with the guilt of not thinking positively and reading every sign, and lack-thereof, as one more and final, failed cycle. So I tried to explain how I interpret his bemoaning of triplets as the worst possible outcome as an arrow into my shield of Faith and Hope. The worst case scenario for us is that this IVF will have failed, and we will be done.

I further explained how if that was the case, then not only will I realize the harsh reality that we will be a family of three, and Hope will have her ass kicked to the curb; but it may also mean I will probably lose the last of the Faith I had been trying so desperately to hang onto. And it’s not necessarily me that I’m trying to hold onto it for, but for Max. Jerry and I were both raised Catholics and it was an important part of our childhoods. As adults we were left with the decision on whether or not we would pursue and continue that tradition. It wasn’t until Max came along that we thought he should at least partake in it so he can as an adult have the same options we had. I hope that makes some sense, I’m not really with it today (hopped up on cold medicine).

The point I wanted to make with Jerry was that he needed to realize that we would be incredibly blessed to have triplets, even though the chances of that happening are incredibly rare. That would mean that Someone thought we were strong enough to handle that. To find out that even with all the medical assistance and a near perfect transfer, we would come up empty handed would tell me that we just aren’t worthy or capable of raising more children.

This morning after Max woke us at 7:00, I told Jerry I needed another hour of sleep. I dozed off again and I awoke about 50 minutes later in a panic: I had dreamt that my period had started, and I was never so glad to have pulled from a deep sleep. All these things are taking a toll on me mentally, physically and spiritually. It’s the latter that I will have the hardest time recovering from, if ever.

Remember when I said in an earlier post that I was going to need a lot of hand-holding? Well, I need that more than ever right now.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ding Dong

December 23, 2005

A friend of Jerry's emailed this to him yesterday and I thought it was THE perfect filler to hold everyone over the holiday weekend, Christmas that is, as it appears the Druids(?) had theirs this past Wednesday; and Hanakkah, Kwanzaa and Boxing Day all arrive on Monday. By that time I should have a post ready to go about how stressed and paranoid I am about the possibility of (not) being pregnant. Right now I'm afraid to sit up, sit down, stand up, produce a bowel movement or tie my shoes (sounds like a cheer from my old pep-rally days). I did have Jerry pick me up some Flint.st0nes chewables, per the advice of Dr. Blinksalot, for the folic acid . . . you know . . just in case.

Anyway, without further ado, here is something to bring a smile to your face and unfortunately, an ear worm to humm while doing some last minute shopping.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

24 Cells

Why didn't anyone tell me that Squirty up the Clacker frickin' hurts!! That one little valium is supposed to make the procedure a little more tolerable, huh? I would've needed to chase it with a half a bottle of wine to make it "tolerable"!

Suzanne over at Palatial Squalor advised me that I don't need to have a bladder so full I would pee my pants if I sneezed so I tried to keep it at a comfortable volumn. But they kept pushing the water. Jerry, being the consumate joker, used the bathroom in the room to relieve his own bladder. When he opened the door, he gave this big sigh of relief (release) and exclaimed a little too bouyantly, "Boy! Do I feel better!" Jerk! By the time I walked down the IVF Woman Walking hallway, my teeth were swimming. And guess what one of the techs did while Dr. Blinksalot started manipulating the cervical catheter? She was supposed to apply "gentle" pressure to my bladder to insure proper placement of the embryos. However, no one seemed to notice but me that she had applied just enough pressure to elicit leakage from my eyes. Jerry, in his testosterone-induced oblivion, believed the moisture were tears of joy. The final insult was the catheter inserted and subsequently removed when it appeared my bladder had been emptied, which was disproven by my nearly immediate visit to the bathroom back in our room.

They transferred three 8-celled embryos, one of which was already starting to compact, which is a good thing for you non-IVFers. I'm not sure of the exact make-up of the embryos we decided to freeze, but I believe they included one 8-cell for sure, and then I think two 6-cell and a 4-cell. The runt of the litter, #9, appears to have arrested. Poor little tinker.

I now get to lounge around for the rest of tonite and thru tomorrow. I will try to time the remaining valium consumption around the PIO injections, which also have been intolerable. And just as I had predicted in my last post, my test is scheduled for New Year's Eve. I think I'll have to make sure I have a bottle of sparkling cider (per Cat's suggestion) AND a bottle of the real stuff, just to cover the bases.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More blah, blah, blah and News on the Eggs

Until this past July, I had never heard of a “blog”. If someone would have tried to explain the concept to me, I’m sure I would have scoffed at such silly and voyeuristic undertaking; a “look at me!” type of activity relegated to the ‘tweens and teens who’ve become bored with spending their days at the mall.

But I started to read them. I would come back to a couple favorites several times a day and read archives; then I would follow links and add them to my favorites, and so-on and so-on, like a sticky snowball rolling down a hill. My initial participation was limited to just reading, and then one day I posted my first comment. I don’t remember whose blog it was on, but I remember clicking on “View Draft” several times and reading and re-reading my comment to make sure it had the right amount of intelligence, witticism, and that I had spelled everything right. It was probably something as simple as “Good luck, hope everything goes well,” but I broke the blogging hymen.

Within a couple of weeks I felt like a commenting pro, but wanted to be more involved. So, I started this blog. I initially felt a little left out of the loop and thought no one was reading my blog and I wasn’t getting comments, which to me is the validation of any blog’s existence. Yes, I’m a whore for comments.

Then Cat came along and she was my first regular. I had found my virtual street corner and I had a john. Of course there were others, but Cat and I reciprocated because we were both newbies to the blogging scene and I feel a bit of motherly pride knowing she is now expecting after her loss from this summer. Soon after, I found myself included in the Midwestern Bloggers, even if I invited myself into their group, they willingly and lovingly welcomed me. I now have found someone who is going to the same clinic I am in the Metro, and we have had fun pointing out some of our likes and dislikes privately. Make sure to go wish her luck. Suzanne is exactly one week AHEAD of me and is supposed to test Christmas Eve. No pressure there, right?

That’s what I love about blogging. We are complete strangers. I wouldn’t know you from Eve if I passed you on the street. But we are more than strangers; we are sisters (no offense to any male lurkers) in a virtual world. If Jerry and I hadn’t moved onto ART, I never would have found you and for that, I am a just a smidgeon grateful for this past year of hell.

Yes, a rather long and rambling post, for which I could have just said, “I LOVE YOU, MAN!” with a slurring, drooling wipe of the mouth, a raucous beer burp, and an overly ambitious thump on the back, but I got to keep up my appearance as a sophisticated lady . . . Fuckin’ A!

Tomorrow is Squirty up the Clacker Day (Thanks, OvaGirl). Yesterday they called to tell me 8 of the 10 eggs fertilized (remember, we are doing ICSI). When they called this morning with an update, I was told we now have 9! Dr. Blinksalot will call me tomorrow morning to give me additional details about what we are doing. I have so many mixed feelings, my stomach hurts thinking about it.

That puts my pregnancy test on New Year’s Eve/New Years’ Day. Yes, I will probably cheat before then.

Monday, December 19, 2005

You're IT! Seven Things . . .

You're IT!
By Viva on Feelings Generally

I took the tag from Erin Here are my answers. Even if not interesting, I have now partaken/partook (?) in a Blog Peer Pressure Activity!

Seven things to do before I die (not in order of priority):

1. Write a will
2. Serve a real meal that I cooked myself
3. Learn to make my mother’s vegetable soup
4. Get Max (and any of our subsequent children – knock on wood) through college
5. Get a hobby
6. Quit my job before they force me into retirement
7. Pick out my own epitath and tombstone

Seven things I cannot (or will not) do:

1. Cook
2. Snow ski
3. Relate to Rich Bitches
4. Wait patiently in line
5. Refuse to have the last word
6. Jump off the high board
7. Stand naked in front of husband in broad daylight

Seven things that attract me to my spouse (in random order):

1. His Generosity
2. His Patience
3. His green eyes
4. His hair (when we first met, he had the most beautiful long, wavy hair I had EVER seen on a man)
5. His taste in cars
6. His fathering
7. His love

Seven things I say most often:

1. “What the f*ck!”
2. “Jerry, would you do me a favor?”
3. “Whatever”
4. “No, Max”
5. “You, too!”
6. “Sorry to be a pain, but…”
7. “I love you, too”

Seven books I read (in random order). I don’t have a list of favorites because I don’t have a lot of time to read for "pleasure."

1. CPT Code Book
2. Medicare Desk Reference for Hospitals
3. UB92 Editor
4. Coders’ Desk Reference
5. The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit
6. Little Golden Book – Chicken Little
7. Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum

Seven movies I watch over and over again (in random order):

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. You’ve Got Mail
4. Pulp Fiction
5. Office Space
6. Dazed and Confused
7. My Fair Lady

Seven people I'm curious about that I'd like to join in if you haven’t already:

1. Cricket
2. Cat
3. Scissorbill
4. Suzanne
5. Julie
6. You, because you want to partake in the fun as well
7. And, You, too!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Question: Should I Wear Socks?

It's been a long 24 hours. By the time Jerry and I got ourselves some supper and a hotel room near the Metro Hospital, it was 11:00pm. With the goal of getting up by 6:30am so we can be dressed and at the hospital by 7:30, how much sleep do you suppose I got? Now whatever number you came up with, divide that by the factors related to a strange hotel bed and a husband who chronically snores. Yeah, you got it, not much.

This may seem like a rather redundant post for most of you that have "been there, done that," but by writing out all the details, I will finally be able to answer the all-consuming question regarding the socks (see prior post). So pay attention.

Our appt was to be held on the 9th floor, Labor & Delivery. Yup, that's right, L&D. Nurse W. from the clinic was optimistic by telling me that the location was so I can be familiar with the area when I needed to come back in 9 mos. I'll go with that, even though driving 2 hours in labor will not be my idea of fun, just to fulfill some destiny. Plus, since I never got a L&D with Max, I thought I should take advantage of the situation.

I was instructed to change into one of the loviest gowns I have ever had the privelage to cover my bear posterior: grass green, with purple and pink plaid striping, designed by none other but Gucci...Fred Gucci, Jerry smartly pointed out. The nurse started an IV, with some trouble, due to "tiny veins." She also reviewed the discharge orders and found out that we would do 1cc PIO nightly, starting tonite. The anesthesiologist came in and started me with some stuff to help prevent the nausea, which I usually experience post-anesthesia. The nurse then presented me with quite the stylish blue chapeau and a pair of matching hospital slippers. So . . there you are. It won't matter if you wear socks with holes, socks with individual toes, or no socks at all, because the surgical ensemble trumps it all.

By 8:30am, I was escorted by a nurse who pushed the iv tree while I was shuffled in my designer gown and slippers; the anesthesistist; and Dr. D. who caught up to us walking from the L&D to the surgery suite; with Jerry pulling up the rear. The picture that came to my head, which someone else in another blog once wrote, IVF Woman Walking (if it was you, feel free to take credit).

Once in the suite, I had to figure out how to gracefully mount the table without tangling myself up in the iv line or knocking over the sterile supplies, yet still end up in the appropriate position conduscive to an aspiration. I did manage it without looking like a total doof. My legs were lifted into the padded stirrups and both arms were spread onto the extensions: one for the anesthesiologist and the other for the bp cuff. I told them that I felt like a bug impaled on a pin, and I giggled at the mental picture. I was asked if I was starting to feel a little drowsy, to which I replied, "no" (more giggling), then I said, "yep, I'm feeling it," and that's the last I remember until I woke up back in L&D. The staff told Jerry I giggled a lot, pre- and post-procedure.

Dr. D. only took 15 minutes to do the aspiration. I was in recovery for another 45 at which time they came and got Jerry, and the L&D for about an hour. Surprisingly, I felt pretty good. I had a minute amout of spotting, some cramping, but no nausea (yippee!). By the time we were released, I felt good enough to do some quick shopping before we headed back to Smallville.

They are supposed to call me with the fertilization report tomorrow. It makes me wonder at which point can I stop anticipating the "next day" nervously. You're right. Probably never.
Oh, did I forget to mention how many eggs they got? Now before I tell you, just keep in mind I have no idea what the initial quality and maturity are and that I would've been thrilled with 5 . . .
They got 10.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Quickie with TomKat

Just a quickie as I have to get things packed for our overniter in the Metro:

Tomorrow's the aspiration and would you believe I'm worried about what socks I should wear. Or should I just take them off? As if they will even notice my socks, right? I even did a little landscaping and shaved my legs this a.m. just in case they do notice and think, "Her legs are nice and smooth...too bad about the little hairs on the knees, even if those are tough spots to shave..."

I probably won't get a chance to look at the computer again until Sunday night, but I'm hoping I'll be up to posting any info if I have any.

So in the vein of staying positive and upbeat, here's one of the latest spoofs on TomKat, who I absolutely DESPISE.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Counselor - Bad, Bitch Slap - Good

I went to see the counselor last night. All I can say is even though I cried several times when discussing my miscarriage and the potential for things not to work out with this IVF, I will not go back. She was nice enough, but right now I don't need assvice that borders on the obvious, such as "Discuss with Jerry what your options will be if the IVF fails," and "Try to determine how you plan on getting through the pain of a failed IVF." I need someone to tell me to snap out of it and quit feeling sorry for myself, and her meek, mild form of communication will make that an impossibility.

I did, however, ask Jerry when I got home what he thinks we should do if it doesn't work. He said, "All I know is that if it does, I'm going to church."

That's big. Why? The last time Jerry and I went to church for anything other than a baptism, wedding, Holiday mass with parents was . . . oh, that's right . . . never.

So I have proposed that Saturday nite, before we head to the metro for a night in a hotel in prep for the retrieval/aspiration, we go to Mass with my mother in Small Town B.

I still have some unresolved issues with G*d with the miscarriage and subsequent surprise infertility, but I figure now's as good as time as any to try to come to grips with it. I'm telling myself that since Baby May had the abnormalities, He's decided that going through some ART was an additional way to test our Faith.

And you know what? This is going to work, people, so I'm not even going to think about the "what if it doesn't" scenerios. You will probably need to remind me of that over the next two weeks if I start to get whiny. A virtual bitch-slap will be my "snap out of it" and I know it will be delivered with nothing but love! And remember, I would do the same for you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Day 11 of IVF/ICSI Cycle

OK, I'm pissed at BlogLines. It seems I have been missing some new posts and feel like a putz for not being there for some of my peeps. It looks like I'll have to resort to just pulling up each one on my favorite's list to make sure I'm in the know...

Also, it appears that since I got pregnant with Max in 2001, I have gotten ugly. How else could I account for our infertility woes? This article is about as pointless and stupid as saying that the bigger a guy's dick is, the more sperm they have. I'd like to see a composite picture of that research...uh, then again...maybe not. Ick.

Quick update: Left ovary - 19, 19, 17, 16, 15. Right - 19, 13, 10. Probably only 4 mature eggs. Right at the cut-off for IVF with my clinic.

Estrogen: 1436 (woohoo!)

Uterine Lining: 14.2. Sounds a little thick but Dr. M., who I have now finally nicknamed Dr. Rapidblinker, is very happy with that.

Tonite: Continue the repronex and antagon.

Friday Nite: Trigger at 10:45 p.m., which is waa-aa-a-y past my bedtime.

Saturday: Relax. bwwaahahahahaha! and no food or drink after midnite.

Sunday: Be at the hospital at 7:45 am, but first stop by clinic to pay all associated retrieval and transfer fees with one very pathetic check of $5500 (sorry family/friends, no more money for holiday gifts!). The aspiration is scheduled for 8:45 am. Jerry will need to be available for his own brand of "payment" within the hour. Start the PIO that nite.

Monday: Info on eggs retrieved and fertilization status to be forthcoming from the clinic.

Tuesday: Relax (again, more manic laughing).

Wednesday: Transfer!

When you put it that way, you have to wonder what the big fucking deal is, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm Crazy, How 'Bout You?

I finally have scheduled an appointment that is long overdue. In fact, I should have scheduled it a year ago after we lost Baby May, but I was too proud to even think that I should seek counseling.

I have decided to take advantage of our Employee Ass.istance Pr*gram. Even though I have made it a full year without completely falling apart and committing myself to the ward just two stories above me at work, I fear that this upcoming transfer will put me as close to the edge as I’ve ever been. Due considerably to the stress and worry of yet another, and quite possibly, the last failure we could go through in trying selfishly for the ever-elusive “baby sibling.”

Max is now at this stage where he wants you to play with him. That sounds weird, unless you knew him. He has always been independent and very good at playing solo when at home. It used to give him a chance to unwind from all the sharing requirements he follows at daycare. But I have noticed a change recently.

Last night, after getting him ready for bed, which includes a bath, jammies, and the reading of 2-3 books, he proceeded to give us the stalling technique we have grown accustomed to:

Max standing with both hands in a “stop” gesture: “I tell you what. I’ll play for a while and when I’m done, I will call you to tuck me in.”

Normally, we let him do this because it’s within 5 minutes that we would hear his little call, “I’m ready!” but last night his little neurons were cooked. He was at both day care and preschool, had no nap, and went to bed late the night before.

Dad: “Max, it’s time for you to go to bed. You said earlier that it had been a long day and you were tired.”

Max: “No! I’m not tired anymore!” He climbs into his bed and lays his head on the pillow. “I want you to play with me.”

Dad: “Not tonite, Max. We can play tomorrow. Good nite, I love you.” Jerry exits Max’s room.

I am in the bathroom washing up, getting ready for bed myself. His room is on the other side of the wall. I hear Max sniffle a little and then say out loud himself, “I have nobody to play with.”

It was if someone has squeezed my heart with their big, meaty fist. It’s obvious how the miscarriage and subsequent infertility has affected Jerry and I. But how did we overlook the affect that this has had, and will have, on Max?

If the event our IVF fails and we have to come to terms that Max will be an only child, I’m sure he will adjust to the circumstances quickly, as he has nothing to compare to. He will eventually enjoy the privileges that come with being an only child.

I am hoping that counseling helps not just me to move beyond the guilt, and even some shame that comes with infertility; but helps me be a better mother by not taking for granted my son’s existence. I am trying to be prepared. I am trying to stay positive. It’s really hard, you know?

My RE appt is tomorrow a.m. I’m guessing we will be triggering tomorrow nite if we decide to move forward. My appt with the counselor is also tomorrow nite. It should prove to be a very emotional day. Thanks everyone for the good vibes. I’m sure it was your positive thoughts and prayers that have gotten me as far as I have.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Day 8 of IVF/ICSI Cycle

I have this recurring dream where I am swimming in deep water and run out of air. In a brief moment of panic, I realize I am too deep to make it to the surface in time to refill my lungs with air. At that point, the few remaining sane cells I still have working subconsciously remind me that this is just a dream and that it’s OK to breathe. I feel myself take a gasp, expecting to immediately choke and sputter, but find instead that I am breathing in the water, swimming, and actually enjoying myself.

I’m not into dream analysis, but find the following interpretation pertinent:

Dream Symbol: Underwater
Becoming immersed in your emotionsA dream in which you're swimming underwater may symbolize exploring or processing your emotionsBeing underwater in the ocean may denote communing with your soul or the spirit world

I am a teeter-totter of emotions. I usually come across to someone who is meeting me for the first time, or to a vague acquaintance as “intimidating” and even “bitchy”. To those who are closest to me, they know that this is my outer shell of protection and that inside I am a big pile of blubbering jello. Easy to shake up and usually very transparent (minus chunks of fruit, and godforbid, the occasional carrot chunks!).

I apologize I was such a mess on Day 5, but I was totally shocked by the results. All because I remained oblivious to what had happened in my earlier cycles.

Today, I am better. On my left ovary we have 5 follicles. Sizes at this time are 13, 12, 12, 10, 9. On the right, one currently lonely little plugger at 11. So, I have 6. Not great, but compared to just 2, a mini-miracle (thanks for the prayers and thoughts)! She doesn’t think there are any sleepers and 6 may very well be the “all the eggs in one basket” situation. Also, the estrogen has zoomed up to an impressive 654. This confirms that indeed, I am a Slow Cooker. I asked Dr. M. about my levels on the two IUIs and I’m surprised, yet relieved to see that the early levels of estrogen ranged 116 to 120, but consistently I would pick up speed so that by the procedure date, I was at my optimum level. Which brings up the one bit of bad news: even if we cancelled with hopes to try for an even better ovarian response, things probably wouldn’t be much different. Maybe they would have me take my 6:1 ratio of repronex and divide that into two equal injections daily; or possibly bump up to an 8:1 ratio divided in two. Dr. M. feels that my current response is about as good as it gets. So I will not be a super-producer as I had hoped. The bottom line is that if this cycle failed, we may not be able to fall back on FET.

For the next three nights, I will continue our regimen of repronex, in addition to the antagon starting Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Day 11 U/S and lab on Thursday. By the way, Dr. M. waived the lupron in favor of the antagon, which supposedly does not suppress as much or for as long as the lupron.

I think it’s OK for me to breathe again.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Day 5 of IVF/ICSI Cyle

Today's appt didn't go very well and I'm already preparing for the distinct possibility that it will be cancelled. I have only two small follicles and my estrogen level was only 132. This is after 3 nights straight of repronex. S. from the RE's office called with the "great"news, but tried to keep me optimistic by pointing out that I appear to be a rather "slow cooker".

I never asked what my levels were with the IUI. Either because they were never presented to me with the description of "low"; and/or maybe because there wasn't as much riding on those cycles. I am not to increase the repronex at this time, but will return on Monday, Day 8. They would like to have at least 4 good follicles to continue with an IVF cycle. I'm thinking I want more than that because with the way my luck is going, they'd get 4, and I'd get back 1 sub-standard embryo. To me, that would not be worth the expense, and of course, the stress of trying to will a poor quality embryo to stick around for 9 months.

I don't understand this. What did I do in my life to bring such unhappiness, disappointment and misery to myself? I try to be a good person. I think I always have. But I must have done something to someone at some time because I believe in what goes around, comes around. Whatever I did and whoever you are, I am so g*ddamn sorry and I will get down on my knees and kiss the ground you walk on and beg forgiveness every day of my life if you would just let me have this chance. Please, oh please! I'm not strong enough to go through the rest of my life with this one regret.

P.S. Even though I tried to remain neutral on the phone with Jerry when I called with the not-so-good news, he knew that I was hurting. He came by work later in the day and brought me flowers. I cried...again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Remember when...

Dang! Blogger is sl-o-o-o-w-w today. If you are having any problems posting a comment or just loading, check back as it seems to have been this way all day!



I participated with Mollywogger and Joie on this little gem:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't *speak* often, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME.

It can be anything you want--good or bad--BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

No excuses, OK?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Day 2 of IVF/ICSI Cycle

My date with my RE started Monday nite. Remember with the office being 100 mi. away, I was going to have to make an early start the next day (5:00 a.m. wakeup call). So I took my shower Monday nite instead of in the a.m. like I prefer. I was hoping to do some personal ladscaping, if you know what I mean, as I had let it lapse in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, the only "pretty-fying" I got around to was shaving the hair off my toes. What? You don't have hair on YOUR toes? What kind of freak are you?! I also selected what I would wear the next day, which consisted of items that would be easy to remove and put on (jeans and birki socks/shoes, and my fave pair of Vicki's Secret underwear). In most ways it was like preparing for a date.

I was in bed by 9:15, but tossed and turned until almost 10:00 with last minute worries: what if the roads are really crappy? (it's been snowing off and on for almost a week); what if they find more cycsts? what if the blood work comes back poor because my cycles have been so screwed up lately?

When I crashed, I crashed hard because at 5:15 a.m., which is the alarm buzzer went off, I almost fell out of bed. By the time I got myself all gussied up, including a spritz of rarely worn perfume, I was on the road by 6:00 after a quiet kiss to a still very sleepy Jerry.

Luckily the highway was fairly clear of snow and ice and the trip was as boring as ever, except for the dead elk I think I saw on the shoulder; and the moment my soccermom SUV started to slide when I accelerated on a icy, curved section of the road.

My appt was for 9:30. That in itself was odd because for all my other ultrasound and lab work, I've only had to make sure I was there between 6-9:30 in the morning as that is the only time the clinic is open for those services. The docs then have to make their rounds at the hospital, so that's why the hours are limited. Anyway, I've only had to have appts for seeing Dr. M., not for dates with the cooter camera, so I was a little confused thinking maybe their policies had changed since our last failed IUI. I ended up getting there considerably early (8:30 since the roads had been so good), but they took my money and ushered me into one of their cooter closets without delay.

After empyting my bladder and covering up the provided drape, I made myself comfy on the horizontal saddle and waited for the wand monkey. Instead, Dr. M. came in and announced they were going to do the sounding first. The huh-what? Sounding. It's where they run a catheter through the cervix up into the uterus to make sure that it can be done so there won't be any surprises when they go for the retrieval and transfer. Or as Jerry so eloquently put it: a dry run.

It had the same comfort level as an IUI: cold speculum cranked to full-bore and repeated instructions to breathe. As she snaked the catheter up, I responded with "Ooouuch!", which only elicited more "breathe" coaching, and assurance that when we do the actually procedure I will get a valium first. Yummy.

Dr. M. announced that everything was good there and started gooing up the cooter camera (I always am surprised that when the damn thing is introduced, it's not ice cold as they kindly heat their gel). She approved of my lining, and announced that the ovaries appear to be clear. If the lab work came back good, I could start my repronex inj. I dressed and headed down the hall for the blood letting, and I was rewarded by my sensible, yet fashionable shoe selection when Dr. M. complimented them.

Before leaving, I was given a little brown bag with several syringes/needles inside and confirmation as to what # they should call with the lab results. It was only 9:10. Guess what time the malls open around here? 10:00 a.m. Can you frickin' believe that? I drove around for a while wondering how I could pass the time as I had forgotten my recently started novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, at home.

Guess what humongous retail chain, geared towards kids and toys opens early during the holiday season? Yep. They were open AND surprisingly, NOT busy! I found a few things and headed for check-out. I have an amazing ability for selecting not only the line with the most harried and underpaid clerk, but the one with the customers with the least amount of common sense (mmmm, maybe that says something about me as well). Example: the woman 2 carts ahead of me wanted to return something. Then she wanted to exchange something. THEN she wanted to purchase something. It was at that point, the clerk pointed out, "gee, we could've done this all in one transaction..." I got out of there at 10:45.

I drove to one of the Metro malls and I realized how annoying those kiosks' workers were and barely gave them a civil "talk to the hand" when they attempted to block my way with hand lotions, neck warmers, and phone covers. And, am I the ONLY person in the country NOT to own a pair of high-heeled, pointy toed boots? It appears that these are standard issue for shopping, which makes no sense at all to me. I'm shopping, which means walking. A Lot. On hard surfaces. In the Winter. On Ice. On Snow. Because they look stupid in the Summer, they can't be worn when it's nice. Someone explain this to me...please!

Back to shopping: while I was in A.T. Loft, I got the call from the RE's clinic. Lab was good. All clear to start the inj...tonight, starting with a 1:6 ratio of H2O to water.

Did you get that? I didn't. I went to the counter and asked for a pen and started asking all sorts of questions and repeating info so that to the casual conversation-hitchhiker, I probably sounded like a doctor. "Yes, I have ordered the repronex/LMG. It arrived from London a couple weeks ago. How many cc's? Which syringes? What time each day? How much variance in time is allowed? (no more than a 1/2 hour)" The clinician also explained the ratio mixing we would need to use. You see, the repronex came in boxes of 10 glass vials of powder along with 10 glass vials of sterile water. We need to break open 1 tube of water. Pull out 1cc of water. Inject that into one vial of powder. Mix. Pull out the mixture and inject into powder vial #2. Mix. Repeat this until we have mixed 1cc of water with 6 vials of powder. Each vial of powder is equal to 75 UI. For the next three days, Jerry will be injecting 450UI into my butt, at which point I will have to go back to the Metro for a Day 5 US and lab. That's all I'm supposed to do for now.

Sounds simple, huh?

Well it's 9:30. Jerry and I have agreed that is the schedule we will try to work with....and I've just realized with a start that I am out of alcohol swabs! Shit! Looks like a run!

It wouldn't hurt for you lurkers to get your typing skills up to par. I'm going to need a lot of hand-holding over the next few weeks.

Monday, December 05, 2005

"It has begun..."

Today is Day 1 of our IVF/ICSI cycle. I will be driving the Metro to see my RE tomorrow. I haven’t had a date with the wand for so long; I don’t know whether to be excited or apprehensive. Oh wait. I’m already both. I have already started rehearsing the dialogue in my head for what I will write in my blog in 30 days if the results are negative.

Why is it so much easier to believe the worse possible outcome? I’m almost hyperventilating thinking about it. Most likely, this will be our one and only shot at expanding our family…

I have to go. The words on my screen are starting to blur…

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You've come a looonng way, Baby!

Max A. was born December 3, 2001 via emergency c-section at 5# 12oz, 19 1/2 ". He was only 8 days early, but since he was little, he was diagnosed as SGA - Small for Gestational Age.

In the two+ weeks before he arrived, I had been having regular fetal non-stress tests as a follow-up to a routine test where The Baby's heart had "de-cell'd" (deacellerated). We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl, so he was The Baby until that moment he was pulled from my pelvis and Mr. DD announced to me, "It's a boy!"

We had false labor on 12/1 very early in the a.m., but after no progression, I was sent home empty handed. That was a Saturday. I "labored" over the rest of the weekend without sleeping, refusing to go back to the hospital looking foolish with all our bags packed only to be sent home...again. Monday a.m. I had an appt with OB for another non-stress test. As soon as they strapped me up to the monitor in the office, they instructed me to boogie over to the hospital post-haste! And so I boogied (as well as one can expect 9 mos. pregnant).

Mr. DD joined me at the hospital OB triage room where on the other side of the curtain, a expecting mother bitched to her other two children how she wished her OB would induce her so she could go have a cigarette. I demanded at that point to be moved. I was in misery, but all the labor rooms were full, unlike on the 1st where we got the cushy room. They obligingly moved me to a private triage where after hours of still no progessing, manual breaking of my water, and one very scary moment where the nurse lost X's heart beat altogether, we were whisked into surgery.

There are so many other little details to that day, but I would end up boring you all with the minor stuff. The picture above was on the day X was discharged 4 days later after struggling with jaundice and low blood sugar. He went home at only 5# 9oz. So tragically little, and with parents who hadn't a clue on what to do with a baby. The nurses had to show us how to change his diaper. I had not even bothered getting a bassinet as I thought he would be just fine in the crib... In the other room... Down the hall... Uh, I don't think so! He ended up sleeping on the changing pad on the floor next to the bed for two nites until Mr. DD and my mother came home with a suitable bassinet.

But lo! Here he is 4 years later and he still miraculously has retained all his limbs and senses in spite of our parenting skills, or lack thereof. Living proof that babies are resilient little creatures.

So yesterday we celebrated his Birthday of 4 Years with a rowdy group of 5 other children. Here he is enjoying his cake that his loving mother (that would be moi) baked and decorated for him from scratch before they annialated it.

His party was loud and chaotic, insterspersed with moments of instructions on sharing; mopping up spilled juice and frosting stained hands and faces. But you know what? I had fun and X had fun. I can't wait until next year!

Happy Birthday, Boo. All my love today and always.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bartender! A Round of Warm Fuzzies For Everyone!

You know what? You are just, just...THE BEST group of people...EVER! Thanks for the warm fuzzies. ((((Hugs)))) all around! You are all invited to my house when we get it done sometime this Spring. As you can see, it's got a ways to go and with the recent blizzard, the only thing to have happened in a week is that all the sides except a couple of windows are completely closed up. Luckily we are in no hurry or have a deadline to meet. I have enough personal deadlines as it is.

It's a good thing that progress has slowed down as I just discovered today that my flooring for the kitchen (wood laminate) looks like poo next to the cabinet color. Oh, I know, woe is me for building a new house and I can't get things to match. WHATteverrrr. I'm not going to feel guilty 'cause this is the house I plan to kick the bucket in. Conveniently enough, on the hillside a quarter mile over is a little, country cemetary, sweetly named Best Cemetary. I want to be buried in the Best Cemetary and then I can watch over Max as he carries on the family name.

The little bugger will probably sell off the land and house and move to Vegas to live with his stripper girlfriend, Bunny, and start a club called Tit$RU$ (I had to modify that as I g00gled it to find, that yes, there is a website with that name).