Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three Random Things

1. I would pay money to make today Friday. I'm having such a hard time going to work lately. Once I'm there I'm fine, but going is a struggle lately. Is anyone else feeling this way? Is it spring fever? Is my second job (infertility) wearing me out?

2. Hubby and I are huge documentary fans. We watched one last night called "Dear Zachary". I recommend it. I laughed. I cried.

3. I received an email yesterday from Pottery Barn Kids; Subject Line: We've Missed You.

I bet. Another reason not to buy baby stuff.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm In It

My IVF calendar officially started on Sunday. Not much has changed. Of course I haven't actually done anything except continue to take my birth control pills. On Monday I stopped doing a lot of things, stopped drinking alcohol, stopped drinking caffeine.

I've officially left the BFA. I've been there since March 2, two months floating around, unsure of my next steps. The picture of my future baby in my mind's eye getting fainter and fuzzier each day. There's nothing like starting an IVF cycle to snap that picture back into full focus.

For the next six weeks (I hope) my life will be lived in blocks of time. Today is not Tuesday, it is nine days until lupron. Tomorrow isn't Wednesday, it is sixteen days until baseline ultrasound. Of course as a two time IVF cancelled loser it seems decadent to think much beyond that baseline ultrasound.

Theoretically if I stack enough of these time blocks together I will end up with a baby. Of course I know better than that, but looking at the calendar on paper it seems too simple NOT to work. (But then what could be simpler than insert tab A into slot B and that didn't work.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Baby Stuff

Years ago, before trying to conceive, hubby and I were browsing in the baby clothing section of a department store for fun. Remember when browsing in the baby aisle was fun and there was no emotional baggage attached? We saw the cutest windbreaker advertising the local professional baseball team. My husband is a huge fan, so we bought it.

It was an impulse purchase, but we rationalized, thinking it was a light jacket that could be worn in almost any season and since my husband is determined to make a child of either sex a fan of the local professional baseball team, what the heck? Why not? Looking back, it was fun. We even told people at parties that we had bought it. It was an amusing story. Look at the newly married couple already planning for their future child. No pressure. At that point in our lives we were like a child who thinks they will never die. We could get pregnant whenever we wanted, whenever we decided the time was right.

When I got pregnant, (almost two years ago now!), I bought a bassinet. I had already been looking at it online for months. I watched it go on back order and come off and I wanted it. I didn’t want to risk it going on back order again. I even made my husband assemble it when it arrived. I did this all in the four weeks between finding out that I was pregnant and finding out I wasn’t pregnant. Now the bassinet is in the basement covered with a sheet. I am so sick of looking at that sheet covered bassinet, I have seriously considered throwing it in the trash more than once.

I bought a baby blanket once, OK twice. One has green and white stripes that I saw on sale at Target and I couldn’t resist. How does Target do that? The other I bought with a Pottery Barn coupon that was about to expire. Did you know that those coupons work at Pottery Barn Kids too? If retailers carried cuter unisex baby stuff I would probably have a fully decorated and stocked nursery.

I haven’t bought anything for months and months and months…maybe a year. What have you bought?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Short Post About Sex

When hubby and I started having sex (after we got married of course...not on our second date) I always had a much stronger sex drive than he.

This all changed after I had a miscarriage, a D&C, started fertility testing, started fertility treatments, and it started to feel like my body belonged to everyone but me. My sex drive began waning until eventually it was nothing, nada, very little sex drive what so ever. I don't need sex anymore and I rarely want it. I still have sex with my husband pretty regularly, but I'm just not into it like I used to be.

As of this weekend my husband and I had not had sex for a couple weeks. He has been sick and I certainly wasn't initiating anything.

But today...

After a weekend of my husband nagging...

And me putting him off...

We had sex...


Maybe spring is awakening more than the plants.
Let's celebrate and please tell me that I'm not the only one who has lost my sex drive through all this.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Journal Pages

The project is an infertilty scrapbooking journal of some of my posts. You can read about it here.

This post is worth a re-read for the comments. They are priceless. I incorporated some of them into my page.

And this one.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Throwing Sperm

OK, OK, so everyone thinks their husband is great. I mean that's why we married them.

If you will indulge me for a minute I'd like to tell you three wonderful things my husband has done this week...

1. On Monday he cooked dinner. This is no big deal. He cooks dinner pretty much every night. But on Monday he made a frozen pasta carbonara thing and picked all the peas out of mine before I got home from work. I really can't believe that someone loves me enough to pick the peas out of my dinner. He missed three peas, but I forgave him.

2. On Tuesday he brought home a bunch of ergonomic computer stuff, because I have been experiencing some seriously annoying carpal tunnel symptoms lately. (In fact, he is yelling at me to get off the laptop right now.)

3. This weekend we got a letter from the old RE's office. Apparently hubby has some frozen sperm at the lab and we have to decide what to do with it. I gave the letter to hubby and told him to check the "destroy" box and send it back. Hubby's response was, "Is there a box to check if I want it thawed and thrown in the doctor's face?" Happiness is a marriage where you have the same sick sense of humor.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Would Make A Great Mom

Hey, don't forget to enter your knocked down hunk here. I entered my fine piece of ass. Let's celebrate the guys who support us. The deadline is Friday. Now on to the post...

I have a few things going against me in the self esteem department.

First, I grew up in a small town in Iowa. I am the daughter of blue collar parents who were children of farmers. This doesn't give me low self esteem, but rather prevents me from having high self esteem. The worst thing your can do in my family is be a braggart. For a few years after I graduated from high school, before my under insured father passed away unexpectedly, my parents enjoyed some financial success. My mother wanted to buy a Cadillac, a used Cadillac. My father refused, "We aren't Cadillac people. What would the neighbors think."

"You aren't any better than anyone else." "What do you think you are, special?" This is the way I was parented. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the way I was parented, but it stands in contrast to the feel-good-about-yourself-and-collect-your-participation-trophy parenting techniques of today.

Second, I am a middle child. I am not the oldest, who's every developmental milestone was celebrated in awe. I am not the youngest, who's moments were cherished because they would be the last, the last first steps, the last graduation, the last one to believe in Santa Claus. I'm in the middle; second, not first, old news, but not last news.

But despite all of this, I do suffer from high self esteem from time to time. I believe I am average to slightly above average at most things that I try to do, which is a blessing and a curse. There are no big failures, but also no greatness. Of course there are some things I would like to do and have failed, miserably. I cannot sing. I cannot run. I cannot reproduce.

But I would make a great mom. Sometimes I can't help thinking that the universe is missing out by denying me the chance to be a mom. I recycle. I like to read out loud. I'm organized and I would make a great den mother. I have loads of markers and crayons and colored pencils. I love to go to parks and museums. I know how to make fish sticks and tator tots.

What would make you a great mom?

Monday, April 20, 2009

IVF Viagra

It's official. I'm on the May IVF cycle schedule. I'm having a hard time getting it up for this cycle. I'm suffering from IVF impotence.

  • Forgetting to take BCP at the same time each day.

  • Continuing to drink caffeine and alcohol.

  • Total lack of excitement at the thought of sticking myself with syringes.

I need some IVF Viagra to get me going.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Benchmark Baby

My benchmark baby is turning one. What is a benchmark baby? A benchmark baby is the same age your baby would have been if...well, just if.

My benchmark baby belongs to someone at work. She is a very attractive baby. Her mother is from the Philippines so she is not cursed with my fair skin. She won't have to slather her skin with sunscreen just to go out and get the mail. But that makes sense. She's not mine.

I don't keep track of due dates and conception dates and miscarriage dates. Everyday is just another childless day, like the one before. I can barely remember my husband's birthday. My benchmark baby reminds me.

I would have named benchmark baby something different. Her name is one of those trendy, "name of the month" type names. When she goes to school she will have to be known by her name and her second initial. I prefer traditional names, something your grandmother would be named. Also I would have wanted her to be a boy. That's about all I can see that is wrong with her, except of course that she is not mine.

I can't believe that benchmark baby is already one year old. I thought I would be pregnant again before she was even born. I can't believe how quickly time goes by. She'll be starting school before I know it.

Happy first birthday, benchmark baby.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ad Hoc Socks

I love the crazy socks for appointments thing, but I don't usually wear them because I squeeze in appointments between work. I found this website where you can make customized socks...

Here are some ideas...

OK witty girls, I gave it a half hearted attempt, but I'm not feeling very witty tonight. What would your socks say?

And who is going to volunteer to wear the socks I make with the best idea and report back?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Pages

Thanks again for all the support yesterday. I am trying to get over the shock of my test results and go with the flow. Like the lottery, you have to play to win. So I guess I will cycle in May and see what shakes out.

This past weekend I worked on scrapbooking some of my more upbeat blog postings for the multimedia 2009 diary project. I was in such a good mood this weekend. I loved working with the paper flowers, brightly colored patterned paper, and happy ribbon. Here's what I got...

The following page relates to this post. This page doesn't scan great. The idea was to take floral paper and make some of the flowers 3D with paper and felt flowers held on with brads. I don't know if that came across in the scanner.

This page is about our fun V-day we had this year.

By the way (for those who scrapbook), I was at Michaels yesterday and they had a lot of new cool things. If you haven't been for awhile (I probably haven't been since Christmas) it's worth a trip.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Houston, We Have a Problem

So remember how we have MFI and I'm OK... Remember how IVF is supposed to be the answer if I can just get to retrieval... I got back the results of my Friday blood test and my FSH level was 14. My mind is spinning...


My FSH level was 7 in June. How could this change so quickly?


The doctor didn't seem very concerned. He said that this test might be predictive as my ovaries look good on ultrasound. So it might just indicate that in six months my eggs will be reduced. Oh good, that's a relief!!!


Can I even be successful with IVF and such a high FSH level? Should this change my protocol? Should I start planning for a childless life?


I took this blood test after being off BCP for seven days after being on them for a month. Might this have skewed the results?


I can't believe I wasted all that time with that ass-clown doctor.


Where do I go from here? What do I do? Help! Do I just cycle in May and hope for the best?


My email to the RE -

Google searches indicate that an FSH level of 14 is much more dire than what was indicated in our meeting today, so I'm confused. This is new to me as my FSH level was much lower (~7) in June. Why would this have changed so drastically? Should I be worried about my chances of success with IVF? Please let me know when you receive the Inhibin B test results. Thanks

And his response -

Google searches often can mislead…
Suffice to say that the AFC is the key.
I have a few pts with FSH of 100 or more that have pregnancies. The key is eggs and reserve. The issue is not the FSH number.

So I guess I'll trust and see what happens...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quarter Year Review

Reflection is inherent in the project I have been working on (on which I have been working?). Looking back to the beginning of the year I am struck by the feeling I had in January that 2009 was *IT*. Baby or bust, meaning that by the end of 2009 I would have a baby, be pregnant, or give up. What a difference three months makes.

In January I assumed that if 2009 ended childless and pregnancy-less I would have probably completed three failed IVF cycles. I would probably have exhausted my infertility insurance money. And one of the three failed cycles would have been paid for out of pocket. And so, at the end of 2009 I would be done. In January, I was on the fence about adoption and my husband was not on the adoption fence, but running through the "no adoption" meadow on the other side of the fence.

So what has changed in three months? Well, I still haven't completed an IVF cycle yet, failed or successful. I still might be able to squeeze out three IVF cycles by the end of the year, but not at the rate I'm going. (Note to universe: Completing three failed IVF cycles is not the goal. I want to complete one successful IVF cycle.) Three months later the tone of the adoption talk in our household has changed as well. I am still on the fence. Hubby has leapt the fence and is now playing in the very pro-adoption pasture.

Who knows where we will be three months from now? Who knows where we will be at the end of 2009? I'm through making predictions.

Despite the fact that I am not where I thought I would be, I have found my smile. How did I find it?

1. I took last Friday off work. I realized that since Christmas I had taken no days off work with the exception of one vacation day I took when I was having dental work done and one day when I "called in infertile". (Calling in infertile is when you just can't deal with people so you call in sick to work.) I was so uptight about missing work for doctors appointments that I hadn't taken any time for me. I cannot do this. I need time off to recharge.

2. I got a voicemail from my IVF coordinator. She has already made a tentative calendar for May. She knew I was having blood tests on Friday (imagine...a clinic where the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.) She sounded very on the ball. I listened to the message twice because I was so pleased.

How has the first quarter of 2009 changed you?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Goodbye Bailey Jane

He was about fifteen years old and caring for him had become more of a chore than a joy, but we still miss him. We put our kitty to sleep. (Yes, he was a boy. I don't know why I called him Bailey Jane.) He has been in decline for a couple years, losing a lot of weight, but for about the last three months he was throwing up everyday, many times quite violently to the point of dry heaves. In the last week he stopped cleaning himself and started throwing up and pooping on his sleepy blankie every night. It was time.

I took him to the vet on Friday. My husband couldn't go. He was too emotional. I cried as I explained that due to his age we weren't interested in expensive tests or treatments. They understood and agreed, but I felt like a real asshole. It was quick, painless, and over in three seconds. As soon as it was done my first thought was, "I changed my mind."

I think we did the right thing. His quality of life had really declined in the past year. He couldn't eat properly because his teeth were bad, but we had already pulled so many teeth. He cried almost constantly when he was awake. He was having a hard time getting around. Am I justifying my actions? You bet, because I feel really bad that my kitty is gone and I made the decision.

We both felt pretty strongly that we couldn't have a baby and care for an elderly cat that throws up daily. It just seems unsanitary to live that way with a baby around. But his health decline was much faster than we anticipated; now we have no baby, no baby on the way, and no fur baby. The house seems so quiet. We have no being that is solely dependant on us for care. Now it is truly just my husband and me. We are alone for the first time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Have Four Eyes... I'll be a bad mother???

There is a commercial making the rounds on TV for a local lasik eye care place that has me puzzled. Picture two women sitting and talking. Lady one wears glasses and has a young child on her lap. Lady one turns to lady two and tells her that she is getting lasik eye surgery.

Lady 2: Why are you getting surgery? Your glasses are so cute.

Lady 1: Well, you know it will be so much easier. [Nods toward child on lap indicating that he is the reason she needs lasik eye surgery.]

What the...??? I knew that guys don't make passes at girls that wear glasses, but now they can't be proper mothers either? On top of everything else I need to have surgery on my eyes too?

I will admit that wearing eye glasses is a difficulty I have had to overcome in my life.

1. It's hard to lay on my side and watch TV because my glasses get in the way.

2. When I wake up in the middle of the night I need my glasses to see across the room at the alarm clock to tell what time it is.

3. Ummm...I guess that's it.

Now admittedly, my eyesight is not that bad. If I looked across my bedroom in the middle of the day I could probably puzzle out what time it is on the alarm clock. My eyes just don't work as good when I first wake up. Also admittedly, I have considered having lasik surgery and probably will get it someday. However, I didn't know that it was a necessity for motherhood.

Chalk it up as another reason for the universe to deny me children. I don't have twenty-twenty vision. If I do ever cheat mother nature with IVF and am awoken in the middle of the night by a crying baby, he/she will just have to wait that extra millisecond for my comforting presence while I put on my glasses.

Bad prospective mommy.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Infertility Funk: An Analysis

Thanks for the comments on my new look. I'm trying to Spring up the place. I love the new yellows and oranges that are in all the stores, but they don't really work in my house.

I am in an infertility funk cycle and I feel like I can’t get out. Sometimes I think that dealing with infertility has been worse than when my father died. I feel weird saying that because my father was a real person that I had a relationship with for twenty-one years. Shouldn't losing him feel worse than losing something I never really had?

But I think the difference is this (shown graphically no less)... When Dad died, the worst had happened and each day moving forward improved a bit emotionally. Some days were better, some days were worse. I still have days, over ten years later, when I cry about it, such as holidays or when I do something really great and I want my dad to know about it and be proud of me. For the most part feeling bad about this life experience has leveled off.

On this infertility journey it seems that each day gets worse and something bad is always just around the corner. OK, there are some good days, some more hopeful days, but by the time you start to heal emotionally from one bad cycle, there's another negative pregnancy test to mourn. I'm not going to say that a negative pregnancy test is on the same level as the death of a parent, but perhaps it's on the same level as a death of an acquaintance or coworker? After about six of these in a row, month after month, it starts to take its toll. Take the cumulative effect of years of this type of disappointment and I argue that you start to get to the same level as death of a parent.

Sure this journey can end with the greatest joy, but it can also end with the greatest sorrow. I don't know if this is a sad story in my life that ends happily or if it will be a tragedy the whole way through. And here's the scary thought... If you don't have a baby, how do you ever get closure? Where does the chart end? When does the bad feeling level off?

Sorry for the bummer, go back to enjoying the nice Spring colors now...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Am I Like Jenna?

A quiz:

What do I have in common with J.enna Jam.eson?

A. Fake boobs.

B. Expert fe.llatio skills.

C. Fertility treatments.

OK, so just because she had twins does not mean that she had fertility treatments, but let's just assume she did for a moment (because I promise that A and B do not apply to me).

If you had to chose an infertility spokesperson, who would it be, Jenna or Octomom?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finding My Smile

I work with a lady who has been with the company for twenty plus years and has a lot of vacation to use each year. Whenever she goes on vacation she posts a note on her computer monitor saying, "I'm off to find my smile. I will return on X date." A bit cheesy, but when I wandered into her cube this week to ask her a question and saw the sign I realized that I have lost my smile lately. I have been in a major funk. More on why I have been so funky (and not in a Marky Mark and the Funky bunch sort of way) in a later post.

In trying to find my smile I have been spending more time in my craft room (because eating carbs and playing hours of Spider Solitaire have not resulted in smile finding, only gaining weight and carpal tunnel syndrome). Picture a corner of an unfinished basement where three six feet tables are arranged in a U-shape with florescent lights hanging overhead, that's where I am right now. I love it even though I'm in an unfinished basement. There is no pressure to be neat and organized.

I've been working on my scrapbook diary 2009 project where I am scrapbooking some of my blog posts. I know, infertility seems like a weird thing to scrapbook, but I was inspired by Ali Edwards book "Life Artist" where she says that you should capture all aspects of your life, not just the happy ones. Infertility is my life right now, so that's what I'm scrapbooking about.

Here's some of what I've been doing in my crafting dungeon...

The scrapbooking version of the Hope - O - Meter...

This post...

And this post...

See what others are showing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cyst Update

Thanks for all the well wishes and encouragement yesterday. It must have worked. Here is a mini-update...

The cysts are smaller. The doctor seemed pleased. My ovaries definately seemed less blobby.
I am stopping BCP today.
Blood tests next Friday and then start BCP again.
Appointment on following Tuesday to discuss test results and next steps.
Looking good for a cycle in May.

I feel so much better to have a plan, but I still can't shake the funk I've been in. I'm making hubby take me out to dinner tonight to celebrate, hopefully that will help. I'm not cranking up the Hope-O-Meter yet, but at least I have some things to look forward to.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cysts, Cysts Go Away

Cysts, cysts go away
Come again another day
Bottoms Off would like to play

I am almost through my pack of BCP and I have an ultrasound tomorrow to see what my ovaries are up to. I'm not feeling very optomistic. I have been feeling a lot of weirdness in my ovaries. It's not pain. It's not uncomfortable. It just feels like activity. It feels like a bad sign to me.

I haven't had any breakthrough bleeding on the pill, but the past couple days my uterus has felt crampy off and on.

I have no idea what any of this means, but I am so scared that tomorrow I am going to see those same big black blobs in my ovaries again. I've seen those big black blobs at every ultrasound since my cancelled cycle in December. Big black blobs at my baseline for my second cycle. Big black blobs before my second cycle was cancelled. Big black blobs at the new doctor's office.

I should be spending time meditating and visualizing these cysts getting smaller and disappearing, but all I can do is imagine them getting bigger and never going away. I need some good news damnit. I hope tomorrow is my day.
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