Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Ramblings

I put myself on BCP when AF finally showed up after my canceled IVF cycle. I wanted to be able to decide when I start this who IVF thing again. I have one more pill left in the pack before the vitamin pills begin. I will start the New Year and a new cycle this week. We'll see if I put a call into the RE to actually start a new cycle. It really depends on a lot of things. I have always chosen trying to have a baby over everything. I've passed over a lot of opportunities and have nothing to show for it. Well, I'm trying to embrace life, reduce stress, and be happier and healthier. Part of this is trying to get the heck out of my current job. I interviewed on Thursday for a position in the post anesthesia care unit for a 3-11p.m. position. It would be a new challenge (I love learning new things) it would be a better more human schedule (imagine not having to sleep during the days and having a circadian rhythm) and it would be less stress (yes, I believe this to be true). I find out on Tuesday if I get the job. I don't know how long orientation is, so I don't know when I'd be able to do IVF. If it has to be delayed, I'll write my RE and tell him that I'm trying to make some positive changes in my life that I believe will positively effect the chances of a successful cycle. The stress of the job and working nights can't be good for my reproductive health. I'm trying not to get excited because I'll be very disappointed if I don't get the job. This would be such a giant step to a more positive new year. I'm putting the pain of multiple pregnancy losses and the canceled cycle behind me. Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa

This year, I'm not asking Santa or the Chanukah fairy for a baby. This year, there is nothing that I really want, except to be with my friends and family...and that's not something you can box and wrap up in bright colored paper.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 26, 2011

In another reality, on a different time line, in a parallel universe, in my dreams...this would be the day we would be welcoming our little baby boy into the world. We would be in the hospital counting his little toes, and fingers, running our fingers over his soft skin, kissing his face, smelling that sweet spot on the top of his head. I'd be gazing into his eyes, wondering what color they would end up. The Brain and I would be holding each other, crying happy tears, feeling complete, whole. We would have a beautiful nursery, decorated in a nature theme, with a tree on the wall I made from last year's wallpaper catalogues, a birdhouse light, a mobile with birds and a nursing chair where I'd sit for hours softly singing songs to my son. All the boxes of junk in that room would have been a distant memory sitting for sale at the local Salvation Army. The door would be open instead of closed shut as if to block out the reminder of an unfulfilled dream. We'd be planning a bris at my parent's house. There would be four beaming grandparents, well, maybe just three beaming, and one making semi inappropriate and borderline homophobic comments. The rainbow blanket the Brain had finished crocheting would be folded over the crib, waiting to swaddle our baby instead of laying in a pile on the floor by the bed, partially completed, and half forgotten. This is the day our dream would have come true.

Instead it's just another day, another reminder of what I don't have, of what I've been through, about how my body has failed me. It's a day of regret, or what ifs. What if I had refused to push the gurney's with the patients in them? What if I had not allowed myself to get mad and stressed at work? What if I had continued my medications against the doctor's suggestion and seen if the pregnancy could have been viable anyway?What if I worked days instead of nights? What if I never touched alcohol? What if I didn't have cats? What if I was a better Jew, had a blind faith in God, prayed daily? What if I were a better person? What if I hadn't done drugs when I was younger?

But....I'm going to try and stay positive. Remember what I do have and not just what I have lost. It will be my personal Thanksgiving Day. I'm thankful for a supportive, loving wife who once wrote me a list of 50 reasons why she loves me because I was having a bad day. I'm glad that my health (other than my reproductive health) is good. I'm grateful that I have a job that although drives me crazy and some days I hate, I also love because I have the chance to help those who really need my help, and because I work with some of the best nurses out there. As I look into the wet blinky eyes of my precious Bessie who want me to throw her greenie toy, I'm reminded of all the love I receive and give to my six furbabies. I'm grateful for my parents who dive me crazy and I don't understand in the least, because at least I have parents who love and support me in their own quirky way.

Conflicted...sad and grateful...
Pinky

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Letter To AF

Dear AF,
Thank you for visiting, it's been a long time. 112 days in fact, since we've hung out. I missed you all this time, but enjoyed our time away from each other. I hope you don't feel the need to make up for lost time, although I know that in reality, that's you're style. You're timing of this visit is nearly perfect, showing up the day after the Brain's birthday. The only day that would have been better would have been January 1, 2012. You may not have received our message, but the Brain and I agreed not to move forward with another round of IVF until after the new year sine working IVF in around the holidays is not something we would like to experience. I have two packages of partially used BCPs, so if you don't mind, I'm taking those so that we can meet again when we're ready to do IVF again. So, until then, I'm going to pop a few more motrin because you're literally a pain, and we'll see each other again soon.

Sincerely,
Pinky 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Brain!

My wife is turning 30 today! She has been my rock, the person I can lean on for support, who helps me find strength when my knees buckle under the weight of the world, the one who reminds me there is so much good to live for, who is my shoulder to cry on, who is my opposite just enough to balance me out, she's studious, silly, serious, loving, caring, nurturing, my best friend, and my partner in life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sister In Law

A few weeks ago, The Brain sent her sister an e-mail asking if she would consider carrying a child for us. I was hoping for at least some sort of acknowledgment that would let us know that she had at least read the e-mail, but we never received one. She finally asked her mom her sister had mentioned receiving the e-mail. Then, yesterday she wrote us to tell us that she had not been ignoring the letter, but that she is taking time to think about it. That is more than I expected her to actually do. I figured she would just say no. I still think that ultimately that is the decision she'll make, but at least I know that she's taking time to really consider what we have asked. I only hope she gives us the opportunity to answer some questions and discuss it with her before making a final decision. Among other things, I want her to know that she'll receive financial support, and we'll pay for any counseling that she'll need. For now, I'm just going to be happy with knowing she's not making any quick decisions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Am A Phoenix

I spent the evening having great conversation and finishing getting my Phoenix tattoo. Thanks to Craig at Another Twilight Fantasy. I still have one session to go for final touch ups but for the most part it's complete. I may not be able to have a baby, but I can get an amazing tattoo that makes me happy and lasts a life time.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Same Shit Different Day

I e-mailed the nurse at my RE's office to ask if I could take provera to trigger my period so that we could do another cycle before November. I had already ordered a refill, but wanted to start a line of communication anyway. She asked why I was so insistent about cycling before November. Derrr...I purchased the two cycle plan thinking we would NEVER get that far...and we were told we would loose the second cycle if it wasn't used within a year. And...NOVEMBER, which is just around the corner is one year. Happy freaking anniversary to ME!! It will be the one year anniversary of the first time I thought I was pregnant, and will commemorate two chemical pregnancies, one unsuccessful pregnancy ending with a D&C at eight weeks, one failed IVF cycle. In January, it will be out three year anniversary of trying to start a family. Wow, side tracked.... The nurse gets back to me and says she has discussed this with the woman who takes care of the finances and they have decided that they will allow me to do the second cycle whenever it's a good time for me. They don't want me to feel rushed, or do it before I'm ready. Seriously? I'm always ready, and just as much so not ready. I long for success but fear another disappointment. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? What makes doing this any different? I feel like a psychological experiment, putting my hand in for a treat and getting a shock instead. I tried to sign up for the foster/adoption orientation for October 22nd, but didn't have the day off. I requested the time off and they didn't get back to me. So, I call and take my name off the list and told them I'd call back to put my name back on the list if I got the time. OK, no problem they said....failing to mention that the classes fill up regularly and that I should just wait and see. So, I finally get the day off and I call. Now, I have to wait until January. Great, now I have an extra Saturday off this month. Maybe I'll spend it at Disneyland.

After an infuriatingly sleepless day, I went to work with bloodshot eyes, no dinner, this terrible persistent cough which often triggers vomiting, and a chip on my shoulder. I get to work, get report, and then get the best news ever. Please read that with a hint of sarcasm. This nurse who I had trained for a short while back in March and April when I was pregnant just found out she's having a boy. A boy?? I didn't even know she was pregnant. Yes, she's four months along and her last doctor just thought she had a cyst, but the last check up showed a fully formed little baby boy. She's SO happy because she was worried that she'd have trouble because everyone around her is having trouble with infertility. REALLY??? Because infertility is contagious?? If only...then I'd take some antibiotics and have a freaking baby already. Or, better yet, maybe fertility is contageous as I hear it's spread in the water. Maybe I should hydrate more. 

And now, my chest hurts from coughing, my benadryl might kick in soon, I have to sleep before work tonight (it's my Friday) and then Tuesday I get to relax into the tattoo chair again to complete my Phoenix. Upon completion I'll post a picture. Until then, just know it's awesome and makes me feel a little bad ass. Which is a nice change of pace because pissed off and depressed is really getting rather old.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rosh Hashana Dinner

Sometimes being the one infertile childless person is actually a good thing. I was at my brother's house this past week visiting. They have two boys, a 4 year old and a 1.5 year old. Both are quite a handful, the older one especially. I love them both, but they require constant attention, mostly because they are given constant attention. I won't go into all that. It was Rosh Hashana and we were having dinner with their neighbors who have two children around the same age. Here we were five adults and four children. The children were all screaming and yelling, running around, being picky eaters, throwing shoes, toys, fighting over dolls etc. Parents were in all directions as their beer warmed up, and their food cooled down. But not me! I sat at the head of the table, eating my dinner and sipping at my beer because NONE of the chaos was my responsibility. It was the first time I felt like I was the lucky one for once.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two Things

Thing one...

Friday night I sat four hours for my new tattoo. I had it placed on my left side over the ribs. They asked me if I was sure I wanted it in such a painful locations. I assured them I would be fine. The first three hours were a piece of cake, and everyone commented on how well I was doing, and how easy I was to tattoo. During the fourth hour, my nerves were so stimulated that the pain part kicked in. With one hour left to complete the color, we decided to call it quits. I was tearful because I felt like I had wimped out. The artist assured me that I had done very well, and said he should put me up on the wall for how well I had done.  

I've been trying to decide on a new tattoo for about six years but never came up with an idea that I really liked. Then, one day last week it hit me. I wanted a phoenix. It was perfect because I am a phoenix. I'll allow a few of my skeletons out of my closet to assist in understanding the previous claim. 

When I was 16, my family and I traveled to Hawaii to celebrate my great uncles birthday. It would be the first time I had met many of my cousins. While there I met a second cousin, who was about four and a half years older than me. He had traveled in Europe, and I was about to be an exchange student there. We hit it off immediately, and being a teenager in Hawaii I chose to hang out with him instead of being stuck with my parents. BIG mistake. July 4, 1996 he got me drunk on vodka, at least six shots (that's as many as I remember) and took advantage of my black out state. He then traveled to California and pressured me until my will gave way on August 7, 1996, and I slept with him again, many times. I felt such shame because had I called the police in Hawaii maybe I could have proved he raped me. But then I was weak and "consented" when he stayed with my parents and me later. I held it inside for the year I was an exchange student, and for many months after returning home. It finally came out and I was questioned by a male police officer, alone in a room at my house. Because my cousin "refused to speak to the DA without an attorney" they dropped the case. My parents never contacted the DA to question this or anything. I spent many years trying to cope, mostly in self destructive ways. I hung out with social rejects, misfits, other depressed youth. I smoked pot, did ecstasy a lot at raves, dropped acid, and inhaled nitrous oxide. I slept with a lot of guys, usually very quickly, before they had a chance to take it, I gave it up. I cried, wrote teen angst poetry, focused on ways to die, fearing the pain of dying. I finally hit bottom and got myself into therapy. I moved away from San Francisco where drugs were all to easy to get ahold of, and transfered to a small school in Wisconsin. I flourished, enjoyed college, finally started dating women, as I had once intended on doing prior to my long slutty run with guys. I still struggled with depression, and finally found the correct medication to help stabilize my mood. I finished college, went to nursing school, earned my masters, and met my wonderful, supportive wife. I struggled with weight issues due to stress (dropped well below 100 pounds) but finally gained the weight back. Now, I'm dealing with IF, and the depression that comes along with that. No need to go into that here, because this blog is about this "dark" time.
If that's not a phoenix, I don't know what is. And now, it will be forever on my left side.

Thing two...
The Brain has sent a letter to her sister asking her to consider carrying a child for us. I am both nervous and excited. I don't expect her to say yes, but I'm proud of my wife for at least asking. It's a door that can never be opened if we don't at least try. I hope, and pray that she will at least consider it, and ask to discuss it. I will love her if she says yes, and I will love her if she says no.

Patiently waiting, content and a little sore from having needles drug through my skin...
Pinky

Monday, September 12, 2011

Walking Backwards

Great! They had me signed up for a foster/adoption orientation on a day that I'm working the night before and that night, so I won't be able to go. There is one this Saturday that I thought I would be able to attend, but the lady at DCSF says it's in the high desert (even though online it's at my hospital). So, unless I can switch shifts with someone, or take a vacation day, we won't be going to learn about foster/adopt for a while. Yay! Another step in the wrong direction.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It It Selfish to Adopt?

Maybe I'm over thinking things, but that's what I do. I don't like to make big life changing decisions without dissecting every aspect as possible. This week I've been considering if it is fair to a child for the Brain and I to even adopt a child. When I say fair, I really mean fair to the child.

When I was a little girl I was always being picked on and made fun of. One of the older girls complemented me on my outfit and, since I was terrified for her because she used to make fun of me, I didn't say anything. So, she called me stuck up and that was just more fuel for her fire. I was made fun of for being shy, for not having "in" clothes, for having hairy arms, for walking funny (not sure why), for being smart, for having a big nose, for being Jewish, and anything else people could think of. For a while, nobody would talk to me except this one girl Raquel, and that's because she didn't speak English so nobody talked to her either. This was because when all the girls in the school stood in a circle and sang "Jesus loves me" I excused myself and told them I didn't believe in Jesus. Rather than asking me about Judaism, I was shunned. I was made fun of at my synagogue during Sunday school and Hebrew school, so even that place wasn't safe.

I bring this up because even though I was raised in an upper middle class, traditional (mother and father who never divorced), educated (mom has a masters and dad has a PhD), Caucasian household, I suffered as a child because of all the bullying at school. Granted, my parents and teachers never intervened. I can honestly say most of my childhood I spent thinking about how I couldn't wait to grow up, make something of myself and forget about all the people who were making my life hell and would most likely never make anything of themselves. I'm not really getting to the point.

My point is this. Is it fair for us to bring an adopted child into our home, no matter how loving we are? We know that any child we have, adopted or from donor sperm will have issues they will need to deal with. They will have two moms and be raised Jewish. In addition to these issues, a child we adopt through the county will most likely be of a different race than ourselves and the adoption will be a closed one. They will have to deal with abandonment issues and whatever else adoption brings up within a child and the issues of being in a biracial household. This just seems like a lot to ask one kid to deal with. Are we being selfish? How do I justify wanting to love a child by asking them to be part of a Jewish (but also Christian), lesbian, biracial, adoptive home.

Like I said before, I could be over thinking this, but it would be irresponsible of me to pretend these issues don't exist.

Persistently worried,
Pinky

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Foster/Adopt

Wednesday morning when I got home, I called and signed up for the "taking care of business day" through the county. This is the day when you have orientation and they help you navigate through all the paperwork to become a foster or adoptive parent. I thought I would be really excited about it, but so far, I'm not. I don't really want to foster a child only to have them taken away from me to return to their parents or go to another foster home. I'm not sure how you deal with the loss once they leave and you've formed an attachment. If we adopt, then I'm giving up on my dream of experiencing pregnancy, and having a child that is biologically mine. I know it sounds harsh, but I'd rather explore surrogacy because then I know that there are some sound genetics there. I recently heard a news story on NPR comparing the outcomes of biological versus adoptive children and the effects of upbringing. It seems that no matter how much time, energy and money you spend on your child providing them with diverse opportunities, genetics will win over when it comes to perusing a successful education and career. And, I see many of the mothers who have their children taken away come through my ER. I know first hand how they treat their bodies, their children and others. I remember talking to one woman who was pregnant, using meth and was schizophrenic. All her children were in foster care. I know they need love and support, but that's not my dream baby. I don't want a child who is likely to end up on a similar path. No amount of love can keep a child from developing schizophrenia. So why did I sign us up for such an uncertain path? Today, I'm really not sure.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Don't Want To Make Lemonade

My dad has always loved the cliched quote "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." He even used it in his speech at my Bat Mitzvah when I was 13. But what happens when life gives you lemons, you try and make lemonade, the lemons are rotten and you have cuts on your hands? What then?

Am I stuck in a dark place? Absolutely. Do I feel angry? Yes. Am I feeling a little depressed? Probably. Do I feel sorry for myself? Sure. Do I feel like giving up? A little.

I keep having flashes of images that represent the way I feel. I see myself repeatedly walking into a glass door or reaching into a jar and getting shocked. Or with a plug getting yanked open, deflating and falling to the floor. I'm knelt down on my knees, arms up in the air cursing the heavens, tears streaming down my face.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Throwing Money Into A Bonfire

Or, at least this is what I feel like I'm doing. Today I went in for my fourth ultrasound of the week. My RE was concerned about my E2 levels because they were lower than he had expected. They redrew them again today in the morning. This evening I got the dreaded call from my RE, the one I knew deep inside that I was going to receive. My E2 levels are going down. Why? He thinks the ganirelix is shutting down my system. He gave me two options. 1. Continue and increase the medications. See what we get. 2. Cancel the cycle, start again with the old protocol that worked. I chose option 2. Why? Because why continue when we're going for good quality eggs? We don't know what we'll get, and the likelihood of having good eggs that result in good embryos is poor. We've wasted our time and money, but why waste our last attempt at IVF?

I feel deflated, socked in the stomach, like I should be searching out other options. Maybe I'm not meant to be a mother. Maybe I'm being punished by God? Maybe this is his/her way of telling me it's not meant to be.

In the meantime, I'm cooking, baking and on my second Gray Goose with cranberry and pineapple.

Bottoms up!
Pinky

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sometimes Bad Days Have Nothing To Do With IF...

...And today is one of them for sure.

To understand me, you have to understand that I am an animal lover. So much so that I decided that I would need to marry a veterinarian or a vet tech, because they are the only people who love animals as much and would understand my relationship with my furbabies. Amazingly, a vet tech found me, swept me off my feet, married me (twice) and is now in school to become a DVM. (I'm so proud of my Brain!) Ok, back on topic...My animals are not my children, but they are part of my family and are my furbabies. I love them with all my heart. Bessie and Tessa are mini rat terriers. Bessie is my trouble maker and she's tried to commit suicide several times. She has eaten a fallen medication and ended up in emergency seizing for hours. Her case was so interesting and difficult my roommate used it as a presentation for vet school. She has also jumped off a cliff at the beach, eaten most of a bag of dog food (twice) to the point where she had to hunch over to accommodate her stomach, vomited blood and turned blue after a routine dental which ended in a plasma transfusion and survived an attack by a German Shephard...just to name the memorable times. Her littermate Tessa has food intolerance and irritable bowel. I know this for sure because she's had an ultrasound, a colonoscopy and an endoscopy with biopsies. She's on two meds twice daily and a special diet. She also has a slew of "as needed" meds. Sometimes when she doesn't eat I have to hand feed her kibble by kibble. Boris and Vashti are our older cats and they tend to vomit up hair-balls, but what cat doesn't? Our new addition Beta had two eye surgeries to try and save her eye, and today a third surgery to remove her eye. Watson is our BIG dog and he's 80 pounds of gentile, lazy,  foo-foo, loving.  While I was in nursing school my roommate and I fostered kittens and found them homes at any expense. I even bought everything a kitten needs and left one in my parent's house when they called and said they were on their way home from the airport.

All this back story brings us to today and last night. Last night my friend calls and asks me to take four one day old kittens overnight and during Friday until around 6:00 p.m.  I was off and agreed since it was only one night and one day. They needed to get the kittens out of the humane society because the policy is to euthanize all kittens and puppies if surrendered to them. Her colleague was going to get in trouble for taking them, but they wanted to save them. She brought these little kittens over that were so new that their umbilical cords were still attached. I stayed up the whole night trying to get them to feed, keeping them warm, and toileting them. I had two hours of sleep before having to drop off Beta for her surgery. When I returned to feed them, the strongest one from last night was now limp and cold. I warmed her up, tried to get some glucose into her, and stimulate her. I repeated this frequently for hours until she died. The other three were strong and feeding well. Around 12:30 p.m. my friend calls me and tells me that her employers are threatening to charge her colleague with theft if the kittens aren't returned by 5:00 p.m.  I had to hand the kittens back over knowing they were going to be euthanized. We were stuck our backs up against a wall. If I kept the kittens this woman would be charged with theft and she could loose her license. If I gave them up my friend would probably be fired along with her colleague (she's quitting anyway) but more importantly these kittens will die.

So, on top of all my amped up hormones from this IVF cycle, and being sleep deprived, I'm upset about this kitten situation. I guess this is what I get...no good dead goes unpunished...

Today a red-eyed Pinky.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 12, 2011


Today was our fourth anniversary, our third anniversary, and our other third anniversary. It was the fourth anniversary of the day I gazed at the love of my life through an ivory veil as I walked down the isle to spend my life with her. We declared our love in front of our family and friends, and I the eyes of those who mattered we were married. The next year we stood with my parents in a courthouse and were married again. This time it was recognized by the state of California. It was also the day that we had agreed upon to start our family building journey. At that time, we had no clue what lay in store for us.

We’ve hit some low points. Some days I wasn’t sure the Brain would be home when I got there in the morning, anger, BFNs, a D & C, putting her cat down... We’ve had some great high points, gazing at each other 60 feet below the ocean, driving quads through Arizona, celebrating BFPs, getting tipsy while wine tasting…

Thank you dear Brain…I love you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Love Her!

The Brain and I both came into this relationship with three furbabies each. Me with two dogs and a cat, and her with two cats and a dog. A little over one year into our marriage we had to put one of the cats down. She was the Brain's baby, the most perfect little cat in her eyes. It was then we decided we'd wait until after we had a baby before getting any new animals. I swore off cats because my brother is allergic. But I digress. As much as I love her babies, they are loyal to her, and I don't have the same warm fuzzies with them as I do my own. My dogs are a little more neutral with their loyalties. Beta is our first furbaby together. The first one to melt both our hearts when she does something cute. We keep turning to each other and saying, "I love her!"

Beta is a great distractions too. Sunday morning in the middle of the night, while nursing a headache, nausea and cramps, the bleeding began. Wonderful . . . withdraw bleeding from the birth control pills! Since my first day of stims, I've had insomnia. When I finally do fall asleep I'm plagued with vivid disturbing dreams. After returning home from lunch in L.A. she played and purred and took a nap on me while I was asleep. She's the best Beta we've ever had!

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Anxiety

As I was walking up the stairs to my RE's office this afternoon, I suddenly had a wave of anxiety wash over me. It hit me and I stopped, like my feet were caught in the sand as the water recedes into the ocean. All I was going in for was a baseline ultrasound, not a big deal, but at that moment my hands were trembling. Each time I go in, I am more and more anxious. It all started with that seven week ultrasound where I was supposed to see a growing little baby with a strong heartbeat, but instead I saw a baby struggling to develop and lagging far behind. Then, a week later I didn't even look because I knew what he was going to say. The next day, I left after a D&C. At our ET I cried, was anxious, impatient, and didn't even watch. I didn't want to see the embryos that I might never meet. I left upset, negative and down. I don't want to be that way. I want to shed this anxiety, drop it in a corner like a heavy winter coat on the last day of winter. It weighs on me. I want to feel weightless again, like when we were scuba diving in Belize. I felt free and exhilarated knowing I was defying nature, breathing underwater, not even feeling the burden of the bulky dive gear. If only getting pregnant were as easy and enjoyable.

In other news, we started our stims today. I forgot the hot searing pain that goes along with Bravelle. I tried to postpone the shot by said "wait wait wait" a lot. But, I know she'll eventually sit on me, so I allowed her to give it to me. I thought that it would be an easier shot now that I've gained a few pounds and have some belly fat...but nope it still hurts.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beta


After our appointment with the RE on Friday, I batted my eyes, and whined about how I wanted a kitten. I'd been doing this since Wednesday. Only this time, I was successful in getting the Brain to steer the car towards the animal shelter. I just wanted to look at the kittens, and really had no intention of adopting any of them. I've fostered plenty of kittens and never kept any of them. But, just to make sure the Brain actually took me to the shelter, I reminded her it was a kill shelter, unlike where I got my persian Vashti which was a no kill shelter. When we got there I asked if there were any special needs cats there. They asked why we were interested in a special needs cat, and we explained that the Brain had been a vet tech for more than 10 years, and was starting vet school. They showed us a little 14 week kitten that had been taken out of a hoarder's house, had been very anemic due to flees, had been malnourished, and many eye infections. Because of the eye infections, the third eyelid had adhered to itself. She was going to be having eye surgery the following Monday and we could have her Tuesday. They called me Monday afternoon and asked that we pick her up that day. She'd had the eye surgery and  been spayed. Poor little thing came home and was so scared. She spent the next couple of days behind the toilet (her hiding place). She finally started playing last night and sleeping in her little kitty bed. Today when my big old box of meds arrived all the dogs barked she scurried back behind the toilet. She's such a cutie-pie, even though her eye is goopy. We've named her Beta, which is kind of a joke about beta HCG. We can hold her up in the air and have a high beta any time we want. And we're turning the drama of the beta into something fun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

(Another) New Plan

Friday was our follow up meeting with the RE, and I think I feel better. Actually, I'm really not sure how I feel. I know we have a new plan. I know he told me not to give up and that he thinks I will defintely be able to get pregnant and have a baby. He told me that he'll tell me when it's time to give up. He asked me to hang in their emotionally. I told him, as I choked back tears, that I was really trying to. We discussed that there was no way to know for sure why the betas were going up, and then went back down. There is no real way to know why I'm not staying pregnant. And that means no real concrete answers.

He reminded me I have frozen embryos. And at that point I asked if we could do another fresh cycle so that we could make more embryos. He supported that idea. But, with a twist. He wants to put in 3 day embryos. Everything inside me cringed at that idea. Everyone online has the idea that a 5 day embryo is better than a 3 day embryo. It has developed more, it is expanding, hatching, it's been given more time to see if it's better quality. But, I am also aware of the less popular theory that some REs like to put embryos back at 3 days to get them back to their natural environment.

My RE explained that with IVF they have been able to put the sperm and egg together, but the problem they always had was the medium to grow the embryos in. It's not like you can just put them in agar and expect them to grow. Scientists have experimented with changing the medium and have been able to grow the embryos out to 5 days. The theory was that if you could get them to 5 days, then the rate of pregnancy would increase. According to my RE, the numbers never really went up. He says doctors are heading back to the 3 day embryo.

I searched the web and looked for supporting evidence for the benefits of the 3 day transfer. Instead I found mostly forums talking about 5 day transfers, and one dialogue between a woman with infertility and a doctor who per his words was "on a soap box" against 3 day transfers. I'm going to put my trust in our RE once again, and try the 3 day transfer out. It can't really go any more wrong than what we've been doing.

So the plan is to do a fresh cycle with a 3 day transfer. We'll freeze the rest and if emotionally I can't handle doing anything for a while, we'll be able to come back to it without having to worry about not having enough embryos. For now, I just have to wait until the bleeding starts. AF will be bittersweet.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

About My Third Beta

I spent the time before my third beta angry. And by angry, I really mean pissed off at the world. I had to walk outside, or just down the hall several times so people wouldn't see me cry. I vented briefly on Tuesday morning to a few of my coworkers about how scared and mad I was. This turned out to be the wrong thing to do. Instead of the support I needed, one of my brilliant coworkers threw in her two cents and told me that I should have a one night stand, nobody would know the difference. I turned to her and said I wasn't going to address that comment because it was just going to piss me off. But then, I let her know that I can't get pregnant by "fucking" someone. Yes, the curse words started spilling. Why should I watch my mouth when she so obviously doesn't watch hers. I reminded her that I buy high quality sperm, have an embryologist who monitors my embryos and the quality, that I have a specialist who monitors my reproductive system and times everything just so, and yet I still can't hold onto a pregnancy. I didn't even get into the fact that I am married and suggesting infidelity is offensive and disrespectful.

I was even angry while getting my blood drawn. They aren't accustom to seeing me in a bad mood since I usually have a smile on my face and am chipper. Even when I was there for the D&C, so was my smile. I continued being grumpy all the way to The San Diego Wild Animal Park. I'm not sure I enjoyed our "safari" as much as I could have. We were the only couple without children, and most of the children on the truck were annoying me by their lack of attention to personal space, volume control and inappropriate comments.

They usually call around 3:30 pm with the results of the betas. By 4 pm, they still hadn't called and I was sure that was a sign they were putting off the bad news. We left the park, and headed home. As we were pulling out of parking lot, we got the call. The nurse I usually love called and was so upbeat. In the same upbeat tone, she told me she had bad news for me. At this point I'm thinking to myself, "duh, I already knew this was going to be bad."  My beta had dropped to 125 or 127, I don't remember and what are two points anyway. My RE wanted me to stop the medications and not be discouraged. He also wondered if I had a hysteroscopy. In fact, he preformed the hysteroscopy, and I remember every painful moment of it. I wonder if there could be scarring from the D&C. And, I wonder why on Earth am I supposed to not feel discouraged. My body is betraying me. I'm putting myself through these terrible treatments, damaging my body trying to get pregnant. My gluteal muscles are hard and lumpy, discolored, painful, sometimes itchy and more than likely scarred. I sometimes wonder what the future implications of all these hormone treatments will be. And then I think of how much time I've invested in these treatments. But that will be another post.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Second Beta

Second beta is 272, which is "right on the money" per the nurse. But, the doctor wants me to have another beta in two days. She told me not to be discouraged. So how do I feel? Totally torn up inside. I POAS at work last night hoping for an encouraging dark line, but instead only saw a faint one. I knew at that moment it wasn't going to be as high as I had hoped. I've seen tons of stories where betas rise slowly and then end up just fine, but I want stellar numbers that rise and then really, ultimately, I want a freaking baby.  It's like having a carrot dangled in front of you that you can't quite reach.

Feeling a little pissed off at the universe,
Pinky

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Didn't I Say I Wouldn't Worry?

Yup, I'm pretty sure I had decided just to ride the high for as long as I could. But, there I was yesterday evening, getting ready for work, worrying. I realized this time is different because now I know I have MTHFR. So I did a google search for MTHFR and pregnancy and saw all these people posting about m/c. It made me really worried about only being on the folgard and aspirin. My RE doesn't think that I'll need heparin or lovenox, but I'd almost rather play it safe, and do more. My goal...graduate from my RE to a high risk OB. I'll have to insist on going to one of those since my regular OB/GYN didn't even know what MTHFR is. Then, that doctor will be able to start me on whatever he or she thinks is necessary and will help me have a healthy live birth. All this, mind you, before I have even had my second beta. Am I jumping ahead of myself? Maybe, but if there is one thing navigating through the land of IF has taught me, hope for the best and plan for the worst. All this madness of course started because I woke up early due to a bad dream I was having. In my dream I was sitting on the toilet and looked down to see a bowl full of bright red, bloody water. I can't help but take vivid dreams as omens, since so many of them have come true. But damn it, not that one. And now, having been up for around 18 hours, delirium sets in and I must go to bed, where I will hopefully dream of a big baby bump.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beta Day

I got home from work around 4 am, and it took me about half and hour to wind down and fall asleep. I set my alarm for 6:30 am, even though the RE's satellite office is only about 2 minutes from my house. I knew that I'd be hitting snooze before throwing on some sweat pants. That is, of course exactly what I did. The Brain woke up early with me and drove me to the office. The medical assistant who goes to that office to draw my blood lives on the same street as me. She loves having to draw my blood because it means she gets an extra hour of sleep, draws by blood and then heads into the main office that is about an hour away at that time of the day. I stayed up another hour for my shot and meds and then went back to sleep. I love being tired and a little sleep deprived because sleeping helps to make the long hours between the blood draw and the dreaded phone call go by so quickly. Our FET coordinator called and I passed the ringing phone to the Brain, and refused to get on the phone until I knew it wasn't bad news. When we knew that much, we put switched to speaker phone. That is when she told me...my beta was 137!! That is SO MUCH higher than we've ever had. My chemical was 12, my last BFP was 23 and now 137!! This is such a strong number! We're thrilled and so excited about my next beta on Monday. Nothing to do but enjoy the happy feelings until then. 

Simply smiling,
Pinky

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pregnant vs Not Pregnant

As much as I think I am pregnant again, I don't think I am. I'm going to walk into my beta tomorrow morning trying to prepare myself for the worst, and hoping for the best. I've been coming up with a mental list of pros and cons. Here is my list so far.

Reasons why I’m pregnant
Reasons why I’m not pregnant
Sore swollen breasts that started 3-4 days after ET.
Sore breasts could be from the progesterone, although in the past this started before ET.
Wanting to eat eggs almost every day.
No nausea except when I think about it.
During daily sweeps to get rid of the crinone residue yesterday and today, I removed dark brown and black lumps which is old blood…implantation bleeding?
Acne, normal for before periods.
Pain to my right lower abdomen.
Pain to my right lower abdomen.
I had a feeling of fullness all last week to my lower abdomen.
The feeling of fullness to my lower abdomen is gone.
A little nasal congestion. 
My animals aren’t any more cuddly or attentive than they normally are.
Not peeing frequently.
Not any more tired than usual. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sea Turtles

Last year when we did IVF, the Brain used to call me a sea turtle, because they lay many eggs, and so did I. Today, this image returned into my life. I have a friend who recently traveled to Hawaii on vacation. She returned with a little silver sea turtle charm. She told me that in Hawaii, sea turtles are good luck. As she placed the anklet around my left ankle, she told me that I wasn't to take it off until after I give birth to my baby. It's a really sweet gesture, and I love that it's a sea turtle. Thanks friend!

Friday, July 8, 2011

7/8/11

I've been coloring mandalas in an attempt to remain calm and find my center. I'm not sure if it's working, but I'm enjoying it in the meantime. I was even relaxed enough to take a couple of naps today. I'm also trying to avoid being on symptom watch or comparing the way I feel this time to last time. Tying is the important word here. I had some mild pain and cramping the day of the transfer and the next day. Now, I don't really feel anything different from what I felt before the transfer. I take this as a good sign. I've changed to crinone, which is ridiculously expensive. There has to be a pharmacy where I can get it cheaper. It's worth it though, because my bottom is starting to return to it's normal color. The lumps will go away eventually, but even those are getting better.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3:01:51 p.m.

Today was supposed to be full of joy, hope and serenity...but I felt so many more emotions than that. I woke up and hoped that the Brain and I could "make a baby" before making a baby. It was a disaster. I couldn't get into it, so was angry, annoyed and frustrated. Maybe I was too tired, but my head and heart wasn't in it. I worked all weekend and only had two hours of sleep. We got to the RE's office and were put in a room. The embryologist came in and told us she thawed two five day blasts. One was great quality and expanding...the other had areas of necrosis on it but parts were still alive and we were going to transfer that one too. She couldn't thaw any more because the rest were frozen at three days. She didn't seem to understand why I seemed tense. Really? She just told me that one of my little frosties is bad quality. I know it just takes one good embryo, but still when she left I burst into tears. They checked my bladder and moved me into another room for the transfer. I felt like I was going to pee on my doctor, I was so full. I wasn't relaxed so all the inserting and spraying and wiping and who knows what that they do to get the catheter in place was uncomfortable. I was so impatient, and asked that they hurry because I really needed the bedpan. I didn't even watch the ultrasound monitor as they transfered the embryos. Instead I just buried my head into the Brain's armd and held on. Usually I'm so easy going and jovial in the office, but today I was all nerves and fear. They sprinkled their magic baby dust on me and left us alone with each other and the bedpan. Again, tears. I felt such an emptiness in my heart. The same feeling I had when I woke up the day after my D&C. I know exactly what is missing...my baby. I'm so afraid it won't work and I don't want to feel afraid right now. I want to feel hopeful. I don't want to be thinking about the next step if it doesn't work, but yet my mind keeps wandering there. I'm trying to breath in tranquility and exhale the fear and negativity.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Pain

My butt hurts so much I had to sob into my pillow after my shots this morning. I have never swollen up and bruised like this before. I started to by the end of last cycle, but not to this extent. I've asked my RE if we can switch the oil or change to the Crinone suppositories. I wanted him to decide which is better for me...but alas, he's giving me the choice. Now I'm in a quandary. I want the most effective medication. I'm leaning towards the suppository because it's fast and easy. The drawbacks are it's more expensive and it can leave a nasty residue that requires some spelunking to get rid of it. Another oil may feel better and cause less swelling and bruising, or it may be just as bad. The Brain is at a loss for answers and opinions. Can't someone just tell me what to do? Sometimes I just don't feel like making anymore decisions for myself...and this is one of those times.

My PIO Bruise Diary:




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Generosity

Our RE continues to shower us with kindness. The Brain called yesterday to ask how much the FET would cost. (Maybe we should have done this at our baseline ultrasound?) They put her on hold, and when they returned, they blew her away. The $2000 FET, which should have come with a discount (for being a nurse) is actually not going to cost anything. We'll pay for blood work, and of course continue paying for our meds, but the FET is free. I have NO idea why, and I'm not going to question it. I'm just amazingly grateful for yet another act of generosity. Perhaps our RE wants to entice us to bring more baked treats, or maybe he's just very invested in making our story a success story. Regardless, he's getting the Brain's famous brownies this Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Butterflies In My Basket

This Friday we go in for an ultrasound to see if I'm ready to start progesterone. If my lining is thick enough, we should expect to do the transfer on July 5th. The Brain has picked up the baby blanket she began crocheting during our last cycle. I suppose this is her way of coping with having the idea that we may be pregnant again soon. She's coping better than I am. Instead of nervous excitement, I'm scared. I'm afraid we'll have another BFN. I'm afraid that we'll have a BFP that will end in a m/c. I'm sad that IF has made this process about fear and caution rather than joy and abandon. I have to center myself, find my little zen place and stay there. Maybe it's in the pile of stuff next to the bed. I'll have to dig deep below the pillows to find it.

Being a nervous nelly,
Pinky

Sunday, June 12, 2011

TMI

AF is here with vengeance, and that is an understatement. Day one was slow and I prematurely thought that maybe this cycle was going to be super light because of the D&C. By the next day, I was bleeding so heavy that I soaked through a super plus tampon in an hour. At that point, I switched to pads, because tampons make the cramping so much worse. On Saturday, day three, I visited my RE for my baseline ultrasound and he suggested I get a CBC. Usually by day three, when I sit on the little chucks, there is only a slight but of blood only after the ultrasound wand has been removed. Nope, this time I had soaked it before he even entered the room. I got up to get dressed and noticed blood on the floor. I hurried and cleaned it up and disposed of the chucks. Being a stubborn ER nurse, I refused to go to the urgent care for a CBC until I was symptomatic.... lightheaded. My hemoglobin was normal and so I went on my merry way to continue soaking through one pad every three hours. Here we are on day four, and now in addition to all the blood, there are huge clots. JOY!! I've used up the package of pads and bought overnights in hopes that will cut down on the frequency. All this is way to much information, but I'm just overwhelmed by the amount of blood pouring out of my body. My periods usually last 5 days, and today is the end of day 4. I see no signs of this easing up. It's making it very difficult to enjoy that fact that we've begun our cycle for FET #2. Yes, my first injection was yesterday! 

Off to bleed some more...
Pinky

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lunchtime First

I met a woman about the same age as me through the Resolve message boards. I was so excited to friend her on the boards when I saw how close to me she lived. Although I thought maybe we could become friends, I didn't suggest it for fear that she would not want to break the anonymity of the the message boards format. To my great surprise, she asked me if I would like to join her and her friend for lunch. Although I was nervous about meeting a complete stranger off the internet, I accepted. The three of us met on Thursday for lunch. We dove straight into our IF and respectfully leapt over personal boundaries. Our experiences with IF were all different yet we had so much in common. In fact, we have all seen the same RE. We talked about our spouses, our mother in laws, our sister in laws, our furbabies, our jobs, our neurotic fertility diets, God, religion, sex, baking and more until suddenly three hours had passed. I left with such joy in my heart to have been able to meet personally with two IF sisters. I am so thankful to the two of them for allowing me to join them, and for sharing their stories with me. I look forward to our next lunch.

Looking forward to more Panera,
Pinky

Monday, May 30, 2011

Oops, False Alarm

I was offered a job interview for the new position in my hospital. Since I wear scrubs most of the time, I only own two professional outfits, and I wanted to look sharp. So, off to the mall I went for a day of taking care of errands I'd been avoiding since I dislike the mall so much. I had tried on bunches of white skirts and pants because everyone wears black, and I like to stand out. For my grad school interview, I wore celadon. I found nothing, and decided to head over to Nordstroms, where customer service still means something. I felt a gush, and then another. Slowly I sauntered over to the restroom. I looked down, and audibly let out a "shit!" I was bleeding through my tiny thong and jeans. I rushed home to clean up and thank God for not letting that happen 20 minutes earlier while I was trying on the white suites. What would I have done? Ball up the pants in a corner and run? Ball them up and take the tags to the counter and try and pay for the mess asap? Oh well, why worry about something you don't have to deal with? What I did need to worry about was if the Brain and I were ready to move on with a cycle. We deiced time is not our friend. Time won't make us worry any less about getting a BFN, or a BFP that turns out to be a chemical, or a BFP that ends in a m/c or D&C. We're just going to worry, so we might as well worry now. We called the RE and left a message. The next day when the coordinator called us back, I let her know that I had stopped bleeding. She gave me her cell phone number and told me to call her if I started up again. I went on with my weekend, planting vines and roses in the front of my condo. And then suddenly, gush...there it was again. I called the coordinator back and through the noise of a carnival set up a baseline ultrasound. By the time I got to the office the next day, the bleeding had stopped...again. I informed the RE and he reassured me we'd know what was happening in a minute. So, there we were, me on the table with my feet in stirrups again, thinking about how my nail polished is chipped on my toe, and that I should either wear socks next time or get a pedicure. He announces that this is not my period, I have no cysts, and it is an anovulatory cycle. My lining, which should be thin by now, is very thick and it is just break through bleeding. He hands me a prescription for provera and esterase and shakes my hand, "see you in a couple of weeks." I suppose this works out well. I won't be juggling injections, hormones and appointments the day of my interview. And I won't be bleeding through my white pants.

Stuck behind the starting gates....Pinky

Friday, May 27, 2011

Doctors

I had three doctor's appointments yesterday, and am proud to say none of them were with my RE. I like to schedule them all in one day so that I can just get them out of the way. It's so sad that at 31, I cluster my appointments like a little old lady would so that she could still make it to mahjong with the other purple haired grannies on Friday.

My first appointment was with my primary. I've been getting auras ever since my first IVF cycle. The last time I actually had the headache after, but usually it's just the aura. He put me on a medication that should help, but isn't safe for pregnancy. That's fine, because when I'm on all the hormones, I don't get the aura.

Then, I moved on to my appointment with my OB.  It hit me hard how different an OB and a RE are. I handed him my lab results because when I get pregnant, I wanted him to be my OB. Now, I'm rethinking it. I had to explain what MTHFR is, what the treatments are and what the future implications are. He even asked me about the cost of IVF and FET. I really like this OB, he is very supportive, kind, patient, and he complimented me on my strength and dedication trying to get pregnant. But, is this OB going to be qualified to make sure that I get the right meds and treatment during a pregnancy? It's something I'll defiantly ask when the time comes.

Lastly, I had my eyes checked and purchased sunglasses, prescription sunglasses, contacts and new lenses for the frames I already have and love. I got a pair of designer sunglasses, because damn it, I deserve it. But, parting with the money was a little difficult. In fact, I put back the pair of Tiffany's sunglasses because I couldn't justify spending the money on them. Funny how I'm willing to drop thousands of dollars on IF, but several hundred on my eyes seems like too much.

Now, to enjoy the time without doctor's appointments,
Pinky

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Infamous Facebook

The idea of a personal life, and privacy is somewhat antiquated by today's standards. People post every little thought and event on twitter and facebook. Now that everyone has a cell phone, photos of the mundane, the embarrassing, and the miraculous are captured and shared almost instantly. I've seen posts about vacuum cleaners, landscaping, car accidents, new jobs, food critiques, vacation plans, paranoid ramblings, being sick, birthdays, births, deaths, weddings, parties, getting drunk, getting laid, being board, having fun, having fun while on a date etc. I've seen photos of babies, children, cars, dinner, drunken escapades, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, animals, houses, bathtubs etc. You get the point. Board stay at home mothers can post 10 times a day photos of their children and every thought that passes through their heads. Pregnant friends posts weekly updates explaining the development of their fetus. If they can be open about pregnancy, family, and their love for tapioca pudding, than why must I keep quiet about IF?

Over the years I have posted little things about my IF. Mostly things that hint at it, but do not outright say "I'm infertile" or "I'm in the middle of a cycle of IVF" or "I just found out this pregnancy isn't viable" Instead I've posted about my butt being sore, or not being able to stop crying. In the beginning, I remember posting about how expensive sperm was. Truthfully, I'm a little done with the silence. I'm not ashamed about anything we've done or are doing. I'm not embarrassed of IF. But I feel like society tells me to be hushed, that it's not something people want to hear about, or be burdened with. And today, I've decided I've had enough. People on my message board talk about coming out IF. My thought on that, if I  live my life out of the closet in a society that still discriminates against gays, then why not be open and "out" about IF?

So today I posted "For many of my friends, happy and exciting news is finding out they are pregnant, finding out if it's a boy or girl, and having their baby. For me, exciting happy news is finding out I have MTHFR with two copies of the gene C677T, which may explain why it's been two years of trying, with one chemical pregnancy, and one miscarriage. So for this blessing, I give thanks." 

Feeling sassy today,
Pinky

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Have An Answer!

IF is full of questions and very few answers, and it seems with each answer comes more questions. Today, I'm celebrating having an answer and will try and hold off on worrying about all my new questions for later. Without getting into detail of the very uninformative calls from the FET coordinator that led me to e-mail my RE to ask if any of my tests were abnormal, I'll jump to the highlight. That is, the one line response from my RE. "Your MTHFR came back as a double mutation" Of course, I get this e-mail at work and I want to celebrate and cry all at the same time. I understand what MTHFR is, but don't know anything about a double mutation. I'm just happy something is wrong that can be treated. That finally there is a reason why we've been struggling. I'll ask about treatment with blood thinners later. Today, we celebrate the small victory!

Info makes for a happy Pinky!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blissful Nothing

Nothing to report, nothing to write about. No updates in the IF world. No results from the blood tests. No breakdowns, or thoughts of loss. No new opinions about the hand we've been dealt. Just getting over being sick, working a lot, and applied for the other job. So far, just enjoying being on hold.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lists, Announcements and Odd Thoughts

Today I'm filled with a morbidity that is slanting my perspective for the better and worse.

Announcement #1: Chromosome analysis results came back as a healthy male. This isn't the news we were hoping for. This means I have to go into my PMD today and BEG them to PLEASE have mercy on my pocketbook and order the $865 worth of tests for recurrent pregnancy loss and Ashkenazi panel.

Announcement #2: I'm thinking of applying for a different job within my hospital. My main concern is that I would be working days, and would need to miss work for appointments. I currently work nights and miss out on sleep rather than work for appointments. IF may keep me from professional dreams as well. 

Odd thought #1: I'm now hoping for a blood disorder so all I have to do is go on Lovenox. What kind of reality am I living in?

Odd thought #2: Maybe I lost this baby boy because it was Passover, and god took my first "born" son. I should have put lamb's blood on my door. I tell this to my RE, and luckily he laughs.

Odd thought #3: When praying, or making a wish...be specific and make clauses. It was not enough to wish/pray to be pregnant. That was exactly what I got. I have learned that what I will now wish/pray for is for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy and normal delivery, and a healthy full term baby. 

List #1: Qualities that lead to multiple healthy pregnancies according to personal observation...
Use of methamphetamine
Having difficulty supporting yourself and family financially
Having no savings or ability to support yourself or family in case of high risk pregnancy
Having little to no education
Being between the age of 12 and 21
Maintaining a diet of fast food, processed foods, and large amounts of caffeine

List #2:  Pregnancy Announcements on FB
Amber- due by the end of the week, updates on pregnancy about 3-6 times per day. Lost her first baby, and get announcements about that multiple times daily. 
Bethany- Announced pregnancy this week with a photo of her HPT followed by the comment to watch for the full video of her delivery in December. 
Dana- Pregnant with twins. Not sure why your DW thought it would make me feel better to tell me you went through IVF. Like I care how people get pregnant. 
Alicia- Pregnant and enjoying herself in Australia.
Halcy- 20 weeks pregnant, showing off her baby bump and announcing she is grateful for God's gift. 
Maggie- Her daughter has felt her baby girl kick for the first time. 
Jaymie- Pregnant with a little girl. Comes to work with giant cups of coffee, talks about loving maternity pants. 
Jamie- Pregnant with twin boys, bored because she's off work. 
Kim- Due in September. Married less than a year, and feeling blessed. 
Judith- Baby born the day I had my D&C.
April- Baby born the week I had my D&C. Asked me for info on IUI years ago when she told me she planned on starting to try in about a year or so. 


Friday, April 29, 2011

In the Last Week I…


I had a 4-day-old little girl brought to me by EMTs after her mother was placed on a psychiatric hold for inappropriate behavior. They had been staying at a safe house within a rehabilitation facility. The baby’s behavior and development was all normal, but she had a little hematoma on her head. Because it was a CPS case, there was nobody there to take care of the baby. All the nurses and some of the doctors were fighting over holding, and feeding, and changing and cuddling the baby. I had no interest in holding the baby, but I took care of her when nobody else was around. The baby ended up having a skull fracture and bleed. I knew I should feel angry, but I didn’t. I didn’t feel anything.

I took a pregnancy test and it was still positive. Seeing that second line and knowing it wasn’t real was crushing. The next day, I tested again and it was negative.

I’ve been fighting a cold all week. After Theraflu failed me, I took Mucinex. I didn’t realize it has dextromethorphan. After taking the med, I spent the next day and a half stuck in bed trying not to freak out. I get anxious, hallucinate, and feel terrible when I take anything with dextromethorphan.

While at Disneyland I got a call from my RE’s office letting me know that my beta as of Wednesday was 20. My RE thinks that I could start a cycle as early as next week. Maybe we’ll go ahead, maybe we won’t.  Rather than thinking about it too hard, I went on a rollercoaster.

We went out of dinner at an amazing steakhouse. I had a delicious glass of wine, yet another thing I couldn’t do if I were still pregnant.

Got the green light to start a new FET cycle next week. I wrote back that we would start once this cold has gone away. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

To My IF Sisters

I want to acknowledge something that touched my heart, and made me feel a lot less alone. While reading through all the kind words, thoughts, and prayers left as comments, I noticed people saying they were from LFCA. After a quick search, I discovered the Lost and Found Connections Abound. I skimmed it and then continued on with my self-pity. Then, this morning, I returned to the site and thoroughly read through the pages to see what the site is about. There, under Pregnancy Announcements and News, was a blurb about me, and my little baby measuring behind. Someone read my blog, announced it on the board, and women who don't know me, but know my struggle, gave me exactly what I needed: support. Thank you so much for this kindness.

I also need to thank the women of inspire, who kept positive during the week we waited to know if our baby was growing, and who reached out to me when we found out it no longer was. I keep visiting the site and reading the posts to help gather strength when I start to fall apart. 

The physical and emotional pain we endure on our journeys to motherhood would be much more difficult without each other. Be proud of yourselves for your unselfish benevolence. I see the dark side of humanity far too frequently in my professional life, and it is a breath of fresh air to encounter such compassion among strangers. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Day After

I have pressure over my heart. It takes my breath away. I think it will last forever. I know it won’t. I want to move on. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

8 weeks 0 days


5:38 a.m.- I’ve been up since 3:45 a.m. watching old episodes of the Twilight Zone. How ironic and appropriate, since I feel like I’m in my own Twilight Zone episode: Pinky’s Pregnancy. In less than 12 hours I should have some answers. I hope all the nausea and fatigue I’ve experiences this week are positive signs. But, I keep dreaming about needing to schedule a D&C. I’ve been trying to maintain a happy attitude, since being depressed won’t help my little runt.

8:15 a.m.- The baby bump app sent me an update letting me know I’ve started a new week in my pregnancy. 8 weeks today! By now my baby should be the size of a raspberry, and my uterus the size of a grapefruit. Perhaps I was too hasty in purchasing an app that would guide me through my pregnancy week by week. Shame on me for celebrating my pregnancy with great optimism so early on.

10:00 a.m.- The pain, redness, and swelling in my right hip/butt from the PIO injections is unbearable. The pressure of my underwear is too much. I melt down into full on snotty nose sobbing. My little dog decides my butt is a springboard. At this moment she is my worst enemy, and I can’t blame her, how can she know any better?

4:30 p.m.- There is no new development, the pregnancy is over. My doctor starts to give me my options and I blurt out D&C before he can even finish. The Brain and I had already discussed this, so there was no need for further conversation. He offers to call in his anesthesiologist and do it right then and there. I accept until I realize I had drunk tea on the way in, and eaten 6 hours prior. They check my insurance to see what will be covered. My dear insurance company wants me to go to my primary doctor. My sainted RE feels more comfortable doing it himself, decides to waive his fee, leaving only a mere $400 for us to cover for the anesthesiologist. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful RE. We schedule the D&C for first thing the next morning. We reschedule the Brain’s doctor’s appointment and head home.

7:00 p.m.- The sense of calm and relief I’ve been feeling starts to fade. I’m a little sad and a little nervous. I keep having thoughts of posting something obnoxious and totally inappropriate on FB. Mostly I’m just glad this will soon be over and we will get to try again as soon as my beta is near 0. In the meantime, I plan on watching a sad movie and icing my swollen butt. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Purgatory

I feel like I've been punched in the stomach and then hugged by the person who punched me. That's pretty much what just happened. My RE looked said there was a pregnancy, and I knew at once my fears turning into a reality. I know his happy tone and his worried tone. First he just saw a sack, then he measured the baby at 5w6d and couldn't see a heartbeat. He looked for a long time and found a heartbeat of 133. So, it's not over, but it's not good. He gave me a hug and said we'd recheck in a week. So I get to cry, and they get to enjoy a fresh batch of Irish Car Bomb cupcakes that I baked for them.

Letter To My Higher Power...

Today I am 7 weeks pregnant and I am scheduled for my first ultrasound. Please grant me the pleasure of seeing a baby, measuring 7 weeks, with a strong heartbeat. Please let me feel connected with this little life growing inside of me. Release me from this fear and apprehension I feel everyday. Today I worry that my uterus will be empty, that there will be an empty sac, that there will be a baby and no heartbeat, that there will be a baby and a slow heartbeat, or something worse, if that is possible. I am too afraid to take a pregnancy test in order to reassure myself that I'm still pregnant, because I think it will only show one line. I worry because my betas were so low, and most women on my message boards report high numbers. I try and reassure myself by reminding myself that I only have the power to take my shots and vitamins, to eat nutritious foods, to hydrate well, to sleep as directed on my side or back, to abstain from sex and to rest. Please replace this fear with love and serenity. It is out of my hands.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I would give to be sick and throw up...

Then at least I might feel pregnant. I can't count the sore and enlarged breasts as a pregnancy symptom because I'm on progesterone and estrogen shots, which cause that. I'm peeing all the time, but also drinking more water than usual. Usually, I might drink 8-12 oz of fluid per day. Instead I'm drinking water all day and all night long. If I sleep for 8 hours without drinking, I wake up feeling parched, my hands feel swollen and have mild cramps. I am also eating a lot more salt that usual. Normally I use salt to bake and that's about it, but now I'm adding it to food, and enjoying salty food. But, I'm afraid to POAS because I have a fear that it will be negative. We still have 9 days to go until the ultrasound and I'm afraid there won't be a baby in there. I also had two baby dreams today. One was at an ultrasound and there were two babies, one with a strong heartbeat, and one with a slow heartbeat. Then, I had a dream where I was holding a baby and I didn't know if it was a boy or girl or how old it was, but I knew it was mine. The baby was holding onto me very tightly. You can't tell, but I'm actually trying not to worry...but it's not working. 

Calmly worried, Pinky

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nerves

IF is like a shadow lurking beneath you, following you everywhere you go. Sometimes I think I can shake it. It's like enjoying high noon on a beach, it's great while it lasts, but inevitably the sun shifts positions in the sky, and it isn't quite as nice. For a few days, I was on cloud nine. And now, the worry sets it. I worry that my little embryo(s) are developing properly. That the wellbutrin I take won't effect my baby's heart. I worry that something will happen before I even have the chance to see that heart on the ultrasound at 7 weeks. I worry because I often feel a fullness in my lower abdomen. I worry because sometimes I don't feel a fullness in my lower abdomen. I especially worry because I worry, and anxiety and stress isn't good for a pregnancy.

I know that I'm not nearly out of the woods. I see women who come into the ER loosing their babies early in the pregnancy. I want so badly to celebrate entering my second trimester, then my third and then my healthy baby. I can't even bring myself to wish to be like most other women and glide through pregnancy with little concern. If this were easy, than would I appreciate this gift as much? I'd like to think that those of us who battle IF embrace pregnancy and motherhood with the spirit of a woman who has been to hell and back, with an appreciation kin to when a person experiences a near death experience.

Goal for today: Distraction and relaxation through work and deep breathing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

4 weeks 2 days

After we got the call that my second beta had more than doubled, we purchased a box of HPT. I really wanted to see two lines, something we'd never seen before. The first test, the line was faint, but there. I was so excited that it was faint, because then I could see it get darker. So, I waited two days, and took another HPT. The line was defiantly darker! I'm so excited because it means my little lucky charms are hanging on and growing. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Life and Taxes

Driving to our accountants, my cell phone rings. I recognize the number, it's the RE's office. I pick up as we pull into the lot. The nurse asks for me by name and introduces herself. "This is Jennifer from Dr. Q's office. I'm calling about your beta." GULP. Not again, it's gone down, it's chemical! "Your beta is 69, it more than doubled." What?? Why did she say it like that, she just told me good new right? I actually ask her, "Why did you say it so seriously? I was preparing myself for the worst. My heart was in my throat." Then I ask about the next step, my next beta. She tells me I don't need one, I just need to continue my meds and come into the office for an ultrasound in April. Then, the next questions out of my mouth surprise me. 1. Can I have sex yet? 2. Can I sleep on my stomach? Answers, no and no. It's worth it, totally worth it.

We sat with the accountant on cloud nine, and must have had the biggest goofy smiles on our faces the whole time. The Brain and I just held hand and exchanged grins. He totaled our returns, and in my head I was thinking...money for the baby, for the nursery. We have savings again!! Gosh, I loved tax day!!

Floating somewhere over the moon....
Pinky

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

7dp5dt

As much as I wish IVF didn’t involve vaginas, it does. There is constantly things going in and coming out. Pelvic ultrasounds with loads of goopie surgilube, speculums, catheter tips, dilators, camera tips, contrast, saline, suppositories, needles…in. Blood, more blood, secretions, increased secretions, and more blood…out. Why can't my vagina be a happy place, all cute and clean, and free of medical instruments. Of course, all this will seem obsolete once I’m pregnant and delivering a baby and all that comes out with that… With that said, I raise my glass of water to TMI, an unavoidable part of IF.

At 2:00 am I had my first bathroom break of the night. I sat down, looked down, and there it was…thick, dark, brown blood. Damn! How can be blood be a good sign seven hours before my beta? Then, an hour later, more brown blood. That’s it…it’s over, it hasn’t worked. My coworker who is a midwife suggested implantation bleeding. Some of the members of members of my online support group also suggested implantation bleeding. When I get to the office looking defeated, one of the nurses reassured me that dark brown is good blood. She comments that I always stay so positive until the last day. She’s right, except for the one off negative Nancy day earlier in the week, I’m usually very upbeat and positive.

Then the phone call wakes me up around 3 pm. The nurse says she has good news and I have to stop her and question what she said. Good news? For me? No, I’m bleeding and it’s over. She says my beta is 23. That’s 13 more than last cycle when I had a chemical pregnancy. This is progress!

Now, if only I could renounce my membership to the panty inspection club...
Pinky

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Symptom watch 2011...

Last night around 2:30 am nausea struck. After debating whether or not to get up to vomit, I decided instead to go to the sleep instead. When I woke up at 7 am, the nausea was just as bad. I got up to feed the dogs and had to stop and sit down a few times. The smell of my dog's wet food was too much for my churning stomach. While annoying, it gave me hope, because it's the first symptom that can't be blamed on progesterone.

Around 10:45 am, I woke up again. This time from a vivid, steamy sex dream. I don't have those very frequently. Luckily I woke up in time. It took a few hours to fall back asleep because I couldn't get comfortable. I was experiencing a cramping pain in my lower abdomen. The cramps were unlike the cramps I have experienced up until now, and before the ET. It was more of a burning cramp.

Since waking up at 4:30 pm for work, I have been free of nausea and cramps. We'll see how the rest of the night goes...it's my first night back at work.

Pinky

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Lucky Charms

Implant...grow...thrive...I'll keep this image in my thoughts to conjure up the warm fuzzies and hope.
Your mommy,
Pinky

2dp5dt

I spent yesterday acting a bit aloof because negative thoughts kept popping into my head. Being negative doesn’t help my stress levels, which in turn doesn’t help my little embryos implant, which doesn’t help me get my BFP. It’s counterproductive to be sad and negative, so I’m done with that.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. My body kept aching and I had trouble getting comfortable. I don’t like lying on my back, it just never feels right. But, the RE’s instructions say no sleeping on your stomach. I kept trying my side, but my belly would cramp. My legs were aching, it was too hot, and every time I adjusted, I woke up. And, my mouth was really dry, so I needed to drink water. I dislike water…

My breasts are tender, but they have been since before the ET. The only difference is today they are bigger. The Brain likes this.

My appetite is less than usual. Yesterday I didn’t eat a lot, so I have to make sure to eat more today in case my Lucky Charms have decided to burrow in a share my food. I want them to grow up to be strong, and eating chips with bean dip, and ice cream shakes isn’t a good start to their long and happy existence. I have experienced little to no nausea during this cycle, which is a big change from previous cycles. Maybe that’s a good thing. I am frequently nauseated even when we aren’t trying, so not being nauseated is a change.

Time will tell.
Pinky

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embryo Transfer

While laying on my back, my legs up in delivery stirrups, speculum already inserted and waiting for the embryologists to bring in my two progressing blasts, I announced to my RE that in honor of St Patrick’s day, we were dubbing our little embryos out “Lucky Charms.” As ridiculous as it sounds, I like to name our embryos so that I can refer to them with a loving pet name while I’m talking to them. They laughed with us. Then, my RE said, “Isn’t today Mardi Gras?” Yep…it was Mardi Gras and I hadn’t realized that. My RE suggested the Brazilian Bose Novas. I asked him if I was going to be getting any beads from the office. The Brain reminded me that I hadn’t lifted my shirt for any beads. I turned to her and reminded her that while I hadn’t lifted my shirt to show off my breasts, I’d dropped my pants and showed a lot more. Now remember, I’m up in stirrups and have a speculum locked and ready to go…while laughing with most of the office staff and a rotating physician. It’s a moment only someone going through IF can truly appreciate. The embryologist entered the room, complimented the soundtrack, and then was reintroduced as the glorified babysitter. I complimented her on her babysitting skills. My two little blasts were inserted and we watched as they flickered on the screen, like bright little stars. There were hugs and sticky embryo wishes from the RE and we were left for the half hour of rest and a few bedpan breaks. I wonder what they call babies made on Mardi Gras, king's babies?
Pinky

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dream


Last night I dreamt that I was riding a tandem bicycle with someone familiar (but whose identity I don’t remember) through a city. We reached a bridge and had to stop to walk the bike across. I looked out across the large body of water, as if looking towards San Francisco from the Bay Bridge. As I took a step forward the person I was with called my name. I looked back and they told me to look down. It was then that I realized I had crossed a coned off area of the bridge, and now was standing in mid air much like Wyle Coyote. I felt a brief moment of panic but didn’t struggle or reach for the bridge or my friend. I began to fall a great distance. During the fall I kept taking in large breaths and holding them in, preparing for the moment of impact into the water. I did this about three times before realizing that it wouldn’t make a difference, because I would naturally hold my breath when I hit the water. My body cut through the water easily and painlessly. I opened my eyes and looked around. I noticed I was holding a plastic bag. I tried to swim towards the surface but was sinking instead. Rather than struggle, I closed my eyes and kicked my legs with little effort like in scuba. I reached the surface, took a breath and surveyed the distance to the shore. The water was choppy, the distance long. Instead I swam to a pole and climbed up to wait for a rescue boat. While waiting, a floating Chinese restaurant passed by and refused to rescue me. I looked around and realized that there were buoys separating an area of shallow water leading up to a resort. The pole I was holding onto became a rope. I used it to swing over to the shallow water, and walked into shore.

I believe dreams are our subconscious trying to make sense out of the events and emotions of our waking life. My interpretation is that I’m about to enter a potentially scary situation where I have very little control. I can try and prepare, but ultimately whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Rather than be afraid, I am calm and logical about the situation. I think this accurately describes how I’m feeling and processing this coming FET.

Pinky 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Little Blurb


It is all coming together. It has gone from feeling unreal to the feeling I get when I’m in my Zen place in a matter of minutes. For the last two weeks, I kept staring at my FET calendar with disbelief. Without daily shots it didn’t feel real. Then, today we went to the RE and he told us that we’re ready to do the FET. Tomorrow we start the daily shots of progesterone and then on Tuesday the RE has agreed to transfer two beautiful five celled embryos. I am in my “getting knocked up place” and it feels great.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adverse Reactions

Season 7 Episode 16 of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith Gray has been taking injectable fertility drugs to make her uterus less hostile. In the morning she is squinting at the table while looking over the blueprints for her dream house. Later in the day, she is in surgery with her husband and is unable to drill into the skull because she cannot see the black mark. She consults the hot OB who tells her she must stop the meds. While waiting for the ophthalmologist the chief of surgery tells her that until she is cleared by the ophthalmologist she can no longer enter an OR. The episode ends, and I go to bed.

Fast forward 15 hours, I am at work, in a patient’s room assisting her back into bed. I notice a bright spot in my vision, look around to see if there is a light that I accidentally looked into. Nope, no light. I excuse myself, back out of the room and sit myself down in the optho chair before my vision deteriorates any more. The spot in my vision grows and my heart starts racing. I call one of the residents over to check me out, since this is the third time it has happened, and only the first time a physician has been around. He does a neuro exam that is predictably negative. I keep having to look away from my coworkers because they are all missing half their heads, which is incredibly disturbing. 30 minutes later, the aura is gone, but my eyes are sensitive to the light. I clock out, and wait for the Brain to pick me up so I can go home to bed.

This is the third aura I’ve experienced. The first lasted about an hour and happened back in December about a week after I stopped the progesterone and estradiol injections. The second was one to two weeks later and lasted about five minutes. Then there was yesterday about six hours after my estradiol injection. I have not experienced a migraine after any of the auras.

So why be concerned? Here is a list of serious reactions of estradiol: thromboembolism, retinal thrombosis, MI, stroke, HTN, breast CA, ovarian CA, endometrial CA, endometrial hyperplasia, uterine fibroid enlargement, hypercalcemia, severe (metastatic breast CA), cholestatic jaundice, gallbladder dz, pancreatitis, hepatic hemangioma enlargement, depression, dementia, migraine, chorea exacerbation, seizure exacerbation, asthma exacerbation, porphyria aggravation, SLE exacerbation, anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid rxn, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, ischemic colitis. Common reactions include: application site rxn (transdermal, topical), vaginal bleeding/spotting, breast changes/pain, abdominal bloating/cramps, nausea/vomiting, cervical secreation changes, headache/migraine, fluid retention, elevated BP, mood changes, candidiasis, vulvovaginal, glucose intolerance, weight changes, libido changes, contact lens intolerance, vision changes, rash, melasma/choasma, hair loss, hirstuism.

Considering all I’m risking to tame my hostile uterus, it could have been a lot worse. I’m sure my RE will agree. We’ll see (hopefully clearly) tomorrow. 

Pinky

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Twelve stepping it…


IF leads to a lot of anger, resentment, jealousy, self-doubt and depression. It tests our relationships with the people we love and with G-d. As a person who started this process with little to no faith, I had more anger towards the idea that a G-d could be putting me through such pain, than faith that turning to a G-d would help me get pregnant. I broke down one night while watching the television show meet the Duggers. They have an unwavering belief in Christ, they live debt free and seem to breed and multiply like yeast. I kept being told to have faith in the Lord and I would be blessed with a baby, and that I needed to pray more. Combined, I felt like I was being told to convert to Christianity. I looked to Judaism for answers and not surprisingly didn’t find much more than the names and stories of women who suffered from IF in the torah. There are no prayers and no answers. Imagine where that led me…a crisis of faith, and path of anger.

I turned my back on G-d, and unleashed my anger on the Brain. Everything set me off. It all came to a head one evening as I prepared to go to work. I think it had something to do with lunch. She almost left and I wouldn’t have blamed her.

I felt trapped, like I was allowed to do nothing more than work and try to get pregnant. I was watching my life pass by. I needed to enjoy me life, break free from my anger and depression and appreciate what I did have. This happened Around August 2010. We traveled to Napa, Sedona, bought Disneyland Annual Passes, booked a trip to Belize and in general…lived. I made a resolution to focus on the many blessings in my life by acknowledging that my life was whole. The Brain and I had a series of conversations, I apologized for taking out my frustrations on her, and discussed our feeling about my depression and feelings of inadequacy.

My crisis of faith, and fall into depression ended in all places- a bathtub. Perhaps it was the lavender scented oils or the gonadotropins surging through my system that sparked the cathartic event. By the end of my bath I felt renewed. I had released all my anxiety and fear, and accepted that I only had a limited amount of control of my fertility. Aside from taking the medications as prescribed, maintaining my physical and mental health, and attending all my medical appointments, everything else is out of my control. I have to have faith in my doctor and my body, and release all the rest of my control to my higher power. Maybe that higher power is G-d, maybe it’s fate, or my Kokopelli candle or an imaginary happy place in the corner of my mind. I inadvertently 12 stepped it.

  1. I admitted I was powerless over my IF- than my life had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore my to my sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn my will and my life (fertility) over to the care of my higher power as I understand “him”.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.
  5. Admitted to my higher power, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrong.
  6. Was entirely ready to have my higher power remove all these defects of character
  7. Humbly ask “him” to remove my shortcomings.
  8. Make a list of all persons I have harmed, and be willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with my higher power as I understand him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other people in the IF community, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Taking one day at a time...Pinky