Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time is gonna fly

It's here, the cycle that officially starts the madness of IVF #3!

I'll do a suppression check at 6 or 7 DPO (around 3 weeks from now), and if all looks good I'll shoot up with Cetrotide that night. Stims will begin about week after that. My clinic calls this a Natural Luteal Phase Antagonist Protocol — it's the same one we used for IVF #2.

I had a hysteroscopy 2 weeks ago, just to make sure everything looked normal after the D&C and that no new fibroids had sprouted. I still have one by my cervix that they didn't feel comfortable taking during my October 2007 myomectomy, but it hasn't grown and isn't making anyone (with an M.D.) nervous. Everything looks peachy. Make that pink-y — I saw my insides on a color monitor!

DH and I are flying out early Saturday to visit 5 different family units, with an (equal!) emphasis on both sets of parents. I want to go a little bit, really I do, but mostly I don't want to go in the least.

We haven't seen any family since well before we canceled last year's visit in the wake of finding out I needed surgery and needed it fast before proceeding to IVF #1 (followed by IVF #2, followed by miscarriage, followed by IVF #3 . . .).

I kind of wanted to see everyone under different circumstances: either with our baby in tow, or after we're totally done pursuing ART and I've had a chance to return to a more typical mindset and, I won't lie, body weight. Some of the clothes I'm packing are 2 sizes bigger than the ones I took on our last trip in 2007. It kinda stinks to anticipate the double-takes I know I'll get, but I know it will be fine and I'll enjoy seeing people I love.

All I'm really thinking about right now, though, is flying back home October 4 and getting this third dog-and-pony show on the road.

7 random things

Tara tagged me for a meme today, and I decided to pounce the minute after seeing it . . . otherwise, as experience tells me, I will not get back to it.

It's called the "7 Random Things About Me" meme. You're supposed to link to the person that tagged you, post the rules, share your 7 random/weird things, and tag 7 new people in their comments sections.

Here's my list:
  1. I've largely ignored my work-related blog since starting this one. I look forward to spending more time with the part of myself that really cares about my work — and lots of other things too — in the not-too-distant future, come what may.
  2. Number of hot sauce bottles on a small Lazy Susan in my tea-and-hot-sauce cupboard: 11.
  3. I am uncomfortable using silverware that has been handwashed and air dried in the drying rack. Same goes for glassware. When I see them in the rack (I say "see" because I don't put them there), I will either transfer them to the dishwasher or rewash/dry them myself. DH has no idea.
  4. When I was little, I became absolutely convinced that my sister was a vampire. For a while I slept with a small cross under my pillow, just in case.
  5. I got a haircut last night, and despite showering and using my own shampoo and styling goop this morning, I can still smell the 5 types of goop my stylist used in my hair. (Yes, 5 — and she didn't even use hairspray.)
  6. I'm about to make brunch reservations for Sunday at a restaurant about 1,800 miles away.
  7. I don't like to tag other people for memes — so I'm skipping it! If you'd like to play, feel free to post your 7 things and tag 7 other people. You can also badmouth me for being a spoil-sport player!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"We weren't even trying at all!"

I swear I hear/read a new story every other week about women in their 40s (like me!), barren for years (like me!), who get pregnant with a perfect sticky bean that turns into a perfect healthy baby just MINUTES before starting their IVF cycles (like . . . uh . . . well, crap).

Obviously I'm doing a little venting here. But not about the successes themselves. Those make me happy, honest. I'm not even whining about the circumstances I've described. I know that surprise pregnancies absolutely happen all the time to people gearing up for IVF or DE-IVF. Of course they do. Hearing about those make my day.

My little semantics vent is this: Why is the kicker to this particular story almost ALWAYS that these people "weren't even trying — AT ALL"? That detail is sticking in my craw tonight.

I'll allow that couples can, and certainly do, occasionally enjoy each other's company without an explicit conception agenda. And that those struggling with IF may have every reason to assume nothing will happen and so will be surprised by ANY kind of BFP.

You cannot persuade me, though, that couples in their 40s who are seriously TTC and pursuing ART don't know when they've had unprotected sex near a fertile window and don't think about on some level that maybe, God willing, they will beat the odds and wind up pregnant by just doing what comes naturally.

So I contend that — for this type of couple — there is NO SUCH THING as a truly genuine incident of not trying* that leads to pregnancy.

That's my position, and I'm sticking to it.**


*I'm defining not trying as "no sex."
**That is, I'm sticking to it at least until I fall asleep in the next 2 minutes.
***Oh, and I take it all back and apologize to anyone I've rendered miffed. I suppose anything is freakin' possible! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jonesing for FSH

This is the kind of thing you can only admit on your infertility (and all things IVF) blog:

I'm really looking forward to my first shot of Follistim.

And I'm starting to think THAT is how they getcha.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New weeks rule!

It's been quite the week since I last checked in. Just when I was feeling smug for regaining some measure of control over how my days played out, things went nuts on me!

Nothing truly serious happened. Just a bunch of things that can throw a gal for some loops:

We had a sick dog that required lots of extra monitoring (and cleaning) and care (and cleaning). She's doing better right now. Hoping the good health sticks.

We fought the scourge of fleas (which, long story super-short, we now think we never had). Talk about situations that leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained . . . and helpless . . . and gross.

I got whiplash from the offer/implosion of a juicy last-minute "We must have YOU . . . NOW" writing gig. I frantically called in favors so I could fit it into my schedule, and then — just like that, as I was ready to dig in — I heard from the client, "Oh, were you counting on that? Sorry. We've killed that deal." Ah, well. Looks like I'll have just part-time work during the upcoming IVF. Maybe that's for the best.

A clinic employee who had (with NO prompting from me) flat-out offered to front us some sample meds for this IVF totally backtracked last week. When I called to plan my pharmacy order, it became clear that the "I want to help you guys out" conversation never officially happened. Grrrr. Luckily when we made our decision we factored in the possibility of that "help" saving us $0. But still. Grrrr.

My severe allergies paid a visit and then I had an allergic reaction to the allergy meds. Who knew that solid red rashes ("Look, it's Mother Teresa's face on my thigh!") and severe abdominal pain were potential side effects from a popular 24-hour OTC antihistamine. The abdominal thing is really rare, but I'm special. Yay! I was thisclose to an ER visit, but the on-call nurse's advice got me through the night.

And, as the perfect topper, all the round-the-clock nose blowing I did gave me a red-hot ear infection. I can't tell you how peeved I get when I need a doctor's visit for, uh, health reasons. I know it's silly, but it makes me feel weak. Like a big fat failure. (I know. It's a wee problem.) The fact that my PCP, who does NOT like to prescribe medications (a reason I like him), said that I had to take antibiotics didn't help my mindset. In the last calendar year alone — all due to having surgeries and so far completing two IVF cycles — I've taken more rounds of antibiotics than I have in at least 25 years, maybe even my life. And needing the pills now for an actual illness I felt responsible for inflicting (I already acknowledged it's a problem, okay?) pi$$ed me off something fierce!! I am against what I believe to be the long-time overuse of antibiotics in our culture. Of course I want people to get them when necessary. And I am a people. But all I could think about that first night (and I was up for all of it, shivering with fever and coughing/nose-blowing my brains out) was well here's another lovely side effect of IF: my year-long spate of antibiotics-swallowing (DH's too) may mean that I will now need more of them going forward . . . and so now I can add personally contributing to the rise of drug-resistant bugs that will effectively end the world to the list of things I thought I'd never do in the seemingly simple interest of trying (and trying . . . and trying) to have a baby. I've calmed down about that one since my fever broke Friday night.

I'm so glad it's a new week . . .

It's sunny and hot and blue. My marigolds are in full purple bloom. The house is definitely insect free. All clothing, carpets, and upholstered items are clean, and all surfaces are up to Mom's-visiting standards. I actually tasted my breakfast egg and nectarine. The dog is lolling in a sunbeam with a little grin on her face. I have no tissue in my hand (or pocket, or on the desk). I got an overdue paycheck in the mail. Tonight DH is running my errands and bringing dinner home.

Today is a fantastic day to be alive!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Three horrible little words

"We have fleas."


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I want a microfluidic chip in my culture medium too!

Just read this article about new IVF technology on the horizon.

If findings hold up, it sounds like IVF-ers of the future will get more accurate information about embryo quality, which in turn will improve success rates and lower costs.