Um. So. This morning came but no period yet. So no ultrasound yet. (Sorry Dennis, perhaps another time). I'm ok. Realizing again and again that the one overarching message I am learning about all this- this babymaking, this IVF, is that it is going to go how it goes no matter what I am wanting. And really, as I said before, except for sabotage, the only thing I can do is play it as it comes.
Whenever that may be.
I betcha by about 2 this afternoon, I'll be curled around a heating pad. But not quite yet.
Sorry for my silence. I've been away at a conference this week. It went *fine* for those of you wondering --
I fall back so easily into my insecurities. I know enough to know how much I don't know. So, it is hard to feel expert even if sometimes I am by comparison. The presentation I dreaded for two weeks went by in a flash, I was fine, I sounded normal and even competent. Heck, I even moved around (whose voice is that? what is she saying? oh! it's me! shit!). Then it was over and I was packing up and heading home.
A few nights of shitty sleep before and during the trip, a few days of full time low grade stress,the crazy spikey stress of the presentation, then home last night/this morning at nearly 2am. I am totally beat and so happy to be home.
And oh yes, the IVF thing.
So, where was I?
I took my last birth control pill on monday night. I've been crampy all day, but no period yet. Not even spotting unless I use my imagination. My day "2" pre stim scan is scheduled optimistically for tomorrow morning up north...and my coordinator said to come in if my period starts at any point today or tonight. Well, obviously I hope it does for a bazillion reasons. Not the least of which is that snow is due for sunday and the next day they would have me in for a scan would be monday- so it would be great to be able to do this tomorrow.
Hey, a novel thing for me-- the ultrasound tech on tomorrow is a guy! Dennis. As if somehow this is not quite awkward enough.
My medications came today from Ascend. They're in Maine, but they ship nationally folks-- and the customer service is just simply amazingly great. $781 for 5 Ganirelix, 3 Menopur and 2 Novarel and all associated paraphernalia (those IM needles look HORRIBLE- why the heck are they so thick? so they don't break in my incredibly muscular butt cheek?)
Why two Novarel? Because this time I want a back up plan. Assuming we get so far, if my hCG levels are not high enough the day after the trigger shot, I wanted to be able to try a rescue shot, a repeat. The empty follicles last time really shook me, and many hours on Dr. Google came up with this: incredibly uncommon, it is slightly more common in folks who have had it before (yay me); that pre-retrieval attempt, if hCG levels are shown to be inadequate, a second trigger shot can be administered and the retrieval rescheduled for 35 hours after that; if in the retrieval, no eggs are retrieved from the follicles on one ovary, the procedure can be stopped, a second trigger shot administered, and the whole thing can be tried again in 35 hours...
so basically, with a slightly higher chance than other people of this happening, I wanted a safety net however unsubstantial or unsubstantiated- so now I have one even if it might turn out to be bullshit anyway.
I was catching up on blogs tonight, and while I am having quite a different kind of journey, I admit I kinda feel like Mo... not negative exactly, but not positive either.
The incredible babymaking trifecta of last week still has me reeling - the adoption packet came. I will pick up my wonderful (thank you!) bag of donated medications when I go for my scan tomorrow. I passed along a crazy rambling breathless thank you to the generous soul offering to be an egg donor for us if we choose to go that route.
And me? well. I just want to do this thing. And really, I just want it to work.
I am not sure why I am having trouble posting. Busy, yes. Distracted, yes. Not taking the time, apparently. Not feeling like I have anything to say that is post-worthy, probably. Some of the earliest days of this blog I had to keep myself from posting twice, felt like I was bursting with things I wanted to get out. Now I worry I blather on, feel the need to wait for meaningful content. Gah.
Screw that. Today I am simply posting.
Time seems to be whooshing by in some ways, standing stock still in others. I am in the halfway point in my version of the two week wait, the waiting before I begin.
And I am having such a weird week.
Yesterday I heard back from the assistant of an adoption coordinator whom I had tried to contact a few weeks back, and was worried that I had ended up in her spam folder. It turns out she's had surgery and is recovering. She asked her assistant to reply and she did. Susan was simply wonderful, human, humane, funny, and an info packet is on the way.
Yesterday I spoke to my clinic just to check in since I will be away some next week. Sweet Sharon told me she has collected nearly all the stim drugs I will need for the cycle that starts the end of next week- she has been squirreling away donated medications for me during this cursed/beloved wait, and all I will need to order is the Antagon and the hCG. I was awed. I am awed. I am grateful beyond words.
Yesterday my dear friend Tammy called to tell me a close friend of hers (a really lovely and interesting woman I met just once) wanted to donate eggs to us. Are you kidding me? What an amazingly generous and surprising and intense thing. I am speechless, stunned, awed, humbled.
We are going ahead with IVF#2-- this truly is our priority. But we are learning more about adoption. And we are starting to imagine all that comes with considering the amazing offer of donated eggs, an option we had discussed a while back and decided against. There is a full measure of awe in the re-consideration.
Was away for about 24 hours-- came back to some great news--- Sarah and April both got positives! and some hard news-- Emily and BB both got negatives--I am sure they could stand a little internet love.
24 hours away- 24 hours with the stated objective of having very little discussion about jobs (the one that will be lost in August and the stress of finding a new one), IVF, or any other obviously stress inducing subject.
And mostly I found out that suck at this. From the outside I did fine I think- but the inside? I found myself self-censoring, moving myself away from thoughts as they came up. Like meditation, these things kept coming up and I kept steering myself away- over and over and over...
No matter what, it was good to get away, good to reconnect and good to talk about other things for a little while. I even spent some time looking at things outside my roaring head- those wheeling seagulls, that light tracing the top of the breaking waves, that sweet guy across the table.
Thank you for all of your sweet birthday wishes. 42 is a real pain in the ass for someone pursuing IVF. This is the cut off point for some clinics if you want to use your own eggs as I do. I am glad I am already in the queue.
A month from now, if all goes well, I will have had a SUCCESSFUL (hear me now) egg retrieval. And maybe even a transfer.
Between now and then? This shitty waiting. A week of work. Then a business trip (when my period is going to be due, grand), a scary presentation to give (I am quite introverted in spite of toastmasters so this is very scary for me and my nervous belly)... then...with luck... we start.
So there will be next week. Then the next week. Then....
I'm ok. Still in a tangle about the pushpull of the economy/job uncertainty and this grand plan that includes such big debt and such shitty odds. Still just worried about the outcome-- but hopeful. As we all are.
Some comments from sweet newly pregnant t made me realize something more concretely that I know I already knew:
this whole thing? it is not about innocent hope, blind faith, starry eyed optimism- oh no, it is about hope anyway, in spite of all we know, all we have experienced, all that we fear, and all that we have lost-- we do it anyway.
For me I mean this whole thing, every thing-
Like so many people, I know too much, have lost too much, fear the return of old hurts and new hurts that may come, but
I am doing this anyway. I am hopeful anyway.
scared yes. cautious yes. hopeful yes.. at least, mostly.
I had a dream last night that Angela of fluid pudding fame gave birth to a child somehow magically conceived by my partner and myself even though there was no way that particular child could have been a mix of us-- and I spent a good portion of the night being acutely envious of her pregnancy and birthing experience, and watching her hold the little one. Then finally, I was holding him while he slept, and it was amazing to feel the softness of his skin, and I kept rubbing my cheek against his head, feeling a big intense mixture of amazement, fear since I had no idea what to do with this tiny magnificent being, and such acute sorrow.
I woke with the ghost of a memory of his hair against my skin, and a deep sense of awe.
Well I don't have a definite plan. But I have an outline. Birth control until February 22nd. Period with luck around February 25-26. Ultrasound soon after along with start of stimulation drugs (max dose follistim and menopur), some number of days later if all is progressing add antagon. Egg retrieval (AS IF) sometime the week of March 9th (with intramuscular hCG this time yay).
My meeting with the doc was fine. No new news or ideas. Since 1984 he has had this happen only one other time, this zero eggs retrieved thing... He is used to about 80% of aspirated follicles resulting in eggs. So he expected we'd get a whopping 4 to play with from my 6 follicles.
This time I will do all my monitoring up at the mothership. Which means I will be spending some nights up there. At least this time I will be able to do a better job with injection stuff- I can ask for a place to do it this time, I don't have to do it in the bathroom (seriously, how could I not have thought of that last time??)
I asked if we can measure the hCG the morning after the injection and he said yes. I said I wanted time to re-inject (and reschedule egg retrieval) if something goes wrong. I think we are both (the doc and I) resolute rather than enthusistic. But we are both curious. What will happen this time? (I said, hey you can write a paper! and he said, you don't want to be a paper, kate.-- but you know? if it works or even if it doesn't, if something can be learned from this strange occurance, I do hope he shares it more broadly)
Ok, with all of that, with the plan, the pill... I need to say, really I just feel odd and off, maybe it is the pill, maybe it is the perception of a delay (which it barely is, I mean, 19 whole days on the pill, and a few more after that to wait for my next cycle day 1-- probably just 3 weeks total)... I don't know. But I do know this: two days of sad, feeling down and very very tired. Work trouble too so that is not helping. This economy? Sucks rocks. Anyway, this whole sad thing, this tired thing, this doobie doobie down down thing, this is not my non-IVF usual. So, I blame the new stuff, the pill, the new and improved work stress. But I also know that if I am aware enough to realize when I start to feel mired, I'll just try to keep moving-literally take a walk or a hike or do even a moment of yoga or bounce on my exercise ball... or delve into a creative project. Or perhaps most importantly for my introverted self (I have a tendency to retreat and hibernate), I need to remember to reach out.
So, I am heading to my sister's today for some much needed sibling therapy. She has two amazing boys (6,11), so the house is a wild ruckus of boy energy and adolecent puppy dog and not-enough-time-to-do-everything-ness. And the 3 hour drive is always a good thing for me-- both ways. Sometimes it is good just to move through space.
Hey, something else that is positive: I signed up for an art workshop in the fall. I chickened out last year, so this year I decided I would just do it. So I am.
A quick update to say today is cycle day 1- a call to the clinic resulted in me being on the pill for 19 days to get into the queue,
so yes, we are doing this thing.
They've already started putting medications aside for me (!) which is amazingly wonderful. I guess they went from none to some to some more.... so, I guess I have my own shoebox or something.
I feel so mixed, so crazy. The clarity is this: yes, if I do not try this, I will always wonder what if ....
and that does not mean I am not conflicted, I sure am. This is crazy, it is unlikely, it is in some ways really really irresponsible, it is selfish... and yes, I am absolutely sure my future self would come shake me and say just try it kate. just do this thing. otherwise how will you know?
I'll be back on when I have a plan.
Happy to hear Maredsous is back in the um, saddle? back on the horse? the merrygoround? (why is there no good saying for this?)- Keeping my fingers crossed for her and for all of you who are out there galloping.
So I woke early this morning with my mind roaring and decided to get outside. In the summer, my hikes are quiet except for my head and the hushed sound of footfall on the well worn trail, the rhythm of my breathing, and whatever birds might be singing. Today, each step was a loud crunch and squeak of ice and snow, my breath was really loud since it takes a more effort to push up-hill on a snowy trail, even on a path made by other feet and snowshoes, since each push up is also a push back. In spite of the effort, and the noise, my head would simply NOT shut up, so I played a trick on it as I sometimes do: I transformed my hike into a gratitude walk.
thank you feet for being flexible and strong, for keeping me grounded and balanced. for letting me keep still or move as I wish thank you ankles for being willing to flex and rotate, as I step here on firm ground, here on the edge of a stone, here through a crust of snow thank you knees for bending and for straightening, for being strong enough to allow me missteps without too much complaining thank you thighs for letting me move up hill and down and glutes for pushing me forward, letting me bend, holding me straight thank you belly for holding my organs so gently, for holding me tall, for holding me in thank you also for your wisdom even if I seem to ignore it thank you stomach for taking nourishment, and letting me know when I am hungry and letting me know when I am full thank you bowels for your crazy intermittent waste management, even if you do make a ruckus like striking sanitation workers, you overachieve and underachieve and grumble nearly always about the thanklessness of your job. yes, in spite of our tumultuous relationship I am thanking you too. thank you uterus for rising to the occasion, for being willing to make a safe landing place for possibility thank you ovaries for trying not to act your age, and giving it your all thank you liver for filtering and pancreas for secreting and lungs for taking in air and expelling what I do not need thank you heart, oh, thank you heart, for doing what you do so well, the pump that fuels my inner tributaries, but also for being brave in spite of all that you know thank you spine for holding me upright, for safeguarding my core network of nerves, for being able to flex and hold strong thank you shoulders for letting me reach farther than I might and elbows for your knobby miracle of twist and bend, and thank you hands and fingers for letting me feel, letting me touch, grasp, and perhaps most importantly, to let go thank you neck for holding my head on, for your wonderful, wise limitation of not being able to swivel all the way around or surely I would spend my days looking backwards while I try to move forwards thank you eyes and ears for letting me experience beauty and truth and thank you mouth for tasting and kissing and for letting me communicate what I feel, what I think, what I need thank you brain, both ancient and innocent, both wise and childlike, for letting me feel wonder and hope and for trying so hard to keep me safe by letting me know all that can go wrong, letting me know all the possible sources of danger, reminding me of all the bad things that have happened, and everything that could. thank you for trying to keep me from being disappointed by letting me know every possible place of disappointment. thank you for remembering and thank you also for sometimes forgetting
and also thank you for letting me stop dead on the trail to listen to the sound of dried leaves rustling on the one small beech tree, or to touch the rough lichen that clings to the bark of a birch, or the smooth dark ice that coats the branches that arc over the trail from the recent storms, or to simply breathe in, and out, and in, and out, and for a moment, simply be before heading down the trail toward home