28 November 2008


Ahh the irony of picking up birth control pills. Of settling the ring of pills in the plastic clam shell. Of thinking that it has come to this. Birth control. As if.

25 November 2008


It is raining really hard today, and the sky is dark with heavy clouds. Last night it snowed for a while first, the tiny flakes that look like sand. And then, near midnight, I heard the rain hammering on the roof, and against the windows.

fertilityfriend says I ovulated on cd8 ferchrissakes. maddening. and yet. somehow I feel I should have seen that coming.

Via email Nancy the sweet coordinating nurse said we can extend BCPs as necessary for scheduling around D's January training so not to worry about this early ovulation.

I'll be away on business next week. And when I get back, I'll either have a cd1 to call in or a miracle may have occurred. Here's hoping. 'Tis the season.

24 November 2008

An update and a new link

As for me, cd10, temp up halfway yesterday and fully today-- Alas and WTF. So much for making the most of one more natural cycle. I did not even start testing for LH surge until last night which apparently was too late. After being on clomid one last time last month, I suppose I should have expected an unusual cycle. I am still having wondrous hot flashes, especially in the morning. But this feels discouraging. Like someone stole a week I really wanted to have. And it also pushes up the whole schedule for our IVF right into a week D is not available unless I can do something fancy with the BCPs. I'll write to Nancy, our wonderful coordinating nurse, for advice.

I am battling a little with sad and disconnected. Not a Battle, just a battle-- aware that I am dodging and weaving. Not sure about all that I am sad about- but I know many ingredients. Know the unfortunate confluence of several things is magnifying the things that feel difficult. But once again, rationalization is not the way to peace. I wish it were. I could cogitate and SHAZAM all would be in place, orderly and well. Not so fast, Kate. Yes well. I know. I know. And for all that I don't know, or can't know, or that I do know but knowing does not help one bit, I feel. I feel.

On that note, surprising perhaps no one but me, I realized after last night's post that I probably have a lot to write about and work though with the quite difficult subject of suicide survival. Since I am not sure how it would mesh with what I am working on here, I decided to make a new blog to focus on that particular subject until I run out of things to say-- Letters to Will.

23 November 2008


So very happy for the boho family, who just welcomed their baby boy into the world, born last night.

A quiet day, busy with house stuff and errands, like yesterday was. Then collapse. A very tired kate. Not yet done with this bug.

I lay in bed yesterday (finally having slept a full night) and watched the clouds fly by, listened to the wind. Instead of being peaceful, my mind raced around, touching on all sorts of hard things.

A dear friend recently lost his wife to suicide, which brings up so many of my old emotions for me, from losing Jeff.  I have been very careful not to get Involved since what this has done has been to rake the coals, bring up a lot of very difficult feelings I'd carefully stowed away. I feel off balance and pulled to help somehow, offer something substantial in terms of support. But my own emotions are so raw, even this many years later, that I am holding myself back from being as present as I feel I should be for him. I am being very careful with myself. Trying not to be reactive.  And when we do talk, I feel raw for days. 

So I just lay there in a swirl of emotions- of sadness, of hopefulness, of some sort of brutal and persistent questioning about how smart we are to even try IVF when our chances are so low. 1/6 about- at such a high cost in terms of our finances, my body, our emotions. But I also know if we do not try, we will always wonder if it would have worked. So, there I was, tangled in a mess of things I cannot solve, things I wish were different, or unnecessary, or simpler.

Since then I have been dealing with the emotional influx like I often do: through avoidance. Through busy-ness. Through distraction.  I know that if I go to bed and cannot sleep quickly enough, or if I wake in the middle of the night or too early it will come back in a flood. It does that. I know its habits. It favors the dark quiet hours when my guard is down.

21 November 2008

Dress rehearsal: details, so be warned.

I guess that is what I am, mostly. Yesterday was hard- so much anxiety, and the things I was most scared of really were not that bad. And the things I knew would be hard -- well, they were hard. I am a little concerned about the eventual transfer should we be so lucky- worried about the pain of that. And the emotions. And losing my shit. But, as it was, should you need a sonohystogram, it is weird and uncomfortable with moments of real pinchy pain, but if you have done an HSG, it is not nearly that bad. But it is different, odder, slower, more careful, with many more objects up your fine self and much less intelligible images on the monitor.

If you are lucky, you will get an ultrasound person who is as nice as mine was. (Thank you Sheila). If you are lucky, you will get the information you need about what is going on as it is happening, how things look, what to expect, and the outcome. I was lucky in the first way, halfway lucky in the second.

The mock transfer was bizarre. First, you need a full bladder, then when you arrive, pee 3 drops (but keeping your bladder full) in order to test for pregnancy. I get that. But it is a nearly super human feat to keep your full bladder full.

A resident did the driving-speculum, cervix cleaning/swabbing, catheter up through the cervix (ultrasound on belly) which is the whole point of this exercise. To see how and where to go when the time comes. A dress rehearsal. I admit, I wanted the doctors to be talking more to me than each other... I learned a lot from listening, but felt nearly secondary to the process. But that is how we learn-- by doing, by listening, by watching. The catheter thing, for me, is a crampy totally uncomfortable process with moments of pain so sharp it left me breathless and teary. So that sucked.

Then, when it is over, measurements and notes have been made, they let you pee! ahh bliss.
Then, sonohystogram.

Speculum, cleaning, catheter (ferchrissakes) still shitty, but this time! with transvaginal ultrasound! So, speculum out, wand in. My first time. Not nearly as bad as I had feared (the thing is HUGE and DAUNTING and really? not a big deal. Much less ferocious than a speculum. Then lots of wagging of the wand. And then flooding of the uterine cavity with saline (cramping! and bizarre-not-pleasant sensations). And more wagging. And then, catheter out, more wagging as ovaries are checked out, measured, mapped.
Then, finally, wand out. Praise the gods/goddess/all-that-is.

Yes there is spillage afterwards. Yes there is spotting and gooping and ...
But then I was done.

Secrets? 2 advil 2 hours before, 1 more about an hour before... I am not sure it helped but it sure did not hurt. And full bladder does not mean BURSTING, just full. Like you would really like to pee. Not like you must pee. And bring your own pad of choice (they provide some but they are hospital issued big pillowy things). Actually bring two. The first gets used up pretty quickly.

That done (legs shaky, oh man, I'd been so scared)
I then met with the coordinating nurse. Nancy, know that I think you are wonderful should you ever stumble across this. My partner and I are financing this ourselves, with no insurance coverage. And to the kind person out there who donated their unused medications, I can only say thank you. Your generousity will help so much-- it is about 1/3 of all we will need. and that is so substantial that I cried. Which I hate doing. And am so grateful.

So last night, emptying the bag of lupron and follistim and .. into the crisper, I look and realize all of that will be emptied into me. One small vial at a time.

17 November 2008


Today was not what I expected- a monday to be sure. Came home headachy and sore-throated and feeling depleted the way that makes you imagine sleeping until tomorrow when it is not even noon.

So a day of rest, occasional tea, some foggy thinking, a very short nap, some watching of the sky through the skylights... and tonight I am moving toward better. Feeling more like myself. Less dizzy. Less empty.

I did make some progress- called the clinic since I had a day 1 to report. Thursday morning is the sonohystogram, the mock transfer. The last two tests. I am anxious. Worried about the cramping I always get with the catheter. Worried about my guts and whether they will let me be that day, let me get it over with.

I realize that so much of this feels out of my control, each decision is made because of The Decision-- the choice to do IVF makes a million other choices. Tests to be run, places to prod, skills to acquire. It is as if once you say Yes to this, and you have to say yes to things that you would ordinarily do only under the most extreme duress. And it is odd to think of this desire for something wonderful -- that this choice somehow equates to something unimaginable where you submit to crazy things because you have to, with language you wish you did not have to learn. Like entering a foreign land. This land of hysto that and catheter this, and oh, hsgs and hcg, and lupron and injectables and transvaginal ultrasound.
What is this language??? What is this country???

16 November 2008

Hedging my bets

As much as it was windy yesterday, it is WINDY today- the wind was roaring up the mountain during my hike this morning. I could hear it coming.
I sat at the overlook, the air scrubbed clean, and I could see all the way to Boston. The trees are nearly all bare-- just a few oak leaves and beech leaves here and there. The low bush blueberries have a few crimson leaves, and they are putting out blossoms, as if somehow there is a chance to set fruit before winter. It is so odd to see those little vase-shaped blooms, somewhere between pink and lavender, clustered on naked branches.

We talked a bit about adoption last night as I was curled around the cat. A bit about IVF.
So much of this is about hedging bets-- about trying to balance regrets. If I do not try IVF, I will always wonder if that is what would have worked. And I feel like I need to at least try. But we talked about getting more educated about adoption- I have already been on many sites, but we have not.

It feels so odd to be in this position- I did not grow up thinking I wanted to have kids, nor did I think I didn't. I just did not have a life plan or expectation like many folks do. I've taken an indirect path to where I am now- and cannot believe that while I feel so young, so not-adult, my "advanced" age is such a factor in all of this. But it is. All other tests are normal.

IVF is an odd beast- tests (only 2 more-- a sonohystogram and a mock transfer), injection class, then injections, and ultrasound monitoring and bloodwork, and then (if all goes well) retrieval, more shots, and if all goes wonderfully- transfer!
I am trying to talk myself into optimism, into whatever that mind set is that says this is possible.

15 November 2008

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

So last night, the ambiguity ended. I am now officially on cd1.5. Officially back on the IVF bandwagon. Officially irritated as all hell that I allowed myself to be duped into thinking that maybe, just maybe, I would get off with some sort of miracle. That maybe this would just work out.

Today I slept late, suited up and took a long slow hike in a windy soft rain up along the ridge. The overlooks were totally obscured in clouds. There was such a hard wind from the south that I could almost lean into it. It is so odd to feel so much space, to know that the mountain ends where I was standing, but to be able to see nothing, just feel the push of wind that felt like it had gotten a running start. By the time I got home it was pouring, I was soaked to the skin and ready to be warm again. Sometimes when I hike I hike for the exercise and the simple joy of being outside, and sometimes it is more like therapy, more an unraveling, or a untangling. Today there was some of each- the joy of being outside in the beautiful woods on one of the last warm days before winter, and a feeling like I needed to allow myself to come to some sort of acceptance of where I am compared to what I was hoping. And I think I did.

The rain has let up and the woods are nearly dark already even though it is only mid afternoon.
I'm making bread. Making pie. Doing laundry. Settling in. At least now I know where I am.

14 November 2008

The waiting game

Apparently today it is all about waiting.
And patience.
And letting things play out.
I woke to a lower temperature, but still not below coverline. And no other anything. Nothing clearer than a sinking temperature trend.

I also woke to fog, a thick fog that closed in and opened, closed and opened, offering brief glimpses of woods, stone walls, the craggy back side of the mountain, a corncrib that wears one boot. My drive in to work took me by horses with thick winter coats, sheep eating piles of what looked like cabbage leaves... and one big beachball sitting in the woods by the stream. The beachball was not there yesterday.

It rained soft rain all night, and today is warm enough to make me wish for a hike I cannot take until tomorrow. This is an exercise in patience. I know that. I know that. I know that.

13 November 2008

In between

So, yesterday, as convinced I was that my period was imminent (partial temp drop, and, shall we say, other signs)-- it has not really shown up. Tests are negative but my body is not quite ready to commit one way or the other. So today? I am simply (or not so simply) in between, not knowing anything one way or the other and simply having to wait. There is not much about this that feels simple, and yet, really, when you look at it, there is nothing to Do. I can only Be. This is not my strong point. Not.

Last night I felt so sad, felt myself spiraling near tears.
Clomid this month has left me feeling more fragile (as it does) and I want to feel stronger than I do.
I am feeling so scattered, so uncertain - but I want somehow to say that I'm ok. But I think I want to say that more to me than to you. Convince myself that all is well. That I am fine. That whatever happens happens.

And time does pass. I do what I do to nurture myself, to offer myself solace--I lie in bed and watch the sky. Last night there was a big full moon, beautiful and haunting under high clouds. Since the trees here are mostly bare, and the effect was ghostly- those bare branches so inky dark against the moonlit sky. And today birds wheeling are around in big chaotic masses, gathering for migration. I see the last of the leaves flicker with each breath of wind. The sky has been pearly gray since sunrise.

There is a pile of leaves right outside our door at work that crunch and rustle, and I walk in slowly, dragging my feet, loving the sound and the smell.

Today I saved a bird that had spent the last two days flying around above our office between the drop ceiling and the roof- it finally came fluttering down into a closet by my desk and I took it outside bundled in my jacket. It flew away and I felt so relieved. I was not wanting to deal with something broken or dying. I am so much better at other things.

I want to can say I am ok. That I know where I am and where I'm going. But I can't know what my body is not ready to tell me.

12 November 2008

In the midst of it

So today I learned that our last IUI (IUI#3 with clomid) did not work-
and I promised myself that if this cycle did not work out, I would start a blog as a place to talk about the weirdness that is this in-between place of wanting something so badly, but also not being able to make a difference in the outcome by working harder, or learning more, or hoping with more of my heart.

We are now officially on the IVF journey.
One cycle.
The hail mary pass.