30 March 2009

I am humbled

By all of you-- your good wishes, your wonderful wild yodels of joy, your words of comfort and support, your kindness, your generosity, your incredible good will.  I did not think I'd ever be on this side of the TTC journey, not even for a moment. And it feels downright weird. Like wait a minute. Like I looked around and realized I have wandered into an unfamiliar neighborhood and I am not sure I am safe.
But then, there are these amazing familiar voices- saying don't panic. Or go ahead and panic, we've got your back.
So, thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for being stunned with me. Thank you for understanding my caution and my astonishment and my fear and my whoa nellie this is so friggin crazystrange feelings.  I am happy, but I am so much more than that. Scared and freaked out and feel dislocated and displaced. And in such a foreign land. 

Thank you to all who have commented, those I have never heard from before (Peachy! and anonymouses/mice?), some I have only known recently (Elizabeth! Jim and Jenn! meinsideout!), some for a while (sprogblogger, onwardandsideways, 40+) as well as "old" friends (my "posse"- Maredsous, Joannah, Elle, GradeA, bb, Nic, Whatif, alittlebitofsomething)- and my real life friends- Karen, Alyssa, Sarah, David. Oh your words mean so much.  I know how I have felt when I see that someone out there has a positive result, after all this craziness. It feels so fragile, and I always wanted to say something helpful to ease the fear that it is transient, or some sort of colossal mistake,  that somehow this glimpse of something miraculous will end, the gift will be taken back. But I couldn't because no one can. The best we can do is be in each moment. Some moments I do feel happy. But mostly, I am stunned. Disbelieving. Astonished. And grateful, very very grateful-- not just for this, but for you. Thank you. 


Just got my results from today's surprise blood test:
BETA 269
"A really good number" they say.
Holy shit folks, this means I am most definitely pregnant.
(The IF in me hastens to add, I mean, in this moment)

did I mention-- holy shit? no?
I am completely stunned.
The folks up at Dartmouth whooped and hollered.
I cannot think of a nicer thing to hear than that. Last time they saw me I was in tears.
This? this is good.

My next beta is wednesday. Then, if all goes well, again on friday. Then maybe next friday (10th) or the following monday (13th) we'll do a scan to see where things are. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Damn this IF/IVF/ART hootenany for stealing my ignorant bliss.

This is the crazy kind of happy. The kind of happy even when you know better. Please let me be right.

29 March 2009


I was away overnight at my sister's house and got home just a little while ago. And I tested when I got home, you know, just because.

The first line came up as it always does. And then, to my COMPLETE surprise, there was a second one.A second line, faint at first (in the photo) then darker and definite.

So it appears that in spite of all of the odds against it, that in this moment, this very moment, I am pregnant.


27 March 2009

One line

It is not positive yet, which is my way of nicely avoiding saying it is negative.
One line.
Tried two tests because I am kate-- same clear result. I will test again sunday (when it will be 14 days past IUI and therefore, theoretically 14 days past ovulation), but without even a ghost of a line today, I feel it is unlikely (unless I ovulated several days past IUI which seems crazy). But, as always, I will play this out since it really is not entirely over yet.

I am sad but trying not to be consumed. In many ways I really am ok so far. Really. In all of this shit that has been this cycle, one great thing has happened: I feel connected to the maybe. I am not sure where that maybe is, or when or how we will meet, but I think it will happen. (Thanks Elma! Thanks self!)

I lay in bed afterwards for my post-progesterone suppository lie-in, and put my hands on my belly and just breathed. I tried to focus on being thankful- thankful to my body for taking all the abuse this month, the injections, the hormones, the rummaging and searching and scoping, the soreness... and also for the successes, 4 follicles is better than none. And with the doc conversation happening in April, we have a while before we jump back in to needles and whathaveyou... So here's a positive thing: If I am not pregnant, I can stop these fucQing suppositories. I could almost feel gleeful about that. But not quite.

26 March 2009

My tarot today

12 - the Tree
Letting go

You have the opportunity to release attachments and surrender to the flow. You are no longer in charge of your life. It isn't a time to resist, for everything is out of your control. Give it up. Your world may feel like it's been turned upside down. You can fight this reversal — you can go into it kicking and screaming — or you can surrender with grace and take it as an opportunity to see your life from a different perspective. It is a time to take no action, other than meditation and prayer. Learn to be still. During this time of suspension and waiting, you may discover within yourself the gifts of inspiration, enlightenment and unconditional love.


0 - the Seeker

A new beginning

You are being challenged to take a risk and begin again. It's time to hit the road, either metaphorically or literally. Every time you set out on a journey, even if it's only a one-day hike, you embark on a spiritual journey as well. Be open to all the twists and curves in the road ahead. Be ready for surprises. Keep your heart open and maintain an attitude of innocence, trust and spontaneity. Take a risk! Before you is a brand new adventure — the chance for a fresh start and endless possibilities.


3 - the Gardener

Sensuality, creativity, abundance

Resolution comes in on a wave of great fertility and abundance. You are pregnant with new creations — an art form, a book, a project, even a baby. You embody both the nurturing Mother and the sensual Lover. You are a steward of the land when you plant, weed and nourish your garden in a sustainable manner. At harvest time, you offer the best possible of all foods to those whom you love. You are a hard worker, but you take great delight in the scent of lavender fields on a hot summer day and the dizzying riot of color, shapes and textures in the garden. You love your own body; you love your mate, your children, your friends, your community; you love the natural world around you. Your appetite for connection, sensuality and creativity seems boundless. The people around you are blessed to have you in their lives.

via Gaian Tarot

twingy kate

Just stopping in to say hello. I need to take time to really write but have been getting home late. I wanted to say thank you-- thank you all for your support and advice.
We'll test tomorrow morning I think. 12dpo. I think that is ok, splits the difference. Allows me not to be alone. But I also need to admit that I like the possibility of not knowing-- of course, if it is negative, I realize it is early enough to not be definitive- but having it be neither leaves it open to the possibility that it might be positive. I can imagine that those twinges and little pulling sensations might mean something. Hope is a bitch. Really.

All records sent to CCRM. So we are all set up for that. Another energy session with Elma this evening. It just feels right to do. And then... either I'll test tomorrow or I'll chicken out. I'll let you know how it goes.

And the post I want to write about my long ago introduction to blogs? That just needs to wait for the moment.

23 March 2009


So it has been one whole week since the IUI. I confess, I do search my insides for evidence-- a twinge here, a small pulling, a bump over a frost heave that leaves my breasts sore-- and I am wondering of course, what the hell is happening in there.

On saturday I spoke out loud to the little maybe, I said, I know you are probably waiting for me to be less divided about a lot of things, but since that is never actually going to happen, since that is just the way I am-- just know I am ready when you are.
And you know what? In that moment I felt more peaceful. Like I had extended an unambiguous invitation to stick around.

Of course, then there are those other times when I spiral around in a quagmire of whatifs and whatabouts and whatthehells and whynots and whys and all the bullshit that comes from feeling broken and out of time and 
wishing I had a decade left to play with. But then I know I would not be me, this me, this one who imagines she can parent even if she knows she will be making it all up moment by moment.  The younger kate would have wanted to know what to do, would have wanted to be confident in her skills and sure of her potential appropriateness as a parent before even thinking about becoming one and she would not have been able to achieve any of that. This kate, this older one, knows better. Knows that the best we can do is the best we can do.
Some days that is getting dressed. Somedays that is creating a masterpiece. Somedays it is tuning into wonder or awe or beauty. Somedays it is digging a sliver out of your foot.

So today, I am trying not to be crazy, and it is working about 70 percent of the time give or take. My mind has been all tied up with getting med records and assembling a summary sheet of our journey thus far based on what I remember. Gosh, last year seems like a long, long time ago. Was it really last summer we tried IUIs with the evil clomid?  And since I worked through 3 sites, and their records are not integrated, I had one good experience and two bad ones. Not even sure I succeeded with my faxing and requesting. But we'll see.

I still hate the progesterone. My skin is so pissed off. Vaseline is my friend. As will be shout for all my stained everythings and underthings- and each day is each day. When do I test folks, day what? Or do I just wait to see if my period arrives? I did a baseline to see if the hCG was out of my system and it was.  (Of course, with my system was it even in it?)  Advice is welcome. They do not do a beta on IUIs, just want me test the old fashioned way.  Loving the dollar store tests except for the packaging.

Ok maybe next post I will write about my introduction to blogs.  My long ago and faraway introduction that now seems so friggin ironic.  We'll get to that, maybe tomorrow.

21 March 2009


Today is the first day of spring I think. Sunshine is pouring in and I can see all of the dust and cat and kate hair that have escaped my usually-home-in-the-dark swiffering.  I am happy to say my flu thingy is abating, leaving me pooped out, but much improved-- nothing aches but the raw skin under my nose.  I am so glad the bug did not stick around for the full 5-7-10 days that these things can take. I actually feel human.  Wish I had enough umph to hike since my soul could sure use it, but I don't.  But since it is nearly 40 (and around these parts that counts as warm) I may play in the exposed part of my garden (remove the dead things so the new growth can come up, feng shui and all that). The vast majority of my cleared spaces are still snow covered-- and not lightly either-- 2' in the back yard still, and huge piles around the edges of the front from the plow.  The ice storm damage is amazing -- as the snow pulls back, it is getting much more obvious just how many branches fell and the woods all around here are filled with broken bits and dangling branches, bright new wood where branches broke off.  A local forester said that even though we tend to look at this as bad- this kind of wreckage, this kind of loss is really critical to forest health-- both in terms of the lifecycle of trees and the forest itself, and in terms of wildlife habitat.  So while I think it looks awful, and all I can see is how much work it will take to restore any sense of order -it is an opportunity for new things to grow.

Not meaning to jinx anything IUIish (I am not quite halfway through the two week wait), I went ahead and made a phone appointment with CCRM for the second week of April (their earliest if I wanted to speak with Dr. Schoolcraft himself).  I am needing to get my shit together and fill out paperwork and contact doctors-- I need to identify someone local who would help me coordinate my testing/monitoring and also take me through the first 12 weeks should I be so lucky. I want to ask my maternal and fetal medicine guy if I can use him for this. We had great rapport, he did not blow sunshine up my skirt, but he did make me feel safe and in good hands. So, I think I will ask him first. The drive sure would be shorter (1 hour instead of 2-- yes, I live in the sticks).

So much great news out there with the women I have been cycling with and around-- and some sad and difficult news too.  Sweet and generous hearted Joannah could use some love after some shitty beta news.  And Mo could use some love and support since a recent rash of negative pee sticks are sapping the hope out of her cycle.

I just wish this would be easier for all of us. I used to have this funny idea about fertility, back in the days where it was something to avoid rather than pay for-- that is should be more like nuclear send codes-- that two operatives would need to turn two keys simultaneously while muttering some voodoo code words in order to even activate the process.  Now I realize that it would be great if only it were so easy.

19 March 2009


Oh yes my internet friends--on the topic of the progesterone suppositories I so agree- I absolutely hate the persistent gloop of it. The "how can something so small produce so much stuff?" part of it. The stain through a pantyshield, underwear AND pants part of it. And, well, in the spirit of trying to find the positive, I am counting my blessings so far that this has not catalyzed the mother of all yeast infections considering my delicate self.
That all being said, I did ask why the heck I needed to do this for an IUI- and got an answer that I was ok with: basically with so many screwed up hormones, things might not do what they would in a natural cycle what with all the messing with the pituitary and all, so why take chances.  Alrighty then.

Me? I am home with an evil viral flu-y thing that started with a razory throat yesterday morning and progressed to chills, fever, achy skin and joints, and snot in all of its various forms by midday. I literally could not get out of bed until noon and have been on the couch ever since. I called my beloved sister last night for reassurance-- needing to hear that somehow this shitty flu thingy will NOT endanger any embryo that might be floating around in there and cause it to think of me as a hostile environment and bail out-- and she said no- reminded me that babies are made in times of war and famine,  and in the midst of all sorts of sicknesses, so not to worry.
Who me, worry?  As if. *cough*

18 March 2009

a little bubbly

The thing I like best about the progesterone suppositories? Bubbly pee. I'm just sayin'.

16 March 2009

thin skin

So you know how sometimes you think you have it together and are holding up ok and then one thing happens, heck, it could be anything-- say, for example, your sweetie accidentally leaning on the "send help" button in the exam room and folks running in to help, and then you start to laugh kinda and then you start to cry and then you are crying really hard and realizing that maybe, just maybe you are not quite as together as you thought?

Yea.... so. that would be me: not quite as together as I thought. IUI accomplished. Home on the sofa for no physical reason at all, just needing to NOT be at work with this thin skin. 

14 March 2009


My google horoscope today:
"You can't expect to fix something if the tools you've been using just don't work. You need a whole new strategy to deal with the issue. How willing you're prepared to experiment and explore new approaches will determine your success. The key for you just now is open-mindedness."

You know, I always thought I was open minded. It was always one of my self definitions.  But then life included some really tough turns and crises and I got hurt badly and got very cautious. Started closing in, questioning, wondering, waiting, assessing, not trusting my heart. I used to be much more free spirited. Much more open. Now somewhere out there Jane is perhaps laughing (I bet we can all almost hear her wondrous roaring laugh), remembering that my so called free spirit was very much contained by my very very cautious and introverted kateness. Yes, yes, but everything is relative. I was more free spirited then, I was.

So one of my personal journeys is to try to get back in touch with that free spirited kate. Not in an unsafe way, but in a way that honors the contribution that that part brings to the whole. I am someone who has always been filled with wonder and awe in a child like way. I have never lost that part. And I do believe there is a lot out there that is not knowable in an intellectual science-y way-- at least not yet. So...

Did I tell you about my energy balancing?  No? Last weekend, on the advice of a beloved friend, I got in touch with Elma from Now Healing.  One of the things I asked her to address was my struggle with infertility, told her I was smack dab in the middle of a barely-eking-by IVF cycle- and as she tuned in to me, she said that she was going to work on clearing any energy fields that were inhibiting follicle and oocyte growth, and once she did that, she said she was going to work on aiding and envisioning my eggs maturing, releasing, traveling down my fallopian tubes, meeting up with the necessary sperm, fertilizing, implanting, growing...
and when she was done, I said yes, but I am doing IVF, we are going to be doing egg retrieval, so..... and she stopped me gently and said she was going to work on the eggs moving down my fallopian tubes. I guess I realized then that I'd better seriously consider that this cycle could convert to IUI.

Ok folks, I am a techie of sorts, so what is this with the energy balancing mumbo jumbo?
What do I believe? I believe that sometimes when you listen to what other folks say, you can gain a new perspective and clarity, even if it is only in listening to your own response. I believe that we are all intuitive and that some of us can tap into that part of ourselves more easily and with more trust than others of us. And some of those people are among my most treasured friends (that means you Karen). And I believe that sometimes when push comes to shove, and you have to get down to it and state the issue, your current pattern, where you feel stuck or challenged, or whatever in about 5-10 seconds, you can distill what seems like an unbelievably complex and convoluted situation down into its component parts, its essence.  And that that act of distillation is helpful even if no energy is balanced, no blocks are lifted. Elma kept repeating that her goal was to help me move to a place of strength and neutrality, one unburdened by attachment to outcome. And while I do not feel strong or neutral or unattached, I appreciate being reminded of the simple idea that if you are centered over your feet, you can move in any direction you need to. If you are already leaning forward, you are already unbalanced, already off kilter.

And as a wise man once said, you cannot begin a journey from a place where you are not.
So now I need to try to trust in this moment, this process. I need to try to stay over my feet, stay open minded, even while going through experiences and procedures and waiting, hoping for (and yes attached to) a specific outcome, even while gathering information and deciding next steps. 

Thanks for listening.

13 March 2009

IVF#2? No, IUI #4

Such a hard and shitty day- 
as soon as I saw the scan I pretty much knew this would be the outcome: our IVF has been officially converted to an IUI scheduled for monday. My one little go getter is still getting bigger (18mm) and the other three follicles are lagging behind (all around 10mm). So it is too much of a gamble to let the first one go and hope that more show up (IVF at my clinic needs a minimum of 4 of the right size)... so we will stim for one more day (yay 3 more shots since tonight's are done) then we trigger tomorrow night and do the IUI thing monday morning. This sucked (SUCKED) but it was not the hardest part for me. No, the hardest part was when I asked (assuming this IUI may fail) when we could start our next cycle.
Our usually somewhat loquacious and sweet nurse, Sharon, was quiet for a moment. And then she said that considering everything Dr. M does not suggest we do another cycle especially since my response was so low this time around. She said that we should consider moving on to other options with a higher chance of success, like donor eggs, donor embryos or adoption. And I felt my world crumble.

I am not ready to give up this hope, this hope that this could work. That somehow we can combine our genetic material into someone new. But reality says our odds are low no matter what-- 
so, ok, it is not as if we have not been thinking about what's next, right? (she says, picking up the pieces of her heart in a dustpan, careful not to cut her fingers) -- so--what about donor eggs? the high cost, good lord, and the horrible honest realization that no matter how much I wish I felt differently, embarrassingly, I would be afraid of being jealous of my partner's connection to the child, the genetic connection-- so this one is not one I am settled about, one I am conflicted about. so what about donor embryos? maybe. but as a mixed race couple living in new hampshire, the embryos we would have access to are generally not the kind of mix we would be, which is not in itself a deal breaker, just not what we would ideally want (notice my gall here? my audacity? my daring to speak of an IDEAL???). ok so what about adoption?-- the only "sure bet" that is not really one, but... expensive, quite a lengthy process with uncertainty at many points as well....  the short answer? we do not know what we would do. I am not ready to decide. I just want and wanted this to work.

But since I am kate, I have a plan for what's next. If this IUI fails, we will spend the $250, have a consult with CCRM (the colorado clinic so famous for helping women of a certain age achieve the near impossible). They may say we are done. They may say it is nearly impossible, or insanely expensive or whatever it is that they say, but I do not want to look back and wish I had asked their opinion. So we will.

And as a side note, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not brave: After that first horrible thigh shot,  I have not done the other IM injections myself. Oh I wanted to be able to-- my controlfreak self, my littlemissindependent self wanted to, wanted to know I can. But honestly? Since I did not have to do it myself, since I had a willing partner, and looking at the 1" needle made me feel totally freaked out and scared, I folded: I chickened out and let my darlin' do it. And while they still Suck, they suck less, and all is well with the world except for the little fact that I did not respond well enough anyway, and it feels like it was all for nothing.

But the little hopeful kate, the one holding on by her fingernails says, hey, maybe this could still work.  And then all the other kates laugh and laugh. Please just let the little hopeful kate be right.

12 March 2009


Butt shot? Successful!
Basically ow ow ow ow done.
No OWs. No ferchrissakes what was I thinking. Just done.

Elizabeth- thank you for your amazing comment- how generous of you to share your experience and I will definitely take your advice! And I agree- the top layer is the tough one- I will be doing my own injections quite possibly tonight and probably tomorrow morning-- I am a pusher not a jabber too-- but now I know it is not nearly as bad as the thigh, it will be much easier. Like so much of this shite, it is so hard the first time through, and then so hard to deviate from a known set of tasks (shot in belly, known quantity)-- so friggin scary anticipating what-it-might-be-like to face a new procedure, process, injection type, location, medication.

so, the first one under my belt (as it were)-- I iced before hand but the spot I iced was below the injection area-- and it was over once, it really was over -- very much unlike the thigh that bitched and moaned at me for a few hours.

Other good news? Shot #2 of ganirelix was a non issue. Only a small red region, no welts, no itching, just a plain old shot site. But yesterday's dose is wrecking havoc with my intestines. Luckily I know that ride well.

Thank you all for your generosity and support, kind words and stories. I hate the aloneness/powerless feeling of this, and with you folks out there, it makes a world of difference-- So to Elizabeth, Sarah, April, and Maredsous, GradeA, Joannah, Nic, bb, and IVF 40+, Anonymous, and yes even you Dave51, and to all of you I did not mention:THANK YOU. You know what I'm talking about.

11 March 2009

IM my a**

Tonight's injection sucked more than rocks. Hurt badly even after 10+ minutes of icing prior to the shot. I was not ok. It was not ok.  It made me realize just how close to the surface my fragile emotions are.

So tomorrow morning I will get help with a butt shot instead.  Let's hope that is markedly better than tonight's was, since really, the thigh totally sucked. 

PS E2 501. stim day 10

still hanging on

So, today I had another ultrasound and blood draw. I've no idea what my E2 is yet but I can say this: Only one follicle over 1 (and it is at 1.4 I think)-- 3 others around .7... "a few unmeasurable" that I did not even see--- so it is not bad enough to stop yet or good enough to feel confident about going forward. And there are a few changes:

Since that one is bigger and growing, I injected Ganirelex in my belly at lunchtime when I got back here to work -- and now have a big 2-quarter sized welt (anyone else have this response?) and palm sized red spot and man is it ITCHY. I am icing it.

All stims will now go intramuscularly (IM) instead of into the belly fat and I am very sorry to hear that especially after seeing the needles. This scares me silly.

Friday we will rescan. If my one bigger one is still growing and the others are not, we'll convert to IUI-- probably trigger friday night, IUI sunday. If by some miracle of IM injections the others decide to give it a go and the big one has slowed down, I will go back monday to see how things are going.

Not trying to tempt fate, but since we were there, we also spoke to the great nurse, Sharon, about egg donor stuff and embryo donor stuff and feel a lot better prepared to handle whatever is next for us. I am not feeling *good* about any of it, but I am feeling resolute.

As for my ovaries? They're giving it a go. My endometrium had not improved at all since Monday. But there's still some time. I am trying to just be with what is. Even if what is is a 1" 23 guage needle with my name on it.

Anyone else inject your own medications IM? Any tips? I am going to ice it and pray. But the thought makes we want to york. Wish I were better at bucking up, but really I am a big chickenshit. I'll be better or worse after tonight's first try in the library bathroom. Think of me around 7:30. Hope I don't yell. It sure is echoy in there.

10 March 2009


Hi folks, up North, in a hotel, typing on a tiny keyboard (my new linux dell mini refurb)--things are definitely changing inside, more sensations, more side effects of the increased estrogen. I am feeling more positive now that I am feeling something physical rather than just side effects of the medications--headaches, tiredness, acne. At 300$/day, I am hoping we don't have to stim too long. I have 4 and a half more days of medication. I imagine they'll see me again on friday.

I'm ok. I am not sure how but I am not knocking it. Much better than blue.

Not sure how this will post, so I'll stop here. Will update tomorrow once I know something.

09 March 2009

s l o w l y

Hi folks, I was away for the weekend- to my sister's house for sister therapy (THANKS SARAH)-- seriously, nothing is better. Thank you all for the kind comments. It really means a lot to me to hear your voices, to receive support from folks in the same regatta. I admit I felt wrecked last week, not the bone-deep essential point-of-no-return wreck, but a mottled, lumpy wreck, the one that flirts with moments of lost hope, the one that imagines bad outcomes, many kinds of bad outcomes, and one deep enough so I could not quite kick myself out of the bad energy spiral that goes down, down, down. But remember how I said optimisiKate would reappear? Well she did. By friday night I was at the point of: If this gets canceled, I will do another cycle, this time lupron flare. If this one gets far enough that there is some response but not enough follicles for IVF, I will convert the cycle to IUI and not waste all those friggin injections. And with those plans, I felt more ok waiting until monday and see where I really was rather than where I was afraid I might be. 

And so this is the Monday story.

E2 244. Endometrial lining is thickening  s  l  o  w  l  y which at least shows something is happening. One follicle > 10mm, "several" more smaller ones, too small to measure. But slow progress is not the same thing as no progress so we persist.  My prolactin level is still sub normal (!) and my dear nurse Sharon suggested "ice cream and breast stimulation can make a slight increase but that would be a bit difficult to maintain for a prolonged effort. BUT might offer some diversion."  Indeed.

So-- medications ordered (1200 worth, 4 days worth)-- next ultrasound scheduled for early wednesday morning just to see what's happening. The assumption is this might just be a very slow cycle. But wednesday is only day 10 of stims. So it is not as long as it feels. Last time, I'd been on lupron for so long, when I started stims it felt pretty fast-- I saw progress so soon (not many follicles but obvious growth each ultrasound). Today I looked and saw very little. Very few follicles. Just one bigger one. That's it. So not the same visit-to-visit affirmation that Things Are Working. But, even with that in mind, I am ok. Let's see what happens. See how this plays out.

Remember how my hCG level was really low the day of my non-retrieval last cycle?  And how this one I have to do an IM shot to improve the chances of correct dosing? Well, I asked about whether whateveritwas that interfered with the hCG absorption could be impacting the stim drugs since it is the same belly fat, the same kate-- and Sharon said maybe-- so after wednesday, I make take the rest of my injections intramuscularly-- so please, send some nice stim thoughts my way, I sure would be willing to do that if necessary, but it sure would be nice if I did not have to. And so help me, it was all I could do to not name this post "breast stimulation and ice cream".

06 March 2009

all kinds of blue

Cycle day 7, stim day 4.5, E2 is a mere 50, no measurable follicles (at the mothership they only measure them once they're over 1cm). At the beginning, aka monday, I saw that we only have 4 to work with anyway-although in my ignorance I thought that maybe some others would join the party.
But no. Or at least, not yet.
So the coordinating nurse who called this afternoon with my E2, ultrasound report and plan update graciously agreed with my articulate assessment: "Shit". 

But for now we forge ahead aware of the slow start and small number-- keep stimming over the weekend, acupuncture today.... next ultrasound and E2 on monday morning- and if things aren't markedly improved and improving, we'll talk about cancellation.

To say I am blue does not quite capture it. In this process, I've held off feelings of "never" by thinking "maybe this time"-- so to have this time looking so bad so early? feelings of "never" are creeping in. I admit I'm familiar with grief (see my other blog). But I also have to admit I have not done much grieving about this yet. OK, that is not entirely true. I did an intense bout right after the no-egg retrieval. But not the kind that comes from sustained awareness of it not working, along with the word never. Intellectually I have always been aware of about the possibility/probability of this not working-- heck folks, I am 42. Nearly twice the age of some of the women whose blogs I read (Hi Nic!). I know how the cards are stacked. But I've staved it off by making my next plan.

But today with the call from Sharon about the incredibly low E2, grief seeped in fast and I felt my stomach drop as if I have already lost something. And now I am lump throated and feel aimless and like as soon as I am done typing, sleep is going to unhinge its jaws and swallow me like a snake. Facing the idea that this might never work is just something I have not done for more than moments or hours-- it is too much to take all at once since it means the loss of so many things- ideas, hopes, imaginings. And I cringe away from it since I know I cannot handle all that it might mean. 

It sucks knowing there is nothing I can DO--all I can do is just wait it out. Do the injections. See what happens. Visualize controlled and sustained growth (come'on follicles!). I need 3 to attempt a retrieval, but with only 4 follicles to begin with, and with such a poor response to the simulation drugs thus far--success, even as far as continuing the cycle, just seems unlikely. So yeah, at the moment, I am all kinds of blue.  Optimistikate will rejoin us shortly.

05 March 2009


First: my apologies-- trust me- bruising is not a rookie mistake, the rushing was. I learned (and now relearned) that if I go slowly and pay attention and look first, I generally do not bruise. So, this was all about the rushing. Many folks bruise anyway no matter what. I generally do too in real life as a really fair skinned redhead, but when I look, I can usually avoid my bluegreen veins since I can see them through my crazy see-through (what melanin?) skin-- truly I meant no harm and did not mean to sound judgmental if I did.

Last time around I was all welted and bruised from the repronex (prior to my switch to menopur)-- and no matter where I injected or how carefully I looked, it was always awful and it always sucked a**. But this time, using the right drug from the get go, I am doing ok. No welts after about 10 minutes.  Only one bruise so far. This "so far" is really important since as I remember, the longer into this, the less virgin territory there is so anything can happen. So-- my apologies to anyone who might have taken offense at my lack of clarity.

As for my padding-- oh I still have plenty, just a little less. I've been off wheat and eggs and dairy for a few weeks after a food sensitivity screening and will start to reintroduce foods in a few more weeks to see how I feel. 

For me, this whole thing --this cycle--is much more about in-the-moment living than I am used to- an odd thing for a forecaster and regretter-- but I am trying to look at This moment, what do I need to do now? and then, what do I need to do next?  I am not looking at the whole path since I cannot see it from here. I do not know what the path will be, what the timing will be- I envy those who post an egg retrieval date when they are still suppressing (and find it to be accurate). I envy those whose bodies seem to align with a schedule of some sort (heck I envy those whose bodies Work!). I know I am more random (just look at my last cycle). So right now I am looking at tomorrow morning, kinda dreading the morning injection in some ways since the night passes so quickly it is like having two in a row, and of course resolute about it in others-- it is what I need to. BUT then I am off to the great north to the clinic for the ultrasound and E2- hopeful that there will be something to report that is good. And then I will know what is next.

04 March 2009

rookie mistake

One bruise-- a rookie mistake, a quick jab in a rush in a bathroom at work (sounds naughty) but really, I did not look well enough and since I am down a few pounds my usual cushion is smaller and... as soon as I pulled the needle out I knew. 

Otherwise, headachy, getting tired faster, a few twinges in my innards but really, I'm ok so far. It is weird to think of stimming without suppression--who knows what is going on in there! Sweet commenters, thank you-- not sure I would say I have inner peace, or clarity, or a good attitude but I am trying to stay calm(er), and seeing if I can stay positive. Friday will help me a lot if things look good. I tell myself that this will turn out better this time around, and I am hopeful it will-- but really?  how do I know? I don't. I just hope. I'm a hoper from way back.

At the library now with two friends to write-- will shoot up in the bathroom here slowly and carefully-- and-- happily before and after I'll be working a bit on my novel. Ciao.

02 March 2009

one thing

Well, I can report quite happily that the ultrasound was "normal"-- 2 wee follicles each side (aww) and my blood work showed a too-suppressed prolactin level (from my little prolactinoma-my little pituitary tumor)-- so as of this moment I am off those suppressive meds (dostinex) at least until a repeat blood test next week. Apparently there is a sweet spot for prolactin when it comes to all things reproductive-- not too high like mine used to be otherwise it is bad for ovulation, not too low like mine is now since apparently it can interfere with optimal stimulation.
So, of course I took my weekly dose of dostinex last night, figures. So I will imagine it decreasing steadily as my stim drugs kick in over the next few days, to come to some sort of harmonious interplay of luscious and optimal ovarian simulationism sometime soon, like, say, wednesday.

good lord.

So anyway, they sent me home with my bag of medications and told me to do my first injection when I got home whenever that was- ahh yes, it stings like a mofo (I had forgotten how much). Strange how the fingers remember just how to do the mixing and injecting. And with a headache already I can say this cycle is now officially underway.

The snow? Almost nothing up north, but cold and blowing sideways- wild swirly patterns on the road and sudden blindness like running through hanging laundry-- but more and more snow the closer I got to home where we have 12" of fresh powder.  Came home to a stray dog, a plowed-in driveway and snow coming down with a cold wind.
The dog is safely home, a random guy driving by with a plow is now $40 richer after plowing me out, and it is really really pretty out there with all this fresh snow.

I stayed home this afternoon- did not want to drive an hour to work 3 to drive back home in the snow + dark, so this was a vacation day filled with probes and needles and slick slow driving.
But I am happy to be home. 

Next ultrasound friday morning- and between now and then?

150 menupur 75 follistim in the mornings,  75 menopur 150 follistim evenings.
This is my clinic's max dose.

Did you folks know that you do not need to refrigerate follistim if you are going to use it in the next few months?  (unless you are using the pens-- if so, ignore me)-- but if you are going the vial route as I am, you no longer need to give up a whole crisper drawer or fridge shelf just for this. Check with your pharmacist or RE, but the bag-o-drugs they gave me had been in the closet, not the fridge, and when I asked, they said I could fridge them if I wanted, but it was not at all necessary.
Who knew.

Second injection in the next hour or so before I go to bed, then tomorrow, I'll be back to my regularly scheduled 7:30 injections... 

Oh, on a broader reproductive note, in the interest of trying to calm the heck down, we've decided to focus on this IVF, and not try to multitask our way through educating ourselves on other options at the same time. I realized I was getting pretty stressed out and frayed at the edges (and the middle) from trying so hard to do so many things all at once- homestudy! donor eggs! ethical, personal and interpersonal issues! 

So, in a moment of absurdly unusual clarity it came to me: Do one thing.
This one. 

So that is what we are trying to do. So help me, if my hands type in homestudy someone taze me.

01 March 2009


Finished a long drive up north in the dark before the snow- am alone in the hotel room except for my monsterus cramps and my stuffed elephant, Horatio. My scan is tomorrow morning- so yes, my period finally showed up late saturday evening.  They said I could take tylenol so I am, but I need to say this: tylenol sucks rocks when it comes to cramps. Me? I'm an advil gal. A liquicaps gal. A one-advil-every-2-hours gal. So this is not really cutting it.  BUT that all being griped about sufficiently, I can say this- hey, I am glad I finally got my period so at least I can get on with it. I'll sleep with the hot water bottle and the elephant. Different kinds of comfort.

My mood today was all fragile crapitude. Tears right near the surface all day, felt incompentent and pms-y. Took myself on a hike against my whiny protestations... and sat up on the hillside watching the big fat snowflakes separate themselves from sky and fall on my gloves, perfect crystals-- and for a long while I listened to them fall- the shhhh of snowflakes landing on bare branches, dried leaves, stone ledges, ice, me.

So, tomorrow there'll be somewhere between 5-15 inches of snow (I love certainty)-- and with luck, a good scan, a bag-o-meds, a slow, safe drive home, and a plan to pinch an inch and plunge a needle in before bed. Ahhhh IVF. The things we look forward to--  proving, once again, that everything is relative.