31 January 2010

designated driver

Maddy just used the most perfect word in her most recent post for that thing we do when we are around moms and kids and families that resemble that which we are wanting: Masquerading.

Saturday I dropped by the bar where my darlin works on weekends, and a friend of his was there with her new baby- a one month old. We sat and talked and she handed me the baby, told me all about the pregnancy, about how tired she was in the beginning (I know, I wanted to say, I know I really do), how she was miserable the first 5 months, how her delivery went along fine until it ended in a c section. Breastfeeding was simple (it's natural, she said with a shrug, clearly unaware that it could be horribly impossibly difficult for someone), all is well, baby is sleeping. She glowed (how?) as she talked and talked and talked. She is young, in her 20s, but had a hard time conceiving. Tried several years- unexplained, tried clomid several times, gave up, started partying again, and got pregnant. A miracle she said, and I get that.
She told me she wishes us well this month (!), and said she knows I must know all about the hormone craziness, the hot flashes, the feeling of no reserve. She said that holding her baby would bring me luck and that soon I'd be holding my own baby.
I sat and listened and mmmed, and held that warm baby, and played with her perfect fingers. She said the baby has her hands, it is so obviously Her baby, and I wondered if I will get to look for fingers that look like mine.

I did not expect her to know so much about what we were up to, she is not someone I know well, and I forgot that other folks might know through my darlin', so I felt a little taken aback, and a lot exposed and nekkid in the face of it.

Folks kept circling around, talking about the baby, and their babies, and their pregnancies. one woman found out at 5 months.

And I am ignorant, I am. It is a club I am not part of.

I was not totally flattened and floored, but I felt, what, stupified maybe? Bruised? Exposed?
And a little stupid. I did not have my guard up. I went in as me. not as me, protected. I have no problem with babies or pregnant ladies, but that does not mean I do not feel a stab (or slow ache, more accurately) of envy, or of loneliness in some way. Maybe that is the word that captures it best. Loneliness.
Like being the only sober one at the party.

brief update

I called.

E2 was 457 yesterday
I have 5 follicles on the left (all under 10), they did not image the right ovary (I told the tech it can be very posterior during the scan, and did not realize she did not get to it).
But the E2 is good enough so I know I have follicles happening and that is what matters most in this crazy game... of what? hide and seek? pin the tail on the donkey? dungeons and dragons?

I just got noodle girl's affirming comment about needing to ask for information at this clinic, so I will continue to do so. I am used to being one of few, it is really odd to be one of so many.

30 January 2010

ok so far!

The message said:

" Hi, this is Heidi from Boston IVF. We want you to continue with the same doses (that she then reiterated), and come in on monday at 7:45 for an ultrasound and bloodwork".

Um E2? hello? Follicle count? lining? Anything?

Ok, in spite of all of that, I did not lose site of this: the most important thing? not canceled, so I am going to assume that all is well.
At the US I said I know you probably cannot tell me anything specific, but it would be great to hear that things look ok. She looked and said, things look good. So I asked, so I have follicles? yes, she said.

But how many? which side? I am an info junkie! Please tell me! Let me see! Let me count them measure them get to know them take solace in them... but no.

So, again, keeping perspective since I am not quite that nutty (no really, I mean it)
most important thing? not canceled. I'm ok with that, but you can be sure I'll be asking for numbers on monday.

It was too darn cold to hike today. Bitterly cold. Frozen face cold.
Must get up even though I do not want to, forgot to take the Mestinon.
Oh, right, that? something about my morning dose (150 menopur and the Mestinon) I get super acute eyesight, swimmy head, and if I don't eat? I slur. Anyone else have anything like this ever? My brain works fine, but my mouth will not cooperate. Just curious.

And sending extra love to Traci for her recent scary unexpected cerclage-- a with-it ultrasound tech thankfully caught an overeager cervix in time. (I like the term overeager instead of incompetent which just makes me mad/sad). And to dear A who is having a spectacularly bad day.

29 January 2010

wolf moon

It was cold this morning, 0 at my house, the kind of cold where you breath freezes in your nostrils. And wind was whipping snow up and around. As I passed open fields, snow was pulled up and dragged along and it looked like the fog that sometimes lifts from bodies of water and stands wispy and motionless, toes in the water, but this snow, this snow was racing along at breakneck speed.

Each night, the follistim injections are causing a bruise, and I have a rainbow array of them smiling around and beneath my belly button ranging from deep purple to yellow green. I have the bloat. I look like I am harboring two loaves of bread dough where my middle used to be. Again, I am used to squishy (I am squishy) but not quite like this. Bless Megan for telling me to inject more slowly, ahhhhhhh so much better. Still doing it in two shots, still worry when it beads at the surface. Still counting down, knowing each one is one less. It will all be fine.

I am ready for some reassurance that this is working. So

I go tomorrow for ultrasound and bloodwork, pray that all is working as it should, that I have follicles growing, none in the lead, enough of the right size, and that my E2 is appropriate for all that is happening in there. I want eggs in those follicles, eggs that can be retrieved soon and enough of them to feel we have a lot to work with, and that those eggs will fertilize well, and have plenty of perfect embryos to transfer and that one will be the kind of perfect that ends with me holding a perfect baby. I realized that in some weird way I expect this to work, need it to, wish it will, hope it will, in spite of all I know and have experienced. So, that is hard since I know that when it doesn't, I will have a long way to fall. On the other hand, I nearly expect it is not working, that we'll be canceled. Expecting this and expecting that, yeah, I guess my bases are covered. No matter what happens I'll be right. And wrong..
I am crazy actually.

I'll just blame the moon.

28 January 2010


Ordered more needles today to keep up with my increased consumption- smaller shots are the way to go--- it still sucked since for me, follistim burns like regret, but it was much better, I will not dread it tonight, and it will be fine.

Belly is much better today but I still feel really really weird headed (weird even for me) and my belly is making the most incredibly loud burbling sounds, so maybe tomorrow will be exciting again. Yay. Something to look forward to.

As we've all said and agreed, I'm just keeping my eye on the goal here,
and using the ever popular countdown method to get from here to there-- 8 more follistim evenings. Mornings are a piece of cake injection-wise. No burning. No dread. Evenings I will split the follistim into 2 or 3 injections- oddly MUCH easier. I feel more under control now.

So! hate just talking about cycling bullshit, injection blah blah la la la .... but there were no turkeys in my yard this morning....
what can I talk about?
snowy looking sky
black water of the stream running through the white ice shelves that jut out along the edges
the footprints from deer under all the apple trees in the orchard
the fuzzy blonde pony with the long eyelashes who stands by the fence waiting for fresh hay
the funny white dog with brown spots who sits on hisorher dog house so heorshe can see over the big white picket fence and watch the passing cars

Here's something happy: My dear friend Maredsous is blogging again! Her new blog is hcgmepdq (pretty darn clever). Maredsous and I cycled together over a year ago, she is a wonderful person and a sharp cookie-- smart smart. She's doing a DE FET so if you have a moment, stop by and say hello. As we all know, support really matters.

27 January 2010


I feel like shit.
New meds?
450 (a shotglass full) of follistim last night? (What a sucky shot).
No idea.
But I feel nauseous and really upsetbellied and bleary headed. Back and forth to the bathroom. Enough to be noticed. Cramps too, This kind and That kind.

Tonight I will give the follistim in two shots not one. That big one sucked rocks. I was pretty sure I would pull the needle out and it would come out like a fountain. It didn't. But I do have a big bruise.

My other protocol was easier, I admit. I used the morning follistim to dilute the two menopur tablets, then took it all in one shot. A small one. .5cc.
Then at night, again, a bigger dose of follistim in the same volume to dilute one tablet of menopur. Another small shot.

This time, morning is menopur, two tablets, diluted with 1cc fluid. Not awful, but a bigger volume than I was used to. But lots of surface beading when I took the needle out (I took it out slowly).
And at night, 3 vials of follistim, which was one honking huge 2cc shot. Not again. I'll take two big shots instead. And if I can I may warm it in my hand first.
And of course the lupron gets its own shot.

Sorry to whine. It is what it is. It is not forever, it is just for now, and for a great cause. But shit. I wish I did not feel quite so thoroughly lousy.

Positive notes? Sprogblogger is totally sprogged up.
7 giant wild turkeys in the yard this morning (the cat just watched with awe as they dinosaured their way through the garden and into the woods). And snowbirds (juncos) ? 4 on the little magnolia out back. Cutest birds ever, deep gray except for white bellies and yellow beaks.

The stream is back below its banks and it is cold again, as it should be. It was a nice break, nice to breathe in springtime scents for a moment, but nice to be back to cold.

26 January 2010


January thaw is in full swing. Grass is showing where more than 2 feet of snow blanketed the ground just yesterday, fog and wind and rain have made the hillsides nearly free of snow, and the stream is running so high and fast it looks like springtime.
It is warm enough out there to be nekkid (as I said earlier to Elizabeth), and I am torn between wanting to run forward toward buds opening and grass greening and wanting to say Wait! I'm not done yet! (Sweater season suits me in many ways).
Luckily, the cold will be back, and it will not be up to me to choose.
Last night when the rain stopped, the clouds broke open and the sky was so clear that looking up felt like falling.

Today is cd2- period arrived last evening (finally) clearly, so today I went for baseline blood work (no U/S!) and I am waiting to hear about starting stims tonight. Cramps are insane but these folks are allowing me my beloved Advil. Praise the god/goddess/all-that-is. (**Update: E2 36.3 "perfect", I start follistim tonight, back on saturday for bloodwork and ultrasound**)

I dreamed last night, dreamed and dreamed and dreamed. I dreamed finally I was facilitating a workshop, a creativity workshop. Hmmm I say. Hmmmm.

25 January 2010


My sister just posted a great post about family and what it is rather than what she thought it would or should be. It is a great post, with really great perspective and writing and I invite you to go take a look.

quote about grief

This is from Eve's most current post:

I got through this weekend not gracefully or necessarily full of thanks, but just grappling for each moment as if they were pieced together like prayer flags, strung across the foothills of Mount Everest, hung to honor those who lost their lives up there,

bodies still frozen on the mountainside

under all that snow.

I am not sure I have ever heard it put more clearly and I just wanted to pass it along for both the beauty and the recognition of Truth.

24 January 2010


Yesterday I learned that when sunlight shines through hemlock needles they the most exquisite emerald green.
yesterday's hike was extra wonderful- below 15 here at the house when I began, but up the hill out of the hemlock forest into more deciduous trees, sunlight makes it through and it was warm enough to unzip the neck of my jacket, and then the neck of my fleece. I sat up on a rock and simply soaked it up. Ate some snow off the piney tree next to the rock, and just looked out over the rolling hills, the gentle haze at the edge of the horizon, the bluest possible sky.
These days the sun comes up like it means it, clearing the treetops by around 9, but then it stays low, moves across the southern sky, and heads back down mid afternoon-- so our hours of sun are about 3 or 4 hours less than our hours of daylight. And I cannot express how wonderful it was to just be out in it, quiet, still, happy.


My period is two days late. Temp still up. Pee sticks negative. Just want it to start. Please.


my heart is heavy tonight for Sprogblogger who feels she has lost her twin, and for Lara (peanut noodle) for losing hers. And for Eve (infertility rocks) , who very recently lost one of her twins at 24 weeks. I can hardly stand this part-- I so celebrate when one of us WINS and so ache when things go wrong or Wrong or WRONG. And this, this all just feels shitty. I hate the fake out of low early betas, I hate the miscarriages, I hate the "vanishing" miscarried twins or triplets, I hate that we have to work so hard and beat so many odds to get pregnant and then seem so disproportionately at the wrong end of the odds when it comes to losses.

Ah, dang, it just hurts.

Just sending love out there with all my might.

22 January 2010

seaglass and sparkly snow

Robin, Sprogblogger, Alyssa, B, thank you. (Robin, do you have a website?)
I am thinking of elements of all of those things-- wondering about a fabulously patchworked future. Very much being open to things that feel good, feel like pieces or signposts or little indicators. I imagine I am collecting them like feathers, seaglass, shells, seeds and stones in a small dream-pouch (that may soon need Hermione's magic to hold all that I'm accumulating). I wanted to ask you since you are not me and come from all sorts of life paths and places and experiences that are not mine. So many of the best ideas are ones that other people think of or expose-- so thank you, sincerely. I am open to suggestions!

Yesterday sucked ass, BUT as these things tend to do, I was better for having written things down, better for taking a sweat-making Nia class, better for getting home and shooting lupron into my belly (with the dullest needles ever. I swear to you, these have been filed down to maximize discomfort), better for the long hot shower, the clean clothes, the great smelling dinner, the return of my love from a brief trip, and

Today I am managing by pretending I am someone else. I'll let you know how that goes.
My boss is traveling next week, respite!
I love him which is part of the problem. Big ass overblown loyalty. And I want his approval so badly (ahhh, katekate, family issues much?). Small company = family dynamics and I have been here a long time (12 years) so things are pretty emeshed.
I'll write more about what I do in real life sometime soon, promise.

I peed on a stick last night, you know, just in case, pre lupron and Mestinon. 13dpo. Negative of course, but I have been so tired and my boobs so sore I wondered a little at the off chance (the very very off chance). I will probably pee on another tonight pre injection just to make sure.
My period is due tomorrow or sunday then off to the races I guess--
I am not totally beaten down by this negative since it had so little chance (minute, miniscule) to be anything other than that. But hey, it sure would have been nice to thumb my nose at the big box of follistim in the fridge.

Anyway, very cool sparkly snow and long shadows that wrapped themselves up and over the hilly fields this morning made my drive in so lovely.
Around my house is a snowy wonderland with all trees covered and all horizontal surfaces showing themselves, branches, downed trees, fences.... Not a half mile away, snow is only on the ground, blown free from the branches, and it always a wonder to me how things can be so different so close together weather-wise.

Tomorrow I hope to hike and maybe see my wonderful mom this weekend. Hope to work much more on the writing project. Maybe paint?

There is such power in simple things that remind me of the best parts of me-- but god, it is so easy to get swallowed up in the bullshit and bad feelings. I wish I would allow myself to get that good at feeling good!

Thanks for listening. And for sharing. I appreciate it so much.

21 January 2010

biting my tongue

Ahh impulse control.
The challenge of not turning red, not saying the very first thing that comes to mind, not reacting,
Yes, once again I am addressing this issue of reactivity and urgent response.

I am trying to learn to wait, to breathe, to decide.

But man oh man, my most dysfunctional relationship is at work these days, and all my most ragged edges snag here almost every day, my insecurities, my codependence, my jealousy and my reactionary sloth... I am not proud of any of it. It is all I can do to be neutral in my self here.

I have had a while now of good internal work-- waiting, breathing, good responses, relative calm. But today? Today is all backwash and backlash and regression. A tired boss, a tired kate, shitty communication I cannot solve one-sided, and I feel so ineffectual and uncomfortable. It is days like these I want to run out of here. I know I cannot. It would be a disaster.

But why does personal growth have to be so darn random it its path? Stumble stumble, skinned knee, concussion.

I get/got all used to feeling better, feeling more settled, more calm, more competent. But today it I have had to bring myself back over and over and finally found myself sitting here feeling teary and beaten.

NOT my highest and best.

But the reason I wanted to post is this: so much of my impulse control is internal-- not what I say out side, but what I say to myself--and then how that makes me feel.

What if I tried to interrupt that process too? Again, easier when the stakes are lower, or the pace is slower, very very hard when reactive in general.
Yesterday I spent a while biting my "mental" tongue, shushing myself, reframing. Today I am having shitty luck with that but I still think the idea is sound and the effort is worth it.

So I guess I wanted to reiterate to myself that what I am trying is worthy-- this idea of waiting both outside and inside, for a moment before responding. I am sucking at it today, but that does not mean it is not worthwhile.


to reclaim my mood and make it good, here are some things I am really good at (not meant to be a comprehensive anything, just a top of my mind list):

listening and hearing what people mean as well as what they say, and asking questions to clarify
translating between people of different technical backgrounds or communication styles
asking what if questions
seeing things that might be stumbling blocks, areas worth attending to, concerns, potential outcomes
looking for the middle way, and not just This or That
generating alternatives
taking a 15 minute interview and making an article out of it
taking two sentences or ideas and making a press release out of it
having an immediate ability to instinctively know a bad idea when I hear it (politics for example)
noticing details
appreciating nature
being body still and mind busy
jamming on other people's ideas
grasping technical issues quickly
helping someone past a roadblock
sharing something I love
teaching small groups something I know well and care about
making people feel good
yoga and stretching
proofreading other people's work for typos, NOT PUNCTUATION. I suck at that.
pattern matching of almost any kind, like finding four leaf clovers.
learning how other people think, their workstyle, what makes them happy, and trying to use that knowledge to make better and more productive work groups
I love problem solving.
I like being liked and appreciated

things I also love but may not be quite as good at:
playing in photoshop
looking at and through images (flickr! whoo hoo!)
painting/making a mess of things with words and images and other things on some flat surface (flat so far!)

things I am:
enthusiastic, creative, involved, supportive, curious, out-of-the-box, patient but lively, eager to please (darn it but there is good there too, there is), intuitive, introverted (not anti social, just need time to recharge after interactions and sustained interactions tire me out even if they are great!)

I am choosing not to write a list of things I do not like since this day has been full of that enough already and I have no desire to attract more.

Ok internet, I would love to brainstorm with you.
Notice I did not include my education or professional background although I hinted at "technical" and have mentioned engineering in the past.
I am curious that with these qualities and what you know of me from here, what kinds of things might I consider as alternatives? I am much better at making them for other people than I am making them for myself.
Ideas? feel free to share. Delurk and be anonymous if you wish, that would be great.
See? I feel better already.

19 January 2010


I don't write about my writing here much,
but today I just wanted to touch on it-- I've been stuck. STUCK, stucky stuck. Stuckola. Stuckorama. Stuckstuckshittystuck.
Why? Because I have been trying to make something GOOD. Trying usually is a killer for me, trying to make something good is a double whammy. My writing happens best when it spills.

I have been reading and gathering little pieces of this and that as I move toward my futureKate-- little pieces like the concept of allowing myself to suck at something, make a mess, not make it all pretty all the time, I have been thinking about what it means to create, and what it means not to. When the creativity feels thwarted or it is a time of resting and gathering rather than producing. I am gathering information like a crow I think, bringing pieces and parts back to my nest, not sure what to make of it all. Dreams and thoughts and wonderings, trying to be driven more by what feels good than an aversion to what feels bad. Craving a pull not a push.

I have blogs I adore that support me although they may never know, my dearest Karen, Brene Brown, Jen Lee, Jen Gray, Maya Stein, and a new one I found today via Jen Lee's blog-- warrior girl that I will link here so I do not lose. (She has a beautiful recent post about imperfection which felt JUST RIGHT).

I am reading by random pages a book by Julia Cameron (Walking in the world), and find myself in there sometimes in an almost laughable way like I've been found out, and other times, not at all, like I am a stranger peeking in. She writes a lot about the artist's life-- the life of an artist where Artist has a broad and wonderfully inclusive definition. (Beware IFers, she uses MANY pregnancy/conception/birthing/child metaphors for art and it is pervasive and startling so this is not a book I am suggesting/recommending.)

Anyway, so I've been stuck with my writing project, a novella that I have loved during the writing and labored horribly and unhappily over during the editing process. Since it is made of pieces written over a long time, I've been trying to gather it together, started to worry about what it would take to make it good.
Thanks to a random reading in Julia's book, I realized I was trying to make it good for other people. And by doing so, I was losing what I loved about it. And I was losing my connection to it. It was starting (ok, more than starting) to feel like work, not love.

And then, a few days back, another random read brought me this:

Just begin.

Oh, I said. Just begin. That does not sound so scary. Beginning is not the same thing as CREATING A MASTERPIECE.

And so, crazy as it sounds, I did. And not only have I had the most productive days working on the project in months and months and months, but I am happy doing it, I am happy about it, and it feels really really good. As if I have taken possession of it again. I am not editing it to make it good for out there (hands waving), but for making it good in here.

So today-- I realized in the shower that much of what I worry about is finishing/making something good. I worry so much, in fact, that it slobs all the way back to muck up even the possibility at the start of something, that place where we pick up the pen or shoes or instrument. I am so worried about finishing, that I don't even begin.

Well. Not today, baby. Today? Screw finishing. Today, I BEGIN.

17 January 2010


a quiet soft day, lovely, gray. still.
I walked up the hill today, the trail so slippery from yesterday's thaw and last night's plunge back below freezing... so I spent a lot of time walking the edges, stepping in the soft snow.

The whole walk up was silent except for the sound of my boots in the snow, my breath, the rustle of my sleeves.
At the top there was a little breeze, only the slightest movement causing a shiver and rattle of the beech leaves. Some parts of the trail were covered with tiny little yellow curls, they looked like lemon zest, but up close they look like the outer covers of buds? is this possible? this time of year that is the color-- silvery greengray lichen, the strawberry blond beech leaves, and the yellow pieces of whatever it is. One tree, standing deadwood, had a scatter of new reddish wood chips at the base, evidence of a busy woodpecker or other borer.

My brain kept me company. I wish I could write a fraction of what flies through, but maybe it is best that I cannot possibly do it justice. It would make me sound nutty anyway. But my monkeymind babbled its way through the hike, I kept it still for a breath or two, but mostly I just let it rush by.

The hike was wonderful, great to feel my heart pound like that, great to feel warm and feel my muscles working, and to remember that the very first time I took this hike long ago I could not do it -- I had to keep stopping. It is great to have physical evidence of progress.

At the top, the gray softened the far away edges, but everything else felt super clear, very sharp and focused. I let my eyes rest on the smooth bark of a beech tree, on the serrated edges of the leaves that waggle back and forth when the breeze moves them, and to let my eyes follow the smooth white path of a curvy dirt road down the valley that I can only see in winter. Hiking the same hike is never boring, since it is never the same hike. Winter is magical since the light changes so often, blue sky or gray, fresh snow or day old refrozen melt. Even the way the shadows look changes.

I came home, showered before I froze, and made some great soup that is making the house smell wonderful and my belly feel warm. The cat is on my shin, and my darlin is out working hard moving snow off of our little deck.

I started the mestinon (apparently to help with suppression) this morning (with food) and start Lupron tonight. It is not so much that I am optimistic about this cycle, but I feel optimistic maybe more generally. I think it makes a world of difference to have this chance, to have a plan/direction for if this does not work, and Oh! to be DHEA free. Each day it becomes more and more obvious that DHEA was my dementor.

So, yeah. In this moment? OptimistiKate. I'll take it.

16 January 2010


First, a giant heartfelt thank you to truly lovely B from No news isn't always good news for being such wonderful company. She is warm and generous (THANK YOU B!) and welcomed me with open arms. She made it so easy in spite of my initial social awkwardness. It was such a treat to sit and be and talk about a million things and not worry about whether I dance funny.

How fun to discover we have weird things in common besides this IF bullshit, and time simply whooshed by.What a beautiful person. (Her eyes, people, I have never seen bluer).

She is my first real-life meeting from this amazing community and I could not ask for better. I hope we'll see each other again before too long- not sure if it will be before or after Ishkabibble's arrival. But I look forward to it either way.

Ok Boston folks, we'll try again for a larger gathering. Babies and bellies are welcome. Helps me see tangible evidence that this sometimes actually works!

Off of DHEA (Doc O did not want me on it during the cycle, Hurrah! I feel so much better already- much less blue. That stuff really steals my happy.).  I start Lupron tomorrow night and Mestinon tomorrow morning.  Anyone out there been on Mestinon? (aka Pyridostigmine). I'd love to hear what you think...

Hope to hike tomorrow and take advantage of this lovely warmth before it disappears again.

Feeling warm and relaxed, sitting with a big mug of tea on a table nearby and the cat up behind my head purring, and will spend some time getting back into my writing project which feels just exactly right.

Thank you B for such a wonderful day! My fingers keep finding the rose quartz as a warm reminder that this may just work. If not This way, then That way. Thank you.

14 January 2010


Thanks for understanding the need I have to follow my heart on this one, and while it is almost exciting (I am almost excited!), I also am checking out clinics and programs for DE and trying to figure out financing options. I found a place with a plethora of redheaded donors (Oregon?? No kidding!)-- For those in similar shoes, Sprogblogger's wondrous waffling worksheet that she has posted in a tab on her site is a fabulous thing-- You'll eventually come across the same info, but it is like getting a big-ole head start.

I want to cycle locally if I can for DE, use a clinic that has in-house donors rather than using a donor agency-- but I am not so sure that this combination will be possible. I am exploring shared risk programs, and wondering about shared egg programs... but... at this time, gathering gathering. I will try to make the choice that feels best to my heart and has the least uncertainty regarding costs since I need to know and plan, since that part freaks me out totally. So while I would like to be local for logistical reasons, if I need to travel to feel the most comfortable, I sure as heck will.

Meds arrive today from Ascend which have somehow improved since my last go-around with them. And my insurance paid for so much you would not believe so I am really lucky. Just under $200 for all of it.
This new protocol includes Mestinon starting sunday along with Lupron--, I'll be stimming with 150 menpur each morning and 450 follistim each evening... and this time I will take Medrol around the time of transfer (please please let there be many good things to transfer). This clinic does 3 day transfers for folks my age. Since I have gotten used to the sprint that is the antagonist protocol, it will be odd to know I could stim for much longer and I have to just breathe and know that unlike my familiar protocol, this one might actually work.

Worries? sure, oh yeah, yes. My only lupron cycle had NO EGGS at retrieval so I am a little (a lot) worried (neurotic) about that. But, overall, with these changes and attention to the details of my actual situation and history, I am curious about what will happen and, yeah, kind of excited in a very nervous sort of way.

Yeah, so, while there is a bit of worry, there is also a bit of excited. It has been a long time since I felt such a big clear Yes.

It could go without saying, I know, but I am keeping Haiti in my heart right now, and donated what I could yesterday via Yele Haiti. Sure makes a lot of my shite look like buttercups.

12 January 2010


Boston area folks-- Hi! So, whatcha doing this coming Saturday morning, say, at around 11? Are you willing to schlep to Leominster to hang out with at least two of us from this on-line community?
If you need to avoid pregnant people or babies, this would not be a good place for you as there are certain to be both in the vicinity.
Write me for details!

11 January 2010


Thank you for your lovely comments on the last post and hello new people! Dear B. had a really good point about perspective, that while we can get distracted looking too far and miss the beauty up close, and we can get lost looking too close and the long perspective is the one that needs remembering. I think the main thing for me is to try to stay open, to keep fluid. I tend to feel rigid pretty easily, fragile, brittle, stuck. And so for me, so much is about trying to be flexible and staying present. Challenging!

Today's meeting with Dr 0? Surprising.
A 45 minute wait (no surprise after reading your blogs about other IF clinics and their wait times)...then, into the office with the very polite Doc and a nice student who will be a great doctor if his technical skills are anything like his excellent people skills.

Dr. O reviews our history (I brought a copy with me, ta da) asks some questions then immediately begins talking about protocol, long lupron to suppress since I tend to stim quickly, talks about adding medrol at retrieval, talks about another medication I need to look up, starts talking dates and day 21 and day 1 and day 2 baseline and stims and

wait I say, not wanting to really, but needing to (really),
Ok so we're talking IVF here? So there is nothing in my testing that makes this a really bad idea (crazy)? (Basically, why are you not talking to me about donor eggs?)
So I bring up donor eggs, and tell him what my last clinic said, and how I felt and....
and he says, well, donor eggs, if you want to go that way, you'll get a 50-60% chance of success per cycle, so if you need to maximize your chances of success this cycle, do donor eggs. A cycle with your own eggs? 5% chance of success. Let me know if and when you want to do donor eggs, but let's talk protocol.


What this felt like was a reprieve, a chance to do the one last cycle the way I wanted to. Mind#1 (the rational) says waste of money, crazy, won't work, Mind#2 (the one more tightly associated with the heart) says WHOO HOOO Bring it ON!
so, we talked with the surprisingly nice nurse (signed consent forms), talked with the finance lady (and also talked with her about the cost and financing of donor eggs, unlike what I thought I understood they have no shared risk plan and their DE service includes the necessity to work with agencies... and there is a lot of uncertainty about the final cost so....)

So at this point? We begin lupron on sunday. Yes. This sunday.
5 units not 10 per day. Trying to keep things from running away like they tend to do (I tend to stim quickly and often have a few frontrunners). Then? CD2 baseline and if all is well (please let there be some antral follicles and no cysts) start stims (higher dose than what I've had) plus lupron to keep things in check.

no shit.
I might even be pregnant before my birthday. You know, a girl can dream.

IN THE MEANTIME AND IN PARALLEL we will be exploring donor egg programs and options nearby (the shadygrove shared risk program with in-house donor pool looks dreamy except for the fact it is so far away and will eat my vacation days like potato chips). I can't remember, anyone here work with reproductive centers of new england?

So, we'll work in parallel. This one last cycle with my eggs will allow us to feel that we tried everything. Dr O thinks we have learned a lot from the other cycles. The protocol is just different enough to make me think hmmm... maybe? And then we can move on without that lingering feeling that we did not try everything we could.
Insane? Yes, but shit, this all is. But for my psyche? My heart? This matters.

It was so incredibly nice to have a decision (any decision) feel calm and clear and cool and right.
So universe? thank you for a second chance at reaching closure on My terms.

09 January 2010

battling urgency

I've been conversing with my magnificent friend Karen about Urgency, that feeling that you have to do something (decide something, invent something, go somewhere, make a change) Right Now.

And it has been an interesting exercise letting that go a little bit. Sort of a hurry up and wait way of transmuting it into something less laden with adrenaline and built-in craziness. And so now, as I feel the RIGHT NOW alarm go off, and I say, Really? Right now? or can I wait a while? Can I breathe first?

And you know what?
it makes room for me to not be totally reactive, totally desperate, both of which work always and forever against my highest and best.

So I am learning to wait. And the transformation is amazing to watch-- ideas/choices/actions that feel critical and obvious end up feeling open to interpretation. I feel that each time I wait, even if it is for a breath, I am making space for other options, other information, including learning how I really feel at a deeper level once the panic of I-must-do-this-now-or-all-will-be-lost stops.

I hiked today, and it was magical- diamond snow sparkling everywhere, the only footprints on the trail, mine and a rabbit that followed all the way up the hill, squirrels, two deer throughways, and a mouse tunnel....
The sky was the kind of blue that looks crazy, bluer than any sky I have ever seen. And the wind, whistling, pushing, pulling, forcing my face into stillness and my breath into clouds that were pulled away faster than I could see them.

I stood up at the overlook, with the wind and a chickadee, I made a snow angel, and then instead of looking out at the glory of the bare hills, the deep dark green of the pointy pines, the roll of the land, I turned around and looked at the bare scrub of the bushes, the trees in hibernation, the snowballs held in the lee arms of the pines. I let my eyes play with the snow, see the blue of the shadows, because you know what? Even though there is such immense beauty out there, over there, on that far hill, or at that horizon, there is such beauty right here, right here where I am standing. And it felt so good to honor that as well.

08 January 2010

the Catheter, the Speculum, and the Wand

Honestly, it is hard to know what to write after yesterday's fabulous news of Sprogblogger's positive, and then Eileen's too! Damn ladies, almost nothing makes me happier than when one of us gets (and stays) pregnant. It delights me and fills up my heart. Thank you!

I had a shit day yesterday besides all that bliss, felt off kilter and spent the day chasing myself in circles. Got really badly lost in Boston, long stupid story, got found, got two, count'em two, hystosonogram catheter threadings, two. Why two? Because it hurt so badly the first time she stopped part way during attempt#1 in hopes it was in far enough. Nope. So, out it came, and in the next one went (you know, along with its friends, the Speculum and the Wand)-- that time, it went as far as it needed to, I was hot pink and sweating, and then, it was a bunch of wand waving, and hip lifting, images taken and printed and then I was done and outta there with a "cavity" that was pronounced "beautiful" and "open" and "clean" and my lining is tri-whatever and all that is Very good stuff.

Sore, and glad that is over.

So, next step, ovulation planned for this weekend (saturday night, say, around 2am--ha! yeah, no.) Then monday afternoon's meeting with Dr. O, where I need to remember the test results are objective, but the interpretation and conclusion are often subjective and all that. But really? I am curious about the results AND the interpretation. Hope I do not cry.

07 January 2010

06 January 2010

home safe

I am home safe and sound as of this evening, just as darkness fell.
My lip is healing and my finger is totally back to normal.
In spite of the hazards large and small (small and furry), we had a good time even though we froze. So good to get away from work, away from house upkeep and panic, from the daily dailyness of the fertility shite.

But, now that I'm back, it all comes back in a rush. I am trying to remember to breathe. Tomorrow afternoon I have the sonohystogram down at Boston- so that is something to look forward to having be over... I did not like my last one one bit, pretty much hate having anything threaded up my cervix, and this time? Since they've not done this with me before, they do not know the territory and have no notes to help them and I am just simply hoping that it will be ok.

I have so much to write about but find words are slow in coming tonight- I can say this: it is good to be home, favorite mug filled with hot water, cat on shins, in my own crazy orange room with white christmas lights sparkling and a very clear sky filled with stars just out side.
New snow and stillness. I really am happy to be here.

Looking forward to catching up with all of you.

04 January 2010

kate vs wildlife

I suppose I should begin by saying that I have this fantasy that all wild creatures should recognize me as a kind and gentle person and come from the woods into my clearing to frolic with me. This is not a disney thing since I grew up largely without it, but more of a deep and abiding love of creatures great and small.

So on a walk yesterday, a squirrel came over looking inquisitive so I bent down, and it came closer! I bent down farther and then it came even closer instead of running back into the woods.

I put my hand out and it came over and sat up in front of me
it put it's little paws on my finger and looked at me imploringly-- i read it as -- LOVE me kate, you know you want to! so my heart melted just a little and then it bit my finger hard enough to snap me back into the reality of unrequited love, and Poor Doug did not laugh but I have no idea how not. Later, he said he needed NEEDED to talk with someone who would understand so he called my sister.

My sister then sent me a link to a website with "dangers of florida" and while it does include things like scorpions, water snakes and alligators, fails to mention the wily and suavely seductive squirrel. I feel so used.

Just so we're clear about how much of a leg I do not have to stand on about the cold: it has not been much above 50 if it has at all, and the wind is really cold. But the sun is warm so I am all sunblocked and bundled up. I am managing better now that I am not fighting reality here, yes, it is cold and often really really cold (low 30s at night). but at home? 10 and snowing and blowing so I will now shut up about it.

03 January 2010


Yeah yeah, I know I do not have a beach chair to stand on here, but dang it is cold. Bundle up in all your clothes that you brought because you thought it was going to be warm cold.
Ha. I am in a turtleneck. And long pants. And wool socks. And when we head out, I'll be in two light jackets and a scarf too. So much for warm. But we do have sand, and palm trees, and the sun setting over the gulf. And pelicans. And no snow. So I should shush.

But warm? not so much. Because of the unexpected cold and the kate, I have been feeling pretty brittle rather than relaxed which sucks rocks. BUT away counts for a lot.
I did not tell you how this started, did I.
In the plane, I reached down to help the woman next to me extract her bag from under the seat and at that moment, the tray fell, and I smacked my mouth on it so hard, I saw stars and cut myself rather dramatically right above my lip (vertical cut, nostril to lipline), bloody hell, bloody mess, headache and now? It is healing fine, more drama than damage. But what a start.

But, let's talk about the beauty- the waves crashing, green with the sun high, a steely blue as it sets, the big moon, the stars, the palm trees, the damn wind that makes everything lovely but the actual being outside part....
it is salty here, and wide open.
And we can walk for miles with nothing but wind and waves and the crush of shells (sorry shells) under out feet.