Monday, April 25, 2005

Big Fucking Negative

Nursey P just called.

The beta was negative, so I'm not pregnant.

I had a feeling that I wasn't, not that I was being negative, but I just had that weird feeling-I guess that I was right.

Fuck. This was the closest I've ever been to being pregnant, and now it's over. I meet with the RE on Friday to discuss the cycle-I mean, what's to discuss? It didn't work.......isn't that obvious?

I'm just so damn tired of all of this. I don't think that I can do this again.

I feel like I'm close to a nervous breakdown.

I hate my body-it's just another form of betrayal, as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Grumble grumble grumble....

Sean won't let me go and buy the evil pee-sticks. He says that there's no point trying to torture myself, especially if it's wrong.

He means well, and I know that he's right. It still sucks though.

Thirty-three and a half hours until I take my beta. Then, seven hours until Nursey P calls with the results.

My mother-in-law gave me the butt shot tonight. She thinks that at least one of the little guys are still in there, but I'm not so sure. It's best not to be too hopeful-that way it won't be such a shock if it's negative.

Can you tell that I'm a bit preoccupied about this?

Still in the game, at least for now.

So, after my last post, it had to get worse before it got better.

I started passing what I thought were clots, so I (understandibly) freaked out and called the service again. After an hour, the RE called back (he was at the hospital and didn't get his page) and said that he wanted to see me first thing Friday morning for an ultrasound and he also wanted to check my cervix to see what was up.

The ultrasound showed no clots in the uterus (a good thing), but that my lining wasn't as thick as it should be. My progesterone results also were in and they were at 7.3, which was too low (and which was why I started to bleed), so Nursey P gave me a PIO (progesterone in oil for you neophytes) shot in the office. Apparently, the Crinone gel isn't an effective method of progesterone support for me (turns out the "clots" were really the quarter-sized blood tinged old Crinone falling out. I actually got to see one up close on Friday and it reminded me of chewing tobacco, which Nursey P confirmed was the Crinone) so I have to stay on the PIO until my blood pregnancy test on Monday comes back--if it's positive then I still have to stay on the PIO. Kinda really sucks, but at this point I'll do whatever it takes if there's something in there holding on.

I still feel like this didn't work, although the RE was still positive about it. He said that many women bleed before they know that they're pregnant, and even into the first trimester (my friend M was one of those women) and go on to have healthy babies. I asked him point blank if there was still any chance, and he said "most definitely", so that helps a bit. Especially since I'm no longer bleeding-just a light brownish stain every once in awhile when I wipe, but nothing like it was.

I'm still fighting the urge to go to the drugstore and buy some pee-sticks. I know that many women who go through IVF don't get an accurate result with them, due to all the fricking hormones that you take, but in a way, I want to be prepared, in case it's negative. I'm afraid of that phone call on Monday, and I don't want to freak out on the phone. At this point, it's either happening or not, and there's nothing that I can do about it.

But, I still hate the fact that I have no control over this. The wait sucks.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Red is not my color

I started spotting last night.

It started out a really pale pinkish color, and only when I wiped, but it was there. Then, later on, I started passing these weird rubbery brownish blobs, which I found out later was the old Crinone gel that was in my whoo-ha (ewww.....)

I freaked out and called the RE. It took him two hours to call me back, which I was not happy about. He told me that it could be that my progesterone is low, or that my cervix is irritated from the Crinone gel (which he said was common), so he wanted me to go for "stat" progesterone bloodwork on Thursday, and come into the office Friday so he could check my cervix.

It got heavier today, though--now it's bright red, and I'm wearing a pad. I'm also crampy. It feels like I have a light period.

I talked to Nursey P this morning, and she said that it could be implantation spotting (I'm 10 days past a three day transfer--10dp3dt for you IF acronym junkies), which I doubt, because why would it be this heavy?-or it could be that my progesterone is low, and I need more. She kinda made me feel better by saying that I'm doing everything I can right now, and that the bleeding isn't my fault, but I sure don't feel that way right now.

I called this afternoon for my blood results, and the office was closed--ARRGH! They apparently closed today at 11:30-what the FUCK!? Why the hell get up at the butt-crack of dawn to get to the lab for "stat" bloodwork if the fucking RE's office isn't open to get the results? What good is that for me, who's waiting none too patiently to see if I need more drugs? I left a message with the service, telling them that I wanted someone to call me back with my results. I can't wait until tomorrow-I'll kill someone before then.

Please God, PLEASE don't let this be the beginning of my period. Please, give Zippy and Zappa (yes, we named them-I'm a dork, I know) a fighting chance. Please don't evict them yet.

Please, for my sanity, hear me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Wow, it's been awhile, huh?

There's been so much that's happened since my last post, so I'll try to catch y'all up on everything...

I went for my egg retrieval on April the 8th. It was actually pretty easy-they started the IV, had me sign my life away, and, after about an hour wait (my RE was running late-sheesh!) I went in, they put me out and I was in la-la land. I awoke to the RE and the OR staff telling me that they got 17 eggs-wow! I was a bit crampy afterwards, not too bad though-like having period cramps, so I went home and crashed.

Then all hell broke loose.

I started retaining fluid-a LOT of it-on Saturday. Enough for me to call the RE to see if it was normal. He told me that if I was peeing and drinking a lot, it wasn't a problem, but if my output wasn't matching my input, then we need to worry about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). The RE actually called me on Sunday morning to check up on me, and I wasn't doing so well...I was still filling up with fluid, and was extremely uncomfortable (and I looked about six months pregnant), so he told me to come in for an ultrasound on Monday (the transfer day) at the office first. Well, at that point I could hardly walk or stand up straight, and couldn't breathe, so they sent me to the clinic as an emergency. Had to have another IV and was rushed into the OR, where they knocked me out and drained a liter of fluid out of my abdomen.

They were able to complete the transfer, so I had two lovely three-day embryos put back in to (hopefully) nest for awhile. I was still bloated, and started to fill up with fluid again, but thankfully it started to go down by Thursday. I definitely looked pregnant--I actually had to go out and buy maternity pants because my own were not fitting--but by Sunday I was only a few pounds above what I normally am.

So, that's about it-it was, most assuredly, a scary time, and now we're in the dreaded "two week wait". At least one week was spent worrying about whether or not they'd have to deflate me, so I couldn't obsess about whether or not I was pregnant. I can't say the same for this week, however.....

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Butt-Shots and Tributes

The butt-shot has been done......and it didn't hurt! Honestly, I shit you not.

I put an ice pack on my bare ass for about 15 minutes before the shot (that really hurt at first), so for anyone out there in blogland who has to do an HCG shot, or any IM shot, I highly recommend icing the area first-I didn't even feel the needle go in. I actually thought that my mother-in-law was swabbing the area, but no-the syringe was already in and she was done-yay! Now it's a teeny bit sore, but nothing life-threatening.

Well, that being said, I want to say a special thank-you to you commenters out there (Shelli, Cat, Vix)-you have been so wonderful and supportive to me during all this's like having your own personal cheerleading squad! Words aren't even adequate in expressing how grateful I am to all of you for your friendship, support and caring. I really believe that God puts certain people in your life for a reason, and always at the exact time when you need them the most. I truly feel blessed that I know you.



Went to the RE this morning, again. Everything is set for Friday, at 10:30 am.

I voiced my growing concern for developing OHSS-he said that he was also concerned, and that he will be monitoring me closely after the retrieval. Unfortunately, because I am considered young by IVF standards, I have more of a risk of developing OHSS. I just don't want to go through all this and not make it to transfer-that would be devastating.

So, here's the plan for tonight-I felt like looking incredibly trilingual, which I'm really not (I can understand and read in Italian, but I can't speak it as well as I should, and I was bored, so I found an online translator and put it into Latin), but I'll translate it anyway, in case you're as bored as I am right now:

Mio natiche testamento essere pugnalata stanotte a 10.30 da un enorme siringa.
this one is pretty straightforward-"My butt cheek will be stabbed tonight at 10:30 with a huge syringe".

And, even though I should be preferential toward the Italian (considering I am one), I had a little giggle about the Latin translation and had to share it, since there are some words, like "syringe", that cannot be translated exactly. So, instead of translating word-for-word, you have to find a similar word or phrase:

Magnus anus letifico ero ictus is vesper per unus ingens telum.
"I will be piercing my large ass cheek tonight with a huge spear".

Kinda appropriate, right?

Tonight Sean and I (he took the day off today) will go out for a nice dinner, then my mother-in-law will be coming over later to do the honors-I'm gonna try to ice the shit out of my butt, to make it numb. Hopefully it won't hurt too much, it's only 1 cc of fluid in the syringe. Yeah, riiiight........

I'm nervous and excited all at once-it's really happening! The countdown to Friday has begun!

There's no going back now.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Go Follies, GO!

The RE E2 levels are up to 7000!

He said that he was shocked and pleased at how much I've progressed from only 24 hours or so ago. I go in to the office for one more ultrasound (yah-another dildocam-can't wait-today's was just oh so comfortable-NOT) tomorrow morning and then I need to stay and talk to him about what's going to happen in the next few days...

It looks like Friday's a go-WOOT!

The Easter Egg Hunt

I went in for the dildocam this morning. I got there at around 11am (that's when my appointment was) and had to wait until almost 11:45 to see the tech.

She was very nice, by the way...she actually let me see everything that was in there, and pointed out all my innards.

So, at last count, there are 13 follicles on my left side, and 11 on the right. It looks like the biggest one is around 2.3 cm, which converts to 23 mm...........I think that it's safe to say that I'll be taking the HCG butt shot soon. My ovaries are so large that they're actually sitting right next to each other. It definitely explains why I'm so bloated and uncomfortable, and why the dildocam wasn't exactly pleasant.

They got my blood results in this morning. I called Nursey P and she told me that they were there, but the wanted the results of the ultrasound before they called me. Nursey P said that she wouldn't be in the office this afternoon (they close early on Tuesdays), but that the RE was coming in this afternoon for the results and that he would call me personally with instructions.

Please please please let him call with good news........

Monday, April 04, 2005

Why Quest Labs Suck

I called the RE's office for my blood results-Nursey P told me that, although Quest confirms that my blood was drawn this morning at 7:45, the lab didn't get the sample until 4pm, and had not yet processed it-what the fuck!? Didn't they notice the word "stat" that was there two or three times on the lab slip? ARRRRRGH!

So, Nursey P told me that she thoroughly chewed them out for it (yah Nursey!), but we won't get the results until tomorrow morning, so I need to take my 1 ampule of Follistim and 5 units of Lupron, and wait until tomorrow for instructions.

This totally sucks......why does the shitty things always seem to happen to me? Then again, if this went smoothly, it would be totally against type, don't you think?

On the Tenth Day of Stims, My RE Gave to Me....

No embryo retrieval for me.

Here's what I know, so far-

On Friday afternoon, after my morning monitoring, Nursey P called me and told me that my estradiol levels on day #7 of stims are at 3749, "a little high", according to her. So, the RE wanted my doses of medication cut down-my Follistim went from 225 iu twice a day to 150 iu once a day, and my Lupron went from 10 units to 5 units for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Monday (today) I needed to come in for monitoring and to see the RE. She told me that my expected embryo retrieval date would be Wednesday April 6th, and the embryo transfer date would be Saturday April 9th. She advised me, because of monitoring and having to see the RE almost every day, to stay out of work this week (I'm supposed to be back from Spring Recess) and faxed me a doctor's note.

So, I take my meds on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, as instructed. I started noticing on Saturday that I'm starting to feel a bit bloated-nothing major, but it's getting noticeable. I'm also started to get more twinges and feelings of heaviness in my abdomen, probably from all those lovely follicles growing on my ovaries.

I go in this morning to the lab for bloodwork, and yay! I don't get the phlebotomist that mangles my arm (I've dubbed her "The Punisher" or "The Bruiser"-she's really a very nice person, but nice doesn't help when my arm looks like I've been shooting heroin) every time I go in, so I' m thinking that it's gonna be a "good news" type of day. I get to the RE's office for the dildocam, and, lo and behold, there are nice follies on the monitor! But, Mr. Techie measures them and tells me that they're only 13-14 mm big, and they need to be at least 16 mm to be able to be harvested...uh oh......

So, I stay to see the RE (it's like 8:30 ish by now; the RE should be in by 9), and of course, he doesn't come in until 9:20 or so, and there's about 5 women ahead of me, so I didn't see him until almost 9:45am (thank God I was off today). He tells me that, because of Friday's high numbers, he had to cut my doses to avoid hyperstimulation of the ovaries (which cause Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome-OHSS-which is not fun to have, since you fill up with fluid due to all the shit that's in your system), and he thought that I'd still be progressing, but he was concerned to see that I wasn't. So, the upshot is, no retrieval on Wednesday-it now looks like "Friday, the latest" according to the RE. He told me, as soon as I got home this morning, to take 75 IU of the Follistim, and to wait for instructions from Nursey P this afternoon.....

I'm just so frustrated with my body right now-I feel as if it's betraying me. I know that the RE is doing all he can to make sure that I'll be okay, but I just want this to be over. I'm tired of trying to find a non-bruised part of my stomach that's not full of track marks to inject myself every night. I hate the fact that I took a whole week from work and now looks as if I won't be going back until next Tuesday, and that I've took so many sick days because of my fucking infertility issues. I feel like a bloated mess, I'm constantly exhausted and don't even have the energy to cook dinner, my clothes don't fit right now, I have constant twinges in my abdomen, my nipples are KILLING me (errgh), and I have a hard time sleeping because I'm uncomfortable. Oh, yeah, and, because I thought that the transfer date was April 9th, I turned down not only a church gig, but free tickets to see the Tallis Scholars at Riverside Church in NYC with our friends G&A, so I'm also a bit bitter and bitchy about that.

I hate to complain, really-we're so lucky that we're able to even do in-vitro, and to live in a state that mandates health insurance coverage for it. Many women pay for this out of their own pocket, and it adds up to the tens of thousands of dollars per cycle. I should be grateful, I know.

But, I just want the waiting game to be over, already.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Vacancy of the Apostolic See

I have been glued to the television set for the past two days, on a deathwatch with the rest of the world.

And, it is now over. He has passed on. He is no longer suffering. He is at peace.

I really didn't think, as a modern, free-thinking young American woman, that I'd be this saddened. But, surprisingly, I am. This is, like so many people my age, the only Pope I have, thus far, ever known.

I consider myself a practicing Catholic - I go to church every Sunday, sing in the choir, volunteer my time, and try to abide as best I can to what I've learned. But, I guess if I were a "true" Catholic, I wouldn't be doing in-vitro, as it is against Church teaching......hell, I wouldn't have done a lot of things that I've done in my life so far. I guess I am what is known here in the US as a "cafeteria Catholic"-I choose the doctrine that I feel is applicable, and use it, and blithely ignore the things I don't like, thinking that these are laws that are made by men, not by God.

The Church, with all its splendor and majesty, is run by men, men who have very definite views on the roles of women in the Church, homosexuality, the celibacy of the clergy, birth control-the list goes on and on. Men who are human and make mistakes, like all men (and women, let's face it), but don't always show that humanity to others.

But the Pope was different-yes, he was a staunch conservative, and, as head of the Church he supported many of the things about Catholicism that I totally disagree with, but his compassion, sense of social justice, his love of the common man and his role as a force for peace was apparant to all. He was an intellectual, a poet, a humble man. He cared for all people, regardless of their religious upbringing. He fought for what he believed in, even if some of us did not agree with him, and was not afraid to stand up to some of the most powerful people in the world for those principles . And, in the end, he taught us to die with the same dignity and grace that one possesses during their lifetime. He was not afraid to unveil his suffering and illness to the world, to show that he was as frail and finite as anyone else. That he was human.

At the end of the Mass of Christian Burial, after the priest gives the final blessing and as the casket is being brought up the main aisle of the church and outside to prepare for internment, the "In Paradisum" is chanted or said in Latin:

In paradisum deducant te angeli,
in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere
aeternam habeas requiem.

May the angels lead you into paradise,
may the martyrs receive you in your coming,
and may they guide you into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the chorus of angels receive you
and with Lazarus once poor
may you have eternal rest.

No matter what my politics, or whether I agree or disagree with the Pope's views, I still mourn his passing.