Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Freakin' Egg Factory

Today's turn with the Follicular Lurve Wand showed a total of 20 follicles, all around 11mm. The call today instructed me to drop my FolliSTING dose down to 100IU and to keep the Lupron at the same 5 units, and that they'd keep a seat warm for me in the waiting room tomorrow morning.

I'm starting to feel a bit crampy, along with the usual moodiness, tiredness and boob-twinges. Let's hope that tomorrow will bring some more news, along with a date for retrieval.

Sorry for the shitty post, but I'm beat-I'm gonna go to bed early and hopefully get some sleep. 5am comes way too quickly for me......

Monday, May 29, 2006

A New Addition

If you haven't already seen, there's a new arrival at the House of Miao...........

Welcome to the world, little kitten! And, Congrats to Cat and Mr. Miao on the addition to their litter!

I Spoke Too Soon

Okay, so even after having my dosage dropped, today's wanding showed 18 follicles, all under 10 mm.

Why, oh why did I open my big mouth? At least it's an even number, though......

Dr. G made a joke this morning, saying that she tried to get me a "day off" from monitoring, but when she looked at my chart she realized that I'll be a "repeat customer". Yeah, that's because I'm the Follicle Queen of the World, that's why.

So, we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stims, Day 3-The (Almost) Dirty Dozen

I had my first scan, post-FolliSTING, this morning. I had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn, (and no, I'm not being dramatic-I was at the RE's office at 6:45 this morning), had my blood drawn by nice phlebotomist and waited for my turn on the Wand of Follicular Fun. Dr. G was there again, and counted 11 follicles-five on the left and 6 on the right, after only two injections. Hey, why not make it a dozen? I like things in even numbers-it satisfies the OCD/anal-retentive side of me.

Dr. Pipsqueak called this afternoon (Sean took the message, as I was still at church) and directed me to reduce the FolliSTING down to 150 IU, keep Loopy Lupron at the same dosage (5 units), and to make sure my ass is back in tomorrow morning to see what's cooking in there. She wants to see me every morning this week to monitor my progress.

Holy crap-11 follicles already. Granted, they didn't look too large on the screen while Dr. G was applying the Wand (I do have to say, though-all three RE's are very gentle with the wanding-yeah!), but, given my track record, they will get to the size of a small Baltic country if left to their own devices. I'm feeling a bit queasy and have a headache for the past few days, but I'm not sure if it's from the meds or the fact that it's like 100 degrees outside (okay, it's not actually 100 degrees, it's only 82) and I'm exhausted. Boy, oh boy-I've forgotten just how much fun being hormonally jacked-up actually was-being around me the last day or so is like poking a badger in the ass with a sharp spoon. Entertaining for some (friends), painful for others (Sean), and aggravating as hell (for me).

That's all folks-peace out, and have a great rest of the weekend-gonna go and break out a burger on the grill and sit in the nice, cool, air-conditioned house and read some trashy books.

Friday, May 26, 2006

All's Quiet on the Ovarian Front

I went this morning for the day 3 bloodletting and wanding, and was told that the girls are officially suppressed. I received the phonecall this afternoon to decrease the Lupron to 5 units and add the 225 IU of FolliSTING, starting tonight. Then I go back on Sunday morning to see what's cooking in there.

I asked the doctor this morning (Dr. G, not Dr. Pipsqueak-all the doctors are very nice though) if, because I took the pill plus the Lupron, I would have a period or not. Dr. G told me that I might not get one, or I'd get a really light one if I did. Well, at around 2:30 this afternoon, the bloodgates opened, which totally SUCKS. Although, now it seems to be lighter, so hopefully today will be the worst of it.

There's no turning back now, ladies-the ball is really rolling. Towards what, I guess we'll find out, soon enough.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Loopy Lupron, Redux

Jaysus, this self-injecting doesn't get any easier, does it? It doesn't matter how many times you've been through it before, it still sucks.

It took me almost a half hour to get the needle in-my brain just wouldn't let my hand do its job. I was getting so frustrated at myself, I wanted to cry. Then again, if the cat sneezed I want to cry. But, it's not like I don't know what sticking a needle in my stomach feels like. And, starting Friday (barring any problems at the suppression check that morning), it's not gonna get any easier, as I'll be adding FolliSTING to the cocktail. At least no more BCP's. I really think that the BCP/Lupron cocktail of the past five days is starting to get to me-I'm edgy, constantly queasy, exhausted and my face is looking like the eruption of Mount Etna, with the amount of zits that are there. I can't get up in the mornings, but, then again, I'm not sure if it's the meds of the fact that school is winding down (18 DAYS-WOOT!) and I'm just beat.

I do have to say, Sean is being really good to me, considering my constant feeling of being just at the edge of insanity. He cooked dinner and microwaved me a Wegmans Molten Chocolate Cake last night, and is getting takeaway tonight (Baja Fresh-yummy yummy Mexican). He's even been giving me foot massages, allowing me to hog all the bedcovers and is letting me yell at him for stupid things.

That's love, people-ain't I a lucky girl?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ultra Comfort, My Ass!

Whilst preparing myself for my nightly Shot of Fun, I noticed, printed on the barrel of my syringe, it says "UltraComfort".

Are you fucking kidding me? What, is like a new bra or a pair of shoes?

Comfortable for who, an elephant? Seriously, that's not the first description that comes to mind when I'm sticking it in my stomach. Annoying pinch, more like. Especially when I gave it to myself about an hour ago-I wasn't paying attention (I was on speakerphone-multitasking, 'natch!) and, instead of injecting myself quickly ("like a dart", so the product information designates), I stuck the sharp in slo-motion, like a masochist. Yeouch. Not Ultra and certainly not Comfortable.

Stupid-ass marketing people. I'd like to see them volunteer for some product testing-especially the men.....

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Injection Amnesia

Holy shit, I totally forgot just how much these injections actually SUCK. I mean, really suck. I now have a HUGE bruise where I gave myself the first Lupron injection, which has never happened this early in an IVF cycle. It probably didn't help that I was trying to get the damn thing over with. Sigh........you'd think that I was a syringe "virgin" or something....

Yeah, I got my box 'o meds, courtesy of the FedEx man, this morning. At least, this time Sean actually gets to join in on the fun too-he gets to go on antibiotics, starting Friday........hey, why not share the wealth, right?

Honestly, it doesn't matter if you've done infertility treatment using injectibles once or a hundred times, that first day on meds doesn't get any easier. I really think that it's that "mind over matter" thing-you have to literally force your hand to stick yourself in the stomach with a sharp object. I must've "wound up" about ten times before I could get the fucking syringe in. I even iced it beforehand, folks. Yeah, I'm a chickenshit-but, within a few days I'll (unfortunately) remember it all and be an old pro.

So, here we go, it's time for Loopy Lupron to start the comeback tour. Of course, don't forget that this time she has her backup singers, the birth control pills, along for the ride. Now, normally I don't get those wacky mood swings and such on the Lupron, however, with the addition of the BCP's, let's just hope and pray that Sean will be alive at the end to tell the tale. I'm just worried that I'll get oversuppressed, but they're pretty conservative at Big Important Clinic, so they will be on top of things.

Game on, people!!! Let's hope I hit a home run this time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The "Mother's Club"

So, Mother's Day certainly sucked big ASS for me.

I decided that, this year, I would not be celebrating Mother's Day this year. Of course, I neglected to actually tell anyone in the family this, so I'm sure that my mother is pretty pissed off at me and cursing me out as I type this. But, I really couldn't deal with it this year. I couldn't help but think that this year I would have been a mother, and that I have to do yet another cycle, not knowing whether or not it will work. That I have to go to work today and hearing from all the teachers the wonderful things they did/got/etc.

Just. plain. sucks.

I've decided that the majority of the people I work with are insensitive. They all know what I'm going through, have seen me through my first two cycles already-you'd think that they might, uh, be considerate. Nah. Every single time I have lunch in the teacher's lounge, the talk goes to babies, grandkids, who's pregnant or who's daughter/granddaughter is pregnant, comparing symptoms, blah blahdefucking blah. Sheesh. I can't even eat my lunch anymore without baby/pregnancy talk. And,it's not like I can participate in any of it, so I just try to quickly eat and bolt out of the room. Sigh-I guess that's what happens when you work in a woman-dominated place. Is it just me, or is this all women talk about? If I am so lucky to get pregnant and have a baby, will I become like that? I mean, I have other interests, other things to talk about-don't they?

So, I actually did have something nice (albeit sad) thing happen to me yesterday. After Mass yesterday morning, I found that my friends K&T were also there, and stopped by for a quick minute to chat. T said that she had something for me, and was I going home right after? I told her that I had to sing the next Mass, but that Sean and I would stop by afterward. When we got to their house, we hung out, ate some yummy sammies, then T gives me a gift bag. Inside it, there was this beautiful ornament that says "A child's first sense of home is found in it's Mother's arms". Attached to the ornament was a charm with an April Swarovski crystal, and a card that read "Just for you to always remember your sweet baby-and add to as you have the children you have dreamed of. You are always a mom-don't forget that."

I was so overwhelmed. I couldn't do anything but sit there and cry (with Sean, of course). Someone actually got it-how I felt, how I didn't feel I belonged to the "Mother's Club" because I didn't have a baby in my arms. She was able to strengthen my soul, and I can't even put into words how much it meant to me.

I put it up, on my armoire, so it will remind me of why I'm doing this third cycle. To make my resolve like steel. I will be a mother.

I already am. Thanks, T, for reminding me of that.

Friday, May 12, 2006

You Know What They Say.....

about the third time, right? Well, I won't say it, just in case.

Appointment went well-the bloodletting and turn with the Wand of Fun showed everything to be good, so we got the okay to move forward. We had our orientation and medication class yesterday afternoon, with three other couples. We, of course, were the old vets of the group, but that was okay. We met a teacher and her husband (also a teacher) who was there because she has to do PGD due to a family genetic disorder, and I felt bad for her, because she and her husband had no fertility problems. She also seemed scared shitless. God, I remember that well.

We also met our nurse, Nurse Blondie, who was really nice (and also ran the orientation). She seems to be very helpful and matter of fact, but also compassionate, which is good.

So, here's the lowdown on my cycle: I started the Pill last night, which BLOWS ASS CHUNKS. Sean said that it was the ultimate cruel joke-to take birth control pills when we can't have kids on our own to begin with. Oh, well-bottoms up! But, taking it sure sucks. Can't wait for the constant nausea that I usually get at first to happen-I'm thinking that will happen within the next day or so. At least it's temporary, right?

Anyway, I take the little fuckers for about 10 days, then start Lupron injections beginning May 20th (overlapping with the pills). I take the last Pill on 5/23, then go in for a wanding and bloodwork on 5/26. If all looks okay, I start 225 IU of FolliSTING that evening, then take the same amount every night (only once a day, instead of 225 twice a day, which is what Dr. Vest had me on) unless they change the dosage, and drop the Lupron to 5 units. I go back on 5/28 for more monitoring, then Dr. Pipsqueak (who Sean duly renamed yesterday when he saw her come out of her office and realized that she barely came up to the nameplate on her door) wants me in every day after that for monitoring. Yikes. My arms will look like ground beef before it's all over-hopefully there will be a vein for the IV during the retrieval.

Retrieval is tentatively set between the 3rd and the 5th of June, depending, of course on how I respond to the meds. Transfer would be a three day, and the beta will be anytime from June 18th to 20th. I'll also have to go in the day after transfer, 2dp, 5dp, and 9dp for estradiol and progesterone checks, which I've never done before. I'm glad, though-it's a conservative approach, and one that perhaps I needed all along.


For some reason, I thought that this wouldn't be until more towards the middle of June, but hey-it's meant to happen this way. It just seems to be moving more quickly this time around, and I'm not sure whether it's because we're at a Big Important Clinic or not, or that we were really proactive in completing the IVF checklist we were given last month-I noticed that the other members in our orientation had nothing completed yet (except for the PGD couple-I think that she and I will be cycling around the same time, which is cool). But, when all's said and done, I'm glad that we're not waiting around-I want to just get this done and over with.

By the way, watching Sean try to learn how to draw and give IM meds was hilarious. Honestly, I am really thankful that his mom and M are around to do this-watching him yesterday reinforces the thought that, as much as I love him and want his baby, I want him NO WHERE NEAR MY ASS CHEEK with a 2 1/2 inch sharp needle. Really.

However, if it gets me pregnant, I don't care who does it to me, as long as it works.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

34 Times (Cycle) Day One Equals......

$35,924.17. Which is the estimated back-rent that fucking bitch Aunt Flo owes me for her monthly stay in my uterine penthouse and trashing the joint. She's lucky that I don't charge her for the cleaning supplies and equipment. Tampons don't just grow on trees, dontcha know.......

By the way, thanks for the responses on the last post. I truly hope I didn't offend anyone....and, Pamplemouse, you weren't being harsh. Everyone has an opinion, and oftentimes telling it like it is shows us another point of view that we wouldn't ordinarily see-so, thank you for showing me your views.

So, today is Cycle Day One. Again. For 34th time, according to Futility Friend. Not that I'm keeping track or anything. I called Dr. Petite's admin this morning to announce the Red Tidings of Joy, and was then transferred to our awesome Coordinator, where I left a message. She called me back this afternoon to tell me that, since our checklist is completed, we will be meeting our nurse on Thursday, when we go in for both our IVF Orientation and Sean's Penile Spank-a-palooza 2006 (fortunately, for us, not at the same location-that would be just, well weird). Then, I get a call from our Nurse, who said that she wants me in on CD3 for a bloodletting and a Ride on the Wand of Follicular Fun (aka the Dildocam-in a sick and demented way, I kinda missed that....not....)-which conveniently happens to be-Thursday. The same day we have to be there for the Spankapalooza/Drug Fest-yay! It's guaranteed to be a fun-filled day for all involved.

If the tests clear me, I'll be starting the Pill for 10 days, then I'll overlap with the Lupron starting on Day 21. I've never taken them along with a cycle before, and I haven't been on the Pill since, well, just about 4 years ago, and I'm not looking forward to having to start taking them again. But, if this works, I won't care. Whatever it takes.

So, in other fertility news, it looks that I am, ultimately, the last person from my original Buddy Group that is without a child. And, I am truly, absolutely happy for my friend-she's been through hell and back and is finally pregnant-but sad too. I hate being the last one for anything-it just reinforces my feelings of that fucking biological clock ticking away inside my head. And, I can say that here, even though I know she reads my blog, because she understands where I'm coming from and knows that I'm not being an asshole (at least, I hope so). I just never thought that I would be the last one standing. Then again, I never thought that I'd have to do any type of fertility treatments, either. It's all just so fucked up, isn't it? I have no faith anymore that I can count on my body to know what it's supposed to do.

I've just been sort of resigned to this next cycle. I don't want to even discuss it with other people (aside from here). I just don't want the questions, the waiting on bated breath attitude from family members. I definitely want to do this, but it feels like I'm disconnected emotionally from it all. Perhaps it's because that lately, all I've been thinking about is, if things had worked out better, I'd have a three week old child at this time. And, it makes me angry and sad and bitter at myself. I mean, I was a mother, right? Even if it was for only 6 weeks or so? Does it count? To some people, yes-to me, it does. To others, well.........probably not. And, well, fuck them-preferably with a dirty, rusty butter knife, as far as I'm concerned.

I guess these emotions are all coming to a head with the imminent arrival to the Infertile Woman's Shittiest Holiday of the Year-Mother's Day. Every year, at our church, the priest asks all the mothers in the congregation to stand for a special blessing, and, every year, I slump down into my seat, ashamed that, for yet another year, I have no babies or swelling belly. Like my slightly flabby stomach (from too many damn Girl Scout Cookies) is an advertisement of my failure. Again.

So, this year, where do I belong? I really, truly hope and pray that this time, next year, the answer will be obviously, glaringly clear to everyone. Me included.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What the FUCK?

Just saw this one on the evening news:

Psychologist to be Britian's oldest mother at 63.

Okay, maybe it's me, but why? She already has two adult children. But, she's 63 YEARS OLD. And, how could a physician feel that he is morally correct in agreeing to treat her?

Don't get me wrong-I'm not against older mothers at all. Women are having babies well into their 40's, and are doing a terrific job. But, what about the mothers that are having babies in their 50's and (now) 60's? It's a whole different ballgame, really. It's well documented medically that there are more health risks involved for both the mother and the child, more risks for chromosomal anomalies. And, it's also about raising a child at that age. Let's think realistically-she's 63, which will make her 68 when her child starts school, 81 when the kid graduates from high school and 85 when he or she graduates from college. I know that people are living longer, but what about the quality of life? What's to say that either parent will be around to see this child graduate high school, let alone college? Can you see a 75 year old shuttling a kid back and forth to piano lessons, soccer practice and school dances with the same energy of someone 30 years their junior? And, is it fair to the child, especially if a parent develops an illness and has to be cared for? Who does the caring-a minor with no legal rights in regards to their parent's medical treatment? Does that make sense at all?

And yes, I do know that there are lots of children here in the U.S. that are being raised by grandparents-in fact, many of these children are my students-who aren't scarred for life. But, I do see that these grandparents have a hell of a time raising these kids They often can't do as much with them-they are older, often retired and on a pension, trying to raise kids while dealing with Medicare, various ailments, and, let's face it, the aches and pains of aging. Who is that fair to-the child?

The doctor, by the way, says that she should live "20 or 25 years" and that she isn't giving birth to an "orphan". That assuming, of course, that both she and her husband will remain in perfect health. No doctor can predict the future of any individual-I'm sure we all can think of someone we knew or loved that were in "perfect" health that suddenly went downhill and passed away with no warning. It's almost like this doctor is more preoccupied with getting post-menopausal women pregnant for the sake of being able to and giving birth to live babies than thinking of the quality of life for the patient and their child.

Just my opinion, but I think that it's selfish on the parents side. Even though these people (who are probably very nice) say that they have their child's best interest at heart, and that they made arrangements for their child's future, I really wonder.

It just makes IVF as a treatment option even harder for the public and religious leaders to view as acceptable for those of us who just want to have one child of our own. It gives the treatment a bad name, really.

Perhaps I'm being ridiculously harsh, but I just don't get it..........any opinions out there about this?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Give it to Me One More Time.....

Well, 8 days until we go for our IVF medication class. Big Important Clinic (BIC for short) has almost of our stuff-bloodwork, saline sonohystogram results (okey-dokey-was kinda cool and weird at the same time to see Dr. Petite injecting saline into my ute and not feeling anything), Sean's bloodwork is in, his spankfest is scheduled for next Thursday morning (so we don't have to travel there twice), and we're getting one of our forms (proof of partership/marriage-required) notarized tonight. The only glich is that I got a letter from our cool IVF coordinator that told me the lab "forgot" to test for my CBC, so I have to go back and get more blood drawn-ick. But, it's not a major problem, so no big deal.....

I've been thinking a lot about this upcoming cycle, and contemplating whether or not it will be my last. I'm not sure I want to give up at this time, but I'm also not sure if I can keep doing this. Given our past track record, I don't want to let that old bitch Hope in just yet-I don't want to even entertain that this could actually work for us. In some ways, it's so disheartening-trying to stay positive, trying everything (crackpot or not) under the sun to make the prime environment for success, and then ending up with nothing but heavy bleeding. But, if the medical professionals didn't think that this could work, they wouldn't give me Hope, right?

At least, that's what I'd like to think.

So, I'm trying to get through the next week or so until our class. It's not like I don't have enough to keep me busy-I have two concerts next week to prepare for-but this damn infertility is breathing down my neck, and I'm starting to get antsy. It's like my psyche knows that my self-imposed exile is almost over, and I'm back in the saddle again.

By the way, 32 more days until school ends, and I can't wait-the kids are driving me absolutely batty. I can't wait until the summer vacation.

Hopefully this will be a very nice summer vacation indeed, if you get my drift.