Friday, March 30, 2007

The Results

Yesterday was the dreaded Failed Cycle Follow-Up appointment, also known in these here parts as the "Why Your Embryos Won't Get With The Fucking Program" meeting. Luckily, I didn't have to go alone, as Sean suddenly became "sick" (*cough, cough*) and took yesterday and today off.

So, there we were, again. Sitting on the same couch, waiting. It's like a fucking remake of "Groundhog Day", for God's sake.......and, did you ever notice how quiet it is in an RE's office in the afternoons? Like a morgue, I swear! And THEN...........

Oh, yeah. What was discussed-sorry. I digress.....

So, as we sat down, Dr. Pipsqueak apologized for keeping us waiting, but she was on the phone with the lab director going over our embryo thaw results. What they think is going on is not an egg quality or sperm quality problem, but that because I over-responded to the stims and was forced to do a freeze-all cycle. And, since embryos frozen tend to lose cells once thawed, it probably wasn't optimal for me to get pregnant, since they didn't cultivate the majority of them (they only took 6 to day three before freezing, and the rest were 2pn's). After consulting with all the RE's and the lab director, they all still "strongly feel" that this will work for us, and recommend doing another cycle whenever we're ready. They would obviously start me on lower doses of Follistim (she mentioned 125 IU to start) and I'd be monitored daily. They don't want my E2 levels to go over about 3,000, so the less eggs the better. She also felt that if we can make it to a fresh transfer we'd have the chance to have some blasts to work with, and they've been getting some great pregnancy results with them.

I did tell her that, since it's more than likely our last chance for doing IVF, due to insurance reasons, we want to make sure that every base was covered in terms of making this as successful as possible. So, since we've had repeated failures, she's sending both of us for karyotyping as a precaution (although she said that finding anything is "highly unlikely"), and we're having another saline sonogram to make sure everything is okay. I also brought up the whole tubal issue/surgery again, which she's still doesn't feel is necessary. But, since this whole hydro/non hydro thing has been going on for a bit (my very first RE diagnosed the hydro on my HSG, but Dr. Pipsqueak didn't find one on last year's SIS, and said that the diagnosis was made probably because the tube bulged when too much dye was forced through), I did question if the tubes were open at all. She did say that it was a possibility that either one or both were open, since the tubes could have been in spasm at the time of the test. So, for peace of mind (hey, you never know, right?), I'm going to have another HSG to see what the deal is (Dr. Pipsqueak is going to do it)-complete with the Holy Trinity of Pain Meds-Valium, Anaprox and Lidocaine. Woot! Who says infertility can't be fun? Pshaw!

So, we've decided that, once the SIS and the HSG is done next month, we'll take a month off, then start a fresh cycle the end of May/beginning of June, to coincide with the end of the school year, so I won't miss too much time. Plus, that way I can try to lose some of this blubber that I've put on since last year's cycle/FET fiasco, so I can look HOT in that backless gown. See-I knew that there was a reason to work my glutes in the gym yesterday! Did I mention that I my ass HURTS LIKE HELL TODAY?? No? Oh.........well, it does! It feels like I've had marathon sex......

Oh, wait a minute-we are talking about SEX, right? Come now-we infertiles don't have sex for pleasure (gasp!). Like, we could have fun doing that? NO WAY, MAN!

Okay, I digress again. Sorry.

So, have any of you out there done karyotyping; and, if so, can someone explain it to me? Is it the same as genetic testing? I've been trying to look information up, but I'm getting a bout of adult-ADD and can't focus on it all.

Right now, all I want to focus on is a nice glass of vino and perhaps a pizza, along with a movie tonight.

Oh, and maybe some sex........................


Monday, March 26, 2007


So, I am still here, and lurking about your blogs (hell, I'm even commenting on a few, too!). I haven't updated mine since I really don't have much to say lately, at least on the vajayjay front. I have an appointment with Dr. Pipsqueak on Thursday afternoon, so I'm sure that I'll update everyone as soon as I hear what she has to say.

The green cloud of ass has left the building; however, I think that it somehow passed through my colon on its way out the door, because I had the WORST ass-rippin' for about four days. I mean, BAD, people. What made it worse was the accompanying.....uh.....poopies (or should I say, "water-ca-ca") with the gas which had me living in the bathroom for about five days. Poor Buddy has scorch marks on the white parts of his fur, and won't sit on my lap anymore. Boo. Oh, well.


Let's see, what else? Work sucks large hairy testicles. I really don't talk in great detail about the specifics of work here, in case of any potential doocing, but it is getting to the point that I need to get into another district. The kids are getting ruder and ruder (I had a third grader tell me to kiss his ass today, and a fourth grader sass me back like I was one of the kids-nothing was done about it), the administration does nothing to support you in terms of discipline, and expect you to let shit like that roll off your back. Plus, because of what I teach, I'm at the bottom of the food chain as far as anyone is concerned (music? who needs that?). Then add a supervisor who, when you voice those concerns, says to you "Well, what do you want me to do about it?". Nice.

Here's the problem-it's not having to start all over in another district-I'm okay with that. It's starting over as an infertile teacher in a new district. I didn't start IVF cycles until I got tenure, so I could be protected, just in case. It's one of those things that I wonder about-is the stress of dealing with bullshit and passing the buck contributing to my cycle failure? If I removed myself from that situation and changed jobs, would my stress levels go down and make me more apt to get (and stay) pregnant? Or, does it really matter in the end? I could wait until I get pregnant, go on maternity leave and just not come back-either get a job in another district or maybe sub for a while (although subbing won't be counted into my pension and retirement benefits later on) until I find the right job. Of course, that all depends if I can get pregnant, right? Right.

These are the things that have been rolling around in my head for the past two weeks. There are times that I'd really love the burden could be taken off of me for awhile, just so I can breathe. I'm not asking that it be taken away from me altogether, but a vacation from it would be lovely.

Being a grownup just sucks sometimes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Still Plugging Along, and The Green Cloud of Evil

Here I am *waving*.

I haven't forgotten anyone, it's just that there's not much going here in our household. It's been pretty boring, actually-as it usually is when there's no poonanny-related business going on (also known as "cycle hell"). But, I'm sure that all that will change on the 29th, since I have the "failed cycle" appointment. I've written down my list of questions for Dr. Pipsqueak (including the lap or no lap question), but really, what's there to say? Ergh.

Another cycle, another $20K. Ho-hum. Just another day in the life of an infertile, right?

So, we've (or should I say "Sean", but I'll be nice, for a change-we ARE a unit, after all) been having some flatulence issues over here. Let's just say that, should you have the opportunity to enter our home, you would need a respirator gas mask to combat the noxious cloud of ASS that has permeated any area that the hubs has even briefly walked through. I think it started on Saturday night, when we went to a friend's for dinner (Baja Fresh takeout). For some reason, the takeout place fucked up and gave us doubles of our entire order (boo!), yet didn't charge us (YAY!).

Of course, Sean's extra-large-could-feed-a-small-Amazonian-village burrito had beans inside. And since we took some of the leftovers, he got to enjoy them on Sunday and Monday for lunch. I, of course, didn't enjoy it AT ALL. In fact, I think that there are not only skids on the sheets from the sharting, but there is a green cloud that is constantly surrounding my husband, a la Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoons. I mean, the CATS have been looking for a way out, people-they even prefer sitting in the dirty litterbox rather than go near Sean. They RUN away when he comes in the door, and Peachy starts howling as if in pain (which she more than likely is, since she's probably holding her breath). Buddy, not being extremely vocal, has been writing his Last Will and Testament, "just in case", as he confided in me. I'm surprised that the smoke alarm hasn't been set off, actually.

So, please..................anyone want another husband? Pretty please?

Our respiratory systems will hearily thank you.......

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Children of Men

Intrigued by this book tour and want to read more about Children of Men? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at Stirrup Queens

I have to say, I really liked this book, and I wasn't sure if I would. However, the story sucked me in, and I finished about half the book in one sitting. So, I hope that my answers to some of these questions will get a good discussion going......

Though there are interesting female characters in the forefront of the novel, the cast of thousands of infertile women in the background are portrayed as crazy, desperate, and delusional. Did you feel P.D. James captured the emotions of infertility or do you think she merely repeated the image presented in the general media--infertile women are desperate and single-minded and obsessed with babies and pregnancy?

I think that she really did both-captured the fragility of the mind of an infertile woman, but by using those stereotypical images we see in today's media. In the novel, it's the men who are infertile, not the women (as opposed to the film version, where it's the women who can't conceive), and I think that is the motivation behind the behavior-that the women know that they are perfectly fertile, but that the men can't get them pregnant (which is relayed in Chapter 16, when Theo talks about how women became more and more intolerant and resentful of men throughout the 80's and 90's (when the fertility started to decline worldwide). I think that the desperation stems from the fact that NOBODY in the world can have children. For us infertiles (or, at least for me), if we can't bear our own children, there are options available-IVF, donor egg, adoption. We know that, should our current treatments don't work, we could still be parents. In the novel, there are no options-this is your life. We, as human beings, always desperately want what we can't have, and I think that was the author's intention, not to portray the stereotypes.

What do you think is the significance of the fact that the two people who are finally able to conceive are both considered "flawed?" (Luke had epilepsy and Julian had a deformed hand)

I think it's great, actually. It is such poetic justice, which I'm sure the author intended. The author reveals a society that is obsessed with "perfection" and bodily well-being, and that people who are less than genetically perfect are disregarded and are exempt from reproductive testing. It showed that humanity is only intent in passing along the "right" genes" (although, it's the state that decided what was an "appropriate" gene pool). Since they didn't screen people with either physical deformities or medical conditions (that may or may not be hereditary), they couldn't realize that perhaps there was a minority population that is more fertile than everyone else. It reminds me of Nazi Germany's process of weeding out all those who were not "examples" of Aryan genetics. I think that P.D. James was trying to show that perhaps the people who were flawed in her novel weren't the ones that had the obvious physical deformities, but those who were flawed morally and ethically.

Once Rolf discovers the truth about his child, in his anguish, he rubs his skin raw against the bark of a tree. Do you think he is mourning his wife's adulturous affair or his new-found knowledge of his own infertility (since he thought he had impregnanted his wife)?

I think that he's mourning the knowledge of his infertility. Throughout the book, there is no obvious "chemistry" that links Julian with Rolf as lovers or husband and wife. I felt that he was more proud that he got Julian pregnant and she was the vessel carrying his biological child rather than of Julian as his wife and the mother of his child. He's pretty much an arrogant ass, and his intent is to replace Xan as Warden by the sheer fact that he's the father of the new "alpha" generation, and not by ability as a ruler. He feels that he's entitled to the adulation and praise because he's got fertile sperm, and it's a slap in the face for him to realize that not only was his wife unfaithful to him with a member of the group, but with someone who inadvertanly ended up being the father of the new generation of mankind. Rolf could no longer lay claim to being the new "Adam", and that's why he ended up betraying the entire group-as revenge. He didn't care about Julian's well being, and he no longer cared about the child that wasn't "his"-all he cared about was that his moment in the sun was yanked from him.

In describing the world's "universal bereavement" over it's lack of children, the narrator tells us, "
Only on tape and records to we now hear the voices of children, only on film or on television programmes do we see the bright, moving images of the young. Some find them unbearable to watch but most feed on them as they might a drug." How is this like your life dealing with infertility? How do you cope when you are confronted with images or reminders that are painful to you?

In my job (being a teacher of young children, from grades K-5), I'm around children all. day. long. I can't escape them-and it's what I've chosen to do with my life. I have kids who ask me if I have any children; and, when I answer no, they ask me if I want to have any. They have no idea that their innocent question might, some days, be like a knife in my heart. Or, how it angers me when I hear stories about some of the home lives of some of these students, and it's astounding to me that a parent would allow the shattering of such innocence by exposing them to drug taking, abuse, and neglecting their basic needs. And yet, at other times, I see children as a beacon of hope. How do I cope? Of course, it depends on my mental state of the day (or where I am in a cycle). I try to tell myself that, one way or another, I will be a mother. Like I said earlier, some days are easier than others-some days I just can't cope with news of another pregnancy, shower invitation, baby announcement or cute toddler in the store. Sometimes I have to figuratively bury my head in the sand and not deal with it, for my own mental state. Other times I can be perfectly okay in a room full of kids, and not carry my infertility on my back. And I think that it's okay to not be able to cope all of the time-there are times that you need the emotional release of crying or cursing the world-it makes you stronger, in the end.

If you were living in this time period and were given the ability to become pregnant but knew you would be the only person to do so, would you have that child knowing that they would be completely alone in an empty world for the last twenty-odd years of their life?

No, I wouldn't be able to do that. Not because I don't want a child, but because you have to want a child for the right reasons. What kind of life would you condemn that child to? I think that, for me, it would be a selfish thing to do, because it would be satisfying my own need to bear a child, rather than to produce a human being that is supposed to be a productive member of society (which, in this case, there would be no society to become a member of). I'd hate to have that child, only for it to later curse it's own lonely existence and, possibly, end it's own life rather than be alone.

Well, that's it-I hope they open a lot of discussions!!

Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #3 ( The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger) and all are welcome to join along. All you need is a book and blog.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Violet Shorts

When I read my last post, I was worried that I'd offend some people, because I know that losing 20 pounds doesn't seem like a lot, and that I'm bitching unnecessarily. So, I do apologize if it looks like I'm being a whiny bitch-it's not my intention. Honestly, when I tell people my weight they're surprised at the number, so I don't care about the number. I think that, for me, losing the weight and getting fit is more of a control issue than being the weight I am. I can't control if my uterus or tubes are working correctly, I can't control if I get OHSS in an IVF cycle or not, and I can't control whether an embryo will or won't implant into my uterus, but I CAN control what my body looks like. I do have the ability to become healthier, and that's what I'm going to try to do. Perhaps that's why I'm so determined-it's one of the things that I do have some sway over.

That's not to say that I'll always eat in a healthy way, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it, either. It's unrealistic to think that I won't fall off the bandwagon. But, I'm going to try my hardest not to. So, if anyone wants to join in on the bandwagon, feel free. It might be nice to have an exercise buddy, instead of a cycle buddy, for a change.

I stopped by the gym yesterday afternoon to make sure that all of my information was there (which it was). Did I actually go in and work out, do you ask?

No. But, I did get some exercise yesterday (and I didn't eat shitty food, either.......and I was in the mall! Now THAT's willpower, since Auntie Anne's pretzels were on the way to the sporting goods store.....mmm......)

Because I went to the sporting goods store and bought about $200 worth of exercise gear-sneakers, sweats, a gym bag (Buddy peed in the last one I had), two sport bras, made especially for the "well-endowed", socks, and a combination lock. Since I spent about an hour in the store lugging said items back and forth on two floors (they don't have carts in the store), I feel that I got some lifting and cardio out of it.......okay, perhaps I'm spreading that a little thing, but nonetheless.....

I also purchased a pair of cute violet shorts, on clearance. They're a little shorter than I'd normally wear (that length being the equivalent of two kitchen Hefty bags wrapped around my thighs), but I did it on purpose. I hung the shorts up in my closet, where I can see them every morning. They're my incentive to losing the pounds and toning my body. I WILL get into these shorts, and I'll wear them in the gym and strut my bad self around, albeit with a noticeably smaller tush and thighs.

It's all about the control, everyone. I've been putting my body in the hands of others for the past five years-doctors, nurses, acupuncturists-and I've let them have all the control in my life-what to eat or not eat, what OTC meds I should/shouldn't take, blah blah bloody blah. And, I've felt, by doing that, I've given up control over my own path in life. Now it's time to resume my own path, to take back the control from others.

There is that saying that "God helps those who helps themselves", and, in this instance, it's so true. Nobody can help me if I sit on my ever-growing ass and cry, "poor me". I can't control my fertility, but I can control whether or not it makes me the victim in all of this. I am not a victim-it's just bad fucking luck all around. No, I can't change my infertility, but I can look damn good while I'm in the middle of it all. I can try to feel good about what I look like on the outside, regardless of my body's inability to conceive. And, I really, truly need to feel good about myself, for a change.

Hopefully by Easter there will be a start of a change-like a metamorphosis of sorts. I will be the infertile chickie with the smokin' bod-I will wear a two piece bathing suit this summer.

I will. Just you wait and see.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Oink, Oink

Can you hear that? That oinking sound coming from your computer?

That's me. 'Cause I'm a big fat pig.

I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror right now. I actually got on the scale today (after digging it out of the bottom of the hall closet) and was shocked to see the needle hovering around 153lbs. Holy fucking shit.

Okay, before you say that's not a lot, it is for me, since I'm normally around 135lbs. I'm only about five-four and a half, and, although my chest is large (now up to a 34DD from a 34D), it's my belly that's the problem. The belly that is now every so obviously hanging over my pants. The belly that no shirt can completely cover. The belly that jiggles and gives a "muffin top" (hell, let's get real-it's a bundt cake) over every pair of pants I own.

And my thighs and ass.......oh my GOD. I actually now am beginning to resemble a whole oven stuffer roaster that's been lifted up so it's "standing" up-big belly and thighs and small from the knees down.

It's time to take off the pounds and get my life back in order.

It's about fucking time, as far as I'm concerned