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Catch up

5 Sep

Have I really been gone that long? You trek to Maine for Labor Day weekend and come back to a chill in the air, September on your calendar and a whiff of that end of year panic that infertiles know all too well. Another year gone by and not a drop pregnant.

(Let me preface this entire post by saying that I’m feeling rather down tonight, so if this comes across as that, well.. it’s that.)

(Doesn’t help that I just watched the most touching tribute to Ted Kennedy.)(Also doesn’t help that DH left this morning for his third straight week out of town.)

(K stopping parenthetical writing…. now.)

Anyways, time to tidy up around these parts and play catch up on a few things. First! The second episode of Bitter Infertiles is now LIVE – yippee! Sadly, yours truly was unable to join due to the extreme lack of reliable service up in Acadia. But Mo, Jess and Cristy held down the fort quite well, if I must say so myself.

Go listen now! The episode features a discussion of the term “super fertility,” followed in quick succession by the term “super bitter infertiles,” the media’s portrayal of miscarriage, grieving miscarriages (listening to Mo talk about Nadav here is particularly moving), a wonderfully inspiring interview with Lori Lavender Luz of Write Mind, Open Heart (oh god, could I identify with the cigarette in the gas tank memory (maybe too well), healing through movement and creativity (brilliant), and also the idea of choosing to see your life in a way that makes you fulfilled), and then some much needed venting on celebrity pregnancies (WTF HOLLY MADISON!).

It’s pretty much awesome and you need to go listen now. Oh and also, we’re on iTunes now too! And we’re listed as “EXPLICIT,” so you know it’s good.

Okay, second! A confession: I peed on a stick today. I DON’T KNOW WHY. I just thought… maybe? My period is no where to be found but my temps have been high for over a week. It was negative, obviously. I would have led with that (I don’t have THAT much self control, obviously). But yeah. Officially waiting for AF to start taking the estradiol pills. Yaaaaaaaay FET. (Sarcasm, case you couldn’t tell.)

Finally, I am shamefully behind on the September photo challenge! I am cheating slightly here because most of these weren’t taken SPECIFICALLY for the challenge but they’re still photos I took so… I’m calling it fair enough. Also, I like loose photo challenge interpretations. Just me.

1. Beginning

Me and my college buddy, jumping in Maine on September 1

2. Fire

Mucho caliente (from our road trip down South to the beach)

3. White

This photo was inadvertently taken on my phone on September 3rd.
Equal parts creepy and cool, and totally ethereal.

4. School

Maine = The Way Life Should Be
(Taken in Bar Harbor, Sept 1)

This concludes our evening programming. Thank you for tuning in.

Snippets

30 Aug

Happy weekend everyone!

We’re headed up to Acadia National Park in Maine for some fun camping times. I can’t wait! I’m making a personal pledge to myself to take lots and lots of photos, with both my film and SLR cameras, and evens one video if I can manage! I’m wanting to try out the “photo an hour” challenge too that I’ve seen other bloggers do. Promise to share whatever I come back with!

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Speaking of photo challenges, I’m excited to be participating in EmHart’s September photo challenge! I missed the one Belle did earlier in the year so I’m excited to give this one a try. Of course I won’t be able to blog for a few days while we’re away, so the first post will be a catch up of the first three or four photos, but that’s okay! You won’t mind, right?

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 Finally, a brief cycle update: just waiting for AF. I know I’ve ovulated because I took a test temp yesterday morning and it was over 98. As soon as she arrives, we’re off to our FET cycle! I’ve got my Estrace pills at the ready, just have to pack them with me for camping, in case she decides to show up while we’re in the woods (she would, wouldn’t she). I’m still kind of in denial that it’s almost happening, and I’m nervous about a work trip I’ve got coming up in late September. What if I need to do my PEO shot on the trip? I’ll have to get one of my NYC friends or my cousin to do it, but none of them would be very keen to give me an intramuscular injection in the arse. Welp! Worry about it when I get there I suppose… if I get there.

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 Happy Labor Day weekend!

In between

15 Jul

Today was my in between day. The day in between my last ultrasound/trigger day and my retrieval. It was so nice not having to wake up at 6:30 for my Lupron shot. We slept in, went out to a nice breakfast, and then the plan for the rest of the day was to get everything all lined up and prepared for this week (food, house, bills, etc.) so all I have to do is rest. Except, well, that didn’t happen.

We went to Stop & Shop and I started to feel kind of loopy and out of it, and very blah. We picked up the Gatorade and some baby aspirin, two things on my “to get” list for the weekend, and that was pretty much it. I hadn’t planned out a menu as I wanted to do and didn’t know what to buy. I’m worried about OHSS. Already I feel bloaty and I’m getting shooting pains up my sides when I pee. This happened after my first IUI and my cancelled cycle. I thought it was a UTI but it was not. I think it is just something connected with having enlarged ovaries and obviously I was expecting it to be pretty painful with IVF. I need to mention it tomorrow.

When I told them about it after my first IUI, they said, well your E2 level wasn’t high enough for it to be OHSS so it’s not that. And that was pretty much that. So who knows? But clearly there’s a concern about it this time around, since they put me on the cabergoline and triggered last night, before all the follicles got to 15 mm. I really, really, REALLY don’t want OHSS! Or at least, not a bad case of it. I’m terrified of the pain and discomfort, and of potentially missing more work for it. We only have FIVE sick days at my work, which seems very low to me.

After we got home, I spent the majority of the day trying to sleep off the nausea I was feeling. I know this was caused by the hCG trigger but it still sucked. And I’m scared for the retrieval. Surgical things scare me, and remind me a lot of my D&C. I know this is a much happier occasion but I’m worried about being in pain after, about the recovery, about how many eggs they really will end up retrieving. And then my mind goes to how they will fertilize (what if none fertilize) and how many embryos we’ll get. I know I said all that stuff about laying back and letting the process unfold but it’s so much easier said than done.

I can’t believe that in 12 hours, we’ll be sitting in the waiting room at our clinic, waiting to begin the retrieval process. Nervous, terrified, excited. I’m waiting for that peaceful feeling to wash over me. I don’t know if it’s coming, but I hope it does. Sorry for the scattered nature of this post, it’s been a weird day!

Lupron, Day 2

22 Jun

Lupron Day Two

Don’t feel much yet, symptom-wise. Actually, I’m kind of in a fantastic mood! The weekend is nigh and my workload was pretty low today. Felt some uterine twinges yesterday and had some copious CM. I know Lupron can initially cause a “flare” in LH and FSH (thanks Dr. Google!) so I’m guessing that was the cause. I know that the symptoms can build up the longer you’re on the Lupron though, so I’m not rejoicing just yet.

We’re doing things differently, injection-wise, this time around. Namely, I’m having DH inject me. The main reason there is because I want to feel like a team, like we are doing this together. While I CAN easily give myself the injections (doesn’t bother me too terribly), I would rather feel his involvement in the process. Plus, he is a very exact and precise when it comes to medical stuff. You should see the way he wrapped our pup’s paw when she cut it in the woods one time. With completely different schooling, he could have been a doctor. He does tend to pass out in hospitals though.So… maybe not. 🙂

When I originally got my timeline for this cycle (starting Lupron on June 21st, baseline work up on July 5th), I was worried that I wouldn’t ovulate before starting Lupron, and that therefore my entire cycle would be delayed, I wouldn’t have my period by July 5th, I’d have to be on Lupron for longer, etc. This was coming off of a 50-day cycle though, so it’s understandable. Luckily, I think my body magically cooperated and I did manage to ovulate right before (either CD 16 or CD 20, really not sure which but my s/w thinks 16), so hopefully things will happen as scheduled.

In non-IVF news, we’re meeting up with some friends tonight for Ethiopian food! It’s one of my favorite favorites and I just can’t wait to dive into a nice big plate of injera, tibs, lentils, green beans and the rest. My MIL, though not Ethiopian herself, lived there for many years and makes it the best. She always adds in a green salad (not typical at Ethiopian restaurants) and homemade soft cheese (also, not usually seen at restaurants), which I just love. But a few years ago we finally found a great Ethiopian restaurant in the greater Boston area that meets DH’s standards. Most of the people there are actually Ethiopian, so you know it’s good.

How about you guys? Any weekend plans?

ICLWers, welcome once again! If anyone out there is cycling with me, I’d love to know!

Harder.

14 May

This weekend was hard. Much harder than I expected it to be. Mother’s Day always sucks for the infertiles and this one was no different, but yet, it was. It was much more of an emotional, anxiety-ridden clusterf*ck.

Didn’t help that I was in the wedding of one of my best friends, already setting myself up for emotional heaviness (in a good way, but still). Didn’t help that my mom was in town to babysit the dog and to celebrate Mother’s Day with me, making it impossible to forget it was happening like I wanted to do. Especially didn’t help that during the reception, the bride’s new 2-year-old niece, cute as a button, decided to make me her new best friend. She just came over to me on the dance floor, put her arms up, and from that point on didn’t want to let go of me. Even when her mommy (25, 3 kids, gorgeous, skinny, happily married – wah!) tried taking her away, she curled her little fingers around my arm and continued reaching out for me even as she was carted away. They thought she was bothering me, and it’s true my arms were aching from holding her and dancing, but my heart was aching so much more and something in me broke.

I wanted her. In the least creepy sense possible, I wanted to go off and snuggle her close and kiss her face and tell her stories and teach her lessons and show her the world. Each time after they’d take her away (she kept finding me, again and again), I’d dance with DH and bury my face in his beautiful shoulder and cry. Cry for everything we’ve been through, cry for everything we want and don’t know if we’ll ever have. I know there was probably nothing special about me. Sometimes little ones just latch on to someone. But she helped my heart so much and forced me to touch everything I was really feeling around Mother’s Day, in a way I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Even though it was hard and I was crying at my best friend’s wedding, I’ll be forever grateful to that little girl for the love she showed me on Saturday night. And now I know for certain that I could love any child, no matter how they came to be in my arms. I just need them to be mine and then maybe my heart can rest.

And as I sat there at the bridal party table, teary eyed and choked up, I thought, this is infertility. This is the ugly, brutal face of infertility. If anyone was ever wondering, they could have just looked at me in that moment and known the whole of it.

I never outed myself in full during NIAW. DH wasn’t comfortable with it so I didn’t push it. But I did post this one Facebook yesterday: “To those who have loved and lost, and for everyone still waiting for their own little miracle, to anyone for whom this day is bittersweet, my heart is with you all.” To my surprise, 17 people liked the post, people of all ages, people with kids, and people without kids. Maybe the pain of Mother’s Day isn’t as misunderstood as I thought. Or maybe they were just being nice. I appreciated it nonetheless.

I think this is going to get progressively harder, each Mother’s Day that passes without a child to call my own. This was my third. The first time, I wasn’t even considering myself an infertile. It was two months after my D&C and I didn’t realize going in how hard it was going to be. It wasn’t until I saw people wishing other pregnant friends on Facebook a happy Mother’s Day that I realized, that should have been me.

And now we’re two losses, two dozen failed cycles, one failed IUI, one cancelled IUI and one IVF plan into our journey and it’s heavy. It feels like I’ve been carrying a heap of cinder blocks for miles and I just want this to end. I need this to resolve, some how, some way. I’m ready for my resolution. It’s time to find a way out.

Distractions

3 May

With our first IVF cycle not due to really start for a good month, and the actual transfer almost two months away, I’m going to need some distractions to keep me busy while I wait.

Here’s what I’m planning…

-Fitness. I have really, really let this fall by the wayside this year. I had lost 10 of my IF lbs last fall and now I’m right back where I started, which is a little over 20 lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day. Wah! I don’t feel like me anymore. I really want to get back to the gym and am already making a big effort to do so. We joined a new gym about three weeks ago that we can go to together (I was belonging to an all-women’s gym before). This new gym is AWESOME! It has lots of free classes, a pool, a big work out room, a gymnasium for DH to play basketball, even a rock climbing wall and a cafe! I’ve already been swimming one night this week (a good exercise that I can continue into pregnancy, should we be so lucky) and to Zumba last night! I plan to go swimming again tonight. I just feels so. good.

-Busy weekends. Our weekends are pretty much booked up from here til June. This weekend is pretty much the only one where we’ll be home until June. I’m planning to plant my deck and we need to paint the steps and the lattice on the front of the house. On Saturday night, we’re going to a Cinco de Mayo party at DH’s coworkers house. They are South American (not sure which country) and make the BEST “Mexican” food. YUM, can’t wait. Then next weekend, I’m in the wedding for one of my best friends. She’s getting married in an airplane hangar! I can’t wait to see her as a bride. The following weekend, we’ll be camping with our wedding photographers. So random! But we’ve stayed in touch with them since our wedding and they have a young dog too so it will surely be a blast. The following weekend is the long Memorial Day weekend and we’ll be going home to see our parents. Then bam! It’ll be June.

-More reading. I used to be such a big reader and I haven’t felt the motivation to do it much lately. So I’m trying to read at least a little bit every night before bed and on the weekends too. I just finished “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin and it was excellent. I want to post a quote from it on here actually. Now I’m reading “The Crimson Petal and the White” by Michel Faber? It’s a big one but it has excellent reviews. I’ve only had it sitting on my shelf for… four years or so? I actually have about 50 books on my bookshelves that I have not read (yes, I counted once). I went through a serious used book buying phase after college. I had to stop myself!

How did you pass the time waiting for your IVF cycle to start? I’d welcome any tips and tricks to make the time go faster!

This strong

30 Apr

Before embarking on the TTC roller coaster there should be a sign that reads: You must be this strong to ride this ride.

Strong enough to handle the myriad of highs and lows (mainly lows), dashed hopes, dropped dreams, wins and losses (mainly losses), seemingly endless heartache, virtually daily pain. If you can handle all that then maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it to the end of the ride. No promises though.

Here’s where I’m at, cycle wise. Maybe all you lovely ladies can help shed some light.

I’ve been watching my temps since our IUI was cancelled with five follicles over 15mm, waiting for them to rise. My bloodwork nine days ago supposedly showed my LH starting to rise. I really thought it would be any day and was definitely feeling my hormones surging and tweaks and twinges from my ovaries. In fact, every day last week, I thought, “THIS is the day.” No wait, “THIS is the day.” Still, no rise.

I still didn’t have a rise going into the weekend when I knew I wasn’t going to be able to temp. We went to New Orleans for wedding and had a lot of late nights and early mornings. On Friday night (actually it was early Saturday morning), I was standing in a bar in the Warehouse District feeling both ovaries in action. I thought, “THIS is definitely it.” But then Saturday night, at the wedding itself, my right ovary kicked into overdrive to the point it was actually painful. I was clutching at my hip and it was enough to have to say, “Ow” outloud. I’ve never had painful ovulations at all, in fact I’ve rarely ever felt them. But I figure it was a BIG one so that was why. I thought Saturday night was definitely the night.

Then yesterday evening (Sunday), after we got home, I noticed some spotting when I wiped. Ovulation spotting? Never had it before but figured again, big O. So hubby and I DTD, just in case. But after that, the spotting turned into actual bleeding and has continued into today. I left a message for my RE’s office last night but I haven’t heard back yet. I thought for SURE I’d see a temp rise this morning but AGAIN, NOTHING. 97.0. What the hell gives, man!?

So now I’m thinking. A) This cycled is totally f-ed. Whatever. It probably always was. But more concerning is, B) What the hell is going on. Why haven’t I ovulated, and more importantly, why am I BLEEDING?! Something is definitely not right and I’m terrified.