27 April 2007

made ya think? kooky!

I started this as an outlet to express the huge assortment of feelings and emotions (many hormone induced) that come along with an IF Dx (x2). my acupuncturist "a" encouraged me to do this as long as I kept a "gratitude journal" as well. no argument there when she said we have a lot to be thankful for. so every night I literally scribble, no doubt illegibly, a few thoughts in my little spiral notebook by my bed. it helps to recognize and remember all the good and great things that I have in my life. and I have a lot of them.

I do TTC with DH through IVF with AMA and a MF for a BFP entirely for myself as a kind of virtual therapy. I believe 99% of my visitors are experiencing their own infertility nightmares. I feel like I know them but have no idea who they are. sadly, there are many of us out there.

so...let me know who you are. I'm curious. leave me a comment. send me your blog. remember, misery loves company.

my assignment now, as a nominee, is to nominate 5 blogs that make me think for the thinking blogger award. here they are –

making twiglet was awfully kind to mention me. I enjoy her blog because she is always so hopeful and optimistic in her views. her perspective is refreshing (and foreign) to me. she's a good kid and I hope she gets her BFP very soon. it's funny, she is not the only one to use the words "raw" and "painful" when describing my blog. yikes. remember people! I do have a gratitude journal! and I don't even listen to the smiths anymore!

stirrup queens and sperm palace jesters is also a blog I frequent. it is cleverly written by 2 writers who have overcome infertility and are now working on a book to educate the non-infertile world. it is cool site and you could literally spend hours there poking around. I actually have a few posts from my downer of a blog in their archive.

flotsam, infertility sucks! and a little pregnant are all very funny and thoroughly entertaining. it goes to show you it is possible to find a tad bit of humor in all of this infertility crap. when you feel like hell a lot of the time a good chuckle is always a nice change.

24 April 2007

the song

there is one particular and lovely song that when we hear it, we think of my mother. it is a song that she wanted a soloist to sing at the church before she was to be buried. it is a song that will forever make us think of her. it is a song that makes me cry.

the hours after my wedding were all about changing into jeans, beer, pizza, and "hanging out" under the stars. my nephew brought a stereo outside to add to the post-reception party. on goes the radio, on comes "the song." we all look at each other. I know my mother was present on my wedding day. I have a photo of a single butterfly hovering over our heads during the vows to prove it.

my life BHSG (Before HSG) was so incredibly different. on my way to the radiologist to get that excruciating exam that changed my life, I heard the song on the radio. I hadn't heard it since my wedding day in september. I pulled into the parking lot and immediately became very emotional. I found a parking spot and sat there until the song ended. I headed into my exam convinced that everything would be "ok."

this brings me that horrible 7 am saturday appointment that b and I recently experienced. we got off the elevator on the 10th floor of 59th and madison and walked into my ex-RE's office. and there it was. the song.

I signed us in and then took a seat next to b. I sat there all teary eyed and literally physically shaking until the song ended. again, I headed into my exam convinced that everything would be "ok."

we all know things didn't turn out ok. in hindsight I believe the song was a powerful message of comfort. a message of support. regardless of the outcome, my mother was there for me during some of the worst days of this journey.

22 April 2007

k1, p2, yo, yo, k1, p2, bind off

I haven't seen these letter/number combinations in a very long time. to be honest, I don't miss it that much -- knitting. I do though miss my tuesday class comrades. my little head is just too consumed with other things at the moment. god forbid if I dropped a stitch or had to take out a few rows, I would no doubt go "over the edge." the thing is with knitting, when a project is going well, it's enjoyable, satisfying and almost therapeutic. BUT, if I should encounter a mistake in a pattern or interpret specific instructions incorrectly, the hobby is incredibly stressful. no fun.

these days I seem to spend most of my evenings reading magazines and fiction that is a little more on the lighter side (in addition to my ever-popular IF books.) I just suffered through "pug hill" which was actually a total waste of my time. back in the day I used to bring chilli up to pug hill in central park. those trips were a riot! on some sundays there could be close to 20 pugs. an entire herd! I miss those days. I miss manhattan. I miss the person I used to be before I was sucked deeply into the world of infertility (x2).

18 April 2007

no tv. no radio. no thanks.

I have removed myself from all media. I cannot take anymore coverage of "the shooting." I feel very similar to the way I felt when I lived in nyc and watched the second tower crumble right before my eyes. the sadness is too much. I am only listening to my ipod (but not the smiths.)

what is wrong with this country?! the whole idea of being able to casually stroll into a store and buy 2 handguns and a ton of ammunition is fucked up. I can guarantee you 100% that the massacre would not have happened if guns were not purchased like a turkey sandwich. guns are designed for ONE purpose only. to kill. we don't purchase them to use as paperweights. we don't purchase them for decoration. "they guy looked normal." said the gun salesman. it's comforting to know some gun seller is making these judgment calls and looking out for us. do you think he is sleeping well these days? "he didn't have a criminal record." yes, but now he is going down in history for a despicable crime because you sold him guns. you assisted a criminal.

I tortured myself by watching some backwoods hillbilly on tv bitch and moan about our current "strict gun laws." he said if more students had owned guns then the shooter would have been stopped. are you joking?! that's your brilliant solution? give everyone a firearm! a bullet free-for-all! nice. take it easy there dirty harry.

I blame our jackass president. it is time for him to get his head out of his ass and see the big picture of the state of our world. we are very fragile right now and enough is enough. the right to bear arms has been overly abused and then some. we need improved legislation that is relevant in this day and age. years ago I heard gun shots one sunny, spring afternoon while I was working in fantastically hip and fashionable soho. an angry (normal looking) man stormed into a muffin shop and started shooting. a bakery that makes muffins! he killed 3 people. I will never forget the sickening sound of all those bullets.

17 April 2007

the love boat

how come 3 major people in my life went on holiday the same week? as a result, all hell broke loose. were they all hanging out drinking tequila shots on some festive cruise ship down in mexico? hola muchachos! timing is bad!

dr k. my RE. not around during my IVF stims. not around to tell me the cycle was cancelled. not around to explain why the cycle was cancelled. I sent him a wicked email yesterday saying exactly this. "just to let you know, our IVF was cancelled over a week ago." he responded that he was in shock that nobody followed up with a phone call. I think that nobody is him. finger pointing! busted!

harry. my mortgage broker. he and I had long conversations (plural) concerning b's and my financial challenges. harry knew about the identity theft. harry knew about b living off of credit cards during medical school and repossessed cars. harry knew the $12,000+ on my amex last month was for IVF. the bastard knew all the tragic details of our current finances. the bastard was even made aware of my elevated FSH. I told him my life story. none of this was communicated to his staff before he left. after he had proposed a fantastic interest rate including a yale discount, his ship sailed. the dumbass that took over my account knew nothing about the deal harry and I worked out. it was like our conversations never existed. harry is gone. rates go up. I had to start from scratch and I barely qualify at all for any loan at this point.

david. my finacial advisor. drinking tequila shots on some festive cruise ship down in mexico with harry and dr k. not good timing. NOW, right at this moment, is when I need some serious advising! where the hell is everybody?

14 April 2007

baby penguins

we just recently watched "the march of the penguins." it is a very sweet and beautiful movie that everyone should rent. I was fascinated by how each monogamous bird couple cherishes their egg -- their child. you actually witness "bird grief" when a couple accidentally loses their one and only egg to the frozen tundra. they are visibly sad and it's heartbreaking. another mother lost her egg and she literally tries to steal one from a poor unsuspecting fellow penguin. it got physical and other birds were able to help stop the abduction. wow.

it's remarkable, even in the bird world, what one will do to produce offspring -- to be a parent. the penguins and their little clawed feet travel for up to 60 miles in order to start their families. all that work and all that effort. I know exactly how they feel. they don't walk very fast and it's pretty damn cold. they travel through blizzards and exist in temperatures way below zero. the birds get tired, they're hungry, and some die. but it's that powerful instinct that drives the penguins to do this treacherous journey year after year. all for the baby penguins.

11 April 2007

insult to injury

"things could be worse" so I am told. this is a terrible thing to hear and no doubt I have said it to someone in the past. I'm sorry. of course things could be worse but that is not the point. just because something can be more upsetting or tragic or sad that should not take away from what I am experiencing at the moment. do I need the worst possible diagnosis out there in order to justify my thoughts and feelings? do I need to hear that I have one more month to live to be allowed to feel like shit? when it's "the worst" then it's acceptable?

someone said this to me. "everyone experiences death in their life and we can all relate on some level. we all know what's appropriate to say to someone who has lost a loved one because we've been there. we all know what that sadness and grief feels like." infertility is a tricky one. for most people it is only something they have encountered in passing, if at all. so what do you say to someone caught up in the middle of an infertility diagnosis? good luck? I really don't know.

b and I are exhausted, frustrated, emotionally drained, finacially drained, disconnected, defeated. but you know what? "things could be worse."

09 April 2007

round 2

thanks to a dear friend and some frantic phone calls, b and I were able to see someone at cornell today. cornell. the gold standard. the best in the biz. AND the most expensive. unfortunately the "famous for high FSH/poor responders" RE we wanted to meet with could not see us until june. even after another RE in boston (a friend of his) called him directly to see if he could possibly find time for a quick IVF with AMA and a MF chat. at least we're "in." round 2 officially begins.

we had a nice long visit. of course this included another ultrasound. man, I feel like I have my feet in those damn stirrups every 5 minutes. I don't even flinch any more. the RE even discovered a few more growing follicles. this was good news considering my newly aquired high FSH label. she also confirmed what I always believed. a fluctuating FSH does have an effect on a particular IVF cycle. I might have had better luck last month when it was 6.8. interesting. dr k disputed this little theory of mine. "my new RE" said there was no way cornell would have gone ahead with the stims with my level being so elevated. my next protocol (wow! I loooove saying "next") will consist of an estrogen patch that lowers your FSH pre-stims. again... interesting. I asked if there was a possibility of this working. "absolutely" she said. we start the end of may.

so I found that little glimmer of hope I was searching for high and low. I know our case is extremely challenging but I feel I really need to try IVF with my own eggs at least once before giving up. when we move to new haven our new insurance will not cover one penny of any IF treatment. 100% out of pocket. ouch. with b still a student I cannot possibly design enough logos to have an extra $15,000 to put towards another cycle and all those meds. this is it. we are going with the big guns here. I even celebrated with a coke at lunch and then a cappuccino — a large!

tomorrow I am back to the organic brown rice and kale. with pleasure.

08 April 2007

the reality

we got a hideous message on the answering machine. "hi, your IVF has been cancelled. sorry. the office is now closed." click.

I asked b to make sure the message had my name in it. the call had to be a mistake and they meant to contact some other poor soul.

it all started when the alarm went off at 4:30 am. b and I drove to manhattan in the dark early saturday morning to have yet more blood drawn and another ultrasound. we listened to the local news and heard about a newborn baby girl found lifeless in a plastic bag. we were speeding down the highway in pursuit of our very own newborn. god, how can the universe be so cruel?!

the chubby doctor saw only 2 follicles with potential and 2 others that were simply too small. you could tell by the look on his face that this was not good. b asked big bad baldy a simple question only to get a snippy, defensive response "I know what I am doing here, believe me." what an ass. we are not here discussing plantars warts. do you think you could be a tiny bit sensitive? you are basically telling the two of us indirectly that we cannot have children. oh, and by the way, DH went to medical school so don't be so fucking condescending. chubby really belongs in a podiatry clinic. ingrown toenails seem more his speed than stressed out couples struggling with infertility.

I spent the rest of the day in bed. I felt at peace only while sleeping and the idea of waking up scared me. the reality is just too devastating and hard to accept. I've never seen b so disappointed and it broke my heart. while I grieved under the covers he feverishly searched the internet trying to find a morsel of hopeful information. nothing. a woman my age with an FSH of 16 has a 1% chance of conceiving even through IVF. I cannot help but to feel like we are being punished. and that poor little thing who somebody simply threw away was never given a chance. we would have safely and lovingly taken her into our home in a heartbeat. what a sin.

05 April 2007

the junkie. the pain

the doctor added yet another stim injection. now it's three a day. three guaranteed new bruises. he also added another vial of the repronex to my "habit." this shit is painful. pain equals progress, right? progress equals results, right? the entire area around my bellybutton feels raw and there is nowhere else to go. put it this way, my underwear hurts.

I arrived at the clinic in nyc at 7:03 am. the place was packed. after signing in a nurse called out a number of names. "mary r, jane t, lucy w, betsy k..." the women were corralled into another room. when it was my turn I was wisked away for my monitoring. dr c (the "main man") did the ultrasound and then gave me the tragic results. 4 follicles. 4 follicles total. if I don't produce more by saturday the cycle is canceled. over. done. failed. you lose.

the pain in my abdomen is remarkable. the pain in my heart is overwhelming.

04 April 2007

busy coping

I am not responding very well. my very high FSH (a sickening 16) made my RE max out my meds. the first round of bloodwork and ultrasound showed very little activity with my ovaries. it figures the hormones are not working for me yet physically but they are extremely effective emotionally. and the follistim headaches. yikes! sometimes my teeth hurt. I am convinced 1,000% that my surgery did indeed compromise the bloodflow to my ovaries. it was a huge risk and I took it.

my shots are not pleasant but I'm mananging. it is very intimidating mixing the tiny bottles knowing how significant each and every drop of medication is. I usually shake when trying to prepare each injection. remember, I design logos for a living. b has been a great and patient teacher and I don't think I could do this correctly without his expert guidance. I cannot believe I am able to give myself the shots. I have to say, I am pretty damn proud of my new skill. my belly looks and feels inflated and I can no longer button my pants. "excuse me miss, your fly is down." "yeah, I know! I prefer it that way." I have big red welts and all these little scabs. it's unattractive. it is not so much the "shooting up" but the medicine being injected that burns and hurts. finding a chunk of skin to pinch and stab that isn't tender and sore is almost impossible now. it's not pleasant but I'm mananging.

I just have to keep repeating to myself "it only takes one." however it's very difficult to shake the negative thoughts when my hormones (aka emotions) are so out of whack. we need a morsel of good news to give us a little hope. egg retrieval is tentatively scheduled in one week. but we need some eggs to retrieve.