30 November 2007

cd 9

3 follicles on my left side. that's it. I'm so upset right now I can't stand it.

28 November 2007

cd 7

oh, the pain. the pain of traveling to nyc for sunrise monitoring. between the sleepless nights (full of intense night sweats and wet pajamas) the hardcore (borderline overdose) meds, the 4 am alarm, and 4 hours on a rickety old (and very packed) train, I'm TIRED! I was in the city 2 days ago for a 5 minute b/w appointment. ugh. I was there again today for b/w and an u/s. the RE said there is a good chance I'll have to trek into the city every other day from now on. AND this is a LONG-ass protocol! then we move onto daily sunrise monitoring. when am I going to find time to get my work done? work necessary to pay for this IVF decadence? co-culture, ICSI, and AH - all 100% out of pocket. $5250 more!

a fellow poor responder cornell IVFer just went through ER and got 11 eggs! fantastic! 10 were mature and fertilized with ICSI. I'm so happy for her. I am doing the same exact protocol. I can only dream of numbers like that.

let's go "new RE dr d"! do your stuff! perform your magic! grow follies, grow!

23 November 2007

"the" call came in

4:08 pm.

"ladies! (in my case, lady) start your stims!"

oh my. this is it. I begin with the micro-dose lupron tonight and then tomorrow EXTREME Injection 2007 officially starts. 5 shots a day. five. FIVE! ef, eye, vee, ee. I am on a long stim protocol which could carry on for 12 days. if you do the math, that's 60 shots in under 2 weeks. (and this doesn't even include HSG.) it's a good thing I'm sporting a giant belly from all the mashed potatoes, stuffing, tofurky and pecan pie I devoured yesterday.

today's clinic celebrity sighting was kate spade. earlier in the week it was mariska hargitay. it's the IVF version of entertainment tonight.

21 November 2007

I draw pictures for a living

a little history.

a few years ago a fellow graphic designer lectured me on my lack of self promotion. I had a little down time and agreed to submit a few logos into design competitions. low and behold, some of my work was chosen and acknowledged in respected annuals. cool.

of course the work I labor over and am most proud of never gets chosen. one logo in particular is now in 2 annuals (one being graphis - the gold standard in the design industry.) I consider the piece "ok" and borderline mediocre. whatever. it's subjective.

this summer I got an email from graphis congratulating me for being considered for the Logo Design 7 publication. supposedly the book showcases the best global logos of the past 5 years. holy crap! I was being considered! that was VERY cool!

I mentioned this story to my sisters one night while drinking some wine. (this is what we do. drink wine. we do it well.) I had my laptop with me and showed them this logo that was (for whatever reason) sweeping though the design world. J looked at the screen for a moment. she looked harder and then appeared perplexed. I saw her studying it. that's when it hit me. the typo.

as a designer, you sometimes get too close to your work. letter forms turn into positive and negative shapes that have to be dealt with visually. their "meaning" becomes meaningless. I spelled a word completely wrong in the logo and NOBODY noticed until now. it's been published twice. it's on t-shirts. there's a website. there are business cards floating around. shit!

after pointing out this ridiculous mistake I cried and laughed simultaneously. literally. soooo many people had looked at this so how is it possible nobody caught it?! of course I am responsible but I was floored that it got this far. and why did it take an intoxicated individual to notice the extra letter? interesting.

yesterday I had to return the crappy rental car. because of thanksgiving my car won't be ready until mid to late next week. to help me out, the subaru place was kind enough to give me a loaner for the time being. they are good people over there.

the car is a 2008 impreza with 2700 miles on it. it is actually quite cute except that it's... GOLD! who the hell makes gold cars these days?

the point of my post? the day I got the gold car my typographically incorrect logo won a gold medal. a moment that should have been glorious and joyful was full-on panic and full of dread. I felt like I was caught in a lie. a lie that was snowballing as we speak. who would have thought my design would (or could) get to this level - graphis Logo Design 7.

today was the day to fess up. to come clean. to admit globally that I am a shitty speller (and an even more terrible proofreader.) I called graphis and explained my problem begging them to let me resubmit a "revised," I mean, correct version. I was shaking and sweating out of total embarrassment. the book is in its second round of proofing and they will "see what they can do."

it's a funny thing. I just now got an email reply saying I sent the same exact logo. ummm, no I didn't. this time, you're wrong.

20 November 2007

sad news

over here in the constitution state. my friend EP (a fellow IVF veteran and very talented knitter) got really terrible news en route to her ET. please go over and give her some much needed support.


18 November 2007

the good. the bad. the hideously ugly.

the good.
ahhhhhh. nyc. it felt good to be back. home again. everything was familiar, comforting, and just as I left it (with the exception of a new and underdesigned high rise on every other street corner.) even staying in the heart of times square (not my choice) was totally fine. I was thrilled to be stopped on 57th street by a flustered tourist "excuse me. where is the bloomingdales?" after leaving gramercy and moving deep into the heart of suburbia, I was still a "new yorker."

that night b and I had a fantastic date. we started out at the tiny jazz bar where we had our very first date. sadly it was no longer "our spot." what had once been dark and dingy and full of character was now all shiny and tidy. there was no jazz trio and the cocktails cost a fortune. we reminisced about our first encounter. it's funny. neither of us recall talking about my egg quality or the threat of sperm fragmentation. my, my. how our relationship has evolved.

the bad.
the next morning I experienced the marathon blood draw. after approving the spelling of my long, complicated, hyphenated name and DOB on the small paper label, the nurse proceeded to print out at least a dozen more. she then lined up all the empty vials before draining my body entirely of blood. it was freaky to watch. the whole thing made me woozy.

that evening we met up with a bunch of friends at a favorite "old school" bar. it was great to see so many familiar faces and I felt so happy. I chatted with everyone more this one night than I did my entire wedding weekend. these were good friends. friends with a long history. it was good to be back home. (and it didn't really matter that b's friend was a spitting image of my ex - an old boyfriend that used to be a part of this group.)

the hideously ugly.
7 am. the phone rings. "there has been accident in parking garage. a pipe (turns out to be CONCRETE) fell on car." fuck. I needed to give the attendant permission to replace some glass. I was assured the job would be finished later that day. yeah, right. I got dressed and raced off to my dreaded co-culture appointment. I took the handful of advil prescribed for pain and 2 benadryl to calm my nerves. I had no luck in tracking down any valium and I needed a little extra something. the pills didn't make me relaxed, they made me stupid!

on the examination table I struggled with my crossword.
2 down.
a four letter word.
"letterman's rival." duh! I couldn't figure it out. my brain had disintegrated.

the co-culture sucked. and hurt! the tools they used caused major cramping and the scraping of my uterus was no picnic. "I'm going to try to be as gentle as possible." yikes! the pain literally took my breath away. yes, it didn't last very long but I actually felt it in my chest. I winced and felt sick to my stomach for those few moments. when you are in pain you really have no sense of time.

the parking garage vs. subaru drama only escalated as the day went on (and will no doubt continue for some time.) it involved numerous attendant lies, bouts of screaming, 2 separate visits from the NYPD, and ultimately, a missing car with no rear window and a collection of new scrapes and dents. then you add annoyed insurance agents, estimates, deductibles, a "subaru-qualified" repair shop, and a rental car, and you get a guaranteed emotional breakdown. 12 hours of total hell. I was looking for all the hidden cameras. alan funt or possibly ashton kutcher. it must be. it had to be! "smile, you're on candid camera." this was all too fucking unbelievable.

incredibly unbelievable until I realized that my idiotic IVF nurse neglected to call in half of my meds. the medication required to start my cycle today! how could this happen?! after frantic phone calls to the pharmacy and to my RE (and a few tears and $270 on my amex) we got things "sorted out."

tonight. sunday, 18 november 07, 7 pm, we start this IVF thing all over again. oh boy.

13 November 2007

bags are packed

hotel is reserved. our miss lulu has lovely accommodations arranged. she's staying with good friends in "the country" that adore her. it will be healthy for the little frenchie to be in a different environment for a bit. she really seems to feeling chilli's loss. she's forever looking for him.

we are off to nyc! my old hood! tomorrow is the extreme blood draw. yikes. then thursday, 10:45 am, I'll have the dreaded (yet highly desired) co-culture procedure. then in a few days (hopefully, fingers crossed) I'll start the patches - the official start of IVF number four. who would have thought? god help me.

09 November 2007

the results



we got ourselves a surge!
now bring on the co-culture, baby!

$29 and $27 opks later

acute emotional upset = ugly red traveling torso blotches. crap.
extreme stress and sadness = delayed ovulation. shit!
I'm fallin' apart here.

I've been testing for a week now for my vanishing LH surge. a detected surge is crucial for my rapidly approaching co-culture appointment. no surge means no co-culture means another delayed IVF means a very grumpy person. there are many things in my life that I cannot rely on and ovulation is not one of them. my cycle is textbook. well it used to be. next test: 4 pm EST. I haven't peed in hours. time to place your bets people.

"...stress can affect the functioning of the hypothalamus — the gland in the brain that regulates your appetite and emotions, as well as the hormones that tell your ovaries to release eggs. If you're stressed out, you may ovulate later in your cycle or
...not at all.

It's important to differentiate between constant and sudden stress. The body often acclimates to constant, everyday stresses, so you'll probably ovulate fairly consistently each cycle. It's sudden stress — a death in the family, an accident, divorce — that can throw your cycle off and interfere with ovulation."

even better.

"All stress is not created equal. Abnormal levels of stress hormones in the system can affect sperm production and prevent or delay ovulation. Harm is done when no time is allowed for recovery after a bout with stress or when one or more stresses happen simultaneously."


03 November 2007

good buddies

I was beginning to think that people really do suck. that the world is very cruel. the day before chilli passed away we were at the local dog park. I knew our little guy wasn't feeling well and I figured a trip to the park would "lift his spirits." he used to be very social and really enjoyed chasing all the large labs and shepherd mixes. squeeling out of frustration, skinny little pug legs trying to keep up. these last few months he had slowed down considerably and was perfectly content to sit by my feet and simply watch. it was nice to be outside and the weather was fantastic.

our last trip was cut short when he fainted in the grass. I quickly ran over and picked him up - a 26 pound wet noodle. nobody, not one fucking person in the park, offered me any assistance as I carried away an unconscious dog (while trying to gather my belongings and leash our other dog.) all the bastards sat on the benches and chatted away. I was obviously struggling and had started to cry. why wouldn't anyone offer to help?

once I got to the sidewalk chilli was aware and wagging his tail. an older woman on the street ran over to me and suggested she take us to the vet. "what can I do? where can I drive you?" I thanked her repeatedly for her kindness and assured her chilli would be "ok." I mentioned he was going through chemotherapy and what we witnessed was probably some sort of side effect. once I got "the kids" unleashed and into the car I noticed something amazing about the woman. she was crying too.

it's difficult to sit here now at my desk with an empty dog bed at my feet. there's no snoring or the sound of pug toenails on the hardwoods. an ever present warmth is missing. I have to say the incredible amount of genuine support - lovely messages, cards and flowers - I have received has overwhelmed and amazed me. and these virtual communities that I've stumbled upon (blogs and IF message boards) man, what great women (and man.) I intend to save each and every email, pm, and comment to print out and look back on when I am feeling crappy. sadly, so many of you know exactly how I feel.

I was struck by this particular email.

"I wish there was something I could say or do to make this time better for you. my 4-year-old niece just lost her dog as well. she was very upset - asked her mom why dogs don't live longer like people. and then about an hour later she answered her own question: "people live longer than dogs because it takes them longer to learn how to be nice and be a good buddy. dogs don't have to live as long because they are born nice and already know how to be a good buddy"."

I take it back. yes! the world is full of good people. thank you.

02 November 2007

we'll miss you.

"mom gets to meet her angel."

after being diagnosed with 2 separate cancers in august, our little boy chilli, my shadow, passed away last night at home. b and I were by his side when he took his last breath. his crooked, little tail wagging.

cancer has robbed me, yet again. I slipped into a deep and great depression when my mom passed away from a brain tumor. I could barely get out of bed in the morning and function properly. then I got the call. there was an emaciated, homeless pug that needed a family. I adopted him. what was I thinking?! now I had to take care of this little guy. this happy soul just so full of love and personality. I rescued him but really, he rescued me.

he changed my life. he got me back on my feet. he saved me. we literally went everywhere, the two of us. we went to work each day in a cab to my office in soho. we traveled on planes. we went shopping on fifth avenue. we met with clients. favorite memories include tom and jerry's, a downtown pub where he would sit on his own stool at the bar. he loved guinness! the irish pug! we even went through formal training to become a certified therapy dog. unfortunately he never passed the final exam because "my shadow" failed the separation part of the test.

a broken heart hurts very much. the severity of his disease completely caught me off guard. he didn't look sick or act sick. just 2 days ago I ordered him a name tag with our new address on it. I feel like something huge is missing. chilli was very, very special. he was a major and positive presence that added so much to my life, to my family's life, and I am truly thankful for that. he always provided a lot of comfort and laughs during my down days struggling with the failed IVFs. he was forever snuggled by my side, happy happy.

they say my mom sent him to me. this angel. yes, she did indeed.

01 November 2007

it's november. time to start IVF

the sofa is coming! the sofa is coming!

tomorrow sometime between noon and 4 pm. I'm freaking out. what if I don't like it? there's a good chance it will look entirely different in my little home. a giant piece of furniture only looks bigger in a small space and I fear the "living room" will be all sofa. I'm a huge fan of buying and returning. hand towels (wrong color) and sweaters (what was I thinking?) are much easier to return though.

we survived halloween. we had a handful of enthusiastic trick or treaters - a princess, a witch, a cop, and a bunch of questionable costumes (oversized clothing and face paint.) b and I handed out gummy body parts - appropriate treats from a surgeon. the little girl in the tiara looked frightened and bothered when she reached into the candy bowl and took out a finger and a foot.

unfortunately, I had the perfect dramatic costume. one that could scare the living daylights out of anyone. the rash... is back. all I needed was a bikini top to terrify the entire neighborhood. a pale and flabby back covered in multiplying and traveling red splotches. that's scary stuff. run for your life people!