Monday, October 30, 2006

Finally got the pics off the camera

Hubby usually takes care of the pics, but I was able to get to these pics and wanted to post them.

The top one is of me and NSWO at Chuck E Cheez, one of his new favorite places.

This one on the near left is of me and NSWO at the pumpkin patch earlier this month. Obviously, this is before the weather turned cold and nasty around here. This morning was actually below freezing. I'm not ready for that yet.

It's a good thing that NSWOs halloween costume is warm. Could he BE any cuter?

Not much going on around here right now, the drugs for the IVF will be here tomorrow (got to make sure I'm home when the delivery guy gets here) and just waiting until the weekend when my cycle should start up again and I go in for a baseline ultrasound.

If the weather is like today, it's going to be friggin cold. I think I'll let Hubby take NSWO out trick-or-treating. Hehe. I'll stay at the house with the insane clown doggy who will go ape shit everytime someone comes to the door. Not sure who's getting the worse chore.

Where did October go, by the way?

Friday, October 27, 2006


So, I have to tell you what happened to me at dinner tonight. Hubby is out of town on business so it was just NSWO and me. We're at the local mexican place and there is a table of teenagers near us and this woman who apparently knows all of them ends up at the booth next to their table. Since her other person isn't there yet, she pops over and chats with the teens for a bit. In the conversation, she's telling them about someone they all know. She mentions that this other kid is an only child with a tone that says she doesn't see this as a good thing. Then she interrupts her story to admonish these teens, "DON'T have an only child. Just don't."

I couldn't believe my ears. First off, how in the world does she get off assuming all only kids are hellions? I debated saying something to her for about 10 minutes. When the teens food showed up and she got up to go to her table, she walked right by me, so I decided to mention it to her. I politely said, "I'm sure you didn't mean to offend, but you made a comment earlier to not have an only child. You should know that some people don't CHOOSE that." She immediately apologized and said that she hadn't meant to offend. I smiled and said, "I'm sure you didn't. It's a bit of a sensitive topic for me because we've been trying for over 2 years to give him a sibling [refering to my son sitting next to me] and we've had no luck." Next, she asks me with a concerned, helpful face, "Have you tried taking your temperature?" Seriously, that's what she said.

Now, it's important to the story at this point to mention that this lady was VERY large. Surely morbidly obese. I know, because many of my aunts and uncles are also morbidly obese officially. What I wanted to say to this oh-so-helpful know-it-all was, Yes, you gigantic cow, I HAVE tried taking my temperature. Have you tried eating less? But I was good. What I actually said was, "Hmm, yes, I have tried taking my temperature, that's what got me him. I've tried IVF and it didn't work." She just smiled and said, well, you're very lucky to have him. I couldn't agree with her more.

Just one more example of how much people outside of the infertility world JUST DON'T GET IT.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The drugs are on their way, almost.

After working out details with the insurance company on reimbursement, I have officially ordered the drugs for this cycle. I've got most of the stuff I need from last cycle still, but need to get the big guns replaced. I'm doing Gonal=F again, but this time I had them call in an order for only the 300IU pens (vs. the 900IU pens from last time) it will mean more than one needle poke for each dose, but who cares. Each pen is overfilled slightly to ensure that you get at least the full amount and the overfill is about 50-75IU for each pen. That means that for every 4th 300IU pen, I essentially get a free pen. Considering the pens cost about $200 each, that's a lot of free drugs. So, I have 9 of those suckers on the way with a refill for 9 more if I need them. Ka-ching!

I went to visit my friend Kathy last night and bring them dinner. This is the friend who just had baby #2 a week or so ago and who's son is NSWO's best friend. NSWO was having quite a 3yr old day yesterday and trying my last nerve. It got to the point where I was thinking to myself, "do I really want a 2nd one?". But holding the little baby last night reminded me that yes, I do. Even with how hard it's going to be having more than one, I really DO want it. She is sooo tiny. And quiet. And soft. I got to hold her a lot and even changed a diaper and fed her a bottle. She's having a little trouble keeping weight on and isn't latching on yet, so Kathy is pumping and bottlefeeding the breastmilk. Oy, that's a lot of work. I'd forgotten just how tiny those newborn diapers are, unbelievable. NSWO was 8lbs 8oz at birth, so I never got to hold one so tiny and it was just magical. I was worried that it would be hard on me since I should be about 33-34 wks pg right now and Kathy and I would be pg with little girls together who could grow up to be best friends just like our sons. I was happily surprised that it wasn't hard at all, it was nothing but joyful for me. I can't wait until I get to go visit again.

Monday, October 23, 2006

We have a confirmed ovulation

My temps have been elevated for the last 3 days so Fertility Friend says I ovulated on Friday. I could have told you that based on the bloating, pressure and cramping I had that night. Oh boy, I haven't had that much discomfort with ovulation since I was on clomid.

I'm so happy that my body seems to have returned to normal, for now. I can actually plan ahead for my IVF next month with more certainty.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm not totally broken afterall!

I got a positive OPK (ovulation predictor test) today. Normally, this would be a fairly routine happening for a woman TTC, but for me, this is BIG NEWS! I haven't seen one of these things go ++ all year. Seriously, in January, I did the CCCT (clomiphene citrate challenge test) and we did a trigger shot with that cycle for the IUI so, technically, the +OPK was from the trigger shot, not a naturally occurring surge in LH (lutienizing hormone - causes the egg to go thru final maturation and release from the follicle). Even the cycle in March when I got pregnant, I didn't see a +OPK, although obviously, I did ovulate since I got pregnant.

So, it's been nearly a year since I've had a +OPK so today is reason to celebrate!! I'm temping, so I'll need to wait a few days to confirm that ovulation did, in fact, take place. It's totally possible to get an LH surge, but not actually release an egg, but I'm confident that my body is finally back to 'normal'. We'll try to catch this egg, but not holding our breath. Mostly, I'm excited because my hormones seem to be working better and I'm hopeful that my cysts will have finally resolved themselves so I can get a clear baseline u/s for IVF next month. Please, oh please, oh please.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A year ago...

This post was inspired by Heather over at BigP and Me. A year ago I was starting to get frustrated at my body. My cycles had been like clockwork ever since NSWO was born. I hardly monitored anything. I'd mark cd1 on my calendar and count out 26 days and make a note: AF? on what day I could expect as my next cd1. Around cd11-12, I'd make a note of ewcm if/when I noticed it and that was it. Then, in July, that all changed. I was getting ready to POAS on an OPK on cd9 and holy crap! AF is here already? Yes, I had an 8 day cycle. Well, that's just not normal, so out of storage came the ol' thermometer, you know the purple one made by BD that lights up so you can read it in the dark. I hadn't used that thing since we were TTC NWSO. My cycles haven't been 'normal' for more than 1-2 cycles in a row since. Either I'd ovulate late, or not at all, then the next cycle, on time.

A year ago, I went into my OBGYN for my annual pap smear and pelvic exam. I brought up my wonky cycles and she blew me off. "I've had my cycles thrown off from very small stressors, I'm sure it's fine." Boy was she wrong! I pushed for Clomid anyway and she obliged me but didn't monitor me at all. I should have insisted on cd3 ultrasounds to check for cysts and bloodwork to check hormone levels before we ever started messing around with fertility drugs. My bad, but I didn't know better. Heck, I didn't even see why I should see an RE, it's not like I was infertile or anything, I was just having wonky cycles. All I needed was to ensure ovulation and I'd be pregnant in no time. That's just what my OBGYN thought too. In fact, she told me she was sure I'd be pregnant before the 3 rounds of clomid were up. I wasn't.

A year ago, I was starting to think about preschools and deciding which one I should enroll NSWO into. Montessori seemed like such a great idea, and then I saw how much it costs! Um, yeah, we'll go to one closer to home. It's a co-op with the local community college so parents 'work' in the classroom one day per month. Technically, I'm enrolled in a parent education class at the college and the classroom time is my lab time. NSWO loves it and we love it too. Plus, it's waaaaaay cheaper than Montessori - we'll save that money for college where it will make a bigger difference.

A year ago, I never dreamed I'd be here now and not pregnant.

How about you, where were you a year ago?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Heaven has another angel today.

Manuela and her husband and dealing with the worst kind of grief today and can use your love and prayers.

Sunday, October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. If it fits with your belief system, please light a candle for those that were lost too soon. I'll be lighting 2 candles for my angels and I'm adding one for Manuela's too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dissonance as a sign of progress?

I had acupuncture today and it's been just over a week since my last treatment. Last time, I was very depressed about the cycle review meeting with the Dr. O. My acupuncturist did a treatment to help me let go and move on both physically and mentally. It worked. Not only did my period show up without needing any drugs, but mentally, I've been much more relaxed and at ease with this whole IF thing for the past week. I'm allowing myself to imagine both possible outcomes of the IVF. One, it works, and we get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby. Two, it doesn't work and we learn to move on as a family of three.

Option 2 is, of course, not the ideal outcome. But with this path, comes some benefits along with the obvious grief and mourning the loss of what will not be. As a family of three, we will be able to travel more freely (and cheaply) to visit family and other parts of the world. Hubby mentioned the other day the idea of trying to save up and spend our 10th anniversary in France and Italy. If there are two kids, we'll be able to leave them with a grandparent most likely, but if it's just the three of us, we can take not-so-wee-one with us. He'd be about 7 by then, a good age for international travel I would think.

Option 1 is still the ideal, but even being the ideal situation doesn't shield it from it's fair share of heartaches and emotional/physical strife. For example, I don't really do pregnancy very well. I get uncomfortable before the 2nd trimester is done and the gestational diabetes makes the third trimester a pain in the ass. This is assuming that I don't get morning sickness or worse like a few of my online friends who are suffering thru HG (hyperemesis gravidarum). Then, once baby gets here, if I am not able to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), I'll have to heal up from from the c-section while tending to a baby and a preschooler. The sleep deprivation isn't something to take lightly either. There's a reason it's a form of torture - it's very effective. And not all babies are good sleepers. NSWO wasn't a horrible sleeper, but he wasn't a good one until I stopped working and focused on his sleeping habits. I'd have to do all of that again with another one.

But the thing is, I've done it once and when you're in the middle of the hard parts, it feels like you'll be there forever, but soon, you're past it and looking back, it's not that bad. Now that I've been thru it once, I'll be better able to understand that 'it's just a phase' and if you hold on long enough, it too shall pass.

So, at acupuncture today, Lee did a back treatment to increase blood flow to the ovaries to help them function at their best. While I laid there on the table, she had this CD playing of traditional asian-sounding music. (Don't really know how best to put that, but I hope you get the idea.) Anyway, at one point, this guitar-type instrument is playing two notes that are very close to each other creating a very sharp dissonance. Almost what it sounds like when you tune a stringed instrument. I played the cello for years, so that sound is very specific to me. Then, it struck me as a bit of an epiphany. When tuning an instrument, the sound is never more dissonant and uncomfortable than when it is just shy of being in tune. Maybe all the emotional discomfort I've been experiencing over the last weeks/months is the dissonance that happens right before everything is in tune.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Patience pays off

Dr. O didn't want me to try any drugs to get this cycle to end since it didn't help get rid of the cysts the two times we tried it before. So, I needed to wait it out. I've been doing a lot of waiting this year and was not looking forward to the idea of having to do more of it. Well, it seems to have paid off. The cycle ended all on it's own today. Now, I'm hoping that this current cycle is finally 'normal'. Only time will tell, I guess I'll just have to wait. Ah, the irony of it all!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rose colored glasses

It has recently come to my attention that the majority of my blog posts lately have been downers. Well, sorry, but that's what's going on that I feel like blogging about. Afterall, it's my blog, right?

But, I don't want everyone out there to think that I'm totally down in the dumps. I spend at least 80% of my day feeling fine. So, in honor of my majority good moods, I offer you a positive, happy post.

Not So Wee One is loving preschool. I still need to get the pics off of Hubby's big fancy camera so I can post one of him on his first day, sorry it's taken so long. (Hubby, if you're reading this, I'd love your help.) The preschool he's going to is a co-op which means that parents help out in the classroom at least one day per month. We also have a committee job to do. I picked classroom support b/c it seemed to have the least amount of evening time commitment. I help organize the library of books and keep things stocked in the supply closet. Turns out, another part of this job is making the playdough every week. I didn't know this when I took the job, but it's actually pretty fun. For this week, we made tangerine colored dough and I put some cinnamon in it to help with the weird cooked flour smell it has. The teacher said that the kids loved it and that the playdough table has never been so popular. (Patting self on back) I decided to let NSWO pick the color for next week and he picked black. I think he's got a Halloween theme going on in his head.

Other NSWO news - we started up swim class again after a 2 week break and this session, he's in the Baby Grads class. This is the first level where the kids are in the water w/o a parent. (At 3?? How did he get so big?) At our first class last week, there were 4 kids - 1 boy who is still freaked and needed mom to come in with him, 1 girl who did ok but got distracted easily and didn't want to sit on the steps when the teacher asked, and 1 boy who would NOT listen at all (I see some medication in his future), and then NSWO who did great with listening to the teacher until the others kept getting away with stuff and then he'd want to try it too. I was a bit worried that he'd not learn much since the teacher spent so much time trying to get kids to listen that they were in the water for only a few minutes each. That's a lot of money for so little learning. Luckily, after class, the teacher pulled me aside and said that this class should really only have 3 kids in it and that rather than pull one of the others back a class, she thinks NSWO will learn more if he advances up to her Preschool class. This means that he gets to skip 2 levels!! Hubby and I are so proud! Today is his first day in the bigger kid class, I'm so excited b/c he really loves being in the water now and I think he's going to have so much fun. He found his goggles the other night which is great b/c they're good ones that actually fit him. He's got a big noggin, but still needs smaller eye cups than the youth goggles and child goggles are hard to find.

I think NSWO is starting to have terror nightmares. Probably related to starting preschool. Twice in the last week or so he's woken up during the night crying and even though his eyes are open, he's not really awake. Last night, I picked him up and rocked him and gently, but firmly told him to 'wake up' and before he could fully wake up, he let his bladder go, all over me and him. Poor guy, he hates peeing his pants and he had no control over it. I need to do some reading on best advice for handling night terrors. Anyone out there with good experiences to share? I know it's just a phase, but I hate seeing him so scared. We talked about a recent epidode of Blue's Clues we'd watched in which Joe taught one character to change her bad dream into something fun. She made scary stuff into a birthday party. I tried suggesting that to him, but I'm not sure how awake he was then. Poor guy.

Ok, that last part wasn't exactly a happy, cheery part of this post, I hope you'll forgive me for not being all perky. hehe

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad news isn't ever easy to hear.

So, the appointment with the RE didn't go as well as I'd hoped. He doesn't want me to do anything to end this cycle. He doesn't want me to take any drugs to ensure an ovulation either. He thinks that these cysts are another symptom of my diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). My hormones are obviously not balanced and this is yet another side effect. He showed us a nice graph that a collegue of his pulled together that showed odds of success with IVF given my age and FSH level is at best 15%. FIFTEEN PERCENT with the biggest guns that modern medicine has to offer. Just for those of you a bit slower at arithmetic, that's 85% odds that we won't be successful with IVF. Talk about depressing. I guess I should be glad that at least he didn't mention donor eggs.

He said that we'll be very aggressive in treatment if I can get a clear baseline u/s. He doesn't expect a huge crop of eggs and thinks we'll get about 3-6 embryos at most. The DOR also means that the odds of chromosomal issues is higher than other 33 yr olds. My body should still do a good job of weeding out any bad ones by not implanting or miscarrying them (uplifting, eh?), so he encouraged us to consider putting back everything that we get. (If, by some miracle, I make a lot of eggs and we get a lot of embryos then obviously we won't put them all back.) We should be prepared to put back 3-5 embryos. This freaks Hubby out a LOT! I mean a LOT! I'm not nearly as scared about twins as he is and I know way too many gals from online groups that put back more than 2 embryos and did not end up with twins (if any). I also know a lot who got twins, but didn't deliver twins. Seeing two gestational sacs at a 7w u/s is certainly no guarantee of needing a double stroller.

Oh, and based on my DOR, if I get pg, I'll need to be treated as someone much older with regard to prenatal testing. I'll be encouraged to consider an amnio or other invasive testing.

I was alone in the car on the way home yesterday since Hubby met me there after work. It was good to have some time on my own to process a bit. I hope no one I know saw me b/c I was a mess. Screaming at the top of my lungs, "IT'S NOT FUCKING FAIR!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" over and over. Crying uncontrollably. I haven't cried that hard since May 5 - the day my womb became empty again. I think it was crying out too.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This must be what quicksand is like.

Today is 18 days since my cycle was cancelled. This is the 37th day of this cycle. My last 2 cycles have been 43 days long and they only ended because we tried to 'trigger' the cysts with an injection of hCG. Now, I'm stuck again. Heck, even my acupuncturist said I have/had a 'liver-lung block'. This is basically stuck chi. The chi travels thru the body, ending in the liver and starting the cycle again in the lung. My chi is stuck in the liver and can't get going to the lungs again. Just like my cycle - stuck.

I have my follow-up appointment with the RE tomorrow afternoon. We'll talk about that attempt at an IVF cycle. How I did/didn't respond (mostly didn't) to the meds, the cysts, what to do next time. I'm going to ask them about the best way to get my cycle to get going again. I expect they'll say trigger again which is fine with me. The trigger worked in about 10 days and the alternative (Provera) usually takes 11-15 days. I'd like to get going sooner rather than later. I'm also going to ask about taking Letrozole (brand-name Femara) with the next cycle. I think that these cysts are partially caused because I'm not ovulating right. I haven't ovulated since I got pregnant in March. I am hoping that if I can ensure a 'normal' ovulation that my body will have a 'normal' luteal phase and be able to get rid of the cysts for good. I guess it depends on whether or not the RE thinks the Letrozole will run too much risk for further cysts. Who knows, maybe we'll try an IUI with it too, just for shits and giggles. Hey, it might work? Yeah, I'm not buying that either.

On a separate note, I need to post a pic of NSWO on his first day of preschool - he's too cute! Just need to get around to getting the poor pics off the camera!