Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm still here.....

Sorry, I've been MIA. I have been quite commitments and I am trying to get some personal business taken care of before I start to cycle. ("O WATCH" begins tomorrow!)

Thursday was my niece's 2nd bday and we went to my sister's for tacos. Our N's bday marks a sad anniversary for happened to be the day I found out how bad our MFI is. If you don't think that is a difficult thing to break to your H, then you are sadly mistaken. It's like you always remember where you were when 911 happened.... I remember getting that horrible news the day I went to see my sis and the her baby in the hospital. Low count...IVF is your only option....that may not even work....I fired that GYN the next day. You don't tell someone that kind of shit over the phone, FFS! (For fcuks sake!)

Sometimes, it's so hard. I love my sister (and BIL) and their kids are so darn sweet. I love that I have a relationship with them but at the same time, I ache to hold my own child and to laugh at all the funny things they do and say and to be able to comfort them when they are upset. (I don't necessarily look forward to the bad behavior or the punishing part but I get that it comes with being a parent.) It just reminds me of what I am missing at times. I just smile and one would ever guess what my heart is thinking, I'm sure of it. But sometimes, I cry on the way home.

On a happier note.... yesterday I practiced a little retail therapy! Who can resist shopping for spring when it snows for like 5 days straight?

Oh yeah, it's not always about me.... a friend had her ER today. C, I'll be saying novenas for you until beta day!!!!!!! St. Gerard is going to be busy the next couple of months.....

So, I'm back and I'll be better about keeping you in the loop!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Signs, signs everywhere a sign....

I was washing the coffee pot on Sunday night after dinner, pondering my next cycle. I started wondering if I should cut out coffee again. I mean, I wasn't drinking coffee when I had my longest pregnancy...maybe I should try that again. I love coffee and need at least 1 cup a day...but I kicked the habit once before. Carmel vanilla tea isn't so bad. SMASH! I banged the pot against the faucet and sent glass flying in all directions. Decision made. I quit cold turkey and I have a killer headache to prove it. Sign says: " Yes, Ginger. If you stop drinking coffee, you will get pregnant."

I called the big C to tell them that I got my period and to reserve a spot for my cycle. Luckily, I heard back from the nurse ASAP. (Still waiting to hear from the co-culture coordinator but that's another story) She ordered my meds and told me to start monitoring for my lh surge (ovulation) on Monday, March 39th birthday. Sign says: " Yes, Ginger. Starting on your birthday must mean something. You are definitely going to get pregnant."

Another sign? Perhaps. Or perhaps I am being my usual over analytical, obsessive, compulsive self. You see, I look for signs everywhere. I spend so much time looking for signs that I am probably missing critical signs. Me breaking the coffee pot is more likely me being me ( parents used to compare me to a bull in a china shop. My H calls me "crash" sometimes.) and my late period and starting on my birthday is just because of my HSG messing with my cycle. I do have moments of clarity, after all.

I must have some level of A.D.D because when I am in a cycle or whenever anything important is going on in my life, really, I can't focus on anything but that One Thing. You'll see me talking about signs a lot as I move forward with this cycle. You think this is bad? Wait until the 2WW. I find signs in songs that come on the radio or if a commercial for baby anything comes on while I am dreaming about my outcome.

Once, I was convinced I was going to get pregnant because my ET was on my Dad's birthday. Another cycle I was convinced it would work because the due date would have been my H's birthday. My very 1st cycle, I was convinced my pregnancy would have the happiest of outcomes because my in laws were in town and we would be able to tell them in person. (Instead, we told them that I miscarried.) The list goes on and on. Do all women do this? Or am I the only person so desperately searching for meaning in the minutiae? I'm not sure I actually believe in these signs but sometimes you need to take whatever you can to get you through to the next steps. Maybe that's why. Otherwise, I might not move forward. I guess that's just me clinging to hope.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2 hours, 35 minutes and 22 seconds

That is exactly how long it took for Flo to arrive after my acupuncture appointment. She finally showed up at 3:45 yesterday afternoon (About 2 hours before we were scheduled to leave for dinner out with friends. As always, Flo has impeccable timing.) Thankfully, she made a relatively quiet entrance. I didn't even realize she was there....sneaky bitch. No cramps, no pains, no freak outs, etc. Even the bloat was diminished. My jeans actually fit tonight and my underpants did not leave semi- permanent indentations on my hips or thighs.

I know acupuncture works but that was fast! Miracle workers, I tell ya. Too bad they can't get my eggs or H's sperm in better working order.

So, my next step is to call Cornell. They don't need day 2 blood work according to Dr.D since I have given them sufficient data from all of my past cycles. When he called me (in person!) last Saturday, he told me that he has enough history on me to work with. So, I will wait until tomorrow when they are actually open for business to give them the heads up. The nurses are only going to tell me to "call them when I get my surge", anyway but I need to get my IVF nurse to actually call me back and discuss my meds and have her order them. I can't do anything without my drugs, man. After I ovulate, I will start my estrogen patches and have my endo biopsy for co- culture. I'll probably be stimming about 4 weeks from now.

Bring on the crazy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Flo update

Still not here. Still not pregnant. I'm going to acupuncture to see if they can "move the blood". Hopefully, they can help me as I am miserable. Not kidding. Ask my H. I am bloated, exhausted, completely broken out and my skin feels too tight for my body. Growing up, my Mom used to warn us when she had PMS and I had to do that yesterday. This is 1 wicked case,people. I'm also moping around the house telling H that "I have the menopause". Luckily, he laughs at this. I seem to remember my Mom telling us that she was in menopause 12 years or so before it actually happened (12 looooong years. Love you, Mommy!) so I think I actually have a few years before "The change". Just another sign that Flo is imminent....irrational behavior!

***Tip for the IVFers*** The good news is, it is very common for a woman to have a late period the cycle after their HSG and the next cycle can actually be very fertile from what I understand.

So, I am off to acupuncture. I love C and A, my Acupuncturists. (I have a team of Acupuncturists...jealous?) They strike the perfect balance of indulging my crazy and calming me down. I can't wait to lie on the heated table, get poked with needles and pass out. Hopefully, Flo will come visit me and I can move on with this cycle! I'll let you all know when she arrives.

As always, thanks for reading!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I cried myself to sleep.

Last night. I don't know why I do this to myself. Especially when I know my period is approaching. Hell, it's late. 1 week late. And I'm NOT pregnant so pleaseeeease don't say that. I've already taken 2 pg tests. I have fantasized about cancelling my upcoming cycle and being pregnant naturally but as I've said before, I have a better chance of hitting power ball 3 times than getting pregnant naturally. And I am not negative...just tired of mind fucking myself.

So, let me explain the tears. I watched Private Practice before bed.

***SPOILER ALERT*** If you DVR'd Season 3, Episode #15 "Til Death Do Us Part", ***STOP READING NOW!***

Brief synopsis: Sam & Naomi's pregnant teenage daughter was getting married, Charlotte's new BF has a drug problem and there was a couple who did IVF and the woman gave birth to their baby at 25 weeks. I don't know what you know about preemie's, but 25 weeks is really much too early for a baby to be born and live a healthy life. This baby was so small and sick. Just the sight of him made me cry. (And if you tell me it's just a tv show, I will scream. When I saw Seven everyone told me it was just a movie and I still didn't sleep for a week afterwards.) That baby looked real to me.

Anyway, they had to decide whether or not to put the baby through countless surgeries that probably wouldn't work or let the baby die naturally. The couple had been through 3 IVFs (Sadly, I beat that) to finally get their baby boy and you could see that they were so afraid to let go. They were so hopeful and it was sad to watch. I feel like that's how people react to me when I tell them that I am on IVF #5. Like they want to tell me to stop torturing myself. This mom wanted to hold her baby but they couldn't let her because the baby was hooked up to tubes and needed to be in the incubator. Let's just say that they did the right thing in the end. I don't want to relive it anymore. Even though it's just a tv show, it hurt to watch. I never got to hold my baby. This mother did but her baby probably died in her arms. That is my biggest fear. I don't want to know what that's like. I just want it to work. I want a healthy baby, dammit.

Sorry for the sad post. I'm just in that place today. If you made it through all the gloom and doom-thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

IF sisters and ....brothers?

So, community is a big thing for infertiles. Many of us don't share our stories publicly. (Did you think Ginger was my real name? BTW, my alias is more for the protection of my H than anything.) I belong to at least 3 IF communities (message boards where I regularly post) and I like the support I get. Not to mention, I feel useful when I can help a newbie or someone who has been around the block (but not as many blocks as me) with a question....or even if I can just offer some supportive words when they have a soul crushing experience. This shit happens frequently to women all over the place on a daily basis. It might even be happening to someone you thought you knew fairly well. My point is, we women talk about it. We pacify ourselves by sharing our stories with women going through the same trials and we share our joy with these "sisters" who walk the journey by our sides. I've even have had women in stores, at the salon, in the bathroom at Disney,etc. ask me if I have children. When I say we're trying, half the time,one of these women will confess to me that she did IVF or IUI or that she just had trouble. It still sucks but we are more desensitized than our men because we talk about it.

***Shout out to my friends from the Bump IVFC and TCOYF boards-xoxo!***

H is not anywhere near as comfortable as I am blabbing about our medical history to strangers or acquaintances. He did find out that his carpool friend (Carpool J as I call him) did IVF for his 2 kids ages ago. We're talking pioneers, here. Yay them for paving the way! Anyway, he's quite a bit older than us and his kids are about ready to go to college. He doesn't have any friends closer to our age IRL like I do who are struggling.

Until today....when H came home from the gym (my gentle little giant) he had some news to share. His friend's wife just had a baby. This friend is a guy H worked out with for about 6 years or so. He mentioned to this guy that we have been trying for a while and we are working with Drs. downstate at this point. The guy just blurted "Us too. Have you tried IVF? We did it 3 times and it finally worked" Now, they didn't get into details, but I don't think guys need to like the ladies do. Since MFI is a factor for us, it is a very sensitive subject that he is not willing to share so he just chooses not to talk about it at all for the most part. He is much more private than I am, anyway. I was so proud of him for talking about it. He even had a little smile on his face when he told me, like it was ok since he knew somebody else. I suppose he felt a level of comfort because his friend "went there" first. I am really thankful for that. A small part of me was happy because he was able to get a little taste of the kind of support and (I suppose) bonding that I feel when I visit my favorite message boards.

So ladies, take it easy on your man. If he's anything like my man, he probably can't vent to anyone the way you can and he is trying to be strong for you. If you're like me, when you are in a cycle, you are so wrapped up in what's happening to you because you're taking the shots and dating the dildo cam and getting your ass to the RE at 7 am for blood draws. All that is true, but chances are, you have somebody you can blab to about how bad it sucks. He might not.

Thanks for reading! Go hug that man!

Thursday, February 11, 2010 mocks me

What happens when you put 1 "Adoption for Dummies' book, and a "Yoga for Fertility" DVD into your wish list and when you buy a copy of "Making Babies" (A book about using acupuncture and natural methods to fight infertility and help with IVF in case you haven't heard of it yet. If you haven't you should get it-it's all the rage!)

Well, when you open your recommendations page, you find a slew of books with titles like:

"How to Live Child Free"

"Look on the Green Side: No Diapers, Smaller Landfills"

"How to Accept the Fact That No One is Going to Visit You in the Nursing Home"

And let's not forget "Oh, the Places You Will Go When You Don't Have to Take a Toddler".

Ok, some of those are not real books (c'mon you knew that!)

Do they know something I don't? Did the women who purchase the books/dvds/cds that I have eventually go on to stock up on the "living CF (child free) category" titles? Or is this the universe/God/the stars trying to tell me not to try IVF for the 5th time? Is Amazon just that f-ing clever that they know what you need before you do?

All I wanted to do was get an inspirational, lighthearted, maybe even funny book to read during my next cycle to take my mind off of things. (BTW,I warned you that I will be getting crazy. I question everything and I look for signs that aren't necessarily there.....)

Next time, I think I'll go to the bookstore!

Thanks for listening!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Vacation all I ever wanted .....

Well, not quite. Read on.....

I just found out this weekend that we booked our "G" family vacation! I have not been on vacation with my parents and sisters since I was a teenager. There is evidence out there in the form of a photo of yours truly with big frizzy permed hair and a beach bunny t-shirt in Wildwood from about 23 years ago. Jersey Shore y'all!

May 23rd will mark my parent's 40th anniversary and it was something that they really wanted. For the entire family to go on vacation together. The guest list: K, her H and their 2 kids(ages 5 and 2)E and her BF, me and H and my parents.

All I can think about is if this IVF cycle works out...I wil be 3 months pregnant! Of course that's all I can think about. Forget the fact that I haven't been on a warm beachy vaca since my honeymoon (Maine and Orlando don't count) or the fact that it will be nice to spend time with my family. Everytime I start a cycle I calculate my approximate due date right away. If I have future plans (a wedding, a party, a vacation,etc.)I try to figure out how far along I will be. It's sad that I can't just be happy for the chance to get away, that I am already worrying about what my state of mind will be like. Will I be sad to watch my little sister (by 10 years) play with her little ones on the beach, knowing I will never have kids of my own to play with on the beach? Or will I just be finishing up my 1st trimester? If this cycle does work, I may be fat and I probably won't want to wear a bathing suit but I would rather be pregnant than look good in my bathing suit.

For now, I am really excited. Looking forward to the relaxation and the laughs. Something wacky always happens when we're together (think the Griswolds at their best- lol!)Sing it with me "Holiday rooooooooad, holiday roooooad."

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sick and tired :(

I am home sick again so I thought I would do a quick post. This is my 3rd cold since the week after Thanksgiving. I am on a drug for the Crohn's disease that weakens my immune system so I catch everything and it takes me longer than the average person to get over stuff. It drives me batty when people come to work sick and cough and sneeze all over me. Let me just tell you that I work in a union position and we get plenty of sick time(the newest employee gets 2 days per month, ok?) I like to hoarde my time off as much as the next person-hopefully, I will need it for maternity leave sometime soon...but I am also respectful of people around me. Believe me, there's not enough work there to worry about not getting it done. There tends to be a lack of a sense of urgency in a union environment anyway. Bottom line: stay home if you are sick!!!!!!! Rant over but I'm still pissed.

My point of this post before I went off on a tangent: maybe it's a good thing I didn't start my cycle this month. See? I am always looking for the positive side, even if it takes me 1/2 a light year to get there! The REs will tell you that having a cold has nothing to do with your cycle....lots of women get pg when they are sick but I don't think being "run down" would help. Especially in my situation where I have so much working against me already. Plus, the amount of stressing I would do worrying about being sick while cycling would probably have a negative impact. So, I am going to rest up and get well for my big day next month!

Off to rub Crisco on my bright red nose. I wonder if that will raise my cholesterol?

Thanks for reading-I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A. D .D for I V F

I may have come down with a serious case of ADD or maybe I am subconsciously sabotaging myself. Either way, I have already messed up my brand new protocol. And I haven't even gotten my box-o-meds yet!
So, here's the score: I am doing the Estrogen Priming Protocol (EPP) along with co culture this time. (3rd clinic, 3rd protocol) With EPP, you start your cycles by taking estrogen patches. Co culture just means that your embabies are grown in your endometrial tissue as opposed to pigs blood (or whatever animal they use.)


The 1st 2 cycles, I did the Long Lupron protocol: (the most common and THE newbie protocol) You start by taking BCPs, then Lupron (both to suppress the ovaries a bit) then you take the stims to grow those follies.

Cycles 3 & 4, I did the Antagonist protocol: Better for old ladies. You start off taking the stims and growing follies, then you take an antagon to prevent ovulation.

Cycle 5 I will be doing EPP and Co Culture: EPP starts with estrogen patches before your period instead of starting with stims or supression. By taking estrogen before you get your period, it prevents a lead follicle from forming. When a lead follicle forms, the other follicles usually can't catch up and you have fewer eggs. Fewer eggs=fewer good eggs. The more eggs you have, the better shot you have that 1 will become a baby. This is also suppsed to help with egg quality but I haven't figured out that relationship yet. Give me a few weeks and I'll become an expert on this too,though.


I was somehow under the misguided impression, that I was supposed to wait for my period in February if I was starting in February just like every other cycle I have done. Nope. This EPP is a whole new ballgame and I suck at baseball. I was supposed to wait for my ovulation day for January (yeah, that was about 5 days ago)and call them to schedule my co culture biopsy (they need to take some endometrial cells to be able to grow my embabies in it) and to find out when to begin taking the patches. I should have started taking them about now. So, it looks like I will be held up another month.

Things sure work differently at this clinic. Not a lot of hand holding going on...Thank goodness I didn't try this place 1st. I have had alot of practice so I am taking it in stride. This post is like a gentle smack on my forehead. (Dingbat, Ginger!) I am really going to have to pay closer attention. Better to have a wake up call this early on than to really mess something up later when it's impossible to fix it!

I don't know how I am going to keep you guys entertained for another month without me cycling......if you don't see any posts for a while, check back on Valentine's Day. That's when Flo is coming to town again. Can you believe this shit? Every year for the past 2 years I have had Flo with me on nearly every observed holiday from Christmas and Thanksgiving to Valentine's Day and Memorial Day. Not to mention she always comes on vacation. It's bad enough that we IFers live our lives in 2 week increments (2 weeks of having Flo and waiting to ovulate, 2 weeks after ovulation to see if we are pregnant) but I usually find out I am not pregnant on a holiday because that's when the witch shows up. I am hoping to get rid of her for at least 9 months in the very near future!

Thanks for reading!

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