Monday, July 30, 2007

10 Things

Waiting Amy tagged me to do the Polarity Meme. It's way easier than the 100 Things About Me Meme and all those others that were going around for a while. So I figured I'd give it a shot...

10 things I hate:

1. Butters

The jackasses who jump/butt in line in front of you. I want to go Ninja on them and claw their eyes out.

2. Skinny people who say, "I'm so fat!"

I really hate them. They probably get pregnant on the first try too. Bitches.

3. Infertility, and every shitty thing that goes with it

Definitely no need to explain this one to you guys. This item alone could spawn dozens of specific examples.

4. Throwing up

Really, do I need to elaborate?

5. Being hot

I sweat like a hog when I'm anywhere that doesn't have air conditioning. Then I start to feel like fly paper and that's just icky.

6. Being mocked

Maybe it's a product of being the baby of 4 kids, I don't know. I get irrationally pissed when someone mocks me, I've actually pinched my husband so hard that I've left a bruise when he's been stupid enough to do it.

7. Snakes!

I really, really freak about them. The only thing worse than a snake is a water snake. I think I might have peed myself a little just typing that.

8. The fact that I am completely bereft of any artistic talent at all

I can't sing or paint or draw or play a musical instrument. I'm sorta funny, so I pretend like that makes up for it.

9. Bees

Really anything that stings. I'm pretty allergic so everywhere within a 1 foot radius of the sting gets insanely swollen and red and hot and itchy and painful and whatnot. Nothing about that is good.

10. Lazy salespeople

You know the ones, all chocked full of attitude? The ones that make you feel like you are seriously inconveniencing them by requesting that they DO THEIR DAMN JOB. Instead of talking on the phone, or chatting with their co-worker, or working hard to emit a constant vibe of general discontent. Just knock it off, seriously. If you don't want to be here, go home. Stop taking your employer's money just to be a bitch to me.

10 things I love:

1. My daughter

I already went on and on too much in a previous post about her, so no need to rehash it all here.

2. My husband

He drives me completely insane sometimes and is impossible to live with, but he knows it. And
he truly loves me.

3. Rice pudding

Particularly Kozy Shack. Mmmmmm.

4. Cured meat products

Bacon, jerky, ham etc. Yeah man.

5. Wildflowers

I've been known to stop on the side of the road and pick them. Usually we then end up with bugs in our house from them, but I don't care.

6. Taking a shower

My internal thermostat has been hopelessly broken for years, so I'm blazing hot all the time. Taking a nice, cool shower always refreshes me and wipes the sweaty slime away. (Boy, that sure painted a pretty picture, eh?)

7. Chenille

Blankets, sweaters, socks, whatever. It is just the softest stuff in the world and so damn cozy.

8. Cooking

I'm a decent cook, and really enjoy doing it. I make an huge holy mess in the process, but the food always turns out decent enough that Kevin only grumbles a little.

9. Krispy Kreme donuts

If you know them, I don't need to say any more. If you don't, there aren't any words that can articulate their magic.

10. Water

I already mentioned how much I love taking a shower, but this time I'm talking about bodies of water. Oceans, beaches, lakes, ponds, streams, brooks, waterfalls, all of it. I'm enormously soothed by any kind of water, which probably explains why my best vacations were in kick ass water places (Hawaii and St. John, USVI).

Gee, do you think the fact that 4 of the 10 things I love are related to food means anything? Could it possibly have some connection to the extra 20+ pounds I'm carrying around right now? Nah.

Okay, I'm sure most of my regular blogging buddies have already done this. So I'll tag some relatively new people:

Get to it, ladies!


Please go give lots of love and support to JJ who just got a negative beta. My heart is breaking for her. In a cruel twist, even her pet beta fish died today. That's just not right.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hoping for a happy Labor Day

Holy Hannah, there's craziness in the IF blogsphere! Three more BFPs for my buddies. Wow!

Please go congratulate Baby Blues, Serenity and Natalie.

Also, keep your fingers crossed for JJ and Lara who have betas on Monday.

Changing Expectations should have her transfer tomorrow, but I'm not 100% sure since she hasn't updated in the last few days. Grrr! :-)

As Artblog already pointed out, we need to also remember to go show enormous amounts of love for our sistas who have received BFNs lately. My heart truly aches for each and every one of you. I will continue to hope and pray for your babies to come soon!

Our vacation was magical and fantastical (except the wicked sunburn I got on the middle of my back -- long story). But even that couldn't put a damper on our good time. We were not ready to leave, but duty calls.

In IF news, I received my protocol. I start BCPs today, then do the stims (you all know the drill). My tentative dates for the big days are 9/2 for ER and 9/5 for ET. Hopefully the proximity to Labor Day (9/3) will give me some neat karma...? I'm very interested to see if the DHEA will make any difference this cycle. Please think happy follie thoughts for me in a few weeks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

She Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Okay, I'm off to NC for the rest of the week. Rumor has it that there is an Internet connection at the house where we are staying, but I don't know how much I'll get to use it. I am sure I'll need to read up on all my buddies (lest I fall to the ground and begin twitching from withdrawal), but probably won't be able to comment until I get back -- although I'm so woefully behind on commenting right now, you probably won't notice.

I'm sure I won't be able to post anything because no one there knows about my blog and I intend to keep it that way. I don't expect much of interest to happen anyway except that AF should be making her appearance tomorrow or thereabouts. As expected, the DIY cycle was a giant joke. I don't feel any inklings that she's coming, but I've taken 2 HPTs (12dpo and 13dpo, so obviously late enough to get a BFP if one was to be had) so perhaps it just means she's going to be kind to me this month. I sort of forget what a non-progesterone-enhanced period feels like, you know?

Have a great week and weekend, and I will check in on each of you. Also, I'm sending out some more Braces Bunch mail when I return. Wahoo!

Monday, July 23, 2007


I had to get that last depressing post off the top of my blog. So, even though I don't have lots to say, I'm writing something to bump it.

I met up with the other DC Metro gals last night. Same as last time, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Of the 9 of us, 6 were at the previous dinner so we were like old buddies. The 3 new people were welcomed with open arms (especially Sunny who seemed to make best friends with even the waiter). We ate, drank (except those knocked up or in 2wws), laughed, talked, took advantage of the beautiful weather and ate ice cream outside, and just enjoyed ourselves.

Here's a little info on the ladies who were in attendance:

Congratulations to Shelby who found out today that she's pregnant with TWINS from their 1st IVF, and to In and Out of Luck who has her 1st sonogram on Wednesday! I got to meet the truly wonderful Bean who I already knew I would like, but confirmed it in person. Ditto for Sunny who is 10 pounds of fun in a 5 pound bag. (Hopefully everyone knows that phrase and recognizes it to be a compliment!) She's hilarious, honest, and just downright great.

Last time, I didn't get to sit near Dmarie but knew I would like her. This time, we were across the table from each other and it was a blast. Go wish her lots of luck with her upcoming cycle! Lea Bee is also starting a cycle, so go send her some love as well. Somehow I have completely etch-a-sketched the name of the incredibly nice non-blogger who joined us, so hopefully LJ or someone will help my feeble memory...

Changing Expectations and Rho couldn't make it, although they had planned to. You ladies were sorely missed, can't wait to see you at the next one! Karen couldn't come for obvious reasons, and Mel ditched us for her family -- how screwed up are your priorities, woman?

Last, and certainly not least is LJ. Once again, she picked a great restaurant and ensured that introductions and conversation flowed nicely (though we don't need much help with that one, we are all pretty chatty). It's a pity for everyone else that they didn't get to join us and sip wine while LJ regaled us with stories about the suckling pig at the Ba.rb.ecue. I've told you this already, LJ, but I just think you are the bomb! :-)

Unfortunately we didn't take a picture this time, but hopefully we will next time.

Now I'll leave you with a nice picture I took the other day of the sunset. This is looking out over my back yard (don't mind the shed and garden that needs tending!). It was beautiful and reminded me that even though God isn't busy answering all of my prayers lately, I know He is clearly doing something right up there when I see stuff like this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tired, but Inspired

It's amazing how this whole IF thing fucks with your mind. One minute, I am cool as a cucumber. Totally well-adjusted, cruising through each day with nary a worry in sight. Okay, that's a bit much, I don't know that I'd go quite that far. But suffice it to say that at those times, I'm not a ball of seething anger mixed with raw nerves topped with painful depression.

Then, there are the other times. There are the bad days when I can't as much as take a single breath without lamenting my fertility woes, the wasted 4+ years trying to make babies, the angst-filled pregnancies that killed my babies, the hundreds of shots, the procedures, yada yada yada. More than anything, I get angry. But then the guilt (about the anger) takes over, and then I get sad, then I get gloomy, then . . . well, you know the drill.

Recently, I had a particularly happy spell. Two of my co-workers had babies (who have children under 2 at home already), my neighbor had a baby, my best friend is enormously pregnant, and there are what seems about 65 million IF bloggers who have managed to get knocked up in the past couple of months. Miraculously, I handled all of this well. I think I actually managed to half-smile at a couple of pregnant people in the mall recently.

Then, something happened. I don't know what it is. I think that part of it is the fact that I never really mourned the failure of our recent IVF. I was angry and shocked, but only cried twice (including that episode in Dr. Chat's office). For the past 2 days, I've been slipping back into my old, sad ways. Ugh. Luckily I've got loads of experience with this particular situation, so I know it's fleeting and will correct itself without any major event. Which is a good thing. But it still sucks. I'm sad, I'm angry, I'm feeling unfairly picked on, I'm confused, and mostly I'm just tired.

Tired of all of it. Tired of the waiting, tired of the failures, tired of the trying, tired of the drugs, tired of the bloodletting, tired of the dildocam, tired of the broken dreams, tired of pretending like I'm okay, tired of pretending like I've got hope, tired of actually having hope, tired of being jealous, tired of being angry at pregnant people. So damn tired. Mostly tired of trying.

It feels like there is no end in sight. This is ridiculous, there is an end in sight. We have a very clear game plan, and I'm 99% certain we'll have a child by the end of it (via donor eggs or adoption or kidnapping ... totally joking about that last one). It's just that when you're down in the pit, there isn't a lot of light and that makes the shadows under the bed really look like monsters. But they aren't monsters, they are dirty socks. And most of the time, dirty socks aren't that scary. Just dirty, and sometimes smelly.

I just want my life to begin again. It feels like I've been holding my breath for half a decade. I'm waaaaay beyond manipulating my plans around the possibility of being pregnant, that's not what I'm talking about. I think I'm just so very ready to find my old self again, to check the box on the family building nonsense, to begin LIVING.

Again, this is ridiculous. I am living. I have a great life. Shit, I'm not even sure what it is I'm trying to say here. I do know that just putting it down in print is already making me feel better. It's cathartic, really, sort of cleansing.

There is always one thing that keeps me going. It's Megan. At the risk of offending my beloved blog friends who don't yet have a child at home, I'm going to elaborate a little. I rarely mention Megan because I don't want to lose my "street cred" with the IF community. But tonight, for whatever reason, I want to.

She makes me feel like I'm drunk. You know how it is when you first start dating someone? You drive a little too fast to their house to see them, you get all swoony when you think about them, you are half-giddy when you are with them. I love the way she smells, I love the way she breathes when she's sleeping, I love the way she looks when she's concentrating. I love that she thoroughly enjoys everything I liked to do as a kid -- play doh, sidewalk chalk, fishing, playing in the sandbox, glitter pictures, fingerpainting, having picnics, digging in the dirt, petting dogs, playing dress up, going to the library, etc. I revel in this stuff like you can't imagine. I really am a big kid trapped in a grown up's body and she helps me let go and just be me.

Often times I feel like I am not thankful enough to God for the miracle he did see fit to give us. But, truly, most of the time I feel like I've hit the lottery. I'm always looking for the silver lining of stuff. As outrageously shitty as the whole IF nonsense has been, there are a few good things that have come of it. It has taught me patience, it has tested my marriage, it has afforded me the opportunity to learn all sorts of new things about biology. The biggest benefit of all, however, is that it has helped me to be a better Mother.

I take nothing for granted with her. Or, very little. I remember a post I read about a year ago that talked about (among many other things) how this woman's heart ached when she was in the food court at the mall, watching the Moms get exasperated with their toddlers. The little girls were eating french fries and twirling around until they got dizzy and generally just being incredibly cute. But the Moms were annoyed. It wasn't a post about how the Moms were bad people, it was about how desperately this woman longed to have that beautiful toddler acting so adorable and carefree. I was moved to tears by this post. I distinctly, painfully remember EXACTLY what those feelings were like. It actually makes me try to play-down some of Megan's cuter antics in public for fear that there's someone watching who is struggling with IF. I never, ever want to be that person who is in your face about what I've got.

It's ridiculous to say, but I feel like I really do treat each and every moment with her as if it is a gift. Okay, that's extreme. I plop her in front of the TV plenty while I tend to work emails or blog reading. But you still get what I'm talking about. When we are sitting on the floor reading a book, I drink it in like I'm parched. I'm not going through the motions. I gaze at her little hands, I smell her hair, I stroke her back. I think this is what people describe when they talk about being present. I read Dr. Alice Domar's book Conquering.Infertility (I can't recommend it highly enough) and when she talked about mindfulness -- really BEING in the moment, and appreciating it to the hilt -- I totally understood it. I do this with Megan. I'm not so good at doing it with many other aspects of my life, but I am good at it with her.

So, as shitty as everything is, as much as I just bitched about being tired and depressed, as much as I complain that this is all so damned unfair, I know how lucky I am. That helps me pull myself up by the bootstraps and move on. It doesn't fill the hole in my heart, in my life that is created by the longing for another child. But it helps me get through the day.

Sorry for the long post going on and on about how great my daughter is. I'm sure many of you don't want to hear this crap. The sad part is that when I re-read this before publishing it, I cut out two full paragraphs of more crooning about her! But you get the point. And, like I said, I feel much better for just having gotten it down in print.

In closing, I'm posting a picture of my little cutie from yesterday. This is nothing in particular, I just happened to have the camera in my hand (was doing some "before" shots of our kitchen before the remodel starts) and snapped one of her going up the stairs. It's not the cutest picture of her we've got, but it captures her bright, vibrant personality pretty well. If you don't want to see a photo of a kid so cute it will melt your heart, don't scroll down... :-)








Before you ask, she got that crazy curly hair from me. I'm just stupid enough to blow dry it straight most of the time.

Thanks for indulging me if you managed to make it this far down yet another War and Peace post. Having you guys to "talk" to has helped me immeasurably, and I can't thank you all enough.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pretty Flowers

This is pretty random, not sure why I feel the need to post these pictures. I take TONS of pictures (mostly of Megan), but I'm not all that good at it. I don't have an artistic bone in my body. But with everyone doing the World Tour, I got inspired. However, I didn't make it past my back yard.

What really happened was that I was out over the weekend weeding the flower beds and some of them just looked so darn pretty that I couldn't resist snapping a picture or two. So here are a few shots of my lilies and hydrangea. Thanks for indulging me. A "real" post is below this one if you're not into the goofy flower pictures. :-)

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble


Our Insurance Coordinator from the RE's office called today. Apparently she was kind enough to, all on her own, submit a request to our insurance company for a 3rd IVF. I didn't even know she was doing it. When she called today and explained the reason for her call, my heart leapt! Could it be? Could they, for some totally unknown reason, decide to cover a 3rd IVF? Um, nope. As expected, she said, "I just received a denial, they say that you've exhausted your infertility coverage." Yeah, no kidding. Exhausted is an excellent way to put how I feel about so, so much of this whole stupid situation.

Cycle Update

There's no real update. Since I never know *exactly* when I ovulate after receiving a + OPK, I assume it was last Wednesday. I used to feel more confident about the timing, but once I got accustomed to the certainty of ovulation following trigger shots, I don't know anymore. I guess that would technically make this CD 29, but since I didn't O until CD 23, it's all a little goofy. That means AF should arrive on 7/25 (CD 37 -- WTF?).

Kevin is pretending like I could possibly get pregnant this month which makes me alternately sad, then mad. During my post-O high, I was visited by our old friend/nemesis Hope for a couple of days. But she packed up her bags, and took the early train out of town last week. I think she laughed at me on her way out the door, snickering bitch.

I must have a healthy, relaxed attitude (at this moment, subject to change at any time) about this upcoming cycle because I don't even know what my dates would be. Usually I'd have everything worked out and noted on a calendar -- start BCPs, eval sonogram, start injections, trigger, ER, ET, beta, due date. Oh yeah, I said due date. I'm a psycho. Anyway, I haven't figured out any of it. Mostly it's because we don't have any major summer plans that would typically jack up cycle scheduling.


Despite what I just said about not having summer plans, we do have a few. Next week, Wednesday - Sunday, we'll be in Nags.Head, NC. A good friend of mine is down there with her hubby and 2 year old son, staying at her parents' beach house for 2 weeks. So we are going to crash their relaxing vacation for 5 days. Wahoo! Aside from gasoline and some food, it's essentially free which is nice since we are about to piss away $15K on another IVF cycle. (Minus the $700 worth of free meds that Jill sent me!)

Also, we're going to Syra.cuse for a weekend in August because my MIL (who I love, love, love) wants to have a birthday party for Megan up there. We haven't been back to NY since December (when I dissolved due to Kelly's pregnancy announcement), and usually we go every 4 months or so. I guess we are in withdrawal.

Baby is a'comin!

Speaking of Kelly, her baby is due 3 weeks from tomorrow. To say that she is unprepared (logistically AND intellectually) is a gross understatement. I'm still not entirely clear why God saw fit to knock her up before me, but oh well. I can bitch and moan about it, or I can move on and accept it. Hmmm, I guess I'm choosing to bitch and moan about it, huh?


Wow, this is an incredibly boring post, I'm sorry.

BFPs, Prayers and 2WWs

I'm really testing my ability to insert links with the next 3 lists...

Something crazy and magical has been going on in the IF blogsphere lately, as it feels like dozens and dozens of lucky ladies are the proud owners of BFPs. I'll attempt to list some of them here, the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Please go wish all of these ladies lots of luck, trouble-free pregnancies and beautiful babies:

Somewhat Ordinary

Please continue to send your love and prayers to:

Bumble - in a scare waiting for a follow up to her recent scan
Karen - on bedrest, trying to will her cervix to spontaneously lengthen
Thalia - dealing with swollen feet and difficulty "slowing down"
Larisa - dealing with the angst of chronic spotting

And a huge GOOD LUCK to those of you in the 2WW:

In and Out of Luck
Sticky Bun

DC Metro Get Together

Lastly, if you live anywhere near the DC Metro area, please join us! See LJs blog for more info. Here's a picture of us all last time we got together:

Whew, now I'm tired. Enough rambling.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Blushing Brides and Garden Pests

1) Blushing Bride

Check out the snazzy picture I added. This is from our wedding in 2002, so it's a bit of false advertising since it shows me a good 20 lbs. ago. But since I plan to get back to this weight, I'll let this be my motivation. Meanwhile, isn't Kevin just the cutest thing you've ever seen? :-)

2) Garden Pests

Remember how my last post bemoaned my missing ovulation? Well, everyone swung into action. Apparently my ovaries just wanted to be publically humiliated and berated before they'd get off their lazy, dusty asses and make some noise.

Yesterday, when I dipped my OPK into the pee, the test line came up before the control line. Yikes. And it was so dark, it's like it was neon. I'd say that's a pretty strong positive. This is all pretty meaningless since DIY cycles are a giant joke around here, but at least my ovaries aren't completely defunct and headed to Tahiti on a jetliner.

I didn't have the half dozen usual O symptoms since my boobs weren't as sore, and I didn't feel that tell-tale twinge in one of my ovaries. But I had EWCM. Lots of it. I mean lots. Like a gross amount of lots. Hence the 2nd part of the title for this post. I've got 2 words to describe it: slug trail*.

*Yeah, that's pretty gross. Hopefully I didn't offend anyone with that, and hopefully none of you are visual enough to get a mental picture of me slithering across the floor leaving slime in my wake.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ovarian Carpeting

My body is rebelling. I still haven't ovulated. It's CD 21. At the risk of offending my much-loved sistas with PCOS, I have to say that I *always* ALWAYS ovulate on CD15. It's the one thing I do well, my Claim to Fame. I suck at everything else related to babymaking, but you could set a train schedule by my ovulation. Shit lot of good it's done me over the years, but at least something -- ANYTHING -- in this crazy nightmarish situation was constant. Not anymore. What in the sam hill is going on?

Did my ovaries hear that I'm planning to attack them again? Are they hiding, shaking, quivering under little blankets in there? Mewling like kittens, pleading and begging for me to please, oh please, just leave them the hell alone? (I couldn't blame them, you know.) Regardless, too damn bad. Get out here and put up your dukes! We've got shit to do, babies to make, and you're burnin' daylight. Do you fools think that my eggs aren't jumping off the cliff at a rate of 2 zillion a day or something? Because they ARE! Shake a leg, will ya? Soon it's going to echo so badly in my ovaries that we'll need to put down carpeting to dampen the noise.

At first it was cute. I'd pee in a cup, then dip my nifty little OPK in there and wait for my lines to appear. After the first couple of days of vast whiteness where the second line is supposed to be, I'd cajole the LH surge like we were playing hide-and-seek: "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" That got old quick. Now I stamp my feet and ask just where in the hell everyone is, and why have they deserted me?

Is there a party that no one told me about? Probably. And it's most likely stocked with delicious food, skinny people, and lots of pregnant women who want to rub their bellies and laugh about delightful surprise conceptions. Please shoot me.

All I'm trying to do here is pull off a miracle -- the urban legend non-assisted-cycle conception. Is that too much to ask? Okay, that's pretty ridiculous, but a girl can dream, you know. Short of that lightning strike on top of a winning lottery ticket on top of a flying pig scenario, can I just get AF to show up? I need to get my Last Cycle on it's way. The big, bold, exciting sendoff known as the (never to be seen again) Leah Egg Cycle.

I've considered punching myself squarely in the abdomen. Maybe I'd pummel an ovary, maybe my uterus. They all suck at their jobs anyway, so it's not like I'm really going to make anything worse down there. I know I sound pretty glib about this, trying to make it amusing and all, but that's my coping mechanism. Otherwise, I'd be curled into a useless ball in the corner bemoaning my rapidly approaching Completely Barren status.

I didn't think that I could be more disappointed in my body, my reproductive tract, myself. But I am. Thank you, IF, for showing me new lows. Thanks a whole helluva lot. You suck.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Why I Love the Internet

It's too late and I'm too tired to really list ALL the reasons, but I wanted to cover the top 3 tonight...

1) The Braces Bunch

Thanks to the beauty of the Internet, the magic of JJ, and the brilliance of her idea, my mailbox is routinely blessed with cards, notes, recipes, and postcards from fellow Stirrup Queens. Words can't express how much I enjoy getting these. Today was a huge jackpot, I got 3 cards in one day!! (Thank you Kate, Farah and Sharah.)

Just so you non-Braces Bunch people know what you are missing out on, check out the loads of mail that I've received in the past couple of months. This isn't all of it, but just what I could put my hands on at the moment to take a picture.

Thank you Braces Bunch friends! And the biggest thank you of all goes to JJ. You rock.

2) Angels disguised as Infertiles

After my woe-is-me, we-are-going-to-rob-banks-to-fund-our-IVF post the other day, I have been offered some leftover meds. Wahoo! Another GIANT thank you goes to Jill who immediately sprouted wings and a halo when she sent me 3 boxes of meds. As if that wasn't enough reason to like her, she's also got a baby on the way whose due date is the same day as Megan's birthday.

Shelby has offered some leftover meds if, in her words, "I'm actually pregnant." After 2 progressively darker 2nd lines, I'd say she's definitely pregnant. Congratulations, Shelby! Shelby has the fortune to reside in two of my blogsphere universes simultaneously -- as a fellow Braces Bunch member, and as part of the DC Metro group that met up last month (thanks to LJ's coordination efforts). Anyway, when Shelby gets comfortable with the prospect of this whole pregnancy thing, I'll hit her up again for the leftovers. :-)

LJ had a med windfall recently (because she's crafty and has a great nurse), so she's got lots of stuff right now. When she gets pregnant from her next IUI (notice I said "when," not "if"), she says we can talk about her stash. Yay!

Even if the offers by Shelby and LJ never materialize, it warms the cockels of my black, IF-riddled heart to know that they would even consider it.

3) IF Blogs

Clearly I'm a little hormonal right now (no good reason why, still waiting for ovulation to occur on a laughable DIY cycle) because I'm just gushing with luuuuv for all my blog friends.

Like most everyone else, I started out reading those mind-numbingly trite and obnoxious message boards. I commented a few times, but couldn't bring myself to type all the corny shit that was necessary like "baby dust" and "baby dancing." Plus, I just couldn't handle the lame questions like "My husband and I have been trying for 2 months, but I'm not pregnant yet. I'm so worried, what should I do?" Um, you should go find a mirror, look in it, and then slap yourself. Really hard. Because complaining about not getting knocked up after 2 months of trying is tantamount to spitting directly in my face.

I can't remember exactly what search it was that I tasked my buddy Google with, but it lead me to Julie at A Little Pregnant. It was all downhill from there. I spent literally hours and hours hopping through blogs in a frenzy of blogroll sampling. It didn't take long to find Mel's blog that I consider to be the center of the IF blog universe.

The gig was totally up when I stumbled onto Cycleista, I'm pretty sure I lost a few solid days to blog reading at that point. I didn't shower, I didn't brush my teeth, I didn't sleep or eat. I just read blogs. And laughed. And cried. Okay, maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, I did actually tend to my personal hygiene, but I got sucked in quickly to the IF blogsphere. I'm happier here than any place I've ever been (except maybe Vegas or Disney World, but we're talking apples and oranges here).

If you're reading this post, you already know of the magic that is contained in IF blogs. I don't need to go on and on any more than I already have. Just know that each and every one of you has had a hand in helping me maintain (and perhaps, I dare say, restore) my sanity. I heart all of you. In case she's reading, I can't finish up without saying how much I love my SG wife, Rhonda. No, we're not actually gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), but we're former co-workers who have now been each other's constant IRL companions through the IF trials and tribulations of the last year. For sure I would not have made it through without her. Rhonda is totally da bomb.

Enough gushing, must go to bed. I've spread lots of love around, and it's all genuine. Everyone should fall asleep tonight feeling all warm and fuzzy. I sure hope to.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Vegas, anyone?

We saw the RE this morning. I realize that I need to make up a nickname for him, as "RE" is woefully uninspired. I think I'll call him Dr. Chat. Why, you ask? Because at the end of EVERY consult we've had with him, he shakes our hand and says, "Good chat, good chat." It's really very funny, and always sticks with me. So, there it is, Dr. Chat.

Anyway, we went to Dr. Chat this morning to have 2 burning questions answered:
1) WHY didn't any of the 3 freakin fantastic embryos stick?
2) Should we do another cycle with my eggs or move right on to donor eggs?

I told Kevin before we got there that Dr. Chat wasn't going to give us an enlightening answer to either of those questions. The first one is just how it goes, I guess. As for the second question, there's no way he'd agree to make a decision like that FOR us. But Kevin wanted to hear what Dr. Chat had to say on both topics regardless.

As expected, his answer to the first question was pretty much, "I don't know. You clearly have egg production issues, so most likely there was a genetic abnormality." Exactly the answer I expected. He did give my dusty ol' ovaries some props for producing increasing numbers of eggs with each cycle, but reminded me -- twice, I think -- that I am 38. Thanks.

His answer to the second question inspired about 30 minutes of detailed discussion. His official answer was, "If you had the emotional capital and financial resources to do more cycles with your own eggs, then I would say go for it. But if you don't, then donor eggs are a great option for you." We assured him that we had the emotional capital for another cycle -- despite the fact I was actively crying in his office. It's the finances that are the stumbling block.

We discussed the possibility of using donated meds since they are $5K of the $15K price tag for 1 cycle with my eggs. This idea is hit-or-miss because sometimes they have lots of donated meds and sometimes they don't. Plus, seriously, I need 70 vials of Bra.velle (yes, that's SEVENTY), 35 vials of Men.opur, 7 Gani.relix shots, and an Ov.ridel shot. I have estrogen and PIO left over so I won't need them. The probability of someone donating 100+ vials of unused stims is pretty low, so we're not counting too much on the donated meds idea.

So we moved on to the donor egg discussion. There are literally 17 different options for fee payments with donor eggs. Because I am obsessive, I forced him to go through almost all of them to ensure that I understood them correctly. Basically, you can mix and match to make your own Shared Risk program. By this, I mean that you pay 1 price and get 6 fresh cycles. Costs for FETs are included as well.

You can do the Mack Daddy Option (my words, not theirs) that covers ALL costs for 6 cycles -- IVF procedures, donor meds, donor prescreening, donor fee, freezing, FETs, etc. This is all for the low, low price of $52,500. WHAT? Holy shit. Of course if it doesn't work, or you drop out before your last cycle, you get back all $52,500. But seriously, that's an ass-load of cash.

Like I said, there are over a dozen other options including a complicated one that allows you to pay for the IVF procedures, freezing and FETs, but then select which of the 3 other costs you want to "fix" (donor meds, donor prescreening, donor fees). I explained that this one was attractive only because I am so well versed in the meds now -- how much they cost, how much most people need, etc. -- that I wouldn't mind paying out of pocket for those since I think that's a manageable cost.

Here's the part where I remember why I love Dr. Chat. He said, "If you go with that option, I'll help you out. I will commit to paying for 50% of all the donor meds." What? Granted, in reality, they'll just get free meds from the drug companies, or will use donated meds. Also, we're talking about med costs per cycle of maybe $2K so they're coughing up a max of $1K per cycle. But, still. I thought that was a wonderful offer.

After much, much discussion about the program specifics, we talked about the exact process. It would start with us having a social worker visit to discuss the psychological aspects of the donor egg process. Then we'd have to do a practice month of meds for me so that they could perform an endometrial biopsy to ensure that my lining is behaving correctly. Then we'd select a donor, and get the ball rolling. He said that if we got moving right away, we could possibly complete a cycle by December.

DECEMBER? My G-d, that's half a year away. I was crestfallen. And he was talking about this like it was quick. Ugh. To distract myself, I asked about statistics. Again, he provided lots of info.

Given my current situation, he gives us a 20% - 40% chance of having a successful pregnancy with my eggs. He gives us a 60% - 65% chance of successful pregnancy with donor eggs. If you look at the extremes, that's paying $15K for a 20% chance with no hope of any $ back if it doesn't work. However, we could pay $35K or so for a 65% chance with the possibility to get about $30K back.

I very much enjoy going to Las Vegas. But I'm a slots person. And a nickel slots person, at that. I am not the type to truly gamble with tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention, um, where are we going to get this money? We could liquidate some of our retirement money, or we could rob banks. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, you know.

Geez, another epic post from me... Lemme just get to the point. Since Kevin and I are decision-making type of people, we agreed to make a decision right away. We proceeded directly to Star.bucks and discussed all the options. Here is what we decided. [insert drumroll here]

We're going to try 1 more cycle with my eggs. Then we will move on to donor eggs.

Neither of us can really explain why we want to continue poking my shriveled old ovaries. We just feel like 1 more attempt is in order. I think we just need to feel like we did Everything We Possibly Could Have to make this work with our combined genetic material. I think we were wined and dined with the last IVF cycle when everything went so well. Just like gambling, we seem to think that ONE MORE TRY will surely be the winning ticket. Once again, this reminds me of Larisa's post about being an IVF addict. I fear this is me too.

I have said repeatedly that I am comfortable with using donor eggs. I am. But I was really struggling with that decision over the last 2 weeks, and I'm not sure why. Now that we have made today's decision, I feel at peace again. I sincerely, truly believe that if this last Leah Egg cycle doesn't work, that I will be entirely comfortable embracing the Donor Egg concept.

Of course this means it could easily be well into next year before I manage to finally get pregnant, but . . . Well, there really isn't anything to say after "but." It just is the way it is. In the meantime, I've started fantasizing about a quick trip out to Vegas. To test the waters and see how our luck is shaping up, you know? Perhaps THAT is were we should be having the North American Bloggers get together!