Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fortune Cookie

We got Chinese food for dinner last night. Here was my fortune:

Today, it came true. Maybe He hasn't given me everything I want along the way, but today I got what I wanted... a totally uneventful OB appointment.

I'm 10w3d and Spidey was measuring 10w3d. Whew! I got a nifty little picture of what's starting to actually resemble a miniature baby. You can discern the head, body, arms and legs. I don't have access to a scanner, so you'll have to use your imagination.

My blood pressure was high when they took it, and when they asked why I sort of half-screamed, "I'm nervous! I don't want this baby to be dead!" The nurse was like, "Um. Wow. Okay." She didn't say another thing to me, which was probably just as well because who knows what other stupidness would have come flying out of my piehole.

I got my favorite Doctor (he's been my GYN for 8 years, was my OB for Megan and did both of my D&Cs) and he was genuinely excited for us. He even started to explain to me that I could schedule my c-section for 39 weeks, blah, blah, blah. I told him to stop right there. I'm nowhere near ready to talk about that stuff, and I chastised him for trying to jinx everything. He just laughed at me and then gave me a big hug. I love him.

I did get gutsy and schedule my next 2 OB appts. Between the OB appts and the 2 appts with the high-risk doctor, I'm going to get sonograms every 2 weeks for the next couple of months. Wahoo!

Best of all . . . GOODBYE PROGESTERONE! No more estrogen, no more progesterone. I wish I could say I was sorry to see them go. But I'm just not.

Thank you a thousand times over again for all of your support and cheerleading. I wouldn't have made it this far with my sanity (semi-) intact without you guys.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It Could Always be Worse

I've been a bad blogger. My head is so full of thoughts and posts, but I am doing a spectacularly shitty job of making the time to get them down on paper. Mostly, I blame my work for this. I used to have lots of downtime there, but now I'm completely swamped and they are making me actually WORK (gasp!) during the day. Just who do they think they are?

Also, I still feel like hammered crap most of the time. The SeaBands help, and it seems that acupuncture helped but I need to get back for another session. Most days, I'm hurtin'. I've managed to stay puke-free for over a week, but still feel wretched most of the time. I asked for Zofran but was told that it helps quell the vomiting, yet doesn't help much with the nausea. (Karen, is this true?) I'm 10 weeks today, so I'm hoping that this all eases up soon. If not, then I will just deal with it because, damnit, I paid $10K to feel this shitty so I'm not going to complain! I have my first OB appointment on Wednesday, so I'm going to ask about Zofran again or whatever else it is they recommend.

Now on to the reason for the title of this post. I had one of those days today where I felt sorry for myself. I kept it all to myself, didn't complain out loud, but still wallowed in pity for a while. I'm sick of feeling shitty, I'm mad that I had to work so. damn. hard. to get pregnant, I'm pissed that so many wonderful friends of mine (that's you guys) have to struggle so hard to have babies, I'm disgusted that I had to manipulate my body (not to mention my bank account) into doing what should just come naturally, etc. You know the rest.

So I was sitting here feeling sorry for myself when I read an email from the CEO at my job. To fill you in, I work in a hospital. An inner city hospital. A Catholic inner city hospital. This means that we not only get the scum of the Earth crossing through our doors (thanks, inner city) but we cannot turn anyone away for any reason (thanks, Catholic nuns). I don't mind it most days, it makes me feel like we are actually making a difference in people's lives. But it also sucks because I see lots of horrendous situations -- like every time I pass the nursery where volunteers spend hours rocking the crack babies because the mothers messed them up so bad and then abandoned them.

Anyway, back to the email from my CEO. It seems that on Friday, some loser in our city stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death. This morning, the police arrested him. Yay! But before they could get him to the station, he started complaining of chest pains. They brought him to our hospital and he ended up in a room on the 10th floor. After fighting with the police officer, the murderer broke the window in his room and jumped out. Yes, JUMPED OUT OF A 10th FLOOR WINDOW. Needless to say, he died.

This is why I say it could always be worse. I could have been the woman who was stabbed by this loser. I could have been the police officer who saw him jump out of the window. I could have been a pedestrian on the sidewalk that he almost landed on. I could have been the person in the Emergency Department who had to go retrieve him from the sidewalk. It goes on and on.

Instead, I was at home, in my flannel pajamas, feeling sorry for myself because I don't want to burp vomit into my mouth anymore. Given the choice, I'll take vomurp every day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

8 Things

Amy tagged me to come up with 8 things about myself. Here goes...

1) I can write backwards. It's pretty freaky. My cursive handwriting is actually better backward than it is forward. If I were to write something backwards on a piece of paper and you held it up to the light, you'd be able to read it with no problem. Also, I can write backwards with my left hand while simultaneously writing (the same thing) forward with my right. A sign of insanity? Surely.

2) I tried to convince my husband to change his last name when we got married. His last name is a lovely name, and it's fairly Irish which I really like. (My Mom is 100% Irish and my Dad is mostly German.) But I loved the name I had when we got married -- O'Hara. It just smacked of Irish. Sadly, Kevin said no way. Not because he's not a liberated guy or anything. Mostly because O'Hara was my first husband's last name. :-)

3) I know every word to every song on the entire album by Bruce.Springsteen. I could probably sit down right now and write out, in correct order, the song list and then fill it out with all the words for each of them. This is because my sister, who is 6 years older than me, was obsessed with Bruce Springsteen and forced me to listen to him over and over and over again. Unbelievably, I'm also sad to say that I'm also somewhat of a Peter.Frampton and Blue.Oyster.Cult aficionado -- courtesy of my older brothers. As for me, I mostly like Country these days but also went through my Rock, Rap and Gospel phases.

4) I remember nearly every word to every song that my Mom sang me as a child. This comes in handy when trying to make up stuff to sing to Megan when she's in flip-out tantrum mode, but is also a curse because I get a form of children's song-Tourettes when someone else mentions anything related to one of them. I bust into a full rendition of these outrageously embarrassing songs and simply cannot stop. The worst part? I'm an incredibly bad singer. I mean really, really bad. I lip sync Happy Birthday at parties. But get me started on a children's song and I'm oblivious to my obvious dearth of talent.

5) I wanted to be an English teacher. I love writing (obviously, since most of my posts are waaaaaaay longer than they need to be) and have a knack for spelling and grammar. I'm far from perfect on that so don't hack up my grammatical skills, but I seem to have an innate sense for when to use who or whom, their or they're or there, stuff like that. Too bad I really like money, and don't want to worry about getting shot every day when I went to school -- these are major bummers about being a teacher. (Sorry Sunny, I promise that I don't mean to disrespect your admirable profession AT ALL!!)

6) Instead, I'm an IT dork. I was a computer programmer for a long time, then a database administrator, then lots of other stuff that's related which is boring to most people. Among other things, I was a Program Manager for a $200M Defense contract which was great but burned me out working 80+ hours a week for over three years straight. Then I worked at an Internet startup and got promoted to CIO before I quit and declared that Hell on Earth. Now, I work in the IT department of a Catholic hospital and I love it. I mean I really, really love it. I've been here for 5 years and I hope I'm here for a long time.

7) I met the President. Even though he's not my favorite one (by a long stretch, but this is no place for politics), I shook hands and spoke to George.W.Bush on the lawn of The.White.House. I have a lovely picture of him holding Megan when she was a couple of months old. He was genuinely excited to hold her (he asked, I didn't offer) and was very personable. As I said, I don't have any love lost for him in particular, but it is quite cool to have a picture of the current President holding your baby.

8) I hate elevators. I will ride them, it's not like I'm completely phobic or anything. It's just that I'm always irrationally afraid the cable is going to snap and I'm going to plummet to my death. I have many dreams of this happening (not the "to my death" part, of course) and never, ever enter an elevator without considering the possibility that this could happen. As much as this sucks, I'm glad I didn't get my sister's phobia... she's afraid of water towers. You know those big, giant tanks that hold a city's water supply? She's scared that they are all going to burst one day and flood the Earth. You would NEVER believe this if you knew her as she is amazingly smart and well-adjusted.

Hope you found them mildly amusing. Now I tag my buddies JJ, Portia, Erin, and TeamWinks. I'm sure these folks have already been tagged, but it's surely been a while so go ahead and play along anyway, okay? :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Spidey's Graduation

As shocked as I am to be typing this, I am also happy to say that our appointment went well this morning. I'm 8w4d and Spidey was measuring 9w1d (although the tech was pretty sloppy with the measurement, but I don't mind). Heartbeat was 173bpm which seems high to be, but they assured me that it was fine. (Will Google in a few minutes.)

Like everyone else, I'm scared to be in the world of regular people. Even more stupid since I was here once before with Megan. But this feels different. I feel like I'm made of spun glass -- on the inside and the outside. Hopefully, at some point, I'll stop feeling like the other shoe is about to drop, but there's no way that's going to happen this early in the game.

In the meantime, SeaBands, Zantac, ginger snaps and flat coke are at least making a small dent in the insansity going on in my digestive tract. It's awful. I'm going to see the acupuncturist today so hopefully she'll work some magic on me. NOT that I'm complaining...

Today is my sister's birthday, which is a nice date to share with Spidey's Graduation Day. I hope we have many, many more milestones and birthdays to share with my little Spidey from now on.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

This day, October 15th, was created to promote Support, Education and Awareness for grieving parents nationwide (and worldwide).

The official website can be found here. This is what it says:

Too many families grieve in silence, sometimes never coming to terms with their loss. Our goal is to help others relate to our loss, know what to say, do or not say, not do and to help families live with their loss, not "get over" their loss.


We will light a candle tonight for the two babies that we lost.

My heart goes out to all my sistas, friends, and fellow stirrup queens who also lost babies. Hopefully they are all playing together happily in Heaven...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Artificial Uterine Fertilization

Has it seriously been a week since I've posted? I don't think I've gone this long without writing something since I started this blog. Amazingly, quite a few of you wonderful ladies have emailed me separately to make sure I'm still alive. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you care.

I want to make sure the following statement isn't misconstrued in any way at all as a complaint, but... I've been sick as a dog and damn tired too. What's most jacked up of all is that I honest-to-goodness have a smile on my face as it's hanging in the toilet violently refusing whatever it was I just shoved down my gullet. So no complaining here, just an excuse for my absence.

I have been working on another post about our personal definitions of Infertility, but I clearly can't figure out what the hell I want to say since I keep re-writing portions of it. Grrr. I'll probably just put it up here in a day or two and be done with it.

For my rant today, I'm choosing to bitch about a woman at Megan's school. She's a perfectly nice lady, but she's forced me to experience wave after wave of whacky emotion so now I don't like her anymore. Let me explain...

This woman is beautiful. Tall, thin, blonde and pretty. She's clearly well into her 40s (I suspect her late 40s) and looks great. The first time I had contact with her was in Chapel the first week of school. Megan is in Nursery School at an Episcopal Church where they go to Chapel every Wednesday morning, and I always go for the service. This woman was sitting in the row behind me, with the other Nursery School mothers, talking to a person sitting next to her. She pointed to the twin boys in Megan's class and explained that they were hers.

So we'll stop right there. I'm thinking, "Hmmm, in her 40s? Fraternal twins? Smells like IVF to me." I silently smile, feeling a warm kinship with this woman. It's slightly tainted, of course, because SHE clearly enjoyed a successful IVF cycle that resulted in babies, which I have not yet, but I digress.

Here I am, feeling all fuzzy about her, like we're sisters or something. She goes on to the others sitting near us, explaining that she's got two girls as well -- one is in 1st grade and one is in Pre-K. Now I'm feeling even more sappy toward this chick, trying to tally up all the IVF cycles she must have endured to get all these flippin' kids!

Then she says it . . . the sentence that makes my blood run cold. With a half-laugh, she said, "The twins were a COMPLETE SURPRISE." I swear to you that if I hadn't been in the House of the Lord, I would have turned around and spit on her. Who the F*CK is 40+ years old and gets SURPRISED by twins? Someone out there clearly really hates me to put these type of women in my path.

After that, the warm embers of sisterhood that I felt inside for her turned into white-hot, boiling jealousy and anger. I planned to shun her for the entire year. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be.

About a week later, we were all at a birthday party for one of the kids in the class. The woman was there chatting with some other parents. I was making myself very busy glaring at her and wishing that her hair would catch on fire or something.

Then, she says another crazy thing: "My husband and I got married late in life, so we had trouble having kids. Our first two are IVF babies. So imagine our surprise when I found out that I was pregnant -- with twins."

Okay, okay, okay. Now maybe I don't hate her as much. I can see where twins at that stage of the game would be a huge shock. I'm back to liking her, and probably even flashed her a sappy, knowing smile shortly thereafter (which she probably interpreted as me being a raving lunatic).

Let's recap: love her, hate her, love her again. I'm a total basketcase.

Fast forward to this week. I had drop off line duty on Wednesday. This means that I stand near the entrance of the school and let kids out of their cars. The Moms or Dads pull up, and I open the door then help the kids out and off to school. I love it since I'm such a crazy extrovert -- I get to grin like an idiot and shout "Good morning!!" to dozens of people before the clock has even struck 9am. That's my idea of a good time.

The woman pulls up (in her Mercedes SUV, thank you) and I let her kids out. I already recognize the twins from Megan's class, but I get to see the other 2 kids. When I comment on them, she explains that the older boy isn't actually hers but that she carpools with the neighbor. So I said, "Oh, where is your oldest, then?" She reminded me that 1st grade starts at 8:30am (Kindergarten and below starts at 9am) so that child is already in school. The she said, "That's amazing that you even remembered I had 2 older ones."

Little does this woman know that her childbearing life story has been a source of an emotional rollercoaster for me. I'm such a loser.

At pick up time, I was there early, so I was the first car in line. When I got out to move the cones so that we could pull around to pick our kids up, I noticed that she was in line behind me. She waved so I walked back to her car to chat. I explained that I remembered she had 2 older children because of what she said at the birthday party about the 2 IVF babies. I also said that the irony of her situation hadn't escaped me -- that, without knowing how many embryos she transferred each time, the possibility of multiples with IVF is high and she got a singleton each time. Only to naturally conceive twins. Ironic, huh?

I wish she had just said, "Yeah. We feel really blessed." But she didn't. Know what she said?

"Did I say IVF? I didn't mean IVF. I didn't do IVF. It was artificial insemin... um... uterine fertilizat... um... vitro... no... um..." I finally said, "IUI?" And she said, "Yes! That's it! IUI."


You can't even remember the name IUI when you have done more than one of them? Ridiculous. I was back to hating her. Of course it only got worse.

She said, "Emily, our oldest, was really quick. I got pregnant with her on the first try. I even had that vanishing twin thing. But then Courtney took forever. I had to do 5 IUIs before I got pregnant with her. If that one didn't work, we were going to have to try IVF and I really didn't want to do THAT." Imagine her making a face like she just bit into a rancid lemon.

Did I reach into her stupid Mercedes SUV, rip her out through the window opening, and beat her down right there in the school parking lot? No, I'm a bigger person than that. Ha! No, I'm not. I just don't want to get my kid kicked out of school for her jackass Mom fighting in the parking lot.

Instead, I said, "Well, it took a year and a half to conceive Megan. We did Clomid, HSGs, all sorts of other stuff. Then it took almost a year to conceive another, but I miscarried at 8 weeks. Then we did 4 IUIs and 3 IVFs. During that time, I had another miscarriage at 7 weeks. It's been a long, hard road." Oh, and P.S., I hate you.

She looked at me like I had 14 heads. But, I'll give her credit, she composed herself and said, "I'm really sorry you're having so much trouble. I hope it works out for you." Thankfully they motioned to us that we could start driving around to begin pick up, so I just walked back to my car.

Now I have no idea how I feel about her. It mostly pisses me off that she acted so coy and stupid about the IUI thing. That was just dumb. But, I have to hand it to her that she didn't say something outrageously stupid after hearing my sob story. She didn't say "just relax" or "it's God's plan" or "when you're ready, you'll have a baby" or "go see my doctor" or anything maddening like that. She said the right thing. So I guess I have to sort of like her now.

This is an unnecessarily long-winded story just to explain how I let my interactions with 1 person jack with my emotions. I am definitely looking forward to a day when I'm not so wrapped up and inexplicably invested in other people's fertility stories. It's draining.

For those of you on the other side of this raw, raw pain (who have either welcomed a child into your family via birth or adoption, or who have embraced a child-free life), I want to ask: Does it get better? Do you stop getting jealous and bitter about other people's successes? Or will this go on forever, like a tatoo that I never chose to put on my forehead, but seems to always be there?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Miracle

That's what we asked for, and that's what we got.

The shock still hasn't worn off, but I think I can pull it together enough to let you all know that somehow, magically, miraculously, in just 5 days we went from a big, gaping gestational sac with a virtually non-existant yolk sac to...

An embryo measuring 6w2d (I'm 6w3d) with a heartbeat of 116bpm!

I haven't yet googled if that's within range, but the Doc assured me it was. He tends to blow smoke up my ass (this is not my regular RE), so I won't believe him until I confirm it myself.

I'll tell you how it all unfolded in another post -- Kevin was amazingly calm and I was a stuttering fool. Good times. Right now I need to take a nap. :-) I'm tuckered out from all the extra stress I've been heaping on myself lately.

This is yet another in the dozens and dozens of milestones that still need to be reached. But it feels so good to be here that I'm determined to relax and enjoy it (at least for a full 24 hours if I can manage that).

I go back again on October 18th -- 2 weeks and 1 day away. It's like a lifetime, but my RE is out of town for the first part of that week and he specifically requested to be there at my next scan.

If I could make lacy, frilly, heart-laden cards for each and every one of you who commented and prayed for me, I would. And I would deliver each and every one of them personally with a giant, warm hug. I have no doubt that your many, many, many prayers and good wishes made a difference. I will never be able to thank you enough for your love and support.

Hang in there, Spidey!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Answer

I wish I knew how to get an answer to the question: "When will we have a baby?"

I'm not above buying a cheezy Magic 8 ball if someone tells me that it will do the trick. I'm completely ready to see a psychic, have my tarot cards read, get my star chart completed, anything.

The uncertainty is killing me. I just long for someone (or something) to tell me, "You will have a boy in October 2008. You will adopt him." Or any type of information like that. I guess I don't even really need to know the method by which we'll attain this new family member, but it would be helpful so I can stop futiley* barking up the wrong trees.

More immediately, I wish I knew the answer to what's going to happen at Wednesday's scan. I genuinely hope it isn't like the last miscarriage where it dragged on for weeks...

Scan #1: "Sorry, everything is too small and too slow, it's not going to make it. Come back for another scan in 5 days."

Scan #2, 5 days later: "Wait! There's a heartbeat! But, sorry, it's too slow. Probably not going to make it. Come back for another scan in 5 days."

Scan #3, 5 days later: "Hmmm, there's still a heartbeat, but it's still too slow and now it's irregular. Come back for another scan in 5 days."

Scan #4, 5 days later: "Sorry, the heartbeat is gone. When would you like to schedule the D&C?"

I had the sense all along during that pregnancy that it was doomed. However, that didn't make the reality of the excruciating waiting any easier to take.

I had very high hopes for this pregnancy, I really, really thought this was The One. It's looking pretty dismal, but I promise you that I'm not giving up hope yet. I'm too cried-out to cry anymore, so now I'm just sort of numb, waiting for Wednesday's news.

I can't thank you guys enough for the outpouring of support. So, so many of you have emailed me separately to offer wonderful things: food, chocolate, hugs, a visit, etc. I truly do feel loved and I have you to thank for it.

I apologize for not responding to any of those emails yet, I will. It's just that right now I've got nothing useful to say so it's best not to be said.

Sort of like when my boss (you remember her -- the 40 year old with high FSH who got pregnant from her first IUI) went ON and ON and ON and ON a few weeks ago about how great and amazing it was to see the heartbeat on the screen, blinking away so fast and so strong. I should have just nodded and walked away, but instead I muttered something about how the last two times I went to the doctor to see a heartbeat, all I saw was a dead baby. See, that's not very useful, so it's best left unsaid.

I know that I'm supposed to trust in God that He has a plan and that I am exactly where I am meant to be. But, and I hate to say this for fear of Him smiting me any further, but I think His plan SUCKS. Why does it have to include so much pain, so much misery, so much anxiety, so much bitterness, so much disappointment, so much self-loathing, so much heartbreak?

I have literally half a dozen other posts rattling around in my head, so I'll try to get them out soon since they all require input from you wonderful creatures in the IF blogsphere. Thank you a thousand times over for reading, listening, understanding and supporting.

* "Futiley" is a stupid sounding word, so I looked it up. It does exist, and this is actually how it's spelled. I've learned something new today, perhaps I should go home and call it a day.