Friends with Babies

ME: you back at work?

Friend With Baby: Yep

ME: welcome back!

FWB: thanks

And they upgraded my operating system so I can actually get into my gmail again

as you can see

ME: yes, very nice

how are you doing?

other than being so-so on going back to work

FWB: i’m doing ok. tired.

you?

ME: tired and sore

had a lot of early morning appointments this week so i can still get to work on time

FWB: sore?

ME: injections

for IVF

FWB: oh gotcha

ME: plus bloated from all the follicles

FWB: follicles are a bunch of assholes

ME: indeed they are

and i’m hysterically emotional. am a joy to be around, obviously

FWB: we should hang out then

ME: you up for me bursting into tears at random moments, and jumping into hulk like rage at others?

FWB: well…

ME: ha

FWB: that does sound a little terrifying

an emotional rollercoaster

ME: it is

poor tammy

she was away all week on business

good timing

FWB: well…it’s almost time for me to go pump. see what you have to look forward to? also my old uniform shirts don’t fit cause apparently i have huge boobs now (first world problems)

ME: child having problems

cannot relate

FWB: you’ll have one (probably triplets or something)

ME: i kind of doubt it

but we’ll see

FWB: i got all my fingers and toes crossed for you and your triplets

better have three boy and girl names picked out just in case

ME: far too jinxy

cannot even discuss one

the jinx gods are listening

FWB: Jinx gods are a bag of dicks.

ME: they can suck my dick, that’s for sure

FWB: (I’m trying to draw them off of you)

ME: well thanks

we’ll see what happens

go pump

FWB: ok…be back in a bit

ME: enjoy your romantic time with a mini plastic sombrero

Second Scan of the First IVF

I had my second scan and blood work this morning, after 5 days of stims. I just heard from the nurse with my results.

My estrogen is 478.

Lining looked “good”, but I forgot to ask the ultrasound tech what the measurement was.

I had 19 follicles, 6 of which were measurable (at my clinic, this means larger than 10). The two biggest were 11.3

I continue with the same dosage tonight (187.5 IU of Bravelle, 75 IU of Menopur) and come back tomorrow morning for another check.

Things are movin’ and groovin’.

Reward

I’m not into punishment. Wait. That came out wrong. Let me re-phrase.

When I was a kid, the possibility that I would get in trouble (if caught – I was kind of a bad kid) wasn’t much of a deterrent. I would smart talk my parents, have temper tantrums, etc. KNOWING that I was going to get in trouble, and carry on anyway. As a teen, I got up to all kids of inappropriate and illegal activities, almost as a dare to the universe. “Go ahead and have me crash the car/get arrested/die. See if I care!” I was what you might call, ummm… defiant.

lady gaga
Basically what I looked like, ages 10-20. Except for the whole being world famous part.

On the flip side, I respond very well to positive reinforcement, aka rewards. I always have been, and continue to be, very into pleasure. Ok, that ALSO sounds wrong. Get your minds out of the gutter. It can be little or big things, but I need something good waiting on the other side to get myself through unpleasant/painful/sad things. It can be little – knowing I have a dumb TV show to watch at lunch on Monday can help me get out of bed Monday morning. Having a bowl of ice cream to look forward to after my injections. And those things are innocuous, I don’t worry about them so much. I think it’s normal to look forward to things, and if that helps me get through the day, great.

418b11fffd3e4dfc97e489e89e05e067@2x

Helllooo, I showed up! Where’s my reward?!

But I sometimes feel extremely childish for needing an immediate reward. Don’t “they” say that the definition of adulthood is delayed gratification? I guess I’m not an adult then. Because intellectually I KNOW the real reason I’m going to work on Monday morning is because we need the money, and I’m lucky to have a job that pays me as well as it does. Intellectually I KNOW the real reason I’m doing these injections is so we can have a baby. I KNOW. Big picture, y’all. I got it. So why can’t my mind catch up to what my brain knows? Why am I so stuck on this cycle of dreading something unpleasant, doing something unpleasant, getting a reward, feeling better, then starting the dread again?

First Scan of the First IVF

I had my first scan this morning for my first IVF cycle. After 3 nights of injections, here’s what I’ve got:

11 follicles on the right all under 10mm
7 follicles on the left all under 10mm
Lining is about a 5

They’ll call me with my blood work results this afternoon and let me know if I need to make adjustments in my med dosage.

I have no idea if this is good or not. I asked the (pregnant) woman doing my scan, and she said it was a “good start”. I asked if she expected all of my follicles to grow, and she said not all but most. And maybe at different rates, so not all those that grow will end up being mature. I guess that puts me roughly on track to have between 10-15 mature eggs at retrieval?

Well, this has been a thrilling update. Try to stay calm, everyone.

UPDATE: The doctor’s office just called. I have to add more of one of my meds tonight, as my estrogen is only at 125. Fuck. Is this bad? Fuck. I think it’s bad. My fingers are ITCHING to ask Dr. Google what the fuck this means (IT MEANS SOMETHING BAD!!!) but I need to step away from the keyboard.

Family Linen

I had two very different interactions with two of my sisters-in-law at the wedding this weekend.

The Bad
We drove up to the wedding location Thursday morning, in time for the rehearsal Thursday afternoon. It was chaos, as most things having to do with Tammy’s large, boisterous family are. As I was making the rounds, I ran into one of the two sisters-in-law that knew about my (lack of) pregnancy troubles. I leaned in for the hug, and immediately felt the hard press of her stomach against mine. My heart sank, and my throat clenched up. I knew. FUCK. FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK. I pulled back, and she opened her sweater to flash her stomach at me while chirping on about how she was knocked up with an “oops” baby. I hugged my smug brother-in-law (he of the sanctimonious comments regarding infertility treatment), but couldn’t even bear to look at my sister-in-law (V) as I mumbled my congratulations.

Now, we all know how hard it can be to hear of friends and family members who get pregnant with ease, and especially by accident. And that would have been bad enough. But this bothered me particularly because she knew what I was going through, and admitted later in the weekend that she was nervous about telling me she was pregnant. WTF?! If you were nervous, that would indicate you realize the situation could call for some sensitivity. Pressing your pregnant stomach against me is one of the most insensitive ways I can think of.

Then of course, the rest of the family was falling all over her, and I had to listen to interminable questions, comments, excitement, sex guesses, and “maybe it’s twins!” har har. She’s three months along. She would know if she were pregnant with twins.

The Goodish
Tammy’s brother got married this weekend to my new sister-in-law (M). M was married before, and has two kids from her first marriage. When she was pregnant with her second, she got into a bad car accident (was hit by a drunk driver) and had resulting complications. I’m not entirely clear on the details, but when her second was delivered via C-Section, she had a hysterectomy. Now she’s married again, and her new husband (Tammy’s brother, my in-law) really really wants a biological kid. And M would really really like to provide him with one, but lacks the necessary equipment (still has ovaries but doesn’t have a uterus anymore) to do this easily. This is all fairly well-known within the family (or so I thought).

When we were on the way to the wedding, some of the other bridesmaids started singing “[Tammy’s brother] and M, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage!”

WHY they were singing this song, I will never know. I looked at M after the song was over, and she looked absolutely crestfallen. My heart broke for her.

The day after the wedding, the whole family got together for lunch. By chance, I ended up sitting next to M, and we chatted about various things. At one point, someone at the table brought up how V was pregnant, and maybe M would be next? My mother-in-law made a few comments about how M’s kids are growing up, and would she really want to go back to having diapers and midnight feedings, etc. M was stammering about how it would take a miracle, and finally I cut to the chase. I leaned over to my MIL and said, “she doesn’t have a uterus.” (unsaid message: please shut the fuck up and change the subject.) MIL laughed uproariously as if that were the most hilarious thing she’d ever heard. I’m sorry, It’s FUNNY that your son, who desperately wants a biological child, and new daughter-in-law that desperately wants to be able to provide that for him, cannot do so without great emotional, physical and financial expense? Ugh. That woman.

M and I were chatting later, and I brought up the “baby carriage” song. I apologized, and told her I knew how hard that must have been for her. She nodded, and said “the most annoying thing is that all of them singing that song knew our situation”. We began discussing surrogacy, who she would want to do it (family member or professional surrogacy match?) and the logistics. As we were running through the list of family members, I told her that I was probably out, as you would a) want someone with proven success and b) want someone who wasn’t trying themselves. I told her how long we’d been trying, and I told her about my miscarriage. She said all the right things. That she was sorry, that it must be so hard. That she would be thinking about me. Perfect.

I felt like we “got” each other. We may have different issues, but neither of us can have a baby without medical intervention. While I’m really sad that they are going through this, I’m so grateful that there’s SOMEONE in Tammy’s family that can discuss in/fertility with a modicum of sensitivity.

IN OTHER NEWS…
I started stims Saturday night. I already feel bloated and exhausted. Fingers crossed that means the perfect number of follicles are growing, perfectly paced, in my ovaries. Pleaseletthisworkpleaseletthisworkpleaseletthiswork.

Odds & Ends (No, I’m Not Describing Myself)

Alternate title: “In Which I Dazzle You With My Stunning Non Sequiturs”

  • Dr. Robert Edwards, the man who pioneered IVF, has died. Let’s all take a moment to honor his memory.
  • I’m on my second round of birth control for my first cycle of IVF, and I’m both butt-clenchingly nervous that a) the cycle will be cancelled due to no/poor response or I’ll hyperstimulate (please see my about page for my feelings on contradicting myself) and excited that it might work. (Ohpleaseletitwork) 
  • Tammy and I are debating transferring one or two (should we get that far/have enough to even get to make that decision). I’m curious as to how others feel on that issue, or what helped them make their decision. Potentially important facts that may influence your advice: I have “unexplained” infertility and I’m under 30. I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor, but I’d appreciate your thoughts.
  • It hasn’t gotten any easier to learn of other people’s pregnancies. I have a friend, C., who lived with my family as an exchange student from France while we were in high school. She’s been living with her boyfriend in Nepal for the past few years, and sent me a message the other day saying she was “shocked” to find herself pregnant. And then she asked what was up with me. I haven’t responded, because I’m probably incapable of finding the right balance of “oh, congratulations! How wonderful for you! And by the way my ass is barren! That’s what’s up with me!” Add in the odd assortment of high school and college friends who are popping up (and out) in my news feed with ultrasound pictures, cutesy “I’m going to be a big brother” pictures, and belly pictures and you get me, approaching Facebook like it’s loaded with TNT.
  • There is a woman at my office who may, in fact, be the devil I do not believe in. But if anyone could convince me there IS a devil, it would be her. She is THE MOST vindictive, nasty, horrifying excuse for a human being I’ve ever met. I hate her with the passion of a thousand suns. But…(there’s always a but) she’s infertile. It was passed on to me by her former assistant (why yes it IS a breach of trust/invasion of privacy, why do you ask?) that she and her husband had tried for years, probably two decades ago. And they were never successful. I’ve tried to use this information to temper my loathing with compassion (success: miniscule). But it also scares the bejeezus out of me that I’ll end up like her if I don’t have a baby. What if all of the anger, fear, bitterness and anxiety I walk around with on a daily basis goes further inward, and I end up like her – a brittle, hellish shell of a person?
  • To cleanse the palate, I leave you with this picture of my cat, Baker. He was sick a few weeks ago, and we had to take him to the vet for some shots. Here’s the picture the vet uploaded to their facebook page:

BakerHa! Love my cat. He is so freakin’ pissed off in this picture. The vet’s hip glasses, sadly, did not make him feel better.

Trying to Look Busy in the Two Week Wait

So remember in my last post how I said progesterone made me crazy dizzy? Well, just to make liar out of me, my body decided to NOT be dizzy on progesterone this month. Last month at this time, I was having to hold onto my desk multiple times a day due to my extreme vertigo. Now I’m just coasting along without any side effects (other than the disgusting ooze).

I’ve been working really hard to minimize my expectations for this cycle. Yes, I’m doing the progesterone and yes I’m taking my prenatal vitamins, but other than that I’m doing my best to ignore the whole thing. I did buy some pineapple to snack on at work, but when it got kind of funky I tossed it without buying more. Previous cycles I would have dropped everything and run straight out to the store to buy more. MUST EAT PINEAPPLE. I COULD BE IMPLANTING RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE ZOMG.

I don’t have high hopes because a) I only have one mature egg and b) why would this cycle work when nine others haven’t? And the one that did work only worked for a little while?

So I’m gearing up for IVF. I’ve been trying to figure out what protocol I might be on: birth control for two or three weeks prior to stims?  Or Lupron/other drug to keep my ovaries quiet? One thing I’m worried about is the timing. Tammy’s brother is getting married at the end of April and we’re both in the wedding. If my calculations are correct I might be starting stims around the beginning of April (that leaves two weeks to be on BC). Would that be enough time to stim, go to ER and transfer?

Ugh. I hate uncertainty, and I hate not having control. Which is why infertility/sub-fertility shit is such a perfect match for me!

Extreme Sexiness

The IUIs went well this weekend. Copious egg white cervical mucus was confirmed by the doctor performing the second IUI; enough for a host of hungry brunch goers. He also patted my foot upon completion. I felt a bit like a dog. Hopefully I’ll be a pregnant dog! Woof.

I started the progesterone this morning, which I absolutely hate. Besides the fact that I walk around feeling like you have a yeast infection for two weeks, I get dizzy and crampy. As much as I try to relax (haha! Yeah right) during the TWW, I can’t ever forget about it because of the nastiness that is being shoved up my lady business twice a day. It could be worse though; I could be dealing with the PIO, which I have heard horror stories about including one woman who heated the oil too much and it ended up burning her from the inside out. Holy crap balls. Maybe my yeasty suppositories aren’t so bad after all.

ABC

 

That Was Fast

Today was a lesson in things going wrong, fast. And then quickly correcting themselves.

The ultrasound this morning showed I’m ready to trigger my sad and lonely follicle. It grew from 14.2 to 20.2 in two days.

I had a panicky moment this morning upon the realization that I hadn’t ordered the sperm yet. What can I say, I wasn’t expecting my follicle to grow that fast. They never have in the past! My follicles generally grow about 1mm every two days, so I was expecting something around 15, maybe 16.

But I, cool customer that I am, quickly rang up the cryobank to rush order the sperm…only to find out that the sperm we wanted to order (new donor) was out. Dammit! Someone took my vials! Then, while I was all in a tizzy trying to figure out what other donor to order, the lady at the cryobank told me my clinic doesn’t accept same day delivery of donor sperm. I may or may not have let a few “fuck”s slip out, which the cryobank representative was too professional to acknowledge. (Thanks lady answering the phones at 7AM for the cryobank!)

I called the fertility clinic on the other line, and immediately launched into a sob story of how quickly my follicles grew, and I didn’t KNOW and could they PLEASE accept same day delivery JUST THIS ONE TIME, etc. etc. The andrology assistant let me run through my whole melodramatic spiel, only to tell me that the cryobank was confused, they do accept same day delivery. Well. All right then.

All’s well that ends well, as the sperm got ordered, and we’re all set for IUI Saturday and Sunday (waiting on confirmation from my bloodwork but I’m sure that’s what’s happening).

Cross all your bits for me!