Wednesday, September 26, 2007

double digits, baby (pun intended)

I'm still not pregnant. I didn't take a test this morning but my temp plummeted for the second day in a row and I can feel what is coming. I was pretty shocked, actually. I had what I thought were indisputable "symptoms" over the weekend, but it just goes to show there is no limit to the lengths my body will go to in order to play tricks on me. Yesterday was a Very Bad Day, but I feel mostly okay right now.

This new cycle will include two TTC landmarks: We are on try #10 (hence the title of this update), and we are closing in on our official one year anniversary. Christmas will mark 2 years since beginning our TTC journey in earnest, but October 6th was the first day of our first cycle of actively trying. On one hand, I feel like we've been doing this forever, and on the other, it seems crazy that a whole year has passed since my first trip to KD's. I feel like I'm living in a time warp.

In observance of this inauspicious milestone, we are launching Operation Overwhelm-K's-Body-With-Goodness. Last night, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in almost 2 months. I have the name of a chiropractor that specializes in women's health and OB/GYN issues. I also have the name of an acupuncturist that comes highly recommended by one of the local fertility clinics. I'm going to yoga after work tonight and am committed to making a pattern of it. I haven't had any luck finding a counselor that specializes in fertility issues, but I'm planning to ask the acupuncturist if she has anyone she recommends. I'm going to make an extra effort to avoid microwaved food and stick with organics when I go grocery shopping tonight (both on a tip from a recently preggo online acquaintance). We're already pretty good with organic foods, but I'm a microwaving fiend, especially at work.

M and I had a financial summit last night and agreed that the time is right to invest in as many of these complementary services and products as we can right now. We only have a few more months to try so we're giving them our all. I'm giving the NP one more cycle to put me on drugs and then we're headed for a Reproductive Endocrinologist. I can't think of anything else to do right now, but if I think of it, I'll do it.

So, that's the scoop. I'll keep you posted as the Operation unfolds.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Try #9... check.

I wrote a long journal entry on Monday but we lost our internet connection before I could post it. This was sort of merciful because it was pretty bitter and I'm in a much better space now to write an emotionally well-adjusted updated. :-)

Here's a nutshell version of Monday's update: I haven't ovulated yet. I haven't even begun to detect an LH surge. My fertility monitor is still on low. WTF! I have two vials of K-Fed chilling in my living room (pun intended) and no freaking ovulation in sight. In the 18 months I have been charting my ovulation, I've only been late twice and only this late once before. Interestingly, both shockingly late cycles were ones where we made changes to our protocol that I felt very optimistic about. Apparently, when my body starts to think it might actually work, it freaks out. Very weird, and very frustrating!

And here's today's update: I finally had a postive opk on Tuesday after work and then everything started moving FAST. I ended up only ovulating 2-3 days late and my monitor jumped straight from low to peak once things started clicking into gear - first time in over a year of use it's done that little trick! I did one insemination Tuesday night at home and the second yesterday at the NP's office. M was there, which is always a nice treat as her schedule almost never allows her to come along. I feel good about our timing and hopeful about the cycle in general. Cross 'em if you got 'em, folks. ;-)

Edited to add: I just did a quick skim and realized I haven't introduced the K-Fed reference yet. The sperm bank we're using assigns each donor a celebrity look-alike, in order to give sperm shoppers an idea what the person looks like without releasing pics of the actual donors. They hand write this look-alike information on top of the profiles they send out as part of their "staff impression" report. When we fell in love with our donor's profile, we noticed that his "celebrity look-alike" information wasn't filled in. Oh well, no biggie. We'd already decided that appearance wasn't our main criteria. Well when I called to place my order, I told the woman the number and she said "Oh, the Kevin Federline look-alike?" I said something hesitant and she started laughing and asked if I wanted to change my mind (which I kind of did) but I said to leave the order as it was, for then at least. I called M to ask what she thought and we decided to stick with him. I mean, the guy says he didn't miss a single math question on his SAT's - how Kevin Federline-ish can he be? He can't help what he looks like! LOL. Since then, we keep reminding eachother, "This is Kevin Federline the mortgage banker, not Kevin Federline the skeezy deadbeat baby daddy!" We've also been referring to the vials themselves as K-Fed (i.e. "Can you grab K-Fed out of the car please?"), and our NP even got in on it yesterday, asking M if she had K-Fed all warmed up when she came back into the room to see if the vial had thawed. It's been hours of entertainment, as has dreaming up the various "Sean Preston is my brotha from anotha motha" baby onesies we've been working on in case this pans out.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's a small world after all

M and I have spent several nights in a row agonizing over picking a donor. It's a fairly aggravating process for me - endless unanswerable questions about the roles of nature v. nurture and trying to figure out which answers indicate inherent intelligence and which just indicates priviledge and whether that even matters. There are a million different ways to approach the decision and all of them feel strange to me.

In the end, we ended up with a list of 4 donors that were up for consideration and we sent a picture of M to the bank for "photo matching" with our top 4. In the time it took for the photos to be received and matched, we continued to absorb the profiles and decided that we had a clear favorite out of the 4 and one that we weren't so crazy about anymore. Can you guess what happened? The photo matching results came back - the one we weren't so crazy about is a "very good" match with M's pic. The one we loved based on his profile looks nothing like her. We talked some more and polled some local friends and decided to stick with our original favorite - the one we clicked with on paper. Chances are my dominant genes are going to wipe out any that would look like M anyway. :-) I called yesterday and placed our final order and the vials are set to ship at noon today.

And then... The director of the lab called me on my way to work this morning. She was all excited because she'd met with one of her donors last night and she knows he wasn't in our top four but still she can't believe she didn't think of him sooner because oh my god he looks just like M and he has one of the highest post-thaw motility ratings in the whole program and of course it's up to us and she's sorry for making our decision harder at the last minute but she really really thinks we should consider switching to this other donor. Pause. Catch breath. (I should note that this woman is a total lab rat with no previously demonstrated people skills and this may be the more words than she's said to me if in the sum of all of our other conversations to date.) I told her I'd need to talk to M and get back to her, but I really appreciated her letting us know because while we're not so invested in the photo match, the post-thaw motility rating is very appealing given that we're a year into this process already. I was basically ready to change.

I came to work and opened up his profile and saw at the top that he was a firefighter. Normally, this would have meant nothing to me, but just last night M and I were talking about the various stories we've heard about other people's donor selection processes and she mentioned to me that some friends of ours picked their donor solely because he looked like the non-carrying partner and the only other thing they remembered about him was that he was a firefighter. Hmmmm, what are the chances, really. There must be millions of firefighters in the world!

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

With the clock ticking, I emailed this friend and asked if she used the same bank we are using because we were concerned we might be looking at their daughter's donor. She emailed back right away. Same bank. Same donor number. We would have been trying to conceive a half sibling of a friend without realizing it. For some reason, this doesn't actually bother me, but I think M feels differently, and I could tell via email that our friend would not have been happy at all. She was extremely relieved that we caught on to the situation before it went any further. I was just relieved that our decision was made a lot easier. I'm sort of worn out on decision making right now. :-)

The moral of the story is: It pays off to be open with your friends about your donor selection! The mail order gene pool isn't as large as one might think. LOL!