Friday, February 29, 2008

for vee and jay... obviously :-)

my turn

I was tagged by inlocoparentis.

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

Sitting next to my left foot are a stack of books from my undergraduate education currently listed on half dot com to be sold. On the top? Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About.

First five sentences are:
"They're still gonna get the job at the bank, or wherever it is. They still see themselves reflected in the mass media, where we are not only made invisible, but when acknowledged, we are acknowledged very negatively. So why add one more stigma to yourself? Why take one more horrible risk to be disenfranchised from society? You have no place to go."

Wow, well if that isn't the feel-good excerpt of the day.

I wish I had 5 friends to tag, but I'm just not that popular. Actually, I think just about everyone I read regularly has already had this one. If you happen to be reading this post and you haven't already done the book thingie, please consider yourself tagged. With love. :-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

letting 'er drift

I'm back from my weekend away. The best part was the hour I spent sitting at the beach listening to the waves and the seagulls. I miss those sounds so much, and I felt more relaxed and connected to myself for that single hour than I have in months, I think. I tried to memorize every miniscule detail so I could recall them at home, but they are already starting to fade. M and I have decided to go back in a couple of months, and you can be sure I'm going to carve more beach time into that trip than I did into this one.

AF showed up yesterday morning, just in time for my day o' travel to come home. She was a full day late, and since I'd left my thermometer and pregnancy tests at home, I had no negative input to keep my hopes in check. M and I were both positive that I was going to come home AF-free, take a test, and sit back and listen to our own personal Hallelujah Chorus as our second line came into focus. No such luck. True to form, Clomid is making this another period from hell, so that's just a little icing on my cake.

I celebrated AF's arrival by packing up my monitor, OPKs, and thermometer. We won't need those where we're going. (Cue cheesy 80's sci-fi music.) Besides, we're on a break right now - something we haven't been on since July of '07 if you count our HSG cycle and January of '07 if you don't.

I scheduled our IVF consult for March 3rd - one week from today. We're headed to Disney World later that week, and I'm glad we were able to get in for the consult before then. I don't handle unknowns too well, so I think I'll be able to relax more on vacation if I feel like we have a plan in place. M is going to be able to come to the consult, which is awesome. With her crazy schedule, it's not often that she can make it to my appointments.

I'm not really processing the move to IVF just yet. I know the odds are higher, but so are the costs, and I think my fear of it not working is kind of preventing me from thinking about it at all right now. I think I would feel really differently about it if our insurance covered it. It would just feel like the next step. Without that financial safety net, it just feels like a really enormous gamble, and I'm a penny slot kind of girl.

Everything worked out fine with the KD hiccup. My blood test came back as it needed to in order to move forward with no issues, so that's something to be grateful for.

Our count of people in our real lives who have conceived, carried, and delivered babies all in the time we've been ttc went up by one last week. That brings our baby count up to 2 with 4 more moms set to deliver within the next three weeks. That is kind of mind-blowing to me. It's like, look at how much they've accomplished and we're still sitting here twiddling our thumbs. There are more to come. With one friend newly pregnant and several others starting their own ttc journeys, I know there will be more pregnancies to celebrate from the sidelines. I hope that we're at least pregnant by the time some of them deliver, but experience has taught me that even that is asking a lot. So, I'm just trying to prepare myself for those announcements, all the while reminding myself of my belief that our baby is worth waiting for.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I tested this morning. It was a resounding negative. I'm feeling surprisingly bitter about it, actually. I kind of thought I was past that point. I'm wishing I hadn't made travel plans for this weekend because I'd really prefer to sit home and mope.

I had been doing a decent job of keeping my hopes down until last night when I came home after work and PASSED OUT. I woke up 2 hours later, feeling like I could sleep for another week, and decided (of course!) that I must be pregnant. So I took a test. I left the room for a few minutes, and when I came back, there was the tiniest shadow of a second line there if I held the stick at just the right angle. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me so I left the room and came in again a minute later. Still there. (Rinse and repeat a few times.) I have desperately tried imagining second lines where there weren't second lines on 40-something pregnancy tests to date, and this time, unlike the rest, I could actually see something! It made perfect sense to me that the line would be a mere shadow if anything because I was only at 11dpo and it wasn't FMU. I was home alone and about to shoot through the roof from nerves and excitement, so I went to the mall and walked in circles for a couple of hours until M was due home. She and I had an excited little "what if" kind of evening and I found myself only mildly disappointed about the hot tubs and roller coasters I would have to avoid on our upcoming vacation.

This morning, when I woke up to take my temperature, I watched it climb in excitement. Usually I just stick the thing in my mouth and fall back asleep until it beeps to be taken out, at which point I toss it in the general vicinity of my nightstand and sleep for another hour or two before my "real" alarm goes off. This morning, I was too excited to go back to sleep. I POAS'd, waited for my beautiful second line to appear, and... nothing. No really, nothing. No amount of wishful thinking or squinting or anything was gonna make that a BFP.

I am SO not pregnant. I don't feel pregnant. I feel disappointed, and bitter. Damn this cycle for being another bust and damn me for letting my hopes get away from me last night.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another Op'nin', Another Vein

There was a teeny tiny hiccup in KD's testing - nothing major, but I don't want to say anything more about it until I've had a chance to talk to him. He is in HAWAII for the next week (Lucky!) so it'll be a little while before we can get him up to speed.

The important part of this hiccup, as it relates to the scheduling of my comings and goings, is that I had to go in for a blood test this morning. That would be blood test number 3,758, give or take.

I'm really not complaining. I think I had the best phlebotomist I've ever had in my life (and that's saying something 'cause I've had the opportunity to sample quite a few in the past couple years) and the distance between the time I walked into the clinic to the time I walked out was about 8 whole minutes. They're nothing if not efficient.

I started cramping yesterday. I know this can be a symptom of early pregnancy, but my money is on it being AF scratching at the door. I mean hey, she and I have a good thing going - why mix it up now?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


As I was laying on the acupuncture table this morning I realized that - for many reasons - this would be a really, really great month for me to get pregnant.

In an uncharacteristic turn, I am feeling oddly... superstitious (?!?!) about posting them here for fear I will jinx it. I totally don't believe in jinxing things, so this is a new one for me. (A pregnancy symptom perhaps? Good grief, I am truly certifiable.) I'm sure you can guess most of them. They all trace back to time and money, of course. Doesn't everything?

More importantly, I'm trying to will these thoughts and hopes out of my head altogether because I know I'm setting myself up for nothing but heartache if I stake extra wishes on this cycle for any reason. Been there, done that; trying to evolve here...

Monday, February 11, 2008

weekend update

I had an awesome weekend - best one I've had in recent memory.

KD and I spent all day Friday running around to various doctor's appointments and we were successful on all ventures. That afternoon, I had an IUI using a fresh sample followed by ovulation cramps that evening, suggesting that our timing was spot on. We'd also had a business meeting the night before, so we were doubly covered. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous so we took the dog on a hike and enjoyed the reprieve from the freezing cold weather we've been having. Saturday night we went to dinner at a restaurant I've been trying to get back to for a few months now and - once we found it - it was every bit as good as I remembered it. On Sunday morning, I slept in while M took KD to the airport (at 4am!!) and then enjoyed a leisurely morning of basking in the glow of the weekend.

KD is one of my favorite people in the world, without a doubt, and it was fun to get to spend a weekend with him. To have had excellent TTC luck and timing on top of that was icing on the cake. And just when we thought things couldn't get better... M and I booked a vacation to Orlando! We leave in less than a month. I was on cloud 9 yesterday morning just thinking about it. Talk about a win-win: If I'm not pregnant, we'll do Disney in style. If I am, then I guess I'll just sit by the pool and be ridiculously happy. Yesterday I told M that I sort of hope I don't get pregnant this cycle, and I am thrilled to be in that position for the first time in a year and a half. (Just to clarify, I don't actually hope that I'm not pregnant, of course. After a year and a half, I'd take being pregnant over just about anything. But to have something so appealing waiting on the other side of a BFN for me is an unfamiliar and welcome change.) I also asked her if we could go to Disney World after every BFN from this point out. She said sure, but I think our finances will disagree.

So, if I'm not pregnant, we move on to IVF, but at least I get to go to Disney World before the needles begin. It's a decent consolation prize. Also, I think having something else to focus on and look forward to for the next few weeks will be good for my spirit. On a side note, while discussing the possibility of taking a vacation, M and I discovered that in the nearly 7 years we have been together, we have never gone on a vacation together where we weren't visiting friends or family, attending a conference or event, or working. We have never once looked at a map, said "ok... there!" and gone - just the two of us. Never once. That is the price we pay for living so far away from everyone we know - all of our vacation time and dollars are spent visiting people, which is fun, but different. I am so excited.

One more note on the TTC side of my weekend, from a post I made on a message board the other day... I swear sperm has hope-inducing chemical properties. It doesn't seem to matter how pessimistic I am going into an insemination. As soon as it gets in there, I become giddy with the excitement of possibility. Our timing could be all wrong or we could have failed 13 times already (but who's counting), and yet there is this irrational part of me that leaves each insemination believing, against all odds, that "this time" will work. It's gotta be the sperm. ;-)

On the flip side, an IRL friend got a BFP this weekend. While I am really and truly over-the-moon-happy for her, I am deeply sad for myself as well. For her part, she could not have told me in a more compassionate way. She told me early and via email so that I had time to craft an appropriate response to her wonderful news - you know, the one I would want to give rather than the hormone-induced, gut response that I don't think any infertile woman can avoid. If anyone finds a way around that selfish/jealous/aching feeling, please let me know. Best I can tell, it is an inseparable part of this nonsense. Here's a link to a blog that talks about it with more wit and insight than I ever could:

I think I'm most sad about losing the one "real-life" friend I had who was on a similar journey. That seems horrible to say because I wouldn't wish this path on my worst enemy, let alone one of my dearest friends, but seeing as we were both going through it anyway, it was nice to have her companionship for a short while. Hopefully I'll be able to get out of this madness soon as well so we will once again be in the same boat, but a happier one this time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Well, that day shaved a good year off my life.

Oh dear, I'm exaggerating again. Let's go with... 8.5 months? Yeah, that sounds good.

I've been trying to get in touch with the lab director at the RE's office for a few days. KD is coming to town tomorrow and we need to get all our ducks in a row regarding his infectous disease screening so that his stored vials can clear quarantine. I finally caught her by phone today and - long story short - they won't even schedule his tests until they receive copies of a bazillion test results. Fine. I called the cryobank where they completed most of his tests. They can't fax anything to me or the doctor without a release. Duh. I work in healthcare. I know this. Clearly I'm not firing on all cylinders right now. I called KD and got a fax number so the cryobank can send him a release so he can sign and send it back so they can send a report to the lab saying he isn't sick and never was. *sigh*

In the meantime, I started trying to track down the other half of his lab reports: The STD screening he did with his own physician before we even got started. The only thing I could think of was for KD to get these from his doctor before he comes, but he's leaving for the airport at 3am tomorrow (yes, 3am) and today was his last day at work before taking two days off. It was pretty unlikely that he'd have time to run over to his doctor's office this afternoon to dig up old medical records. Still, I asked him to do exactly that because I - apparently - know no limits in my ruthless quest for parenthood. In the meantime, I started thinking about the letters we got from his physician waaay back when and it occured to me that I never heard for sure that his doctor did a chlamydia or gonorrhea screen. HIV, yes. Hepatitis, yes. Syphilis, yes. And then there were a bunch of other random tests that might have included G & C... or maybe not. So, I called KD again and asked him to start by calling his physician and asking if they even did those tests because if they didn't, this whole thing is moot. My RE's nurse had already informed me that if I couldn't produce the full list of pre-quarantine tests, we'd have to start over from scratch, including new samples and a new 6 month waiting period. (Cue anxiety attack... here.)

The next hour or so was spent waiting to hear back from people and attempting to actually work at work (you know, between the mad dashes to the conference room while whispering 'just a moment' to the person who just called my cell phone to talk to me about sperm and STDs). Finally, the nurse from the RE's office called again and said she'd reviewed my chart, was all caught up on our situation now, and was able to be a bit more flexible. She said she hadn't realized initially that KD was M's brother and we were trying to preserve a biological connection to M. I also, by this time, had a definite list of the tests that had been run by the cryobank and was able to assure her that the results should be coming to her over the fax machine in hours, or perhaps minutes. She said as long as they received those, we'd be good to go, and she let me make an appointment for the repeat screening. I asked her about the STDs and mentioned that we were having trouble getting those records before Friday and she said - imagine this! - there is something called a legal release that I can sign saying I accept responsibility for any STDs I may contract from his samples. If I am willing to sign that, they do not need copies of any pre-quarantine STD tests. What a concept! I have been asking for that damn form for over a year and all of a sudden, it appears out of thin air.

Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I thanked her profusely, confirmed one more time that there is nothing else they need, and got the heck off the phone. I think this actually may work. Unbelievable.

I'm completely and totally exhausted. I'm also completely and totally relieved with how things worked out. It was looking a little iffy there for a while.

I pick KD up at the airport tomorrow afternoon. Let the games begin. Again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

snow day blues

I'm having a total nothing of a day today. My office is closed and I have spent the entire day in my pajamas in observance of the occassion. It's a little pathetic. I think I'm going to take a shower and see if I can breathe some life back into myself. I did find the time to make Rice Krispy Treats, and I have since eaten my weight in them. Oh well, there are worse things to gorge myself on I guess.

I've been kind of mopey lately. It's not a sharp or acute feeling. I'm just noticing that I haven't felt like doing anything. Everything seems to require too much effort.

I've talked before about the glbt ttc board I hang out on. When I got my 13th freakin' BFN last weekend, there were 6 other women testing within a 2-3 day window. Of the 6, 5 got BFPs. That's unprecedented. The person out of the 5 who had been trying the least amount of time was still on her 4th cycle, and 1 was from IVF (frozen transfer), so it's nice to see people succeed who have been working at this for a while. A couple were people I have become friends with over the past year and half, so I was especially happy for them. Still, I'm sad there wasn't a seat for me on their BFP train. In my "real" life, I'm attending one baby shower tomorrow and another at work on Tuesday. I spent waaay too long wandering around Babies R Us agonizing over choosing gifts on Wednesday night, and I imagine all that's dragging my mood down a bit as well.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed about the IVF prospect. It's amusing to me, really, because I have been determinedly looking forward to IVF as my salvation from this ttc hell, and now that it is almost upon us, I'm nervous. I'm really not nervous about the shots or the procedures or anything - not that I'm looking forward to them - but I'm terrified that it won't work. I'm also nervous about what it means psychologically to have reached this point. It's the same feeling I had when we took every other leap: to the NP, to IUIs, to the RE, to Clomid, etc. It's just like... seriously? I need this? *sigh*

I'm starting to worry that my infertility is something I'll never overcome. I was reading a post on a "success after infertility" bulletin board the other day and a woman talked about going into Babies R Us to register and finding herself feeling jealous of the pregnant women she saw walking around. She said her husband had to keep reminding her that she herself is pregnant now too. Half a dozen other women responded that they have had similar experiences. I worry about that happening to me. I also worry that no matter how far behind me this gets, I'll always be jealous and resentful of women who get pregnant easily. For the rest of my life, is my stomach going to catch when people excitedly share their "guess I'm just a fertile myrtle!" or "lucky us, worked the first time!" stories? Probably. That makes me sad.

I know that time will heal a lot of this and whatever I'm feeling now - in the throes of the hardest part of this journey so far - is hardly representative of my permanent state of mind. It's just something I've been worrying about a lot lately. I guess I'm just throwing it out into the atmosphere with a genuine hope that in a couple of years, I'll read it again and not recognize the woman that wrote it.