Tuesday, May 27, 2008

nice while it lasted

I knew the Lupron would get to me eventually, and get to me it has. I'm headachy and sore and yucky-feeling and I have intermittent moments of nausea which I'm pretty sure are just my body's response to feeling plain ol' gross. It's kind of like having the flu. My mood has taken a nose-dive as well. I don't know how much of that is hormonal and how much is just my typical reaction to feeling lousy, but I'm really grumpy. I found myself downright irritated over a pregnancy announcement today. There's always a grain or two of jealousy mixed in with my happiness over someone else's pregnancy, but 9 times out of 10, the happiness wins out by a considerable margin. Today, I found myself flat out pissed. This woman became pregnant with her first (on try #1) within a month or two of when we started trying, and she is now pregnant with her second (on try #3). How is that fair? I mean, C'MON!

This announcement comes from someone who has challenged me to remain supportive as she deeply mourned her 2 BFNs. More on that in a minute. I'm sure she understands and is grateful for how lucky she was, both this time and last, and she in no way owes me any demonstration of that. That said, she's now had two cake-walk conceptions, to the extent that such a thing exists for those of us that aren't in heterosexual pairings, and it wouldn't hurt my spirit to catch a glimmer of gratitude for them. Or hell, for the sake of argument, let's say she doesn't get it and isn't grateful. That should be fine too. There's no law that says you have to recognize and appreciate your own good fortune. I have every reason to believe this woman is the salt of the earth and a great mom to boot. I'm grateful to her and everyone like her for populating the earth with cherished children that will grow into kind, conscientious adults. But today, she's pregnant and I'm not and I just need to feel pissed about that for a minute. Please no lectures on the futility of looking for justice here. I get it. I know we're all on our own journeys and her success is unrelated to my lack thereof and blah, blah, blah. I'm just in a lousy mood and I needed to vent about that for a minute.

I know this isn't politically correct to talk about, but among the shades of grey that compose a community of TTC-ers at various stages in their journeys, there can be some difficulty in watching people get all torn up over their first couple of BFNs, especially when they go on to get a relatively early, easy BFP. Don't get me wrong; mourning those early BFNs is 110% appropriate because they SUCK, and when I'm firing on all cylinders, I'm happy to wipe away tears and offer genuine reassurance that we are all entitled to every fiber of sadness in our being, whether this be our first or one hundredth disappointment. We've all been there. I don't think I got off the couch for 2 or 3 days after our first BFN. That said, witnessing that sadness can also be frustrating and a tiny bit insulting to those of us who have been at this for what feels like forever. To hear someone say after their 2nd or 3rd BFN that they worry they'll never get pregnant (again, something I myself did - the proof is in this blog, I'm sure) can push someone like the bitter, jaded, infertile lady I've become to take a deep breath and count to ten before responding. Standing where I am now, I can see how my early BFN grief (which was real grief and I don't mean to discount it) was probably very hard for some of my more experienced peers to witness. I don't think that should take away from where either person is (or was) - it's just the reality of being at different stages of the process. On my good days, I'm able to smile empathetically and endearingly at those women who stand where I stood nearly two years ago. On my bad days, I want to shake them and say, "Are you joking? Look at me! Get back to me if you're still not pregnant in a year." Or a favorite from my childhood, "You want something to cry about? I'll give you something to cry about!" I don't say those things. I never say those things. And most days, I don't even think those things. Most days, I'm beside myself with joy at the larger picture - that so many of us are creating such deliberate, longed-for families. But there are layers upon layers of emotions around TTC and some are just darker than others.

I guess where I'm coming from with all of this is that there are some of us who fill the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" roles within our respective TTC communities. We have become the elders, the core, the backbone, the whatever you want to call it. We are always there to celebrate other's pregnancies, offer condolences on BFNs, and share hard-earned wisdom from our own trials and errors. But at the end of the day, we are just people, with our own emotions and in the midst of our own TTC journeys. We are still trying to acheive the same goal as everyone else. While it's all well and good to say that we should be unconditionally understanding and supportive of women who charge enthusiastically into the communities, soak up support and quickly graduate to the world of pregnancy and motherhood - that we should be slow to judge or compare - that just isn't going to be realistic all of the time. It's especially not going to be realistic when we're in the throes of our own TTC struggles; getting bad news from an RE, hitting our three-year anniversary of TTC, or injecting an expensive medication that makes us feel sick, crazy, and poor, just to pick a random example. :-)

Hopefully this post didn't trigger someone else's grrrr-reflex, but it probably has because this is emotionally charged stuff. We're bound to react to one another. I suspect we all agree that the benefits of having each other's shoulders to cry on outweighs the cost of stepping on each other's toes and that's why we're here. Still, I hope that nothing I said hurt anyone, and if it did, I hope you can believe me when I say that wasn't my intention.

7 days of Lupron down... a whole bunch more to go. Please remain seated and keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle. It looks like we've got a bumpy road ahead.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Third time's a charm

I seem to have the injection thing down. Last night's shot was quick, easy and virtually painless. Woo hoo!

I have a raging headache at the moment but I'm chalking it up to spending all morning staring at the computer screen in my new ergonomic disaster of a work space. We'll see what tomorrow brings, I suppose.

Big hugs to Bleu today and best wishes for a retreival and fertilization that exceeds everything you've dared to hope for.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lupron 2.0

Last night's injection had it's own pros and cons, but was an improvement overall, I think. It was definitely less painful. Lucky placement, most likely. I also think above the belly button works better for me than below, but I'll be interested to see if that theory holds up over the next few weeks. On the other hand, I developed an annoying little red patch around the injection site. No big deal, just a little itchy and it went away pretty quickly.

As for my plan to change out the needle, it turns out the needles on the Lupron syringes aren't switchable. M and I puzzled over this for a while because we both clearly remember being instructed to switch them during orientation, but then we decided it was only for the PIO injections. There was so much info to absorb that day! We don't have the PIO syringes yet but hopefully the needles will be swap-able. If not... eh, whatever. We'll figure it out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

my induction to the pincushion posse

Back from my break and I already broke our first date! Sorry I did not return with the injection report last night. M and I got home later than expected and then we had to watch the travesty that was the American Idol final performance show. What a joke. Anywho, injection numero uno is complete so three cheers for that. Before I go into details, 2 quick stories:

The night before last (Lupron day minus one), M and went out for Chinese. We received two fortunes that bode well. Mine was "An exciting opportunity lies ahead of you." M's (my fave) was "Big journeys begin with a single needle." OK fine, the last word was actually "step" but it needed a little editing. I think it has a nice flow now.

Also worth noting, a client asked if I was pregnant yesterday. It was sort of funny (in that horrifying "seriously??" kind of way). We'd been chatting (seated) for a few minutes and we both stood up for him to leave. Here's how it went down:

Him: Whoa! Are you pregnant?
Me: Um, nope.
Him: Hmm, (staring at my stomach trying to determine if I'm pulling his leg, then, skeptically) O-kaaay.
Me: (thinking) Aww, he's probably embarassed. I'll try to help him save face. (Then, out loud) Ha ha, yeah, this shirt does poof out a bit over my stomach, doesn't it? It's a funny style. Ha ha!
Him: (not embarassed, apparently) No, I just looked down when you stood up and I was like 'Damn, she must be pregnant!' I just about fell over!
Me: Ha ha (weaker this time), yeah, I guess I have gained a little weight.

He then left my office, still chuckling and commenting to himself the whole way out, and I went straight to Weight Watchers after work.

In his defense, I have one of those unfortunate body types where any weight gain is entirely concentrated in my stomach. I can't really blame him. I'd pass for well into my 2nd trimester if I let it all hang out. I have been doing some serious stress eating lately and I'm currently chilling about 2 donuts away from my highest weight ever. It was also one of those shirts that looks maternity-ish. You know the ones that are all trendy now, with the empire seams and the loose, flowing fabric. (However, in MY defense, I bought the damn thing at the Gap less than a month ago. It's the style! Give me a break!)

Some of my clients have mental health issues. This client does not. The bizarre coincidence of him asking this question on the day that we start our IVF meds is not lost on me, nor is the likelihood that an equally awkward conversation will take place if our cycle ends up being successful:

Me: Hey there client, I'm pregnant!
Him: (triumphantly) I KNEW you were pregnant when I saw you in your office that day!
Me: Yeah, no. Wasn't pregnant yet then. Just fat.

Who asks that anyway? I wouldn't ask a woman about her pregnancy status if she looked like she was 5 minutes from delivering. But then, I wouldn't ask a pregnant woman 95% of the questions they apparently get asked. I have no personal experience with this, having never been pregnant myself, but I'm hoping to be eligible for inappropriate comments, questions and belly rubs in the very near future.

Which brings us to... Lupron injection #1. Well, that was fun! Especially the part where it took me several attempts to even get any liquid in the darn syringe because I wasn't holding the vial at the right angle. Or there was the part where I flicked the syringe so hard (trying to knock the bubbles to the top) that the whole kit and caboodle went flying out of my hands. You want to see bubbles? You should see a syringe after it (and the attached vial) bounce across the tile floor in my bathroom. Shaky hands notwithstanding, I managed to inject myself and it was not the easy, non-event I remembered from injection training. Let's just say I've got lots of room for improvement.... and fortunately I've got another 30-something subq injections to practice with! :-) I've already got it all planned out! It's going to rock. First, I'm going to try not to throw the whole thing on the floor while preparing the injection. That ought to help me keep a straight, pristine needle. Second, I'm going to start switching needles between drawing up the liquid and injecting it as I was instructed to do in training. I opted not to do so last night because the pharmacy only sent one syringe per dose. After my experiences with a dull needle last night (ouch!), I'm heading for my closest online retailer to order some extra syringes.

I had a brief moment of disbelief and rage that this is actually my life last night, but other than that (and truly, it lasted for 20 minutes at most), I'm feeling really good. I'm optimistic, but not overly so. I feel like I have a great support network and that I myself am stronger than I ever realized. M and I are ready to tackle this together, and I hope hope hope that it will bring us to the end of (this stage of) our journey.

Monday, May 19, 2008

testing 1-2-3... is this thing on?

I'm submitting a bid for the title of worst blogger ever. A two-and-a-half week vacation? What do I think this is, Congress? In my defense, it wasn't just you I deserted. I took a break from everything from answering my phone to eating healthy to paying my bills (eek!) and it was freaking awesome. My parents were in town for 8 days and provided the perfect excuse for ignoring all of my adult responsibilities, as well as a blissful distraction from my regular "All TTC all the time" existence. Lupron starts tomorrow and I am relaxed and ready to go.

In other (but related) news, something has come up on the new job and I'm not going to be able to apply. The job is with the state and it has to do with the merit-based qualifications required for the position. The supervisor for the position thought it was something we could get around but it turns out he was mistaken. I was a little disappointed upon learning this, but that feeling was quickly eclipsed by one of relief that it was taken off my plate. You all witnessed the tizzy I'd worked myself into over "should I or shouldn't I" in the midst of everything else we have going on, and now it's a moot point. Furthermore, I don't have to waste even a minute second-guessing my decision (a regular pastime of mine) as there was no decision to be made on my part. I actually grateful for my powerlessness, as strange as that sounds. It was a fantastic opportunity and I couldn't let myself pass it up, despite the poor timing, but now I can focus all of my energy on IVF - something my gut has wanted all along - without the mixed feelings I would have had if I'd let another opportunity go by in order to do so.

So that's the scoop. I'll be back with an injection report tomorrow, and I promise to stick around this time!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

coupla' things

My period seems to have stopped. I had one medium day, one super light day, and now I'm barely spotting. AF usually hangs out a good 5-7 days for me, so I have no idea what's up. If I had an anovulatory cycle, would that also produce a (waaaay) lighter than normal period? I haven't ever had one that I know of, so I have no idea what kind of impact they have on other parts of the cycle.

I am feeling extremely withdrawn right now. I have an overwhelming desire to curl myself up into the tightest little ball and stay there until mid-summer. I'm completely overwhelmed by the job v. IVF situation (and probably our impending IVF in general) and M and I are as busy as we can possibly be preparing for all 4 of our parents to descend upon our house one short week from today. As a result, I've been a totally absent friend, emailer, blog commenter... you name it. I'm really sorry if I owe you correspondence of any kind. You're in good company. My inbox is a disaster. It's not that I don't love you, I'm just Really Overwhelmed and needing to turn inward for a while. This hasn't stopped me from reading all of you obsessively, but I don't seem to be in a space to put much out into the world myself. I think things will be better after this weekend. We'll do a blitz on the house and yard, and M and I will have some time to catch up and center ourselves.