Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Paddling Out

Well, I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone but Kauai is beautiful. We had wonderful weather to enjoy our hiking, kayaking, ziplining and boat riding, there was lots of family time (maybe a bit too much), and we ate and drank well. Of course, the question of whether or not I was pregnant was continually running through my mind.

One of the best parts of our vacation was learning how to surf. As a northeast girl I didn’t really think I’d be into it, but D and I really loved it. Besides the 2-hour lesson we rented boards twice and tried to catch some waves on our own. There really wasn’t much instruction involved in the lessons, besides the basics of how to stand up. Instead, you have to rely on your instincts as to which wave to go after and when to start paddling, when to stand up and for beginners that is the hardest part – standing itself isn’t difficult, but knowing when to try and when to wait is. So one finds oneself repeatedly paddling back out to try again since the wave you chose may not be strong enough to carry you, or it may have been too strong and knocked you over. You paddle hard against the current to get to your starting spot, wait and wait for a wave that looks good to you, commit to one, start paddling and hope that you get enough momentum going for that magic moment when the surf catches you and you’re free to stand and just look straight ahead as the water carries you ashore.

Out of the 5 of us that tried surfing, I seemed to have the easiest time with it. I had the patience to wait for a wave that looked promising, and the patience to wait for the right moment to stand up. Our instructor the first day told us that if we managed to catch one wave on our own and ride it in that was excellent, and I managed to ride quite a few in. Waiting, as any infertile can relate, has become my specialty and at least in the water it served me well.

On land, waiting hasn’t really helped. I didn’t take an hpt until yesterday afternoon, after getting some sleep after the 12-hour plane ride home. “Not Pregnant” the digital readout displayed – leaving no room for doubt. And I just got the call from the doctor’s office confirming it. So I guess it’s time to paddle back out and wait for another wave.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Thanks for the recommendations ladies. I have to say I’m surprised at the advice. I think because I’m used to those women on bulletin boards that start testing at 9 dpo, I expected the opposite. Let me be clear – I was NEVER one of those women. Before taking progesterone I always waited for my period to show up. In fact, when I used one of the hpts in my pack of 3 last month, I noticed that they were past the expiration date. I had bought them when I first started ttc, to get one of my drugstore.com orders to qualify for free shipping, figuring that I’d need them pretty soon. Now it’s 2 years later and they’re beyond their “sold by” date. I couldn't help but think that I'm past my expiration date too.

So after thinking about your advice, I’ve decided to not pack a test. I’m so cheap I definitely won’t buy one there, and I know I can definitely wait it out. You guys are right - I should enjoy every minute of this vacation that I can. And if I get bad news on the 31st I’m counting on some support from you ladies, especially since D won’t be around to wipe away my tears.

But maybe, just maybe, I’ll want to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wanted: Advice and Opinions

Hawaii. I’m headed to Hawaii! On Saturday D & I will meet my immediate family in San Francisco for my brother’s graduation from law school, then on Monday we all head to Kauai for 7 days, 6 nights of fun in the sun and family time.

Every year my parents take us on a family vacation. We all tend to get along well – though there is inevitably at least 1 major blow up between some pair along the way. But I love it; I love that my family remains this close and chooses to spend such time together (and of course, with the folks paying for it who’s going to complain?).

So what I’ve been trying to determine is do I test in Hawaii or not? Our last day there I’ll be 12 days past IUI. If I test that morning I either get to celebrate or commiserate with D and my family for at least part of the day. Using last month as a barometer, I wouldn’t get my period until I stopped the progesterone, so if I don’t use a hpt I have to wait for the call on 5/31 from the doc’s office. I don’t want to just wait for the call because I share an office with my assistant and I can’t bare the thought of learning the news – whichever way it may go – with another person in the room. Therefore, even if I don’t test in Hawaii, I would test the morning of the 31st before the blood draw so I could deal with my emotions before work.

D has a business trip scheduled for the immediate 2 weeks following vacation, so he won’t be home with me. The only way I will be able to tell him personally the result of this cycle is if I test in Hawaii, potentially ruining my last day there. On the other hand if it were good news I’d be able to tell my family in person (along with D) and wouldn’t that be lovely?

So this is the question I can’t answer yet. Along with my worries about what to do next cycle if this one is a bust. With D gone from 5/30 – 6/11 it’s not easy to plan.

Any advice?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


My problem (okay, one of my problems) with the start of the two-week wait is that I always focus on the end of the two-week wait. I spend hours imagining telling D the happy news, figuring out how and when I’ll tell my parents, friends and co-workers. Then I switch gears and spend more hours determining what I’ll be going through next cycle, which day I’ll start drugs, when I’ll ovulate, when we’ll need to start having sex. Either way it’s bad because I’m focusing on the future and ignoring the now. And that has really become the worst side effect of infertility – I can rarely get myself to live in the moment.

Now I have a wonderful, loving husband to support me. Now I have a job I enjoy, it’s challenging, but not stressful. Now I have a strong family and fan-club of friends who adore me. There is so much to be happy about, but I have trouble seeing it. I really want to enjoy the now, because everything could be different in two weeks.

p.s. Thanks P., for telling me how to fix my page!

Monday, May 16, 2005

All systems go.

Ah, the 2-week wait, I’ve found you again.

I’m pleased to report that all went well with the actual IUI this morning. The doctor actually doing the inseminating was lovely. She praised D.’s sample effusively (after wash: volume .5ml; conc: 180 x 1,000,000; motility: 94%; progression: a) and commented that I had responded well to the bravelle (confirming my 2 18+ follicles, plus some 14s which might have caught up). The IUI was one of the more painless ones I’ve had; she said it was clean and I didn’t bleed. I kept my fingers crossed, literally, while undergoing the procedure. I start progesterone suppositories (how fun!!!) on Wednesday. We’ve done all we can do. Now we wait. And hope.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Okay. This is going to be THE cycle. It’s going to work this time. I’m sick of being depressed and pessimistic – from here on out it’s all roses and daffodils. After all, the name of the blog is WHY NOT US? If the freakin’ Sox can come back from 3 games to none to defeat the evil empire, surely D.’s sperm can unite with my specially produced egg. Summer of morning sickness, here I come. Please!

At yesterday’s ultrasound my personal R.E. wielded the wand. He was “very pleased” with what he saw. Besides the cyst in my right ovary, I had two 18.5 follicles. He joked that with two such follicles on the right side, I’d have a left-handed baby. And then clarified that he was only kidding – that there’s no correlation and he has to be careful ‘cuz people take what he says seriously. He cracks me up – but only after he’s left the room and I’ve thought about what he’s said, ‘cuz in the moment I’m way too focused on trying to distill what he thinks the chances of success will be. Did you note how he said I would “have a baby?” I know it was a joke, and doesn’t mean a single thing, but g-d damn it was good to hear. I am going to have a baby.

We triggered last night and go in tomorrow morning for IUI #5, the one that will work.

I also just want to take a moment here to extol the praises of Freedom Drug. They rock. Stupid me completely spaced on the fact that I needed Ovidrel for this round. Since I had left over Bravelle from last cycle I didn’t place the big drug order on cd1, and it wasn’t until I was at the clinic Friday morning that I remembered I needed the hcg. So I got a prescription then, figuring that in my worst-case scenario, if I had to trigger Fri. night I’d find a pharmacy in the city that had it, and pick it up after work. But as it turned out I didn’t have to trigger Friday, so I called my friends at Freedom Drug and they arranged for the medication to be delivered to my apartment by UPS Saturday morning. Great.

Yesterday at 2:30 pm, I realized UPS had yet to show up. Freedom Drug had said it would be delivered by noon. I call Freedom Drug, they do the research and find that UPS claims they tried to deliver it at 1:33 but no one was home. And yet, D and I had been playing Grand Theft Auto in our living room for the past 2 hours, so the UPS guy was on crack. Freedom Drug girl was SO nice and totally had my back. She conferenced the UPS rep on the phone with us and took complete charge of the situation: “She needs the medication. She was home. It’s been less than an hour, surely the driver is still out.” And when UPS failed to do anything to rectify the situation she arranged for a local pharmacy to messenger it to me that afternoon, at no additional cost to me. How freakin’ cool is that?

I’m telling you, this month the curse is being reversed.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday the 13th

I used to consider myself lucky.

When I was around 6 we were on a family vacation in the Catskills and I won bingo. Not just regular 5-in-a-row any direction bingo, but hard-core 4 corners bingo. I don’t recall what exactly I received as a prize, but I remember walking up to the podium under the glare of hundreds of grown-ups and feeling pretty special.

I’ve entered radio contests and gotten free cds. At my old job I won a trip to San Francisco to help build a home with Habitat for Humanity. In 2001, I actually won a trip for 2 to Europe on a Contiki Tour Bus. And the next year I won cold hard cash from iwon.com. So, please understand there was some reason behind my thinking that I’d be one of the lucky ones when it came to getting pregnant.

But ever since I cashed that check from iwon.com, Lady Luck has been elusive (well, except for the Sox winning the Series). I’ve been dealing with the fact that good luck hasn’t happened while ttc, but must bad luck rear it’s ugly head?

You see, as one of my projects to keep my mind off our infertility D. and I decided to buy an apartment in Manhattan. We found a gorgeous one and are currently waiting for our mortgage application to be approved. So what happens to the backyard of my to-be-apartment building?


The gods must be laughing. D.’s been talking to our mortgage broker and real estate attorney to figure out what we should do about it to cover our asses. All of a sudden, I became overwhelmed at the prospect of yet another thing that should have been simple becoming extremely complex.

But there’s nothing to be done about it at the moment. So I trudge along. Just as I trudge along through another IUI cycle. Today’s report: cyst has shrunk to 19.5, there’s a dominant follicle of 16.5, a 13.5 and I think a 10.5. Not triggering yet – go back tomorrow for more fun. Maybe I’ll find some good luck hidden along the way.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh, the drama.

As someone who works in theater, I really shouldn’t blanche at the melodrama that plays out through the course of an IUI cycle (I can only imagine the scenes that transpire while undergoing IVF). But this daily see-sawing is driving me a little crazy.

At today’s ultrasound the doc that had the probing honors was one I never saw before. He was kind and comforting; all the despair I felt yesterday evaporated, and some hope crept in. Dr. Kind came in and introduced himself and the nurse (which I always find to be professional and a nice start to the appointment. I prefer to know the name of those getting to see the inside of my uterus). He then asked, “Do you have any questions?” Five little words that put me so at ease. “Why yes, I do have a question. That 29mm follicle the doctor saw on Friday – is that the same cyst that the doc saw yesterday?” He then answered that indeed it was, that most cysts are benign, and during the exam he explained, while looking at my now 24.5mm cyst, that given my E2 levels it appears that the cyst isn’t secreting any hormones, confirmed that it does seem to be shrinking and therefore is nothing to be worried about. As for the follicles, I have one on the left that’s measuring 10.5, and a 15.5 and 10.5 on the right side. He thought I would probably trigger tomorrow night. So now the fear experienced yesterday is gone; I’m back to thinking, “Maybe this cycle really can be the one?”

Isn’t it odd that one’s outlook can change so quickly? And further, that this emotional see-saw goes on day after day throughout a cycle. The last time I felt such constant fluctuation between optimism and pessimism, between feeling good about your decision or questioning it, was in high school with the daily drama of being a teenager. Remember? Cute boy asks you out before 4th period, you say yes. By the end of 5th period you don’t know why you agreed to it and call it off. During 6th period he’s talking to another girl and you want him back. One moment you’re up, the next you’re down.

Perhaps someday periods will be less filled with angst. Until then I’ll keep visiting the playground.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Out damn cyst, out!

I know I shouldn’t be freakin’ out about this, but at today’s ultrasound the doctor informed me that I have a 26mm cyst in one of my ovaries. Apparently it’s keeping the company of just one suitably-sized follicle, and I have one other suitably-sized follicle in my other ovary. So after 5 nights of injecting the derivatives of postmenopausal women’s urine in me, I’m hardly ahead of the game, right? I mean, I ovulate on my own every month anyway, so having one follicle is a given. One extra? I think the bonus prize of the cyst cancels out any added advantage one extra follicle might have supplied.

I suppose that after having been told that I still had a 29mm follicle in me on Friday, I should’ve expected this. But I didn’t. I just thought it would get washed away with my period. Thus, when oh-so-considerate doctor (not my regular RE) announced oh-so-nonchalantly the existence of said cyst, I was alarmed. And unprepared. I had been ready to make careful note of the various sized follicles growing in me, but the word “cyst” through me for a loop. The most knowledgeable question I came up with to ask the doc was “Is that bad?” How smart am I?

Her answer was hardly informative. She basically said it’s taking up space, that it will probably go away on it’s own but not this cycle. And then she said that it’s noted that I’ve requested to go through with this cycle because of scheduling conflicts (I had mentioned to the doc last Friday when she saw the large follicle that if I don’t cycle this month, I probably won’t be able to try again until Sept. due to my husband’s business trips). That only served to alarm me further as she made it sound like there still was a possibility that this cycle could be cancelled – a thought that had never entered my mind once I got the go-ahead last Friday. Of course, I always knew theoretically that cycles can be cancelled, but the clinic led me to believe it would be due to overstimulation, not because I happen to have an extra inch-long sac of fluid in me.

The more I think about this, the angrier I become. When Friday’s doc first found the 29 mm follicle, was it considered a cyst then? I think probably so. Yet that doctor must have deliberately used the word “follicle” and not “cyst” for a reason? Couldn’t today’s doc have taken the time to explain that Friday’s follicle is today’s cyst? This morning during the ultrasound I didn’t grasp that. Instead, all hope of success this cycle vanished. A moment or two of attention, a little education from the doctor could’ve helped. But she had a waiting room full of other infertiles to attend to, and left me and my cyst to our own devices.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


One of the worst feelings created by infertility is helplessness. My generation of women has been brought up to believe that we are strong and capable. If we set our minds to it we can accomplish anything. That will and determination will triumph. And yet, when it comes to procreation, clearly, that is not the case. The number of tries, and the strength of one’s desires has no relation to the result. After repeated failures with no explanation, one can’t help but feel at a loss.

I think I started reading fellow-infertiles’ blogs in a search for more knowledge, to hear others’ experiences - to feel that I was doing something under my control to change my situation. Last night I came across Katie’s blog, http://infertilenotinferior.blogspot.com/ and found something specific I could control and that could change someone else’s situation, http://tinyurl.com/brllw. Please consider making a small donation of your own to Katie and Mark.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Injection Intimacy

On Friday night we treated our dear friends to our injection ritual since we were hanging out at their apartment for the evening. It struck me as kind of odd that we were doing such an intimate thing in front of them; there was a hint of exhibitionism in the laying out of the vials of Bravelle, the syringe, the needle, the Q-cap, the cotton balls and rubbing alcohol for all to see. After D. reconstituted the drug and had it all ready for the injection, he turned to our friend J. – who had that very day completed his final class as a medical student and therefore is now a real, professional Doctor – and asked if he’d like to do the honors. I had this vague sensation of being passed around as though I was some two-bit whore.

Which is pretty ridiculous. I know D. wouldn’t have made the offer if J. wasn’t a doctor. And why do I see the process as anything intimate, anyway? Simply because the whole purpose of it is to make a baby? When the nurse draws my blood each morning I don’t feel some special bond between us being created. Yet, the 9:15pm shots have become this ceremonial rite D. and I share. It felt strange to be doing it in the presence of others – not to mention having someone else involved. After all, anyone can achieve intimacy through sex; it’s the really special couples that get it through administering infertility drugs.

Friday, May 06, 2005

And so it begins...

I’m on day 3 of my cycle and, after a minor scare from the doctor performing my ultrasound this morning (she informed me I still have one 29mm follicle in me!), I’ve been given the go ahead to start injecting 2 vials of Bravelle tonight. And so my second cycle on injectables, my fifth IUI cycle, officially starts.

This afternoon I sent an email to a friend that read “I have to run home after work and grab all my drugs so I can shoot up at your place tonight.” And while I know my lawyer husband would admonish me for sending such a missive over work e-mail, I just found myself in awe that I could even type such a sentence and mean every word!

And so it begins.

The drama of a new cycle, and of course, this taking a stab at running a blog. Here's hoping it will help me to not be as sad, depressed, anxious or worried as I feel I've become.