Friday, July 29, 2005

And Now For Something Completely Different…

I got a little teary at the end of today’s monitoring appointment. That in itself is nothing new, but the reason for the eyes watering is that I’m excited. And hopeful. And I think it’s going to work this month. Of course, if it doesn’t I will hit a new depth of depression and frustration not seen since Matt & Ben tried making a hit movie with their Project Greenlight.

It’s my RE’s fault I’m so encouraged. He personally performed my ultrasounds yesterday and today (not usual – generally you just go in the rotation and one of the many docs takes notes; yesterday he specifically told me that I should ask for him this morning) and said this morning that everything is great. The facts are that I have five follicles all between 15 & 18mm ready for triggering tonight. Lining looks great. Yesterday’s E2 level was 736. But what really sparked the surge of optimism is that after saying I had five perfect follicles he felt the need to warn me about the risk of multiples. Sure, when we’ve discussed various procedures in the past I’ve heard the speech – but never on trigger day. Never not as a hypothetical. Never because my body warrants such counsel.

Of course, I p’shawed his concern away. Multiples shmultiples. And he said, “Twins would be okay, but triplets…” I was so blasé about it all. “Whatever.” He continued “Would you ever consider reducing…” and I threw out a non-chalant “Sure. I have no problem with that.” And then he was gone and I was dressed and all I could think was “He thinks we’ll hit the target this time.”

But while on the bus to work my mind returned to my carefree attitude about multiples. Of course, at this stage, isn’t it a “problem” (I can barely let myself type that word to describe it) any IF would love to have? It’s up there with colicky babies and inability to find babysitters. Honestly, I know that if by some miracle, I ended up with 3 embryos growing inside me, I wouldn’t think twice about reducing it to 2. And that makes me feel guilty. Not for doing it, but for having no qualms about doing so. As if, since I’ve experienced infertility, shouldn’t I feel differently about selective reduction? As I write this, I see though, that it’s probably good I don’t feel differently. Yes, infertility has affected me in many, many ways, but I’m still the same girl I was when I was on the pill. I’m still the girl who believes fiercely in a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child. In fact, if infertility hasn’t changed my mind on that subject, I don’t think anything will.

So let me be the poster child for the right to choose. Let me have to face the tough decision for myself. Prove the adage “Be careful what you wish for.” I’m ready.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Counting Chickens Before They're Hatched

So no sooner than 10 minutes after I published my last post, D calls with this astonishing news: he's been asked by his law firm senior partner extraordinaire if he'd be willing to work out of the San Francisco office for a few months. Apparently, there's a senior partner out there doing the same kind of work as D, but sadly his wife is dying and he needs some "high level" assistance. How can you say "no, thanks" to that?

And yes, it's flattering and great for his career, but it means that I'll be living in this 1800sq. ft. apt. by myself, never mind the fact that continuing treatment if needed won't be possible. Obviously, this news is not sitting well with me. I've had a killer headache for hours now, and no tylenol at hand.

Seriously, if I hadn't written that I thought things were coming together at last, would this have happened?

Falling Into Place

I’m trying to be hopeful and optimistic about my life at the moment, despite the fact that D is currently in one of his worst states. At last, we have a closing date for our apartment purchase. Therefore I can hire the contractor to do all the fixins before we move in. And I’ll know what day to tell our current landlord we’re leaving (and I’ll know if we need to ask for additional time in the apt.). Then I can hire the movers. And then we can buy new furniture. Finally, the pieces are falling into place in the picture that I want.

And my current injectible cycle is progressing well too – with everything there falling as I’d hope. I’m currently on cd8 and quite proud of my status: yesterday’s E2 level was 367, and as of this morning's scan I have 5 total follicles (3 on one side, 2 on the other) all between 12 and 15mm. I’m thrilled not to have one follicle way out ahead of the others, and I’m thrilled not to have triggered yet. Plus, I had no cysts at the start of the cycle. Doc thinks I’ll be ready to trigger tomorrow for IUI on Saturday – which actually is the best day for us to do it.

There have been some anomalies this go round – starting of course with that brief 22-day cycle. During my period I leaked through a tampon in like an hour and a half. That happened the previous month as well, but never before in my life. And then 2 nights ago I had some spotting, even though my period had ended days before. I’m choosing to regard these strange occurrences as proof that my body is preparing for a new adventure, as alternative explanations would only cause worry.

So I’m hopeful. It’s the better place to be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sooner Than Expected

Apparently today is CD1. When I awoke I thought it was CD23, but I’ve been informed otherwise. This is good because – who the hell am I kidding? This is not good. Here are the reasons why:
1. My darling D is coming home tonight, after being away from me for more than 2 weeks. Suffice it to say, our reunion won’t go as cleanly as we would’ve liked.
2. Due to my cousin’s wedding I will be out of town the mornings of CD6 & 7. I suppose that’s really not too traumatic, right? I mean, I should be able to go in for u/s & blood draw on cd 7 in the afternoon if necessary – even if that’s not how it normally works, so it just means no monitoring on cd6. That shouldn’t be too bad.
3. It means my cycle this month lasted 22 days. Of course, that means nothing, because I don’t know for sure when I ovulated. If I ovulated on cd10, it’s my average luteal phase. But, one has to admit, a 22-day cycle seems a bit screwy.
4. I’ll have to be carrying a little shots-to-go kit to both the wedding and rehearsal dinner. How sober do you have to be to reconstitute bravelle?

So, now I’m waiting for my assistant to leave the office so I can make the phonecall to the nurses telling them I’ll be in on Thursday morning to start my next cycle. You know what though? It’s cd1 and I’m not sad about it. Despite the bad timing, I’m actually looking forward to the hope and chance it brings.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Biding Time

Since I’m on a ttc break, it seems that I’ve also been on a blog posting break. Part of it is that I started the blog to discuss my ttc journey and not to bore you with the random, day-to-day happenings in my life. Part of the break comes from being busy at work. And if I’m truly honest with myself, I’ll admit that part of the respite is because writing a post is such a daunting task. There are so many eloquent IF bloggers out there, that sometimes it feels that I shouldn’t bother; whatever I say will never be as funny, as insightful as compelling as what’s already being written. But, just as with ttc, I must keep on. I love having the support of other bloggers, and am so grateful for the outlet. So reader, I thank you for checking up on me and supporting me, even if I’m not the best/funniest/smartest writer out there.

Since I haven’t had anything physical to do with ttc, last week I turned my attention to the financial. I created a lovely excel spreadsheet detailing all my insurance claims for this year’s IUIs, and matched it all up to what I’ve paid out and for what I’ve been billed. I found 3 claims that insurance didn’t pony up for, but should have, and I’ve been working on getting the proper documentation to be able to prove it. Thus far I’ve gotten a check for $70 and expect more to follow. So please consider this an urging to my fellow IF’s to pursue all claims to the fullest extent possible. I truly think insurance companies expect people not to examine and question claims, figuring most people are too lazy or too embittered to appeal. And sometimes all it takes is a phonecall.

In other news, a friend of mine pointed me to this article, which I was wondering if anyone else had read. I had been thinking about changing doctors, but then I read this and see that my center’s listed number 2. Its stats are always high, which is why I picked it in the first place. I just hear horror stories of women not being diagnosed with something that, to another doctor, is obvious and worry that my doctor is missing something. How much can one do to protect oneself? How can you insure that you’re getting the best possible care?

Somewhere you have to draw a line, and just make a decision and go with it. Generally, I’m pretty good at doing that. But with each successive failed cycle, it gets harder to do. I so look forward to the time where I'll be done with all of this. It just seems so far off at the moment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fourth Verse - Same As The First

So, I didn’t even ask my RE my all-consuming question. I guess I figure, if he knew he’d tell me. All went just as expected. We talked about what to do next and he advised that, although he normally likes to do things in threes, I could try injectible IUIs a couple more times, but that I should think about when I’d want to bring out the big guns of IVF. He said (before I told him that due to insurance I wanted to wait until next year for IVF) that given my age, my response to the drugs, and the fact that the success rate of IVF doesn’t dramatically drop for me over the next 6 months to a year, that more IUIs is a realistic option.

I asked about exercising and he said to go for it. I asked if we’d just continue with the bravelle and he said yes. He didn’t agree with my assessment that I seem to have one dominant follicle that charges ahead (second cycle that didn’t happen I guess). I asked if I’m due for a regular ob/gyn visit and he said he’d do a pap right then and there. So we did. While doing it he started busting on other REs that refuse to do them – even if they’re performing a regular pelvic exam. My RE is definitely a nice guy; I just worry that he’s got so many patients it’s hard to keep track of little ole me. But today he looked through my file, reviewed the past tests and still seems to think that I can get pregnant. So in two weeks we start singing the song again.

Take Action

Despite the fact that I am doing everything in my powers to get pregnant, I firmly believe that a woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to give birth to a child. If you believe the same, please take a moment to tell your Senators to oppose any Supreme Court nominee that will threaten these rights:

I don't want to use my blog as a soapbox, but since this is related to reproductive rights I think it's appropriate.

Added 7/13:

Now I know this is preachy, but I'm compelled to add this to my plea to take action:

Tell your Senators you support stem-cell research

Monday, July 11, 2005


I’m a bit apprehensive about my appointment with my RE tomorrow. I suppose we’re going to discuss next steps, and he’s going to recommend IVF. Or perhaps he’ll recommend more IUIs using injectibles. I plan to tell him that we’re ready to proceed to IVF – but not until I’m covered by D’s insurance – so it could be another 6 months. Will he say that’s too long to wait? Will he say we should try naturally until then? Will he be able to explain why it seems that I always have one dominant follicle that matures way ahead of the pack? Does anyone have any ideas about things I should be asking? Of course, the one question I really have – Why aren’t I getting pregnant? – still seems to be unanswerable.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Fragile - Handle With Care

As I mentioned previously, I went home last weekend for my parents 120th birthday bash on July 4th. It was a lovely day and 75+ of our family’s friends and relatives came to celebrate the day. This included my friend who gave birth to her first in April (after a year and a half of trying, going thru IUIs galore, 1 miscarriage and has PCOS), with son, lots of cousins 9 and under, and many, many relatives who care deeply about me. All of who know that I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a freakin’ long time.

So I don’t know if it was my own discomfort around infants and children, or adults discomfort around me, but I had a vague sensation of everyone treating me like glass. As though I have the words "Fragile- Handle With Care" stamped on my forehead. I’m not proud to admit it, but they probably have to do so because I really can break down easily. One of my father’s oldest friends told me how he knew we’ve been trying, and how frustrating it must be when you were so careful for so long. And he went on to say that he hopes it happens soon because he knows I’ll be a great mother. I didn’t know how to react. I’m sure I said “thank you” but what else was there to say? Another cousin, while I was explaining why we’ve put our move to Maine on hold, mentioned that she didn’t have her youngest until she was 40; more proof that I’m young and shouldn’t worry and should relax, blah-blah-blah.

I guess I just found it difficult to socialize – even though I knew everyone there – because at these kinds of functions everyone you see asks you “What’s new?” and all my heart feels is “Nothing’s new. Still not pregnant.” Thank goodness I’m moving into a new apartment, because without that conversation topic I don’t know what I would’ve talked about with anyone.

Anyway, I just want to wish everyone (Donnie, Suz, Bugs, Katie ) that’s currently cycling success. Since there’s no chance of my getting pregnant this month, I’m counting on you all to bring forth good news.