Friday, December 29, 2006


This was supposed to be the "immigration sucks ass" post, but I don't have the energy to tell you ALL my immigration woes. Instead, I'll just tell you about one. I am grounded. The DMV refused to renew my driver's license.

You see, they set the driver's license to expire about two weeks before my visa expired. Now, normally I would have had the visa renewal documents by now, but USCIS decided to approve my immigration petition just around the time we were going to petition to renew my visa for 1 year. Woo-hoo, you would think, I'm legal! But no, because of a cock up at my employer, they filed under the wrong fucking employment category, and even though I'm approved as an immigrant, I now have to wait about 3 years for the quota to open up in the crappy category that they put the application under. So, no green card yet. Even though I'm approved for it. Well, while we were sorting out all that approval stuff, we couldn't apply for a 1-year visa renewal, and had to wait until it was all finally finally approved before we could then apply for a 3-year renewal. All fine and dandy, except the visa renewal documents haven't arrived yet. The holidays haven't helped.

The DMV first tried to make me feel like an idiot for turning up without the right documents, but I asked them what else I could have done - I got the last possible appointment before my license expired, in the hope that the documents would be here, and I hoped they would at least give me a 30-day temporary permit. No such luck. No temporary permit because my visa expires in less than 30 days. How about a 15-day permit then? Nope, no such thing. So I was rudely turned away, and told that I cannot drive from January 1st. They give even drunk drivers the ability to drive to work, but not me. I have to wait until my visa approval document arrives (the ORIGINAL document, mind you, none of your photocopies or scans). I can't drive to work. I can't drive to the supermarket. I can't drive to my appointment with my RE. I can't drive to see my 90-year old grandpa who is over visiting from England. I can't drive fucking anywhere.

Well, let me rephrase that, I asked if I was legally allowed to drive. They said no, but I was a big girl and could make my own decisions and live with the consequences. I said "are you telling me to break the law?" They said "no ma'am, but you're a big girl and you can make your own decisions". Like fuck am I going to break the law, because I just know if I get caught it'll mean deportation or some other ridiculously out of order punishment, just because I'm not a US citizen.


Fucking bastards.

It was the rudeness that really got me. Like it was my fault that all this was happening. I tried to explain that their OWN website says that the driver's license should expire with the visa, but they just blew me off and said that they no longer go by the visa expiry date. Oh yeah, well why refuse me a temporary permit because my visa expiry date is less than 30 days away? They just told me to stop wasting their time and come back when I'd received the relevant documents.


I had to pull the car over on the way home because I thought I was going to faint as I was hyperventilating so much. My hands were shaking so much I could barely hold the steering wheel. I bawled and sobbed and sobbed some more in this parking lot on the edge of a busy road. I tried to do some deep breathing, and eventually calmed enough to continue driving home. But then tried to call a buddy and ended up sobbing more while explaining the situation to him. And then sobbed some more when I called the family to explain why I wouldn't be going to visit for New Year.

Fucking bastards.

Immigration has been nothing but stress, hassle and bureaucratic nightmares. And the US wonders why it has such a problem with illegal immigrants - maybe it should stop fucking making life a misery for the ones who are trying to do it legally.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Insurance sucks ass

I hate insurance companies. Have I mentioned that before? I'm sure I have, but just so everyone is clear on this point, I HATE insurance companies!

They pay nothing for my fertility treatments.
They pay nothing for any of the expensive drugs whose only use is in fertility treatments. But I can have other drugs, like Viagra, purely for enjoyment if I want them. And I can have therapy after the fertility treatments have failed.
Although my insurance policy covers some acupuncture, it is only to be used for pain relief, so although I could lie and ask my acupuncturist to lie, silly old honest me pays full price for it.

I could go on, but as everyone has their own woes with insurance companies (or the NHS), we'll leave it there.

But I got a letter yesterday. From a subrogation company that has been contacted by my insurance company, demanding that I tell them if my physical therapy in September (at Clear Passage) was due to an accident. Because they want to sue the other party involved in the accident so they can reclaim some of the money. Now, they only reimbursed me $1200 out of the bill of $5200 in the first place, because of all their insurance company tricks of only paying 60% of what they think the service should be in the first place. But now I have to tell them if it was an accident or not? Just to treat some pain? Which is supposed to be covered by my effing policy. So, I duly put down my horseriding accident from 1982, and I'd like to see them come after me for the name of the riding instructor or stable. Given that I remember neither of these, that any statute of limitations will already have passed, and that said riding stable was in England, I doubt whether they'll be suing anyone. Except maybe me, for daring to try to claim for treatment for pain/pelvic adhesions. Presumably I was supposed to have been on prescription pain pills all this time to prove that it was real pain.

In other words, Insurance sucks ass.

Tomorrow, or maybe Saturday, we'll have the "Immigration sucks ass" post. I'm sure you're looking forward to it. I have an appointment tomorrow with the DMV to renew my driver's license. Which I last renewed in July, but they only gave me until January 1st. My visa runs out in the middle of January, but they keep renewing my license to periods somewhat before the visa expiry period. Which they are NOT supposed to do, as they are supposed to expire at the same time. So, I have to go down to the DMV, which we all know is a boatload of fun, without all the necessary documents in hand, because although the visa renewal documents are expected shortly, they haven't arrived yet. Because my visa hasn't expired, so why would USCIS act any quicker than they need to, as there should be no reason for me to have to prove that my visa has been renewed yet. Duh. And of course, there are other ramifications too, but I won't go into them here. But, immigration woes have been sucking up a lot of my time and energy lately. If it all goes horribly wrong, I may be making an emergency trip to England in the next few weeks, just to be able to drive. Tossers. Immigration sucks ass.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Girding my loins

I just don't seem to be bouncing back from this IVF as quickly as I did previously. I think it's because I'm finally facing reality that I might never have a child that is biologically related to me. And because I'd got my hopes up with my good quality embryo and then the faint lines on Accuclear.

The tears continue to leak out at odd moments. I continue to catch my breath at a possible child-less future. I allow myself to stare into that loneliness and try it on for size.

But, slowly, slowly I can feel hope start to creep back in. I am trying to do lots of positive thinking and visualizations, and I don't feel despair any more when I tell myself that there's no reason to believe that I can't produce a good quality egg. I know that there is still a chance. So that is what I am hanging on to now. It may not be as good as visualizing that all my eggs are great quality and that I'll get 12 perfect embryos next time, but it's as good as I can get right now. The thought that I can produce a good quality egg if conditions are right.

I am trying to control my food intake though. I have noticed that, although I thought I bounced back emotionally from the previous IVF failures, I definitely sought refuge in comfort food for a lot longer amount of time. So clearly there was some unprocessed emotion going on. This time, I want to try to control my blood sugar and my alcohol intake. I am wondering if blood sugar can affect egg quality - if I am ingesting a lot of ice cream, cookies, cake and chocolate, perhaps that is not helping. I found one study about blood sugar levels in non-PCOS women being a predictor of IVF success. So that's my plan for this time - get on Weight Watchers to monitor portion sizes, be stricter about only eating healthy food, and don't get smashed at all before the next cycle. I'm allowing myself a glass or two of wine on any day that I feel the need, but definitely want to keep it to two glasses maximum on any one day. I forced myself onto the scale today, and it was not good. I now need to lose 28 lbs to get back to being a normal weight for my height. Or 48 lbs to get to my ideal weight. Sigh. But, hopefully I will be able to force myself to go to the WW meeting on Saturday so I can start getting serious about not cheating.

I'm actually looking forward to my IVF consultation, which is a nice change, as up to now I was dreading it, so that's good. I still haven't called about a second opinion, as I still can't decide on which clinic to go with, so I think I'll wait until after I've discussed the whole thing with my RE.

P.S. (edited to add) I bought the camera! Having discussed it with my buddies at work, I decided that I didn't want to spend the extra cash on a printer right now, especially as I should be saving for the next IVF but I could use the gift cards to pay for camera accessories that I will need, like a 1GB memory card, more batteries, and a travel case. And buy the camera from the cheap internet place. Yay! So, coming soon to this blog - pictures! We're moving up in the world.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dull dull dull

Well, that was dull. There was much waiting around for my aunt to shuttle between families. The big "family" meal where we were all finally together was on two tables, and her husband's family all squabbled over being on the "cool" table (theirs, naturally), leaving us with the maiden aunt and octogenarian family friend. Husband's 21-month old grandchild was cooed over ad infinitum and ad nauseum. My aunt suggested that she and I disappear for a while to go visit her best friend, as best friend's 10-month old grandchild was visiting. I declined and tried to explain that although I want a baby, I do not want the company of too many other people's babies, as it just reminds me of that which I may never have. I may have got the message through that babies = pain, but maybe not. I started to weep when "Eleanor Rigby" came through the CD system. All the lonely people, indeed.

In happier news, it was nice to see my grandpa, though he has aged a lot in the last year, and requires a cane now. It's always nice to see my aunt. Um, I got some cool earrings, and a salt crystal lamp which is supposed to send out healing energy. Whatever helps, right?

I also got a $50 gift card to a certain big box electronics retailer. I still haven't spent the $40 gift card to the same electronics retailer I got last year, so I decided that I'd add the two together, and finally get me a digital camera. I perused my aunt's collection of Consumer Reports (she must have got a free subscription, because it isn't the usual magazine she'd get, but hey, it was handy). I decided on the right model for me. The list price is $350, so I figured $90 in savings would make it more reasonable. But of course, I had to go and check the old internet first, didn't I? Not only does big box retailer not have a discount on this particular model, they will charge me tax on the item as they have stores in Florida and so are supposed to do that sort of thing, bringing my total to $372. But I can get it from the normal places I buy electronics from for $264. With free shipping. And no tax. So even with the $90 off using the gift cards, it's still no different to buy from some dodgy mail order place in New York or wherever it is. And it would just freakin' annoy me to waste $90 just so I can get this particular camera from the big box place, when for $2 more I can just get it somewhere else. Which leaves me, yet again, with gift cards which I may not spend. Unless I manage to find a good camera which said big box retailer does have a discount on, but then it won't be a Consumer Reports best buy. Grrr. I suppose I could get some CDs, or maybe a printer, but I just know I'll go through the same deal with the printer, and find it cheaper from some internet retailer. Although the printer I want to get is $150 or so, so I doubt I can find the same thing with $90 off somewhere else. Why is shopping so complicated these days? For that matter, when did life get so complicated?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry (?) Christmas

Well, here we are, another Christmas without a child. Another "adult" Christmas where we can sit around and exchange presents in a sensible, quiet manner, without any kids waking us up at 5am to see if Santa has been. It's all so wrong. Christmas morning should involve ripping wrapping paper at some ungodly hour, followed by shrieking children running around the house trying out their new toys. There's no joy in being polite and adult. There's no joy in having breakfast first and doing the crossword while waiting for everyone to appear. And then of course there are no fun presents either. It's all very nice, and all, don't get me wrong, but I don't want nice. I want shrieking excitement.

And then of course I have to do the obligatory phone calls to the family in England. And to all of them I'll be saying that I'm fine, but I won't have any tales of interesting things that I've done lately. Because all I've done this year is IVF after IVF after IVF. And I'm really not fine. But of course I will be lying through my teeth, because they really don't want to hear that I'm not fine and that I've failed so many IVFs when they've just watched the Queen's speech on TV and are settling down to another glass of sherry.

Bah humbug. I guess all I can do is hope that next Christmas I will have a little one, or at least I will be pregnant and happy. And until then, I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other so I can somehow endure.

But anyway, merry merry to you and yours. If you celebrate. And if you don't, I hope you get to have a lovely day off work.

I have finished the Domar book, by the way, and it was great. I highly recommend it if you're dealing with this shit too. She even had a chapter on how infertility affects singles and lesbians. Woo-hoo! It was so nice to be included and validated. And Belleruth is still making me cry with the meditations, but it's more of a leaking of tears than sobbing and wailing. But damn it, she says all the right things.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Amazon delivers

My new book and CD arrived last night, and I have to say that so far they are both pretty promising.

The book, Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, seems to be a very well rounded look at the emotional aspects of infertility, and includes various coping strategies. I'm only up to chapter 5, but so far so good. I have definitely resonated with a lot of what she says in there about depression, frustration and stress. The CD, Guided Meditations Help for Infertility by Belleruth Naparstek, also seems very good. I've only played one meditation so far, but it left me with tears streaming down my face, sobbing and crying out "yes....(gasp, sob)......yes....(gasp, sob).......yes" in agreement with everything she was saying. I have tried the Anji meditations, but unfortunately often fall asleep before they even get to the guided imagery part (far too much general relaxation stuff ahead of the good stuff if you ask me), and I've borrowed and played Julia Indichova's CD which was better but still not really my style. So I hope that I'll be able to get a lot of use out of this CD. I played it again this morning, and managed not to sob, so we'll see how I do.

I definitely needed to work on the mind-body stuff, as I need to get my hope back before the next cycle. It's currently taken a little holiday, and while it might occasionally send me a postcard or two, saying "hey, why not us?", so far it is staying away. I'd like to think that I can still do this, and still make it work. I try to think about the people I have heard of who did multiple multiple IVFs and succeeded eventually. The trouble is, I know of painfully few people who did multiple multiple IVFs and then managed to have a successful pregnancy. I wish I knew of more so that I could think about them and hold them out as an example to myself. While doing one or two IVFs is very very scary indeed, continuing on past 4 cycles is so unbearably scary that it really does require a level of bravery that I haven't had to call on before. Except maybe that time in Vladivostock where I hid in the toilets for a few hours shaking before boarding the trans-Siberian express a day early with no food or roubles, because the Russian travel agent messed up and put me on the wrong damn train. And thought I must be a man as I was traveling alone, so had booked me to share a compartment with "other" men. And warned me that I'd probably be raped or killed, and I must be completely crazy to be a woman traveling alone. Yes, that type of bravery. Or is it bravado? That's the level we're talking about now. The type of courage that you have to pull from the deepest recesses of your soul, so that you can square your shoulders and walk into battle knowing full well that you may never come out of it again.

And yes, I had a lovely time on the train, thankyouverymuch. One of my compartment mates was a small time gangster who changed my dollars into roubles, and the other was a general in the army who spoke English. By the time I got off in Moscow a week later, I had a military escort to my hotel, had had ice cream on the platform in such icy Siberian weather that it hurts your lungs to breathe, had had wonderful food that the other passengers shared with me, watched a Belgian porn movie in first class with my buddies, had learned a few words and phrases of Russian, learned a new card game and had generally been taken care of.

If only I knew that this would turn out positively as well, squaring my shoulders and walking into battle would be a lot easier. But that's the problem isn't it? You just don't know in advance, and while it's OK to breathe a sigh of relief after it's all worked out OK and tell yourself that you knew it was all going to be fine, you're really kidding yourself. Nobody knows in advance whether they are going to come out OK or not OK. And that's why it's hard to put one foot in front of the other.

In clinic news, I've emailed my RE asking him for his recommendation of where to go for a second opinion. Hey, why not? I think he'll be honest. No response yet, but then again, I don't think he's really up on the whole email thing. I called Cornell, and found out that only 3 of the doctors do telephone consultations, and I couldn't get myself excited over any of them really. I know it is the protocol, and the embryology lab, that will make the difference, not the actual doctor, but it's so hard to think of someone else, when I happen to think my RE is pretty darn great. Oh well, there's plenty of time to figure this out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back on the treadmill

Well, I'm pretty much decided. I'm going to do another IVF cycle. I was going over my bank accounts yesterday, and figured out if I take X amount from here, Y amount from there, cash in Z mutual fund, and file my tax return electronically really effing early so I get the rebate quickly, I can make the financing work.

The remaining thing left to decide is where to do it. Do I do it with my current RE, who I know and love, and who has been working with me over the whole stims protocol thing, or do I go to a fancy place like CCRM or Cornell? I'm wary of SIRM because they are so in your face about how much better they are than everyone else, and yet won't release their stats in the same form as everyone else, because the stats are misleading. Riiight. Cornell's stats for 2004 for my age group were a full 10% lower than my clinic's. 10% is huge in this business. H U G E. Now of course, Cornell's patients may be 90% difficult cases that come to them from failures at other clinics, and that could account for the difference. But still, 10% is a lot to think about. CCRM has better stats, of course, but I hear that they turn people away if their cases are too difficult. And let's face it, if anyone is at high risk for being turned away, it's me.

So I don't know what to do. I guess I'll try for a consult, maybe at Cornell, as a second opinion, and see what they say. I'm worried that all these other clinics will look at my age, history and results and say that I should be on the ganirelix/cetrotide protocol (sorry, I have a mental block over whether that's the agonist protocol or the antagonist protocol - I think antagonist, but I'm not sure). I'm very concerned about trying that protocol, because all my poor results have been because of a dominant follicle situation and I don't think ganirelix can fix that. So I think I'd have another poor result if I tried it. I don't know, but I want an RE to tell me positively that I wouldn't before trying it out, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't ever give me a 100% certainty on anything. I really think I want to try another long lupron protocol.

Oh well, much to think about. I've ordered a "coping with infertility" book, and a mind-body CD thing from Amazon to give me some light reading over the holidays. Hopefully they won't be a crock of shit as half the other things I've bought over the years have turned out to be.

And in other news, I received a catalog in the mail yesterday from the sperm bank, and the donor I have been using for the IVF cycles is back in the program. He'd previously sold out. It would be so tempting to buy more vials, as I really like this donor, but I promised myself that if I did more cycles after this (yes, there's a chance that I'll be even more of a weirdo and go on to IVF #6), I'd change donor. But Ididn't see any others in the catalog that caught my eye. Sniff. Maybe I should look on it as a sign that I will finally get pregnant and then be able to try for a sibling in a couple of years. Yeah right, like getting a sibling will be easy! Like I'll be able to walk past the vial and get knocked up because I'm so fertile. That's me, all over, that is, fertile myrtle.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

At the crossroads of indecision

Thank you for the hugs and comments. It means a lot.

I'm still here. Don't know what to say, really. I'm very very sad. Well, let's face it, I'm crushed. I really, truly don't know if it's ever going to work for me. If I'm ever going to have that child. And I don't know if that's a truth that I can face. I'm still not ready to move on to adoption or DE, and frankly, don't know if I ever will be. There's a third choice that we don't talk about enough in the IF world, and that's living child-free. It's all very well to say "you WILL be a mom, one way or another", but that's only if we choose to continue. If we choose to get off the rollercoaster and go in another direction entirely, that's another perfectly valid choice.

But how on earth do you do that? How do you make the decision to let go of the dream entirely? I just don't know at this point. I feel like a part of me is dying inside. I just feel so heartbroken to take that path, but right now it is calling to me more than adoption or DE is. Well, partly it's the ease factor that is calling me. Stopping is just that. Stopping. Sure, I might have to do some therapy, but therapy may be in my future anyway, and at least insurance will pay for that. Adoption is so so difficult to contemplate, particularly as I can only do domestic adoption and the thought of a birthmother changing her mind after going through everything to get to that point is way too scary. And DE isn't a guarantee. Many women fail a DE cycle, and that must be so crushing, I can't even imagine it. Both adoption and DE seem to be very difficult and expensive paths to take, and I don't know if I have the energy for those journeys.

My current thinking is that I may do one last IVF cycle. And then if that doesn't work, try the FET with the one frozen embryo that I have, and then call it quits. For good.

I know that thinking may change, but that's where my head is at. I honestly don't know at this point in time whether I have the strength to go through another IVF cycle, and I feel a bit like a freak for even considering another one. I mean, who does 5 IVF's? I haven't come across that many people, and most of them are Australian where the government will pay for the IVF's. Who, apart from rich celebrities, pays for this many cycles out of pocket? It just seems like the utmost foolishness - throwing good money after bad, doing the same thing again in the hopes of a different outcome.

And how do you keep the hope alive? How do you pick yourself up and do it again? I know it's too early for me to be trying to conjure up hope, and I know that in a couple of months things will be different. But, god, it's so fucking hard.

So fucking hard.

But, I have made an appointment for a post-IVF consultation with my RE. I want his honest opinion of whether there's any chance with my own eggs. I know he'll tell me I have a better chance with DE, but I also know he'll cycle again with my own eggs if that's what I want. The appointment isn't until January 9th, so it'll give me some time to get my head together a bit.

We'll see.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Beta was negative

So much for Accuclear.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I really wanted to stop doing the whiny "is it positive?" type posts. I really wanted to. I went plum crazy at the store today, and bought four different types of pregnancy tests. Yes, four. I really figured I'd get a positive on a couple of them (maybe all of them!) and I could post triumphantly that I believed.

Clear Blue Easy Digital says: Not Pregnant
Equate says: Not Pregnant
First Response says: Not Pregnant

Accuclear has another faint pink line. Which may be a tad darker than yesterday's faint pink line.

Is Accuclear really that much more sensitive? Am I just getting errors? The test I just tried was from a different lot than the tests I did before. Surely they wouldn't all be crap?

Sigh. Roll on beta results.

Wringing hands and wondering

This morning's pee fest didn't really turn up anything different from yesterday.

The ept is perhaps a smidge darker than yesterday morning's. Definitely darker than yesterday afternoon's, but that's not hard seeing as that one is pretty near impossible to see. Maybe a disinterested person would say "wait, there might be a shadow on here" today. Maybe the scanner would pick it up if the lighting were right. The Accuclear has another faint line, much like yesterday's. Maybe a teeny smidge lighter than yesterday's.

So, I'm still too afraid to say that this is a real positive. Shouldn't they be darker this morning? I mean, it's 14DPO after all! I'd have expected nice dark(ish) lines by 14DPO. Anyway, they are lines and that's what matters, so I'm just going to say I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm going to wait until good beta results before I actually say the "p" word. The beta is tomorrow, so at least I'll know fairly quickly.

And yes, I'll probably buy more tests tonight and do some more testing later. You know, just in case I'm one of those afternoon people who gets better pee stickage in the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

P.M. peeing

More tests!

After holding pee for 3 hours and 40 minutes, I tested again. The top one is an ept, the same test as this morning. Looks negative to me. The bottom one is an Accuclear. I think I may like Accuclear!

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No! Wait again!!

I scanned the test. It looks negative to me on screen. Bah humbug.

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But with the aid of digital trickery, here it is made darker, which shows that there may be a hint of something:

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And just for the obsessives, here is the original inverted:

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No, wait!

The test dried a bit darker. I'm upgrading it to inconclusive.

You still need POAS squinto-vision, but if you do squint really hard, click your heels three times and hope for the best, there's the merest hint of a faint darkening where a line might be imagined to be.

So, therefore the upgrade: inconclusive.

It would still be negative to a normal person, so don't go getting all excited on me.

And the test says...

Well, I suppose there was no surprise really. Resigned despondency more like.

It was negative.

Well, I should rephrase that. It was negative to any normal person, but to an experienced POAS-er who is prepared to take the case apart, there was the faintest of evaporation lines. Like super faint. Like you'd have to have taken many pee tests to see it. But I've had plenty of evaporation lines in the past and none of them have turned into a real line the next day, so I'm not going to get excited.

Don't know what to feel, really. I think I'm kind of numb at the moment. It looks like my future involves dieting and counting points, and not morning sickness and babies.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Miserable Monday

I've moved on from yo-yo head to just plain inconsolable. I am so miserable. Of course I am in a buddy group on "that" charting site and everyone is getting positives. Everyone. And it was supposed to be safe because it is an IVF veterans group. I just get that sinking feeling that I'm going to be the one left behind again, and I don't want to be there again. I don't want to be the one that gets the "I'm sorry" responses and not the "congratulations" responses. I'm so tired of being that person. I'm just so so scared that this didn't work. It seems so much more damning this time because if it didn't work with my only "perfect" embryo, I don't know what will help it next time. If there is a next time. And it seems so much harder to make the decision to do another cycle. I seem so stuck in my decision making.

Anyway, I have decided I just have to know. One way or another. So I think I'll test tomorrow. It'll be 13DPO, and while there is a chance that it may be too early, I just have to know. I was trying to hold out for longer, but I don't think I can any more. I can't stand living my life just wondering if it failed or not. I need to be able to think positively (and I do try - I can still get myself into a semi-meditative state and be all positive for a short while). But it's just so hard.

So, there you are. Tomorrow I will have an inkling of what the next few months hold.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yo-yo head

Hi! Welcome to the crazy yo-yo world of Sarah's head! Yes, I have been up and down, up and down, up and down. Culminating this morning in a complete inability to get out of bed, and lying there staring at the ceiling doing nothing. Except thinking about IVF #5. And whether it was even worth flogging my ovaries one more time. I do have one more vial of sperm left, so I'm kind of coming down to doing one last cycle to use it up, then an FET even if my solitary embryo has little chance of making it through the thaw. And then calling it quits. Or maybe doing a DE cycle. Or maybe adoption. Ha, so I really haven't got very much further with my thinking. I do have these imaginings of a child-free life involving going back to school and doing something completely different, but due to my immigration woes I have to stay at my job for another 3 years or so (boo!) so even if I pick that course I have time to figure out what my second career will be.

The only thing I am certain of is that I won't arrange the post-IVF consult until well into the New Year, and I will be doing Weight Watchers if I'm not pregnant. Although I've lost the 3lbs stims bloat weight, there's still the little matter of the other 30 that need to go as well. And yes, I am way up from the last weight I posted on this blog, but let's not go there just yet.

Well, here's the good and bad news so far this weekend:

The acu says I have a deep, slippery pulse. Which Randine Lewis says in The Infertility Cure is a clear sign of pregnancy. Except my body seems to like deep, slippery pulses and I've had them on other cycles. The acu told me it was "good, but could go either way".
I am kind of off my food. Nothing is really appealing, except bland soft cheeses like cottage cheese or mozarrella, or custard. Or cookies. Last nights dinner was rice pudding. Yup, still on the rice pudding kick.
I may be imagining it, but I may have the beginning of a metallic taste in my mouth. Or that could be the aftertaste of Friday night's Indian food still.
I have been cramping. Yesterday I think it was worse than in previous cycles. Today it is milder. It seems more constant than in other cycles, though.
My pee smells sharp. It always does after the trigger, but then fades. Doesn't seem to have faded yet.
I have become obssessed with cleaning my teeth and spraying myself with perfume. It's not that I am smelling bad things really keenly, like pregnant women are supposed to do, but more that I'd rather be smelling nice things. And without all the cleaning and spraying I don't think I do smell nice. Again, could still be just lefover Indian food aftertaste working its way through my pores and mouth. Maybe Indian food is a bad idea late in the 2WW!

My boobs have deflated and aren't sore any more, even when I poke them. No pert progesterone-filled lovelies any more for me!
In similar boob-related news, I don't have veiny boobs or sticky-out nipples, which would be good signs in my book.
I haven't exactly got a good track record.
I expect it to fail.
I'm a pessimist.

OK, so basically I seem to be pretty positive apart from the boob issue. Except I'm not. I've had so many potential "signs" in past cycles that I tend to discount them all as either figments of my imagination or progesterone side effects.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Poof! It's magic!!

Just like that, ladies and gentlemen, I can magically make all hope disappear at 9DPO. Every cycle. Like clockwork. Hit 9DPO and poof! Despair.

What on earth am I going to do if this cycle didn't work? I just don't know if I can do another IVF cycle. I don't know if I can do donor eggs. I don't know if I can do adoption. I don't know if I can live child-free. I am stuck.

My aunt handily pointed out that I am still ovulating and I'm not yet 40. Which would be fine if I had a husband and hence a ready supply of sperm (assuming it was good sperm of course). Sure, then I could just continue with the acupuncture, call it quits on the ART stuff and try naturally knowing that a miracle could happen in the next few years. But I don't. And I'm not likely to find anyone in the next few weeks. And I'm not ready to just leave everything up to fate, because I have a sneaking suspicion that fate is eyeing me as the crazy cat lady.

So, if I want to keep TTC'ing with my own eggs, either I find a known donor, or I continue with IVF's or I go back to pointless and expensive IUI's with frozen sperm. I suppose I'm stubborn enough to do another IVF, but it's getting kind of embarrassing at this point. 5th IVF? Yup, sounds great! Sign me up! Why not try the same thing again and see if the result will be different (wait, isn't that a definition of madness?). Will my RE even continue treating me at this point? Would it be better to go to an out-of-state place, as had been my original plan if this cycle failed (but I heart my RE and he knows me now, and I keep thinking he has the best chance of putting together the protocol which will finally work).

Then there's donor eggs. I'm conflicted on so many levels about donor eggs. I've been toying again with the idea of using my bro' as a sperm donor, so at least my dad would have one genetically related grandchild. But that could just be so weird. In so so many ways. My aunt, who really doesn't see the point of donor eggs as a single woman because it's not like I have a husband whose baby I want to have asks why I would want to put myself through pregnancy under those circumstances. Uh, because to those of us that haven't experienced pregnancy, it might be kinda cool? And we'd know about the nutrition status of the pregnancy, and that we're not smoking and drinking. And we could breastfeed. She says "why not just adopt?" Well of course, there's always the fact that there's no "just" about it. And I'm limited to domestic adoption, so not only will I be worried that the birth mother was smoking and drinking during pregnancy, she could also change her mind, leaving me devastated. Not to mention that I'd be freakin' broke and emotionally very fragile by the time I got to that point, so I just don't know if I'm strong enough for that whole process.

So you see, stuck.



9DPO Despair.

What if, internet? What if it didn't work?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The progesterone saga

Well today was the progesterone blood draw. And the result was an underwhelming 23. Last cycle it was 30. The cycle before it was 17.9. The cycle before that it was 12.7. Blah blah blah. I could go on, with all my lousy results down to 3 the first cycle we tested. I shouldn't complain too much, as it has sloooowly been getting better from an average down around 7 up to now having 3 cycles over the magical 15.

23 is fine. It's within normal range. It's not bad. I tell people all the time that the progesterone result is meaningless. And yet.

And yet, here's the rub. Last cycle and this cycle I have been doing my PIO shots in the morning, about 1.5 hours before the blood draw, because I am also doing progesterone suppositories which the RE told me to do overnight. So you would think that any high result would be because I only just shot up with the stuff, and that it's fairly meaningless. If it was like 70 or something I could say, oh, well, it's higher because it's fresh in my bloodstream. If it's 23 and I only just shot up, surely that means that prior to me shooting up it was lower. Like crappily low?

And how on earth can I be shooting up with 1cc of PIO, putting nasty nasty specially compounded 400mg suppositories up my hoo-ha, and STILL only have a level which some women get on a natural, unmedicated cycle? It's all a bunch of crap if you ask me. Or a bunch of gunk, if we're talking progesterone suppositories, as that's what I've got floating around my nether regions.

Progesterone results are meaningless.

But a nice high number would still have made me very happy today.

I got the Ambrosia rice pudding yesterday, by the way, and it didn't hit the spot either. The custard was yummy goodness, but the rice pudding, not so much. So now I'm on a mission for Kozy Shack, and will probably make my own at the weekend if that isn't good either. But now I feel like it's less like a sign and more like just a greedy phase.

Grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Food, glorious food

I'm all about food today.

Well, when am I not about food? But what I mean is that today's post is all about food.

I decided to stop at Winn Dixie on the way home last night to pick up a few things. I don't like to, but there's one close to the house and I was feeling lazy. Awful place. [It's a crappy US supermarket for the non-US readers, which I think is basically Katty]. Anyway, I was tootling around and I suddenly decided that I really needed to get some cottage cheese, because a spoonful of cottage cheese might make a yummy snack now and again. Now, my normal average rate of consumption of cottage cheese is approximately 0.0000000000000001 ounces per month. I'm throwing in that "1" in there because maybe once every year or two I am forced to eat something with cottage cheese in it as the only vegetarian option somewhere. I am not a fan. It's all icky and diety and not pleasant. And there was me yesterday, merrily adding a tub to my basket. And I didn't get the yogurt sized pots either, I got me a tub.

Strange, I thought, that I should suddenly want cottage cheese, maybe it's a sign. Because of course in the 2WW everything is a sign, and not just me being greedy.

And then I found myself seized with a desire for rice pudding. Again, I am not a rice pudding eater. I mean, it's OK, but it's not something that I long for. I have maybe one serving of rice pudding a year. Now, I know Publix has rice pudding (Publix being the nicer supermarket that I go to), because my local Publix has a British food section. I kid you not. They have chocolate hobnobs, Branston pickle, curry sauce, PG Tips, several Cadbury's choccie bars, and Ambrosia custard and rice pudding. All in a neat little shelving system with a union jack over the top of it. I don't know who else shops in the British food section, and friends of mine have even called me from Publix in disbelief at some of the food items there ("salad cream? What's salad cream? You people eat this shit?") but I guess there must be enough ex-pats around to keep it going. I started salivating for the Ambrosia creaminess.

I decided the need for rice pudding must be another sign, so I started wandering the aisles of Winn Dixie in the hopes that they may have some. I felt too embarrassed to ask a staff member if they had rice pudding, because I wasn't even sure if Americans ate rice pudding, or if they did, if they called it rice pudding. Maybe it had a more exotic name, and presumbably wouldn't have the word "pudding" in the title as most Americans don't seem to conversant with that one. You'd think I'd know every single language quirk there was by now, but sadly no.

And then I found an aisle which had some pudding snacks. Lo! Americans do use the word "pudding"! There was a vast array of Kraft "handi-snacks" of all types of puddingy varieties. And there, on the shelf, were the rice puddings. I snatched them up. I paid, I zoomed out of there dreaming of my first tast of the rice pudding when I got home. I just about resisted opening the pot right there in the car.

Oh my god, internet, it was foul. It was nasty and synthetic and had a very low rice to pudding ratio and just was not pleasant. I just kept thinking that it's no wonder that so many kids these days are picky eaters if their parents feed them on that type of garbage. Yick. What are we doing, America, that Kraft and other manufacturers put out gross snacks and we feed them to our kids willingly?

So, today, I feel that I may have to stop at Publix on the way home, and buy every last can of rice pudding and Devon custard that they have. Just to take the taste out of my mouth. I didn't dare try the cottage cheese after all that. Maybe another day...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

OK, back to ovary gazing

So, I was thinking about the "it only takes one" thing earlier. And don't worry, all threats of violence have long gone and I'm actually thinking happily to myself that it only takes one. But here's the thing, to get one good 3-day embryo over three IVF retrievals/transfers, I went through 28 eggs. And I got one nice 3-day embryo. Which may or may not make it. And I got one not-so nice 3-day embryo that did manage to make to to blast to be frozen. Which may not be all that great anyway.

One potential good one out of 28 eggs. 3 IVF cycles. 14 embryos. One. Good. One. And at this stage it's only a potential good one, because of course I have no idea if it's actually going to implant and stick around to become a real live breathing baby. Which is after all, the point of all this.

Plus, if I add up the mature follicles (and presumably therefore eggs) on the nicely-timed IUI cycles which also had a chance of working, to the eggs retrieved in the IVF cycles, that's 40 eggs which have been instructed to party with some sperm.

So one out of 40 looked good as a 3-day embryo.

That's kind of a sobering statistic.

I mean, now I'm at the happy place of telling myself that it only takes one, because I now have one good one. I have a decent chance, finally, of this working. But that's why it hurts when you get told it only takes one if you end up having a crappy response to the meds. Because by the time you get to IVF, you already know that you've blown through way more than one egg which didn't end up as a baby, so what are the chances that one of your current crop is the golden one. And let's face it, I've been trying for much less time than some other people. Maybe I'm being a tad over sensitive, but that's where my head's at. That's why I bristle at being told it only takes one, especially from fertile people like most of my family and IRL friends who seem to constantly sing out the refrains of "it only takes one", "maybe you need to relax more" and "just think positively". Maybe I'm just not a positive enough person that when I have one mature follicle I can think "oh THIS could be the one!", but instead peevishly demand some sort of extra proof that this could be the one, like some sign from on high, or a nice embryo grade.

And clearly, my RE was right when he told me early on that egg quality was my issue. He's a smart cookie, that one.

Anyway, now, now, now, I am telling myself it only takes one. And it really does. That lucky egg. I hope I found it, because if I didn't, I just don't know if I can keep going at this. I don't know if I have another cycle in me or not.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Roof ripping

Well, I spent the weekend mostly horizontal, though I admit by Sunday it was starting to get difficult, so I ended up cooking up some pasta sauce to freeze. I did take some lying down breaks in between chopping vegetables, so I was mostly good. But then when my friend P. called to ask me out to dinner on Sunday evening, I jumped at the chance. He drove, so I was able to stay fairly slouched in the car. Hey, at least it was more rest than I've got after previous transfers. Not bad really.

And I was having a nice mellow time of it this morning as well, munching on my leftover pizza for breakfast, catching up on some blogs. And then a big old dump truck pulled up in front of the house. Odd, I thought, what are they doing? I was just peering out of the window of the office when a guy knocked on the front door. There was I, total bedhead hair which was even worse than usual from not having bothered to shower on Sunday, in a crumpled t-shirt and knickers, opening the door and feeling like an idiot that I hadn't even run for a robe or something to cover the cellulite. But it had taken a while to secrete the embarrassing cold pizza breakfast back in the fridge so I'd run out of arse covering time. It was the roofing company, there to start ripping up my roof, and they wanted me to move my car out of the way.

Now, I found this somewhat surprising for several reasons. The first being that they hadn't told me that they were coming. The second being that I only signed the contract 8-10 days ago. And the third, and perhaps most important, being that I BOUNCED THE FREAKIN' CHECK that I gave them for the deposit. I didn't post about it because, well, you know there were ovaries to discuss. But yes, I bounced my first check, internet, and of course it was a big one. It wasn't actually my fault. Well, not entirely my fault. I traced it to a software glitch at the mutual fund company that I was transferring some of my rapidly dwindling life savings from. You see, I used to have my checking account at Bank A, and now it is at Bank B. And I changed over all my records. And when I look online at mutual fund company's website, it says "Your Bank: Bank B" so when I arrange a transfer of cash, you would think it would go to the appropriate place. Apparently not, because apparently the software didn't delete the record of Bank A on the "other" side of the screen, so the mutual fund company's employees see that there is a choice between two banks. Of course, OF COURSE, they sent the money to Bank A, where I no longer have an account. So it bounced back to them. And the check I wrote, safe in the knowledge that the money would turn up the next day, also bounced. Yes, I have transferred money repeatedly over the last few months as I've been paying for IVF cycles, and it's always worked in the past. So, why they should decide now to send the money to a defunct account is beyond me. Anyway, I had a frantic time on the phone first trying to figure out what went wrong, get some sort of apology and at least a waiver of fees from mutual fund company, get an overdraft on my checking account (answer = hahahaha are you kidding us?) before I was aware that the check had already bounced, then apologizing to the roofing company.

So you would think, wouldn't you, that the roofing company wouldn't turn up early on a Monday morning, seeing as I've proven myself to be an unreliable customer already. Nope. By the time I got in the shower it sounded like there were two elephants on the roof, skipping. By the time I got out of the shower, it sounded like the original two elephants had been joined by several of their friends and were now having a double-dutch contest right above my head. The cat, at this juncture, decided that the best place to be was under my bed, and I have to say, if I could have fit under there easily, I would have joined her. I don't think I've managed to get dressed and out of the house as quickly in quite some time. I feel a bit bad that I've left the cat to the bad noises, but hopefully it'll only last for a couple of hours. Besides, she's got the primo spot in the house, under the bed, so she's golden.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Single embryo transfer, sort of

The transfer went well. It was very smooth, I got the water drinking correct so my bladder was full but not bursting, and the acu came to the clinic to do a session pre- and post-transfer. In fact, I kind of fell asleep when I was lying on the table after the transfer with the needles in me. Of course, that probably had something to do with the valium I took as well, but hey. Snoozing is good.

But the real news is that I got one good one! I'm pretty happy about it - I got an 8-celled grade 1 embryo. Grade 1 is the best at my clinic, and that's the best embryo I've managed to produce so far. My previous best were an 8-celled grade 2 and a 7-celled grade 2, both on the first ER/ET. Last time the best I got was a 5-celled grade 1. The other two embryos did make it to transfer but they were both 4-celled grade 5's. Which are just about as sucky as they can get and still be transferred, I would guess. In fact, they probably would have been discarded had I had any other embryos.

So, I'm going to look on it as a single embryo transfer, with the best embryo I've ever had. That's not bad, really, and at least gives me one little guy to be positive over.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I know, I'm whiny

I've been trying to think of something to post all day. Mostly I want to thank you guys for commenting and for being positive on my behalf. I just can't do it for myself at the moment, especially when someone tells me to be positive, as most of my family and friends IRL are doing. And telling me it only takes one. So I really appreciate you all. I really do. I promise the threat of knifing has now past, so if you want to post that it only takes one, you may do so freely and I will not inflict any bodily harm.

I'll find out how my three embryos are doing tomorrow. If I'm super duper lucky they'll all be 8-celled grade 1's, and I can quit complaining about sucky egg quality for a while. Let's hope, eh, because I'm sure you don't want to read more whining. Unfortunately last time they were mostly 4-celled which is bad bad bad at day 3. I'm hoping not to have a repeat of that. I think that's why they let me transfer 4 embryos last time, because they were obviously bad quality. So these, assuming none have arrested prior to transfer, will be #'s 8, 9 and 10.

Anyway, I posted a photo of me in my profile, finally. I think there are definitely too many uneven teeth going on - I was obviously doing an especially wide grin for the camera. It's all a bit jaws-like, really. Da-dum. Da-dum da-dum da-dum. Da-DUM! OK, pathetic attempt at the jaws theme there. But there ya go, that's me in all my toothy glory. And for the record, I am not normally that toothy. I'm normally scowling, but I don't exactly have too many photos of me so you'll have to put up with toothy.

Oh, and I did do ICSI if you were wondering. That's why I was so shocked at the low fertilization rate. I've done ICSI on all my cycles, and have now had 70%, 100% and 43% fertilization based on the number of mature eggs retrieved. So it's a bit of a drop this time. Based on total number of eggs, the fertilization rate is 50%, 80% and 33%. Why oh why are all my numbers all over the place? From numbers of eggs retrieved to fertilization rate? Why so temperamental, ovaries?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fuck fuck fuck

Well, there was me all happy and optimistic. I'd done the Clear Passage Therapy, I'd got the vitamins right (or so I thought), I'd been drinking the whey protein shakes. I had nice even stimming. I thought I'd have excellent quality. I was as certain as I could be that this one would be "the one".

Out of 9 eggs, 7 were mature. 3 fertilized normally.


That's less than I had last time when I only got 5 eggs in total.


The universe is just fucking with me. I know, I know, it only takes one, but I shall personally track you down, come to your house in the middle of the night and stick a kitchen knife in you if you post that. I know it only takes one. But's what are the chances that I have a good one out of these three pathetic little embryos? When I've already produced 10 crappy embryos and have only got one of questionable quality in the freezer?

Damn it all.

Fuck, fuck and fuck again.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The nine

Well, I am back from ER! We got stopped for speeding on the way there, which wasn't a good sign. Effing cops were just getting everyone - we weren't even driving that fast or dangerously. Although I did see a rainbow just before we got stopped for speeding, so up until that point had been thinking that the omens were good. Then my RE completely gave up on my left ovary - my aunt, who was allowed in the room to watch, said she could see the needle pushing against the follicle, but it wasn't going in, and the ovary would move every time he tried to stick the needle in. I guess I've become a tough old broad. He even got the nurse to push down on my abdomen in order to stop the ovary moving around. But he couldn't do it, and decided it was more risky to keep poking around in there as he didn't want to nick the bowel, so just gave up! He said the follicles weren't that big anyway so he just left them. I've had some bleeding, so I believe he really was digging around in there.

But the good news is we got 9 eggs from the right ovary! Good old righty! In fact, thank God for righty on this cycle.

So now I have that odd feeling of fullness still on the left, and sucked-outness on the right. Odd. Not sure if the left ones will just reabsorb or if they'll ovulate. If I had a ready supply of fresh sperm, I might be tempted to ignore the "no intercourse for a week" instruction and try to see if I could fertilize any ovulated eggs. Or at least get my husband to do the deed into a cup for me to shoot up there. But alas, no free sperm, so even if the eggs on the left do ovulate, they'll be wasted. Oh well, I'll concentrate on the ones I do have. Do your thing, eggs and sperm, do your thing and get busy in that petrie dish.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Comfort, or lack thereof

I am not comfortable today. And that's all I'm going to say. I take my hat off to those women who have like 30 eggs, because I don't know how they stand it.

In fact, I can't wait for these eggs to be out of me! Only 15.5 more hours...

Monday, November 27, 2006

We are go for trigger

Holy jumping E2, batman!

I'm in a pretty good mood- my E2 jumped from 936 yesterday to 1,752 today, and the u/s showed I have 7 follicles >20mm, 1 at 17.5mm, 1 at 15.5mm and 1 or 2 smaller. I'm so happy the E2 jumped up, as I was worrying that some of the follicles were empty. Well, they still could be, but I'll find that out on Wednesday I guess. I am triggering tonight at 11pm, and egg retrieval is on Wednesday morning at 10am.

All in all, I can't complain about this cycle. I mean, I'd love more eggs, and I'd have loved my left ovary to have responded like my right ovary did, but we got what we wanted - a more even stimulation. And OK, I'm still going a little early, as I'm triggering on cycle day 10, but I stimmed for a day longer as I started earlier this time. So hopefully the quality will be improved over last time. Hopefully. You see, there's me not being able to be entirely positive. There's still that niggling little bit of doom and gloom that I didn't respond better.

It's funny how you always compare yourself in this infertility shit. I don't know why I can't just be happy happy happy about my good response, but then I read something from someone with 30 eggs and think "lucky bitch". I think about people who are younger than me with their better eggs, I think about better responders than me, others think about people like me having the money to afford to do this more than once, and for being younger than they are. We're all jealous over something and yet we're all in this together. In fact, I was doing my customary trawl through PubMed over the weekend, and got so freakin' angry about some of the research projects about the ethics of IVF and trying to prevent people doing any more than single embryo transfer and all the other bullshit, and I was thinking that those people are the enemy. The ones who don't understand the pain of infertility and who just look at things dispassionately and say "IVF babies have a greater than normal risk of certain birth defects so more study is needed before making IVF available to the public". The ones I just want to scream at, grab by the shoulders and shake violently. The ones I want to tell to bite me. The ones who don't understand the need, pure and simple, to have children. So why on earth do I waste energy being jealous of some other infertile who has a better response than me? Why do others waste energy being jealous of me for anything? I mean, just as there's always someone on the beach thinner than you, fatter than you, prettier than you and uglier than you, there's always someone who does better than you at IVF and someone that does worse. And yet, that's just human nature, eh? The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Probably Wednesday

It is looking more and more likely that I will trigger tomorrow, and egg retrieval will be Wednesday. Today's follicle report was that the largest is 21mm, there are 5 at 18 or 19mm, 2 at about 16mm or so, and three smaller. The u/s technician measured the smaller guys at smaller than yesterday, so either she was measuring wrong, yesterday's tech measured wrong, or they shrank. Knowing my ovaries, they probably shrank.

Anyway, so that looks like maybe 8 mature eggs, not bad huh? Except there's a but. There's always a freakin' but in my life. My estrogen level is still pretty low to my thinking. 936 today. If I had 6 mature follicles, which I would appear to have, I'd expect it to be at least 1200. And with a couple of also-rans, I'd expect at least 1400. So I'm now worrying that some of the follicles will be empty, just taunting me, making me think that there was a chance of 11 eggs. So, we'll see what we see when they take the little buggers out. On Wednesday. Probably.

Back for another check tomorrow. We'll see how the blood draw goes. I asked if they could take it out of my leg today, and the nurse just looked at me bemused and repeated "your leg??" with a sneer of disdain (or was it disgust?) across her face. She said they only take blood out of the leg as an absolute last resort, if they couldn't get it out of the backs of the hands. I said I thought it would hurt less than the back of my hand, and couldn't we try it in preference to leaving me with a hand-covering bruise and a useless appendage? The short answer was no, but she was game to have a go on my right arm. So she tourniqued my arm so tight I thought my eyes might start to bulge out. She slapped and prodded. She got a butterfly needle and inserted it to the hilt in my forearm, saying that the vein was really deep. I was not thinking deep thoughts at that particular juncture, but more along the lines of "fuck, I'm a wimp, this hurts". But she managed to get some blood. The other patients in the waiting room seemed to be doing double-takes at the weird placement of my post-blood draw bandaid. But we did it, we avoided the back of my hand for another day. Which is something to be celebrated, at least.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Still here

Still in Miami. My aunt, being the persuasive woman she is, won't let me go. But the cat and I will be wending our merry way back home tonight after dinner. I just cannot face another drive to the RE's from here!

Had my pre-op scan today, which they schedule when the lead follie gets to 16mm. It involves meeting with an RE, and the guy on call today was Dr. H, who I love almost as much as my own RE. Dr. H said that my file was now almost as heavy as me, and we really needed to make this work before it overtook me.  Funny AND cute (oh wait, is it only me that thinks dorky RE's are hot stuff?). We spent most of the visit talking about England, because after all, when you're on your 4th IVF there really aren't any more questions to ask. I told him my guess was now that retrieval would be Wednesday, and he said that was about right. He also said that my RE was doing the retrievals next week, so I've managed to get him every cycle now. Yay!

As for the follie news, there are still 11 contenders, but not the same 11 as yesterday. One of the ones on my left is falling behind, but an extra one on the right is catching up, so it's now 9 on the right. The biggest one is 19mm, and the others are between 14 and 16mm.

E2 was 676, so it's creeping up there, but doesn't seem high enough to me. I'll be back again for another scan in the morning.  I hope the blood draw goes OK. Today the nurse dug around in my right arm for a bit trying and failing to find the vein there before giving up and taking it out of the left. And yes, the left is starting to hurt like a mofo'. The nurse exclaimed at the amount of scar tissue at my one and only blood drawing site. Uh huh, tell me about it. Why d'you think I put up with the digging in my right arm??  I think I'm going to offer up a leg vein tomorrow and see what they do. The leg has to be easier than the back of your hand, right?  Because I know that we're headed for the back of my hand next, and that won't be pretty.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Friday, November 24, 2006

Follicular particular

Thanksgiving yesterday was lovely, even if it was a bit odd to stay sober. Miss kitten tolerated me dragging her to Miami, barely.  Let's just say that I'm not exactly her favorite person right now.  Especially when I am trying to force antibiotic liquid down her throat. 

I drove up to the RE's this morning, which only took me 50 minutes as there was hardly any traffic, and let me just say, I have never seen the place so busy. They had 4 nurses drawing blood (usually there are 2) who were just going non-stop. It was definitely the baby-making factory in full flow. The u/s tech said that the day after Thanksgiving is their busiest of the year, as everyone is trying to get one last cycle in before Christmas. Judging by the number of people in the waiting room, I believe her.

As for the follicular news, I still have 11 contenders, but they are starting to get more spread out in size. The largest had an average measurement of 17mm, but it had a length of 20mm. So it's starting to take off. I didn't get a good look at the sizes of anything else, but I think the smallest one was 10mm.  Didn't have any extras pop up on the left, so I guess that side is the lazy one. I don't know if they'll all make it to maturity, but I'm still hopeful for a fairly good crop. E2 was 426 today, up from 152 on Wednesday, so there's still a little way to go. I've got to go back tomorrow morning for my pre-op visit and to meet with the RE, so I should find out which of the team is doing the retrievals next week. My guess is that retrieval will be on Tuesday, but I guess we could squeak through to Wednesday if I'm lucky. It'd be nice to have as much of a chance as possible to have all the follicles as mature as they can be.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tofurkey Day

Well, the cat ended up shaved, anesthetized and generally prodded about. The cut had turned into an abscess. Or it could have been completely coincidental with the fight with the other cat, and could have been a hot spot caused by matted hair and nastiness. Anyway, she needs to have antibiotic drops twice a day. She's a pretty pathetic sight.

My next ultrasound is on Friday morning, so driving up from Miami would have been pretty hard. Especially if I have another one on Saturday morning. What with figuring out what to do with the cat, and all.

I made the decision that it was better to just stay here, although I'd drive to Miami and back today for Thanksgiving. It was a firm decision. I was adamant. I was not going to drag the poor cat on another car journey, and stress her and me out by making her stay in a strange house when she's already sick.

I called my aunt to tell her. Needless to say, my resolve failed under pressure. I'm off to Miami with a howling cat, 6 different types of medication between us (3 of which need to be refrigerated), kitty litter, blankets, whey protein powder, a large haul of vitamins, syringes, needles, cat food, my Thanksgiving dish, clothes and anything else I can think of and can stuff in the car. Happy Thanksgiving, blogosphere!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Busy busy

What a day it's going to be. I have four appointments today, a shitload of work to do, and somehow I also have to make it to the supermarket to shop for the dishes I am supposed to be taking to Thanksgiving.

The first appointment is over with, which was my ultrasound and blood draw at the RE's. There was good news and not so good news. The good news is that my right ovary had 9 or 10 follicles, 8 of which were of a good size. I had 2 at 12mm, 1 at 11mm, 2 at 10mm, 1 at 9mm, 1 at 8mm and 1 at 7mm. Then she measured one of the smaller ones at 4mm, but didn't bother measuring the other one. The not so good news was that there were only three follies that she could see on my left, but it was very hard to see the ovary due to all the gas in my bowel! And I never used to think of myself as a farty person, but that darn gas has been getting in the way of far too many ultrasounds lately. So she said there may be more that just aren't visible that we may be able to see next time as the ovary gets larger. Or maybe not. The three that she was able to measure were 1 at 9mm, 1 at 8mm and 1 at 7mm.

Anyway, at least they are all good sizes, and there are no monsters in there, so the long lupron seems to be doing its thing properly. And even if we don't find any more on the left, 11 contenders is still way way better than last cycle, so it's all good. I'll get my E2 level and instructions for when I'm to go back again this afternoon.

Appointment #2 is with the vet. Kitty's oozy cut started getting worse again so the neosporin is not cutting it. I really should have taken her on Monday, but there you go. Live and learn. The thing I'm worried about now is whether they'll want to keep her, or if I'm going to have to do something complicated and involved every 20 minutes. Not that I can't take her with me to Miami, or can't cut short my stay there (though I'd rather not), but she gets stressed out traveling and staying in strange houses. And of course the other thing I had thought is that whenever my second follicle check of the weekend is, I'd just continue home afterwards rather than drive all the way back to Miami, but I'm not sure I can leave the cat in the car outside the RE's while I nip in for a quick wanding. I'll figure it all out somehow.

Appointment #3 is with a roofer. I decided on a roofing company, and am pushing full steam ahead. I want this done and finished already!

Appointment #4 is my acupuncture session, as the acu is closed for the weekend. I'll need a bit of relaxation at the end of the day, but it's not going to be fun to race there through the rush hour traffic.

And THEN I need to go to the supermarket and battle the crowds.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


So tiiiiiired.

Must sleeeeeep.

Don't remember stims doing this before. Need energy. Eyes cloooosiiiiinnnnggg.....


Million Dollar Dreams

I heard this morning about a raffle drawing that the Florida Lottery is running at New Year. They are offering ten $1million prizes, and are only selling 1.25 million tickets, making the odds of actually winning a million bucks a mere 1 in 250,000. The tickets cost $20 and are expected to sell out very quickly. So I snapped one up. Hell yeah, I want a chance at winning the cash! There are some smaller prizes too, which I definitely wouldn't say no to. I am not a big lottery fan, but I play the regular lottery maybe twice a year. I have been known to say that the lottery is a tax on people who can't do math, but it's definitely fun to dream about winning and I figure the odds of winning are so astronomical that it doesn't matter if I play it twice a week or twice a year - it really makes no difference to my chances. But this has a much greater chance, even though it's more than I would normally spend on the lottery in a year, so why the hell not, eh? It could pay for my 5th IVF cycle if there needs to be one. And if I don't win, well, I'm not really going to miss $20.

But then of course I started dreaming of actually winning. And whereas before my lottery winning dreams involved yachts and quitting work and sailing the pacific, these were different. You see, I don't think $1 million is enough to radically change your life. I mean like quit work and be a bum for the rest of your life type radical change. But, it could radically change your existing life for the better, and mores the point, the lives of those around you. Maybe you wouldn't be able to quit working forever, but it would certainly open up possibilities, like going back to school to start over, and paying off your mortgage so you could afford to take that lower paying but more rewarding job. And then I started dreaming of paying for IVF cycles for, say, 5 people who don't have a hope in hell of being able to afford it themselves. Can you imagine what that would be like? To actually have the power to say to a bunch of people "here, go and do what you've been dreaming of, go and have a real chance at having a baby". It makes me quite misty eyed to think about it. Wow, how good would that make you feel if you could really do that? I mean, sure, giving a fat check to my brother or various other family members would be nice, but then again, they'd expect me to do it if I won a boatload of cash, so it kind of takes some of the fun out of it. But at random, offering someone a potential way out of misery? That right there is something worth dreaming of, my friends.

Aaah, dreaming is nice.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Warning - period talk ahead

I'm actually feeling pretty positive today, and it's all to do with my period. Yup, crazy as it may sound, the quality of my period now has the ability to affect my mood. It's all the fault of acupuncture. I have been doing acupuncture for a long time. Longer than anyone else I've come across on any fertility board, I think, except maybe one person who started studying it in order to make a career change into being an acupuncturist. Or at least, I should qualify that statement, longer than anyone else I've come across without having any remote hint of success. Longer than anyone should, with all honesty, keep flogging a dead horse. Not that I equate my ovaries with dead horses, you understand, it's just a metaphor.

In fact, I've sometimes wondered why I keep going. I find the sessions relaxing, but I have at many times decided that it would be more relaxing NOT to spend the money each week that I give to the acu. I have had some improvements in my digestive system - I am no longer such a diarrhea queen. I have more energy than I used to. I'm generally in pretty good shape healthwise (ignoring the expanding waistline issue for a moment here). And that's a nice place to be in. But in my menstrual cycle - not so many changes. How on earth can I be going to acu, through 20 months, three acupuncturists (two of whom are fertility specialists) and not have a better period?

But, slowly over the last few months, my PMS symptoms have been diminishing, and now today, on cycle day 3, I still have red blood. That's a huge thing for me. It's been so brown and stodgy and silty and clotty. Just not healthy looking. Slowly the amount of red has been improving, and to make it to day 3 with a good flow still is worth celebrating in my view.

So, it's giving me some hope that maybe after the Clear Passage Therapy and the months of acupuncture, things are improving in there in regards to blood flow and general healthiness. That maybe my uterus is finally becoming a welcoming, healthy place for an embryo to snuggle in to. Now, I know that implantation is not really my issue - my RE is pretty definite that it's my sucky egg quality that's causing my problems, but I hope that with the long lupron protocol I'll get slower stimming and hence better quality. And I'm sticking with the IVF smoothie, so have been having my whey protein every day religiously. Maybe it'll all help, you never know.

I've been growing a nice crop of bruises on my belly, I can tell you that. But otherwise, nothing to report on the stims front. My first ultrasound is on Wednesday, so that's the day that I'll really know whether any of this is helping or not. I'm pretty nervous, but que sera sera, eh?

In kitty news, I decided not to hotfoot it to the vet this morning. The stinky infected smell has diminished greatly, so the neosporin seems to be working. The cut is still oozing a bit, but is looking better, and the cat is still pretty sprightly and doesn't appear to be feeling ill.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Smelly cat

I started my stims this morning. I will be doing 2 vials of menopur and 1 vial of follistim in the mornings, and 1 vial of repronex and 2 vials of follistim in the evening. I'm only using the repronex because I have some left over from last cycle so I'm trying to spread it out by using one vial a day just in case the menopur really is better.

The menopur comes with this handy dandy mixing device called a Q-cap, which you use to puncture the vial with and transfer liquid to and fro with. It's much easier than using a big old needle to do the mixing with. But as I have approximately 6 trillion of the old-style syringes with mixing needles already attached, I figure I'll use them for the repronex shot. Actually, I really should count how many syringes I have built up over 4 cycles because I think you'd be amazed. And that's with doing 3 or 4 shots a day, but when you get a syringe per vial, and combine 3 vials in one shot, you start building up a surplus pretty fast.

I'm worrying about my kitty today. She got scratched by another cat earlier in the week, and it seemed to be healing just fine, but yesterday I noticed some pus oozing out of the cut. Today it is starting to smell bad and infected. I have been cleaning it with a washcloth regularly since I noticed the pus (and she's been letting me do it, surprisingly), and have been putting neosporin on it. Yes, I googled whether it was safe to use neosporin on cats. But if it doesn't show some serious improvement by tonight, we will be going to the vets as soon as we can on Monday. It definitely won't be fun trying to feed a cat antibiotics, but I managed it before when she had a UTI once, so I can manage it again. That'll be great, eh, me on my medicines and her on others. In the meantime, the refrain of the day is "smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?".

Got my final roofing quote yesterday, and it was $27,500. So the prices have ranged from $10,000 to $27,500. Some difference, huh? I am trying to make the decision early next week, so on Monday I'll be calling the cheap guy and asking for references.

Anyway, please oh please let this IVF work!! Please let these stims shots generate lots of nice evenly sized follicles!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thar she blows!

So, no sign of my period this morning. I asked the acupuncturist if she could bring it on with some special points, and she said she knew exactly the ones to do the trick. In fact, she said if they didn't work, she didn't know what would. Well, they worked! Immediately. Like, while I was lying on the table immediately. I was wearing a liner just in case, so that all worked out well. And of course I had a sneak peak as I was getting up just to confirm that the action really had started and I hadn't imagined it. Come on, I can't be the only person in the world who ever takes a sneak peak down her knickers? Ahem, well, maybe I am. Moving right along, then...

I had these plans to go to the bookstore, then Whole Paycheck, er I mean Foods, after the acu appointment, but I decided instead to drive home to do my first stims shot. The nurse yesterday said to start stims immediately, and then do the second stims shot of the day a bit later than normal. Yes, I take a high enough dose to have to spread it out in two doses 12 hours apart. She said it didn't matter if the first day's stims were unevenly spaced, though, so I figured if I did the first one at 12, then the next one at 9.15, I could get on my usual schedule of 6.30 tomorrow morning. But a different nurse called my cellphone as I was driving home to check if my period had started and when I said "well, I'm pretty sure it just started but I guess it could be spotting - I'll be sure in an hour or two" she said to wait until tomorrow to start stims so that the shots weren't unevenly timed. I tried double and triple checking with her, but she seemed insistent, so I will start my stims in the morning, which will be cycle day 2. Now I'm trying to decide whether to drive all the way to Whole Paycheck, which is 30 minutes from home as opposed to 10 minutes from the acu, or whether to just go to a closer bookstore and give up on the gourmet food idea.

In other, more major news, a friend from that fertility site that shall not be named but whose initials may or may not be FF has just had fetal surgery on her baby boy at 18 weeks gestation. I've been so worried about them, and I'm so glad that the surgery went as well as it could have. The poor thing has a blocked urethra, so his bladder was dangerously enlarged. Without treatment, the urine backs up into the kidneys, damaging them, and because amniotic fluid is made up of urine, the baby's lungs can't develop normally. She was told there was greater than a 90% chance of the baby dying in utero, which is just so awful. And the complicating factor is that she's pregnant with twins, and if she did the surgery, she risked losing both of them. But the surgeon managed to install a shunt into the baby's bladder so that it can drain, and so far so good. There is a danger that the shunt may become dislodged, in which case she'll have to have surgery again, and a big danger of membrane rupture. And the baby will need surgery shortly after birth anyway, but if the shunt stays in place that surgery should be minor. This type of fetal surgery had never been done before on anyone carrying twins, so this is pretty groundbreaking stuff. So, if you're the praying type, please pray or offer up some good thoughts for Steph and her babies.

This means that so far not one of my multiple-IVF friends has had a straightforward pregnancy. Not one. There's been hyperemesis and bedrest, triplets (and presumably bedrest) and now fetal surgery. It's all a bit worrying really, and makes me paranoid as to what might happen if I do get lucky enough to get pregnant this time, but I guess I should just cross that bridge if I get to it. When I get to it.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I trundled down to the RE's this morning, in my lovely almost-new car, which still rattles occasionally but is running a lot better than it used to. Had my blood drawn, had an ultrasound for the suppression check, all that jazz. My ovaries look good, with no cysts, but the u/s tech didn't count the follicles - she hardly ever does unless she has to measure them, but it looked like there were several on each side to me, so I didn't mind the lack of a formal count. Besides, lately the counts have all been depressing, so I'd prefer to imagine that I have a ton of follicles there that the tech just was too quick to wand over. It keeps the optimism going that little bit longer. However, as my period still hasn't put in an appearance, of course my lining is too thick. So, I met with the IVF nurse (who, by the way, was all cheery and "hello, my name is J___" when I was thinking "I know who you are, lady, don't think I've forgotten that you made me cry with an evil comment during one of my IUI cycles". Of course, I smiled nicely and said "hi J___, how are you today?". I'm such a wimp). Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, she said I had to wait until my period started before I start stims. And full flow. Not just spotting. She repeated herself several times as if I was an imbecile. Full flow. Yeah, I do actually have enough brain power to understand that concept. So, it could be tomorrow, could be Sunday, could be today- but that's unlikely in my book. I'm either a first thing in the morning gal, or I get spotting in the late afternoon/early evening, and then the following day is day one. So I'm not expecting to have to rush home to get the stim meds out of the fridge today.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Still waiting

Still on period watch over here. I thought it would have shown up by now, but I guess not. At least my boobs have started aching, so that's a sign that it's imminent. I now predict spotting tonight, then the real deal tomorrow. I have my baseline ultrasound in the morning, but I'm not sure when they want me to start stims. Saturday, maybe? Sunday?

Got my car back last night - it was $1800 in the end, as they found yet another problem when they'd finished the work and took it out for a test drive. It was weird getting it back, as the clock and all the radio presets had been reset, reminding me that they really did take out the main battery!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why is it?

Yes, I know, verbal (postal?) diarrhea here, but I just had to post again. Why is it internet, that when I am moseying around online window shopping for my future babe (yes, trying to be positive), why is it that I manage to fall in love with the most expensive baby stuff? Why is that? I really wouldn't say that I have expensive tastes. I am very happy shopping at Target, Ikea (oh if only the S. Florida store would open quicker!) and other such stores. I love hand-me-downs. Really couldn't care less if I buy the expensive thing or the cheap thing. But the baby stuff somehow gets to me. I think it is because so much of it is really the same. I'm so bored of seeing it all. I mean, most of them are OK, but why does every crib have to be a scrolly number that will convert into a full-size headboard? Call me all European, but my kid is not getting a freakin' double bed, so there's no way that I want or need a headboard that big. Not to mention that my house isn't big enough. And I'm tired of looking at sleigh-bed style things. And why is so much of the baby bedding pink or blue, and frilly and pastel? I want bold, bright things. I want a fun nursery. I don't want my nursery to look all themey and perfect.

But here, here is the most beautiful crib, dresser, cabinet, changing table and twin bed out there. Offi nursery furniture. Sigh! Gorgeousness! I absolutely love it. And they have some of it at Target, which is where I first stumbled across it. But to pay $800 for a crib? I just don't think I can do it...

In other news, we are on period watch at chez Sarah. Any time, Aunt Flo, any time.


I'm doing this meme from Calliope but I have to say, it's a hard one! You thought of some difficult questions, m'dear!

1) If somebody said you were like a breakfast cereal, which one would you be and why?
Well, porridge comes to mind, or oatmeal if I'm being American. I don't really know why though - a bit stodgy, but ultimately warming and cheery, and good for you?

2) How do you take your coffee/tea?
Pepperminty! I'm off the caffeine, so currently my tea of choice is peppermint.

3) Your bedroom is on fire. You can only reach in & grab ONE thing. Do you grab your photo album or your journals?
Oh, the photo album definitely. I've tried loading some photos onto photbucket just in case of fire or other disaster, but am nowhere near complete. I just couldn't bear the thought of losing all that family history. Never been much of a journal keeper!

4) When I see ______ I wish I could ______ so that everyone else would know that _______.
Um, see Calliope, this one is impossible. When I see the jackass at work I wish I could punch him so that everyone else would know that he's a jackass? But they already do! When I see people polluting the earth I wish I could make them see that they could make a difference so that everyone else would know that too? When I see people being mean to kids I wish I could shake them so that everyone else would know...what? That I get angry? Ugh, I give up.

5) Got porn?
No. Erotic fiction is as close as I get!

6) If I could meet _______ and explain why I _______ I would never ______ again.
Errrr. There's nothing I would say "I would never....again", apart from drinking and driving, but that doesn't require an explanation. And I know that there's no point me bargaining that I'll never eat chocolate again in return for a kid or something, because chocolate is impossible to resist. Can I skip this one?

7) What is the worst pet name in the history of your family?
We weren't really allowed pets as a kid, so there's no long history to draw from. My grandma had a cat called Obediah, but I think that's a pretty cool name. My cousin has a Rottweiler called Ronnie, which I think is pretty lame. My cat is called Lucky, which I really don't like, but she was 7 when I got her and I didn't have the heart to change it. I usually call her Lulu or something similar. That's all I got for ya.

8) I would eat a bowl of _____ for free, but if you want me to eat a bowl of ______ you'd have to pay me $_____.
I'd eat a bowl of ice cream for free! Yummy! I'd eat many many things for free. I guess the only thing that I'd put a price on me eating would be meat, and it'd have to be up in the millions to make me want to do it. Or maybe the high hundred thousands. You know, enough to make it really worth my while. If you want me to eat dogshit or slime or something, well, I'm not going to, so there's no price on that!

9) What 80's tv star would make you giggle like a school girl?
None of them. Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran might, but he's not a TV star. You remember 80's TV stars?

10) What age was your best and why?
I think every age is pretty good. What I lose in energy, fashion sense, and social life, I gain in confidence, maturity and the wisdom not to care too much about the small stuff. I don't have a particular favorite, although I had a pretty damn good year when I was 20/21 (not sure my liver would agree with me, but I had fun).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tylenol to the rescue

Tylenol came to the rescue of my poor head yesterday. I'd toughed it out all day, trying not to add any more pharmaceuticals to my system, but ended up going home early from work because I was so miserable, and as I was lying there in a darkened room, thinking about wasting the entire evening, I thought "this is stupid" and gave in to the siren call of pain relievers. So I had a couple of extra strength tylenol, not expecting them to actually work on a headache of that magnitude, but they did. Who knew? I always thought with nasty headaches that you had to take more and nastier drugs.

It was such a pleasure not to have to take a BCP as I went to bed!! Yay!!! I'll have 5 days now with just lupron - it's almost a drug holiday. Just one teensy tiny injection a day is practically nothing. As long as I don't get any more killer headaches, of course.

Still reeling a bit from the whole car thing, but I got another roofing quote today that was $6000 less than the one I was going to accept, so I might just go with the cheap one and hope that they are not a fly-by-night company who are out to rip me off. I keep thinking I should explain why on earth I am re-roofing my house while I'm doing an IVF as probably everyone else thinks I'm mad to even consider it. But it's all part of the possible moving back to England plan, if this IVF doesn't work. There's no way I can sell my house without reroofing it, because, um, it needs a new roof. I figure I'd have to knock $30,000 off the asking price because of it, and houses aren't exactly selling fast around here at the moment, so it may just languish on the market for a long time. By spending $10,000 on a new roof I'll be in a position of being able to sell it quicker, and at a better price (yes, we're down to $10,000, which is less than an IVF cycle! Woot!). And if the IVF works, it'll be one thing that I don't have to worry about when pregnant, because I really need to get the new roof on before the next hurricane season. I cannot imagine the stress of sitting out a storm with a damaged crappy roof. Well, actually I probably wouldn't be able to sit out a storm - I'd have to evacuate because it wouldn't be safe. And, if I don't do this now, I don't feel like I'll be able to properly plan for any possible next cycle, or adoption or my child free life. Not to mention that I won't have the money because I'll have spent it on the next crackpot infertile scheme. I mean, I guess I could wait for the next hurricane to rip the roof apart, and then claim on insurance, but that's assuming that the insurance company doesn't drop me, which they are threatening to do. And assuming that it'll be cheaper to do it that way, which I don't think it would be as the deductible is pretty huge and I'd presumably have to replace a lot of my possessions which could get damaged if the roof fails. I waited out this season, hoping for insurance to cover the roof and we were lucky enough to have no storms. I don't think it'll last another year without me doing something. So that's that. That's why I'm crazy enough to be considering having the roof ripped off my house in the middle of an IVF cycle. Hey, at least it's something of a distraction.

By the way, I just want to give a shout out to Stephanie, my lovely internet buddy who has agreed to cover a whole bunch of days for egg retrieval driving duty! It's a big weight off my mind, and I can ask my aunt to cover the days that Stephanie can't do, as it'll be easier for her to rearrange her patients for just a couple of days than for a whole week. Thank goodness for internets! Mwha! Big smoochies for Stephanie!

Monday, November 13, 2006

My car is officially fucked

Just got the call. Man, it's turning into a super good day over here. The car needs $7700 worth of work on it, but luckily the main battery failing, which is the thing that caused it to die and which takes up $6000 of that cost, is covered under the warranty. And because of the warranty, the loaner car will be free for however long it takes to fix - which could be up to a week. Or more. So, it'll be about $1700 to me to get it into properly drivable condition. Double ow!


Ow! My head hurts. And I thought I'd escaped the lupron headaches because they'd been very mild up to now. But I think I didn't keep myself well enough hydrated yesterday to keep this one at bay. It huuurts.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My dad the spy

Woo-hooo! Today I take the last BCP, so I should expect my period maybe on Thursday, it'll be u/s and b/w on Friday, and maybe starting stims on Saturday. Man, this has dragged. Even though doing microdose lupron + BCP takes the same amount of overall time, this long lupron protocol has seemed to take much much longer.

I called my dad this morning to say hi, and can I just announce to the internet that he is weird? Him and my step mother both answered the phone at the same time. I said "well, hello to both of you at the same time - that's convenient!". My stepmother continued talking. We talked about the weather over there, my car breaking down, shit like that. Not a peep from dad. I said "er, did dad put the phone down?", to which she said "well, I guess he must have, he must have heard me answer the phone and not waited to hear your voice". So, we continued chatting for a bit. She said "well, I'll call upstairs to your dad and tell him you're on the phone". There was a pause. She duly shouted up the stairs. Dad then spoke into the phone - he hadn't actually put the phone down, and had been listening all along. Weirdo. I said "why on earth didn't you speak? We could have been saying bad things about you", to which he said that when two women start talking he can't get a word in edgewise. Which is so not true, as my stepmother and I don't exactly have the world's greatest relationship, so there's always a few awkward pauses. Now, that just freaked me out. Was he spying on me, to make sure I was polite to her or something? Then later on in the phone call he was complaining that no-one ever calls him to let him know what's going on in the family. I tried to point out that he could call them, but he reckons that it's always him who calls everyone. Funny how I get that exact same feeling!

Oh well, he wished me luck for the next IVF, and said he'd keep his fingers crossed. He sounded a bit crestfallen when I said that if it didn't work this time I might just give it up as a bad job. I know he wants grandchildren so badly, because obviously he wants to continue all those fantastic genes! Hey, let's bring more weirdo children into the world to carry on his good work! No, seriously, he's not that weird. Eccentric, maybe. Can I fool myself into believing that? My dad is only eccentric, not weird. Maybe if I repeat it often enough I'll start thinking it. Like telling myself that my IVF will work this time. I AM continuing on eccentric genes. It WILL work this time. I will NOT be giving birth to more weirdos, only interestingly-abled children.

Uh huh, I can feel it working already...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The late, lamented Sarah-mobile

My car died today. Literally. Died. As I was tearing along I-95 at 80mph, late for my acupuncture appointment. Well, OK, maybe not dead dead, as the engine still appeared to be running, but none of that power was actually going to the wheels. It started binging warning noises at me. The cute little display screen lit up with three warning signs I've never seen before. And I was slowing down dramatically quickly, even with my foot now pressed to the floor on the accelerator pedal.

But luckily, it was 10.30 on a Saturday morning, so traffic wasn't too heavy. I made my way over to the shoulder, after deciding that I really couldn't force it to the acupuncturists in that condition, and I stopped. I turned the engine off and back on. Still the same warning lights. I called the acu, and said I'd have to cancel. I looked at the car's owners manual. Every one of the three warning signs said "take to dealer" as its explanation, which did not exactly inspire confidence.

So, I got out of the car, positioned myself at a safe distance away as my dad always taught me (just in case anyone else decides to weave off the road and into the car), and called AAA for a tow. Of course, as soon as they answered, a cargo train rumbled past, because it just so happened that at that point of the road the train tracks run right alongside the interstate, so it was a tad hard to hear what was going on , between the 10 lanes of traffic and the train and all. But we managed it. She promised that a tow truck would be on its way, and asked if I wanted her to send the police out to wait with me, which I thought was very nice. I declined the police, seeing as it was a sunny Saturday morning. You'd have to be a pretty brazen murderer to try to kidnap someone from the side of I-95 in the middle of the day in a built-up area, I think.

The tow truck surprisingly arrived within 15 minutes of me calling, and the guy tried to do a hard sell of a local mechanics shop that he said would be able to fix the car much cheaper than the dealer I'd asked for a tow to. He gave me a leaflet to read while he loaded the car onto the truck. Which said that the service department closed at noon on Saturdays, so I didn't exactly see the point. Besides, I drive a hybrid car, and I'm pretty sure that the car just dying like that would involve the main battery or electric engine, and there's no way I'm entrusting that sort of repair to anyone but a dealership. But after much tutting (and no doubt seeing his commission flying out the window), the tow truck guy dropped me off at the dealership. Who promptly looked at the warning signals, and said "oooh, we need a hybrid-certified technician for this, and we don't have one in today, so it'll have to be Monday". But they offered me a loan car for free, so it seemed like a fair deal.

So there I was, within 50 minutes of breaking down, sitting at a car dealership in a shiny new loaner car, not exactly knowing what to do with the rest of my Saturday morning. The last time I broke down, I think it took an hour and a half for the tow truck to arrive, so I was pretty darn impressed at the efficiency! I called the acu and asked if they had any free spots. They didn't, but said they'd stay late for me and fit me in after the last scheduled patient of the morning. Awww, bless them. I heart the acu! I trundled off to Starbucks, had a chai and a sandwich, then ambled around the local green market actually having a fairly pleasant morning.

I just kept thinking, thank God it was today. Thank God. If it had to go in the next few weeks, thank God I wasn't driving in early morning rush hour traffic to an u/s, or worse, to the pre-op meeting with the RE or any other important IVF appointment. Thank God the car had its little crisis on a Saturday when I was not stressed out about work. Thank God it didn't die at night. Or when I'm in Miami for Thanksgiving and can't get back. That's definitely something to be thankful for, even if I am now going to be faced with an unexpected repair bill. I just hope they can fix it, as I really can't afford a new car right now! But thank God for cellphones, and tow trucks, and nice car dealers. What would I have done without them?