Friday, June 30, 2006

Crawling out of the pit. Maybe.

I'm feeling a bit better today. Hopefully I can keep the better mood going through the weekend.

K. and I managed to apologize to one another without ruining it on the third attempt. And then we actually managed to have a relatively normal conversation. She admitted I was right about a few things, so that made me feel less irrational. And when I was leaving the office to go to my acupuncture appointment, K. was having an argument with another staff member which made me chortle because it kind of proves my point that she is being difficult and hormonal and it's not all me. Phew.

Then acu went well. I told them I'd become the psycho bitch from hell, and that I couldn't handle it much longer. So they did LOTS of calming acupuncture points, and changed up my herbs again to try to help. And I have definitely felt calmer since that session. They were so nice to me, especially since my appointment was actually on Wednesday and I'd completely forgotten about it. Ooops! Brain fog! So they were nice to begin with by including me on Thursday after normal appointment hours, and then just being super understanding about the hormonal crap.

I stopped off at the pharmacy on my way home to pick up my second packet of BCPs which I started today. And I started pondering on whether maybe the last packet I had was "off" in some way, that maybe it was too strong or something. Or had an impurity in it. I know, I know, that sort of thing shouldn't happen, but I'm going to pin my hopes on the second packet being better. Because I didn't have any problems with the same brand of BCPs the last time I took them so I don't know why they've been affecting me so much this time.

And then I stopped at Winn Dixie, and picked up some Bolthouse Green Goodness which CJ told me about at dinner on Sunday. And she'd heard about it from Hope Float's blog via FF, and hey, if it helped someone have a successful IVF cycle because it contains all sorts of good stuff like wheat grass, spirulina, pineapple juice, etc, it's got to be good stuff, right? So, like the good desperate infertile copycat that I am, I vow to drink 8oz of Green Goodness every day through this next IVF cycle in the hope that it'll help my eggs.

Ahem, and I got some more ice cream. But no more! Promise! Brownie's Honor! And I'm having a decent cup of coffee today, but I figure it can be my Friday treat so I have one cup a week and have that to look forward to when I'm feeling cranky.

So I'm trying, I really am. All it needs is getting through today without snapping at anyone, for England to win their World Cup game against Portugal tomorrow morning, and you never know, I might get myself in a good mood if I concentrate hard enough. And click my heels together three times.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The hormone monster

I have tried to write this post a few times, but it is just not coming out right! Basically I've been feeling in such a funk lately, and now it's spiralling into despair. I have been fighting with my friend K. and we stopped talking to one another for a few days. Yesterday I tried to apologize, and we ended up fighting again and just made it worse. And I feel like such a heel because she's in her last month of pregnancy and I know that her hormones are just going crazy so I shouldn't expect her to be rational about things. But she accuses me of something, and I just go back at her like I'm a 5-year old whining that life isn't fair. So what if she thinks that I'm mad because she's back at work. So what if she's going around to other people complaining to other people that I'm mad that she's not put herself voluntarily on bed rest. For the record, I am not mad at her for those reasons. I am mad at her for stupid ridiculous things that normally wouldn't bother me, like her being a control freak with the work, like her arguing with me that she can get through her backlog without my help when I know she can't and I know that the minute she does go on maternity leave it will all be left to me again to devote time to figuring out what's going on with her stuff. But I should be the bigger person and not get involved in an argument over this stuff. I should be able to smile sweetly and negotiate around things so that she wants us to help clear her desk before she leaves.

But last night, after having made it worse when I tried to apologize, I just felt terrible. I felt like I wanted to get off this stupid infertility roller coaster. I just wanted to stop the BCPs, put the brakes on my IVF cycle and run away to The Findhorn Community in Scotland to find myself. I wanted a new job, a new town, a new life so I could start again. I wanted the pain to end. Because clearly I have become a horrible person if I can't refrain from antagonizing a pregnant woman in her final weeks. And I just don't know how to continue every day putting those pills in my mouth when I know it's turning me into a monster.

*Sigh*. But they say that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? So I guess I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other for now. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Well, it had to happen

I couldn't stay in a bad mood for days on end and not finally resort to ice cream. And in fact, I bought two tubs of Dove ice cream just because I could and had them both. Well, I couldn't finish one of them yesterday evening, so I finished it for breakfast this morning.

While I may not have felt exactly healthy eating the stuff, and it's not going to help me fit in any smaller sized pants, I am determined to try to beat these darn moods. OK, so the hormones may be conspiring against me, but I am a bigger person than that, and I should be able to hold my bitterness inside me rather than infect everyone around me with it.

Actually, I've been doing really well on the positive thinking as far as the next IVF goes. I have got quite good at reciting to myself that it's going to work this time, and I'm going to have healthy babies. I say that to myself several times a day, and I hope it's really sinking in. So, while I may be Ms. Crankypants, I am Ms. Crankypants with a secret knowledge that this is all going to be worth it in the end. At least, that's what I tell myself.

It's going to work this time, and I'm going to have healthy babies. I am, I am, I am.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


No, my friendly neighborhood crab isn't back in my swimming pool. I'm talking about me. I am the queen of crab at the moment. I have been in the foulest moods lately and I just can't snap out of it. I need a Cher slap like she does in Moonstruck. The only days I am remotely normal is when I can stay inside and not talk to anyone, like last Saturday, but even then the poor cat gets snapped at far more often than she should. Sunday wasn't bad either, because I got to hang out with some of my internet buddies who are all fab, AND England won their football match. But other than those bright spots, it's like I have a permanent case of PMS. I think I'll have to get a T-shirt made or something to warn people. Something with "warning - rampaging hormones" written in large dayglo letters, perhaps.

Giving up the coffee hasn't really helped my irritability yet. It's just made me yearn for coffee. I think it's due to the BCPs, but I can't be sure. I mean, I have spent years, nay decades, of my adult life on and off BCPs and I don't remember it having this effect. Or maybe that's why I'm still single - maybe I grumped around so much my boyfriends couldn't take it any more? I even took the same brand of pills for the last IVF, but I took them at night before going to bed, so maybe I just had really bad tempered dreams and don't remember? This time I decided to take them in the morning as I wake up - does that explain why the full effect doesn't hit until I'm getting into work, or does it just mean that I really hate my job?

Oh well, 2 weeks and 5 days left on the delightful little pills. Me, counting down the hours? Surely not. But it's 19 more days of bad moods. Not including today. Will I get through the time period without reducing anyone to tears by snapping at them? Without being arrested for strangling my boss if he asks me one inane and irritating question too many? Without getting seriously depressed that this is dragging on for so long? Only time will tell. At least I have 6 weekend days and a national holiday out of those 19 so I can limit my exposure to idiots somewhat.

And I'd like to inform everyone that normally, I am the very picture of sweetness and light. Honestly. I promise. Well, OK, there's an occasional snapette at someone. A rare frown or other grumpy countenance may briefly mar my normally cheery outlook. But this is NOT LIKE ME! In fact, I'm annoying myself now...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday morning musings

Can I just say how much I like driving down U.S. 1 in my town? I mean, sure, everyone else hates it, but I think it's great. I love the abandoned buildings (no, seriously), because you get to see the unchanged 1950's style of them. I love the buildings that have been renovated, and are now cutesy little antique shops. I love the old car mechanics shops that have been converted to hair salons. [But seriously, how many mechanics shops were there in the 50's? It's like there were 4 on every block.] I even love the empty patches where old buildings have been torn down, because there's a sense of anticipation about them. That someone surely will come in and build something fabulous. I love the Vespa dealership that has set up shop in a 1920's-era drinking club. I love seeing the firemen doing push-ups outside the firehouse in their full kit. I love the people waiting for buses, the people milling about, walking from store to store, or riding their bicycles, because you just don't get that in most parts of this area as the rest of the place is full of gated communities and big box stores where everyone is cosseted in their air conditioned S.U.V.'s as they drive from place to place.

I suppose I wouldn't feel the same way if the town didn't have a sense of being revived. I'm sure I would find it very depressing if it were all run down abandoned buildings and businesses who are barely struggling to survive. It seems that for me, I need a few cutesy antiques shops selling vintage rattan furniture or something, and a kitschy renovated 50's diner or two, for me to think it's all local character and not local blight. And I'm sure that if I grew up here, I might see the 1950's buildings as being horribly old fashioned and worthy of being torn down. But to me, who has a secret hankering for that mid-century modern style, and who was raised in merrie olde Englande where a building's not even middle-aged unless it's over 200 years old, they are interesting. Fresh. Vibrant. Full of that American promise that life after the 50's was supposed to be lived as the Jetsons lived.

Anyway, the reason I was driving down U.S. 1 this morning was to visit the dry cleaner to pick up my formerly stinky purple suede handbag. It was back from the specialist cleaners, and I'm pleased to say that it doesn't stink any more. In fact, it smells like leather! However, the specialist cleaners charged the local dry cleaners $120 to clean my handbag, and the local dry cleaners felt that they couldn't pass that charge onto me because they'd quoted me $25 when I dropped it off. So there was a bit of a delay while the cashier checked with the manager about how much to charge me. I almost told them that I'd pay the $120, because The Cheesecake Factory is supposed to be reimbursing me the cleaning cost as it was due to their nasty skanky overflowing drink fountain that my handbag got stanked up in the first place. But you see, as bad as I felt for the dry cleaners, I just don't trust the manager of The Cheesecake Factory to actually cough up the money, especially not $120 worth of cleaning, so I kept mum. I'm sure the dry cleaners have made enough profit from me over the years, and anyway, they were the ones that volunteered to reduce the charge without me even asking, so not speaking up didn't even register as an evil thing to do on the Sarah bad-karma-meter.

So, all in all, quite a nice start to a Monday morning. But now I'm in work, I'm already in a bad mood. Ho hum. Welcome to the work week.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Lazy lazy lazy day

I think I could definitely win a medal in the lazy olympics if there was one. Today I have skipped yoga because it was just too much effort, I went back to bed after breakfast, and slept until 2pm, managed to haul my ass out of the house to run two errands, and then came back and lazed around all afternoon reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. For the umpteenth time. Don't even imagine that I've showered, though I did at least manage to clean my teeth before leaving the house, just in case you were wondering. And now my friend P. wants to go out this evening and I just feel too lazy to care. Even if I didn't have to shower before going out it just all seems to be too much effort. I'd have to put jeans on. I'd have to comb my hair. There'd be makeup and uncomfortable shoes. I'd have to find a top that actually fits and which shows just the right amount of cleavage. I know, it's Saturday night, I really should make the effort. But honestly, my bed is much more appealing. And I wonder why I'm still single? As P. says, you've got to advertise to make the sale, and I do precious little advertising.

I think I'm going to blame my laziness on the lack of caffeine, because I have stuck to my decision to give up, and haven't had any today. I was clearly running on the stuff because honestly I could nap right now. Well, let's be entirely honest. I could go to bed right now and not get up until tomorrow morning, and I don't think 12 hours of sleep exactly qualifies as a nap. I think "out cold" might be a better description.

Nighty-night, everyone.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Damn it all

Calliope is not pregnant and I have to give up caffeine again. K. is sitting in her office smugly still pregnant despite all my dire warnings about taking it easy, and will no doubt be all "I told you I was fine" all day. Damn it all. I can tell its going to be a cruddy day again.

I went to the acupuncturist last night, and we had one of our review sessions. Where she basically tutted yet again about me doing IVF, not giving her enough time to "fix" me, and horror of horrors, being on BCP for six weeks so she has no way of monitoring how things are improving because I won't be having a period. Hey ho. I'm not changing track now. So, she can whine all she wants and I'm not going to budge. But we discussed all my latest symptoms, the biggest one of which is that I seem to be in permanent PMS-mode since starting the BCPs because I'm so freakin' irritable all the time. But she got it out of me that I'd taken up drinking coffee again. And diet coke. And iced Chai's from Starbucks. Well, you know, I'm on BCPs. I figure it's my time to be bad before I have to be super good as I get close to starting the shots for IVF. Of course, the acu basically blamed all my new issues on the caffeine, so now I have to quit the damn caffeine again just so we can see if it's that, or a new underlying issue, or a hormone issue from the BCPs. How's that supposed to help a girl's irritability problem if she can't even have a nice cup of coffee in reward for dealing with a world full of idiots?

Blah. So I had two huge glasses of red wine last night in order to steel myself for my day of no caffeine. Um, yah, I suppose I'll have mentioned somewhere previously that my vow never to drink again lasted about as long as all my other no-drinking vows? Ahem. Anyway, great thinking Sarah, because of course, the first thing I want when I wake up after drinking booze Gimme gimme gimme. Need to remove the tongue fuzz, and wake up some. Nevertheless, I am standing firm. I have compromised with one cup of decaf. And that shall be it. No more! I will be the Queen of restraint today. Well, excluding alcohol, that is, because you don't expect me to leave an opened bottle of red alone on a Friday night, do you?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh to be naively pregnant...

I'm very upset today, and I can't quite put my finger on why. My friend K. is back at work. I'd like her to just work a half day, as she's only been out of the hospital for a short time after her pre-term labor scare. But she won't, because she says that would mean she'd have to come back to work early from her maternity leave. Out of the 12 weeks we are permitted to be off, our employer pays for 8 weeks, and to get paid for the other 4 you have to use up vacation and sick time. K. had a full 4 weeks available, so was going to be able to get paid for the full 12 weeks. I pointed out that she didn't have to come back, but it might mean a couple of days of unpaid leave at the end. She told me that she couldn't work without being paid. I don't see why not. Her husband doesn't get paid if he's sick, and he's off right now. If they're managing now on one salary, albeit not very well, surely they can manage in 4 months' time on one salary for a few days. But she won't hear of it.

I just think the only thing that's important is the health of her and her baby. She says she's not so stressed about work any more, and will go home if she feels bad again. But I think when she gets to the point of feeling bad, it's too late, and means contractions have started again. She says the doctor told her she could go back to work after a few days. A few days, not one. He also thinks she is sitting down all day because she does an office job, but she is constantly on the move, getting files, carrying stuff to other offices, sending documents, so he doesn't have the full picture. I'm so fucking sick that she's jeopardizing her baby's health in this way.

But then I ask myself, why do I care so much? It's her baby, her life. She can do what she wants. She's 34 weeks. It wouldn't be a complete disaster if the baby came now. I mean, I should be happy for the girl that the worst that she can imagine happening is missing a day's pay. I think I'm just projecting. I'm imagining myself in her shoes. She didn't have any problems getting pregnant. She told the world when she was 5 weeks along. She has no concept of things going wrong, of miscarriages, of pre-term birth. I'd have thought her recent scare would have changed her thinking, and it probably has to some extent, but things that go wrong are still things that happen to other people for her. In other words, she hasn't been tainted by infertility. She hasn't been on fertility and pregnancy message boards for many months, watching people have miscarriages, premature babies, birth defects, still births and just failing time after time to get pregnant. She doesn't appreciate just what an incredible miracle giving birth to a healthy baby really is.

And perhaps, I'm really upset because she's almost there. She almost has a healthy baby in her arms, and I'm still barren. I'm nowhere near that point, and I see her being blasé about the chance of going into labor too soon. And it sickens me, because it's not me and it never will be. Even if I am lucky enough to have a child, I know I will worry throughout the pregnancy. I will always be imagining that the worst will happen to me, and I will always know that awful things can and do happen. And it's sad that so many of us have to lose that naïveté. Why can't we all be blissfully ignorant?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A crabby start to the day

I went out to check the swimming pool chemicals this morning, vaguely thinking of having a quick swim before work, and there sitting in the bottom of the pool was a crab. I must admit, he looked quite happy sitting there, but I was worried about him soaking in all those chemicals, and not having a ready supply of crab food so I fished him out. He was about 4" across, so a pretty big guy, and was remarkably calm about being caught in my leaf net. But there's nothing that puts me off getting in the pool quite like sharing it with other non-human creatures, so I didn't get in. Since I've lived in my current house (a little over two years), there've been three live animals in it and one and half dead ones. And while of course the dead ones are waaay worse for putting me off swimming, it's still kind of freaky. So, excluding bugs, my tally now is: one live crab, one live snake, one live cat (mine - she fell in when she jumped in a startled manner after I accidentally splashed her on a slightly drunken evening hot tub session, and apparently she'd forgotten that she was standing on the wall between the hot tub and the pool so that jumping backwards away from the splash did not lead to safety but a precipitous drop into the water. I managed to get her to swim to the steps and helped her out, and then we spent the rest of the evening with me chasing her around the house with various towels and my hair dryer while she looked very bedraggled and sorry for herself. Ahem, not my finest hour as a pet parent, but she did look pretty funny when wet), one dead baby rat and half a dead squirrel. And yes, I did dispose of the dead creatures by lobbing them over the fence into the neighbor's yard. What? Isn't that the formally recognized method of dead animal disposal?

Mmmmmm - I bet you all want to come swimming now! See how fun it is living in Florida?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Big ole box of fun

My IVF meds arrived this morning, and I almost had a heart attack when I looked at the packing slip and it said it included 13 vials of Follistim, not 26 vials. I instantly had visions of having to spend hours on the phone with the pharmacy trying to get the rest of the drugs, and going "no, you got it wrong, you sent me the wrong amount, I am not trying to get free drugs out of you." But luckily, they had sent the correct amount. Unluckily, they also charged me for the correct amount - it would have been so good to pay for 13 vials and get 26!

In other news, my friend K. has been in the hospital with pre-term labor, although she's now been released and they've managed to pretty much stop the contractions. But I've been having to cover her desk at work as well as my own, which has left me pretty frazzled. Man, that woman works hard! No wonder she's stressed out. Thankfully, today help has arrived from other people in the office so I've been able to slowly farm a few things out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Uh oh

Hmmmm, an interesting conversation with my brother today.

A few weeks (months?) ago, I can't remember exactly when, I was talking with my big bro' on the phone, and was telling him about my baby making exploits. Somehow the conversation got onto the subject of donor eggs. I said I didn't want to do that because I would lose that genetic connection, and its not as if I'm married and have a husband who's baby I want to have. I mentioned that there was one way I could maintain the genetic connection but it would involve him.

[OK, now is the moment when you all figure out what I was talking about and go "ewwwwwww". Yes, I mean my brother being my sperm donor, but if and only if I used donor eggs. Freaky, I know, but hey, a girl has to consider everything.]

He said he'd think about it, then later on in the conversation he said "wait, would I be dad or uncle and would you be mom or aunt?". I didn't respond to that question, because, well, I'm not planning on seriously considering donor eggs anytime soon. And lets face it, I would need to squash any ideas of him being the dad very quickly.

So I forgot about the conversation. I called him today to see how he was doing. Quite quickly he said that he'd been mulling over our conversation, and while it would be freaky, he said that because I'm his little sister and he loves me, he'd be behind me 100% if I chose to use donor eggs and wanted him to help out. I thanked him very much for being so sweet and so kind, and reminded him that I hope it will never come to that because I hope that Plan A will work out.

OK, fine. What's the problem?

Well, see, the thing is, he seemed a little too keen. A little too like he'd been obssessing about the whole subject ever since we spoke. A little like he was building castles in the sky imagining "his" kids and being involved in their lives, and worse still, imagining himself as their dad. You see, my brother is also still single, and his life is frankly not in a good place right now. I got the impression that he'd been building this little fantasy life for the last few weeks. Hell, maybe he even has visions of me dying in a car crash, and him getting to raise the kids himself. I wouldn't put it past him. And of course, I have always intended to write in my will that if I die my kids will not go to him to be raised because he's such a mess. I can only imagine the problems if I did this and he was their genetic father. Oy. I should never have opened Pandora's box. I should never even have implied that any such box or anyone named Pandora exists or ever had existed or been part of a myth since the dawn of humanity. I don't know what I was thinking when I first mentioned it to him.

So now I can see that that option is out. It can't and won't happen. Of course, I hope with all my heart that my next IVF will work, or the IVF after that, and that my eggs will come through for me. But if they don't, I need to kiss all dreams of a genetic connection or in fact of ever having kids away. And maybe that's not such a bad thing. But now not only will I have to deal with my own grieving, I'll have to let my brother down as well and tell him that he isn't going to be my baby daddy. Oh well, you live and learn. At least I know now and didn't actually put any serious thought into this, but damn it this IVF better work this time!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

All set

So, I realized today that after yesterday's meds order I am all set for IVF. Well, apart from paying for it, as the clinic's accounts department never did call me to demand payment, but I'll take care of that when I go in for my next CD2 ultrasound. Nothing to do now, then, apart from twiddle my thumbs and wait. For another whole entire month. Urgh. It's going to be an excruciating wait. I know, I know, it was my choice to stay on BCP for 6 weeks in order to work around my trip out of town. I could have had two months' break and then done a normal 3 week BCP stint. But that would have put me squarely into August for the IVF and I was just too darn impatient, so 6 weeks of BCP it was.

Sigh. Nothing to do, then.



Tumbleweeds blowing through blog...

What on earth am I going to write about if I don't have IVF news to relay? I'm going to have to pretend that I have a mildly interesting life, which sad to say, I don't. I could tell you about the Cheesecake Factory and the stinky handbag incident. But then again, I don't know how the stinky handbag incident ends yet, although I can say that as of now, I have learned the following lessons: 1) don't put your handbag on the floor in the Cheesecake Factory, or really any restaurant or bar; 2) never ever allow yourself to be seated next to the soda fountain; 3) never ever order fountain drinks at the Cheesecake Factory, because if the overflow from their machine is any guide, there's a whole lot of stinky nastiness going on in there; and 4) if you own the most fabulous purple suede Coach handbag in the world, your local dry cleaning store isn't going to want to run the risk of ruining it and will send it away for an eternity to have someone else clean it. I miss my divine purple handbag, even though that final night after the stinky handbag incident, we were a little distant because my nostrils couldn't take it any more. But never fear, blogosphere, because I do in fact own two rather divine purple Coach handbags, which means that although the second one isn't suede, I don't have to be without while the suede one is in the handbag hospital. Hey, I like purple, all right? And the purple bags are ALWAYS on sale at the Coach outlet store because other people clearly have too much good taste to want to risk it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Drugs, drugs, drugs!

I ordered my meds today for my IVF cycle, so I'm moving along! As soon as I got into work, I checked that I'd been paid, transferred money to my credit card, and then called the pharmacy. They will be delivering on Tuesday, so I'm going to spend the morning "working" at home so I can wait for the box, as I don't want to leave the drugs sitting on my doorstep in the Florida heat all day. The grand total is $2133.04. It was going to be $2133.94 but the pharmacy just called me back and told me that they weren't able to include the valium (well, its generic equivalent) in the shipment because they were sending it from Texas, and Texas doesn't let them send valium out of state. Last time they shipped it to me from Missouri and were able to ship the valium to me. How strange it is to be in a country where laws like that vary so much from state to state. And how strange that when they received a prescription with valium on it they didn't process it in their Missouri branch rather than Texas when they must have known that they wouldn't be able to fully complete it from Texas. Anyhoo, I didn't even need the valium because I have two tablets left over from last cycle which is enough to get me nice and spacey for my embryo transfer so I told them to just cross it off the list.

Its also funny how my insurance will cover anything that has any use other than fertility, so it'll pay for my lupron, antibiotics, steroids and valium, but not the fertility meds. Which of course are the expensive ones! I won't go on today on how irritated I am that infertility, which is a disease and recognized medical condition by the way, is an optional add-on for health insurance. I could get viagra on insurance, which seems pretty optional to me, but I guess if you're male maybe you think that having a good sex life is not optional because you're driven to it. As a female, I think having a child is not optional because I am driven to it. And yet there's that old inequality thing. I guess it's to do with the fact fertility treatments are so expensive, that employers just don't want to have to pay for it. Well, gee, thanks insurance companies and employers across this fine country, just let your employees take the additional financial burden on top of the stress that infertility causes anyway. Way to go, guys, thanks for piling more pain on top of us. Oooh-rah!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

England squeaks through

Another crappy performance by the England team in the World Cup, but they managed to pull a 2-0 victory off against Trinidad & Tobago, thanks to two goals in the last 10 minutes. Not a stellar performance, guys. Honestly, if they can't do better than this, they don't deserve to continue on!

Bah humbug.

In baby-related news, today is K.'s work baby shower, and I have been organizing my fingers to the bone, and bullying cash out of reluctant staff members. It takes a loooong time to get money out of some of those people, and of course its usually the bosses who are the worst at coughing up. So I have to go and decorate the room we're using, and look gracious and like I don't care that it's not my shower. Actually, I've come to terms with K. beating me to the punch, but mine better be the next one in the office, or I'm going to sulk.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The money chase

I seem to have spent the entire day chasing money around or worrying about money. I'm supposed to be booking my trips to two conferences, one in July and one in October. I have pending expense claims out for some of my July expenditure, but had to book additional stuff today as the deadline for registration was approaching fast. The one in October is a huge international conference so my boss was freaking out about cheap flights and hotel rooms booking up quickly and basically insisted that we booked those a few weeks ago. Except I don't have any budget left for traveling, and have to get the money separately approved by my employer. And my boss doesn't seem to sense any urgency in following up with the big boss for that approval, except I now have to pay the $850 flight cost because my credit card is due for payment. So I've been chasing up approvals and expense claim forms. Basically I'm out around $1700 at the moment for work trips, and I still haven't fully registered for the October conference yet. It's a nice system (for my employer) that they expect us to pay out of pocket for things, and then take their sweet time to reimburse us.

Then there's the little matter of the IVF expenses. The sperm cost over $900. I just had to pay $1400 for the embryo freezing for the last IVF cycle, as they don't charge for that in advance, and I'd put off paying for it for as long as possible. The pharmacy keeps calling me because the doctor faxed through my prescription last week for my meds for the next cycle, and although I shouldn't feel bad about telling them they have to wait until payday on Friday before I can order (so I can pay some money off my credit card to free up enough credit to cover the drugs), I hate having to do stuff like that. Oh, and does it count for an IVF expense that I bought a bunch of new clothes lately because I went up a size after the last cycle?

And I need to take my car in for a tune-up, and my roof has an ominous crack in it.

I know, many many people have it much worse than me. I feel bad for even posting this, because I read Calliope's post on her money worries earlier today, which are way more gargantuan than mine, and then I thought I really shouldn't post on the same subject. But here I am anyway, because worrying about money is something I'm just not used to - yes, I'm a whiny little rich girl! I make a good living, and I've always been a saver so I've always had a nice savings cushion to tide me over for those little bumps in the road that you come across. But 9 IUI's, an IVF, hormone testing, frozen sperm, surgery and acupuncture can sure drain a person's rainy day cushion pretty quickly! Aaaah, I think back to those heady days of my first insem cycle, when I thought it might cost a couple of grand at most to get knocked up. Silly little naive me!

Hair styling

Yesterday, as I was posting on a fertility/TTC website which shall remain nameless, but which may or may not have the initials of FF, I got involved in a conversation about shaving "down there" for IVF egg retrieval. In particular, the original poster wanted to know if she'd wake up shaved, as often happens in laparoscopic surgery. I posted and said nah, no shaving, you'll be fine, they're not doing anything external so there's no need for them to do anything like that. Then a couple of posts down, a normally sensible poster said, and I quote "No you wont wake up with a Brazillain! As long as you are tidy down there, your doctor will appreciate it and go about his business. It is no different than a PAP or IUI.... Im sure he wants to work in a clean environment, but there arent any incisions to the outside of your body (only aspirations are to the inside of your vaginal wall)... so you will be fine!"

I nearly spat my peppermint tea all over my computer monitor. I mean, I had visions of the doctor taking a look at the fine shaving handiwork, and giving an appreciative nod before going about the serious egg collecting business. I mean, c'mon girls, these are gynecologists. What's more, they're reproductive endocrinologists. They look at womens' unmentionables all freaking day long. I am sure they've seen waaaay more than they care to remember, and probably don't give a rat's ass if you're shaven or unshaven. You're there spread eagled on the IVF table, with 5 or 6 other people in the room, everything other than the necessary area is covered in blue cloth, you're under anesthetic so the doctor doesn't want to waste any time and women are worried about whether the doctor is going to appraise their hair styling abilities. Now, they might remember your snatch if you had two vaginas, for example. Or they'd probably be appreciative if you didn't poot on them, but then I expect that during my laparoscopic surgery I farted in my RE's face constantly so I'm sure they're used to it. They do pump gas into your abdomen after all! I'm sure they appreciate the fact that you've had a shower that morning, but then they expect and rely on you coming in to surgery having applied a modicum of soap to the aforementioned area. But having to "tidy up" for the IVF doctor? Puh-lease.

Maybe I'm being all European and/or crunchy granola, both of which I admit to being. Frankly, I think they're lucky that I shave my legs. And I'm sorry if you're the original poster and now you think I'm making fun of you. Well, OK, I am. But I think that's going to become my new motto: "As long as you are tidy down there, your doctor will appreciate it and go about his business. " Maybe I should ask my doc what type of hairstyle he appreciates more so I can arrange an appropriate waxing appointment before my next IVF cycle.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Forgot to say...

I have sperm!!!

Woo-hoo! It's taken almost a week to get my doctor's office and the sperm bank on the same page so that I could get my account up-to-date with sperm buying approvals, but I was finally able to order the 2 remaining vials of my donor. And he's gone back on the bank's website to "no vials available".

Phew! OK, it was $900+ that I really didn't need to spend, but it'll give me much more peace of mind than having everything riding on the one vial I had left.

Bad wishes

Is it wrong to wish for bad things to happen to good people?

OK, that's a rhetorical question. I do know the right answer. But I can't help but wish.

My aunt called yesterday. My dear, wonderful, surrogate mom, fabulous, best friend I have in the world, cool aunt. I love her to death. She told me how she'd been in a very sour mood all day (hah! Maybe we are secretly psychic?!). But her sour mood was mostly caused because one of her no-good stepdaughters was moving in, with her 2 dogs and 3 cats, and pack a day smoking habit, as she is in-between houses. However, we know that this is not going to be a quick visit. Said no-good stepdaughter is a bit of a trust fund baby, and doesn't really work. Ever. I mean, she'll have a "job" every now and then, which might involve staging a friend's house for selling it, or some other equally involved and responsible thing. Well, she had this brilliant scheme to sell her house in Miami, which has appreciated hugely in value to about $800k, and then buy somewhere in North Carolina where her best friend lives for about $200-300k, and live off the proceeds. Quite how long she can last on that, I don't know, as being a good trust fund baby, she can blow through money pretty darn quickly.

And of course as a general dilettante, she hasn't actually looked for a house in North Carolina yet. Sure, she's emailed a realtor up there. She's dabbled with a bit of internet searching. She's asked her friend about good places to live. But there's been no actual serious effort going on at house-hunting. She hasn't even gone for a visit. So, while my aunt's husband thinks that his daughter will be in residence for a couple of weeks, we know better. My aunt's just worried about Christmas at this rate, and whether she'll have to get a divorce over it if she can't cope with it for very long.

So, my dear aunt said that she may be visiting me quite a lot over the next few months, to spend some quality niece-and-aunt time. She feels the need for bonding sessions with me, trips to England, out-of-state continuing education courses for her job, etc. Basically any trip that will get her out of the house. And of course my mind immediately leapt to my upcoming IVF, and the hope that maybe she'll come and stay for my egg retrieval, and drive me to the clinic. Maybe even my embryo transfer too. But in order for this to happen, I have to hope that the no-good stepdaughter is still in residence in 7 or 8 weeks time. And that my aunt's business isn't very busy so that she can easily take time off mid-week. Is it so wrong for me to hope that my aunt will have to endure the misery of her stepdaughter for two long months, AND that she'll be as poor as a church mouse because she's got no business, just so she can drive me to my ER?

I know, I'm a bad person. Some days I just can't help myself.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A case of the blahs

I've been feeling blah all weekend, ever since the England football game and I don't really know why. It could be caused by the BCPs, but otherwise I have no reason for it. Unless England's crappy lackluster performance has affected me more deeply than I care to admit. But mostly, I just am so fed up about not being pregnant or a mom yet. I just wish it was me, already.

I know, you don't want to read a whiny post, you want sass, comedy, and lightheartedness. You want to read about a funny situation I just got in. Well, sometimes it's hard to come by sass and good cheer when you're eaten up with jealousy at all the women who get pregnant easily. I try to tell myself that infertility has given me gifts as well as angst. That I will appreciate my children so much more when they get here, because I will truly realize what miracles they are. I have stored up so many ideas of places to take my kids to have fun, and cool gear to buy that I shouldn't be at a loss very often of things to do with them. I have become more sensitive towards others' feelings. Yes, I used to be one of those naive people who pretty much constantly stick their foot in their mouth - always asking when married friends were going to have kids, or when they were going to have their second one. Making comments to pregnant women on how big they've become, or saying I didn't like the names they'd picked out. But it was all done out of ignorance and stupidity. I mean, pregnancy is so amazing that you want to say something, especially when you haven't seen someone for ages. And when you're as interested in pregnancy as I've always been, I just wanted to talk about it because as a single gal I couldn't ever admit to yearning to be pregnant myself. I always had to temper it with, well when I meet the right man...

I know better now. I am all about telling pregnant friends that they look wonderful. And they always do. I would never ever again ask someone if they're planning to have kids, or tell them its about time they got on with it, just in case they have been struggling with infertility. Though wouldn't it be better if we could all talk about it openly? I would never again diss someone's name choice - after all, it's their kid, they can name it whatever they please. So, there you go, God, I'm a better person these days. Now can I have my baby? What else am I supposed to do to get my good karma points high enough to equal one baby?

I'm sure it doesn't help that I've been moping about the house all day. I should get out and have some fun, but the weather is blah too, so that's just conspiring with the blah mood gods to keep me in the house watching crap TV and re-reading Harry Potter. But even Harry Potter isn't doing it for me, which is not really surprising as I must have read all the books at least 20 times, and book 7 won't be out for at least another year. Blah.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

We won! We won!

OK, it was a pretty crappy game really, but all that really matters is the result - England 1, Paraguay 0. And plucky Trinidad & Tobago held Sweden to a 0-0 draw, despite being a man down after one of their players got sent off. So that's all good news for England's chances of going through to the next round. And, OK, I confess, I had some Mimosas. But they were gooooood!

The folks didn't stay too long - luckily for me the weather is a bit sucky, so no-one wanted to hang out by the pool. I went off to Ann Taylor Loft and made out like a bandit buying a lot of discounted stuff, then went off to Old Navy where I didn't make out like a bandit. When did Old Navy stop doing normal shorts? They're all either hotpant length or knee length, neither of which I really wanted. I tried on a few pairs of knee length ones, but despite me having picked up all the same size, they were either so tight they were pornographic, or were so loose I could pull them down over my hips without unbuttoning. What's with that?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Uterus Drano

I went to the acupuncturist last night, and she seemed suprised that I was doing IVF. Errr, haven't we had this conversation 4 times already? But anyway, she will work with me and try to get me in as good condition as possible before the procedure, so I was happy that she didn't give me the lecture again about waiting until everything is fixed before doing anything else.

But, being as it was cycle day 5, we had to have a long discussion about my latest period. I have to admit, when I first started going to acupuncture, the thought of talking about my period with someone was excrutiatingly embarrassing. But now I'm on my third acu, and have taken my pants down for people at the IVF clinic more times than I care to remember, it is just one of those things. So, can we talk periods? Would you mind, blogosphere, if I set down some rather TMI thoughts?

No? Good.

You see, the thing is, I used to have lovely periods. OK, at the time I didn't think so. I hated them, like any normal chick. But in retrospect, they were lovely. A nice red color, a good flow, no clots, stopped and started properly with no spotting. But then after a few years on birth control pills, they started getting lighter. I was pretty stoked at the time. I mean, who doesn't want lighter periods? And then they started getting more of a brown color rather than a nice fresh red. I didn't really pay any attention to this because, well, I didn't think about them at all really. By the time I started trying to conceive, and came off BCP, there was basically no red, just brown. I started getting black clots. Lately, I started getting what looked like sediment for want of a better word. Basically, it's nasty. It doesn't seem like a period at all. Its more like silt coming out of a very muddy river. With a bit of blood mixed in.

OK, that got rid of any male or non-fertility or baby inclined people who happened to randomly come across this blog. Sorry to gross you out, guys!

Anyway, according to Chinese medicine, all this is a clear pointer to Blood Stasis, which means that there's not enough blood flow to the uterus, so it stagnates and doesn't clean itself out properly. I had a very hard time convincing my first acu that I even had Blood Stasis. The second acu agreed that I had it, but apart from sticking a needle in a Blood Stasis acupuncture point above my knee every time I went to see him, we didn't really do much about it. The current acu is all about the Blood Stasis as being my #1 issue, and frankly, after the last period, I have to agree with her. Although, giving the previous acu's some credit, I did used to have other issues, which probably seemed more important to them, and which we've now mostly fixed.

But given that we now don't have enough time before the next IVF to fix me, she's going to have to work really hard on the Blood Stasis issue to make any headway. So she's giving me some strong herbs to clean me out. I said to her that she'd better make the formulation like Drano if we're to have any hope. So that's what I got when I came out of the acu room. There waiting for me on the counter was a bottle of Uterus Drano, or at least that's what we joked about it being - there's no actual label saying "Uterus Drano". Although come to think of it, if I ever go into the herb business I think that would be a good product line to have. I have no idea what's in it, and while previously with this acu I was annoyed that she didn't tell me what was in the herbal formula, now I don't really want to know. As long as it's vegetarian, which she assures me it is, I'm good to go. I'm supposed to make it into a tea twice a day, which I will gladly do because I am of course a desperate infertile.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Still no sperm, still sober

I thought I had the papertrail done and completed, but no, the sperm bank tells me that they never received the authorization from my doctor to purchase sperm. They've extended my temporary hold on the vials of "my" donor by one day. Sooo, back to square one, back to having even less time to get the doctor's office to sign a form and fax it to the bank. What joys.

And its back to the acupuncturist today, who I'm sure will tell me that the return of my miraculously normal tongue to its former un-normal state is quite bizarre. Yeah, that's what boozing until you pass out can do to your system. Hey ho. What can I do about it now, but promise to be alcohol free until my next negative pregnancy test. Yes, I am going to try to resist the siren call of alcohol during the World Cup, and during a normally boozy conference, because my liver can't take the pickling any longer. And of course, like the complete ass that I am, in one of my boozy moments, I invited a bunch of people to my house for a Saturday breakfast party in order to watch the England v. Paraguay soccer game, complete with Mimosas and Bloody Mary's. And scrambled eggs. I'd hope they'd forgotten, but no, I've been getting phone calls and emails from friends saying how they're looking forward to it. So now I have to make them breakfast, watch them all get drunk and then no doubt they'll want to hang out at my swimming pool all frickin' day while they get slowly sozzled. While I try to stay sober. All I can say is that England had better win, otherwise the humiliation of losing to Paraguay may very well push me over the edge.

In other news, Calliope has kick-ass ovaries and is about to ovulate a nice batch of eggs. Let's all cheer on Churchill for her IUI tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The flakiness of friends

I have this one friend, A., who volunteered to drive me to egg retrieval for my first IVF cycle. She said it'd be no problem, would love to do it, I could rely on her. Blah blah blah. All the usual. Well, as the time got closer and closer, I started to get questions from her to narrow down the date because she had things she needed to plan. I tried to explain that I couldn't narrow down the date very well, as I wouldn't know precisely when it would be until 2 days beforehand. All of a sudden, certain days became very difficult for her and she wondered if I had someone else that could drive me. But luckily for her, that cycle got cancelled and converted to an IUI so I drove myself.

By the time of the next IVF, she volunteered again. Would love to do it, absolutely no problem at all, etc, etc. But as we started getting nearer to the time, all of a sudden, days started getting blocked off. No, she couldn't drive me on that day, as she had a work luncheon she had to go to, and as I couldn't guarantee that she'd be back by noon, she'd have to say no. Another day she was taking her mom out to lunch for her mom's birthday. Why her mom couldn't wait if A. was half an hour late coming back, I'm not sure, but whatever, she's a busy girl, I understand. I arranged for backup friend #1 (K.) to drive me, and she did so very graciously and without a complaint at the amount of time I was taking out of her day. Actually 2 days, because she drove me to embryo transfer as well, on very short notice, because I thought I was allowed to drive myself to that, and only got told the day before that I should have someone else drive me.

This time, K. will be out on maternity leave, or even possibly having her baby on the day of my egg retrieval, backup friend #2 will just be back from maternity leave and I know she won't want to waste time that could either be spent at home with her baby or frantically working in order to get everything done so she can speed home to her baby. And that's just fine, I wouldn't want to impose. So yesterday I asked if A. was available, and I tried to block her time for an entire week 2 months from now. And, she's not available! Already! This time, she's on vacation at the beginning of the time period, which is fine, the girl's allowed a vacation, but said she'd be very happy to take me once she's back. But I know I will need to arrange another backup friend, even for the time during which A. supposedly would be able to help me out, because she's proved in the past that she just doesn't care all that much about making sure she's there for me. I'm just worried that there's no one left who a) knows I'm TTC with IVF, b) won't feel embarrassed (or who I won't be embarrassed in front of) if I have to pee in a bedpan or something, and c) won't resent giving up the time to take me to the doctor's.

Why can't non-TTC friends understand how major IVF is? How I can't possibly arrange the timetable to suit them, and that it all depends on how I react to drugs. How it really doesn't help my stress level to be fretting about arranging a backup driver, even two months in advance. How I'd really rather drive myself or rely on family, but my family is being equally flaky, and I wouldn't ask for help if I didn't need it. Oh well, deep breath. I've got two months to find another backup driver.

There is another girl who knows I'm doing IVF and has in the past said she'd drive me if I need help, but we're not that close really. I guess we're about to become a lot closer... Either that or I make P. take me in payment for getting me drunk and taking incriminating photos of me, but P. doesn't know about my TTC efforts at all yet, and well, he's a guy. I'd be mortified if we got there and one of the nurses told him to go and produce his sample before realizing that he's not my husband! I could always beg my aunt, who lives 75 miles away, but without a set date in advance, it's very hard for her to arrange a day off work to chauffeur me around. I do also have an internet buddy who lives locally and very kindly said last time she could take me if it was one of her days off, but she's more likely to be off at the end of the week than the beginning of the week which I think I'll be hitting this time. So it looks like backup friend #3 is in for some serious schmoozing between now and the end of July!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sperm shopping

So, previously my donor was showing that no vials were left, but when I checked the bank's website yesterday, it said that a limited number of vials were currently available. I called this morning, and was told they have 2 vials available. Only two! But of precisely the type that I want, which is pre-washed A.R.T. vials. The A.R.T. vials are vials with fewer motile sperm that you are only supposed to use for IVF. But they are cheaper because they don't have as many of the little guys as the other vials, and as I am doing IVF with ICSI, they are perfect for me.

But I couldn't buy them! My doctor permission form, where my doctor has to sign that I am authorized to buy sperm (let's not go there on how freaking bizarre it is that I have to have permission to buy this stuff) has expired. Yes, expired, because I've been at this for too long, and even if it wasn't expired, the form was the bank's old type that doesn't list the A.R.T. vials on it because they were only introduced within the last year. I'd conveniently put this to the back of my mind, because even though last time I ordered sperm they did tell me this, they said that they'd let me order just once more without updating the form. And then what with the no vials remaining thing, I thought I was done ordering from this donor so I conveniently forgot the whole new form requirement. I was even debating changing to a different sperm bank. But as my one plucky little frozen embryo is waiting for me in the freezer, I figure I now have to keep trying with the same donor so I don't end up with different baby daddies. So I kept checking the website every few days, even though I do have one vial left at the doctor's that they will use for the next cycle, but they like to have at least one backup vial in case something goes wrong during the thaw process.

Now I have the two vials at the bank on a temporary hold until Thursday, and I have a call in to the doctor's office to try to get them to sign the correct form and fax it to the bank in time. You'd think two days would be plenty of time, but I'm afraid it won't be. I'm afraid the nurses won't pick up my phone message until late today, they won't have the correct form, they won't put it in front of a doctor to sign quickly enough, and then they won't fax it through quickly enough, because it won't seem urgent to them. In short, I'm worried that I won't get the damn vials. I mean, hopefully I can just put a second temporary hold on if this one expires on Thursday but it's funny how much stress a little crazy bureaucracy can introduce into an otherwise nice day.

So far so good...

So far, things are going well today. I finally feel normal after the drinking session. The IVF clinic's accounts department forgot to call me yesterday, so I didn't have to pay. And I noticed that my credit card will click over to another month on Thursday, so if they do require full payment now maybe they'll let me pay on Thursday so I have an extra month to actually part with the money. My bloodwork came back great (FSH=5.42 and E2=22.8 for those who want to know). The sperm bank has a few more vials of my donor back in (they'd previously run out), so I'll be calling them soon to see what I can get. My boss is out of town today visiting clients so it'll be a nice quiet day at work.

Life is good, and I'm a happy camper. Let's see how long it lasts...

Monday, June 05, 2006

The baby factory

The biggest problem with going to an enormous IVF clinic is that it's a bit like a baby factory. You're herded around from nurse to nurse, procedure to procedure, following the protocol. But if you're doing anything a little bit off protocol, everything slooowly grinds to a screeching halt. Take today's visit. It started off fine. I sat and waited on the extremely uncomfortable seats for an age, read Time, skimmed a few other magazines (yes, it was a very long wait), then got called to phlebotomy. The nurse took my blood, I signed my initials that that was really me, and I went back to the waiting room to wait for the ultrasound tech. And I waited. And eventually I got called, did the usual for the dildocam which effing hurts me on cycle day 2 because my left ovary is always hiding somewhere just underneath my shoulder, or so it feels. The tech pronounced my ovaries good to go, with no cysts. Then I waited for the IVF nurse. By this time my back was pretty sore from the awful seats, but hey, at least I was following protocol.

But then, once I saw the IVF nurse, things started to go a little off. The doc and I had discussed adding progesterone suppositories to my meds, but he'd forgotten to write it in the computer. So of course the nurse didn't quite believe me. And to complicate matters further, the usual progesterone suppositories are formulated using peanut oil, and I have a peanut sensitivity. The doc had said we could have some suppositories made up at a compounding pharmacy. The nurse wasn't quite sure what the doc had been thinking about, and just looked blankly at me and repeated the word "compounding" with a puzzled expression as if she'd never heard of the concept. I asked her to please discuss with the doc, and she said she wasn't sure if he was in that day. I pointed out that I'll be on birth control for a while, so it wasn't as if I needed all my meds ordered right this second and it could wait until tomorrow or whenever he came back. I am supposed to be going on birth control pills for 6 weeks due to a trip out of town in the middle of July. The doc had OK'd that, and I remember seeing him write it in the almighty computer. But she just couldn't quite get that point either, because they usually only let patients stay on BCP for 5 weeks. So we had to spend some time discussing how the doc was aware of my plans and had approved them. I kind of thought that if he OK'd it, we could do it, seeing as he's the founding physician and chief doc there, and all. I mean, presumably he's the one that wrote their rules, so if he doesn't have authority to bend them, I don't know who does.

The kicker came, though, when I wanted to delay payment of the full IVF fee (nearly 10 grand) until after my next visit. Now, if my health insurance was kind enough to cover IVF, which they're not, I am quite certain that the clinic would not get paid until sometime next year. OK, fine, they charge more if you're using insurance to make up for this, and for the fact that insurance wouldn't pay the full amount, but still. If I had qualified for the shared risk plan (of the buy 2, get 1 free variety), the shared risk financer would not pay them until the end of the treatment cycle. But not only do they want self-pay patients to cough up in advance, they have to cough up a month in advance. Or in my case this time, 6 weeks in advance.

So the nurse said I had to speak to the front desk staff about delaying payment. The front desk staff refused to let me delay payment, because the rule was that I had to pay NOW. This instant. I stonewalled. I did my best puzzled "but I was allowed to last time" spiel. They called accounts. The accounts lady refused to let me delay payment. I pointed out that last time I'd been able to delay payment (that one involved a little white lie on my part about being surprised about having to pay that quickly, and not having the money). She checked in the computer, and sure enough, it showed that I was telling the truth. She said she'd have to check with the supervisor. I stood my ground, and said that I didn't see why they should have the money for doing nothing for the next six weeks, when I could still be earning interest on it. She said they might be able to compromise with me, but she'd have to speak with the supervisor. I said fine, and they're going to call me this afternoon. So, I paid my outstanding balance for the embryo freezing from last time, said they could get my payment authorization over the phone if I had to pay the rest of the amount today, and left. I am now officially the awkward patient of the day.

I know, I know, I'll probably have to pay the entire amount today, because rules is rules, especially at the baby factory, but hey, you don't get if you don't ask. You never know, if I'm lucky, maybe a little compromise will enable me to stretch the payment over a couple of months, which is always good for the cashflow situation.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Showers and nasty surprises

I just got back from my friend K.'s baby shower. I used to loathe baby showers with a passion, because it was a reminder that it wasn't my shower. Especially as I've pretty much given up on the idea of ever having a bridal shower, the baby shower took on greater importance. I used to be eaten up with jealousy and sadness because it wasn't me in the spotlight. Now I don't mind them so much, as I know (hope) one day it WILL be my turn. And maybe I'll have twins because I'm doing IVF so it'll be twice as good. And it'll be so much sweeter because of all the pain and heartache along the way. So the last couple of showers I've been to, I've actually enjoyed.

However, this baby shower was a little different. Before I even got in the front door, K. wanted to know ALL about the drunken evening I'd had on Friday. Apparently P. had called her at midnight, asking for the security code for the women's bathrooms at work because he thought I was in there puking. Yes, she works with me too, but dude, she's 32 weeks pregnant, you don't call her at midnight! Luckily, her husband was out of town, but K. had told pretty much everyone else that was going to the shower about the midnight phone call. So I was instantly infamous, and had to tell the entire sordid story to the assembled crowd. And then K. dropped the bombshell that P. had taken a photo of me with his camera phone while I was puking, and had sent it to her. At least, he'd told her he sent it to her, but it wasn't on her phone. Presumably he sent it to her work email address. So now everyone will have fun on Monday morning looking at an incriminating photo of me.

Now that's beyond the pale! I mean, I'm an adult, I have to take responsibility for my own actions, but honestly any other friend would have not let me drink as much, and would certainly not have egged me on as P. did. But then to take a photo? He is so not in my good books today!

Oh well, let that be a sobering lesson to me that at nearly 38 it most definitely is not dignified to get wasted and blow chunks in the work kitchen sink.

So that's it. I can never ever do that again. OK, I've said it before (many times), but honestly, at my age? Drinking that much is criminal. Most people have maybe one story of the time they got hammered and can't remember some of the evening. I probably have 20. It's not big, and it's not clever. However, I have been pondering today just exactly why I felt the need to get drunk 3 times in the last week. I mean, I wasn't this bad the first couple of weeks after the BFN from the failed IVF cycle. I cried, I wailed, I moped, I had a glass or two of wine, nothing major. I thought I was dealing with it. And yet suddenly I seem to have fallen apart in the self control department. Is it because the next cycle is approaching? Is it because I didn't really deal with the bad feelings at all, but repressed them? Is it because I repress everything, and sometimes need to let loose? Is it because I'm a lush? Have an addictive personality? I honestly don't know. But I'm never going to find out if I jump straight into a bottle every time I want to have "fun", so I need to figure this out somehow. And my kidneys hurt, which is never good. Man, the acupuncturist is going to be annoyed with me!

In other news, Aunt Flo has come to visit, so tomorrow morning I have to get up early, go down to the RE's office for my day 2 ultrasound and pick up my prescription for birth control pills, which I will be on for the next six weeks. Six weeks is enough time to unpickle my liver, right?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hammered, part 2

I spoke to P. on the phone, who told me that we did actually go out to eat to a pizza place. I had three bites of mine, and wandered off to throw up outside. At which point a guy ambled up to him, asking if he was going to eat the rest of my pizza. So P. sold him it for $1!

And apparently earlier in the evening I had told the head of our department that I refused to meet their performance targets as they were completely unreasonable.

I have no memory of any of this - clearly not my finest hour. ;) Not quite sure what I'm still doing alive, but at least P. was amused by the evening as he hasn't ever seen me that drunk.

Regularly scheduled TTC saintliness will resume shortly.


My love affair with alcohol is over. At least until the England v. Paraguay soccer match next Saturday.

Last night I got more spectacularly drunk than anyone has a right to get. It started out innocently enough - a work happy hour at Morton's steakhouse. I was drinking $15 glasses of Petite Syrah that my employer was paying for. Civilized, right? I was going to go home after 2 glasses, but my work friend P. persuaded me to have one more on the basis that we'd go out to eat in order to soak up the extra alcohol. After that, I only have snippets of memory. Far too much of the evening is a complete blank. We never did eat, I think mostly because P. had had plenty of Morton's free steak sandwiches that they give out to bar patrons, and which I as the resident vegetarian don't eat. I remember making P. hold my hand on the way to bar #2 because I was already too drunk to walk straight. I remember ditching P. at the bar and staggering, nay weaving, back to work. God knows what I said to the security guard to get in to the building. P. found me in the kitchen at work, asleep at one of the tables. I then threw up in the sink. He drove me home, even though he was hammered too. I woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 6.30 to a bowl that I'd placed by the bed in case I threw up again, a 3/4's drunk glass of water which was actually on a coaster, and a trail of clothes leading to the bedroom.

Deciding I had too much to do today to wait for P. to come and take me to work to get my car, I decided to walk. It's 5 miles. It's Florida in the summer. Yes, I'm clearly still drunk for thinking that was a good idea, but I thought I would sober up on the way. And I wanted to check if we'd managed to clean up the puke from the kitchen sink. It took me 2 sweaty hours because I was walking so slowly. But I did reward myself by getting a diet Coke and a Milky Way (or a Mars Bar as my English self prefers to think of it) at the 7-11 which is at the half way point. Man, I never knew how busy 7-11 could be at 7.50am! It was packed with hispanic dudes getting their breakfast on their way to work - the smell of the coffee and the various meat-filled hot breakfast sandwiches they were buying almost made me vomit again.

And now I have to decide if I can possibly get in the car and try to function. I think one more diet Coke is in order before I face that...

Friday, June 02, 2006

I have a normal tongue!!

That's right, the stunning news of the day is that my tongue is normal. At least it was yesterday. For those uniniated in the outer fringes of alternative healthcare for infertiles, its all to do with acupunture. Apparently, though the eyes may be the window to the soul, the tongue is the window to the body. When I first started acupuncture 14 months and 3 acupuncturists ago (yes, I'm an acupuncture whore), my tongue was so pale it was practically white, swollen so that it didn't feel like it really belonged in my mouth, and had teeth marks on the side due to all that swelling. It's been gradually getting better as the months of treatment go by, but yesterday, after only 1 week on my new herbal regimen, the acu was stunned when I stuck my tongue out at her and it was normal. In fact, she did a double take, and went back for a second look, she was so surprised.

Of course, it could all be due to the new herbal regimen the acu has put me on, but let's not pretend that Sarah hasn't been sneakily doing stuff behind her back as well. I started off with a snack mix called "Hermit's Mix" from an internet herb company,, containing lycium berries, longan fruit, walnuts and pine nuts. I knew walnuts were supposed to be a good yang tonic, and apparently the berries were pretty good for me too. It was yummy, and I figured that none of the docs could complain at me for eating food. Food isn't real herbs, right? So I wasn't breaking any rules about not taking anyone else's herbs. But the snack mix was $16 a pound and shipping from California takes time. So last week I got the trusty yellow pages out, and found a Chinese supermarket right here in town. Who knew we even had something as big-cityish as a Chinese supermarket? Off I went, and while I couldn't find longan fruit, I found some dried lycii berries, which is another name for lycium. A quick trip to Publix for the walnuts and pine nuts, and voila! Herbal snack mix for lots less cash. It doesn't taste quite as good, and the berries aren't as good quality, but it'll tide me over.

And while I was at Fortune Cookie Oriental Supermarket you know I didn't just buy a single packet of dried berries! Building on the theory that no-one can complain at me eating food, I came away with green tea with ginseng, gingseng candies, and cyrstallized ginger, as well as various Thai hot sauces just because I like them. So now breakfast is a ginseng candy, a crystallized ginger, a half a cup of snack mix, a cup of the acu's herb mix tea, and then a cup of green tea and ginseng when I get to work. Not forgetting the various dietary supplements and one other herb that I take after breakfast. Ah yes, well, you didn't think I would stick to even my own rule, did you? But the other herb is Reishi mushroom, which is good for the immune system, and come on, it's a mushroom. So it's really food, even though it comes in a capsule.

I also tried something new while at the acu's office yesterday, which was a Migun Thermal Massage bed which they have there. It runs heated rollers up and down your spine and legs while you lie there with the needles in. Can't say I found it comfortable all the time, as the rollers go pretty deep, but on the whole it was great. Apparently it opens all the back shu (sp?) points. I have to go and google what back shu points are at some point today, but I hope mine are nicely open.

And to think, this time last week I was this close to ditching the current acu because she wasn't happy about me going forward with the IVF and implied that I was stupid not to give her several months to fix my system beforehand. But the massage bed and the normal tongue have bought her a few more weeks of my trust. We'll see how she does with them!

And I must thank Calliope for the shout-out. Mwha! Big smoochies to you, girl. I would like to say I'm your #1 fan, but I'm sure there are others that are even more stalker-ish than me. So I'll just say that right at this moment I'm sure I'm your #1 most grateful fan.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy hurricane season to me!

June 1st, the unofficial start of summer in Florida. Oh sure, you guys up north have your Memorial Day, but down here hurricane season is it. Last night on ABC they had a 2-hour primetime special on hurricane season, and my official county hurricane survival guide came in the mail. Then to top it off, this morning the sky is dark dark dark and there are very loud ominous rumblings of thunder. Welcome to summer! Time of thunderstorms, humidity, torrential downpours and storm tracking.

I used to really love summer. I loved the light, I loved the warmth, I loved looking at the beatiful flowers and the green of the trees. I loved hanging out in pub beer gardens in the evening. But now I don't. It's not that I still don't love all of the above, but now I live in the topsy turvy world where summer is crap and winter is fabulous. Though personally I prefer spring because winter does get a bit too chilly for me, even in S. Fla. Yes, I'm a wimp! Living down here also makes it hard to take some of those online personality quizes ("are you a summer person or a winter person?"), because do I answer that I prefer winter and have the computer think I am a person that likes the cold, fires, skiing, staying in out of the dark, or do I pretend that I still live in a normal northern hemisphere climate and pretend that I still love summer. See the difficulties I face???

So, back to hurricanes. This year I desperately hope that we won't have any. I'm still storm weary from last year, and still haven't had either my roof or my hurricane shutters fixed. The hurricane shutter company has been out to the house, and has supposedly ordered the replacement parts, but I haven't heard from them in a couple of months. I can't even get a roofing company to give me a quote, seeing as the roof doesn't actually leak. OK, OK, maybe if I'd called 20 companies instead of just 4 I might have had some action by now, but I'm being lazy about it. The last house on my street that has had a tarp for a roof since Wilma hit us in October is finally getting re-roofed now, so probably the roofing companies will just start on the "cosmetic only" repairs about a week before the next storm hits!

But I've already done some shopping. I've topped up the battery stash. I've got another battery operated fan, so now I have a total of 5. I bought another flashlight that can double as a nightlight. I got a second radio for Christmas, which is hand cranked. And I bought a medium-sized tarp and some bungee cords. Pretty good going so far, even if I do say so myself. I still need baby wipes (very useful when you've got no water supply as happened last year, and no a/c), water, and food. Another high powered LED worklight would be cool. And it would be great to have a hot water supply and some air conditioning, but that's going to have to wait until next year.

I'm kind of scared about what to do if a storm hits while I'm pregnant, because of course I'm going to be pregnant this year, dammit!! Or while I have babies. But I hope that friends and neighbors will help me get the house ready, and I will hightail it out of town. That would definitely be a situation where having a husband would help, as currently it takes me a minimum of 4-6 hard hard sweaty hours to get the house ready. Usually I have to do it over two nights if I can because I just get too exhausted to do it in one go. I sometimes think that if I end up childless I'll move back to a condo, because hurricanes are too much to cope with on your own in a single family house. But lets hope it never comes to that, eh?