Thursday, September 27, 2007


Ahh, I love autumn. The change of the seasons is something I have really missed since moving to Florida, but I am learning that there is a seasonal change, albeit rather subtle. And thanks to some freaky weather patterns, we actually have a cooling down at the moment, which has nicely coincided with the start of autumn. Now, by cooling down, obviously I'm not talking sweater weather. I mean that we have daytime temperatures in the mid-high 80's instead of the low 90's. I used not to be able to appreciate that difference, or even think it was significant, but once you get attuned to the temperatures, it really does make quite a large difference in quality of life. And overnight temperatures are now routinely in the 70's. It has even - gasp - stayed in the 70's until I get to work. Which is wonderful. It's wonderful to be able to do my morning walk without sweating like a pig. It's wonderful to think of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness even if we won't get any of that. Even though I know the cooling down will be temporary until the first real cold front comes through, it's still nice to enjoy it while it lasts.

It's also wonderful to think of FOOD. Yes, the local farms are starting up again. Now, you normal-climate northeners may be thinking about harvest and coldness and farms closing down. But here they close down in the summer because it is just too hot and humid to grow vegetables well. So fall is kind of like our spring, and my veggie box from my local CSA farm is NEARLY HERE. Just a couple more weeks. And then a couple weeks after that the local farmers markets start up again. I can hardly wait.

And of course, another, huge reason why I like autumn? It's birthday season! Really, that's a whole other post, as due to infertility my birthdays are now pretty depressing. Especially as starting to TTC was my big 36th birthday present to myself - with all the "hey, I've waited long enough, let's DO this" kind of optimism. And now it's 3 years later and I have been to hell and back. Several times. I'll save that post for next week I think. But on the whole, autumn is still a good season.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Lately, I find myself easily moved to tears. I never used to be this way, but infertility has made me more aware of others' suffering, and I guess also brought my own suffering closer to the surface. It can be anything that does it - a movie, TV show, an ad even, something in a book. Often a parent losing a child sets me off the most but it can be anything really. This morning it was the radio news as I was driving to work. Now that definitely has never happened before. Not even on 9/11 as it took me a while to process everything that had happened, and for it to sink in before the tears came.

But today. I am appalled that the Burmese government is attacking the Buddhist monks that are protesting for peace and democracy. Buddhist monks! The very image of peace and loving kindness. I just don't know how the world got into this state. It is bad enough that we are waging an inappropriate war in Iraq, and that thousands of people are dying there. That is a huge rent in the fabric of the world. But I just keep tearing up at the thought of the monks standing up to the government peacefully, praying and sending out loving kindness and then being mown down. It is a terrible, terrible thing.

Please pray for peace in the world.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The gag reflex

So I've been reading this whole foods book that the acu recommended, in order to try to get my diet the healthiest it can possibly be. And one thing that I'm going to try is to have spirulina and chlorella in order to get lots of protein and chlorophyll and other good things. These are both algae, by the way and typically come in powders or tablets. Well, I've taken spirulina before over the years - I've tried the powder mixed into tea, but it doesn't mix terribly well so it's somewhat difficult to take. I had some tablets left over from somewhere - the last IVF maybe or the one before that? So I started taking them. Then I bought some chlorella tablets on Friday and had those on Friday night. All well and good. But the whole foods book recommends either taking them as powders or chewing the tablets first in order that the tablets don't pass through your system undigested. Which is an issue apparently. Or, it said, if you really can't face the idea of chewing the tablets, you can dissolve them in water for an hour before swallowing. Yesterday, therefore, I tried dissolving them in water. I actually left it a couple of hours, and kept mixing and tried crushing with a spoon. But by the time I went to drink it, two spirulina tablets were still stuck to the bottom of the glass. Pretty much undissolved. The others I had managed to swallow with the rest of the water.

No problem, I thought, they just didn't dissolve because they were stuck to the bottom - they didn't mix properly. I'll add more water and keep trying, I thought. I swirled, I mixed, I poked and prodded. Over the day I kept drinking off the water and trying to dissolve the remainder of the tablets. But by late last night the water was bright blue rather than green and the little buggers were still there. I left it overnight to see what would happen. More bright blue water, and partially undissolved tablets. I left these for 24 hours and they still didn't dissolve! Now, of course, this is water, not stomach acid, but still. It didn't bode well for full digestion.

Being the adventurous type, I therefore decided this morning to try chewing the tablets as suggested in the book. Oh my god. It was traumatic to say the least. I started with the spirulina. As I'd had the powdered stuff before I was prepared for the taste. However the texture was like clay. So I dutifully chewed, swilled some water around my mouth and swallowed. And then spent a few minutes picking green sludge from my teeth and swallowing yet more water. And trying not to gag. But I made it. I survived. Then came the chlorella. It was like an explosion of grass flavored mud happened in my mouth. I gagged a bit. Realizing I could never actually chew it, I took a gulp of water to try to swallow it all. I gagged some more. Getting worried now that everything would come spewing out of me in a green colored sludgy fountain, I tried to clear the stuff that was now caking my teeth. I gagged again. And again. And again. It was naaasty. So I rushed to the bathroom, and tried to just rinse my mouth out to get some of the sludge out. I rinsed, and rinsed, and gagged, and gagged. I have no idea how I managed to prevent myself from vomiting but I did. Finally I had some more water, and went and lay on the sofa, panting.

Not exactly the best start to the day. Sometimes I wonder if I ever manage to have a kid if they'll have any idea of the sometimes ridiculous things I did to try to get there. And then wonder if I'll hold it over their heads when they do something bad like my own mother used to do with her own 36-hour labor with me ("we were going to have 3 children until you came along but it was so awful I said never again"). And then just to add icing to the green sludge cake, I did some googling on another subject entirely and realized that the acu probably isn't interested in me at all. So that's put a damper on that little crush. Dagnammit.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gobble gobble

So, I did end up getting the turkey-containing meal from the diet place. Blech. Luckily I poked around in it and saw the meat before taking a bite so I didn't end up eating any by accident, but still, it's unacceptable. So I did end up cancelling. I have one more week's worth of food that just arrived, and then I am out on my own again. I have managed to lose 6lbs in 4 weeks, so that's not bad for me. I am usually verrrry slooooow at losing weight, and while it would have been nice to lose 10+lbs in 4 weeks, I'll take 6lbs. I'm going to try to keep limiting the portions, but eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods in order to be healthy for the IVF.

Or not.

The "or not" is relating to the IVF, by the way, not the healthy eating part. I'm very ambivalent about the whole IVF thing at the moment. There's a very big part of me that just doesn't want to do another IVF and doesn't want to go through with it. I think, well, OK, I'll be honest, I know, that it's because I keep daydreaming about TTC'ing naturally with the cute acu. Who I was trying not to write about much just in case he ever finds this blog and realizes who I am. But my schoolgirl crush is still going strong! However, I need to find out once and for all if he is single and interested soon, so that I can either stop daydreaming and start concentrating on the IVF again, or I can try to change daydreaming to reality at some point. It's hard though, because I'm so lame at flirting and so shy about just speaking up and saying "hey, do you want to go get a drink together sometime?" It's the sort of thing I need Dutch courage for, and you just can't turn up to an acu appointment sloshed, now, can you?

My aunt is recovering nicely, by the way. I never did thank you for all your kind thoughts, by the way, so thank you. I'm sure all the people that were praying for her and keeping her in their thoughts made a difference, so I'm very grateful for that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It went fine!

Sorry for being tardy with the update, but the procedure went fine!

What I seriously underestimated was how exhausted I would feel after spending 12 or so hours in the hospital hanging around on Monday, talking to doctors, fielding a gazillion phone calls when my cellphone reception was spotty at best (I guess MRI's and other similar machines interfere somewhat!), driving my aunt's elderly husband home late at night (and pushing him in a wheelchair during the day because the hospital was too big for him to be able to walk around) and trying to somehow get a message to my Grandpa in England without actually being able to call him myself. Oh and get messages to my cousin who's in the backwoods of Montana at the moment. Anyway, everything went well, the doctor said he fixed the aneurysm, the coil is in place and hopefully she will be good for many more years. She spent the first night in the ICU being monitored and getting absolutely no sleep due to the alarms going off, and them coming in every hour to shine a flashlight in her eyes to check her pupils. I sat with her most of Tuesday morning waiting for her to be moved to a regular room, but eventually drove home and crashed into bed in the afternoon. I decided not to try to go into work as I wouldn't have been capable of doing anything anyway. And it turns out that she never did get a room because there weren't any available, so she spent both nights in the ICU. But at least last night they let her close her door, and they silenced the alarms on her monitors so she was able to sleep. She should be going home today, so that'll be good.

And me? Well, just to destress last night I decided to have a glass of wine. Just one. Hah. Of course it turned into me having the whole bottle, as it always seems to do when I am stressed. Which then led to a 5 mile walk at 10pm (don't ask what I was thinking - I have no idea - possibly I thought it would be a good sobering up move). Which led to not very much sleep for me and a hangover this morning. Oh well. I am trying to kid myself that the hangover would have been worse if I hadn't gone for the walk, but really, I could easily have been mugged so I'm not very pleased with myself this morning.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

If you can spare some prayers or good thoughts

Please shoot them towards my family on Monday. I'm taking my aunt to the hospital to have surgery on a cerebral aneurysm. Well, not surgery so much as a procedure to put a coil in there to block it off. It's like putting a stent in an artery but more complicated. As far as I understand it, there's a 5% risk that she could have a stroke or die while undergoing the procedure so we're all pretty scared. She means so much to me, and has been a mother to me since my mom died, that I don't know what I'd do without her. So I am very much hoping that we will be on the good side of the statistics. And it's not as if she can really live life as a ticking time bomb waiting for an aneurysm to explode, so I'm glad she's doing it. But still, it's nerve wracking. And it's more nerve wracking for me that I'll be the only family member there for various reasons, so if things do go horribly wrong I'm going to have to step up to the plate and call her husband, father and son to let them know. And then her daughter, who doesn't speak to us at the best of times so getting through will be difficult. God, I do not want to have to tell my Grandpa that he's outlived both his children. I think the shock of it would kill him too. But let's hope not, eh? A 5% risk of bad things means a 95% chance of good things so we will all be focusing on that.

I hope to be back on Tuesday with good news.

Friday, September 14, 2007


PMS never lies. Last cycle ended up being a 12 day luteal phase (normal for me is 14 or 15), and 25 days overall (normal for me is 29). So that puts me a bit earlier for the IVF and coculture. Maybe.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Drinking coffee

I have noticed that at a certain time of the month, it is impossible for me to resist the siren call of the cappuccino machine at work. Today is one of those days. I have had two already and am about to go back for a third. I do make them decaf, so it's not as bad a full caff but I find if I don't give in to the need for coffee, it quickly degenerates into a full scale chocolate binge. And we definitely don't want that! Not while dieting, at any rate.

Anyway, it's a tad worrying, as it's a bit early for prime PMS time for me, and my temperature has dropped over the last two days (yes, I am lame, I still chart my temperature). So I may be having a short luteal phase and hence a short cycle this month. Not that a wacky cycle after a failed IVF is in any way unusual or necessarily a big deal. A wacky cycle is kind of to be expected, except previously I have had longer cycles after my failed IVFs. But every wacky cycle makes it harder to predict when my next IVF is going to be. I wanted to book the NY hotel as soon as I got CD1, and also book the kitty in to the vets to board her while I'm in NY next time. I don't want to board her, as the last time she was boarded she got incredibly stressed out and developed a urinary tract infection, but I think it is for the best this time. I will be away over Thanksgiving, and my friends who do not enjoy kitty feeding and poop scooping duty at the best of times may rebel at being called upon over Thanksgiving. And besides, last time they broke my $120 automatic kitty litter so it's not as if it is really free care anyway. But of course, Thanksgiving is a crazy busy time at the vets for boarding so I feel I need to book her in early. And she's probably due to have some shots or other, and no doubt a check-up, so I need a lead-in time to get her up to speed on that stuff. But, being me, I'm feeling a bit weirded out by not knowing exactly the dates I will be away so it's stressing me out a tad to have to book and say "it'll probably be these dates, but I may have to change them as we get closer". I know, I know, the vets office don't care why, but I always fret that I am just going to stand there and uncontrollably spill the whole IVF story to some random stranger who doesn't care about it and then I will feel like an idiot.

Oh, and I didn't cancel the diet thing. The customer service people called back extremely apologetic, and thanked me profusely for bringing the gelatin error to their attention. They are changing the meals with the offending gelatin, substituting them out from my plan in the meantime, and giving me a credit. So I am giving them another shot. As for the ground turkey containing meal, that looks to be a packing error. It looks like the person that had that happen received a meal from the regular plan (the Mexican style burrito) rather than the veggie meal (the bean burrito) that was supposed to be included. So that all made me feel better and I am sticking with it for now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Too good to be true

The diet plan is going to get cancelled. I discovered that two of my meals this week contain gelatin, which is not vegetarian and should not be included in a vegetarian plan. And someone who's already received the next batch of food posted to the support forum that one of the dishes lists ground turkey as an ingredient. Ground turkey. In a vegetarian meal plan. I ask you. Gelatin I can understand sneaking in under the radar, but ground turkey?? So, seeing as only half the meals include ingredient lists, it's obvious that I can no longer trust them and can't continue on the diet. I'll finish up what I have (assuming no more gelatin issues) and as the next shipment is already on its way, I'll eat all the meals that don't list non-vegetarian items. But that's it. I'm now looking for a new diet plan to get me through to the IVF. And I was even being secretly hopeful that I could make my target weight that I set myself as the ideal for the next cycle. Sigh. I wish I could be one of those people that just loses interest in eating every now and then.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Just wanted to post that I had a great yoga class yesterday! It's the third one I've done since being back at yoga (after an absence of a little over a year) and I didn't feel useless, fat and creaky! Of course, it helped that I decided not to try and tough it out through poses without using every block and prop available to me, but also I feel like I'm slowly getting my body back. Like it's slowly learning how to respond and getting a little bit of strength again. Hooray for yoga!

As for diet news, I've lost 3lbs in 2 weeks, which is not great, but I'll take it. I feel like I am eating a lot more protein with this food plan so hopefully that will help with egg production too. So I'll stay on the diet up to the next IVF, I think.

That's it. Just happy that things are going well on that score. Of course, things were going well before the last IVF, up to the whole hepatitis C scare and monster cyst turned my life chaotic again. So hopefully there will be no setbacks this time and I can stay on an even keel. Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The pain Olympics

If you hang around TTC boards for a while, particularly if you end up dealing with infertility, you come to know all about the pain Olympics. You know, the "my pain is bigger than your pain" kind of argument that can quickly degenerate into hurt feelings all around. The contest where we get offended at people who TTC'd for 5 months saying "finally". The prize fight where the primary infertility sufferers face off against the secondary infertility sufferers in the "who has it worst" sweepstakes. I have taken part in it myself, though largely consider myself past all that now. I think I may have moved into that weird and mythical place called "acceptance". My path in this is shit. It is what it is. Your path is also shit. Who wants to debate different degrees of shitness when having a stinking pile of green pigeon shit dripping down your forehead is not pleasant at any time?

Anyway, outside of my ovaries (what? Is there anything outside of my ovaries??) I sometimes hang around on other chat boards. And I'm finding that on some types of boards there are other pain Olympics. Immigration boards are particularly making me laugh right now. Now sure, immigration is shit, particularly post 9/11. I feel particularly shat on because I was in the US pre-9/11 but my employers pulled a fast one and didn't apply for my green card until several years later. I didn't know at the time this was going to be very very bad for me. I do now. I could be off doing interesting things by now if I'd have known and pushed for action years ago. As I said, my path in this is shit. It is what it is. I find that acceptance of the TTC shit has moved me to acceptance of a whole lot of other shit in my life so I'm not going to sit around and whine. But the similarity with TTC boards is frighteningly funny sometimes. There are a whole host of abbreviations - EAD, AOS, GC, DOL, LUD that you need to know to be in with the in-crowd. There are the excited newbies, there are the anxious types who get freaked out by every little thing, there are the laid back bitter veterans and there are the pain queens (though I should call them kings as I guess most of them are guys). The ones that post when someone says "finally got my GC after 542 days!" and say "try 2278 days before you say finally".

OK, so I'm easily amused. I probably shouldn't laugh. But you know, fellow infertiles, we are not alone. The pain Olympics go on all over the place. We all squabble and bicker and think we have it worse than others. And that makes me feel less alone, somehow. Less like I am an outlier in an otherwise healthy population but rather that we all have our own shit to deal with and we all compare and get jealous when things don't go our way. You know, like we're all just human.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's a posting bonanza!

Here's (part of) my horoscope for the month. Yay, thanks Sue!

By the time you get to month's end, a close romantic or business relationship will take center stage. A bright and brilliant full moon in Aries will appear on September 26, operative plus or minus four days. This full moon should bring a stunning development in regard to a partner. You may get engaged, married, or make a major commitment to a business partner. This full moon is about closure, so if you have nagging doubts about the union, you may break free. If so, you will feel better for having the courage to speak up. All sorts of important developments involving partnership and collaborations are due, for this full moon will urge you to make up your mind about this person and your future.

This full moon September 26 looks very positive, so I doubt you'll have an upsetting episode. I need to mention the possibility of a breakup because I can't see everything in your chart, dear Libra, but I certainly don't think it's likely. I say that because at this full moon September 26, Jupiter will be standing by to give you the words you need to communicate with loving kindness, and you should be happy with the results. You will feel events of this full moon strongest if you were born on or within five days of September 26.

Romantically, this month Saturn moves out of your eleventh house of friends, fun, and new contacts. This will instantly enliven your social life and bring back the fun you used to have with friends. If you moved to a place where you don't know anyone, you probably found it initially hard to fit in and make friends. All that should change now. Even if you didn't move, over the past two years, you probably found that you, or your friends, were too preoccupied to find the time to get together. Life may have been lackluster, but no more. All that will change now that Saturn is out of fun-loving Leo, a bit of an astrological oxymoron. (Leo loves to play, but Saturn wants to see you work - and Saturn always wins these disputes). If you were involved with a club or charity effort, you may have been frustrated by the petty politics of the organization, making your job harder. All that is over! Saturn won't be back until 2034 and you won't miss Saturn once he's gone! Meanwhile, Venus, as said earlier, will awaken from being in dull retrograde motion and you should soon enjoy the change. Venus is now in the perfect-for-Libra sign of Leo, moving through your eleventh house of friendship without Saturn nearby to act like a killjoy. For the first time in a long time, you're looking at a lively social picture.

Dear Libra, you've not had an encouraging romantic picture for a long time, but as you see, all that is changing now, at long last!

I've got straight hair

Well, I had straight hair at the weekend. I don't have straight hair any more because I could never achieve anything remotely good on my own. And those of you that have met me in person know that my hair is normally, umm, well, putting it politely you'd say curly but in reality it's messy. But anyway, I have that song going around my head from the radio ads for a certain chain hair place, you know, you've got bad hair. 'Xcept my hair was lovely. Sigh. If only a certain hair stylist would just come to my house every morning and blow dry it straight for me. Hint, hint.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Decision done

OK, that's it, enough wallowing and mooning over trying to make decisions. I will do the IVF in November/December. I had a good talk about it with my aunt, and that is what I'll do. Yes, I will probably miss Thanksgiving because I'll be away in NY but that is OK if that's how it has to be. I will put off doing the coculture until the last minute as well. I was just really paralyzed trying to figure out how to pull everything off in October, and waiting until December and hence missing Christmas was not really an option either. Nor was waiting until 2008. So, November/December it is.

And in the meantime I will try to work hard at my job like a good girl, I will try to lose weight, and I'll try and snare me an acu man.