Friday, November 30, 2007

Bored and trying to be happier

Bored and trying to be happier

I am not very good at bedrest. Even when it is self-imposed. I'm bored and itching to go to Starbucks. Yes, Starbucks. Shoot me. But in my defense, I am addicted to their Chai tea, not their coffee.  So that's not so much caffeine, eh?  But I promised myself that I would loll in bed and that's what I'm going to try to do.

Anyway, on to the important news. I transferred 4 embryos. I had two 10 cells and two 8 cells. And a 4 cell. They didn't feel that it was worth transferring the 4 cell so I agreed even though it's hard leaving it behind as it's highly unlikely to make it to freezing.

I feel like I should be ecstatic. I have never ever had any 10 celled embryos. And to have four make it to the 8 celled stage is amazing. In three retrievals at my old clinic, I had two 8 celled embryos out of a total of 14.  In two retrievals at Big Clinic I have had six 8+ celled embryos out of 7. Big difference, huh?

But. And here's the but. I am weirdly not ecstatic. To me the embryos look pretty fragmented. It is hard to look at a photo of a sad and (dare I say it) ugly embryo and be able to imagine it working out. The RE said they were "good" because they were less than 25 percent fragmented. It's hard for me to see how they came up with that and makes me wonder if they just said that to make me feel better or if they really are OK.

So. There we are. The 5 of us are hanging out being bored. And hoping and praying for a good outcome.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hanging around aimlessly

Just hanging around New York today. You would think that I should be out enjoying my two days of real vacation in between ER and ET, but no. Instead I am consumed with errands such as booking my flight home, booking an acupuncture appointment, taking a bag of clothes to the UPS store to ship them home (thus making room in the suitcase for the shopping) and all that jazz. Besides, I just can't be arsed to go and sight see or anything like that. Lame, I know, but then I never promised to be anything BUT lame.

I decided to go home on Sunday, which gives me yet another day after transfer to rest, so I shall be lolling around the hotel from Thursday to Saturday, not doing very much at all. Well, I shall be filling in a questionnaire but that's hardly a lot of work. I am taking part in two research studies at Big Clinic this cycle (I was in one last time). Unfortunately, they're not the type of research studies we all want to be in, preferably sponsored by a drug company, where we get free meds or something. No, they do not bring me any benefit whatsoever but instead may benefit people in the future. In the first one (that I also participated in last time), they are taking the immature eggs that would otherwise be discarded, seeing if they can replace the nuclei with nuclei from egg donors (or at least, younger women) and seeing what happens. It might lead to some sort of hybrid donor egg type situation thing, which might be more palatable I guess. Or something. To be honest, I didn't even read the consent form this time around so I have forgotten exactly what they are trying to do. The other study is on the impact of activity in the week after transfer on success rates. I don't have to actually modify what I do or am planning to do, but just have to document how much exercise I do, whether it is strenuous exercise or moderate exercise, any flights, how many hours I spend lying or sitting around, how many hours standing, etc. I am guessing that mine will come out as one of the more sedentary questionnaires! At least for those first few days, before I go home, although it will be interesting to see what impact the flights have on those of us that travel for our cycles.

I am still a bit undecided on whether to transfer all 5 embryos or not (assuming they are all still alive tomorrow, of course). I think on balance that I will do it if they let me. I mean, with my history of dismal failures I hardly think I am at risk of higher order multiples so it's probably a risk worth taking. And I just want it to work this time, damn it! But I shall see what the RE and embryologist say tomorrow. If they strenuously argue against it, then I will transfer fewer. I can take a hint sometimes, you know!

And just a quick final word - thank you for all your kind words and good luck wishes! I think they help, I really do, so I am very grateful for them. Mwah! Smoochies to you all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fertilization report

I got the dreaded call. Out of the 14 eggs retrieved, 7 were mature and 5 fertilized. While I'd like more, I'm still pretty happy with 5. I mean, last time I had 2 so this is more than double the number to play with.

So, transfer is on Thursday. I may transfer all 5 if they let me. I mean, I've had 12 transferred up to now and none of those have stuck, so why not go for broke?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holy freakin' cow!

Sweet baby Jaysus, I just had 14 eggs retrieved! Who'd a thunk it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hey, come pick on me!

Today has been officially designated as "pick on Sarah day". So go on, have at it. Everyone at Big Clinic has already had a good go, so now I am throwing it out to the blogosphere. Take your best shot!

I triggered last night at 11.40. Yay me! My estrogen was 1121 which is not spectacular, although I keep trying to remember that Big Clinic triggers me a day or two earlier than my old clinic, based on follicle sizes, so that I shouldn't be just dividing the number by 200 and whining that I'll "only" get 6 eggs. I will be happy with whatever I get, I promise you, but I'm still secretly hoping for 8-10.

The first snag in the works was that my fellow out of town buddy who I'd asked to sign me out of egg retrieval as my responsible adult also triggered last night. So we're going to retrieval on the same day. Which is awesome for having someone nice to chat with in the waiting room, but now means that her husband is signing us both out. And of course the nurse today didn't like that idea when I foolishly decided to check if that was OK. I mean, we are one after the other for our retrieval times, we are staying in the same hotel, one floor apart and I've done plenty of other retrievals that I have been just fine after. I do not anticipate any issues. But of course the nurse was all "don't you have any friends?" in an incredulous voice. Uh, not in New York lady, no. I'm not from around here. Well, I'm sure other of my Big Clinic buddies would be willing to sign me out if I asked, but I'm not about to. Then when she realized we were one after the other, she asked if I'd planned it that way to get adjacent retrieval times. Huh? Like I can plan which retrieval times you pick?? Eventually she relented after I stood there looking dumb and giving her my best Paddington Bear stare.

The next snag was that I had not apparently signed my donor sperm consent. Now, I've noticed with Big Clinic and consent forms that basically they use an accusatory tone of voice every time you don't hand in your consent forms on time. Like you fed them to your dog, or burned them in a ritualistic pyre or something. They can't seem to comprehend that perhaps, just maybe, they didn't actually give you the forms to sign. So eventually the nurse wandered off and found the form, and gave it to me to sign. Which I did, and handed them straight back. Like I have done with every single freakin' other consent that they've ever given me. Still not sure why I have to consent to treatment with donor sperm when that is what I asked to do, but you know, what-evah.

Then the nurse wanted me to go to Andrology to alert them that I am doing egg retrieval tomorrow so they'll have the sperm ready. Although they already know this, as I was called yesterday when they told me to make sure I signed the damn donor sperm consent form, and when they gave me a hard time about only having one vial. I know, I know that clinics prefer to have 2 vials available for IVF. But my donor is now sold out, and as this is my last cycle I am not about to waste $1000 and mental energy choosing another donor and obtaining two vials. They can damn well use up the vial left over from my last cycle. In every other cycle there has never been a problem with the thaw, and if there is this time, well, it's MY risk to take, isn't it, that the cycle could be cancelled. So, off I trotted to Andrology. And the lab tech was all "why on earth did they send you over today, the day before retrieval?" Ummm, don't know. Sorry, not psychic. And then she proceeded to give me a hard time, again, about only having one vial of sperm. The Paddington Bear stare came out again. I stood and listened to the lecture about needing to have two vials, and how I should always have two vials and it is a requirement. Blankness emanated from me. I was quite proud of myself actually. I can look remarkably vacant when needed. In the end she wore herself out and admitted that it was too late to do anything about it and they'd just have to work with what they had. Yup. That's the plan, baby. That's the plan.

So, please think hopeful thoughts that nothing will go wrong with retrieval and that my frozen sperm will be in good shape and they will not cancel me for having no sperm available. I have thought of stopping any random med student I can find on the street and asking them to be my sperm donor backup, but maybe I'll keep that in mind for tomorrow just in case.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I might be triggering tonight!

Nice growth from yesterday, so I'm just waiting for the call.

In other news, after watching the What Not to Wear marathon on TLC, I was inspired enough to go out and buy myself a complete outfit. I figure given that it fits while all IVF-bloated it'll still fit me while pregnant (hah! The unashamed optimism) or I'll lose tons of weight and will be skinny so won't mind it being too big. Yeah right to either of those. But I think I look cute in it, so that's the main thing. Of course, my suitcase is stuffed to the gills already so I've no actual idea how to pack it to get it home. I may be mailing stuff to myself at this rate!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Talk, keep talking...

I had a great ultrasound today, so I'm doing the happy dance. The biggest follicle didn't grow much overnight (it is now 16mm, well, 15x17) but the smaller ones caught up. AND I could see more folllicles on the screen today. I mean, don't tell anyone I said this, but I think I might be in with the chance of 8-10. The only weirdness was that the RE said that I might trigger tomorrow. Which seems too early given the size of my follicles and my estrogen level. I know they are the experts and I am trying very hard to leave the worrying up to them, but sometimes it is difficult not to second guess. I really hope that they allow me to stim an extra day and let me trigger on Sunday, though.

Physically things are getting tougher. I've got that squicky feeling I get while stimming, like I'm oozing estrogen out of every pore and can't get quite clean enough. You know, like with a bad hangover without the headache or the fun. And then my ovaries are kind of sore all the time now, not just when I've been walking or have a full stomach, and the pain is radiating to my lower back. It'll all be worth it if it ends up being a good cycle, of course, but you know. I'm kind of tired of it already. And it's not even as if my estrogen is very high. It has been 25, 112, 212, 351 and 445 yesterday (assuming I'm looking at the right set of numbers - Big Clinic uses two scales, and it's hard to tell which is the usual scale).

Anyhoo, I have acupuncture this afternoon, so hopefully that will help. And I have plenty of naps planned for my future so that is always a good thing to do.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tofurkey day

Well, it was a lot of fun seeing the parade balloons, but I definitely underestimated just how many kids there would be there. The place was overrun with the little, darlings. My ovaries had started to hurt as well, so walking around was a bit difficult. Then I got the call to go to Big Clinic in the morning, so there went the vague plans I had to actually see the parade itself. No way in hell was I going to go through morning monitoring and then make it to within a mile of the parade route by 9am. No matter, IVF is more important!

The wanding went back to being unsatisfactory. Today's RE is of the "only measure the top 2 follicles on each side" school. So I know that my largest is 15.5mm and the next largest is 15mm and not much else. I definitely saw three follicles on the left, and wasn't sure on the right. Maybe 4, maybe 5. Whatever. I had a nice cushy lining too so it's all chugging along. The RE said that he thought it would be a couple more days, which is fine by me.

I know my estrogen must be rising too, because holy EWCM batman! That particular side effect has hit!

Thanksgiving itself has been a bit blah. I always really enjoy our Thanksgiving picnic in Miami, and it makes me sad to miss it. But it turned into a small one anyway, as my cousin is away, my aunt's husband just had surgery and various other people are away (including me, of course). So maybe I'm not missing so much after all. Still, I'd rather not be here alone watching TV but I know that this was the only month that worked out for IVF for the remainder of the year so there wasn't much of a choice in the matter. I hope everyone else out there is having a good one.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chugging along

Well, my prediction skills failed me (again). They wanted me on the same dose but also wanted me back in this morning for another look-see. This morning went well, though, as they measured 7 follicles. Yay! One is at 14.5 and the next largest is 12pointsomething. I am hoping they will let that larger one get a little overmature in order to allow as many as possible of the others to catch up. Hopefully.

OK, sorry for the lame short post, but I've got lots to do. Got to rush off to pick up more meds, and then I am going to see them blow the parade balloons up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wand me baby, one more time

Hey! Guess what? They wanted me to stay on the same meds last night. Am I good at predicting things, or what? But they also wanted me in today for an ultrasound and bloodwork, so the estrogen level must have been climbing a bit. And when I saw it on the screen this morning, it had indeed climbed - from 29 or so to 199.

So I am now duly wanded, and I have to say, I find the ultrasounds at Big Clinic deeply unsatisfying. Not that I expect that kind of satisfaction from a dildocam. Ahem. No, I want to see measurements, I want every follicle lovingly counted and quantified. I want every follicle to matter. No such luck. I mean, sure, you have an RE do the ultrasound, which was not the case at my old clinic, but the RE spends as little time as humanly possible in the room and only measures the biggest follicles. So I had two on the right and two on the left measured. The biggest is 13.5mm, I had two at 11pointsomething and one at 10pointsomething. And then there were a few more - how many? How big? Don't know. I got a glimpse of maybe 3 more on the right, and maybe 4 more on the left but it was so hard to see in the nanosecond of time available to me.

13.5 is a tad bigger than I would like, especially if I have a few under 10mm. But it's not outrageously big so hopefully it won't take off and become monstrously large and dominant like usual. Hopefully long lupron is doing its job and the big one won't overwhelm the smaller ones. In all, I'm fairly pleased at how it is going.

And my prediction for today's instructions? I'm going with dropping the follistim to 225 iu (or maybe staying at 300), keeping the menopur at 150 iu and back on Thursday for the next ultrasound.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cash strapped

Well, I'd like to report a nice uneventful clinic visit, but that would be lying. Oh, not that there's anything wrong with my follicles or anything like that. In fact, I've no idea how my follicles are doing because I didn't have an ultrasound - just bloodwork. And I'm waiting for the call based on the bloodwork, but not holding my breath for anything dramatic (I'd give even odds that the instructions will be "stay on the same meds for another day").

But I went to try to pay for my cycle this morning. And told them to take $8000 from my medical flex spending account, and put the rest on a credit card. Except the flex card didn't go through. The receptionist offered to put through a different amount, but $8000 is the amount I am paying in to it, so $8000 should have worked. After two card swipes, I called the customer service people of my flex plan administrators. And they weren't open yet. I waited a bit, which was fine as I was chatting in the waiting room with one of my internet buddies. Then I called after the appointed opening time. And completely forgot my social security number. I mean, what IS it with me this cycle? But eventually I stammered out a number and the customer service rep told me that I had owed them 8 cents from last year, so the amount available was $7999.92. They could have effing told me this previously, but whatever. Off I trotted back to the receptionist and proferred my card asking if she wouldn't mind giving me a dollar discount off the cycle. Pretty please. She swiped again. And again. Still nothing.

I called. Again. I stayed on hold for a long time, fuming about the wastage of my precious cellphone minutes. Eventually customer service came back and told me they'd have to contact the card issuing company and call me back.

I waited. I waited some more. I went to the patient resource center to kill some time. No call. So I went back to my hotel room and vegged out in front of old Project Runway episodes. I called customer service YET again, and this time they were closed for their Thanksgiving lunch. Grrreat. Finally I got through to someone, again spent an age on hold and was then told that my card had never been activated by accident when our new plan year kicked in, but should be fine now.

So off I trooped to Big Clinic. Again. And paid the cash, finally. Phew. Done.

I should now go off and do something virtuous like a yoga class, but in all honesty the afternoon is actually heading towards chocolate and/or cookie eating. Eggs develop well when fed on a diet of chocolate, don't they?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Missing: one brain

I don't know what it is this cycle, but I seem to have lost my brain somewhere. First my mind went due to the lupron, and then my mental faculties packed up and gave up altogether. Case in point - my first monitoring appointment.

I thought the nurse said to go to Big Clinic on Sunday the 19th for bloodwork. So I booked everything thinking "Sunday" was the day. But then yesterday I started thinking "wait a minute, the 19th is Monday, and one normally does the first appointment after 3 days on stims. She must have meant Monday. I must have misunderstood her because of her accent."

But did I call to confirm? No, I did not. I just assumed that I had Sunday wrong and that I would turn up on Monday. And then flew up to NY, settled in to the hotel and met up with a few girls for Sunday breakfast. Of course, my cellphone rang while I was in the noisy restaurant and I didn't hear it. An hour later as I was mooching around Bloomies looking for some boots, I checked my cellphone to see what time it was and noticed a voicemail. Yup, I had missed my monitoring appointment. I called the answering service, explained that I'd got confused and thought it was the next day, and a nurse called me back an hour later.

She said I could wait until Monday, but I absolutely have to be in between 7 and 8.30 on Monday morning. Have to. Obligatory. I must be in. She insisted that I write it down so I didn't forget. I said I wouldn't forget this time and not to worry, I'd be there on time. I don't think she believed me. I don't blame her really.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday morning

I had a revelation this morning. I finally figured out what the nurse said to me yesterday!

You see, the nurse that called with my instructions on the meds had quite a strong asian accent. I think it was Chinese, but whatever. So she said "you on lupron pour one, righ?" and I went "sorry? What did you say?" "Lupron pour one." "Umm, no, sorry, I don't understand. You said lupron and then I don't know what you said after that." Eventually after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing she practically shouted "ten units" to which I went "oh! Yes, I'm on ten units of lupron." So then she rattled off that I was to stay on the same dose that evening and start 300 of follistim and 150 of menopur today, and drop the lupron down to "point zero five". I didn't have a clue what she meant by 0.05 of lupron, but said yes, OK, right, gotcha, as I knew I should drop the lupron down to 5 units. But, just because I'm anal and have a need to know precisely what is going on at all times, I then immediately called my assigned IVF nurse, thinking I'd ask her what the eff the other nurse meant. I understand my IVF nurse perfectly as we're from the same little country on the other side of the pond so have this whole fellow countrywomen bond going on. Except her voicemail said she was now out until Monday. Great. No explanations for me.

Last night, as I did my lupron shot, I noticed that the syringe was a 0.5cc syringe, and went up to 50 units so then it made sense to say 0.05 of lupron because if we're talking about cc's rather than units, 5 units is 0.05 cc's. So that clicked. All well and good. But something was still nagging me. That whole "pour one" thing. Now, you're all probably way ahead of me at this point and have figured it out, but I still couldn't for the life of me understand what the nurse had been saying. Which bothered me because I like to think that when it comes to something as important as drugs I should know exactly what I'm doing.

Until this morning, that is, when I was eating my oatmeal and not even thinking about shots. "Pour one!" came into my head. And with great clarity it finally dawned on me that it's "point one", as in 0.1cc, as in ten units. Duh, double duh and triple duh. Why on earth I couldn't figure that out yesterday, I don't know. But it makes me happy that I do at least now understand everything the nurse said.

I am flying off tomorrow, which means that I will be super busy and won't have time to post. I have to take my kitty to the vets to board her, and that is already making me teary. I also have to figure out what to pack, which I am useless about as I can never figure out how cold it is going to be. Oh yeah, and finish the mountain of work on my desk. Talking of which, I'd better get cracking.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh Jeez

One more day of the crazies. I am cleared to start stims, but they don't want me to start until tomorrow. One more day of lupron at this strength before I can drop down. I just hope there are no homicidal tendencies in the meantime.

Look ma! No cysts!

I went for my wanding today at my local clinic. And I'm pleased to say that I have NO cysts. All is quiet on the ovarian front. The ultrasound technician did feel it necessary to point out three times that "you are very gassy" with lots of emphasis on the "very". Gee, thanks. And that is relevant to my ultrasound how? Either you can see my ovaries or you can't. Why feel the need to make me feel small for a normal bodily function? Not that I think I am a particularly gassy person, you know, it's not like I was trying to hold in any tooting while I was lying on the table. And when she was showing me my ovaries on the screen, and almost delighting in pointing out said gassiness, I have to say, it all just looked like fat to me. But then I'm not the expert, so what do I know. To my untutored eye, though, my follicles all looked nice and evenly sized so that's a big relief. Hopefully I can avoid any dominant follicle issues this time around.

She found 4 antral follicles on the right, and 6 on the left. So that compares with last cycle's 11 antral follicles. Hopefully the long lupron protocol will enable me to actually get all the antral follicles stimulated to produce eggs. Oh, if only! Hey, a girl can dream.

I almost killed a few motorists in a road rage incident on the way in to work, so the lupron is still making me, erm...feisty, shall we say. But why oh why can nobody follow the damn road rules any more??? Don't they realize there are hormonal maniacs sharing the road with them? Thank Christ my boss is going off to his meetings in an hour or so, so hopefully he will emerge from this cycle without a hatchet embedded in his skull.

Please though, if you value world peace, pray that Big Clinic will let me start stims tonight, and more importantly, drop my damn dose of lupron. I feel that the harmony of this particular corner of mother Earth may be severely damaged if I have to continue being a short tempered beyotch for much longer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Raving lunatic

Oh dear god.

The irritability has run amok. I nearly slapped my boss. Twice. For being an insufferable idiot. Then banged my head repeatedly against my computer wrist rest (not quite an idiot myself, it's a soft, cushy wrist rest) in front of him when he asked me yet another stupid question and told him to stop wasting my time. And then nearly stuck pencils in my own eyes in frustration.

And then ran off screaming so I could calm down.

Not that it's the best time to antagonize my boss, because he's about to go off to the payraise committee to decide whether I get anything at all next year. I'll probably be fired at the rate I am going.

Jesus H. and Jiminy Cricket, I spoke too soon on the lupron. I have clearly gone psychotic.

In my defense officer, he is an insufferable idiot.

Irritable? Moi?

OK, so the flowyness kept going and it really was officially CD1 yesterday. So that was the right call. I am actually getting rather nervous about my ultrasound tomorrow morning. I never used to be, but after that whole monster cyst/cancellation debacle, I don't take them for granted any more. Especially after I've already booked the flight! So, if you're the praying type, please pray for lots of antral follicles and no cysts!

I'm fairly headachy again today, so that's annoying, but overall I really can't complain about the lupron too much this time. I mean, sure, the cat has been shouted at more than she usually gets shouted at during PMS time but she is a particularly whiny cat sometimes, so it probably evens out. And she's gone back to having a pooping on the floor habit, which is irritating beyond belief. [Wait? Did I just say the lupron wasn't affecting me much?] I'm going to have to go and get my 6th or 7th litter maid self-cleaning box, as that's the only thing that works. Unfortunately, only 2 of those litter boxes had a motor that didn't burn out within weeks, and they cost $120 a pop, so every time one burns out I always think I'll just try to keep going with manual scooping and hope for the best. I've tried scooping twice per day, and even bought her a second litter box because I read that cats like to poop separately from where they pee. So what does she do? Pee in both boxes, and then if there's a single pee in a box, she won't use it to poop in but goes on the floor. And if she'd just poop at the same time every day I could make sure it was clean before then, but no such luck on that score. If only I didn't, you know, have to go out to work, and oh yeah, sleep, I could scoop instantly every time she pees and her highness wouldn't be tempted by the laminate flooring. Thank God it is laminate flooring by the way, and not carpet!

Whoa, where did that little rant come from? Ahem. Loopy lupron, nice to make your acquaintance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Aaaand we're off. Maybe.

OK, the spotting turned a little more, umm, flow-y, so I decided to call it cycle day 1. Called the nurse, who wasn't in. Why is that, by the way? Why is my IVF nurse out of the office on pretty much every day that I call? So I called the scheduler, and explained ever so sweetly that I would normally speak to the nurse but she wasn't in, and owing to the fact that I didn't get a cycle confirmation letter I wasn't terribly sure what to do. And of course she pounced on the whole "no letter" part of the sentence and started grilling me on my address, and insisting that the letter was sent to me in September. Uh huh. Can we steer things back to "what do I need to do now?" please? Can we just accept the fact that I do not currently have a letter, and the question of whether or not it was never sent to me or I destroyed it by accident is immaterial?

Anyhoo, we ascertained that I had everything I needed and that I just need to continue on the lupron then toddle off for an ultrasound and blood draw on Thursday morning at the local clinic, and report back to them afterwards. Then they'll give me more instructions on starting stims. So I made the rash decision to book my flight for Saturday instead of Friday as I had originally thought and change my hotel reservation to Saturday as well, in the hope that they won't want me back in until cycle day 6. Cali asked about arranging travel - well, I basically wait until I can stand it no longer, and then hop onto the Jet Blue website and book a one-way flight, hoping for the best. I did have to cancel the flight that time I got postponed because of the monster cyst, but I was able to use most of the money for a subsequent flight so I was only out the cancellation fee of $30 (now $35). I could leave it until the day before I travel to book, I suppose, but that leaves me with the worry that a) it would cost about the same as buying a new car, and b) I wouldn't get a seat, thus having to drive to NY instead of flying. So I'm taking the risk. Oooh, don't I live dangerously?

Of course, having done all of that, I'm now convinced that the flowyness has probably dried up and we'll be back to spotting because it was a pretty marginal call. But what the hell - none of it really matters on lupron. I hope.

Cycle Day One Last Time?

Having one of those wishy-washy "is it or isn't it?" days. It could be CD1, or it could just be spotting. Don't really know. Don't really care any more, either, except that the fact that CD1 did not come yesterday means I don't have to fly to NY on Friday, hopefully making this week a little less hectic. Although judging by the state of my inbox, nothing is going to really help on the hectic front.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I'm feeling pretty depressed today. It's probably a mixture of the lupron, PMS, and the fact that I hate my job. But I'm slowly working out the second career/exit strategy, and although many aspects of it seem to be a very long way off, at least it gives me something to cling to when everything else is crap. As an example of how crap it is at work, we've had 5 people quit our office in the past two weeks, and probably more to come. Morale is low. And in the midst of all this, I really need to have a good, solid, and highly productive week so that I can take off for two week's vacation for the IVF cycle without worrying. I'm not quite sure how to pull that off, but I suspect that there'll be a fair amount of working late this week.

I had a great weekend - got my two craniosacral therapy sessions in, so I feel that I'm on my way to clearing those karmic blockages. But then of course I often worry that if this doesn't work this time I'll kind of look like a fool for thinking that karmic blockages were the answer. However, when have I not looked like a fool, so why worry on that score now? It can only help to do some of this work, and if it doesn't help enough, at least I tried. "At least I tried" seems to be somewhat of a motto these days.

The only slight downside to the weekend was a phone conversation with my dad, who seems to think that the NY doctors are just out to take my money without telling me that it's got no hope of working (based on some coverage last year of unscrupulous fertility doctors in the UK, which has stuck in my dad's mind) and that I really should be finding a husband. Well, yeah, but as we've discussed several times, the pickings are pretty slim around here and if I'm having this much trouble getting pregnant now, what makes him think that it'll automatically work in a year or so when I miraculously find that husband? So that was slightly annoying, but oh well. He did at least wish me luck.

I kind of got my thyroid result back, but not really. I got left a voicemail that my TSH was normal, but my T3 was a bit low, so if I wanted to get a copy to discuss with my internist, then to call them back and they'd send a copy. I mean, does that mean I should discuss it with my internist, or not? It sounds entirely optional, really, but I know that even though my TSH may be normal, last time it was 2.5, which is a tad high for TTC, and that a low T3 also points to hypothyroidism. So on balance, I may have an issue. However, I decided that as it's too late to get an appointment with an internist before the IVF cycle, I'm just going to wing it, and hope that if Big Clinic was really worried, they would have used much stronger wording. Hopefully it's not out of whack enough to prevent the cycle from working, and I can always have it checked out when I get back from NY in case it would interfere with anything.

The lupron is going well, by the way. No more forgetfulness on the shots, thankfully. And the headache has been a coming and going type of thing, so I'm thankful that it hasn't been a constant companion. I'm just waiting for my period to arrive so that I can get the show on the road. And as typical with my body, it's nowhere in sight. It's 15DPO today, and nada. Still, I'm beginning to think that if I can delay that flight to NY by a day or two, it'll help with the stress of getting everything done, so maybe it's a good thing.

Friday, November 09, 2007


Thank goodness for Blackberry alarms! I was vegging out in front of the TV last night, chortling at My Name Is Earl and generally minding my own business, and the darn Blackberry started beeping at me. At first I was kind of confused because the alarm is a similar sound to the text message beep on my cellphone and I'd had a text message earlier in the evening so at first thought I had another one. I picked up the cellphone. Nope, no text. Then the Blackberry. Hmmm, the alarm was going off. I wondered why.

And then the ton of bricks came crashing down straight upon my head, momentarily knocking me off balance.

The lupron shot! Duh. And the prize for the most forgetful idiot of the year goes

I had totally forgotten about doing lupron. But I suppose the good thing about doing so many IVF cycles is that I have learned by experience, as I did actually completely forget a lupron shot on a previous cycle (luckily I remembered a few hours later before going to bed, so no real harm done). So, I learned that I had to set myself an alarm every day that I need to do a shot, no matter what. No matter if I think there is no way on earth that I will forget, the alarm is set to go off every day. Because the likelihood is that my brain will empty out the second that the goggle box goes on in the evening, as I proved yesterday. I used to do my shots earlier, at around 7pm, which is usually before the TV goes on chez Solitaire, so it may have been less of an issue. Or I may have been more anxious/interested about the whole process before I failed so damn many of these things, and therefore cared more about doing shots precisely on time. But anyway, this cycle I'm trying to time things around all the flights I have to make going backwards and forwards to NY, so I shifted my shots to 8.30pm as that's smack in the middle of Big Clinic's suggested timing of between 7 and 10pm. And smack in the middle of TV-watching and brain-emptying opportunities. So I don't think this is going to be the last time that the alarm saves the day.

And let me just say to any other bloggers out there going through or about to go through an IVF cycle. Yup, never post about having no side effects. It totally jinxes you. The lupron headache started playing around the edges of my brain yesterday evening and now it has hit full force. I guess those bricks hitting me on the head didn't help either.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm probably jinxing myself here, but I'm happy to report that (so far) I have had no side effects from the lupron. At all. Whatsoever. In fact, I keep having to remind myself to either do the shot or that I already did the shot, because I feel so disconnected from it all. Not that I'm complaining, it's a good thing not to have side effects. But, you know, disconcerting.

Anyhoo, I had a few questions in the comments that I haven't responded to yet, so I will try to answer here.

1. Does valium with transfer increase your chances?
I had to Google this, which proved useless as I got six million hits for various sites trying to sell me drugs. Including one entitled "can you snort valium?" which I had never even considered before. Not that I want to try, but it's interesting to think that other people DO want to try snorting it. But, as far as I know, valium is standard practice at a lot of clinics, because it relaxes you before transfer, and more importantly relaxes the uterus. I couldn't find any evidence of it increasing pregnancy rates (not that I searched for very long), but I guess it wouldn't be standard practice in many clinics if it didn't at least help. It is NOT standard practice at Big Clinic, but they will prescribe it if you beg. Last cycle I had a couple of tablets left over from my old clinic, and I took them sneakily, but only took 1 before transfer and 1 after. And I was very nervous and anxious about the whole thing, especially as you don't get any information about your embryos until you are called into the OR for the actual transfer. As I only had two to work with, I figured I would have been a complete and utter gibbering mess without a valium. So I made a decision that I was never going to do a transfer again without it. This time I have a prescription for 2 tablets, so I will take them both before the transfer. And do acupuncture before and after, so hopefully that will leave me nicely mellow.

2. How did I score a free Akashic records reading?
Ah, well, it helps to have connections. My aunt is a fairly new age type person, and is a craniosacral therapist. So this person that did the reading is a friend of hers, and kindly offered me a free session when we met several weeks ago on the basis that my aunt is so lovely and does so much for her that she wanted to give something back. I did it while at home, but over the phone, which was great.

3. What's craniosacral therapy like?
Based on having a therapist in the family, I have had various sessions over the years. In fact, it's my standard request for birthday and Christmas presents. I think of it kind of like Reiki in many respects, though with a bit more emphasis on your head and spine (obviously, given the name!). You can feel tingly energy in parts of your body that the therapist is concentrating on and it is very relaxing. It's done fully clothed, like Reiki is, and I believe that it was entirely due to craniosacral work that I don't get migraines any more. At all.

4. Are you really as fabulous as you appear to be?
Yes! Thanks for noticing. ;)

OK, OK, I made that last question up.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Waiting to sleep

Waiting to sleep

Mis-timing. It's been the word (words?) of the day. I arrived way way too early for my facial, which was with an English facialist, this being after I had acupuncture with an English acupuncturist, and by the way, my IVF nurse is English - WTF? It's like being in this whole country-warp thing - is there anyone left in the old country or is everyone over here now?  Sorry, I  digress, back to mis-timing and the general killing of time. I had to sit outside a coffee shop being alternately harangued by a deranged man and barked at by an Irish Wolfhound. Then I had far too much time to kill before my ridiculously late flight. So I arrived at the airport a full three hours early and was barked at by an irate security guard. And now my ridiculously late flight is delayed so that I am currently projected to arrive back in my home town at 1:15am. I expect it'll be closer to 2am.  I am not good with sleep-deprivation, by the way. Not good at all, so I am not particularly cheery at this turn of events. 

I just shot up in an airport bathroom. Not for the first time. And not for the last time, either. Still haven't shot up while actually flying, though I am considering it for the return flight to NY just so I can brag about how hard-core I am. Moving car? Public restroom?  Pshaw, try turbulence, baby!

The coculture biopsy went well. It didn't hurt, apart from some cramps when I was getting dressed. More worrying is that they are making me repeat my thyroid bloodwork. When I had it done in March, I thought it was a tad high, but nobody said anything so I figured it wasn't an issue. Not that I want a problem to be unmedicated but I don't want to be on any more drugs than needed. Especially ones that may have to be taken throughout a pregnancy. It just worries me a tad to take meds if there's a baby there sharing those medications. And I read something a while ago about fluoride in water affecting thyroid levels so it might make me seriously pissed off if my city has poisoned my thyroid gland. Oh well, I'm probably overreacting.

Luckily, Big Clinic being what it is, I got to sit and wait with a fellow IVF vet, so we gossiped about past protocols and egg retrievals. Ah, good times. She was just as much of a failure as me!  Imagine!  I tried to strike up conversation with a couple of other women but they had that deer-in-the-headlights look of  newbies and clearly didn't want to be infected by the cloud of infertility germs that I must carry with me.

The best news of the day, however, is that I managed to score a valium prescription from Dr. S for transfer day, though it's not nearly as much as I would like. Yes, yes, I know. I JUST said I didn't want to take drugs. But valium for transfer day is different. It's necessary!  I made my usual feeble "joke" about wanting enough valium for the entire month but sadly didn't get anywhere.  I should probably have begged harder. Maybe I will if I see him again. Seriously? Why on earth CAN'T we be spaced out for the whole cycle? I'm sure their success rates would go up.  I mean, if we're all supposed to "just relax" and we'll get pregnant, why not help us out a little?

More tomorrow if I am capable of rational thought.  Probably not, so don't go holding any breath out there.

Monday, November 05, 2007

That thing I did

Wow, it was very interesting on Friday. For those who care, I actually had my Akashic records read. Apparently you have a big book up in the ether which has your soul's journey written on it. There's a whole library up there, according to the folks that do this. With everybody's books. And some people can speak to the masters who can access such records, and can give out advice. Hey, no laughing, please! As I said, I wouldn't have done it unless it was free, but some of what she said resonated and made sense. And all the more so once I had discussed it in depth with my aunt, who apparently remembers more events from my childhood than I do. Useful that, as my memory is pretty appalling and I also tend to minimize what I do remember. I am one of those types that is all "Oh, yeah, I had a wonderful childhood and adolescence. Nothing out of the ordinary happened at all. What's that? No, can't remember anything that would affect me. Nothing at all. Umm, well, you know, I guess I could mention my mother dying when I was 11." I am definitely a glosser-over of bad things. I will tell you I feel fine right up to the point of keeling over or vomiting on your feet. So, it's very helpful to have a relative available who can provide details, as my dad is totally useless on that score.

So, I have some karmic blockages preventing me from becoming pregnant, but I have specific things to do to remove those blockages, and after that I should be good to go. And I'm storing some other emotions in my abdomen, from arguments and grief and other things, which I have to clear as well, partly by telling my abdomen that I love it. Flab and all.

I mean, why not? I've had a guy stick his fingers up my arse in the name of clearing adhesions, so this is pretty minimal in the long list of things I have tried in order to get pregnant. A few meditations, a few craniosacral therapy sessions and voila. Why the hell not try, eh?

In other news, I am in NY! I flew up yesterday, and just had my giant blood draw for the coculture, so my uterine cells which they will take tomorrow can have lots of lovely food to grow on so the lab can make a cushy home for my embryos before they get transferred back to me. I am now in the patient resource center in the clinic, waiting for an hour or so to go by before I decide to walk anywhere. See, I learned my lesson last time, when I tried to immediately walk to Central Park and then almost fainted. Twice. And then ended up lying like a dead vagrant on a bench in the park, attracting double-takes from passers-by who were clearly wondering if they needed to call the cops to come and remove my lifeless body.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Quickie post

Having a crazy work day today, but just saw something that made me giggle. I get myself listed on CycleSista when I cycle (there's a clickable button on the right), and this time they made a typo on my name and put Sarash. Which is weird, as that's also what all the Indian guys on the immigration board that I'm on think I am called, presumably based on the (male) Indian name of Suresh.

Maybe I should change my name? Sarash has an interesting ring to it. Mind you, knowing my luck it probably means something like "barren" in Sanskrit.

Oh, but I also have to say, while I am thinking of Sanskrit - this afternoon I am doing something quite out there and new agey in order to "clear the blockages that are preventing me from getting pregnant". I am quite intrigued, and I will post more later when I have time. But I have to say, I wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't free - one of my aunt's new agey friends is doing her thang free for me because she loves my aunt so much. However, I'm going into it with an open mind. You just never know, and in my new Sue-inspired motto "in this magical season, all things are possible".

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sue says

Thanks to Cali I feel compelled at the start of every month to check Sue for my horoscope. Not that she says stuff that is all that earth shattering or relevant, but some of it is relevant, and gives me a little hope sometime. Or, more often, tells me not to do something I have been planning on.

This month, she's banging on about my career, and me having great prospects for a raise. Now, November IS the month that they decide on my salary, but honestly, my performance has been so lackluster ever since I started fertility treatments, that I highly doubt that a raise is in my future. In fact, I'll probably be lucky not to get fired.

But at the very end, she says something that she's never said before. You have to look close, but there it is. Oh, and November 24th is my estimated egg retrieval date, by the way.

Romance will shimmer on several days during the month, but most divinely on November 7, and in the days, weeks, and months that follow Uranus' turn to direct orbit on November 24.

In the coming months, the planet ruling your house of love, Uranus, has been moving at a sluggish mode, but all that changes from end of November onward. You can expect this surprise-a-minute planet to spice up your love life in time for the holidays.

Start getting ready for parties, intimate dinners, and walks together to look at the pretty city lights. If you've been alone, you may not be for long, and if you feel your partner's neglected you, you'll love being fussed over in coming weeks and months. Do you hope to have a baby? In this magical season, all things are possible.