Archive for January, 2008

Lupron Challenge

January 29, 2008

I just got the e-mail from my clinic. I “passed” my lupron challenge test. Aren’t you proud?
 
Just for comparison:
 
October: FSH = 8.2, baseline E2 = 43, after lupron E2 = 100 (increase of 57)
January: FSH = 6.5, baseline E2 = 48, after lupron E2 = 255 (increase of 177)
 
I can’t remember exactly what they are looking for…or why. But I looked in my booklet and it says that the cycle can start if:
 
1. FSH is less than 8.0 and E2 is less than 75 and after the lupron the E2 goes up by at least 30
2. FSH is 8.0 to 12.0 and E2 is less than 55, and after lupron the E2 goes up by at least 30
3. FSH is less than 12.0 and after the lupron the E2 goes up by at least 125
 
It says that cycles cannot start if:
 
1. FSH is higher than 12.0
2. FSH is 8.0 to 12.0 and E2 is 55 or greater
3. E2 is 75 or greater and after lupron E2 doesn’t go up by at least 125
4. After lupron E2 doesn’t go up by at least 30
 
Looks like I am in much better shape, huh? Little things make my hopes soar. I pick up BCP tonight and start them for 2 weeks. I will soon get a schedule for the rest of my protocol….cycle number 2, here we come!

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CD1

January 25, 2008

Yes, back to CD1.

I am going to do an IVF cycle…I am gearing up. I went to the clinic today for my blood draw…I am SO lucky that my clinic is literally 2 miles from my office. I feel ready. I AM READY. The nerves that I felt before the first cycle are not there, because the fear of the uknown is not there. The fear of failure is there though — so much so. I struggle to keep a positive outlook.

TW has an appointment to “do his thing” on Valentine’s Day, to give a sample for freezing as a back-up. Nothing like a little self-love on Valentine’s Day! I am pretty sure that as things are going, I will be doing this cycle solo. TW’s work schedule is really whacked for the next couple of months.

So, I give myself a Lupron shot on Sunday at 5pm, and go in for a 2nd blood draw on Monday at 9am. The lovely Lupron Challenge. I hope that I respond okay!

At the clinic, they installed a new HD TV in the lobby, a huge flat screen. And what were they showing? “Planet Earth”. If any of you haven’t seen the series, it is a MUST. But the ironic thing is that the episode they were playing was about a polar bear. Yes, my lovely, sad, endangered polar bear. They were showing him swim from an ariel view, going under ice flows and back up for air. I wanted to sit there all day and watch him. I was tearing up just watching, while waiting for the nurse to call me. I wanted to tell her to wait when she called my name but I dragged myself in the room. When I came out after the blood draw, it was the scene where the starving polar bear was trying to kill a walrus. He was too weak and too slow. And the walrus got away, but not before injuring the polar bear’s foot. It was not a fatal wound, but the poor bear was too weak from starvation. The last scene he lies down and shuts his eyes. And you know he wasn’t going to open them again. My poor, lovely bear. I wish I could help him.

Watching the polar bear swim reminded me of my dream.

What is it about the polar bear? He keeps coming back to me at random moments. I hope he brings me some luck. Somehow. Please.

Spotting

January 22, 2008

Guess K was wrong (I am not surprised) – spotting at 9DPO – as usual. AF will be here in a couple of days. Crap. Also bummed that the herbs/acupuncture isn’t helping with my Luteal Phase. Fuck.

Please don’t mention “implantation spotting”. Please.

3 stories and why I need to lose 15 pounds

January 21, 2008

1. I went out to dinner with TW at an old restaurant that I hadn’t been to in ages. It started out as a nice night, we were having a nice conversation, good wine, yummy food. As always is the case, my mind wandered to the thought of babies and I said, ‘Can you see it? Can you imagine us with a little baby? Do you think it will happen?’ And to my horror TW’s response was, ‘Only God knows’. This, to me, is so similar to the “If it is meant to be” or “If it is in God’s plan” comment….the comment that makes me go into outer orbit. And it came out of my husband’s mouth. I almost completely lost it! I think my mouth dropped open and I could feel my eyes begin to tear up. And I went into my usual diatribe — about people like Britney Spears and Nicole Ritchie – THEY are meant to be mothers because God wants it so. And the guy in Alabama who dumped his 4 children ages 3, 2, 1 and 4 months over the bridge. And the woman in DC who killed all four of her children because they were possessed by the devil. THEY are the ones that God has chosen. And not me? Not me? I seriously could have stabbed him with my steak knife. I think he realized he said exactly the wrong thing but it still baffled me that the guy I am married to, the one that has been through this with me for so long, is so clueless!!! It ended up okay, believe it or not, it ended up in laughter. On the way home I yelled at him some (since I couldn’t yell at the restaurant) and then at the end of my vent, he yelled, “GOD IS GREAT” and I just busted into hysterically laughter. And then later at home we turned on the TV and watched the news. As usual the news was full of awful stories of murder and tragedy, and after each story I said, ‘That is in God’s plan” and then TW would yell “GOD IS GREAT. It was really dumb but at least we couldn’t fight anymore because we were laughing too hard.

2. At acupuncture on Saturday, K really got my hopes up. I am trying not to be mad at her because I love her so much. But at the beginning of each treatment, she takes my pulses on both wrists. Usually this is completely uneventful, I don’t even know what she is looking/listening for (she also always asks to check my tongue, I need to google that too!). In any event, after checking my pulses, K asked me if I had eaten (she always does this as well, but usually b/c my appointments are at 10am and I am not a breakfast girl — she is trying to change that). When I told her that I had lunch (a turkey sandwich and some chips), she said, “Huh. Okaaaaaaay….”. She sounded really curious so I asked her what was going on. She told me that my pulses were GREAT, REALLY GREAT, whatever that means. And then she got so bold as to say that my pulses sound like pregnant pulses! Then she immediately said she hates saying that, and that she never usually says it, but that sometimes she can tell….but that sometimes she is wrong. Then she said something feels really different. What the fuck. I asked her what about my pulses sounded “pregnant” and she said that they were just really strong. She also mentioned that my hands and feet were really hot and a little sweaty, and usually I am frozen. I actually did notice this heat myself, it is pretty cold here (45 degrees or so and mid thirties overnight) and I have felt pretty warm. The heat hasn’t been on at night, and I am taking off layers of clothing while TW is asking me to turn the heater on. So, I am not sure what is going on with me, but I really wish K hadn’t said anything about pregnancy. I have had my hopes up so high so many times! I am trying to just assume that acupuncture and herbs are doing something for me, in a good way. My body is changing for the better for the next IVF cycle. K was really apologetic for blurting it out, and kept saying she doesn’t know what is going on, I should keep an open mind, and we will just wait and see what happens. I am 8DPO (if I ovulated after her last treatment on 1/13). No other “symptoms” except for the elevated temperature (or I should say the feeling of elevated temperature since I am not doing BBT anymore). Aaaaaack!

3. Yesterday TW ran in a 10k race with his dad. I was going to stay home but he convinced me it was my wifely duty to go and cheer them on. So I went. I really didn’t want to go, especially after the “God is Great” conversation the night before. But I got up and bundled up like the little brother in A Christmas Story. And I was COLD, it was 33 degrees in the sun. I waited at the finish line and 1 hour after they started, here comes TW….grunting with every step and running with a really weird gait. He crossed the finish line and then it was clear that he was in severe pain…he sprained his ankle a mile before the finish line! It was a trail run through the woods, lots of obstacles and pits and rocks, etc. But this was totally his fault. He was running up a steep hill and three women passed him … he couldn’t have that! So, he decided to run as fast as he could down the steep hill on the other side. He said he was running so fast he was barely in control. And he sprained his ankle when it hit a seed pod. Serves him right! I mean, if he ran at a normal pace he would have gained at least 3 or 4 minutes on his time. But he had to run out of control and ended up injuring himself. And the three women he was trying to catch up to beat him anyway. And who is paying for his stupidity?? That would be me. He is the WORST patient!!! (But of course his sprained ankle isn’t stopping him from trying to have sex with me three times a day…I seriously wonder what has gotten into him! I wonder if his hormones have normalized in some magical way?) I will be so curious to see what his counts are when he gives a sample for our next IVF.

I was hankering for a snack today and decided a salad sounds good, and healthy too. So I got out the lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes and cucumber and put a bunch in a bowl. And then I decided to make home made blue cheese dressing, with mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, garlic, lemon juice, pepper, green onions…I added a little non-fat yogurt for posterity but UGH, I have turned this salad into a snack worse than an ice cream sundae!

I have been corresponding with the IVF clinic about our next cycle and I will go in for CD3 blood work when AF arrives. I asked them if they still had TW’s sample from last time, he gave them a sample to freeze as a back-up. I assumed that they had it, since we used fresh sperm for the 1st IVF. The clinic informed me that per the contract, they destroy any unused sperm. ANNOYING, and I totally forgot. So TW has to go on antibiotics for 5 days again and then “do his thing”. TW’s travel schedule is going to be hectic the next two months so I am banking on going through IVF#2 by myself. But it sure would have been nice if they kept that sperm. So I asked if we could keep it next time if we don’t use it and they said we could but it would be an extra $720 dollars to store it! OMG, forget it. I swear, IVF clinics are money making machines.

Yikes – thanks for bearing with me through this monster post!

6 things about me

January 17, 2008

Sorry I have been MIA. There really isn’t much to report.

I have been thinking a lot about this girl at work. About 1 year ago, I overheard her at a meeting, asking this other woman whether they could chat because she was thinking about having babies and wanted to know how it was with work/baby balance. The woman she was talking to has two small kids and they do very similar jobs. I see this girl twice a month at a staff meeting, and we chat on the phone a couple of times a week for work related stuff. We get along really well, she is super nice. Anyway, I took it upon myself to ask her about her TTC life, since I was standing right there when she brought it up. She was very excited and optimistic. The next time we saw each other at a meeting, she was drinking a glass of orange juice and whispered, “Guess why I am drinking orange juice!”. I thought she was already preggo after one month! But she told me she was just trying to boost her follic acid intake.

Anyway, we had several conversations about TTC from that point forward. I even gave her the CD from my Taking Charge of Your Fertility Book. She went on a trip with her husband to Hawaii for 10 days and was certain it would happen then. When I would see her, she would check in with me, and I would check in with her. After 5 months she said she was taking a break, and now another 6 months have passed, and she barely talks to me. I have dropped the subject completely when I see her.

I am wondering whether I should leave her alone, or check in with her again? It has been over 6 months since we last spoke about it. She doesn’t know that I did IVF and that I am still trying. If you were in her situation, would you want to hear from me? Or should I just let it go?

On another note, Trace tagged me!

The Rules:
1) Link to the person that tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog.
3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people at the end of your post and link to their blogs.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6) Let the fun begin!

Here are my 6 things…I already did 8 things a while ago so I will try to think of 6 new ones.

1.     One of my first words as a baby was, “SHIT”. I have the worst potty mouth! And I started young! One of my mom’s favorite stories to tell: She brought me in to the pediatrician for a check-up when I was about 18 months old. The doctor dropped his clip board and I yelled, “Oh shit!” in my cute baby voice. My mom was SO embarrassed! The doctor looked at her and said, “Hmmm. I wonder where she learned that?”

2.    After years and years of TTC, I used my favorite boy baby name for my puppy (well, my 2nd favorite name — my first two favorite names were STOLEN by my brother’s sister-in-law. That is a story for another time).

3.     When we order pizza (my favorite is combo with everything!), I stealthily take some toppings off other pieces and put them on my own piece! So rude! And, no wonder I have 15 pounds to lose!

4.     I kissed a girl once. A bunch of us were at a wine/craft street fair and we all had too much wine. She was bisexual and I guess she took a liking to me (this was way pre-marriage for me, but I did have a boyfriend!!). I was very tipsy. She walked me to my car and kissed me. Like a real, lingering, kiss. I have to say I didn’t hate it! But that was the end of it, I never saw her again.

5.    I hate oatmeal. I also hate root beer and coke (and pepsi). Even if I was starving to death or dying of thirst, I would rather perish than partake.

6.     If I find a hair on my plate in a restaurant, I usually just pick it out and eat my food. I don’t have the patience to return the plate and get a new one, especially if I am hungry (and I am ALWAYS hungry). And I haven’t gotten sick yet. I know it is really gross, but you have to wonder what other crap is in the food that you never see. But my immune system is pretty hardy. I don’t usually even mention it to the people I am with, because they would make a big deal out of it and I would feel weird not returning the food!

Those are my 6 things. Now I want to see yours: Kim, Heather, and Amy R!!!

Magic

January 13, 2008

I think acupuncture is magical. I went yesterday and told K that I didn’t think I ovulated yet. She reminded me that I was sick a few weeks back and that it was possible my ovulation was delayed…of course I cannot confirm this because I stopped temping before IVF#1. In any event, she took my pulses and said she didn’t think I ovulated yet (I don’t know what she listens for…). She said she was going to do a treatment to kick start it.

I was pretty bummed out. TW was out of town from CD12-14. I usually ovulate on CD11 or CD12 and we did everything we could (if you know what I mean) from CD6-CD11. I thought I had all my bases covered. But then I didn’t ovulate! I know that the chances are something like .0001% for us to conceive naturally (based upon TW’s sperm counts, my old eggs and the fact that we have been TTC for 5 year with no success), but miracles seem to occur every day, right? So I have such a hard time throwing in the towel, assuming it will never happen. As I type this I can’t help but laugh because it is so NOT gloom and doom. I mean if chances are 1 out of 10,000 — there is ONE person who will have success right? Why not me??

Anyway, I was very disappointed thinking that all the sperm (however little there is) was wasted over the last week because I didn’t even release an egg yet.

Back to acupuncture — she put needles in some new spots and did something called moxa. She heated up this stick and put it on the acupuncture points – not touching – but hovering so I could feel the heat. She asked me to tell her when it got too hot and then she would move to another point. It was SO relaxing. She has given me these herbs which I take daily that supposedly have cooling effects. Every time I see her she asks me if I am colder than usual, but I haven’t really noticed any change…I am always cold in the winter! This treatment is supposed to help warm me up and increase circulation.

I was there for almost an hour an a half. And guess what, last night, I started feeling side pains, and this morning — EWCM! I know this could be coincidental, but….I will take it. And guess what else? PT went to a friend’s house after lunch so I was able to attack TW for a “nooner”. Just in case.

Oh – K also told me that I should not exercise so hard. Hmmmm? When I am motivated, I do like to exercise hard — I like to sweat and get my heart rate up and really tire myself out. That is how I lose weight. But K says when TTC it is more stress on the body than we should endure — we need to conserve our energy to conceive. When we get into a really heart pumping, sweating state of being, our bodies go into self preservation mode like we are trying to save ourselves from a predator. So the last thing our bodies will allow us to do in this situation is to have a baby! I guess this makes sense. She said I should work out for 15-20 minutes and I should not be drenched in sweat. Okay! I really don’t LOVE to exercise that much, so she won’t have to tell me more than once that I should take it down a notch. She said okay to light weight lifting, biking and swimming.

If we didn’t catch an egg this cycle, I will call my IVF clinic on Day 1 for the bloodwork and start IVF#2.

P.S. I tried my hand at bidding on eBay for the first time. I decided I wanted another coat (yes, like the one I have THREE of) and I found it on eBay because I couldn’t find it at any store around me. So I bid on the coat. I was winning the bid all weekend so I kind of forgot about it. I just checked and someone outbid me by $1, one minute before the bidding closed. How frustrating! I guess I need to keep an eye open when I do this. I think my career as an eBay girl has already ended.

Polar Bears

January 11, 2008

polarbear_brendancummings.jpg

 (Photo by Brendan Cummings)

As you already know, I am a huge fan of the polar bear. Please help them by signing this petition.

Their time is running out.

I have nothing to report today. So glad it is Friday! I have been waiting for ovulation pains and EWCM but nothing happened. Of course we had good timing this month and now it looks like my body decided not to ovulate for the very first time. Hmmph.

So. Not. Fair.

January 9, 2008

These are the kind of people that have kids:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/10/us/10alabama.html?ref=us

And I can’t.

Happy Endings

January 8, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I am “getting over” the baby obsession but other days I know I am kidding myself.

I went to my friend J1’s house. Her brother is visiting with his nearly two year old, and her sister adopted a baby three months ago. It was great seeing the little ones but also hard at the same time. I held little H, the three month old baby, and fed him and burped him, and watched him smile. He can hold his head up and he is alert and happy and adorable. I danced with S, the two year old. It is so cute how toddlers feel the music and something takes over and they just have to dance!

I also got pictures of my other friend J2’s new nephew who was born on 12/21. And my friend Kona that I met on-line about a year and a half ago had her baby on 12/27. Lots and lots of babies. And it is so bittersweet for me.

I am so happy for all of these new additions. J1’s brother got married “late” and his wife is 46 years old. They had problems conceiving at first (two miscarriages) and tried treatment (IUIs) to no avail. And then voila, they got pregnant naturally and had a beautiful baby girl in February 2006.

J1’s sister tried to conceive for five years via IUIs and donor sperm. Nothing happened. She did the home study for adoption three years ago and has been waiting ever since. Finally she brought a perfect baby boy home three months ago. He was only a day old when she got him from the hospital. So happy!

Kona went through a lot — she conceived the old fashioned way but had to terminate at 19 weeks because the baby had so many medical issues. It was so tragic. She had a chemical pregnancy a few months later, and then got pregnant for the third time. Third time is a charm because she brought home her daughter a couple of weeks ago, and she is beautiful. I couldn’t be happier for her.

J2’s sister was told she would never conceive naturally, and probably wouldn’t be able to carry a baby to term. She had terrible fibroid tumors and scarring all over her ovaries and uterus. She got married at 40 and got pregnant almost immediately, but she miscarried during the first trimester. She got pregnant again and carried to full term, and had her baby on December 21st by c-section.

All these stories, all involving IF and miscarriage and heartache. All with happy endings.

Where is my happy ending? Will I get a happy ending?

The light at the end of the tunnel…and turning a new leaf

January 7, 2008

The power is back on — HOORAY! TW went home about about 5pm and called me at work, stating the lights are on. Fantastic! I e-mailed my IVF clinic today to see if the Follistim would need to be thrown out and she said since it has been quite cold and the package is not opened, it should be fine. Double Hooray! PG&E will send us a check for $25 for our inconvenience. Wow. I promise not to spend it all in once place.

However, when I got home and plugged the fridge back in, it didn’t work. The light went on, but the compressor/motor (whatever it is) was silent and after an hour it wasn’t cold at all. Booooooooo! So, we either need to get it repaired or buy a new one. No food for me!

I went to the gym today, and ran three whole miles without stopping….in 30 minutes. And then I lifted weights for 30 minutes. Which obviously isn’t breaking any records but I am still proud. I am sick of being sedentary. Each Spring I become energetic and active and I work out and ride my bike and swim and run. And I get tan and fit and toned. And I feel great. Then come the end of October I stop cold turkey. I turn into a giant, flabby slob. And I weighed myself the other day and I weigh more than I EVER have. So, I am going to try to lose 15 pounds by June 1st. Which I think is a good rate of weight loss. Should be feasible. I felt so great when I left the gym, it made me wonder why I have not done it in so long! I know it was only my first day back at it, but I am feeling pretty determined to keep it up. If I can’t have a baby, I may as well use all that obsessive energy on getting into shape.

(I say as I finish off my 2nd plate of ribs)…Mmmmmmm….ribs.