Internets, I Hardly Knew Ye

Looks like Patience Song will go down as the shortest blog in history.  Things have been quiet here on the blogging front the last several days, but definitely not in the Patience Song household.

LG has decided that he’s not comfortable with me putting this out there for all to see on the internet.  After much teeth gnashing (both of us) and tears (mine, all mine…it doesn’t help that these conversations are taking place when I have 2 weeks of Lupron under my belt and my tear ducts seem to stuck on the perma-water setting), I’ve decided that as much as I’ve come to be so invested in this community and loved having my little corner of it, I’m more invested in my husband and my marriage and feel like I have to respect his feelings.

As a result of this, the whole blogosphere has been pretty painful for me the last few days, so I’ve been a terrible ICLW participant.  My sincere apologies and thanks to all those who have commented on my blog – I have loved receiving your thoughts and words of encouragement, and feel badly that I haven’t been reciprocating.   I hope to catch up over the course of the week with my ICLW commenting.   I will also still keep up with the many adventures I already follow and hope to add more to my list as I discover new and wonderful blogs through cyclesistas and Stirrup Queen, and all of your blogrolls, so look for me in the comments section.

My very best wishes for all of you.

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Mini-Update

In response to AF’s unannounced arrival on Saturday and our subsequent freakout due to my travel schedule coupled with the completely unhelpful input from the weekend nurse on call, I roused poor LG from his very comfy sleep at about 5:30 this morning so that we could be front and center at the clinic when it opened this morning.

I told the receptionist that I was there because the on-call nurse told us we needed to come in for B/W and and U/S. OK, so she didn’t really say that…the conversation went more like this:

Me: I’m doing Dr. Yacht’s February cycle, and I was told to call when my period started. That’s today, but I’m going out of town for Cycle Days 3 through 5, so, um…what should I do?

Nurse TotallyUnhelpful: Well, now, I don’t know.

Me: Should I maybe just go to the clinic Monday morning just in case?

Nurse TotallyUnhelpful: Sure, whatever, that sounds like a good idea.

Close enough.

Anyway, to my utter shock, they fit me in, and I even got the one u/s tech that deigns to tell you what she’s actually looking at on her Magic 8 Ball machine.

Little sketchy on details from that point on.  Since I was going to be on a plane, we made a point of giving them LG’s number to call so that he could get the all important numbers from the bloodwork and ask some of our questions of our regular nurse, and they decided to call on the home phone instead (WTF?) and just leave a breezy message – Continue the Lupron!   OK, then.   All in all, though, I’m feeling better about things.   We didn’t miss the window and we now have a date to start stims (2/1), so at least for now, all systems are go.

Spreading the News

Megan, over at bottoms off and on the table, had a great post telling her IVF story and wishing she could share that with her family.  It got me to thinking about one of the things I’ve grappled with over the past year of decisions, treatments, and disappointments – what to tell to whom.   LG and I have made very different decisions on that front.  I am extremely close to my mother and sister, and so they have known right from the start and have been great about asking me how things are going and providing support.  My sister, in particular, has a true gift for knowing exactly what needs to be in said in the moment – whether that’s just to provide a listening ear, to offer advice or support, or even to gently bring me back on track when I’m spinning a bit.  I am incredibly grateful for this as I know from reading other people’s blogs that so many people aren’t able to get that kind of support from their families.

I’ve also been pretty open about things at work…almost to a fault sometimes.  Part of that is that I’m just a pretty open person, but another big part is that while I can keep secrets like a vault when it comes to other people (a job requirement in HR), I have a hard time holding onto my own secrets.  They rattle around in my head until the slightest little thing said by someone else triggers the floodgates.  If someone asks me a direct question – I’m done for.  If I ever find myself on a witness stand (heaven forbid), I will wither and crumble under the first “Isn’t it true…”

During my first cycle, my boss as well as most of the people on my team were aware not only about our difficulties, but also that I was in the midst of an IVF cycle.   The reason for this was the thought of having to hide things or make up excuses for why I couldn’t travel the way I typically do made me more anxious than telling them did.  Having the reality of the situation out there just made the whole thing easier in my mind.  As time has gone on though, I’ve become much less comfortable with people knowing.  This was driven home after my first BFN when people would ask about it, and I’d have to put on a perky smile and blather some BS like “didn’t work this time, but we’re keeping our spirits up…!”  As a result, I’ve gone underground.  My boss knows about the upcoming cycle, but that’s about it.

LG, on the other hand, has told NO ONE.  Not even his sister who he talks to on the phone several times a week.  She’s knows we’re trying, so probably figures something is up, but they follow the family equivalent of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell when it comes to each other’s personal life.  That is so incredibly foreign to me just as it is mindblowing to him (although he’s getting used to it) that my mom, sister, and I provide each other nearly daily bulletins on all things big and small.   He just takes a very different approach when it comes to sharing any thing beyond his opinions on great guitarists and current events.  Knowing that about him makes me all the more grateful for how open he is when communicating with me.  It makes me appreciate how special it is that he’s chosen to share himself with me in that way.

So, this time around, I’m going to take the middle road between LG’s communication style and mine – limiting the news to my mom and sister, my boss, and then of course, the Internets.  I’m so grateful to everyone who’s stopped by and especially those who’ve left comments.  Many of you are cycling at the same time, and I look forward to following your journeys and cheering you on.

Favorite Things

LG’s favorite word is “hamsters”.  Not clear why (although let’s be honest — it is kind of a funny word), but he enjoys throwing the word out at random moments.  Tonight I was on the sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy (really need that whole Denny storyline to play itself out), while he was in the office working on the computer – supposedly preparing materials for a meeting he has tomorrow.  When I finally made it to the computer to check in on a few blogs, a little elf had changed the monitor wallpaper.  Rather than the calming seascape that usually greets me, this is what I was treated to:

t-hamster-screen

Clearly, more supervision is required.

Update

Just as I predicted in my post below.  AF arrived this afternoon – with no advance notice.  It’s next to impossible to get anyone from my clinic on the phone on the weekend, but finally managed to get the on-call nurse to phone me back.  I don’t know her as she isn’t one of Dr. Yacht’s dedicated nurses. She told me that she  “doesn’t know” if I need a Day 3 baseline.  Well, that makes two of us, sister.  Her suggestion was that I just show up at the clinic Monday morning and try to find someone who does know and, if I do need the cam/vampire treatment, to beg/plead/cajole/bribe them into fitting me into the always packed Monday schedule – hopefully before I have to leave for the airport for my work trip to NYC.  I plan to take LG with me as the heavy.

Portending Signs

I don’t have a good feeling about this cycle – and we haven’t even really started.  I know that’s a terrible mindset to have – positive thinking and all – but I just keeping getting weird vibes (and I’m not a vibe kind of gal) that this timing isn’t meant to be.

We got our BFN on 12/19 (Merry Christmas) and our WTF meeting on January 2 (Happy New Year).  At that appointment, our RE, whom henceforth I shall refer to as Dr. Yacht* was very reassuring.  We learned a lot…blah blah blah.  When we asked about timing for trying again, he felt that it would be fine for us to try for the February cycle**.  I told him I was on CD 15, and he said – no problem.  We’ll just skip OCP’s and start you on Lupron on CD 21, and we’re good to go.

Well, fast forward a couple of days to Cycle 20 – no Lupron has arrived.  I was out of town for work, so LG phoned the clinic to make sure the order had been placed and was on its way.  We were assured yesiree, everything was fine.  I went in on CD 21 for bloodwork and at LG’s insistence (he wishes I would push the doctors and nurses much harder for answers), we waited to talk to our nurse to double check since we still hadn’t heard  from the pharmacy, which is out of state.  Whoopsie – no order had been placed and now the pharmacy we have to use for insurance couldn’t get it to us in time.  So…I had to stay home from work, make a million phone calls, and finally take 2 buses to a local pharmacist (who apparently just does fertility and veterinary compounds…weird), to get the Lupron in order to start it that night as scheduled.  This caused the first flutter of hesitation – maybe we’re trying to do this too soon.

Then, I got the stim schedule from our IVF coordinator, whom LG and I call Little Miss Sunshine, because she is anything but.  Sometime, I’ll write the story of our first IVF consult.  Good times.  The schedule is clearly wrong because it has me taking OCP’s until late January then starting Lupron (which, incidentally, I had started 4 days previously).  Bad sign #2 – nobody seems to know what the hell protocol we’re doing.  I e-mailed her to clarify, but of course heard nothing back.  Fortunately, Dr. Yacht’s nurses are pretty great at responding, so I e-mailed one of them and she told me no problem – keep on with the Lupron and then call when you get your period.

That brings us to bad sign #3.  Oh, AF…where are you?  I am now closing in on Day 34 with nary a stomach cramp or sore boob in sight.  Of course, I am traveling next week Monday through Wednesday, so with my luck it will start today making me completely miss the window for the Day 3 workup.  Not liking this, folks.

I know these are small things, but they all contribute to this nagging sense that the stars just aren’t aligned this go around.  I’m trying to break that cycle of thought, because I know it does me no good, but it keeps rattling around in there.  I have a little retail therapy planned for today – doing my part for the economy, you know – maybe that will help.

*I really do like our RE, but whenever I see him, I always flash to a scene of a dapper (and very tan) guy dressed in white pants, topsiders, and a bright-colored polo shirt disembarking from his 80-foot yacht to go see the adoring ladies of his clinic.  (The yacht that I and my fellow clinic compadres are most likely funding.)

**For some reason I’ve yet to figure out, my clinic forces everyone to the same schedule.  ER’s and ET’s are only done 1 week a month so they get everyone on the same schedule via luck and hormones.  If your cycle doesn’t cooperate that month – you’re screwed until the next window.  Does anyone else’s clinic take this approach? Do you know why they do that?  Is it some medical philosophy – or for convenience sake (for the doctors that is)?

Guilt

I often tease LG and tell him that he must have been a Jewish or Catholic mother in another life, because he is extremely skilled at the art of friendly guilt.  Even my Irish Catholic mother, whom I thought had the lock on the title, could pick up a few tricks from him.

The one thing he has never ever ever made me feel guilty about is my inability to give him the children he so desperately wants.  Even though our diagnosis is unexplained, his SA was picture perfect, so that leaves me and my half-ass reproductive system looking like the culprit.

I remember a time pretty early on when were dating – a couple months or so after we had started having the “no agenda it just ROCKS”  sex versus the methodical and “we have to do it NOW,  we’re in the window-sex” that would come later.  We were sitting by the lake near our house, and he looked at me and with incredible tenderness asked me about my scars.  My body bears the marks of the rather tumultuous relationship I have had with health over the years.  I have significant stretch marks everywhere (without the benefit of every actually being pregnant), due to severe childhood asthma that required high doses of corticosteroids over an extensive period of time.  I also have pretty dramatic scarring from the surgery which removed my right ovary, fallopian tube, and several lymph nodes due to (thankfully) very early stage ovarian cancer.   His question surprised me, but because he asked with such genuine interest and caring, I felt comfortable telling him everything.  He listened, and stroked my arm, and then quietly asked me, “Can you have kids?”  This is a man who has been telling his friends for years that he wants 5 kids.   I told him that there was no reason to believe that I couldn’t.  That people get pregnant with one ovary all the time and the doctors said there was no reason to think I’d have any issues.  (Of course, to be fair, they did say that 10 years ago…).   He kissed me and we went on with our day, but from that point on, I knew without a doubt how important being a father is to him.

I have always known how much he wants to be a father.  If it’s possible, maybe even more than I’ve dreamed about being a mother.  And because of me, this is a dream of his (ours) that is so far – and maybe forever – elusive.  I feel horribly guilty about that.  On some very deep scary level,  I worry that if it doesn’t happen for us (to date he hasn’t wanted to talk about adoption or other alternatives, but it may just be too early for him for that), that something will be lost in our relationship because he feels deprived of what he’s wanted for so long.  He’s never given me any reason to think that…but there it is all the same.   I desperately hope – for both of us – that we find our way to the family we both dream about.