Idiot, Me

Against all my better judgement, I was compelled to POAS last night… a mere 7dp3dt.  I know, I know… what was I thinking.  (In case anyone is wondering whether I’m one of the lucky ones who always seem to be posting on the fertility boards that they got a BFP a mere 3 or 4 days (or in my case 7 days) after retrieval…I’m not.)

I have little I can offer by way of excuse, but by way of story, I blame it all on LG.  🙂

Up until last night, there wasn’t a thought in my mind about testing early.  The 2WW has been pretty manageable this time…I think because of ICLW, and because I have been slammed at work and don’t have time to do much of anything beyond crunching spreadsheets.

I had my plan – I would test on Sunday morning, which would give me a full day to grapple with the results of a BFN (should that be the case) before hearing the official word while at work on Monday.  This is what I did last cycle, and it made hearing the news – while still incredibly difficult – much more manageable and kept me from embarassing myself at work with a great display of pathos.  The only wrinkle in this plan is that my mom is in town and staying with us on Saturday night, so she’d be here for the big pee festivities.  That’s not a huge deal to me, but if it’s positive, I would want LG and I to be able to share and celebrate with just the two of us, and if it’s negative, same thing – it should be just us in that moment (quickly followed by you guys, of course).

So, yesterday, after we got home from work, LG says the words that never bode well – “Can I tell you something without you getting mad?”  To which I promptly answered, “probably not, but give it a whirl.”  (No false promises, here!)  Well, turns out, he’d been thinking the same thing about testing with my mom here and wanted me to skip it.  We had a conversation about how I needed to know so I could pre-prepare myself.   Since I’d been having the same thoughts anyway, we agreed that I would test after my mom leaves mid-afternoon.  Maybe not as accurate as first thing in the morning and doesn’t give me as much time, but should certainly do.

But (and here’s where this becomes all his fault), the mere conversation put the whole notion of POAS’ing in my head and it wouldn’t go away.  It was like one of those earworms – you know when a song gets stuck in your head.  I was unable to ignore the siren song, so next thing you know I’m drawers down using my last HPT.  (FRER for those keeping track at home).  Of course, it was negative!! 

I’m actually OK with it as I know it was way too early, so the little Hope Addict within rebounded pretty quickly.  The thing is, now it’s very very top of mind and I have to resist the pee stick for four more days.  Truth be told, I’m not that good at self denial.  That’s why I “give up” Twizzlers 4 times a week only to be drawn back for more. 

Well, at least I have the spreadsheets at work to distract me…

Mel’s Show and Tell – The Beach Version

mels-show-and-tell1

Welcome to Show and Tell here at May the Road Rise! To see what others are showing, click here.

For today’s edition,  I thought I’d take a little break from the world of IF to take a trip to the beach – Riviera Maya in Mexico to be exact.  This picture was taken on LG’s and my first big trip together as a couple.  We had taken one weekend jaunt, but this was the first time we were going away for a week with no quick escape if things turned rocky or we ran out of things to say to one another.  We ended up having an incredible time, so now this place holds a special place in our heart and is the front runner for our consolation prize vacation should that be warranted.

When I originally took the picture, I was trying to capture the pelican you see on the right about to take flight.pier-and-pelican  What I hadn’t expected to record for posterity is what I am convinced was an aging p.orn star.  You can see him there under the gazebo gazing out on the ocean.

Every morning, he would arrive at the beach in style wearing a shocking (and I mean SHOCKING) neon green s.peedo that was at least 1 size too small.  He would spend a good 10 minutes angling his beach chair just right to ensure maximum sun rays.  Once this feat was accomplished, this woman who seemed to be accompanying him (although LG and I could never figure out their relationship despite much discussion), would rub him all over with tanning oil.  After her ministrations were complete, she would move her chair several feet away…you seriously would not even know they were together had you not just seen her rub him down..eeww…only to get up when he needed a re-application.

Here’s the part that never fails to crack me up.  Every so often, he would get up as if he was going to head out into the ocean but then he would take a moment to “stretch.”  And by stretch, I mean he would strike these weird almost-bodybuilding-type poses (but not quite) designed to show off to everyone his all musceley tan physique.  While doing so, he would glance around (in a manner I’m sure he thought was subtle…totally wasn’t) to see who was noticing.  He seemed completed oblivious to the wave of giggles spreading across the beach front.  (Now, normally, I would feel very badly for a person in this situation as I don’t like to see people laughed at, but in this case, the guy was being a tool…) 

When I took the picture, somehow I missed him in the shot, so when I developed the pictures, LG and I had quite a laugh remembering his performance.   I’m really hoping we don’t end up going back there – at least any time soon because that would mean this round of IVF didn’t work – but if we do, I will keep my eyes out for past-their-prime ad.ult en.tertainment stars and duly report back.

Happy ICLW Week!

I’m excited for this week as I need to redeem myself for my poor performance* last month.

I thought I’d provide a quick synopsis of where things stand to date for those stopping by the first time (I’m very happy you’re here!), and then go back to regularly scheduled programming.

My husband (known here as LG) and I have been married a little over a year, and we’ve been trying to expand our family literally since our wedding night. It’s a first time marriage for both of us but it took us a long time to find each other, so we’re practically both in the eating-at-Denny’s-at-4:30-in-the-afternoon camp** when it comes to baby-making. I’m 37 and he’s a few weeks shy of 44.

We fastracked our first visit to the RE given our ages as well as my medical history which included the removal of one ovary/fallopian tube due to a Low Malignant Potential ovarian tumor. Given both of those factors, our doctor (whom I refer to here as Dr. Yacht in honor of the luxury boat my treatments are funding), suggested we go right to the big guns of IVF.

Our first was cancelled before we even got going due to a sky high E2 level (no BCP can keep me down…power to the ovary!). The next was a giant bust, and we’re currently right in the middle of the 2WW for our second attempt. So far, I think I’m managing to hold the crazies to a minimum during the wait, although LG might disagree. Much to his chagrin, he gets a near hourly update on the relative soreness of my boobies. (Current reading…not so much). He has recently informed me that my assessment might be more accurate were I not constantly poking and prodding them to check said soreness. An interesting concept, but I’m sticking with my approach.

I’m really looking forward to discovering new blogs this week. Finding this community has been a life saver.

* If you click on the link, Patience Song refers to the name of my first blog.  Due to a giant blow-out between LG and me over the fact that I shared the name of the blog with my sister, thus rendering it less than anonymous, I changed the name in order to continue blogging.  This version has remained a state secret when it comes to anyone IRL.

** Even if I were a young sprightly thing, we would still probably hit the dinner spots early because I hate HATE waiting for a table.  Paragon of patience…not I.

Trading Places

Day 2 of the 2WW…so far so good.  The fact that I’ve taken this whole week off of work has really helped keep my stress levels down, and I feel like I’m in a better place than I was at this point last time.  If all is going according to plan, my 3 little guys (which LG suggested we name B-17, B-24, and B-52…a suggestion which was summarily vetoed), should be blastocysts today. 

Since there’s little exciting to write about IVF-wise during this time, I thought I’d take a little detour and write a bit about some things I haven’t really touched on…aspects of my story both related (and not) to infertility.

As I’ve written about previously, my mom, sister, and I are all extremely close.  That doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a certain disequilibrium that I think comes into play in any parent/sibling relationship.  As a child, I was sick basically from the time I was 6 months old.  For at least a few heart-wrenching months due to a lab error, my parents thought I had cystic fibrosis.  Fortunately, that turned out to be a misdiagnosis; however, I was diagnosed with severe asthma and a whole host of environmental and food allergies.   Oh, and to top it all off – I had infant acne.  A real dream come true for my parents, I’m sure.  

As I grew older, the asthma played a very real and disruptive part in my life.  So many of my childhood memories involve the local Children’s Hospital.  Much of my mom’s time centered around shuttling me to doctor’s appointments, visiting me in the hospital, and basically just trying to keep me breathing.  As a result, my mom and I were incredibly close.   This left comparatively little time for my younger sister who remembers frequently being pawned off on neighbors during the middle of the night as my parents rushed me off of the hospital yet again.  It wasn’t until much much later that I realized the toll this took on my sister and how left out she felt.

All of that changed when my sister had her first child.  My niece, M, was born exactly 2 weeks to the day after my father died.  She came into the world with a job.  Basically, to breathe life back into our family –  a job which she pulled off like a champion.  She was and still is a true light in all of our lives.   From the moment of her birth on, my mother and sister shared something that I didn’t – they were both moms.  The first few years of M’s life, my sister lived about 30 minutes from my mom, and they spent a tremendous amount of time together.  I was far away in Denver living a completely different life.  They were never ever exclusionary, but I could tell without question that the dynamic had shifted.  That balance shift remains today.  My sister and mother talk every single day.  My mother is a constant presence in the lives of M and her younger brother, L.  They adore her and she them.  As LG and I started down the path of trying to start our family, I have dreamed of rekindling that kind of closeness with my mother.   Not that we’re not tight now…it’s just different.

The longer it takes us, the more I’m afraid that having my mom be the kind of grandmother to our children that she is to my niece and nephew just won’t be possible.  Yesterday, we spoke on the phone and she told me that her chronic back pain seems to be something more ominous – advanced degenerative disc disease.   I am worried for what that means for her — this is a woman who just last year booked herself on a 2-week walking tour of Switzerland — and selfishly, I’m worried about what that means for the children LG and I hope to have.  Will she be able to lift them and swing them around the way she does M and L?  Get down on the floor and play A.merican G.irl doll or trucks?  I know regardless of what happens, she will love them with all of her heart and be a great source of advice and support to us, but its just another reason that I hope it happens soon so they can know her as M and L know her – vibrant and active.

Cautiously Optimistic

We went in bright and early for our transfer this morning.  We were quite nervous as we weren’t given any information about the condition of our embryos when they called yesterday to give us our time, which is unusual.  Normally, they give you a day by day update on how things are developing.

Turns out that all 3 embryos made it through and we transferred all of them:  1 7 cell with 0% fragmentation, 1 7 cell with 5%, and a 6 cell with 5%.

So now, I’m just at home doing the requisite “coach potato” for the next couple of days (which, by the way, I rock at being the champion lounger that I am), and praying that my 3 little guys are snuggling in and making themselves at home.

Thanks, everyone, for your words of support.  It makes such as a difference as I’m feeling increasingly isolated from my friends IRL (another post in that later).

Cheers!

Somewhere between Agony, Optimism, and Prayer

Yesterday’s retrieval went off without a hitch.  I’m feeling much better today than I did last time when I had symptoms of OHSS and was in pretty severe pain the following day.  That is…until we got the call from the clinic this morning with the results.

My issue is not producing eggs…in fact, my one little ovary goes into overdrive with the slightest stimulation.  The problem appears to be the quality of those eggs and then the resulting fertilization rates.   Dr. Yacht retrieved 17 eggs.  Of those, only 9 were suitable for fertilization, and of those 9, 4 fertilized abnormally, 2 didn’t at all, leaving us with 3 that we’re watching.  We had really hoped to get to a Day 5 transfer (and have some left to freeze…we’re greedy that way), but now we’re looking at a Day 3 where they will transfer whatever makes it that far.  Last time, 2 of our 5 embryos arrested, so I’m praying we fare better this time.

The title of this post comes from a Season 1 episode of Brothers & Sisters*.   The situation in which it’s used has nothing to do with infertility; rather, it deals with the vulnerability of a marriage.  In the scene, the therapist says to one of the characters:

“With your pain, there is hope and that is where you are…somewhere between agony and optimism and prayer.”

The words struck me as such an apt description of exactly how I feel today.  I’m still holding out hope and to the notion that “it only takes one.”  I’m  praying that our 3 little guys make it to Tuesday, so I can welcome them inside me.  I can’t bear to think of the alternative, so right now, I’m not.

*I’ve fallen into the routine of creating an “IVF Kit” for myself for the retrieval/transfer week.  The kit for IVF #2 consists of:  J.elly B.ellies, DVDs of Brothers & Sisters and Sports Night (best show ever…cancelled way too early), and the book Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jennifer Lancaster.  If you haven’t read it, it’s hilarious!  I was laughing out loud as we waited in the clinic yesterday.  Completely inappropriate, I know, but so so funny.

Breaking up with Facebook

Despite the fact that if I successfully fall pregnant I will qualify for the Advanced Maternal Age sticker (where’s my discount at Denny’s?), I joined the ranks of Facebook about six months ago.  I did so mostly to keep in touch with my classmates from graduate school, but quickly fell into friends collecting mode.  As a result, I’m now connected with many people from high school and college – the vast majority of whom I had a passing acquaintance with at best.  But now, I’m treated to all the flotsam and jetsam of their daily lives.  There have certainly been some fun discoveries along the way like learning how people have changed (or not) over the years, seeing what people have chosen as professions and personal pursuits, and finding out who possesses a rapier wit.

But….I think it’s time for a Facebook timeout.  Lately, it feels that Facebook is conspiring to poke at my soft spots.   A couple of examples:

Point me to the nerds table

I know I’m not unique in this (cue Breakfast Club), but high school was a really tough time for me.  I’m not naturally athletic, outgoing, perky, pretty or any of those other things that give you safe passage through the high school years.  I guess some would say I fell into the “smart kids” category, but truth be told, while I could find purchase in that crowd, there were so many others far beyond me (as reinforced by their fabulous careers Facebook keeps me up to speed on) that that certainly wasn’t identity making.  The biggest thing I was in high school was shy.  The first couple of years I had a small group that I could call friends – mostly drama club buddies (Go Thespians!), but even then I was on the perimeter.  After my sophomore year, I left school due to a serious illness that caused a long hospitalization.  I came back in spurts my junior and senior year, but for the most part I was out of school and graduated through home study.  During the times I was gone, my friends moved on in the way that people do, so when I was there I felt even more adrift.

Now, I’m connected to a fair amount of people from high school and even those to whom I’m not, I’m treated to details of their lives as they leave wall comments and whatnot on those that I can see.  I feel like the outsider all over again.  So many of them have kept in touch and seem to have fine memories of those 4 years.  Facebook has suggested people I might know for me to befriend, and I don’t do so because I’m scared they won’t remember who I am or worse yet, do remember and chose not to click accept leading to that same feeling of isolation and rejection I felt lo so many years ago.  And I thought I’d come so far…

Yes, yes, I’d love to see pictures of your kids

Even better than reliving my Not-So-Wonder-Years, is the constant barrage of kid pics, crazy kid updates, maternal commiserations, and now my new favorite…the little meme going around where mommies wax poetic about the birth of their first born.  One person – who doesn’t know we’re smackdab in the middle of our second IVF, but does know that we don’t have children – even tagged me!

Once I’m there, though, I can’t turn away.  I look at all the pictures one by one by one.  I follow the fascinating progression of potty training (thanks, sis!), and I read through the “My First Born” postings all with a pit in my stomach.

So, Facebook, the time has come for us to take a break.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Just bad timing.  Maybe in another time and place.