Green Light!

Walking ManWoohoo!  IVF #3 is a go!  I start shooting up on Saturday.    When AF was a no-show after stopping the birth control pills on Sunday, I was really afraid that this cycle was going to be canceled either because the lining would be too thick or because the E2 levels would be out of whack.  The way my clinic works is that everyone is forced to the same ER/ET week, so if conditions aren’t right at the exact beginning of the cycle, you’re bumped until at least the next month.  That would have been a killer because (1) I’m mentally very ready to get this show on the road, and (2) that would mean NO LEAVE!  Truth be told that might have been the bigger kick in the gut.  I really need this time away as a sanity break.

The first hopeful sign came when we arrived at the clinic yesterday for the baseline wanding/blood-letting.  My clinic shares a facility with another IVF clinic, so when one or the other gets backed up, they sometimes will help out by doing ultrasounds.  Such was the case when I arrived, so I got an ultrasound tech from the other clinic.  I’ve had her before.  She is without question the Grand Marshall of the Crazy Parade, but at the same time inspiring, and you can’t help but smile when you’re around her.  As I’m settling myself into the Recliner de Exposure, she asks me if this is my first IVF.  No, I tell her with a weary sigh, it’s my third.  At this she steps back and turns to the corner of the room, raises her hands and offers what can only be described as a prayer – to whom or what I’m not sure.  It is then that I see she has created an eclectic version of a fertility altar including various representations from the world’s religions, new age talismans, and – of course – a pair of fuzzy dice for the “Vegas element”.  AWESOME!  And, it’s weird to say, but I did feel some sort of blessing  settle on me.  Not a bad way to start.  I’m definitely ready to roll the dice!

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Connections

First, my thanks to everyone who’s stopped by and left a comment for ICLW. I’m so enjoying welcoming new people here and finding new stories to follow. Making some of these new connections has caused me to think about connections in my personal life.

I’ve written before about how I wish I had more friends in my life(If you click on the link, feel free to skip to #9.)  While I adore LG and love the time we spend together, there are times I’m still very lonely for girlfriends. 

Last night, we went to a Memorial Day BBQ with some people I had worked with at my previous company.  We had so much fun!  Fun that may have been helped along by the fact that I single-handedly consumed a bottle of wine*, but a great time nonetheless.   At one point the party turned into a typical 7th grade dance with the girls on one side and the boys on the other.  Only, this was the adult version with all the guys outside gathered around the grill and all the girls inside in the kitchen.  It was so good to be around a group of women just having fun and laughing.  We talked about everything (job security in these economic times) and nothing (reality TV…verdict – Real Housewives are lame but So You Think You Can Dance rocks).  Nobody at the party knows anything about our infertility or  upcoming IVF, and it was so just freeing. 

I used to work very closely with one of the women there, and I had forgotten how much I really enjoy her and feel like we have a connection.  LG has been after me for awhile to reach out to her, but I felt like too much time had gone by.  Now that our paths have crossed again, I’m definitely going to give her a call.   Here’s to new connections with old friends.

Now, for the Show & Tell portion of today’s post.  For quite some time, I’ve been looking for an occasion to break out the corn cob cupcakes I saw in one of my many cooking magazines.  Yesterday’s BBQ seemed like the perfect event, and I was really excited about how they turned out.  The “corn kernels” are yellow and white Jelly Bellies (my favorite!) and the “butter pats” are yellow starbursts.  They were quite the hit at the party, but if you make them, please be warned that sugar overload is a near certainty. 

Corn Cob Cupcakes 1

 To see what the rest of the class is showing, head over to Mel’s place

 

 

 

 

 

* This was the swan song to the libations since I’m officially in IVF preparation mode starting Monday.  Thought I’d go out with a bang!

Happy ICLW Week – May

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 I’m excited to visit your place!), and then go back to regularly scheduled programming.

My husband (known here as LG) and I have been married a year and a half, 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 44.

We fast-tracked 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 canceled before we even got going due to a sky high E2 level (no BCP can keep me down…power to the ovary!). The next – and the one after that – were both giant busts.  Our diagnosis is still – frustratingly – unexplained, although after 2 attempts that have produced over 40 eggs combined (from one ovary!) resulting in a paltry 7 embryos – none of which successfully implanted – Dr. Yacht is now leaning more and more towards poor egg quality as the culprit.  After a much needed break, we’re now about a week away from starting stims for our 3rd attempt.  This time I’m shaking things up and taking a leave of absence from work for the month of June, and I’ll be spending that time pursuing acupuncture and other integrative therapies.  I’m well aware that this is probably a paltry attempt to exert some “control” over the situation, but it helps to feel like we’re doing something different.  Plus, IF has been such an all around drag – the least I can get out of it is a nice long summer break from work!

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

**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.

Expectations

Thought I’d start with a couple of random updates before I get to what’s really been on my mind as of late:

  • LG and I went to the acupuncture info meeting on Monday.  I found it very interesting, and I’m looking forward to adding it to the protocol for this cycle.   I do wish I’d started earlier as the instructor said they usually recommend two to three months before a cycle, but she said there can still be a benefit, so I’m more than willing to try.  I have my intake appointment tomorrow, so more to come.
  • 7 Days to my leave!  I’m really looking forward to getting some space from work – especially being front and center for the layoffs, salary freezes, restructurings, etc.  During the leave I plan to:
    • Take part in integrative therapies including acupuncture, yoga, and fertility-enhancing massage
    • Cook
    • Organize my recipe file
    • Visit the local zoo on a nearly daily basis to watch the white cheeked gibbons – my favorite animal
    • Try my hand at watercolors
    • Update my blog more frequently
    • Explore my Budding Life Plan…more on this below
    • Relax and grow great follicles which will hopefully turn into solid embryos which will hopefully turn into a healthy, happy baby.

Now – Part II of this post.

I’ve written before about how important my sister is in my life.  We became very close after she graduated from college (she’s 3.5 years younger than I am) and since then, she has been my rock.  The person who knows exactly what I need to hear in the moment, whether it’s a sympathetic ear, words of comfort or encouragement, or even a buck-up speech.   She knows the ins and outs of what we’re going through with the infertility and has gone above and beyond in being a great listener and really seems to understand the struggle.  As much as someone with 2 kids, one of whom she and her husband refer to as their “one-shot wonder,” can that is.

Lately, however, it feels like we’ve been really out of sync.  It started with some off-hand comments she’s made about my nephew, whom I’ll call Truck in honor of his one true love.   Truck is just shy of 3, a total charmer, and an inveterate trouble-maker who has been giving his mom fits as of late.  A few times we’ll be on the phone and he’ll be acting up in the background, and she’ll say something like “I’m going to send him up to you and LG for a week…see how badly you want kids after that!”  I’ve been trying to figure out why that gets to me as much as it does without really coming up with an answer.   I really believe she’s not making light of our situation – I think she’s reacting more to her own frustrations in the moment, but it still rankles.

To describe the next part of the out-of-sync puzzle, I have to take a step back.  As my small but beloved circle of readers know, I’ve been really struggling with my current career of HR.  The question I have been unable to answer up to this point is if not HR, then what.  To that question, I’ve been coming up bone dry, which has led to a premature mid-life crisis of sorts.

A number of possible career paths have flitted through my mind – some dwelling a little longer than others – but none have felt reason for one reason or another.  I’ve thought about going back to school to be a doctor but have disqualified that because not sure how I would do that at my age especially if we are blessed enough to have the children we so want.  Medical school at 38 followed by a residency – all with small children in the house – seems more than I want to take on.  Then, I’ve thought about nursing, but the type of nursing I think I want to do involves a significant amount of schooling and practical experience, so it would be a good 8 years or so before I was really working in the capacity I want to…and again, with IF treatments, (hopefully) small kids, etc it seems like more than I want to take on.

I’ve also considered psychology as I’m often told that I’m a good listener,  but if one thing HR has taught me is that I have very little patience with people who want to wallow in a situation of their own making and then not take steps to get themselves out of it.  I am by no means saying that this applies to the vast majority of  people who seek psychological counseling. When I say this, I’m thinking more of my own personal experience when I was in several years of therapy for an eating disorder and spent the better chunk of that time resisting every minute of it.  (Thankfully, thanks to the patience and skill of the wonderful LSW I was working with, I finally was able to breakthrough…so I know first hand the value but also how frustrating the process can be for all involved.)  On the whole, I think that seeking professional counseling is a very courageous act that people make when they know they need to make changes in their life.  It’s just that sometimes those changes are a long time in coming, and I don’t know if I have the patience to see people along on that journey and as a result, I think I’d either burn out quickly or be ineffective.  Then there are the offshoots of HR that I’ve considered – Learning & Development, freelancer creating e-learning curriculums, etc, but all of those seem like same thing, different wrapping.

Then, last week I stumbled onto an idea that is too hare brained, too fantasy laden at this stage to write about specifically, so I’ll just refer to it for now as my Budding Life Plan.  If it starts to take shape, I’ll definitely write more about it, but suffice it to say that for the first time in a long time, I’m really excited about an idea.  I’ve talked about it with LG, who is usually very practical and slow to accept things that (a) distract us from our primary priority of family building and (b) require significant change, but he gets how this idea addresses all the things I’ve said I want out of a career and is supportive.  I’ve talked with my mother (also a paragon of practicality – which this idea is not) and she thinks its a fabulous idea.  Then, I told my sister – my cheerleader, the person I go to to help me dream and dream bigger and…she laughed at me.  Completely mocked the very concept of the Budding Life Plan and then mocked me for what she termed yet another  “idea of the week.”

Maybe I caught her at a bad time.  (Truck was yelling in the back seat of a the car.)   Maybe in my excitement I didn’t articulate the idea and it sounded even more hare-brained than it is.  Maybe she’s growing weary of what I admit is increasingly a 2 track conversation with me…want a kid, hate my job.  It’s just that my expectations of her are so high because of what she’s always been to me – my soft place to land – that to find that soft place replaced by a mocking hard surface was jarring and hurt… a lot.

I know I need to talk with her about it and probably ease up on my expectations of her, because forcing her to teeter on a pedestal isn’t fair to her.   I have a sense it’s going to take us some time to get back in sync.

Brought out of Hiding by Neil Patrick Harris

So, true confessions time.  I’ve been a horrible blogette as of late.   I’ve even fallen behind on reading and commenting although I’m starting to get back into the swing of things.  I have finally been rustled out my pre-IFV #3 hibernation due to the need to share my joy that my secret boyfriend Neil Patrick Harris (yes, LG knows) is going to be hosting the Tony Awards.  Fancy musical theater production numbers and NPH…  it really doesn’t get much better than that!

It’s been up and down but mostly up these past couple of weeks.  To recap:

The Ups:

  1. My mom and I enjoyed an awesome Girls Weekend trip to Phoenix where we spent our days spa’ing, lounging, eating, and drinking in beautiful warm temperatures.  It was so amazing to get up at 6:30 – 7:00 in the morning and be able to sit outside on our patio and not need to bundle up.    We had a terrific time and really re-connected.  Good thing, because it helped smooth things over when I proceeded to completely space Mother’s Day the following weekend.  Sorry, Mom!
  2. Things are going well in the IVF #3 pre-planning stages.  Just taking BCP’s and hoping it’s doing the trick.  So so happy we’re not doing Lupron this go-around.   That stuff mad-a me ca-raaazy.
  3. LG and I are going to an acupuncture info meeting tonight.  I’m well aware that I’m pretty late to be looking into this this seeing as I’m scheduled to start stims on May 29th, but better late than never.  I’m very interested to hear what they have to say and am excited to be doing something “different” this go-around.
  4. I’m 2 weeks and 1 day out from my June LOA…and counting!

The Downs:

  1. I spent most of last week traveling around to different offices to conduct “notification meetings” (e.g. let people go).  Always soul-draining, but on the bright side, I think that should be the last of those conversations for awhile (see point #3 above).
  2. LG and I had yet another painful disagreement about our respective boundaries on whom and what we tell about infertility, IVF, et al.   It ended up being a “good fight,” as I think we got some important issues on the table, but it still really took the wind out of my sails for a few days.

That’s about it.  I’ll try to be a little more prompt (and interesting) in my posting especially since I’ll have time on my hands come June.