Sunday, December 31, 2006

Water balloons

That is the metaphor I think perfectly describes my feeling right now in my ovaries. It is like they are big water balloons ready to burst open. Ew.

Had another great RE appointment. 15 follies - the biggest was 18 mm!! Soo good! I think that is the one that will become my future daughter or son.

He said I will probably overstim a bit before trigger- more bloating, some aching and maybe some nauseau (did I spell that right?), but that everything looks great. He said two more days of stim (he greatly reduced my dose again) and then TRIGGER ON TUESDAY! That means retreival on Thursday morning.

J and I will learn how to give me the big assed trigger shot in my big ass Tuesday morning. Then we start the progesterone shots. I am really freaked about those, even nice Nurse C said "yeah, they hurt a shitload". Nice. Very warm and supportive. I do appreciate her honesty.

Looks like we will transfer either Sunday or Tuesday of next week. For all you religious folks out there, pray. For you non-religious folks, think good thoughts.

Dr S was again in rare form. He said no more conjugal visits with J (sorry Dad you hate it when I write about that I am sure) until after transfer. I mentioned that I was not into that anyway as I can't imagine anything pressing down on my stomach right now (they jump on your belly and bust your balloons! - name that movie). I mentioned that the cat was sitting on my stomach this morning and I almost died. J is SOOO supportive though I am sure that was not great news to him. So funny how conception with infertility is so scientific. Nothing romantic about it.

Actually, tho, I find it very beautiful that the 20-some women in the waiting room this morning all have a chance to have child, when 100 years ago we would've been childless. That is beautiful to me. Question for the day - why don't any of us women talk in the waiting room?

Got another great, supportive email from my best friend from Grad School. He and his wife live with their son in Indiana and I really miss them - he really knows how to crack my ass up when I need it most. Anyway, his email was pitch perfect and so supportive; he mentioned that the worst thing is when people don't mention the elephant in the room - they have an autistic son and have experienced the awkward conversation when the other person just doesn't mention it, I am sure. He has a blog too which I will connect to this one.

I don't mind when people ask about our treatment - it makes me feel like they are accepting us for who we are instead of making me feel ashamed for having this issue. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Women have nothing to be ashamed of. Lately I have thought about infertility insurance - why the hell don't more companies provide coverage? Once I get these eggs outta me and I can stand up straight I may see how I can get involved in some lobbying work on behalf of RESOLVE.

Speaking of which, Julia Roberts is pregnant again. Let's see if she has these miracle, run-in-my-family twins again. Insert snide snort here.

I am in bed, resting my ovaries. We have some errands to do today and then New Years at a friend's party, then dinner at one of my fav NYC restaurants with two good friends. This will be a great year, folks. I can feel it. Along with 15 eggs.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hang low, sweet ovaries

So yesterday's Doctor S appointment went well, he said I have three or four follies over 12 mm, which is good progress. He was happy and told me to come back Sunday.

Then, as we left, I started feeling that same heavy feeling on the sides of my body, like I had to big balls of clay in either side. Like if I jump too high and came down hard my ovaries would separate from my internal organs and spill out. It progressed through the day, and my old friend fatigue came back. By the end of the day I had ovarian twinges almost all the time, and could literally feel the eggs in there.

Sure enough, when the nurse called (which she only said she would do if there was a problem) she said that she is reducing my dose from 175UI to 150UI as my E2 count went from 300 to 800 in two days, and he is in danger of overstimming me again. I can't imagine what the 25UI less really does,but I have to follow his directions. I do feel like I did last time. I am nervous, as overstim means cancelled cycle, but also not quite as nervous as with IVF overstim is not always a bad thing - they can control it and WANT you to make too many eggs. If they cancel this cycle my head will explode.

So I slept 12 hours last night (tho J is still sleeping and he isn't carrying two heavy ovaries, so maybe we are just tired) and feel a bit better. As I was laying there last night I felt like whatever side I was on, that ovary was going to dislodge and come out my side. I ended up falling asleep on my back to avoid that feeling.

Oh, sweet ovaries, please chill a bit. And blood, please cleanse. i really want to get these eggs out; one (or more) is our future baby....

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My tummy stings

Just did my two-fer for tonight. Saw Dr K today (guess Dr S took the day off) and he said I am doing great, everything looks good and my protocol should stay the same. This time I am wondering if I am going to produce like a chicken farm; it has only been 5 days but this time last time I was already ready to pop. Watch, this is the month where my ovaries take a rest. He mentioned potentially upping my dose but I reminded him that last time I overstim'd, so he is taking it easy. I guess we will see if more follies pop up on Friday.

Took a three day vacation with J to Florida, like all good Jews do. It was really really fun, tons of sun and some scuba. J said it may be the last time we do that for awhile, scuba is a big no-no when with child. This time I swallowed too much salt water and barfed off the side of the boat (ahem, 4 times), which is a friggin neophyte maneuver and I was mortified. That turned to disgusted when about 50 snappers pounced on my half-digested breakfast like it was chum. It was so amazingly stupid I laughed right after the show; seriously, who throws up off the side of a dive boat?

Anyway, about this cycle, we shall see. I don't have a feeling either way this time, positive or negative, which sort of scares me. My zen-like calm around this is very out of character for me. I hope I can keep it up. I see the acupuncturist tomorrow, and perhaps it is her handiwork that has rendered me, shall I say, relatively normal in my anxiety level? I am waiting for the bloated, headachy, moody, crying freak to fly her flag like last cycle, but so far I am just a sort of off kilter, slightly bloated, ovarian-twingy normal person.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Off to sun?

So since I don't have to go back to the doctor until early next week, J and I are thinking of going away to Florida for a long weekend. I would've rather gone to LA with the fam but it is too far to try to do in such a short time. And I hate being away from my family over the holidays, but hopefully it is the last time.

Anyway we have been on every www.superlastminuteticketsflywithcowsandpossiblydrugrunners.com websites looking for cheap flights and boy are we failing. We were up til 12 last night looking up the weather in Fort Myers (not that warm) and Key Largo (puuuurfect). J is on with Travelocity right now to see what we can do. It will be nice to be gone for a few days.

We had this great conversation today on the way in about how I can fly with all my drugs. Do you think they will let me on the plane with 8 needles, many vials and this weird pen-looking thing that shoots meds? No? Damn. Also we have to find a hotel with a fridge so we can store the Lupron and Follstim. God I am so fun, seriously.

Anyway happy weekend to everyone. Back next week, with two pinholes a night in my tummy.

PS, to the damn comment-er who keeps telling me she made $200 on this site, knock it the fuck off. No spam on the blog, please.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dr S was on a roll

Seriously. I think he got into the Lupron. He was very funny today. Joking, etc. I like him. I will like him less if he f's up this cycle.

Anyway, everything looks A-Ok though of course we have to see what the blood test says. If my E2 levels are too high it is a wash. But, as of right now, I reduce Lupron on Sunday to half strength, and start 175ui of Follistim. Lowest dose. I come back Wed and Fri, and then probably retreival is the next Tues, and transfer (IF there is anything to transfer) is 3-5 days later. So for the next week, I get to give myself two shots a day in the belly. How fun! Last night was another capillary buster. Ew.

So my insurance doesn't cover ICSI (shooting stuff directly into the egg to increase fertilization chances) and he doesn't think we will need it (cause J has strong swimmers), but if so he will do it free of charge. What we will have to pay for is the egg hatching, where they put a tiny bit of acid on the end of the egg to increase implantation chances (older eggs are thicker. ew). It is recommended for women over 35 and is par for the course for most folks. My friend S who is preggers with IVF twins had it. So, that is $1500. Not bad though.

Lupron headache has crossed the line between mild and mildly annoying. Nothing helps. It is like having a veil on my head. Oh well. Tomorrow is a short work day and then am off for a week.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Just a little reminder that estrogen is in da house....

So I got my hair cut tonight, quite a bit off actually. My roots were showing and my style had denigrated into anything but, so I got a sassy shorter do which is sort of a layered cut that just "touches my shoulders" as the nice lady said. During the cut I realized that i had almost an entire normal person's headful of these short, weird, REALLY curly pieces of hair, along with a few chunks of much-shorter hair, all over the front part of my head. I said, out loud (cause I have no inner monologue, as all my friends are wont to point out), "Wow. Those hormones must really be fucking with my hair" and the woman of course then asked if I was pregnant, and as most folks do, I told the nice hair stylist everything. Well, the 2 minute version. Of course, when I start by saying we had been trying, she said "well, just relax and it will h...oof!" (sound of my foot going up her ass).

Actually, though, I let her finish her stupid fucking asinine overused underappreciated unhelpful and rage-inducing platitude, and said well, actually, I have PCOS. She then proceeds to tell me that Melissa Etheridge's wife, Tammy someone, had that "same thing and she had IVF and then had twins". So that was interesting. Really. I did some research when I got home and also realized that two of the Dixie Chicks had IF and IVF. Well, then. I am in good, semi-country, left-wing, infertile company! AND, Julia Roberts was on Oprah today (looking weirdly perky and young, had some work done, eh, Julia?) talking about her TWINS. That she had when she was almost 40. Oh, but twins run in her family. So no ART (assisted reproductive technology, for the non-IF friends and family) here, thank you very much. So after some digging on that, I found a bunch of IF blogs flaming her for not being "out" about her fertility treatments.

On the one hand, I understand. We hot, $20M a movie, infertile ladies need to stick together. On the other hand, none of our damn business. And if she wants to lie, oh well. Too bad she can't use her superpowers for good to share her story with the world, but again, why do I get to dictate what causes celebs take up? And maybe she DID have them naturally. Nah. Bitch.

So my hair. My weird, other-head-coming-out-like-in-Hitchhikers-Guide-to-the-Galaxy hair. The nice lame lady fixed me up all purty and sent me on my way, but the way she dried my hair looks great unless you look closely, and it looks like I rubbed a balloon. All the shorter hairs are sticking straight up. Oh well.

The infamous Lupron mild headache started last night and has not let up. It is vaguely annoying, but nothing compared to the head in a vise that was my monthly AF migraine. i laugh in your face Lupron.

I am in a good mood tonight. A mood which is fragile and could be crushed by the boot of Dr S tomorrow for my "stim or no stim" (side note: I don't understand that show at all. Why are all these shows using math??? what happened to SAT Verball-y shows where I could actually participate?) appointment. My new rule is expect nothing, and be pleasantly surprised. Yeah. Until the hormones really kick in, then my new, new rule is "everyone bow down before me or else suffer my wrath and watch me dissolve into a bucket of tears".

Good night.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Heard from the nurse

I go in on Thursday so Dr S is there (and not his mean partner) and C (the nurse we love) thinks I will start Follistim on Sunday night. That means a week of stim and potential trigger and retreival the week after. I will be totally done and in the 2WW by my birthday! I am so glad, it will be nice to have this cycle in the can and know that we did everything possible.

I just put together our wedding album. Yes, I have been married 1 1/2 years. I am so lazy. But it was so nice to sit in our clean family room, watching Standoff and Scrubs and House and all the other shit we have TIVO'd, eating dinner with J and working on a long overdue project. Our hannukah gifts are wrapped, if not shipped, and we are semi organized. It feels really good.

I got a fantastic email from a good friend from college today who lives here. She sent me an incredibly nice, thoughtful email with two websites she thought I might enjoy. One was on TTCers with blood sugar issues, and another was an IVF support group. She also wanted to get together. Now THAT is what those of us with IF need. She recognizes my personal need for information and provided me with some great resources. She also expressed a desire to see me, even though I am moody and irritable and told someone to "MOVE" the other day on the street in front of Toys R Us in Times Square. (side note: when the woman told me to FUCK OFF loudly I almost apologized to her for thinking she was from out of town).

There is a list on the Nest I read the other day with all the stupid shit people shouldn't say to women who have IF. I laugh when I read these, as they are just amazing. My personal favorite is "Just relax. It will happen when it is supposed to". Now I know people are trying to help, and I do not want to make anyone feel bad, but if anyone said that to me their sentence would be cut short by my foot up their helpful ass. THank god no one has ever said that to me.

I have to say, I am extremely extremely lucky. My friends and family have been amazing. Said the perfect things, showed they cared, and been just in general absolutely fantastic. I hope if it ever goes the other way I am as good to you. Others I know have not been so lucky, and I have offered to let them borrow the folks in my life. But I want you all back. You are good.

Never thought I would be glad...

That my AF started today! It started pretty strong but no headache and no cramps. I am considering taking Lupron full time, I have not felt this good in MONTHS. I am sleeping well, relaxed, and have no physical symptoms except some pretty bad bloating.

AND i am excited for next steps, this means I may be able to start the stim shots this week, and the retreival and implant could be as early as next week. Crazy! I hope that is the case, the sooner the better.

I did take a shot on Sat that absolutely f-ing killed. I think I accidentally hit the same spot as I tried on Friday. Oops. But last night was fine.

I have NO IDEA how to use the Follistim Pen, which is the stim shot I take. I am hoping it is easy to use.

one more thing: for folks who read and couldn't post comments, I just changed it so ANYONE can post comment (you don't have to have a blog now to do so). So if you want to comment, feel free! Would love to hear from you.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Update - one more funny story

So last night was J's office holiday party, at a nice restaurant in the city. I realized at 10:40 that it was, in fact, 10:40, and had to haul ass back up to his office alone where my Lupron shot was waiting (between 10:30 - 11:30 is my window). So I run back up, hit every red light, and make it at like 11:26. I rush in, barely close J's main office door, then quickly wash up and go into his office with my stuff. I fill the syringe, wipe off the bottle, unbuckle my pants, unzip them halfway, and start shooting up into the left side of my stomach. As I am doing this, the office front door opens and in comes the GODDAMN CLEANING LADY. And here I am, half naked, with a needle in my stomach. I am sure she is thinking "nice office. nice meth fiend". I stuttered out "fertility meds". At which point she says "Que?" and I realize that she speaks NO english. So she for sure thinks I am a druggie. Damn it.

J arrived from with party a few minutes later and I was so pissed off, why cant I get two fucking seconds to shoot up in private? But after she left and I cleaned up I started to laugh. What are the chances? and I assured J that when the ATF agents show up, I will have discarded all the syringes somewhere else.

Broke my vow

I told my RE and J that I would NOT go online anymore, but today is quiet at work and I did some reading...well actually I read a 20-page research study from the Australiasian Reproductive Agency or something that I literally needed to get an MD to understand, but the best line was this: "Metformin causes a degree of anorexia resulting in reduced food intake."

Then, I proved that I have the sickest sense of humor because I laughed out loud. I laughed because the idea that I would EVER get anorexia is hilarious. No one likes food more than me. But, they are right. That is the best way to describe it. When I first started on the Metformin I could literally go days without eating, happily. But at the same time I became totally fixated on food, wondering what would make me sick, what the fat and sugar content was (fat and sugar are what cause the stomach issues), etc. I was a Kate Moss, Karen Carpenter freak show. I was a few weeks away from my own after school special.

I am better now. Though I still try to eat really healthy, less because I have to or my gut explodes and more because I am happy with me, 10 pounds lighter. I am afraid to start eating the crap I ate before, and the amount. PCOS actually leaves you with an inability to tell when you are "sated" - which was totally me. Once, in college, I ate 3 salads, 4 helpings of spaghetti with bread, and 3 brownies. I had to leave my sorority chapter meeting to run to the bathroom because I think the food literally wouldn't fit in my stomach. But damn, it was worth it. I am used to people having me over and commenting on how much I eat. So this is a nice change. And i have not ever really been fat, though some bad ex boyfriends have made comments. Jerks. J would never say that.

Anyway, side issue. The article was about whether to stay on Met while pregnant. I decided if I was going to read postings (check out www.soulcysters.com - message boards all about women with PCOS) I would read positive ones about women who ARE pregnant. It was really uplifting. There was a list of women who had had successful IVF, and no kidding, of the 25 or so names there were 4 triplets and like 9 twins. Uh, wow. We cant find one first name that sounds good with my husband's super cheesy Jew-y last name, much less three. Cross that bridge later.

I am feeling really good. Really good. Its weird. Lupron is not bad, at least not after 3 days of it. I feel a bit tired but that is because my life is crazy, not because I am drugged up. My sister, who is one of my favorite people in the world, called yesterday and we had a nice talk. It was the first time I didn't bawl or scream the entire conversation in probably two months. Too bad once I start follistim it all goes away....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And they're off!

Started Lupron two nights ago. No problems at all, but the first night I had to shoot up in J's office (we went to Spamalot) and somehow I hit a cappellary (how the hell do you spell that?) and blood went everywhere, and now I have a really nice bruise. It didn't really hurt, but was NASTY. Last night's shot was much more uneventful.

Insurance update: my fantastic company has agreed to carry this entire IVF cycle even though half of it takes place in January. I guess it is some grandfathering rule or something. So the 10K lifetime max won't be hit until our second cycle, if we do one.

So far, I am all over doing another one. This isn't hard. Wait till I am full o'eggs and bloated and tired and moody. Then I will probably rethink.

A friend here is pregnant with IVF, probably twins (her HCG level is crazy high). I made her tell me the ENTIRE story. from the implantation to the phone call from the nurse with her good news. It was so nice to hear. In other news, a good friend lost her baby (at like 3 weeks) the other day. I was so sad for her. I feel like this process just starts with what I am doing. Once I get past the fertilization, there is implantation to worry about. Then keeping the pregnancy. Then the birth. And then the worrying really starts, as my kid is out and about and things could happen. How do we, as a race, go on?????

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Game on!

Went to the Drs today. First, there were two very orthodox Jews there, and J, who was eating a bacon sandwich, dropped his trafe pork all over the room. That was worth a laugh. And some embarassment.

Anyway, he said I look good to go and that after another few days on the birth control, I can start Lupron shots. My acupuncturist today said that can cause hot flashes, moodiness and headache, and that basically I am sending my body into menopause for 2 weeks to get ready to have a controlled hyperstimulation. As opposed to last month, when I had an uncontrolled and accidental overstim. Anyway, then after 2 weeks I start the Follistim Pen, and retrieval will probably take place first of Jan, and implant back sometime early-mid Jan. In a month, I will be in the 2WW and hoping!

All I care about now is not losing it. I am just getting over the fatigue and moodiness of the last time, so to go back to that bad place sounds like hell. I am still so tired I can't even walk fast, like a New Yorker should. A tourist group from Iowa passed me on the street today.

You would not believe my house. It looks like either an MD or a drug addict lives there. We have three sharpies trashes, needles galore and drugs out the ass. Or in the ass, as is the case with Progesterone shots.

My bed rest is long this time. 2-4 days. I may ask some friends to come over and entertain me.

Let's hope this works!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What a day - week - month....augh.

So after my big epiphany that I don't think I want to continue, I went to the RE and he said that my ovaries are cyst-free and I can start the Lupron shots next week. Of course it was like the best visit ever.

I talked to J and we agreed to go ahead with the IVF this cycle, but that after this we would revisit and potentially go straight to adoption. You women out there who do fertility treatment for longer than 6 months are my heros; I am strong and all that shit but this hormonal roller coaster and physical pain is way too much for this sista.

J did potentially figure out some insurance stuff we can do through his company, so if we do decide to continue this madness we can get some financial help. He rocks.

So get this. I am not really sleeping cause of bad dreams (like sister taking niece away forever and J divorcing me, getting fired, etc) so am really tired. Last night got home from a gig and cleaned my diamond engagement and wedding rings. Then promptly spaced out and THOUGHT I put them on my nightstand, like every other night. This morning, no rings. Panicked, tore apart our bedroom (J is still in Barcelona), but no dice. Made it to 2:30 pm then came home. Still no rings. Worst thought - when I threw the TP into the toliet after I used it to clean the rings, I threw the rings too and flushed the whole thing. Am sick about it. All night running upstairs to check asinine places like my sock drawer or bra collection thinking I somehow put these rings down and left them somewhere totally random.

Finally, at like 11:30, I go into the bathroom and decide one more time to check the garbage. I checked twice already. It was nasty with all the paper products that deal with my spotting and such going on, but I powered through the multitude of TP. And, guess what. Two beautiful rings at the bottom of the garbage. Hidden by a pad. Jesus f-cking christ. Am I retarded or what? J was a star, even got me flowers cause I was so upset. I swear he is too good for me.

So am sitting here, with my rings back in their rightful place, hoping I can sleep without some awful real-life feeling dream to freak my sh-t out. My acupuncurist says it is all the hormones, but I just think I am one stressed out woman.

And I am not even taking shots right now. What will I be like when we ramp up again?

All you women who can get pregnant easily; REJOICE. I am not mad, or even jealous. I just hope they know what they have.