Saturday, April 28, 2007

Crisis averted

Had a long talk with my SIL today at her daughter's birthday party - both of us going through the same career crisis. We decided, mutually, to stay in our jobs. Phew. I will meet with Amex Monday and then pull out of the process ( it is too late to pull out of Monday's meetings). Major leap here, but it feels right. We laughed because we are going through the exact same thing, at the exact same time. This is why I have verbal diahhrea about my life - sometimes you find others are going through your same struggle and can help you with it. And you, them.

Having some cramping and soreness, totally normal but I am reading into everything. Must. Stop. 15% success rate with one embryo. Must hold on to that. But hope floats, right? What a crappy movie.

Having sushi tonight and wine tomorrow. Live like you mean it, right? Perhaps next will be soft cheese and deli meat, just to really convince myself that this didn't work.

It is so funny, I thought being around kids all day and seeing another friend and her kid tomorrow would bug me, but I am enjoying it. I have been daydreaming about the day when J and I can drive along in our gas guzzling SUV and I can look back and smile at our baby n his/her carseat- whether he or she looks like us or not. Being around kids right now feels hopeful. I feel hopeful. I still want to go to India, but I think I will settle for reading the NY Times on my bed in the sunlight.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Deep Thoughts

Now that I am on day 2 of bedrest, I realize I have a lot of things on my mind.

First, a shoutout to my cyber friend L for getting, for the first time, after like 7 IVFs, a BFP!!! I am in awe of her persistence and positive attitude. I wish her a healthy and happy 9 months. Maybe this fertility thing isn't totally shit. Oh, and just for the record - she had put back only one embryo this time - for the first time. I'm just sayin....

Second, I am in a full blown career crisis. I thought i was done with this like 10 years ago. In this case, it is a good problem - recently I have gotten a bevy of opportunities and am having a hard time figuring out what I want. I spent part of today in bed with the laptop creating a slide deck pitching a new role at work. I have a meeting Tuesday with an EVP who may be able to help me do that. I feel I have to do this, and then if it is no, I may look more closely at the Big Credit Card company I am interviewing with this week. But the real question is, do I even want to go? Or is it some trace memory inside of me that makes me feel I always need to get the bigger job? I am so sick of thinking of this and am sure you are sick of hearing it. If i stay is it intertia?

I recently read Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and can't recommend it enough. It is so good - she spends a year traveling (4 months in Italy is eat, 4 months in India is pray, 4 months in Bali is love) and at one point she goes to an ashram in India seeking spiritual enlightement through meditation. Now I want to do that. Think J would be up to that? The idea of sitting somewhere, totally quiet, quieting the mind and the body and just BEING, seems so lovely. I have been so in tune with my body, especially reproductive organs, for a year and I am tired of it.

I feel like I want to break out and run a marathon, or go to a spiritual retreat for a year, or learn French IN Paris, or something. Something to get me out of my ovaries and uterus. I used to be a whole person. And doing nothing but eating, sleeping, working and taking shots and pills has made me a dull girl. Where's the bigger picture? Where is my deeper meaning? What am I supposed to do now? Someone tell me. Cause I sure as hell can't seem to figure it out. I want to move out of NY and live in Ubud or Greece or something. Make a huge change. Break this cycle I feel I have fallen into in the last year.

But instead i will go to work Monday and plan my flights for my 20th high school reunion and see friends and sing in my lovely group and try to keep my mind off of Keith/Phil in my uterus (if he is still there, even) and say bye to J as he goes off on his 3 week yearly event in Dubai and Hawaii. And in a few weeks we will know what happened, and will move forward. But I still feel I am moving sideways. Anyone want to go to India?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A bevy of ugly thoughts

So now that we are embarking on the adoption option, I have so many conflicting issues in my mind. These are not pretty and not nice and also I have a sneaking suspicion that most adoptive parents feel them. So if you want to judge, do it somewhere else.

My concerns about adoption
1. What if I don't like my kid?
2. What if I don't love my kid?
3. What if i forget I HAVE a kid since there is no prep time and have to set an alarm to remind me to feed it?
4. What if we become the one family who never, ever gets a kid?
5. What if the birthmother or father steal our kid?
6. What if we get a kid who rejects us?
7. What if people say mean things to our kid? I will fucking kill them
8. What if people do ignorant things to our kid?
9. What if I never get over not being pregnant?
10. What if if our kid has major mental problems?
11. What if I fuck our kid up?
13. What if people don't respect or accept us as a "real family" and we get no support?

Yes, i know. Don't email me. All of those things can happen with our "biological" children. And I also know that #1 and #2 seem in direct conflict with #7 and #8. I already love our adopted kid so fiercely and don't even know who the hell he or she is. Right now s/he could be a blip or embryo or nothing yet. It is amazing. Is my kid waiting for us out there? Maybe.

One thing I don't really understand is the drive to HAVE to have a biological child. Maybe it is just us, but our biological child has the risk of: Epilepsy, dyslexia, OCD, anxiety disorder, horrible teeth, horrible vision, acne, scolios, infertility for christ's sake, anal retentiveness, workaholicness (that is from J - he invented the word), excessive jewish guilt and a bevy of other things. And no offense to anyone else but we ALL gots stuff. So for me, the biology piece seems a bit more like an albatross than a score. But everyone is different and if I expect people to accept my family building options I will accept theirs as well.

The bottom line is I reserve the right to move forward with this and yet maybe decide down the road to go back to IVF if we please. And i reserve the right to start putting my foot in people's asses if they ask stupid fucking questions about our adopted kid like' is that yours', 'what color are they' (we are doing mixed race), 'where did you buy them' or any of the like. And YES people have told me stories about others saying that to them.

I wish, and this is not a new wish, that I was one of those calm, ethereal people who just let others go about their business with a small yoga smile on my mouth, allowing others' transgressions against my family slide off my back. But I'm not. I am SO not. And it is part of what I like about myself - my righteous indignation and sharp tongue has served me well.

And, in other news, our single remaining embryo made it and is growing beautifully and is being put back in its womb today. DO NOT MENTION THIS TO ME AS I AM TRYING TO FORGET ALL ABOUT IT. We are calling it Phil Collins (against all odds) or Keith Richards (we thought you'd be dead by now) - that was J's idea. My hubby is FUNNY.

Again, shhh. Embryo is sleeping. And probably not going to make it. But I love the little bugger for being so persistent. It is like a genocide survivor. I said Holocaust survivor to a very jewish friend of mine yesterday and she recoiled in horror. Sorry. Sometimes my sharp tongue is too sharp.

If i seem like I have my sense of humor back today, I do. Adoption excites me. Listen folks all I want out of this is a baby. Mine, or someone else's. Legally, of course. J and I will love the shit out of that kid and raise it so that it, too, can reject his or her parents, like every other kid.

Think good thoughts! I am off to fill my bladder for the transfer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sad news

Hi all,

I have to admit that i have been lying through omission to my blogspace friends. J and I have done another IVF cycle, this time a bit more under the radar because we didn't want to have to take out an ad on NYT.com again if it all went badly. So it all went badly, and I wanted to let you know.

This time our cycle was good and bad. The Lupron just about caused me to have a brain bleed - I have had a migraine for going on 20 days now. The Lupron migraine was of the "giant vise pushing my head together" while the estrogen migraine is the 'slow leak of brains out the ears" style. Lupron also gave me hot flashes like I was a 65-year old woman, which was HOT when I was doing all those job interviews, drenched in sweat.

This stim cycle was a dream. I was not really that bloated, felt really good, positive, happy, etc. I never had the extreme ovarian pain or twinges, never had the feeling like my ovaries were going to bust out of my abdomen, etc. Turns out that SUCKS.

So we go in Monday morning for retrieval. I know from Saturday's u/s that I have about 19 follicles, giant big ones. So when I wake up from the poking and prodding and hear that they got 7 eggs my head exploded. Look back - last time we had 25. 7 fucking goddamn crappy eggs. and 11 empty follicles. What the hell???????? So our embryologist goes to bring J in from giving his deposit and we talk to him. No idea what happened. Dr S comes in and says that as women age, their ovarian function does start to fail, and the fact that I had so many empties is a really not great sign and he is worried. HE is worried?

So J and I go home, and I go to bed. I feel much better than last time of course, mostly because i had absolutely no fucking eggs. We convince ourselves that quality is better than quantity and go to bed looking forward to our embryologist calling with great news.

Or not. Of the 7, only 2 were mature. Of the 2, only one fertilized. So he is watching it. Watching it die, I am sure.

I cant think of any other reason for this other than there is a problem with my ovarian function. J wants to talk to the RE, but i am just afraid he will say "oh well lets try again" not having any real idea what the hell happened. We are out of insurance money after this cycle and I am NOT happy about spending 10K on one fucking egg. Basically this process has been a nightmare from day 1. I cannot think of a worse thing to go through, except cancer. Between the shots, the pills, the tears, the crazy crazy diet (NO SUGAR???), the really early RE appointments, the miscarriage, the dead ovaries, the hope and then the devastated failure; I am done. Obviously I am not meant to have children. I get it, I get it. Now leave me alone.

So, we will have our post-mortem with the RE next week. We will be told "who knows what happened, let's try it again!". I will drop dead on the spot from exhaustion and pain. ANd hopefully we can all move past this in a semi-calm way.

Yes we will try adoption. And yes you can read all about it here. But first I have to mourn and cry and basically shut myself off from the world as everywhere you turn there is some gestating woman or story about some mom of 4 or something. I had no idea this was going to suck this bad, or I would've never ever ever started it.

My therapist says that fertility treatments are horrible for people. Meaning it is traumatic and gives you false hope. I am seeing her tomorrow and will definitely be having this conversation with her. I couldn't agree more. I would never tell anyone to go through this.

So, I have to say goodbye to future J and R's. I am devastated about this as I really wanted to give J a child. And i really wanted to experience pregnancy. The fact that our Stewie was the only shot we got makes me so, so sad. I loved being pregnant.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Long Time No Blog

Its because I have been really really not feeling well.

You all know I have been interviewing like mad. Well I am basically at the offer stage for one of the jobs, and had the final meeting today, and I came out of there and decided to drop out of the process. It is a long, drawn out story but basically the senior level, high profile job I thought I was interviewing for has morphed into a job that feels like Toby from The Office. It is a smaller role than I thought, and while tstill technically he most senior HR role, is really not comparable to the work I am doing at my current job. As more details come out I feel like I really dodged a bullet. I feel very dissapointed and sad about it, and wish I really wanted to leave my current role and go there, but it is just not right.

I went through a tremendous emotional swing today - realizing that I was angry about the changes to my current job, fearing leaving for something I was not excited about, wondering if I was just scared to go through more change, wondering how some upcoming personal events were going to work out and affect my employment, etc. And when I realized that I didn't HAVE to take this job it was like a weight had been lifted. It felt like when I broke up with that AWFUL guy and felt so free. The interview process, in retrospect, was wrought with issues but now I can walk away (after telling the headhunter who is probably going to come to my office and bitch slap me for going this far in the process and then dropping out) knowing more about what I want.

Am I an asshole for staying? They treat me like crap now. But I can sit there and do not that much work, take my summer fridays off, know I can do my job in 25 hours, come and go as I please, and still look for something different once I feel ready. I have two more interviews this week for two other very interesting jobs, so I guess it is not like I am sitting around waiting for someone to hand me a job.

I went to a lunch and learn at work today about adoption. A friend was going and asked me along at the last minute. I figured hey, free lunch.

It was this hoity toity agency out of Manhattan that a lot of my friends use - I hated them. Well, I actually just sort of disliked them, but REALLY hated the woman next to me. She said, and I am not making this up, "Why don't you test IQ and EQ and such? I have friends who are rich and kind and fantastic and have these two AWFUL adopted kids! They wish they could've known that the kids' "nature" was going to overtake their "nurture"". The whole group gasped. And then she went on to say that she has another friend who is Orthodox who adopted a child who, another gasp, REJECTED JUDIASM. I mean, does it get any worse than this? (Is there a sarcastic emoticon???) A kid rejected his parents religion? Adoption must truly be the devil's playground. That NEVER happens with birth children (again, need that sarcastic emoticon).

Basically this woman should've had "REJECTED" stamped on her head the minute she started talking. And this great guy in the room said, loudly, "I know lots of biological children who suck. It is not the fact that they are adopted that makes any difference".

See? I can't leave this job. They do Ultimate Fighting Championship at lunch!

Anyway HoityToity Agency was just too too for me. Few newborns, no mixed race, and 2 year wait. Forget it.

I did call J and tell him I went because we agreed not to do anything about adoption until we made decisions about cycling again. And then I went. But as I told him, I didn't learn anything.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Various and sundry random and uninteresting things

I have a crazy headache I have had for 4 days. Like eyes bugging out, wake up with puffy face headache. I am on 2 extra strength Tylenol every 3 hours and still not working. I wonder, am I dying? Or maybe just wishing to to get away from this headache. Huh. Hormones.

We had a great weekend in Lake George with some friends. Lots of food and laughing. I broke my no sugar rule a few times but all in all was ok.

Job interviews go on - have my final one this Friday with the first job, and a second to be scheduled this week. I need to remind myself every minute that I may not get these jobs - my current job is going from bad to worse and I basically told my manager last Friday that I was unhappy. I didn't give any ultimatums but if she reads between the lines she will know. I just have to keep reminding myself that i NEED this current job and not to burn bridges. It is hard to do behind the veil of pain that is my head and I may just snap and throw my SpongeBob slippers at someone.

Must get off computer. Bright lights are like nails in my eyes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The way we were

I was re-reading some of my earlier posts to get some data on timings, dosages, etc of my last cycle and was really struck by a few things:

1. I was, for me, really positive at the beginning of this. I kept saying "when" instead of "if" and talked about being a mommy a lot.

2. I was SO obviously pregnant right before the beta. As I read my symptoms I kept thinking HELLO??? Why didn't i know? Why the Birthday Breakdown? It was so obvious. Peeing all night? Cramping? Bloating? Duh.

3. My last cycle went amazingly well. Fast, easy (except the OHSS but even that wasn't so bad in retrospect) and successful. I should ever be so lucky again.

It's like seeing the "before" pictures of a beauty queen who falls in a vat of acid - I didn't realize how good I was having it. Now I am sometimes a bitter, broken bag of questionable eggs who doubts whether she will ever know pregnancy again, never mind HAVE the baby. It is just tragic. Not what happened, but the change I have experienced because of it. I hardly recognize myself.

When you read other IF blogs it is a common theme. One of my favorites, http://herveryown.typepad.com/herveryown/, talks about being one of "those bloggers" who at the bottom of the page writes about betas and bottles and as you page up, and move forward in time, all of a suddent writes about falling HCG numbers and D & Cs. She says it is like knowing what will happen in a horror movie - you want to tell the girl to RUN! HIDE! Don't look under the bed! Or in the uterus!

I want to go back to relative ignorance. But I can't. So how do I get back to some place where I can be excited again? Hope? Wish? Think of whens instead of ifs? Can I?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Why is everything so complicated?

As you know I am in full interviewing mode now. Well, sort of. I had an interview today for Overreach job 2007 #2 - meaning yet ANOTHER job where if they give it to me they are truly crazy. It went very well, and she is passing me onto the next step forward. I am also now a finalist at #1 - final interview is next week. Then if they like me, the offer. Or, if not, the boot.

As I sit in interviews with both these jobs I get SO EXCITED by them. I am so bored at my current role and both of these offer me new, exciting opportunities, a whole new group of people to get to know, a new business to immerse myself in, travel, etc.

Yet each of these jobs offer me new, exciting opportunities, a whole new group of people to get to know, a new business to immerse myself in, travel, etc. And are those good things if you are trying to get, and stay, pregnant? Or adopting? Will I have flexibility? Will my stress level kill everything in a 100 mile radius?

If we cycle again if I get pregnant, do I start a new job and say "Hi! Im R! I am here for 6 months and then gone again!". Or what if we get pregnant and I stay here to take it easy and we miscarry again and I am stuck with no baby and nothing at work to take my mind off it? Or what if I start a new job, and miscarry, and right after starting have to take a week off? Or what if we don't cycle again or don't get pregnant and stop trying and go with adoption? Is a new, scary overreach job better than an old, easy one? And what if I stick with what I know, and in a few months, things change again and I get my old department back and I am happy at work here again? And what if what if what if?

My therapist told me to stop asking that. And reminded me that I can only make decisions when 1. I get an offer 2. cycle again 3. find out if it worked.

I can't help but think sometimes that if Stewie had stuck I would not be facing all these questions - I would be 15 weeks pregnant, sitting here in a cushy, for the moment, job, planning the nursery and shower or my next meal or whatever happy, clueless about miscarriage pregnant people do. This infertility has made even my job search more complicated.

All these unknowns are really chapping my control freak ass. What do you guys think? Go for a new job or stay with the comfort of boring? Discuss.

Also, a question that has been bugging me lately. A controversial one. Am I really infertile? We tried for 5 months on our own but it was only 3 periods with my long, anovulatory cycles. I ovulated, I think, 2 out of the 3, but one was like a day 45 ovulation so that egg was probably seriously f'ed up. I definitely have PCOS. That definitely causes infertility. We have definitely been doing this a year with no luck except our IVF baby, and we all know where that ended.

But what if after all this we decide to stop trying, but I stay on the Met, eat crazy healthy like I have been, and just enjoy normal married conjugal relations and hope for a miracle? Could my aged, f'ed up body squeeze out ONE good egg and J's super sperm find it? What if we expect nothing, but get something?

Of course this would be while we were in adoption proceedings, as I cannot sit around and wait for something that has like a 5% chance of occuring at my advanced maternal age (I swear to god that is what they call it), but stranger things have happened, right? I am sure SOMEONE got pregnant with PCOS whle they weren't looking, right?

I hate hope sometimes. It really takes over and makes you feel good. Damn it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

PGD, PCOS and Dr Google - see update at end on crappy Rebecca Walker!!!!!!!

So i mentioned that if we cycle again we will potentially do PGD, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. I did a bad thing and did some websearching on it. Not good.

Basically the site I checked out is called www.mypgd.blogspot.com and it is a database of folks who have done it - their age, number of eggs retreived, number that were "chromosomally and genetically normal/abnormal" and what the outcome was. Holy shit. TONS of these people never even get to transfer because ALL of their eggs are abnormal. What a bummer. But a total possibility for us.

Yes, one could say that if folks are doing this there is a reason - and in fact most of them are carriers for one or another of the most godawful genetic issues. I saw almost no one on there for PCOS which may be bad or good. Maybe PCOS folks don't need it usually? Tho Dr S thought it was a good idea. But these women had like 15-30 eggs and NONE were viable. Jesus.

What it made me wonder is - how the fuck does anyone get and stay pregnant? How do we as a race continue to survive? This reproducing crap is really tricky and there are so many things that can go wrong. It is just amazing to me.

As you all know I have many, many, many pregnant friends right now. I also have many friends pregnant through IVF. I realized that I don't have ANY friends with PCOS. That i know of. And that our little fertility issues are really specific to us, and everyone else's is specific to them. I have two friends with unexplained IF, two who are lesbians and for whom this is the only way to get PG, and others with various and sundry other issues. No one who has PCOS and thus no one I can really commiserate with. I have www.soulcysters.com and that helps, but again - everyone who posts usually has some big reason they are on there. Am I getting the worst case? Are the folks on there skewed one way or another? Cause if you check it out you should have a big glass of vodka in one hand and some Prozac in the other.

Dr S and J basically cut my hands off to get me away from the net, but couldn't you argue that arming yourself with knowledge is a good thing? Is surfing the web bad?

If it's wrong, I don't want to be right. Because in this crazy time a little info, even if it is totally skewed, feels like taking control.

In other news J and I are going away this weekend to Lake George. We are going with some friends of ours whom we met when they bought our house, which sounds like a recipe for distaster, but in fact has been fantastic. I am looking forward to a few days of fun and cooking and sleeping and kayaking.

A fellow friend told me my post on Rebecca "the bitch" Walker's blog made it to the Washington Post. I am the one who commented about the insenstivity of her writing. I really dialed it back from "I hate your guts".

Also - Erica Jung better watch her ass. I might be figuratively gunning for her next. She writes "But not everyone feels that way. A lot of people feel very intensely about their adopted children. Whatever your feelings are, you should be able to write about them, even though they're taboo feelings."


I DARE anyone out there in blogland to find me someone who DOESNT feel intensely about their adopted children.

I ask, again: what in the hell is wrong with everyone?? I thought adopting was a mitzvah.

I think if we end up adopting I may have to take anger management classes.