Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year, Again

Mrs. Spit always seems to ask or articulate something that gets me thinking. Here are my thoughts about New Year's Eve:

New Year’s Eve was always fraught for me, for the same reasons you mention, looking like the picture in the magazine. Some were great, some were okay, some were not. Since being with C, it has become a tradition to travel to Seattle, to be with C’s oldest and dearest friends, and their wives. This year, C is there and I am alone. But that is okay, too. I had initially planned to accompany him, but November shook me too much. I will likely be walking the dog at midnight.

Two years ago tonight, C and I decided to take “active management” of our situation and deliver the boys. The first step in trying to accept that there was, indeed, no hope. Still working on that.

This night one year ago was spent remembering, trying to recover.

I, too, mark time with anniversaries. Birthdays, the Jewish New Year, and the others you refer to. I jokingly call myself the Calendar Girl, as I seem to have stored so many dates and days in my head. Two years ago Saturday night marks 11 years since C first kissed me. And I knew it would be an anniversary, too.

Not an easy night, but not bad. I go back and forth between anxious and fine, glad to have some time to myself.

*****
Had a wonderful visit with my dear friend JH. Just talking and laughing and crying and talking for 3 days straight. A wonderful time.

*****
Thank you for your thoughts on the questions in my last post. The RE is probably trying to get more follicles to mature. Yesterday, on Day 6, I had 2 around 14 or 15 on each side, plus some smaller ones. I've been heartburn-y and queasy all day today, so I assume my hormones are raging. He did say I was stimming really well.

At first, he had trouble finding my right ovary (which was hanging out in front of my uterus apparently), and I made some joke about how I always tended to lean to the left, liberal, anyway. He, then, made some joke about how he has a couple of things to say to "your president".

Ugh. Did I mention that I accidentally found him on FB, while looking for the clinic page? I did, I think. And that he, apparently, has already remarried, after being divorced for a year or so. He married the owner of the shop where he does acupuncture. Who calls herself a psychic and life coach. It feels cynical, like a business arrangement. Or like a mid-life crisis.

Bleargh. I feel like I know too much about him. Where did the line go? He was, once again, named by the local city magazine as one of the best doctors in his field. There's a picture and a quote, too. The same line as on his website. Except he's added that it's a woman's biological right to have a child. I think Niobe nailed his thinking in my comments from the last post. At least, I'd like to believe that. Still, if I saw that in a magazine without knowing him, I would probably hesitate in contacting him. Because of even a mention of God. He has expanded his practice to include Eastern with Western medicine. I appreciate that. But. Is it going someplace weird?

I appreciate your thoughts on this subject, too. I don't want any of the professionals I consult with to talk to me about religious topics. I talk with very few people about it. I know I sort of opened the door when I mentioned that C was an atheist, but this? I don't know.

My sister married a man whose political views are generally pretty different from hers. She says they cancel out each other's vote on election days. I get too invested personally not to be compatible with my partner on such topics. My doctor? I don't know. I haven't really thought about it until now, but I guess we always assume that people we otherwise like have views similar to ours. Well, I guess I should say that I usually do. Until proven otherwise.

I need to let it go. I think. As long as his medical care of me does not seem to suffer, it shouldn't matter. Right? I had intended, once pregnant (hahaha ha...) to try to hang on to my RE as long as possible, and get acupuncture with him, throughout, so I could also see someone I've trusted longer than my new high risk OB. I don't know. Maybe I've just been too naive.

*****
Speaking of pregnant and this cycle... Today is Day 7. Day 1? Yes, it was Christm.as Day. And no, the poetry of getting my period on the anniversary of the day my water broke did not escape me. Also? It looks like the IUI will be on Monday, the 4th. Yes, the two-year anniversary of delivering Joshua. The day after the two-year anniversary of Jacob's delivery.

It would be interesting symmetry to get pg this cycle. To put it mildly. Well, pg with a lasting pregnancy, a potentially live birth. Of course, symmetry has nothing to do with biology and reproduction, at least with my body. I have no idea what my chances are this cycle. We may do one more, after this one, then try to make some decisions. (We decided to add a fourth cycle, since the first two were clearly hampered by my non-functional left ovary due to endo.)

Talk about marking time with anniversaries.

*****
I wish you all a good evening, and a great 2010. As a friend of mine wrote in his family holiday card to me, May all your dearest dreams come true this year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Questions

Today (Saturday) is (was) Cycle Day 2, and my period is heavier than it has been for at least 2 or 3 cycles. Ouch. I don't know if I mentioned this, but in my post-op appointment, my RE said that my left ovary (and I think tube) were essentially non-functional with all the endo. He said he got it all.

So, the nurse returned my call and they had me come in this morning. How old are you, again? I think he asks me this every cycle. He has me start stims tonight, CD2 instead of the usual CD3. I don't know what that means. Any thoughts are welcome. Also, he's upped the dosage to 3 amps for the first 4 stims, instead of 3, 2, 3, 2. I am assuming this has something to do with my age, something he noticed during the lap, or trying to get things moving faster. The last two cycles he said I was stimming really well, so he wasn't worried about imminent ovarian failure. So?

*****
Did I mention my conversation with him last time about C's atheism and my agnosticism? He was curious, about what each meant, and I talked about my recent wrestling with the idea of a god teaching a lesson or having a plan that involved so much pain for so many, something so hurtful. He agreed they were terrible theories, but thanked me for sharing my thoughts.

On his website, it says (and has said since the beginning) "a ch.ild is a gift f.rom God." I've often wondered about this. What does this mean for IFs? For those who are never "blessed" by God with a child? Especially from the point of view of an RE?

He has never proselytized or mentioned anything like this in any appointment. He is a man of science, bonded with C over focus on research. And then this morning, I noticed that, posted on the bulletin board next to the check in window is this fax from another doctor. I've never seen it before in the clinic. It's dated some time in November of this year, and entitled What do I believe God meant when he [sic] gave me infertility?

It's an Hallmark card-like essay/poem by some random person I've never heard of, basically saying that God gave me infertility to help me savor the sweetness of the child I do raise, no matter how he or she comes to me.

Huh?

I mean, I get the idea, that it's not part of some plan, but...

Huh?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Made it

I made it through. Thank you for being there.

Little cleaning got done, but enough. No second pill. A phone call from C at 10:45 pm, no passing around to the family. I guess the weather and change in plans changed the rhythm, or perhaps they were giving me some space. They didn't mention it, and neither did C, assuming sensitivity on their part. Considering the gift already arrived in the mail, and the notes on FB from my SILs, I will assume sensitivity.

A return phone call from the RE's nurse woke me 10 minutes before my alarm, and thus began my rush into the day. Late for my appointment, a bit late picking up J, though I *did* get to call JK to wish her a happy birthday. J and I didn't have lunch almost 2, as we just kept talking, delaying us here, and there.

It's been a wonderful visit so far, though J seems to be coming down with a cold, so we are off to bed early. Laughter and tears and more talking. It has been wonderful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

So far

It has been a quiet, sleepy day. Not terribly cold, but raining, on and off. I've spent most of the day in bed, dozing. Only a half a Klon.opin after walking the dog let me go back to sleep after her walk.

Woke for a while mid-day, talked to my dad for an hour, surfed on-line. Got a tongue-bath from the kitty, sleepy snuggles from the dog.

It's about 5:30 pm and I'm up, looking for something to eat. Considering making a list, as the house looks the same as it did last night. The dog will need to be walked soon, and fed, as will the cats.

I'm thinking one more half a K will get me through the evening, as I can feel some anxiety rising, but just a little. I think I will be able to get through this day, clean a little, cry a little and it will be okay.

There is still the call from C's family. I believe they are all snowed in, so I don't know when it will come, how they will work the holiday this year. That call will be hard and, really, my main motivation for a little bit of something to settle the nerves.

Also, Mother Nature brought her gift today. Yes, that's right, it CD1. How's that for poetic?

The dog is asking for something. I'll post more later.

Thank you for being here, and for your notes and wishes. It means a lot.

An hour later

I am still sitting on the couch, laundry sits in the washer, done.

The windows are glittering from rain likely freezing. The cats groom each other, and the dog nestles against me, with deep, warm sleepy breathing.

And I am still sitting here.

Some poet said, "It is late. I lack courage." Or something like it.

I can't recall who said it, but the words run through my head.

A few more breaths, and I will myself up, and to bed.

The day before

Well, I spent most of today working on not being anxious. thinking about all the stuff I had to do to get ready for my friend's visit and thinking to myself, I really should make a list. That never happened, though I did get a few things picked up. Very few.

I also looked into volunteering, but didn't find anything anywhere I felt comfortable going to alone. Also, going out into the world is a tiny bit fraught, so I may hunker at home.

I have no idea how the day is going to go. I'm really looking forward to J's visit, so shere will be some futzing around cleaning, moving laundry around. There will be a call from C and his family. And of course from my Grandmother who worries I'll be too lonely without him. So she's back to calling me every night.

I hope to do a little writing. Watch some movies or TV dvds. I'll do some cleaning. Some crying. An a.tivan or two. It's all so weird. I'm really disjointed, too.

So. I just put in a load of laundry at about 1:10am. Never did make that list.

Once the laundry's done, I'll take an amb.ien and sleep.

It really helps to know you are out there.

Wishing you all peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Solstice

Yesterday was a dark day. My eyes are still kinda sore from tears.

Full of anger and argument. Fighting. Frustration. Loss.

Have you ever felt like you were trying to say something, perhaps trying to say it in different ways, so the other can really understand, but they just didn't? You keep having this same conversation, sometimes with different people, but no one seems to hear, seems to understand the words. You don't know how else to say it, how else to communicate this thing. And this is someone who otherwise understands you, loves you. Whom you feel you understand, whom you love.

But it's like you have apha.sia or something. It sounds like you are saying the same thing, but the meaning is not there.

By the end of the day, there was clarity. Or, at least, a little more of it.

Today, the light seemed different. A little better. At least for now. Some progress.

*****
C leaves tomorrow for my in-laws for the holiday. I am staying here. Initially, I thought I would go, too, but, for a number of reasons, I am staying put. My dear friend will be here, but not until the day after Chri.stmas.

I am trying to decide if I will stay home in bed, medicated and eating, or if I'll go out and try to volunteer somewhere, in hopes of some good coming out of this day. Some real distraction. Not sure yet. Suggestions are welcome.

Fiat Lux.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What would you do?

What would you do, what would you give up to bring a healthy child into the world?

It seems to me, that once that child is born, you are supposed to be willing to do anything you can to keep that child safe and healthy.

But until that child is here, you are just desperate. Where is the line?

*****
Perhaps I'm trying to go back in time to try to save what has already been lost, to do what I wish I had done when I had the chance.

Apparently,

I just need to get over it. What will happen will happen and I need to just let it go. No point in ruining everything else I have trying, or being sad because I'm not gonna get it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

pieces *updated*

I feel like a mess.

I have a bunch of crappy papers to read, for which I seem to have even less patience than usual.

I'm angry all the time. Pissed. Off.

I feel like I'm holding my breath. Probably sensory stuff. Anniversary stuff coming up.

I'm tired, still, from the surgery. Sore, but healing. But sore. Sleeping a lot.

Beginning of each day seems to bring something like a panic attack. Or low blood sugar. Or both.

*****

Dr. got all the endo. There was enough that it could have prevented implantation. We will do another cycle as soon as I start again.

Worried. Scared. For any, all outcome -- pregnant or not.

*****

I'm getting worried about the holidays. The weather is grey/white and cold. Snowed today. But things are quiet in town. I can feel that tension. Sadness. Anxiety. Two years. Falling apart.

I hate it.

*****

My friend who is supposed to stay with me over Chris.tmas while C is gone, has been out of touch. I know she has a lot going on. I *really* need to hear from her. Really need to hear. I'm worried that she's not going to come after all.

And I'm worried how I'm going to do.

*****

I have a ton of work for school. I promised myself I'd put it off until I'm done with grading. Get through Christm.as and the anniversaries. But then I have a ton of stuff.

*****

Ambien helped me sleep the last few nights. But I can't keep taking it if we're doing another cycle. But I can't do another cycle feeling like this.

I'm taking Klon.opin every day. Back up to my reg Cym dose. I want to be in a better state. I want to quell the anxiety. The anger. The worry.

Numb it.

I have two kinds of Tyle.nol plus something nar.cotic on my nightstand. Haven't taken any since Weds. It's tempting, though. Just a nice buzz.

But I won't.

It's too easy. Too slippery a slope.

*****

I hate to even write this. To even admit this. I just want to get through this. do better than this.



***
Updated: Plans with friend have been confirmed. A few papers of decent quality. Pit is less deep, but I am still twitchy.

better, though.

thank you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

made it

There and back again, thanks to a new dear friend.

Lap and everything went fine. Level 2 endo but not much else. Or much I can remember.

Fuzzy from anes and pain reliever and anti-nausea meds. More soon.

Thanks for the love and thoughts.

Better

Perhaps it's a little hospital ptsd. Or leftovers from arguments with C. Not that we ever argue.

Thank you for the kind, supportive words. I'm sure everything will work out fine.

The anti-nausea patch has begun to make me a bit loopy. I'll check in later.

Thank you, guys.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anxiety

dissolves into anger.

Even with the half a Kl.onopin.

I'm not sure even why. I mean, aside from the obvious fact that I'm having a minor surgical procedure.

I walked around the market picking up a few supplies for the few days I'll be out of commission. Anxiety growing.

Feeling all alone, maybe.

After anxious? Angry. Or, in addition to it. Angry. Sad?

Why?

Not sure. There are so many possibilities.

But what specifically?

I hate this.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

And I wonder

Is this all for nothing?

physical
emotional

It turns out that all my worries from childhood are true.

I am fucked up. I am too broken lead the life I've dreamed up.

Immaturity. Depression. Insecurity. Fear. Weakness.

Hesitation.

I worried so much of making something of my life: what career, what work will fulfill me?

I was afraid of connecting with someone. Afraid of rejection. Of not reaching my potential.

Afraid of my mother's mistakes.

*****

People say, "oh. you'll make such a great mother." I really don't know. since apparently I need to be on a particular cocktail to keep me stable. I do not want my children to have a fucked-up mother. I do not want to fuck up my children because I am this way.

The pharma says, your health is more important to me, more important right now, than any effect on pregnancy.

If you get pregnant we'll deal with it then. But how will I deal with it?

*****

I look at my relationship. I look at my own head, my own history. And I wonder, who would give me their child to raise? Would I?

I don't know.

*****

I am having surgery on Tuesday and I wonder if it's even worth it. One, maybe two more cycles. IVF appears to be out. I fear adoption. I am still open to it, but I can't imagine being good enough.

*****

This is not all I am. But does it eclipse everything else? does it? should it? What does that say about everything else?

*****

And I am alone. My words do not speak. I cannot articulate the feeling in my gut, in my heart.

And others just get farther away.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Song, again

I keep listening to this song and crying. There are so many different things that it touches in me.

Here are some of the lyrics

...

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon,
It rolls in from the sea

My voice; a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light,
To carry you to me.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

They say that things just cannot grow*
Beneath the winter snow,
Or so i have been told.

They say were buried far,
Just like a distant star
I simply cannot hold.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
Cause you're not where you belong;
Inside my arms..

...

I still believe in summer days.
The seasons always change
And life will find a way.

I'll be your harvester of light
And send it out tonight
So we can start again.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

This is my winter song.
December never felt so wrong,
Cause you're not where you belong;
Inside my arms.

This is my winter song to you.
The storm is coming soon
It rolls in from the sea.

My love a beacon in the night.
My words will be your light
To carry you to me.

Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?
Is love alive?

~ Sara Bareilles (With Ingrid Michaelson)

Loss. Yearning. Love. Friendship. Hope. Hoping for hope.

Over and over again. Tears.

Tears.

*This verse especially.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Further thoughts.

This guy is really bright, very passionate about his topic, and seems to think he is very experienced (despite his young age) in spiritual struggles. In some things, he was actually insightful. In others? Um, no. Sometimes writing about this, processing it, helps. Uh yeah, blog? journal? 15 years in writing groups?

I think he actually learned from my writing about IF and how it actually is a medical condition (i.e. that you can meditate as much as you want, but that's not going to make my blood clot correctly or keep my cervix from opening on its own). he likes to talk about equity and privilege; in mentioning the different directions I may want to go in pursuit of this line of research, I talked about privilege. As in, I am lucky to have 50% coverage up to a lifetime limit of $10K, Of course, one round of IVF usually costs around $15K, so it the fact that I've even gotten this far shows a huge amount of privilege, though I may now be stuck. ("I don't know what IVF means." Sigh.)

His BA was in some biomedical field, too. My eyes are rolling so much they hurt. I know IF and Pg loss is one of those subjects no one talks about until it happens to them, but holy cow. NO ONE talks about it. NO ONE knows how to think about it, or talk about it, or, god forbid, death, let alone baby death.

Anyway.

Sorry to rant.

*****
So, I'm really excited now, about pursuing this research. This project I"m working on is very limited (strictly in academia due to my course), but I think it's going to get pretty big -- wide and deep, especially considering the wonderful, amazing responses from my dear fellow DBMs out there. I'm sorry you are here, but I'm so glad to know you. I think it really says something that so-called educated people are out there oblivious, and there are so many of us who want our story heard, understood. We are an amazing community.

Extensions

Cranky ranting to follow:

Got my profs to allow me extra time to complete my work.

So why do I feel worse? Angry. Wracked with anxiety.

Paralyzed.

And it can't just be that he's paternalistic, arrogant and skeptical of the "medicalization" of mental health, like the use of antidepressants for, oh, you know severe depression and potential suicidality after trauma.

Okay, so I guess I'm feeling a little conflicted.

I appreciate the additional time, but, BUT I "how many points shall I take off per day beyond our agreed-upon due date?" Well, uh, you're the teacher, you decide. Yes, I actually said that. And, no, he didn't blink.

Oh, god. What's freaking amazing is that this is his policy in general for late work. Late *doctoral* work.
And he didn't know what I meant by the letters IVF.

I wish I had told him about the doctor being in my uterus up to her elbow yanking out the afterbirth of my dead baby with her hands.

Or maybe I'm still just full of hate.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter Song

It's just that kind of day.



I heard this one way when just reading the lyrics and the video gives it a slightly different meaning. They both touch me.

p.s. sorry about the ad at the beginning.

Wow!

Thanks for all your responses! I'm drafting questions and will be in touch soon. Though this piece is small, I'm thinking it's going to grow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I don't even know what to title this

Or if I should even ask. Tell me if this is totally out of line.

I need to do a couple of short (half-hour-ish) or one longish interview (or a few 15-20ish minutes) for my qualitative class and have decided that this project will be focus on DBMs in academia, who were/are either working on graduate/PhD degrees or newly PhD-ed/employed/tenured when they experienced their loss.

This is purely for practice, no publication, no obligation, and I have no professional skills whatsoever. But it would be totally anonymous and confidential. You can totally opt out at any time.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this, but I'm looking at the experience of perinatal loss and/or infertility and women who are pursuing careers/degrees in academia. it may be the seeds of a larger project, but I don't know what yet. If it were to become something more, I would of course get your written consent to pursue you and/or the info you share further.

If you have a little time for Google chat and/or video (so I can record and/or transcribe) in the next couple of days, I would be forever grateful and likely send you baked goods of some sort, since the weather is appropriately chilly enough to keep goods good.

Questions? I'm working on some.

Questions for me? Know anyone who might participate?

Is this totally inappropriate? I hope not, and I hope I don't offend anyone with this.

Monday, November 30, 2009

so tired

Laying in bed in the dark listening to C breathe and the dog snore.

I can't sleep. In bed til noon (after the dog's 8am walk, of course). Too distracted or sad or anxious, so a nap at 4:30 or so.

Futile lit searches* to pretend to do work. Considering incompletes again. Again, goddammit. Feels like failure. Again.

I was another person in August, September. Where is she? I want her back. Her hope. Her courage. Her optimism and love. Was she just a figment of medication? Of false hope? Acupuncture?

Or is this just chemical? Environmental? Old issues. Unresolved grief. Where is the real me? Somewhere in between.

Broken.


*Do you know how much research is out there about academics/grad students and perinatal/child loss and career/identity? Even making it s broad as possible... Not as much as you'd think.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh Joy.

Morbid depressing thanksgiving laying around the house arguing and being moody and sad. Feeling like my my body and my family is falling apart. Dad and sister screwed up thanksgiving plans in NY, hurting brother who will not be appeased. Sticking my two cents inw here it doesn't belong. Deciding to just withdraw completely, from the argument from the negotiations. Tired of being negotiator. Go-between.

Relationships are so fucking complicated and I'm tried of trying to make them work. I get along with my brother, I can't talk to my sister. I bond with my sister, I can't relate to my brother. I feel like my dad is going to die in ten years and we will all be estranged, just like my mother feared on her deathbed.

How long will it be before I can genuinely, healthily enjoy my niece. Family events. Today was a big party for The Baby at my dad's house today. Family and friends and my dad kvelling his head off. That's a big part of why I didn't go.

My meds are still not adjusted and I'm feeling like I'm 16 years old, filled with existential angst and frustrating the hell out of C who is trying argue with me rationally when I am just feeling hopeless about everything. And I should have at least started my period by now, just a little spotting yesterday. Like the last two cycles, my periods have been weird and light. And I'm almost convinced that the hystero.scopy is going to show Ash.erman's and I"m almost hoping that the RE will just say that it's a hopeless case so I can have one definite thing in my life (and yes, that 5% chance of a normal child we might have had is still haunting me).

Pharma says it could be a couple weeks before I've reached a little equilibrium with the med change back to what was working. And how I'm going to get all this work done and get through this stupid freaking program I have no idea. Because, you know, all this hard work really pays off in so many ways.

So.

How was your thanksgiving? Ready for the holidays? fa la la la la and all that.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Garbage

Where am I?

No where.

i'm in the in-between.

Not quite here. Not there yet.

Alone? No, there are new bonds forming.

But the old ones ache and seem to weaken. Distance grows. Gets away from me.

Who am I?

Hm. First thought? mother, daughter, sister, aunt, wife.

Mother first. But not really. Maybe never.

My fingers are cramped holding on to old dreams. They don't want to let go.

Frozen? no. Calcified.

Break them and start over.

Wife first? Maybe.

Me first? Probably. But how?

Break her and start over.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I suck

I feel crappy. Stupid cold. Jumbled head. Broken body.

People keep their distance so I can keep my germs to myself.

Writing a paper on Leadership. An extended definition. Social Justice. Five pages.

Justice? Leadership?

Are you fucking kidding me?

*****

So, I have an appointment for my laparosc.opy (and a ride, thanks!) and an appointment with the urol.ogist. Another stranger to take my pants off for. Woo hoo!

Oh, and I spoke with the nurse at the RE's office today and yesterday about setting up pre-op stuff. My pharm was playing phone tag with the RE last week about changing my meds. Pharm wants to move me back to Cym.balta and off of the Pr.ozac, since I'm such a mess. Really feeling it. I know it's a combination of things. But I really hate it.

So, yeah, the pharm wanted to see how adamant the RE was about me taking the Cym in relation to pg, and of course they both have me as as their "first priority" rather than any baby that may come along, and we can adjust then, should that happen.

"If" I get pregnant I believe was the pharm's expression.

Maybe we should do IVF. Just blow it all on one shot. What the hell are our chances, anyway?

Maybe we should just get this all over with so we can move on.

I don't want to move on. I don't know why. I can't seem to let go yet. And it seems to be ruining me.

How's that for negative?

*****
So, I'm talking to the RE's nurse about setting up the pre-op and the med change, and she's being really sympathetic. Almost too sympathetic. Like how it hurts her heart that there are so many people who have babies who don't want them, and we have gone through so much. That we would be such wonderful parents. And she's just praying that one day the light will shine on us. I made some half-joking/snarky comment about how someone needs to talk to the man with the light bulbs, and she said, I was talking about God, dear.

Yeah.

I know.

And see how much God has helped so far?

*****
Who, me? Negative?

Maybe more cold medicine will help. For tonight, anyway.

Sleep is good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why?

Thinking of Mrs. Spit today, who is grieving another loss. My heart breaks for her.

Why does it have to be so hard? Why does it seem there is no fairness?

Are we only allotted a certain about of good, and then everything else is a crapshoot? A little taste, here and there? Or some freaking lesson to be learned?

Or chaos? It's making more and more sense, but it's making me more and more pissed off.

*****
If you have a moment, go give some love to Mrs. S.

For C

(Ingrid Michaelson, The Way I Am)

(Embedding was disabled.)

Dammit

Seems like it was a nice weekend all around. Weather, indeed, helps the spirits.

Alas, moods pass. Clouds return.

It was not the antibiotics. It's just me. Sad. Anxious. Hopeless. Teary. Again.

I did no school/classwork. Met up with a friend at the dogpark who is totally awesome, but just (unknowingly) reminds me of how out of the loop I am professionally. Socially, I am finding footing. Some. Not enough. I am 16 again.

RE says to give it another cycle or two before making any big decisionssince technically we just finished cycle 2, not 11. Will support us in whatever we want to do. Is willing to field questions and suggestions to tweak treatments.

Horrible clouds of despair. Wanting to hide under the covers. Don't know where to go or what to do with all this.

Referral to a urologist. Potentially research IVF clinics. Hi, nice to meet you. Here let me open my legs for you. Can you talk to me like I have a brain in my head? And give me any real hope? Who do I trust. Doctors?

All this dreck a half an hour after 1 mg of Klon. I have a regularly scheduled appointment on Wednesday with the pharm shrink.

Oh, and the necklace came off. No, I took the necklace off. Maybe it's all this. Maybe it's just the season.

Sorry.

***
p.s. Nov 7 was two years since the nuchal, when we really got invested in the little creatures floating around my belly. It was when C came out to everyone.

p.p.s. Nov 15 wll be one year since we brought Stella home. And we are all better off for it. LOVE her. And yet, reminded of much more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wiggley Field

It is a beautiful fall day in the mid-west. C and I had a reasonably productive morning cleaning the house and paying bills, and soon we are off to take the Stella-pup to a local dog park to romp and sniff and bark. Off leash.

Ya Chun suggested something like acupuncture, something soothing and re-invigorating, and to be honest, I'd been considering it. I called for an appointment, for both me and for C, but, alas, my guru is booked until next Saturday. It is just as well, as money has been a bit tighter than usual this fall. Nothing terrible, just less room for things like, well, acupuncture (yes, it is covered by insurance, but we have to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed).

So, it occurred to me that the weather is nice, hasn't been too wet, and it's been a while since the pup had a romp. And there is something so satisfying, so restorative about taking the dog out to play, especially among a bunch of other dogs who are so happy to be outside and playing. And we will be meeting up with friends we haven't seen in a while, and their dog, too. Stella's best friend, Nana.

Just the prospect of this makes me feel good. Last night was rough. This week was rough. Even this morning wasn't easy. But somehow, I'm willing to suspend all that for a few hours and enjoy my pup enjoying herself.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know it's been an ugly week. Who knows what tomorrow will bring (grading mid-terms -- ugh). But right now is okay.

What are you up to today?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

S.N.A.F.U.

Situation
Normal.
All
Fucked
Up.

*****
On Monday met with the RE. C and I were...pointy with each other, all day, on the way. Rough. Very rough all around

The RE did not have much for me. He thinks I can get pg this way. But, we are starting over, it was not cycle 11, it was cycle 2. If I want to do IVF, he says, go ahead. Do everything so we don't feel like maybe we didn't do something.

Reviewed general stuff, asked about meds (brav.elle vs. foll), taking the mac.robid during the 2ww. Answering questions. My periods have not been normal, so he suggested a hyste.roscopy. And as long as I'm anesthetized, he might as well have a look around, so...lapa.roscopy. (And maybe I'll need a cyst.oscopy...)

Scheduled and everything, though C may not be able to take me, so I'll have to find alternate transport or reschedule. Because nothing is easy.

*****
My pharm shrink was out of town this week, but my gp took me off the lev. and suggested Ati.van for the depression anxiety. Yeah, well, I have a regularly scheduled appointment next week.

On Tuesday, GP took me off anti.biotics altogether, gave me pain reliever and told me to take lots of fluids. And al.eve for back and general pain, 2 every 12 hours. And call on Thursday afternoon to see if anything came from the culture. I totally forgot to call.

Oh, and he thinks that I have structural problems causing the repeated UTIs. Gave me a referral to a uro.logist. A gynecolo.gical ur.ologist. A cys.toscopy may be in my future. I still have to call.

*****
I'm exhausted. Still feeling down. Not quite as bad as before, but not good. Class today was not my greatest. My students know *some*, but in general can't apply it, especially through interpretation of text. Mid-terms have been a challenge to grade.

Lot of back pain, "flank" pain. not continuous, and the al.eve pretty much helps. I lost a few pounds between the end of last cycle and the end of this cycle. Not sure how that happened. I've been eating lots of crap, though my appetite's been lousy, so maybe not as much as I thought. Nothing tastes very good. I even went out and got ice cream, of which I've had two spoonfuls. Exhausted. Passing out on the couch after school. Just so tired.

I don't want to...I don't want to go back on a lot of drugs. I don't know what's going to happen. Part of me feels like doing the lap is a waste. Like the T.AC. Grasping at straws? Maybe. I'm so tired.

*****
Well, this was a joy to write. And read, too, I'm sure.

Situation? Normal.

Just the way you are...

I'd like to thank you for being there for me -- in the good times and in bad, in all my grouchiness, so in honor of Ses.ame Street's 40th anniversary, I hope you enjoy this rendition of one of my favorite songs.

Love ya.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the meantime

Busy day, haven't had time to write, but hope to tonight.

Here's my bitch of the day:

Something that both annoyed me and made me sad on (you guessed it) FB. (Why do I even go there?)

One of my SILs completed the "Ci.rcle of Moms" survey, '10 questions about your kids.'

1. How many children have you had?
2. Have you ever had any stillbirths/miscarriages/pregnancy losses?
3. What gender are your kids?
4. What are their full names?
5. What would they have been called had they been the other gender?
6. Did you get the genders you wanted?
7. How much did your babies weigh when they were born?
8. Did you have natural births/ c sections/forceps etc?
9. What has been your favourite age so far?
10. Do you want any more children?

Really, the only two I can't answer are 5 and 9. Well, I guess I could, but it's a stretch. I can't decide what I think about number 2.

I was feeling resentful and contrary so I went to the page, and they made you join if you wanted to see the other quizzes. Anyway, not-a-mom. Not really. Not the way it's intended, here.

I really have so little patience for anything anymore.

Sorry for the :-p.

Where did sleep go?

I'm feeling the anxiety and sadness begin to creep back in. I've been able to resist it, but when I'm tired, it's not good.

Good meeting with the RE today, I think. Still processing it. He has some ideas, and was mostly reassuring. Details soon, once I begin to sort them out. No major changes. Yet.

Rough, rough day. Still processing that, too. Thanks, you guys, for being there. It means a lot.

*****
Hmm.

Just looked at the side effects for the Le.va.quin I'm taking. At double the typical dose for a kidney infection. Among others, it has "caused convulsions and other nervous system disorders, including warning signs" of nervous reactions "ranging from restlessness and tremors to depression and hallucinations..." (from Drugs.com). Also? side effects may include difficulty sleeping. And dry mouth (I am SO thirsty - mentioned being thirsty to C and he said "no diabetes for you!).

Did the NP ask about a history of CNS issues? (Like seizures?) or anything like depression? Nope. Maybe it's not common. Of course, I am a freak of nature, so why would I be normal?

Guess it's time to call the real GP to get some info. Or maybe the pharm.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What do you do

When everyone says, "look what this is doing to you." Or "look what this is doing to your marriage."

Or " even though you're in pain, you should really go be with your niece and watch everyone ooh and aah over her, because, you know that's an important relationship. Yeah, it'll be hard, but don't you want a relationship with her?"

Or, "is it really worth all this?"

Or, "just get things set for the next six months. You're only 39, and plenty of women have babies at 42 or 43."

There are plenty of other things to enjoy in life, right?

No sleep

It's 2:15 am according to the clock on the wall. A few minutes fast, but close enough. Actually, my body thinks it's 3:15 am. And yet I lie here in the dark.

I took a whole mg of Klon.opin because I could feel my heart and mind beginning to race tonight. Hormones aren't helping. I think I started today (cd1) -- hard to tell with old blood and new blood and remnants of crin.one (sorry).

*****
How do you know when it's time?

-- Time to change course to a plan you hoped you would never come get to. One that could finacially, emotionally and mentally push you over the edge you feel like you are teetering on.

-- Time to consider the salvation of your marriage/relationship in order to sacrifice dreams held by both of you, close to your hearts for your whole life?

-- Time to find a new relationship in the old one, that will incorporate the new future? Re-focus on professional goals. Finding (re-discovering) what was once really important to you. Outside of the whole "family" thing. Or the family thing in a different shape.

-- Time to begin a new life with new goals (be they a family that comes to you through adoption, or third-party assistance). Or the new life with out the children you spent your life dreaming of.

******
How do you even begin to make the shift? Holding on while letting go. Maintaining hope with full knowledge of potential outcomes. Facing a whole new set of challenges (child-lessness or adoption concerns, high tech and third party involvement, major financial risk with long-term implications) on top of grieving what might have been?

Trying to incorporate this into a new life. A new normal.

God, I'm so fucking tired of new normals. I just get used to one and I get to have another.

I'm so tired.

I should have taken the am/bien instead of the K.
Why am I even doing this. Any of it. Work. LIfe. Babies.
I really don't know.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So.

Can anyone tell me why I torture myself looking at adorable pictures of my friends' gorgeous children?

It's kind of like crying after I look at my niece. LOVE her. (and my friends' kids, too!) But it hurts. And I never know when it's gonna hit.

*****

So. How was your Halloween?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tired

Tired and frustrated. And angry. And thwarted.

Just looked at the Halloween pics posted by one of my SILs. Of all the cousins at Nana and Grandad's house.

Nana reading to one of them. They're all so grown up. Even if we do have kids, they won't be friends with these cousins.

Trying to imagine Christmas this year at C's folks.

That's hard.

Maybe I just need some more candy. That must be it.

Well, I guess I asked for this

I opened the door.

Let me just say this, and let's not speak of it anymore, okay?

1. Money is an issue. As grad students, we used some loans to help pay for the fertility treatments we received. Even now that C is gainfully employed and we are paying back some of his loans (going back to undergrad) we are still not solvent enough to lay out cash for endless and/or expensive treatments. Even with insurance that theoretically pays 50% for treatments. Up to $10k. Lifetime. Since we were able to get pg doing IUI, getting good, personalized care from a highly respected physician in the field, in the area. IVF does sometimes improve conception odds, usually, but does not improve chances of sustained pregnancy.

Further, we are considering at least a $15k investment in one cycle of IVF. Considering my history and medical conditions, I hardly think we would be eligible for some sort of money-back plan. With 50% coverage, that is at least $7k that we have to pay out of pocket. And I am still a graduate student.

Also, when do we start saving for adoption? How do we pay for that once we've taken that leap?

2. Medical care is an issue. This doctor, though he no longer does IVF, is one of the few doctors in this area -- that I have found -- that has talked to my husband and me like we are intelligent people, individuals. Partners in care. When we lost the boys, every single doctor, in "excellent" medical facilities, in the city, "wished" they had a "crystal ball." None offered any explanation except fluke. None offered any insight or honest support in helping us make our decisions. While we were trying the first time, we met with another clinic, with which we had a very poor experience. Forgive me, I liked to be talked to as an equal, not as a silly, emotional woman, who just needs to listen to her doctor. Yes, I am a bit gun shy. However, spending an hour on the phone with a doctor (from out of town) who knows what he's talking about -- and knows how to talk to us like intelligent human beings -- gave me answers and peace of mind that a half a dozen local doctors (not my RE) could not.

Further, local IVF clinics have little experience (according to SART) with women my age with issues that we have (both male and female problems).

3. The IVF experience. Even more drugs. Even more money. Even more physical and emotional commitment, with daily ultrasounds, blood draws and assembly line experience. In case the whole thing isn't hard enough. Also, I got OHSS with clomid. And with conservative injectible cycles. Trying to get many more eggs just puts me at higher risk. Which, of course, can be prevented to some extent. Of course, FET cycles are generally less successful than fresh.

*****
In light of the last two cycles, we are having a consult with the doctor. We will take into consideration what he has to say. Of course, we will.

If we begin to seriously consider IVF, which we are, in fact, open to, we will also consider clinics around the country, as other local places do not seem to fit for us. Better facilities means more cost, more travel expenses. More time and emotional costs.

My sister remarked recently that seeing as I stim so well, one cycle wouldn't necessarily be one transfer. I agree. And if we want to try to have more than one child, that would come in handy, in theory. If we had any embryos left. There are a lot of ifs.

As I think Luna mentioned, yes, many choices have been considered. And this is what we chose to go with, at least to begin our TTC process again: In a place where we feel supported, and respected. A place where we feel that we have at least a decent chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy. I could not go back to being just a number, a p.i.t.a., needy patient right off the bat.

Did I miss anything? I don't think so. These are the big issues for us. We are working through them, we are considering all of our options.

Feel free to comment. Get it out. Then, let us not talk of it again.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It was inevitable, I guess -- and a response

Here is the first comment I've ever gotten that's rankled:

Anonymous
said...
Can you please explain why you have not tried IVF? Maybe I missed it in an old post. Thank you. October 30, 2009 10:16 AM

There are so many ways to respond. PLENTY of good reasons for our choices. And yet, why do I feel the need to explain?

And why do I expect the next sentence in this comment would be "why don't you just adopt?" ?

*****

Response:

I actually don't mind this question itself so much; it's more the tone, the way it's phrased, I think. And yes, I do believe that I mention this somewhere in my blog.

In the original 9 cycles of IUI, we conceived 4 times -- that's a 45% conception rate, though only the last pregnancy got past the first few weeks. 45% is better than most IVF clinics, from what I've seen on SART.

We have discussed IVF, as a couple and with the doctor, but the consensus is that IVF will not necessarily help us get pregnant more than IUI, we could do PGD, but that extra $5K will not get us any closer to being or staying pregnant.

Of course, the WTF consult may lead us to a different conclusion, as it has been 2 years, and who knows what's changed. Of course, the conception rates (let alone the live birth rate) for women my age and with our issues doing IVF are still not anywhere near 45%.

*****

For anyone looking for information on how people make these choices, may I suggest re-considering how you ask such questions?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Duh - with bonus

Negatory.

So glad I dragged my ass down there in the dark this morning.

WTF consult on Monday, 3pm. We have a credit of almost $1000. Insurance has been paying more than expected. Maybe I'll ask for a check. We could use that cash. Or maybe we should just leave it there, dedicated TTC money.

I really don't know.

Maybe. I should tell my sister not to push so hard to come to NY for Thanksgiving. C mentioned that it may be hard for me to see everyone ooh and ahh over her and the baby. he has a point.

And my optimism is waning.

***
Bonus: A (my sister) sent me an email today (responding to my negative email) mentioning that my dad apparently wants to have a "thing," a party of some type for some friends and family so they can meet my niece. Makes perfect sense.

I really don't see me making it.

What's nice is that A totally understands.

What sucks is no Thanksgiving. It's been pretty hard since my mom died. We always had a big dinner at the house. A special trip home from college. A good reason to visit. Chestnut Stuffing. She could never remember who liked white potatoes and who liked sweet ones, so she always made a ton of both.

So, yeah. I'll go to NY another time. I'll see everyone another time. Probably be cheaper, anyway.

Great.

No rest

Can't sleep. Can't seem to take my last pill, the metfor.min. In case, I'm, you know, pregna-hahahahahah... sorry, can't quite seem to get that out. Ahem.

Anyway, I was just checking out Mel's Lost & Found on Stirrup Queens and left a comment on someone's post. My word verification?

*disostr*

Any body read what I read?

It's almost too funny.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

15 dpiui, again

Raging, ugly UTI? Check.

Bad mood resulting from UTI and useless Dr. appointment? Check.

Headache? Check.

Beta tomorrow morning, bound to be a waste of time, money, energy and medical supplies? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.

Whining all over the internet about poor me? Check.

Okay, here it is: Is it me?

(In which I rant and whine and bitch and moan.)

Can I bitch for a minute here?

So, I went in to my GP's office this morning with a (another) UTI/kidney infection. I was there at the end of the last cycle that went so splendidly. Unfortunately, they were so busy, that I couldn't get a quick appointment to see my regular GP, who, really, is the only doctor-type person I trust at all there.

So, I go in this morning, extremely uncomfortable, in a lot of pain. I used to get utis all the time, but it's been a while and they were never this bad. There's (low) fever, there's even some blood. OTC pain relievers made specifically for this (which I've used before with success) are not really helping at all.

This time, like last time, I settled for the NP, figuring she was better than no one. She's sort of frazzled and, forgive me, dumpy-looking. I know I am often not well put together, but she exudes this sort of, I don't know, ineffective vibe.

Last time I was there, she asked me if I know about microbid, an antibiotic. "Um, macr.obid?" Yeah (did I rant about this already? sorry). Since I'm allergic to sulfa and cip.ro hasn't helped me in the past, and au.gment.in makes me sick, there's nothing else at this level to give me. She said this like I was purposely making problems for her: "Well, since you're going to be so difficult..." Of course she didn't say that, but it was in her tone. All. Over. the Tone.

So, I go in today, feeling worse than I did a month ago. Knowing what a charmer I was going to meet. On my way out of the bathroom, of the corner of my eye, I see a classmate/friend waiting in an exam room. Way to ensure privacy, keeping the door open like that, huh? I can hear them chat, and my classmate/friend is a great laugher, an all around great person, so the convo is (from what I can tell from the tone) pleasant and congenial.

She comes in and says, well, you have another infection. She opens up the computer (instead of paper charts -- very high tech this practice, ahem) and looks through, and says, sighing, annoyed, unpleasant, "Well, we can't give you cip.ro, and you're allergic to sulfa, and you can't take au.gmenti.n and you just had macr.obid (mb), so let's try lev.aquin." Honestly, I was just expecting her to up the dose of the mb, and maybe give it to me for 10 or 14 days instead of trying something new. Silly me.

So, knowing that the mb was safe for pregnancy, and not knowing about any others, I said, "There is a very, very, very small chance that I'm pregnant." she looks at me, exasperated, and says, okay, we'll do a dip with your urine. I started to say something about how that wasn't going to show anything, as it didn't yesterday (yes, I took an old, expired digital before taking the otc stuff) and how I have a beta coming up tomorrow...and she looks at me. And I just stopped myself and said, never mind, go ahead, do the dip.

We sat there in silence while she waited for the result, doing stuff on her computer. No chit chat. I wound up texting a fb status. Seriously, I have never been so rude. I just didn't care anymore.

So, when the nurse calls from the hallway, saying "negative," NP continues to write the script and says she's giving me a referral to see a uro.logist. Looks up the guy to see when he'll be in our local hospital, and tells me his name. Umm, I thought he was just for men, I said. (C had one appointment with him way back when we were trying. Ass.hole. And the office was filled with old men. So, silly me, I thought he was just for men. Seeing as I was so clear in my thinking, you know, with all the fever and blood and PAIN.)

"He's a *urol.ogist*" she says, practically rolling her eyes and furrowing her brow, sighing. "If you have someone you'd rather go to..."

No, I don't know anyone, that's fine. Just give me the referral.

I have never had a conversation like this with a medical professional in my life. Well, except the OB saying that he would help me understand the placental pathology report because he "went to medical school and knows all those big words."

So, she must have been reacting to me. My scowl. Low voice. But she never even tried with me.

Am I off-putting? I consider myself to be a pleasant person, nice to strangers, good with the small talk. I like to put people at their ease. But maybe I don't. Maybe I"m just angry and intimidating and off-putting. Asking hard questions. Bringing a complicated case.

My RE has said recently that he didn't know how to read me at first. He thought I didn't like him the first several cycles. Really?? I was just being me, or so I thought. Or maybe me isn't as likable as I thought.

I rationalized that the NP was nice to my friend because she could feel superior to her. See, my friend is black and this is a small, generally racist town. Generally. But then I thought, how ungenerous is that? Of me? Maybe she just likes my friend. Maybe I rub her the wrong way.

At CVS I called the RE's office to make sure that the drugs were okay for where I am in my cycle. I told her that I didn't feel pregnant, my tests all came back negative so far and that I was assuming I wasn't pregnant. She said, "don't assume you aren't, dear. you never know." sigh. so, she kindly looked up the meds I was prescribed and said they'd be okay for now. Beta is tomorrow morning. I still have to call and make the appointment. Awesome.

I ranted at the nurse (who I love) about my interaction with the NP. I said that I had expected a higher dose of the mb for longer, and she said, "yes, that's what I would have thought you'd be prescribed, too." This is a nurse who once, when I apologized for something (when I was pregnant and puking and dehydrated), said to me, "honey, I wish all our patients were like you." This isn't even the nurse who got all teary and excited for us as we began this stuff all over again, saying that I was in such a great place, doing so much better, etc.

Am I off-putting? Do I ask questions in a way that is pushy or inappropriate?

Someone else in my doc program (a student a year or so ahead of me) once said to me that hearing the first words out of my mouth, he knew that I'd be successful in the program. That I was *smart.* Huh? Umm, we are all here because we have something to offer. Someone else told me that, too, in one of my master's program classes.

What the hell? I'm not a smarty-pants. I don't use big words. I try to smile and be considerate. Ask people how they are doing, ask them about themselves. I try. So?

Is it that I talk to medical professionals as if they are my equals instead of, I don't know, someone far above me with all the answers?

Must have been a pretty big scowl on my face this morning.

A mama who could use some love right now

Here is a DBM who could use a little extra love right now. Her words hit home for me. So. Clearly. I wish there was something I could do to ease her pain.

(Talk about a reality check. I will get over myself, will stop creating things to agonize over. There is plenty. Plenty.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Okay, okay.

Thank you.

But, there has to be some reason.

I'm really struggling with this whole randomness thing. No plan. No justice. No fair.

It's the only thing that makes any sense -- or at least... Well, it's the only thing that makes sense in relation to my sense of justice. Of how things *should* be. And it makes me really, really angry.

Like that first six months or so after we lost the boys. Like there was a black cloud over me. Everyone I touched seemed to get hurt.

C hates when I start talking about the "embryo motel" I've got for a uterus.

How can any of this be explained?

Fucking pisses me off. Tired of it.

Confession

It's my fault. It's my fault this cycle didn't work.

I took a al.eve on Friday. I was desperate. I knew it wasn't recommended. I knew I needed some relief. After I talked to the nurse on Saturday morning, of course I didn't take any more. Just the one.

Apparently, according to Dr. Goo.gle, I also interrupted implantation.

Fuck. One fucking pill.

What the hell is wrong with me. Maybe I'm in denial. Of high risk. Of what it's really going to take. Of what I'm capable of.

Monday, October 26, 2009

His voice

My wonderful husband just wrote a post that both punched me in the stomach and made me love him all the more. Check it out.

Oh, well.

Yeah, I poas again. I don't know why.

I'm out of regular sticks. Only digitals, now. No point in those, though.

*****
I have nothing to say.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sitting Here

Sitting here, on my bed. Dog quiet at my elbow.

And I have this growing sense of...

Anxiety.

Dread.

Tears. Those are actually here.

*****
I was just looking at pictures on FB, of JK and her beautiful, beautiful family: the one she has created with her husband (with years of heartache and teams of doctors).

And her father, the one who died on Christmas Day -- that Christmas Day -- is all over them, these pictures.

I don't even see direct resemblance. But I can't shake that feeling. He's just there.

I'm crying.

*****
Something hurts. Or feels familiar.

Or both.

*****
I'm not even sad about this cycle, as doomed as it appears. I mean, I'm sad. I'm disappointed. It's just...I don't know.

I'm matter-of-fact about it, somehow. (I keep almost typing "somewho.")

Almost too much to hope for, maybe. That this round of trying again would actually result in a pregnancy. Or, dare I say it, a living baby. In the first cycle or two? Please.

What was I thinking?

That we could try this again? We could do this? We've come far enough that somehow our effort, our pain, our growth would be rewarded...somehow? Oh, my magical thinking skills are honed, aren't they?

I keep forgetting. The universe is not a just place. It is not about "earn" or "deserve." It is just the universe.

*****
"Who said the world's supposed to work?" -- House, House, MD, Instant Karma, Epis.ode 119

And, yet again...

Nothing.

12 dpiui.

Ah well.

I am imagining that my ovaries ache because I am pregnant, but not enough to register on the hpt. That it is not because of all the -- ahem -- high fiber foods I had last night.

But really, I know it's gotta be just, um, digestion. (yes, I'm very dainty. ahem.)

My head is a bit better -- thanks to all of you for your suggestions. Couldn't find any lavender, but tea and tea and sleepy time tea and soup all helped. Long hot shower this morning? Not as helpful as I would have liked. More mu.cinex please. That definitely helps.

I can't wait to get the beta on this so I can laugh my aching head off about how I *would* have been fine taking real drugs. Ah, well. Of course, beta is not until Thursday.

Thanks, again, everyone. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nope

I'd almost prefer an evap. At least it would justify me denying myself a.leve, the only thing that would help with this sinus attack/headache I've had since Thursday.

*****
Just talked to the nurse at the RE. Definitely no a.leve. Decongestant, but nothing else. Except tylen.ol.

My ovaries were twingy last night. I feel kinda bloaty, a little achy, but I'm not ready to attribute that to anything yet. Plus, all the tyle.nol, who knows what my body is doing.

It's certainly not talking to me through pee sticks. Or maybe it is and I don't like the message.

Friday, October 23, 2009

P.S.

Also, the ohss is all but gone.

And hours later, there is nothing.

I'm already tempted to call my RE for a WTF conversation. Or a "really, what are our chances of this ever being successful?"

I stim well, so I think he thinks it's just a matter of time. Would it be inappropriate to ask him about the adoptionk process? (He adopted his second child.)

Man, I've head the same sinus headache since 8:00 last night. Tyle.nol is just not doing it.

Sorry, Folks

The evap was on the c.vs early, not the frer. I've been tempted to buy more, but I'm trying to control myself. Hahahah...

This morning? Well, frer is teasing me. Sometimes I think I can see something where the line is *supposed* to be. But it might just be the indentation of the test line.

I've got hpt glasses on or something. I really want to believe this worked. Don't think this is a line. If anything, it's the remnants of the trigger. Or, I'm just so good/insane I can see something. I'm not even going to ask C to look -- there's not enough of anything for him to see. And he doesn't scrutinize the way I do.

I'm out of regular sticks, just have the digital (what was I thinking?) so I know that something like this would never test pos. I'll look again in a few hours and see if anything is darker or clearer.

10 dpiui

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let the Festival Begin

Yes, the Festival of Pee Sticks.

Actually, it started yesterday. I will admit it. I peed on an old CVS E.arly from last cycle. Nothing showed up in a few minutes, so I tossed it, but totally went and looked at it a few hours later. There was totally a line, but I know it was an evap, especially since it was a cv.s and so far after the time limit.

Took a FRER today (9 dpo). Nothing. Not stark white, as I imagine I can see a line of some sort (or where the line is *supposed* to be), but definitely negative. I know, it's still really early.

I was dealing with O.HSS in full force (tons of pain, ovaries like rocks) until yesterday, I woke up and felt a lot better. Not 100%, but not like I did the day before. Awesome! Spotting is gone, too. I'm imagining it hurts more today, than yesterday, but I'm not reliable.

My head also feels like it's in a fog, but I think that's because I missed a dose of the Pro.zac because I forgot to pick up my 'script two nights ago. When I'm adjusting to it, I generally get tired. I've been *really* tired lately, like drugged, which I assume is the c.ri.none (in addition to the P). I seem to react really strongly to that. I actually went back to sleep after getting coffee with C this morning, passed the hell out for an hour after getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep, and then hit my snooze alarm for TWO HOURS. Left the house about 40 minutes before I had to be teaching. Awesome. Luckily I only live a few minutes from school. And, can I just say? Have students responsible for presenting rocks. totally rocks.

Totally.

Awesome.

Can you tell in what decade I came of age?

Oy vey. Wow, I'm feeling really punchy/dizzy, still. Woo.

*****

I just wanted to say that I"m aware that this blog seems to be becoming an infertility/getting pregnant blog. Which is totally different from where it started. I understand that it's not for everyone, especially those dealing with other things. A year ago, I would have stopped reading this blog. Iwas not in that place. Just want to say, I definitely understand changes in needs, etc.

Also, I've noticed how incredibly myopic I've become, whining, perseverating on every detail, noting every moment of my cycles. It really feels like it's become a journal, as I know everyone is not as interested in reading about this stuff as I am about getting it out. I understand. But I know it's part of my process, and I might as well get it out. I'm certainly glad to have you here, sharing and commenting, and I hope you'll continue for however long I'm able to keep this up. Probably one more cycle, then we'll regroup. That scares the hell out of me. Even taking a break next cycle scares the hell out of me. So things are bound to be changing a lot -- back and forth -- in the coming weeks/months.

Thanks for hanging around and humoring me. You're really important. And please, keep sharing your thoughts with me. But also, please take care of your selves. Really. Okay?

I'll keep you posted. You know I will. ;-)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap

7 DPIUI

Sigh.

Still really uncomfortable. Ovaries like rocks. It hasn't let up yet.

Now my stomach is upset and I'm kinda queasy. Damn pr.ogesterone.

Nothing to do but wait. Try to get some school work done. And wait.

Tap.

Tap Tap.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap Tap Tap Tap.

So, what's going on in your corner of the world? Heard any good jokes lately?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hate

I am full of hate.

No particular reason, aside from my aching ovaries and bloated belly. And that stupid class I can't seem to get away from.

And the clock ticking.

And just stupid people in general. Stupid, careless, clueless people.

And, well, just in general.

Full. Of. Hate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Light


I like this picture, because it makes me think the candles continue on into the distance. The light goes on.

And then, kind of sad, because I really wish there weren't so many to remember.

Abiding with you. Remembering our little ones, with love.

Sue

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And another thing...

I love my SILs (C's sisters), but one of them just posted a link (iamse.cond) on her FB status.

Religion? Fine. Want someone to serve as an example, or a guide? Great.

Tell me that my life is entirely God's plan? No fucking way.

I get to go through all this because it's part of some bigger plan? Some lesson for me or someone I love? Uh uh.

I'm sorry, but that angers me -- offends me -- more even more than the idea that this was all random, the luck of the draw.

Someone else innocuously implied that recently, too. Trying to understand god's plan for me, or something.

Are you KIDDING? How did I get so lucky? How did others?

Sorry. I don't fucking get it.

There is no fairness in the universe. There is only the universe.

So, Tell Me

How do you do it? How do you reconcile career and family/reproduction/IF/loss?

How's that for complicated?

I am so distracted by all this that I can not seem to care very much about what it is that I'm doing here, in the academy.

I don't have my degree yet. After this semester, I have one more class, then comps, then dissertation.

Is it that it's so hard to decide on something? Is it that I've been away from it, mentally, for too long? I know I still care. But the idea of nailing down my focus, my direction, my energy is daunting. It makes me anxious. I avoid it.

I enjoy teaching, when I can focus enough to prepare a good lesson. My topic is important to me.

Is it just that I feel powerless?

Certainly, I feel the pressure of time on my body, more than my degree. Not that there isn't time pressure for the degree, but my body is more finite.

*****
Freaking paradigms.

In "check in" for my qualitative research class a couple of weeks ago, I talked about how I'm sort of in the process of paradigmatic shifts, both in terms of my professional and personal life. This was the day of the negative beta (the first one) and I was (and still am) getting my head around the idea of adoption, that I really do want to parent a child or two.

I am not researching the topic I was interested in two years ago, not exploring my options, I'm just sitting around saying, "I have no idea what I'm doing here." This makes it really hard to invest in and engage in all the work I need to do to get through this semester. Wah wah wah.

What do I care about?

Maybe the question is, what is most pressing? Or, What do I want more than anything?

Or maybe it's not. C is worried that I'm going to sabotage myself by obsessing over babies and closing out all other parts of my life. My reflex is to say, No! Of course, I'm not doing that!

But I wonder if I am, kind of. But then I think, *this* is what I want. It is not all I am, but... I don't know. Is it sexist to say that it's this primal thing? Is it accurate? I don't know.

I need to move forward, with my life, my career, my studies. But I don't want to let this go, either.

And I resent the hell out of that. Haven't we had to let go of enough?

C says that any pregnancy we happen to find ourselves with is a bonus. At this point, he seems to have given up on the expectation of biological children. That's fine, I guess.

I'm not ready to close that door. But I don't know how to integrate it into my life. Now, or in the future.

Feh

But better. Pushing through. Eating sugary, bad for me things. Trying to get some work done. Getting through each hour, each class, each page. Or trying.

Thanks for your support yesterday. Yesterday was NOT a good day.

Professional existential angst on top of reproductive angst on top of hormones = me.

I'm really tired of the angst. Tired of wanting to give up some things and give in to others. Tired of the frustration. Of working so hard just to have some freaking hope.

My work requires optimism. Walking against the tide with rocks in my pockets. IF requires hope. More rocks against a different tide.

On or off? Each requires effort. Each requires hope or letting go of hope. Resignation? Maybe.

It makes me tired.

Thanks for sticking around.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I suck

I'm sitting here in my car outside the RE's office, crying. Just had the IUI and feeling hopeless.

Didn't sleep well. I was late because C and I were both running late. I was cursing and angry the whole drive down.

Everyone was very nice. RE was positively cheery. I was almost surly. The numbers were okay. I think I may have just ovulated. Even got needled.

C had to teach this morning. I asked the RE about the article in the Times, but it came out all weird. He responded, briefly and "Well, good luck. Take care! Bye!"

*****

"I'm just so tired of this," was, is, all I can think. C is tired of it too. I don't want to give up.

But I don't know how much more I can get through.

Day 12, Round 2

aka IUI #2, Round 2.

Heartburn? Check.

Bloating? Check.

Weird pain that might be unresolved UTI? Check.

Anxious? Check. Check. Check.

Appointments at 8 and 8:30. Looking forward to a little acu bonus during the 15 minute rest, after. Beta, if I haven't "started," is on October 29.

Gonna be a long day. A long 16 days.

So.....

**crickets**

Heard any good jokes lately? Please...share?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Movement

Here is a post by Kate over at Sweet/Salty from last week. In it, she shares her experience at her local Walk to Remember, and the words she spoke there.

I'd love to write something wise and deep about it, but I can't. It touched me, because I felt like... "Yes, that. And that, too. And ooohh. (Sniff.) Yes."

If you haven't read it yet, go take a peek. It's worth it.

And, Thank you, Kate, for writing it, and sharing it.

(Academic) Angst

(Long rambling, pondering dreck to follow. Trying to work some of this out. Your thoughts are welcome.)

So, school is going better this semester. The class I'm teaching seems to be pretty good, and I'm pretty much enjoying teaching (of course, I'm handing out mid-semester evals -- their eval of me and the course -- so that may end on Tuesday). I'm taking three classes, two of which I actually have to show up for every week and produce work for, too.

I'm still struggling to care. I participate. I enjoy pulling apart some of these ideas and theories, just as something to do. I talk in class, I participate, I engage, mostly.

But I don't think I care. Or rather, I care, but... I don't know. My Monday class is called "Transfo.rmative Leade.rship." How to lead schools so that they create the kinds of humans we need to run our society in a just way. Sorta. I realized last week, that one of the pre-requisites for this kind of work, is Hope that schools *will* make a difference. I wonder if it's worth it. We're walking against the tide. With rocks in our pockets.

Students at my school are very privileged, and very bright. They can not understand school or education outside of the idea that its primary purpose is to help people get good jobs and "be successful." Liberal arts is great for making you well-rounded -- so you can be more marketable when you look for a job. My students readily volunteer and seem fine with the idea that public schools are there simply to make "workers." So everyone has a chance to be a worker. Why does the government (theoretically) fund public schools? because our economy needs workers. (Not thoughtful, engaged humans, but workers.)

So far, I've been able to challenge some of their ideas, try to think about the "common sense" of the world that they live in, to get them to actually ask questions like "why?" and "where did this come from?" rather than copying down every word I write on the board. Though most still do that. Planting seeds is what we aim to do. It's all we can hope to do.

These days, I mostly feel like the tide is too great. The tradition is too entrenched. Schools are not the place to create human beings, just workers. We need something else. And then I wonder if I would agonize over all this if I had a child or two. Would I have more hope? I guess I would need it.

I fear that I don't have the drive to do this anymore. I don't have the optimism, I don't have the focus. I'm so frustrated with aspects of my life, that I wonder what the hell I'm doing here. In school, I mean. I love to teach pre-service teachers to think about the way we do things and why, but I wonder if it's worth the effort. Our society will always be fucked up. There is no such thing as "fair" or "just."

And my dissertation? Um, yeah, uh... see...I am about done with classes this semester, except for the last big research class which is only offered in the summer. Comps next semester. Possibly other advanced research classes, as electives. But. I need to know what I want to study. For those classes. To focus my comps.

Yes, yes, it's probably still in here somewhere. But it's all over the place. And I don't know that it's going to be appropriate for the department I'm in. The program with which I'm almost done.

And I don't know how to get it out. Get it articulated.

I will probably do more rambling, whiny, angst written posts here. I need some place to get this all down, and -- whether or not you read and/or respond -- getting it down like this helps me articulate stuff, like I'm writing a letter or something.

Any advice or experiences from anyone who's been there/done that is greatly welcome and appreciated. Encouragement. Positive words. (No sunshine up my ass, tho.) Hope. I've talked with one DBM who said she had a similar experience, and she was way closer to done than I am.

Just feels like so much has shifted. It's not that I don't care about the theory, or that I can't work on that level. I just...I don't know. I want to feel more connected. Passionate. I want to do something relevant -- relevant to me, at least. Something that will do some good somewhere.

I don't know. Thanks for listening, though.

Sue

Day 10, round 2

So, yesterday's ultrasound showed three or four at 20mm, one or two a little smaller. Trigger tonight, IUI on Tuesday again. RE said he's trying to avoid multiples, but obviously can't promise. That's why he had me do 1 amp of the bra.velle instead of 2 on Friday night. He actually ran bloodwork and everything before giving me directions. Usually he just bases it on the follicles that show up.

So he seems to be making an effort to be careful. He seems almost confident that something good will come out of this one. Of course, I see parallels with cycle 9. I had 5 or 6 at good sizes, that time. He said we'd overshoot; with my history, I'd likely lose one anyway, so if I conceived 2, we'd be okay. Oh, those were the days.

*****
Did you see the article in the NY Times today, about the "price" of fertility treatments? Here is the link. It basically argues that the availability of treatments, the drive to have children and the willingness of REs to make babies for money (risk or not) is resulting in greater multiple pregnancies, which is resulting in greater premature births. And losses. It talked about the huge costs involved in prematurity, both financial and physical.

I felt really defensive reading this article. Some of the underlying themes, seemed to me that women are so desperate to have babies, that doctors are ignoring their better judgment by transferring 2 embryos instead of 1 in IVF. Or even more embryos. That women (even if not desperate) still wanted to have twins -- despite the costs -- so they could complete their families in one pregnancy.

Callous. Desperate. Self-centered. Disregarding the safety of the procedure and the pregnancy.

About half way through the article, came this line: "Conceiving a child had become an obsession for the couple..."

An obsession? Is that where I am? To me, this sounds like the couple were ready to go out and steal a baby, "anything! I just need a baby!!"

Maybe I'm reading into things. Maybe I am defensive. Maybe I wish I had known about all the risks when I went into my own twin pregnancy.

Maybe I really want to have twins again.

Maybe I'm feeling like a freak, or like I'm being made out to be a freak because I can't do what 87% of the population can do on their own, without having to worry about all this shit.

Thoughts? Reactions? I'm tempted to look at the "room for debate" section on this subject, but I'm afraid of what I"ll read.

*****
Mindfuck. Clusterfuck. Any others? Come on, people, help me out.

So, what else is going on in the world?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hope is the thing

This morning, C was asking me about the necklace I'm wearing. It's a small silver disk with a simple sketch of a bird on one side, and on the other, "Hope is the th.ing with f.eathers that perc.hes in the soul," attributed, of course, to Emily D.ickinson.

My dear friend JK gave it to me last year, late last spring or summer, when I was feeling a little better, right before I fell into the abyss. I took it off then. I put it back on this spring or summer and, with everything that's been going on, despite everything, somehow, I've managed to keep wearing it. Maybe it's stubbornness, I don't know. My magical thinking kicks in, I think of it as kind of a talisman. Maybe. I don't know.

Here's the rest of the verse:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

Anyway, we were talking about this and C said, "Hope is the thing with feath.ers, that perches in your soul and sometimes craps on your shoulder."

I LOVE this man.

Day 8, Round 2

Good stim this time. Looks like 3 on each side. Right has all 15mm, left has 14mm and 15mm. RE will call with instructions tonight. I go back tomorrow for another u/s. IUI on Monday or Tuesday.

My reflex is: Oh, good! I had 5 or 6 when we got pg with the boys! Maybe this one will work, too!

My next reflex is: Give me a break.

I asked the RE "when is this gonna happen, already" and he jokingly said, "ummm, yes!" But seriously, I can't do this another 8 or 9 times. And, seriously, it won't take that long this time. He says, "you're in a better place" and, of course, we know of many potential pitfalls.

Still.

*****
A friend of mine at school came in with her 5-year old daughter yesterday. She was so cute. We (her daughter and I) chatted about school, and little brothers and... and it was all I could do not to pick her up and hug her.

God, I want this so badly.

*****
One way or another, right?

Onward.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Suddenly

This is a song that has sort of followed me since I was pregnant two years ago. It was happy and thrilling when I was pregnant; heartbreaking after we lost the boys; and, finally, hopeful as we begin to try again.

I found it particularly salient when my niece was born, then seeing her, and her mother -- both radiant -- just confirming things for me. Makes me think of both of them.

Okay, so the lyrics don't totally fit, but enough do. Here they are:

Suddenly I See by KT Tuns.tall

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she's born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you're trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on her word

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

*****
And here's one version of the video. You.tube wouldn't let me embed it, but here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlU-1u1JC8

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two Words

Mind.

Fuck.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 4

Yes, cycle day 4. On Thursday I got diagnosed with a kidney infection and Friday I got AF.

Couldn't get in to see the RE this weekend, so they had me start stims last night. Baseline ultrasound this morning. A little cyst on one ovary, no biggie. But the lining...Hmmm. Looks thick.

He asks me about my period. Hmm. Let's do a pregnancy test. Just to be sure. Okay, we'll call you!

Great. Four hours to do mental and emotional gymnastics. Therapy. Get the call. Take the dog to the vet (she's fine).

On the way home from therapy, I ran into ta.rget and bought some more hpts. Yes, goddammit, I did. I figured, instead of waiting and imagining, I could at least know which direction things were headed. Late implanter? Another chemical? A fool's errand? Yeah, that's it.

The CBE dig said "Not" and 10 minutes later, the nurse called and said the same thing. I asked what was going on, then, and she said that my P4 was slightly elevated, but nothing to be concerned about. I can continue stims.

Awesome. I love my body. No, wait, let me correct that. I love my body, freak of nature that it is.

I'm so tired of this. Up and down. Up and down. And I'm only 4 days into my 2nd cycle. Still thinking about and talking about and researching about adoption. It's still a tough paradigm shift for me. It feels huge. Hard to have a foot in both camps.

A friend of mine observed that she took 9 cycles to conceive her first child, after I noted that it was the 9th cycle in which we conceived the boys. And cycle 10 was a bust. Of course, she said, it didn't cost us what it cost you. It was an odd moment. Not sure what I think about it. But I think about it.

*****

I think I need to be writing more. More about this stuff, more about school and life stuff. I feel like I have a lot to process, and I'm just not doing it. Kind of lost at school -- going to class and participating, but not...feeling it. Not engaging. Thinking about baby stuff. Hope. Loss. Pain. Possibility.

Now it's time to go to class and try to learn how to be a transformative leader. Wish me luck.

How was your Monday?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, and...

(as long as I'm annoyed and whining. Who, me? Whine?)

I got a parking ticket this afternoon during my class. 10 minutes after the meter expired. During the class I didn't really want to go to, but went anyway, unprepared. Figuring I would just not participate. Except we did a bunch of group activities. Including performance and "sharing". Ahem.

The Chinese food we ordered took over an hour to get here (twice as long as they said it would), and I gagged on gristle. So much for dinner.

I've developed a scorching UTI. Worse than I've had in many years. With blood. (sorry for tmi) And aching bladder.

C very kindly agreed to run to CV.S with me to get some drugs for said UTI (perco.set was not doing the job) and when we went downstairs to leave, we found that the dog had peed all over the floor. She never does this. She did it tonight.

What else? Oh, I could think of a bunch of other non-dreadful things made uglier by the single line I've seen almost every day for the last 4 or 5.

Wah wah wah.

Done. For now.


*****
How about you? What rankled you today? Here, have some of my triple cream brie...

15 dpiui -- Updated

Peeing on CV.S Early hpts. Lots of pale evapo.ration lines. Somehow, even though I know evap = BFN, it's not as hard to see as the stark white of the FRERs.

My RE called yesterday to talk to me about the acupuncture and my response. I think he wants to do some sort of article or something about it, because my response was so dramatic. I told him I've kind of been freaking out (*really* bad weekend) and he suggested coming in for another treatment, today. I, of course, agreed.

Before my appointment, I got blood drawn for a beta. (Normally, it's at 16dpiui, but they took pity on me since I was there already.)

Everyone there has their "fingers crossed" for me. Great.

They are such sweet, wonderful people. I feel kind of bad bursting their hope balloon. Which they resist, but then when I ask about refilling my 'script for the Bra.velle, they are all business.

I won't say I have zero hope. Unfortunately, I am a great proponent of magical thinking. Still, I'm expecting nothing. Maybe a beta of 6. If anything. I left the office an hour and a half ago, and one of the nurses told me I would likely hear within the hour. Oh, yes. Let's draw this out, shall we?

I'll keep you posted.

*****
Update: Negative

At least I can stop all the shots and pr.ogester.one. And, once more, into the breach. I'm to call on Day 1.

Also -- looking for info:

If you were infertile, before (or after) your loss, how long did it take you/has it taken you so far to get pregnant again? When will you/did you decide to end treatment? What went into your decision?

What can you tell me about shifting the paradigm from IF treatment to adoption? Thoughts, advice, experiences? Talk to me about beginning this journey...