Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Little Miss Know-it-all

Sometimes I think this whole process would be easier if I were more complacent, less involved, more docile, less confrontational. Generally, I pride myself on the research I do, the information I gather, and the questions I ask. But sometimes I think it would be easier to be the kind of person who just trusts the doctors and doesn’t question or challenge.

Okay, maybe not.

Except for today, when I got all worked up about the progesterone test I’m supposed to have one week post-IUI/ovulation, which would be tomorrow. The thing is, Evil HMO often takes several days to get lab results back (they often send my blood to another city for processing!). So if I get the test done tomorrow, they might not have the results before the clinic closes on Friday. This wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t know that there are two reasons to check progesterone - to see that I ovulated, and to make sure that the levels are high enough to actually be useful. It’s the second point that concerns me. If I were to need progesterone supplementation, as I know many people do, and they didn’t get the results until Monday, then I couldn’t start that until Monday.

I’m having a weird visit with Hope. On the one hand, I’m hopeful that it would even matter that my progesterone levels were satisfactory, therefore I’m depressed at the possibility that there would be a need for supplementation that we wouldn’t know about until Monday.

Of course, I called the clinic - they close early on Wednesdays, so I asked the receptionist to check with the RE (or one of the nurses) to see if there was any point in my getting the progesterone test run today instead of tomorrow, and now that it’s several hours past closing time, no one has called me back. So I’ll just do it tomorrow (early, of course, in case that helps things at all).

See? This would be so much easier if I didn’t think the test results mattered so much (or so promptly). And maybe I should pretend I’m one of those people who just trusts the doctors, since if it were really a problem they would have (or could have) told me to take the test a different day. Maybe the results will come back in plenty of time, or they'll be normal. (Me, with normal test results? That would be cause for celebration!)

So maybe it’s all fine.

It would be for the docile, complacent me.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Passover is a holiday of thanksgiving, in a way. The phrase Dayeinu means “it would have been enough.” But it is also a story of anguish and despair. Not just the slavery, but the attempts to wipe out the race through the killing of babies - first the Egyptians’ decree regarding the slaying of Jewish boys, then the plague sent by God calling for the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians.

This piece of the story resonates with me this year. I was also thinking about what Bugs said about gratitude toward her husband, and about how there are a lot of ways in which I’m not quite at the point of saying “It would have been enough.” And then I feel ungrateful.

If I had only found my husband, would it be enough?
If I found my husband and was able to share a life with him, would it be enough?
If I shared a life with my husband, but was unable to make a family together...

I don’t want to live my life feeling like it is incomplete, but that’s where I am right now. We’re nowhere near having exhausted the possibilities, so the carrot still dangles just out of reach.

I think this is hitting me especially hard as I sit here in this 2ww. I would say that I’m analyzing every twinge, but since I’m not having any twinges all I can do is contemplate their absence. It’s too early, I know. Way too early. J keeps reassuring me. But Hope snuck in last week, encouraged by my RE’s positivity and good results on the sperm wash, and now she’s lurking in a corner. She won’t come out to play, but I don’t really want her to leave, either.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Gone (Gefilte) Fishing

We’re off for a long weekend at my mother’s for Passover. And my in-laws are flying in. And I think my Dad (who doesn’t usually come to these things) is coming to Passover dinner with his girlfriend (whom I really like). But damn, that’s a lot of parental units all at one time.

Thankfully, my mother has a cable modem, so I should be able to sneak away for some bloggity venting, sanity checks, and the like. (Edited to add - except that her cable modem is down, so I’m using dial-up. Oh the Dark Ages!)

Other random tidbits (Spring cleaning for my brain)

1. I’m thinking of switching to Typepad or someplace. I got really frustrated when Blogger was down a while ago when I really wanted needed some support, and I would have gladly paid $5 to post just the one post. So if it will keep that from happening again, it seems worth the $5 a month it will cost. But I set up a trial account on Typepad and I’m not wowed yet. It’s okay, but I’m not completely convinced. So, to those of you that have made the switch recently - how was the transition? Are you liking Typepad? (I think the other option is to use Moveable Type or Word Press on some other server. Any input on that idea?)

2. We went out to dinner the other night to this place where you grill your own food. The menu included a handy description of how to tell if the meat was done. I read it and started giggling, and even J chuckled a bit. (Because chuckling seems more manly than giggling, I guess.) All very quietly, since I didn’t exactly want to explain to everyone at the table who hadn’t read TCOYF why this was so damn funny.

We suggest the ol’ touch test when grilling steaks and burgers. A rare steak will feel like your cheek, medium rare like your chin, medium like the tip of your nose, and well done like the bottom of your shoe.

Thankfully, my cervix has never felt like the bottom of my shoe.

3. Thank you for the fun comments on the laying/lying. Being with this much family is stressful, and it was really nice to sneak away with my computer and find your comments. Much appreciated, really.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


I couldn’t figure out what to wear today. What’s the right attire for an IUI? I mean, I don’t have to seduce the nurse to get what I came for, but I don’t want to be all skanky or anything. It’s helpful that I have quite the wardrobe of actual clothes that feel a lot like sweatpants. I wore baggy black pants (with an elastic waist) and a bright pink top. And my black, white, and pink striped socks for fun.

I was a bit nervous going into it, which was exacerbated by what looked like such a small “contribution” from J this morning. (I know the cups are huge, so it always looks small, but I was already really nervous, okay?) So the best part of the day was when the NP said the sperm responded well to the wash and were very motile - I think it was something like 10 million at stage 2 and 3 after the wash. So that was reassuring.

Afterwards, she said to stay lying* down for another 15-20 minutes. So I stayed for 25 (paranoid freak over-achiever that I am), and only got up because I really had to pee. While I lay* there, J entertained me by reading me today’s Dear Abby and Hints from Heloise. And now I’m working from the couch for a bit before acupuncture this afternoon.

So that’s that. And now we wait. And wait. (She said to wait two and a half weeks to test. Two and a half weeks! Who is she kidding?)

*I had to look up the proper word choice here and found the following example about how to distinguish laying from lying. Isn’t it helpful?
When you go to Bermuda for your vacation, you spend your time lying (not laying) on the beach (unless, of course, you are engaged in sexual activity and are, in the vernacular, laying someone on the beach).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Hope crept in

Two nights ago we plotted our questions for the RE -- What next? How many more cycles of oral meds? When do we consider injectibles?

And then yesterday, things changed. Follicles grew. Directions were given. Circles were drawn on my ass. An IUI was scheduled.

And lest I think this some fluke, I managed to find a pair of flip-flops I actually like to replace the ones I loved that got all icky and moldy (don’t ask). I found another pair just like them. No settling for second best.

Hope came creeping in. I poured her a cup of tea. I’m not used to her visiting, but it’s kinda nice.

As of yesterday, two strong follicles: 18mm and 14mm (one on each side).
Trigger tonight, late. IUI Thursday, midday.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Quick cycle update

I went in for my second sono of this cycle on Friday (CD15, if you're counting along at home), and had no major follicles. Lots of small ones (in typical PCOS fashion), and one that’s not quite 10mm, but nothing bigger. And my lining is still fairly thin. Follow up sono on Tuesday, unless they squeeze one in on Monday since I’ll already be there to see the RE.

The nurse’s assistant told me to pee in a cup again. Last time, I had already stopped at the restroom, so I could just say “Oh, I just went. Sorry.” But this time I was waiting for the bathroom when she asked for the sample. I said I didn’t think it was necessary, since there was no chance I was pregnant and they wouldn’t be running a test anyway. So what did she do? She wrote on my paperwork “pt refuses to give urine sample.”

Here’s what bugs me the most about this - I felt like I had to apologise to her for disobeying her medical command, even though not only is is pointless (the last time we did this, my wand-nurse threw the cup away right away) but she should be apolgizing to ME. This is a fertility clinic. It’s depressing to ask me to pee in a cup twice a week - I know nothing has changed since the last test, and suggesting that I might be pregnant would be amusing if it weren’t so depressing.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Yard Work

Me: Wow, there really are a lot of weeds. I think there are more weeds than grass.

J: Yes, but we can’t give up. Eventually we’ll win. We’re bigger. And we’re smarter than grass.

Yep, that’s us: smarter than grass.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Unlocking the door

I had been feeling a bit dissatisfied with my acupuncturist. I chose this office because several of the practitioners specialize in fertility, plus two (includimg the one I see) are on the faculty of the local acupuncture school, which I took as an extra recommendation. But I’m not sure I like them all that much. I hear read about other people’s experiences with acupuncturists, and it sounded like some are stronger in the interpersonal than others. (And then there are the clueless ones, like Michael.)

My acupuncturist has an okay bedside manner, I guess. I’m not sure she really gets the whole infertility thing. But she earned some brownie points recently by keeping up on the fertility journals and giving me a supplement (N-acetyl-cysteine) that was shown to be useful in Clomid-resistant PCOSers. So I decided to stick with her a bit longer.

She had something new for me yesterday - instead of listening to ethereal music and then falling asleep as i usually do, she had a new CD - Earth Mama Fertility. (The beginning of the CD cautioned “Please do not listen to this meditation while driving” and then went on to have you close your eyes. Um, yeah, I guess you need to be warned about that.)

I’m not opposed to guided meditation, though I was a bit turned off already just looking at the title of the CD. But I figured I’d give it a shot. The narrator had a fairly soothing, not too irritating voice, and the beginning was good - had me thinking about a time when J and I were first in love, and then about a time when we knew we wanted to start a family together someday. But then there was this whole section about unlocking and opening up the cervix (she was going on about the door to the womb, but I know my body, and that’s my cervix). Something about the cervix being closed to conceiving for so many years that it now needs to be welcomed to open. It’s true, my cervix is really closed. That’s why the damn HSG hurt so much.

I also slept through part of it, which I felt bad about at the time because I was the first to listen to the CD and give feedback, but I guess it speaks to the non-irritating voice if nothing else. Back to music for me next time, though.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Double whammy

We started TTC in earnest a year ago. At the time, even knowing that we’d potentially have problems, with the PCOS and all, I still thought we’d be pregnant within a year. Not have a baby or anything, just have managed to get me knocked up. I had thought for a few years that I’d like to make J a daddy, and that his 30th birthday seemed like a good occassion. No dice on that one - my deadline expired today (er, yesterday, thanks to Blogger)

As I think I’ve mentioned before (but am too lazy to go double check right now) B & R are friends of ours (and the guys’ parents are old friends). I dated B (for a month) before I got together with J (they were roommates). We got married two weeks apart. We bought houses the same summer. When we started trying, I knew with no uncertainty that they were trying too. And then I found out they’d been trying for a while and were moving on to IVF. And they they got pregnant on IVF #1. And I’m really happy for them. Really. She’s been supportive and has mostly done a good job of remembering what it feels like on this side. We’ve commiserated about our in-laws. They were due in June, and I was hoping to be very pregnant by then (or a little pregnant, or at least having a better sense of how I’m responding to new treatments). And yesterday my in-laws called to tell me they’d had the babies. (I just got some info from her, finally - they were 28 weeks, she had severe HELLP - is it ever not severe?)

These were two of my milestone markers, and they were supposed to be spread out more than this. A lot more.

And in the time it has taken to get Blogger to take this post, I had the third strike of the day. One of J’s high school friends is pregnant. This is especially hard because of the group of friends (who we’ll be seeing at a wedding in June), we were supposed to be next. And I knew there would be conversations about that. (Ah, the bliss of chatting about when youi’ll start trying as if it’s that simple. Remember those days? Me neither.) But now there won’t be. Because she’s next. amd she’ll be showing by that point. And with her pregnancy and the two other recent babies (a little over a year, and 7 months or so) it will be baby talk the whole time. Because that’s what you do at weddings after you stop talking about who will get married next.

And I had to go out into the world today, instead of staying at home curled in a ball as I’d prefer. I’m trying to remind myself that bad things happen in threes, not fours, so I should be safe for a little while. But then, who knows?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Like the commercial, but way better

HSG this morning - crampy and very painful at the time. Better now that I’ve been curled up with my cherrystone pillow for a while.


When we first started house hunting, we were SO excited about the whole process. We shared the minute details of our early house visits with our various parental units. When we made our first offer, we called them to discuss it before actually submitting the offer. Same for the second offer. By the third offer (the house we now own), we had come to the conclusion that it was easier to just keep it to ourselves until there was some news to share.

I think we’ve reached that point with our fertility treatments. Not that we gave our families detailed accounts before, but now that we’re doing an IUI, I’m really not inspired to share with them at all. I think partially this has to do with the weirdness of imagining our parents contemplating the mechanics of the IUI. Not that it wasn’t weird to think that they might be aware that we were having timed sex, but this is a whole new set of imagery. Even telling my mom that I was having an HSG (which I did before this new realization sank in) was weird - I have a close relationship with my mom, and I still found it awkward to explain. So forget talking about the IUI. No, I think we’ll just keep it to ourselves until we have some news one way or the other.

The problem with this new isolationist strategy is that I have no one to talk to. I mean, I have you wonderful people, but I couldn’t exactly call you on the phone to vent about the stupid clinic and their stupid bureaucracy while I drove back to campus. And J wasn’t reachable, and so I had to vent to myself, which is supremely unsatisfying.


I think we need an infertile hotline - not an information service or an official resource like Resolve or whomever, but a lifeline for the blogworld-infertile-types to be able to call and reach someone who will understand what they’re venting about going through. And maybe do a little Googling on their behalf. This would be great for times we weren’t near the computer (as few and far between as those might be). It would be like that commercial where the woman calls the hotline to find out if something is funny, only way way better.

Possible services:
- Basic information searches: Need to know if what your doctor is telling you is what your favorite blogger’s doctor said about a similar situation - right now? We can check. Need to know the ranges for a particular test while you’re still at the lab? We have that information.
- Venting: Driving away from a frustrating medical visit? Call and vent. Just had a run-in with a pregnant SIL/co-worker/crack whore? We’ll share your seething.
- And more: Out of town and away from a computer? The Infertile hotline could help you maintain your sanity until you can get back to the blogs. The hotline could keep you informed of any major announcements, and can convey your messages to the blogworld.

I’m sure we’ll find many other uses for the hotline.

And I’d totally take a regular shift. It would be the first job to actually make use of my finely honed googling and blog-obsessing skills.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

One of those days

Yesterday’s timeline (annotated for your enjoyment because I can’t shut up)

4:00 -- arrive for dildocam appointment (having already stopped to pee so I could just go right in)
4:10 -- time of scheduled appointment
4:40 -- my name was called, quietly, and someone else was taken back instead
4:41 -- mistake realized, I was finally taken back (4:41. See that? It might have been later, but I'm trying to block the memory.)
4:42 -- I was made to pee in a dixie cup
4:50 -- nurse finally arrived for dildocam
4:51 -- pee was thrown away (Apparently, the clueless medical assistant makes everyone pee in a cup no matter the reason for the visit. I find this especially obnoxious in a FERTILITY clinic, don’t you?)
5:00 -- lab closes (important, because I actually do have to take a pg test before the HSG)
5:02 -- make it back to the front desk to schedule follow-up dildocam and injection training class (This is apparently complicated, and requires me to call J to find out what he can move on his schedule because the clinic’s availability is so limited. Calling him requires stepping out of the waiting room, so I can’t discuss with him and the receptionist at the same time.)
5:10 -- appointment is finally scheduled
5:12 -- in line at pharmacy
5:15 -- pharmacy does not have prescription
5:16 -- back at clinic asking for prescription
5:30 -- I finally get the prescription, with the correct medication, dosage, and NAME on it (mine, spelled correctly, finally)
5:30 -- pharmacy closes

[I’ll spare you the play-by-play account of my rush to grab some food, get back to campus, park, and get to my evening class.]

10:45 -- get prescriptions filled at 24-hour pharmacy in hospital (because I can only use in-plan pharmacies, so can’t just go to a normal drugstore) Actually, this was the easiest part of the whole thing. They were polite and effecient and It took them about 15 minutes to fill my prescriptions.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The excitement is (not) building

You know how on some TV shows they’ll do an episode where some or all of it is a flashback - so the program starts with a moment that makes no sense, and then the rest of the episode fills in the backstory so in the end you’re back where the whole thing started? That’s what this post feels like.

I should be more excited than I am about all of this.

I started my period yesterday. (For those of you counting along at home, my last provera was on Wednesday night, I had some spotting on Thursday, and on Friday I got my period.) I knew it was coming, what with the spotting and all, and I still couldn’t bring myself to call the clinic until 1pm. As much as I want to take these next steps, actually taking them takes a lot of effort.

So I called the clinic to schedule my HSG, and to ask about doing the Clomid/IUI this cycle rather than waiting it out for next cycle (both because of my anxiety at getting this started, and the fact that the likely timing for the next cycle coordinates with our being out of town at a wedding). Of course, I never want anything that’s easy for them. First it was a scheduling thing about the HSG (they only do them on Mondays and Thursdays, and I was trying to coordinate it so J could take me, even though it was looking like he’d have to take me on his birthday). Then it was the Clomid thing. Then a question about stopping/restarting the Glucophage. And something about parking. (That wasn’t me being a problem patient, though.)

I’ve cut out all of the scenes of phone calls back and forth, and messages, and calling again, and not running errands because they’re supposed to call ME. At the end of it all is this: I’ve been given the green light to start the Clomid this cycle (pending my baseline u/s on Tuesday), and we rearranged schedules so we could do the HSG when they wanted us to (and not on J’s birthday).

I should be more excited than I am about all of this.

Right now, I’m not particularly excited. I had a brief moment of excitement when we finally got everything scheduled, but it quickly faded. I thought it was because I was worried - about the HSG, and about J needing to give me a shot in the ass (potentially before he’s had the class where he learns how). But while I’m worried about those things, I don’t think that’s what’s keeping me from the thrill. I’m worried that it’s the protective mechanism kicking in already - whispering, “Don’t get TOO excited - you’ll jinx it” or worse, “You’ll get your hopes up and then be crushed.”

But I’m trying to be more positive about things, or at least less bitter up front. Not that bitter doesn’t suit me, but I had a conversation with my mom a couple of weeks ago (that I blogged about and then didn’t post for some unknown reason) about all the mind/body research and how thinking positively can impact health. At the time, it sounded an awful lot like “just relax” and so obviously I got irritated and didn’t really listen. But in thinking about it later, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I’m not going to be Pollyanna or anything, but I’m trying to be more aware of my language choices. (Her point was specifically in regard to my saying I “couldn’t” have caffeine, when it was in fact a choice I was making for my health and the potential fertility benefits, and one that I was fairly happy to have made.) All that is to say that I’m not sure I really know how to be positive about all of this. I’m just trying not to be negative - at least not before it’s warranted.

So I’ll end with this instead: Any words of advice on either the HSG or our first IM shot in the ass? Information being more powerful than blind anticipation, or something like that. But please, not too many horror stories, okay? I don’t think I could take being any less excited at this point.