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Archive for July, 2006

Protected: Cautious Optimism My Ass!

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Ahem. So I have this theory that optimism doesn't help me much. I figure that if I spend too much time being optimistic, I'll just be disappointed all the time. So I call myself a realist. Expect the worst, hope for the best, plan for nothing. This is a cute theory, and would work just fine if, you know, I could actually heed my own advice. And do I? Oh sure, until about 15 minutes ago when I thought to myself, "Hey, if this cycle actually does work, when do you suppose my due date would be?" I've never allowed myself to have such a ridiculous thought, so I wasn't even sure how to find this out, but a quick consult with Dr. Google yielded a 1.3 billion due date calculators. I chose the WebMD version, but I expect they all work on the same general principles, so I didn't feel the need to check multiple sources. Anyway, for those of you keeping track, my due date WOULD be April 19, 2007 if this all worked out, which of course it won't. This will throw a serious wrench in our Passover Planning if it works out, but it will be a welcome, entirely happy wrench, so that wasn't a complaint.

Anyway. So on Thursday I was given the go-ahead to trigger Friday night with a Sunday IUI. I'd never met the doctor who was there covering the office, but he was nice enough, I suppose. Since it was a Sunday, the Trophy Husband was actually there with me. Our normal arrangement is that he goes in for his appointment (which mortifies him completely, by the way) and then heads to work, and then I show up for my appointment, and if we're lucky we see each other at home that night. My mother stayed with the monster (our two year old foster son) while we frittered away the hours at Shady Hell.

Anyway, the doctor came in and introduced himself. He went over the SA (semen analysis) and proclaimed my husband to be more than competent (40 million little swimmers is definitely overachieving). Well, he's gotta be good for something, right? Dishes are nice, but copious little swimmers are definitely a bonus – not that they've been doing me any good, the bastards. Anyway, I'm certain that Dr. M is a perfectly competent RE. And I get that he was an OB/GYN for many years before his RE training. And I get that he must have been a good OB/GYN because he was the head of the OB/GYN department somewhere important. But sheesh that man cannot handle a speculum. Ouch! "Oh hey there, you'll feel a little bit of pressure from the speculum." When I nearly jumped off the table (this has never happened to me before), my dear husband said, "A little pressure, eh?" "Yep," replied the doctor. (though in his defense, he wasn't completely clueless to my discomfort and he did ask if I was okay, but what the hell was I supposed to say? "No, you asshole, get your hands away from there and get me a kinder, gentler doctor?" Right.)

Moving right along… the rest, as they say, was uneventful. Anticlimactic, if you will, though I detest using that word, because my husband is Pun King and I'm tired of puns. So I need a better word. I know no one is reading this post, but if you stumble upon this at a later date and you've got a better word than anticlimactic, then by all means, tell me! Unfortunately, I don't think there is a more appropriate word. I mean, you've got a lot riding on this moment. This 11 second transfer of sperm to uterus in hopes of the little guys finding a nice condo to settle into. And that's it. 11 seconds. Maybe less, probably less, in fact. No great moment of "oh that's it!" No real discomfort unless your bastard RE doesn't know how to operate a speculum. No real knowledge that the catheter is even in and all of a sudden, "Okay, all done!" and you're speculum free and told to lie down on the table for 5 minutes before getting up because you know, you wouldn't want the little guys to fall out, not that they could. Give them a chance to scope out their new home. After the five minutes was up, I got dressed and turned to my husband and said, "So, you wanna make out?" He looked positively scandalized as he said, "Of course, but not here!" Well, I made him kiss me anyway, because I figured we ought to have a little bit of smooching in the room where Jr. is conceived, right?

Come to think of it, those 5 minutes on my back make a little sense, since you know, Normal People (whoever they are) get pregnant while lying down. May as well be the same for me, right? In the absence of anything more interesting to do after that monumental 11 seconds (plus five minutes), we went to Krispy Kreme, where the Hot Donuts sign was lit, and we celebrated with some puffy, fried, sugary deliciousness. Like I really needed donuts, right? Sheesh!

We headed home and I promptly fell asleep on the couch while my husband took the monster and my mother out to lunch. I slept, basically, all day, and woke up in a whole lot of pain. I had such horrifying cramps I could SWEAR I was about to start my period. This has never happened before on IUI day and this is the fourth such IUI day. Plus, everything else hurt and I couldn't stop sneezing, because the cats are rapidly growing past the point of being controlled by my allergy medication. Someday, I'm going to have to give in and either start allergy shots again, or get rid of the cats, neither of which is a particularly appealing option. Fortunately, I feel better today, except for the sneezing, and well, still with the cramping.

Now starts the fun of Prometrium supplementation. Whee. If I call you up randomly crying, you know why. I'm not sure why the prometrium is so evil, but it is. Just like the provera and the follistim, I throw up. A lot. And my breasts have sharp, stabbing, hot-poker pains in them regularly. And I get crabby. (SHUT UP! Fine, I get more crabby) And weepy. Oh, so freaking weepy. The first time that happened, I was at work minding my own business feeling just fine thankyouverymuch, and a perky friend of mine called and said, "Hi how are you??" and I burst into tears. What the fucking fuck? I thought. This is not me. I may be bitchy. I may be emotionally labile. I may be prone to screaming fits for no good reason. But one thing I am not is weepy. Until now, apparently.

So let the fun begin!

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Protected: Today’s stats

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Today’s stats

Having visited my second-home, Shady Hell, for the FOURTH time in a week this morning, there are a few things to update about.

First, yesterday I had my consult with my RE so that we could talk about doing my next cycle as an IVF cycle instead of yet another boring IUI. We talked about the cycle I'm in the middle of now, and the side effects I've been experiencing with the Follistim. Apparently, I'm a rare duck in that Follistim makes me throw up. A lot. Every day. Whoo hoo! Provera, by the way, does the same thing to me. And the good news? If I respond so strongly to such tiny itty bitty doses of these hormones (no kidding… I take 50 IUs of Follistim every night… many women I know start with 150, 200, or 300 IUs every night), then odds are good I'm going to have incredibly awful morning sickness. Joy! When we'd finished talking about this cycle she reiterated that hopefully the IUI will work this time and the rest of the consult will be unneccessary. That's fine. I'm happy to pay for an IVF consult I never need. Seriously.

Then we moved onto the real topic at hand: IVF. My doctor drew me lots of pretty pictures (upside down!) and explained how the cycle would go if I started an IVF cycle. Mostly she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, either because so many of my friends inside the computer have been through all this, or because I've been through much of it already, just by doing injectible FSH/IUI cycles.

What I really wanted to know was how PCOS plays a role in an IVF cycle. I know that even with my IUI cycle, they have to approach PCOS patients slightly differently, because we are the lucky super-responders to FSH. They have to give teeney weeney doses to carefully tease a follicle or two into the forefront, because otherwise they just end up with a bazillion little follicles and a canceled cycle, and, well, that's no fun at all, is it?

My main concern was whether I'd be at an increased risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) which is, well, kind of evil, from what I've read. The short answer is yes, there is an increased risk of OHSS with PCOS patients. The long answer includes a bunch of statistics that I don't understand which boil down to: "but it's still really rare." So PCOS patients, because they are SUPER-Responders, stay on Lupron at higher doses for longer than the average patient. Lupron, boys and girls, ain't cheap. (I'm a lucky duck in that I have insurance coverage for much of this, but I feel for the poor women who have to pay for this all on their own) Anyway, I guess the idea of staying on the Lupron is to continue suppression for a bit longer, and to help avoid early ovulation. No problem.

Okay, there's a problem. I was really hoping (as disgusted as I am by the idea) that even with an IVF cycle, they'd let me keep taking prometrium suppositories (yeah, I know, yuck) instead of PIO (progesterone in oil) IM injections. But no such luck. I do not know why, but this paralyzes me. Ridiculous, right? I can handle subcutaneous shots. I can handle the IM HCG Trigger. I can handle the oh-so-pleasant-sounding egg retrieval. I can handle HSGs. I can handle all manner of unpleasantness, so why am I so freaked out by the PIO injections? They sound so icky! And they seem so painful! And everyone I've talked to has told me how ridiculously EVIL they are. Crap. Have I come this far just to be paralyzed by one really huge syringe? Seems that way.

Well, I suppose we can always hope that this IUI cycle works. (Hah! I almost said that with a straight face!)

Speaking of this cycle, I was back at Shady Hell this morning for more monitoring. I have to say, it felt a lot more normal to be on the second floor. I swear when I was brought into my doctor's office on the fourth floor yesterday I almost took off my skirt, because well, what else do we do at the office? It was completely odd to remain fully clothed for the entire appointment. Today put the world back into balance, though.

Dracula had a hard time finding a vein in my arm, so she snagged blood from my hand. Actually, I'm grateful… it sure beat having to have her poke around in my arm. So even though it hurt like heck, there's no bruise and it feels fine now, and it only took one stick. I heart Dracula. She's way better than the other phlebotomy flunkies.

The doctor covering monitoring today is a nice Jewish doctor from South Africa. He is very soft-spoken and sweet, and has a delightful accent. Anyway, I was worried that they were going to tell me today to trigger tonight and that would just be sucky because that would have meant a Saturday IUI and that would so not work for me (I'm Jewish, and Saturday is the Sabbath and comes with a million and one rules, one of which is no driving, so getting to the clinic would be nigh impossible). Anyway, without me saying anything about it, he said, "Well, it looks like you probably need to go another day, so you'll probably come back tomorrow and trigger tomorrow night, you'll be good for Shabbat [Sabbath], and back on Sunday for the IUI." A call a few minutes ago from my nurse confirmed his guess, and I'll be going in on Sunday. Whew!

I have a lovely 16 mm follicle on the right side just begging to pop. I've been feeling pain on my right side for a couple of days, so hopefully after tomorrow, that pain will go away and we can move on.

I made the mistake of actually being a tad hopeful in my last cycle, so I was pretty horrified at my repeated negative HPT attempts and the eventual appearance of my period. Yes, I'm a pee-stick addict. I know I'm not supposed to test before the blood test after the IUI, but I can't help myself. I go crazy knowing that I'm doing nothing (Nothing!) during the two week wait. I hate that time. I spend so much time up until the 2ww going from one appointment to another signing one form or another, sticking myself with needles, getting up close and personal with the cooter cam every three days, calling my financial coordinator, writing checks, and then all of a sudden… Nothing. A black hole of hand-wringing, fidgety, nothingness.

Right. So I'm just happy to be finishing this cycle with a plan in place for next cycle, knowing that there probably will be a next cycle, and knowing that we'll likely be just moving on to the next step and saying goodbye to the IUI chapter of our reproductive lives.

Have I mentioned that I want a baby? I mean really, really, really want a baby so badly I can almost feel a baby in my arms? What's amazing is that when I see my wondermous husband with someone's baby, I think that sometimes he aches for a baby more than I do. I mean, I really, really, really want a baby. But my husband? Yeah, he does too, even though he doesn't talk about it much. We have an amazing foster son, an almost-three-year-old who is so much fun, but we never got to have a baby (we got our foster son when he was 13 months), and I just know my husband really wants to experience babyhood from a father's perspective. I just wish my ovaries would cooperate and I could give that to him. And me. Don't forget me. Because, you know, it's ALL about me.

Read Full Post »

Today’s stats

Having visited my second-home, Shady Hell, for the FOURTH time in a week this morning, there are a few things to update about.

First, yesterday I had my consult with my RE so that we could talk about doing my next cycle as an IVF cycle instead of yet another boring IUI. We talked about the cycle I'm in the middle of now, and the side effects I've been experiencing with the Follistim. Apparently, I'm a rare duck in that Follistim makes me throw up. A lot. Every day. Whoo hoo! Provera, by the way, does the same thing to me. And the good news? If I respond so strongly to such tiny itty bitty doses of these hormones (no kidding… I take 50 IUs of Follistim every night… many women I know start with 150, 200, or 300 IUs every night), then odds are good I'm going to have incredibly awful morning sickness. Joy! When we'd finished talking about this cycle she reiterated that hopefully the IUI will work this time and the rest of the consult will be unneccessary. That's fine. I'm happy to pay for an IVF consult I never need. Seriously.

Then we moved onto the real topic at hand: IVF. My doctor drew me lots of pretty pictures (upside down!) and explained how the cycle would go if I started an IVF cycle. Mostly she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, either because so many of my friends inside the computer have been through all this, or because I've been through much of it already, just by doing injectible FSH/IUI cycles.

What I really wanted to know was how PCOS plays a role in an IVF cycle. I know that even with my IUI cycle, they have to approach PCOS patients slightly differently, because we are the lucky super-responders to FSH. They have to give teeney weeney doses to carefully tease a follicle or two into the forefront, because otherwise they just end up with a bazillion little follicles and a canceled cycle, and, well, that's no fun at all, is it?

My main concern was whether I'd be at an increased risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) which is, well, kind of evil, from what I've read. The short answer is yes, there is an increased risk of OHSS with PCOS patients. The long answer includes a bunch of statistics that I don't understand which boil down to: "but it's still really rare." So PCOS patients, because they are SUPER-Responders, stay on Lupron at higher doses for longer than the average patient. Lupron, boys and girls, ain't cheap. (I'm a lucky duck in that I have insurance coverage for much of this, but I feel for the poor women who have to pay for this all on their own) Anyway, I guess the idea of staying on the Lupron is to continue suppression for a bit longer, and to help avoid early ovulation. No problem.

Okay, there's a problem. I was really hoping (as disgusted as I am by the idea) that even with an IVF cycle, they'd let me keep taking prometrium suppositories (yeah, I know, yuck) instead of PIO (progesterone in oil) IM injections. But no such luck. I do not know why, but this paralyzes me. Ridiculous, right? I can handle subcutaneous shots. I can handle the IM HCG Trigger. I can handle the oh-so-pleasant-sounding egg retrieval. I can handle HSGs. I can handle all manner of unpleasantness, so why am I so freaked out by the PIO injections? They sound so icky! And they seem so painful! And everyone I've talked to has told me how ridiculously EVIL they are. Crap. Have I come this far just to be paralyzed by one really huge syringe? Seems that way.

Well, I suppose we can always hope that this IUI cycle works. (Hah! I almost said that with a straight face!)

Speaking of this cycle, I was back at Shady Hell this morning for more monitoring. I have to say, it felt a lot more normal to be on the second floor. I swear when I was brought into my doctor's office on the fourth floor yesterday I almost took off my skirt, because well, what else do we do at the office? It was completely odd to remain fully clothed for the entire appointment. Today put the world back into balance, though.

Dracula had a hard time finding a vein in my arm, so she snagged blood from my hand. Actually, I'm grateful… it sure beat having to have her poke around in my arm. So even though it hurt like heck, there's no bruise and it feels fine now, and it only took one stick. I heart Dracula. She's way better than the other phlebotomy flunkies.

The doctor covering monitoring today is a nice Jewish doctor from South Africa. He is very soft-spoken and sweet, and has a delightful accent. Anyway, I was worried that they were going to tell me today to trigger tonight and that would just be sucky because that would have meant a Saturday IUI and that would so not work for me (I'm Jewish, and Saturday is the Sabbath and comes with a million and one rules, one of which is no driving, so getting to the clinic would be nigh impossible). Anyway, without me saying anything about it, he said, "Well, it looks like you probably need to go another day, so you'll probably come back tomorrow and trigger tomorrow night, you'll be good for Shabbat [Sabbath], and back on Sunday for the IUI." A call a few minutes ago from my nurse confirmed his guess, and I'll be going in on Sunday. Whew!

I have a lovely 16 mm follicle on the right side just begging to pop. I've been feeling pain on my right side for a couple of days, so hopefully after tomorrow, that pain will go away and we can move on.

I made the mistake of actually being a tad hopeful in my last cycle, so I was pretty horrified at my repeated negative HPT attempts and the eventual appearance of my period. Yes, I'm a pee-stick addict. I know I'm not supposed to test before the blood test after the IUI, but I can't help myself. I go crazy knowing that I'm doing nothing (Nothing!) during the two week wait. I hate that time. I spend so much time up until the 2ww going from one appointment to another signing one form or another, sticking myself with needles, getting up close and personal with the cooter cam every three days, calling my financial coordinator, writing checks, and then all of a sudden… Nothing. A black hole of hand-wringing, fidgety, nothingness.

Right. So I'm just happy to be finishing this cycle with a plan in place for next cycle, knowing that there probably will be a next cycle, and knowing that we'll likely be just moving on to the next step and saying goodbye to the IUI chapter of our reproductive lives.

Have I mentioned that I want a baby? I mean really, really, really want a baby so badly I can almost feel a baby in my arms? What's amazing is that when I see my wondermous husband with someone's baby, I think that sometimes he aches for a baby more than I do. I mean, I really, really, really want a baby. But my husband? Yeah, he does too, even though he doesn't talk about it much. We have an amazing foster son, an almost-three-year-old who is so much fun, but we never got to have a baby (we got our foster son when he was 13 months), and I just know my husband really wants to experience babyhood from a father's perspective. I just wish my ovaries would cooperate and I could give that to him. And me. Don't forget me. Because, you know, it's ALL about me.

Read Full Post »

Today’s stats

Having visited my second-home, Shady Hell, for the FOURTH time in a week this morning, there are a few things to update about.

First, yesterday I had my consult with my RE so that we could talk about doing my next cycle as an IVF cycle instead of yet another boring IUI. We talked about the cycle I'm in the middle of now, and the side effects I've been experiencing with the Follistim. Apparently, I'm a rare duck in that Follistim makes me throw up. A lot. Every day. Whoo hoo! Provera, by the way, does the same thing to me. And the good news? If I respond so strongly to such tiny itty bitty doses of these hormones (no kidding… I take 50 IUs of Follistim every night… many women I know start with 150, 200, or 300 IUs every night), then odds are good I'm going to have incredibly awful morning sickness. Joy! When we'd finished talking about this cycle she reiterated that hopefully the IUI will work this time and the rest of the consult will be unneccessary. That's fine. I'm happy to pay for an IVF consult I never need. Seriously.

Then we moved onto the real topic at hand: IVF. My doctor drew me lots of pretty pictures (upside down!) and explained how the cycle would go if I started an IVF cycle. Mostly she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, either because so many of my friends inside the computer have been through all this, or because I've been through much of it already, just by doing injectible FSH/IUI cycles.

What I really wanted to know was how PCOS plays a role in an IVF cycle. I know that even with my IUI cycle, they have to approach PCOS patients slightly differently, because we are the lucky super-responders to FSH. They have to give teeney weeney doses to carefully tease a follicle or two into the forefront, because otherwise they just end up with a bazillion little follicles and a canceled cycle, and, well, that's no fun at all, is it?

My main concern was whether I'd be at an increased risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) which is, well, kind of evil, from what I've read. The short answer is yes, there is an increased risk of OHSS with PCOS patients. The long answer includes a bunch of statistics that I don't understand which boil down to: "but it's still really rare." So PCOS patients, because they are SUPER-Responders, stay on Lupron at higher doses for longer than the average patient. Lupron, boys and girls, ain't cheap. (I'm a lucky duck in that I have insurance coverage for much of this, but I feel for the poor women who have to pay for this all on their own) Anyway, I guess the idea of staying on the Lupron is to continue suppression for a bit longer, and to help avoid early ovulation. No problem.

Okay, there's a problem. I was really hoping (as disgusted as I am by the idea) that even with an IVF cycle, they'd let me keep taking prometrium suppositories (yeah, I know, yuck) instead of PIO (progesterone in oil) IM injections. But no such luck. I do not know why, but this paralyzes me. Ridiculous, right? I can handle subcutaneous shots. I can handle the IM HCG Trigger. I can handle the oh-so-pleasant-sounding egg retrieval. I can handle HSGs. I can handle all manner of unpleasantness, so why am I so freaked out by the PIO injections? They sound so icky! And they seem so painful! And everyone I've talked to has told me how ridiculously EVIL they are. Crap. Have I come this far just to be paralyzed by one really huge syringe? Seems that way.

Well, I suppose we can always hope that this IUI cycle works. (Hah! I almost said that with a straight face!)

Speaking of this cycle, I was back at Shady Hell this morning for more monitoring. I have to say, it felt a lot more normal to be on the second floor. I swear when I was brought into my doctor's office on the fourth floor yesterday I almost took off my skirt, because well, what else do we do at the office? It was completely odd to remain fully clothed for the entire appointment. Today put the world back into balance, though.

Dracula had a hard time finding a vein in my arm, so she snagged blood from my hand. Actually, I'm grateful… it sure beat having to have her poke around in my arm. So even though it hurt like heck, there's no bruise and it feels fine now, and it only took one stick. I heart Dracula. She's way better than the other phlebotomy flunkies.

The doctor covering monitoring today is a nice Jewish doctor from South Africa. He is very soft-spoken and sweet, and has a delightful accent. Anyway, I was worried that they were going to tell me today to trigger tonight and that would just be sucky because that would have meant a Saturday IUI and that would so not work for me (I'm Jewish, and Saturday is the Sabbath and comes with a million and one rules, one of which is no driving, so getting to the clinic would be nigh impossible). Anyway, without me saying anything about it, he said, "Well, it looks like you probably need to go another day, so you'll probably come back tomorrow and trigger tomorrow night, you'll be good for Shabbat [Sabbath], and back on Sunday for the IUI." A call a few minutes ago from my nurse confirmed his guess, and I'll be going in on Sunday. Whew!

I have a lovely 16 mm follicle on the right side just begging to pop. I've been feeling pain on my right side for a couple of days, so hopefully after tomorrow, that pain will go away and we can move on.

I made the mistake of actually being a tad hopeful in my last cycle, so I was pretty horrified at my repeated negative HPT attempts and the eventual appearance of my period. Yes, I'm a pee-stick addict. I know I'm not supposed to test before the blood test after the IUI, but I can't help myself. I go crazy knowing that I'm doing nothing (Nothing!) during the two week wait. I hate that time. I spend so much time up until the 2ww going from one appointment to another signing one form or another, sticking myself with needles, getting up close and personal with the cooter cam every three days, calling my financial coordinator, writing checks, and then all of a sudden… Nothing. A black hole of hand-wringing, fidgety, nothingness.

Right. So I'm just happy to be finishing this cycle with a plan in place for next cycle, knowing that there probably will be a next cycle, and knowing that we'll likely be just moving on to the next step and saying goodbye to the IUI chapter of our reproductive lives.

Have I mentioned that I want a baby? I mean really, really, really want a baby so badly I can almost feel a baby in my arms? What's amazing is that when I see my wondermous husband with someone's baby, I think that sometimes he aches for a baby more than I do. I mean, I really, really, really want a baby. But my husband? Yeah, he does too, even though he doesn't talk about it much. We have an amazing foster son, an almost-three-year-old who is so much fun, but we never got to have a baby (we got our foster son when he was 13 months), and I just know my husband really wants to experience babyhood from a father's perspective. I just wish my ovaries would cooperate and I could give that to him. And me. Don't forget me. Because, you know, it's ALL about me.

Read Full Post »

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