Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Fucking Memorial Day.

If I had to describe to you my own personal hell, yesterday's cookout would have come very close.

A large group of adults, and we were literally the only couple there without children. There were seven children under 2 years old, several more in the 5-8 age range. All we did was sit around and stare at each other's babies. Crawling babies, babies just learning how to walk, babies who were toddling around quite confidently. Which would have been entertaining if, you know, we had a baby of our own to be staring at.

I was excluded from virtually every conversation.

My husband was playing with other people's children.

Stab me in the fucking uterus.

We made it out in just under three hours and I treated myself to a DQ blizzard for my misery.

So, no, it wasn't exactly my own personal hell. That would probably include puppies being tortured and a large dish of ice cream that remains just out of my reach.

But it was close.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I don’t live in the UK.

But I’d still like you to go tell this woman why she’s SO WRONG.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The much anticipated meeting with the RE

Today A and I woke up and drove to meet our RE. We made this appointment back in January - hard to believe it finally arrived.

Dr. Friendly (just go with it) lives three hours away from our house. Luckily for me, my parents live halfway between here and there. So we loaded up the dogs and drove an hour and a half to their house, where we dropped off the dogs, peed, got a snack, and drove the remaining hour and 15 minutes to the clinic.

I had planned to get there really early so we could find the clinic and have lunch somewhere before our appointment. The timing worked out perfectly.

All day long I had a nervous tummy. I was so excited to meet him and also so apprehensive. What can I say, it was a big day for me and for our marriage. The most comparable feeling I’ve had is the way I felt on my high school and college graduation days. Proud, excited, uncertain about the future.

The hospital the clinic is in is really impressive. It’s beautiful and high-tech and fancy. While we were walking in, I told A “someday we’ll tell our kids about this moment.”

The staff was so friendly and helpful, and they took a digital photo for our file which I thought was funny. Dr. Friendly definitely lived up to my expectations. He was so nice and knowledgeable. He laughed with me about how organized my medical records were, which made me feel good. He looked over them carefully and took a lot of time to sit and talk with us.

They are very careful not to present themselves as an IVF factory. The intake lady asked us “What is the primary purpose of your visit?” We said “infertility”, but I think they wanted to know if we were coming expressly for IVF. Dr. Friendly also asked me “Do you have any preconceived notions about what treatment you want to seek?” I said no.

Dr. Friendly is anti-clomid and refuses to treat me with it anymore. He actually told me “you’re too thin for clomid” which I thought was funny, but flattering so I didn't argue. He presented me with these options:
1.      IUI w/injectables (namely Letrezole). He stipulated that he will only treat me for two cycles, and mandates a break cycle afterward. He gave me a 20-25% pregnancy rate for the first cycle and a 17-20% rate for the second cycle.
2.      IVF. He said that because I am young and generally healthy, he gives me a 70-75% success rate for my first IVF. Unfortunately we couldn’t start until mid July.

He sent me home with two prescriptions: one for Letrezole and one for BCP. We are supposed to decide by my next CD1 and fill whichever one is applicable.

This is the hardest decision I’ve had to make on the infertility journey. For a while I considered doing an IUI w/injectable cycle during the wait between now and July. I have kind of thrown that out. It seems like a lot to put myself through for a 25% chance of pregnancy. I think I’d rather spend the next 7 weeks exercising, drinking margaritas, and living my life than pursuing an IUI. Even though the meds are different, it still feels "been there, done that."

So I am about 80% sure that we are pursuing IVF in July.

I’m really truly excited about this. But today has been so emotionally exhausting that the excitement will just have to catch up with me.
Side note- I found out today that A’s 21 year old niece is pregnant. We have a strained relationship and she’s currently in the Navy and her husband is deployed with the Air Force. This was a hard one to take.

If you have any advice or any reason I should reconsider the IUI w/injectables cycle, I’d love to hear it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Friday

Scene: At the gym. Zumba class is starting in 5 minutes and the previous class is letting out.

Gym member: How many kids do you have?
Instructor for previous class: Four. I have a singleton, a pair of twins, and another singleton.
[Lulu’s ears perk up at the mention of twins. Could they be the result of ART? Or is this lady just super fertile?]
Gym member: Holy cow!
Instructor: Yeah, the first three were in vitro babies, we conceived the fourth one on our own.
[exit Gym member. Instructor is fiddling with iPod conspicuously closely to Lulu’s purse. Lulu is deeply involved in an internal struggle of privacy vs. connecting with fellow infertiles]
Lulu: [sauntering over nonchalantly to remove an imaginary item from her purse] So, did I hear you say you did in vitro?
Instructor: Yes, yes I did.
Lulu: Did you go to _____?
Instructor: Yes, I went over to Big City to see _____.
Lulu: I’m going to meet him on Monday.
Instructor: Oh! I’m so excited for you! He is just the best. His staff is great and […more rambles about how awesome he is…]. I had four pregnancies there. I lost two. I have three children from the other two.
[Lulu and Instructor share in warm eye exchange that would be a hug if they even knew each other’s first names. End scene]

Monday, May 16, 2011

One week away

We’re down to one week until the much anticipated appointment with the RE. And I’m starting to get nervous.

There’s nothing to be nervous about, it’s just…what I do best. I’m awesome at being nervous and at worrying endlessly over things out of my control.

I list this skill on my resume, right up there with “possesses double-jointed thumbs” and “drinks margaritas with astounding swiftness”.

I guess I’m anxious because I don’t know what to expect. This doctor has been built up to me to the point that he sounds more like a god than a man. I have been told he calls patients on his cell phone to check on them. That he doesn’t seem like a doctor at all because he’s so down-to-earth. I know many people who have twins thanks to this man.

What if he doesn’t live up to these (admittedly high) expectations?

What if I drive three and a half hours one way and I’m disappointed?

What if I leave thinking “we should have just done this over the phone”? And I’m grouchy and I fight with my husband all the way home?

I guess we’ll just have to wait one more week and find out.

In other news, I have definitely been living it up during this break from treatments. Those of you who follow me on twitter know that I have been quite the party animal lately.

Two weeks ago, I met some friends for what I thought was going to be dinner. We ended up closing down the restaurant and then going downtown and dancing all night. I felt like such a 19 year old when I snuck in my house at 2 am.

This past weekend, I went to a white trash bash and got totally trashed. It was a grand time.

My husband seems to understand that this is important, even though we haven’t discussed it. He seems to know that I need to get this partying out of my system so I can buckle down for a possible IVF cycle. Yesterday he went to the store to get me ice cold Gatorade to help my hangover. He woke up with me in the middle of the night when I thought I was going to puke. He deserves an award.

Booze, Zumba, sex for fun…as much as I’m anticipating starting whatever kind of cycle this RE is going to recommend, I have to say that the break has been very nice.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Support Group Success

For the past four months I have gone to my support group and sat there, reading. No one showed up, and I went home. It was very awkward at times, sometimes discouraging, and sometimes I felt personal rejection. What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t anyone want to come talk about infertility with me?

Well this week was different. This week, two women came. It was incredible. I can’t believe how quickly we bonded. It wasn’t awkward at all and we talked for an hour and fifteen minutes - having just met each other - and we could have stayed longer.

I’m not sure what other circumstances could bond women so quickly. Immediately we had a whole world in common.

It was beautiful.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Period complaints and Mother's Day

Last night, I was in the bathroom, doing my thang. When I was done, I wiped. (I find this is, generally, the hygienic and comfortable thing to do.) A split second after I dropped the toilet paper in the bowl, I thought to myself “Wait a minute, was that spotting?”

Then I sat on the toilet and debated for a minute. Was it spotting? I think it was spotting. Maybe I should pick it back up and check.

That’s right folks. I actually wondered if I should reach my hand into the toilet water – the toilet water I had JUST URINATED IN MOMENTS AGO – to examine the wet TP. Jesus. This is a new low, even for me.

The reason I was so excited about the spotting is that I thought it might be implantation. I estimated that I ovulated last Friday, based on my sore boobs, etc. We had sex on Saturday, so it would have been decent timing.

But no, this morning I woke up to a full flow.

For those of you playing along at home, that means my last cycle was 17 days.

What’s the point really? Just to frustrate me? This one will probably be 50 just to confuse me even more thoroughly.

I thoroughly fail at the period thing. I take 2000 mgs of Metformin every godforsaken day and yet I have a 17 day cycle. I hate you, PCOS.


In other news, this pisses me off. “Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have…go on a bike ride.” Fuck that. Usually, people can’t go on bike rides on Mother’s day because they’re forced to spend the whole goddamn day celebrating moms, which usually involves going out to brunch and seeing thousands of happy families and spending lots of money and maybe even traveling.

Doesn’t leave a lot of room for leisurely eating breakfast or baking cupcakes.

We’re not allowed to just ignore our moms on Mother’s day (well, I’m allowed to ignore my MIL this year because she’ll be out of the country, but that’s just a one-time blessing by the grace of god or someone who likes me up there). We have to celebrate moms and our SILs who are moms and our grandmas and our aunts and just doing that reminds us that EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD HAS A CHILD EXCEPT US.

We spend every day trying not to “dwell on what we don’t have.” Mother’s day just makes it especially hard.

I usually like that writer’s posts, and she is apparently an IFer herself, but seriously. You can’t tell someone who just had a miscarriage to go on a bike ride and get over it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Surprise IFers

For a year and a half I have been teaching private yoga lessons to a group of five women in my town. They are close friends, and spending so much time with them has allowed me to feel like part of their circle, in a small way. I have gradually opened up about my fertility issues with them, as I felt it was best to be honest when cancelling class due to my lap, etc.

One woman has five children, three and then a set of twins. For the first year that I knew her, I felt a little uncomfortable talking to her about my struggles to conceive, as she was obviously a fertile myrtle.

Then, in December when I had my HSG, she mentioned she had to have one, too. I guess they tried for a while for their first and the HSG cleared out some debris in her tubes. I was pretty surprised when I found this out.

After my HSG, she was the one who alerted me to the difference between a bicornuate and septate uterus, who told me that her daughter had multiple miscarriages because of a septum.

Then, a few months ago, she told me that her daughter had an ectopic pregnancy and had lost a whole tube and ovary. My heart broke for her.

I hadn’t heard an update on the daughter lately, so last night I asked how she was doing. She told me, and then asked how we were doing. I said good, that we were looking forward to going to see an RE in a few weeks and told her what city he’s in.

She immediately got excited, and I assumed she was going to tell me a success story of one of her friends (I have heard SO MANY of these about this RE, and I’m so excited to join the ranks).

At this point, she took me aside and said “No one knows this, but we went to him.” I guess they had their first three kids easily, and then suffered “miscarriage after miscarriage” for seven years trying for a fourth. They wanted to expand their family so badly. At the age of 41, they decided what the hell, they’d try a round of IVF.

She got pregnant with her twins through IVF at 41! And here I was writing her off as a smug fertile! I also assumed that, as a Catholic, she condemned IVF and would judge me if I did it.

You really never know about people.


Three weeks from today we get to meet the man who WILL get us pregnant. It can’t get here quickly enough.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ovulation Conundrums

There has been a little theory niggling it's way around my tiny brain. It has been gaining steam lately and I thought I'd share it here and see what you ladies think.

Theory: the Ovidrel trigger shot does not make me ovulate.

Evidence: remember this post? This was right after my first experience with Ovidrel, during our clomid/timed intercourse cycle last October, and I felt, very confidently, that I did not ovulate. I frantically consulted Dr. Google and was told that everyone ovulates on the trigger shot.

Evidence: when the October cycle failed, I went in for a CD3 ultrasound and was told I had a cyst and we couldn't proceed.

Evidence: January IUI, I still felt no Ovidrel symptoms, and didn't go for a CD3 ultrasound because of my impending lap. No idea if I had a cyst or not.

Evidence: this post, in which I complain that my natural cycles yield way more symptoms than medicated cycles.

Evidence: April IUI failed, no Ovidrel symptoms, a giant cyst.

Evidence: EVERY TIME we try to do two treatment cycles back-to-back, we are benched by a cyst. EVERY TIME I am ovulating on my own, I have symptoms. Lots of CM, sore nipples, etc. I have had these symptoms the past few days, which happened to be CDs 10-13. I never have these symptoms on Ovidrel.

And then, oddly enough, there's a cyst on my ovary. Which should have left and ventured toward my tubes. But, it didn't.

Anyone have any experience on this? Perhaps I need a higher dose of Ovidrel? Maybe I need  a different drug to trigger ovulation? Am I just making all this up? Maybe synthetic ovulation just has different symptoms than natural ovulation.