2 women trying to make a baby

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-bye 2008

I have been wracking my brain for end-of-the-year words of wisdom or lessons learned.... and I got nothin' folks! Not that I am ever a serious guru for all things wise, witty and mythical but especially today, I am drawing a serious blank.

My girl and I are hanging at home despite receiving a few party invitations and we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.... country style! We have enjoyed beer, pizza and our hot tub. Now we are playing with the dogs and watching the ball drop. Wild times!

To everyone I have met in cyberland this year-- thank you. You have reminded me that we are not alone in this whole TTC process and the miscarriage. I have enjoyed everyone's highs and funny stories and connected with the sad ones as well. And all your comments on my blog have meant so much to me. May we all have our hearts fondest desires in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What goes up...

Our hopes were so high this IUI because HJ had many many early preg symptoms. We were even so confident that we decided to test on Christmas day..... one single sad pink line. Sigh... oh well, we still had a great holiday. Fantastic food, fun with the family and lovely gifts!! However on the 26th when the pg test was STILL negative, HJ's mood took a serious plunge. Suffice it to say that we did not really enjoy her birthday the way I hoped. She perked back up by the 27th and I thought she had accepted that this round was simply a bust, until we went to wally world and she decided to buy a different kind of pg test. "Uh oh" is my only thought. I am so pleased that we have company right now. MB is one of HJ's oldest pals and they are super-silly when they are together-- hopefully MB's presence will help soften the blow. I am quite certain that this round is over and honestly I hope AF makes her appearance soon as I simply cannot buy another fruitless hpt this month.

I'm fine. Statistically it takes about 4-5 IUI's to achieve a pregnancy: I am consoling myself with numbers and probabilities. In my mind, HJ will succeed within the next 2 tries. (Fingers crossed here.) I realized over the Christmas break that I may need to postpone my next IVF until February to account for a presentation HJ has to make at a big conference. Strangely, I feel a sense of peace about the next IVF. I am really hopeful and perhaps that is why HJ's failed IUIs are not personally painful for me right now. I guess I am also thinking that now will be a good time to increase my workouts since I cannot do much during the IVF cycle.... silver linings and such.

A new year will hopefully bring new outcomes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Like an egg...

I am pretty sure that we are going to crack and hpt before the 27th! HJ's bbs have that off and on sore thing happening and she is really sleepy today (not her normal self). She has some changes in CM and her BBT seems a little high. We are totally obsessing about this attempt-- not sure why on that one. We have even made plans to go get another hpt supply from the big box store. It's a sickness I say!

Gotta stop thinking about this and get my house ready for company! HJ and I leave for my parents house tomorrow morning then we will return on the 26th (HJ's birthday). We then have friends coming to stay with us on the 27th- 30th. So the deep cleaning needs to happen now! Perhaps I will reward myself with Thai food if I actually complete all the tasks on my list. Or maybe the housekeeping fairy will come visit me??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wanted: EPS

So HJ and I are now 8 days past IUI. I keep expecting that the 2ww will get easier but no such luck! HJ and I have spent the better part of 2 days trying to determine if her bb's really are extra sore or if this is just the normal AF symptoms that we typically ignore. She does not seem extra tired or excessively moody. In fact, HJ is pretty normal. I have been the one feeling nauseated and tired. I'm the one who cried during a recent episode of Sex and the City (you know the one where Charlotte finds out that none of her eggs were viable for a 2nd IVF). And I am the one who dreamed that HJ is pregnant.... such a lovely dream. The strange part is that we knew she was only 1 month pregnant in the dream but I could already see the baby's face. She was so precious with just a little dark fuzz for hair...and the baby smell in my dream was sooo real. Again, I am doubting my prophetic abilities but my subconscious was quite clear about what it wants!

I refuse to ask HJ to test early so the days between now and the 27th may drag by but I must admit that I have real hope for this month. If this month happens not to work, it is because the IUI was done too late (at least in my mind). Dr Pal quoted some research that found IUIs completed at 40-42 hours past trigger are most effective. However, in my research (yes in actual medical journals and not simply via goo.gle) I have read the IUIs completed at both 12 and 36 hours past trigger are most effective. So we have a new game plan for next month if this month does not get us the pregnancy we seek.

It looks as though my Christmas funk has passed and I am back in the optimistic place. Who knows, maybe I will even bake some cookies?!

As for my own uterus, I have to postpone IVF #3 until a mid-January start, assuming AF cooperates and comes sometime after the 16th. I have a business trip to DC in the middle of January; in fact, I will be at the big grantee meeting right around the time I would need daily ultrasounds. So I am thinking that egg retrieval and embryo transfer will happen in mid-February: of course, this is only if I have estimated all the dates correctly. I cannot seem to wrap my brain around what the timing will be like doing an IVF cycle without using BCPs. Anyone know?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Request for the universe

Dear Universe (or calendar-makers or whatever),

Please allow me to submit my formal request to cancel Christmas this year. Circumstances being what they are, it is my fervent belief that a festive holiday is simply too much pressure to place on most of us and we would all be best-served by simply skipping forward to January 1. What we all need is a new year to wipe away the dashed hopes and myriad disappointments of the past year.

Politically this year hinted at impressive gains. Several states allowed gays the right to marry: then these gains were cruelly broken by evil Prop 8. Additionally, we all felt intense commitment to "our candidate" followed by jubilation at his win. Now out belief in the man have once again been crushed at his clear lack of support for our people.

Economically, really what need I say about this area? Things are not good and so many fear loss of employment, making holiday jubilation feel sham-like.

Personally, I was gearing up for IVF at this point last year : We had such high hopes. That cycle was followed by 9 1/2 or pure bliss. I loved the fact that I found out I was pregnant on my 35th birthday! I can still hear the nurse calling and saying "You're going to be a mamma!" HJ and I laughed and cried and celebrated with friends. Such joy!! I think that fate was cruel to let me find out about the miscarriage on St. Patrick's Day. Holidays have just lost their sparkle this year. Since then, other holidays have come and gone. IVF #2 was a bust. HJ's IUIs have thus far been unsuccessful and honestly ttc is exhausting.

I have done my part in honor of yule time. I have tried to stay positive and calm. I have greeted each holiday in the expected manner. I have congratulated other women as they have gotten pregnant. I decorated for Christmas. I provided presents for needy families. I baked cookies and bought presents for the family. I keep Christmas music playing in my car (when I am not listening to NPR) and I even participated in the Secret Santa program at work. But really, my heart is not in this season. I'm tired and I am simply biding my time until the new year.

So you see Universe, I and so many others need a break. If we could simply fast forward past Christmas, the pressure to be jolly and celebrations filled with pleasant smiles resolutely plastered on our faces, we would all feel...relief.

Unless of course, you plan to shake things up at the close of this year. If you decide to bring us BFPs for Christmas (in addition to a rising economy and a president-to-be who plans to govern with actual fairness in mind), I would ask that you respectfully disregard my request and just bring on the good stuff instead!

Thank you for your benevolent consideration,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

wishing and hoping

I am having one of those days when I just want us to have a child already! I am tired of waiting, and hoping, and praying, and charting, and taking meds, and getting injections, and waiting, and arguing with God, and bargaining with God (or any intervening deity), and feeling sad, and being patient, and creating hope, and finding a plan b for pregnancy, and trying to find more ways to pinch our budget, and learning life lessons. I want to learn lessons like "Make sure to cover that thing up when you change his diaper!" or "She pukes when you try to feed her peas." I want baby cuddle time, and I want HJ and I to laugh as we try to recall the last time we had enough energy to have sex because our precious little Lima bean will not allow us to sleep. These seem like reasonable wants and just a bit over a year ago they felt as though they were just right outside my grasp... now they feel further away rather than nearer.

While in KY, I told my mom that HJ and I decided that we would try to use her uterus in addition to mine. My mom was supportive (as she now understands is her role) but she was concerned that I might be upset not to be the birth mama in the family. I tried to assuage her fears but I could see them still looming under the surface. I explained that it does not matter to me anymore which one of us has the baby because my goal is to have a child to raise. I did not have the words (or perhaps the bravery) to explain to my mother that after 2 failed IVFs, I am getting worried that I might not be successful in conceiving and carrying a child. Surely there is an end to how much financial strain I will put on HJ and I in my desire to have a child?

A few nights ago, I was feeling quite optimistic as we prepared for this IUI with HJ, and I made some off-handed comment about our lives when we have a baby. Rather than simply dreaming with me, HJ answered more honestly: she said, "Do you really think we will have a child? Really?" She was not being a pessimist or melodramatic: she was simply looking for some reassurance and an honest discussion. She says that she wants a child as badly as I do (and I know this is true) but she says that all this fruitless effort is wearing her down. I cannot agree more! As time goes by, I am having to ask myself, "Will my life feel complete without a child?" I truly do not want to be a bitter infertile or feel that a portion of my life was left incomplete. And if I have to move forward without children, how do I fill that void? I love my pets and my friends but I cannot say with certainty that they fill the place I have always reserved for a child. I have always felt like a mother and perhaps that is what makes the waiting and hoping so hard.

Speaking of waiting, we are now 3 days into our 2ww. We have decided to do a hpt on the 27th. Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm back!

Back from the funeral in KY. The ceremony was extremely touching and a wonderful way to say good-bye to my uncle. He was an amazing man. The moments that touched me the most were when his wife and 2 daughters said good-bye to him. How does a person even begin to know how to live without her soulmate of 50 years? I worry for my aunt who I know will be utterly lost without him.

On a more life affirming note, HJ did have her IUI done yesterday... only a single IUI this time. HJ could not stay for another IUI this morning and neither could our donor. Hopefully 1 IUI will do the trick! I did get to see Big Daddy's swimmers under the microscope though--- which was way cool. The swim team was very active and appeared well-populated! Also since Dr Pal did not have any *inspirational material* at her office... HJ and I had an advance trip to the adult bookstore Friday evening. We looked at various sections and would hold up titles and say things like, "Do you think Big Daddy is into girl on girl action?" and "Do you imagine that he like large breasts because his wife doesn't really have them?" Somewhere along the way we gathered up a fellow shopper and a well-pierced employee. The 4 of us made a couple of selections. It appears that we did an adequate job because Big Daddy did seem inspired at the doctor's office. :-) So now we wait.....

Oh and I am officially sick! I am a disgusting mass of nose-blowing, coughing, stomach irritation and self-pity. Periodically I whine and require HJ to look at me and say, "Ahhhh honey. I'm so sorry you don't feel well." She also makes me soup and brings me hot tea. She's a keeper!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Promising update

HJ had her day 11 ultraound yesterday and the doc decided that she was ready to trigger. She has 2 very big follicles (and about 5 smaller ones that won't go anywhere). So tomorrow morning we will have her IUI done at 8 AM! Woo hoo!

Sorry for the skimpy update: I have to see a family for work then drive to my own parents for a visitation tonight as my uncle died. :-( Very busy and sad..... but excited for this cycle.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12:30 AM

Okay, so I cannot sleep--- again. I have no idea why my body will not just let me FALL ASLEEP. I lie there in my very warm and cozy bed with my cuddly partner and sweet puppies, yet sleep eludes me.

Bed = sleep number (on 40)
Pillow = special neck support
Comforter = down
Ambiance = very dark
Temperature of the house = 68 degrees- perfect for sleeping
Mood before Bed = calm and happy

All signs point to me sleeping happily--- like everyone else in the house. Yet every time I near sleep, I jolt awake with some mundane task I have not completed..... really, who cares that the dishwasher is filled with clean dishes yet to be put away?! I've considered drugs.... like Ben.adryl, but I cannot get out of bed in the morning when I take one. So dum de dum.... here I am again.

By the way, HJ's cycle seems to be on schedule. She has taken all the evil Clomid and is getting a small rise in temp and the fertility monitor bumped up a notch today. If all goes well, she will get an ultrasound on Friday and get inseminated on Sunday and Monday.... happy days!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I did not expect to feel..

This whole TTC process (particularly with my fertility issues) has brought out both the best and the worst in me at times.

Some days I marvel at the strength of resolve of HJ and I and our like-minded focus to have a child. I also love the way I have been able to see our relationship more clearly. We seem to take turns holding one another up. We share the task of staying strong throughout this journey. My role is the calm, patient partner while hers is the motivated, get-things accomplished role. Truly we are well-suited. However, some days our personalities and emotions overlap in far too many ways.

Today she called me, sounding cheerful: "Outdoor guy and Hope are pregnant again."

Me: "Well that's great! How far along is she?"

HJ: About 4 weeks. The IUI worked.

Me: That's wonderful! *long pause* I have to admit that I am jealous.

HJ, sounding relieved: Oh thank God! Me too!

Me: I don't want to feel this way.

HJ: Me either. I was trying to pretend that I was just excited.'

Really.... I want to be excited!! Hope has PCOS (though she is not overweight at all) and she rarely ovulates. She has been my live infertility buddy and she is an amazing woman. She has 1 miracle baby and is a gifted mother. For Pete's sake, I have even prayed for her to get pregnant!! Yet, here I am feeling... jealous. My own personal sense of "when is it my turn?" has reared its ugly head. (Yes, DB this alter-ego is also in my barbie car!)

I think I will give myself a small break on beating myself up though because HJ did call only 15 minutes after I learned that my company will have to reduce our workforce by 10%.... today. Thankfully, my position will not be affected but people I care about will be losing their jobs today... before Christmas.... so sad.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a swing and a miss!

Yep, she's here. AF has come to visit. Oh well, November's swimmers + eggies did not have the staying power. We will do an IUI later this month. HJ will take Clo.mid this month and we will try again with Dr. Pal and Dig Daddy. Since when did conception begin to be a group sport?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things I choose to believe

From Secondhand Lions:

Hub: Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.

So I am not a man but I still choose to believe certain things.

Tonight I choose to believe that since HJ has no sign of her expected AF today, she is pregnant. I choose to believe that the 2 hpts she took were wrong. I choose to believe that her lack of eps means nothing and that "we" will be pregnant at Christmas. I know that I am silly but sometimes the world of our choosing is simply more pleasant than the real world.

holiday season

The funk I was in has now left me (yay) and I am feeling like myself again. The house has taken giant stetps forward in terms of Christmas decor and that makes me happy. Although why I decided to buy a 9 foot tree is simply beyond me. It's a beautiful tree but it covers a significant portion of the living room. I love the ornaments and take my time removing each one from their box, where I carefully wrap each one in paper when I put them away. So every ornament feels like a present when we are decorating the tree. Then I very carefully arrange each ornament on the tree in terms of color, size and location. HJ is always so confused about why this takes takes me HOURS but I refuse to be rushed. Sometimes I even stop mid-decorating to have some hot tea and look at what I have accomplished thus far. I love this process! And it reminds me of how I live my life when I am the happiest: taking each moment as it comes and celebrating each drop of goodness and joy it has to offer. Not deploring what is wrong or missing and not hurrying through the good parts so fast that I miss them. Sometimes a simple thing can return us to ourselves and act as a meditation-- which reminds me that I am not spending enough time on my mat.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bitter Infertile

That's me! Today I am a bitter infertile in the land of the happy, oblivious fertiles. I struggle to find and maintain my happy place and to find the lessons that this journey has to offer, but today I am feeling bitter and broken.

My sister and mother openly talk about how easy getting pregnant was. And every cycle I attempt, they tell me how fertile our family is so "of course you'll get pregnant." (They also told me that our family does not have a history of miscarriage so I should be fine ---clearly that did not work our so well for me.) I cannot seem to get my family to understand how very hard TTC has been for HJ and I.

And I have these massive mixed emotions about HJ getting pregnant. Every month that our insemination attempts do not work is a disappointment for me (and for her). But at the same time, I still have a lingering concern that I might feel jealous watching her have a pregnancy when I really really want one... yet at the same time, I hope she is fertile because I want a child. This whole thought process makes my head hurt.

Lastly HJ and I have this recurrent semi-argument because she worries that my mother (and family) might not treat a child she carries as well as they will treat a child I carry. The whole topic puts me in a crazy tight spot. 1) I love everyone involved and want to make peace 2) I wonder the same thing but just cannot know the answer until we live it 3) I don't even know if I can carry a baby to term so the whole idea may be a mute point. Every time we have this conversation, I generally shut down as I simply do not know what else to say at this point. stress, stress, stress

Tomorrow I will decorate for Christmas, bake cookies and wrap presents (and likely drink some more wine we got from the Bilt.more winery). Hopefully I will be able to post as a festive infertile at the end of the day.

Oh yeah, HJ took a hpt today and we got a single pink line.... probably just as well since her day 21 progesterone was only 10 (and an 11.5 is needed for a healthy pg). Next month we are doing an IUI with our known donor (Big Daddy) at Dr. Pal's office. We will give this a few months then will likely begin using an RE for HJ also. RE's attention to detail is much better than that of regular OBGYNs.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving thanks

Today HJ and I spent the entire day with my extended family--- many of whom are happy, pregnant fertiles. That part of the day was tough so I will list some things I am thankful for and I will NOT dwell on what we do not have.

In no particular order, I am thankful for:
1) The very good white wine I drank tonight
2) the usual lack of terrorist activity in the US
3) that I have found my soul mate and that she loves me as much as I love her
4) my family accepts HJ and I
5) my family in general
6) my sperm donor and his wife
7) that HJ and I can try to get pg
8) my dogs
9) good books
10) the blogging community that helps keep me sane
11) my job
12) good health
13) Grace
14) my garden
15) sushi
16) Chai tea

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And WE aren't fit to be parents!?

Caution: I am feeling very irritated so the following post will reflect that sentiment!!

Tonight HJ and I had the unfortunate experience of going to a "big box" store with a snackbar-- where we decided to share a pretzel and an iced tea. As we sat in a booth, we noticed a large variety of poor parenting. One dirty young man, who I will fondly call TSOS (the spawn of satan), was of particular interest to us. He ran to the soda dispenser and wasted several quarts of cola as his father sat and silently watched him. HJ and I stared openly at Spawn and his father until the brain trust father finally got uncomfortable and told his spawn to stop. HJ and I were hooked on the show: it was like a train wreck we could not look away from! Then the boy ate some pizza with a messiness I did not know was even possible. And the grand finale was when the boy began spitting on the floor!! Again HJ and I gaped with disdain! Now the brain trust father did tell his spawn to stop and even cleaned up the floor. It appears that the father was now using his very best parenting skills!! As the family got up to leave, the boy again ran to the soda machine to waste more liquid. The father did yell at the boy and the boy decided to stop after about an minute but he was in no hurry as he know that there would be no consequences from his sloth-like father. Did I mention that the boy was at least 8 years old?

We witnessed a wealth of other poor parenting examples in addition to coatless pregnant teens in flip flops. But truly the spawn and his sloth-like brain-trust father were our favorites. We left in a huff, talking about the general decision-making skills of the higher power that decides who does and does not get to become parents. I know that this is a bad path to explore and I try to avoid it....but here I am again.

Perhaps tomorrow I will post about something I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

superstitious much?

Today I went to the local grocery/everything store. I bought a tons of things to get HJ and I through the holiday at my parents house. I was walking through the feminine goods aisle before I left. I bought some tampons (yes, unbleached cotton) and I also planned to pick up a hpt. Then I froze and could not put the FRER into my cart. My mind went into overdrive thinking that if I bought the test, I would want HJ to take it and this 2ww would be over. So I decided that if I did not buy the hpt but I did buy the tampons then murphey's law would make her NOT start a period and NEED a hpt. So I left the area feeling satisfied with my cleverness.

Now as I am home and putting the groceries away, I realize that I may have come slightly unhinged!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Update on this cycle

It occurred to me that I have not actually mentioned anything about HJ's 2ww since we tried the inseminations. Well, there really is not alot to say.

She is not on progesterone so she has not one single pregnancy sign: zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Of course we are not surprised. It sort of hit me out of the blue today that we can test in less than 1 week....maybe we will and maybe we will just see if she starts her period. This whole cycle has been uber low key... no stress but also no high hopes. Truly I am not pessimistic-- just realistic.

Okay, my secret day dream for this 2ww: I replay the look HJ will have on her face when day 15 arrives and AF does not. I imagine us driving to the drug store and buying a FRER test, and we giggle and hold hands all the way home. Then she takes the test and we watch as 2 pink lines practically jump from the little window. We squeal, hug and jump around.... then HJ begins to look dazed. We cannot contain ourselves so we call Big Daddy (our known donor) and tell him the news. He and HJ laugh heartily at how virile he is (getting 2 women preggers on the 1st attempt). Of course, I come blog about the BFP immediately as HJ calls to cancel the IUI we have scheduled in December.

It's a silly dream but it makes me smile every time!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What would you do....

What would you do (what would I do) if you knew you could not fail?

I have been thinking about this idea for a few days. When I take on a new task, I generally feel that I will either succeed by my own cleverness and perseverance or I will succeed by finding the correct mentor ship. Since I feel this way, I usually DO succeed. I work my way into management wherever I work. I make friends out of the people I find appealing. I take on new projects with wild abandon and laugh my way through. My attitude is that I will have fun and I will either end with a good outcome or I will end with a good story. (Of course when I do not succeed at something, I tell myself that the thing simply was not on the path I should travel.) I realize that this way of thinking is very self-serving but it gives me great peace.

TTC has been very different for me. HJ and I initially began assuming that I would reproduce without trouble--- just get me near a testicle swim team and my eggs would find a way! We even set aside $7000 of our savings thinking that we would have money to reproduce and put the rest back into the account... LOL ... Then the RE had bad news for me and said that IVF would be my only option with any real chance of success. My heart dropped and I felt as though I had been punched in the stomach. But HJ and I persevered! We read up on the procedure and just knew that I would get pregnant on the 1st go... which I did..... then I miscarried. Then IVF #2 was a bust. My foundation has been rocked.

In retrospect, I have been to this foundationless place before. I was so totally broken when my 1st long term partner left me. I feared I would never love again so I filled my life with an amazing support system. The 2 years before I met HJ were filled with amazing joy and unanticipated growth. I did fear that I would just find a string of less than satisfying people to date but I found ways to fill the hole left by my 1st partner. I think the difference is that friends, family, career and such are not adequate replacements of being a mother and all the wonders that go with having a child.

Who am I if I cannot succeed? Who will I be if I cannot be a mother? I think that I have always seen myself as motherly. I take care of people. I adore Martha Stewart. I plan all year what I will bake at Christmas time. For pete's sake, I even provide counseling to children! When I read the Awakening, I enjoyed Edna Pontellier's independence but I more closely identified with Adele Ratignolle's love of family. I have always considered myself, a "mother-woman." (Which in my opinion does not also preclude being a feminist and an activist!)

So how would I feel about TTC if I KNEW without a doubt that I would succeed in having a child? No worries: no questions: just a quiet confidence in the knowledge that I will be a mother: that either HJ or I will produce a child to fill our home with that last missing element. If I knew these things, I would be free from such fear. I would not have that gnawing feeling that my life may proceed without my deepest desire. I think I would feel lighter and might feel less like I do right now--- as though HJ and I are endlessly in a holding pattern.

Don't misunderstand, I am happy. I feel blessed to be with the love of my life. I am fulfilled by my job and HJ and I are financially okay. I see the good parts of my life and I celebrate them. But how much happier could we all be if we knew that we could finish the TTC journey as parents rather than as wanna-be's? Who knows? Maybe I will end feeling about the past year + the way I feel about the 2 years I was single as an adult--- as I time I learned and grew for the better.

Quote: Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2ww II plus updates

So HJ and I are in the 2ww again and I am having really mixed emotions about that.... not about having a baby--- never a 2nd thought about that! My 2nd thoughts are about how we are living our lives now, in 2 week increments. (Period, waiting for ovulation, then insemination followed by the 2ww) This whole home insemination thing along with IUI's means that we can cycle back to back to our hearts content. I know HJ and she is now a woman with a mission: my fear is that she will feel compelled to cycle again and again until we succeed. Good outcome: crazy way to live. At least when I do IVF cycles I have time between to feel normal again and re-group emotionally. But who knows, maybe this time will work and we will not ever have to cycle again--- dare to dream!

Ok, happier note....

We did our last insemination for the month last night. In a matter of days, Known Donor, Wifey, HJ and I have become super nonchalant about this whole odd process. HJ and I took take-out so that we could all have dinner together since KD and Wifey had an appointment with their OBGYN last night. We looked at the couple's wedding photos. Donor excused himself and returned with "the cup" really quickly. HJ and he passed one another in the hallway and did an NBA-style High 5. HJ and I went to the bedroom for our portion of the entertainment. We emerge after 45 minutes of insemination + pelvis tilting time. Then all of us watch part of Mr and Mrs Smith. We talk about next month's cycle timing and decide that we will go to a professional football game together this weekend. HJ and I then come home..... truly surreal.

Oh and my brother is wimping out! He's getting all shy and wiggy about the process of donating. He is older than me and has never been married so I suppose that I should not be surprised that he has commitment issues. I am a bit angry but I am also not surprised. I am sooooo thankful for Known Donor and Wifey! (Yes, I will be thinking of better pseudonyms by next month.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Turkey baster-- not just for Thanksgiving anymore!

Okay, so we didn't actually use a turkey baster but the approach was only slightly more high tech.

Tonight our known donor invited us to his home between his his day and evening engagements. We were all way more relaxed tonight and the whole event came off without a hitch!

Here's the short play by play:
1) Known donor comes home and we meet him at his house
2) KD changes into a t-shirt that says Big Daddy and we all laugh.
3) He briefly disappears into the guest bedroom while HJ, wifey and I watch Everybody Loves Raymond (which I don't like).
4) KD emerges looking proud!
5) HJ and I use the bedroom to do our part while KD and wifey watch Everybody Loves Raymond. (BTW: "the donation" is just a gross as I recall from college days!)
6) We emerge giggling after 30 minutes.
7) Wifey makes a note that we should return tomorrow for another insemination to "optimize the ovulation."
8) We all give hugs and say "Good-bye."

Really I cannot say enough nice things about Known Donor and wifey. They are earning such good karma.

As we are driving home, I look at HJ and say, "So do you FEEL pregnant yet?"
She says dryly, "That's not even funny and I'm not taking a pregnancy test until 14 days this time."

So there you have it. The totally odd has now become mundane. Hopefully letting go of expectations will result in less emotional stress... fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I have not posted much in the past few days as life has been pretty normal... good but generally uneventful. Let me just say that today has been different from every day that came before it.

HJ and I slept in until 9:00 then we met some friends at a local restaurant for lunch... lovely relaxed morning. The friends we met happened to be a married couple in their 20's who are expecting a child. Not long ago they offered to donate to our les-baby-making efforts. At that point we were not sure about their seriousness and really thought we had everything covered. However as times passes and the bank account wanes, we find ourselves open to less high-tech efforts.

Now that wifey is pregnant, she feels that she could share the wealth of swimmers from their house to ours. Husband is also very laid back and has offered for some time to donate, pending wifey's permission.... which I can totally understand. HJ and husband have been close palas for some time and wifey and I have certainly grown on one another.

So back to the present... today as we ate our very large lunches, the topic of donation came up again. Oh, and did I forget to mention that HJ got the egg symbol on the fertility monitor today?? So after lunch, we do some shopping then we all head back to our house to watch a football game on tv. I make some soup for dinner and we have a nice afternoon. Then we all have a serious talk about "donation" and we all come to the place where we say-- "let's just give it a whirl!" So at the end of the evening, hubby goes into our bedroom and watched our *ahem* adult entertainment for inspiration then he leaves a 'donation' in a cup by the sink.

Friends leave quickly and I perform a home insemination with HJ!! Seriously, we did this thing. HJ's butt propped up on pillows, legs in the air: me between her legs with a syringe full of 'donated material'. Then I wash the "collection cup" and throw away the needle-less syringe. I can't believe that my life and this day has taken the turn it has. From about mid-afternoon on, I have been hearing "WTF, WTF, WTF" as the repeating refrain in my head.

Tomorrow we will be going over to his house in the afternoon for a second "donation." We were not even planning to try this month but when HJ got her EWCM and the eggs, she started wishing. For Pete's sake, we have had the plans to meet with our friends for 2 weeks! How could the timing have worked out this way? And how could we have ended up with hubby and wifey donating and us doing a home insem??? This is so weird for me.

So if this month works... great. And if not then we will use my brother for HJ--- assuming that all his tests are fine. If my brother's tests show less than adequate swimmers--- then I suppose we will continue to use our married friend. Holy Sh*t!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's official

My brother and I had a very intense discussion via email today about him being the donor for HJ's IUIs. I wanted to 'talk' with him that way to allow him the ability to voice concerns and back out without feeling pressured. He was totally wonderful and expressed that he didn't want us to feel pressured to use him. I feel very peaceful about this idea. Here are my reasons:
1-My brother has no children and is not married so I like the idea that he would be connected to a child.
2- I love the idea that HJ will be able to have a baby that shares some of my genetic make-up.
3- Let's face it. Brother is cheaper than sperm bank. :)

So now we have brother's swimmers tested and we wait for December's cycle.

Oh, another set of friends just told us that they are expecting.... the breeders are everywhere. I wanna join in!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't want to leave the house

Today is cold and rainy-- same as the past 2 days--- and I am having some difficulty making myself face the "real world."

I am sitting on my couch, completely dressed and made up for work. But I lack the motivation to leave. I am so warm and cozy. My house is clean and the feeling here is all comfy. I know that when I go to work, my office will be cold. My employees will need my help and input with their cases. I will have my own supervisors to deal with, and basically, I will have responsibilities.

I think the real issue is that I had a lovely dream last night. I dreamed that I was holding a newborn baby girl and she was mine!!! I felt so content and joyful and I woke up in the best mood. Even now, I have access to some of the feelings and images from my dream, and these memories are like a hug from someone I really love. I know that when I leave the house, the dream will fade. My real life will crowd in and I won't be able to visualize the face from my dream or feel her warm, alive little body in my arms.

So opinions.... do you think dreams are a way of accessing someone/something greater than ourselves to give us hope or glimpses of the future? Or are dreams simply our way of letting our own subconscious's run wild?

Okay, it is now 9 AM and I really cannot avoid my life any longer... sigh.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm disturbed

The above are pics and a link from a story about how to cook lasagna in the dishwasher. I am so very distubed right now. WHY would someone even consider doing this? How much bacteria would the dishwasher contribute to the meal? YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!!


This has been a lovely weekend-- so much so that I have not blogged every day and will miss that mark for the month. HJ and I had friends over for dinner Friday night. Then we went football tail-gaiting on Saturday followed by having a different set of freinds over that night. Jules and Ashton brought movies with them-- 2 of which were beyond awful!! However the last movie was a total chick flick... PS I Love You was the movie. I cried throughout the whole thing as it was about a young woman whose husband died and sent love letters for her to find the year following his death. The film sounds like an utter downer but it was strangely uplifting. I ended the movie feeling blessed to have found my soul-mate and to be allowed to share my life with her.

I am working on changing my attitude. I want to feel complete in my life so that a baby will simply be icing on the cake..... still working on that one. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A down day

I am having one of those days when I am railing at the suckiness of having trouble having a child. HJ looked at me last night night and said, "I am so ready to have a child. I am just ready for all this to be over and have a baby in our house! I don't care which of us has it either." I agree.

I am tired of avoiding the room that will be our nursery. When I was pregnant and hopeful, I bought blue, green and cream paints to decorate with. I have many Classic Pooh items to decorate with. And HJ bought furniture---- which is still in the boxes!

I am tired of putting vacations on hold indefinitely because we are afraid of spending 'the baby money.'

I am tired of watching every little thing I put in and on my body and worrying that I am causing my IF by taking a hot bath, accidentally injesting toxins or glutens or alien radiation or whatever theory is happening this week.

I am tired of waiting for the next cycle of my IVF and HJ's IUI.

But mostly I am tired of the nagging worry that I will never be a mother. I try to be positive and get rid of that thought then I obsess that I am actually causing my own IF by having the thought.... but the truth is that no matter what positive meditations, prayers and self-talk I use, I worry.

I did come across some lovely prayers for use before different procedures. They made me cry and made me feel a bit more hopeful. So I will share:

1- Into the hands of others, I commend my body,
into the minds of others, I deliver my trust.
I remember my love and my desire.
May they consider my being,
may we all bring life.

2- I turn to You God, and ask that You be with me now,
as I seek answer to my quest for a child.

When the doctor proceeds with the exam,
poking and prodding every corner of my body,
filling me with cold instruments,
I ask that you warm my soul.

Remind me of the warmth of my partner's touch.
Remind me of your love for me.
Restore to me my dignity;
remove from me my shame.

As you revealed the answers to Avimelekh
reveal the answers to me, my partner, and my doctor,
so that we may work together with your help,
to bring forth a child.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My child

This is my fur baby, Indy. I have had him since he was 6 weeks old and he thinks that I am wonderful. He sleeps by my legs every night and when I turn over, he wriggles to get closer to my new position. He excitedly wiggles himself in half every afternoon when I come home from work, and he climbs onto my chest to say good morning every day. Also he is utterly neurotic. His current fascination is my closet. We had a mouse for a day (then the exterminator came over and got him) but Indy is still convinced that there is a mouse in my closet!! Up to now, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to convince him that there is nothing of interest in there--- unless he likes Earth shoes. So now I have closed the closet door and he is sitting staring at the closet door.

I have to admit that I feel the same pull to hpts when I am cycling. Like mother, like furry son!

Sorry for the randomness of the post. November is the month when bloggers are supposed to post every day.... I am giving this a shot so we will see what oddities bubble up. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

woo hoo

We did it!! President Obama!!!! Good-bye Republicans.

I'm all teary.

I also read up on his stance on gays and he supports domestic partnerships--- good enough for me. He also wants to increase employment discrimination and to increase hate crimes protection.

I am proud of the US tonight because we actually chose a good man!!!

So I voted today....

I went to the old creaky gymnasium at the end of my block to cast my vote. They opened the polls at 9 AM and we had to wait in line for a while. Most of the people around me were talking about McPalin and feeling very smug. They said things like "Everyone I know is gonna vote for them." My thought "No kidding--- you really surround yourself only with like-minded a-holes?! What a surprise!" So then I searched the crowd for other interlopers-- secret Democrats in the land of the red. I think I found a few but I'll never know. The whole thing was pretty uneventful and I was feeling encouraged.

Then I left..... as I was leaving the gym, some Republican zealots had set up shop just beyond the 100 feet mark. They had signs that said "Vote against abortion, Vote McCain!" and my favorite, "Vote against same sex marriage, vote McCain!"

What!? Really... I was super-tempted to point out that yesterday Obama said that he also does not support same-sex marriage (but that he also sees no need for a federal amendment against it). Then I realized that I would have to talk to this strange woman in the sequinned red white and blue bonnet (think Little House on the Prairie meets Bobby Trendy) so I held my tongue. Then the crazy woman ran up to me and shook the sign in my face.

My response? "You're a little too late since I just LEFT the poll."

Her response, "Oh."

The south is a funny place!

Speaking of red states: AF came to visit HJ today.... oh well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The real cost of this cycle

Warning this is a sad story!

HJ and I were having a lovely day yesterday. We had been working for a few hours and she went to the store to pick up a small item. When she returned, my heart skipped a beat as she looked up at me and smiled with her hair all wind-blown and sunglasses on-- it was one of those "I'm so lucky" moments. Then she hugged me and said, "I'm so sorry." Clearly our brains had gone in different directions so I said "About what?"
HJ: "That I didn't get pregnant."
My heart sank. Of course I was not upset at her about that (yes, we still don't know for sure but it is unlikely) and I reassured her about that. But the reality is that she now truly understands the magnitude of feeling failed by your body.... failing as a woman. I wish I could have spared her that feeling. I talked with her about the fact that few people get pg on the 1st attempt even "naturally" and all those other sorts of things. But now she has experienced the yuckiness that is IF-- hopefully it will only be this time for her. But I wish she never had to know-- wish I had not miscarried, wish we had a beautiful2 week old little girl right now--- wish wish wish.

Okay all that being said, I am still okay emotionally and am trying to think that maybe we will be able to use my brother as our donor in the future. I know that my parents would really love that. So I am still grounded and still happy. But I do know what this IUI actually cost my soul-mate and I wish I could remove that self-doubt from her.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

political musings

This morning, HJ and I went to the farm supply store to get shavings for the doghouse--- makes them warm and smell like gerbils! In any case I had to drive to the side of the building for a helpful older man to load the bags into my SUV-- which is proudly emblazened with an Obama 08 bumper sticker. He felt the need to tell me that I am voting for the wrong person. Now I don't know the guy so I did not really engage in a debate with him but I made some bland comment about choice. But he was getting wound up to set me straight (sorry fella others have tried and failed before you!) so he launches into how he believes that Obama will bring about the end of America. WTF! I smile and tell him that I think he's wrong then I thank him and drive away.

But my questions are 1) Is Obama so threatening because he is a person of color? 2) Is Obama so threatening because people perceive that he is Muslim? (Which he is NOT but would it matter if her were?) 3) Why does everyone decide that he is a socialist-- again which he is not??

I am struck by the differences in climate of yesterday and today. In Nashville, tons of people had Obama bumper stickers and people howled at a George Bush joke at the play. Yesterday, no one gave HJ and I a second glance as we shopped together (clearly a couple) at the natural foods store. People joined in with our fun at dinner-- 2 lesbians and 3 effeminate gay men. But back in the small town where I actually live, some random man feels free to engage in conservative advice-giving I clearly was not open to taking. Grrr.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It kinda sucks to be me

HJ tested again this morning and the results were another BFN. Grrrrr. I am to the point that holding out hope for this cycle feels a bit silly.

So HJ and I went to a large nearby city for a lovely day. We went shopping at a natural foods store. We went to see Avenue Q then we had dinner with friends. I drank 2 pommegranate martinis-- which will likely prove to be a bad plan tomorrow. The play (Avenue Q) was sooooo funny. The South is pretty conservative but everyone responded super-positive to the show. I guess those of us who are not conservative have to get together at times! If you haven't seen the show, go ASAP! Soooo funny. My apologies if a am a bit loopy right now. :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

hpt #1

1 stinky pink line! We will try again tomorrow as I have now retreated into denial-land (it's really not as fun as Disneyland but the lines are shorter!).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is this a symptom?

The crazy woman is back and she is living in my house!

Today is 8 days past IUI and HJ is emotional.... I mean REALLY emotional. She's angry easily followed by utterly remorseful. She's irritable followed by optimistic. She cried because I found a potential home for Barney... no pressure just a thought (Come on he IS a foster dog!). She ended up sniping at her student then apologizing after class. If this is a pg symptom then Katy bar the door! It's gonna be a loooooonnnnngggg 9 months! I have to be uber careful not to offend her at the moment and I am trying not to take her mood swings personally. This is not her normal personality. Perhaps the stress of the 2ww is wearing on her....or could it be new hormones?

We have the FR hpt and I have talked HJ into using one tomorrow. We have 2 others in case the 1st one is negative. I think I am getting nervous. I still want this to work.

If it is positive, does anyone know of anything emotionally calming that preggo women can do?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

dramatic representation

A vignette from my house:

me: *poke*
HJ: Stop pushing on my bbs!
me: *giggle* I wanted to see if they are sore yet!
HJ: So just ask, no poking!

And the answer is that, no, her bbs are not sore. We are seeing no new signs that the IUI took. I always forget how slowly the 2ww passes!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

another good sign

Hj's temperature was a degree higher than normal today!! For those of you thinking "So...?," a raised temp is sometimes an indication that your body is exerting extra energy for a pregnancy.

Okay. okay, I know that I am grasping at straws here and HJ keeps telling me not to get so excited until we know more. But dang it, I am excited and I really really need this attempt to work. A year of failure (sorry to those of you who have endured more than that!) is wearing on my optimistic streak. I see pregnant women and babies everywhere and I am ready for it to be our turn..... I am beginning to feel as though my ovaries are old and shrivelled... and that I will never carry a child. So if HJ's white trash genes can give us a child then, yee haw, bring it on! LOL

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A good sign?

So today HJ found some pink on the tp.... I am just sure this is implantation bleeding and I am very excited. However, she is both excited and now a bit nervous. She has been asking me to do a million little tasks, fluttering her eyelashes and say, "Please I might be pregnant?!" This is so cute that I cannot resist doing whatever she asks. But now that she has seen the pink, this is getting more real for her. She might actually carry our child!! I am surprisingly excited and she is wigging out.

If she is pregnant, this is the perfect weekend for it to happen. The weather is bright and sunny with a bit of a nip in the air. HJ and I have completed the most mundane tasks of shopping, house-cleaning and yard work. We have also visited with friends and snuggled alot. Surely this is how lives should be started.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

plan b update dos

HJ and I just got off the phone. She has completed IUI #2. I'm amazed. HJ tends to be a bundle of nervous energy, but today she is calm and reflective. She was talking about the book she is reading, The Shack, which has apparantly changed her views on God in a much more expansive way. Also she and my brother also had a talk about the possibility of him being our donor if this attempt does not work. She said that the topic of having a known donor came up naturally in conversation and that he is open to donating. She said that his main concern is that he does not want the responsibility of a child....bonus for us! So now HJ is in an emotional place where she is saying that she can even see the blessing if this IUI does not work. I have to admit that it is refreshing to be able to try to conceive without the lingering sense of panic I had during my last IVF cycle.

I am also a bit amazed at our rapid change in attitude. We were both pretty determined that we wanted the same donor for our children (if I ever can conceive). But the possibility of my brother being the bio father of her children hit us both as an easy solution. So if this round of IUIs does not work, then our children will share my DNA no matter what.... interesting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Potentially Pregnant

HJ got everything sorted out. She is staying with my brother while she has back to back IUI's for 2 days. I am covering for her at her job--- thus I can't be with her :-(. She called me and our Dr Pal has completed the 1st try. HJ also said that Dr. Pal was super-excited about the number and activity level of the little swimmers we bought! HJ is scheduled for the second IUI tomorrow and she said that the whole thing was not too bad. This whole process feels surreal. Can it really be that in 2 weeks, we may be expecting a child?? HJ and I are good at waiting hopefully.... but actually knowing that we have a good shot of being moms?? THAT will be a new feeling!

I am going to buy some First Response home pregnancy tests this afternoon then I just have to talk HJ into taking them starting in 1 week.

A few musings on irony: Irony dictates that this IUI will work for the following reasons.
1- I want to be pregnant. HJ just wants the child part.
2- We have spent in excess of $30,000 on my uterus and just $1000 on hers.
3- We decided to try this IUI on a whim-- spur of the moment.
4- I have gone to 3 renown Reproductive Endocrinologists--- no baby. She is seeing a friend I used to get drunk with! (Who IS an OBGYN)
5- We have talked about several reasons we would like to pass along my genetics rather than HJ's.
6- It will be much easier with my job to take off for prenatal appointments and to take FMLA time.... much harder with HJ's profession.
7- HJ has to do this IUI without me there--- I won't even be present when our child is conceived!
8-The universe has a wicked sense of humor!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

May you live in interesting times

In the past I did not understand the duality of the blessing/curse that "May you live in interesting times" implies. I used to think "Interesting is good!" But now I am certainly having second thoughts about that view.

This morning, with trigger shots a mere 1 1/2 hours away, HJ checked her fertility monitor to find that it denoted an egg-- peak day, nearing ovulation. The plan was that if this happened then HJ would not take the trigger shots as her body was about to naturally do its part in conception. The plan seemed simple and made perfect sense to me, however, my poor partner can't see a simple change of plan as just that. Her mind now decides that she is NOT going to ovulate despite the LH surge denoted by the monitor. We had a lengthy discussion about how we had no evidence that she might not ovulate and that this attempt at an IUI should be viewed as an adventure.... if it works this time, Great! If it does not work this time, Fine! But HJ has switched over to hyper-control mode. She called Xytex but they were not open yet. She called our trigger shot friend to cancel and consult about fertility monitors--- which our friend also uses. Finally, she went outside (I should have gotten suspicious) and called out OBGYN friend.

FINALLY, HJ felt that all her bases were covered and that she could relax a little. The plan remains mostly unchanged. She will do an IUI tomorrow and Thurday to increase the chances of catching ovulation. The only change is that no trigger shot is needed. However, I refuse to be lulled into a false sense of calm by the plan we have agreed upon for the 2nd time... I am still waiting for HJ to have another melt-down.

I love her....goodness knows that I do and that she will do anything for me but I am finding that using her uterus is more stressful than using my own. And now I have a second worry.... will our child be as high strung as HJ? If so, I need to find a doctor who will prescribe me some good tranquilizers because things in this house are certainly interesting!
BTW: the dog at the top is Barney... our newest addition. We found him wandering down the highway... skinny, scarred, sick and collar causing an injury around his neck. HJ promised to find him a good home and she has.... ours is great!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My head is spinning

So have I mentioned that HJ is a woman with a mission?

Well today she arranged to see a new OBGYN--- one in the same town we are in- and she had an ultrasound of her follicles. The point of the new OB was to have a yearly exam and make sure that she is not over-producing follicles on the Clomid. The OB said that she had 2 same-sized follicles that look "spectacular" and her lining looks perfect as well. Well, hearing all this fertility-type stuff gets her all excited and in a rush. So HJ calls our friend the OBGYN -- who lives 3 hours away and has offered to do the IUI for free! HJ and our pal talk and decide that there is really no reason to wait until December to do the IUI. HJ calls me in that frantic, excited, I-have-a-new-idea voice and Next-- I made a quick trip to the pharmacy to get the trigger shots. HJ made some rapid calls to arrange for one of our friends to give her the shots. (Nope I can't... call me a weenie). So HJ will have our sperm shipped from Xytex tomorrow and she will have her 1st IUI on Wednesday.

Is that alot to follow?? It is for me!!! My head is totally swimming at this point. I am freaking out a little.

Autumn change

On Saturday I had to take a long drive by myself. The day was perfect-- sunny, warm and leaves changing with few pressing responsibilities for me. An unexpected happy feeling washed over me as I drove. I thought about my life, fertility issues, HJ, God and nothing at all. I listened to old Indigo Girls CDs and felt at peace with the world. The day truly was perfect!

As I revelled in the unbidden bliss, I had an image of HJ and I celebrating as we look at a 2 pink lines on a hpt from her IUI. I could feel how very happy we will be if she is indeed able to get pregnant (which I no longer take as for granted). I could imagine myself watching her growing belly and getting ever more excited to hold our child. I now know that something has shifted inside me. I am not worried that I won't be a good support to HJ if she get pregnant rather than me. Of course I still want to carry a child, but I can accept any path the child may come to us on... not just accept, but embrace the path! I don't view my "vision" as prophetic but I do see it as my subconscious saying, "relax, we're fine!"

Speaking of being fine, I have now had 3 people comment on the change in my mood. My friend "Ashton" and his wife "Jewel" both noticed the change. In fact, Ashton came by my office today to say how glad he was to see me honestly happy again. He and I are very close so he has a pretty good handle on my emotional state-- also he's a therapist! He said that he and Jewel had been worried about me since the m/c because I lost my bubbly self..... hmmmm, I thought I was hiding my irritability better than that! In reference to my mood: I have felt as though I have known how to behave lately--- calm, happy and pleasant-- but none of those states have come easily. I had to work really hard to stay in my happy place; whereas, I am normally just a naturally happy person.

I feel as though the clouds may have passed for a time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

baby plan B update

So what's going on with our plan B?

I'll begin with a little discussion of how HJ approaches the world, well perhaps attacks is a better word. She takes on any new task with a singular focus usually reserved for evil geniuses and maniacs--- but mind you that the task has to be one she deems worthy of her absorption: computer tasks, teaching, yardwork, our dogs and certainly fertility issues. Housekeeping tasks need not apply.

So when we are trying to use my uterus, I am in control and she fully embraces her supportive role. She will let me talk about my hopes and fears, and she gracefully puts up with the shifting sands that are my moods. She is also a champ at creating schedules for medications, professionally administering injections and making cycling as fun and comfortable as possible.... she is really a peach!

However when we are trying to use her uterus, HJ's focus kicks into a gear past overdrive. She is now obsessed with her own fertility. She read a book about taking charge of your fertility and she now keeps it with her as her field guide to life. She sets an early alarm and monitors her temperature (precisely at 5:30) every morning with the very expensive basal thermometer she insisted that we need. She also uses the really really expensive ovulation monitor every morning at 6:30. For the sake of getting the best "sample" possible, she sometimes keeps urine from an unexpected early bathroom break in a container until her 6:30 monitor schedule. Lastly she manually checks her CM for elasticity every day--- be glad if you don't know what that means!! Now after all the checks, they are entered into the database she uses from fertility software she bought. I see the point of all this but I truly don't have that level of perfection in my being. Not to mention that I just could not take the endless obsessing about whether my tempature was to high or too low this day or that.

Which brings us to today! This morning HJ had to leave the house at 4 am to get to the airport for a conference. So we have had many many conversations about how she might not be able to catch a rise or drop in her basal temp since she was taking it so early this morning. Followed by a very disturbing discussion of how she would follow her ovulation this morning. My vote was simply to skip a day..... her solution was to gather her urine at 3:30 then travel with it in a container in a ziplock in her carry on bag through airport security! You'll be happy to know that she and her urine made it to Boston and have tested successfully....yuck!

So I guess we are still gearing up for HJ to have an IUI in December.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

chattering monkey

A friend and I began having a conversation today about meditation and being able to stop the chattering monkey of the mind. So I began to think about how I can get uber distracted when I meditate. I was considering my "problem" from a very scientific standpoint, with ways I might improve my focus and such.
And I had 2 insights:
1) Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. I am continually striving to be better and I think that is a good thing. But I think that I expect that gaining enlightenment will remove me from the frustrations and tasks of daily life (and there have been MANY frustrations of late). But the truth is that enlightenment might change ME but it won't change the nature of my life. Any amount of meditation will still leave me an imperfect person, living in an imperfect world.

2) If I can learn to stay in the moment, then there is nothing more I need to do. The moment is what it is and when I meditate, I need do nothing more. Nothing added: nothing removed. If I simply sit in meditation and accept what comes to me from within and without, then I will gain the insights I am meant to have. Which makes me think that the same is true for life. I tend to bring my own expectations to daily life, how things go and how I think people ought to act. But if I can learn to accept myself and others, then I can simply be in the moment: fully and joyfully.

Which brings me to another point: the same friend made me laugh and said something really kind about me today. I was not looking for those moments. They were completely unexpected and made me so happy. I think that not looking for special moments allows more moments to be enjoyable.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


It is... very helpful to think of adversity not so much as a threat to our peace of mind but rather as the very means by which patience is attained.
Dalai Lama

I know someone who constantly frets and carries on when her life does not go according to plan. She can admit that she has a wonderful life (child, partner, home, good income, satisfying job, etc) but none of those "things" seem to fill her up and make her happy. She always wants more, more, more. My initial reaction was to become angry with her lack of gratitude and self-centeredness.....trust me I fumed for a while. Then through my frustration, I began to have a second response: sadness. I am sad for her. She has so many blessings yet she still remains unfulfilled: she is empty. And I think she is empty because she never stops to instrospect and consider her real life goals.

So this line of thought lead me to consider my own life and whether I live with an adequate sense of gratitude.

Do I begin each day by saying a word of thanks? not always.

Do I think about all my blessings especially when I am feeling down? That is probably the time I think the most about all the gifts in my life.

Do I stop during the day to take a calming breath and refocus? Yes, when I am at work.

Do I respond to my partner in a way that shows her I am thankful for her presence in my life? too often I am irritable.

Do I tell the people in my life how much I love/appreciate them? Yes, that is probably one of my true strengths.

Do I end each day saying thank you for all the blessings I received during the day? not as often as I wish.

So my own gratitude report card would show a "C" at best, if I am kind to myself. Now the question is, " Do I really have any room to judge others who get fretful and long for more?" Of course the answer if "no." So alas, I am brought back to my own fallible nature--- the same one we all share, Yet the same fallible nature that shares glimpses of the divine as well. Namaste, indeed.

What am I grateful for today? The ability I possess to be happy and see the many good things in my life.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dazed and confused

I have been reading posts on an IVF networking site I belong to and I find myself having strange thoughts and facing my old demon: jealousy.

For starters: we all call this IVF and infertility thing we deal with "our journey." I do it too!! But this journey business feels like a load of horse- sh---! A journey should be fun.... it should lead to someplace new and exciting. But at this point, it's getting a bit hard to see the end of the road for me..... I am feeling more like the Jews who wandered around the desert for 40 years....at about the 20 year mark. I guess my big fear is that we are truly only at the 5 1/2 year mark which means that I won't get a glimpse of the holy land for another 34 1/2 years. AND I am sure that some of the wandering Jews died before they even made it to their goal. I soooo do not want that to be me and HJ.

Rant #2: I see women who are trying for child #2 or #3, (etc) and they talk about how desperate they are to have IVF work for them. For that matter, I want IVF to work for them too!! But it is really hard for me to imagine being DESPERATE for IVF to work when they already have 1 or more children who call them "mom" and who they get to dress for Halloween and who they get to cradle and comfort.... I would do almost anything to have those experiences even 1 time. Desperate sums up my feelings about this completely.

How did I get here (thought #3): I was looking at my "IVF signature" today. Now my history consists of 2 IVF attempts, 1 miscarriage and 1 failure. How much longer will my signature have to grow? How many more attempts can HJ and I take emotionally? How many more times can we afford IVF? I just never thought that I would be a person who would HAVE to do IVF then I never thought I would be one of those women with repeated failures. But here I am feeling dazed and confused.... and honestly, more than a little bruised.

There: now I have shown all my nasty, mean feelings and I feel guilty that I even have those feelings. Good people are entitled to have the families they choose to create and modern science is the key for all of us! I also honor the fact that not everyone would even support HJ and I becoming parents. So, here I am now realizing that I ought to count my blessings rather than bemoaning the fact that I don't have all that I want.
1- I got pregnant through IVF--- so I can do it again.
2- HJ shares my desire to be a family of 3 or more.
3- God has provided for us so that IVF is even an option.
4- I got a new job just as we started trying to get pregant-- allowing us more money and me a flexible schedule.
5- My family is supportive.
6- HJ has agreed to be the "back up" delivery mom.
7- I am not going through this process alone thanks to HJ, my family and a wonderful online community.
8- various other IVF-related blessings that I cannot even think of at this moment.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A slightly new direction

With all the craziness that IF and IVF has been for us, HJ and I have talked several times about the possibility of her being the one to get pregnant. She is definitely in favor of having a child however she has no real desire to carry a baby.... there's a theme of not having anything inside that I just won't elaborate upon! I on the other hand WANT to carry a baby, desperately want to be pregnant in fact. So we have discussed that I should be the one to have the child unless I simply cannot do so. In the past, I could not even think this way and refused to have the discussion. Then I could talk about it but was not ready to act in any way. Then I was okay with HJ having herself tested for fertility--- wouldn't you know it, she's just fine! Now I have moved to a place where I am ready for her to attempt an IUI.

I still worry that I will react with jealousy to her experiencing all the joys of pregnancy when I have been unable to get to that place. I also worry that I will not by the rock of support for her that she consistently is for me. When I was pregnant, super-sleepy and a mass of mood swings, HJ was patient, NEVER pointing out that I was, in fact, evil and she even rubbed my feet and brought me special treats.... She's such an incredible person. I, on the other hand, appear to be the emotionally stable and giving one in the relationship but I think she and I know the truth. She's the real gem. :-) Hence, my concerns about her being the one to get pregnant.... how will I react?

Even beyond my jealousy though, my fear is stronger. Case in point, I saw a precious little newborn baby a few weeks ago. All my coworkers went to look at her and coo. I stayed across the room as though the baby were contagious. Babies make me weepy. When I am near them, the desire to be a mother is so strong that it chokes me at times. Then a few days later, I got my beta results.... big f'ing negative!!! Now the fear kicked into over-drive. I told HJ to call our friend the OBGYN. HJ is now taking Clomid for a couple of months to get her to really ovulate and will do an IUI in December. I think we're both baffled on what to pray for here.

Of course, we're still planning for me to attempt IVF again in January. But if she gets pregnant in the meantime, then I guess we will have to decide if I go through IVF in an attempt to get embryos to freeze. I could then be the back-up sibling provider..... before my eggs age anymore.

Reading all that I have written, I feel so incredibly selfish! Other couples would love to have a back-up choice for biological children. I know this is true but then again I have to be mindful to my own desire to give birth. sigh.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How sweet is this?!

Soooo. I have tons of things to be thankful for and I need to remind myself of that. My family definitely tops the list.

My oldest niece, the 16 year old soccer star--- a certain Brianna Scurry in the future-- became very upset at the end of each IVF cycle. When I wasn't pregnant this last time, M (the neice) said, "It's not fair!" and she offered to have a baby for my partner and me. I love that she honestly wants to do that for us-- of course I would not let her. Can you just see my beautiful pregnant neice trying to continue on the soccer team? And I am sure her boyfriend would be less than thrilled about the possibility. How would she get her full-ride soccer scholarship if she were knocked up with my child!? So thoughtful.

Then there is my other neice-- the genius. Baby A is brilliant and quite athletic to boot! However, she has no real interest in completing any of the sports endeavors she begins. She can earn a spot on the cheerleading squad (and did for 2 years) but after the accomplishment is earned-- she's bored. Poor child. She really is very much like me. And she plans to be valadictorian-- of course she will. However, I doubt she will have a child for me. She went into deep contemplation about HJ and I having a child together. She had to decide if she could support such a thing. I love that everything has to run through her moral filter. And I love that in the end she decided that she can love and support any child we might create. Precious.

Then there are my parents.... my sweet WASP parents. Mom and I can pretty much talk about anything, although, she sometimes struggles to accept my life choices and my perspectives. My father is another issue. He is a wonderful, gentle, caring man (since he retired mind you) who really chooses to bury his head in the sand a good portion of the time. He doesn't talk about sex, has difficulty talking about feelings and is resolute in his decision not to define my relationship with HJ. She is welcome at family dinners and every holiday. We sleep in the same bed and bought a house together but dad chooses not to consider the reason she is 1st and foremost in my life. he he.

So back when I was briefly pregnant, HJ and I sat my parents down to tell them that they would soon be grandparents again (or so we thought). My mom cried as we expected and was soon hugging us both. My father was the real surprise. He went straight to giving us advice about how our lives would never be the same again and that our priorities would drastically change now. He was so supportive--- like he would have been if HJ were a husband and we were expecting a child. Both my WASPy, past generation parents made a swift jump to "Okay my lesbian daughter wants a child... so do we." Then they both grieved intently after the miscarriage. Now they both intently follow our attempts at procreation. My father still has information overload with the IVF process so my mom filters information to him.... and we all feel pretty comfortable with the process. :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Next steps

I talked with my RE today. He was super warm and wonderful, and now I am feeling encouraged again. He agreed with me that this round was just bad luck statistically. (It's easy to forget that IVF just does not work 50% of the time.) He said that he sees no reason I cannot get pregnant but thinks that I have some "ovary issues"....hmmm, I have lazy ovaries. Is this a character failing or simply poor habit energy? Perhaps they are depressed or confused that they live in a lesbian??

Things my RE would like to be different next cycle:
  1. use no BCP since these quieted my ovaries too much.
  2. increase my estradiol from 1400 to around 2000 through the use of stims (Menopure).
  3. Increase my stims from 3 to 4 ampules per day.
  4. chart cycles from now until next attempt.

Things we will continue:

  1. Lupron starting on CD21.
  2. Metformin x3 daily.
  3. Manage stress (am I really do that?).

Things I want to add to next cycle: (darn internet makes us all think we are MDs)

  1. use low dose asprin again.
  2. take a broad spectrum antibiotic at the start of the cycle.
  3. lose 10 pounds-- dr just said to eat low carb and exercise.

So it looks like our next try at having a baby will be in the end of January.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2 women and 1 large wish for a child

Hello, I'm not 100% sure where to begin.... I guess mine is just an old fashioned love story. Girl meets girl on the internet and they exchange rings within 2 months. 6 months later they set up housekeeping. They get a multitude of dogs, move to another state, and buy a house. Move 5 years into the future. Now that the classic lesbian American dream has been reached, the next step is clearly to have a real live human family. (I am being a bit cavalier but this truly is something we both deeply long for.)

Sooo last year we began seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. We expected that he would say "everything's great. Let's schedule an IUI immediately! .... Why, you'll be pregnant within a month!" But instead he said, "You have old eggs and fertility issues." He then said the dreaded words....in vitro fertilization. HJ (partner) and I were in shock! We couldn't fathom that things weren't 'normal' in my ovaries and such and we were terrified at the cost of IVF. But we persevered. We did IVF #1 and I got pregnant. "Yippee!! This is more like it!" We told everyone we knew, including my parents (but THAT is another story) then I miscarried at 9 1/2 weeks. booo!

So we took some time to grieve and recover. We got a second and a third opinion then we went to a new RE. Love, love, love RE #2 and we were pumped for IVF #2. However IVF #2 did not create any discernible outcome aside from our diminished bank account and my new ability to cry at the drop of a hat. I'm serious: I don't discriminate. I'll cry over anything: commercials, songs or even Adam Sandler movies!! So now HJ and I are in the portion of our journey when we see pregnant women EVERYWHERE and we try to decide how to get there for ourselves.

Clearly some days are better than others.