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.