2 women trying to make a baby

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Three dirty dogs

All my babies are home again. Joey and I are two happy mamas this evening.

We spent the entire day calling rescue organizations, going to shelters (too awful), driving around, hanging new signs, fearing the worst and periodically crying. Then just as Joey and I suited up for what I assume would have been a 40 mile trek into the squishy fields and woods surrounding our house, my phone rang. A very nice man about 1 mile from our house called to say that he had seen our sign at the local quickie mart. He said that some dogs that seemed to fit the description of mine were hiding in the barn next to his house. I immediately started RUNNING to the Xterra. Joey wanted to go into the house to get leashes and a blanket to cover her seats with: I would have none of that. So we sped down the road and pulled up next to the barn "Dukes of H@zzard" style.

Sure enough my three goofy dogs were hiding out. Bailey (the giant Schnauzer) did not recognize me at first and he was violently shaking all over. Jack (the former foster dog) recognized me immediately and ran to me happily. Bailey then recognized his mamas and began wagging and kissing. Watson (the mini Schnauzer) was pretty traumatized. He ran to the car and barked alot. Then I looked over and all three dogs were jumping on Joey, clamoring for her attention. Ahhh, good times. We brought the mud ball dogs home, fed them and began the process of untangling burrs from fur. Eventually scissors were involved. Now Bailey is taking up our whole bed napping. Watson has curled up on the couch with my pink robe and Jack is napping in a dog bed. They are all exhausted as are Joey and I.

I could not be happier about the ending of this saga, but who has ever heard of a dog that cannot find the way home even a mile away?

Friday, October 30, 2009


Last night as Joey was opening the gate to go into our fenced yard, the dogs bum-rushed her. We expected that they would come home quickly but they are still not home today (10 AM). Last night and today, I have driven around local neighborhoods and searched the nearby fields and woods. I have called local animal control offices who have been surprisingly helpful. I am currently waiting for the 1 hour photo place to finish my pics so that I can put up fliers all over the area. My heart is broken. Watson, Bailey and Jack (a foster dog) are gone and I cannot stop thinking of all the terrible things that might have happened to them. These are my kids. Please say a little prayer to whoever or whatever you believe in.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Unquelled yet surrendered

Last week's E2 level? 320

This week's E2 level? 308

I pretty much knew I was in trouble when the ultrasound tech congratulated me on my nice thick lining this morning. (It is at 11 at present.) My response, "Uh, this is a suppression check." Her abashed response, "Oh." Yeah, I knew that was not a good response since my lining should be thin and my E2 level low.

The nurse called my voice mail this afternoon. She was really apologetic and said that the RE had no explanation for why this is happening. "It just happens sometimes." Now I am likely to get a period before the transfer and before I start E2 and progesterone. It is pretty much looking like our thaw and transfer will not happen until the week after Thanksgiving. This is the oddest cycle I have ever experienced.

In a weird twist, I am not fretting. My thoughts are that maybe having a different kind of cycle will result in a better outcome. Also I had a bit of a release in my car today. I came to the place where I accepted that I have little to no control in this process. I am not the one who is in charge and I need to stop living and thinking as though I am. I surrendered. Now I am almost watching the process from outside myself which is a relief from the near constant self-doubt I have been living with this cycle.

Now I just need to order more Lupron.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gratuitous kitten pics

Because some days you just need a little kittie love.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You can't suppress me!

I had my suppression check today and my E2 level was still too high to continue. So I take Lupron for another week and my transfer gets pushed back by a week, making my transfer day November 19 (which was our original plan). Ok, no big deal. right?

I also met with a nurse I have never met face to face before. But we have communicated several times. She was so warm. She talked about how she felt as though she already knows me and that she is really hopeful that Joey and I will end up with a baby from this cycle. She also told me that the donor we are using this time is great. She is petite-- kinda like me. The nurse said our donor has a great history of high quality eggs. I am hopeful but nervous. What if Joey and I made the wrong decision? What if Joey should be the one to try to get pregnant? What if, what if, what if???

Monday, October 19, 2009

Off the grid and fun with math

I have been almost completely Internet-free in my spare time recently. It was strangely freeing and anxiety-provoking at the same time. But now I am back (and almost entirely caught up) both from my Internet sabbatical and from an actual vacation.

Joey had a conference in Salt Lake so we decided to stick a vacation at the end. I was pleasantly surprised. The weather was fabulous and we spent time with great friends. I almost didn't think about TTC for a few days, which is tough when I am taking injections every morning. Then out of the blue, our IVF nurse calls and asks if she can move up our cycle by 1 week. The new schedule means that our eggs will be thawed on November 9 and our transfer will be November 12. Now let me just express to you the joy that comes from having this very private conversation, along with lady business questions, while sharing a rented van with 7 friends. So much for my dignity and being low key. You know what also sucked? The driver did not realize when I got on the phone so she cranked the radio really loud and I had to ask her to turn it down. Now instead of people having side conversations, the van goes utterly quiet as I ask questions about when I will have my period and when will my ultrasounds be scheduled. Ah well, half the nation has seen my lady business so why not have the other half hear about my period and such?

In the time that I WAS thinking about TTC, I considered some numbers:

Using conservative numbers, IVF works about 40% of the time. So 40 out of 100 people will get pregnant on the first try.
Then 40% of the non-pregnant 60 get pregnant on the second try which is 24.
Now 64 of the original 100 have gotten pregnant, leaving 36 women to have a third IVF and 40% will get pregnant (14).
This means that after 3 cycles of IVF about 78 of 100 women will have a baby.
Assume that the 22 women not pregnant will all move on to donor eggs. Of those 22, 60% will get pregnant (13). Now the number of women having babies has increased to 91 out of 100.

If my math is correct (and remember that I am a therapist, not a real scientist, meaning that my math skills are roughly on par with the average 6th grader) I am part of less that 10% of women trying to get pregnant using ART who are not successful after 3 IVFs and a donor egg cycle.

No one can ever accuse me of being a quitter.

Friday, October 9, 2009

How we met

I am at that place in the cycle where life is uneventful. Aside from taking BCPs and prenatals, my life is just the same as when I am not cycling. I am finding this normalcy quite calming. So I decided to finally write the story of how Joey and I met. (Yes, J = Joey. She said that she is comfortable with me using her name now.)

I know it is trite but the way Joey and I met was through an online dating site. Joey had just moved to a new city to begin her PhD program. She was looking to meet new people and she did not have much free time to spend in bars and such. I lived in a small town and I was quite entrenched in the lesbian community. As happens with small towns, the dating scene had become too incestuous for my comfort. It got to the point where every new woman I dated was an ex of this close friend or that close friend and then having parties got complicated because inevitably Jane doesn’t like Dylan and Dylan cannot be in the same room as Wendy, etc. I wanted a woman from well-outside the circle of crazy.

Joey had an online profile with a picture. She was wearing little John Lennon glasses, uber lesbian chic clothes and a mischievous grin. Her profile was also laugh out loud funny. She talked about lots of things but what I recall is that she wanted someone who could find her bad spelling charming and who could see the unintentional humor in many of the profiles on the site. Witty, stylish and confident? Sign me up! I spent about 2 hours crafting the perfect email introduction… just a few lines but constructed for maximum benefit. She responded and I was so excited. We emailed back and forth a few times, talking about life, our careers and funny tidbits. Then one day, I mentioned The Princess Bride. Bam! Joey’s next email ended with a telephone number and a good time to call. She told me when we spoke that anyone who loved the Princess Bride couldn’t be too scary. We talked on the phone for hours on end, every day for about 2 weeks in addition to continued emailing. The conversations were intoxicating. I had not connected with anyone so completely and I kept telling myself not to get too excited (I knew that a telephone persona could be quite different from real life). We decided to meet but we both agreed that we would only meet as friends.

Joey drove down to meet me on a Saturday. I was giddy with excitement. When she got to my town, she called and I directed her to my apartment complex. My apartment was far from the road. I stood on my little porch and watched her walk toward my door. I was hooked. She was hot! I got nervous and felt goofy hanging out on the porch. I went back into my apartment which Joey found hilarious. She could clearly see how wigged out I was (in a good way). Thankfully I was cool enough to not come on too strong, which would have made her head for the hills. I took Joey to a birthday party where we were making pottery. I had not told any of my friends about Joey and they were all intrigued. They were convinced that Joey and I had been secretly dating. Joey and I had fun with keeping them confused. We made a plate together, sitting close enough that we had to touch accidentally. We laughed a lot and somewhere in the middle of the party, Joey put her hand on my leg. Every little touch was electric and I was able to maintain my composure only with great effort. We joked that we were making our “love plate” and we would eat our wedding cake off the plate. Then I took her to a bar to watch some of my friends play music. There we held hands and she often kept her hand in the small of my back. I knew that I wanted to be so much more than friends.

We ended the evening late and Joey said that she was going to drive home that night. I convinced her that it was dangerous to drive so far when she was tired. She agreed to stay the night. Conveniently, my couch was super uncomfortable and I only had one bed. She felt a bit awkward about sleeping together. I told her that I slept with all my friends (the double entendre was intentional) then with my best sexy confidence I promised not to attack her, unless she wanted me to. I gave her a t-shirt and boxers to sleep in. Joey had an insurance policy to make certain that she would behave herself that night: she didn't shave her legs. That did not work as well as she planned. I said goodnight and turned toward the wall. My lack of aggression intrigued Joey and she snuggled up behind me. Of course we didn’t go right to sleep *smile* but we also stayed clothed….. the next night was another story.

From here our story gets pretty lesbian average. We talked on the phone for hours and we spent every weekend together. We were together every moment we could find and within the month we were clearly in love. Six months later I left my town and my state to move in with Joey. Truthfully, I think I fell in love from the moment we met. Six years later, I remain in a bit of disbelief that we met and that I get to be with the person who is perfect for me. I still find her witty, stylish and sexy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Deep breaths

J and I had a consultation with our RE today. First we talked about our failed DE cycle. After every one of these sessions I am left feeling dissatisfied. I want a REASON. I want to know what went wrong. Instead we always we get an answer like, "Well it could have been ___ or it might have been _____."

Our RE did say that she was surprised that we did not have any embryos left to freeze and she said that with this next cycle, she will try to get us more eggs. Also we agreed that she will choose our donor based upon who has the best eggs. All good things. She also thought it was odd that I keep not getting pregnant when my lining looks good. We talked a bit about J carrying but in the end decided to go with my uterus again.

So I will keep taking the BCPs and will begin Lupron in about a week. Then I will add in Estradiol and Progesterone injections. Same protocol as last time. Tentative transfer date November 19.

I must admit that I am feeling anxious about this cycle. I have no idea where my calm Zen place might be hiding. I am fearful and I have lost confidence in my body. I need a serious infusion of Hope. Any ideas where she might be hiding?