7 eggs ICSI'd: five eggs fertilized. Very excited. Joey even had a moment of utter confidence today. Tomorrow we find out if we have 3 or 5 day transfer. I am really hoping for the 5 day, that means the embryos are looking better.
Secret Single Behavior... does everyone remember the Sex a/t City episode where they talked about their secret single behaviors? I never thought I had any but all evidence to the contrary.
I dropped Joey at the airport today then did a bit of shopping on my way back home. I literally spent hours in T@rget wandering the aisles and buying a few things. On the way home, I thought about stopping to buy myself some dinner but decided that I would rather make a meal Joey would complain about-- red beans and brown rice with veggies. Since getting home I have colored my hair (goodbye greys!), have had a soak in the hot tub, have done laundry, cleaned house and have given myself a mani/pedi. I am planning on a facial, exfoliating and hanging a new shower curtain rod later tonight. Who knows I may end the evening with some yoga followed by wine and a Sund@nce movie. Yup- secret single behavior. It is not as though Joey would ever intentionally stop me from doing any of the things I have done this afternoon and evening. It is just that life takes on a different rhythm when she is home. I would never never want to remove her from my life for very long, but I must admit that a night alone each month wouldn't be such a bad deal.
My thoughts are a bit scattered of late. I am having trouble creating a cohesive post so please peruse my bulletty thoughts.
We are snowed in here at home. I live in TN: I thought snow was an element from my past. I would still go about my life, except that TN snow seems to only come in conjunction with ICE. So, we are piled up in bed with the dogs.
Joey and I were talking about her cycle and I asked when she stops taking her birth control pills. Her answer, "In another month." Me: "wha?" Her: "Yes, I have a whole other pack." Me: "But you only take a couple more." Her: "You sure?" Me: "YES!!" It seems that she was planning to take BCPs all through her entire cycle if I had not asked. The schedule provided by our nurse says that Joey stops BCPs on Monday.
I was watching a show where a woman was acting as a surrogate for her sister. All very sweet. Joey came in at the part where the surrogate was in labor and it went badly. The surrogate had to have a csection and had to be completely out while that happened. Joey said, "That looks good. Can I do that? I can just wake up and meet the baby or babies. You'll be there." I could not even respond.
I am a champ at giving Lupron shots.
I had a moment in a store a few days ago. I saw baby shirts that had cutesy comments on them about loving their moms and such. I wanted to buy one. ALOT. I was really and unconsciously optimistic about this cycle. The thought that ran through my head was, "Should I buy one or two of those shirts? If I bought 2 then even if we don't have twins, the baby has an extra shirt." Then I stopped short, I felt with great certainty as though Joey will get pregnant with this cycle. While the moment of clear hope was intoxicating, it. terrified. me. I really really want this cycle to work and I am somewhat optimistic or I would not have agreed to try. BUT- the thought of another let-down, another grieving process makes my blood run cold.
The gym and I are becoming more close. This week had several things that got in the way of my ability to get in a workout (real reasons like a coworker's evening funeral, a surprise report and a snowstorm) and I actually missed going. This has to be progress.
I also bought a ton of books not related to trying to make a baby and I have been reading them.
All the changes in my life and daily routine reminded me of an email I received from one of my best friends years ago after my 7+ year relationship ended. I had asked her what I should do and who I should be when we were in the middle of a teary phone call. Her response was to send an email listing all the things we sometimes forget to do while we are putting our time and energy into being part of a poorly functioning WE. Her prescriptions were simple: do the things that make you who you are. Watch movies only you would want to see. Read books that are meaningful to you. Take long walks. Spend extra time meditating. Buy something pretty. etc etc. I find myself returning to her advice now. I do go to the gym by and for myself. I have bought and am reading a ton of new books. I cook healthy meals either Joey will eat or will not. I rent independent films. I have bought some new jewelry. I spend time completing a loving kindness meditation and I think I am finding myself more at ease with this life.
Yes, the sadness about my likely lack of ability to carry does find me at unexpected moments but I am finding ways to banish that melancholy.
Once upon a time two lovely lesbians princesses paid for their first donor egg cycle and filled out mounds and mounds of paperwork. As they completed that cycle (a long long time ago), they read in the paperwork that ICED cycles (frozen donor egg cycles) could provide UP TO eight eggs with the intent being at least 2-3 embryos to transfer. The princesses were wearing their rose-colored glasses and paid no attention to small details such as “up to.” However when their rose-colored glasses were unceremoniously removed by the BFN monster, the princesses found that they had only been given 6 eggs from their first donor (because she was a “proven” donor). Therefore when Dr Fairy Godmother offered another cycle for mere pixie dust, the princesses cautiously broached the egg count issue, not wanting to look ungrateful. The Dr Fairy Godmother was kind and understanding but elusive on this point. Apparently Dr Fairy Godmother had to make such decisions only after consulting with the other godmothers and godfathers.
Then yesterday, the princesses received a message through the magic mirror (sometimes called email) that the fairy counsel agreed that the somewhat desperate princesses could have 8 eggs. The mirror also relayed that the eggs were successfully transitioned for Princess Cindy’s name into Princess Joey’s name (always a relief because Southern Far Away can be a bit homophobic).
Yep, eight potential ice babies are waiting for us in the cooler.
So today, I had my first round of experiences as "other" and I seem to have escaped relatively unscathed. Joey had an appointment to get bloodwork and an HSG. Part of the appointment was that Joey and I had to re-complete the paperwork we completed for the last cycle, except this time our roles were reversed. Page after page, Joey signed the "mother" lines and I signed the "partner" lines. Seriously last time we did the paperwork, there did not seem to be too many lines but this time I felt like "partner" kept assailing me page after page after page after page. The pages seemed to say
"Sign here that you are utterly infertile."
"Initial here that you can't have babies."
"Date here, you barren thing."
All in all though, we had a good time. I got to have a consolation Starbucks as the non-bio mom and I didn't have to take my pants off. Frankly, avoiding having random medical objects shoved in my hoo-haw did not suck. Yin and Yang, right?
By the way, I cannot say enough nice things about all the support I have received through this transition from hopeful carrier mom to hopeful other mother. Your support has been more healing that I have words to express. And the wise Merideth suggested an on-going goal, self re-creation series. I love that idea... now to just figure out some firm goals. And yes when I feel smokin hot in my gothy fishnets. I will definetely post photos.
Since Joey and I decided to change uteri, she has been the one talking with the RE's office. It wasn't a well-thought-out plan, it just happened. So today our super-sweet IVF nurse called me and asked in her most tentative voice if Joey, the doctor and I are "all on the same page." It did not occur to me to think that the RE's office would wonder if Joey was sneaking around to cycle without my knowledge. I had a moment when I imagined myself feigning shock and dismay. *Gasp* Yes, my partner is resorting to subterfuge to steal our donor eggs. I assured the nurse that I am, indeed, onboard with Joey being the basket we put our eggs in. Then I had something of an out-of-body experience. I heard myself reassuring the nurse that I feel happy and confident with the new plan. I sounded so calm, composed and wise that I felt as though I was listening to someone else. With Joey and online, I pour out my unattractive emotions. Publicly, I whip out the "everything happens for a reason" persona. I despise sympathy for myself: emotionally guarded, who me?
I had a few people ask about whether we are staying with donor eggs even though we are changing carriers. Yes, for several reasons. 1) Joey's eggs are an unknown entity. They may be fine but they haven't worked so well with all the IUIs or at-home attempts. 2) We have already made our peace with using donor eggs. After making that internal shift, we just don't care about the genesis of our eggs. 3) We have already paid for this cycle. If we switched to traditional IVF, we would have to pay several thousand more dollars.
Incidentally, we are looking at a transfer in the beginning of March.
My out-of-body experience made me think about what characteristics I will take on now that I have had to jettison a part of who I planned to be. Some of my considerations:
I will become brooding and mysterious. Problem is that a name like Cindy does not lend itself to "brooding" or "mysterious." My name is much more often associated with peppy cheerleaders or the Brady family.
I will write deep, emotional poetry. However I am not a teenager anymore and frankly, I suck at poetry.
I will become disillusioned with life and will speak entirely in pithy, angry phrases. See considerations 1 and 2 for all the reasons this idea just sucks.
I will use my free time to pick up a hobby. Ok, but it is hard to translate a hobby into a new reason to live. (Perhaps an overstatement)
I will become the ultimate in zen. Within the next year, I will mature to be like the bastard love child of Buddha and Jesus. Problem is that I can never maintain the flashes of zen I see and no one could stand me if I lived in complete enlightenment. Let's face it, perfect is boring.
I will use my free. non-pregnant time to get back into great shape. If I can't be pregnant, then by gosh I will be HOT again. Good-bye TTC weight. My ass re-joined the gym today. Okay so getting back into shape is hardly original and is less than a profound experience for the soul. But I plan to look damn good when I am toting around our baby. I want strangers to say, "We can't believe you are a new mother. How did you get your figure back so quickly?"
This is my version of an acceptance post. I have not found my inner Zen. I am not thanking the universe for allowing me to learner deeper lessons of being a potentially uncurable infertile. I have not become wise and more spiritual. But I am still living, still breathing and I can see all the reasons to be thankful for the life I am living.
I also really really (ad infinitum) want and need Joey to get pregnant. My fear at this point is that she will not. Nothing has worked in 3 years and the place we stand metaphorically is a crossroads. Either this works and we are parents or this does not work and we take some serious time away from TTC, perhaps forever. We have been having conversations about getting serious about adoption either way. And we have been trying to imagine our lives in a way that is not always hinging upon our next attempt, our current attempt, getting over a failed attempt or saving for another try. You know, real life.
This is our watershed moment and I am mostly peaceful about it. At moments I even begin to talk about us having a baby and how we will manage this or that. Joey gets all weird when I do that. I think she is feeling a great deal of pressure to pinch hit. I know she has done all she can to give me the baby I want in the way I wanted it. And now she must be feeling the weight of another maybe loss or failure so I am trying to begin 2010 with a new sense of expectancy for her. I want her to have a sense of peace so that this next donor cycle does not feel as though she needs to hold her breath from start to finish. Of course I know that she is also worried about how I will feel if this cycle does work and she gets pregnant- meaning I watch her get what I wished for. Poor Joey, I am quite a complicated woman to live with. She needs to fear both failure and success.
So in the end, we stand as we began. We are still very much in love and I suppose that is a pretty fantastic place to begin a year.
I am a Southern lesbian traveling the winding path to motherhood (please please). My wonderful partner (J) and I are both 36 years old. For the past 3 years, we have spent most of our time, money and emotional resources trying to get pregnant. The road has been long to this point...I have done 3 IVF cycles: 1 m/c and 2 BFNs. We also tried several unsuccessful IUI cycles with my partner, J. At this point we have moved on to unknown donor eggs. Our first donor egg cycle ended in a BFN. We are now trying a second DE cycle but this time my partner will carry. We must be crazy.