Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday rundown

This will be brief since I am still a-vacationing, but here's my holiday, by the numbers:

49: The number of hours I spent staying alone at my mother-in-law's house because my husband was supposed to fly via Denver and got delayed by two days instead.

183: The number of farts I have emitted in the greater LA area in the past few days. I would particularly like to apologize to those of you who may have been shopping on the Third St.reet Prom.enade on Christmas Eve; if you wandered into a rank miasma, that may have been left behind by me.

7: The number of times I think I may have felt the little feller move inside my belly. I think I'm finally feeling that "goldfish" sensation that people cite.

Okay, this last one doesn't fit neatly into the numbering conceit, but I definitely have a belly now. If you didn't know me, you might think it could be a burrito gut, but if you did know me, you'd definitely think I look pregnant. My belly popped out in the past week or so. My husband immediately noticed it when he arrived two (2) days late after we'd been apart for a week.

I hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

He who suffers remembers.

That's what my fortune cookie said last night. Nice, eh?

I had my appointment and ultrasound today with the UCSF people. The prenatal genetics doctor was reassuring overall: she said that they see a few instances of mos.aic tri.somy 20 each year, and her feeling was that if a detailed ultrasound showed no structural abnormalities, then the chances of a birth defect would be closer to that of the general population (4%ish) and not 10%. The ultrasound came back fine (and no clubfoot!), which was a huge relief, especially as the doctor doing it did not speak until she was done with the entire thing. My baby doesn't move much at all - he seems constantly to be asleep - but I will worry about that later.

The next thing to do would be an echocardiogram, which I may do when I get back home - this would just confirm no structural abnormalities of the heart. And I should get regular ultrasounds to check that the growth is okay. As of right now, the baby measures on track or maybe slightly ahead of dates. I would be happy to get frequent ultrasounds, so that is fine with me.

And the icing on the cake was that my insurance agreed to cover this visit - I had to keep going up the chain, but finally I traded messages with someone who agreed that it was necessary and that they would cover it (instead of trying to make me fly back home). I would have gone ahead with the appointment regardless, but I'm sure my adventures today cost at least a thousand clams, so it was nice to get official approval.

All in all, a good day! I will try to be optimistic, even though this might require a personality transplant.

Thanks for all of your kind wishes!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The 5% Nation, Continued

Thanks for all of your posts below - they really mean a lot to me. I now have an appointment tomorrow at UCSF with the main prenatal genetics doctor, and then I have a level II ultrasound there as well. I was impressed that I got in there so quickly - either my doctor is very important or I am in a bad situation. I am assuming the former. Or, more realistically, he probably told the UCSF people that I am neurotic and high-maintenance and would likely spontaneously combust if I couldn't get some more information. We'll see.

It is difficult to be rational. Like, I know the chances are much better than not that things will be okay. One of my friends took her son to the pediatrician today (a very experienced, in-demand doctor) and she asked about trisomy 20 mosai.cism. He said that in 20 years, he'd never seen it actually happen - ie, people get the bad result on their amnios, then the kids are fine. But it is so hard for me to feel reassured by that, you know? And I know that this would probably come up in plenty of people who never have amnios, and thus never know. But it is still anxiety-inducing.

I was supposed to have lunch and go walking with a pregnant friend of mine today, but she had her baby a couple of days ago (two weeks early). I still went walking (running, even!), which was lovely, but I have since returned to the friend's house where I am staying and have basically been napping, crying, and consulting Dr. Google, who doesn't have as much info as I'd like.

Another thing that concerns me is that I can't feel this kid move yet, I don't think. I know there's a range of when people feel movement, but I know so many people who have felt it way earlier than this. I guess I'll find out more tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Five Percent Nation of Casiotone

The title is a reference to a lyric in a Soul Coughing song that keeps going through my head. Why? Because the 5% of a bad outcome seems to be where I continue to fall. I think Beth had a post to this effect on her blog.

So fewer than 5% of couples need IVF. Fewer than 5% of pregnant women get hyperemesis. We know where I/we fell there.

Now let me tell you that FISH results are supposed to account for 95% of the things that can be wrong with your baby as shown by the amnio.

Guess who's got that last-5% abnormal result? Us. 20% of our baby's cells have tri.somy 20 mosai.cism. Could mean nothing, could mean a bunch of terrible things. The chances are that nothing is wrong, but there's a 5-10% chance that something is wrong - it could be heart, kidneys, brain. It's hard for me to be optimistic.

I am away from home for two weeks. The doctor is trying to get me an appointment at UCSF tomorrow or the next day for a detailed ultrasound to see if any issues appear there, but of course they might not be able to see if anything is wrong, since what's wrong could be invisible for now.

I am so tired of being on the wrong side of the odds. I was just starting to feel happy and confident in this pregnancy, and now this. If they can't see anything wrong on the ultrasound, I am still going to worry for the next five months - and probably longer, since whatever's wrong (if something is wrong) could take a while to show up.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Taking care of business (or not)

I realize that it's bad enough when an infertile blogger gets pregnant and starts complaining about side effects of pregnancy and posting belly shots, but surely it must be worse when that blogger starts describing her shits in detail.

But so it is.

Dear readers, although I was still constipated by the Z0fran, I felt that it and I had reached a sort of detente: the Z0fran would let me nominally move my bowels once a day, and I would deal with the fact that said movements were somewhat painful and, frankly, stingy. And, over time, with the help of more and more C0lace, those craps were at least less injurious than they had been - sure, there would be some straining, but no longer did I feel as if I were giving birth from an inappropriate location. Until yesterday.

I don't know what the problem was. I try to eat a lot of fiber, even though I don't know if it makes a bit of difference when confronted with the awesome constipating power of Z0fran. It was true that I had experienced a bit of a nausea relapse and temporarily re-upped my dosage, so maybe that had something to do with my issue. Maybe that panini that I ate with local reader MSF a couple of days ago just had too much goddamned starch in it. Whatever the case, I found myself on the toilet yesterday. For forty-five minutes. As a turd got STUCK while I tried to get it out of my tortured ass.

Nothing worked. Not straining, not relaxing, not trying to stress myself out in the hopes that my good old nervous stomach would return. Not reading an entire issue of the alumni magazine, not praying, not cursing, not primally screaming, not even weeping (for, yes, a few tears were shed). I even resorted to more desperate measures that one can read about on hyperemesis message boards; no dice. I felt I might simply have to take up residence on the toilet while the concrete marbles and gravity battled it out. My husband would be home in just five short hours, and the dog had water in his dish. We could all live, right?

Finally, as I was considering whether dying was really such a bad alternative, I was saved by gas: a few bubbles percolated downward and shoved out the recalcitrant turd. I almost passed out from the effort. My poor, beleagured sphincter was so pummeled that every time I farted (and, hey, pregnant women fart) later on, it felt like a rubber band snapping against a sunburn.

Needless to say, to my normal evening cocktail of C0lace and various drugs, I added a double shot of Milk of Magnesia with a water chaser. Also, upon my release from the Abu Ghra1b of elimination, I immediately checked the baby's heartbeat with my rented doppler to make sure that he hadn't been rendered unconscious by the passing of a nearby piece of concrete.

Today was better, but I remain scarred by the experience. An elective c-section suddenly looks rather appealing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Old wives' tales, analyzed

Warning: belly shots appear later in this post.

Now, onto the topic of the title: old wives' tales, specifically those about gender prediction. Let's see how they did.

1. Higher heart rate = girl; lower heart rate = boy.

Clearly, the old wives failed me here. The heart rate of my little alien has consistently been on the high side - 150-160. I guess he's just high-strung like his mother.

2. Good skin = boy; bad skin = girl.

Give this one to the old wives. My skin has been very clear since BFP. Now, my skin isn't, say, as prone to eruptions as a teenaged fry cook's, but I do get a zit here and there. This isn't to say I look radiant - I am still as pasty as ever.

3. Morning sickness = either boy or girl, depending upon whom you ask.

I'd always heard that more morning sickness meant a girl, the theory being that you have more female hormones wreaking havoc on your body (which I think is the same idea behind #2). But some people swear that, no, it's boys that make morning sickness worse. I do know that with hyperemesis, girls are statistically more likely, though not by a huge amount (56% vs. 44% or so). So who knows how to score this one.

4. Craving for sweets = girl; craving for salty foods = boy

The old wives are clearly not to be trusted. I have heavily preferred sweets (during those times when I have been able to eat) to salty foods, although I do occasionally yearn for "all natural" cheet.os (those white puffy ones in a paper-ish bag).

I think that about covers it. Any other classics you've heard?

I continue to feel better, though not well. I am down to 16mg a day of Z0fran, but I still can't take a shit. On Friday, we went to my office holiday party, and I felt awful afterwards, although one can't help but guess that the all-fried menu (and my joyous embrace of it) might have had something to do with it. Chicken fingers, potato skins, etc. - mmmmmmm. I would have eaten 10 mozzarella sticks, too, if they'd had 'em.

Anyway, here are some belly shots - both at 17 weeks. One shows the bare belly, and the other gives you an idea of how I've been trying to camouflage it with clothes. Both pictures feature my new fleece yoga pants from Victo.ria's Se.cret - one of my friends told me these were all she'd worn in late pregnancy (well, she'd had the classic version, but it's cold here, so I went for fleece). I never ordered any since, well, I was never pregnant, but now that I have some, I can tell you that they would be PERFECT for day six onward of stims during a fresh IVF cycle. If only I'd known.

SHOT #1: The goods

SHOT #2: Incognito (sort of)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Results, round one

The FISH results are back and the baby doesn't have Down syndrome or some other trisomies (15 and 18, I think; or maybe it was 13 and 18), nor any X or Y issues. And he is really a he.

I had my regular OB appointment yesterday and all seemed well then - heartbeat was chortling along at 154, and my blood pressure was something like 116 over 70, so pretty good, if a bit higher than my normal blood pressure. The OB does think I am "THE" prime candidate for postpartum depression (thank you very much) so she's twisting arms to get me into meet with this very in-demand combo OBGYN/psychiatrist who focuses on infertility and PPD. The hospital clearly needs about five of that woman.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Modest fetus

I had my amnio and ultrasound today. The baby had its legs crossed over its groin (and its hands over its face), but the ultrasound tech got some glimpse that made her think it's a boy. The FISH results will be back in two days, and those will tell us definitively. The full amnio results will be back in two weeks.

The baby looks more like a baby than a peanut now - he had real arms and legs and a little nose. He doesn't seem to move all that much, although he did flip over between the initial ultrasound and the one they did in conjunction with the amnio. He is one cute little feller.

Remember how I said I'd stop worrying if the amnio results came back fine? Well, I can already tell you that that is a lie. You see, the only thing the doctor didn't like on the ultrasound was the baby's feet - he wants another ultrasound in three to four weeks to check for clubfoot. He said it's early, and also the baby's position kept him from telling whether there was an issue there, but of course I will now worry about this. At least clubfoot is correctable. But it would nice to have no known issues for once. I will focus on retaining my excellent health insurance in the meantime.

The amnio itself was no big deal. I had the head of the maternal-fetal medicine group perform it, and I definitely felt like I was in great hands. It was short and practically painless - less painful than your average, well-executed blood draw - and the needle is inside this stabilizing contraption that keeps you from actually seeing its full length. Anyway, we'll now hope that no complications follow, and that the amnio results come back perfect.

I hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Week in Review; The Week Ahead

Thank you all for your posts below. I compiled the happy-ending brain-cancer stories and sent them to a friend who's kind of the point person for conveying info on my friend who just had surgery. They'll get the final path report on the tumor this week, which will then dictate treatment (and likely outcomes). I am keeping my fingers crossed that the news is as good (or as not-bad) as possible.

In other news, I found a dead mouse in our house this week. We have a bathroom that is off of our kitchen, and it contains a shower that never gets used since there are bathrooms right off of the bedrooms in our house. We do use this bathroom for quite a lot of peeing, however. But we never open the shower door - for reference, it's one of those hard-shell, frosted-glass varieties. Anyway, I went swimming one day this week (in my normal bathing suit, which was abruptly rendered nearly obscene since my tubby middle caused the high leg holes to ride up even higher, necessitating board shorts), and I figured I'd hang up my wet towel and swimsuit in the kitchen bathroom. I threw the towel over the shower shell, and, planning to hang my suit over the showerhead, I opened the door. There on the drain was a dead mouse (fortunately, a freshly dead mouse). I yelled, "Ack!" and then "Goddamn it!" (why not "Fuck?" Hmm.) and slammed the door shut. I considered getting rid of the mouse myself, but instead I just shut the door to the bathroom and waited for my husband to come home. Normally, I am the bug-killer in our family, but somehow I didn't feel prepared to be the varmint-disposer. A pest specialist visited the next day and posited that this mouse was a lone ranger, but he set up a bunch of traps anyway. I guess I should be glad I went swimming (which I rarely do) and thus discovered the mouse before he started to rot. But I also panicked about the disarray of our house. This weekend, I have undertaken an MCI (massive cleaning initiative). It is about 4 degrees outside, so I might as well be doing something indoors.

On another topic, I was emailing with an online buddy this week - we had our FETs the same day. I was saying that I was using the Bell.a Band a bunch now, and she said I should just go for maternity pants - that I'd wonder why I hadn't done so sooner. Well, the big box of stuff from my friend arrived this week, and I made the mistake of trying on some of the maternity jeans. Holy moly - I am almost afraid I'll never wear anything but elastic-waisted pants again! So comfortable. I am going to try, however, to continue wearing my stretchier normal pants and the Bell.a Band for two more weeks at work - easier to remain undercover that way. Then I'll be off for a month and no one will see me. I can then make a dramatic reentry in January, looking like a beach ball.

My amnio is on Wednesday this week. I asked for FISH results (in addition to the main ones), which you get sooner than the amnio results, which take two weeks. I learned about this on the Internets, and I am very willing to pay $524 that could otherwise be used on pest control or housecleaning services or Christmas gifts, just so that I don't have to suffer in limbo. Also, my amnio results should be back around Dec. 21, so I was afraid I'd be getting bad news right in the middle of the holidays. I keep saying I'll act more normal and confident in this pregnancy if the amnio comes back good, but I will probably be insane until the very end. They are going to do the level II ultrasound at the same time as the amnio, I think, so I do hope to know gender that day. If not, it will come back with the amnio results.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I just learned that one of my friends has a malignant, aggressive brain tumor. Last week, he had several seizures and was taken to the ER. He was then transferred to a brain-tumor specialty center (one of the best, luckily) and had surgery yesterday. The biopsy confirmed the tumor's malignancy and aggressiveness (3 on a scale of 1 to 4), and they couldn't get everything out, so he'll likely do chemo and radiation - a long, tough road, obviously.

My mother's father died of a brain tumor when he was 48 - this was long ago, of course, and treatments were no good. But brain cancer is still so scary. I don't have any happy stories to tell - everyone I know who's had it has died from it. If you know of any good stories, please tell them to me.

So please think positive thoughts for my friend, even though the thoughts will be vague and disembodied. He is married to one of the most wonderful people I know, so he has a good support network, but what a frightening turn of events.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I have been traveling much of the past week and have a few minor things to report.

1. I am feeling a bit better. I've gone down from 24 mg of Z0fran a day to 20 mg. That might not sound like much, but it's progress. I still feel nauseated much of the time, but not as severely, and I occasionally have stretches of one to three hours when I feel totally normal, which is awesome. I've been eating more and have even - gasp - managed to drink plain water on occasion. I'm sure I'm gaining weight. Yay!

2. I just scored a shitload of maternity clothes from one of my high-school friends. She has some nice stuff, too - good work clothes, especially.

3. I found a fantastic black winter coat (Ag.nes B) from a secondhand store for $45. It's a size up from my normal size and looks like it'll accommodate at least a few months of a pregnant belly.

4. The weather here (in my hometown) is great. Since I've been feeling a bit better, I've been walking every day with my husband and my brother. I can now do 45 minutes. That may not sound like much, but spending so much time on the couch over the past 10 weeks has really sapped the cardiovascular fitness.

5. One of my younger cousins (she's 20 or 21) is engaged and is planning to have five children ASAP. That is a still a bit astonishing to me. I'm sure she's extremely fertile and I'm also sure that she and her siblings think I am definitely way too old to be procreating.

6. I didn't bring the fetal heart monitor I rented, so now I am panicking a bit that something has gone wrong with the baby. We return home tomorrow, and I'll check it then. And run right to the ER if I can't find the heartbeat.

7. When I was in Chicago, I went to Bl00mingdale's to get fitted correctly for bras. Normally, I wear a 34B in the first part of my cycle, then switch to a 34C in the PMS period. Well, I am now apparently a 32D. But I made the woman sell me a 34D since I kind of felt like I couldn't breathe in the 32. It may be psychological, but whatever. My ribs will expand anyway. My friend who loaned me the maternity clothes said she's currently a 34F (she's nursing). That is sort of horrifying to contemplate, no?

8. I continue to have vivid, weird-ass dreams. I already generally have disturbing dreams, so I could live without this particular side effect of hormones.

I hope all of you are doing well!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Five things

I've been tagged by Spark to tell you five things you don't know about me. I've wasted some of my standard answers to these in my illness/disease/hypochondria post below, so I will have to try harder.

1. I can write backwards in cursive. You know, so that when you hold the writing up to a mirror, it shows up as normal. I have always been able to do this - it was never something I had to learn.

2. I went to a Baptist grade school and, as a result, can still name all of the books of the Bible in order (and spelled correctly - and backwards and in cursive, if you'd like).

3. I can swallow air and thus belch the alphabet (or say whatever you request). Great party trick in college, less so at age 34.

4. I share a birthday with Henry Kissinger, Andre 3000, and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt.

5. I have a cowlick, and when I was born, hair grew in a full circle on my forehead. Luckily, it went away, as I was born in the days before laser hair removal.

And with that, I tag the following illustrious individuals:

Beth at Prop Your Hips Up Afterwards
Jane at Jane's Calamity
Bihari at Iowadrift
Emmie at Fertility Lost
Hope at Not Like I Thought It Would Be

No need to play if it doesn't seem fun.

Now, this will be a test.

I will be in Chicago on Friday, and I arranged to meet up with two friends for lunch. I have found that I can go into restaurants and do okay as long as I don't have to stay too long. So when my friend asked where I thought I could go (she knows about the HG), I said that anywhere casual should be fine - I just can't deal with a long, formal lunch. She said okay. And then she emailed back with the name of the place she'd picked. Let's just say the word "fishmarket" is involved. I looked online at their menu, and it really is 99% seafood-based. I mean, really - a fish restaurant? Sheesh. Maybe they'll give me a PB&J if I pretend to be under 12.

But I do thank my lucky stars that I can go into restaurants and grocery stores without too violent a reaction. Some women with HG can't even walk into a grocery store without hurling - and forget about restaurants. My issue is more that the thought of certain foods (and the type of food is rotating, with something being palatable one day and gross the next) can send my body into an imagination-fueled wave of nausea. There are only a few foods that are always revolting to me - mostly bland things that I ate early on when I was puking 20+ times a day. Saltines, mashed potatoes, sour candies, ginger ale (which I used to LOVE), ginger snaps, pita, and Coke are all non-starters for me. Eww.

My nausea doesn't really seem to be improving, but my pants have suddenly become tight, so I think the right things are growing. My boobs have finally started to hurt a bit as well and I am getting regular headaches. I am on the delayed pregnancy-symptom plan, it seems.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Assorted topics

Yesterday, I ventured to an outlet mall about 25 miles away. My brother had requested some ties for Christmas, and there's a Br00ks Br0s. outlet there, along with an 0ld Navy outlet that allows me to encourage good hygiene in my husband through my purchase of dozens of pairs of inexpensive boxers. (Truth be told, he still wears the same pair for days on end.) As further background, we live in an area in which you can go low-end (0ld Navy, Tar.get, etc.) or high-end (expensive boutiques where you can get your Paper Den1m jeans or T0ry Burch ensembles), but we lack the stylish middle ground (JCr.ew, etc.). So imagine my great glee when I drove into the outlet mall and saw that there is now a Ban.ana Republic outlet there! Awesome. I'd rather have a BR outlet than a real BR anyway. I got my father, brother, and husband many gifts, and I got myself a swingy baby-doll-style velvet dress for $11.99. I've decried the fashion trends in recent years - you know, the trapeze dresses and the non-fitted tanks that make you look pregnant unless you're the age and shape of Misch.a Barton. Now I am taking advantage of it. I also got two empire-waisted non-fitted stretchy tops. Good times.

Now, on the topic of disclosure. I disclosed my condition(s) to friends and family recently. My mother was delighted, but my decision not to tell my parents any earlier was vindicated when, not 24 hours later, I was bcc'ed on an email that my father had apparently sent out to everyone he knows, updating them on my mother's cancer treatments and their impending grandparenthood. In short, the word is out.

But I have not disclosed at work yet, and I am hoping to keep it mum for a while longer, at least until after my amnio (Dec. 6, with results two weeks later). I think I am a bit more cowed at work because most people here are my acquaintances, not close friends, and the idea of having to say, "Well, actually, it all went to hell," is not that appealing. There is a woman who works here who was visibly pregnant a year or so ago when she found out that her fetus had anencephaly, and everyone knew that she terminated. I don't really want to be in that situation, even though I think most people are understanding about such things (but I would be in danger of punching anyone who wasn't). I am taking three weeks off at the holidays and then have to travel for work for a week, so I'll be out of the office for a solid month. The question is, can I stay undercover for another month or so? It may be unlikely. But I have my new BR duds to see me through.

Later this week, I must take my first plane flights since I have been ill. The first one, on Thursday, is short (35 minutes). The second one, on Saturday, is a bit longer (2 1/2 hours). I shall carry dog-waste bags with me in case I need to hurl at 35,000 feet. I had a nightmare that I forgot to pack the Z0fran. God forbid.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The universe again proves it is adept at sucking

I had been having a great day today - it's an unseasonably warm 75 degrees here; I wasn't feeling barfy (after two very barfy days); I took a REAL SHIT yesterday (thanks, 3 Co.lace + Milk of Magnes1a); I was wearing one of the cute new long tees I got from 0ld Navy Semi-Disposable Clothing for $12.50 last weekend; and let's just say I am pleased by recent current events. Oh - I also have a facial scheduled for tonight (from a gift certificate a friend gave me after failed IVF #2). Point being, things were good.

But then one of my good friends emailed me to say that her fetus had no heartbeat at 10 weeks. She is a PCOSer who was en route to IVF when she got pregnant with the help of acupuncture, and, obviously, she was just a few weeks behind me. She wasn't "out" yet, but I had told her immediately when I got my BFP, and she had done the same - I think I was one of her only friends to know. She and her husband had just come back from a great vacation, and she'd just had a good ultrasound two weeks ago, right before they left. I can only imagine how heartbroken they are right now. D&C is in a few days.

As MWDB once put it: universe, you suck big, dirty donkey balls. And how.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

And by my diseases and injuries, you shall know me

Infertility blogs obviously grow out of the physical and psychological stresses that come out of a diagnosis (whether it's specified - like PCOS - or the always-frustrating "unexplained" infertility). You get to know a great deal about the blogger's mechanics and treatments and the emotional effects of both, and, even when an IF blogger gets pregnant, this tendency is so ingrained that it is likely to continue - ESPECIALLY when said blogger is neurotic and hypochondriacal. And, really, what longtime IFer isn't?

During an episode of insomnia last night, this got me thinking about the real and imagined ailments I have experienced over the course of my lifetime. I suspect this is the equivalent of telling someone else about your dream (ie, interesting to you, not to them), but because I don't mind hearing about others' dreams or ailments, I'm going to list my ailments here, in rough chronological order.

* broken arm (on mother's 30th birthday)
* chicken pox
* repeated ear infections, 5-15 a year, from early childhood through mid-20s
* broken toe (on parents' anniversary)
* scarlet fever (started an outbreak at school)
* pronounced myopia (literal, but perhaps also figurative)
* strep throat (repeatedly)
* dislocated patella (4-5 instances)
* mononucleosis
* ocular migraine (4 times total)
* fractured tibia
* pityriasis rosea (aka the "Christmas tree" virus; twice, very rare)
* amoebic dysentery (from shrimp from a street stall in Bangkok - dumb, dumb, dumb)
* sprained rhomboid muscle
* sesamoiditis (inflammation of little bones in foot; result of high arches and high heels)
* stress fracture in foot
* food poisoning (two very bad instances - one in Peru, one on honeymoon at five-star resort in Hawaii)
* endometriosis
* polymorphic light eruptions
* hyperemesis gravidarum

(in no particular order)
* lymphoma (both Hodgkins and non-)
* poisoning via inadvertent contact with yard plant my mother told me was poisonous (I was 4 at the time and lay solemnly down upon the sofa to die; nothing happened.)
* melanoma (repeatedly)
* Lyme disease
* brain tumor (okay, I still often think this)
* pneumonia
* Alzheimer's, early-onset (there is some evidence to support this, I suppose)
* torn rotator cuff (turns out I had the wrong region in mind)

Now, you, dear readers - what have you had, and what have you persuaded yourself that you've had?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A creature who lives with us

I can't quite remember how this started, but my husband and I occasionally ponder how odd it is that people have dogs. I mean, there is this furry creature who lives with us. He rides in the car with us and hangs his head out the window and cries when he sees a squirrel or a cat that he wants to throttle. He eats the same thing for dinner every night (which isn't so different from my husband) and he occasionally goes into a sort of trance in which he cannot stop digging a hole in the yard or at the dog park. We look at him and say, "You are a little creature who lives with us," and he looks back at us as if to say, "Yes, now let me go outside."

Anyway, that's sort of what I feel like after having seen a little creature in my pelvis on ultrasound today. He or she was facing upward at the transponder and looks very much like a little alien. I also heard the heartbeat - a solid 160 beats per minute. The companion to this little creature stopped developing fairly recently, so there is another sac still in there. I am very pleased with the one, though, and look forward to my next appointment, which isn't for five weeks. Five weeks! I may have to rent one of those doppler things. It took the OB a while today to find the heartbeat, so I should be prepared to panic a bit, I suppose, when I'm the one trying to find it. I was greatly relieved when she did hear it, even though I had recently seen it on the ultrasound. (But you never know what can happen in an hour!)

In other news, my diet of whole chocolate milk has gotten me back up close to my normal pre-pregnancy weight (although not my post-IVF weight, but that's okay). I asked the OB about my constipation, and she suggested more water. As usual, I dissolved into demented laughter over the concept of drinking water. In my past life, I drank SO MUCH WATER that I would pee three times on a two-hour flight, and now the stuff completely repels me. Water. Ha!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I occasionally dip into a pregnancy message board these days (though I really feel comfortable only on IF boards), and I have noticed that people are always asking how they can prevent stretch marks - like whether certain creams work, whether diet makes a difference, etc. I consulted What to Expect When You're Expecting on this topic, and it says that it's either genetics or the result of being well hydrated and having a good diet.

In my opinion, this is a load of hooey - I think it's all genetics. And I will tell you why - I am the best hydrated person I know, and I already have a shitload of stretch marks. I have them on my hips. I have them on my arms. I have them on my inner thighs and my buttocks and my boobs and my biceps. I may have them in places that I can't see. My body looks like a bobcat swiped it in multiple locations decades ago. In reality, they were all the result of a rather drastic growth spurt (seven inches of height in five months) when I was in the 12/13 age range. I remember noticing them in my mid-teens and asking my doctor, and he advised me of the proper terminology.

So if I am lucky enough to continue with this pregnancy until the end, then I know I will have a few more to add to the collection. (After all, I need some for my stomach.) For those of you who might be incredibly worried about this (oh, wait - only a fertile would worry about something like this), I am here to tell you that they do fade away to silvery streaks that are barely noticeable. And you could always claim you got them while wrestling a hungry bobcat away from a freshly born litter of puppies.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Backlog (or: the TMI post)

You don't realize it yet, but the title of this post is a revolting pun.

Yes, I'm here to talk about constipation. Now, I should lead off by saying that, in my normal life, I am blessed with regularity. Enviable regularity. Regularity on long trips across time zones, regularity whether I'm eating All Bran or baguettes and cheese, regularity that comes from having just the right amount of a nervous stomach. I have no problem shitting in the woods or in the stall of a busy restroom at work; it takes no time at all. Usually, I can just think about taking a crap, and that's enough to make it happen.

I realize that this is the digestive equivalent of "My husband just has to look at me and I get pregnant." And having had several friends who suffered from major intestinal slowdowns, I realize that I have been lucky to be such an insouciant crapper.

Clearly, I knew that women are often afflicted with constipation when they're pregnant. And I read the "side effects" on the Z0fran insert (as well as many comments on hyperemesis message boards) and saw that constipation is the most commonly cited one. But I also kind of thought, (a) this won't happen to me, at least not to that extent, since shitting is one of my core competencies and (b) even if it does happen, how bad can it be?

You see, I thought of constipation as maybe feeling pretty stopped up and bloated - not a pleasant state, but one that would be relieved from time to time by a stool softener or twenty. You know, you'd clear out the pipes, then maybe experience some issues again, etc. - it'd end up as a sort of cycle.

Ahem. What I did not realize is that constipation makes it almost impossible to shit, even when you feel the urge to, and that this state is incredibly painful. I can't tell you how much time I am now spending on the toilet, straining with all my might to emit one tiny lump of coal. I only take shits at home now, since I often have to yell out in the manner of Martina Hingis. And I think the main consequence of my efforts is going to be hemorrhoids and varicose veins in my ass.

This, by the way, is on two Co*lace a day. At the recommendation of Beth and one of my online buddies, I called my clinic to ask for Mira.lax. The nurse said she had to ask the doctor, and, as luck would have it, she asked the one doctor (out of seven) with whom I have had a bad experience. He said no to the Mira.lax. Instead, the nurse said he suggested drinking more water or taking Meta.mucil. When I stopped laughing hysterically, I asked whether there was anything else I could do. She suggested high-fiber cereal. Once I again regained my composure, I pressed further. Finally, they gave me permission to use Dulco.lax suppositories, which I plan to attempt later today. I'm hoping this can clear things out and give the Co.lace more of a shot at working.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This week has been a bad week so far, nausea-wise. I am spontaneously gagging for no apparent reason. Makes meetings at the office interesting. In other news, my stomach is starting to pooch out a bit - the boozy-sorority-girl look, as Jane has called it. It may be due to my massive intestinal backup, but at least it feels like progress.

Speaking of pooches, here's a photo of my dog. Isn't he the cutest? (Other than your dogs, I mean?)

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I've noticed lately that I seem to be in the minority among IFers on something - namely, disclosure to one's family about the details of IF treatments and (for the fortunate) pregnancy. Other people seem to involve their parents much earlier.

Now, we don't live in the same city as any of our parents. And our parents are WASPy - oh, very, very, WASPy. To give you an idea of how WASPy, my mother was visiting us in the spring and revealed in passing that she had just found a huge lump in her breast. She prefaced this revelation by saying, "I wouldn't even trouble you with this, but since I'm here...." (Her treatment, in case you're wondering, has gone well so far.)

My parents would never in a million years have asked us about our plans to have children or pressured us to do so, even though I'm sure they were dying to know (and my mother treats her cousins' grandchildren like her own). They learned about the basic infertility stuff when I was forced to disclose my laparoscopy to them because they were visiting for Thanksgiving a few days later and I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling. I probably would have told them about it anyway since it involved general anesthesia and that seems to kick the whole thing up a level in terms of gravity.

I didn't tell them anything about my first IVF because I didn't want to be beholden to reveal every occurrence. Also, my mother tends to tell everyone everything. For example, after I had my laparoscopy, I was visiting my parents for Christmas. My mother was throwing a birthday party for one of her friends, and this friend (whom I adore, but still) said, in front of the entire party, "So, they fixed you all up in there?" or something to that effect. Now, this friend's daughter did a bunch of IVFs and has two kids now, so I should have deduced that if I were hearing all the details about this woman's IVFs, then my mother was probably sharing all kinds of details in return.

My brother spilled the beans to our parents about IVF#2 because it affected some family travel plans. I confirmed that we had done one IVF and would be doing another, but I was intentionally vague on the details. And they've never asked. And my mother was undergoing chemo, surgery, etc., so it was easy to avoid this topic, although we did have one amusing conversation in which we compared assvice offered up to cancer patients and infertility patients.

So now, here I am, slogging through the first trimester, the end of which isn't too far off, and my parents have no idea. (My brother is in the know, however.) I'm trying to figure out when to tell them. After the next ultrasound? Or do I just wait to spring it on them dramatically in person at Thanksgiving?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Small favors

So I went to pick up a month's worth of Z0fran at Wa7green's today. That's 90 pills, which should have equaled about $1800. I was prepared to hand over my credit card with steely resolve and sign the slip without really looking. But lo and behold - my total was something like $67. Apparently, my insurance has either decided to start picking up the Z0fran tab, or I reached some out-of-pocket maximum, or there was some major billing error. Whatever it was, I'll take it.

Cheap Zofran! Wooooooooo!

I looked more closely at my prescription printouts, and I realized I actually paid ZERO dollars for the Z0fran (which, according to the slip, should have been $3800+, so I guess my insurance was already partially covering it, even before now). The $67 I paid was for my PIO and needles. The PIO will get reimbursed, too.

I am so grateful I have good health insurance. I can't even imagine having to pay everything out of pocket - I think I'd get a heart condition just from the stress of it all, which would be counterproductive.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The upside of hyperemesis

Nausea is a very consuming, focusing state. It totally sucks. But it is also useful in that I find myself being a lower-maintenance patient than I might be otherwise. My next ultrasound is 11/2, and that's okay with me - no begging for ultrasounds here. I spend no time agonizing about whether I am still pregnant or if everything is okay - I just don't have the energy to worry. I try to get through each day, and each week, and as I tick off another week here (I'm now nine weeks along, seven real weeks), it feels like an accomplishment, if one with no real outward manifestations yet.

I find myself hanging onto weird, irrational hopes. Like, HCG levels peak between eight and ten weeks, so maybe this is the worst it'll be? (Of course, hyperemesis sufferers don't seem subject to the same rules of thumb as your average pregnant woman - just look at what poor Beth has been through. Also, it's unclear whether HCG is really the reason behind hyperemesis.) And when another week passes and I still feel like ass - well, I have always shown a remarkable ability to come up with some other delusion to grasp onto.

I've stopped losing weight. I haven't gained any weight, but I'm glad to have stopped the slide. I go through phases where I can keep down a certain food or beverage for a couple of days, and then it repels me. Right now, I have been able to slurp some Od.walla Mango Tan.go each morning and have nibbled on a fresh gingerbread cookie from time to time as I go about my business in the office. I've had some success with Boy.lan's seltzer water, which is the only water I've been able to get down at all since all this crap* began. Water...it might as well be camel piss! I am on a strict schedule of Z0fran at 8am, 4pm, and midnight. I take Uni.som and B6 at night and crunch down one Flinst0nes chewable vitamin a day - I had forgotten how delicious they are. I'm serious. If they made a spree-like candy that tasted like Flintst0nes, I'd have a mouth full of cavities.

My husband and I were supposed to go to a wedding in Santa Barbara next weekend. We met at a wedding in Santa Barbara, so this trip would have been fun. I am definitely not going now (the idea of a plane ride - vomitous), and I have asked him to stay home, too, since it would be his third weekend in a row away. I hate that I am so needy and lame right now.

* Please note very few actual craps have occurred in recent memory.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Unfortunate reality

As you may recall, a few weeks ago I dreamed that my REs found my blog, and their feelings were hurt. The situation was so uncomfortable that I felt embarrassed and ashamed for a solid minute after I woke up. At last, I realized it was a dream, and the relief that washed over me was like, um, the warm and therapeutic waters of a geothermal pool. (We went here over the summer.)

Well, this unfortunate occurrence actually happened to Thalia. And she's decided to go dark for a while. I am sure I speak for many when I say that this is a huge loss to the blogosphere.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Good days and bad days

On Friday, I managed to stay at work for five hours, which was pretty awesome. I felt really quite good for most of those hours, too, and I kind of thought maybe I'd hit upon a system that would work for me and that I could make most days like Friday.

Well, Saturday, Sunday, and today haven't been quite so good. I've felt on the verge of vomiting frequently, although I've managed to keep my juice and snacks down. Showering is very nausea-inducing for some reason. Sleep is interrupted and filled with bizarre dreams, but that may happen to everyone.

I've been trying to detect other symptoms so that I can finally feel pregnant instead of just sick. But my boobs haven't done much, my stomach is more or less where it was before, and while I am constipated, that may be more from the Z0fran than from the pregnancy. I'm sure most people don't really feel pregnant by this point, but I'm sort of desperately hoping to feel that way soon so that I can at least get some mental enjoyment out of this state that I'd shed so many tears desiring.

On an unrelated note, one of my young cousins was killed in a car crash near the university where she was a freshman this weekend. The same thing had happened to another cousin of mine (same university, also when he was a freshman) years ago. It is so devastating - I can't even imagine what her siblings and parents are going through right now. I hope I can schlep my sorry ass onto a plane this weekend for the services.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Today, we went to see the perinatologist. He was quite jovial. As our appointment wrapped up, we were chitchatting about higher-order multiples. My husband asked him what the most he'd ever seen was. He said the most embryos he'd ever seen in one of his own patients was ten, and the most he ever saw, period, occurred when he was in training, and some poor woman had nineteen embryos gestating away. Both had occurred from ovulation induction (ie, stimulation drugs, but not IVF). Presumably, there was some irresponsible medical advice given out, since someone with that many follicles should obviously not be doing an IUI or even doing it the old-fashioned way. Or maybe the patient threw caution to the wind - with a vengeance.

Nineteen! Shit.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Then and now

A little before-and-after for you - before HG, after (well, during) HG:

Worked out 5-7x a week
Took multivitamin, extra folic acid, and fish oil daily
Ate mostly organic diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
Guzzled at least three liters of water daily
Sipped antioxidant-rich wine nightly
Wrote fiction two hours each morning
Worked a respectable workday at fulfilling job
Walked, cuddled with, and generally showered dog with affection
Cleaned house occasionally
Left house frequently
Showered regularly
Enjoyed regularity of digestive tract

Eschew vitamins because of possible nauseous characteristics
Reluctantly sip diluted apple juice, lemonade, Sierra M!st; despite feeling incredibly thirsty, find self unable to gulp any liquids without feeling immediately seasick (and water - forget it!)
Avoid dog because of intensity of his aroma (thanks to new bionic nose)
Scrape by at job, avoiding queries as to nature of illness
Strain, strain, strain to emit one tiny turd each morning (thanks, Z0fran!)
Lie down immediately after eating in hopes of averting vomiting and retaining nutrition
Shower when forced to by husband (or own pungence)
Lie on couch so much that left hip is sore from facing television
Sleep on back to keep food inside and otherwise violate every paragraph of What to Expect When You're Expecting
Notice large collections of dog hair stampeding through living room; sigh disconsolately
Spend hours ruminating over what you might possibly be able to keep down; ponder whether XYZ food will be regrettable on the way back up; upon reaching a decision, issue proclamation to husband to get it NOW (said in Jack Bauer voice)
Go to great lengths to avoid refrigerator (oh, the smell! bleahhhhhhhhhhhh)
Fart frequently, but still only a small fraction of the frequency of husband; berate husband for said farts, reminding him of bionic nose and intense nausea
Find yourself hostage to the clock and when you can take the next pill
Spend 21 1/2 hours a day inside house
Burst into tears; bemoan fate; feel stupid

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Well, I still feel like shit. I realize that this blog is just one long complaint these days, so I'll try to keep the keening to a minimum.

I had an ultrasound last week when I was admitted to the hospital, and there were indeed two sacs in there. They both had heartbeats, but one had a much lower heartbeat that wasn't quite where they wanted it to be. The other one had a good heartbeat, and I am thankful for that. I'm assuming that the second one may not be lodging for long, and that is okay by me. I feel so weak all the time.

There are going to be some hard decisions about work for me, I think. If I quit my job (which I really like), I will lose not only my salary, but, more critically, my amazing health insurance. So I am trying to figure out some way to keep working, but do a lot more from home. I don't want to go into too many identifying details, but it is safe to say that this will be difficult, especially if the HG continues for a long time. We are seeing a high-risk maternal-fetal medicine doctor this week or next to discuss my situation.

I keep losing weight. My weight has been more or less constant my entire adult life - 125 lbs, give or take a few - and now I find myself well below that. I'm on Zofran around the clock, which is expensive, but I guess the upside is that I'm sure not spending any money on food, entertainment, or bigger clothes.

My husband has been wonderful. I can tell he's worried. He's also supposed to be out of town the next three weekends in a row, and I'm not sure I can handle being alone all that time. Our poor dog doesn't know what to make of me these days - I think he's a little afraid of me now since I no longer go on walks and spend most of my time immobile on the couch.

Friday, September 29, 2006

In need of a good cry?

Then read my friend Brando's eloquent, funny, and heartbreaking account of his and his wife's arrival at the end of the ART road. (They are both wonderful writers, too, so you may find you want to stay a while on their blogs.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

My life has been reduced to diluted apple juice and the occasional Triscuit. I am now five pounds below my pre-pregnancy (or, really, pre-IVF) weight. I was back to barfing yesterday, not 24 hours after getting out of the hospital. I don't want to have to go back, either - for one thing, the hospital has no wireless access, and the Internet is the only thing enabling me to continue working right now.

I have been delinquent in commenting on your blogs, but I am doing my best to keep up with the good news, the bad news, and the waiting.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


So I called the clinic yesterday, and they told me to come in. When I came in, all kinds of things were aswirl, and the next thing I knew I was an inpatient at the hospital for the first time in my life. 36 hours and a lot of IV drugs and fluids later, I am feeling better. The goal now is apparently to keep me in a state of mild nausea, which sounds appealing at present. More later. Thanks for all your well wishes!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Perhaps I spoke too soon

By last night, Zofran was no longer working its magic on me. It wears off faster than I am allowed to take the pills. I nearly puked in bed last night (again).

Today, I feel like crap, and I can't take another pill until 2pm. I can't sit up or stand up for very long without feeling like I am going to barf. I'm not sure how I am going to get through this.

We had a little drama yesterday when I experienced an ocular migraine (but with no pain in my head). I have had them twice before, but not in the past ten years. I was worried that it was related to the Zofran, so I called the OB resident on call. She told me to go to the ER, where I saw a couple of doctors, who then referred me to the ophthalmologist on call, who took nine years to complete our visit, since she had to run upstairs periodically to deal with what I gathered was a victim (or, really, perpetrator) of a meth-lab explosion. The migraine had gone away after twenty minutes or so, but they were certainly thorough. They didn't think it was related to the Zofran, which is all I really wanted to know. I felt extremely nauseated by the time I got home.

I am really not sure how I am going to get through work this week, let alone months and months of this.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Big pharma, I love-slash-hate you

Mmmmmm....Zofran. Sweet Zofran. Light of my life, fire of my loins Zofran. $18 per pill Zofran.

So I called the RE clinic yesterday and demanded the above-named drug since the Phene7gan didn't seem to be doing the trick quite as much as one might hope. I was, you see, harboring a desire to return to work on Monday and wanted to give Zofran (which doesn't knock you out) a whirl. After I got over the shock of the $275 price tag for a partially filled prescription (five to seven days' worth of the stuff), I found that Zofran could take me from the severe nausea/frequent vomiting state to something that is probably more akin to regular morning sickness (mild nausea and some food aversions). I don't feel like my normal self, but I probably feel 60% like my normal self, which is significantly better than the 1% I had been feeling.

Several years back, I hiked the Inca Trail in Peru with some friends, and three of the five of us became deathly ill on the first day - couldn't keep anything down or, ahem, in - and yet we managed to continue hiking, forced to do so by our healthy friends and our coca-chewing guide. On the third morning, we woke up feeling like 60% of our normal selves, but to us, it was as if we had never felt better. One of my friends observed that it was amazing what you could do when you had no choice. I am trying to keep that in mind now.

I still feel very weak, and for some reason my equilibrium is off - I very nearly fell backwards down our steep wooden stairs last night. My goal for the weekend is to get used to sitting upright more, thereby getting myself back into shape for work. I ate a waffle this morning. Hallelujah!

Only two more hours until I can take another delicious, highway-robbery-committing Zofran. In other news, my boobs finally hurt (and have begun to alter their appearance) and I did feel quite tired this morning, even after getting 9.5 hours of sleep.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Flat Coke and Saltines

Not quite the same thing as cigarettes and red vines, eh? Anyway, that's what I'm attempting to keep down right now. Phene7gan works wonders for nausea, but you only get to enjoy your nausea-free feeling in your sleep since it packs a soporific punch. Last night, I would wake up from it and think that my life was back to normal, since I didn't feel like ass, but then I remembered it was just temporary, which makes me feel...hmmm...how do you say it? Oh yes, despair. I felt despair. I even felt a little hungry on a couple of those occasions, but by the time I really woke up, it was back to nausea.

(Aside: Charlotte Bronte died of hyperemesis - so illustrious!)

Whatever happens with this pregnancy, I feel sure that it is going to be my first and last one. Have you ever had food poisoning? You know, where you alternate between severe nausea and urgent puking (even though you may have nothing left to puke)? That's what I feel like all day long, and that's what I fear stretches for months and months before me. I am beginning to feel as if fate was, in fact, telling me something by not letting me conceive the old-fashioned way. Fate, I apologize. I will never try to thwart you again.

I have an hour and a half more until I can take another Phene7gan, so I am going to try to get some work in, since we need my excellent health coverage, goddammit.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Less textbook

Okay, I really feel like shit. Like, I awoke out of a dream last night, about to vomit in my bed. This repeated itself several times. I can't drink liquids or keep food down with much success. I am only exaggerating slightly when I say that if I had a terminal illness and were experiencing these feelings, I would very strongly consider ending all treatment and asking for a big dose of morphine.

I bought some Sea-Bands today. Let's hope they help. Bllllleah.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I read online that the average time from conception to the onset of morning sickness is 5 1/2 weeks. At precisely 5 weeks and 4 days, I came down with something that reminds me of some of the hangovers I had in high school after a few too many Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers. Bleah! I'm trying to stuff some oatmeal down my gullet so that I can take my vitamins and aspirin and Es7race. Eww.

On the plus side, I don't feel overly tired yet (except for the weakness from my not being able to eat or drink much), and my boobs don't hurt at all.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mouths agape

A "Eureka!" moment occurred in our house this weekend. Now, perhaps someone has figured this out before (a la Newton and Leibniz developing calculus simultaneously), but I report to you that we have determined an all-purpose response to rude inquiries or comments regarding IVF (or IUIs, for that matter). When faced with such an inquiry or commentary, simply respond, "Well, of course we did IVF. How else could we remain virgins?" Then prance merrily away from their gaping jaws.

Speaking of virginity, I have been tagged for the first time, courtesy of Nilla at Vanilla Dreams. I am supposed to respond quickly to these four words.

1. Coffee. I stopped drinking coffee, for the most part, nearly two years ago. Since then, I have become a green-tea evangelist, but I've had to quit even that since its cancer-preventing properties also apparently prevent folate absorption by buns in ovens. I've developed something of an aversion to coffee since I quit it, with one situational exception: vacation. When I'm on vacation, I guzzle coffee. I want it. I need it. It feels outrageous and decadent. Energy courses through my veins and possibilities present themselves to me, sort of like when you have that first glass of wine. Mmmm, wine.

2. Rain. Since we've been homeowners, I have grown a bit afraid of rain. Rain leaks through the roof. Rain falls on the lawn and causes it to grow, which causes it to need mowing, which in turn usually results in conversations like this. MM: "Are you going to mow the lawn?" MM's Husband: "I'm so tired!" MM: "Well, when are you going to mow it?" MMH: "Stop nagging me." MM: "Do I have to do everything around here?" (Note: I have never actually mowed the lawn, and I mean that literally, you perverts.)

3. Star. Oh, shame. I have to admit that when I see this word, the first thing that comes to mind is Star Jones Reynolds, a powerful candidate for the honor of Most Ridiculous Person in the World (Possibly the Universe). More ridiculous than Britney Spears, K. Fed., and perhaps even Katherine Harris. More ridiculous than all of the Hiltons put together. More ridiculous than Scientology and Joe Simpson and Heckuva Job Brownie.

4. Hula-hoop. Um, yet another thing I'm not good at?

I now tag the following four people:

1. Emmie at Fertility Lost.
2. TLB at Illiterati.
3. Midwestern Deadbeat at Midwestern Deadbeat.
4. Jane at Jane's Calamity.

Your words are:

1. Deodorant.
2. Throwback.
3. Period.
4. Blossom.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Last night, for the first time, I dreamed about my REs. There are five REs and two fellows at my clinic, and while they did not all appear in my dream, they were all implicated. I always find it disturbing to dream about someone for the first time; it seems to be some kind of official signifier that they have entered your consciousness. It is probably disturbing to you the first time that someone inflicts one of their dreams on you. So be it.

Anyway, in my dream, I was in the clinic, being seen by the pregnant RE. We had wrapped up whatever violations of my person would generally occur in the clinic, and she said, "So how are you?" And I said, staring at her pregnant belly, "Oh, I'm just worn out by being infertile." Then, thinking that she would assume I was passive-aggressively comparing myself to her, I generously added, "But of course you know that, given that this is your job and you have to see people like us every day."

And then she started speaking vaguely but nonetheless pointedly. She observed that there was a blog out there that talked about she and her colleagues and the clinic generally, and I totally knew that she knew (and she knew I knew) that I was the writer of said blog. She said, "It's clear that we are being discussed on this blog, and it makes us sad." Sad! It made them sad! I admitted no culpability, but later in the dream I found myself dumping pages and pages of paper into a trash can, which was the way you deleted posts in my dream Internet, okay?

Anyway, I was greatly relieved when I awoke.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A new kind of panic

I am feeling good - no symptoms to report yet, although I suspect they will hit soon if I am indeed carrying twins. And that is the subject of this post: I am totally freaked out by the idea of having twins. Obviously, this is quite an irrational swing. As my husband pointed out, it is a bit insane that just a month ago I was depressed over infertility, and now I am depressed at the idea of fecundity (well, fecundity on the infertile spectrum). What's more, my panic is extra-foolish in that I won't even know what the deal is until the end of the month, so I might as well not freak out about it.

But telling me not to freak out is like telling my dog that he might consider not barking at pedestrians. I am experiencing a crazy mix of gratitude, surprise, relief, fear that it won't work out, fear that it will work out, and much, much more. Now I understand why infertile women have a greater proclivity towards depression during pregnancy, which always struck me as a bit of a head-scratcher before.

I suppose this is all yet more evidence to support the Nobel-Prize-worthy theory I like to call You Can't Know What Something Is Like Until You Experience It, Unless You Are Really, Really Imaginative (Which Most People Think They Are, But Are Not).

I guess I just worry that I will fail if I end up having twins - ie, that I won't be (wo)man enough for the challenge. The insecurity!

Thanks for all the comments on the posts below; I really appreciate them!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Beta #2

Came in at 2544 at 17dpo (or it could be 18dpo, since the hatched blast was really a day-6 blast). They were looking for 1348, so this is high. Twins, perhaps? We'll find out at the ultrasound on 9/29.

I'm calling a genetic counselor today to investigate the tests we may need (there are some issues on my side of the family, but the REs didn't want to do PGD because it hasn't been shown to improve pregnancy rates in situations like mine).

Holy moly. This train has left the station. We'll see if it crashes along the way, but for now it seems to be plowing ahead. No symptoms to report yet, just some vague cramping.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The second Friday in September

Five years ago, on the second Friday in September, I was laid off from my job at a high-tech startup in Silicon Valley. It had already been a bizarre week. The weekend before, I had gone to probably the poshest wedding I'll ever go to, where the bride and groom flew everyone to a super-luxe location and housed all thirty-five or so guests. When my flight landed back in California, I had a message from my father that my great-aunt, whom I had loved dearly, had died. My mother (whose aunt it was) was in Europe at the time. My brother and I flew to the funeral, forced by Continental Airlines to expend fifty thousand frequent flyer miles each in order to fly on planes that were no more than one-sixth full, and we flew back to California less than a day later. I went back to work for a day, and the next day, I was laid off.

There were some mitigating factors that kept me from being too profoundly devastated by this news: I'd just received a great performance review; the person who I thought was the best employee at the whole company was also laid off; it was the fifth round of layoffs; and I hated the commute (and a few of my co-workers). Still, it sucks to be let go. The forty or so people who'd been laid off met over at what we called "Building D," a pub called the Duke of something or other that was remarkably authentic and incongruously located in a strip mall. We all drank a lot and ate some fried shit.

Later that night, I hosted a bunch of my friends for ladies' night, something that had long been planned and turned out to be perfectly timed. The following night, I met up with a few friends who were also not working (unemployment was in vogue back then), and we spent a hilarious evening trying to think of the ideal reply to the "So, what do you do?" question; it would have to be something both serious-sounding and vague, with just enough of a hint of surely you're familiar with it in your tone of voice that the inquirer would not ask any follow-up questions. What we came up with was "threat assessment."

My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, had been out of town, but was back that Sunday. By Monday, I was happy not to be in that stupid job anymore, and, pumped up by my friends, I was beginning to see lots of better possibilities for my work life. My boyfriend and I decided to go hiking on Tuesday up in Marin - a sort of cathartic, indulgent excursion.

If you're doing the math at home, then you realize that when we woke up on Tuesday morning, there had been a terrorist attack. Like everyone, I stopped worrying about my individual problems, and it didn't even occur to me for a long while that my job prospects might be inconvenienced by world events. We went to a funeral that day down in Palo Alto; one of my boyfriend's college friends had committed suicide a few weeks before. Oddly, the funeral had almost magnetic pull - the turnout was huge, I think because people just wanted to be with other people, and to hear a clergyperson say something wise.

If you had asked me back then to make some predictions about my life five years in the future, some of them would have been easy. I would have predicted I'd marry my boyfriend, since we were living together and it seemed headed that direction. But I couldn't have predicted that I'd move to a faraway state and have a kind of schizophrenic existence, with two careers and different, often distinct sets of friends located in several clusters all around the country.

Would I have thought I'd have children by now? Probably. Almost certainly. But I always somehow thought both that it would be easy for me to get pregnant and that it would be incredibly difficult. Call it doublethink. I always seem to think of things this way - that they'll go great, and that they'll turn out horribly. I start any endeavor with great optimism, but can all too quickly imagine the worst.

I'm not sure what the point of the post is. I don't know that things happen for a reason, or that they always turn out for the best. People are adaptable and somewhat unimaginative, and it is simply difficult to, for instance, imagine who your friends would be if you hadn't met these friends. I guess sometimes I envy people with unflappable optimism, or at least a sense of great certainty.

(Second beta is on Monday; I'll post 'em when I've got 'em.)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Holy crap.

Beta (14dpo) was 586 (!!!!). Check BetaBase for context.

Progesterone, however, was low (18). So now I have to do even more of the shit, not that I am complaining.

Follow-up beta on Monday morning. Holy moly.

A quick update

Well, I toted a cup of my own urine into the clinic today, and they tested it there. (They don't do a beta straight off unless you get a positive on the pee test or are merely demanding.) The nurse said it was a "very strong" result - the dot indicating pregnancy was darker than the control dot. The beta results should be back later this morning. I was given the option of calling the secret-agent hotline or having the nurse call me. I at first said I'd call the hotline, but then I realized that I'd have to wait until 3pm, whereas the nurse could call me when the results came back, which would be much sooner.

There will be a follow-up beta on Monday, then, if that goes all right, an ultrasound on 9/29. If the betas don't look right, then they'll do an ultrasound sooner, I guess to look for an ectopic.

Stay tuned......

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Here are the sticks I have peed on. Starting from the rear (against the wall) and moving forward in time:
- F@ctPlus, yesterday morning (FMU)
- F@ctPlus, yesterday at work
- F@ctPlus, yesterday evening
- FRER, yesterday evening (to see if brand mattered)
- FRER, this morning (FMU)
- W@lgreens this morning (another brand check)
- F@ctPlus, this afternoon

Yep, that's seven. At approximately $6 a test (if you get a deal), that's $42 that could have been spent on three articles of clothing from Old Navy (among other, more altruistic alternatives).

And miles to go before I stop POAS.

A urinepalooza has been occurring chez nous, and it has involved numerous brands of sticks. I would not call the positives outrageously dark, but they remain persuasive. I am incredibly curious as to what the beta will be tomorrow, and I also wonder whether I will get to call the secret-agent hotline for the results. Maybe I'll make a special request to do so.

Now that I've seen a +, I am scanning myself for symptoms constantly. As you probably deduced from my post on symptoms (and "symptoms"), I can psychosomatically cause myself to feel just about anything, so my analysis is not reliable.

In other news, our dog has learned how to jump in the car. (Before, we had to pick him up, and he's about 55 lbs.) This is a major development, and Cesar Millan would be proud of us.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Ahem. Well.

Okay, I'll get right to it. I POAS twice today, and I find myself in the possession of a faint-but-unmistakable positive. In other words, HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

My beta is Friday, and I vow to pee on dozens of sticks between now and then to make sure this isn't going away. I am currently packing one positive HPT in my purse because I brought a stick to pee on at work. That's a high-risk maneuver, but who could help it after so many years of snowy, snowy white tests?

I hope it isn't ectopic, chemical, blighted, or otherwise doomed. For now, though, I can't believe it, by which I mean I'm elated!

(If you know me in real life, please keep this to yourself until you receive the official word, handshake, tap on the shoulder, and coded message that it is okay to reveal. There is still so much that can go awry.)

Photographic evidence

This is a bit delayed, but here you go - a photo of the photo of my latest crop of embryos. That big mofo on the upper left is the hatched blast, and the smaller one crisply attired in a clean shell on the upper right is the early blast. The four at the bottom are the underachievers, who have since been discarded like old Thai leftovers.

Handsome little devils, no?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


First, thanks for all of your replies on the posts below. You are all rational. Still, I am nearly 100% sure this cycle didn't work, although I would elatedly eat crow if I were wrong.

Anyway, one question that often comes up in my consultations with one doctor after another is whether any of my direct female relatives had endometriosis as well. And the answer, I now realize, is maybe.

Some background: my grandmother gave birth to my mother when she was 35, and then she gave birth to my aunt, who has Down syndrome, when she was 40. All my life, I had just assumed that she and my grandfather (who died when my mother was young) had gotten married late. But then my mother mentioned in passing a couple of years ago that my grandmother had been told by a doctor shortly before her marriage (which turned out to be when she was in her early 20s) that she would never have children. Why? I asked. My mother wasn't sure, but she thought maybe it was "fibroids or something." But maybe she had large endometriomas or similar? I don't know. Anyway, my grandfather went off to the war and then came back from the war, and my grandmother started feeling ill, and the next thing she knew an innocent rabbit had lost its life to confirm that she was pregnant.

Now, my parents got married right after college. My mother had me at 25 and my brother at 27. I'd always just assumed that they waited to get pregnant, since my father was in graduate school and my mother eventually was as well. Alas, I found out a couple of years ago that they had been trying that whole time to get pregnant, and it hadn't worked. Yeah, so having a hard time getting pregnant when you're 21 (and 22, 23, and 24) - not all that common. Endometriosis? Maybe.

My point is that I guess I wish I had found this all out sooner. But I grew up in a very WASPy family, and personal reproductive histories are not often discussed (unless someone has overshared after a few too many gin-and-tonics at Thanksgiving). I just laid my own assumptions on top of the few details I knew, and never thought to ask more. And you know about assuming - it makes an ASS out of U and ME. Ha!

I don't know if any of this information would have changed my own attempts at getting pregnant. After all, I got married when I was 31 and 1/2, and we started TTC not too long after that. We married three years after we'd met, and I believe that was the right amount of time.

But, still, it would be nice to be a few years younger. I feel as if my back is against the wall, reproductively speaking, and this is my only chance to have a biological child. It isn't a great feeling.

Monday, September 04, 2006

For the desperate and imaginative

I hate to brag, but after more than 24 cycles of trying to conceive, I am something of an expert on the early pregnancy symptoms that people report on fertility-related message boards, which I will not link to because (a) I have vowed never to enter an early pregnancy symptoms post again, or at least not during this cycle, (b) I have all the symptoms memorized, anyway, and (c) I would like to keep any neophytes away from such posts, for their own good. But it is safe to say that I've done my research.

Moreover, I can be quite imaginative and empathetically hypochondriacal, and so in the heady early days of TTC (and, later, the post-lap period and the early IVF era), I detected and/or persuaded myself that I was feeling these symptoms. As a result of this pioneering research, I can now bring you a list of some of the most commonly cited symptoms and possible alternative explanations.* If this saves even one desperate, imaginative, Dr.-Google-consulting IFer from wasting hours and hours wondering if maybe, maybe, she is knocked up (instead of just waiting a couple of days and then peeing on a stick), then my efforts shall have been worth all the heartache. With the time I have spent poring over these posts and analyzing my body, I could have written a hit screenplay that might have paid for more fertility treatments.

So here goes:

Sore boobs:
Possible explanation: You're pregnant!
Alternative explanations: Progesterone is making your boobs hurt. Or: that vise grip you've had on them for the last week (in order to check to see if they hurt) has resulted in bruises, which hurt.

Cramps that feel just like AF:
Possible explanation: Your uterus is expanding, since you're pregnant!
Alternative explanations: Your ovaries are each the size of your cat's head, and your uterus resents the fact that they're occupying all the real estate down there. Or: AF might be coming. Or: those are actually bowel cramps, indicating that perhaps you shouldn't have ordered the large seaweed salad or chased it with the cheese course. Or: so great are your psychosomatic powers that you have willed your uterus to cramp, in which case I acknowledge your accomplishment.

High temperatures:
Possible explanation: Your body is producing temperature-raising progesterone, because you're pregnant!
Alternative explanations: If you're doing IVF, you're injecting progesterone into your body every day, duh. Or: you're in such a frenzy of anxiety and anticipation at all times that you've pushed up your own body temperature. Yes, thank you, I am well known for this feat.

Discharge down thar:
Possible explanation: Your body is producing lots of fluid and plugging up your cervix in anticipation of 38 more weeks of pregnancy!
Alternative explanations: If you produce a solid amount of progesterone on a normal cycle, you probably have always done this and are only noticing it now, since why would you notice it normally, since, uh, gross? Or: drugs!

Possible explanation: Your body is slowing down its digestion to get all the nutrients out of every bite you eat! You know, so it can feed your baby!
Alternative explanations: You've upped your fiber intake since you're TTC. Or: see seaweed salad comment, above.

Frequent urination:
Possible explanation: Your body is working overtime to clear toxins from your body! Since you're knocked up! (Note that I just made this explanation up.)
Alternative explanations: You're drinking water since you're TTC. Or: you always pee all the time. Or: you want to be peeing all the time since it would mean you're pregnant, so this makes you have to go more often. Or: someone has just told you you can't go to the bathroom for ten hours, which makes you have to go now.

The cat food smells bad:
Possible explanation: Pregnancy hormones have made your nose attuned to smells, perhaps to keep you from eating something rancid and endangering your baby-to-be.
Alternative explanation: The cat food always smells bad - you just don't normally get so close or indulge in a long, wine-sniffing snort of the stuff.

Metallic taste in your mouth:
Possible explanation: I have no idea. But you're pregnant!
Alternative explanations: You've been sucking on a penny. Or: your powers of psychosomatic conjuring are so great that you've created this sensation, in which case I bow humbly before you, because even I have never been able to feel this one.

Glass in your nipples:
Possible explanation: Pregnancy hormones are making your nipples grow and expand into disturbing, dark, saucer-sized entities.
Alternative explanation: Progesterone in oil.

Insomnia and nightmares:
Possible explanation: Your brain is detecting subtle changes in your pregnant body, and it is processing this rather major development.
Alternative explanations: This is merely a symptom of being (a) in the 2ww, (b) infertile, or, (c) in the most severe cases, in the 2ww and infertile.

Orgasm dreams:
Possible explanation: Your uterus is cramping as it expands, and so your sleeping mind tries to create a scenario around this physical sensation, which then results in some sort of pleasurable dream, which in turn creates a pleasurable physical sensation.
Alternative explanations: This is the one feint by the universe towards rectifying the injustice you're suffering; enjoy. Or: you're horny! (Note: this explanation is less likely if you are on your sixth (or higher) unsuccessful natural TTC cycle, in which case you may feel you never want to have sex again.)

Possible explanation: Your body is in overdrive, trying to raise a good citizen of the world!
Alternative explanations: Progesterone. Or: all that hoping has worn you out. Or: insomnia and nightmares (see above).

Possible explanation: Pregnancy hormones are upsetting your tummy, which doesn't seem to make much sense, but then neither does your appendix.
Alternative explanation: You've been sniffing too much cat food.

Blue veins in boobs and stomach:
Possible explanation: Because you are working to support two lives, your circulatory system has to ramp up majorly - hence the visible veins.
Alternative explanation: You are descended from a long line of pallid, possibly inbred people of Northern European heritage, and your skin is always translucent; also, you were looking at yourself underneath fluorescent lights.

* Please note that I have no medical training and, in fact, haven't taken any science classes since I was in high school, except for "physics for poets" in college, which was one of my worst grades. Moreover, I have a short attention span and tend only to solipsistically read through studies that have direct bearing on my personal situation. Also, I am not very smart.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


No sore boobs
No cramps
No weird smells
No pricks in the belly
No more flatulence than is, unfortunately, usual
No highlighter-yellow pee
No fatigue

(Those of you who have read early-pregnancy-symptoms message boards will know what I'm talking about.)

I would have hoped my excellent, hatched, 6-day blast could have burrowed in by now. Yes, it's probably early, but no, I can't stop wondering about it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Trite observations

News flash: FETs feel different from fresh cycles. First, with a fresh cycle, there's a kind of build to a crescendo of activity - you're doing shots, you're feeling your ovaries grow, you're getting tests done, then you have the retrieval, then the transfer, then the recovery and wait. With an FET, it's just a whole lot of nothing, then a flurry of activity, then back to nothing.

Which brings me to my second point. After my previous ETs, I felt a great deal going on in my pelvis, since my ovaries were still XXL. Today, I feel just like my normal self (albeit a somewhat estradiol-plumped self). On the one hand, this may make things more agonizing, since it'll be easier to detect symptoms (or, in my case, probably "symptoms"), but on the other hand, since I just feel like my normal self, I keep forgetting that I should even be wondering if I have any symptoms.

I hope those little fuckers implant soon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Update, in list format

1. My frozen blast thawed and became a glorious hatched blastocyst (grade: excellent). I'll try to scan in the picture, but, for now, see this. See how much bigger the hatched one is than the shell? That's what my hatched blast looked like compared to...

2. ...a cultured embryo that became a good-quality early blastocyst, which looked like this.

3. We transferred both. (The other four were still at cleavage stage and will be discarded.)

4. The pregnant RE did my procedure quickly and with minimal pain. The ultrasound tech was very gentle and I didn't even need the urinary catheter; I just lay there calmly after transfer and had no problem waiting to pee.

5. The Demer*ol and Bus*par didn't help as much as I'd have hoped, but they did help my overall mood. If I'd received a bad culture report, I probably would have freaked out regardless, but the drugs did help me feel better. I had some nausea after I got home, but I stuck a delightful Phen*ergan suppository up my sphincter, and the nausea abated (so long as I don't spend too much time thinking about the gelatinous goo that will eventually make its way back out).

6. Let's hope my endometriosis doesn't scare our visitors away.

7. Thanks for everyone's comments on the posts below - I really appreciate them!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Et tu, roof-repair man?

Yesterday, I was standing on a rug near our front door, thinking, "Why is this rug wet?" After more minutes than I'd like to admit had elapsed, I looked up and realized we had a leak. Now, when we bought the house a year ago, the sellers told us that there was some damage to this part of the roof, and that the whole roof might need replacing at some point. We promptly put this out of our minds and blithely went about our unsavvy-homeowners' ways (i.e., watching TiVo instead of learning skills).

Well, so now it's leaking. Neither my husband nor I can even fathom the handiness of Bihari's doctor/weekend-roofer husband; for us, that would be like trying to understand the proof of the Poincare Conjecture (or the Poincare Conjecture itself). Finally, I was compelled to act. I asked around for roof-repair recommendations, and began calling roofers for estimates. Here's my phone conversation with the first roof-repair man to complete an estimate.

MM: Tell me - can we fix just this part of the roof?
RRM: I can probably stop the leak. That would be a band-aid. But your roof...(pauses)
MM: Yes? What is it?
RRM: Let me see; how can I explain it. Uh, hmm...(struggles for words)
MM: Tell it to me straight.
RRM: Okay, I've got it. If your roof were a pregnant woman, she'd be in her third trimester. I mean, it hasn't got much time left.
MM: Ah.

Now, leaving aside the fact that the roof isn't going to produce a baby roof anytime soon, his analogy naturally troubled me. On further reflection, however, I realized I should be relieved, since he hadn't sniffed out my desperate childlessness over the phone. That's something!

Public Service Announcements

I have two PSAs to make, one on-topic, one off-topic.

First, the on-topic one: As one of my high-school teachers helpfully taught us, you should never ask a woman between the ages of 20 and 45 if she is pregnant. No, this didn't happen to me (although I did notice a colleague I hadn't seen in a while eying my belly area the other day; I was wearing a sort of loose shirt that perhaps made her think I was hiding something), but it happened to a friend and IF sister last week. My friend went with her husband and another couple to their neighborhood cafe, where the staff knows them. The waitress pointed at my friend's belly, which was perhaps slightly distended from infertility-induced-stress-snacking, and said, "Do you have something there?" My friend blushed and tried to give the waitress a sideways glance that obviously meant Um, shut the fuck up, ho-bag? But the waitress continued, "Are you pregnant?" she asked, grinning happily, so sure was she that her intuition was correct. My friend, who had just gotten an unwanted AF that very afternoon, said, "No, I'm not," and looked away. She held it together through dinner, but then went home and cried for three hours. Oh, invasive waitress, I hope you realize your sins!

The off-topic PSA: I am currently involved in hiring for a major position at work. Accordingly, I am reading a large number of resumes and cover letters, and you would not believe the number of people who have a cutesy/nicknamy/borderline-risque email address on their resume - e.g., gemini_hottie at yahoo or ragingdave at gmail (email handles have been altered to protect the offenders). I mean, it's okay to have those email addresses for those friends who think you're hot and/or raging, but if you're applying for jobs, then get another account with just your name or something relatively close to your name. Also, try to spell the company's name correctly in the cover letter. I would think these things would be common sense, but then I am also the same person who will schedule myself to be in two places at once, so who am I to talk?

Clearly, I am a bit surly in the hours leading up to my FET. Thank goodness I've got drugs lined up. Let the good times roll!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The secret-agent hotline

At my clinic, and maybe your clinics, one of the most (and only) amusing accoutrements to the whole IVF process has been what I think of as the secret-agent hotline. You call this number after 3pm on any day you've had bloodwork done, and you punch in a couple of codes. These codes get you to a recording from a nurse, who tells you your estradiol level and what your instructions are for the next phase of your cycle. She generally will also provide some brief commentary on your results (very good, good, fine, etc.). So, for example, you might hear: "Your estradiol level is 774, which is very good. Tonight, you will do 150 of Foll*istim, 5 of L*upron, and 1 unit of Re*pronex. You will come back to the clinic at 9am on Friday."

You also call this number to get your fertilization report the day after transfer, and again to find out your transfer day and time. For me, every time I've called the secret-agent hotline, I've had good news - about my estradiol, my fertilization rate, and the fact that on both cycles I had at least one major event (retrieval or transfer) occur on a weekend, which meant I didn't have to lie twice in one week about why I was going to be out of the office, something that might tax my already-feeble powers of prevarication. Moreover, that record of good news, combined with the suspense inherent in this arrangement, has made the hotline seem a bit thrilling to me. Which is profoundly sad, but that is not the point.

The point is that today I have to call the secret-agent hotline to receive my "thaw report." And given my record of embryo development, I am nervous. In addition, even if I get a good report today (which is like day 3), that doesn't mean the embryos will be good at day 5. I just hope my one good blastocyst thaws out well at day 5 if it is called upon to serve.

In other news, real tragedy has struck our household: our TiVo had a nervous breakdown and began rebooting itself every few minutes. Fortunately, a replacement is on the way. I just hope it will arrive by the drug-induced haze I've got scheduled for Wednesday!

(I'll report back on the secret-agent hotline results later.)

Update: Well, that was a bit anticlimactic. My secret-agent instructions said that I have to be there at 10:15 on Wednesday morning, and that all five of my embryos survived the thaw. Well, great, but how do they look? There was no information on that. I hope that this means my frozen blast will be hardy enough to survive the thaw. We'll see.

Friday, August 25, 2006

If endometriomas were dollars...

...then I would be Warren fucking Buffett. Shit, man. My ultrasound showed I've now got billions of endometriomas, by which I mean "five," including a pretty big one. Yes, my uterine lining is really rather breathtaking in its plump beauty, but the endometriomas are responding to the same hormones with similar gusto. It is all rather discouraging, by which I mean "too depressing to contemplate, lest I start crying (again) right before I have to speak to a group of 40 people." I just want you all to know that if endometriomas do become valuable on the open market, I will donate them to the Gates Foundation.

My new favorite RE, who achieved his new status by virtue of not being pregnant, was more than willing to provide me with drugs for transfer. The words "We'll do whatever you want" were uttered, and I assure you that I was not armed at the time. The plan is for me to take ibuprofen, then dem*erol, then maybe phen*ergan if I am feeling barfy, then busp*ar (or something that sounds like that). AND, ladies and ladies, I will get my bladder drained post-transfer by a catheter, which I will not care about since I will not be caring about anything. Isn't it nice sometimes just not to care? So liberating.

But we have two hurdles in our way before transfer (that is, in addition to the nuclear-waste dump that is my uterus). One is my progesterone level, which is currently being checked to make sure I didn't ovulate. The other is that a series of snafus occurred, and my embryo-thawing consent form needs to be re-done, and I have to get it to them by 8:00am tomorrow. We get up early, so that shouldn't be a problem. (Famous last words?) We just need someone to witness it. I’ll try to find the one remaining person in town who doesn’t know I’m infertile.

Yesterday, I went to acupuncture, and my acupuncturist said my Qi is right on the surface and my kidney energy is strong, whatever that means.

Update: My progesterone was fine (0.5, low like they want it to be - no illegal ovulation here), so we will forge ahead as planned. I start progesterone-in-oil shots tonight, unbeknownst to my ass.

Update 2: They found my thaw-consent form, so we don't have to re-do it. That's a pleasant stroke of luck.