Friday, February 23, 2007

Discuss amongst yourselves

Here's a question for the lucky ladies out there who have had success with fertility treatments after having had some failures. What do you think made the difference in the cycle that worked? Was it the treatment? Tweaking the treatment? Just landing on the right side of the odds? I've been meaning to ask this for a while.

For us, my best guess at what made IVF#3 (FET#1) work was that we had good-quality blastocysts. Cycle 1 had been unlucky, probably because of too few days of stimming. Cycle 2 was a bust because we put back day-3 embryos, whose quality doesn't have as much correlation to ongoing quality as day-5 quality does. But we got some good embryos there, and they finally got to bloom at day 5 during the FET. My back-up theory would be that the FET was just gentler. My back-up, back-up theory would be that I had a piss-poor attitude, which shows that positivity means jack-shit.

So, for you: what made the difference? I am leaving town today (I hope - bad weather is movin' in), but I will eagerly check back in on the responses.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

OBGYNpalooza, day 2 (or: My Baby is Average)

Today's ultrasound revealed that my baby is breech, as usual. He is in a pike position with his feet up by his head. This explains why my bladder gets really whacked - he kicks it with his heels, I think. He is apparently 2.9 lbs, which puts him into the 55th percentile. The MFM doctor assured me that average is exactly where I want to be.

I had the MFM doctor look at my cervix on ultrasound, and I also had my OB inspect it in person. They concurred that it was high, tight, long, and closed. It had better be. It was so hard to get into that damned thing that at least I should enjoy the benefit of having it be hard for anything to get out. Anyway, I feel better about my long flights and my being far, far away from my team of experts.

The glucose tolerance test was, well, tolerable. They'll call today or tomorrow if I failed. I hope I didn't - the drink itself was palatable to me (as I have a sweet tooth), but it didn't feel great sitting there in my gullet afterwards.

Other stats: uterus is measuring a bit over 27 weeks, blood pressure was 113 over 62 (so somewhat higher than last time, but apparently not worrisome), and I was up a couple of lbs. I've decided to count my weight gain from my normal weight, so I am up 20 lbs now. That seems good, right, and just to me. They are checking my hematocrit level today as well - I hope that's all right, although I sort of doubt it, given my lack of iron consumption. I don't even take a prenatal vitamin, just a normal multi, since the idea of being even MORE constipated was a nonstarter for me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

OBGYNpalooza, day 1

Today, I had my appointment in the OB-GYN clinic with the psychiatrist who is an infertility/PPD specialist. I really liked her. She's probably younger than I am, like my OB, but I respect young people who have pursued one line of work and are thus quite qualified at this age to perform it (instead of being partially qualified to half-assedly pursue numerous lines of work, like me). We are going to have appointments every two weeks or so for a while, then we will ramp them up as my due date approaches. She's mostly focused on medication management, but I demanded therapy from her first.

Tomorrow, I have an ultrasound, the glucose-tolerance test, and my regular OB appointment. I have developed a fear/neurosis that I will go into preterm labor in Hawaii (or at 35,000 feet en route to or from), so I plan to have my cervix inspected for signs of misbehavior. I've had a few painful sensations while out walking the past couple of days, so my neurosis isn't as completely unfounded as it usually would be.

We leave in two days on our trip. Yay! Although it's finally warmed up here (from the snot-freezing cold we were experiencing just two weeks ago), I will be glad to experience some 85-degree days. I will also be glad to attack the breakfast buffet daily.

I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow. I will try to get another belly shot in before we go.

In other news, there have been a few BFPs out there in IF land lately, but I don't want to jinx anyone by naming names. So congrats to those who've received them, and lots of commiseration to those who haven't. And here's sending lots of easy labor vibes to Beth, who's suffered severe HG up until the bitter end but who will be induced tomorrow morning. May your labor be a breeze and may the nausea disappear as soon as LC debuts!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nursery, Phase 1

As an exercise in resolving marital disputes, my husband and I assembled the crib this weekend. We are generally not good at assembling things together, as (a) we are both quite moronic when it comes to putting things together and (b) we have historically engaged in - ahem - snippy behavior when reacting to the stress that comes with being faced with one's own idiocy while in the presence of another. I am pleased to say that we assembled the crib, even though the instructions were far, FAR from illuminating. We only majorly fucked up one thing, and we managed to fix it.

Anyway, here it is - the nursery's first few items: the crib and mattress (only Tar.get's finest, naturally) and vaguely colonial-feeling rug ( I had hankered after a friend's lovely modern nursery set from this company, but when I found that each piece was more than 1000 clams at a local retailer, I decided that frugality is best taught starting at birth. Will our son's first word be "IKEA"? It seems likely.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ah, 2006.

Last weekend, we were collecting our tax forms. In this process, I separated out all of our 2006 medical bills, since it is possible that we'll hit the threshold to deduct our expenses. Here's a shot of the file of just the bills - not instructions, waivers, clinic materials, photos of doomed embryos, etc., which make up a folder about twice this size.

One thing seems likely, though - 2007 will (knock on wood) be cheaper in terms of medical bills for one key reason: Z0fran's patent expired, and it is now available as a generic, and generics are free under my insurance. Wahooooooo! I shared this news with the barista at our local (non-Starbucks) coffee joint, since she'd had eight months of hyperemesis with her son, who is now two. She practically wept with joy and said she'd now consider a second child. She'd had no insurance with the first, so she would save up $600 at a time to buy 10 full-priced Z0fran.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

And this is the way I see it, Michele Johnson of Wamego, KS

You know how Starbucks cups have these little quotes from people on the sides? It's a series called "The Way I See It"? Yeah, I don't usually read them, either, but my cup today happened to catch my eye. Here's what #208 by Michele Johnson, a Starbucks customer from Wamego, Kansas, has to say. Allow me to apologize in advance for my reaction to it.

"I wish couples who desperately take every means to conceive a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative. A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters a family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart."

Thank you for your helpful insights, Michele, even though I would have put a comma after "partner." I don't even know where to start. First, who wants to bet that Michele has at least one biological child? Second, what's with the condescension? Does she think infertile couples don't realize adoption exists? Does she think that infertile couples think adoption is inherently odious? Does she think that people who do adopt have done so without trying anything else?

And then there's the word desperately. Yes, many infertile couples feel desperate - but the way it's used here is much more damning, much more patronizing, like You boob, can't you see how idiotic you look? And how about that lecture about what makes a family? Strong finish, Michele. Thank you for your helpful explanation. I'm sure Starbucks-drinking IVF patients everywhere will cast off their Folli.stim shackles, now that they've seen the light!

Discuss. Or respond.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

OB report

My visit to the OB was uneventful. I had only gained one pound since last month, even though I am much larger. I think this is because last month's stats had included a robust weight gain, and also I'd eaten an XXL breakfast right beforehand, which wasn't true today. My total weight gain is hard to measure. If you go by my post-IVF weight, I am up 13 lbs. If you go by my normal weight, I am up 18 lbs. If you go by my hyperemesis low point, I am up 28 lbs. So many choices!

My blood pressure was good - 108 over 62. The little fellow's heartbeat was in the 140-152 range, and he kicked the ultrasound probe (I do think it had it coming). My uterus measured perfectly on target for 25 weeks. The nurse thinks my rib pain is just expanding ribs, and the cramping I get during exercise isn't a big deal as long as it goes away within 30 minutes (which it does). I get the glucose tolerance test in three weeks, as well as another ultrasound. Yippee! Actually the real "yippee!" is that the day after that appointment, we go to Hawaii for a week! Hooray!