Monday, April 28, 2008

Misery loves company, and there ain't none's molars appear to be breaking through - he's been SHRIEKING since about 8:30pm. I've given him ibupro.fen, ora.jel, and a bottle. Each seems to help, but not for long. This is when it would be especially nice to have my husband here, even if both of us ended up staying up all night.

When we were in California back in October, we were staying with some friends who had a then-11-month-old who had molars coming in. I guess he was shrieking, too, so they'd put him in another room and let him scream (after comforting him a few times and giving him ibuprofen) until he'd pass out. They are experienced parents. They also have a big house. I don't think that plan is going to work for me for both mental (too afraid to NOT listen to him) and logistical (house not big enough to sequester screams) reasons.

At times like these, I remind myself how much I wanted him. It does seem to help. I think that if I'd had a baby easily, I would ONLY complain instead of complaining and then having a reality check. Hey, something infertility is good for!

The best thing about that trip is that it's over

If I tell you that I plan to take by myself on another plane flight, just go ahead and lock me in a padded room. There will be NO MORE FLYING SOLO WITH BABIES around here. Being a prodigy, has already, at 11 months, learned to throw tantrums, shake his head no, and attempt to do every single thing I don't want him to do (e.g., grab coiffed white hair of old lady in front of us), and all of these skills were on full display. At one point, I stood up with him in the back of the plane by the bathrooms for 50 minutes. Good times. I also shed a few tears during that period, I am embarrassed to admit.

Also, my fingers appeared to bloat up a bit - either from something related to travel or from the Es.trace - and I could NOT get my ring off of my right hand for about 36 hours. It hurt. Finally, I yanked it (and some skin) off today, and the world is looking much rosier.

On deck for this week: ultrasound on Friday, followed by driving to Chicago with At least if he's shrieking the whole time, we won't be bothering anyone else.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm sorry; I wasn't paying attention. You see, my cervix hurts.

Well, that laminaria left a crampy legacy, despite the fact that I took it out last night. I've found my attention wandering today, and not even because I was near the Internet - rather, it was because my cervix kinda hurts. I hope it will be the easiest, breeziest ET of all time on 5/9.

Last night, I had a very difficult time going to sleep because I have this mild-but-irritating dry cough. Well, this turned out to be an even more unfortunate twist of fate because poor got food poisoning and barfed repeatedly all over his crib and sleepsack and blanket bear, and this, in turn, understandably made him feel upset. I am running on so little sleep right now that I think I might have hallucinated my entire day so far. seemed fine again this morning, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for a blissful night's sleep tonight and a much-needed trip to the gym in the morning.

On Thursday, we're off to Southern California for my father-in-law's birthday and a wedding. This will be my first time flying solo with I think he's too young to drug, unfortunately.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I would still like to know how someone discovered that seaweed dilates cervixes

I just refreshed my memory of my last laminaria placement by reading about it. This time, I asked the assembled parties (RE, nurse, ultrasound tech) how someone discovered that seaweed opens the cervix, but I didn't get an answer because it was comedy hour in the clinic today, and they were sharing some inside joke at the moment.

This time, as before, the RE wanted to try a "sounding," where they try to thread the catheter through just for the heck of it. He actually did manage to get it through my hairpin turn (or, as he called it, "mountain road") of a cervix, but it wasn't easy, so we went ahead with the laminaria. Novac.aine was again injected into my cervix. Various implements were shoved here and there. The RE elected to use real seaweed instead of some synthetic version because the real seaweed is longer, thereby allowing him to cram it further in. He succeeded, which may make transfer a bit easier this time, though I will still have Dem.erol and B.uspar to take the edge off. I also have Ty.lenol 3s for use tonight if I need them (or for barter if I don't). I am definitely crampier this time from the laminaria - last time, it was a breeze. Maybe I was drunk or something.

For those of you keeping score at home, here are the highlights of the upcoming schedule:

Now through 4/30: Es.trace, 2x/day; also baby aspirin, which I'd forgotten about
On 5/1: Up the Es.trace to 3x/day
On 5/2: Ultrasound/"pre-op" appointment to check lining and ensure no ovulation occurred
On 5/4: Start 50mg (1ml) PIO in ethyl oleate 1x/day. All 7 embryos will be thawed - they are PN1s (pronuclear, frozen at day 1) - and put into culture.
On 5/9: Assuming embryos thawed OK and have cultured successfully, transfer one blastocyst (God and other deities willing).
On 5/10: 20th anniversary party for IVF clinic. With a bunch of infertiles, you'd think that they'd serve some booze, but it's 2-4pm, so I'm guessing not.
5/10-5/17ish: 2wfw (two-week fucking wait; at least the 5dt 2ww is really more like 10 days, and I will totally POAS by 8dp5dt)
Post-5/17: If pregnant, live it up before you start puking! If not pregnant, start drinking! got his second-to-last rabies shot this morning; the last one will be on Cinco de Mayo. FYI, 7:30am may be a good time to go to the ER, but by God if you let it slip to 7:44, all hell breaks loose and you'll be there 1.5 hours.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Game on, bitches!

AF arrived this afternoon, so I am going to count tomorrow as my first "full-flow" (and hence Es.trace) day. Now, FET cycles aren't as exciting as fresh cycles, which offer much more monitoring, but I'll be sure to weigh in with detailed descriptions of the nausea and bloating I get from Est.race.

Currently worrying me: (1) what if the embryos don't survive the thaw?, (2) what if none of them makes it to blastocyst? (note: based on past experience, I have insisted on a blast transfer since it is my belief that if my embryos don't make it to blast, they don't have a chance), and (3) what if one of them implants upon my c-section scar, which I've read is a form of ectopic???

Anyway, here we go again. Enjoy the ride!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Four down, two to go has now endured four rabies-related shots (one immunoglobulin, three rabies vaccines). He'll have two more, but at least we get a week off before the next one. FYI, the best time to go to the ER for the shots seems to be around 7:30am.

I made the bat guy come back, too, to check things out. He brought his tween son, thereby ensuring that someone (in this case, my mother) would make a joke. They pulled out some insulation from the basement and found some large droppings indicating big brown bats, which have a wingspan of 16 inches or so. They plugged up the hole that had apparently let the bats in, and he assured me that we wouldn't turn out to be one of those houses where there are, like, 500 bats hiding somewhere. has some molars coming in, it appears. He's been a little crotchety, but that may also be because I continue to prevent him from hurling himself down the stairs, smashing the Ti.Vo remote through the glass door, eating toxins, and diving into the toilet. I know I'll be glad when he's 11 and still loves me, but right now I have moments of envying my friends who have girl babies. So much calmer! One of my friends said that she realized her house was childproofed for girls and not for boys when some little boy came over and grabbed a highball glass from a low shelf, whereas her daughter never did that. proved the wisdom of her observation when we were over at local friend T-Bone's house last night, and he tried to overturn several houseplants that her daughter had never touched. This was after he'd removed two different grates from heating vents and overturned the dog's water dish. It's a good thing he's cute.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good vibes to Single Tracey

Today, Single Tracey is having an FET. Please go over and wish her good luck!

Update: I think I am a curse or something - Tracey's FET was cancelled because the embryos didn't survive the thaw. Go over and give her some support.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Really, I tried to avoid being a bad mother (at least in this category)

We live in an old house. It was built in 1843 as living quarters for farmhands or something like that, and while it has had many modern conveniences added since then, it is still, at its core, an old house. One typical old-house problem it didn't initially have, however, was bats. But we added insulation, thinking we were being all green and shit, and it turns out that bats totally LURV insulation, and in the winter of 2006/2007 we started hearing noises in our attic (which is a teeny-tiny crawl space). They were chirruping and scratching noises, and I gamely tried to convince myself that they could be from, say, songbirds or a benevolent elf. Then my coworker said, "Oh, they're probably bats," and I got on the horn STAT with the local pest/bat people. Actually, I think I didn't do anything until I found a dead mouse in the house, and then I casually mentioned the attic noises to the pest guy who came over, and the next thing I knew I was paying something like $600 or $700 for "guaranteed" bat service, which involves the bat guy plugging up all the places bats can get in and also putting in one-way valves that let the bats out but not back in.

The "guaranteed" bat service involved a checkup six months later to make sure there were no bats. No one came to check, but I was on it. I kept calling them and asking them to come check. Then it was winter, and I heard those same noises in our chimney area. The dog always seemed unconcerned, and I now know not to trust him.* The bat people said they couldn't check until the snow was off the roof. Well, this winter SUCKED ASS, and the snow was on the roof until recently. I called again. They said I was on the list. And then, finally, the bat guy came last Thursday and did some checking and plugging (for which I paid $93), but he said he didn't see any signs of bats.

On Saturday night, two days after the bat guy was there, we looked up and saw a BAT flying around the house. I suggested that maybe it was a songbird or possibly a Wonder Twin in the form of a bat, but it was a goddamned bat. We had no idea where it came from. After it had been flying around for a couple of minutes, I thought to shut the door to the upstairs, but could we definitively say that it hadn't been upstairs, where was sleeping? No. My husband got the bat out the front door, and thought it maybe looked hurt, but he also might have hit it with the broom.

I called the pediatrician on Monday to report the bat incident in the hopes that they'd say something like, "Oh, that must have been the benevolent elf species of bat, which is never rabid; don't worry about it." Instead, they said, "Take to the ER immediately for immunoglobulin and the first rabies shot. Then go back on day 3, 7, 14, and 28." So we (my mother and I) did.

Here are my recommendations from this experience:

1. If you have a bat in your house, catch it. (How? I don't know.) This will allow you to have the bat tested for rabies, which may mean you don't need to have any shots or subject your poor, tired, squirmy, SCREAMING child to such shots.

2. Do not go to the ER around dinnertime. You'd think people would be at home watching television, but, no, TiVo means that they can go to the ER at dinnertime. I think I'll try 8am for shots 2 through 5. (Why do we have to go to the ER for every shot? I don't know.)

3. If they offer to weigh your baby, accept. This way, you'll know that it's 24 lbs. that you're holding for hours, which means it was totally fine to skip the gym.

4. If you do catch a bat in your house, you can call the police about it. (This according to the family in the waiting room next to ours. I suspect the police then called animal control, but hey.)
And that, dear friends, is how I am currently FAR IN THE LEAD for bad mother of the year. I'm really looking forward to shots 2 through 5. No, really. Damned CDC guidelines. (Better safe than sorry, though.)

* The dog has been living a lie. This morning, my mother found him sleeping on the couch. He has never tried this when we're there, and when we come downstairs in the morning, he is always standing on the floor. My mother apparently snuck up on him since the guest room is on the first floor.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Reunion with dildocam

When I was in my early 20s, I worked in a very demanding job, as I have mentioned before here and often mention in public as a way of legitimizing my existence. As a consequence of the long hours in that job, I neglected my health. As a consequence of neglecting health matters such as regular teeth-cleaning, I ended up with the first cavities I'd ever had. Once I was forced to go to the dentist for an emergency visit because I had a visible hole in one of my molars, I found that not only did I have my first cavity, but I also had 23 additional cavities to keep it company. Some teeth had more than one cavity. I ended up having four root canals, which were done by this insane guy with dyed-black hair who barked at his little assistants (who were uniformly Asian) but was very quick and effective. For the rest of the cavities, my regular dentist scheduled me for fillings in groups - that is, I would come in, have one section of my mouth numbed up by nova.caine, and then get those cavities filled. Over time, I found that I was no longer afraid of the nov.acaine shot and in fact kind of relished the moment when that long, sharp needle would slide into my jaw. I thought they would never bother me again. That was incorrect. I've had a few fillings replaced recently, and I did NOT dig the needle at all.

You know where I'm going with this. With IVF, I got used to the needles and the dildocams, and I even felt a bit tough since I could give myself my shots without flinching, and giving up some blood for e2 levels was hardly worth even sighing over. I won't say I ever enjoyed the dildocams (if you did, you may want to keep that to yourself), but I did get used to them. But by the time I had to give blood for one of the pregnancy-related tests (glucose?), I had grown soft again and may have even clenched my teeth as the needle was sliding into my arm.

I had my midcycle ultrasound this morning to check for scarring from my c-section or other abnormalities. This was my first dildocam adventure since I was about six weeks pregnant with, and I found it deeply uncomfortable. That said, the clinic has moved to some shiny new digs, and they had a monitor installed on the ceiling that you could watch from the examination table. Here's what we saw:

- Lining was plush, striped, and, according to the ultrasound technician, "beautiful."
- Antral follicles were at 25, which was lower than the 29 or so I'd had during my first fertility workup, but I am three years older now, and so are my ovaries. I felt happy about 25 in case we need to do another fresh cycle.
- C-section scar had some fluid in it, but the RE claimed that it wasn't enough to leak back into the uterine cavity and disrupt the ambience.
- There was a HUGE ovulating follicle on my right ovary - I've never had any midcycle monitoring before (outside of fresh IVF cycles, when you don't have a dominant follicle), so this was interesting. I thought it was a tumor at first, but instead of being upset, I just felt this was typical behavior from my right ovary. I believe this means I am ovulating on day 12 instead of day 14. It's nice to see an uptick in productivity from the old reproductive system.
- The right ovary had several endometriomas on it, but they are small at the moment. We'll see what happens after they get all juiced up on Es.trace.

So that's the latest. Now, we wait for my next AF to arrive, and then I'll start the Est.race. The clinic is ordering me some PIO suspended in something lighter than whatever it is normally in so that I can use 25-gauge needles instead of the thicker 22s. I requested this since I will be giving them to myself due to my husband's inconvenient geographic location. I'll need to figure out a place to hide the needles from, who would be delighted to find a hazard that held the possibilities of both injury and overdose, and the people who will be looking at our house once we get it on the market.