Friday, January 30, 2009

week from hell over....

Thank god! the only thing is - there is sure to be another one just around the corner. (yes - it's me - glass not just half empty but with barely a drop in it!)That is the nature of my job and it is so frustrating and disheartening.
That's all I am saying - a blog isn't exactly a private diary now is it?
Well I will say this -it might be bearable if I knew there was an end in sight. My "end" was going to be the end of my nine month pregnancy when I would hang up my hat gracefully and take a year off to be a new mom ( albeit a poor mom) and a more homebody type partner to S. ( well we can dream!)But the nine month clock is not even ticking yet.
I keep on telling myself I will learn to meditate and it will make the bits in between work less stressful and I won't spend my spare time ruminating about it. Then when I have some down time I don't feel like learning to meditate! I have tapes and CDs and even stuff downloaded on my I-Pod. Get this: the other day we were getting ready to do some cleaning and I like to listen to my I-Pod when I am cleaning sometimes if S is working or something - so I said: "Oh I know, I'll listen to my meditation tracks while I am cleaning." And then I realized that perhaps that was not the best way to learn to meditate. I mean, aren't you supposed to sit still or something? So that was as far as I got!
The baby news is that I have an appointment at the Big Business Baby Factory to see a new doc. He was the third on my list (still highly recommended)and he helped someone in my support group get pregnant after a whole litany of mechanical type fertility problems. I think of my fertility issues as less mechanical and more about attrition! My eggs are just beaten down and tired!
Yes it's an old white guy again! The younger white guy and the middle aged white woman ( also highly recommended) were unavailable till the end of Feb and beginning of March. I couldn't wait that long. So I have an appointment for Feb 13th at 11am. I hope my honey can come, but she has taken so much time off work recently with school she may not be able to. I have to gather all my records and immunizations and blood work together again.
I have decided that if they say it's a no go I want to try either egg donation or embryo donation. I have a feeling they will give me at least one more try.
So that's the news from Lake Woe-is-me-will-I-ever-get-pregnant!
On the good news front, the cabaret class that I am taking is fun fun fun! and I am thinking of signing up for the third time to train for a triathlon - no, I never finished any of them! This time last year when I signed up for it I was thinking I would train until I got pregnant and see how I felt. Ho hum!
I would love to finish a triathlon. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, January 26, 2009

day from hell... trying to decide...knackered!

Well, that day was a long one. The day I called in sick and then called my messages and figured out I could not be sick and today was just inappropriate to have a mental health day. Other people were having mental health issues and it was my job to deal with them. Or to supervise those dealing with them. I got home at around 9pm which is early for one of those crisis laden, many layered crazy days.
In between all this today I was on the phone to my insurance to make sure the second opinion was covered. It is! I just have to figure out where I am going for it.
I have been perusing the stats for my state and the different clinics that I could visit.
I am most interested in percentage of live births in my age range achieved with the women's own eggs. The numbers are not good at all - ranging from 0 - 12 %. Stats mess with my head - there are so many variables - # of live births per cycle, per retrieval, per transfer, etc etc.I am interested in meeting with a doctor who has had some success in my age range without using donor eggs, because this is my last ditch effort to figure out if I can use mine. Any RE can tell me about donor eggs and how easy that will be. So I am debating. The small friendly clinic that I picked has 0.000000% in my age group. So I am reconsidering going there and I think I will go for the clinic that is in the 12% range. Not that I am pinning my hopes on them, but I figure they must have some tricks up their sleeve.
So that's all for now.
The couch beckons.
ta ta for now:)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hope floats

I didn't know where that phrase came from until it popped into my head a day or two ago. I just googled it and it's a movie I have never seen: the tagline is:
"When life fell apart, love fell into place"
Not sure if that quite fits, but I did feel like my life was coming apart for a few days. Saturday, when we found out, was the too busy to feel day - some time to tell a couple of people but no time to think what it meant; Sunday was tell a couple people at church day...yes, I have told a lot of people of our journey and actually strangely it does not bother me that we have to tell them that reality does not always go the way we want it to go. Monday, was get really angry at S and at the guy whose dog slipped it's leash and went after my dogs day - a day I believe I yelled and cried and felt resentful and railed against the not fairness of it.
Tuesday, inauguration day, I could not get out of bed to go to work. I missed the whole thing - I was walking our dogs when it happened and then driving to work, as I was late. Our cable was not working so I could not watch it at home. The whole nation was celebrating and I could not muster up any kind of excitement or interest - I feel a little ashamed about that. I still have not watched it. I saw his face on Yahoo and Aretha's hat and that was that.

I know - the ice caps are falling off, the new president of the USA is full of hope, the are wars everywhere, and I am a ball of heavy cotton wool.

I did barely any work on Tuesday. I felt like I was in slow motion and had tunnel vision. It took me all my energy to move my head from side to side. On Wednesday I researched second opinion doctors, which is hard to do because they all want you to come in for an appointment to talk so you could spend a lot of time talking to any number of docs.
I tentatively called my clinic and asked for a release for my medical records. I was told I needed to speak to a nurse and sign a form and no-one has called me back, which is interesting as they normally do.
I have an appointment for next Wednesday with another doc. I have no illusions about this one - I don't think she is going to sweep me off my feet and hand my lovely young eggs back to me. I just want to hear it from someone else, or find out that there may be one protocol that is worth a try and I can figure out if the odds are worth it. It does seem to be about odds - a gamble - who would have thought it?
Anyway, back to hope floating...
Throughout yesterday I felt less like cotton wool soaked in cement and with the thinking about options, I felt a little hope floating to the surface of my self. It is still there, bobbing about.
I know it's a gamble: money, time, odds, etc etc.
I do have some hope that maybe something will work.
I know that I still want to be pregnant and still go that route.
And yes, I have thought about adoption!
Keep on floating, Hope!
the nurse called me back today to talk about me getting my records. She apologized for not calling me yesterday but she was too busy."It was crazy yesterday and today - I just couldn't get to the phone." Then I realized - the clinic is awash in women getting their eggs retrieved and that should have been me! grrrrrrrrrrrrr......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One lonely follicle...

That's what I got. After 300 IU Follistim 2x per day and 75 IU Menopur 2x day i got one little follie.
I was so nervous going to the RE for my ultrasound today. I knew it was bad after my visit on Wednesday, so I really was not very hopeful. The ultrasound was very quick - I got my hopes up when I saw him marking a spot on the slide, but then I sat up and he said "you only have one follicle and we need three or four, I'm sorry, we are canceling the cycle."
I asked him what my options were and he said egg donation. I asked him about embryo donation and he said he would have to check to see if they had any?!!!!
Then I went into the consult room and Susan was waiting for me and we talked to the nurse who was quite sweet. We talked a little about our options- Susan asked some questions, we left. We are going to think on it and maybe schedule a consult in a week or two. Maybe find another RE. Do some research and thinking. Talk to the money gods!
The nurse said we would be getting a call from their psychologist. I really don't need to talk to a psychologist - I have a therapist, and Susan and I can talk about it together.
When we got home from our travels today there was already a message on our machine from the shrink. I didn't listen to it yet.
the rest of the day has been incredibly social - no time to sit and think or wallow in it.
I know this is an uninspired post, but I guess there is a good reason not to be inspired right now.
more later:)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 5 of stims and a big fat 0

Not looking good.
At the ultrasound, doctor grumpy basically said it looks very quiet in there, there are no follicles to measure and although the antral ones are still there that's all there is.
I go for another U/S on Saturday am, armed with my trusty DP for moral support, and he said that they need to see something then for it to be a go.
I am pumping myself full of heavy duty high dose meds and nothing.
To me, that spells lots of words that are expletives.
I cried on the way to work, ran my staff meeting, worked some more and left at 4pm, after having a grande gingersnap latte.
It already feels like it is over.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day three and holding...

Apologies to any of you non IVF or TTC obsessed people out there ( I don't think there are many, are there? !!) but I am pre-occupied with the "test tube baby" project right now.

So DP and I sat down with my meds on Saturday am and slogged our way through the instructions, the syringes,the sticks ( almost put the wrong intramuscular needle on a subcutaneous shot): she shot me up and I got all impressed with her nursing skills.

Every few hours on Saturday, I would say, with excitement and expectation to DP - is it time for another injection yet?!!! I mean, the more injections, the nearer I am to my goal, right? I mean, why can't I take all the meds at once and get some big fat follicles quickly! Just kidding!

For you detail oriented readers here are the stats: 300mg follistim BID, 75 IU Menopur BID.

And now it's the end of day 3 and I am feeling like an old junkie ho!

Ultrasound is on Weds am and I will be asking questions. Any suggestions?
Prizes for the best ones...

thanks, peeps, for reading.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It looks like I am f.uck.e.d. or am I?

How many antral follicles is "good"? I had nine total today.

"There is not a perfect answer to this excellent question. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and some ovaries have not yet read up on antral follicle counts to know how they are supposed to respond to stimulation. Antral follicle counts can also be somewhat "observer-dependent". This means that if we had several different trained ultrasonographers do an antral count on a woman, they would not all get exactly the same result. Therefore, what we decide looks like 6 antral follicles, at another clinic might have been read as 4 or 8, etc.
From our own observations and experience, here are some general guidelines:
Total number of antral follicles
Expected response to injectable ovarian stimulating drug (FSH product) and chances for success
Less than 4
Extremely low count, very poor (or no) response to stimulation and a cancelled cycle expected.
Should seriously consider not attempting IVF at all.
Rare pregnancies if IVF attempted.
Low count, we are concerned about a possible/probable poor response to the stimulation drugs.
Likely to need high doses of FSH product to stimulate ovaries adequately.
Higher than average rate of IVF cycle cancellation.
Lower than average pregnancy rates for those cases that make it to egg retrieval. The reduction in success rates is more pronounced beyond age 35.
Somewhat reduced count.
Higher than average rate of IVF cycle cancellation.
Slightly reduced chances for pregnancy as a group.

Normal (but intermediate) count, the response to drug stimulation is sometimes low, but usually good.
Slight increased risk for IVF cycle cancellation.
Pregnancy rates as a group only slightly reduced compared to the "best" group.
Normal (good) antral count, should have an excellent response to ovarian stimulation.
Likely to respond well to low doses of FSH product.
Very low risk for IVF cycle cancellation. Some risk for ovarian overstimulation.
Best pregnancy rates overall as a group.
Over 26
High count, watch for polycystic ovary type of ovarian response.
Likely to have a high response to low doses of FSH product.
Higher than average risk for overstimulation.
Very good pregnancy rate overall as a group, but some cases in the group have egg quality issues and lower chances for pregnancy.

Female age under 35
Female age under 35 Chart
IVF live birth rates are lower with reduced antral follicle counts.
Young women with high antral counts sometimes have egg quality issues.

Female age 35-39
Female age 35-39 chart
Women 35-39 have intermediate success rates. Higher antral counts show better success.

Female age 40-42
Female age 40-42 Chart
Women 40-42 have substantially lower success rates.
Success rates are best with more than 12 antrals.

Today is Day One!!!! and my honey got an A!!!

So I stayed in bed late this morning, not having to go to work and called the RE's office at 11.30am with my questions. The nurse said that as far as she was concerned I was ready to come in for an Ultrasound if I had had spotting. Could I come in NOW? Yes, with greasy hair, the dogs not walked, snow on the ground, my car parked in a snowdrift 2 blocks away. Of course I can come in right now!
I am so glad I called. Sometimes I am so passive about these things I could kick myself (gently).
So I get there by 12.10pm and I can tell they are impressed!
By that time without warning AF is in full flood. Yikes!
So I get the other RE doing my ultrasound. For someone who has been at this over a year, I am a newbie to the high intervention stuff. This is only my second ultrasound - the first was a hysterosonogram. I don't know this doctor, although she seems nice from hearing her talking to the nurses. From reading their website I know she has 10 kids and deals with multiple pregnancy losses. Unlike the guy RE, who waffles out loud as he is doing the procedure, she does not say much to me, but I hear her saying to the nurse ( I think!) 4 on the left and 5 on the right. What does that mean?!!!!!
Then she gets up and leaves and tells me to get dressed and talk to the nurse. It happens so fast. So the nurse is drawing my blood and I say - so was the ultrasound okay? What were the results? And she says - I can't say whether they were good or bad, we are calling the RE ( my doctor) to get the go ahead on your meds. Then she comes back and says I should start the meds tomorrow as today is counted as Day 1. The head nurse asks me if I am excited and I say - I think so!
And then I pay my copay and leave. And get more and more excited as I drive home.
Whoop-dee - bleeding - do dah day - I am finally getting started on this bloomin IVF thing after all!!!
I treated myself to my last gingersnap latte for a while and went home.

Part 2.

Our mailman had been on vacation for a few weeks, and our mail had been sporadic.He is a mean old weasel and yells at me all the time if the dogs come anywhere near him, but I bravely accosted him and tell him we haven't been getting mail because I think the temporary mail man can't figure out that there is a latch inside the gate that you have to reach over and open as well as using the key. He explains that the other mail men are idiots and calls me darling and sweetheart!!! He must be having a really good day!
Then as I am getting stuff out of my car he comes up again to me and talks about the whole thing again and calls me honey or something like that. I almost fall over. Now, I still don't trust him and still think he is a weasel - maybe he had a lobotomy while he was away and now can't remember who he has yelled at before?!!
Anyhoo - I finally get the mail and there is the long awaited letter from my honey bunny's seminary - her results for the first two classes she just took and slogged her pretty way through while working full time. I call her excited and ask her if I can open it and the first thing I see is GPA = 4.0!!! I start yelling strings of expletives and funny made up words which is my hallmark when I am excited or frustrated - it's kind of a picturesque version of tourettes!
She got A's in both classes - including the one they had to learn 100s of facts by rote, a difficult feat for my sweet menapausal DP who has no thyroid. She did it, she did it!
We would have been happy with B's, but these A's mean so much. This is the beginning of both our parallel journeys - and midlife crises - hers to finally get her M Div. and be a minister, and mine to have a babbit! We keep reminding each other that we will figure out how to both at the same time. Neither of us can afford to wait around - we did that before!
Now we have to figure out how she can do clinical pastoral education while we have a newborn in November !!!!!
Keeping everything crossed!
Being very optimistic!
ta ta for now!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

ER does IVF...

So who watched ER tonight? and which ones of you were watching and listening intently to see what the ER fertility/ obygynie/ whatever doc said about Banfield's chances?
I was!
I had a few quibbles with their "science". Not being 100% detail oriented and a bit of an airy fairy air sign I may have missed some of the details, but here goes:
First, she gets a negative pregnancy test and then she sees the Fertility doc and immediately gets and FSH and Estradiol and something else test. Isn't that supposed to be a day three test? How did she get to day three so fast?
Secondly, and this may just be my quibble, her FSH is 13.5 and the doc says she could not possibly do IVF - it would be unethical. The chances are 1% - maybe less? She says that no doc would do an IVF cycle with those numbers? I guess the reason I want to know if this is true is that my FSH was 13.5 this time last year and was 12.5 in the summer. When we went to the RE with those results he looked grave and said my egg reserve was probably low and quality may be low, but I don't remember him saying it was only 1% and it would be unethical to do an IVF cycle. He said we should try one cycle to see how my eggs responded.
Ho hum.
And then there was the whole storyline about the kids who were practically orphans and the older brother sold drugs to take care of his younger brother and we're all thinking: oh she's going to try to adopt the younger kid and forget this whole IVF thing.
And then the obgyn tells her she has plenty of other options and ways to make a family.
Hello!!!!!! double dummy points for being tactless, stating the obvious, and being totally out of order!
So now, as I sit waiting for my period to come on day 3 of no BCPs, I am wondering - what are my chances? If I don't get my period for a few more days what happens? Do I miss the boat on this batch of IVF?
I am going to call the clinic tomorrow and ask them. But if any of you have any advice for me - shoot me a message!
thanks for listening!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My favorite pics of 2008!

Trio - still grubby and sad looking! the three musketeers!
they're ready to be adopted
Trio at about four weeks

My nephew Murray My dad Harry

Those are my fave pics - wish I could figure out how to lay them out properly!


My year in review is the title!

So I am following in the footsteps of some of my wonderful sisters of the net and doing this:

My Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

Picked a few sperm donors, got sperminated, picked a few more, etc etc.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year - not because I don't need to but because I wanted to avoid being disappointed in myself. This year I want to swim with dolphins, sing and have a baby!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Two friends, one co-worker and one friend is pregnant

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My dear sweet dad, Harry Holmes Purkis, on April 17th, 2008. He was a young at heart 71 but his body was not cooperating...

5. What places did you visit?

England for my dad's funeral, where I saw relatives I had not seen for years and years, our beloved Bin a Gamme in Watersmeet in the UP, for 6 days of friends and fun and solitude, and lots of swimming and some skinny dipping; Hilby Thatch cottage in Glenn, MI, near South Haven, and KCMO to see DP's mama and sis.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Nowt but a wee babbit ( Yorkshire dialect for "nothing but a little baby")

7. What day from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The day I got the call that my dad had died - just when I was planning to get my passport mess sorted out and go see him. I was sitting on our couch in a towel, with wet hair.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year?

Keeping my job, getting my previous abusive evil and nasty boss fired ( with a lot of help from my wonderful co-workers) and regaining my mental health because of it.

Helping the feral cats in our hood - saving three of the four kittens from certain starvation ( one died because he was really sickly) and finding the three of them happy homes.

Feeding and sheltering the remaining feral cats and the non-feral but very charismatic Blackie.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting to see my dad before he died - letting worries about money and timing get in the way of my plans to visit him

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No thank goddess.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I don't think I bought anything very exciting - but I have to say the beach tokens we bought were the best value for money and allowed us to have many days being beach bums!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My DPs for being a trooper and going back to school and putting up with me and my moods!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


14. Where did most of your money go?

Sperm, making babies, bills, starbucks, travel, cats. Probably in that order.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting sperminated, the idea of being pregnant, going to the beach!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I can't think of one

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier

b) thinner or fatter? Fatter - at least 10 lbs - blame it on TTC!

c) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Relaxing, traveling, hanging with friends

19. How did you spend Christmas 2008?

In KC MO with DPs mama and sister

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Wiv ma honey again and again. Esp. when she is all academic and clever, she makes me swoon!

21. What are your three favorite photos of 2008?

Look at my next post because I am having a hard time posting them here -and am only able to post to the beginning of the blog!

22. What was your favorite TV program?

the L- word - even though it turned into lesbian kitsch porn! and Brothers and Sisters and of course all the Real Housewives shows - atlanta and OC especially!

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2008?

Had a 40th Birthday party with my twin sis and friends at her house, played games, had a photo guessing game with pics of both of us and you had to guess which was which.

24. What was the best book you read?

The center cannot hold, by Elyn Saks - about a very very smart woman who has severe schizophrenia and manages to have a life eventually after years and years of struggles.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?!!!!!

26. What did you want and get?

I don't go around wanting a lot - that's half my trouble. Didn't want and didn't get much!

27. What did you want and not get?

Wanted to move to a nice big house. No we didn't get it!

28. What were your three favorite films this year?

Happy go lucky ( of course); Schindler's List ( even though it's gut wrenching, the documentary afterwards is uplifting) can't think of another one right now.

29. Did you make some new friends this year?

Some new co-workers, some cool people at our funky UCC church.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Letting go...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

JC Penney!!!!!

I know I know - but for work it's great!

For home, anything baggy really.

And skirts for the summer - who would a thunk it?!

32. What kept you sane?

Discovering the internet and BBC, blogs, and facebook; rediscovering fiction; ma honey!

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Prop 8

34. Who do you miss?

My dad

35. Who was the best new person you met?


36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Don't wait to go see your loved ones. Indecision is a decision.

Those were hard lessons.

Roll on 2009!

I don't regret 2008, but I am OVER IT!

Picture this: me, on a beach, summer 2009, big fat pregnant belly!

OMG - is she obsessed? No she is envisioning her October / November baby!