Sunday, January 31, 2010

Half-way to FET and other life altering thoughts

I realize I haven’t posted much about the whole TTC process recently (except to boast about my cervix) but it's high time I told you all how things are going with the getting ready for FET process.
I had my baseline ultrasound and blood-work: fine. Then Day 7 u/s and b/w = Lining 6 and estrogen only 75. Just like last time. So they upped my estrogen by one vaginally per day and on day 10 it was lining 8.5 and estrogen 275  - or something like that. The nurse sounded pleased with that progress. When I read about all you IVFers and injectible med peeps with E2 in the thousands I get a little alarmed but they assured me that as long as it's over 150 I am fine. Last time when we did the fresh embie transfer my E2 did get progressively higher and my lining was great - 11 I think - but I can't help wondering if it was the E2 that was the problem so I am happily popping those pills like candy. I don't know if anyone else had this but something is making my stomach upset (upper and lower) and I was wondering if the E2 was the culprit?
This is my second time on the IVF side of the clinic (as opposed to the monitoring side which is a whole different section) and I'm getting used to the nurses and the ultra-sound techs. I find that the friendlier I am with them the nicer they are to me. I know - it's not rocket science, but I tend to be pretty reserved and withdrawn during this whole process and it really has helped me to lighten up a little. Most of the nurses know that I only have one vein that works - on my left arm - and are cool with that.  The nurse yesterday decided to change it up and look for one on my right arm but she didn't get very far with that. I think maybe I should offer them the back of my hand next time - just for variety. The other day, one of them said - "Oh hi, you're back  - I'm sorry - I remember you and your husband from before" and I said - " I don't think so, I don't have a husband."  She apologized and I think she felt bad about it because she came back and said; "don't worry, I don't have a husband either!" and she also pointed at another nurse and said, "Neither does she." I smiled and thought to myself (though I didn't say it) but I have a honey at home - she’s just not my husband. It's not like it's a secret - if they really read my chart they would know - although because I am a lesbian and there is no "man" involved I am seen as a single woman (and this only changes when S comes to appointments - which is rare - and that's fine by me). I am just happy when she comes to the transfer with me.
It's funny, because I am "older" I always imagine that the clinic will be full of older women but in fact it's not true at all. I know scientifically IF is not all about age - not at all - but I am always surprised to see really young looking women at the clinic doing IVF. They are all mostly skinny and white too, but that's probably the demographic of the surrounding area and those who have the best insurance  / higher incomes and can afford IVF are disproportionally white - which sucks for everyone. Actually, the surrounding area is a yuppyfying area that borders on some of the most dilapidated and neglected public housing in Chicago - most of it has been knocked down but there are still some high -rises remaining, so no, that does not reflect the demographic of the area. Most of the people who originally lived in the neighborhood have had to move to other even poorer and more disenfranchised neighborhoods far south of there.   The displacement and discrimination in that so called housing policy is plain ugly.

Generally I am feeling low key and not particularly inspired about anything. Yesterday when I woke up I had a sudden mid life crisis moment of feeling that I was wasting my whole life and I should be doing something different. (Not the baby project, but my work). I think that this was sparked by a friend of mine posting on FB that she was going to Costa Rica on spring break and it just hit me that all I seem to do is work work work, rest on the couch, walk the dogs, eat, sleep, poop, pee, and sometimes hang out with other people. Of course S and I do stuff together - but since her focus is so much on her schoolwork and just surviving working full time and commuting and getting her books read and papers written, I often feel that I am limiting my activities and fun also and I don't have the energy to do much else. She does more than her fair share of the work so that is nothing to complain about.  I am so glad she is doing this and fulfilling her dream - it would be unbearable for her and I if she weren’t able to do this - and she is so good at it and so excited about it, it's beautiful to watch.  She really inspires me.

I just really want to go somewhere new and do something new. I feel like even though my job is helping people I don't really see the benefits of it much at all and it wears me down. I know it's not all about results but I need to find my creativity somewhere.......

In other news...S and I decided to get married over Christmas ( big fanfare!!!!) and we have had fun thinking about that and telling people slowly. It will  be a wedding in our  UCC church,  probably in May or June, and  it won't be "legal" but we are also   thinking about going to Iowa ( the nearest right -on marriage state) and doing it legally. We are considering a place called Decorah ( well, S doesn't know this yet, but I am going to talk to her about it! - newsflash, I just talked to her about it and she is all in favor!) It's five hours from Chicago and seems like the cutest mid-west town with lots of amenities and ia welcoming to queers like us!

So yes, big stuff. And the house is a mess and I'm going to hire a cleaning service because I just don't feel like doing  it myself. And I know that speaks of privilege and  infinite largesse, but I can count on one hand the times we have hired a cleaner. I know lots of people who have them every two weeks but we have never felt like we can afford it. As I say to S - it's either a dog-walker  (twice a week to give us a break or when we come home late ) or a cleaner. We can't have both! Well this month maybe we can. ( Update - I just broke down and swept the floors after having a tantrum about all our STUFF!)

So those are my ramblings of the moment. My last u/s and b/w is on Wednesday 3rd and that will be when we get the go ahead for the FET on February 9th. So only ten days to go. Woo hoo!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happier-go-lucky days!

Dear sweet blog-friends,
Thanks so much for the encouragement and the good wishes.
As lucky would have it, my birthday turned out to be low key but sweet!
I worked all day Friday and was within a hair's breadth of taking someone to the ER / petitioning them, but it all calmed down and the trip was deemed unnecessary. PHEW!!!

My honey left birthday cards on my pillow in the am as she crept out early and I treated myself to being a bit late to work and picking up a favorite latte on the way there.

My co-workers sung the birthday song that I have taught them  twice to me, we had pizza and gelato in celebration of the end of paperwork week and my birthday, there were amazing ginger candies on the snack table called Gin Gins - check out their website at and no I am not getting paid but I might be persuaded.

I left work early ( 4.30 is early for me) and rushed home to assemble my sister's present ( a collage of photos of our dad) and to get ready for dinner out. S and I met my sis and her two girls at a pan-asian / thai restaurant and had comfort food and tea and exchanged pressies. It was fun to talk to them about their lives and plans, everyone else's plans and to share with them about the next adventure in baby -making. The best bit was when my older niece exploded into amazed laughter when we told her that the strongest embies "survive the thaw". To us it's run of the mill. To them it's another world that sounds a bit like antarctica!

Oh and I didn't tell you about the best compliment of the day! I finally had my pap smear - I know -  I like to celebrate my birthday with a gynelogical exam! - and the Nurse midwife who I picked over a rushed OB doctor was sweet and interested and kind. It's amazing to spend time with a medical professional who is actually not in a hurry!!! I think when we do get preggers I might give her a try.
Well, she's down between my legs and she suddenly says: "I wish I could take a picture - you have a very pretty cervix"!!!! I said, I wish you could take one too. I remembered that she said that last time I had a pap. Now I'm not a cynic, so I'm not going to say that is her standard line and I'm going to believe that my pretty cervix is going to be a continued good omen for the baby project!  Quite the most original compliment I thought!

I have been absolutely pooped recently, with bad headaches and a  backache and we came home from dinner and flopped on the couch. S gave me my pressies - a novel called " A Year of Cats and Dogs", some cute book-marks and a funny /  camp vegan calendar,  and then we  flopped into bed where I stayed till 12noon today! Today my lovely friend from work met us at a cute Irish Pub and treated us to afternoon tea ( and I had a Drambuie!) I think that may be my last drink for a while - i.e. nine / ten  months or so. It was good!

So that's my birthday celebrations for this year. It was nice to savor the little things and take each moment at a time. The jury is still out on the Wii. I agree with you all that it would be a great idea, I just haven't got my act together yet.

So now I'm going to catch up on all my missing comments on your blogs and send you some of my happy-go-lucky good vibrations.
lots of love and hugs to you all:)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BIrthday Blues

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to....except there ain't no party!

Before I start really singing the blues I want to thank everyone who visited and commented on my catastrophically  woeful work post. Your support was really wonderful to have. It turns out I was seriously underestimating my boss and seriously over-reacting and getting myself into a hormone -filled frenzied tizzy! I feel bad for moaning and groaning about my new boss who has turned out to be supportive and smart and seems to be appreciating both my skills and charm. The PTSD was and is real and all sorts of things trigger it - but not surprisingly having a new boss - the sixth in  a litany of bosses really sent me over the edge. I am thankfully retreating from the edge with dirty fingernails but not a lot of other scars.

The past few years my birthday has SUCKED! I am not a big birthday girl (well, I confess I say that, but it's really not true!) I  would love to be feted and adored and treated like at least the princess if not the queen. I am not a prima donna or a diva by any means ( although I am a ham and a show-off), but being a twin and always having to share my birthday with my sister has meant that I never really got to be "THE BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!!" I'm not sure if this is just an English thing, but when there were parties when we were kids, it was ALL about the birthday girl. She got to do everything first, have the biggest piece of cake,  choose her team in the party games, etc etc - if there was any doubt about who got to do something first or best or biggest at the party there was always the chorus of "let the BIRTHDAY GIRL do it!!!!" Well my sister and I  always got to be really good at sharing this honor between us, and we  acted particularly maturely about it, but I think it was all an act, and one of kindness and decorum, because we knew that throwing a tantrum and demanding to be the center of attention meant that the other twin would look bad and be "left out." That was probably one of the most cardinal sins of twin-ship. To be "left out". Or to be better than the other one at something. Because the other one might feel bad if they weren't as good, so we had to tread carefully around each others' feelings and competition or having a special talent that stood out. We were both good at quite a few things and we were usually neck and neck in terms of talent. I think we longed to be supremely better at one thing or another just to be able to break the mold of always being "equal". Being "equal" became an end in itself and not necessarily a happy end.

But I was telling you all about how my birthday has sucked in  recent years. In 2008 I was suffering greatly under aforementioned abusive and psychotic boss who was about to be fired but was still beating me with a big iron stick and threatening to fire me. It was our 40th birthday and my sister and I had planned to have a joint party, which turned out to be fun, however the shadow of the horrible boss situation hung over me. The day of the party we had a huge flood caused by a burst pipe in the back storage area and our hardwood floors were covered in about two inches of water. We still managed to go to my sister's for the party but we had to come home and the next day  pack up our stuff and move out for two weeks while our house was in critical care - hushed and intense save for the hum of  huge drying machines and fans. I had asked people not to buy me presents because we were saving up for "the baby project" which had been postponed from fall 2007 because of nasty boss and super stress impeding my charting and relaxing and focusing on my body and reproduction. We got some donations from very kind friends and relatives and project baby was launched a few months' later - to a resounding thud.

Last year, my 41st birthday was characterized by more doom and gloom pursuant to a failed IVF cycle four days previously where the tactless and gruff Mr. Perfect Statistics RE told me as I scootched myself up from a supine position that my only hopes of ever getting pregnant were donor eggs. I don't even remember what we did or how we "celebrate"'. I do know that there were no pre-natal vitamins consumed and that large amounts of wine disappeared down my sadly hiccuping gullet.

And this year, I have lots to look forward to.  Tonight I start my estrogen and ramp down the Lupron on day one of the hormone replacement therapy of my first FET cycle. In approximately three weeks I'll be back in the stirrups having two  thawed embryos inserted into my uterus while the ultrasound tech makes corny jokes about the "homecoming" and the honey moon suite over my full bladder. All signs point to a pregnancy at the end of it. Except for my track record and my never having been even a tad pregnant.

S asked me what I wanted for my birthday and what I wanted to do and I got awfully crabby and could not really think or didn't want to think about it. I am working on my birthday ( which I usually avoid because it means that I inevitably end up in the ER doing a petition  for involuntary admission on a  client, which often stretches into the night) so that my boss can see how committed I am to "showing up" at work. I am even getting a pap smear on my lunch break on my birthday.  I had a mammogram this morning. Why am I punishing myself? And why am I so full of self hatred and disgust at myself? And lethargy all at the same time?

The only thing that I am remotely interested in getting for my birthday ( apart from a few million dollars so I can retire) is a Wii. I have convinced myself that this is a bad idea because a. it costs over $200 and b. it will just fuel my electronic addiction which mostly manifests itself as blog mania - not recently you understand,  as my comments have been lacking, though my reading is up to date - and which sometimes makes me think that I really need to be getting a real life and not just having a rich and fun and compassionate internet one.

So we are going to Target to get some photos copied so I can make my twin sister a collage of photos of our dear sweet dad, who died almost two years ago and broke our hearts. (I'm hoping for a boy because we are going to name him after my dad, and a girl because I always wanted a girl).  I will probably have a decaf latte and S will have popcorn and it'll be a little date. God, why can't I get a life and get happy, people?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the doldrums... or what's really bothering me!

I am neither here nor there.
I really am having a hard time keeping up with reading and commenting on blogs and writing on my own. I feel bad about it. Over the holidays I was doing it  an obsessive amount
I feel a little numb and cotton woolly and tunnel visiony.
I don't know if I can write a whole paragraph.
It might have to be just lines on the page.
This is me going into the Lupron stage of our FET. Really it's exciting. I am almost off the BCPs and about to start shooting up.
I even get to schedule the procedure for a Friday so my doc can do it and I can take the weekend to relax and not be off work. And there's the rub.
I think that what is really going on  is that I am furious and fed up of the amount of work I feel compelled to do in my job.
I feel like I am running fast and breathless on a crazy treadmill and even when I lurch off  I still feel it moving. I don't sleep well, I have to get up at the crack ass of dawn to go to doctor appointments so I don't miss work ( god forbid I'm not there to deal with a crisis) more than I should.
I had two weeks off ( not consecutively) in December. One for the transfer and one for ( shock, horror) Christmas.  This is all paid vacation to which I am entitled. My new boss, who appears to be mostly fairly reasonable seems disturbed by this. Never mind that I cover for my staff while they take off one and two week vacations. To which they are also entitled and to whom I say, bon voyage! Never mind that I bust my fucking butt for this thankless job. Never mind that I am doing the work of three people.  Unpaid overtime. Never mind. Because god dammit, we have to be doing "best practice". The problem with that is if the "best practice" is all being done by me ( i.e. extra work) then the best practice will crash and fricking burn in about a week.
I had a melt down in her office on Monday because one of our  dogs was sick and I was so worried that I had to take more time off to take him to the vet that I could barely sleep the night before. I told her I was sorry that I had been off so much, and I had truly been working very hard, and I was trying my best. Blah blah blah!!! And she was fairly understanding, while stressing that it's very important for me to be there as much as possible. But when we  finally get sent home "early" today because it's like the antarctic outside, I don't get to go home, because I have to call someone who's sons are about to be homeless. etc etc.  And more and more and more. But you know, I am pissed. Because I may be one of the bosses, but I am just as entitled to take vacation as anyone else. And I shouldn't feel guilty about it. But I do.
This whole thing is triggering some bad ass PTSD for me. Just over two years ago before most of you knew me, I had just started this job, was pretty clueless ( no-one to train me, do it yourself orientation) and the new interim director  ( my second boss in a row of six so far) turned out to be a psychopath whose one goal was to fire me because she thought that I was the problem.  She  had a hatchet type of leadership - and yes, that's not an oxymoron!  And very little humanity. She looked for others' weaknesses when she didn't want to look at her own. The shit hit the fan about one month after she arrived, when I asked her for some advice on what to do with a client and I was feeling so overwhelmed and vulnerable that when she snapped at me and tried to blame me for not knowing how to solve the problem I lost it in a teary way. At that moment, everything changed. She became my enemy. She looked for any little thing I did wrong. She made no allowances for my newness. She rolled her eyes at me in meetings in full view of board members and I was still  the scapegoat.  Her goal was to belittle my ideas and surprise me with last minute extra work. And to give me impossible goals that could never be reached by any non-android. Because I was new, it was hard for the powers that be above her ( the Board) to believe that I wasn't the problem. It was a horrible experience. For someone who is conscientious and worries about work and tries so hard to do her best it was awful to be labeled as the rotten egg. And to shake in my boots every time I thought about work. Or saw her. Or saw a car like the one she drives. To this day, I cannot stand Jeep Cherokee's - especially dark colored ones with vanity plates!) We finally got her fired after  the whole staff wrote a letter of complaint to the board  ( after  I had gotten  lambasted for my complaints and  my pleas for help  had been virtually ignored ) and they finally got it.
So you see, when I lost it in my bosses office on Monday I started to wonder what she was going to do to get rid of me. I know, it's called paranoia.
I am trying to figure out a way to tell her that I can't be the "best practice" for the whole agency. That everything on the to do list is not going to get done. That I need to say no. That it's killing me. That my adrenal glands are  wrung out and shivering in protest.
I was reading "Waiting for Daisy" by Peggy Orenstein on the train home after Christmas ( which I found among a pile of trashy reads at a tiny little news-stand in St Louis - and got for half price - score!) It's a great book by the way - you should read it. She was talking about what we resort to in order to stay  on the TTC train. She mentioned an IF friend of hers who had been in the same job that she hated for two years just so that she could keep her health  insurance. And I thought, that's me. I don't hate my job, but I resent it, and it overwhelms me, and it's really really bad for my mental health. If it wasn't for my mostly fantastic co-workers and my need to pay the bills I wish I could say that I would have left long ago.
I miss you, my blog friends, I am sorry my comments are brief or missing. I will let you know how I solve the riddle of the over-cooked adrenal glands and get my FET on track.
Ta ta for now.  Thanks for listening and stay tuned.
Dolly Drums