Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We're Alive!!!

I am apparently the worst pregnant blogger ever. 

My lame excuse is the baby has invaded the creative writing part of my brain leaving me with an extended case of writer's block.  Truthfully, there also hasn't been much happening over the past few weeks.  After the initial excitement of getting the BFP, seeing the heartbeat, hearing the heartbeat, and making it past the fragile weeks of the first trimester, it's been weeks of just growing and waiting.  Waiting for the BIG scan.  This last week it was time to finally get a good look at our baby, no longer a blob or a gummi bear, but a real baby.

Like any BIG appointment I was a bit nervous going into the ultrasound wondering if they would find something wrong and eager to find out what we are having.  30 minutes and numerous photos later we got the news that our little peanut is healthy and at the time of the scan was weighing in at a strong 8oz. 

Then the big moment came we had been waiting for.   Would we be filling the nursery with frilly things and bows or manly things like cars and trucks?  I am excited to announce.......

I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the implications of having a son but it is fun to be able to start planning our boy's nursery and the fun stuff that boys enjoy.  Luckily I have lots of friends and family nearby that are familiar with raising little boys.  We haven't decided on a name just yet but the list of possibilities is getting shorter.

In addition to baby boy being healthy, momma is doing well so far too.  The first trimester ickiness finally seems to be gone with only an occasional short lived reprise.  By the most recent check I am up 6 pounds and I have a bit of a more defined baby bump that people are starting to notice.

So that's the big update for us.  With any luck the baby will give up a little bit of my brain power that I might be able to not go so long between posts.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A second look

Again I apologize for my lack of posts the last couple weeks.  Things have gotten a bit rough, physically speaking, lately.  Then the cherry on top this week was the contraction of some sort of virus that left me fighting off a fever for 24 hours.  Previously I didn't even have the energy to focus on writing; with the virus I could hardly construct a coherent thought let alone write it down.  The last couple days, however, it seems to have slowly turned a corner.  I'm starting to feel better and I can go an evening without falling asleep on the couch.  Hopefully this is just the start of the more enjoyable parts of pregnancy.

Last week Dr Love and I went in for our second ultrasound at the RE to check on the baby's growth.

Baby's 2nd picture...a gummi bear
At 8 weeks 4 days baby was measuring right on track and had a healthy heartbeat of 170bpm.  Even though in my head I knew everything would be fine, it is always comforting to see it in black and white.  After the scan was complete the RE said, "Well everything looks great so I get to graduate you today."  Yay for graduation day!  It was a little bittersweet as I'm sad I didn't get to say goodbye to my favorite nurse but I guess that's the way it goes.  On my way out, the nurse gave me a hug and said congratulations.  I told her thank you and to not take it personally but I hope I didn't see them again.  She laughed and agreed then added "but we're here if you need us."  We have our first OB appointment this coming week and I hope this  is the first step in being a normal uneventful pregnant woman.


This morning was a long awaited occasion.  This morning I took my last progesterone suppository.

No more getting up early to take them so that they have time to be absorbed before I'm up and about.   No more night time dosages.  No more prescription bottles in the fridge.  I'm glad to be done with them, and yet knowing the safety net is gone makes me a tad bit nervous, even though there's no evidence or history that I need to be.  So hear we go supplement free, I hear it's the way to be.


I mentioned earlier that this week I was struck with a virus and a fever that made me pretty miserable.  Of course it left me wondering if everything was fine with the baby.  We still had over a week until our next appointment but my sister in law had recently given us the doppler she successfully used with her pregnancies.  We tried it for the first time shortly after our last ultrasound (before I became ill) knowing that if we weren't able to find anything it wouldn't be too worrisome since we had just seen the heartbeat flickering away.  Sure enough we weren't able to find it. 

After my fever I really wanted some peace of mind and managed to convince Dr. Love to try finding it again.  He cautioned me that it was still really early and even if I was to come into the clinic at 9.5 weeks he'd warn me he might not find it with their better dopplers.  I took his warning and still wanted to try.  He searched, and I searched.  We searched high, low, left and right.  We twisted and turned the doppler, pushing hard.  The only thing we heard was the slow steady woosh of my heartbeat.  We started to pack things up when Dr. Love paused, "let me try one more time."  It took him probably at least another 5 minutes and the first sign of it would have been easy to miss.  It started as just a faint noise in the background of my heartbeat, but there was no mistaking that there were 2 distinctly different sounds.  Dr. Love slid the doppler over just a smidge and there it was loud and clear all on it's own, the chuga-chuga-chuga of baby's heartbeat.  It was a beautiful sound to hear for the first time that brought a great sense of relief.  Dr. Love was pretty proud of himself too. 

So now we've seen it and we've heard it...now I just have to wait for the day when I can feel it but there's definitely a little person growing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

There's a bean in there.

This week we had our long awaited first ultrasound.  In the days leading up to it I felt excited, nervous and a bit terrified.  What if nothing was there or there was no heartbeat?  This week was extemely busy at work with the day of and after my ultrasound being critical days that I wouldn't be able to take off should we get bad news.  Again Dr. Love comforted me and talked me off my stressful ledge.  I don't know what I'd do without him.  
The appointment started like so many other ultrasound appointments I've had but I anxiously watched the screen praying to see something there.  "There's the yolk sac, and there's the fetal pole, and that little flicker above the cursor is the heartbeat."  Her words were music to my ears and a wave of relief came over me. 
Baby's 1st picture
So far the little bean is measuring right on track and has a perfect little heart beat of 152 bpm.  We have an official due date of March 19th.  It is amazing, albeit still a bit surreal, to know that there's a little person growing in there.  As easily as I cry when I'm stressed or upset, I'm a bit surprised that I didn't shed any tears suring the scan. 

Dr. Love had the day off and when I came home from work to find flowers and a onesie set that I've had my eye on for over a month.  "It's time for us to start getting excited about it," he said as he gave me a big hug.

Since the scan I'm feeling more relaxed and starting to get more excited but I still can't completely belive it's happening.  I'll confess that even though we both really really want this, and we worked so hard to get here I still wonder at times "holy cow what did we just do."  I'm hoping that's pretty normal and will subside as things develop to where I look/feel pregnant and the bean starts looking more like a baby.

Otherwise, how am I feeling?  The nausea is here in almost regular daily waves but so far it hasn't brought its friend vomitting.  Bloat and exhaustion are here too still making it difficult to do anything in the evenings other than be a lump on the couch. 

We go back this next week to get another look and hopefully get our walking papers to graduate from the RE.  I think this next wait will be much easier to bear than the first.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anyone have a chill pill?

Thank you so much for all of the congrats, best wishes, and kind thoughts you have sent our way.  It means a lot, and I'm glad many of you are sticking with us through the next step in this journey.

First off I apologize for not giving an update sooner.  Work has been busy lately and by the time I get home I don't have energy for much else besides eating dinner.  Since I last posted I've been in the midst of the longest 2WW ever as we wait for our first ultra sound.  Things are still very early but so far I've felt really good.  Seeing as my mom had really difficult pregnancies with lots of morning sickness, to the point my dad says that she looked blue a number of times, I expected to feel pretty miserable from the get go.  In fact when the nurse called me with the second beta results I asked her about morning sickness remedies and bought cereal to keep on my nightstand just in case.  There's still plenty of time for the morning sickness to come, and now that I'm writing this it will probably come storming in as soon as I hit "publish," but the only symptoms I've had are bloating, fuller breasts, and exhaustion.  Give me a blanket and I'll fall asleep on the couch by 9:00. 

All was going well until I woke up last Wednesday and noticed I felt less bloated and not as...how do I say it...chesty.  Of course whether I really was or not is hard to tell but the mere thought was enough to crack the widow open and all my fears came rushing over me.  I told Dr. Love I about my apprehensions and he tried to put them to rest.  "So you are feeling a little better and it is worrying you?" It sounds crazy but it is totally true.  I had a minor (ok maybe it was more major) melt down.  In my mind symptoms easing up meant the hormones causing the symptoms were lessening which then in turn meant something was wrong with the baby.  All sounds perfectly logical, right?  Well apparently not as I'm finding out that in the early stages of pregnancy symptoms can come and go.  Of course I found this out after Dr Love decided to order a third beta draw to see what my levels where and guess what they were perfectly fine, chugging right along as they should.

I wonder if I would be as nervous if we hadn't struggled with IF to get here.  I still haven't bought ANYTHING baby related.  I don't have a ticker up and probably won't until we have our ultrasound.  The only thing I do have is a small little app on my phone.  I want to be clear that I do know I am pregnant and that chances are everything should go just fine as so far I have no physical evidence to the contrary.  BUT I'm not naive.  I know lots of things can happen in the early stages that we may not expect, and I know until I have our little one in my arms nothing about this pregnancy is for certain.   I hate how IF takes away your innocence in this whole matter.  There's a line I found in an article on Resolve.org that I think sums it up well...
The emotional and financial resources expended trying to get pregnant can often create a deep seeded fear of losing the pregnancy or of something going wrong with the baby’s development. 

It's hard to put everything back in Pa.ndora's box once it's been opened.  As things progress, however, I can hope and work to quiet my fears and anxiety.  Until then I need a prescription for one of these...
and maybe some zo.fran.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Surprise, surprise

Short version:
For those who are still battling IF and may be having a bad day I won't beat around the bush.  My one follicle was the lucky one and this week I got a BFP.  I have had a couple of labs drawn since then and everything has come back with strong numbers growing right as they should.

Long version (for those who are interested in all the details):
Wednesday was my scheduled test day.  In the days leading up to it I had mixed feelings but mostly I didn't want to take the test.  The last couple cycles, 2 days after testing Aunt Flow would come to town.  I figured if I just waited a few more days I wouldn't have to go through the disappointment of a negative test.  Unfortunately that plan was thwarted by Dr. Love's good memory.  After getting ready for work, he woke me up from my sleep.

Dr. Love: "Isn't today test day?"

Me: "Yeah, but I think I'm going to skip it."

Dr. Love: "Uh, so when would you test instead?"

Me: "Maybe tomorrow or Friday."

Dr. Love: "Well tomorrow I'm on call, so I don't think that would be a good idea, and Friday's 2 days away."

Me: " <sigh> You want me to test today, don't you?"

I pulled myself out of bed and into the bathroom.  For the first few seconds I didn't want to look at the test.  I didn't want to see that stark white staring up at me.  Moments later I knew I had to look at it.  I was shocked to see not 1 but 2 lines developing.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing and just sat there paralyzed for a moment.  When I finally got my wits about me I pulled out the box of digital tests I bought ages ago for just such an occasion.  While the instructions say to wait 3 minutes, "Pregnant" popped up in less than a minute.  Again I was in shock.  I took a few minutes to gather my composure and went back in the bedroom to show Dr. Love.

Me: "Well that's unexpected," as I handed him the sticks.

Dr. Love: "You took two?" then he looked at them..."Wait, really?"  Then he started counting days.  "We're 16 days past trigger, and it's typically out of your system after 10 days....that's all you honey?"

We hugged and I was still numb, shocked; I couldn't believe this was happening.  Even though we were on a medicated cycle, since nothing was different about the medications and my response for our 4th time, I didn't expect much and thought we'd be moving onto a more aggressive plan next cycle.

I called the RE to notify them of my positive and set up days for beta HCG draws.

Beta 1 at 14 days past ovulation: 447

Beta 2  at 16 days past ovulation: 953

Progesterone: 21.2

The numbers suggest that this is a strong pregnancy that should be sustainable.  Obviously I realize that's not a guarantee and a lot of stuff could still happen thus I remain cautiously excited and a bit scared too.  We are very grateful and thrilled to be here and pray that everything goes smoothly.  I'd like to say that the blood test, the bloating, the swollen breasts, and the exhaustion (I've fallen asleep on the couch like 3 times in the last week) have me convinced but it still seems so unreal. 

Our first ultra sound is on August 4th and I hope seeing the little bean on the screen will help it become more real.  While I'm waiting for a more certain due date from my doctor but right now it looks like our lucky charm should be arriving in the middle of March. 

I appreciate the support and encouragement that I have received from blogland during these difficult months and never giving up on me even when I was less than confident.  I hope that you will all stick around as this blog evolves with the pregnancy, but I understand that for some that might not be possible.  I know that in IF, every BFP that isn't yours stings to some degree.  I wish I could take that pain away and hope that many more BFPs are coming in the near future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tell me I'm going to grow to like this

Recently I crawled out from under my rock and joined the modern age.

I got rid of my "old dumb phone"....

and got one of these, a "smartphone" that makes me feel like a dummy.

I've avoided making this move for years because I did not want to be accessible to everybody all the time. I'm sure we have all heard about, or even known, crackberry addicts that cannot disconnect from the phone or let an email go unanswered.  I enjoy the fact that once the day is done I can walk away from work and not have to worry about it until the next day.  Having a dumb phone made that a lot easier, but the phone companies have a different idea.   They seem to have plans where one day a smartphone will be in every hand.  My dad and I joke that eventually the only option will be smartphones or a phone with 3 buttons (Home, 911, Power) for the elderly...sadly after shopping for a new phone I don't think we were far off.  The selection of non-smartphones are pretty underwhelming

In addition to my desire to not be accessible 100% of the time, I also avoided making the upgrade for so long because, well, I'm a bit of a cheapskate and the idea of shelling out an additional $30 a month for the required data plan made my wallet pucker up.  Alas the wireless providers had an evil plan in the works here as well.  Word circulating on the street was the option for an unlimited data plan was on its last legs being sent into early retirement.  Like a good late night infomercial, they created a sense of urgency and if I had any inkling that I might at some point want a smart phone I needed to act now.

True to my indecisive tendencies, I searched for months trying to decide what phone I wanted.  iPhone vs Android.  Motorola vs HTC vs Samsung.  Virtual keyboard only vs physical keyboard.  1 camera vs 2 cameras.  8 mega pixels vs 5 mega pixels. Etc, etc.  I finally narrowed down my choices to 2 possibilities and we made our way to the store thinking surely the salesperson would be able to help me make a final selection. 

We wandered the store and fiddled with phones waiting for our name to come up on the list for a salesperson blissfully unaware of the mess that was about to ensue.  I was less than impressed with the guy we got.
Salesguy: "So what brings you in here today?'
Me: "Well I'm eligible for an upgrade and I'm thinking about getting a smartphone."
Salesguy: ..............
Me: "Uh, so I've kind of come down to deciding between the Samsung and the HTC."
Salesguy: ....................
Dr. Love: "Is there anything about one or the other that would be better."
Salesguy: "They're both good phones."
Dr. Love: "Do they have Gingerbread operating system?"
Salesguy: "Yeah they're both newer phones so they come with the new operating system."

WRONG.  Samsung had the first version of the Android OS, and the HTC had the second.

Dr. Love: "Have you heard anything about the unlimited data plan going away anytime soon?"
Salesguy: "No, we still have the unlimited plan."
Me: "The rumor on the street is it's being discontinued soon."
Salesguy: "Oh well, they usually don't let us know about stuff like that until a week before it goes through."
Me: "It's supposed to happen next week."
Salesguy: .................
Me: "Well let's get back to the phones."
Salesguy: "One of the tech guys showed me this neat trick last week."Tap, swipe......Tap, swipe...........Tap, Tap, Swipe..........Swipe, Tap......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Hmm, well it's not working now, people are always playing with these and messing them up."

Sure, the problem is customers using the phones, uh huh.

Me: "Where do you go to send a text message?"
Salesguy: "Right through this icon here."
Me:  fiddling with the keyboard "Does it have Sw.ype?  I know the Samsung does."
Salesguy: "It should."  Tap, Tap, Tap.....Swipe, Swipe......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Uh well I'm not seeing it here.  Let me go in the back and look it up."

By now my patience and my blood sugar are running low and I can feel myself getting grumpy.  During his 5 minute break to the back of the store, Dr. Love looked up several forums on his phone discussing my question.
Salesguy: upon returning "I couldn't find any information on whether it has Sw.ype installed or not.
Dr. Love: "I found a couple of forums talking about it.  We'll check that out later."
Me: getting visibly frustrated "Ugh I just don't know which one to go with."

I'm no salesperson but I think this is an open invitation to sway the customer and make the sale. 

Salesguy: ...............

His stunned silence was not reassuring, I guess I should have written the words "SELL ME SOMETHING" across my forehead.  At this point I basically turned my back on him and looked to Dr. Love for advice.

Dr. Love:  "They seem to be pretty equal so I would just go with the HTC since it's the newer of the two."
Me: "Fine, let's get this one."'
Salesguy: "Ok, meet me at the desk over there and I'll go get it for you."

I'm done with this whole mess, I'm cranky, I'm being forced to fork over money when I don't really want to, and my salesperson is about as helpful as the teenager working the drive through at Burger King.  When he came to the counter he even offered the symbolic fries to complete my order....a case for my phone.  He brought 3 options, a black one and 2 different BRIGHT PINK cases.  Now I like girly things but I have a limit on how much girly I can take and BRIGHT PINK phone cases crossed the line.  He directed me to the wall where my other "options" were though selection was severely limited.  I took down a purple case to examine it.

Salesguy: "That's the same one I brought out at the desk."
Me: "Um this one looks purple."
Salesguy: "It just looks darker because of the black behind it."  Takes it from me and looks at the back, "Oh it does say Purple."

Thanks genius, pretty sure I can tell the difference between BRIGHT PINK and purple.  Let's complete the sale before I explode.

Me: "I'll take the purple one."
Salesguy: "Ok I'll ring it all up and get your contacts transferred over.  Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Me: "I think that will be all."

So the relationship with my new smartphone had a rocky start.  I didn't really want to make the move now, the salesguy was less than helpful, then you throw in the inherent learning curve in using / setting up the new phone, I'm surprised it didn't get thrown across the room in the first few days...it came pretty close a few times.  Our relationship has improved since then as we took some time to bond over the fun things it has to offer such as P.andora anywhere, A.ngry B.irds, F.ruit Slice.  I tell myself things will improve, they wouldn't be so popular if they sucked, and one day I won't know how I lived without it.  In the meantime we are still in the early stages of getting to know one another.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One is the loneliest number

Last weekend it was time once again for my monitoring ultra sound.  If nothing else at least it feels like this cycle is passing quickly.  As usual, I started to feel nervous in the hours leading up to the scan.  I won't drag it out and leave you in suspense, the results were nothing new.  One single 19mm follicle on the left ovary and good uterine lining.  I think we have successfully established that this 50mg dose of Cl.omid just gets me up to operating at a "normal" level of one follicle with alternating ovaries.  Normal is great...if you haven't been working at this for over a year already and had hoped to be pregnant several cycles ago.  I think we've finally established that if we aren't successful this round that we'll be doing something different next cycle, though I'm not counting us out this time around.

I did have a brief infertile panic attack before my appointment.  My doctor's office calls my trigger shot and progesterone supplements into a small specialty pharmacy that has a location right above their office.  I don't typically use this pharmacy for other medications and I usually only stop by when I have an appointment at my RE's.  Since my Saturday monitoring appointment was the first time I was going to be at the office this cycle I figured I would make one stop and show up a few minutes early to pick up my prescription before my appointment.  So imagine my surprise when I walked up to the pharmacy to find the door locked, the lights turned off and a sign that read they were open Monday through Friday.  My heart started to race as fears that I had just ruined the cycle filled my head.  I sent an urgent text message to my father, a pharmacy manager at one of the big pharmacy chains, to see if they happened to regularly stock the meds...they don't.  It was an IF nightmare, following my protocol to a T and putting myself through 2 weeks of hormones only to drop the ball at the goal line.  Luckily my nurse saved the day as she remembered that the specialty pharmacy had a location a half hour away that was open until 12:30 on Saturdays.   With the clock ticking away, once my appointment was done I hustled to get across town before they closed.  I made it just in time and breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn't screwed up the rest of our cycle.  I guess I will be making a point to get to the pharmacy sooner the next time around...if there is a next time around.

In addition to my panic attack I did get a nice little surprise while sitting in the waiting room.  Dr Love was on call that day so I went to the appointment by myself, which wasn't anything new as I've attended most of the appointments alone.  In the midst of trying to solve my shot dilemma I received a text from Dr Love that he was on his way.  The senior residents were kind enough to cover the floor for a hour in order for Dr Love to be able to come.  Even though it was only for a short period of time I know we both appreciated the fact that he was able to be there.  He wants to be involved but like a lot of husbands whose wives are having fertility treatments, he struggles with feeling out of control of the situation.  He's not the one taking the medications, dealing with the side-effects, or having regular dates with Wanda (the vag cam).  The only thing he can do is be supportive and one of the ways he can do that is to come to my appointments but his schedule has made it difficult to do that.  He definitely paid for that hour off the rest of the day and evening as there was a never ending stream of patients/admits at the hospital once he returned.  Regardless I think he'd say it was worth it to be there with me.

Now we wait to see if we finally got that winning follicle.  At the very least I find comfort that if we don't, we will have a more aggressive approach next round.  Fingers crossed.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

They're Heerrree

The interns are here, the interns are here!  The welcoming activities are officially in full swing and I'm interested to see how everything all turns out. 

We kicked things off with a resident sponsored welcome dinner last Thursday that we almost didn't make it to.  In typical expect-the-unexpected medical fashion, Dr Love got pounded with a stream of hospital admits that afternoon which had him running all over the place in addition to his regular floor work and was thus 2 hours late leaving the hospital.  As a result he came home tired, a bit grumpy, we were both hungry and 2 hours late for the welcome dinner.  We pondered if it was really worth going to at that point (would anyone still be there?) and I made the point that if anyone would understand the impact a bad day at the hospital can have on your previously laid plans it would be this group.  Despite all my logic of why we should cut our losses and stay home, Dr Love's team player attitude won and we made the drive over to the resident's house hoping there would be food and people still there.  Considering only 2 of the interns RSVP'd that they were going to attend the dinner, I was pleasantly surprised to see that 6 out of the 9 came and were still there several hours in.  Hooray we didn't scare them off!  Though really only 1/3 of them RSVP'd?  Come on folks maybe I'm old fashion but I've always thought work related events warranted higher levels of etiquette.  Rant aside we did have a nice time chowing down on carb-a-licious food and chatting with everyone.  A number of the incoming interns had that deer in the headlights look that I remember well from last year as you're the new kid on the block surrounded by people you don't know (though you will soon see them more than your own family) and you're about to embark on a huge journey.

Saturday was a bitter sweet day as we attended the graduation ceremony for the current 3rd year residents (even though they are here through the end of the month).  I'm sad to see several of them go.  This group played a big role in recruiting us to come here.  They were the first ones we socialized with and came to know.  They're strong doctors and good leaders.  They've been a valuable asset to the program and I'm sad to see them go. 

With this changing of the guard comes LOTS of other changes as well.  During graduation one of the attendings noted that Dr Love's class will go down in history as the last "true" intern year.  As some of you know the restrictions on interns have undergone a major overhaul.  Recently the AC.GME (THE grand poobas of ALL the residency programs in the US) decided that interns are now limited to 16 hour shifts, which is down from the 30 hour limit that was previously in place.  I can only imagine how prospective interns across the country breathed a sigh of relief since 30 hour shifts are not fun but this change has further reaching implications, particularly the necessity for a night float system.  Since what previously was one shift has now been split into two, the rotations had to be reworked in order to implement a night shift (aka night float).  I already hate call nights where I have to spend the evening alone, now there's going to be a whole month where I won't see him in the evenings (or possible at all) 5 days a week.  SIDENOTE: I really hope we're either pregnant by the time night float comes, though I guess it could make scheduling an IUI easier since he'd be free during the day.  Ah the joys of trying to work life around the demands of medicine. END SIDENOTE.

In addition to the change in work hours, the AC.GME also decided that interns need "close supervision."  No big deal right, except that the powers that be with the family medicine association interpreted "close supervision" as recommended in room supervision for a time period to be decided by the residency programs.  This means that for a certain period of time an intern can not see a patient, do a simple history and physical, anything, without a senior resident or attending present.  In essence they need a babysitter.

The current residents joke about giving the interns backpack leashes or creating intern-bjorns and just carrying them around everywhere.  The administration has assured everyone that they are working on a solution to make this babysitting time as short as possible but so far there's been no word on how they plan to do that. 

So we have smashed 2 residents into 1 and split what used to be 1 shift into 2 which equals (if my math is correct) more work for everyone.  Buckle in cause this ride just got more interesting.  In the end I'm sure it will turn out fine (if it's not fine it's not the end) but in the mean time I fear things are going to be a bit messy. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strike 3

Cl.omid cycle  #3 and mega follie were not the one.  As usual Saturday's test was negative with one lonely line and Sunday AF made it official by storming in.  I wish I could say I handled it like a champ and that I have a cheery / hopeful outlook for what lies ahead.  I wish I could say that but right now I can't.

In preparation for the possibility that Saturday could be a bad day, Dr Love brainstormed a list of things we could do to get our minds off of the BFN and lift our spirits.  First up was a nice 11.5 mile bike ride.  We hit the pavement only to find that our path took us head first into the wind.  I don't know if you've ever rode into the wind but even a slight wind can make things difficult and a strong wind makes it feel like you're peddling through quicksand.  Maybe it was just the frame of mind I was in but as we rode I felt like it was metaphorical of what we are going through.  I wanted to move forward but the forces ahead were working against us.  We paused at the crossroads waiting for the road to clear and then I threw everything I had into moving forward.  My legs and chest burned and ached but I didn't want to stop.  I didn't want to give up and give in to the forces that were making the journey difficult to reach the end.  We reached what I had remembered being the last stretch and I was relieved to be near the end but as we continued down the stretch it didn't look like the end.  I felt the tears start to well up at the thought of having to go further; my body was exhausted and I didn't think I'd be able to go further if we had to.  Just then I saw the end of the path, we were there, we had made it.

Obviously we haven't hit the final stretch on this ride yet.  So far it seems we've only come up to a number of crossroads waiting to move forward and throw all we have physically and emotionally into making it through the wind beating against us and down the path hoping this will be the last stretch.  Currently I don't see the end in sight but I don't know how much more I have to give.

In light of the recent emotional struggles we've had, Dr Love and I decided that we need to utilize our support resources more.  "I see my wife holding on by a thin thread and circling closer to being clinically depressed," Dr Love said.  Even though I knew this, it was hard to hear him say it out loud.  As such we decided to let Dr. Love's family know about our IF struggle and treatment.  It's a relief to know we no longer have to hide from them and that they are in our corner to support us.  Since they have gone through this before with my sister in law they understand the pain, heartache, and discouragement that we're going through.

Today I spoke with my nurse to get the plan for the next round.  Since we have told them that we would not consider selective reduction in the case of 4 or more embryos, and given my "optimal response" there is no change in my medications or dosages, they think we just need more time.  I trust their opinion and I know they want to get us to our end goal of a healthy pregnancy but the prospect of "more time" brought tears to my eyes.

I know I will rediscover my faith and hope in this process but for now I'm just going through the motions, hanging by a thread, and peddling as hard as I can muster the strength to do so.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I'm apologize for being such a bad blogger lately.  Hopefully there are a few of you still around and not all my readers have left.  Truth be told I've felt a little like this recently....

Sad, down, blue, depressed.  I'd like to say it's due to the hormones but I think that would be a bit of a cop out as I've had these feelings, albeit in fluctuating levels, for some time now though they've recently hit a high (or perhaps more appropriately a low) point.  As such I've had a difficult time thinking of anything to write lately. 

Now some may say that it is understandable and even a bit expected to feel depressed from time to time when dealing with infertility but the root of it is more than just our infertility.  Sure that is part of it but that is not where my frustrations with my body end.  Like most women I have struggled with my weight since getting married and my condition plus the medications make the struggle increasingly difficult.  I eat well...most of the time, and I've made an effort to add regular exercise into my weeks which is where my body thwarts my worthy intentions yet again mainly in the form of persistent and unrelenting shins splints despite stretches and new shoes.  I have so many good things I want to do but my body just keeps saying no. 

In addition to my frustrations with my body I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with my job.  The subject matter in itself is steadily losing interest to me and the environment feels cold and detached which I find odd when there are only five of us.  This is my first time working for a small office and everything I had heard lead me to believe it would a tight cohesive environment full of teamwork where everyone looked out for each other.  After being here for almost 18 months I realize it is not, it's actually quite the opposite and feels very individualistic and impersonal.  I work hard but I feel as though most days it wouldn't matter if I showed up and thus it's getting harder to convince myself to do so.  The obvious answer here is to find something else but fact of the matter is I don't know what I would like to do which is probably due in part to the last aspect of my blue mood.

Aside from my marriage (which is still healthy and strong), I feel like I've lost sight of what makes me happy.  I haven't been inspired to do much cooking, photography, crafty projects or write.  The general joie de vivre has dimmed and I don't know how to get it back but I know that I do want it back.  I do want to be happy with myself and have my passions back in my life but I'm struggling to know how to light that spark again.

Lastly I'm a bit afraid of what the results of this last treatment cycle will bring as I'm not sure how I would take another BFN in my current emotional state.  I know I have to test to find out but I'm dreading it.  I'm dreading those long minutes where you wait to find out if the weeks of medications and appointments have been worth it.

So that's it.  That's where I'm at.  I wanted to let anyone still reading out there know I hadn't abandoned the blog and give some reason for the radio silence.  Let's face it blogging can be a cheap form of therapy too.

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have much better news to share in a couple days.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hey there big fella

Not long after I finished my Cl.omid pills last week, I started to feel something.  Twinges, pressure and discomfort emanating from the area of my right ovary.  The feeling is like an annoying eye twitch, always there and driving you crazy but you know if you could just stop thinking about it, it wouldn't bother you as much.  I hoped it was a sign that the meds were working, that something was cooking and all I could do was cross my fingers that it wasn't another cyst.  Today I got a peak inside to see what we are working with. 

Lefty who has previously been my follicle producing champ showing up each round has decided to take a breather this month and let Righty take care of thing.  And what did Righty decide to do when the ball was passed off to her?  She gave us one follicle, but oh what a follicle it is.  Big, bright and ready to burst at 27mm.  For comparison, previous cycles yielded nothing over 20mm at this same point.  It's no wonder my right ovary has felt uncomfortable for several days now, she's been hard at work and hopefully giving us something great to work with. 

Like last cycle it's only one but I'm not as bothered by it this time.  First off it's a big sucker and my nurse was thrilled with it.  Secondly with each medicated cycle they've grown bigger quicker.  Lastly I take a bit of comfort in knowing that this low dose of meds is getting my body to respond like a natural cycle, one mature follicle from alternating ovaries so I won't burn out on eggs. 

So tonight we give mega follie its eviction notice to push it out the door where millions of potential suitors are hoping to be selected for the cellular mambo.  I'm feeling good about our chances and can't wait to get this load of my ovary, she's been working hard and I think we both could use a break from the pressure.  Two week wait here we come.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome May ICLW

It is that time again, time for the round robin of comments, conversation and virtual hugs we like to call IComLeavWe.  I can't believe how fast time flies and that it's already here again.  This is my second time participating and I'm looking forward to find some new blog friends.

If you are new to these parts there is a complete synopsis of our journey so far under the tab "How did we get here?"  Currently we are in the midst of our third round of Cl.omid treatment in the hopes that we can overcome my PCOS and get my ovaries to cooperate with our desire to add our first child to our little family.  As if any cycle didn't have some element of pressure, I'm feeling an added measure of pressure this time as my heart and head are telling me that we are running out of opportunities to do this on our own with out additional medical assistance and I am clinging to the desire to do this on our own out of the stirrups. 

My partner in crime on this journey is Dr. Love, a family medicine resident on the verge of finishing up his intern year.  We have been married for almost 2.5 years and I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather have at my side. 

Thanks for coming by, I hope to see you around here again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

I admit I meant to write this post days ago but you know how it goes; life gets busy, you keep popping pills and then holy cow they're almost gone. I'm unsure if I like how routine this is starting to feel. There have been a few panic moments where I have to stop and think "did I take my pills today?" and I always have but since this is our 3rd round it's so routine now that I'm not thinking about it as much and it worries me I'm going to screw things up.

Our treatment for this cycle is the exact same as last time.
-5 tablets of 50mg clomid on CD 3-7
-14 tablets of .5 mg dexamethasone on CD 1-14
-1 shot of Pregnyl to trigger
-50 mg of progesterone suppositories after ovulation

Since I only grew 1 lonely follicle last time I was a bit surprised and disappointed that they didn't bump up the clomid dose but I can understand why.
A)RE's are not in the business to purposefully create multiples. Their main objective is to get us on our way to a healthy pregnancy and in the process of doing that multiples do happen but that's not what they're shooting for.

B)I appreciate their effort to mitigate the risk of cysts that could come with higher doses given how I initially responded and I don't want a repeat of the frustration/pain/downtime that came with that.

C) They apparently we really happy with that 1 follie, the nurse even emphatically called it a "beautiful follicle" when I talked to her for my instructions on cycle day 1.

In the end I have to trust that they know what is best even if it's not quite what I expected. They're the specialists who see it all day, every day, and they know better than I do what could happen. Who knows maybe righty just needed extra time to heal from the 2 cysts and will be ready to rejoin lefty in some quality follicle making fun this go around. All I can do now is wait until my ultrasound on May 26th to if anything is cooking or if we're in a situation of diminishing returns at this dose. I do take comfort in knowing that if my monitoring ultrasound shows no mature follicles, Dr M. has been known to go straight into another round of drugs (if everything else looks good) without waiting for a cycle. As with everything else, only time will tell...I feel like this is becoming my new motto.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Swing and a Miss

I was wrong about the last box.
I was wrong about my Easter monitoring appointment resurrecting my fertility.

I was right in not feeling confident about our chances of success these last couple weeks.  Of the things I've been wrong about I wished I had been wrong about that. 

Even though I expected to see a big ole fat negative it still crushed me in the early morning to see that one little pink line staring up at me without even a glimmer of a partner.  I crawled back into bed trying not to wake Dr Love sleeping beside me.  45 minutes later when he woke I rolled over into the nook of his arm and cried as he held me. 

The night before as we settled into bed I confessed to him how I was nervous about testing.  "I know," he said, "but I'm still optimistic."  The next morning as I sniffled and cried into his shoulder it broke my heart to hear how his tune had changed.  "This process is so frustrating.  I really try to balance things out and be positive for for the both of us but it just keeps getting thrown back in my face."

I think this failed cycle has shaken both of our hope and confidence.  I always thought I needed just a little cl.omid, get me to ovulate and we would be on our way to 9 months of pregnant bliss.  Now that we're heading into our third medicated cycle I'm left wondering what it is going to take, how far are we going to be pushed, and how much are we going to have to endure to become parents.  I feel like the number of chances to do this on our own, out of the stirrups, is running out...and apparently Dr. Love feels similar.  During a recent heart-to-heart talk about where we are at and what we think lies ahead.  We contemplated how many chances we have left and the possibility of having to move on to IUI, to which Dr. Love commented, "I'm wondering if we got to that point, since you're putting the time and effort into it, why not go all in and go straight to IVF."  Unexpectedly, my eyes welled up with tears at the prospect of moving on to IVF at some point.  Right now I am not ready to put myself through the physical and emotional strain of IVF.  I sincerely hope and pray that I don't have to get to the point where I need to be ready. 

Right now I wait for my friend Aunt Flo so that I can find out what the next step is.  Given my response of one follicle this second cycle I expect my dose of meds will be increased which makes me nervous about cysts coming back again.  I worry about getting in a pattern of increased dose-cyst-forced break-no response.  I deeply want to feel positive about this process and I feel bad that Dr. Love has to be positive for the both of us, however, it's hard to be positive when all I see/hear is NO.  Whether it is OPK tests or pregnancy tests all I've ever seen are negatives...will I even recognize a positive when it comes around? 

In the coming days, hopefully our feelings of hope will spring back and we'll have a more positive outlook on everything. 

Dang it Blogger!

For those that don't know, Blogger had a hiccup Wednesday night during some scheduled maintenance. Somehow I was able to publish a post yesterday morning bragging about Dr. Love's stellar job on my birthday, but then the Blogger Gods reverted the service back to a pre-hiccup time of Wednesday morning thereby sending yesterday's post (along with its lovely comments) and a draft I had planned to publish today into some mysterious black hole. The Blogger Gods reportedly have access to this black hole and are in the process of restoring posts, comments, and drafts to their appropriate place in the blog space/time continuum.

Soooo in the mean time I'm waiting not so patiently for things to be restored. I'm not trying to be dramatic and keep anyone in suspense, I just don't think I can effectively re-create today's post with the same emotion. Then there's the point that it would be just my luck to go through the steps of re-creating said posts only to then have the originals come back right as I published their poor replacements. It's like when there's a power outage and right at the moment you find the flashlights after fumbling around in the dark, risking bodily injury from chairs/tables/cupboards shrouded in darkness...the power comes back on.

Hopefully we're back to our regularly scheduled posting soon....possibly after the bad luck of Friday the 13th leaves. Coincidence? I wonder.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me

I appologize for going underground, M.I.A., AWOL for the past week. I wish I could say I've been off galavanting around the country or something else really exciting but I haven't. In all honesty the hormones have played a messy game with my emotions the last few days. Bummed, frustrated, cranky, it's been a revolving door of feelings not entirely of the uplifting sort that have made it difficult to be inspired to write anything. So while I'm still not back to my usual self I figured the least I could do is write about my birthday.

Last week I turned 29 and entered the last year of my twenties. I had to work on my birthday and historically Dr Love has a good track record of sending me flowers. I waited and waited but no delivery came. As I drove home I told myself I shouldn't have expected him to send me flowers and that it didn't mean he'd forgotten me. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the house to find not 1, not 2, but 3 bouquets of flowers around the house for me.

"I thought you deserved a house full of flowers," Dr Love said.

In addition to a house full of flowers, he gave me an accessory for my camera, and he made my nickname official with this....

a fleece jacket from our residency program with my name all over it. One of the billing administrators embroidered them for everyone and apparently Dr Love's request for mine got some mixed reactions; some thought it was a funny, a couple thought it was sad. Regardless the jacket is warm and I think my status as residency widow has been officially spread among the program.

Now after multiple nights of dinners with family and friends, and far too much cake, the birthday festivities are over. I'm looking forward at the next year, my 29th year, and the things I hope to accomplish in the next year, the dreams I hope come true, and where I hope to be when 30 rolls around. Here's hoping 29 is a great year and that they each get better than the last.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lady in Waiting

Here I am again in the thick of the dreaded two week wait (2WW).  This is only my 2nd official 2WW in the year that we have been on the TTC train, so it is not quite as torturous as I imagine it would be if this was my 12th.  Currently I am 9 days post trigger shot which means I could be 7-8 days past ovulation though I don't know exactly since I said goodbye to the bbt this cycle.  My first 2WW only lasted 10 days after ovulation which was a big surprise and just a bit too short as an ideal luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menses) is 12-16 days.  Thus the next couple days I'm going to be holding my breath and crossing my fingers that the progesterone supplements will do their job to stretch that out to give any potential embryo(s) time to snuggle in tight without pulling the rug from under it/them.

Speaking of progesterone supplements, I've been taking them for less than a week and the twice a day bit is already getting old.  This does not bode well considering if we do "meet our goal" (as the RE's office likes to call it) I'll need to keep shooting the vaginal suppositories up there until 9 weeks.  Obviously I'll do what I need to but, ugh, this routine is less than ideal (haha what else is new).  The night time dose is fine; it's the morning one that's slightly annoying as I get up 30-45 minutes before my usual time, drag my half awake self down the stairs to the fridge to retrieve a dose, stumble back up the stairs to our bathroom to take it, then slide back into bed until my normal wake up time to give the "fun pill" time to melt (yuck) and be absorbed.  Doesn't that sound like a blast every morning for possibly 10-11 weeks?  Good grief I just realized that's almost 3 months of these suckers.  ::chanting:: It will all be worth it, it will all be worth it, it will all be worth it.
This 2WW is also momentous since:

> We will hit our 1 year TTC-iversary.

> I will celebrate my 29th birthday.  Yikes!

> It will be my first Mother's Day as a bonafide infertile.

The next 7 days I'm going to try to keep myself busy and not dwell on it which shouldn't be too hard since while I'm not counting this cycle out yet I haven't felt overly confident about it since the monitoring ultrasound.  To liken it to baking, we're just waiting to see if the dough will raise.  Hopefully the yeast was alive, hopefully the water was the right temperature, and hopefully we gave the yeast the appropriate food needed to work its magic, but right now all we can do is wait to see if we have a bun to put in the oven. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's a major award

I am surprised and excited to be nominated for my first ever blog award.  Thank you to Ashley over at Traditionally Nontraditional for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. 

1.Winners grab the image and put it in your blog.

2.Link back to the person who gave you it.

3.Tell 10 things about yourself

4.Award 5 bloggers.

5.Contact the bloggers you have awarded to let them know they have won.

Ok so 10 things:

1. I have never eaten Spam.  My father in law is plotting to one day secretly spring it on me and get me to eat some.

2. I have one younger brother, four sister in laws, and seven brother in laws.

3. I have never broken a bone, had a sprain, or been stung by a bee, but I've had four black eyes.

4.  I love the smell of citrus blossoms in bloom.

5. My favorite band is Jim.my Eat Wo.rld.

6. After college I went on a two week trip to Europe with a tour group by myself and without knowing anyone else in the group.

7. People say I kind of look like Sara Gilbert and one guy at church now likes to tease me that I should show up at red carpet events.  I'm never quite sure if this comparison is a compliment or not.

8. I can be kind of crunchy and like to take reusable grocery bags shopping, eat hummus, and make my own bread (when I have time).  It pains me slightly that we don't have recycling at our complex.

9. I can't watch Hoarders without wanting to scrub my house from top to bottom and throw out everything we don't use.

10. I hate blood and have passed out over a simple finger prick in the past.  Growing up even the word blood would give me the heebee jeebees but it didn't bother me if it was spelled out.  I've gotten a lot better with it over the years but I still have never donated blood.

I'm still kind of new on the blogging block, so nominating people was a bit hard, but here are my nominations...

BBH at My Rotten Eggs
Cyndi at Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage
Sara at First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Life
A at The Journey to Baby G
Tracy at Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frankie Says Relax

Stop thinking about it.

Go on vacation.

You're stressing too much.

You need to relax.

This is the cliche advice that infertiles get bombasted with time and time again.  Usually the advice comes from well meaning friends, family, and acquaintances who don't quite know what else to say.

For National Infertility Awareness Week, Resolve put forth the challenge to the blogging community to bust a myth about infertility.

Myth: If you just relax, you will get pregnant.

Truth: 90% of infertility cases are caused by physical problems.  There has never been a study which shows that simply relaxing increases pregnancy rates.

Dr. Love and I kicked off our TTC journey on vacation.  We have taken several more trips since then.
----We're still not pregnant----

I get regular back massages from Dr. Love, and being that he's a D.O. he gives really good massages.
----I can count the number of times I've ovulated in the last year on one hand.----

Of the two of us, I definitely have less stress in my life.
----Our problems have nothing to do with Dr. Love's bits----

My point is relaxing has nothing to do with the causes of infertility and simply telling someone that they have essentially brought this on themselves by being too stressed trivializes the real medical issues at hand.  In our case we are dealing with PCOS but women can face other issues such as blocked fallopian tubes, uterus abnormalities, endometriosis, and thyroid disorders just to name a few.  Male partners can have issues with sperm production including too few sperm, sperm which can’t swim correctly, or abnormally shaped sperm.  None of these issues can be rectified with pina colada and a day on the beach.  Yet one of the most common pieces of "advice" given to infertiles is "just relax."

I understand that until you have experience of some sort with infertility, whether it be first hand or from friends/family members, it is difficult to know what to say when you're talking to someone who is freaking out about a bad diagnosis/another failed cycle/18 year old Cousin Jane getting knocked up by her loser boyfriend/the side effects of the hormone cocktail she's been chugging for the last week.  The process of dealing with infertility is stressful and for that reason we DO need to relax.  I need to relax in order to stay sane and function in the face of everything we're going through, but this relaxation will not get me pregnant.

Even the Onion realizes this....

Click image to enlarge or  here for source

So I imagine you're wondering,  if "relax" is an infertility taboo, what should someone say instead?

Glad you asked.  Resolve has some great resources for friends and family, and tips on infertility etiquette.  Ultimately it boils down to tell us you care, let us cry/scream/vent, support us in the difficult decisions we're faced with in treatment.  Don't try to minimize our grief, our struggle, our pain, our medical issues by suggesting that we have brought this on ourselves.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pregnancy Piranhas and the Pursuit of Identity

About two weeks ago my mother in law (MIL) approached me about helping her with an activity for her women's group at church. Normally my sister in law would have been the one to help her since they live in the same area and go to the same church building but she had a prior engagement that would not allow her to be available when my MIL needed her. Now MIL and I aren't very close, not for any particular reason, but lately I have felt that I should make an effort to develop more of a relationship with her; so even though the timing of the activity was going to be a bit inconvenient with work, and I wasn't going to know anyone there (thereby meaning I'd probably stick close to her like a little puppy dog) I decided to say yes.

The help MIL needed was pretty simple; keep the cupcake decorating table stocked, cleaned and moving. No biggie. That part of the activity was finished in under an hour and then we sat down with the whole group for dinner. I'm not one to turn down a free meal but I am also an introvert at heart. I dread small talk and schmoozing. I suck at it in an almost painful way. So I was aware that sitting at a table where the only person I knew was MIL (who I also have a hard time talking to) was going to be a slightly uncomfortable experience. Then out came the brag book.

MIL is like most typical grandmothers and enjoys any opportunity to talk about her grand kids. The birth of the triplets has only magnified this as not only does she like talking about the triplets but people love to ask questions about the triplets, which is totally understandable because they're amazing and even I enjoy talking about them. However, I knew that this discussion had potential to open up THE questions. The bringing forth of the grand kid pictures was like dangling a toe in a river of pregnancy piranhas and I only hoped to make it out with all my limbs intact. Here's how it went down:

MIL- "This is a picture of them when they were just 22 hours old...and here they are when they came home...and here's their older brother... and here's a picture of them taken just last week....here's one of my oldest grand kid with her husband, they just had a baby...and here's another one of the triplets, they're the youngest...well at least for now." She turns and nudges me, "Right, huh, huh, right?" Nudge, nudge, nudge.

Me -"Uh, um, well we hope so."

Snap, snap, snap it's feeding time for the piranhas. 

Piranha #1 - "Are you expecting?"

Piranha #2 - "Wait what? Is that some kind of announcement? "

Their eyes greedily gleamed at the prospect of pregnancy fodder.

Snap, snap, snap!

Ahhh! Quick, jump in the life boat and save yourself from the carnage.

Me - "Uh, no I'm not.  It's not an announcement"

Their faces fell at the realization that there wasn't any pregnancy news to feast upon.  Luckily that was as far as it went and I was further saved since it was time for the activity coordinator to give a speech to the group, but the damage was done and I felt my shy self take over, pulling me into silence.

I didn't know either of these women from a fart on the wind and yet they had pounced at the slightest mention that I would at some point have kids. Their zeal caught me a bit by surprise, and yet some part of me expected that the topic would come up that night surrounded by women who are moms and grandmothers as kids are just a natural part of their everyday lexicon.  One day I will be able to participate in that discussion but for now it's outside of my purview.

I think what stands out to me most about this encounter is that for these women the most exciting aspect of my identity was the possibility that I could be pregnant.  We had briefly talked about Dr. Love's work, we may have talked about my work (though really now I don't remember), yet none of that compared to the excitement that the mere mention of pregnancy elicited.  Recently I have started trying to define my identity in more terms than just my infertility. It is almost effortless for the big IF to become the crux of how you see yourself when it's part of daily life in one form or another; whether that be taking pills, making appointments, supporting others, IF is always there...yet it is not all that I am. 

Because I think it's important, and I need to have it beat into my brain more, I'll say that again.  There is much more to me than just my infertility. 

This is only half the battle though.

In a culture where family, and thereby motherhood, is so important, cherished and celebrated, how do I get these other women to define ME in terms other than those related to the status of my reproductive parts?  How can I be successful in seeing myself as more than childless when that's how they evaluate me as well?

MIL and I share the same religious beliefs so this conundrum is not only relegated to this one activity with this particular group of women whereby I could avoid it by simply not going back.  I know similar situations with other pregnancy piranhas will come up again at church and elsewhere; pregnancy piranhas lurk all around just waiting for something to strike at.  I realize that any attempt to produce a mass change in the pregnancy piranhas thought process would most likely be futile as there are just too many.  Meanwhile I think my best bet is to invest in a good chainmail suit and build up thicker skin so these encounters don't bother me when they do inevitably come up so that I can walk away unscathed.  Hopefully in the process there will be a few who will stick around long enough to see me for what I am.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippitus Hoppitus

This Easter morning was my mid cycle ultrasound when we would find out if the Clomid Easter Bunny brought me an ovary basket full of eggs. 

I had dealt with the last two weeks in stride and didn't dwell on whether or not I was responding to the treatment.  It seemed like a moot point since I wouldn't know one way or another until the ultrasound.  Last night, however, all the fears, nerves, and anxiety came spurting up to the surface.  I felt relieved that my appointment was first thing this morning so that I wouldn't have my nerves drawn out all day. 

In the end the Easter Bunny was a bit stingy.  I have one, uno, solamente, mature follicle measuring 20mm...and that's it.  Last medicated cycle I had 3...and a cyst...but still that was a really good response for the lowest dose of Clomid so I'm surprised at such a different result this time.

I know ultimately you only NEED one, and maybe this one is better quality than the others, and that I should be happy that I at least have something to work with this cycle.

I know all this.

Regardless, I am kind of disappointed and nervous.

When you're putting the time, money, emotional and physical effort into a medicated cycle you hope for the most successful results, and when it comes down to numbers and probability, higher numbers give you a higher probability of success.  I'm not counting this cycle out but I felt much more comfortable last time when I knew we had several candidates to work with. 

Then there is the masochistic side of me that has always wanted twins.  In my extended family there are a few sets of twins, and though I know there isn't a genetic link to twins, I have been teased about having twins for ages.  Over the years the idea has grown on me thus when I found out I would need medical help for ovulation I came to terms with it quickly thinking that maybe this is how we would get our twins.  I grew even more comfortable with the notion of twins considering our original desire to have two kids during residency and the proverbial wrench that infertility has thrown into the timing of getting two pregnancies in the remaining time.

So while I am happy to have at least a shot this cycle and that I'm cyst free, I'm a bit disappointed in the lower probability and little to no likelihood of twins.  This in turn makes me feel guilty that I am being ungrateful, selfish, and whiny about what I have been given.  I feel like an infertile spoiled brat.

"Nutcase, party of one, your emotional bullet train to Crazytown is now departing the station."

In the end I tell myself that things will happen when and how they are supposed to, even if it doesn't happen in the way I had wanted them to.  I believe that God knows better than I do what Dr. Love and I need in the long run.  Now I only hope that I can find peace in whatever the plan ends up like, because I sure as heck don't know what it is going to be. 

Tomorrow we pull the trigger and wait to see if this one is the rock star we've been looking for. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bye Bye BBT

Dear little pink BBT-

We need to have a talk.  I really don't want you to take this personally but...I think we should stop seeing each other.  You don't really fit my needs any more and I've moved on.  It pains me a bit to tell you this but there's someone else.  I've been seeing him for a while but wasn't quite ready to give you up as I thought you still had something to teach me.  Now it has developed to a point where you and I have grown apart, beside the upcoming progesterone supplements are just going to screw with your head.  I figured it would be in both our best interest to quit now while we are on good terms than wait until we're frustrated and confused about what's going on.

We had a good run though while it lasted.  Sure, I had some issues trusting you from time to time when you didn't tell me what I had hoped to hear but in the end we learned that really it was all my fault for not giving you better information to work with.  You taught me valuable information about was going on with my body, or more specifically what wasn't happening.  You showed me that I wasn't ovulating which turns out to be a bit of a problem when you want to have a baby.  You saved me even more months of frustration and futile efforts.  You gave me the pieces I needed to get help.  For all this I am extremely grateful but I think our time is through...at least for now.

Maybe one day we'll meet again under better circumstances, we'll have better communication, and you'll have better news to tell me other than nothing is happening in there.  I hope there are no hard feelings that I'm leaving you behind for fancier tools.  It's not you, it's me and I hope we can still be friends.

Take care,

Residency Widow

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Welcome April ICLWers!

This is my VERY first month participating in IComLeavWe and I'm excited to jump into the conversation...though admittedly a little nervous that I'll just be talking to myself {Bueller?}.

So if you are new here, I have created tabs located above that will give you the cliff notes version of who I am and our journey so far. These pages are a new addition, so I guess even if you aren't new to my blog they may prove handy to review.

I started this blog as an anonymous outlet for me to talk about the difficulties of infertility and life as a doctor's wife. Every now and then you may find glimpses of the woman (and man) behind the curtain and maybe one day I'll reveal my identity but for now we're Residency Widow and Dr. Love. We could be your neighbor, your friend, your co-worker, or the person rocking out in their car next to you on the freeway...we could be anywhere (is that ominous enough?).

I have a few posts on the stove brewing that I hope to finish up and post over the coming days with ICLW and NIAW coming up. Now if I can only find the time free of distractions to complete them.

So sit back, stay a while, and chat. I hope you come back soon and often.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wile E. Chayote

Nope I didn't spell that wrong, I am talking about these little guys....


Every few weeks I participate in a produce co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  For a $15 contribution we get a basket of produce (usually split 50/50 between fruits and veggies) that is typically worth around $50 if it was all bought from a grocer.  The hard  fun part is that like Forrest Gump's  momma always said, "[it's] like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."  So while you know you'll get fruits and veggies it is always a surprise what you're going to pick up as the offerings depend on what is in season and what they could get from their suppliers/growers.  I realize for some people this element of produce roulette doesn't work; you have to be flexible in what you'll use and what you like to eat.  For us it has been a fun way to try new fruits and veggies that I normally wouldn't pick out on my own.  If you watch Food Network, I liken it to having my own Chopped episode in my kitchen...only not with the strict time limits... I get this basket of ingredients and then I have to figure out what in the world I'm going to do with it.

So far we've been able to try new things like...


Japanese Eggplant

Swiss Chard

lots of different pear varieties (I think Forelle was my favorite)
In my recent basket I got several chayotes (also known as mirlitons in New Orleans) which is a kind of Mexican squash that I had seen before but never tried.  I was a bit intimidated.  How can you not be intimidated by this...

If you draw eyes on it, it looks like grumpy old muppet or perhaps a venus fly trap that's just ready to snap.

Since Dr. Love was on call this evening and I wasn't ravenously hungry thus giving me ample time, I decided to tackle the muppet fly trap with these two recipes for stuffed mirlitons from Emeril Lagasse and Paula Deen (hide the butter) as my inspiration.  Since Dr. Love doesn't care for fish, thus meaning I hardly ever buy it, I decided to substitute diced chicken breast for the shrimp. 

Following Paula's instructions I tossed the chayote in a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for a half an hour while I took the dog for a walk.  When we returned the chayote seemed done as the knife pierced it pretty easily leading me believe it was "the consistency of a soft potato" as Paula instructed.  After slicing into it, however, I'm not so sure as the middle was still pretty firm (after I removed the seed, which was a surprise).  I'm not sure if it wasn't done enough or if that just their nature but it made scooping out the middle a bit of a failure...

I sauteed the onion (red was all I had), celery and green pepper in a bit of olive oil (sorry Paula, no butter), then added the chicken, chayote "pulp" and garlic.  I seasoned it all with dashes of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano as suggested in Emeril's recipe.  Sorry I didn't measure anything rather this was a kitchen adventure and I was cooking with reckless abandon.

After everything was cooked, I stirred in a 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, scooped the mixture into the remaining chayote shells and put them in the oven to bake.  Half an hour later they looked like this...

Sorry for my poor plating but at this point it was 8:30, I was hungry, and lets face it I wasn't going to dress it up all fancy just for me.  All the effort of just cooking these things only for myself was more than I usually do for dinner alone.

I was a bit perplexed about how to eat them.  Would it be like a stuffed pepper where you ate the whole thing, skin and all?  Don't think so.  The skin was tough and wouldn't cut so I had to scoop the stuffing and chayote flesh away from the remaining skin.

{side note: It reminded me of when my mom first made us edamame and we had no idea how to eat them.  We ate them like regular snap peas, beans, pod, and all.  It was fibrous, furry and disgusting. I couldn't figure out why people raved about them.  It took several years before I was enlightened on the proper way to eat edamame and fully appreciate them}

So what did the chayote taste like?  A zucchini that was blended with a lima bean.  Kind of squashy, a little nutty, overall fairly decent.  I don't think it will be the next staple of our kitchen but it was interesting, though the whole thing took too much time for a regular work night dinner.  I still have two more chayotes sitting in the fridge.  Now if I can just figure out what else to do with them, and the time to do it.