Sunday, December 31, 2006

I think I am an elephant...

Did you know that a female elephant invests 4 years of her life in a single sperm? It works out to be 4 years because she is pregnant for a whopping 22 months and then does not ovulate for another 2 years. Don't you sometimes feel like an elephant, investing years of your life in a process that seems to take for freaking ever.

Other than spending my time lately thinking about elephant reproductive habits, which I must add was sparked by a program on National Geographic Channel, I have been thinking a lot about what Dr. Bowtie referred to as "getting lucky" in my last post. Every infertile thinks about it and hopes that they will be the one who can not get pregnant on the most aggressive fertility treatment protocol, but all of a sudden finds themselves with a positive pee stick either between treatments or after they have given up all hope.

I must admit that I have been guilty of this false hope. Even now I hesitate to call it false hope because I may jinx myself out of possible good fortune. I have been referred to as a cynic a few times and even good old Dr. Bowtie told me at my last appointment that I need to be at least a little positive while reassuring me that he does have success more often than not. So, even with my always plan for the worst case scenario mentality, why do I still remain the slightest bit hopeful that this process may one day work for us?

So here I am, about 5 days before my period is about to start, looking for all the "signs". We only mated (too much National Geographic channel) once with ovulation this time so with all our considerations there is realistically no chance it could work. But, there is still some part of my being that will not let me release hope. I reassure myself by stating that if it does not work this month we have 3 more times before IVF to "get lucky". This positiveness frightens me since it is truly quite uncharacteristic of my reproductive personality......or is it? Don't we all have some fraction of hope that guides us through this process? Putting fear aside since it usually overshadows hope, if we did not have even the slightest amount of hope, why would we continue to put our self through this torturous process? Even after the most heart breaking failure, we eventually can pick ourselves up and try again with some wisdom from the past experience, but also a "renewed" look to our current cycle.

So, although I may be an elephant in a temporal comparison, I am a human emotionally. Usually I cannot find my fraction of hope since I bury it with statistics and factors that are not favorable. But hope is a persistent little bugger and it seems to get beaten down and then surface again when you least expect it.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Problem Solved

First of all thanks for your quick call to arms. Even if I kind of already knew what I was going to do, the reassurance helped a lot.

So what did I do you ask? Well, I put my order in through Portland Pharmacy since their prices were the lowest for the drugs I needed. Another reason why I love my clinic is their responsiveness. This morning after my appointment with Dr. Bowtie (more on that later) the nurse met with me to discuss the different pharmacies they like and their prices. I have a comparison spreadsheet if anyone is shopping for meds - let me know and I can send it to you. Within moments my order was faxed and a rep called. That was about the quickest I spent 2,500 bucks. I then went back to my office and called the insurance company and no one can still tell me why it is not covered this time, but after speaking with managers of managers I was assured it will not be covered. Damn, insurance companies suck. Since I work for a hospital, I got a great deal on the less expensive meds. I need to keep telling myself this because I am trying to find something positive in this whole f'in situation.

The appointment with Dr. Bowtie was fruitful, even though it was just supposed to be a post-op. I of course went in with my list of questions and he gave me his usual smirk when I asked if he was done with his portion of the appointment so I could proceed with my agenda. Since I "heart" lists here is a summary of the discussion because I know you are so incredibly interested..
1. My pubescent complexion, a.k.a. massive breakouts, are a result of the DHEA. As are the mini pimples on my chest and in my head hair. Now I am infertile and a zit machine. The excitement never ends.

2. Dr. Bowtie does not want to talk about the next steps yet because he is "optimistic" about the next cycle. I, being a realist, want to talk about next steps, but the discussion did not proceed in that direction. I pushed and he told me he will meet my sister if he needs to but he is putting his energy into the April IVF. I expressed my concern about how long it takes to get going on things and not wanting to wait to start something else after a possible 3rd failed IVF in April and he assured me that would not be an issue. He did leak that we would have to meet with the Psychologist if there is any donor involvement. I will have to work on my "swallowing what I really want to say to that nasty lady" look.

3. Since I am not only a zit machine but also a cyst machine, I was concerned about going on the pill before my IVF because that is usually when I grow those buggers. Dr. Bowtie told me to call with my Feb period and we will align the start date with my cycle to reduce the likelihood of cyst. He also told me he does not want me to start the pill too soon because we have a few months between now and then and we might as well try to "get lucky". Bring on the OV predictors and timed intercourse - who said I am on a break until April now.

4. After making the "get lucky" comment he reviewed DH's SA results and apparently his numbers are so incredibly high but his morph, viability, and motility so incredibly low that if the right sperm found the right egg at exactly the right time we could possibly get pregnant. This is of course not taking into account my egg quality problem, but it gave me a little hope that maybe DH's swimmers are not totally worthless. The problem is that there is no way to tell.

5. Dr. Bowtie actually humored me when I said I want to work acupuncture into my protocol. He said he is not opposed to the idea of acupuncture but does not have enough evidence to prove it does anything, but if I provide him with some studies he will write a note for me so my acupuncture treatments can be covered by my flexible spending account. How rockin' is that. I am currently putting together a "report" of journal articles and publications for him since I have his ear on this. I, with the help of my o' so easily accessible and awesome acupuncturist, have dug up zillions of articles. I will share the fun when my research is done.

6. Oh the strange mystery pain was confirmed to be a kidney stone. It was not a typical kidney stone, but rather one of the uric acid type for which I can thank my gout ridden father. Geez, dad you shouldn't have. Unfortunately since this type does not show up on scans because they do not contain calcium it is hard to tell if I have others. Luckily I still have some percoset in case another one strikes.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Advice NEEDED!!!

For those of you who don't believe in superstition, you will be convinced after reading this post. On our way home from the grocery store this evening, a black cat crossed the road ahead of us. Since then, I managed to step in fresh (a.k.a. not frozen) dog poop and got a call from the pharmacy about my meds. It has been 1 freaking hour! The poop needs no further explanation, but regarding the meds I need any advice you can throw my way. Don't get the poop and advice confused because I don't want any shit thrown at me, I have enough in the treads of my tennis shoes.

Here is the situation: My clinic faxed in my order of meds for my next IVF in April and it appears that my insurance coverage has "changed" a bit and rather than having a co-pay of 20% (which I would not have to pay since I have already met my out of pocket for this year), my co-pay is at @ 3,000. YIKES! I just got off the phone with the pharmacy I use, which happens to be part of the company I work for because that is the pharmacy my insurance company works with. Now what do I do? Here are my list of options so far...

1. Cancel the order and wait since I really don't need the meds until April anyway

2. Put the order through because if the transaction is made tomorrow I can claim the 3,000 on this years taxes as an additional deduction along with the cost of the IVF cost share. I won't get much out of claiming it on next years taxes because the amount won't be great enough with the medical equation you have to do to really make much of a difference on taxes. Also, if I put it through now it will be paid off by the time the IVF comes around and hopefully I will be less pissed that I am infertile. Although this could be pointless because I have little faith in my IVF abilities at this point and will probably have to spend much more money next year.

3. Cancel the pharmacy order and put the order through at an online pharmacy that may offer better prices, although I don't know what the prices are and I don't know if this would be possible to do in the short amount of time left in this year to claim it on this years taxes.

4. Cancel the order and shop around for better prices and possible return options for unused meds. This most likely will not happen this year and will be part of next years taxes, which could make a difference if this last IVF does not work and we have to move on to donor eggs. Not only would we be spending more on another cost share, but also could use the left over drugs.

What I need to know from you is what to do? IS there another option that I have that I did not list above? I am leaning toward #2 right now, but only because I know very little about other pharmacy options. Also, I need to call my insurance company and see what is up regarding the change, I am guessing that I have reached my 5,000 infertility limit and that is why they are no longer paying, but with meds for 2 cycles I would have thought that I should have reached that already. I would love for this to be a mistake, but mistakes are not usually made in my favor. Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated! I conveniently have a post-op appointment with Dr. Bowtie tomorrow at 9:30, so if I need a change made I should know by then since I will have his direct attention.

Did I mention that I am pissed that I am infertile? I have so much negative energy right now that rather than research this I need to go to the gym and run off some of my anger or else I will not sleep again tonight. I hope this is the remainder of the shit I have to deal with in 2006 rather than a taste of what 2007 is going to be like.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dare I say it....

I am a bit leery about writing this post because as soon as I hit publish I know something drastically annoying is going to happen, but I am taking that risk. I may regret it....

This year I have not been too keen on Christmas. Now that Christmas is here, I must admit my gloom has lifted and my radio is tuned to the 24 hour Christmas song station and I even played a visit to iTunes and downloaded some of my favorites: WHAM! - Last Christmas, Mariah Carey - All I want for Christmas, yuletide Singers - Snoopy's Christmas, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Carol of the Bells, plus a few more... It is a seasonal mix of trash and tradition.

We had my mom's side of the family celebration last night and I was SO dreading it. For the first time is years it was "enjoyable." When I say years I mean it. The last time I looked favorably on this event I was a child and my cousins and I played Christmas records while waiting for Santa to drop off my our new Cabbage Patch Kids. It probably helps that a few, well 14 people (only 2 families mind you - I grew up VERY Catholic), were not present. This made the 7 young children that were present, 2 of which were babies, much more tolerable. The adults actually stood a chance against them this year, usually the children have us waving white flags and begging them to go run in circles and scream elsewhere. It probably also helps that I had a sufficient buzz on most of the evening and I found out my brother's serious girlfriend is only 22 so she will most likely not have children before me - or so I can hope. Yes, they are not even married but I have to adequately prepare for my disappointment years in advance - it helps with the severity of the blow. She is a very smart and sweet girl and I do hope that he doesn't do anything too stupid because she would be a nice addition to the family. Shit, I am starting to sound like my mother.

Happy Holidays to you all ....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Seasonal Sadness

Sorry I have not posted in a while. Most certainly not due to lack of material, but I have been swamped at work and at home. The surgery also knocked me down hard, really hard. Also taking up my time is the Christmas shopping, present wrapping, cookie baking/eating as you can here. I love spritz cookies and when I get sick of the cookie press I make my own shapes. Yes, those are feminine shaped spritz cookies. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the male version. I even used the blue food coloring so I could say I made blue balls.

I don’t know where the day has gone lately. This will soon change – it seems like as soon as we flip the calendar to January 1 time slows drastically. Then I will have time to update you on the horrendous comments made to me by the nurse at my urology appointment. Of course they are related to infertility. DH and I are still shaking our heads.

Even with my busy schedule, I still have gloom scheduled from wake till sleep. I go about my daily activities seasoned with a tablespoon too many of sadness. I am busy nonetheless, but not content. The holiday time of year is always a challenge for me primarily due to my infertility but also because December 26th is 2 years since my miscarriage. I can’t help but let my mind wander to where we would have been right now with a child that would just be starting to understand the concept of Santa, presents, and holiday clothes. I posted the other day about avoiding malls for Christmas shopping and I guess I left out one of the main reasons we avoid malls this time of year: watching children waiting to sit on Santa’s lap. It is a stupid thing and I probably will never take my child(ren) to a mall to sit on Santa’s lap, but I get so sad that I don’t even have the option. I think children are the happiness of the holiday season and since we have none in our family, we have little happiness this time of year. Last evening I was sitting by the Christmas tree "wishing". I am not a religious person and have never been into prayer, but I just sat there staring into the lights "wishing" we had a little person to show the joy of the season. DH, noticing my contemplative state and being the smart lad he is, very quietly said: “2007 is going to be our year.” I certainly hope he is correct.

I promise that I will find time to visit your blogs tomorrow and post. I know I am not the only one suffering this time of year and for that I am sorry. None of us should have to bear this burden anytime of the year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

4 effen years

Sometimes infertility just hits you head on and pins you to the ground screaming "uncle" so it will release it's breath crushing hold on you temporarily so just can just catch your breath. Other times you are sitting at the computer reading an article about the latest yuppie trend of combining yoga and wine tasting and you notice your face is raining on the keyboard and it is not because you are upset over what you are reading. Although....the tears could have been justified in this situation.

Up until today I was having a delightful weekend. I met another dear infertile for drinks and coffee on Friday. I left feeling inspired, energized, and for once “not alone” in this big city of seemingly reproductively normal folks. There was even talk of a infertile gathering……

Saturday was a neutral wash of a day. I had intended on taking mr. doggie to his daycare evaluation and then DH and I would head over to help my sister move. The move went as well as 7 solid hours with my parents could ever be. In that short amount of time they have once again given us a lifetime of conversation topics that leave us shaking our heads and wondering who my real parents are. Matisse got to help because the evaluation never happened. (Un)fortunately Mr. Toots has not been vaccinated for kennel cough and apparently it can run wild where dogs come together for playtime. I am a bit leery about additional vaccinations for my pooch, but I will most likely read about the horrors on the internet and then give in so he doesn’t have to stay home when DH is gone for extended meetings or we have some lengthy “dog-free” commitment. Imagine that, a spoiled dog alone sitting on his chair, blanketed by his down comforter, in his purple painted bedroom, watching for 8 hours – I fully recognize I need a child, err, I mean help. Actually, I need both.

So when a fellow elevator rider asks me tomorrow about my weekend I can honestly reply that I can file it under “g” for good. What do I have to complain about….. my weekend was not that bad compared to some of you hit by the early onslaught of holiday family cheer or the stroller pushing mall goers trying to finish up their final purchases for their herd of spoiled brats that they did not have to take out a second mortgage to create. I even got to participate in “feel good” activities like return a lost pet to her owner on a day that happened to be his daughter’s b-day. I should be happy as can be, but instead I am not.
I don’t know how to explain how I am feeling right now. For starters, I am worried about my enlarged ureter and the long wait till I see the specialist on the 23rd of Jan. Also, I am eager to get the holiday season over so I can throw away all the cookies that I continue to eat and actually try to loose my last 10lbs. Finally, I am not looking forwards to spending saturday with my 16 cousins, their countless children, and all my mousy and sub-servant aunts. Although, it is really not the holiday season that is to blame for my flat mood. The real culprit is my ongoing struggle with infertility.

While scanning the online site our friends set up to share photos of their newborn (Friday) daughter I started bawling. Do you realize that if we miraculously got pg this month it would be 4 years since we started trying at the time our miracle child would be born. 4 Effen years.

4 Effen years means lots of heartache, many failed procedures, countless dollars wasted, and 4 years of my life that I will never get back. Friends have gotten married and had children in that time. I said children – not one but, multiple children. Friendships have been lost through our struggle and our marriage has been tested. At what point do we just walk away, move onto the next thing, and actually start making progress towards a family where the child does not have fur.

The problem is that we are stuck. Currently we are waiting to do our final cost share IVF after I take DHEA for 4 months. So, that puts us out into April. We could start our adoption stuff right now so as soon as IVF #3 fails we could do our home study and get a referral. BUT, we are fortunate to have a 22-year-old egg donor who is willing now, but may not be so willing in a few years when we are ready to pursue her eggs again and have the adoption paid down. Follow that? Add to the mix that Dr. Bowtie is really close to letting us do the donor cost share at our clinic with her, even though they have no official donor cost share program. Once I hook him I need to move fast – he is at the advanced part of his career and who knows if he will still be devoting his life to infertile me when he could easily just walk away. So really, we are not stuck, but I don’t like my options. Time just seems to be moving slowly and leaving me behind. Next year I fear I will be in the same place with a different set of circumstances writing a post titled 5 effen years.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas shopping on perc0set

I again am breaking my promise of not blogging on perc0set, for this I apologize. At least I stopped commenting on YOUR blogs after DD sent me a copy of the incoherent message I left for her. The funny thing is that I remember writing that message and I remember it making sense, but it was just plain wacky.

I guess I did not expect to need the pain pills because I really did not expect to be in this much pain. I had a lap before and I don't remember the whole not being able to bend at the waist thing I have going on this time. My belly is also sticking out so far and I have been holding it to suppress the pain. Ironically, I look like a pregnant woman.

I also did not plan on taking today off from work, so I did not cancel my afternoon meeting. Since the meeting was downtown and I could not drive, DH escorted me and after picking me up we started and completed most of our Christmas shopping. I owe this mainly to the perc0set I popped right before walking into Macy's. Some of the things we are gifting include 2 Cuisinart ice cream makers, a kitchen aid mixer, misc. stocking stuffers and a beautiful designer leather briefcase for me. DH is such a sucker for a wife with a beautiful bag.

We have a Christmas shopping rule: no malls. We can buy gifts on-line, at boutiques, or downtown. The simple food or alcohol gift is also an option. After being thoroughly disgusted a few years back while Christmas shopping at the MOA (Mall of America for you out of towners) we devised this plan and have stuck to it. I also get a little depressed while Christmas shopping. As adults with really no little ones to buy for the season just doesn't seem the same. I don't really buy into the whole commercialism of the holidays. In fact on Black Friday DH and I make an effort to purchase NOTHING as our way of sticking it to capitalism.

Perhaps it was the perc0set, but this year I had a fabulous idea. I always want to purchase something for our not yet conceived child, but I feel a bit funny doing so. I don't want to jinx myself and it seems kind of stupid because there are plenty of real, live children in this world who I could just go any buy toys for. As I was walking by the book store I got the idea: I would start a book collection for our child and write a dear message to them on the inside cover letting them know that we are still longing for them and that we bought them this little present because we are confident they will someday enjoy sitting down to a story. The book I bought this evening was one of my husband’s childhood favorites: Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey. When we got home, I put it on the shelf next to the book I bought in Paris a few years back when we first decided to have a child. That book is: The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. They seem so juxtaposed leaning on each other. One was purchased when we were excited about having a child and were innocent to the pain of infertility. The other was purchased out a strong wont and burning desire to be a parent that was groomed by struggling with infertility for over 3 years. I know I will share these books with my child someday - they will always mean more to me than a story.

Hopefully I will not have to add many more books to my collection.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Can anything be easy?

So I had the lap today. This was my second lap and you can probably tell by my lack of blogging about it that I was not really worried or concerned. I have a high pain threshold and pain pill work wonders for me. Also, with all the shit IVF has thrown my way I am no longer surprised by ANYTHING. He could have woken me up and told me the DHEA he has me taking turned me into a man down there and I would have said, huh, go figures.

With that said, here are a few reflections of my fun procedure today. Sorry about the list format, but I am still taking percoset and I cannot write legibly. I have been visiting some of your blogs today and commenting and I truly apologize if I said something stupider than normal. Anyway, in no particular order.....

1. No endo. Zippo, Zappa, Zilch. Dr. Bowtie is REALLY frustrated. He did say that mystery pain that is not endo is at least good news. Now for the mystery on dear friend.
2. The mass is not threatening and did not currently have any cysts growing on it.
3. My ovaries look healthy and plump -seriously, WTF!
4. They would not let me leave the hospital until I peed today. My procedure was at 9 and ended at 10 and I left at 3:30. I could not pee. I drank 2 ginger ales, 2 waters, coffee, and chewed on ice chips. I sat on the bowl and walked to the private bathroom 5 times and turned on the faucet for inspiration. Nothing, not even a trickle. Finally as they were paging Dr. Bowtie I mustered up a slight stream. Boy that felt good. I was dressed and fighting the urge to pull out my IV so I could get out of there ASAP.
5. I was probably not peeing because I was so dehydrated as was evident by the reaction I got when I ate on of the those yummy vanilla wafers they give you after surgery. Yummy no more - one bite and that cookie turned to sawdust in my mouth. I spit it out so fast. But, that damn cookie just stuck to my throat and cheeks that I had to flush my finger around my mouth to remove every remnant of it. Everything I ate today left me SO thirsty. All I wanted was a Coke. Real, classic, cold coke. I have had two at a charge of 280 calories since I got home and I am about to crack open a third. I LOVE that stuff. Hopefully the percoset will counter the caffeine.
6. All week I have been dealing wit the period tease. Since a week ago it would come on a bit heavy (not tampon heavy) and then leave. You could call it heavy spotting. Yesterday there was almost nothing, so I got up this morning and put on my surgery panties (granny panties) and went to the hospital. Wouldn't you know that tease turned on the spigot as I was walking in the door. I bee lined for the bathroom and it was everywhere. I must be back to my 10 day period cycle - spotting for 5 -7 days before the real deal. Seriously annoying.
7. Oh remember that mystery pain mentioned in #1. Well, since there is NO endo, Dr. Bowtie looked around in there for me. He even took a few extra pictures - o.k. 8 extra pictures- because he knows I am insane and he wants to stay one step ahead of the game. Smart man. Anyway, it appears I have a very active ureter on my right side and that may be causing the pain. It is enlarged on the pics so he wants me to see an urologist. I can't believe my f'in body! I of course googled this in my demerol and percoset haze and the 2 things that are most prominent are cancer and calcification. I am done with Dr. Google on this subject and am going to put it out of my mind until the urologist appointment. He didn't seem too concerned with DH, but unless I hear something is ok from Dr. Bowtie I reserve the right to jump to conclusions and get all crazy if need be.

Other than these few inconveniences (I am ignoring # 7 at this time) the day was really not bad. I know I have said this before, but Dr. Bowtie is amazing and he has a great sense of humor. He came into the room from visiting with DH to again tell me how dapper DH is. He then informed me his resident would be doing my surgery. His resident then piped up to tell me his hand usually stops shaking and displayed the shake for me. I looked at Dr. Bowtie and he had the funniest smirk on his face as he assured me the resident would be watching HIM do the surgery. They kind of had me for a minute and I appreciated the laugh. Don't worry - I will get him back - ideas welcome. I just need something that is more funny than serious.

Finally, I laughed wit Dr. Bowtie about the side affects of DHEA that I blogged about earlier. HE chuckled and told me he hasn't seen to many whiskers on another patient. The study didn't work for her, but he thinks her problem is "different". I reassured him that if this doesn't work he can meet my sister, you know the egg donor I am trying to convince him to let us on their non-existent donor cost share program. He said I am one determined woman (I do mention this to him EVERY time I see him) and he thought that is could work. My persistence is paying off.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Can we just move away...far away?

You know how sometimes all you need is a good friend? Do you ever have that burning feeling that you need to call someone and tell them something that is making you want to pull your hair out and that person always reacts with a suitable response that reinforces why you love them so? I am fortunate to have a few good friends like that in my life and luckily one of them was there to answer the phone last night or I would have been writing a really angry post that I would probably regret at some point.

*****Please let me warn you - this post is random and may come across as lacking of information. Please keeping mid that there is a lot of history that got us to this point and I am still fuming but I just need to get this posted an hopefull off my chest.

I know you are dying to know what angered me so. There are many more details than I can bore you with in a post so I will summarize: basically I realized that SIL is selfish and can't truly give us the empathy and support we need with our IF because she is bitter that she is single and w/o the prospect of having children of her own. Now obviously she did not come out and tell me this, but last nights conversation tied up many loose threads that I finally put together. The most hurtful thing that she said is regarding this stupid competition she wages with everyone. If someone in her life has something that she does not she spites them. In fact, if someone even has the prospect of something she wants she spites them. For example, after our failed IVF # 1 and #2 she would always say to us that we are young and we can just take some time off and aren't we lucky that we don't have to make any decisions immediately because we are so young. These comments pissed me off enough at the time because she OBVIOULSLY does not understand that timing and waiting are incredibly frustrating when going through IF. Also, she spews assvice and I just want to tell her to shut up but don't for fear of upsetting the family balance. Those days are long gone now. Regarding her time off comment, you can almost imagine how hurt DH and I were when we realized that she was making this comment because she spites us for being young when she is 36 and is feeling the pressure of her biological clock. Also, if we wait the chance of her having a baby before us are greater and then she will still be one step ahead of the game.

OK, now if that is not insulting, try this. She had to take the day off on Monday because she was upset about "things". Her comment to me was: "well if I would have a desk job (like you) I could have gone to work today and zoned out but because I am a teacher and I have to be "on" the whole time I just could not do it." If she were here in person I would have smacked the shit out of her. Yes, I do have a desk job, but I too have meetings and goals and deadlines. She thinks that just because she is a teacher she works harder than everyone else and doesn't get paid enough. Last I checked she makes more than me and gets a break at summer, the holidays and in the spring.

I should also mention that she made some comment a few weeks back about it being such a shame that we so not have some left over embies that she could use to have a baby. I kind of thought she was kidding, but after some of the things she said last night I am realizing that she now knows the likelihood of that ever happening is slim since we barely even make it to transfer with IVF. So her little "plan" has fallen through and now she has to plan other ways to have a child. I am pissed that she seriously thought this was going to work. Perhaps she should have checked with us first. Last I checked when DH and filled out all the paperwork of what to do with our left over embies she was NOT in the picture. So wrapping this up for you, she is now upset about our lack of success with IVF because it means she may not be able to use us to have her baby. Follow me?

There are many other things that I could mention here, but they may just come across as very petty and require lots of explanation that would drive you crazy. I don't even know what to do about her, but one thing is for certain: she is no longer in the loop regarding our infertility. Even DH agreed to that one and not only is he disgusted with her behavior, but he is hurt. He has been noticing this change in her also and he is even willing to "take it to the parents." This is a hard situation because she has such a jaded view of everything that she seriously would not get it if we tried to talk to her about it. Also the waterworks that we would all have to deal with would make me absolutely insane.

I guess then, DH and I decided that distance from her is the best plan. Believe me, after 10 years with DH and his constant effort to defend her craziness, this is absolutely progress. Perhaps it just took him that long to make the painful realization of who she really is.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Idle Conversation

Friday after work I ran into someone I know at the grocery store. She has an 8 month old daughter and always tries to make me feel better about being infertile by pretending she envies our freedom. She asked "What do 2 young, childless people do on a Friday night? Please tell so I can live through you because I will be stuck at home." I should have lied and told her we chartering our own plane and flying to New York for dinner and a show. She probably would have believed it. In hindsight it seems like a good response because I left insulted as being referred to as childless, and when I am insulted I usually insert sarcasm. I am infertile and in the pursuit of a child not choosing to live child free. She is REALLY stupid. When I told her we had no plans she looked a little deflated and then perked up to chatter that she wished us a happy holiday while bobbing her head from side to side.

I then started thinking about what we actually do most weekend evenings. Pretty much our Friday night fun consists of watching really bad TV and idle conversation. Last night consisted of extraordinarily juicy converstion - it went like this:

DH: Why is the dog wearing a scarf?

Josie: Because he is cold.

DH: I don't think so.

Josie: I do.

DH: Do you think a scarf around his neck is going to make him warmer?

Josie: I don't know, ask him.

Matisse (dog): sign

If that was not riveting, it got better ....

.......While watching VanHelsing (seriously the ONLY thing on)

Josie: How come the guy who turns from a Werewolf to man and back to Werewolf destroys his clothes in the violent transformation from man to beast and then when the moon is covered and he turns into a man again, he is wearing the same clothes as before?

DH: Good question. It is kind of like the Incredible Hulk who also destroys his clothes in transformation and then is left wearing his jean shorts. Why do you think he wears jean shorts?

Josie: Hmmmm... I need to think about that one.

DH: Do you think he is gay? Or, maybe he is a nevernude. I miss Tobias Funke.

Lola is behaving badly again

But before we get to that I thought i'd throw in a few photos of the pooch.

Ah....isn't that precious. Here is Matisse and his friend One Armed Teddy. He won't let me have it long enough to sew the other arm on it, hence it's name. The teddy was not intended for him, but he claimed it before I was done with it.

After a day like today I needed something a bit more cheerful.

Now to Lola (a.k.a. my right ovary). Well, she once again decided she was not going to play nice and now she presented herself with a huge "mass" at this mornings wanding. It is not a fluid filled mass, but rather a tumor (most likely benign) or the dreaded endo. Regardless, Dr. Bowtie is opening me up on Wednesday to check it out.

As I was dragging my butt out of bed this morning at an entirely unreasonable hour I began to think of all the shitty experiences that go along with IF. Here are a few:

1. Butt crack of dawn dr. appointments
2. Drug addict looking arms
3. My intimate relationship with the wand monkey - the machine in exam room # 5 really gets me. I feel like I am having an affair.
4. Having to get creative about why you always have to leave work to go to the dr. and then dealing with the awkward silence that follows after you finally break down and tell your male boss what is going on because he is imagining up his own scenarios.
5. Periods.

Today is CD1 and can I tell you how much I hate my period? I can't believe she resides in my body. I also hate young knocked up stupid girls, like the 3 I encountered at a job fair today. Why can the stupid always reproduce so well? DH and I call it reverse Darwinism.

Am I bitter today?

just so you leave on a good note........

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hair growth.... wait, where?!?!?!

Now that you know I am a calendar addict, I may as well admit another addiction: side effect obsession syndrome. As soon as I get my little package of meds in the mail I search feverishly through the box for anything that may be new or carry a new set of symptoms I can obsess about. I unfold those little pamphlets and read about the controlled studies where n=87 and the half life of the medication is 14.2 days. I reread how to administer the medication, you know, just in case this pamphlet suggests that I no longer have to jab my stomach. I even started an argument with DH after he threw out my "pamphlets" because where was I going to look now if I started having some strange symptom.

When Dr. Bowtie told us we would need to start taking DHEA and that it was not prescription, but rather that I need to get it at the health food store, I kind of chuckled and thought that there is no way this stuff can do anything bad.

I am now laughing at my own ignorance.

A few days ago I was examining my face in the mirror as I usually do each morning. There were a few more pimples to pop than usual (which is kind of fun, sorry). I thought nothing of it until I got to the area just below my nose, where a thick black hair was prominently marking the beginning of, dare I say it, geez, I can not even write the words, well, here it goes........a moustache.


Things came together while sitting at my desk later than day, I picked up the bottle of DHEA that I keep at work for my mid-day administration and read the back.

As a dietary supplement, take one capsule daily with water. Do not exceed suggested daily dose. (Really.....Dr. Bowtie has me taking 3 a day) Serving Size 1 Capsules
Servings Per Container 30

Amount Per Serving % DV

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) 25.00 mg **

** Daily Value (DV) not established

Other Ingredients: Di-Calcium Phosphate, Cellulose, Vegetable Acetoglycerides (I don't know what these things are but I guess I am OK with that)
No Sugar, No Starch, No Artificial Color, No Artificial Flavors, No Preservatives, Sodium Free, No Wheat, No Gluten, No Corn, No Soy, No Dairy, Yeast Free (well thank god, because the yeast would be horrible)
Storage Instructions: Store in a cool dry place. (should have read this sooner)

Warning: Individuals under 18 years of age are restricted from purchasing this product. (what, you think I am 18, oh how sweet)
After opening, keep tightly closed in refrigerator or other cool place. (yeah, I get it, I will do this from here on out)
NOT FOR USE BY INDIVIDUALS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS. DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT OR NURSING. (Funny, reeaal funny) Consult a physician or licensed qualified health care professional before using this product if you have, or have a family history of, prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, heart disease, low "good" cholesterol (HDL), or if you are using any other dietary supplement, prescription drug, or over-the-counter drug. (good here)Do not exceed recommended serving. (Hmmm...) Exceeding recommended serving may cause serious adverse health effects. (Now I am listening)Possible side effects include, acne, hair loss, hair growth on the face for women, aggressiveness, irritability, and increased levels of estrogen. (WTF! Does this stuff turn me into a man!?!?!) Discontinue use and call a physician or licensed qualified health care professional immediately if you experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, blurred vision, or other similar symptoms. (I am more concerned about the facial hair growth and "other" hair loss) To report any adverse event call 1-800-332-1088. (Please define an adverse event because I am picking up the phone right now)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Warning: Calendars Beware

Some people enjoy crossword puzzles and others suduko. For yet others it is the word find or even better the word puzzles. I wish my addiction was one of the above, but rather I play calendar.

What is calendar? Well, it is a game all infertiles play while obsessing about their current and upcoming cycles. All you need to play is a piece of paper, writing utensil, and a few important dates, such as: LMP, when you ovulated last, or retrieval date, I think you get the picture. YOu can create many scenarios and often your game ends early when AF comes unexpectedly. I have not yet won a game of calendar, but yet I still play almost daily. Every legitimate calendar in my possession has scribblings of projected AF arrival and guesstimates of when I ovulated last. At the bottom is the goal date - the date I would someday like to achieve 9 months down the road if AF manages to stay away for that long and instead of her ugly visit I get the big prize - a real live baby.

One of the problems with playing calendar is that is becomes obsessive. The more you loose to more you want to win. I am constantly printing out calendar templates from Word or making my own versions when I should really be taking notes in a meeting. Just yesterday I was looking for some notes I took a few weeks ago and all that was on the appropriately dated paper was my last IVF cycle timelines with proposed retrieval and transfer dates. Recently I have added a new twist to the game - adding in current vacation accruals so I can best plan when my final IVF should fall as to maximize my accrual potential and leave enough remainder so I can get paid to sit on the beach in Key West this spring.

You will be happy to know that I am trying to give my calendar playing addiction a rest for a while. Since my last failed IVF I have not calculated when I should expect AF, but rather I am going to wait for the surprise. The big, fat, bloody surprise - won't it be fun! I just can't wait! Keep in mind this has taken all of my energy. Everytime I glance at a calendar or pick up a pen and start drawing a grid that is 7 boxes wide and 4 boxes long, I manage to put myself away just in the knick of time. I am thinking about starting a calendar addicts recovery group - any takers out there?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tag Smag - 5 things you are dying to know about me

I decided to take a break from the IF posting - not due to lack of material by any means. I was tagged by BabyBlues a while back and have yet to follow up on it. I have never been good at "games" but I decided to give it a shot after I lost my last post draft when I had to turn my keyboard upside down and shake all the Cream of Wheat that fell from the box I knocked over while trying to get just one more piece of chocolate off of the shelf above my computer. Like I need one more piece of chocolate, but it is just so good, and dark, and toffee like. MMM..I think I am drooling.

Since we are on the subject of my butt size (I'll bring you up to speed: more chocolate = bigger butt), the post I lost contained lots of dishing on pg people - not becasue they can get bigger butts (I am sure I will also) but more about their choice in nasty maternity clothes. I just returned from a fair where everyone and their sister was pg and sporting bows on their bellies and letting it all hang out. I should mention the pregnancy stir-ups I witnessed- either they are back from the 80's or this women had them from the 80's. Where does a girl get a pair of those nasty things. Anyway, the size of my bottom once again resurfaces because one of the other vendors at the fair looked really familiar. After a while she came over to rub in how beatiful she is, I mean talk to me, and, yes we went to the same High School. Don't you just hate it when you run into someone who is beautiful on a day you look like crap. I didn't wash my hair this morning, I desperately need a haircut, I am carrying around about 10 extra pounds, and I am wearing my fat pants. Also, it is freezing up here in the tundra so I wore my puffy down trench coat. When I selected this beautiful outfit this morning I didn't think I would care, but now I feel like a frumpy fat fool. Do you see why I need the chocolate?

Anyway, here are 5 things you most likely don't know about me and wish I never told you:
1. I hate being stopped in traffic. If I am in the car it better be moving. I will drive miles out of the way to get to my destination if I do not have to stop. I also detour into neighborhoods to avoid red stop lights for the same reason.

2. I can't believe I am going to admit this, but I actually own some Britney Spears music. There is no valid explaination, but in my defense it is part of my workout collection and NOT my everyday listening. Although while writing this I started humming "Lucky." My husband will not even let me add it to our computer playlists on Itunes - he bought me my own Ipod so I can store her trash there.

3. I cannot waste food. Perhaps this can be blamed on my upbringing, but I would rather store something in a container in the fridge till it grows mold becasue then I have a reason to throw it away. This weekend I was watching the Barefoot Contessa and she was making muffins. Her bowl still had enough batter to make a few more muffins but instead she just threw it out - it made me cringe.

4. I knit. This is no surprise probably, but how I got into it is. About 4 years ago I had major surgery on my had to reconstruct my lunate bone after Kienbock's disease killed it off. I went to a few PT sessions and hated it, so I did some research and knitting was one of the activities to help build dexterity in my hand that I lost after the 6 months of inactivity that followed the surgery. I thought it would be a good hobby to pick up because we would be having children soon. LOL!

5. I have a horrible singing voice. Entirely tone deaf better describes it. In my catholic upbringing I often sang in the choir. I remember the musical nun going down the line of singers and offering suggestions to make their vocal contribution better. When she got to me she paused and said, "just keep practicing...better yet, have you thought about playing an instrument?"

WHEW... I feel better that is off my chest. Now if you feel so obliged and and need a reason to post about yourself, take this as a tag.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just call me Scrooge

So at work, my office sponsors a family for the holidays. Since I am so grateful for what I have, and I often suffer from guilt complexes when I see someone scouring through their plastic bag of change to buy a measly sandwich or ride the bus, I thought I would participate.

So, I was flipping through the gift ideas and saw things like: towels, lotion, baby toys, baby clothes, grocery store gift certificates, underwear, socks, and other mundane items. The gift items were all things I can just go out and buy, much less have to ask for at Christmas. I steered away from the baby related items for obvious reasons, but I did not think anything on the list was too extravagant. Finally I selected bath towels for the mom. I though I would by her something really nice, perhaps from a nice department store or something. It tugged at my heart strings that she would have to get bath towels for a present and I noticed all the items for her were really just household items for the family.

Then I went back to my office and read the e-mail to get the details of wrapping and deadlines and all that jazz. Here is the information about the family:

Family Information:

My 18-year-old son just had two kids; a boy 2 ½ months and a girl 2 months. We have the children every week from Thursday-Saturday, but we have very little supplies and baby things. We’re in desperate need of baby items so the babies needs can be met. My son is currently a senior in high school and is looking for a job.

Notice anything funny about this? No, I am not talking about the misuse of the word little. The 18 year old son has a 2 and 2 1/2 month old for starters. That means he got 2 different people knocked up. Hmmm... I think that changes the way I feel about buying them something. I know I am evil but why should infertile me have to help out other non-infertiles that obviously made really stupid decisions in their lives. Yes, it is about the children and they should not have had to suffer. Although, those babies could have at least been put up for adoption so people like me and YOU could be parents. (Oh, that's right the laws in this country are crap for b-parents so the babies would be placed with us and then taken back after a while.) Yes, I understand the complexity of these statement. I am a very empathetic person, in fact I worked in welfare to work for 5 years and I know some things are shit luck and others just stupidity. Most often stupidity prevails.

Why does everything have to relate back to my infertility? I guess I am no longer in the Christmas spirit.