Thursday, October 31, 2013

Exciting stuff, or, the Riveting Mama enters another kind of 2WW....

Well, not as exciting as a BFP WILL be, but, let's see...AF stayed 6 days and, um, made her presence known.  It's now CD 13; mucus mucus, pinches in my ovaries, that solitary zit popped out on my chin this evening, and let's just say, my body is telling me that locking a man in my bedroom for about 36 hours would be a VERY good thing.  (Good thing I'm working through Monday lol).  Two natural cycles in a row?!?!  Could it be?!?!?  Guess I'll let you all know after a different kind of 2WW has run its course.

Speaking of work, The Riveting Mama sold out and got herself a respectable day job.  It's doing care management, staffing, and HR like I did up until a year ago, but private sector.  It's not the job I thought I'd be doing if I left my current job, but I'll still save lives on the weekends; maybe go patch up drunks in exchange for free concert tickets or something-haha!  It's salaried with benefits; and has a regular Monday through Friday schedule.  It's offering me stability, which, after some soul searching, is really what I've determined I need right now.  I've talked it over with my family, and they agree I should give it a go.  I haven't quit my current job.  I've learned the hard way that in terms of employment, it's not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket in this day and age.   So, we shall see what happens there.  Wish me luck!

In other news, my next TTC cycle date is still undetermined.  I ended up having to deal with some legal issues (civil, not criminal; don't worry).  So, that means I have to come up with $800 for a retainer.  My lawyer is a good guy, but shit, is he ever expensive!  Well, there goes a couple of visits, U/Ss, and labs.  I'll keep plugging along though; I've got my storage paid up for another three months yet.  Really, this is an opportunity for me to keep getting in shape, building up my vitamin and mineral stores, etc.  I read that getting one's magnesium level up in the months leading up to pregnancy can seriously help with morning sickness.  I'm still in the game folks, just taking a little time out.  As always, thanks for all your support, love, and encouragement.  I'll be in touch!  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cold weather ramblings....

Good chilly evening to you all!  We did get a dusting of snow in the Twin Cities this weekend, but didn't get hit nearly as hard as they did up north.  I've been keeping A in my thoughts on a daily basis as she awaits the arrival of her little girl.  Apparently, this little lady didn't keep with the tradition of arriving in a snow storm! 

On that note, the community is flooded with good news.  I have read about 4 pregnancies that are progressing beautifully.  H just found out she is having a little boy.  Welcome to the world little Ruckus; we can't wait to meet you!  The other 3 were hard-won after long battles with infertility.  M and K both underwent around 10 IUIs, 1 IVF then FET, and both suffered losses along the way. J's surrogate made it to the second trimester this week.  After multiple pregnancies and losses, she turned to using a surrogate to carry her own embryos.  The first attempt didn't work, but this embie turned out to be the trooper.  J has never seen week 12 before, and I couldn't be happier for her.  These women have inspired me as I keep moving down this journey.  If they can triumph, then so can I.

Speaking of losses, October 15th was national pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.  It was kind of bittersweet for me.  Years ago, I met some amazing women on an online support group.  I am still in contact with some of them.  We reached out to each other as usual.  This year, it seems that social media campaigns are doing what they do.  It was wonderful to see so many women I know speaking out about being "1 in 4."  Actually, I didn't even know that some of them had been through this.  So, I have developed a little comradery with them.  I am very thankful for the kind messages I got that day.  But the interesting thing is:  nothing from my family.  At all.  Not publicly or privately.  It didn't have to be a big thing.  My message for the day encouraged people to give mothers who have experienced a loss a hug, because it's nice to have the occasional reminder that people haven't forgotten.  Not a lot of fuss required at all.  I'm not incredibly upset over it, and didn't even mention it to any of them.  It's just interesting that a group of people who has been so supportive of my being a mother would be silent on this one thing.

Remember how I always say that support comes when you least expect it?  Well, a friend of mine who has outright criticized my decision to the point of saying he thought anyone would be crazy to do what I am doing (and he didn't mean that in a humorous way) just sent me the following message yesterday:  "You my dear will be an amazing mother and I am sure of it."  It made me smile.  

I do have some exciting news to report though: I have both ovulated and come into the presence of AF on my own and within 30 days!  Yes, these things are exciting to SMCs in the making.  I did a little happy dance on Saturday morning.  I feel no shame in admitting it. :) I mentioned it to Dad yesterday while we were discussing canning and baking recipes.  He laughed and said, "I knew you had it in you."  Now, don't get to excited.  Unmedicated IUIs are NOT in my future.  I appreciate good omens though:  five healthy babies on the way and a natural cycle for me has me in good spirits at least.  So good that I believe I will celebrate with a nice glass of Riesling while I still can.

Stay warm everyone and keep the updates coming!  


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Serious changes?

Hi everyone!  These past few weeks have been interesting to say the least.  I was on a much needed break from TTC.  Yes, a break.  As expected, my beta was negative.  I didn't even cry when I heard the news.  I knew it was coming.  

I decided that this cycle I needed to work on me.  I half succeeded.  I've been working a lot, and not being nearly as active as I was up to TTC.  I have been watching what I eat, but I have to admit to writing a rant on Facebook about the Republicans coming to the door and coming between me and my syrup and butter-laden pancakes.  Oops.  My total weight loss to date got up to 55 pounds, but I gained 3 of them back.  Oh well.   I think a lot of women go into a "break" with the intention of getting in better shape or changing their diets during that time, and it doesn't quite work out all the time.  Hey, I'm happy, and that's what matters.

I have been doing some serious thinking.  I'm debating what to do for my next cycle.  I definitely think that the Gonal-F is the way to go.  I'll get better eggs and more of them.  But, I'm also concerned about the progesterone levels.  I'm toying with the idea of another Femara cycle to see if the PIO injections can get the level high enough for comfort.  This may or may not be a reasonable train of thought, but should I waste the Gonal-F on a cycle that has less chance of working out because my levels aren't high enough to support my little bean sticking?  Hmmm.....

In other news, your favorite wannabee MN mama went on a date last Friday.  I maintained a period of no-contact with the Ironman, and the only contact I did have with him after involved me wishing him a happy birthday and telling him about a trip I plan to take.  I told him I wasn't mad so much as "inquisitively disappointed" in him (this is in reference to the information I learned from E).  My therapist was supportive of this and has done a beautiful job of being there for me during the past  couple of months.

My therapist also encouraged me to go on a date or two if I felt I was ready.  Since making my decision to become an SMC, and even when I was still thinking about it, I haven't actively sought out new men to date.  The ones I was attracted to kind of fell in my lap.  And B was a part of my life before.  Well, I had been talking to A, a guy I went to high school with, via Facebook.  We knew who the other was, but never really hung out, although we did have friends in common.  We hadn't seen each other in almost 11 years.  We have some things in common and found it easy to converse with each other.  The conversations would get flirty occasionally, but not out of hand.  I could sense he was interested in me, but he never made a move.  So, one day, I just said, "If you want to get together with me sometime, just ask me."  He did immediately.

Anyways, he's been divorced for about 5 years, owns his own home in our hometown, and has primary custody of his 6-year old daughter.   He does computer programing and seems to enjoy it, although I admit I only understand about half of what he says sometimes.  He seems to have his life together somewhat, so I figured why not?

We met up for dinner and then went to a Halloween maze, where we were promptly rained on like no one's business.  It was fun though.  No lapses in conversation, and we both have a similar sense of humor so we were able to joke and keep it interesting.  We left early because of the rain, and got stuck in horrible traffic due to construction.  We had left his car at his house and gone in mine; Shakopee is a ways away after all.  I had to work in the morning, so I didn't stay long.  I got a tour of the house (his daughter was at her mom's house for the weekend), and checked out his gaming laptop.  I've given you plenty of reasons to laugh at me over the past year or so, so what's one more?  Ready?  When we were hugging good-bye, I got a good whiff of him.  I'm somewhat unusual in that I associate memory with the way things smell.  My olfactory sense is part of what determines my level of attraction to someone.  If it's the right person, it sort of shakes something up deep inside of me.  It's kind of hard to explain.  It's more than just pheromones.  Normally, I keep this quiet.  But that night?  I found myself whispering, "You smell good."  He looked at me with a bit of curiosity, and hugged me again.  He leaned his forehead against mine and said, "I'll see you soon."  We kissed a few times, and I left.

So, we shall see.  He did say that he's not sure about having more children, but then said, "Well, I suppose it's all right as long as the kids don't out-number the parents," and smiled at me.  (He had been engaged to a woman up until about a year ago who had 3 kids.)  I haven't told him about my TTC plans, but I will if I keep seeing him.  I will most definitely keep him in the loop more than I did with B.  B was always aware of it, but I never got a clear answer of how he felt about it.  I was so afraid of his reaction that I didn't tell him when I had my first IUI.  I did try though; I really did.  And after, well, you all know what happened....

We shall see how things continue to play out.  My plan right now is to save up for three ultrasounds (ouch) and continue on with life.  Let the cards fall where they may...good night!!!               


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Wannabee SMC: The Riveting Mama Bangs Her Head Against a Wall.

Well, we are 13dpo/iui.  Took a cheapie test this morning: negative.  Damn.  I'm headed in to Diamond this afternoon for a beta, and I'll have the final verdict tomorrow afternoon.  I'm not holding my breath.  I'll write more about this tomorrow, but I will say that I am a) taking a cycle off to regroup, and b) will be making some serious changes next time. 

Till tomorrow...... 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Day In The Life of a Wannabee SMC: I am the Official Owner of a Luteal Phase Defect (?).

Yesterday, I dropped by Diamond to get my fasting progesterone drawn before I went to work.  Forgot my progesterone, had to go home and get it.  Ended up being late, but Heidi fit me in anyways.  Went to work hoping for the best. 

I found out this morning that the level is only 6.8.  They would like to see it above 15, as this is a medicated cycle.  This is after being on 50mg of progesterone for 5 days (I started the evening after my IUI; the level was checked 6dpiui).  Either the blood level isn't high enough because the progesterone is being absorbed "locally,"  or I'm just not responding to it.  My dose has been doubled, but they won't even check the level with my beta this month.  They'll only check it if I get pregnant, and then if it isn't high enough, they will stick me on progesterone in oil (PIO) shots.  Otherwise, they want me to continue on the 100mg twice a day for my next cycle, then only switch to PIO if the 7dop level is still too low.

Honestly, I am very irritated right now.  I'm feeling like a science experiment test subject, except this "study" is severely playing with my finances and more importantly, my heart.  This could have been checked out last cycle, but they "didn't think it was necessary."  And now, they want to play it conservatively, because the injections "are a pain."

I'm going back and forth with the "plan."  I understand that I may indeed be getting enough progesterone, and it just isn't showing up.  But either way, at least with PIO shots, the level can be checked more accurately.  I probably wouldn't be thinking this way if the level had been borderline, but this is WAY under what should be seen with even an un-medicated cycle.  My insurance will cover the injections.  Yes, they are painful, and yes, I may be kicking myself in the arse after a few weeks of daily IM shots, but in the end, I want to be successful.  I will do anything I have to to help ensure I get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have a healthy baby.  If that means a lumpy sore rear end, so be it.  I've got ice packs.

I'm even more determined to do it this way, since I am looking at an injectable cycle if this one is not successful.  If I am going to spend the money on the extra U/S and E2 levels, then I should be able to have the post-IUI support that makes me the most comfortable right?  There have been so many things about this process that I have no power over, but THIS is one thing I can control, and with relative simplicity to boot.   

Speaking of which, I am almost as intrigued to hear this as I am irritated by it.  Could this be the answer I have been looking for all these years?  Was this the reason I miscarried before?  Did I just not make enough natural progesterone to support the pregnancy?  If so, this could be corrected.  It also upsets me in other ways.  Why wasn't my progesterone level checked at my first prenatal appointment?   I remember the nurse stopping when I told her about my mother's history of miscarriages.  They drew just about every other lab they could; so what's one more vial of blood?  Maybe if they had, I would have brought my child to her first day of second grade last week.  Also, when I looked for answers, I was just told to "come back when you are ready to have more kids" and slapped on birth control.  I was told this for years.  I know that there are so many other factors that may have caused this, and that this may not even be an issue.  It's just hard to stop my mind from going there.  I hope it's understandable.

 I would love to hear all of your thoughts.  What were your levels at 6-8 dpo?  What was your course of treatment?  Do you think I am correct in my thinking, or am I reaching?  M also brought up an interesting thought:  is it possible that I am getting enough progesterone, but my corpus luteum isn't producing enough to make up the difference due to poor egg quality?  My numbers were great, and I am young(er), but is that something I should be asking about as well?

I'm sorry for all the rambling and questions, but's so frustrating to be told you can get pregnant with "a little help," but then have all these other things come to the surface that may or may not even be happening.  I know I over-think a lot of this.  But when you want something so badly, that's something that tends to happen; or at least it does in my case.  It's just that throughout this entire process I have had doctors and other medical professionals telling me I am incorrect and that the things I want to explore "really aren't necessary."  According to them, I didn't need Provera to induce my period, I didn't need male hormone and insulin levels checked, I wasn't losing weight because I didn't eat right and didn't exercise like I said I did, and I certainly didn't have PCOS.  But when I insist on these things being explored, it turns out that I was correct to do so.  I did have insulin resistance, I do have PCOS "or something like it," and once I started on the metformin in addition to doing everything I was already doing, almost 50 pounds fell off in a matter of months.  It's frustrating, and I keep reading about this kind of thing on other people's blogs and the boards too!

And...what can I expect to go through if I end up needing to be more aggressive with treatment than I am already?  Yikes! least I have a day off tomorrow and a night at the movies with the girls to look forward to.  And hey, maybe I am pregnant after all.  It could happen....  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Wannabee SMC: The f@#%&* Two Week Wait Commences!

All right my lovely's out in cyber-land.  We are officially 3dpo/iui, or 3 days post ovulation and intra-uterine insemination.  The Riveting Mama is in the dreaded 2WW, or two week wait.  Strangely, I feel much calmer this time around.  I'll admit I did a lot of obsessive googling last time.  What does this twinge, this nausea, this being thirsty and having to pee all the time mean?  The reality is:  all those symptoms can mean a woman is pregnant . . . or they can just be the progesterone having fun at her expense.  I knew that going in, and yet it didn't stop me from wondering.  This time, I'm just trying to stay calm, practice good self-care as much as I can, and hope for the best.  So far, I have a little bloating in my abdomen, maybe a little twinge here and there, but that's about it.  I'm quite glad I saved a pair of my old jeans from when I was heavier (48 pounds lost as of a week and a half ago!).  Those jeans don't put any pressure on my abdomen, which seems to happen even though my pants in my new size fit comfortably the day of my IUI.      

Speaking of progesterone.  Every woman undergoing fertility treatments knows what I mean when I say EWWWWW!  Yes, we are prescribed high doses of natural progesterone, which is supposed to help support the pregnancy should it occur.  Progesterone is normally produced in sufficient amounts by the corpus luteum, which is what forms in an empty follicle's place once ovulation occurs.  Some women don't produce enough, and will miscarry as a result.  Although many women do produce enough, it is very common for doctors to prescribe it "just in case."  Extra progesterone won't hurt anything, and it will help everything, so to speak.  I know I mentioned this before, but Dr. W. did say mine was lower than he would expect it to be after 14 days on supplementation.  The only way to check is to have the level drawn after 7 days.  Unfortunately, it could already be too late to save the pregnancy if there isn't enough and my little one has already implanted.  This conception game certainly rolls you like you were dice, to reference an 80s hit.

Oh yes, and the progesterone is often more effective if absorbed, um, locally, so...well, to put it plainly, you stick it you-know-where twice a day (or more).  The progesterone is mixed in an oily medium, so you get to deal with greasy underwear.  Of course, I could wear a pad all the time, and I go back and forth with this.  I am a long-time Diva Cup user, and the couple of pads I do have are cloth.  It is better for the environment, and ultimately, better for me (i.e. no chemicals from tampons). Plus, I don't see my period as something dirty or unclean.  Washing the cup or the pads isn't gross to me.  So, why is the grease from the medication so disgusting to me?  I have no idea.  I could wear cloth pads, but really, that is the same as not wearing them, and I only have a couple (I don't leak when I use the cup).  Ah; first world problems, am I right?  And really, it isn't that bad I guess.  The alternative is a shot in the derriere every day, which would probably get old fast, seeing as though I will continue progesterone until week 12 WHEN I get my BFP (big fat positive).  The only way it could really be a problem is if I actually had a sex life, which, as you probably know, I don't anymore.  
So basically, I get to wait.  A lot.  I go in Tuesday morning to get my progesterone level checked.  If it's too low, I will have to have my dose increased, or "switch types," whatever that means.  And honestly, I will do whatever I have to to give this try a fighting chance.  As I said before, I will shoot myself up 5 times a day if need be, lumpy booty be dammed! 

Interestingly enough, if I am pregnant this time, my due date will be May 28th, 2014.  ANOTHER May baby in the family.  Actually all three nieces have birthdays in May within two weeks of each other.  Mine would be in that mix too.  That would be too funny!  Maybe September is our lucky month!  Also, just for fun, I played with a Chinese gender predictor.  Just like last month, I'm predicted to have a girl, which would also be ironic, given what I just told you all.  May would get to be expensive for us all, but we could sure plan some fun birthday parties with all of us putting our heads together and contributing! 

And finally, I'm not too proud to admit to starting an Amazon baby wishlist.  I haven't turned it into a registry, but I will do so when I know what gender the baby is.  Actually, I don't have a lot on it yet.  Mostly things I've always known I wanted.  Breast pump, accessories for pumping on the go, glass bottles that become sippy cups (I will EBF as long as I can, but I will also have to return to work eventually!).  I think I added some teether toys too.  I was thinking of adding cloth diapers and supplies, but there are sooo many choices out there.  I think I'll wait until SMC A gives me her review of what's working for her.  I know it seems silly to do this, but it keeps me in a positive mindset.  It's not IF I get my BFP, it's WHEN I get my BFP, ya know? 

In other news, I saw that K had another excellent beta!  I'm really happy for her; she has earned it for sure!  M is getting ready for her frozen transfer (I have my fingers crossed for you hon.  I know you're worried about your embie quality, but you're a fighter, and any frost baby of yours will put up a hell of a fight too).  H just had a perfect NT scan showing a healthy little guy or gal playing around, as they tend to do.  B is doing a great job practicing self care for her and her infant son.  A is getting ready to deliver her little girl next month.  These women's stories give me hope and courage.  They are strong, independent, and they are (or will be) amazing mothers who love their children very much.  As am I and as will I.           

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Day in The Life of a Wannabee SMC: The Big Show, or, "Good morning. I'm here to procure a hasty knock-up."

And . .  . IUI #2 is in the bag.  I woke up at work early this morning, wanting to leave on time.  My co-worker C, who did my hair the morning of my first IUI, was with me this morning too.  We wrapped up our business, and she helped do a lot to get ready for change of shift so I could be sure to leave on time.  I had to go pick up my juice and get to Diamond within an hour.  Seriously, today I am grateful for the people that support me, even in little ways, like C did. 

Here's the weird thing about the pick-up.  You go around to the back of the building, where there's an unlabeled door with a buzzer (although, this month, there was a "patient pick-up" sign pointing to the right driveway, lol).  You ring the bell, but you don't ever hear anything.  You just see the security camera light blinking, and wait for a youngling in scrubs to open the door to let you in.  There's a line of tanks going down the hall.  The girl takes your ID, and grabs your tank.  Then, she explains that the tank will keep your "specimen" frozen for 7 days, you have 10 to return the tank, blah blah blah, and sends you on your way.  Oh yeah, and the drive way is only wide enough for one car, so if another one comes while you are backing out onto Lexington Ave, you are in a bit of a conundrum.

So, I drove quickly, but not INCREDIBLY crazily to Diamond.  This time, I had the sense to keep the tank on the floor of the front seat, so I knew it wouldn't tip over.  I arrived with 5 minutes to spare; Jami happened to be standing by the desk when I walked in.  She whisked the tank away, while the receptionist (not the one I usually see) said very professionally, "You must be here for an insemination procedure."  In true form and without really thinking, I replied, "Yes, I am here to procure a hasty knock-up."  Nothing, not even a smile.  Awww...c'mon hon; infertile women live for humor.  The least you could do is help lighten the mood.  C'est la vie.....

Jami came back and led me to the exam room; the same exam room where a defeated Riveting Mama cried in front of Dr. W last week.  She started to say, "Everything off from the..." then stopped herself, finishing by saying, "Well, you know what do do by now."  She came back, catheter and syringe in hand.  I looked at it this time, surprised to see that it was mixed in a yellow medium. This was surprising to me.  I've heard of pink and blue, but not yellow.  Hmm...

(I should call this: "I hauled a gigantic tank across town and all I got was this tiny stinkin' vial"). 

Jami said that the sample looked great, with 45% motility, which is almost what you would expect in a normal fresh sample.  She also said the volume was greater than she would have expected, but didn't give me a number.  My OCD-in-terms-of-fertility self didn't think to ask.  She showed me the vial, and asked me to confirm my donor number before laying back.  I asked to keep the vial this time.  Some people don't want to; some people do.  I thought it would be a nice momento.  I never said I was normal, heh.

This IUI was a lot easier than the last one.  The last one wasn't difficult, but I had a lot of cramping.  This time, I didn't feel much.  Jami said my cervix was open and that my cervical mucus looked "great."  It was over even quicker than the last one, but true to her tradition, Jami wished the swimmers luck, saying, "Ok little guys, go and do your thing."  She turned the lights off this time (I didn't ask her to; I think she just kind of knew I'd appreciate it) and told me to lay there "as long as you like."  I reflected, I meditated.  I thought about how everything in my life has brought me to this place in time, right here; right now.  I praised myself for the good work I had done to get here, for being strong enough to go through this alone.  I'm not sure if I believe everything I told myself, but I'm proud that I was able to say those things nonetheless.  After 20 minutes, I got up, dressed, grabbed my now-empty tank, plunked down my MasterCard again, and left.

As I sit typing this up in a hipster coffee shop (yup, I'm ok with a little caffeine-don't judge me), I am merely thinking about being in the present.  I have two days off work, and I'm going to do my best to rest up, and devote some time to myself.  People at work will survive until Friday.  The Ironman can go do whatever he wants to do (we have not talked since last week).  My family and friends will be all right.  I'm going to therapy, to acupuncture, and to bed.  And that is the end of it.            

 (Insemisocks: necessarily clothing for a cold table and a warm heart).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Day in The Life of a Wannabee SMC...Jami takes a picture; and the Riveting Mama Shoots Up.

I woke up this morning worried; yet again.  I got another smiley last night at around 10pm.  I decided to follow Jami's advice and go into the clinic first thing this morning.  No smiley this morning at 6:30am.  When Jami scanned me, she saw one mature follie on my right side (20mm).  She said there was no evidence that I had already ovulated.  She told me to trigger right away (~8:30am) and come in tomorrow for my IUI.

Is the timing on that one ok?  Is this maybe one of those situations where I should consider a B2B IUI?  I posted the question on the boards too, but wondering if anyone here has any thoughts on this.

On the plus side, my lining is at 9.8mm.  Looks like starting the estrogen patches earlier worked out well.  So, there is something for my little bean to snuggle into if I'm lucky enough to make one this time around.   

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Day In The Life of a Wannabee SMC: The Package Arrives, and The Riveting Mama Panics.

Ah yes, the mid-cycle discombobulation.  Every woman going through fertility treatments understands exactly what I'm talking about.  I looked at my calender, trying to figure out my schedule.  I realized that I had some work and U/S cross-over issues.  Crap...had to get those sorted out.  Then, I had to call and arrange the "pick-up."  (Much less awkward conversation this time, lol).  And, of course, call Freedom to get my trigger shot shipped out.  All before I had to go into work at 3pm yesterday.

Then, this morning, CD 10, I had a positive OPK.  This is not good.  I have made no secret that I am a fan of the Clearblue Fertility Monitor.  This month, another SMC donated two boxes of the Clear Blue Digital Ovulation Tests.  So, I decided to use these.  This morning, I saw a smiley.  I panicked.  I don't have my juice and cannot pick it up on a weekend. I also can't leave work to go have an IUI.  Shit, shit, shit.  I calmed myself down, and called Jami.  She said to disregard it.  Too early.  She said it could be too close to my last dose of Femara.  I've read about women detecting multiple LH surges during their cycles too.  But, that doesn't mean I'm not panicking.  I have NOT felt any ovulation cramping, and last cycle, I did; no mistaking it.

Any other ladies have those experiences?

Also, "the package" arrived this morning.  Anyone who has never gotten fertility meds before is usually surprised when this shows up:  a rather large box with a bursting package inside.  Um, I thought I only ordered one injection.  Is this someone's IVF meds? 

You open up the pouch, only to discover that, nope, they didn't screw up your order.  You didn't cash in and just receive a massive ammount of misdirected IVF meds that you can save, "just in case."  Nope, the only thing inside this huge box is this:

The illusive "trigger shot."  You open up the box and double check that it is the right medication and that it is not expired; you must report any issues within 24 hours. You stash the shot in the fridge right away; it must be kept cool or it could degrade, and you just wasted $80.  When you are told, you will give yourself this shot, which will tell your ovaries to let go of any eggs they have been diligently growing in exactly 36 hours.

And now, I wait.  For the next few days to pass so I can see what the heck is going on in there.  For the next time I have to pee so I can check another OPK, hoping the smiley face will go away.  Waiting stinks, and fertility treatments include a lot of it.       

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Wananbee SMC: The Girl Scout with Achy Ovaries Slaps on a Patch.

As of tonight, I still have two doses of Femara left (I take 5mg for 7 days).  So far this cycle, I haven't had too many symptoms.  I can feel my ovaries aching, "talking to me," as I like to put it.  I'm really feeling it on the left this month, which also happened last month.  I suppose the whole alternating sides every month doesn't apply when drugs are involved.  I have been emotional, but that is understandable, given what I have been going through with my family and the Ironman these past couple of weeks.  I can only imagine what I would be like if I had "the Clomid crazies" on top of all this; another reason for me to NOT take that drug, you narrow-minded, self-important fruitcake who calls the U of M RMC your place of operation.... on that note, I have been trying to breathe, eat well, remember my supplements, and get a good night's sleep as often as I can-haha.  Joking aside, I am a firm believer in practicing good self-care, even if I have to force myself to do it.

The Girl Scout in me is already thinking ahead to the next cycle if I need it, just as I did the last time.  I met with the Good Doctor today.  He was very factual with me: "With annovulation, your odds are zero.  With oral meds and fresh sperm, you have about a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle.  With frozen sperm, that goes down to 15%.  You grew a follicle, with possibly one to spare.  I can give you a chance; which is more than I can give every patient I see.  But that is what it is: only a chance." 

He has a point.  So, I asked him what happens if this cycle doesn't work.  I was recently blessed with a month's worth of donated Gonal-F.  I have no idea what good deed I did to deserve this; it's a favor that I can never re-pay.  All the research I have done indicates that, if oral meds don't work after a cycle or to and male factor infertility isn't an issue (this guy's boys seem to be in decent shape all things considered), a woman my age would probably do well with Gonadotropins.  Better eggs, more likely to work, but also a higher risk of multiples (up to 30%), ovarian cancer, and a possibly fatal complication called ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.  Google that one; it's nasty.  The choices we must make, am I right?   

Anyways, the doctor is ok with me using Gonal-F next cycle IF I need it.  Start with 150iu a day, then increase/decrease as needed, obviously being ever conscious of the possibility of OHSS.

I am still trying to stay positive for this cycle.  I am really wanting it to work; I want this so badly with every fiber of my being.  Even with all the confidence I put in the folks at Diamond, one thing kind of bothered me.  I had to ask the doctor if there was anything else he could think of that would prevent implantation, since everything else looked good.  He opened up his laptop again, saying, "Well, let's see."  Turns out my progesterone level was only at 2 at 14 dpo/dpiui, on 50mg of vaginal progesterone twice a day.  That's pretty friggin' low.  I wish someone would have told me that last week.  This could have explained a lot.  I'm so certain I felt implantaion cramping 6 days out last time.  If my progesterone level is that low, I would think there was very little chance of my little embie burrowing in.  He explained that it's hard to know if this is the case or not, since it can also drop dramatically after pregnancy is not achieved.  The only thing we can do at this point is to check it 7dpo and see where it's at with the supplementation.  At this point, more progesterone or a different kind of progesterone could be added, but the cycle could also already be a wash.  So, why was this not explored last time?  I'm a little irked by this, but there is very little I can do.  I think I will ask my resident stork stalker for advice on this...perhaps get them to up my dose, just in case?

In other news, I have slapped on another estradiol patch.  Since my endometrium was at 6mm on CD 11 last time, I am starting on CD 8 this time.  Might as well give it as much time to grow as I can.

 Cool pharmaceutical companies give out samples.  Cool doctors share them.  (Love Jami's little love notes?)

A Day in the Life of A Wannabee SMC....the cycle begins....

So, last Thursday, my cycle started.  AF, that ugly red-headed tyrant made her appearance.  Ironically, remember the days when I used to be happy to see her rear her ugly head.  It meant her distant relations of the ovarian persuasion just MIGHT be doing their job.  I have since learned that that entire family is estranged and prefers to work independently of each other because they have a fairly dysfunctional relationship, which has become enmeshed in my life in the most unhealthy manner. Thus, at present, it seems that they are better off apart.  Since my relationship with the Ovarians is much more supportive of my long-term goals, I have decided to focus my therapeutic efforts on them, and serve my scarlet Aunt her eviction notice from my life, until which time she becomes proactive in my overall well-being again. 

OK, I'm done with that. 

Anyways, I call Diamond like a good girl, and go in for my ultrasound on Friday, which must take place between cycle days 1 and 3.  This is not the ultrasound that you see on TV, where they glide something over your belly for a few seconds and you don't even have to get undressed.  Nope.  You go in, "take everything off from the waist down," and have a lovely intimate encounter with what The Stirrup Queen lovingly refers to as The Dildo Camera.  (Sorry, I had to).  Yes, you are still bleeding; no, you didn't make the little bastard buy you dinner first; yes, it's over in about 60 seconds, and no; no one has a cigarette afterwards. And yes, I forgot to remove the Diva Cup.  So, rather than put on my job interview outfit again, I wrap myself up in paper, and slink down the hall to the bathroom, reminding myself to remind Jami to remind me to do this if, God forbid, there is a next time.  Except that she already asked me if I needed to stop there first, like she always does.  After Jami declared, "Your ovaries are quiet," she left, returning with more estrogen patches and instructions for this cycle.  (If there are cysts, it can interfere with the effectiveness of ovulation induction drugs, and they can ask you to sit the cycle out).  After it was all over, I plunked down my MasterCard, firmly concluding that labor and delivery will be far less degrading than this.  

On the plus side, she accidentally called my Femara into CVS instead of Freedom.  I got a text saying that it was ready and all I owed was my co-pay.  So...$60 saved I guess.  I took the first two pills on Saturday (cycle day 3).

A couple teeny pills that could change my life:


I am so happy.....

For SMC K in San Fransisco, whom I have been following over at The Solo Mama Project since last year.  After countless IUIs, 2 IVFs, 2 chemical pregnancies, and 1 miscarriage, she just received news of an excellent beta!  Picture me sitting down with what will (hopefully) be my last margarita for a couple of years, scrolling through my emails, squealing with joy and shedding a tear or two.  Only someone who has struggled with infertility and struggled alone can appreciate just how happy I am for her.  Congratulations sweetheart, you deserve it!  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

IUI cycle #1-A Learning Experience.

I've been such a bad blogger.  And, since I obviously need to focus on other things, why not (finally) share my first IUI experience with the world?  I'll write a narrative really quickly, then I'll work on this cycle in detail as it plays out.

So, the last cycle was really more of a learning experience.  Ok, it was pure chaos.  If you think about it, I had no idea how I would react to the meds.  I had never experienced it before.  Now, I sort of decided to go ahead with the cycle for many reasons.  I was in the middle of a Provera withdrawal, and decisions needed to be made-fast.  But honestly, what was I waiting for?  Christmas?  You all know that by now, B still hadn't made up his mind.  And, I cannot make decisions in my life based on what others may or may not want, nor how they will react.  So, I made the right choice for me.  I called Jami at Diamond, and I went for it.

CD 1, I called in like a good girl.  The doctor said there was no reason to do a baseline ultrasound this cycle if I didn't want to.  Um...ok no problem with that!  Jami called in my prescriptions for Femara and Ovidrel.  Starting CD 3, I took 5mg of Femara for 7 days.  I went in on CD 11 for a follicle check.  Here's what they saw:

Funny how maturing follicles are shaped like chicken eggs isn't it?  So, you can see a 12.8mm follicle and a 15.8 mm follicle on my left ovary.  The spindly thing twisting out to the right of my ovary is my fallopian tube.  The curved structure off camera is part of my uterus.  The Femara seems to have worked.  I actually shed a few tears when I saw that.  I had been waiting so long to see my body do what it was supposed to do.  (I also had a smaller follie on my right, but Jami said it wouldn't catch up).  My lining was at 6mm, which is pretty much the bare minimum to sustain a pregnancy.  So, Jami had me put on an estrogen patch to "plump it up."  This was on a Friday.  I triggered Sunday night, then went in for my IUI Tuesday, 8/6/13.

Ironically, I asked B to wish me luck that morning.  He did. I found $100 a few minutes later.

The weekend before my IUI, my family reunion took place.  I took my parents aside for Skols (our version of a Scandinavian tradition), and showed them my eggs with pride.  They toasted me with Crown, gave me hugs, held my insemisocks, and wished me luck.  Later, my extended family members took turns holding my socks and wishing me luck, even though most of them had no idea what it was about.  I'm seriously crying while I write this.  I'm so lucky to have a family like that.  They stand behind me no matter what, even if they don't quite understand everything that's happening.

The Friday of my follie scan, I called the keepers of the freezer to arrange to pick up my "juice."  For whatever reason, I couldn't come out and say what I needed.  Why that is awkward, I'll never know.  Picture me calling them up and stuttering..."Um, I need to come and pick up my...that is...what's the procedure for....".  Yes, ME, verbally fumble.  Haha!

I triggered Sunday night with no issue.  I historically don't like giving shots to myself (I mean, I don't feel it when I stick a patient :), but it went over fine.  I had to go to the lab on Monday morning after calling and asking VERY nicely for them to open the lab for pick-up a little early so I could be to work on time.  (My job was NOT being very helpful with my schedule this week).  I had a minor freak-out because the tank tipped over in my back seat for about ten minutes on the way to work.  I called the lab, and they said that as long as there were no cracks in the tank, I was good.  Whew!  

The Clearblue monitor showed two bars Monday morning, then Monday night, I felt my ovaries start to ache for a bit.  Tuesday morning, I had three bars with a little egg; the first time I've ever seen it.  I knew it was coming, but so excited anyways.  On the way to Diamond I felt a huge cramp/ache on my left side only (where my two big follies were).  I was a little worried that I'd ovulated the night before, but I think that what I felt in the car was the real deal. 

At the check-in desk, I greeted the receptionist with, "Heey I'm here for the big show!" a la Juno.  She got it, which was fantastic in so many ways!  Jami came out and took the tank from me.  I waited awhile longer, then she came and got me.  She saw my socks and told me to put them on and think good, happy thoughts.  She came back with the catheter in hand and had me check the donor number on the vial.  She said the sample looked "great" with about 40% motility.  Is that good?  I have no idea.  When she saw my cervix, she said it was open, but not as open as she's seen.  I'm still kind of worried that we timed it wrong.  When she pushed the plunger on the catheter, she said, "Ok little guys, go and do your job."  I giggled a bit at that.

I had this whole plan.  I was going to ask Jami to turn the lights down.  I had my relaxing music, and wanted to meditate during my 20 minute "rear in the air" time.  Jami left fast, and the lights stayed on.  Then kept coming back.  "What cycle day is this?"  "What pharmacy are you using?"  So much for that.  After that, I paid my $150 and left.

Then, came the 2ww.  The FUCKING HORRID 2WW.  Where every symptom you have could be pregnancy or could be just the massive ammount of progesterone screwing with you body, your head, your heart, your soul.  And, the morning of the 14th day, I stared at a pregnancy test with one line only.  DAMMIT!!!

I went in and had my blood drawn, but I got a call in the afternoon confirming it.  I was not pregnant.  In the TTC world, this used to be called a BFN, or big fat negative.  Recently, many women have started calling it NTT, or Not This Time.  It will happen, we have to believe it will.  It just didn't happen this time.  I'll admit it though; I felt like a failure.  I did every thing I was supposed to do.  But, it didn't work.

My step-mom said the sweetest thing to me when I emailed her and Dad to tell them.

I'm sure it's very disappointing to not
get pregnant when so much has gone in to it.  You aren't the failure.
Something else went wrong, but it wasn't you.  It was some piece
of biology, sans of feelings, a sense of hopefulness or a dream, that
went wrong; though it still leaves you with the sadness of it not turning
out as you had hoped.

The fact that you ovulated is quite encouraging.  It's unknown if
the 10 women who got pregnant with this guy's sperm were successful
the first time.  But I can understand your discouragement when it is
something you want so much.  I'll say prayers for you, Kiddo.
And, so that is how I am ending this tale.  With tears and prayers, hanging on the promise of the next cycle.  


Liebster Award Time!!!

Liebster Awards
I am honored to have been nominated for a Liebster Award from MMMReader !  So sweet that she thought of me!
I've never heard of this award before the divine Ms. M told me about it, but I thought I'd go with it, because it's a great way for readers and hopeful Choice Moms/SMCs to connect.  Always a good thing. 

So These are the Liebster "Rules:

"Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to them in your post.
"Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
"Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
"Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

"Note: (These are the “rules” but please feel free to do as you wish. If you have 5 bloggers to nominate instead of 11, and you can only think of 7 random facts about yourself – that’s perfectly fine!"
I think MMMSecret thought 7 questions was a lot, so she stuck with five, but they were five very good ones, if I do say so myself:

1.  If you had to pick a different profession, what would you do?
When I first went to college, I was a music major.  I would love to be a full time musician if I could do it and pay the bills.  I feel like I've neglected it quite a bit; I haven't performed in about 3 years.  It truly is my first love and such an important part of my life. 

2. If you had to recommend just one a book (written by someone else) what would that book be?
You're making me pick just one book?!?!?  So unfair!  Ok honestly, I'd give the book On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt a quick read.  It describes bullshit as it applies to communication, further applying it to interpersonal relationships and life in general.  Bullshit is different than a flat out lie, because there can be some truth to it.  As the author says, "Bullshit is thus a greater enemy of truth than are lies." 

3. If you were given a million dollars to donate to a single charity of your choice, which would you pick and why?
Doctors Without Borders likely.  So, my professional background is interesting, but no matter what I've done, it usually involved making healthcare accessible and amenable to all.  I managed a community based healthcare program for 2.5 years after finishing school, and while it was difficult and stressful, it was rewarding.  Many of my clients were underserved, and needed the supports I could link them with in order to stay in their homes.  I believe healthcare is a human right, not a business, as our country has made it into.  Sadly, there are other parts of the world where even lacking healthcare isn't an option; because healthcare doesn't really exist.  Any organization that works to correct that deserves any support I could give. 

 4. If you could go back 10 years and do something different, would you change anything and what would you change?
Honestly, nothing.  I have made mistakes; God have I ever!  But every mistake I have made has taught me something, and without those mistakes, I wouldn't be who I am today.  Thus, while I accept that there was a better way to do things, I do not regret anything.  Ever.

5. What advice would you give to a 16 year old girl/young lady trying to make a plan about how to decide which college to pick and what her major would be and where she would live and what she would do after graduation, etc.?
I would say follow your heart.  Do what feels right for you, not for anyone else.  And make no apologies for it.  If you end up taking a different direction along the way, that's ok.  It will make sense eventually.  My life certainly hasn't gone the way I planned it to in so many ways.  While it hasn't been easy in the least, I am thankful for where it has brought me. 

Random Facts About Me:
1.  I have had a pencil led stuck in my right palm since the 7th grade.  It's a fun conversation piece. 
2.  I have two tattoos.  And have had...11 piercings.
3.  I call myself a neo-hippie.  I say I'm a hippie that was born 40 years too late.  Not into drugs and random sex myself (I hate those stereotypes anyways), but in terms of my personal philosophy and the way I live my life, I think I kind of fit the bill.
4.  The first word I ever spoke was "no."  Actually, I didn't say it, I SCREAMED it at the top of my little lungs.
5.  I used to do improv theatre.
6.  At one point, I was both a chicken shit and quite shy.  Shocker, I know!
7.  I am distantly related to Jimmy Carter.  He is my great-grandma's cousin.  Not that it matters much; but given where he is politically, especially lately, I'm proud to share a couple drops of blood with him.
8.  I have one biological sibling, who is my half brother from my mother's second marriage.  He's 13 years younger than me.
9.  When I think of family, I think of it in more of a community aspect, rather than a nuclear or biological one.
10.  I out screamed the entire 8th grade in a contest. 
11.  I can't believe making a list of 11 things is this damn hard!
And now Questions for my Nominees to Answer:
1.  If you could afford to quit your job, and do anything in the world, what would it be?
2.  What is the thing that makes you the most happy?
3.  If you could go back in time and change one decision you made, what would it be?
4.  Who is the person that has inspired you the most?
5.  What is the name of your favorite song, or alternatively, your favorite piece of poetry?

My Nominations:

MMMReader - A long time tryer, lawyer, and excellent writer.     
Chasing the Gerber Dragon - an SMC.  I absolutely love her honest and articulate writing style. 
Twelve22 - an SMC from my neck of the woods whose first child, a girl, is due in October.  Insanely jealous of her crafting and sewing skills as well.
The Solo Mama Project - Another long-time tryer.  She does a wonderful job of exploring the spiritual aspect of the TTC process.
Candlelight and Pacifiers - an SMC who recently had a baby boy after her second IVF.  This is a woman who gives me hope on a daily basis.  She fought infertility for years; and kicked its ass.
Stork Stalking - a long time tryer who is using surrogacy in another country.  She's very scientifically inclined, and knows more than a lot of REs out there IMHO.
Single Infertile Female - a woman living in Alaska who, after two failed IVFs, was able to adopt her daughter, "Cheeks," who fell into her lap.    
True Confessions of a Single Mother - an SMC in New York. 

A Finale Fit for a Bam, or, the Last Midnight.

The summer progressed.  B fell back to his old ways.  Cold and distant sometimes, hot and passionate the others.  I missed him when he wasn't there.  He likes to bike a lot, he is very dedicated to his family.  I am not the type of woman to try to keep a man from the things and people he loves.  I had a social life, work responsibilities, etc. as well.  I asked several times where we were headed.  I think that's a fair question, don't you all.  I never got an answer.  Then, he got messy when I would ask what he was doing on the days I worked.  He managed to go to his mother's birthday party twice in one week in fact.

Remember that cruel bitch, Lady Hindsight?  Yeah....

So, in May, I noticed a post on Facebook from a woman, L.  It went like this:

L:  "B!"
B: "L!"
L: "When do I get to see you?!?!!?"
B: "Tell me when you are going to a movie!  I'll go with!  Love movies; how was Ironman."
L:  "Didn't see it.  I ended up cleaning my house and drinking.  Let's go!"

I asked B about this.  His response?  "She was a friend from last year.  Don't talk to her anymore."  Later, I asked him why he agreed to go to a movie with her if he didn't talk to her anymore.  He got angry, but never gave me an answer.  He became sweet again after I dropped it.  He then removed any mention of her from his Facebook page.  But not before I read all their communication since they became "friends" in late 2011.  Yup, outings, pics; he even became friends with her sister.  In October of last year, the communication became sporadic and she talked about how her heart had been broken.  But, then, he started talking to her again.  Then, she started complaining about how she was being ignored and was hurt by someone.  You can all fill in the rest I'm sure.  No matter what was happening, he was trying to hide her, which is not ok.

It got to be time for me to make a decision.  I decided that I couldn't wait for him to make up his mind.  I posted about coming to the decision that it was time here.  I realized that the right man would support me.  I asked him several times where we were at and never got an answer.  So, I did an IUI cycle. Got an NTT.  (I'll blog about that later).  I didn't tell him either; perhaps I should have.  He knew it was coming though; and I couldn't deal with his potential reaction over it.  I wanted to tell him in person, and I couldn't do it before the IUI.  I did tell him I was doing something important though, and asked him to wish me luck that day.  I found $100.   Take that how you will.  It went right into the Diamonds' hands.  I did tell him eventually.  I asked him to please just tell me he didn't want to be with me if that was the case.  I said, "If it helps, I was inseminated last week.  If you want the out, then take it.  But I really need to hear it from you.  I don't want to guess."  Nothing.  

The week before last, my grandmother got sick.  She went into cardiac arrest ten times and was in the ICU with a brand new pacemaker/defibrillator.  I stayed with Grandpa, who has vascular dementia.  The next morning, I found Grandpa leaning over the bathroom sink, sweaty, and weak, complaining of chest pain.  So, he went lights and sirens too.  I'm glad I was there and able to start interventions right away.  It turns out he had an infection of some sort; but they couldn't trace it.  Because his blood pressure was so low, he ended up the ICU room right next to Grandma.  When we got the call that Grandma was coding, I was a wreck.  I hadn't told her about TTC.  I didn't know how she'd react, so I never told her.  I wished I had.  After signing the consent for the emergency procedure at the cath lab, I reached out to B.  I hadn't heard from him all week.  I told him I hadn't heard from him in awhile, but I needed a friend.  That I could be losing someone very dear to me and had left things unsaid between us.  Nothing.  I got a text saying he was out of town camping and sorry about my grandmother; like six hours later (he got back into town on Monday; it was Thursday).  Asshole.  I'll say it.  Asshole.

I'd had it.  I lashed out at him.  I could blame it on hormones, but I knew in my heart what was probably happening, and I was angry.  So no, it was mostly me talking.  I started telling him that it was like he was ignoring me, like he was making excuses, like he was keeping me on the back burner, just like before.  I told him he was either seeing or sleeping with someone else and just didn't have the courage to tell me.  He said he wasn't, but I must be, and am now throwing it in his face.  Um; no.  Not really.  "I have been going full force with a lot of things. I'm sorry at I have not been really detailed or present with you."  I've heard that before.  In fact, that is the last thing I have heard from him as of this minute.  It's always something with him, and then another woman comes out of the woodwork.  So, L's stuff comes back up on Facebook yesterday.  He starts contacting her again.  Actually, I recently saw he never really stopped.  (See above, I read through her page).  Again, no matter what, he was using her to upset me.     

I had been sending B messages telling him how hurt I was by his actions, that he was treating me the same as before.  That I thought he had changed, but hadn't.  That I shared so much of myself with him.  That I had thought of him as a father figure to my children, either biologically or as an adoptive parent.  That I had trusted him with something I loved and cared about more than my own heart, and he threw it back in my face.  Nothing.  Silence.  I don't know if he even read any of it.  I never will.

I posted this on Thursday night:

"B, I am a wonderful person with a heart of gold. You have had that heart for the past ten years; during the times we were together and the times we were with other people; whether I admitted it to myself or not. Through thick and thin, you've always had it. There aren't many women who would care for someone that much. You once said you gave me yours too, or have you forgotten? And this time, you could have had so many things, including the family you said you always wanted. Maybe one day you'll finally decide you can let people in again. Maybe one day, you can stop being so "scared" of what's right in front of you. But, I make no promises I'll be waiting for you. I don't have anyone else right now, but I moved on the other times because I had no other choice. I suppose I can do it again if I have to. And, if that's the case, know that you lost (another) good woman; again. And now, I know for sure you got the message."

I know that that might not have been the best idea.  But, I needed to say that.  And I needed to know he would see it.  It's not that I wanted others to see it.  I needed him to see it.  And...after, there was no response, but he was signed into chat for several hours.  I'm guessing there were some questions being asked of him, although that wasn't my motivation either.  Like I said, I didn't do it because others would see it.  I saw it because my amazing friends and family were consoling me as well, and I was talking to them.  I am very thankful for them; they have no idea how much.  

I didn't delete him off Facebook until tonight.  He didn't take down my comment until yesterday afternoon.  He still hasn't said a word to me.  I noticed last night that he added a familiar looking woman, E, shortly after my comment disappeared.  I couldn't place it, but she looked familiar.  So, I did that thing you aren't supposed to do.  I looked through his page; his whole page.  He has been on and off with her since at least 2008.  There's pictures from Spring 2008; when he was still trying to be with me.  There's posts about her being with his family.  She was added over and over throughout the years, often when his communication with L would die down, although it often overlapped.  It looks like it happened a couple of times when he was with J too.  I looked at her page.  There are pictures of she and him together in California out at a bar and snuggled up together from last April, around the same time he was road-tripping with L and telling her how much he couldn't wait to see her.  And, remember how he said he never saw anyone after J?  I'm guessing he added her again yesterday, because she's the only one left in his harem who didn't see what I wrote.  I realized he has played me and so many other women over the years.  And, we all must be "crazy."  Well, there is a crazy person in the mix, but it's the only person with an XY chromosome.     

And finally, at the end of 2008, almost a year after the initial break up; well after I told him not to contact me, I saw him trash talking me with D, and her saying it's good I stayed out of gun range.   

I feel like such an idiot.  I am so angry with myself.  I convinced myself that this time would be different, even though all the signs were there that he hadn't  changed.  My friends said, "He hasn't changed."  My father said, "Get rid of him."  But I didn't.  I feel like he's used these other women to hurt me, and what's worse, he probably used me to hurt them.  It kills me that I was a part of causing a good woman the same pain I feel and have felt (D being the exception to that statement).  

What's worse, I almost exposed my child to  a man like that.  Looking back at it now, what kind of father is a man who tells his girlfriend to keep quiet about a child he already has?  What kind of father would a man be if he treats the child he has like dirty laundry?  That was years ago, but, does a man like that ever change?  Probably not.  I am so thankful that I and all the other women alive today have options.  I do not have to stay in a relationship that is this detrimental in order to have a family.  And, thus, I am on to IUI cycle #2.  My heart is hurting so bad right now; I sometimes wish it would bleed out and put me out of my misery.  But, I have to keep telling myself that I made the right choice and that I will be ok in the end.     


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bam again, or The Next Go-Round...

The story continues...

So, now we are in January.  I have my sperm.  I'm newly diagnosed with PCOS.  You've all read those posts.  I reached out to him.  I have no idea why.  I told him I felt like tying up lose ends.  I told him I thought of his cheating not so much as wanting to hurt me, but as his way out.  I told him I had forgiven him (I was really at peace with where I was at).  I asked for his forgiveness too; I said some pretty horrible things to him.  Although, now, I'm not so sure I should have been so quick to apologize.   

More eee ooo....ok then.

He asked why I contacted him.  What was this new leaf I was turning over?  "Are you getting married or something?"  I laughed and told him, "No, most definitely NOT getting married!"  The next day, I spilled the beans.  He congratulated me.  He told me he always knew I'd be a wonderful mother.  "Wow, a sperm donor, huh?"

We didn't talk much, then in early March, I was working a shift through the nursing pool.  I ran into an old co-worker's (now) ex wife.  She was surprised to know B was my ex.  She said, "You know, people always wondered about you two.  I could see you ending up together."  Ok, that kinda did it.  Anyways, I can't remember who reached out to who, but he told me he'd been following me online.  That he had been thinking about me.  So, we started talking big time again.  More marathon late night conversations again.  He wanted to come see me that first night.  I told him no.  The next Friday, we texted for hours, then Skyped for another five hours or so.  It wasn't all heavy conversation, but it did get serious.  He told me he moved on with J because he thought I had. I told him I moved on because I had no other choice.  He said that they were in love, but that she couldn't handle him treating her well.  She had dated a man for around seven years, who cheated on her and didn't treat her very well.  She was very suspicious.  They went to therapy.  She said she realized she didn't love him after all.  "I could have kids with him, but I don't think I love him."  (Mind you, these are B's words.  I've never spoken to J.)  When I told him I only moved on because I didn't have a choice.  He asked why I never told him this, and I said, "Because you just went away."  He began to break down and cry.  "Five years, we lost five years."  I told him that I thought things were my fault.  More crying.  "Honey, why did you carry that with you all this time?  I'm sorry; I'm so sorry."

All right, red flags already right?  Ah, hindsight; what a cruel mistress you are....

I've never had Skype sex before that night, but strangely, it's not so awkward as it may seem.  After that night, I was in love ALL over again.  I was in church the following day, and I'm not too proud to say that I looked at the aisle and had an image of us walking up it together in wedding garb.  He had one arm through mine, the other around a toddler on his hip; a boy with brown hair and dark eyes in a miniature tux.  We had just gotten married, and he accepted my child.

Around this time, I was finishing my program and getting ready for my boards.  B and I talked about my TTC plans, but he knew that I wasn't planning on it then and there.  I asked him if he wanted me to put them on hold for awhile to see what would happen with us.  I explained about pre-paid storage, as well as the other semantics of purchasing goods and using a cryo-bank, i.e., you can sell your vials back if you decide not to use them.  He initially said, "No, your plans seem set. I wouldn't want to be in the way of that."  We then agreed to try and see what happened with us, since I wasn't ready to TTC yet anyways.  I told him I'd give it a few months.  I asked him how he would feel raising a child that wasn't biologically his and from a donor, not a daddy.  He said he didn't know.  He had never thought about what that would be like.  Women he knew with kids had them the old fashioned way.  I didn't tell him I had begun to think of him as a father figure, but I had.  I saw how he lit up when talking about his nephews and niece.  I had seen how family oriented he had become.  He wasn't out partying with his work buddies every night.  He had hobbies, he appeared to have settled down.  During our first conversation, when I asked him if he lived alone, he said, "No just with my wife and family," in a joking way.  But then later said it would be nice.  I concluded that if he seemed ready to have kids, we could do it either way.  If he wanted the child to be his, I would have waited until at least next year to start trying.  We would have been together a year then.  That's enough time to know if we can make that work, given our history.  If not, I would TTC this year when I was ready.  He wouldn't be obligated to stay with me, and if it didn't work out, we would have no obligation to try to co-parent.  I really wanted to avoid raising a child under the circumstances I was raised.  My decision to have a child had been made, but I wasn't going to jump into having one with him traditionally right off the bat.    

Notice that the image I had in church was of us being married with an older child.  Either way, the child would have come first.  This is actually not uncommon in modern Scandinavian culture.  In America, there is still an over-bearing sense that marriage should come first.  Across the pond and up "Nort", it is quite commonplace for children to be in their parents' wedding, and I do mean their parents' first wedding.  In fact, the Crown Princess of Norway was a single mom when she met her Prince at an outdoor rock festival.  I was in Norway the summer they got married, and believe me, the people accepted it with open arms.  There really wasn't a scandal.  Well, perhaps the citizens were too stoic to acknowledge the scandalous thought; hahaha.         

My wonderful readers may remember my posts from around this time regarding relationships and how men would feel about a woman in this situation.  Remember how I said that I'd accept a man's child under any circumstances?  Yup, I meant B.    

Anyways, I got to know B again.  Yup, he still had my heart.  But, he seemed withdrawn sometimes.  He would say, "I've been told I'm hot and cold or have the intensity of lasers."  He would either be in the moment 100%, or not really all there.  It was hard to see each other, though we did talk every day.  And, at the time of my boards, no sex yet.  (Yes, the child conversation came WAAY before the sex; as it should be).  We wanted each other and weren't shy about speaking of it or...well, Skyping it out; heh.  It was the same way before.  He would talk it up, but then it wouldn't happen.  The first time we did it all those years ago, it was me who told him to come and put his money where his mouth was.  He was so nervous on the way to my house; like a teenaged virgin.  He got over it quite quickly as soon as we were inside-heh.  So, this time, after Thai food, I sat in his lap and told him the dance was over.  I didn't know it would feel that way and I have no idea why, but making love to him felt so natural to me, like we should have been doing so all along.  It wasn't the crazy animalistic sex we would have before, but it felt comfortable, right.  That night, we stayed up talking until around 4am.  He was actually the one asking me questions while I was falling asleep; funny.  He held me and rubbed my back.  It felt so good to wake up and feel him next to me.  He held me for another two hours. When we got up, he made me breakfast.  When he went to bike to work later (he drives, but prefers to bike; I called him my Ironman Bam for a reason), he kissed me good-bye.  After he got halfway down the block, he turned around, then talked to me for another 20 minutes.  Then he kissed me again, and left.

It would seem like a fairytale ending.  And really, I felt like a princess that day.  I couldn't wipe the stupid grin off my face for days. I felt so loved.  Um....reality check.  Watch the classic musical Into The Woods.  Act three is what happens AFTER happily ever after.....

A hint: when we were in bed that first night, his phone rang at 2am.  He looked at it, saying at 2am it must be an important person.  It apparently wasn't.  I giggled and said, "Or a drunk person."  He said, "No, I got rid of my crazy exes."  I said, "But you told me you hadn't been with anyone since J."  He stopped cold.  ", I have."


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And finally, just Bam; or, The First Go-Round.

This is also a modified re-post of a draft I wrote awhile back: specifically right before my first IUI this month, which sadly, was a NTT.  Oh my gosh, I have been behind on blogging!  

Note to self: you are an honest person with a good heart.  You wear that heart on your sleeve and take honestly very seriously.  But, perhaps it wasn't the best idea to tell a certain person about your blog.  Because it keeps you from utilizing your online network of supporters, which you have come to rely on ALOT in the past several months.

Now begins the "other" post I talked about.  I think I have been honest about how it was difficult to go through this without a SO.  Well, it is.  I've talked about how I've processed that at length in previous posts, as well as how I've come to the conclusion that it hadn't changed my mind.  But, it didn't make me any less lonely.  Ok, we all have they guy that we wonder "what if" about right?  So, the opportunity to get back in touch with mine came up several months back.  I took it.  Why not?  What have I got to lose?  Actually, I told him about my TTC plans in January sometime, so it's not like he didn't know.  But, I told him about my blog then, because at the time, I thought there was ZERO chance of anything happening between us.  But, I'm no longer concerned with posting here.  Because there isn't anything I would say here that I haven't already said to him or wouldn't say to him.

So, we started talking again on a daily basis.  Getting re-acquainted.  We had light hearted discussions as well as emotional ones.  I told him that I would give it a little time to see if anything develops.  I wasn't at a place where I could TTC at that time anyways.  So, waiting worked for me.  However, I left myself open for a LOT here.

Let me back up and explain.  B and I have actually been involved with each other off and on for about ten years.  We used to work for the same company but in different departments.  I met him under a desk.  Long story.  I was attracted to him immediately, but we were both with other people.  I was with the man who fathered my child.  B is actually the one who helped me finally break it off with him.  He would tell me how I deserved so much more than that.  Those all night conversations in the copy room at work, the hugs, the support.  It meant the world to me.  We were friends and co-workers for a couple of years.  Then, we both left our jobs in the spring of 2006.  He went to CO for the summer. We stayed in touch that summer, and admitted there were feelings there then.  Again, marathon all night conversations; surprising we ever got any work/school work done.  After the job he took in CO didn't work out, he came back to MN.  We started seeing each other.  I was over the moon.  But, it wasn't perfect.  He would be distant, he would give me the silent treatment for up to a week when I'd ask him where he was or why he lied to me about something.  Then, he'd come back, and make me feel like a queen.  He told me he loved me and how much I meant to him.  Sex became "making love," the first time I'd ever had a man refer to it that way with me.  He would say how he looked at my picture every night, and wanted to cry when he couldn't be with me.

At the end of 2007 I found out he cheated on me right after we had returned from a weekend out of town together.  His co-workers had hinted to me that there was another woman when we went out one night, but I ignored it.  When I called him on it, he got mad and accused me of being overly suspicious.  This sounds so child-like, but I knew it was true when I saw them both hop on Myspace at exactly the same time; around 5:30am.  The day before, she had wrote, "Thanks for finally taking a bite.  See you tomorrow night sweetheart."  Then, she posted pics of herself in the front seat of his car.  I asked B what that was about.  He didn't answer, he just got angry. "Thanks for fucking accusing me!"  Then, he changed his profile to say he was 28 (big lie), and looking for a relationship.  I did the thing you aren't supposed to do; I contacted her.  I asked her to leave him alone at least for awhile so B and I could figure things out.  She said what I later learned could be a normal response.  She said that it wasn't her fault if she was that fabulous and it was my fault if I couldn't keep my man happy.  She didn't admit to sleeping with him, but didn't deny it either.  I lashed out at her, which I probably shouldn't have done.  She probably was a victim in it too; she was 19 or 20 and a server at the restaurant B got an accounting job at; B was 33.  Um..yeah.  I knew what that was about.  But, it's easier to be angry at the other woman than the man.  I told B to come to my apartment to get his things.  He didn't even respond to my request.  I packed them up and brought them to his work.  I couldn't stand to look at them.  Every time I did, it was a like a knife was shredding my heart again.  Everything he had ever told me was a lie.  He lived in Carver at the time.  His work was in Bloomington.  I lived in St. Paul.  Yup, I'm not driving any further than I have to.  He was living with his family then, and the last thing I needed to do was see them and mix them up in this.  I dropped it off at the front, and B sent his boss out to get it.  He couldn't even face me.  (Later, I got a message from this woman, who referred to herself as Madam D. Nightmare.  She was also some kind of "alternative model" on the side.  She told me that I was acting like a stalker, and that I should stay out of gun range.  Perhaps I don't feel quite so bad for her after all).

Anyways, I never got much closure.  It took me a long time to be ok.  I actually took an extended vacation from work and changed my school schedule to two night classes one day a week.  I needed time to heal.  And I did.  Then, that March, he called.  And I let him in again.  He said he was sorry, and how much he missed me.  He never would admit to sleeping with D though (her real name starts with a D).  Then, that July, he didn't show up to a big VIP party my friend had.  I had been really excited for it. I had my makeup professionally done for the first time ever.  He texted me to tell me he was out "drinking with the boys."  He then tried to say there were clients involved.  I asked him what kind of clients a restaurant/store has to entertain like that.  Nothing.  I was hurt again.  Then at the end of July/early August, he reached out to me again, get the point.  Then, in the fall (October), he contacted me again via Facebook.  I looked at his page, and I saw that he was in a relationship with a woman; J.  I called him, and he picked up right away.  It went something like this:

RM: "Why did you contact me?  What do you want."
B:  "I don't know.  I wanted to talk to you."
RM: "Did it ever occur to you how it would hurt me to see you with another woman?"
B:  "I'm sorry; I didn't think it would hurt you that much."
RM: "What do you want from me?"
B: "I don't know.  What do you want from me?"
RM:  "Nothing now.  Just tell me the truth once and for all.  Did you sleep with D?  What does it matter now?"
B: "No."
RM: "Were you involved with her?"
B: "To some extent yes."
RM: "So you were dating her?"
B: "No."
RM: "Well, that's what being involved means."
B: "No, I mean I spent time with her, got to know her, went places with her...".
RM:  "Um, that IS involvement and dating B."
B: "I'm at work, I can't talk about this anymore.  What do you want?  Let me know."

I did ask him to meet me one last time for closure, then asked him not to contact me anymore.  We set it up, but he backed out.  He didn't contact me.  I moved on.  Dated.  Nothing worked out in the long run, but not because anyone did anything wrong.  They just weren't the right guys for me and I wasn't right for them.  They were also younger than me (early or mid-20s at the time) and not ready to make a long term commitment.  I don't fault them for this.  It is what it is.  I'm still Facebook friends with one of them.  He is finishing out a military contract and doing well.  He's a decent guy, and I'm proud of him.

So, you all know how I came to the decision to become a Choice Mom.  I actually began thinking of it when I was with B, although I didn't know that's what I was thinking of at the time, per se.  Kids were still a "someday" then.  I knew that I wanted to be a mother.  I wasn't sure how that would happen, but I did have a gay friend offer to be a known donor if I ever decided I wanted kids.  On my 23rd birthday, I was having dinner and drinks with my parents and close friends at Chino Latinos.  I turned to my father and said, "Hey, I might be having a baby with a gay guy."  He said, "Ok."  My step-mom said, "Really?!?!?  How exciting!"  Hmm...foreshadow foreshadow.

It's not that I didn't want to have kids with B.  I just never had a firm conviction that there was only one way to have kids.  Also, B, who is 9 years older than me, has a child who was born when he was 24 (I met him when he was 29).  He ended up not being involved with his son. When I met him, he was, but the mother moved to CO with the child.  I think that's one reason he went out there so fast when he got the chance.  He didn't talk about it much after that.  (In fact, he talked about it so little that I forgot during the years we were apart.  I actually didn't remember this time, until he said something about his drivers license being revoked.  In MN, that's often because of a lack of child support payments.  This state is pretty strict about such things).  So, that was in my head too.  He swore he wanted a family, and would be very critical of the way N treated me when I was pregnant.  But, also, I wasn't necessarily sizing him up as a potential father.  I knew I wanted kids, but had no active plans in place at the time.  Point being, my decision to become a Choice Mom wasn't made simply because it didn't work out with him or anyone else.

Ok, back on track again.  B dated J for..maybe two years.  They lived together for about a year of that.  They took a trip to Europe and seemed happy.  I'll admit to checking in on him every now and then; I'm nothing if not honest.  I did always wonder how he could give her so many things that he couldn't or wouldn't give me.  At the end of 2011, B added me as a Facebook friend.  I thought about it, but accepted his request.  I noticed he was single, but never contacted him.  My Choice Mom plans were under way; I was in the thinking/planning stages.   In January, I sent him a text.    

To be continued...                


Is there ever a right time?

(Old draft I am finally posting, lol).

Seriously, is there ever?  Let me explain.  It seems that there are all these things I "have" to do before IUI.  I had medical things to get in order.  Check.  I was "supposed" to lose weight.  40 pounds gone.  Check. Check.  I had to find a provider who didn't treat me like...well, I've spent enough time venting about that.  Triple check.

Now, I've been told to wait until I have a full time job in my field with better benefits.  By well meaning people, mind you.  But now I'm wondering if it's actually worth it.  I have a job that pays my bills.  I have insurance, although it could be a bit better because it seems NO ONE has a contract with them.  I have a place to live with an extra bedroom.  I have the option to move if I want to as well.  I have family and friends who will stand behind me no matter what.  And...I'm halfway through another Provera burst, which means AF will be showing herself shortly.  Anyone who has TTC in this manner knows that means choices have to be made.  

I became curious.  I hopped online to research drugs.  Freedom will ship me 1 Ovidrel syringe and 7 Femara tablets for the ULTRA LOW price of $106.50.  I can handle that I suppose.  I called Diamond and spoke to my IF nurse.  She assured me that taking plan B during the previous cycle (another post there) would not interfere with my TTC in the next cycle.  My insurance should cover my first ultrasound/follie check.  If I need a second one, I'll probably end up with a bill.  I can pick up my "juice" myself now, so no shipping costs there.  $150 for the "big show"  (they offer a decent discount if you pay cash that day).

I know the old saying goes that if you wait for the right time to have kids you will never have them.  I'm getting to the point where I feel like I've waited long enough.  What do you all think?  Should I wait and see for another cycle or just say heck with it and go for it?      

Saturday, May 25, 2013

BAM au trois, or, losing a gut to gain a gut....

And now, some more good news!  If you are a new reader, you can reference back to my post entitled, "Get Over It...Grr..." if you want the background on this announcement.  The short story is, I had a healthcare provider criticize me for my weight at the time because she was absolutely convinced I would develop GD or pre-eclampsia if I got pregnant weighing what I did.  She actually advised me to go on a crash diet.  After much feedback and support from all of you, I followed up with other medical professionals, including a medical endocrinologist.  Well, after a few short months, my total weight loss as of yesterday is 30, yes THIRTY pounds!

Ok, I'll say it:  "PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT BITCH!"  No expensive craziness needed.  Just treating my medical issues, and getting off my ass (well, I wasn't on it to begin with).  Now, I'm not one to really focus on numbers.  I'm wearing pants that are two sizes smaller than I was wearing this winter.  I like what I see in the mirror.  Of course, I see room for improvement, but I'm happy with how I look.  But, for the sake of modern medical "wisdom," I will say that my research indicates that another 11 pounds will put me in the comfort zone for a primigravida desiring an out of hospital birth.  Since I still have some time to play with, I will likely get there, although I am stubborn and persistent enough to make the delivery I want happen no matter what. 

So, what has this meant for me in terms of fertility?  I'm still not sure if I am ovulating.  I can definetly tell that the signs are there in more full force.  Last cycle, my sex drive increased BIG time right around what should have been THE TIME, if you catch my drift.  I also had tons of EWCM and felt a distinctive pain in my right side while driving.  I gave up on BBT a long time ago, but I did decide to check a few OPKs that I got on special (thank you Amazon).  No surge picked up.  There's also no point in paying for lab work if I'm not TTC.  Now, I'm not very excited about these signs, because I have had them before.  I also feel psuedo-O pains sometimes, because of the PCOS.  When you ovulate, a cyst pops.  Women with PCOS can feel cysts pop.  I am optimistic only because of the INCREASE in signs.

My overall conclusion?  I'm still not convinced weight and fertility go directly hand in hand.  After all, weight and PCOS do not directly go hand in hand either.  Like they told me in clinical research class: correlation does not automatically equal causation.  People of all shapes and sizes have trouble conceiving.  I've known women who weigh 120 pounds who needed to go the IVF route.  I've also known women who weigh around 250 pounds get pregnant on the first try multiple times.  Like H said once, it's a crapshoot. 

In summation?  I lost weight for me, not for any "expert."  They may want to take credit for "motivating" me, but nearly everyone who knows me can attest that someone telling me to do something isn't a motivator for me.  I am aware that some may say pre-pregnancy weight plays a major factor in what type of pregnancy and delivery the mother has, but also take into account that I had no other risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, etc.  You know what "well meaning" medical professional?  I will still probably need to order Femara from some well meaning Canadian pharmacist when the time comes.  If I am lucky enough to conceive when I'm ready, I will probably have the same kind of pregnancy I would have had at my previous weight.  For now, I'm simply going to enjoy my new body while I get to keep it.  And, that's end of it.  So there!