Friday, December 18, 2009

If You See Something, Say Something

I think there is a concerted effort throughout the MTA to make me throw-up on the train. First it was the excessive cologne of passengers. (There is no need to use half a bottle of hugo boss or j.lo glow before 9:00 a.m.) And every offender seemed to be drawn to me like a magnet. Powdery old ladies, teenage romeos, accountants with obvious olfactory fatigue all want to sit next to me. Lately, the trains have also been more crowded and the mingling of smells combined with my recent inability to score a seat have twice made me have to exit the train in fear that I would faint.

Now that I am further along, I can tolerate the odors and crowding a bit. So to ensure that I don't enjoy my commute too much, the City's health department has started running the most gag-inducing ads. It shows a soda being poured into a glass, but in the glass it turns into veiny blubber. It's the realistic kind you used to see in the old TLC surgery shows. (Do they still have those are is it all reality shows about freakish families?) It's the last thing I want to see at 7:50 in the morning after I puked up my breakfast.

So dear MTA and commuters, please cool it. You cannot tell when a woman is in the first trimester and or when your breakfast, your lingering cigarette smoke or your blubber will jump-start a vomit on the F train. Remember sick passengers delay everyone.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mama's Baby, Daddy's Maybe

Last week, there was an article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about fathers who find out that the children they are raising are not their own. It was heartbreaking to read their stories and about the upheaval it caused in their and their kids' lives. I sometimes joke with Matt about the baby not being his which leads to further joking that the baby might not be mine either. After reading that article, I am not sure if I want to kid about it anymore. Not that our situation would be one rife with betrayal and deceit like these father's, but what if there was a mix-up? How would I feel about it? Would I even want to know the truth? I try not to seriously consider the possibility, but it has happened and uncomfortably close to home. I reassure myself that my clinic is one of the best in the country and uses strictly enforced protocols to eliminate such errors, but just like those dads whose babies are born looking nothing like them, there is a creeping doubt.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When it Rains it Pours...In my Kitchen

A few weeks ago, we had a visit from our downstairs neighbor informing us that we were raining on her apartment - the bathroom to be specific. We had no obvious water leaks, and it was soon concluded that whenever we flushed the toilet, let's just say, they felt the effects. The super said he would need to pull up our toilet to fix a broken pipe, leaving us without a toilet until the job was complete. In the meantime, the neighbor kindly offered to have us call anytime we needed to flush, but there was no way I could consciously flush my toilet knowing it caused a pee storm below me. So I played the pregnant card and the super let us in on a secret bathroom on the 6th floor, a very dirty, very icky secret toilet that I was nevertheless thrilled to have at my pregnant bladders disposal. Within a day, the problem was resolved.

So after the bubble, bubble toilet trouble, we jump ahead two weeks. This past Wednesday, I noticed a wet spot on my ceiling in the kitchen. I visited the upstairs neighbor who was having their floors refinished and was told that some water spilled but everything was fixed. The spot didn't spread or get worse. We still informed the super who agreed to look into it. Yesterday, while putting away groceries, I noticed a new spot and this once was dripping and spreading rapidly. The super was over two hours away and no one was upstairs. We gathered buckets and watched helplessly as one drip turned in to 15 and the ceiling started to bubble and warp. It was now a steady drizzle. After what seemed like 7 hours, the super showed up and literally broke into the upstairs apt via our fire escape and was able to turn off the water which dried-up the gathering storm. The ceiling is peeling, but at least we were there to do damage control.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mom Jeans Redux

Hoping to expand my (literally) shrinking wardrobe, I cleaned out my closet looking for those clothes that were always a little too big for me to wear. Instead I found my long lost skinny pants. I haven't touched these pants since I started stimming, sure that the bloating wouldn't take kindly to their tight hug. For a laugh, I decided to try them on and see how big I am getting. Imagine my delight when the zipper came up with only a mild protest! I could have danced around the room. I love these pants. They are black and satiny, and I feel like Audrey Hepburn in them. So imagine my distressed when I pranced into the F train and tried to sit down in them!!! The high waist cut into my protruding belly and the area around my hips that is usually snug started to feel like a boa constrictor. Part of the reason I like these pants is their design. They zip up the back with a sewn-in zipper -so my trusty rubber band wasn't going to work with this one.

I discreetly tugged at the zipper and was able to take more than a shallow breath, settled in for my long commute. Once at work, I was able to keep the zipper up and sit at my desk. Despite my paranoia, the seam never split, but for good measure, I laid off on the karate kicks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mom Jeans

My belly has the beginnings of a swell, and I am starting to over-extert the rubber band that keeps my pants comfortably together. I have already had to break out my fat pants, so I finally decided it was time to start the search for maternity clothes. I quickly realized that unless I want to pay $200 for jeans, I might need to search a little harder or settle for those awful unisex looking things. And really how do you know what is the right size anyway? I have no idea if my ass will get huge or if the weight will (mercifully) be centralized in a cute little bump - with my luck it will be door number 1 with a large helping of lumpy bump. In any care the pregnancy hormones must be effecting my taste in clothes, because the other night I was in a cab that was stopped at a light and across the street was what must have been the Manhattan's flagship Dress Barn because it took up half of the block. Normally the phrase "flagship Dress Barn" would send me running to the nearest Anthropologie, but before I knew what I was doing, I was making a mental note of the location. In my defense, it was very late at night and the jacket in the window was pretty cute.

I hit my 12 week mark last Thursday and welcomed the 2nd trimester with epic nausea and nuchal translucency test. I had an idea of what to look for on the ultrasound, and the entire time the technician was bouncing the device off my very full bladder, I was convinced something was wrong. The amount of fluid looked huge on the screen and the tech kept saying, "come on baby" as though there were a problem. Finally she told me that the fluid levels were low enough to be virtually risk free of Down Syndrome. The test isn't as conclusive as an amnio or CVS, but it was almost as much of a relief as when they finally let me urinate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chaos Reigns

A few nights ago, I supervised a music class kids for kids at work. I selfishly went in hoping it would not be a success so that I wouldn't feel guilty for not doing more because too many late nights makes me a cranky girl. But then the cute little kids started trickling in and I was almost as excited as they were. Everyone was attentive and enthusiastic as the group started. They went around and sang their favorite songs and took turns holding the guitar. It was adorable. That was the first seven minutes. For the next 53 minutes, all hell broke loose. It was like a switch was flipped and everything went horribly wrong as one kid crawled under a table and wailed for 20 minutes because I asked her very sweetly not to sit on the table anymore, another small kid started spitting at and shoving the other older kids who in turn wanted to beat him up. One 9 year old insisted on talking like a baby and whining because he wanted a play with a laptop, another girl wanted to read and started throwing books when I told her Wednesday was reading group. 3 small boys kept climbing on the music teacher and each other, and one lone child sat attentive and smiling, just happy to be there. At about 30 minutes in, I expected the fox from AntiChrist to appear in the room and declare "chaos reigns".

I left with a splitting headache and soul-shaking fear of motherhood. I know I won't be dealing with 8 kids aged 4-9, and I suppose it is different with your own, but good lord if I didn't feel completely unhinged when it was over.

A day later the music teacher emailed me saying he can't wait to come back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Where the Wild Things Aren't

I feel as though I have been in a sort of slow motion since I started my stims 2 months ago. I have been hestitant to overextert myself, and the exhuastion of the first trimester has made it hard to be social let alone have a have a full-fledged social life. Halloween rolled around with little fanfare this year. In years past, I have gone to the parade or out with friends then out to the bars. This year, I didn't think I would gather the energy to hand out candy to my friend's kid. But as the day wore on, I started to rally. At 6:30, I put on some make-up, dug out an old wig and went out on the town. Well, we stolled the neighborhood looking at the creative decorations and then we went to dinner about two subway stops from our house. Anything further would have worn me out.

It was a warm night for the end of October and there were loads of families out on the street in costumes trick-or-treating at the local businesses. We sat outside for dinner and overcame the light drizzle with a heavy duty umbrella. It felt like old times except for the virgin fruit spritzer and the bloating after about 5 bites of my saurbraten. We were home long before 9, and curled up on the couch to watch a movie. Thankfully with the time change, we earned an extra hour because after all of the excitement and partying into the night, I mean, evening, I needed it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Like A Virgin

Being pregnant has quickly turned me into a tightly wound bundle of nerves. I have developed an intense phobia of walking down stairs (which makes my crazy commute up and down subway platforms a joy); I am convinced that I am not getting enough protein and folic acid and my baby will certainly have permanent neurological damage; and there is the unspeakable crippling fear that the absence of nausea is the worst case (I can't even write it.) Now I can add sexual intercourse to my list and apparently there is a name for it - genophobia. M and I were doing what people do when they love each other very much. After it was not so much said, but done, I stood up and felt a rush of liquid falling down my leg. It was the much dreaded red blood. It was like I had popped my cherry. I had acquaintances back in my college days who referred to themselves as born-again virgins (mostly I think they did it to try to score with the catholic student center groupies), so for a moment I felt like I was touched for the very first time. Well actually I was terrified beyond reason, but later when it was clear that my baby was not in that unspeakable state, I giggled at the thought of being a 34 year old pregnant virgin. Next up is Papa Don't Preach because I'm keeping my baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Peaceful Queasy Feeling

I haven't been sure what to make of this blog since getting the news. I identify it as an infertility blog, and now that I am in the family way, it feels kind of wrong to continue to write about my pregnancy here, but it also seems silly to start a new blog. In a compromise I have been neglecting it all together.

But now that I am 8 weeks and have heard a heartbeat, I am feeling less superstitious and ready to continue and while the road started at infertility, that it not where it will end. So here is what you may have missed in the last weeks:

Two live baby scans; both came with a side of strong heartbeat! Two episodes of spotting/ bleeding that left me a complete and utter wreck. A rhogam shot (because of the bleeding) that further bruised my tender side and took-up three quarters of my day. An it-couldn't-have-happened-sooner discontinuation of the evil progesterone shots. (I was completely out of virgin flesh, and the bruising was something fierce, and I am still feeling the flavor deep inside the meet.) Finally being unceremoniously shoved out of the Cornell nest into the Obstetrics wild. (I at least expected an IVF completion certificate.)

And then there is the nausea.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I am still stunned to near disbelief. I gave in and peed on that stick and got the first second line I have ever seen in my life. It was faint, but there it was. Two days after I had my beta. My Dr. called that afternoon with the most wonderful news! I am pregnant. I did a second blood test, still pregnant and then a third, status quo with an ever increasing beta! Last Friday, I had an ultrasound and not only was I still pregnant, but I saw the sac. It was a square-ish blob on the screen. I think it looks like Matt.

It is a little hard to accept that this actually worked. I was really preparing myself for IVF round 2 and the big bad news. I almost feel like I got off relatively easy. Isn't that twisted? I only had to inject myself 30 times and have surgery twice to get pregant.

I am still proceeding with cautious optimism. I started telling friends and dreaming of names. I suppose I have to call it Cornell.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To Pee or Not To Pee

I said I would be strong and wait until my beta to get confirmation, but the suspense is killing me. I have a box of home tests just begging to be urinated on. They call my name in the morning and dare me at night. I keep opening the closet and looking at them. The entire experience toys with your emotions and then they throw in the industrial strength dose of progesterone to top off the mindfuck. I honestly can't decide what would be better. Get the negative and to not have so much pressure at the blood draw? Do I really want to find out this didn't work from a phone call? During my work day?

I am going to go talk to some food about this!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Pregnant Pause: The Best of Skintentions

A while back, after a trying week, my very sweet and very selfless friend gave me a gift card for a facial. She insisted I treat myself to a relaxing afternoon. (Because nothing says serenity like having an ex Russian gymnast squeeze blackheads on your nose.) When I arrived at the spa, I was greeted by a cheerful lady who enthusiastically showed me to the locker room to change. (It still seems wrong on some level that you have to get naked for a facial. But call it whatever you want. I am more than happy to strip down if my "facial" will include a mini-massage.) I was then directed into the ladies' lounge and instructed to fill out a treatment questionnaire. It was all pretty standard: name, date of birth, allergies, health conditions. Then I got towards the bottom. "Are you pregnant? " Jeez! What's with the hard questions???

Am I pregnant?

A myriad of responses popped in my head: Maybe? How should I know? Probably not. I hope so. Outlook hazy; try again. And finally, fuck off. I didn't want to explain that I was trying to get pregnant and was waiting to find out. I really didn't want to explain anything. As though it was a trick question, I debated back and forth, trying to decide what was the right answer. Saying no seemed pessimistic, but saying yes seemed, well, like lying. But at 5 days past transfer there is no right answer. This was supposed to be a calming break for me and there I was stressing over the questionnaire. What would I do when they tried to upsell me with add-on treatments? Well I would say yes of course, and so I said yes. I am pregnant. A week from now, I may not be, but Svetlana, the facialist, will never know any better.

When she walked into the room, she congratulated me. I cringed a little, thanked her and told her it was still very, very early. With that out of the way, the cleansing, exfoliating and extracting commenced. It was heavenly to be pampered -aside from the embarrassing amount of squeezing that went on. All that questioning left me so vulnerable that I even agreed to a hydrating seaweed mask which I am sure did nothing more then left me smelling like a california roll.

In the end, she wished me good luck. I started to tell her that I needed all the luck I could get right now. It did seem a little psychotic to be telling half-truths (or half-falses?) about the happenings in my uterus, but I didn't want to care anymore. For the first time in my life I was pregnant. And, apparently, neurotic. But Svetlana doesn't need to know that either.

I walked out glowing. It could be the pregnancy, but I am guessing it was probably the seaweed.

Friday, September 11, 2009


It is no secret that progesterone induces the symptoms of pregnancy. Knocked-up or not, the hormone will have you checking out Park Slope preschools before the 2 week wait is over. Is there no justice for the infertile?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Hear There're Rumors on the Internets

When used correctly the internet can be a force of good. Because of the endless information available with a well placed boolean operator, I have supplemented what I learned from my doctors and prepared myself for each step down this barren path. But it is also a treasure trove of half-truths, dangerous advice and mindless information. Anyone with web access can say what they want (case in point: this blog), and it is our job to shift through the pyrite.

Because I have a one track mind, the vast majority of my searches have been related to infertility. (And you thought I spent all that time google-imaging Viggo Mortensen!) I admit that I first took some comfort in the boards and TTC websites, but soon I was choking on all that baby dust. I was never much of a joiner, and it felt a tad insincere to be cyber-sending emoticons to total strangers who are going through a traumatic time - "sorry your beta isn't doubling! ;P". Thus I have mostly stuck to informational sites and approached the message boards with a what-can-I-learn-about-my-clinic/current-condition attitude and less of a let's-share-everything-related-to-the-ups-and-downs-of-this-cycle. I like my message boards like I like my chocolate - dark, bitter and salty. And let's face it, I would make a terrible cycle buddy.

So yesterday as I was searching for tips on how to get my backside comfortably numb for these PIO injections, I came across this gem. The site was loaded with "advice" for your IVF cycle. Here are a few of the highlights:

    • Don't talk to your partner too much about his role. This may cause him extra anxiety during an already stressful time and the extra stress can aggravate the performance anxiety that men suffer on the day of retrieval.
    • Keep social contacts to a minimum.

In the site's defense there were some very reasonable and sane recommendations, but I was skeptical when I saw the knit booties on the masthead. Really, don't talk to your partner about his role? As though his role is solely that of sperm donor. If that is his only job then he hasn't earned the title Partner, Associate maybe. And what is this about minimizing social contacts? Am I really too much of a raging hormonal mess to enjoy a dinner out with my nearest and dearest? No better I keep myself locked in a dripping dungeon before I terrorize innocent bystanders.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

I spent the remainder of last night trying not to sneeze out the embryo. I have also become defensive at any perceived slights to the little package of cells: "it not an egg; it's an embryo!" I am relieved that the major cycle highlights are over, with, of course, the exception of the denouement: the beta test - let's hope this one isn't a show stopper. All I have to do now is drive a 25 gauge needle filled with viscous oil into an uncooperative muscle daily for the next couple of weeks and wait.

The infertility message boards are filled with warnings of how terrible these injections are, but they are also filled with a lot of acronyms that make me cringe more than a syringe to the ass, so I have learned to make my own judgements. I figured it would sting a bit and the muscle would be sore, but the sub-Q shots weren't too bad, and I didn't have the awful, prolonged side effects that many complained of. So I thought I was certain I could handle this. The first one went in with little sensation. It was difficult to coax the thick liquid out of the syringe, but it was by no means painful. We had talked about getting a heating pad, but it appeared to be fine so we resumed our movie. About a half hour later, not even the beautifully choreographed, stylized violence of Kung Fu Hustle could keep my mind off of the ring of fire around my injection site. A warm compress was applied to no avail. The next night was slightly less painful. I think because I was expecting it. To make it matters worse, I am only on my third day of the progesterone, and already I have discoloration and bruising the size of tropical fruit on my hindquarters. This significantly reduces the amount of usable flesh as I am not interested in said 25 gauge going into a knotted bruise. Did I also mention that the pricking had resulted in several broken veins? On my ass? There goes any hopes I had for a spot in the swimsuit issue.

It occurred to me that I spent the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend, recovering from my laparoscopy. Because, I love a pattern, I finished off summer recovering from retrieval and transfer over the Labor Day weekend. It's like surgical bookends. I had an enormous amount of faith that the lap would be my cure. But another season has been lost, and here I am trying not to admit that I have the same faith in this IVF cycle.

It's My Embryo Transfer and I'll Cry if I Want To

On Sunday afternoon, we gathered back in the M8 waiting room for part II of the deranged slumber party only this time we didn't get pants. As I was coming out of the Robert and Gloria Randell Patient Changing Room (no, I don't remember the exact name of it, but yes, even the changing room is named after a benefactor), I heard very faint, familiar music. Then the lyrics became clear: "You would cry too if it happened to you." Not the soundtrack I would choose for an IVF waiting room. It reminded me of time at my other clinic's office when I walked in to George Michael singing: "Now you tell me that you're having my baby." Can I recommend that we stick with classical music? Even musak might be a better option. I am fragile and narcissistic (well at least narcissistic) and adept at making every song seem as though it was written about/or to taunt me, so how about piping down with the pop torment?

The transfer was more or less a glorified or big-budget IUI. It was the movie version with fancy lighting, costumes, and a larger cast and crew. Unfortunately the star was my lady bits. I lacked the benefit of sedation and that studio lot lighting was not flattering. I tried looking around the room to get my mind off of the enormity of what was about to happen, but I kept getting a glimpse of all of me reflected off of the glass of the opposite facing cabinets. Finally my eyes settled on a screen at one end of the room. My name was up there along with my retrieval and fertilization stats. On the other half of the screen was a little round bundle of cells - my embryo. The science behind that moment was awe-inspiring.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Picked a Bad Day to Quit Sniffing Glue

With retrieval behind us, I was able to shift my obsessive laser focus attention on the embryo transfer. Over the last couple days, Matt and I have discussed (or really agonized) at length how many embryos we wanted to transfer. We vacillated back and forth, pro'ed and con'ed it to death. It's Sophie's Choice over here.

At my initial consultation, my dr. indicated that with my age and health, he would consider transferring two maybe even just one. That was part of what sealed the deal between us (and the fact the the bathroom felt like a spa). When we started down the rabbit hole of infertility treatment, we decided that we wanted to minimize our chances of multiples. It seemed like the sane thing to do.

Now don't get me wrong, I love twins. I mean really, really love them. Afterall, I am a twin, and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life. But I am also a very selfish and self-preserving twin and cannot foresee raising two babies in New York City without the support of extended family or a small army of hired help, neither of which is available to us. I know that if I had them, I would man-up and make it work, but if those odds could be lowered than I could breath easier. But then we started to consider the fragility of those little embryos all alone in a cold lab. And the statistics weren't very promising. I also wanted to maximize the odds of those 45+ needle sticks paying off with a real live baby. This being our first IVF, we have not reached total desparation. But it was still a tough decision. My gut wasn't giving me much guidance beyond urging me to make for the nearest bucket into which I could toss my cookies. A great deal of time, resources and subcutaneous tissue had been invested in these last 5 weeks, and were we really so naive to think we could just throw one up there and hope for the best?

Yep, we were. Naive optimism carried the day. After consulting with the attending who was doing the transfer, we, nervously and with a great deal of apprehension, went with door number 1. We still have two weeks before we will know if there is a goat or a baby behind that door.

Putting My Eggs in One Petrie Dish

So far it has all the makings of a successful cycle. The retrieval yielded an impressive 17 eggs - enough for several generously-portioned omelets- and enough to jump start fantasies of the bounty we would be able to freeze. On Friday the news wasn't as great. Only 5 had fertilized. Usually there is something like a 75% fertilization rate, so my visions of a chilly carton of grade A's started to evaporate. But 5 was still workable, and if male factor was indeed the main cause of our childless state, than we had cleared a major hurdle with fertilization.

The retrieval itself was somewhat of a non-event. For having had a massive needle shoved up my delicates, I didn't experience any pain and walked-out feeling, well, 17 eggs lighter. I guess I was expecting it to be more, I don't know, epic, maybe with plot twists and a stirring soundtrack. My kind sister-in-law took me home in what we tagged the Sambulance. It's really just a mini-van with her hanging out giving a siren wail, but it was a relief to not have to go home in a taxi.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mr. Demille, I am Ready for my Close-Up

Sitting in the IVF waiting room preparing to undergo my very first and hopefully only egg retrieval, I looked around the tasteful room to the other infertile couples and thought "why us?" At that point, it wasn't really the pitying "why me?" that I am usually all too quick to proclaim, but more of a scientific why. What went wrong? I wanted to go around the room and ask "so what are you in for?" Male factor? High FSH? Most of us appeared young and healthy, so why were we on the unfortunate side of the odds? For me, I like to think it is a karma kick back for all those times I wore empire-waisted dresses and tried to look pregnant so that I could get a seat on the N train.

When we arrived the receptionist gave the ladies the gear to change into then we were to return to the waiting room until it was our turn to have our ovaries aspirated by a large needle. With all the women in gowns and robes, the waiting room looked like a deranged slumberparty. I couldn't concentrate on the newspaper (Gail Collin's fluff piece on Sarah Palin/Levi Johnson included), and didn't know what to do with myself especially after my IV was placed. It is hard to act casual and nonchalant when you are in slumberwear and there is a needle hanging out of your arm. I started to think about being a parent. I know I will make a good mother. Just the other day I stopped some kid from licking the pole in the subway. A few days later, I made another kid spit out the crushed (yes, by someone's shoe) skittles he'd picked up from the sidewalk. And these kids were mere strangers; imagine the lengths I would go to protect my flesh and blood from the dangers of New York City health hazards!

After watching everyone else get sent back, the receptionist whined my name and joked that she had forgotten all about me. Comedians! I was up. After being told three times to empty my bladder, asked three times what allegergies I had, and told, yes, three times to remove my pants (once by the anesthesiologist who sized me up and then directed me to "lose my pants." Fresh!), I hopped up on to the slab and started to assumed the position. No candy-cane, candied-ass stirrups, this time. My calfs were hoisted into these cuffs that rendered me completely exposed, baby-birthing exposed, ass-hanging-off-the-table exposed, Jennifer-Aniston-on-a date exposed. Mercifully the anesthesia worked its magic before I could get too worried about my vagina's extreme close-up.

I have always had a bit of fear of being put under - even that phrase makes my-need-to-be-in-control self bristle. After my lap, some of those fears dimished. That anesthesiologist was great -funny, reassuring, competent, not at all a heroine junkie. This guy, however, had the markings of a high functioning alcoholic. Maybe it was the way be commanded me to "lose my pants" while he questioned me on my smoking/drinking habits by rattling off an exhaustive list of possible makes and models of intoxicating beverages I might consume on an average evening. I think I even heard him say jungle juice. I started to panic that he might give me what they gave Michael Jackson. But functioning he was, because I happily emerged from my twilight sedation and announced that I had gone to Fiji.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In Full Bloom

The blood test confirms that I am ripe for the plucking, but for some reason, the clinic waited until the very last minute to call me with this vital information. I understand that they do a thousand of these and they are very busy and such, but I feel like if I am going to have game changing instructions (needle kick in the ass included), I would like a bit of notice.

In preparation for the shot I had enlisted the support of my dear friend to administer the all important trigger shot which in case I haven't been clear is completed with a "dart-like motion" straight into the upper quadrant of the rear. Now needles and I have come to terms with each other. We aren't friends, but we have a mutual respect. I have learned how to handle them with minimal pain, but putting one in my backside isn’t high on my list of challenges to tackle right at this moment. So J, an ER doctor, graciously agreed to a literal bootie call when the deed needed to be done. We were going to make social gathering out of it – Dinner and an Injection Part II: Bad Moon on the Rise.

Back to Tuesday evening: I get a 6:30 pm call telling me that the shot has to be administered at exactly 12:15 am. And that I was to return to the clinic at 6:30 am for the usual poke and prod andthe pre-op instructions. (When exactly I am supposed to sleep?) Friend that she is, J was still willing to do it, but I couldn’t see trying to meet up at midnight for this. So instead of a board certified physician, I had someone who was certifiable give it to me. We turned in early and set the alarm so my husband could bust a cap in my ass. Matthew was worried that he would be too groggy to do it right. I helpfully offered to prick him with one of my syringes to wake him up. To be honest, it wasn’t that bad. I hardly felt it and was able to drift back to sleep in under an hour which didn’t appear likely.

At 5:50 my chauffeured car arrived to whisk me to Manhattan. It was an unfair hour, but predawn colors were appearing over the East River, and they city that I love was still and quiet and showing her best side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Counting my Chickens Before They are Assistedly Hatched

Today I went in for my daily bloodletting/date with a transvaginal ultrasound device. I had a different dr. One of my main concerns about switching clinics was the lack of personal attention I would be receiving. I wasn't keen on getting intimate with a rotating cadre of white coats. While this whole process has stripped me of any of my remaining modesty, I do like to do whatever George Michael tells me. But in actuality, I have been far less promiscuous than I expected. My dr has done the majority of my exams and another dr has done the honors in his absence.

So I was a little disappointed to see yet another stranger, but when he lowered that exam table all the way down so that I didn't have to leap off of it (I am quite short and that table is always unreasonably high for someone trying to nurture a womb full of rapidly expanding follicles), I officially felt like a clinic slut - I love them all, and they can all have a go at me.

In addition to losing my modesty, I have also lost a great deal of hope. I am trying to take a realistic and practical approach, but it is hard not to get excited about the growing menagerie of follicles during the exam. I also don't want to get caught up in the follicle count, but each one has the potential to become that beautiful little person who will one day look up to me and say "I didn't ask to be born!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This May Take A While

Today I was treated to a very thorough and thoroughly invasive ultrasound to make up for the one I didn't have yesterday. And of course, I didn't shave my legs for this. He was up there for a painfully long time carefully measuring each follicle and checking out what appears to be a "nothing to worry about" endometrial cyst.

Consumer friendly as Cornell is, they have an extra monitor set up near the exam table so that the patient can also see what the dr is seeing on the ultrasound. It's one of many classy and empowering things I appreciate about CRMI. So during the never-ending ultrasound, I got the show while the dr got the show (we even paused once for a commercial break, the exam was that long.). What did I see, but ovaries full of follicles - each looking like a black hole and collectively looking like a post-bloom lotus flower. In other words, lovely.

The status is that everything is progressing nicely, and I am right on track. The bloating, cramps and general discomfort are all good signs that I am responding, so my dosage will probably be decreased again. Retrieval is likely be in a few more days which means the first in a series of intramuscular torture is near. But I am a total bad ass, and I have a syringe-filled sharps container to prove it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


My insides are starting to feel like a tree heavy with fruit. I think it might be all in my mind because that is how I am starting to imagine my ovaries. My IUI injection cycle didn't feel like this. Although I wasn't trying to produce such a high yield harvest. I am just hoping for one good apple.

The good news is the dr. decreased my dosage of follistim. It makes me feel like it might actually be working. I was on such a low dose last time that the constant dosage increases made me skeptical of it's effectiveness.

I Shaved My Legs for This?

After 2 stalled trains, 4 train transfers (mta weekends!) and a 15 minute walk in the rain, I arrived at Cornell just in time for the 8:30 a.m. cutoff. I don't suppose they would lock me out if I arrived late, but I like to be prompt. So I get there and am immediately called back (their efficiency continues to astound me) and told that I am only having bloodwork today. So you mean to tell me, I got up before dawn to shave my legs and nobody's head is going to be in between them? Someone better go down there, if I wasted my time.

I was happy to be in and out of there, but it was a lot of effort for a little vial of blood. Well, I also did get to add to my growing collection of bruises. I know I have made a big deal about the junkie look I am starting to rock on my arms, but it really isn't attractive at all. Today on the train ride back, the man next to me clearly noticed my bruising. He started talking loudly about his medical residency and demonstrating to his friend where were the best places to draw blood on her arms and hand. Mta weekends....

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Round of Shots for Everyone

Mattie and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with a round of shots. Unfortunately it wasn't of the Patron Silver variety. I have noticed that if my stomach is empty, and I get a nice firm pinch, I barely feel the needle going in at all. I have been joking with Matt that the little roll he is getting would make a nice spot for a BD micro-fine needle. I dared him to try it, and a few days later, he did. I almost cried. Ok I did cry. While it doesn't compare to shaving your head when I love one has cancer, it was a terribly sweet and brave gesture. Needlessly sticking a needle in his belly for me - I can always count on him for immoral support.

Instead of the 5th anniversary being wood, this year it is syringe injections.

Speaking of pricks, on my first day of my official IVF start, the receptionist called me up and gave me my bill. I paid $30 each time I visited SLR. I have been paying $300 at Cornell so the trend is adding a zero. I knew it was going to comparable to the down payment on a starter home in the south, but I thought I would get a bill, and have time to absorb it and ensure the appropriate funds were allocated to the right accounts. No, the bitch (she was actually quite nice and lovely, but in the film version she will be a bitch) hands me a bill and asks me how I would like to pay it. "Do you accept pennies?" I replied. I pulled out my Discover card and tried to focus on the cash back I would be getting from this. How many lobster grams can I get with that?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Cajun Injector

Years ago when I cooked my first real Thanksgiving dinner in yankee territory, I put a little of my cajun heritage on the table. In addition to the Tony Chachere's in the brussel sprouts, I basted my turkey with the cajun injector - a marinade that is injected with a giant syringe. The products tag line was "put the flavor deep inside the meat." I never knew turkey could taste so good.

Well, last week I begin putting the flavor deep inside the meat. I have started referring to myself as the cajun injector. I do feel like I am basting in a marinade of hormones and spices. The lupron isn't awful, but my office mate will testify that I am more moody and get the 2 o'clock sweats. I think it is making me pudgy.

I have also been put on antibiotics, because test results showed I have a UTI. It feels more like a WTF. I don't appear to have any symptoms, and I really don't want to put more drugs in my Mint Milano hole. So in addition to moody, hot flashes and flabby, add nausea. All the symptoms of pregnancy without the pesky kid.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One is the Loneliest Number

But two can be as bad as one. It's the loneliest number since the number one.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I.V.(F.) League Education

The first order of business at Cornell was an IVF teach class. It turns out you have to sit through a 2 hour seminar in order to undergo IVF at Cornell. Matt was the only man in there at the beginning, but eventually another husband showed up late and then blackberried/slept the rest of the time. I love my husband.

I did appreciate that Cornell takes the time to ensure that you fully understand the process. It was very empowering. The class was thorough (there is that theme again). At the end of the class, they gave us a cup that included all of the medications we would be using during our cycle and the nurse went over how to adminster each. We even took turns practicing the intramuscular progesterone injection (aka, butt shot) on a dummy. The first person got it in and then when she went to remove the syringe from the dummy's ass, the bottom part of the syringe came out and the needle stayed in the dummy. It was a little needed comic relief for us desparate participants.

I am still fighting with hope. Not everyone gets pregnant on their first try with IVF. I have read that you should go into your first cycle with the idea that it will be a learning experience that will help determine the most effective protocol. As my coworker aptly put it when I was telling her this: "education is expensive." Fingers crossed that I won't have to learn too much.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ivory Tower of Fertility

We had our consult at Cornell last week. It is the ferrari to my clinic's toyota. Their was no comparison. For one, we saw the dr. at the scheduled time! (It is my belief that dr.'s offices are run by air traffic controllers and airline personnel.) I was shocked and nearly sold just on that. The waiting room also had the air of a well-appointed hotel lobby with a delightfully inviting bathroom. We found the dr to be both competent and personable. He was also very thorough. Thorough is reoccurring theme with Cornell - during the exam, he even listened to my breathing and gave me a breast exam. That marks the first time my breasts have been felt during this entire process. I wasn't quite prepared for that- buy a girl dinner first. The minute he walked into the room, I started sliding down the table and assuming the position. This has become a sort of Pavlovian response for me. Whenever someone in a white coat walks in, my legs go up. I am little nervous for my upcoming dentist appt!

Back to the consult: the dr. seemed confident that a low dose protocol would be right for me. I am reluctantly willing to do what ever it takes, but would only like to do the minimum of that. With that in mind, he also said he would be willing to put only two embryos in and possibly even one which I wholeheartedly and maybe somewhat naively support.

So far, so good. After the consult, we met with the IVF coordinator who gave us an overview of Cornell's process. She also scheduled us for a IVF class. (they offer a class - talk about thorough.)We then met with the billing dept who went over the costs and gave us info on how to work with our insurance. It was like a well-oiled, baby-making assembly line. Impressive.

So the moment of truth was upon us. I had an appt on Monday morning to start the IVF process at my current clinic, and until Friday afternoon, I had every intention of keeping it. But there I was, making an appt to have b/w and to take Cornell's ivf class on Tuesday. Did it make sense to pass up the opportunity to go to one of the best clinics in the country? Did I need a ferrari when a toyota could get me where I needed to go and would be less of a financial burden? We are fortunate enough to have the resources to cycle at Cornell so I didn't want to get too caught up with the cost comparisons. I labored over the decision the entire weekend. I knew we would end-up with Cornell but I still left a sense of loyalty to my dr. and was starting to feel like an infertile sell-out. I was trading my mom and pop for the brand name. Sure it was a big decision, but my talent for over thinking was at its zenith.

Monday morning I slept in. Tuesday morning I sold out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cirque de so Weird

For the last 6 months or so, my co-worker and I have been trying to find a good time to take trapeze lessons. Because of my surgery and the monthly 2 week wait, we haven't been able to fit it in. With pending IVF, I had a now or never feeling. So after a little back and forth with a circus douche manager(long story), we finally made it happen. I have taken a class a long time ago and had a vague fuzzy memory of the rush from flying through the air. What I clearly remember is the terror of standing at the edge of the platform and hopping off while white-knuckling the trapeze bar. It's the fuzzy rush that brought me back and the clear terror that almost made me turn around.

Rush prevailed! Not only did I stick the catch/transfer, I also learned a split trick. It was two hours of endorphin rush that resulted in a 10 hour post-rush high! I actually woke-up smiling the next day. Did I mention that I was caught by a circus hunk? Now you my say, I didn't know there was any such thing as a circus hunk. Neither did I, until his shirt went while flying revealing a Beckham slab of abs.

It's a little pathetic that it took a mildly dangerous thrill to distract myself from the on-going infertility process, but it did. The only time it crossed my mind was when one of the instructors was putting on my safety belt and said that it needed to be so tight that my ovaries would be in my throat, to which I nearly replied, "they are in my throat? I might be ovulating! Hurry get my husband so he can get a blow job out of this!" Pathetic, but on the train ride home, I realized I had spent the entire class focused and in the moment. Probably the first time in months.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Now is it time to panic?

After waiting nearly two hours, we finally had our consultation with K. Matt and I had spent a great deal of time discussing our thoughts on IVF and concerns and questions we had for the dr. Matt wanted to make sure he sold us on the practice because he is leaning towards Cornell (I was too until we got there and then started to feel unreasonably loyal - I mean he has seen my vagina more than any other man besides my husband not to mention, he was great during the entire surgery process). Anyway, we discussed the process and Matt asks him why we should do IVF there. I knew it was going to be awkward but I had no idea that it would be so awkward. K hesitantly launched into their statistics and reputation for taking hard cases. Then he said we should stay because he liked us. He likes us. While that may have made me feel warm and fuzzy, I am not interested in hanging out with him. I want a baby, and you liking me is not going to get me one. This is a man who has Yale, Harvard and NYU degrees on his wall, and all he could come up with is he like us? In his defense, he said he is not a salesman and not good at giving the sales pitch, and Matt didn't exactly do a great job with framing the question.

So we are moving on to IVF. I feel like we are toying too much with nature. I know I can do the injections (and there are much more this time) and I can do a few weeks of early morning monitoring and put up with the headaches and bloating. I just don't know if I can take another negative.

I am reminded of that time my sister and I missed our train to Munich which caused us to be hours late in meeting our mom at the airport. The entire trip we knew we were going to be late, but we kept telling ourselves, "don't panic; don't cry; we will work it out." When we finally got to Munich, mom had already left the airport. Tobie and I looked at each other and said. "Ok, now it's time to panic."

My panic has been escalating these last 6 months as my hope has been diminishing. I was hoping I would be pg, so I wouldn't have to keep my RE appt, then hoping I would be pg, so I wouldn't have to do IUI, then hoping I wouldn't have to do the surgery and then hoping to avoid IVF. But I have had to do each one. I don't want to know what it is like to go through a miscarriage, but I am afraid that is going to be part of this process too.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I got the Sunday I needed this weekend. We spent the day on Governor's Island and as if the perfect weather, warm breezes and lovely views, a boat trip and picnics weren't enough....we were introduced to Tragedy while waiting to board the boat back to Manha'an. Tragedy is the number one heavy metal Bee Gees tribute band in the tri-state area. Imagine "How Deep is Your Love" being sung by the lovechild of Axl Rose and some guy who is a little too glam at karaoke night, but even better.

It has been nice having a break from cycling and early morning blood work, but this is consulting week, and we have appt with Dr. K tomorrow and another with Cornell later in the week. I am feeling distraught over switching, but Cornell has such an outstanding reputation. I go on these message boards and almost feel this weird peer pressure to go to Cornell. All of the cool infertile kids are doing it. I am nervous that I won't be able to start with my next menstrual cycle if I switch, and I really don't want to lose another month.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Candy-cane Stirrups

I finally worked up the courage to get my medical file. I have made an appointment to consult with a dr from Cornell, and I can't shake the feeling that I am two-timing my dr. I have this strange sense of loyalty to him. I think part of it is that seeing another dr makes me feel like I might have been wasting my time with K. Cornell is regarded as one of the top clinics in the country so I do feel a little daft for not going there first. My ob/gyn recommended K, and it was geographically far more desirable then Cornell and they take my insurance. But if we are going to be doing IVF, I don't want to play around.

So back to the medical records. I made the call trying not to feel too traitor joe and the receptionists were sooo nice to me. They are not the friendliest bunch, not rude, but the type that got by in charm school with a solid C+. Since it was large, I opted to go pick it up rather than having it mailed. I stopped in and again with kindness all around.

On the train I start reading through it, and it was pretty fascinating. The report on my surgery was the best. It is written in narrative form and mentions that I was "placed in the dorsal lithotomy position using candy-cane stirrups." Candy-cane stirrups? What happened next? In the gingerbread OR, they ran a licorice IV and a sterile gumdrop speculum was inserted into my vagina? Was there a lollipop scope? That laparoscopy sounds delicious.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Woman on the Verge....

...Of tears. It's day one again. When I woke-up this morning, I had a terrible headache and felt queasy. We had friends over last night for cake and such. All I had was a sip of beer, so I was hoping that I had a lemonade hangover. I didn't really want to go to the bathroom, so that I could hold on to the possibility for a little while longer.

I allowed myself to cry a little when the I saw the blood, and told myself that it is good that this was such a short cycle, so that I can start trying again. No more tears, now. I dried my eyes and walked out and started to cry again, and again, and again. I bawled while cleaning a fan. Sitting down to enjoy a refreshing mint lemon slushy in a restaurant, I started up again. To be fair, it was Coldplay's fault with their heart wrenching lyrics: "no one ever said it would be this hard. I am going back to the start." Really I am crying in public over a silly Coldplay song.

Another month is lost. I will not have a baby before I turn 35. Here are the tears again. Other thoughts.....I made pesto today, and it was delicious.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

It Failed. Damn it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bird in my Soul

Emily Dickinson was right about hope: it never stops at all, but I would add to her poem (which I diligently memorized in grade school) that it is also a Mother Fucker. I came at this cycle with a steely determination not to fall victim to hope's seductive charms. But that bitch got me again. At the first slightest twinge of nausea, I was hers. I once again started reading into anything that could be taken a sign of pregnancy. Constipation? No, I don't need more fiber, I am pregnant. Tired? Not lazy, it's my first trimester. I am sure that I will even try to convince myself that my period is really just implantation bleeding. I even have a new way to announce to my closest friends that I am pregnant. It's cheeky and makes fun of all of the drama, and I might never get to use it.

I supposed if I didn't have hope, then I would give up, and I am not ready to give up yet. So little bird with your prickly feathers and scratchy claws, you have a stay of execution.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stick It

This process has started with me getting stuck in the arm, then in the vagina and most recently in my stomach (belly button included). Now my insurance company is trying to stick it to me. I came home to $9,000 bill for my surgery and have been a little sick in the stomach ever since. So before I launch off on my insurance-companies-are-evil soapbox, let me say that we have very good insurance. Not only do we have good insurance, we also have this magical supplemental insurance which pays for things like gym memberships, out of network psychotherapy, and other things the main insurance won't cover. We are very fortunate. Some people go broke from fertility treatments, but while the $30 co-pays add up, it is a much better option than paying out of pocket. They even cover part of IVF!

That said insurance companies are evil. I learned this the hard way but thankfully with very minor claims such as contact lenses. But my clinic is not Lenscrafters and there isn't a get pregnant while you wait option. I almost didn't have the surgery because the insurance repercussions scared the whatever out of me. So I did my due diligence and Jenny kindly assured me that I didn't need precertification as it was considered outpatient surgery and that there wasn't a co-pay for the surgery, but probably for the lab work. What happy fortune.

When I went in for my pre-op check-up (two days before my surgery) the intake lady told me that she needs my hospital info, not my regular insurance because they aren't the hospital insurer. I wasn't as diligent as I had thought. I have never used the hospital insurance before and really had forgotten that I even had that insurance. So it is too late now. I convinced myself that regular insurer was the provider for this because it was outpatient surgery. Now a month later, I have serious buyers remorse. This surgery did nothing to advance my chances of conceiving and now it is going to cost me $9000? That's my IVF and/or adoption money.

Matt is handling this one. He is convinced that our insurance will pony-up something and whatever it doesn't, our magical insurance will. (You think I am lying about it being magical, but the insurance card has a picture of Santa Claus riding a unicorn on it.) I suspect he is right, but I am planning on remaining mildly nauseous until this is resolved.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I had IUI #5 and 6 this weekend. One probably never gets used to a somewhat strange man putting sperm in one's personal space, but it has gotten better. There is little hope this cycle. Even K seems to have lost faith. On Saturday, he asked me to schedule a consult with him to discuss a plan B or actually plan E since we have ran through B-D over the last 4 months of this. But really let's call it Plan IVF.

I am scheduled to meet with him at the end of July as he will be on vacation for most of the month, so it looks like we will be taking that month off. I could use the break, but I feel a little panicky. What do you mean I won't be able to see my dr for the entire month of July? I am turning into a fertility treatment addict. So to get my fix, I am scheduling a consult with another dr. If I am doing IVF, I want to be sure I am doing it right.

As if two more IUIs with poor potential wasn't stressful enough, my mother (who of late has been trying to get me to pray to Our Lady of Diminished Ovarian Reserves) asked me on Sunday if I had a psychological block that was preventing me from becoming pregnant. I have heard a lot of zany things from well-meaning, yet clueless people, but that one is really special. As if I really had the mind control to put my reproductive system in stasis. Then she started trying to one-up me in the infertility department, but as my sister knows, I always win. Apparently she tried for 5 years to get pregnant with me and my sister even though we are only 3 yrs and 9 mos younger than my brother. She was also 27, already had one kid, and had a husband that was only home about 15 days a month. So she couldn't have been trying that hard. And why is this a contest anyway? I haven't been very open with her about this because she either tries to find blame for it or solve it. Neither is helpful. I just want to sympathetic ear. Instead I get that I don't trust God's plan; I waited too long; and best I have shut down my ovarian production through sheer force of will.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sex, Drugs and IUI

The Dr. increased my dosage twice this week. I am starting to feel like a junkie. I have a brief estrogen high and then the most annoying headache. It's not a full-blown one where you run for the Advil, but just a gnawing little ache every afternoon. I also have bruising from all of the bloodwork. Apparently the veins in my left arm are better then my right. Visible needle tracks! The ones on my abs are my fun little secret. I go back tomorrow for more poking and prodding (Since Monday, I have been poked by a needle or a dildo device-for the ultrasound- 8 times.)

I have mentioned that I obsessively google my dr? I read everything I can find on the boards and fertility websites. It is a little out of control and it makes me crazy. He doesn't have a lot of fans. While I find that troubling I think it keeps the wait times during cycling shorter, so I kind of hope he continues to displease people.

I think I am going to start referring to my dr as "K" so that he can say, "Am I K in your blog?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Be still my fluttering ovaries

My dr decided to break out this big guns this month. Despite my concern about multiples, we have moved on to IUI with low dose injections. I started my injections on Wednesday. The first time was nerve-wracking. I didn't think I would actually be able to stick that needle in my stomach, but after nearly injecting my dining room table with 37.5 IU's of gonal-f, I did it. Then the next night, I decided that just injecting myself in my living room wasn't exciting enough. This time I did it in a nasty airport bathroom while waiting for my very delayed flight. Then I got really crazy and did it in Kansas City! Now I know that I can officially be a heroine junkie, and I have the needle tracks on my belly to prove it.

I would like to say that it's not so bad, but yeah, it is so bad. I hate it. The area around my ovaries start to feel all fluttery and spastic, and I have this on-going, low grade headache. Not to mention the needle tracks.

On an alarming note, I was able to breeze through airport security with oceans and oceans of lotions and potions and a carry-on filled with syringes. Did I mention this was New York City?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rays of Sunshine

Mexico was exactly what I needed it to be - nothing more, nothing less. The sun was warm and just feels so amazing on my skin! Matt and I had a great week and spent the majority of our time lounging on a beach creating our own telenovela. We think Coral del Fuego has solid potential.

I was finally able to get my mind off of the conception conflict for most of the trip. On our way to Cozumel, we learned that in ancient Mayan times, young women would make pilgrimages to Cozumel as an offering to the fertility goddess Ixchel. There is even an area where they believe the women went to worship. Unfortunately we were too busy being sold a midget at a timeshare presentation, to make it there before the museum on the site closed. But I like to think I made my pilgrimage. In keeping with my naming rights offer, if I am pregnant next month, Maya it is.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sew Me Up

How do they do this? I was narcotically rendered unconscious, intubated, catherered ( is that word?), cut open in two places, sewn-up and have felt very little pain since. The miracle of science I suppose. I really thought recovery would be a lot worse. My low expectations serve me well yet again! While it hasn't been a picnic - for one there were no potato salads, I have only had mild discomfort and have not used any of the prescribed painkillers. Sleep hasn't been as merciful, but as long as I am not suffering, and don't have to go to work, I can take a little mild insomnia.

Immediately out of surgery, the first thing I asked was if they had found endometriosis. I was getting more and more concerned that I would go through this surgery and they wouldn't find anything. I was pinning all my hopes on this. Surgery= pregnant the next month. I needed this to resolve my infertility. So upon waking, and shaking off some of the surprise that it was over when I was sure it hadn't even started yet, I asked, "did he find it?" The nurse didn't know -she wasn't in the OR. So then I asked for my husband and some water (not necessarily in that order). Matt came (after the water) and told me that he had spoken with my Dr and that there wasn't very much endo. I wasn't as devastated as I thought I would be. I am still not. I didn't get a chance to speak with my Dr afterwards which is the only thing that bothered me about the entire experience. We have a follow-up on Friday. Options will be discussed, decisions will be made, and mysteries will remain and for better or for worse, so will hope.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cut Me Open

Regret turned into action and I moved my surgery up. May 21 is the new day. While I was happy to be able to get a date in May, it concerns me that my Dr. actually had an opening -shouldn't he be booked-up for months?

In keeping with my never satisfied theme, I am also concerned that this surgery is going to mess with my vacation. I wanted to spend the week in a bikini on the beach. Not sure if that can happen with a belly scar and nonstop bleeding. I have heard varying accounts of what follows afterwards and the level of activity that can be tolerated. I am going to be optimistic and bring all of my bikinis and nothing else.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

There Will be Blood

After years of trying to cultivate an earth-mother appreciation for my monthly cycle, (it mirrors the phases of the moon; it is food that will one day nourish my baby), I am back to despising it like a pre-op tranny. (So I am not even sure what that means and if pre-op trannies have a period or if they despise them, but it feels like the right metaphor at the moment.) I didn't have as much hope this month so it has been easier. Last month I was so certain that at one point, as I was walking to work, I caught myself fantasizing about announcing my pregnancy to people. Lost in the thought, I had this silly grin on my face. When I realized what I was doing, I wanted to slap the smile off for allowing myself get so hopeful. I should know better.

I have to decide today whether or not I want to do another cycle of IUI. After two failed attempts, I am feeling very ambivalent. There is a part of me that hates to waste a month not trying, but I have a strong sense that I will just be wasting my time (and money and sanity) with another IUI. I want to try something different and am regretting postponing my surgery.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day #14, Negative #114

Today is 14 dpo. Even though I swore I wouldn't take another pregnancy test until I was at least 18 days, I went ahead and did it. I should have taken my own advice and peed on $7 - it would have been just as effective. It was the latest in a long series of negative tests stretching over several years. I should be keeping them all and then I could use them in some performance art piece, that way they wouldn't have all been a completely disappointing waste.

Further south in Mexico, things seem to be stabilizing. The NY Times reported that there is some evidence that the flu is not as bad as first expected and that suspected cases are leveling off. I also read about couples who had destination weddings planned for Mexico, so I suppose I could have bigger problems. Will we go? We are leaning towards it. I am concerned that if I get sick, I will not be able to have my surgery in June. I am still not sure if I am going to tell my Dr. that we are planning to go to Mexico. I have a feeling he will recommend we push back the surgery. I don't want to wait any longer.

I will be 34 in less than two weeks. The math is starting to get suffocating.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Unraveling Vacations

It is looking less and less likely that I am going to get my vacation. American Airlines has extended the dates on which they will refund or rebook a ticket and the guy we rented our condo from has offered to rebook us as well. I guess that is good, but the timing is not great. Late spring/ early summer vacation worked best job-wise for Matt and made sense all around with our TTC issues. I am not sure what we are going to do now. It's so ironic that we ditched Nicaragua for a "safer" choice and walked right into a WHO level 5 pandemic.

I feel whiny complaining that I can't go to Mexico when there are far greater misfortunes in the world, but the narcissist in me is really peeved.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bleeding Pigs

First it was dirty mosquitoes and now it is filthy swine. We gave up on our Nicaragua vacation because of the whole malaria issue and decided on Mexico figuring we would try our luck with the drug lords. All my research indicated that Playa del Carmen meets our standards - cheap, beachy, serviced by American Airlines and wouldn't interrupt our desperate attempts to conceive. Besides the drug lords seemed to be far, far away from the Yucatan area. We bought our flight tickets and made a deposit on a condominium.

Then the squealing started. Today the CDC issued an advisory against any nonessential travel to Mexico because of an outbreak of swine flu. Swine flu. Well this vacation has become essential travel for me, so can I still go? We flew to London right after the plot was unraveled to blow-up London-bound planes using liquid, so hopefully this will prove to be less of a threat than it seems. I really don't want to spend the first week of June on a Coney Island bound F train.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dad Pitt

After a heart wrenching discussion last night, Matt and I decided that if this cycle doesn't take, we are going to go the route of Angelina: we will adopt a few children, and then Brad Pitt will father the rest.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

J*** on my Pants

I came on my dr's pants today. Well my husband did, but he wasn't actually there when it happened, so it was a group effort. I was being IUI'ed, and when he pulled out the catheter, the nurse, trying to be discreet, whispered something to him. He didn't hear and asked her to repeat it, and she quietly said, "it got on your pants." I heard and they knew I heard, so the dr laughed and I started to laugh (resisting the urge to apologize, b/c this was clearly not my fault). He made some comment about this is why he doesn't buy new clothes.

Ok so funny story right? I get back to work and at lunch tell this to my coworkers. I thankfully have a very special group of wonderfully supportive colleagues who I can share these types of things with. We are cracking-up over this and my sweet (and innocent) little officemate says: "eewww, you gave him a dirty mexican!!!." My boss and I start howling. My other coworker has no idea what she is talking about or why my boss and I are laughing so hysterically. So we have to explain that 1) it is not called a dirty mexican and 2) that what I did to my dr is not even close to a "dirty mexican." Pearl necklace maybe....In her innocence, she was shocked and appalled.

I love my job.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Nicaragua

Matt and I decided we needed a vacation for many reasons. We settled on Nicaragua because it was quiet, lush and somewhat recession chic.

I went to my dr.'s yesterday, and the list of things I can't do has now grown to include traveling to developing countries. I can't drink, can't eat certain foods, can't travel, can't do crack and ultimately can't get pregnant. This wouldn't be so frustrating if I had some hope of actually getting a baby out of all of this. But instead, I am making these (albeit minor) sacrifices and what do I get? I get to start the whole excruciating cycle of dr. visits, medical regiments, hope and despair all over again.

So thanks alot malaria. Mosquitoes always ruin everything. I am now taking suggestions for places to visit that are cheap, relaxing, serviced by American Airlines and won't potentially kill me or my never born child.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Heartbreak has a Copay

I got my period after a three days of getting my hopes up, knocking them down and getting them up again. The dr said that there is a possibility that I might have been pregnant. That made me feel better and worse. I don't want to start the cycle all over again. Not to mention it really smarts to have to shell out a copay so that the dr. can violate me with a dildo device.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Playing Doctor

I have been seeing this man for over a month now. It's been all very secretive - I've only told my closest friends. Every time we meet, he makes me undress from the waist down. At first I was a little uncomfortable - I mean we just started seeing each other and it was all so kinky. Then he told me how he wants to give me a baby and was going to put sperm inside of me. He moves fast, a little too fast for my taste, but I hear he is good, so I think I am going to keep seeing him. If it doesn't work out between us, I guess I will have to find another reproductive endocrinologist.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It Takes a Village

J. and R. came over for dinner and an injection. We had a great time, and I felt much more comforable with J/ shooting me up then if Matt had done it - at least for the first time. In total, there have been 6 vaginal sonograms, 5 clomid tablets, 4 ladies with needles, 3 men with sperm, 2 iui's and a partridge in a pear tree.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Madness

I went in for my 7th (yes 7th) pelvic sonogram and/or exam since February which means, I am averaging one every 12 days. The plan was for me to go in for monitoring today and to come back tomorrow and Sunday for IUI. When the dr. examined me, he I said I looked ready. I told him I was having cramps on my side which is a good sign that I am ready to ovulate. Thankfully Matt came with me so he could "produce" so that we can "reproduce." In case you are wondering there is nothing romantic with this process - it falls somewhere between tragedy and comedy. The rooms are dingy and sterile. There is something wrong with this clinical conception, but Matt was great, funny and reassuring. I think if I had to be there by myself it would have been March sadness, but I was glad he was able to stay during the whole thing - which took over 3 hrs by the way. The dr. said it went well. J. is coming over tonight for dinner and an injection (I have to top it all off with a hormone chaser). Then I get the privilege of doing this all over again tomorrow. Finally I am convinced that it is not going to work, because I probably have endometriosis.

Did I mention it was snowing this morning? - Madness!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I had another dr.'s visit today. I was annoyed that it was on a Wednesday because that is my late day. Of course they saw me right away and the entire visit probably took 35 minutes. I have never gotten out of there in under 1:20 min, but because I have all the time in the world, they decide to be prompt.

I couldn't bear the thought of showing up to work that early, and I did not want to walk around the shops again, so since it was a nice day, I decided I would walk a little. My dr.'s office is about 60 + blocks from my office so I was going to kill time and get some well needed sunshine and exercise. Who doesn't need extra vitamin D after having a strange man prod your privates?

About 25 blocks later, I see this familiar women walking towards me. I know her but for a split second can't place her, but am prepared to say hi. Then I realize it is my celebrity crush - Tina Fey. She seemed so approachable, but I was too giddy to do anything besides follow her for a block and try to think of something clever to say besides, "here comes the fun cooker." Needless to say, it made my day and made getting my cooter poked early in a.m. worth it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Patron Saint of Infertility

Since I started trying to make a baby over a year ago, everyone has had two or three cents worth of advice - my favorite being "relax." Thanks Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I have a low stress job, minimal worries, I do yoga and exercise. If I were any more relaxed, I would be comatose.

My mother has been most prolific with advice: relax, try harder, don't try so hard, it will happen when God wants it, ask God to help. So when I am not relaxingly trying hard to ask God to help me not try so hard, she recommends I say novenas to various saints and promise naming rights to the most effective one. So far, my child will not be named Gerard, Charlene, Rita, Jude, Ann or Mary. (Yes I will try anything.)

Having given up on Our Lady of Wasted Months, I have turned to science. I have enlisted the assistance of a reproductive endocrinologist and am starting my clomid and IUI cycles this month. I am hoping that this will do the trick. I am not thrilled with having to resort to medical intervention, but as I said, I will try anything. If it works and it is a boy, I think I will name him Reproductive Associates. It has a nice ring, doesn't it?

In the meantime I am planning to relax.