Friday, March 21, 2014

My Little Mantra

About three years ago, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.  At the time, I was having 5 to 6 panic attacks a day some days and crying at least 4 times a week, randomly.  Like in the middle of the bathroom sink aisle at Lowe's.  It was a terrible way to live and I really don't know how I let it get to that point before I sought help.  Except that I had no energy to do anything, but sleep and I was *so tired*.  Talk therapy and some properly prescribed medication by a doctor, who specializes in this, got me back on track to feeling like myself again.  I was on the medication for about a year and was very stable and feeling great -- I hadn't needed to use my in-case-of-emergency-break-glass meds at all.  I wanted to start trying to get pregnant, so I started weaning off of my medication.  And for two years I have been feeling great -- not a single panic attack -- until recently... I'm starting to fear that I'm going to fall down the death-spiral-pit-of-despair again.

January and February brought two very stressful situations, both of which had wonderful outcomes in the end, but which left me feeling spent.  My best friend noticed some changes to the skin on her nipple, so we did a little googling (never do that!) and while it was probably nothing, it was presenting a lot like a scary invasive breast cancer.  We went to the doctor and they were like -- meh, it's dry skin.  But this thing that it **could** have been is often misdiagnosed at the earliest point when you can actually treat it successfully, as dry skin!  So, I questioned them and pressed them and they relented and sent her for a mammogram.   The mammogram looked totally normal. YAY! except that this particular thing that I googled doesn't always show up on mammogram and really the BEST way to rule it out is combined with a skin punch.  So, off we went to the dermatologist.  They wanted to give her a cream and send her on her way, with instructions to come back in 2 weeks if it wasn't gone, for a biopsy.  We begged them to just get it over with now, and they complied, thank god.  The result came back as totally non-cancerous kerratosis.  It's not even pre-cancerous and it's not necessary to treat, but HOLY SHIT was that a terrifying time.  I think it was made worse by the fact that we had to press and press and press to get the complete rule out. It was a relief!  We were grateful!  We got the news before work on a Friday morning and for first time in 3 weeks we were able to enjoy a weekend without fretting.

The very next day, on Saturday morning, we got the amazing call that we'd been waiting 2 years to hear -- my cousin, who has Cystic Fibrosis, would receive a lung transplant that day!  How amazing! What an amazing gift for our family.  We thought a lot, that day (and in the days that have followed) about the donor's family.  While they were in such deep sorrow, our family was hopeful and celebrating what would be a rebirth for my cousin.  It's a stark contrast and one I think we were all feeling pretty intensely.  It was a long day and night at the hospital.  Our family spent a lot of time talking and eating -- oh we stress ate like you would not believe!  We played cribbage and knitted.  Some watched movies.  We even spent a good amount of time picking out my sperm donor for the next 3 tries.  The surgery went perfectly -- it truly could not have been any better.  My cousin has continued to do wonderfully, with no signs of rejection or infection.  The lungs are healing and settling in nicely.  He has been able to walk outside and for the first time in a long time he's not on oxygen! 

All good news!  Stressful?  Very.  Seriously, amazing and lucky? Unbelievably so!  And yet, my brain cannot seem to dial out of this.  Or something. 

I feel so raw.  These two situations brought me to the precipice of just how much life can change in an instant.  I am feeling this so intensely.  My Facebook feed, lately, feels like an assault -- it's full of stories that are meant to be inspirational -- people over coming illness, communities pulling together for a child with cancer, etc.  I find that I can't even read it right now.  I just have to hurry and scroll past it. I get it, life! I get it!  I'm not taking anything for granted. 

And yet, I'm sucking on B12 lozenges like they are going out of style.  And I did have to break into the  in-case-of-emergency-break-glass meds.  5 pills in the last two months (2 in the last week and a half). I'm not enjoying life because I'm fretting.  I've just been worried about everything and worried about everyone that I love.  It's such a waste of valuable energy and it's not good for me!  It's also not my usual kind of anxiety.  I'm generally pretty level headed.  My anxiety is not usually tangible where I can actually say THIS is what I'm worried about.  I can honestly say, that it's better when I don't know the cause because there isn't just a constant loop of worry in my head. It's physical symptoms of panic.  This -- this is a constant worry loop with no true panic attack, just a constant fretting and a lump in my throat feels so much worse.

I've been walking every day, trying to do yoga at least a couple of times a week, and meditating a little bit each day. For every scary/bad thought that comes into my head, I try to immediately redirect with something positive.  I'm trying to retrain my brain to get back it its usual ol' happy self.  I'm wrestling with this anxiety and throwing everything I have at it.  I really don't want to have to start medication again -- I really don't feel comfortable taking it while trying to get pregnant/while pregnant, but I also can't live like this either.  I'm trying to be patient and gentle with myself, but I'm terrified that I'm falling back into the death-spiral-pit-of-despair again (or, alternately, that I'm going to die before I'm old, or that people that I love will before they are really old).  I never, ever, ever, want to be in that place again.  So, I'm on alert.  I just don't know how long to let this go on before I take the next steps.  I guess I'll know that when I get there.

In the meantime, I'm just going to keep crocheting this blanket (the 2nd blanket since January) which, like the first, is equal parts worry and positive affirmations.  Each stitch was stitched with the mantra, "I am okay, I am blessed, I am safe, I am happy, I am healthy.  Everyone is okay, everyone is blessed, everyone is safe, everyone is healthy. I am loved."
My Worry Blanket




Monday, August 12, 2013

Days Like Today

There are some days, like today, when this ttc process is so much more difficult than I ever expected.   It's not just the negative pregnancy tests that are difficult.  It's more than that.  There is the ever present financial aspect, the emotional impact from the fluctuating hormones, the physical effects of the hormones (bloating, sensitive breasts, even more sensitive abdomen/cervix/ovaries, zits, pins and needles in hands, etc.) and the stress of whether things are progressing as they should.

I'm finding it so difficult to adapt to any changes in plans.  I am utterly incapable of dealing with any sort of disappointment.  I am totally ill equipped to navigate difficult/confrontational situations.  Today, I just feel unreasonable.

I nearly had a melt down when trying to figure out my gonal-f dosing tonight.  The more overwhelmed I became, the more difficult it became to determine what the second injection should be.  H has been wonderfully patient and supportive and she certainly bears the brunt of my inability to cope with anything.

All of this frustration and worry leaves me feeling like I need to cry, but I can't.

I know it's the hormones because I'm doing this to get pregnant -- to have a baby.  And as this drags on, I have questioned why I am doing it at all.  Maybe I just don't need to have kids, what's the point?

Oh my god, what if it works?

What if it doesn't?

And I don't know the answer.

I feel like I should know exactly what I want at every turn.  This deliberate process of attempting to become pregnant feels like I am burdened with needing to know all of the answers and having no doubts about them.  I've thought on more than one occasion in the last 17 days of injections, "maybe I just don't need this baby".
During every cycle, I say that this is the last one.  Once xyz, is over, I'm not trying again.  It's a disease because of course as soon as I have funds again, the process resets and it's just rinse and repeat.

Over the weekend, my estradiol dropped again from 137 to 120, so they increased my dose to 225.  The follicles grew a little bit, but nothing fell within the "measurable/recordable" totals of 12mm or greater.  I had one 11.5mm and a couple of 10mm follicles hanging about.  Tomorrow morning, I go back for another u/s and more blood work.  Hopefully it will bring good news and plump follicles.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Pokey Little Follicle

We're having trouble getting the dosing right with the gonal-f.  For about 3 hours on Tuesday, I was convinced that they were going to cancel my cycle.  My estradiol dropped from 130 back to 100 -- decidedly heading in the wrong direction.  I guess this is typical with PCOS -- the numbers can be a little weird until you hit the dose sweet spot.  I'm hoping that is where we are now.  At the last check, my estradiol had climbed back up to 137.  My dose is currently holding at 187.5 and then I head back for more blood work and an ultrasound on Sunday morning.

I have blown through 1800IU of Gonal-F and have been stimulating (getting stabbed!) for 14 days and it's looking like probably another week's worth of meds.

THANK GOD I qualified for the compassionate care plan through the manufacturer. 75% off the out-of- pocket/cash price!!!  So, from Freedom Fertility I was able to get 300IU gonal-f pen for $74.00  each!!!  EACH!!!   And my ovidrel trigger shot?  19.70!!!  ( The last 5 triggers that I bought cost me between 97.00 and 112.00!!!)  Freedom has great customer service and they work directly with the compassionate care people to give you those great rates on meds. I highly encourage you to see if you qualify.  You CANNOT have insurance that covers fertility meds for this program. You must be an out of pocket/cash buyer only.

Here's a little trick: the manufacturer overfills each pen a little bit.  From Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, the price of the medicine is standard per IU, no matter the size of the pen.  So, you should ask your doctor to RX qty3 300 pens instead of qty 1 900pen, so you get three pens worth of overfill instead of only overfill from one pen -- all for the same price!  Then, you get yourself a 1ML syringe and you can draw the leftover meds out of each pen and save yourself some money. Out of my three "empty" pens, I was able to get a combined dose of 150IU or .25ml.  That's a lot of medicine!  So, then I just topped off with one 37.5 (.06ml) click from a new pen to reach my total dose of .31ML or 187.5IU.  Hooray!

Gonal-F conversion from IU to ML (I had my pharmacist double check my conversion below):

900= 1.5ml

450 = .75ml

300 = .5ml

225IU = .375 ml

150= .25ml

112.5 = .1875ml

75 = .125ml

37.5 = .0625ml

Thanks to Andy for the following info based on my dose of 187.5: "I converted IU to ml. Remember that ml is a measure of volume, IU is a measure of effect. There cannot be an IU syringe or scale. There is no standard conversion from iu to ml or mg. It varies from substance to substance. Be very sure here that your conversion is right!

Get a 1 ml syringe, it should be numbered to the 0.1 with marks in between to the 0.01 - draw up 0.3 then one more mark is 0.31 of a ml and go quarter of the way past that to the next mark, and you're good. "





Saturday, July 27, 2013

Something-Something

I took a little break in April to stop the madness.  In May, I tried again but increased the clomid to 100mg, but I still yielded only 2 follicles.   My lining was adequate, but not fantastic at 8.4.

I regret the May cycle, I feel like it was a waste.  At the time, I felt good about the cycle, but since it didn't work, I've done nothing but second guess the decision to move forward with that cycle.  See, I was unknowingly eating gluten during the 5 previous months.  I broke a cardinal rule of food intolerance/allergy and didn't read the label of my good seasons Italian dressing box.  Sometime since late 2012 or early 2013 they added wheat to this product, but I didn't check it, so I had no idea.  

I didn't understand why, suddenly, I was seemingly unable to digest vegetables.  I blamed milk for the horrific stomach cramps and atomic bomb like diarrhea.  I stopped eating salad and milk and I felt better.  Then, by chance, H read an article somewhere on a blog or something that revealed the culprit.  

For months, she had been telling me that I had terrible breath.  I went to the dentist, constantly chewed gum, flossed, brushed, rinsed.  The smell remained.  It came from some where (rotting) deep within me. I commented that when I would go to the bathroom that it reminded me of when I was detoxing from gluten, way back when.  It smelled like puss and disease.  I don't know why I didn't think to start checking labels, but I just didn't put all of the signs together.  Anyway, I feel strongly that my body's first reaction to gluten is stop all reproductive systems.  After the period that got in the failed March cycle, I didn't get another period.  I didn't ovulate.  This was odd since I had been regular for over a year (and my periods miraculosly became regular after 1 year off of gluten).  70 days went by and no period.  I was thinking that I wanted to try in May, but things were not looking like they were going to line up.  So, I called the dr. to get an RX for progesterone (to trigger a period), but they insisted I be seen and take the obligatory pregnancy test. ::eye roll:: 

The tests showed I was not pregnant (no kidding!) and that I hadn't ovulated.  My body was on a holding pattern, it wasn't folliculating (TM)  and it wasn't bleeding.  They basically said I could just take clomid right away and that my body would proceed to go from there.  So, I did.  I don't think I had figured out the dressing situation by that point, but I haven't had it for at least two months now and things are back in line.

I got a period after that cycle, which was also a failed cycle and then a crazy thing happened - I got another period.  It was a little late by 6 or 8 days, but it's here and it is more than adequate.

During this time, a childhood friend (hi!!!!) contacted me to let me know that she was pregnant with TWINS! ( hi A&A! welcome to the world!)  and that she had some extra meds leftover and since we go to the same practice her doctor gave her the okay to give them to ME!  Thank God for her insurance she has saved me $1,485.00 for injectible medication to stimulate my ovaries.  The other alternative was that she could throw them out! (GASP! HORROR!)  Thankfully, she thought of me instead!  She was successful on her first round of injectibles after a long time of trying and lots of blood, sweat, and tears, she knew she would not be needing these meds again.  This is AMAZING for me since my insurance is grinchy and won't cover treatment of infertility (but diagnosis of, thank goodness, since this means all of the monitoring is covered!).

The general rule of thumb is that if clomid is going to work it generally works within 3 cycles.  After that, you need to up the anti -- by this point people will then try clomid + trigger.  Well, with the cost of the swimmers (liquid platinum), my doc, H, and I decided that it made sense to just start off with clomid + trigger right away.  So, 4 cycles at 50mg + trigger did not yield the desired result.  Cycle# 5, the one I didn't blog about  was done with 100mg + trigger and follicle wise, nothing really changed.  The lining was at the minimum of acceptable to support a pregnancy, I questioned moving forward, but they told me it was adequate.  I don't know if the clomid was just producing shitty follicles (can happen) or if it was crappy lining or what, but that shit didn't work either.

Right now, I'm on CD3 and am getting ready to start cycle #6 with Gonal-F 112.5IU for CD3, CD4, CD5  -- bloodwok on CD6 and then dosing could change.  I'm terrified.

I'm terrified of multiples. TERRIFIED.  I chant to myself, ONE BABY. I chant over the fertility meds ONE BABY.

But I have only one vial of swimmers left and my funds are exhausted, so if this last vial doesn't work.  I'm on hold indefinitely until the new year.

Btw, I turned 36 in June -- 2014 seems like a whole world away, let's hope I'm not going to have to worry about 2014 funding for fertility.

Now, I'm procrastinating.  It's time for my injection.  The description to use a "dart like motion" to stab the needle in, really does not make me feel good about the idea.  I'm not an animal to be caught in the wild!  I will not be darted!

Or I will.

For the next 8 to 10 days.  Darted and left to languish through the hell of another two week wait.  Did your blood just run cold?  Yeah, mine too.

Please, God, I don't ask for too much (I don't think), but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't let these meds make me go something-something.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lucky Charms

An adorable wooden fertility dude.  A sprig of healthy "lucky bamboo". A tiny little pouch full of teeny tiny crystals that encourage fertility, blessed by a shaman.  Plentiful and fast swimmers.  Two follicles. Perfect timing.

Alas, no baby.  

Period showed up a day early, started spotting yesterday, 12dpo -- hoped beyond hope it was implantation bleeding.  13dpo just a few moments ago, all became clear -- nearly 2 days early to boot.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Dig It


Since I was such a downer earlier, I thought I'd share a little something that even made ME smile today.  My dog, Finn, having a joyous time on the beach!  Even though I was feeling disgruntled, I still had fun.
video

I Just Want To Be DONE With This Part

I'm feeling a bit frustrated today.  I tested this morning, and while I know it is still on the early side, I'm not feeling terribly encouraged. 66% of pregnant people get a positive result by now.  I suppose that I could fall into that 33% of people who get a negative on 10dpo, but right now it doesn't feel likely.

At the moment, I'm wishing I had purchased only one vial and not three, because I'm feeling totally done with this process.  The money lost, alone, is killing me to think about it.  Add in the frustration of feeling gross and pregnant only to not be pregnant in the end is draining both physically and emotionally.

I'm second guessing my choice to pick a donor that does not yet have any reported pregnancies.  

I just want to scream!!!!!!!

I started off with the mindset that I knew it would take a long time to become pregnant.  I resolved to enjoy the journey and even embrace it.  I've generally managed to stay upbeat and optimistic up til now.  Now I just want to be a quitter.

In life, most things can be achieved by setting a goal, working hard, practicing, etc.  You have control.  It is up to you whether or not you succeed.  Trying to conceive is nothing like that.  You can do everything right, time everything perfectly, and you still have no control.  There's nothing you can do to make it happen.  It either happens or it doesn't.

As a person who generally sets a goal and achieves it, THIS DRIVES ME CRAZY.  Once I decide that I want to do something, I make it happen.  It will often take a long time for me to figure out what it is that I want, but I once I know, I'm unstoppable.  So, I find myself at a loss as to what more I can really do here.  Either keeping trying until the money runs out, (soon) or just quit.



Friday, March 1, 2013

Best Dog Ever - 2 Year Remembrence


For Jackson.

I wrote this two years ago, shortly after his very sudden death.  He had no known issues with his heart, but we believe he died of sudden heart failure when a tendon in his heart snapped.  That morning, I was late for work, but he insisted on playing a round of ball.  I relented and remember having a great morning with him.  I returned from work that night and he greeted me as usual.  I went into the bathroom to pee and had the door ajar (as every night) so that he could follow me in and run back and forth bringing me toys.  This day was no different.  He seemed absolutely fine.  I picked him up and he yipped.  I thought I had twisted his sensitive back accidentally, so I put him down gently and gave him a rub.  He shook it off and went running for a toy.  On his way back to the bathroom, he sounded like he slipped on the floor.  His nails scratching like he was falling.Then suddenly, he fell over and started panting hard.  I flew off of the toilet and dropped to the floor beside him.  I screamed for Holly to call 911 -- I thought they would be able to tell me how to do doggie cpr.  They didn't.  Instead, Jackson died in my arms, probably terrified by my screaming.  I completely lost it.  It was one of the most horrific things that I have ever experienced.  I miss him every day.  And I thank him for bringing our new little guy, Finn, to us. They have some uncanny similarities.


All the Things I Love About You  


I miss waking up and having you roll on your back to get tummy rubs.

 I miss how you used your paws to smooth out your beard and wipe your eyes when you woke up. And then you would stretch your front legs down    and your back legs out until they shook from the sheer length that you stretched them.

I love how you would lean against me and plop down hard while letting out a world weary sigh, expressing how comfy and very tired you were.

I love how you used to get stuck between Holly and the couch and start snoring because you were     s -t-r-e-a-t-c-h-e-d out so long that you slid down.

I love how you would wave your paws in the air and pat me in the face when I first woke you up from a nap.

I love when you would roll over and show me your pokey out piggy belly for me to scratch.

I miss how you would raise your legs up for scratching even when you were sleeping.

I miss when I was getting ready to shower, how you would steal my underwear off of my feet and run around the house with them.

I miss how you dug on the bed at night to make the covers just so.

I miss how after dinner you would run around the house wiping your face on the dog bed.  Then, you would frantically run around with the stuffed squirrel in your mouth desperately trying to find a place to bury it, whining because no place was good enough or secret enough.  (As if any part of your life had been that wild or feral.)

I loved how you did three twirls from the kitchen sink, to the place where your food bowl was put down -- AT EVERY MEAL --  this was just something you did.  Not something that I trained you to do.

I love how you played fetch and when you ran back to me, you always jumped over obstacles -- even if they weren't in the direct line between you and me.  You just thought it was fun.

I love how when I showered  you would lick my legs dry.

I loved how when I would dry my hair and I would tip my head upside down, you would come and give me kisses on my face.  And how you loved the smell of my clean hair and the blowing air from the hair dryer.  You used to put your little nose up to smell it and let your beard blow in the wind.

I miss how you used to play soccer.  (Thank goodness for my new phone because now I have a video of it!)  You would kick the ball directly to me and you would also stop the ball.  If there was more than one person playing, if they asked, you would kick it to them too.

I love how you used your ears and your tail to express yourself.

I love how you would talk back -- and how sometimes you would yawn and talk at the same time.

I love how far back your ears used to go when you yawned.

I love how you loved me.

I love how you loved life and balls and humping cats.

(The cats miss you so much, Bentley and Royce keep walking around looking for you making these sad mournful yowls.)

I miss coming home at night and hearing your excited bark. And how you ran back and forth with your baby -- flirting with me not really letting me catch you at first.

I love how if I only left for 10 minutes, it didn't matter, you were the SAME amount of happy to see me as if I had been gone for 10 hours.

I always thought it was so cute that you would **actually** bury your bones outside in the back yard if you were able to sneak them outside.

I remember that day that you brought a **real** (dead and frozen) squirrel into the house.  It seems your favorite stuffed squirrel wasn't good enough that day. But you seemed proud of what you had found in the yard and you wanted me to be proud too.  I was a mostly grossed out, but it sure was funny -- once Holly put it back outside.

I love how you were the discipline enforcer.  We always knew when a cat was doing something naughty.  Now, Denny is running on the floor, and the kittens are on the stove.  We will probably need all new furniture without you to stop them from clawing it.

I love how you would herd the escapee cats back into the house.

I love how you saved my life.

I love how you always made my day better -- even if it wasn't bad to begin with.

I miss feeding you.  I keep forgetting you're not here and I keep getting your plate out anyway.

Who will I give the green peppers to?  They were  your favorite.  And broccoli and brussel sprouts you liked them also.  You also found peanut butter to be irresistible.

I love how you would stretch up and paw me when you wanted to be picked up and snuggled and how you always laid your head on me like a baby.

It's weird to be able to hug other people without you trying to worm your way in between us.

I miss how fully you loved everyone and how fervently you gave kisses -- even if sometimes you stuck your tongue up my nose or in my mouth.

I miss our little kissy game where I try to kiss your nose without you licking me -- and I love how you always won.

I miss watching you run and snuggle with Sam, but even though I'm so very sad and miss you and love you so much, I'm glad that you are running and playing and hanging off of his neck fur once again.  You two were the best of friends, and I know you were so sad without him.

I love how you would play tug of war with your babies -- and how I could stick my fingers in your mouth while doing this and you would never bite me.  You always just gave up and kissed me.

I love how you were trustworthy, you would never chew shoes, or other things on the floor.  Although you were a tissue and paper thief.

I love how smart you were and how you could take the caps off of things. (except for the time the cats knocked a bottle on the floor containing some cat pills and we had to give you peroxide to throw them back up.  Then, I realized perhaps I shouldn't have given you things to remove caps from.)

I love how you loved paper towel tubes and how we used to play a little game of sword fighting with them.

I love how you would paw me in the middle of the night to lift the covers if you got chilly.

I love how you loved to put your head on my pillow.

I love how you used to run and bounce while barking at the cats.

I love how you used to put your paws on the car door and rest your chin while looking out the window.  And how you loved the breeze, but you always knew you had to lay down when we got on the highway, so that I could roll up the window so you wouldn't get hurt.

I loved the way you panted short and quick when you got excited.

I loved how you chewed your treats and baby carrots, and how you bobbed your head side to side while doing it.

I was so proud of you when you finally learned how to catch things in your mouth.  It took a long time, but it was a victorious day and you seemed so proud (and surprised) that you had done it.

I remember how much you loved popcorn -- particularly smartfood  because it was such a rare treat.

I loved how you learned to eat an apple while still on the core.  You thought this was great fun and very delicious.

I love how you twitched your ears when I whispered in them.

I love how you put up with how much I loved you even though it might've been a little annoying sometimes, because I just couldn't get enough of you.

I love how even though I wasn't perfect and sometimes I yelled, you loved me anyway.  Even when I made mistakes.

I am grateful that you taught me how to love this deeply, even though I never thought I held back -- I loved you more than anything or anyone else because I didn't hold back with you.

I want you to know that even though I am the saddest I have ever been, that I would do it all over again and I would bring you home tucked in my coat all over again.  I would stand outside in the middle of the night in the pouring rain with an umbrella over you, while you learned to potty train during the rainiest spring I can ever remember.

The worms in grandma and grandpa's yard can rest easy now, since your expert worming skills are now being utilized in heaven.

I love how intuitive you were.  Whenever I had surgery, or pepere had surgery, you always knew how to be gentle and to not jump up.  You would just lay beside us and snuggle and be patient until we felt well enough to throw your ball or go for a walk.  Please give Pepere a hug and kiss for me.

I love how you wiggled your tail when Holly talked to you.  You had that one little special wag just for her.

I am so grateful to you that waited to say good bye to me one last time before you died.  I don't think I could have coped if you had died alone and not in my arms.

I am grateful that you were so insistent on Tuesday morning about playing ball -- and that I took the time (even though I really didn't have it) to play ball -- because it was the last time we would ever do it again.  Thank you for reminding me to take the time to do the things that are important even if they aren't convenient.  Life is too short and I had know idea how quickly my life would be turned upside down.

I'm sad that I don't have you to help me through this.  You've always been there for me when I needed you.  I'm so lost without you.

I love how you used to throw M&M's up in the air and kick them like a ball before you devoured them.

I love how you disliked President George W. Bush.  You barked anytime you heard is voice and you particularly hated the electronic toy that we had where he would say stupid things over and over again.

You had a love/hate relationship with things that were robotic.  It was kind of hilarious.

I will miss not having you around to bite and chase the vacuum while I'm cleaning.  I'm fairly certain that without your help the vacuum will, in fact **acutally** eat me.  Thank you very being the best vacuum slayer in the world.  I hope I can take him without your help.  ( I might enjoy, just a tiny bit, getting the vacuuming done in half the time, though... but just a little.)

I promise I will never replace you.   But I hope you'll understand that I need to get another dog one day -- because I need help getting over you.  The space you left behind fills my entire chest, not just my heart.  It really does hurt and my heart really is broken.  I'm wrecked.  My life seems so empty without you.  You made everything more joyful because you just knew how to love everything the mostest.

I feel grateful that there are so many things about you that I remember -- I don't think there is a single other living being that I love this many things about.  This is what made you such a great dog -- you were every where and in everything I did.

I'm not mad at you for dying. I'm mad that something thought we didn't need each other anymore.  I know you didn't want to go. I'm sad that the children I hope to have one day will never know you.

You would've been the bestest big brother EVER.

I love how funny you were.  You liked to be silly and you loved to make everyone laugh.

I love how you used to chew on your babies and my blanket and pillow and sheets, while making clicking noises with your teeth. You never made holes in anything, but you liked how they felt when you bit them.

You were just so damned cute in your little life vest and your little doggie paddle, but I had to stop bringing you in the water because you really hated it. (You did it for me though.)

Thank you for always barking when I swam -- if I was really drowning, I would have had the attention of all who were able to save me if I needed help getting out of the water.

I love how you used to put up with Shaylin and all of the times she used to dress you up and keep you trapped in her room.  You were so sweet, you never nipped, but you also didn't waste a SECOND running out of there if the door was opened.  Thank you for being so patient -- I have  some really great photos from those times so that I can remember everything about you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Does Having A Gayby Make You An Instant Poster Child?

I was reading this blog entry by N over at Lesbian Family and it got me thinking.

I've done my fair share of glbt activism -- mainly for marriage equality here in the Ocean State.  I've attended rallies and brainstorming session and the like.  However, in my day-to-day life, I don't really talk much about being gay.  I mean, I don't go out of my way to mention or not mention it either way.  If people make assumptions, I just go with it.  When the women in the office talk about their boyfriends and such (and sometimes to a level where I **really** wish they would stop sharing so openly with each other!), I just say nothing.  I don't talk about women I've dated.  I certainly would never talk about my sex life the way that these women do.  (Even in my "previously straight" life, I never would have!) Occasionally, I'll mention that I was married previously.  Generally, I just steer clear of these kinds of conversations.

I always find it a little bit startling when people ask, "Do you have a boyfriend?".  I find it to be forward.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am relatively private about my personal life and rarely do I mix my personal and professional lives.  We'll ignore for the moment that H & I are both employed by the same company.  I'd like to think of us as quietly out.  We've never come right out and said it, but we request time off together and are honest with management if we need to accompany the other to a doctor's appointment or what have you.  Everyone knows that we live together.

I often wonder what would happen if H &  I shared stories, openly, the way that these other women do about their dating lives.  I suspect it would wind us up in HR and I find that double standard to be appalling.  I wonder how they would handle being subjected to some of the things that my poor ears have heard and how they would opt to handle it. ( I can never un-hear that.)  I'm getting side-tracked.

It all makes me think back to a post that a friend of mine wrote several years ago.  I'll try to get the text to share with you all, but her blog is currently un-published for privacy concerns.  In this post, she spoke about her family's experience with strangers while visiting their local y's swimming pool.  There was an older couple who seemed confused by her little family and asked a lot of questions while trying to figure out what exactly was going on.  She talked about how she should have/wished she had handled it differently, etc.

How do you live your life honestly and teach your children to stand up for themselves and their families, and not take things like this head on?  Do you have to? Can you just live quietly and not constantly re-assert your family's place in society?  I don't think I would be inclined to correct people based on how I've handled my queer status up til now.  However, I've also wondered if I wasn't the gestational parent whether I would feel differently being the "other mother" and feel more strongly about asserting my role as mommy, and how our family fits together.

What do you think?  Do gay parents have an obligation to be gay ambassadors?  Do you think that sends the wrong message to our kids if we don't constantly correct others?

What sorts of situations have come up for your family and what did you say?  Or what do you wish you would have done differently?




Monday, February 25, 2013

Who's Got the Pop?

Popcorn in my uterus
So, physically, I feel pretty damn dreadful.

This discomfort in my uterus/pelvis/back/ovaries?, I honestly can't tell where it's originating from, but it's constant.

I feel like my uterus doesn't fit in my body.  Like, it feels as if it is just sitting on where my lap should be -- as if I should be taller and have a longer torso in order to fit it all in there.  I have a constant dull achy feeling.  I feel "full" in the lower abdomen.  It hurts to stand, walk, pee, cough, sneeze and do anything other than just lay on the couch with a heating pad.  Even that doesn't really help, but I at least feel like I'm DOING SOMETHING to make it better.

Emotionally, I feel fine.  I'm much less crazed, so far, this time around.  I tested yesterday 5 days post trigger to ensure that the trigger was gone, and it is indeed undetectable with an internet strip test. I seem to pretty reliably flush the Ovidrel trigger shot out of my system (hcg) consistently by day 5 post trigger (or 6 days including the day it is administered.)

Yesterday, I was pretty much starving all day and ate like a pig (mostly decent choices except for 1 handful of salt and vinegar chips and 1 cup cake).  I don't recall having this happen previously, but let's say that the hormones definitely affect my appetite.  I, sadly, gained back all of the weight that I lost last year, after the 3 cycles that I did.  And then some... ah well, you gain some, you some lose some, and you gain it back again...

Of course, I have the usual constant urination problem, so that's nothing new to report.  I just feel like my body is appreciating all of this much less than usual.  I feel yucky.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the deal is with the popcorn --  it feels like there is popcorn popping in my uterus.  Pop! Poke! Poke! Pop!  I'm assuming it's probably gas, or uterine twitches or whatever from all of this crap floating around in my body.  It would be inconceivable for to be anything of any consequence considering I am only 4dpo.

God this is a pretty damn whiny post and I didn't even have the decency to be funny about it.




Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Swim Report IUI# 4 Volume .5cc

Annnnd... they're off!
Total count 144 million - 70 million motile (per 1ml) with 35million available for this IUI (.5ml).  Pretty good, I'd say.

The previous donor's counts were:

IUI #1 15mil available motile (disappointing)

IUI#2  33 mil available motile
How is it even possible that this could make a baby? Magic!

IUI#3 32 mil available motile

I'm very fortunate that IUI's are very easy for me.  My cervix is super cooperative and only mildly curved, so an IUI can't really get any simpler.  They were sort of in awe of my unremarkable (perfect?) anatomy.

I cramped like a motherf"*#r today.  We had the best nurse ever.  She was so super sweet and helpful.  Gave me tylenol and a heat pack and the little pull cord for emergencies.  All three worked great.  Particularly the pull cord.  I forgot it was on my lap and when I got up I triggered the, "I've fallen and I can't get up alarm!"  They run fast... and I felt... sheepish. Especially, considering I was still bare ass.  So, I ducked behind the curtain and let Holly deal with my error. 

"Pay no attention to the bare assed woman behind the curtain!"

The nurse didn't do the IUI, but a resident Dr. Kristen Taylor did it.  Perhaps she will be my good luck charm!

I have internet cheapies on the way to help defray the costs of my pee stick obsession.  I like to test the trigger out of my system and then I can watch for  REAL positive (or more usually, negative) result.

And thus begins the longest two weeks of my life.  Pregnant until proven otherwise.