Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back On Track?

We may soon be back on track.

CD2 here, already!  I started spotting on CD17 and the SPLOOSH! (Really, I'm making up for the lame flow last cycle.)

It's funny how AF can mean different things at different times.  Sometimes, I want to kill the b!tch. Other times, like now, I want to invite her in for a week's stay and then wish her well for at least another 12 months.  However, there were years where I was praying for her arrival, but PCOS was reeking havoc with her.

The problem with her is that she shows up whenever the heck she wants.  Frankly, I was happy for awhile when she made her monthly pilgrimage and found me to be a hospitable host. However, now that we're well acquainted again, I'd like her to yield to the embryo/blastocyst and just help them rest comfortably, but to keep her nose out of things.

Tomorrow, I go for CD3 blood work and a baseline ultrasound.  I suspect our little cyst is gone (hence the bleeding) and if that is true, then I will begin the 5 day clomid cycle tomorrow.  Hopefully, things will match up follicle wise when the time comes and I'll be able to have my IUI on Sunday 9/9/12. Would be great to not have to miss work!  I think they are getting a little tired of my cryptic appointments.

I'm nearly out of vacation and sick time for the year.  Thank goodness I have the capability to work from home, but it is frowned upon.  So, it's tough to balance all of that.  How do you handle multiple doctors appointments when TTC?  Especially if you don't feel comfortable revealing what they are for?

I am also wicked excited about a new part time job that I got.  I have been recently hired as a Pediatric Research Assistant a big hospital around here.  I'm so excited about the project that I could just burst!  My doula work enabled me to acquire some new skills and hopefully this will put me on a new career path.  I still have my full time job, but I'll be working per diem nights and weeknds. Woo hoo!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Intermission

I had somewhat of an unexpected intermission from blogging; that cyst decided to wreak a little havoc.

On Saturday, the pressure that I had been having began increasing again. Then it got to the point where I couldn't totally stand up straight.

By Sunday morning, I had a full night's sleep and was feeling much better.  However, by late night Sunday, I was having trouble sleeping and could only find comfort in the open knee chest position.  Thank goodness for my doula knowledge, I don't think I'd have slept at all.  This allowed for less pressure in my abdomen and pelvic area and relieved the pain somewhat to where it was manageable.  It hurt to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING.  I couldn't pee, poop, sneeze, cough, laugh, walk, stand, sit, without discomfort.  Twisting to wipe was a special form of torture.

On Monday, I called out of work and called the doctor. It seemed to me like if it WAS the cyst, that it would have finished doing whatever it was doing by now.  And now my stomach hurt to the touch on the outside.  So, I went in and met with a doctor on call.  He was very nice -- and normally I have a policy of no male docs, but I wasn't about to complain today.  I was pretty sure I was dying.  He was a very sweet, UNBELIEVABLY OLD man.  His movements were incredibly slow, but his mind was spot on.  I must say, if you can have a good pelvic exam, he probably gave me the best one I have ever had.  I mean, you know when you've had a bad one, without a doubt, but considering the level of pain I was already in, I was surprised with how little it bothered me at all.  So, props the 80something doctor.  I wonder how many tens of thousands of exams he's given.  I have a friend who used to work with medical students instructing them how to give a proper vaginal exam ON HER, I have a whole appreciation for the women that do that.  Thank goodness for you!

Anyway, the 3cm cyst that I had on my left ovary is likely to blame for all of this.  True to his word 2or 3 days later, I'm feeling much improved.  The fluid that leaks from the cyst/ovary leaks into the abdomen and causes irritation.  Once it fully aspirates and stops leaking, the discomfort stops.  So, here's hoping it fully resolved and didn't reseal itself, so that I can be on track for next cycle.  Currently, I am showing high fertility today on my ovacue monitor -- hoping to see confirmation of ovulation in the next couple of days and then can look forward to AF once again.  The timing on this is tricky because we are going out of town at the end of September, so hoping everything works out time wise -- it'd be really convenient if I got my period on 9/7 then I can spend part of my tww while on vacation.  Someone recently theorized that if you vacation while on a tww, it will seem like the longest vacation you have ever had.  Sounds good to me!


Friday, August 17, 2012

What if?

So, what if I use up all of my frozen sperm and I don't get pregnant?

Exactly, what if?

I have no idea.

I could, with some difficulty, purchase some new frozen sperm next year using my FSA.  It's pretty pricey and would use up a good portion of my funds for 2013, but I could. Sadly, the donor I am currently using, whom I have a crush on, is no longer available.  Well, that's a lie -- he's only available to people who already have children with this donor.  Dammit.  I can't ask the couple that gave me their left over sperm to order it because then I won't be able to use my FSA.  AND, then it would not be possible to buy the sperm without my FSA.

So, what's a gal to do?

As you know, I have long hoped to use a known donor.  Recently, a friend put me in contact with a couple who may be interested in donating.  So far, they are EVERYTHING I could have ever hoped for and then some.  They own a popular, well known farm in the area. They are seemingly healthy and active, love animals, believe in preserving the earth, eating locally and organically.  The only thing is, they don't have children of their own. I'm not sure, yet, why not.  I'm also not sure why they are motivated to donate.  They seem very thoughtful though, so I don't think this is something they are just jumping into.  One thing I'm not sure about, is what difference it would make legally if we do not reside in the same state -- this will require further investigation.  Currently, in my state, donor agreements are taken under consideration, but they are no way legally binding.  It all comes down to a judge's discretion if a custody disagreement were to ensue.  I presume, since I , and therefor the child would reside in Rhode Island, we would be held to RI state law, but I'm not sure.

As I've discussed before, there are tons of reasons why a donor from a bank makes things simple.  But, I do struggle with removing the option for the child to ever get to know it's biological family.  On the other hand, some situations may make you wish your unknown donor was still unknown to you. (This is a topic for a whole other blog entry...)  However, knowing your donor in real life could avoid a lot of strife and the fact that your child could have hundreds of half siblings out in the world.  It's a risk too, though.  Would I be confident enough as a parent for my child to get to know the other half of his or her biology?  Would I feel jealous? Insecure?  Are these good reasons to use an unknown donor?  Is it selfish to use an unknown donor?

On the other hand, what if I were more invested in getting to know the donor and the child could care less.  How would I feel about that?  What drives other people to use known vs. unknown or identity release donors?  Is money a factor?  Personally, I think it's crappy that they charge more for identity release donors vs. anonymous donors.  You're already spending so much money, some people may opt to put the difference in funds toward more vials instead.

Are there people who regret having chosen unknown donors later on after seeing their child struggle?  I mean, most of the time, you don't get an opportunity to change your mind later. Then again, identity release doesn't guarantee that your child will have the option to meet the donor later either.

Anyway, all of this is coming up because I've had several facebook discussions with the possible donor couple.  Now, they would like to meet in person to chat.  I am TERRIFIED.

Also, if H decides to jump on this parenting wagon with me, she is more comfortable with using an unknown donor.  She thinks parenting will be complicated enough without having to worry about the donor's feelings/desires and also without having to worry about possible custody issues.  I totally get that.  However, until she decides that's she's fully on the wagon, I need to proceed as I see fit since, right now, it's still all about me and being a SMBC gives me the luxury of not having to worry about her yet.  If H decides that, yes, she would like to co-parent and add a new layer to our relationship, then of course this would become a joint discussion and decision.  In the meantime, I'm trying to get her to come along with me to this meeting -- which has not yet been solidified -- so she can get a feel for them.  Either way, I would like her opinion...





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old Souls

I was reading this entry the other day a year ago. It's by a mother (the blogess!) whose child appears to have either a connection with a past life or what others might call a "wild imagination". I've tried several times to write this post over the last 3 weeks month and a half year. I have lots to say about it. Although, all of the thoughts are a jumbled mess and won't seem to come out.

I've thought about it endlessly. I've talked about it with friends. Some have even shared their own stories of things they remember seeing as children. One friend used to live in a very old house and her mother tells stories of how my friend used to talk to an old woman who liked to sew. The apartment that they lived in was part of a large old house. The unit that they rented was largely comprised of what used to be the woman's sewing room. My friend no longer remembers talking to this woman, or what she looked like. However, I remember her mother talking about this when we were small. In fact, her mother saw an old woman floating up and down the stairs with a sewing basket and strings of yarn trailing behind her.

When my sister was small, she was terrified of sirens and emergency vehicles of any kind. Our house was about 7 houses in from a major road, so there were always sirens. It was very difficult to play outside with her because she would shake and cry every time we heard one. One day, after a fire truck passed and I was able to calm her down, I asked her why she was so afraid of fire trucks. (I should mention that I am 15 years older than my sister.) She told me that in her old life her daddy, her OLD daddy, not the daddy she has now, saved her from a fire. Her old daddy died in the fire and that's why she doesn't like them. Fires are scary.

Woah.

My sister would often say things like that. She would talk about people we couldn't see. She had an imaginary friend Maria. I often wondered how imaginary she really was.

As a child, I never had an imaginary friend. I did see things though. I had one vision that I rarely tell people about because I'm afraid they'll think I'm crazy or that I'm making it up. Sometimes, I have trouble even believing myself, but I know in my heart of hearts what I saw. I've just never been able to make sense of it. I also can't makes sense of why I don't have any concrete religious belief as a result of what I saw -- at least not in the organized religion sense. I wonder if the things that I saw are the sorts of things that make people become Nuns or Priests or whatever. My Memere has very strong Catholic faith. I have always had trouble embracing my Catholic upbringing. Even a as a child, I felt there was too much that didn't make sense to me. I never understood why I couldn't just talk directly to God and why I needed some priest to absolve me of the ridiculous "sins" that I had done as a 6 year old. My grandmother's sister, my great aunt, was a Nun. I wonder if she had a vision that drew her to serve God. She's gone now, but I wonder if my Memere knows what it was. I should ask her.  Was what I saw a past life flashback?  A divine vision?  Who knows.

Another friend told me of lights that would descend from the ceiling of her bedroom and circle around her.  I didn't get the sense from her story that she ever found them to be frightening.  The story was actually pretty interesting except that we had this conversation over a year ago now, (when I first started writing this blog entry) and I no longer remember the details.

Anyway, more and more lately, I have really been connecting with my spiritual side.  Religion to me always felt awkward and too ritualistic and stuffy.  It focused a lot on the things you shouldn't do or the things that others shouldn't do and never really focused too much on the spiritual part.  I've found something that is really working for me.  I'm meditating a lot -- for me that is my way to connect to God and the Earth.  For me, I don't feel like I need a middle man.  I try to live my life honestly, to help others, and to be kind to the Earth.  But that's what works for me and I don't expect it to work for everyone.  My personal belief is that we are all worshiping the same God, but we each have a different path to follow to get there.  There is no right way and no wrong way.

I do believe in past lives, spirits, and angels; I do believe our souls never die and I  believe in God.  I believe that kids are so close to their past lives that they can recall details about how they lived before.  I don't believe in "wild imagination".



Monday, August 13, 2012

Derailed



CD3 blood work revealed a giant cyst (a follicle that never aspirated (exploded)) and high estradiol levels.  If the estradiol (e2 - an estrogen) level had been normal, then I would have been able to proceed with this cycle.

But of course, it did not.  I have been ceremoniously DERAILED.

What this means for me?  The lightest period I have ever had, sore boobs that seem like they will never go away and a good thick "stripe" on the ultrasound.  The stripe is the measurement of the thickness of the uterine lining that needs to shed with AF each month OR make a cozy spot for a cute little blastocyst/embryo to take up shop.  None of these things seem to be happening. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I'm feeling frustrated, but trying to take the message from "church" yesterday to live in all of the moments and take them for what they are.  To seek their purpose, I can only imagine I'm still learning patience. H, made a good point at breakfast yesterday - we spent an entire year basically on hold while waiting for our house sale to go through last year.  It doesn't make sense to hold our breath and wait again on this.  Living life in two week increments is no way to live and we need to spend more time living in what's happening now and allowing ourselves to feel every bit of it -- not just the joy and hopes and anticipation, but to take all of it in, but to let it move through and not hang onto the parts that feel icky.  Acknowledge and let go.  Sounds so simple.  So, I'm going to acknowledge that I feel disappointed and kind of pissed that I finally get to get moving on this whole baby making thing and I'm back in a FUCKINGHOLDINGPATTERN!!!!


Then again, maybe this gives H some more time to solidify her feelings about what role she wants to play in this child's life.  I think she was surprised by her disappointment with the BFN and not just on my behalf either.  She was actually a little excited at the thought that I could be pregnant.  This is huge for her since she's coming from a place where she never wanted to have children and doesn't particularly like other people's kids.  She finds kids to be disarming and unpredictable in the things they say (sometimes they're embarrassing!).  Since she was never really around babies, she doesn't really know what to do with them and feels self conscious about that because women are expected to know and to gush and think babies are cute. 

I think we both realize that since I'll be living here and having a baby that she is going to easily slide into the role of the other mother, intentionally or not.  There are things that would be very different though, if she opts to co-parent in an official capacity.  (The baby taking her last name for instance.)  There's some internalized homophobia to work through, and that stuff is never easy (mostly hers) -- and as you know I've struggled with choosing to become a single mother adding just another layer to the pie that this baby will have a lesbian mother and have to deal with whatever THAT brings.  I recognize that we've come a long way; I live in the liberal land of New England where, most of the time, people don't even bat an eye at alternative family structures.  People who are no longer in relationships co-parent all of the time and most of the time, it works out just fine.  So, even though we're not in a relationship in the context that most people would define it, we certainly have a very healthy, loving, happy, home environment.  We both just need to get over these little hang ups and know that it doesn't really matter **how** or **what** our relationship should be defined as, but that we're going into this with open communication, open hearts, and greeting parenthood intentionally with all of the love this little baby could soak up.  The important thing is that she and I know what's up and that we're on the same page and right now we're okay with talking that out and taking the time to do so. 

She understands that I'm running out of time and that I've always wanted kids; I understand that she's never wanted kids and that this is going to be a huge change for her.  This is the ultimate compromise for her and with that comes  a little bit of guilt on my part, not because I'm pushing her to do anything, but because I can't really take it into consideration and I just have to move forward.  So, she's sort of left to catch up, sort out, and move forward or not.  I can't help her with the decision and I can't wait for her to figure it out.  She gets it and encouraged me to just move forward, but I wish I could give her all of the time she needs.  This month off is maybe just what Dr. Universe ordered -- so we can all catch up to the new feelings and possibilities that may be on the horizon.  But I still reserve the right to be irritated about having to learn patience again, can't I?



Sunday, August 12, 2012

All aboooooard!



Arrived on Friday, so at least she didn't make me wait long before I can get going on the next cycle!

This cycle is super bizarre :  it's really light and it appears that it is also going to be really short.




NEXT STOP:



All Abooooooooooooooooooooard!






Today, I go for CD3 blood work and an ultrasound. Providing all of that is on track, tonight I will start the clomid again.  The nurse said the doctor plans on sticking with the same protocol as last time, though I think I'm going to ask if they ever checked my progesterone.  I don't remember us having a discussion about that.











And here's a tear jerker -- pms'ing or not -- pregnant or not"


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Well, I'm Not One of THOSE People

I admit it. I thought I was going to be THAT person.  You know, one of those people who somehow bypasses a BFN and gets pregnant on the first try.  I even felt a little smug (secretly -- well, not so secretly now) and self assured.

I felt like since I had to work SO HARD to even get to this point that hadn't I already paid my dues?  I deserved to get pregnant right away. (Not that we all don't deserve it, but this is about me right now, sorry.) 

It certainly wasn't a surprise; I had 15 (or more) negative pee sticks to show for it.  But, that positive that I got on Saturday 8-4, that one really had me thinking I was pregnant.  And I suspect I possibly had the shortest ever chemical pregnancy -- by Sunday morning, it was negative again.  Either that or the CVS Early Response tests are junk. Either way, it doesn't really matter because I'm not pregnant now and I'm never buying blue dye tests again.

Okay, pity party over.

Today wasn't all bad!  I got a great part time job that really has the potential to open up a whole new world for me career wise.  So, I am absolutely stoked about it because it also happens to be something that I am passionate about.  If they receive additional funding, this has the potential to blossom into a whole new full time gig for me. So, fingers crossed please!

When I started getting a headache today, I took ibuprofen.

I lifted heavy sandbags at agility class.

I ate deli ham and soft cheeses.

And, just a short time ago, I ate some potato chips and, in a few minutes, I plan to follow them up with a cupcake and a giant glass of milk.  (Okay, it's the cupcake for my pity party, so maybe it's not QUITE over yet.)

I am looking forward to getting my regular bladder back and to losing this bloated feeling.

And, I am looking forward to beginning again.  This time, I'll be a little wiser, a little more humble, but just as hopeful as ever.  Hoping to hear good news from the rest of you!



Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Mother Must Think I Hate Her...

I haven't spoken to my mother, save for 1 text, in two and a half weeks.  We aren't fighting, but I'll bet she thinks I'm upset about something.

I haven't spoken to her because, when it comes to myself,  I AM THE WORST SECRET KEEP EVER.  And.. I can't lie for SHIZZLE.  Everything is written all over my face.  So, in the interest of trying to make this an authentic experience for others in the family  (not that it isn't authentic... but more surprisey-ish), I have chosen not to tell my mom exactly when I was going to start TTC. I told her, "probably sometime in August, I'll let you know once I know what my period is doing."  But then I got my period sooner than I expected, and so then I started trying sooner than I expected BUT OMYGODYOUGUYS, do you have any idea how difficult it is to keep it to myself???  Due to the fact that I can't control myself if I speak to my mother or my sister, I have just not called. Or texted. Or anything.  My sister has texted several times and instant messaged me.  I did write back, but I nearly had to saw my fingers off to keep from typing, "Holy. Shit. I could totally be pregnant right now."

or

"There are 15 million sperms of a strange, unknown man, swimming inside of me right now."

You get the idea.  And I'm DYING TO TELL MY MOTHER what I'm scheming, but at the same time, it'll be so much more fun to tell her when she has no idea it's even on the table yet.

Then again, if this cycle doesn't result in a BFP, I will definitely have to fill her in because this story is just too good not to tell.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Science-y Question...

So, for all of you that know which side your follicles were on -- particularly if you only had mature follicles on one side, I'm curious -- when you got pregnant, do you know which side of the uterus the placenta grew from?

Like, do the eggys drop out of the Fallopian tube like a bad launch in pinball?  Or does it come rocketing out of there and bounce all over the place until it finds a nice squooshy delicious place to feast?

These are the things I think of... and I think it would make a really awesome high school science project.

AFM: Still negative this morning.  Still peeing.  Still have pressure.  No sore boobs, no acne, no usual signs of PMS.  A tiny bit of intermittent cramping today, still have gas (sorry), still impatient.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bog of Crazy is a Murky, Murky, Place (Why you shouldn't test early...)

So, to update with full disclosure, last night and yesterday morning (7dpIUI/8dpT) I got two VERY faintly positive tests.  I took photos of them and sent them to a couple of friends and we squinted together virtually. We guardedly thought I could be pregnant.  (The tests look pregnant but very faintly, so we wondered if these tests could be more sensitive.)

On Monday, 6 days post trigger shot, I THOUGHT I tested the HcG trigger shot out of my system.  (Way too early for anything to have implanted. Implantation occurs between 6 and 12 days post ovulation.  Mathematically I fouled this up. If I had thought more carefully ( and googled, sooner, how to count days past ovulation do you count the day of as day 1? or the day after?), I would have realized that there was NO WAY I could even be pregnant yet.

Today I am 8 days post IUI, 9 days post trigger shot (no idea how many days past ovulation I am) and as mentioned earlier today my friend made a delivery of pregnancy tests.  I'm pretty sure we emptied out CVS in the southern part of the state.  I used both a CVS Early Response test (compare to First Response Early Result) and a First REsponse Early Result.  The CVS is a blue dye test, and the First Response is pink dye.  I'm told it makes a difference and that for some reason pink is better. No idea why.  Both are negative.

And now I know why you don't test early, even when you think you outsmarted the system, you probably haven't.

Also, it should be required that they put the reading sensitivies on the boxes.

So, I know it's early.  I still feel gross and have to pee all of the time.  But I'm feeling wicked bummed and moderately crabby.  Maybe it's a hormone crash, maybe it's let down of testing gone awry, but I think my lesson has been learned.  Which is not to say that I probably won't test first thing tomorrow morning, because I probably will.  I'm just not going to expect to see anything.

Swimming in a Bog of Crazy

An example of a true friend is one who drops everything, grabs her two kids and drags her very pregnant  (adorable) self into the car and schleps 45 minutes to the other end of the state just so she can pick up your FSA card and drive to CVS to buy you pregnancy tests because well, you're out of them.  And you're stuck at work.  And you both NEED TO KNOW now and you need to pee on more sticks NOW.

Bog of Crazy, swimming, I am.  I am also grateful for the above mentioned friend.  And I wicked need to pee... I hope she hurries up.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

F.

F is for failing to wait to test.

The doctor called today, I don't have a UTI and NOTHING grew in the culture either.  So, no explanation for the frequent pee other than possible pressure from stimulated ovaries or the very rare chance that I am pregnant and noticing very, very, very, early on.