Friday, November 30, 2007

Back to the Baby Factory

So I had a blood test and ultrasound again today. Anna messed up and couldn't get any blood flowing so she had to prick me twice. I won't hold it against her, she felt really bad. I am pleased with my doctor's enthusiasm during my ultrasound. She said it looks as if I had two follicles and now I currently have a huge cyst on one of my ovaries, but apparently this is good news. She said the cyst is twice as large as my ovary. Oh, and my lining is thick and there's a good blood supply. I don't really know what all this means since she doesn't have time for questions (they never do) because it's a baby factory and there is a waiting room full of eager women. My nurse will hopefully be able to shed some light when she calls this afternoon. Meanwhile she said no sex or exercise until my pregnancy test on December 11th and to be quite honest, going without sex or exercise suits me fine.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

it's not gas!

Didn't sleep a wink last night and I've got to work late this evening. It feels as if someone is squeezing my ovaries. Not sure what this is about...waiting for my nurse to call me back. The pain finally stopped on my right side but it continues on my left. And my husband continues to tell me it's probably gas. I know what gas feels like damn it...and I'm confident this isn't gas. But thanks for your sage medical diagnosis. It's too early for cramps...not that I have much experience with cramps thankfully. I guess that's one bonus of never getting a period. So if it's not cramps, then maybe it's another awesome side affect of clomid? and of course, this pain leads me to conclude that the sex didn't work and I've got to start another clomid cycle- actually, it'll be my final clomid cycle next month. For now, I've got to put on my happy face and go to work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just Waiting Now

So now I guess I just wait. I have a blood test on Friday to check the level of something...I guess I should start paying more attention to whatever it is they are monitoring. Then on Dec. 11th I take a pregnancy test. In between, I guess I just wait some more. I don't have anything else to say...I just can't stand waiting and I know I have very little reason for optimism. 20- 25% chance of success is what I read. I dislike percentages as much as I dislike waiting.

In my other life...I taught a class last night and my teenage students asked me if I have ever smoked a cigarette or done drugs. I did not hesitate with my answer...I lied. What should one say when kids ask such questions?

I dislike lying too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Not Enough Sex

I know we didn't do it enough. I was practically begging for it, but despite all his talk, he just wasn't up for a marathon. I know we didn't He's always complaining he doesn't get enough and here I was ready to break a record and he just wasn't up for it. I got the happy face two nights ago and we had sex twice that night. I'm guessing it was too early though b/c the package says that you should have sex within 24-36 hours. Then we tried once last night. I told him to wake me this morning, but he didn't. Uggh. Now I'm wondering if our window is gone. Maybe I should go jump him at his office? I'm so frustrated!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Beautiful Sight!

Look at this! I can't believe it. Could my body actually be doing what it is supposed to be doing?

ok, so my camera isn't downloading...but imagine a happy face. i'll post it later since i'm late for work. damn things never work properly when you need them!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Going Home is Never a Vacation

I'm writing this in the hopes that it will serve as a reminder the next time I want to go home for vacation. Going home is never a vacation. My G-d, I know every family has it's craziness but between mine and my husband's...what the hell are we thinking subjecting ourselves to this? They say that the definition of crazy is continuing to do something over again and expecting a different outcome. Why can't we ever learn? From now on, I'll go to see my family, he'll go to see his and when we want a true vacation, we'll blow them all off and go away, just the two of us.

We are finally talking again, but it has taken us over 24 hours. It's not really fair that we blame each other for how our families behave. And it's back to work tomorrow, so we haven't even had a chance to relax. We need a vacation from our vacation.

Meanwhile, I've been peeing on the damn stick again for over a week and still no happy face. If I don't see one soon I'm going to lose my mind.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Feeling a Bit Self-Absorbed

Two and a half years ago I went to my bestfriend's wedding. I wouldn't have missed it for the world...I loved this girl! My husband and I flew down to Texas, got a hotel room for two nights, a rental car and the gift of course. We blew over a $1000 for everything. It was a lovely wedding. Months went by and we never got a thank you. Then it was a year and well, still nothing.

Fast forward to my wedding...she and her husband RSVP'd for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding/reception. When they missed the rehearsal dinner I called to make sure everything was ok since they had a two hour drive to our event. Everything was fine, except they couldn't find a dog sitter. I was a little hurt, but ok, they'd still come for the wedding the next day. (Could have saved myself the $200 for their dinners though). So then the wedding day comes. I'm standing up there with my family, and this thing is actually happening...I'm getting married. I turn around briefly to scan the audience to see who has come and she's no where to be found. I decide I'm not going to let this affect big deal, she'll show. I hate that I turned around during my ceremony and didn't see her. Well, she never showed. (That's another $300 by the way.)

We went on our honeymoon and upon our return I called to find out what happened. I love this...she tells me she was "feeling a bit self-absorbed" and was not up to coming. I would have settled for any other excuse. What the hell does that mean? Who says that? Since then, I've longed for opportunities to use that excuse, but I could never get the words out of my mouth. That sucks!

So, the reason I'm going on about this thing that happened several years ago is because I have attended my share of baby showers and weddings since my bestfriend's wedding and I've received two thank you cards. Two cards. When was it ok to stop sending thank you cards? When I was a child, my mother forced me to send them immediately and I'm not just talking a quick thanks. I'm talking about a personalized note that acknowledges the gift and gift-giver. Do we live in such a degenerate age that we no longer show appreciation to others?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Going Home and the Elusive Happy Face

I've decided to go home for Thanksgiving after all and blow off this clomid cycle. Well, I'm still actually taking the clomid for the five days but I will miss the ultrasound determining how many follicles I have and I won't get the injection (novarel i think it's called) and of course I won't get the insemination. I do hope to try getting pregnant the old fashion way though it might be a little uncomfortable since we'll be staying with our folks. How amazing would that be if it just worked and we returned, took a pregnancy test and were done with the whole mess?!!

Does a woman with PCOS stand a chance getting pregnant with just the clomid? And what if I've got many mature follicles? Is this crazy to attempt without knowing the number of follicles? I reiterate...I don't want six at once.

I peed on the ovulation stick for seven weeks. By week six I would cry ever time I got the results. My body just refused to ovulate and by week seven I was so unstable after my results I decided that I would never use them again. My doctor was very sympathetic. Freaking happy face! I never ever saw it. So since we will be going home, my doctor has encouraged me to try the test again around day 10 in the absence of the ultrasound. I guess I've got no choice.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Reduction...the process of reducing. The word has taken on a completely new meaning in the last few weeks and it really bothers me. When a store is having a sale, items are reduced. When one diets and exercises, one's size might be reduced. I dislike that they use this word for embryos. To me, reduction sounds so benign and simple, yet I know there is nothing simple about this decision.

I wrote on someone's blog yesterday that my husband and I don't share the same attitude about this matter. I don't even really know how I feel about it. After trying to conceive for some long, I can't imagine being in the position to have to consider reducing the number. My fear, next to not ever conceiving, is conceiving too many and having to face this morale dilemma.

I totally get that it is in the best interest of the healthiest embryos to limit the number. I also don't want to end up the star of my own tv show. Of course, there is also the strain and potential danger to one's body carrying so many.

Part of me says not to worry about it. I don't know any statistics about women who encounter this issue, so why deal with it unless I have to? However, my friend with multiples told me that I have to have a talk with my husband ahead of time just in case. I just don't have the strength to argue with him. He loves to debate about everything and anything.

I offer no alternative to the word reduction. I know I'm not supposed to utter a complaint unless I have a solution, but I don't. Maybe they should just use a medical term no one would recognize.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Sanctuary

I don't have to be at work today until lunch time so you can imagine how annoyed I was at 5:20 when I finally realized I was never going to fall back to sleep. I had a thought though, and then I read another blog which really made me think more about it...

I'm looking around the waiting room and there are all types. There are head coverings- Muslims and Jews. There are Indians, African-Americans get the idea. So I started trying to think of other places where people of so many different ethnicities and religions unite in a room and share a prayer. I know it sounds a bit hokey, hug the world, save a tree blah blah blah. But I started thinking about the walls and then the building and the celestial beings that occupy the space and how we all radiate this hopeful energy. Whatever you believe...Maybe my ancestors are waiting in that room with me or the soul of my unborn child. Maybe they are all there hovering over our heads waiting for the time to be right.

Maybe I'm just really tired.

Waiting Room Etiquette

Here's the scene...I've already been in the waiting room for 3 hours having been pricked several times and had that condom covered thing shoved in me by yet another doctor whose name I never did get. I'm on the verge of hysteria and I'm eager to get the insemination over with so I can get the hell out, go home and prop my feet up over my head while praying for a miracle. I'm distracted however by the following...

1. A mom comes in pushing her toddler. I get it, she's had one but she wants another. That's fair. I might be in the same position someday but the thing is...I don't have one yet so how about leaving the kid with a sitter? This is my sanctuary, the one place I shouldn't have to see the love of someone else's life drooling and giggling. He is a cute and I can't help but smile when I see him, but I want to scratch her eyes out.

2. Gay couple who just met the woman who has agreed to be a surrogate mother accompanied by her husband are laughing and carrying on as if they are in a bar. I'm so glad we live in a world where their dreams can be realized too, but a little decorum please, I'm getting're behavior is pissing me off!

3. The room is packed, not a seat to be found and women are now standing around the desk and in the entryway while men sit. Get your ass up and offer these women seats! It's nice you've come along to support your wife or maybe you are there to do your thing in the cup, but how can you sit comfortably while these anxious women are forced to shift from foot to foot? What's wrong with people?

That's all all I've got for now...I'm sure there are others I've yet to encounter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thank God for Anna

There is a lab technician (now known as the Butcher) I refuse to let draw my blood ever again. I don't like to be rude so I didn't say anything the first time she stuck me, hurt me and left me with a big purple bruise. The second time she stuck the needle in my arm and then tried to find a vein I went nuts on her. Aren't you supposed to find the vein first and then stick in the needle? I'm no doctor, but what the hell? So she sticks me, then she moves the needle around searching for blood before telling me that my blood just won't flow. Then she tells me she's going to have to prick me again and that's when I said enough...although I think I swore too.

It had occurred to me to ask for someone else after the first time she hurt me, but even though it was obvious she was incompetent, I did not want to hurt her feelings. Her feelings? She's inflicting bodily harm and I'm afraid of hurting her feelings? What's wrong with me? It must have been apparent that I was not happy so she suggested that someone else should take my blood. I could not have been more relieved. I let her pull the needle out and then I fled from the lab. I'm not sure where I thought I was going, but I could sense those damn tears welling up again and I was damned if anyone was going to see me cry.

Once I regained my composure, I returned to the lab and I got Anna as my new technician. Now I have no trouble being rude. I walk in and immediately ask for Anna because she's awesome, she knows what she's doing, she doesn't reek of cigarettes like the Butcher and she asks me how I'm doing. I'm not a fan of having blood drawn...I can't look at it, when it's mine or anyone else's. I faint, I get sick, whatever...say what you want, but if I'm going to have to do this several times a week it'll be on my terms. Thank God for Anna.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Home for Thanksgiving?

Tomorrow is my day three appointment but I don't know if I should go because that means instead of flying home to be with our families for Thanksgiving in two weeks, we will be at the clinic being inseminated. I spoke with the nurse yesterday to discuss the possibility of skipping a month. To my surprise she said it was not a big deal and it would not lessen our chances of getting pregnant overall. Still, it would mean that another month has passed and I'm still not pregnant.

Since we live so far away from our families, we only see them three or four times a year. Missing Thanksgiving would be disappointing for all. Of course if we stayed and it worked, it would be worth it. We could plan to be home for the winter break, but if it fails in November we would have to try again in December, which means we would be in the same situation...sitting on non-refundable plane tickets agonizing over what to do.

I had hoped to keep our dirty little secret from our families. My husband has an extremely fertile sister-in-law and sister. They pop out kids regularly. I'd have preferred that no one know that we are having issues, but with his mom and my dad, there is no such thing as confidentiality. You can imagine the type...listen, your sister is having problems, but don't let on that you know. They don't mean any ill will, but for whatever reason can't help sharing everything with the whole family. Maybe that's the way families should and honest all the time. Still, I can't help but feel that some matters should be kept between husband and wife.

So yesterday I finally told his mom and I cried and I'm so mad that I cried. I'm not a crier...well, not until recently. She immediately apologized because she had told me a story about one of the grandkids at the beginning of our phone call. I guess she'll stop talking to me about all the kids now...maybe that's not so bad. Is that too selfish? My mom knew we were up to something. I guess I should be confiding in her since she went through all this stuff too three decades ago. I think she feels kind of responsible...she feels responsible for everything really. PCOS just runs in our family unfortunately. Maybe I'll have only boys so I can save the next generation from this pain.

Don't misunderstand me...It's not so much that I'm embarrassed by my inability to conceive as much as I just don't want people thinking about it, dwelling on it, wondering when it will happen, how I'm handling it and thereby putting added pressure on me. I also don't want anyone's pity. It's bad enough I go to family birthday parties for the nieces and nephews and hear things like, "Oh someday you'll understand how hard it is to care for a child, two kids, etc." Oh, someday you'll have to change diapers and you'll know what it's like...blah, blah, blah." I can't stand it when they say things like that. Your life is so have a kid, you change diapers, you do so much...I can't possibly know what it's like because I'm childless and infertile. You win. I lose.

I know I'm not alone with this problem...I see the waiting room full of women. I just want everyone to know how wrong it is to ask people about their private issues. I can't tell you how many people, good intentioned people, have asked me..."So when are you and your husband going to have a child? You aren't getting any younger. You don't want to wait too long." Excuse me, are you kidding? Are you so insensitive, so stupid? It's none of your freaking business! I'm thinking about wearing a sign that says "It's none of your business, stop asking me!" Think before you speak people.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

failed first attempt

I just completed my first Clomid cycle and it was unsuccessful. I guess I'd be writing a different kind of blog if it had succeeded. My husband and I have been going to a fertility clinic for several months now in an effort to conceive. I imagined that this would be difficult and while intellectually I might have thought I was prepared, nothing could have prepared my heart.

In case you are not familiar with the process, the way it works is this...On the first day of your period you call the clinic and schedule your day three examination which consists of blood work and an ultrasound. Then you begin taking the Clomid for five days and you wait for ovulation. Around day 13 or so of your cycle (the first day of menstruation being day one) you go back for another ultrasound to see how many follicles you have produced. (I had two this past month so I guess I figured my odds were pretty good. ) They continue to monitor the maturation of the follicles... by the way, there is no guarantee there are eggs in the follicles or healthy eggs for that matter. Then when the follicles are ready, they inject you with something that makes the eggs emerge in preparation for insemination. At that point your man disappears into the special room equipped with several different mediums of pornography. (My husband's always got some wise crack at this point...I'm sure the nurses have heard them all by now). Then they "wash" the specimen and insert it in you. Not very romantic.

So, there you are with your feet propped up staring at the ceiling and imaging the scene from that film you saw in health class years ago where the sperm is sprinting towards the egg, vying for the prize. I can't explain all the technical stuff to you so I'd advise you to go elsewhere if that's what you are seeking.

What I can tell you is that in the past month more strangers have seen my cooter (my technical term) then all the years I spent in college and graduate school combined. My husband constantly reminds me that there is no sex in medicine...but this does little to diminish my discomfort. For the first time in my life I'm actually concerned with the appearance of my cooter. I used to think women who waxed and groomed down there were nuts, vain or masochistic. Being on display for countless doctors has given me cause to ponder a litany of issues I would otherwise have ignored for the rest of my life. I guess that could be a positive result of this emotional process...I'm devoting more time to my cooter.

When it occurred to me to start blogging my thoughts a few hours ago I knew I'd have to create a name for my blog. With an interest in religion I spend a lot of time reading Biblical stories and recently I've thought a lot about Sarah and what it must have been like to be told as an old woman that she would conceive a son. It is said that she laughed. I'm not a religious person by any means. I just figure that if it worked out for Sarah and she was beyond childbearing years, then it'll eventually work for me...I'm still a lot younger than everyone else in that waiting room. Oh and by the way, when I went on-line to find the story of Sarah, I discovered that it happens to be this week's parsha or Torah portion.