Monday, August 31, 2009

Old timers

Better women than I have written eloquently about the "good old days" of IF blogging (wish I could find the post, it really said it all--Pru? got a link?). Going through treatment again has made me weirdly nostalgic for the days when I was first getting into the IF blog community--not just the small-world camaraderie in general, but specific women who are no longer blogging who I still miss and wonder about. Like Ornery, and Sube, and Mel, and so many more.

You know who I was thinking about last night? Beth from Prop Your Hips Up. Whatever happened to her? She blogged a tiny bit last year, changed her blog name, and then it went dark. I was especially thinking about her because I was trying to decide when to POAS (just about settled on Sunday, in case you care), and I remembered how three years ago Beth and I got positive HPTs the same weekend, and were emailing pictures of our tests back and forth comparing and analyzing the relative lightness of the lines. Our girls were born just weeks apart (BG at 38 weeks, LC at 40 weeks). Beth, if you're out there, I miss you and I hope you're doing well!

Who do you miss?

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

I haven't forgotten about you

There just isn't much to say. Today is 4dpiui and I am, of course, on SymptomWatch '09. I actually have almost none of the symptoms I had last time around, which I am choosing to attribute to the fact that I only had one egg this time (instead of the 3 I had last time) and do not appear to be hyperstimulated, thank jeebus.

At roughly this point the last time I did this, I was seriously bloated, horribly constipated, zitty, and felt my ovaries banging up against my other internal organs every time I moved. This time, I had some achiness and cramping all through my lower abdomen about 36 hours after the IUI, and am still a little tender around my right ovary, but only when I am, say, head-butted in the abdomen by a 2.5 year old. I can walk without pain and am pretty much maintaining my regular level of activity--today I loaded Bat Girl up in the stroller and made the 20 minute walk to Tar-jay at my usual pace.

I am a little bloated, but it's "ate a big burrito" bloat as opposed to the "20 weeks pregnant" bloat I had last time. (Though I see, looking back at my archives, that the initial bloating subsided after a few days, and then around 10dpiui is when I really ballooned.) I'm zitty, but not significantly more so than what's been normal for me lately. And not that you need to know this, but I am pooping perfectly.

I could interpret all this as "Sorry, not going to get pregnant this time." Sometimes I do. And sometimes I slip into ridiculous newbie-esque optimism, like when I Googled "implantation cramping" at 2dpiui even though I KNEW there was NO WAY that could be what I was feeling. But I am trying to maintain an overall Zen attitude--we are still, after all, at a state of Schrodinger's Uterus (tm Robbie), so there's no point in freaking out over what is still indeterminate.

Of course, I did buy HPTs at Target today. And Tylenol to take instead of ibuprofen for the soreness due to my newly-tightened braces. You know, just in case.

PS The main purpose of this trip to Target was not the HPTs but some heinous character underpants for BG--Tinkerbell, to be exact. I am SO OVER potty training at this point and am willing to do almost anything, including bribery, to push it over the top and just be done already. So if my child is going to be obsessed with freaking "Disney fairies" anyway (a family member gave us a bootleg DVD of the Tinkerbell movie, which is just about the most terrible thing I've ever seen, and yet BG can't get enough of it), I figure I might as well use it to my advantage.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I wore a pencil skirt to my IUI

because if past experience is any indication, by tomorrow I will have blown up like a flabby water balloon and won't be able to wear anything remotely fitted for weeks.

Yesterday my nipples were ridiculous. (And how's that for an enticing first sentence?) Like, very very very sore, very very very hard marbles sitting on my chest, screaming when grazed by, you know, air. I was nauseous half the day too. And then I finally realized, oh yeah, I shot myself up with hCG last night, that's why my body is acting like it's pregnant even though I haven't ovulated yet.

My nipples are still ridiculous today. I'm wearing one of my super-armored padded bras to try to protect them. But I actually haven't started bloating yet, and the weird sensation of being able to feel my right ovary (and jostling it whenever I move) that I remember from last time is much less pronounced this time around. I do expect that to change in the next few days, but still, I guess that's the difference between one egg and three.

IUI this morning was uneventful. Husband had to get up very very early to go to the clinic and produce his sample; I followed an hour and a half later (which is how long they schedule between sample delivery and IUI, to allow for washing and processing). I had a teensy smidge of cramping from the catheter, but it was barely noticeable. They didn't tell us the count like they did last time, so we don't know what the quality was like. I lay on the table for 5 minutes afterward and then went to work.

I've been reviewing my blog entries from the month or so after my IUI last time, to remind myself of the symptoms I should expect (bloating, shortness of breath, etc). What it really reminded me of was how much I hated being pregnant. Of course I was happy to be pregnant, but the actual experience of pregnancy really was miserable from start to finish. When I think back on it now, I tend to focus on those last few terrible months of bedrest, but I forget that from the day of my IUI, I was in extreme discomfort almost every day. I had a pretty good attitude about it at first, because as far as I knew, the bloating would get better (it did), the bleeding would stop (it did), the contractions would...well, we know how that ended. But my point is, I always thought things would get better. Even in the darkest, most depressed days, I assumed that by 35 weeks I'd have my bedrest restrictions lifted and I'd get to have some sort of normal pregnant life.

But I didn't. As fearful as I was going into pregnancy, not knowing whether my uterus would be able to handle it, I don't think I ever truly comprehended that barely a week would go by for 9 months where I wasn't in pain, exhausted, terrified, or all three. That before I'd even achieved implantation, I wouldn't be able to cross the street without gasping for breath and feeling like I'd been socked in the gut.

So now, staring down the barrel of what could be a very long 9 months, I am really, really, really not looking forward to the prospect of being pregnant. Even though this time I have the advantage of knowing that I should be able to make it until at least 38 weeks (when Bat Girl was born). And then the whole newborn phase, which I am definitely not good at. (Toddler, now, that I'm good at.) And that's if this whole thing actually works, the chances of which are slim, and if not, there's a whole new level of treatment hell we move on to.

Can't I just please skip this whole thing and cut directly to having a 1-year-old?

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

We are go, repeat, we are go for takeoff

A.M. monitoring: Right side has one 17-18 mm follicle, and everything else was small enough that Dr. SF didn't even bother to measure. He assured me that, while there are a bunch of follicles simmering, they "will contribute to swelling, but not to pregnancy," which is what I wanted to hear. I mean, not the swelling part, because man, that bloating SUCKED last time around. But to know that there's very little chance of multiples now is a huge relief. (I do wish he had measured the follicles, but I trust him. Plus, my E2 was in the 500s, whereas the cycle I got pregnant with Bat Girl, where I had 3 likely follicles, it was over 1000 at this point.)

So: 37.5 IU Gonal-F tonight to finish it off. Trigger tomorrow. IUI Tuesday. Eek!

We're still a little terrified, especially with the timing being less-than-ideal--interviewing for new job(s), etc. But the husband and I talked about it today, and what it came down to is that if we don't have another child, we believe we will always regret it. And there will never be an ideal time. we go!


Friday, August 21, 2009


Yesterday Dr. SF was on monitoring duty, so I finally got an explanation for why my dose has been going up and down and I've had to go in every day. He showed me my estrogen levels for the week--apparently when they dropped the dose down to 37.5 IU, my E2 started dropping too, even though the follicles were still growing, so they bumped it up to 112.5 to try to juice things up a little. Typical PCOS response, apparently, which is why it's so tough to control stims with polycystic ovaries--there's a really fine line between overstimming and understimming. He told me I'd probably have to keep coming in every day, but since I had at least one follicle around 13 mm, by the weekend we'd probably be ready to either trigger or make a decision on canceling.

I did 112.5 IU again last night, and this morning I had one 15-16 mm follicle and two 12-13 mm follicles on the right and nothing worth noting on the left. Dose dropped down to 75 IU for tonight, back tomorrow. That's 6 days in a row, for those of you keeping score at home. I told Dr. SF I'd probably just set up a tent in the lobby. He's on monitoring duty this weekend, which we're all glad about, so he can keep a close eye on what's going on.

Whoops--getting late. Got to go shoot up and get to bed. I'm so exhausted this week from the early mornings, I'm cranky and stressed out about all the work I have to do. Just a few more days, I keep telling myself...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Lots o'eggs this morning, all still hovering around 12 mm. I'm to increase Gonal-F dose to 112.5 IU (the hell?) tonight and come back tomorrow. That's 4 days in a row, people. I look like a junkie with all my track marks. "You just have a lot of eggs, so we have to be careful," the nurse told me. Sigh.

This is a major contrast to the cycle I got pregnant with Bat Girl, when I did a mere 5 days of stims, coasted, and triggered on day 9. Ah well, I guess low and slow is probably better anyway. Hopefully I won't have so much bloating and low-grade OHSS this time.

Also, I have two big deadlines in the next week and a half, and I just found out I made it to the next round for Dream Job, which means I didn't screw up the phone interview too badly, at least. Hyperventilating a little at everything I have to do before the end of the month...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This morning's scan: at least 3 or 4 larger follicles on the right (largest one about 12.5 mm), nothing much on the left. I also saw a nice triple-line lining on the monitor. 75 IU tonight (so I guess my E2 slowed down) and back again tomorrow. Apparently there's so much going on that they want to see me every day, for safety's sake.

I suspect that we'll end up cancelling this cycle. Of course, things could change, but unless one of those bigger follicles really breaks away from the pack and the others halt in their tracks, we probably won't feel comfortable going ahead. But I'm willing to wait and see.


Monday, August 17, 2009


Bloods and ultrasound this morning. I've been doing 75 IU of Gonal-F for the past 4 nights, and I have to say that I like the Follistim pen better--or at least, I don't remember finding it so fiddly as the Gonal-F. Anyway, at this morning's u/s both ovaries had a bunch of smallish (9 mm or so) follicles, but nothing breaking away from the pack yet. Dr. SF said my lining was pretty thick, so he suspected my E2 levels were doing fine despite the lack of action in my ovaries. He said that depending on the blood results, he'd either keep me at the same dosage or drop down, but definitely would not increase the dosage--ovaries are looking potentially "scary" (his word), meaning that there's potential for a whole lot of eggs to pop if we're not careful.

And this afternoon the nurse called to tell me to drop down to 37.5 IU and come back tomorrow. I'm definitely starting to feel a little sore, but I think it's because I haven't been rotating the injection sites as much as I should--I have a (possibly misguided) superstition that if I do the injections on the right side, they'll stimulate the right ovary more.

No news on the job front, so I'm just plugging along. Got to go do the shot now.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here we go

I just gave myself my first injection in over 3 years.

It wasn't too bad, actually, especially compared with my very first time. I knew that I needed to ice beforehand, watched the video my clinic has online to refresh myself, had all the swabs and things laid out. I finally wised up that it's watching the damn needle go in that's the worst part, so I pinched, squeezed my eyes shut, then stuck the needle in and pushed down the plunger without opening. For the Gonal-F pen they recommend leaving the needle in for an additional 5 seconds, which I don't remember with Follistim--that part was a little icky, but it was over quickly.

I'm still ambivalent about this cycle. For some reason it took forever for my period to arrive after I took the course of Provera, so I had lots of time to think about it. Naturally, my freelance work has really picked up in the last couple of weeks--I had a meeting yesterday about a great new consulting project--and I have not one, not two, but THREE potential full-time jobs at various stages of the application/interview process. Today I had a phone interview for what might just be my dream job (not sure how I did--hard to gauge over the phone, with no nonverbal feedback). All this after months and months of no job bites at all. So I have some qualms about getting pregnant right before I might, maybe, possibly, start a new job. On the other hand, I could get no job at all, and then I would be pissed if we'd postponed the cycle for nothing.

Basically I'm just going along with it for now and not making any decisions. We can decide to cancel at any point, and the cycle might not even work out anyway. So I'm not going to freak out too much about the possibilities until there's something to freak out about.