Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ho hum

After 14+ years in the post-collegiate working world, I've finally figured out my natural work rhythms:

9-10 am Diddle around on the Internet, no matter what time I sit down to work.
10 am-1 pm Massive burst of productivity.
1 pm-5 pm Lunch, followed by massive collapse in productivity.
5 pm-10 pm Second burst of productivity.

Unfortunately, this schedule is not really compatible with regular office life. Even now that I work from home at least half the time, I can't really take advantage of that evening productivity burst thanks to the whole need to feed/bathe/sedate the child. You know the only time it worked well? When I was pregnant, on bedrest, working from home, with my husband working nights. Can't go out at night, can only watch so much TV, why not work until 11 pm and sleep all afternoon?

All that is to say that I decided not to feel guilty about blogging in the middle of the day, even though I'm in an office, because it's certainly no worse than any of the other time-wasters I'd be occupying myself with right now, like reading Gossip Girl recaps or hanging out on Facebook.

Today is CD9. I haven't written about the progress of this cycle because there hasn't been much to say. I've been on 75 IU Gonal-F since Friday, and went in for monitoring Monday and yesterday. As of yesterday morning, there was still nothing over 10 mm on either ovary, though what little action there was appeared to be on the left ovary (fuck). Dr. SF wasn't concerned about the lack of follicle growth, though, because my E2 has been rising appropriately, so he says he's going by that rather than the ultrasound for now. I'm going back in tomorrow and I expect (I hope) we'll see something then.

My mom is visiting this weekend, and it's unfortunate that no matter what, it looks like this cycle's IUI won't be happening while she's here (and therefore available for free babysitting). Ah well. Bat Girl is excited for her Halmoni's (grandma in Korean) visit, though mostly because my mom promised to bring her a toy farm with animals. She's an acquisitive one, that daughter of mine. Did I ever mention my theory that children under 3 are basically sociopaths? Little to no empathy, total selfishness, poor impulse control, disregard for the destruction they wreak.

Speaking of my little sociopath, her latest catchphrases are "Because it's true" and "No worries." "Because it's true" is her answer to almost any question--it's how she tries to shut us down:
"Why did you hit the cat with the stick?" "Because it's true!"
"Why do you want candy?" "Because it's true!"

I have no idea where she picked up "No worries." In action, it looks like this: The other night, we were at a friend's house, and BG started pulling out some toys in their 9-year-old's bedroom. I said, "I don't think [daughter's name] wants you to play with those, honey." She said, with perfect talking-down-the-crazy-person intonation, "No worries, mom," complete with talk-to-the-hand gesture. Hilarious.

Lest I overemphasize her sociopathic tendencies, I should tell you that she also says "please" and "thank you," (mostly) without prompting; hugs strangers; loves to play princess (no idea how--I never believed people who claimed that princessmania was just in the air and little girls absorbed it naturally, but it seems to be true). She is 99% potty trained at home--wears underpants, goes to the potty all by herself (all we do is wipe her and pull up her pants)--but has never once used the bathroom away from home and so is still in pull-ups outside the house. I finally figured out that the issue is her independence--she is SO all about doing it by herself at home that she doesn't want to tell us when she has to go, which is of course the only way you can possibly make it to a public toilet in time. She's clearly physically capable of real bladder control--she can go 4-5 hours without peeing if she's really into playing--so I think it's just a matter of waiting for her to decide she's ready to wear underpants all the time. Daycare (starting next week, we hope) will probably help too.

Wow, that was totally boring except for the 5 percent of you currently potty training a toddler. Sorry.

That's all that's happening with me. What's new with you?

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Thursday, October 22, 2009


I should really be sleeping right now. We have a preschool tour in the morning (gulp) and I should be getting some rest and I'm exhausted from getting up before dawn for u/s and bloodwork. But lately I've been having a lot of trouble falling asleep--last night I went to bed at 11:30 and lay in bed awake for an hour and a half. And trust me, for the last 2.5 years I have had NO trouble falling asleep whatsoever, so this is really unusual for me.

Oh yeah, about that u/s and bloodwork--I got my period yesterday. I guess I wasn't really surprised, since the chances of me getting pregnant this cycle were pretty small. But I won't lie, I was still having these fantasies that somehow it would work, and wouldn't we all be so surprised! Whee! But no. I guess this explains why I was UNBELIEVABLY CRANKY on Monday.

I went in for monitoring today, CD2, because I didn't think I'd be able to make it all the way down to the clinic and back before the aforementioned preschool tour tomorrow. So I'm back on 75 IU Gonal-F starting tomorrow, in for bloods and u/s Monday. Dr. SF specifically wanted me to start stimming tomorrow instead of today, so that my first check-in would be on Monday (when he's in the office) instead of Sunday, because he didn't want one of the other docs to drop my dosage without checking with him, since, as he said, "Your ovaries tend to shut down when we drop your dosage." I will say, my clinic is definitely a huge machine (you should see the number of women in the waiting room during monitoring hours), but it's little things like that that always make me feel like I'm well taken care of.

We'll be able to do one more cycle now, and then since we'll be traveling the week of Thanksgiving and the week before, we'll have to take a break. If this one doesn't work, I will probably request an HSG during my off-cycle, just to make sure that my tube is still clear. (I had an HSG in 2005, which is of course how my UU was initially diagnosed, but it's been four years and I assume it's possible things could have gotten gummed up a bit, what with getting pregnant and having a c-section and just generally getting older.) I actually asked the nurse about doing it this cycle (forgot to ask Dr. SF when I saw him) and she said they prefer to do it during an off-cycle anyway.

After Thanksgiving, if I can time it just right with Provera, we might be able to squeeze in one more try before we go away for Christmas. Then we lose our IF coverage and I don't know what we'll do next. I'll have enough time to stock up on meds while I still have the insurance, so a good chunk of the cost of a cycle would be taken care of. But obviously I'd much rather I just got pregnant now. Hear that, universe?

Meanwhile--preschool! Ack! This is one of two schools we're looking at for BG for next year. It'll amount to a little over $10K for full days, 5 days a week ("full day" for 3-year-olds meaning 9 am-3:30 pm). That's pretty affordable for Big City--typical preschool tuition is more like $13-15K for half days. Not sure where we're going to come up with this money, but we'll worry about getting in first. As soon as the preschool applications are done, of course, I have to start the apparently multi-year process of negotiating the city bureaucracy to get her into a decent public kindergarten--which we're going to have to do, because private school tuition past preschool ain't gonna happen. Or we could move to the suburbs...and pay the $14K/year in property taxes instead of private school tuition. Remind me again why I live here?

Hm, I guess it's not so surprising that I can't sleep, after all.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vax links

As it happens, right after I wrote my last post, a whole bunch of flu/vaccine/flu vax-related articles have popped up. So I thought I'd collect 'em all--they make for interesting reading.

On swine flu:

From Newsweek and Inoculation Misinformation. An excellent article dispelling myths about the H1N1 vaccine. I guess I don't have the right kind of crazy email-forwarding friends, because I had NO IDEA the misinformation was this ridiculous.

From the NYTimes: Flu Story: A Pregnant Woman's Ordeal. Aubrey Opdyke was pregnant when she contracted H1N1. She spent four months in the hospital, five weeks of that in a coma, and had six collapsed lungs and a near-fatal seizure. Her baby had to be delivered at 27 weeks by emergency C-section and lived only seven minutes.

On vaccines in general:

From Wired: An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All. This was really interesting--it's the first article I've seen that states really clearly that by weakening herd immunity, parents who don't vaccinate don't just make their own children vulnerable, they endanger children and adults who have been vaccinated, because vaccines don't always "take":
The frightening implications of this kind of anecdote were illustrated by a 2002 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Looking at 3,292 cases of measles in the Netherlands, the study found that the risk of contracting the disease was lower if you were completely unvaccinated and living in a highly vaccinated community than if you were completely vaccinated and living in a relatively unvaccinated community. Why? Because vaccines don’t always take. What does that mean? You can’t minimize your individual risk unless your herd, your friends and neighbors, also buy in.

From Slate: My Son Has Cancer. He Can't Go Into Daycare Because of Unvaccinated Children. Less subtle, this one, but effective.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


So I was moved to post about flu vaccines after reading this post. Except I just wrote the post in my head and didn't, you know, actually compose and post it. The post I wrote in my head was of course beautifully eloquent and masterfully argued. But here's what I'd like to say:

All three of us (me, husband, Bat Girl) have gotten the seasonal flu shot. We will be getting the H1N1 vaccine as soon as we are able. We got the seasonal shots at the beginning of October from BG's pediatrician (she only gets the thimerosal-free versions), and since she recommends spacing out all flu vaccines one month apart, BG will be getting the first dose of H1N1 in the beginning of November, and the second dose at the beginning of December. (Kids under 9 have to get 2 doses of H1N1 for it to be effective. Since she has had the seasonal flu shot before, she only needed one dose of that one.) Since she freaked out getting the seasonal shot and tried to rip the needle out of her leg, I decided to get her the nasal spray for H1N1.

I am a very big believer in flu shots. I have gotten one every year for as long as I can remember. Longtime readers may recall that I fretted a bit about whether to get a thimerosal-containing flu shot when pregnant with BG--but I went ahead and did it anyway. So there was never any question that we were getting the seasonal shot. I debated the H1N1 shot a bit, but considering that (a) I am hoping to get pregnant this flu season, (b) pregnant women and small children have had the highest fatality rates from H1N1 so far, (c) we are planning to put BG in day care, i.e. viral stewpot, 2 days a week this winter, and (d) given the demographics of our neighborhood (hippies, bobos, and non-English-speaking recent immigrants) the local vax rate will likely be quite low, I am not taking the risk of going unvaccinated. If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I will get the nasal spray when BG gets hers. If I do get pregnant (ha!) I will get the shot as soon as I possibly can.

If you are someone who has issues with vaccines in general, I totally respect that. What I have a hard time with is people who fear the H1N1 vaccine based on totally unfounded information that they picked up through rumor or on MDC. To wit:
-If you don't have a problem with seasonal flu vaccine, you shouldn't have a major problem with the H1N1 vaccine. They are made in exactly the same way--the only difference is the virus part.
-There are NO ADJUVANTS in any flu vaccines in the US. (If you're not in the US, your mileage may vary.)
-If you fear mercury in vaccines, you can get a thimerosal-free flu vaccine, either via a single-dose shot or the nasal spray (which is always mercury-free).

Here's a piece by Paul Offit (whom I know a lot of people have a problem with) explaining all of this in more detail. So if you decide not to get vaccinated--which you are totally within your rights to do--you will at least have the science straight. That is all.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thumb twiddling

I'm trying very hard not to pin too much (any) hope on this cycle, because the chances are so low that it worked, what with the ovulating on the side with no tube and all. Still, I can't help paying attention to every twinge and ache, wondering if it's a sign, and if so, of what. I've had some aches and pulling and tenderness in the abdominal region, but nothing that I can pin down as a definitive sign of success or failure. It'll be another week at least before I know. I'm just trying to assume that it didn't work and plan ahead for the next cycle, so I won't be too disappointed--but we all know how well THAT works.

So to distract myself, and because I have neglected my mommyblogging while in the throes of treatment, I give you a brief scene from this morning, just after Bat Girl and I rose for the day:

Me: Let's take off your diaper before you start playing with your toys.


Me: Honey, that's not a very nice way to talk to Mommy.

BG: [sweetly] Could you pleeeease go away from me now?

*This is her latest thing--screaming "Get away from me!" or "Don't touch me!" whenever we try to do something incredibly offensive like, say, remove her sodden overnight diaper or tuck in her blankets when she wakes in the middle of the night or get a closer look at a boo-boo. Charming, no?

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Hey, remember how I was gloating about how smoothly this cycle was going? Yeah, not so much. This morning, I had a single, gorgeous, juicy, 20 mm follicle--on the left side! Where there is no tube! Sound familiar?

I had a long talk with the nurse about the usefulness of continuing with IUI, considering that there is a chance, but a very small one (in the nurse's words: "Stranger things have happened"), of the right tube picking up the egg. My thinking was that since we've jettisoned cycles in the past when I had an egg on the wrong side, maybe we should just do timed intercourse instead, rather than go to the trouble of IUI. She said it was totally up to us, but that IUI always maximizes the chances versus just intercourse.

Anyway, I was on edge all day waiting for the call with my bloodwork results and instructions--normally they call by 1 p.m. or so, but today I didn't get the call until 4:30. Trigger tonight, call tomorrow to schedule IUI for Thursday.

My husband and I talked about it, and what with the tiny likelihood of success and the logistical nightmare that trying to make the IUI happen Thursday morning with our current lack of childcare (our usual babysitter just went back to school, and all our friends who normally can pitch in are either out of town or would be dealing with their own weekday morning messes) and my crazy schedule that day, we decided to do it on our own. I'm still going to do the Ovidrel shot tonight, just for ease of timing, but then we'll just have sex tonight and tomorrow (and probably Thursday, if we can manage). I'll call the clinic tomorrow to tell them.

I'm going to consider this cycle a wash, and start thinking ahead to next cycle. I think we'll try at least one more injectible IUI, and then re-evaluate at the end of the year.

I feel like I should write something about how I feel but...I'm not really feeling anything. I think my new blase attitude is helping me to not take my ovaries' performance personally. It is what it is, you know?


Sunday, October 04, 2009


So this cycle is actually going ridiculously smoothly. This morning two follicles had taken the lead, one 13 mm-ish and one 10-11 mm-ish. One was on the right, one on the left, not sure which, though we don't care too much about the left side, so the good news is that I only have one follicle on the right again. Good sign for being able to complete the IUI. 75 IU tonight and tomorrow, back for monitoring Tuesday. Can I just say how glad I am not to be going in every single day like I did last cycle? I hope the smoothness of the stim and consistent dosage will be a good omen for the results.


Thursday, October 01, 2009


It may be possible to be too Zen about a cycle. Like, say, if it makes you almost forget to take your Gonal-F shot (I remembered as I was getting ready for bed last night, 20 minutes past the time I usually take it). Or if it makes you almost forget to take your underpants off before your transvaginal ultrasound (I remembered as I was about to hop up on the table).

Anyway, everything looked fine in there, and my bloodwork looked good too, so Dr. SF said he wanted to see me once over the weekend, and then next week we'd probably go into high gear with the once-daily blood and wandings. He even gave me a choice between coming in on Saturday or Sunday. So: continue on 75 IU through Saturday, monitoring Sunday.