Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm having a rough week. As you might guess. My nagging cough has bloomed into a full-on head cold. Work is a PITA. My Facebook feed is full of belly shots and birth announcements*. At least it finally stopped raining in Big City.

I went in on Tuesday for CD3 bloodwork and ultrasound. Except when I was done with the vampires, the phlebotomist told me, "OK, you're only getting blood today, no ultrasound, so you're done!" I knew it was just a clerical error, that I definitely was supposed to get an ultrasound, but I had to go back up to reception to ask to speak to a nurse to straighten it out. was just too much for me. I burst into tears, and once I started I couldn't stop. All the grief I'd been holding in since Friday just came pouring out, and I sat in the waiting room trying in vain to choke back the sobs. Luckily it wasn't crowded (not that anyone would have cared--I mean, if you can't cry in the waiting room at the RE, where else CAN you cry in public?), and luckily I didn't have to wait long for a nurse--perhaps one of the receptionists hit the panic button, I don't know.

The nurse was super nice and waved off my attempts to apologize for being a runny mess: "This is a really stressful place. I know you would be happy never to see me again." That, of course, just made me cry harder, and she fetched me tissues and a glass of water and whisked me into an ultrasound room ahead of everyone else so I wouldn't have to wait outside.

(They've got a new batch of extra lovely nurses lately; when I called Monday to arrange for my CD3 scans etc., the nurse I spoke to actually said--and believe it or not, this is the first time a medical professional has said this to me--"I'm sorry you got your period. That really sucks.")

I cried through my ultrasound, which was actually fine--I have a large corpus luteum cyst on my right ovary, but bloodwork revealed it's not making any trouble hormonally so we're good to go. But I asked if I could take a week or two before starting up again, just to give myself some time to regroup emotionally, and my doctor was fine with that.

If this cycle (#7 for baby #2, if anyone is counting) doesn't work I think we'll take the rest of the summer off. I'm tired, bone tired. I'm sick of being bloated and watching what I eat and behaving as if I were pregnant without actually being pregnant. I almost cried again yesterday morning when I discovered that I couldn't even button the pants I was planning to wear to a business meeting, because I'm still such a puffy mess. (I ended up wearing some shapeless sack dress.) I'll give up bikinis and margaritas and my favorite shorts gladly, if I'm pregnant, but if I'm not, I want to enjoy this summer, dammit.

*Birth announcement today from someone who has now conceived and given birth to two children in the time since Bat Girl was born. One last week from someone who has conceived and given birth to THREE children since Bat Girl was born--I can't resent her too much, since she has three children under the age of 4, poor thing.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

On suffering

When I was pregnant with Bat Girl, an acquaintance of mine was pregnant with twins, due three months after I was due. I learned early on that she had gone through infertility too, so I tried to bond with her over it, but it wasn't as easy as you might think. She had endured a much longer and harder road than I had--many more years of struggle, multiple rounds of IVF, miscarriages--and never missed an opportunity to remind me of that fact. She was forever reminding me that my one cycle of injectables was "no big deal," which got to me after a while, as you might imagine.

Of course, I couldn't begrudge her any of it, especially after she told me she'd had a miscarriage just days before I'd announced my pregnancy--god, the pain I must have caused her--or after she, too, went on bed rest, but then ended up delivering her twins months early, with the attendant NICU stays et al. (Her babies are fine now.)

Still, it rankled every time she'd dismiss what I'd been through--I mean, it all felt pretty darn difficult to me at the time, and I didn't appreciate being told it was a piece of cake. But I tried to take it to heart and not only remind myself that I was lucky, but that I shouldn't discount the experiences of others. Those "I took Clomid for two months! It was so hard!" folks I used to make fun of? I tried to remember that their experience was painful in its own way, and no less worthy than my own.

Almost exactly a year ago, I saw this acquaintance at a baby shower for a mutual friend. As often happens in such settings, the talk turned to babies, and she and I started talking about whether or not we'd have another. With her history, unsurprisingly, she declared herself done. Still raw from the first round of TTC#2, I confided that we were hoping to have another, but were taking a break from treatment, not only because we didn't have IF insurance coverage anymore but because I needed a break, emotionally. "We did three or four injectable cycles back-to-back last fall and I just couldn't face another," I said. "You know how it is, sometimes it just gets to be too much."

Right on cue, she said, "Oh, I know. And three or four injectable cycles, that's like nothing."

I didn't say anything, but I kind of wanted to punch her. Like, I GET IT. You had it worse. MUCH worse. Fine. Can't you just let me have my pain???

On the day I knew my last cycle failed, when I was lying awake putting off the moment when I'd get up and take the inevitably negative test, I couldn't stop thinking about that encounter. And it pissed me off. Why was I doing that to myself? Couldn't I even let myself wallow without pulling some kind of messed-up Reverse Pain Olympics on myself? Couldn't I just let myself have my pain?


Thanks for your comments and emails. I'm a little numb right now, but I'm sure it'll hit me hard soon.

Although that was the last IUI cycle that insurance will cover, I'm almost positive we're going to go for at least one more. My husband is willing, and without going into it too much, it's looking more and more like IVF is not in the cards for us. (Yes, despite the fact that IVF with single embryo transfer is the best medical solution to our situation, and despite the fact that it would carry a 40% chance of success versus the cruddy 20% chance that IUI has. And yes, it is very much a mutual decision.)

Based on the bloating I had this 2ww, I'm going to guess that I'll be directed to take a couple of weeks off before starting stims again. And if not, I'm going to ask if I can anyway. I need a little time to regroup.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011


Yesterday morning, 10dpiui, the test was as white as [insert your favorite white-based metaphor here]. I was so sure I was not pregnant I had a glass of wine with dinner.

Today, 11dpiui, yet another negative. Started spotting this morning. I'll probably get my period tomorrow.

I plan to spend the rest of the weekend doped up on allergy medication (denied to me this whole pollen-filled 2ww) and chocolate. Not sure what our next steps, if any, will be. I don't think I'm ready to call it quits.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011


I dreamed I got up, peed on a stick, and got a positive. Then I woke up. Then I peed on a stick, and got a positive. Then I woke up again. Over and over, layer upon layer of peestick dreaming, like if Inception were made by Serono.

Then I woke up for real. Peed on a stick. Negative.

Still only 9dpiui. At least one more day before I start getting depressed.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I've learned this week

There's a reason why those plus/minus hpts are always on sale: They suck. Fuzzy, hard to read, all pixelated. I used my last one yesterday and promptly went out and spent the big bucks on some trusty FRERs.

First blank test today (8dpiui), meaning trigger shot is officially gone. Fingers crossed that I'll see something by the weekend. I feel pretty terrible (bloated etc) but it's hard to separate the hormonal discomfort from the fact that I've had a terrible cough all week and haven't been able to sleep (and haven't been able to dose up on cough medicine on the slight chance I might be pregnant). Despite the bloating, sore breasts, armpit lumps, etc., I also haven't felt that bustle of activity in the pelvic region that typically signals something going on in there (though I did on Sunday, 5dpiui).

Did I mention this is the longest, slowest 2ww ever?

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Longest 2ww ever

I can't believe I'm only 4dpiui. This week has DRAAAAAAAGGED. Part of the problem is that my last several IUIs have happened to be on a Sunday, so my mental calendar keeps wanting to count from Sunday, even though this time my IUI was on Tuesday. So I'll be like, "Oh, Thursday, almost a week gone already!" and then realize, no, it's only been TWO DAYS. Ugh.

Anyway, all proceeding as expected. SymptomWatch: the usual Ridiculous Nipples (TM) and bloating, not too much tenderness. I'm also having two symptoms I had when I got pregnant but haven't had on any cycle since, namely constipation and tender lumps in my armpits, but I'm trying not to read too much into that, considering that we're squarely in trigger shot territory and there hasn't even been enough time for anything to implant.

I've finally figured out that I always get my period 2 weeks after trigger, not 2 weeks after IUI, so a week from Sunday is D-Day--and I'll probably know one way or another as early as Friday. HPTs are on sale this week so I'm just going to go all out and test every single day next week, testing out the trigger and then seeing what happens. It'll give me something to DO instead of just sitting here going crazy.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

How honest?

In order for us to make the IUI happen tomorrow morning without my being hideously late for work, my husband is going in early to make his contribution, and I'll drop Bat Girl off at school a half-hour early before racing to the clinic to do my part (i.e. lie back and think of England). When I got home from work today, my husband told me he'd confirmed that school was OK with us dropping BG off early (they have morning daycare) and that he'd already told BG about the change in schedule.

As I was putting BG to bed, she asked me, "Why am I going to school early tomorrow?" Oops--we hadn't agreed on a story beforehand. "Uh, what did Daddy tell you?" I asked.

"I don't know," was her response. So I figured I could safely tell her whatever excuse I felt was right. "Mommy has to go to work early and Daddy has to go to the doctor," I said, both of those lines having proved sufficient under similar circumstances in the past.

"That's not what Daddy said," she said, frowning. Uh-oh. "What did Daddy say?"

"He said you're going to go try to have a baby," she promptly responded.

My first instinct was to be pissed at my husband. Did our 4-year-old really need to know that? What if she told her teachers? What if she keeps asking tough questions? What if other people start asking tough questions?

Then I thought about it. Would it really be such a bad thing if people did know? With the exception of at work, I'm pretty open with people about our current TTC status (and even at work, a lot of people know about our previous infertility struggles). In contrast to the first time around, when we were pretty secretive about it, many people in our lives know that we're going through treatment right now--our close friends, our parents, our siblings. I had unofficially been keeping BG out of the loop, but after all, she's asked us for a baby brother or sister often enough at this point, and we've told her that we'd like to have a baby brother or sister in the family someday too. I suppose it's only one step further to let her know that yes, we are trying to make that happen.

She had some questions about how exactly we were trying for a baby, of course. She already knows the mommy-has-an-egg-and-daddy-has-a-seed-and-put-them-together-and-a-baby-grows-in-mommy's-tummy rough outline, having loudly asked "How do babies get made?" in the toothpaste aisle at the drugstore a couple of months ago. So I just told her that sometimes mommies and daddies need a little help from a doctor to put the egg and the seed together.

What I'm really concerned about, I guess, is disappointing her if this all doesn't work out. But I guess letting her know that we tried to have a baby, but couldn't, certainly isn't any worse than letting her think we never cared enough to try at all.

As long as she doesn't spill the beans to my boss, we're OK.

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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Well, that was fast

Despite my screwup the other night, everything looked just fine this morning. I had I think two 17mm follicles on the right (and a bunch of smaller) and a 12.5 mm and various other smaller ones on the left. My E2 apparently had risen pretty quickly--Dr. SF told me that yesterday, after just two days at 112 IU and then one accidentally skipped dose, it was already 900. "It seems like with you, as you get older, your ovaries get--"

"Weirder?" I supplied helpfully.

"Younger," he continued without missing a beat. (I imagine REs are used to the inappropriate use of humor from patients in stirrups.) "They're responding really fast."

Assuming today's bloodwork confirmed the trend, he said he'd have me coast tonight (no meds), trigger Sunday night, then IUI Tuesday. The exact same as the 2006 cycle that got me pregnant, he pointed out, the one we've been chasing and trying to replicate this whole time. "Let's hope for the same end result!"

Let's hope so.

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Can't stop thinking

about the woman having her blood drawn in the chair around the corner from me this morning. I didn't realize until I got up to leave that she was weeping, silently but uncontrollably. The phlebotomy staff, ordinarily a tough, no-nonsense crew, was huddled around her, one taking vial after vial of blood, another simply crouching next to her, holding her hand while murmuring sensible but gently reassuring things like, "You don't know anything for sure until the tests come back." I hope she got good news today. I hope that's not a totally futile hope.

Um, oops

This morning, when my alarm went off, despite the fact that it was way earlier than I'd like to have woken up, despite my sleep deprivation, despite the fact that I had to haul my ass into the clinic, I was feeling pretty good. I had taken the day off work, and after my morning RE check-in I was getting my hair cut. It was a gorgeous day. Life was good.

Then I realized: I forgot to take my Gonal-F shot last night.

I've actually come close to forgetting before, so much so that I now program a reminder into my phone as soon as I get the call from the nurse each day, with an alarm set to go off at 10 pm, flashing the night's dosage, just in case. And last night the alarm went off, and I said to my husband, "I have to go take my shot"--but I stayed on the couch and immediately forgot about it. Worse yet, right before I went to bed, I checked my phone, saw the reminder still sitting on the screen...and deleted it without a thought. Duh.

So I headed in to the clinic with my tail between my legs, confessing immediately to the RE on duty, who was very kind to tolerate my babbling explanations ("I guess I've been doing this too long, it's just become too routine, haha..."). And luckily, through some miracle, my E2 actually still rose this morning, even though I went drug-less for a day. So 75 IU tonight (I WILL NOT FORGET) and then back in tomorrow morning.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Rolling right along

Ovaries looking as expected (lots of stuff growing, nothing over 12mm yet) on today's ultrasound. According to my bloodwork I am responding "crazy good" (to quote the nurse who called with results) to the medication, so I'm dropping to 75 IU tonight and coming back tomorrow for another check. Fingers crossed.

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Monday, May 02, 2011


Hey, so a whole bunch of stuff has been happening in other parts of the world that's super important, but right here right now we're just going to be talking about my ladyparts, OK?

Went back in to the RE this morning for a follow-up to see how my "beaten up" ovaries are doing. All quiet on that front, and bloodwork shows I'm in no danger of ovulating on my own any time soon, so I'm starting stims today. As Dr. SF explained to me when I asked if it made a difference to start this long after my period, in someone with a normal 28-day cycle, yes, but "if you don't have a cycle, it doesn't matter. We normally start on day 3 because it's when your estrogen is lowest, but your estrogen isn't doing anything by itself." They'll also be calling this my CD3 on the charts, just so they can keep straight how long I've been stimming.

Anyway, 112 IU of Gonal-F today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, back for check on Thursday. This is the last IUI that insurance will pay for. But I'm trying to pretend that's not the case, or I will start feeling quite desperate.

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