Friday, November 30, 2007

are your highbeams on?

so, i have a little bit of faith restored in my clinic. the dude that saw me on tues (was it tues? they're all running together) mentioned he was a fellow which made me feel happy, though whether he was specifically an RE fellow or an Ob-Gyn one, i'm not sure because i forgot because it's been a busy week and i've been moving and crap is every-freaking-which-where and the semester is ending and my brain is mushifying. yes, that's right, it's mushifying, so if i speak in circles and walk in jagged edges that's the reason. mind you, it's not that i mind seeing residents (i'm verging on resident status myself soon), and if it was our own newly minted resident i'd be happy as a wee little ocean bound clam. but, somehow i seem to pull confused residents each time, the ones that can't find my left ovary at all and spend 20 minutes looking and aiming the wand at extremely awkward angles before finally going to get help.

so, anyway, where was i? oh yes, dr. fellow with the venipuncture in the study. he had mentioned the prolactin redo with the tsh companion piece which i reluctantly agreed to (i should just move into the venipuncture lab i'm there so much...even with the constantly rotating staff, i'm beginning to become familiar to quite a few of them. it's sad when one is recognizable on sight by no small number of phlebotomy techs. but i'll tell you what's worse. i'm probably recognizable on sight but by my other end to a sizeable contingent of the gyn staff, and they rotate through pretty quickly as well. oy. but i digress...

anyway as i was saying this morning i dutifully showed up for the draw when i saw they had added a testosterone level to the mix. fair enough. i've got no signs of pcos but while they're there, they might as well check, nu? i also saw that the prolactin was a sendout macroprolactinemia panel. which i had never heard of. so, like any good obsessive-compulsive patient i looked it up when i got home. i wouldn't say i completely
understand it but the upshot is it can make your prolactin look like it's elevated when it's not. so i'm glad they're at least checking for that before sending me off into a tube to have my pituitary perused. contrary to popular opinion, i actually do, on occasion, have other places to be during the day besides at my clinic getting my bits and pieces worked over. shocking, but true.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

leaving my nipples alone

i go in for my 3rd prolactin in the am, fasting, and with no nipple stimulation. i'm hoping for a reasonable number for all the right reasons, and also because i don't want to be denied medical clearance for a jan IVF because they want me to get a freaking MRI of my brain. it's funny because after my last marginally elevated prolactin they suggested an MRI. i never went because i'm lazy and my numbers were just a smidge up. so now i wonder if that singular laziness regarding the MRI is now going to come and bite me in the ass.

and, of course, now all i can think about are my poor nipples. they itch (because i can't stop thinking about them) and i'm afraid to scratch them. is it OK if i sleep on my stomach? what if i rub them too vigorously on the mattress during sleep? all this makes me just want to engage in my own individual nipple-twisting party just to get it out of the way. i wonder if one can elevate one's prolactin by merely mentally obsessing over their nipples?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

all's quiet on the southern front


every now and then it occurs to me that for me, alzheimers is going to be a gentle easy slide for me, like an old man easing into a bath (costanza!). i'm moving this week, and to describe my current state as disorganized is to truck in vast understatements. its a little better today, but for about 2-3 days there, i didn't know where ANYTHING was. i wore the same underwear for 2 days because the replacements were AWOL. my teeth were scuzzily unbrushed as toothpaste and toothbrush were nowhere to be found. my cell ran out of batteries as the charger was lost in the ether. my laptop was in SC, my furniture in DC and my cats in baltimore. i'm going to have to re-buy at least one schoolbook that i know i already have...somewhere.

its also the end of the semester, the time when all good people come together for a collective 'Oh SH*T' as they realize they now have 2 weeks to do what they should have spent 4 mos doing. my paper is due when??? *headdesk*

reproductively, not much going on. my saline sono was yesterday and the results were grossly normal. i had very mildly elevated prolactin levels on two previous tests so on fri i go for a 3rd, plus another TSH (nl last test). my IVF orientation is next tues...and i wonder if it will be like my college orientation, which i barely remember as it occured while i was in a nice ethanol induced haze. somehow i doubt it. i'm having little pangs that maybe i should do another IUI before i go on to IVF. i've done 5 clomid/4 IUI's. was that a fair trial? i got pregnant on it once and almost pregnant with it at least twice. it seems like it almost works.

Friday, November 23, 2007

pregnancy blips + shopping = AIEEEE

happy thanksgiving y'alls! :)

everytime i have a pregnancy 'blip' (which, unfortunately, has been 3 times in the last 9 mos) i am struck with the consumate need to go clothes shopping until i've depleted either my checking account or my patience with myself, whichever comes first. after the m/c this summer it was rediculous...(though i did end up with some extremely cute summer dresses, truly.) Currently, i find myself ensnared in yet another shopping binge. my current obsession is just the right pair of cute jeans, which i truly don't need, and which aren't practical as i can't wear them to clinicals, but i sorely, wretchedly, desperately want anyway. i feel kinda bad about it, especially as we are approaching the money sinkhole known as IVF... and so now is probably especially not the time to piss away money on frivolities. i think part of the problem is when i'm ttc, i try not to buy clothes because, you know, just in case **roll eyes**. and then when it seems like just-in-case = no-time-soon i want to make up for all the clothes i didn't let myself have before.

(...i also wish i would apply myself to school with such arduous--bordering on fanatical--determination as i do scouting denim deals on ebay...oy).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

'at least you can get pregnant'

a few of my imaginary inside the computer friends said this to me today on a message board i frequent.

it is really the LAST thing i want to hear considering i'm a g3p0 if you count the chems and a g1p0 otherwise...and all that with a ton of effort.

do you think i should say something, nicely but politely, to the effect of 'well, yes, but i rather need to be able to STAY pregnant too, nu?'...or do you think i should let it go and not say anything about it. i know the people who wrote it meant no offense and were trying to be helpful. but, ugh.

a teensy tiny chemical preg (update)

i got my beta back from yesterday. it's 9.6mIU. the ranges for our clinic are le 5 = not pregnant, ge 5 = pregs.

a 9.6 at 17dpo, well, it isn't great. i'm going back for a repeat this morning.


this morning's beta = 3. at least i can expect AF soon, which is good. i was worried that this thing would drag on and on for weeks.

Monday, November 19, 2007

my dad is so sweet/i'm an auntie (update 6p)

we met for lunch so i could give him a few of the newborn things to give to my sister when he goes out to visit later this week. that's right! i'm an auntie. i was worried by the time i went out there in 4 wks none of the newborn stuff would fit anymore. Baby A is Andrew James, 6lbs 6oz, nearly back at birthweight at day 4 of life. Baby B is Ryan Samuel, 5lbs 11oz, who is already down about 10% at day 4 of life. I love how they are both just born, and already heading off in opposite directions as quickly as possible. it sounds like both are doing well, and they are making sure baby B gets enough to eat through a combo of breastmilk/formula via syringe/bottle/breastfeeding. they'll all be discharged later today. at the end of her pregnancy my sister developed pre-e which rapidly devolved into HELLP syndrome, so they all had a 5 day hospital stay. she had a very rough first 2 days, but is feeling much better now. what i feel kind of funny about is during the last month or so of the pregnancy i was very worried she would get HELLP syndrome, and then she did.

NOTE: this is my own personal blog, and it isn't an open forum for debate. i want to keep this space a positive one, where i can post about myself and my family without recrimination or judgement.

with that in mind: if you disagree with formula supplementation for whatever reason, please keep it to yourself. i don't feel like it should be necessary to post this rule, but this is an open blog and i know people feel very passionately about issues surrounding infant care. and that is great, and you can do it however you want with your own children.

second: the babies are having their bris this thursday which i will also probably write about (even though i can't be there because of school, i wish i could be. everyone else in my family is going). if you feel passionately about infant circumcision, please keep it to yourself. my blog, her children, yada yada yada, refer to above statement etc.


anyway, i met with my dad for lunch so i could give him the newborn stuff so he could take it with him when he flies out this week. he gave me a little glass heart paperweight as a present, to let me know he is thinking of me. that recognition just meant so much. this is a time of great joy for my family and myself. i'm so glad j is doing well and the babies are too. but there is a slight bittersweet edge to it for me because i'd have been due about now also if i hadn't m/c'd. it was nice to have someone besides myself acknowledge that there is an edge of sadness in it for me, intermingled with my great joy. i'm not even sure he knows how much it meant to me because his general opinion is people shouldn't dwell on the past. also, i think he may have just given it to me because he didn't want me to feel bad about all the attention going to my sister...which is funny, because we aren't 8 anymore, and i don't care about that at all. but still, he thought of me and that is nice. (he's probably right to some degree about dwelling on the past...though his family took it to some extremes. at lunch today i asked him his grandparent's names, his mother's parents. and he did not know their names. his mother never spoke of them as they perished in the holocaust, and he didn't ask).

i'm waiting on my beta results and pushed back my saline sono to next week. i had a little bit of spotting, but no AF yet. le sigh. i'm sure my pd will come within an hour of finding out the beta is neg.
6p: no AF and no update. the clinic stated they don't have my results back yet. from 11am today. i hope the lab didn't lose the sample.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

what new hell is this?

relevant stats:

--spotting 12 dpo
--no AF yet
-- $ store pg test negative at midnight, pos this am
-- repeat $ store test and FRER this AM with FMU both still neg after 2+ hrs
--what's at stake: besides the obvious, it's also the jan IVF cycle.

i will go in for a beta tomorrow at 16dpo if still no AF. i'm sure i'm having some kind of chemically bullshit going on. can anyone out there in blogland think of a positive outcome if someone doesn't have >25mIU hcg in their urine after 15 dpo? me either.

i had a scheduled saline sono this tues at 5dpo. my original plan was just to show up and have it, esp if the beta comes back <25mIU and just say i'm 5dpo or not say anything at all. except it occured to me this morning that one look at the uterine lining and they're going to know right off it's not 5dpo. think anyone will notice? i think the saline sono is just to visualise the contours of the ute so maybe they won't it possible?

if i can't get in for the saline sono on this cycle (cd 5-12) it might affect our chances of getting the jan IVF cycle.

anyone know any way i can induce my pd TODAY?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

good news

no, not pregnancy good news.

but look! lori mama and blogger extraordinare, has given me the blogger flame of fortitude :)

as i muddle through yet another 2ww i'm not feeling very fortudinous, but i really appreciate the spirit lifting shout out.

so, in turn i'm passing the torch along to geohde, who just had a birthday and is always full of fortitude and also to dmarie who has made a commitment to health and is drinking lots of very very green shakes.

love and supportive healing vibes for my hubby

well, my hubs is in a very bad mental state. it's not IF related, but the struggle is very similar. i'm looking for advice/support/ways to muddle through.

he is in the and when his orders were cut, they were cut incorrectly, so as to reduce his income by about a third. only one other person of the many who had orders coming due at the same time were affected in the same way. this means he is working along-side people whose orders were cut at the same time as his, and yet did not suffer the same loss of income. he has basically exhausted his options for redress, and it doesn't look like there will be any. not that people are saying what happened is right, just that it's done and worse could have happened. add to this that the people he works with and under do not cut the orders, that happens at a different level. so there's no one he works directly with or near that either cut the orders or who have the direct ability to fix it. so he feels very very low. doesn't want to do his work because his situation is not fair, doesn't want to not do his work because that's not fair either. spends all his time trying for solutions, realizing there probably won't be any. trying not to make all his co-workers hate him for spending so much time on this, on the other hand, how could he not?

so, how do you go on when you're in an f*cked up situation? one way is you just do because you have to. i think this is true for him...he will go on because even though his situation is bad, the alternatives are worse (iraq, unemployed, etc). this is a mind-f*ck that all of us infertile-types are intimately familiar with. we struggle for that thing which comes so simply and naturally and thoughtlessly to the vast majority of people. we look around at people who confidently circle due dates on their calendar after the first bfp, who never had a loss, or who treat their pregnancies carelessly. we are somehow caught in a different ride than most people, and even the best 'fixes' still hurt. how do you keep your spirit? how do you not feel uniquely targeted, when it feels so individual? what are your strategies for muddling through?

Monday, November 12, 2007

sometimes it just hurts to be female

right down to my XX chromosomes. we share the world, we're more than half of it's is wrong with people? i am constantly amazed that our capacity for hate seems to outshine our capacity for love.

anyway, stuck in my hamster wheel right now:

this story about iranian med student Zahra Bani Ameri who was picked up by the revolutionary guard for questions regarding her marital status, and who died in prison two days later of 'suicide'. it seems unfair to me the subtitution: she dies and her jailers live? we exchange a light for darkness.

recent stories about the harrassment women face online. this article on slate discusses the harrassment women political bloggers face, and this washington post article discusses one specifically egregious example of online harrassment women law students face. according to board moderators at this law student themed site, taking down intimidating rape and brutality posts against female law students (including posts providing name and address info and those inciting other readers to snap pictures of the girls on their cellphones and then post them online) constitutes an unfair foray into censorship. much more admirable to host an open forum for anonymous users to post their graphically violent mysogynistic fantasies and racist, anti-semitic threats against female law students. the only positive i can come up with all this is the penn state law student anthony ciolli who was one of two founders/site executives/moderators/whatever he is calling his invovlement these days had his job offer at a law firm rescinded after the WaPo article was published. i hope his student loan debt is considerable and his employment prospects remain dismal.

finally, i posted on a parenting board about the challenges involved with raising our daughters, what with the xrated halloween costumes for 8 yr olds (honey, would you rather be a sexy pirate or a sexy nurse or a sexy chambermaid?) and the stuff outlined above etc etc etc. and a mother responded that that's why she's glad she has a son. oooookay. guess i'm glad i'm white and american, so i don't have to trouble my head about injustices that concern other races or occur in other countries. injustices don't have to occur directly TO YOU in order for you to be concerned about them. yeesh.

9 dpo today. no tests.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

the interminable 2ww

i worked my heinie off today. it was one of those days in the ER where you start dreaming about cath-ing yourself, because there isn't any time to stop and pee. much less eat. at around 3pm i started feeling shaky, and ducked in the back to eat bbq potato chips and leftover halloween candy (it was on hand). then i went back to work a little less shaky but a little more disgusted with myself. at the end of the shift i found out that if i'd worked tomorrow or monday i'd have gotten time and a half. BLAST!

no fertility news of my own to report. muddling through the 2ww. i'm probably going to get 2 nephews by the end of the week though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


hear ye hear ye: without further ado, i present the nov 9 crosspollination guest blogger (a little early, more time to guess). please extend a warm hearty welcome to...mystery guest :)

This post is part A of a two part X-pollination, you may find part B here (if indeed you fancy reading part B)

I choose to, rather unimaginatively, entitle this 'Tears Part I'.

The manner in which my latest IVF cycle has slowly, but with much dramatic flair, gone down the proverbial gurgler finally got to me.
Out of ammunition in the form of perfectly innocent clinic staff to rant and rail at, I was left with only self recrimination.

Last night in the shower, and for the first time in a very long time, I cried.

I let the water run over me and oh how I cried. Truly stood there in my pasty white birthday suit and just balled. Great big gulping sobs, streaming mascara, socially inconvenient nose snot, the works. This was no ladylike small tear of regret, but the kind of heaving sobs that leave you with a hoarse voice, puffy eyes and an unnattractively red nose well into the next day.

I cried for what should have been with my first pregnancy, but for a cruel twist of fate.

I cried for what could have been, if only those embryos that looked so divine on the monitor had ever been given a fair chance by my body.

I cried with the combined grief of painful loss and my own repeated biological failures.

I cried for my husband, who may never be a father.

But mostly, I admit, I just cried for myself.

I cried until the water ran cold, and then, shivering like a wet cat, I cried some more.

Thanks for having me.... guess who I am below and then click the link to find the usual post from this blogger.

Monday, November 5, 2007

fertility gods and irony, part 645

i recently came across the blog of a woman who stated she'd been ttc x1 year with no luck and so went to her ob-gyn who prescribed 50mg clomid. as a comparison, my clinic starts people at 100mg, even for the first cycle. anyway, her first cycle on the clomid, she got pregnant with quadruplets, two of the four being identical twins. the identicals probably would have happened anyway, but that is a hell of a response to clomid even so. and then there's the rest of us poor saps, lucky to get half a follicle on twice as much clomid. further proof--as though any were needed--that the primary motivating factor for "blessings" from the fertility god appears to be side-splitting, head bashing irony. nothing like "would be a good parent" or "deserve this after so much crap" etc. it seems much more along the lines of "i bet if i flipped this switch it would REALLY f*ck things up. Cool!"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

2ww and ultimate

so yesterday after the IUI bright and frikking early in the morning, i asked the very nice and soft spoken doctor about vigorous exercise during the 2ww, does it impact the chances of pregnancy? (this guy is so mild and soft-spoken that my mind wandered into thinking what he was like as, say, an 8 yr old boy. did he play with other kids or was he that kid in the corner building things out of legos while everyone else was playing kickball? was he always just mild and polite or was he a hellion that became this paragon of stillness after adolescence? but i digress...) anyway, the the thing with ultimate is that it's not just a question of elevated heartrate, but, if you're doing it right, also involves lots of lunging, diving, jumping etc. he said there's no real strong evidence either way, but if he were me he would abstain.

of course, yesterday was the end-of-season tournament. and i couldn't let them know ahead of time that i wouldn't be there, since i didn't know the timing of the IUI myself until the day before. so i made an internal compromise with myself. i went to the tournament and played as little as possible. once we were cleared to advance to the next round, i didn't play at all. i came up with some scarcely believable convoluted lie about why i could play just fine the previous two games and then needed to abruptly stop playing. it'd be great if i could have just told them: "well, i'm just not sure how to walk the line between not living my life and not taking risky chances during the 2ww." but, for better or worse, i didn't.

so here i am, right at the beginning of yet another 2ww. let the wild rumpus start.

Friday, November 2, 2007

mighy righty

todays scan: on the right i have a 20mm and a smattering of littles. on the left i got nothing (this after spending 20 awkward wanding minutes trying to find that sucker). that right ovary is really a producer! i can pretty much count on something happening on the right when i go in for scans, where as the lazy and recalcitrant left is much more of a toss-up. like bartleby, when it comes to making follicles, it seems the left would prefer not to. bastard. i was hoping for more than ONE follicle, but one good one is all you need (in theory) right?

ideally i'd trigger tonight for IUI on sunday but the clinic doesn't do IUI's on sunday. so i triggered this morning for IUI tomorrow morning...poor cl has already started the 8+ hr drive. poor kid.

my request for an E2 was denied. apperently my lining looks good, so adding an E2 would just "confuse things."