Monday, December 22, 2008
we've also recently learned how important his regular daytime naps are...consequently we don't go out during the day much either. compounding this is the fact that ez's favorite nap spot is *on us.* sweet, yes, but incapacitating as well.
it is getting better though. now, at 8w, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
please excuse my absence of the last 4 months. i've been busy! i know, who cares right?
well, please allow me to introduce EZRA, born 10/27 @ 41w, weighing 7lbs even. he is a delightful baby, despite his propensity to sleep all day and cry all night. i feel like a complete zombie. and the short, cold days DO NOT HELP.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
the trip to la.svegas with my long-suffering spouse immediately following apw as sort of a 'pre-babymoon' was a little less enjoyable. the spouse was lovely and the accomodations were nice. but, as no doubt smarter people than me have put together. la.svegas is in a desert. in august, day temps are about 108F on average and at night it 'cools down' to about 85. sometimes there is a breeze, which more or less feels like one is trapped in a convection oven. so, suffice it to say i didn't leave the hotel much. at least the olym.pics were on, and gym.nastics, which is my favoritist :). we also saw a few great shows including la mystere.
i have a dr's appt tomorrow to check on ms. contract-y. OH, and i am now taking the nif.edipine prophylactically just like i should. i'd say it works 85% of the time but when things really get going, it doesn't seem to me like it makes much of a difference at all. but who knows...maybe it would be even worse if i weren't tossing them back 4x/day.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
i know ni.fedipine is supposed to be taken prophylactically...that is, you take it 4x/day to prevent contractions. i've been taking it in the evening once i feel contractions. taking it the right way makes me feel like a$$ though...headache-y and nauseous. it sort of seems to work if i take it the wrong way, just sometimes like tonight i've gotta get through rhythmic ctx first.
it would be *really* nice if i could just get to 36 wks. i'm only 5 wks away.
Friday, August 1, 2008
so, i'm late and my poor, long-suffering spouse is early. last monday the bean tried to take after it's father when the omnipotent and ever-irritable ute started contracting, appropos of nothing. well, not exactly nothing. i had spent the day shuttling around airports and squashed in the middle seats of airplanes. and when i say 'squashed' i mean my seat mate to the immediate left needed to raise their armrest to fully accomodate their expansive girth. somehow during this debacle, i failed to intake a sufficient amount of fluid. le sigh.
so, fast forward 6 hrs and 600 miles, i got off the airplane and had a stomach cramp that nearly brought me to my knees. following quickly on it's heels, another. what commenced was a trip to the army hospital, an 8 hr stay in L&D triage, me contracting while slowly and not so slowly losing my mind, an IV, 3 bags lactated ringers, one shot of terbut.aline, a cervical check and gbs swab that felt something akin to a cross between getting friendly with the business end of a spade and and being manhandled by a three fingered sesame street puppet. while the endless search for the posterior cervix was commenced, my mom, there at the hospital with me, passed the time by offering helpful suggestions to the medical staff. some of the highlights: suggestion to place a "stitch" to bring my posterior cervix to a more anterior position in order to facilitate finding it with greater ease; endless incredulous queries as to whether i go through this every single time i have a gyn exam, and what the function of the several swabs were and when results from said swabs would be available. this, while i laid on my back, fists under my heinie, and tried to breathe normally and, you know,RELAX as the attending dug around my insides with excavating tools and the resident looked over his shoulder at the girl with the crazy anatomy. i kept saying: mom, shhh...mom, shhhh...mom....SHHHHHH!
anyway, the bean looked fine, hr reactive, cervix long and closed, fet.al fib.ronectin negative and somewhere between the second cervix check two hours after the first, the bags of fluid and the terbu.taline shot i stopped contracting. that night. only for the old ute to start up the next night with no loss of enthusiasm. i went back to the clinic yesterday to impress upon them that my fragile mental state would simply not tolerate contracting for the next 12 wks. i must have impressed them with a particularly wild-eyed gaze because i left with not only ni.fedipine, but also some macro.bid and a few ambien. :). hell, why not, eh?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
it is not my fault that you do not know how things work in an ER. your failure to put in cosigned orders before 5 minutes to shiftchange does NOT, i emphasize: **NOT** equal my emergency 5 minutes before i am supposed to leave work for the day. don't even THINK about asking me when x-and-so is going to get done if you didn't even bother to put the order in before 7pm. and no, we don't have a 'float nurse.' surely you are familiar with the complexities of health care in the modern era. nurses with no assigned patients who merely flit around ER's waiting for some a$$hole to put in last minute orders simply do not exist anywhere outside of your internal fantasy-land. i suggest the next time you feel you need something done absolutely immediately without fail you ALSO take the time to get your orders cosigned and posted in a timely fashion. d&ck.
it has come to my attention that i might be somewhat moody. this is true. i can admit to some moodiness on my part. however, i would like to note that i would be less moody if less provoked.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
one of the message boards i regularly post to had an all out war for the last week on bf vs ff. i agree, and will not argue, that bm is the optimum nutrition for infants. there isn't really a debate, the science is more or less unanimous. what i will argue to the end of the earth though, is that ff is 'dangerous.' i think to say or allude that is at best misinformed and at worst treacherous. example: infants *can* and *do* grow and develop normally on a diet that consists of ff in whole or in part. this is not so where the main nutritive input is, say, diet soda. or even regular soda. formula DOES supply the caloric and nutritive support needed for infant growth and development, soda does not. whatever. either way, maybe ff is perhaps dangerous if you mix it incorrectly or use tainted water in the preparation, but to call it dangerous under normal circumstances in this country is absurd.
taking it a step further, in my experience, the infants that i've seen on a partial or full ff diet do not, as a whole, differ in any substantive way from their entirely bf peers. i also think that if you took a randomized sample of high achieving amer.ican adults, you could make no estimation of their infant feeding patterns with any reliability. you would be far more successful if you tried to guess the SES, race, gender or educational achievement of such individuals. i would argue that a distressed mother and an underfed bf baby is at far greater risk of poor outcome than a relaxed mother and a well-fed ff baby. after all, the underlying point is FEED THE BABY. babies need adequate food, end of story.
one could read the above and maybe think that i am pro-ff or anti-bf. i am neither. i am just not prepared to denigrate mothers who feed their babies in a way that works for them and the baby, however they accomplish it. some are aghast that mothers could elect to ff knowing that bf is better and label these mothers as misinformed or lazy. i whole heartedly disagree. people are NOT scientific models who are always able to perfectly enact ideal situations. in the real world, people are complex and their lives are complex. their choices are complex and exist in a realm of competing motivations that don't exist in scientific models. people make all kinds of suboptimal health choices for various reasons. they don't get 8 hrs sleep/night, they smoke, they overindulge in alcohol, they get sun exposure between 10a-3p, they eat fatty foods and not enough veg, they don't exercise at moderate intensity for 30min/day 5 days/wk, they watch more than 5hrs TV/wk etc. should we stigmatize all individuals not living at goal? should we assume that their failure is due to lack of adequate information or inherent slothiness? are *we* stone throwers living lives beyond scientific reproach? i believe that mothers who have found a way to rear their infants in a way that works for their family deserve our praise and support, not our scorn.
in a larger question, why can't women and mothers support each other? as long as the baby is being fed in a way that supports growth, why must mothers judge other mothers? what difference does it make to anyone outside of the mother/child dyad how that baby is fed? motherhood is so hard and such a long haul. surely we can support each other along this path, whether their babies are bf or ff.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
sorry for the long absence! every now and again (actually, just recently for the first time) i have a crisis of conciousness regarding my blog. it started out as a loss/IF blog, and then after the sucessful IVF cycle it sort of morphed into one of the few places i could unload my utterly all-consuming 'when-will-i-miscarry' dread.
i'm right now between 22 and 23wks, and it has started to occur to me that this could possibly happen. i'm jubilant about making it this far, but don't really want to post much in that vein because a) i'm concerned that the fertility god is so ornerny that giving voice to my internal celebration might be met with 'HOW DARE YOU' type old-testament retribution for my haughtiness. also b) what about our sisters still fighting the IF fight? i don't want to be disrespectful. finally c) there are things here and there i'd like to complain about (frikking WICKED A$$ heartburn, for one, and sciatica as a legacy of continued PIO shots for another) but does that take away from my greatfulness? i get caught up in loops and find it hard to post.
regarding my earlier post, i had not thought of the "birth" until recently. and then when i did think about it, my head was populated with images of poorly-trained, sleep-deprived, hero-complexed residents at the military hospital slicing open my perineum with rusty scissor blades and yanking on poor Bean's little head with whatever instrumentation happened to be handy: forceps, vacuum, shoe horn, etc. i eventually found a midwife practice in the area that took my insurance and who i believed would not unnecessarily instrumentate (a word?) my poor hoo-ha or Bean's skull. and now i think i may be moving in about a month to six weeks to accomodate a job. so, brand-new city, and starting all over again with trying to locate providers. le sigh. i wish i could magic the baby out when that time comes.
Monday, May 26, 2008
so, i am on my husbands tricare insurance. it is military insurance, as he is currently on active duty. there is a huge military medical hospital near me (i'll call it army clinic--original huh ) where active duty and dependents give birth. the funny thing is, i have a history with this place even before my current involvement in it; i happened to spend 2 mos rotating there in L&D full time as an elective in nursing school. there are pros and cons to this place.
pros: it is completely, 100% covered. every lab, every test, every IV, every everything. all of the births i witnessed there were professional, and even the ones with unexpected turns of events were handled well. they also have a level III nicu, where i also spent time, and which i was impressed with.
cons: if i deliver at army clinic, there is no opportunity to meet the staff who would be present at my delivery ahead of time. none. there's no way even to narrow the universe of people it might possibly be. whoever will be with me that day or night is whoever is on duty that shift at army clinic. if my delivery crosses shifts, then the personnel that i've gotten to know the previous 12 hrs shifts as well. i have always known this about the army clinic, both because it was that way when i rotated there, and because they told us about it in 'orientation' . but, to be honest, it didn't bother me as much before, because i think part of me never thought i'd make it this far. now that i'm about halfway there, i'm starting to think i might make it the whole way. thus, the newfound concern.
another con about army clinic is they do things their own way: for ex, i could not get an NT scan through them at all, so i had to pay out of pocket for one through another provider.
what i'm worried about: what worries me is the instrumented vaginal delivery. as odd as it sounds, i'm really not worried about a planned c-sect. i have confidence that whoever is my provider is proficient at c-sections. further, i have a bicornuate uterus so my risk for c-sect is higher in the first place. i've made peace with that along time ago. frankly, i'm just going to be happy to have a real live baby, the planned c-sect doesn't bother me. in fact, if i could just plan a c-sect right now i wouldn't even have an issue. the vag delivery where nothing goes wrong doesn't bother me either. what worries me is the worst case scenario: the stuck baby, the crash c-sect, the bottoming out heart rate, the dystocia, the forceps, the vacuum, the episiotomy, the 4th degree tear, the retained placenta etc. etc. etc. THOSE are the situations where i want to be able to be able to concentrate on nothing but myself and SB, where i want to take for granted that my provider is skilled and qualified, and has done thousands of these before and i'm in good hands. in short, i want to be able to trust my provider so that in a worst case scenario, i don't also have to worry that they might not know what they're doing. its sorta like what nicole said in her thread, she trusts her doc to make the right call re: her induction. i want to do that too...but i have no opportunity to do that because i can't meet anyone ahead of time. instead i have to trust the institution that whoever is there when i'm there knows what they're doing. i feel like it's alot different to trust a whole clinic than to trust one person or even a group of people.
so, i wrote an email to my old ob-gyn whom i've known for-EVER and who has known me for-EVER and who did my laparoscopy. i have utmost trust in her. the problem is, her practice doesn't take tricare. i called the hospital where she delivers and they do take tricare, i just have to switch the version of tricare that i have. if the hospital didn't take tricare, i couldn't even contemplate this switch because it would just be too expensive. but they do. her flat fee is $3200 which includes prenatal appts, vag or c-sect delivery, and postpartum care. it's a significant discount from what she generally charges. labs/sonos are NOT included.
pros: trust is not an issue. i know her. she is very good, very skilled, very experienced. if she busted out the forceps, i would not worry that my babe would end up with a mashed skull. i know she would never cut a senseless episiotomy. she would always treat me with dignity and respect.
cons: $3200 is a LOT of money for us right now. especially when that seems to be a floor, not a ceiling, as what if i need extra labs/a sono at the end for some reason? money would suddenly become a huge factor in the delivery, where it isn't now. plus, i'm spending on what is essentially a luxury item. it's not like i don't have care and would have to pay for the delivery no matter what. i have full coverage, and would be not using my coverage (wasting it) and then paying out of pocket for sort of the same service. it's not money i have to spend.
there is one more option. i could ask her to recommend to me someone within the tricare network that delivers at this other hospital (not army clinic) that takes tricare. then i could try to meet everyone in this other practice in the next 20 wks to try and get comfortable with them. it would cost alot less, but i don't know if i can meet and get comfortable with someone or someones that fast. i'm sorta under the gun as i only have 20 wks left. i would have thought of all this before hand, but i really just wasn't sure i'd make it this far.
thanks for making it this far through this rambly post. now, wwyd?
Monday, May 19, 2008
my grandpa has two children (my mother and uncle), two grandchildren (me and my sister) and two great grandchildren (my sister's twins), but since the death of his second wife he just feels lonely. he definitely feels like his children and grandchildren don't visit often enough, and don't do enough for him when they visit. i know i'm guilty on this score...but since the first half of any encounter with him is chock full of guilt "who did you say you were again? my granddaughter? oooooohhhh, i thought my granddaughter FORGOT about me. it's been SO. MANY. WEEKS. since i've heard from you, i thought you didn't REMEMBER that you had a grandfather." cue repeat x10 minutes, or until my end of the conversation falls completely silent long enough for him to take note. (maybe he would use a different guilt tack if he were aware of how rampant alzheimers is among his peers where 'WHO did you say you were?' actually inidicates genuine confusion on the part of the inquisitor...but somehow i doubt it.)
anyway, one gets the feeling that the feckless children and grandchildren are something of a dissapointment to the grandfather. and, honestly, he has a point. i live close enough to him that i could and probably should visit alot more often than i do.
i guess it just makes me think that being a parent will probably bring you nothing like what you thought it would...or at least you can't count on it bringing you what you hoped for. you can hope to get something back from it at the end, but there are no guarantees. just ask grandpa nathan.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
so, my sisters in the IF wars, watch where you shoot yourself because the sciatic nerve is unforgiving if tampered with.
in other PIO news i am just NOW--mind you, 6 or 7 wks since my last shot--gaining feeling back in the old top half of the tusheroo in general. for a while it was just straight numb, and then i'd have deep tingly itchy feelings, and when i went to scratch i couldn't actually feel my own fingers on my skin. now i get zings as the traumatized nerves and tissue slowly regain feeling, combined with feelings of warmth and itching. the rebirth of my a$$.
science babe seems to be doing ok, as far as one knows from the doppler, which is the good news at least.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
hello blogger my old friend
i've come to talk with you again.
because the blog as yet unwritten,
attached to the LOL kitten,
and the post, that was planted in my brain
had this refrain--
you must get your a$$ up from where it is sittin!!!
my only big news is that the NT screen that i got thanks to leah is neg. downs risk is 1 in 7901 and trisomy 13/18 is 1 in >10,000.
i also must say that the purchase of a doppler has done more for my fragile mental state than the SSRI's, relaxation tapes, and tepid baths combined. i realize i'm setting myself up for disaster by saying it (saying what? did somebody say something? ptu! ptu! ptu!).
this semester is KILLING me. praise jeebus that it's almost over. today my preceptor scolded me for not completing a history and physical on a brittle diabetic patient in under half an hour. well, my dear, you frequently fail on that score as well. so bite me.
but i digress. this weekend i will be at jazzfest. ste.vie won.der baybeeee!!!! heeyaw!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
so i play a sport called ultimate frisbee. technically, it's a no-contact sport, but there is alot of incidental contact with other players and the ground. i've played for about 10 years, but haven't played at all this spring.
last night i stopped by a teammates for dinner after work and he asked me if i was going to play tomorrow. i said no and reminded him i was pg (he knew, but i don't look it so i figured maybe he forgot). neither he nor his wife (also on my team) gave me any grief about it, but the wife casually mentioned that she knows other women who played up to 5mos pregnant and even beyond.
the more i sat with that, the worse i felt. i love ultimate, and i hate letting my team down, but there's no way i could take the risk of even incidental contact. and to avoid all contact basicaly means taking no risks while playing. i've spent years trying to teach myself to play more aggressively, i don't want to start trying to play more passively. and it isn't worth the worry. if i did fall or get run into (which doesn't always happen, but always could) it would take days of reassuring sono's for me to even feel remotely ok. so i know i can't play. i can't even put myself in the mindset of the 5mos pg woman who does play...does she figure she won't have contact? does she just assume that everything will be ok if there is? otoh, i feel bad that maybe other pregnant women in my position are doing more, and maybe my paranoia is restricting me even beyond what i thought it was. it didn't occur to me that pg women played much past getting a hb (the limit i set for myself) and now that i know they do, it makes me feel a little bit bad about myself. :( oh well.
on unrelated good news, my doppler came last night and after i got a 9v battery for it this morning i heard the HB. strong, regular, 160's. i think if i can get the hb every morning maybe...maybe...maybe...i can let myself think beyond just a few days from now into the months ahead. maybe. i've passed other milestones where i thought that would happen and it didn't, but hopefully this will help.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
the good news: i am getting an NT scan, paying for it out of pocket, and with the help of the lovely and talented Leah it should only be $300-$400. praise be for fellow stirrup queens with connections! the scan is next tues at 830a, wish me luck!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
so, i think i'm going to order this doppler. it's a good one, and i lie and tell myself that it has another use besides my paranoia...i can use it on my patients on the rare occasions when that is necessary. surely a use that justifies the $550 price tag, nu?
not much up here. i'm still getting by sono to sono, hb to hb. 12wks tomorrow. tomorrow i'm also going to try and get the hb by doppler (similar model) after clinical. hopefully it won't be as agonizing trying to find it as last time, but will instead pop right up :).
i also don't look pregnant at all to anyone but myself. but last week my loving and adoring spouse did comment that i'm getting a bit fuzzy in the under-chin area. and yet, we're still married as of this week! i'm such a softie.
also: thanks to everyone for their suggestions regarding the NT screen madness. it is truly an astoundingly wretched policy to withhold the screen from those that want it. i looked into getting it elsewhere (i.e. on the civilian side) and it is prohibitively expensive. i would have to be seen by my old ob-gyn, pay out of pocket, be referred for a sono and pay for the sono, radiography tech and radiographer all out of pocket. in the state where i live, it would actually be cheaper to wait until the 18wk scan, and then get a late 2nd trimester abortion if i had to. it's definitely not good policy, but it seems to be the best of my limited options. :(
Monday, March 31, 2008
i heard the hb today by doppler; i'm 11w. i have a retroverted uterus so it didn't come up right away and i scared myself half to death. i'm going to wait a week before trying again. part of me thought, that as i'd made my 1st maternity clothes purchases this weekend, that it wouldn't be there as payback for such a wanton display of hubris. like DD said in her post, i guess things will be ok but it's hard to mentally work myself around that. if someone asks if i'm pregnant, the answer that feels most right to me is "technically". i feel bad because i feel like it's keeping me from bonding with the lil bean, but i keep waiting for the second shoe to drop. maybe it'll get better in the 2nd tri?
Monday, March 24, 2008
it's not that fraternal twins at age 38 after years of wanting and trying to become pregnant doesn't scream IVF (umm...but it most surely does)...it's the denigrating way she denies it. no one is asking j.lo to be a mascot for IF (for that i'd like to nominate z.braff if only because he's so damn cute!), but if she could just refrain from being insulting in her she-doth-protest-too-much denials that would be much appreciated? k? kthxbai.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
so early this week i reluctantly stopped lov.enox...no longer being hemoconcentrated following my bout with OHSS/paracentesis/abdominal bloating from hell. even though the shot stings like crazy i quite was sad to give it up, because i got pg and stayed pg (so far) while taking it. so rather like a basketball player and his lucky underwear, i wanted to make it to 12 wks before deviating from my medication regimen in any way. alas, not to be. plus, i figured if i was homozygous for MTHFR (and being ashkenazi, it's a reasonable possibility) i would be treating that simultaneously. i've never been tested for clotting disorders, so it's possible. at my appt this week i asked the resident if i could stay on the lov.enox...she contacted the maternal-fetal specialist who essentially said no can do regarding the lov.enox, because if i do have a clotting disorder it won't cause problems until 20 wks or so, and since i'm no longer hemoconcentrated there's really no need to continue the shot. is that supposed to be comforting? i'm supposed to wait until 20 wks to see if a problem develops? Not Even Remotely Comforting.
even more reluctantly i stopped the PIO. a word about PIO. that shot SUUUUUUUCKS. it is thick, and deep IM, and currently my backside is covered in knots and bruises. i even ended up with sciatica down my left leg from multiple deep IM injections into the same area. so, it's not that i like the shot at all. it's that despite multiple assurances that 'the placenta takes over progesterone production at 6-8 wks' i know there are women for whom that is not the case. i also know that you can have a perfectly healthy fetus, but if you don't have adequate progesterone, you don't have a pregnancy, end of story. i also know, that fertility wise, i happen to fall into a rather small percentage of women who need IVF to get pregnant. further, i happened to fall into an even smaller percentage who get severe OHSS. so, at this particular junction i'm *not* interested in playing odds games. however, i can't write prescriptions for myself (yet) and so the best i could do was secure a pro.metrium script for the next several weeks...and i'm sure earn a few "crazy lady" doodles next to my name on my chart.
so my last PIO was thurs eve and i woke up yesterday (sat) with a small amt of pink spotting. i spotted all day. you can imagine the lovely state i was in. i think i put so much progesterone up my vag that i'm suprised it wasn't stuck shut. by yesterday eve my attempts at remaining calm had failed me and i paged the IVF dr on call (mind you i have been passed off to OB at this point, but at my appt last week i was really unimpressed with the level of knowledge they seemed to have regarding early pregnancy, complications etc.). thankfully they returned my call and i drove an hour to the clinic on sat night at 7pm for a thorough wanding.
science babe looked great. waving it's little arm and leg buds, bobbing it's ginormous, egg-like noggin. it's father has a ginormous head, the ramifications of which are just becoming clear to me now. hb 164. i'm sure the collective IVF team thinks i'm just a big pile of crazy at this point, between the begging for shots, wheedling for pro.metrium, saturday evening scans, etc. etc. etc. however, in my defense, spotting 3 days after discontinuing PIO will cause panic. it just will.
oh well. this gets better, right?
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
so, i've decided not to rent or buy a doppler until another U/S confirms a hb. Ditto for any maternity clothes, including bella band. so, i'd better not gain ANY MORE WEIGHT until i have another u/s or i will be utterly without clothings to cover my shocking paleness with.
i guess i'm happy that i haven't had any morning sickness to date (the only thing i had vomiting with was the OHSS) but a little bit of pukiness just to let me know things were OK wouldn't be terrible. famous last words i know, but i thought i'd put it out there.
tomorrow i have OB "orientation" at beth.esda na.val. possibly the most inconvenient place to get to EVER. i can't wait to see what the orientation entails...if it's anything like the IVF orientation was, i'd call it a solid waste of my time. but i'll go if i can get another sono out of it. *crosses fingers*
it has occured to me recently that perhaps t.o.m cr.u.i.s.e was not so much crazy as just more brilliant than our feeble minds could comprehend...seriously. if i had his kind of $$ to throw around i would not hesitate, pass go, or collect $200, but instead simply dash my bruised, knotty PIO heinie down to the nearest sonogram store and plunk down some cash.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
i am utterly exhausted all the time, as well as vaguely nauseous and more than a little backed up. my body, it is a wonderland.
my mind, however, is a deep black pit. it wonders if i should fabricate symptoms to go to an ER where i can spend 5 hrs waiting just to get a sonogram to tell me there's still a hb. it's a good thing i'm too lazy to listen to myself much.
i'm contemplating renting a doppler, but i can't tell if that will lessen the crazy or make it worse :?
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
sad child with severe kwashiorkor at orphanage
giving tetanus vax at a health fair
i am back and hoping to relax. i am exhausted, and everyone keeps telling me how exhausted i look.
to my knowledge i did not m/c while i was there, which just makes me super pissed at my mom for basically telling me nonstop for a month that going = automatic m/c. i want to confront her about it but i'm too tired to tip at windmills right now. so, basically i'm avoiding her.
the hb scan is weds am and i am really really nervous about it. i know it isn't everything...it's just another hurdle in a long line of hurdles, but i'm putting alot of stock in it for some reason. i feel like i might be able to relax if i "pass" that test, if i don't...i don't know what i'll do. get by, i guess.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
today i went to an orphanage/respite home for children that was essentially straight out of something you would see ior imagine from dickens minus the evil care provider. some of the children there are orphans or abandoned, others are dropped off because they are sick or because their parents or care providers can't look after them because the care providers themselves are sick. it's hard to even describe it because it seemed so surreal that even though i only came back a few hours ago it's hard to even think about it. there were 4 large rooms filled with white iron cribs lined up front to back in rows, maybe 50 cribs per room. there was an infant room, a toddler room and two older kid rooms. the infants were all (every single one) way below weight for age. malnourished, no fat under the skin or sometimes the shiny skin from when the edema leaves after kwashiorkor, and the skin itself was absolutely covered in bites, scabies and eczema. most only had fuzz for hair. we went crib to crib and fed infants what had to be some kind of gloppy pumpkin porridge goo from a spoon. most were fed while in the crib on their backs. then they each got water from a cup. there was a baby i probably held for 4 hours straight while i fed and held other kids, i don' t know the name or age but i'm guessing a very tiny 9mos old? there was a blind older child from malnutrition and a really really sick 2-3 yr old with kwashiorkor, a massively edematous belly and feet. he let me rub his palms. all of the staff was so well intentioned but there were few of them and so many children.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
the last few days i have been just exhausted. bring-tears-to-your-eyes exhausted. and then i think about all the work i have left to do and it makes me want to cry all over again. i know my hold on your sympathy is precarious, if indeed there is any for me at all. after all, i am an infertile with a BFP, so i'm lucky. and i know i am, even though it doesn't really make me want to cry less.
this friday i'm going to haiti on a medical outreach trip, so there will be radio silence for a week until i come back. the suitcase is filled, and i haven't yet packed any clothes. i think this is a problem. between meals, snacks, gifts for my hosts, tp, baby wipes and the veritable pharmacy i am bringing with me (including 2 injectable meds with associated paraphenalia, mind you) there's no room left for clothes. frick. my mom is convinced (and has zero reservation about telling me, very very frequently in fact) that i should not go, and that going will cause either m/c or birth defects. she says i shouldn't go in the 1st trimester because "all of the organs are forming." which is true, but so what? it also means if i actually do m/c or have a baby with defects, i will never be able to look at her again because i know she'll think it's my fault. always, somewhere in my mind i'll be thinking that somewhere in HER mind is the idea that the trip caused it. i have my RE's blessing...my mom can bite it for now.
i have the hb scan the week i get back, on 3/5. i am nervous as hell for that. i'm going with my sister so at least i have that going for me...she's an excellent support person. i'm not sure if i should wear earplugs and close my eyes and just have j tell me in the car on the way home how it went or what. otoh, if it goes badly i'll probably want to have some conversation with the poor resident about what comes next. so, i am very glad my sis is going with me but i am NOT looking forward to the appointment. yet, i can't just not go either, or my brain would explode from angst. sounds like fun, eh? bet you wish YOU were on my little brain hamster wheel.
notes about haiti from hereFACTS ABOUT HAITI:
Haiti's ecology has been significantly damaged since its independence in 1804. Only 7% of the country's original forest remains unscathed by deforestation. Most of the trees have been cut down and used as firewood for heating and cooking. Some wood has been sold to surrounding island nations to provide much needed income. Massive soil erosion has also occurred due to the vast amount of deforestation. Thus, much of the soil in Haiti has been depleted of vital minerals.
Most of the water in Haiti is also polluted. This includes parts of the coastal areas, such as the Bay of Port-au-Prince, and most of the major ports and some coastal towns. The water throughout the country is nonpotable.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
on the other hand, if there isn't a hb, i'll be destroyed whether or not we go out to dinner this weekend. and if i only get a few days/wks of this, shouldn't i at least *try* not to be morbid and enjoy myself, if only for a little while? if it doesn't continue (or even if it does) will i have wasted it completely by spending the whole time expecting disaster?
how do i let go enough to acknowledge (and maybe celebrate) that something momentous happened...but also hold back enough that something of me is left if it all goes to hell? i can't find the balance between holding on and letting go and i need to do both to get through the next few weeks.
it would be nice if i could just go to sleep and wake up 12 wks from now and someone could tell me how it went instead of plodding through it all day after day.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
i thought for sure i was going to m/c last night because i was so frikking horribly crampy. today is reprieve. it's far from over but at least i got this far. i'm not going for a 3rd beta, so i'm going to assume PUPO, goddamnit, and not see them again until the hb scan. god willing and the creek don't rise, that's the next time i'll go to the clinic.
thanks so much for all your well wishes and good vibes and keep your fingers crossed for me.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
bah! i'm so anxious for tomorrow's beta. i keep trying to tell myself NOT to be nervous because it won't help and nothing's gone wrong yet so far. plus, if i only get two days to be p-word, i might as well enjoy them, right? plus i worry that being anxious might make me miscarry which is a mindf*ck beyond all mindf*cks. either it will double or it won't. if it doesn't it doesn't necessarily mean its over, and if it does i'm far from out of the woods. bah.
my mental state right now=not too good.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
this was yesterday morning at 9dp3dt. if you squint at it like i did, you can just baaarely make out the second line. it didn't come up right away and at first i thought it was negative. i peed on it, waited, the control line popped right up. and then nothing. i just had this pit in my stomach, trying to talk myself out of it, the advantages; i can sleep late, i learned so much this cycle it wasn't a total waste, the culdocentesis makes a great story for my friends (right?) etc...when i went back a few minutes later there was just a hint of a line, but it was there.
this was this morning at 10dp3dt. i think the line's just a little darker and maybe it came up a smidge faster, but still light. i'd like to thank leah for her idea of writing the times on the sticks.
and finally...because i've been peeing on things right, left and forward (the cats are getting nervous)...
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
i was wondering how they did it...now i know!
i'm headed back tomorrow to see if enough fluid came back to warrant a repeat culdocentesis. i'm actually feeling alot better which is good, but also makes me nervous, since WORSENING symptoms is a sign of pregnancy whereas symptoms resolve with a bfn.
mind you, i'm still bloated as all get out, but there's no denying i feel better. alot less vomiting and diarrhea, and i don't have as nearly much fluid as before.
i never thought i'd feel so bad about feeling better.
so, my appt this am went reasonably well, besides the 2hr wait. i've still got some free fluid in the abd, but not enough to warrant a tap. i was instructed to eat salty things and drink gatorade and take lov.enox (OUCH! there's a painful shot) for the next several weeks. they don't think the fluid will need to be drained again, but they will if i need it.
i'm 6dp3dt and starting to want to pee on things. but i'm also trying my best to hold off the madness, because once it starts all i can think about is peeing on sticks. they said getting better doesn't mean the cycle didn't work, but i also wonder if they say that to everyone. ahh, mindgames of the 2ww. so lovely.
i forgot to mention; the other embryos did not make it to freeze. they were either in the morula (pre-blast) stage on day 5 so the clinic did not keep them, or they arrested at morula stage on day 5. not sure which.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
this morning i went into the clinic and they drained 2.5 liters (over 6lbs) of fluid off my abdomen. the relief was instantaneous. however they told me the fluid would probably come back, and said i might need to come back tuesday for another go. they warned i'd be really hungry and thirsty after the drain, but right now the nausea and bowel symptoms are keeping the hunger at bay.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
today is day 3. of the 11, we had
grade 1: 0
grade 2: 0
grade 3: 4
grade 4: 4
grade 5: 3
evenly split between icsi and ivf. grade 1 is the best and grade 5 is the worst. we transfered two grade 3's (the ones above) one icsi and one ivf. they will grow out the other 6 and will freeze them if any make it to blast but they told us not to get our hopes up.
i questioned why i went from 50 follies to 23 eggs and they said usu the follicle:egg ratio is 90%. however with hyperstim, coasting and ant.agon all of which i got or had, it drops alot. he's seen as low as 25% follicle:egg but most are around 50%. he said the coasting intentionally kills some off.
lessons learned for next time i guess. still, i'm trying to remain hopeful and optimistic but not too hopeful or optimistic. i was really hoping for some to freeze so i'd never have to stim again, but then if this cycle works i'll get over it pretty frikking quickly.
love to all my cycle sistahs.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
1--the non-responsiveness/non-customer orientedness of my clinic. there are advantages...it's cheaper since it's partially covered by the military...but there are significant disadvantages. the constant rotation of care providers. no-one answering their phones. no one calling me back in anything like a timely manner (like, 3-5 days goes by). they act like they are sort of doing us a favor by providing the service. if this cycle doesn't work i'm strongly considering leaving. i think i'd rather pay more money and have someone who at least acts like they give a crap than deal with this 'you'll-take-what-we-give-you-and-like-it' military mentality. to wit: i called to see how the 11 were doing. i would like to know if any/all were still there. it's not crazy; i put ALOT into this, and i'm on edge here. when someone finally answered the phone they said that there were no updates and they would let us know tomorrow at our appt. basically the only way we hear anything before then is if they all go kaput. and here i thought it was customary to be told how things were going on a more or less daily basis. oh well.
2--it could be the OHSS, but i ended up with far more diminished returns than i thought we would. 23 eggs from 50 follicles seems like a big loss. the rest i guess seems more reasonable: 19 mature from 23 eggs; but then i'm suprised again that only 11 fertilized normally. if they keep dropping at this rate, there won't be any left. i was hoping with 50 follicles that i'd end up with some embies to freeze (and thus NEVER have to go through a stim cycle again) but now i'm not so sure we'll have any. it's weird to go from a relative superabundance to a relative dearth in just a few short days.
3--and speaking of ohss, i'm symptomatic and it sucks. i got albumin in my iv on monday to ward off ascites but my stomach really is just unimaginably bloated. and it hurts. and when i laugh my entire stomach hurts including my sides and my shoulders. and i'm afraid to mention it for fear they'll cancel transfer. i'm hoping the fluid will just get resorbed sooner rather than later.
4--no one told me how much it would hurt to pee the day of retrieval but it did. all day.
5--of course, this could all change in a flicker if tomorrow's report is good
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
OHSS mild right now, got albumin in the IV at retrieval to try and prevent any worsening of the hyperstim.
i think i'd have had better follicle : egg ratio if i weren't so hyperstimmed. i am not sure if there's any factual basis to that though, have to look it up. it's done now, there can only be lessons learned for next time.
fingers crossed that all 23 fertilize and go on to make me and my hubby proud parents of our own soccer team plus second and third string backups.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
this is incredible, unless they switched my sample with someone else's. :P
trigger tonight with all 10,000 units HCG.
i found this old picture of me and my sister. i'm guessing we're 11yo and 9yo but we might be 10yo and 8yo. awwwww...
the largest was a 21. i didn't track them all, but most were around 14-16 with several 17-18 and a few 20's.
some fluid around the r ovary and in the pelvis
i picked up another ant.agon/ganril.ex shot today. pending the e2 i'll either trigger or take the gan.rilex. one of the dr's who was not familiar with my case reacted with utter horror when i told her the # of follicles i had. i wish i hadn't said anything. another dr who is familiar said they've been talking about me the last few days. never a good sign. these dr's i ran into in the hall, since the wanding was done by a resident that i've never met before...again.
i had a nightmare yesterday that i was in the car with my sister and mother...i was squished in the back seat. the car was on an overpass, and took a sharp zag through a concrete chute into open space. the falling sensation was incredible, i literally felt myself adhered to the ceiling of the car as i fell. i woke up with a start and wondered if my R ovary had ruptured.
i also failed to appropriately set my alarm for 545 and i woke up late...but at 6am. amazing.
Friday, January 25, 2008
e2 for this morning: 6890. which is i guess what happens with 45 follicles. the doc this morning said (with a straight face, mind you) 'we're going to have to watch you for overstimulation.' ummm...ya think?
in very sad news, please go give your support to the mama of lennox and zoe, who suffered a devastating loss today.
and a bunch smaller.
the left, which had 8 two days ago, has 15.
they are going to call me tonight with the plan, but i picked up an ant.agon shot...has anyone ever used this to lower e2?
at least no one mentioned cancellation which i am of course really worried about. ptu! ptu! ptu! ward off the evil eye.
i actually mostly feel ok except my abdomen feels bloated and tender. like, when my right heel hits the floor when i'm walking, i can feel it in my right lower abdomen. same on the left. also the weight gain, and general slovenliness. but i'm trying not to complain or say anything because i DONT WANT THE CYCLE *whispers* cancelled . PLeasE! i don't even know if i can explain how devastated i would be. :(
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
i had 6 on the left, 2 11's, a 9, and 3 6's.
apparently, at least the right, responds well to stims. now we know.
he said they like the e2 to be about 200pg/dl on day 5 of stims, and mine was 3x that. so depending on what today's e2 is determines what happens next. for now they cut the dose of stims again, so i'm on 1/2 dose of bra.velle + full dose lu.pron in the am, and full dose bra.velle and full dose lu.pron in the evening. they want me to come in tomorrow AM for bloodwork but i'm trying to push it to friday because i have class an hour and a half away from the clinic at 0830. so i'd have to get to the clinic at 6am. and let us say...BOOOOO!
based in the info so far, it looks like retrieval (aka big sharp pointy stick in the vadge) sunday or monday. i've yet to find a compounding pharmacy in the area for my PIO, so that's my next chore.
what are the odds that LJ my cycle sistah and chaperone, would have her own date with the vag.inal needle of doom on the same day? crazy.
ummm, OK. my e2 is 2958. i have to go get my bw tomorrow and i'm sure retrieval won't be later than monday.
Monday, January 21, 2008
in other cycle news, i think i gained 5lbs in one week. so, that plus the high e2 of course i'm all worried about OHSS, and having the cycle cancelled, and other completely undesireable outcomes. i feel like i can feel my right ovary (the good responder). but now i can't tell if i can feel it, or if i just think i can because i'm all freaked out. meh MEH meh.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
2--and water retention
3--not to mention weight gain
4--and you can kiss goodbye any semblance of bowel normalcy you may have had prior to the art cycle. your farts are now equal parts involuntary, plentiful and deadly. they resemble nothing so much as chemical eff YOU from your poor beleaguered abdomen against all other living beings, and may, in fact, clear a room (strategy for dealing with said stinkbombs: deny, deny deny. the truth takes too long).
i feel like, somehow, i didn't know or no one mentioned that my relationship with my midsection would be completely different in a rather unpleasant way. besides the fact that i'm sticking needles into that poor bastard 2x/day. at least right now i'm visiting CL for the weekend, so he can take up some of the jabbing that needs to be done. he gets to shoot me in my back fat, which is really glamorous for all involved.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
these are good qualities, except when the problem is not being able to find your left ovary. my right ovary was very cooperative. it was right where it was supposed to be, and i think i had maybe 20 antral follicles. in the past when i've triggered i've almost always felt it on the right side. the left was just nowhere in sight. and really, the minutes do seem like DAYS when the legs are up and the dildocam is in. finally, failing to find the ovary with more conservative measures, he pushed on my stomach right above the pubic bone on the left, apparently hoping to scare my anatomy into place. i couldn't help but flinch. and i was suddenly, momentarily, very glad for the chaperone. thankfully, the ovary then decided to make a grand entrance and demonstrated it's near lack of follicles, clear disinterest in the process at hand, and whispered off behind a loop of bowel from whence it came.
then i was the chaperone for the stranger, who, coincidentally enough, also had a hiding left ovary. she got the same abdominal treatment i did, apparently to less spectacular results. the doc asked her if she'd ever had abd surgery and she responded 'only the tubal ligation, and then the reversal.' some little evil part of my brain immediately thought: 'well, it's obvious why she needs IVF, what the hell am I doing here?' the doc did eventually find her left ovary as well.
i then got a tentative schedule (the best part of all this so far). i start lupron and stims on thursday, back for more blood work next monday, and more bloodwork and an u/s next weds. tentative retrieval 2 wks from today. i argued passionately that as i give people injections nearly daily, i should be able to skip the injection class tomorrow at buttfugearly. the class won't help the mental block that comes with giving yourself shots and that's really the only part i need help with. thankfully, i was excused. i'll spend my hooky day smoking cigarettes and buying black lipstick, just like i know i should :).
i found out a short while ago (when we were paying the bill, actually...HA! Suprise!) that the clinic has automatically slotted us into the ICSI category because we are using a previously frozen sample. i talked to them about it today and they said that with a frozen sample, there's a 90% chance they'll do ICSI but it isn't 100% positive. i'm having a hard time with the ICSI thing. it seems that if they do ICSI, then whoever is the dr working that day is literally choosing our future child(ren). how do they pick? cutest sperm? fastest swimmer? only boys on tuesdays, only girls on wednesdays? i know it's stupid, but i'm BLAH about ICSI at the moment. it has it's place, and i can totally see myself a year from now typing in something about how ICSI is our last great hope, but for now it sorta weirds me out. it would be nice if the union of sperm and egg were not medically directed, even though most everything else in this process leading up to the union is.
there is some unmitigated good news in all this though: my last bcp was actually sunday night, since due to the short night i forgot to take yesterday's pill. SWEET!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
i *hate* being on the pill. seriously, it makes me feel like hammered poo. i don't know how i was on it for 15+ yrs (HA!) because it makes me nauseous and starving all at the same time. eating helps neither the nausea, nor the hunger. delightful. i didn't notice it before, but i guess in the 3 or so years i've been off the pill, i've recalibrated. and then, of course, there's the rich irony of being on the pill in and of itself.
i'm going to switch to taking it right before bed and see if that helps. cheeky bastards.
Friday, January 4, 2008
now, i'm sure it is infinitely better to be raised in a family than in an orphanage. but i think that couple expecting their child to be grateful she was adopted by them is just a tad bit unrealistic. infants have no say in their birth or adoption. it just happens to them, the same as it happens to all babies. when was the last time anyone gave thanks to their *biological* parents for just being born? or for not being 40X poorer or twice as crazy as they were? seriously, all our parents are crazy, but they could have been a hell of a lot crazier, and then where would you be? if you expect the adopted child to be grateful for her adoption, then you must yourself be grateful for the circumstances of your birth...that you were born to relative priveledge in america and not to, say, a drug addicted sex worker on the streets of bangladesh. now, go give your biological parents a sincere, heartfelt thank you for creating you and not being worse than they were, and THEN maybe you can start wanting your adopted kids to start feeling grateful for their 'rescue.'
people's circumstances are what they are. all of us could have been born/adopted into better or worse, just as easily.
that couple sounded very concerned that after their 35K spent etc. that their teenage daughter would resent them and go looking for her "real" mother. i think if they spend her upbringing hoping she'll be grateful for her adoption, they may actually create that which they most fear.
i also have a feeling that if i ever do have bio kids and i demand that they be grateful to me for the fact of being born at all because of all the time and heartbreak and expense and invasive vaginal procedures with cold steely probes at zero-dark-thirty in the morning and nowhere to park etc. involved with concieving them in the first place (to say nothing of carrying/delivering etc) well, i think they would be justified in saying 'i never asked you to do any of that!' which is 100% true.
on a completely unrelated note, look at that cute little baby tushie!!! my teeth hurt it's so sweet :)
Thursday, January 3, 2008
but UGH. it depresses me because i figure that if those women were divorced, they might end up with more help on average, or at least more free time. this is because the father would have visitation without the mother around. meaning, he would have to figure out a way to deal with the baby during his visitation, and she would have a set period of time in which she couldn't deal with the baby even if she wanted to. i start freaking out thinking about my overwhelmed and overworked future self and start planning the ways to prevent that from happening to me. images of signed antenatal agreements and firm contractual obligations dance through my head.
which, of course, is utter and complete lunacy. i have zero kids and i'm not pregnant nor am i in the process of adopting. i might not ever have this problem. who knows, maybe cl and i might be one of the (seemingly few) couples who actually manage to have shared childcare responsibilties that suit both partners. on the other hand, i could have a medically fragile kid who spends 3 mos in the NICU and i would give anything to be up at night doing the majority of the babycare because at least i'd be doing it and not his/her nurses. i could have a kid with a major disability that required even MORE work than i can currently even fathom. i could never have any kids at all.
i also recognize that seeing my mom utterly overwhelmed and miserable for years on end probably has more to do with my huge irrational fear of being overwhelmed with childcare responsiblities than anything that is going on in my current situation. i will say this for her...she got it done. she stepped in and deserves much credit. on the other hand, i would never EVER want to be in a situation as lonely and overwhelming as hers was. if my options were doing it all myself or never having kids, i'm not sure what i'd choose.
i also think i should worry about things that are more immediately pressing, like, where is my checkbook? where will i work next year? why am i not either a) buying exercise equipment or b) joining a gym? is this round of IVF going to work? i realized in the car today on my way to women's health clinical that even in the best circumstances, IVF doesn't work >50% of the time. that means the default is that it WON'T work. interesting, nu? i feel like right now i'm OK with it not working, but i wonder how many IVF cycles i'll be willing to try. 2? 4? 6??? and there i am again, getting way way way ahead of myself.
on to much better topics
my godnephews ryanbear...
...and andrew (doing his best jazzhands...he also does a mean zoolander 'blue steel')