Friday, March 30, 2007

Back again

Okay, the old SF is more-or-less back again. If JF is brave enough to face this, then I can darn well figure out how to make some money. That's the easy part, after all. I've already got some unexpected optimization contract work lined up.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Well, that sucks

Apparently the reason they wanted to call us in for a meeting was that they were disappointed with the results the last go-around -- not enough eggs produced. On the one hand, I'm a little bit doubtful about this -- my strong impression was that the nurse who took the last ultrasound was not trying to carefully see what all was there, but just wanted to find something that looked promising and take its picture. But on the other hand, this feels like a huge setback. Huge.

My normally cheery outlook seems to be a thing of the past. For the first time, it really feels like failure is an option. It sounds disturbingly like we could spend all our savings (and then some) and have less chance of success than was anticipated two months ago using the nice "affordable" injectables.

JF has been so brave...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oh yeah, by the way ...

I called the nurse yesterday to request a Follistim prescription for this cycle. She looked at my charts, showed them to the doctor and called me back: she's willing to order the drug, but ... since the last cycle was "what we would call 'less than a perfect cycle,'" the doctor wants to make some changes ... which means an appointment.

Because I'm leaving Wednesday afternoon for a conference lasting the rest of the week, that means tomorrow morning. They fit us in, thank goodness, but here's what has me irked --

Nothing has changed in the past three weeks. At any time since it became clear we had "less than a perfect cycle," someone could have looked at the chart and said, "oh yeah, we should see them before they try to do the next thing we told them to do."

It didn't have to be so last-minute.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bad as I am ...

... I'm still here. What a week it's been.

Sunday, I dragged SF around his second home & garden show in as many weekends. We picked up a coupon for handyman work that looked like it would be useful for a couple smallish jobs we needed to have done.

Monday, I called the handyman company.

Tuesday, they sent a guy out to work. The two jobs we had were fixing two pieces of exterior trim and one sagging interior drywall ceiling panel. When I moved the bookcase out of the corner so the workman could work, however, I found --


Mold on the inside corner corresponding with a rotten piece of exterior trim. We spent an agonizing four hours while we waiting for the handyman to get to the part of the job where he cuts away the interior drywall, so we could see how far the mold problem had spread. He told us a horror story about another house in our neighborhood that they'd "gutted" because the homeowners ignored the mold.

Meanwhile, SF is crushingly busy at work and trying to deal with construction work in the room next to his office while trying to get ready for (a) company and (b) a weekend away.

Finally, it was time to cut the drywall. We learned something: if you spill a glass of water behind a bookcase, move the bookcase and dry the wall. It sucks, but it doesn't suck as much as having drywall done. Turns out the mold came from inside the house -- an isolated incident where the wall must have gotten wet and not dried properly.

All this, of course, made me think I don't deserve a child after all, because the moldy corner was exactly where we'd have put a crib if we had need of a crib. Melodramatic, yes, but that's the way it works.

Yes, I plan for my someday-child to sleep in a moldy corner of the house. I'm surprised the Humane Society doesn't come and take the animals away, because clearly I am not fit to keep a houseplant healthy, let alone a mammal.

Mold, on the other hand ...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The power of a dream

Not much going on this week. We're in the first of three weeks of birth control, passing days until time comes for the shots. I'm not fond of the way the Pill makes me feel; I'm actually looking forward to the injections.

I dreamt Friday night that SF and I were adopting a baby from somewhere in Asia. We were completely unprepared for the adoption; it happened with no preparation and no notice. All of a sudden, we had a child but nothing ready to care for him. I raced around, carrying the baby (who, by the way, could talk) as I tried to gather what we would need to look after him. Despite the somewhat frantic preparations, I woke up calm and happy -- the dream imbued the day with a peaceful contentment I hadn't felt in a long time.

One way or another, things will be all right.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

So what happens now?

Another suitcase in another hall ... or another round of birth control and shots. Your pick.

I choose the pills and shots. What that means is that Tuesday I started three more weeks of birth control pills, after which we'll have another ultrasound and start another round of Follistim injections.

I suspect what happened this last time is that we missed the egg. Well, clearly we missed the egg. But I suspect that part of the problem was timing: when they're trying to tell you exactly when to do the deed (erm, "time intercourse"), and the hormone levels tell them you're ovulating without the trigger shot, they don't really have a good way to determine timing. So instead of two tries at their best guess of the right time to fertilize the egg, we got one each of two different "maybes."

How are we? Tired of living life in two-week increments, but resolute about trying again. I keep reminding myself it could be worse: I read an obituary today for a child who was just exactly the age we would have had if the first round of clomid had worked. Our path could be rockier. There's no guarantee it won't be, but we'll take our chances.

In the meantime, I've tried to make Organizer Peter Walsh ... well, if not proud, then at least less horrified. I took two full bags of clothing out of my closet today to give away, including 3 suits I haven't worn in years. Not so much call for suits in small-library children's librarianship. Especially ones that don't fit. I hope they find someone who can use them. And maybe we'll get a little closer to "creating what we want from the space."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Back to the drawing board

Tests were negative, so we start the process over again today.

Monday, March 12, 2007


There was a power outage at the doctor's office, so we get the results tomorrow.

What do you want from your space?

That was the big question Organizer Peter Walsh from TLC's Clean Sweep posed yesterday to an audience of clutterbugs at the Detroit Home & Garden show. I went to the program expecting to hear about how to motivate yourself to clean up your space, but I didn't expect the methods to bring tears to my eyes.

Our house is a wreck right now, between a new job and a week of illness bookended by a weekend away and a weekend of worry. But ... what do I want from the space? That's part of the problem. I don't have the power to put what I want from the space into the space. That doesn't mean I'd logically say it can fill up with clutter if we can't have a baby, but that seems to be the effect.

It's not just our finances stuck in limbo as we try to create the future we want, it's also, in a way, our lives. With each step, we try to move toward the path we want, even though we haven't actually found the trail yet. If we never find this path, which others will we regret giving up or not having followed?

I called the nurse this morning, and she seemed puzzled. Bleeding in early pregnancy isn't uncommon, she said, especially spotting.

It's heavier than spotting, but not as heavy as the heavy period they told me to look for, I told her. Hmm. Puzzling. Any unusual period, she said, and they want to rule out pregnancy before moving on. When she found out it started on Saturday, she moved the blood test up from Thursday to today so I can start birth control in preparation for the next cycle if the test is negative.

"Is the hormone from the trigger shot out of my system?"

"Oh yes."

"Is it late enough to tell for sure?"

"Oh yes. The number will be low if it's positive, because it's still so early, but we'll be able to tell."

So I should have an answer one way or another this afternoon. Either way, it will be fine. A negative is obviously not what we'd hoped for going in. A positive at this point isn't a guarantee of any sort, an unavoidable fact after two miscarriages. But I've never been as good with uncertainty as I am at dealing with the answer when I have it. Positive or negative, we move on.

Not giving up yet...

Based on what JF describes and what I remember of what the doctor told us two weeks ago, I retain hope for this cycle. Of course, all this just makes the waiting more confused.

Guess we'll know a little more after JF calls the doctor today.

Update: JF is going in for a blood test this morning. Should know more by this afternoon.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

? ? ? ? ?

Well. Our first cycle of Follistim appears to have failed. 10 days after the trigger shot, I started to spot.

My first thoughts were positive. It was only a tiny amount Thursday night. Women report experiencing implantation spotting resembling what I saw, and it seemed that, at about 8 dpo, implantation was a prime possibility.

I spent Friday in an all-day meeting for work, sneaking out to the ladies' room every chance I got for a "status check." The picture grew more and more dismal. By now, Saturday morning, I have to think that even if there is still a growing group of cells in there, it's not going to have anything left to implant in anyway.

We knew the cycle might not work. I just wish I knew why it failed so ... early. 28 days is usually a minimum for my cycle, and I started to bleed a full week before that. Hormones messed up from the shots? Early early miscarriage? Just one of those things? Another question for which we didn't know we might need an answer.

And I was worried about not being able to come up with things to write about while we waited the final week before we could test.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ways to take your mind off TTC

SF and I spent the weekend in Toronto, where, as he said below, I actually managed not to obsess about whether or not we caught the egg this time around.

Instead, I was too concerned with how my entire head had become -- indeed, remains -- a snot factory. It's hard to think about anything below the neck when everything above the neck is taking so much energy to run. Bless the hotel worker who brought me a fresh box of Kleenex at 3 a.m. after I'd exhausted the first one blowing my nose for a solid hour (and also the husband who slept through it).

The only fertility-related concern I've had the past few days is to hope that my body doesn't decide it's going to put so much effort into snot production that it can't possibly support an embryo. I realize the physiology there is a little dodgy, but hey, all those parts are connected, right?


This is the part of the process that I'm sure everyone who has done this has gone through -- the waiting. The point when you've done everything you can do, and you won't get any results for another couple of weeks, and in the meantime, there's this huge patch of uncertainty in your future.

JF said our trip this weekend helped get her mind off of the waiting, but I went out a bit on my own to play and hear music, and bumping into various acquaintances, I was asked at least five times what we were planning on doing in August. And the only answer possible was I don't know. One extreme has all our spare money tied up in medication for more attempts. The other extreme has JF in the fifth month of carrying multiples, and not really able to travel. I don't know the odds of either thing happening, exactly.

For now, all I can do is say "I don't know", and pray for a happy medium...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Best-laid plans

Saturday the 24th was my original due date. For months after I lost the pregnancy, I wondered what it would be like to reach the date we'd once anticipated with such joy and have nothing but a normal day planned -- would I be a wreck, a recluse, or happy to be going out for dinner instead of needing an epidural?

The answer turned out to be that I was too busy to care. I had a full day at work Saturday; between that and the current round of fertility shots (not to mention the awesome pirate xBox game we rented), there wasn't time to think about what might have been. I'm too busy right now with what is and what might be, and with becoming a rogue and marrying the Governor's beautiful daughter.

Our doctor is on vacation this week. The nurse did the final ultrasound on Tuesday and explained how to give the trigger shot and when to time our other, erm, related activity. She asked how the shots were going, obviously expecting that I couldn't wait to be done with them. Truthfully, though, I'd take the shots over what's coming -- two weeks of nothing to do but wait for time to pass so we can learn the outcome of this round of treatment.

Then the bloodwork came back, and she called me on my cell phone in the rib joint we hit after the doctors to revise the instructions on when to do the deed. It was, I think, the funniest thing we've encountered in two years of fertility treatments -- nobody calls my cell, so we knew it was probably important, but both of us had barbecue sauce up to our wrists, and the phone was in a zipped compartment of my purse. Hijinks ensued. Ah, the laughs!