Friday, June 29, 2012

not feeling it

Ugh. Yesterday, I experienced the steep downhill of the IF rollercoaster.

One more time, with feeling.

I am comparing what my current experience is to how I felt in the last DE cycle. Like I said, I felt an unequivocal bout of nausea at 5dp3dt, and some queasiness on the days after. This time, I have not felt a full fledge bout of nausea and I'm at 6dp5dt. I should say that there are a few moments each day when I'm feeling a slightly queasy (maybe). Like after lunch yesterday, I had about 3 minutes when I felt quite unsettled with the food in my tummy, which isn't typical for me. Still, that's not much to go on, compared to my memory of what it was last year (and yes, I see a problem with comparing a memory of what happened 1 year ago and what is happening right now - memory is not that accurate).
I came home last night and felt like this cycle was a bust. I got myself convinced of that and felt very crappy.

So, I did what usually helps, if only a little: I went out for a walk.

On my walk, I ran into this woman I know. I wasn't wearing my glasses and had I been, I would have run the other way. She is fundamentally a good and kind person, but there are layers and layers of stuff on top of that. And she is also a very, VERY successful clinical psychologist, with a beautiful house and 2 beautiful kids. Cue the upward social comparrissons and the feelings of sheer inadequacy that come along with that. She called me out when she saw me, and of course, I kicked into my socially gracious mode and started walking and talking with her. What else was I going to do? Fake a bout of nausea?

Anyway, mid-conversation, when I'm trying to steer that talk to all of her successful endeavours and her beautiful children (and get the spotlight off of me), she cuts in and asks where we are at in our family building.

Fuck.

Who the hell asks that.

And then she felt that the question might not have been appropriate so she starts damage control and I just mutter that there have been challenges, already saying more than I ever intended to this person with whom I am not close. She chimes in that it was a challenge to conceive her second one. I didn't know what to say to that and I certainly wasn't going to take that as an invitation to talk.

Thus, the downward spiral I was already on got a whole lot steeper after I came back home. This was one time when going for a walk didn't help at all, and in fact made things worse. There are so many ways in which I am disappointed with my life. All the hope and promise I've been feeling in the last weeks was sucked away in a cerebral stormcloud of 'where did I go wrong', 'when is it going to be our turn', 'how could I end up so far from where I wanted', and 'where is it that i even want to go at this point?' There was intense sobbing that went along with that, and lots of staring into a bleak future.

It's interesting how going into this cycle, I was really working the mindset of this being just the first try of many, and really preparing to be back in DC later in the summer for a FET. Despair management, I suppose. But of course, once that blastocyst is in, one starts seeing things much differently. You want it to LIVE, damn it. You want it to be your child, at long last. Seriously women, I will be crushed if this try doesn't work. There is really no way around it. I was a fool to think that there was. Perhaps that's just what I needed to tell myself to take this big leap of faith once more.

From Katie Evans

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

let the waiting begin

I have made it back home, and you will be able to tell since once again, I will be wordy. You can't grow up French and not be wordy. Think of Proust and his 2-page sentences. You'd think that 3 degrees at English-language universities would have whipped it out of me. No. Pour mes lectrices françaises, je ne faisais qu'expliquer que je suis finalement de retour à la maison et que je n'avais même pas besoin de le déclarer puisque de constater que je suis redevenue volubile serait assez pour s'en rendre compte (mon iphone me l'empechais lorsque je voyageais). J'ai également fait référence à Proust parce que j'suis snob. 

The train rides were epic. We particularly liked the DC to Pittsburgh train going through the Appalachians. Except the part where I had to do my PIO shot while the train was moving. But I managed to do it in a train change room. I've never seen a change room on a train before, but certainly was glad to find it there on this particular train. The bathrooms are visibly germy, and I was loathe to stab myself in the ass amidst such an ensemble of microscopic friends.

It hit me this morning that I will drive myself crazy for the next 2 weeks. Scanning for symptoms and trying to determine what they mean is what I'll be doing, under the pretense of going to work and you know, working. There is nothing I can really do about it. I decided to take CGD's words to live by and apply them to my situation: lean into it. Let this be my declaration that I will stop resisting driving myself crazy and will just give into it.

Beta is on July 6.

Monday morning upon waking up in Pittsburgh, I felt a bit off. Something was a little weird with my digestion, nothing major. I chalked it up to train fatigue and had breakfast. Moving on. This morning, I was slightly queasy. Not nauseous, but slightly queasy. Oh boy, did my mind chew on that one like a fresh bone.

And I had to throw some math in, of course. Last time embryos entered my uterus (3dt), I felt a strong bout of nausea 5 days later. I wondered to myself whether this time, if I were to be pregnant, I would feel nauseous 3 days after the 5-day transfer. That would be this morning, so no, not nauseous, but slightly queasy.

Do you see how I will be fit to be tied by July 6?

I got word from the clinic today that out of all those embryos, only 1 is good enough to freeze. I was disappointed and pleased at the same time, if that's even possible. I thought there would be more to freeze, given that there were 11 growing. I lowered my expectations when the doctor mentioned that that some were sluggish and they were hoping for 1 or 2 to freeze. I'm glad there is at least 1 to freeze. And because this is shared risk, we can go through this 5 more times if we need to. I'm hoping not though. But I'm not the one who decides.

It was great to read all your comments along the way. I felt like I had a whole big section of the bleachers calling out our name loudly and with pep. Thank you to all of you readers, commenters, cheerleaders and witnesses.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Precious cargo on board

Transfer took place this morning, as scheduled. I was so excited my blood pressure was higher than usual. Our doctor was not on call but elected to come in to do our transfer himself. Bonus points for that! Especially on a beautiful Saturday morning when he clearly could have gone to play golf instead.

The experience was quite different than the transfer last year. The most striking difference was that we got to watch it all on screen. Shoushhhh....our wee one slid in and it looked like a shooting star. Poetic.

The blast transferred is gorgeous, if I do say so myself (and since I had no role in creating it, it's not really bragging - ok, maybe a little). Here's a picture.

I am bed resting for the next 24 hours until we start heading home tomorrow evening.

I am really happy right now and filled with hope. I'll savor that while it's here.

I'm sending positive thoughts to the lovely and amazing Nurse Louisa. I read on Adele's blog that there is a concern in her pregnancy. She contributes to this community in such a significant yet understated way. Please join me in sending her good thoughts.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eleven

Is this even possible?

Still 11 embryos, all 8-cells at this point

Transfer is scheduled for Saturday at 10:45 EST

In other news, (tmi) I just managed to take my 6 pm dose of estrace (as directed) in the bathroom of the Amtrack train. Eewww. At Least it wasn't moving at the time.

(I think I included that last bit of info because I've been reading Jenny Lawson's book all day and found myself gripped with a sudden urge to overshare)


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Growing like hot cakes*

I post these snippets from my phone, so if you are finding me noticeably less loquacious these past few days, now you know why. I also have not figured out yet how to have my iPhone win the battle of the captcha, and so I haven't been able to comment on blogs.

I visited grand papa today. He is 82 and has had a full life. Liver cancer secondary to cirrhosis will take his life soon. He has partied much in his day and now he will rest. It is sad and it is not unexpected. It just is. I'm glad I got to say goodbye.

How many embryos are still dividing, you ask?

11

Yes all 11 are still growing.

Really.

Yes. Really.

We are heading south from Montreal tomorrow morning, on a train bound for Hudson, NY. We meet up with my dear friend the geologist and make the rest of the journey on Friday. The transfer is set for Saturday, but I don't yet have the time.

I'll be sure to update tomorrow.

Thank you to each of you for your thoughts, support, encouragement and love. It means a great deal to me.

*as an ESL person, I used to mix up and combine my expressions, much to the delight of my friends (and this one was a favorite of the Tibetan dumpling)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

embryos

The eggs were sufficiently wooed

There are 11 embryos in the lab. I know the number will go down, but at this stage, I'm very pleased.

Life wanting to flourish.

I stand in amazement.

(well, I'm technically sitting on a train bound for Montreal. My grand-papa is ill with cancer and we are heading there to see him and likely say goodbye. Life and death often sit side by side)

I'm LOVING your enthusiasm, women. Thank you for being excited for me ( us) and with me.

Monday, June 18, 2012

eggs!

from Imagination Kids on etsy

I just listened to my voice messages at home, and it looks like we've got some eggs. The last count was 20 follicles. Yet, 26 eggs were retrieved. Sophie is amazing!

13 of those are ours.

The eggs are probably being courted by Mr. A's boys as we speak.

Let there be embryos.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's time


I got an email yesterday stating that Sophie was going to trigger last night. Wow. I did not expect it would come so soon, but golly, I was excited to read that. The previous day, the email received had stated that her biggest follie was 17mm and that it would probably be 2-3 more days of stims until she triggered. Apparently not. Her egg retrieval is scheduled for Monday (tomorrow!), which means that our transfer will be on Saturday, June 23. I start my PIO shots this evening.

wow

We have kicked into high gear with trip preparations. There will be LOTS of time on different trains, so I am thinking about all the reading materials, magazines, etc, I will bring. What do you like to have when you go on long trips?

I am feeling rather positive about all this. Hope has crept back into my heart, on cue. I feel that taking the long view has helped me tremendously. If it doesn't work this time, we'll just go back in August and try again. We'll keep trying until it works or until we can no longer go forward. 



from UUPP on etsy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

mid-cycle updates

The fun continues, folks.

33 follies counted yesterday. 20 today.

Thankfully, the nurse said not to worry about the variation. She explained that it depends on who does the u/s, and how they count them. Math is indeed a highly subjective endeavor. I personally really like it when 2+2 = 5.

Seriously, unless you tell me to panic about this drop in follicles, I'm not even going to register it. It's follies, not eggs. And since counting them seems to be hard, then why worry my pretty head? I've decided not to.

I went for my lining check yesterday morning. Tummy distress alerted me to the fact that I was really nervous about this, even though I had myself convinced I was chill and zen. Another fellow wanded me this time, under the watchful eye of one of the docs (the one who talked to me when I had bleeding in week 6 of the pregnancy). Once again, we played a game of 'Where in the World are Augusta's ovaries?" When I said they're usually hard to find, the doc said that they were keeping quiet for me. 'Snort', I later thought, 'that's their modus operandus.'  At least I don't have to worry about one of them sprouting an egg mid-DE cycle. Gotta look at the bright side here.

And the lining.

wait for it.

7.5mm at first glance. The email from my nurse said "we are happy with today's lining" Hey, if they're happy, I'm happy.

Sophie goes back in tomorrow. She seems to get monitored every day, which is different than with Sattva. I sent off the letter to her yesterday by expresspost, so the clinic should have it by Friday. It feels good to have written it and sent it.
 
I'll post another update this week. Thanks for the love, women. It feels so good to have you on my team. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

let's do this

Thanks for your great feedback on my last post. I was glad to read that in your experience, most clinics do accept recipients offerings to the donors. I asked two staff members at our clinic about writing the donor a card and got responses very promptly (that's more like it). The response was positive, as long as we don't put any identifying information in the card. I cranked out a couple of drafts on the weekend and the Mr. was looking over one last night. It's my goal to have it there before the ER so that she may even get it on that day.

On the weekend, I also got to spend time with Sattva. I find it amazing that after all that, our friendship continues. Not that I expected to end. It feels like so much was loss that it wouldn't have surprised me to also lose her friendship (yes, that's irrational. I know. I'm a psychologist). I had purchased a necklace for Sattva that symbolized connection. I gave it to her on the weekend as well as a card expressing my enduring gratitude to her for having donated eggs and for being such a caring friend. It felt good to let her know in this way how I (we) have so much gratitude and love for her.

We did end up picking a name for our donor. There is no special connection to that name, it was just one that we could both agree on and seemed to fit the darling little girl in the pictures. We've decided to call her Sophie. Unlike every name on this blog, this one is not a pseudonym. It is her real fake name.

I am heading to FTT for a lining check tomorrow morning. Hoping for an appropriately fluffy red fleece. I'm also picking up my PIO. It looks like I'll be starting those next week. Whatevs. I'm Xena. I can shoot up with estrogen AND progesterone behing my back, simultaneously, and blindfolded.

Oh, and in other news, Sophie was in for her monitoring this morning. She had about 31 follies they said. Sounded like follies-a-plenty to me. Her next monitoring is Wednesday. Receiving that email really told me that it's game on. Let's do this.

Anyone else out there over the moon about Misfit giving birth to a darling baby girl? It has been an extra long and extra hard road for Misfit. I'm so happy for you Misfit, I want to shout it from every rooftops.


Friday, June 8, 2012

a rose by any other name

Hopeful parents start trying to give a name to their unborn child soon after they've learned of the pregnancy. For women, it starts, long before then, like in high school during sleepovers with girlfriends and discussions of a Harlequin romance you were going to have with a muscular, square-jawed piece of a man, and then have several of his babies, and name them Tiffany, Crystal, and Corey.

The conversation at our dinner table last night was about naming. Naming our donor, that is. We're 10000 steps away from holding a baby in our arms. However, we are entering into this cycle more fully as of today because our donor starts her stimulation meds. She is on my mind, this goddess of eggs and generosity and youth.

The anonymity bothers me. I accept it and I understand why and I am very good with abiding by the rules. But the anonymity niggles at me. I would like to know her. I would like to be able to thank her in person so she could see in my eyes that this actually DOES mean the world to me. I would like to be able to tell my (hypothetical) child exactly which female human being on this earth is the one whose genetic material and whose generosity contributed to him or her being born into our family.

With Sattva, we had some established parameters around the relationships we were going to foster. She would be our child's aunt, and our children would be cousins. Our child would have had access to Sattva, and would have known all along that she was the egg donor. We considered the possibility that either family would move away from Pleasantville, and how we would be travelling to see each other and keep our families connected.

It is strange not make these plans with this donor. Even stranger to me is that I don't know what her name is. I think of her so often, and I wonder what she is doing right now, and how she is feeling and where is she going to do her injections this evening and will her son ask her what those are for. I wonder how long it will take her to drive to the clininc for monitoring. I wonder what car she is driving. I look at her pictures and my heart fills with love and gratitude. "thank you,____"

It's been on my mind for a while, but I decided yesterday that I must give her a name. It's not like I can guess what her real name is, but having accepted that, I'll pick a name that I can use in my offerings of gratitude, a name Mr. A and I can use when we are referring to her.

After my yoga practice last evening, I took some time to look at her pictures and decided on a name. I bounced a few names around in my mind and settled on that one. Mr. A and I talked about it at supper afterwards, and he challenged me on it (in a good way). The name I picked is one of Sattva's given names. Wouldn't that be confusing for our child if we kept that made-up name in the future and the child thought it was Sattva? Yes, I thought, that's not going to work. I guess that's partly why that name felt so right to me, because it is one of Sattva's names, because I love Sattva so much and so completely embraced the fact that our child would come from her gift.

Yes, I am still sad that Sattva won't be our donor. And of course, very grateful that we are able to do DE in the US where chances of success are so much greater. And I am seeking some form of connection with the donor, beyond accepting the embryos formed with her eggs into my uterus (how's that for connection).

So we will give her a name. And we will writer her a letter. I'm not sure we can have the clinic give it to her, or if it will be against their policy. We are hoping we can send her flowers on the day of retrieval. Do you think she will be able to know that we are deeply thankful?

Monday, June 4, 2012

penetrating

No, this is not a post about fifty shades of grey. I'm referring to needles.

I went back to Dr. Ninja last Friday. It was sweet to be back. I didn't get to see the good doctor, but saw his lovely protege. She stayed far from dogmatism in her approach and remained flexible when I expressed discomfort at taking the herbs (in tea form) at this stage in the cycle. The US clinic advises against it, and I want to follow their instructions at this point. She was a-ok with that and said we would focus on acupuncture. She also didn't lose her cool when I said that I had reduced coffee but still was having a little. I know that the clinic's approach is NO CAFFEINE. But even last time around I wasn't able to completely abide by that. I still had black tea and green tea through the DE cycle and the pregnancy. So, is 8 oz of coffee really going to obliterate my chances with this DE cycle. No. I'm pretty sure there is no evidence that it would.

It was good to get back to acupuncture. I felt very grounded by the treatment and it started my weekend off in the best possible frame of mind. Being back to Dr. Ninja's centre helped put me in the treatment cycle frame of mind. I feel like this is fully game on now.

It's funny the things we do and don't do while on a treatment cycle. What impact do they really have? Who the hell knows? It's groping in the dark, really. I mean, I have held back from downing a 40-oz bottle of vodka. I somehow think this omission can only work in my favour. But otherwise, it all feels so fucking random. At the end of the day, I can do what I think is right, given what I know, and trust that this is enough. And that's what I'm doing.

I've started the dele.strogen shots last week. I started the cycle strong with my first ever self-administrated IM shot in the rump. I felt like Xena, warrior princess. I highly recommend trying this at least once. I'm ready to take on those shots any day (and guess what? PIOs are starting next week. FUN!).

The donor is starting her stims on Friday, according to the schedule. I am aware every day that things could not unfold as planned, that it could be canceled, that the donor could pull out, that...But I am working with the facts. And the fact is, for now, that this cycle is in full swing.