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Archive for May, 2008

…and trying desperately to make it be from implantation, rather than, say, gas.

Because gas would be, um, anti-climatic.

And so in pursuit of this lofty goal, I spent much of today – when I should have been working – googling things like “4dp2dt cramps implantation” And, sure enough. Lots of women in my position feel crampiness on this, as well as many other post-transfer days. And, sure enough. Sometimes it’s the earliest sign of pregnancy. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes, it’s gas.

*rolls eyes at self-induced craziness*

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it until June 10. I’ll certainly start testing before then. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, mostly.

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

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Besides being a day in which the windows are still being replaced. It’s rather like living in an Alice-in-Wonderland set, actually. Much busy-ness, no progress. Or so it seems. Realistically, I know they must be accomplishing something, but three weeks without being able to sleep in is taking a toll on me. Not to mention the fact that I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t actually mind taking prednisone. I felt peppy all the time, without that nasty caffeine buzz. Woke in the morning ready to wake up, and didn’t feel like napping all afternoon. Ah well. It’s leaving my system now, for sure. I could have slept another three hours this morning, if there hadn’t been workmen tromping through the house. *sigh*

Ok, IVF related stuff:

My hand is not as discolored today, which is good news. Looks like my flesh will not slough off after all.

Which is a relief.

Bad news is that my much-abused butt is starting to make known its displeasure at all the PIO injections. Bruised and lumpy, as promised. Poor boyfriend winces more than I do, when he has to stab me. Even so, even sore and lumpy, it’s easier than I’d thought it would be. Uncomfortable on the same level as a paper-cut. Truly no big deal.

The ambiguous news is that I was crampy all last night, and into this morning. I’m trying very hard not to read too much into this, but the timing would be just about right for implantation cramps, yes? Down, Susan. Down! I took an HPT & the HCG seems to have left my system, so in another few days, I’ll start testing in earnest. June 10 seems like a very very long way away.

To make a long, rambling, post short, I’m waiting. Waiting waiting waiting. Waiting to see if anything took. Waiting waiting waiting…

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And 5dpER, and the hand that the anesthesiologist savaged in his attempt to punch through my mighty mighty veins is still – or rather, is more – swollen and discolored than it was the day of retrieval – and that was pretty bad at the time.

I was concerned enough yesterday to call my nurse, who called the anesthesiologist, who called me back to tell me that what I was describing (bright red/purple for about an inch on every side of the injection site, which remains flesh-colored) could not happen with the medicine I was given (Propofol). Well, that’s a relief, because from here, it looked, um, pretty purply-red, sort of like a pretty bad reaction of some sort – allergic or chemical – and I was getting worried about, you know, my flesh sloughing off or something. “Nah,” says he. “Maybe it’s a bruise.” “No,” I said. “I have a pretty nasty bruise on my other hand from where we attempted an iv. And inside both elbows, too. Bruises, I know from bruises.”

He was completely humorless and obviously did not understand the concept of irony at all. Sarcasm went right over his head, too. He admitted he’d be curious to see my hand that could not possibly be red, purple and swollen, and so I asked where his office was. Turns out he has no office. He’s an itinerant anesthesiologist. Hey – great work if you can get it, and then you don’t need to deal with pesky things like office calls, I suppose. He offered to meet me at my doctor’s place. If it’s not better by tonight, I’ll probably do that. I had to field way more concerned questions yesterday at work – “Your hand – my god – what happened to your hand!?!”

To which I did not reply, “You think my hand looks bad, you should see my vaginal walls!”

On the bright side, my new computer is glorious, and I’m enjoying the immediate gratification of instant start-up, instant loading of iTunes, etc. Life is good. I think I’ll like this little computer. And the windows should be done today. And I have Friday off (though not Saturday.) And I’ve been losing the bloat-weight from the meds, which makes me feel better. Been getting a bit crampy, though, which I suppose could be either good news (implantation!) or bad news (rejection). So I’m ignoring all nether-region sensations until I have more information. Concentrating on my weird-looking hand for the time being.

Which is not red-purple at all. Nope. Not even a little.

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for no real reason.  Well, save that the bloating I’ve been dealing with is finally starting to dissipate, and the PIO shots aren’t anywhere near as bad as I’d thought they would be – mostly because the darling boyfriend is really getting good at giving them.  And because the massive bruising on the back of my hand doesn’t hurt any more, though it still looks pretty dramatic. 

And, as people have reminded me, even though my initial embryos’ quality aren’t superstar material like I’d hoped for, it’s not like they’re not viable.  This could totally work, and until I hear otherwise from my body, or from these hokey internet HPTs I’m already peeing on obsessively, or from my doctor’s blood lab, I think I’ll just think of myself as Pregnant with a capital “P”. 

Why the hell not? 

My poor mother tried to comfort me yesterday by telling me that this would work because I have her genes and all she ever needed to do to get pregnant was to want to.  Um, yeah, that was when she was almost 13 years younger than I am now, and hey!  Newsflash!  Getting pregnant easily – not my problem!  But a couple of friends came through and said the right things – and how they knew just what I needed to hear, I’ll never know, but they did.  Thanks, guys – and Linda, this sprog is going to be honored to wear a chicken-hat just like its Auntie Linda.

And the computer meltdown – ok, financially, this could totally have happened at a better time.  Ie: not the same month as the outrageous car insurance comes due.  Not the same month that the slightly less-outrageous, but still significant medical bills came due, and not a bare week after I went and bought luggage and assorted clothes for our upcoming vacation.  But still, hell, I’m in a financial position for the first time in my life where it was possible, upon first viewing of the blue screen of death, to think of it as an opportunity to upgrade my life and not the end of everything until I could save up enough cash to scrape everything together.  Hell, if I look at it in a positive light, at least I have this ‘back up computer’ I bought last year, and at least I have a hard drive where everything has been semi-recently backed up.  So nothing’s lost except a bit of time and money, and that’s not anywhere near as bad as stuff I’ve lost in other catastrophic crashes.  (First novel, precious, irreplaceable photos, irretrievable emails, etc.) 

So I went downtown to the shiny flagsship Apple store & bought a new Mac.  Had a much better experience than at the store in SOHO, where no-one seemed to know how to answer my questions.  Here, everyone seemed on the level, intelligent, and generally the sort of computer people I like to deal with.  I’m excited about re-entering the Mac world, to be honest.  And I’ll be picking it up today or tomorrow, loaded with all my (or at least, so I hope) data, new programs, music, etc.  With any luck, I’ll be running the new Scrivener program I’ve been coveting within the week and being very very productive. 

And in the meantime, I’m feeling well enough on my feet today to make a lasagna, and to have enjoyed shopping for groceries in the sunshine today, and to be feeling like things aren’t quite so dire as they seemed yesterday.  Even if this month doesn’t work, we’ve got two more shots of IVF paid for with my insurance, which is nothing to sneeze at.  I can do this.  It’s not fun, but it’s something I can do.  It’ll work.   I’m holding positive here – this will work.

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And I’m more than a little disheartened.  

2 day transfer of 4 embryos.  That’s not great news right there.  But wait!  It gets worse!

The two day transfer is more related to the day of the week than the holiday – which was something of a relief.  I was feeling sort of put-upon that Memorial Day was more important than my transfer, but Mondays are apparently my doctor’s usual day off.  And, as he explained it, his success rates when he’s the one doing the transfering are better than when his partner does it.  Ok.  That sounds fair to me, plus I like and trust my doctor.  But when I asked the embyologist why are we transfering all four, are they not in good shape?  He said that 2 had divided on schedule – little 4-celled bloblets, but the other two were ‘lagging behind’.  And why might that be? I asked.  Answer is:  Good old comes-in-handy advanced maternal age.  Which is also why none of my embryos were classified as “Excellent” or even “good”.  They are average.  “Average, for your age of course, miss.”

Goddamn it all to hell.  

My doctor said that if we were shooting for a blastocyst transfer on day four or five, waiting til we had a better idea if the lagging two would catch up might make sense so we’d have a larger pool of candidates to work from, but since we’re not feeling like gambling quite that much, it’s better to transfer the whole shebang and hope that one of them decides to stick around.  Uterus is better than petri-dish, I guess is the line of thinking.  Can’t hurt, might help.  

But four.  Given that my clinic is noted for, and proud of, their extremely low triplet rate, that means that they really really don’t think there’s a good chance for any of these little guys. 

At the moment, I am kicking myself for allowing myself to be talked into any sort of relationship-preserving delay at all.  I should  have tried to get myself knocked up with donor sperm as soon as my divorce was final when I was still a peach-faced 35.   Fuck, I should have recognized what was happening by the time I turned thirty with the ‘oh, someday we’ll do that, dear,’ lines of bullshit I was fed.  I always meant to be a mother by age 30.  I had a plan to get my buddy to knock me up since we knew he made such pretty babies.  But I thought I had a bit of time, and my late twenties, early thirties were so busy.  My thinking – if thinking it can be called – went like this:  “I’m healthy, in good (if not great) shape.   I’ve got some time.  My mom didn’t enter menopause until her late fifties, and hey, celebrities have babies after 40 all the time”  But it looks like I really don’t have that time.  It sunk in today that none of this might work.  There might, literally, be nothing to be done.  I waited too long, and now I’m looking at a long, solitary life stretching out ahead of me and it terrifies the shit out of me.  

I got weepy at the transfer, which was embarassing as hell.  My doctor reassured me as best he could, but I could also tell he wasn’t thrilled with what we got, either.  And he tried to make me laugh by reminding me that some of this was just the hormones wreaking havoc on my emotions.  It was all I could do not to burst into tears at the thought of all those wasted hormones.  They should have gone to someone who could use them better than my old worn-out body can.  Oi.  Even I know that’s out of hand.  These next few weeks are going to be a good time, let me tell you.  

And before you ask, yes I have considered my options, actually.  They’r e not great.  Adoption is the most  appealing, but between my age, my partner’s age, our unmarried and one-divorce-apiece state, we’re pretty much ineligible to adopt overseas, and domestically, our choices are limited to adopting a special needs kid, or a 12 year old foster-kid who needs a home.  

Which I don’t want.  I want a baby, damnit.  And I want to be with that baby while it grows through toddler-hood and little kid-hood.  I want to be a mommy, not just a mom.  Besides, I work with middleschoolers.  I don’t want to adopt one.   And I don’t want to be a foster-mom.  Nor do I want to take on a special-needs kid by choice.  That might be selfish, but fuck it.  The quest to have a baby at this point in my life is selfish and that’s just how it is.  

So anyway, the transfer went fine.  The doctor gave me a hopeful but sort of sad smile on the way out, told me to “think gestational thoughts.”  Yeah.  Doing that.   “The tomato seed is not an indicator of what kind of plant you’ll get out of it.”  Yeah right.  Whatever.  I liked the “gestational thoughts” concept better.

Ok, deep breath.  It’s not the end of the world.  My lining is measuring a nice plump 11.-something mm.  Which is good.  And the tranfer went without a hitch.  I brought home an US souvenir picture with my four little ‘bubbles’ in it.  Not to mention the bubble-cuddling embryos themselves, as well as the new prescription for something else to stick up into my already crowded girl-goods.  I took a pregnancy test this morning, so I can track the HCG from the trigger shot leaving my system, so that I can then try to take a HPT ahead of my scheduled blood test on June 9, since I know myself well enough to know I wont’ be capable of waiting that long.  But part of me just wanted to see how it would look.  If I was.  Because I’m realizing it’s something I can’t count on ever being able to experience for real.  I sort of wanted to see that mythical ‘two lines on the test’ state.  Just because. 

It’s going to be a long long two weeks.

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Which, I guess isn’t bad, but I’m still feeling a bit freaked out.  To go from 10 good chances to four in less than 24 hours seems extreme. 

Transfer tomorrow morning.  A day-2 transfer since we don’t have anywhere near enough wiggle-room to try for a blastocyst transfer.  And since my doctor wants to do the transfer himself & won’t be in on Memorial Day.  Assuming, of course, there’s anything left alive in that fucking petri dish downtown.  

God, this is hard.  I’m despondant already and I haven’t even had the transfer or another negative test.  Artificial hormones suck.  Infertility sucks.  This whole goddamned process sucks.  

Going to go buy some yarn to make a plucked-chicken hat.  (Hi LInda!)  Maybe the goofiness of the errand will cheer me up a bit.  And at least it’s sunny out.  I might start weeping again if the rain started back up.

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So, after getting it all sorted out that the clinic is open on Memorial day – and wasn’t I a silly for believing otherwise? – I get a call to clarify my medicine status, and the tech tells me that they’re thinking of pushing me back to a 2-day transfer because my doctor wants to be the one to do the transfer.

Ahem, isn’t that actually, so he can do it and still have Memorial Day off?  Excuse me, but I’m not feeling reassured, here.  And the workmen are driving me crazy.  Or rather, my boyfriend’s reaction to the workmen is driving me crazy.  I came in to wail about how scary this all is to me, and he Interrupted me, mid-wail, to go discuss the gaping hole in the bedroom wall that he’s just glimpsed.  Not a high point in our person-to-person relations.  At this point, I’m freaked out, and go to use my computer to see what I can find out about 2-day vs. 3-day transfer success rates, when -hey! the workmen now need to trample through my office/hallway right now, so can I please be elsewhere?  Elsewhere, where?  

Children upstairs, bedroom off limits due to aforementioned gaping hole + workmen.  The bathroom, maybe?  The laundry room?  I just want to be alone for a little while.  Then boyfriend has the “what’s the matter?” moment as I’m sitting on our bed (temporarily residing in his office) and shaking.  Only since there are two workmen on the other side of the open door, there are still-in-the-dark and none-too-sympathetic children upstairs, and I really don’t want to talk about it right now, or else I’ll weep.   I just want to be left alone.  If I can’t have his full attention during a freak-out, I really don’t want to talk about it afterwards.

So he’s pissy, not quite understanding, I think, that this is a bit more critical to me than the ongoing home-maintenance project.  

And I’m pissy, not undertanding how he can not understand that this IS more critical than the ongoing home-maintenance project.   

And despite my best efforts to reassure myself, I’m still more than a little freaked out by my doctor’s willingness to seemingly play fast & loose with the timing on my IVF so that he won’t be inconvenienced by my inconvenient timing.   And what the hell happened to waiting for a blastocyst transfer?  Waiting to see how things looked on day 3, to see if we had enough to gamble on a day 5 transfer?  Does it mean that my eggs don’t look good?  That only a few eggs survived the ICSI?  

Goddamn, I wish I was allowed to drink a whole bottle of wine with dinner tonight.  That’s about the only thing I think would relax me right now.

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