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Posts Tagged ‘2ww’

11dp3dt

Nope.  Nothing good to report.  Negative HPT.  Wish I could just have the damned beta test tomorrow to get it done with, because, yes, I’ll still test each morning, and I’ll keep stabbing myself with the needles of pain each night, and I’ll ingest the fucking prednisone (which prescription I’ll need to renew on Monday so I’ll have enough to safely wean myself off the shit this time.)  *sigh*  Now I’m waiting for my period to show up, because today’s just not been fun enough, yet.  

Ice storm when we woke up, so we headed home a bit earlier than we might have otherwise, which was a relief to me.  I was getting a bit weary of trying to be sunshine-y.  I can’t tell you all what a relief it is to be back online – and thank you for your comments.  It helps knowing that there are people out there who know – from experience in most cases – what I’m going through, and who still manage to say something kind even in the midst of their own shitty days.  Thank you.

Let’s see…sunshine…on the happy side of things, the youngest step-daughter’s party doesn’t seem to have caused any irreparable damage to house or house-parts.  Which is something of a relief.  We had some drama on Friday night when a partygoer accidentally hit the “panic button” on the alarm system & the cops called the boy’s cellphone to find out what was up.  Long-distance hijinks ensued at midnight trying to get other family members over to see what was really happening.  Lots of fun.  Of course, it does look like the party made it all the way downstairs into the master-bath, which is where my meds are laid out on the counter.  Wonder what she and her friends made of the gigantic sharps container on the counter?  Can’t bring myself to care too much, somehow.

See how I managed to bring it back to me and my grief?  I’m good at that.  Ah well.  My blog, my whingeing.  

I spent the trip back to Brooklyn trying to figure out what comes next.  Trying to second-guess what my doctor’s going to say.  Wondering if he’s going to recommend that we give up altogether & move straight to take-out, or if he’ll think that donor eggs might have a better chance of surviving the womb of death than my own crappy eggs.  Tried to talk to the boy about the whole thing yesterday, but he’s spooky about saying such things out loud, plus he’s still in denial-land.  Hell, he still thinks we’re going to get lucky inbetween IVFs one of these times.  Silly boy.  Anyway, I finally got him to tell me what he’s been thinking about a few things – essentially, he thinks that using donor eggs would be “unfair” to me.  You know, related to him genetically, but not to me.  Um, yeah.  I gently explained that I could give a rat’s ass at this point about passing on my immortal Cyrano-esque nose or duck feet.  Human baby is what I’m after here, that turns into a human kid and eventually (and in good time) a human adult.  And if it has a cute little space between its front teeth just like him, hey! Bonus!  

I’m worried that this failure is going to indicate that using a donor egg isn’t even a good option for us.  He’s too old (54) to qualify for a lot of overseas adoption agencies.  Plus, one of his friends adopted a pair of Russian siblings who have had unbelievable problems with FAS & now an autism diagnosis, and that’s spooked us both.  As unsuited as my body apparently is for reproduction, I can’t help but feel that I’d take better care of developing sprog than some young thing who knows she’s not ready to be a mother (even though I suppose someone responsible enough to put an infant up for adoption is probably plenty responsible enough not to be drinking during the pregnancy).  But the thought of adopting and having there be any custody issues ever terrifies me.  The thought of adopting and having a child with some condition that could have been prevented by proper prenatal care just horrifies me.  

And, of course, the thought of never having a child scares me to the edge of bloody screaming death.  

This was a tough weekend.  His family is very close, and very inclusive – they’ve been nothing but sweet to me, and welcoming.  But in a way, it was harder being there in the midst of their family circle, feeling like an outsider both because I haven’t been a member of their family forever, but also because they’ve all got their family around them.  I’m not saying it very well, but it made me feel so vulnerable, like a barnacle clinging to the hull of their boat.  Part of them, but not really.  My husband is 16 years older than I am.  Not a huge difference in some ways and enormous in others.  I will admit that the thought of living the last 20 years of my life alone, with no family at all is a scary one to me, and at holidays like this, that are all about family traditions and the passing-down of family things, it’s even scarier.  

Anyway, a rant of a post, but that’s probably where I’ll be for the next while.  Pondering, waiting for our follow up consultation, waiting to see what happens next.  

And lucky you, since I tend to write while thinking, you’ll be the first to know more than you ever wanted to about the inner workings of sprogblogger’s brain.  

Which should make a nice change from knowing about the inner workings of her womb of death.  

Time to make soup.

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How to have a happy family holiday.

The main course is, of course, stuffing.  Yeah, yeah, it’s wrapped in a big old honkin’ turkey, succulent breast, plump drumsticks, and all that.  But really, let’s be honest: the point of a family holiday meal is the delectable stuffing which, if prepared right, will take on all the flavors of the rest of the ingredients.   It’s the only real reason we bother.   Well, that and the pie.

The first item of business is deciding which recipe to follow.  Different chefs have different specialties, but the end result should be the same – a family meal that will be talked about forever. This is a big decision, and its importance cannot be overstated.  How many well-meaning holiday cooks have attempted to “just do what comes naturally” and been rewarded with nothing to show for all their hard work except maybe a glow from – ahem – standing over a hot stove?   Some recipes that call for yogic postures (hips over your head!) or deep-breathing (just relax!) techniques are merely folklore designed to impress the untried.  Some time-tested recipes will, however, produce the best possible results when older ingredients are all that come to hand; others will simply attempt to maximize cooking time for a more succulent bird (and therefore, a stronger-flavored stuffing) Whichever specific recipe you follow, the general order of steps will be the same.  Please adjust for personal taste as necessary – marshmallow topping is rarely inappropriate.

Place naked, plucked turkey on adjustable stainless steel platter with drumsticks raised over neck level for easy access to body cavity.  Pink paper gowns with smiling teddy bears or other infantilizing cartoon characters may be used to decorate the turkey platter as long as they are not actually obscuring the open body cavity.  

In order to make more room in the body cavity for the all-important stuffing, remove heart, gizzards, endometriosis, damaged fallopian tubes, misshapen ovaries, fibroids, dreams of anything in your life ever being easy again, etc.  Chop finely and set aside for gravy.  (Omit reproductive organs for milder taste, if preferred).

Flush body cavity with brine to remove any extraneous bits of tissue. If you can accomplish this step without tears, you’re well on your way to the perfect family holiday meal.  However, if you cannot manage such a feat, do not despair. (If unsure whether saline lavage has sufficiently penetrated the cavity, ultrasound visualizing aids are available at your local medical supply warehouse. Although properly trained turkey-basting technicians are more expensive even than caterers, you should consider taking advantage of such opportunities if need be.   Doesn’t your family deserve the very best?)

Successive bastings with Lupron, Bravelle, Menopur, etc. will transform the inner cavity into a more hospitable place, allowing the stuffing to more readily soak up meat juices.  Draw up the basting solution into the bulb of the basting syringe and swirl carefully to mix with brine.  Inject under the skin for the juiciest, most stuffing-ready bird.  Most needle-basters will need to be manually loaded with ingredients like essence of post-menopausal nun pee.  This sounds more disgusting than it is.  Actually, no, it really is that disgusting.  And it burns like hell.  Use it anyway, in whatever fashion the recipe dictates. 

Furthermore, periodically basting the body cavity with pessaries and estrogen tablets dissolved in natural juices allows essential nutrients and hormonal seasonings to be absorbed by the stuffing mixture, and is critical for the success of the holiday meal.

Prepare the stuffing.  Only the best quality eggs should ever be used.   Sub-par eggs will affect the entire meal, so do not be tempted to take any shortcuts here!  In a small glass bowl, mix extra-large, grade AAA eggs with fresh or frozen spermatozoa.  Fold mixture into culture medium and let stand in a warm, secure place for 36 – 126 hours. Cellular mixture should divide, doubling in size at least 3 to 9 times.  If mixture does not rise, repeat previous processes with fresh eggs until satisfactory outcome is achieved.

Once prepared, stuffing should be inserted into the body cavity using a sterile catheter/syringe while wearing medical-grade latex gloves.  Although one of the simplest steps of the operation, this is the most critical.  Keep your eye on the eventual goal of a delicious family meal centered around golden brown stuffing, rather than on the gelatinous, unbaked lumps of dough you are handling.   Dough-lumps are difficult to form an emotional attachment with, but give it your best shot.  Nicknames might facilitate the process. 

After inserting stuffing, place turkey in a warm oven for at least two weeks.  Try not to check on it too often.  It is not that it is as fragile as a soufflé, but rather that since your hopes have already been dashed countless times, you should try not to set yourself up for failure any more than you have to.  Do not, at this point, bother with trying to read the meat thermometer.  It isn’t finished cooking yet.  Trust me.  No, really.  Actually, now it might be done, or conversely, it might be burned to a crisp.  Unfortunately, there’s really no way to know because the oven light just blew a fuse. 

At this point in the waiting game, basting will be required at evenly spaced intervals. Some store-bought basters will come pre-loaded with mucosa solutions derived from the linings of pig intestines.  Believe it or not, basting with this mixture will create a smooth texture in the flesh of the turkey that will help ensure the success of your stuffing.  Ignore any feelings of revulsion or cynicism at the lengths to which you are willing to go, and inject under the skin at 24-hour intervals.  Some bruising may occur. Rub skin all over with ice cubes if this becomes a problem.  Icing probably won’t help, but it might, at least, distract you from the bruising.

If you have a flashlight and perhaps a magnifying glass (not to mention the persistence and rapacious appetite for detail of Julia Childs), you may notice that the turkey’s skin is turning a nice rosy brown, and that the breast meat is swelling enticingly.  This may simply be a result of the intramuscular and subcutaneous basting, but it may, in fact, be indicative of the succulent and delectable condition of the stuffing.  However, since you really won’t know for a while, try not to pay any attention to it.   Have some pie.

It is now time to start making gravy.  Simply chop up your heart and any other reserved innards you always planned to use someday, and sauté over the low heat of self-recrimination and lost dreams until the concoction turns the rich brown of breast-fed-baby shit.  Add sesame oil mixed with progesterone and whisk until smooth. Season with baby aspirin, prednisone, and micronized DHEA.  Serve hot in a gravy boat.

After two weeks have passed, you may (or may not) know if your holiday dinner has a chance for success or not.  After another ten weeks, you are entitled to pick out holiday themed invitations for next year’s presentation.  After another twenty-five to twenty-eight weeks event-free roasting, serve stuffing – against a pretty backdrop of turkey – on your best platter.  Hand-knit heirloom booties and hats make nice serving pieces, but are not necessary.  

If, however, the turkey/stuffing mixture produces a clear, rather than a pink line on the testing strip near the end of the initial cooking period, not only is the turkey not done, but you must start again from scratch.  This is unfortunate if you have people waiting for you to finish so they can sit down to a family dinner.  They’ll have to wait for grandchildren.  And pecan pie, because at this point, you’ve probably eaten it all.   Probably some pumpkin pie in the back of the fridge, though.  You might want to start in on that one at this point.  With whipped cream.

Take-out or delivery – perhaps from China or Guatemala at the time of this writing – may be a more reliable option than starting from scratch at this point, or you could hire a caterer to prepare the holiday feast in your stead, though it will, of course, be too late for anything this year.  Ignore any feelings of self-doubt which taking this direction may engender. Yes, I know that neither your mother nor your grandmother did it this way, but this is the modern era.  These days, not everyone arrives at a family dinner via the same route.  Some go over the river and through the woods in a sleigh, some go via the F train to their clinic’s subway stop, and some simply call a taxi.  The important thing is that you get there in the end.  Preferably before the meal is over and everyone’s already heading home. 

Me?  I think maybe you should have some more pumpkin pie while you’re trying to decide, because pie is never the wrong choice.

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6dp3dt

Crampy.  Constipated.  Sore, but not pregnant sore boobs.  Vivid dreams.  Luteal-phase clear skin. Internets, I don’t feel pregnant, I feel premenstrual.  

Which bums me the hell out.  

And yes, before you jump in to reassure/remind me about the complete inability of an IVFing woman to exhibit anything like rational thought, let alone calmly perform a semi-complicated bit of self-analysis, let me assure you that I have been second-guessing myself – re-reading old blog posts, even, to remind myself of what day I previously managed to get a positive test last time (10dp3dt) and how all the tests before then were negative.  And even about how firmly convinced I was at the time that nothing had worked because I just didn’t feel that different. And then I had (temporary) good news that changed everything.

So yeah, I guess I’m to the point in this waiting game where I’m sick of waiting.  My brain is trying desperately to protect my heart, and reminding me that this procedure is a crap shoot, no more, no less. I’m to the point where I’m trying to pretend that I’m not waiting for Friday for anything at all.  Trying to pretend that it’s a shame I won’t know it’s a negative by Thursday, so I could have some of the most excellent wine my father-in-law is likely to serve at Thanksgiving.  I want it to be next Tuesday, and I want to be surprised with good news (permanent good news this time, please) but what I really want is for the 2ww to be done.  Finished with, one way or another.  

Or, barring that, I’d like to have the freedom to curl up in bed and go to sleep for three or four days, until it’s time for me to test.  

Surely that’s not too much to ask.

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5dp3dt

Another day past transfer, another symptom/sign to obsess over! 

  • vivid dreams.  like dreams that you could walk into and stay there forever, kind of vivid dreams.  coupled with…
  • restless nights.  waking up many times to pee, or stare at the ceiling, or just pat the dog or the boy.  not insomnia, just not too sleepy.
  • boob tenderness is still there, and I’m getting tenderer, but I’m still not sure that’s more than the PIO. 
  • I’m still getting twinges – center of the uterus, pin-prick cramps – every so often.  I know I said I wasn’t going to count them as a symptom, because I recognize my own wishful thinking/hyperawareness, but I am going to count them.  So there.  I’m thinking these were the ONLY reliable symptoms last time, so I’m wishing for them this time, wishing they’ll become unmistakeable

The PIO is bruising me already, but the Lovonox, so long as I’m careful to get the airbubbles out first, really isn’t so bad.  The damn needles aren’t very sharp, though, which pisses me off.  Bad enough to stab yourself in the belly with an awkward, preloaded syringe, but with a dull needle?  Please. 

I’ll be ready to test officially on Friday, though if I’m honest, I’ll probably start testing on Wednesday.  And what the hell – I’ll be honest about the degree of my obsession to you all, since I suspect you’ve been here before!  And really, why else would I have bought a 25-pack of those internet-cheapie HPTs if not to have the freedom to POAS every single time the spirit moved me?  I still have a digital in the cupboard buried somewhere under the massed boxes of drugs, and I’ll spring for a pink-line test next time I’m in a drugstore.  Cover all my bases, you know…

Other than that, I fnid that I’m feeling eager to do baby-things again – look for baby-gear on Amazon, make up a list of books I want to have on hand, start special ordering baby/pregnancy books from the library – whereas for a long time after my miscarriage, I was too superstitious to bear thinking about it.  Yesterday, I finally went back onto some of my favorite “baby sites” and went through the annoyingly complex task of deleting my February due date.  (They really should have a simpler, one-stop, no-grief way of doing that.) 

I’m starting to feel hopeful again, like even if this time doesn’t work, it WILL work next time.  Which takes some of the pressure off. 

Big lie.  Pressure’s on, I’m just trying to find ways to live through this week without losing my mind entirely.  Not that I have far to go…

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3dp3dt

And the day-count marches on and on.  Only a week until I can begin obsessively testing. 

Argh. 

Let’s see:

  • Early am period-type cramps, centered exactly where my uterus is?  Check. (Though nowhere near as noticeable as I’m hoping they become.)
  • Peeing like mad all night and crossing my legs all day? Check.
  • Sore boobs? Check.  (But I’m still putting that down to the PIO. The Boy commented on my sexy new cleavage yesterday, but again, I remember them getting sore to even look at, last time, and we’re nowhere near those proportions yet.)

Other than obsessively detailing signs, I’m just trying to live normally, and – of course – waiting. Waiting more patiently than I would have thought possible, actually. I feel a bit like I’m back on my DHEA high, and have, since learning that our embryos’ quality was so good. I’m still feeling very serene. Hardly crazy at all.

Honestly though, it’s not because I’m feeling so very confident that this will work. I just feel at peace just knowing that if it doesn’t work, it’ll not be for lack of response to the drugs. The drugs did what they were supposed to do, and I think I can attempt to be fatalistic about the rest of it. We know I don’t have any problems with implantation, so if one of those little guys can’t manage to stick, then I guess I can live with that, since we did everything right.

Which is not to say that I’m not going to reserve the right to lose my mind if this doesn’t work. It’s just that right this very second, I’m feeling calm – a nice change.

(And, of course, part of me can’t help but remember how placid and calm I was all through this summer’s pregnancy. I was like a great big doe-eyed cow, just grazing and smiling beatifically on everyone around me. So maybe this feeling of calm is a sign, too!)

Going to go graze for some chocolate now.

Moo.

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1.5dp3dt

Which is to say, nothing much new is happening, save that I have been checking my own records for when I first started feeling crampy last time.  

(Sprogblogger invites all readers to roll their eyes in unison).

Yes, I know that it’s only been one day.  Yes, I know that even if the proto-sprogs actually are hard at work implanting in my fabulous uterus, it’s WAY early days for them to be producing anything I could, you know, feel.

None of which is stopping me from pausing stock-still to evaluate every time I feel a tummy rumble or a hint of queasiness (from the prednisone, mostly.  Blech!)  

I’ve decided that Lovonox is no biggie.  It burns a bit, but it doesn’t hurt going in, and it’s not like it’s any worse than any of the other indignities I’ve subjected myself to.  Only bummer is that it seems to already be affecting whether or not my PIO sites bleed.  Which they didn’t really used to, and tonight almost qualified as a gusher.  Bummer.

Other things in an IVF-obsessed life?  Dog doors are installed to give Nellie-whippet instant access to the great outdoors.  She is terrified of the entire notion of the dog-door.  Oh yeah, and I know it’s really winter now, because last night, she slept on my neck.  Draped across my neck like a giant, shaved bald mink stole.  A giant, shivering, shaved, bald, mink stole.  Working the next two days, which is fine, since it means less time for obsessing over 2ww symptoms & signs.  Most importantly, pie is gone, which means that now that the stimming bloat is dissipating, I can start to feel my normal “roundish, but sturdy” self again, instead of the blobby pincushion.  

Of course, Thanksgiving IS next week…

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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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