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Posts Tagged ‘IVF #2’

12dp3dt

Negative.  I think I’m resigned.  Not happy.  Not even ok with it.  But that’s how it is.  This cycle didn’t work, and there’s not going to be a last minute save, a 9th inning miracle.  Major stomach upset last night, which usually indicates that I’m about to start bleeding.  The nice part of which is that the bloat I’ve been dealing with since October is pretty much gone.  I’m looking downright svelte this morning.

Goddamnitalltohell.

Have I mentioned that IVF sucks?  Infertility sucks.  This morning, it feels very seriously like almost every aspect of my life sucks.  Having given up a hell of a lot on the gamble of changing my entire life in order to be in a place where I could raise a child, to be thwarted like this in the actual conceiving of a child seems like the worst kind of irony.  Like maybe I should have just stayed in Utah, working at the dead-end job, with the man who didn’t particularly care about any of my goals in life.  I wasn’t thrilled with my life, but at least I had enough free time that I was able to get some writing done.  At least I had my goat-farm and my chickens and my orchard.  At least I wasn’t spending three hours commuting to a job that bored me to tears every day.  True, I had no baby, and no chance for having a baby, but – hey!  – here I am in a job I hate, in a city I detest with no baby, and no time to write.  I’m not seeing much difference, to be honest.

I adore my husband, but the things I loved that I gave up for the chance of a family are gone, and the thing I want more than I ever wanted anything is looking less and less likely to ever happen.  And I have nothing to show for the trade.  

Bitter as coffee this morning, only not so pleasant to be around.  That’s me.

(Speaking of, I plan to indulge this morning because I am a cynical, hopeless bitch who could use a little caffeination.  And it’s not like it can make my innards any more inhospitable to developing life-forms.)

I’ll also be keeping my Wednesday Beta appointment instead of being frugal with my sick days, because, you know what?  Getting to stop Lovonox and PIO one day early is worth it, as is being able to move up the “why this didn’t work this time” consultation with my doctor. 

I need to figure out something new to do with my life.  My dreams of being a stay at home mother are pretty much shot.  And being an urban librarian – dealing with other people’s kids – sort of sucks, too.  I’m good at it, and there are things I like about it, but right now, it’s a burden just having to show up and “mother” everyone else’s kids – kids who through no fault of their own don’t get anywhere near the attention they need at home.  

Going to go gulp coffee now.   And ride the subway.  And then maybe I can break up a fight at the library and call the cops, if it’s a typical after-holiday Monday.

I miss my goats.

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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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2dp3dt

Nothing new here.  Lovonox stings.  PIO sucks.  Nellie-the-wonder-whippet is a thing of joy and beauty (in a shivery, weaselly sort of way).  The Boy is a helluva man-nurse.  Work is the worst.  

And I don’t feel any more or less potentially pregnant than I did yesterday.

Though I did have to pee more than usual today.  Typically, I am iron-bladdered, but I noticed a distinct diminishing in bladder capacity almost immediately, last time.  Of course, I was also drinking tea all day because it’s damned cold.

And I’m having to rein in my urge to eat absolutely everything in sight.  I’m not calling this a 2ww symptom so much as I’m calling it my own reaction to stress.  

When in doubt, masticate.

Off to zoom off down memory lane and watch Star Wars.  Do a bit of cross stitch.  Maybe gag on my prednisone pill.  And, of course, wonder if Han Solo would be an entirely ridiculous name for a sprog.  Better than Jabba, I guess…

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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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