Seriously? Seriously?!

September 4, 2007

Lupron Day #3

I must have hit some kind of little blood vessel in my leg when I gave myself the Lupron shot because I instantly got a lovely blue bruise about two inches in diameter. Of course, it is high enough on my leg that no one can see it other than DH and me, but it looks nasty.  Afterwards, DH and I left for a weekend in Alabama, where one of my high school friends was getting married.

Lupron Day #4

There is nothing quite like trying to figure out how to dispose of a used needle when you are a houseguest.  I finally just put it back in the bag that I carry my Lupron supplies in so that I could dispose of it at home.  I wasn’t really in the mood to explain the whole situation to my busybody aunt (with whom we were staying) and I didn’t want her calling my mother in hysterics, convinced that I’ve become some kind of IV drug user (don’t think fertility drugs would have been her guess).

Lupron Day #5 (and the good stuff…)

In the middle of last night’s wedding reception, I realized that one of my other friends from high school is pregnant.  How did I know this? For the first time in the last two years, she was not drunk and bitching about her husband. With respect to most people, I really am happy for them when I find out that they are pregnant. Definitely jealous, but happy for them.  Not this time. In fact, I am furious and this is not a side of myself that I like a whole lot.

My friend, G, had her first child the day before my wedding (almost 3 years ago).  At the time, she had been married for a year and a half to a total loser.  At the time that she got pregnant, her husband was unemployed and spent most of his day smoking pot and playing video games. G got pregnant because she “forgot” to take her birth control pills a couple of times.  Since the birth of her son, G has threatened to leave said loser husband (who is now employed, but basically still a loser who shows little interest in his own child) at least a dozen times.  She went so far as to move from the mid-Atlantic (where she and loser husband were living with small child) back to Alabama to be closer to her parents.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), loser husband followed her to Alabama. The last time I saw G was in April, at a mutual friend’s baby shower. Over lunch, G told me all about how she almost left loser husband (again), but now she wants another baby.  She will probably start trying soon.  I really hoped that she was just having baby fever from the shower and that she would realize maybe her situation was not the best for having another child.  WRONG!

So, now she’s pregnant. Based on their actions at the reception, it doesn’t seem like her relationship with her husband is any better.  He has no ambition or interest in children and she cuts him down constantly. They are in debt up to their eyeballs because they haven’t been able to sell the house that they owned before they moved back to Alabama.

Am I just being mean?  I guess it’s not for me to say when it is the right time for someone to have a child, but it seems unfair to this child to be brought into a family where the parents can’t stand each other and they can barely afford the child that they already have.

So I’m angry. I am angry at G because she is smarter than this and her kids deserve better than what they are getting.  But even more so, I am angry at god or the universe or something because this is just so damn unfair.  Why? Why is it so easy for her to get pregnant when she probably can’t give this child a very good life?  Why is it so hard for me to get pregnant? I have a solid relationship with my husband and more than enough financial stability to support a child. I can give a child a good life, maybe even a great life. Or at least I could if I could get pregnant.

Dammit. I can’t even make myself call her to say congratulations.

Lupron Day #6

Lupron headache is now in full force. Co-worker said at lunch today that if she got pregnant again (she has 2 kids), she would slit her wrists. Did we all miss the fact that I am giving myself shots every day in a desperate (and expensive) attempt to get pregnant?

Lupron, Day #2

August 30, 2007

The good news is that I am not a raving lunatic…yet. I was really concerned about this. It turned out that I did have a little problem with yesterday’s injection; I managed to give it to myself with a syringe that contained latex. Hmm, that explains why the pharmacy sent extra non-latex syringes (the ones that came in the Lupron box are not marked non-Latex). So, that explains the large red welt on my leg.  Today’s injection (with a clearly marked non-latex syringe) has not resulted in any noticeable marks.

Every Thursday morning, I go to therapy. I am not sure why I continue to go, as major breakthroughs seem to be few and far between, but sometimes it just helps to have another person to talk to for the times when DH and my mother (the two people I talk to the most) seem tired of listening to my ad nauseaum discussions of all things reproductive. Today, Dr. Thursday asked why I don’t have a more positive attitude about this IVF cycle.  Defensively (of course), I told him that I do have a positive attitude, it is just a cautiously positive attitude.  We went on to discuss how I feel more comfortable acknowledging the myriad of things that could go wrong with this cycle.  We discussed how my “cautiously positive” attitude is not, in reality, going to make this any less devastating if it doesn’t work. His point was that if my “cautiously positive” attitude wasn’t going to make things any easier, and a “really positive” attitude might make a difference,  why wouldn’t I just have a really positive attitude about this and believe that it will work? As you can probably tell by this point, Dr. Thursday is really big on the power of visualization and positive thought.  Hey, if it can work for people with cancer, why shouldn’t it work for me?

But somehow, I just can’t do it. I want to be positive.  I want to believe that this will work.  But I can’t help preparing myself for the reality that it may not.

So, in an effort to convince myself of the positive affect of positive thoughts on IVF, I decided to do a little MedLine research (note, I conned a friend out of her password. Don’t tell.) As a sidebar, I love MedLine.  I can’t understand half the stuff I read, but it makes me feel better.  So far, I haven’t found anything that said that visualizing myself with a huge pregnant belly would actually increase the probability of this IVF cycle working, but I did find an article entitled “The Influence of Stress and State Anxiety on the Outcome of IVF-treatment.” The best part about the entire article is the following line from the abstract:

Comparison of the personality profiles of the two groups [fertiles and infertiles], showed that infertile women had significantly higher scores of suspicion, guilt, and hostility.

No shit. That is some ground-breaking scientific research for you.

Lupron, Day #1

August 29, 2007

This morning I headed to the RE’s office to get an ultrasound and learn how to inject myself with Lupron.  Since the vaginal ultrasound is old hat at this point, the exciting part of the visit was definitely going to be playing with needles. Nurse Red (the IVF nurse with spunky red hair) told me that my endometriomas are, indeed, still present, but haven’t grown much and should not present a problem. What was curious about the ultrasound was that my lining was thick (13.2 mm).  I have never had a lining that thick and Red made a comment to that effect.  So, a blood test was ordered to make sure that I am not pregnant (as if) before I started the Lupron.  As a result, Red and I only got to practice filling the syringe and locating the appropriate spot for injection. She told me that as soon as she got the test results, she would call me and I could go ahead and inject myself.  She also told me that if I was scared to do it for the first time, I could come back to the clinic and she would walk me through it.  I really like her.

Anyway, shockingly, the pregnancy test was negative, so at 12:48 pm on August 29, 2007, I gave myself my very first injection of Lupron. I picked my right thigh, based on the fact that I am right-handed (easy access) and I am sitting at my desk at work. Pushing the hem of my skirt up a bit seemed a lot easier than undressing to the point necessary to reach my stomach.

I am sure that it seems very weird to most of you that I did this at work. I work in a very small office…1 other full time person besides myself, 1 person who works 4 days a week, and 1 person who works about 2 days per work (plus the boss/dad of course).  Everyone here knows what’s going on with me.  Sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case, but in an office this small it is pretty hard to keep anything a secret.  Beyond that, I had the Lupron with me and just wanted to get it over with!

I feel remarkably proud of myself right now.

She Blinded Me With Science

August 24, 2007

received my box of IVF meds in the mail today….wow. I had no idea how large an 18 gauge needle was. Here are all my meds spread out on my dining room table (right before half of them were wisked back into the refrigerator, of course!).

And thanks to Thomas Dolby for helping me get back to my ’80s-themed post titles.

Notice the yellow highliter that DH added to the picture “for scale.”

Freak Out!

August 22, 2007

OK, for starters, I realize that today’s title is not technically an ’80s song, but it is close (1978 or 1979) and no other song could describe my current mood quite as well.

After seeing the RE in Atlanta, the surgeon in Atlanta, and going back to the RE here in New Orleans, and doing a lot lot lot of soul-searching, DH and I decided that our best option at this point is to proceed with IVF.  We had planned to wait until January to start IVF, but with my endometriomas beginning to rear their ugly heads again, this was not an option unless I was willing to go on monthly Lupron injections, which I am not.

One of the hardest parts of IF for me has been the lack of stability….I am big on plans, and everytime I think our plan is set, something changes.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to be starting IVF.  I am cautiously hopeful that it will work, but at the same time, I am just a little off-balance.  For me, being off-balance is seriously stressful, so I am trying to adjust to the new plan as quickly as possible so that I can try not to be a complete basketcase during IVF.

Of course, the fact that I ordered all my meds today is not helping my impending (or perhaps already in progress) freak out. I have read and researched as much as I can about IVF, but the long list of medications still put a lump in my throat. Thank god DH is good at giving shots (at least to our dog, who gets allergy shots every two weeks) because I almost fainted on the phone with the pharmacy just thinking about giving myself shots.  Of course, when the time comes, I may be able to put on my big girl pants and brave face, but right now it seems impossibly intimidating.

So….Lupron shots tentatively start next week (just in time for DH and I to go out of town to a wedding! yeah!). I am trying to take this one step at a time. I’ll let you know when that starts working.

Any advice from veteran IVFers (or anyone else) on how to handle all of this would be much appreciated.

Doctor! Doctor!

August 7, 2007

I spent Monday in Atlanta seeing a new RE (Dr. Atlanta) and a surgeon who specializes in endometriosis (Dr. Cut It Out) and I am now, officially, more confused and unsure of what to do than ever.

As you may recall, Dr. Soap’s (New Orleans RE) plan was to do IVF as soon as DH and I are ready.

Dr. Atlanta and Dr. Cut It Out have a very different plan….First, Dr. Cut It Out will perform a 3 to 6 hour surgery on me during the second week of November (first available date, if you can believe that).  Second, I will be required to take BCPs for at least 3 months while my body heals. Third, Dr. Atlanta would want me to then try “on my own” for 3 – 6 months, followed by 3 months of Clomid, and then back to IVF as a last resort.

So, from my (gloomy) perspective, I could spent a lot of money and effort and waste 12 – 15 months and still end up with IVF.  Hmmm.

I have about a million questions running through my head and I am trying to process every possible scenario, but (of course) there doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer.  Probably I should have the surgery and go that route, but the amount of time that process will take seems almost unbearable.

Confirmed.

August 3, 2007

Best friend is pregnant. First month of trying. Of course.

Broken Wings

August 3, 2007

Well, it’s been more than two weeks since my last post….not anything particularly exciting going on, just trying to manage day-to-day life.  I am in the process of trying to replace myself at work so that I can take some time off to focus on getting healthy and dealing with the fertility issues.  On the surface, everyone seems to support this, but in practice, I don’t yet have a last-day-of-work date.  I have however, told Boss Dad that there are no guarantees for my presence at work after Monday, since that is the day when I see the endometriosis surgeon.  If all goes as expected, I will be scheduled for another (hopefully more effective) lap in the near future.

Dealing with other people’s BFPs….it seems lately that a lot of bloggers are having BFPs.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a guilty admission of jealousy (yet).  I need other women experiencing infertility to have BFPs because it gives me hope.  It gives me hope that it will be my turn soon, that things do work out, and that infertility is an stop on my journey, not my permanent residence. And so, when someone whose blog I read does not get that BFP that we are all looking for, it breaks my heart.  I think I might actually be taking other people’s BFNs harder than my own these days, as I don’t actually expect to get pregnant at this point without some type of ART.  Granted, it is now CD 47 and I was a little sad after I randomly decided to POAS this morning, but my reaction was nothing compared to the total meltdown I had on Monday when I read a fellow infertile’s post about her BFN.

The BFPs of women who have not experienced infertility are another matter altogether and do, in fact, produce the predictable reactions of jealousy and self-pity. Which is why I am avoiding returning the three phone calls in the last two days from one of my best friends.

So, thanks to Mr. Mister for today’s title and here’s hoping that the chorus can give us all a little inspiration.

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in

Karma Chameleon

July 18, 2007

Sharah at Outlandish Notions recently wrote a reflective post about motherhood, which prompted me to do a little reflecting of my own. I am definitely not one of those women who has always known that she wanted to be mother. I didn’t really play with baby dolls as a child….I played with Barbies, who I gave careers as doctors and lawyers. In my vast collection of Barbies, there was only a single Ken to be found and most certainly no Baby Barbies because Lawyer Barbie and Doctor Barbie certainly had no time for that.

On top of my apparent natural disinclination towards motherhood, I have two half-sisters who are seven and nine years younger than I am. Due to family circumstances, I ended up with a lot of responsibility for taking care of my sisters at a pretty young age. When I was fifteen, most of my friends babysat, but other than taking care of my sisters, I flat out refused to spend time with children.

For a long time, I wasn’t sure that I ever wanted children. I imagined myself with a fabulous career, lots of world travel, and exciting adventures. I thought I probably wouldn’t even get married until it was too late to have kids. Maybe I would have step-children, so someone else could deal with all the baby stuff. And then…

And then I met my husband. And then I knew what it was like to want to have children with another person. Not only because you think that person would be a great father, but because you know that the two of you would be good parents together.

And now that I want this so much, it turns out to be much more difficult to achieve than I ever imagined. I briefly tried to convince myself that maybe I didn’t really need to have kids, but this tactic failed miserably. Then I began to question….I am somehow less deserving because I wasn’t one of those girls who played with dolls and dreamed of having a baby before they even knew where babies came from? I don’t think so, but it is tempting to seek some kind of rationalization for everything that is happening. Part of me wants to find some thing that I did to make this happen, but of course, it’s not there.

And so, I am left with giving what I can to this process, which is what I think we are all doing in our own way, and (of course) trying to be a good person….just in case karma plays more of role than I would like to give it credit for 🙂

I Will Survive

July 11, 2007

OK, so I was feeling a little down yesterday. I didn’t even give Cyndi Lauper her due credit for yesterday’s blog title. “A little down” might be an understatement, but in any case, I am doing better today. I signed up for a 5-week yoga basics course that starts next week, so at least I am doing something. I actually use to do yoga pretty regularly, but it has been a while, so I figured I could benefit from a refresher course.

On the advice of the Atlanta Doctor, I have made an appointment for a consult with Super Surgeon and a follow-up with Atlanta Doctor in early August. This was the soonest date that I could see them both on the same day, which is pretty necessary since I am going to have to travel to Atlanta for this.

I am a little worried that I am going to have to go see my RE here (who I have decided to call Dr. Soap – he is tan, well-coiffed, and has a manicure – basically he looks like he should be on a soap opera) before August though. Bovary and Novary feel like they are regrowing some nice cysts for me and if today’s level of discomfort is any indication of their size, I won’t make it until August.

I really don’t want to have to go back to Dr. Soap at this point….I might be tempted to tell him that Atlanta Doctor says that Dr. Soap is providing sub-standard care and was totally irresponsible not to remove the cysts during my laparoscopy (he only drained them – yeah, thanks for the 95% chance of recurrence).  Plus, what is he going to do about the cysts if they have come back? I am certainly not letting him do another surgery at this point and if he tells me to take advil for the pain, I might have to kick him in the balls.

In other news, my SIL finally sent pictures of my new nephew….I am sure that I am biased, but he is a seriously cute baby.  DH and I are planning a trip to NY to see them in August….I hope that I am going to be okay and not totally lose it emotionally.  Given the vast difference between today’s mood and yesterday’s mood, I have a feeling it could go either way.

Thanks to Gloria Gaynor for today’s title. This song was released in 1978, but it was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and received a Grammy for Best Disco Recording in 1980.  So, it is not technically an ’80s song, but I love it anyway and I needed a little boost today.