Wednesday, December 10, 2008

33.3% There

Technically, our first trimester is over. It's hard to believe it since my naseau has been at a raging pitch for the past 3 weeks and isn't showing any signs of weakening. I wake up gagging and stay naseated all day long. Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled to be feeling so horrible, because it means the pregnancy is progressing. I'm really thankful to be in this position, regardless of how horrible I feel physically.

We had an u/s yesterday. It was awesome. Mr. Shanahan was really active - swinging his arms above his head and squirming all around - it was really amazing. Everything is looking so great we've decided to go public with our news at work. So far, the response has been really positive.

I wish I had the energy to write more - it's a miracle I'm up this late as it is.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My New Best Friend

Sunflower Seeds!

Wow what a life saver! They are the first thing I've come across that is keeping the naseau away. I have really been dying the last few days and I popped a few in my mouth and oh, what sweet relief!! I'll need to make sure I'm drinking some extra water because these are so salty. If anyone out there wants to try them - I strongly endorse the Jumbo Brand Sunflower Seeds in their shell.

I also need to give some props. Yesterday, after my post about bad dreams and Arrested Development, Sarah over at dreamsandfalsealarms tried to post the comment:

"Perhaps you should consult an analrapist about those bad dreams..."

It seems like google wouldn't allow the post - but this kind of genius needs to be known.

Hilarious - I'm still giggling over it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can't think of a title

I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, at our first OB/GYN appointment, our doctor said that if we started to feel nervous that we could come in for an u/s to see the heartbeat for reassurance. We’ve managed to not let ourselves get too freaked out that something has gone wrong. One of the things that has helped is that my morning sickness seems to have kicked in to full gear. It feels like a sign that things are progressing well down there. For the last few weeks, I’ve sort of had one symptom at a time. I’d be woozy in the morning, which was replaced by heartburn after lunch and then my naseau would make itself known on the ride home from work.

Now, I am feeling everything at the same time, all day long. I feel conspicuous complaining about it since we have paid tens of thousands of dollars for this very feeling. I also feel guilty complaining about it since I’m sure there are women out there who have been through worse and even more women would be happily take on my symptoms times ten. Despite all of this, it’s unpleasant.

C and I have both been having bad dreams lately. C’s dreams tend to focus around something horrible happening to me in childbirth and mine tend to be about the world being destroyed. Last night, I dreamt that the planet Mercury somehow got off course and was going to collide with the Earth in 8 hours. There wasn’t enough time to send up a rescue mission like Morgan Freeman did in Deep Impact, so C and I were left to decide what we were going to do, take matters into our own hands, etc. I woke up in a bit of a panic and didn’t really fall back asleep after that. The weird thing is that the nightmares are so vivid, it takes an unusually long time to figure out that they are only dreams.

I’ll end this post on some good news – a GREAT thing happened today. I had completely forgotten that I loaned my 3 seasons of Arrested Development to a friend at work. She’s probably had them for a year – and she brought them back today! I definitely foresee an AD marathon sometime during my 4-day weekend. I am STOKED!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meet the baby

We've been struggling at our house with how we refer to the baby. We're only in our 11th week - so it's too early to know the gender, although we both have a 'feeling' that it's going to be a boy.

We've settled on Mr. Shanahan. The baby, just like the coach, holds all of our hopes and dreams.

Go baby and go Broncos!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week 10

The weeks are really crawling. I’m really trying to focus on the here-and-now and just enjoy being pregnant, but I can’t help but get ahead of myself. I can’t wait to smell this child’s head – I can’t wait to see my mom’s face the first time she holds him/her – I can’t wait to give him/her a bath in the sink! I know that by that time comes, I’m going to wish I had relished earlier moments a bit more – but I just can’t help but fast forward our life.

My morning sickness has gotten a little bit worse, but it’s still manageable and probably minor compared to what others have experienced. I have no appetite at all. The only things I can manage to get myself to eat are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, juice and toast. The thought of everything else makes me want to run to the bathroom. I haven’t been vomiting, just really queasy and woozy. My weekends are spent on the couch doing nothing.

I’m feeling pretty bad about the fact that I’m not eating any fruits and vegetables. I started this pregnancy off with a balanced diet – and can’t manage that right now. I was talking to a friend of mine at work who is pregnant and she told me about these fruit and vegetable pill supplements. She says that her whole family swears by them and all of their babies come out healthy and shiny and loving vegetables. I’ll try it and let you all know how it goes.

I’ve been having a tough time figuring out what kind of Paid Family Leave benefits C will have once the baby is born. At this point, I’m not sure if our marriage will still be valid, so worst-case-scenario, we’d register as Domestic Partners. I was under the impression that Domestic Partners would have the same eligibility as a married couple here in California – but I’m getting a different story from our HR person. I don’t think she’s necessarily trying to be shitty – I think she’s just stupid and as a result I’m probably going to have to end up doing most of the legwork on this. Irritating. But, maybe this will make it easier for the next lesbo couple having a kid.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Real Dr. Love

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Work has been crazy in the week that I've been back from vacation. I've been saying for a while that taking time off is the corporate equivalent of cutting. Doing it makes you feel alive but coming back is more painful than you can imagine and will make you vow that you'll never do it again.

I'm not sure if I have anything new or interesting to say about the election, specifically Prop 8. I've been angrier than I expected and that anger has lasted longer than I anticipated. There were a number of times when I was in my car, listening to the latest on the protests on the lawsuits and I'd feel myself bubbling with rage. Almost always, the Prop 8 stories were followed by reports from what's going on in the Congo right now. Children as young as 9 and 10 being killed village to village so they won't be recruited as soldiers. My rage was almost always turned into a weak attempt to be thankful for being born in this country despite it's flaws and that things could be so much worse. That would last for a few minutes, until I'd remember that just because California isn't the Congo doesn't mean that what's happened isn't unjust and and then my rage would flare up again. It's tough being a Libra.

We had our first appointment with our regular OB today.


He is exactly what we needed. He has the best bedside manner I have ever experienced. He's really open - talked alot about himself what led him to practice medicine (the death of his father at an early age) and the kind of environment he wants to create with his patients. He was so respectful of our relationship and went out of his way to make us feel not just comfortable but that WE were the type of patients he wanted. He had pictures of lesbian couples and their babies all over the office. All of his paperwork was written to be inclusive of our community. He was also really touchy. He gave us both two hugs during the appointment. After all of the science and statistics we dealt with in trying to get pregnant - I'm definately ready for some touchy-feely.

He said that the baby looks perfect. Our next appointment is in a month, but he said that if we start to feel nervous before then and just want to hear the heartbeat - to call them up and they'll fit us in. Dreamy.

One thing that he mentioned that I'm looking forward to learning more about, he said that he strongly suggests that we store the cord blood after giving birth. He said that it's an investment but one that he thinks is worth it for couples working with donor sperm. He said that he's confident that the Obama administration will pave the way for more research in this area and that the storage could prove invaluable for certain illnesses that may arise. Not only will the cord blood work with this baby, but it can also work with siblings. Is anyone else out there considering this?

We're in our 10th week and feeling really good.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

33.3% There...

I'm a third of the way done with what could shape up to be a perfect day.

Earlier today, we graduated from our RE and will move on to a regular OB/GYN. Our little bean is about an inch long and has a great heartbeat that we got to hear for the first time today. It was definately bittersweet to graduate - we love this clinic.

My symptoms have definately been kicking in alot more - but they are still manageable. In fact, I'm really kind of enjoying them. I've had alot more naseau - not every day, it seems like I'll have 2 days with and 1 day without. Today is a day without (hopefully tonight's election results won't do anything to change that). Instead of peeing once in the middle of the night, I'm now peeing twice. My heartburn has intensified in severity and frequency and my boobs are distractingly huge. I love it all.

Now I just need Obama to win and Prop 8 to fail and I'll have my trifecta.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


We are on vacation right now, but I really wanted to find a computer so that I could post this update. A few hours before we got on the plane, we had an u/s and we saw a heartbeat! In our previous u/s, the doctor said we should see one next time, but I didn't want to get my hopes up and then be disappointed. I figured that one of the worst things I could do to myself is get myself all worked up about a heartbeat and then NOT see one and then get on a plane and go on vacation for a week and a half. We went into the appointment with the mindset that if we see one, we see one and if we don't, we don't. No big deal.

But it was there and it was beautiful and we burst into tears upon seeing it on the screen. I still get a little choked up thinking about it. It definately makes this pregancy feel more real and I've found myself really enjoying being pregnant right now rather than worrying about what will or will not happen next.

My symptoms have been pretty manageable so far. Aside from the sore bbs, frequent peeing and 2 naps a day - the heartburn is starting to kick in big time. I haven't had much naseau or anything - a few isolated incidents, but nothing debilitating. No major food aversions - except for today. We took a day trip to Provincetown and for lunch, C had a seafood bouillibasse and every once in a while a little squid would find it's way to the surface and I'd feel the walls start to cave in on me.

The computer connection we have is slower than dial-up so I'm sorry that I haven't been able to comment lately. Please know that I'm thinking about you all and hoping for the best.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One more thing...

I had a dream last night that I was drinking coffee! I huge steaming cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I could taste it to distinctly - it was almost as good as a sex dream.

No Blood Test??

We had our first appointment today post testing positive. I thought it was going to be an u/s and a bloodtest - but it turned out just to be an u/s. For some reason, I'm not more nervous and uncertain that I was prior to the appointment, and the u/s gave us good news!

The can see the pregnancy and they can see the yolk sac - they are very happy. There were alot of handshakes from the doctors and hugs from the nurses. Why do I feel unsettled?

Last time I tested positive, with the IUI, my initial hcg number was low. It was 39, so we were going in every two days for more blood tests to see how it was progressing. I guess it's just that I feel that blood tests results are completely definitive whereas an u/s is subjective. How does the doctor KNOW that what he's seeing is a yolk sac? Everything looks pretty blurry on that u/s screen - isn't it his interpretation? C reminded me that this is what they do every single day - they look at that screen and see what's on it.

Next week, we go in for another u/s where the doctor said we should be able to see a heartbeat. He told us to hold off on telling the world until we see the heartbeat because the chance of miscarriage decreases after that.

I wish I could just be excited about the fact that TODAY, we got good news. We got a good report and there's no reason to think that anything bad will happen. I'm really tired and that's probably contributing to my feeling uncertain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Still On This Rollercoaster

There is no logical reason to think that anything has gone wrong, but over the last 24 hours, I have definately entertained the idea that this being inside of me isn't thriving. My symptoms today aren't as strong as they were yesterday and Saturday.

I'm asleep by 8:30 - last night it was 10:30.
My boobs have been sore and veiny - today they aren't as noticeable.
I've been peeing alot - today not quite as often.

There's no blood, no cramping, no scary sypmtoms - just sort of nothing. All of the sites, books, etc says that this is normal, but I can't help but feel a little nervous. It's normal right?

Do you think that years from now, it's going to seem barbaric that our generation has to wait until the next doctor appointment to find out our beta numbers and ultrasound results? At what point will there be an iphone application for immediate and constant hcg monitoring?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Hey girl – do you miss me like I miss you?
Do you ever think about me?
I know there were others – but they never meant as much as you did.
Sushi, gorgonzola, pinot noir? Girl please, I can’t even remember what they look like.
I only remember you.
Do you remember our mornings of creamy delicious goodness?
Girl, I do. I really do.

I see you walking around with others.
I can smell you on their breath.
Don’t think it doesn’t hurt me, 'cause it does.
How can you do me like that? After all that money I spent on you?
Grinders, latte machine, top of the line brewer?
For something so warm, you sure can be cold.

Girl, I promise that I’ll come back to you – will you have me?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Just got the call - we're pregnant! My level is 112 - which is exactly what they want to see at this point. Anything over 100 makes them happy. If they're happy, we're happy. Last time, my level was 32 at this point, so I'm feeling really good about 112.

I'm beyond thrilled, elated, relieved. One of the reasons that I am sane right now is because of this blog and because of all of your support and well wishes.

Thank you for all of your kind words - I know we're going to start hearing alot more BFPs in the coming weeks.

Love and Peace to you all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Tomorrow is our blood test. I'm 40% optimistic, 30% terrified and 30% numb. I've had plenty of symptoms that can easily be chalked up to the progesterone and the patches and I'm missing symptoms that seem like pregnancy must haves. The 40% optimistic is largely connected with one particular symptom that feels legit. At a number of points over the past week, I have felt this tickle and itch behind my belly button. It's hard to describe - but it feels like something is happening down there.

We'll see. Either way, I just want to get on with my life. Yesterday was my birthday and C was great about making it very special, but it just feels like I can't celebrate or completely feel anything until we know if this worked.

We'll be OK either way. I've been really emotional over the last week - I think in some ways I might be guarding myself from a blindsided BFN like our last IUI attempt. I'm ready to move forward or move on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Transfer Done

We had our transfer on Thursday. I think the whole thing is best summarized through this email that C sent to our friends.

Hi all,
We are home and A. is resting comfortably. The whole process was a little over three hours long! We got there and our acupunturist, Jeanenne, was the first to greet us. She ran us through what was going to happen: meet with the embryologist, valium, acupuncture, transfer, acupuncture. Sounds easy, right? ;)

It actually was pretty easy. For me at least. The embryologist was super nice, and we got some good news - a second embryo fertilized since Tuesday, so we got to transfer two! The first one was a grade 3 - high quality, grade 4 is the highest. The second embryo was grade 1 because the cells weren't uniform in size, but the quality was still good enough for implant. We heard two things about that second embryo - the acupunturist says that often the second one "acts as a cheerleader, encouraging the body to create strong volumes of the needed hormones". One of our favorite nurses, Britney, said that the second embryo "is clearly a fighter and has a good chance of maturing". Good stuff either way.

OK, on to the process - it was AWESOME. I got suited up in surgical gown, mask, hairnet (I considered keeping the whole ensemble for Halloween but chickened out). The transfer room was dark, only one light on, and they had music playing. The doctor (Dr. Garzo - one of the best in the country and a Chilean!) was joined by another Doctor fellow from UCSD, another one of our favorite nurses, Angela, and the embryologist. They rolled the incubator into the room and I got to see both of them! I looked at them through a microscope and they seemed like they were vibrating, or moving somehow, it was the coolest thing!

The transfer itself was fairly quick, but nonetheless incredible - we saw everything on the ultrasound. When the embryos were transferred in, we could see them - they looked like two white glowing balls, like stars, kind of. Incredible. We of course both cried through the whole damn thing.

From there, back to a recovery room for round two on the acupuncture. Then a bit of rest, discharge information and on our way home. Our most favorite nurse of all, Tiffany, discharged us and she also came to see us before the transfer - she was incredible and has been so helpful too.

Now A. lays on her back for three days - literally, she can only get up to go to the restroom, then she comes right back and lays down. I'm considering getting her a bell but I think she'd like it just a litttttlllle too much.

Pregnancy test on October 8th - two days after A's birthday, hopefully that'll be good luck.
Thanks again to all of you for the love, support, good vibes and good humor. I'll keep ya'll up to date.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Head Strong

I have a friend here at work who is probably one of the smartest people I know. Her brilliance is more of a people-smarts than a book-smarts. She can read anyone and any situation. It isn’t that she’s not book-smart, she is, but her people-smarts should be studied.

After my miscarriage in June, she gave me this book entitled “Many Lives, Many Masters”. It’s a book based on a psychiatrist’s case study regarding past life therapy. The book presents the notion that each one of us has a group of souls who stay with us through multiple lifetimes and that the purpose of each lifetime is to learn a variety of lessons from each other. This isn’t anything new, there are a number of religions and spiritual paths that have similar doctrine.

There are a number of thoughts presented in the book, but the reason she gave it to me and the one idea that has stuck with me through this whole process is that the right soul will enter our life when it is supposed to happen. It helped me move past the miscarriage and helped put our next attempts in perspective.

Yesterday, when we got the call from our doctor with the news that only one egg had fertilized, I was crushed. I wanted so badly for all 3 to fertilize. I was already feeling nervous that only 3 of the 10 were viable and this felt like an even deeper blow. I was terrified that this was the beginning of the end and was feeling hopeless. I wanted to update yesterday, but just didn’t have the heart to get online. I felt like I was disappointing C, my family and even you guys to a certain extent. I know it’s stupid, but I want to be a source of hope to this community and not just heartbreak.

I called my acupuncturist last night to give her the news – she told me that this little embryo doesn’t know that it was up against 9 others. She said that it’s time to get my head on straight because the focus changes from me to the embryo and to preparing my body for it’s arrival.

After my progesterone shot last night, I took some time by myself to clear my head and to talk to this little soul out there to let it know that we are ready. I have a beautiful, healthy body to keep her safe and warm for the next 9 months and we’ve got a home filled with love and laughter to help her become a happy person. We love you so much already and we can’t wait to share our lives with you.

Our transfer is tomorrow at noon and I am ready. Please wish us luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I guess the retrieval went well. They took out 10 eggs and 3 of them are viable. The doctor came as I was in the recovery room and said that 3 of the 10 eggs were mature, 5 were intermediate and 2 were immature. She said that of the 5 intermediate, 3 of them looked like they were closer to mature than immature, so that after closer analysis they might determine that they might be able to work with them. Later that afternoon, they called and said that only the 3 mature eggs are viable.

I've got mixed feelings on this. I'm grateful that they've got something to work with but nervous that it's not more than 3. Even if they would have come back and said that 1 of the 3 intermediates was viable, bringing our potential total to 4, I would still be feeling great trepidation.

They icsi-ed the 3 yesterday and today we'll get a call as to how (if at all) they are progressing. I don't know if it means anything that they haven't called yet. Part of me wonders that this must mean they are still alive, otherwise there would have been nothing preventing the doctor to call and tell us it's a no-go.

I'm terrified. I am really trying to hang on and focus on the idea that everything is happening exactly as it is suppossed to. I am so much luckier and more fortunate that the majority of people on this earth and that, whatever happens, we are going to be fine - but I'm just f*ing scared. I think I thought a few weeks ago, that I'd be feeling at this point that pregnancy and children were assured. I thought I'd be feeling more confident and secure than ever, but the fact is that I feel farther and farther away from that security.

So now, we sit and wait and worry only to hope to make it to the next stage of sitting, waiting and worrying.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Trigger Happy

Went in for our u/s yesterday - Dr. Love 2.0 said everything looked "perfect" and that we were ready to trigger. Yay! C got her final booty-shot lesson with one of our favorite nurses, we filled out some final paperwork and then later went out for my last (last for a while) sushi dinner at our favorite spot. 

C was pretty nervous about administering the shot. Actually, nervous is a gross understatement, she was shaking. As I loaded the syringe, she did a couple-two scotch shots and a few minutes later - the HSG went in like butter. I couldn't believe how much it didn't hurt! For anyone else - our tip to you - go in faster than you think you should. The faster you go, the less you can feel it. 

We go in for tomorrow morning for the retrieval and then the finger-crossing, waiting game begins. Today, I'm going to try and stay as chill as possible. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plugging Along

Good u/s today. My lining is 9.8, which they said was great because they are usually hoping to see 8 right about now. I've got 4-5 follies on each side each growing at about the same pace. They said that this is what they like to see rather than one pulling ahead of the rest. The follies are measuring in the 11-12 range.

According to the master calendar, our egg retrieval should be taking place this Sunday, but they said that it will be delayed by a few days. It doesn't sound like a big deal - they just want those follies to keep growing a bit. I think they said that they want to see them around the 18 mm size before we pull the hsg trigger. I really don't mind waiting a couple of extra days.

Last night was the first night that I felt unusually tired and I am definately feeling it today. I don't know if the foll.stim is catching up with me or what, but I feel pretty wiped out.

C got a lesson from the nurse on how to administer a booty-shot. I was surprised to see how fast she needs to go in!! It's like throwing a dart! With the tummy shots - I've been going in pretty slow and usually don't feel much. At least I won't be able to see it coming.

Peace and love to everyone out there!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Despite the assurances made by the nurses, I have been a little freaked out by my low e2 level. They like to see it double every day. Here's how I have progressed:

Friday - 40
Saturday - 84
Sunday - 87
Monday - 109

I just got the call - today we are at 268!! I am thrilled - what a relief!! I'm on 300 of folli.stim, 2 vials of meno.pur and 5 of lu.pron.

U/S and bloodwork is scheduled for tomorrow - I'm excited to see how those little follies look!

Monday, September 15, 2008

On The Road

Today's u/s and blood test went well. I'm on day 6 of stims - and my lining is measuring at 7.4, which they say is great. Normally they like to see 6 at this point so I'm thrilled that we're coming out a little ahead.

Dr. Love 2.0 said that it's still really early to determine how many follies they'll be able to retrieve, but at this point, he is seeing 8, possibly more. Right now, they are all measuring around the 7-9 size.

They said that my estrogen level is a little lower than they'd like to see at this point, but that it's not too uncommon to start off a little low and then increase. I'm on 5 units of lupron, 2 vials of menopur and 250 of follistim.

Next blood test is tomorrow and next u/s is Wednesday.

No real emotional side effects from the meds - I'm starting to feel really bloated, but other than that, there has been no real effect to my mood.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So Far So Good

So far, I'm feeling great. I got home last night and took my first dose of folistim and menopur. The folistim is old hat - the menopur is new. It's a little tricky mixing the medication, but not a big deal once you get used to it. I had a little bit of a freak-out because the needle that I use to draw the water is about the size of a javelin - I had forgotten that I get to switch out the big needle for something similar in size to the Lupron needle. Crisis averted.

The folistim always has a slight burning sensation for the few minutes post-injection, but it doesn't bother me too much. The menopur goes in pretty easy, but I have felt sort of a deep dull ache afterwards. It's hard to describe - it's not as strong as a menstrual cramp or as sharp as an ovulation pain - it's like a centralized deep muscle ache. It's not bugging me that much right now - I imagine that if it gets worse as the medication continues, it might get a little distracting.

Acupuncture was GREAT last night - a really good session. Usually I fall asleep, but I was pretty reved up to get home and start the injections, so I didn't go under quite as hard - but I really felt the whole thing working last night. My whole body just felt pulsey and alive. Since I've started the stims, by practitioner introduced cupping last night. It was my first experience with it - but she suctioned these glass cups along my lower back - the idea being to increase blood flow around my lady-parts. It felt pinchy at first and then mellowed out.

I'm pretty thrilled to be feeling so good today. One of the things that I have kind of been struck with today is that I feel really strong and I especially feel brave. What we are going through, what we are putting our bodies through isn't easy on any level. I used to get sceeved out putting an earring through my ear and now I'm giving myself 3 shots a day in order to start a family. We are brave to put our bodies through this and strong to keep trying cycle after cycle. I know there are some couples out there who are struggling - I hope you can make some time for yourselves and recognize that you are amazing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Green Light

Got the call today -we will start stims this evening. My levels are: P4 0.5 and E2 39.

I'm excited which is loads better than what I was feeling on Monday. I think what I've finally figured out (it's only taken about 4 months) is that I never really know how I'm going to feel each day - I just need to wake up and kind of go with it. This is such an emotional and physical roller coaster that I can't take any one day too seriously. If I'm having a disconnecty kind of day, I need to chill out and remember that it's most likely going to be different tomorrow.

I've got acupuncture tonight - which will be a great prelude to the injections. I'm hoping that the effects will be mild - keep you fingers crossed for me, but mostly for my wife.

Peace to all of you out there!

Monday, September 8, 2008

E2 the Blues

We had our E2 appointment today, which is the appointment that green lights the stimulants. Dr. Love 2.0 is still seeing 4 on the right and 9 on the left. He saw a small cyst in there that he doesn’t think is anything to worry about. He said it looked like a corpus luteum cyst. We’ll find out about my estrogen and progesterone levels in a few hours to know if we are OK to start the stims.

I was expecting to feel excited but I don’t really feel anything at all. I don’t know what to feel or where to go, emotionally, right now. Do I try to figure out a way to get excited about all of this and not just focus on all of those needles? If I can manage to get excited, am I better off trying to balance this excitement with some level-headedness? Will this protect me more if we don’t get a BFP? With everything that's at stake, is it even worth it to try and protect any part of myself right now? All this start and stop has left me feeling nothing. My go-to place is to get up into my head and detach a bit. I think I’d be most comfortable going through the motions for the next few days – but does taking my emotions out of this process make it less likely for this to work?

One of the things I really liked about the acupuncture in this process is that the treatment does attempt to connect me emotionally to the pre-transfer stage. What happens in this if I disconnect?

I know these are not questions anyone can really answer – I guess I just can’t quite figure out how to find faith right now. I can tell myself that whatever is supposed to be happening right now is what’s happening – but is it true if I can’t feel it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


My period arrived this morning, so we are ready to proceed to the stims. We go in on Monday for the u/s and bloodwork and if everything looks good, we'll add folisti.m and meno.pur to the daily injection schedule. 

I've taken folisti.m for our two IUI cycles and didn't experience any side-effects, but I'm not sure about the meno.pur. Does anyone have any experince with this drug? Do I need to buy my wife some flowers or a suit of armor or anything?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It Won't Be Long

One of the good things about Hurricane McFailin’ making landfall in the Twin Cities this week is that it’s providing some good distraction to our impending IVF.

I’m off the birth control pills and am just waiting for my period so that we can begin the stims. If all goes according to the master calendar, the egg retrieval should take place on 9-20 and the transfer on 9-22.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be done with the bc pills. The Lupron isn’t having any noticeable side effects – I don’t even mind the shots all that much. The needle is really, really small and I’m thankful that I can administer it myself.

I’m trying to stay positive and grounded – but I’m nervous. I’m nervous to move beyond this point and be on the other end, waiting for news. I like being here – feeling like I’m actively involved in the lead up to the process and not just waiting for time to pass. I’m scared to think about what it means for us if it doesn’t take.

C is wonderful and supportive – but I do feel a little alone. Thank you to all of you and letting me join this community.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Living and Loving with Ortho ('cept it makes me f*ing crazy)

Holy Hell.

Ortho-Cept is reigning terror upon our house. I am a walking nightmare. Today, the beast that is my new temporary (oh please god I hope so) personality is sleeping, so I can actually type on the computer rather than throw it out of the window.

At the first glimpse that maybe this particular birth control pill might have an impact on my usual pleasant disposition, C and I did a little research to see how other people responded. Here are a few of my favorite testimonials:

"I experienced mood swings. They were, at times, severe."

"The reason they're called birth control pills is because when you're on them, you're such a raging bitch that nobody wants to have sex with you."

What would normally roll like water off a duck's back is now sending me into a rage. A few months ago, when I was taking progesterone after insemination attempts - I definately felt a little short fused, but what's happening now is coming out of nowhere. C and I really don't fight and I'm snapping and bitching at her all the time. Jeezus - my sister has been on bc pills for years - is this why she's such a jerk all of the time?!

We start Lupron on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trial Transfer

So we had our trial transfer today. Basically, they just go in to my down-there-area, thread a cathedar through my cervix and measure the length and angle of my uterus. Apparently, they've had transfers where they've had trouble putting the cathedar through, so they want to know ahead of time if there's going to be any issue. Everything was fine with me - we're looking good.

The process itself was a little jarring and left me feeling a little emotional at the end. Normally, there's just Dr. Love 2.0 and a nurse. This time, there were 2 nurses - one of them was in training. This process required an abdominal ultrasound, rather than the v-hole cam (thank you Liz Feldman to this wonderful addition to my vocabulary). So, I'm laying there, in stirrups as Dr. Love 2.0 grabs a speculum and begins to jack me up like an old Ford, and nurse-in-training lifts the kleenex which is covering me and proceeds squeeze ultrasound-goo all over my tummy. All of this happened in a flurry of about 10 seconds. I know they're doctors and they see this all the time, but I depend on that kleenex to cover my lady parts and stay-put. I'm pretty modest by nature and I would have liked a little bit of a warning that exposure was imminent.

It was just all so quick and there were so many people all over me - I just felt overwhelmed and weepy afterwards. I was just struck by the magnitude of what everything that we are subjecting my body to in order to get pregnant. The medication - each invasive procedue one after another - it's alot to handle, emotionally and physically. I feel like I'm working so hard to feel hopeful and optimistic about being on the IVF-train that I forget about how much shit we have to go through to get there.

Whatever - at least the whole thing went well with positive results.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Sunny Day

C and I threw a little wedding reception at our house this weekend. We got married in July, and it was a very informal little thing at the courthouse. Neither one of us is very comfortable with gobs and gobs of attention, so the idea of a big to-do was not at all appealing.

We did, however, want to throw a little party at our house and invite a few friends. It was a casual, backyard cocktail party and couldn't have been any nicer.

The weather was perfect, food was delish, my itunes playlist was impecable and everyone was in great form.

Our friends pooled together on a gift and presented us with a VACATION! I'm still shaking my head over the generosity of it. There really aren't any details - they told us to pick something and they'll pay for it! Unbelievable!

The ringleaders of this are friends of ours from work who know about our TTC journey. After the last BFN and as the emotional aftermath started to set in, these folks strongly recommended that we take a vacation before setting out on IVF. C and I talked about it, and neither one of us felt good about the prospect of spending money on a vacation right before dropping thousands and thousands on IVF, so we decided to push it off. It was a really tough decision, we haven't taken a real vacation in about a year and a half. After the last BFN, which almost seemed harder than the m/c, all I wanted to do was go sit on a beach somewhere and turn my brain off for a week, but I just couldn't get down with spending the money.

Yesterday, I began the IVF medication cycle so we're still looking at a few months before we'll be able to cash in our gift certificate, but I'm truly humbled and overwhelmed by the gesture. I don't want to ever loose sight of how lucky I am. I'm lucky to live in this country where I have freedom and opportunity, I'm lucky to live in California where I can get marriend AND get to see the ocean everyday, I'm lucky to have found the perfect woman for me - the best person I've ever met, and I'm lucky to have a network wonderful, generous, supportive friends. Sometimes, it feels like way too much luck for one person.

Peace to all.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Born At The Right Time Part Deux

Travelher and Pufferfish - thanks for the comment. To answer your question, my understanding of the 17 follicles is that this is the baseline. During the ultrasound today, they went in and counted what appeared on each side. They're no where near mature yet, but these are what the stimulants will work to develop.

Once I start taking the stims, I think they'll go in and start measuring them to determine which ones are responding and which ones will be good candidates for extraction come egg retrieval time.

Hope that makes sense. :)

Born At The Right Time

Much to my happiness, my cycle started yesterday, which means that we've officially jumped into the IVF train.

We went into today for a baseline bloodtest and ultrasound. Everything is looking good - no cysts. Dr. Love 2.0 found 4 follicles on the right and 13 on the left! Hopefully this means the kids won't grow up to be Republicans.

I'll start birth control on Sunday and then Lupron about 13 days later. Thankfully, the Lupron is a stomach injection that I can do myself. C's not going to have an easy time becoming the injector - fortunately, we've got some time before we need to worry about that.

More than anything, I'm pleasantly surprised with how excited I am to be active again in this process instead of just waiting. The IVF decision wasn't an easy one for either one of us. We could have decided to save some money and do another cycle or two of IUI, but I was afraid of the possibility of the IUIs not working and feeling defeated as we move to IVF. I'm excited about feeling excited and optimistic, because a few weeks ago I feared that I was going to be walking into this feeling desperate. I definately attribute some of this good state-of-mind to acupuncture - it has really chilled me the hell out.

Our next appointment is next week for a trial transfer, which is when they go in and measure the length and angle of my uterus.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thank God for Google

I thought I was done for the night but this is too good.

I'm really excited about the Olympics kicking off tomorrow. I follow several of the events, but soccer is my true love. After their inspirational and heartbreaking performance in the 2003 World Cup, Sweden has become my team.

I just found out that my favorite player on the Swedish team, Victoria Svensson, has recently come out! Yay! Even better, she and her wife gave birth to a little girl a few months ago. I found the Swedish newspaper that carried the story and entered it into Google's translation software in order to read the article, and this is the headline that popped out.

Why can't the rest of the world's media be so directive?!


So, I've seen several posts lately where people are rushing to the produce aisle after inseminating. Is pineapple really supposed to have some positive influence on conception? I feel like an idiot - I haven't heard this? What's the story? Why pineapple?

Are there any other mysterious lucky charms that you know of?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Sorry for the delay in posting. My mom was in town for the past several days.

I have started doing acupuncture as a lead up to our first IVF cycle. When C and I were going over the IVF cycle, they actually gave us a card for a practitioner who they’ve worked with for the past several years. My initial thought was, acupuncture isn’t for me – I’ll pass. After thinking about it for a few days, I had a change of heart. We’ve had 3 unsuccessful IUI cycles and have probably experienced only a fraction of the heartache that many of you have experienced. Even though it’s only been 3, it has still taken its toll. After the miscarriage, I was definitely hopeful on attempt #3, but a little detached. I was saying all the right things and doing the right things, but feeling it less. It’s definitely a coping mechanism of mine. I’m every bit a Libra and tend to escape to my head, much to the pain and suffering of my water-sign wife.

I got to thinking that we (mainly I) could really benefit from pairing a more intense, aggressive TTC path with something a little more spiritually-inspired. This is not my normal go-to which made it that much more appealing as a way to connect a little bit more to this process.

The practitioner, who I love already, specializes in acupuncture for fertility treatment. The goal is two-fold. First, the treatments are designed to increase and improve blood flow. Since more medication is required for IVF and since it travels through the blood, the idea is that acupuncture will help it get to where it needs to be. Second, the treatment is designed to create a memory of relaxation and then on the day of the transfer, she’ll look to replicate this space in order to make my body more receptive to a ‘foreign object’. We’ll do weekly sessions and then on the day of the transfer, she’ll do a procedure at the fertility clinic just before and just after the transfer.

So far – I’m sold. I’ve only had one session, but I really enjoyed it. I think I’ve still got some work to do in terms of getting out of my head and into my body, but I feel good about this direction.

Have you guys done anything like this?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carry On


Yesterday, I posted about our decision to move forward with IVF. As C and I have spent the last 24 hours letting the magnitude of this decision soak in, I’ve had moments of panic and peace about our next steps. As I mentioned yesterday, the part that has me reaching for a paper bag is the expense of this venture. In our relationship, I’m the financial planner so it makes for an interesting emotional combo when I combine that hat with the baby-carrying hat. Today, I’m feeling more settled about the expense, specifically because of our decision to enroll in a 3rd party payment plan rather than take on the expense as we go along.

Normally, I run like hell from accruing additional debt. I think I manage our money really well. We try to live below our means through thoughtful spending and designed savings. As we were meeting with the folks at the doctor’s office yesterday, they handed us a pamphlet for Capi.tal Healt.hcare Finan.cing. Our doctor is affiliated with this program and the idea is that we apply for financing and the check is sent to the doctor to cover all office and medication fees. Essentially, the loan is our bank of money that’s held at the doctor’s office. The payment for each visit is taken directly from our ‘account’ and then the remainder returned to Capi.tal

We qualified for an interest rate of less than 4%. I think what I like best about this is that the loan is paid directly to the doctor. We can show up for our appointments and not even have to think about plunking down a credit card at the end. That was always a piece that made me a little uncomfortable because it seemed to distract from the emotional focus that we needed for the insemination or the blood test or whatever we were there for. If the bill for a particular service was different than I thought it would be, I would obsess about it rather than focus on the fact that I had just been inseminated. In terms of coping, one of my very first go-to places is to focus on the money aspect. I think that this set up will work well, and the interest we’ll pay over the short term of the loan I think is worth the peace of mind we’ll achieve. We have enough in savings to cover the first 6-7 months of repayment without dipping to far into our overall house savings account so that we can still have money to count on in case of anything unforeseen. If I can pay several months upfront, then we really won’t have to think about the money while we are undergoing the intensity of the procedures.

To be clear – I’m not in any way affiliated with this financing program – I’m only mentioning by name in case anyone else out there wants to look into it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Baby Let's Have A Baby Before Bush Do Something Crazy

Just got back from our consult after an unsuccessful IUI attempt. Our optimistic mood was immediately subdued when we were informed that our doctor, Dr. Love, is no longer with the practice. Her contract expired over the weekend. We’ve interacted with the other two doctors and they are both great – but we were especially fond of Dr. Love. She was funny, had great bedside manner and really handled us well. I still feel like we’re in great hands, but it was a bit of a blow.

Now I’ll have to figure out new code names.

I think we’re going to bite the bullet and proceed with IVF. The amount of money that this will cost makes me want to vomit. Does anyone else struggle with the spend issue? If so, what exactly do you struggle with? I think the part that makes me feel dizzy is the no-end-in-sight piece. The thought of shelling out several thousand more dollars on IUI cycles only to be faced with the very real possibility that we’re going to inevitably have to take the next step and go IVF makes me just want to get it over with. Have you guys figured out, for you, what’s a family worth? What dollar amount feels appropriate? Have you guys determined your walk away point? C and I are different when it comes to money – she is more comfortable moving forward with big financial commitments and I tend to toss them around a bit more. I don’t know if I know the definitive answers to these questions for us. It’s hard to come up with a walk away point when I’ve convinced myself that I need to be thinking positively every single moment of the day that our next attempt will be a success.

Props to The Coup for today's title

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm really looking forward to our appointment at our fertility practice on Monday. I think at this point, I'll refer to our doctor as Dr. Love. Even though we're not where we want to be yet, C and I know we're in great hands. 

When I say 'looking forward', I don't think it's excited anticipation completely. I'm excited about the prospect of being back on a schedule of action rather than on a schedule of waiting - I'm also nervously anticipating the news we'll get. In the back of my mind, I'm scared that Dr. Love is going to suggest that we try a different donor. C is South American and we were lucky enough to find ONE donor who shares her ethnicity. I'm praying that this isn't the suggestion. 

Last night, we went to a 40th birthday bash for a good friend of ours. After our big fat negative last Saturday, I've been dreading the idea of a party all week. I just haven't been in the mood to pretend to be having a good time. We ended up going and I felt better than I thought I would. This party, wasn't so much of a 40th birthday party as it was a 21st birthday party. The bash started at their house and a party bus, complete with a stripper pole, picked us up a few hours later to take us to a karaoke bar. We left prior to the sloppy after party which inevitably would have involved getting thrown up on.

Friends - if you need a distraction, watching your friends invoke their inner star via 'Baby Got Back' might be just what you need.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Up To Speed

Here's what has transpired:

July 2007 - C and I start meeting with doctors to begin the babymaking. C has absolutely no desire to give birth. I'm game - so it's going to be me getting the hot turkey baster injection. We were lucky enough to meet a couple in town who recommended a fertility practice. We really wanted to try inseminating without any medication, so we ended up making an appointment with a doctor recommended by our ob/gyn. Our first thought was to start in 2008 so that I could sign up for an FSA plan at work and take advantage of some savings. We start charting.

November 2007 - My family is coming out for Christmas - I think to myself - wouldn't it be cool to give my mom a perfect Christmas by getting pregnant! We order the sperm - put it on ice at the doctor's and begin the OPKs. We inseminate - it feels hopeful and ultimately results in a chemical pregnancy. I know I'm an ass to be upset about it not taking on the very first try - but I was.

December 2007 thru Febraury 2008 - We kind of got dicked around by this doctor's office. Every single time I ovulated - the office was closed. After the third month in a row of a wasted cycle, we embarked on finding a new doctor. We decided to go with the fertility practice recommended by friends. Upon walking into the office for the first time, we knew that we made the right choice. This practice is top notch.

April 2008 - after several ultrasounds, a dye-test and blood work - we are ready to rock and roll. I get my period and begin taking Follistim. After about 5-6 days of Follistim (about 75 mg per day) I take an ovidril injection to induce ovulation and go in on the next two days for IUI (2 vials over two days) . The Dr. estimated 2 eggs released. After the insemination, I begin taking progesterone 3x per day - 200 mg each time.

May 2008 - We test positive and are thrilled. We were really cautious to not tell anyone that we were trying. We did break the news to our families and very close friends. My mother proceeds to tell every single person she's ever met.

June 2008 - Miscarriage. It's an understatement to say that we were disappointed, but ultimately, we felt lucky to have gotten pregnant in the first place. We feel that this bodes well for the next attempt.

June 2008 - We try to inseminate the very next cycle, but due to the follistim, I've got a dominant follicle that wouldn't allow other follicles to develop. Dr. advises to scratch this cycle, we'll go back next time.

July 2008 - I get my period - we begin again. Another course of follistim, followed by ovidril, followed by progesterone and a whole host of bigger, stronger pregnancy symptoms. We got the BFN news last Saturday - still hard to believe - I was 100% convinced that we were pregnant. In many ways it felt worse than the miscarriage. At least with the miscarriage, there was hope. With this, there is nothing. We are going back in on Monday to talk to our Dr. about whehter or not to go more aggressive.