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?