Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not to make it about me, but...

Two posts in one day, I know what you’re thinking—what’s the occasion? Well I was just quietly surfing blogs and checking my email when I came across an email from this friend. I haven’t talked to her since that infamous lunch.* She had her baby today. A boy whom she says is the “cutest baby ever.” I couldn’t bear to look at the pictures…not just yet.

I can’t really explain why this pregnancy and birth affects me more than others, but it does. And now, in addition to feeling generally crappy about my own IF, I feel like a shitty person for not being super happy for my friends when they have babies.

Fuck. Will we ever get OUR turn?!

*In my defense, she isn’t one of my closest friends. And after our lunch I just couldn’t bear her fucking “let me help my poor infertile friend” pity.

The 28-Day Challenge

I think I forgot to tell you before, but, when I gave up caffeine, I decided it would be a brilliant idea to replace my latte-a-day with an ice cream-a-day. You see, there was that study that showed a link between eating high-fat dairy and fertility. Never mind the obvious selection bias of the study—namely that they compared fertility rates of women who eat low-fat ice cream with those who eat high-fat ice cream, and that women who eat low-fat ice cream are more likely to be dieting and/or health conscious and likely lower weight. And that being underweight is a known contributor to ovulation problems, the thing they’re convinced eating high-fat dairy helps alleviate. (Also leave aside the fact that I don’t have ovulation problems.) Whatever. I looked past that logic. I mean, why not just read the flashy MS*NB*C headlines and take this simple lesson away: Caffeine=bad, ice cream=good?

Unfortunately, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that an ice cream-a-day habit doesn’t help my aforementioned flabbiness.

So, in the spirit of using my pre-IVF BCP cycle productively, I’m going to start myself on my own 28-Day Challenge starting this Saturday.

Here’s what I’m proposing: either running or swimming 5x/week for four weeks. That sounds doable, no?

Why 28 days, you ask? Well, because my theory is that, once you get over the initial hurdle of getting into shape—that part where it feels like you’re going to die everyday when you step onto the treadmill—it gets easier to maintain long-term. I always feel like I quit my new workout routines in less than a month, before the new habit really had a chance to grab hold.

Well, that and the fact that the BCP cycle is 28 days long. Conveeenient...

So, there you have it. My 28-Day Challenge.

And, Erin suggested that those of us trying to motivate to get into shape this summer try to figure out a way to keep each other motivated. So....anyone want to join the 28-Day Challenge?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Building arm strength (and hope...damnit)

Shucks, you guys are so sweet. I really appreciate your support yesterday. (Though I have to confess to still feeling a bit like a broken record. I’m just glad you don’t mind. ☺)

I’m 9dpo today. I can’t say that hope has taken up any kind of permanent residence in my heart. But I do have to say that when I almost cried from the breast pain caused by my car going over a small bump, I couldn’t help but let her in. Just a bit.

Of course, do I get breast pain every month? Yes I do. Do I have a baby yet? No I don’t.

And what about my lower back pain and exhaustion? Was that the direct result leaving at 6:15am and of sitting in traffic for more than five hours today going from meeting to meeting? Yes, I’m sure it was. But did my mind go elsewhere anyway? Don’t make me say it out loud…

In other news, I’ve been so moved by the many of you that have been hitting the gym (and by my own increasing flabbiness) that I’m thinking of trying to take advantage of next month’s BCP cycle by getting back into some semblance of shape. I’m thinking of joining the local Y to get back to swimming again. There’s really nothing I find more relaxing, and it’s the only way I know to get my spaghetti arms into shape. I mean, I seriously have the WEAKEST arms you’d ever hope to see. I know what you’re saying, “they can’t be that bad!” You’re wrong. They are. It’s pathetic. I can’t even do one real pushup. So you can imagine how frustrating I found yoga—the whole thing just stressed me out. (Ironic, no?) I wasn’t even strong enough to get better, for peet’s sake because I couldn’t hold the poses long enough to build strength. How am I going to become the zen yoga master I know is buried somewhere deep inside if I can’t even do one sun salutation?

*sigh*

Monday, May 28, 2007

Becoming a broken record...

I’ve started about three different posts today, but I started putting myself to sleep, so I’ve ditched them one-by-one. (Don’t say I never did anything for you…)

I just don’t know what to say or think about anything right now. First, I’m 8dpo on my last pre-IVF cycle. And, I’m so conflicted about that. On the one hand, I feel like IVF holds promise and optimism that I haven’t felt in the past few cycles. On the other hand, this is “IT,” the last stop before…well before conversations and decisions that I hope to never have to have or make.

And, I haven’t really come to closure on any of the IVF-fears I’ve had. Rather, I’ve just gotten to the, “well, I want to have a baby, and we’re out of other options” point. Not a great way to make such a decision, I’ll grant you. But, I’m not sure I’ll ever feel un-conflicted (not a word, I realize) about IVF…

And, its funny (okay, not ha, ha funny), we have a wedding to go to in DC in late July. I remember back at New Year’s when my friend came to visit…she’s single and having a hard time with the wedding, and she said, “I hope you’re not pregnant at this thing!” To which I responded, “I hope to god I AM!” And, frankly, it just never occurred to me that we wouldn’t be. Never in a million years. And now, he were are. Faced with the prospect of an IVF transfer that could easily interfere with the wedding—SEVEN months after that conversation.*

Infertility…she certainly has an interesting sense of humor, no?

And, the other thing is, I couldn’t be thinking less about our chances for this month. 8 dpo and all I’m thinking is, “I’ll need to call the RE early next week to get my prescription for BCP and to schedule the pap…” Remember the days when you used to get hopeful from just a good ‘old fashioned natural cycle? I guess I kind of miss those days…

And, I spent all day yesterday hanging out with my younger sister-in-law, the one who had a miscarriage in January. It was nice to be able to talk to her about some of this stuff, but it was also strange. I don’t know why. I guess because she’s 5 years younger. And because I’m pretty convinced that they are going to be pregnant soon, which of course I hope they are, but I just know it’s still going to be hard for me when they announce. And I just hate the impact that IF has on relationships with friends and family….

And, I hate how negative I sound in so many of these posts! Good heavens…

Oh, and speaking of negative, does anybody else want to throw something at the TV every time they see an add for “Knock*ed up”? Yeah, because it’s just SOOOOOO easy to get pregnant off a one night stand. Great plot line. F*ckers.

*And how many more times will I have to write something like that! I never thought we'd not be pregnant by Christmas, or the year anniversary of our miscarriage, or on our birthdays. I'm like a broken record!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Who's turn is it anyway?

Kate from Kicking you From the Inside tagged me for a little bloggy Q&A. I'm getting to this a bit late, and it looks like we've all lost a little track of who's been tagged and who's done what. So, out of fear of double tagging someone (or overtagging someone), how about this: if you’re looking to kill time before your next cycle or during the 2ww, you’re it! (You know who you are. ☺)

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1) Are We There Yet?
2) Outlandish Notions
3) Baby Moxie
4) Kicking You From The Inside
5) Sticky Bun

What were you doing ten years ago?
Frighteningly, I graduated from college 10 years ago yesterday. 10 years ago today, I packed all of my stuff in a UH*aul and moved to DC with no job or plan. And it worked out fabulously. (I was more adventurous in my carefree youth…)

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Oooo….Last Spring was tough for us. In April we had our first miscarriage. Then, we adopted a dog who, for a number of reasons, we ended up having to put to sleep only a week after we got him. On our wedding anniversary. So, last May we escaped to Paris for a “good riddance April/birthday trip.”

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
I’m not a huge snacker, but when I do, I’m a pretty big chips and salsa fan.

Five Songs to Which You Know all the Lyrics:
I know all of the words to an embarrassingly large number of songs—some of them exceptionally cheesy (go ahead, try me). I don’t know what it is, but I only have to listen to a song a few times to commit it to memory. Here are a few of the highlights:

1.) Mr. Wendal (Arrested Development)
2.) Anything from Yaz’s Upstairs at Eric’s
3.) 18 & Life (yeah, that’s Skid Row. What of it?)
4.) Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leopard-- I LOVED this song)
5.) Gloria (Laura Branigan—gooood stuff!)

I actually know the words to some higher quality songs, too, but those are less fun to list. ☺

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire (or so?):
1) Work far fewer hours. I’ve never understood why we all couldn’t agree to a 4 days on/3 days off workweek. It seems eminently reasonable to me…
2) Buy an awesome brownstone with a pool and a yard in the West Village and/or a fabulous ocean front villa.
3) Start my own education foundation.
4) Pay off my debt. (I assume that would be enough…)
5) Buy my hubby this watch. He’s always wanted it.

Five Bad Habits
1) Not writing things down (and I have the worst short term memory. Ever.)
2) Filling up on cookies before dinner.
3) Hitting the snooze button (about 6 million times).
4) I can be pretty impatient. Especially in traffic. Oooo….it burns me up.
5) Procrastination.

Five things you like doing:
1) Sleeping in.
2) Smushing with hubby and doggie.
3) Taking long walks.
4) Hanging out with the friends who know me best.
5) Watching trashy reality shows. (There, I said it. I don’t care what you say, America’s N*ext T0p M0del rocks.)

And, that’s all she wrote. Have a wonderful long weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Au revior, Dismissivo!

First, please go over and congratulate Bumble on her positive beta! It looks like l’il Sureshot has grabbed tight and is hopefully hanging around for the long haul!

Second, we met with—dare I say?—our new RE yesterday. It was quite a drive, and we got stuck in 2+ hours of traffic coming home, but I think we’re going to make the switch. Both the RE and the clinic (and staff) made a fabulous first impression. They were warm and welcoming, and they were efficient and organized. (An ideal combo, if you ask me.)

The RE took us on time (I’ve never waited less than a half-hour for Dismissivo), and had our file out on his desk—-he had been reviewing it before our meeting and had taken copious notes and really knew it inside and out. And, he was already waiting in his office for us. Dismissivo always made us sit in his cold, impersonal office for a l-o-n-g time before he graced us with his presence.

Not only that, the insurance coordinator was waiting for us with our file in hand as soon as we got out of the consultation (which lasted over an hour—more time than I think I’ve ever spent with Dissmissivo combined). She had already called our insurance company and worked out exactly what was covered and what our co-pay was for every step of the process. Then the nurse met with us to tell us exactly what we’d need to do to move forward quickly—what additional information they needed, what additional bloodwork they’d like to do, etc.

Wow, was all I had to say. Maybe this is the level of service you all enjoy already, but it was decidedly NOT the level I had come to expect from Dismissivo…or even from Shorty for that matter.

Of course, good service could all be smoke and mirrors for poor medical performance, but that appears not to be the case. First of all, their SART IVF stats are great—for women under 35 they have a 55% live birth rate per transfer (which means that, assuming all goes well and we make it to transfer, we have a slightly better than 1 in 2 chance of taking home a real live baby). That was pretty exciting to me…I mean, imagine that—that doing some kind of fertility treatment would result in actually having to decorate a nursery and buy a carseat?

But, wait, I’m getting WAY ahead of myself.

What impressed me most about our RE—who I’m going to call Smirky because, well, he had this goofy grin on his face the whole meeting and kept cracking jokes the whole time—was that he had great answers to all of our questions.

For example, we asked about whether our last four IUIs were essentially a waste of time. While he wouldn’t come out and say they were, he did say they were, for a number of reasons, sub-optimal. What was most interesting, though, was his explanation of why. You see, I thought that I may have been triggering ovulation on my own before the actual IUIs. (A hypothesis that Dismissivo was quick to agree with.) He basically said, “I wouldn’t trust the OPKs when doing IUI. They have a documented 8-10% false positive rate, so we tell women not to use them during treatment. Instead we track LH with the bloodwork so we can be certain of what’s going on.” I know what you’re saying, duh! Right? I always wondered why Dismissivo didn’t track LH in the blood (since they were, you know, taking my blood). But, they insisted the OPK was good enough. Grr.

Anyhow, the reason he thought my IUIs were suboptimal was that he thought they were under-stimulating me. He said, “look, at best you had one, maybe two good follicles each cycle. Since you already ovulate on your own, we know that you produce one mature follicle every month naturally. So, with this level of stimulation, you’re getting with IUI barely a better chance than you’d have had on your own. I would have been a little bit more aggressive to try to get 3-4 mature follicles each cycle.”

Interesting…

But, when I asked him whether we should consider another IUI, he was pretty frank with us. He basically said, “look, while these were less than perfect, you did have a chance of getting pregnant each of these months and you didn’t. And, typically, women that are going to get pregnant with IUI do so within the first four cycles. So, at this point, I would recommend moving onto IVF.”

What a better explanation than Dismissivo’s, “well if you really want to get pregnant, you do IVF.” Double grr…

The other thing that fascinated me was that, because we’re concerned about destroying embryos, Dismissivo had suggested retrieving as many eggs as we could, fertilizing only some, and freezing the rest of the eggs. Smirky actually really discouraged that. He said that egg freezing was a very experimental process and that the chances of getting a viable embryo out of frozen eggs was actually comparatively quite low.

He also explained that the chances of having extra embryos to worry about was also quite low. He said that they do 5 day transfers for all of their patients except in extremely rare circumstances. And he explained that the likelihood of a ton of embryos making it to the 5dt and actually being suitable for freezing was low. (Of course, it’s not zero, so it’s still something hubby and I need to think about…)

Smirky also had a very long explanation of why they do 5 day, rather than 3 day transfers. I’ll spare you all the details, but essentially he said that the embryos that look good at 3 days are not necessarily the same as the ones that look good as blasts. So, the practice has put much of their time and energy into figuring out how best to grow the embryos for the full 5 days, so that you have a better idea of which have the best chance of implanting, etc. (Of course, he acknowledged the risk with growing the embryos for the extra two days, and talked a lot about the benefits of doing 3day. Again, I was impressed with the level of care he took to explain their philosophy, the associated risks, etc.)

All fascinating to me.

Anyhow, I’ll spare you the rest for right now, but the bottom line is that we both felt really good about this practice and about Smirky. The bad news is that, while I can do the bloodwork and ultrasounds at a satellite office that’s only an hour away, since this is a clinic associated with a big university, we’d have to do the retrieval and transfer further away at the university hospital. But, ‘tis a small price to pay if the level of care and service is that much better.

So, if I sound excited, it’s because I am. I can’t say that I’m excited about having to do IVF, because most of my fears remain. But, both hubby and I left the office feeling cautiously optimistic. Like maybe, just maybe we could be pregnant before the end of the summer. (See, there I go again. Not only getting my hopes up but setting yet another milestone for myself. Will I NEVER learn?!?!)

Of course, this is all assuming that I’m not, as Ms. Planner said, an urban legend in the making!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On not discounting first person expertise

I’m not sure how, but I’ve somehow gotten myself onto a few pregnancy and infertility-related listservs. The worst are the baby ones—the ones that serve as a weekly or monthly reminder of all of the stages of child development I’m missing. There’s nothing worse that popping open your email, looking for a few reassuring comments from your bloggy buddies and being met with: “Signs your baby is teething” or “Is your baby ready for solid food?”

Ugh.

I’ve tried to unsubscribe to these, but I still get them. I’ve given up and now just try to delete them before looking at a single word on the page.

One of the least offensive lists I’ve somehow made it onto, though, is the AFA (American Fertility Association) weekly email blast. While it’s not a page-turning read, at least it’s an email ostensibly written for an infertile audience (and therefore ostensibly sensitive to what we are going through). I have to say, though, at best it’s bland an uninformative, at worst, frustrating.

Take today’s blast email—“But no pressure: Are you too stressed to conceive?”—as exhibit A.

Ordinarily, my first reaction would be to roll my eyes and delete the email (or attempt again to unsubscribe to it). But, given the source and the timing (I’ve just returned from my stress-free weekend at the beach), I thought this would be worth a second look. I thought, perhaps there will be articles or links to interesting studies that looked at the impact stress has on IF couples, or the impact stress-relief has on their ability to conceive?

Unfortunately, not only did I not find any helpful data or studies, what I did find just frustrated me.

First of all, the online chat tonight is going to be led by a psychologist/self-proclaimed IF-counseling “expert” who by all accounts seems to have had zero personal experience with IF.*

What’s more, her relevant article on the topic is entitled “Are You Hardy Enough to Handle Infertility?” Ugh. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say, does it matter? This is our reality, not our choice. We’re hardy enough because we have to be. We don’t have the luxury of avoiding it. And we find our own coping mechanisms and we get through it. Most of us with the help of other infertiles (or excellent counselors) who can actually speak to and empathize with our pain, our sadness, our anger, and our frustration. Those with whom we can laugh because we know they’re laughing with us, not pitying us for what we’ve been through or laughing near us only because they just don’t know what else to do or say.

And, while you don’t necessarily have to go through IF to empathize with our struggles, I think it’s a rare fertile who can. And, either way, I do think that some personal experience would help contextualize a psychologist’s advice by giving a real glimpse into our struggles. And, after reading “Are You Hardy Enough to Handle IF” I’m just not convinced that Dr. Joann Paley Galst, PhD has that glimpse.

Among the points that most turned me off to Dr. Galst's article is that she notes: “The key [to handling IF] is to identify ways that are likely to work well for you as part of your own personal strategy for fostering hardiness, so you, too, can turn your infertility into an opportunity for growth and transformation.”

It’s not that she’s wrong, per se. Rather, it’s that her advice on how to do that seems so trite and sometimes even condescending.

To wit:
  • Identify a task that needs to be done but you find tedious. Tap into a personal strength to enliven it.
  • Cognitively work on yourself to see both change and uncertainty about the future as full of hidden possibilities. This promotes a sense of life as an adventure, rather than a burden. (First of all, “cognitively work on yourself?” Ugh. Talk to us like people, not psyc 101 students. And, IFers, raise your hand if you think that such a cognitive exercise would help make IF seem like an exciting “adventure.”)
  • Try replacing the word ‘challenge’ for ‘problem.’ This can help remind you of the opportunity that lies in store. (ugh!)
  • Become a change creator, which is even better than just adapting quickly to change. (um…what??)
  • Challenge negativity by reducing deficiency focusing. The habit of focusing on the negative at the expense of the positive causes a person to notice things going wrong more than things going right. (come ON! “Deficiency focusing?” That’s psychobabble. Call a spade a spade, don’t use inflated jargon that isn’t going to help a couple struggling with IF. And what’s more, sometimes we have to wallow in our own misfortune. It’s a natural and I would argue helpful part of coping with IF.)
I don't mean to come down on this doctor in particular, or on the AFA in general. Both I'm sure are actually very helpful to many infertile couples. Rather, I just found this particular email especially frustrating because the AFA (or Dr. Galst herself) need look no further than this blogging community to find a host of intelligent, well-spoken women who have important and poignant personal experiences to share.

And, it’s these women—some of whom I’ve no doubt are actually psychologists—who can best speak from the heart about what we all do everyday to cope with IF. It’s the posts you’ve written—the beautiful first-person accounts of struggle and heartbreak and survival—that are light-years ahead of Dr. Galst’s “fertility hardiness” treatise and that have done more to help me pick myself up when I think I’m out of reserves than anything else I’ve ever read on the subject of infertility, pregnancy, and miscarriage. And yet, apparently the AFA isn't convinced that living the struggle qualifies you to lead a discussion on surviving it...

*I should add that I don’t know that she’s an outsider. I know that's a pretty big caveat to this post, but in the spirit of full-disclosure, I figured I should mention that...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Au naturale

Hubby asked me to label my post today “au naturale,” since that’s how we’re doing things this cycle. No IUIs. No bloodwork. No transvaginal ultrasounds. It’s like a cute little flashback to the early TTC days—you know, where you get a positive OPK, gaze longingly at each other thinking of all of the wonderful things that lie ahead of you, and get all swept up in the emotion of it all and have a nice romantic evening.

Well, okay, it wasn’t exactly like that. We do have an appointment with one of the new REs on Wednesday, and we haven’t developed IF-induced amnesia and forgotten everything we’ve been going through.

But, it has been nice. And, to cap the “au naturale” cycle, I got my positive OPK on Saturday while we were away. So, to all of those annoying people who spout old wives tales incessantly to us IFers, here’s what I have to say: we went on a conveniently timed baby-making* vacation—to the beach, for peet’s sake. How much more relaxed can you get? So there.

(Though, I can’t pretend to be overly optimistic about our retro-cycle. I mean, if we got pregnant by having appropriately-timed s*ex…well, then this blog would look a helluva lot different…)

The beach was great, though. We really enjoyed just chilling. And we did enjoy spending time with our friends’ two little girls. They are so cute and so very sweet. And hubby is so sweet with them. Although, on Saturday afternoon I almost broke down into tears as I watched him building play*doh animals with them. And again on Sunday as I saw my friend, her husband and their two girls walk hand in hand picking up seashells on the beach. Hell, I’m getting all teary now just writing it.

*sigh*


IF…she’s a bitch, ain’t she?

Unfortunately, our idyllic, stress-free beach vacation did meet a little hiccup on the flight home. We were scheduled on a direct flight this morning, but got a call that it was cancelled so had to hop on a packed flight that connected through Atlanta and ended up getting home six and a half hours later than we were supposed to. Good times. Then, to top it off, as we were landing a bird apparently got sucked into one of our engines. Now, not only is that incredibly dangerous, which it is, but it also causes the entire plane to smell like dying fried bird. Which it turns out bears no resemblance to fried chicken. It was really awful...and kind of sad.

Oh, but you’ll be so proud of me—I’m officially off the juice! While I haven’t had a fully caffeinated beverage since I started to quit, I’ve now officially gone two full days with NO caffeine. No decaf. No tea. Nada. Woohoo! (Although, I do miss my lattes desperately.)

*Well, that wasn’t the purpose of the trip, but the timing worked out. So, take that universe!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The ocho

There’s another game that’s traveling around the blogosphere. The timing for these really couldn’t be better—I’m really looking for something to distract myself and these are quite fun to read. The latest is to list 8 random things about yourself. As I was reading some of these today, I was actually sad that my roommate from DC doesn’t have a blog because her list would be fabulous. For example, she’s petrified of maple syrup. She can’t look at it and freaks out if it touches her. And she has to stack everything. I would go to bed at night and find little stacks of all of my stuff the next morning. It always cracked me up.

JJ at Reproductive Jeans also has some fabulously random things in her list. Like that she thinks that numbers are male and female. And that she can’t have an odd number of emails in her inbox. (There’s also a terrifying story about a spider, but I’m so arachnophobic I can’t even tell it here. Check it out, though. Gives me the shivers.)

So, I’ve been tagged by JJ to share 8 random facts about me. I’m sure many of you are already well aware of my freakish quirks (like that I traveled with a stuffed bear* on my honeymoon), but here are a few you probably don’t know:

1. All of my toes are the same length (really long—like finger toes), except my little toe, which is a little stub with no joint.

2. I was born with a random extra front tooth but no upper wisdom teeth. (Yes, I had the extra one pulled.)

3. I don’t eat any meat except when I go to Yankee stadium, where I have to have a hot Italian sausage and peppers sandwich.

4. I can’t fly without a bottle of water, nose spray, and Sud*afed (the real stuff) regardless of whether I’m sick. I’ll risk missing a flight to get them if I don’t have them.

5. I get nervous every time I eat shrimp—I’m convinced I’m going to go into anaphylactic shock. (And I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life. Not even poison ivy.)

6. I have the most ticklish feet EVER, but I love getting pedicures. My friends find it really embarrassing to go with me.

7. Hubby’s sister and I went to the same college (she graduated 5 years after me, though so there was no overlap) and we discovered very early on when hubby and I were dating that we lived in the exact same dorm room our respective sophomore years.

8. I get claustrophobic when I ride in the back seat of a two-door car. It’s freaks me out to not have my own door as an escape hatch...you know, just in case...

So, there you have it. Try to form an orderly line as you run screaming from my blog.

Now, here’s where I tag 8 others who I think could use a fun distraction, too. I’d love to hear all of your random facts!

Carrie (Precious little)
Erin (Vicious Cycle of Cycles)
Ms. Planner (That was the plan)
Mands (The Secret Garden)
Bumble (Me the Bumblebee)
Kristen (Sticky Bean Preconception Journal)
Anns (A Brief History of “You”)
Matthew MF Miller (Maybe baby?)

*You should know that Phil was a gift from my hubby on our first dating anniversary. So, that’s not that weird…right?

Monday, May 14, 2007

The impossible dream

I thought about posting something about Mother’s Day. For a number of reasons, I won’t. I won’t because several of you have said so much better than I could right now how hard a day this is for us infertiles. I won’t because I was spared having to spend the day with my extremely pregnant and insensitive sister-in-law. (Not the rock star doctor—we love her. This is a different one.) I won’t because I didn’t get to spend the day with my mom so it didn’t really feel like Mother’s Day anyway. But mostly, I won’t because I’m too tired. I feel like I’ve had so much invested in the past couple of cycles that I just didn’t have it in me to get upset about Mother’s Day. I’m spent. (And not just because I’m off the juice.)

It’s funny, I really didn’t anticipate feeling as exhausted as I do right now. I don’t think I realized how much the last couple of cycles took out of me. Hubby and I had so much anticipation and hope going into the IUI cycles. We went into the cycles thinking, “while it might not happen right away, we’re definitely going to get pregnant within the next four cycles.” And yet, here we are again faced with trying our very best to keep hope alive when I feel like we have fewer and fewer options to look forward to.

And, with every BFN, I’ve become increasingly jaded and a bit more detached from the “end game.” It’s funny how the process and ritual of all of this can make you feel emotionally detached from the idea of actually having a baby. It just seems like such an impossible dream at this point. Maybe that’s on some level a defense mechanism—a way of protecting ourselves against the seemingly unending disappointment of failed cycle after failed cycle.

Of course it hasn’t helped that one of these last four failed cycles corresponded with another anniversary, and that another corresponded with yet another birthday…two additional big milestones gone by with no pregnancy and with no hope in sight for a baby. It’s getting harder to picture future milestones with a pregnancy. Or a baby. It really makes me kind of sad.

And yet, as we all seem to do, I know that we’ll find a way to find hope for the future. And, I know that on some level there is still much to hope for. But, for now, I’m happy that we took a break. I’m looking forward to some long sleep-ins and I’m enjoying the break from the bloodwork and ultrasounds.

And, the even better news is that we’re going away again this weekend for a little R&R. We’re headed to the beach in North Carolina with my best friend from college and her husband and their two girls. While they can’t relate to our particular struggles with IF, these are the kinds of friends where we can totally let our hair down whenever we’re with them. You know the kind—the kind who know all about you and still love you, so you don’t have to worry about being anything other than yourself, even if that you isn’t all sunshine and roses. Thank god for those kinds of friends. They’re the only people that make this kind of struggle tolerable.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Best laid plans...

At the risk of sounding like I’m obsessed with this caffeine thing right now (I am), I have a confession: I’ve already cheated on my plan. It’s Day 1. I’m pathetic. The good news is, I only cheated with a decaf latte—that can’t be that bad, right?*

I’ll bet I had you all fooled with my caffeine research and my fancy plan. But, so far, the score is coffee: 1, sticky bun: 0.

Damnit.

So, at the risk of setting myself up for repeated failure, I’m throwing out my old plan. Here’s the new plan: until I’m off caffeine completely (which will hopefully be Friday), I’m entitled to one decaf latte a day. And just a little bit of green tea—maybe 2 cups at the early part of the week, but only 1 at the end. And none after Thursday.

That’s my new plan.

And, as if I needed any, my pathetic Day 1 lapse is clear evidence that I am a horrible addict. And it’s evidence that Becks is a better woman than I—she’s already caffeine-free. For four days. She’s my hero!

*In my defense, I had just woken up from a Ny*quil-induced 12-hour sleep. I had to at least trick myself into believing that I was having my normal coffee...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Meme

Dianne (Flutter of Hope) wrote a fabulous "I am" poem and challenged me to do the same. Here 'tis, for what it's worth.



I am stubborn and independent and proud to a fault.
I am self-conscious and lanky and sarcastic and fair.
I am empathetic.
I am an out of shape swimmer and basketball player.
I am fiercely loyal to my family and friends.
I am a young 32 who feels 26.
I am unimpressed by those who are impressed with themselves.
I am afraid of flying.
I am a fake vegetarian and a Francophile.
I am uncomfortable sleeping without Phil.*
I am sweats and sneakers but champagne and Ti*ffany.
I am ambitious but value family above all else.
I am addicted to laughter and like my routines.
I am sentimental.
I am infertile.
I am a work in progress.

I'm also tasked with challenging 5 other bloggers to write their own. I've actually got more than 5 that I'd be intrigued to see, but I'll play by the rules and let these 5 tag the next 5 and so on. (Kind of funny to watch these things spread in the blogosphere!)

So, here it goes: I challenge all of you, and especially the following people to write their own "I am" poem and post it on their blog. I would like these people to tag 5 bloggers and so on. I cannot wait to read about who you are!

Tam (Peanut's Journey)
Becks (One Miracle Needed)
Laura (The Reluctant Baroness)
Mary Ellen (Our IVF Journey)
Sarah (For the Flavor)

*That's a picture of Phil on the flight home from our honeymoon. Yes, I'm insane. No, it's not contagious.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The De-caffeinators

See, this is why I love the blogosphere! After my post yesterday, JJ (Reproductive Jeans), Baby Blues, and Laura (The (Reluctant) Baroness) have agreed to both support and join me in my quest to quit caffeine. Now, I’m still not happy about this—AT ALL—but I’m thrilled to have some comrades in arms.

Because I’m a type-A planner, I did a little research on the best way to quit caffeine. I’m sure I don’t have the willpower to quit cold turkey—I love it too much and would surely reach for a double latte as soon as that killer headache hit Saturday morning. And, more than that, Sunday is Mother’s Day—and I have to spend it with my MIL—so I think that if I coupled trying to quit cold turkey with enduring mother’s day toasts to my miscarriage,* I’d lose it.

So, “experts” (i.e., Dr. Google) recommend stepping down gradually to avoid the worst of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms. I figure that I consume about 250mg of caffeine each day. (I drink one half-caff in the a.m. that has 2 oz. of regular and 2 oz of decaf. According to Dr. Google, that’s about 100-125mg.) Then, I sometimes (okay…usually) have a second half caff in the afternoon. So, I figure that’s about 250mg. (Maybe a bit more sometimes, but not regularly.) So, since SIL said I could use green tea to walk myself away from the nectar of the gods (i.e., coffee), here’s my 7-days-to-a-caffeine-free-me plan:

Friday: Last day for a tasty latte before work. *sniff* (~150mg)

Saturday: Regular green tea 3x/day (20mg/each, ~60mg)

Sunday: Regular green tea 3x/day (~60mg)

Monday: Regular green tea 2x/day (~40mg)
Decaf green tea 1x/day

Tuesday: Regular green tea 2x/day (~40mg)
Decaf green tea 1x/day

Wednesday: Regular green tea a.m. only (~20mg)

Thursday: Regular green tea a.m. only (~20mg)

Friday: No caffeinated beverages. (yikes!)

Sunday, June 3: Natural BFP (priceless)

(Sorry, couldn’t resist that last one.)

And wow. I’m such a geek.

Anyhow…that’s my plan. I’ve now made it public so will have to face public shame and ridicule if I fall off the wagon, so here’s to a caffeine-free-me.

I have to say, though, if we’re going to give up the lattes, ladies, one of us better get a BFP out of the deal sooner rather than later!

Here’s hoping!

*Remind me to tell you THAT story. Ugh. It was awful.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Adieu, beloved coffee!

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but my sister-in-law is a world class, rock star surgeon out in San Francisco. She’s young, but is considered one of the best in the country—to the tune of getting selected among 10 doctors in her specialty to sit on a government panel to make national recommendations for treatment. And she has a patent. For cancer research she did while she was in med school, for peet’s sake. She also has a pilot’s license. She’s pretty much way-cooler than I.

But, while she is a total rock star doctor, she almost never gives medical advice. She’s as humble as she is talented, and she’s very careful not to inject her thoughts and opinions into conversations. That is, unless she feels SO strongly about them that she really feels it’s necessary. In fact, in all of the time I’ve known her, I’ve heard her give emphatic medical advice to members of our family exactly three times.

The first was when my father’s doctor wasn’t advising a pros*tate biopsy after results from a borderline blood test. She insisted he get one. At her hospital in SF. She was right—it came back positive, and now he has the best care in the world with her colleagues.

The second was when a family friend (who had severe endometriosis removed last year) was going in for a C-section. The woman’s OB saw something on her ovaries and recommended removing the ovary in case it was cancer. SIL insisted that she or a colleague she trusted deeply be involved in the surgery because she was convinced it was not cancer (she had performed the endometriosis surgery last year so knew of what she spoke). Turns out she was right again. It wasn’t cancer, the surgery went well, and the woman’s ovary (and chances at a second child) were saved.

The third was this weekend. I was telling SIL about what we’re going through with IF. And about my experiences with Dismissivo and our clinic. And about the fact that we were going to take a break and look around for someone else before we moved on to IVF, etc.

The first thing she said to me was, “well, have you cut out caffeine.” She knows, of course, that I haven’t—as evidenced by the multi-day trips to Pe*et’s coffee from her apt. while we were in SF. (mmmmmm….Pe*ets.) She’s just too nice to say, “stop drinking caffeine, dumkopf!”

I of course had to say, no, I hadn’t cut it out. But that I had reduced my intake to half-caffs and only had one (okay fine, sometimes two) per day. Interestingly, she told me that, while the studies on the effects of caffeine on fertility were mixed, she strongly suggested that I cut it out completely while we were trying. She said I could have green tea while I was transitioning off it, but that I shouldn’t have anything else. No soda. No coffee. Not even decaf.

Needless to say, as a coffee LOVER and a caffeine addict, I pushed back quite a bit. “But, I don’t actually drink that much. And, I thought that even the studies that showed that there was only a concern for more than 200mg/day?”

SIL wisely told me, “Sticky, this isn’t my specialty, so it’s definitely worth talking with someone else about this. But, I know the impact that caffeine has on the body. It can do really weird things—it causes hormone surges, and can cause problems that seem totally unrelated that go away when people stop drinking it. If you really want to give this a go on your own for a couple of months, I’d cut it out. Completely.”

As I said, she almost never states anything that emphatically. So that she did tells me that she really thinks this is worth doing. So, while it PAINS me to do it, I think I’m going to have to cut out my beloved coffee in the morning if I really want to give our break a go.

Damnit! IF just keeps taking from us, doesn’t it?

In addition to the unwelcome* caffeine advice, SIL also asked around for recommendations for other REs. She has a few good leads, so I have an appointment with one RE on the 23rd for a consultation. I checked out this clinic and the other that she recommended, and their IVF success rates are fabulous. So, unless I go there and learn something really horrendous, I’d say that we’ll be switching clinics before we do anything else.

Unfortunately, I have to wait almost two months before I can even get an appointment with the doctor that SIL recommended most highly. He makes everyone get a day 3 blood draw before the first consultation appointment (even if they’ve had it done before). And, you need to wait a full month after stopping any hormone treatment before you can get the blood drawn. And then he books 4-6 weeks out. Good grief! But, if he’s the best, I guess we’ll have to do what we have to do.

In the meantime, I’m just waiting for AF to show her ugly mug to officially close out this cycle so that we can get started on what Adrienne (Max's Mommy) aptly dubbed a "DIY cycle". I didn’t realize that it took a while after stopping progest*erone for AF to finally arrive. Guess the stuff works after all, huh?

*Okay, it’s not unwelcome. I really value her thoughts. I’m just being a big baby because I love my coffee. *sigh*

Monday, May 07, 2007

San Fran and a cycle update



I managed to catch a miserable cold while on the left coast, so this is going to be quick. The long and short of it is that our trip to San Francisco was fabulous. Erin certainly delivered and the weather was perfect—mid 70s-80s and sunny everyday. It’s never like that when I’m in San Fran. We spent all day Saturday at a few gorgeous champagne vineyards in Sono*ma (see above) and we had a great dinner at a chophouse in North Beach last night. It was great.

But…okay, well I can’t lie to you guys. I wasn’t strong. I tested on Saturday. And Sunday. Both BFN. Damnit.

So, now we’re faced with the inevitable IVF decision. As I think you know, I’m torn about moving on to IVF. But, it looks like that’s going to be our reality. C’est la vie. I’m actually feeling more at peace with it today. But, because we’re so unhappy with Dismissivo and with how some things have been handled with my protocols, we’ve decided to explore another clinic. It’s a clinic we thought about going to initially, but it’s much farther away from our place. But, they’re IVF success rates are among the best in the country according to SART and they’re listed among the top-10 fertility clinics, so it seems worth at least checking out. So, we’re going to get our records and get a second opinion...and perhaps switch.

But, that means that we’re going to be taking a month or two off for the exploration. I think it’s the right thing for us to do right now. I’m just not feeling comfortable with our clinic right now and I feel like I need to feel good about our RE for IVF. And, judging from the wise comments from those of you who have done this before, feeling really good about your RE and your clinic is HUGE for this step. So, we’re still going to try while we explore, but it’ll be a low-tech couple of months.

And, that’s the name of that tune.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Quick update

I arrived in lovely San Francisco, CA* late last night, and am happy to report that hubby and I are just lazing around, drinking Pe*et’s Coffee and eating No*ah’s bagels. (Mmmm….Pe*et’s.) The good news is that Erin has promised me good weather while I’m out here, so I’m looking forward to lots of wandering around the hilly city. (My calf muscles will hate me later, but whatever.)

My goal for the weekend is to not think again about IF until I get back to the east coast. (Stop laughing. It could happen.) Unfortunately, I forgot that in my brother’s neighborhood I think it’s a prerequisite to have twins and be pregnant—I must have passed about 100 women on my way to coffee this morning with double strollers and baby bumps. *sigh*

But, I’m hoping to try to block it all out and just have fun. As a result, hubby and I discussed it, and I’m going to try not to test until we get back east. I’m hoping AF stays away that long (and I assume with the prog*esterone I’ve got a good shot). I just don’t feel like dealing with disappointment this weekend.

So, have a great weekend, ladies! And, I hope I have some good news to share when I'm back!

*And, I’m sure you’ll all appreciate this—I had to pack preog*esterone to keep AF away, tam*pons in case she came, and HPTs to see what was what. Ah, the life of an infertile!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Are we sure one size fits all?

My mind is racing. I actually had a dream last night that I was back in high school—but a different high school than I went to. I was new there and couldn’t find any of my classes, so I just didn’t bother going to the ones I couldn’t find…for a whole semester I skipped them. Then I panicked that I was going to fail the classes, since I had never gone. (The most interesting part about that was that, in my dream, I actually thought there was a chance I’d be okay, even though I never actually went to a single class. Odd.)

I could go into more detail because the dream was vivid as it was bizarre, but I’ll spare you for now. And, I’ll also spare you from all of the Freudian psycho-analysis I’ve done on my own dream about hoping against all odds.

And, I will try to make sense of all of the things running through my mind right now, but I can’t actually make any promises. So here it goes.

I came across a fascinatingly timely article on slate.com last night entitled “What Fertility Doctors Don’t Tell You.” Um…wow. On the day I had this interaction with Dismissivo. That is freaky coincidental.

But, I digress…

The part of the article that made me think the most was this:

“The fertility industry has been far better at inventing awe-inspiring technology—and selling it to the public—than it has been at counseling patients about the risks of procedures and how these technologies will shape families, sometimes in ways they didn't anticipate.”

I actually think that’s a really interesting and fair critique of the industry. And it made me realize that I sometimes forget that the IF industry is different from a lot of kinds of medicine. It is a market-driven industry, and, there are probably as many snake oil salesmen (and women) in this industry as any—medical or otherwise. And that has an impact on the market itself as well as on how quickly you get ushered from one treatment to another.

In fact, as I look around our bloggy community, I see how few IUIs have actually worked and how many of us have been ushered right into IVF. And I wonder—is that because IUI has an inherently low success rate? Or, is it that doctors don’t give the time and attention to IUI that they do to IVF?*

In my case, I believe in my heart it’s the latter. On some level it’s a moot point now, since our insurance won’t cover any more rounds (and we in fact paid for the last out of pocket). But, I wonder if many doctors go through the IUI motions because they have to before they do IVF? It’s certainly clear that doctors believe, if you want to get pregnant, you do IVF. But, think about that. If that is their attitude, then why do IUI with them at all?

In hubby and my case in particular I’ve begun to wonder whether we’ve wasted these last few months. We have no known issues that IUI would fix. His count and motility are fine (great, even). I ovulate on my own and I can pinpoint it pretty well. So, what value are they adding? It seems to me that, if anything, just putting me on progesterone (since I have a short LP) would have been the better option. And, in fact, I now wonder if I haven’t been actively hurting my chances to get pregnant with the last few rounds of IUI? (Though I reserve judgment on this last round until we get the results.)

And, does anybody feel they’re getting the kind of personal attention you’d hope to get from your RE? Or, are you put on the same merry-go-round of treatments that they put everybody on before IVF?

And, the thing is, I don’t think the problem is my clinic alone. Mine is a world-reknown center for this stuff (whatever that means). And, ironically, Dismissivo is consistently rated a top RE. (Go figure. I’m happy to lend my thoughts to that rating system…)

But, the thing is, I suspect that Dismissivo is like a lot of REs—bored and more detached until you get into the more exciting world of IVF, ICSI, egg freezing, embryo freezing, etc. Those are the areas, after all, where they can actually control more. So why pay attention to and listen to a woman’s body when you can shut it all down and make it do what you want when you want it to, regardless of whether you’ve found a medically defensible reason to do so.**

And, I, on the other hand was putting my eggs (so to speak) and hope in the pre-IVF treatment baskets. I liked the idea of just giving my body and her natural processes a little nudge, a little leg-up to see what happened. And while I am open to moving on to IVF, I really wanted to sincerely exhaust all other options before I did.

So perhaps the problem was that our expectations were out of whack from the beginning?

And, it’s so frustrating that so many docs are so cavalier about IVF. I really believe that IVF should be a last resort—when the docs can with some certainty say that all other good-faith efforts have failed.

But for many of us, I don’t think they can say that. I know Mands from the Secret Garden mentioned in a comment once that her three IUIs were sub-optimal as well. And, Laura (the Reluctant Baroness) has a post that details how her first few IUIs were also a bust, likely because her RE was playing fast and loose with her cycles.

And yet, for all of us, rather than working to really get our IUI cycles right and give them the chance they deserved, I feel like our REs just shrug their shoulders and say, “oh well. Yeah, I kinda got that wrong. Let’s move onto IVF.”

What’s more, by being cavalier about IVF, REs are really minimizing the very legitimate questions and concerns that we women (and we couples) have. For example, the Slate article says that “IVF babies—not just twins, but singletons, as well—tend to be born prematurely and smaller compared to non-IVF children.” And that “there higher rates of birth defects, including bowel and genital deformations, as well as a form of eye cancer, among IVF children.”

Those are interesting findings. And, while I know we don’t have any definitive answers to these questions, shouldn’t our REs feel on some level obligated to raise these concerns with us? Even if they raise them only to debunk them in the next breath? I’d at least like to know about these questions, and about what my doc thinks, so that I can make an informed choice. And, if I weren’t the obsessive reader of all things IF that I am, would I even know the right questions to ask? And who’s responsible for making sure that all women/couples are given all of the information before they make such a weighty decision?

So I sit here, 11dpiui #4, wondering whether the past four cycles have been wasted? And wondering whether I have even asked all of the questions I should ask before deciding to move on to the next step—wondering whether there are questions hidden in studies that I haven’t yet heard about or haven’t yet read. And wondering whether we’re better off trying on our own (again) for a month or two before moving down the line to another ever-more-invasive procedure?

Of course, if we get a BFN (on our 32nd birthday), I reserve the right to change my mind and leap in the exact opposite direction.

But for now, I feel like I’m having a moment of lucidity and caution that’s telling me to just wait. To be slightly more suspicious of an industry—or at least a clinic—that seems to have a one-size-fits-all solution to this journey to parenthood. Sure, IVF might very well be the right decision for us. But we shouldn’t just let ourselves get pulled along a moving walkway without passing GO just because that’s what you do...even if we desperately want to be parents and to begin that journey as quickly as possible.


*To be sure, I realize that it has a slightly lower success rate. But I just am not sure our IUI cycles are being maximized.

**Don't get me started on my latest feminist tirade on that point…

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Adventures of Dismissivo and Shorty

I just got back from an appointment with our RE. And, well, the thing is, I don’t like him. (There. I said it.) I find him at best really dismissive, and at worst an ass*** who doesn’t give us his full attention.

For starters, he’s never been on time to one of our appointments. Ever. This is something I just don’t understand about doctor’s offices. If you’re always running 30 minutes late, why don’t you just stop booking appointments that close? Especially when you’re dealing with cranky, hormonal women on fertility meds. (There are some things you don’t get from book learnin’ huh?)

So, as usual, they took us a half-hour late. And they only took us that “early” because I made a little stink. I saw my nurse and was finally like, “Um, my husband has to leave for a meeting at 11:30 (our appointment was at 10:45). Should I just reschedule, because I want to make sure that we have enough time to really talk about what we’re going to do next?”

That prompted them to take us in—note to self, complain earlier—but they sent a different doc (not our RE) to chat with us. I was irritated at first, but now, frankly, I’d like to switch. I liked this guy a hell of a lot better for lots of reasons. So, the new doc (let’s call him shorty because, well, he’s short. I’m 5’10” and TOWERED over him when we both stood up. I felt kind of silly, actually). Anyway, Shorty came in and looked over our charts and admitted that our 4 IUIs have been, for a bunch of reasons, less than optimal. (Hooray for honesty!) He said that, unfortunately, it looks like my ovaries keep jumping the gun and releasing the egg early, thus making all of our IUI efforts…well…pointless. So, he suggested that, if we wanted to do another IUI, that we do a lup*ron IUI—that way they could control when I ovulated and the IUI would have a greater chance of success.

Of course, that’s the kind of thinking we could have used 2 cycles ago—back when our insurance was actually covering IUI.

Anyhow, I appreciated hearing that there was something we could do to make IUI more effective. I don’t know that we’ll do it, but it’s good to know there’s an option if we’re not ready for IVF just yet.

At this point Dr. Dismissivo comes in. (Drat!) Thank god Shorty stayed, because it turns out Dismissivo also gives us barely half of some very important stories. But, I’ll get there in a minute.

Basically, Dismissivo was, well, dismissive of our concerns about IVF and thinks it’s the best option.

“But, we aren’t comfortable destroying (or donating) embryos, so we’d want to limit the number we’d fertilize to the number of children we’d be willing to actually raise. Doesn’t that on some level minimize the impact of IVF?”

“Yes, of course. But, if you haven’t come up with your own solution, I have one.” (Note this line was delivered with a sarcasm that made my progesterone-induced ass want to lunge across the table and rip his goatee out strand-by-strand.)

“Well, no. We don’t have a ‘solution,’ that’s why we’re here. What’s you’re suggestion.” (Dickhead! Don’t pretend you have the “solution” to our very complicated ethical dilemma.)

“We can retrieve all of the eggs we can, fertilize a few—at least eight, of course, because less than that doesn’t make any sense—and freeze the remaining eggs. Note I said the eggs, not the embryos.”

Fucker. Stop talking down to me.


“Well, I’m not prepared to raise eight children*, so I don’t yet know how I feel about fertilizing eight eggs. We might be open to it, but hubby and I need to talk about it.”

--Dismissivo is notably exasperated.


“Well, yes, you have to figure that out.”

Yeah. Thanks.

I decided to move the topic away from our ethical dilemma and back to a subject where I thought he could actually add value—so I asked him what our protocol with IVF would actually be. Pretty standard fare, it sounded like: Lup*ron on CD21, stims beginning CD3, egg retrieval, transfer, beta, intra-muscular progesterone, etc.

“But, the progesterone shot is different—I’m doing the suppositories right now. Why do you recommend moving from suppositories to the injection?”

“Because sometimes on the suppositories women start spotting before their beta and get really emotional, and it’s just easier this way.”

Um…are you fucking kidding me? You’re telling me that the reason you’re going to make me to a painful intra-muscular injection is to spare yourself an emotional phone call?

At this point, hubby needed to go. So, Dismissivo took the opportunity to part as well, and Shorty and I were left. And, the first thing Shortly says to me is:

“Well, just to let you know, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The reason we do the progesterone injection with IVF is that, in your normal cycle, the corpus luteum produces progesterone naturally. In IVF, the corpus luteum is destroyed so you don’t produce any on your own. So, the suppositories wouldn’t provide enough progesterone to support a pregnancy.”

Does Dismissivo think we’re too stupid to understand that or something? That was clear. I get it now. And, that explanation avoids the sexists “oh you women are so emotional” overtones. Fucker.

Shorty and I then talked for a while about a bunch of different things—-our concerns about IVF, about what the hell is actually wrong with us, about what the chances would be with a Lu*pron-IUI, etc. And, it came out that Shorty and his wife are stirrup queens and sperm palace jesters—-they’ve been through all of this. We even talked about how they dodged the “lifetime cap” on their IF coverage by switching insurance providers after they maxed out on the first.

I love this guy.

Needless to say, I will be calling the office to switch from Dismissivo to Shorty. But, I do feel a little weird about it. I don’t know why. It’s the same way I feel about switching hairdressers. If I’m not happy with my hairdresser, I’m the kind of person who needs to just change salons. I can’t imagine switching hairdressers at the same salon and having to face the one I left. Like that would be rude or something. I know, I know, I need to get over it. But I have an overdeveloped sense of guilt, so go with it.

Anyhow, the bottom line is, assuming we’re not pregnant right now—please, please, PLEASE be pregnant—we need to decide whether to jump on the IVF train. And, I’m so torn about it. I feel like we’ve got so much to sort out. But, for now, I’ll leave you with the Adventures of Dismissivo and Shorty, because I’m too tired to think it all through. And I’m kind of weepy. Fucking progesterone.

*Note: I realize that 8 embryos would almost never in our wildest dreams produce 8 children. But still, I was irritated at Dismissivo dismissing our concerns as ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tagged



As I was poking around your blogs this weekend, I was humbled to learned that Coffeegrl from I thought they said it was “in the water” had tagged me for a thinking blogger award. I was really surprised and touched—thanks coffeegrl!

So, here’s the deal. First, I’m only allowed to tag 5 blogs, so I’ll play by the rules, but as many have said before me, there are many more than five that make me think on a regular basis.

The rules:
1. If you’ve been tagged, you’re supposed to write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote

Simple!

So, here are the five bloggers who’ve made me think lately. Again, I could easily tag more than 5, but am trying to play by the rules. :-) And, a few of these are some of our newer bloggie friends, so be sure to check them out!

Vicious Cycle of Cycles: Erin is one of our newer bloggie buddies—she’s on the verge of her first IVF and is actually psyched to get started with her injections. I love the positive energy she brings to her posts--I'm finding her enthusiasm for this first round of IVF really inspiring.


That was the plan
: Ms Planner at That Was the Plan is brand new to the blogosphere, but she’s got some great introductory posts about how her journey began. Including a must-read about how she met her hubby (“Cowboy”) at a strip club. If that’s not reason enough to pop over to her blog, I don’t know what is.

Flutter of Hope: Dianne at Flutter of Hope has had several exceptionally thoughtful posts recently about her struggles with whether to move on to IVF. There are so far two in a series that deal with facing IVF as a Catholic. The posts are really thoughtful, and I’ve really appreciated how she’s tackled this difficult decision.

Baby Blues: I appreciate so many of Baby Blues’s posts, but there’s one in particular that still sticks out in my mind. Way back in March, she wrote “Pursuing What Matters,” where she talked about her decision to turn down a fellowship because she really wanted to focus on having a family. What I appreciated most about the post is that she’s clearly a very ambitious person, but is so clearly grounded and centered on this journey.

Reproductive Jeans: I always enjoy JJ’s posts. She writes with such honestly and her posts are always both really thoughtful and down to earth. In particular, you should check out her post “I always wanted braces,” where she talks about letting go of some of the feelings she’s been having about her IF journey.