Wednesday, December 30, 2009

366

I wa of course hoping for better than 400, but the beta came back at 366. Which is fine: a doubling time of just under two days. So, I live to see another day. I go back Monday, at which point I should be over 2,000. And, assuming that's right, I should have an ultrasound next week.

Fingers remain tightly crossed.

Monday, December 28, 2009

162

Thanks to everyone who's been checking in and for your well wishes! I'm happy to report that I'm officially pregnant--I HOPE for the long haul.

I was on pins and needles all day waiting for my beta. Today is 16dper, so I was really hoping for something greater than 250. (I wish I knew less about these fucking numbers so that I'd just be happy with the damn positive and not cloud it with all of this hyperanalysis!) Anyhow, the beta came back at 162. Technically within the normal range, whatever that means, but definitely lower than I wanted, greedy wench that I am. :-)

I go back in Wednesday for another beta. I have to say that I kind of wish I didn't go in again until later this week or next. I'm not entirely convinced that every-other-day monitoring does much more than give me additional fodder to freak out over every detail. I mean, I think we all know that they aren't going to do anything until my first ultrasound, which I assume will be next week, when they verify that the pregnancy is intrauterine. Last time my numbers started lower than I would have liked, but rebounded and doubled really nicely by the end. But the outcome was crap, obviously. So, I've basically lost interest in monitoring. (Of course, because they ARE monitoring, I absolutely will overanalyze and overthink every blood draw. How could I not!)

For now, I'm just so grateful to have passed step 1. As hubby always says, you can't have a baby without a first positive and a first number. So, we've cleared the first hurdle. Now, I just want to fast-forward to the all-important heartbeat ultrasound, which my clinic does at about 7.5 weeks. Three LONG weeks from now. Distractions welcome.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to just be excited about the possibility of a happy ending with a happy sticky bean. Come on l'il bean! :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome home, little ones

Transfer today went well. Er...well, transfer today...happened, as scheduled. (It's hard to know how to judge the transfer without knowing the outcome!)

Our two little embryos were still hanging on, though one definitely looked better than the other. One was a 4-cell, grade 2.5 and one was an 8-cell, grade 1.5. Those numbers meant nothing to me, so I asked what they usually want to see on day 3, and Smirky said, "two 8-cell grade 1." So, we have at least one that looks reasonably good. Sarah did talk me down by reminding me that these grading systems aren't particularly "scientific," frustrating as that is.

But, now they're nestled back in where they belong, hopefully for the long haul.

The 2ww will be excruciating, as always. Doubly so because my beta should be next Friday. But, next Friday is December 25, so I have to wait until the 28th for my beta. Ugh! Three extra days! At least we'll be busy until the 25th. But the 26th-27th will be torturous. What are the chances I wait to take an HPT?

Anyhow...in order to facilitate some relaxation, I canceled the trip to DC I had scheduled for tomorrow. It just seemed like more chaos than we need right now. I had to cancel some meetings, but whatever. This is more important than any stupid meeting.

So, there you have it. Suggestions for distractions between now and the 18th welcome. And, continual positive vibes appreciated. I need to hope for the best for my little sticky jrs. Come on, l'il guys! :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dwindling numbers...

We're down to two embryos today, so I'm going in for transfer tomorrow at noon.

It's getting hard to keep my spirits up with the continual gray news. I mean, I know in my head it only takes one, but still. I can't help but worry even about the quality of the two we've got left.

Thanks for the continued support. Keep the positive vibes coming as we transfer the sticky jrs tomorrow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And then there were three...

I got the fertilization report this afternoon--three of the eggs fertilized, so we're looking at a day 3 transfer (Tuesday). I have to admit to being a little disappointed. Last cycle, I kept getting pleasantly surprised by having our expectations exceeded.

Last time, we were expecting 5-6 eggs, hoping for 7-8, but got 10. Then 8 of the 10 fertilized. Then they all grew out to day 5 and we had two cute ones to transfer with two to freeze. It was really one pleasant surprise after another. This cycle...not so much. (I know I shouldn't compare, it's just hard not to. And I am a little disconcerted by how different these two cycles look. I mean, for the love of god, I'm not THAT much older!!)

But, hopefully the three embryos are great quality. I realize that's what matters. If they're all three looking GREAT tomorrow, they might extend me to a day 5 transfer. But in all likelihood, it'll be Tuesday.

Either way, I just hope there's a keeper in there. :-)

Come on, l'il embryos! Grow!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Waiting... **updated

I'm sitting in the hospital waiting fo retrieval. My clinic is affiliated with a huge university center in the city, so my last retrieval took place downtown in a much bigger, more impersonal center.

Since then, the University has built a satellite full service lab in the hospital where I delivered the stickies. What a difference! This hospital is swank to begin with, and the setting is so intimate by contrast. I have my own room with a TV where I can lie down, under covers, watching TV while I wait.

Oh, and there is wifi. :-)

I will take it as a good sign that the first channel I turned to was playing "Miracle," one of my favorite movies.

Miracle indeed, we hope. I'll keep you posted.

**Update
Retrieval went well. We got 6 eggs, which was about as many as we could have hoped for. We can't be certain they're all mature and fertilizable, so we need to wait until tomorrows all-important fertilization report. I forgot how this process makes you feel like you're sitting on pins and needles every step of the way. Come on, l'il eggs and sperm. Do your thing!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Triggered...

I forgot how stressful the HCG injection was! So much pressure. The timing, the dose. It all has to be exact with no room for error. Eek. Hopefully all was well (despite the fact that we were 9 minutes late.)

Retrieval is Saturday morning, 10am. I'm so nervous. Wish us luck!

And, I'll take that cheerleading! I think the l'il eggos could use it!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Limping towards retrieval...

I had another scan and bloodwork this morning. My E2 level has finally eeked it's way above 1,000--on day THIRTEEN of stims. !!! And there are a handful of follies. It's like waking the dead in my ovaries--it's like there ARE eggs in there, it just takes a pickaxe, shovel, and 60 gallons of men0pur to find them.

Unfortunately, there is still one follie that has taken the lead--22-23mm. That one is ready to go, really, but Smirky is trying to let the others bake another day or two before trigger in the hopes that some of the smaller ones will catch up. It's a risky game, but I trust him.

So, I think he wants me to stim tonight and tomorrow, but I go back tomorrow, I assume to see if that's possible or whether I just need to trigger tomorrow.

I'm definitely glad that it looks like we'll make it to retrieval. This is our last shot at an IVF, so I definitely wanted to give it our all and get as far as possible.

And, for now, we'll just take it one step at a time...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The update that wasn't

So, as of yesterday, my E2 was around 170ish and I didn't have a single follicle over 10mm. Day EIGHT of stims.

That can't be a particularly good sign, huh?

I really don't have a lot to say about all of this. I was a slow responder last time, too, but by this point I at least had 4-5 follies at around 12mm. So, I'm even behind that ridiculously slow lead-up.

As Smirky said yesterday, I'm not out of the woods. Nowhere near. I go back Monday for another u/s and b/w. I have to hope that a bunch of the 7-8mm follies have grown or I fear I'm eerily close to a canceled cycle.

And that's the news from chez sticky. Let's hope for better news Monday or I'm going to have seriously regretted doing an IVF cycle during the Christmas season!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 4

I had a mini-monitoring appointment today--bloodwork, but no ultrasound. Unfortunately, despite the higher doses we started with this round (225 of G0nal-F and 2 amps of Men0pur), my E2 was still as paltry this time as it was the first time around--perhaps worse. It was in the 50s--54, I think? (Last time I was at 77.4 on day 5. Sounds similar, hopefully not worse.)

Now they have me on 300 of G0nal-F and FOUR vials of men0pur. That sounds like a lot to me. I'm happy to do it if it works, but it certainly doesn't SOUND promising that I'm not responding to a higher dose.

I go back on Wednesday for bloods and ultrasound. I'm hoping that the ovaries kick into high gear. Come on, l'il guys!

In the meantime, I would love to hear what other people's protocols were--good or bad stories, I'm just interested in how high my dose seems by contrast. (Because I'm a glutton for punishment who can't just let go and let things happen, I suppose...)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Game on

I went in this morning for bloods and ultrasound--everything looked good. (My FSH, incidentally, was 4.3. ??? What the hell is that? Can someone explain FSH to me. I know that the highest number is the one you're supposed to pay attention to, but those numbers are so wildly different, it just sort of makes me wish I never knew about the other stupid number.)

Anyhow, I started meds tonight--225 G*nal-F and 2 vials of Men@pur. Is it wrong that my biggest takeaway from tonight's experience is how much bigger and flabbier my stomach has gotten since the last round? My stomach was nice and flat before. Not so much anymore. It could be the extra 10lbs--the 10lbs that I cannot blame on carrying twins because it was gained much more recently. (I can blame it on the miscarriage, I think, since the weight gain corresponds almost exactly with that.)

So, we're off. I got in for a blood check on Monday, then the litany of ultrasounds, etc. begins. Fingers crossed, and here's hoping for more luck than I probably deserve!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Don't worry, they have a very lovely life.

I start IVF meds Friday. It's sort of stunning to me how deep my complete and utter denial is. Actually, it's not even really denial. That sort of assumes that it has crossed my mind more than maybe twice since my last blog post. I've just been so...busy.

I gave notice at my job and have started to transition out while at the same time I've started to transition into the new job. Oh, and I've taken on some related contract work for the month of December, you know, because I guess I was nervous I'd be bored or something. (And I have a request to do some additional contract work in December that I'm trying to decide whether or not to take.)

It's actually kind of exciting to think that I can piece together some contract work here and there over the long term. It's a nice way to earn some extra dough when we need it and it's good to keep the contacts.

But, you know, December mightn't have been the best time to get that ball rolling.

Also, the kiddos have been sick on and off for, oh several months now, it seems. I knew this would happen this year, as it's their first year in school. They haven't gotten anything too terrible, which is good. Just enough to make them fairly uncomfortable on a fairly regular basis. Poor little kiddos. Sweet Potato in fact has croup right now, poor thing.

The funny thing about the sicknesses has been that each one has followed almost the exact same path: sweet potato gets whatever it is first and worse. Monkey girl follows, but never seems to get it quite as bad. She's such a little trooper, that one.

And this latest sickness got in the way--or, really, almost got in the way--of the first girls weekend I was going to have in more than two years. On Saturday at 6am I was supposed to fly to Disney for a girls weekend to celebrate the 35th birthday of one of my best friends in the world. At 4pm on Friday, Sweet Potato spiked a fever.

Argh.

I changed my flight and rebooked on the last flight out Saturday. That way, I could use the morning to size up how sweet potato was doing and try to fly standby on the afternoon flight. But, if things looked not so great, I had a confirmed ticket on the last flight out so that I could get just over 24 hours of fun in. (I was slated to come back on Monday morning, and canceling was not an option in my book. This weekend was too important to my friend, who I hadn't seen in more than a year.) The next day everything seemed fine--yes, he was sick, but he slept well and it was manageable with motrin, so I figured that hubby could handle the stickies. Sure, it would be a tough evening, but my parents were coming to help Sunday, so it should be fine.)

Anyhow, that was the plan. That was until I was about 3/4 of the way to the airport at 2:00 on Saturday and got a desperate text from hubby to please come home. Sweet potato had coughed himself awake and the kids were both a mess--sick and exhausted--and he didn't think he could handle it on his own.

So, I did turn around. I was disappointed, to be sure, but it was a happy disappointment, really. If that makes any sense at all. I walked in the door and a very sad monkey girl ran and leaped into my arms and cuddled there for a good hour. It was so sweet. And really, I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

But still. Seriously, hubby--they're not THAT terrifying. I'm sure you would've been fine (though I agree that you may have needed several beers after you put them to bed).

So, those are some details of what's been my crazy little life of late. We're going to somehow fit IVF--and, we hope, another baby--into the mix. I'm sure the emotion of it all--cycling, our last attempt to have another baby, etc.--is going to start to hit me at some point. And I'm sure you're in for some kind of woe is me post at some point. You know how the meds and the cycling f' with your emotions!

But, really, right now I'm just feeling...grateful. Despite the madness, I know how lucky we are. And, while I hope that this cycle brings the little brother or sister that I'm really hoping to give monkey girl and sweet potato, I also know that, no matter what happens, we'll be fine.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And wish us luck and peace to deal with whatever this journey throws our way.

Monday, November 09, 2009

And so it begins

Let's leave aside the fact that an overturned fuel tanker shut down I95 for more than four hours today, thus turning a quick trip for bloods and ultrasound into a more than six-hour ordeal.

Instead, let's talk about the results from those blood tests. My FSH level isn't good. 10.9. It was 7.4 before our last IVF, and I freaked out that THAT was high. Ah, to be young and naive again...

The message from the nurse provided cold comfort: "Your FSH did go up, but we're still going to go ahead."

Oh, gee, thanks. Now you've planted a seed in my head that you were contemplating canceling my cycle based on that number. Sh*t.

I mean, I guess this means it's good we just decided to go straight to IVF. No need to f*ck around with DIY cycles at 34 when your FSH level is borderline "diminished ovarian reserve."

I'm also now convinced I'm about to go into menopause. I assume this is a ridiculous fear. For the love of god, I'm only 34. But still.

Stories along the lines of "wow, only 10.9? Gee, that's lower than my 16-year-old niece with great eggs" or "10.9? Wow, we got 25 mature, healthy eggs with that fsh" welcome.

Do you want to hear the punchline? I had the makings of an entirely different post in my head before I got the call this afternoon. That post went like this: "Gee, if you had told me two years ago that an IVF cycle would feel like the more drama-free of the IVF or DIY cycles, I would have told you you were crazy. But going through the IVF motions feels remarkably comfortable and familiar..."

So much for drama-free, I guess. Fingers crossed that this isn't a sign of things to come. BCPs start tonight.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Winding up and down...

Every year, twice a year, I have to work to pull together a HUGE project. It's enormous and, while I have learned a lot and I guess it was gratifying at one point, now it's just a thorn in my side.

Anyhow, yesterday was the last one I'll ever have to run. The next one is in March and I'll be out of my job by then. HOORAY!

So, I feel like I'm in the home stretch of my job now. I have one or two medium sized projects to tie up before I leave, but they aren't that big a deal. Then I have to do the annual reviews and goal-setting for all of my direct reports, which will be a lot of work, but I'll feel good about. (I love my team and want to make sure I leave them well set up.)

Can I tell you how glad I am to be winding down?! I'm so sick of the hours I have to put in to all of this. I'm so looking forward to a holiday season with less drama and more kid fun.

But, while yesterday marked the beginning of the wind down from work, today marks the wind-up for IVF#2. AF arrived today, so I'll go in Monday for bloods and will start BCP then. Then I start stims on November 27, and we're off.

I am barely processing what I feel about all of this. I hope I'm not tempting fate. But, for better or worse, it feels a hell of a lot better than endless DIY cycles to me right now! (And, nobody tells fertiles that they're tempting fate by trying for kid #3 or 4 on their own! Damnit.)

It's funny, I feel, since we have two kids, oddly shy about doing IVF again. I feel there is this unspoken rule that doing IVF when you have no kids, or when you have one kid, is totally acceptable. But somehow that doing IVF with two kids is just greedy.

Who knows...maybe it is. But, I really hate the idea that I shouldn't be able to have a big family because we're fertility-challenged.

Who knows how I'll feel once it all gets going. If it doesn't work, this is really it for us. I don't want endless DIY, nor do I think we'll ever do another IVF. So, we'll just have to jump and see. That's life, I guess.

Here's to the tail end of 2009. November and December will be, if nothing else, very telling months.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A charmed life

First, it's funny. I read your comments on my last toddler sleep post and was like, "well, it certainly SOUNDS logical that I wouldn't undo 19 months of good sleep in one day, but..."

In the end, you were right. But it did take more discipline on my part than I was ready for. Monkey Girl just wanted me. She clings to me like you wouldn't believe before bed. She's not at all upset, she just wraps her legs around my waist and her arms around my neck and buries her face deep in my neck as I walk her upstairs for bed. And I have to admit, it's so cute I can hardly stand it. So, when she calls for me in the middle of the night, it's hard not to give in to the cuddle.

But, in the end, I resisted moving her permanently to sleeping on my chest. Though, as I see them both growing bigger and bigger everyday, it only going to get harder to resist. For me, that is. For them? Well, the relationship they have and the comfort they provide to each other is slowly going to give them the independence that I want them to have, but that's going to be bittersweet to watch develop.

*sigh*

In other cute twin news, remember when I mentioned that they were basically asking to nap back together in the same room? And remember when I was nervous that it might jeopardize their naps because they might wake each other up? Yeah, it turns out you should listen to their cute twinny instincts. They've never napped better than since we put them back together. They actually sleep better. Longer. And they wake up happier. Not the sad wake-ups they used to have. Now they chatter and laugh. It's so cute I can hardly stand it.

All of this is to say: I lead a charmed life.

It's funny. This blog really chronicles one of the saddest times of my life. (Yes, I realize that means I've had a very good life.) Knowing that I wanted more than anything to have a family, and facing the reality that it might not happen as I wish was so tough. And it brought out my sarcastic and cynical side. Sure, I'm not saying that side of me is buried deep or anything. It's pretty darned close to the surface. But, before infertility, I was genuinely happy. I loved my family and my friends and my work. Yes, I despised people who cut me off and then went 35 mph on I95, but who doesn't?

Infertility really brought out the worst in me. Well, I actually think it was infertility coupled with the job that I'm now leaving. Neither was life-affirming, to say the least. And, I swear I actually think I look WORSE because of all of it. I think the negativity has given me gray hair and a bad complexion.

And the thing is, I really lead a charmed life. Several months ago--well, to be honest, a few years ago--I started fantasizing about leaving my job. I just wanted to quit. It was making me miserable and taking me away from my Stickies. But how could I? I needed money and had devoted so much time to building my career. How could I walk away from it all?

And, the thing is, when I started thinking about leaving my job for something else, I figured I'd have to take a serious pay cut. And/or that I'd have to step way back.

And then this opportunity just fell into my lap. It's honestly better than I could have imagined for me and for us. It pays really well, gives me a senior, resume-building title, is part-time, and 100% remote.

It's just ridiculous, really, how lucky I am.

And yesterday, as I chased around the neighborhood after the cutest Tigger and Pooh you've ever seen in your life, I just started to cry. I was so overwhelmed...with happiness. I'm exactly where I want to me. Where I'm meant to be. Sure, it may not have been pretty how I got here, but I'm just so lucky to be here.

And while my infertile self might say--watch out! This is the point in the movie where the piano falls on your head!--I don't want to listen to that voice anymore. That voice certainly doesn't shield me from the piano. And it just makes me feel crappy, even on the days when no piano hits my head.

I don't really know what that means for this blog. For a while now, this has been the space where I've come back to bitch. And the thing is, I'm sure that's neither helpful for me nor interesting for you to read.

On the other hand, though, I can't really see me becoming a PollyAnna-esque blogger who tells stories of sunshine and roses. (I'm a New Yorker at heart, for the love of Peet.) So, I'm going to need to decide what's to become of this space. Should I blog about being a mom of twins? About the plight of the working (from home) mom? About...oh good lord, I don't even know what else. I'm sure I would talk at least a bit about my next IVF--for which I start BCPs in just over a week (!!!)--but even that seems like it doesn't deserve a whole blog. How much interesting will I have to say?

Either way, I'll give it some thought.

In the meantime, here are Tigger and Pooh, my daily reminders of what a charmed life I do lead.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Toddler sleep

So, I gave my notice at work. It went fine--my boss was perfectly pleasant about it. Asked if there was anything they could do to keep me, to which I said, "if there is, I can't imagine it."

We're working on a transition plan. One of the directors who reports to me will be taking over the team, which is great. She's wonderful and deserves it. I'm also starting to ramp up at my new job during the same transition period. So, my life is going to get slightly more complicated before it gets easier.

But, in the end, it should be worth it. I should be able to hobble together a more rational existence that involves fewer work hours and more time with my family. And maybe even some time for me. Hooray!

In other news, the stickies are sick. We've been so lucky. For almost the first 18 months of their life, we've had to deal with very few illnesses. Sure, they got a few colds, and yes they did get hoof and mouth disease once, which was no fun. (104 fever. I still can't believe it's "normal" for babies to get 104 fevers. It certainly felt like sweet potato was going to burst into flames when it happened.)

But, now they're in a Montessori school three mornings a week, so they're exposed to a lot more than they have been in the past. Sure, we knew when we signed them up that they'd basically have a cold for the entire year. What we didn't anticipate was that we'd be dealing with what they're predicting will be both the worst winter in 50 years AND the worst cold/flu season. Awesome.

So, both kiddos have had a pretty nasty cold for the better part of two weeks. They've been real troopers for the most part. Sweet Potato had a rough day or two and is on antibiotics for a slight ear infection. Monkey Girl seemed like she'd be clear of the worst of it, but now two crappy nights of sleep is suggesting otherwise.

And, as I struggled through a rough night last night and a sleepless nap, I came to the realization that I have, literally, no strategy to deal with a 19-month old with sleep challenges. We did some modified sleep training more than a year ago, and have had dreamy sleepers (pun intended) ever since.

But now? Well, Monkey Girl barely fell asleep last night. And only did after MUCH drama. And now we're staring down the barrel of a repeat performance. Last night I blamed it on not giving her pain killer before bed. Today? Well, I have no such excuse. Now I blame it on going in to get her last night. Twice. When there was really nothing wrong. And staying with her for a while. Then today we were at my in laws for my nephew's 1st birthday and we had a disastrous nap where I went in and let her sleep on top of me.

While it feels like I'm being helpful when I do things like that, I'm pretty sure it just sets us back in a very real way. And now, she's been struggling on and off for an hour and a half. I'm sure she's uncomfortable, but there is nothing left for me to do. We've soothed and comforted, given her pain killer. She's tired and she's sick. What she really needs right now is SLEEP.

Ugh. Poor little girl.

Thank god twins are completely immune to each other. Sweet Potato is in there as she struggles, sleeping away. I swear sometimes they're comforted by hearing the other one, because it lets them know they're in it together. It must be funny to be a twin.

In other news, now that I'm going to have (I hope) more free time, I need to meet some friends in this hamlet. Because we moved up here to be close to family, and because our lives have been sheer chaos for a while, we've really spent any extra time we've had with family. And I really haven't met anyone that I've really connected with. And now that I'll be working from home, well, I'm going to need to find a way to reverse that. Any good suggestions for meeting good people when you're a work-from-home mom?

I've also had a post percolating around in my head since last week's front-page New York Times article on fertility treatments and multiple births. More on that later because it definitely hit home when I saw it.

In the meantime, try to stay dry in what appears to be monsoon season in the Northeast.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Okay then, here we go...

Okay, first THANK YOU for the pep talks! It's SO helpful to get support from women that get the struggle.

I ended up not going down to talk to my boss last week, though. I was convinced by the chorus of people who told me to wait until I finished negotiations with the new job. So, I did wait.

I emailed a few times back and forth and then talked to the CFO today. In short, they gave me everything I asked for: title, upped the salary, benefits, transition period, and a partridge in a pear tree. They certainly made it awkward to say no, huh?

So, I'm going to talk to my boss tomorrow. At 2:00.

Holy Sh*t.

So yes, I'm just as nervous as I was to talk to my boss and to tell my team. Only potentially more so, because now I've had a full additional week of making long-term plans. And since my breakdown in my boss's office, he's been trying really hard to show he appreciates me.

Well, okay, he hasn't been trying THAT hard. But for him it's been a step up.

But, really, it's too little too late. And, frankly, there's probably nothing he could do. This opportunity is better than what I could have imagined when I started waxing poetic about having more flexibility and time with the kids. So, it's basically a done deal.

Oh, do you want to hear the punchline, though?

So, I canceled the meeting last week with my boss, which meant that I could keep the post-miscarriage follow-up appointment I had made with Smirky. So, hubby and I piled into the car on Thursday morning--and I stacked back-to-back conference calls for the trip down and back. Then, right around 10:15am, I ran headlong into a huge SUV going almost 30mph.

So the car is nearly totaled. And I never made it to Smirky's office.

Yeah. Talk about a sign of....something.

Then on Tuesday (Monday? I forget already.) AF came. No urban legend post-miscarriage, post-IVF pregnancy for us.

With all of this, I decided I was done--already--with OPKs and timed s*x. F*ck it. I don't want to be sucked into this nonsense, and I have enough of a track record to know where it's leading anyway. And, I mean, if I really want to have another baby, I should just start trying to have another baby the only way that's proven even remotely successful for us in the past.

So, I've booked an IVF cycle with Smirky. I start BCPs around November 10.

I know it's risky, but I'm in a risk-taking mood. I have one more IVF covered. And we'd feel so fortunate to have another baby. And I'm under no delusions that this will work. We got SO LUCKY our first IVF. I can only hope we'll get lucky again, but if it doesn't, at least I'll feel like we did what we could.

Yes, it means we'll have to have some uncomfortable conversations about how many embryos to transfer--assuming we're lucky enough to get that far with more than one--but I'm feeling like it's a risk I'm willing to take.

At least I think I am.

So, there you have it. A big week for Sticky: totaled car, new job, scheduled IVF.

Stay tuned for my next post. Who knows what's in store for us then!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I need a pep talk

It's one thing to wish for something. It's quite another to actually get it.

I got the job. The tentative offer came through today, we are just working through some salary/benefits questions before the deal is signed, sealed...

And so now the dull ache in the pit of my stomach grows. I switched around my schedule so I could go into the city to meet with my boss tomorrow. I wanted to tell him in quick order--before the offer was formal and official so I could still plausibly say: "I haven't accepted this and am not quite sure what to do, but wanted to tell you as soon as I could."

The lie is white--I didn't quite tell him RIGHT away, but let's call it close enough.

Can I tell you how STRESSED I am about possibly leaving my current job? I just don't actually know how it's going to work. I feel like I'm screwing them. I lead the biggest team in the organization and several things that are central to our operation. And my team is short-staffed as it is. And my boss (the CEO) is way overextended.

I get that that's not my problem and that they'd do what they need to do, but still. I feel super stressed about it.

There is a backstory that suggests I shouldn't care about all of that. My boss has done some pretty damn selfish things over the course of the past four years--things he actually readily admitted to in a coincidentally-timed meeting we had last week--but I can't help but care. I love my team, and I worry that they'll put this other woman--someone who I know I would NEVER work for myself because she's a bit of a tyrant--in charge of my team when I leave. And that stresses me out.

I still feel like I just need to do this. The job would be 75% time, which would basically mean I'd be cutting my hours in half because I'm currently working 50-65 hours/week (and this would be about 30). I'd be able to work from home 100% of the time--a double-edged sword, I'm sure, but a happy challenge compared to the ridiculous schedule we're trying to juggle right now. And I just kind of hate my job these days. Not all of the time, but a good part of it.

I am going in to have a conversation with my boss tomorrow. I'm not officially quitting, but putting it out there that I'm damn close. I dread this! But am hopeful that if I can get through it, it will be for the better.

So, yeah. I need a pep talk. Desperately!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On twins and napping

I haven't become fully immersed in the twin blogosphere, but because our very own Erin is a contributor, I do read "How Do You Do It" from time to time. It's definitely fun to read the exploits of other twin moms--other people who fundamentally get how challenging it can be to have two kids the same age. (And why it isn't exactly the same thing even as Irish Twins.)

It's also fun to read how other moms deal with some of the challenges of raising twins. How they get out of the house. (IF! they get out of the house--I don't know about any other twin moms, but it's still a three ring circus trying to get out of this house.) How they handle napping, sleeping, potty training, and on.

Anyhow, I was reading the other day and one mom was lamenting that her twins are voluntarily deciding to sleep in separate rooms. I totally get why she's sad about it.

It's funny, from the beginning, so many people questioned our sanity over the decision to put the Stickies in the same room. Why would we jeopardize their sleep and naps like that? Wouldn't it be so much easier to have them in separate rooms?

I can't say the decision was fully rational, but I was always hell-bent on keeping them together. I just thought it was better. I like the idea of room sharing in general, and for some reason with twins it just felt wrong to split them up.

Now that they're 18 months (tomorrow!) I can honestly say we're so happy that they sleep together. And they are so happy, too. They LOVE being together at night. They have a whole nighttime routine after we put them to bed--we can hear them giggling for a few minutes over the monitor before they doze off. And when Monkey Girl wakes up in the middle of the night (which thankfully rarely happens), I know she's comforted by having Sweet Potato there. (As evidenced by the time she woke up in the middle of the night and deliberately woke him up to have company. She literally cried and poked to wake him. As soon as he woke, she laid right back down and fell fast asleep. Cute, but poor little SP. It's hard being a twin sometimes, I guess.)

Good lord, I'm rambling.

Anyhow, for naps they haven't been sleeping together for a while. SP dropped his nap at 10 months (!!!) and was down to one nap a day since then. MG was NOWHERE NEAR ready to go down to one nap a day at that point. So, they slept separately because they were on two different schedules. That was until June (at 15 months) when we decided to push MG onto the one nap a day schedule. (It was literally impossible to go anywhere when they were on separate schedules--there was a baby asleep from 9am until literally 4pm everyday. It was ridiculous.)

But, as we were transitioning her to the one nap a day schedule, we still napped them separately because during their transition, their naps started to blend. So MG napped in the nursery and SP in the pack-n-play in the guest room. And it seemed to be going pretty well--one would typically cry out for a minute mid-nap or wake up earlier--so we just kept it. Why fix what ain't broken.

Then, over the past few weeks, a few things have happened. First, they wake up within seconds of each other on most days. (It's actually incredible; it's like they have sonar. They aren't even on the same floor so couldn't possible hear each other!) Second, lately as we've been putting them down, they've basically started asking to sleep together. SP points to his crib and wants to get in. And MG points to his crib because she wants him there. (It's awfully cute, actually. I'll ask MG: "Do you want SP to sleep here today?" "Yes! Yes!" she'll say.)

So, today, we finally gave in. SP hasn't been sleeping as well in the PNP anymore, and truthfully I'm just really glad they are comforted by each other and actually want to sleep in the same room. It's very sweet.

Of course, if they start waking each other after 30 minutes, I might be singing a different tune, but for now, assuming it isn't a total disaster, it seems worth it.

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lies this blogger tells you

I said I wouldn't let myself get pulled back into this nonsense. It's just simply not true. It's unavoidable. A bunch of people have announced pregnancies at work--due dates right around when I would have been due. And AF arrived today, punctuated with a negative HPT about an hour before she came. (Why I bothered, I'll never know...) I can't help it. I feel sad and crappy and left behind. Again. True, the sting is less, but it still stings.

God, do I not want to be here. I told hubby today I just wanted to go back to Smirky and figure out what the right treatment next steps would be. We should have one insurance-covered IVF left. (Hooray for this state's insurance laws!) I think I might just go for it as our last hope. I can't see spending months on DIY. It's too mentally and emotionally draining.

Of course, treatment is no easy decision either. But, we've decided we'd like another. Yes, given the option, I'd prefer one conceived naturally, but perhaps it's worth the risks and the treatment for one last shot. One last hope.

I'll likely call tomorrow to set up a consultation. And we'll just go from there...

F*cking infertility.

Still crossing my fingers on the job front!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Surfacing

I can't believe it's been almost two months since I posted. I suppose I just don't have much to say. The miscarriage fallout is as it was: I try to think as little of it as possible.

I'm currently 10-11 dpo in our first post-miscarriage DIY cycle. Actually, our first DIY cycle since 2006, I think. More than three years. It's hard to believe how lucky we got back in 2007.

There's not even a shred of hope in me for this cycle. Well, okay, that's a lie. There is a shred. One tiny shred buried deep in the recesses of my mind. But it's so small and pathetic that I think very little of it. In many ways this has been the easiest 2ww ever.

But, all in all, I just don't have much to write. I just don't want--even refuse--to allow myself to get back into the black hole of temping and watching the days. We did do the whole timed s*x thing, but that's it. I haven't even cut out my daily coffee (though it's decaf) or my nightly glass of wine. What's the point, eh?

In other news, I'm potentially three weeks away from quitting my job. Ever since the miscarriage, I've started to revisit all of those old feelings I had when I first went back to work after maternity leave. I'm seeing the days and weeks slipping away, and I'm realizing that I might not have another chance at this with another baby. And so, I started looking around. And my former employer from DC has an opportunity for me that would basically be 75% time, nearly all remote work. If it works out--which I should find out in early October--it might truly give me exactly what we want for our family. Decent pay. Flexible and reduced hours. More time with the kiddos.

Keep your fingers crossed for us. For that anyway.

As for the DIY cycles...well, for those? I guess I would happily accept a miracle. But otherwise am anticipating that we'll need to make a treatment-or-no-treatment decision in the not too distant future.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The fallout and the definition of insanity

I'm truly amazed at the difference between having a "natural" miscarriage and a D&C. Perhaps I just lucked out or something, but it was astonishingly easy. I barely bled, barely cramped. On some level, it really just should not have been that easy.

It's funny, on Monday when we got the news and when Smirky recommended the D&C, I said to hubby that I just wasn't sure whether I wanted to do it. I felt, on some level, that I wanted to feel the miscarriage, like that was the only way I'd really face all of the emotions of this whole debacle.

In the end, though, I talked to my sister-in-law (the surgeon I have a TON of respect for and love dearly) and she highly recommended the D&C. She explained that it reduced the chances of infection and that, with the natural miscarriage, the chances of having a D&C in addition were actually fairly high. And, it's more predictable. We had no way of knowing when I'd miscarry on my own.

So, physically, my recovery has been fairly uneventful.

Time will only tell what impact that will have on me emotionally because, frankly, I haven't faced the full emotion and weight of all of this yet. Hubby and I blew off work for the whole week and just spent time together. We buried our feelings in retail therapy and tasty food. I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with those coping mechanisms.

I can't say I regret it, though. We spent a lot of time, just the two of us. And it was nice. We talked a lot and tried to sort out some of our emotions. Hubby is really sad. Both of us really felt like this FET was our best chance for a third baby. And we felt so lucky that we had gotten pregnant. We couldn't believe our good fortune--we had the chance of a third child before I turned 35, we had the chance of a brother or sister for the stickies. We were genuinely so excited.

And now...now we don't know what to do. We feel like someone has broken their promise to us. And now we're just staring down the barrel of empty milestones.

We also now have to decide what to do next. We weren't just doing the FET because we had the stickcicles; we genuinely wanted another baby. And so we've been all over the place about what we should do next. One day I said "I'm done. We have two kids, let's just get away from this infertility crap. I don't want to open this can of worms again."

Another day I said, "Forget it, I'm totally up for IVF. I know we risk multiples, but we wanted a big family, we have one more insurance cycle and it's our best hope."

Then, most recently, I had the most ridiculous thought of them all.

"I think we can get pregnant on our own," I triumphantly declared to hubby. "I think we should take six months and just really give it a go. No caffeine, perfect timing, do everything 'right'."

Good fucking lord, do I NEVER learn?

We of course have a month (at least--until my next period) to decide for real.

We will schedule a follow-up with Smirky to talk about next steps and what his recommendations are. I don't really know why we need to do that, I sort of know he's going to recommend IVF, but it seems silly not to have a conversation at all. I'd also like to take the opportunity to ask him, in the unlikely event that we get pregnant on our own, would he still monitor my levels, give progesterone, etc. Who knows what our problems is, but if low progresterone has anything to do with it, I'd like to leave as little to chance as possible.

I fucking hate being back here. I want to hope for luck, but part of me curses hope. I remember how many months I "hoped" only to come up empty and I don't want to set myself up for that again.

I'm so conflicted.

Anyhow, Sarah asked if the stickies make all of this any easier. It's a good question (and, no, I don't mind questions).

The long and short of it is, right now, yes, they do. (Ask me again after lord-knows-how-many failed cycles.)

It's still painful, but it's not the same raw, aching, "will I ever have a family" pain. And, I get how different that is. They are beautiful and sweet children. And I hope they will eventually have a sibling, but if ended up being just the four of us, we'd of course be okay.

Hence the conflicted feelings, though. If we'd be okay, why don't I cut my losses?

But why should I have to just because of reproductive challenges?

And so the vicious cycle goes.

So, for now, I'm just hoping AF shows up sooner rather than later so that we can move on, one way or another.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

D&C

The D&C today was physically pretty uneventful. I'm not really even in a hell of a lot of discomfort right now, which seems sort of strange to me. I guess the whole experience has helped with my denial plan in a lot of ways, though I'm not entirely certain that should be chalked up as a "pro."

Hubby and I have started talking about next steps. It's too early to decide, but we're at least contemplating IVF. I don't know yet if it's the grief and disappointment talking or something more. Time will tell, I suppose.

For now, we just feel like we've been taken. And we're both just sad and angry about it. If only that helped.

*sigh*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It ain't just a river...

I'm in denial. I suppose I'm going through the stages of grieving, though my denial isn't a denial of our situation. I get it; this pregnancy isn't viable.

Instead, I'm in denial that it's bothering me. Serious denial. I haven't let myself feel anything. Outside of the initial reaction at the clinic and just outside, I've been pretending nothing's wrong.

Hubby and I went to the mall both yesterday and today as a way of getting away from it all. (As if to add insult to injury, it was pouring rain, so our options were limited.) I replaced my grief with some retain therapy. I bought a new iPh*ne (which I love), we got the stickies new armchairs (which they LOVE), and we went out to two fairly decadent lunches in a row.

It's all an attempt to ignore my pain. I know I have to feel the pain, but I just don't fucking want to. I want to go back to 8 weeks ago, to the day before I started the cycle when I was still feeling quite distant from infertility and miscarriage.

So, I'm pretending that that's what I feel like.

Except that, sometimes it creeps up on you when you least expect it.

Today, for example, I had to go to my ob/gyn to sign a consent form. This pissed me off. Why couldn't I just sign the f'ing thing tomorrow at the hospital? How am I supposed to deny my feelings if you keep making me face them? Today was supposed to be about denial, damnit.

So, I was irritated to begin with. The rain didn't help. I felt like it was an additional F-You from nature. I've taken two weeks off since maternity leave. The first was when we went on vacation about a month ago and it was chilly and rainy most days. The second is this week. In between both weeks, the weather has been absolutely glorious. But as if to mock my pain, it is going to rain all week.

To add insult to already serious injury, nobody in this god-forsaken state knows how to drive in the rain. And so I sat in TWO HOURS of traffic on the way to the doctor's appointment that I didn't even want to go to to begin with.

I kept my sense of humor for a while, but after an hour and a half, I couldn't do it anymore. I lost it.

"WHY CAN'T WE CATCH A BREAK?!" I cried, as if the traffic and the rain and the infertility and the miscarriage were all part of a grand conspiracy against me.

The traffic was, of course, not the problem. Rather, the traffic presented a rather inconvenient roadblock to my grand denial plan. Two hours to sit with my thoughts was too much; I couldn't ignore my feelings for that long.

Now, as I get closer and closer to my D&C tomorrow, it's getting harder and harder to ignore. I'm scared, really scared. And I'm sad, really sad.

I know there is no answer, but I still find myself wondering, "WHY?"

It's a stupid question, really. It doesn't matter why, it only matters that it is. This is our reality.

It makes me mad, though, because I feel like we were just greedy for trying again. Why couldn't we just be happy with our beautiful stickies? Why did we have to tempt fate?

But, really, fuck that. Why the f*ck shouldn't we try? Are we less deserving of a big family because we are reproductively challenged?

*sigh*

So, the D&C is tomorrow at 12:15. I'm very grateful to have a friend who's the nurse manager at the hospital. I called her and let her know I was going to be there and she sprung into action to ensure I had the best team and got the VIP treatment. I hope that will help, because I'm scared of anesthesia and surgery.

Reassuring D&C stories appreciated. And, please, wish me luck. I hope at least this goes smoothly.

Also, a HUGE thank you for all of your support. I'm humbled and grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful women who just fundamentally get it. Thank you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sad and Confused

I was so nervous about this morning's ultrasound. I mean, I know I'm always scared about these milestones, but for some reason my fear kept growing as we got closer and closer to the clinic.

"I want to say that this is the most nervous I've ever been, but that doesn't make any sense, " I said. "I must have been this nervous before the Stickies, right?" I asked hubby.

I'm sure I was, but today's nervousness now seems to live in my memory as a tragic foreshadowing of what was to come.

I knew almost immediately that it wasn't good news. Smirky inserted the wand, and we saw the sac and a rather large, circular yolk sac, but no embryo. No beautiful heartbeat.

Still, I waited. I needed to hear him say it.

He did, of course. In his quiet, awkward way. Some people would find his social awkwardness off-putting. I find it refreshingly honest and endearing.

He took a few measurements as I choked back tears. Then, he said I could sit up and told me that, once I got dressed, we could go to his office to talk more.

The nurse irritated me. She's new this year and has always turned me off. I missed my two favorites and wanted nothing more than their familiar faces in the room with me.

You had to appreciate this one for trying, I suppose, but I just found her attempts to soothe me invasive and annoying. She didn't deserve to see my pain, I thought. She doesn't know me well enough. She hasn't been there through they ups and downs.

When smirky and the nurse left, hubby and I just hugged and I just cried.

And then the nurse knocked to come in and offer us water.

Again, I'm sure she was being nice, but all I thought was, "Get OUT."

I pulled myself together and got dressed and we went into Smirky's office.

The three of us knew that there was really nothing to talk about.

"It's not a diagnostic dilemma," Smirky said. It was his way of saying, "there is, sadly, no hope. Let's discuss how to move on."

Again, I've always appreciated his candor. And, while his words could be seen as cold, his demeanor was anything but. He was genuinely sorry.

He recommended a D&C and I told him I wanted to think about it. We gathered our things, and I got some "pre-op" blood taken and left.

On the way out, hubby asked if I wanted to get some coffee and breakfast. And I lost it. I miss my coffee desperately, but I wasn't supposed to be able to have it today. I didn't WANT the coffee, damnit. I wanted the baby.

I scheduled the D&C for Wednesday. I still don't know if I'll do it, so your thoughts and experiences are much appreciated. How awful is a 7-week miscarriage? Are the risks of the D&C worth it?

I'm feeling such a flood of emotions right now, it's hard to sort it out.

On the one hand, I feel so very lucky to have Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato. I've always known how lucky we were, but today, hubby said to me, "I guess those were our miracle babies."

After that successful pregnancy and then this positive HPT after this FET, we began to wonder whether our infertility experience before IVF was the anomoly. "Perhaps getting pregnant is the more difficult part?" we wondered. Sure, we've had at least one confirmed miscarriage, but our bigger problem was actually getting pregnant after that. So, once we crossed the pregnancy hurdle, maybe we were destined to fall on the right side of the odds?

Today, we're left thinking that there's something else going on. Something larger and more onerous.

What's more, I'm left with all of those familiar feelings. Those empty promises and those plans that will never come to fruition. I was so looking forward to another baby. I was so looking forward to closing the door on the infertility chapter of our lives and of moving on. I was looking forward to talking to Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato about their little brother or sister, of having a small, smooshy baby to hold again. It's all gone by so fast! I never pictured doing this only once.

I'm so grateful that we have Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato. They have taken some of the sting out of the day. When I came home right before their naps, I went into the playroom, and Sweet Potato ran up and jumped into my lap for a cuddle. He doesn't do that a lot, but it's like he knew I needed it more than anything.

And so for them, I can't let this get me down. I can't lose sight of what we have and focus on what we don't.

But I also can't pretend that I'm not sad. And angry. And scared.

I'm sorry, my sweet stickcicles. I hope that nothing we did sealed your fate, and even though I barely knew you, I'll miss you forever.

That old familiar feeling...

Gestational sac measuring behind. Large yolk sac. No embryo, no heartbeat.

Now I decide: D&C or natural miscarriage.

I fucking HATE infertility.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Still waiting...

Sorry for keeping you hanging for almost the entire 2ww! Work has been insane to the tune of working weekends, ridiculously long nights, etc. And, on top of that, I've never been more exhausted in my entire life, so on the rare occasions I haven't been working late, I've been asleep on the couch at 7:30.

Wild times, chez Sticky...

That said, I have found more than enough time to worry about Monday's u/s. I'm nervous. It's not a crippling, all-consuming fear, but rather a dull ache that surfaces when I remember that I'm pregnant.

I've been having some uncomfortable cramping, which hasn't been helping my state of mind, frankly. I just have to hope its nothing, but I can't escape the fear.

And, just to confuse my already muddied mind, I've also been having really vivid dreams that I'm having identical triplets.

Yes, I realize that's impossible (or, at least I think it is), but I'm clearly f'ing terrified of having multiples again. Not that I don't LOVE being a mom of multiples (MoM), I really do. They are so fun. But, the idea of four kids under 2...well, what the F*&K would we do with that?!

Anyhow, I realize I already had an ultrasound and I realize there was only one gestational sac, but because of what happened to Anna during her first pregnancy, I'm taking that u/s as inconclusive until I see what happens on Monday.

It's weird to be terrified about two polar opposite realities at the same time.

Have I mentioned that I hate the uncertainty of early pregnancy? I mean, I prefer it to the alternative, but...well...you get it.

And so, I'm just trying to distract myself between now and Monday morning. I realize there is essentially nothing I can to to alter the outcome. My fate is sealed and my reality will be revealed to me. All I can do is wait. And hope that the PIO shots are not in vain.

Fingers crossed! I'll update as soon as I can on Monday.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Il y en a une

I have to admit that I had a breakdown this weekend. It's not that I was rooting against one of the stickcicles. On the contrary, I wanted to give them both a safe and toasty home for nine months (ish).

But, when I saw my last hcg numbers and when it started to dawn on me that we might have two sets of twins in two years...well, I freaked. I wasn't sure how the hell I would even handle that. I mean, seriously. Like, how the hell would that work?

Then I felt bad for thinking that way. I mean, didn't I want both Stickcicles to nestle in?

To say my emotions were all over the place would be an understatement.

Which is why when we saw one gestational sac on the u/s today, I was definitely conflicted. I mean, on the one hand, I felt, in some sense, relieved. On the other...well, you get it.

In any case, we did see a gestational sac where it should be (the uterus). I couldn't see a yolk sac, and actually left thinking that there was none, so have been pretty nervous about that all day. But, when my favorite nurse called later in the day, she explained that Smirky did actually see a yolk sac, albeit a small one (2mm).

I've tried Google-ing all day to see if that was normal, but can't find anything specific on how big yolk sacs should be. So, I'm just left feeling...okay.

All in all, I suppose we're in a good place. We are pregnant. Things seem to be progressing "normally." Whatever that means at this point. I guess I feel a little nervous again because I left feeling a little tenuous (because I was worried about the yolk sac), and now I'm having a hard time shaking that feeling. It's silly, I get. But what can you do. I'll just need to distract myself until the next u/s--the BIG one, where there must be a heartbeat--in two weeks.

TWO WEEKS!

Ugh.

Here's hoping our little stickcicle hangs on and grows, grows, grows! Come on, l'il buddy!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Moving right along...

I got another beta yesterday afternoon, right after I got back from the beach, but didn't get the numbers until today. Things still appear to be looking solid--3900 on 22dpo.

Um...wow. Way to go, stickcicles!

I'm feeling pretty lucky so far. I was really nervous but am feeling happy about the numbers and the way they're progressing. We'll have an ultrasound Monday. I have to confess to being the teensiest bit nervous that we'll have two lurking around in there. My mind won't even go there yet, because it seems so unlikely (they didn't even think one of the embryos was really viable). So, we shall see. And, frankly, I'll just count myself lucky no matter what as long as we have an uneventful pregnancy with a happy ending.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Deep breath!

Hubby and I took the kiddos on our first beach vacation and left today after I had my blood drawn.

I've been really looking forward to it, but also nervous. The Stickies love their routines, so I wondered what being out of their element would do.

But also, I was beyond terrified of getting today's beta results. I knew what would be acceptable (530ish) and I knew what I wanted (over 600).

The last two hours of the drive to the beach were torture. I had thought I would have heard from them, but hadn't, so was terrified that bad news was delaying the call.

Wherever you are, that audible sigh you heard arounf 4pm EDT was me after hearing the number: 944.

Wooooo...

I felt like a weight was lifted.

I know of course that we're not out of the woods; nowhere near. But I feel great about today's milestone.

Another beta on Thursday. Fingers crossed!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The bare minimum

I went in for my second beta this morning. It had to be above 180 to officially hit the 48 hour doubling time. It was 190.

I realize I should be happy about that, but I'm really nervous. It's still seems lower than I'd like. I know it's tracking right at the median, but I feel like most people have higher numbers at this point. And, Betab*se.info seems to suggest that that is the upper limit of the normal range for betas at this level. (In other words, most betas that are in the range of my first beta (88) double more quickly than mine has.) So, I guess I'd say, I'm not in the danger zone, but I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of it.

I have to say, the beta checking business was much easier the first time around--with twins (which I'm assuming this isn't), I was over 1,000 by my second beta, which was altogether quite reassuring. This is...well....less so. Particularly because I haven't yet crossed the beta threshold of my first miscarriage. That was in the 500s. So, I'd like to best that by a lot, and then lap it by one beta. If/when I do, I think I'll feel a little better.

Here's hoping. Come on, little stickcicle(s)! We love you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2:30am *Updated*

I woke up this morning at 2:30am and REALLY had to pee, but just lay there like a deer in headlights.

Do I test now, or pee quickly, go back to bed, get some sleep and test at 6:00?

I couldn't decide which would give me the better chance of actually sleeping.

I ultimately decided to test. I was all nervous and worked up and figured I wouldn't sleep either way, so I might as well just end the anticipation.

You can imagine my surprise when...

Well, that was supposed to be the dramatic pause before I posted a photo of a positive hpt. My phone won't let me upload it, but the news is the same. We have cleared hurdle #1.

I'm still waiting (on pins and needles) for my beta and will update as soon as I have it, but I didn't want to leave you hanging.

I still have my "no congratulations" rule. These early days just feel WAY too tentative for that. But we're certainly thrilled with step 1.

Thanks to everyone for your support. You don't know how much I lean on it! :-)

Update:
Just heard back from the nurse and the number is 88.6 (on what I guess is the equivalent of 14dpo). I guess that's fine, but I was hoping for more than 100. Back Friday for another. Fingers crossed for better than 180.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

That old familiar feeling

It was unavoidable, really. I knew the emotion of this all would eventually come rushing back. And today it did. In full force. Of course, it's different. I get that. I'm in a very different place than I was last time. Last time I felt the desperation that you can only feel when you sit on the precipice, wondering if you'll ever be blessed with children.

Today, I am so lucky. I have two beautiful children. I get how different it is.

At the same time, though, that feeling of desperation seems unavoidable. All day I've felt the weight of this cycle. You see, I always wanted three children. Hubby might even want four. And I can't escape the feeling that this is our best hope to make that happen. If tomorrow's result is negative, I am not sure what we'll do. We have two children already, so it almost seems foolish to do treatments again. I mean, IUI is either pointless--because it's never worked before--or gives us a risk of multiples or higher order multiples. And that almost seems irresponsible.

IVF could help us control for that, but I always said that I would have to be willing to raise as children the number of embryos we create. So, that's a complicated thought experiment.

And then there's the DIY option. And, well that just seems less than ideal for so many reasons. First because in more than two years of trying, we had one success (if you can call it that) which resulted in a miscarriage. I don't want to open up the possibility of month after month of disappointment and timed s*x and everything that goes along with that.

Ugh.

And so, here I sit. I'm less than 12 hours from the HPTs that I broke down and bought yesterday. And I feel so similar to last time. Last time, I remember feeling that I almost didn't want the 2ww to end. Not that I like the 2ww, mind you, because we all know it sucks, but rather because during the 2ww there is still hope. And hope, however little of it you feel, is better than a flat out rejection.

This time, I feel similarly. I'm literally petrified of a negative. I just don't want to feel infertile again. I don't want infertility to get to dictate how many fu*king kids we get to have. I want to be able to have three kids. I want them to be close together in age. I want it all. And it just pisses me off that it doesn't necessarily get to be that easy for us.

Blech.

So tomorrow is D-Day. Come on, stickcicles! Please hang on tight.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

D-Day minus 3

The 1.5 ww hasn't been horrible. I've definitely kept my mind off things, which has made it go by *relatively* quickly. I fear that the last three days (two days?) will be a little more tortuous, though. And on Wednesday morning, I'll have the inevitable "to test or not to test" before the beta question. I was at CVS last night and almost bought one, but didn't. I guess maybe I just didn't want the temptation.

I remember really stressing over the "to test or not to test" question last time. I again REALLY live in fear of seeing a stark white stick. I hate those damn things. Or seeing the "not pregnant" digital. I hate those, too.

Last time I ended up testing. And of course it was fine because...well, because it was fine. But it's hard to picture what that drive to the clinic would have been like without the positive. I mean, if I test Wednesday morning and it's negative, will I really feel like driving all the way down to get blood drawn just to confirm the result?! Ugh. That will just be a nightmare.

I also (unsurprisingly) really just don't know what to think this time around. I can't say that I have a feeling one way or another. I have no symptoms, not that you ever do this early. So, we'll see how quickly these last few days go.

So, I guess all in all, not too much to report. Fingers still crossed, but cynicism still abounds. Hang on, stickcicles.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hang on, Stickcicles (part deux)!

Here they are, our two beautiful little stickcicles, the siblings to our beautiful Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato, who were frozen almost exactly two years ago.

It's funny, both because things have been so busy and because this is an FET, I've basically been living in denial that we're mid-cycle.

Take yesterday, for example. After I put the stickies to bed, I checked the messages and had a fairly cryptic one from the lab asking me to call them back. I was admittedly a little freaked--maybe the embryos aren't going to make it!--but I really didn't lose any sleep or obsess over it.

Denial.

Then today, I had an early meeting in the city (way downtown)--fairly convenient given that my transfer is in midtown. (You see, I go to a satellite clinic of a University center so only have to go to the midtown clinic for retrievals and transfers.) So, I got up at 5:30, got ready, and caught an early train. Hubby came later and we planned to meet for a quick lunch before going to the transfer.

Seriously, do you hear how I was talking about this?! Going to meetings? Fitting in a quick lunch? Time was, I'd be planning my whole week around this. Now? Denial.

But, I think my cycle-long denial started to wear off a bit today. As evidenced by the fact that I almost cried in my meeting. Twice. And LITERALLY, nothing happened that could remotely have upset me.

Seriously?

I chalk it up to pent up emotions finally starting to bubble to the surface.

They started to come out in full force once we got to the clinic. I started to get really nervous and stressed. And then I started to feel the weight of what we were about to do. I started to realize how much I wanted this. Damnit, we wanted three kids. At least! I started to realize that this was a freebie--a free cycle before we had to make some hard decisions. And part of me doesn't want it to end. I don't want to face any brutal facts.

Then, we got pulled back for the transfer and the doctor came in and gave us the status report. Both survived, but as I mentioned, one didn't look great.

I almost cried when he said that. And that's when I started to realize how different I feel this time around. It feels so much more real. Last time, the thought of a pregnancy or an embryo ending in a real, live baby was so foreign to me I couldn't even go there.

Now?

Well, it's very real. I've been to this place--I've looked at the embryos on the screen and taken the picture home. And now that picture is the first in the stickies' baby book.

So hearing that one embryo didn't look viable? Honestly, it gave me a different kind of twinge.

And then suddenly I felt horribly guilty for being in denial for this cycle. I felt like maybe I wasn't taking it seriously enough and I wondered--if it doesn't work, will that be why?

Ugh.

Have I mentioned that I f*cking HATE infertility and the mind games it plays on you?

In other news, this clinic has either gotten really loose in their efforts to make you feel more comfortable or I've become a big-time infertile prude. When I got taken back for the transfer, I sat back on the table and put my feet in the stirrups. But they offered nothing--no blanket or covering. So, there I was. Spreadeagled on the table, girly bits flapping in the breeze while they scurried around for several minutes.

Seriously, people. Would a light blanket kill you?

Oh, and I forgot to tell you about the woman who was scheduled for a transfer at the same time as me. We were in the dressing rooms--which are technically different rooms, though separated only by a paper-thin wall--and she was talking SO. LOUD.

"Well, you know, I have a TWO-YEAR-OLD at home, so my husband is coming later."

"Okay."

"And, do you have my Valium?" (Yes, she was in there for a TRANSFER, not retrieval.)

"Yes, here it is."

"Oh, no, I need just one 10mg tablet. You see, I have a TWO-YEAR-OLD at home, so I can't be too out of it."

"Oh, okay."

"I mean, last time, I took more and I was laid out for a full day, but now I have a TWO-YEAR-OLD at home so, I need to take it easy."

"Okay. Well, we can't give you Valium unless someone is here to escort you home."

"Oh, well I'm supposed to call my husband to pick me up, but I need to wait, because, you see, I have a TWO-YEAR-OLD at home that he's taking care of today."

I left wondering if she had any kids.

Anyhow, that's the news from here. Back in the 2ww. Oh! How I haven't missed ye!

Hang on, Stickcicles!

On the train home from my transfer, plus two embryos. I'm feeling so much right now, it's hard to capture it in a mobile post.


Both embryos survived the thaw, one "beautifully" and one that doesn't look too good, apparently. I'm happy of course that one looks good, but deeply saddened that the other did not. Not in a "I'm disappointed it might not work" way, but more in a "I feel guilty that, because of random chance and happenstance, we chose you to freeze and, because of that, the chances of survival are far lower than if we had made a different choice two years ago.

It's a strange and unexpected feeling that is born, I suppose, from the fact that the last two embryos we transferred did survive.

I know, I know: maybe if I HAD transferred this one, it wouldn't have. And I wouldn't trade Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato for anything. But I definitely feel this transfer a lot differently.

I'll post more later--perhaps when I've sorted this out better. But for now, I feel somehow at peace that my beautiful stickcicles are back home where they belong. I only hope they hold on tight and that I can provide a cosy resting place for them because I'm alredy attached.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

PIO, Day 2

For a moment when I read Carol's comment, I thought: "holy crap! Have I been using a much bigger needle than I needed to?! No wonder my butt is sorer this time than last time. Here I was just thinking I was a wimp."

So tonight I dutifully took out all of my PIO accouterments, gleefully thinking I had an easier shot ahead of me. Then, I disappointingly realized that I had, in fact, only been using the 18 gauge to draw up the oil and the 22 1/2 gauge to inject. I just had them reversed in my mind.

Damn it.

I guess the up side is that I didn't actually stick a needle that size anywhere near my butt! You guys must have thought I was at once both a crazy person and one bad-ass bitch.

In other news, the DC job has not yet called to offer me anything yet. For shame! What, do they expect me to go through a normal process or something? Sheesh.

In the meantime, though, I have branched out in an attempt to make some actual friends here in suburbia. I don't know if I've mentioned that I haven't really connected with anyone since I moved here. I have some acquaintances at work, but nobody I'd hang out with outside of work. And I haven't really met anyone anywhere else outside of work.

It's my fault, really, given that I've done literally nothing that would allow me to meet friends outside of work. It just seems harder in your 30s, you know? I have my friends from different parts of my life--can't they all just relocate here so we can hang out without all of that weird new "I have to be polite because I don't know you very well" phase?

I don't mean that to sound as horrible as it does, I just mean that I long for someone that isn't a lot of work. Like the kind of person who feels like an old friend from the moment you meet them. I love those friendships.

Anyhow, since my plan to relocate my best friends from around the country to my little hamlet seems destined to fail, I've finally decided to make an effort with some local working moms of twins. In short, a fellow working mom to 15-month-old twins posted to our listserve the other day basically saying, "good lord, can someone please tell me this gets easier?!" I replied that I totally felt her pain and offered no solution other than to drink good wine together.

She emailed me back saying something like, "thank god, you get it. All of these other people emailed me telling me to get my thyroid checked if I was really that tired."

We had a good laugh about that and I was immediately optimistic--she's comfortable about making sarcastic quips about women we don't even know yet to another woman she hasn't met? Jackpot.

Anyhow, she emailed a few women (not the thyroid women, of course.) and we're getting together next Friday. I'm hopeful that they're normal. And, assuming they are, I wonder if they realize that they have to be my new best friends? You see, this is all part of my "you don't necessarily have to move to DC" plot. That way, if nothing comes of that job--which there's a good chance nothing will--I will at least be making more of a concerted effort to meet more normal people here.

And by normal, I really mean people who are nothing like my new-ish next door neighbor. She's a good example of whom I do NOT want to be friends with. We introduced ourselves when she and her husband moved in, and they immediately asked us to help them move that Saturday.

!! Seriously?!

Then, when we didn't, she saw us later and basically called us out on it. "Oh, we MISSED you Saturday."

?!

Then, we didn't see her for a couple of weeks and when we did she said, "wow, we haven't seen YOU in a while."

????

I'm sorry, when you display yourself to be that high-maintenance in our first meetings, my drama radar goes off and I run screaming for the hills.

Anyhow, since this post is all over the place, I'll sum up: I'm not shooting myself with a needle the size of a screwdriver. 2. No word from the job people, and 3. I'm hopeful these working moms of multiples are women I'll connect with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Notorious P-I-O

Wow, FETs are REALLY low maintenance compared to IVF, huh? I've been taking oral estradi*l since CD2 and have had one doctor's appointment. One! I was practically living at the clinic last time--particularly because my stims cycle was a bit of a disaster. Well, until it wasn't anymore.

So, my appointment was Monday. They checked my blood and did an ultrasound and everything looked good, so they scheduled my transfer for Monday at 1:45. I have to go in again Friday for more bloodwork, but otherwise I just show up, transfer (assuming the thaw goes according to plan) and cruise back home.

Weird, huh?

But, because it can't be all sunshine and roses, I did have to start the notorious PIO shots tonight. No, they're not awful. But, seriously? Is there anything fun about injecting sesame oil into your ass using a 18 gauge needle?

I don't know if I've mentioned that it's two years to the month since I started the stickies' IVF cycle.

Strange, isn't it? It seems just so long ago--like it was a whole other world or something. Everything feels so different now.

Also, I seem to have gotten out of my brief what-happened-to-my-20s funk, which is good. Hubby and I had a good chat about it and I came to a couple of realizations: 1. This state, in the long term, isn't for us. It's been great because we're closer to family, and for that reason we may stay here longer than we would otherwise, but all things being equal, we're keeping our options open. 2. My job is pissing me off. It's a good job, but--and I know this is going to sound self-aggrandizing or something--but I feel pretty underappreciated there. It's not even worth going into the petty details, but you know the drill. 3. I need to either find a job that isn't so damn frustrating (in a state that isn't so damn frustrating), or quit.

Of course, since quitting isn't an option, I serendipitously came across a job that would be a pretty damn good fit for me in....DC. So, I threw my hat into the ring. I don't know what will come of it, or if we'd take it even if anything did, but it just felt good to explore some options. It made me feel less trapped, which is always nice.

So, there you have it. Trying to get pregnant AND applying for a new job in a different state. Insane? Probably. But that's a label I'm totally comfortable with.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The $1 million question

Sarah asked a great question today: "if you have two frozen, what are you going to do if they both do well in the thaw."

We were indeed lucky enough to have to frozen. And they are indeed frozen together. Which means we may or may not have two to transfer.

In short, we're going to transfer both. And, yes, that does terrify me. To my core.

The thing is, I laid out a few conditions when we decided to do IVF. The biggest was that, we couldn't go into the process unless we were willing to raise as children all of the embryos we created.

And so, since we have to thaw both together. And since I really can't see destroying one, we're left with just the option to transfer whichever of our beloved stickcicles make it through the thaw.

It actually seems downright silly to contemplate the possibility that we'd get pregnant with twins again. I mean, the chances of both making it through the thaw in good shape are, sadly, probably not that high. (Though, as a testament to what a different place I am right now, I haven't even Googled that factoid yet. I will now, of course, but I haven't yet.) And, if they both do make it through in good shape, I believe there's only around a 25% chance that we'd get pregnant at all. And only a 16% chance that we'd get pregnant with twins. (Yes, those I researched through my clinic's SART reports.)

So, I guess I'm not really contemplating it as a REAL possibility.

But, if we're on the winning end of all of those stats? Well, then please buy me a good stiff drink and wish us the best.

In other completely random news, I've become obsessed with the song "Sometime Ar*und Midnight." Anyone familiar? If not, I highly recommend it. It's FANTASTIC. I've listened to it about a million times in the past 24 hours.

For some reason it really hit me. It's brought back a flood of emotions and memories from my 20s in DC. It's essentially the story of a guy who runs into an ex-love at a bar and is so overcome with emotion and memories.

And, it's funny, my emotional reaction to the song has been super strong. Not that it reminds me of any ex-love in particular or because the story really speaks to me. Rather, the song is so full of emotion and electricity and it just reminds me of those feelings--that madness that was my 20s.

I can remember going to bars and getting super excited about new dates and about the electricity that comes with seeing an intriguing new stranger across the room or getting a phone call from someone you're so excited to see again.

And I can remember getting so sad at break-ups. Wondering what happened. Worrying that I'd never find "the one."

It's funny, I think that's really the only time in life where you have those kinds of emotional highs and lows. Nowadays the everyday emotions seem almost muted by contrast. The electricity isn't quite there anymore.

And I don't mean the electricity of a new relationship, though that's part of it. But there was just something electric and exciting about the whole time period. I think it's the kind of electricity you can only feel when you're just starting out, sitting on the edge of the "real world" and just starting to dip your toes in the water. I didn't for example, feel the same electricity in high school and college. For some reason, living on my own for the first time, going out with the friends who were really your urban surrogate family, there was something electric about the whole era.

I'm not saying that I wish I was anywhere other than where I am today. But for some reason listening to this song has made me realize that that kind of electricity is really something you experience at a stage of life that, for better or worse, I've passed.

Of course, it had to pass. Being 34 and trying to live the way you lived when you were 22 is just...well, less electric than sad.

But, just because you're happy with the way your life has turned out and the way it's going doesn't mean you can't be nostalgic for the past.

Although, as I'm writing this, something is starting to occur to me. Actually, there is one other period that, in theory, should breed that kind of electricity--the period when you're trying to have kids and build your family. So, really, shouldn't I be feeling similarly excited now? Instead, though, I just feel...I don't know. Tired and scared, I guess.

It's really too bad, too. There's something wonderful about feeling that crazy mad electricity. And, it's too bad that I can't get more excited about this cycle and the journey it represents. But for us--for all of us--it's hard to get too excited because...well because of everything you all know all too well. So, rather than feeling excited, I'm just feeling...cautious.

Wow, this went in a different direction than I thought and ended up as a random tangent. Perhaps is the estraid*l talking? Either way, it's a good song. Check it out. :-)

In the meantime, bloodwork and ultrasound Monday and, if all goes well, transfer next week.

Wowzers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Game on

We had plans to go away to a casino with friends for Memorial Day weekend and I said that I didn't want to deal with the FET until after we got back. I wanted to be able to drink and play games and not bring tests or PIO or anything.

I got AF on Sunday night.

Way to punctuate my point, huh?

So, I went to Smirky today for my bloodwork and an ultrasound and am starting estraidol tonight.

You'd think I'd have more to say about this, wouldn't you? But it all seems so anti-climatic? Pills instead of injections? No HCG shot? No retrieval? It can't really be this easy, right?

And, you see, that's the thing. It feels just so damn unlikely that this could work out. But I know that I'll be disappointed if it doesn't. And I'm definitely nervous about opening that can of worms.

But, there you have it. Can, open. Worms... well, you get it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Great Bottle Standoff: Day 6

Monkey Girl has officially had about 10oz, give or take 2, since her last bottle Monday morning.

I admit it, she's winning the staring contest.

I talked to hubby today about giving in and just letting her have 1 bottle/day so that we could be sure she was getting enough milk. This whole, "stand firm even in the face of little to no beverage consumption" seemed like a good idea only when it seemed finite. Now that we're staring down the barrel of a girl who never drinks another glass of milk again, I'm second guessing my decision.

I was talking to our Nanny on Wednesday--just minutes before Monkey Girl drank the infamous 4oz from the sippy--and she mentioned, logically, that eventually she'd have to drink it.

"Why?"

"Well, she'll get thirsty."

It seemed so logical at the time. I guess I just never contemplated the level my beautiful young daughter would go to to avoid giving in.

So, my question is this. Does it really get worse if I wait to nix the bottles until she's older, or can I just suck it up and give the poor girl a bottle for the next few months (or until she's 15)?

In other news, I went to my boss's baby shower today. All I have to say is, thank GOD I'm not in the middle of treatments right now or I would have scratched out the eyes of about 87% of the attendees. In addition to there being a ton of babies--mine included--we spent the entire gift-opening session giving "mothering advice" to my boss. Seriously? Mothering advice? All that really did was give licenses to unleash every infertile's worst fear: unwelcome and insensitive fertile blabbering.

Mine advice was simple: "It's easier to have babies one at a time."

I realize in hindsight that isn't advice as much as it is a statement of fact. But, it's about the only thing I can say with any certainty. Everything else about "mothering" I am completely in the dark. There was a fellow twin mom at the shower. She totally had my back.

I was also thrilled that my colleague's wife--a fellow veteran stirrup queen--just adopted a baby about three weeks ago. The poor couple had been through hell--years of failed treatments, the uncertainty and waiting of domestic adoption, etc. Then, 11 weeks ago, they were chosen by a birth mom in Ohio. The woman asked them to fly out for the birth. They were thrilled, to say the least. They dropped everything and went.

24 hours after the birth, the birth mom changed her mind and sent them home.

!!!!!

I get that it's a tough decision, but don't do that. Seriously, just don't. My heart absolutely broke for them.

Then, two weeks ago (three?), the birth mom called and said, "do you still want to be (Baby girl)'s parents?"

Needless to say, they did. They flew back to Ohio, and are now the proud parents of a beautiful 11 week old baby.

Anyhow, my point, other than to share a wonderfully happy ending, is to say that all I could think about during the shower was how happy I was for her that this shower didn't happen before she got the wonderful news about her little miracle.

Wow, I'm a little all over the place today. So, I'll leave you with these. Check out the crossed legs. It totally cracks me up. And, sweet potato's eyelashes! I wish I could say he got them from me, but they're all hubby. So dreamy.



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On sippy cups and staring contests

You may not know it to read my blog, but I'm an incredibly strong-willed and independent. (Oh, wait--that was obvious? Am I that transparent?)

Evidence abounds, but when I was three, I can remember my earliest and perhaps boldest display of obstinacy. I was about three, maybe even younger, and was having some kind of temper tantrum over god-knows-what and my grandmother, who took care of us when my mom when to work, threatened to get out the wooden spoon.

I should preface this by saying that Grandma never laid a hand on me other than to hug me. The wooden spoon was more like a long-standing but idle threat. At three, though, I didn't understand the concept of idle threats. She threatened to get the wooden spoon, I thought she was serious, and I was PISSED. No way was I going to sit idly by and wait to get my come-uppance.

So, I did what any three year old would do. I screamed, "No," ran into the kitchen, got the wooden spoon, brought it back out to the living room, and broke it over my knee.

Take that, grandma!

My grandmother and my mother of course burst into hysterical laughter, which of course just ticked me off more, but that's a whole other story.

I tell you this to say that, as stubborn as I am, I think I've met my match in my beautiful 13-month-old little girl.

Monkey Girl loves her bottles. She's been holding her own since she was 6 months old and it just makes her happy. But like all things baby-related, almost as soon as they get attached, we have to break them of the habit. It makes me kind of sad, actually. Poor little thing.

Anyhow, this weekend we finally decided it was time. She knows how to use cups--regular and sippy. She just doesn't like to. She wants her bottle. So, we decided to bite the bullet, and on Monday morning she had her last one.

For two days she drank water out of the sippies, but refused milk. Even though she LOVES her milk. How the hell does a 13 month old have such strong preferences?!

So today we decided we had to ditch the water. We were only going to offer milk in cups or nothing.

Would you believe that when I got home from work at 4:30 she hadn't had a DROP to drink all day?

Seriously, people. We were having a staring contest and I was clearly LOSING.

Finally, after the 10th hour of the third day of the great sippy cup standoff, Monkey Girl pointed to the most bottle-like of all of the sippies, and proceeded to drink 4 oz.

Thank GOD! I swear I was becoming more and more convinced that she would never drink another drop of milk for as long as she lived.

But, the point of all of this is not about sippies. It's that my sweet, adorable 13-month old daughter went THREE FULL DAYS without her favorite thing in the world simply as a test of wills. And she's not even a fully rational being yet.

Holy crap I'm in trouble!

In other news, have I mentioned the extra 5lbs I put on when I stopped breastfeeding? Yeah, well I did. And I don't really have any good excuse that's keeping me off the treadmill.

Oh, and we've made no move for the FET. Hubby and I are going away with friends (and no kiddos) for the first time Memorial Day weekend. We're going to a casino and I'd like to be able to drink and NOT think about infertility or meds or HPTs. So, I think we'll consider going back for the stickcicles after that weekend. If all goes according to plan (HA! You have my permission to laugh.), I should get AF right after our weekend away. So, I suspect we'll head back to Smirky to get things rolling at that point.

For now, though? I guess I'm just not feeling ready. I'm having so much fun with Monkey Girl and Sweet Potato and I just don't want anything to distract me from them.

Soon, though. I know I'll never be "ready," so we'll just have to jump in feet first at some point. Just not quite yet.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Five Years

Five years ago today, I married my soulmate.

I don't say that lightly--I'm not a sap. Hubby is the romantic, not me. I think we both realized that on our first dating anniversary. He designed a necklace and had a jewler make it for me. I got him three Guinness glasses as a joke because I used to tease him because of his (low) tolerance.

Oops.

But, he is. He really puts up with me, no doubt more than anyone would tell him is prudent. And certainly a lot more than I deserve.

I've actually been struggling with that. We're both SO exhausted. In the past year, our jobs have gotten even more intense and challenging than they were. Hubby was promoted to COO of his organization, and I to the VP level (responsibility-wise). We work long, long hours.

To be sure, we both prioritize our kids above everything--I make it a priority to get home by 4:30 to be with them. But that means I regularly work until midnight to make up for it. And still go to bed behind.

So, we're exhausted. And, frankly, I'm not at my--ahem--best when I'm tired. To say the least. My fuse is shorter and my expectations higher. It's a bad combo.

But hubby puts up with me. He's so sweet. He brings me flowers and tucks me in. He makes me coffee in the morning and dinner at night. He takes care of me.

I'm not saying I don't pull my own weight. I do, and then some. Kid care, bill paying, house cleaning and laundry, etc. But, frankly, the things that he does and that he prioritizes are the ones that take care of me.

Of course, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for doing a load of laundry, but...

...ack! You see how ungrateful I am! Argh...

Anyhow, I'm digressing. The point is, hubby is sweet despite tiredness. I'm grouchy. Boo.

So, I'm struggling. I feel like on some level we've entered a stage in our marriage where our marriage is more about chores and kids than it is about us. And to ignore the impact that has on our relationship would be foolish. Not that we ever were doing it in cabs or anything, but it's...um...definitely less. And, frankly, I can't say that I mind. (See above: exhaustion, grouchiness, chores.)

But, I guess the reason I know I married my soulmate is that, despite all of this--all of the chores and exhaustion and grouchiness--I can't imagine going through any of it with anyone else.

Have you ever seen the movie "High Fidelity?" There's a scene where John Cusack's (I heart him!) girlfriend decides very unromantically and matter-of-factly at her father's funeral to get back together with John Cusack. When he asks why, she says, "because I'm too tired to be with anyone else."

I remember when I first saw that, I thought: WHAT?! Seriously, because you're too tired? Terrible idea.

She goes on to say, "I know it's not very romantic. But there will be more romance in the future. For now, I just want to go home."

That's the deal. I know I married my match becuase, when the chips are down, I just want to be with him. Nobody else.

So, while this isn't going to be the anniversary for us where we gaze longingly at each other across a table just before making wild passionate love to each other, it is the anniversary where I know, without a doubt, I am in love with the man I was meant to spend the rest of my life with.

I love you, sweetie. Here's to a sleep-in past 6am.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not this month...

As I mentioned in my last post, today was the cutoff date. If I didn't get AF by today, I'd have to wait a full cycle before starting the FET process.

Needless to say, AF didn't show up today. And so we wait.*

I guess in hindsight I am a little disappointed. Stupid IF. I mean, it's not like I was itching to start the FET. I meant what I said last time, that I was just going to leave it up to fate and not stress too much about it.

And I haven't been--I really didn't give it a second thought until this weekend when it occurred to me that the date was fast approaching.

But now that the window has closed, I'm just pissed. On some level that I can't even explain or even comprehend, it's serving as another reminder of how little control over our reproductive choices we have. How we're forced to "leave it to fate," and how many months we were on the wrong side of those odds.

I feel awful even feeling that way because I know how lucky we are. But somehow this is making me realize what we're up against. It's making me realize all of the wounds that we're going to open when we go down this path again. The fear. The disappointment. The uncertainty.

Being infertile sucks. I know that isn't eloquent, but it just does. There's no good spin to put on it. This is something that's supposed to be so easy, but it's not.

And I'm just angry. Or PMSing. Or both.

Bleh.

*Yesterday, the thought did cross my mind, "oh, hey, maybe I'm pregnant." Then I laughed my ass off and finished my second beer.