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.


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.


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.