Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hold on, the coaster is on the way up!

We all talk about how the whole IF thing is a h*lluva rollercoaster. Well, if this cycle is a rollercoaster, then we're on the way up right now. The car has just engaged on the track and you can hear the "click, click, click" as you start to rise. This is when you are smiling and holding the safety bar pretty loosely, giggling like a schoolgirl at the fun you're about to have. Though, I never imagined sub-cue injections as being "fun" in the grand scheme of things.

My appointment at the RE's this morning went well. Here are the stats.

Endometrium: 6.92 (really good for CD8 he says)
Right: two @ 9mm each
Left: one @ 9mm (Wow, I have three good follies this month! Superb!)
Pure.gon injections: 50 IUs started as of today; to continue until next appointment
Next appointment: Friday, June 1 @ 7:30 a.m.

Keep arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Here we go!

Monday, May 28, 2007

One More Year

My birthday is today; I'm 37. Wow. That sounds old. When did that happen? I wasn't paying attention obviously.

Another year passed by without any luck. Another year of hopes and dreams... gone. And as I embark on this year, I hold on to a shred of hope. The faint glimmer that somewhere, out there, someone is listening and can make this work. That God is listening to my prayers and will help us achieve this goal and fulfil our dreams.

A tiny sliver of certainty tells me something else: If I get to 38 and still haven't been lucky, then it will be time to throw in the towel. So I have one year left. One year to do this and be successful.

I hold hope that this new donor will bring us luck. I feel good about changing donors and I feel good about this coming cycle. But I don't feel so good about my birthday.

When you're a child, birthdays are so important. They mark huge milestones. "I'm 5," so that means going to school. "I'm 10," oooh, double digits! "I'm 13," a teenager! "I'm 17," a drivers licence! "I'm 19," give me a beer! "I'm 25," quarter of a century! And on and on it goes. Milestones to celebrate and enjoy. But at 37, there are no milestones. There are no huge things to mark anymore. There is... nothing. Oh yes, of course, there are wishes from family and friends. There is love from my husband and I recognize that I am lucky in many respects. These things are not trivial, by no stretch of the imagination and I give thanks for them. However, at age 37, I'd hoped to have children by now and to look forward to celebrating THEIR birthdays and milestones, rather than just marking passing years in my own life. There are bigger, more important things in life than me. And I would love to be part of that.

Please God, may this year bring me the ultimate birthday gift.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Coping... and Next Steps

The Red Wench (aka AF) is gone and I've already started Clomid for this cycle. At this point, I don't know whether to laugh or cry about that.

Thank you for your kind words. It is so good to know that there are people here who really GET IT. You understand. You've been there and you know the pain, the tears and the grief. It's draining isn't it? I feel utterly drained when the realization hits me that yet again, the IUI didn't work. I get lethargic. I get weepy. I withdraw and want to curl in a ball under the covers and not come out for a week. I become resentful and sullen and quiet. My friends see this and they know. They encourage me and give me a shoulder to lean on. But I wonder how much of my seesaw emotions my friends can truly deal with. I'm sure many of my male friends are just sick of it by now... one or two in particular. Logicially, they understand quite well what I'm going through. But psychologically? Emotionally? I'm not sure. YOU guys do get it though. And that is why I am here. Because sometimes I need to lean on this thoughtful, caring community; I know you've travelled this path as well. And together, somehow we'll get through it.

I am trying very hard to look on the bright side and maintain my (normally) positive outlook on life. On the positive side, we've only really tried three times with GOOD sperm. A mere three times where we had a real chance. That isn't all that many, is it? Or am I deluding myself? Sure, we tried for ages with my husband's aspirated sperm, but we never knew the quality of that sperm, the quantity, the motility, whether there were issues, etc., because when you aspirate, you cannot get enough sperm to do a semen analysis. So after biting the bullet and moving to a donor, we've only had three attempts. In the grand scheme of things, that is relatively reasonable right?

Anyway, reasonable or not, I just spent another $1500 for three more samples. But this time, a different donor. The one we had used last time is not available at the moment. Hubby and I narrowed down our choices and we sent in our list of three. Of that list of three, our first choice isn't available, but our second choice is. And from what I can gather, he's relatively young. For some reason, that strikes me as odd... having a young guy come in to "get the job done." I'm crossing my fingers that his sperm CAN get the job done. If we aren't successful with these three attempts, we're moving to the bigger, badder version of all of this: IVF.

I have an appointment on CD8 to determine whether I'll be using Pure.gon again this time around. And an appointment for that PAP shortly thereafter. Here we go again. I hate this rollercoaster now; does the ride ever end?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No. D*mmit.

She's back. Stupid, haggard old b*tch that I described here.

Hubby and I ran a few errands after work and then I came home and cried my eyes out.

I'm getting tired of all this and I don't know how much more I can take. I really, really don't.

F*ck. When will I ever be good enough?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"What's the Scoop?"

Today, I'm on CD26, 15DPO, and... I'm afraid to check. No kidding. I don't even want to go to the bathroom. How long can I hold it I wonder? Seriously though, if this month worked, I gotta say, I'll be totally shocked. I did everything WRONG this month. Heavy lifting? Check. Drinking wine AND cider on two separate occasions? Check. Indulging in rich foods? Check. Forgot my progesterone one night? Check. Crazy hours and insane stress? Check. Travelling out of the country and flying by the seat of your pants? Check. Oh yeah. I did it all. H*ll, I think I even ate... *gasps* deli meats. Oh yes my friends. I am sure I've been the worst of the worst this month.

Regardless, I haven't had much time to dwell on it all. I got back from Minneapolis on Friday evening and I've been going non-stop all weekend. So has my washer for that matter. And hubby and I spent about three hours yesterday washing and waxing the car, doing the detailing, etc. Looks spectacular, but sheesh, I'm wiped!

I have a lot more yet to do before my folks and my two aunts arrive next Wednesday for a 10-day visit. My place has got to be smelling of Javex and so clean you could eat off the floors before I let them set foot in the door. Believe me. They're all in West Virginia right now, visiting my sister and her husband and Mom commented on how my sis smelled of Javex when they walked in the door. But oh how lovely and clean her house is! So I guess I gotta pick up the tumbleweeds of cat fur wafting around my place huh? Crap. Oh well. Life goes on.

Minneapolis was such a blast though! I learned so much, got tons of swag and software samples for our team; and I took pages and pages of notes. I met up with a guildmate of mine (from Everquest II) and he showed me his gorgeous city. We had fun hanging out together. I got to go shopping at the Mall of America. Oh wow! It's freakin' HUGE but so neat to see. While there, I splurged on some clothing; two pretty blouses and a new pair of much-needed jeans. Actually, my sister bought me one of the blouses and the jeans for my birthday. I spent a couple of days with my sister and we had a meal or two out. She gave me the BEST birthday card ever (yes, my birthday is next week); we laughed like schoolgirls for about 10 minutes over that one. Seriously, I laughed til I cried. I haven't laughed like that in ages! It was great to see and spend time with her. I miss my sis. I don't think I realized just how much. Just so you know G, I do miss you. Tons.

And as for the scoop? Thanks for asking Shlomit sweetie. But I don't have much hope. I usually go to 26 days and then BLAM, CD27 comes and so does the old hag. So don't hold your breath; you'll die before I POAS!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Minneapolis Meme!

Yes folks, I'm still in Minneapolis. And now that my conference is over, I can finally BREATHE! On Tuesday, I took 17 pages of notes; I've yet to type them and make sense of my chicken scratches. But I'm still alive. I'm staying with my sister in her hotel room at the moment and seeing as her WiFi is free, I'm finally catching up with everyone out there in blogland.

And in all that catching up, I see that Shlomit at You're Still Young!! has tagged me. Tagged!? Me?! Heck, I didn't even see it coming. I didn't even get a second to duck! Sheesh.

Anyway, according to the rules of the (stealth) tagging, I am to share eight true things about myself and then turn it over to you. If you want to know more about the info herein, post a comment and just ask. Okay you ready? Here we go...

1. Okay, I confess. My writing doesn't look like chicken scratches. I'm actually very proud of my handwriting and I love the feel of a pen in my hand. I've been stopped by strangers who comment on my handwriting. When I lived in Europe, I adored going to the papeteries (shops that sell notepads, paper, pens, etc.). I'm the sort of person who would gleefully spend $4500 on a Mont Blanc fountain pen if I were flush with money. Of course, if I were that flush with money, I'd run straight to IVF/ICSI wouldn't I?

2. I thrive on stress. Something about pressure and stress of deadlines, responsibilities and the need to fulfill committments or live up to expectations drives me like nothing else. I love to make other people happy and do the best job I can doing everything I do. In keeping with that, I just accepted a temporary assignment as the Acting Manager of my section. Long story. I'll fill you in later. *chews nails* Did I do the right thing??

3. When asked in interviews, "What is your greatest strength?" and "What is your greatest weakness?" my response is the same: I am a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist is a bit of h*ll though; some part of me can never relax and just say that everything is done.

4. I wish I had another degree. I have two, a B.A. in French with an English minor, and a B.A. Honours in Translation. However, I desperately wanted to attend a university over in Europe (apparently the only one in the world) that offers a degree in Translation with a Terminology specialization in one of the three fields of Science, Medecine or Technology. I love all three fields and it would be hard to make a decision. Oh well. I'll never have to. I'll never get it I'm sure, but I can dream.

5. Hi, my name is Gil and I am a gamer. *Chorus* "Hi Gil." In 2001, my hubby introduced me to online gaming. I started playing EverQuest and I migrated to Everquest II in November 2004 when it launched. I love playing in the virtual world and I have met people and made friends all over the world because of my gaming link. I have played the same character now for 6, going on 7 years, and that builds a reputation on the server (a roleplaying server, Antonia Bayle) and in the game. I'm an officer in my guild (Raven Guard) and I hope I do a good job of promoting roleplaying, public relations, organizing events and providing information to people. Back to the perfectionist thing... no point in doing anything half-a$$ed right? By the way, I also keep a roleplaying journal for my character online. I update that about once or twice a week for my friends' reading pleasure.

6. I hate being so far from my family. I wish I could do what I do now, but do it at home nearer to everyone that I love. I would move in a heartbeat if I could find good work. I hate that I can't even take my mom out for lunch now and then. And God, I miss the ocean.

7. My family likes to tell me that I can succeed at anything. H*ll, even my RE said that to me once; that he knows that I can do anything I put my mind to and that failure is not an option. Except for two things... I have never been able to do the one thing that I would love to do. Lose weight. Not successfully. And now, I can add IF to that. That beats on my psyche. It's very difficult to accept and deal with, as so many of us know.

8. I wear a few pieces of jewellry that are very important to me. My engagement ring and wedding ring of course. Then I have a ring with a large emerald (my birthstone) surrounded by little diamonds on my right hand. That was a gift from my parents on my 22nd birthday; on that same day, back in 1992, I graduated with my first degree. My gold hoop earrings were a gift from my paternal grandmother. My diamond earrings (two holes in each ear) were a Christmas gift from my husband. And around my neck, a long gold box-chain (from my mom). On that chain, I used to wear a pendant that belonged to my maternal grandmother. When she passed away in 1988, each of the women in the family got a piece of her jewellry. That was mine and until earlier this year, I wouldn't ever be parted with it. Though for fear of losing it, I just recently received a new pendant from my husband and I tucked my grandmother's pendant away for safekeeping.

There you have it. My meme for today. Now, over to you. If you have questions, post them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer you.

AND I'm to tag five others. So, over to the following people:

Pam @ Baby Wanted: Apply Within
Marie @ Can PCOS and CBAVD make 3?
Eric @ Life as a Dad to Donor Insemination (DI) Kids
Vee @ The Sweet Life
Samantha @ Jason and Samantha's Journey to Parenthood

For those of you looking for an update on the IF front, I've NEVER had to pee this much in my life! This is nuts. Either I have a UTI or this month worked. Lord, I hope it's the latter. Love to you all in blogland!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Keeping Busy

I head out this afternoon for that conference in Minneapolis. I can only hope that I have everything; if not, it's too late now!!

In getting things together to go, I popped by T's house last night to pick up a catalogue that I wanted to take with me on my trip. T is a girlfriend who is undergoing DIUI as well, to be a single mom by choice. I admire her courage and her strength. We chatted awhile and she told me about her ex-boyfriend who was (in her words) a total loser. I have to be honest, there's no disputing her opinion. She's a strong, beautiful woman and that guy was a bit of a dweeb. Yes, they may have spoken about marriage and children together, but honestly, I think she's better off without one like that. Hang in there T; I have faith for us both.

It's CD15 today, otherwise known as 4DPO. I hate the 2ww, with a passion. Thank heavens I have so many distractions this time around. I can't wait to hook up with my sister. I am really looking forward to meeting and spending some time with my guildmate/friend as well. Not to mention the conference itself and then some work we have to do around the house before my folks visit towards the end of the month. Whew!

In other news, GO SENS GO! The hometown team is in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Buffalo Sabres, and the Sens stole the show last night with a 5-2 win. I predict the Stanley Cup will come down to the Sens and the Red Wings. This'll be good hockey! Guaranteed!

Before I forget, a message to Pam and Dtrini: Hubby and I will be home during the long weekend so if you come through the area, by all means, let's get together for a chat over coffee, if nothing else. We can meet you somewhere convenient or you can certainly pop by our place. Write to me at my e-mail address in my profile and we'll hook up. That would be superb!

Speaking of hooking up, Serenity is doing a marvelous job of putting together the IF Bloggers' Gathering later this summer. If all goes well, hubby and I will be heading to Boston sometime in August for a few days. THAT would be so wonderful, to see so much support and love in one place and to be able to give it as well. Kudos to you Serenity. You're doing a wonderful thing.

And to those of you who have found the rainbow that I still seek, I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day. May it be a joyous occasion. Of course, I cannot celebrate it as a mother, but guess I can as a stepmother... I suppose. Sort of. In a way. *heaves a sigh* My mom isn't close for Mother's Day either, so the best I can do is call her. I already sent her a card and I have an idea for a little gift when she arrives for that visit later this month. But for now, wishes are all I have. Wishes, hopes and dreams.

Cheers everyone. I'll post an update from Minneapolis... assuming there is something worth updating!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hot Off the Presses: The Follie Report

I've been so swamped with things at home I've been neglecting updating here. Shame on me. Tsk tsk. I went to the RE last week on CD8 with the expectation that I would be starting Pure.gon sub-cue injections. Not so fast Gil... the measurements of the follicles on a mere CD8 threw a monkey wrench into THOSE plans. Here are the details.

Friday, CD8
Endometrium = 5.3 (rather thin, but it was only CD8)
Follies = two dominant ones, 1.5 and 1.7; two smaller ones visible at about 1.3 each

Because of the size of the follicles today, I was sent home with no Pure.gon. I was told I was a "good responder" this month to the Serophene (aka Clomid). I replied, "That's a good thing, no?"

Monday, CD11
I saw a huge temp spike this morning and all weekend I saw lotiony/watery CM.
Endometrium = 9.3 (very good according to the RE)
Follies = one dominant one left, 2.42; some free fluid visible

He thinks I may have ovulated with one of those dominant ones, but was wondering about the second dominant follie that was still present. So he gave the trigger shot, and used half the donor sample, and prescribed 200mg progesterone (ugh... I hate that stuff) for 14 days, starting tonight.

Tuesday, CD12
Endometrium = 8.9 (variations in measurement due to angle; over 8.0 is optimum he said)
Follies = none visible, lots of free fluid and corpus luteum visible

Knowing that the second dominant follicle did release, he used the second half of the donor sample.

And as usual, now the wait begins. I have a lot to keep me busy at the moment though. I leave Friday for a week-long conference and visit with a friend as well as my sister. Then I get back and I have a boatload of work to accomplish before my folks visit near the end of the month. Add to that the renovation work hubby and I are just finishing with the flooring in the second spare room and I've got more than enough on my plate!

But yanno, if this month came with a BFP, it would be the best thing to add to all the other things I'm doing. Not to mention that it'd make a sweet birthday gift for me. Fingers crossed. Here we go!

Sending love to...
Sara over at Of Course You'll Get Pregnant! She got a BFP the other day, the same day that she got a new house. Talk about special days in your life! Congratulations Sara; I'm keeping my fingers crossed that your beta numbers stay that good!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dirt... it's what's for dinner.

Today's local newspaper carried the article entitled, "Sweeping development: Dust bunnies good for babies." I had to give a little laugh.

I grew up in a household that would have been considered immaculate by 99% of the world. No, wait, let me make that IMMACULATE. Every Saturday morning, before my sister and I got up, my mom religiously got down on her hands and knees and cleaned her kitchen floor as well as the front and back porch. It was easy to see the tracks of the vacuum cleaner in the carpet from one week to the next... because people were afraid to make footprints in them! Heck, I had a girlfriend in high school who once confessed to me that she didn't like coming to our house because it was too clean and she felt she'd mess something up. You laugh? Nope. I'm dead serious. I kid you not.

Now, while I am nowhere NEAR the housekeeper my mother is, nor that my aunts are, and I certainly don't come close to my maternal grandmother (God bless her) who would roll in her grave if she saw the dust bunnies and tumbleweeds of cat fur in my house, my house is often cleaner than many people's places. I think I have OCD... *hides*

Correction, I KNOW I have OCD when it comes to a few things. Such as hand-washing for example. I read an article last week that encouraged people to wash their hands more frequently to prevent the spread of germs and disease. They quoted "experts" as saying that if we washed our hands between 5 and 8 times per day, then we would see an improvement. Um... okay. You folks won't believe this but my hubby can verify it. Last year, after a comment from my mom about how she noticed I DESPISED dirty hands and obsessively wash my own, I decided for sh*ts and giggles to count the number of times I washed my hands in the morning between the time I get out of bed and the time I leave the house for work. The number I came up with?



In an hour and ten minutes, I washed my hands 12 times. Scary huh?

I look at it this way... between today's article about exposure to fungal molecules and the boost they give to immune systems, etc., and knowing how obsessive I am about my hands, any child of mine will be picked up by relatively clean hands, but hey, what's on the floor is free game. Have at it. But try to leave some for a midnight snack.