Thursday, February 28, 2008

To the Opera... and then to the RE!

Our appointment with the local RE is on April 16, just after my next visit from the haggard wench and after I get my CD3 bloodwork and testing done. I ought to be able to have the results by then so the RE and hubby and I can go over it all together. They said to expect the appointment to last about 45 mins to 1 hour. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I'm going to let you folks listen to some music. Well, okay, you can choose to listen to some music if you wish. Here's the deal...

In my gaming forum, there is a thread about what music we all enjoy. Now, my tastes range from true Canadian rock (Rush, Tom Cochrane, Trooper) to French pop (Mylène Farmer, Philippe LaFontaine, Vanessa Paradis), some Japanese from when I used to live there (B'z) and a huge assortment of house, dance and trance. Some are more effective than others, depending on the purpose. *wink wink*

My favourite group of all time, since 1982, has been Duran Duran. (God I would kill to have two minutes of John Taylor's time!!) The latest album, "Red Carpet Massacre" was produced in conjunction with Timbaland and marks a new sound for the band, which I really like. I think my favourite track on that album is "The Valley."

But lately, two of my absolute favorites are the following:

A friend of mine turned me onto this group: Placebo. He did that by telling me that Placebo's song, "Pure Morning" would be perfect to describe my character in the game. I immediately went to and searched for their music, and found this video. Since hearing that song, I've played their CD daily in my car and I am gunning to get more CDs. LOVE their stuff. I'm looking for more CDs; given that they're European, I figure I'll have to get it from an online site somewhere. Anyway, this is "Pure Morning."

The second was sweeping Youtube for quite awhile and in fact, I am thrilled to say that I have tickets to see this man on March 17. This is Paul Potts, the winner of "Britain's Got Talent" (the British equivalent of "American Idol"). I get goosebumps when I hear him sing. It is opera. And OMG, it is like nothing I've heard before. This is his audition and the reaction of the audience and judges. Nice to see Simon Cowell is dumbstruck for once!

Friday, February 22, 2008


Oh dear Lord... where do I START?! At the beginning maybe. Settle in with a coffee though; this is going to be a heckuva post, both with regard to length and emotional factor.

First of all, to all the people wishing us luck for yesterday's appointment, via e-mail, messaging, posts, phone calls, etc., thank you so much. Knowing that people are thinking about you, wishing you well, hoping and praying that news is good and that everything works out... I am so grateful and thankful to each of you. It's an amazing feeling to know that someone else is sorta holding your hand through this, you know? Did your hand get tired at all through the drive to Montréal? What about the wait at the clinic? How about while we dealt with our almost three-hour appointment?! I bet you let go when I had to go have that ultrasound, didn't you? Or did you finally give out while we had dinner and drove home to Ottawa? Well, whenever you might have let go of my hand, I don't think that I felt you let go. Somehow, I think a lot of you are still right there with me. And that feels DARN good, guys. I love you for it. I need that.

As I mentioned, it's been a very stressful week for me, just leading up to this. And yesterday, just as we had pulled out of Timmie's coffee after getting a coffee for the drive, my cell phone rang. It was our security company for our home alarm; the sensor in our living room had gone off and they had notified the police. Oh dear Lord... no. Not now. My stomach rolled and my husband drove as fast as possible (somewhere near 150 km/hr) down the highway back to our house. We beat it. We actually got there before the cops! But nothing was wrong. No attempt at entry, no footprints near either door, nothing that would have set off the alarm. Tell me that the cats didn't set it off!?!? The darn thing is set for a certain weight limit; the cats SHOULDN'T have set it off!!!! If they did, they were balled up together and making an awful huge rumble around the house! *shakes a fist* My nerves were shot. Totally and utterly shot. Nice way to start the day.

Take Two...
Off we go to Montréal and we find the clinic easily enough. No problem. Now... parking? That's another story. Insanity. Dear heavens. We drove around the parking area for more than 20 minutes. Waiting. Hoping. Praying for someone to leave and yield a spot for us. Eventually, after incurring the wrath of a rather large, French-speaking, angry-looking man (yeah yeah, va te faire foutre, petit con!) we found a spot. I sucked in my breath, took our stuff and got out of the car to find...

... a missing hubcap. Oh this day just gets better and better, doesn't it? Somewhere along the highway, one of our hubcaps decided to go walkabout and tumbled off to pastures much greener than we can provide. Or... whiter, as the case may be cause the whole freakin' province is covered in snow. I'm sick of the stuff. But that's a story for another day. Yes, so, a missing hubcap. Let's get back to the story. When I last had to replace a hubcap like mine, it cost me $120. Joy. *eyeroll* I'll get to it eventually. Not a priority at the moment; my dough is being saved for IVF.

We go in, get cards for the hospital (each hospital has it's own registration card here) and head up to the 6th floor. We stopped at the desk to let them know we were there and then headed out to grab a bite. Okay, hubby grabbed a bite. I had a drink and a few bites of his sandwich; my stomach was jumpy and irritable. I was on edge and I thought that at any moment, I was just gonna hurl. Or dry heave. Or both. I didn't care. I was a total mess. I don't know how I managed to keep it together, really.

We got called in (while I was in a washroom, trying not to toss my cookies) and settled ourselves with a resident (Dr. Levine I think?) to go through our questionnaire and file, test results, attempts and all the rest. He took a plethora of notes on multiple pages of paper. He asked a ton of questions. He wondered about medications, amounts, combinations, procedures, hormone levels, concerns, and much, much more. I was able to reel off dates and times, quantities, issues, outstanding problems, etc. like I knew what I was talking about. Huh. Go figure. I guess that is what four years of this will get you. Not something I ever wanted to be able to do though, if the truth be told.

The big cheese
Dr. Tan, the director of the clinic, took our case himself. He sat down and went through the info and notes as explained to him by Dr. Levine. Darn thorough job too, if I do say so myself. Some observations:

-- he was appalled that we had done so many IUIs without being referred for IVF
-- he indicated that I was being underdosed on Metformin (which I knew, and had indicated before to my doctor, to be told, "No, it's enough.")
-- he told me that although my TSH was often in the high end of the normal range, it needs to be below 1.0 to get pregnant and STAY pregnant, given my personal circumstances with hypothyroidism. He expects to have to increase the dosage of synthroid, based on bloodwork that he subsequently ordered.
-- he wants a full karotype (gene mapping) done for both me and hubby, to see if we carry the genes that can cause recurrent miscarriage
-- he wants a full workup on hubby, to see if he still produces sperm and if we can use that sperm via surgical extraction (MESA/TESA)
-- he wants more bloodwork for me for recurrent pregnancy loss
-- he wants me to do an insulin resistance test (yes, drinking that icky orange mixture that you all talk about ladies!) to see if we're dealing with other issues that can be treated
-- he tried, right there and then, to get their urologist to see my husband, in case anything else needed to be considered but no luck; we have an appointment in Montréal on March 31 with the urologist
-- he wants me to see a proper RE who knows more about the thyroid and the possible issues that are giving me problems
-- he indicated that dependent on the hormone levels and what can be changed with medication, that I might wish to consider lap-band surgery for weight loss prior to trying IVF, although he told me that it would not be required in his opinion. He gave me the name and e-mail of the surgeon who performs that surgery at McGill, in case I'm interested.
-- he said that we can have a lot of monitoring done in Ottawa and go to Montreal for the procedures only, for the most part
-- he requested a current ultrasound, ASAP. So... off we went for that.

Well, first I had to check my girly bits to see if it was Day 1; I'm right on the cusp yanno. With verification that I wasn't yet menstruating, Dr. Levine ushered me into an ultrasound room a few doors down, and I 'assumed the position.' Oh boy. It's been a number of months since I was intimate with a dildo-cam. The familiar feelings came right back again: Dread. Fear. Hatred of my own body and its inability to do something so normal. I know that some of you probably understand those feelings too. It's mind-boggling to me how we can shove that out of the way when we're not trying, but as soon as we go back to TTC, we're right in that negative place again, you know? I despise it.

Well, the first thing out of my husband's mouth was, "What's that?" and I knew. A cyst. A damn cyst. Again. Here we go again. Same as before. Right side. Approximately 4x5 centimetres. And just happy as a clam in my warm, cushy, 8mm thick uterus. Just chillin. Nice. I sighed. Here we go again. If you remember,I had a laparoscopy in April 2006 to remove one cyst; how much do you wanna bet I will need another? Anyway, that's to be tested again next month with another ultrasound. (Add that to the list of tests above.) But he also saw 8-9 little follicles on each side, at about 5mm and less. He had to poke and prod for the left ovary though; it was tucked up behind the uterus yesterday, given the position I was lying in. And the way he poked, ouch! Never, in all my years of dildo-cams, have I had THAT pain. Eeek. That was awfully uncomfortable. Grin and bear it, right ladies? Yet one more thing we must do all in the name of reaching the goal at the end.

That done, we sat and waited to go over the requisitions and timing, make appointments, etc. with the nurse. I left there with a packet of papers that is rather daunting. I walked out of the building in a daze. We got back to the car. And I wept.

More tears
I wept in frustration. All the times I told my doctor that I thought I needed to increase my dose of Metformin.

I wept for all the times I told doctors that I know there is a thyroid problem, and my TSH needs to be MUCH lower than the supposed high normal that it was.

I wept because at long last, a doctor is testing for the possiblity of recurrent miscarriages and the two that I know I have already miscarried.

I wept from relief... a doctor who is finally listening to me. Who understand. Who GETS IT and sees my frustration and anger.

I wept because we have a chance. We need to get these things taken care of, see where that leads us, and we MIGHT just have a chance.

As I sat there in the car, trying to compose myself, my cell phone rang. It was my friend T who lives in Montréal. We made plans to pick her up from work and then we headed out near her house to a restaurant for dinner. She and I shared a bottle of red wine and some of the stress seemed to let go. Not much; I still feel overwhelmed. But some, at least.

Today, I've already checked to see which labs do Karotyping and when. I have faxed the RE appointment requisition to the clinic here, in the hopes that I get an appointment soon. I'm keeping an eye on my cycle, cause I need bloodwork on CD3 next month and I'll need another ultrasound.

And when all is said and done, we're moving forward. Again. Now is when I need you all to hold my hand. Tightly please. Don't let go. Cause I'm scared where all this will lead.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I think Thalya summed it up best when she titled her post "Just Scared This Time."

I am 110%, entirely, completely, and utterly petrified about today's appointment in Montréal. I don't know why exactly; I think it's a myriad of things that all combined in one ball of stress last night to such an extent that I wracked sobs as I held onto my husband and he stroked my hair, trying to reassure me that it's going to work out, and that I have no reason to be afraid.

But I am. And that won't go away until we get good news. Until then, I'll take all the good vibes we can get.

We leave to head up there in about an hour or so. Depending on what they tell us, we will either be in a good mood and go socialize and have fun with my friend T, or we'll hop in the car and I'll cry all the way home.

Here's hoping it's the former. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shedding Tears

Yesterday I got a Valentine's Card from my mother in the mail. I cried. I sat at my kitchen table, alone in the house and sobbed openly like a five-year old who's bike had been stolen and who was never again going to have another one.

Why did I cry, you ask? A plethora of reasons in fact.

Not only did she send me a card, she sent a bunch of photocopied pictures. There were old photos of my Aunt L and Uncle B... way back when Uncle B -had- hair! There were pictures of my Aunt B and Uncle B... before that uncle passed away in the 1980s. A picture or two of the youngest of my aunts, Aunt L, was in there too. There were photos of my grandfather and grandmother (Mom's parents), which were fantastic to see. I only have a few photos of them, so any that I can lay my hands on are wonderful. And photos of my mom and dad, when I didn't even warrant a twinkle in their eyes! Mom in the cat's-eye glasses of the 60s; it is amazing to see. I ought to scan them and upload them here. Anyway, my mom told me that Aunt L had found them while cleaning out her bedroom and there was a full bag of old photos. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on them and make them into electronic versions. I adore my family. No one could ask for better. So I cried because I felt an overwhelming rush of emotion at seeing so many wonderful memories in my hands.

And along with the photos, Mom sent money. She sent some cash along and instructed me to buy some candy or chocolate for my stepchildren for Valentine's Day. No problem. I cried because she is so giving to hubby's kids. She remembers every birthday, anniversary, event, occasion, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's, graduation, milestone and she ALWAYS makes sure she notes it. God bless her for that.

And yet more money was included, with a note folded around the bills. "For a bottle of wine or lunch in Montreal next week. Love you." Mom knows we are going to McGill next Thursday for our appointment at the IVF clinic. She's keeping track and cheering for us, I know. I love her for that. (And for so much more, obviously.) And thus I shed tears for her thoughtfulness.

But the main reason I sat there and sobbed buckets of tears? Simply because I don't know if I will ever give my mother the opportunity to send a loving, caring, thoughtful note or memento to a grandchild. And I feel like I've robbed her of that opportunity and let everyone down. So I sat and shed tears for not only my loss, but for the loss that each and every member of our family deals with because of our situation. Because in the end, I have a beautiful, wonderful, loving, caring, giving family. And they may never have the chance to extend that love to another generation.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oh me nerves!

I don't know why, but I'm truly on edge these days. I mentioned that to my husband this morning while getting dressed. It's been another night of fitful sleep, when I wake unrefreshed and my forehead is creased with a frown.

He suggested to me that I might not be getting a good night's sleep because of the stress (minimal though it is) of him changing jobs and not getting a full pay until he is properly entered into the government's payroll system. For those not in the know, sometimes when you get a job with the government, it takes a few weeks, or more... depending) to get your particulars entered in time enough to make the cut-off dates to issue paycheques. I don't know; he might be right about that. Not only is he changing jobs, but also workplace locations, pay weeks (we used to get paid on opposite weeks, now we get paid on the same day), schedules (previously a 7-3 shift, now 9-5), and gym routines. Mind you, I haven't been to the gym in ages, given the torn calf muscle. It's still tender, but I need to get back to the gym and working at least SOME muscle groups.

Anyway, yes. Changing jobs. That might be one reason for my subconscious stress. There are other possible reasons though. I mean, think about it; in two weeks, we have our consultation in Montreal and that will determine whether we stay on this road or... or... or what? If we don't stay on this road, however hellish it may be, what do we do then? Do I think about adopting? Can I think about adopting?! I'm not in a place to consider that right now. My mind cannot fathom that aspect of the road at the moment. One step at a time, right? I mean, if and when I -need- to consider that, maybe I will.

Right now, I'm just trying to get as far as the IVF. If I don't take this journey one step at a time, it'll all blow up in my face. I'm convinced of that. Jeez, we've had stuff blow up on us already with this journey, so heavens knows, I am not hopeful by any means right now. But I need to check out the possibility of doing IVF because if I don't, in 10 years, I'll regret it. And my motto is, "Il vaut mieux vivre avec des remords qu'avec des regrets." So I have to try. I just have to, for my own peace of mind. It'll eat me alive if I don't and I would never forgive myself for having not explored it. So I owe myself at least that much. I think. Maybe? *sighs* Who the hell knows anymore.

Dreams, again
Anyway, I woke this morning, heart racing, from yet another vivid dream. I must make a note of the date. Betcha anything I have these weird dreams right as I ovulate! Last night's dream was nothing short of epic. I dreamed about the end of the world. I saw dustclouds and vast empty spaces, void of time, air and energy, approaching the earth, crawling over the grasslands and mountains, coming ever closer to steal humanity from the world. I remember being with my Dad and my sister, holding my sister's hands in my own, and telling her how much I loved her and how wonderful she was to me; that I could never have a better sister if I had chosen her myself. I remember kissing my Dad's cheek and thanking him for being a good father. I remember stolen moments with my husband, grabbing his hand tightly in mine. And I remember looking for my mother. Oddly enough, she was standing in a room, a washroom I guess, curling her hair. The room had a red door, and as we passed the door (which for some reason was open to the street), she opened it and beckoned me inside. I went to her, and spent time with her, telling her how much I admired her and loved her. And then... nothing. The world became desolate around us... and fade to black. Very odd dream.

I think I need to tell these people how much they mean to me. At least I got that out of the dream.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Reminder to my readers... Pancake Day!

Tomorrow is Pancake Day (aka Shrove Tuesday); one day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I can't believe it's been a year since I posted about our Pancake Day Traditions.

As a quick recap, here is what I said last year about the items that you put in your pancake batter:

"In Newfoundland, you are supposed to put trinkets into your pancake batter. Each trinket was symbolic of the future and it was so much fun as a child to try to find the trinket that you wanted. I carry this tradition with me wherever I go, and every year, on Pancake Day, I still make pancakes for my husband and me. The trinkets traditionally used were the following:
-- a penny, to symbolize poverty
-- a nickel, to symbolize wealth
-- a string, to symbolize a fisherman (if a boy got the string, he would be a fisherman, if a girl did, she would marry one)
-- a wedding ring, to symbolize that you would marry soon
-- a button, to symbolize that you would never marry
-- a nail, to symbolize that you would soon pass away
-- a thimble, to symbolize that you would be a seamstress (a girl) or a tailor (a boy)"

So tomorrow night, I'll be making Pancakes and throwing some of these trinkets in the mix. Hopefully the future will hold something bright for me and my husband.

I'm glad I'm in a better emotional place this year for Pancake Day. This past weekend, we celebrated my stepson's 12th birthday. I can't believe that my husband's children are as old as this! I met them when they were little tiny things, a mere 4 and 6 years old and now they're 12 and 13! Dear Lord, where has the time gone?

Hubby and I are looking forward to heading to Montreal for our first IVF consultation on February 21. And this past weekend, I got an e-mail from a woman who's been down this route as well. She's close to my age, and after transferring to McGill, she got lucky with her first IVF: she is 20 weeks along. I can only hope. So I will continue to do that and maybe glean a little knowledge about McGill's process from her along the way.

Enjoy your Pancake Day everyone. I know we will!

Thoughts and prayers to...
Mary-Ellen and Steve, who have just suffered a great loss. This journey isn't fair and having to deal with the loss of triplet daughters, an infection, and an induced coma is far beyond what any one should have to deal with. My thoughts are with them both at this very difficult time. Pop over there and let them know you're thinking of them too.