Wednesday, October 27, 2010

14 Months

I've been laid up for a little while with what started as a cold, and has developed into pneumonia. Oh joy. I sorta feel like I've been run over by a truck, but I really hope the antibiotics I was prescribed are doing their thing. I hope to be back at the office tomorrow.

It's been a busy few weeks. My mom and aunt visited for five days, enjoying their time with Petite immensely. They just can't get enough of her and they love to dote on her. It's wonderful to see. They also were very generous with their time and filled our freezer to the brim with meals that ought to let us have one or two pre-prepped dishes per week until at least Christmas. So yummy!

We're in the middle of planning my stepdaughter's Sweet 16 party too. I cannot believe that she's going to be 16 years old! She was such a little tyke at barely 6 years old when I met Hubby, and here she is excited to be on the verge of getting her first paying job, and obtaining her driver's licence! WOW! Where did that time go? It's incredible. Anyway, she selected a Red Carpet themed party so we're working to get it all together before next weekend. I spent all of last Sunday helping her do the invitations. Cross your fingers that it all gets finished in time!

Add in extra choir practices for me for the upcoming holiday season, stepson wanting to join next week at "Take Our Kids to Work" day, and the fact that Hubby is up to his armpits in mid-term exams, and you have a crazy household.

Anyway, that's what we've been up to of late. And Petite? She's doing amazingly well.

She's a little parrot, repeating (or trying to repeat) any single syllable word we say to her. She's mastered a lot of them and is attempting multi-syllabic words like blueberry, doggie, chaussette (sock in French) and a few others. It's wonderful to hear her little voice. She's enjoying the feeling of spinning round and round and will stand and spin for fun in our living room. It's cute to watch! Not so cute when she falls over and hits her nose on a toy (resulting in a bruise by her nose, on her right cheek) though. She is beginning to try to walk backwards and is sitting down on the hearth and getting up again repeatedly. She can climb onto the couch in the blink of an eye and walk the length of it. She loves to climb up and down on us if we're sitting down somewhere. She has done a few pieces of artwork for us at daycare; including a little Thanksgiving Turkey (the outline of her foot is the body, the outline of her hands cut in different colours of construction paper makes up the wings). Those are items I'll save for when she is older. And for when I'm older too. :)

For your viewing pleasure, a photo or two taken at Saunders Farm when we went out in mid-October for our annual jaunt with the kids and our friends. Enjoy.

Quick shout out to Mo and Will, who are seeing a doubling beta and with luck, all will continue to go well. Also, watching Baby Interrupted as she is hitting her EDD this week. And the same goes for I Can't Whistle. I am crossing my fingers that their next days are peaceful, joyous and wonderful.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CD 4; OMG, I'm counting again?! REALLY?!

And just like that, we're back on the infertility-go-round. There's NOTHING 'merry' about it, that's for darn sure!

We have an appointment booked in Montreal in mid-December for an initial consultation with our RE there. He's ordered a plethora of tests prior to that consultation, as is usual for IVF protcol.

(A note for the men reading: TMI may be incoming. You've been duly warned. After all, this is a blog about infertility and making babies who are our little medical miracles.)

First up: CD3 bloodwork and an ultrasound. (Well, anytime between CD2 and CD5.)

Oh joy.

I had semi-forgotten the dildo cam and its invasive prodding. Nothing like an early morning poke to remind me, now is there? I confess, I can think of much better ways to start my day.

This morning, we began with the dildo cam. And just as I suspected, a huge cyst on the right side. I've been feeling it for months; sometimes it's harsh and I double over, but life goes on, yanno? My RE immediately prescribed b/c pills in the hopes that they'll get rid of the cyst. Forgive me but: Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Now that's funny! We've gone that route three times before, to no avail. I ended up with a laparoscopy on one occasion to remove it, another one burst (ouch!), and yet another was aspirated right in the middle of our successful IVF cycle. Regardless, I'll take the pills and see if anything happens. We have a number of months to play with so something ought to work between now and then. If needs be, we'll aspirate it again before the IVF proceeds.

We saw lots of little follicles on both sides. A very heavy period, which was evident on the monitor, too. My doc wondered if it might be the cyst doing that. I suspected it might be because of the low iron levels at the moment, but I'm taking iron supplements so that would probably have fixed the low levels. Dunno. What are your thoughts? It's been like that since since I had Petite, in fact. Very heavy. Crampy. Clotty. Icky. Like changing protection every two hours for five days straight. Terrible. Just terrible. Not fun at all.

The doc also prescribed metformin again for the PCOS. I've been off it since Petite arrived because I haven't 'needed' it per se (I'm not diabetic, my sugar levels are fine), but it will help with the cysts and other PCOS symptoms. I know the metformin will wreak havoc with my system, but I'm going to need it again for the IVF so I may as well begin now.

After all that was done, I went downstairs to the lab. Trembling.

For my longtime readers, you all know that for me, the blood draws are the WORST part of IVF. Even giving birth to Petite wasn't as bad as having needles shoved in my arms! SERIOUSLY!!! I bruise terribly. Usually bruising lasts 1-2 weeks. My veins are hard to find. They're deep and narrow. They frequently collapse. Techs have told me that my veins are worse than a 3-day old infant. Others have had training to get blood from drug addicts, and they tell me that my veins are worse than those people's as well. How freakin' lovely is that? Fun fun! Oh how I've missed thee, prodding and poking!

Anyway, I managed. I've lost track of where my old phlebotomist ended up, but this morning, a sweet woman by the name of Karen got a good vein on the first try! (YAY Karen! And thank you!) A bunch of vials were taken and with those, the following tests were ordered:

(Updated on November 8, 2010 to include results)
Fasting Glucose -- 5.5 (3.6-6.0)
TSH -- 1.19 (needs to be under 2.5)
Free T3 -- 4.4 (2.6-5.7)
Free T4 -- 16 (12-22)
Iron (Ferritin) -- 29 (LOW: 12-30 = depleted iron stores; currently taking iron supplements but anemia is still present)
FSH (may be affected by the cyst) --4.0 (4-13)
LH -- 1.0 (LOW for Follicular phase; 2-13 = normal)
Estradiol (aka E2) -- 489 (aka 113 in US measures) (46-607, somewhat high for follicular; could be the presence of the functional cyst that is causing the high E2 levels)
Prolactin -- 7.0 (less than 24)
Progesterone -- 1.1 (0.6 - 4.7)
Free Testosterone -- 2.1 ((ND - 7.0)
Testosterone -- 0.6 (less than 2.0)
Blood Group (I know I'm blood type A)
RH Factor (I know I'm positive)
DHEAS -- 4.1 (1.65-9.15)
HIV -- negative
Hemoglobin -- 137 (115-155)
Hematocrit -- 0.4 (0.3-0.45)
RBC -- 4.64 (3.6-5.01)
RBC indices MCV -- 87 (80-99)
RBC indices MCH -- 30 (27-32)
RBC indices MCHC -- 339 (320-360)
RDW -- 12.9 (11.5-15.5)
WBC -- 8.9 (4.0-11.0)
Platelets -- 223 (145-400)
MPV -- 8.3 (7.4-11.3)
Differential WBC's Neutrophils -- 5.79 (1.8-7.0)
Differential WBC's Lymphocytes -- 2.31 (1.0-3.2)
Differential WBC's Monocytes -- 0.53 (0.0-0.8)
Differential WBC's Basophils -- 0.09 (0.0-0.2)
Blood group and RH Factor -- A positive
Rheumatoid Factor -- less than 20 (less than 20)
HIV1/HIV2 screen -- Negative (non-reactive)
HIV Final Interpretation -- No HIV1/HIV2 antibodies detected
Hep B Surface Antigen -- Non-reactive
Hep B Surface Antibody -- Non-reactive
Hep B Core Total (IgG+IgM) Antibody -- Non-reactive
Hep B Virus interpretation -- No evidence of Hep B infection; No evidence of immunity to Hep B Infection
Hep C Antibody -- Non-reactive
Hep C Virus Interpretation -- No evidence of antibody
Rubella IgG -- Reactive
Rubella Interpretation -- Evidence of past infection/vaccination; evidence of immunity.
Rubella (immunity) -- Reactive; evidence of immunity

NOTE: Current meds are 1.0 mcg Synthroid and +/- 150 mg iron supplements.

I think it was five or six vials. I lost track. I was in my happy place and trying hard to keep focussing on other, nicer things.

Anyway, I got the bloodwork done, picked up the prescriptions, and then I made a beeline for the nearest Tim Horton's for some breakfast. I had been fasting since about 11 p.m. last night, so I was getting kinda hungry. I treated myself to an English Toffee flavoured cappucino (yum!) and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. How sinful is that? Pretty sad when I consider that an indulgence, isn't it?

With luck, we'll have some results in a few days. I'll update as required. Next up: CD21 testing for progesterone and Hubby's bloodwork.

Excuse me. I'm going to go rip off a band-aid and finish my breakfast.

Shout out to:
Mo and Will at Life and Love in the Petri Dish. We're all pulling for you guys. Hang in there. Have faith.

And to you, my dear readers. I need to come comment on a few blogs and I need to get in touch with a few of you for your snail mail addresses. I have NOT forgotten. Bear with me.

Love to all in blogland!

Monday, October 18, 2010

If it isn't one thing...

It's been an eventful few days (what else is new??!!) at our house. My mom and aunt are visiting and we've been terribly busy since their arrival last Thursday evening.

Today, Hubby, Petite and I have vacated the premises so the two of them can cook. Their hope is to fill my freezer so we can have meals stocked up for awhile. I guarantee, they've certainly done that! When I got a look at all the codfish they'd brought from home I first wondered what the heck we're going to do with it all, and then I wondered, "Whatever we do with it... where are we going to PUT it when it's done?!" I think I need a bigger freezer! A shout out to our neighbors (M&M) across the street who were happy to take some of the cod home to their house to make a meal or two.

We went with our friends K&K and Hubby's kids out to Saunders Farm again this year for the annual haunted stuffs. The kids love it and Petite had a blast! She just wanted to roam around and play with the pumpkins. Next year she'll be old enough and big enough to go into the Farm during the daylight hours and do a corn maze or two with us, play on the kids' play structures, and have a snack. It'll be lots of fun. Even this year was fun. We got some wonderful photos.

I recently joined the choir at our church. I love to sing. I sing to Petite all the time; she's trying to hum/sing along with me lately. It's been a lot of fun getting back into choir activities. I enjoy learning new music. Coming in the fall, the choir takes part in an annual gathering of choirs and we all come together to sing a few Christmas hymns/carols in unison at a public event. Should be fun. Now to master the soprano parts of Handel's The Messiah before Christmas! Wish me luck. I'm definitely going to need it. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

But the thing uppermost in my mind right now is this:

My almost-14-month old daughter has figured out how to climb out of her crib.


You've gotta be kidding me. I figured she'd be in the crib til at least 18 months. Maybe a little longer. At this rate, we'll have to look at the whole toddler bed thing VERY soon. Along with putting down the kid-friendly, interlocking foam squares on her floor just in case.

We have a toddler bed; we've got a toddler rail that you just switch out with one side of the crib. I purchased it with the crib before Petite's arrival. I suppose I didn't expect we'd need to consider actually installing that rail quite yet. For the moment, Hubby has repositioned the crib mattress to its lowest setting, and while she can swing her leg up to the top of the crib rail, she's not quite tall enough to get the leverage to get out. When she grows another inch or two, we're so screwed.

SOOOOO screwed.

Serenity, I can relate to your post Uh-oh. While we're not quite that far along yet, it seems like it's coming at a breakneck pace!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Giving Thanks: An Idea


It's in my veins. It's who I am. It's how I make a living for heaven's sake.

It's what I've always done, and what I hope I can continue to do.

I write.

I write here in this blog. I write a blog for my gaming character in EverQuest II. I write technical documents and manuals, installation guides and FAQ-style documentation for the clients at the office. I write letters to friends. I write thank-you cards (a lost art, I'm told). I write with the hope of effecting change. I write lists of things to do. I write in Petite's baby book so she will have something very tangible from her childhood when she gets older. I write e-mails to friends. I write Christmas cards every year. I write down my thoughts and impressions of the world around me, for my own benefit... and if others so desire, for their enjoyment.

I love to write. I love the feeling of holding a pen in my hand and having a blank sheet before me, ready to retain my words. I love walking into a store filled to the ceiling with types of paper, designs, styles, sizes, colours, textures and sensations. For me, a stationery shop (aka papeterie) holds mystery and a feeling of incomparable possiblity. I could lose myself for hours on end, just exploring all the facets of the paper therein. And all the better if the store carries high-end pens, à la Mont-Blanc's $10,000 works of art! Get me in a store like that and you can leave me for a few hours. I'd be quite content.

I started writing this blog with the intent of venting my emotions and recording our process as we moved forward on the infertility journey. In so doing, I have 'met' a wonderful group of people. Some of you I have met in person. Others, only virtually. But many of you have affected my life.

I read Mel's post about how her kids received a letter from someone with my first name and Mel initially thought it was a letter from me. And that got me thinking: why not? Why wouldn't I write Mel a note, or a letter, or a thank-you card to express to her how much she and her blog have meant to me? Why wouldn't any of us do that? I mean, we write here all the time. We connect online every day. While I understand that some people wish to remain anonymous behind the monikers on their blogs, I also know that many people might appreciate a hand-written card to let them know just how much they mean to us.

I need to pay it forward. I need to try to get in touch with some of you who do mean a lot to me. And I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to at least make the offer to three bloggers who have touched your life in some way. Make the offer to write a personal note to them (if they're willing to give you a snail-mail address) and let them know how or why they have affected you.

This weekend is our Thanksgiving Holiday. Like last year, I have much to give thanks for. As I'm sure you know, this community is most cerrtainly very high on my list.

And you don't need me to tell you what else I'm thankful for, now do you?

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians! Enjoy the holiday. Spend it with family and friends and take care of each other.