Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wouldn’t you know it? I went to play tennis and have dinner with my mom last night and over dinner, all she could talk about was the fabulous day she had babysitting 3 of my nieces and nephews. How they went to Junior Gym, and how they went out to lunch and had ice cream and blah blah cute little fuckers blah blah…. I swear it’s as if she suddenly hates me and read my last post, and decided to torture me. (She doesn’t and wouldn’t.)
The worst part came when she was talking about meeting a woman at lunch whose grandkids live on the East Coast. The woman really missed them, and my mom said (to me) something along the lines of, “I felt so bad for her, because I’m so fulfilled living close to these guys.”
I know she didn’t mean anything malicious by it, but OUCH!
fulFILLED. Like full-up, no room for more. I know that’s not what she meant by it at all, but I just hate how IF makes our brains turn a casual conversation into something so terrible.
Unfortunately this time I was drinking red wine, so guzzling it wasn’t as much of an option.
The good news is that for the first time in about five years I beat her ass in tennis! She plays a lot, and I don’t, so her consistency always seemed to be key. Not last night, though! Erratic power rocks!
Also, I played the Erin kneads game. The spellings are all screwy because I don’t want to be one of the other million people found by googling this game. It’s fun, though!
Er!n kneads another miracle - ain't it the truth!
Er!n kneads a drink - again, quite truthful!
Er!n kneads to wear shirts - I'm sure most would agree
Er!n kneads what most white girls crave - a c*ck that measures in the double digits - really?
Er!n kneads a Google Good Time - Sounds fun to me!
Er!n kneads to be naked too - what is it? Shirts or nakedness??
Er!n kneads to go to bed - Can I watch So You Think You Can Dance first?
Er!n kneads a new hobby - Aside from blogging her eyeballs out?
Er!n kneads some pain free days ahead - always up for that!
Er!n kneads Paul more than he needs her. - Paul, you bastard!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Is it wrong if watching a grandmother sing the B0b the Builder song/slogan to her grandson fills me with rage?
Even if the grandmother is my own mom and the grandson is my step sister’s adorable son?
First of all, if I’m going to be totally self-centered, that one line: “Can we do it? Yes! We! Can!” bugs.
Can I do IT? The one thing I want? No I fucking can’t. So there’s that. But also, I just get worried that my mom is going to use up all her grandmothery mojo on my stepsibs’ various broods.
So this internally rage-inducing, but on the surface tender moment happened on Father’s Day at my mom’s house and caused me to down 3 Coronas in record speed. Seriously, I should have been in a chugalug contest. I was just rapt, watching them and sucking down beers. It was just so bittersweet seeing my mom playing with the little guy. They all love her to death. I worry that by the time she gets to meet our kids she’ll be over the whole thing. Not that she won’t love them to bits too, but all the newness of it will be gone. I’m the oldest in my (bio)family. I was supposed to give her the first grandkids. Me Me Me!! I would never have thought about any of this before, but then seeing her with those kids, watching them all run to kiss and hug her and call her Nana or Grandma E*****, listening to her expound on sleep habits or food likes and dislikes…it all SUCKS.
And until lately I’d been holding onto the notion that at least I’d give her her first biologically related grandkid. Well, recent RE appointments suggest otherwise. Plus this wouldn’t even matter to my mom, since she’s adopted herself. So I have nothing new to offer her. She’s even been through IF with my oldest step sister. She ended up going the DE route, and again, amazing kids, so my mom’s right on that train with Dr. Pig. With her lack of bio-ties, and her experience with great DE kids, she just doesn’t see the point in going through more heartache just for the kid to have my evil sense of humor and general dislike for people…uh, I mean my eyes and my love of books.
I hate to think that I’m at the point where I need to avoid family gatherings. My mom would hate that, and in the long run, so would I. But it is so fucking painful sometimes.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thanks so much to everyone who agreed to help me kick Dr. Pig’s ass. I’m still so torn about what to do about that situation. I think I would absolutely switch if I knew there was no chance I’d have to see him again, but in my experience at this my fertility center, even though Pig, M.D. is my main doctor, I have seen most of the other doctors, for ultrasounds, an IUI, another did my ER… I just know that at some point during my next cycle, I’ll end up having to deal with him. Like he’ll be the one on duty for my ER or transfer. I can’t figure out if it’s worse to go with him as a known evil, just ignore anything he says that’s not related to my treatment plan and ask a million questions, or to make my complaint, piss him off, and then end up having him be the doctor in charge of something so important (to me, clearly not to him). Plus, I was on a message board for women who go to this clinic and one reported that she had 5 embryos transferred. Not so far from 6, and it wasn't with my doc, so they might ALL be nuts. She may have been a bit older than me, but STILL! 5?? Apparently that's how they get their high success rates. I can't seem to find their rate of multiples. Does anyone know if that info is out there (by clinic)?
I fucking HATE that doctors get to have this much power over you. Yes, they went to med school and put a lot of time in studying and whatnot, but come on!
As for the Pre-cycle Challenge, I’ve been a bit of a loser. I really need to do some more running. I have been walking a lot lately because my plantar fasciitis has been acting up, but I’m going to try to ignore it because the running is just so much better for me! Also, our lakeside vacay is coming up (hurray!!!) and even though I’ll probably never have a bikini-worthy body, I would like to look somewhat decent in a bathing suit. I also want to start swimming. We have a local pool that has a semi decent Yelp review. I just need to get up and get my arse there at 6am. So much easier said than done!
OK. I hereby state that I am going to do my very bestest to get to the pool tomorrow morning. Please come back and visit me and see if I make it! And yell at me if I don't! It will really help to know that I will disappoint my legion of readers if I don’t go.Off to participate in the Commentathon…
*******UPDATE - I made it! I went to the pool this morning and swam for about 40 minutes. Thanks for all the encouragement!***********
Friday, June 8, 2007
Here's an excerpt from her description of her RE's thorough evaluation of her embryos:
"...one was doing very well, infact it had about 6 cells in it but it had started off with only one cell (can't remember how he explained it) but basically he said that it didn't have a cell from the mother and the father to begin with but continued to grow (a bit of a freak of nature) so we couldn't use that one."
Head on over to read her post, I can wait, but to summarize, she had others that were in great shape and ended up transferring 2 excellent embies - Yay!
But her description of the bad seed? After my follow up with Dr. Pig I now understand that that describes all 3 of my embryos. Every. Single. One. He still hasn't come out to say that they weren't viable, but I'm slowly getting the picture.
I just don't know why he felt like he couldn't share this with us. I guess as long as there was nothing genetically wrong with them, I don't have a problem with transferring the freak embryos. My problem is that he let us leave there thinking that our chances were just as good as anyone's, when it seems like they were actually nil.
Doesn't he understand that for 2 weeks I obsessed about whether or not I was pregnant? That W became convinced of it? That I pretty much never stopped thinking about it? That W and I (so stupidly) had a conversation about names?
Doesn't he understand how much pain I went through when I saw that single line?
I had really been trying to think positively these last few days. Ideally, I'd stop thinking about IF at all for the next couple of months, but I know myself better than that. I can't go for that (No can do).
But I've been working out more, thanks to my tracker (note my new addition of tracking how many times I walk up the 7 flights of stairs to my office!) and I've banned myself from reading message boards, or googling about donor eggs. If I think about that too much, it's just going to make it a reality. I can worry about that later.
But all this positive thinking has kind of gone down the shitter because all I can think about now is kicking Dr. Pig's fucking ass from here to Mexico City.
Monday, June 4, 2007
OK, quickly onto my appointment today. I've only been with this RE since February and while I would never go so far as saying I love him, I did always appreciate his candor and straight-shooting MO. So knowing this shouldn't I have prepared myself better for my first post-failed IVF follow up? Shouldn't I have known to bring W?
And shouldn't I have looked around his office before this to notice the creepy collection of egg-art that he's got hanging up there? Seriously, probably 12-15 different works of art all focused around eggs. Different artists, different mediums, same round subject. WTF?????
So basically he told me that my eggs are crappy (kind of like his art) and that while he'll try another IVF cycle, my best real chance of getting pregnant is with donor eggs. For this next cycle, he'll give me a new protocol and then he said, "If you get six good embryos I'll put 'em all back." SORRY? There is no fucking way that I am having six embryos transferred into my body. I had a hard enough time this last cycle with three. And why are you telling me what YOU'RE going to put into MY body. He backed off ever so slightly trying to say that we need to be aggressive. But there's a fine line somewhere between aggressive and completely and totally irresponsible and six embryos is WAY past that line.
He then went on to tell me our July vacation is a great idea and then launched into a completely unsolicited tale from his recent Mexican vacation. Apparently he was in Mexico City and had hired a driver to take him and his family to a museum. (Of course he didn't even thank me for his ability to afford such luxury) They got there to find a huge protest in the street. And I quote: "There were hundreds and hundreds of women standing in the street, all butt-naked. Now, these women were like forty to sixty (years old) so they were not beauties." I'm sorry? 40 years old and you're instantly a hag who should never take her clothes off? He went on and on about what was "hanging" on the women and it was so fucking weird and horrible. I kind of hate the idea of going back to him, but since we did the Buy-1-Get-1-Free option, I don't see that I have much choice. Ugh - fucker!
Bottom line - starting after we go away in July, Microdose Flare protocol w/ BCP's and my own eggs, and then if it doesn't work, I've got some serious thinking to do.
Ok, onto the Barren Bitches Book Tour. Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list here. This book club is open to everyone in the community so you can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Kid by Dan Savage.
#1 Peggy Orenstein says, 'The descent into the world of infertility is incremental. Those early steps seem innocuous, even quaint; IUI was hardly more complex than a turkey baster. You're not aware of how subtly alienated you become from your body, how inured to its medicalization. You don't notice your motivation distorting, how conception rather than parenthood becomes the goal, how invested you become in its 'achievement'." Does this accurately describe your experience? Would you say you have become alienated from your body while struggling with infertility?
Rather than an incremental descent, I’ve found that the world of infertility has been a very steep and slippery slope. I resisted treatment for the first year or so telling myself that I didn’t want to take drugs to become pregnant. Ha! As if that’s all it will take. So finally at my cousin’s urging I went to a local fertility clinic and was prescribed Clomid. It seemed harmless enough and when it didn’t work the first time I was all too eager to double to dosage for the next round. After a few more Clomid cycles it was time to go for the “turkey baster.” My doctor explained that it was just like kicking your golf ball out of the rough. You still make that great shot, just with a little help. Count me in!
Well, that IUI didn’t work either and then after we moved home to SF and signed on with the new RE, a second Clomid IUI also failed. By now I’d finally been diagnosed with decreased ovarian reserve and because of my RE’s suggestion to skip IUI with injectibles, all of a sudden we were on the fast train to IVF.
The train did not take me where I wanted to go and since my appointment this afternoon I’ve been forced to think about donor eggs. Where does it stop? Reading other blogs I see all the experiences that other IF’ers have gone through. I would never ever say that I’m jealous of them, but I feel like my journey is more of a freefall where I move so quickly from stage to stage and never have a chance to feel comfortable at any level. Of course, where is the comfort in any of this.
If any good has come of the process, I think I’ve become more in touch with my body, rather than alienated from it, during this process. I was not that great at noticing what went on from month to month and have learned so much about myself. On the other hand, during the freefall I have become completely inured to just tossing back the pill or shot du jour. DHEA might, maybe, possibly, sort of help make more eggs? Sign me up! Wheatgrass will potentially, perhaps, somewhat improve egg quality? Seven pills per dose? No problem? I’m like a depository for supplements at this point and although I do wonder what it’s all doing to me, I have only the end goal in mind.
#2 You can tell from the title of the book that the author eventually becomes a mom. How did this knowledge affect you as you read? Were you hoping for a certain outcome -- unassisted pregnancy, medical miracle, child through foster or adoption...or possibly even dreading a happy ending? To what degree does your own experience filter into the unfolding of Orenstein's experience?
I think what I was hoping for was completely affected by my situation while I read the book. I was going through my first IVF, and was absolutely hoping for her to have a medical miracle. I needed to know IVF works. I’ve read the statistics, so I get that it has been successful for people, but time and again I read these books and the author almost always ends up pregnant from a non-medicated cycle. I really thought this would be the one. She would obsess over the 2ww like so many of us do, and wait by the phone anxiously for the beta. No more “I felt kind of funny over the past couple weeks…must have been the stomach flu.” BS. Oh well.
But I know that if I were to pick the book up for the first time today, while I’m on the precipice of at least two DIY cycles, I know for sure I’d be looking for the unassisted pregnancy. It’s so incredible to have the opportunity to read about someone going through similar struggles and to be able to manipulate their stories to try to mirror our own.
On a funny note about the title, W would constantly look over my shoulder as I read, constantly asking, “Did Daisy get there yet? Did she?” He couldn’t believe how long it took. I had to explain that it was called Waiting for Daisy, not Hanging out with Daisy.
#3 Peggy Orenstein writes that her first reaction to donor eggs was, "Using donor eggs was so Handmaid's Tale. Once again I thought, I'd never be that desperate for a child?" What was your initial reaction to the idea of donor eggs? Did your opinion change over time? If you were successful, would you tell your children that they were conceived using donor eggs? Why or why not?
What a scary-timely question. I don’t know that I ever thought of donor eggs as “so Handmaid’s Tale,” but I do know that just like Clomid, IUI’s, injectible drugs and IVF, I definitely never thought that donor eggs would be something I would have to consider. At each step of this journey I have been sure that I wouldn’t have to move on. I know now that what I tried to pass off as an aversion to using hormone therapy or invasive procedures was based on a complete faith (stupidity?) that I would never have to use them.
After my RE appointment today, I realize that donor eggs are something that I have to at least consider. Already in just a few hours my opinion has started to shift. At first I thought (oh so selfishly) that if we got to this point I would want to adopt. My oh-so-sound reasoning? “If it can’t be my genetic child, then it can’t be W’s either.” Believe me, I know how pathetic that sounds, but it was my first reaction. But then I realized that with donor eggs, I could still carry my baby. Give birth to my baby. And meet my baby on its first minute of life. Do these outweigh my selfish first reaction? I don’t know yet. But I hope so.
Although I find it hard to articulate exactly why, I think it would only be fair to tell my children that they were conceived with donor eggs. I hope I’d have the courage to do so, but it’s such a complex concept, it would be critical to figure out the timing. How do you know when they’re ready to hear about something like that, without waiting too long? And really how necessary is it? I don’t know the answer yet. All I have is this horrible vision of having a fight with my teenage daughter and having her throw back in my face that she’s really just “Daddy’s daughter” and that I can’t boss her around. How fucked that I’m having imaginary arguments with my imaginary child, but it’s exactly where my mind goes whenever I think about donor eggs and I don’t know how to change that. I guess I could try having a son instead…
Friday, June 1, 2007
I ran 2 miles today after work and it felt so great. Thanks to Sticky Bun for giving some structure to this fitness effort! Join us in the challenge!