Archive for September, 2006

Tell me the truth

September 25, 2006

My P3 (progesterone) level is 19.6. They say anything over 16 is fine. But this is lower than I’ve ever had while taking progesterone supplement. I am taking the PIO (by choice, I hate the suppositories that much). Should I add the suppositories too??

19.6 is not “good,” is it?? (I am 7dpiui.)

I feel doomed. When one end of the cycle goes well, the other end falls apart. I am feeling quite sure that I will never be pregnant.

The depression is winning again. I am losing.

I hate this.

The waiting game

September 19, 2006

Yesterday’s IUI went well. Actually it hurt, but in my twisted logic, this was good, because I felt more reassured that the catheter was in, as opposed to last time when I fretted that I didn’t feel anything and worried that the sample somehow missed the mark. This one hit the mark. Hit it hard. I had cramps all afternoon and evening. I even had spotting. That was a first, but like I said, I was more reassured than upset.

C. and I even had an in person encounter pre-IUI. He is one of those delivery men, you know the FEDUPS guys in the cute summer shorts . . . anyway our RE is on his route this week so I got a kiss in the hallway. How’s that for happenstance? It would have been nice if he could have taken an early lunch and joined me, but he had a hellish day yesterday so we let that idea go. Anyway, that was my 9th IUI, our 12th ART procedure, I guess you could argue that I need my hand help now more than ever or you could argue that I am so calloused to this that who gives a shit about niceties like having someone there to hold your hand. I feel a little of both. I would have preferred his company, but not enough to cry about it.

So that’s that. We had 10.3 million post wash. They say that is good. Beta is October 2.

Now we wait . . . I am so tired of waiting. But what choice do I have??

Thanks for all the sweet comments yesterday. I’ll take all the luck you can throw my way!

Monday morning romance, ART style

September 18, 2006

Here I sit, at my desk, fretting about what today’s “count” will be. The male side of this romantic interlude is already a done deal. (Hope it was good for you too honey.) Now that nice lady in the andrology lab is messing with our male DNA bits. Meanwhile I sit at my desk hoping that my female DNA bits are doing their thing. And, most of all, I am hoping that those odd pains I had yesterday afternoon didn’t mean that my eggs jumped ship 18 hours too early!

So in exactly one hour I will go receive the boy bits. Alone. I was thinking about calling C., my cell to his. We could have phone sex from the RE’s office. I won’t have to lie about being half naked. It will be true.

As we kissed good-bye for our workdays this morning, C. said “I have a good feeling about today.” He is so good at keeping hope alive. I will hope that he is right. This. Time. Finally.

Please. God. Pretty. Please.

Just goes to show

September 15, 2006

It never hurts to ask.

After reviewing bloodwork and history, the RE said it would be fine to stim one more day and do the IUI on Monday. She guesses this will give me four mature eggs at trigger instead of two if we trigger today. I like four vs two.

She was very kind about it. She said she was erring on the side of caution* but understands that I am past the point of caution and that she is very comfortable with delaying if I am. I asked if there were any down sides to waiting and she said she would not agree to do it if she wasn’t comfortable with it.

So that’s the scoop and I am glad I asked. I do have a tiny voice wondering if this second guessing will just lead to another problem, should I have left well enough alone, etc., but overall I am less crazed with this outcome than I would have been with triggering tonight.

*Caution defined: for anyone not blessed with a Google Ph.D. in infertility medicine, caution in this case means that they don’t like to have too many eggs released for IUI due to the risk of multiples, which with our history is highly unlikely. They also worry about an LH surge and ovulation occurring before the planned trigger shot and timed IUI. This is also a barely existent risk in my case since the bloodwork does not show an LH surge yet and I am on Ganireli*x which should prevent this.

Having a panic

September 15, 2006

Today’s visit to the RE left me in a state of unease which is quickly turning into panic. My average follicle is still measuring about 14 mm and they want to trigger me tonight and do the IUI Sunday. I don’t quite get it. It seems to me we ought to do another day of stimms. I am half tempted to do a mini dose now.

I also hate that I get to frazzled to ask the right questions while I’m there (something to do with being 90 minutes late for work) and now I sit here fretting about whether they know what they are doing. Dr. Leaving-Town is gone. The remaining RE is good but does not know me as well. I think she is being too conservative. Dr. Leaving-Town gave up being conservative with me some time ago. Oh, say, maybe 6 failed cycles ago. But I am afraid his partner is worried that we will trigger too many eggs for an IUI. I need as many as I can get.

Anyway . . . what do all my Google university PhD’s think?? Will this turn out OK?? Should I give myself an extra 100iu or so of Folli*stim?? My largest follie was 18 x 12 or so and the smallest was 12 x 10. The average was about 14. Usually they trigger at 18.

God, I hate all of this. There is always some less than idea thing each and every cycle.

I could just cry.

Just a quickie

September 14, 2006

No, not that kind.

Just a “just the facts ma’am” kind of post.

Yesterday’s lab values:
E2 = 198
LH = 0.6
P3 = 0.31

Today we have the same 8 follies but more like the 14-16mm range.
Today’s labs:
E2 = 257

Tonight: Three shots.
Folli*stim, 200 iu
Meno*pur, 1 vial
Gani*relix, 1 vial

Tomorrow: We do another U/S. I was instructed to bring my HCG trigger shot along “just in case” but the RE “has a feeling” we’ll be doing the IUI on Sunday.

That would mean C. can be there, which is nice, but I was looking forward to doing something fun on the weekend if this rain ever stops.

Oh, I had the office in a flutter today. I was again unable to start a gab fest in the waiting room, but I made up for it with the staff. E, my long standing and trusted ultrasonographer (she of the too much blue goo) asked my opinion on the new hire. I gave my stamp of approval. (So honored that my opinion counts.) Then I just couldn’t resist telling E. that, as it happens, there is only one staff member in my three years there that has made me want to run for the hills: The short-lived nurse J. Well, E. almost choked and dished right back telling me all sort of naughty stuff about the infamous Nurse J. This led to me retelling this story.*** Which led to E. telling all the other staff my story, which led to each of them joining with their own Nurse J. horror story, resulting in a big gossip fest about J. by the time I left. I felt so deliciously cheered by all this nasty gossip. I must be evil. The nurses seemed quite cheered as well. Maybe all nurses are evil. I miss working as a nurse. My current job is so dull.

(Oops, that failed to be a quickie . . )

Oh well . . .

***Nurse trainee = Nurse J.

Moving right along

September 13, 2006

Today’s ultrasound showed 8 follies in the 11-13 mm range. So depending on the E2 I expect to start the gani*relix tonight. I may have even have my IUI as soon as this weekend, but I’ll guess Monday if the bet is for money.

I know 8 follies sounds like a lot for an IUI. It is, isn’t it? But I am not worried. And at this point, with my history of zero pregnancies, my doctor is not worried either.

The new U/A Tech, K., said I was a “good responder”* and asked me if this was my first time doing this, I say “no” in a way that I can’t translate to the flatscreen of blogging. No, not by a long shot. Let’s see, it’s my 9th IUI, (but only the second IUI) after 2 IVF’s and one FET. But, who’s counting? She said she was not sure she could go through all this.

My disintegrating cyst has shrunk to about 14 mm, so that worry is off the list. It’s not wrecking any havoc in there.

Since things are moving right along in terms of follie growth, my next check is tomorrow. They are double booked all morning. That should be a joy. Dr. Leaving Town is doing one last IVF cycle and to quote the nurse “Everyone who has ever been a patient here suddenly wants one last try with him.” Everyone but me I guess.

I meant to be all friendly in the waiting room today. I had the best intentions, I swear. But I could not seem to make eye contact with a soul. I swear, people actually look at their shoes or bury their face in a magazine (announcing B.S.’s latest joyful birth no less)! I could have just shouted “Good Morning” and made them all look up, but I lost me nerve and stared into my own magazine instead. Oh well, so much for that idea.

Otherwise, it’s just another rainy September day in my part of the world.

*One person’s “good responder” is another person’s OHSS sufferer! Hence the gani*relix for me!

Monday, Monday

September 11, 2006

I have a friend that is big into the “12 step” thing. One of her favorite quips is “fake it ’til you make it.” It’s not a bad strategy. The idea is to force a smile on until you notice it’s no longer fake. The other quotable quote I recently heard was this: Even your darkest hour only lasts 60 minutes. Kind of simplistic. A bit unrealistic too. When you string a whole bunch of dark hours together (they kind of add up quickly!) But, all cynicism aside, it’s not a bad way to get through a rough time.

This morning I had a 7:15 Appointment. Well, in reality I had a 7:30 appointment but I thought it was 7:15. At that hour, 15 minutes makes a difference. It’s not that 7:15 is that early it’s that the time I need to get up to be ready, showered coifed, dressed and at my RE’s office for 7:15/7:30 is too early. Anyway . . . I got there before the doors were even open. This had me momentarily dazed and confused. I checked my appointment card and lo and behold, I was too early. By the time they unlocked the doors (exactly 7:30 on the dot), there were three of us waiting in the corridor. One lucky male specimen provider and two groggy women. The funny part was how chatty everyone was. I’ve never spoken to or been spoken to by another infertility patient in my entire three years there. How odd. Normally, we all kind of stare at our shoes and pretend we’re not there. Today everyone had something to say. We compared blood draw bruises and horror stories. We griped about the early hour. Real camaraderie. I kind of liked it. The other woman had a bruise to beat mine and a four attempts to my three from last weeks “float pool” blood draw nurse. Good to know it’s not just me. She was apparently a newbie and I assured her it’s not that bad when the regular nurses are on duty. She smiled gratefully.

So my ultrasound went well. Tech E. lost half of her ultrasound gel on the sheet before getting it to my . . . well . . . netherparts . . . and lucky me she did not reapply. So, I got off easy today in the dreaded blue goo department. My U/S was normal for a ‘three days of drugs’ check. Follies perking up but not ready for measuring yet. My weird disintegrating leftover follicle is still 17mm. Unchanged is good in this case. I am awaiting my E2 and my dosing instructions.

(Edited to add: The E2 not doing much yet either at 58 so the Fo*llistim dose has been increased from 125 to 200. Next check on Wednesday.)

So far so good.

This weekend was still a bit rough, but better than last. Yesterday was almost good. C. and I took our little sailboat out to a nearby lake and I sailed most of the time while C. coached me. I can sail just fine, I just don’t care as much as he does about catching the most optimal bit of wind. Sailing is not about getting there fast unless you are racing. It was nice.

Today I am ordering a bicycle. I have not bought a bike (or ridden one much) in about 15 years. I have this desire to do it now. I am not sure why, but it feels like a good idea. Maybe my legs will get a bit of their former shape back. In any case, it will be a nice distraction.

Happy Monday everyone . . .

And the numbers are:

September 8, 2006

FSH = 2.9
E2 = 52

Nurse M says that is “really good.” I say it’s damn great for an old lady like myself. But, if it’s so great, where’s the baby you ask? Ummmmm . . . I was wondering that too!

So do you want the good news first or the bad news first?

Since I can’t decide quite how I feel about it all, they are one in the same. I am doing another IUI. F@llistim 125 iu nightly, starting 40 minutes ago and the next U/S Monday 7:15 am.

Right this minute I am OK with this choice. Ask me again in an hour or a day or a week. I may not be so sure then.

In the meantime I am reading the RES@LVE adoption packet my infertility counselor gave me. It can’t hurt to be prepared and it will give me something hopeful to focus on. And then, when C. comes around*, which I know he will, we’ll be ready to go. Given the usual dynamics of our couplehood, adoption, like infertility, will be mostly my job. (That was way too many commas!) I think in the case of adoption I won’t mind as much. Paperwork might be maddening, frustrating and lots of work, but it won’t be physically painful, hormonally driven, etc.

*I know C. WILL come around. If I would tell him today that I just can’t do another cycle, he would accept that. I’m just not sure, sometimes, when I should say when. But, it’s coming soon. That much I know. I can’t take much more in terms of failed treatment.

There’s a song that I can’t quote exactly or give credit to, but the lyrics go something like this: “I’m not afraid of falling, I just hate hitting the ground.” That is how I feel about infertility treatments at this point. I can endure an awful lot, physically, but I can’t take the emotional pain of failing any more. Hitting the ground is what depletes me.

So, wish me luck . . . but don’t expect a miracle. We can, however, hope for one.

Still Unclear

September 8, 2006

It’s still unclear whether I’m starting a cycle or sitting one out. It’s still unclear whether my medications will arrive in time. It’s still unclear whether I am crazy to still be doing this at all.

I am completely frustrated with my mail order pharmacy. I get some drug coverage so I may as well use it, the rest of my infertility fun is all out of pocket. BUT, the catch is, I have to use this mail order pharmacy that screws at least one thing up every time. I was nearly in tears yesterday trying to get someone to help me sort out the latest screw up. So, I am in limbo hoping there is a cooler box on my doorstep when I get home tonight. In fact I may run home at lunch to check.

As for my cd 3 ultrasound. It is another case of limbo. I have one fluid filled area on my left ovary that is 17mm which is the borderline measurement for going ahead vs canceling. They are not calling it a cyst because it is already in the breaking down stage. But there is no guarantee that the FSH injections wouldn’t cause it to enlarge. So my bloodwork will decide which way we go. Those results normally come in around 3pm. The tech had a name for this 17mm thing, but I can’t for the life of me think what term she used.

The tech was very kind today (even if she did use her usual 1/4 bottle of blue goo). She said (with true sincerity) “How are you holding up.” She said “I’m getting a bit worried about you”. I said “So am I”. She said a bunch of kind thoughtful things about how much I’ve been through, etc. I confessed that I was ready to move on to adoption but that my husband is not, so I keep going because I just can’t do nothing. She made sympathetic noises and wished me luck. Again.

On the blood work end of things, I got stuck THREE times today. They have float pool nurses again. I am usually very tolerant about this, but it also feels like just one more shitty thing to endure.

Boy, am I a bundle of joy and optimism today!

Anyway, this is a rather long-winded nonsensical post about nothing when what I really want to say is how much I hate this state of limbo. About how I don’t care about genes or being pregnant or experiencing childbirth and how I just want to parent a child. I am ready to switch gears and move on to adoption, but I need my husband to be OK with that of his own free will. So until that happens, I will endure this as well as I can. It’s just getting hard not to resent him in the process.

Infertility (I guess maybe I mean male factor) is a unique illness in many ways. For example, what other illness can you name where one person endures all the treatment for a physical issue that exists in another’s body. Donating a kidney maybe, that is the only other scenario I can think of where the healthy individual had to take the medications and undergo the surgery, procedure, or whatever. It’s not that I wish it on him, I love him too much to wish him this pain. It’s just that I’m tired of carrying the burden alone.

C., if you read this, even though you tell me that you don’t, I love you with all my heart. It’s just a very, very tired heart.