Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kate Spade

I just injected myself with Kate Spade strappy sandals.  Believe me they were difficult to powder up, reconstitute and get into the syringe - but I fit it all in in only 3 pokes.

I am not someone who owns many designer things.  All my purses and most of my shoes come from a little french store down the road named Target'.  My most expensive shoes are made by Dansko (medical clogs) and Saucony (best running shoes ever).  But when I got married there were this very cute pair of Kate Spades that I coveted.  Everyone said - go ahead and get them - you only get married once, but I just could not justify spending that much on shoes.  We were doing it all on a budget and I felt really good that I got my dress through a breast cancer charity, but I couldn't spend hundreds on one pair of shoes - no matter how cute they were.

So anyway - I added up today the meds I am injecting into myself and realized that they are the cost of the shoes.  Im not sure if this makes me sad that I don't have the shoes in my closet or happy I never bought them so I would have the money for the injections.  Either way I am going swimming today and I will wear a bikini and be proud of those little bruises because they are very fashionable.

I have had my eye on a coach bag for a while - I think I'll inject that over the next 2 days!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fire up them ovaries and drain out my bank account

Yesterday was kind of a big day.  Had the "lets get your cycle going / we want your money up front now" appointment.  I didn't think much of it before I went in.  I was just so relieved that my period actually showed up the night before so I didn't have to cancel.

made a few realizations;

1) Other than the down payment on my house, I have never dropped so much money in one place at one time.  It was so bad that within 1 hour I had gotten calls from my bank and my credit card companies fraud departments asking me to verify the purchases.

2)  My estrogen levels are undetectable and I'm having hot flashes.  (thank goodness because this is what we were going for).  Its been REALLY HOT with 90% humidity where I work.  Oh - and the air conditioner broke.  But I realized that no matter how hot I feel, I don't think its that bad.  Realization #2:  I may do okay when I get to menopause.

3) Realization 3: This may have been day#1 of my pregnancy - sure I know I am not pregnant yet but when we look back as OBs to calculate due dates we generally go from the first day of the last menstrual period.  It was at this point that I realized that the hope had returned to the process.  Everything I felt about this IVF cycle being expensive and may not work evaporated and I started thinking that this may be the first day of the rest of my life.  This may actually take.  I may get a baby from this process.  Its a feeling I haven't felt in a long time.  Even with the last few follistim cycles - this feeling wasn't really there.  Sure I was going though the motions with my fingers crossed, but logically and emotionally I knew it has a slim chance of panning out.

So all day yesterday I felt a little giddy, fairly positive and kind of happy. It was a nice feeling until I logged on to check my bank account for something and I saw a number much lower than it was before.  I may not spend a lot of money on myself - but for me this is literally the price of happiness.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

bring your own . . .

I am allergic to ultrasound gel.  Kind of a stupid allergy I know.  But after years of exposure gooping it onto people's bellies - my hands swill and get all itchy after I do an ultrasound.

At this point at work I wear gloves to do an abdominal ultrasound which seems to save me, but then came the infertility and me being the regular recipient of vaginal ultrasounds.  Trust me, it is insanely inappropriate to be walking around and itching where I have been exposed.

At my ovulation induction clinic I did okay.  I would literally prep the ultrasound probe myself and find the surgilube in the cabinet and use it instead.  (I do have the training after all.)  I also had my RE trained not to add any extra and we had a good little pattern going on.

So the new IVF clinic must think I am a mad woman.  They stand there with the probe in their hand and look at me dumbfounded, like I have asked them to do something sooooo special.  Turns out they don't have surgilube.  I am seriously spending fifteen thousand dollars and they cant even provide a $1 tube of lube.

So I stopped at the store today and tomorrow is B.Y.O.L.  - maybe they will give me a discount.  I can hopefully negotiate my price down to 14,999.00.  

Yep, that sounds more reasonable.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

oh flo? where'd ya go?

I can't say that I have ever actually been as excited to see my period as I am now.  My period has been such a sign of failure for so long.  And when I know I failed because of the pee sticks its the insult after the injury.

Today however I actually want it to happen.  This is the only thing holding me up at this point - I have taken the requisite time off and am ready to go with this IVF thing - so really can I please get a period already?

Its been days since stopping the pills - seriously hoping it comes soon so I don't have to delay starting this cycle.  So come on uterus - get your cramps on and get yourself thinned out, cuz you got a job to do.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I think I have met some DSM criteria for work-a-holic.  I've had 2 days off in the past month, today I started early and just finished.  I got to the point tonight where I needed to make phone calls and it was socially just too late to keep calling patients with results.

My candle is burnt.  Both ends fried.  But tomorrow starts a weird little time for me.  I have no scheduled extra call or shifts for the next month and my surgery schedule is halved.  The calendar is somewhat cleared for some possible upcoming sick days - paved for the IVF.  I've been picking up so many extra shifts for so long to try to save for it all that I have forgotten what life was like-- Before I felt like I needed to earn all I could.

I may not know what to do with myself.  I'm not sure if I will know how to relax.  I never thought I would have this problem - but then again I've found myself in a lot of "never thought that I ..." situations with this whole baby-making process.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's day

When I was a kid, my dad was not really super involved.  He is loving & supportive and came to all major things in my life - but he worked full time and appreciated his own TV and separate room after dinner and on weekends.  We weren't a family that went on vacations and he worked most holidays.  I can't say that we were ever that close, especially when I became a headstrong teenager.  Then after my mom died, he was left to raise my 14 year old sister without any prior knowledge of how to be a great parent.

But great parent he became.  His entire theory of raising a teenager became "do what you want".  Not a do what you want in a bad sort of way but the do what you want because you are smart and independent enough to make an intelligent decision (and because in general we were going to do it anyway).  Every major decision in my life has been passed by my father and the response has been "Do what you want" but he has always followed up the statement with "do you need anything?".  Even when my husband asked him if he could propose -- well the response was the same.

To this day he has never pressured me for a grandchild, asked me when it is going to happen or even if it going to happen ever in the future.  He only asks me if I am happy and if there is anything I need.  So, today I am thankful for my wonderful dad and for the fact that he understands me better than I ever thought he would.

So thanks dad, I am happy.  And yes dad - I will do what I want.   And do I need anything?  Well yes.  I need to give you a grandchild so you can be the perfect grandfather now that you have figured out how to be the perfect dad.

aaahhhhh allergies!

And yet again my body proves itself to be a little odd.

I have all sorts of weird allergies.  Anti-inflammatories give me hives . . . which stinks because it means if I have a migraine I get tylenol.  Gee thanks.

Any type of adhesive gives me a rash.  I once wore ekg leads for a med school demonstration.  Ended up with 3 perfect circles of scab on my chest.  That was fun.

And by far my favorite - anything with nickel.  Seriously, I can't wear gold or stainless steel for more than a few hours.  (my husband still resents that he had to sink so much money into a platinum ring)

SO today I discovered a new one --- Lupron.  Seriously body - do you let me take nothing for granted?  I developed a massive welt at the injection site.  Full on histamine release red swollen itchy welt.   I am seriously hoping it was a reaction to the alcohol pad or from pinching too hard and at least if it keeps happening it doesn't get worse.   I refuse to let myself be allergic to anything in this process - just not an option at this point.  I don't care if I have to take benadryl every time I use it or if I have to keep my epi pen ever so close.  Just as failure is not an option - neither is an allergy to lupron - I am after all a little to aware on my lack of options.

Will be interesting to see if it happens again tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

future unknown

Women are planners by nature
Doctors and Type A by training

so lets just say I am very anal retentive when it comes to putting together my calendar.  In a 2 doctor marriage one must plan about 6 months in advance for any vacations, holidays and calls.  For me - I have no idea what state I will be in in 6 months.  Will I be exhausted and pregnant? On my 4th frozen embryo transfer and out of funds? Have given up?  On a break?

I have no idea.  My plans are all on hold.  Don't know when or where my next vacation is or where I will be celebrating the holidays but I am holding out hope that I will be healthy with some type of bun in the oven.  This is not bad . . . just different than the control I am used to having.

But with a baby I will have to surrender all control anyway - so maybe it is a good lesson for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SIS = "sister - I got a good hyster"

I want to pull a Julie Andrews and run to the top of a mountain and scream the words "I HAVE A NORMAL CAVITY".  Its seriously the first thing I've had in a while with some positive results.  Hoorah for that.  As much as I may have hesitations recently, perhaps the last thing I wanted to be doing was waiting months and months to get in to the OR to have some fibroid or polyp removed so I could have problems with my lining and healing and such.  BIG sigh of relief - I finally exhaled after a week of holding my breath.

(on a side note . . . I will say though that if I had continued with my training I could be the one making $720 in 10 minutes instead of the one forking it over to tell me this info.)

What isn't normal however - my stomach.  I am on a combo of completely nauseating medications - birth control pills, metformin and doxycycline with a pink prenatal vitamin cherry on top.  Its kind of like having morning sickness for all the wrong reasons.  Carbs are about the only things going down, and not much of them.  Seriously, for dinner I am eating a banana and stale rice krispies - its disgusting, but about all that sounds decent.

I have a party to go to this weekend and I may in fact look fabulous because of how much weight I have dropped in the past couple weeks.  I may also look a little green in the face - but at least that can be covered with blush.  I'm almost to my wedding weight - if I keep going maybe I can be 18 again.

Funny enough, all the thoughts of looking young though don't really matter to me when facing infertility.    I am only the age of my ovaries and I would trade a couple extra years in wrinkles for a few less on the biological clock.  Oh well.  My ovaries may be aging, but . . . at least today my uterus looks good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

thank you

pity party is over - I'm back and I have no right to feel sorry for myself.  Thank you all for indulging me and not getting mad at my lack of sensitivity that so many of you have been though this and so much more.  I got it off my chest and I am done with that.

I am feeling much better thanks to all your love and support.  Its an amazing thing that you all know my hopes, dreams and fears more than my closest friends and family.  I share things I would never say out loud in the safety of this space.

And with that - cycle is on - Sonohystogram tomorrow.  And away we go . . . .

Saturday, June 11, 2011

cold feet

I am really second guessing my decision to go forward with IVF and I have been having these feelings for weeks.   I haven't said anything to anyone yet because I have been a train going 70 mph on a straight downhill track the entire time and pushing everything along that it just seems like a derailment for me to stop.  At first I thought maybe I just needed some more time off to mentally and physically recover from everything that I have been through over the entire time ttc and the last year of failed infertility treatments since I just hit my anniversary.  I thought a little time on the pill and a little time without injections and ultrasounds would rejuvenate me.  So far though, the motivation has not returned even though I have been going through the motions.

Then I thought that maybe this is my subconscious telling me that I am not really ready for a baby.  (gasp)   Maybe it would be good to focus on my career a bit more, maybe work towards a promotion.  Its a terrible time at work now and for at least the next year, and if I take any significant time off work the clinic may implode.  The bank account is going to be quite rocked by IVF and I wont have any money left over for childcare let alone a maternity leave if I go though it now.  Logically and rationally this is not the best time in my life, and if I am doing IVF anyway I could wait a year or two.

But today I realized what is going on inside my head.  Because of bosses's multiple summer vacations and husbands terrible work schedule there is no other time than the dates we have chosen in early July.  I received my tentative calendar from the clinic of when everything is scheduled and I realize that the day I am throwing my sister-in-laws baby shower is the day I will get my pregnancy test results.


How am I EVER going to be able to handle this?  What did I do in my life to deserve this kind of torture from fate?  Why along every step of this journey have I had to be around so many darn pregnant people?  I feel like I should congratulate myself on making it this far, but I'm not sure I can keep going with work the way it is.  And why of all days for my sister-in-law to pick to come to town and my scheduling to necessitate did these things have to fall in line?

I'm NOT going to be able to handle this - I have already lost it to some degree.  This is the most terrified I have been in my adult life.  As I sit here writing this I am crying because I am just so scared of this failing.  There are no other options after this.  This is it.  The only option is to dare to repeat it.  There are great statistics that say that "most people who conceive with IVF do so in the first 3 cycles", but then what?  What if I'm not one of those?  What if I throw our entire savings and then go into debt for 3 cycles and get nothing out of it?  A friend of mine just blew through 100K on 4 cycles and genetic testing - she never got pregnant.  What if I fail?  How will I ever be able to forgive myself?  How will I ever be able to forgive fate/god/whatever power controls these things?

Some people have commented that I have been strong throughout this to do what I do for a living and be able to get though it.  Well . . . the strength is all gone.  I am spineless lump of jello on the floor just waiting to melt.  There is nothing left here but fear.

You can't fail what you don't try, and just about now I am standing on the diving board at the deep end of the pool waiting to run backwards off the steps.  This whole process has been soul crushing.  If I fail this I don't think my soul will ever recover.  I don't know if I can take that chance.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

red coral

My nurse today surprised me with a red coral bangle.  She was shopping in chinatown and saw it and knew that wearing it as a ring or a bracelet was an ancient method to promote fertility, so she bought it an gave it to me today to help me with this cycle.   Soooo nice of her - she is such a sweet and caring person.

I'm not sure when I became supersicious but I do believe in the phrase "better to be lucky than good", and I do believe that western medicine can't always argue with thousands of years of history.   Its nothing I would have ever bought myself - I generally don't support any coral harvesting because of the damage to the ecosystem, but I will wear it and cherish it through the cycle.  Even if it doesn't increase my fertility - it reminds me of her kindness and support - and that alone is invaluable in this process.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

OGTT - the diabetes Oh Gosh Truth-be-known Test

Today I embarked on the PCOS right of passage known as the 2 hour glucose tolerance test.  I've actually never had one before even though I suspected that I would be a little insulin resistant.  I'm on the thinner side for a woman with PCOS but I figured the family history was going to hit me in the end.  I have always watched my weight and how much carbs I am eating in any one meal, but I never had it really tested out.

At my IVF intake my RE doc asked me if I was in insulin resistant.  I looked at her with a dumb expression.

Conversation went something like this:

RE: you mean to tell me you've never had a gtt?

me: um . . . nope

RE: Why not?

me: well my primary just wanted to do a fasting and and a1c which were both normal, but ..

RE: I certainly hope you order them on your pcos patients

me: Well I do but...

RE: take a week off your metformin and try to get it done before we get going.

SO anyway - today I went.  The amount of complaining and moaning that I have heard over the years about 1 hr and 3 hr gtts you would think that they were the most vomit inducing terrible experiences of anyones life.  I'm here to say now - really not bad, actually not bad at all.   I do look a little like a heroin addict with track marks but seriously just a sweet drink and 3 little pokes.

Thankfully - it was normal which means my fingers wont be pricked in the first trimester and that I can stop my metformin earlier if I want to.  I celebrated with potatoes for a snack and mac and cheese for dinner (it was a lean cuisine so not full fat . . .but I almost never eat carbs alone!) I am just really blessed that I am not diabetic (yet).  I am sure I will be at some point but for now I am just going to enjoy one less thing to worry about.

And with that I will keep taking my metformin and my birth control pills.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3 days off?

I have not posted for e few days because I have been working like a dog.  Took 3 calls over one week and I am in the midst of a 3 weeks stretch without a day off.  (there are a lot of threes in this post.)

So one of the things that hit me upside the head the other day is that they expect me to take 3 days off for this.  Seriously?  I get the one day for the harvesting (love that I am going to be "harvested" - probably only better word than "retrieved").  I understand this because I will be under anesthesia and I can't feasibly work/guarantee that I can think clearly after its done.  I had already told my boss that there would be a day I would probably have to call in sick without much notice.   No big deal.

But then during my appointment they pulled out the calendar with the words "48 hours bedrest after transfer".  Um . . . really?  I thought that jumping up and down after sex was shown to not keep you from getting pregnant so why cant I go back to work?  This just threw me for a loop - how am I going to take 2 more days off?  What if that falls on my OR day? - I don't want to postpone a patients surgery, but I cant very well stand up all day if I am investing all this money and they are recommending bedrest.

I am at the point where if my RE said to stand on my head for 48 hours to get pregnant I would be willing to do it- so I don't know where this freaking out about not going in for a few days of work is coming from.  I dont feel bad about screwing my job - I give them my life and I have more than enough sick time to cover lots and lots of cycles.  I think that so much of it is that I identify with my patients that I don't know if I can just flake out on them like that without feeling guilty, but at the same time I can't say that there is anything I want more in my life right now than for this to work.

Friday, June 3, 2011

and we're off

So today was my IVF intake appointment.

you would expect after such a long haul that I would be excited that we are finally going to do something that has a double digit chance of working . . . but there was no real excitement there.

My IVF RE (who happens to be a coworker, and yet another person to see my vagina) remarked at the end of the visit that we both "seemed really calm about this".  But it all kind of made sense.  History followed by ultrasound followed by plan for meds and then the financial discussion about how much it was going to cost.  Pretty cut and dry.  Not sure what to be anxious about.  Sure there is the possibility of it not working but there is no way to predict that, and no reason to worry about it now.  It either works the first time or the second or the third - and eventually we will run out of money and hopefully we will have a kid before that.  Thats all there is to it.

I'm just not sure how to feel about this.  Honestly, I never thought that we would need it.  All I needed to do to get pregnant in my mind was to ovulate for a while . . . but obviously we can all see how that turned out.

I don't know if I am a little angry with life or cautiously optimistic or just kind of numb.  Its all in fates hands now and our bank account will never be the same, but hopefully I will feel good about it when it is all done.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ugly Babies

Okay - this is kind of mean but . . . I take great joy in ugly babies.  Yes they are kind of few and far in between especially with my ovarian alarm clock going off - but alas they are satisfying.

First of all - most newborns - not so cute.  Usually scrawny, eyes not open, head in a cone shape.  Thank goodness for that because if I had to work with a bunch of smiling laughing 3-6 month olds every time I took call I don't I could get through it.

But the ones that make me smile are the facebook photos - you know the few pictures that people post of their kids that they have already self selected as the best of the best.  And still - just bad.  Don't get me wrong - Its such a weird sensation to look at an infant and say "oooohhhh" in that "im totally grossed out way" but there sure are some unattractive kids out there.  Funny enough they usually belong to the super attractive couples the ones with a million pictures of them in bikinis at their last trip to the beach - but now they only put up about 3 pictures of junior.   Yup - they get it . . . their kid missed out on their genes.  I just appreciate them because there are no hurting ovaries when I look at those and no insane jealousy - just a little internal chuckle.

Now because I have made fun of ugly kids that cant defend for themselves I am sure I will have the ugliest of children - but thats okay - they will at least look like they belong to me.  Seriously though - my husband and I are so hairy I fully expect them to look like Cousin IT - and ya know what . . . I will be fine with that.