Monday, 28 September 2009

Data Girl

I admit it, I'm kind of a data junky. I loved science in school, but decided after a semester in college not to go pre-med because I am a massive klutz. (I am one of those people who falls up stairs!) And, truth be told, I was terrified that I was make some horrible mistake and mess someone up for life. So, I went into an occupation where time and money can erase most mistakes. It's not painless, but it's usually me who suffers not some other poor innocent person.

Anyway, getting back to data... I definitely like to collect as much as possible. I find it fascinating. If I had a enough time and money, I'd probably run every IVF protocol on myself that I could come up with just to see how my body would react. But sadly, I have both only in very limited amounts. Near egg retrival, on our first IVF, my RE wanted to cancel the cycle. I only had 8 eggs and she thought that I could do better. (Which, by the way, I never did.) I asked her if there was any knowledge that could be gained by completing the cycle using IVF rather than converting to IUI and she said "Yes, we could actually learn a lot." So, a lot we did learn. We learned that my eggs were pretty good and we didn't have any fertilization issues. And we learned that if there is a 1% chance something will go awry, it will happen to me. Not very many people get an infection from a egg retrival, but I did. Oh, such a lucky girl! 

So, in this vein, I'd like to say that I found this cycle a little fascinating, although obviously disappointing. Not many people react like they are being oversurpressed when they use the DHEA / Estrogen Priming protocol. Some people ovulate early. Most people have more eggs than they did before and the ones that have less, have better quality. Me, I like to blaze my own trail. I mean, why not take the road less traveled, right?! Instead more eggs, or even better eggs, I have.... one egg. One beautiful egg. Ridiculous! My ovaries look like I've been taking Lupron instead of Follistim and Menopur.

For anyone that's following along, I decided (mostly by default) to continue the stims and take another look. And there it was my ONE EGG. Oh well. We triggered on Saturday. And I have to say that we did it like the true pros we are (please don't pass any judgement)... My husband had a gallery opening to go to and so we had to shoot me up (because I never got the hang of doing intermusculars myself) before my son was in bed. So Saturday evening looked like this...

...son in the bathtub (because I couldn't have him running around) lying on the bathroom floor (because I couldn't leave him unsupervised)
...hubby jabbing me in the ass

Oh, the joys of trying for number two. (Don't worry my son was fully engrossed in trying to fill his colander full of water. Obviously an endless task that can be quite absorbing for a very long period of time!)

And now we are onto the scheduled sex part of the protocol. We love a little roll in the hay as much as the next person, but I have to say it's much easier (when number one is cutting molars and up crying most nights) to try for number two in a petri dish!

Stay tuned... I'll let you know how this saga plays out. (And if I can stay awake long enough to play it out.)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Life In Miniature

Yesterday while drowning my sorrows in a bag of chocolate, I contemplated my approach to tackling a "to do" list...

Like most people (I think), I usually hit the thing I like to do best, first. (Like blogging trumps paying bills, and definitely wins over deciding whether to cancel this cycle. Hence the reason I have suddenly become sooo very prolific on both my blogs.)

Then I look down the list, skipping over my second favorite thing, and jump straight to the third thing. This is usually something that I don't really like to do, but also don't completely hate doing either.

Once I'm revved up (I guess some people might allude to this as procrastinating, but who are they to judge, right?!) and in "to do" mode, I hit my absolute least favorite thing.

And after accomplishing that crappy task, I reward myself by doing my second favorite thing on the list.

After some thought (I had waaaay too much time on my hands yesterday), I realized that this approach is very similar to the way I like to tackle a bag of Hersey's Miniatures (which I happened to be munching on during all this deep pondering)...

First, I eat the Special Dark bars, because damn it, they're the best.

Next, I eat the Goodbars. The peanuts are alright. They place a solid third.

Then I eat the Krackle bars because I don't really like them too much.

And I finish off with the Hersey bars, because they are definitely my second favorite.

Once I finished spinning all these Forrest Gumpish thoughts, I realized... Wow, depression sure does take me to some strange places. And I began to wonder if anyone else eats their miniatures the same way. Hmmm....

Monday, 21 September 2009

Oh, That Tightrope

On Thursday I had a follicle count: 5. I was hoping for more, but I had 5 last time so maybe that's just where I am now. Maybe 5 is as good as it gets. I was a little sad, because like any sane person I was hoping for more. So, all weekend I ping ponged between slight depression and trying to stay positive (thinking 5 great eggs would be better than 8 crappy eggs), and I realized that this is the balancing act I do during every cycle. I try to remain positive while dealing with my feelings of inadequacy, and the depression that those feelings stir in me. Last cycle when we came up with only 5 follicles (instead of the 8 I had gotten before), when I only had 1 embryo at transfer, when my betas were less than spectacular... I tried to hold high the torch of hope, while keeping a level head and preparing myself for potential failure. Or as it turned out, inevitable failure.

Today, walking into my RE's office, my husband asked me if I was nervous. I said, "A little." It was the truth. Usually my body runs like clockwork and so do my IVF cycles. I'm textbook, other than the fact that I should possibly be able to produce a few more follicles per cycle than I do. But my last cycle was off. I ovulated late and got my period early. Things have just not felt quite right ever since I started the DHEA. It's like my ovaries always feel swollen, but they're not.

So once in the office, I lay back and waited to see how much my 5 little hopes had grown. Well, I was right to be nervous... they hadn't, grown that is. And now there were only 4. My body is reacting as though I am not stimming at all. Four teeny, tiny little follicles. Crap, crap, crap I say.

We have no idea if it's the DHEA or the estrogen priming or just a fluke. My doctors always laugh because my body never does what you expect it to. But, I have to say, I'm not laughing today. I'm sad. And I'm trying to figure out if we should adjust the stims and then take another look in few more days to see if that changes anything, or if we should just call it quits on this cycle and think about maybe trying again later.

And while I angst over this decision, I find myself in that old, too familiar, place... precariously balancing between hope and despair.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


This is all I have to say....  period.

(Oh wait, I mean YAY!!)

Monday, 14 September 2009

My Cycle Went Renagade (And My Life Went Crazy!)

Why, you ask, did I start a blog if I didn't intend on writing regularly? Hmmm... is about all I have to say. It's shameful to think that it's been 2 weeks since I've written anything over here. You can't see me, but I'm hanging my head. I knew that it had been a while, but I had no idea that it had been that long until I was over at The Infertile Breeder's blog (anxiously checking to see if she had updated with her beta results) and I noticed her blogroll. And low and behold, there I was... last post: 2 weeks ago. Horrible.

Sooooooo.... let's play a little catch up, shall we? My cycle has always been a short one, about 10-12 days on the front end and about 12-14 on the back. Only once (ONCE), in the years that I have been monitoring, did I ovulated late. (It was at 16 days. The horror!) So, as I progressed past Day 1, and onto, you know, more exciting days like day 7 or 8 or 9, I began to get a little anxious that I hadn't heard from the coordinator at my RE's office to have the big talk about the ever exciting priming and the all important ordering of meds. After a few gentle reminders (THAT I WAS GOING TO OVULATE VERY SOON!) we started furiously emailing back and forth in order to get everything lined up. And I have to say, as a side note, she was AMAZING! I got tossed around the fertility pharmacys like a hot potato. I actually had to talk to 4 different pharmacys before I landed at the right one and my coordinator did not let anyone drop the ball and made sure that they had all my paperwork. And in the end, the cost of my drugs went from $6500 to $175!! Yipee me!!

Anyway, back at the Big O Homestead... everything was in perfect order for my totally like clockwork ovulation to take place somewhere between days 10 and 12. And guess what?? Oh, you know you've guessed it... Nothing happened until day 14! Cripes! What's that old saying about the watched ovary?

So, now we're one egg down the hatch and we're priming the ol' pump or female hormonal system or whatever we're doing... actually I haven't had a moment to concentrate on this cycle really. My job has taken on a life of it's own again. I produce commercials and I am expected (and kind of need) to be available to my clients and my productions 24/7. It ebbs. It flows. And lately it's been like white water rapids. I've been through worse, but it has definitely not left me much time to contemplate, or worry, or anything (like SLEEP! or blog.)

I feel like I got a few too many balls in the air. I try to make my son a priority whenever we are together. Full focus. Quality not quantity. ('Cause that's what I got to give, so hopefully the old saying is true.) Then there's my house which is currently so disheleved, with piles of mail here and piles of laundry there and piles of piles of piles (you get the picture) that we look like we should be on the news being interviewed about hoarding. And of course I need to try and keep my marriage alive: time with husband. And the full time insane job. (Last night I was still working at midnight!) Oh yeah, have you heard, I'm thinking about having another baby and juggling all that a medicated cycle has to offer. Can you say crazy? I can.

Yes, Virginia, there is a limit to feminism and I think I've found it. Scientists say that women are better multitaskers then men. I totally believe it. But why do some of us feel like we need to test our limits?! Are we really crazy or just really, really smart? I'm going to vote for smart because isn't true genius just one small step away from madness? Or was that a crazy man that said that? (Anyway, who wants to label themselves "crazy" when there is a better alternative?) It's a balancing act. One that I am in awe of, as one fabulous woman after another does it successfully, day after day. If they can do it, so can I! (I think.) Now, I just have to figure out how to get my cycle back on track.