Thursday, 29 October 2009


We are good to go!!! I started the MDL yesterday and I begin the stims tomorrow. Every time I start a cycle, the part leading up to the stims, is like the long, slow ride up to the top of the first really big hill on a rollercoaster. You know, where you are filled with nervous anticipation and a teensy bit of fear. You watch as you move closer and closer to the top, awaiting the rush you get as you freefall down the opposite side of the hill. I am so ready to be racing toward the bottom of the first hill (and for the inevitable ups and downs of the smaller hills to follow.)

Last cycle (the cancelled one) I had absolutely no side effects from anything. No headaches. No tiredness. No sore boobs. Nothing. This time I am happy (well, maybe happy is not quite the right word) to announce that I feel like my head is cracking open, my face is peeling off and I have blood gushing out my ears! YeeeeeeOW!!! I don't remember EVER having a Lupron headache like this one. (This is good news, right??! Man, I hope I'm enduring this pain for a good reason.) And, I simply can't remember (although I am not sure if I ever knew, or if the pain is giving me early alzheimers) if you are not supposed to take Ex.ced.rine while stimming or is it that you are not supposed to take it during the ttw. Anyone out there know? I'm desperate! Ty.leno.l ain't doin' it. Help!

Outside of the debilitating pain, I'm about as excited as I allow myself to get about getting another shot at this. Tomorrow I add 225 of Follistim AM and PM and 1 Menopur once a day. And then on Tuesday, we'll see if more than just one follicle has decided to come to the dance this time around. (I have about 5 antral follicles. Same as last time and the time before that. So, I think that's now my norm.) As of tomorrow morning, I shall begin the endless chant of, "Grow little follicles! Grow!!" Sure, I know I'll get some strange looks from passersby and probably my clients as well, but, hey, chanting is supposed to help channel the power of the universe and right now I'm up for any help I can get! So, if you happen to pass a weird chanting woman on the streets of LA, don't feel shy about saying, "Hi!" (If you're not too embarrassed that is.)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


I just got back from Chicago.

It was beautiful.

I hope that my ultrasound tomorrow morning will be beautiful too.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


OMG, I've got them! Everywhere. All along my hairline. Down along my chin. Behind my ears. On my back. On my chest. Lumpy, bumpy white heads! And red, swollen cysts. Yuck! Some are painful, some are itchy and some are just plain unsightly. I haven't had to deal with anything like this in quite a few years. I had forgotten how horrible it could be.

I was one of those people who never saw a zit in high school. Don't hate me yet... wait for it... but I got cystic acne at 21 and I have had it ever since! I think that 20 years of cystic acne is far worse than a couple years of teenage zits. Right? Right?! Can I hear an amen?! Since I had so many, many, many years to try and find a cure for it, I tried everything but nothing worked. Well, until I discovered IVF that is. Oh Lupron, you might mean headaches for some but to me you are a cyst fighting superhero!! I could wax poetic about you all day.

As soon as I started my first round of Lupron my acne cleared up. Amazing!! And then all my pregnancy hormones kept it at bay for another year and a half. Over the last few months, I had started to notice a cyst here and there, but now they back with a vengeance. I don't know if it is the residual effects of the DHEA or the bcp's. I don't remember ever getting zits from bcp's before. In fact one of my dermatologists put me on bcp's to try and calm it down years ago. Hmmm... Do people usually get zits from bcp's?? Anyway I have cysts and zits everywhere and I can't wait to get to the Lupron. Bring on the injections! Let's kick some zit-ass!!!

I mean, I'm 42 2/3 for heaven's sake! I shouldn't still be battling acne, right??! I'll try and take some small bit of comfort in something that The Infertile Breeder once said to me...

If you're are still getting breakouts, you're probably still fertile.

Man, I hope that's the case because I'm old enough to have a teenager but I definitely don't want to be one again.... unless of course, it gets me what I really want. If the trade off is zits for a baby, I'll take it any day!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Post Script

After my last post, I found myself wondering (a lot) why I choose to follow so many blogs of women who are pregnant or actively trying. Why it is easy for me to cheer happily and whole-heartedly for them, and why it has been far more difficult where my friend is concerned. And I realized that before I had even formulated the question, I knew the answer. 

As I read people's journeys on their blogs, I cheer. I always cheer. I always want them to see the positive pee stick, to get the rising beta and the healthy baby at the end. And of course, I want that for my IRL friends too. It's just not as easy to control the flow of information with them. It's not just theoretical that they are pregnant. It's not just a vague notion. It's real. It's watching their belly grow in person every week, even when I've had an emotionally draining day. It's hearing about their pregnancy regularly, even when the details are couched delicately. And most of all, it's the realization that I will soon be confronted by an actual baby at most of our gatherings, whether I can handle it that day or not.

Where blogs are concerned, it's kind of like tv... I decide if I want to (or can) "watch" that channel today. I control the flow of information. It's one step removed from my immediate reality. It's kind of "through the looking glass." Sadly, human nature makes it so much easier to cheer for the heroine, in the show, than my friend. Particularly because my friend, seemingly, has won the brass ring, easily and without much effort.  (In a good movie, a heartbreaking act two struggle always makes a triumphant ending more satisfying, right?) Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish it any other way for her.

I knew this day would come and I had visions of handling it with grace (which I hope I have done well IRL so far) and without tears (which, although only in private, I have not done well at all.) In fact, I started trying for my second very early (if I hadn't miscarried, my children would have been less than 20 months apart) to head this off at the pass. To know, even if I failed, that I had tried. So that I could feel ok when all my close mommy friends (our children are all the exact same age) started to announce that they were pregnant with their second.

Well, it didn't work. Today I'm raising the white flag IRL, and huddling in a dark corner with my laptop and my blogs. Deciding, with care, which channel I should/can/will "watch" until I feel I can face cries of bella bands again.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Six months before we got married, we bought a house. Not just any house, a relatively large house in an older neighborhood. It is an area which was founded by five doctors who had moved out to California from the mid-west. Our house, home to one of the original doctor's, is historic and beautiful and in its 98 years of existence, it has only had five owners. When the keys were handed to us, on my 31st birthday, we were overjoyed and overwhelmed.

We lovingly renovated it for six months before we moved in. Every night after work, I would go and paint and sand. One evening the youngest daughter, of the original owner, had her driver bring her by the house. I was embarrassed because the place was a wreck, but her first concern wasn't the state of the house, it was what us two "youngsters" were going to do with this big five bedroom home. "Do you have a lot of children?" she asked in a concerned tone. Of course the answer was no, to her and to the multitude of neighbors that ended up asking us the same question for many months to come. No, we didn't have a lot of children and at the time we weren't sure if we ever would.

As the months passed, I started to feel defensive when people asked about the house. I found that I wouldn't even wait for them to ask why in the world we needed all this space, I would just immediately assume that was going to be their first question and launch into a rehearsed explanation of how every bedroom was being used. My studio. My husband's studio. The gym. Guest room. Master bedroom. Done. Full. Obviously we need each and every square inch. No children and no more questions please.

But my studio lay dormant, and soon began to collect miscellaneous junk. Every time the housekeepers came, I found myself pre-cleaning. Taking everything from around the house that didn't have a proper home, putting it in there and shutting the door. It was the one room in our house that seemed to lack a clear purpose. And when I thought about it some more, I realized was on hold.

I couldn't commit to making it an indispensable part of my life. I couldn't commit to giving it a true purpose because in doing that I would be admitting that I would never have children. I had always, secretly, thought that it would be the nursery. Each time I painted it, each renovation, I left that option open. I wouldn't let myself get attached to it as my room. It was on hold. It was being saved for something, someone, else.

And, that someone finally came along. And that room has a purpose and is full of light and laughter and infinite joy. But now, I have another room. The gym. We stopped using it after our son was born and it has slowly become a shelter for all my homeless stuff. I can't seem to commit to fully tidying it up into a usable space. It, too, has become a placeholder. It's being used and filled, but not in a purposeful way. It's secretly my second nursery. It holds my dream and... my stuff. Miscellaneous stuff. Stuff that helps me to feel as though it's being used, when in fact it isn't.

And it's the same with my heart. I have room and love for another child. But for now, I am just saving that space. Trying to fill it with random stuff, so that it doesn't fill with tears. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not so much.

The other day one of my dear friends (whose child was born one day before mine, and who has also struggled with infertility) discovered she was pregnant naturally. Of course my heart was full of joy for her. Ok, maybe not full, entirely, of joy. In one dark corner, there was a flood. My tears fell steadily and silently. Shamefully. As I thought about the cycles I have done, unsuccessfully, to try for a second child. As I thought... she hadn't even started trying yet! As I thought... that child was meant to be mine. I'm not proud of that thought. But it was there. Keeping me from true, whole-hearted celebration. I, now, need to find a constructive way to fill that room, that hole, that deep dark corner so I can face her beautiful, magical pregnancy. Not just with a smile pasted on my face, but with joy truly filling that room in my heart, no matter what becomes of that room in my house.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Clean Sweep

Ah, fall. I always feel invigorated by the crisp air. Out here in sunny Southern California, it's always a little hit and miss as to when we actually see fall, but this weekend it arrived. For some people spring is the season of out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new. For me, it's fall. The summers out here can be oppressively dry and hot, and make me long for the cool summer rains of my childhood and of course... fall. My absolute favorite season. There's nothing like yummy sweaters and spiced anything! Fall can kick my butt into gear like nothing else.

So this weekend, when the fall weather finally arrived, I felt oh so motivated to do some much needed cleaning. I purged our downstairs of all the random piles that had started to breed at an alarming rate. And I'm beginning to feel like I can I think clearly again.

Just like my house, I'm hoping that my body has rid itself of all unnecessary clutter. All the DHEA and useless drugs from my canceled cycle. All negative thoughts. I'm ready for a fresh start.

I got my period Friday and started bcp's on Sunday. Getting ready for that last cleansing bleed and then off we go! I know spring is the season of fresh starts and new beginnings. But in my world, I'm rooting for fall.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Mirage

Right after I posted yesterday, I started to get a couple unusual twinges. And, being the pee stick princess that I am, I couldn't resist. I peed. On a stick. So much for going down in flames gracefully. Of course, there was one lovely control line and... one stark white placeholder staring back at me. Or... was there the faintest hint of a second line?

I blinked. And blinked again. Scrutinized the stick under the brightest light I could find. And no, it was just white. Pure white. Empty white. Empty, like my belly... white.

Unfortunately I know very well where the other line should appear, and I think my mind likes playing tricks on me. Don't get your hopes up. I've gotten faint lines before and this was not that. This was my brain knowing the truth, yet wishing, hoping, praying for something else. This was a negative test. And so was the next one. And the one after that.

And today, I don't feel those unusual twinges. I just feel like my period is imminent. So be it.

Sometimes it's good to hold hope, even for a brief moment. It reminds me that I want to carry on. How precious this dream is to me. I just pray that it won't forever be simply a mirage.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rolling, Rolling...

So we bonked. We rolled. We steamed through the tunnel and beyond. And you know what...? I don't even know if my tubes work! I never had them tested. After I turned 40 and went running to the RE, we plunged into IVF and never looked back, around, or even down the tubes. My one precious little egg could have been sitting there on one side a terrible road block calling out "Marco!" without ever even hearing the faint whisper of a "Polo!" in return.

I definitely don't feel pregnant. No tugging or pulling. No sharp shooting pain. No tender boobs. And I'm still peeing neon yellow. (I take a lot of extra B's which makes my pee bright yellow, except for when I become pregnant. If I'm pregnant, my pee goes back to normal color. It's usually my first clue.) Sooooo.... I'm thinkin' nada this time. Oh well. I wasn't really holding my breath.

On the upside, I have a fridge full of Follistim! Yipee!!

So, bring on the red tide and let's get this party going!