Thursday, May 31, 2012


This month is a rough one so far.  I've taken 3 days worth of my meds - 2 more to go.  They are affecting me way more than in the past.  I am so tired and so irritable, it's insane.  And not comfortable.  Especially when my job involves helping patrons and staff with a variety of concerns and questions all day long.   I am having a hard time getting out of bed and I'm having a hard time doing anything other than go to bed when I get home in the evening.  I know this is partly the medicine.  I suspect it is also partly due to my general mental state.

We are pretty sure - the doctor and I - that I am on Clomid, not Letrozole, based on the side effects I have and have not experienced - primarily that the side effects seem to be cumulative month to month.  At our appointment earlier this week to start this final cycle of IUI, I asked about upping the dose.  She looked at my information from the last 3 cycles and recommended against it, as it might cause hyper-stimulation (way too many follicles/potential eggs) and it could thin my lining (which has been thinning a little bit each month).

It was good to sit and talk with her and she looked over everything and said that in my case the study really didn't affect my treatment at all.  That she would have made all the same decisions if I was under her care outside the confines of the study.  So, that was good to hear.

I made an appointment with Dr. Tran for mid-cycle so we can start talking about next options for after this last IUI.  I'm going to take a month off.  Not a month off trying entirely, but a month off of trying with medical interventions.  Which would probably be necessary anyhow, since I don't know what is next and how it works and if we can go straight from an IUI cycle into whatever is next.  I just need a break from the blood draws and waiting rooms and missed work and last minute appointments.  It is so stressful to try to plan anything when I have so many appointments with so little lead time.  I need a chance to think about something else.  I don't know if I will be successful in thinking about anything else, but it might be easier.

Dr. Pittinger swears that she is getting me pregnant this month (with Ian's help, of course) and not sending me back to Dr. Tran.  I guess she can have the hope/confidence for all of us.  I can't stomach it anymore.   My heart can't take it.  My whole body can't take it.  In past months, I was feeling pretty good and quite hopeful during this early part of the cycle.  This month, not so much.  I am feeling worn out and beat down and with very little sense of humor left.  

In the meantime, there are babies and pregnancies everywhere.  Which I love.  But sometimes I feel sad when I know I should feel happy...just for a moment....a quick moment that passes.  But the guilt over each of those quick moments lingers much longer.

On the plus side, I have a much needed week off work.  If I get through today, tomorrow, Saturday - I am off to Napa with my parents and my dad's cousin and her husband and Ian.  There will be much food and much wine.  And 1-3 trips back into San Francisco for doctor appointments during the week (ARGH), the first one being Monday - the rest TBD.  But anyhow, relaxing!  That's what I'll be doing!  Not working.  Is good.  I really need the break.

I just re-read this post before clicking "publish" and it sounds so depressing.  I almost didn't post it because of that.  But this is the one place where I feel free.   So free I shall be.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beta Schmeta

I had about two hours of super-extreme cramps last evening.  The kind that tell me my period is going to come at any time.  So sure I took Advil.  Also, thought I would die without relief.  Some of the worst cramps I've had.  This morning I took a home pregnancy test (that's what we decided to do so Ian could be there when I get the answer, as opposed to the blood test, where I get a phone call when he's at work).  It was negative.  But I still dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 and out the door at 6:30 to get to UCSF by 7:30 for a blood draw so I could be back to work at 9.  When I left UCSF I got into my car and cried most of the way to Oakland.  Hoping that got it out of my system so I don't cry when I get the phone call.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I am super distracted today.  The last couple of days before the beta test are just impossible.  My focus is a mess.  It's a time of the month that is not the best generally - I mean, PMS makes me anxious and in pain and distracted in the best of scenarios.  But now my brain is just constantly buzzing.  I try every cognitive trick I know to shut it up, to control my emotions, to move through my day like a reasonably functioning human being. But all of those tricks are sort of more brain spinning.  It's something like this:

I feel a symptom that makes me think my period will be coming (a cramp, a mood, nausea, sore boobs) and I immediately start to feel deep and crushing despair.  Then my brain goes nuts to try to halt that despair and I just start the thoughts spinning and spinning and spinning - telling myself that it could still be my month - that all these same symptoms can be pregnancy symptoms.  This is when I go online and look up whatever symptom it is.   My search history looks like this:
"feeling cold and goosebumpy and early pregnancy"
"cramps and early pregnancy"
"nausea and early pregnancy"
"strong sense of smell and early pregnancy"
"hopping on one foot while rubbing your belly and early pregnancy"
"sudden love of the album vital signs by the classic band survivor and early pregnancy"

I want to read if it makes sense at all, whatever day I'm in, to be feeling what I'm feeling and still be pregnant.  Of course, the answer is always YES because it's different for everyone and each of these things can be early pregnancy symptoms.   Yes, even the Survivor one!  Believe me, I was as shocked as you are.

Then I look back at all evidence I have of my past months - the calender where I've charted my ovulation and menstruation (and lately my cramps and other symptoms, to make this crazy part of this crazy process easier for me) - my emails etc and try to see if this month is different in any way to all those months in the past.  I can usually find something.  And this something is just more evidence.
"This month the cramps feel more like pulling"
"Last month I didn't get cramps until 3 days later than this"
"My boobs are definitely MORE sore this time."

So the despair is somewhat in check and I start to feel a little hopeful.  But with the hope comes fear, because if I get too hopeful, and it *is* just PMS (as it has been every single month for the last two fucking years) and I had been too excited, too optimistic, too full of possibility, I will be crushed.  And being crushed leads back to the deep despair that I was trying to avoid in the first place.

Sometimes I just have the thought, "Either I am or am not pregnant right now.  There is no way to know.  I am making myself insane trying to figure it out, but nothing I am thinking changes whether I am or am not." and that thought is sort of just crippling because I don't know what to do with it.  I mean, I know it's the reality of the situation.  But what am I supposed to DO with that?  It doesn't fix anything.  I just want to get through this time - if I'm not pregnant, I just want to get my period and know and move on.  And if I am, I wish there was some irrefutable sign.   

So, what can I do?  Try to calm myself down by keeping hope alive. But  work on keeping hope in check simultaneously.  I get totally stuck up in my head in thoughts spinning and spinning and spinning.  But if I stop them spinning then I might accidentally start to really FEEL which I know I can't deal with.  So, I don't have a choice, really.

I don't take Advil for my cramps - the only thing that stops my cramps - until I am sure I'm not pregnant.  Tylenol only helps minimally.  I try not to drink any booze, but I also feel a little bit like FUCK THAT after two years of negative negative negative.  I don't want to take a home pregnancy test, because deep in my heart I know it will be negative, and I'm not ready for that yet.  So, when I do give in, and it is negative (as it always has been), I go into this same mode of coping - I still don't fully believe it.  My brain finds all kinds of ways to remind me that it could be wrong and that I still might be pregnant.  So, what's the point?  Until I bleed (or get results from a blood test) I won't 100% believe it's a no.  So I wait.

I guess all I'm saying is that if you're wondering exactly what could be so distracting to me, here's a little insight to what's going on in my head.  This whole process has probably happened no less than 10 times during the writing of this post as I feel a variety of twinges in my lower abdomen.  Today is Tuesday.  Day 12 post-IUI.  I get my blood test on Thursday.  I've had minor cramps off and on since Thursday (day 7 post-IUI).  This is my life right now.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Conversation with Dad

My parents, and my dad's cousin and her husband are coming up for a week, in two weeks.  They've rented a house in Napa and I've taken the week off work to go hang with them.  My dad and I just had this conversation via email.

Okay here is the winery tour and tastings and dinners that I have set up.


Chill and grill at home

11:00 – St. Supery
4:00 – Swanson

Dinner – 7:30 Neela’s

11:30 - Shramsburg
2:00 – Silver Oak   (not confirmed yet)

Dinner – 7:30 Cindy’s Backstreet Grill

11:00 – Groth
3:00 – Opus One

Dinner 7:30 - Bottega

2:00 – Far Niente

Dinner – no reservations


Dinner –  7:30 Mustards Grill

12:00 – Seghesio

Dinner – 5:45 Auberge Du Soleil

This is the first moment where I hoped I *wasn't* pregnant this month.  Ha!  Awesome!   

Haha – funny!

If I am, I'm still drinking dessert wine at Swanson, at least!

Dolce at Far Niente is even better.

Dessert wine is harmless to zygotes.  I swear.  I read that somewhere reputable.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Third time's the charm?

The first two weeks of this cycle has sped by.  I've only had 3 poke/prod appointments, and two were on Sundays and one this morning on my late work day, so I didn't have to worry about missing tons of work.   Anyhow, as of this morning I've got a follicle of 21mm on the right side, so we're good to go.  Triggering tonight.  IUI on Thursday.  Come on, righty!  I always feel better about righty than lefty.  Just because.

Ian is going to LA for work tonight.  Was supposed to be there until Thursday night, but he's changed his flights to come back tomorrow night instead so as to provide the required man juice for inseminating me (and to accompany me to said inseminating).

The second two weeks of the cycle are so much less pleasant than the first.  Oh Two Week Wait, I write to you a painful ode of torture.  But in the meantime, I get to inject myself tonight, and that's always fun, right?

I'm also gonna start acupuncture.  Who knows if it really does any good, but it certainly does no harm.  And worst case, I figure it'll relax me.  While costing me more money and taking more time, cause pretty much I love doing nothing but going to appointments.  I'm gonna go see this lady.  I also gave up coffee.  Because I just want to know that however this all turns out, I did whatever I could do to make it work.  Oh sweet sweet coffee, I mourn you daily.