Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Boy Responds

So, my beta test confirmed what the home pregnancy test told us, of which I had no doubts.  Now I am just hanging out, getting ready to go on a lovely vacation, and waiting for my back/butt to finally feel a bit better.  Oh yeah, and I'm also busy turning 37 today!

In the meantime, here are the answers to your "Dear Boy" questions.  If anyone feels like they missed out and wants to ask him more questions or follow-up questions, I'm sure he'd be happy to answer them.

 Dear Boy:  I have heard from the super awesome alterna-famousish girl you're with that you are in many ways the solid positive anchor in the process.  Can you explain how you do it?  What's your theory (or perhaps secret)?  

I kind of do it out of necessity. There's a few layers of it. First of all the traditional patriarchal "I am the man so I am the strong one" expectation that in spite of all our radical politics I think continues to exist in some form. But mostly somebody's got to do it and Sharon's the one being filled with hormones and poked and prodded, so really it's up to me.

Sometimes I fail to be the "positive anchor" because I'm in a bad mood or feeling selfish but I hope I've kept that to a minimum. It can be hard when I am upset about how it's all going because I sometimes feel that I can't go to Sharon with it. Any of my complaints pale in comparison to her physical or emotional experience. 

The worst of it is probably that I end up turning down my emotions about the whole situation so that I can more effectively support Sharon through it. Sometimes she gets a bit of a numb bum and sometimes I get a bit of a numb heart.

I know it's totally open-ended, but I'm curious as to what his role is in all of your health stuff.  So he has to inject you in the bum, right?  But do you do the belly stuff?  and aside from that, does he come to every single appointment. or does he decide which to attend?

Until the progesterone shots Sharon was unwilling to let me anywhere near her with a needle. Until this cycle I've had an entirely non-medical role. Part of my role has been to "worry about the money stuff" which means shutting up about my frustrations with American's inefficient healthcare system and taking a new job that has some fertility coverage.

As far as appointments I come to all of the "important" ones - where we're talking with a doctor, or there's something more surgical going on (egg retrieval, embryo transfer). I think I've made it to basically all of our appointments this cycle and most of our appointments last cycle. Now that my work is an hour's drive the other direction it's fairly inconvenient to go to UCSF but I've managed to. When we were in the IUI study there were a lot of appointments that were merely a blood draw - I missed a lot of those because there wasn't a whole lot for me to provide.

For decision making so far we've been lucky enough to agree on basically everything. For things that affect Sharon's body (basically everything medical in this process) I feel like she has a veto, but for everything else I feel that we need to come to compromise or consensus.

How do you stay connected to/engaged in the process?  

As I said in an earlier answer, I end up disengaging to some extent to be able to provide support.  I'm not a writer and less into sharing my personal feelings on the Internet.

I have found that having a job this cycle (injection PIO) has made me a lot more aware of the rest of the stuff that Sharon is doing (synthroid, patches, etc.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Peed on a stick.  Was negative.  That was last night.  I slept restlessly, but I'm kind of OK.  Off to take the blood test now.  Fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

I have a few vices.  Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk are not them.

My song would be more like, "Too much coffee and some red wine..."  Which I have continued to enjoy during this two week wait.  I think I'm in a lot more denial this time than I was during my last cycle.  Last night Ian and I were trying to decide when to take the home pregnancy test (you may remember this discussion from last time) and I was just like, "I DON'T WANNNNNA!!!"  whine whine whine.  It's so funny, because I see so many women who are basically addicted to peeing on sticks, and I am so the opposite.  I think there must be two camps of us inftertiles, those for whom the testing makes them feel in control, and those for whom it doesn't. This time more than ever, I just don't want to test.  In the end, I think we may do it tonight, first morning urine be damned.  If I'm pregnant, it should show up even tonight because I'm at 13dp3dt, which is a solid 2 days past when my period would be due if I wasn't on progesterone, and I have good early response tests.  That seemed less unpleasant to me than doing it either this morning or tomorrow morning before my blood test.  I think I just don't want to find out and then go to work, maybe?

Anyhow, back to my vices.  I think it's worth noting that I've continued to drink more than 1 cup of coffee most days and have enjoyed three, yes three, glasses of wine so far during these two week proving that I'm at least doing a great job of convincing myself that I don't care.  Or maybe, more accurately, I'm telling myself that I can drink wine and coffee because of course I'm not pregnant and this cycle hasn't worked in secret superstitious hope that this means I *am* pregnant and am just being a little bit naughty this time.  Cause being super good and uptight didn't do me any good last time.  Who knows.

In the meantime, I continue to have on and off cramping, which each time it happens make me even more sure that I am not pregnant, in spite of the knowledge that many many women have cramping in early pregnancy, AND that the PIO causes cramping.  It just feels EXACTLY THE SAME as every other cycle.  So, I can't do anything other than assume EXACTLY THE SAME outcome.  I don't have any other symptoms.  None.  No nausea, no sore boobs, no zits, nothing.  Ya know, other than that giant ache of a rear end/lower back that follows me everywhere I go.  But that's not so much a symptom as an expected outcome of sticking giant needles in your body daily.

I have really successfully avoided googling this time.  I've, once or twice, done the ol' 6dp3dt style googling, but it has been totally unsatisfying.  At this point I know everything the Internet says, and it does nothing to reassure me anymore.  I think I'm just hitting the point of being far enough along in this process that I likely won't really believe I am capable of being pregnant and becoming a mother until I am holding a baby.  My own baby. (Sorry other babies - I do still like holding you all, though, babies of the world).

So, that's me today.  Ian is, I swear, working on answers to his questions.  I really hope to get them up before we leave for Switzerland on Saturday.  If not, then in the new year.

Friday, December 14, 2012


See what I did up there?  Clever, eh?  What with the Progesterone in Oil injections being a Pain in the Ass, literally and figuratively??

Um, anyhow.

Not a whole lot to report around here, except that these shots suck a lot.  At first I felt like they weren't as bad as I had expected, because the actual needle going in, in spite of its giant size, is fast and not the most horrific thing ever.  Even after just a couple of days, though, I started to feel like I was wrong.  The more time that passes, the more the pain builds up and the harder they are.  Now we are two weeks in and I'm just so so so sore.  There are parts of me that I can barely touch.  There are parts that when I walk, or we go over a bump in the car, just scream with pain. There are parts of my flesh that are now numb to the touch.  (Yeah, I called the nurse about that one.  Good news?  It happens relatively often and probably just means we nicked a small nerve.  Bad news?  While I *should* eventually get the feeling back in my flesh in that region of my posterior, there is no telling how long it might take.)  There are parts with lumps and knots of the oil balled up.  There are parts where my muscle just feels sore (like your arm after an injection). Every night, regardless of what pain I'm already feeling, we have to inject again.  I just lay there and breath deeply and close my eyes and Ian makes it as easy as possible.  Sometimes I barely feel it.  Sometimes it hurts a lot.  A couple of nights ago it hurt in a new scary way and when the needle came out, blood poured out, running down my side and staining our sheets.  Ian always checks for blood by pulling back on the plunger once the needle is in before injecting the PIO, so we know he didn't inject into a vein, but clearly the needle must have passed through one on the way down.

It's not fun at all, and every night I sort of can't believe I am actually doing this every night.  In goes the needle, massage massage massage goes Ian on the spot, heat pad for a couple minutes and then I have to get back up and get on with my life.  But, ya know...what else can I do?  I have to do it.  So I do it.

So, yeah.  Fuck you, Progesterone in Oil!  Fuck you big time!

Otherwise, I'm doing OK.  I have made it past the first week of the two week wait with minimal emotional torture, comparatively  I haven't had any symptoms of anything, other than some crampyness and I'm still really delightfully distracted by my new job.  I mean, listen, don't get me wrong, I am still thinking about this every second of every day.  But at least this time it's not the *only* thing I can focus on every second of every day.  It can all share some space in my brain with other things, like holidays and work and my upcoming birthday and travel and...

Ian will answer his Dear Boy questions very soon, I hope.

I'll find out if I'm pregnant or not on Wednesday.

If I start to go insane, which I might, I'm sure I'll post more between now and then.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Time passes differently for me than it used to.  I am sure this is the same for many people dealing with infertility, and even for people just trying to conceive who haven't hit major obstacles.  Our version is just extreme.  I think of almost every date in terms of baby-making and how it hasn't happened yet.  Each significant date is a reminder of how much time this has been going on for me and how I am still not sure when it will end.  Today is 12-12-12, which would be an awesome day for a baby to be born, or so I hear as people on my various social networks have kindly pointed out over the last weeks to the very pregnant women also on these networks.  You know what that does for me?  It makes me remember how excited I was when I realized that my ovulation schedule was timed perfectly for a potential due date of 11-11-11 if I had gotten pregnant that month.  I, of course, didn't.  Nor did I the next month.  Not only did I not have an 11-11-11 baby, but I did not have an 11-11-11 pregnancy.   Now it's already 12-12-12.  Still not a mom.

For a long time I thought of events in terms of "if I have a baby then..., If I am pregnant then...., and if we are still trying then..."   Commitments to professional committees that require conference attendance, holidays that I like to travel for, potential visits from friends or family in the distant future, new job opportunities, even things like needed dental work... all fair game for that way of thinking.  It just seemed like I needed to plan my life that way because everything was so up in the air.  These days, I don't.  After two Thanksgivings have now passed by when I had wasted time during the previous year planning for them in that "if i..." way, I no longer bother.  Sometimes I catch myself going there, but I've definitely put up a wall on that genre of thought.  Now I just live acutely aware of the passage of time, and the lack of need, so far,  for me to plan my life around the major events of pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dear Boy

Remember Sassy Magazine?  Well, I sure as shit do!  Not only do I remember it, but I still have two prized possessions from Sassy.

1.  My copy of this issue, in great condition:

2.  And this record (they were completely my favorite band at the time, so I was pretty psyched):

Can you now guess exactly how old I am and precisely who I was in junior high/high school??

Anyhow, Sassy had a column called "Dear Boy" wherein you could write in and ask a real live boy real questions!  And by real live boy, I mean real super-awesome alterna-famousish-men!  Here's a bunch of the columns, actually, if you want to read them.  My boyfriend forever Greg Dulli is even in there.

Dear Boy...that's what we're about to be doing here.  This super-awesome alterna-famousish man is gonna answer your questions!

I keep asking Ian if he wants to write a post on the blog, because really this is OUR journey, not just MY journey, even if a lot of what happens is sort of happening to me.  His answer is usually some sort of a "not really" kind of response, mostly because he doesn't know what to say or how to format what he might want to say and he's just less of a writer type than I am.  So, I asked him tonight how he'd feel about answering some questions and he dug the idea.  I just thought that some of my readers might want to know what he thinks/feels/has to say about some of what's been happening with us, and I'd love to give him the format he needs for sharing some of his thoughts and feelings.

So, please please, ask him some questions or give him some ideas of things you might like to hear from his point of view.  You can post them in the comments here, or on the Facebook page  or to twitter or just in an email (which I'm not gonna link or type out cause duh spammers, but dearanxiety at gmail), if you'd rather be more anonymous.   Look at him sitting there, all serious-faced, waiting to hear from you.  Don't leave a bro hangin'.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is Hope the Thing with Feathers?

Yesterday was, of course, my embryo transfer, so I wanted to let everyone know how it went.  There's not a whole lot to report, since the process has become so familiar to me, and I've posted about it all here before. Basically, I took my valium and had a lot of water to drink to fill my bladder an hour before the schedule transfer and went in to UCSF.  I got gowned up, and Ian got gowned up and in we went....

They thawed two embryos successfully and they both looked good, so that's great news.  It means we've still got 6 frosties left if these two don't take.  So, first the doctor (we had Tran, which was cool) did the hCG wash - putting some quantity of hCG through the catheter into my uterus.  Then we had 7 minutes to chill out while it sat in there hanging out doing whatever it was doing.  Once the 7 minutes had passed, in went the embryos (and we did do assisted hatching, so they've been poked pre-going inside me).  He said it went very well - better than the practice transfer he had done with us way back when.  So, that's good.  He also said our embryos look great.  So, that's sort of that.  Now we're back to the waiting game.

It's strange how much less into it I am this time compared to the last transfer.  I guess that's just how it works for me, though.  I get my hopes up once for a procedure to work, and then when it doesn't, I sort of don't open myself up the same way again.  I don't know.  I'm sure I'll still be devastated if this doesn't work, but I don't have the same excited floaty feeling I had after the last transfer.  I keep forgetting I have two embryos hanging out inside of me.

I'm sure some of that, too, is this new job.  I am just really focused elsewhere right now in a way I wasn't last time.  So, that's good.  There are actually moments of the day where this isn't on my mind.  Which feels pretty miraculous.  I'm sure once I start feeling more symptoms that can be attributed, potentially, to pregnancy I'll become more insane.  I do feel some hope that this was so much easier on my body so that's gotta be good for something, right?

One thing that I am acutely aware of at all moments of the day, is my ass.  So, yeah, those PIO (Progesterone in Oil) shots that I have every night?  They suck.  Ian is amazing and a total champ and we were both so scared the first night and now we're already experts.  But after 6 nights of these, I feel like I can barely walk.  It is really one of the least pleasant things I've ever had to do.  I hate it a lot.  I am every kind of sore and I have to have a giant needle shoved into my already sore sad spots every single night.  I can't even look at the needle without panicking - I have to close my eyes.  And this is after becoming so accustomed to injecting tiny needles into my stomach that I barely cared.  This is just a different ballgame.

Oh yeah ,we also found out today that Frozen Transfers are not covered by our insurance.  So that is a bit interesting.  That means we'll be paying out of pocket for this cycle and any others we need.  It is way cheaper than a full IVF, but it isn't peanuts.  

Anyhow, so, another blogger arranged an awesome sock exchange for people in this infertility world of bloggers, so I wore the socks that were sent to me all the way from England by the lovely Arwen for my transfer.  I loved that like 5 different people (nurses, primarily) noticed and commented on them.  Here I am all ready to go, showing them off.  The valium was really working at this point, by the way, people.  

This is on topic I swear, so, OK, I get this email everyday from Timehop that tells me what I was doing on that day the year before based on all my social networking.  Yesterday after my transfer I checked my email and found this photo in my Timehop email.  Apparently one year before my FET was the day I had my HSG, which was a horribly unpleasant experience wherein we discovered my fallopian tubes were AOK.  It was just interesting to see that photo of me in a hospital gown right after taking another photo of me in a hospital gown.  Just sort of put my year in perspective...  there's been a lot of nudity from the waist down, mostly not in a fun way.   There's been an entire solid year of dealing with Infertility.  A year of Dr. Tran.  A year a year a year.  It's almost 2013.

Anyhow, these are the tiny little embryos that are hanging out inside me right now.  Stick, little guys, stick!  I think you're pretty cute and I want you to hang out like forever!  Especially the one on the bottom.  Cause it's clearly the more attractive potential child.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Quickest Update

I'm all ensconced in my little office/cubicle today on my first real work day in this new position.  Wanted to take a super quick break to update everyone on my transfer, since it's tomorrow!  Don't have a ton to say about it, but wanted to at least mention that it was happening - 1:30pm.  So, wish me and my little frozen embryos luck!

I'll post more soon.  Gotta tell you how those butt shots are going, at least.