Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I have taken so many pictures over the past few days, but I don't know how to upload them yet, so when I do I'll post some of our festivities. We got a very fancy new camera from my mom, which I'm still learning how to use. We had a pretty mellow Christmas. If I do say so myself, I cooked a kick-ass meal on Christmas Eve and we had a great time making merry and such, and we all realized that next Christmas Eve will be utter chaos--S. and I will have had our baby, S.'s cousin's new baby will be a year old, her other cousin's baby will be 2 1/2 and then in May she's popping out TWIN girls. Oh my. Where all those kids will go, I don't know, but it sure will be fun! Christmas day was quiet-S.'s uncle went into the hospital and wasn't around, but it was nice to not have to cook or clean or take any sort of responsibility.

We had a little bit of a frustrating experience at the midwife's office today. S. went in to get her glucose test done. This requires drinking a glucose drink, waiting around for an hour, then getting blood drawn. Too bad that the MW's office didn't know that every single person from the lab was out until 2:00 today and we had to draw blood at 1:15. Luckily, a quick-thinking midwife did a finger prick test just in time (phew!), and S. will just get the other blood tests done when we go back for our appointment next month. But really, people, do you not know when your lab, which is right downstairs, is going to be closed? Annoying.

Oh yes, and our big Christmas gift to each other arrived today--a snowblower. How fun. The gutter off the side of our house also fell clear off the roof with all that ice. Oh the joys of being a homeowner!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Telling the Fam

Telling S.'s family about our pregnancy is going to be easy. We know they'll be supportive and excited. My family is a whole other story. I don't really talk to my father, due to the whole gay thing, and while the rest of my family is accepting, we don't really talk about 'us', as in me and S. as a unit, very much. We're just sort of there and that's that.

But of course when you're having a baby, you have to break that silence a little bit. So, yesterday, at my aunt's holiday party, I did. But first I went home to personally, and alone, tell my father about our baby.

It went better than expected.

Here's what I would have expected: screaming, swearing, praying, storming out of the house. Instead, I got: "OK. I don't know how I feel about that. I'll have to think about it." No screaming. No storming out of the house. And he still came to my aunt's party later on that day.

Progress? I'm not really sure. But he did hug me good-bye last night and, not that things were "normal," it just wasn't quite as awkward as I expected it to be. Weird. My grandmother seemed like she couldn't really give a crap, which is fine, as she is 94 and is sort of set in her ways. (I think maybe if I were the one pregnant, it would have been different.) I know she loves me and S. and that she'll love to have a new baby in the family once he or she arrives. The rest of the fam just seemed to "know"---or else I assumed they did, as people kept hugging us and telling us congratulations. So imagine my surprise at the end of the night when a bunch of my cousins still didn't know! (Thanks, cousin K. for keeping a good secret--love ya!) So, we got to tell them and I think they were happy for us and all that stuff so...it's done with. For now.

I was really dreading yesterday all week. It made me irritable and emotional, but when the actual day came, I felt fine. I didn't cry, puke, go to the bathroom, or any of my normal reactions to such a nerve-wracking situation. So, yay for us, yay for me, and yay for only telling people who will be genuinely excited from now on.

And S. is now at 11 weeks. By the time Christmas comes and goes, we'll be at week 12. Oh my!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

gettting there...

Ummm...I did two crazy things this weekend. I bought a pair of maternity jeans and we bought six Bumgenius cloth diapers off of craigsl*st. Those are things pregnant women do...I think this is starting to sink in. 10 weeks down, 1/4 of the way. However, I am still feeling inordinately worried most of the time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Welcome to the world, baby Jo!

And what a handsome one you are!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

lucky girl

I will be 10 weeks at the end of this week. I alternate between saying, 'already?' and 'only?' Most of the people I work with know I am pregnant and I get a lot of "How are you feelings"? So, I thought I would address that. I'm at a point where I don't think I'll be jinxing myself.

I am feeling good. I'm one of those - one of the 25%. Not a minute of queasiness, never mind nausea and puking. I'm tired, but honestly, I tend to be a tired person who loves naps anyway. I have indigestion that's a bit worse than normal, but not everyday anymore. My boobs are huge, but they're not sore. No flames ladies! I know, I'm lucky in this respect. Finally...lucky. In the beginning I WANTED the symptoms, I wanted to know something was going on. And some days I still feel that way. My belly is hardening up and my pants are definitely tighter. It's hard to say if I'm growing, because, well, there was plenty there before we started. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Getting Clinical

We toured the Big Hospital today, the one our R.E. practice resides in. It was--a very big hospital! It felt more like a hospital than the other one we've looked at. The rooms were not as nice or spacious, it felt brighter and a big scrungier, and just had that overly-busy, rushed feeling. Not ideal for us for giving birth. Of course, the huge advantage is the NICU should S. indeed go into pre-term labor, or something else that we don't like thinking about. Going with Big Hospital means going with Big Midwife Practice, too, since they're in the same building and obviously deliver there.

It's a lot to think about, but I think we'll have our minds made up by tomorrow, when we interview the midwives from the other hospital. I have a good feeling about them--glowing reviews, a sort of local-celebrity midwife who basically started insemming lesbians in this area 20 years ago, and strong recommendations from local bloggers makes them sound very appealing. Hopefully they live up to all the hype so the decision is made for us.

Oh, and the weather outside here is frightful--S. had a snow day on Monday, but I had merely a delay. My commute was awful and slippery anyway, though!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmastime is Here...


I often have trouble getting into the holiday spirit, and S. always called me a Grinch, a Scrooge, a Bah Humbug, etc...but today we finally got a tree and decorated it. This is a pic from our vintage tree from last Christmas---we did it all up in colored lights and old-fashioned glass ball ornament (Shiny Brights). We decided to forgo the little tree this year and just do the biggun'. And it does look good if we do say so ourselves! Can't beat the smell of a real tree, even if it 1.) gets sticky 2.) sheds needles like crazy and 3.) is a pain in the ass to water. All for the sake of a good whiff of fresh pine..we decided to extend the joy our lit tree brings us, we're going to put it outside on our patio with the lights still on and enjoy it through the winter.

And speaking of winter..we may get our first snow day tomorrow!!!

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Making the Switch

A lot of your comments from our last post got me thinking--it is really hard to switch from being a "high risk" infertility patient to a totally normal pregnant person. S. is having trouble doing this herself. Because in reality, she shouldn't have had "infertility"--she is 31, 30 when we started this, her cycles were perfect, her follicles and uterus perfect--there was clinically no reason why she couldn't get pregnant. But suddenly you do IVF and you are buttonholed into this bizarre high-risk category that we really want to get out of. In reality, we're minimalists when it comes to medical intervention. If it weren't for the infertility thing, we still would be.

So--how to you pick your hospital? Your midwife group? Or do you go with an actual OB because she knows what could happen to patients who conceive with IVF? I just don't know.

Our impression of our midwife group today was---pretty good, I would say. The midwife we talked to was super terrific--but there are 15 in that one practice, and we could have any one of them at any given appointment. I don't think the other midwife group we're interviewing operates that way, but I could be wrong. Also, we waited for like, 45 minutes, even though we had an appointment. We don't like that. But we acknowledge this is a big hospital and they are very busy.We were impressed by their stats, though--they deliver 400 babies per year (!) and out of those, have up to 9% c-section rate. Super-impressive. And a very low induction rate as well. They have a labor tub in the birthing center, but we haven't seen it yet and don't know if we'll like it as much as birthing center #1.

Ack!!!!

**Note: Yes, Stacey, you are totally right--I won't say "ACK!" anymore because it is a great decision to have to make. Hell, it's great we get to be the ones in charge of this decision in the first place!! I feel lucky to live in an area with so many great midwife practices and hospitals to choose from.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today we went in for our last ultrasound at the R.E.'s office. It was kind of emotional for everyone, I think. We've grown pretty attached to our doctor, and most especially and nurses and ultrasound techs, throughout the past year. It was a nice way to leave though, of course, and the ideal way--pregnant!

Our scan today showed a 17mm pumpkin seed with a head, a spine, and a fast-beating heart (170!). A co-worker of S.'s is already predicting we're having a girl--apparently, she correctly predicted this of both herself and another co-worker based on heartbeats.

Now onto the scary part--interviewing OBs and midwives to figure out where we go next. Our doctor of course encouraged us to stay in our hospital, and kind of freaked us out. She claims babies conceived using IVF have a higher risk of preterm labor, even with a singleton, and since our hospital has the only NICU in the area, we should birth here. I've never heard this before and haven't found a ton of info on it on the web--anybody have experience with this or heard this before, IVF mammas? At any rate, we're going to meet with the group from our hospital tomorrow, then another one hopefully soon at another hospital we toured today. These birthing rooms were nicer than some hotel rooms we've stayed in, seriously, and the birthing tub was amazing! It really made up look forward to..well..everything.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Isn't it cute? Tell me it's not the most adorable blob with a heartbeat you have ever seen!
I am feeling sooo much calmer, but I'm not there yet. I'm pretty sure I'll be this way through 12 weeks, perhaps the entire pregnancy. I really do look forward to a time where I will relax and enjoy talking and gushing. So I've decided to wait to tell my extended family. I originally thought tomorrow, being Thanksgiving and 7 weeks and all, but I'm not ready. Christmas (and 12 weeks) will be here soon enough. What they don't know won't hurt them, right? I've just got to wait a little longer...sorry all. I'll be greedy though and continue to take all your positive vibes and good energy that you've been sending my way.

Happy Thanksgiving. This is a great time to be thankful. And I am.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day of Reckoning

The day came. S.hardly ate. I felt like I had a lump of ice in my stomach all day and went to the bathroom about 4 times before noon (umm, I'm a nervous pooer--sorry, tmi, I know). Then the moment came, and we were glad to find out that it was our most favoritest wonderfulest awesomest ultrasound tech to ever set foot on the planet doing our ulatrasound. Already we felt better, but S.'s face started turning bright red (I've never seen her like this--it was intense, akin to when her father's vein in his forehead starts throbbing when he's about to explode). I felt like I was going to vomit.

And then, our ultrasound angel said it. "You are very pregnant." Tears. Disbelief. A visual--there it was. A strong heartbeat, a little 4mm squiggly thing attached to S.'s body and growing healthily (and hopefully happily). So right now we have a little pumpkin seed. We are relieved beyond all relief, happy beyond all happiness. We immediately jetted to the Big Book Store to peruse some baby books. We purchased one and are internet-researching the others (we are habitual half.com shoppers--we hate buying new books for cheapness and ecological reasons).

I am so glad that part is over. On to the next wait--next Thursday, which will be week 8 exactly, we have an appointment with our R.E. Then off into the unknown realm of OBs, one of which we do not have.

Yay.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sorry folks - still no news. Longest hardest most heart-wrenching tww of my life. U/s Monday - until then I will speculate only to myself and only at 3:38 in the morning...and 3:39...3:40 and so on...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

help and tmi

So...traumatic week...hanging on by a thread. We had blood Thursday night. This may be TMI for some, so stop reading if you need to; otherwise, I need my wise internets. A gush of bright-red blood. Not spotting, but not full-on period either. 3 wipes worth. Lasted an hour tops. No cramps. One very tiny 'clot' kind of tissue. I can't find much info that helps. I KNOW it could be nothing, but emotionally I can't wrap my head around it all. I had to leave school yesterday, couldn't hold it together. Needed to sleep and watch Little House on the Prairie (my favorite sick-day show - I love that french horn theme). RE's office says they can't do anything. Had previously scheduled u/s for Nov. 19th - that's when they'll see me next. I asked for a beta to see if anything has plateaued, nurse said it might not show us anything but I went today anyway. Nov. 19th seems soooo far away. ugh.

This was supposed to be the fun part. It's not fair. I've worked so hard to get here, I just want it to be easy.

*C's update:
The beta came back "normal" for where S. is in the pregnancy. We know this doesn't mean everything is normal, but it was very reassuring to know that something drastic had not necessarily happened. We're jittery but better and I'm sure the next week and a day will drag on to no end. Thanks, oh pregnancy sages, for your wise advice and encouragement!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baby Books: Scaring the Bejeezus out of pregnant women everywhere

I think we made a mistake starting to read baby books already. They are only scaring us, especially the first three months stuff. I think it scared S. so much that she's now insisting we do another beta test. Maybe a bit on a paranoid side, but our doc told us we could if we want to, so we are. I think the main issue is that S. doesn't "feel" pregnant in the way we think of most pregnant women feeling. No nausea or vomiting (yet) or weird food cravings. She did have a weird aversion to her students' breath last week and no desire for a grilled cheese. She's also constipated as hell which I know is a pregnancy sign, so I'm proceeding cautiously with the assumption that S. is pregnant and will stay that way. Our ultrasound isn't for another two weeks--two weeks! Is that normal?? It seems so unbearably far away. But I know (from reading other pregnant lovely ladies' blogs) that the time will fly by and we'll quickly have our reassurance that everything is just fine.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Proof positive!



Beta results:
14 days past retrieval - 103
16 days past retrieval - 250

According to betabase we are looking A-OK, not that I'm ready to relax just yet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Postaphobic

So just like I didn't want to get the phone call and relay the news to S., I don't want to write a post either. It's..complicated. See, here's the thing. We have a dilemma. It's a dilemma that this fine lady articulated far better than I ever could. The nice IVF nurse told my voicemail (because I heard my phone ring, then threw it down on the car seat and dashed into the market to buy a birthday cake for my mother-in-law) that the test is positive and the numbers look good. But it's two weeks to the day, people. Two weeks!! So, just like the aforementioned blogger, we're just too scared to say it out loud. But, being faithful bloggers, felt obliged to say it because we feel we owe it to all of you for being there for us. That being said...S. has a few words for you. (Hey, this is our first ever joint post! I think this is a momentous occasion on more than one level...)

Those of you whom I know in real life...I'm freaking out and am not ready to talk about it yet. I can't even type the word pregnancy. Let's wait a few weeks/months and then we'll explode with happiness together. It's too damn early. Please. But thank you for thinking those thoughts (keeping 'em coming) and for getting us this far, we really do love you.

OMG-I'm in a state of shock.




Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Testaphobic

We really could have taken a pregnancy test any time since yesterday. Like, today. But, we didn't. We chickened out. S. chickened out. We bought new ones and everything. So now, I am going to be the one responsible for delivering the news, as tomorrow marks two weeks from the embryo transfer. So, in she goes for a blood test. She left a rambling message on the IVF nurses' voicemail about not calling her, but calling me. So, come lunch tomorrow, I guess I'll know. And then I'll have to carry that with me through the day--whatever it is--and then tell S. when I come home. I'm thinking I'll probably wait until 2:10 comes, because if it's negative, I won't be able to survive my 6th period class without freaking out on them. And maybe wouldn't be able to if it were good news either.

I am so nervous...

Monday, October 29, 2007

How sweet it is!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Embryo-A-Go-Go Red Sox!

Sorry for the "before and after"-style post title. I just am so excited about many things right now. First and foremost of course is that little white dot on the ultrasound screen that we saw Sunday morning and was, in fact, an actual, fertilized embryo, sitting right there in S.'s uterus. A-ma-zing. For me, it was very comforting that a.) our R.E. did the procedure and also happens to be very pregnant right now and b.) was listening to the Rolling Stones during the procedure. I doubt S. noticed this, as she was far too busy feeling uncomfortable/in pain, but I thought it was a nice touch.

Then there's our Red Sox--off to the World Series again!! Ahh! Red Sox Nation is, for those of you not in the know, an insane group of crazy Boston fans who just love these guys and this team and all the mayhem that ensues when they win. I love baseball, love the Sox, and we'll be sitting in our living room rooting for them Wednesday night. And hopefully the littlest Red Sox fan in the room will be rooting along with us.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pregnant until proven otherwise??

The deed is done. 1 top-grade 8-cell embryo is now busy burrowing into the lining of my uterus. It's possible that I've never gotten this far - embryo inside and all, so it feels good.

It was pretty tough. I'm glad C. came into the OR with me (scrubs on!) and it didn't last too long. I was VERY uncomfortable. Full bladder, Large speculum, Long catheter. I took the Valium, but I have to say, it didn't help much. There is just NO relaxing under these circumstances - at least not for me. Why this isn't done under anesthesia is beyond me. Not to mention, I have a bladder infection from the ER, so peeing afterward was sooo painful. It will all be worth it. The tww is on. Blood test on Nov. 1st.

4 top grade 8 cell embryos were frozen for the future and 2 others are continuing to be cultured until the blast stage and then they will be frozen as well. Everyone, including my Dr. seemed pretty pleased about the whole thing.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Little growing jack-o-lanterns

I feel like those eggs are a ticking time bomb--will they fertilize? Will they keep growing? Will they have something to implant on day 3 or day 5? We did get a call today that out of the 20 eggs, 15 were mature. Out of those 15, 7 fertilized. I think it's good, S. thinks it's just "o.k." We need at least 6 eggs to make it to day 3 to be considered for a day 5 transfer, which we would really prefer. But obviously whatever they tell us to do, we will.

So I filled the valium prescription. At least we have it, and S. can make the decision to take it or not before we go in for the transfer. Thank you so much for all your input -- we felt a little clueless and lost, and now feel much more informed. S. is feeling wonky still--sore, and not up for walking too much. We head to New Hampshire tomorrow for the Keene Pumpkin Festival, which should be able to distract us with pumpkin yumminess and thousands upon thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns!




Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eggy Update

Egg retrieval - check! They retrieved 20 eggs, more than expected, this morning. Tomorrow we'll get a report on how they are fertilizing, and then wait for either a day 3 or day 5 transfer (Sunday or Tuesday). S. is feeling quite wonky from the anesthesia, but she's hydrated and fed, and napping peacefully right now. I think she's glad it's all over with and looking forward to the hard part--implantation.

A note of concern: they want S. to take 5mg of valium before the procedure. She does not want to do this and is afraid of a bad reaction, but they insist it's not just for mental relaxation, but as a muscle relaxer as they use a fairly LARGE speculum to get in there and place it precisely, and need her to not move at all. Why they don't just put you under if they don't want you to move, we're not sure. Any advice/anecdotes on this? They are really pushing us to take it.

Thanks again for all your well-wishes. We still have a far way to go, though! Ahh! But a great start, for sure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

return to sender

I want you to be sending your karma, prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts, and healthy energy to the right address. We'll be needing them. I hate to beg....but please...please...let this work for me.

Thursday at 10am we will be retrieving under anesthesia. We needed the extra day to finish growing/maturing upwards of 20 eggs (only about 14 look like they will be ready to go). Tonight at 10pm, hcg shot. Another day of achy ovaries and then we're on for Thursday. I'm freaking. My yoga instructor gave me some great breathing exercises and womb-happy poses today.

-s

Sunday, October 14, 2007

the best laid plans...

We had an ultrasound and bloodwork done yesterday. It was our first peek into the work of Mixmaster C. We had a total of 14 follicles. 9 on the right ovary (though I'm not totally clear if these are all of a size that will allow harvesting) and 5 on the left (all of which are a good size for potential harvesting and a few small ones that probably won't catch up). I've watched this play out many times before - thanks to your blogs - this does NOT mean they will harvest 14 eggs. Who knows how many will actually mature, but, that said, I'm feeling OK about 14. My body did her job in a satisfactory manner.

I am feeling vaguely sore on the right side and can imagine how this is going to get uncomfortable. We are aiming for HCG shot Monday night and possible Egg Retrieval on Wednesday. This, of course, will be confirmed or changed by the u/s tomorrow morning.

Question - if ER is Wed., what day is a Day 3 transfer? Day 5? Do I count the day of ER as day 1? I will ask the Dr. tomorrow, but I thought with all the experts around here I could start planning my insane work week. Thank goodness first graders bounce back, they are going to be thrown for a loop this week. Thankfully, I planned 'easy' knowing there would be a sub at least twice....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mixmaster C

So we started our stims nearly a week early. This is great news, actually--now the egg harvesting and implantation won't interfere with S.'s parent conferences. The scary thing is we had to come home from our doc's appt. Monday ready to mix up all the drugs that night--just when I was getting the hang of preparing the Lupr*n shots. Our doc's office does have us do something that is pretty cool--mix all of the stims into one bottle. So, I combine Men*pur with the Lupr*n and G*nal F, then suck it all up into one massive shot. (Is this common? I have no clue.) That's the scariest part: seeing all that liquid streaming into S.'s belly.

She feels good so far--of course, it's only been two nights. She swears she feels her follicles growing. She usually does--and that's when she's only producing two or three! Needless to say, we went out and bought some very stretchy pants for her to wear to work this week. So just call me mixmaster C--I am feeling very accomplished, considering when I first played with a syringe I couldn't figure out how to work the darn thing!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Blood came. Ultrasound Monday (can you believe they're open on Columbus Day? Eh, Columbus was an ass anyway). Stims later on in the week. Let the out-of-control hormone rages begin!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I've never wanted my period to come so badly. think blood. then I can get the show on the road!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Am I dead inside yet?

Try #14 and my first IVF cycle began last night with my first shot of Lupron. The IVF protocol that I am on (maybe all IVF protocols? - I'm not a master at this yet) takes two cycles to perform. So, I take Lupron from ovulation until my period. Then, I start stims and continue Lupron until egg retrieval. I'm in the first stage - in which I am sending myself into menopause, killing anything natural that may be going on so the RE has a clean slate to start with - no follicles, no eggs, no natural ovulation. This sounds so horrible. So...not...natural.

Let's recap what led me to this:
3 IUI's in NYC with OB/GYN
3 ICI's at home with C.
4 IUI's with Clomid in MA with RE
3 IUI's with Injectibles with RE

I hope this is the magic answer.

On another note, I went to a new ob/gyn yesterday. My feet have been in stirrups for a year and a half. Funnily enough, I have not had an annual exam and pap smear. oops. And the RE's office doesn't do it. So I took their recommendation and went to the place they have a relationship with. It's a very popular practice - big and busy, but people love it. The doctor was great, I could see myself using her, but my apt. was an hour and a half late. When I went to book next years exam they didn't have anything available until December 08 and that wasn't even after school hours. I did like her but...is it worth it? They are popular for a reason, right? Why do I feel like I'll be sacrificing something? Am I just used to the small coziness of my RE? And remember, with any luck, I may be using this practice in pregnancy and delivery. It was nice to be able to grill her about their pregnancy and delivery practices (one of the five will deliver you at either of the local hospitals). Thoughts?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Loving Fall

Reflection of the Bridge of Flowers
Fall is my absolute favorite season, and of course I'm totally prejudiced against the Northeast having, hands down, the best fall everything, ever--foliage, scenery, food, views, drives--and we got a chance to get out and do some of those things today with S.'s parents. We drove to Shelburne Falls, home of both Bill Cosby and the famed Bridge of Flowers (so much for such a little town!). We took a walk, had a nosh, and enjoyed the amazing views from the road on the way out there--the leaves are just starting to turn the mountainsides beautiful variegated colors. Good stuff!
Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, MA

Saturday, September 22, 2007

So, that is a lot of medicine there. And a lot of needles. Here is the cool thing that our IVF nurse taught us about administering the meds, though--we don't have to poke S. with a needle three times a day! We actually mix all of the meds together into one vial, then inject her. Though it's a lot to inject all at once, I feel better knowing S. is getting only one poke a night, all subcutaneously (we're doing the progesterone suppositories again, not the progesterone-in-oil shots). S. and our doc talked and decided on implanting only one embryo, but to take off both transfer day 3 and 5 from work, since we're not sure just yet which one we'll be doing. (Explanation for those thankfully unfamiliar with IVF: the docs can choose to implant an embryo on day 3 or day 5 of its development, depending on what the eggs are doing in the lab.) So, that's a lot of days off of work in one week, but we'll manage. S. has an amazing boss, and though I have yet to tell mine what is going on, I know he'll be cool with it.

And now a huge request/favor for the locals out there--is anyone going to Women's Week in Provincetown this year? We were supposed to go, but our IVF schedule is going to now conflict with our weekend. We already have a room, though, and it's non-refundable. It's $90/night for a room with a double bed, free continental breakfast, sweet little place that's a walk right into downtown. It's for the evening of the 5th, 6th, and 7th of October (Columbus Day Weekend). It's called Dexter's Inn and the website is www.dextersinn.com

Any takers??? Let us know--we'll give you all the info if you're interested. Also, for more information on Women's Week, check out www.womeninnkeepers.com.
There's a whole schedule there to be found.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

War on My Ovaries

We now own a small arsenal of IVF- related supplies and medicines. Okay, the arsenal is not that small. This is scary. Tomorrow I'm going to count the needles.

Monday, September 17, 2007

the cutest kind of torture

I love to torture myself apparently.

We went down to NYC this past weekend to do some visiting, stay with some of our closest friends, take in the 'fresh' cool air as we walked from the West Village to the East Village, and eat soup dumplings in Chinatown. We also went to meet babies. Two new babies. I was prepared, I wasn't surprised, I recognized the feelings of desperation - but I knew I had to do it. I AM an adult after all and that's what adults do. Meet, smile, coo and bounce the new babies of friends. ugh. It was hard. Both babies were from friends my own age, who started trying after we did. We've been lapped in pregnancy, birth and now into mommyhood and we're not even out of the fucking starting gate. And now we're headed to the last resort. That last negative hpt killed me. I have to admit, I had to leave the "shower" to get myself together, clear my head, stop the tears, and smoke a cigarette. Pathetic, right? I still have a pit of sadness in my stomach.

I love my friends, I wish them both happy sleepy darling healthy babies. This will get easier, right? S., my friend, is a reader - please don't be offended, upset or worried. This is MY issue to get over. I do love my friends, just not their babies. Joking. mostly.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thank you, Doctor

After going through our "fuck, fuck and double fuck" phase after finding out we weren't pregnant, we calmed down and got ready to yell at one of our fertility nurses to make our doctor call us so we can get our IVF protocol. It worked. Miraculously, our doctor called S. with everything she's going to need to take and everything she needs to do. In the meantime. we're headed to the clinic for the drug protocol class and a meeting with the doctor in person. We are feeling apprehensive, but good. By the way, it's a luteal/Lupr*n protocol--if anyone knows anything about it, advice and info would be great.

You know, S. has quite a way with words. Once, in Hawaii, we were saying goodnight to a random stranger in an elevator and instead of saying "goodnight!" and giving the "shaka" sign with her hands (you know--hang ten with you thumb and pinky hanging out), S. said "nigh-night!" and made the "I love you" in sign language sign. Yeah. So after she was done talking to our doctor about her protocol, S. goes--"Thank you, Doctor." Like she was on some cheesy 70's soap opera or on Gener*l Hospital or something. Or--a porno set in a doctor's office. Yeah.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

A big FUCKING no. Another one. FUCK. Who was the friend who talked me into staying positive and really believing it could happen this time? Well, FUCK them. I'd rather be more pessimistic and then maybe it wouldn't hurt this much. Onto FUCKING IVF - I never thought I'd be here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Only the truly cheesy survive

As S. would say, it's time to "buck up" and get ourselves back on track. 2 days until testing--I am so super-nervous this time. I feel like so much is riding on this tww. At least we both have school to occupy us. We're both back at work, as school is going in full-swing now. I decided I should take this rare moment of repose to reflect back on our awesome summer vacation. Here are some memories of my summer vacation: Alaska, gardening, that first summer garden tomato, building a brick patio in the backyard, James Taylor at Tanglewood, the beach on RI, and..sleeping in!!

Okay, that all made me feel better. I have been feeling totally guilty for my bratty post where I said I didn't want to blog anymore. Who the hell else knows what I'm feeling and can actually commiserate with me when I feel like shit because we're not pregnant again this month?? You. Who is happy when we are, sad when we are, and supports us no matter what? You . I hope you feel we do the same for you...

And as this posts enters the realm of true cheesiness, I think I'll end this right here. Thanks, fellow bloggers, for just being there and reading. Cheers!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Self-pity party

It is becoming unbearable to not be pregnant. I am really hoping we have good news at the end of this tww. Otherwise, I think I'll have to stop blogging, as there are hardly any blogs left on our blogroll who are not either pregnant or already given birth and it's making me totally depressed. We also happen to know a lot of IRL people who are pregnant/new moms. I know this is a completely selfish thought, and I am more than amazingly happy for everyone who I know has been trying as hard as we have to make a baby--and managed to succeed. But it's just hard. I'm tired of waiting, and I want a baby...is this time our time? I really hope so...

And sorry, just another side note to mention that I really am so happy for all the BFPs around here lately. I hope all your good baby karma rubs off on us!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Giant ta-tas

I am halfway through the wait and I thought I would let you all know that I have the biggest, heaviest, most uncomfortable tits off all time. Now, don't get excited. Prometr*um does this to me every time - this is not - NOT, I say - a pregnancy symptom. Those little yellow bullets bring on lots of pregnancy-like symptoms, but this one is killing me.

Those of you with C+ cups now have all my sympathy in the world. Where do you put these things when you sleep? And how can I get them to stop sweating in this humidity?


Friday, August 24, 2007

Didn't I Just Write This Post?

I feel like I just wrote this exact same post, but here I am, a month later, happy to report that we have successfully (in a matter of speaking) executed our 13th insemination. It was pain-free, I am happy to report, with a super-awesome-wonderful nurse who, if we proceed on to IVF, we will be working with closely.

And on the IVF topic...we went to the two-hour overview our hospital requires us to go to in order to even begin considering IVF. Let's just say that it wasn't a complete waste of time, but there wasn't anything they told us that a.) we didn't already know or b.) we could have learned through looking through the IVF information binder. I don't mean to be cocky, but we've been ttcing for a year and a half--we know what happens in the body when it gets ready to ovulate, we know what a basal body temp is, we know what trigger shots and FSH do...but! Oh, a big but...there were 15 couples in this room (we the only homo couple), and only 3 of them, including us, had ever even done a basal body temperature reading. Also, only 3 of us have ever done an OPK. Ummmm..hello people..and you're already jumping to IVF??? I've said it before and I will say it again..sometimes, straight women just astound me with their stupidity about their bodies. UGH!!

(Sorry, straight women readers of this blog, but COME ON!!!! If you have infertility issues, how could you have never done any of these things before assuming you need IVF to get pregnant?? It just seems careless to me.)

Okay, that rant is over. SO! Here we are in our 13th tww. We have very good feelings about this, since we know for sure S. had at least 2 good sized follies, possibly even 3. We hope this is it because next stop on the ttc train is IVF-ville.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

S.'s follies (not Seward's)

Our expensive injectible meds have proved useful at long last--S.'s follicles responded very positively this month to the higher dosage we've been taking. She had 4 at the first ultrasound on Sunday, of very decent size, and then two large ones today. The on-call doc wanted us to just take the trigger shot without coming in today, without knowing what size the follicles were or how many were there. We did not like not knowing at all--and not because we didn't trust this doc, but because we don't trust S.'s follicles! They took soooo long to mature last month, and even on the higher dosage of meds, how are we supposed to really know how the follies would respond?? So we insisted on another ultrasound. Looks like we didn't have anything to worry about in the first place, but we feel much better knowing what we're working with. Trigger tonight, insem. Thursday. We're almost looking forward to it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Next steps & staying good-bye

I had to go home to attend a funeral of a great aunt today. It was appropriately sad--I definitely lost it standing next to my grandmother as Aunt Helen's casket rolled down the aisle at church--but I have such fond memories of her, and it was wonderful to see family I usually only see at such unfortunate gatherings. We all sort of joked and called it the funeral/family reunion. Not funny, but I know my aunt would love that we were all gathered together to laugh and share stories and pictures, and just be with each other. My mom made two of Aunt Helen's famous dessert cookies to a tee--even Helen's own daughter said they tasted identical. It was--nice. I "inherited" (more like took) some old-fashioned mixing bowls once Helen had to move out of her home and in with her daughter down in Maryland, and I think of her every time I use them (which is a lot). Thanks, Aunt Helen. I hope one day my cookies can live up to the reputation of yours!

S. had to have a sono HSG today in ensure continuing insurance coverage for our babymaking endeavors. It was not pleasant--crampy, icky, uncomfortable, from the sounds of it--but if possible, it sounded slightly more pleasant than the full-on HSG with the dye and everything. No dye used here. I unfortunately could not be with S. to hold her hand today, due to the funeral. And I didn't like not having S. with me. Many family members asked about her, which made me feel good, and I did explain to many of my second and third cousins about my "partner" and how we moved and live in a house in MA now, blah blah blah...they're younger, you know, so I think they get it. Who knows--maybe the rumor there's a queer in the family has trickled down that far, but today, no one really batted an eyelash.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Beautiful Thing

Something amazing happened to us today. We got our meds in the mail. This should be rather normal for us. But today, it was special. Our drugs had been costing $600 a month (this is for the injectable stuff, of course). Guess how much they cost us this month? $25.00!!! Insurance is a beauuuuutiful thing! Thanks, HMO! For once I don't feel suckered and upset at my insurance plan.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

MEME!! At long last..not like you've been waiting...

Time to buckle down and do my me-me, I suppose. So, here it goes!

1. I grew up without cable television and video games (my dad swore up and down they would wreck the television set). And, though my parents have a 50" flatscreen HD TV, they still do not have cable!

2. I have curly hair that I am quite vain about. It looks like crap most of the summer, but I love it anyway. It's about the only physical feature of mine that I really like.

3. I am the oldest child. I have one younger sister who is significantly younger than I am--she's 21 and I'm (almost) 28.

4. I was born on Labor Day. Get it--my mom was in labor on Labor Day? I always found that amusing. And, on those years where my birthday actually falls on Labor Day, like it does this year, I make the joke repeatedly.

5. I spent one glorious year living in London in college. I attended University with other British 3rd years who usually didn't want to talk to me. Consequently, most of the friends I made there were either American or from some other European country. I still love the Brits, though, and long to go back for a visit.

6. I went to Catholic high school. Plaid uniform, religion classes, the whole thing. I am no longer a practitioner of any organized religion, though I do not begrudge those who are unless they are clearly bigoted, foul, and hateful.

7. S. was the first woman I ever dated or kissed or..anything, even though I attended an all women's college. Guess she always will be!

8. I've visited both non-contiguous U.S. states on vacation, and driven through every single state on the Eastern seaboard at least three times, since my dad doesn't like flying. (My first time on an airplane was when I was 16)

Okay, I think I've done my duty now. If you want to play along, go to it, but I think there are precious few who haven't been tagged these days!


Friday, August 10, 2007

Just Beyond the Horizon...

We just got home from our 2nd mini-vacation in a week. Last week it was my family up north--this week, S.'s family down south. Okay, not really "south," per se, but south from here. We went down to Rhode Island, where S.'s aunt and grandmother rent a house for two weeks on the beach. We only got two beach days out of it, but that was enough to get a sunburn. Ouch! I was so careless with my sunblock application yesterday that I completely forgot my back, a little spot near my armpit, and the back of my thighs. It hurts to sit. Owww! S. also burned one of her knees...

And we are not having a baby this month, either. We tested Thursday to a bfn. We'll do it again tomorrow, juuuuust in case...but yeah. So looks like we're on to cycle #13. But, now covered with insurance, which is good, since our doctor decided to up the G*nal F injections this time around. Hopefully this will be good. And hopefully we won't go past this, for past this next cycle is the mysterious place where IVF may be lurking ahead for us. I'm disappointed in not being pregnant this month. But---like last cycle, feel that there is at least some sort of possibility ahead to look forward to, even if it seems strange and a bit scary.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Meme Delinquent

We've been in Maine/New Hampshire/North Shore MA for the past few days, so apologies for lack of updates. We're now 1 week and 3 days past insem. S.'s boobs have been killing her, and she swears they're so big that she's in pain carrying them around, but that's just the progesterone talking (we know that now). Trying to think positive thoughts and hope that a little babe is burrowing in for the long-haul.

Here's a recap of our trip Northwards this year:

--Portland, ME is a really cool city. We were treated to a spontaneous dance recital/fashion show outside the restaurant we ate dinner at. Very random. We then watched a woman who had flames coming off her hula-hoop do some fun stuff. We now believe Portland is truly the sister city of Portland, OR.

--Being with family can be exhausting but satisfying. We saw a lot of them.

--Laying by the pool when it's ridiculously hot and humid is good. Laying in the pool is even better.

--Fried dough, though it makes us sick at the end of the evening, is soooo very tasty.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

a meme, my first...

We've been tagged before, I think by A. and E. (sorry girls). But this time we've been caught - by the gals at It's Taking a Village so it's time to face the music. And because we've been tagged before, we consent to do it twice - one for me and another for C.

Here are the rules: Let others know who tagged you. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. Players should tag 8 other people and tell them they’
ve been tagged. I don't think we'll do any actual tagging - baby steps people.

1. I grew up on Martha's Vineyard Island. People always seem surprised that A. my family is not wealthy and B. People live there year round. Yeah, who watches your children, remodels your homes, makes and serves your food? My family and friends. It was an amazing place to grow up - so safe and easy. I never had any intention of moving back there as an adult though. There is not much in the way of culture or diversity (although that might be changing). It was a "small town" - everyone knew everyone and that gets exhausting. I do go back to visit a couple times a year. I really long for the beach/ocean every so often.

2. I love the smell of rubber/plastic. Band-aids, shower curtains, air mattresses. Wicked weird.

3. I have a deep dark fear. Please don't laugh. I'm afraid I'm going to like my adorable, lovable, snuggly, darling dog Ringo more than I will like my baby. Silly, I know. But my fear before this? That I wouldn't be able to have babies and...ahem...

4. C. and I both went to the same women's college. We were there at the same time (she was a firstie when I was a senior) and we didn't know each other!! We met after C. graduated and moved to Brooklyn with one of my closest friends from said women's college. Thanks l.!

5. I LOVE GAMES. Everyone says I "cheat", I "love to win", I'm a "sore sport" - but none of that is true. I just love to play games: scr*bble, domin*es, trivia, sc*ttergories, cr*nium, cards, load*d questions, b*ggle. You name it, I love to play it. C. does not love games, which makes me sad and is one of the very very few things I would change about her - that and her self-control when it comes to itching.

6. I balance my checkbook to the penny each month. Yes, I'm obsessive when it comes to organization and money - so this is where it shows. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes and other times it takes me 3 hours to find 14 cents....but I always find it. I've found this task a bit harder now that we own a house and our finances are totally joined. It's my job and I don't really mind it.

7. I come from a long line if "scavengers". My family (mother, father, uncles, aunts...) loves flea markets, junk shops, and free stuff. We're always on the look-out for good stuff. You would think our houses are full of crap, but we're picky too, so we don't just take anything. C., my dad, my mom and I once carried a VERY heavy wrought iron, metal table up to our 5th floor walk-up. My dad had to stop at the 4th floor because I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack. The table is still gorgeous and now enjoys a prime spot in our dining room. The things New Yorkers throw out! We would take romantic walks in the moonlight on trash night. And it's pretty common for my dad to call me and say "hey, take a drive over to such-and-such street and check out a blankety-blank on the side of the road". AND I GO! hee hee. My uncle gave us a lawnmower he found on the street and we have used it regularly for more than a year. Sickos - we can't help ourselves!

8. I've been teaching small children for almost 20 years - and I'm only 31! It's the only job I've ever had. I started when I was 12 at a daycare that a family friend owned. So maybe I wasn't exactly "staff" but I had a summer job. I took one summer off to clean houses and it was TERRIBLE. Other than that, I have had no other jobs - not waitressing or retail. When I got to college I vaguely considered being a bio major, but it lasted one semester and then I took education classes. It was meant to be. I love my job. I'm very lucky.

And that's it folks! Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about me. I think I did okay considering I was a meme virgin. The only person I tag is C. Go to it, baby!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

#12, Down the Hatch!

The spermies are safely inside and hopefully running full-speed at S.'s egg right about now. #12 is behind us and in front of us all at the same time. To celebrate this momentus occasion we...cleaned S.'s mom's house.

We started a tiny little side "business" of cleaning houses over the summer, since neither of us could score summer school jobs, and we're broke teachers. This is perfect for us because we're relatively clean people, and I make a lot of cleaning stuff and/or use "earth friendly" products, which I think people are starting to appreciate these days. Besides S.'s mom's house, we're doing a family friend's home tomorrow. Even if it's just a little bit extra, it's nice to tuck away for some future summer fun. It at least takes our mind off the tww, if just for a little bit of time.

The other thing we're busy doing to bide our time is re-read every single Harry Potter book. S. is already halfway through #4, me through #3, and we just started Monday! We are crazed. We wanted to fully enjoy and appreciate #7. I'm sure others may think we are nuts, but those in the know, of course, know!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Power of Visualization

I am feeling like we've had this blog for a long time. For giggles, I went back to our very first post in May of 2006:

"I don't know if or how our experiences trying to get pregnant will differ from the other women we've read about, but it certainly does help sort out your feelings on the whole matter, plus it's way cooler than making a lame-o scrapbook."

Ahhh, yes, better, than a scrapbook. But could I have imagined that we'd be on try #12 and still writing? I don't think so. But then again, what could I have imagined it would have been like a year and 2 months later? I think for all those women whose blogs we've been reading for a long time, and who are fortunate enough to either be pregnant or already have a baby, the future is easy to visualize--you have something certain in front of you. For those of us still on the bus, the future is less certain, even as we gain options with every cycle. It's just those cycles after cycles after cycles that just seem like a never-ending road in front of us.

But try #12 does give us something to look forward to--a stop off the bus, if you will. If it doesn't work this cycle, then insurance must cover our future reproductive plans--including IVF. That's right--S. worked her magic on one of our beloved nurses, who petitioned the insurance bitch about our challenge to the "exposure to sperm" clause in our insurance regulations, she made a call to our insurance and VOILE! Coverage. This leaves us unbelievably hopeful and happy. We know that doesn't translate into "easy"--but it gives us something to visualize for the future.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

on the slow train

Still only 14 1/2 mm. And I think we're down to two. Continuing the medicine (which they continue to give me) and go in again on Tuesday for yet ANOTHER ultrasound and MORE bloodwork. At this rate, I don't anticipate doing the HCG shot even then. This is so not typical of this medicine. I am so aggravated. I never never would have guessed my body could be so ornery.

Friday, July 20, 2007

growing this, growing that

So I'm not so good at growing follicles. I am CD11, have been on 150IU of Gonal-F for the last 3 days and 112IU the 3 days before that. I have 3 follicles all on the smallish side, the biggest being 13mm. It's fine. I'm not saying it couldn't/won't work, but it's not the kind of results I thought I was buying. 3 more days of 150IU and we go back in on Sunday for another ultrasound and bloodwork. I think they'll give me the trigger shot and we'll have a Tuesday insem. But, we'll see how my stubborn reproductive organs play along.

What I am good at growing is vegetables. Look at todays bounty!! My father, my uncle, my brother and I were having a "contest" for the first ripe tomato. DING DING DING, we have a winner! Of course there is no prize for this contest, just bragging rights. Fine by me! I'm doing the "I got the first red tomato" dance!! As a side note, and to add insult to injury with my father, there is something being said about organic gardening. I can't wait to eat it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Digging Life

Yesterday was CD6 for us, since S.'s flow didn't really start flowing until the day after our CD1 ultrasound. She has one o.k. sized follicle along with 3 sorta-medium sized ones on one ovary, and a few really, really tiny ones on the other. They upped her G*nal shots to 150. We thought we might run out if we continue at that rate, so they gave us (gave us!) an entire pen to use just in case we ran out. Sometimes, we love our doctors and nurses! They really are so, so nice there. So it looks like we're set to go in on Friday.

In other non-babymaking related news, my poison ivy continues to drive me insane and we're in the midst of digging a patio in our backyard. Digging, for those of you unacquainted with it, is not fun, especially in the heat. I'm sure at the end of the summer, when we're lounging around on our fabulous new brick patio, we'll say, "Oh yeah, it was nothing--totally worth it!" But for now, we're scratching our heads wondering why we ever thought this was a good idea!


Monday, July 16, 2007

You're gonna need an ocean...

...but not of Calomine lotion--apparently it's out of style to use as a treatment for poison ivy these days. That's right--I have poison ivy. Pretty badly, too. Let's just say it's creeping upwards into regions you just do not want to have poison ivy in. Ugh.

I like to think most people get poison ivy accidentally--they're traipsing through the woods on a jolly walk-about, or they're hiking and just brush past it by accident. But me--no, not me! I willingly and voluntarily plucked poison ivy vines out of a bushy patch at the edge of our yard to make way for a rhubarb patch. Not that I did it with my bare hands. I had protection, of course! Rubber gloves up to my elbows, plastic bags tied around both hands and feet, and bucket of bleach in which to plunge the vile plant. I was foolhardy, though--I thought this would be protection enough. Turns out those plant oils can jump! Oh, lord, can they jump, and I did not shower immediately afterward, which is the cardinal rule of knowingly dealing with poison ivy exposure. I've been miserable and paying for it ever since.

To top it all off, I have a wedding to go to this Saturday (our 3rd of the summer). I'm trying to get it it quickly off of my arms, and luckily the biggest, weepiest patches are on my upper thighs. Since I'm not wearing my mini-dress to the wedding, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Anyone have any fool-proof cures for the poison ivy itching and rashes?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Just got home from NYC. We were there for a friend's 30th. I think this is the first time we've gone to visit since moving where we haven't even set foot in Manhattan. Well, okay, we did at the end--to get bagels at our former favorite neighborhood bagelry in our old hood--but for recreation purposes, we stayed squarely in Queens with a trip out to Long Island to Ik.ea. We purchased a kick-butt as-is outdoor chair for our patio. Not that our patio is built yet, but we're getting started this weekend.
Oh, and we came home to discover a flat tire on the Jeep. Great! What a lovely surprise. No idea how it happened. I haven't even driven is since June 20th! Ah well. That thing is on its last legs anyway.

S.'s flow was playing chicken with us for a while. At our day 3 ultrasound, our tech said S.'s lining was still really thick for being on day 3. Turns out her flow was feeling a little shy, so we weren't sure for a little while there if we were going to even be able to start with our meds this cycle--which wouldn't mean no cycle for us, but pretty much did because it would mean S.'s hormone levels were all out of whack. Luckily, the flow started flowing and we commenced as usual, and the blood test showed S.'s hormones on track for the beginning of her period. Phew! It's weird how foreign it all felt after over a month of not being there--the waiting room, the ultrasounds, interacting with techs and nurses and front desk people...but sort of a comfortable thing to fall back on, too. We have yet to broach the insurance issue with our doctor--we rarely see her on our trips into the clinic--so we'll have to call her. I really have no idea how available she is via phone, but I know to make an appointment in person with her, there's like, a two month wait or something crazy like that. Ugh! Imagine being that busy? I can't. I can't even find a summer job!



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Back in the saddle...

I am ready to get going again. Fertility issues were by no means on our minds during our Alaska trip--at least not on mine. For a while, we got to forget about going to the doctor every other day, sticking needles into our stomachs, waiting for periods..all that really fun stuff. S.'s period came yesterday, which means we're back on track for insem. this month. This month is significant to us, because it represents the 12th time we will have done an insemination. Number 12 is like this magical, mystical number, because after try #12, insurance is supposed to cover everything. Everything. Sperm. IVF. Whatever. Everything.

Great! Is there a problem here then, you may be asking? Well, our doctor is saying we've only tried 9 times--she does not count the 3 at-home insems we did. I decided to call our insurance company on the down-low last month in anticipation of this moment and ask what they counted as "exposure to sperm," as the insurance company insists we must have for 12 months, and they said whatever the doctor says, counts. So now the task seems to be, if this cycle does not work, convincing our doctor that our at-homes counted and insurance said it counted so why not make everyone happy and count it??!! Why in the world would we spend $1500 on sperm for 3 months, only to waste it? I'm pretty sure I "exposed" S. to it. Not that the exposure amounted to anything, but still.

I know I've ranted about this before, but it's just so annoying to have to prove that S. has been trying to conceive outside a doctor's office. Why the hell else would lesbians buy sperm?!?! Some crazy science experiment??

Oh well. Hopefully none of this will matter and this month will be it. Knowing our dumb luck, it will. The one cycle before everything is to be covered, and our full coverage kicks in, we get pregnant. I can only keep hoping!!

Speaking of saddles...S. looks good on a horse, don't you think? This was the one Alaska outing I was not sure of, bu
t we had a great time!


Saturday, July 07, 2007

We are so wonked out and exhuasted from the flight back. We've been up for about 30 hours. I'm trying to hold out and go to bed at a reasonable time. But, I can't wait to catch up on all the blogging..tomorrow probably. Thought I'd check in and leave you with a few shots of our unbelievable trip.

The awe-inspiring Mt. McKinley. 20,000 feet of ice! A moose in our neighborhood in Anchorage. I was a moose virgin... And both of us in front of Holgate glacier, a tidewater glacier off the coast.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ALASKA or bust!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thank you...

...Massachusetts, for letting me stay married. We didn't celebrate, but I certainly gave S. a nice peck on the cheek and told her sorry, she's stuck with me until further notice. I suppose it's a nice predicament to be in, and I know all my fellow Mass bloggers feel the same, so congrats to all of you, too =)

In other news...prepare for a blogging hiatus as we get set to travel to Alaska. We are being forced to take this cycle off, but I think we will be enjoying ourselves too much to mind (hopefully). I know we've been blogger slackers lately, but the ending of school is usually the most hectic time of year---giving and correcting exams, cleaning out classrooms, doing grades, professional development...it can be quite overwhelming, even though it's supposed to be relieving. Please know that we've been faithfully following along with all of your journeys, too, in the process of slacking off about writing of ours.

I went to graduation today--I didn't know the seniors too well, but I did teach seniors this year. It was...nice. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did, but it really did make me proud to see the look of joy on each of those kids' faces as they heard their name called to get their diploma. Ten years ago, I did the same, and I can hardly remember it! How fast the time goes by. It can make you nauseated if you think about it too hard. Anyway, it made me think of my high school days and compare them to where I am now. Had you told me that, in ten years, I'd be married, a lesbian, living in Western Mass, a teacher, and trying to have a baby, I would have laughed in your face! What funny turns your life can take!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

i can't even imagine it

It's a no...again.

And we miss next cycle because of our travel plans. At least I can have a few (or more) when we're in Alaska.

-s

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Blog Bash

I have to admit, I was kinda nervous for our 'blind-date' with Western MA bloggers. I am not entirely comfortable in potentially awkward social situations - especially without a glass of wine. I was so happily relieved. Over a delicious lunch at the Noho Brewery and ice cream at H*rrells we easily chatted about incredibly good toddler behavior, travel plans, the melding of last names, jobs, seafood, religion, life in the "happy valley", pregnancy, dogs and cats, NYC, and, most importantly, a love of games. I LOVE playing games. So, the date went well. I think we may have found some real live friends!

In other news, our little doggy love, Ringo, has a tear in a valve in his heart. This is serious, but better than the news I've been expecting all week. I have to tell you, I went to school this week so I would have to stop crying. I was so incredibly stressed and worried because all the signs pointed to heart disease, which could mean weeks or months. Instead we have a dog that we have to treat like a "heart patient" - low-sodium diet, no prolonged vigorous exercise or excitement, daily medication, yearly EKG's and ultrasounds, daily tooth brushing and yearly teeth cleaning. It's all worth it - I love my dog. If my doggy-mommying is any indication of what I'll be like with a baby - WATCH OUT!

BTW, we test on Wednesday. Probably not before. I feel normal normal normal. ugh.

-s

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Slow week, summer work

This feels like the slowest tww we've ever had. I don't know if that's good or bad. I can't describe it-it just feels like the world is slowing down, and at the same time flying by us. This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, so maybe that's why time seems so screwy--a long weekend, coupled with 50 million things to do (including vegetable garden planting and a flat tire on the Mass Pike). Usually, staying busy makes the tww fly by, but it's only been one week. One slooow week. Hopefully the next week will speed up a bit. Once next week is gone, school is basically over and our trip to Alaska is one week sooner. Yippee!

In frustrating, sad, and expensive news, I took our dog Ringo into the vet this afternoon because he has a loose tooth, and she discovered a heart murmur. An EKG for a dog? A cool $230. And then, being knocked out for a dental cleaning and tooth extraction? Probably another $250 more. Add to that two new tires from our flat on Saturday and another potential month of injectibles and that equals two broke teachers. Guess who's working this summer?!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blue Light Special, Aisle 9

There has apparently been a run on SuperSperm since we've ordered him. We checked out his profile again last night, only to find that he now has "limited availability." What?! He was fresh and copious a mere 2 weeks ago! I knew he was too good to be true (isn't that always the way with the good ones?)!

So--what does this mean? For us, nothing yet. We don't know if S.S. and S.'s eggs met and lived happily ever after in her uterus, and won't know for 2 weeks. And then what...will we keep trying with him? What if we want to keep going ad nauseum with him, carrying him with us into potential IVF cycles and then he's not available anymore? We've never faced this particular dilemma before, though I know of it happening to others around the blogosphere here. It's really...aggravating! Someone else--taking my baby daddy? The nerve! Before now, I'd never considered our anonymous sperm donor "public property" but that's totally what he is. Guess I should get used to sharing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

S.S. to the Rescue!

For the first time in a looong time, S. had a relatively painless insemination. Fairly easy going in (though the curve of her cervix always trips up that catheter!), and...NO CRAMPING afterwards. We were shocked. We each took the whole day off of school to allow S. to recover and me to attend to her, but she ended up being just a little bit sleepy and pretty much fine. We're attributing this to our new sperm sample, who we like to call "Super Sperm" (or S.S.). He can do everything--including be nice to S.'s uterus. So we are starting off on a great foot, I think.

Though S. thinks it's all b*llsh*t, the nurse told us today it's not the quantity of follicles, but the quality the injectible meds can produce--which you fine folks out there have sort of been telling us all along. I bought it--I just hope S.'s uterus bought it, too.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rain on our (follicle) parade

This weekend was kind of a wash-out--rain, rain, and more rain. There went our grand plans for finishing up our garden boxes. At any rate, we had another u/s on Saturday morning, bright and early, only we got some sort of unexpected news--one of S.'s big follicles fizzled out and away, while we had about 3 mildly juicy one. I thought, hey, okay, 3 follicles actually maturing this far--this is good.

S. thought otherwise. I didn't realized until we were done that S. was crying on the table, and then I said something insensitive to our Dr. - "She was expecting to have about 50 mature eggs." Or, I realized later it was insensitive. When I think about it, okay, we're spending $600 a month on this new medicine, for what? Results that are only a step above what we had on Clomid, for the most part. So what's the point? What's the big, grand, expensive point??

I really think that the fact that we have more than ONE follicle is good, and Clomid did not give us that. Her estrogen levels are growing nicely and her uterine lining is good. All this is GOOD. BAD for S., though. I think she had mega-high expectations going into this cycle that fell a bit short. And, when you're pumped up with massive amounts of hormones, this can sort of set you off.

I feel sad for S. I feel sad for me. I feel sad that ttc'ing is not joyous as it is with most straight couples (I am imagining--I know it's not the reality, but at least they get to have sex in the process,for the most part). I feel sad that a baby might be conceived in a stressful environment like this. But..I feel hopful that once we get that BFP, it'll all fade and we'll leave this chapter of our lives behind us for good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How To Tell If Your Wife Is On Injectible Fertility Meds

1. She cries 3 times a day at school, for both happy and sad reasons
2. She bawls you out for accidentally running over the curb pulling out of Dunkin' Donuts in her car, letting you know you can never drive a small car and can only and ever driver a big, clunky truck
3. She swears and kicks at the lawnmower repeatedly
4. It's her birthday, her favorite time of the year, and she isn't interested at all

Can we say these hormones are having some effect on our little S? You betcha! The ultrasound today revealed that she has 3-4 follicles on one ovary and 1 on the other. Kind of disappointing, actually, so we're upping her dosage for the next 3 days. Should be a blast given the weekend's outbursts above. But as long as it works, I can tolerate any of it.

Do you hear that, baby? I love you, outbursts and all! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

--cd

Friday, May 11, 2007

Injectibility

Well, seeing as our last cycle was yet another failure, here we are on to injectible meds. Yes kids, on to the expensive stuff. $50 a dose. There is $600 worth of drugs sitting in my refrigerator as I type. Last night was our first injection, and I actually wasn't nervous at all, and S. took it like a champ. When she got home from school today, I asked if the medication was giving her any strange side effects, to which she replied: "I cried three times." What?! Well, I laughed at her, but I thought it was a good sign because it meant her hormones were really raging around down there.

Then there's this tricky thing about Fifth's disease..I guess one of S.'s student's siblings has it, and her student may have it, but it's one of those things you don't know you have until you have a rash and by then you've already infected the next person. For those of you who don't know, Fifth's disease is kind of like chicken pox and is HIGHLY dangerous to pregnant women. Our real estate agent, in fact, lost her baby when she was 5 months pregnant because her daughter brought it home. How heartbreaking is that? Our nurses at the clininic, however, were remarkably nonchalant about the whole thing, assuming S. is already immune due to her many years working with little kids. We'll find out Sunday, but in the meantime, we're still taking meds with the chance that we may have to stop this cycle if we find out S. is not, in fact, immune. And there will be $200 worth of G*nal F shot into her belly, all for nada.

In happier news, we're going to the first Brimfield Antique Show this weekend and then a birthday party with people we love hanging out with. Yipster!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Bloggiversary!

It's been a year to the day that we have been posting our travels in the land of (in)fertility. Sigh. I miss the naive days when I thought I could do this "naturally", when every twinge was a potential sign of pregnancy, when I treated everyday like the tww, when we gazed at my cervix lovingly and temped every single day, when the drugs were just a small co-pay, when shopping for sperm was silly and exciting. I am exhausted, sad, and really really disapointed. I need to get some of the hope back.

As I sat at my 30th birthday party, drinking seltzer, in my first tww, I remember thinking "at least next year I'll have a baby to celebrate with - or at the very least, I will be pregnant." Here comes 31.

Sorry so low.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yesterday I had a giant DD caffeinated ice coffee, a 6 pack of Opa-Opa Red Rock Ale, and a half-pack of M*rlboro Ultra Lights. Can you guess what the pee-stick said?

I guess strange stomach feelings are *not* a sign of pregnancy for me. This is never going to happen.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

waiting

I've noticed (my research being the million blogs I read) that some women LOVE to pee-on-a-stick and others hold off as long as they can. I am of the latter group. I will wait wait wait and just hold out hope for as long as I can. And that's a long time because the prometrium bullets I'm taking hold off my period - so I have to test. Other women start on 10dpo, testing each day until the positive or until the period comes. I couldn't stand that daily disapointment.

So here I am, 13 dpiui, and I haven't yet tested. And I don't plan on testing tomorrow. I just can't do it and then go to work with young children. Bad for the psyche. Sometime over the weekend, I promise.

-s


Friday, April 27, 2007

Halfway there!

7 dpiui. Halfway home. I'm trying a different approach this time around. I've decided not to talk about it too much - here or in real-life. Keeping this go-around low key.

On another note, the fertility pharmacy we're working with "accidentally" shipped and charged me for next months injectible meds. Oops. Yes, $600 worth of gonal-f is sitting in my refrigerator. Medication I **hopefully** won't need. I've worked it out with the company that I will be able to return it if necessary. Annoying...

But wouldn't that make a great story? How ironic!
-s

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cranky Pant

I can't stop eating nacho chips and I need to go downstairs to cook something REAL to eat. Just a quick update, though...obviously S.'s cramps subsided--but not for about an hour, and she was really out of commission. I heard this was bad--one of the book we've read said that cramping causes unnecessary distress in you uterus, making it less likely to accept sperm. But...then I read a bunch of message boards where women had terrible cramping after an IUI and got pregnant that cycle, so who knows--guess every body is different. The nurses and Babymaking Clinic told her to take some extra-strength Tylenol (which does squat for S. most of the time, but oh well).

That's all...that and S. and I are really aggravating each other. I think we need to get outside--we've been cooped up too long!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Commence IUI #7

The deed is done. It happened this morning. I can't post a long, detailed post because C.'s mom is in town and that's rude. But a quick update...necessary. It was relatively painless at the office, but an hour after, starting in the grocery store parking lot, I got the WORST cramps. I cramped constantly for about and hour and a half. It was really painful - severe cramping. Has that ever happened to anyone? Is there still a chance this could work? I like of to think of the sperm in the uterus dancing around banging into the walls because they're so excited to be here. But I'm worried that the sperm got in there and said, "Woh, I heard she's a lesbian, let's get the hell out of here!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why Straight Women Can Be Annoying

I love straight women. Really, I do. LOVE them. Most women I know and love are, in fact, straight women. But sometimes, when it comes to their fertility, they just don't know how lucky they have it!

Example. We went to our "How To Shoot Expensive Meds Correctly Into Your Body" workshop with a lovely nurse from the hospital. 2 other women were there, both definitely straight and without their husbands present. The first problem is that the seminar is very hetero-centric. Not that I was offended by that, but the nurse made sure to tell ALL of us, without exception, that after we take the hcg shot, we should have intercourse that night. Hmmm....now, I could, indeed, have intercourse the same night, but it probably wouldn't have the same result as these other two women.

Okay, problem number two was that the nurse assumes that everyone's uber-expensive fertility drugs are going to be covered by insurance, as are all the procedures (IUI, ultrasounds, etc.). For us, not so much. So that really vexed me. And here's why it vexed me more--these other two women, while I'm sure were perfectly nice, clearly didn't have as great a clue as WE, the two gay women who aren't having their procedures covered. We know what an IUI is, we know how to go through the rigamarole of inseminations, we know what an HCG shot does, and we know when we can inseminate after an HCG has been given. These two didn't seem as clued in. Now granted, if they're at this point in their conception--to the point of injectible fertility meds, that is--they probably have some clue as to their inner working. You know, timing ovulations, temping, blah blah blah....but it just didn't seem like they were on the same page as us.

I guess I really shouldn't be crowing about this, because for one thing, their sperm is free, and another, the meds are probably covered. So what do we get for being so knowledgable and with it? A big, fat credit card bill.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pokey little puppies

Looks like we're on the slow boat this month, not the express train. S.'s follicles, while still numbering more than 1, are growing very, verrrrry slowly. I think the biggest one right now, from Thursday to Monday, grew from 10 to 14 mm. Hmmm...the u/s tech told us to come back Thursday, which is so ridiculous because we have to go there on Wednesday for injectible meds. orientation. And I assume we'll also be back Friday or Saturday for the insem. That's just way more days than I'd like to spend at the hospital.

In other unrelated news...this rain is just ridiculous. We honestly thought the "brook" behind our house was going to bust up over the bank and flood our house. The brook looked more like a gushing white-water rapids yesterday. We were afraid to let Ringo, our doggy, out back too far for fear he'd get swept away! Ahh! Luckily the Westfield River has seemed to recede some, enough that we're not afraid that our house is going to get washed out. Fun vacation times!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

U/S update

Took a gander at my follies this morning. They are small - all about 10mm - but there are 3 on the left and 1 on the right. I've decided to take this as good news. Small, yes, but the amount is a big improvement. Now, no way to know right now if they will all keep growing at the same pace, but it's a good start. It's different than the past - and at this stage in the game, different is good. Let's do a recap:
1st try at R.E.(Clomid)-day 12, 1 follicle 25mm, triggered at office, insem 24 hours later
2nd try at R.E(Clomid)-day 11, 2 follicles 15mm, triggered days later, insem 36 hours later
TODAY(Clomid) - day 11, 4 follicles 10mm, going for another ultrasound Monday AM....

Weird, but there is a pattern there. Slower growing follicles, but more of them. Any similar experiences - particularly good ones?

What this also means is that I will be able to head into the city this weekend! Yeah! We've been feeling the need to get out of the cold wet country. Drink some wine (I know, tsk..tsk), plan our trip to Alaska with friends, and celebrate a friends 30th!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Down Time

We're not so super-duper psyched up over here these days. I guess we're just waiting around until S. is ready for her next insemination, which should be over the next week or so. This is a Clomid-only cycle, since we have to take an official class with a nurse on how to inject those expensive drugs correctly into S.'s body. I'm not really looking forward to it--I could barely manage the hcg shot into the belly in February. Doing the shot itself was fine, of course--it's physically shoving a needle into your loved one's body that is a little intimidating. Big props to all my diabetic peeps out there and their family members--don' t know how you do it every day!

Other than that, we've been keeping very busy lately--planning our garden, raking the lawn, planting peas, knitting, dinner...fun stuff. And vacation next week. Hopefully it will be warm enough to feel inspired to dig up our garden and build our raised beds. Otherwise, we're mellowing out, hoping those follicles are growing nice and plump and juicy.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Confirmed

We waited for over a half an hour in our R.E.'s office on Friday--an auspicious beginning. What resulted from the meeting wasn't half-bad, though. Confirmation that in all likelihood, S.'s ovaries and uterus are completely normal and that we've just been unlucky. Further confirmation that we have to do 12 in-office, under-meds inseminations for insurance coverage to kick in. And, the big blow, a confirmation of how much injectible meds are going to cost us. Let's just say it's a lot. And that we'll be spending about $500 more per cycle now.

Well, starting in May, actually...and May represents the one-year anniversary of us trying to get pregnant. So, for our May cycle, after we've ordered the drugs and we've taken the class on how to shoot ourselves up, off we go. Looks like this month we're just going to do another Clomid cycle and hope for the best.

I really hope this is it--because the thought of doing this 6 more times with a doctor, another HALF A YEAR, seems gruelling and mentally impossible at this point. You know, as if the insurance company has any freaking right to tell us that home inseminations don't count. What about straight couples who can just saunter into a doc's office and tell them they've been trying for a year?? So not fair.

On the upside of things, it finally felt like Spring this weekend. If you want to see something funny, check out S. vacuuming our lawn!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sassy-slacks begone!

To help reassure that I am not always a grouchy ol' sad-sack!

Things for which I am currently thankful:

1. new hope packaged in a RE appointment tomorrow morning to discuss new protocol
2. a thoroughly vigorous and reenergizing yoga class
3. my darling animal yin-yang