Sunday, September 26, 2010

Side effects can have a certain affect…

When I was in my late twenties, I got baby fever really bad. Every baby I saw made me want one and I felt a definite rise in my already high libido. I remember telling my mother about this new found “friskiness” and her stating “You think its bad now, wait until you’re in your late 30’s early 40’s” and I distinctly remember thinking “There’s no way this could get any more intense”

Well I was wrong. In my early to mid 30’s I was with my ex Sio. Although our relationship was missing a lot of things and we brought out the worst in each other, there was one aspect that was never lacking, dull, boring or without love and that was our sex life. We had an amazing sex life and with the onset of my increased sexuality it was definitely good timing for me. It was definitely more intense than it had been in my late 20’s and I knew this time that there was NO WAY “it” could get any higher. Well let’s just say the old saying that “Your mother is always right” still holds true! Boy was she was right and then some. Over the last 6 years I have been predominately single. I have dated and had some short lived relationships which didn’t pan out but my libido, has been and still is on the rise!

I do not claim to know exactly what men go through with their heightened libidos but with the constant urges (and I mean constant ) and heightened sensations I can only imagine that what I am going through is comparable to that of an 18 year old boy.

Now I will say over the last couple of years I have scratched this itch with the help of my Friend with Benefits (FB). And although I longed for “the guy”, “my guy” to share all of this extra special fun with I knew that at least I had FB and he always “came through”.

The reason I bring this up is because recently, I ended things with FB. With the start of my new IVF cycle I felt it was time to move on, to clean house, to focus on becoming a mom and look towards the future which did not include my “afternoon delights”! To leave the past behind and start new even if it meant having to go without my “itch scratcher”! I also felt in some way that this might open me up to finding “my guy”. I ended it with FB at what I am finding to be the worst possible time.

Oh, if I had only waited a few weeks to do so…

All IVF cycles start with suppression. You give yourself a daily shot of some kind of medicine, usually Lupron, which is designed to suppress Leroy. Many people have different side effects associated with Lupron suppression. Some get headaches, some insomnia, some get forgetful (they call Loopy Lupron Brain). I (considering myself very fortunate) haven’t had any of these side effects…well if I did have Loopy Lupron Brain it would be hard for me to tell b/c I can be silly sometimes naturally…So as my cycle progressed I found myself very happy that I hadn’t had any side effects from the meds.

Or so I thought…The next step in an IVF cycle after suppression is stimulation…for those of you who can read between the lines, you might see where this is going…

During stimulation you give yourself 1 to 2 shots a day of some kind of medicine, usually Gonal F or Follistim, to stimulate your ovaries into making as many eggs as possible. The increase in eggs will cause an increase in estrogen which has a direct affect on your overall “friskiness”. As a matter of fact this is one level of “friskiness” that I don’t think even my mom knows about! And although there are many other side effects from stimulation that I hear woman complain about: cramping, bloating, gas. I have heard very few mention this uncontrollable itch!! And I am without my “itch scratcher”! The itch has truly been out of control these last few days. Not only am I ogling the hot waiter at work...I'm ogling the ugly waiter, the bar guests and random men on the street! And in my dreams…well let’s just say in my dreams all itches are scratched and then some. Aren’t dreams fun!! Now I know I have options, I could probably call FB and I am sure even Sio would be happy to oblige and of course I could take matters into my own hands (okay I already did that) but I just feel that all of this heightened activity is being wasted! Here is another time in my life where I wish I had “my guy” to share this with. You know that someone special who would appreciate this in all its heightened glory!

Now in some attempt to quiet this itch I ended up eating a whole 1/2 gallon of ice cream (the good stuff not the diet stuff) between last night and this morning. Yup I had ice cream for breakfast! So on Monday I will find out how many eggs I have...I really hope it's a lot because I feel that if it's not then I'll have no choice but to admit that the only reason I am feeling this way is because I am a pervert. That it is not the affect of certain side effects and I will end up on a diet consisting solely of ice cream! Which I am now on my way out to get some more!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Dreambox

One of my oldest and dearest friends M2 (yes that is M squared because we were called the M&Ms growing up) went to Alaska for her summer vacation. This is a trip she has always dreamed of taking. A trip I remember her talking about many times over the years. Traveling to Alaska was a dream of hers that became a reality this summer. So, I thought it was ironic that on her dream trip she got me a Dreambox.

M2 invited me over to dinner and I knew with dinner, her return from Alaska and my birthday just passing that presents were in order!! I was excited to see what she had picked up for me in Alaska and I was pretty certain that it would be a doll. I started collecting dolls when I was very young partly influenced by M2’s mom S2. Yes, we call M2's mom S2 (S squared) b/c both M2's mom and my mom have the same name…so they are known as S2.

So after a lovely dinner (M2 always makes good grub!!), out came the present bag! I gleefully reached in to pull out my Alaskan doll but my hand grabbed onto something else in the bag. It was small. I wasn’t sure what it was so I slowly pulled it out of the bag. It was a small, circular wooden box with a dragonfly carved on the top (I love dragonflies) and a little blue gem embedded in it. “This is beautiful” I said. M2 said “Wait there is a piece of paper that goes with that. You have to read the piece of paper.” I fished around the bottom of the bag and pulled out the accompanying piece of paper. I read what was written on the paper out loud:

“The Legend of the Dreambox (often attributed to Lemuria) suggests writing down your fondest dream, greatest desire, strongest wish on a small piece of paper, putting that paper in a Dreambox and placing it beside your bed. Every evening as you retire and every morning as you rise, hold your Dreambox and think on your dream, believing with all your heart that it is so. Legend has it, if done faithfully…your dream will come true.”

M2 said “As soon as I saw this I knew I had to get it for you!” “I love it!” I declared. “I know this can only help”. I will cherish my Dreambox. Then I reached back in my present bag and pulled out a beautiful Alaskan Eskimo doll to add to my collection. Some of my favorite dolls have come from M2 over the 30 plus years we have been friends. Yes, it's been well over 30 years that we have known each other. Her mom and my mom were best friends when we were growing up. We met when we were 3 years old. We went to Kindergarten together, dance classes together, Elementary School, Middle School and High School together. We were even college roommates; having a friend like M2 for all these years is a dream come true in itself. Having her support and friendship through everything is a blessing. The night went on with lots of laughter, talks about my cycle, work, men and other issues like we always do. A true girlfriends get together. The best kind.

Once I got home I placed my doll in its new home on my bookcase next to some other favorites and I sat down with my Dreambox. I thought about all the different dreams, greatest desires and strongest wishes I have had over the years and what I might have put into this box if it was given to me 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago and how they all have easily faded but one dream still remained the same so, I pulled out a piece of paper and I wrote:

“I easily get pregnant. I have a healthy pregnancy. I have a beautiful, healthy baby. I am a MOM!”

I neatly folded up that piece of paper and placed it in my Dreambox. I put my Dreambox next to bed and faithfully, every evening before I go to bed and every morning when I rise I hold my Dreambox , I say out loud “I easily get pregnant. I have a healthy pregnancy. I have a beautiful, healthy baby. I am a MOM!” and I know in my heart that it is true. Now let’s see if Legend really has it!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11…

I really didn’t have any intentions of writing about my feelings from 9/11. It is the most tragic thing I have ever experienced and I know that all feel the same. I wasn’t going to rehash the event and talk about where I was when the Towers fell but you see as much as I try to push all those emotions to the back of my heart and mind they coming rushing back with every name being read and every image of the Towers that I see. Today is a hard day. It will always be a hard day.

As I sit here praying that I can create a life, a life to teach, love and protect, I think about those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001. I think about all the mothers and fathers that lost their sons and daughters. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends were lost that day. I lost a friend that day. I can’t even imagine how 9 years has passed so fast. 9 years…the pain is still fresh, the memories feel new. I can still see the horror on people’s faces a we (me and my boyfriend at the time) watched the Towers fall. We stood on the hill outside my apartment which has a panoramic view of Manhattan and we watched the Towers fall. That day and those images are forever burned into my heart and my soul.

I hope to teach my child one day about the bravery of the men and women of 9/11. To teach my child about their strength and their sacrifice. To teach them honor…

This is my quiet memorial in remembrance of those lost on that fateful day and a special remembrance of my brave friend who called her mom to tell her she loved her before the 2nd Tower fell. There is not much one can do on this day but say a prayer and remember…Today I am praying and remembering.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Do the Math!

I’ve always liked the phrase “Do the Math!” It’s a phrase that suggests higher intelligence and knowledge. It suggests that the person saying it knows something that you don’t and if you could only Do the Math you would see it for yourself.

I was watching Criminal Minds (I am addicted to this show) the other night and the FBI agent is interrogating a suspect and leans in and says “I have 5 dead bodies and I am only looking at you. Do the Math!!!” It’s has authority. It’s definitive. Math doesn’t lie.

There is also that famous scene in When Harry Met Sally when they are discussing women faking organisms and Sally says: “Its just that all men are sure it never happened to them and all women at one time or another have done it so you Do the Math.” It’s a little condescending with a “smarty pants” edge.

But it also implies that answers can be obtained through calculating numbers. And that is why Doing the Math is something I can’t help but do! I've always been very good at Math. Math was something I easily understood. I actually couldn’t understand why other people couldn’t get it. It was simple to me: plug in the numbers and you have your answer. Boom just like that. It’s not subjective and as I said, Math doesn’t lie. There are no alternative answers or view points when it comes to Math. And I can’t help but to Do the Math. I think in numbers and percentages. When I am cycling, I Google stats so I can see where I stand. I Google stats so I can see where other ladies who are cycling stand.

One of the gals on the Fertility Board once posted that 33% of IUIs are successful. Of course that number stuck in my head and back in January 5 gals on the board went in for an IUI, 3 on the same day…so that stands to reason that 2 girls would get pregnant if 33% are successful (it’s 1.65 but if you round up then it’s 2). When the BFNs started rolling in I started thinking to myself hmmm could I be the 1 out of 2 and then 2 gals got their BFP and I knew that Leroy was on his way and he was.

Is this reasonable thinking? Mathematically it works but why would having 2 girls get their BFP have any effect on my BFP. I doesn’t but I can’t help but to Do the Math.

About 50% of all women will get a BFP on an IVF cycle. So when 5 girls on the boards were doing IVF basically at the same time I figure 2.5 (yes, that is correct 2.5) would get pregnant. And the fact that it is 2.5 makes you wonder do you round up or down. How do you get a .5 pregnancy…and this is where Math sucks…2 women got pregnant and 1 had a chemical pregnancy. That equals 2.5. I don’t necessarily like numbers or the Math but I still ended up doing the Math and once again the Math didn’t lie.

I think in actuality I hate the numbers. I don’t like thinking about them. I don’t like using them to figure out who will get their BFP and who won’t and mostly I don’t like the numbers because my numbers are so bad. I’m afraid of cycling with certain gals because their numbers are so much better than mine.

The other day was my 42nd birthday. I am now 42. I have now hit the age where success rates are much lower. Where my numbers suck and for once I wish Math would lie.

But here’s the thing: there is also the other side to the stats and the percentages. 30% of women over 40 WILL get pregnant with IVF. I could be one of the 30%. Dr. Doom gave me a practically 0% chance of conceiving with an IUI and I did! Ahhhhh I beat the numbers that are working so hard against me. Could I beat them again?

Over my birthday weekend I went down the shore with one of my BFFs. I stayed with V and her husband at their beach house. Their beach house is located on a little island just outside of Atlantic City. So one night we were sitting on her porch playing poker (of course this wasn’t in the casino, no of course not, but that is bunch of other numbers I won’t go into) and we were playing 7 card draw blind! So basically you can’t see your hand until you flip your cards over. I had flipped 3 cards face up resulting in a pair of Kings for my hand with 4 cards remaining face down. V had to flip her cards until she beat me or folded. She flipped her cards one at a time and got a Straight! She pushed a huge stack of her chips forward to place her bet. The others folded. It was now up to me. I pushed a huge stack of chips forward to call her. I still had 4 cards face down to complete my hand. Her husband said: “You’re going to call her, do you know how hard it is to beat a Straight. The chances are next to zero” Hmmm where have I heard that before! I said “Yup, I’ve got to see the rest of my hand. “ I flip my next card it’s a King! And I declared “I have 3 Kings” and V’s husband said “That still doesn’t beat a Straight” so, I continue to flip my cards, next card, nothing and then the next card…drum roll please….it’s a King and I say “But 4 Kings beat a Straight!!!!!” And yes by God it most certainly does! I beat the odds, I beat the numbers, I fell on the side of Math we all hope to fall on and no I was NOT in the casino where I would have won a ton of money. I was on the porch where I won a bunch of chips that ended up going back into a case at the end of the game BUT I did go for it! I went for it blind, against the odds. I had to see. I couldn’t just fold without seeing.

I know in my heart that I am going to get pregnant, with my own eggs and have a beautiful, healthy baby but I can’t help but to Do the Math!

Today is my first shot of Lupron to mark the start of my 2nd IVF cycle. I am now 42. If you Do the Math, the odds are against me, the numbers aren’t good but sometimes you just have to go for! Sometimes instead of Doing the Math you have to say Screw the Math!!

"It's impossible." said pride. "It's risky." said experience. "It's pointless." said reason. "Give it a try." whispered the heart.



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