Monday, January 31, 2011

Whomp, Whomp, Whomp....

I am not pregnant and I am not okay. I don't know if I will ever be okay.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We don’t get fooled again!!

What are the chances...


After my 2nd IVF cycle failed I was crushed. I believed every last leaf blowing in the wind to be some kind of sign that I was pregnant. Now to be fair I did have some compelling signs but alas (I always wanted to use the word alas in a sentence!) they were just mere coincidences.

So now when I came home the other night and I found a package on my doorstep address to me and that package was a free sample of Similac Baby Formula I have to make sure that I DO NOT TAKE IT AS A SIGN!!

I sometimes participate in focus groups for extra money. You have to qualify for the focus group. To determine your eligibility they conduct a survey. When I went online to take the latest survey and that survey had questions like: “Are you a first time mother?” “Are you currently pregnant?” etc. I said to myself: I REFUSE TO TAKE THAT AS A SIGN!! And the fact that I (without hesitation) answered yes to those questions DOES NOT MEAN IT IS A SIGN!!

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend…


In order to “not get fooled again” I will be spending my 2ww talking myself off the ledge! For whatever I am feeling or not feeling, I will give the symptom and a logical explanation. For those of you at home you can play along and enter your symptom and logical explanation!

My boobs are sore – Why yes, yes they are! That is because you are shoving progesterone up your cookie 3 times a day!!! Or it’s because you won’t stop touching them!!

My boobs look veiny – Your natural skin tone is a purplish pink. It takes you a weeks worth of tanning just to get white. Of course your boobs look veiny! You are clear! You can see every vein coursing through your body!

I feel twinges – IT’S PROBABLY GAS once again from the progesterone that is leaking out of every pore!! Or at least leaking out of your cookie non-stop every day all day long!!

I have some craps – Which is probably a giant poop! WHICH IS FROM THE GAS! Which is from the progesterone!!

I have heartburn – Ever since you turned 35 you ALWAYS HAVE HEARTBURN! Go to a doctor already for Christ’s sake!!

I can’t stop eating – Yeah dexamethasone will do that to you! *It’s a steroid that they put you on at the start of your IVF cycle. I have been on it for over a month now and I have the extra weight to prove it! So all day long I am shoveling food down my throat!

My cervix feels high – Quit playing with yourself!! Or at least checking…you have no idea what you are looking for so stop it!

I got a zit on my chin – Well you have been shoveling crap food down your throat for the last month. It was bound to catch up with you!

I’m tired – You work two jobs (really three) and you have had this workaholic behavior all your life so you are ALWAYS tired!!

The Math is NOT in my favor – Really? Do you really know every women going through IVF at the same time as you so you can actually statistically determine whether it will work for you or not? You’re not Doing the Math! You’re guessing the Math!

I’m feeling frisky – Which leads me to believe Leroy is on his way and it didn’t work. Or it’s because you keep touching yourself!! No wonder you’re frisky!!

I don’t feel anything – It’s microscopic!! How are you supposed to feel microscopic?

I don’t have any symptoms and all the other women who got BFPs felt twinges or cramps or sore boobs – Yeah they probably did and most likely it was GAS, causing a GIANT POOP, they were touching themselves or it is all a side effect from too much progesterone that they all mistook as a symptom!!

I did 3 IVF cycles and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt:

Maybe what should happen is on the day you get your transfer, as soon as the RE puts your little embabies back you hear either a “Ding, Ding, Ding…” bell signaling that it worked or a loud “EEEETTTT” or “Whomp, whomp, whomp” indicating defeat.

This way you know. You know right away. It really is like spinning a wheel except you have to wait 2 weeks before the wheel stops.

If only you could know as soon as you transfer, this way you wouldn’t be analyzing every little zit and every little shit and every little fart in the wind as being some kind of sign!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Mamma said, PUPO and Firemen?

This will be my 2nd post that I felt the need to put a disclaimer on. All I have to say is that this post is full of TMI!!

Giving myself a helping hand:

After my disastrous ER I called my mom. My mom always knows the right things to say. She immediately made me feel better.

But there was one thing I never thought I would hear her say.

The next day I called my mom to give her my fertilization report. All three of my embryos fertilized. We were thrilled. I told her my transfer would be on Thursday and then she says the “unsayable” to me:

Mom: “Remember the last time it said on your instructions that you should have sex the night before your transfer”

Me: “Ummm…Yes?”

Mom: “Well I think you should do it.”

Me: “HUH!!”

Mom: “You know. Give yourself an orgasm.”

Me: “MOM!!”

Mom: “No seriously. I think there is something to it. Maybe it makes you more relaxed or does something in the uterus to help the embryos stick. You really should do it. What could it hurt? What’s the worst that could happen…you get an orgasm?”

That is a conversation I never thought I would have with my mom.

Now I know they say you AREN’T supposed to have intercourse and/or orgasms AFTER your transfer but they do recommend intercourse the night BEFORE your transfer…hmmmm….maybe there is something to it…so…

The night before my transfer I was lying on the couch watching TV and I started thinking about what my mom said. I was like:

“Should I?”

“Shouldn’t I?”

“I could?”

“Am I in the mood?”

“A little”.

“I could.”

“Like mom said…What could it hurt?”

“Hmmm I could….”

So I did…and I was pleasantly surprised because it was quick and efficient and quite pleasurable.

Then I went back and read my instructions:

Have intercourse in the evening prior to embryo transfer, but only if you are feeling comfortable. The prostaglandins in the sperm are believed to help with implantation.

The what in the what? In the sperm…what?…ohhhhhh… it has nothing to do with the BIG O!

Now you might be saying to yourself: “You could have checked the instructions before you did the deed” and yes that is true but just like Mama said: “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Give me a P!!! Give me a U!!! Give me a P!!! Give me an O!!!

Yes, as of 12:45 Thursday afternoon I became officially PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). And it actually feels good. There were so many times in this cycle where I really thought I wasn’t even going to make it to transfer. But I did and Dr. Wow transferred all 3 embryos. He told me that my embabies looked really good. That one was a Grade 1 (that is the best!) and 2 were Grade 2 (2nd best!). This is the 1st time I got a Grade 1. It really made me happy to know that I might have a chance.

I know what you did last night…

The procedure was pretty smooth. But there was a small part of me that was thinking: “Can he tell?” I mean he is right there. Is it possible to tell?

There was one moment in the transfer when I thought things weren’t going well. When you have a transfer the RE places the embryos into your uterus but using a catheter that needs to be threaded through your cervix. They do an external ultrasound on your abdomen and it is that ultrasound screen the RE looks at for placement. You need to have a full bladder because it increases visibility on the ultrasound.

When they started the procedure, Dr. Wow looked up at the ultrasound screen and says: “Your bladder really isn’t that full” and for a split second I swear I thought he was going to say: “Did you have an orgasm last night?”

I was like: “Really, I drank a lot of water.”

He said: “It’s okay. I can see but I’m having a hard time getting a picture for you.”

I told him: “I really didn’t care if you get the picture as long as you get the embryos in”

AND I thought to myself “And long as you can tell what I did last night!”

Burning down the house…

Well not exactly but at 8:30pm Thursday night my Carbon Monoxide detector started going off. I silenced it. It went off again. I silenced it again. I did have this happen one other time. The alarm went off on Thanksgiving and the battery was dead BUT I changed the battery after that and it hasn’t gone off since. So why is it going off now? I opened the windows. It kept going off. I waited 20 minutes. I was still going off. I very apologetically called 911. I was advised to get out and wait for the fire department. I really didn’t want the whole big scene but I didn’t have any choice. They were on their way. I went outside and waited. The firemen came. 4 to be exact and 1 police officer. I kept apologizing because I felt like an ass calling them but I wanted to be safe. I wanted to go to bed but more importantly I wanted to wake up in the morning. After all I was PUPO. I had to think of my little embabies too.

They checked out my condo with their gadgets. It was negative for any presence of Carbon Monoxide. So why was my alarm going off? Then the one fireman told me that my alarm was over 10 years old and needed to be replaced. Basically my alarm was broken. I really felt like an idiot then. I smiled and apologized again as they filed out.

Now I am not sure but I doubt they were all as hot as I made them out to be in my head but if I wasn’t PUPO I might have helped myself out again!!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Making Eggs and Eggless in New Jersey!

Making Eggs…

Throughout this journey towards motherhood (and this journey through life) I always try to inject a little humor into any given situation. My humor might fall on the side of sarcasm but it is always all in good fun and something definitely needed when things aren’t going the way you thought they would. After all I truly believe that Laughter IS the Best Medicine.

Laughter and Loudness is a family trait. I’m loud, my mom’s loud (though she is the quiet one of the bunch) my sisters are loud, my cousins are loud, my aunt’s loud and we are all VERY, VERY animated. All stories are told with visual demonstrations and sound effects.

It is completely evident at family gatherings as we all take turns telling humorous stories about the people we’ve encountered, ridiculous things we might have done or said, driving stories, funny sighting, even Sasquatch sightings (yes, that is for my nephew Adam…we both have Sasquatch sighting stories…hmm must run in the family). And all the while we are talking over each other or jumping in with one-liners as our laughter and voices rise. It even gets to the point where my mom raises her hand and jumps up and down declaring: “I got one! I got one!” And then she’ll get up and act out this hilarious story that has us in stitches no matter how many times we’ve heard it!

I am pretty sure that’s where I get my sense of humor from. My mom's always telling me: “You should do stand-up! You’re so funny!” and I tell her: “Just because my mom thinks I’m funny doesn’t mean that I am” I could just see it now…me doing stand-up and nobody laughing of course except for my mom in the back of the audience!

So laughter is how I get through the day.

Since I started my IVF journey, I’ve had this running little joke…due to the fact that I’m not really doing it all that well and my efforts results in so very few…I joke that when I am cycling I am busy Making Eggs!

I’ll go on saying things like: “It’s exhausting making eggs!” or “I’m just gonna go home and make some eggs!”

Sissy L plays along and she’ll go: “Whatcha doing?” and I’ll respond: “I’m making eggs!”

Sissy L: “Where you going?”

Me: “Home to make some eggs”

Yes, I know silly and funny. Well at least to me and Sissy L it’s funny. But then again Sissy L is easily amused!

“Making eggs” is my little “ha ha” fun with IVF moment…hmm…Fun with IVF…do I see the potential board game in the future?

So on my last RE visit to check my follies, Dr. Wow came in, looked at my chart and says “Okay, well you are not over-stimulating but at least you’re Making Eggs”. Now of course I laughed a little too hard at this (is my crush showing?) But then I thought: “Hey wait a second, this guy is stealing my shtick!” Like the correlation between IVF and Making Eggs is some kind of comic genius! But either way Dr. Wow still found a way to make me feel good about my lack of eggs.

But unfortunately that didn’t last too long…

At my visit with Dr. Wow he told me to trigger that night (Saturday) with my ER on Monday. I had a sneaky suspicion (or maybe it was my eggstincts!! HA! HA!! Wow that was bad but I couldn't resist) that due to the fact Dr. Wow was in on the weekend I would end up with Dr. Corny on Monday. And, of course I was right.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

This morning when I got up everything seemed a little weird or surreal. I don’t know how to explain it but I knew things weren’t going to turn out good…I just knew it (maybe it was my damn eggstincts again! Okay not funny anymore but I had to take one more crack {ha!} at it!).

Sissy L drove me and we spent the whole morning joking around. While I was waiting for my procedure to start we had a grand old time laughing about this:

The Universal Pain Assessment Tool (Wong-Baker Facial Grimace Scale):

Yes this is on the wall in the prep room! Yes it took 2 doctors to come up with this! And apparently its Universal b/c they have it is 5 different languages! Now this is a very high tech, medical terminology going on here!

Once I was prepped I said to my sister: “I’m all sorts of glamorous now. I’m hot in this gown and cap! I have no idea why I’m single” as she takes a picture of me in all my pre-ER glory.

Yup I’m one hot mama!!

But not to be outdone, I told Sissy L it wasn’t fair that I had to wear the beauty enhancing cap and she didn’t. So, she put one on.

Okay we are complete dorks!!

But we continued laughing as the nurse declared: “You two are having too much fun in there”. And it was in that moment that I mouthed to my sister: “I have a bad feeling about this”

There really isn’t any need to go into the procedure. You can read about what happens when the RE gets up close and personal here.

But the end result turned into me waking up before the procedure was done and only have 3 eggs retrieved. Dr. Corny had ZERO bedside manner and made some kind of excuse about eggs sometimes getting stuck inside…I don’t know what that means…

I am sad. I’m defeated and I’m not finding any of this funny.

I left the RE’s office in a huff (a real huff with a curse or two thrown in!) which in hindsight I do feel bad about…

Now I’m walking on egg shells (HA!! I guess I had 1 more obvious joke hanging on in there!) as I wait for my fertilization report and pray that I have the Golden Eggs!

At this point it’s either laugh or cry and I’ve been crying all day!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Eat, Sleep and Poop!

Today I went in for my ultrasound and blood work to determine how many eggs I have, what sizes they are and to see when my ET will probably be and well the news wasn’t good! It is coming dangerously close to my greatest fear being realized. My greatest fear is that I would go in, lay back, place my feet in the stirrups, wait for the doctor to insert the ultrasound cam (or as so many of the TTC ladies like to call it “the dildo cam”) and as the doctor moves the cam around inside of me he says “There are no eggs!” That is my greatest fear. And no it didn’t come true today but after 1 week of stimming on the highest doses of meds possible, I have 4. Yes, I know it could be worse. 4 is better than none. I know that and I am trying to be grateful for the 4 I have but…it hurts.

Dr. Wow, well, he always lives up to his name because he kept saying “Everything is good. Everything looks good”. He continued with: “Alright, well, we have something to work with which is good.” Followed by his sweet handshake, which he doesn’t really shake your hand but cradles your hand in both of his (which is very comforting) and then smiles and says: “Hang in there my dear”. But I know it’s not good. I know these numbers suck! They suck out loud! But boy did today only confirm to me the fact that I have a giant crush on Dr. Wow! Even with my sucky ass numbers he still found a way to make it all sound good. When I was with Dr. Doom you could hear an audible sigh of disgust or disappointment when he would do your ultrasound but not Dr. Wow. Always so sweet. Serious crush!

My last 2 cycles for each I had 6. I was hoping to have the same or more, not less. Less hurts. It puts my chances for success on my last cycle really low. And it hurts. I just wanted a fighting chance.

After my disappointing doctor’s appointment I went to Violet for some acupuncture. I told her about my numbers and how upsetting it is. She listened and then said as she was putting each needle into my belly, in her adorable Eastern Block accent she says: “You never know!” “More eggs could develop and they can mature very quickly. You never know. Now try to relax.” She shut off the lights and I was out.

I don’t remember what I was dreaming when she came back in but she says: “I see you were able to relax”. I smiled and said “Yes” (as I think I was wiping some drool away). Then she said (with that sweet accent of hers) “You have done everything possible to make this work. You have to now trust. You cannot get upset or depressed. All you have to do now is eat, sleep and poop!”

Since I already feel asleep during the session I had that covered. I went and got a sandwich and well…now I’m not sure if the extra needles in my belly were her intentions to make the last part of her statement come true but when I got home let's just say achieving the latter portion of her advice was a giant success!

So, I go back on Thursday to see how everything is growing and until then I am going to follow Violet’s advice and just “Eat, sleep and poop”. I’m pretty good at all three so it shouldn’t be too hard.


Friday, January 7, 2011

What’s going to become of me?

When I grow up…

I wanted to be an actress. I spent over 10 years in NYC pursuing that dream. It was a magical time in my life. Everything was fresh and new. And dreams…dreams were alive, breathing and attainable.

After many years of pounding the pavement I decided to release that dream and create a new one for my life and although it was sad I could envision a new life. I could move on…

Throughout my time of running down this dream, I always pictured myself meeting the one, getting married and having babies. I can clearly remember the visions I would have of me at different points in my life (late 20’s, early 30’s, mid 30’s) pregnant. And until this day, even though it now seems impossible, I still picture myself with a toddler and an infant on my hip. These visions are almost a given. Not really a dream but path in my life I knew I was going to take. It is a part of who I am.

But now I often wonder what is going to become of me if I never fall in love again. I often wonder what is going to become of me if I don’t succeed in my quest to become a mother. Can you move on with a missing part?

At the bar I work in there used to be this woman who would come in and hit on all the young guys. She would walk around the bar pressing herself up against any guy that would let her. And believe me they would let her. Her name was Judy and Judy clearly had some figure enhancing surgery of the extra large variety done and Judy was definitely older. But she wore tiny little clothes to show off her extra large enhancements. She would rub her extra large enhancements up against the young guys, flip her hair and make the “duck face” by pursing her lips together. All of this in an effort to get some guy to go home with her (or at least to buy her a drink). I used to watch Judy and think she was sad. She had no one. Here was a woman (to my best guess) when she was younger probably had men falling all over her and now, now that she was older, she was desperate for the attention. Watching Judy always made me sad. What was Judy’s story? Did she have love and lose it? Did men just always use her and she never found love and if I remain single and never find the one could a life without love lead me to be Judy?

I wonder if I am ever going to fall in love again. And without it…Without love...Without that hand that touches mine to say “You’re safe!” Without that smile I catch as I look up that says “I’m yours!” and without the whispers of “I love you!” in my ear will I ever be truly happy? Without love will I turn into Judy, desperately seeking affection? Will you find me in some bar throwing myself at any guy who will let me in some hopeless bid to not be alone?

There’s another woman who comes into the bar; Coffee Lady. She’s the complete opposite of Judy. She comes in with a cup of “to go” coffee (she got somewhere else) and sits quietly at one of the tables. She’s unkempt. She’s unsocial. If you didn’t know any better you would think she’s homeless. She harmless but in some ways she makes me uncomfortable. I am not sure of her story. Someone at one time or another told me she was that way from doing drugs and that she’s been this way for a long time and lives with her mother. She is isolated. Lost. I walked up to her one time to offer her some coffee and she turned to me a smiled. And when she did, her smile was eerie, almost scary and her eyes were sad and lonely.

Is this what happens when you don’t have a family of your own? Is this what happens when you have no purpose but to wander into different stores all day long in hopes of getting a cup of coffee? And if I never have a family of my own will I find myself isolated and lost? Wandering around in a world of emptiness?

We all know the jokes about the “Crazy Cat Lady”; the woman that has 10, 15, 20 cats. I have 2. I have 2 cats. I am 42 and single and I have 2 cats. I can usually deal out the jokes with the best of them. You know that an older woman with cats must either be gay or the “Crazy Cat Lady”. And I joke around saying that it’s only a matter of time before I have a house overrun by cats. And when I see stray kittens around my condo complex, I want to take them in. I make a conscious effort not to look directly at them because I am sure if their little, sad, lost, cold and lonely eyes catch mine I will have no choice but to take them home.

Is this what happens when your desire to be a mom is so strong but never gets fulfilled? Do you go around taking in stray after stray after stray to try to fill your maternal instincts? And if I never become a mom will you find me obsessively hording pets?

My Grandma H passed away on April 8th 2008. She was 95 years old. The last 10 years of her life (let’s face it, it was probably more like 15) she spent debilitated with Alzheimer’s. My Grandpa passed away in 1972. 36 years before Grandma H. She never remarried. My grandmother had suitors (that’s what she called them “suitors”) but she would always say “I had my husband”. She could have had another 30 year marriage. Not lived alone. I often wonder if the being alone and wishing for days gone by attributed to her Alzheimer’s. I wonder if living in the past became a better alternative than trying to live in such a cold, lonely present and even lonelier future.

Having a family is not a dream that has to be released. This is a piece of me. Can I live without this piece? But more importantly will I want to?

If I don’t find love, if I never become a mother will I completely lose hope in the future so that all I can do is live in the past?

And as the days approach to finding out whether or not my last IVF cycle is going to work I find myself wondering “What’s going to become of me?”



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