Sunday, February 27, 2011

ART

"Patience is the art of concealing your impatience."
- Guy Kawasaki

Four weeks.


Oh how time goes by so quickly for some things....and so-so-so slowly for others.


This is definitely one of the slow times.


I think the lesson really is in the "art" (Assisted Reproductive Technology) of concealing your impatience. Such a tough lesson for me to learn.


Actually, it's making me nuts. With a restless FET desire.


Which usually means that bad things are in store for Mr. Thompson. When this happens, I usually paint walls... different shades of color until I find the one I like. I tear things down... and then build them back up. I change my hairstyle... along with m hair color. Again - and again - and again.


I dabble in annoying hobbies like bagpipes and sewing machines.


I try new recipes which make dear husband sick. I work more, which means that he works more... since we work together.


Trust me, nothing good happens when I am restless. Which is why I'm going to enroll in a yoga class this week.


To help learn the "A.R.T." of patience.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Spilled Milk

Thanks for the Roll Call fun. It made me feel better about making my student loan payment today. Next time Mr. Thompson complains about that...I'm going to tell him that I'm putting my International Relations degree to use. Since I do it on my blog - that might keep him off my back about that too.

And that my dear peeps is what we at Viva la Vida call a "Win-Win"!


******************************************


Today is Day 17 of my cycle which reminds me that if I'm lucky....FET could be about 4 weeks away. Won't that be exciting?!

It made me feel a little better about that piece of paper I picked up yesterday which outlined my IVF timeline. If I was on track with the original plan....Monday would be an ultrasound.

Since there is no use crying over spilled milk - I'll look forward to the next four weeks and the 10 pounds that I need to lose.

Any suggestions? (because I laid in bed at 5:30 this morning with zero motivation to get up and get on the treadmill.)

I think I need an intervention.

****************************************

To prove just how sick I am...get a load of this:

For almost four years I've faithfully used my electronic ovulation predictor kit like it is my lifeline to family planning. Month...after month....after month...I've faithfully peed on the predictor kit sticks on cycle days 9 - 25ish. What I've learned is that there is no rhyme nor reason on which days I'll get the magic three bars and egg picture. It's a big mystery since "predicable" I. Am. Not.

When Dr. H told me that I needed to stop everything and give my body a rest - I happily interpreted that to include this LH surge crystal ball. Honestly, I gave it up with a sigh of relief.

And a little OCD fatigue.

But now that I'm antsy about when Aunt Flo is coming to town, I'm very much regretting the fact that I hid it in the back of my bathroom drawer. After peeing on a stick over 500 times (I flippin' calculated it!)...I do believe that I'm actually missing it.

Like I said, I need help.

An infertility/OCD intervention.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roll Call

Where my peeps at?


If the Viva la Vida Maploco is to be believed... we've recently had "peeps" (aka: people) visit from Canada, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Qatar, Philippines, Ireland, Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Kuwait, Vietnam, Poland, and all over the US.

Wow! Thanks for stopping by.

Finally, that degree in International Relations is paying off.

So let's test the map (because anything with "loco" in the name needs to be tested)... and play a little game called "Roll Call". (Fun fact: "Roll Call" is a throwback to WWI and WWII when the R*d Cross would collect signatures to enlist peoples support for the war efforts).

Since some days this is a war effort....join the Viva la Vida Roll Call by leaving a comment with your city and/or state and/or country. (Not sure how? Check out Leaving A Comment 101)

And while you leave your little stamp...just don't forget to Viva la Vida - from wherever you are!

Live the life.

(and become a Follower (aka: peep) if you haven't already because I've been stuck on 158 for a while. Gracias. Merci. Mihalo. Obrigado. Takk. Kittos. Grazie. )

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where There's A Will - There's A Way

Something big happened today.

HUGE!

Mr. Thompson and I got into a little fight. A "tiff" of sorts. An argument.

It was over who will be staying at home with our twins.

Silly, I know but you have no idea what a big deal that is. The fact that we argued about that (of all things) is almost funny. The fact that we were talking in such a positive manner about an expanded family is absolutely exciting.

Not if - but when.

When we have a baby. Or babies.

After all was said and done, it made me realize that somewhere in the last four years, despite all of these efforts...we've became afraid to hope.

Really hope.

Before we got married I remember going on a drive and talking about how many children we wanted. Three. That was our magic number. A commonality. In the beginning of our marriage we'd talk about getting pregnant and it was a turn on.

And then things changed. Over time. As it became harder and harder to make our dream a reality.

So eventually we ceased talking about our magic number...and talk of pregnancy stopped leading to steamy moments. With so many highs and lows we eventually started conditioning our minds and our hearts to the disappointments.

Even last month, with all the exiting things that happened in our IVF cycle... it was hard not to focus on the whammy.

But with that whammy...we also got a silver lining. Perfect embryos which will lead to perfect children. Which is why I'm bound and determined that in March (yes MARCH!) we will (yes, WILL!) have a successful FET cycle.

..and I will (yes, WILL!) win the argument with Mr. Thompson and eventually work from home.

Watch me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Impatiently Waiting

I have a goal to lose 10 pounds before our embryo transfer.

Think I can do it? I do.

It's giving me something positive to focus on. I thought January went by slow with all of the IVF anticipation....but when the process gets stretched out thanks to OHSS (hyper stimulation) ... time seems to stop completely.

Unfortunately, patience is not my strongest virtue (which, I'm sure, is why this is probably happening).

For me... Impatience = stress. Stress = longer cycle. Longer cycle = no March transfer. No March transfer = longer wait. Longer wait = more impatience.

I clearly need something else to think about so, I figure, I might as well put the extra energy to use on the treadmill. Win - win, right?

Except that...

Losing weight could = longer cycle. Longer cycle = no March transfer. No March transfer = longer wait. Longer wait = more impatience. More impatience = more stress. More stress = more chocolate. More chocolate = no weight loss.

Hum.

I think I need another massage.

On a serious note, I've been thinking about that. Although I've been a bit sore since Thursday night....I've felt great since the low-end massage I re-gifted to myself. It's made me think about some of the more holistic/alternative approaches.

My sister's friend does reflexology. I think I might give it a try.

I also read some interesting things on acupuncture. Anyone ever tried that?

What else can make the tick tock?

(note to self: don't forget to breath)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Redefining Infertility and Infant Loss

Some of you may roll your eyes at this....but, in my humble opinion, we need to start talking about infertility and infant loss more.

But in better terms.

For example: Someone made the comment to me the other day about "losing a baby"...and once again I cringed. You lose your car keys. You lose a basketball game. You don't lose a baby.

We need a better term for that.

It especially makes it complicated when you were 24 weeks along which doesn't technically classify as a "miscarriage"....with a child which wasn't born still which doesn't technically classify as a "stillbirth"...with a mother and father who were crying too hard to notice if their baby actually took a breath or not which technically classifies it as...a term that everyone seems to have a difference of opinion on.

Whatever you call it, just don't tell me I lost him.

In my mind, I was visited by an angel...and I leave it at that.

Another example: There is a lot of talk about infertility. This is good - we're talking about it. Not so long ago, infertility was (unfortunately) a taboo subject. But in my (again humble) opinion....we need to find another word. According to trusty Google, the "in" of "infertile" denotes "less than" or "without". Less than fertile. Without fertility.

We need a better term for that.

I propose....well....I don't know what I propose. This one has stumped me for a long time. Four years to be exact. I don't know what to call it and I just know that I don't like being described as "less than" or "without" anything.

And I don't like to "lose" things either.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Relax

Guess what I did tonight.

Go ahead. Guess.

.

.

.


I went and saw "Brittany" who demonstrated that 60 minutes of a "low end" massage is still worth a million bucks when you've been stressed out.

After a rough morning...Mr. Thompson picked up on the signs and graciously gave me back my Valentine's gift.

I didn't argue.

In appreciation for his sacrifice I have rebooked my Sego Lily day retreat to the couples package for next weekend.

I've also decided that there might be something to that old "just relax and you'll get pregnant" adage after all. I had no idea that I was so tight and worked up until I finally took an hour to relax.

Now that I've done it, do you think that I'll get pregnant this month?

Yeah, I didn't think so either. (but wouldn't it be funny?!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cheap Tricks

Until I got married, I thought that I was really good at giving gifts. After all, it's my love language. I take it serious.

Then I met Mr. Thompson.

Who in the last five years has taught me...time-after-time-after-time...that he is far superior at gift giving. Good for me (because I love to receive). Bad for him (because I'm aparantly not very good at the reciprication).

Example:

I thought it would be good to get Mr. Thompson a massage for Valentine's Day. Something to help him relax. After all, the last month has been (almost) as hard on him as it has been on me. So... I took myself down to the local "Massage Envy" and picked him up a gift certificate for a 60 minute deep tissue "experience" with "Brittany"

What did he get me?

A retreat to the spa. Sego Lily to be exact. One of the best in Utah. For a full day of waterfalls, bath rituals, body soaks, massages, hair and nail rituals, seaweed wraps, facial, manicure, pedicure...heaven. On a gold platter.

Did I mention that he got 60 minutes with Brittany at the low-end Massage Envy?

Oh yeah - and a fruit tree.

Almost.

Because when I didn't have time to actually go get the fruit tree (symbolic for the fourth anniversary of "fruit and flowers")...I had to give him a picture.

Clearly, I need to work on a few things. I believe that the last words I heard before I drifted off to sleep was..."honey, maybe you can be a little less literal about this anniversary business. I really didn't need a fruit tree".

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Miracle

Deep sigh.

Today, we celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. It also reminds me that it's been four years of trying to start a family.

And when I get cards like this, I know why all of the hard work and heartache is worth it......

Our love is a miracle.


That's the only way
I can explain it.


God sent you to me
to change my life -
and to show me that love,
real love,
makes all the difference.


You are
God's miracle in my life,
and I love you
with all my heart.


Love,
Mr Thompson

Deep sigh.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Fairytale


Happy Valentines Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meet Rob

Is it just me, or are there pregnant people everywhere?!

Not that I have a problem with it...because I don't. Lately, I've just felt outnumbered and in the past few weeks...perhaps a little more aware.

So, it makes it so much nicer when you realize that in addition to pregnant friends, there are also those who understand the same void.

Meet Rob.

We've been chums since diapers.

Actually, we've been friends since before diapers. Our mothers were part of a close group of friends in rural Idaho so we grew up together. From play dates - to primary - to kindergarten - to elementary school - to junior high - to high school. And everything in between.

Around the age of 21 we went our separate ways. He went to the NFL....I went to NYC.

We lost touch.

However, our families didn't...especially our older sisters (who were college roommates and best friends). Last week they got together and swapped stories. Stories about their younger siblings (us) which are achingly similar. As a result, my sister passed along Hi, I'm Rob (click to watch) which for the first time publicly shares he and his wife's struggle with infertility, infant loss, and IVF.

I had no idea.

Which is why old friends are always the best friends.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Double Trouble

Hell hath no fury like two ovaries scorned.

That's about the gist of it today. Except that while my lady parts hurt...my mind is happy. Thanks for putting it at ease over the Octomom paranoia. (Crazy - I know...)

Not made any better when Dr. H's nurse told me yesterday that I have to wait until after my next cycle to start FET preparation. My body has to take some mandatory time off. The only problem with that is....I'll be lucky if my next cycle is here in 36 days. Sometimes it's more like 50 after they give me medicine to kick it in.

Which has me totally bummed out because Dr. H is starting another batch in March but if I don't time it right....I won't make that batch. His next batch isn't scheduled until May.

And I don't want to wait until May.

So while I'm under orders from my "Evil Twin" not to stress (because then I'll be late for sure)...I need everyone to cross your fingers and toes once again. (heck - cross it all!)

Another 24 day cycle would be perfect. Miraculous, acutally.

Even if it means two ovaries scorned.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.

Match point: Me.

Thank you ladies for your "lady day" comments...It officially won me an hour of uninterrupted blogging time while Mr. Thompson made me dinner. You're right, he needs to learn not to underestimate women. My "peeps" know how to make things happen!

...and since you know how to make things happen, perhaps you can help ease my mind. Last night I had a troubling nightmare which got me thinking.

First of all, I woke up at 2:00am totally drenched in sweat. Like I had just gotten out of the shower. This has never happened to me before and I can only attribute it to whacked out hormones after all my body has recently been through. I say that because my cramps were so flippin' bad that I had to take a bath just to relax. By 4:30am (and two Percocet later) I was finally able to go back to a troubled sleep.

This is where the craziness really began. I had a nightmare which started off as I couldn't find a parking space at my fertility clinic.

I went nuts.

Which unfortunately made me late for our frozen embryo transfer. Because I was late.... the Nurse Practitioner "K" ended up doing our transfer. Not following Dr. H's instructions (not surprising since she once offered to do a parking lot medication swap for me with another patient)...she transferred six embryos instead of the two noted in our legal consent.

After the procedure, I was surprised to find out that we were having Sextuplets.

I went nuts (again).

The Nurse Practitioner got fired and Dr. H didn't know what to do except beg us not to sue him. Mr. Thompson decided that we must sue him, despite the fact that he's our favorite doctor, because now we were stuck with six babies instead of the desired one (or two). Since we were suing them...they wouldn't let me have any more parking spaces.

Which made me go nuts, yet again.

So at 6:00am, I woke up totally drenched in sweat (again) in an absolute panic because I had six babies in my belly.

I'm telling you - it was bazaar...and totally freaked me out because it took me a while to realize it wasn't reality. Can somebody (anybody) please-please-please assure me that two embryos can not turn into six?!

I want to be able to sleep tonight.

Dry and anxiety free.

So call me stupid, but I'm not totally sure when multiples...become multiples. Can embryos split after a transfer to create more embryos?! Without human error is there a chance that those two embryos can become...six?!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Different - Yet Same

"It's" here.

With a vengeance.

Which means just when the cramps are over....they are back. Different - yet same.

Probably not what you want to read about but.... I think the last time I had a 24 day cycle.....was.....

...well, I don't think I've ever had a 24 day cycle.

Until now.

Simply amazing. (this is a big day people. I've been screwed up since I was 14!)

Which makes a 24 day cycle is big deal because it puts me one day closer to a successful FET (frozen embryo transfer).

Next step? Midol.

Actually, If I want to look into my crystal ball and see where I'll be in a few days...I just read my Evil Twin's blog. My Evil Twin (aka: Krista) started as my "Best Friend" as we were on the same IVF timeline giving each other a little blogging support. (If she lived in the same city and had the same doctor...she'd be in my "batch"). Krista only became my "Evil Twin" when our journey took a turn in the wrong direction. Together. She too retrieved a huge number of eggs (50 to my mere 31!), developed a horrible case of OHSS (which unfortunately went to her chest), had to have her abdomen drained and her perfect embryos frozen. She, like many of you, has given me a lot of support and understanding during this entire IVF process. I can't tell you what that has felt like (or how grateful I am to all y'all).

So if you, like me, want to know how I'll feel after I take the Midol...hop on over to her blog at Taking Small Steps Towards Baby Steps to find out. While you're there - don't forget to become a friend/follower.

(I challenge you to go ahead and say something because Mr. Thompson is appalled I would blog about my "lady days". He predicted zero comments on this one and now I'm out to prove a point.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Backup Plan

I love Valentine's Day.

Made even better because our anniversary is the very next day. February 15th. My most favorite day of the year.

Only... this year I'm stumped. The fourth anniversary is traditionally represented by fruit and flowers.

What-oh-what do you buy a manly man represented by fruit and flowers?

I've been wracking my brain on this for months. A positive pregnancy test was going to get me off the hook of our "tradition for the traditional" as it also marks the fourth year of trying for a bambino. Now... I'm back to fruit and flowers.

Any ideas? After the month we've had...I need something good.

Fruit. And. Flowers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Upside of Down

Word on the street is that I'm finally "peaking" on this hyper stimulation (OHSS) deal. Dr. H thinks that I should start to feel more of the downside soon which is GREAT news. My belly still has three pockets of fluid and my organs are still quite abnormal but I think we're starting to see (and feel) some of the improvements.

Hallelujah!

It's cycle day 23 (11 days past retrieval) and I can officially get out of bed for longer periods of time. I have a doctor's note to prove it and you have no idea what a big deal this is. Although, it's amazing how just a little exertion wipes me out. I ventured out yesterday for a little more "normal activity" and I couldn't wait to get home.

So, what happens next?

Once I get more clearance then I start working like mad to get ready for the transfer that didn't happen. This time it will be a frozen embryo transfer (FET) which is not as ideal as what was intended... but it is what it is. I can't wait to get back on the treadmill because I'm determined not to wait 8 weeks. My sights are on March. March = December baby(ies).

Not quite as good as an October 19th due date because October is my favorite month (it's my birthday and I celebrate all month)...but December is a close second and will be just as amazing.

The perfect gift.

Dr. H and I will talk more about this in our appointment on Monday. Keep those fingers/toes crossed. I have some "darn-near-perfect" embryos waiting for me. We've been assured that our chances post-freeze are still really high so I feel good about it.

I think they are ready to chill out and come home.

Friday, February 4, 2011

And The Thunder Rolled

Confession: it feels really nice to be off of those hormones. That all stopped last Monday rather quickly with our change of events. No more shots. No more pills. No more vaginal suppositories.

Just blessed Percocet.

And with that, Mr. Thompson gets his beautiful wife back.

I honestly thought that I was handling everything like a champion. Sure, I whined about the shots, but only mildly. I cried occasionally, but who wouldn't?! Complaints were kept at a minimum and crazy only showed up occasionally.

Or so I thought.

Until last Sunday...

IVF Cycle Day 16, day before our Day 5 embryo transfer... and the scene was something like this:

After 4 days of post-retrieval bed rest I still felt HORRIBLE. If my ovaries were over 400 centimeters on Wednesday then they had to be batting 1000 last Sunday (an exaggerated guess. maybe). I gained 8 pounds in one day (without eating) and felt extremely fat and nauseous as I waddled into the kitchen that evening to find something to help settle my stomach.

Mr. Thompson was peacefully sitting on the couch watching football re-runs (which may or may not have been part of the problem).

I decided to go for a sandwich. As I was making said sandwich...I may (or may not) have made a sarcastic comment about football. Right as I was cutting said sandwich...Mr. Thompson returned my volley with a joke about only feeling that way because I was "pumped full of hormones". Under normal circumstances...it would have been funny. (Key word: normal).

From there I had an out-of-body experience.

"Out-of-body" experience can only be described as a total, complete, absolute flip out.

WAY. OUT.

To use Dr. H's term...it was like "throwing gas on a fire". I don't remember exactly what I said, I just remember hearing high pitched screaming and thinking "what is this crazy lady screaming about?!"...and then looking over to the knife she was waving in her right hand and very calmly telling the crazy lady to put the knife down!

Thank goodness she listened.

Poor Mr. Thompson was just watched us both with bugged-out eyes and a "I think you've totally lost it" look on his face.

He was right.

So...the next morning when we met with Dr. H and his nurse to discuss our transfer (which didn't happen)...Mr. Thompson went out on a limb and jokingly asked if it was normal for women under their care to go ballistic on their husbands. They laughed with him...until I told them the rest of the story.

As soon as they heard the cursed "pumped full of hormones" line", they threw their heads in the air....and told him that he was on his own. He would find no refuge with them.

It appears that many unfortunate o' man have made a similar mistake with the same words.

...which is why Dr. H will medically testify in any woman's IVF insanity defense.

Man, I love these people.

Now that I'm off the hormone medication, Mr. Thompson loves them too. He's officially declared that the knives can come out of his locked gun case.

For once, I might miss my shots. Just a little...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Witches Are Out

Let's revisit this witchcraft subject, shall we?

Believe it or not, I am quite serious that someone told Mr. Thompson yesterday that in vitro fertilization is "witchcraft". I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes and I almost fell out of bed. (best 5 minutes of my day, actually)

Witch (pun intended) got me thinking...

What is the most ridiculous thing that someone has ever said to you about adoption/loss/infertility?

Inquiring minds, like mine, want to know.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Facts with A Pound o' Stupidity

Did you know....

  • The normal size of a female ovary is 4.5 cubic centimeters.
  • The normal size of a female ovary after in vitro is approximately 50 cubic centimeters.
  • The current size of my left ovary is 430 cubic centimeters...while my right is 387 cubic centimeters.

I feel like I should get an award or something.

As an update - three more liters of fluid is now officially out of my abdomen which, strangely (and unfortunately), does not diminish my hippo-like appearance. Dr. H kindly soothed my sad feelings by reminding me (yet again) that a transfer wasn't an option (something about "throwing gas on a fire"). He actually told me that for a split-second they thought about calling an ambulance for me on Monday (funny, since he didn't break a sweat or look stressed). I'm ever-so relieved they didn't because while all of this was going down I kept thinking about something important...

Oh crap - I declined the extra hyper stimulation insurance!

You know, the kind they try to sell you from the clinic? At the time, my theory was why spend another $400 on top of all the other IVF expenses...when we already have really good insurance?! Sure, the billing lady told me that they thought I was covered...but you never really know if insurance will pay it until they are billed (one patient had to suck up the $60,000 hospital stay). So I rationalized at the time that our insurance is different and that would never happen to me. For a 1% chance (and the fact that I'm a fighter with no history of OHSS), I thought I'd risked it.

Bad call. (if for no other reason than peace of mind)

Especially from someone who should know better (I work for the R*d Cross for heaven's sake - we're supposed to be good about this kind of stuff)! So what, dear friends, did we learn (again)from this experience?

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Buy the extra insurance even if you don't need it (figuratively and/or literally).

So... if you're going to give me an award based upon my abnormally sized female organs - I'm okay if a pound of stupidity is attached to it.

While we're dishing out awards, I'd like to nominate and attach two pounds of stupidity to the person who told Mr. Thompson today that IVF was "witchcraft". I laughed so hard I almost fell out of bed over that. Hilariously stupid.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Nice Surprise

Do nice people ever take you by surprise?

Sometimes, they do me.

For example....you. I can't even begin to tell you what your support and encouragement has meant. Especially this last month. Believe it or not, I used to be very reserved about this blogging business. I didn't immediately put it out there because...well...then it would just be out there. Eventually, I started to open up more (against Mr. Thompson's wishes) as a way to work through my grief and find support.

Oh boy did I find it! It's surprises me how truly nice (and supportive) total strangers can be. Strangers...who are not really strangers. Thank you for that.

As another nice surprise...

I'd like to know when Embryologists started calling patients to check up on them?

I was just sitting on the couch tonight - following Dr. H's orders for today (I have to drink a liter of Gatorade/broth so they can remove more fluid tomorrow - doesn't make sense!)...anyway...the phone rang... and low and behold it was Dr. R, the Embryologist. He was just calling to tell us that he's been thinking about us. He was part of the conversation yesterday and I can honestly say he was probably as disappointed as we were. Those two "darn-near-perfect" embryos are some of the best that he's ever had which is a mixture of God's grace, good biology, and his hard work.

He was really kind. He reminded me not to play "superhero", to call tonight if needed
("because this isn't anything to mess with"), and wanted to let us know that the freeze went well . He promised that this will also be some of his best work yet.

Fresh is always better than frozen but he expressed his confidence. Because of that, I feel confident too. Hopeful. He made me feel better and it reminded me once again that I'm in excellent hands.

So are our little ice cubes.

Moral of the story: Kindness matters...and is often a nice surprise.

 
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