Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Silly man. Doesn't he know that I love a good challenge?! Before I ran away to the shower, I reminded him about how I respond to "dire consequences". Just ask my mom.
Besides, I love birthdays and have good things planned. So did our favorite nurse who gave him some great birthday news. Hot off the press... here is our FET schedule:
Friday, 4/1.......Start active birth control pill (daily)
Friday, 4/29......Start Lupron (daily)
Friday, 5/6.......Last day of active birth control pill
Friday, 5/13......Monitoring - suppression check ultrasound
..................Start Estradiol (confirmed suppression)
..................Start decreased Lupron dose
..................Start low does Aspirin
Tuesday, 5/17.....Blood draw for Estradiol testing
Friday, 5/27......Final Monitoring (Day 11) - ultrasound
Saturday, 5/28....Start progesterone therapy
Thursday, 6/2.....Pick the kids up from day care
..................Embryo Thaw (pray for us!)
..................Embryo Transfer (pinch me - this is real!)
Tuesday, 6/14.....Pregnancy test
Friday, 7/1.......First pregnancy ultrasound (can't believe I just typed that)
(drum roll please)
Saturday, 2/18....EXPECTED DATE OF DELIVERY (oh my goodness - I almost passed out!)
So let's hear it for February 18th! Befitting since that's my favorite week of the year. Beloved Grandmother's birthday on February 12th, Valentine's Day on February 14th, Anniversary on February 15th. Baby(ies) birthday on February 18th... I like the sound of that.
Happy Birthday Mr. Thompson! Enjoy feeling "old and tired" at 42 because chances are good (knock on wood) that 43 will greet you as a worn out and sleep deprived 43 year old dad.
We can only hope.
Monday, March 28, 2011
He didn't think I was very funny. Lucky for him, I wasn't trying to be.
So I went to work and hung up my door sign which says, "sarcasm is one of the many free services we offer". Employees beware. Then I followed your excellent advice and left a voicemail to my favorite nurse that went something like this...
"Crystal - this is Dr. H's problem child. No need to identify myself beyond that since you have my birth date memorized and my phone number on speed dial. I'm calling for a little direction since my cycle started yesterday. I haven't finished taking all the progesterone you gave me last week, nor has it been a bad cycle thus far as expected. Since that's a new twist...I'll wait for you to call me back to tell me what to do. Thanks."
She called me back a little while later laughing. Her message went something like this...
"Dear Problem Child, you keep things interesting and fun. Dr. H says that since your body is apparently doing what it wants to do...he thinks it's okay to start you on birth control. Finish the progesterone through Thursday and then start the pill on Friday. I'll email you the new schedule and so long as your cycle doesn't get angry by Friday...this will put you on track for FET in May. Call me if you have questions."
Did I hear that right?! Replay. Really? Replay again. Yep, I heard her right. May!
We're back on for MAY!
Since I believe in karma, I promptly took my sarcastic door sign down and apologized to Mr. Thompson for putting him on PMS notice. I'm on my best behavior now so here's to hoping that AF doesn't get angry and screw things up by Friday.
(p.s. It's a good thing I like roller coasters because I'm certainly on one!)
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Last Monday (Day 41) Dr H prescribed progesterone since AF was a no-show (again). In the past when this has happened I always take the pills for 10 days and then usually a week after the last pill...AF will finally make her appearance.
This time however, I started the progesterone on Tuesday and AF made an appearance today (Day 6 of the progesterone). I've never had it like that before. Is that normal?
And if it's normal... do I still take the rest of my medicine (including today's dose)?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I woke up at 5:01am (yes, you read that right) and thought to myself, "self: why the he$# can't you sleep in just ONCE on a Saturday morning?!". So I laid there counting sheep, thinking about all the reasons why I needed to go back to sleep.
When that didn't work, I started thinking about all the reasons why I needed to get up. So I did. And in my quiet morning slumber (or lack thereof) I've realized a few things:
- After snowing all day yesterday...it's going to snow all weekend. That doesn't seem right for March 26th. I think I'll throw my wrist brace away and go swimming at the Rec Center in protest.
- Since I have an appointment with the hand surgeon on Monday...maybe I better not throw it away. I'll just put it away instead. For a bit. In protest.
- Mr. Thompson turns 42 this week. March 30th. What-oh-what...am I going to do for his birthday? It would be easy if he dropped hints - but he doesn't... and I don't think he appreciates my 40's humor.
- Mia (chocolate lab) turns three on April Fool's Day. Which means that Mr. Thompson is going to throw a birthday party...and I have to sit there an look like I enjoy it even though most of the jokes are on me instead of the dog. (Secretly, I don't mind. That dog saved us both from a deep, dark pit three years ago so I owe her a few.)
- Speaking of which...April 3rd is just around the corner. One week from tomorrow. Colton would be three. Makes me just cry. Buckets and buckets and buckets of tears. Still.
- My tulips are late bloomers because every year I've taken bundles from my garden to the cemetery. I guess buying them is okay this year - but it feels better when I grow them from my own spring garden. Therapeutic.
- Spell/Say it any way you want...but infertily and infant loss really sucks! Really.
- So maybe I'll tinker in the snow covered dirt today just to act like I'm doing something as I hope for Spring and its new beginnings.
...or I could just go back to bed. That sounds nice too...
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Isn't that exciting?!
So although the Pity Party was nice... today I am back to "glass half full" status.
It helped that my favorite nurse called me. She was out of the office on Monday so she missed the "you have to wait another 2-3 months" drama. By the end of our conversation we both agreed that Eve got the raw end of the deal. We also agreed that it is best to wait to get everything to an optimal state... than go through all of this for nothing. After all, this is our last shot at IVF and we have perfect embryos. Why not give them a perfect womb?!
So Dr. H is back in our good graces. Life can go on.
I guess that nature also solved a difficult problem for Mr. Thompson and me because we were torn on our decision to go through FET with another doctor in April. Dr. H is my Sensei and I trust him too much to do this without him. He's a funny little Japanese guy who is the smartest (and kindest) person on the planet. He's my Mr. Miyagi.
Wax on...wax off. Wax on...wax off.
Which reminds me of my favorite Karate Kid quote:
Daniel: When do I learn how to punch?
Miyagi: Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go home. Understand?
...the same concept works for family planning.
Monday, March 21, 2011
I'm a fraud.
An optimist fraud.
I thought about how I could let you down easy but in situations like this honesty is probably still the best policy. So... you might as well know that as of 2:13pm today, I've officially gone to the dark side. I've been scrooged. Whammied. My glass is now verging on half empty.
I can't help it - it's been learned behavior to the fault of my Reproductive Endocrinologist (while I'm at it, I might as well be passive aggressive too, right?!). He's chipped away at me until my paint is all gone. He put another piece of straw on this camel's back and now it might be broken.
We had a rendezvous appointment for an ultrasound because it's day 42 and I still haven't started a cycle. After giving me until day 42 to figure it out on my own - he decided that an intervention was in order.
(While I'm confessing I might as well tell you that on my way to his office I had this funny little thought creep into my head that said, "Self - wouldn't it be really funny if you were pregnant and that's the reason why you haven't been visited by AF?!". I know - I know...a long shot! It's amazing how despite the obvious to the infertiles...month after month...year after year...we still let the sunshine and butterflies creep in when it comes to late or missing cycles.)
Anyway, I digress.
So we had an ultrasound. For you new readers...let me bring you up to speed on recent events and sum it up in 30 words or less: IVF in January. 33 eggs retrieved. OHSS tried to kill me. 2 highest grade embryos (yay me!). Transfer didn't take place. Embryos went in freezer. Waiting. Waiting. (Impatiently) waiting.
That was January.
This is March. (End of March if you want to get technical)
Would you believe it that my belly is STILL showing liquid (not a lot but still - it's there!)...and my ovaries are still quite big (not 600 X their normal size - but still they're big!). Oh yeah, and there are cysts.
What Dr. H kindly told me this means is that we will not be doing FET next month. I'll be lucky if it happens in May...more likely June or July. The uterine lining is too thick, the cysts too big, the fluid still there, the ovaries not normal. Yet.
So there you have it folks. The kids have to stay in day care for a little while longer.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
It was a great way to start the day.
A little while later I read a blog post which touched me by my friend Paul Cardall (who's album New Life is #1 for the 3rd straight week on Billboard's top new age albums - way to go Paul!). Last year ago Paul got a new lease on life with a much awaited heart transplant. His journey has been incredible so I asked him to speak at our R.ed Cross volunteer appreciation event next month. He graciously agreed and this morning he put it all into perspective for me (again) when he asked us to pray for his friend Holly who is going through a similar experience due to Congenital Heart Disease. Holly won't be as lucky as Paul and has only weeks (if not days) to live.
Sometimes, I'm a bit ashamed that I shake my fist at the heavens about infertility. Or infant loss. Or a jacked up wrist.
I could be a lot worse.
(and I'm so grateful that it's not!)
So if you get a minute...please pray for Holly and her family. Then remember that happiness is not in our circumstance, but in ourselves.
Viva la vida.
Friday, March 18, 2011
What a load of Internet crap.
The first clue that things might not go according to plan today was when I registered with the receptionist I picked up the doctor's business card and it read "head and upper extremities specialist". So I asked the receptionist, "Does Dr "X" also specialize in hands?"...she paused for a few uncomfortable seconds and then said "ummm, yeah - he does that too...".
I think I got referred to the wrong doctor by the "bone hotline" yet again! So after paying another $40 Mr. Thompson and I were shown to the exam room. We met Nurse Wes who asked the same questions I've been responding to for two days...
"Wrist has been hurting for about a month."
"Big bump developed at the base of my thumb through the course of that time"
"I just thought it was carpal tunnel or a cyst..."
"Tuesday night I moved it and a sharp pain went up my arm/down my hand"
"Pain has been acute and intense ever since. Pain relievers haven't helped"
"Doctor #1 said is was a wrist fracture"
"Doctor #2 said it was soft tissue damage causing artery/nerve problems"
"No - I didn't fall"
"No - I don't know how it happened" (I really need to make up a good story!)
After a bit of a wait Doctor #3 came in and from there things got really uncomfortable and weird. Within two seconds of meeting him Mr. Thompson looked at me and nodded his head toward the door indicating that we should make a break for it.
I should have listened.
I've never met someone so weird. Seriously weird. Not to mention, awkward and uncomfortable. But while he was pushing in all the wrong places I tried to keep an open mind - after all, he spent a lot of time and money on medical school...I clearly did not. He has "surgeon" in his title (I think)...clearly I do not.
At the end of all his pushing and prodding he basically scratched his head and said "you need an MRI but I'm going to give you a Cortisone shot". I thought this was weird because Doctor #2 said Cortisone shots were out of the question to relieve the pressure because of where the problem is in relation to my artery/nerves. I believe his exact words were "the last thing we want to do is shove a big needle in there to inject steroids".
Which is exactly what Doctor #3 did.
And I cried. While Mr. Thompson petted my hair and tried to soothe me.
When Doctor #3 was done with the shot he told me to come back next week and handed me FMLA paperwork which said I needed to take a month off of work.
Don't get me wrong - a month off of work sounds great (only if I'm laying on a beach)....but he never did tell me exactly what the problem is so I'm a little curious as to how he came to the conclusion that I need to take the month off work. As we left Mr. Thompson said we are never going back to that Quack.
And so now... I wait to see Doctor #4 - the real hand surgeon from the orthopedic speciality hospital - who I was actually referred to by Doctor #2 and scheduled to see from the beginning. Unfortunately, he can't see me until March 28th.
In theory the Cortisone shot is going to help me be a little more comfortable while I wait the 10 days to see him...except that now in addition to pain, my hand and wrist is now turning into a dark purple bruise. Which may or may not...have had something to do with that artery that Doctor #2 was talking about.
In happier news....so far 17 out of 20 of my March Madness bracket picks have won their games. Wouldn't it be awesome if I won the office pool?! Especially since I'm the the only girl participating and my picks were based purely upon the color of each team's uniforms! :)
Viva la vida.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Good News: Upon further review... it looks like my wrist isn't actually broken. (Hallelujah!)
Bad News: Instead, it is soft tissue damage which is swelling to the point that it is cutting off the main artery in my wrist (hence the numbness) and causing nerve damage (hence the intense pain). The solution is to go in for surgery ASAP. I meet with a hand surgeon tomorrow and we'll go from there.
Good News: After being told that I couldn't take more than one Percocet at a time (which didn't work)...I can now take 800 mg of Ibuprofen and up to three Percocet every four hours.
Bad News: 800 mg of Ibuprofen and three Percocet still doesn't work.
Good News: After being sent to the wrong specialist today (Sports Medicine?!)...the best hand surgeon in the state has agreed to fit me into his busy schedule tomorrow despite a three week waiting list.
Bad News: Even though I was mistakenly sent to the wrong doctor (Sports Medicine?!)...I still had to pay him $100.
Now for the luck of the Irish...
It's Day 38 and still no sign of AF so I called Dr H's office and had a very encouraging conversation with his nurse. Her first words were "Tell me how you're really feeling because I know the wait has been really hard and it doesn't feel even a little fair...". I immediately felt validated and understood. We had a great conversation and it looks like if AF isn't here by Monday then they'll bring me in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound will check the uterine lining and ensure that nothing has gone wrong by way of left-over cysts from the stimulation. So long as all of that that checks out...
Good News: We will start birth control on Monday (even without an AF) which will put me on track for FET in April.
Bad News: Dr. H isn't doing a batch in April. His next batch is scheduled for May.
Good/Bad News: Even though Dr. H doesn't... both of his partners have batches scheduled in April which I can hop on board with if I "don't want to wait" (I found this statement funny). While both of his partners are reputable I was actually going to leave their clinic a few years ago until Dr. H transferred there (one is actually the medical director but he scares me with his bedside manner...and the other was my first RE but I switched because we didn't "bond"). So......it's a little ironic that I now have the option to go through FET in April with one of them...or wait yet another month (which feels eternal at this point) to see it through with the doctor who's gotten me this far.
Decisions-decisions-decisions. What would you do?
(which makes this jacked up wrist thing almost...funny!)
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I broke my wrist.
At least, we think I broke my wrist. But don't ask me how I did it, because I don't know.
You heard me right - I have no idea how. My wrist has been hurting really bad the last two weeks...but I thought the big bump which was causing me numbness and pain was either carpal tunnel or a cyst.
Last night as I was cleaning up my kitchen I moved it and I got a sharp shooting pain up my arm and down my hand that almost sent me to my knees. I couldn't sleep all night and finally took some Percocet which didn't even slightly take the edge off. I cried all night but refused to go to the ER over carpal tunnel or a cyst. Instead I followed up with my doctor first thing this morning.
She took one look at my swollen wrist/hand (after making me wait 1/2 hour in the waiting room) and said, "that my dear isn't carpal tunnel or a cyst. It's a bone!" and then promptly sent me to the hospital for an X-ray. I also got a big apology for having to sit there in so much pain for a 1/2 hour waiting.
A little while later I got another apology from the X-ray technician who make me cry big fat alligator tears as he moved my wrist in every which angle for the necessary shots. It hurt so bad that I wanted to punch him.
As a result, I "get" to meet with a hand surgeon tomorrow morning.
And no....I'm not flippin' kidding you. Nothing like a broken wrist to make me feel better about the fact that it's almost Day 38 and still no sign of AF.
Pathetic, I say.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
A spa day.
p.s. Did you know that if your second toe is longer than your big toe...that it's a sign of intelligence?
Really, it is.
Just ask me. I know.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
That's the only explanation I can come up with at this point.
Actually, I'm waiting for AF to visit Krista first. If I hold true to what I experienced with my "evil twin" (who ironically isn't very evil) during our IVF cycle...then I will start exactly three days later than she does. It was wicked-crazy how everything I experienced in January was the same as her - just three days later. Always.
Now if that isn't the power of a blog - I don't know what is.
So, while I patient wait for either something, or nothing, to happen to her....so it can maybe, or maybe not, happen to me...I'm filling my days with all that life has to offer. This week has offered a lot at the office as it's been a big work week. It has also had a lot to offer by way of Charlie Sheen. Every where I look - there he is.
I MUST look because he is humoring me. Greatly.
I admit, I wasn't much of a fan before he hit is "winner" stride but I can't help but turn the volume up at this point. The same thing happened a few years ago when Whitney Houston was looking for her receipts. I looked with her (and even bought Mr. Thompson a T-shirt that says "crack is wack" I was so enthused).
Celebrity train wrecks waiting to happen, I say. And like all train wrecks, I can't help but watch until it's time to look away.
Which brings me to Mike Starr. I'm a big fan of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (do you detect a theme here?!). Last season had a lot of drug rehab drama with this Alice in Chains bass player. I was rooting for this guy as I watched from my treadmill (it was a great workout show for some reason). Unfortunately, Mike Starr died this week in Salt Lake City...thanks to a drug overdose.
Confession: when Mr. Thompson emailed me the news story...I shed a tear. An actual tear. Because the train wrecked and Mike Starr didn't win.
Moral of the story: Crack is wack. Now when is my period going to start?! (Answer: three days after Krista).
Monday, March 7, 2011
The "lady days" kind.
But if I didn't....that's okay. Yesterday I decided that I'm done fretting out over this whole FET thing. My life is too good to stress.
I have too many blessings to be sad over that which I have no control. I'd rather just rejoice over the blessings that I have and bask in the happiness I feel. Which is funny because this blog actually started out as I was clawing my way back from a level of grief that can never be adequately described.
From that I focused on how to "Viva la Vida" (live the life) as I was desperately working on a rebound.
And here I am again - some three years later - working on another kind of rebound. Different... yet same. Thankfully, I feel like I'm winning (why do I hear Charlie Sheen in the back of my head when I say that?!).
Like good ol' Charlie - I have too many good things in my life to feel total disappointment (my good things are thankfully just a little different than his. Moral of the story: Crack is wack!).
There isn't a moment that goes by that I don't realize that I have amazing people in my life - friends who support me and a family who fiercely care about us. That is something that I've taken for granted because I thought that every family was like mine - loyal and loving. Unfortunately, I've learned through my husband that they are not.
Which makes me so sad...and ever so grateful that we have you.
Our greatest blessings.
Friday, March 4, 2011
I have writers block. Lately my creative juices are just not flowing. (no pun intended)
But I think I know why...
I had a phone conversation with the nurse today which didn't go according to (my) plan. Remember how I put that ovulation kit in the back of my drawer last month? Yeah well...I (of course) took it out after last week's post and started testing on Cycle Day 17. Since I've never in my life (without the help of doctors) ovulated before Day 17...I figured I was safe in starting late.
And here I am on Day 24 yet to see the three bars and the magic egg.
So I rang up the doctor because whenever this happens I'm usually still waiting for Aunt Flo (commonly refered to as AF on infertility blogs) to visit on Day 40. With that, I'll break down and call the doctor who will give me some medicine.
After 10-12 days of that mumbo-jumbo, my dysfunctional AF will eventually show up.
Needless to say, this month I don't want to wait that long. I want FET in March! So I rang up the doctor's office thinking they would take pity and give me medicine now to invite AF for a visit on...Day 32 instead of Day 52.
They shut me down. I was kindly told that frequently with OHSS normal menses cycles will not resume for at least two months. They also (kindly) told me that I have to have at least one complete "normal cycle" before they will even consider FET.
So I got off the phone and cried.
Sick! It's sick I say!
I hate AF.
She's made my life hell ever since middle school when she ruined my life during a class field trip. We were going to Wild Waters (only in Idaho do you take field trips to the water park!) and I was trying to make my Bo Derek debut with a little white swimming suit which was a great plan...until AF showed up and ruined my life.
I've hated her ever since.
Which is why it's so ironic that I'm sitting here, like a neglected little child waiting for a long-lost relative that I really don't like.
But can't wait to see.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I hate those pills. No way around it.
(crossing fingers it's just stupidity and not the stomach flu!)
Once upon a time there was a Girl. Who had a horse. A much beloved Horse.
Girl also had an obnoxious neighbor boy who had a really skinny body and flaming red hair. Neighbor Boy also had a horse, along with a serious crush on Girl.
Which made him a menus.
One day Girl was sick so her mother took her to the doctor. Doctor reported that Girl's spleen was enlarged and told Mother that the Girl needed to go home and stay in bed to avoid a rupture.
Instead, Girl went home and got on Horse. Without a saddle. Because Girl thought she was 1/2 Indian and preferred to go "bareback".
So off Girl went. Riding along...enjoying a beautiful spring day in rural Idaho (because she considered this a "restful activity)... when Horse got surprised by a bird. As Horse sidestepped it, Girl unfortunately got surprised herself and slid off Horse's back - straight to the ground.
Horse got spooked and ran away.
When Horse finally showed up at home without a rider, Mother figured out what happened and became fearful. Then mad. Girl had disobeyed (again). Ironically, Neighbor Boy happened to be visiting (on his horse, thanks to his Girl radar) so at the bequest of Mother he rode off to rescue Girl.
Girl was just walking home thinking about how she would find Horse and then slip into the house without Mother noticing...when what to her wondering eye did appear? Neighbor Boy riding towards her like he was in the Kentucky Derby. Girl thought to herself "oh great - now he thinks he's a knight in shining armor".
But Girl was tired of walking with her enlarged spleen, so she humored Neighbor Boy by accepting his help.
Upon their arrival home, Girl got grounded by Mother who was busy taking calls from all the neighbors which were worried because of the spooked Horse that flew by.
And what is the moral of this story?
1. Follow Doctor's orders even when you don't like it. (trying to find the good in OHSS)
2. When you fall off a horse - always get back on. (bring on the FET!)
3. Always enjoy the ride, most especially with the people who are showing love and support. (Unfortunately, Neighbor Boy grew up and committed suicide because people weren't nice to him. I've always wished that I would have treated him more like the Knight he really was)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not...
But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.
Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?