Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pride (in the Name of Vegetables)

That’s a U2 reference I couldn’t resist.

So, we DID go to the Dyke march, the sun came out and we rallied and as soon as the march started the skies opened and within 10 blocks my white pants were ruined and most of the marchers were huddled under scaffolding—which fortunately in this case lines many sidewalks of NYC.

Calling it an “A for Effort”, we hopped on a bus home, ordered sushi for dinner and watched a documentary on education in the Baltimore school system (which sparked a serious discussion on adoption) and went to bed. It was a CRAZY night (ha ha).

After yoga on Sunday, we had every intention to go to the parade and join in some festivities, but a relative showed up at the last minute for brunch and took priority. By the time we could go, the skies had opened again and we said forget it.

We spent the rest of the day cooking new recipes using all of our vegetables from our co-op farm share (swiss chard, peas, garlic scapes, beets, kale, lettuce) making a healthy, huge dinner:

  • Sautéed garlic scapes, beet greens, swiss chard
  • Risotto w/ parmesan and fresh peas
  • Roasted beets chilled and served w/ a vinaigrette
  • Chicken breast sautéed w/ white white and herbs
  • Strawberry shortcake made from Mrs. Wilkes Boardinghouse cookbook.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mama's on Drugs

Went in bright and early for Day 2 tests.
The results are in!  The blood levels are excellent:    FSH, 5.8 E2, 35
I am a happy lady right now!

While there I was able to talk to the RE on duty.  I really liked him and he agreed that I 'could' do this next cycle natural with a trigger shot.
However, (and my what a month can make) since I'm now 39 he would like to see me get aggressive.  If I were 33, he would not be pushing drugs on me since my body is totally doing everything it is supposed to be doing.  But, I'm not 33, I don't have the luxury of time on my side and he'd like to see if Clomid can help me.
We talked about scary multiples, my body size (I'm 5'2 and 105 lbs) and how it was a risk, but a small one.
He stated what I have heard from two other RE's now which is that you should only stay on Clomid for three cycles as the effectiveness decreases rapidly after this.

I've got an RX for Clomid 50mg now and I'll take them on days 5-9 and go in for my new bloodwork and Ultrasound on Day 11.

I'll do this for at least 2 cycles if not 3 and then it's either injectable or IVF.  I know I said I'd do IVF after 6 IUI's total and I am still leaning in that direction...but I can't think about that right now.
I've got to try this first and put my faith in that direction.

We also talked about back to back IUI's and his thought is that those are not any more effective than one with a well-timed (trigger) IUI.  Hmm...things to ponder indeed as we were thinking we would do two IUI's with the last of the "Seth" sperm this cycle.

First thing K said when I got home and told her the news?  "Is this going to make you really moody again?"  Hee Hee.  "Yeah, maybe."  "OK, honey, just checking".  Poor thing!

We were going to go to the Dyke March...but it just started raining.  I'm not enough of a lesbian to march in the RAIN.  So, off we go to the gym, then make dinner with some of our farm co-op veggies and watch a movie at a friend's house.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shakespeare in the Park, Day 1

AF arrived bright and early Friday morning, so no beach.
I was expecting monster cramps and while they were worse than normal, it wasn't so bad.

My RE hasn't gotten back to me as he's out today, but I talked to a nurse and we agreed that I should come in tomorrow for Day 2 testing of my FSH and E2.  I haven't had it done since March and just want to make sure that all of my levels are checking out OK.  If they are too high, I might as well cancel the cycle.
She also told me I could have a chat with another RE on duty when I came in.  Quite frankly, I am excited to get a second opinion as I feel like I'm at a crossroad and I don't know which way to go.

Last night I met some friends out on the Upper West Side for drinks and tapas before heading off to Central Park's Delacorte Theatre for Shakespeare in the Park.
Oh William!  Why 3.5 hours long??  But, the setting outside was gorgeous as was the play, Hamlet.
It's amazing to be smack dab inside Manhattan but feel like you're in a forest in the country.
These productions are free, but the catch is that you must start standing in line early in the morning (we're talking 6am) to get the free tix.
Luckily, my friend Mme X, apparently knows someone in the Shakespeare mafia who got us tix for $25--a price I will gladly pay to not stand in line!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Caffeine is a Drug and I Really Like It

Thank you everyone for the sweet comments.  It's nice to know that you're all out there like an invisible security blanket.  I can't imagine going through all of this without blogging about it.  Thank you Thank you!

So what do you do with yourself after your 4th BFN?
  • Leave work early
  • Go shoe shopping (buy nothing)
  • Salivate over hiking and camping gear at Paragon (but buy nothing)
  • Vow to buy as many Merrell shoes as possible (but not today)
  • Devour Scuba Diving magazine and travel guidebooks to Bali at Union Square's Barnes and Noble (why would I buy it when I can read it for free there?)
  • Do Yoga
  • Eat Thai food
  • Get Dessert (mango and sticky rice! YUM!)
  • Stay up too late reading
What do you do the next day?
  • Work from home
  • Sleep late instead of working
  • Wake up and make a double espresso latte
  • Get super wired
  • Actually decide to get a little work done
  • Find yourself researching IVF options in Thailand
  • Decide this clinic is a excellent option for the future at a fraction of the cost in the USA
  • Wonder if you should just go now
  • Drop off dry cleaning
  • Meet friend for Sushi (yah raw fish!)
  • Take new jeans to tailor
  • Pick up shoes from cobbler
  • Go to drugstore
  • Pay rent
  • Download music
  • Email RE 
  • Shop for sperm
  • Do two loads of laundry
  • Pick up vegetable share from farm co-op
  • Go to Pilates
  • Get a pedicure
  • Read on the couch eating leftover Thai food from last night
  • Realize that while mango lasts a day, alas coconut sticky rice does not.  
  • Vow to just eat it all next time.
  • Think about going to beach tomorrow instead of working....
Sorry if that bored you, but damn it was a productive day!
Thank you caffeine.  I may even break my rule and have you again tomorrow.  Maybe not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Was Right

It's 100% negative. BFN.

I'm doing all the poses in my yoga class tonight.

On to the next round...whatever that is.

Did I mention that as I walked to the clinic the morning of the IUI I almost didn't go because I knew this cycle was a bust? I knew the timing was wrong. I knew.
And this morning I almost just went across the street and got an HPT because I knew.
When I did the progesterone this morning, I thought, "what a freakin' waste". I knew.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meditating the Anxiety Away

In preparation for the preggo test, I went to a 2-hour meditation session at the Tibet House tonight with this woman.  She was quite amazing and since she's going to be there the next couple of Tuesdays, I think I'll keep going. 

Tomorrow morning I go in for a blood test and we'll find out one way or another by mid-afternoon.
I completely do not feel pregnant (whatever that feels like!) and I've watched my temps drop for 4 days now despite being on the progesterone, so whatever.  
If it's not my time, it's not my time.  I cannot control this.

K and I had a conversation over the weekend and discussed switching donors.  How do you know when it's time to break up with your donor?  I feel so foolish to have bought so much of him without trying him out first, but what can you do?  We have two more vials of him at our Fertility Center that we won't be able to return, so we'll lose the money on those and that stings.
The rest we can do an exchange for $150--although I don't know if that's per vial or the entire switch.  Probably per vial...
Anyone out there looking for some black market sperm?  He gets other women pregnant!

We also talked about perhaps just taking the plunge and trying more drugs this next cycle.  I am super scared of multiples because of my body size.  But there's a woman in my building who is as small as me and she had twins a year ago.  I saw these twins twice this weekend and it was like the universe sending me a sign, saying,  "you can do it. If you had to do it, you could do it". God those parents look tired and haggard.  But I could do it.  We could do it.

My RE isn't putting me on fertility drugs because he knows my fears and he says it's my choice But I've only got two cycles after this before IVF looms.  Is it silly to try 6 natural IUI's and then go to IVF without trying fertility drugs?
Remember my age, I don't have time to waste.  My clock is a freaking time bomb folks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mademoiselle Twisto

I'm back to Yoga and my how I've missed it! I went to my 90 minute class Sunday morning and while I opted out of some poses, I was able to do most.
After the class, I spoke with the instructor. I briefly explained my 'fertility treatment' situation and why I hadn't been there for the last week and half.  She's not well-versed in that area, but often has pregnant women come to her class.  So I told her to tell me everything she would tell a pregnant woman and that worked.  
Now I feel really confident about going to the class all the time.  It was great to be back!

We met friends for brunch at Momofuku and later had an engagement party to go to here.
This place is the penthouse and has the most gorgeous rooftop views 7 blocks south of the Empire State Building--but of course it was pouring rain so we were downstairs inside--still great views but I felt sorry for my friend and her party.

Sunday nights are always hard because K has to go to the airport in the morning and then I'm single in the city for the next four days.

Tomorrow I'm calling my RE and finding out what I should do about testing.  I understand that my period is not going to just arrive with the progesterone, so I can't wait for that.  It could be Tuesday or Wednesday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fabulous Mermaid Parade, Iffy Play, Excellent 'Inoteca and the Workaholic

K is a workaholic. It’s probably best that she works on the client site Monday-Thursday because it would make me crazy to have her home very weekday night but only very, very late and still not accessible at all. When she leaves Monday morning, she’s pretty much cut off until I see her again on Friday. It’s a little insane, but so far we’ve been doing this for two years and it’s working.

So when the weekend rolls around I make plans for us…and then engage in conversations where I convince her that it’s more important for her to leave the house and do something fun than to work all weekend.

*Full Disclosure*

I am excellent at having fun and not working and never, ever feeling guilty about that!

We finally made it to the Mermaid Parade, a completely original creation of Coney Island USA, the Mermaid Parade is the nation's largest art parade and one of New York City's greatest summer events. We were late as K was hedging back and forth about going and then she needed to eat and blahblahblah, but we finally made it on the subway and one hour later emerged in Coney Island.

Not only did we have a fantastic time watching the parade, but you would’ve thought K had just discovered sliced bread with the amount of “we are so lucky to be able to do all of these amazing things every weekend in New York City and I love Brooklyn and isn’t this great and look the ocean is right there and we should really do these types of things more often” Well YES! That’s why I’m always trying to get you to not work so much on the weekends! Ha Ha!

After watching the parade for an hour or so, we walked along the beach and came across a lesbian marching band who had finished the parade and were now performing not "on" the beach, but "in" the beach!

It was awesome dancing along in the water and watching everyone have such a great time.

When we spied a fried clam shack and a taco shack, we ditched our plans of going back to the city and parked ourselves on the boardwalk with everyone else.

Later that night we met up with a friend back in the East Village and went to an Off-Off-Off Broadway play, Stitched. It was...interesting. Or as K would say, "You know I don't think I like this kind of play".

Then we all headed down to the Lower East Side and made a late night dinner of meat and cheese plates at the bar 'Inoteca. Good times, great friends.

Feeling fine, not counting days, not stressing. Just enjoying.

I love Summer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Opera in Prospect Park

Summer started tonight and what a perfect way to welcome the season!

Tonight we met friends out in Prospect Park, Brooklyn for the Metropolitan Opera with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, opera’s first superstar couple. Usually this event is held every summer in Central Park and an entire opera is staged. However, this year they moved it to Brooklyn and performed some greatest hits of opera.

Friends had arrived early and held lots of space on the grass and we enjoyed meeting our friend X’s new boyfriend and friends of both of theirs. Everyone brought loads of picnic type food, wine (none for me!), sweets and we all had the best time. Even though there were 10’s of thousands of people (there’s a bit of a mystery as to the exact number) attending this free performance, it had none of the crazed atmosphere that it does in Central Park. The Met had predicted up to 150,000 people, and were set up to handle a crowd that large. The police estimate the turnout at 50,000, which is still the largest ever for a show in the park. Regardless, the show was very well received and included seven encores.

There was one point at the very beginning of the concert when a police helicopter was patrolling in circles above us and you could hear the grumbling of the crowds as it was a huge disruption. When they went around a second time, I swear the entire crowd raised their hands to flip them off and they finally flew away!

We really like Brooklyn and could see ourselves living there at some point. The evening was wonderful and after leaving we formed a small party back at X’s boyfriend’s house. He has a fabulous balcony with views along the East River and beyond where we hung out and chatted in the cool air.

Nights like this remind me of how much I love New York City all over again.

Not Bat Shit Crazy Anymore

I think my body finally got used to the drugs on Wednesday and I'm feeling quite normal now--even better I have received honest feedback that I seem quite normal which is much different than me imagining it.
K asked me this morning "when are you taking your test?" and I said "what test?"

Ha!  The pregnancy test she says!

I have not been thinking about it....


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Keep breathing. I had trouble sleeping a few nights ago and starting meditating. I lived in Thailand for a while a few years ago and started meditating with a great coach and after a few months went to a magical wat in the forest (complete with a cobra in the bed) for a retreat.
Even the cobra didn’t deter me from meditation—although I moved beds.

I naively thought that it would be easy to keep up the practice on my own once returning to my normal life here in NYC. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’d try it in bits and spurts until finally abandoning it, putting it on the shelf with “things I’ve tried”.

Lately, I’ve taken it off the shelf and given it more attention. It’s so much harder than I remembered, but that’s also because I have a cat who likes to rub all over me when I sit on the ground (or anywhere for that matter).
As I meditated late the other night, I finally felt really peaceful and ready to try sleep again.
No sooner did I lay down when the thoughts came rushing back in my head and as I told myself “breathe”, I realized I wasn’t breathing at all. I was just laying there holding my breath.

That’s bad.

The last few days have been rough. Friends have been emailing me saying things like, “I’ve been reading your blog. You’re not yourself and I’m a little worried about you.” I’m so transparent.

I needed perspective. So this morning I woke up and thought, “You have nothing to be stressed about. Nothing has happened to you. There is nothing wrong with you. You have not suffered any losses. Your medical tests are fine. OK, so you’re a little older, but there are worse things (I’m not so sure about this one, but I’m trying it on for size).”

And down I went to the meditation floor. I’m not sure how long I stayed there—long enough for the cat to get bored rubbing against me without getting rubbed back—but when I opened my eyes I just started praying out loud. To whom, I’m not sure because I’m not a religious person, but I wanted to put it out in the universe. I didn’t pray for anything, but simply made a list thanking the universe for all I already have.

Today, I found many meditation centers in my surrounding work/home neighborhood and I’m going to try some of these places out and see if I can find a more guided practice out there to help me in my journey.

Thanks for everyone chiming in about exercise. I think I’ll hold off on my Vinyassa yoga and pilates for the first 10 days post IUI. Since my gym has an indoor pool, I’m going to take up swimming instead. My walk to work everyday is about 2 miles roundtrip and I’ve continued to do this. I’m incorporating some Hatha yoga for the first part of the TWW and I think that should be good.

Exercise and staying healthy is just such a huge part of my life, it’s been rough living my months in increments of two weeks and changing my routine. But, maybe change is good.

Be healthy everyone and remember to breathe.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Excercise and IUI's

What have you all been told concerning this topic?
I’ve read/heard so much conflicting information that I just don’t know what to believe.
My RE said I could do anything during the TWW except the usual no no’s (horseback riding, tennis, basketball, dangerous type of sports). My acupuncturist said that I shouldn’t be doing any yoga, pilates or running for at least the first week.

The TWW is hard enough but not being able to do my usual workout routine makes me even more stressed out. I need (at least) my yoga class more than ever right now!
I’ve continued walking, stretching and weights, but everything else I’ve held off.

So tell me, what do you stop doing during the TWW as far as gym/exercise/working out? I’m curious to know…

Monday, June 16, 2008

67 Kids, 25 Minutes

K and I have been talking about how Manhattan (NYC in general) is on a baby boom. The economy has been great and more people than ever are deciding to forgo the suburbs and stay in the city once they have kids.
We live in a great area for children, surrounded by at least 8 kid-friendly parks, green spaces, riverside esplanade, bike trails, etc.
We love it here and can’t wait to have a baby and raise it in the city.
But it makes
not having a baby difficult when you are TTC. This morning, just for shits and giggles because I think the progesterone is seriously spinning me a mindf*uck, I decided to count how many kids I passed on my morning walk to work.
67 Kids under the age of five.
How depressing. I know I missed some because I passed three parks and it’s impossible to count all the kids.

By the time I give birth they’ll have raised our rent so high we won’t even be able to afford to live here. (There is no cap for apartments rented under market rate in NYC. Rent control ended in 1998 and now anything over $2,000 is fair game for rent hikes. We’ve experienced rent hikes as high as 22%. It’s insane. We know.)
To top it all off, my co-worker who is the same age as me, has a precious 14 month old and lives in the same apartments as I do under rent control (she grew up there).

So yeah, she has the baby and pays probably a ¼ of my rent.

Life is unfair sometimes, but at least I look 10 years younger than her.  I know that sounds terribly vain and I really don't care.

Did I mention I hate progesterone?  I think K might have been secretly happy to get on the plane this morning and not have to deal with my moodiness again until Friday!  Sorry baby, I know I'm a handful!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Official Member of the Itty Bitty Pantyliner Committee

Hello Progesterone Suppositories, meet my new thong pantyliners.
It would've been nice if there had been directions with these bullet-like things, but no.  However, I guess my years of using OB tampons finally paid off.  No big deal getting it in, but my how it does like to leak out.

Whoever came up with the idea of a thong pantyliner, was pure genius!  I used to date this girl who would cut up a regular pantyliner into four separate pieces and make us homemade pantyliners.  Brilliant, eh?!
Did anyone watch High School Reunion this past Spring to see "Kat the Lesbian?"  Well, that's my ex and I declare she missed her chance to make millions in the pantyliner industry.

I refuse to even look at what the side effects these things have b/c I can't stand imagining more symptoms at this point.  I am a little hotter and a bit thirstier, but otherwise that, nothing else.

The IUI went fine, but I still am always second guessing the timing.  I feel like I just keep googling the same exact shit month after month after month.  I had to wait over 30 minutes, but at least in that time I went to the bathroom and found EWCM, so my mood improved a little bit.
I had a different nurse than I usually do and while I don't like her as much as my usual nurse, her technique was great.  I did ask her how my cervix looked, was it wide and open? She replied "cervix's are always open".  Um, thanks, not exactly what I was asking for.  

This cycle has me feeling rather low.  I ovulated very late, I feel like we may have inseminated a day too late and wasted all that sperm.  I have doubts about my sperm donor.    His count isn't as high as I'd like it.  Usually he's at 14-16mil and this time was only 10mil.  That's the bare minimum they have to guarantee.  Despite being reassured that it's more than enough to get me pregnant, I still feel stupid for buying all of the sperm at once instead of trying him out a cycle or two before committing.  It's like getting ready for a blind date and putting a down payment on the future house you'll buy together before you even arrive at the date.

Then I went to my post-IUI acupuncture session and didn't have my regular therapist.  The alternate woman looked at my BBT chart and nonchalantly declared that it looked like I'd ovulated on Day 15.  Alarmed I squeeked, "but I did the IUI 3 days later, they took blood, I had ultrasounds, the blood said different".  She rescinded, but it made me feel like once again, all this money, even the acupuncture, for nothing.
Everyone has a theory and none of them match up.

I want to trust my fertility center.  I really, really do.  They are one of the top fertility centers in the world.  But lately I feel like a second-class citizen because I'm not doing IVF and that's what they do best.  Even with the top facility, an IUI is still a well-timed crap shoot.
As a Dr. (not at my clinic) told one of my friends after 10 cycles, "do you want to get pregnant or do you want to keep trying?"  She's pregnant now, after an IVF cycle.

I'm scared, because if this cycle is a BFP, I've got exactly TWO more tries before IVF.

Here's to another, messier, mind-fuck of a TWW.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shot Through the Ass and Sperm's to Blame

That, fellow young internetters, is wordplay on a Bon Jovi song. You may be too young to remember…but it was a really famous song and damn it I’m OLD.
What does it mean??
I took ye ole trigger shot in the ass today my friends.

My temp has been unusually low for days and my body is working really slow this cycle (today is Day 17) possibly due to my wonky cycle last month. I’ve been going to the RE since Day 11 as last month was such a short cycle. I got really down Sunday morning when I saw on the ultrasound that my follicles had hardly grown in 3 days and my LH was no where near peak levels.
So today I went back to the RE where they found two follies, one 18.5.
My estrogen is 316 and my LH 14.4.
Also, this morning I woke up to lovely EWCM in the panties and well, if EWCM on Day 17 doesn’t put a smile on your face, really, what will?

Thanks to all of my new online friends and friends in real life who called/emailed/texted to say Happy Birthday! I was feeling a bit down (just a bit, nothing to worry about!) and it made me feel loved and special. Plus, I’m older. Urh. But, on the bright side, I got carded at the last club I went to and still look WELL under 30. Use your SPF moisturizer ladies (and token gay man), it really does work.

I’ve been away from the internets due to no good reason other than I was getting a bit obsessed with blogs and researching. It’s summertime and up until the NYC heat wave sky-rocketed temps to 100, it was rather pleasant outdoors.

I’ve been concentrating on wrapping my head around what’s going on inside my body in healthy ways. What does that mean? Yoga, meditation, pilates, reading, dinner with friends, shopping, cooking, outdoor BBQ’s, foreign films, sitting in the park staring at the grass wishing I could smoke it (OMG, did I just say that!?) and my monthly “damn I’m not pregnant again” sampling of raw fish and wine.

Through conversations with my RE, nurse and acupuncturist we determined that last month was probably a chemical pregnancy (95%). This is partial bad news as it obviously didn’t stick. However, the good news is that my body got pregnant all by itself on a natural cycle—not even a trigger shot. It gave me hope that I can do it and I will do it. That is, me and the help of some progesterone suppositories this cycle, so that itty bitty sticky rice, STICKS.

Tomorrow? 11:30 am, Spermification v.4

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's My Birthday

I've been away from you internet friends.  And now people are starting to wonder where I've gone.
It's all good...better than good really.  Life is great!

I'll fill you in on all of the details later...but now I have to go!
K has something planned for me, a total surprise and I've been informed to make sure I'm ready.

My birthday card was addressed to:  Puffer and the soon to be baby fish:)  how totally cute!