Thursday, April 30, 2009

Due Date

I didn't know if I'd blog about this date or not...but it's weighing heavy on my heart today and it's unavoidable.  There are so many stories in my head and I just need to get them out.

August was nine months ago.  It doesn't seem possible that so much time has already passed from getting that positive pregnancy test, getting married the same day and having what can only be described as one of the best weekends of my life.

Of course we all know that it tanked about a week after that.  Call it what you want--a chemical pregnancy, a miscarriage--I was pregnant and today was supposed to be my due date.
Instead I've been on the phone with a fertility pharmacy ordering Lupron to start a donor egg cycle.  My how things can change in nine months.
I didn't know how I'd feel today but if I were hard pressed to find three words I'd have to say I feel empty, vacant and barren.

I can't remember the date I found out I was pregnant/the date we got married (it was our second marriage in CA for legality issues), but I remember the fucking due date.  Sometimes I think I just block August out because what's gone is gone and I can't bring that back.  
That bit of a baby never made it and there's never going to be a bit of a baby that my body made.  Never.  That dream is gone, but god if I don't ache for it daily.
Because of that one stupid positive test I still believe that if, if, if I just had more money to spend on all of this, I could get pregnant.  Who am I kidding?

If I could do things differently, I certainly would knowing what I know now.  I would start drugs from the beginning.  I would move to IVF sooner.  Could've, should've.  Didn't.  Did I lose the chance of having my baby because my ego believed "I" could get pregnant naturally?  
There was nothing wrong with me thank you very much.  Just hand me the sperm and we'll be done with this baby-making business soon enough.  I wasted so much time at such a crucial age where time-wasting is not allowed.

At the same time, I've been so freaking lucky.  I have never had a cyst, a fibroid, an anything.  There have been no surgeries and no forced breaks. I ovulate on my own every single month and I've had normal periods my entire life.  
I have low FSH, I passed the Clomid Challenge with flying colors.  I am in excellent health.  So what the fuck is the problem?  Is it because I swear too much?

I think I'm just a wee bit old and while I naively thought I could just magically pop out a baby (or, gasp, two!) by 40, I failed to take into consideration that I don't have a free, fresh supply of sperm in my bed every night.  All of my peers who have managed to accomplish this pregnant-naturally-late-in-life-task are in a different category than me.  They have a free backstage pass to rockstar sperm night.  Me, not so much.

After the BFP, I thought "well, I did it once, I can do this again".  But I couldn't.  Didn't.  Can't.  My cycles went a little off-course and I removed myself from the madness.  Enough.  Done.
I could keep trying.  I could spend all our savings trying but that seems a bit foolish seeing we waited so long to start trying because we wanted to make sure we had enough money.
It's like running in circles chasing dollars.  If we were going to go broke doing this then we should've done it five years ago.  And we didn't.  For so many reasons, not just money, we didn't.  
And they were the right reasons, so now we live with that.

I envy all of you who met your loves early in life and knew what you wanted and just got on with it.  You are truly blessed.  I was never that person.

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in the process of all this TTC shit; the planning, the components, the RE visits (76 of them for me, but who's counting?), the co-pays, the drugs, the waiting, the tears--I actually forget the end result will be a real, live baby.

Dear April 30th, I hope when you come around next year I don't even remember you because I'm too busy with my baby.

Dear Blogosphere, Thank you for always listening and being there for me.  I can't imagine how horrible this would be without all of you.  When I fall, you always catch me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Junk Food, You Temptress

I'm a pretty healthy eater.  I eat as many whole, natural foods as possible.  We don't buy processed or artificial products and aside from the occasional pint of ice cream (that K begs me not to buy) we don't have any kind of 'junk food' in the house.  Ever.  Because if we do, we'll eat it.  Which brings me to the last two weeks.

One night last week we had a friend over for fajitas.  You can make healthy Mexican food with all natural products!  But we all agreed the guacamole needed chips.  Now, if K or myself had gone to the store we would've bought the 'healthy-as-possible" blue corn tortilla chips made in a factory in Vermont that also does a mean business in granola even though we would've wanted the giant bag of Tostitos.
When Fab C walked through the door carrying that (BIG) bag of forbidden Tostitos luxury, I might have actually drooled.  Oh my god they were so salty and good.

The rest of the week I played a little game with myself called "I'll only eat the tortilla chips that are broken."  I usually started playing this game right after I'd dropped them on the kitchen floor a couple of times.
And then I'd just stand at the kitchen counter eating all the broken ones.  The bag lasted less than a week.

This past weekend, we had a fondue party.  Cheese and Chocolate.  So, you know already, there's about 10,000 calories that are going to be consumed in this meal.  And we all know you cannot have chocolate fondue without homemade all butter pound cake, right?  Yeah, so I made two just in case we ran out.  
And then....dear God it was better than the Tostitos!!!!  Apparently someone thinks it's a great idea to dip Ruffles in cheese and chocolate, because in she walked with a bag (thank you for not bringing the big, big bag, seriously, thank you)!

If there's a forbidden junk food item I do not buy--it's potato chips.  I love them.  I mean, I really, really, really love them.  I will eat them until I'm sick if left to my own devices.  And if there's french onion dip?  Forget about it.  Get your own damn bag because I am not sharing.
Those ads are right, you can't just eat one, which is why I choose not to eat any.

Until Saturday night. 
We had a full table of women who and a full table of beautiful veggies and meats to dip in the cheese fondue and guess which bowl we polished off first?  Yes, the potato chips.
After that we moved on to the chocolate fondue, strawberries, marshmellows and 1/4 of the pound cake.
It was, if I do say so myself, one of the tastiest dinner parties we've had.

All lovers of all things Madonna, we watched the Confessions Tour DVD, which sobered us all up to reality of what we just consumed.  Mainly, you know, staring at her body at age 46.  Madonna would never eat potato chips and pound cake.  In fact, has anyone ever actually seen Madonna eat?

We all swore to try out a macrobiotic diet the very next day.  That lasted about 3 hours because that's about the time I realized I had leftover chips and pound cake!!!
I threw the chips in the trash (Ok, ok, I ate half the bag and then I threw them out--I really did, but I'd be totally lying if I didn't admit to almost digging them out of the trash).  But the pound cake?  What to do, what to do?  I froze one...and am staring at the rest cut in tiny squares in a see-through plastic container tempting me from the kitchen counter.  It seems like such a waste...I made it with such love and you know, like a freaking pound of butter!

Maybe if I just eat it square by square, it won't really count, right?  But I know what I'll do, I'll eat every single square.

Fucking Food Issues.

If anyone wants some free pound cake, let me know.  It's all yours!!

ETA:  We each had a piece of cake and then we both agreed to toss it in the trash!

One Night Stand

Apparently, my body was just getting used to the BCP's as the next day life went back to normal (thank God).  Let's hope I'm just as lucky with Lupron...which starts this Friday.

Things are progressing over here...I go in for an SIS tomorrow and my mock transfer.  This will determine all is well with the baby-growing location (my uterus) and where exactly they will put the potential poopers.
Kate has genetic counseling tomorrow and soon, we should both find out the results of our blood work for the genetic screening and the RPL panel.   Some of mine for the RPL have come back and so far, so good!

We're both on prenatals, she's also on L'arginine for egg quality and I'm on B6 for the ute.
The weather has been gorgeous so we've been going out running almost every day as well as yoga and pilates for me.  My RE said I can work out every day right up until transfer so that was great news to hear!

I've been weaning K off caffeine...without her knowing it!  Since I'm home now and so is she (she's on a project working from home since December now), and we're with each other pretty much 24 hours a day, I'm in charge/control of...oh everything.  
I'm basically a SAHM minus the kid.  Which means, I make the cappuccinos every morning (and do the shopping, run the errands, do the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry,etc etc.).  

So, for the past month, I've been sneakily replacing her tin of espresso with half of my decaf to wean her lightly.  Problem is...for all the lack of attention that girl pays to detail, she realized that somehow the container was never depleting.  This is when I realized how precious espresso is to her.  She'd remark "I think we need to go Porto Rico and get more espresso" and I'd be all like, "no, we're fine; we have plenty."
Finally one night she asked me and I fessed up.  She was a bit peevish, but I told her if I'd let her know she would've played it up in her head and thought she was tired all day long--which she totally was not.
Anyway, she's agreed that once stims start she will abstain from all caffeine and running until this is over.
This is huge for her, but she is so excited about outsourcing the womb, she's willing to suck it up!

We've both started acupuncture now in preparation of the upcoming's all starting to feel very, very real now and I'm getting more excited and optimistic every single day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pill Poppin' (Baby) Mama

So....I've been getting emails asking what's going on and when am I going to blog again.  Well, there's been a lot going on, but I've also been waiting to see exactly what that is.
I can now officially say "Game ON"!
Last week Kate went in for all of her genetic testing, blood work and baseline ultrasound.  This was the moment we've been waiting for because K is not a 'proven donor' and until we saw the ultrasound we were damn nervous.  I didn't even realize I'd been shaking the entire time we were in the office until we went to look at K's lady business and our RE said "whoa look at that!" 
And there we had it, a basket full of eggs.  There were at least 15 antral follicles on her left ovary and about 8-9 on her right.  The RE wasn't going to count them at first saying "you have nothing to worry about, she's going to produce a lot of eggs" and I countered with "we're paying a lot of money for those eggs, count them."

While we were there, I also insisted on an RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) blood work panel for myself.  Not that I've had recurrent losses, but at this stage in the game, I want to have every single thing checked out.  We caught my thyroid almost by mistake and I'm not assuming everything else is fine.  At this point, I want every test done.
So now we're waiting for the blood work to come back for both of us.  That should be another week.  The good thing is that even if something in the genetics testing came back wrong--because she's my partner, we get to decide if we want to go forward whereas if she were a donor the cycle would automatically be cancelled.

In the meantime, Kate has started her period and we've already been back for a Day 3 u/s.  Once again everything checked out A-OK and it's cute to see K preening around boasting about her bumper crop of eggs.  You can almost see her feathers all fluffed up; she's very proud of herself.  I think she was scared of her body letting me down.  We are both breathing a sigh of relief around her.  So far, so good.

I started birth control pills yesterday, CD3 and will be on them for 15 days.  So far, just one little pill has wreaked havoc on my system.  It gave me insomnia last night and made me feel so nauseous I had dreams of barfing.  I spent the entire night tossing and turning and woke up retching.  I couldn't eat, was shaking and felt completely out of sorts.  K knew it was serious when I refused my usual (decaf) cappuccino!  I went back to bed by 9am and slept through until noon.  I really hope tomorrow is better, because otherwise I am going to be worthless.  Hopefully my body just needs a bit of time to get adjusted.

If all goes as planned (famous last words...) we should be doing egg retrieval/transfer either the last week of May or the first week of June.

Moving right along now....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kicking My Thyroid's Ass

Two months ago my TSH was 6.27.
Now?  .543

So I am completely in the clear on my TSH.  If I don't get a positive from this donor egg cycle, it will NOT be because of my thyroid.  My endocrinologist did a shitload of other tests as well, Free T4, etc etc.  They all came back completely normal.  I feel a great relief about all of this and knowing that my thyroid is in check.

Did I mention that I never even knew I was feeling tired, fatigued or mild depression until I started taking the synthroid and stopped feeling that way?  
(the minor depression as of late is total culture shock/coming to terms with the fact I will never have a bio child/and readjustment to this (as of late but not today) crappy weather) 
I think I'd lived with these symptoms for so long, I thought they were normal.  

I don't know if it was Thailand (where I always lose weight) or the thyroid balancing itself out or what, but since starting the meds I've lost 7 lbs.  Which means I am exactly where I was when I started the TTC process in Jan. 08.  And that was my goal so at least I haven't failed at that. Thank fucking god.

In other news, I want to thank all of you for showing me such support.  I've gone through a bit of a funk since returning.  There was a lot to process and it didn't help that sunshine (literally) seemed to have left the earth.  It's back now...I hope it stays around because I'm feeling a lot better.  I've just been trying to stay off the internet and out of blogworld so I don't get so wrapped up.  There are things that just aren't that good for me right now.  I hope you understand blogosphere.  I'm still here, just a bit more quietly than before.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Zero Chance.

I've gone back and forth a bit this week, but I'm getting a lot better at accepting that I've done all I can to try to make this baby and now it's time to "let go and let God".

This chart certainly helped me get there:
My antral follicle count in October was SIX.  That means according to this chart I have a ZERO chance of having a live birth (and yes I'm basing this on being 40 because let's face it I almost am) even if I were to do another IVF cycle.  Yes, I know the count can change from month to month...but really.  My chances?  Not so good.
Wow.  Zero.  Holy Shit.  My eggs are MthrFng old.

The hardest thing for me has been the fact I never got to actually 'finish' an IVF cycle.  I never even made it that far but now that I see this chart....I guess everything happens for a reason.
I'm glad that I got pregnant, just that one time, for just a little while.  It's my damn badge of honor at this point.
I will never know what it's like to look at my baby and think "those are my eyes" or "that little quirk is all me" but I will be birthing my love's child and that child will be mine.
I am officially done whining.

Off to Egg Donor IVF land we go!

P.S.--That post involving EWCM?  That was me encouraging K to go make me a baby, not the other way around!

All About the Puffers

I cribbed this from another blog.  Seems like a good Friday thing to do...

♥ What are your middle names?
Mine - Lea, K's - Elizabeth

♥ How long have you been together?
Nine years this summer

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About 3 days.  Ha!  It's true.

♥ Who asked who out?
We were at a bar and K asked me out.  It took about 3 dates to click and we've been together since then.

♥ How old are each of you?
Me - 39, K - 31

♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most?
K.’s brother, at least once a month as he lives here. The other brother lives in L.A. and we see only a couple of times a year.  My brothers and I grew up separately and aren't close.

♥ Do you have any children?

♥ What about pets?
3 cats (two 17 year olds and a 4.5 year old that were mine and K has adopted)

♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
K's parents put a lot of pressure on her and her father makes her crazy.  But, things are a lot better than they used to be.

♥ Did you go to the same school?
No. She went to Vassar and NYU Stern and I went to UT Austin.

♥ Are you from the same home town?
No.  I don't have a home town.  I've lived in over 30 locations!  K has lived in the same house in upstate NY her entire life.

♥ Who is smarter?
Hmm....she has the MBA, so she's book smart and business smart for sure.  I think she's brilliant.  I am smarter with finances related to budgeting and common sense.

 Who is more sensitive?
This is K for sure.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We don't have a fave, there are so many options in this city we could eat every meal out for a year and never repeat. We love Asian and Indian the most.

 Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Probably South East Asia; Indonesia and Thailand

♥ Who has the craziest exes?
K has some crazy ex's but I do too.  I probably have more because I'm older and dated more women before her.  Hmm, I just thought about the 13 years of dating before K, yep it's me.  I dated the crazies.  Way too many crazies.

♥ Who has the worse temper?

♥ Who does the cooking?
K is the better cook and I am the better baker.  However, I can cook quite well, too and K does not bake.  Lately, I've been cooking all the meals and baking since I'm not working.  But really, she's an excellent cook.  She almost became a chef instead of getting her MBA.

♥ Who is more social?
We are both very social, but I'm probably more so.  I just went diving on a live aboard boat and was dubbed the "social coordinator", so yeah...I'll talk to anyone.

♥ Who is the neat-freak?

♥ Who is more stubborn?
I am.

 Who hogs the bed?
We have a double and I'd say it's the CATS who hog the bed, not us!

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
I am much better in the mornings than K, but we both wake up about the same time.

♥ Where was your first date?
Baramundi on the Lower East Side.  We've never been back.

♥ Who has the bigger family?
K does.  She has an extended hippy family of people who aren't related to her but she grew up with as "aunts" and "cousins".  In fact, when her parents divorced, her mom ended up marrying her "uncle" and her "cousins" became her step siblings.  They are a weird bunch and I'm so happy they are my family, too.

♥ Do you get flowers often?
Yes!  In fact, K brought home flowers two days ago!

♥ How do you spend the holidays?
Together, at her father's for Christmas Eve and her mother's for Christmas Day.  My family are born-again Southern Baptists and there will be no religious holidays spent with them.

♥ How long did it take to get serious?
About 3 dates.

♥ Who eats more?
K eats more.

♥ Who does/ did the laundry?
I do it all.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
We each know different things so it's a nice balance.

♥ Who drives when you are together?
We don't own a car.  I'm better with stick, so if it's international, I drive.  Local, if we rent, she usually drives as I can't stand the traffic getting out of the city.  It all depends.  We switch off.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Overheard in the Bathroom

"Holy Shit, wow, look at this."
"That's some good stuff."
"It's like over an inch long!"
"Oh yeah, you're totally ovulating.  I want you to know when you leave this house, if you see a hunka hunka burnin love, you have my full permission to go make a baby."
"Honey, don't put thoughts like that in my head!"
"I'm not putting any thoughts in your head.  I'm making suggestions.  Very strong suggestions."
"There was that guy at my meeting this morning.  He was so hot and I thought, man, if I were a guy that's the guy I'd like to be."
"OK, good.  Go find him and have sex with your man self.  And I will fully understand if you don't make it home in time for dinner tonight."
"You're crazy."
"I know.  Have fun!  Go make me a baby!"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Conversations with the Crazy Lady

"I may have to take the internet away from you."
"No!  I love it."
"But you're spending too much time on it and it's making you depressed."
"Go away."
"Don't tell me to go away!  I'm trying to help you."
"I'm sorry.  I hate this weather.  Where is the sun?  It's so fucking dark.  I hate NYC."
"You don't hate NYC, you are just having a hard time re-adjusting to life here again.  You do this every time."
"I know and every time I want to move.  Can we move?"
"We cannot move right now."
"Why did you make me move here just because all of your family lives on the NE coast?"
"Honey, you moved here on your own.  I didn't even know you when you moved here."
"Oh.  Right.  Well, it's time to cut those family ties and move somewhere sunny."
"OK, maybe later.  Have you been outside?  Maybe you should go outside."
"It's horrible outside.  There's no sun.  I hate this weather."
"Maybe you should take a shower"
"I took one yesterday."
"Yeah....some people take one everyday." might say I have some readjustment issues.  
I'm sad.  I'm a vacillating vacillator. Should I try again?  This decision has really thrown me for a loop and even though I know it's the best thing for 'us' getting a real live baby out of the deal, it is fucking with my head BIG TIME.

I never left the house yesterday.  I have not left the house today.  I am in the same pajamas I had on yesterday.  I have not brushed my teeth.  I am spending waaay too much time on the internet.
I am getting depressed.
I have failed.
I cannot make this baby and I have failed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Test Drive the Egg Basket

It's hard to look in the mirror and see someone so young and yet have your eggs be so old.
Me and my bad eggs, we're finished.

I know you can't compare making a baby (and the cost involved) to buying a car, but well, yes you can.
I am the lemon.  K is the Volvo.
Why would we keep spending more money to fix up the lemon when we have the chance to drive the Volvo?  Also, keep in mind I come from a long line of lemons and K's family has a garage of Volvos.

Since arriving home (5 days ago) I've been:
  • talking with the RE,
  • the egg donor program coordinator,
  • the insurance company, 
  • the billing department,
  • the psychologist assigned to our case,
  • had my blood drawn to do a gazillion tests related to my thyroid
  • set up an appointment for my endocrinologist to review the results of the thyroid testing 
  • set up all appointments for K to enter egg donor program
  • caught up on everyone's blogs
And that's just the TTC-related stuff!  I have been one busy Puff.

We've been looking down this path for so long...we didn't even need to talk about it that much.
It woke me up at 5:30 the morning after I got home and I just got up, starting making a list, looking at the calendar and figuring things out.
There's a possibility we might be able to do this at the end of May, but more probable is the first/middle of June.
While we both know there's no guarantee K has superstar eggs, we know hers are 8 years younger than mine--PERIOD.  So, we're going with that and hoping for the best.

It's good to be home.  Funny thing with K and I--we need no 'readjustment period'.  We each do so much travel and have for so many's like I came in the door and it was like, "oh I'm home again".  Sometimes she'll come through the living room and smile looking at me and say "you're really home!" She's so cute and willing to do whatever it takes--even if she has to carry the damn baby herself--to make our little family dream come true.