Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sing-a-Long Time

The Chicken has been very, very tired the last couple of days.  While we were walking (sloooowly) to the lawn for a bit of napping in the sun, I made up a little song (a la "Grease") about us.
Feel free to sing-a-long!

"I got eggs--they're multiplying
And I'm losing control
Of the es-tro-gen
My body's supplying
It's Fatigue-Defining!"

"You better plump up
Cuz I need some eggs
And my heart is set on yours!
(and my heart...)
You better plump up
Cuz I need those eggs
To my ute I must be true
Must be true
Must be true my ute for you"

"You're the Chicken that I want!
You are the Chick I want
The Chicken that I want!
You are the Chick I want
The one for me
One for me
Oh eggs indeed
Whoo Hooo!"

Yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, I am a complete and total dork.
I make up songs for everything in life, so why should this be any different?!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am the Chicken

"I'm the Chicken because I make the eggs," she said to me on our (now daily) (very slow because of the eggs) walk to the fertility clinic.
"If you're the Chicken, what am I?"
"'re the nest."

Right about that time, we were passing Bellvue Hospital (it's a bit of a crazy place..) and a young African American man was walking towards us and yelled out "Sheryl Crow?!  Is that you?!  OMG, can I get your autograph!?  Damn, Sheryl Crow!"  
He was kidding...I think he was kidding.  I just laughed and kept walking with my Chicken as he really didn't look like a big Sheryl Crow fan.  I guess you never know.

Walking home, Chicken said "Is it making you crazy that we have to walk this slow?"
"No, even Sheryl Crow has to slow down sometimes."
Chicken likes my jokes.
I like her eggs.

Chicken triggered at midnight Saturday.
Retrieval Monday, June 1st.
Transfer Saturday, June 6th.

Friday, May 29, 2009

MTHFR-I Have It. Do You?

"Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a rare genetic defect that can lead to complications in pregnancy. Many people do not know that they have this defective gene until after they have had several unsuccessful pregnancies. Others may carry one pregnancy to term and not discover until afterwards that they carry the defect."

You can call it MotherFucker.   We all do.  Even the nurses at the RE Factory!

Before we started this donor egg IVF cycle, I made sure they did an RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) panel on me, even though I only had one m/c.  My acupuncturist seemed pretty certain 2 of my other cycles were early losses and I wanted to rule out everything possible to make sure this cycle had the best chance of success.

Now I know that I have one mutation of MTHRF (C677T).  That means I am heterozygous. It is reported that nearly half the population is MTHFR heterozygous.  This is the best case scenario when it comes to MTHFR.  This is rather easy to work with, thank goodness.

I wished I'd had this test done sooner, because I could've been taking something as simple as a baby aspirin a day + extra folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 to achieve a successful pregnancy.  Had I only known.

Here's where it gets tricky:  How much is enough?  My RE is content with the baby aspirin but I think I might need to add more to the mix (like Folgard?).

Here's what I'm currently on:

  • Prenatal:800 mcg of folic acid, 15 mg of B6 and 25 mcg of B12
  • B12/Folic Acid/B6 tab with 2mg B6, 1000 mcg B12 and 800 mcg folic acid
  • In addition I add wheat germ to a smoothie every day with "20% folic acid"
I've read that you should have 2.2 mg Folic Acid, 25 mg B6 and 500 mcg B12.  So, bare with me on my math skills here, but it looks like I've pretty much got the B's covered and it's just the folic acid I could be lacking, is that right??

So confusing and complicated.  What I don't understand if if a baby aspirin can't hurt, why don't they just have most TTC women on it??

Also, those of you out there who suffer from migraines (I'm thinking of you Carrie) this gene has also been linked to migraines.

If any of you have any advice for me...I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bumper Crop of Eggs Brought to You by the Number 10

It's starting to feel very, very real now!
Yesterday, we had K's date with the dildocam to see how well she's responding to the Menopur.  Results=Excellent!

She's got 9 follicles on the right and 7 on the left after 6 days of stims.  They are all trucking along about 10mm, with one renegade at 12.
Her blood work is exactly where it should be.
This morning, I had my date with el dildocam and we found a juicy, thick lining at a little over 10.  WooHoo!  
My estrogen was having a little trouble rising as of last Sunday.  They wanted to see it above 150 and I was lazily cruising at 112.  So I've been on Estrace 3 x day, plus one Climara Estrogen Patch every other day since then.
Looks like that did the trick because my E2 today is at 551!!  Perfect!

I did have a little freak out yesterday when I noticed some CM.  I associate CM with ovulation (don't you?!) and panicked over the fact that for sure I was ovulating, I'd busted through the Lupron and K would have to carry the baby overall.
Turns out CM while on Lupron just means your estrogen is rising appropriately and it's a good sign.  Whew!

We are both puffing out a bit in terms of bloat, but amazingly neither one of us has gained a pound.  In fact, K has actually lost 2 lbs since starting the stims??!!  I have no idea!  Maybe because we cut out sugar?  
Who knows, but for anyone out there scared of an IVF/donor egg cycle due to drug side effects or weight gain--have faith!  We have had (so far) no weight gain and little to none of the side effects we had anticipated.

K goes back tomorrow for more exciting adventure with things stuck inside her.
At this rate, we'll probably be up there every other day.  At least it's within walking distance and no one has to rush to the office afterwards.  

Life is Very Good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Wasn't All Bad

Besides the one downer of news that briefly threatened to spoil Memorial Day weekend, we did have, in spite of it all, a glorious weekend.
Most of you have figured out by now that I love warm weather and sunshine, so around these parts, I am a new lady these days.  I feel great and am ready to go!

K has been working on an internal company project for the last 5 months and it ended last Friday so we had 3 true days spend together.
Normally she is either working all weekend or in an 'on call' mode, so this time is precious.

Because this is my blog and I like to look back from time to time and remind myself that we were living our lives to the fullest while juggling TTC so I'm making a list to remind myself of all the fun we had Memorial Day weekend 2009.

Friday:  Went to Trader Joes's for the best shopping experience ever.  Normally that place is so crowded the line starts as soon as you walk in the door.  But on a holiday weekend?  Practically empty!  I brought the granny cart (like a good NYer) with me and piled it high in anticipation of not being able to 'carry heavy stuff' soon.
We spent the afternoon laying out on the lawn.  I worked on my tan while K worked in the shade of a tree outside.  That night we made dinner together and watched the movie "Nowhere in Africa".  It won an Oscar for the best foreign film 2002 and we give it 5 stars.

Saturday:  Went to a friend's house for a pool party.  She lives in a high rise with a pool on the roof and a fabulous view of upper Manhattan.  Sweet!
Had a friend over for dinner before heading out to Brooklyn for a cupcake party.  Yes, we each ate a small cupcake from Chikalicious Dessert Club.  
Our acupuncturist OK'd it and if you live anywhere near this place or you are visiting NYC, you have to come eat a cupcake here.  I'm not the biggest cupcake fan and these are seriously the best I've ever had.  Get the red velvet.  Trust me.  You'll be blogging all about it and saying "Holy Shit, Puffer was right.  I can't believe I've never been to this place."  Seriously.

Sunday:  K and I met 2 girlfriends and walked through the LES to Chinatown where we were hustled to buy fake purses and watches.  There are great places for massage and facials everywhere and we like the ones off the tourist track on Pell Street.  Just off this small stretch of Canal, you'll also find Doyers Street and tucked away down a dingy set of stairs is some of the best Vietnamese food we've had.  Fresh, tasty and cheap!
If you're up for produce shopping, you can't get much cheaper than the stall on Mott Street south of Grand.  Go there for your veggies, but head east on Grand for better fruit stalls.  I can't say it's organic...but it's fresh and cheap and so much fun to shop this way!  I come down here at least once a week to do shopping and between this and Trader Joe's, we're saving a ton of money.

Monday:  Met a friend for brunch at Esperanto and watched life on Ave. C go by from our outdoor table.  Perfect way to start the day.  
Trekked out to Brooklyn again and strolled around the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  We hadn't been out there in ages and it was gorgeous.  The roses aren't in full bloom, but close enough.
Checked out the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights and Park Slope North as part of our "where do we want to live next" tour.  The tour requires a deeper concentration in these neighborhoods...
Met a friend back in the city for our favorite Indian dining al fresco.
Got home in time to shoot K up full of drugs and get ready for the week ahead.

Thank You Sunshine Goddess for cooperating and finally giving NYC a perfect Memorial Day weekend free of RAIN!!

You Get It.

You bloggers are all so fucking awesome.  You really are.  I knew some of you had gone through a similar circumstance and would understand, but I didn't really expect such a strong outpouring of sympathy.  You just get it.
I'm happy to report that we are doing much, much better.  We have discussed this at length with four other friends since then and done some processing on our own.  There have been no more tears or anything close to tears.

I failed to mention that when BKP decided to move home--with their dog they adopted in LA--they were offered "Uncle Bob's cabin" which is a fancy way of saying a SIL's family member has a spare trailer in the woods in upstate NY not too far from the parents.  Yes, a trailer.  I can't make this shit up, it's so white trash and so NOT what I'm used to with K's family.

But BKP have decided to live in the basement of MIL's house and give their dog up instead.  I mean, I don't want to live in a trailer either, but really, wouldn't you rather be able to have your own place, walk around naked and have sex when you want??  And keep your dog?  For the love of god, you can't even be responsible enough to take care of a dog and you're bringing a human being into this world and neither one of you have any health insurance??

Jesus Fucking Christ.

I would not want to be them.  Nope, not for a minute.  Not even for the 1st prize of having the first grandchild.  They can keep it.  
K's mom is retiring this month and I'm sure she's going to be just thrilled about becoming a full time babysitter for a party of 3 when she thought she was going to be retiring.  I know K's step dad is not so thrilled and me thinks there's going to be some kind of tension in that house--so you know what?  They can keep it!  Keep the free rent, the free groceries, the stress and everything else.

We have planned and saved and thought about this baby for a long, long time and in the end, it's all going to work out just as it should.

If we get pregnant this cycle, our children will be one month apart (oh yeah, she's telling everyone super early because hey!  she's pregnant!  what could possibly go wrong!) and so who knows, that could end up being pretty cool.

Thanks again for hearing me out.  This is better than therapy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ranting and Reeling.

You need background on this story and I haven't given it.

*Warning Long rant below*  

K is a middle child.  Her older brother and his wife, we'll call them BKP, can do no wrong.  Her younger brother, we'll call YB, can also do no wrong.  BKP are the king and queen of the family and YB, is a prince.  K...well, she's just kind of there.  Her mother and father have always favored the sons and always will.  K is a shadow in the family.

The sons get everything from the family and I mean everything.  When brother BKP had student loans, grandma stepped in to pay them.  When YB had student loans, mom stepped in to pay them.  When K had student loans?  Nothing.  No offer of help at all.

When grandma was doling out the family jewelry, she gave brother BKP and YB all of her former husbands rings, etc.  Did she give K anything?  No.  She made sure brother BKP got a ring with a big diamond since she was getting married (five years ago--same as us) so he could put it in a setting for his wife.  K was also getting married the same year...but got nothing.

Another example:  When we go upstate to visit MIL, she often pays for the Amtrak ticket for YB, but not for K.
YB has an excellent job.  He works for a very exclusive fashion label. He has a rent-control apartment in Chelsea and next month his company is moving him to Paris to work.  He does not need his mother to buy his train ticket.  And neither do we....but why would you treat your children so differently?

After BKP got married, with stars in their eyes, they moved across the country with dreams of being movie stars.  Hollywood didn't turn out to be all they expected and brother BKP never was a good actor to begin with.  He ended up spending the next five year, age 30-35, waiting tables part time and auditioning the rest of the time. He would spent most afternoons 'meditating on his couch' about his next audition.  His wife worked as a public school teacher in LA and they had one car.  In Los Angeles.  

Meanwhile they would go out to the best restaurants in LA.  Places K and I don't ever go when we're visiting because they are too expensive for us.  They have massive credit card debt.
If they wanted to come home for Christmas?  Mom or Dad would buy them a plane ticket.  If they wanted to go to Florida to visit Grandma?  Grandma or some other family member would pay for it.

K and I have a completely different work ethic.  Both of us are the types who work our asses off to make sure we are taking care of ourselves.  If the tables were turned we each would be working double time to get a second car at the very least.  It's just how we are.
When I moved to NYC, I was 25K in debt and had been hired at an NGO making less than 30K.  I had at least two jobs for the first 5 years because I was bound and determined to pay off all my debt and get ahead.  I would work my day job and then go straight to my night job.  Weekends were not weekends, they were for working.  I wanted to get ahead and I did.

For the last year or so the Golden Couple have decided they want to move back home.  Brother BKP has finally realized that he's not going to make it as an actor.  SIL wants to be closer to her family and 'have babies'.  Everyone, especially MIL thinks this is an excellent idea.  SIL is the daughter MIL never had.  But of course, they have saved no money to even make the trip across country, let alone getting a job back in NY or a place to live..or, or, or....Ahgh!!!  This list goes on and on. and dad (and yeah, probably Grandma) are once again bailing them out.  They are sending them money to move back to upstate NY.  And since they don't have a place to live, they will live in mom's basement and have free rent, food, cleaning, etc.  Their car probably won't make it across the country or if it does, it won't make it much longer, so Dad has 'found them a car'.  They have no jobs, no savings and have you heard how great the economy is in upstate NY?

When we were up for Mother's Day, MIL was talking about how great it was they were moving home and it was a great time for them to buy a house and K said, "They don't have jobs.  They don't have any money to make a down payment."   And MIL replied "Oh, we can help them buy a house.".
K and I have been trying to get pregnant for 1.5 years.  We have talked about buying a place for at least as long.  Had anyone ever offered to help us?  No.  Of course not.

All K and I have talked about lately is how great it's going to be to be the first ones pregnant.  K will have the first grandchild and finally, FINALLY, she'll be the golden child.  They'll all pay attention to her.  I was glad we were using her eggs, because her mother will love me and the baby more than if I were having my own bio child.  Sad, but true.

You know what's coming, don't you?  You know how this story ends.

They are pregnant.
I know it's not a competition.  I know it doesn't mean our child will be loved any less.  But we had this one trump card over them.  For once, just once, we were going to be #1.
It hurts so bad and I was so upset and I almost vomited.  I should be happy for them.  They deserve a baby, too.  But now??

When K's mom told her, she didn't even acknowledge the fact that we had been trying so hard and so long and this news might be hard for us.  No mention whatsoever.

I cried so much last night I woke up feeling like a had a hangover.  When I got in the shower this morning, the tears came all over again.  I just can't shake this feeling about how unfair it all is.  We aren't pregnant.  They are.

I know some of you have had to deal with this.  I know I'm not alone.  I just never expected it to send me reeling the way it has.  The Golden Couple don't have to struggle with anything.  They are handed everything and rewarded with irresponsible behavior.
We are praying for acceptance of this.  We can't change it and we can't change our own circumstances.  I want to find happiness for them, but right now I'm just hurting too much.  

K says she accepted the fact a long time ago that her mom would always love her brothers more. God, that just breaks my heart.  It hurts so much to know that my wife's one chance of having her family's full attention and love is Gone. Gone. Gone.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Sweet Smell of Summer

This may end up being bullets, because I'm tired and I have a shoulder injury (or something??) which makes typing painful--hence lack of posts this week.

Yeah, it's gonna be bullets.
  • The first thing my mom did when she arrived was get on the scale because she wanted to make sure she didn't gain any weight while she was here.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because I had weighed myself as well hoping I wouldn't gain any weight being in 'vacation' mode while Mommy was here.  Now I know where I get it from.....
  • My mom may be almost 70, but we walked 8 miles in one day alone.  She's got mad stamina.  Now I know where I get it from....
  • No weight gained regardless of the cupcake, Russian pastry, flan, carrot cake, strawberries/pound cake and brioche bread pudding because we walked all over the freaking city non-stop.
  • Mommy went home.  Cannot have Mommy in small apartment for long time.  Cannot.
  • Joyously celebrated by taking off all of our clothes and walking around naked, followed by loudly having sex and then feasting on sushi.
  • Very happy Mommy has left.
  • It's been warm, followed by a little cool, but now....deliciously warm.
  • Sunscreen is one of my favorite smells ever.
  • I am making good use of my bikini and lawn chair.
  • K and I were both on Lupron during Mommy week with no side effects.  Everyone was happy about that.
  • Haven't noticed the Estrace at all.
  • Have not worked out (unless you count the walking).
  • Have no plans to.
  • K threw me a surprise birthday party Saturday night with about 30 friends.  It was fantastic!  Photos to come.
  • Had our once a month brunch with the lovely NYC/NJ bloggers.  I love you ladies!  So great to see all of you again!
  • There seem to be a lot of BFP's out there and I am so freaking happy for all of you.
  • I had the pleasure of having (decaf) coffee with this lovely lady, who I really, really wish lived in NYC so I could hang out with her every week.  It was so much fun!
  • I wish I could remove my arms when sleeping.  They always get in my way.
  • I woke up Sunday with a huge pain in my neck and shoulder (probably from sleeping weird because of my damn arms) and while it's slowly going away, it has kept me from doing much that requires my right arm ALL week long.  Bloody painful, even with advil, acupuncture and massage.
  • The massage was a perfectly timed birthday gift from this wonderful lady!  Thank you!  I needed it badly this week!
  • K is fully suppressed and has started on stims tonight.  She was very brave and wanted to shoot up herself.  Then she asked for juice and almost passed out.
  • I've increased the Estrace to twice a day.
  • My acupuncturist told us to stop all coffee, even decaf as well as sugar (and obviously alcohol but I haven't had a drink since starting the BCP's over a month ago).
  • Stop Sugar?  Did you see my sugar intake from last week??
  • We lasted a day and then split a flan last night at a Cuban place.
  • We are weak.
  • Today was sugar free.  Who knew it would be so hard?
  • Retrieval could be as early as May 31.
  • Holy Shit.
Good Night!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pufferfish Mommy

My mom is in town, has been since Monday.  If you recall, I was headed up to K's mom's for Mother's Day weekend.  That means, I had 3 non-stop days of MIL, combined with Grandma in-law before I had to summon the patience for my own mom.  6.5 days day of mom in a one-bedroom apartment is a lot.  
I haven't been on the internet much and have only had the chance to skim through my reader of all your blogs, so no commenting this week, I'm sorry!!

But, the good news is that all this activity had kept my mind off 'me' and I really needed that.  So, blessings have come disguised as a woman who claims to have birthed me, but looks, sounds, and acts nothing like me.
Furthermore, she doesn't like Asian or Indian food, claiming that "Oriental Flavor" a bit too much.  What the hell does that even mean???  We pretty much have six food groups in this house:  Thai, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese and Malay/Indonesian.
We have no idea what to feed her, but we're managing.  Now she knows how I feel when I go to Misery (Missouri) and claim there's nothing to eat!

We are having a pretty good time, though, all things considered.  She's a much better mother at 69 than she ever was when I was growing up.
Thank god I escaped the SW Misery accent.  That's all I have to say about that.

See you next week, when there's more time on my hands.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Feeling Grateful

My posts as of late have been depressing and selfish.  If I were reading from the outside, I probably would be skipping this blog because it's just too....much.

Today, I woke up early, threw open the shades and found the sunshine pouring in.  I felt so grateful for all I have in my life and wanted to remind myself.
The first song that came in my head while making breakfast was "Don't Worry" by Bob Marley and that's what I need to keep in mind right now.

I have so much to be grateful for at this exact moment.   Thank you to everyone who has been calling/texting/emailing to make sure I'm alright and encouraging me to fight the depression.  Many of you have been there with me during some of my darker days and your faith that I can fight this meant a lot to me.

I'm grateful for some small, but wonderful things today.  Like going upstate this weekend and spending time with K's family eating good food and making new memories.
Last night I made chive biscuits and tonight we'll eat these with K's mom's southern style pulled pork and it will be one of the best meals ever.
After that we'll top it off with the pear almond tarte I always make for K's mom in order to score DIL points.
I'm grateful for my wife who decided to pick up a hammer for the first time ever in our entire relationship to hang something because she got tired of asking me to do it!
I'm grateful that my wife fully supports me in everything I want to do, even when that means I leave her for months at a time to explore myself and my world.
I'm grateful that we can do this egg donor cycle and we have the finances and insurance to make it happen. (this is me looking grateful!)
  And I'm grateful for everyone out there reading this and cheering me on.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trying to Escape from Funky Town

This has got to be the hardest time period of TTC I've ever gone through.  I never took a BFN this hard, never got this down about a cancelled IVF cycle, but this...this is the worst.

To get me down even further, New York is going through a period of endless gray, cool, rainy days that are not helping my psyche at all.  It seems like the sun has completely disappeared and is never coming back.

I am trying to be optimistic and hopeful about this new cycle, but I am so damn scared.
It has been very, very difficult to come back to NYC in the rainy, cool season--jobless, in an economic crisis, faced with the realization that you can't have bio children.
Last week was the worst of the depression.  That was when I found myself seriously wondering if I had any worth at all and maybe the world would just be better off without me.
The thought was only a fleeting one and I wasn't contemplating anything, but the fact that it popped up in my head was a giant warning signal.

I have suffered from depression in the past, but I have med free now for almost 5 years.  It's been wonderful!
Now, I find that I'm having to work a little bit harder to be 'normal'.  That scares me.  
But after I got over the 'due date' of last week, I did find myself lifting up.  I didn't think it would be so difficult to get past that day--but it was--especially seeing other blogger's births posted that were born the same day/time.  Ouch.  That fucking hurt.  I mean, I'm happy for them, don't get me wrong, but fucking ouch.  Sometimes I just have to step away from the blogs....  

K has been wonderful throughout all of this.  She gets me out of the house and encourages me to workout, cook, take a walk outside, get off the computer.  We've walked down to Chinatown multiple times, exploring new streets, making lists of places we want to eat, gorging on Vietnamese food, shopping in the produce markets and getting Chinese massages in dodgy palours.  I love that she knows I'll feel better after getting an "Asian fix".  And I do, I always do.

But let's talk about meds/donor egg cycle now.  Tonight is my last birth control pill, yeah!  I've had 6 Lupron injections and (knock on wood) so far, so good on the side effects.  As in glory hallelujah, I've had none of the insomnia, migraines, etc, etc.  I cannot blame the depression on the Lupron as that started long before the injections.  But I am hoping the Lupron does not make my depression worse.  Only time will tell.
My SIS (saline sonogram) was painless and the RE declared me "clean as a whistle" so I'm good to go on that.
The RPL blood panel came back fine and there's nothing to worry about there.  My RE is going to have me take baby aspirin starting at the time of the retrieval as a precaution.
K's genetics blood work panel passed with flying colors--everything looks great.

Next on the list:  K goes in to the fertility center this Friday morning for blood work to make sure she ovulated (I saw the EWCM, it looks like she ovulated!).  Once they call her back telling her the bloods show she ovulated, she'll inject a micro dose of Lupron.  Lucky her, she only has to shoot up Lupron once!

That's it.  It's getting better, it really is.  But this month (well, April, May has been better) has felt like I'm rock climbing and I can't see the top of the mountain and my arms are getting really, really tired.
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on my last post and for pulling me up the mountain.  I feel all of your strength and I couldn't make it without you.
If you've called me or emailed me and you haven't heard back from me...please forgive me.  I haven't been myself.