Monday, October 30, 2006

Attack of the Rude Relatives

I’ve been on hold for the past 20 minutes waiting to cancel my appointment with my old OB/Gyn practice. Crazy. I finally figured I would see how long of a post I could write before they get to my call.

My thesis is done and I’m going to distribute the copies to my committee tonight! Oddly, I don’t feel much better yet. H says I won’t feel relief until the defense is over and I have the diploma. He’s probably right. I was just hoping for some sense of calm to wash over me.

My agitated state could have a little something to do with H’s family, bringing us to the title of this post. I’ve deleted my previous posts on how awful they are because I felt guilty, but they are at it again and I must discuss. To recap, H’s mom has evidently told everyone about our need to do IVF, despite our clear instructions that this was private information and not to be shared. The ONLY reason we even told her and H’s dad is because they wouldn’t let up on us not being able to attend family events that were occurring during our retrieval and transfer. We also wanted them to know so that they would stop asking rudely framed questions about when we would have kids.

Well, after H got a phone call from his Lame Brother #1 (LB1) in which the brother brought up IF in front of a high school friend, H gave his mom a real talking to about her indiscretion and now the brother’s indiscretion. She was shocked to be yelled at over it but seemed sorry. So sorry, in fact, that she promised H that she would wait for him to announce our pregnancy at our next family gathering rather than telling his brothers or anyone else in advance.

Well, Lame Brother #2 (LB2) called yesterday, and he brought up to H that not only does he know about the pregnancy, he knows about the IF and he knows we are having twins. His sorta congratulations included all of this in the same sentence. His comment to H was "Man, I didn’t even know you guys were trying." Hmm, so why did H's mom feel the need to spill everything then??? Now, H’s mom had sworn to H that she had only told LB1 about the IF, her weak excuse being that LB1 is a doctor (chiropractor). Yes, I’ll take a back adjustment to fix my sperm issues from Mr. Faux Doc. Well, clearly she either lied to H from the beginning and had already told everyone about our IF, or, when she decided to announce our pregnancy without us anyway and told about the twins, she answered LB2’s likely question as to whether IF drugs were involved.

Needless to say, I’m pissed. Let’s say she simply told about the twins and then was faced with the “did they use IF drugs?” question. Knowing we DO NOT want our IF to be discussed, ALL she had to say was— "well, Emmie’s mom is a twin and remember her cousins who were flower girls in her wedding are twins…I guess twins run in the family." But nooooo.

So, my real chest pain right now is over the fact that we have to visit H’s family this very weekend--the weekend we agreed we would tell everyone about the pregnancy even though it’s still a few weeks early for my taste. Well, they all already know, and so help me if I get any questions about IF or our treatment. I will go OFF. And when my buttons are pushed to the limit like they are now, I am a force they will not want to reckon with in any way.

H was really mad too, both at his brother for his callous discussion about our pregnancy and his mom for blatantly ignoring his wishes. He said he’s going to talk to her again about it this week before we go up. He said if she ever blurts out anything about our kids’ conception in front of them, he will never see her again. We haven’t decided how or when or even what we are going to tell our kids, and we do not want to be forced into something just because H’s mom doesn’t have a bone of sense in her body. I’m just ready to light into her the moment I see her, which I know is bad for the babies. I’m trying to calm down about it, but I really can’t. I’m tense about the questions that might smack me out of nowhere from H’s aunt and cousins. (I’m pretty sure H’s mom has told them, too). I’ve been thinking of proper responses for when they say—"twins???—what type of treatment did you have?" Part of me wants a good dignified answer that lets them know I find it an inappropriate question and none of their GD business, and part of me wants to slide on--"don’t you remember how many twins there are in my family?"

Another possible response to "did you do IVF" is--"Wow, I guess times have really changed. When my cousin announced her twin pregnancy 10 years ago, NOBODY in my family even thought to ask her that question. And they didn’t even have IVF when my grandmother had twins. But now people won’t stop asking me that question! (in my sweetest voice, of course) Think that would shut them up?

Your help please--how would you handle H’s mom this weekend, and what are your best responses to the uncomfortable questions I might get? Being out about IF is not an option because I feel like it’s an even further invasion of my privacy. I’m happy to share the info and true facts with people I think need it, but not nosy relatives.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Been Working...

Hooray for UtRus, who looks to have double passengers inside! I hope the next few weeks are a smooth ride for you and you see those hearts beating nice and strong!

I’ve been silent lately because I am less than one week away from having to turn in the biggest piece of academic writing in my life—the master’s thesis. I’m so close to finishing, so I don’t know why I want to just quit and crawl into bed. I guess the final details are always painful. I’ll just be so happy when I am done. Then I feel like I’ll really be able to take a deep breathe and celebrate everything going on in my life.

I still can’t believe things in my life have taken such a change for the better. My symptoms are still pretty minimal—a few food aversions, occasional super nose moments, sore boobs, some minor tummy pangs, a lot of increased fatigue—but overall I feel just fine. If I didn’t feel so well, I don’t know how I would be able to finish my thesis. Thank you, God. Meanwhile my sister remains hunched over a toilet at 7 weeks. Since I’m still not openly talking about my condition, my mom fills the gap by constantly talking about my sister and how sick she feels. My mom seems a little disappointed each time she asks how I feel and I say fine. Like it means I’m not as pregnant as her or something. I guess it just gives her less to talk about. My sister’s next doctor appointment isn’t until mid-November, while I will have 2 appointments, maybe more, before then. It’s so interesting how different our pregnancies will be.
While it does suck to have this little competition thing going on between me and my sister, as the co-pregnancies are bringing up a lot of hurt feelings I’ve always had about how my parents treat my sister differently than me, I do have to remind myself of how very, very lucky I am to have gotten my BFP on this cycle. If I hadn’t, and my sister was pregnant, I think it would have sent me over the edge. I wouldn’t be able to be a good sport about it. I wouldn’t be able to listen to my mom talk about it. I would just have to hang it up and move to a remote island for a few years. It is a true miracle that I was spared this pain. I’m a little disappointed in myself for having these feelings and not being able to be stronger about IF. I think it’s probably time for me to start seeking some counseling so that I can resolve a lot of issues I have before the babies are here (which I hope they both will be, safe and sound). I’m so scared of losing them. I want to learn how to handle my fears and prevent them from overtaking me so that I can be the best mom possible. This will be my focus after next week…

My peri appointment is Monday and my first appointment with the new OB is Tuesday. I can’t wait to see the little guys (or gals) again. Will check in with news after that.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Plan Your 2 Week Wait Vacation

Is this article saying that it was a good thing that I went to Disn_ey World during my two week wait? I certainly had no time to share emotions about my treatment while I was in line for Snow White's Scary Adventure and watching Mickey's Not So Very Scary Halloween parade.

I was quiet about the fact that I was in Disn_ey World during this time, as some infertiles have said it is the worst place on earth to go if you can't have kids. I actually didn't feel that way, because I acted just like a kid there myself.

While H and I were there, we had shared a room part of the week with my sister and brother-in-law, until it was time for us to move on to another hotel where I had a work conference (my reason for being down there in the first place). While I suspected this, my mom spelled it out for me last night. My sister conceived in Disney World, in the room we had SHARED, the day or so after H and I moved on. Blech!!!!!!!!

I highly recommend Disn_ey World as the place to go after all stressful reproductive efforts.

Lots of Stuff

I had some particular posts in the works, but they disappeared so this is going to be about whole lot of random things going on right now.

I shopped around for a new Ob/Gyn and found a practice that looks very appealing located in the same medical complex that I currently go to. They only have five doctors, all women, and they only serve one location--unlike the place I'm leaving, which has 10 doctors and 4 locations. I figured right there it would narrow the number of doctors I see. I called them up, and the receptionist was super nice. One of their specialities is high risk pregnancy, so it looks good so far. The receptionist was able to schedule me an appointment for less than 2 weeks. The new receptionist also congratulated me on the pregnancy. The receptionist from my old office never thought to make that small gesture. She just sounded annoyed that I was requesting a particular doctor. So anyway, my first appointment with the new place is on Halloween. I'm going to cancel the other one.

My sister is now in the full throes of morning sickness, while I am still only sorta queasy each afternoon. The tiredness is really hitting me though. My sister has her 6 week ultrasound today, so I'm eager to hear how it goes. I saw the baby's heartbeats at 6 weeks, and from what I've read that's a little early. I'm curious as to what she will see. I'm still annoyed that she's telling people before I feel I can even share my news, though. My mom told me last night that my sister gave her the go ahead to tell extended family on Nov. 15, which just so happens to be the week I enter my third trimester and would be ready to tell those same people myself. What the hell. Why can't she wait for her first trimester to start, just two weeks later? I sense some cattiness coming to my blog soon. ;) I guess our pregnancies are just going to be treated as exactly mom was going on last night about how she predicts my sister will deliver early because she always delivered early, and therefore she will probably end up having the baby on what is projected to be my due date. Whatever. This is just so typical--my sister always has to have or do things immediately after I do. It frustrates me sometimes because while I have to work hard for all these milestones, they seem to naturally fall in her lap.

Would you believe my mom started bragging to me last night about how it only took my sister 3 months to get pregnant? I calmly told her that I didn't need that rubbed in my face after what I'd been through. Her response--well you were fast too; it only took you one treatment! So then I reminded her that if I had been like my sister, I would have already celebrated my baby's first birthday by now. Ugh--this shouldn't have to feel like a competition. I don't know why I'm starting to let it get to me so much. Oh wait--I know why--it's because my mom won't stop talking about my sister! Everything I say now is followed by--well your sister is doing this. Ugh.

Despite the venting, I'm doing really well and am so happy right now. Still worried and cautious, but very happy. H and I have a very nice weekend planned so that we can spend some quality time together without stressing about stuff. I think it will be very good!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Incredible News

H and I took a walk in our neighborhood last night and had to drop off something at one of our neighbor’s houses. We’re pretty good friends with them—a couple our age with a 2 year old—and the girl has known that we’ve been trying for awhile. On the walk over, we decided we would tell them our good news, even though it’s early. I’m starting to feel that telling is okay because if something goes wrong it’s not like I will be able to pretend that nothing has happened. Anyway, we told her (her husband wasn’t home yet) and she was thrilled. Then H told her it was twins, and her jaw hit the floor. Turns out our other neighbor friends, a couple also with a 2-year-old, just announced that they are pregnant with twins. They are due three weeks before us. Can you believe that??? I’m thrilled that our twins will have twins the same age in the neighborhood to play with, plus I’ll have a friend to go through this with right at my doorstep. Evidently she has been super sick—throwing up so much she can’t get out of bed—which is why we haven’t seen her yet. Our neighbors all go to the same daycare for their 2-year-olds, which is how the neighbor we talked to found out right away.

Which brings us daycare. H just about fainted when he heard from our neighbor how much daycare is, then multiplied it by two. Here we go again with the money. The rest of our walk was consumed by it. It does cost a lot, but the thing is, this is why I spent so much time advancing my career before we decided to start trying. I doubled my salary from 2 years ago, so after daycare, it will be just like I had my old job back only now I can afford the kids too. (The daycare will be approximately half my monthly salary each month.) I think this is pretty darn good, and I worked really hard to get to this point. If I had my old job, things would have been really, really tight. We should have been saving my increased salary these past two years because we didn’t really need it to live, but we had lots of house emergencies and just general things we wanted to buy and do while we could. I know we can cut back to the way we were. The thing that kills me is that H’s real problem is spending that amount of money period on daycare, whether we can afford it or not. Sorry, that’s just the cost of having kids. I don’t get why he thinks kids should be so free or cheap and puts up a fuss every time he finds out how much they are going to actually cost. We definitely can’t afford for me to stay home, so it’s funny that he would actually prefer me to stay home so we don’t spend the money on daycare rather than have the daycare and still be able to provide a comfortable living for our kids. Ugh. It all comes back to the fact that money is his worry, and I just need to leave him alone as he works it out in his own mind. I know we’ll be fine. Sure, it’ll be an adjustment, but we’ll work it out.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Two Still On Board!

I have a lot to catch up on, but the most important thing is that yesterday’s appointment went very well, and H and I saw both hearts beating in sync with each other. My RE, who must have figured out I’m obsessive compulsive about info by now, did not tell me the heart rates or any measurements when I asked how everything was measuring, only saying that both babies are measuring the same size and everything is within the normal range. I was very relieved, and H was very impressed to see them both for the first time. Baby A is still tucked in a corner that is harder to see than Baby B, but we could definitely see both of them. They grew a lot in just a week and a half. It was so exciting to see them with H, and we had a great time celebrating afterwards. I still won't feel safe until we're beyond 12 weeks, but I do feel better.

So with that, at 8 weeks, I am released back to my regular ObGyn and have a referral to the peri. I’m told my ultrasounds with the peri will be super, as he has the 4-D equipment. Those 4-D scans kinda freak me out though.

My issue today is that I called my ObGyn to make an appointment, and in doing so I remembered how very much I can’t stand them. After being on hold for a half hour, they were able to schedule my first appointment for a month from now. Ten doctors, three locations (all of which I’m willing to drive to), and the best they can do is a month. Even the peri, who my RE says is always booked, is seeing me in 2 weeks. The other problem is that my RE recommends I only see 2 different doctors max since I’m high risk and they will need to be well acquainted with my status, and immediately on the phone the receptionist told me it would be impossible for me to limit the number of doctors I see there to just two.

So, the hunt for an ObGyn is on. These folks have mangled my paperwork, messed up my appointments, and have left me hanging in waiting rooms for countless hours (though they charge patients a $25 fee if they are more than 10 minutes late). There is no way I want them handling my high risk pregnancy. I’m nervous about finding somewhere new, but it must be better than putting up with these people and getting more and more frustrated by them.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Other Daughter

My younger sister announced yesterday that she is 5 weeks pregnant.

My initial reaction--Great! Wow! So happy!

My next reaction--5 weeks? That's it? She's telling everyone? She's using the p word and the b word? She's 2 weeks behind me yet light years ahead.

She told me she was scared to tell me the news, because she didn't want to steal my thunder. Hmm. Well, I hadn't really thought about that. My first thought was that her pregnancy would take some of the focus off of mine, in a good way. Now my parents could obsess over her, rather than me. That's the way it's always worked in our family anyway. My two weeks of being the golden child to my parents was a little weird.

It is a little too weird though that my grandmother knows my sister is pregnant, but she doesn't know about me. I was waiting to tell her on Monday, when I had a better idea of whether the twins were going to stick. Now that I've had time to digest this, I can't help but think--couldn't my sister have waited until after Monday? She knew my appointment was then and that I was planning to speak more openly about "my condition" after that. I guess old family habits die hard. My sister and I have always been great rivals, though we do get along very well now.

Luckily enough, H had the same reaction as me for once. Initial joy and excitement, followed by a big--Huh? Why tell everyone this second?

My sister kept emphasizing how cool it will be for us to go through this at the same time. Yes, I agree that will be nice, and having cousins the same age will be great. But her timing just stings a little. A little sting that didn't really hurt at first but now is starting to swell. They got pregnant after just 3 months of trying. Their worryless joy just further emphasizes how different my pregnancy is. I see in her eyes what I am missing out on since I am infertile. It sucks.

Her first ultrasound is Friday. Couldn't she have waited until the first ultrasound? Am I crazy? No, just infertile. And this is how infertiles react to fertile pregnancies.

On a different note, please give a congrats to Jena, who has seen her baby's heartbeat!

Infertile Men are from Mars, Infertile Women are from the Next Galaxy

Thanks so much for your supportive remarks on my last post. Things are better now. I think H and I really just have different ways of expressing our frustration over dealing with infertility, and whether you get a positive or not I see now that you're still going to be coping with being infertile every day. While H focuses on the tangible, concrete impacts of IF, I'm focused on the emotional. I really agreed with the approach of letting him worry about the $ without complaining to me about it while I worry about the shots and appointments without complaining to him about them. It's not that I'm not aware of the money situation; it just isn't my focus. As the "male provider," H sees the money thing as his part of the problem to address.

Sometimes I just can't help but feel that I've been the stronger one in dealing with this whole mess, and so it upsets me that he can't just put my feelings first and keep some of his comments to himself. Lord knows I have kept my mouth shut on days when the shots were extremely painful and the wand poking extra invasive. But it just comes down to the truth we all know--no matter how great your partnership is with your husband (and I think mine is pretty great), the burden of treating IF is on the woman. I do think some of the infertile men out there really get it (especially Smarshy), but really you can't get what it's like to actually go through the physical impact of IF treatment and its emotional ramifications until you do. And, as with pregnancy, that's just something the boys aren't going to get to experience. We woman are pretty strong creatures, don't you think?

Of course, giving the guys some credit, we can't know what it's like to feel helpless in treating IF--there's really nothing they can do but hold our hands and do their thing in a cup. At least we have an active role. I know I felt alot better about dealing with IF once the IVF cycle actually started and I was doing things. That was the point when H felt worse, because all he could do was watch while I got a million shots. He hates giving me shots and I know he would trade places with me if he could. It's unbalanced and unfair, just like everything else with IF.

So, on to a new day...

Friday, October 13, 2006


Sorry for the silence, but I've been feeling a little sicker this week. Overall, the hints of morning sickness thrill me because I know something is still going right in there, but combined with the extreme fatigue I haven't been good for much of anything other than staring blankly into space once I get home from work. Today I have an awful headache, and its because of a fight I had last night with H.

I was in a good mood when I got home--a couple of things started going right with a few house issues we've been trying to resolve, plus I had just booked my next business trip and H ahd agreed to come along. I love having a trip to look forward to. This one is timed just perfect, because it means I will miss the baby shower of another cousin who has fallen pregnant acccidentally and out of wedlock. I'm not judging people who have kids accidentally, but it just rubs the IF in my face a litle more every time I see how obnoxiously over fertile the rest of my family is.

So, I'm feeling good as I check the mail. I see a thick bill from my clinic. Heart pounding, I open it, and start sweating as I turn page after page of fees, not seeing what my end balance is but what the pre-insurance costs are. Boy was it a lot. I imagined how hard reading this would be if the beta had been negative. But it wasn't. No matter what the end cost, I thought, it was worth every penny and more. I get to the last page with the total amount owed by me--100 bucks. Really?!?! Now, I'm suspicious that a few other bills might come my way as they always drag on after a medical procedure, but this one seemed to cover everything. Between the insurance coverage and my good response to the meds that led me to need only half the dosage originally prescribed by my nurse (a savings of $1,500), I thought we made out like bandits. I was thrilled.

H gets home and I tell him how happy I am to see the low bill. He starts going through it, item by item, questioning a bunch of stuff. It started to irritate me. Sure, make sure you understand what you're being billed for, but come on--this was only 100 bucks total. I don't think they were ripping us off anywhere. I knew I was overreacting a little, so I kept it to myself and didn't complain when he said he was going to call the office and ask about a few things. (The bill lists all my meds and their costs, which he thought was weird since that was self-pay and taken care of through the pharmacy.)

So then he asks me when I will get released to the regular ObGyn, and I tell him that our RE said I would be released after our appointment this Monday, and that in addition to the ObGyn the RE was going to refer me to a Periontologist due to the twin factor. To which he replies--You're kidding? Another co-pay we'll have to deal with? Inside, I fumed. I couldn't believe that he was going to complain about a stinking $40 co-pay after all we'd been through. What if we weren't successful? What if we had to do all this agin? So I said--hey, at least you're not the one being poked and prodded by a million different people. I'd like to see you take my place for a week. This infuriated him, and he actually yelled at me about how insensitive I was, and how vindictive it was of me to wish any of it on him. WTF???

I tried to keep it together, but then I lost it. Bawling. Sobbing. Almost to the point of hyperventalism. I left the room to calm down and wouldn't let him talk to me--it only upset me more. I'm still upset. He apologized for upsetting me but does not feel he didn't anything wrong. He said he was just venting about how much these kids will cost when they aren't even born yet, and how it wasn't fair that our friends paid nothing to have their kids. I thought this was incredibly shallow of him, given how many people have spent thousands of dollars already and are still waiting for their positive. I told him I understand if he feels bad about the money spent, but keep it to himself because I do not agree with him and given what I've been through physically and emotionally, the money issue isn't even on my radar.

He's still mad at me because I won't acknowledge how he feels. I'm sorry, but I think being upset that we spent approximately $2,500 for this cycle is stupid. I'm happy we only spent that amount, because I thought it would be a lot more. And why is he putting a price tag on our kids???? He's spent more on unneccessary luxury items in our house that he barely uses. He talks about getting a $5K TV, a $30K pool. Aren't our kids worth more than all of these things combined? It makes me so mad. Is he considering the fact that we're getting a 2 for 1 deal possibly, so he won't even have to pay this money for IVF again? Ugh. Infuriating! It must be bad husband week in blog world, because I know some others of you have recently posted frustrations with your hubby.

Needless to say, I did not sleep well last night. Had a huge headache that did not let up, and some cramping. Now of course I'm even more worried that something will happen to one of my little embies, and I'm even more anxious about my appointment Monday. I won't know how to cope if we lose one. In many ways, the past two weeks have been more stressful than the beginning of the cycle. So much is at stake now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Starting to Feel Real

I'm off today for the Columbus Day holiday, and the long weekend has been really good. Food is no longer appealing to me, and many things now make me nauseous. It's not as bad as the morning sickness that's got many of the other expectant ladies down, but I can tell that it's definitely a symptom. I seem to feel the worst in the afternoon. Eating something actually helps, but to do that I have to suppress my initial instinct to gag at the food. H has had an interesting time trying to cook for me. Yes, he's cooking--very sweet.

Friday night I caught H making a speadsheet of potential baby names. We've had a girl's name and a boy's name picked out since we were first married, but now with the twin factor there's room for some other names. Seeing H picking out names alarmed me at first because I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves, but then I gave in and joined him for about an hour. He continued plugging combinations in even after I went to bed. Now that the idea of having two is a little more real, I pray that they are both still onboard next week.

Yesterday, H told his Mom that I had my first ultrasound and slipped about the twins, saying "they're measuring at 5w4d." His Mom was like, they??? He told her he wasn't supposed to say anything yet and please keep it to herself. We'll see if she does. I guess it doesn't really matter. The RE says we can talk about there being twins after the 16th, so I figure we'll tell close family and friends who know about the IVF cycle then. We're going to wait until Thanksgiving to tell people who don't know about the IVF, because that will be near the start of my second trimester. Of course, the reality is that once we openly discuss the pregnancy with our parents, they will probably spread the news to the rest of the family before we even get the chance. Not a big deal--maybe we'll get less questions that way.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Emotional Roller Coaster

Like so many parts of this crazy process, my exciting ultrasound from yesterday already feels like it was ages ago, and my next ultrasound feels even further away, even though it’s just a little more than a week from today on the 16th. Since H was out of town on business yesterday, I had to tell him the good news via a crappy cell phone connection. Originally he told me he didn’t want to hear over the phone, but by the time I got to work I already had three calls from him anxiously wondering what I had seen. It was sweet. I couldn’t say much, as I was at work, but I told him that I hoped he was okay with a 2 for 1 special and all looked as it should. He was thrilled. Really thrilled. He started thanking me he was so thrilled. It was endearing and a little scary. It sucks we had to be apart for this. He swore that nothing will come between him and the next appointment on the 16th. I hope it will be as happy.

H’s extreme positive reaction to the twin possibility was a little surprising to me, given that a few months ago he was adamant about only transferring one embryo because he didn’t want to risk complications with twins. Even though I convinced him to “do as the RE recommended and use two” at transfer, he was still worried. Now that it’s happened, he seems to have forgotten all of that. It’s not a big deal—I’m glad he’s more excited than concerned. It’s just that I’m feeling the reverse. I’ve wanted twins for as long as I’ve wanted kids. I never thought about complications because my grandmother, great grandmother, and cousin all had twins without problems. Now that I know the risks and know what it took us to get here, it’s more sobering.

A lot of people will tell me I “got what I wanted” when (if) we announce a twin pregnancy. My sister already did. (I had to tell someone other than H last night. She’s sworn to secrecy.) None of this is what I wanted, though. Twins aren’t a consolation for losing fertility. I’m still infertile. I still think like an infertile. I’ll always be an infertile. A much happier infertile with twins than without, of course, but some days, when it’s dreary like today, it’s hard not to be sad at what we had to go through to get to this point. And the extra worry I’ll carry as a result. Sorry for the rambling. It's frustrating to keep feeling such highs followed by such lows. I know, that sounds like an ad for depression. I don't think I'm depressed. Just a little worn.

On the symptoms front, food no longer really appeals to me, and I did have a few moments of very, very mild nausea earlier. I’m grazing on some healthy snacks anyhow. I’m very cranky (if you couldn’t tell from the depressed post), and I need to buy a new bra this weekend before there’s an accident from my overstretched ones exploding.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The IVF Game Show

My RE, Dr. Optimism, reminds me of a game show host. He’s charming, has solid good looks, and is always followed by an entourage of female nurse assistants. Of the three REs in the office I go to, he’s definitely “the celebrity.” Always busy, booked to the limit, and looked upon with awe. The other REs seem much more down to earth.

During this cycle, I only actually met with Dr. Optimism twice—both times for initial consultations/diagnosis. When it came time for the mock transfer, retrieval, and transfer, his calendar never lined up with mine. So, I know the other REs a little better. It made me laugh a bit then when I had to specifically take the one and only appointment Dr. Opt had free when it came time to schedule my first ob ultrasound, regardless of my schedule. My nurse informed me that Dr. Opt simply must be the one to do it. Now, I’m sure he was reading my charts every day, and he did call H after retrieval and transfer to check on us and give us a thumb’s up, but the real dirty work of my cycle belonged to other people. I feel gratitude to those folks just as much to him.

So I go in today, feeling a bit nauseous just because of my nerves, and sit patiently on the table waiting for him to enter the examination room. I feel my bladder filling with nervous pee as 15 minutes slowly tick by. Finally he enters, and I get the sparkly smile, a big handshake, and a congratulations for making it this far in the game. He starts to mess with the gel and stuff but then seems to realize—hey, wait—I have my own little Vanna White for this. He calls in a nurse and she takes over doing the little odds and ends to get everything ready.

Now, remember, Emmie, you’ve made it this far, but there’s still a few hurdles, he warns. Cautious optimism is a good idea, he adds, as he begins the examination.

My uterus appears on the screen and immediately I see what I believe are two sacs based upon sleepless nights spent with Dr. Google. The second one is out of view in a flash though, as Dr. Opt digs in and focuses on a large sac in the middle of the screen.

“Congratulations!” he says. “We’ve got one!” He explains to me the makeup of the sac, and I recognize the heartbeat before he can even point it out. Damn, I’m good, I think, as he points bright flickering out a moment later as if I wouldn’t know what it was. He seems to take his good old time examining the sac, like he’s doing it particularly for my benefit to get a good look. When several minutes have passed and he hasn’t moved on, I start to think the second sac I saw was just my imagination.
“Now wait, Emmie,” Dr. Opt suddenly says, “there’s more!” I knew it! The rehearsed way he sounded told me that he saw the second sac at the same initial second that I did, and here he was unveiling it like a bonus extra prize. Okay, I’ll play. “There’s more?” I say, eyes wide.

Congratulations again, he said. You have a second sac here. The second sac was much harder to see because the first one was kinda in the way. I could see the heartbeat flicker, though, after a few wand repositionings. He said they were placed perfectly fine though, and they measured exactly the same-- 5 weeks 4 days with heartbeats of 120. He said both were perfectly normal measurements, though I was a little surprised to see them measuring at 5w4d when I’m 6w2d. He said it was fine though, so I’ll consult Doc Google later.

At this point, my lady parts were getting very tired of being invaded. Afterall, nothing has come near them in several weeks. I was ready to be done, take my pictures and go, but Dr. Opt says, “let’s take one more look at what you’ve won” and moves back to sac A. No, he didn’t really say it in those words, but that was the sentiment. I was really sore at this point and forced a smile, wondering if the tear coming out of my left eye was from pain or joy.

I did let a few tears of pure joy spill out, after he finally released me from the wanding.

He asked how I was feeling as far as symptoms, and he was surprised that I had no morning sickness. The surprised look on his face coupled with the “Really? With all the hormones you have racing through you? Your hormones are really high right now!” did not make me feel better. I expected him to tell me the PC thing—that not everybody gets morning sickness—and I should count myself lucky. He didn’t. I mentioned my increased appetite, and he cautioned me not to overdo it because there’s no need to gain much weight in the first trimester. Gee thanks. I know that.

He examined my hips to see if I had lumps from the PIO shots, (he must not have believed me when I said I didn’t) and he expressed surprise at seeing how well my backside was holding up. “Whatever you’re doing,” he said, “don’t stop. I can’t believe your body’s good reactions to all these things.” Yippee! I have a super IVF body.

In between the happy talk, he did tell me not to spread the word about the pregnancy until after the next ultrasound in 10 days, just to be on the safe side. After that, he said, I’d be released into regular care and I should be good to go. We all know that there’ll still be plenty to worry about, but I won’t dwell on that for now. Today, I’m too busy looking at pictures of my two-for-one super prize. I’m so, so happy.

Thank you all for your support and reassuring words yesterday. It means the world to me. I am so glad I can share this with you, because no matter what happens, this is real right now and should be acknowledged.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I only wanted a haircut...

So, now I share with you my latest annoying encounter with a fertile, as I mark a very tenuous 6 weeks with embryo and await my first ultrasound.

I got a much needed haircut on Monday. I had avoided getting my hair cut during my cycle because I had this eerie foresight that my hairdresser might set me off. I had no reason to think she would—she is a nice woman, not too much older than myself, who cuts hair for most of my neighborhood.

I get in the chair, we chat about the weather, and she hits me with—So, what’s your deal? Can you not have kids?

Uh, um, what?!??!? My mind reeled. Then I was angry. What the hell kind of question was that? What prompted it?

I breathed in deep and tried to act like a fertile.

“Why, I’m perfectly capable of having kids,” I said. “In fact, it’s too early for me to talk about, but I’m already on my way by a little more than a month.”

This prompted much excitement and congratulations, and she claimed her question was driven by “her mother’s instinct” telling her something was up. (She has three kids.) Okay, if that was your instinct, why did you phrase the question that way? Why not just ask whether I’m thinking of having kids soon like every other annoying person? Do fertiles now have to take annoying to the next level? Am I giving off strong “I’m pregnant from IVF” vibes or something? I’m only 30 people! Shouldn’t I have a few more years until your suspicions about my fertility or lack there of can be vocalized?

Thank God I did not get my haircut while I was cycling. If she had asked that question then, I have no idea how I would have answered. I probably would have cried. Why are people so stupid to ask questions that could have painful answers? I could see if I was close to this woman, but I’m not.

So, the rest of the appointment was spent listening to her giving me assvice about pregnancy, and she offered me a barely used crib that she no longer needs for her daughter. I said thanks, but it’s really too early for me to think about that, and I’d be happy to let her know once the first trimester is over. Which she immediately assumed meant I must have a history of problems to be so concerned, blah, blah, blah. I could not wait to get out of there. I may need a new hairdresser. Unfortunately, it was the best cut I’d gotten in a long time. I guess, if everything works out and I’m still pregnant next month, I will go back. If I’m not, there’s no way I will.

Why Am I Not Puking?!?

Scared shitless. That’s me these days. Not because of spotting, not because of extreme abdominal pain. But because I still really don’t feel much of anything new symptom wise, and I haven't had a hint of morning sickness. I never thought I'd be so anxious to feel nauseous.

Tomorrow is my ultrasound. I could leave the appointment elated, or I could leave wanting to curl up and die. It all depends on what the RE sees when he takes a look at what’s become of my two little 7-celled embryos. I read some blogs of folks listed as “expecting” on the blogrolls of sites I like and was horrified to find that some of them didn’t have happy endings after all. Some had morning sickness, saw a heartbeat, and then had it all go to crap a week or two later. Other saw their symptoms recede and their once lovely sacs disappear on the second ultrasound. It’s driving me crazy. There are just so few happy stories we ladies have to tell. It’s not right. The miscarriage rates are supposed to be pretty low, especially after you see a heartbeat, so why does it seem that the number of tragedies is much higher in blogword than it should be? I think I need to take a step back from searching out new blogs to “reassure myself” and just stick to the blogs I already read for camaraderie purposes.

I also signed up for an IVF discussion board, and nervously entered a chat room for those “expecting after IVF.” I was comforted for my lack of symptoms, being told that lots of women don’t have morning sickness and are still perfectly pregnant. But they were still there—horror stories of losses after pregnancies that seemed so secure. It’s awful. For me, this is worse than the 2ww, just as waiting to see if any of my eggs fertilized was the most stressful part of the cycle.

Okay, I’m still needing reassurance—anybody out there who didn’t have morning sickness and still had a normal pregnancy??? I never thought I’d see the day when I was so eager to be throwing up.

Oh--I just had some twinges in my stomach. Ugh! Not knowing everything is okay is killing me. Please, please, please God, let me have good news tomorrow! I'll be reporting to you all around noon.