Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why I missed the Macy's parade

Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions for excuses for being late to Thanksgiving dinner.  I ended up faking a migraine  (I had a migraine once in college and now my mother thinks it's a regular problem for me) and added a car accident blocking traffic for good measure. 

The nurses at my retrieval were incredibly sweet.  One made small talk as she got me prepped for surgery.  She was the first person at the clinic to ask me if my family had any idea where I was at the moment.  I told her no, and explained our plan of faking a migraine as a way to explain our lateness.  It would also get me out of drinking.  She thought it was brilliant.  

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that the doctor known for being quick was preforming the retrievals.  I'm also thankful that I'm pretty quick to come around from the anesthesia.  As soon as I was aware of my surroundings, I made every effort to prove that I was alert and ready to go.  I sat up straight in the recovery bed rather than lying down and relaxing.  I tried to be a bit louder when I spoke to Elizabeth, so the nurses would hear that I was awake.  My nurse came in a few minutes later to ask the standard questions-  "how are you feeling?", "on a scale of 1-0, what is your pain level right now?",  "can I get you anything to drink, we have...".  The nurse only got to "how are you feeling?".  I replied with a big smile, "I feel great, no pain at all, and I'd like a cranberry juice and some shortbread cookies please".  She laughed at my eagerness to prove I was ready to go, and did her best to hurry things along.  As I was leaving, she called out "I hope your migraine feels better!"

There was miraculously very little traffic as we sped off to my aunt's house.  Although we didn't get there until 1:45, I sorta wasn't the last to arrive because one of my cousins was sleeping upstairs and didn't show her face until 2:30. My family bought the story, and seemed genuinely concerned that I was feeling okay.  To top it all off, there was a big bowl of fresh cut pineapple sitting on the kitchen counter when we walked in.  Maybe it's not a sign, but it sure made me happy.

So now I begin TWW #12.  Half to occur outside my body, and (hopefully) half to occur inside my body.  The total number of eggs retrieved was 26.  Of the 26 eggs, 16 fertilized.  They did ICSI this time, so I'm not sure if that means the egg quality was poor.  Has anyone else out there gotten pregnant when ICSI was done?  I hope I can produce quality and not just quantity!  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


STFU- or, speak the fuck up. That's my new mantra for any interaction with a doctor. At my last IVF cycle, my eggs took a really long time to fertilize because apparently they were immature. I'm convinced that the early retrieval was one of the biggest factors contributing to the failure of that cycle. During my consult with the RE, I asked if I could stim for a few more days and trigger when my follicles are about 20mm, rather than triggering at 16-18mm. I felt confident that I could handle the extra growth, because my follicles were usually about 25 when I triggered on the unmedicated cycles. My doctor agreed and put a note in my file.

On Monday I went in for a scan and had a good number of follicles in the 15-17 range. The doctor said that I should trigger that night, and come in Wed for the retrieval. The old Gayby Rabies would have just trusted the doctor and done the shot that night. But not the new Gayby, who has vowed to live by STFU. I patiently reminded the doctor- the same one who put the note in my record in the first place- that we had agreed I'd stim a little longer before triggering. She played around on the computer for a minute, and then found the information about my last cycle. She agreed to let me stim a little longer, and I'm feeling more positive about this cycle.

So the good news is that upon triggering, I have a number of follicles that are 20mm and above. The bad news? My retrieval is scheduled for 11am on Thanksgiving Day. I'm still not sure how I am going to pull that off. I still haven't told my family we're TTC. Somehow, I have to get from the clinic to my aunt's house- which is 1 1/2 away without holiday traffic- in time for Thanksgiving dinner. They can't know why we're so late. I think I'm going to have to take a page from the book of my crazy co-worker and come up with a wild excuse. Please just let this be the last time I have to lie to my family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wait...I had a blog, didn't I?

No, I am not lying in a ditch somewhere.  It's just been a busy couple of weeks.  Two weeks ago, I started lupr0n.  It made me extra emotional this time around.  EVERYTHING made me cry.  I was listening to a story on NPR about the 40 year anniversary of Sesame Street, and when they played the theme song I started crying.  When my grandfather showed me a tattered picture of himself holding a bawling two-week-old me that he's been carrying around in his wallet for 30 years, more tears.  When someone in my office was brewing a particularly good smelling coffee, I welled up a little because I miss coffee so much.  It was an interesting week alright.

I've also been very busy at work.  November is normally a busy time in an academic library, but it's been particularly bad lately due to lack of coverage.  One co-worker in particular is absolutely ridiculous.  She's out once or twice every week and gives the most ridiculous excuses.  Once she called out for two days because the check engine light came on in her car.  Another time she called out because she dropped her keys in the snow.  And another time she called out because she claimed to have gotten whiplash from looking at an accident on her way to work.  Last week, she claimed to have hurt her foot on Thursday morning.  She put on a really terrible fake limp whenever she thought someone was watching her.  On Friday, she called out because she claimed that her foot was in so much pain that she couldn't focus.  While it's funny to hear what kind of excuse she's going to come up with next, it's irritating that I have to pick up so much of the slack.  When am I supposed to blog if I have to spend the whole workday working?

Fortunately, the weekend was much better.  Elizabeth and I went to see Superior Donuts, which was one of the best shows I've seen in a while.  We got some Christmas shopping done, and found out that our dear friend Angela, (who has been through breast cancer and a messy divorce / custody battle recently) is getting married this summer to one of the sweetest men I've ever met.  In TTC news, I've been stimming since Monday.  My follicles are coming along slowly but surely.  I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't have a Thanksgiving day retrieval!  

Now I'm off to catch up on what the rest of blogland has been up to.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

San Diego, anyone?

This year, the big annual history nerd conference is in San Diego. In addition to research presentations, the big draw of the conference is the job interviews. All of the universities that are hiring send representatives to the conference to conduct loads of interviews over one very hectic weekend.

Since she's currently doing a one year post-doc, Elizabeth is on the job market this year and will be attending the conference. We were thinking that we could extend the conference weekend to a full week vacation. Given that our vacation budget has been almost entirely eaten up by our TTC spending, this could be our only vacation of the year. The only problem is, I'm not incredibly enthusiastic about San Diego. I've got nothing against the city, it's just that it's not a place I've ever had a burning desire to visit. This is where I need your help, dear reader. Is there anyone out there from San Diego who can make a pitch for their hometown? Maybe some of you have visited San Diego, and can tell me why it's a great vacation spot. Or perhaps it's a place you found disappointing. Besides the zoo, is there anything that makes it a great destination?

The alternative to both of us going to San Diego is that Elizabeth will go just for the days that she has interviews (fingers crossed that she has some!) and will share a hotel room with another nerd. I'd stay home and chill with the pooch. We'd then try to dig up the money to do a small-ish vacation to someplace we're both interested in visiting.

So...what can you tell me about San Diego?
ETA... the conference in in early January. We were also wondering if anyone knows what the public transportation is like there, as we were hoping to only rent a car for any side trips we might take.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween parties and pity parties

It's been a wild weekend.  On Friday, we had a Halloween costume party.  Planning the party kept me busy during the time immediately after BFN #11, and it was a very pleasant distraction.  As usual, I made too much food.  I made the B@kerella cake pops in ghost shapes, which were a lot of work, everyone loved them.  I also made cupcakes, and profiteroles with pumpkin mousse and homemade caramel sauce for dessert.  All of the desserts went over well, but unfortunately nothing went as well as one of the appetizers.  Since there were kids at the party, I wrapped hot dogs in strips of puff pastry so they looked like mummies.  The adults went wild over them.  I don't know why I even bothered putting an effort into the rest of the food.  Where the hell did I find these friends?  

mmm, spooky

Elizabeth and I both bought vintage 1950s dresses, and dressed up as "housewives having an affair with each other" for the party.  We had a costume contest and gave everyone silly prizes from the dollar store.  The grand prize winner got a snuggie.  Even the dog got into it.  Okay, maybe she was dragged into it.  I'm not one who normally buys clothes for the dog, but since we were having a party, and it was on sale, I just had to do it.

Our turtle dog waiting for someone to give her a snack.  I am officially one step away from becoming a crazy cat lady.

Waiting for party guests to arrive

This was the first year we have lived in a neighborhood with families and children, so it was our first year with trick-or-treaters.  We had everything from the slightly bewildered 2 year old mermaid to the 13 year old zombie whose father kept a close, but not too embarrassingly close watch over his son.  One little girl spent 5 minutes petting our dog before she remembered that she had come to our apartment for candy.  She got two bags. 

Maybe it was seeing all of those children that sent me spiraling downward.  I want that so much.  I want to make halloween costumes for my children and  pretend I don't notice that they're sneaking an extra piece of candy before bedtime.  But I've had to come to terms with the fact that there is a very good chance that I won't ever have that.  I think I hit rock bottom this weekend, wondering why some women get this so easily, and why I failed IVF.  Why don't I deserve to be a mother?  I spent most of today crying.  And then I got even more upset with myself for having such a pity party.  How can I bitch and moan about my rotten luck, when it could be much worse.  I could live in Kabul or have ebola or have had a miscarriage.  I know I have no right to complain, but I'm still sad.