Sunday, August 31, 2008

Can You Imagine?

If I lived in New Orleans with PP and had to rely on the government to evacuate me knowing they would not accomodate her, I don't think I could leave. I seriously don't. Leave her to drown or starve? Nope, no way could I do that. I hope you'll join me today in praying that the people in the affected areas will indeed evacuate their homes and find shelter elsewhere.

***UPDATE*** I just heard on the news that they will evacuate animals to the same shelters as their owners! That's great news BUT there was a woman with a very large dog and the animal bus driver (what a title) said he wouldn't take her dog. Being the owner of a German Shepherd, I have faced this as well and I just pray it works out for her and her dog.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Big Week

Today marks the beginning of the sixth week. At least one of my miscarriages was during this week (I'm unclear on the second one because I didn't know I was pregnant until I had some unexplained pain and bleeding) so this week is a psychological hurdle for me. Thankfully this week is a very busy week and I won't have a lot of time to sit around and fret. But still...

I am now in the habit of thanking God everytime I go to the bathroom and don't have spotting (which I haven't, this time, I'm just paranoid). I've relaxed about it throughout the week but it's never far from my mind. Monday -- with it's promise of an updated hormone level report -- is certain to be a big milestone because I'm pretty sure normal levels would also be a first for me. The problem is I don't want to rely on numbers and statistics for peace because there are always exceptions -- this I know all too well. I want my peace and comfort to come from God. To just believe and trust in Him alone. If you have any tips on this, let me know.

My morning sickness has been mostly afternoon sickness (and one all-day sickness extravaganza) but today it was true to it's name and it's back a little this afternoon for good measure. I think one of my problems is I'm not eating much (but nothing sounds good) and that just makes things worse. Again, I'm just so thankful to have the nausea as a reminder that something is going on in there!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adventures in Endocrinology

Several months ago I tool a glucose tolerance test at my RE's office. I was within the normal range but a little high. During my appointment Tuesday she told me she wanted me to repeat the test on Wednesday with an endocrinologist. At this point, I would take an AP Physics test in order to increase my chances of a healthy pregnancy so drinking a little sugar solution didn't phase me. TOIAW couldn't go with me but he gave me detailed directions and sent me on my way (I'm a slave to the navigation system but ours is built into our car which is hopefully on a boat in the Atlantic right about now). My RE's office told me the doctor's office was located at this huge mall but I thought she meant it was in an office building near the mall -- like a mall complex or something -- because unless you do hearing aids or eye glasses in about an hour, what medical doctor has an office in a mall? Apparently, several do because once I finally found the area of the mall where said offices are, I walked into the wrong office. This doctor had the same last name as the doctor I was supposed to see but I had a feeling something was wrong when I saw the lovely waiting room 'decor' which consisted of various forms of skin ailments. Yes, I was in a dermatologist's office but they pointed me in the right direction. (I keep kicking myself wishing I had told them pictures of boils don't give off a calm and welcoming vibe.)

I was very late for my appointment (it's a huge mall and I parked on the opposite side of where I needed to) but one look around the office told me that probably wouldn't be a problem. The staff of three had the patients out numbered by one. I was having a lot of difficulty communicating with the front desk girl who told me I would need to pay cash but couldn't tell me how much it would cost (that didn't set too well with me). Finally the doctor, who spoke excellent English due to two years spent in the US, came out to rescue both of us and said they would just bill my insurance. I had secretly been hoping I could just leave and wait until we get to the States to repeat the test, but by then I had to stay. The doctor ushered me to his office where he proceeded to take down my medical history...on the back of a scrap of paper. After that the test began although, rather than taking my blood, the nurse just monitored me with a little glucose test kit like diabetics use. My first number -- the fasting number -- was 93 which the doctor felt was a little high as he wants to see it under 90 (the internets say the magic number is 95). They tested again after an hour and that number was good and then again after two hours and that number was excellent. Did I pass? No. I was the lucky recipient of a home monitoring system that I now must use every morning to measure my fasting number (this morning it was 76).

The doctor counselled me on a diet (whole grains, lean protein, veggies, a little fruit, etc.) and then took forever to show me how to use the monitor. It was almost 1pm and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink (save the sugar drink for the test) since 11pm the night prior. I was so thirsty and starving and, just between you and me, I left there and had a pretzel with cheese on it and I'm pretty sure it wasn't made with whole wheat flour. At least I didn't pass out like the other patient. She was having a similar test but it involved a blood draw and once as she was coming back from the lab, she went down for the count. She recovered nicely, I'm happy to say.

Oh, I forgot to mention that somewhere in there I had an ultrasound on my thyroid and it's normal. I'm not sure it was necessary; I think the doctor just didn't have anything else to do.

The best part is I get to go back next week and repeat this fun-filled adventure only not with the same doctor as he will be on holiday in France. Yeah, cause he clearly needs to slow things down and enjoy life...

Thinking For Us

I'm coming to the conclusion people don't want us to think for ourselves:

Is anyone else completely creeped out by the feature on Google that lists what you might be typing in the search box? It's like they're in my mind and it's more than a little disconcerting. TOIAW has been keeping himself busy at night by playing with Google Earth which is really cool, I must say, but also a bit creepy. It's like they're in your mind and watching you from the outside also.

Does the news media think we're all complete morons? Do they think we're incapable of watching a speech and forming our own opinion? Apparently so because there are no less than ten commentators on every network explaining to you what you just saw and heard everytime someone moves that the DNC convention. Last week I saw a reporter going around showing his viewers where his network's convention headquarters are and where the crew would be eating. I'm not sure what made him think he is news. I'm even less sure why I watched it. I've seen the field where BO's acceptance speech will be made so many times I feel as if I've been there. I probably won't even watch his speech; I'll wait for someone to give me the BO's Presidential Acceptance Speech for Dummies version instead.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sick...In a Good Way

I've never been so happy to be sick. Unfortunately, it is preventing me from posting and I have a lot to say. I had another interesting German medical adventure today that deserves a post (all good, don't worry).

I will tell you this: I have decided I will move heaven and earth to find someone to clean my house.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Survey Says?

My hCG level today was 187.5. That's within the normal range for 18 days past ovulation, but on the low end. Considering I didn't get a positive home test until Saturday, it sounds about right. I'm too tired to google it anymore. We left our house this morning a little before 8 and I got home at 3:45. I don't have the energy to tell you all the reasons why I just got home, but just know it would have been several hours earlier if TOIAW hadn't demanded we go do ridiculous insurance paperwork today even though it could have waited until tomorrow (he is on my LAST nerve right now).

The worst news of the day came when my doctor told me she didn't want to see me until NEXT WEEK. I asked--some would say I begged--to come Thursday just to make sure the numbers are doubling and she said, "No, because there is nothing we can do to influence it." SO??? This is the only time I've had a problem with her but it really bothers me. I know it's a cultural thing. I get it, but I don't have to like it.

I'm very tired and cranky (which I hate because I got fabulous news today!) so I should just take a nap. I'll be back later...hopefully in a better mood ;)

P.S. I should note that even though my doctor got all German on me and won't do another beta until next week, she did seem very excited by my numbers today (progesterone and estrodiol in addition to the hCG). It's not always easy to read her so that was nice, at least.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Want to Relax...You Have to Believe Me

My first blood test is tomorrow. I wish I could just relax and simply await the results but that isn't happening. It's safe to say I'm having [at least a mini-] freak out. This would probably occur naturally but I don't think I helped matters when I took another test this morning only to find that the second line wasn't darker than the second line 48 hours earlier. The internets tell me HPTs (home pregnancy tests) are qualitative and not quantitative but everyone else seems to get darker lines... Anyway, for some reason it just hit me today that even if tomorrow is a good number it really means nothing unless it is followed by another good number Thursday. Ahhh, the agony!!!

Now, while I don't have a daker second line, what I do have nausea. TOIAW asked me how bad the nausea is. I told him it was worse than the time I had to ride in the backseat of a car in NYC with his parents who had just doused themselves with cologne/perfume (I'm not joiking when I tell you TOIAW's father uses one huge bottle of cologne per quarter). Did I mention it was during a July heatwave and they didn't want the air conditioner on nor the windows down? Okay, so he didn't appreciate the example so much, but he got my point.

I don't have much else to say about all that so let me transition to the upcoming move. We fly two weeks from today which means we have to leave this house. Sadly, I'm pretty sure they're expecting this house to be clean. The thought of deep-cleaning a bathroom is not a place I can go right now. TOIAW has approved a cleaning service, but I'm almost embarrassed for even a complete stranger to the, um, condition of one of the showers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well...

Have you ever heard the story about the little boy who cried wolf? How about the one about the crazy freak who did IVF, took a home pregnancy test with a negative result, had a nervous breakdown, and then took another test two days later only to see 2 LINES?

I feel like a fool. A happy fool, don't get me wrong, but a fool nonetheless... I have been amazed and humbled by the loving comments and emails but I feel as if I wasted everyone's energy. I wanted to write this entry earlier in the day but I just couldn't figure out what to say.

It's obviously still really early and anyone who has been through a recurrent loss/infertility adventure, knows it's difficult to let go and allow your inner joy to rise to the surface. The insecurities and fears can be catalogued another day, but today I'm thankful, hopeful, and definitely not sad :)

BUT, I just have to say again how touched I am by all the encouraging and understanding comments. I'm speechless...and that doesn't happen often.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

**Update**

I'm better now. I took the dog for a walk which really improved my mood -- go endorphins! -- and now I've hit the [apparently] progesterone-induced exhaustion wall (because I still have to take the medication until a blood test is negative).

I'm still sad and disappointed and angry at the unfairness of it all but that's normal, I think. I'll be fine, TOIAW will be fine, and if we're together everything will be fine. I just wanted you to know I'm not as emotionally unstable as I was before.

I Caved

The past two mornings I've been awake very early which is a huge contrast to how I feel the rest of the day after the progesterone shot. Laying there this morning I decided I couldn't wait any longer so I tested. It was negative. I cried...and cried and cried and though most of the tears have stopped, my heart is still crying. I think I really thought it had worked this time. Is it a bad sign when you're not even sure about the hope you might have had? I feel so crushed -- betrayed by my body. This is something I have wanted for longer than I can remember but the past two and a half years have been nothing but blow after blow and each one hurts more than the last.

Where to from here? I have no idea. At this point, TOIAW is unwilling to do another IVF cycle because he thinks the medication can't be good for me. I didn't fight it when he said it, so that tells me something of how I feel. Adoption is an option but I don't really feel like it's for us. I don't mean to offend anyone by that and I have no idea why I feel that way but I do. TOIAW is interested in donor eggs (I use someone elses eggs and carry the baby) which is a little more appealing but the cost is staggering and I'm still not 100% sold. I suppose that's all natural at this point as I need to mourn this life-long dream before I can move on and consider other options with a clear mind.

I have so, so much more than multitudes of people yet I don't seem to be able to have something I wanted most of all. Why?

Okay, I have to get myself together sometime within the next seven hours because the neighborhood is having a farewell party for me today. I'm totally not feeling festive and chatty but, ever the officer's wife, I'll do my hair and smile.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whatever Works

TOIAW just called and he's coming home...it's only 6:30!!! Maybe I should break down more often...

Bless his heart, he called to check on me today and we hadn't even been talking thirty seconds when his cell phone rang, someone called him on the radio, and two people--with different issues--walked into his office. I know he's busy and that makes his early arrival even more special.

P.S. Swim lessons were fun! It cracks me up that three Enlgish speaking American kids were speaking to each other in German during the class.

Better Now

Last night TOIAW didn't get home until 9pm. I began getting tired at 8:30. I stayed awake until 10 just so we could have some time together and when I tried to fall asleep I discovered I had hit the dreaded 'overly tired' point. This phenomenon is seen primarily in children who become cranky and fussy and fight sleep. I wasn't outwardly fussy and, trust me, I wasn't fighting sleep but it still took me nearly an hour to relax. After all that I didn't really even sleep well thanks to bad dreams and bathroom trips.

I woke-up at 7, got my shots, and sent TOIAW off to work and then it hit me, "I don't want to spend another entire day sitting in this house without a thing to do." That led to me feeling sorry for myself, worrying that I'll find out I'm not pregnant next week, and some googling to confirm that...umm, yeah 'cause google is just like a pregnancy test. Where did this end? Yep, with me sobbing and calling TOIAW who had to walk out of a meeting to talk me down off the ledge. He was very kind and sweet and reminded me why he's the one I always wanted.

I then called a friend who takes her children and a friend's child to swimming lessons every afternoon and asked if I could go along for the ride. I'm cool like that...inviting myself along (don't tell my mom, she taught me never to do that). So now I have something to do today even if it's only riding shotgun during carpool.

I also had an amazing time of Bible reading and prayer. I hope this makes sense because I have suddenly been hit with a wave of exhaustion. I was reading in Genesis 4 about Eve having her babies and it occured to me (probably because of a devotion I once read) that she did it alone without friends, sisters, a mother, or anyone to offer advice. She only relied on the Lord and that was enough. He was enough for her and He's enough for me. That, my friends, is how God told me to STOP GOOGLING and have faith. I find it odd that even though I have control of nothing at this point, I still have a hard time surrendering everything to Him. Odd, huh? We're working on it...

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Not About yOU

I didn't intend to write another blog post today but I've been compelled by somone's stupidity. That someone is apparently a fan of the University of Oklahoma. This person, Stupid OU Fan (SOUF), is in China for the Olympics and is currently attending the Today show. SOUF is in the crowd and has been waving a huge OU banner during the entire broadcast. SOUF doesn't realize the Olympics are an event showcasing our national allegience rather than an individuals' collegiate loyalties. SOUF doesn't know this because 1) he is stupid, and 2) he is an OU fan...oh, gosh, there I go again being redundant.

Might I suggest, SOUF, that you lay down/burn your crimson and cream banner and pick up the Stars and Stripes? If that doesn't appeal to you, you could always go to a bar where no one speaks English and tell them how OU is going to win the National Championship this year. True, they probably won't care but you've already told the entire English-speaking population so they're really your only chance at a fresh audience.

What You Really Want To Know

I don't have much to report about how the two-week wait is going. So far I have mild to moderate cramps most days (actually Saturday and today have been the only 'moderate' days). It's bad enough that if they were just period cramps, I would take something. I'm praying this is normal. On some level I actually welcome the cramps because it makes me think something is going on in there but I kind of freak when they get stronger. Last night when I didn't feel much I actually prayed the cramps would return...it's hard to make me happy.

Today I began the dreaded progesterone in oil intramuscular injections. Right about now, all the infertility experts are re-reading the previous sentence and wondering what kind of quack doctor I have because everyone knows you should begin these right after egg retrieval. My clinic preferred that I only take injections of the pregnancy hormone hCG for the first week and begin taking the shots and estrogen tablets today. I questioned this and we discussed it and I really haven't given it a second thought because what good is it going to do me? Anyway, back to the shot... so the health clinic on post cannot administer shots prescribed by a German physician. Fair enough, I suppose, but the fertility clinic refused to instruct TOIAW on IM injections because they insisted these must be given only by a doctor. After some phone calls a friend pointed me in the right direction and the immunization nurse was happy to help teach TOIAW how to rock the IM shot. I'll be honest, I was terrified it would hurt (you should see the needle--sorry, Breanne!) and then it didn't. I kept questioning whether or not he really got into the muscle. See, you can't please me: I want painful, but not too painful, cramps and very painful shots!

P.S. It's gotten more and more sore as the day's gone on so I think it was on target.

Bad Rep

The following scene took place yesterday afternoon.

TOIAW: (runs upstairs, excitedly spouting trivia) "Did you know Beaver, Oklahoma is the Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World."

Me: (not bothering to look up from book) "Yes."

TOIAW: "That doesn't bother you?"

Me: (still not looking up from book) "Why should it? It's an annual competition and festival."

TOIAW: (walking back downstairs) "You know, Oklahoma has no one to blame for their reputation. They bring it all on themselves."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Surgery Summer Camp

I've blogged a lot about the results of hysteroscopy, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer but I haven't told you much about the experiences I had. They're an important part of making this adventure an adventure.

The clinic I'm going to is quite posh by Bavarian standards: gorgeous artwork lines the walls (the head doctor is a collector), stunning and exotic fresh flower arrangements are delivered weekly, and there are upscale beverage choices to name just a few of the amenities. Of course none of these are the reason we chose this clinic; I'm merely illustrating it's not your average doctor's office. Two of the things that really impressed me were their in-house lab (a veritable luxury here) and their own operating theater which is in the same building but on a different floor than the main office.

When I went in for my hysteroscopy, I was given a packet of information, in German, and I didn't translate it until the night prior to the procedure. It stated I was not to eat or drink, be sober, not smoke, etc. before being anesthisized--the regular things they tell you before surgery. It then went on to say I must bring a sheet, blanket, pillow, nightgown, and pair of socks. Huh? I don't even own a nightgown. I rustled up all the other stuff and packed my bag. When I arrived, TOIAW remained in the waiting room and I was taken through a door that led to a room with four beds and on the other side of that was another room with beds also. I chose a bed, made it, and changed into my oversized t-shirt because that's all I could find. The women whose bed end-to-end with mine was all over it and was sitting in bed doing Sudoku puzzles. I was the first patient called to have a procedure so I walked to the operating room and the next thing I knew I woke-up back in "my" bed. I slept for a while longer then asked someone when I could leave. She said I should drink something first and offered me coffee. Ummm, how about water? All during this time they kept bringing patients back from the operating room via stretcher--tummy down--then rolling them onto their backs in their beds. I eventually just got dressed and left and no one really seemed to mind (but I was only going to the main office to see my doctor for the results).

For the retrieval, it was the same routine. I had found a nightgown while packing so that was a bonus (my Ma--grandmother--had given it to me so I was happy to wear it). We arrived a little early and found a wating room full of people. As soon as the nurse opened the door for us to go into the bunk room/recovery room, there was a mad dash. I kissed TOIAW quickly and left--I didn't want to get the sucky bed. I actually got the same bed I had for the hysteroscopy. There were only two other women in my bunk room one of which I dubbed Supermodel. Supermodel didn't speak English but the other one did and she was nice. I really just wanted to make my bed, change, and relax but they were chatty. Again, I was the first person for surgery. Same drill, I woke-up on my bed only this time I was in a lot of pain. My bunk mates were clearly enjoying camp way more than me as they sang along with he radio and showed each other pictures of their dogs and maybe children...or perhaps she said her dog was her child...my German isn't good and my pain was substantial. I was hoping a camp counselor would come in and tell them to SHUT UP but someone did finally turn out the lights. For all I know, they then braided each other's hair. Thankfully, Supermodel's name was called and there was silence. I eventually got dressed and went to the doctor's office where I ran into Supermodel. Her hair looked as if Ken Paves flew in and spent three hours to give it the perfectly tousled look--you know, one that said, "I just had my eggs retrieved, but I'm still sexy"--and she had on enough make-up for three people but it looked great and I was amazed she was able to do it so quickly.

I believe it's reasonable to say the weekend between the retrieval and transfer was a tad bit stressful. Apparently when TOIAW spoke to the embryologist he told him I was supposed to bring my IVF Kit with me on the transfer day as well but TOIAW didn't tell me this nor had anyone told me before. The first person I saw when I walked in the waiting area was Supermodel and then I saw her bag next to her...crap! I freed myself from Supermodel's clutches (we were BFF's and that day she had morphed into Miss Congeniality and, I kid you not, she was going around introducing me to people...nevermind that she doesn't speak English and I don't speak German) and asked the front desk staff if I needed everything today and she said no. Whew! So, when TOIAW walked in (he had to stop by the bank because at this clinic IVF is on a pay-as-you-go basis) I told him about my freak out and he told me what the embryologist told him. The next couple of minutes were "uncomfortable" for him. We then went to a secret waiting area to avoid Supermodel. In addition, there was a lot of extra room there so, in the event I had a stroke while waiting for the embryologist's report, the paramedics would have room to work on me. Fortunately, I didn't require medical attention but you can bet that after the embryologist told us about the embryos I asked him about alternative arrangements for bedding and a gown. He had some, he assured me.

So off to the operating theater we went. The embryologist was able to rustle up everthing but a gown so I made my bed and just stayed in my clothes. I tried to avoid Supermodel's room but I was the last to arrive and it was the only choice. She is a really nice person, I could tell but I just wanted to relax and pray and she kept chatting. [Oh, and she looked like she was dressed for a slumber party at the Playboy mansion...short, tight, sparkly tank dress-like thing and pig tails that, curiously, she did not have earlier. Thankfully, once the doctor arrived, I was the first one called back. I left my shirt on and disrobed from the waist down. When they were done, I was rolled onto a stretcher and then wheeled through the room NAKED FROM THE WAIST DOWN. At least they covered me when I got on the bed.

Once I have a baby in my arms, I will laugh about this ordeal...right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You're going down

I have killed at least ten flies and my estimate is there are at least that many more still buzzing around. You're going down HARD CORE, flies! If you thought Russia vs. Georgia was bad, just wait until you see what I do when you invade my territory*!

I must get ready for Bunco, but I will be back to launch another full-scale assault in a few hours.

*This is in no way meant to be a statement regarding my thoughts on that situation but, believe me, I have plenty. I actually wanted to blog about it even though this isn't really that kind of blog, but TOIAW vetoed that. That area is his specialty and me sharing my thoughts might not be so good for him. I might have to get a lobotomy before we go to embassy dinner parties. Oh, and it's probably a very good thing that I won't be seeing my Russophile sister-in-law next month (well, she's not techinically a Russophile since she is Russian, but she fits the bill otherwise). Let's just say I am the antithesis of her and leave it at that.

Theme of the Day: Waiting

Today we just had to wait for the movers, which was far less stressful than waiting for embryologist's report yesterday but still a bit annoying. I feel badly for TOIAW because he really needs to be at work today. It's 3:20pm and the mover (singular) just arrived twenty minutes ago--and spent the first ten minutes talking on the phone. I told TOIAW he could go and I could handle it but he doesn't want to leave me alone with moving dude. BTW, I'm sure moving dude thinks I am the laziest human alive since I'm lounging on the couch with a computer and haven't really moved since he arrived.

I've had quite a bit of cramping today which I'm doing my best to ignore. When I got up to show moving dude what goes and what stays in the kitchen, I had a sharp pain but I'm hoping it was ovarian in nature. I'm on a self-imposed Google ban. Now, I might have to get more specific as to what exactly is restricted because I have Bunco tonight and I need to figure out what I can make with no mixing bowls, pots, pans, or serving pieces. This is like a Martha Stewart game show challenge. I'm really craving spinach artichoke dip but I don't have all the ingredients and I'm not sure I can make it given the aforementioned handicaps. Perhaps I can convince myself to crave brownies from a mix instead?

Moving dude feels it is necessary to leave our front door open even though he's working upstairs and does not need to go in and out (at least not now) so I have about ten flies buzzing around me. I think I'm going to have to leave the couch.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Transfer

The transfer today went as planned. We arrived at the doctor's office for an 1100 appointment but didn't meet with the embryologist until a few minutes before noon. I was minutes away from either a heart attack or stroke. We had one 8-cell embryo that had slight fragmentation and a 2-cell embryo. For those of you in the know, you know what that means. For those of you fortunate not to have to deal with this, it means the first one has a fair/decent-ish chance and the other would require a miracle. Oddly enough, I wasn't really upset and I actually feel hopeful. At this point, hope is all I have so I'm going to go with it--it can only help!

I did have a funny (yet horrifying) experience after the transfer and I will share that with you tomorrow. We have movers coming to pack our second and final shipment (one that goes by air) and I need to instruct TOIAW on what he needs to do. He's been giving orders all day so it's time he takes some, I think ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Exactly What I Needed

Yesterday got much better. I have no doubt it was due to the faithful prayers of many--thank you, my friends! TOIAW and I had a [rational] discussion after we both had some time alone which was helpful. We then went to a birthday party for two of the neighborhood boys. They rented a bouncy slide that was a ton of fun (adults used it after the kids left). I went to see a chick flick with a friend and when I got home we did more adult bouncy slide in the dark...that almost sounds indecent, but I assure you it was good, clean fun. It was the perfect way to relax.

When we came inside, I talked to my sister-in-law and told her I decided I wasn't going to call the clinic today to see how things are progressing. The main reason being I didn't want to find my peace in Google because, when it comes to infertility, it only seems to bring me questions and not answers. Don't get me wrong, it can be very helpful but probably not so much under these circumstances. In any event, my Source of peace is not statistics, information, or other people's experiences so I turned to God and He really came through!

TOIAW and I slept so well last night. Even the dog slept well! A good night's sleep is great medicine. TOIAW got up first and went downstairs to see what work emergency neccesitated the three phone calls he received while we were still in bed. I heard him talking and assumed it was work-related but it turns out he called the clinic. The embryolgist said he didn't want to disturb the eggs/embryos today but he was confident they would do well. I'm not sure how he can guarantee that, but I'll take it until I hear otherwise. He also acted as if it was no big deal that there were so many eggs not mature and that our fertilization rate was good; apparently they only attempted to fertilize the three mature eggs. Amazingly, this didn't affect me either way. The bottom line is I KNOW God can do this. He may or may not do it, but I KNOW it's possible.

Today we went to a dragon festival that is something like five hundred years old. We watched a very long parade where everyone was in medieval dress. I have no idea what it was about, but it was interesting and something to do. We took the dog and on the way home stopped by our favorite Indian restaraunt for dinner. It's very close to the doctor's office and clinic so we waved to the embryos. I know, we're goofy but it felt good to be hopeful. I remember last time I did IVF I said I was just going to proceed as if it was going to work because if it doesn't I'm still going to be disappointed. I'm in that place again and it's a good place to be.

Thanks again for your sweet comments and all the emails from friends. You have no idea how much your prayers and support mean to me!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What is Wrong With Me?

Fertilization Report:

9 eggs retrieved
3 eggs mature
2 eggs fertilized

TOIAW Report:

Thrilled that 2 eggs fertilized.
Practically ordering nursery furniture.
Extremely angry at me for not doing cartwheels at our 18% fertilization rate.

Rachel Report:

Over-the-top emotional bordering on hysterical.
Have found evidence to support personal theory that eggs are old.
Angry at TOIAW for his boundless optimism.

Wherever you are this morning, be glad it isn't our house unless, of course, you enjoy infertility-related arguing at VERY high decibels. And the sad part is neither one of us is angry, we're just hurt/sad. TOIAW is upset that my mood is ruining his elation and possibly sabotaging the entire thing with my bad attitude. I am upset because, as I said earlier, it doesn't really look like IVF--with my eggs at least--has a very good chance of getting us a baby. Furthermore, I wanted him to console me and give me a pep talk but that did not happen. It just sucks.

I want to be happy and hopeful and optimistic and full of faith but I simply cannot muster it. I'm getting ready to take a shower just so I can cry in peace. But WHY??? Why am I reacting like this? Why can I not just accept the hand we've been dealt and hope and pray for the best? Why am I being such a freak? I always think people who blather on and on like this on blogs are tiresome and today I am that blogger. Sorry, gentle readers!

I may be able to get a report tomorrow morning although I'm quite sure that will do nothing to satiate my fears. I doubt nothing short of a live baby in my arms is capable of satiating my fears. That being said, healthy embryos on Monday just *might* help. I'm praying... I'll try to suck it up and drive on and not be such a sorry sad sack tomorrow but no promises just yet.

Friday, August 8, 2008

When it's good to be wrong

My egg retrieval went very well--NINE eggs were retrieved!!! Some might not consider that great, but the doctor told me to expect five so I was pleased. Of course we don't know the quality yet, but we were instructed to call at 8:50am to get the fertilization report. That's approximately 13 hours, 40 minutes from now, but who's counting?

When we were leaving, TOIAW was "running the numbers" in terms of probable fertilization rates and I--in a moment of pessimism--reminded him we had eight follicles last time and none fertilized. He said it was seven last time. I was too groggy to argue (true story, kids). Turns out I was wrong and I'm pretty happy about that. Somehow having two more than last time seems significantly more than only one more.

I have received the sweetest emails and comments from friends who are praying for me. I can't even begin to explain how much that means to me. I know it's not easy for everyone to be open with others about their fertility treatments but I am blessed to have such supportive family and friends and I couldn't imagine doing this alone.

I have too much nervous energy to write more at this time but I promise more tomorrow!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let's Do It...

**Cue Wild Thing by Tone Loc**

Tomorrow is the egg retrieval and fertilization (we hope)--yikes! Last time I didn't really freak out about this phase but now I know to never take anything for granted. I'm praying for the best and I would appreciate your prayers as well.

I wish I had more to say but I'm really tired tonight and I think I'll just go to bed early. I promise to update tomorrow as soon as I'm able--hopefully it will be with GOOD news!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ovary Update

They are sore. Very, very sore.

My appointment yesterday went well but my doctor decided I should continue to take the stimulation medication for a couple more days to give some of the smaller follicles a chance to catch-up in size. The retrieval is scheduled for Friday. [If my eggs are fertilized on the first day of the Olympics, do you think my child(ren) will be gifted with athletic prowess?] My doctor begins a two week vacation on Monday, so she won't be there to do the transfer but I'm okay with that.

I spent the morning chatting with my neighbors. It's a lovely cool and breezy day. They're very sweet to offer to bring us meals during the IVF and even though I told them it's not necessary, they insisted and it's very kind of them. Even though none of these people are close friends, I'm still going to miss living here. I don't think it's possible for me to live somewhere and not be involved in the community which is good, I think, except when you move as much as I do. In DC we won't be part of a unit and I doubt we'll be chummy with our neighbors but I have a few ideas of how to meet people and I do plan on volunteering at Fisher House (one of my favorite charities).

I would love to go for a walk today, but my ovaries are so sore it's just not comfortable (yes, this post has come full circle back now that we're back to the ovaries). I've got to find something to do because I cannot just sit around for the rest of the day. I mean one can only waste so much time on Facebook...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pool Party

My weekend was more relaxing than this, thankfully.