Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh No!

I arranged for our phone and internet to be disconnected tomorrow because we were both scheduled to be gone this weekend...but now I'm here and the company says it's a done deal. I guess I'll actually have to do the work I stayed home to do. Whatever.

Actually, the real reason I called to adjust the shut-off date is because TOIAW will be spending a few days here when he comes back to D.C. before he leaves for the Mystery Country. He was going to stay in a hotel but there are absolutely zero reasonably priced hotels near us and he's not willing to stay very far away so he's decided to camp out here. Oh, the joys of moving...

Don't worry about me, though. I've already mapped out several wi-fi spots close by. You know, for when I'm done with all my tasks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Song Writing

My eggs suck rotten eggs, my dog has worms, and my husband is leaving on a train tomorrow. I know it's a little raw right now but I think there's a country song here. Not a country song where the singer changes the arrangement of a rap song and re-records it. No, more like a song sung my someone with frosted hair that hasn't moved in four days supported by a Bumpit--or eight--wearing blue eyeshadow, petticoats, and satin clothing adorned with rhinestones.

You already know about the sucky eggs. I know I probably don't seem to be properly dealing with it but you know what? When your watch your daughter die while your husband is holding her, even something like being told you will probably never have any more biological children doesn't hurt as much and as long as you might think. It does hurt--make no mistake--but if I let myself cry and cry and cry it won't change anything (but that's not to say I want to cry and I don't because if I want to, I do; I just would rather cry for Sarah).

Apparently we should have gone with the dog acupuncture yesterday because today I got a phone call informing me Bootsy was diagnosed with worms. I didn't study the dog energy meridians chart today when I picked-up her meds, but it most likely has to with her Qi being misaligned. Either that or she never got over the intestinal worms she had when we got her. It really frustrates me because she's had two follow-up checks that she passed with flying colors, she has zero symptoms (if we're experiencing Bootsy at 'reduced energy levels' I'm going to need medication also), she's at a healthy weight, and I faithfully give her medication that is meant to prevent intestinal worms which means she probably never got rid of them. Thankfully, PP is fine but she has to take medicine also just in case. The amount of medication consumed in this household rivals that of a nursing home.

And, because of the aforementioned worms, our dog walker doesn't feel comfortable keeping the dogs at her house this weekend so TOIAW will be visiting his parents alone. As you might imagine, I'm beside myself with disappointment about missing a weekend with the in-laws. That's why he's leaving me on a train. I'll work on the lyrics tomorrow and see if the Gutsy Mom can help me write the tune. Or is it called a melody? I don't think I'll be getting a Grammy anytime soon...

P.S. The Major's Wife (who needs to update her blog...hint, hint) asked to what exciting D.C. area eating establishment TOIAW escorted me last night. I am happy to report it was an actual restaurant and not just 5 Guys. We went here and if you're ever in Alexandria, I highly recommend it. I want you to know, TMW, I laughed out loud when you said the nicest restaurant where you are is Chile's; I feel for you but that totally cracked me up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Update

Good News:


  • The dogs are mostly okay but they did need medicine so it's good I took them in.
  • Apparently, if your IVF cycle is cancelled before you get a chance to turn around twice--or before transfer--you get a refund. A very pleasant surprise. We're thinking of using the money to buy lottery tickets because I really think it's about time we are on the right side of the very small probability.
  • TOIAW is taking me out to dinner so I don't have to cook.
Could Be Better News:

  • We need a tow hitch installed on our vehicle which seems simple and straightforward, right? For most people it is but we own one of the two models that every tow hitch installation place in the metro area refuses to wire (see my second point above). The dealership could do it and it would only cost us $1500. If we did that and used the your-eggs-may-be-disappointing-but-at-least-they-disappoint-early-enough-for-a-refund money we would have $15 left for lottery tickets. What do you think?

P.S. Just to clarify, I have no objection to Chinese medicine...it's just that acupuncture for dogs seems pretentious. In the vets' office there is a chart of a dog's energy meridians; that's just too much. The herbs for dogs, however, are awesome.

Sick Puppy

Make that puppies. PP awakened me several times last night to go outside. I never know when to just monitor her at home and when I need to take her to the vet. She vomited this morning but then ate a little of the prescription bland diet and drank some water so I don't know. Then Bootsy began having the same problem and they're both just laying around which is a highly unusual morning activity for them...so we have an appointment in an hour. I'm sure the vets love us for all the business we provide. I rationalize it with our upcoming busy schedule that will have them staying at their kennel this weekend (it's really their dog walker's house and she's awesome and is more than willing to dispense medication, mix food, and whatever else our princesses demand). But still...am I being too obsessive? I promise I haven't always been this bad but when they were sick in March, it was almost more than I could handle. When PP spent the night at the vet, it brought back way too many bad thoughts of my other little one in the NICU and I'm pretty sure I could not deal with another scare like that now.

Oh, Jess, why can't I just follow you around the world? You're the only vet I've ever really trusted! The vet we're seeing today has a special interest in pet acupuncture. No, I am being serious. [I double dog dare her to try it on Bootsy.] She'll probably be very impressed with the special Chinese herbal supplement they take to help ease digestive issues. I know, but it seriously works...it would probably work better if I wasn't too lazy to go buy more yesterday after running out on Saturday. I'm still a fan of the magical medicinal mixture but I'm afraid we might have escalated beyond that at this point. UGH!!!

TOIAW is in SO MUCH TROUBLE for taking them to the "swim" dog park. We [narrowly] escaped this illness last week but he just had to tempt fate and take them again this week. I know they love it but unless they get jobs to pay their vet bills, they're never going there again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Planner

With a few exceptions, much of TOIAW's career has been spent working in a planning capacity. I've never been quite sure what he planned but, from what I hear, he's pretty good at it and he has all these acronyms, formulas, and spread sheets that help him plan. Those have come in very handy in the past 36 hours. We've had to alter all our plans but it looks like it's coming together. There is, however, a famous military saying that 'a plan never survives first contact' so we have to wait and see what tomorrow has in store for us when he calls to make a few adjustments to his current plans.

Not surprisingly, none of the late maturing eggs fertilized which is actually a blessing because if they had we would be in limbo for another 10 days with less than a 2% chance of pregnancy. Ugh...I can't even imagine.

So what now? Well, this weekend we are going to NYC to visit the in-laws...always so much fun. We will return Sunday, pack a trailer of things to take to Oklahoma, load the dogs, and leave on Monday morning. TOIAW will leave the following Sunday to meet the movers who will send some things to the Mystery Country and put the majority of our belongings in storage. He'll leave for the MC later that week. Meanwhile, I'll stay in Oklahoma until it's cool enough for the dogs to fly and then we'll all join him in the MC! Woo-hoo!!! Okay, I'm still working on genuine excitement for the MC, but I am genuinely excited I get to be with him.

Probably the most interesting development is that the MC is heavily involved in the practice of IVF, donor eggs, and infertility tourism. Who knew? While I haven't completely warmed-up to this idea, I am willing to do some investigation. They seem to cater mostly to Brits and Germans so I'll probably talk to their embassies and see if they've heard of any issues. Please don't think I'm crazy just yet; I promise to be careful and objective.

I need to go to bed now so I can rest up so I can tackle my very long to-do list tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Again? Today? Seriously?

So today the doctor is calling us to [most likely] tell us none of the other newly mature eggs fertilized yesterday. We don't have any hope they will but the phone call will be like reliving the events of yesterday morning and I'm just ready to be done with it. Only I'll never be 'done with it' because any future baby thoughts we have will be about babies who do not share my genetic material. I'm mostly okay with this but it would be a lot easier if my sweet Sarah hadn't looked so much like me. But I am ready to move on and get this show on the road. Not tomorrow, of course, but at least we know where we're going when we get ready to go.

I feel more than a little let down by God. I rarely feel this way and I don't like it but it's true and I'm really struggling. It just seems cruel to me that Sarah would survive several "we don't think this pregnancy is viable" moments only to be born so early and die after a week. And then this cycle six months later...my best cycle ever...and then, nothing. I get that life isn't fair but this seems like a protracted form of torture. TOIAW asked me when God told me I deserved an easy life...and of course he reminded me it really isn't that bad. We have the means to make our dreams of a family come true while so many don't. He says we'll have a great story when all this over. I know I'm more than a little bitter right now but I kind of wanted my 'great story' to go like this, "Oh, we weren't even trying to get pregnant but we did and then the next two times we decided to try again it happened the first month! We're so blessed! I never thought it would be this easy!" Wow...bitter much?

Oh, and I'm still quite sore today so I'm going to take it easy again. The only time I left the house yesterday was to go eat and my only qualification for picking a restaurant was that they serve Coke which is why, when I ordered one and the waiter asked if Pepsi would be okay, I looked at TOIAW and said, "Seriously? Why is this happening?!" I can only imagine what that kid thought of me.

***Sorry, that I keep publishing posts after only writing the title. Not sure what's up with that but then I feel like I need to type really fast so you all don't think I'm nuts...even though I probably am.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crushing News

Out of the 12 eggs, only 5 mature and none fertilized with ICSI. Three matured overnight and they fertilized those as well but obviously there's little to no chance those will fertilize. The doctor said he'll call me again tomorrow. I asked him if it was my eggs and he said yes (his answer was longer than that, but that's the gist of it).

TOIAW just got home to comfort me. I feel like I should be comforting him because I'm the reason we can't make a come-home-with-us-alive baby.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just the Facts

12 eggs retrieved. For me, this is a great number! I had more follicles but 12 was the number of 'good' size eggs. Anyway, I'm doing a decent job being thrilled with this and not getting too hung up on the numbers...I mean why waste all my number obsessing on today because I can do so much more of that tomorrow, right?

I'm still feeling a little out of it so this is going to be short. Don't despair, I'm sure I'll be awake very early waiting for the fertilization report so I'll write a detailed post then.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Egg Retrieval Eve

This isn't my first [IVF] rodeo but here I sit with that nervous feeling in my stomach. Ugh. I don't want to be nervous...I just want to get it over with and hear some good news both tomorrow and Friday*. Is that so much to ask?

I really need to calm down though because I'm supposed to be at the hospital at 6 but the surgery isn't until noon. That means I have an entire six hours to freak out tomorrow so I better pace myself.

I'm going to go clean the kitchen--if my kitchen is clean, I feel my entire house is in order even when it isn't--and then go to bed. I really hope I can fall asleep but if I have trouble I think I'll just watch the president's news conference again. Maybe I'll understand him the second time? Anything is possible.

*Friday morning I will find out how many eggs fertilized. I was going to say 'if any eggs fertilized' but I restrained myself for the sake of sounding positive only I'm not really feeling all that positive and I'll always have that horrible first cycle where none of my eggs fertilized.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

THURSDAY!

Thursday is the egg retrieval day. I'm equal parts anxious and excited!

This morning the doctor counted 18 follicles. I can hardly believe it. I keep thinking maybe she's measuring some follicles twice (or three times). I'm completely overwhelmed with how well this cycle has gone so far...it's so much more than I ever expected. I've really been struggling with like 'all this good news will end soon' and similar self-defeating ideas. It troubles me because it's not good for me to think that and, moreover, it's not scriptural. But, other than battling my own thoughts, things are great! Obviously I know not all of the follicles will contain mature eggs and, even among the mature eggs, not all will fertilize but my chances this cycle are better than they ever have been.

Sorry if I don't sound thrilled because I AM!!! I'm just very tired...and there's a good reason for that. Last night I mixed the various medications and put them in the syringe but when I went to hand it to TOIAW so he could shoot me up, the plunger thing fell out and so did the medication. I had another dose of one medication but not the other so we called the after-hours number and the doctor called back and said I needed to get more. It was about 8:30 when I left for my 45 minute 11 mile drive. Fortunately for the two personnel working the front desk, TOIAW did not accompany me or they might still be doing push ups. In any event, I got the meds, saw some very interesting D.C. nightlife, and made it home by 11...but then I had to wake-up at 4:45 to go back for my appointment this morning. It was a good appointment--and very worth it--but I'm feeling a little tired. The nurse just called and said my trigger shot is tonight at midnight and then more blood work tomorrow morning at 6:30. I think I need a nap!

A few other items deserving praise:

  • My grandma has already been contacted by several people who are interested in buying her farm and she hasn't even listed it on the market. This is huge considering the economy and the area where she lives.
  • PP and Bootsy had check-ups yesterday where they were both pronounced healthy. YAY! PP has had on again/off again digestive issues since The Great Campylobacter Incident of '09 which seem to resolved and Bootsy finally gained enough to reach her goal weight (no one else in the family is afflicted with such difficulties).
  • With the current schedule we're on with the retrieval, TOIAW should not have to juggle times and/or dates when he takes his big 3-day language test next week. It probably doesn't seem like a big deal but for us it's huge!

I hope you have reasons for praise today!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Danger of Early Morning Appointments

I would really like to write an update complete with numbers and statistics...but I don't remember. TOIAW was there to take notes* and he says I had a good cluster of 10-12 follicles** around the same size. How could I forget something so important?! Probably because it was so early and once I see/hear good news, that's enough for me. I'm not sure when I became so relaxed; I'm sure it will change a time or fifty before it's all said and done. I have another appointment early tomorrow and I promise to get hard numbers for us to obsess over.

*An interesting caveat to the WRAMC IVF program is that you are required to bring a chaperon to all ultrasound appointments and, in addition to their chaperoning duties, they are also act as the 'transcriber' noting the sizes of the follicles, endometrium lining, and anything else the doctor wants notated. Not surprisingly, TOIAW takes his job very seriously.

**My last cycle I had 9 follicles (...and only 3 were mature but whose counting...)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Time for Some Good News

Right? I just want some good news...is that so much to ask?

To be fair, I did get some good news at my appointment Wednesday because my follicles are growing pretty well. And by pretty well I mean I am responding better at this point than I did in my previous two cycles. I am able to [obsessively] track this because TOIAW saved my medication plan/progress chart from last year's cycle and, of course, my blog archives. I haven't decided yet if this is a good thing. For one thing, I can tell that I'm responding better to the medication this time which is obviously a good thing. On the other hand, I am on a higher dose than I have been but there were at least two other people in my injection class who are on the same dosage so I didn't feel too bad about that. One thing that is definitely good about having the old medication schedule is the doctor wasn't afraid to be aggressive from the start which may even help with some of the egg maturation issues I've had in the previous cycles. We'll see.

I have no idea why I'm so anxious today but I am. Originally I was scheduled for another ultrasound appointment today but after seeing my blood work, the nurse called and said just wait and come in Saturday. At first I simply said 'okay' and then I called back to ask why and she said everything looks good and steady so they'll save me a trip. Again, not sure how I feel about that. I think I could have used the assurance today, you know? Now I'm analyzing every twinge and feeling wondering if my ovaries are as sore as they were two days ago blah, blah, blah. Anyway, until today I was doing pretty well keeping the googling and obsessing to a minimum but today...notsomuch. I know that's not a good thing.

In other news, things seem to be going more or less okay for my Grandma and family. She's really sad but she's coping. She was so happy about how many people were at the funeral and the kind comments that were made about the service; it was so important to her to honor Papa appropriately. I know she has a long road ahead of her but hopefully we can help her not feel as lonely. More than once I have thought about how great it would be if I get pregnant and be free to spend long periods of time with her and keep her company.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sinking In

I think the shock of losing Papa (that's how we spell it but we pronounce it paw-paw) is beginning to wear off, maybe. Yesterday was an incredibly difficult day but as I've learned over the past six months, the sun continues to rise every day even if sometimes you just wish time would stand still. And with each passing day you re-learn how to live. The hardest thing I had to do was talk to my grandma. She's completely devastated which is understandable because they were married for nearly 61 years. She already misses him and I know she's going to be terribly lonely. They have a large farm which she intends to sell and move to a small town but before she sells the farm she isn't going to move and it certainly concerns me to think of her being so isolated and alone. Oh, my heart is so heavy for her!

I decided not to go home for the funeral. I have an appointment both tomorrow (Monday) morning and Wednesday morning so, technically, I could fly tomorrow afternoon and fly back Tuesday afternoon but TOIAW and I discussed it and just didn't think it would be a good idea. My grandma told me that one of Papa's two wishes in life is that I would have a baby. I have no doubt in my mind this is what Papa would have wanted me to stay here and give myself the best chances for IVF so that's what I'm going to do.

My grandma asked me to write a eulogy for my brother to read. I'm working on it but it's very emotional to say the least. I'll probably wait until tomorrow to finish it and would appreciate your prayers.

I just spoke to Ma (that's what we call her) and they had recently returned from the funeral home viewing (I really don't get this but for some people it's really important so to each his own). She sounds better but very tired. I know she's still in shock and she told TOIAW she keeps thinking he's going to walk in the door any minute as if he's just been out working in the garden. That brought a tear even to TOIAW's eye. But Ma is so 'proud' as she says of all the guests and food they've received. To her this is a testament to the great man Papa was. But, frankly, it doesn't surprise me in the least because I've known for that for over 35 years.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is there more?

My grandfather just died. As in no more than two hours ago. After surgery to remove skin cancer (a big tumor and a 10+ hour surgery to remove it, then reconstruct his face). The surgery was scheduled to begin at 11am yesterday but didn't begin until 5:30pm. According to his doctors, he did remarkably well; better than they expected. We still don't know what happened...he just died. I do. not. understand. I don't want to understand. I want him to be alive. I want to stop hurting EVERY DAY. Is there more? Dear Lord, I don't think my heart can handle any more.

I don't even think I can go to the funeral because of the IVF cycle...

Monday, July 6, 2009

No Words

"A U.S. military spokesman says 2 more U.S. troops have been killed in a blast in southern Afghanistan..."

Most people would read that not stop to think of the soldiers, their lives, and their families. And when I say most people I mean even me because I read it this afternoon. It took on an entirely new meaning when I received an email informing me one of those soldiers was a former neighbor. A friend's husband. A great guy with a 10,000 watt smile. A real person not simply an anonymous one of "2 more US troops."

I'm consumed with thoughts of his wife. I know where the casualty notification team parked when they went to her house. I know which door is hers. I've sat in her living room many times which is more than likely where she was when they told her her husband had been killed.

PLEASE keep N in your prayers...she's going to need them.