Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Accepted!!!

TOIAW received the email today. As you can surmise from the title of my post is was good news. Of his top three schools, the one in Connecticut is my first choice and since they were the first school to accept him I think he should sign on the dotted line and call it a day :)

Separately, I'm considering getting a job as a professional admissions essay editor. Percentage of clients accepted into their top choice schools? 100.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anxious

I know that last week my parents were just as eager to hear good news as we were. They love us so very much and they know how much we want to be parents again that they were just beside themselves waiting for news. I've never experienced having that kind of strong desire for someone else until recently. As I mentioned last week, TOIAW will soon find out which graduate schools have accepted him and even though he's played it pretty cool, I can tell he's beginning to get nervous. Tonight he even called one of his top choices--and likely his best chance at getting into a "good" school--to ask them when he can expect to hear from them and they told him by the end of the week. My stomach will not stop doing flip flops; I am so nervous for him! I want this for him because he wants it so badly, however, I know that we are going to go to the place that God has chosen for us and it will be part of His plan. I can say this with certainty because as I look back on every move we've made, I can clearly see how God's love and protection has been poured out on us. For instance--and this is but a small, yet specific example--there was a job he really wanted once but it was given to someone else who TOIAW felt was less qualified than him and he was very hurt that he had been "passed up" for the position. Friends, if he had gotten that job you would not believe all the things that would be different about our lives right now! Just thinking about it blows my mind...oy!

And still, even though I know God has it under control, I am beside myself hoping and praying he opens an email at the end of the week that says, "YES! We want you!" It's his turn to have what he wants and hear good news. Like me, he has faced so much disappointment these past four years and it's time for things to change. Please, Lord, with all I have I want good news for him!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spontaneity

This morning one of TOIAW's colleagues called to ask us if we wanted to spend the week traveling with his family. He had done all the research and all we had to say was yes or no. Ummm...I don't do well with spontaneous weekend travel plans and the longer the trip is, the more anxiety I have. He really needed an immediate answer and I could tell TOIAW wanted to go so I said yes. I've heard good things about the city--a friend of mine spent New Year's there with her family and sent me a copy of a digital photo book of their trip and it certainly looked like a good time was had by all (hey, G!)--but it wasn't on my travel radar until this morning. One thing that kind of frustrates me is that TOIAW was supposed to visit this country in an official capacity, visiting his counterparts at the embassy and getting a feel for the country on that level. Thanks to the budget crisis that isn't going to happen so if he wants to go there, it's a personal expense. At the very least I'm looking forward to spending time with the four kids who will be traveling with us because they are so fun and adorable.

Also this morning I had a quick appointment with a new doctor. I really like the doctor I've been seeing but she doesn't speak English and since TOIAW will be traveling often I will not be able to rely on his tranlation skills. The embryologist, the new doctor, and the IVF coordinator all sat in on the appointment although I'm not sure why because it was made very clear that before we discuss anything I will have a hysteroscopy. TOIAW asked if we would transfer more embryos last time and someone--I think it was the embryologist--threw out a number that I am completely not comfortable with and my face must have said that because the doctor was quick to say that if there were too many, we could just "do a reduction" and I was quick to point out that is not an option for us. These things don't really bother me all that much because, as I said before, they will do things my way this cycle.

I better get to bed or I'll sleep too late tomorrow and I'll never be able to sleep on the 19 hour train ride. NINETEEN HOURS?! I hope this doesn't make me regret my spontaneity.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Next Stop on the World Tour

One thing I'm guilty of is spening a lot of time wondering where we're going to move next. I investigate neighborhoods, housing, local activities, and the availability of Mexican food. At this point we still have several options but those will be narrowed down once TOIAW begins receiving graduate school acceptance information. He has his top choice and I have mine and there is zero overlap. His top choices are NYC, Boston, and Connecticut while mine are Seattle, Washington D.C., and Oklahoma. The third choice will never happen so I'm hoping for one of the Washingtons although if we move to one of them, it would mean that TOIAW either didn't get into one of his top choices or the government doesn't want to pay for him to go there. So, in the interest of being a good wife, I'm mostly hoping he gets what he wants because this is very important to him...but I REALLY want to move to Seattle!!!

The Great Northwest is without a doubt the best place I've ever lived and I have lived in some amazing places if I do say so myself. I adore the lifestyle, the weather, the scenery--everything! It's my kind of place and I spend a lot of time (seriously, it borders on unhealthy) dreaming of living there again...which is why it probably won't happen.

D.C. would also be nice again. I would love to live in the same neighborhood we lived in before (only in a less miniature house). I like moving back to places I've lived before, can you tell? I have yet to actually do this so I guess I should say I like the idea of moving back to places I have lived before. The advantage to D.C. is that if we move there, we will live there for 2+ years. This proabably means nothing to most of you but I have not lived in the same dwelling for 2 years since my early 20's. It makes me giddy to think about it. Seriously. Giddy.

If TOIAW is accepted into his first choice, however, I will spend 18 months living mere blocks--walking distance--away from my in-laws. What a cruel twist that would be. But for a variety of reasons that is about as likely as my Seattle dream so I won't waste my time worrying about it. Rather, I will waste my time scouring Craig's list for the perfect rental in Seattle. On a cold snowy day in the MC, I really need this dream.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Sunny(er) Day

I didn't go to the clinic this morning. TOIAW is involved in a conference with and since he couldn't go with me, I decided to wait. I can't bear the thought of going alone. Also, I didn't take a test this morning because it would serve no point other than to upset me. I'm still taking most of the medications but since I'm scheduled to have a double shot of progesterone tomorrow morning I will take a test in the morning to spare myself the pain. In the absence of a blood test I have been hesitant to stop the meds because I didn't get a positive with Sarah until 15 days after egg retrieval (ovulation) and tomorrow is day 15. Which is not to say I have high hopes for tomorrow because I do not although if you want to pray for this, knock yourself out!

In any event, I'm better today. That may or may not have something to do with not beginning my day with a negative pregnancy test! I've done some laundry and light cleaning. I told TOIAW I didn't want the housekeeper to come yesterday so someone needed to do some work. I've been begging him to change her schedule to once a week and I think he's going to do that once it's confirmed that I'm not pregnant.

I'm still disappointed and very sad but I know we will be alright. I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and I very much believe God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11 which is posted on the left. God has seen me through the worst days of my life and He will no doubt see me through this as well. Scripture is very clear that He will never leave me--which He has proven to me many times over--so why would I leave Him when I need Him the most?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So Very Sad

After I wrote my post this morning I went back to bed and snuggled with TOIAW for a while. He is so disappointed and to make matters worse I can tell he still has some hope which means he will be disappointed again tomorrow and possibly on Friday as well if the clinic talks him into believing it's "still possible." I do okay for an hour or so and then I get really sad again.

Thankfully I don't have the cramps I had yesterday and last night because they were quite uncomfortable and I'm not sure I could handle that today. Twinges I can ignore but constant cramping I cannot.

I just hate that I can't be happy even though I want to be. I keep thinking of how I'm so blessed in many, many ways and this one thing--no matter how big it seems and feels--is not insurmountable but it doesn't really help right now. The fact that we are financially able to transfer the frozen embryos as soon as is medically possible is huge and while that does give me some hope, it's not what I really want so I'm still pouting.

I think I'm going to research a vacation!

**UPDATE**
It looks like a negative tomorrow is going to equal a trip to ISRAEL for my birthday in March! Jerusalem, my friends, is enough to make even the saddest of hearts leap for joy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

No Sleep

I couldn't sleep so after several hours of tossing and turning I got up and--at TOIAW's request--took another test. Negative as expected. Oddly, the 'as expected' part doesn't make it any easier than yesterday. Just more final, I guess. I've had significant cramping all day yesterday and most of the night; my poor body wants to move on also but it can't thanks to all the hormones. The IVF director at the clinic said I was welcome to come in for a blood test tomorrow but I would still have to come back on Friday as well. Stupid rule. I think I will go in and that way I can stop the meds and I'll go Friday also to humor them (and show them it's utterly unneccessary).

We're going to transfer the frozen embryos (FET) as soon as possible but I'll have to skip a cycle so that means early April if my body cooperates which, at this point, is probably a big if. You can imagine how hopeful I'm not feeling about that. Our clinic does not have great FET results and since all the embryos are frozen on day 2, I can see why. I'm not sure what we're going to do...maybe thaw all 17 and let them grow and if that doesn't work try one more fresh cycle before we move back to the U.S.? I doubt they will like that but I did it their way once and they'll do it my way from now on.

Additionally, I have major issues with the month of May as the past four have been nothing but heartache (a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, IVF with zero fertilization, and an unfulfilled due date) but our timeline suddenly seems very tight so I guess I'll have to deal with it.

I am beyond heartbroken...I just don't understand why my body is such a failure. Why can I not have the one thing I've always wanted? I've cried out to God but so far He's not answering me.

Gutted

Another negative today. I'm not feeling hopeful at all. I'm really crushed. For some reason the clinic scheduled my blood test for Friday but Wednesday is actually two weeks after egg retrieval/ovulation so I'm going to try to get it moved up so I can know for sure and stop the meds. TOIAW called but the IVF coordinator wasn't available. He's also going to see when we could do transfer the frozen embryos.

I know it's still a little early but I'm using a sensitive test and it really should be positive by now. Also, I have more cramping which, at this point, probably isn't good. I'm convinced my nausea was from the progesterone.

In other crappy news, my computer's power cord bit the dust so I have to order a new one which will take at least 3 weeks to arrive. I despise using TOIAW's computer because it's too small and he has all these funky sensitive settings so if you just breathe on the mouse pad it goes back three pages.

You are all really wonderful and I'm sure you want to tell me a story of how you know someone who tested early and was still pregnant (like me a year and a half ago) but I'm not in the mood right now. I'm going to turn off comments for this post and I would appreciate it if you didn't email or post on FB either. I know that sounds so harsh but I just need some time. Hope has left the building and I don't want to consider seeing him again for at least a little while.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anniversary of Sorts

Yesterday was the anniversary of the first time TOIAW told me he loved me. I probably would not remember this if not for the close proximity to Valentine's Day. I decided to celebrate by offering to take TOIAW to his favorite Indian restaurant with the understanding that he would then escort me to the grocery store for some much need provisions.

It was a great plan except for the Indian food. While I enjoy Indian cuisine, yesterday was not the day to go. As soon as we arrived, I started cramping but I was really hungry so I persevered through the pain. Our appetizers were good but the smells of our entrees just didn't sit well with me and I was rather miserable the second half of the meal. We ended up skippng the shopping and went straight home instead. Thankfully, TOIAW was able to do some shopping at a different market this afternoon but because it was snowing and the sidewalks were slick, I had to stay home in my gilded cage.

I didn't take a pregnancy test today--aren't you proud of me? I may or may not tomorrow. A negative tomorrow would be much more upsetting than yesterday's negative so I doubt I will. Thanks for your kind comments and emails; they were really sweet and encouraging. I know it's very early and I still have plenty of hope for this cycle. We'll know soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Not the Smartest Move

Okay, don't shake your head or roll your eyes when I tell you this but I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. What? It's possible...some people get positives this early. I'm disappointed, of course, but I'm by no means crushed. TOIAW is a little upset and I feel a little guilt about that because I didn't follow the early testing "rules" of testing first thing in the morning or saving my pee for five plus hours. I knew I couldn't not test tomorrow if I didn't test today so that was part of my motivation. Now it's going to be very difficult to talk TOIAW into it again Monday though...

I still have some nausea but that's about it. Who knows?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stop Messing With Me

I've been moderately nauseous the past three days. This is a feeling I know well because I had extreme nausea when I was pregnant with Sarah. I didn't vomit very often because I quickly discovered it wouldn't help me to feel better (you know, like when you have the flu and you feel better for at least a little while afterwards) so I did what I could to prevent it; I think there was a Seinfeld episode about that, actually. The more I lie around like a bump on a log, the better I feel.

Of course, I know it's way too early for morning sickness so what is causing this? I've googled and googled and googled which has led me to numerous possibilites. The most likely culprit is the progesterone and my clinic is a big believer in that so I called and asked if maybe I was taking too much. When I told the IVF director what's going on she said, "Maybe you're pregnant." Dude, why are you messing with me like that? Don't you think I've thought of that? Don't you think I want it to be that? But, let's be realistic, how many people have this kind of nausea when they're 3weeks, 2 days pregnant? She was adament that it wasn't the progesterone however I'm not convinced. At least I don't have the common progesterone side effect of fatigue which is amazing considering how much I'm taking. For your information, I take 6 pills in my girly parts every day (it's not a clown car!!!), an IM shot every day, and--because I hit the progesterone jackpot--every 3rd day I get TWO shots; today was the lucky 3rd day! I'm trying not to over-analyze the symptoms I have or don't have but I can't help but notice that I've only had very mild cramping as compared to the significant cramping I had when I did my cycle that resulted in Sarah.

Time will tell but I'm ready to know NOW!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Campers of the Month!

These two lovlies were named Campers of the Month at their doggie day care! That's either because a) the staff can see what has been obvious to us from the begining--they are the most amazing, sweetest, fun dogs on the planet or b) because they (we) are the best customers the "camp" has. It's definitely one or the other and I'm not entirely sure option b is true because there are some customers whose "parents" are frequent travelers.

Somehow--probably because she is so tired after camp--my mom has been able to somewhat train Bootsy. She doesn't let her slide with the you're too cute and you had such a hard life so you don't have to mind excuse. This is probably a good thing as we never had the heart to do it.

I hate that they are not here with us--I mean I HATE it but it probably is best because there's really nothing dog friendly about the winters around here. I miss them terribly but their camp has cameras in the day care rooms and I get to log-on and watch them every day which is nice.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ta Dah!

My new blog design has finally arrived and I LOVE IT!!! Kelly at fabulous k creative is indeed fabulous as well as creative. I gave her an extremely vague description of what I wanted and she completely captured the look I was going for and far exceeded my expectations! I think those of you who know me in real life will say "it's me" because I definitely feel it is and that's what I wanted. Also, check out her blog because her design ideas are very fun and fresh!

I guess that means it's time for some housekeeping on the ol' blog. That should keep me occupied for quite some time...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Well Hello There, Hormones!

We get US tv here via a Slingbox. Last night we DVRed Undercover Boss. I'm watching it right now crying like it's Extreme Home Makeover meets Steel Magnolias. Seriously?

Passing the Time

Or, How I Hope I Don't Lose My Mind Whilst on Bed Rest

Today is the last day of my bed rest which I have modified to be sitting on the couch rest. I know I have no room to complain because I know of a few people who are on bed rest right now and several more who endured many months of bed rest to bring their babies safely into the world. And, while the dreaded two week wait until my blood test is highly frustrating, I am sure it doesn't hold a candle to being in bed praying and fighting for your baby's life. I need a little perspective!

In order to pass the time I've spent a lot of time googling whether or not I actually need this bed rest. The material on this is riveting as you might imagine. I did decide to make dinner tonight because, well, I need a complete and healthy meal. Our housekeeper made dinner Friday but I didn't care for it. Saturday, TOIAW brought home take-out, and yesterday he made a delicious artichoke chicken dish. I was very proud of him and it was delicious. I did, however, wonder if we were going to have any vegetables and when I asked him he replied that he thought pasta was a vegetable because it's made from wheat. No, I'm not kidding and, yes, he was serious. I'm still shaking my head at that one.

I've also done some research into my insurance because I will head back to the US if/when it is confirmed that I have a continuing pregnancy. I first started by determining where I want to deliver--based on who has the best NICU, just in case--and went from there. It's actually rather confusing which frustrates me to no end.

I'm doing all of this to distract me from the slight cramping I'm experiencing. It's far too early to begin scrutinizing symptoms.

I'm off to finish dinner--it smells so good I'm salivating!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

All Aboard!

We did end up having the transfer yesterday. We transferred two embryos. TOIAW heard the words "bed rest" and he's strictly enforced it. I'm sneaking this post while engaging in another forbidden activity: Sitting! I would do [almost] anything for this to work but bed rest is much more difficult than it sounds and, according to the doctor, I have two more days of it!

Okay, off to do more resting. I'll check in again soon!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Now? Seriously?

Yesterday I told TOIAW that I wasn't totally at peace with doing the transfer on day 2.5 but he seemed to dismiss me and we didn't discuss it further when he got home. Or maybe we did but it seems like we only discussed the "how many?" question. I spent a lot of time praying about it and just told myself "this is what they do and this is how they do it" and I was comforted by that. As far as the number question goes, I decided we would deal with that today after we found more out about the embryos development. I am someone who likes to make a decision, accept it, and move forward. I had completed all three of those stages for the 2.5 day transfer and was at peace with it.


THEN, TOIAW called me this morning to say, "Just because we're going there today doesn't mean we're going to do the transfer today so I want you to know that." What?! He explained further that if we have "many" embryos that we should wait and see how they do and proceed with the strongest ones. Yes, I know this; it's what I was trying to tell you yesterday. Did it take you 21 hours to process what I was saying? He called and spoke with the embryologist who still pushed for a transfer today so this should be very interesting...and not in a way that I would like it to be. I don't want to listen to an argument and, no offense, but the people of the Mystery Country love to argue. It's how they communicate. In the end this is probably for the best but this is not how I pictured it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eggs and Elevators

So we have quite a few eggs...yay! I don't know exactly how many but I heard the phrase "more than twenty" but I assume that was total eggs and not just the mature ones. The only fertilization report I heard was "it's okay" and while I would have pressed for more information, I decided I'll just wait and see what they say tomorrow. Why the new, chill, un-"very emotional" attitude you ask? Because I already had a freak-out today and after I calmed down I decided it's not my job to fix all the broken things in the Mystery Country (ha! as if that's possible).

My freak-out was about our elevator being broken and me being concerned to walk up four very long flights of stairs hours after the transfer. This is why I called the clinic in the first place because I wanted to know if they think this is a problem (they don't). I know there are two different schools of thought on bed rest after transfer and people get pregnant both with bed rest and modified activity so it is what it is. I laughed when I was praying about it because I never dreamed to pray that the elevator would be repaired by tomorrow, only that walking up the stairs wouldn't effect my chances of getting pregnant. Why not? Because that would be a miracle and, if by some chance it did happen, I fear our building would become a site for pilgrims to come and see the place where the miracle of the one-day elevator repair took place. Although some incense might actually improve the smell of the vestibule and we could certainly use some light from candles...

Speaking of miracles, our transfer is tomorrow afternoon. I can't seem to wrap my mind around that. The only miracle I've ever been part of is Sarah and I long--oh, how I long!--to be part of another one just as beautiful and amazing as she was.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Very Emotional"

That's that one doctor said to the other about me--awesome! I'll tell you the back story...before TOIAW made his contribution today, he had a tutorial on how to give an IM injection (he already know but a refresher didn't hurt). I also asked the nurse to chek my blood pressure just because I wanted to make sure it was okay. It wasn't. Not only was it not okay, it was probably the highest I had ever seen it...ACK! So then the doctor called me in and she took it again and it was still very high although not as bad. Then she called in the internist and he asked me what dosage of medication I was taking and I told him I wasn't taking any and he looked kind of surprised and asked why so I told him I was feeling fine so I stopped taking it in preparation for the transfer. He said I couldn't just stop taking the medicine and I should take half my dose (which is 1/4 of a very funky shaped pill so that's not easy) until the transfer. I reminded him that the transfer will be either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning so we worked out a plan and then he took my blood pressure again. Guess what? It was fine. Go me! If I'm not crazy now, I will be before all this is over!!! After the normal reading the internist gave my doctor an update and TOIAW said he referred to me as "very emotional." Yeah, and?

I never found out how many eggs were retrieved and they weren't even going to tell us how many fertilizd but I told them I wanted to know so the embryologist is going to call. Are you kidding me? Of course I want to know!!! They said they usually just discuss it at the transfer. Ummm, no. Also they need to call and tell us when to be there for the transfer. As I mentioned above it will be early because that's what they usually do at this clinic. It's not my first choice but I don't want them to change their usual procedure and risk having something go wrong. The biggest problem is that it makes it much more difficult to decide how many to transfer. We have an idea already but we're going to wait and see how the embryos are doing on the day of transfer.

Thanks to my wonky BP readings, we bought a home monitor. I can feel myself getting nervous the first time I use it but after that I must calm down because it lowers quite a bit between the first and second reading. Not that I'm using it every hour but I have tried it out 2-3 times.

I'm really tired right now so it's off to bed...hopefully I'll know something tomorrow. I'll try not to get "very emotional" when I find out the fertilization rate.

P.S. I wanted to thank all of you who sent me good luck emails! You made me cry because I love and miss all of you so, so much.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the egg retrieval. We're finally here...again. I haven't felt nervous until tonight and, although it's nothing like when it's my eggs being retrieved, there are still a few butterflies. I can only imagine all the emotions I'll feel waiting to get the fertilization report on Thursday. In my head, I know we will most likely have good fertilization (by removing my sucky eggs from the equation) those two horrible times I was told, "Zero eggs fertilized," will probably always haunt me.

But that's not what I want to think about tonight. I want to be excited about tomorrow! and getting a positive pregnancy test in two weeks! and having a baby in my arms in October!

On Being Crazy

On Friday I went to see the American P.A. I showed her my EKG and told her what had been going on. She wasn't thrilled about the medication I was taking and didn't see anything abnormal about the EKG. While I was in the office my heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels were all perfect and she didn't think I really needed medication in the first place. She is an amazingly kind person and I really like and trust her. She had twins at 26 weeks (who are fine now) so she "gets" me. She indicated she thinks--as I assumed as well--that this is largely hormonal. She explained what her thought process is when someone has the symptoms I have and she made it clear she does not think I am dealing with anything serious.


And then, after our guests left Saturday night, my heart decided it wasn't done partying. I put up with it for a bit, tried to sleep, and eventually got up and took the medication; the issue resolved itself immediately. Sunday was fine and as evening approached I got a little nervous (because that's when it usually happens) but I had no issues and all was well. Monday (yesterday) was not as good. During my appointment I felt great so they didn't do a repeat EKG. TOIAW and I went to a late lunch/early dinner and after walking home my heart rate was elevated which I attributed to walking quickly in the cold while trying not to fall and fracture my skull because now that a lot of the chunky ice is gone we have a nice thin layer of black ice. Two hours later my heart rate was still high so I caved again and took medication. My heart rate went down so quickly I think it might have been resolving itself already.


But I had this other odd thing going on: My right arm felt tingly/numb like it was "asleep" but I could still use it. I asked Dr. Google who mostly said it was unrelated to heart issues and probably a pinched nerve or something but when did I do that? I had been fine when I started walking home from the restaurant! I was beginning to think I should just check myself into a treatment program for paranoid hypochondriacs. Instead, I called my sister-in-law and while we were talking the arm thing mostly went away and then I went to bed. We agreed that I should call the P.A. this morning to discuss it. When I called, though, I was told she is out of the country so I spoke with the local national physician who works there also. He is also very kind and he was aware of my situation. We discussed everything and he told me he thinks it's anxiety-related and if I just think or do something else it will eventually go away or I could take the medication but only until the transfer (which is fine because, generally, I don't like to take medicine and I'm even more leary in situations like this because I think, 'rather than treat the end state--the rapid heart rate--let's try to determine why this is happening in the first place'). So, yeah, it is a medical doctor's professional opinion that I am anxious and crazy to the point that it is having a physical effect on my body. Awesome...