Ultrasounds, Bloodwork and Angry Birds

So I’ve been kinda quiet lately, not for any exciting reason, just going about our day to day life adding in doctor appointments and shots. The shots are getting much MUCH better and S. is a trooper. Last night I really had enough. I am so tired of being a human pincushion. I know the medicine is working – it’s just such a long, time consuming process to determine which Gonal dosage is going to do the trick. They can’t start at the top, because then too many follicle will grow and the chance of being an Octo-Mom increases.

Saturday will be my 7th ultrasound, 7th blood draw and tonight will be my 12th Gonal shot. My poor abdomen is all puffy and bloated (but fancied up with Angry Birds bandaids). I know it’s worth it in the end, but I am just tired of it all.

But even though I’m cranky and whining today, it is not lost on me about how lucky I am to have the job I do.  I work in IT (but not on the technical side) from the comfort of my home with flextime. I was thinking – 7 doctor’s appointments since 27 August and my coworkers are none the wiser. I am able to get my appointment done before most of them start their day. But I can’t imagine the sacrifice teachers, nurses, shift workers and moms have to make to do this. How do they fit it into an already busy schedule, find coverage and tell their supervisors? I am thankful for the ability to keep my infertility treatments close to the vest.

Sitting in Shady Grove, I see all kinds of people – old, young, skinny, overweight, some with partners, some solo without wedding rings. We are all dealing with the same(ish) situation. It helps to know S. and I are not the only ones emptying our purses for a dream.


Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Phew! I was not a happy, infertile woman when Nurse Anne called me yesterday afternoon and said she wanted me to do an injection for the next 2 nights. Sure, we took the class where we stuck a notepad with some ‘fake skin’ that felt like raw chicken. An aside – if my skin feels like raw chicken skin, we have a whole new problem.


S got home and I was ready to rock and roll and get this over with. S filled the needle like a seasoned heroin addict … just kidding, of course. But he did a great job! Here’s how it went when I laid down:

J: Okay, I need you to just do it, don’t count or anything. And I can’t look. It’s not because it’s you, I have to do it with the nurses too. I have total faith in you.

S: Okay, 1, 2 …


And then he shot me up with the very important Gonal F. I didn’t feel it go in, but it burned a little bit. And, like a good infertile, hormonal wife, I demanded a present for each shot. Nothing big and flashy, but if I was 4 years old and getting a shot, I would get a sticker right? It feels like a valid request. This shot I got a lollipop bouquet in the shape of circus … things. Yay! Plus, he got some fun Angry Bird bandaids. Obviously I didn’t need them since the injection was so teeny tiny, but that wasn’t the point.

One more tomorrow, then Wednesday I head to get another ultrasound, then hopefully a trigger shot.

Not So Fabulous Follicles

It’s been a few days since my last post, but work has been revving up and nothing too important baby related was happening. I had my second ultrasound today and determine if I was ready to put on the Barry White and get to baby making. My follicles are being stubborn (PS – don’t Google Ovarian Follicle. Trust me. You’re welcome). I also wonder if this is a ploy to get a few more co-pays … regardless, the doctor seems confident I am just a late bloomer. Back on Wednesday! At this point I can walk in and do the ultrasound myself.

Also, if you don’t mind, I am going to get on my Judgmental Soapbox. Another Facebook friend (real life acquaintance), is having another baby by a new baby daddy. Yes, both babies were born in monogamous relationships. This is the THIRD person I know with 2 kids, with 2 different Dads and no wedding in sight. Yes, I totally get that women are having babies all the time in a plethora of ways. And each child is a gift … blah blah blah. But I can’t help but be pissed. I had protected sex with each of my past partners to avoid having a baby. I fell in love, had a wedding, and I am not pregnant. Despite wanting to be and paying good money to get there. It doesn’t seem fair. (PS – sorry if you are in this position and offended, but I’m keeping it real). I really want to ask these girls (who are younger than myself) if they understand where babies come from.

Well, back to growing my follicles. What are you doing today?

This Is My Confession

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I snuggle into bed with S and the beagle and I flip through Google Reader. Hey! You should add me to your Google Reader. Look down in the right hand corner. Anyway … I read all kinds of blogs, lately, I have been reading Shady Grove’s blog. And guess what smacked me right in the face Friday night? This little gem:

“Q Are there any risk factors associated with miscarriage?
A The risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age, especially in women over the age of 35. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol increase your risk of miscarriage. Also, some medications, including those you can buy without a prescription, may increase your risk.”

I don’t smoke, never even tried it. I seldom drink alcohol. Caffeine …. that’s another story. My biggest fantasy is rolling over in the morning and having S. hand me a ice cold can of Diet Coke. I start my day with one, cap my mid-morning granola bar with one and enjoy dinner with an icy can of caffeine.  God help me if I am out and about during the day, 7-11 has nothing on my $2.29.

I posted on Facebook about quitting my beloved Diet Coke and many people chimed in about how wonderful their life has been since they quit their soda addiction. They are freaking pooping rainbows and riding unicorns. And not one, NOT ONE mentioned the initial side effects.

I went cold turkey. Saturday AM. Between then and now, I have tripped numerous times, lost my car in a parking garage and assumed it was towed, knocked over my chair, screwed up a website for work, sent an email with the cc emails in the subject line (twice), and almost went to the ER for a migraine so horrible I wanted to die last night. Today is a little better, but I still want to cry when I see a Diet Coke commercial on TV. I change the channel as fast as I do when Sarah McLaughlin’s ASPCA commercial comes on (and that’s fast). One day I hope to poop rainbows and ride unicorns too. But not today. Or tomorrow.

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Sex & The City & Needles

Yesterday I had to cancel an important meeting because I have to wait by the door for the FedEx man delivering my injections. Normally it would be no big deal for them to drop it at our apartment’s leasing office, but I am terrified I won’t get them in time, into the refrigerator in time and ruin this whole process, ultimately depleting our savings and ruining our life. File this under over obsessing, I am 100% aware.

I am also freaking out a little bit about doing the injections. Thankfully it’s only once (I think) in my stomach fat, which shouldn’t be hard to find. S. and I are going to a class on Sunday about how to do this, but frankly, I can’t do it to myself. First of all, no one wants to cause themselves pain. In elementary school I had one of those plates on the roof of my mouth that pushed my teeth out (to make room for braces). It required turning a key daily and I had a hard time with it. S. is going to have to do the stabbing and I know he won’t want to. Then again, if I get all ‘Clomid Monster’ on him, he might enjoy a little temporary pain.  I was really hoping to avoid injections.

A cardboard baby. Who does that? Oh, a future ex-husband. Thats who.

I was thinking last night about the whole injection process and it occurred to me – I forgot the most important show of infertility on a TV show – Charlotte on Sex in the City! I am ashamed I forgot it. Charlotte was by far my favorite, and had her share of infertility issues. Her first husband, Trey, decided, when Charlotte became obsessed with getting pregnant (even though the doctor said their chances are slim), he wasn’t ready for babies. Trey’s mother made it very clear, in her own elite way, an adoption was not an option for the couple. OH! And the best part, possibly the best scene from all the SATC episodes … Trey brought Charlotte a cardboard baby. A FREAKING CARDBOARD BABY! If S. did anything like that, he wouldn’t be around to tell the story.

To add to the emotional turmoil, Miranda, Charlotte’s best friend, finds herself pregnant by accident and viewers see how Charlotte finds it hard to handle, especially when Miranda discusses terminating the pregnancy.

Harry, the 2nd husband (a loveable bald Jew) comes into the picture (and shortly leaves) and they try for babies and have a miscarriage. Towards the end of the story line, Harry and Charlotte adopt a beautiful baby from China.  Oh, and if we fast forward to the SATC movie … Charlotte gets pregnant.

So, it’s clear, everything works out perfectly in the end.

Timed Intercourse and Other Sexiness

So S. and I had our follow up appointment at Shady Grove Fertility yesterday and heard some great news! S has super sperm and I have an amazing uterus and super beautiful fallopian tubes.  Well, he didn’t say that, but that’s what I heard. Anyway …

Looks like we are taking a step back from an IUI cycle – which I assumed would be the next step, and doing something oh so sexy called Timed Intercourse. I wish it had a better name, perhaps we will call it TI. Either way, it is basically the same steps (Clomid, trigger shot, ultrasound), but instead of an IUI, we have sex during the perfect time. This makes me very, very nervous.

I just don’t trust myself to get this right. There are lots of steps that require timing, and I just don’t think I can do it AND get it right. Plus … S. giving me a shot in my belly makes me queasy. I can handle a trained professional in a doctor’s office, with gloves and … such. I just wish we knew for a FACT this was going to work. I am not hopeless, just perhaps not getting my hopes up.

Kids I Would Not Want

I’ve read a lot about couples dealing with infertility who are just desperate for a kid – ANY kid. Well, we are not there yet, but I can promise you, there are quite a few kids we would not jump at the chance to parent. Mainly from movies. Here’s our short list, I’ll think you’ll agree:

Damien, The Omen: I mean really. That one goes without saying. First of all, he is beyond creepy with the milky white skin and dark dark hair, but what can you expect from Satan’s son? The lesson? When a priest warns you that your kid is possibly the antichrist, listen.

Rhoda, The Bad Seed: One of my all time favorite movies! Rhoda was sugary sweet (enough to make me want to not like her, it actually creeps me out) until …. a kid dies at a school picnic and Rhoda shows up with the kid’s penmanship medal. Every parent SAYS they want to perfect, polite, loving child …

Henry, The Good Son: Along the sames lines of Pollyanna, a bad kid everyone sees as good. However, this little darling throws a dummy off an overpass, kills the neighbor’s dog and alludes to killing his brother (who ‘drowned’). Not a kid I would snatch up and take home to snug-a-bug with.

Sid, Toy Story: The mean bully next door not only steals toys, but he tortures them and turns them into monsters. Doesn’t that usually indicate a future sociopath? Or perhaps just ‘boys being boys’.

Cole, The Sixth Sense: I love this movie, but I can’t help but be a little creeped out by this overly mature, sad boy – aside from the fact he sees dead people.

World’s Best Uterus

Who has an “amazing” uterus and “awesome” fallopian tubes? This gal!

I had my HSG yesterday and it was, apparently, the quickest and best they’d seen all morning. The RNs at Shady Grove are ah-mazing. I made a big deal out of not having a partner go with me (why? it’s a 3 minute test), but was a little nervous when I got there and it looked like a fancy, expensive hospital. Lots of couples, all the ladies in paper gowns … but all I got was a fancy booties and a butt baring gown. In and out in 3 minutes.


What does all this mean? My lady bits and S.’s boy parts are ready for makin’ a baby. We are meeting with Dr. Greenhouse on Thursday to talk next steps. I am just feeling so relieved nothing else is going on aside from the lack of ovulating.

May I Offer You an Egg? A Chocolate Chip?

So it’s been a few days since I had my ultrasound (another step in the pre-screening process) and guess what? I have a crap ton of eggs! Apparently 15 is the average and I am housing 27. The doc was showing me on the ultrasound screen and pointed out the ‘cookie shape’ (aka massive blob) and then pointed out ALL the chocolate chips. I think when I finally get pregnant, I am going to call Baby W, I am going to call him/her ‘cookie’. It seems fitting.

Tomorrow I get to drive to Rockville during rush hour to have radiation shot into my lady bits. If you live in the DC metro area, you are probably struggling to figure out what’s worse – driving to Rockville in rush hour or radiation in the lady bits.  Then …. THEN! We have our followup appointment with Doc Greenhouse on Thursday  to decide the next course of action.

Things are moving right along. And by ‘moving right along’ I mean ‘moving at a snails pace’.

TV and Infertility

There is a lot of buzz in the blog world about television shows attempting to fictionalize infertility. I’ve seen lots of negative comments – not showing the emotion behind it, the financial distress, pressure on the marriage, the time it takes …. well duh. Why would anyone want to watch that? My journey is not funny (most the time) or worthy of an hour during prime time. Nor do I look to television to confirm I’m normal and my situation is normal. It’s entertainment, and I can appreciate that.

Here are some shows I discovered that have a story line relevant to infertility. I am sure there are more, but these are the ones I watch (I hear Grey’s Anatomy had a good story line going).

Parenthood – Julia Braverman struggles with secondary infertility and in this season, takes in a foster kid. She also was thisclose to adopting from the coffee cart teenager at work, but that fell through in the hospital.  This is really the first show I sobbed with while Julia was going through everything.

Friends – Monica and Chandler struggle to get pregnant, find out they are both dealing with fertility challenges, and end up adopting twins. She also learned she won’t have biological children after watching Rachel have an unplanned pregnancy.

How I Met Your Mother – After struggling with not getting pregnant, they find out Marshall is infertile – a great plot twist, there isn’t much discussion around male infertility. Also, Robin learned that she won’t be able to have biological kids, and even though that was never part of her life plan, it was heartbreaking for her to learn she didn’t have the ability to change her mind.

Rules of Engagement – Audrey and Jeff  explore IVF and  have a surrogate. PS – I find this show insufferable sometimes. Even the infertility end of it is dragging on and Jeff is a moron. I can’t even tell you more about the storyline since I barely watch the show.

Brothers & Sisters – I miss this show so much. Kitty started doing infertility treatments, which were unsuccessful and ultimately adopted a baby. This show is all about baby making! The gay couple adopted an older foster kid, though he donated sperm to his brother who was infertile. If you think this soap opera-esque is hard to follow, just watch the show on Netflix. You will be hooked.