Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2 little blasties sitting in my ute; blobs of cells that are so cute!

OK, so I'm still feeling pretty happy from the Va.lium. Everything went smoothly this morning -- thanks so much for all the good thoughts!

In case anyone's curious about the play-by-play, here goes:

We got to the clinic super-early (8:15 for a 9:30 transfer) -- so early, in fact, that the doctor called me on my cell phone with an embryo update when I was sitting in the waiting room! She told us that we had two superstar blasts, and then another 2 or 3 that we will likely be able to freeze either later today or tomorrow. She recommended we transfer 2 -- I relayed that to the Mr. and then headed off to acupuncture to think on it for a bit.

Acupuncture was fun today -- I had a different acupuncturist who'd worked for the San Francisco 49ers for a while, so we chatted about that. I got needles in different places -- on top of my head for the first time, which she called an "implantation crown." I chilled with the needles for about 30 minutes, said a few prayers, and decided that my gut was telling me to go with 2.

I debated whether or not I needed a Va.lium after acupuncture, and decided that my bladder discomfort alone was probably reason enough, so down the hatch it went. I floated on back to the waiting room, sat and snuggled with the Mr. for a bit, and then we headed back to the transfer room.

The tech took a quick look at the sonogram, and told me that I could go pee for 5 seconds if I wanted to. No need to ask me twice! I shuffled out and did my thing, went back and got told that I could pee even more. Apparently my 58 or so ounces were doing what they were supposed to do.

Finally, we got down to business. The doctor (a new one) came in and went over a few more details, and gave us a picture of our beautiful blasts. One was huge (I'd post a picture if I wasn't flat on my back), and the other was not far behind. We made the final call to do both.

By this time, the Va.lium had kicked in and I was feeling like a million bucks. Never have my feet so easily gone into stirrups, and I swear the speculum was not at all unpleasant. A miracle. The doctor swabbed me out with some cold stuff, which totally tickled (I told you the Val.ium was good), and gave the catheter a quick test. What happened next was the coolest thing ever -- the embryologist came in, confirmed who we were, and left while the doctor put in the catheter for real. You could see the little tube going in on the ultrasound. The embryologist came back with the blasts, handed them to the doctor, and then we watched them wend their merry little way down the tube and pop out into my ute. So frickin' cool.

The Dr. said it went "perfectly," and they all left me to lie on the table for a few minutes. The Mr. and I totally had a moment -- I cried, I laughed, he teared up. It was one of the most special things we've experienced together.

I went back for another round of needles, and conked out with a big smile on my face.

So now we wait. And wait. Beta is next Thursday the 9th at 7:00 a.m. I hope there are enough movies at Blockbuster to get me through. I'm sure I'll be blogging all about them here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just trying to chill the hell out

T minus 24 hours until transfer, and I am fighting the urge to Google the heck out of "embryo transfer stories." I thought being back at work would help, but no such luck. It's funny, because the only thing I'm really dreading is the no peeing thing. Otherwise, between the acupuncture and the Val.ium I'm sure I'm going to be feeling juuuust fiiiiinnne.

In other news, the Mr. shot me in the butt with PIO when we were at our friends' house last night. It was pretty comical. I think I'm almost going to miss these exciting shooting up situations.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 3 Embryo Update

OK, so it was a little weird when the doctor called us at 8:30 this morning and we were lounging in bed watching a 90210 rerun on SoapNet. But he had good news, so I got over it.

All 7 of our embies are still cooking! We've got 4 8-cell Grade 1 embryos (our clinic grades on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being the best), 1 6-cell Grade 1, 1 5-cell Grade 2, and 1 4-cell Grade 2. We're headed for a Day 5 transfer on Tuesday, and hopefully (please please please!) will have a couple to freeze.

After we got the news, the Mr. and I went for a long walk around the reservoir and tried to figure out whether we want to put back 1 or 2 on Tuesday. I think it's probably going to have to be a game-time decision.

Crazy days.....but we both feel incredibly blessed.

The most unrelaxing acupuncture session EVER

Yesterday's acupuncture adventure was like something out of a sitcom. On a day when I really really needed to relax and stop thinking about our little babes in a petri dish, three things got in the way:

1. I farted on the reproductive massage guy. Thanks, constipating PIO shots and subsequent excessive fiber intake.

2. I started awake during the acupunk and lunged for my ringing phone (could it be the clinic?), shooting two needles out of my belly and across the room. It wasn't the clinic.

3. A marching band kept walking back and forth down the street under my session room window. Seriously. WTF?

Needless to say, it pained me a little more than usual to fork over my $255 at the end of the session.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What to wear when you look like you're pregnant but you're actually not

As anyone who has ever ingested infertility meds can tell you, that shit can wreak some serious havoc on your girlish figure. Mine wasn't exactly girlish to begin with, as I emotionally ate my way through the first two years of our infertility, but the last five months of Clo.mid and stims have certainly not helped the situation.

Not that this came as any surprise. The swelling and bloat potential of infertility treatment have been well-documented. As has the sweet, sweet irony of appearing knocked up when NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. So I went into the stims phase of IVF prepared.

Prepared to SHOP.

In case my shopping adventures can be of any help to those on the brink or in the midst of bloat-dom, I hereby present my five favorite (and mostly newly acquired) articles of clothing for the Pregnant-Looking Woman Who Isn't Pregnant (PLWWIP).

#5 -- The Flowy Dress

It's a good thing that the last week has been sunny and warm in Northern California, because I have worn these two dresses all week. The beauty of them (other than the obvious coverage capabilities) is that they can be mixed and matched almost infinitely. My boss, a major clotheshorse, even complimented me on my outfits this week.

Bonus on the J.Crew dress -- it's convertible and can be a dress or skirt or shirt or really anything you want it to be (except a baby).

#4 -- Scarf, Scarf Baby

Scarves -- they're not just for Hollywood waifs! They are also for us PLWWIPs. What else can cover both enlarged ta-tas and engorged abdomen for under 20 bucks? My favorites have actually been from Target.

Is there anything Target can't do, particularly if you avoid the baby department?

#3 -- The New Cardigan

What do you call these newfangled garments, that are part-cardigan, part-shrug? I don't know. I call them the New Cardigan, and I love them dearly. They work particularly well with a scarf, particularly if your arms aren't making you happy (as mine certainly are not). My two favorites came from a Banana Republic outlet, but they're everywhere. The best ones for our purposes have sort of a widening cowl that drapes inwards at the stomach -- I can't for the life of me find a picture that depicts this, but if you want to come over and take a tour of my closet I'd be happy to show you.

#2 -- The Mom Jeans

OK, I'm a little embarrassed about this. And I SWEAR I'm not wearing these because I really really really want to be a mom (although I do). I was at Ross (Dress for Less!) a couple of weeks ago and found these beauts -- jeans with a magic hidden panel that sucks in both your tum-tum and the dreaded muffin top. And you can't even tell they're mom jeans when you're fully outfitted -- although you might not ever be able to escape the shame.

#1 -- The Yummie Tummie

I know I've sung its praises before, but I really can't gush over this contraption enough. I've got both the tank and boyfriend tank in the long version, and I just feel like the hottest infertile on the block when I'm wearing them. They are expensive ($62 for the basic model), but I'm not even a little bit sorry I bought them.

Of course, I haven't gotten my credit card bill yet.

So, there's my list. I'm sure there are many, many other fantastic clothes for us PLWWIPs. Please share if you've discovered any!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Not-So-Fabulous Food Friday

I've been trying to think of something exciting and fabulous to write about today, but am coming up empty. I'm sick of protein, I can't eat my two favorite foods (parmesan cheese and bread) because I've given them up for Lent, and I've heard that the PIO shots can clog the plumbing. So, it's veggies galore for me today.

I know I probably shouldn't, but I think I'm going to treat myself to a nice glass of wine tonight (or, let's face it, this afternoon since I'm working from home today). Probably this.

I hope it goes well with broccoli.

Fertilization and Butt-Shot Report

In case anyone out there is quivering in fear (as I was yesterday) about the prospect of a progesterone in oil (PIO) shot, I am here to report that last night's butt-shot was not that bad. I think more than the actual needle, I was nervous about someone else giving me a shot -- I'd come to terms over the last few weeks with shooting myself up, and the one time I'd let the Mr. give it a try was kind of disastrous. But he really pulled (pushed?) through -- just a little pinch. I've heard that the real pain of PIO shots is the cumulative soreness, which I can't speak to yet, but at least I won't be approaching tonight's needle encounter with abject terror.

(On a side note, I am really constantly amazed at the medical things that I've previously feared and have more or less overcome. Vag.inal ultrasound? Check. IV? Check. Injections? Check. Blood draws? Check. It's not that I really love any of these activities, but I feel sort of proud of myself that they're no big deal in a physical sense anymore. IVF makes grizzled medical veterans of us all!)

On the fertilization front, we got great news this morning -- 7 of our 8 fertilized!! The doctor us very optimistic that we'll make it to day 5, but in my excitement I forgot to ask what the basis was for this determination. I think it's too early for them to be grading the embies, right?

We won't hear anything else until Sunday -- either a report and time for Tuesday, or (if things aren't looking so hot) a time for a day 3 transfer that day. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with myself until then -- I don't think I've had to wait this long for any results yet -- but am just trying to think good thoughts for our little potential babes. I don't generally think of myself as an overly emotional person (the Mr. may disagree, especially after these last few weeks), but I pretty much love them already.

And now, to bring things back to my usual sarcastic and superficial level, I'm off to pee for the 10th time this morning. Thanks, Gatorade.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Retrieval Story

Since I don't have a Baby Story to tell (yet?), I hereby give you A Retrieval Story. Warning: it's not very exciting, but I want to have it down for posterity in case I have to go through this whole rigamarole again and need to remind myself that it wasn't that bad.

So. We arrived at 8:15 and immediately got whisked away to the operating suite. Apparently they had 5 retrievals scheduled this morning, so things were hopping. We were led to a pre-op "room" (really just a bed with a curtain around it, flanked by two other beds with curtains around them). I got a sexy gown, set of booties and hair cap, and was told to get undressed and lie down on the bed. They got me this comfy warm blanket that kind of rocked.

We got some instructions from the nurse, and chatted a bit about what would be happening. I didn't expect to be nervous today, but I guess the whole environment was a little more antiseptic and hospital-y than I was expecting, and that kind of threw me for a loop. Just as I was starting to get a little jittery, they wheeled out someone from the OR who was basically freaking out. Crying, moaning in pain, saying all kinds of crazy anesthesia stuff. I was trying not to pay attention, but then I heard her say something just heartbreaking: "It's just that I've never been pregnant before."

Oof. At this point the Mr. started talking baseball to me.

The nurse came back and put in my IV. Not super-fun, but not too bad. The doctor came in to explain the procedure (does he not think I read IF blogs obsessively?), and then we were left alone again for a bit. They wheeled out another patient -- this was one of the couples who were in our IVF class a couple of weeks ago -- and she said through the curtain: "Good luck guys -- I loooooove you." We've met them once.

At this point, I made a mental note to just try and keep my mouth shut after the procedure. :)

Then the anethesiologist came in and we immediately determined that we both went to Cornell (the Mr. was wearing a hat). Things were looking up! She talked a bit about the drugs, and mentioned that I wouldn't be under that deeply so might wake up during the procedure -- WTF? -- but that she'd be there to ease me back under. Great!

Then we got left alone for another few minutes. I started thinking about how we were going to be making embryos and started to tear up a little bit. The Mr. kissed me with his horrible coffee breath, and then we were off to the OR.

I walked in, got on the table, they strapped me down and put a mask on my face, and then skjhfakjhfahzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...................

I did have a dream that I pulled my blackberry out from under the table and e-mailed the Mr. about the procedure, which just goes to show you what a crackberry workaholic addict I am, but whatever. I woke up in the same pre-op "room", and felt great. I also didn't talk. The Mr. came back from his duties of the day, we hung out for a bit, I drank some Gatorade, they tattoed my ass for the PIO shots tonight, we heard we got 8 eggs and would get a call in the morning, and that was it.

I still feel pretty great -- a little cramping and spotting, and a little grogginess, but that's it. I'm going to hang out today, work from home tomorrow, and just try to stay calm and collected until we figure out what's going on with the embies.

Now I'm off to watch my shiny new "Twilight" DVD. Mmmm, vampires.

Our very own Elite 8

Surely keeping in mind this weekend's NCAA basketball schedule, the doctor retrieved 8 eggs this morning -- right about what we thought. Hooray! I'm feeling pretty good -- the anesthesia was fabulous -- and am all set in my Six Feet Under cocoon for the day. We're thinking good thoughts for our little embryos, being created as we speak. We'll hear more tomorrow morning.

Thanks for all of the kind notes this week -- it made me a little teary-eyed this morning to think of all the good thoughts coming our way.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twiddling my thumbs

Well, not really. I'm actually really excited about tomorrow's retrieval -- maybe too excited. I've been trying really hard to stay on an even keel this week, and every time I swing too far one way or the other (particularly towards the positive) I start to get worried. It's the whole jinx thing.

Anyway, today has been full of fun work hijinks. My boss is in town from the East Coast (of course -- had to be this week), and we're going to dinner tonight. She knows I'm having some sort of "procedure" tomorrow, but the whole thing is a little awkward. Also awkward has been telling my team that I'll be out -- I think I'm usually a pretty cool boss, but I feel like I'm pulling the whole "personal life is none of your business" card. I'm probably not coming across that way, but you know how when you're going through something you assume that everyone notices every little thing, even though they have their own lives and haven't given it a second thought? That's me today.

And finally, my ta-tas are totally out of control. As much as I'd love to be pregnant in two weeks, I'm a little terrified about what that might mean for my poor, sore, already DD-sized girls. At least they're balanced out by my fleshy bruisy tummy.

Is this what they mean by hourglass figure?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trigger tonight!

Just heard from Ye Olde Fertility Clinic that tonight's the night -- at 9:00 to be exact. Retrieval is at 9:00 on Thursday morning. I've never been so excited to have a camera and a needle simultaneously up my hoo-hoo! Thank God for anesthesia.

Probably the best news I've had today is that tomorrow will be both wand and needle-free! Whatever will I do with myself?

Baa! (and a Day 10 update)

Thanks to everyone who's been leaving encouraging comments -- it's so great to know that there are people out there rooting for my follies! I'm incubating away today, and waiting to hear back after my ultrasound and bloodwork this morning whether we're triggering tonight or tomorrow. Curiously, the Mr. opted to join me again for the wanding today. I can't figure him out sometimes. Maybe he's done reading all of the magazines in the waiting room.

Anyhoo, the acupuncture doctor tells us that the Mr. is supposed to eat lots of lamb this week before he gives his, um, specimen. Why? I don't know. I made a batch of lamb meatballs on Sunday (yum!) and we're planning on grilling up some lamb chops tonight. I'd actually never cooked lamb before this week, and I'm not entirely sure what I think. I always feel a little queasy about lamb -- it tastes good and all, but I can't ever seem to get this Simpsons episode out of my mind. ("Liiisssa, I thought you loooooved me. Looooved me!")

Sigh. Something tells me I'm eating vegetarian tonight.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 9 Update

Sorry for not coming up with more entertaining titles for my posts.....all of my energy seems to be focused on managing the big round bloat-o-rama that is my belly. And studded with a couple of nice injection bruises....SEXY! Convenient that this IVF thing doesn't actually involve having sex.

So, another morning with the wand. Lead follie is at 22, but there are a bunch clustered at 14 and 15, so I think they're going to wait for those at the possible expense of the big one.

The most entertaining part of the morning was that the Mr. decided that he wanted to come in for the ultrasound (since apparently I've made the whole process sound so alluring and fun). First of all, I'm not sure he'd ever seen a table with stirrups before, which elicited a gasp. Gasp number two came when the tech did the double-gel-and-con.dom routine over the wand. I lost track of the gasps after that, but he was all blushing and sheepish when it was over. I don't think he'll be joining me tomorrow. What a wuss -- it wasn't even that bad today.

I'm totally getting flowers tonight, though. Or at least the dishwasher emptied. You've got to work it when you can!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 8 Update

Things were hopping this morning at the clinic....must be a big week for people cycling. My ovaries were hopping as well -- 4 big follies on the left, and 10 on the right. The biggest ones are at about 17. I've got another u/s tomorrow, and our pre-op appointment for the retrieval (which I can only imagine involves signing a bunch of scary forms).

I'm really starting to feel it today -- really bloaty and sore. I did a stupid thing yesterday and went to the gym. I've pretty much been feeling like ass since then.

Lesson learned -- I am spending the rest of today horizontal with Nate, David and Claire.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Hello to anyone who might be wandering over here for IComLeavWe! It's my first one -- very exciting. I'm looking forward to getting to know so many of you through your blogs!

My story in a nut shell: I'm 33, have been happily married to my husband for 5 years, the last 2.5 of which have been a little less happy as we've struggled with trying to get pregnant. We're currently going through our first IVF cycle, which seemed the best course of action given our male factor issues. I have a high-stress job, which I've mostly avoided talking about here and which makes all of the appointment-juggling a bit challenging. But most of the time, I feel very blessed to be able to be doing something to make our most fervent wish a reality.

Other things you'll see on this blog -- talk of food, shopping, wine (at least for a little while longer) and the occasional American Idol episode. It can't be all-IVF all the time!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fabulous Food Friday, Round 2

Tonight we are substituting one ritual for another -- sushi Friday for the Family Birthday Ritual. Well, at least my side of the family. We're headed here:

Ah, Benihana. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.


fruity drink in a Buddha


smoking onion volcano (and yes, we've tried this at home)


unlimited quantities of ginger and spicy mustard sauces,
always guaranteed to throw you into a sodium coma


a pile of lobster, scallops and shrimp for $32.95

I think you can get the picture. I am an unabashed lover of all things Benihana.

And I can't wait until 8:00!

Day 6 Update

Major hijinks at this morning's wand-o-rama. To start with, the tech couldn't find my ovaries OR my uterus, so had to call in reinforcements. Then they found my uterus, but it had taken so long that my bladder had filled up again, so they had me run across the hall to pee with a paper gown wrapped around my waist. Then I got double-teamed with one tech wanding me, and the other pushing down on my abdomen (I don't need to tell anyone who's been through this process how good THAT feels) to see if we could move things around a bit and see some hot hot ovary action.

The good news: we could. And it looks like we've got 3 on the left and 5-7 on the right. I'll know more once they call with the bloodwork, but at least we didn't get cancelled this morning.

Oh, and the tech told me that I can expect some cramping today, since they were so, um, thorough in their examination. Awesome! Thank God for Tylenol.

UPDATE: E2 level is 723. Dr. thinks there are probably more follies we can't see because of my uniquely placed parts. Retrieval could be Thursday or Friday.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I went shopping after work yesterday, purportedly to buy a birthday present, but come on. How could I not buy something for myself? I am on pins and needles here, people!

What did I score? My favorite bra, in 3 different colors, for $15 at Nordstrom Rack. So I bought all 3, of course. And a couple in bigger sizes, since the girls appear to be responding to the stims even if my ovaries are not. (I swear, any life event is accompanied by my bo.obs getting bigger. I think they are growing right now because I am talking about them.)

I feel better now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


That's how I feel after this morning's ultrasound. My right ovary will still not come out to play, and they only saw 2 follies (12 and 9) on the left side. My E2 level was OK (261), and the doctor is still optimistic, but they're upping my Go.nal-F from 225 to 300 and the doctor used the dreaded "C" word (as in, Convert to IUI). Not as something he necessarily thought was likely to happen, but something that we might want to think about. Because apparently the first time we thought about IUI and rejected the possibility due to male factor issues was apparently not enough! Anyway, it's back in the stirrups on Friday, so we'll know more then.

I'm trying to stay even-keeled about this -- I've only done 4 days of stims, it's early and they can still play with my doses, and the E2 seems to indicate that my right ovary is doing SOMETHING. Plus, I feel very different on Day 4 than I did on Day 2, which gives me hope that things will get cooking even more before Day 6.

I guess most of all, I feel like a big wuss getting all worked up about today's appointment -- I mean, this is nothing compared to how the two-week wait (if I'm lucky enough to get there) is going to feel.

I think I need to, as the Mr. would say, "sack up."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Side Effects

Not too much to report in the Barefoot household. We continue to stim away (with much less bloody results, thankfully), and will know after tomorrow's wand-o-rama just how things are going in there. It feels like stuff is going on.....but that could be the spicy enchiladas.

On a lighter note, has anyone else noticed just how many side effects (or, as the brochures like to call them, "adverse events") the packaging on all of the meds lists? They've got it all covered, from the short term (hot flashes) to the long term (ovarian cancer). Honestly, I'd be willing to believe that I could wake up with a second head tomorrow. And I love all of the stickers on the prescription bottles: eat with food, don't chew, may cause dizziness, do not operate heavy machinery, don't dispense to other patients, etc. It's kind of awesome.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Amateur Hour

So, we started stims last night. I have to admit, I didn't really go into it with the best attitude -- I'd attended a family baby shower earlier in the day, and sat across from someone who basically spent the whole party complaining about how hard it is to have a newborn. I know, I know -- it IS hard (as I hope to find out someday), but it was a little difficult in the moment to see past the Lu.pron and the pre-stims anxiety. On the plus side, there was really good cake.

Anyway, back to the stims. My pre-game thinking: "Wow, those Lu.pron shots have been kind of a breeze, this should be no big deal." Um, yeah. I started with the Lu.pron, just to get things rolling, and managed to hit a blood vessel and bleed all over the place. Not so smooth. Then, a little rattled, we spent 20 minutes trying to figure out if we were mixing the Re.pronex correctly. I'm still not entirely sure, but it seemed to work out. And finally, I came within about a 1/2 inch of impaling myself in the eye with the Go.nal-F pen while trying to "prime" it for its first usage. I'm really not very good with this stuff, apparently.

And now I've had a raging headache for the last 24 hours. Ah, Tylenol, how I love you.

On the bright side, the wonderful Mr. surprised me with this little gift yesterday:

Probably my favorite TV series ever. Definitely my favorite series finale ever. It's nice to have 63 hours of distraction on tap for the next few weeks. Although who am I kidding, I'll probably be done before we get to retrieval.

(Thinking good thoughts here for Carrie, who had her retrieval this morning. Hope all went well!)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fabulous Food Friday

In an effort to lighten things up a bit around here, I thought it might be fun to start a little Friday tradition. I'm going to call it Fabulous Food Friday because, well, I like alliteration. I can't promise that I'll only talk about food on Friday because, well, I eat every day and I really love to do so. More than I should. Like, 20 pounds more than I should.

But I digress.

I can feel my mood lifting as I type because I know I'm just a few short hours away from our Friday night (particularly during Lent) tradition:

YAY SUSHI! Of course, our order usually ends up looking more like this:

.....causing the waitress to inevitably comment about "what good eaters" we are or something vaguely derogatory like that. But we kind of deserve it.

I love our Friday sushi ritual. We always go to the same little place in the strip mall next to Safeway -- it doesn't look like much but the food is so tasty and fresh and it's not quite as highway-robbery-ish as the more scene-y sushi places in town. I know we're going to have to adapt the ritual soon enough -- mmm, avocado maki -- but I'm planning to enjoy it tonight. And I might even have a beer. So crazy!

Anyone out there with their own Friday night (or any other night) food tradition? Dish about it (har har) in the comments.

And happy Friday!

Magical Thinking

I've read a lot of posts in the IF blogosphere about faith, positivity, and magical thinking. They are certainly not totally interchangeable concepts, but there seems to be a common thread in a that all of us facing IF and its aftermath have to deal with a great many things unknown, and process these uncertainties in different ways.

Since today is Friday the 13th, a day usually associated with superstition, the possibility of negative events, and bad horror movies, I've been ruminating a bit about magical thinking. Specifically, I've been thinking about the significance of dates and numbers, and how I've been always been prone to seeing meaning around things happening on a particular day, at a particular time, etc. This tendency of mine has increased since we started trying to make a baby -- it seems like every cycle I've found a reason why this will (or won't) be The One. And every cycle when it doesn't work out, I'm crushed -- not that I wouldn't be anyway, but this just seems to add another layer.

And this cycle is no different -- we started BCP on Valentine's Day, and could find out that we're pregnant on Easter Sunday. How could I not obsess over that? Because wouldn't it be JUST SO PERFECT if we could tell our little bebe that he/she was "conceived" on Valentine's Day (I know, not technically true, but it makes a really good story, dammit!), and then every Easter we can remember how great it was to find out we were pregnant, blah blah blah? Aaargh! I know that every minute I spend thinking about it is another extra hour/day/month I'm going to feel shitty about a negative result.

And yet, I can't help myself. I really WANT to think positively about this cycle, too see connections, to sense significance. I yearn to be a "normal" trying-to-get-pregnant person -- I have no idea what that actually is, but in my convoluted little brain I imagine it being a little like the giddiness of falling in love. But the second I start to feel just a teeny bit hopeful I'm terrified, like an architect who designs a building without a 13th floor, that I'm jinxing myself.

And THEN, I wonder if by posting it all on my blog, I've somehow reversed the jinx.

Maybe the Lu.pron is giving me the crazy even more than I thought.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Adventures in Injectables, Part 2

As if Tuesday's experience wasn't enough excitement for one week, last night I got to shoot up in the parking lot of a school. Thank goodness there were no small children around.

I think I'm going to have to up the ante next week -- maybe on the train on the way home from work? On the treadmill? On a videoconference? The possibilities are endless.

No symptoms ARE good symptoms

Got wanded this morning (by the tech AND the doc -- what a slut!), and we're good to go. My ovaries were playing hide-and-seek, and my uterus was "quite mobile," and apparently my large intestine kept getting in the way (maybe because of the Taco Bell bean burrito I had for dinner at 9:30 last night?), but somehow it was decided that things were as they should be.

I did have this crazy moment of panic -- what if, after all this, it turns out I have no ovaries and they're just noticing now? Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants. Or abdomen. When someone tells you that they're "an expert at finding ovaries" and then can't find yours, you start to wonder. But they found 'em.

So I start stims on Saturday. I suspect they will have NO problem finding the not-so-little buggers next time.

(Thanks for all of the kind words in the comments! It makes it so much easier knowing that there are women out there facing the same crazy hurdles.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No symptoms are good symptoms?

I've now been on Lu.pron for about a week, and go in for my baseline ultrasound tomorrow (I swear, that lucky little camera sees way more of me than my husband does these days). For the first few days, I experienced what politely can be described as "anger management issues" (I think my husband would term it "raging bitchitude"), along with some fatigue and what seemed like a 20 degree decrease in my body temperature.

But the last couple of days? Other than the adrenaline rush of shooting up in the single-stall bathroom of an L.A. hotspot, nada. So of course I'm panicked that things aren't working as they should. Maybe it's because I'm off the pills and just on the injections? Maybe I've just gotten used to feeling a little off? I just don't know.

Maybe it's because my ovaries CANNOT BE SUPPRESSED. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Off to LA

Lu.pron? Check.
Syringes? Check.
Cold storage bag and ice pack? Check.
Note from the doctor for the TSA? Check.
High likelihood that I'm going to have to shoot up in the bathroom at a work dinner tomorrow night? Check.

And who said business travel wasn't fun?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Soooo tie-tie

I slept 10 hours Friday night, passed out for an hour at acupuncture on Saturday, slept another 10 hours last night, and took a nap this afternoon. Why am I so tired? I just can't figure it oujskhbfkjnsfzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Saturday, March 7, 2009

In Praise of the Mr.

I don't know if I can blame it on the drugs, but I had a bad attitude yesterday. And unfortunately, rather than taking it out on the people at work who put me there (never a good idea in an imploding economy, I guess), I took it out on Mr. Barefoot.

And then he brought me these:

I'm such an a-hole. But an a-hole with good taste in men, apparently.

Friday, March 6, 2009

In praise of the Yummie Tummie

I hope no one minds a brief detour into product shilling. (Obviously, with my 8 blog posts, me and my big bad internet presence are not getting compensated for this.) But I just have to say that I am in love. In love with the fact that my love handles (or, if you prefer, muffin tops) are gone. And those were some big muffins.

I am speaking of the Yummie Tummie. Specifically, the long black tank. Yes, it was expensive, but I set aside a few bucks before the beginning of this process to buy a few grapefruit-ovary-disguising items. I am wearing it right now with a sweater I haven't been able to wear in months, because it was a little too tight and I was a little embarassed by the visible bulge on my backside. I have been feeling so bloated and chunky and blah since starting the infertility diagnostic process (part of this I blame on Clomid, but most of it I blame on emotional eating), and while I'm not saying I look 20 pounds lighter or anything, I do feel kinda hot.

Maybe it's the Lu.pron. But I think I might order another color today.....

What a prick

Actually, it wasn't anything compared to the prick I got giving 13 vials of blood for my pre-IVF workup. But that did not stop the Barefoot household from getting geared up for the drama. Husband was grinning like an idiot, I was reading the instructions for the fifth time, and even the cats were looking up from the kitchen floor. You can tell what an exciting life we all lead, since this was front-page news.

All in all, though, it was pretty anticlimactic. The only weird part was after I stuck the needle in -- I didn't really quite know what to do with myself. No pain, though, and no side effects other than a mild headache which I've had all week.

I did hint to the Mr., as we were watching Tatiana Del Toro's predictably dramatic exit from American Idol, that that could be me in a few days. He's pretty fired up.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

And we're off!

We've got the green light to start Lu.pron tonight. Will be back with all of the gory details...if survive.

Not that I'm being overly dramatic or anything.

I hope no one's planning to steal my lunch

Because if they take the lunch bag labeled with my name in the office fridge, they will find a big, cold bottle of Ovi.drel. And a syringe. (Ah, the joys of having refrigerated meds delivered to the office.)

Bon appetit!

Awww, my very first wait!

I am currently in the midst of what I hope will be many, many waits this month. I'm waiting for the nurse to call me back to let me know that I can start suppression injections tonight. The tech had trouble finding my ovaries this morning -- she seemed to think this was a good sign, since any cysts would be very clearly visible. I could have done with a little less rooting around my hoo-hoo, but I guess I'd better get used to it.

And incidentally, how the hell can these people tell what they're looking at? She was pointing out my intestines, and I was all like "I'll have to take your word for it."

Now get the camera out of my hoo-hoo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not Helping My Mental State

The unholy triangle of my clinic*, my insurance company, and the seemingly incompetent mail order pharmacy they are forcing me to use to order my meds. Will they arrive on time? Stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting installment.

*My clinic's actually pretty great. But I think I've already used up all of my high maintenance patient points on this little issue.

Monday, March 2, 2009

On "Being Good to Yourself"

One of the pieces of advice I've read many times on IVF blogs, in IVF books, and basically anywhere having to do with IVF, is "be good to yourself" during treatments.

Now, everyone has a different definition of being good to themselves. Sadly, some of the things I really enjoy (see booze post below) and which would normally be a treat will be off-limits. Also, it feels risky in this brave new economy to be spending money on ANYTHING frivolous, but I still think it's going to be important to my mental well-being to indulge from time to time. With that in mind, I'm planning to do at least a little of each of these things over the next few weeks:

--Get massages (they're not just for reproductive organs anymore!)
--Buy a few nice, roomy pieces of clothing to hide my soon-to-be-grapefruit-sized ovaries
--Carve out time for some low-key exercise (lots of walking, I imagine)
--Put together a movie renting and watching strategy for my days post retrieval and transfer
--Snuggle with my kittehs

(I also have in the back of my mind that I'd like to plan a short, relaxing getaway if the results of this whole science experiment are not positive. But I'm trying to keep that thought in the very very back of my mind.)

For anyone out there going through similar stuff, what are you doing to keep yourself as close to your happy place as possible?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Last Boozy Weekend

One of the things any infertile will tell you is what a mindf*** this whole process is. It's actually twenty different kinds of mindf***s, but today I'm just going to focus on one. I call it the "maybe this is the last time we'll ever...." mindf***.

I can't tell you how many times over the last two years one of the following things have either come out of my mouth or gone through my mind:

"Maybe this is the last time I'll have my period for a year!" (yeah, right)
"Maybe this is the last time we'll go on vacation without worrying about our kids!"
"Maybe this is the last time we'll go to Disneyland without having to ride Dumbo!"
"Maybe this is the last Christmas/Easter/Halloween/St. Patrick's Day/Flag Day that it will be just the two of us!"
"Maybe this is the last time I'll be eating sushi/soft cheese/deli meat/paint chips for a loooong time!"

And perhaps my personal favorite:

"Maybe we should open that second bottle of Pinot, since I may not be able to drink for much longer!"

Let's just say we've been through a lot of bottles of Pinot. I know, I know, the doctor suggested I cut down, but how can I help it when THIS MIGHT BE THE LAST BOTTLE EVER?!?!?

So, while we didn't exactly binge this weekend, let's just say that with Lu.pr.on shots beginning later this week, I did not pass up any opportunities to enjoy my beloved fruit of the vine to its fullest extent. Will I swear it off completely during this process? Probably not. But it won't be the same. Oh, the injustice of it all!

But as any infertile will tell you, I'd give up all of the Pinot in the world (and, OK, all of the sushi, rollercoasters, and kid-free vacations) for a little peanut.

The Joy of Needles

One of the interesting little detours I've taken along this crazy infertility road is to the acupuncturist. I'd read some research showing that having acupuncture treatments before and after retrieval and transfer can increase blood flow to your lady parts and thus enhance one's chances of a) popping a good number of quality, mature eggs, and b) having the embryos implant after transfer. Do I believe this? Well, yes....and maybe no.

The bottom line is that it doesn't really matter. I tried acupuncture for the first time and was immediately hooked. First of all, there's something strangely seductive about the fact that I know NOTHING about how Chinese medicine works -- after all of the doctor visits of the last two years, and all of the endless research, and all of the questions I've thrown at all of the doctors and nurses I've encountered, it's nice to kind of just let it all go. Secondly, the treatments are just so effing relaxing that I don't particularly care how they work. The needles burn a little teeny bit going in, and then I am off to my happy floaty place. If all these treatments do is provide me with 30 minutes of floaty sanctuary every week during this process, they are worth every penny.

Yesterday, before my fourth treatment, I experienced the wonder of a "reproductive organ massage". While this definitely does not sound like something one should be able to pay for with one's flexible spending account, and definitely was not as interesting as my husband THOUGHT it was going to be, it was both weird and wonderful. I get "regular" massages pretty frequently, so have pretty much seen (felt?) it all, but this was totally different. I have never had my, um, midsection massaged quite so thoroughly. And the scalp and neck massage (not sure how this fits into the "reproductive organ" theme, but see previous paragraph about knowing nothing and not minding one bit) -- I almost slipped the guy a couple of twenties to keep on going. And then, the needles after that.....heaven. Floaty heaven.

All I can say is: with all this attention, my ovaries and ute had better step up! In the meantime, I'm going to keep getting needled and loving it.