Posts Tagged ‘fertility treatment’

Beeker on the Brain


   

It’s almost 1:00 on a Saturday. The day to get stuff done, buy stuff, clean stuff, and complete stuff. So far all I have done is show the unannounced roofer where the leaks were in my ceiling. In my pajamas. Lucky him.  

"My first job today, the girl answered the door in her pajamas! Doh!"

I have seriously wasted half of my day looking for a physical copy of a book on writing training materials. I want it NOW. I have a project that I am working on for work, and although I have a plan and have started research, I thought it would be nice to have a guide. With the exception of ordering online, I cannot find a book ANYWHERE on writing training manuals, writing course materials, etc? The books in the stores get as specific as how to negotiate buying a car at 2:34 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, but they snub the person trying to develop something as common as a textbook or course material. It makes about as much sense as Homer and his pal drinking beer while on a roof. ( I did that once, on my 21st birthday. It ended in injury.)  

I also turned my Lupron alarm off this morning and went back to bed, which means I missed my shot and ended up taking it a few hours late. Is this OK? I was in such a hurry then that I injected it cold, sans the time it usually takes to warm up to room temp out of the fridge. I waited for the possible seizure or anaphylactic shock, but thankfully nothing happened! I’m a mess today. I feel like between starting a new job (which I love) and trying to prepare my uterus for a new tenant, that I end up wasting any time in which I am not required to be working or in stirrups. Here are some ways in which I wasted my spare (not that there was an excess of it) time this week:  

  • I killed a few brain cells by actually watching Jerseylicious. If this is not the most monumental waste of a production crew then I am loath to see what comes out next.    

    Tacky is as Tacky Does

  •  I made homemade ice cream even though I did not have any heavy whipping cream. Beeker from The Muppets would have even been appalled.
  •  I spent an hour looking for a type of book at Barnes and Noble that I knew they did not have.
  •  I read the nasty comments that people wrote online about my past employer on www.jobvent.com. (No, I did not contribute, but it sure was fun!)
  •  I sat in my car outside my house to finish listening to an NPR interview
  •  I spent over an hour trying on clothes for my first day of work and ended up wearing the first thing I picked out

And then there is this post. See, I have been thinking about an interesting phenomenon that I discussed with my friends at their cafe the other day. WHY do we get so much done on the days when we have work, school, errands, etc, but then we do not get anything of merit accomplished when we actually have a day to ourselves? I had some really lofty plans set aside for today and instead I found myself searching Google Images  for a picture of Beeker. (I found a plethora, BTW)   

I am actually kind of miffed at myself because I cannot afford to do this. I can’t afford to miss my shot in the morning. I mean, this is important. Anyone who has gone through IVF knows that you have to stay organized and on top of your game. You can’t watch bitches in hooker shoes battling over whose jungle party was junglier, and you can’t have Beeker on the brain. Does this mean I am just getting used to being on a fertility regiment since it has been so long? I used to have my protocol taped to the fridge and emblazoned on my brain. And it has to be that way, because it is a time consumptive and precise process. What will I be like on the weekends once my baby is actually here? I have waited for him / her so long that I may end up just holding them and starting at them all day in pure bliss that they are finally here.  So, having expressed this sentiment, I now have to go organize my IVF binder, do some research for my course so it kicks ass, and stop wasting your time with a pointless blog post.  

Have a SAFE and PRODUCTIVE Labor Day weekend!  

Peace and Love,  

S  

  

Keep Truckin’


Last summer I was really grateful to have been invited into a 48 hour film festival group by some friends. Hearing about the project, I was ecstatic because it was right up my alley – but I felt intimidated that I would be joining a group of people that I did not know and sharing my ideas openly. They didn’t know me – would they wonder where I came from and why I was invading their project?

It was not that way at all – these people were fantastic. I got to work on a film project with some trained professionals who opened their doors to me and allowed me to participate. And there were others like me, who just wanted to contribute. It was a memorable experience because it was open. What I mean is that it was welcoming and free. My friend introduced me as someone who acts and writes to a group of people who, for most part, actually went to film school, but they did not judge me. They gave me a place on their team immediately, and gave me a part in their film. I really got to see how it’s “all done” – the lighting, the filming, the editing and camaraderie. It was a blast – to watch people work so hard together just because they have a passion for what they are doing. For what they were collectively creating, and for all the effort and joy that was put in behind the scenes.

That was almost a year ago. I remember that I was trying to work out schedules at the time so someone would be home for my first fertility drug delivery. I was so thrilled to be moving to the “big gun” fertility treatment and was calculating when I would be due, how fun it would be to be pregnant over Christmas, how long before I needed to start shopping at maternity stores, etc. How time flies; now we have lived another year and undergone 3 IUIs and a partial IVF cycle. Not pregnant yet. So much for the best laid plans.

Back to the film project, it seems some of last year’s crew has disassembled. People have obligations and teams don’t just magically unite when you want them to. So my friends that brought me into the group last year decided we should still do it. After all, we have someone who can do the filming and editing, who actually went to school for it – we have someone who is organized and can see the big picture without forsaking the little ones, and we have someone who can write and act. We are pretty jazzed because we have decided to create something. We have decided to keep going even though it will be more difficult, and we are not even really looking at it that way. It gets me thinking, it’s the same premise with the fertility treatment. Here is where I am going to get a bit campy and cliche. Sorry. But sometimes there is a lesson to be learned in keeping your head down and forging ahead. (I know, I did not want to admit it, either.) When I was about 5, we lived in the same neighborhood as my grandmother. Walking to grandma’s house was always a joy -no doubt there would be a hot cup of cocoa in the winter and the basket full of toys she kept waiting for us grandkids. But she lived at the top of a fairly large hill – and my legs were those of an inpatient little girl. Getting up the hill, I used to dramatically drag my feet and whine to my dad, “I’m tired, I’m thirsty, I’m this that and the other…” And dad would remind me what was at the top of the hill and he would always say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going, Sarah!” Reminds me of what my brother wrote in our guest book when we got married – “Congratulations. Keep Truckin’!”

I have had times since then when I have been really tough. Pulled through some scary situations. And other times when I just wanted to be 5 again and give up, which I did. And I know it sounds really cheesy, but your mother was dead on when she told you that if everything came easily you would not appreciate it as much. Some gifts just find their way to you, and others have layers of circumstance that you have to peel away, slowly, methodically, over time. You have no idea how the story will turn out, but it develops as you go along, regardless of what you thought you’d write.  So yes – it has been a year and I am still waiting. But I am closer – much, much closer. And while I wait, I can create in other ways. The best plots are the ones where you wait in suspense, and then you find your story revealed. And it’s better than you ever imagined.

Santa! I know him!


I need to laugh. I desperately need something or someone to light a firecracker on my funny bone and make me cry silent tears of hysteria. Before that, I am taking just one, guiltless moment to whine about being sick of having to force patience into my daily repertoire. I found out today that, after injecting myself with powders and saline and eye-of-newt, counting down the days of May with bated breath, and finally getting to the point where I believed the stick would turn – aha! One line to two! – I get postponed another month before we can finish this IVF cycle. Come on, now! I know a month is like the blink of an ant’s eye in the grand scheme, but I was not born with that patience virtue. Being on Earth and having to go about life I have tried to mimic it, but I don’t enjoy being patient. It’s like sitting in the hot sun waiting for a bus. Nodding off at your desk and its only 1:00. Waiting for Direct TV to show up between 10:00 am and when Hell freezes over. But I have had to be very patient – I was patient for two years recovering from a nasty illness. And I have been patient now, waiting for my baby. But I need for once to just be an indulgent girl and say that I don’t want to wait another four or five weeks to keep going. It’s more limbo. It’s not the end of the World, it’s just annoying.

So I really need to laugh. I need to share things with you that make me bust out laughing. Some things are just pretty much always amusing. Hmmm…..Will Farrell in Elf is just funny. The scene when Santa comes.Yes, it’s June, but please just watch his face. You might pee yourself a little. If you don’t think he is twisted and funny, you need to keep watching until you see it.

I am feeling so much better. Going to have to keep sharing the love. This next kid puts a massive smile on my face.

It’s a shame that YouTube does not have any good clips of SNL Jeopardy – especially with Sean Connery. I now find myself having wasted well over an hour watching YouTube and Hulu, and I feel much better. It can just be frustrating to realize that you have not been living in the moment, which is so important yet so difficult to maintain. I think the best that we can do is to just stop and try to enjoy what’s going on now as often as we can remember – even if what’s going on now is being able to sleep in late on the weekends, read an outstanding book, or just trying to find ways to laugh. There really are so many things that I have been rushing, or sometimes even just avoiding, because I am almost living from one appointment at my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist for those of you not trying to reproduce) to the next. It always feels one scan or one shot away from The Beginning of The End.  If you follow this blog because you are in this process, or getting ready to start it, stay hopeful and remember it’s a journey before a destination. If you can write about it, laugh about it, or try to learn from it while your on the hike, you might be doing yourself a really huge service. I guess sometimes it’s easier to give stellar advice than to follow it. But if it gets too huge and the waiting is just too much, take a day off work and off the hamster wheel and try to just enjoy a moment of relaxation – even it’s just a moment.

The New Fertility Frenzy


I am just going to start by saying that, yes, I do have a subscription to Marie Claire magazine. But it’s not what you think. I have one to National Geographic, as well. Marie Claire was offered to me for $5.95 a year, and I like it when people send me things in the mail. Not that I am insulting readers of Marie Claire. It’s just that it is kind of like Cosmopolitan trying to dress up like a cultural advocate of women’s global issues. Printing an article about the plight of young prostitutes in a third world country back to back with the diet and dating secrets of a 17-year-old icon just feels wrong. 

I don’t hold a grudge against Marie Claire. I like to leaf through it just like any other girl and figure out which models have been airbrushed. (Spoiler Alert: All of Them) But as I thumbed through it tonight, I saw an article called “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Contraception.” I thought I would take a gander at what single girl’s are doing these days; maybe there is some new, exotic contraception out there in the ten years since I have been on the scene. I was ready for a cool new pharmaceutical name like “Fertprotrex,” or “Spermishield.” But the article began with your standard “condoms and birth control pills,” and then do you know what the author did? She played the old switcharoo, “you better start to worry about your fertility because ALL YOUR EGGS ARE DYING.”  This is an article geared towards 20 somethings and it just has to take a trip down media-scare lane! I also love that the naked girl leaning on a huge cryopreservation tank is wearing only a huge Sex-In-The-Cityesque necklace and bracelet, and is probably about 23 years old. Do you think she is worried about her diminishing ovarian reserve? Not likely. And what about the young woman who is actually struggling with this issue due to medical issues? Do you think this girl feels trivialized now? Just a little bit? I don’t think I am being over PC when I say that I bet she does. 

The article says that “By age 30, almost 90% of a woman’s eggs are gone. By age 40, a full 97% have disappeared.”* Do you know how long this statistic haunted me as a woman having trouble conceiving past the age of 30? I know it is something to consider, but don’t you think we should also consider that we are born with between 4 and 7 million eggs? I just feel like the media makes a potentially difficult situation into a catastrophic dilemma. Or is the new age of career first, baby later going to cost us? Does the media tell us in one ear that we should go after the CEO brass ring, and in the other warn us that the baby dolls we nurtured as little girls were an exercise in futility?  There is a doctor who states in this article that she thinks 3o is a good age to consider having an ovarian biopsy. Meaning, if you are 30 and single, you should cut out part of your ovary and freeze it. Then, when you are ready to start a family, you can re-attach it onto the ovary. This way, as you look more like mama from Mama’s Family and less like Carmen Electra, your eggs will stay plump and healthy. Please don’t misunderstand me – I am in the throws of something as drastic as IVF and I would do it again in a flash. But where does being proactive end and being cajoled begin? 

Just one more thing before I get off my soapbox. I think I may be over-reacting to the Marie Claire article because other media sources have gotten me peevy. About a year ago I bought a book called, “Getting Pregnant.” Naively, I assumed this tome would tell me how to become with child. But most of it was what Meredith on “Grey’s Anatomy” might refer to as the “Dark and Twisties.”  Chapter after bone chilling chapter listed all of the reasons why I am NOT finding the second line of the pee-stick appear. If you are also getting inpatient with peeing on your hand to no avail, let me save you $16.95. ($21.99 for the poor schmucks in Canada who pay more for everything.) 

Your Culprits May Be: 

  • You are suffering from an immune disorder, scar tissue, an odd inflammatory condition, or thyroid condition. No?
  • Your partner’s sperm are dead beats
  • You have contracted an STD at some point in your life. Was it the toilet seat at that concert that you accidentally sat on?
  • You are abusing drugs
  • You are too fat. You are too thin. (As If)
  • You are stressed

    Occupational Hazard

  • Your workplace is constantly exposing you to radiation, low-oxygenated air, bad AC, bad heat, and chemical pollutants 
  • It’s your computer monitor
  • It’s the climate you live in
  • It’s your kitchen – too much heat while cooking
  • It’s a mystery and you will never, never, never know

See what I mean? I have determined that the best thing we can do for our fertility is to limit our exposure to the media. Of course we should take charge of our bodies and our health – and this means to self educate – but let’s not allow a magazine article or one book to strike fear in our hearts.  Because even though time does keep marching on, the strongest factor I believe we can concentrate on is our minds and our dreams…and the course of our journey. 

*Marie Claire, July 2010, Pg. 169

Big plans, little ovary


Ovaries are kind of small. I mean, they’re not miniscule, but they are not a big ol’ organ. They sit nice and quietly, and then each month they take turns revealing their beautiful Egg Of The Month. Unlike the Testes (is that where sperm are produced? I don’t know, I have enough to worry about with my own lady business), who spew out millions and millions of sperms with no care to quality or appearance, the ovary chooses just one lead little egg to be nourished and released when ready. And I am in no way knocking sperm, it’s just that half of them either have two heads, swim in circles, have mini tails, or are just lazy asses.  

  Anyway, that describes what is “supposed” to happen with the ovary. That is not my scenario, so I get to pump mine up like Hans and Frans to get lots of eggs at a time. Which brings me back around to the beginning – ovaries are not that big. When you ovulate normally, you know that you can sometimes feel it. It can hurt, or just cramp, or make you bloated, or just really pissed. (or, in my case, really, really happy.) So, now, picture your little ovary with 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more eggs growing on it. IT FEELS LIKE ALIENS ARE TRYING TO BUILD A COLONY INSIDE OF YOU. You know when you go to Ikea and they have that model 560 square foot house? And it’s REALLY full? There you go. So, now you are walking around town with a whole population of eggs on your ovaries, and you feel it. I am uncomfortable, yet so happy & excited. Unless I get pissed – then I go from Bloated & Happy to Bloated & Unhappy.  

   

 
 

Why, hello there!

 

Piss Off!!!

 

 HeeHee. But seriously, it is pretty cool. Below are some pictures of ovaries, normal and stimmed: (pulled from online)

This is your ovary

This is your ovary on drugs

   See? So I am really full. I think the folks at work think something might be wrong with me. Lately I think I have started walking like House without his cane. I pee constantly because my bladder is caught between growing continents. I eat real fast and then make a little moaning noise because it feels like my food can’t find my stomach. I also smile a lot. I am excited and hopeful, and have big plans for these little eggs.                                             

 

  

 

Stupid is as stupid does?


The past couple of days I have been losing my edge. Mentally, I am just a bit….dulled. I think it must be the hormones, because my mind just has not been connecting the dots between the filter and the mouth. Also, small things have begun to either irritate or confuse me. Point in case: What the Hell does “Stupid is as stupid does” mean? My brain breaks it down, a stupid act is a sign of stupidity. I just don’t know. I mean, I get what Forrest’s mama meant. Kind of. And only recently has this compounded my brain, because I think the shots are rendering me stupid.

I was talking to a virtual stranger the other day. No, wait. A total stranger. And in the midst of conversation it just flew from my mouth like a bat out of Hell….”yadda, yadda, yadda….because I am going through fertility treatment.” This poor stranger, who knew me for about 2 and half minutes, was stupefied. I was mortified. Why would I say something so personal like this to Aunt Pearls’ sister’s best friend’s niece? (You get my drift.) Things just pop out and I only have so much say as to when.

This lack of filtration may be viewed by others as stupidity, but I am actually starting to liken it to Mr. Gump. He was very wise, and always spoke the truth, right? So maybe women’s hormones are just the anti-bullshit serum. Maybe we only have small amounts of these in our day-to-day because our brilliance and inability to not say that thing that we know is true is there so that people can stand to be around us – maybe my filter defect is just that I do not have time for crap. Interesting. I love saying true things. It’s FUN! Oooh, I have the perfect clip. Sum it up for me, Ray!

So, I guess I started this post feeling stupid – and based on the fact that it is fairly non-linear and does not really make a point is proof. But it’s all good. Because that is exactly what my brain is like inside right now. And it’s kind of entertaining. It’s part of the journey.

You, too?


Wow – Since posting this yesterday I have had a good number of people contact me and let me know that they are somewhere in this maze, as well. I had doubted whether I should create a blog about something so personal (and something that requires regular use of the noun Va-Jay-Jay) but now I am so happy that I did. Thanks for sharing.

OK – well, on to today’s fun. I have been reading a lot lately about the 1500 – 1700’s in Europe. It makes me think – throughout history, women have gone through some serious shenanigans over this birthing business. The factoids about how we understood fertility are crazy. The ancient Egyptians created a gender-prediction test that involved peeing on barley – and it was more than 70% accurate! Yet centuries later King Henry VIII beheaded a wife that could not produce a boy. He obviously did not know HIS swimmers determined the sex. But people actually wondered if this was a woman’s downfall, producing girls. So, here are some little baby-making factoids for you.

  • In the seventeenth century, many doctors believed sperm heads contained miniature, fully formed people called homunculi, who would develop into a baby when deposited in the womb.

 Wow. Don’t let your mind linger to long on that one, it becomes disturbing.

  • The first successful artificial insemination via donor sperm occurred in 1884 – without the woman’s knowledge. While performing a “routine exam,” a doctor inseminated his patient with a handsome med student’s sperm. (The book said he was handsome, but there really is no way of knowing now, is there?) He never saw fit to tell the woman, but did eventually inform her infertile husband. Sneaky little bugger.
  • A 1969 Harris poll found more than half of Americans believed that emerging reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood would “encourage promiscuity” and signify “the end of babies being born through love.”
  • Some nineteenth-century physicians believed that infertility was caused by a woman’s “excessive or luxurious living” or by strenuous mental activity such as schooling! “The results are monstrous brains and puny bodies,” a Harvard physician wrote. “The brain cannot take more that it’s share without injury to other organs.”
  • In medieval Europe, tradition held that a man who dreamed of having a son would place a battle-axe under a pillow; at climax, he’d retrieve it and exclaim to his wife: “You must have a boy!” (The wife would then exclaim, “You must have a Xanax!”) If he wanted a daughter, he’d place a hat on his wife’s head and whisper tender words to her.
  • In a 1909 medical journal article about artificial insemination, a doctor maintained that children are formed entirely by the mother’s genetic contribution. He considered it a “scientific fact” that the sperm donor “is of no more importance than the personality of the finger which pulls the trigger of a gun.”
  • In a fertility treatment practiced by ancient Egyptians, a woman would squat over a hot mixture of frankincense, oil, dates, and beer and allow the vapors to enter her. One pregnancy test involved mixing melon puree with the milk of a woman who delivered a boy. If the concoction made the woman sick, she was thought to be pregnant.

What if it didn’t make her sick? Did that ever happen, even once?

Have a good and “productive” weekend! 🙂

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