Friday, January 30, 2009

Looney on L.upron?

I plan on getting up to date on A LOT of blogs this weekend. In the mean time, has anyone ever experienced mood swings on L.upron? I suspect that I was already in a state before taking it and just a little while ago I found myself crying uncontrollably over my dog growling at another dog (which never happens). As soon as Mr. S. gets home, he's going to take one look at me and blame the L.upron, but I suspect it's all of the other things happening, too. Dang, if I respond like this to one day of L.upron, what the heck am I going to be like on all the other medications? I'm so screwed. If I have a job by the end of the month, it'll be a flipping miracle.

What have you ladies done to curb the hormonal nose dives?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


There's this ongoing joke amongst some of us IF girl's Facebook profiles that we've forgotten how to breathe or at least, don't have the time to. It's a leftover tribute to our increasingly annoying and insane mind/body instructor (who I've yet to pay real 'tribute' to, but will soon) after so many stomach turning sessions of her forcing us to meditate on our breath. Sadly, though, it's becoming less and less of a joke for me.

I am so stressed out, I am literally forgetting to breathe. I'm one of those people who keeps audibly sighing throughout the day as an involuntary attempt at getting enough oxygen to my sorely depleted brain. In the middle of stalking my UPS guy who should arrive any minute with the meds I need to begin NOW, I have been shuffling my schedule to acommodate my new part time job (yes, I got it), my multiple appointments for IVF, and the many other obligations I can't imagine having enough daylight for. Jury duty, food poisoning, in-laws staying over, multiple daily meetings, headaches, out-of-town conventions, friends coming in from out-of-state, birthday parties, dinner parties...can I just get a break, world? Will I ever learn how to say no? And worst yet, is all of this stress a possible BFN sentence for my upcoming IVF?

As you can see, there's only so much I can handle on my plate. It's all hunky dory until that last piece gets added and tips the scales. It seemed everything was manageable until a few weeks ago, right around the time I said goodbye to my dog, started my BCPs, and interviewed for the job all in the span of five days. I applied for that job in November and only heard from them mid-January. Great. It was as if the universe knew this was the one and only time I didn't want all of this and then heaped a big helping onto my plate.

I think the worst part of this is the people who keep expecting more and more, whether it be work or otherwise, requiring split second reactions and all of my energy devoted to them when I'm barely keeping my own head above water. I deeply resent it. I need to focus on my own priorities and as most women in this society are custom tailored to do, I automatically feel guilty for letting even a whisper of obligation slip. Well, for the sake of my dreams, for the sake of myself, I think I might be selfish this one time. I think I might say no or not return a phone call at the snap of a finger. There are plenty who won't like it and for that I say, too bad. It's time to finally take a breath.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eight's Quite Enough

Really responsible article about the octuplets in which they completely avoided the 'OMG fertility treatments are the devil!' stance. And better yet, my doc was interviewed...and she rocks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

IVF #1 is officially underway

And in the middle of grief over my sweet dog and nausea from my BCPs, I somehow made it through a job interview this morning, albeit missing some sprigs of coherency. (it's just a part-time gig to supplement IVF costs--that is, if I get it) Nevertheless, the fact that I made it through without crying or retching should earn me a gold medal, no?

By the way, thank you so much to all of you who expressed your condolences. I was so touched and grateful. I love my online buddies!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Farewell Sweet Girl: Kyra, my dog, 1995-2009

Tribute video to Kyra (best on high quality) or watch it here (text is hard to read, though):

Almost eight years ago, Mr. S and I arrived at the humane society in search of a companion for our dog when we found an unlikely candidate. She was a 5-7 year old Australian Shepherd (her age is still somewhat of a mystery) who hadn’t seen a comb in weeks and had been sitting in her cement cell after having been abandoned on the shelter doors almost a month earlier. As soon as we opened the door to our car, she leapt in and didn’t look back. When we cleaned her up, she was beautiful, with a full, shiny multicolored coat. Upon hearing this story, you might think that she was lucky to have gotten a second chance at life, but after saying goodbye to her this Friday night, I can assure you, we were the lucky ones.

She was everything we could’ve hoped for in a dog and more. Within a month of adopting Kyra, we learned that she needed surgery to remove bladder stones, so, as struggling young newlyweds, we embarked on spending everything we had to ensure this. She had a number of health problems throughout her life-reoccurring bladder stones, seizures, but each and every dime we spent was well worth it. She became the calming force our puppy needed. She was the one beside him when he somehow found his way out of the yard. They were two dogs, side-by-side, traveling a cement path to a place we finally found our way to more times than we care to admit. She took it upon herself to be his protector and when they were apart, she became sullen and anxious. They were two peas in a pod and to see them separated makes her absence that much harder to grasp.

Kyra was the epitome of unconditional love, a loving and sweet dog who never used her teeth on anything but treats dropped to the floor. Within ten minutes of teaching her ‘roll over’, ‘shake’ and ‘sit’, she was our star pupil, with a thoughtful intelligence and understanding of language uncommon to most dogs. Along with this intelligence came curiosity. You could never come home with shopping bags without finding Kyra rifling through them with her striped snout.

Sensing her gentility, the cats adored Kyra and always attempted to cuddle with her, but were met with comical indifference every time. She was also a girl who did not like strife. Even when Mr. S and I were playing around, she got upset and tried to get in the middle of it. She stopped this several years later, but I recall being tickled by Jay on our bed, screaming in laughter and suddenly being met in the face with a protective snout.

My dog, Luke, communicates mostly with his tail, but being an Australian Shepherd, Kyra did not have the luxury of a tail (leading us to always ask, "where's your tail, Kyra? go find your tail!"). So, instead, she communicated with her eyes. Kyra had big, beautiful brown puppy dog eyes that gave her more expression than words ever could have. She adored car rides with the windows down and for many years, we called her our speedometer as she would gladly hang her head out of the window for speeds below 50, but anything above, she promptly removed her snout.

Her loyalty to us was unbending. Always underfoot, Kyra never left our side, no matter how tired she was. If I was in the office, Kyra was next to me. If I was in the kitchen, Kyra was next to me. Even during a loud New Year’s Eve party last year, she stayed sleeping in the middle of the living room. I attempted to bring her upstairs, but before I could turn around, she was right back down, sleeping in the middle of us. In her younger years, she consistently greeted us with a buck in the air, which along with her beautiful long nose and knowing eyes, earned her the nickname of ‘noble steed’. Even in her younger years, she would occasionally have the energy to dance for us. While many dogs become grumpy in their old age, Kyra was still the sweet, happy girl we had always known, albeit a little more stubborn, a little slower, and a little more forgetful. Still, even with arthritis, she still found the strength to wrestle with Luke and find her way up and down our many sets of stairs.

Her condition was sudden, in most respects and our goodbye happened only within a matter of hours of learning about her condition. After collapsing on her walk and not having the strength to get up, she was diagnosed with a tumor at the base of her heart, which had by then enlarged and filled with blood. Given the new tumor growths over her body, anemia, and her recent weight loss, it was likely that the cancer had metastasized throughout her body. We could have had more time with her, performing a risky heart operation that could have either ended in her bleeding to death or best case, given us a day or maybe a week, but the same events would have taken place eventually, likely leading to a heart attack. We didn’t want to put her through that or chemotherapy, which at most might have bought us a few months.

By the time we made the decision to say goodbye, she had stabilized somewhat and was able to walk outside and enjoy a cheeseburger with us. She followed us back in to the room and for a dog that we always tried to get to lay on her bed many times without success, she immediately made herself comfortable on the bed made for her without prompting. To see her in better shape was a blessing and a curse. I didn’t want her end to be spent in pain or trauma, but it fooled me into thinking that we had more time with her. In the end, while it was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, it was the right one for her. She passed peacefully in both of our arms, her last vision being Mr. S, the guy she completely adored.

I can now safely say that I feel emotionally gutted, especially as I walk around my empty house and still see the signs that she was just here remain. Her hair is still on the carpet. Luke still looks for her food dish to clean out after his meal. I still listen for her steps down the stairs or think I see her shadow in the hallway. I still walk more slowly than I need to on walks because of her arthritis. And then I realize.

She’s not here.

Someday, these signs will disappear. I’ll no longer reach out of habit for the spoon to dole out her food or for two leashes instead of one as I take Luke for a walk. I’ll no longer have to wait for my dog to make laps around the coffee table in excitement before I can put her leash on. I’ll no longer have to put the light on at night on my way to the bathroom so I don’t have to trip over her laying on the floor beside me and I’ll no longer have to carefully maneuver my feet around the dog right below me as I get off the couch. After eight years spent with her, I wonder how long it will take until these little traces of her disappear. How long will it take until walks with Luke no longer feel disjointed or until the house no longer feels completely empty, even while filled with people and animals? But one thing is certain: she will never disappear from my heart. I will never forget the eight great years I was lucky enough to spend with this amazing creature. She was as close to being a child for us than if we had actually had one of our own. Goodbye sweet girl. You will be forever missed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No Stranger to Failure

At least not now. To be honest, although my life has never been a walk in the park for a number of reasons, I had never been met with such back-to-back defeat until I met infertility. Even when I was a mediocre student actress at best, I was good enough so that constant rejection was not in my repertoire, but it came once in awhile. Eventually I got a part, and all of the auditions that I suffered through after which I did not see my name on the final cast list became worth it. In fact, that slice of pie was that much sweeter the more times I'd been denied it. I looked around at the stars of my school who were almost always guaranteed a part and wondered if they were just as grateful as I was to be up on that stage. Infertility is no different.

The reason why I bring this up is because of yet another BFN I received today. It's funny how the mixture of hope and a history of failure can produce the simultaneous reaction of being both surprised and not surprised by that negative. I'm surprised because the odds had never been better on an IUI for us. We got pregnant from 3 follicles and 5 mil pre-wash sperm before and this time, 4 follicles and 100+ pre-wash sperm over the course of two days still couldn't do the trick. But then I'm not surprised because that would fall too neatly into place for me to have my very last IUI work, sparing us the expense and effort of IVF. It just doesn't work out that way for me. If I were not a glass half empty kind of girl before, I sure am now.

Nowadays, I just don't expect that much from life. In my early twenties, I still lived with the delusions that I could somehow make it to that white picket fence life I had always dreamed of as a child. I pictured my children on a bright green lawn hard at play, coming into a house full of laughter and serenity. In the middle of just trying to make it through, that vision has long since dissipated from my view. I have that kind of home to give, but no one to give it to. And being someone who has always lived years in the future, and thus has a hard time staying in the now, I am leaping to conclusions. If these IVFs don't work, what then? We have decided that adoption will be our next step and although it is a daunting prospect emotionally, the most difficult part of it is this: my God, how long will that take? Will I wait another 5 years for my life to begin? Will I ever learn how to love my life in the mean time? All questions that cross my mind on a daily basis.

I'm no stranger to failure. Most of us aren't. But as I cross the stage to get my IUI diploma, I'm hoping not to become too familiar with the next road because I know the last one backwards and forwards and for me, it leads nowhere.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why Celery is Bad for Sperm and Other Delusions...

I was unceremoniously bent over the lap of the patron saint of 'customer service' so many times over the holiday season I started to lose count. Everything turned out to be either a colossal waste of money, time, or both. It started with the 3 separate trips to pharmacies made on Christmas Eve for a medication whose price made me burst into heart palpitations at each and every counter I stood before. On top of that, one Christmas present intended for my MIL did not arrive in time, thus forcing me to the stores on Christmas Eve (horror of horrors). After a few miscellaneous issues here and there with returning shoes and of course the requisite health insurance woes that needed to be straightened out (never knew a beta could cost $300!), I went headlong into my first acupuncture appointment a few Saturdays ago and let me sum it up this way:


Word to the wise (as I will never be accused of this now): Never, ever find your practitioners solely based on the fact that their website is pretty and boasts links to infertility/acupuncture research. And just because they have several credentials after their names and happen to be an in-network provider for your health insurance is not a guarantee of competence. The lady turned out to be pure wackadoodle quack. She did nothing less than the following:

  • Asked me, in such broken English that I had to listen so closely to decipher her words my ears were practically bleeding, "why you rush babies? you too young to rush." She was not satisfied when I explained our 4 1/2 year stint in infertility and being in the emotional space of 'just wanting it over with'.
  • Shook her head disapprovingly when I detailed our treatment history. Explained that 'when sperm no good, IUI not work' without ever asking any specifics on count/motility, etc. When I explained that one of them had in fact worked but ended in miscarriage, she said:
  • "Sperm no good, baby not healthy. If sperm bad, you have baby that sick...or stupid or miscarriage."
  • Shook her head disapprovingly once again (this was a habit of hers) when I told her that I was doing back-to-back treatments, stating, "It not healthy."
  • When I told her that we were married in 2000, she literally had to count on her hand to figure out how many years ago that was. If that wasn't enough, I got shit about getting married too young, except that she said, "why you get married at 20?" I was 22 lady. The math is not that challenging. My guess: her Dad's sperm wasn't too healthy.
  • Asked very little about my health. Instead, chose to focus on asking about Mr. S's health, who is NEVER EVER going to be an acupuncture client, especially after this story, so don't bother.
  • Told me we have sex too often and that is why "sperm not healthy." Wow. Didn't know sex actually led to male infertility. We better stop that right quick.
  • Instructed Mr. S. to stay away from celery as it "not good, stop sperm from grow."
  • Instead instructed Mr. S. to eat the head of boiled shrimp that weekend.
At that point, you think I would've walked out, right? Wrong. I'm too chicken s$%#. Plus I knew I was going to have to pony up the money either way you slice it, so I was there to get poked with needles and I was going to get what I came for.

She continued:
  • Got the dreaded 'book of babies' out to show me all the miracles she was responsible for. Apparently there were a lot of celery eaters in the bunch.
  • With the door hanging open, had a conversation with one of the male acupuncturists while I was on the table with my pants down around my hips.
  • Proceeded to heat up Chinese food and eat it in the room next to us while I lay under a circa 1969 heating lamp. Oh, and the door was still open-while other clients were walking back and forth in the hallway. Not exactly the aura of relaxation I always imagined acupuncture to be.

I assure you this is a true story. Granted, I have an active imagination, but you couldn't make this stuff up, even if you tried. Of course, I had enough semblance to not return and I haven't given up on acupuncture. I've heard too many amazing things about it from friends who are practically on the verge of proposing marriage to their acupuncturists. So, I'll try someone who has actually been recommended and let you know how it goes. Next up: tales about our Mind/Body for Infertility instructor that will equally shock and amaze you!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Due Date

Today would have been my due date. Although the reminder of this hasn't reduced me to the crying, shriveled mess I long supposed I'd be, it still stings. Luckily, I will be joining many of my fellow IF sisters for dinner tonight and there we'll keep a candle burning for what could have been.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catch Up

I have been fine tuning my skills as a neglectful blogger and subsequent lurker for weeks now and as of today, I have my certificate of completion. It's not that I don't have a lot to say, because I do. I mean, my long windedness even takes me aback sometimes. I could talk about the crackpot quack of an acupuncturist I went to or our brief but lovely jaunt up to Seattle or the fact that my 2 WW is coming to an end on Tuesday, which will likely lead me into getting my IVF cherry popped. But, before I do, I have some catching up to do. So, first and foremost, let's start with an award, shall we?

Lovely Brenda over at No Regrets bestowed the Silver Lining Award that Murgdan originated on me:

This award is given as a thanks to those who, despite the darkness of infertility, can still manage to brighten up other's days with a laugh. I have to admit, the real comedy on this site originated from Mr. S., so I will inform him that he too has a silver lined uterus. :) Anyhow, thanks Brenda!

Ah, and there are so many fantastic bloggers who have already received this award that I would love to give it to because they manage to save me from utter ruin in this charade. But that would be redundant and lame if I gave it to them again, so forgive me if I totally cop out at the moment and pass it on instead to a few 'real life' IF buddies, Banditgirl and Sarang, neither of whom have a blog (at least not one that's public anyway). These two ladies somehow manage to leave me in stitches, whether it's talking about 'fire p.enis' (a reference to having interc.ourse after having just inserted P.rogesterone) or where to locate fertility 'aids' (toys ofLink the adult variety). Even if none of us will likely get our babies the 'old fashioned way', we might as well have fun deluding ourselves and trying, right? Seriously, though, these ladies completely take the sting out of this shit hole of a place called infertility and so, I pass my silver lined uterus on to them. :)

Oh, and I have one other person I'd like to pass this onto as well. I just started reading The Angry Infertile and B's post today made me laugh out loud. I could soooo relate. She very much deserves some silver in her uterus as well.

And being the lazy arse that I am, I completely dropped the ball on the meme that Jendeis at Sell Crazy Someplace Else tagged me for. I know this has made its way around, so I will refrain from tagging anyone and let you pick your poison. I apologize ahead of time for my lack of brevity.

A. Link to the person who tagged you.
B. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
C. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

1. When I lived in San Francisco, I lived a block east from the projects OJ Si.mpson grew up in. Yes, the projects were still there, but as is often the case in the city, it was surrounded by new, modern housing. A total cluster f$%&, but that's SF for ya.
2. I was a McEn.tire fan all throughout my childhood (since age 7) and managed to run into her at a hotel when I was 14. I completely freaked and when she hugged my friend and I, I didn't have enough semblance to say anything beyond, "Oh my God!" When we went backstage after her show that night (you used to be able to when you were part of the fan club), the first thing she did was tell the story of my freak out and how she could still hear me saying "Oh my God!" seven floors below us in the elevator. She was really sweet about it and although I'm no longer a huge fan, I really cherish this memory.
3. On a related note, although I listen to country music selectively now, I used to be a huge fan and started a country music club in my high school. There were only five members, most of whom were just my friends trying to be supportive. Let's just say, I was country when country wasn't cool.
4. Ok, I'm totally on a roll with this country thing, so let's keep going, shall we? In 3rd grade, my girl scout troop had a fashion show and while everyone naturally dressed up as Madonna, I decided to rail against the majority and go as Loretta Lynn and wore a long flowing skirt and country top. Once again, I was not the belle of the ball, and I knew I wouldn't be going in, but to thine ownself be true, right?
5. It may not come as a surprise to you then to learn that I actually wanted to be a country music singer as a child and even contemplated attending college in Nashville just to try my hand, but came to my senses, thankfully.
6. The thing I am most worried about the process of IVF has nothing to with the needles. I absolutely hate having to pee and not being able to and liken it to Chinese water torture, so I'm terrified of the part where you must have a full bladder during transfer. I am so going to pee on the table...smallest. bladder. EVER.
7. I have a top 5 list. You know what I'm talking about ladies. At the top of it is David Boreanaz of Bones and Angel fame. *drool* What a beautiful hunk of man flesh.

Alright, that's all I have for you now. I know, only 50,000 words this time. I must be slipping. :)