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Archive for February, 2010

Reset

Saturday, cd11, I went in for my first monitoring appointment – and in my mind, the launch of the FET. An icy hour plus commute to the clinic, a new book (having done the commute before, a good book is absolutely essential) and my card to scan in upon arrival. I was prepared and sort of excited to see how my body is doing on its own.

Here’s what I found out:

  • Instructions on how I’ll need to pee (in 2 hour intervals) in a cup after they determine I’ve ovulated and just prior to transfer
  • I’m still not able to watch when they stick me with the needle to draw blood
  • My lining is currently a low, but respectable 5.5 mm
  • I have many small follicles, predominately on the left around 8 mm
  • I am carrying a 37 mm (!) cyst in the right ovary
  • My estrogen is very low – 33

The doctor didn’t seem too worried about the cyst, since it was ‘new’ (as in not there in September during my last IVF cycle) and clear.

Okay…

The mid-afternoon call from the nurse confirmed that I don’t need to come back in until Tuesday morning and that they aren’t worried about the cyst. They think this might just be a long cycle.

Okay…

We have house guests this weekend and so I spent a nice day with my brother & sister-in-law (who miraculously made it in despite Friday’s snow storm). Since I had been spotting I put in a panty liner before dinner. During the early evening and dinner I started bleeding pretty heavily – AF heavily.

Worried…

So since there was presumably nothing I could do about it, I decided to compartmentalize my fear and just enjoy being with my family and friends. But the bleeding got heavier. I had to buy a new liner from a bathroom attendant at the bar.

Worried…

Trekked home with DH at 2 a.m. (yes, the latest I have been out in … a long time). Freaked out a bit, cried, decided that I would call the doctor first thing on Sunday, grabbed a tampon.

Very worried…

This morning I called the clinic’s answering service and spoke to a doctor (who called me back quickly!). The good news is that he didn’t seem too worried, said this is pretty common and that I should plan to come in still on Tuesday to see what’s going on. He ordered a progesterone test on yesterday’s blood draw and said (this is the bad news), since I’m doing a natural FET, this may just be cd1 again – my body’s way of hitting reset.

Relieved, but sad…

Nothing’s easy.

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Busy day again today — but first the weather report. More snow, slush & freezing rain. Good thing I have those boots!

It was a long day. A day in five acts.

Act I: Adoption Consultation

The day started with a mad rush to the subway to our initial consult with an adoption attorney. It was a really helpful meeting – with a flood (or avalanche, or whatever weather metaphor you want) of information. Overall, she seemed to have a philosophy that resonated with us, clearly had lots of experience and a great network and sound reasoning behind her recommendations. All good signs.

On the negative side, she had three walls FULL of baby photos, her successful cases. After almost two hours with her DH & I agreed that the smiling babies and happy parents were crushing.

We haven’t had a chance to really debrief about the situation – just a short subway ride before we went our separate ways – but my sense is that we’ll decide to start the lengthy pre-certification process soon. Essentially it is just paperwork, but it can take two to three months in New York State.

Act II: The Acupuncturist Returns

Having survived a parasitic issue in India, my acupuncturist is back. It was truly and completely a relief to see her! She brought me a fertility icon that is apparently a replica of the oldest symbol of fertility near where she was traveling.  Just one more reason to love her – and hey – you never know.

She poured over my BBT charts and then did a pretty aggressive treatment to encourage a strong lining for the upcoming FET (see Act IV). After the treatment it was astounding how much better I felt. I struggle to describe it – perhaps more whole.

Act III: The Cubicle

Work. In a cubicle.

Act IV: Preparing for the FET

So tomorrow is cd10 and I head in for my first monitoring appointment. I’ve got a boatload of questions, am feeling a bit more optimistic and look forward to seeing what’s going on. I truly never thought I would say that I missed the ‘wand’ – but the ultrasound and blood work together with acupuncture will definitely be an interesting view into how my body responds. (Hoping that the response is a successful pregnancy!)

Act V: Home

In sweats, apartment spotless (yay bi-monthly housekeeper!!) and preparing for house guests if the weather cooperates. Really glad I have those boots.

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Frustration

My acupuncturist has been in India. It was a fabulous trip and opportunity for her, but while she was gone, I have been (somewhat) patiently waiting. Waiting for AF. Waiting to start my FET.

And in the meantime, my temps have been low, not sure if I ovulated, not sure if we missed *another* window.

She’s back & I was supposed to see her tonight. But, late this afternoon I got a call from her that she picked up something on the road and needed to cancel.

All feelings of empathy aside (because I truly do love her and of course want her to feel better!), I’m frustrated because I go in for my first FET monitoring appointment on Saturday and feel VERY strongly that acupuncture is critical to helping me build a strong lining. I want to do everything I possibly can to make this successful.

On side note, I spoke to my yoga teacher after my regular Sunday class and am going to do a private session with her to identify some poses and breathing that will help me both increase blood flow to my reproductive system and help me manage the stress/uncertainty/worry of the FET.

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Administrative discoveries

When I looked at my calendar for Friday I realized I had back-to-back meetings all day. I hate days like that, but then, through some miraculous Outlook karma, everything scheduled for the afternoon was cancelled. I know I’ll pay for it later, but what a relief!

So, I used the time to take care of some key IF-related stuff. And productive I was:

1. Found out that my company will reimburse up to $2,500 for adoption-related expenses (attorney fees, agency fees, etc.). A mere drop in the bucket based on what adoption costs, but a nice perk nonetheless. We’re meeting with an attorney for a consult this week so we’ll start keeping receipts!

2. Learned that New York State has an infertility demonstration project – and our clinic is one of the contractors. Since we are near the end of our lifetime insurance ART limit, it’s nice to know. (The downside is that the funding term is almost over and with budgets around the world in disarray – including New York – who knows if it will be funded again. The helpful administrator did say that signs are good that it will be funded again.)

3. Discovered that I am now eligible for five more vacation days since March will be three years for me with the company.

4. Discussed a plan with my HR person about going onto my company’s health insurance in the fall – off of DHs – which would provide some additional dollars for ART. Of course it would mean that if the FET isn’t successful, any IF-related treatment would be out-of-pocket until next January.

So after getting all that new information, I met DH to stop to meet our 3 month old cousin. Her parents used to live in NY and were back for a few days. They threw a ‘happy hour’ to meet the baby. And, as I type this afternoon, we just found out that my cousin went into labor. Again, the familiar ache.

_______

And a thank you to The Pitter-Patter for the award.

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cd1 – again

Yep, you read it right. Yesterday (to celebrate DH’s birthday) AF arrived. Right on time.

So, that means FET monitoring starts in 10 days. My brother & sister-in-law (not the pregnant one) are visiting that weekend so I’ll either have to be stealth with the early morning trips to the clinic, or ‘fess up.

For now, just glad I stocked up on tampons…

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It’s snowing again in Brooklyn, making my new snow boots officially the best purchase of the year. Funny that I went to school in Michigan and have lived through nearly 7 New York winters without owning a pair of proper snow boots. For those who have been in an urban area as snow & ice melt, you’re probably familiar with the lakes that form at sidewalk corners. Now I realize that having to shovel and scrape windshields clean presents a whole set of additional challenges, but for me, reliant on mass transit, sidewalk lakes are now no longer a problem! It’s a whole new world thanks to snow boots.

If only such a simple fix were available for tricky social situations.

We celebrated DH’s 35th birthday this weekend with friends & family at a dinner and gathering at a way-too-trendy bar. As you may know, my SIL is pregnant. She looks beautiful and I am alternately extremely happy and incredibly jealous.

I was prepared to spend time with my SIL, but what made Saturday’s party more difficult was that everyone (not exaggerating here) was pregnant or is a mom. Lots of BlackBerry photos of kids being shared. DH and I talked about it ahead of time and I realized that I was most worried about seeing my IRL friend who leaned on me (heavily) during her first (successful) IVF and then hasn’t said a word to me since. I feel used and DH thinks she just doesn’t know what to say. While I *intellectually* know he’s right, emotionally I’m happier being angry.

On the TTC front, I think I may have ovulated last week, but my temps are really cold. I think it’s a direct result of not going to acupuncture weekly (while my acupuncturist is in India). Either way we start the FET next month and meet the adoption attorney next week. For now, we wait.

So happy Presidents’ Day to all. I’m back to work tomorrow, trudging into the concrete jungle of Manhattan. At least I’ll have my trusty snow boots to navigate the melting snow.

Shot of my new snow boots in Prospect Park on a snowy walk

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Update

I just looked and realized that I haven’t posted since January! (Yes, I realize that it is only the start of Feb, but still…)

So where to start. Perhaps just highlights.

Massive snowstorm today in New York. Beautiful, tricky to get to work and wet, but certainly better with my awesome new snow boots. Great Zappos purchase.

Nice trip to visit family over the weekend, though it’s getting harder to spend time with my cousins’ kids. Watched the Super Bowl with the newest cousin (9 weeks old) who slept on my lap. I felt an honest-to-goodness ache.

And, major headway on the ‘next steps’ in our TTC journey:

Spoke to the nurse at the clinic about the natural FET we’re due to start. We’re going to try natural because I seem to ovulate in a way that they can predict with monitoring. I got the schedule and – if AF is on time – I should start in early March. Feeling hopeful since we have four frozen blasts. We didn’t start this month because my acupuncturist is in India and moving to her own practice next month.

Set up an initial consult with an adoption attorney. We’ve been seeing a therapist semi-regularly (once we realized that our families, while well-meaning, were pretty unhelpful). Turns out her expertise is counseling couples through adoption. After we attended an adoption conference in the fall, we did some additional research, but mostly decided that we should simultaneously pursue adoption since pre-certification can take up to three months in NY (never mind finding a match!). The meeting is on the 23rd and I’m excited.

Still faithfully charting, having well-timed sex and wishing for a miracle! Though I haven’t seen a spike in temperature yet, I should be ovulating one of these days.

And, I’m learning how to knit. I took a two night intro course at a place near my office. I’m finding it quite relaxing, but I will say that I am making the world’s ugliest scarf.

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