Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sometimes, when it rains, it pours

I am cd21 today and was not expecting my period to start until next week. Did you catch the “was not expecting” part? Yes, you guessed it. I started spotting this morning and it is getting heavier so my period will likely be here by this afternoon or tonight or by tomorrow at the latest. What is wrong with this? How does this complicate my life? Let me count the ways…

1) My clinic is closed over the long weekend and cd3, where you would normally do a baseline u/s, will be Saturday or Sunday, depending on how you count it. Right when the office is closed.
2) I am sure I didn’t ovulate and have a cyst on my left ovary that will need to be aspirated or I will need to wait another month.
3) My RE is currently on jury duty. He is hoping he will be dismissed and working tomorrow. Love the email the RE thing since he responded while on jury duty to say that it is fine for me to cycle this month and it would be better for me to go in tomorrow instead of waiting until next Tuesday and that if he isn’t off jury duty, the other RE in the office can do it. But, a call to the office reveals that the other RE is in the other office which is probably almost a two hour drive one way from my house.
4) I am on-call for jury duty next week and have already cancelled/postponed at least once if not twice when I was m/c last time and had to take Max into the ped for a head injury check.
5) A friend is donating me meds for this cycle and I don’t yet have them so need to go pick them up which is a 45 min. trip one way.

But, in spite of being tired, all the family drama, and Max’s nanny calling in sick, I am totally loving being able to spend an extra bonus day with Max and have a friend coming over this afternoon with her kids as a play date.

And, Naomi called and said she was feeling better. She went to the Dr. this morning. She was gong to come this afternoon. I told her to rest up since I already had told work I wasn’t working and I would see her tomorrow. But, I now know that most probably she will be here tomorrow and I won’t have to do all that running around WITH Max. That wouldn’t have been pretty and would have taken a lot of preparation.

And, even though this stuff is complicated and not ideal, the experience with James last night and the fact that he is alive and well puts things in perspective.

And, another quick Max story since he is still napping. This morning when I was putting him in the car seat to go to our morning walk*, he started throwing a fit and crying and carrying on. He must have caught his face in the reflector mirror I have opposite his car seat so I can see him from the front seat. All of a sudden he stops crying but opens and closes his mouth and making funny faces at himself in the mirror. I think he realized, for the first time, that the boy in the mirror was him. I started laughing. He glanced at me. Made a few more faces in the mirror and started laughing too. Ah, this kid of mine. I do love him so.

* We went to the “duck” park or “quack, quack, quack” as he calls it. It is a man made lake that has ducks and geese and birds. Max and Shadow both really like it. I think it is a tad dirty, but what is a momma to do? I suck it up and we go anyway about once a week.

Alive, Safe, and With His Father

James is safe. I’ll just copy the email my cousin just sent. Literally just after I hung up with my cousin, Naomi called in sick with a stomach bug that had her vomiting this morning. Oh, what a day.

I just heard that James was found in New Mexico. Jim found him pulled over in a construction speed trap. They didn't quite put two and two together. They let him go with a warning, he was speeding in a construction zone and driving with out a license. The fact that Jim drove up right when he did was nothing but a God Send and a result of the many prayers said over night.

I literally just heard this news and have to go call the police. We still need to get them home and figure everything out, so don't stop praying, but I thank God is is safe and alive!!!


The police let him go with a warning since his dad was there and pulled up behind him. This will saving them all a bunch of legal issues and other trips to New Mexico to resolve AND keep James record clean. As my cousin says, they have some work ahead as a family after this scare, but he is alive and safe.

Okay, must run. Letting the TV occupy Max while I posted this and sent an email to work saying I would not be working. And, that only works for so long.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prayers for James

For those who believe in it, would you please say a prayer or two for the safe return of my cousin’s son James and for strength and well being for her entire family during this crisis. As I was tired and on my way to bed this evening, I found out that my cousins son, who is 15, ran away tonight. They moved from MI to AZ in early August and he wrote a letter saying how unhappy he is and how angry that he was made to move without a choice. He took her car and is driving from AZ to MI. He is na├»ve enough that he has never put gas in the car and his note indicated that he had $150 cash, obviously thinking it would be plenty. He is really a good, innocent kid. My cousin is beside herself and alone with her younger daughter in a new place without a car while her husband is driving on the route James probably took checking out the rest areas and looking for him and I assume to be closer to him when he is found. The police have been called and are looking for him as well. I am hoping and praying that this has a happy ending and he has a chance to come away from it alive and uninjured, if a little wiser.

I am really, really close to my cousin. Probably closer to her than my 3 sisters. We are the same age and grew up spending summers together. After a brief break while we were in college and young adults, this is a tradition we have continued as adults. She and her family have spent every summer here for the last 9 years and were just here a few weeks ago to celebrate Max’s 1st Birthday. My cousin and her husband are Max’s god parents.

The whole situation is just tragic. Like I said, I hope he is found soon, alive, and healthy. He is so young with his whole life ahead of him. How alone and unheard he must have felt to have done this.

The only thing I can do from here is worry.

Just Living Life And Enjoying Max

Work has been keeping my occupied during the day and I just haven’t felt like being on the computer after I get Max down lately. I’ve been catching up on all the TV shows I had on the DVR. I’m not bouncing off the wall with giddy happiness or anything. Nor am I moping around in a depressed haze. I’m just keeping busy and enjoying my family and catching up with friends while I wait, wait, wait to try again.

My son is such a character. Tonight he was watching a DVD while I ate dinner with my mom and while I cleaned up. He was watching Baby Beethoven™ Symphony of Fun DVD and all of a sudden he just started laughing and laughing and laughing. I had to go look to see what tickled his funny bone so much. It was just two puppets clowning around. It made me laugh to hear him.

Usually, when I put in a DVD I ask him to choose which one he wants. I only give him two choices. It’s amazing to see him study the covers and choose. Sometimes, it is a difficult choice for him; it is like he wants them both. Others it is easy and before I can ask, he is touching the case to the one he wants. Occasionally, he will not pick either one until I go back into the till and give him two different choices. He almost always picks the one he hasn’t seen in awhile. Tonight, I just started the last one that was played and he made it clear he was so not in the mood with his disinterest, walking over to hug on me and get bites of my dinner even though he just had his, etc. When I asked him which one he wanted and he picked the Baby Beethoven™, he sat quietly and intently watching it. Very funny kid.

In the mornings, after I get him out of the crib we cuddle and I rock him until he slides out of my lap and is ready to start his day. Lately, he has been playing with the clock radio I have on his night stand. He has become an expert on turning on and off the ocean sounds and the radio. He is just so pleased with himself. The other day when he was still getting the knack of it, I was holding the radio so it didn’t go sliding off the table. He decided he didn’t want or need that much help and pushed my hand away. I laughed and moved it, but put it next to the radio still effectively preventing it from falling. As soon as I moved it off the radio, he went back to exploring and pressing all the buttons. After a delayed reaction, he decided that my hand was STILL too close and pushed at it again until I removed it entirely. Maybe you had to be there, but it was just too funny. Already, he is making it clear that he didn’t want or need my help. LOL. Ahh, my baby is growing up to be such an independent explorer.

The best gifts Max has received lately were some used toys from an SMC friend the other day that her kids had outgrown. She brought over a Little Tykes Car Wagon (my name, not the official one that I am too tired to go look up) and something called First Climber that has a little platform with stairs on one side and a small slide on the other. Every other toy he received for his birthday got (for the most part) a brief play and then he has moved on to something else. These two things he keeps going back to time and time again to play with. Of course, he is somewhat of a kamikaze kid and needs to be watched like a hawk when he is near them to avoid serious injury, but that is pretty much par for the course these days no matter what he is doing.

Max is quite the adventurer these days. He pushes the Blue Dog Rocker Toy from my cousin to a surface, let’s just say the coffee table, and then uses it as a tool to climb up onto the coffee table where he proceeded to stand up and start walking. He only got a few steps in before he was swept up into my arms. :-) When he isn’t doing that he is putting his feet where his butt should go and madly rocking back and forth. Needless to say, THAT toy sits behind the baby barricade unless I am directly watching him. He has also started to use Shadow as a horsy and step stool. Shadow actually tolerates this fairly well, but I am repeatedly saying “Max, Shadow is not a xxx, please don’t do that.”

If you think that Max doesn’t know I don’t want him to do something, HA HA HA, think again. When he is thinking about doing something he knows I do not want him too, he starts shaking his head no, no, no, no, no – quite vigorously. Sometimes he even says, no, no, no. It is like he is reminding himself that it is off limits/out of bounds. Occasionally, he moves on and doesn’t do it. Often, he looks at me to see if I am paying attention and if he can get away with it before making a decision. Sometimes, he gives it a try anyway, just to see if he can get away with it. Tonight, when he was standing on his fire truck walking/riding/push toy, which was another Birthday present, I would say, NO FEET, on your bottom please, and he would sit down on it until I looked away, then he would try it all over again. Repeat about 20 times until he decided to move on to another toy. It is very funny to see.

Max is walking a lot now. He still looses his balance easily and takes tentative calculated steps when he does walk. He drops to a crawl or spider crawl when he is in a hurry to get where he wants to go. He is an expert fast, fast, fast crawler; and, for at least a few more days, a much slower walker. You should just see his face when he is walking, especially for a long way. He is just so proud of himself and his accomplishment. It is, yet again, very funny to see.

So, I am just living life enjoying my son and watching him grow and develop and learn right before my very eyes. And, I’m waiting for my period to arrive so I can try, once again, another cycle for another child. I am almost positive I didn’t ovulate this month and the follicle visualized on the last u/s is a cyst that I hope will be absorbed by the time the next go round starts. I’m not really worried that my period will come late as a result, I am very regular and my period comes on cue whether I am on mega doses of progesterone or not. If I had ovulated, my period would have probably come early. Since I didn’t, I expect it pretty much on schedule in about a week.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Me

I have been thinking tonight about the many facets of my life that make up me.

There is the side of me that is so happy that I am a mom and just loves my son and being with him. He fulfills me. I have so much fun with him. I just KNOW deep in side that I was meant to be his mom. There is no doubt in my mind that becoming an SMC was the right decision for me and part of my destiny. It just feels so right.

There is the side of me that is a sister/daughter/cousin and I have been so wrapped up in me lately that I have not been very supportive or even involved in their lives right now. It was great to see everyone last weekend at Max’s party, but I was so glad everyone was gone by 11 am Sunday so Max and I could both take a much needed nap.

There is the side of me that is a friend with a better friendship base than I ever remember having in my life that is so happy when things are going well and very sad when things are not going well for my friends. But, I have only really been keeping up with and involved with a small percentage of my friends recently. I am hoping those I haven’t been in close contact with are just as busy and preoccupied as me and that it is a mutual and natural ebb and flow of relationships.

There is the side of me that is an employee who only in the last week or two has realized how depressed and unmotivated and unchallenged I was at work since I returned from maternity leave almost a year ago; how guilty I have felt for being a less than stellar employee. Things have turned around and gotten more interesting recently as we have done some minor tweaking of assignments and I have felt busier and more excited about what I am doing in quite awhile, leaving me less time to blog, search the internet, pay bills, etc but much more fulfilled.

There is the side of me that is a pet owner that feels like I am giving my pets the basics in terms of exercise, food, affection, but not much more. That is sad that Shadow is aging and slowing down, but happy that she is still a part of my life. That is resentful that she is preventing me from taking my morning hikes, but I can’t NOT take her out in the morning since she is so happy to go but just doesn’t have the stamina in her anymore. It would just break her heart and send her to an early grave. And, truth be told, Max is happier with our new routine as well because he gets to get out and push the stroller and play in the play yards. That is happy City Boy has joined our family and the added adventure he adds with Max trying to chase him and his joining our “family” walks when it suits his whim. That he will bridge the gap from not being a dog owner when Shadows time is ultimately up since I will still be a pet owner of a pet with a lot of character and attitude, if not a lot of intelligence. That has mostly come to peace with loosing my Lucky in March, but still misses her something awful sometimes like the other day when Shadow, Max and I were at the park before work and I saw a Frisbee laying in the field because Frisbee’s were Lucky’s all time favorite toy. She loved to play keep away with them and chew the rounded rims to smithereens.

I won’t even talk about the financial side of me. I have spent a lot of money the last few months ttc (about 6K on the last failed IVF cycle alone), replacing the roof on my mom’s house (about 4.5K), and normal life things. Buying 4 more vials of sperm (1.5K) and wishing I could buy the rest of my donor up since he is no longer donating and "extremely" rare as in only about 10 - 15 vials total of him left. I have depleted my savings/financial resources a bit more than I am comfortable with right now. And, there are so many things I want to “do” like take out a few trees, add an addition on the house that are on the back burner for awhile.

There is the “health” side of me that is feeling less than stellar right now. I was loading and editing the pictures of Max’s birthday party the other day. There is one of me holding Max’s cake while everyone sings. I was shocked to see how HUGE and ROUND and FAT I looked. Maybe because I was in a bathing suit and there weren’t the layers to camouflage, it really resonated with me. I mean, I know that I have gained weight since I stopped breastfeeding Max. I know what that number is. I just didn’t realize how bad it LOOKED.


Fat Momma

I am not eating right. Even though I am still walking twice a day, I am not getting nearly enough exercise I need for me like I was when Lucky was here and I was getting a good morning hike in. Under the category of TMI, I have had diarrhea and loose stools since I was in the 2ww of my last cycle. I was having sharp intense pain in my lower right abdomen on and off for about 2 weeks that had me considering going to the ER a few times and did cause me go to an internist, who ordered a CT Scan (which I did this morning although I thought of canceling it since I haven’t had the pain in over a week) and did some labs (which I was told were normal, but not the specifics). I went to the Chiropractor and was completely out of alignment from my foot to my neck. I guess I can understand why my acu wants me to take a few months off and recapture “me” before ttc again. I really don’t think emotionally I am strong enough to do that right now, but am afraid that if I don’t I will just be setting my attempts to conceive up for failure and I will just be setting myself up for more heartache and throwing good money after bad. This part of me is really out of balance and I don’t know how to fix it right now.

There is the side of me that maybe has been more religious and less spiritual than I need to right now. I have found a church I like and have been going to church more regularly if you consider once every few months regular. I have had Max baptized. I seem to talk
“about” God and religion and prayer a lot more. But, I don’t talk “to” god and appreciate the natural beauty and goodness around me nearly as much. I guess I haven’t really thought about it until now, but my morning hike time was when I did most of that.

Then there is the side of me that has been trying to build and grow my family that has me so sad and hurting inside because of the failures over the last few months that seems to always be with me under the surface and that I have to make a conscious effort, sometimes not so successfully, not to let it take control and overshadow the other much happier parts of me and feeds into and deepens the other parts of my life that I am not so happy with making me feel overall a bit broken right now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Secret Cycle That Wasn’t

8/15/06
The thing about cycling is that no matter how hard and emotional they are, they can be addictive. I have been thinking about cycling this month since I got my negative beta on Friday. I had planned to do a clomid cycle after this cycle if it didn’t work, but then backed away from that deciding to take a break. The logical thing to do would be to take a break. I have done 3 cycles in a row trying for #2 (neg, m/c, neg.). This has taken its toll and I am tired. I only have 2 vials of sperm left and it would be better to use it on a higher odds cycle. Plus, I was almost certain that I have a cyst left over from last cycle.

Usually, I am a very decisive person and always have plans in place. I have just been having a really hard time with this one. Not cycling just doesn’t feel right even though it would probably be best. So, I had a baseline u/s today. My first words to my RE was, yes, I am here, but I still haven’t decided to cycle this month. He did the u/s and I do have a cyst left over from last month, but it is a small one. We talked and decided on a protocol from next month (Letrozol and Repronex) and that if I do decide to cycle this month it will be a no stim cycle, but with some monitoring, probably a trigger shot, and progesterone. Dr. N and I agreed that some stims do help me in terms of egg quality and getting a few more follicles recruited and do increase my odds 5 – 10% per cycle. And, that this month after the cancelled and the cyst, skipping stims makes sense. As I told Dr. N, there are so many reasons not to cycle this month and to take a rest and only one reason to cycle. The odds of me conceiving without cycling are zero. The odds for this cycle are better than that.

I didn’t make any appointments for follow up when I left, but I thought long and hard about it on the way home. The thought of cycling makes me happy and feels right and the thought of not cycling makes me feel sad and feels wrong. I felt happier than I have in awhile with a tentative decision to cycle.

The decision is tentative because I want to make sure that I can procure more sperm before I actually do it. I have a call into the sperm bank to pre-purchase 4 more vials with a request to reserve 4 more vials for next month. And, I may join the donor sibling registry to see how many vials the one person listed under my donor has and at what price she is willing to sell them. Assuming I can purchase at least 4 more vials of my donor, I will likely cycle this month.

I decided to keep this cycle a complete secret for a few reasons.

One of which is that I am a bit embarrassed to even admit to cycling this month because it is so irrational and illogical. It just doesn’t make sense with the decreased odds, the expense, and wasting a vial of sperm for the odds and with conditions not being right. The logical and best decision would be to take a break.

Two of which is that I just don’t feel like talking about it. It will take more energy than I think I have right now. I have Max’s Birthday this week; his party this weekend, which my cousin and family are coming in town to help celebrate; hosting an SMC party on the 26th; and likely my cousin and her family will be coming back for labor day weekend. I want to focus on that without cycling being the main event. Plus, usually, most of my local friends know when I cycle and I have been giving none of the details and even out and out lied to my family about not cycling. With Max’s party, the two groups will meet and it will be less likely to come up.

Three of which I know two people locally who are doing and IVF cycle this month and I am very close to one of those individuals. I don’t want to steal either of their thunder. And, another good friend had a lap last week and got news that was less than stellar. She is having to make reproductive choices based on financial limitations as many of us do, but it just sucks.

So, I decided to keep a personal journal for me to record this secret cycle that I still may not do and post the outcome at the end.

8/24/06
I had another u/s today and finally decided to let this cycle go. I have waffled back and forth all month on whether to do a low odd no stim cycle or not. I had good intentions and thought often of getting back to this dilemma, but it just didn’t work out that way.

Today is cd 14. I had finally decided over the weekend NOT to cycle, but woke up Monday sad and anxious over that decision. Tuesday I decided to OPK and got what I think was a surge yesterday after obsessively testing every 3 – 6 hours. A surge yesterday would have made timing for an IUI this afternoon pretty good, but decided not to do it. There was only one follicle on my left, of course, and Dr. N had a hard time finding it It was only 17 which is small and probably not mature. Truly, it could have just been the cyst from the previous cycle. I didn’t ask and he didn’t say. Also, since my surge was so brief, maybe there wasn’t enough LH for me to really even ovulate. Another worry of mine that I didn’t ask about. Hardly seemed any point. So, Dr. N said he didn’t recommend it and I agreed and that was that. The secret cycle that wasn’t.

I’m still a bit sad about not cycling this month, but know it was the right decision - FINALLY. I kept thinking that I conceived Max on a low odds cycle and that by at least doing an IUI my chances were better than zero. However, in the end, I just couldn’t do it.

This whole experience has confirmed one thing in my mind for me – I am not a natural cycle kind of girl. Give me monitoring, vaginal u/s, blood tests, pills, injections, whatever. As long as we are controlling the environment as much as possible, I think my chances are way better than on an natural cycle where my body produces too much estrogen, not enough progesterone, and apparently not enough LH for a normal surge.

Upward and onward for the next cycle. With no progesterone supplementation, that shouldn’t even be a full two weeks.

Right now, I am just feeling very tired and drained and sad, even though I do finally know I was not meant to cycle this month.

I just want to be pregnant again and deliver another baby already. I don’t want to wait for it to work, I want it to just ‘BE’ and to just ‘BE’ right now. I don’t want to do the process anymore. I just was hoping that round 2 would go easier than round 1. And, it hasn’t. I guess it will all be worth it in the end if/when it eventually does work.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Max Has Grown

We had Max’s one year pedestrian appointments yesterday. It went fine. He had three shots. The first didn’t faze him, the second one he cried and did his no breathing thing for a bit, by the third he was screaming and took a bit to calm down. He got the mommy treatment and got held on the way back to the car instead of being plopped into the stroller.

Height: 31 ½
Weight: 20 lbs 8 oz
Head: 18

In the last three months, he has grown 1 ¼ inches taller, gained 2 lbs (exactly), and his head circumference is 1/8 inches bigger.

He slept a record of almost 12 hours last night. He hasn’t seemed to have a reaction to the shots except for the extra sleep and being a bit more cuddly than usual.

The Happy Birthday sign is still hanging and a few balloons are still floating around the house, but the last box went out with the trash and the new toys are slowly finding new spots as things have been rearranged to accommodate them. The birthday celebration is behind us and I am feeling just a little bit sad that it has come and gone so fast; and that I am not pregnant; and that I would have been into my second trimester if I hadn’t miscarried a few months ago. I have also been having a lot of anxiety about not cycling this month. Logic says I needed a break and logistically it just wasn’t really possible this month, but emotionally, it just feel wrong, like this month could be it and that I should try to go for it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday Max!


Greeted with lights and pictures this morning instead of hugs and kisses to start my very special day.


Playing with one of my birthday presents.


I'm so big.


At the park, enjoying my morning.


Stopping to enjoy the flowers.


Me and My Birthday Cake!


Loving it!


What a great day! It wore me out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Steps

Max took his first steps today. He took at least three, maybe four or five. I didn’t see him start. We were in the kitchen and I was warming his bottle before I put him in the bath and I looked over and saw him walking towards me. We were both so proud. I started cheering and laughing and squatted down to hug him. He was smiling and laughing and oh so proud of himself. It has really only been the last few days where he has started standing on his own. He never really stood holding on to something and let go. No, he would crouch in a squat position and then stand. When he started to loose his balance, he would squat back in to the crouch position. My oh my! Naomi and I had better watch out. The kid has endurance and stamina. He has been pushing his stroller for up to ¼ to ½ a mile for awhile now. Once he gets good at this walking thing, which knowing him and how quickly he caught on to go right to several steps in a row may even be by this weekend, there will be no holding him back. Maybe I should have asked for a child leash for his birthday. Ha Ha. I may have to invest in one soon because the kid really doesn’t have a lot of fear of anything that I can tell.

Another funny Max story….We went to church on Sunday. It has been awhile. I had Max in the stroller towards the front so he could see, but I didn’t have to worry about keeping him contained since he was strapped into the stroller. Five minutes into the service, he started using the baby sign to say “ALL DONE”. I pretended not to notice. Then he made a noise to get my attention and started madly doing our “all done” sign in an exaggerated fashion (hand face down moving it back and forth parallel to the ground) with and expression that said, “I am communicating with you and don’t pretend like you don’t realize it. I said, ALL DONE”. I started laughing and took him to the back of the church and walked back and forth with him for the rest of the service. Soon I was joined by four other people with children about Max’s age or a bit younger. It was so funny. See what I get for teaching him this stuff. LOL. He has been watching the Baby Signing Times very intently the last few times I have put it on for him. I don’t think he has tried to do any of the other signs yet except for dog. He has done this a few times, but not yet consistently. It is where you pat you hand on you thigh.

This kid is giving me a run for my money and I think it is just going to continue for awhile.

We went to a local SMC get together on Saturday at a beautiful house with a nice big fountain in the back yard. Max was ruthless in his pursuit to play in this fountain. We started out inside and the hostess had the sliding glass doors (there were three of them) open. After about 15 minutes or so of Max crawling out one of them and going right for the fountain and throwing a major fit when I picked him up and wouldn’t let him play in it, she offered to close the screen doors. She gave me a quick tour of the house and when we were in the back of the house about 5 minutes later, I put him down and he crawled all the way through the house to the door and stood longingly outside at the fountain until enough people came to distract him a bit. After the 3rd or 4th time he crawled so fast from the living room through the kitchen to the garage, she offered to close that door as well. Probably because Max was almost under her car by the time I caught up with him. The kid is FAST. The amazing thing is that she has a son who is 3 weeks younger than Max and he is just so different from Max and so much more mellow. She will put him someplace and he basically stays in that area until she comes back. HAHAHAHA. Not Max. You turn your head and there is no telling where is off to. After awhile, we all migrated outside and put the kids in baby jail (more commercially known as Baby Play Yard Deluxe or something similar) for as long as they could each stand it. When Max got out, he faked me out a bit, then went straight for the fountain. He was already splashing and wet by the time I got to him. So, I caved and let him play in it, much to the annoyance (I think) of the other mom’s whose kids now wanted to do the same. Basically, I just taught my kid that if he is persistent enough (in this case over the course of about 90 minutes) he can wear down and/or distract his mother and get his way. GREAT! I have vowed that I would be consistent and pick my battles because I think it is so important to kids to know the limits and that no means no. And, I totally caved. I hope he doesn’t remember this. Yeah right. HAHAHAHA.

Anyway, Max is a riot and is defiantly realizing he is his own person who is not above throwing a complete fit with a nice high pitched scream to help get his way.

And, he is about to be completely mobile. Let the adventures continue -- stepped up a notch or two.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Officially Negative

I just got the offical call saying that my beta was negative (hcg = .42). I already knew this with the spotting yesterday and the start of my full period today, as predicted. Cycle #7 is completely behind me. Boy, was it a bad cycle all the way around. No miracle babies for me this time. But, hey, at least I still have my left tube so that I may try again another day. When I am ready.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

7 days from today

In one week, my little Max will be a year old, but whose counting? How did that happen?

Even a little bit off and cranky the last few days with a low grade temperature and a bit of a buggery nose, he is still the cutest and most entertaining show in town. Every week he just grows and changes so much. I have an appointment to have his 1 year picture taken on the afternoon of his birthday. I’m just hoping that he has no visible boo boo’s by then. I am currently tending to a scraped nose due to a face plant in the driveway and a sore on his big toe. He is an active toddler with the bumps and bruises to show it.

He clearly understands ‘no’ AND that he is an independent being and chooses to test the water for consistency on a regular basis. We go to this one park that has an activity center, pre-school, and summer camp associated with it at least once a week before I start work. This particular park has a hard cement staircase with huge gaps between the steps that is strictly off limits to Max. I do let him climb all cement steps at other parks, but they are just a few steps and not a staircase. For the last few weeks, when Max has seen the staircase, he looks longingly at it and starts shaking his head “no no no no no” as if he is reminding himself that it is off limits. He does the “no” shaking of the head at other times when he knows he is not supposed to do something as well. Very funny and very cute. And, often, he tries to do it anyway to see if he can get away with it.

Max has (mostly) stopped throwing a fit when a door to the outside opens and closes and he is still on the inside and when the fridge door opens. Mostly because he has had been allowed ample time to explore every nook and cranny of our yard and the fridge. His recent melt downs are occurring when I will not let him crawl into the street or over a curb. When he heads in the street/curb direction, I usually stand in front of him to block his way and state firmly “NO STREET”, “NO STREET”. If he continues in this direction or tries to go around me and/or throws a fit, I pick him up and we go inside, go to the back yard, go to the car, whatever…basically remove him from the situation and then try distraction.

Max is not yet walking on his own, but is a stellar stroller pusher and Hippo Walker pusher. He has the strength and the endurance, but just not the balance yet. He can and does walk up to a ¼ and almost a ½ of a mile on a regular basis. He will take little rest and explore breaks, but then he is back ready to walk on.

I got a few “Baby Signing Times” DVD’s for Max. Last week, he was barely interested and it didn’t keep his focus. This morning, he was riveted. It held is full attention. And, he tried to make his body move in response to what he was watching. Just adorable to watch.

Yesterday, my mom was over for dinner and we went outside to eat so Max could play around and explore the back yard. It was getting time for my mom to go and for me to get Max bathed and to bed and he started pitching a fit because the truck (big red Hummer rescue vehicle that used to move via a remote control until my cousins kids ran it into the pool years ago that was donated to my “kid cupboard” and has become a favorite toy of Max’s). I plopped myself in the pool lounger that was sitting on the cement and cuddled and did physical play with him a bit. He was laughing and laughing and laughing. He started to crawl away and came back for more “mommy jungle gym” two or three times. He had my mom and I in stitches and laughing right along with him. Time like that is just indescribable, when you let them have their freedom and they come back for mommy love. I call it the mommy reward. Yes, he has been crabby and testing his screams for reactions and boundaries. But, when he wants to cuddle AND when he is so proud of a new skill or talent…you should hear is quack and his bark….LOL…it just makes my heart warm, my face smile, and remind me of why I wanted to be a mom so, so much.

He is just growing and changing and I think even getting a few more teeth. Not that he will let me look and see. I can try, but I will get my fingers bitten. He does and will brush his teeth and chew on his many toothbrushes, but rarely lets me get a turn.

In some ways, I miss babyhood. I miss the breastfeeding and that he needed so much more time and attention. He is just so much more independent. And, I just love seeing him grown and change and develop.

13 dpo - EDITED

Today is 13 dpo, but whose counting? You don’t know how tempted I have been to call my RE’s and ask for a beta today. They would let me, but make me come back for another one in a few days and that is problematic. So, I will wait until tomorrow. At 14 dpo a negative is considered late enough to be a true negative and there is no need to come back for a second test.

At this point, I am almost positive that the cycle didn’t work. All signs are pointing to me starting my period by the end of today or tomorrow at the latest. At this particular moment, I am not even feeling sad or down about the negative cycle. Hey, there is still hope until the results of the blood hcg are in. And, it is not the worst outcome for this cycle, which would have been an ectopic pregnancy where I loose my left tube.

I’m just ready to put this cycle behind me and move on. I’m taking a month off from cycling and am mentally and physically ready for the break.

EDITED TO ADD: Trip to bathroom confirmed period is starting with spotting. Now, I am sad. (11:45 am PT)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Just Fat, Not Morbidly Obese

Yes, I did break down and email my RE about the whole being fat/poor response question. I couldn't help myself in the end. And, I did have to find out my progesterone results, right? My original email and his response are below for your reading pleasure. Notice how I ask him a question, then tell him what I think the answer is? LOL. I can't help myself. I have tried to just ask questions without editorial comments and adding what I think the answer is. I just can’t do that. I can’t. I feel compelled to tell him what I think is the correct answer and then he just has to confirm I was right or tell me the errors in my logic.

What a guy! My interpretation is that it was not a factor for me since I am not morbidly obese, just fat. I am sure that the weight didn’t help, but I do feel a bit better after reading his response. And, I had to laugh about my progesterone results being "more than adequate". Anything above 5 indicates ovulation; they want to see above 10 on a natural cycle and above 15 on a medicated cycle. He knows I know this, have long had it memorized, and can and do quote it often. However, it is all relative, since a 12 IS a decent progesterone level for me. Yes, that IS with 400 mg of vaginal suppository supplementation a day, but it is over 10 and close to the highest progesterone level I ever got (around 15) and that was when I was 10 -11 weeks pregnant with Max. I’m happy with my 12.

And, I did read the articles from my friend on BMI (Body Mass Index) affecting fertility. I was a bit afraid to read what they said, but decided to suck it up. They all talk about how success rates decline with a higher BMI and some of the other issues that I already know about, but I did not read any strong link, only a slight mention, about response to response rate. In fact, one article stated that the number of follicles, the number of eggs retrieved, and the number of fertilized eggs were about equal, it was the chemical and clinical success rates that were lower. Oddly enough, I was actually encouraged after reading the articles. Out of 6 complete cycles (excluding current cycle since results are currently unknown), I had 3 pregnancy’s and 1 child. This is a decent stat all things considered when you hear the odds of conception naturally for any one given cycle and that on average it takes about 6 months to conceive.

All and all. I’m feeling much better about things today. It is almost a whole day closer to Friday. And, I have dinner with Mom on Wednesday and my sister is going to come and stay on Thursday night so HOPEFULLY the rest of the week will go by relatively fast and I will have enough distractions to keep me from worrying too much. Yes, it is always in the back of my mind. I just wish I knew now.


-----Original Message-----
From: Debbie
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 11:22 AM
To: DR. N
Subject: P4 results in? And, poor responder question

Hi Dr. N - Just wondering if my progesterone results from Friday were in yet? Also, I was reading the transcripts from your live chat the other day and there was a question about being overweight being a contributing factor in poor response. I had never heard that before. Just that it could affect hormone levels, ovulation, make ET/ER a bit more difficult. I’m assuming that it has something to do with the absorption, which is why it is recommended to do IM shots instead of SubQ. What’s the theory? In an ideal situation, the stims get absorb into the blood stream triggering a response in the hypothalamus and in an overweight person it gets absorbed into the fat cells causing diminished response? How does this work for oral stims like clomid or letrozol? The same except it is being absorbed from the stomach instead? How likely do you think my being overweight has played in my dismal response to even high doses of stims? Just wondering from an academic standpoint since it is very unlikely, if not completely impossible, that I would be able to loose enough weight to make a difference even if there wasn’t a limited time associated with my remaining fertility. See, plenty of other things to worry about other than whether this cycle worked or not. And, no, I don’t have a clue or a prediction on the cycle outcome. I have been tired and sleeping great, but that is likely progesterone induced. And, I have been a bit crampy and felt like my uterus was spasming, which probably many would see as a good sign, but I have never had on any of my confirmed pregnancy only my 3rd cycle (the one after my myomectomy) which was a negative. So, anyone’s guess at this point. My guess would be a no go, but I have been wrong before and would be happy to be wrong on this again. Friday’s beta will tell the tale. Hope you are having a good week. Debbie

----- Response -----
From: Dr. N
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 2:03 PM
To: Debbie
Subject: RE: P4 results in? And, poor responder question

Exactly right about the overweight theory. But the studies looked at morbidly obese women ( over 300 lbs) For just overweight patients it does not matter. Your progesterone was 12.3. More than adequate.

Monday, August 07, 2006

TV Time

I very rarely watch TV. By rarely, I mean maybe, maybe 3 hours a month. I can go days without turning the TV on (other than putting in a DVD for Max, but that is a separate post for another day). I can almost always find something else to do. When I do turn it on, my taste usually runs to the Weather Channel, News, and Everyone Loves Raymond. I have recorded and like the new Gena Davis series, where she is president. Can’t think of the name just now. But, most of the ones saved got erased on accident (written over by other shows) and I don’t think they have had any new episodes recently. I have even stopped taping (via the DVR, which I often wonder why I even keep) most shows cause I never go back and watch them.

However, a few months ago, I was flipping channels and caught two episodes of this show called “Dog The Bounty Hunter”. A very funny and entertaining show about this bounty hunter Dog (Duane) who works with his wife, son, and brother to capture criminals who have jumped bail. Tonight was one of the rare nights that I sat on the couch and watched a bit of TV and I caught another episode. They are based out of Hawaii and in tonight’s episode, they flew to SF/Bay Area to capture this criminal who had jumped bond 3 years ago and had managed to escape them. They got a 120 day extension from the judge and caught the criminal on the last day of the extension. If they had not done so, they would have had to pay the court $75K. I was so drawn in (as I was the last time I saw it) that I watched the entire thing and even managed to stay tuned in spite of the commercial breaks, which is very rare for me.

The show is not for everyone and a very odd type of reality show, but you have to see it to truly get the draw. The team is a cast of characters that make you look at things differently, laugh, and cry all within the same show. I was entertained enough that I added it to the record list. Maybe with viewing more episodes, I will loose my interested, but what I have seen so far was a hoot.

Being Fat Contributes to Poor Response

I’m up with tense shoulders and a back ache, not able to sleep, too keyed up, worrying. No, not about my cycle, but out my poor responder status. My RE had a live chat the other day, and I read the transcript earlier today. Someone asked him about whether being overweight contributed to poor response and he said yes, it can. I knew that being overweight could affect ovulation and that it could make it harder to do a retrieval and transfer, causing the need for a vaginal u/s instead of an abdominal one during those procedures. And, I guess on some level, I DID know that weight played a factor. This is why they have overweight gals do stims IM (intramuscular) instead of SubQ (under the skin). That is why I did NOT want to use the Follistim pen, which is administered SubQ. I mentioned this to a friend who was surprised that I didn’t know this and she said she had read articles about studies that document a significantly higher success rate for those with a BMI less than 25 (I think she said). She has emailed me the articles, but I have not yet read them. I came to the computer to email my RE and ask him about this asking him the reasons behind this or at least the theory and how much it could have contributed in my case. But, I am debating with myself on this because the truth of the matter is that even if it is true, it is not as if I would be able to loose enough weight prior to the end of my fertility life, if I could even due it then based on genetics and such. Knowing more on this topic would likely serve no purpose other than to make me feel worse than what I do with the little information I do have on it. I feel like I did when I got labeled “poor responder”. BAD. REALLY, REALLY BAD. Then, like now, it isn’t as if I didn’t have the facts in front of me, I just never made the connection in my mind. I had all of the pieces. I just never connected the dots. I have asked Dr. N in the past if weight affected my fertility and he said no, but that was before the whole poor response issue came to light. So, I was laying in bed drafting an email in my head to him. Then, arguing with myself on the purpose of sending it and getting him to say in writing that my being fat is the reason I have wasted thousands of dollars on fertility meds for a crap response. Okay, he was much to diplomatic to say it EXACTLY like that, but….

I go for very long periods of time being okay with my weight and who I am. Then, something like this comes up and ….and….and….I’m not sure how I feel. Just really sad right now.

Then, in taking a break from that debate, I started contemplating whether or not this cycle worked as I was (and actually have been for days) been very crampy and can almost feel my uterus spasm. And, how and optimistic person may see this as a good sign. And, how I don’t. I really, really, don’t. I have never felt this cramping/spasming on my pregnant cycles, only on my third cycle, the one after my myomectomy and my worst cycle ever, which was a negative.

Quick cycle review:
Round 1
Cycle 1 = Neg; Cycle 2 = M/C; Cycle 3 = Neg.; Cycle 4 = Max

Round 2
Cycle 1 = Neg.; Cycle 2 = M/C; Cycle 3 = TBD (Beta Friday)

I thought I have been doing good and not obsessing, but I guess it has just been under the surface taking its toll.

The bottom line is that symptoms or lack there of mean nothing about the true outcome. The die has been thrown; The verdict has been cast; The outcome has already been established. I just have to wait a few more days to find out the results.

Waiting

Nothing new to report or much to say. Just waiting, waiting, waiting. Didn't get my progesterone results today like I hoped. Sigh. Oh well. Mostly not obsessing or even thinking about it. Been busy and tired. Very good weekend. Wish everyday was a weekend day = a non-work day. Big Sigh. Don't really think the cycle worked, but...take that like a grain of salt, like I am, since I have felt that way before and was. Only 4 more days. Then, either way. It is another weekend.

Friday, August 04, 2006

7 dpo

One week down, one week to go. Very, very tired. It's been a busy week. Friend came over for dinner and we ordered Chinese food in. Ate too much. Haven't had Chinese food in ages. Now, am very, very thirsty. LOL. Also, had acu appointment this afternoon. Very relaxing. I think I actually dozed off. I don't think that happened. I got the impression that she thought the cycle didn't work, because she was talking about what we should do next week, but then said, let's just see how this cycle goes cause it may be a mute point. Then, she made a comment that me trying like this was like having sex each month and it doesn't work every month. It was like she was trying to level set my expectations. I was afraid to ask if she could tell this early (by pulse, etc.), but did tell her that I had no expectations so far anyway. If it worked, the embryo would be implanted by now. Either way, I find out in a week. And, no stupid parking tickets this time. Yeah! She also found this weird rash on my left elbow that I didn’t even know was there until she mentioned it and showed me. Now, of course, it is bugging me. Can you say psychosomatic?

As far as how I am doing....mostly good. I've been busy and taking it all in stride. Here is an email to my RE about my lab visit this morning and what my current next steps are…

Hi Dr. N - Happy Friday!! I had my blood drawn this morning and got into a minor argument/disagreement with the lab guy because I forgot/didn’t realize that the lipid panel was supposed to be fasting. He told me I couldn’t have the labs drawn today because of that. I told him that I had to have the progesterone test today and would come back another time for the lipid panel. He said, NO, since they are on the same script, they had to be done together. I couldn’t do one now and one later. I calmly put my foot down and insisted that they do at least the progesterone and if they had to do both and the lipid was invalid so be it. So, he finally let me do them both while muttering about how invalid it would be and how I should have been told I should have fasted, etc. which I just ignored. I didn’t have the heart to tell the guy that not only did I not fast, I had waffles for breakfast. LOL. I didn’t want to get the guy even more worked up and have him try to refuse outright again. Good thing I am pretty easy going and don’t let things like this get me worked up. One week down and one week to go until beta. Mostly going fine except for the “occasional” worry about the worst case scenario…an ectopic in my left tube because I am feeling pressure on and off in my left ovary area. Yes, I know, most likely caused by a cyst from the last cycle unless I am so in tune with my body these days I was feeling the embryo travel down the fallopian tube….HAHAHAHA, okay, I’m cracking myself up over here and hopefully, at least made you smile….Anyway, I think I have decided, unless I change my mind again, to take a month off if this cycle doesn’t work mostly because of timing and Max’s 1 year old birthday (on the 17th) and my cousin and family coming into town for it, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to give my body a rest from the meds for a month either. Hope you are well and have a nice, work free weekend. TGIF!!

On that note, I am shutting down my computer and off for a cool bath and bed.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Many Faces of Max

A photo journal of July 2006. Here are some pictures of Max over several weekends in July. He is 11 months and fast approaching his first birthday. My little baby is growing up so very fast. He is more toddler than baby at this point. Where has the year gone?


Lounging outside!


Going for the cat. A favorite passtime.


Waking up with Poo!


Having a grand time!


In his bedroom.


In the kitchen. Doesn't he look so grown up?


Watching a DVD before bed.


So very tired after a long afternoon playing outside.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Feeling Decedent

I’m feeling a bit decedent here. I took the day off work and will spend the afternoon/evening at my friend’s family beach house with several SMC’s (Single Mom’s by Choice). Max is off at the park with his Nanny for another hour and 10 minutes, but who’s counting. Then, we will feed him lunch and put him in the car to nap on the way to the beach.

And, the lady that cleans my house twice a month is here today. So, I will have a nice afternoon away and get to come home tired to a spotless house that should stay that way until morning for a change.

At least, that’s the plan.

I have finished everything I need to before we go and everything is packed. Now, I get to play on the computer for a bit, guilt free. How fun!

Weekends go so quickly these days. I just love spending entire day’s with Max. I am tired at the end, for sure. And, it can be a challenge keeping him entertained and amused at times. As much as “I” love Sunday’s being mommy and Max days. I can tell he is sick of just seeing my face by then so I have had people over the last few Sunday afternoons to swim and play in the back yard. It has really worked out well.

Saturday’s almost always has something going on. This Saturday, it was a party at a friend’s house. Max was the only kid and the house wasn’t baby proofed so I had to watch him like a hawk, but I had brought his walking Hippo which kept him focused for much of the time and we both had a good time.

It also brought a first milestone. It was the first time he pooped, not at home. Odd, huh? It has been almost a year and it was the first time I had to change a poo poo diaper when we were not hat home. I was wondering when the streak would end. It wasn’t a messy blow out, just a normal run of the mill one. Didn’t even need a change of clothes or anything, but I did take the opportunity to put him in his PJ’s for the ride home since it was almost time to leave. I have to laugh because I have been faithfully bringing a change of clothes “just in case” every time we go out, but I have yet to need it even once. One of these days, when I least expect, he will get me good, but, so far, so good. And, it is not as if the kid never gets out, because we are on the go. Remember, we even went 10 days to Michigan for Thanksgiving and Max’s baptism. We have gone overnight several times places. But, he has just never been that regular. Since he is on solids and gets a fruit and vegetable at almost every meal (have to remind Naomi frequently to give Max veggies at lunch and dinner since she often doesn’t), including breakfast (asparagus and pears this morning), he has gotten almost regular. Ah, the things a mom worries about.

Anyway, not much is new. I forgot to take my progesterone yesterday morning. Or, rather, I briefly remember and was going to do it after I showered and then didn’t remember again until 4 pm. Sigh. Today was the last Dex (steroid) since I have been weaning off it since last week when my IVF got cancelled. Other than that, nothing new. Just living life and waiting to see if this cycle worked. The first week is usually pretty easy on me these days. If things did work, the little embryo is making its way down the fallopian tube and implantation should occur around this Friday/Saturday. Then, the second week begins, which is usually a much harder week for me.

Off to make a few phone calls and enjoy my remaining 45 minutes of free time before heading to the beach to celebrate summer. Can’t wait.