Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell, 2008!

I still find it hard to believe that today is the last day of 2008. It still feels like it should be only October. We have pretty boring plans: takeout, videos, and champagne LOL. We used to spend it with friends, but the last few years we've spent by ourselves, and that's nice too. Our sinus infections morphed into slight colds (sore throat for Husband and cough for me), so we're not feeling 100%. I don't get sick often, but if I do, it always seems to be over some sort of vacation unfortunately. The last time I took two classes during fall semester (2 years ago), I was sick over Christmas. Having had a pretty busy year, at least I can discern a pattern.

Our Christmas was pretty good. Christmas Eve with my mother and stepfather went much more smoothly than I anticipated. We talked about baby stuff a little, but I was gratified that she told me she is still anxious too and will wait for our signal before she gets truly excited. She also told us that she plans to give us money towards our nursery furniture! That's a very nice gesture and much appreciated. Alas, after a few glasses of poinsettia punch, she also reiterated that she hoped I would get pg at some point. Again I had to remind her that the state of my tubes rendered that impossible unless we underwent IVF or did an FET with our frozen embryos. Christmas day we went to my cousin's, and it was very nice seeing cousin L with her little pooch of a belly and cousin-in-law C with her 7-month belly. My aunts greeted me as the other mother-to-be, which I thought was sweet. And true! My aunts hope to be able to get all four babies together next Christmas. What a cute picture that would make! My cousin-in-law's shower is in mid-January, and I plan to attend.

Our final Christmas event was last Saturday with Husband's family. It went like it usually did: bad food, too much alcohol and irritating relatives LOL. Unfortunately, little progress has been made with the hardwoods since we've been a bit under the weather. Oh well. It will keep.

Which brings us back to today, New Year's Eve. 2008 was an ok year. It was really busy, and I don't feel like I've had a chance to rest properly until this week. It was also very stressful. However, 2008 ends on a much different note than any of the past few years have. Last year I said that I wanted to be on the last stage of this journey: either we would be successful with surrogacy or getting ready to move on to adoption and knock on wood, I'm happy I've been able to keep that resolution. It's the little steps like that, being able to glimpse a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, that have kept me sane during this process. I feel like we have emerged from some of the darkness of the past few years. We're 18 weeks today and hopefully things will continue in 2009 as smoothly as they have so far.

May 2009 be good to us all. Have fun, be safe and I'll see you next year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Almost 17 Weeks and Happy Holidays

It has been a busy several days! My last day of work for 2008 was last Friday, and I was busy right up until I cut off my computer. Everyone seemed to have one last "little" (usually not-so-little) change they wanted made. I may dislike my job at times and wish I didn't allow it to cause me so much stress, but I do admit that I have a pretty nice situation working for a local university. We get several days off for the holidays and then a few years ago, they started closing the university for the other days. You have to use vacation for those extra days, but it's ok to me because I would have taken those days off anyway. I took a couple extra days off and won't return to work until 1/5/09! Happily, Christmas shopping is done and gifts are wrapped. I make goodie bags for family every year and will start that baking tomorrow.

In the meantime, Husband is working on installing hardwoods in what will become the guest room. The hardwoods symbolize our first major purchase for the baby. We had truly hideous carpet in our bedroom and the other two bedrooms, and we would either need to replace the carpet or do something different, and we decided to put in hardwoods. The current guest room will become the nursery, and the empty room (the one being worked on currently) will become the guest room. Perhaps not surprisingly, the first room is taking a LOT longer than anticipated. I made a deal with Husband that if he insisted on starting this project during the holidays, I would not help him (much) because he had been insisting for months that I needed to relax. Well, installing hardwoods is not my idea of relaxation! So I've done everything to prepare for Christmas, and he's been dealing with the prep in the first room. And on top of that, we think we might have sinuses infections.

We had our second OB appointment today, and it went well. It was supposed to be a fairly routine visit, but the doctor couldn't find the baby's HB consistently with the doppler, so we had another u/s! Reassuringly, the little heart was beating nicely, and we were able to get a classic profile picture of the baby. It really looks like a baby now. It wasn't moving as much as it had been during other u/s, but it did kick its legs and I think I see toes in our picture. Unfortunately, the u/s machine wasn't good enough to detect gender, so that will wait until our Jan. 19 appointment. And F is showing! It's so cute! We'll be 17 weeks on Wednesday, and it was a nice Christmas surprise to have another u/s. We had the quad screen bloodwork drawn, and I found out that unless something really worries them, we likely won't find out the results until our next appointment. I made sure that they used my age (31) for their calculations (because F is older and would technically be considered AMA at 36).

Husband and I have 4 sets of parents between us, so Christmas has already begun. We had dinner with my father and stepmother on Saturday and then Wednesday we travel to my hometown (near Winston-Salem) to spend Christmas Eve with my mother and stepfather. We'll go to my cousin's house on Christmas for brunch and then head back to our house later that day. And then on Dec. 27 we'll have Christmas with the in-laws. It makes for an exhausting week. I'm curious about how Christmas with my family is going to go. It's my mother's side of the family that has the two pg cousins (one of whom is hosting Christmas brunch) and the cousin who just gave birth last month. I am really, really ready to be excited and talk baby stuff non-stop but then another part of me still feels anxiety when I do. I think I'm just going to have to go with what feels right. Intriguingly, all of my cousins have had or are having boys. We are the only "unknown" gender right now. I'm trying to decide if those odds favor us to have a girl or if we will make the 4th boy. F still swears all her dreams are girls. Honestly, we don't care as long as it is healthy.

I hope all of you have wonderful holidays. I hope in some way this Christmas is different, better than what you experienced last year. I bought a tiny stocking for the baby while we were at Biltmore, and I felt panicky after I bought it, but it's up and hanging over my stocking, and I just need to embrace our situation. Last year I felt a tiny bit of hope that maybe Christmas 2008 would be different, and it is. This year, I feel even more (cautious) hope that Christmas 2009 will be even more different. May it be a good holiday for us all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Congrats to N!

I am so happy to be able to post that fellow IM N's surrogate gave birth to her twins on Monday. N and I met on another fertility board over a year ago and cycled together and experienced cycle failure together. Like me, she's an endo sufferer. I let my subscription lapse, and we fell out of touch. A few months later, a mutual friend emailed me and told me that N had decided to pursue surrogacy as well and gave me her email address. We started emailing, and it was such a great day last spring when I emailed her and found out that she was having twins via surrogacy. Her success helped me believe that surrogacy could work for us as well and that maybe it would be the answer to our prayers.

So, N, congratulations on the birth of your babies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Greetings on this quiet (at least in my world) Wednesday! We are 15 weeks today! Sometimes I can't believe how quickly the last few weeks have passed, but I know I still have quite a bit of time to go. Yesterday, F told me that she is pretty sure she is feeling the baby move. She has felt it three times and says it feels like something is moving under her skin. This is her fifth pregnancy, so she's the expert! We were very excited to hear that he is moving.

I started back on the anti-anxiety medication on Friday and after a rough few days of being jittery and not sleeping, I think it's back in my system. I already feel calmer and more detached from some of my stressors, so I'm hoping my last few working weeks of 2008 can proceed smoothly and calmly and that I'll be able to relax over the holidays.

I went to a cookie exchange on Saturday, and it was mostly fun. I've known most of the women since 2001 when we met online planning our weddings. We soon met in person since we all live locally and have gotten together a few times a year at least since. Not surprisingly, I've pulled away from the group a little bit in the last 2 years because most of them have had babies, and it's just been too difficult. However, the cookie exchange is a tradition I try to participate in. they know about the surrogacy and eventually, the conversation moved to me and the latest news. I was a little bothered by some of their comments unfortunately. I mentioned that this baby was F's fifth pregnancy in reference to leaving some decision up to her, and one of the women commented, "So she's a pro" and then stopped, laughed and said, "She really IS a pro!" One of the women asked if F worked, and I told her that she was a SAHM and that her youngest had just started school this year. She commented, "Wow, how nice! I would love to get paid to sit and 'bake' a baby as my job!"

You can imagine my dismay. The whole conversation ruined some of my enjoyment of the day. For one thing, I bristle at the implication that surrogacy is a job and that we are F's employers. Sometimes I struggle to put into words the relationship we have with her because we are not family or friends (we didn't know her previously) and yes, we are paying her to carry our child. But it's not at all employer-employee. We' All the talk of it being a job and her being a professional seemed to cheapen our situation and relationship. I feel very protective of our surrogacy and path to parenthood.

I also feel bad because I didn't say anything to correct them when they made the comments. I've corrected people one-on-one in the past about surrogacy not being F's job, but I don't know why I didn't then. I consider this group of women to be fairly enlightened, so maybe it shocked me that they held some of the same misconceptions as others do about what surrogacy is. Also, I didn't feel completely in control of myself and responses due to the anti-anxiety medication, so I feared that my response would be less controlled than I liked. These women mean well. They are genuinely glad for us and would be upset if they knew I was hurt by their comments, so maybe that's why I didn't say anything. I guess in some ways I should be glad this situation occurred with people I like and in a fairly benign environment. It's good preparation for the comments we might receive once we announce our news at work and to the general public. Better start working on our answers...

Husband and I are headed to Asheville for the weekend on Friday for our annual trip to Biltmore House. We go almost every year for the Candlelight Christmas event and get sloshed at the winery. We've gone with friends and family in the past but really enjoy it just the two of us. I'm considering it a last hurrah for a while since we likely (hopefully!) won't be able to go next year. It's a special trip for us because we spent our honeymoon in Asheville, so it feels like an anniversary celebration every December we go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Second Tri and NY Times Article

First of all, I hate my job. There, I've said it. I don't really hate my job as much as I hate the politics and people issues I have to deal with on a daily basis. But that's ok. I'm dealing with it and when I get my happy pills on Friday, I'll be able to deal with it even better. And I'll be able to deal with it even more in 11 days when I am on vacation for the rest of the year. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened; it's just been one of those weeks.

Anyhoo...we are 14 weeks today. I think that technically we are in the second trimester now? I know some calculators put us in the second trimester last week, but I know that we are definitely there by 14 weeks. Yay! F texted me today and told me she was going to send me a picture of her belly tonight b/c it's starting to pooch out. I can't wait to see it! She also had a pregnancy dream and told me that we had a girl who looked just like me with red peach fuzz and that her pregnancy gender dreams are never wrong. We'll know in January! I'm still referring to it as "he" to give it a gender and I'm politically incorrect having grown up in a time when "he" was the default gender neutral pronoun.

My school semester is creeping to its end as well. I'm done with one class and 90% done with the other. Our final project is a group project, and I'm waiting for a group member to submit his stuff. Then I will format it and send it off. Happily, this will be done by Friday at the latest though I had hoped to be able to finish up everything last night or today. After that, I will officially have 75% of my grad program completed. Everyone keeps asking if I will finish next year, and I smile and say "maybe" since I plan to withdraw for a year after the spring 2009 semester (withdrawing for a year stops the clock; otherwise I would lose a semester and they want you to finish within 5 years).

And now to the NY Times Magazine article about surrogacy: Her Body, My Baby by Alex Kuczynski. Several of my fellow surrogacy bloggers have blogged (fabulously I might add) about last week's NY Times article on surrogacy (N, Tabi, Kymberli), and I would like to add my two cents as well. I didn't read the comments in response to the article because I knew they would infuriate me, and in some ways, the article was bad enough. I applaud Ms. Kuczynski for putting it all out there. Her honesty was great and provided a thorough view of surrogacy from the IPs' perspective that you don't often encounter such as the crushing cycling failures and worries about feeling like a mother and even some jealousy about not being the pregnant one. I appreciated that since I think that sometimes what you read are the extreme stories of the Intended Mother (IM) resenting and envying her surrogate to the detriment of the relationship or the IM and surrogate being best friends with absolutely, positively no bad feelings or doubt. So kudos to you for that, Ms. Kuczynski.

However, ultimately I don't think that Ms. Kuczynski did the surrogacy community any favors. Her tone and comments at times were elitist (though honest). I cringed when I read that one of her reasons for picking her surrogate was because her application was word processed instead of handwritten, indicating a modicum of education and computer literacy. Ugh! Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I like to think that she was trying to dispell the notion that only poor, uneducated women become surrogates, but she ended up providing support for those surrogacy critics who believe surrogacy exploits women. It also didn't help that she made surrogacy appear to be something only the extremely wealthy could afford by flaunting her family's income, again providing support for exploitation claims.

I do not mean to insinuate the surrogacy is not expensive because it is and unfortunately the cost prevents a lot of couples from being able to pursue it. Often what gets lost is WHY surrogacy is (usually) compensated: another woman and her entire family are disrupting their lives for you for pretty much an entire year. And pregnancy is a 24/7 state. It's very easy to read some of the compensation figures and gasp, thinking negative things about both parties involved. But when you shift your thinking and start to realize all that is involved, I'm amazed compensation figures aren't higher. That I wish surrogacy was free? That would be nice :-) But I also wish that I didn't have to pay thousands for an IVF cycle and medication. Or $1000 to have my cyst aspirated last summer. Or $2000 for a laparoscopy. It would also have been nice to be able to have sex and bam, positive HPT. But it is what it is.

I guess what I am trying to say is that all the surrogacy articles seem to be about rich IPs and/or less well-off surrogates. It would be great to have an article about the majority of IPs who have struggled and sacrificed and received help from family and held yard sales and bake sales and gotten second jobs to be able to attempt surrogacy, to be able to attempt to make their dream come true. These are the same people who would likely have to scrimp and save and sacrifice in order to come up with the costs for an adoption as well, yet that is somehow more acceptable. The IPs who wait years before being able to cycle because they have to save the money first. Are there rich IPs? Of course there are. But based on what I read, the majority of IPs are not. I hoped that the article's emphasis on the writer's feelings throughout the process would help the perception of surrogacy, but I have realized that is doubtful because as a surrogacy insider, I respond to her feelings but to the general public, that part of the journey is lost behind her elitist, nasty comments and the money issue.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Bizarre World of the OB's Office

First of all, thank you all for your comments on my super-long, somewhat maudlin, melodramatic previous post. Some posts cause "posting regret" afterwards, and I worried about that one. As always, you all provided me with wonderful empathy and support.

We had our first OB appointment on Monday, and what a strange experience that was. Husband and I felt like that episode of Grey's Anatomy in which Christina discovered the heaven-like dermatology floor. After the tense, worried, unsmiling atomosphere of RE offices over the years, we didn't know what to think to be in a doctor's office where people were (mostly, usually) happy to be there and smiling. Husband said he needed a drink afterwards because he was so stressed out and unused to such a happy atmosphere LOL. We met with the nurse first, and it was amusing as she tried to figure out how to approach the patient history. She finally asked both F and I to answer each question since a certain answer from either of us might be important.

The actual doctor visit was ok. She couldn't find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler, which coworkers had thankfully warned me would likely happen at least once early on. That meant we got another ultrasound! We were able to see the baby swim from one side to the other and move around. The baby's legs seemed incredibly long. It has morphed from an alien to something resembling Anne Rice's Taltos in the Mayfair Witches series. However, we have our own name for it :-) The doctor was a bit terse, but thankfully after our experience with our last RE (AKA Dr. Sticks-Foot-In-Mouth), we could handle it. Distressingly, the clinic had NOT sent F's records over despite her having signed the release form. I'm not surprised, though. Front office organization was not one of the clinic's strong points. My only concern about the records is that they seem reluctant to use the due date we gave them (June 3) because they typically date from transfer not retrieval and want to see the u/s reports. I'm sure it will all be worked out.

We also ran into people we know in the waiting room. They are casual friends from Husband's high school days. They were at our wedding, but we're Christmas card friends mainly. Anyway, they are 8 weeks with baby #2...and #3. Yes, twins (likely naturally). That was a bit of a slap in the face. I still can't encounter twins without feeling a pang for our vanished twin. I hadn't expected to encounter anyone we knew, so I was caught off guard. I figured that I couldn't pretend to be there for a routine gyn visit with Husband there, so we told them our news, and to their credit, they didn't bat an eye when we mentioned surrogacy. It's not that I don't think people will say awful things, but I expect a few double takes. Or maybe I shouldn't? Anyway, it was a good practice. Maybe it was serendipity after my friend worries of the last week. She and I have been emailing a bit since, and it feels pretty natural.

Because I am who I am, I have a new worry: the quad screen. We will have that test at our next appointment in December, and I am petrified. I know that the odds are very good that everything will be fine, but suddenly, that test is all I can think about. And it's a month away. Ugh. I'm trying to talk myself down, but it's not working so far. I think my anxiety is exacerbated by this being the last major work week of the semester as well as sinus issues. I'm feeling tired and not entirely well. We decided not to have the first trimester screening, and now I wonder if that was smart. However, Husband and I had a good talk about it tonight, and I'm hoping that our talk has helped me to push my anxiety about that test from the front burner on high to the back burner on a low simmer.

My next project will be trying not to hyperventilate when I talk to my mother and she blithely talks about baby stuff. I kid you not. The past two times I've talked to her, she has chatted about cribs and happy baby stuff, and I've felt a full blown panic attack threatening. I think she gets to me because she glosses over my worries and fears like they are nothing, which is one reason why I withdrew from her over the past 3 years. I didn't and still don't need platitudes.

Book sale was wonderful: 59 books for $32. Can't beat that! I even bought two books to read to the baby. We're going to make a podcast for F to use. I also ventured to the parenting section and didn't freak out. It's interesting to me to plot our fertility journey with the book sale over the years: November 2005: I whispered to K that we were trying. She was somewhat dismayed thinking that I wouldn't be able to enjoy our upcoming sloshy trip to Biltmore. Ha ha. November 2006: Friend J is pg after 1 cycle of Clomid and I have a painful endometrioma after 5 Clomid and one injectable cycle. I shyly and painfully pick out a baby book for J at the book sale. November 2007: I attend the book sale on Friday night with pg K and return to the book sale alone on Saturday. I glance at the parenting section and wonder if 2008 will be different. We meet F and her husband in person for the first time that afternoon and like them a lot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are 13 weeks today, and I am trying very, very, very hard to count my blessings because I have so much for which to be thankful. Eat and drink lots! I know I will be :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Strange Week

It has been a rather strange week. I started the week sort of dreading it because I had a ton of meetings and appointments and wanted to hole up in my office instead. Plus, my parents were coming in this weekend, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to rest until Sunday. Almost immediately on Monday, meetings and plans started getting cancelled or rescheduled, leaving me with an almost free week. Then my mother announced that they couldn't come after all this weekend because my stepfather has to work, and when I emailed my friend K to tell her that our plans to attend the county library book sale had just become a lot freer, she told me that she forgot the date and scheduled her daughter's dedication for this weekend. It was like dominoes falling. Suddenly, I am free! Husband and I have the entire weekend to ourselves, and I can come and go as I please to the book sale.

Oh, two of the appointments that were scheduled were our OB appointments. F had a flat tire on Tuesday that prevented her from being able to make the nurse's appointment, and the practice requires you see the nurse before the OB, so both appointments had to be rescheduled for next Monday. Oh well. We'll be almost 13 weeks then, and at least I'll be able to go into Thanksgiving having had another u/s that week.

Honestly, while I am perfectly happy to be able to go to the book sale on my own terms, I'm a little disappointed in K. We have been going to the library book sale together for years. We make an event out of it, always going on the Saturday of the sale because paperbacks are 50 cents and having a wine lunch afterwards with Husband. Last year she couldn't go because she was pg and attended a day-long baby care class instead. We went to the sale on the Friday instead and had only about 2 hours together, and I returned by myself the next day. This year, even though we had talked about it already, she forgot the date and booked it.

I'm telling myself that things are different now that she has a baby and apparently motherhood has increased her inherent flakiness, but to me it's just another sign that maybe I should just give up and back off. I mentioned that we would have to do something in December and that Husband would love to hear from her husband G and she replied that G would love to swap work war stories with Husband. Yeah, like anything will be planned. Correction: If we plan it, it is the only way it will happen. But I want to leave it up to her and I know we won't hear from them because Husband and I always had to plan everything. I'm just trying to understand what's going on in her head; it appears that there is a blank spot where we are concerned.

I know I keep rehashing the friend situation to the point where you are all probably extremely tired of it, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. I mentioned my bitterness about my friends and their continuing complete lack of response to us to my therapist about 2 weeks ago, and she gave me permission to find new friends and write off the "friends" I have, accepting that maybe the friendships have run their course and that Husband and I deserve better. It was helpful of her to say that because I had begun to wonder what it was about me and Husband that friends seemed to drop us so easily. We're up to 3 sets of friends who have been able to write us off. I don't think we are awful people or unworthy of friendship, but it makes you wonder. So, I'm going to try to stop emailing K. I hope I'm not painting this picture of me as desperate and constantly emailing her. I've been updating her on our doctor appointments, but really, it's more out of loneliness than anything else. Other than family, with whom I'm not all that close, I don't have anyone else to talk to. But she's giving me nothing in return. Clearly, she's not very interested or able to be interested and involved right now. Better to accept that and move on instead of being hurt constantly. And it's not like I think she's giving me the friend version of "[S]He's Just Not That Into you"; she honestly is flaky and fairly self-involved. But I've been there for her, and she hasn't for me. Time to move on.

Who are these people who are able to have and keep lots of friends? I'm on Facebook, and that's what I wonder as I watch other people. I'm not innocent here. I have former close friends--definite kindred spirits--from whom I've drifted away, so I need to take a look at myself too. I think a big issue is that I've always been someone who has a few close friends instead of many friends. And now that's bitten me. I think a lot about this now that we are sort of ready to emerge from our shells and re-engage. Just where do you find friends? I have good candidates, but I've held back from them b/c they had kids and it was too painful to take it all the way. I'd been hesitant for a while to engage with RL IFers through Resolve because they often move on, and you never knew how long the comfort level will be there. I think that the situation will fix itself somewhat once the baby arrives and we are able to go to playgroups and such things. After Intending to Be Parents mentioned that she is member of a pregnancy after reproductive technology group, I checked and there doesn't seem to be one in my area. I don't know what I'm looking for. I miss the friends I had in high school. I miss the few close friends I made in college (of which K was one). I could try to reconnect with them, but their lives have unfolded so differently. Mostly I just wonder how I got here, alone. And what blame should I take for that?

I apologize for the length of this post. I'm just feeling a little alone and lost with the holidays approaching. I expected to feel different this year. I do, but some of the same hurts are still there. It's like throwing a party to which no one comes. But I have to remember that I have changed. The last few years have changed me...think cocoons and chrysalis and butterflies and that sort of metaphor. Only I don't feel as much like a butterfly as Kafka's cockroach.

My therapist also suggested I resume my anxiety medication. After this LONG, rambling, inchoate post, think that's a good idea? :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A bit of a milestone

Fingers crossed that we won't have more severe weather today. My weather radio woke me up at 2:30 this morning with news that my county was under a tornado warning. I was horribly afraid of tornadoes and storms as a child, so it is a testament to how much progress I have made that I didn't immediately flee to the closet! Thankfully for us (though not to the people in the storm's path), the storm was to the south of us and no danger to us.

We had our 3rd u/s at the clinic on Friday, and after waiting for almost 2 hours we finally got to see how much progress our wiggler has made. He was measuring 11w1d and we were 11w2d. I was amazed at how much like a baby he looked. He was asleep but soon woke up and started moving around. Happily, we have now been released to the OB, and we have our first OB appointment next Thursday. After that appointment, I will officially be in u/s withdrawal!

I discovered this week that one of my coworkers is going through IF. I had a feeling about her, and when she mentioned that she had a lot of appointments lately, I told her that I thought we should talk sometime. She came to me later that day, and we exchanged war stories. She and her husband have been trying for 4 years with a miscarriage along the way and were planning to have egg retrieval for her first IVF cycle on Friday (this was Wednesday). She is cycling at Wake Forest University, which is around 2.5 hours from her home. I hugged her and wished her luck, and then sadly, she came to me later that day and told me that her cycle had been converted to an IUI because she had started to ovulate. As you can imagine, she was devastated. I felt so bad for her. All that prep. All that expense. The hours spent commuting to Winston-Salem. She said, "It's ok" and I vehemently replied, "it's NOT ok. This sucks, and I am so sorry you have to go through it." I've always been a believer in acknowledging what you feel and accepting the bad stuff because often, you are the only one who will. I just felt so bad for her.

It was also a little weird for me because it was my first occasion as "the other." I know that realizing that you have moved to have a different category and that others may find your altered status hurtful is one of the cliche posts in IF land. It's just taken me a little longer to get there because we are doing surrogacy. Yes, so far we have been successful. But since I am not the one throwing up or dealing with all-over fatigue, it's been easy at times to forget that we have achieved some level of success or that others would consider us to have moved on. I suddenly understand how easy it is to appear to forget from where you came...I almost offered to show her our u/s pic for heaven's sake (during our first conversation, not the second after she had found out that her cycle was being converted--even I'm not that insensitive)! I still feel like I am straddling two worlds. Do I keep my "street cred" since I am not actually physically pg or have I moved on as well? How have others handled this? I guess I feel like my reactions are lagging behind our new reality.

And, if you could, please keep my friend L in your thoughts. I met L while we were cycling at the same clinic and through some mutual Resolve friends last year. We fought in the IF trench together. L was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery on Monday. Her diagnosis was like a kick in the gut and a reminder of how unfair life is that this wonderful person and her family should have to deal with cancer on top of the everything else. L is a great, generous person and a reader of my blog, and I want her to know that I am sending her all the strength and positive thoughts I can. I am so angry this is happening to her but in awe of her spirit and strength in dealing with this situation.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Everything is Fine!

Happy Monday! I apologize for the delay in updating. I kept hoping that Husband would hook up the scanner (a feat beyond me though I work as a web developer) so we could scan the u/s pics and I could create a page for them on the blog and post about everything at the same time, etc. Unfortunately, he did not get to it over the weekend.

Anyway, you can say that you told me so :-) The u/s was fine! Actually it was great! The baby was measuring 9w6d (we were 10w2d) and was moving like crazy. I was amazed at how much movement there was! And I could see the heartbeat so clearly. What a relief! The RE wants to see us one more time this Friday, but he assured us that it was only to check on the vanishing twin and that everything with the baby looks great. He also told us we could make the first OB appointment, so F is going to do that today. It was wonderful being able to leave an appointment feeling relieved and excited. I'm sure I'll start to feel anxious again as Friday approaches, but I won't dread it like I did last Friday's appointment. Whew!

In non-baby news, I cannot WAIT for this semester to be over. I am taking two classes which is always a bit much in the fall semester, and they are awful. I signed up for 2 knowing that if things went badly with our cycle, they would help pass the time. Plus, taking two leaves me with only 12 hours left in my graduate program. What I didn't count on was how tired I am. I have taken 15 hours of classes this year plus working full time plus cycling. I am exhausted! And unfortunately, one of the classes for this semester has been really, really bad b/c it was the first time the professor had taught it online and it is all group work with a difficult, nay impossible final project. I meet with my groups twice a week for the class and spend most of the weekends doing work. I'm so ready for it to be over. Only a few more weeks. That's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pins and Needles and Family Surprises

I intended to post earlier this week, but it has been a really busy week. That hasn't been a completely bad thing, though. You can probably guess that I'm pretty anxious for our second u/s tomorrow. I keep telling myself that it will more than likely be fine--no reason to think otherwise (well, other than our twin of course)--but my overactive imagination keeps exploring all the dark possibilities. No matter what, hopefully I will be alert enough to ask some of the questions we want to ask. I was as dumbfounded at our first u/s as I was at my first few monitoring appointments when I wasn't responding but couldn't think of my questions until later. And they don't volunteer information easily at my clinic; you usually have to ask and re-ask. I have to work late tonight due to a big migration, and I'm coming in a for a couple of hours tomorrow to make sure everything is working correctly, but after I leave for our appointment, I'm not returning for the day. Our appointment is at 10:20 and afterwards we will go to lunch with F.

I had some interesting, rather shocking news last week. I mentioned back in August or September that I found out my youngest cousin was starting down the IF path. Well, this cousin, L, called me last Wednesday to congratulate me on seeing the h/b at our first u/s. I thought it was really sweet of her and asked her how she was. She asked if I had talked to my mother and at that moment I knew: she is pregnant. And she is. She's about 4 weeks ahead of us. She had asked the family not to tell me until we knew what was going on with our situation. It was very sweet of her to be so considerate of me but somewhat annoying at the same time since no IFer wants to be the last to know and realize that everyone in her family has been conspiring to keep it from her. I talked to my mother, and it turns out that L has a thyroid condition that wasn't diagnosed until she was already pregnant and that she should have been on medication before she became pregnant. Apparently, there is a chance she could still miscarry.

I have a LOT of conflicting feelings about L's news. I'm happy for her truly. I hope her thyroid causes her no more trouble, and I'm glad she didn't have to venture down the IF path. But I'm kind of pissed at my family and at my mother. So my mother's sisters can keep their children's secrets but my mother can't keep mine? Granted, I never explicitly asked her to keep our news a secret at any point (mainly because I knew it would be futile), but it would have been nice. And it's rather infuriating that my mother can keep other peoples' secrets. Argh. However, in some twisted way, I think my mother's heart was in the right place (for once) and she was trying to be considerate of me (for once). She had no compunction about passing along other people's pregnancy news in the past.

I confess that I felt a huge knot in my stomach when L told me. You see, I have 3 cousins. Between now and next June, there is the possibility of 4 new babies in our family. That's wonderful, you might say. What a blessing! Except that I suddenly feel performance anxiety. Four! Can all 4 really happen? Who is the weak link in that chain? I feel like we are (because I always feel like I am the worst and lowest) though realistically one could argue it's my cousin L. Plus, the cousin who is due any day is on child #2. My other two cousins are siblings, so their mother will have two grandbabies. So that's 2 grandchildren for each aunt. And I just hope I can make my mother a grandmother of 1. I know it's not a competition and what will happen will happen. After my conversation with L, I felt like everything was doomed. Hopefully my thoughts are going to dark places for nothing.

I decided that I need to focus on the here and now. I look at our u/s pictures daily and send all the love I can to my wiggleworm. Hopefully we'll have beautiful pictures of an even bigger wiggleworm tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mostly Good News

Today was the long-awaited u/s. I had a hard time sleeping last night and felt even more nervous today. It was like the first day of school and Christmas Eve combined :-) I'm happy to report that we saw a wriggling, dancing alien with a hearbeat. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. The sad news is that it looks like we did have a twin that stopped developing about a week or so ago. The doctor measured the baby at 8w2d, which is a little less than the almost 9 weeks we are, but I know that's pretty normal, right? He wants to see us again, so our next appointment is on Nov. 7. We had hoped to be released to the OB today.

I know he said everything looked good with our dancer, but I am slightly freaked out. I had hoped today would bring some relief, but now I'm even more anxious and scared and worried. And I'm sad for our twin. But I'm happy too. We have pictures, and it is amazing.

It didn't help that Dr-Says-the-Wrong-Thing said, "aren't you glad that you put back 3?" as we were staring at the monitor, feeling happy for our 1 and sad for the other.

So, I'm a mix of feelings. I didn't expect to feel so mixed up. I guess I just need to keep taking deep breaths and enjoy today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anticipation and Impatience

First of all, here's a picture of the cookies I made with my fall cookie cutters. The cooler weather has really made it feel like fall, and I love it! I plan to make more cookies this weekend and finally use my Halloween cookie cutters.

I wanted to thank you all for the comments on my previous post. You all were right about how I need to "own" the pregnancy as my own. I've been thinking a lot about that and have made progress on that front. As suggested by N, I've been thinking about starting a blog for my family and RL friends where I can post updates and pics as things progress. I'm unsure how receptive my family will be from a technology point of view, but I know some will be comfortable with the idea of a blog. We'll see. At any rate, it will be a nice way for me and Husband to preserver the journey.

We are 8 weeks today. This time next week will have had our u/s and know what's going on in F's uterus! I hope desperately it's a good appointment. She's still feeling quite sick and tired, which I cling to though I know that doesn't necessarily mean everything is ok. I've been telling myself for weeks that I'd allow myself to believe, to hope, to get a little excited after the u/s. I've stuck with that. I haven't looked at clothes or furniture. The only acknowledgement I have made is to start researching daycare LOL! Even though I've tried to remain somewhat at arms length, I can feel myself relaxing more and more each week. I am so ready to be able to accept this and start planning, to get my head out of the sand. I haven't read a thing yet on planning or parenting or anything baby-related, which is very unusual for me. Please, please let me be able to make that transition. Please let our appointment go well. I'm so ready for it!

Have any of you been reading the series of articles on surrogacy in the St. Petersberg Times? I'm interested to know how others feel about the articles. I'm conflicted. It's a decent series and handles the topic pretty well overall and puts a human face on surrogacy via the surrogate. I'm a little bothered by the language used: professional surrogate, the IM contemplated "getting rid" of her current surrogate and egg donor, the constant emphasis on cost. The language just seems carelessly chosen, and I wonder at the motivation of the reporter and how much she delved into the surrogacy community before writing it. I wonder if it will do more harm than help the perception most people have of surrogacy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yay for it being Wednesday and another week down! The clinic called on Friday and wanted to reschedule our u/s for Nov. 1 due to a doctor conflict! Ugh! Thankfully, after I reminded them that they have two doctors in the practice, we were able to reschedule the u/s for Oct. 28 and with the doctor with whom we have been working all along. So only one day longer to wait.

My mother emails me at least once a week to "check in." I have some mixed feelings about it. I tell her what I know/have heard from F, but beyond that, I'm not sure what she's asking. I assume she's asking about the, um, happy situation. Is she asking only about that or is she checking in on me as well? I usually also tell her how crazy work is, how busy I am with school, etc. I know she's excited, but it's a little weird for me b/c I'm not the one experiencing the happy situation, so I'm not sure what to tell her and what she wants to hear. How did others going through surrogacy handle such inquiries?

I'm a little irritated by a close friend--someone who considers us best friends-- and her reaction to our news. Basically, she responded "awesome" and then went on to talk about herself, and I haven't heard anything more from her since. Well, I've heard some about her new job. I'm trying not to be oversensitive, but I guess I thought that maybe she would...I don't a little more engaged? Even though it hurt, I engaged with her when she was pg. I suppose I thought that since our friends hadn't really been there for us during the dark times, maybe they'd be there for us during a happy time. I guess I was wrong on that as well. I know it's early, and I know she's busy with her new job and 5-month-old. I also know that she is and has always been somewhat flaky. She always tells me what a good friend I am, but it's never reciprocated. I hesitated even to post about it b/c I'm not exactly talking much about our situation yet and wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. But it's really bothering me.

I think the bigger issue is that even though I'm more cynical than that, a part of me hoped that maybe things would magically spring back to normal with our friends if we had success and all the stress on those relationships (naturally caused by our inability to you know, just get over it and act like everything was hunky dory as they proceeded to journey to the next stage of life) would be repaired. And that Husband and I could and would forgive and forget all the hurts they caused us by never calling, seldom emailing, changing the subject if we expressed sadness, anger, or bitterness, not acknowledging birthdays, basically not being what we consider friends when we needed them most. We aren't the same people as we were 3 years ago, though. We've become accustomed to being alone, and that's ok. And I really don't want to focus on this friend and her behavior and count only the slights when this is a great time for us and so many people have been genuinely happy for us. Hopefully writing about it will help me exorcise some of the anger I feel.

I don't want to end this post on a nasty note, so here is a picture of my mums in full bloom:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Can't Speak

Isn't it funny how when the event on which you have been waiting for years finally happens, your secondary reaction is terror? Now that the initial jubilation has passed, I am terrified of something going wrong. The terror manifests itself in my reluctance to speak or write about our status for fear of jinxing it. I have wanted to post for days but haven't been able to. Every time I do talk it about it, I feel like begging whatever deity may or may not control the universe not to punish me for my audacity.

Ugh. It's going to be a long 34 weeks. I'm going to talk about it tentatively here. According to those due date calculators, we are 6 weeks along today. I have a tiny "6" noted on our kitchen calendar but can't bring myself to number the following weeks. Maybe I can do the "7" this weekend. F tells me that she feels sick and tired and already has difficulty buttoning her jeans (this is her 5th pg). Good stuff I hope!

Husband and I worked in the yard over the weekend, and I think for the first time in years we both felt a sense of calmness and accomplishment as well as energy because we were tackling projects that we had wanted to for a while as well as just having energy to live vs. energy that just keeps us going. I bought fall cookie cutters and made sugar cookies. I love the fall. Adore it. I love decorating and cooking and planning for the holidays but as the IF crap intensified, I went through the motions each fall, but it wasn't the same. I remember posting this time last year about how I felt myself getting excited for Halloween and then wondering what the point was. I enjoyed making those cookies last week, and silly as it is, those cookies symbolize that maybe, just maybe things really will be different. Last week and this week I was truly able to enjoy the season. Hopefully next week I will be able to as well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We had our third and final beta today, and the number came back at 1892!!! Our u/s is Oct. 27 at 10am. Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm, excitement and good wishes! This is all still so unbelievable!

This is how we celebrated on Saturday.
Husband is a fan of Remy Martin XO cognac. He has been working on this bottle for years and a few years ago reached the point where there was just enough for a snifter or two left. He couldn't bring himself to finish it and buy a new bottle when so much was going so wrong. We promised each other that we'd finish it when we had some good news. Well, after the phone call on Saturday, he went straight to the bar, brought out the Remy and we finished it up. Cognac at 1:30pm tastes great! I haven't cried yet, but when I saw that bottle, I almost did because of what it signified.

So here is to reaching the milestone of having the u/s scheduled!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I had a whole post planned for this, but I can't wait for Husband to send me the pictures, so here goes:

Beta 1 (Saturday): 312
Beta 2 (Monday): 725

So far, so good! We're...moving in the right direction! I can't bring myself to use the "p" word yet as I'm sure you all understand. I had intended to post about the first beta, but after we told our mothers, I started to feel superstitious and anxious, so I decided to wait until the second beta before we told anyone else.

We are stunned and happy. After 3 years, 1 month and 16 days, something good happened. F said she first tested positive on 7dp3dt and has been feeling pretty sick already. We have one more beta on Wednesday and then they will schedule the u/s for late October.

I'm wondering when this news is going to sink in!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some Truly Good News

I wasn't sure how today would go because I started the day by spilling coffee on myself as I got out of the car at work. It wasn't a lot of coffee, but it seemed like a lot of coffee. I had nothing in the car to wipe up the coffee, so I walked into the office with coffee dripping off my pants legs. Just my luck, there were a number of people in our lobby for the class we are holding this week, so I'm sure they were curious about the coffee (it was really obvious). Thankfully, the coffee wasn't a total indicator of how the day would go because we received some good news today.

It turns out that we have 5 embryos frozen!!! 3 were frozen on day 5 and another 2 were frozen on day 6. That is SUCH a relief. It removes some of the worry I had about the quality of our embryos, and if this cycle doesn't work, we can try a frozen cycle and save a little $$$.

F is still very optimistic about this cycle, and we are trying to be. Actually, I think Husband and I are trying not to think about it. His birthday is this Thursday, and we again feel like another birthday celebration is somewhat on hold. We did have a bit of a scare yesterday because F told me she realized she is having an allergic reaction to the PIO, so the nurse had to call in a new prescription for her. Anyone know anything about allergic reactions preventing implantation?

It's always something!

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Week Down

One week down, one week to go. And it's been the longest week ever! I don't think it was only because I am antsy to know what the outcome will be. Of course that is part of it! This week was the first week in a while where I didn't have appointments or anything. Plus I'm worn out and just wanted it to be the weekend since, oh, Monday at 8am, and I had a lot of meetings; most of them were grueling and required a lot of energy. I guess there was sort of a let-down too. It's like returning to work after the holidays.

Yesterday we received the bill from the clinic for ICSI and a few other things. Funny how they can be so poor at communicating cycling details but so prompt at sending us our bill ;-) However, I did notice a possible item of interest: we were charged a cryopreservation fee. Does that mean we had embies to freeze? It's a bit odd b/c the date of that charge was 9/13, which was transfer day, and I know they were going to culture them until Monday at least. We were charged $300 for something, however. I'm going to file it under "something to think about later that might mean possible good news."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Transfer Revisited

Ok, now that I have had a few days to get over my hormonal psychosis (complicated by the fact that AF or something like it decided to come on Sunday, which explains some of the weepiness on Saturday), I wanted to write more about the transfer itself. I've been quite self-centered over the past few weeks as I dealt with my cycling woes, and I want to make sure to give transfer its due and not shortchange our surrogate and the wonderful thing she is doing for us.

I think it was good that we had to wait 2 hours for transfer because it gave the four of us time to bond even more. F's husband is pretty quiet, but he and Husband really hit it off and chatted a lot. F felt like an old friend as we sat there talking about every subject under the sun.

It is the oddest experience to watch your embryos being transferred into someone else. I am so amazed that there are women who are generous enough to do this for someone else, often someone they don't know well. Transfer went very smoothly, something F was worried about because some of her previous transfers have left her very crampy. Maybe the RE's technique has improved ;-) Our RE was in rare form and quite jocular as he prepared for transfer. The man had the gall to tell us that if he were a woman, he'd never have a baby himself and that surrogacy was the way to go. As well, the clinic has helped several women lately who have pursued surrogacy due to job conflicts. There are many, many valid reasons for surrogacy, but the reasons he listed (job conflict and desire to avoid childbirth or the "inconvenience" of pregnancy) are certainly not OUR reasons for pursuing surrogacy. It was insulting to me, Husband and F.

After transfer, Husband and I stayed in there with her for the required 15 minutes. It felt pretty intimate. Here we were, the three of us who will (hopefully) play a role in adding a baby to our family. It helped that I had IVF and FET cycles under my belt so that I could empathize with F's full bladder and the awfulness of hearing the toilet flush seemingly next door while you are trying to block out the bladder twinges (though I wish I had had valium for MY previous transfers...or heck, valium that day!).

After transfer, F and I hugged. She left with our embryos for a few days of bed rest while Husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate my birthday, celebrate making it this far and celebrate the possibility of what might come.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We transferred today. It turns out that as of this morning, only 4 of our embies were 8-celled. Quite a few more were 6-celled and the rest were less. Based on that, the embryologist decided we should transfer today. Argh. After waiting almost 2 hours, we finally saw our three embryos transferred to our surrogate (the clinic transfers 3 embryos for 3-day transfers; two for 5-day). It was surreal to watch. It's a relief to have gotten to transfer although I must admit that it was disappointing to find out that only 4 of our embryos had progressed to 8 cells.

It's funny because yesterday and the day before I was telling myself and anyone else who would listen that if we got to transfer, I would feel relieved because we had gotten over all the previous hurdles. Now that it's happened, why does a three-day transfer feel like a failure? I guess I'm just amazed that out of 15 embryos, only 4were on target developmentally. I guess it makes me worry about the outcome of the cycle overall. I had to struggle not to cry when I got off the phone with the embryologist this morning, but that's the way this cycle has been: one big roller coaster ride.

I know a three-day transfer does not mean the cycle won't work. After all, my surro's last, successful cycle was a three-day transfer. But it makes me worry. It's going to be a long two weeks before beta, but I'm going to try to put it out of my mind. There's nothing I can do about it now.

And one day it will be nice to post when each post isn't so up or down.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Embie Update

I just heard from the lab at the clinic, and we have 15 embryos! I'm still picking up my jaw from the floor. 15! The embryologist wants to push for a 5-day transfer, but he'll let me know for sure tomorrow morning, so I guess I still don't know what day transfer will be LOL. He said they are all Grades 3 or 4, so I guess that's decent? Oh well, I'm not going to worry about that now.

Hopefully I'll know more tomorrow!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


21. That's the number of eggs retrieved yesterday. I doubt they are all me (no expert), it seemed like we were looking at 11-12 that were mature, but who knows. I guess they wanted to get everything they could find. Hopefully we will have plenty to work with. Surprisingly, they decided to do 50% ICSI. Based on our last SA numbers, we were told we weren't candidates for ICSI which sort of left us uncomfortable b/c it felt like we were introducing one more variable into a situation already fraught with "what ifs." So while we were surprised that they were performing ICSI on half of them after all (and they hadn't yet even tested the sample that Husband had provided yesterday), I think we are relieved by their decision. Of course, if we're going to have pay the same amount for 50% ICSI as for 100% ICSI, I wish they'd just ICSI all of them!

I feel pretty good physically. It's nice not to feel as much pressure in my ovaries (although I am a little sore), and I'm reveling in being done with shots and appointments. Now I have to try to get back to "normal" while I wait for tomorrow's update from the lab. F, our surro, had a scare yesterday. She woke up to some light red bleeding. They had her stop lupron on preparation from transfer, and the consensus between her and the nurse is that her lining is likely really, really thick (she was already at 10mm on 9/3) and that stopping lupron might have caused the bleeding. Thankfully it stopped, but she says she still feels crampy. One more thing to worry about!

Thank you all for the good retrieval and birthday wishes! My birthday was good. My coworkers had a small celebration for me, and Husband and I celebrated with takeout, a little cake and about a 1/2 glass of wine. I think I was ready to go to sleep by 9:30 LOL. We plan to go out to eat to really celebrate it on Saturday. That will be fun. Maybe we'll have just had transfer that day and can truly breathe a sigh of relief that now all we have to do is wait 2 weeks! I hadn't intended to be as frank with friends and family about this cycle, but after it started so shakily, I just couldn't dissemble anymore. I've been likening it to some track and field event with hurdles. I didn't expect the stimulation part to be as high of a hurdle as it was, and now I feel drained as I face the next few hurdles of fertilization and embryo growth. I had always thought the highest hurdle would be the cycle working, but now, I'll be relieved if we just have good embryos transferred (not that I want to stumble on the last hurdle of course!).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Retrieval: Wednesday!

Boy, those are words I never thought I would write for this cycle! After the low of Thursday, things started getting back on track. My E2 continued to rise, increasing from 1286 on Friday to 2788 on Saturday, 3144 on Sunday and 4155 today. I even got to decrease shots to two last night and no Follistim. Predictably, this happened after I'd ordered another $1300 worth of medication but oh well. If the cycle doesn't work, I have a good start on the next cycle's meds.

So, yeah, retrieval is Wednesday at 8:30! Tomorrow is my birthday, so retrieval is a great birthday present. I've been to the clinic every day since 9/1 for bloodwork and u/s. My arms look like a junkie's. My stomach looks like a war zone. I'm so ready for retrieval and to have a big ol' glass of wine.

Last week turned out to be an expensive week between buying the extra drugs needed for my increased dosages, going to the clinic daily (b/c we foolishly didn't buy the monitoring package) and getting the bills for our surro's and her husband's lab work in July. Oh, and did I mention that our air conditioning died? Luckily it hasn't been too hot lately, but it did climb to 86 degrees in the house over the weekend (steamy!). Fortunately, we have the privilege of paying about $700 to possibly fix the problem. Nice!

Oh well. As Husband says, it's just money. Although now would be a great time to win the lottery ;-)

Friday, September 5, 2008

One Day at a Time

Another roller coaster day in my house! I went to my u/s this morning with a good deal of trepidation and was prepared to see shriveled follies. Instead I saw 10-11 growing, good-sized follies (around 13-15mm). Lining is 9. Ok. My e2 came back at 1286, which is where we thought it would be yesterday, but the important thing is that it increased. I start Ganirelix tonight and return tomorrow for more bloodwork. I know my e2 numbers once I start Ganirelix might be funky, so I'm just going to take it one day at a time from now on. All this will be over soon. Either I will be cancelled or I will have retrieval.

I'm along for the ride at this point, so I'm going to try not to worry anymore. It's out of my control. Problem is, I've never been very good at not worrying ;-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I don't know what to think anymore

Ok, so a day that started well is ending on a downer. Despite seeing progress with follies on the ultrasound today, my estrogen has actually dropped by like 180 points. I'm flabbergasted. Clearly this is not good. I'm to up my estrogen to 700-freaking-units tonight and return tomorrow.

I'm getting really tired of this and hope we can decide once and for all what to do tomorrow. I had tentatively been anticipating a retrieval next week. Now I'm back in limbo.

Why is this happening to me???????? Clearly a rhetorical question since no one can answer that. There is not why; it just is what it is.

Tiny Sigh of Relief

I'm never, ever one to count any chickens before they are hatched, but I think I can breathe a small sigh of relief. E2 yesterday was 990. The ultrasound today revealed about 10 follies at 10mm or greater, so lots of progress has been made!

I am sore, bloated and exhausted. I forgot how quickly all the shots and appointments take a toll on you. I feel like I look 4 months pg, and I am walking like it too LOL. Might as well enjoy it since this is the closest I'll get to being pg!

And not to overlook our surro F's important role in this. She had an estrogen/lining check herself yesterday. Her lining was at 10, and her estrogen is 500. She's pleased because with her last surrogacy, they had to increase her estrogen three times before her numbers were where they wanted them to be. She continues to be my cheerleader, and I marvel at her optimism.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Glimmer of Hope?

If I had posted right after my appointment this morning, it would have been a pretty morbid post since I had been crying all morning. My ultrasound was fairly unremarkable: 1 follie at 10mm and lots of follies under 10mm. Yesterdays E2 was 149, so some progress had been made. However, I was sure it wouldn't be enough and was preparing for the inevitable cancellation.

At 3, I called for my instructions and was pleasantly surprised to hear that today's e2 had tripled to 459. I'm to stay on 600 IUs and return tomorrow for another date with the dildocam and more bloodwork. During the depths of despair, we scheduled an appointment with the RE for tomorrow afternoon to discuss the cycle and what's going on, so I guess we'll keep that appointment just in case. But whew. I feel like I've received a stay of execution. Let's hope it continues. Interestingly, 459 is almost exactly my level during my first IVF cycle after 7 days of stims and 2 days of Ganirelix.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow. F, our surro, has been so sweet trying to keep my spirits up.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Still On for Now

I guess we are still on for now. My instructions are to increase my Follistim again to 600 IUs and come back tomorrow for what would have been a normally-scheduled monitoring appointment. Unfortunately, the nurse didn't leave my estrogen level, so I have no idea if I am making progress or not and whether the increased dosage is a last-ditch emergency effort or an attempt to catch me up to where I should be. I tried calling my clinic but the office has closed for Labor Day I guess since I got the after-hours answering service. Hopefully I can get some answers tomorrow when I go back in.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


As in my ovaries are crap. After three days of stims, I felt it was working. I felt burning and soreness and was confident things were progressing nicely. When I went it for my first real monitoring appointment today, I couldn't hear much of what the nurses were saying, but I heard that my lining had doubled from 2 to 4, which indicated to me that my estrogen was picking up.

Well. Imagine my surprise when I called at 3 to get my instructions and was told my E2 was only 84 and that I needed to increase my dosage to 500 IUs! Jesus Christ. 500 IUs? Wow. And my estrogen was only 84? I immediately got that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. See, my estrogen was 36 when I was cleared to start stimming on Thursday. That means that it has increased only 48 points since Thursday. And 500 IUs?

I don't understand. I've never responded (or not responded as is more accurate) like this. I looked over my numbers from my lone IUI and IVF #1. I was at 69 after 3 days of stims on 112 IUs for my IUI cycle and at 298 after 3 days of 300 IUs on IVF#1.

I know it's too early to panic and to write this cycle off. But damn it. I'm 30 years old. The only thing we thought we had going for us and the primary reason we are pursuing surrogacy are my eggs. I've always seemed to produce decent eggs. Now my fear is that it will be a struggle to get a few eggs and they won't be good and this cycle will most definitely fail. And that we will have waited a year for the privilege of failing at something else.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. All I wanted to do this weekend was relax. Now I'm torqued up and worried about our cycle which seems doomed to failure to me, and all I want to do, all I can do is cry.

I have to return for more bloodwork tomorrow. I hope the numbers are better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And we're off!

I just heard that I am cleared to start stimming tonight! 350 IUs. That's more than last cycle (300 IUs), but I know their goal is to treat me like a donor and try to get as many eggs as possible. So exciting! I return on Sunday for my next monitoring appointment. I'm glad it worked out the way it did because otherwise I would have had to get up early on Saturday and Monday (Labor Day) for monitoring. This way I only have to get up early on Sunday and can sleep in tomorrow.

The nurse coordinator did mention the lab inspection when I mentioned how quiet it was there this morning (normally there are wall-to-wall patients), but she said nothing about it being an emergency inspection...just a routine annual one. Not that I expected her to tell me if there had been problems, but at least she acknowledged it. And who knows, maybe the "emergency" was a change in when the lab had to be inspected. I know they have a good lab, so I'm not worried about that. More importantly, my cycle won't be impacted (because it's all about me you know LOL).

Think of me at 7:30 tonight as Husband pinches my belly fat and injects me with liquid gold!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the Cusp!

Cold is gone. AF is here, and tomorrow morning I go in for my baseline u/s and bloodwork. Keep your fingers crossed that everything looks good! It's hard to believe that I might actually have my first injection tomorrow night.

Guess that means I better shave tonight LOL. Even though I lost all modesty long ago when it comes to doctor appointments, I have not managed rid myself of the instinct not to have hairy legs. Ridiculous, I know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer Cold

And another week begins. August is just flying by though the last two weeks have seemed over-long to me. I took the last BCP yesterday, so that's another milestone met. Husband called the clinic on Friday to see what he could find out about the emergency lab inspection. The receptionist was fairly clueless and said that only thing she knew about was that there had been problems with the ventilation system in the lab earlier in the week and workers had been in to fix it. So maybe the situation isn't as bad as feared. Maybe.

We met our surrogate and her husband for dinner on Saturday night, and it was good to see them again. It was supposed to be a celebratory kick-off to the cycle, but Husband and I have developed summer colds/sinus/allergy issues, and we both felt kind of out of it. His manifests as a headache/toothache/slight fever. Mine is slight sinus pain and a cough. I normally am not susceptible to colds and such, so I'm taking that as a sign that my stress and anxiety levels have been wearing me down. I need to do a better job of taking care of myself so I can stay healthy for cycling. I'm even thinking about leaving work early today to go home and rest. I feel rather lathargic and even more unusual for me, have little appetite. Other than that, I feel fine LOL.

I tried indulging in a little retail therapy at Ann Taylor Loft on Friday (my favorite store). I had a coupon for 25% off your entire purchase PLUS they were giving away two of the $25 saving cards for every $50 you spent. They have a lot of stuff in my colors (oranges, golds, etc.) but I was kind of underwhelmed by most of it. Several things looked great on the mannequin but quite ridiculous on me (chiefly poufy, fluttery sleeves). I did come away with a nice orange pullover and a short-sleeved red shirt. Hopefully I'll be more inspired to shop in a few weeks when my birthday comes around.

Let's hope AF comes quickly and my cold resolves ASAP!

Friday, August 22, 2008

About to start - or not?

I almost entitled this post, "Laugh or Cry?" Happily, I got the call about ordering my meds on Tuesday, and they arrived today. Yay! Have meds, can cycle! And, Sunday is almost here, and that's the day I take my last BCP supposedly. So good things are happening.

But then today I visited a forum I frequent and found a post from a member mentioning that on Tuesday she got a call from my clinic cancelling her cycle (she was going in for a baseline for her FET) because of an emergency lab inspection and that they had to push back all of their transfers. Ummm...emergency lab inspection? What does that mean? And will that impact my cycle?

I haven't heard anything from the clinic about continuing on BCPs longer than scheduled. Normally I would consider no news to be good news but given my previous dealings with the clinic, I don't know if I can trust that. I'll end BCPs as scheduled, get AF and then call and likely THEN be told that I need to delay things. I'm trying not to borrow worry and trouble. I wonder if I called them if I would get a straight answer? Argh.

It's always something. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my therapist (something I sorely need) and then we are meeting F and her husband for dinner to kick off our cycle in style. Now I'm wondering what we're kicking off.

Oh well. At least it's Friday.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I received my cycling schedule on Friday. I had called the nurse coordinator about it on Monday and never received a return phone call. Friday I went to the clinic for a follow-up for my cyst aspiration and the doctor pronounced my right ovary "beautiful" with a perverse amount of pride for his work (this was after I had been waiting naked from the waist down for 30 minutes, so maybe I just wasn't in the mood). Next thing I know one of the nurses is giving me a copy of my schedule. Turns out it was in my file with a pre-addressed envelope, which left me wondering what they had been waiting for and why they couldn't mail it out earlier. Maybe they were waiting for my follow-up appointment, but it certainly would have been nice (and easy) to tell me that!

I took a closer look at my schedule and noticed that the day I started BCPs is wrong. They have it as 7/31 when I actually started on 7/25. Therefore, I will be taking BCPs until 8/24 and not cycling until the following week. In the scheme of things, waiting another week isn't a big deal, but it does bother me that they might have made my schedule under a misunderstanding of my dates. I'm not sure where they got the 7/31 date. And these pills are so crappy that I started spotting the day I ended the old pack and am still spotting on the new pack. I guess I'll spot until Sunday and my last pill. Fun! Sure, I could call and try to correct the schedule, but something tells me that will be difficult and not worth the stress. As long as they realize that our surrogate's schedule is a week off from mine, it will be fine. I guess this whole schedule situation is just one more irritation I have with them. Use the correct dates, people! If you aren't sure what they are, call me.

Oh, and speaking of my ovary. Though my right ovary looks "beautiful," my left ovary apparently has a few tiny endometriomas (1-2mm). Um, ok. My left ovary which has always been beautiful. Did they just appear? Have they been there all along and no one ever point them out to me? I'm just a tad concerned because with the right ovary susceptible to endometriomas and the veteran of a cystectomy and cyst aspiration, I've counted on the left one to produce. And now I worry that both of my ovaries are crapping out.

Book club on Saturday was irritating as well. I invited a coworker to join my book club because I thought she'd have a lot in common with several of the members. It turns out she does, to the point where I now feel left out. Another of the members is rabidly liberal, which is great, but I feel like she is trying to turn book club into an activist book club. She and a couple other members are vegetarian and keep suggesting books about eating less meat and the awful conditions in which animals are raised. Ok, I'm an omnivore. I like meat. I also grew up with large vegetable gardens that were a LOT of work and my mother grew up on a farm. It's hard for me to take these romanticized visions of growing your own veggies and ethically-raised animals.

Sometimes I feel like what everyone is really saying is that we humans should just disappear. And don't get me started on the population issues. Every time I hear an author or researcher on NPR discussing population control and estimates, I cringe. I'm waiting for someone to call in and declare that these people doing fertility treatments should stop b/c they are contributing to over-population and maybe we should take a hint if we are infertile. Of course these people are all people who probably easily had their kids.

This book club member is also a hardcore Obama supporter and wanted to add Dreams of My Father to our reading list. I have zero interest in reading that book. I'm voting for the man, but I don't want him shoved down my throat, so I had to speak out against it rather forcefully b/c I knew that everyone else would want to read it or at least wouldn't speak up. Book club is supposed to be fun and now I feel like it isn't and that I don't belong anymore (after joining not even a year ago).

I'm sort of wondering if I belong anywhere right now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Three Years of IF Hell

Today marks 3 full years of IF Hell. Three years ago today I took my last BCP, confident that everything would be fine and dandy and most importantly, normal. Because I'm a navel-gazer, it's always fun to compare anniversaries. Last year when this auspicious day rolled around, I was 10 days post failed FET, and we had no idea what our next direction would be. Surrogacy? Adoption? Another IVF?

Year 3 was a lot quieter overall. We knew what was wrong. We pursued no more treatments for me. Instead we committed to surrogacy, found our surrogate and waited. And waited. And waited. And here we are now finally cycling. I'd like to believe that when Aug. 13 rolls around next year, I'll be too busy to notice, but one thing I've learned from three years of IF is not to make plans and not to get your hopes up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Squeaky Wheel

I feel like it is so seldom that I get to post unequivocally good news, but I have some! Yesterday at 4:30pm (I was getting ready to leave work), I received a call from the pharmacy confirming the med order for our surrogate!!!!! I was shocked since I didn't expect anything to happen until tomorrow or Monday. Even better, the clinic wants her to receive the meds TODAY.

F, our surrogate, called me after I got home, and she told me that on Tuesday (after Husband had his little chat with the nurse coordinator), a nurse from the clinic called and wants her to come in ASAP for an u/s so she can start lupron. She's going in today and hopefully will have her first lupron shot tonight! I'm still stunned. I haven't heard from the clinic yet about my schedule, but I'm assuming this means that I might start stimming in about 2 weeks. Holy shit! Even if it's a little longer than two weeks, it won't be much longer.

And in true "me" fashion, I actually started to feel a little guilty about being assholes to the clinic. But no. They were jerking us around and there is no reason ever to feel guilty over standing up for yourself, especially when it's a service you've paid a lot of money for.

It's nice being the squeaky wheel for once :-)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Score One for Husband

I love my Husband. He met with the nurse coordinator yesterday and demanded answers to such provocative questions as, "when will we get our schedule" and "when can we order meds". The nurse coordinator assured him she was working on it this week and that we would not miss a cycle window. He told her, "you don't understand. I answer to a higher power: my wife." LOL! Supposedly, we might see something by the end of the week. We're going to call her on Friday if we haven't heard/seen anything by then. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Clinic Moronity

Funny, when I wrote "moronity" I wasn't certain it was an actual word, but Google assures me it is LOL. Some time ago, the previous financial coordinator at my clinic had informed me that payment for our surrogate's bloodwork and ultrasounds while cycling would be handled by a separate payment of $800. Great! It sounded easy and defined. Fast forward to a few months later and that financial coordinator is no longer there. Husband had forgotten about the additional payment when he talked to the new financial coordinator (whom we had already established as being clueless), and she did not mention it either. So we paid for the cycle but didn't pay the additional payment.

I reminded him about it, and he called her yesterday to ask about it, and she informed him, "oh yes, that $800 must be paid before you can order meds." Can you hear my screaming from here? Just once I wish someone at that clinic knew what the fuck was going on! Husband informed her that he would be in today to pay it and she had the gall to tell him that it didn't have to be paid right away; he could wait and pay it when I come in for my surgical follow-up on the 15th. Right. Like I will willingly wait to pay for something that may impact when we can order meds and get started. Unbelievable.

He left 2 messages for the nurse coordinator as well to ask about the status of our schedule and med ordering and of course, no return call yet. He's going to try to tackle her as well today. I just want them to understand that we are NOT ok with waiting just because they can't manage to get their shit together without a good reason. If she had said they did schedules every Thursday or that they limited the number of women cycling at a given point or SOME, ANY indication that there was a method to their madness or a hint of a process, I would have been mollified. Instead it feels like they just do it when they feel like it. Maybe they draw names out of a hat? Maybe they throw all the files in the air and which ones land face up they make the next schedule for? Maybe they do it based on what patient has pissed them off least that week (which would definitely rule us out). Who knows?

I'm feeling better, thankfully. I don't feel as weak and out of it as I did over the weekend, but I am still spotting a bit and am a little sore and crampy. It's not too bad. Hey, when you have endo, you get used to all sorts of aches and pains.

I was chatting with a friend yesterday about my inability to lounge around sans guilt, and she told me to enjoy it while I could since I won't always be able to. I assumed she was referring to a time when we have children in the house. I appreciate her belief that our situation will change, but as I was thinking about her comment, I realized that I don't think I believe our situation will change. I can't imagine a child in our house or a time when we aren't in this awful limbo. At this point, children seem like something that happens to other people. It's not part of my reality. Now, deep down in places where an iota of optimism clings, of course I think that one day, somehow we will have a child. But then my head wonders how much more we will have to go through before we get there, and right now, I can't wrap my brain around a future in which we have moved to the other side.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Now if only my head would stop hurting

Greetings! The aspiration on Thursday went well supposedly. It was scheduled for 1pm but typical for my doctor, he was running behind and nothing happened until 2pm. We were there for about 6 hours by the time we were able to leave. I feel ok. I had some cramping, and I occasionally feel a little sore around my lower back and right ovary, but it's manageable. I think the anesthesia threw me for a loop, though. When I got up yesterday, I felt fine, but as the day went on, I felt slightly nauseous, tired, and woozy and my head hurt. I had thought about going into work initially but stayed home and napped, which was great. I still don't have much of an appetite, which is unusual for me, and my head still hurts, which sucks. I think it is sinus related. It's like a sinus migraine. So today, even though I think I feel more normal, I will probably need to lounge around again to baby my head. All in all, I was a little surprised I guess. My doctor told me breezily that the aspiration would be as simple as egg retrieval, but I felt worse than I expected afterwards. Definitely not as bad as after my lap of course but a little worse than after egg retrieval.

I think my favorite part of the pre-surgery process was when the nurse asked me if I was having trouble getting pregnant. I probably shouldn't have been surprised considering they know my doctor and work with him lots, therefore knowing what he does, but I was a little stunned by it. But out came the entire story. Why not? It's not like I had anything else to do. She was very chatty. Oh, and as they were wheeling me to the OR, I noticed the woman in bed across the hall from me was reading Baby Proof. I thought that was appropriate.

Husband is taking very good care of me, though I of course feel guilty because I feel like I don't deserve to be waited on unless I'm on my deathbed. Maybe it comes from being so seldom sick.

Off to go recline on the couch!

And a huge thank you to Samantha for her gift yesterday. Husband and I really, really appreciate it! We hope your move is smooth and that your new home treats you well.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well, things are finally calmer around here. I confronted the sys admin yesterday, and she told me the whole situation had been blown out of proportion. I don't know if she was deflecting and/or backtracking, but hey, we addressed the issue. Then we had a good meeting about the changes we are doing. So...for now, peace seems to reign.

You may wonder if my job stresses me out this much and I clearly have issues about it and my coworkers why I stay here. Well, it's complicated. A few years ago I realized that I didn't want to work in IT anymore but didn't believe that I had skills to get a decent-paying job anywhere else (my undergrad is in English and I did no internship because I thought I was going to teach but decided not to). Anyhoo, I decided to go to grad school so I could do something else. I work at a university, and thankfully, my department is very flexible with allowing me to take classes during the day and I can use tuition waivers. Plus, a couple of years ago, I moved to the marketing department, and I usually like the work I do. Finally after almost 3 full years going to grad school part-time, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, so moving to a different position soon might be possible because I won't need quite as much flexibility with my schedule. However, now $$$ comes in because I can't really take a pay cut right now due to surrogacy and/or adoption and unless I stayed in an IT job, I probably would have to take a pay cut. Sooo...those are some of the variables I am juggling. You might not have been wondering about any of this, but I hate it when people whine and whine about how awful their life/job/spouse/friends are and don't do anything about it. I'm trying to do something about it (grad school), but it's complicated. Hey, maybe I'll win the lottery and all of this will be a moot point!

Today is my aspiration. What an ordeal this has been. My time has been changed THREE times. I had another voicemail yesterday telling me that my new time was 10:45 and to be there at 7:45. When I called them back, they said, "no, it's 1pm; be here at 11." I confirmed with both the hospital AND the clinic, so hopefully the last time truly is the correct one. I still would not be surprised to get there at 11am and have them tell me that I either missed my time or am way too early LOL. All this for a 10-minute procedure! It got to the point that I was afraid to leave my office for fear they would leave another voicemail telling me yet another new time :-)

My mother confirmed that my youngest cousin (she'll be 25 in September) has started fertility testing. She and her husband have been trying for a year. It's supposed to be a secret, but since no one in my mother's family can keep a secret, everyone knows but have been sworn to secrecy. They all know about my issues, and I've urged my mother to tell her sister (my cousin's mother) that I am there for my cousin if she needs, call, whatever. I want her to have a good support system. And to make matters worse for my cousin, her sister-in-law (and my cousin-in-law) is newly pg. My cousin dislikes her sister-in-law and her brother and sister-in-law are not in a very good financial position. Even worse, they live about 20 feet away from my cousin, so she'll have to see her pg sister-in-law often. I really hope that my cousin's issues can be handled easily.

I admit to being slightly amused by the possibility of being able to tell my mother, "gee, I guess infertility DOES run in YOUR family after all" now that my cousin is experiencing problems as well and my mother is fond of blaming my father's side of the family for my problems.

Niobe asked if I had any recommendations based on the books I read on vacation. I did not read anything that could be considered remotely highbrow, but I did read a few I would recommend if you like chick lit:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Flinging Pens at the Wall

This has been an interesting week, and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday, I had planned a slightly smug post on how I handled yesterday's petty work irritations with a zen-like calm. However, at the end of the day, I encountered a major issue that left me unsettled due to the (unexpected) amount of work it would take to fix it (it's not anyone's fault; it's an issue of migrating to a new system and some code is no longer supported, but it's going to take some re-work). The realization of the issue stuck in my gut, and I felt like it would foreshadow the rest of the week in terms of unwelcome surprises and frustrations.

And it has been all of that. I had my pre-op visit at the clinic today, and again I had to wait ridiculously long for the 10-minute session. Then we tackle the nurse coordinator in charge of surrogacy, and boy, is she grumpy and crabby. I asked about our cycling schedules and ordering meds, and she again gave vague responses. I asked how long our surrogate would need to be on lupron and whether it would be enough time since my last BCP would be Aug. 14 (since I have no other pills). She snarkily replied that I would be on pills until I was told otherwise and that someone would call me when it was time to order meds. Ok, now I'm pissed. Is it that hard to be organized? Is it that hard to have approximate dates? Of course it doesn't matter to her when we cycle but sure as hell matters to me who has been waiting almost a year for this.

My fear now is that she will dawdle and we'll have to wait another month because we missed the window for our surrogate to begin lupron. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became, so if we haven't received anything in a few days, I'm going to have Husband take care of it. But finding out that I wouldn't be stimming around Aug. 19 was a kick in the gut. Even though I told myself not to, I had become attached to that date.

Then, back at work, I returned from my 2-minute journey to our kitchen to discover that the clinic had called to inform me that the time for my procedure on Thursday had changed. Of course, they didn't leave the time. I call back and get voicemail and live by the phone for the rest of the afternoon, snarling at anyone who called that I needed to keep the line clear. At 4:30 I called HER and we agreed on the new time of 2:30. She suggested 8:15 at first, but I've already rescheduled meetings for that morning and don't want to have to reschedule them again.

And then a coworker comes down and informs me that our systems administrator is on the warpath because one of my sites is throwing an error on the new server set-up (which is still in testing by the way) and the coworker had to fix it and just a heads up b/c the sys admin is irritated at my "lack of consistent linking" and wants to discuss it and may have me change everything. And there's the other shoe dropping, the sick feeling in my gut that I've had since yesterday. First of all, why didn't she call me about this and give me the chance to explain and fix it. I heard nothing. And then I realized I can't even get to the new server to fix it and when I try to call her and my coworker, they are both conveniently gone for the day. Nothing like dropping a bomb and leaving. And here I am left to stew over it.

I'm just so damn tired of all this. I don't feel like I am allowed to make a mistake. I feel like they are waiting for me to make mistakes. I had reasons for what I did (though the error was of course unintentional), but now I feel like nothing I say will make a difference, and that I have no idea how to do my job. And deep down, I believe that.

I thank you all for the techniques you gave me to try to relieve my anxiety, but it's not working today :-( I'm trying to figure out a way out of this situation, this feeling. I purposely gave up one of my applications (the hands-on coding of it) because I was tired of fighting with the IT manager who hates the way it was done (even though he doesn't use it and doesn't know anything about programming). Now I wonder if I'm not going to feel at ease until I give up all of my sites and take myself out of the equation.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My old friend anxiety

It's funny because the hardest part about blogging for me is coming up with a post title. Do I go for pithy? Should I avoid pathos? My mind is foggy right now, so nothing is leaping to mind. Maybe a title will come to me after I write.

So, vacation is over. And unfortunately, it was just "ok." We had only 1 good day at the beach before Tropical Storm Cristobal came through. We were already leaving on Monday, so we ended up coming home on Sunday, a day early. It sucked because the tropical storm wasn't bad, but it was bad enough to make the ocean dangerous and cause it to rain all day, so we decided to head home instead of stay in our room. The food was just ok as well, and unfortunately, the bookstore wasn't open when we left. So it kinda sucked all around.

We had a good couple of days at home, though. We went to see The Dark Knight on Monday afternoon, and it was as good as everyone says it was. There is something very decadent about eating a large over-buttered popcorn at 2pm on a Monday when everyone else is at work :-) We've decided that our less-than-stellar beach trip means that we are going to try to plan another weekend in late September while it is still warm. I was able to read 8 books in the last week, though, so that was quite heavenly.

I was not thrilled to return to work. There is so much drama there. I've discovered that I think my real problem is anxiety more than depression, and I REALLY miss my medication. There are situations at work that are really stressing me out and making me anxious, and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. Intellectually, I know and I have been told by caring co-workers that the situations making me anxious are not worth it and don't matter in the scheme of things, but I can't turn off the worry and anxiety. I seem to go through a bad phase like this about 6 months. Last August/September was bad. Last January was bad and now here I am again. It's difficult for me because this drama and the situations play on my insecurities perfectly. My chief insecurity is that I am a fraud and have no idea how to do my job, am a screw up and that I'm going to be found out and humiliated. I've been dealing with this insecurity for a long time. Does everyone feel that way to some extent? Does it go along with being a perfectionist? I just wish I didn't care so much about everything. If anyone has any tips for quietening an over-active, anxious mind, I'm all ears.

In cycling news, AF arrived only 4 days after finishing progesterone. That is a record for me. I started BCPs on Friday. If everything goes as planned (ha ha ha), it's possible I could get the go-ahead to start stimming around August 19. That would be lovely, but I'm not going to count on it.

The clinic is being frustrating. The financial person we had worked with quit and the new one is not up to speed yet. Supposedly, the cycling calendars will be created and mailed to me and our surro next week, at which point we will be able to order meds. And my aspiration is Thursday and no one could tell Husband with confidence where the pre-op visit on Tuesday is. We were supposed to get a call from the hospital last week but didn't. Thankfully, Husband is on top of it. He lives for this sort of thing. Oh, we weren't able to get the aspiration rescheduled, so my next task will be to try to get them to agree to a light meal very early on Thursday morning. If not, I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. I'm good at that by now, I think ;-)

And, now, to end this post on a more positive note, here are some pics:

Approach of TS Cristobal

Book, drink, beach

My front flower garden

Roses from my rose garden