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

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happiness Is...

Two bags full of books to take to the beach.
Going to the beach.
Eating GREAT food, calories be damned
Watching Husband frolic in the ocean while I sit on the beach with a drink in one hand and a book in the other. AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

We leave for the beach today! I have been anxious about work (really, why should I care so much?) all week (progesterone + anxiety-prone person = moody beast), but as of today, all that anxiety has melted away. The beach is great of course, but we have all these little rituals. We eat at the same great restaurants. We stop by the bookstore on our way home so I can buy a few books (this bookstore is a jewel. They always have the most interesting stuff). It's just a great time being with Husband and doing something for ourselves.

The funny thing is that our annual beach trip is always notable for something always happening. In 2005 we were stressed because we were selling our house. In 2006 I was in the 2ww from my first Clomid cycle and developed a yeast infection. In 2007 I started lupron for my FET but even more memorable was the fact that we had boarded our cats, and one of them needed medicine, and the employee bungled it so badly that my cat lost a claw and had to go to the vet. So keep your fingers crossed that this 2008 beach trip is notable for its lack of excitement. Think calm, boring and relaxing.

In the mail Tuesday I found a packet from the clinic with my aspiration date set. Oh. Nice to know. Glad I was consulted! I will have the cyst/tube aspirated on July 31. The sucky part is that it won't be until 4:30 and I can't eat after midnight, so I'm going to be starving. I could try to get it changed, but I don't know if it's worth the headache. I've got to be at the hospital by 1:30, so I'm working a half day that day and taking off all of Friday, Aug. 1 to recover.

Ok, have to go pack! Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Forward Motion

Summer is OVER! Thank goodness because I think I was going to go crazy if I had to go one more day.

I had my appointment with the clinic so the RE could take a gander at my ovary last Friday. I waited TWO HOURS for my appointment and predictably, the appointment itself was over in about 5 minutes. The doctor can't decide if what he saw is an endometrioma or fluid in my tube that is distorting the tube and making it wrap more around my ovary (thank you again, endometriosis, for the gift that keeps on giving). He asked me if the tube had been cauterized, and I told him yes. He smugly replied, "yes, I wrote a paper on that years ago that has now become standard practice." I hope he couldn't see me rolling my eyes on the table. He's decided that he wants to take a closer look and drain what's there--whether fluid-filled tube or endometrioma--before we cycle. It will likely take place in August. I asked, "will I get a day off from work?" He replied, "yes," and that's all I needed to know :-)

So, I started Provera on Saturday and will take it for 10 more days. Eventually, I will get a period. I say eventually because in the past, it has often taken at least 7 days for me to get a period after taking Provera. After that I will start BCPs (huh? I thought he didn't want me on them?). Our surro will likely have started BCPs about a week before I do. Once I'm on BCPs, I'll have the cyst/tube drained, and then once they tell me to stop the pill, we'll be ready to cycle!

It's kind of weird being on Provera again. I associate it with failure and frustration. Provera was what my gyno prescribed after my second cycle off BCPs lasted for 70 days. Provera is what I took 2 more times when I still didn't ovulate and before I started Clomid. It's what I took after I didn't ovulate on my first cycle of 100mg of Clomid. It's so "Year 1" of my infertility journey. In some ways I think of us as nearing the end of our journey: if surrogacy does not work, we will move to adoption. So it seems fitting that our journey both begins and ends with Provera.

My best friend K started a baby blog about her daughter, E. For some reason, her blog hurts a bit. I remember feeling kicked in the gut when I first visited J's blog for her daughter, but it's primarily pictures. K's posts are real posts, and K is blogging about her adventures in motherhood. K is a good writer, and her posts are witty and poignant. And so happy. I compare my ramblings in this blog (an infertility blog) to her posts and feel like I am lacking in comparison. But is it the blog or just my perception of our very different situations?

We're going to the beach on Friday. Oh. We are now an iPhone family. Husband stood in line for 8 hours on Friday to procure them. I'm a little scared of it, but I am in love with how intuitive it is. Me with an iPhone. Is a Mac far behind?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Crazy Mothers Anonymous

Whew. They left yesterday, and it was great getting the house back. Even our kitties seemed relieved.

I often say that after a visit to/from my mother that I want to join the witness protection program and just disappear. My mother is that stressful.

The bottom line is that my mother is an alcoholic who is incapable of thinking beyond herself and providing me with any amount of support. I don't think she's ever asked me once in the three years of IF how I feel or how I am dealing with it. Everything is about HER. A lot of people have hurt me and let me down throughout this process, but she is the queen. A few highlights from the weekend:

  • My mother is two glasses of wine into the afternoon (it's about 3pm) when our friends K&G stop by with their 2-month-old. They visited for about an hour, which was nice. My mother made their baby a dress. K is sitting on the couch with her baby on her chest, and the baby is out cold. She's in that kind of frog position. My mother is sitting next to K and says, "See, she knows. She knows her mommy and knows that is where she lived for 9 months." Husband and I are sitting there stunned. After all, no children of ours will come from my body. What will that make me? Not the mother? Of course, it never occurred to my mother that her BARREN daughter who is working with a surrogate might be bothered by that comment or that maybe that comment wouldn't apply to me. And coward that I am, I said nothing.

  • Five or six glasses of wine into the evening: "I still hope that one day, after you have a baby via surrogacy, that you will get a surprise pregnancy." OMFG. Are you kidding me? I replied, "Mother, that's not going to happen. I am barren. I am STERILE. My only tube was cauterized. It would truly be a miracle if I were to get pregnant without treatment...a genuine miracle."

    Maybe she felt a little embarrassed or some memory of exactly what was done to me during my laparoscopy tickled the reptilian brain that is all she has left because then she moved on to her favorite game of Blame My Father (my parents are divorced): "well, it must have come from your father's side of the family because no one in my family has it." I finally realized that she meant endo. I patiently told her that 1) I don't think that endo can be inherited that way (my father's sister had endo). I could be wrong but I seriously doubt the endo came from him. Women with UUs often develop endo due to flow issues. I then reminded her that endo isn't my only problem, and that I have a unicornuate uterus which is a big problem. Which allowed her to wring her hands and declare that she often wonders whether she did anything wrong when she was pregnant with me that caused this. Right, because it's all about her.

    THEN she tells me that she's thought a lot about it and maybe it's a trade off. I have no uterus, but I'm super smart. WTF? And I remind her that I DO have a uterus; it's just not fully developed. And anyway, what a consolation. Gee, I'm smart and that certainly makes up for NOT having a working uterus.

  • Hopelessly slurry at this point: Sighs my mother, "You used to look like me and have my body type, but now you look just like your father's side of the family." Which clearly is not a compliment. I asked her what she meant, and she told me that the women in her family have little bird arms and legs and put weight on only in their stomach. I'm built bigger and have bigger, more solid legs

  • Oh, and my mother's newest hobby and possible business venture? Making baby clothes. Hand-sewn and embroidered, beautiful baby clothes. Talk about torture. And within 5 minutes of their arrival, she told me that she knew I would have a boy, and she wouldn't be able to make anything cute for it.

So that's a snapshot of my weekend with my mother. She's so excited about surrogacy, and she's so generous at times, but she can be so damned insensitive. She wonders why I don't visit more and why I'll never move back to my hometown and I think it's pretty obvious. I wish to god I had a better support system. I wish I had a mother I could count on and trust with my raw, fragile psyche. I wish that I wasn't an only child and had a sister with whom I could commiserate over my mother's awful behavior. Maybe I wouldn't feel so alone and unloved.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One Major Hurdle Cleared

My mother and stepfather are in town this weekend, so this will be a short post.

I heard from our surro on Thursday, and her uterus has received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from the clinic. We still have to wait for the results of the endometrial biopsy, but it is a huge relief to know that her uterus is fine. She will start BCPs with her next cycle!!!! Is this really going to happen? Are we really getting started? Her birthday is today, and I sent her a card. Hopefully this will be a good year for all of us.

So, yes, my mother and stepfather are here through tomorrow morning. The visit is going well so far, but mon dieu, it's been interesting. Here's a teaser: our friends K and G came over with their 2 month old yesterday b/c my mother wanted to meet the baby and give her a gift she'd made. Cooing mother (mine) + adorable infant + infertile me = a few memorable comments.