Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In the Summertime when the weather is warm...

I'm going on hiatus. I'm taking a summer siesta. A vacation. A furlough. A holiday.... From infertility treatments. I'm postponing IVF #2 until after Summer. August.

I need a break. I'm worn out. I want to be a normal person for a couple of months. I want to drink wine and work out (If I want) and play and work and travel and have fun and be normal. I do not want to think about my lining or the number of follicles I may or may not grow or the amount of estrogen I'm required to take or every other day visits to the RE or why or why not something does or does not or will never work.

I'm tired of the sadness and the sorrow and the uncertainty and, honestly, the pity and the I'm sorries. If truth be told (and I'm on a truthtelling rant) I'm tired of the lingo and the betas and the betas not doubling and every little thing that has to do with getting pregnant only with the assistance of two people in lab coats and a long clear tube and a petri dish. (Although xanax was fun.)

So, my plan to not turn into a bitter human involves a respite for a couple of months. I'm still going to stick around blogland, I'm just not going to be giving follicle counts and E2 levels for a while.

Whew. Thanks for listening. I feel almost human.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I've been away. Last week, I was mentally away. This week, I was physically away. For what I'm sure is the first time in years, I had no TV or internet contact for a week. Email of course, but no internet. We had to go to a funeral in Beaufort, SC. One of E's best friends, who died of a brain tumor...the same tumor that Ted Kennedy has just been diagnosed with. Then we went with friends to Seabrook Island, SC, where we golfed and beachwalked and generally helped the local economy. I'm really good at that.

So. I've been away. And, as much as I think you guys are simply the cat's meow, it's been nice. Really nice. I've given absolutely no thought at all to infertility or in vitro. In fact, I've rather enjoyed my childlessness (hmmm, childishness?). Freedom to travel and spend time by myself and with good friends. Nice dinners. Good wine. Thinking about what I want to do with my life. Dreaming big dreams.

I'm still thinking about what I want to do with my life. Actually, I'm thinking about whether I'm up for IVF #2 in a couple of weeks. I'm having trouble understanding why I'm hesitant. Certainly, it's because I'm happy and emotionally stable. Lordy, it's been nice. I'm loathe to submit myself to the all-consuming exercise that is IVF. I've been at it pretty consistently since November except for the last two months. And, well, the last two months started out shaky (I mean, how's a girl supposed to adjust without daily shots in the ass?) but the last couple of weeks have been bliss.

So I need to give serious thought to this. Am I reluctant because I don't want to go through the emotional fire drill again or am I reluctant because of bigger reasons? I don't know. I. Just. Don't. Know.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Supreme Goddess and Harbinger of Doom and Other Not Positive Events

I met with my RE this morning and June it is for IVF #2. My protocol for stimulation will be the same as last time because, according to my RE, my stim was "perfect," lack of live baby notwithstanding. In fact the only issue they point to is my lining, which was 8.8 for my fresh cycle and 8.1 for my FET. So, I'll increase the estrogen and the shots will remain an actual pain in my ass. We're keeping it open whether we do a three day or five day transfer. If my lining's on the anemic side, it will definitely be a five day transfer to give my lining more time to fluff up. So there it is.

I'm not looking forward to it. There I've said it. I'm in a really happy place right now and I'm simply not in the mood to have my heart ripped from its moorings and stomped about by Clydesdales. I'm just not. What gets me is that I can't keep up with the varying cycles of potential emotional angst one suffers through with in vitro. First, my naive fresh cycle. I knew, knew, that it was going to work. I KNEW it. The negative from that cycle shook me to the core. So, going into my frozen cycle, I thought, ok it could be negative, which I have survived thus can survive again, or positive, which is wonderful. Negative or positive. Positive or negative. What I didn't count on was the Positive turning into a Negative. And that, my friends, not only shook me to my core, but screwed me up this way to Tuesday.

So I now can come up with four known variations possible for IVF #2. Negative. Positive, then negative. Positive turning into any number of horribles given time. Or simply Positive. I'm no mathematician, but it looks to me like I have a 25% chance of a good result. (All of this assumes too that my eggs haven't taken a final swan dive off the viability highdive in the last 9 months.) Hence, my ambivalence regarding IVF #2 and my new title "Supreme Goddess and Harbinger of Doom and Other Not Positive Events." Cue thunderclaps and scattering bunnies.

I want to be positive, I do. I want to be optimistic. Really. I just don't feel it. I feel like I've worked so hard to put myself back together after my Negative, and my Positive, then Negative. I've slayed dragons to get back to myself. I don't want to give that up, make myself vulnerable to the whimsy of the unknown. I remember so clearly when we started this process, I thought, you know, this isn't so bad. I can't understand why people would just "give up." Boy, was I stupid.

So, how do you enter a new cycle with a reasonable dose of hope tinged with a good dash of reality?* Is it possible?

*all advice other than "suck it up" or "take some prozac" will receive a virtual sugar cookie with lots of buttercream icing delivered by Raoul, my hunky pool boy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Results of the chromosomal tests on E reveal ... he's normal. (Only chromosomally, I reminded him.) My chromosomal and immunological tests are .... normal. We are collectively ... normal. Tomorrow I go back to the RE to discuss my new protocol, which I'm sure will be ... normal. Kidding. I won't feel like I'm getting any bang for my buck if they don't mix it up somewhat. So it looks like I'll be breaking out the box of meds again come June. And I've so been enjoying my alcohol and caffeine and puncture-free tail...

And in other news, I must share the most wonderful of wonderful news. Rebeccah from http://chasingachild.typepad.com/ is pregnant. Rebeccah, for those of you who don't know her, just had her second failed IVF (an IVF during which she studied for and passed the bar exam) and was moving on to donor eggs. Surprise, she's pregnant on her own (ok, I'm sure her husband helped) between cycles. I didn't know people could get pregnant without needles and 3 other people in the room. Please go give her well wishes!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sex and the City

Sex and the City was a deliciously entertaining caricature. Extreme personalities, over the top clothing (ahh, the shoes), superlative wealth, off the wall situations. The center of which was the strength of friendships among those so very different. Sure, in real life we would all love a Carrie. Quirky, earnest, kind, fun, dependable. Samantha? Not so much, I think. I sound like Charlotte, but her sexual escapades would be oddly disturbing to me. Puritanical? Not so much. The older I get, the more I value commitment and the familiar. It would be hard, I think, to relate to a Samantha at this point in my life. Miranda I would like in real life. Edgy, driven, blunt, sometimes too blunt. But loyal. Charlotte's naivete, though endearing at times, would get on my nerves. Yet, infertility gets anyone a pass in my book. Four very different friends who remained friends. But it got me thinking...

What is it about certain friendships that stand the test of time?

I've been thinking a lot about "friendships" on the eve of my 20 year high school reunion. Out of the blue, I got a call from one of my best friends from high school and, within seconds, I felt that sense of the familiar. I was talking to someone who knew me back then, the young me, with all my dreams still intact. We hadn't talked in 10 years, but it didn't seem like it. I felt that twinge of resistance when I realized that she didn't know that I had divorced and remarried and I would have to "explain." But I didn't really have to explain anything. I told her that my second marriage was with someone a good bit older than me and she said, "Well of course you married someone older. You were always an old soul. That doesn't surprise me at all." And just like that I nestled in to the comfort of the familiar, someone who knew me when.

The older I get, the more resistant I am to "new" friendships. Acquaintances and social friends I do very well. I can mingle and laugh and charm and relate, but the sharing secrets and joy and bitter disappointment friendships I'm loathe to invest in. I'm sure a good part of that comes from lack of time. I don't have lots of free time to invest in the nurturing and care of a new friendships. I have perfectly good friendships already in place, thank you very much. The bigger part is that I'm more private as an adult than I was back then. We've all been burned--sometimes scorched--by sharing too much, trusting too early. I'm much too protective of myself now to expose my pale underbelly to the world, willy nilly. But the bigger issue I think is that there's comfort in those who know your story, even if it's just a few chapters. Someone who knows you absolutely abhor the cold and get twitchy in crowds. Someone who knows you won't go near Gorgonzola.

Because friendship, like love, is a dance. Getting to know someone, finding areas of commonality, testing the waters, sharing your history, gauging if you'll be accepted or rejected, gradually sharing more, comparing core values, seeing if you fit, if it's worth the risk and the time and the commitment. It was a ten second tango in your early years. Now, at least for me, it's a long, slow waltz.