Friday, August 29, 2008

You wouldn't be messing with me, would you?

When I'm old(er) and gray(er), I hope I look back on this experience with gratitude. Not necessarily for bringing me a child (if that happens) but for driving home (again and again, ad nauseum) that the world does not revolve around me. That I simply don't have control over everything that I wish I had control over. I can't guarantee that I'll ever be that humble, but I most assuredly do recognize that I can't do squat if my body has other ideas.

That said, my lining is, again, fluffier than it ever has been. 8.5. Follicles are less prolific than last time, but hey, they're all roughly the same size and, well, my short term memory sucks at this point too. I recognize that when my follicles are forcibly sucked out of my body there very well could be little aliens inside giving me the collective finger. The good news for now is that this cycle is on track. After 16 days of stims. Nearly $5000 in drugs alone.

I'll take some good news for the long weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This is a joke, right?

File this under the category of "Never get complacent whilst undergoing IVF." I've mentioned before that in vitro is a vengeful beast. First IVF, you produce a great lining, pump out some decent embryos to transfer and a few to freeze, make it to beta and zippo...hello negative. Ok. First FET, you pump yourself full of lupron, dine on estrogen tabs, schlump along to transfer then...blammo, your lining sucks in like it's Oscar night and a size 0 Carolina Herrara. Cancelled. First FET times 2, you again pump yourself full of lupron and estrogen tabs, throw in some shots of estrogen to the tail and make it to transfer with 2 high quality blasts. You expect, based on your experience, a negative OR a positive. Turns out you should have chosen "c", all of the above, for a positive, followed by a negative. Alrighty.

So you start fresh. Your experience tells you that you'll likely get a decent number of follicles like last time, might have some lining issues, but the shots in the tail should take care of it like last time. You'll make it to transfer and this time, you'll get either a negative, a positive followed by a negative, or a real positive. Silly girl. Why should you put any faith in past experiences? The vengeful beast has other plans.

Last week, I was thiiisss close to being canceled because my follicles were slow to develop. My lining though had never been better. This week, turns out my lining thinks it should be wearing Valentino and my follicles are on the move. Eeehh? So, I'll make it to retrieval but not to transfer if my lining doesn't GAIN BACK THE TWO MM IT LOST OVER THE @#$%^&*! WEEKEND.

How can this be? How can this BE, I ask you? I was with my lining all weekend. There were no black tie events. No one, I assure you, was on a diet. No one was traumatized to the point of losing weight. How does this happen?

No "I'm sorries." I need answers. If no answers, then please help me find the appropriate person or thing to blame for this.

Friday, August 22, 2008

1000 Sorries

Death. Terminal illness. Divorce. Infertility. Try as I might, I can't conceive (no shit) of four more stressful, devastating, isolating, heart wrenching situations one could face. I write this with confidence because my own fabulous therapist (8 IVFs) confirmed that indeed, infertility is part of the big four. The issue I have is how we respond to those of us facing one of the above. Drum roll please, that issue I'm specifically interested in is Infertility.

The support I've received in this forum has been wonderful and affirming. At times I have felt that the only place I can snuggle up with my like kind has been here, in this community. But I've also reached a point where I can't hear "I'm so sorry" anymore without cringing, or lately polishing off my hard exoskeleton and letting the words bounce right off. I know that every sentiment of condolence has been sincere and heartfelt, but I've reached my lifetime maximum of sorries, I'm not sorry to say. Perhaps I need more therapy, but the more "I'm sorries" I hear, the more I hear that I'm to be pitied. I can't bear that.

So I propose a new lexicon for those battling infertility.
  • When a cycle is cancelled because of an anorexic lining, the proper response is this: "Fucking Whole Foods for selling out of raspberry leaf tea; don't they know how many people are undergoing IVF in [insert geographical area]." Or "Dumbass RE couldn't figure out until too late that intramuscular estrogen shots are more effective than those patches that don't stick to human skin." "Bastards."
  • If your cycle is cancelled because you're follicles aren't developing, the proper response is: "Stupid nurse didn't know any better than to jam the dildocam into your left ovary, scaring your follicles into submission until next cycle?" "Bitch."
  • How about this for a BFN? "Moron embryologist should have know to do a five day transfer to weed out the weak little three dayers." Or "Your stupid embryologist should have known that the longer you leave embryos in a petri dish, the more they squabble and get discontented with life. That's why they should have done a three day transfer." "Idiots."

You get the picture. I recognize that this new lexicon is fairly low on the accountability ladder, but frankly my dear infertiles, I don't give a damn. All missteps, failures, bad news, uncertainty and unexpected events should be someone else's fault. I speak only for me obviously, but, please, I implore you, help me put the blame elsewhere. No "I'm sorries." No "My heart breaks for you." I want anger. I want rage. I want venom directed to some moron somewhere who screwed up my cycle, my pregnancy, my emotional wellbeing. And if I've done something to screw up my cycle, I want a steady stream of directed, red hot fire at the individual or situation who or which disrupted me enough to cause me to screw up, even if said culprit is not readily identifiable.

All this babble to say, I like me better when I'm angry. I'm good when I'm pissed. I'm worthless when I'm a ball of self pitying mush muttering insensibly to the wall "why me?"

As for my August cycle, which I've been loathe to talk about, it's been one big roller coaster of bullshit and it's someone else's fault. My lining is like a 20 year olds. Seriously. My follicles are behaving like someone's geriatric great grandmother. That said, it still continues. I thought it would be cancelled today, but my right ovary has decided to perk up (the right side? It pains my liberal soul.) So we proceed. Despite all those bastards throwing me curve balls.

Say it with me, "Bastards."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Talk to me.

There are few topics as polarizing for those of us who don't have children as the topic of children. Let me shuffle back a few steps. After my first BFN and then my miscarriage, the topics of pregnancy and babies chafed. Justifiably so, I contend. Later, after a bit of time and some pretty darn good counseling, the topics don't bother me. Pregnant bellies and bumps and registrations for baby gifts don't bother me. Baby showers do bother me, but they always have, as have wedding showers. Thirty plus year old women are not meant to play pin the penis on the groom. I'm happy to talk about friends' and relatives' children, schools and such. I'll talk about nannies and preschool and the silly, funny child-like antics of child-people. I'll even endure insensitive fertility comments from those who should know better. But what really gets me are those folks who can't talk about anything other than their children. Those folks who aren't anything else.

I was at a work event the other day and spouses were invited. Several of my male colleagues brought their female spouses. I introduced myself to the wives and the discussion inevitably centered around children. Nannies, preschools, summer camps, teachers, funny child-like antics of child-people. And it never left. Not once. Any discussion of other interests quickly circled back to children and all topics causally related to children. I said my "nice to meet you's" and moved on. I wasn't uncomfortable or jealous, just bored. Certainly, an important part of friendships and social get togethers are finding common ground and interests, updating folks on your life...but at some point, hell, let's move on.

No doubt, having children changes your life, makes it different, fuller maybe, more complicated sure. I also know that serious life events, like children, deserve a fair amount of discussion. But I also know, with every thing that I am, that there's more to life than children. I say this as a person who wants a child and who will try again for a child, but who values even more than that who she is and how far she's come. And, for me, how astoundingly important it is to continue to have my own interests and pursuits. If anything, these many child centric discussions lately have made me thank my lucky stars for those women in my life who, lovely as their children may be, also like to dish a little dirt about their boss, share a perfect cabernet and hit a little white ball in a forward direction (god willing) on some well manicured grass. Not necessarily in that order.