Thursday, October 26, 2006

anxiety rising

Since I'm having a hard time posting comments on some blogs (thank you, Blogger Beta) I thought I'd share my comments on here...

I hope that the Hotel Manager at the Embryo Motel gets some relief soon. That does NOT sound like fun. Also I've met a bobcat at a couple points in my life as well - for two different types of growth spurts.

And congrats to Serenity on the job offers. You rock! Good luck with your decision -- for me it's always been really important to work with great people. But then again commuting does suck.

I'm getting more & more excited about spending the week up in NYC. I'll be living in Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens) with a good friend for half of the week and then moving to a hotel closer to the hospital prior to the surgery. I have already picked out the subway lines that I'll need to take and located the closest Whole Foods. Still trying to make appts for acupuncture and hair cut. Looking forward to some good food (before the clear liquid diet day). And might catch up with some other friends. One of my good college buddies just had #2 - I guess I should work up some excitement there.

But I'm also feeling very anxious about something. Not really the surgery, but I'm guessing that will hit next week. Maybe about the IVF cycle itself. I'm afraid that the moons won't align and I'll have to push it off to January. The more that I think about it that scenario seems less likely, but I'm still anxious about something.

Actually I haven't told my boss about taking off time for the IVF. I wanted to get a better feel for the dates before saying anything. I did hit that I might need to take off more time later in November, but didn't really mention that it'll be 2 weeks out of the office. Oh yeah - right after this week of being out. I do plan on working "from home" for most of it so hopefully it won't be an issue. Actually we do have a tiny NYC office - maybe I'll try to work from there to not feel as guilty about taking off so much time during a busy month. Part me wants to say F it because of everything that I've done for the company so far this year and then part of me feels bad for leaving my boss in a tight spot. And he is very cool. So maybe I'll spill the beans to him and also work hard to support him from NYC when I can.

So maybe it's a lot of little things are making me nervous all around? Guess I better work on some relaxation techniques...and maybe another acu session before I head up?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I love the beach

I love the beach - any time of the year. Actually I might like it more in the off season when it's not overrun by people. Having spent so much of my childhood at the beach ("down the shore") I can't imagine living any further from it than we are right now (2-3 hrs). Rivers and lakes are a nice water fix for me, but there is something about the salty smell and the sound of the waves that makes me feel at home. Some day in the future I do want to live close to the beach again.

We had a nice visit with my grandmother, who looks pretty darn good under the circumstances. My aunts were joking that even at her worst a week ago her hair was still perfect -- guess the rest of us weren't lucky enough to get that gene. Aside from being tired, I never would know that she has cancer all over her body. She has another biopsy this week to try to diagnose it and determine appropriate treatment. It was nice to have a "normal" visit with her and the rest of my family -- almost everyone was there. It was just like a holiday minus the decorations. I tried to savor every minute of it because we may not have many "normal" weekends like that in the future.

We tried to work off the indulgences with a couple of walks on the beach. Maggie loved every second of it. She had her "happy face" on the entire time.

Maggie at the beach

Friday, October 20, 2006

CD16 - the latest plan

Heard back from the coordinator today (who again answered the phone on my first attempt!) - current plan looks like:
10/30 - bloodwork for co-culture
10/31 - endo biopsy for co-culture + pre-op appt
11/2 - lap surgery

So it looks like I'll be spending the whole week up in NYC!

And I'm waiting to hear back from the IVF nurse (who also answered the phone immediately! and has a v. cool accent) about the protocol/dates, which theoretically starts right up after the lap.

I'm going to go & crash. I haven't slept well this week and I just got back from a Habitat for Humanity build and I'm just exhausted! Only thing I *really* need to do today is to pack for our NJ trip tomorrow...I can do that later tonight, right? ;)

And I think the reality of my grandmother's condition will hit me when we see her this weekend (got the "reserved" bedroom back BTW). I'm still in denial right now...

Here is a pic of her back in happier days -- smiling & getting down at our wedding (dancing with my dad's girlfriend):

Thursday, October 19, 2006

CD15 - I surged today

After all of the confusing semi-dark OPK tests I finally got a nice & dark one today at work. Which means that I can't do the co-culture biopsy on 11/2 -- it'd be too late in my cycle (needs to be no more than 12 days past my LH surge). I called the coordinator who surprisingly answered on my first attempt (I've heard she can be difficult to track down). She said that I can do the biopsy on 10/31 but she's not sure about when I can do the lap. She was going to check with the doctor after he got out of surgery and give me a call tomorrow with the plan. I'm really hoping we can squeeze this all in the next 2 weeks...

Smarshy's summer vacation pic has me looking at old vacation pics now...and remembering the good 'ole days before IF was hanging over our every move, including vacations. We looked so happy...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CD14 - yuck

these little pink lines on the OPKs are killing me -- they've been getting darker & darker today and as of tonight are *almost* as dark as the control line...meaning that I will probably surge soon. a little too soon to get into this upcoming cycle schedule with the new RE (their lab is shut down right now)...probably pushing us out to January for IVF#3. we did our first IVF last January and I really didn't enjoy that time of year - bad cold, bad weather, bad embryos, yuck. :(

and it seems like my least favorite aunt is flying into town this coming weekend and kicking us out of our "reserved" bedroom at my grandmother's house. and my dad said my grandmother is getting more & more weak. yuck.

yuck. yuck. yuck.


update/question for OPK pros:

will the test line definitely be darker than the control line when you surge? the last three tests over the past 18hrs have been really dark...did I surge?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

test results

I just got back some of the results back from our testing earlier this month - everything so far looks normal except for elevated white blood cells...

> my karotype results came back normal - and good to know that I AM in fact a female for anyone who was wondering
> still waiting on DH's karotype results
> elevated white blood cells - from a cold? I think I did have a sore throat back then...or is it some other underlying infection?
> T4 (free) = 1.46
> TSH = 1.36 (came back as 0.8 a week later with my medical endo)
> prolactin = 9.7
> slightly elevated LDL - damn those delicious egg sandwiches
> NK cytolytic activity came back normal (8.6%) -- guess the fish oils are helping? or I had a fluke result earlier?
> RIPs all came back normal
> all APAs were in normal range

Very interesting!

Oh and I had some ovary twinges & EWCM again I think I'm going to O soon. If I can make it until Thursday before LH surge then I *might* be able to do the co-culture on 10/31 (and go up the day before for the blood draw)...we'll see...

The endo biopsy for the co-culture needs to be 5-12 days past the LH surge...and the blood draw needs to happen before that...very complicated.

CD13 - stay on target

Still no surge yet - yay!

I saw that someone from NYCDoc's office tried to call me a couple of times over lunch today - but left no message. WTF? Now I'm dying to know why!

And I had a great bitch session with my boss today. *He* started off complaining about the rash of stoooopid decisions in our company lately - and then I jumped in of course. OK - so I like my boss. That makes *everything* much more bearable at work.

Not sure if I've mentioned this before but when I first told him that I'll need off some time for "a surgery" in early November (days before a huge work milestone) he didn't even blink an eye -- he just said "no problem" and went on to the next topic. My last boss asked 100000000 nosey questions to figure out what was going on. Part of me suspects that he already knows which is quite possible because a few people at work do know -- and he's friends with them. And then part of me thinks that he just really doesn't want to know - whatever it is. Either way I'm grateful that he's being so cool about it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

CD12 - mastering the OPK

I started with the overpriced, well-known brand of OPKs from the pharmacy over the weekend. And today my cheapy internet OPKs arrived -- so now I can test all I want!! To keep my obsessive-self busy I've decided to test in the AM (~11am) and also in the PM (~8pm). A watched pot never boils? Maybe a watched LH won't surge too soon then...we can hope?

Since I'm coming off of a mildly-medicated cycle, I'm hoping that I'll O a little later than my usual CD14-15 (LH surge probably CD12-14?). That has been true for the past few post-ART cycles so we'll see.

Worrying about surging too soon has made me very cranky at work. Well it's that plus the combination of stoooopid decisions that a few people have made. DH just started his new job today (yay!) and I have complete envy of his smart co-workers. I've already heard a few basic smart things that would *never* happen at my company.

For example they gave him an extra power cord for his laptop. They do that for everyone with laptops because - gasp - you probably use your laptop in multiple locations and it'd be gosh darn convenient to not have to deal with a mess of cords on a regular basis. At my company, if someone had this brilliant idea to include an extra power cord with every laptop it would be debated for months & months across 10 different departments until eventually the idea would lose steam and everyone lost interest. Good idea? Who cares.

So it sounds like I should polish up the old resume and maybe start exploring some options before I get truly disgruntled. Maybe after the holidays? Maybe after I get my bonus payout in March? Maybe after I vest in May? Maybe I can get PG and then just quit altogether? HAHAHAHA! Argh.

Well I better go & play with our restless pup who misses her doggie boyfriend. Max's "parents" got back from Greece on Saturday so we are now a one-dog household again.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

sailing class

Sailing on the Potomac
Sailing on the Potomac
Originally uploaded by Kristi & Nick.
Today was the second day of our sailing class - something I have wanted to do for a long time. Ouch - I'm sore all over. Partly from the bruises from clumsy shuffling around on the boat with the other students. And partly from my tired muscles, who aren't used to doing much of anything these days. So it's almost 8:30pm and I'm done. Ready for bed.

A little concerned about EWCM I've had today so I better go & do my OPK before I fall asleep.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

CD10 - starting OPKs

Just started OPKs today to monitor for my LH surge. It feels so weird to go back to using them again. And it's been so long that I forget details about them -- when is the best time in the day to do it -- late morning? I'll have to go & research.

So now I'm just waiting to surge -- and the longer I take the more likely that I'll be able to stick to our schedule. A week from now (CD17) would be perfect. Otherwise everything will get pushed out and we probably won't be able to cycle until 2007.

Think lots of LH-surge-later thoughts. I even have my acupuncturist trying to delay ovulation. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

confessions of an adrenaline junkie

I've been having trouble posting & leaving comments ever since upgrading to blogger beta. So hopefully this works.

So my driving confessions, as requested...

I'll start with a little bit of background. I grew up in NJ in a family and community of fast drivers (in high school I remember being passed by a cop when I "slowed down" to 75mph on the turnpike). As I learned in my driving class the other night, I'm an adrenaline junkie. I LOVE to drive fast. I do limit my fast driving to daytime/clear weather/highway situations and I do pay close attention to everything around me and try to anticipate & avoid bad situations. Overall I do feel like I'm a good driver, just a bit faster than those around me at times.

When I was in college I was more than a bit faster...and I ended up with a few tickets to show for it. Granted two of those were on a speed-trap highway (watch out for those sneaky state police in Camaros around Binghamton, NY!).

By the time I moved down here I was driving slower, but still got a couple tickets. One of those was on a beautiful clear weekend morning. I was driving back home at 75-80mph on a straight highway - no traffic & clear weather. I had the radio turned up and was generally just enjoying the ride. Unfortunately that part of the highway it dropped down to 55 putting me at 20-25 miles over the speed limit...which just happens to be reckless driving in this state (is that true everywhere? maybe I need to move). Clueless me did not get a lawyer and had a jacka$$ judge so I walked away with a reckless on my record.

Few years later and I'm looking less & less like Speedy Gonzalez. One day on my slow commute home I did have an exchange of fingers with another driver over his rudeness (cutting aggressively across a wide merge area) & my intentions to not to let him merge back over later on. A cop happened to catch that exchange and pulled us both over and charged us with reckless. This time I got a lawyer & got it knocked down to improper driving. The other guy did not get a lawyer and ended up with a pissed off judge.

So after all of that AND the fact that I'm getting older and have a deeper sense of mortality, I am much much much MUCH more careful & conscious when I drive now. But I have that beautiful driving record to accompany me.

Anyway, several weeks ago I was heading over to meet my husband to pick out granite for our basement. It was the week after we thought our FET was cancelled & I had stopped all meds. The road I needed to take was closed, but there were no detour signs or people directing the f-ed up traffic. There were some cars cutting through a couple of cones to go over to the access road, which wasn't closed. So I follow a few cars over there and find a group of cops further down the road. They ended up pulling us all over for cutting through to the access road. I'm sure that everyone else simply got detour directions, but I was a huge smart a$$ and got a general reckless charge.

The cop started off with a bit of attitude, which I did not appreciate. I matched some of his sarcasm and got pretty fired up as it escalated. And I got REALLY pissed when he wrote it up as reckless. My lawyer said that the cop probably saw that I had prior tickets and wanted to screw me over.

I've learned in this driving class, which BTW is run by a very-cool former cop, that you really do need to "play the game". Also there really is no true justice - difficult concept for this fair-loving Libra. It ultimately is up to me vs. the cop. And I better no piss him off. I’m sure that everyone else in the world knows this – it seems so obvious. I just get so fired up sometimes that I don’t think. And I was already on edge from our cancelled cycle before the whole incident.

So this is just a BIG lesson how to control my emotions as well as to learn how to "play the game".

"You must have had a good reason to pull me over, officer"

"I'm sorry, officer"


On a side note, I had my TSH tested again this week and it came back at 0.8. So that's good for now -- my endocrinologist prefers to keep it on the lower end because theoretically when you cycle the additional estrogen can cause it to increase.

And we should be getting our new insurance cards next week!!!! DH doesn't actually start work until Monday -- we're very impressed with the new company's benefits dept!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

how many more days before I ovulate?

Wow - it is is painful to think of how many days I need to wait to ovulate - 7-10 days? I do hope it's later than sooner so that the dates work out with the lap & co-culture biopsy...but it's a true test for the impatient. Especially one without a lot to do right now.

So in the mean time I guess I'll keep busy by:
1) Figuring out the insurance situation -- so far it looks like we'd be effective this coming Monday and we'll get the insurance cards before we head up to NYC for the lap -- yay! And even though it'll probably be considered out-of-network, we still get such better coverage from this new insurance -- double yay!

2) Taking a few defensive driving classes. I got - um - another really bad driving ticket recently and need to take some classes to bring up my points. Actually the lawyer said it would be a good idea. In my defense my driving wasn't that bad -- it was the smart a$$ comments made later to the cop that was the true mistake. Oooops. I'm trying to see if I can use "insane by IF" as an excuse... ;)

3) Playing with the puppies. We are dog sitting right now and have *finally* have figured out a good routine to keep them tired - and us happy. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

some good news

Looks like DH's new company does have IF coverage (yay!), but we still need to see if the timing works out for the lap & IVF -- since they both need precertification and it's scheduled for 11/2 and I most likely won't be covered until 11/1 -- at the earliest. Also it would be out-of-network with my new RE though since they don't really accept insurance for IF procedures (lap theoretically would be covered)...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

we've got a plan!

First, I am so sad for Serenity, but still so impressed with her positive attitude and amazing inner strength.

And I'm really pulling for -M this cycle - more now than ever before. I hope you get wonderful news next week.


I am so glad that we are cycling with NYCDoc!! Out of everything I was most impressed with his attitude - he was open to hearing my thoughts & answering my questions - and very down to earth. I immediately felt comfortable with him. Yay!

After a lot of discussion about the various options, we are planning to do a lap with him in early November - and if my body behaves & the timing works out with my current cycle (I'm CD3 today) then we might be able to do the co-culture at the same time. Assuming we get both of those done then we're going to jump right into an IVF cycle! If I ovulate too early & the procedures get pushed out to later in November then we'll have to look at the calendars again (holidays, etc.).

He actually brought up the lap, not me, and thought there were enough indicators for endo (incl. the NKs which I didn't know) to go ahead with it. Also he said that one of my tubes looks a little enlarged (first time I've heard that) so it'll be good to check that out. And he said he won't use Lupron in my protocol because I don't suppress well on it -- we'll use Ganirelix instead (along with Follistim & Menopur again). And he definitely isn't into IVIg, but fish oils are fine.

He also took a look at my antral follicle count and said everything looked good. So given that & my age & by retrieving the eggs before they are "overripe" & by adding in the co-culture that we have a very good chance of success. Yay!

So I need to cancel the FET now...and save those frosties for another day...

current plan:
10/14 - start checking for LH surge
10/21 - ideal surge date
10/23 - call if no surge
10/31 - pre-op appt
11/1 - co-culture bloodwork
11/2 - lap + co-culture biopsy
11/3 - bonus NYC recovery day

Oh - and I had a great trip in general. I ran into an old co-worker at Union Station and we caught up on the way up. And then I ran into an old roommate (!) on the train back down - the train was full and I was asking her if her seat was taken when we realized that we knew each other. Suuuuuuuuuuch a small world!!!! Anyway it was nice to remember the good 'ole days with both of them and feel reconnected with old friends. And plus I always love taking the train.

I did miss my train back though (#6 had issues because of a police investigations) so I was stuck in Penn Station for an extra couple of hours. For some reason I always get stuck there -- it's like a blackhole...

Now I'm hoping that I don't surge too that we'll head up to NYC on Halloween for pre-op appt! Please behave body!! PLEASE!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I'm also wondering if I should push for a lap now? I have a family history of endo, but haven't really had symptoms myself (only have mild-moderate cramps). It might be worth having the peace of mine knowing what is really going on inside there. After hearing about SoCo's recent experience, I'm tempted to push for this now.

So many questions and so many decisions. Like my friend -M always says, decisions are the hardest part of IF.

Sending her lots & lots of luck for her test on Monday. And same for Serenity tomorrow!! I hope you both see that beautiful second line!!

Side note - This time around it took 6 days to get my period after stopping PIO/suppositories -- which is odd because my P4 and E2 were so low for this cycle. Maybe it took longer because there wasn't such a sudden drop?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

next steps?

I went to the RE's office this morning to get my blood drawn for my follow up NK testing. I talked to the nurse a bit about our cycles and now I'm a bit confused about next steps. We still do have 3 embies in the freezer and it would be fairly "easy" to do another FET...and it might take some time to get started up in NYC anyway...

option 1
push to cycle in NYC ASAP
pro: sooner we get started the sooner we'll be cycling with TopNYCDoc; good chance we could get another fresh cycle in 2006; this feels like our best chance for BFP
con: might have to wait for additional testing/procedures before we get started anyway; "wasting" our frozen embies

option 2
do another natural FET down here (with 5dt, steroids, Intralipid), but also plan out NYC cycle immediately after FET (might push it out a month)
pro: changing some factors; will use up all embies; if it works it'll be cheaper/easier than all out fresh cycle in NYC; could potentially have another transfer before the end of October
con: very low expectations for these embies - they were good enough to freeze, but were slightly lower quality than those already transferred. wasting a little bit of time/money? Might push out NYC cycle by a month - pushing into 2007?

Guess we'll decide over the weekend after we've had the consults (current RE is tomorrow, NYC RE is on Friday). Any thoughts? Other options?

Monday, October 02, 2006


On Friday as we were heading out of town I did get the call from the RE. BFN. I actually just let him leave a message because we were in the car with friends. He said he's not sure why it didn't work but we can talk more in person to determine next steps. I'll probably do that next week when I have some time.

I was only a minor mess over the weekend -- a bit depressed after an extended discussion with the girls about pregnancies and Clomid and IUIs. I didn't share any of my experiences (too close to the surface) but I was quite the expert on the details. One of the other women has been trying for #2 for "a while now" and is exploring her options because she wants to be PG by the end of the year. I didn't even comment on that, but I did smile a bit remembering back when I thought we had some sense of control over the whole thing.

Anyway it was a nice weekend with friends. Nice to feel normal (with the exception of that painful conversation). And I was fascinated with the beautiful sunrises (which is odd because I'm NOT a morning person in any way).

I got back to some very bad news about my grandmother. She has been feeling very off over the past couple of months and just went in for some extensive tests. Turns out to be cancer of everything (lungs, lymph nodes, etc.). Wow. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'm expecting it to hit me hard - she is my last grandparent and I am fairly close to her (much more so than my other grandparents). For now we are planning to head up in a couple of weeks for a little visit.

So in the mean time we'll continue pushing ahead up with IVF#3 up in NYC...and see if we need to take a break if it seems too difficult emotionally down the line.