ready

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ready.

get set.

and GO.

bought my ticket to the racetrack one last time, here we go people! last month being a bust trying the weaker meds, i’m back to hitting the hard stuff. since i was having an issue the last couple of months gearing up properly for IVF 2.2 (mysteriously making dominant follicles despite hormone therapy), this time around magician put me on birth control pills (read: the devil) to put the smack down on my ovaries.  enough of the acting up. no more funny business. so i’ve been popping those suckers for about a week now and went in for a check yesterday.

and great news (for once!)… no dominant follicles. yet. and even better news (wait, what?!) eight follicles already seen on ultrasound, all small and the same size. 8. EIGHT. for me, this early in the game, with my old lady eggs, it’s normal to see maybe 3. or 5 if i won the lotto. but 8?!? all right, this is looking good!

even magician was stoked. “your ovaries look ah-mazing.” well, thank you, thank you very much.

no time to waste he says. we are trying a new protocol this time around, “micro lupron flare” in hopes i will grow better quality eggs (read: get pregnant). so today is my last pill. yessssssss.  injections start friday. booooooo.

it’s GO time. IVF 2.2 here i come, and i’m coming in hot. you best be ready.

these legs are tired

wasn’t my turn.  not this time.  not today.  and i’m sorry. i feel like i’m letting you all down. it’s bad enough letting myself down, and husband and son. and while i appreciate so much all the love and support you all give me, at the same time it almost makes it harder to tell you when things go badly.  the mounting anticipation heightens the excitement and then, like clockwork, i steal the wind right from your sails.

people tell me i’m brave to share this heartbreaking journey with everyone.  i felt brave when i started it. it was liberating to feel the weight of this “secret” rise up off my shoulders. i felt like the more i talked about it, and refused to let it control my life, in some way i controlled IT. i was the boss. but now i just feel selfish.  like i am take take taking and giving back nothing useful in return.  and clearly i’m not in control.

so i apologize. i feel like i need to. month after month. on what seems like an endless footrace that leads nowhere. and though i keep running i am stuck in one place, legs spinning in circles, watching everyone pass me by. 26 months and still going strong. who am i fooling. strong is the farthest thing from what i am feeling today. these legs are tired.

time

time. it’s seriously dragging.

i hate the two week wait. all the excitement leading up to the IUI and now that the confetti has fallen and settled i am stuck in time. i stare at the calendar. the clock. so thankful that every time i go to bed i’m THAT much closer.

i hate that my life is measured in two week intervals. all right! period! wait two weeks. all right! ovulation/IUI/IVF!  wait two weeks. well GDit, period.  wait two weeks. etcetera. etcetera.

this has been my life for over 2 years now. two week waits. 52 two week waits. that is really depressing. putting that down on paper.

so how am i passing the time?

being a psycho of course! conducting an experiment. as time is ever-so-cruelly testing my patience, i am testing out the trigger shot. to recap, 8 days ago i stabbed myself with some HCG, a “trigger shot” to ensure my body would gear up to correctly ovulate on time. it’s never a guarantee, but it’s the closest thing we have known to magicians.  well, that HCG trigger shot is HCG, the hormone detected in your pee that lights up the pee sticks if you’re pregnant. so i injected myself with it, and starting peeing on sticks the very next day. every day i pee on a stick. i told you i had a problem.  theoretically, i should be getting positive pregnancy tests from that day until the day when my body has metabolized all the HCG, in which case, the pee stick would only have 1 line, not 2 (read: you’re not actually pregnant you psycho, it was just the trigger).  When I did my IVF cycle it took 14 days for the trigger shot to be out of my system. this time, for the IUI, my trigger shot was 1/4 the strength of that IVF trigger shot. so in my head, i think… well, 1/4 of 14 is 3.5 days. right?

well, not exactly. math doesn’t always apply to your carbon-based body.  there are things like half-lifes, and hydration status, and time of pee to take into account, way too many science-y variables.

since i’m no scientist, and fully admitting my pee stick addiction, i shall continue to carry out my experiment in hopes that the 2nd line fades away only to return with gusto.

it’s now been 7 days post-trigger shot. i can estimate i am 6dpo (days post-ovulation). there is seriously no chance in hell anyone gets a positive pregnancy test this early. it’s like scientifically impossible. but i can’t stop staring at today’s test (4/15) and thinking “is that line darker than yesterday’s???” yes people, i am fully owning the crazy. so i continue to wait for time to hurry up already. the next couple of days will be telling.

put on your pee-stick glasses people…

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salmon, of all things

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aaaaaaand we’re off! we officially had the IUI done, thursday actually.  nothing like a turkey basting first thing in the morning to wake you up. in actuality, i had worked alllllll night long so it was a perfect finish to an otherwise hellacious shift. magician was VERY excited to see three gorgeous follies still in place, and they had grown beautifully. THREE mature ones! he actually smiled. 2 on the right and 1 on the left.  (you can see them on the ultrasound picture, right above my tiny baby jesus good luck charm.)

magician smiled AGAIN after amazing husband contributed his, er, gift. there is a minimum requirement, if you will, to be able to proceed with turkey basting. 10 million guys “post-wash”.  magician would’ve fist pumped over our 67 million, but i’m pretty sure his quiet asian persona wouldn’t allow it. instead, he smiled. i’ll take that smile any day. and after a date with the dildo cam, to measure uterine lining, he smiled AGAIN AND AGAIN.

here is baby jesus blessing the dildo cam. because, why not.

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IUI went off without a hitch, legs up for 10 min (okay 15 because i’m extra-nervous), and see you in 2 weeks he says. things could not have looked better. squee!

and then things got weird.

magician, in his moment of happiness and pride, told us he recently took an Alaskan vacation and that we should really look into doing it. okay… we’ll look right into that. huh? then he tells us that on said vacation, he took a small plane to a salmon fishery and what he witnessed there blew his magical mind.  okay, now i’m intrigued… continue… he dives right in to how he essentially witnessed salmon IVF.

i’m sorry, come again? 

apparently these male salmon were belly-sliced from mouth to tail and their, er, contribution squeezed out into a 10 gallon bucket from Costco or something. and then the same for the female salmon: slice, squeeze, eggs in the bucket. and then with a giant paddle (think row boat) and a few swift stirs, new baby salmon were soon created.  as he talked, he eyes grew wide with excitement. he was like a kid in a candy shop, if by candy we meant fish sperm. the funniest (?) part was the degree to which he was impressed by the quantity of the male salmon’s donation, per se. he used the term “incredible” at least 17 times while describing it. let’s be honest, this might have been the most bizarre story and yet it was hilarious, especially in the context of our turkey basting experience. we all laughed for bit, and as he left the room i could hear him muttering “incredible” over and over.

so start the clock! i’m officially peeing on all the sticks starting next sunday. and now i’m off to find a good salmon recipe.

Posted in IUI

because, why not.

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i’ve been a busy girl these days. school. work. precepting for school. (read: more school on top of regular school.) precepting at work. (read: more work at work)

and then life. daily grind. laundry. cleaning. grocery shopping. infertility. you know, the usual.

coming off last month’s chemical pregnancy i dug down deep and jumped right back on the horse. because, why not. the clock is ticking. no time to waste. however, this cycle i decided to step back a bit from heavy duty injectable meds and instead swallowed some pills. so much easier! part of me felt like my body needed a bit of a break to re-set. like, were allllllll those super-strong meds messing me up? maybe. maybe not. but this is what i felt comfortable with.

so these pills are called Clomid. and damn are they cheap! like $40! you might be like, wait, aren’t you doing things kind of backwards in the infertility realm of treatments? yup. because, why not. most people start out on Clomid because it’s cheap, relatively harmless, and just helps you ovulate. it’s like the gateway drug to IVF. i’ve never taken Clomid before because i never had a problem ovulating. but a cool thing about it is can help you ovulate more than 1 egg. so i was all about trying it in place of injects and so was magician. so i popped those pills for 5 days and lo and behold i got THREE dominant follicles growing, TWO of which are on righty (the side with the tube). that never happens! in fact, the last 2 months i’ve stabbed myself with injects only to get 1 follicle. go figure!

i also had asked magician if i could repeat the dye test (HSG) to make sure that tube was working (read: open). not that i like to put myself through torture, sure i do, but i wanted to KNOW that the tube was open. andplusalso some research says you have increased fertility within 3 months of doing the HSG, yes please. i wanted to see improvements. i wanted to see that contrast shoot into my belly like 4th of july fireworks. so i had another hysterosalpingogram done. and boy was it as painful as it is to spell.  think of someone wielding metal parts in the center of your body. it felt THAT good. and this time there was no question about the tube: the radiologist said she saw NO dye flow through the end of the tube. read: that tube is blocked.wait, what? closed for business. door shut. talking with her at great length she said *maybe* she *might* have seen some dye spill into my abdomen on the very last image. but she was wringing her hands as she said this, a pained expression on her face. well now i feel totally confident, thanks.

so i panicked. what is the point now of doing ANYTHING other than IVF?? if that tube is blocked, every IUI is pointless. timed sex is pointless. everything under the sun is pointless except for IVF.

but wait, i JUST got pregnant last month. how is that tube closed? the swimmers have to meet the egg and if that tube is blocked they could never meet up, right? that was magician’s point. so you see my conundrum… i have 1 doctor telling me my tube is useless and to do IVF only. and i have another doctor telling me my tube HAS to be open since i got pregnant after having the ectopic. um…  totally easy decision to make, right? should i scrap this cycle and just jump into pre-IVF workup? or do i take a chance that radiologist was wrong, there was a miniscule flow of contrast through that tube? in which case continue pouring money and time and energy into non-IVF cycles? ugh.

science is such an art. and infertility is full of gray areas. i am craving the black and white, though i know i’ll never have it.

after thinking on it for a while, i decided to go for it and probably will do an IUI this weekend. the way i figured, i already took the meds. i’m halfway into the month. what’s another couple hundred dollars when you’re already neck-deep, right? just a drop in the bucket. because, why not.

but if this cycle is a bust we are doing IVF next month. and damnit body, you better get with the program.

grace

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it’s crazy how life can change in a heartbeat. and by that, i mean literal life.

you can be alive, breathing, laughing, arguing, singing, and then a second later, that’s it. do not pass go. do not collect $200. working in my line of work, i see life and death all the time. i see regret firsthand. shoulda woulda coulda, all day every day.  we have an argument with insert family member here and hang up, angry. i’ll talk to them tomorrow. tomorrow we’ll make up. we are all guilty of expecting more time on this earth. because, why wouldn’t we?

but what if there is no tomorrow. do you ever ask yourself that? i never do. until last night.

on Easter sunday the family went over to my mom’s to visit and stuff our faces with delicious food. eggs were hunted. laughter was shared. the air was full of love and celebration. as dinner wrapped up my dad packed the grandparents in the car to take them back to their assisted living facility.

my sister and her husband, my mom, and amazing husband and son stayed back at the house, opened a bottle of wine, and reminisced about past holiday get-togethers. oblivious.

while we were busy laughing, not more than a quarter mile from our home, a careless driver sped out into oncoming traffic and collided with my dad’s truck. the car hit the back end of his truck, sending him into a tailspin and caused him to roll his Tundra hundreds of feet into the oncoming lanes. the truck was sandwiched. the airbags did not deploy. and by the grace of god, there was no other cars on the road. he unbuckled his seatbelt, exited the truck, and walked away. without a scratch. not. one.

the firefighters were baffled. they strapped him to a board, placed a c-collar on his neck and transported him to the hospital for evaluation. the ER doctors were amazed, saying he was “incredibly lucky to have walked away unscathed.” and i sat there, in the ER, thanking god for showing our family mercy. the grandparents had been dropped off before the accident. thank you god. because surely they would not have survived it. hell, i don’t know how my dad survived it.

to me, Easter has always signified the miracle of jesus overcoming death itself, a miracle i am unable to prove, but rather can only believe with faith. and yet last night i saw firsthand a miracle on Easter. by the grace of god.

hug your loved ones. tell them you love them. and drive safe. god bless.

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