Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the parrot ate my stick

I am truly insane, I actually peed on a stick today!  I mean how sick is that, one day after transfer?  I just seem to be going through the motions like a robot, and don't feel in control of my own actions.  I don't know what the stick actually said, because the parrot ate the bottom half and destroyed the reagent, making me aware that I am an idiot in the process.  I think it was negative, although if I try really hard I can see lines on anything.  MrH said he saw "sweet blue bugger all", so I think we'll call it a negative-eaten-by-the-parrot.

I am doing it also because I want to give myself permission to do whatever the heck my mind wants to do, as in the past I have fought hard to stop myself from doing pregnancy tests and felt bad when I failed.  Let's just hope that the mind has a wisdom of its own, and rather go with that, as whatever you resist tends to persist anyway.

I am so incredibly sleepy from the progesterone.  I slept from when I came back from work until 9 pm, when MrH had to work hard to wake me up from my sweaty heavy coma.  I woke up reluctantly, ate, took my meds, brushed my teeth, wrote my blog (i.e. the essentials :) and will go back to sleep again.  If I could sleep through the next week I would.

Monday, November 29, 2010

transfer today

The transfer went well, I got there with an ultra full bladder and was made to wait for 40 minutes, which would not have been a problem were it not that my bladder was bursting. At one point my eyes were tearing from the superhuman effort made by my pelvic floor muscles. Finally, I stuck my head out from the cubicle's curtain, and with all the dignity that I could muster while covered up with a sheet I shuffled carefully to the doctor's desk and stated that "either we do it now, or I pee".  We tried to do it then, but my bladder was so full, that despite using the largest speculum available (and boy, was that ever comfy), he still couldn't fight my bladder to get to my cervix.  I had to go and void a fair bit (like half of the bladder content) in order to allow for the transfer, and then it went smoothly.

My mom was with me, and she found it impressive.  I had a strange lack of emotions, and an uncharacteristic lack of questions.  They transferred a 4AB (the best seen, apparently 4AA blasts are just about impossible) with 100% survival rate, and a 4CC (average) also 100%.  I don't worry so much about twins now after realizing that one of them was a 4CC, I don't think that one is going to make it.  In my body, the C's usually get gobbled up for breakfast by my evil macrophages.  The AB might stand a chance, but I refuse to get excited.  I really even forgot about the IVF on my way back to my town (I flew in right afterwards).  I did remember enough though to give them a wheatgrass shooter 2 oz (that is my usual booster during IVF) and a 14 oz freshly squeezed juice.  I am usually quite careful with the fruits and veggies while waiting for implantation, and although I am fairly unexcited at the moment, will still do my usual rest, eat salads, drink veg and green juices, tie myself to the bed to prevent my body from inadvertently trying to exercise (a BIG no-no at my clinic) and hey, I even broke open the seal on the folic acid bottle that I have stared at really hard for the past few months.

All in all, it went well, and although I keep on hoping that my lack of confidence and belief in the possibilities of this cycle are not going to affect the outcome, I am still berating myself a little for the pessimism.  However, things are what they are, I have done this way too many times to think otherwise. Statistics, prayer, hope and positive thinking, meditation and organic vegan eating, visualization, acupuncture and moxibustion have not helped me one iota so far.  Therefore this cycle I give myself permission to use Chanel skin care products with all of their poisonous parabens and luxurious scents, to be as pessimistic as my brain feels the need to be, and to not hope if that is not where my heart wants to go.  At least for now.

Even so...goodnight embabies :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Parental support

First off, in an effort to facilitate your guys comments, which I love to read, I have changed some of the settings. It should be much easier to leave a comment now for those who don't have a blog. And if you do read the blog, leave me comments, I really appreciate it.

I had a strange chat with my dad tonight. We were talking about our relatives and extended family and he told me that he had realized how out of his entire family, he is the only one who does not have grandchildren. I said that he had had one, but he died. My dad replied something loosely translated as "May God forgive him, but he doesn't count."

In that moment, like in so many others during the past year, I just had to remember that infertility, stillbirth, and this whole package that I am carrying on my back is supposed to hurt. It is inevitable that even in the middle of an otherwise lovely day, and without provocation, pain will be there, showing up from time to time in so many little ways, lest I forget that no matter how good life is at the moment, even if it is the best that it has been in a whole year, I will still hurt in the background, I will still be reminded, I will still listen to the outside world and let the Voice (hehe, you thought that the Voice was gone, no such luck boys and girls...) putting me down, making me doubt, telling me that I must still be doing something wrong if after all this time and effort I have nothing to show for it. Nothing including my poor dead baby, who apparently doesn't count.

Forgive me, Adrian, for not hurting your grandfather back. He is also in pain, his own pain, which makes him blind to mine, and makes him unable to acknowledge and love you like your daddy and I do.

It is a GOOD thing that my mom and dad don't understand my struggle or my emotions. It is because they themselves have never experienced anything like it, and that is a good thing. This kind of pain, I want it as far away from my loved ones as I can.

I chose to joke instead of even trying to explain. I suggested that my dad should perhaps have another child, preferably adopt one that is a little older, if he really wants grandchildren.

In the meantime, I will go on trying, knowing fully well that at this point my parents (and who knows who else) are thinking that I am still not trying hard enough. Perhaps this is part of why I started this blog, to be able to direct people to a written chronicle of my trials so far, hoping that seeing it they would stop judging my efforts as insufficient. But who am I kidding, my parents don't need to read it, they saw me living it and it still means nothing. In the all absorbing quest for a precious grandchild, neither Adrian nor me seem to count.

And who am I to judge that kind of desire? To want a grandchild with so much force as to forget about your own child's feelings might very well be akin to me wanting a child with my whole heart, and perhaps at times ignoring the fact that I am hurting my pregnant friends or cutting contact with my cousins who have recently had babies. We all hurt others when we want something so badly that nothing else in our life seems to count.

The lesson that I have learned is the same as always: don't fight. There is always a reason. Pain is here to stay. Carry it with grace.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life as we know it

I am sitting here in the hotel, on the top floor, in a room with a view of the ocean, looking at the marina where the white boats sit quietly on the blue-green water. There are fluffy clouds hovering above the Lions Gate bridge, seagulls circling underneath, and a tug boat drawing its v-shaped tail on the water. I have just had a lovely latte and the obligatory french pastry (mrH is not here today) and am contemplating adding more red hues in my hair tomorrow (I have an appointment to refresh the highlights). I am waiting for monday, when I am getting my two embabies transferred. I have access to the most advanced, latest infertility treatment that the world as we know it can provide.

And I cannot help but notice how far life has carried me, from dark grey communist Romania, where I had to heat water on the stove to wash my hair, used menstrual rags that I would launder by hand in the sink, and never saw an avocado, or a pomegranate, or an espresso maker.

Life can be very unpredictable. And that is not always bad (huge grin :).

Here are some pictures, some of our breakfast meals, the view from the breakfast room (same view from our room), the olympic flame and the outside of the hotel, and an organic food shop nearby (Urban Fair)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ultrasound tomorrow

Tomorrow at 8 am I will be having my ultrasound and if the lining is fine, which it always is, then I will be asked to stop the suprefact and to start progesterone. Normally you would hear me whine about the bloating, constipation, and the general sensation that I should urgently strangle kind looking strangers in order to alleviate the mandatory bitchiness, but this cycle I am so happy to be finally done with SuperFat that I don't even care about progesterEvil. (clearly I have been doing this for far too long, if I have starting to nickname the meds so lovingly).

Today I had the best, best, bestest breakfast, consisting of a plate of fruit, some sliced smoked salmon, an egg, and about one forkful of this fabulous french crepe filled with grated apple cooked in custard. (I would have snuck much more than a forkful in, but sadly MrH noticed what I was doing and asked me to stop)  I also had half a French pastry during the conference (which I also snuck in while MrH was not looking), and a bit of thin crust pizza which I disguised under a lot of salad, but that didn't work, MrH did notice, and asked me to please refrain from eating for the whole of Africa.  (I am eating for the whole of Africa, which is why the whole continent is malnourished and starving, kinda like me for the past three days).

I have even been diligent about my exercise tonight, although after about 5 km running I noticed in the adjacent mirror that my fat was jiggling in very disturbing fashion and decided to move to the elliptical trainer, which was next to a darker, more slimming mirror.  With the stress of the impending IVF, I really cannot tolerate seeing fat jiggle, it is too much for my frail nerves.  Although the show I watched on TV about liposuction was somewhat nerve-soothing.  There's always hope.

I must remember to take a picture of the gym tomorrow, it is quite fancy as well, in particular the powder room, with all sorts of creams and lotions and white fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers.  The princess is very happy here.

I don't have OCD, not even a little bit

I sat through an entire day of lectures, and heroically stayed awake the whole time.  That is quite an achievement, especially with the 7 am wake up time (the princess does NOT like to get up before 8 am).  What is even more of an achievement is that I did not have a single pastry, and boy, did they have fabulous looking treats the whole day at the conference!  French pastries of all kind, cheese platters, fruit platters, cold cuts, etc.  All I had was coffee.  Lots of it.  Which is how I managed to stay awake to begin with.

At the end of the day, my total calorie intake was hovering around 1400 or so, a little more than I had planned, but tolerable.  I think I will be content with anything below 1500 for now, as long as I run my 4.5 miles as usual. I was alone in the hotel's fabulous workout room.  They provide towels, water, toiletries, a nice sauna (that was so relaxing after the workout), and once again I felt very pampered.  Tomorrow I am hoping that I can get my foot into BEDO, a nice clothing store in Vancouver which, if my memory serves me right, tends to always have a sale that overlaps this conference (I swear this is not why I signed up for it.  The French pastries are not the reason either.  I am called towards higher learning, 's all).

To prove once and for all that I do, undeniably, have obsessive compulsive disorder, here is what I did this evening after my workout:
9:30  sauna, drink Perrier
9:45 get back to room, undress, have a hot bath
10:00 weigh myself, weighing in at an ALL TIME HIGH of 168 lb. Never before have I been this heavy while non pregnant.  The scale is not my friend.  Will toss it from 22nd floor and never ever weigh myself again.
10:30  pee.  Weigh myself again:  167 lb.  This is looking better.  Go back to reading cheap girlie book while holding MrH's hand in fabulous bed.
11:00 pee again.  Weigh again, just for kicks:  166.6 lb.  Feeling A LOT less anxious.  This scale is not so bad after all.  Perhaps I should buy one for home as well.
11:45 pee again.  Should not have drank so much water.  Resist urge to weigh again, since I need to prove to myself that I am in control of my OCD.
11:46 after long debate, weigh myself again.  166.1 lb
Go to bed a happy woman.
Can't wait to pee again in the morning.

Monday, November 22, 2010

So cold

It might seem odd that a woman like me, coming from far North, in a small town where the current temperature is -22C should complain of the incredible bone chilling cold in Vancouver.  This morning we went to the boat (MrH's surrogate child) and had to sit on it until the temperature warmed up inside from -3C to above zero, in order to prevent the pipes from bursting when the engine was turned on.  We had a small ceramic heater and another small gas heater, as well as an alcohol stove on which I made some Roiboos tea.  Brrrr. It warmed up a little, but the entire day I felt chilled, and had a migraine, and had to pee non stop because of the cold.  I was constantly cold, headachey, nauseated, and needing to pee.  On top of that, I was hungry.  After the little stint on the boat, we went to Capers (it's like a Whole Foods in US, organic food) and had a warm meal (which cost a little more than a restaurant fillet steak with veggies and rice would have, perhaps including desert).  We had some steamed veggies, with palak paneer, and a cauliflower/peas/potato casserole (about two tablespoons of each), plus a carrot ginger soup which I could not resist because I was so bloody cold.  Because of the carrot ginger soup, I think I am at 1200 calories today, otherwise I would have stayed within the limits.  It is a bit too cold for 1000 calories, I am thinking at the moment.

This whole chillin' experience makes me wonder whether it is possible to go through life without owning a pair of Uggs. I have tried to avoid them up to now, but enough is enough, say my cold feet.
What makes it so unbearable is the fact that everywhere you go, it is cold.  For instance, inside Capers, I had to keep my outdoors coat on, and put my gloves on whenever not handling the spoon.  In my town back home, it is -20 to -30 outside, yes, but when you get indoors somewhere it is very warm and comfortable, and you quickly defrost.  Here it took one half hour soak in the tub to finally get the chill out of my bones.

The conference is starting tomorrow, and I don't feel like going, but I have to.  I really really need a vacation.  MrH and I both need a vacation.  We haven't had a real vacation since one year ago.  I tried to take some pictures of the inside of our room, but I am not a very good photographer, and we put our stuff everywhere, so it does not look as glamorous as it did yesterday, however I took a couple of pictures, and will likely add more as the time goes on.  Note the nice fluffy bathrobe that the hotel provided.  Note also the very large amount of cosmetic products on the counter.  They are all MrH's (just kidding, he has the toothbrush and, um, that's it).  Also note the bottle of Estrace and the evil Suprefact grinning from the left hand side of the countertop.  Thursday I will burn it in the Fires Of Where it belongs if my ultrasound shows a good lining and I can stop taking it.  

Luxury life

We arrived at the hotel in Vancouver, and I must say it is enough to make my jaw drop! We are on the top floor of a seaside hotel, overlooking the harbour. This morning I even saw two fish eagles among the many seagulls circling right outside our window. The room has the best sheets I have ever slept on, and l'Occitane toiletries in verbena fragrance. There is an outdoor heated swimming pool, a jacuzzi and a very well equipped exercise room that even has my favourite piece of equipment, the assisted chinup machine. There is a lounge with free espresso and lovely tea, and all sorts of small bite size pieces of food, including lovely french pastries that MrH did not let me have this morning, but assured me that his pain au raisins was very good.

My weight is at an all time high, to such an extent that I don't fit into my tank tops that I wear underneath my sweaters. This has only happened once before, when I was 18 weeks pregnant. This is why I have put myself on a thousand calories a day diet, and will continue my vigurous exercise schedule. Yesterday I ran 5 miles again, but despite all my best efforts, on 1600 cal per day I am still gaining weight, so I will have to look at the french pasties from afar! I must say that being surrounded by such luxury makes it easier to be hungry, because all my other senses are so satisfied that it is hard for me to feel deprived.

I appologize if any typos sneak in, i am using the ipad to post and am not very good with the flat virtual keyboard. I will try to post some pictures if you guys want, just leave me comments if anyone want to see pics.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the princess is packing

I ran 5 km today and didn't even bat an eyelash.  To think that it only took one month to get into the greatest running shape of my life.  All that it took is iron willpower and a good friend to keep me talking while running the countless laps.  It honestly feels like we are going out for tea and chatting about our lives and the weather, thank you I., I had a fabulous time working out with you!

If I do get pregnant, this will be my last workout for a long while (unless I can sneak a couple of runs while I am in the big city).  Tomorrow I am leaving.  MrH and I will be attending a conference, after which I will be staying a while longer and getting this transfer of two frozen embryos done.  Tonight I am packing.  So far, for 10 days in Vancouver, I have packed the following (yes, I am a high maintenance princess, with a very expensive taste for cashmere, but life is short):
In order of importance
-nail polish in pink
-nail polish in red
-sexy underwear in black
-Gstring underwear in black/pink lace
-sexy underwear in pink and black
-respective matching bras
-three pairs of sheer nylons
-cashmere sweater in white
-cashmere sweater in red 
-leather skirt in brown
-short (mini) cashmere dress in grey/black
-leather boots in white
-leather boots in brown
-red leather boots ankle height.
-one pair of skinny jeans. 
-two workout pants and two workout t-shirts.

That is it.  Plus my coat.  Forgot my perfume (this time we're taking Boucheron Initial), and a whole lotta makeup.  And a suitcase full of medication. 

I always insist on being my sexiest self while doing IVF.  It distracts from the monumental weight gain and keeps me sane and floating.  Wish me luck!  I might be posting, I might not, it depends on how busy the whole conference thingy is going to be.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

preparing the mothership

I have just received a new perfume from my friend Ebay.  The fragrance is sooooo good that I am almost thinking it might replace my signature perfume for the next couple of years.  It is called Eau de Fleurs Lavande by Chloe.  It does not really smell like lavander, but rather like a whole bunch of spring and flowers and soap and sunshine.  The only drawback is that it only lasts about 2 hours on me, so I need to keep on reapplying it.  In winter here the fragrances evaporate very quickly, because the humidity level is very low, so everything just smells much stronger, but for a shorter period of time.

Nothing new to report, today I have increased the dose of Estrace and I have not killed anyone yet.  In the past, my experience has been that I get very antsy and angry whenever the estrogen dose goes up, but so far so good. The only thing I have noticed is an irresistible urge to go running.   We have an indoor running track that was just built, brand new, and I love it.  I had a 45 minute break today between the end of the office day and a meeting that I had to attend in the evening, so I decided that I absolutely had to run.  I went to the track, put my running shoes on, took off my cashmere sweater and ran 4 km dressed in my office pants, my  bra and my camisole (bra straps showing, yes).  No matter what, I did not look dressed for running, but for once I did not care, I really had to burn some estrogen fuel, and I did.  That is so far the extent of my madness.

13 days until the embryos land.  Time to prepare the mothership.  No more coffee.  No more nonvegan slips (had some beef jerky today).  Daily exercise.  8 oz of green juice per day (chard, collards, spinach). And hey, I might even start to break in the folic acid bottle that lies untouched on my bathroom sink.  Perhaps I can convince the little buggers that this is a comfortable body to hijack.

Monday, November 15, 2010

anticipating failure

I was opening a sample of the new Paris Hilton perfume and accidentally splashed some in my eye.  Uggghh, not only it stings, but now my eye and my entire face smell like this fairly cheap boring fragrance, which I wouldn't have recommended before, and will definitely not recommend after this little incident involving my eye.  Sorry if anyone actually likes it, I am sure that on a different body with a different chemistry it would probably smell differently, but on me it smells like I need another shower, and I just had one.

I have gained 2 lb more today.  I am at an all time high at this point, and am wearing my pregnancy clothes that I used to wear in the beginning of the second trimester, i.e. my fat clothes.  Not giving up though, I just did another hour on the elliptical machine tonight, and hopefully burned out the nice angel food cake with strawberry topping that someone has brought for me for lunch.  It was delicious and it was the only food available the whole day, so it had to do.  Lesson learned:  must pack lunch, for those days when I don't even have five minutes to rush over to the store and buy something.  For dinner I had grilled asparagus and a green salad.  Despite this rather frugal day (that's all I ate) I am willing to bet a fair sum of money on the fact that tomorrow morning I will wake up 1-2 lb heavier, as has been the case every day so far since I have started on SuperFAT.

If I were not so exhausted by overwork I would probably spend some time thinking about why this weight issue is really so important to me.  I mean, its not like I am turning into a pumpkin, even if I gain 10 lb.  I won't even cross over the BMI 25 mark to be defined as overweight.  It has no health implications whatsoever, and yes, it will mean that I will need a whole new wardrobe, but so would I if I lost 20 lb and that would not sadden me at all!  There are so many wounds left over from when I was young and chubby, and did not have any brain to defend myself against the concerned remarks from my family and friends.  (I was also unfortunately tall, and boys never wanted to dance with me, but I always attributed their reluctance to my being too fat).  I could also think of why it is so important for me to control things that are obviously out of my control (like the number on the scale) instead of simply accepting the outcome after having done my best, with some semblance of grace and peace.  It is exactly the same as the struggles with the IVF and the pregnancy:  I have done my best, I did not get pregnant, so many times, or I did and lost the pregnancy or the baby, but despite that I am still struggling to control the outcome (again) instead of simply going with the flow while giving it my best shot.

I am in a very foul mood these days, although looking from the outside it is hard to tell.  I work hard because I need to compensate for being away for the next 10 days and also because I don't want to think about what it will feel like to fail, again.  I know that chances of failure for this cycle are 60%, better than half, because it is a frozen cycle.  I also know that statistics mean nothing to me at this point, so I shouldn't bother even mentioning them.  But the reality is that I am very likely to fail again, and I know all too well how this goes:  negative pregnancy test, crying for a day in MrH's arms (who is probably wondering when this madness will end), then trying to pull myself together, going back to work and trying not to think about it, too depressed to do anything other than watch TV in the evenings, too exhausted and sad to see people, to exercise, or to get out of that state for at least two weeks.  On top of that, having to diet seriously in order to lose some of the weight put on, which means I will be cold and hungry and extra cranky for the following month, then hoping again as I am starting a new cycle in January, getting into a better mood, like I was in recently, exercising again, life falling back into place, and the cycle repeating itself with another IVF.  On and on, so far six times.  Not to mention the twelve failed intrauterine insemination cycles, which were very similar, only involving different drugs and different procedures.  I feel like I am stuck in a roller coaster that keeps going up and down, and I know that there is not escaping from the up and down motion unless I give up.  Except I am not ready to give up yet.  One day I will, but that day has not come yet.  For now, stuck in the roller coaster from Hell.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sexy and irresistible

I feel like there is so much to catch up on!  I have recently been invited to a baby shower, which is nice, but  as a rule I don't like to do any of the following things:  stick my head in the oven, hit my index finger with a large hammer, get a root canal without anesthetic (like they used to do in Romania!) or go to baby showers.  All in the same category of very painful but highly avoidable activities.  Not to mention that last time I was in a baby shop trying to buy a gift for a friend that had twins (due two days after Adrian was due) I felt faint, light headed and nauseous and thought that I was going to throw up.  That was the last time I set foot in a maternity/baby shop, and that will probably remain the last time, even if I get pregnant and have live babies.   I will probably buy everything on ebay.

However, what has made this invitation to the baby shower interesting was that after I thanked the organizing woman (who was also very pregnant herself) and said that due to personal reasons I don't attend baby showers (my personal reasons being very well known by everyone and their dog in my tiny town), she said "well, we didn't want you to feel left out".  Which to this day I cannot make up in my mind how to interpret.  Any suggestions that do not sound like I am a charity case are welcomed.

On the exercise/diet front, I am sticking to 1500 calories a day (often less) and exercising one hour every day (usually running 8 km) and I have gained a total of 5 lb since I have started injecting the buserelin (SuperFAT).  I did not think that this is a mathematical possibility, since the very first law of thermodynamics clearly states that "energy cannot be created, nor destroyed".  Fat is, as far as I remember from my many years of school on the subject, a form of energy storage.  It takes 3500 calories to store one pound of fat, so I must have exceeded my required caloric intake by 3500 x 5 = 17500 calories, divided by 14 days, meaning I have exceeded by 1250 calories per day.  Given that the running alone consumes 500-750 calories daily, and I probably need about 5 calories to think, talk, type and work, plus my basal metabolic rate of 1400 calories (according to Dr. Google), I seem to be CREATING ENERGY OUT OF THIN AIR!  I wonder if I shouldn't let Green Peace know that I seem to be a good source of organic, clean energy (I do poop once a day, but that's the extent of the pollution) in case they would like to harvest or study me.

Two nights ago, after the third day when my weight kept on increasing despite the draconian measures to keep it down, I broke down and cried and talked to MrH about how terrified I was of getting fat.  I told him that other women have babies, and all I have is my body, which is not as good as a baby, but at least I have it, and I don't want to lose that, I don't want to get fat.  Looking good is very important to me, as anyone can see just by observing that I wear high heels and a skirt at minus 30 C (for those of you that only speak Fahrenheit, that translates to VERY COLD), in the snow.  I am willing to do anything it takes not to get fat.  Anything at all.  I am willing to run until my legs melt in a puddle, and to go to bed hungry every night.  And talking about it with him showed me just how important this issue of weight is for me. I cannot do more than is physically possible, obviously, but I WILL do everything that IS physically possible, and let the dice fall where they may.  I am very determined.  I will stick to the dieting and the exercise, and see where it leads me, eventually the weight gain will stop and I should be able to start losing weight, perhaps after I stop the Superfact.  If I am lucky, in December for my next cycle they will come up with Synarel again, which used to be the hormone suppressor before, and that did not make me gain weight like this.

That is about it for the news.  I am highly emotional.  I just watched the movie Agora and was very upset by the whole thing.  Cried a lot and felt very sad that Christians, in the name of this religion whose spirit and teachings I love and grew up with, have destroyed so much, hated so much, and brought down women to such an extent.  I mean, it is only recently (40-50 years ago) that women started to get back some of the equality that was possible in the year 400 in Alexandria, where the movie takes place.  For 1600 years, the christians have kept women down and quiet and occasionally burned a witch or two for good measure.  WTF?  I could not bring myself to go to church today because of this.  I am starting to come back to reality a little and see that the current christians that are going to church nowadays are different of course, but still, it left such a bitter taste in my mouth. I remember watching the movie Water while I was doing my very first IVF, the one when I got pregnant with Adrian, and I recall crying for about two days afterwards.  It seems that the hormones not only make me gain weight, but they also make me very emotional.  Sexy and irresistible I am not.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Post from the House of Grumps

My period came today, but very light compared to the usual punishment by exsanguination that happens to me every month.  I think it might have something to do with Suprefact, I have asked the IVF clinic and the nurse did not know.  My travel plans will only have to be delayed by one day, not the worst case scenario. I have decided to fly back immediately after the embryo transfer.  I used to be cautious and wait for one day, but now after six attempts, I am pretty cavalier, and have adopted my IVF clinic's advice:  if it is meant to work it will work, go ahead and fly.  I only wish that MrH would be able to be there for the transfer, but to ask the poor man to travel each time I do a transfer in the unlikely scenario that he might be witnessing the beginnings of his child if it works... well it makes no sense financially, and after all of our optimistic cycles went to dust, now we are both "like, whatever", so we really couldn't care less.  I doubt I am even going to be talking to the embryos this time, like I did in the past.  On the other hand, I am not one to miss a life experience, even if it leads to pain afterwards, so I think I will end up getting bloody attached to the embryos, like I usually do, naming them, putting their picture in my album, writing letters to them in my diary, and generally planning the rest of my life in the short ten days of hope that I am allowed with every cycle, until my period comes again (or until I test, if I can't help my itchy fingers).  

Other than that bit of news, here's another piece of groundbreaking information:  I think I have Tourette's syndrome.  I feel like swearing just about every day.  I woke up this morning telling my uterus to "mensturate, you bitch!".  Yesterday I saw a pregnant woman that I know only vaguely, socially, and got so irritated with her (and I mean I don't know the woman at all!) and with her big belly and her bovine look that I thought to myself "pregnant cow".  Please forgive me and believe me that I don't usually think that way, or talk that way, and that in fact I like the round ripe look of pregnant women, their warmth and their softness.  I actually don't know at all why this particular woman annoyed me, it has been ages since anything to do with pregnancy or babies annoyed me, and I am not proud of myself for thinking this way, but the Tourette's got in the way.  I just know she really did, her mental image still does today, and that I want to be able to be honest on the blog.  

I also got very irritated with a young lady just because she dared to have a lot of kids, and is obviously extremely fertile.  Again, irritating things that do not happen to me anymore, or I used to think they don't.  Never at work, always in social circles.  At work I like fertile people, the more the merrier, they keep me busy, since my work life rotates around fertility and obstetrical issues and children, and I love it that way.  Outside of work however, I would probably prefer that everybody be sterilized for the next couple of months while I am going through my next three or four IVF's.  What do you mean, you don't think so?  Is it so much to ask?  Oh, and if we could please ask anybody with more than two children to kindly refrain from leaving the house in order to avoid rubbing your obvious fertility in my face, that would be nice.  Thank you, from the House Of Grumps.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

where's my period when I need it?

Period was due today but did not arrive yet, and this is throwing off my carefully orchestrated plans for travel for this IVF.  If I do get pregnant, this will be my last period for a while.  If I get pregnant now, I would be due on August 17, 2011, or somewhere around that date, depending on when the transfer actually happens (plus one to two days).  I don't know why I keep on calculating the hypothetical due date, I realize that it is an exercise in futility, since I usually don't get pregnant, but I can't help myself.

As you can see from this post, I am very negative about the IVF outcome, somehow I don't think it will work.  I have never had any success with a frozen cycle and I don't believe that they are as likely to work as the fresh ones, but they are unavoidable in my case.  Please spare me the speech on optimism, I have tried optimism before and it did not work either, so I won't stress out about my pessimism on top of everything else I have to stress about.  Like my bloody period (pun not intended) not coming on time when I need it to.  Or like the fact that I am so hungry all the time from the stupid Suprefact that I want to eat anything that isn't chained to the fridge.  In particular I could easily devour a whole sand dune made of sugar, palm tree and camel included.

I am also very impatient around pregnant women.  In particular this past week for some reason they annoy me to no end, even though the poor things have done nothing wrong.  I don't mind all of them, in particular my clients at work do not annoy me ever, perhaps because I need to focus on their health and my mind is busy taking care of details, but there are certain pregnant women outside the work environment that annoy me incredibly, and it is hard to say why, especially that so far they have not.  I think it is linked with the fact that I know in one month or less they will serve as painful reminders of what I cannot have, just as they have done (not willingly, of course) in the past, so many times.  I am already preparing myself mentally for the usual disappointment.  I know all too well what is going to hurt in the near future, and I think I am already resenting it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Avatar body

Over the past two weeks I have been working hard on my Avatar body:  running 8 km about 4 times a week, cycling twice a week on the stationary bike for 1.5 hours, or doing one hour on the elliptical trainer.  The hope was for a tiny waist and strong legs, like Neytiri, if not for the ability to jump from branch to branch like a flying trapeze artist.  I have weighed myself this morning, and instead of losing the 5 lb that were standing between me and the Na'vi race, I have now GAINED 4 lb!  I think no one will be confusing me with the blue princess anytime soon.  MrH thinks it is all muscle development, but I know better, it is the hormonal storm of SuperFat usurping any reasonable efforts to fit into my hard earned skinny jeans.

In addition to this bit of good news, I woke up feeling very pessimistic about this IVF and any pregnancy that might or might not happen:  I feel that either I will not get pregnant, because surely something mysterious is wrong with me and I cannot get pregnant EVER again, only no one is realizing it yet... or if I do get pregnant, then the cerclage will fail, and I will be even worse off than I am now, because I really don't know what I would do then.  Perhaps try surrogacy.  I really don't know.  What is there after TAC?  Another TAC?  I am getting closer to the end of the rope and that is a scary thought.

On the plus side, Shoppers has another sale on and I have my eye on a new perfume, it is called PLAY by Givenchy.  If the mood does not improve by Friday I fully intend to take advantage of the "20 times the points" deal and cheer myself up with the lovely smell.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

suppression-or this never happened

I was watching more Mad Men yesterday, given that I have so much spare time lately (don't ask me how, I just feel like I have enough energy to take on the world and some leftover to watch Mad Men).  In this episode, Don Draper is trying to help Peggy forget that she had a baby out of wedlock (a baby that she could not keep) by telling her to forget, to do whatever needs to be done in order to move on.  He tells her something like "You will be shocked by how much THIS NEVER HAPPENED."  He is, of course, speaking from his own experience, given that he left a whole lifetime behind, including a brother that loved him, and adopted someone else's identity.  A lot of things in Don Draper's life "had never happened".

Suppression of memories is an adaptive skill, of course.  It allowed me to move on with my life after having Adrian.  It allows me to move on every day.  If it were not for suppression of the intense feelings of pain and guilt and loss, I would wake up every morning wailing like a crazy woman. Instead, I wake up smiling to my husband's lovely face, and am able to enjoy his warm embrace.  I am able to live a full life.  It is true that there are days in which I don't think a lot about Adrian.  I do think about him every day, but sometimes just for a few seconds, on the conscious level.  It is true that I could pretend, at this point, that it never happened, that I never had him.  It is true that I have been urged by people, at least one of which is a spiritual advisor, to forget and to move on, to not bring the past along with me on my journey.

Dear people, and dear spiritual advisors, I know that you give advice based on love and on your own life experience, which undeniably has to be different from mine, but let me tell you what I have found out in my own journey:  suppression is good up to a point.  One has to relive the memory, one has to integrate it, as soon as possible, into the daily current life, in order for one's mind not to go crazy.  A mind that is asked to suppress, and suppress, and suppress, will eventually crack.  Suppression has its role initially, right after the trauma has happened, in order to allow one to move on and survive.  However, months afterwards, or whenever the mind feels safe, it starts to relive the memory, it starts trying to integrate into everyday life, so as to avoid being asked to cover it up all the time.  The mind knows what it is doing most of the time, and if allowed to function as it wants, it will bring up the memory in dreams, or in feelings, almost daily.  And that is ok, it is healthy.  At this point in my life, trying to pretend that it didn't happen would be unhealthy.

Perhaps Don Draper's words would have brought me comfort in the days following Adrian's loss, but now, after so many months, when my mind feels safe to process and revisit the memory, I can tell anyone who is still urging me to "forget and move on":  YOU WILL BE SHOCKED BY HOW MUCH THIS DID HAPPEN!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The evil deeds of SuperFAT

I started injecting three days ago, and am already very very hungry.  I think the name is befitting.

For the past two nights, I have had a large amount of work and a very small amount of sleep.  I am one who likes her sleep, especially her beauty sleep in the mornings.  If I have to get up before 8 am I turn into a pumpkin.  Literally.  I keep eating all day long in order to:
a.  get rid of my frustrations related to being tired
b.  stay awake (chewy crunchy things like walnuts help a lot)
c.  prove to myself that life is not as sucky as it currently appears to be.

However, it seems that this peculiarity of mine is not common knowledge and hence I was woken up to please come to work ASAP at the most ungodly hours several times during this past week.  Today I am running on empty.  I nearly fell asleep on top of the cat.  I fear that what's next is falling asleep on top of the parrot, and the poor thing, at 157 grams (I weigh him to make sure he stays slender... ha just kidding, I am not THAT insane) does not stand a chance against my 71583 grams.

So, after dinner, in order to stay awake and provide some more comfort while faced with the gargantuan task of having to practice one hour of piano (I am working on a carol called Carol of the bells), I started rummaging through the kitchen.  Again.  Which proves how little learning capacity I have in my little tiny brain.  Guess what I found?  NUTELLA!!!! I have not had Nutella for about one year, precisely since I have bought it.  I was hungry one day and shopping at Costco while hungry is not a good idea, as proven by the two large size Nutella jars that I came home with.  (But they were such a good deal!  except if you ignore the fact that, you know, I am vegan and hence I don't actually EAT Nutella).

Apparently when I am tired my veganism gives way to a new food trend, called Nutellism.  I had about three tablespoons full, with one large banana, and two handfulls of nuts (just in case the Nutella did not provide enough calories by itself, didn't want to take any chances).  Then, eroded by guilt, I decided to burn off the calories from my post dinner snack on the stationary bike.  Let me tell ya, one hour and a half later, with blisters on both my buttocks and an inability to straighten my left hamstring, I have still not burned off everything that I have consumed in that two minute period of brain arrest.  I had to stop because I had run out of Japanese skin care videos to watch on youtube, and at 11 pm it is too late for me to watch anything even remotely more intelligent.

Hence, I am going to take a hot bath and then go to sleep.  Hopefully after a nine hour snooze (yes, that is a requirement at this point in my old age) I can wake up feeling a little less...ravenous.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I had a weird dream last night.  For the past couple of days, I have dreamt quite a few interesting things, amongst which the Third World War and a whole lot of bombing.  Scary dreams like that...

Anyway, last night I dreamt that I was about to start this frozen cycle of IVF, and that upon going for an ultrasound they discovered that I was actually very pregnant, that I had somehow gotten pregnant from the previous IVF, and the doctors had missed that .  I was even at term.  I went in to the labour ward to have the baby, everything went really well, and the physician who did the delivery handed me a baby boy.  She said that I was looking very much incredulous, like I did not think that this would finally happen, that this could happen.

The baby boy was so so cute.  I held him, laughed at his baby faces, at his lovely mouth, I smelled his hair. I remember saying to the nurses that indeed I was amazed that he was here and quite incredulous that it had finally happened for me, but also now that he was here, he felt very much normal, like he belonged here, like this was exactly the way things should be.  I was breastfeeding in the dream, and compared to other dreams, I remember a lot of detail, and it felt very much real.

Unfortunately the next day after birth, my baby became a mirage image, and he disintegrated.  He was not real.  I went back to the hospital and they told me that I had had a "hysterical pregnancy", or a pseudopregnancy.  I was very embarrassed, and had to tell everyone who was asking me how the baby was that the baby hadn't been real, that I had created the whole thing with my mind.

Then I woke up.

Whatever could it mean?  Hmmm, that's a hard one.

Monday, November 1, 2010

cream puff massacre

Hey, October is done, and I have posted a total of 29 posts during the month!  If I write this much, can you imagine how much I talk ?

Not much new to report.  I have been very very happy lately.  I don't really know why, perhaps it is the light, or the fact that the new IVF is approaching, or the fact that work is going well, or perhaps it is because MrH is the best husband EVER!  There are no new crises, the birds are super cute, I am currently taming a little parrotlet that resides at my work place (he gets to spend ten minutes on my shoulder - actually hiding in my hair - every day, and he is getting used to it, the last two times he did not even draw blood when biting me, hey, that's success!).  MrH has been trying to tame him for one year, but I think I have a better chance, since I am female and the beast is male.  He is so cute, small and neurotic to no end.  When he gets stressed, he plucks all his feathers, and is completely nude on the chest.  He's been doing well for months now, so his feathers are all back, shiny and new.  I am no longer struggling with the temptation to sneak some prozac into his water.

Tomorrow I am starting to inject Suprefact (I call it superFAT) in order to suppress ovulation.  The approximate time for the next embryo transfer is in 4 weeks or so.  I am busy trying to slim down a bit before SuperFAT gets the best of my waist, but unfortunately the adipose tissue is not budging.  Even with the three day juice fast done last time, I did not lose almost any weight, at most one to two pounds.  I think it is because I have not been active; with the surgery recovery and before that with the fresh cycle, it has been a long time since I have been able to exercise.  I have decided to start exercising daily until embryo transfer day.  I have been able to do about 45 minutes on the elliptical, or one hour on the bike.  I usually do my strength training whenever the mood hits me.  I enjoy strength training, it feels a lot more defined to me, and I get almost immediate results, probably due to genetics.  I have done a total of three days of squats and lunges, and my quads are already visibly more toned.  In contrast, with the cardio, I can sweat for weeks and have nothing to show for it.  The fat is stuck on with superglue, I swear!

I am also busy watching youtube videos of japanese skin care products and routines.  I am fascinated with all the brightening and whitening skin products, not to mention all the anti aging formulations.  I am still enjoying my cellulite cream, which at the very least makes me aware that I still have cellulite on the areas that I am trying to apply it to.

Yesterday I had guests for dinner and decided to treat them to a nice dessert, so I bought some cream puffs, which are my weakness.  Being vegan, cream puffs do not qualify as non-dairy, so they do not reside anywhere near my kitchen on your average day.   However, I am not a very strict vegan, so I decided that I can try a couple of cream puffs.  I kept on "trying" them throughout the entire day, until at dinner MrH remarked that the box (that had 32 cream puffs to begin with) was looking awfully empty.  I had eaten about 16 of them as the day went on!  If that is not uncontrolled grazing, I don't know what is. Mind you, I should have had breakfast, or lunch, but I was too busy preparing dinner to think of such mundane activities, and with the cream puffs, I guess I felt quite satisfied...

Given yesterday's cream puff massacre, I decided that today will be Juice-fast Monday (I frequently have a Juice fast Monday when the weekend was a bit, um, excessive).  I had one litre of juice for breakfast and mid morning snack, and one 16 oz soy latte for lunch.  Warning:  do not try this at home.  I have literally vibrated my way throughout the entire afternoon.  I nearly tore the head off an annoying person on the phone.  Next time I will solemnly stick to my original rule that forbids coffee during a juice fast day, mostly in order to avoid war casualties.

That was my quick update.  I will write more when I actually have something to say (unless anyone actually enjoys reading updates of my very mundane happy happy life).