Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Big Poke

Going in for the egg retrieval this morning. Nervous but ready.

Will report back more later.

Wish me luck!

Tagged , , , , , ,

An Afternoon Stroll

I picked up the kids from the cryobank the other day and took them for a little afternoon stroll through Los Angeles on their way to the fertility clinic.

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. SAFETY FIRST!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

But seriously, if I got into a car accident, I did NOT want to be covered in year old semen.

Seriously.

Ick.

While I was lugging this 15lb tank of sperm the 4 blocks to the fertility clinic I found myself with some extra time to think. First thought: “I really should be carrying these miniature albino tadpoles around in a stroller instead of a clunky steel aquarium.” Second thought: “If this whole thing works out the way we’re planning, I could be carrying 1/2 of our future kid(s) right now.” That, my friends, is a very strange thought. Thought number 3: “What if I get mugged and they steal my honeypot of baby batter?” I started getting nervous and began walking faster, turning my mind towards the more comforting things we get to experience on this marvelous and romantic journey; pelvic exams and ovarian cramps, etc. etc. SCIENCE!

The finish line for this cycle is not too far off. Egg retrieval is tentatively set for Monday or Tuesday next week depending on how things develop over the next couple of days. Follicle count has leveled out a bit and is standing at 20 on the right and 19 on the left. The follicle sizes are pretty much even across the board (which the nurses say is a good thing) with the largest follicle measuring at 14.6mm (ironically, 14.6 has always been my lucky number). They’ve backed my Follistim injections down from 150 to 75 units daily. I told them I was an over achiever but I don’t think they took me seriously. I sure hope my ovaries don’t over achieve their way to my abdomen exploding.

I still feel pretty puffy in my stomach so I’ve been drinking water and Gatorade like a fish / Gatorade spokesman. My egg retrieval surgeon said Gatorade helps fend off OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome). Sure, sure. Whatever you say lady. At this point I’d chug a gallon Bean-o if I thought it would lessen my bloated Winnie the Pooh tummy………

On a side note, I think all these extra hormones have finally kicked in. I watched Blindside with Sandra Bolluck this afternoon and balled like my family dog died. I’m not much of a crier…….so chalk another new one up to the continuing IVF saga.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Ovaries + Follistim = WOW!

Starting: 04/15/10
Right – 19
Left – 20

Two days of Follistim: 04/17/10
Right – 25
Left – 30ish ( quote “I stopped counting at 30.” )

My ovaries are feeling pretty crampy and tingly at this point.

And (naked) I have a SLIGHTLY rounded little tummy. That unexpected little development does not bode well and has made me realize that I should maybe start applying Cocoa Butter quickly……….just in case. 🙂

Tagged , , , , , ,

It Pays To Be Blissfully Ignorant

Went in for a date with the ol’ doctor again on Tuesday. They wanted to check the status of all things girly-good since I’ve been hopped up on Lupron.

I guess they’re looking to get a baseline on the ovary production before starting me on the REAL drugs – the hard stuff. You know, the ones that make you hulk out one minute and then cry over birds chirping the next.

Truth be told, even though we’re probably a solid half way through our cycle, we still feel pretty clueless as to how and why this all works. Most of the time I find myself just nodding and smiling when it seems appropriate. The doctor says I’m going to be getting two drugs in 20 injections over 14 days shot into my abdomen and I smile. She tells me she’s going to squirt ink into my cervix and I nod. She tells me I have to shove a pill into my hoo-hoo like some sort of reverse suppository and I giggle, reminded of some story regarding a coffee enema made from a home made douche kit and an empty 2 liter bottle of Coke.

Normally this sort of ignorance really troubles me. Generally when faced with the unknown I consult my magic 8-ball and if that turns up empty I turn to Google, spending hours and hours pouring through and over various case files, sweating and clamming up at the calamity I’m in. Honestly, some would say I’m a bit neurotic……personally, I prefer the term thorough, but to each his own.

The good news, though, is that all of our happy ignorance, our blissful naivety, good juju and positive kharma have payed off! My endometrial lining is at 4.7 – which is right where it needs to be (so sayeth the good Doctor), my right ovary has 19 follicles and the left one has 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember they said before that anything above 10 is considered excellent? My ovaries are graded A plus-PLUS! EXTRA CREDIT!

So, another milestone passed and now we’re on to Follistim. This is the REAL drug – the one that makes all the magic happen. If Lupron was a gateway drug, this stuff is heroin and it even comes in this weird little nifty pen thingy that’s sort of like a reusable syringe…it’s the little things in life…

I went to pick up the last round of meds from the pharmacy today and dropped almost $1,400.00. That IS a lot of money but thankfully (because of my stellar little ovaries) it was a LOT less than what we were anticipating. The lady in line behind me looked at me really funny when the sales clerk told me my total. I could just see the wheels in her head turning and wondering what the hell I was picking up. As the pharmacist handed me my gift bag overflowing with drugs and needles she said that she hoped to never see me again. I smiled too and said I hoped so as well. I wanted to tell the lady behind me that I was purchasing injections from the Fountain of Youth. I wanted to tell her that I was 62.

I brought my drugs home and put them up on the counter to start putting everything away and had to laugh. It looks like a junky lives here! Some sort of pharm head…
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This baby making stuff is SEXY!

That said, I am becoming a little concerned about John’s well being and current mental state. My husband, who is notoriously phobic about needles – even going so far as to pass out when he gets his blood drawn – has been taking the injections quite well. Perhaps….TOO well. When he comes home from work, usually the first words out of his mouth, through the door, are something to the effect of, “FOUR MORE HOURS ‘TIL SHOT TIME!!” When I told him this evening that he had to start giving me two shots a night his eyes lit up.

More on this as it develops.

On another note, I was at the grocery store picking up some last minute things the other night and had to grab a jug of milk. I was checking the expiration dates to find a good one when it occurred to me that, if all things go well, we could be pregnant before this milk curdles and expires.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

That is a very wonderful/weird realization.

Tagged , , , , ,

Holy Bruise, Batman!

Image and video hosting by <span class=

Today was a big day…I took my last birth control pill!

(and hopefully forever because I hate them and will never forgive them for that extra 10lbs they gifted me freshman year – college not high school).

Now, I realize that in the crazy little world of IVF, THIS is not a big milestone BUT I am a neurotic psychopathic list person and love crossing things off. I get a thrill from the visual proof of accomplishment, gain, momentum, achievement, etc.

And today I get to cross off BIRTH CONTROL PILLS.

In other news, the Lupron injections are continuing to go fairly well. I think I have managed to slip under the side effects radar pretty well – all except the insomnia. Like clockwork I wake up at 3:00am every morning and cannot for the life of me fall back to sleep. This makes me crabby (poor John) and is starting to make me look like I’ve been going a few rounds with Ali. That said, I suppose we can just chalk it up to baby practice. Plus, considering that one of the other side effects of Lupron is brain splitting migraines, I think I drew the long stick.

John has proved himself to be a fairly accomplished nurse through these injections as well. He even seems to like it – which I still haven’t decided if I think is cute or creepy. It’s definitely helpful having him around but the fact that he insists on wearing the little white skirt is a little disturbing.

The other night he stuck me with old pokey and somehow manged to hit a vein/blood vessel/blood filled wet noodle and that hurt and burned like a mother. It also gushed blood back out of the hole like it was trying to impersonate Ol’ Faithful. John handled the situation and we moved on as if nothing happened. I am however still sporting a pretty healthy bruise 4 days later.

Image and video hosting by <span class=

My next appointment isn’t until the 13th. So until then we will just hold the fort and continue our nightly shots.

A question though……

I’m trying to decide if I should/need to tell my boss that we’re doing an IVF cycle. I’m sure he’ll be fine with it because he’s a really nice guy with really great hair but I’m concerned that the discussion definitely borders on awkward. In a “normal” situation I would never dream of telling my boss that we were “trying” to get pregnant – so do those same rules apply here??????? Advice please. What did you all do? And if you did tell, how did you spill it?

Tagged , , , , , ,

Into the Desert – SoCal Roadtrip Part 1

As of March 26, 2010, Jade and I have been married for five years. Had I told you this in an actual conversation, face to face, you would be inclined to say, “Oh, wow. Congratulations”.

I don’t know why but that makes me really uncomfortable. I don’t like it when people tell me “Congratulations”. It’s not that I have a problem with face to face approval. I actually love and thrive on attention and compliments. It’s the ACTUAL word. Con-grachoo-lay-shunzzzzzz.

ick.

SO! Five years…..we need to go on a VACATION!!!

Image and video hosting by <span class=I head into work at 7am in order to get off at 3pm so we can get a few extra hours on the road. By the time I get home, pack the car, buy coffee, buy some extra bedding, purchase dog leashes and get gas, it is 6pm and we are stuck in rush hour traffic.

Below you’ll see a picture of me and behind me you’ll take note of the freeway. You should also know that we’re in the United States and the steering wheel is on the left side of the car. Also notice that I am on the right side of the car. Deductive reasoning leaves us to believe that Jade is driving down the freeway, taking pictures of me.

Hey, there’s only laws about not using your cell phone while you drive. It doesn’t say anything about using a camera, razor or newspaper.

Image and video hosting by <span class=We discussed a few different destinations over the course of the previous months. We talked about Canada and we talked about Tijuana, Mexico. We talked about Denver and we talked about Catalina Island. We talked about Yosemite and we talked about Yellowstone but finally, finally, finally, a week before going, we decided that since we only had two and a half days that we’d just head South towards Joshua Tree National Park and The Salton Sea.

Joshua Tree is where U2 stayed while writing their eponymous album. It is a desert wonderland filled with rocks, cactus and……Joshua Trees. Joshua Trees basically resemble mutant cacti crossbred with something Tim Burton came up with.

The Salton Sea is where meth is made.

Image and video hosting by <span class=The first night we pull into a Pilot’s truck stop and snuggle in between two gorillas. Talk about little man complex. I felt like a third grader in the locker room of a YMCA.

Image and video hosting by <span class=In the morning my wife gets up and begins obsessively snapping photos of everything that moves……or doesn’t move….

Clementine and I are groggy after a wonderful nights sleep. Kaidance, on the other hand, seems to be a little on edge. There’s something in her unblinking, nervous stare and twitching ear that seems to be saying, “If I sleep, the man with the knives for fingers will get me”.

Image and video hosting by <span class=I’d tell Clementine to relax but I’m afraid that if she chills out anymore she’d be dead.

Image and video hosting by <span class=Snap, snap, snap. “Dang it”. Twist-twist, click. Snap, snap….”Dang it”. Click-click. Twist. Whir. Snap.

Jade is holding a camera in front of my face. I can’t tell if she’s trying to actually take photos or if this is her way of playing “alarm clock”.

I hit snooze by ignoring her.

Image and video hosting by <span class=Click. Click. Click. Whir. Snap. “Hehehe“… snap, snap, click…

Image and video hosting by <span class=I whisper into small dog’s ear, “Don’t move, Clementine. Don’t open your eyes….don’t even breathe. Trust me. She’ll go away. We can milk this for at least another 15.”

Image and video hosting by <span class=Click, click, click. “Stupid settings….” beep-boop-beep…. click, click, whir, “hah….oh yes…mymymy

Clementine whispers, “Do you……do you think Kaidance is…..okay?”

I simply nod and say, “Who do you think taught me to be so lazy?”

Image and video hosting by <span class=Finally, Jade pops open the back hatch, lifts up the front seats and begins rearranging my bedroom, turning it back into a car. She says, “Hey you!” I try my hardest to ignore it. “Hey you! Hey! Hey you three!! Look out here! Lookielookie!!”

Kaidance is less than thrilled.

Image and video hosting by <span class=Once we were both up and ready to roll, we went inside and brushed our teeth where I met a hitchhiker.

He said his name was Allan Tinkleman. I fancied his well groomed ‘stache….

Image and video hosting by <span class=We travel through the wind turbine fields of Southern California. They are creepy and alien. I believe the fields are filled with spirits and ghosts.

Why?

Because if I were a ghost, that’s the place I would haunt and I can’t imagine that I’m the first pre-deceased to think of it.

Later on in the day we meet a woman who will talk to us about the “wind turbans” and tell us how they bottle the energy and truck it to Arizona. I assume parts of this story are true.

Whooosh…..whoooosh……whoooosh……

Image and video hosting by <span class=We enter into Joshua Tree National Park, which we are assuming is going to be pretty hot. We pack light because we’re vacationing in the desert.

At 10:30 in the morning it was just above fifty degrees and all we had were light flannels. We skip out on the hike where Kaidance would undoubtedly be bit by a scorpion and Clementine would surely be carried off by some sort of bird of prey.

Instead Jade makes me lay down in the dirt, in the rocks and pointy things of the desert. I shut my eyes and say a quick prayer. It goes like this, “God, thank you for blessing me with such a wonderful, beautiful and creative wife. Thank you for the safe journey we’ve had so far. I just wanted to touch base with you real quick regarding You keeping an eye out for any sort of poisonous insects, plants, etc that I may be about to lay on. Amen.”

Image and video hosting by <span class=When we come out of Joshua Tree National Park / Forest / Desert, we find ourselves in Joshua Tree proper – the town. We stop at a place called Joshua Tree Saloon which was next to Joshua Tree gas station, Joshua Tree post office and Joshua Tree market.

We enter into the saloon and I ask Jade why she’s getting her nails done today, right now and then I see the bar stools and the tables and I realize that the name must be some sort of joke that I don’t understand.

We get a booth. We are the only ones inside save for the waitress.

Image and video hosting by <span class=I order the More-Meat-Than-You-Can-Eat special. It comes with beans and a piece of pineapple. Jade orders fish.

We play pool while we wait for our food. Jade notices a picture on the wall of Johnny Cash in front of the building with a short man. Jade asks the waitress / cook / owner / dishwasher when Johnny Cash was here and she says, “That little midget right there?” She points to the short man next to a younger version of Johnny. “He’s a little weirdo. He’s a pervert.”

Jade and I both say, “Ah…”

Image and video hosting by <span class=The waitress is the one that tells us about the “wind turbans”. Her eyes are bloodshot and her cleavage hangs loosely out of her shirt. She wears a beaded necklace and tells me about music festivals she’s been to and ones she plans to go to. She tells us about people at the festivals who smoke pot and eat pot brownies and wear shirts made of hemp and “just chill”.

She is in her mid 50s. I imagine she’s probably been enjoying the revelatory side effects of acid since before I was born.

Image and video hosting by <span class=Before we leave we ask her what the one must-do thing is in Joshua Tree. She says, “Have you seen Joshua Tree?” (referring to the national forest) and we say, “Yep” and she says, “Okay then, you should check out Noah’s Art. Leave here, go straight to the light, take a left, follow that to the little checkered house – it’s half brick and half ceramic – I call it the checkered house – turn right in front of that. Go until you can’t go no more. Take a left. Then take a right.”

We say, “Who is Noah?” and she says, “He’s this guy. He makes art – he MADE art – weird stuff”.

We say, “Is he dead?” and she says, “Oh yes. He was in a wheelchair and died in a house fire. Couldn’t get out. But his stuff still sits in the desert – all of his art. It just sits there and it’s free. You just go walk around and look at it.”

So we go.

Image and video hosting by <span class=………and it IS weird stuff…

Image and video hosting by <span class=…sculptures made from old TV sets and bowling balls and mannequin legs and toilets and vacuum cleaners and bicycles and broken glass and tires…..

Image and video hosting by <span class=We are the only ones there, wondering through this alternate world; massive structures built from trash. Acres and acres of it. These photos don’t quite grasp the extent of the bizarritude

…well, maybe the next one does….

Image and video hosting by <span class=If Dahli had a love child with a garbage man – Noah was it.

Image and video hosting by <span class=

This was the first half of our trip.
And the weirdness hasn’t even reached full throttle yet.

Stay tuned.

Image and video hosting by <span class=
Tagged , , , ,