Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Mean Man and Brunch

This morning, walking down a street in my neighorhood, I walked by an old man smoking a cigar. I coughed as the smoke hit me. I didn't cover my mouth. For the record, I always cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze. I am the queen of considerate. Really, my GM trained me well. But, this cough hit me with no warning and my hand didn't get up there. So, I just coughed.

The snoking man nastily said to me, "Cover your mouth when you cough!"

I was not in a good place today. Not at all. My emotions were raw; my tolerance was low. So, I turned and asked, "Excuse me?"

He told me that not covering one's mouth is the main way germs are spread and called me a slob. The slob comment really got my goat--namecalling was totally uncalled for--so I yelled back, "Fuck you" loudly and angrily.

I actually was in such a bad place and in such a bad mood that I started crying. Then, I chased after the mean man and told him that it was his cigar smoke that made me cough in the first place and he'd made me cry on a very bad day and he should stop blowing smoke in people's faces if he doesn't want their germs. I was so furious with him. He really didn't need to start something with me.

I don't usually care so much. I live in an urban area where people say obnoxious and nosy and nasty things all the time. I usually let it slide off. But today I couldn't. And I sat down on the sidewalk and sobbed afterward. I sobbed on the train the whole ride into the city. It was really unlike me. And I was still boiling over with anger afterwards. I wanted to go spit in the man's face. How'd he like those germs?

I just couldn't let it go. It was needlessly hurtful on a day when I really couldn't take any undue hurt, nd it was TOTALLY HIS FAULT THAT I COUGHED!!!!!!!! I am not sick. I'm an asthmatic who coughs when exposed to second-hand smoke.

Anyway, I eventually calmed down. We got together with Sophia for brunch and met the infamous Steve the horse. Brunch was fun.

I can't believe how short my fuse was today. What the hell is wrong with me?

Pathetic Poetry, aka Why Mathy Types Shouldn't Write Poetry

Every negative is a loss
of hope, of possibility, of barriers.

I once thought that
the wall between myself and my own mortality was struck down
24 years ago,
when my mother died.
The wreckage of that wall further destroyed
20 years ago,
when my father died.
The wall now turns to dust
as I watch my brother waste away.

I did not see then
that there was a wall that had not yet fallen.

The wall that still stood
as a barrier between me and my own mortality.
A second wall
that held something atop it.
Another barrier.
An opportunity
to live on
through a child.

Every negative chips away at that second wall,
that wall I had not noticed until recently
but that was always there.

Every month it is harder to look.
The wall is less inviting,
more ominous,
more reminiscent of the other wall,
the one that fell decades ago.
Why should it stand?

It might be easier
to place dynamite at its foundation
and do what I know will happen anyway,
speed its fall,
with my own fingers.
Pressing the button
at least I would be in control.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Negative

What more is there to say?

15 DPO: Waiting

So, I went in and had my beta. They weren't very busy today, so Nurse Poker Face came in and asked me how I felt. I think she thought I might be pregnant. I told her I didn't think I was pregnant.

I didn't take an HPT yesterday or today. I'm just waiting for the beta results, which I expect to be negative.

Nurse Poker Face brought up injectibles again, but I stuck to my guns about wanting to do one more Clomid cycle before I consider a different treatment. Also, she said I'll have to come in MORE OFTEN than usual when I do injectibles because they'll want to keep taking my blood, monitoring my levels and adjusting my dosage if I do Follistim. January is a lousy month for me to be doing that. I have a scary amount of work right now.

Also, I'd like to get the lowdown on multiples and injectibles before I make a final decision. Lo and I actively don't want twins, but I am sure we could manage. But more than 2? Shudder.

On the plus side, I found out that injectibles ARE covered by my insurance, but at a "preferred" copay (I assume that means a higher copay, but you know they have to have a euphemism for it) and I have to get them mail order. I don't know how much I'll have to pay out of pocket, but someone will be calling me back to let me know. But I'm so happy that they're covered! Huge relief.

Meanwhile, I wait.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

14 DPO

So, I now have the materials for my next project. It's going to be a doozy. But it'll pay a little more than my usual projects because of its length and complexity, so hurrah! More money for the sperm fund.

I can't wait until I can start saying that it's for the baby fund, but for now, it's looking like it's for the sperm fund. We'll need it. We have to order more vials if this one didn't work.

My chart is now doing what is always does at the end, when I'm on progesterone and not pg. It picks a temp and just hangs out there day after day. That makes me less hopeful.

I am not going to do an HPT before my Beta on Friday morning. It makes me feel so miserable to go do the Beta test when I'm positive it's a total waste of time. Since Lo is off, maybe I'll ask her to meet me afterward for bubble tea near my clinic or something that might cheer me a little while I wait for my afternoon phone call from Nurse Poker Face. The one where she tells me it's negative and I should call when I get my period to start the next cycle.

But, at least I have work. And at least I'll know for sure by New Year's.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

13 DPO: No work to distract me

I finished yet another book last night.

I have no work to do right now. It's a weird feeling. I always have 1-2 projects that I could pick up and work on. It's not cause for concern. I have a big project that I should be starting up this week that will keep me plenty busy. I just haven't received the materials yet, so I really can't do any work right now. How am I supposed to distract myself?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Christmas was fun overall. I stayed with my brother and SIL. That was nice. I love them both dearly and they are really sweet to me and Lo. I worry about them so much.

Things are no better with them, or so it appeared to me. My brother still drinks ALL the time. We stopped at a liquor store on our way to Christmas Eve dinner, ya know, to pick up a bottle of wine for our host. He stopped there, too. But to pick up a bottle of something to get him through the trip to his in-laws', where he was going. A bottle just for him.

It's bad when your liquor store lets you run a tab, because you're such a good customer.

My SIL has been unemployed since before the summer. She has been severely depressed, and not surprisingly so. My brother drinks away most of his paycheck each week and they have trouble paying their bills. Being on unemployment and the way he treats her doesn't help her mood either. He can be really nasty and abusive to her.

My brother is pickling his liver, if he hasn't already pickled it. My father was only 39 when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis and his liver was full of holes at that point, so who knows when he started pickling it? Even if my brother weren't an alcoholic, he shouldn't be drinking anywhere near as much as he does. Both of us need to be careful. Women can get cirrhosis much more quickly than men can, so I watch how much I drink. Just like I get screened for ovarian cancer. If you know you're at risk for a life-threatening disease, you need to be careful. I don't know if my brother cares if he lives or dies, which is sad.

I saw my brother in just his boxers (thanks for that, bro). He is thin as a rail. According to my SIL, he doesn't eat like a normal person. I'm sure his digestive system is all screwed up by his drinking. Or maybe it's the liver. My father, toward the end, couldn't hold down food, whether or not he drank. It was pretty horrible. My brother isn't that bad off yet, but he's well on his way.

So, I worry about him. I gave him my typical speech about helping him if he ever decides it's time to get help. He told me he was Irish and was going to live forever. Uh huh.

I feel badly for him. His job is going union and they're paying for him to go to school. That would be really great for him career-wise. If he's union, that'll mean better pay, better benefits, and better job security. But how is he going to get through 2 nights a week of school without a drink? As it is, I suspect her has a hard time getting to 4:30 on a workday without one.

I also feel badly because I cut him down pretty good during Christmas dinner. We were sitting at the table. He was spouting off about something and being ignorant. I jumped in and started to tell him where his thinking was flawed, because it was. He cut me off mid-sentence and started talking loudly over me. He stood up as he did this, so he was towering over me, too. This made me angry. I felt like he was being aggressive and dominating. He was also drunk. He reminded me of my father right then. I felt the anger pulse through my bloodstream and make my face hot. I interrupted him and said simply, "You're louder, but you're not smarter."

My family couldn't believe I said that. It shut my brother up totally. I'm sure I embarassed him. I'm sure I cut him. I felt a little proud of myself for having stood up to him, and basked a little in the attention my family showed me. I think they aren't used to me having any spunk and some of them were impressed. But I also felt badly. He's so easy to cut. I am smarter than he is. He knows it. I didn't need to do that to him. Maybe if he hadn't been so aggressive toward me. Maybe if he hadn't been drunk.

Anyway, now I feel guilty. But I think he knows that I love him and would help him if he ever wanted to get help for his drinking.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Dip?

So, yesterday, 11 DPO, my chart showed a big temp dip. It went back up high today.

Lo was all hopeful it was an implantation dip. I was mildly hopeful, but not very. Still, I was excited to see some variation anyway.

According to Fertility Friend's statistical study on such dips, they counted any significant dip that lasted only one day between 5 and 12 DPO as an implantation dip. They also say that when it appears on pregnancy charts, it's usually around 7-8 DPO. And of course, as always, they caution you that it doesn't mean you're pg.

So, was it or wasn't it? It WAS a day late for an implantation dip, although implantation doesn't necessarily have to happen right on cue by 10 DPO. I didn't have any spotting. I'm taking progesterone which affects my temps. So, maybe it was just a weird anomaly. Maybe my temps are lower in the maelstrom of my brother's house, where we stayed yesterday. Maybe Santa brought me a present because I'd been pining for one measly early pregnancy sign all week, and I've been a very good girl this year.

Anyway, only time will tell. But it's fun to see something different on the old chart for a change.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

9 DPO

So, no early pregnancy signs as of yet.

My BBTs are getting steadily higher. Today was 98.7. The progesterone could explain my high temps. I'm not overly excited on that score.

I am staying at my brother and SIL's house on Christmas Eve. I will have to store a hoo-ha bullet in their fridge. I'm debating whether or not I should mark out the directions that say "take 1 vaginally" or that say what it is. My brother doesn't know I'm TTC.

Nothing much new here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

8 DPO Distraction: 6 Weird Things about Co

I was tagged by E. to do the 6 Weird Things meme, so here it is.

I could probably come up with many more than 6 weird things about me. I'm a weirdo. The muppet I identify with most is Gonzo.

1. I like math a lot. I once played a game called 24, the algebra and exponents version, on the plane with my friend R. for 3 hours straight. We were on our way to a math conference. I celebrate Pi Day every 3/14 at 1:59 P.M. (Pi equals 3.14159...) Now, liking math a lot does not make me weird, but I'm in the minority, I know, and I bet lots of folks think it's weird.

2. I don't like sweets. I never have. I always turn down dessert, except when forced or if there's something a little more savory than sweet offered. I didn't eat chocolate for 20 years of my life (I thought I was allergic...wrongly... I tested allergic as a kid, but I was probably allergic to an impurity in the test, not to chocolate per se), and when I finally could eat chocolate, I didn't become a chocoholic. I suspect it's partially genetic, because my brother doesn't like sweets either.

3. I am obsessed with sharks. I love sharks. Every single Shark Week, I am glued to the Discovery Channel. Poor Lo tolerates this. When I was a little girl, I used to go around telling everyone that I was going to be an "ickyologist." I guess saying "icthyologist" was too hard for me and besides fish are icky, aren't they?
How did I get warped like this? Well, it dates back, I think, to when I was 2. My parents really wanted to go see Jaws. But my babysitter flaked. Rather than cancel their plans, they took me to see it. They figured I'd sleep through it. Um... no! I paid attention the whole time. And I had a grand time. I loved it. My dad thought to himself, "She doesn't know what is happening. She just likes the moving pictures and pretty colors." I didn't see another movie for a little while, until my dad took me to see Pete's Dragon. I screamed in terror, "It's a dragon! It's gonna eat me! It's gonna eat me!" My dad had to take me outside and calm me down and convince me, "No, it's a good dragon." So, I believed him and we went back in. "Oh, there are scary, bad people trying to hurt the good dragon! Scary people!" At that point, my father took me home. To this day, I have never watched Pete's Dragon in its entirety. Shudder.

4. I am a morning person. We're a minority (like math people), so I guess it makes me weird. I like being up early. I am chipper in the mornings, and do my best work then. I have learned not to be too cheerful around the majority of folks who feel and look like death in the mornings... at least until after they've had a cup of coffee or tea.

5. I can move one pupil in one eye while keeping the other one stationary. I get double vision when I do and it happens sometimes involuntarily when my eyes are tired.

6. I can do one cool 80s dance move. It's the one where you squat down on one leg and swing the other leg around and around, jumping on the other foot each time it comes around, and balancing on your hands. I can still do that one. I also used to be able to put my foot around the back of neck, but I'm too old now and not as limber as I used to be.

So, those are my weird facts. I don't know who has or hasn't done this, so I tag anyone who hasn't yet done it and wants to.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

7 DPO (7 DPIUI)

So, the obsessive checking for early pregnancy signs begins. Even though it's pointless. You can't stop me from going nuts checking and then having my hopes dashed as usual.

I had a dream last night that my best friend, who is TTC with her husband, was pregnant and I was jealous as hell. Then I dreamed that I went to Dr. Quick's during the TWW... in my dream I always did that, even though in reality I don't... and he did a different test than he usually did and that made me hopeful I might be pregnant.

I told Lo about my dream and she and I decided it just means I'm thinking about whether or not I'm pregnant even when I sleep. Oh the joy, to have a truly 24/7 obsession!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would have been 57 years old. Happy birthday, Mommy.

Mommy_and_me

That is me probably shortly after my birth. Yes, I had lots of black hair at birth. I looked like Bert from Sesame Street after I was born because it was kind of sticking up, too.

And yes, my mom is feeding me formula in that pic. That was in the days when most doctors preached that formula was better than breastmilk. No one may pick on my poor dead mother for following the conventional wisdom of her day, or else!

I love you, Mommy. Happy birthday.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Non-Photo Friday: I is for IUI

What else could I be for? But no. We're not taking a picture.

We're at 2 dpo and we're both feeling hopeful. Last time around we felt pretty negative from the beginning, but this time we both feel we could be in the game.

I have a list of reasons, which I am far too superstitious to post now, but will reveal once we know one way or the other.

It's good to be hopeful. But the TWW is torturous.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Try #4 (IUI #3): Tiger Fish

stripedfish

So, we had our IUI today. I felt really positive about it. Not that that necessarily means it will yield the result we want or anything, but it was a sharp contrast to the last one. The last one was during a time of high stress for me and I don't think I ovulated at an optimal time. And I really felt like it wasn't going to work from the get go, which just is not at all fun.

This go'round, I was very mellow and not stressed, and I think our IUI was timed well.

59 million sperm, motility 72% (whatever that means, but the lab tech was impressed).

This try is named after the striped fish in the tank at the lab. It was a little purplish, unlike the photo I put above, but it had black stripes. We're calling this try "tiger fish."

So, anyway, I'm joining those of you already in the TWW.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Belated Photo Friday: H is for Holiday

Here's some photo evidence of holiday cheer around the O household.

Tree 2006
Tree 2006. It's not a real tree (Co is allergic) but doesn't it look great? This Jew can't tell the difference! And Co even indulges me with my Tree-In-A-Can, a candle that smells like real spruce. Mmmmm.... In this picture you can see the stockings hanging on the bedroom door, and if you look closely, a few of the South Park ornaments. Heh heh.

Though we will be a Jewish family, Co's culture includes this celebration, and I enjoy being a part of it. Who wouldn't want an evergreen full of lights at this time of year?

Holiday Lights
We live across the street from a park, and this year the two columns at its entrance are decorated with these festive blue lights.

Holiday Hound
And of course, the Holiday Hound. Oh, Mom, not the ears again!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

CD16: So, After All That...

I have 3 follies.

left: 18 mm, 17 mm
right: 14 mm

Dr. Quick: "You have a couple of eggs." I guess that means I might pop two after all. And Nurse Poker Face and I talked about how I'm doing another Clomid cycle next time (if necessary), not injectibles.

The tentative plan...
triggering tomorrow night
IUI on Thursday

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Six Weird Things About Lo

I've never been tagged in the blogosphere before, so I offer Brooke my greatest thanks for making me feel like one of the cool kids. I give you 6 weird things about Lo (with a little help from my wife, who kept insisting, "But you're not weird." Yeah, right).

1) I like to read several books at a time. Often I have a novel, a work of non-fiction, and a young adult novel (my excuse is that I teach 7th grade; the truth is that I never stopped reading kids' books) going at the same time. I like the variety. As a kid I used to make stacks of up to six books and read a chapter at a time.

2) I can play any song I hear (on the flute or recorder, my instruments of choice). This might be my early Suzuki piano training. I was taught to play piano, at age seven, only by ear. I was never taught to read music, which frustrated me to no end so I taught myself how to read the treble clef so I could play through my mom's Rodgers and Hammerstein and Song Fest on my own. My dad says his mom, who was a piano teacher, had perfect pitch (which I do not have!). I am no great musician, but I enjoy playing.

3) I hate carbonated beverages. They do not quench my thirst. (Co says I am the only Jew on earth who does not like seltzer.) This also means I don't really like soda. When I was in Europe -- and this was over ten years ago so things may well have changed -- it was very very hard to find non-carbonated water. I learned to say non-carbonated in Polish. (Niegazowana, in case you're interested.)

4) I prefer dogs that are short and long. You've all seen the famous Maggie Mae (and a lucky few have met the beast!) and I grew up with a Welsh corgi. We got the corgi because I fell in love with my grandparents' corgi. I will have to post both corgis' pix at some point...I do love oddly-proportioned canines.

5) I am a Luddite. I do not own an mp3 player of any kind and I don't even use my computer to listen to music (when we burn CDs we use Co's). I own a record player and a used amplifier my dad got me because I prefer to feel the weight of the radio tuner as I turn it. I hate the digital kind. (I'm going to have to fold because it's not working so well, but I'm dragging my heels.) We do have a DVD player, a gift from my mom, but I maintain that both VHS and audiocassette are much more practical media. You can't continue to add material to CDs or DVDs. I far, far prefer editing tape (I've worked in radio) by hand than by computer. It's just so much less....tactile. I'm not convinced that progress is always for the best.

6) I am always hot. I have been known to go outside in a T-shirt in 30 degree weather. My dad tells a story of me going swimming on Cape Cod in December. This leads to some arguments with Co -- who is always cold -- about opening the windows. Since we live in an overheated city apartment, I don't put the T-shirts away all year round.

I tag anyone who wishes to reveal six weird things! And you'll get to hear Co's weird things eventually too, since she's been tagged, too. :-)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

CD14: I'll Take What I Can Get

18 mm on the left. It grew 2 mm at least.

And Dr. I-Don't-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday did say I had some smaller follies. Not big enough to matter, but at least they exist.

Back for another u/s on Monday and OPKs till then.

Lo and I discussed and rubber-stamped a plan. All of you who said that having a plan is key are totally right.

The plan is for me to do 6 IUIs total and then we'll stop and reassess. The tries need not be consecutive, if I need a month off here or there. I feel better about that. I feel better knowing that if after 6 tries, I want to stop, that's an option. Or if I want to continue, that's possible, too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thoughts on Your Comments (Plus Co Feeling Sorry for Herself For No Good Reason)

Hi. Thanks for all the comments. They gave me a lot of food for thought.

I was surprised that so many of you think I should seriously consider injectibles, and that you said there is a decreased risk of cancer from them.

(I will spare you all my thinking on the Clomid and ovarian cancer risk thing.)

I would be interested to hear about any studies showing that injectibles are less likely to cause ovarian cancer, because I haven't read anything like that. However, injectibles haven't been around for 50 years like Clomid, right? If so, that could mean we don't yet know exactly how they change our probabilities. How long have they been around? Anyone know?

I think what I really want right now...more than anything...is to feel like there's a way out for me. Like I don't have to keep doing this if I don't want to. I don't think I am willing to do IVF, to answer Bri's question. I have always said that to Lo (not on the blog). I just don't think I'm willing to put myself through that. I won't say never, but...

I don't know about injectibles. I don't know that my insurance covers them, which would mean having to come up with $2K a pop to do them, according to Nurse Poker Face. That's a concern, as well. That and the fact that there are no guarantees that my follies would do better on them.

I just want for us to have a back-up plan. I want to be able to either go to another RE or to bow out if I try everything that I am willing to try with this RE and get nowhere. I think what I really want is for Lo to tell me it's okay to give up if I need to in three months or so. That she'll take the TTC reins or we'll talk seriously about adoption. I would be sad if I don't get to bear a child, but by no means devastated. I would be happy to have a child another way. I have never really needed to be pregnant, although it would be nice. And maybe it's better not to pass on my scary gene pool anyway.

I really thought I wouldn't have to feel any of this angst until I had done 6 IUIs. I'm upset that Nurse Poker Face is suggesting that there is something really wrong that needs to be addressed when this is only my third monitored cycle. I'm furious that if I were het, I'd have a gynecologist reassuring me to wait at least 6 months before worrying about anything, but because I am going for follicular monitoring and taking Clomid every piece of data is scrutinized and if I have one outlier month, they start pulling out the bigger guns. (I got 2 follies from a natural cycle and 3 from my last Clomid cycle... overall, my track record ain't bad). I should never have gone on Clomid. I should've stayed on pseudo-natural cycles. I feel like I opened a floodgate and now I can't close it.

And come Saturday, I may find out this follie is nice and big and I'll feel less worried. Or come Saturday, I'll be devastated again. Or maybe I'll flip out and this will be the fricking cycle that produces a pregnancy and I'll feel like an idiot for having worried. It's not like I don't have any follies.

I just feel like I need a strategy. And I think I'm not willing to try injectibles next month. I'd like to (a) do one more Clomid cycle or (b) go backwards and do one of those pseudo-natural cycles or (c) get a new RE or (d) go back to searching for a KD so I can escape the medical nightmare or (e) take a vacation.

Lo needs to post her 6 weird things meme now. I've been bugging her to do it. I don't want to see my posts every time I visit our blog any more. I'm tired of me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

CD12: No Progress

So, here's this cycle's follie history.

CD3: nada
CD10: left 16 mm
today, CD12: left 16 mm

So, it didn't grow in the past 2 days and I don't have any other follies to speak of.

Dr. Quick's only comment was that things seemed to be "slow."

Nurse Poker Face was not as upbeat about it. She gave me a grim look when she discussed it with me. She said that it's not good that on Clomid, I only got one follie. She also said it's not good that it hasn't grown at all in 2 days.

This is only my second Clomid try, and last time I ended up with 3 follies. She said that didn't matter. With the Clomid, I should have produced more than one follie. She brought up injectibles and suggested I see if my insurance would cover them or not. I was feeling pretty hopeless by the time I left there.

I'm glad I had time to process it a bit on the train ride home. As a mathematician, I have to say... you should never draw inferences based on an n of 2. Maybe if I hadn't done Clomid this cycle, it would've been annovulatory. Those cycles do happen, even to perfectly healthy women, right? Not to mention, maybe my body just isn't being cooperative this month. Does that mean we should infer that I'm not a good Clomid candidate? I don't think so, since it worked once and I've only tried twice.

I mean, of course, I'm bummed out. I got 2 plump follies when I did a natural cycle. It would suck if I'm only getting one now on Clomid.

But, it's only CD12. And my follies never seem to grow the 1-2 mm per day, right on schedule, that they're supposed to anyway. Here are my stats from my last two follie monitored cycles, in case you're wondering what I'm talking about.

(Natural Cycle in October)
CD8: left 15 mm
CD10: left 17 mm, right 14 mm
CD14: left 19 mm, right 20 mm [notice in 4 days, the left only grew 2 mm]

(Clomid Cycle in November)
CD10: right 17 mm
CD12: left 11 mm, right 15 mm, 13 mm, 11 mm [notice the right follie seems to have shrunk... Nurse Poker Face could not explain this]
CD14: left 16 mm, right 17 mm, 15 mm

So, I have to go back on Saturday. Hopefully there will be some sort of change.

I don't know if I would be willing to do injectibles...ever. I have my own personal reasons for this. Mainly, my mother and maternal grandmother both died of ovarian cancer, so I don't really think I want to hyperstim the ol' ovaries that much. Also, I don't have a burning need to experience pregnancy. I'm happy to get pregnant if it's in the cards for me, but I would also be happy to adopt. I know some people have very strong feelings one way or the other, but I really don't. Never have.

I have completely lost the great attitude I had 2 days ago. The "it's too early to tell" attitude, even though it's still early. I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I haven't been sleeping well for the past few days, getting up several times during the night, which is atypical for me. But I don't know what I can do about that. I've also had headaches for the past few days. Again, not sure I can do much about that. I feel like I'm getting sick. I know illness can affect fertility.

I know that whole line of thinking is foolish. Fertility is not easily controlled. If it were, we would all have so much less to blog about. But I can't help but feel like I'm failing somehow.

Conservative Families and Love

From CNN...

Mary Cheney, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are expecting a baby in late spring, said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for the vice president.

"The vice president and Mrs. Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation" to the arrival of their sixth grandchild, McBride said.

----

Now, this might be an unpopular post, and you don't have to agree with me. But I'm feeling annoyed that both liberal gay rights groups and conservative anti-gay-rights groups are jumping on this.

I think the whole thing is sweet. And I don't like people using this sweet and real story for political fodder.

I come from a very conservative, Catholic family. My family members don't approve of living a gay lifestyle, because it's against the Church's teachings. They don't approve of gays bringing children into the world or of artificial insemination, because the Church teaches that all conception should take place between married couples. So, at least, in the abstract, they don't support these things.

But, they are a loving family. And I'm family. They love me no matter what. They love me even if we hold different values and disagree politically and religiously. And ya know what? That's okay.

They have accepted Lo as one of the family. They treat her like family.

They came to my wedding. My uncle, a deacon in the Catholic church, couldn't come to the ceremony because he isn't permitted. (To be fair, he also can't go to the wedding ceremonies of people who were married in the Catholic Church, then divorced, and then remarried.) My aunt felt the need to consult a priest to see if he thought it was okay if she went. These things, while a little stinging, also show just how much they value me as a niece. If they didn't love me or care, then my uncle wouldn't have come to the reception and my aunt wouldn't have consulted her priest (who incidentally said she could go with a clear conscience and she did).

I am sure they will not approve of me bringing a child into the world. But if anyone will feel the brunt of that, and perhaps no one will, but if it's anyone, it will be me. They will not take it out on my child. They will love my child because it is my child; it's family. And they will fight over who gets to hold the baby just like with all of my cousin's babies. (Fighting to hold the baby is practically a death sport in my family.)

I think the vice president's reaction is totally sweet. He may not agree with his daughter's lifestyle. But he loves his daughter nonetheless. He may not agree that gays should have the right to marry. But he's going to love this grandchild just as much as he loves all his other grandchildren. Life is complicated sometimes. But sometimes even when people can't open up their minds, for family, they will open up their hearts. I think sometimes that's enough.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

CD10 Sono: One Good Egg

egg-m

So, I psyched myself up for the CD10 sono today. Last time, I was upset after my CD10 sono because the results showed a grand total of 2 follies, one on each ovary. I had that with a natural cycle, so I was bummed that with the Clomid, there was no difference.

But I learned some things last time.
1) CD10 is too early to know what's going to happen in the ol' ovaries. So, whatever the results of a CD10 sono, I shouldn't worry unless Dr. Quick says I should.
2) Sometimes, what appears to be one big follie on CD10 actually turns out to be a cluster of smaller follies. (Either that, or my follies sometimes shrink, but I prefer the former thought.)
3) Dr. Quick doesn't bother to tell me when I have smaller follies. He only notes and measures the bigger ones. I know this, because Dr. I-Don't-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday does note the little ones when he gives my scans. Dr. Quick doesn't seem to note them until they're at least 13 mm. I also know this because I pestered Dr. Quick once last cycle, asking, "That's it?" And he told me that there were some smaller ones. But he likes to remain tight-lipped.

I have decided Dr. Quick likes me though. I thought he didn't for a long while. I thought he thought I was stupid. (He once told me I put the gown on wrong. I don't understand how I can figure out Calculus but I can't figure out a paper gown, but it is what it is.) I am used to doctors liking me. I'm a good little patient. So, anyway, I am glad Dr. Quick said goodbye to me and smiled at me. God, my approval-seeking adult child of an alcoholic behavior is disgusting, isn't it?

I was thinking last night that it's weird that I can just show up at an RE's office and say, "I want to get pregnant" and he'll help me. It wasn't really that simple, of course, but all the steps I had to take to get him to help me were medical. He didn't get to know me at all. I mean, does he care if I'd be a good parent or not? I know lots of people get pg all the time and wouldn't make good parents, and it's not for him to say who would be a good parent or not, but still. It's kind of weird that he's willing to help me not knowing me at all. It's good. I'm not complaining. I find all the hoops adoptive parents have to go through annoying given that most couples don't have to have home studies and background checks done in order to have their kids. (G-d knows, some children would be helped a great deal if all parents DID have to have those things done.) But it's kind of weird that this man is willing to help me get preggers without knowing anything about me. Why did he go into this field of medicine? Does he get satisfaction out of his job? Does he ever take a day off? (When I get Dr. I-Don't-Know-Want-to-Be-Here-on-a-Saturday, it's because Dr. Quick is at the lab doing IUIs and IVF transfers, not cuz he's off.)

So, anyway, back to my appointment. Before the appointment, I told myself over and over that I should not get upset no matter what does or doesn't show up on my sono today. It's only CD10. Too early to tell.

So, the results? One 16 mm follie on the left. My doctor said nothing about the right. But there could be smaller follies he isn't telling me about. That 16 mm follie might turn into 2 smaller ones. It's too early to tell. I'm not freaking out. It's unbelievable how much better I do when I know what to expect.

I'm also not freaking out because the reality is... I have at least one nice, plump follie. One good egg is all I need.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Clomid Cannot Be Recycled

So, yesterday, I was flipping out because I couldn't find my freaking last 2 Clomid.

We keep all our scrips in one corner of our kitchen counter. Because I get so few pills with the Clomid, the pharmacist doesn't put the pills in a little medicine bottle. He just puts the pills, still in their wrappers, in a bag for me and staples the relevant info to the bag.

The bag was not there. I checked on the floor. I checked everywhere. It was gone.

I asked Lo if she had thrown the bag out thinking it was just an empty bag. She insisted that she had not done so.

Um... it was in the recycle bin. In our kitchen still, thank goodness.

So, all is well. Maybe it was done by little gnomes that don't want us to get pg. But, I suspect, it was my wife, even if she doesn't remember doing it. I love you, Lo.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Photo Friday: G is for Games and Ghostbusters

My "long-lost brother" ... the one who never can be bothered to call me on my birthday or anything ... called me up again this past week. (Did hell freeze over? This is the second call in 2 weeks!)

He wanted to know if I knew where he could buy this game, Po-Ke-No.

Teach Your Children to Gamble Early

My grandmother used to have a weekly Po-Ke-No game with the old ladies in my family. They would play for pennies, literally. They each came with a huge bag of pennies. Sometimes, they let me play, too, even though I wasn't a senior citizen. I can still remember when, in the midst of a Po-Ke-No game, one of my great aunts asked my GM, in Italian, if I'd gotten my period yet and my GM said no and the woman said something about the fact that I was old enough to have gotten that by now and so on. Of course, since they reverted to Italian, I was not meant to understand this conversation. But I did. Oh the joy.

So, anyway, I love the fact that Po-Ke-No bills itself as the "thrill of Poker and the suspense of Keno." Then they show a cute little family, with little kids playing. Teach your children to gamble early! That's all I have to say.

Actually, I didn't realize that some people considered gambling to be a sin until I moved down south. I guess the Roman Catholics I grew up knowing... with their Bingo games and trips to Atlantic City... never really bought into that.

Po-Ke-No Card

So, back to my brother. I told him I'd saved our GM's Po-Ke-No game and if he wanted it, he was welcome to it. I never play it. I made him promise not to destroy it though. He reminded me that he let me have our father's Air Force jacket, which is true. I don't know why I love that green jacket with my surname emblazoned on it, but I do.

G is also for this weird car that resides in my neighborhood, which I call the Ghostbusters car. It's hard to see from these pics, because I didn't want to show the phone number on the front or back of the car and because I took them at night, but it's a car that says "wildlife control" on it.

Who Ya Gonna Call

Can anyone else see why I call it the Ghostbusters car?

Ghostbusters Car_Cropped

Park close at your own risk, indeed.