April 30, 2006

Figuring out next cycle

Posted in TTC woes at 1:07 pm by Erin

I was so hoping not to have to worry about it.  Hahahaha, I am nothing if not an optimist.

Today is 10dpo, spotting is starting to get a little heavier, no hope left for this cycle.  Not that there was any yesterday, as I’m remarkably consistent in the whole "Spotting at 9dpo = not pregnant" cycle that I’ve had going for…oh, the past year.

We leave on Thursday for Florida.  I will be on either cd1 or cd2 that day, depending on whether I have a 12 or 13 day luteal phase this cycle.  We are going to do one more Clomid/timed-intercourse cycle before moving on to IUI and whatever drugs they want us to use (assuming that I have a job for the next academic year in place by next cycle, which is more possible now than it was a few weeks ago).

One problem is that I won’t be here for d3 monitoring.  If I’m on d2, I could probably beg them to do it that day.  There’s a chance that they’d be willing to let me have the Clomid without it.  I don’t want to go on birth control pills for a week.  They completely screw me up every time I’m on them.  I don’t know what a week’s worth of them would do to me, but I would rather avoid that option.  But I also don’t want to skip this cycle.  The time until P turns 3 is dwindling, and I do not want to have to take another cycle off.

Another problem happens if cd1 is the day we leave.  I’ve done the whole long-drive-on-cd1-with-awful-cramps-and-horrible-migraine-made-worse-by-the-movement-of-the-car-and-headlights-shining-in-my-eyes thing.  I’m over it.  I have my migraine meds now, which would probably alleviate that problem.  But cramps in the car is just painful.  We’re not leaving until the evening, and my period always shows early in the morning, so chances are decent that they’ll be subsiding by the time we go.  I’ll have to make sure to get as much done ahead of time as I can, in case I’m side-lined that day.

The last problem is that I’ll be on Clomid while we’re on vacation.  Since Clomid turns me into a raving, weepy, hormonally-flushed harpy with no sex drive, the relaxing vacation I’d dreamed of is shaping up to be (insert your word of choice here–interesting, doomed, etc.  Let me know in the comments).

Hmm, I also have to make an appt for my annual pap smear this month.  Certain areas of my body have gotten very popular recently.  I must remember to call student health tomorrow–better than my OB, as I won’t have to wait for a month to get an appt and my insurance covers it 100% if I have it done there, as opposed to only 80% at my OB.  Results take the same amount of time since they’re processed by the same lab.

Next time: an update on J’s parents’ visit, in which we informed them of our plans to adopt internationally.  I’ll leave you all wondering…

April 29, 2006


Posted in TTC woes at 1:41 pm by Erin

9 dpo.  Same ol’, same ol’.

‘Nuff said.

April 27, 2006

I am so thankful for J

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 8:59 pm by Erin

We have been through a lot in the past 10+ years.  To start with, how many 28-year olds are still with the same man after 10+ years and are still happy?  Not many that I know.

We’ve been through a lot.  People change a lot from when they were 17 and 18 to the way they are at 28 and 29.  I have often heard people talk about the 20’s as years in which you’re "finding yourself".  I have spent a lot of time figuring out the person that I want to be in the last 8 years.  But I can’t imagine having done it without J by my side.  I love the fact that we’ve been finding ourselves together, growing into adults who’ve made a family together.  From the shallow, and yes, stupid teenagers we were in our freshman year of college to the people we are today: a lawyer, a Ph.D., parents of a beautiful little boy.

I’ve been reflecting on this lately as the blog world, which seemed so happy and joyous just a few weeks ago, has been going to hell in a handbasket.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it.  And my heart aches for all of these women.  Actually, I could have listed four or five other blogs who’ve all had bad news lately, which just makes me feel like I have no reason to complain.

Because one of the things that sustains me is that we’re going to adopt.  Whether we get pregnant or don’t, we’ll adopt.  And that’s one of the biggest things I appreciate about J–he wants to be a dad, to have more children, and blood doesn’t matter to him.  To him, it’s all about the heart.  And his heart is open and accepting that a child borne of another couple could still be ours as much as P is ours.

For several of the bloggers who’ve had bad news lately, that’s not an option.  And I can’t imagine how painful that must be, to come to the end and not have another pathway to your child.  To just finish and have to pick your own way through the darkness.

I was very nervous about the idea of adoption with J at first, back when we were having problems conceiving P.  I know what a great guy he is, but he’s also kind of macho sometimes.  I worried that he wouldn’t be able to accept a child that we adopted as his own, but would try to make me happy and do it anyway–and end up miserable, which could destroy our family.

These days, there is no doubt in my mind.  J somtimes asks why we’re spending money on fertility treatments when we could just be putting it into the adoption fund and moving forward with those plans.  He’s thought about it so much, more than I even realized until we did the questionnaire together.  I’ve just been amazed and astounded by his insight.  Perhaps I haven’t given him enough credit.  He’s clearly as excited as adopting as I am.  And I don’t think I could ask for more than that.

I don’t know how I got so lucky, what I did to deserve such a man.  But I know that I don’t normally take enough time to thank him, and so I wanted to do it in public.  If our children someday find this blog, I want them to know that their Daddy is the best that anyone could ever want.

Amusements of the RE’s office

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:00 am by Erin

So last week, I called my RE to let them know that I’d ovulated and did I need to come in for a progesterone test this week?  Nurse L called me back and confirmed that I’d gotten an LH surge on my monitor.  She said that since my progesterone last cycle was fine and I’m on the same dose of Clomid, there was no reason to have it tested again this cycle.  Then she said, "And did you time intercourse properly?"

Oh, is THAT what we were supposed to be doing?  Yes, we somehow managed to have sex at the right time, as we’ve done for the past 14 cycles, I replied (with somewhat less sarcasm, as I really like Nurse L).

Her excited response: "Good girl!"

I had to hold back a snort of laughter.  Not exactly the response I expected.

Ah, the RE’s office.  A very different world if ever there was one.

April 26, 2006

Infertile kryptonite

Posted in The musings of Erin at 7:52 pm by Erin

Babies.  Newborn babies.  Cuddly, sweet-smelling, sleeping babies.  In a variety of genders, shapes, and sizes.

I’ve seen 3 today, and held 2 of them.  None of them more than 8 days old.

And oh, I want another one so badly.  But I don’t feel saddened, for a change.  I feel hopeful.  Not blindly hopeful like I was last cycle, just peacefully hopeful.  I don’t know if I can describe it.

The first one was one of my friend’s IVF twin girls.  She asked if I wanted to hold her or if it would be too tough, but I said I’d love to.  I think it’s going further with the adoption plans that’s making me feel better about things–our family will grow, I will have more children to love and cuddle and nurture, even if I can’t give birth to them.

Anyway, that sweet and sleepy girl is 8 days old, still under 6 lbs, such a peanut!  Her "big" sister is stil under 7 lbs, but she was sleeping in the bassinet.  The other one was my other student’s baby boy, 5 days old, but was over 9 lbs at birth.  And also sweetly sleeping.

In the last week, I’ve held both of those babies and a 5-month old twice.  And, although my heart twisted a little, it wasn’t as painful as it has been in the past.  I know it could be painful again.  I would be surprised if it isn’t.  But I hope that maybe a little part of me is starting to accept infertility and realize that my dream of mothering more children isn’t going to end because of it–and that I can get past the pain and not feel bitter or sad whenever I see pregnant women or babies.

I don’t think that not being able to do it now, or even soon, means that I shouldn’t adopt until I’ve resolved those feelings.  But I don’t know that I’d be able to adopt knowing that I could never get over those feelings.  It wouldn’t feel like the right option.

That would mean so much to me.  To let go of bitterness.  To be able to accept.

I hope I can do it eventually.

April 24, 2006

Go give DD some love

Posted in TTC woes at 7:47 pm by Erin

She transferred 4 3-day embryos about 10 days ago.  The HPTs are still showing only a single line and she has opted not to go to her beta.  This was their last option for adding to their family.  I know she could use your support.  I am heartbroken for her.

Becoming a normal person

Posted in The musings of Erin at 10:49 am by Erin

I find myself pondering having more children lately.  It’s not something I ever expected to be doing at this point in my life, and I’m not sure how I feel about it all.

We always planned 4 kids, spaced 2-3 years apart (closer to 2 would have been best).  Since P was born 23 months after we started TTC, we knew that might go out the window–but I honestly felt like I’d gotten pregnant so quickly once on the Metformin, that we wouldn’t have any problems next time around.

We all know where that has gotten us, nearly 19 months after starting TTC#2.

I always figured I’d be awash in breastmilk, diapers (and their assorted contents), and other infant excretions for about 8 years, then be done with it all.  We expected we’d have 2 kids in diapers overlapping for a little while.  We expected it to be a chaotic hassle, and we looked forward to it eagerly.

P is almost 2 1/2 and is nearly potty-trained for the day.  It’s already made a HUGE difference in our lives.  I went to Sam’s Cl*b the other day and didn’t buy any diapers.

I was shocked beyond belief to realize that we really didn’t need any.  He’s only wearing 1 Pull-Up for naptimes, and 1 diaper for bed.

It made me think about having another baby, another child.  We’ll now be going from our expectation of having several months overlapping diapers to starting from a mostly-diaper-free household…and I would imagine entirely diaper-free by the time we actually bring another child home, as it’ll be a minimum of 8 months from now (and really, how likely is that?).  We’ll be starting over.

Now, I won’t tell you that diapers alone would make me change my mind about having more children.  But it’s a thought.  I’ll be so nice not to have a child in diapers for a while.  And the idea of starting with new ones makes me feel a little tired.

We’ve just recently started to become normal people again.  I don’t regret anything in the way we’ve been raising P, but we have occasionally missed our previous social life.  We were hardly party animals–both of us were tired of drinking before we turned 21.  But we were part of a fairly gourmet supper club, where 5 couples got together once a month and cooked dinner–the host would plan the menu and do the main dish and wines, one person would bring an appetizer, two other people would do side dishes, and the other couple would bring dessert.  It was incredibly enjoyable.

We got together with other friends at least a couple of times a month, to go out to dinner or have dinner at each other’s houses.  We went to movies frequently–usually a couple a month, sometimes more often if there were a lot of movies out that we wanted to see. 

There was a hole in our lives, something missing.  It was P.

He’s an incredible child.  I could never, would never, for a minute wonder what our lives would be like if he hadn’t been born.  The idea of that, of not getting to know him, fills me with despair.

Lately, J and I have been making a little more of an effort to regain some social life.  We had friends over for dinner last weekend.  We hired a babysitter and went to a movie on Friday night.  Yesterday, we went to the park for a picnic with some neighbors (husband, wife, son 6 months older than P, and 5 month old daughter) we didn’t know very well, and had a fabulous time.  I can see getting together with them more often in the future.

As I was talking with the wife while the husbands had the boys over on the playground, she mentioned how lonely and isolated it is for her to be home with two kids all day every day.  That when her husband gets home, she just wants to go OUT.

I had forgotten how isolating it can be to have a newborn.  And I was good about taking P out, despite the people who told me that "I shouldn’t have that baby out in this weather" (I know it was December, but people, we live in Atlanta), or that he was too young to be out.

And exactly who else was going to shop for P’s diapers in the middle of the day when he was down to 1, I wanted to ask.  But, as I am a model of restraint, I just rubbed his back as he slept peacefully in the Bjorn, and replied that he was doing just fine.

But there were many days when I wanted to go out and all P wanted to do was nurse and catnap.  Although I happily and without shame nursed discreetly in public, it was just impossible to go out when he was in one of those moods.

It’s so easy now–we grab the diaper bag (soon to be only the "extra pair of underpants and shorts" bag), a stuffed animal if P wants one, and we go.  Sure, we have the occasional toddler meltdown, but P’s such a good kid that they are rare, indeed.  Probably because he knows from experience that I am not averse to: a) giving time out in the middle of the grocery store, or b) picking him up and leaving immediately, and him losing Th*mas video privileges.

The idea of a newborn who can’t really communicate, who is dependent on us for everything, who can be responsible for quite a bit of isolation, is a little scary.  A little scarier than it was the first time around, in fact.  We’ve gotten used to having a toddler.  Starting over with a newborn…I don’t know that I can describe how that makes me feel.  It’s not all sunshine and roses.

And it wars with my desperate desire to have another baby living inside of me, to nurse another baby, to watch him or her grow into a little person.  To see the amazement in my husband’s eyes as the baby comes into the world, as he holds the baby for the first time.  To watch P become a big brother.  Maybe the baby will be a lot like P.  Maybe he or she will be totally different.  Either way would be such a blessing.

But scarier than it used to be, no doubt about it.

April 23, 2006

Hooray for my insurance company!

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 8:25 pm by Erin

Actually, it’s probably the radiology clinic intake person that I should be thanking.  In order to have my HSG, my RE had to send over a referral.  I have no doubt that it was coded for infertility, as we had not talked about possibly coding it for anything else that would have been true but might have gotten my insurance company to pony up the cost of it. 

When I went in that morning, though, I was speaking with the wonderfully sweet intake woman and mentioned that it was for infertility, but there was a possibility that I have endometriosis.  She was quite incensed that my insurance company wouldn’t pay for infertility diagnostic testing.  Not once did I say anything about them probably paying for endometriosis testing.  To be honest, it never even occured to me to do so–I figured that it would be coded as infertility-related, we’d be paying the $500 bill, and that was that.

A few weeks ago, I got a statement from the hospital saying "THIS IS NOT A BILL".  And continued by saying that they had furnished a copy to my insurance company and would bill me after they had heard from them.

I immediately noticed that the bill was down from $500 to just over $300, but figured that was because the radiology clinic is in my insurance company plan–I figured that even if they wouldn’t pay, they might give me the provider reduction for using an in-plan clinic.  So that made me happy.

Friday, we received the final bill: $48.  Just $48.  The insurance company paid for my HSG!!!  All I owe is the co-pay.  I can only assume that that wonderful woman coded it for an endometriosis diagnostic test.  That was completely and totally unexpected, and made me hug J with happiness.

Oh, how far the mighty have fallen from our days in college–well, I won’t get into that.  I don’t want to ruin my reputation.

We had already planned an evening out–Friday was all of the 3rd time we’ve actually hired a babysitter, and only the first time we’ve done so just because we wanted a date, not because we had some other evening plans.  We went to see V for Vend*tta (didn’t dislike, but didn’t really like either–but there is nothing else out that I wanted to see) and then, instead of going to some inexpensive place, we went to a lovely Japanese steakhouse, had a sushi appetizer, had meals involving steak and seafood, and gorged ourselves silly.  Because all of a sudden, we have $450 that we don’t have to pay to the radiology clinic!

Now, if they’ll only pay for the sonohysterogram…

April 20, 2006

My love/hate affair with money

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:14 pm by Erin

I consider myself frugal.  Mostly because I prefer it to "cheap".  I’ve pretty much been this way forever; at least, as far as I remember.  I started working with a newspaper route at 11, babysat through high school, also worked at Discovery Z*ne from 16 on, worked two jobs during the summers between years of college, worked more jobs than that (though fewer hours) while in college (I think my record was 6 jobs at once, during my senior year).  My parents, G-d bless them, scrimped to send me to an expensive private college and pay the tuition and room and board.  I paid for everything else–books, expenses, travel, sorority and fraternity dues (yes, I was in both), my car, my insurance, my food senior year when I was in an apartment, etc.  I don’t begrudge them a penny, and I didn’t mind working hard.  It gave me no sense of entitlement, which was rare at the University of Richkids Richmond.  (How I ended up with J, another middle-class kid with a normal family, in the midst of all of that, I’ll never know.)

After college, J and I got married and moved to South Carolina for him to start law school.  I was the breadwinner, the only one making any money at all–which was really important, as he was considered an out-of-state student the first year and financial aid didn’t cover his entire tuition.  I got a job several weeks after we moved down making a whopping $18K a year.  Don’t ask me how we survived the first 6 months of marriage until I got a better-paying job.  We had one car, J’s 12-year-old Saab, and we carpooled despite the fact that his law school and my job were in opposite directions from our apartment.

Why is this important?  It’s probably not.  But that was the year that I started making friends with people who were older than myself, people who’d been married for a bit and were starting families.  And was invited to meet these babies.  I had no idea how to afford a baby gift.

So I started making pillows from a pattern I designed–cross-stitched, personalized, and hand-sewn.  They only cost me a few dollars to make, but take quite a lot of time each.  The one in the picture is the one I just finished for P (yes, I know he’s almost 2 1/2–I’m a little slow when it comes to my own child).  Boys are light or dark blue, girls are pink or purple or peach.  Once we had some more money and could afford actual gifts, I bought a couple.  But people really liked the pillows, and I got a lot more satisfaction from giving a gift that was so personal. I spent a very-hard-to-come-by $100 on a sewing machine to save some time, and have never regretted it.

Then we got poor again when we had P because, in the space of 3 months, we bought a house, had a baby, and J quit his job and opened his own law firm.  Really poor.  And that lasted for close to a year, so we were frugal again for that time.  We bought P’s bedding set, but I never found a valance I liked and so decided to make one.

When P was 9 months old, my IL’s took us to the Grand Canyon for a week.  It was a fabulous trip, but we needed a carrier for P.  The frame pack that I’d borrowed from a friend hurt if we wore it for more than 30 minutes, and I knew that wouldn’t work for hiking for hours on end.  A friend from inside the computer had made a soft carrier patterned on an Er*go, and sent me the pattern for it.  I was a little nervous, as I’d never made anything from a pattern before.  But make the soft carrier I did, and it’s fabulous!  I still carry P around in it sometimes when he’s feeling clingy and I need to get things done.  He even requested it the other day instead of his stroller.  I can still, at nearly 2 1/2, carry him for well over an hour without getting sore.  I did it just last month, in fact, while trying to manage P, the stroller, the car seat, the diaper bag, and my purse in the airport by myself.  And this is the only public picture of P (at 9 months old) or I that will show up on my blog!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that P needed some real sheets to go on his toddler bed, rather than the crib sheets that we’d been using.  But I couldn’t find any that I really liked, so I decided to make some.  I found some Th*mas the Tank Engine material.  P lurves Th*mas.  Really LURVES him.  I made him sheets from it.  A fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and a pillowcase.  Now he LURVES me and is constantly saying that "Mama made bed!  Mama sew pillowcase."  I have some extra material, so I may also make a new valance for him since the old one really is more suitable for a nursery.

I found his little toddler adoration so nice, I bought Finding N*mo, B*b the Builder, and W*nnie the Pooh material (do you have any idea how hard it was to find W*nnie the Pooh material that wasn’t too baby-ish or girly?  But I did it).  I’ve finished the N*mo sheets, but still have the others to make.  It’s so cute to see how happy it makes him.  He really wanted the Sp*derman material, but I think he’s a little too young for that.

I’ve now got many more pillows to make, as a friend just had her IVF twin baby girls the other day!  And I was already one girl pillow behind.  I’m gonna be busy…

Sewing, particularly cross-stitch, is really my only artistic endeavor.  I have no artistic ability whatsoever.  But I really enjoy sewing.  What kinds of arts or crafts do you do?  I’m always impressed with other people’s artistic talents!


Posted in TTC woes at 1:06 pm by Erin

O on d15/16 (late last night, I think)–and without major Clomid-associated pain this time around!  Hot damn!

And for some reason the Clomid hasn’t completely killed my sex drive this time around, so we’ve had no trouble taking advantage of it.  Actually, I was worried that since I still have a sex drive and haven’t had much ovary pain that the Clomid wasn’t working this time.  SOOO glad to be wrong.

On other fronts, J and I have spent the last couple of days forging ahead on the plans for adoption.  Well, forging might be a little strong for it–he’s talked to a woman he knows who’s Ethiopian, and I’ve gotten information from 4 of the 5 agencies that might work with us (two won’t, since I’m one of those heathen Jews and they only work with pure-hearted Christian couples…’cause, you know, non-Christians shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children).  We’re not sure when we’ll start actually filling it out but, like further fertility treatments, I think it’ll have to wait until we’re sure that I have a job.

Crafty post coming, I promise!  I’ve just got something to finish up so that I can take pictures of it for you.

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