June 30, 2006

Arthritic sloth, indeed

Posted in The musings of Erin at 6:36 am by Erin

I jogged this morning.  This is a major development in my fitness routine which, up until now, has more often resembled that of the snails in our fishtank: bursts of energy followed by much longer periods of either ambling slowly about or sleeping.

But after reading Dr. Mama’s advice on how to start jogging, and her subsequent follow-up post, I realized that I could do it.  I already have the equipment:

2 legs with attached feet: check

Good sneakers: check

Industrial-strength exercise bra: check

Not only could I do it, but I should do it.  My great intentions of adding to my exercise routine slowly just haven’t been cutting it.  It’s too easy to do nothing if there’s something else to do (like sleeping for a few extra minutes).  We don’t have a jogging stroller but I might invest in one if I keep this up since P really likes to go out in the stroller.  I know he’s kind of old for it, but then we could both enjoy it.  I need to make sure I’ll stick with it before buying one.

I already know that I’m a morning jogger.  It’s just too hot to jog here later in the day; plus, I find myself making excuses if I don’t get to it first thing in the morning before the demands of the day pile on.  So when P woke us up this morning, I threw on my exercise clothes, ignored my brain saying "No, don’t exercise!", grabbed my little clip-on timer, and headed out the door.  I was surprised today that I was able to jog for the whole 30 minutes.  Granted, I think I covered about 1.8 miles in the 30 minutes, which is a pretty damned slow jog.  I did have to refrain from my instinct to speed up everytime I saw someone so that I wouldn’t look like an idiot, but kept reminding myself that they don’t care.  My asthma didn’t act up, my muscles didn’t feel overworked, and I felt good. 

Then I got home and my muscles said that I’d used up their alloted energy for the day and they were starting their weekend early.

But I feel great anyway, quivery legs notwithstanding.  No matter what I do the rest of the day, I got some good exercise this morning.  I did realize that I need to go out just a little bit earlier from now on–the temperature was perfect when I started but quickly got a little too hot.  So from now on, I’m setting the alarm instead of using P as the alarm clock.

I hope I stick with this.  I really need to.  If I can remember how good I feel right now when the alarm goes off on Sunday morning, then it shouldn’t be any trouble at all.

June 28, 2006

The flying bubbis

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 7:09 am by Erin

So.  My parents and grandmother were here this past weekend.  They were only here from Thursday evening to Sunday morning and let me tell you, that was quite enough visiting for a while, thankyouverymuch.

I was a little nervous about their visit anyway since I planned on telling my grandmother about our plans to adopt internationally.  She reacted with the typical "Why would you do that?  Do you have trouble getting pregnant?" lines, but soon morphed into "Well, someone’s going to be very lucky."  When I explained that yes, it was J and I since we were going to have more kids, she laughed and said that was true but she meant the child who gets to have us for parents.

Huh.  How about that.

All was pleasant the rest of the visit.  We had several other short conversations about adoption and about how we’d chosen the countries that we’re considering.  They were quite positive.  I was lulled into a false sense of happiness.

What I really should have been thinking was NBHHY during the visit.  Because then came the drive to the airport.  Oh, the drive to the airport.  shudder

It started out innocently enough.  My mother and grandmother were in the backseat entertaining P, while my dad was in the front passenger seat.  He asked if we’d done any more looking at agencies for adoption (FWIW, my parents were far more supportive about it on this trip…mostly), and I was telling him about that process.  But apparently this was the magic word and the Bubbis in the backseat (my mother is P’s Bubbi, my grandmother is my Bubbi and P’s great-Bubbi) decided to chime in.  My grandmother wanted to know if we had to get any sort of counseling before adopting.  I explained that there’s no mandatory counseling with most of the agencies, but they do provide lots of support for adoptive families.  She thinks we need counseling to figure everything out because we don’t know what we’re getting into.  I explained that it’s not like "Hey, we’re going to adopt and we’ll be bringing home a child tomorrow" but that we’ll be working with the agency for at least a year before our child comes home, so we’ll have plenty of time to do that.  I reminded them that no one chooses to adopt on a whim, because it was such a difficult process.  Then I made a mistake: I said "Anyone can get pregnant" but was interrupted by my grandmother saying "Excuse me, not everyone can get pregnant."

The next sound I heard was my father snorting laughter.  I said, the snarkiness evident in my voice, "Umm, hello?  I know that.  Somehow, I think I’ve figured that out in the almost 2 years that we’ve been trying to have another baby."  I said I just meant that there was no paperwork to fill out, that you don’t have to prove you’d be a fit parent to get pregnant.  Adopting can be intrusive because that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Finally she took a break, but then my mom started in.

As it turns out, my mom thinks it’s a bad idea for us to bring home a toddler because the child would immediately get to play with P’s toys and P wouldn’t have the same adjustment period that he would with an infant.  I pointed out that if we have another baby and bring home a newborn, P would go from having lots of time to play with Mama and Daddy to "Hey, Mama’s constantly nursing that baby and doesn’t have as much time to play with me", so there would be plenty of adjustment on his part right from the beginning anyway. Also, that there will be plenty of time to get him used to the idea that he’s getting a brother or sister who’s going to come home and share his toys; it’s not like we’ll just spring it on him.  She said she thinks we should get an infant, even around 9 months old, so that they won’t be playing with the same toys at the same time.  I said that we’d already thought of that and countered that we hope he would look at it as having an instant playmate. We’re just switching the type of adjustment that he’ll have to make.  I also said that if we get a child that young, by the time we bring them home, there will probably be about 4 years between P’s age and that child and we don’t want our children that far apart in age.

I said that we had thought about more than they’d ever even considered, so we’d thought of all of these possibilities and are making the best choices for our family.  We were nearly at the airport by this time, so they just said something about understanding that and just being concerned.  I have never been so relieved to drop them all off at the curbside check-in.  I did feel bad for my dad, though, since he really was just curious to hear about how things were going and didn’t have any of intention of demanding explanations for our choices.

I was still upset by the time P and I got home.  I told J all about it and he helped me calm down.  He asked me why I hadn’t just given the Bubbis a helpful little push down an escalator and watched the suitcases bursting open, shirts flying through the air, while the Bubbis said "Oh my goodness!" with their hair all askew.  In retrospect, it’s a pretty bad image, but it was what I needed to laugh right then and stop worrying about it.

At least we have J’s family.

June 26, 2006

The offering

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:25 pm by Erin

I don’t think I’ve mentioned a part of the conversation that I had with my sister last week.

Apparently, she thought she might be pregnant by a not-quite-one-night-stand.  Her period was 2 weeks late and she was convinced that she was pregnant (’cause you know, that’s all it takes).  My unmarried, has-no-plans-to-get-married, does-not-want-kids-anyway sister.  She put a lot of thought into it and decided that if she was pregnant, despite having no desire to bear a child, she would have the baby and give it to us.

Give it to us.

She felt like this was a good solution to help us with our infertility, even though she supports our plan to adopt internationally.  Not only that, she felt that telling me about it after several negative HPTs and her period finally arriving was a good idea.

I didn’t know what to say.  "Here, you poor infertile people.  I’ll bear a child conceived unintentionally and then tell you that I don’t want it, so you should take it.  Oh wait, I’m not actually pregnant.  Let me tell you what you missed out on getting!"  I think I said something about…actually, I’m really not sure what I said.  My mind sort of blurred when the conversation turned to a discussion of the DUI car accident that my cousin and her married lover were just in, and how afraid my cousin was that his wife would find out about the affair at the husband’s hearing.  I didn’t even know that she had a lover.  A married man with a child about P’s age, no less.  But my cousin, who is very close to me in age, told my sister (who picked them up at the jail where married man’s drunken-driving ass had been arrested) that she could tell me because I already knew about the affair.

At least it took my mind off the "now it’s here, now it’s gone" baby offer.  Of which I still don’t know what to think.

How scary does my family sound now?  Sister who thought she was pregnant, cousin having an affair with a married father…good Lord, I hope that’s it.  I don’t think I can take the degeneration of my family any further.

It was quite the conversation.  I don’t know when I’ll have recovered sufficiently to call either my sister or my cousin again.

Next post up: why imagining little old Jewish ladies flying down the escalator at the airport had me rolling in laughter or at least we have J’s family.  Tune in tomorrow!


Posted in The musings of Erin at 6:42 am by Erin

Sorry for the extended disappearance–parents and grandmother in town!

Anyway, do you remember #99 on my 100 things about me list?  I almost had a chance to take advantage of that on Saturday night!

Now you’re all wondering why it was almost, and I’ve probably lost half of you.

J has a client who owns a club downtown.  He asked me if I wanted to go on Saturday night, because Ludacris and 50 Cent were going to be there and his client said we’d be in the VIP room with them.  Now, if you look at #98 on that same list, you can probably predict my "Meh" response.

Then he told me that Will Smith might also be there.

Holy crap, I got all twitterpated!  I swear that I’ve never done that before.  I would have ended up being the dorkiest fan he has ever met.  I reminded J that Will is on my freebie list and he said "Yeah yeah, I know" in a very resigned tone of voice.  Every time I thought about actually meeting him, I got all giddy.

I told J that if he could confirm with his client that Will would be there, then I would happily go.  I didn’t want to take a chance because we’re not big clubbers and never have been, and we would have both had to go out and get new clothes.

Unfortunately, he never heard back from his client.  As it turns out, I don’t think Will was there, and so it’s OK.  I would have made an absolute ass of myself, but I don’t think I would have cared.  I either would have sat across the room staring and drooling and thinking "Take your shirt off!" (but it’s not that kind of club), or I would have tried to talk to him and stumbled over every word and blushed beet-red.

My sister made an ass of herself in front of Weird Al Yankovic.  I would have gotten to make an ass of myself in front of Will Smith.  She would have envied me forever!

June 21, 2006

IUI update

Posted in TTC woes at 2:50 pm by Erin

Thanks to all for the anniversary wishes!

Today was not very exciting.  J went in, did his job.  I was there 2 hours later, sperm had been washed, and insemination was done.  I rested there for 5 minutes and then got dressed and went home.  One of the easiest things I’ve ever done at the RE’s office.  Though I am dismayed about how little it fazes me anymore to remove my pants immediately upon entering the room.

Numbers: they inseminated with 37 million sperm (minimum needed is 5 million) and they were graded a 3 on a scale of 1-4, with 4 being the fastest.  I teased J a bit about them being plentiful but a little pokey.  He didn’t mind, thought it was kind of amusing.

We’ve been "ordered" to have sex tonight and tomorrow since my cervical mucous looks good, and it’s not going to hurt anything.  J was happy to hear that.  Me?  Eh, could take it or leave it right about now.  But I guess I’ll take it.  How awful is it that I was kind of looking forward to doing the IUI so that we wouldn’t have to have sex at ovulation time?  Oh well.

I don’t need a post-IUI progesterone check since I had one done my first cycle on 100 mg Clomid.  And the beta is set for 2 weeks from today, which will be the day of or the day after I get my period if this didn’t work.  Either way, if I get my period, they said to just give them a call and they’ll mark it as the end of the cycle.

I’m so hoping that doesn’t happen, but if it does, I’ve told J that I want to take off at least next cycle, and possibly the next two.  I’d like a break from all of this, and then (assuming all goes well) I’ll be starting a new job right around the end of next cycle.  So it might be a good idea to give that a month to figure out my schedule and settle in a little bit before dealing with IF again.  He thought that sounded like a good plan.  It’ll also give us a chance to pay off the credit card from this IUI before starting again, since I’ll have a paycheck by then.

But I’m still hoping it doesn’t happen.

June 20, 2006

An auspicious day!

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 10:17 am by Erin

OK, several of these happened yesterday…but since I didn’t get to check blogs last night, they happened today for me!  Beth had fabulous beta news.  ElectricLady got wonderful u/s news.  And this morning, Robbie got very, very good news at her u/s.

I triggered this morning.  Let’s hope that tomorrow’s IUI proves as lucky as Robbie’s and ElectricLady’s.  J goes in at 7:45, I go in at 9:45.

It’s our 7th anniversary, which I just found out that we share with DD

Yes, we’ve been married 7 years.  6 weeks after we graduated from college, and on Father’s Day of 1999, we were married in the lovely gazebo outside of the reception facility.  My flowers were daisies and yellow roses, which were also used to decorate the gazebo.  My bridesmaids wore dresses that were supposed to be gold but ended up more peachy (but quite pretty anyway).  J wore a great tux with a white vest.  His groomsmen wore the same tux with gold vests.  Our dads wore the same tux in gray with gray vests.  Our moms both looked lovely in their dresses.

It was a great wedding.  We had about 120 guests, the vast majority of them family.  I was extremely touched at how many of our college friends made the trip to our wedding–it was a long way, no one had much money, and yet they came to celebrate with us. 

The only time I felt nervous that day was when all of us womenfolk were getting our hair done and it was taking MUCH longer than expected, and I was afraid I’d be late to my own wedding.  But it all worked out.  My bridesmaids (my sister was the maid-of-honor, my two cousins and my sorority little sister were the others) gave me a lovely champagne toast before the ceremony and made us all cry, so we walked down the aisle to the music of a string trio with swollen eyes.  J and I had the biggest smiles on our faces, and in the video you can hear us whispering "I love you" to each other over and over again during the ceremony.  The reception was wonderful–people still tell us how much fun they had, and that’s what we wanted.  Formality was nice for the ceremony; the reception was just for fun. 

We’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve been through a lot.  But it’s all so wonderfully worth it.

J gave me a special card this morning (we’re buying a gift for ourselves together).  He managed to find the blank cards from our wedding that have the claddagh that was on our invitations and say our married name beneath, and wrote one from his heart.  It means more to me than any card or gift he could have bought.

Happy anniversary, my love.  I can’t wait to find out what the next seven years will bring us!

June 19, 2006

The rebellious body

Posted in TTC woes at 11:11 am by Erin

Is IUI considered ART, or is that reserved for IVF?  Just wondering.  It seems like an assisted reproductive technology to me, but I have no idea what the normal medical community thinks.

Anyway, my body has decided to rebel against ART.

Over the last number of months, I’ve had blood drawn countless times.  I’ve had dildocams and other objects that are not normally even near my body inserted into delicate areas.  I’ve taken fertility drugs that make me feel like a sweaty demon bitch from hell.  While it’s been unpleasant, nothing’s been really painful (even including the HSG).

Until now.

I have veins that look like bright blue inner tubes running down the middle inside of my arm.  I’ve donated blood and had the technicians practically drooling, and one even asked if she could take blood from both arms because my veins were so nice.  I’ve NEVER had a problem with bruising, with anyone having to dig to find them, nothing.

Until Friday.

I had my blood drawn.  There was nothing to make me think it was anything other than a routine blood draw–they used a tiny needle and it barely pinched going in.  But my arm hurt like crazy afterwards, and I bled for quite a bit longer than normal–usually I’ve got that bandaid off in minutes, this time it was an hour before I felt like it would be OK to take it off.  And I’ve had this enormous black and blue bruise since late that evening.  Well, now it’s turning brown and yellow.  It’s really attractive.

I look like a junkie.

To further illustrate the rebellion of my body, the u/s on Friday was painful.  Not really painful, but more than any other u/s I’ve had.  It could just be that I’ve never had one so close to ovulation before, and that it’s normal.  But my body didn’t like it and both my ovaries and my uterus have been twinging strongly and cramping since then.

Clomid has been kicking my ass this cycle.  The hot flashes are worse than they’ve been ever before, my mood swings constantly, and I can’t concentrate on a single thing.  I nearly forgot to buy J anything for Father’s Day, including cards.  Our 7th anniversary is tomorrow and I haven’t gotten him a card yet for that either (we’re buying a new bedspread as our gift to each other, so I don’t have to worry about another gift).  I have a job fair to attend on Thursday and I haven’t updated or printed my resume yet.  My family gets to town Thursday night and I’ve done nothing to prepare for that.  I just can’t concentrate.  I can’t even have a good conversation because my mind wanders so much.  Teaching yesterday was a nightmare.

All in all, I’m dreading the rest of this cycle.  With my luck, the needle for the trigger shot will break off.  And my cervix will probably clam up tighter than Fort Knox when they try to do the IUI.  And the bruising that will happen for the progesterone and beta…oh, the bruising.  My arms ache just thinking about it.  I think my veins are going into hiding.

June 18, 2006

Aeon Sucks

Posted in The musings of Erin at 6:00 am by Erin

I promised you a movie review of Aeon Flux, so here it is: it bites.

If you’d still like to see it, you should stop reading now, since I’m going to ruin the plot for you.








OK, they should all be gone now. 

The movie, which would have been bad enough just based on the pathetic acting, was completely destroyed by its premise.  The movie starts out by telling you that in 2011, nearly all of humankind was wiped out by a virus.  A scientist developed a vaccine and the 5 million people remaining alive all moved to a single city, where they’ve now lived for 400 years under the rule of the scientist, Trent Goodchild.  Aeon Flux is a member of the resistance movement who is charged with killing Trent, who had had Aeon’s sister killed about a year before.

When she faces Trent, he calls her by a different name and she has flashbacks in which they are lovers, so she doesn’t kill him.  Soon, Trent’s brother overthrows him and takes over, so Trent starts working with Aeon to figure out what’s going on.

Decent enough, right?  (I am a nerd and enjoy some sci-fi, so it might already be a stupid premise to you.)  Just give me a second.

It turns out that a side effect of the vaccine was that it rendered everyone sterile.  But Trent and his brother didn’t tell anyone about it, except for the few doctors who needed to know.  So, to assure the continued survival of humans, they’ve been taking DNA from everyone when they die.  They create a cloned embryo, then induce chemical pregnancies in couples with similar physical characteristics to the person who died.  When the woman goes for her first appointment, they implant a cloned embryo (this is 400 years from now, I suppose they must be able to implant them by then).  She carries the baby and they have no idea that it’s a clone.

The problem is that this has been going on for 400 years, and there are starting to be some mental side effects of repeated cloning.  Trent has been experimenting to find ways to restore fertility and has succeeded but doesn’t know it, since his brother is in charge of the test groups.  The brother wants to live forever and has been having the women killed as they get pregnant so that they’re forced to continue cloning.  It also comes out that somehow the fertility is being restored naturally and women have been getting pregnant on their own without treatment.  (The brother’s been having those women killed, also.)  Aeon finds out that her sister was a pregnant treatment group member who was killed and has been cloned, and is now the 3-month old daughter of a new couple.

So it turns out that Aeon and Trent were married before the virus, that he didn’t realize her DNA had been saved, and that this is the first time they’ve come together in 400 years.  He’s been born and died 7 times since she first died.  Blah blah blah, the brother is killed, Trent resumes control, and the DNA repository is destroyed.

People, the movie was about infertility.  And ART, though in a wacky, 400-years-in-the-future kind of way.

Suffice it to say, I give this movie two middle fingers straight up.

June 17, 2006

Selling out

Posted in The musings of Erin at 5:39 am by Erin

I swore never to do this again.  And yet, here I am at 8:15 on a lovely Saturday morning, sitting at a table in front of 20 MCAT students who are diligently working on the physics section of their diagnostic test.  I would so rather be at temple with P since we haven’t gotten to go for the last two weeks, and we both miss it.

What can I say?  I’m not officially working and we could use the money. 

Especially since we seem to be bleeding money lately, though the plumber’s bill was substantially less than I’d expected, given that he was here for 3 1/2 hours and fixed not just the one broken pipe in the yard (to which he had to dig a good 2 feet down–my poor yard) but also a cracked connector in the basement that we didn’t know about (but which, when replaced, fixed the water-pressure problems we’ve been having) and a faucet outside that had been running continuously.  He’s fabulous.

Anyway, I say not officially working because I’m currently teaching two Bradley classes (Tuesday and Wednesday nights, 4 and 3 couples, respectively–hooray!) and three MCAT classes (Thursay night and two on Sundays).  So really, I’m putting in a good number of hours in teaching each week, but I don’t have a real job–according to J.

I maintain that teaching 5 classes on 4 days a week is a real job.

Hours-wise, the teaching isn’t a problem except that J and I don’t get to see much of each other on the weekends that I proctor.  It does give him some nice one-on-one time with P.  But come August, when hopefully I’ll be teaching at a real job, I’ll still have a couple of weeks that overlap the end of MCAT and Bradley classes with the beginning of the school year, and that is going to be stressful.

I’m attending a teaching job fair on Thursday morning, and all the school districts in which I would consider working will be there.  J feels I can afford to be pretty selective–the county we live in has lots of money, and we’re close to the lines of two other counties that would also be acceptable.  I’m still applying for college jobs but if I’m offered a job in a high school before I hear from them, I’ll take it.  We need health insurance.  And actually, a high school job could pay a little better than some of the college jobs to which I’m applying.

It’s a good thing we’ll trigger on Tuesday if I haven’t gotten my peak yet, since then we’ll do the IUI on Wednesday and I’ll be free to go to this fair.  It’s a darned good thing we can schedule things like that since nothing else in this whole TTC process has gone according to schedule!

Well, I’m going to watch Aeon Flux.  I’m a sucker for an action movie.  I’ll report in with my movie review later.

June 16, 2006

IUI update and other random thoughts

Posted in The musings of Erin at 11:21 am by Erin

Had my u/s and bloodwork this morning.  Haven’t heard back on the E2 level yet.  Lining was 5mm ("still has some maturing to do") and have two follicles of 10mm and 16mm on the right and one on the left at 15mm (I think he actually said there are two 15mm follicles, but I’m not sure).  He said that if I haven’t gotten a peak on my monitor by Tuesday, we can definitely trigger so that it’s done before my family comes to town next Thursday evening.  So all was good and now we just wait.

J and I have finally figured out budgeting.  Actually, we’ve been doing that for years now but found that each month we have some expense that throws things off.  It used to be about $300/month for some car repair or any traveling or whatever; now we find that it’s about $500/month.  So we started adding that into our budget and planning for it.  All was well and good until this month, when my graduate school (yes, the one from which I’ve already graduated) decided that I owe them another $667.  Ouch, but doable with our plan.  We haven’t paid them yet, which could be a good thing because…

We have a large wet spot on the front lawn that has been there since this morning (I know it wasn’t there last evening) and isn’t going away.  So there’s probably a broken pipe.  The plumber is coming out later.

This is exceptionally frustrating because the outside pipes to our house were replaced right before we moved in, and we’ve been here less than 3 years.  The inside ones haven’t been.  They’re that crappy polybutylene or whatever that stuff is.  We had a broken one of those in the garage (part of our basement) about a month ago.

Fortunately our plumber is very reasonable and does good work, and I trust him not to take advantage of us.  But it will still be a big expense.  It means that the two trees that need to be taken down in our front lawn will have to wait until at least August, as they were going to be our big expense for the first month in which we didn’t have something else crop up.  Now we’ll have this this month and the school payment next month.

Oh well, my grad school can’t take away my diploma and they’ve mailed out the transcripts I needed sent, so they’ll just have to wait.  Quite frankly, they annoy me anyway as this is a charge from January that they didn’t even figure out until AFTER I GRADUATED.  Not just after I finished in February, but after graduation in May.  Had they charged it correctly in January, it would have worked out to $100 a month by this point.  We would have cut back on some things without much trouble and been fine at this point.

Agh, must stop rambling and get P down for his "quiet time".  DD, my mom asked last night if P had been replaced by a pod person also when I told her about the broccoli.  But to prove that he hasn’t been, he fell this morning and whacked his forehead on the coffee table hard enough to get an immediate enormous hematoma.  He’s fine, but I think this is the fourth time he’s hit his head and ended up with a huge swollen bruise in a place where it’s obvious to anyone who sees him.  Poor child is a klutz, just like his completely uncoordinated parents.

Maybe the children we adopt will have coordination!

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