August 31, 2006

I think I’m leaving a dent in the wall

Posted in TTC woes at 1:38 pm by Erin

I finally got a peak on my monitor yesterday, so I haven’t gone for a progesterone test.  I don’t think my ovaries got the message.  I can’t even feel them, let alone are they making me swoon in agony the way they always do when I ovulate, and they’re especially bad when on fertility drugs.  Well, we’ve done what we can and will do so again this evening.  The whole process does make me feel like I’m banging my head against the wall–pain with no point to it.

I know that I’m just asking for trouble when I’m teaching Bradley classes, but the other night took the cake so far.  I had a woman who said she quit her job at the end of February and she knows that’s why they got pregnant that cycle, because they’d been trying for two cycles already!

The thunk you heard on Tuesday evening echoing across the country was my head against the wall.

I called Nurse L to let her know that I’d gotten the surge and wouldn’t be coming in for the progesterone, and asked if it was normal to ovulate so late with the Femara.  She called back and said she knew it seemed like it was really late but she knew that I’d started a new job and that perhaps it was the stress that made me ovulate late.  And that maybe next cycle I wouldn’t be so stressed and would have a better ovulation.

I got "just relax" from the nurse at my RE’s clinic.

The thunking sound you heard echoing across the world was my head on the wall again.  Good thing that Monday proved that I have a hard head.  The wall is suffering, however.

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August 28, 2006

I just didn’t want to be left out of all the fun

Posted in The musings of Erin at 8:52 am by Erin

Warning: gore ahead.

This morning, I was wearing a pair of boots with thin high heels and was on my way out to the car.  I was wearing my exceedingly heavy backpack full of textbooks, lecture books, lab manuals, and other assorted papers; and carrying my purse, P’s daycare bag, my lunch, my water bottle, and my keys (yes, I have eight hands).  Our steps have some gaps in them in which a heel can easily get caught and make a person trip, so I decided to tiptoe down to avoid such a problem. 

You can probably guess what happened next: on the second to last stair, I tripped.  There is no railing on the bottom part of the stairs on which I could have caught myself.

I fell down the last stair and onto our driveway. I dropped pretty much everything, but thought that I had escaped most harm–I hadn’t broken my ankle while trying to catch myself, after all.  Then momentum brought my backpack falling right above my shoulders and onto the back of my head, which I’d managed to keep from hitting the driveway.  Until that moment.  Since it hit the back of my head, my face went hard into the driveway.

Poor P was following behind me and saw all of this happen.  I considered passing out since it hurt so much but then thought that might traumatize P, as would screaming hysterically for J to come out and help me.  So I rolled out of my backpack and left everything sitting there on the driveway.  I hustled P back inside while trying to avoid having blood drip onto my shirt and pants.  J took P to daycare, saying that if I took him, they would think he was abusing us.

Why, you might ask?  Yesterday, P was riding his airplane toy (a pre-tricycle) down our driveway.  Now, as some of you know, our driveway is extremely steep.  I wasn’t letting P go more than halfway up it, but I had gone inside for a few minutes and left he and J outside.  J was unaware that P wasn’t allowed to go all the way up and, being a male and therefore sometimes lacking in common sense, let him do just that.  P had rolled about halfway down the driveway when the airplane hit a rock or seam or something and went flying off, scraping up his forehead, nose, and arm.  Not deep but nasty nonetheless.  Fortunately, I used to be an EMT at a daycamp and cleaning up things like that doesn’t phase me.  J, on the other hand, looked like he was about to pass out as he brought P inside.  P was very brave while I cleaned and treated his scrapes, and we took him for ice cream after dinner.

Bruises have come out all along P’s scrapes; my face has two large scrapes on my forehead, an enormous and deep one on the top of my nose, a smaller one on the side of my nose, a split lip, and a scrape on my chin.  I may end up with black eyes from the beating that my nose took.  My neck hurts from having strained it to keep my head from hitting the driveway, then being whacked by my 20+ pound backpack.  My jaw hurts, probably for the same reason.  I’m slightly dizzy and my head aches abysmally.  I’ve taken Tylen*l, bandaged the deep cut on my nose, and cleaned and Neosp*rined the rest.  The bruises are just now starting to come out.

Looking like that, I’ve taught one class and have two more to do today.  And no one took me out for ice cream for being so brave.

August 26, 2006

Tears

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 6:52 pm by Erin

The choice of "Happiness is a true gift" as a category for this one may seem a little odd at first, but I think it will make sense by the end.  I hadn’t expected to post again tonight, but then a situation arose that I had to share.  I hope it means as much to you as it did to me.

Earlier today, I was visiting our next-door neighbor with P, who was playing with their children (their son is 2 months younger than P and their daughter just started kindergarten).  She and I were chatting about our jobs, as she’s also a teacher.  J came over and somehow money was mentioned.  He said, "But Erin, we need money for the …" and mumbled and gestured.  Lest you think the was an IF thing, it wasn’t.  J’s been begging for a used BM*W and since we need to replace our Sat*rn in the coming months, I’m slowly weakening on my resolve not to get such an ostentatious car.  I explained this to my neighbor, who was looking at us quizzically.  She said, "Oh, I thought you might be pregnant."

I said, "No, I wish," and she asked if we were trying.  I said that we’d been trying since before P was a year old, and she was surprised.  She tried to rally with, "Well, sometimes it takes a while, but it happens eventually."  I started to do a noncommittal "Mmm" but it turned into, "Actually it probably won’t for us but we’re looking into adoption."  I’d obviously caught her completely off-guard.  She asked (very nicely, I can’t fault anything she said during the whole conversation) whether we knew what was wrong and I told her about my PCOS and possible endo.  I told her that it took us a while to get P, so it wasn’t unexpected, but still hard.  Then her husband got home and I left to go get our pizza, so the conversation ended a little abruptly.

She just called while I was upstairs singing P his bedtime songs, so I got a voicemail.  She was crying.  She said she was so, so sorry for what we’re going through.  She knew that I was pouring out my heart and was so sorry that I’d had to do it while standing in their garage with the kids around.  She said she wishes us the best of luck with our adoption plans and offered me her ear and shoulder anytime I need them.

I cried when I heard her message.  I’ve always known that she was really nice and we chat whenever the other is out (we share a side yard), but somehow I never expected such empathy.  It’s so rare, I wonder if she knows that.  If she doesn’t, I’m going to tell her.  She’s made it a little easier to bear this burden, just knowing that she’s there for me.

I started this blog because I needed support through recurring infertility, and hoped that I could give it to others.  Through the 11 months that I’ve been blogging, I’ve slowly come out of the closet and started telling people about our infertility.  It’s been hard, especially when the reactions are unsupportive.  But the world doesn’t know how to support us if we’re silent.  What she said, what she just did, helps make it possible for me to keep telling people and maybe help others gain that same unconditional support.

Bits and snips

Posted in The musings of Erin at 11:37 am by Erin

P continues to amaze me.  This morning on our way to temple, he pointed out that there was a blue truck and that the sky is blue.  Just out of curiosity, I asked him if he knew what letter "blue" starts with.  Without a second’s hesitation, he said "B!"  I’ve got to give credit to his school, since I know they work on a different letter each day (with an overlying theme that lasts all week–this week it was about doing things together).  But I’m mighty impressed.

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I think I need to get a Blogger account.  There are several blogs that I read which won’t allow non-Blogger comments.  I’d really like to comment on those so, even though I’ve been avoiding it, I think I’ve got to bite the bullet and just do it.

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The health insurance for my job doesn’t cover infertility treatments–gee, big surprise–but does cover diagnostic testing.  So if I end up having a lap for endo, that will be covered.  And I do have a flex health care plan that I can put $5000 a year into, pre-tax.  When I asked the HR woman about infertility coverage and mentioned that it would affect how much I put into the flex plan, she said, "Oh yes, infertility treatments are expensive!"  What did she expect me to say?  "They are?  Well, forget that, I’ll just forget the idea of having any more children."  Instead I told her that I was well-aware of that.  I did manage to avoid rolling my eyes when she mentioned that the $5000 was such a huge amount to put into that plan.  That’ll cover about 3 IUIs.  If we don’t do injectibles.

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I don’t know why, but I was struck with force yesterday with a feeling that I’ll get to be pregnant again, that I’ll get to give birth again.  (It was rapidly followed by a thought that I’m insane, but we’ll skip that part.)  I don’t know what brought it on as I sat there in the car, listening to the radio.  J likes to joke that I’m psychic and this one time, I hope he’s right.

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I have two posts brewing in the works: one about how infertility has changed me into the person that I am today, and one about adoption based on what so many other bloggers have written about lately.  They’re enormously taxing to write, both emotionally and time-wise, and I’m having some trouble finding the right words to express my thoughts.  I want them to be written right.  It seems to matter.

August 25, 2006

Geez, this boy is smart

Posted in Ramblings o' P at 3:05 pm by Erin

P is almost scary smart sometimes.  He won’t be 3 until December.  Today we were at CVS and, as we were walking out, P spied the "CVS" printed on the rug.  He said "Oh, letters!"  So I said "Yes, do you know what this first one is?"  Without a second’s hesitation, he said "C!"  I wasn’t sure that I’d heard him correctly and made him repeat it.  He also got the S correct.  The V wasn’t as successful (first he thought it was an R, then an H), but 2 out of 3 on the first try at 2 1/2 years old impressed me greatly.

He’s also started "reading" us books.  The other night he read us "Are You My Mother?" and barely missed anything.  I hadn’t heard him do it with a long book before (he’s been "reading" short ones for a month or two) and had the biggest smile on my face the whole time.  We’re going to videotape it and send it to my MIL because that was J’s brother’s favorite book as a child, and they have an audiotape of him "reading" it also.  I think she’ll love the continuity between generations!

Right now he’s reading me a book called Patrick’s Dinosaurs, which we bought because the little boy’s name…well, you can probably guess why we bought P a book with that name.  But since I’m being a little more circumspect, I won’t spell it out more than that.  In any event, he’s telling me about brontosauruses and stegosauruses, and he’s pronouncing them all correctly.

The other day I was over at a friend’s house with P, admiring her adorable baby boy.  P really likes their dog, so every time we’re there P brings the dog his bed and toys and all sorts of things.  When we were there the other day, P picked up one of the dog’s toys, looked inside, and said "No flowers in there".  I had just mentioned something about how P’s memory is frighteningly good at times when he said that.  It took me a minute to figure out what he meant–and then I remembered.  Months ago, in maybe March or April, P had been carrying some dandelions when we walked down there, and he’d put the flowers in that toy.  It hasn’t been mentioned since then, and he’s been over there several times since that day without saying a word about it.

Scary, I tell ya.

But then he’s such a typical little boy, it just makes me smile forever.  Rachel posted a very touching post about the reason those of us with SIF keep going with all of the IF treatments the other day (Rachel, I tried to comment but Blogger ate it!  Sorry).  P gave me one of those reasons yesterday.  I bought him a little MegaBlocks barn the other day that came with animals and a farmer.  Yesterday I took it out for him for the first time, and he played for well over an hour with it.  He was making up little stories about the animals, and named the farmer after Farmer Brown in Click, Clack, Moo and Duck for President.  I just sat there and watched him playing and telling stories, and then singing Old McDonald with the animals.  That memory will always make me smile.

August 24, 2006

The clinic awaiteth

Posted in TTC woes at 12:02 pm by Erin

Next week, that is.  I called Nurse L and she wants me to come in and have a progesterone check done next Wednesday or Thursday to be sure that my monitor didn’t miss picking up ovulation.  It never has before but she said that the monitor doesn’t always get Femara cycles right.  In all honesty, I have to wonder about that also.  I had some severe right ovary pain yesterday afternoon that I would have assumed was ovulation if my monitor wasn’t still reading low (on d16).

Anyway, Nurse L told me to test for the next few days and give her a call on Monday if I’m still getting that low reading.  Thankfully, my schedule with teaching is such that I can make time on pretty much any day to go in for a blood test–they open early enough that I can go in before my first lecture, and on most days I have at least a 2 hour block of time somewhere in the day.  And fortunately, the clinic is only about 10-15 minutes from my job–happily, my job is between my house and the clinic.

I’m just glad we didn’t decide to do an IUI this cycle.  I’d be pretty upset if I did ovulate and we didn’t get to do an IUI because my monitor didn’t pick up on it.  But I’ll still be a bit upset because we hadn’t had sex in three days (until this morning), so any sperm who might have still been around were probably pretty lackluster if an egg came busting out.

Must be off to get P before the storm begins!

August 22, 2006

I was born to do this

Posted in Happiness is a true gift at 8:06 pm by Erin

Teaching, that is.  Clearly not having babies.  Hahaha!  Gosh, that was funny.  Today was d14 and my monitor is still giving a low reading.  Not even reading high fertility to give me a thrill.  I’m glad we didn’t decide to do an IUI this cycle because I’m not so sure this dose of Femara is working.  Gotta call the clinic tomorrow.

But teaching…wow, I have found my calling.  OK, I was pretty sure about it anyway, but I’ve felt reinforced by the last two days.  I feel so comfortable in front of my classes.  I feel like my lectures are interesting–the fact that no one fell asleep in my 8:30-9:45 lecture last night was encouraging.  Of course, it was only the first class, but it was still good.

Writing the lectures for my own classes is more work than I’d realized, which is why it’s 11 p.m. and I’m still writing the lecture that I’ll be giving at 10 a.m. tomorrow.  And still have to do some serious work on my lecture for tomorrow evening’s class.  Since those are my last classes for the week, I’m hoping to use Thursday and Friday to get a little ahead and write lectures for both Monday and Wednesday of next week.

Sorry to keep blathering on about my job, but since the TTC stuff is going nowhere (big surprise there, I know), it’s nice to have a positive focus for a change.  I’m still waiting to hear if one of the health plans–we get to choose from four–has any sort of infertility coverage.  It would be great, but I’m certainly not betting on it.  But I do have health care flex spending that I can spend on IF treatments and get the money pre-tax.  So that will save us a bit.  I can also do it for daycare and if I do the max on each, it actually ends up making my job "worth" several thousand more a year.  But then again, I’d rather just have health insurance that covers IF.  At least none of the plans have a pre-existing conditions exclusion, so I won’t have to wait if one of them does cover it.

Well, I’d better get back to working.  I’d like to get at least a little sleep tonight!

August 19, 2006

Because I have no life on a Saturday night

Posted in The musings of Erin at 6:23 pm by Erin

I am going to do the book meme that Dramalish just did.  Otherwise, I would have done it at another time (because, as I told her, I am the daughter of a librarian and read constantly).  Keep in mind that I am not, and never have been or could be, any sort of English major or even student, so my books are a little…shall we say "unscholarly"?  Listen, I read Science and Nature for fun.  I get a little break on the books.

Oh, I have to tell you this: Because J is such a wonderful husband, he is going to try not to sue the other guy.  Just to be clear, it is on behalf of J’s client that he’s doing the suing, not a personal reason.  And, while he can’t tell me details about it, he did say that it’s nothing at all morally wrong–it appears that the guy made some sort of mistake in some sort of process (business? real estate? family law?  I haven’t a clue).  That’s all I know, but hopefully it will work out and he won’t have to sue him.  And if he does, well, she’ll put 2 and 2 together pretty quickly, since they’re going to meet at our department barbecue on September 9th.  *sigh*  Anyway, J’s a great guy and should be recognized as such–he told me to tell you that.  But then again, he’s right in this case.

OK, back to the meme:

1) A book that changed your life:
Can I be really cheesy and say Taking Charge of Your Fertility?  Because if I had never picked up that book, who knows how long it would have been before I was diagnosed with PCOS?  (I’m assuming that I would have figured out that I needed some help at some point.)  And if it had been longer, I wouldn’t have P.  I might have a little boy named P, but it wouldn’t be the same P who is sleeping in his sleeping bag on my bedroom floor right now.

If that’s too pathetic, then I’ll go with Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.  My great-grandparents on my father’s side came from Ireland to NY before my grandfather was born.  It just spoke to me that this was probably very similar in ways to what they experienced.  They, and my grandfather, had passed away by the time I read it, but I wish I’d been able to talk to them and ask them about their experiences.

2) A book you’ve read more than once:
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  Every time I read it, I’m just amazed at both her writing ability and her ability to keep such a story straight in her head.

I have to admit that I am also a chronic re-reader, so I’ve read most of the books I own several times.  I’m a nerd.  And a really, really fast reader (over 100 pages an hour.  I finished the last Harry Potter book in 4 hours the day it came out.)

3) A book that made you laugh
Other than my ever-favorite comic Calvin and Hobbes?  And I’m assuming one that didn’t make me laugh because it was so bad, so horribly bad, that I laughed at the idea that anyone would even finish it.  I’ll go with Callie’s Tally, which is not a book for infertiles.  My sister gave it to me right after P was born, and it was hysterical.  And Catch-22 by Josef Heller is really, really funny as well (and is a little more literary than many of the things I read).

4) A book that made you cry
Y’all, I am a big dork.  I cry at the stupidest things in books (and movies, but this is a book meme).  It’s pathetic.  So I will admit that I cried buckets while reading about Dumbledore’s funeral in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  But that’s only one of them–there are more than I’d care to admit.

5) A book you wish had been written
Geez, I can’t think of anything.  Half the time I don’t know what I want to read until I read a review of it.  I wish the next Harry Potter book was already out, but then I’d be sad that there weren’t any more to anticipate.

6) A book you wish had not been written
I just didn’t like The Poisonwood Bible at all.  I read the whole thing and hated it the whole way through.  I kept wondering why I hadn’t yet put it down.  And right now, I’m wondering why it’s still sitting on a bookshelf behind me.  (And sadly, the next thought was "Maybe I should re-read it to see if I still hate it.")

7) Books you’re currently reading
I’m only reading crap right now, aside from the non-majors biology textbooks which consume my every thought:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (I re-read the series frequently)

Three Fates by Nora Roberts

Hillside Gardening by someone, but I’m too lazy to go in the other room to find out who it is.  You haven’t seen my yard–this book is going to be absolutely necessary for us.  OK, some of you have and can attest to my need for this book.

6) Book/books I’ve been meaning to read
There are so many classics that I keep meaning to read, and half of them are sitting on my bookshelves: Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, and Robinson Crusoe being some of them.  I just get caught up in doing other things and forget that I have them, and they’re not really bedtime reading (like my current crap)

Not going to tag anyone, but feel free to give me book recommendations.  The fact that I’m only reading three books right now is proof that I need more suggestions!

August 17, 2006

It was nice while it lasted…

Posted in The musings of Erin at 3:03 pm by Erin

There’s another new science faculty member at my college whose husband is also a lawyer.  We, of course, have been chatting all about it.  She’s very nice, has two boys (the younger is just a little older than P), and is teaching physics and astronomy.  I’ve enjoyed spending time with her this week.

But I have a feeling that’s all about to change.

I, of course, asked J if he happened to know her husband, since he works in the town where J used to work.  J tried really hard to figure out how he knew the name.  He joked around that he thought he might have sued him at one point, which I told him wasn’t funny.

Joke’s on me: he called me today and said that he had good news and bad news.  The good news is that he hasn’t sued her husband.  The bad news is that "it’s on [his] to-do list."  Seriously.  For a lot of money.  And not a client of his but the husband himself.  I don’t know the details of the case (lawyer-client confidentiality and all that), but apparently it’s pretty bad.

There are thousands of lawyers in Atlanta.  Thousands.  Why does this one case of J’s have to involve the husband of my colleague???

Argh.  And now every time I look at her, I think, "Guess what my husband’s going to do next week?  I’M SORRY!"  I know it’s not personal on J’s part, I know he’s just doing his job.  But this really sucks.

August 16, 2006

I’m going insane

Posted in The musings of Erin at 12:35 pm by Erin

And I’m going to ramble because of it.  This week has been insane.  I thought we only had meetings on Monday and part of Tuesday.  Well, we had meetings all of Monday, all of Tuesday (and I had to teach Tuesday night), and all of this morning so far.  And tomorrow, I have meetings in the morning and then a benefits meeting in the afternoon (and I have to teach tomorrow night–I switched my Wednesday Bradley class to Thursday).  Friday appears to be empty, but then again, I thought Wednesday and Thursday would be empty.

Please let Friday be empty!  I have two classes that start next week, each with two lectures a week, and four labs.  I haven’t got syllabi written, I haven’t got lectures begun, and I haven’t yet figured out when those are going to happen.  If I can’t get started on Friday, I’m going to fall over with exhaustion before my first class on Monday.

This new faculty-member stuff is tricky!  Not only have I had to deal with the whole teaching aspect, but there’s strategy meetings to retain students, learning how to advise students (I’ll be given my own advisees in the next two weeks), figuring out when to hold office hours (ten a week!), figuring out professional development activities/travel, getting everything worked out with human resources…  I’m sure there’s been more, but my brain is frying rapidly.  The department faculty and staff is great, so at least I’m in good company for all of these things.  I think it’ll be a great working environment once I can actually get into the routine of the semester.

Happily, the Femara side effects have calmed way down.  I took the first few with dinner but the last two right before bed, and then the dizziness didn’t affect me since I slept through it.  Still having occasional hot flashes, not nearly so frequently as with Clomid.  And I’m not having much in the way of mood swings!  Forget that whole thing about going back to Clomid next cycle–uh uh, no way, not gonna happen.

Damn, I was going to write more and I don’t remember what, and I have an appt to get my hair highlighted and cut in half an hour anyway (the highlights are a treat, the haircut is an absolute necessity–my bangs fall in my face every time I look down at the desk in front of me).  Oh, right, I remember part of it.  Do you all realize how much you blog every day???  I’m so far behind on reading blogs, let alone commenting.  I promise that I’m not ignoring you, and I appreciate every single comment.  Once I get my first few lectures written, I’ll try to get caught up!

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