Thursday, June 26, 2008
I know I've been very quiet the last few days. The primary reason for my lack of posting / commenting is that, when I look at the computer screen for an extended period of time, I get so nauseous that I actually throw up a little in my mouth. Also, my mother is in town visiting, so I'm trying to spend lots of quality time with her (when I'm not busy barfing, that is).
I owe Kara a Pierce Brosnan story and I promise to post it soon. But not today. Must go puke. Ugh.
Any ideas to help with the nausea?? Help??
Monday, June 23, 2008
Our embryo transfer on Sunday was uneventful; however, my doctor did make a special point of warning me not to use a heating pad or otherwise let my stomach get too warm, since excessive heat can cause the uterus to contract. So I've been trying to lay off the laptop because I can't rest it on my lap for fear of cooking my precious little embryo.
In case you were wondering, being on bed rest and not being able to use my laptop is a special kind of torture for me. I'm beginning to master the art of laying on my side and typing with one hand, so I'll be catching up on some long-overdue commenting this afternoon. In the meantime, let's talk about lupus! :)
I'd like to give a big shout out to Wick Davis, who does a fantastic job maintaining the website and blog for the Lupus Foundation of America. In fact, Wick recently featured little ol' me on the LFA blog! Click here to check it out. Thanks Wick! I'm honored and humbled to be associated with the LFA. Please keep up the amazing work!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I'm pretty woozy from the meds, so I'm going to take a nap now. I'll check back later and start catching up on my comments. Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes! Talk to you soon . . .
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I'll be on bed rest tomorrow, so that should allow me plenty of time to catch up with everyone. In the meantime, please forgive me for being a bad blogger!
Monday, June 16, 2008
The bad news: After 13 agonizing days of injecting myself with the most powerful fertility drugs known to man, I only have two active follicles. (This, by the way, is the same result many Fertile Myrtles have on a monthly basis, with NO excruciatingly painful injectable hormones.) Am I bitter and resentful? Oh, you betcha'.
My left ovary has completely shut down because of my monster endometrioma. Grrrrr. I'm still trying to decide on a name for the (not so) little bugger, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to chime in!
The good news: My RE is agreeing to proceed with IVF, despite my dismal response to the meds. My egg retrieval surgery will be this Thursday. Assuming we get one or two eggs AND, further assuming at least one of those eggs fertilizes, our embryo transfer will take place on Sunday. So, this time next week, I will hopefully be PUPO!!
Perhaps the best news of the day: I'm being "jumped in" to a gang!! Oh yes, an actual gang. It's called the Vet Mafia Bloggers (or VMB, for short). The VMB describe themselves as "An embittered, but shrewdly humorous gangsta offshoot of the infertility blogging community." I think I'll fit in beautifully, as I am bitter, shrewd AND pathetically infertile.
So, in order to join the gang, I must jump through several membership hurdles:
1. I must choose a gang moniker. Check! Loopy P in the hiz-zouse!
2. I am required to post a picture of myself flashing the VMB gang sign. Check!
3. I must put the VMB button on my blog. Check!
4. I must relay a story about the rudest thing a Fertile ever said to me. Check!
- For this one, I'm just gonna' refer ya'll directly to my exceedingly petulant previous post, entitled "Ten Things Never to Say to Someone Dealing With Infertility."
If you're a fellow "Bitter & Shrewd Infertile" and would like to be part of the gang (c'mon, you know you're dying to have a cool gang moniker), just go check out the VMB website and follow the rules to be jumped in. Good luck!!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
And even though I was just a girl, in my early twenties with very limited real-world experience, Tim cared about my opinion. He asked what I thought about important political matters, and he introduced me to senators, national correspondents, anchors, and presidential candidates. (I must admit to having a small - OK, huge - crush on NBC's White House Correspondent at the time, Brian Williams.)
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
OK, maybe he's not actually stalking me per se, but I do keep running into him in the grocery store. If you're a fan of The Sopranos, you can understand how this would be a little surreal. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here to get up to speed.
So yesterday, Vito's at my grocery store again. Why is he always following me around the produce section?? OK, not "following me" exactly but, you know, in the same vicinity. As we're in the checkout line, some *crazy* man starts yelling, "It's the gay Soprano! It's the gay Soprano!"
You see, my "stalker," who's actually a very nice man and an excellent actor, played a mobster in the HBO series The Sopranos, and his character happened to be gay. And now, while in the grocery store with his adorable baby daughter, real-life Vito's got some crazy man yelling at him. I kept my distance (because who knew what the crazy, yelling man might have done?), so I couldn't hear everything that was said. But Vito dealt with the situation beautifully. I was so proud of my stalker.
I really shouldn't be joking about stalkers, because I actually have a bona fide stalker who is currently serving time in prison. (Unfortunately, I'm totally serious.) I don't want to disclose too many details, for fear he might find my blog and recommence his INSANE stalking behavior; however, I will say that he was considerate enough to mail me his semen from prison. Because, you know, he's a giver.I am sure I'm not the only woman who's ever dealt with a crazy man. Do you have any stalker stories? (I know a few of you have some humdingers - Aunt Becky, I'm talkin' to you.) Any ex-boyfriends who went a little overboard? What about celebrity sightings?
Please share!! I need some good laughs today.
**Edited to add: Aunt Becky inquired how my stalker packaged his semen for my "care package." He was quite creative, actually. He sent me a pile of paperwork, stapled in the upper left corner. But, instead of one staple, there was a circle of staples (about 12 or 13). When the staples were removed, we discovered he had created a "pocket" for his "special sauce." Pretty sneaky, huh?
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
matt, liz and madeline is a blog that makes me break into my "ugly cry" (and no, it's not just the fertility hormones). In his blog, Matt chronicles the joy and subsequent overwhelming grief he experienced after his wife Liz gave birth to their first child, Madeline. 27 hours after her c-section, Matt's beautiful wife Liz suddenly died.
That was just 11 weeks ago, so Matt's emotions are still understandably raw. Click here to read the story, as told by Matt. Please stop by and show Matt some love. He and baby Madeline need all the support and virtual hugs they can get right now.
OK, I'm done with my "ugly cry" for the day. Not really. I'm sure I'll do it again later. Thank you hormones! But, for now, I'd like to lighten the mood by tackling a meme. (Ya'll know how I LOVE games!) For this particular meme, I was tagged by THREE amazing bloggers:
1. My favorite patriotic, movie-loving photographer, oh2btigger at Rational Irrationalities;
2. The sarcastic and extremely funny paramedic-in-training, Seriously? at We're Barren . . . How 'Bout You?; and
3. The gorgeously PREGNANT Nine at Nine Months, of whose pink boa and functional ovaries I am exceedingly jealous. ;)
Now for the rules: Each player answers 5 questions about themselves, then tags 5 people to play along. Post the names of the bloggers you tag, then go to their blogs and leave a comment, letting them know they have been tagged. Here are the questions:
1. Five things I was doing 10 years ago:
- Ten years ago, I was on a summer break from law school. I spent half the summer of 1998 working at a law firm and the other half traveling through Central America.
- While clerking at the law firm, I worked on a number of fascinating cases involving patients' rights, medical malpractice, and personal injury.
- During my travels, I spent several weeks in Belize, where I enjoyed some amazing SCUBA diving adventures, including the famous "Great Blue Hole" - my deepest dive to date (see picture below).
- I also spent several weeks in Honduras and Guatemala, where I explored the jungle and visited a number of active archeological digs. It was an awesome experience. Very Indiana Jones-esque.
- 1998 was the year I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. And who I didn't want to spend my life with.
2. Five things on my to do list for today:
- Go to my doctor's appointment
- Buy stamps (I keep running out of 1 cent stamps because the postal service is raising prices faster than I can use my old stamps!)
- Take my favorite mutt for a long walk by the beach
- Finalize the agenda for my upcoming Homeowners' Association meeting
- Pay my bills (ick!)
3. Five snacks I enjoy: (Because it makes for much better daydreaming, I'm gonna' assume I'm NOT on a diet for the purpose of this list.)
- Warm brie with fresh sourdough bread
- Guacamole with Triscuits
- Potato salad with extra mustard
- Chocolate chunk cookie dough (raw, of course!)
- Homemade Mexican layer dip
4. Five things I would do if I was a billionaire:
- Purchase a ton of land to start an animal rescue foundation
- Open a transitional home and job training center for teenagers who are aging out of the Kolfe Boys Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Buy an estate with a big backyard for all our future children to enjoy
- Buy the house next door for my mother
- Fund research to try and find a cure for infertility and lupus
5. Five places I have lived:
- Los Angeles, CA
- Malibu, CA
- London, England
- Washington, D.C.
- St. Louis, MO
Five people I want to know better: (It's sooo hard to choose just five because I want to know everything about everyone. I'm nosy like that.)
Hope you have fun with the meme! (If, on the other hand, you find memes annoying, please just ignore this and don't be mad at me.) :)
Monday, June 9, 2008
Fair warning: I'm afraid I'm a bit of a "Debbie Downer" today. Wah Wah. Everyone sing along now . . .
You're enjoying your day
Everything's going your way
Then along comes Debbie Downer.
Always there to tell you 'bout a new disease
A car accident or killer bees
You'll beg her to spare you, "Debbie, Please!"
But you can't stop Debbie Downer!
If you don't watch "Saturday Night Live" and have no earthly idea what I'm talking about, check out the video here. I've never seen so many cast members (and guest host Lindsay Lohan) crack up in the middle of a sketch. Hysterical.
Anyway, we now return to our regularly scheduled (pathetically depressing) program . . .
I went to the doctor's office this morning for my CD 8 blood work and ultrasound. I've been on injectable hormones for 5 days so far. As of this morning, my AFC was down to four(!) and my follicles are not growing as quickly as they should. Wah Wah.
To top things off, my monster endometrioma continues to blow up like some horrible balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I don't think I've actually seen an "Ovarian Endometroid Cyst Balloon" in the parade. Yet. Hmmmmm . . . maybe I should write a letter. Also, I really need to come up with a name for the (not so) little bugger. Any ideas?? In case you need some inspiration, here's how I picture him (oh yes, the cyst is definitely a "him;" only a man could cause this much trouble):
My RE is allowing my IVF cycle to continue for now, but he did give me the dreaded donor egg (DE) speech. I am not 100% opposed to considering DEs, but I would prefer to adopt. (We will be adopting at least one child, regardless of whether or not we are able to conceive a biological child.) SM is anti-DE at the moment.
So, to sum things up, my ovaries don't work. And I haven't heard back from our adoption agency since we sent in our paperwork last week. All kinds of crazy scenarios are running through my mind: What if they reject us because of my lupus? What if they decide to close our international program to new families? What if I'm just not meant to have a child?Maybe I'm overreacting because I'm all hopped up on IVF hormones. But I feel like I'm going crazy and I need someone to throw me a lifeboat.
Sorry to be so tediously self-indulgent today. If you don't mind, I'm gonna' go wallow in my hormone-fueled misery now. Wah Wah.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I took the above photo at the Hotel Bora Bora. I highly recommend staying there. They offer amazing service and the most pristine beach I've ever seen.
While in both Bora Bora and Moorea, we stayed in over-water bungalows with our own deck and a ladder leading directly into the lagoon. We snorkeled with eels and other sea creatures, swam with dolphins, and went SCUBA diving with the biggest sharks I've ever seen.
I was so proud of SM, by the way. I pretty much forced him to get SCUBA certified before our trip. I told him, "There's no way I'm going to Tahiti and not SCUBA diving and I really don't want to separate on our honeymoon, but I will totally leave your butt on the beach if you don't do this." So, like a trooper, SM got PADI certified. (I was already a PADI-certified Rescue Diver, so at least I could save SM if something went terribly wrong.) ;)
SM's first "real" open water SCUBA dive took place in Moorea. As we dropped anchor and prepared to dive, several 12-foot lemon sharks started circling the boat. (Lemon sharks are among the more aggressive variety of sharks.) I could tell SM was a little nervous, but he played it cool.
As we descended to the bottom of the sea, the sharks followed us. Soon, the divemaster pulled out some chum and started feeding the sharks, who began rolling their eyes back in their heads and rushing at the divers. SM, not knowing any better, just sat there, clinging to a rock, as the sharks charged within about a foot of his face. I have a SCUBA shark-diving specialty and I knew enough to stay clear of the feeding frenzy. It wasn't until we were back in the boat that poor SM realized how potentially dangerous the situation had been. But, man, it was AWESOME!!
The rest of the trip was spent lounging on the beach and hunting for seashells. Below is a picture of me carrying my book around while I hunt for shells. Talk about multi-tasking, huh?
My second-favorite trip: Rome / Florence / Venice, Italy.
Five places I am dying to go: Ethiopia, Greece, Egypt, Alaska, Russia.
What's the best trip you've ever taken? Can you name five places you want to visit some day?
Friday, June 6, 2008
Well, the hormone haze has officially commenced. I literally cannot think straight. And I can't sleep. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'm certifiably insane - grumpy, crying for no reason, and generally not very much fun to be around. I think, for me, the combination of lupus + maximum dosage of injectable fertility meds = trouble. But I will suck it up and keep moving forward because . . . um . . . do I have another choice? All I can really do is just keep swimming (just keep swimming, swimming, swimming).
My complete lack of coherent thought, I'm afraid, will result in a rather disjointed post today. So the following is a roster of random ramblings:
Here's my happy thought of the day: We've officially picked Gladney as our adoption agency and the ball is now rolling! I had a phone consult with Debra Parris yesterday, then she emailed me an "Adoption Information Sheet," which is basically an application to be allowed to apply to adopt. Just thinking about all the paperwork makes my head hurt! But SM and I filled out the forms last night and I dutifully emailed the information back to Debra today. So we are on our way!!! What's your happy thought for today?
Here's my super grumpy, hormonal rant of the day: Please divert your eyes!! Don't look directly at the beast!! I'm warning you!
- I'm working toward the NCLM "Iron Commentor" distinction and am wondering: Why did people sign up for NCLM if they had no intention of updating their blogs, much less reading their comments or - gasp - leaving comments for others? I know things happen and plans sometimes change, but I'm really tired of leaving comments, week after week, on the same post some absentee blogger hastily wrote back on May 15th. Can't we please take these lame people off the NCLM list?? Can I get an "Amen," sisters?
Here's my "only in L.A." moment of the day: While getting my hair cut this morning, I sat next to one of the "American Glad.iators." His name's Mike Le.vine, and he plays "Ti.tan" on the show. Total Hottie Mc-Hot-Hot. (Waaaay better looking in real life than in his photos.) Damn, why didn't I take the time to put on make up today?
- One of the women in the salon was totally feeling up poor Mike. Can you explain to me why guys are flattered when strange women feel them up? If some strange guy tried to feel me up, I would call 911.
- Here's my blonde moment of the day: Danni and Tommy - I hope you see this. I've been looking all over the blogosphere for you and I can't find your blog! Could you please leave a comment with your url so I can contact you? Thanks!!
- Here's my sanity-saving plan for today: I'm having dinner tonight with several members of the DTMT. (DTMT is a silly nickname my girlfriends and I use for our little group.) My girlfriends ROCK, by the way. If they can't cheer me up, no one can. Do you have anyone in your life who can always cheer you up, no matter what?
Here's my tag of the day: I've been tagged for a meme(!) by two of my favorite bloggers - Trace and Almost Mrs. Joyner. Everyone knows how much I LOVE games, so I'm happy to oblige.
The idea for this meme was prompted by the book "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure," by Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser. In the book, the writers recount the infamous tale that Hemingway once bet ten dollars he could sum up his life in six words. Hemingway's words were, "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn." He won the bet. So here goes my attempt at following in Hemingway's footsteps (yeah right!):
And now, I dutifully pass on the meme to a few of my favorite people in the blogosphere. Here are the rules, ladies:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog (including a visual illustration, if you so choose).
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post http://bookbabie.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/6-word-memior-meme/, so we can track it as it travels across the blogsphere.
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links.
5. Don't forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
I hope you enjoy the challenge. I thought this meme was tough, but fun!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
So I went to my RE's office yesterday for CD 3 ultrasound and blood work. The u/s showed 6 antral follicles (a great number for me) and one massive "cyst." Turns out, my RE thinks I have endometrioma. Because I wasn't broken enough already, right? I really needed one more thing wrong with me? Sheesh.
Slightly disgruntled, I headed home to await the blood test results. Later in the afternoon, my favorite nurse called with bad news. My FSH is now at 21.1 (an all-time high for me). My RE was benching me from IVF again. This time, though, I refused to just roll over and take it. I (very nicely, of course) told the nurse I thought I should be allowed to cycle because:
1. My FSH will probably never again drop to under 12 (which is where my RE likes to see it during an active IVF cycle); and
2. I know women who've gotten pregnant on IVF cycles when their FSH was 25+ (and, in one instance, well over 30!).
After pleading my case at length, the nurse agreed to speak with my RE and call me back. Five minutes later, I got the OK to cycle in June!!! So I busted out my Super Assertive Infertile Girl happy dance:
I started my Follistim last night. I got a new pen (you know, the thinga-ma-bobber that holds the medicine), and it wouldn't load correctly, so we had to do two separate shots. After the first shot, I bled pretty badly. Today, I'm bruised and sore. Owie!!
Even though I've done a few injectible cycles now, I still haven't mastered the art of painless shots. It's not so much that the shot itself hurts; it's the pain and bruising the next day that kills me. Any tips?? Please leave a comment and tell me about your shots. Do you use heat and/or ice? Have you figured out how to minimize the soreness and bruising?
One more thing I want to talk about today (before I completely fall into a hormone-induced coma / rage / three-week crying jag) . . .
The ladies over at The Secret is in the Sauce are giving away a "Blogger's Survival Kit," which includes a digital camera, a digital voice recorder, a blog makeover, and lots more! The contest deadline is tomorrow, so ENTER NOW!! Click here for details. Good luck!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Truths and Lies was a super fun game, right?!? Thank you to everyone who left comments; I loved reading all your guesses. And thanks again to Io (the coolest gardener-slash-karaoke-guru in the blogosphere) for tagging me in the first place.
And now, without further adieu, I bring you the correct answers:
1. I have six brothers. TRUE!
- I'm the oldest sibling and the only girl. My brothers are B, E, D, S, M, and C. D just graduated from law school last weekend. Good luck with the bar exam, D!
2. I lived in London in my early twenties. TRUE!
- In the mid-90s, I lived in South Kensington, near Hyde Park and the Victoria and Albert museum, and just a few blocks from Harrod's.
3. I lived in my car my last semester of law school. TRUE!
- I'd maxed out my student loans and couldn't afford rent, so I lived out of my car for about three months. I brushed my teeth at the local Texaco station and took showers at my school's gym. I do not recommend homelessness; it was one of the most difficult times of my life. But I knew I had a great job waiting for me as soon as I finished school.
4. My dog’s name is Woody Allen. FALSE!
- I do, however, frequently refer to him as "the Woody Allen of dogs" because he is, hands down, the most neurotic dog I've ever met.
5. I once threw up in front of Bruce Willis. TRUE!
- This happened eons ago, when he and I were neighbors in Malibu. That's all I'm gonna' say about it (because the story you're imagining right now is probably waaaay more interesting than what really happened). Love ya', Bruce!
Tomorrow, I'm having drinks on the beach with an internet friend who I'll be meeting "in real life" for the first time. We originally met on an infertility forum and recently began speaking on the phone. I'm fairly certain she's not a serial killer or a stalker or anything, but I'm still a little nervous.
Have you become "real life" friends with anyone you've met online?