Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I know I've been quiet lately, but I'm actually doing quite well. I've been avoiding the blogging world for the last week or so because I'm desperately trying to feel "normal" and not dwell on my infertility and/or the fact that I am childless. Instead, I've been spending lots of quality time with my amazing friends and my unbelievably wonderful husband and have been trying desperately to focus on all the blessings in my life.

So yesterday was our wedding anniversary, and we had an incredible "date" last night. SM and I discussed the fact that we love each other more now than the day we married. As much as infertility bites the big one, going through this together has brought us closer. I realize that I have a husband who loves and supports me unconditionally (even if I am profoundly broken), and that means the world to me.

And now for some good baby news . . .

I am officially hopping back in the IVF saddle! We met with our RE on Monday and he agreed to let us try another IVF cycle in August. We've always used antagonist protocols in the past, so we're going to try a microdose flare protocol this time. Fingers crossed that our luck finally turns around! I am so tired of being on the "bad end" of every freakin' statistic.

I hope everyone is doing well. I promise to get to that Pierce Brosnan story soon. ;)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Once again, I am officially and unequivocally not pregnant. I had a blood test this morning (four days early because I've been spotting for several days). Big Fat Negative.

I guess the silver lining in this situation is that I can now consume my body's weight in alcohol over the holiday weekend.

Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes and tips to get rid of my nausea. Aren't I a lucky, lucky girl? Pregnancy symptoms for two weeks with no actual pregnancy is soooo much fun. A combination of ginger and salty pretzels seemed to do the trick to help calm my stomach. All the tips were much appreciated and will surely come in handy in the future.

I promise to catch up on my commenting over the holiday weekend. I've been missing my blogging buddies and can't wait to read how everyone's doing. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


That pretty much describes how I feel: barf-freakin'-tastic (which is very similar to fan-freakin'-tastic, but with . . . um . . . more vomit involved). This whole PUPO thing is not all it's cracked up to be! I mean, I would be more than happy to endure all manner of nausea and discomfort if I were, indeed, actually pregnant. Chances are, however, that my churning stomach is nothing more than a reaction to the massive quantities of hormones I am putting into various bodily orifices in a pathetic attempt to achieve and maintain a viable pregnancy. Grrr.

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

I'm PUPO!!

I'm PUPO! (For those of you not familiar with "infertility vernacular," that means Pregnant Unless / Until Proven Otherwise.) So I have to act as though I'm pregnant, just in case I actually am pregnant. Are you still with me? Yeah, it's not very much fun.

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

The Golden Egg??

Our lone little egg is turning out to be a fighter! She fertilized!! Please keep your fingers crossed that our precious embaby continues to divide and grow. Our embryo transfer is scheduled for this Sunday. Grow embie, grow!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It Only Takes One

I just returned from my egg retrieval surgery and I'm afraid the news is not great. We only got one egg (which, of course, is better than no eggs).

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

The Paper Chase

Well, the adoption paper chase has officially begun. I've spent the last 30-ish hours downloading forms, filling out paperwork, and running all over creation to assemble the required documentation for our adoption application. It's a lot of work, but at least I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. (For the record, I get zero satisfaction out of pumping myself with hormones and repeatedly going "under the knife" for multiple failed IVFs.)

Speaking of IVF . . . my egg retrieval surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning! It's really crept up on me this time, since I've been so busy with our adoption plans. Please keep your fingers crossed that we get at least two eggs!!

Because I've spent all my time compiling our adoption application and preparing to be on bed rest (by stocking up on groceries, doing laundry, getting the house in shape, etc), I've been a very bad blogging buddy the last two days. I currently have nearly 150 unread entries on my Google Reader and I am way behind with my comments. I'm so sorry!

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

You Want The Good News or The Bad News?

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!

5. Finally, I am required to add my name to the gang roster, then give a shout out to my fellow gangstas. Holla!! Check!

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

R.I.P. Tim Russert

Years ago, I worked at NBC News in Washington, D.C.. My boss was Tim Russert. I was a peon at the time, and Tim was the head of the entire bureau as well as the moderator of "Meet the Press," the longest-running television show in worldwide broadcasting history. Tim didn't even have to acknowledge my existence. But he did. And he became my friend and mentor.

Tim passed away suddenly yesterday, after collapsing at NBC Studios while taping voiceovers for this weekend's edition of "Meet the Press." Tim left behind a wife, noted journalist Maureen Orth, and a son, Luke. Luke just graduated from college.

I remember Luke as an adorably precocious six-year-old. I first met Luke early one Sunday morning, when his dad brought him to the studio for the weekly taping of "Meet the Press." I sat next to Luke that morning and we entertained each other, giggling at the "very important" guests and playing tic-tac-toe on the back of some script copy.

Tim came up to me after the show that day and said, "I see you met my son Luke." Tim adored Luke, and he beamed every time he talked about him. "I think he might have a little crush," he added.

"He's a great kid," I replied. Then Tim asked, "So if Luke wanted to come to the studio again next week, you think you may want to hang out with him?" Yes. Yes, I did.

And that's how Luke and I became buddies. And Tim became my buddy too. He would call me into his office to show me the latest pictures of his family: his beloved dad Russ, his sisters, his gorgeous wife, and Luke. Luke in his baseball uniform. Luke at a baseball game. Always something about baseball. The man loved sports.

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.)

For a short, glorious moment in my twenties, Tim was like a father figure to me. He introduced me to a whole world of opportunity, and he inspired me to dream big. I am forever changed because I had the privilege of knowing Tim Russert. Thank you Tim.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Today is a happy day in hormone-land, primarily because:

1. We have been preliminarily approved for our international adoption! Our Adoption Information Sheet has been processed and we are scheduled for a phone orientation next week. I'm so excited that the ball is finally rolling!

2. My IVF cycle is still a go! At my RE appointment yesterday, my follicles were measuring 13, 11, 10, and 7. Dr. T thinks we'll end up getting two eggs. Under normal circumstances, this would not be a sufficient yield to justify proceeding with IVF; however, my doctor is willing to take a chance because he thinks this is as good as we're gonna' get with my gimpy ovaries. My lady parts are broken and that stinks. But it only takes one good egg, right?

In the meantime, I look like some sort of heroin addict, with bruises and needle marks all over my arms and stomach from the copious blood draws and injectable hormones. Dead sexy, huh?

I go back to the RE on Monday for more blood work and another ultrasound. I'll trigger on Monday or Tuesday, with egg retrieval scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday. Since I'll likely only have one or two embryos (or, if I'm really lucky, three), we'll do a 3-day embryo transfer. So . . . I'll be PUPO (Pregnant Unless / Until Proven Otherwise) by about June 21st-22nd. And, very soon, I'll be "paper pregnant" with a precious Ethiopian baby!

Before I sign off for today, I need to address some quick BLOG BUSINESS . . .

I LOVE comments and I try to respond to every single one of them. Sometimes, though, I can't figure out how to find a blogger who's left a particular comment. Normally, I would click on your ID and it would lead me to your profile, which then leads to your blog. But some bloggers haven't enabled their profiles, so I can't find them!! (emily, suzanne, mommasoon, danni and tommy, and others . . . I'm talking to you!) I really want to keep in touch, so could you please either enable your profile, leave your url in your comment, or email me your contact info? My email address is lupuspie at gmail dot com. Thanks!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Stalker

I think this man is stalking me:

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.

This created quite a stir in my office at the time, as the Haz-Mat team had to be called in to evacuate the scene and contain the "biohazard." Totally mortifying.

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

The Ugly Cry

I've only been blogging for a few short weeks now, but I am totally loving the sense of community and the amazing people I'm "meeting." Today, I'd like to highlight one blog in particular that has really touched me.

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.)

4. Five things I would do if I was a billionaire:

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

Debbie Downer

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

Show and Tell

Since last week's Show and Tell was about our wedding, I thought this week I should talk about our honeymoon. It was the most amazing trip I've ever taken. If you've never been to Bora Bora and/or Moorea, book a trip there. Now. You will not regret it.

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?

Best. Trip. Ever.

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

Just Keep Swimming

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!):

                                                "Not going down without a fight."

                                                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, 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'm tagging:






                                                I hope you enjoy the challenge. I thought this meme was tough, but fun!

                                                Thursday, June 5, 2008

                                                Super Assertive Infertile Girl!

                                                More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Super Assertive Infertile Girl!!

                                                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!