Thursday, December 21, 2006
I've basically been in a coma since Monday night, and not for the reason you think. Around 4am that night, I woke up and I was sick. I mean, SICK. Not barfing, or anything like that. But I just knew I was coming down with something BIG. I got up anyway and went to work. By the time I strolled in, I was shivering, coughing, and about to pass out. I walked in late to a meeting and everyone stopped and looked at me as if I had another head growing out of my chest. I was promptly told to go home, which I did.
I seriously don't remember anything after that. I don't remember driving home, I don't remember drinking the N.yquil and climbing into bed. I only know I sent my boss an e-mail from my black.berry telling him I wouldn't be in yesterday because I saw it this morning in my "sent" folder. Yesterday was the first time I've ever called in sick since I've been at this job, which is 5 years. I've left early due to illness, but I've always at least tried to go in.
So of course this left M to deal with her chemical pregnancy loss by herself. We only got the news on Monday, so we only had about 8 hours to deal with it together before I was down for the count. She is doing surprisingly well.
She went back to the clinic for a blood test on Wed morning to make sure the levels were falling (they are, beta:55) and to have a post-mortem with CityDoc. I would have loved to have been there, but I was thrashing around in a nightmarish state brought on by crazy-making meds in a pool of sweat, snot, and dirty tissues. M had to bring the Buggins, too, which is just terrible for so many reasons. She tried to get her into the hospital day care but they were not open yet. So M brought the mini DVD player and "E.lmo's Christmas" and the Buggins sat there like such a good little girl while her mommy and CityDoc discussed the ramifications of a botched pregnancy.
Since I wasn't there, I can't really speak to the meeting, but here are some quotes I got my wife:
"I wish all my 38 year old patients responded like you"
"From a clinical point of view, a chemical pregnancy is MUCH better than a negative"
"You obviously have no implantation issues"
"My guess is there were genetic abnormalities in the eggs, because everything else was perfect"
So, M felt better after speaking with him. She is still terribly sad about the failure of this cycle, but somewhat hopeful about future cycles. We need to take some time off. After a chemical pregnancy, they want us to take a full cycle off anyway, and then if we started a fresh cycle right away we'd have to cancel our trip to St. Thomas in March, which neither of us are keen to do. So we'll start a fresh cycle in March, she'll be on the bcp's on our trip, and we'll dive in full force around the time that Serenity's bulbs are poking up.
While sad, this time off will allow us to focus on the Buggins. We need to. The poor little bug has been listening to this for too long. On the day we got the news, when M was crying hysterically into my shoulder, Buggins was standing there saying "Mama, W'as Wong? W'as Wong?" She's only 2 for Pete's sake. She deserves so much more than this. It's not fair to her.
Because I was so sick, M and the Buggins got out of the house yesterday and M took Buggins to the day care associated with my work because she loves it there so much. She needed to have a fun day, and M needed a day to be by herself and sort everything out. So M spent the day in Boston, walking, shopping, getting various things done (eyebrows I think) and it was very healing for her. What was especially healing for her was that she stumbled upon a Mul.berry Bag that was 40% off. I only know of this bag because she makes me search for it when I'm in London. I don't know what's so special about it. It's a bag. But she has wanted it for a long time, and she called me yesterday from the store, jarring me out of my ny.quil coma, and took advantage of my condition to ask if she could have it for Christmas. I probably thought at the time that she was asking me if I had ever wanted to pitch for the Boston Red Sox, to which of course I answered "Yes". So, that was an expensive phone call. But man, did it make her happy. Money well spent.
So we're doing ok. We're going to NYC on the 26th to see my dad for a couple days. And we are going to have a fun, merry, Buggins-centric Christmas. It's going to be complete with Santa, and presents, and carols, and friends, and parties, and very few thoughts about chromosomally abnormal embryos. Just like the olden days.
I lied before. I said I didn't remember anything about the 2 days I was in bed. Not true. I have blogger set up to send my comments to my black.berry, which I kept next to my bed. Every now and then I would reach up with my snotty fingers and grab the device, and read through all your caring, touching comments. I read every single one (So did M) and they really made us feel good. This is a tremendous community. It cannot be adequately described in words. Thank you all for your nice thoughts. And most of all, CONGRATS to the many, many people who defied the crappy odds and got pregnant this month!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I think we all know what this means. I'm sure someone has heard of some story of some couple whose HCG level stayed the same for a while and then grew, but it's less likely than winning the lottery. This cycle is done for. M is due to get her most painful period ever on Christmas day.
M fell apart when she got the phone call. They told her to stay on the progesterone for a few days just in case, she told them to forget it. They said she had to come back on Wed for another blod test, and she told them to forget it. The nurse had to explain the risk of ectopic, and that she absolutely had to be monitored. M couldn't speak any more and told the nurse to call me instead.
My poor wife. She was so nervous signing in to the clinic this morning that she couldn't remember our home phone number or her cell number. Her hands were shaking so much that she couldn't write her name on the log. She's such a stress case. IVF plays directly to all of her weaknesses, and none of her strengths. It's not fair.
We had planned for every contingency. We knew, from past experience, that she should not be alone when she gets the news. And that we should never be at the mercy of one of these phone calls again. We would always control the information ourselves, and we'd always know BEFORE the call. And I would always be next to her.
Well, we were naive. We never considered this outcome. We took the pee test together, it was positive. She had the beta on a Saturday so that I would be with her the whole day. We did everything right. But the god damned HCG was too low, and it all came down to ANOTHER call, on a MONDAY, when I HAD to be at work. It was like our last BFN all over again. I had to rush home to peel my wife up off the ground.
And it's not like we can just sit at home wallowing in our misery or decide to get dressed up and go out for dinner or get drunk. We have the Buggins, who at 2 doesn't give a rats ass about IVF. She wants to play, and sing, and dance. There is no time to feel bad for ourselves, we have to put on a happy face. When I arrived home, all the Buggins wanted to do was play ring around the rosy, and M was in a ball on the couch. At times like this, having a child already can make it even harder. And yet, at the same time, so much easier.
We think we might be done. M has made about 50 proclamations today, in a futile effort to feel in control. We'll see how many of them stick. But as of right now, we might be deciding to be a one child family. Which we know, despite this terrible pain, makes us very lucky.
I'm sorry for making many of you sad with this news. I am thankful for your comments and messages of hope and understanding. We are not doing well today, by any stretch. But I think we'll be OK soon.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Our celebration might have been a bit premature. The clinic gives us a 50/50 chance.
This is the worst possible kind of news, because it drags the process out. If the number falls by Monday, M goes off the drugs and awaits her period. If the number grows at all, she stays on the meds and basically waits for a possible miscarriage.
M is very upset. Feels as though the holidays are ruined, and is dreading an AF that will be terribly painful.
I know that with the buggins, since she was natural, we never knew her numbers. Maybe they were low. Maybe this is normal for M. Maybe this baby will be fine.
That's the shit of it. We are no less uncertain about this pregnancy, and this uncertainly could very well last 2 days, or even weeks or months.
Trying to keep my chin up today but it feels like a very dark day. If anyone knows of a low beta pregnancy that ended well, I'd love to hear about it.
Next beta Monday.
By the way, you may have noticed that I finally came over and joined Blogger Beta. This is primarily due to 2 reasons:
1) I'm fairly certain that the folks at Blogger are responsible for our shitty HCG test. I think they figured that if I won't go to their beta, they'll go to MY beta and screw it all up. OK, blogger, that was a low blow, but I got to give you props. You accomplished what you wanted. Here I am. Now fix M's HCG level and put it back to where it was SUPPOSED to be, you pieces of shit.
2) They no longer allowed me to comment on your blogs. The bitches. I gots to give my love to the pixies. I gots to.
By the way, if you were once on my blogroll and have fallen off, fret not. I plan to increase the size of my roll (hee hee hee) but it is being complicated by the fact that a) i have no idea what the F I'm doing and b) I'm so exhausted from such an emotional day that I can no longer see the screen but for some reason I refuse to go to bed even though my poor wife has been asleep for hours and I should just go up there and lie next to her but I feel like I need to see if this day can be salvaged before it goes in the history books. Judging by the last run-on sentence, it's not looking good for me.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Yes, thank you, thank you. Thanks. Thank you very much. Please sit down. Yes. Thank you. Thanks. Really, please sit. Thank you. Thanks.
Now, before you all start high-fiving me, I should tell you: The line is faint. I mean faint. So faint, in fact, that after M peed on it, we looked at it for a while, and there was no line. We hugged eachother, and we each tried to comfort the other.
Then I went back and looked about 1 minute later. There was a little line.
It was a little darker a few minutes later, but still very faint. And it has stayed very faint. With the buggins, the line showed up in like 5 seconds and was the darkest pink I've ever seen. So we think we've reached some sort of pregnancy, but there is a very good chance it's only chemical. But that, in itself, is better than nothing.
Beta tomorrow - will post results - I really appreciate all your comments and well wishes. More than I could ever say.
I'll comment to each person's blog separately, but let me just say how happy I am that so many bloggers have gotten knocked up this cycle. I feel like most of my blogroll tested positive this month.
M is taking a HPT tonight, she's decided. Yes, she has changed her mind several times about this topic, and I wouldn't be surprised if she changed it again in the next few hours. But as it stands now, I'm buying a test on the way home from work and she's pissing on it.
Commenting on other people's great news can be hard when one's own news is terrible, so let me reiterate now, before I know if it's a BFN or a BFP, that I am TRULY thrilled for all of you. If I don't say that as much as I should after the test, it's only because we're hurting.
I'll update tonight with the HPT results.
** For some reason Blogger will not let me comment on any blogs. Either I'm on some sort of double secret blogger probation, or I am so stupid that I am failing the word test like 15,000 times in a row. Either way, no comments.
Monday, December 11, 2006
M is pushing the POAS date further and further out. At this rate, she'll be ready to take the pee test the day after the kid is born. Or the day after her period starts, whichever is sooner.
She says she is SURE it is negative. Big cramping going on. Not like little cramping. Like lying in bed knees up going "ooooooohhhhhhhh" kind of cramping. That can't be good.
I would love to feel hopeful, but since I can't actually feel anything MYSELF, and since I depend on M for all my input, and she's feeling negative, well, not sure where that leaves me. Believe me, I'd love to hijack some of her piss and throw it on a stick and be done with this 2 week nonsense. If I wasn't SURE it would result in a negative, I'd piss on the damn thing MYSELF.
That gives me an idea. The "hot water treatment". Ever heard of it? I used to do it to my brother when he slept. What you do is: when a person is asleep, you dip their hand (or fingers) in warm water. It triggers a relaxation impulse in the person, and they relax their bladder. Immature hilarity ensues as they pee all over themselves in their sleep. 99.9% of the time the person wakes up first and then beats the shit out of you. But the .1% of the time it works is so sweet - it's worth it. I might try it on M tonight with a little cup and a pee stick. And a catchers mask. And mace.
In a normal cycle, M would be getting her period tomorrow. So the clinic isn't really waiting THAT long to test. It just feels long. We are going to do a home preg test AFTER the beta. Yes, you read that right. AFTER. We are going to come into the city, give blood, then go home and she'll piss on the stick. That way, we can control the information. Why not do it before the blood draw that morning, you ask? Good question. Because if it's a negative on the HPT, I will NEVER be able to get her in the car to go get her beta test. She would do the same thing the Buggins does when I try to take her somewhere she doesn't want to go: she would exercise that miraculous ability to turn her bones to jello and slump down on the ground so that it's impossible to be picked up. We call it the "jelly girl" move. Buggins is a pro.
Traveling again tomorrow, Wed, and Thursday. Prob won't be posting. Try to exist without me.
Be careful out there. (Hill Street Blues)
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Last night M decided that testing today was still too early. Who am I to argue with that.
Sorry if any of you are let down; we're not going to know until Thursday night.
A WHOLE WEEK of anxiety and obsession! What fun.
Thanks for checking in -
Friday, December 08, 2006
By this Sunday it will be almost certain that the HCG from the trigger shot will be gone. That's our biggest worry - a false positive or an early miscarriage that we may not have known about had we not tested early (happened once before). Sunday will be 13 days since the trigger, and a rule of thumb says it takes 10 days for HCG shots to leave your body.
So M says she'll pee on a stick on Sunday morning. That way, we'll have all day Sunday to deal with it together, and then Monday morning we have an appt at the social worker who can help us deal with a negative.
Sunday morning. Today is Friday. That's just 2 days. This morning I thought we'd be testing in a week, and I was fine with that, because it seemed like a short wait. Now Sunday seems like it's a month away.
This is probably the last post before we know if the cycle worked. I'm usually such an optimistic person, but I have a terrible feeling about this. It's not that I'm worried it's negative, it's that I'm DREADING the negative that I'm already sure of. Dreading the tears. And the screams. And the thrashing around M will do as she frantically searches for some sort of control over a situation she can not control. She will want to make important decisions within minutes of the news. She will scream proclamations. She will be so angry. So, so angry. God, I'm dreading it.
But maybe Saturday will be nice?
Anyway, thanks for all your support this cycle, it has meant a tremendous amount to both of us. I'll see you back here on the other side of the pee test.
Good weekend everyone -
Thursday, December 07, 2006
M and I, however, are avoiding HPTs like they were polonium-210. First of all, we still think it's too early for us, our beta isn't until the 16th. But also, it's quite obvious now that our chances are much less than they were before. I mean, Spark, Lola AND M can't possible ALL get pregnant the same month. Some couple has to break the cycle. Well, clearly that couple has to be us. So we'd rather not find out until we have to.
Oh - so a highlight of my trip to London was the hour I spent in a little coffee shop with the lovely and talented Thalia. She had nicely offered to have coffee with me when I was in town, and I'm sure she thought (hoped, even) that I would never actually take her up on it. But of course I did, because I'm on a mission to meet all of you. So far, I have met Serenity, Lola, and now Thalia. Anyone else want to meet? Just say the word. I'll be in San Francisco next Tue & Wed, then in NYC on Thurs. Open call.
Anyway, I very much enjoyed meeting Thalia. She clearly is a very smart, sophisticated and kind woman who has spent her life indentifying her goals and then achieving them. How difficult this IF curse must be to someone like that. I mean, it's no picnic for anyone, but I would think it must be particularly rough for someone who has spent her life executing on her plans and taking control. IF is like one giant bitch-slap.
We talked about her husband, my wife, our extended families, our careers, and our common struggles. I was working on very little sleep so I'm sure I said a handful of stupid things. But whatever, it happened in a different country so it's like it wasn't real anyway. The one question I wanted to ask but forgot: What in the name of all that is holy is a "clotted cream"? And why would someone eat it?
Thalia is sporting a couple embryos presently and could benefit from your kind words and thoughts.
M's plan is to do an HPT the night before beta, just so that we can control the news ourselves rather than have someone call us with potentially (and statistically speaking, probably) devistating news. So that's another full week. As of now, nary a symptom in sight.
Buggins said "Merry Christmas Daddy" on the phone today. That was a first.
Monday, December 04, 2006
This post has been brewing for some time, and I don't think it's at all ready. But I have nothing to write about today and I'm out the next couple of days so I figured I'd see if I can try to express this feeling I have. If I can't, I'll just save it as a draft, not publish it, and you knuckleheads will be none the wiser, right?
So basically, it's like this: I still feel like a kid. I realize that I'm not unique in this regard; most people still feel like kids inside. But I REALLY feel like a kid. And I'm clearly not. One glance at my driver's license dispels that notion - I am 35 years old. My dad had FOUR kids at my age. He was definitely an adult. He had cocktail parties with monogrammed barware and people would come over with ties on and drink scotch and say important things. I mean, I do that too...I go to parties with a tie on sometimes, and I love scotch, and I think I may once have said something important. But the difference is...I don't know what the difference is. But there is one. It's like THEY were REALLY adults. I'm just ACTING like an adult.
There are other things I do that make me think I'm not really an adult:
- I still always want the window seat on an airplane and I spend the ENTIRE flight with my forehead glued to the glass. I have noticed that NO OTHER PERSON on the flight does this. It's not as if its my first flight, for pete's sake. I've flown all over the world, for years and years. Still, every single flight, eyes staring out the window.
- When I sit at my desk, I almost always sit with my right foot tucked under my left butt cheek. I'm sitting on my foot. Even when I'm wearing a suit, like right now, I'm sitting like a 5th grader. Can that be normal? I don't see anyone else sitting that way.
- When I hear a news story about a "35 year old man" or a "38 year old woman" I always think that they are kind of old. But I don't think of MYSELF like that at all.
- Even though I have more money than either of my parents, I still always hope there is a check in my birthday card or x-mas card.
- If I were ever on a plane that got hijacked, or in a bank that got robbed, I still expect that they'd let ME go free, because for God's sake, I'm just a kid.
- I feel like if I ever broke the law and got busted, I'd get sent to juvie instead of big person prison. Yeah, I know I'm wrong there. And I'd be popular in prison. Seriously.
There are easily 100 more things just like that I could list. Does anyone know what I'm talking about here? I still kind of feel like I haven't expressed it properly. At what age do you actually stop feeling young? I seriously feel EXACTLY like I felt when I was in my 20's. I'm into different things, but that's only because I can afford them now. And having a kid didn't make me feel older, that's for sure. I mean for F*cks sake, I'm playing with Leg.os every day now. And I get INTO it, too. At first I just handed her the pieces and she would place them, but now it's like "Buggins, give me that, it should go like this" and then next thing I know she is off doing something else and I'm STILL playing with the f'ing leg.os.
Anyway, that's my post for the day. Sorry it's not altogether thoughtful or well constructed or coherent. But what do you want? For Christ's sake, I'm just a kid.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
The good news is that of the two than went in, one was VERY good, and the other was good. We wanted to make sure they didn't put any bad ones in, because last night we watched The Omen and we saw what can happen when you get a bad one.
The "not good" news is that the other 7 didn't quite made it to blast. There probably won't be anything to freeze, which is a huge disappointment for us. I suspect, were it not for the valium, M would be having a cow right about now.
They are going to continue to monitor them, and if they reach blast then they'll freeze them. But they think it's unlikely. I DID think things were going a little TOO well.
This cycle has been different than past cycles. Not nearly as much stress, NO fights, no crying. M was a great sport throughout all of it. That is due in large part to stripping away from M all the things that really drive her crazy (dealing with the nurses, dealing with the insurance people, dealing with the medicine.) So I took over all of that this time. And it made a HUGE difference. Yesterday we barely thought about the transfer today. We went to bed last night almost as if it were any other night.
I woke up around 4am wracked with butterflies in my stomach, but I wasn't sure why. But my stomach was in knots. I lay there for almost an hour pondering what was bothering me, and then it hit me: Twins. I am terrified of twins. We have NO support system, no family, friends who have their own problems, a small house in an expensive town and my wife has a very low tolerance for stress. Twins would destroy us.
Before long, I realized M was lying awake too, and we started talking. Turns out she was lying there worrying about twins too. If we were childless, it wouldn't be an issue. But we have a 2 year old. After a long discussion we decided it would probably be best to transfer only one blast, to eliminate the twin risk. But that was when we thought we'd have a whole litter to freeze.
So M went in at 11:15, and I waited outside with the Buggins. The doctor said to M: "You should transfer two" and M said "OK." Well, so much for our discussion.
We are now officially in the 2 week wait. I think it may pass more quickly than others, at least for me, because starting Tuesday I'll be in London for work and then San Fran and then NYC. So I'll be keeping myself busy. And getting lots of sleep in giant king size hotel beds. Love that.
Thanks for all your well wishes!
Friday, December 01, 2006
First of all, I've never been so eager to create a new post and push the previous one off the front page. Phew...
OK, so we're going to blast. 5 day transfer. We were not able to get the details of our embryo quality (which frustrated me) but the nurse said that we had "at least 6 embryos that were at either 6,7,or 8 cells". Because she didn't have the info in front of her, she said she will call back today with more info. Grrr.
UPDATE: Actually, they called me this afternoon and gave me the info I was looking for. It turns out, ALL NINE embies are 7 or 8 cells, and it looks like they ALL might make it to blast. Hard to believe. We may have a real shot at making some frosties!)
But...that's great news. The little suckers are doing well! And we may have some left over for the big chill.
Sunday is the day. Wish us luck. I really appreciate all the well wishes.
Also, about the previous topic, I just want to say that I appreciate all the thoughtful comments, even the ones I don't agree with. We had a constructive and open exchange of ideas, which is why I do this in the first place. I have no hard feelings, and I hope no one else does. I always want people to feel free to be totally honest and open with me.
On to sunnier topics. Like the weather. It may hit 70 degrees here in Boston today. On December 1st. Global warming anyone?