Thursday, July 28, 2005

And cycle #3 begins. and other thoughts.

U/s this morning. Not fantastic, but not nearly as bad as my cancelled cycle (3 26-27mm cysts). One 16mm cyst on my right ovary + a couple of smaller ones, and a few on the left. Baby Doc (new kid, doing his residency at my clinic) had them draw blood to check my e2 level, and as that was not still high I got to start my injections again tonight. Woo-hoo!

I also had an intake appointment with an accupuncturist today. I figure it can't hurt, right? We went through a very long Q&A session, then she treated me for about half an hour. She also said she'd want to see me right before and right after my next IUI. I'm gonna keep hoping...

While I was waiting for her I was reading a woman's health book that was in the waiting room. There were a couple of sections on amenorrhea. Also food for thought. It mentioned that a lot of women with amenorrhea have deep seated fears of being female or looking too female, that can come from childhood traumas and repressed memories, as well as the body images that are portrayed by the media.

I've always thought that I'm not affected by the supermodels, actresses etc - you know, I'm too strong to be swayed by those images. I know who I am and what I want and I just like the way I look and feel when I'm thin. But one thing that's really stuck with me is I distinctly remember watching Star W@rs "@ttack of the Cl0nes", the battle scene at the end where Nata1ie P0rtman is up on top of the pole and thinking how incredible her abs looked and how much I wanted to look like that. So I lost 15 pounds and did look like that. For a little while anyway. But obviously I'm totally fooling myself that I'm not affected by the images of thin-ness in the media, and the much more child-like body type that is the ideal. I've been completely hating the way I look and feel recently, none of my pants fit anymore, I don't like what I see in the mirror... but I realize that really my body just looks more womanly and less like a teenage girl, and that is NOT a bad thing. I am NOT a teenage girl anymore, so why do I feel the need to look like one? I need to be okay with that. I have to suck it up, go out and buy some new clothes so I don't feel constricted, so that I don't look like my clothes don't fit, and that will probably help.

On the other issue, childhood memories, I was abused in my early teen years. Not seriously, I wasn't raped, but enough that I had intimacy issues for a long time, and it caused some serious strain with my college boyfriend.

This guy, a friend of a family friend, had recently lost his job and needed a place to stay for a little while. We were going back to South Africa to visit our family there over the Christmas holidays, so my parents asked him to house-sit for us. When we got back from our trip, he still didn't have a place to go, so my parents let him stay with us for a while until he got back on his feet. I think they just didn't feel right about kicking him out, they were definitely way too nice. He ended up living in our spare bedroom for over two years!

He was a real wierdo. He used to wear either a towel or a tee-shirt wrapped around his head pretty much all the time because he didn't like his hair. He never had a job, he would go around and look after various people's houses while they were away, but that was about it. He was totally into playing the lottery and doing all those stupid promotions that the radio stations ran. There was one that happened every year, the station would mail 'tickets' to people's houses, and if your number was called you won a prize. He would go to the post office and dig through the trash to collect as many as he could. We did actually win a video camera one year from him doing that. Still have a tape of me and my sis calling into the radio station to claim it.

I'm finding that I'm having a hard time getting to the point. My heart is pounding, my hands are clammy... I've told three people in my life about this. My college bf, M, and my sis, who went through parts of it with me. And I realize now that I haven't told any of them about all of it.

My parents trusted him with us. He would 'babysit' us - although we were old enough to be left alone to a point, I think they liked having an adult there. He would take us swimming, drive us other places... He would also give us back massages. He would have us put on leotards. I don't know how it happened, but after a while he would start not only rubbing us outside, but also going up inside the leotards, rubbing our buttocks and thighs.

Honestly, writing this down, I really can't believe that we thought that was okay. I read it now and I'm completely appalled at how incredibly inappropriate that was. Unfortunately, though, that wasn't the end of it.

I definitely remember not wanting to be around him, but for some reason that is completely unknown to me at this point, we didn't tell our parents. Maybe we just didn't see anything wrong with it?

He would talk to me about growing older and sex and marriage. He told me about how good it felt when you met someone special and were intimate with them. It's all kind of hazy, but I remember him talking about how you could use your tongue, and lick the person all over and how good that felt. I particularly hated being alone with him in the car - he wouldn't talk about that stuff when my sis was around because I was the older one, and she was too young for that kind of talk.

I was most frightened one time when he took me to another place he was house-sitting at (I think my parents had finally kicked him out at this point, but somehow he was still coming by the house and doing things with us). He wanted me to do an Indian 'coming of age' ceremony with him. Something that he had experienced out west when he was living on a reservation for a while, or something like that. It involved a 'special tea', peppermint patties (because of some chemical reaction with the tea), both of us stripping down to our underwear, and sitting on the floor meditating. I was absolutely terrified that he was going to rape me. I went through the motions, doing what he told me to do, drinking the fucking tea and nibbling on the peppermint patty, all the while trying to think of how I could get away if he tried to do something. The 'ceremony' also involved touching. I don't think he actually touched me 'down there', but definitely in the near vicinity. I was giggling, saying I was ticklish. He told me that I had to learn to get over that for when I had a boyfriend and he touched me there. It was, of course, much more of a nervous giggle - what the hell was I supposed to do? Eventually he realized how uncomfortable I was and asked me what was wrong and I told him that I was afraid he was going to try and have sex with me. He said of course not, this was all just part of the 'ceremony'.

After that, I never ever wanted to be alone with him again. I don't think I was but I don't remember how I managed it. And then finally he stopped coming around.

I've seen him a few times since then. I've always just avoided him - he still wears the fucking towel on his head so you can see him from a mile away and duck around the corner. Last time was probably ~10 years ago.

I know that he has house-sat for other people with kids, and I often wonder if they experienced the same things. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I should go to the police or something so that he can't do this to anyone else, but it was so long ago I don't know if they'd be able to do anything at this point.

I've still never told my mom. There's nothing that she could do about it now, and I think it would rip her heart out to know that this was going on and she and my dad didn't see it and kept exposing us to it over and over again. And I wonder now why we didn't say anything at the time? I realize now how completely wrong it all was, why could I not see it back then?

I know absolutely that it affected my relationship with my college bf. I managed to work through it with him, and I haven't had the same issues with M. But now I wonder if this is part of what's going on with me now - in some ways I shun my own femaleness because that's what the pervert was after. That plus the media - maybe there is a mind/body connection here, and although I like to think of myself as strong and able to get past all of this, subconciously I'm not okay.

Writing all this down I've remembered so many more things than what I have been telling myself happened. I had forgotten about him talking to me about how men and women can be together, the whole tongue thing, my giggling when he touched me and him telling me I'd need to get over that... Maybe I have repressed it all a lot more than I thought. Is recognizing it enough?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Australia, here we come?

I'm in a tizzy! M just got offered a position within his company that would involve a move to Australia for 2-3 years. It's a definite step up for him, the "international management" experience that will look great on his resume and definitely open up some doors later on. My job is 90% computer based, so I could totally work from there, and in fact my company does have a small sales office in Sydney so I'd even have a place to call 'work'.

We visited Australia for two weeks in '03, Sydney for a week and then Perth to visit some relatives I have there. Absolutely loved it, and we've always said since then that if we were to move anywhere, Oz would be it.

And then this comes along. Holy shit! I'd miss my new nephiece's (sex still unknown) first few years, but that's about the only reason I can think of not to go. I wouldn't want to move there forever because I'd miss my family too much, but 2-3 years I could definitely handle. I've been feeling really blah about our life here recently, this would definitely add some adventure!

I know some of you have moved to a different country, either for a limited amount of time or for good. Would you recommend it? If you could go back and make the decision again, would you still choose to move? What are some of the pitfalls we should think about before jumping in to this head first?

And it's official...

Beta = negative. And mere hours after my blood was drawn, CB started trying very hard to make her entrance. Ah well. Back on the horse again. Now I'm hoping that the extra week that the progesterone bought me means that any cysts I may have had will be gone. Please please please!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Psychosomatic symptoms?

Of course they were! 14dpi = BFN. On a FRED. I did go buy one yesterday.

Not even the most miniscule hint of a second line. I'm kicking myself now for not doing the HPT yesterday so I could go in for a beta this morning - I'm going to a charity dinner where a chef comes into your home to cook a meal for you tonight, with all the wine you can drink. Without a beta there's still a minute possibility that I am actually pg (a la Suz!), therefore can't enjoy the wines the chef has selected to go with the meal. Fuck.

I had a feeling, all my "symptoms" completely disappeared yesterday. No sore boobs, nothing. Given that I've never ovulated (certainly not since going off BCP), I don't know what's normal to feel and what's not normal. Do your boobs usually feel tender in the two weeks after you've ovulated when you're not taking meds? Is it the hcg shot? the progesterone?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Psychosomatic symptoms?

I've been having the 'to POAS or not to POAS' dilemma the last few days. I'm currently 12dpi so theoretically a + / - on a FRED should be reasonably accurate, but neither my sis nor another good friend think I should. I had a hard time convincing myself it was a bad idea yesterday until I checked the HPTs I have (you know the 3-pack from Costco I bought when I went off the pill 'cause I'd be needing them any day) and they're EPT which say they can be used starting the first day of your missed period - so I assume that's 14 or maybe even 15 dpo/i? So I couldn't use it until Saturday even if I wanted to (and I'm not about to go out and buy any more)! So that dilemma at least is solved.

Then, I was reading a blog last night where someone was making fun of a list of pregnancy symptoms (can't remember now where it was, will link if / when I find it again). Two of them that I hadn't heard before were having trouble sleeping / not sleeping well, and bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. So wouldn't you know it, I couldn't get to sleep until 2:15 last night when I finally got up, went downstairs and had a glass of milk. And, when I brushed my teeth this morning there was way more blood than I've ever seen before. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

I think it's all totally psychosomatic. I knew about the sore boobs, therefore they're sore. As soon as I find out about these other ones, boom, I have them too! I think I want very much to be pregnant, so I'm convincing my body to exhibit all the symptoms as I learn about them. How's that for twisted?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

hockey camp, part 2.

Camp was a blast. It was really great to hang out with the gals from my regular team, I learned a new trick when playing defense (put my stick between the opposing player's legs when they try to go around me) (boy, does that sound phallic!), worked on my puck handling skills which is where I need the most help, and tried very hard not to think about whether I am pg or not (10dpi today, and yes I'm getting more and more tempted to test but I'm trying to hold out 'til Saturday).

I did find the camp a bit frustrating at times - I really really hate when people can't follow directions. The coaches described a drill to us, whose details I will not bore you with, suffice it to say that it was fairly straightforward. The first five people to go did. not. get. it. And it was a drill with partners, so that pretty much screwed things up for everyone else. I don't understand why you wouldn't, if you weren't clear on what was going on, just go to the back of the line and watch other people? Then there was another drill where we were passing back and forth across the ice, and the number of people who didn't seem to be able to figure out how far ahead to put the pass in order for it to be somewhere in the realm of their partner was also mind boggling. We started at one end of the ice, and the woman I was skating with threw the pass, supposedly 'to' me, 3/4 way down the ice. I am not that fast - none of us is. I don't even think NHL players are! WTF?

But on that note, I can apparently be a real bitch when people don't perform to my (admittedly high) expectations. I just had my mid year review, which was pretty good, except that I was told that I come off as arrogant. I was asking M about it and he said "well, when you know you're right, and someone is questioning you, you can be nasty". Not just 'a little' nasty, but all the way there. I guess when your husband doesn't come to your defense on a work related issue you know you really do have a problem.

Gah. I hate all the politics and making nice that has to go on. If I'm right and I know it, why is it so wrong just to say so? Why do I have to sugar, hot fudge and marshmallow coat it before telling someone else that perhaps they're being illogical? (I guess my problem is that more often I think they're being a complete dimwit, and it shows.)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm a hockey nut!

Thanks so much for all the kind words. It's so nice to have people who get it!

I'm heading up to Dartmouth to ice hockey camp this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it, going up there with three of my team-mates so it should be a blast. I can't believe this is my fourth year going up there. I should be packing, but I'm procrastinating on the internet. ha.

I'm hoping I'm going to feel alright for playing. I was in the lunch room at work today getting a glass of water, and my boss was in there as well. I think he was making himself an iced tea (literally, tea over ice). He dropped a bit of ice on the floor. I didn't think anything of it, but as I was walking out I stepped on a piece, and whoosh - out my foot went from under me. Just like in the cartoons where you see someone slip on a bannana peel. Fortunately I managed to catch myself so I didn't fall on my ass, but I definitely pulled my gluteus maximus. Hopefully it won't be any worse tomorrow than it was today!

What's the worst / most embarrasing spill you've taken?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pity party

I'm sad today. I've been doing pretty well keeping positive about all this so far, but I feel way less pregnant this cycle than I did the last time. I had my high beams on from the second day after the IUI until... well, the day before the bitch showed up. And they were really tender too. This time they were sore the second day after, but it's already gone away. Granted I wasn't preg the last time, so maybe I am this time since it's different, but I just really don't think so.

Add to the mix that I was told that a coworker who's been married for less than a year is pregnant (including the fact that she's an exercise instructor, and WAY skinnier than me), confirmation that in fact X is pregnant and due in Feb, which means she got married in Jan and preg in May (boo hoo, baby showers really *sucked* for her, trying for what, four whole months before she got pregnant?), and I'm just not able to hold my head up quite as high.

My sis was over tonight, and did ask me if something was wrong... I wanted to tell her but I knew as soon as I spoke a word out loud I'd totally break down so I didn't say anything. My mom was over too, and as she left said to my sis (6 months pg) "You're looking so healthy and well". I got "Thanks for the dinner". I've told her *all* about what's going on, but she never asks about it, or how I'm doing or anything. I feel like she doesn't care. I'm not pregnant so I don't matter anymore. I'm sure that's not true, but it's how she's been making me feel lately.

Monday, July 11, 2005

IUI #2

Second verse, same as the first. Well, not exactly. My appointment was at 10am on Sat - last time the IUI was done at 10:35, this time we sat in the waiting room for almost an hour longer. It was a bit frustrating, but at least we had both brought something to occupy ourselves (I've finished H,K and O on my cross-stitch, and am working on N!). It turned out that Dr. Handsome wanted to do the IUI himself rather than having the nurse do it, and he was also doing an egg retrieval that morning - hence the delay.

The IUI itself was lots of fun. And I do mean that literally. Dr. Handsome and M had a nice comedy routine going. After he'd tried to get the catheter in for a little bit, Dr. Handsome said he didn't like the angle of my cervix, and that I could fix it by coughing. So M joked "It's about time a woman had to 'turn and cough'!". Dr. H then proceeded to tell us about the first time he had that experience as a sixteen year old with a gorgeous female doctor. Meanwhile I'm having fits of giggles, with the specul*m sticking out of me! I was afraid that it was going to fall out or something, but even with it wiggling around down there with every chortle, it seemed to stay in just fine. After I coughed on '3', apparently the angle was perfect, and in the little boys and girls went.

I did feel more comfortable this time than the last, Dr. Handsome really did take his time to make sure that the swimmers were in the right place. After some supplementary storming, we're crossing our fingers. And I start the progesterone suppositories tonight... after my 10 day luteal phase last time and reading that in women with HA "the luteal phase and early pregnancy need to be supported" I managed to convince Dr. Conveyor that I should be taking progesterone.

No beta until SIXTEEN days after the IUI though, so it'll be a bit of a wait.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Interesting ART article

Posted by AltMama. Check it out for a non-CDC comparison of fertility clinics, and to read about some really cool research that's happening.


Apparently it was a good thing that I didn't let my rebellious side win out over the dosage for the last couple of days. My lining this morning was at 8mm (thickest it's been yet, by far), and I have 3-4 pretty big follicles, ranging from 15 to 12mm.

I was so sure when I went in this morning that I would still be in the same old place. Completely surprised when I saw the ovary on the scan. (They're all on the right, my left ovary doesn't want to do anything). It's about time - 18 days of injections to date.

Update: Just heard from the nurse - one more shot of Repronex tonight then I trigger tomorrow!!! So IUI Saturday morning. I'm really almost in shock - I can't believe how quickly things progressed once they actually got going. I was, in a way, hoping for the IUI on Sunday or Monday so that M and I could get some storming in (as in, "Have fun storming the Castle..." - I hope you ALL know what movie that's from) beforehand for a bit of insurance, but it's not to be. He's out of town for work 'til Friday night. No complaint here though - I'm all out at the moment ;-)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Deep breath

I decided to go with 1&2/3 vials. I think the RE wanted me to drop back to 1.5 so that I don't overstimulate... I'm afraid that the opposite would happen and I'd go back in tomorrow and still be stuck in the same old place. I thought about staying with the two full vials, but I've always been such a 'good' girl - doing what I'm told, what I'm supposed to, always the responsible one, always respectful - that it's really hard for me to deviate from the prescribed course. So the extra 1/6 vial is about all I could manage. ha. It sounds so paltry when I put it like that - I'm a fucking rebel! woo-hoo - look at me bucking authority!

It's probably the one thing I would change about myself if I could. But it's so ingrained that try as I might I can never manage to be irresponsible or wild. When I was about five, and my sister was two, we were playing with finger paints. She was a disaster - paint everywhere but where it was supposed to be. On her face, her clothes, her legs... I so wanted to be like that, but all I could manage was to thoroughly cover my hands and lower arms. Couldn't even make it up to the elbows! And that's the way the two of us have been ever since. Me, prim and proper, never had a sip of alcohol until college, virgin until I was in love at 17, had a summer job since I was a sophomore in high school, didn't take a year abroad because I didn't want my parents to have to pay for two of us in college at once, never bought anything I couldn't afford yada yada yada. My sis? Hellion in high school, sneaking out of the house, drinking, pot, boys, took an extra year in college 'cause she could, buys big screen TVs and leather couches and refinances her mortgage to finish her basement even though they really can't afford it.

Okay, can you tell I'm hitting a sore spot? One more rant and then I'm done... My father passed away about ten years ago from lung cancer. When my sister wanted to get engaged, mom asked me if I was okay with my sis having the diamond from my parent's engagement ring, since they couldn't really afford one of their own. (side note - what the fuck am I supposed to say to that???). So of course I say yes. But oh no, that's not good enough - the setting? Platinum band, with quarter carat diamonds on either side. It totally pisses me off that M and I have worked really hard to get where we are, he wouldn't propose to me until he had save enough money for a ring (he's equally as responsible as I am, good or bad), and then not only does she get my mom's diamond, he spends as much more on her ring as M did on mine! I don't care about the size or setting or anything, what really ticks me off is that supposedly she was getting the diamond from mom *because they couldn't afford it*. Yet another way in which being responsible has bitten me in the ass. And yet I still can't stop!

Is there a 12 step program? Hi, my name is Nico, and I'm responsible!

Monday, July 04, 2005


Went in for yet another u/s this morning. Still didn't look as if much was going on - lining was exactly the same, 5mm, although my biggest follicle is now at 10mm... not quite enough to be sure that it's progressing, but an improvement. e2 at 136 though!

Nurse called and told me to decrease my dosage back to 1.5 vials. I'm tempted to continue with the two full vials. Any thoughts?

Maybe I'll split the difference and go with 1.75.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Day 13: STILL nothing

e2 levels so far: 42, 46, 55, 38, 42. My baseline level when I had my hormone levels taken to diagnose my HA was 34. So there is pretty much nothing happening.

To my surprise, they told me still to continue with the two vials of Repronex, and come in for another date with the cooter poker on Monday morning. I'm still holding out a shred of hope that this will work, but mostly I'm resigned to giving up. If there's still nothing going on on Monday I'm definitely going to ask if it's worth continuing to throw good money after bad.

I'm disappointed. Heck, I'm crushed. But somehow I'm not sad about it anymore. Just wanna get this cycle over with, get the next one where I have the cysts over with, and get back on the horse. (A big horse, with a really big... okay, that's gross!)