Thursday, July 29, 2010

Licking my wounds

Just a quick update to let you all know that I'm doing okay, haven't thrown myself off the Golden.Gate bridge or anything dramatic. Still sad about Fluffy, of course.

Today is CD 19. Been using the Clear.Blue.Easy "O" predictor machiney-thing this month and it said my high fertility period started CD 14 and peak time was CD 17 & 18. Mr. Jem and I did the obligatory BD (baby dance) on CD 15 & 18. Not much hope that it will work with his low sperm count, but you never know.

Other than that, been concentrating on work, which is good. Our whole team is going together to a baseball game today at noon. Should be fun.

The question is: should I have a beer, or not?


Monday, July 26, 2010

In memory of our sweet Fluffy

On Wednesday, it was clear that Fluffy wasn't feeling well - he was lethargic, but he was scheduled for his annual checkup for Thursday afternoon and figured he could wait. 

Thursday morning we were heading out to our WTF appointment at 9:00 a.m. and Fluffy wouldn't even lift his little head off the floor. The choice was clear. We needed to reschedule our WTF appointment (#3) at the fertility clinic and take Fluffy to the vet, immediately. 

Unfortunately, the local vet's office was totally busy and couldn't see him right away. This was NOT good enough, so we got back in the car and drove over to the emergency vet hospital where we took Sharkey when he was hurt a couple of years ago. They could see Fluffy right away asked that we leave him with them while they draw blood and determine the best course of treatment.

Within hours, we got a phone call from the vet. Fluffy's numbers were off the chart, showing kidney failure (read here for more on this disease). We had them flush his system with IV fluids and retest the next day. We came to visit him at the hospital and he was still very sluggish, but gave Mr. Jem a kiss and purred like crazy when he saw us. He seemed improved and actually got up to to greet us, but he was far from his old, healthy self.

Friday his numbers were only slightly better, but still horrible. The worst part was that he was vomiting. Blood. And not eating. When we visited, it was clear that Fluffy was gone. Instead was a cat that was suffering. His personality was gone, the spark of life was gone. He couldn't lift his head anymore. He was clearly suffering.

The choice was clear, we had to say goodbye.
It was the most terrible day for both me and Mr. Jem. He's never had pets before, or been faced with such a terrible decision. Deciding to put Fluffy to sleep (horrible euphemism, as he isn't sleeping, dammit, he's GONE), was the hardest thing we've ever had to do as a couple.

We love you, Fluffy. You will be missed. There is a hole in our hearts.

Thank you for all your support and loving comments over the past few days. They have meant the world to us.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fluffy's sick (updated)

We had to take our dear cat Fluffy to the vet this morning. He was lethargic and moving slowly. Blood and urine analysis showed that his kidneys are failing. He is still in the hospital on an IV and having an ultrasound to see if he has cancer. His prognosis is NOT good. I've been crying all day. One more damn thing going wrong in my life.

I love you, Fluffy! Come home to us, soon!

Update: The vet just called. Fluffy's blood work is even worse than he thought. Fluffy is probably going to heaven soon. We're continuing the IV until tomorrow to see if his kidney function improves, but it's not hopeful. If he comes home, it's just for a little while and then we'll need to put him to sleep.

Oh, g-d. This sucks!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Welcome, dear readers!

I'm Jem. Recently turned 40. Recently went through a second IVF that resulted in a BFN (big fat negative). The first IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy from the fresh cycle and a sorta-ectopic pregnancy from the frozen cycle.

Tomorrow we have our WTF (what the eff) appointment with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist). Wondering if our options will change, now that we've had some epic fails under our belts. We may not just be dealing with male-factor infertility, as I've not been able to stay pregnant - egg quality issues, perchance?

Emotionally I've been vacillating between hope for whatever is next and numb depression at our situation. I am tracking my cycle this month - not taking my temps (I suck at that), but using the Clear.Blue Easy monitor to see when I ovulate. I'm currently on Day 11 of my cycle. I've never had a problem ovulating in the past, but who knows what all these IVF drugs have done to my system.

Usually I like to ask you all questions, but this time I want YOU  to ask me questions. What else do you want to know about me? 


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IVF in the news

It's crazy how much IVF is in the news these days, and it's not just celebrities having twins (yes, you, Cel.ine!).

This article is about IVF Associated With Increased Risk for Childhood Cancer - luckily the risk is low.

This article claims there is a way to predict the success of IVF... Really? Sounds too good to be true...

This one is not directly related to IF, but a super-fertile woman with uterus didelphys (she has two uteruses) who is pregnant with two babies conceived and due at different times.

Amazing what News can dig up in an afternoon...

Thursday is our WTF appointment with Dr. W. Any suggestions on questions to ask? I'm so emotionally tired of all this IF BS that my mind is blank... other than, "What went wrong? What are our options? Donor sperm? Donor eggs? Are there additional tests we should run?"

Ideas, oh wise bloggers?


Monday, July 19, 2010

I have a secret, too

Others have posted this article from Self Magazine on their blogs. For those of you who read this blog and are lucky enough to be able to conceive and carry a baby easily, it will give you an insight into infertility and the huge emotional toll it takes.

Part of me wishes I was more open about our struggles with our IRL friends / colleagues at work. One of the few local friends I have told is just not that interested in talking about it, maybe it makes her uncomfortable, maybe she's just so self-absorbed that it doesn't even occur to her to ask how I am feeling. We decided not to tell most of our friends, because we didn't want the pitying glances or the "So, how are you?" veiled questions that really mean, "So, did it work? Are you pregnant?"

Luckily I  do have the support of our close families AND my college girlfriends. AND all my bloggy friends! Love you!


Friday, July 16, 2010


Not much to report today. Still feel like I'm under water, moving very slowly. Didn't help that a big chunk of one of my back teeth crumbled on Wednesday afternoon. Had to go in to the dentist Thursday morning and got my first crown. They make it sound all royal and everything. The truth is it hurts. 

I feel like I turned 40 and my body is falling apart. I wouldn't be surprised if one of my arms just fell off, or if I started losing my hair, or if I suddenly developed some weird skin disease. It's been one of those years. 

(I am knocking on wood that NONE of those things happen).

We have Mr. Jem's dear (fun) cousins visiting - they just moved to Arizona from New York. We went to the Giants vs. Met.s baseball game last night.. I am at work today and Mr. Jem will take them to wine tasting in Napa during the day today, and then we'll meet back at the house for a BBQ.  I plan on having a glass or two (or three)...

Tomorrow Golden Gate.Park and then dinner in North.Beach and then a show - Beach.Blanket.Babylon. Sunday will be Mr. Jem's softball game, then brunch, and then we'll take them to the airport.

Very full lineup. Should be fun. If I can keep my eyes open. All I want to do is sleep...zzzzzz...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm a mom...

Yes, folks, I'm a mom. They just haven't given me my baby yet! 

Small distinction, but one I came to at my therapist on Monday afternoon. Yes, I went back to see my therapist, who I have been seeing since 2000. I haven't seen her too often in the past year, just a couple of times when I need a "tune up" and to "recalibrate" my thinking. She has helped me tremendously over the years.

So, back to this earth-shattering conclusion. I realized I was more upset by my BFN than I had suspected earlier, mostly because of this fact that I feel like I AM a mom, dammit, and someone has stolen my baby from me. IF, specifically. 

I keep asking myself, "WHY!!!!" (sound familiar?) and my old, preconceived notions are no longer right. I used to think I didn't deserve to be a mother because I has so many issues with my own mom (abandonment, neglect, etc. at an early age). Wrong. I am not my mother and I would NEVER abandon my baby to run off to "find myself" (that's code for run off with another man), and I'd definitely never put him/her on a Grey.hound bus to see a divorced parent.

Then I realized my mental block about motherhood had to do with the fact that I thought bringing a baby into the world would mean the end of my marriage. "Babies break up marriages." was the thinking that I unburied from my subconscious. This was a myth I deeply believed because it was what I experienced as a kid. Again, NOT my current experience. My marriage with Mr. Jem is stronger than that. In fact, a baby would be a blessing and something we BOTH want very strongly. We both want to show this incredible world to a little person. We both have so much love and nurturing to give.

Most recently I uncovered the fact that in my head I felt "I don't have enough money and can't "afford" a baby." What? Where did that come from? Perhaps because I grew up with a mother who had a negative relationship with money and was always panicking about it. My reality is that I hold a wonderful, well-paying job that I love. Mr. Jem is starting up his own business and I have supported him through grad school and then a couple of jobs that left him stressed and very unhappy. He is struggling with the business and it is hard. That said, it doesn't mean we can't "afford" a baby. It will just be trickier. He may need to stay home with the baby, which is not the model that I would prefer, but it is what it is.

So, now that I figured out I am a Mom I am supremely depressed. How could IF be doing this to us? Why the hell can't I get and stay pregnant? I'm not just sad, I'm effing mad. Mad, mad, mad.

This is so damn unfair I could spit. We've all ranted and raved on this subject and I'm sure all thought the same thing... crack whores can get knocked up, why not ME?!! Blah, blah, bah. 

Anyways, that's where I am.


Monday, July 12, 2010


The weekend was full of much indulgence, including a mani/pedi, a hot tub, sushi, frozen yogurt, more pizza and more coffee. I do have to say by then end of the day on Saturday I felt pretty lousy physically. Too much crap food.

This morning I'm back to eating sensibly and will even head to the gym at lunch (gasp!). I'm looking forward to working up a sweat! I'm ready to lose some weight and start feeling good! Anyone else out there ready to join me?

Hope you all are doing well out there. Emotionally I'm still very fragile. Actually, I'm fine 80% of the time, but If I start thinking or talking about our BFN, I get all teary. Perfectly normal, if you as me.


Friday, July 9, 2010

The FU IF diet (updated)

After crying for an hour straight after receiving the news of our BFN, I started implementing my plan for the FU IF diet.
  • I began with a hot dog for lunch yesterday.
  • I had a glass of red wine at 4:00 p.m. (on an empty stomach). It tasted AMAZING.
  • Followed by another glass with dinner - pepperoni pizza (acupuncturist had me on no pork and low carb, thus no pasta and pizza).
  • I had chocolate for dessert, first time in months.
  • Then a little fun in the bedroom - Thank you, Big O. It does help as a mood lifter.
  • This morning: bagel (see above), medium-sized latte (Low fat and full caff of course), cream cheese (I had cut way back on dairy), egg quiche (and I had also cut out eggs). Then a cream cheese danish.
  • Lunch: I will have some sort of sliced meats, preferably processed with nitrates.
  • Dinner: Sushi (raw fish), and sake. Then candy and popcorn at the movie theatre. Planning on going at the time I would (should) have had my PIO shot.
Take that, IF!

This is how I cope. I hope I don't feel too sick with all this crap.
Eventually (in the next day or so), I will go back to a "eat healthy food" diet so I can lose the extra 20 lbs (Thanks to two IVFs and a FET). In the meantime, I will do what I want to.

I'm back in the office and I don't feel like crying. That's good, right?

Thank you to all of you for the outpouring of sympathy. You all get it. I appreciate it.

WTF appointment scheduled for July 22. Should have been our first OB scan. FML. (oh, no, the tears are starting...)


Update: Urpppp. Now I feel jittery and a little sick...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beta results

Big Fat Negative

Nothing else to say.

Totally devastated. So much for being fucking zen.


11dp3dt: beta day

The blood has been drawn (at 8:10 a.m. Pacific). 
The prayers have been said.

Every time I panic and fantasize about Dr. W. calling and saying, "Good news, Jem!" or "Not good news, Jem." I stop myself and take a deep breath and say to myself. "No hurry, no wait. Be in THIS moment. You can deal with that moment when it comes."

Not to say I'm not going out of my f'ing mind at this point.

All the same, I have NOT peed on a stick. I have kept my mind positive and open to whatever will come. I was about to type "Of course I'll be devastated" but erased that from my mind. I just can't go there.

Instead I will continue Operation Distraction by reading your blogs, commenting, working and laughing as much as possible.

This is the zen garden that is my mind...

<< deep breath >>


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

10dp3dt: the wait continues

Thanks to everyone for the great comments. Yes, it does seem like the longest 2WW in history. Nothing new to report except I forgot to take my estradriol again yesterday morning and had to take it at 6pm when I got home (not good) and then again at 10pm after my PIO shot. Feeling like an airhead.

I didn't end up going to the Resolve meeting. Mr. Jem encouraged me to stay home as he was concerned that the meeting might be too depressing and I need to keep things positive (literally!! No pun intended!). So I stayed home and snuggled with him on the couch and watched The Bachellor.ette. I really wanted to go because I believe it's important to give and get support in many ways. At the same time, I agreed with Mr. Jem and it was best for me to just take it easy yesterday.

I got a good night's sleep, except when I woke I discovered I had a gazillion mosquito bites on my shoulder. All on top of each other so it's an itchy mess. I just checked with the clinic to see what I can use topically to stop the itching that is safe. Seems it's Bene.dryl cream. Gonna run out and buy some as soon as this is posted.

Hard to believe in close to 24 hours the wait will be over! I"ll be working from home tomorrow so I don't have to be a big mess at work as I wait.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

9dp3dt: "Operation Distraction"

Symptoms? Sore b00bs. Had some nausea this morning, but realized it was probably my vitamin pill (Darn!). 

Beta day is Thursday. Part of me wants to POAS, but the other part of me doesn't. Total Good Angel / Bad Angel thing...

I will resist for the meantime. I know that those pee sticks are pure evil.

"Operation Distraction" is going swimmingly.

Friday I had a girl's night with two friends, one of whom has a 4-m-o daughter. I got lots of quality cuddle time with the baby, which HAS to be good juju.  Right?

Saturday Mr Jem and I cleaned the house (I LOVE a clean house. It makes me feel so good - I'm weird that way). We went to a very fun party in the evening for a friend's birthday. There was live music and dancing. Unfortunately we had to leave a bit early to go home for the PIO injection. 

4th of July was our 4th Annual Road Trip to Cali.stoga. Five of us drove up. We ate out, "took the waters" (I only went up to my upper thighs in the not-too-cold pool), and then watched the fireworks at the local county fair. Fun.

Yesterday I had my acupuncture treatment and then was off to a picnic in the park that evolved into a BBQ at our house and games into the evening.

Tonight I am attending my first Resolve meeting. Not sure what to expect. I already get so much support from the Blog community, in addition to my family and the IRL friends who are in the know, but it will be nice to meet some local women in the same boat as me. Do any of you attend those meetings locally? How is it?

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing all of you out there a safe 4th of July - but most important of all, freedom from the chains of IF!


(P.S. Love the phallic fireworks - subtle, no?)

Friday, July 2, 2010

4dp3dt - equilibrium

I'm back at work, enjoying being here - especially as we are going into a 3-day weekend.

I am still feeling zen, a little detached from this whole process after giving up yesterday (no, not in a total defeatist, throw me into the ocean way, just a throw my hands up and surrender way).

It makes me a little boring with not much to report. I am totally enjoying reading and posting on other people's blogs, tho!

All the best to all of you out there in IF land (and beyond).


Thursday, July 1, 2010

4dp3dt: Crying Uncle

I give up. I surrender. I'm waving the little white flag. IF, you have officially kicked my butt and I give up.

I haven't given up hope that this cycle will work (my b00bies are sore), but I have given up any thoughts of being able to control what's going on. I have done everything right - bed rest, good food, taken my drugs, done acupuncture, done the moxa three times a day. I've kept my stress level down.

Now I surrender. What be will be. I have one week until beta.