Friday, December 17, 2010

The yin and the yang


Who is going to get all this work, shopping and cooking done cause it isn't me.  Bleh.  I have an astronomical amount of work to do right now.

Can I get an amen from my sisters?

I feel a little under it all.  I don't have much to say.  It certainly isn't interesting.  Do you really want to see a list of all the crap I haven't even started yet?  Nay.


All that complaining you just read?  That isn't me.  I went to see Dr. Crazy Meds yesterday and switched to a new prescription.  Stay tuned for a much more enjoyable Roccie.

I am not in a place where I can really write, but I can show you just the girl who can.  Please step over to my friend Rosie's house.  She sent me the spirit of Christmas in a box.

The essence of friendship in a manila envelope.

Hope hanging on a tree.

Rosie you are one in a million and I love you.

Thank you for everything.

If you want to know what I look like, you can see me in the red ornament.

I feel like a Led Zeppelin album cover.

Hell, yeah.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Redefining Advanced Maternal Age

Big drum roll, I am 40 now.

It is a milestone birthday. I believe I am obligated to stop, take inventory and assess my life at a nice round number like this. Eek.

You get a lot of hassle from anyone who is not 40. It is hard to find a sympathetic ear.

If you are younger than 40, you think "age is just a number". If you are older than 40, you think I am bitching about being "old". Only my buddies from high school get it, old farts that they are.

It has been tough timing. I am souped up on my new medication. Not a big fan. It makes me queasy and I have a really hard time sleeping. Really hard, like flip the pillow for the cold side and end up performing previously mentioned life analysis. Every night. Several times a night.

I had to travel for work just after my birthday. Just me - no coworkers. Lame. I miss Toddlerina so badly I cannot see straight. Get me home. I wanted to participate in the conference, but I was disconnected.

Hrumpf. I head into the psychaitrist next week. Hopefully we can sort this out. I feel better but I cannot say I feel good. Now I know I am depressed. I have the world going for me but I want more. And less. And different.

Here is another thought. What if in my honesty I give a bad rap for recipents of donor eggs? What if I scare off potential donors? What if they read this and think recipients are unstable?

Crap. I really don't think I am unstable, but I am not myself. Hard to explain.

A couple housekeeping issues:

If you could not get the video due to my poor imbedding skills, please click the following link. It cracks me up just thinking about it.


I would al so like to formally introduce and thank my friend Lady Pumpkin of Planting a Pumpkin Patch.

She is the Pumpkin I so fondly celebrated in my last post. I thought I was being clever in the way I talked about her, figuring everyone knew her. If you don't, drop by and get to know her. She is a nutter and takes good care of me. You would be lucky to have her on your side as well.

Best wishes on your POAS Pumpkin.... you will POAS, I assume???

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who doesn't love Pumpkin, that is what I want to know

I spent my weekend curled up around a box of cookies.

Thankfully, The Cookies of Love from Pumpkin arrived chez Roccie as I started my Crazy Meds.  The cookies were so good, I ate them in a matter of days (okay, I ate them in just one day) before yuck tummy kicked in.

So, I got this going for me: Crazy Meds kill the appetite.

Not in a fun sort of yessiriamgoingtostayupallnightandparty, but more of a what-if-i-just-barf-and-get-it-over kind of way.

Transfer planned for January 19. 

By then I will be A Thin Mint: impervious to the pain of a failed FET.

Talent.  There are some talented mother fuckers out there.

Thank you Pumpkin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can you hear that???

...or "How I Knew I Was Slipping.  Again."

by Roccie of Roccie Road

I believed in my last post.  I thought I had it.  

I couldn't hold on to it.  What a fucking fraud.

Yesterday I had what is probably called a break down.  I left the office and sort of lost track of time.

Rocco staged an intervention and suggested I ask my RE about anti-depressants.  I sent my RE an email that night and was surprised by her response.  She was waiting for me when I went in for my baseline appointment today.  We talked for quite some time.

I called my old psychiatrist (what, everyone doesn't have one on speed dial?).  Her assistant said she couldn't see me until mid December.  I hung up but then got a call from the doctor herself.  She pulled my file and it must be ugly as she agreed to do our consult over the phone.

She doesn't have all of her ALI facts in order in my opinion, but she easily summed up the state of my head.  Meds followed.

Cuckoo.  Cuckoo.

I had some reservations about the meds, but today after the fourth (what) person at work asked me if I was doing ok, I figured it was probably a good idea.  One of them was my boss and I cried.  Dammit.

I lost a job last time I was depressed.  Ok, so I lost two.  In a row.

My career has never recovered.  Sometimes it gets to me.

Once upon a time, I had a self perceived Very Important Career where I made Great Money.  Those days are gone.  I now sit in a cube and work for a paycheck to cover my ART expenses.

In other news, I had a blood draw to test for autoimmune issues.  If this next cycle fails, we will do a lap.

50-50% chance of success with a DE FET.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The BFN - Stop taking credit for it

My RE called to personally deliver the news today.  

There was something about the way she delivered the news that I already knew.  It made me breakdown and cry all over again.

"I am so very sorry."

It meant a lot to me that she made the call herself.  Over the years, we have become quite close for a patient/physician relationship.  I think in different circumstances we would be friends.  Or maybe we are.

I went to see my acupuncturist.  As usual, she filled the role as my thera-puncturist.  I was crying and it was picking up speed. It was all tumbling out of my mouth - what I should have done and what I did wrong.

She told me to stop taking credit for it. 

Stop taking credit for the failure.

If this had been successful, I would have handed the success away.  

Who am I to take responsibility for it's failure?

If I were pregnant, it certainly wouldn't have been me to make it happen.  I have a team.  A little bit of God, some of the other gods, and a whole lot of luck.  It requires many things to fall into the right place at the right time.  

If I cannot make it happen, I cannot make it fail.

This has to be her finest work.  I left that place with my cares under her table.  I cried hard during the treatment, but it was a release.

I am ready to go back at it.  Bring on the bitch Aunt Flo and someone get me a pack of BCP.

Your comments were my lifeline.  I don't need to tell you what they mean, do I?  

I am humbled that so many women with so many personal worries and shit shows took the time out to help me tend to mine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I’m out

I am not pregnant anymore.

I had one leftover test.  I took it on Monday morning for kicks.  Deep down, I had some concern at the rate the lines were darkening, but I had no idea what to expect.  I have never tracked it.  I pushed it off as typical useless worry. 

Mostly I took this test for kicks.

Monday’s line was about half of what I saw on Sunday.

Today’s was negative.

I think this is likely due to a chromosomal abnormality.  I don’t think it is a sign that all of my embryos have a problem.  Right?  I am my donor’s fifth cycle.  Two cycles resulted in pregnancies from fresh and two cycles resulted in pregnancies from frozen.

Perhaps I should take some comfort in the fact that it implanted.   I have seen my body carry a sucessful pregnancy.  I know I have some good strengths, but right now it is a horrible let down.

All of a sudden, it all came rushing back.  I feel like I have been telling everyone who struggles with the set backs “I get it”.  I believe I did get it.  I had some big setbacks myself with the miscarriage and the 2 cancelled retrievals.  The transition to donor eggs was a more than a set back.

My pain is fresh again.  I feel like I owe you all a deep apology.  I really do get it, but it is worse than I remember.

It all comes back to me: yes, you know you will pick yourself up and try again.  But fuck.  I am tired.  I feel like I get up a little slower.

I get that feeling I have been here before.  Do I really have anything new to say?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the potty...

Genius.  Sheer genius to use Rocco's urine as a baseline.  Thank you Linda for giving me some peace of mind.

Oh, there is a line.

It was a regular urine fest over here.  I peed on two different brands... as did Rocco.  I asked him to serve as my baseline to evaluate how the evaporation line works.  He is not pregnant.  Whew.

The line is light, but it is there.  One test shows positive and one shows more positive.

I can see how the last cycle I thought I read a positive on one brand.  The Target First Response seems to be more "sensitive".  If I were desperate and testing early enough to justify the faintness of the line away, well, Rocco just might be pregnant in my book.

The First Response Early Response takes longer to darken.  It isn't as dark and glorious as the Target knock off, but Rocco has zero chance of being pregnant on that test.  White as snow.

Lessons learned?  Please chime in on this.  You folks has some AMAZING feedback.  Wonderful ideas coming from my veterans out there.  I cannot thank you enough.

Things POAS Taught Me, the Hard Way

  1. Don't switch brands.  I switched brands from the last four cycles.  It is a mistake to turn your back on the experience you have gained over time.  Familiarity is key.

  2. Use two tests.  I am sure this is a sign of the depth of my madness, but variety was a life saver today.  The test behave differently.

  3. Having day 5 as a blank slate proves a valuable reference point.

  4. Day 5 not baseline enough for you?  Male urine saved my sanity.  I cannot say I want to recommend this, but keep it in your back pocket if you think you see ghost lines.

  5. Photoshop, Picasa or photo editing software is like POAS porn.  Thanks to Kellyanne for this one.  It is titillating to darken your own line. Ooh, that really does it for me.  For the record, this did *not* cause a line to appear on Rocco's test.  Good stuff.

And now we wait.

We all know too well this is only the first step.  There are many more milestones to achieve.

Cautiously joyful,
Your ever grateful friend,
Lost without your support,


Saturday, November 13, 2010

POAS: The Home Wrecker

Are we pregnant?

I dunno.  Don't even read this post.  Save yourself.  I already got into an argument with my own mother over it.  Still mad about it.

But the torture continues.  I need another box of First Response Early Response.  Buy 2, get one free in a single box.  A party pack.  My beta isn't until Wednesday.  May as well be next year.

I think I am messing with some false positives.  I did this our last test.   One minute I am convinced we are pregnant, the next I am certain to be chasing shadow ghost lines.


If they are false positives, wouldn't I have a false positive showing up on 5dp5dt?  I only think I see a hint of one.

Really, why are you still reading?  This is pathetic.  These photos were taken HOURS after the pee dip.  They are BEYOND invalid.

I fear we are not pregnant.

Let this POAS story be a warning to all you good women.  Do not POAS.

Of course, we will test again tomorrow.

I can convince myself I see something different on 7d.  I think I see it.  But is it only there as this test is over 6 hours old?  But why if all the test are old, why does the line appear to get slightly darker?

Why don't I have any self control.


Pathetically yours,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music to bring on your determination

Music takes you exactly where you need to be.

I lived on this record after I learned what "incompatible with life" meant and I lost my baby.

I pull it out again today to steel my nerves and cry tears for so many of us struggling.

My heart hurts so much for you today.

Every time it rains I listen to the sky
And wonder what's so great about sunshine
Everybody lives and everybody dies
And no one's gonna love you like I do

When it was getting dark

I didn't need a match
I never needed light to see you
You thought I disappeared
But I was always here
I could never get that far from you

Though I misunderstand

And been misunderstood
So love me 'cause you can
And not because you should

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive

Take it as it comes

And take me as I am
I never was a good imposter
But I know how to dream
And don't know where I stand
I'm willing to admit I try too hard
Stop playing with my heart
I'm waiting by the phone
Afraid to be myself
Afraid to be alone

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive
And every time it rains
I'm gonna hide myself inside

I know it's good to be alive

I know it's good to be alive
I know it's good to be alive

Every time it rains

I know it's good to be alive
Every time it rains
I know I'm trying to survive

Don't worry about me.  This song just caught me when I was vulnerable - too much troubling news lately.  

I don't need the comments, but our fellow bloggers might:

This is for you, Mo.  

This is for you, Kim from Chaos.  

This is for you, Lifeslurper.  

This is for you, egghunt.  

This is for you, Lut.  

This is for you, Suzy.  

This is for you, R.

You are not alone.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Let it be, let it be: 3dp5dt

Where is the tug?  Where is the pull?

Where is all the activity I should be feeling in my uterus right now?

I felt it with Toddlerina.  I felt it with our FET, though it ended in miscarriage at 6-7 weeks.

I did feel a pinch.

A pinch is not a pull.

A pinch is not a tug.

I sound like Dr. Fucking Suess.

A pinch is the cramp you feel after having tubes in your uterus.  It was the same day as transfer.  This is not implantation.

Where is my pink wipe?

I think I might die.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The other side of transfer day

I go into this wait a little wiser than I was in past cycles.  Yeah, this is my sixth two week wait.  You would think I would have learned something by now.  This isn't much but it is all I got. 

Lesson Number One: Get to know your boobs
Progesterone, my lumpy-butt-making friend, I am on to you.  I noted breast tenderness even before the transfer.  Later this week I will not be tricked into thinking this is a sign of pregnancy.  I told Rocco my Breast Update and he just looked at me as if to silently ask how I knew my breasts were tender.  Silly man, doesn't he know the poking and prodding we do behind closed doors looking for A Sign?  

Lesson Number Two: Corral your urine
I also learned to pee in a cup.  Despite the term POAS, dipping the stick is the preferred method.  Managing an optimal urine stream is impossible when your hands are shaking.  I would like to have Rocco by my side this time.  I plan to POAS day 8.  (I have the blood test on day 11.  Hell if I am waiting that long.) 

Lesson Number Three: Fiberize yourself
Metamucil is now part of my diet.  All of these meds (I bet it is that damn progesterone) slow you down.  The Metamucil isn't that bad.  They are telling the truth, *no grit!*  But you can imagine, it leads to some interesting moments when Rocco is injecting daily meds into my rear end.  Thank jaw I am working from home this week as I, well, I stink.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I am scared to call it PUPO

I don't care how many times they tell me it is okay to pee after a transfer, it always gives me stage fright.

Here I am.  Me and my embryo. 

Now what.

I am guzzling estrogen inducing things:
  1. The Sound of Music
  2. Babies (I think it was our girl Lisa who recommended it)
  3. Disney Oceans
  4. Vanity Fair (some trash is good)
  5. Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix
I think I might turn into a pineapple.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fertilization Report

All day I was waiting for the fertilization report.  I carried my phone around the halls.  Took it to all my meetings.  I looked at it, willing it to ring.  I couldn't concentrate on anything today.

I didn't have any information, so I did what any normal person would do, I ran the data to project my outcome based on my donor's past four cycles.

Mature Fertilize
23 18
18 15

We have 15 fertilized eggs.  It is an incredible opportunity to very likely have a baby.
I don't know how to explain it.  I cried at my dear acupuncturist's today.  I was stressed and I was scared.  Look at the variance.

Seeing the numbers below my projection (a simple calculation on averages, not weighted by the cycle number) freaked me out.

  • What if this represents an issue?
  • Why did she trigger on day 9, not day 10?
  • Did my RE see a problem and try to cut it off with an early retrieval?
  • Does this represent a quality issue?

And on and on and on.

Leave it to my acupuncturist to save the day.  She presented it to me this way: I am not in control.  My inner self doesn't like this and is trying to gain control by making targets, setting budgets while stuffing all the numbers into little boxes.

She invited me to stop trying to control this process receive everything as it happens.

It clicked.  I feel really good now.  

Please don't spend any effort trying to comfort me - I just freaked out and wanted to share.  It might help someone to see how I first experienced it and how the change in perspective helped me.

I probably sound like an ungrateful son of a bitch.  I was for a moment when I let myself lose focus.  What a great lesson to learn.

I love my therapist, I mean acupuncturist.

Peace, love and follicles,


The original is actually quite pretty in Excel: formatting, graphs, oohs and ahhs for a nerd like me.  I will send it out to whoever wants to spend time analyzing the daylights out of things she cannot control.

My acupuncturist points out the ratio that counts, M:F or Mature to Fertilize, is right on.

Cycle Retrieve Mature R:M Fertilize M:F R:F
1 23 18 78.3% 16 88.9% 69.6%
2 33 29 87.9% 18 62.1% 54.5%
3 22 20 90.9% 18 90.0% 81.8%
4 33 22 66.7% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Average 27.8 22.3 80.9% 18.25 84.1% 67.4%

Projected   22.7   18.3    

Actual 28 18 64.3% 15 83.3% 53.6%

Min 22 18 66.7% 16 61.2% 72.7%

Max 33 29 90.9% 21 95.5% 63.6%

Median 28 21 75.0% 18 85.7% 64.3%


to Average 0.3 -4.3 -16.6% -3.3 -0.8% -13.8%
to Min 6.0 0.0 -2.4% -1.0 22.1% -19.2%
to Max -5.0 -11.0 -26.6% -6.0 -12.2% -10.1%
to Median 0 -3 -10.7% -3 -2.4% -10.7%

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This ride is making me a little sick to my stomach...

My donor triggers tonight.

I don't mean to be a wimp, but I sort of feel like I might throw up.

This is it.  Her retrieval is on Monday.  Rocco goes in to drop off his business around 930 CDT.  Her retrieval may be complete by this time.  Whoa.  That means we will know how many eggs she produced from that luscious set of fertile ovaries.

She has been hovering right around 30 follicles the last few days.  Today is her stim day 9.  Typically women trigger on day 10.  I don't worry she triggering day 9.... right?

Thirty follicles doesn't promise us 30 eggs.  I know we have a couple hurdles to clear - not all follicles have eggs, not all eggs retrieved are mature.

Then we have the fertilization freak show.  I sit on pins and needles for 3-5 days while we see how things progress.  

Where is that bucket for me to throw up into?  Dammit, Rocco, get me a bucket!

Full of peace, full of peace, full of peace.... holycrapthisisit..... FULL OF PEACE!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of these things is not like the other

Giddy.  Scared.  Excited.

I like my job about as much as I like a stick in my eye and yesterday one of the fellas said, "Roccie, why you always walking around here with such a big smile on your face?"

I think everything is going down next week.  Whoa.

Donor eggs.  Why isn't everyone talking about them?  I could talk about them all day long.  The gal at Whole Foods asked me how my day was going.  I must have given a resounding GREAT because she asked me why it was so great.

Hm.  You really wanna know?  So I told her, "Mydayisawesomemydonorjustgotapprovedandithinksheisrockandroll."

I could have knocked her over with a feather.  She was quiet for a moment as she digested it.  She beamed back at me and I saw the reflection of my joy.  More rock and roll.

I am just so freaking happy.

My donor's stims cost me about $1500.  Mine?  About $4000, maybe more.

My day 5 ultrasound?  I had seven follicles.  My donor?  Thirty.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Things that get you into trouble when Momma is on Lupron

  • Fail to load the dishwasher properly.  Everyone knows that large mixing bowls on the bottom will prevent proper cleaning of the top rack.
  • Attempt to feed me a chicken pot pie for dinner.  Again.
  • Host a membership drive for NPR.
  • Add another anniversary to remember my losses on October 15.
  • Crash an application and cause me to lose my work.  Shitballs, why didn’t I save it more often.
  • Experience a bad hair day.
  • Lure me into car driver vs. bicyclist screamfest on the street.  I can’t act like I don’t hear your argument and not get involved.  I just wish I hadn’t used that language with Toddlerina in the backseat.  And in my own suburb.

I am in the stage where I cannot get riled up right now.  This is most difficult for me.  A lot of you are in this place too, so how do we do it?

I learned a simple trick from my wonderful acupuncturist how to counter moments like these.  The opposite of this negative energy is laughter.  Release it with a good laugh – at yourself or at the Universe for such a lame attempt to thwart you.  Think, “Really?  You thought this would bother me?  Puh-lease.”

She also told me to shift into receiving mode.  Look for ways that folks give to you – even your dogs.  “I receive this opportunity to bond with you while I clean the mud from your mitts.” 

If someone opens the door for me, I give them a thank you that probably almost sounds like a come on.

My donor starts her stims today.  If she is in receiving mode she would know I think about her constantly and send her all my very best.   

I completed the medication order a couple days ago.  The agent from the pharmacy was getting off the phone with me and planned to call my donor next.  The agent asked the routine question, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes.  There is.  Please be kind to my donor.  Leave her in a better mood than you found her. “

She laughed but I think she probably did it.