Monday, November 30, 2009

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....

Here I am: Stuck in the middle....with you....

And I have been stuck since Saturday morning.

Last Tuesday, what would have been Day 23 of the cycle, I had an appointment with my Endocrinologist. I knew it was too early, but just so I could give her an honest answer, I took a home pregnancy test. Which came up negative, as expected due to the timing.

I didn't take it too seriously, and after she confirmed I had lost another 4 lbs since my last visit (a total of 20 lbs lost since May), she said it was too early. She had seen my chart, and was telling me to give it more time. So I decided to just get through Thanksgiving.

Well, I made it to Saturday. What would have been Day 27 of my cycle, and 2 days before my period was due.

I want you to know I tossed and turned Saturday morning, wondering if I should or shouldn't. There was 1 test left, and I really didn't want to spend more money on them if I didn't need to.

And curiosity did finally win out.

So, I peed on a stick, capped it, and set it aside. Then I grabbed the toilet paper and, per habit since the follicle scan, checked for spotting.

And there was blood.

To say I cried would be an understatement. I sobbed in a way I don't think I ever have. It felt as if my entire heart was being broken and my insides were dying. I didn't realize this would be so hard, this cycle not working, but it was. It was harder than anything I have gone through, and I still weep at the oddest moments. My husband cried with me at one point, and somehow we got through the day. I couldn't talk about it. I tried to explain it, and he was obviously frustrated that he couldn't do more for me. But how do you tell someone that it felt like your heart had stopped and died without making them feel horrible?

Sunday came and went, and I have been making every effort to smile and remain positive. Both for my sanity and my husband's. Poor A really was worried about me after the zombie I was Saturday, so I made sure he saw that I was going to move forward.

Which I will. If my period ever actually starts.

Internets, I have been randomly spotting and nothing else since Saturday. Which could mean my period needs time to start. Or that there is implantation happening.

So, I'm stuck waiting. Waiting and wondering what will happen next.

Mentally I am giving it until the end of the week. If no cycle, I will take another home test on Friday and then call the OB/GYN regardless of the results and see what she says to do. At this point I don't think I can cry anymore over this cycle, but you never know. And until my period does come, I will keep counting days. Today is Day 29.

...of course, you do realize once I hit "publish" that my period will begin, right?

Next up: lots of pics because I have a Christmas tree with a Yoda tree topper to share.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Thanks (Part II)

To my family, both those related by blood and those I have added by choice, I thank you. You have been a source of joy and support that the years may not have been the same without. Especially to D and Em and Ning, who have always taken such good care of me when I didn't know I needed it.

I am most thankful for my life. I have almost everything I could need, and it feels good to know we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. A lot of people can't say that, and I always remember that when we hit the tight spot each month as rent clears.

I know this post is overdue, and there will be an explanation tomorrow. Right now, I am wanting to finish the weekend and relax 1 more day before returning to the office.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks (Part I)

While things this year have been challenging, I know that in the end I am a very lucky person. So I have to stop and give thanks for the things in my life that I do have and cherish.

The top of the list is my husband.

I give thanks everyday that we found each other. He completes me in every sense of the word, and without him I would feel empty inside. We tell each other how much we love each other multiple times a day, and it never feels as if it's just words. He knows it, I know it, and our families see it when they see us together.

Through the last 9 months of trying to conceive, he has been the one constant that has kept me focused and grounded. Even now, while we wait to see if it's happened, he remains positive while at the same time assuring me that it will happen for us when it's the right time. He has held my hand as I cried, kissed me to make all the bad thoughts go away, and made me laugh at times when I didn't think I possibly could.

Though, I do have to point out this last weekend.....

My hormones have been in overdrive, and some of the oddest things have made me weepy for no reason I can imagine. On Saturday, we sat down to watch Star Trek, the newest movie version, and have lunch.

For the record, I have seen this movie twice in theaters. I loved it, was excited to bring it home, and no part of the plot was a surprise at this point in the game.

Less than 2 minutes in, I am crying uncontrollably. Not just crying: Deep sobs that I.Could.Not.Stop.

I looked over at him and he wants to know what is wrong. He is so concerned, and looks worried that something has happened.

Which is when I explain that I know what's about to happen to George Kirk and I just cannot stop thinking about it and the tears won't stop.

He gave a deep sigh and looked at me with a huge smile on his face.

"This is going to be a long 9 months...."

I am so thankful that he gets me and loves me for the emotional idiot I am.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

And now a break....

Last year, I worked 11 hour days for the 3 business days leading to Thanksgiving while my co-worker was out.

This year, I am off. Well, technically I will be working for 2 hours each morning to cover our opening shift. It means being up and answering calls at 6am, but then I have the day to myself.

The upside: time with Andrew to prep for the Holiday and time with my family

The downside: more time to sit and wonder if that bit of gas was my uterus expanding

In speaking to my cousin, I have decided that I am going to ask him to hide the home pregnancy tests we have at home. I am itching to just do it, but don't want to jump the gun.

Next week, I will be back to post. And I plan to share the things I am thankful for in this crazy mixed up life.

Right now, all my brain can function on is how many hours I have to stay at my desk...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am losing my mind...

Before the internet, I wonder what women waiting to test for pregnancy did.

I know that I spend my time on sites reading about symptoms to look for, when to test, and how long the trip from the fallopian tube to the uterus is so I know when to start looking for spotting. Cause, you know, that could be a sign of implantation.

My husband isn't fully aware of this new obsession. This is what I do at work between projects. Everyone is amazed at the speed I am getting things done. All to have more time obsessing online over my possible pregnancy.

This has started to leak into my real life at home too. And so far I think the husband is getting a kick out of my odd questions.

For example, last night:

Me: Honey, can you come here and check something for me?

A: (while walking into the bedroom) What did you need, babe?

Me: Feel my breasts.

A: Excuse me?

Me: Feel my breasts. Are they feeling fuller or different yet?

A: Why would they feel different?

Me: It's a pregnancy sign....

A: It hasn't even been a week....

Me: Can you please just do this?

A: (after walking over and "examining" my chest)Well, they do feel a little different....

Me: Different how? Fuller? Do they look bloated??

A: .....I don't know how to describe it, hon. Just different...

Me: Maybe I should wait a few more days and ask you to check again!

A: Anything you want, hon....

Have I mentioned what a long 2 weeks this is going to be?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Trying to Relax

I am really trying not to think about what might be going on inside me. I just want to relax and go about life as normally as possible.

But it's so hard. We both smile at home. My family is sending good thoughts and prayers our way. So are countless friends.

Yesterday I found myself counting weeks. Based on the 1st day of my last cycle, 40 weeks out would make our due date 08/09/10. I couldn't help but giggle. We managed to get married on 08/08/08 and now this.

It also doesn't help when the OB/GYN jumps ahead of the game as well.

I literally just got off the phone with someone saying I was referred to them for a screening. A genetic screening. With the pre-natal team. Would I prefer an amnio or ultrasound-type test done?

I had to laugh. And then explain that I didn't even have a positive pregnancy test yet.

Shouldn't we wait to confirm there is a baby first?

This is going to be a very long couple of weeks.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeling Relieved

Saturday's appointment started normally.

Once again, my normal OB/GYN wasn't available, so we met with a new doctor. I liked her. She was smart and direct and had a genuine smile.

She started with my right ovary, which was there and visible thanks to the water I chugged on the way in. That's a tip most people don't mention: drink water. It made this experience so much easier this time.

There was 1 small follicle, but it was too small to work with.

And then she went to the left.

There were 2. She showed them to us on the screen. They were there, looking at us and ready to go.

You cannot imagine the relief that poured through me. We had just asked her about the dosage limits on the Chlomid, and I was a little worried that in the end it would not happen for us without a lot of money and patience. But there they were, 2 follicles looking perfect.

She told us that this looked to be the right dosage, and asked if I wanted an injection.

For most women, the follicle is enough to know that ovulation is coming and to get to work. With my system, there may be the need for a boost. So that is what we did.

I was given an injection of some hormone at about 10 am. She then told us that it would trigger ovulation usually after 41 hours. So, we needed to just relax and go home.

And have lots of sex.

That has to be the best prescription ever given by a doctor.

So, it's almost 48 hours later and I can honestly say we did everything we could to get things in line. We have another 2 week wait before testing, and even that could still be negative. But it's working, it is really working. And that feeling of relief has made everything feel so amazingly wonderful.

I am going to leave you with something my wonderful husband said that made me giggle. And still has us grinning.

He is a big Transformers fan, dating back 25 years to their start. We were snuggling and talking when he placed his hand on my stomach and leaned down. And there, in our post-coital bliss, in his best Megatron voice, said out loud:

Deceptisperm! ATTACK!!

I love that man...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trying to Stay in the Now

My alarm literally went off just minutes ago. A reminder:

Follicle scan in 24 hours.

So far, negative ovulation tests. Not surprising, but I still feel anxious. And I still hate that empty circle staring back at me.

We have a full evening planned tonight. I don't want to think about it or stress at all. I want to be able to just go with the flow and be prepared to come home and deal with another month of nothing.

But it's just so hard to not think about it.

Yesterday, work sent out the 2010 Holiday Schedule. We get Christmas Eve off, and also the 27th. Then for New Year's, we get the Eve off and then the Monday after, the 3rd. So if I take the 3 business days of between holidays, I literally end up with 11 days of no work.

I told A and pointed out that it will be our first Christmas in VA, and with a new baby it would be so great to take that time off.

He smiled.

Please oh please, let there be a follicle tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Attempt At Taking Control

The normal monthly routine has been:

Call doctor on Cycle Day 1
Start Clomid on Cycle Day 3
Stop Clomid after taking last pill on Cycle Day 7
Follicle Scan on Cycle Day 13
Baskin Robbins for dinner on Cycle Day 13
Ovulation tests every morning for the next 7 days
Begin Progesterone

Rinse and repeat....

This month I am trying to get ahead of the game. I am picking up the ovulation kits tonight to start tomorrow. My gut tells me I should be monitoring it a little more closely.

I am going to listen to that instinct.

While I am trying to be realistic for this Saturday's appointment, there is a little more hopefulness this time that I know will lead to tears come more bad news.

This time, though, I have a plan for the crying:

My mom is coming over Saturday afternoon to watch PS: I Love You and Up! with me. A little company and a good cry will fix anything....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

There's A Box on the Fridge

My current employer is a dream come true. Besides the salary, the location and people cannot be beat. I honestly love my job.

The last employer I had was fun. The commute was the worst thing imaginable, but the people I worked with made me want to be there. I just couldn't beat the camaraderie or fun had on basically a daily basis.

Our manager, though, was a little off. She had some issues with moods, and there were stories. Of things being thrown at people. Like large soup cans. Because she was having a bad day.

I don't think I ever crossed her directly. But I did spend time with people she thought were a bad influence because they didn't do what she wanted.

She was notorious for setting her own ours. Our department operated from 6am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. We knew that if she was there before 9 there was an emergency, and I think there was a period where we may not have seen her for several days. There was the ability to work from home, and I think she took advantage of it as often as it was possible.

The floor plan for the department was pretty open. When you stepped off the elevator, you were in direct view of one end of the department, and her arrival was quietly made known to those of us who had to be a little more careful than others.

And I cannot tell you how much I laughed when I realized that the whispering of "Coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!" was the officially warning for her arrival. People who were not in the know always looked at us oddly over this, but it never failed to bring a smile to a stressful situation.

Leaving there was hard. The commute was killing me, and I had to make a break. My last day was sad, I couldn't help but want to cry. But when I arrived at work they had gotten me a gift:

A box of Cocoa Puffs, autographed by our little group of misfits.

It made the move from our apartment to the house we are renting now, and will make the trip to VA. And every time I look at it, the memories of the whispered warning and the giggling faces makes me wish I could go back and do it one more time with that group of people. They were the greatest, and I am so glad that I can still call them friends.

Monday, November 9, 2009

This has been a real Monday....

Though, since the problem started yesterday, would it still count?

We currently are living paycheck to paycheck, and being careful about spending. Yes, there are some splurges, but those are slowly being curbed. Luckily, we have groceries, the bills are all paid, and rent is taken care of.

Then we walked outside yesterday and noticed my left side rear passenger tire was low. Really low. Low enough to sound really painful as we drove to the gas station for air.

We inflated said tire, checked the pressure on the others, and could see no real visible leak. Just to be safe, in to the gas station for something to spray into the tire to hold the leak at bay. My next paycheck is not until the end of this week, and right now we are just squeaking by.

It held okay. We did use the stuff for the tire, inflated it again, and basically crossed our fingers overnight.

This morning, the tire was low, but not as bad as the night before. I put more air in, and carefully drove to work. When I got out there, I went to see how the drive impacted the tire, and that's when I actually worried.

The leak was coming for cracks along the wheel edge. The tires on the car are all old, so it was going to be time soon. The problem was where to come up with money when there was none to spare.

And that was when my manager walked up to me in the parking lot.

She didn't waste anytime sending me home to work for the day and take care of this. If I haven't mentioned it before, I love this company I work for so much.

At home, work was being done while ways to come up with money. I called to get quotes, and then found that the lesser of two quotes had an option to apply for credit with them.

And that is how my car ended up with 4 new tires today. They also did a free brake inspection and found that there was a problem with 1 of the axles, so they took care of everything.

All within my new credit limit with them.

So, while we are now in further debt, I have to say thank to Wheel Works. Without them, I really don't know what we would have done today...

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Apologies to the Pilgrims For Skipping Ahead

Last night, A and I went on a trip to the local Target to wander with my mom. She was looking for something specific. We were there to look. And buy more prenatal pills and tampons.

Yes, it's my cycle right now. But I have been taking the prenatal pills since April, mainly to insure I was getting enough Folic Acid in my system. I read the articles about the development of the baby's spinal column, and with everything that we are going through to make this happen, I am not taking additional risks. So vitamins everyday.

Though standing in line with the pills in one hand and the tampons in the other made me giggle. And had A rolling his eyes at me.

Back to the Target trip....

We are both of the mind that each holiday should get its season in turn. Having Christmas decorations in the same aisle as the Halloween costumes in September makes us both growl.

I love my husband.

Christmas for me is wonderful. I love the tree and the family time. My husband has always worked retail, so for him this was the time of the year where the urge to hurt shoppers became overwhelming most days. With him being home, this year will be different. He is actually looking forward to being able to enjoy it all and let me actually listen to Christmas music at home.

I get goosebumps from the excitement. You have no idea.

We have had a tree every year since we have lived together. It's artificial, but I love the size, and we bought the ornaments together.

Now, remember: We are the geekiest dorks I know. So our tree is special...

Yes, there are regular ornaments, but not as many as the character ones. Mainly Star Wars related. With Batman and some Marvel superheroes included, of course. And the tree skirt is all about Disney's Sleeping Beauty, the only princess of the group I could honestly get behind.

That's a whole different post.

So last night, 3 weeks before Thanksgiving proper, we started looking at ornaments for this year. And instead found the world's greatest Christmas tree topper ever:

You know you are jealous about this! His light saber lights up and everything!!!

He's safely at home, sitting in his box. I've already told my family that this year we are going to have Thanksgiving dinner, and then set up and decorate the tree together. It's my last Christmas with them here, and I want to do it all with them. Once the tree is decorated, there will be pictures. As many as I think this blog can handle will be shared.

I cannot wait to see the light saber all lit up at the top of our tree!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cycle Day 3: Bring on the Chlomid!

I am trying to be better about tracking everything. I want to be able to look back someday and laugh at how frustrating it was before I got pregnant.

See that? That's me being optimistic and positive.

When it didn't work in September, I was so devastated. I honestly was on the phone crying to my mom and best friend. Demanding to know why I had to go through this, pleading with them about the unfairness of it all, and hoping I hadn't let A down by not working as promised. Wasn't this just supposed to work?


Something in that first breakdown drained me, I think. When the scan showed nothing in October, I felt numb. I had already come to terms with it not working right away and needing to be patient.

And now it's November....

This month, I am somewhere in the middle.

A few nights ago, we were out doing an errand when A looked over at me and asked, "At what point do we give up on this and just do an IVF?"

I was proud of myself for not bursting in to tears and instead calmly explaining that if I couldn't ovulate and produce a good follicle, there was nothing to work with. We had to keep trying each month until the magic dosage happened, and then start on the next phase.

Now, if he asked me that question today it would be different. This cycle has had cramps, mood swings, and bloating. And all that before the Chlomid this morning.

Maybe the heightened sensitivity to online ads for needy children is a sign that the dosage this month will work.

That, or we can blame the full moon and early summer weather in the middle of Fall.

I am actually hoping for the first one up there right now. It's the only thing on my Christmas list....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shaving the Kitty

Before anyone wonders:

This is really about Shadow. Nothing else. So if you were thinking this is an innuendo you are wrong.

I'm not allowed to discuss those things in public. It falls under "sharing too much information".

So, back to Shadow.

My beautiful boy has an amazingly long, soft, fluffy coat of gray fur. I love petting him, and he loves to purr when being admired.

Unfortunately, especially for A, the weather here is wrecking havoc with him. It's cold one week, so his coat thickens. The next week, we are back to 80 degree days, and he sheds again. Considering how neat he keeps himself, there is a lot of cleaning going on.

Which results in hairballs.

I feel so bad for him. It is literally becoming something that happens every 2-3 days, and A is home and hearing it. And cleaning it.

Which means I later get to hear about it.

We are contemplating having him groomed. Seriously groomed. To the point where his brother will end up having more fur than him.

I've promised to call and ask about pricing and appointments. I have confirmed that there is a PetSmart that can do this for us.

But it's breaking my heart to think of him missing all that beautiful fur.....

If decisions like this are so hard when dealing with the cat, can you imagine our child's first haircut??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cycle 3: Day 1

Well, the call has been made. Today is officially logged as Day 1.

Chlomid is being increased and the prescription picked up tonight or tomorrow. Depends on my mood. The taking of the drug will commence on Thursday, Day 3, and should end next Monday, Day 7.

The scan is scheduled for the 14th.

Friday the 13th would have been more appropriate if you ask me.

I'm going in to this month being positive and optimistic. While pregnancy is still at the top of the list for this year, right now I am seriously content with the time I am getting with A at home.

For the record: I have not loaded the dishwasher in almost 2 weeks. And my laundry is all clean. His staying home is really making my weekends restful. Which when pregnant will only help more.

Now, if only I could remember to put the laundry away instead of leaving it folded in the basket. On the dining room table. Which used to be the habit of his that made me nutty. And now he is the one who makes the comments to me...

What an odd reversal of roles......

Monday, November 2, 2009

Somehow We Missed Winter

Last week was one of those great Fall weeks where it's cool, but comfortable. There was no worry of rain for Halloween. Everything felt good.

Well, except for the fact we were dying. Apparently I managed to bring home one DOOSIE of a cold. NO FLU!! Just a cold. But this one managed to attack everyone in the house, and we are still dealing with the coughing.

Which is why the weather since Saturday is frustrating.

See, to me, cough and cold season means snuggling and warm soup and some warm tea. Staying home in comfy pajamas and taking care of yourself while watching movies from under a pile of blankets.

Nothing is worse than a full on cold when it feels like summer is coming on. Who wants to have a runny nose and be sweaty, but not from a fever??

Which is why the 80 degree weather we have had the last 2 days is making me shake my little fist at Mother Nature.

Can it please get cold now?