Merry Birthday Jesus!

I know I was all sad and stuff in my last post (like “oh I don’t feel like talking”, blah blah blah)  but I’m feeling more like myself again (for the moment–but this may be transient). I’m nearly ready for Christmas: house decorated (but still need to finish cleaning–I hate cleaning, so I might give myself a B- in cleanliness and organization but whatevs), cookies made (I chocolate-dipped oreos and pretzels and sprinkled different things on them, for example: white chocolate with crushed candy cane bits–making chocolate dipped stuff is a WAY bigger pain-in-the-ass than just baking something, IMHO), presents bought and wrapped (I $pent almost as much on the wrapping as I do on the damn presents), groceries bought for the carefully planned Christmas dinner (which, same as Thanksgiving I’ll be cooking, because of course nobody else is volunteering), and there’s one more thing…

OH! I’m missing an excuse/lie to tell my Mother-In-Law (MIL) to explain WHY I have to leave in the middle of making dinner–because I have to go see Dr. Angel for monitoring and of course the best time for him is between 3-4pm. Hello drama, my old friend, how ya doin’?! I’m a horrible liar. I have no idea what I’m going to tell her. But as you already know, I don’t want to tell her anything because, well, I just don’t want her asking about it and I most definitely do not want her to say anything to my (shady) SIL. Mr. MLACS is totally backing me up about not saying anything, although it will be awkward because at some point during MIL’s visit we are both going to have to “excuse ourselves” to go do IUI #2. We’re kind of just thinking of saying “we’ll be back in a couple hours” and leaving it at that–MIL won’t pry. But yeah, so that’s what’s up….

I had everything planned out for Christmas, but I didn’t plan to succumb to depression and anxiety for a week and fall behind on my preparations, because I didn’t plan for IUI #1 to fail and thus necessitate IUI #2 during Christmas. Yup, infertility is nothing if not inconvenient, right?

I saw some friends this past week and that was a wonderful pick-me-up, plus Mr. MLACS is home now for about a month and we are getting along, plus I’ve had some more acupuncture from Star, plus Dr. Angel is…well, he’s an Angel.

In other news, Doc Angel and I had a pow-wow today after my monitoring session. The day he took my betas (12dpo) my Progesterone was only 2, and we all know that is pitifully low, right? Right. I have 3 months supply of Endometrin (progesterone suppositories) so given that my progesterone was so low, Dr. Angel wants me to begin progesterone the day of IUI #2. I was really surprised my progesterone was low, because my boobs were huge and I was having crazy nightmares (which always happen when I’m pregnant or on progesterone supps). But, I’m oddly relieved because now maybe I can blame low progesterone and not sh*tty egg quality for my failed IUI #1, and there’s the ‘silver lining’.

Also, Doc Angel said my testosterone is totally normal (25) right smack in the middle of ‘normal’ range and my free testosterone was also normal, though I cannot remember the exact number for it. I was surprised, because (if you’ve read my ‘about’) then you know I have a lot of excess coarse androgen-promoted hair growth on face/stomach/thighs, which unfortunately does not go away just because I got my testosterone ‘in check’. I suppose this is what spironolactone is for, because it blocks the androgen receptors in your hair follicles to prevent the hair growth. But I’ll never take that crap.

I also spoke to my Gastroenterologist (GI) doc about postponing my next Remicade infusion for a few weeks in case it may be interfering with implantation. Surprisingly, my GI was totally for it and said he didn’t prefer to use it in pregnancy if I can avoid it, but to monitor my symptoms and let him know if I’m feeling bad. This means I have to diligently use my Rowasa enemas every. single. day. But who knows, maybe I will be able to get off of the Remicade indefinitely, and that…would be priceless.

I’ll talk more about IUI #2 later, but for now I’m gonna play these cards close to the vest. I’m using the same protocol as last time (Femara + Bravelle + Trigger + IUI) except with different dosages/days and adding progesterone supps. I hope you ladies all have a Merry Christmas and cheers to Jesus! XO

 

Oh My Heavens It’s SO BIG!

I feel absolutely INSANE.

I finally saw Dr. Angel yesterday afternoon (after “Super Soul Sunday”) and I warned him that I might start crying and if I did then he should understand that he’s not hurting me, I am just crazy, and it’s not his fault–so please don’t take it personally. And he smiled and told me that this was only the beginning and the hormones will get worse on the Bravelle. FML. And then he looked at my ovaries with the dildocam. Left ovary had two juicy follicles he measured (no idea what the measurements are in “infertility speak” cuz e’rybody always talks about triggering when their dominant follicles are “over 15”, etc. and I didn’t ask him to convert his measurements for me). And the right ovary had one juicy follicle but it was oddly shaped and appeared to have something protruding into it…Dr. Angel said, quote, “It may be a hemorrhagic cyst or something.” No mf*ing clue what “or something” may be. I remembered to bring the drugs and paraphernalia with me, expecting that Dr. Angel would teach me how to do the Bravelle shots. But he flipped the script on me and said he’d like for me to begin Bravelle tomorrow (today) so that he can see, quote, “If those follicles are leftover from the last cycle or if they are from this cycle.” I asked him how he would be able to tell and he said, quote, “If the follicles are new, then they should increase in size, but if they are old then they probably won’t.” Well, ok then. He offered to keep my Bravelle and accoutrements at his office, and I was glad because that’s one less thing for me to worry about. And I left, went home, and took my last Femara tablet.

I returned to Dr. Angel’s office today to have another US and (finally) get my first Bravelle shot. I gotta ask you guys, have you ever sat in a chair in the OBGYN or RE’s office that raises you up and tips you back so that you’re practically upside down and your lady parts are in the air at eye-level with your practitioner? The ultrasounds yesterday and today were my first experiences with this fancy chair, and I don’t hate it but it’s weird as hell, don’t you think? Just sayin’. So anyways, Dr. Angel first looks at my left ovary and measures the 2 follicles from yesterday, and I notice they have grown–hooray, they are “new”! And then…he looked at my right ovary…and WTF??? The potential ‘hemorrhagic cyst’ from yesterday that had been about the same size as the other two follicles now seemed to be taking up my entire f*ing ovary! I was like…”Um…is that seriously the follicle from yesterday?!” And he didn’t say much, he was just clicking away taking measurements and he even made a 3D color image of my ovary to get a better look. I was like, “Whoa dude, this looks bad, is it bad??” And he was like, “Nah, it looks like a hemorrhagic cyst”. And I was like “But from what I’ve read about other people’s cycles, the cycles get canceled when they have a cyst! Is this cyst gonna mess up my cycle?” And he was like, “No it won’t cancel your cycle.” And I was like “Cool–my right ovary can be delinquent as long as my left ovary is still in the game.” But really, I’m like, what the hell is wrong with my ovary??? I’m over here wondering if my Remicade + Clomid cycles have given me ovarian cancer or some sh*t. And when I think I might have ovarian cancer, the first thing that pops into my mind is “Please Lord, let Dr. Angel ignore my ovarian cancer and let me get pregnant and have a baby before I die, Amen.” I am such a whack job.

Then, it was FINALLY time for me to get that Bravelle shot. And all along I was thinking I would give it to myself in my stomach. But Dr. Angel is pointing at his butt saying “So you’ll want to make sure you don’t hit your sciatic nerve…” and I’m thinking…”Damn, how the hell am I s’posd to give myself a shot in my ass”…I’m flexible but this seems unrealistic/unfair. And then…I see this GIANT MF*ING NEEDLE and I’m like “Lord Jesus are you serious?! Is THAT the needle?! How big is that??!” And Dr. Angel is just showing me how to mix the Bravelle with the filler solution but I am not even paying attention because I’m too busy looking at this ridiculously HUGE needle. It’s a good thing I’m not a curious person and I hadn’t examined the contents of the box Freedom Pharmacy sent except to make sure the meds were there, cuz I might’ve changed my damn mind. I asked Dr. Angel what size needle that was, hoping that my eyes were deceiving me, but he said “23” and my face fell–it really is as big as it looks. I was still pants-less holding a sheet around me as I’m watching Dr. Angel get the shot ready, and finally it was time and I held the sheet awkwardly with one hand (so Dr. Angel had access to my buttock) and grabbed the counter with the other hand…and…it wasn’t that bad. But I’m gonna be straight with you: my ass is still sore from it. And for the record I’m not afraid of needles–been stuck countless times for bloodwork and IV’s and even had Botox on my face a few times (don’t judge me), but those needles were child’s play compared to this one. Damn. Luckily, I have to have an ultrasound every day and I’m only taking the Bravelle 75iu once a day, so I looked at Dr. Angel and said “I will seriously pay you extra if you will give me these shots.”

Can I also mention (of course I can but you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to) that my Dad has a girlfriend. Any of you out there whose Mom/Dad passed away and you’ve had to deal with your living parent dating while also dealing with the loss of your other parent? Well…it’s been rough. My sister openly HATES the girlfriend and will have NOTHING to do with her. I’ve been living away from home for most of this time so I only have to see her occasionally because she lives 2 hours away and they alternate weekends (he goes there, she comes here). I don’t like her, but I don’t hate her. However, the girlfriend has two sons and they seem to really like my Dad. And these sons have small children of their own. And…all of a sudden lately ALL my Dad talks about when he comes home from visiting the girlfriend is playing with her adorable grandchildren. Today, he even told me what he intends to get each of her grandchildren for Christmas! Can somebody PLEASE take the dagger giant syringe out of my still-beating heart?! And he fuggin’ knows exactly what I’m going through–I’ve told him everything. He’s just stupid. That is all. XO

 

Syringe to the Heart

Are You There Oprah? It’s Me, MLACS…

Totally chaotic post…just gotta get it out…the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem…

I’m sitting on my couch in my fuzzy pink bathrobe, watching Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” on her OWN network, and I’m on the verge of tears and I’m trying to figure out what, exactly, is causing me this unrest…

Here’s the background: My dear departed Mother was a HUGE fan of Oprah (but nowhere near obsessed, just appreciative). When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer I wanted to contact Oprah and tell her how amazing my mother is and have Oprah listen to her and hold her hand and tell her she’s wonderful and give her a trip to her orphanage in Africa or something along those lines. And I did write to Oprah, but I was overwhelmed and unprepared to do something more extreme to get Oprah’s attention. And really, I realized, that shouting my mother’s praises to the world on Oprah and sending her to Africa would not make her life any more or less meaningful–I realized you do not have to be a billionaire or start an orphanage to signify that you meant something to this world. I could get all Eastern philosophical on you but you know what I’m talking about–if you don’t and you’re curious then may I recommend the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Anyhow, I haven’t been following Oprah since she left daytime television, because her network cost extra to add to my cable packages and also I’m sure because Oprah reminds me of my Mom and the many things I wanted for her that I couldn’t give her in this life. This sh*t is heavy and I can only deal with it in small doses. In fact, I’ll just keep rolling here, I’ve wondered more than once–since disease is called dis-ease and some say it is a sickness of the soul–if I just sat here and thought of every fear or sadness I’ve ever had, and cried it out, if maybe my Ulcerative Colitis and other immune issues would go away. But I haven’t been compelled to try that. But I digress…I just flipped on the tv last Sunday and Oprah was talking to this older woman with dreadlocks and I was intrigued so I began watching “Super Soul Sunday”, which is where Oprah talks to people (I think mostly authors and public figures) who have spiritual messages about life. It’s intense. And today, Oprah is talking to Mark Nepo (who I haven’t read) about what brain cancer taught him. This guy is a PhD. He’s written a bunch of books. And Oprah thinks he’s a prophet. It makes me Feel. So. Small. And who am I now? I used to relish philosophical conversations and awakenings, and now I’m pained when I watch somebody else experiencing this sort of freedom and lightness of their soul. I feel so tired and heavy. And I don’t even know what the hell is burdening me, exactly, how to get rid of it, how to make sense of it.

I wonder how much of this is a mid-life crisis and how much of it is hormonal. I’m on day 5 of Femara. Anybody else found themselves under fire from random bullets of emotion? Did it stop when you quit the Femara? Just wondering. I would like to think that this will all resolve its self (probably wishful thinking and I should probably get some therapy). I had a fight with Mr. MLACS the other day that seriously challenged my will to procreate. He should’ve known better than to berate me for anything, given that: I had a hellatious week at the new job (which was a disappointment); I feel unsettled and somewhat ashamed about quitting the job (even though I KNOW it was the right decision); I had to fight with Freedom Fertility Pharmacy and jump through hoops to get my drugs; I’m frustrated about our finances; I miss him terribly; I have no idea what I will do with myself–whether I get pregnant or not–I realized that I need to start setting goals…short-term, attainable goals, and fulfill my purpose beyond wife and motherhood…I feel like I’m just waiting to exhale. Mr. MLACS spoke to me as if I hadn’t a care in the world. And that PISSED ME OFF and got me really, really, upset. So upset, between this fight and the other above mentioned factors, I was rendered useless yesterday and spent the entire damn day in my pink reindeer pajamas stalking your blogs and googling sh*t. I did however force myself to the gym for 45min of cardio, because I know it is important to our procreational efforts. But I’m feeling literally and figuratively stuck inside a box, as I haven’t left the house.

I was supposed to meet Dr. Angel at 7am this morning to have an US and learn how to shoot my Bravelle. I even took a cold pack and placed it in my box of drugs and paraphernalia, and then placed the box in the car, just so I wouldn’t forget it. I was so anxious I couldn’t get to sleep! And he had told me to page him at the hospital juuuuust in case he was there doing a delivery. So I paged him. And of course, he was there attending to a first-time-mom who was just 6cm dilated. Just my luck. He said he’d call me and I haven’t heard from him, so I suppose this kid is taking it’s sweet time entering the world. It’s stupid but this also makes me feel small, like, her having a baby vs. me needing to shoot my drugs is no-contest as to which is more significant. And then this brings up the feelings of: it was supposed to be MY turn in October. It could’ve been me in those stirrups, but it’s not. I don’t dwell on this much (I’m not a “dweller” in general, I’m impatient and hurry to move on) but it’s worth mentioning because these feelings are there.

I’m f*ing frustrated. I don’t understand what is happening to me, but I have been stumbling through dark and unfamiliar times in my life and I know that I will be able to look back with perspective when I’ve reached the other side of this bridge. It’s just, I didn’t realize I was even ON a bridge (metaphor for I didn’t realize I was in crisis/a life transition) until I was already in the thick of it. Like I was just ambushed by life.

And by the way, you know (I think) that I am a spiritual person and I believe that these uncomfortable, painful experiences in life are growing pains and ultimately a gift. I may be empowered by whatever self discovery or nugget of universal truth that may be gleaned from weathering this storm. Are you listening Oprah???

**also I must add that Oprah films her “Super Soul Sunday” at her estate on Maui, and glimpsing the islands makes me feel very homesick–the Midwest is my Roots but Hawaii is my Wings–I miss the Aina, Kai, and Mauka…I felt that freedom and lightness of spirit there. That’s a tale for another time.