Friday, December 31, 2010

The Funeral



On this gray, cold morning, I sit in my living room, in silence. I woke up early and got on the computer to check my typical sites (FB, email, TTC forums). I am feeling...here.

I am relieved that this year is almost over. However, I am apprehensive about the upcoming year. Will it be month after month of disappointment, just like 2010 (and not all TTC-related, either)? Will my wildest dreams come true?

Truth be told, I'm scared of the new year. Will Buster find a decent job? Will I get pregnant? Will Buster find a decent job before I get pregnant? What if I never get pregnant? Why has Kelsey been so damn lethargic as of late?

I'm a worrier. I worry about most anything that comes up. I think it is directly tied to me wanting to control everything. If I'm not in control, I worry. Because if I'm not in control, that's all I can do.

In this very moment, the weight of 2010 feels as if it is crashing down upon me. My heart feels heavy and troubled. Lingering regrets from years past are creeping in and, at this very moment, it is really hard to push them away.

Tonight, I will mourn this past year. We are going to dinner with a group of some family, some friends, and some fucking douchebags that I definitely do not want to be around. I am wearing a black dress, black and gray checkered tights and black boots (that I got on sale yesterday for $23!). I will be in mourning. I will drink to 2010, but only as an obligatory tradition.

But when the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops, I will kiss Buster, passionately. In that kiss will contain all of my hope, apprehension, excitement and curiosity for the upcoming 2011. And at that point, I will let go of 2010 and the rampage it has done on my life.

_____________

The Funeral by Band of Horses:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My first cycle of 2011...

has officially started! Well, it actually started yesterday, but whatever!

Today is CD2, and I start Femara 2.5mg twice a day tomorrow. I am really excited and hopeful. I'm actually a little mad at myself for being so excited and hopeful, but there's not much I can do at this point. I have (kind of) already told myself that this cycle will be "the one". Yes, I am totally setting myself up for a long, hard fall if this cycle doesn't work, but for now I'm feeling good. And all I can do is take this one day at a time.

I will go to the RE on CD11 for an u/s to check on my progress, and see when it looks like I can do the trigger and IUI. CD11 will be next Thursday. This feels like it is moving really fast all of the sudden!

__________

Here is a photo of Kelsey with her BFF, Buttercup (my MIL's 3 y/o Golden):






They are spooning!!! I think I am starting to love dogs more so than people...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday bliss

Although a small part of me is saddened by the passing of the holidays, most of me is happy they are done with. I was quite stressed this Christmas, with the little pup and all, plus cooking and baking. I did practically nothing yesterday, aside from play with my new toys, and plan to do the same today!

I had a wonderful Christmas. The presents that Buster and I got for our families were all well-received, especially little Lulu. My MIL cried like a baby when Lulu was presented, and she was instantly in love. She has thanked us several times a day since Christmas Eve. Also, the Sarah McLachlan tickets I got for my sister, her girlfriend, and my mom and dad were a big hit and surprise. I was pretty proud of myself for that idea, honestly. We never get big-name concerts (or any concerts, really) to my town, so when I heard Sarah was coming, I had to get tickets!

Buster spoiled me rotten this Christmas (all of the gifts he bought me were bought before he lost his job, in case anyone was wondering!). I got a Kindle (so excited!), the gray rosebud earrings I had posted about in this post and then an identical purple pair, slip-on gray chucks (yay!), some Exotic Coconut lotion (the only lotion I'll use, lol). He also got me an amazing Boos cutting board! This sucker is 2 inches thick, made of Cherry, and beautiful!



Then, the biggest surprise of all, he got me a right-hand ring! I don't wear a ton of jewelry, but I had been mentioning a lot in the past several months how I'd like a nice right-hand ring. Well, he listened! He did a great job :)



Kelsey had a great Christmas, too. Not only did she get rid of her annoying foster-sister, she raked it in with new toys and treats, and even a new food and water bowl with adjustable height settings. Here is a pic of her with her new "woobie", given to her by my MIL:


From our parents, Buster and I received a plethora of things, namely a Bradley smoker (Buster can't wait to make some jerky), a set of Henckels knives (all of my ridiculously subpar knives had previously come from Walmart), and a Logitech Revue with Google TV. The Google TV thing is really cool. Buster especially likes it.

All in all, we had a great Christmas. We ate tons of good food, spent a lot of time with family, and made people happy. What more could I ask for? I hope you all had a wonderful holiday experience as well.

Now to get back to Stardust on my Kindle... :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And I am doing the best that I can

I woke up in good spirits today. I'm sure it has to do with a combination of factors, including:
  • The approaching holiday and my 4 1/2 day weekend!
  • My great friend sent me a gift certificate to one of my favorite Etsy stores!!! Merry Christmas me! :)
  • My friend and co-worker, Liz, told me I look skinny today 
  • I picked up my Femara from Walgreens today, and I am so ready for next cycle!
  • The building excitement regarding seeing people open and hopefully loving the gifts I've gotten them!
  • After a 12 day drought, I got laid! I think this is probably the largest contributing factor to my happy mood.
 ________


We have decided to give Lulu to my MIL on Christmas Eve. I am beyond thrilled with this decision. This will allow Buster and I to have a somewhat-sane Christmas morning before we head out for the whole day. I will miss the little nightmare, but luckily the in-laws live in our same neighborhood, and I can visit her whenever I wish to.

________


Up above in my bulleted list, I mention my friend who gave me a gift certificate. It's really interesting, our friendship. It's really a newly-formed friendship, even though we went to junior high and high school together. We were friends on Facebook, and would comment at times on each others statuses. Well, one day in early September, I saw a status update by her that mentioned the term "TWW". I messaged her immediately, as I was shocked that someone from my "real life" was using terms such as that (I'd only met ladies online who discussed such things!). From that initial message, we have bonded over our shared struggles trying to conceive. Even though hers is a different type of infertility (secondary infertility), we share the common bond of wanting desperately to get pregnant and have a child. The differences in our situation are inconsequential to me.

She was recently inspired to start blogging, and I had the privilege of designing her blog. This is the reason I received an Etsy gift certificate to a fabulous store. It is the same shop that carried the earrings I included in this post. What a thoughtful gift. I am not only appreciative of her kind gesture, but also of our newly-forged, Facebook-and-TTC-induced friendship.

If you are looking for some excellent reading (because she is a superb writer!), check out her new blog:
The Deep Silence of a Long-Suffering Heart
 And feel free to tell me how much you just LOVE the design of her blog ;)

________


I decided, while showering (which is when I do my best thinking), that when I reach 100 followers I will have a giveaway! I'm not sure what the actual prize will be yet, but if I was a betting man, I would say some kind of awesome gift from Etsy (Not purchased with my new gift certificate, of course!!).  I guess I could always go the way of a TTC-related gift, but...meh. Unless my readers would prefer a TTC-related gift. Feel free to weigh in on this decision!

________


I figured I would go ahead and post a couple new photos of Lulu, since I won't have her much longer! She is an awful subject to try and photograph...constantly on the move! You can easily tell this by my first couple photos posted here. The only way I was able to get her to sit still was to allow her to gnaw on my hand for a minute with her razor-sharp puppy teeth.





________


Due to the positive response when I posted a Modest Mouse song the other day, I thought I would do it again! My blog title today comes from one of my favorite MM songs, Baby Blue Sedan. Enjoy :)

"It's hard to be a human being..."




    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Merry ICLW!

    And the title is about as joyful as I'm going to get in this post. Don't say I didn't warn you!



    Welcome to anyone stumbling upon my blog via ICLW. In brief summary about me, I am a 29-year-old graphic designer (wannabe chef and entrepreneur) who is happily married to my best friend, Buster. We have been trying to conceive since 2007. We have never been even semi-successful. I have been diagnosed with the dreaded "unexplained infertility". Buster's boys are in great shape, so it is likely that the "problem" lies within me. Oh, joy! (There's some joy for ya!)

    2010 has not been our year. Really, it was just ok. Another year of failed cycles and BFN's for me, while Buster got his Electrician's license and was on the hunt for a job. Apparently a good job is hard to find! But then, in the first week of November, our luck changed. Buster got a call from a great local employer. He had been applying at this place for 10 years. He was hired, and things were really looking up.

    Fast-forward to last week. Buster gets called in to HR and questioned regarding my father, his father-in-law. Apparently "immediate family" includes in-laws, which we did not realize. Because my father works at the company, Buster was terminated. A week and a half before Christmas.

    So now, we are ready for this shitfuck of a year to be over. In January I will be taking Femara (for the first time) and doing an IUI (for the second time). That is about all I am looking forward to at this point.

    And just because the universe wasn't done shitting on us, Buster's car didn't start yesterday. He thinks it is because the battery is too cold, but who knows. We will find out more today.

    On Sunday we drove an hour and forty minutes each way to pick up a Golden Retriever pup that we are giving to MIL for Christmas. The puppy, Lulu, is adorable. However, her and Kelsey together are little nightmares! I don't know how people have more than one puppy! I didn't think I would feel this way, but I am so ready for Christmas to get here so we can give the puppy to MIL and regain a little peace and quiet around my house!


    Friday, December 17, 2010

    We have good news for anyone who loves bad news

    It has been a shitty week. I guess I'll just get right to it: Buster lost his job.

    When he was hired, he had to sign a paper stating that he had no immediate family that worked there. He was signing this paper along with tons of other papers, and he did not read the fine print. He (and I) incorrectly assumed that immediate family did NOT include in-laws. Well, we were wrong. Human resources found out that Buster was my dad's son-in-law, and my dad works at the same company.

    The worst thing about all of this is that there is no way that HR would have found out on their own. Someone had to go report this. It makes my blood boil to think that someone would be so malicious and vindictive as to go to such measures to fuck with someone's livelihood.

    Buster's cousin was once married to the daughter of one of the higher-ups at the company. He was an awful husband, and after sleeping with half the town while married to this girl, they got divorced. Her mother went to such lengths as to slash his tires afterward. She is a malicious, vindictive person. And Buster used to work with his cousin at the driving range that his cousin ran. Buster was assistant manager, and it was during the worst time in the cousin's marriage. It seems to us that this family associates Buster with his cousin, and maybe by hurting Buster they could hurt the cousin.

    Well, Buster hasn't spoken to the cousin in several years, after finding out what kind of guy he really is. And by Buster losing his job, that won't affect the cousin. He doesn't give a shit what happens to Buster and me.

    It's been a rough week, trying to come to terms with this. We were planning so many things for the next couple of years, including buying a car, a house, and paying for enough fertility treatments to knock me up.

    A job search will commence, and hopefully Buster can find something suitable in the coming weeks. We are still planning on doing our Femara+IUI cycle in January, so hopefully 2011 can start with some good news. I am, without a doubt, ready for 2010 to be over.

    _________________

    The blog title is lifted from the Modest Mouse song "Bury Me With It" from the album entitled "Good News for People Who Love Bad News". It's actually, I think, my least favorite song on that CD. So, I'm sharing another song from that same CD: Ocean Breathes Salty. Enjoy :)

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Wonder

    On the TTC forums I frequent, there is a section entitled "Ask Your Questions to Our BFP Members." Recently I find myself itching to post there. Not about symptoms or anything exciting, as I never have symptoms. Or anything exciting, for that matter.

    I want to know what it feels like to see a positive pregnancy test. To feel that immense joy coupled with anxiousness. To know how it feels to tell Buster that there is a part of him and me all mixed together in my belly. Or what it feels like to go to your first ultrasound and see a little formation that you know to be a baby on the screen. How it feels to hear the heartbeat of the little being that was created out of love.

    I wish those feelings/emotions were bottled up and I could take some, just to see what it's like. I know it wouldn't be real, as I'm not pregnant, but I want to know regardless.

    ___________

    In other news, I think I ovulated yesterday. I did not have any O pains, as I rarely do, but today I do not have any fertile CM, which I have had the past 4 or 5 days. I'm just ready for this cycle to be over so I can start my next. I'm really hopeful for it, which could be my downfall. But at this point, hope is all I have.

    ___________

    I love this song. Colin Meloy is the lead singer of The Decemberists, and he is amazing. I think this song is about his lady being pregnant. If it's not, it is certainly what I think of when I hear it.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    STFU Fertiles

    Happy Friday!

    I have nothing interesting going on at all. But, I submitted a screenshot to STFU Fertiles, and they posted it today! Here is the link to check it out. It is a screenshot of my Facebook, with identities blacked out, of course.

    Also, thank you all for your encouraging words and stories/advice regarding my new plan for the new year. I really, really appreciate it! <3

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    New doc, new plan, new year

    The consultation appointment with my new RE went...well. I have yet to form a solid opinion of him, however. He appears to be devoid of emotion—which, I think I'm ok with. He wasn't sympathetic, but he wasn't mean or abrasive either. I feel confident in his knowledge, and to me that is more important than him being overly sympathetic to my plight and being mushy and gushy.

    So we talked about my previous visits to that clinic, and also about what I've done in the meantime (I did two unmonitored Clomid cycles since I had been there last). He was looking through my chart, and apparently I had some blood work done in April of 2009. I did not even remember this. How sad! But, in my defense, I was still reasonably clueless regarding all things TTC, other than knowing where to put which body part. In the bloodwork from April of 2009, they tested my thyroid, FSH, and prolactin (I think that's what he said...?), and all were in the normal ranges. My FSH level was 5.8. I was pleased with these results, as I had worked myself up thinking my hormone levels were off somehow, and that must be to blame for my lack of pregnancy.

    He wanted to do an u/s, just to check and make sure I didn't have any cysts from the Clomid, and to see how I was looking. I am CD9, and had a follicle measuring 14.5 mm on my left ovary. Based on this, he thinks I will ovulate around Saturday-ish. I didn't actually ask for that information, as I typically know when I'm O'ing, but ok. We then headed back to the consult room. He then told me that to round out my testing, we could do a laparoscopy. He said that even though I have no outward symptoms of Endo, sometimes a micro-something(? can't remember the word!) Endo could be present. Also, sometimes when the extract peritoneal fluid and mix it with semen, in some cases it can kill the semen. But, this is a rare thing and probably not the case with me. He didn't press one way or the other in regards to the Lap, and I don't think it is something I am interested in doing at this time, as I have no symptoms of Endo.

    As for protocol, he suggested that I take Femara (Letrozole) on CD 3-7, then a trigger shot + IUI. His hope for the Femara is that it will give me 2-3 large follicles. When I did Clomid+IUI back in March, I only had one large follicle.

    So, this is how I will start out the new year! I'm pretty excited about taking a different medicine, but I haven't done my typical googling yet. I hope I don't find lots of horror stories. But, the doc did say that Clomid stays in your system, where Femara is out within 96 hours. I think Buster will be happy about that.

    Has anyone out there had experience with Femara/Letrozole? I'd love to hear about it!

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    The continued haunting of an abandonment

    On Sunday, Buster really wanted to take a nap with me. I’m not a big fan of naps, but I couldn’t resist him. So, I took a nap. And I had the most bizarre dream. Before I explain the dream, however, I would like to preface it.

    Earlier this year, I had switched to a new gynecologist. I really liked her. I was severely disappointed to find out in September, less than a year after switching to her, that she had resigned from the practice and was “unsure of her future”.  I was puzzled by this, and have remained curious as to whether she was in need of a mental break from the world of medicine, or if perhaps she is persuing ambitions to start up her own practice. The letter from the practice did not go in to much detail at all.

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Buster and I headed to the mall so he could get the worst haircut in the world. I’ve always warned him about getting his hair cut in a mall, but he doesn’t listen to me! Anyway, while I was wandering around aimlessly waiting for the lady to be done butchering my husband’s scalp, I see my ex-doc. She was walking with who I would assume was her husband. She looked really pale, was walking slow, and looked overly melancholy and even sort of depressed. This image has been haunting me as of late. I am concerned about her well-being, as it appears to me that she must have had some kind of mental breakdown. Her gaze passed over me, and she did not recognize me. Granted, she is used to looking in between my legs, but still. We went through a LEEP together! Come on!

    So that was that. Well, then on Sunday I had a dream about her during my nap. In the dream, she was back at the practice, but in a limited capacity. I was there, and I asked her why she was no longer my doctor. She stated because she only was accepting patients that she could help. She feared there was nothing she could do for me; I was a lost cause when it comes to getting pregnant.

    Talk about a slap in the face! I woke up disturbed and haunted. I’m really just not sure what to think of the whole situation. I probably shouldn’t think about it at all, since it was a dream. And all my speculations as to her mental health are just that: speculations. I think I will just try to convince myself that her husband is a brain surgeon and she decided to be a SAHM.

    _______________

    On another note, I have my appointment tomorrow morning with a new RE. Since I'm already a patient of the clinic, he has access to all of my information. I was thinking about printing out my FF charts and bringing them in as well. Is that tacky? Would that even be helpful to him, or would it annoy him?

    _______________

    Last night I spent too many hours perusing Etsy. I've looked at it before, but not really in-depth. O.M.G. I'm in love! There are so many things I want. So, up until Christmas, I think I will post one thing a day that I love/want/need! :)

    Gray Rose Earrings

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Monday already?

    This weekend positively flew by. On Saturday, we went and got our Christmas tree. We went to a tree farm and Buster cut the tree down himself. It was a great experience! I felt like a kid. This was the first time I've gone and picked out a tree and cut it down. I will insert a photo of the tree here, but also at the conclusion of this entry I will post some more photos of some of my favorite ornaments.


    My company Christmas party was Saturday night. There were tons of people there, and I only knew about 10% of them, which makes for an awkward evening. Open bar, here I come! There was a DJ who had a voice like Barry White, and who played the shit out of group dance songs. I hate group dance songs. So much so that I told the DJ for our wedding that if she so much as played a note from The Chicken Dance song or the Macarena, I would throw her out. Well, Barry White DJ started off the evening of dance music with the Electric Slide, followed by that weird Cha Cha slide song. To me, these are adult versions of the Hokey Pokey. Just because you can follow directions does not mean you can dance.

    But, I digress. I realize that on Friday I posted that I would be happy with any prize. Well, that statement has officially bitten me in the ass! Not only were there all the prizes I had mentioned in my Friday post, but there were TWO Dyson Vacuum Cleaners!!!! Currently Buster and I have a Dirt Devil handheld vac. Yep, that's it. It is certainly a workout when I vacuum. So needless to say, I abandoned my wishes for a TV once I heard mention of the Dysons.

    They called my name in the second round of prize giveaways. It felt surreal, like a dream. I floated up to the edge of the dance floor, where the prizes were displayed. There stood a girl I went to high school with, who also works for the same company as me. She had a bag that contained pieces of paper with numbers on them. I was to draw a number and I would win the corresponding prize. As I nervously fumbled around in the bag, I told her, "I really want a Dyson!"

    The gleam and excitement in my eyes was hard to miss, and I know she was hoping I would win the Dyson. I drew number 33. I handed it to her, and she turned and gave it to the prize fetcher. As the prize fetcher handed her my prize, she said to the fetcher, in a disappointed tone, "She wanted a Dyson."

    I won a 3.5" LCD travel picture frame. 3.5"!!!!!!!! That's smaller than the screen on the back of a camera!


    I was the definition of crestfallen. I attempted to steel my facial expression, not wanting to give away the disappointment I felt. When I got back to my table, my co-workers laughed at me. So did Buster. Oh well. Maybe next year I'll win a good prize! I am going to attempt to return this picture frame to Best Buy and see if I can get some store credit!

    ______________________

    As promised above, here are some photos of my favorite ornaments on my tree:

    Old school E.T ornament from the 80s!


    Buster's grandmother who passed away when he was barely a teenager.


    Old ornament that the in-laws gave us. Buster remembers it from when he was a child.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Friday fodder

    Happy Friday!!



    I called the RE office today and asked to switch doctors. They were ridiculously nice about it, so hopefully it will be a smooth transition. I have a consult with the new doc this Wednesday. I'm excited to hear his perspective and see what he suggests. I am going to push for more aggressive fertility meds to accompany the IUI, and I hope he complies. After 3 Clomid cycles, I'm just not sure that it's the best route for me. But what do I know?!


    _____________________


    We are getting our Christmas tree tomorrow! I am so excited. We are going to a place where you cut your own, which I've never done before. I'm interested to see how Kelsey reacts to the tree. I think she will be scared of it. Tomorrow evening we are going to my company Christmas party. It should be fun, as they are giving away 60+ prizes. Some of the prizes include: 2 iPads, 42" tv, laptop, netbook, digital camera, etc. I sure hope I get something nice! Buster really wants the TV, as our 42" LCD TV has this really annoying glitch that sometimes causes a thin blue vertical line all the way down the TV. I'd be happy with anything, to be honest.

    _____________________


    After much research and reading, I have opted to switch Kelsey to Innova brand large breed puppy food. When she is old enough, I will switch her over to Evo (made by the same brand, but they don't have a puppy version). I feel pretty happy with this decision, regardless of the price of the food. Thank you all for your advice! I really am still tempted to try the raw food diet, but the thought of Kelsey eating entrails on our kitchen floor kind of makes me ill. But I think I will be giving her some big meaty bones as a treat from time to time!


    And on a Kelsey-related note, Buster's cousin and his wife (who are great friends of ours) are getting a Golden from the same lady we got Kelsey from! And...the pups will be half-sisters! They share the same dad. I'm so excited for Kelsey to meet her sisters! Yes, sisters, because we have decided to get the last remaining pup from that litter and give it to MIL for Christmas. It is a joint gift from FIL, BIL & us, and I know MIL will be thrilled beyond belief. So Kelsey will have two new sisters to play with! :)

    _____________________


    I love this song, and this video really captures the current state of perpetual cold that I am feeling today!

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    You can't pick your friends' noses.

    Is that apostrophe correct up there in the title? I pretty much don't think so, but oh well!

    My great friend Lisa over at The Pursuit of Pregnancy nominated me for this cute award:

    Lisa has an amazing IVF protocol upcoming for January, and I know she would appreciate any support! She has had a tough TTC road, and there is no one else I'd rather see pregnant!

    Now I get to pass this on to 5 of my favorite blogs!
    Alex's Adventures
    Blue.Bell.Beat
    Adventures in Infertility-Land
    TTC Fatty
    Removing Roadblocks

    Here are the rules: Link back to the person who awarded you, and then pick five blogs to pass on the award too. Make sure to comment on the awarded blogs so they know they've been picked. 

    __________________________________

    Now on to other things! My OBGYN (the new one, who I switched to after my wonderful doc all of the sudden up and left the practice...) wanted me to call him after the two Clomid cycles and let him know how they turned out. Well, I called yesterday and let him know that they were failures. He returned my call today and we had a nice chat. I'm really not sure why he called. He asked where I wanted to go from here, and I told him that we are going to go back to the RE in January and go from there. He was supportive, and also mentioned a clinic in Pittsburgh and another in D.C. that are great. I hope to not have to travel, but I will if necessary.

    __________________________________

    Also, if you recall, I had to take my poor, sweet little Kelsey to the vet a couple weeks ago, and that they diagnosed her with having struvite crystals in her urine, and a mild UTI. Well, Buster was doing some research and apparently the dog food I recently switched her to, Nutro, is notorious for causing these crystals, among other problems. I picked the food because it seemed to be a good one at Petco. Boy, I could not have been more wrong. You can read some horror stories here, if you want (there are only 109 pages of complaints...). I feel too guilty to read them, but Buster relayed some of the information to me. Seizures, pancreatic cancer... oh lovely.

    So, I am currently doing some research online, but I think I may switch her to a raw food diet! I'm just so leery of commercial dog food, and it seems like this is a healthier approach, and one that is more suited to an animal. If anyone out there has any experience with homemade dog food or the raw diet for dogs, please let me know! :)

    ETA: Here is a photo of the food Kelsey was eating. It is Nutro Max, not the other kind of Nutro (the more expensive one). I'm not sure that all varieties of Nutro are causing problems, but this kind definitely did:
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