Friday, March 23, 2007


Wow, have I ever broken a big blogging has been several days since my last post. We are just meditating here until our cycle begins hence the "ooohhhmmm" title. I was obsessed with IVF blogs for weeks and weeks and felt the need to take a break and just enjoy life without thinking about it all.

Drugs arrive tomorrow...perhaps I will snap a photo of all the goods and post it here.

Back to my soothing meditation......

Monday, March 12, 2007

It's been a good decade...removing my armor seems like such a bad idea

While moving forward into this journey, planning this "party" with all the trimmings, I have not truly considered the emotional ride I am once again signing up for. After reading some posts written by disappointed IFers on other blogs, I am reminding myself of the potential pain and heartbreak ahead.

I remember it all well...the many AF's that would come and go...the excitement around day 5 of my cycle when the cramps were gone, the estrogen was rising and my was body re-setting itself to possibly host another life. I was a working-outside-the-home corporate gal then, it was just Ivan and me. My yearning for a child was suffocating at times, the pain enveloping me.

It was 1995...Dr. Google was not out of medical school yet and we had only recently gotten a PC at home... a desktop that cost $2000.00 and had 16 MB of RAM. (((are you up off the floor yet?))) The Internet was NOT what it is now so the information-at-hand was sketchy. We had a limited number of online minutes, Blogdom!

By the end of 1996, I was emotionally drained. We had only been trying for a few years "on our own" and we also did five IUI's after my surgery for endometriosis. Despite Dr. Smile encouraging us to do IVF, I knew the long arduous IF road was not for me...I just wanted to be a mom.

In early 1997, we learned a baby was going to be born that Spring. And, on my birthday in February, we learned that we would be the parents to this child in a few short months. The courageous woman carrying this child had chosen us to parent her baby. The powers-that-be had intervened, knowing I could no longer keep up the IF pace, however low the incline. We knew this was the road we should take...we did not seek the adoption, it came to us. And what a glorious, glorious event.

Goose was born that spring and then we adopted Lili three years later. Life has been full. Busy. Wonderful.

For ten years, I have been a mom. A Mom.

During this decade of growth and tantrums and fevers and irreplaceable cuddles, goodnight kisses, late-night talks and many, many "I love you's", I have still felt the sting of infertility now and then. IF leaves a hole, not a wound as much as a sense of incompleteness. With that said, many of you might feel wounded after miscarriages and several failed IVF cycles. I never took it that far so my "cross to bear", so to speak, is this hole - this piece of me not fully developed - a potential not realized. It is that hole, however small, that has brought me here with advancing age as the final catalyst. It really *is* now or never.

We could have done this when I was 27 but my Goose was about to be born.

We could have done this when I was 30 but my Lili was waiting for me from across the globe.

And now, well, now I don't feel another soul calling out to me...not yet any way. I know this is the right time for IVF, ten years after Dr. Smile suggested it. Now, a decade later, *I* am ready to do this.

But at what cost?

I see your pain, Blogdom, and my heart is heavy for you and maybe a little heavy for me in advance. And I want to pinch myself and say, "what in the h$ll are you doing, Ashpash, inviting this pain back into your life?" Pain that will no doubt be magnified by the needles, drugs and expense.

Will my journey end in six weeks when we get a negative pregnancy test at the end of April or will this blog take a fresh, miraculous turn with the sharing of symptoms and pictures of an expanding belly?

Either way, I am confident my pain will not be as stinging because I am already a mom. The loss of my fertility will always be there and it will never go away. But, somehow, being a mom will soften the potential disappointment with IVF.....right?

This, my friends, is where I think I might be fooling myself.

If this fails, I will still be a mom, still active, still healthy, still adored by my children.

If this fails, will I feel a sense of "we were so close" and want to go back for more? Will the photos of those embryos Ivan and I created be too painful?

I don't know where this is leading me but I know that regardless of the outcome, I want to experience it...the good or the bad. As I await my cycle to begin, I will continue to read your stories...your sorrows, your triumphs and your ongoing struggles somewhere in between. Thank you for sharing your stories, Blogdom, they inspire so many on a daily basis and help moms like me summon the courage to move on and see what life will bring.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Punching the illness ticket

One of my great fears about this cycle is that Goose or Lili will be sick the morning of the retrieval or transfer. (The schools this time of year are absolute cesspools of bacteria and viruses). A friend is happily keeping them overnight for our big visits to the RE but, geez, that is asking A LOT to have someone care for your *sick* child. This friend works outside the home so she would have to take time off...just not something I can ask her to do. However, considering by that point we will have burned a few thousand just on meds, ouch, cancelling would absolutely bite the big one!

With that said, I am hoping we have punched the proverbial illness ticket for several months. A few weeks ago, both daughters had a mild vomiting virus. Whew, I thought, wiping my brow...they have been sick. They will be fine for April.

Then this week started with Lili and a low-grade fever, clear snot, cough. FOUR DAYS LATER she went back to school.

Dentist appt for me today, acupuncture tomorrow!


Goose was up at 2AM flailing a flashlight into my room exclaiming "mom, I think I have a fever!" Once I recovered from the booming voice and lights in my face I was able to function and check her temp. (I had been dreaming that DH and I were at a Bob Dy*lan concert so I had to change modes...)

Fever indeed. It was 105.3. Magic ibuprofen and ice chips were administered and babbling Goose was finally on her way to sleep again. Blodgom, you should have heard my friend gasp on the phone this morning about Goose's fever. Ha, high-fever virgins, they crack me up. Bring on the fevers, people, nothing scares this veteran. :) Give me a cheek hot enough to fry an egg THAT is an immune system with some gonads. Poor Lili, her fever was a puny 100.5, which is why the virus lasted so darned long. Of course, you would have thought her major organs were being parboiled based on her moaning. Not one for pain, my youngest little darling. She takes after her mom.

Now, dear Blogdom, I must admit that these new viruses have thrown me for a loop. In my experience, once kidlets get something - anything - their immune systems seem to be on high alert and they don't get anything else for a while.

Surely THIS IS *IT*! I am feeling very confident that illness is OVER in Ashpash's house for MONTHS or certainly for the month of April.

Note to rogue bacteria and viruses: We punched our tickets...think Tom H*anks as the conductor in Po*lar Ex*press...the darned punched holes are all over my living room! Go away!

[Update: A serious note about fever...the temp does not matter as much as the child's behavior. Some children can be extremely ill with a low fever. It's more about how they are acting than what the number on the thermometer reads. This is great advice from Dr. Sears on fevers.]

Let Freedom ring!

Free*dom Drug, that is. :)

They called last night to verify the order my RE placed for my protocol. What a nice lady I dealt with! She was so pleasant. Their shipping is free, they send the syringes free of charge and they place the order with Fed*Ex for delivery on the day of your choice. Also, she took my insurance info because she was sure that our prescription insurance would cover at least a few of the items. I can't say enough good things about them!

After I talked with her, I was absolutely giddy with excitement! For the first time in my life, I am looking FORWARD to needles piercing my flesh. (But I must admit that the thought of those PIO's is still making me least by then I will have pictures of embryos to stare at each morning when that ridiculously large needle is once again introduced to my bum.)

Bring on the mind and ovary altering meds! Ashpash the pin cushion coming soon!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What music rocks your world?

Despite the title, Blogdom, I don't want recommendations for rock music.

I want your feedback on what music relaxes and inspires you. My iPod is a constant friend lately (when I am alone, that is...I just cannot go along with wearing the thing around the house ignoring my family!) As we move closer to our protocol beginning, I need something to keep my mind calm, positive, at ease, inspired. Along those lines, I love En*ya (A Day With*out Rain), Jew*el and Lor*i Mc*Kenna to name a few. I like deep lyrics that inspire along with soul touching music.

Don't get me wrong...I love my share of loud rocky booty moving music. But, right now I need something that feeds my soul.

Please, Congo Line friends...tell me what you like...what keeps you inspired?

My iPod awaits.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

We Have a Protocol!

Good grief. This is really going to happen, isn't it?

Our meeting with REnurse went very well. I like her very much and she gave us all of the time we wanted. Ivan was a pro with the practice injections...that's my boy...ultra fertile AND good with needles!

Lup*ron starts March 31 with stims on April 2. Egg retrieval is expected April 9-12 and transfer April 13-16. Pregnancy test planned for week of April 23.

I told REnurse that I really want a 5-day transfer if the embies look good enough. She said that she would make sure the embryologist knows this.

Here are the drugs I will be using:

Lu*pron, 20 units
Go*nal-F, 225 units
Ovi*drel (hCG)
Med*rol (corticosteroid)
Vivelle estrogen patch, day of transfer

First acupuncture treatment Friday.

My first blood draw of this adventure was taken yesterday. That d@mn needle hit a nerve and the pain was intense! My arm and shoulder hurt for hours afterwards. When I was leaving the lab, I was thinking how I am NOT cut out for this! :O

But, here I am any way.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"Grade A" Eggs Lost on Youth

Going into this I have assumed that my ovaries will kick out some "grade A" eggs and they will fertilize beautifully and me and my just-transferred perfect blastocysts will walk happily into the sunset together. Uh huh.

In these time-wasting little daytime diddies, I dream about Dr. ColdSpeculum gushing about my grade A eggs and our unbelievably perfect embies.

Yes,I dream and all the while neglecting basic responsibilities in life...for instance, getting all of the G!rl Scout cookies delivered that Goose and Lili sold. Who I am to deprive people of their minty, peanut buttery, lemony guilty pleasures?

BTW, Grade A? I feel like a dept of agriculture item for inspection.

What in the h$ll am I thinking with these thoughts of perfect egg-ness? The only Grade A anything in my near future will probably be the bruises left on my bum and belly.

I am now THIRTY EIGHT years old! Hello!? - Ashpash? - you are no longer a twenty-something college student wearing ripped jeans to concerts and doing marketing papers on a word processor. (It took an ink ribbon had a hammer that made contact with you see how much aging my eggs have done?)

Even if my eggs do somehow end up being "fair" in quality the chance of success is quite, if the doctor told you that you had this percentage as your chance of living through next week, you would immediately get a will drawn up and find a home for your Se*x and The C*ity DVD collection. This European-vacation-being-spent-on-trips-to-Dr.ColdSpeculum-and-lots-of-needles is nothing more than ME making sure I have crossed t's and dotted i's before I find myself eating my nightly 5PM dinner with my fellow widowed sister at Wy*att's Caf*eteria.

Despite the low success percentage and high cost, I have to cross it off my list.

Our song is playing and we are not sitting this one out. Let the band play (even if along the way a few notes are sour!)

Friday, March 02, 2007

More needles?

Geez, I gripe about the length of needles and then I sign myself up for more!

Today I spoke with an acupunc*turist in the same city as (and recommended by) my RE (Dr. ColdSpeculum). Her Chinese accent made it wonderfully hard to understand her English...I was comforted by her voice...she feels like a red thr.ead to child #3.

"It is a widely shared Chinese Legend that the red thr*ead 'connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.'”

Dr.Xiaolei told me that I should NOT consider driving there the morning of my transfer (3.5 hours one way) as it will add too much stress to my body and I will not be in optimum shape for the transfer. Heeding her advice, we have decided that we will absolutely drive the night before and get a hotel room. The morning of the transfer I will have an acupunc*ture session with Dr.Xiaolei and then return to her immediately following the transfer. Also of interest, I found a local acupunc*turist who has her bachelor's in pre-med and also her master's in Chinese Medicine. My first session is Friday March 10.

Does anyone have input on their acupunc*ture experiences?

It's all in the numbers...and the length of the needles

Dr. Cold Speculum's nurse emailed me the IVF documentation yesterday! She must have sensed that I needed something heavy to read...I needed numbers and details...I have been like a caged woman deprived of chocolate! The chocolate has been administered and was absolutely inhaled.

And now for the numbers...

IVF Class Appointment: 03-05-07 (Monday!)
Amount insurance is going to cover: 0%
Cost of cycle: $9500-$10,500
Cost of meds: $2500-$3500
Deposit expected at appt: $6000

Ivan had a rather rude awakening last night when I shared these numbers. Remember, this is the minimalist man who barely requires oxygen to breathe...and he is going to be plopping down $6K in cold hard cash for something that has a 30% chance of working.

I am pretty sure he had a cold beer after our conversation....and then slammed his head into the wall a few times.

Now, about those needles....I read that gonado.tropins are administered subcutaneously as well as the Lup* I silly to be excited about this? Even that one-time trigger shot of hCG is SQ! SQ's I can's those IM's that terrify me...are we not talking about a major difference in length of needle here? I am thrilled to learn that the only intramuscular is the progesterone and THAT is available orally and vaginally. This is where Always-Helpful-Blogdom comes in. I have already learned from you amazing women that the vaginal delivery of progesterone is rather, ahem, tough on the Victoria's Se*cret bikinis. And I swore I read someplace that the oral progesterone is not as effective?

What does the Congo Line recommend?

I read about Cri.none gel being good...who has used it and how did it go? What seems to be the most effective progesterone?

Inform me Blogdom! Wash your knowledge over me---my dose of "chocolate" is wearing off and I need another hit!

Information. I. Need. It.